Times Past: Jan. 28, 2021

Published: 1/27/2021 2:55:31 PM
Modified: 1/27/2021 2:55:28 PM

The first few snowstorms of 1996 left most Central Massachusetts roofs bearing an unprecedented burden of snow prior to last week’s warm weather and thaw. While snow rakes were a hot item in most hardware stores, Joe Mitko Jr. used his rock-climbing gear and a normal snow shovel to clean the roof.

■Warm weather last week led to high waters in Millers River and ice jams along various sections of the river.

■Tom Miller’s G period work study class painted the renovated weight room at Athol High School.

■Athol Police, apparently feeling that the Orange Police have been hogging the headlines, reported that they too received a call of a pig on the loose. An Orange resident had previously reported to police that she found a 12-pound porker on Route 2. She said she would care for the animal until the owner can be located. Athol police said they received a call of a second pig found on Route 2 near Lake Mattawa in Orange. Friendly Town Police believe the two pigs are part of a sale and apparently escaped from a truck on Route 2.

■Petersham Selectmen approved a proposal by Donald Flye, a member of the Athol-Orange Greenways Committee, to establish a bicycle pathway along the breakdown lane on Route 32 from the Athol town line to the intersection with Route 122 about a half mile south of the center of town. Flye said the path will facilitate connection of the Athol-Orange Greenway with a bike path being planned between Hubbardston and Barre and will benefit the Petersham economy by bringing tourists to the area.

■Students in Barbara Walker’s first- and second-grade class at the Warwick Center School recently made a mural depicting ocean life, a theme unit that the class had been studying.

■Gov. William F. Weld wants to allow more private schools to teach public education students, community governing boards to abolish school committees and the state to take over schools where students aren’t doing well. Weld would eliminate the posts of state secretary of education and commissioner of education, replacing them with a chief executive officer of education and training, who would head a 17-member board. That board would take over any public school in the state in which more than 10 percent of students did not meet a specific standard of statewide assessment examinations given in grades 4, 7 and 11.


“Where’s Daisy?” and fears for her safety were the main topic of conversation among students at Athol Junior High. “Daisy” is an armadillo, approximately the size of a football, weighing an estimated 10 pounds and 21 inches long. She went missing from her cage on Monday night and was found in the school gym Friday afternoon. “Daisy” visited the Athol Daily News office with Thomas Baily, science instructor, to make sure there was a follow-up to the “Daisy is Missing” report.

■Lindale Homes, Inc., real estate developers of Reeds Ferry, N.H., will build 25 to 40 homes this year in the Pleasant Street area if approval is given to an 88-lot subdivision plan. Gerard Lachance, housing coordinator for Lindale Homes, said construction of the houses, at “High Knob Village,” ranging in price from $21,000 to $25,000, will start about April 1 if preliminary plans are approved.

■Members of Troop 17 Boy Scouts participated in a night hike through the Kennebunk woods. Hot chocolate and hot dogs were prepared prior to exploring and training in Scout craft.

■PFC Doug Robichaud, who attended school in Athol, is presently stationed in Phouc Vinh, Vietnam where he is a member of a “crater analysis” team.

■The Franklin County 4-H Tri-S Service Club is sponsoring a toy and clothing drive for the Belchertown State School with members of the Orange 4-H clubs participating.

■Scouts of Troop 40 in Orange will camp out this weekend in the Ox-Bow area. They will be assembling at the Orange Town Hall on Saturday morning and then hike to the camping area. They will return Sunday morning.

■Army Specialist 4 Donald L. Carpenter, who will return for a second tour of duty in Vietnam Feb. 3, was recently awarded the Bronze Star medal at Long Binh for meritorious service in connection with military operations against hostile forces in Vietnam. Carpenter is spending his leave at home in Orange with his wife, the former Marilyn Matthews and his son, Donald Jr.

■Airman First Class Steven N. Cogswell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Cogswell of New Salem, is home on furlough after completing basic training as a material and supply specialist at Lackland Air Force Base, Tex.

■Investigation into the weekend break at the Erving Paper Mills, in which an estimated $2,000 in electrician’s tools are missing, has revealed no clue to the manner in which the building was entered.


The Athol area was visited by the heaviest snowfall of the winter, the depth reaching 15 inches.

■Chairman William G. Lord of the Athol War Finance Committee made the final report for the sale of Victory Bonds in Athol. The total amounted to $2,556,000, the local quota having been $1,982,800. A summary of all drives shows that a total of $22,503,000 was sold in the eight drives in Athol, on a quota of $19,813,000.

■The presentation of the medals to members of the Athol Selective Service Board was attended by about 50 at the Pequoig Hotel.

■A large assembly, over 200, had the rare opportunity of hearing two outstanding speakers give their ideas on a much-discussed subject, “Health Insurance,” at the meeting of the Athol Community Forum. The speakers were Mrs. Henriette C. Epstein of New York and Dr. Leland B. McKittrick of Boston.

■Ownership of the Elms Restaurant, 522 and 524 Main St., Athol, changed hands when two members of the concern, Vassil Panagiotou of Gardner and Ernest Tsiropolous of the Bates House, sold their partnership to the remaining owner, Peter Panagioutou and his two brothers, James and Stefan. Stefan, the new chef, was formerly a chef at Foltis and Fisher Restaurants in New York and later was owner of the Kenmore Cafeteria in New York. James, a former sergeant in a Military Police detachment of the U.S. Army, recently honorably discharged, comes here from Fitchburg.

■Major Woodrow Kessler, Athol’s Wake Island hero, has been promoted to lieutenant colonel as of June 1945, according to word received here. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Mervin Kessler of Athol, he is now stationed in Philadelphia, Pa.

■The sixth annual O.H.S. musicale was well received by a capacity crowd. The orchestra opened the program with several numbers including an overture, a tango and marches. The newly organized girls’ choir made its first appearance with four numbers. The dance orchestra, always popular, made a hit, playing eight hit tunes. The O.H.S. Band, with a roster of over 60, played during the fourth portion.

■A state highway would be laid out and constructed in the town of Orange under a bill scheduled to come up for hearing before the legislative committee on highways and motor vehicles. The bill for the Orange highway was filed by Sen. Ralph C. Mahar (D-Orange).

■President Truman asked Congress to appropriate an additional $14,350,000 to the Army Engineers for work on 13 flood control projects. The amounts asked included Tully Reservoir, $659,000.

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