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Athol Salvation Army Corps joins Boston Marathon volunteers
04-15-2024 4:31 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — Though they may not have been among the runners, the Salvation Army Athol Corps played an important role in the 128th Boston Marathon.The corps sent two vehicles — their mobile feeding unit, also known as a “canteen,” and a minivan — to help...

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Safety a priority for River Rat Race organizers
04-11-2024 5:00 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — With potentially hundreds of participants in this weekend’s Athol Orange River Rat Race, making sure there aren’t any problems could be a challenge, but it’s one organizers say they are ready for.Jason Rushford is the event’s water safety...


Heywood Healthcare cites progress made since bankruptcy filing
04-08-2024 5:00 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last October, Heywood Healthcare has announced it has made progress in restoring and improving services.The health care company has pointed to a costly electronic medical record transition,...


Libraries still in the business of books, but embrace growing role as community ‘third space’
04-01-2024 5:01 PM

By MAX BOWEN

Tilton Library Director Candace Bradbury-Carlin said that in recent years, libraries have grown beyond a place to study or get books and into a “third space,” serving their patrons in new and diverse ways.At the South Deerfield library, this could...


“Peter Pan” to open in April at Athol High School
03-20-2024 5:00 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — A modern look for the classic story “Peter Pan” will take to the stage at Athol High School in April, with a cast from all grade levels.The Athol Theatre Department’s production will open on Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. There will be additional...


Athol to take title on 96 properties
03-18-2024 5:00 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — Following a March 1 legal notice, the town will proceed with placing 96 properties in tax title for unpaid taxes, according to Treasurer/Tax Collector Patrick McIntyre.The sizable number of properties in arrears account for the last two years,...


Two fires render Park Street home in Athol uninhabitable
03-13-2024 1:05 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — A pair of fires just six hours apart have rendered a single-family home at 21 Park St. uninhabitable.None of the five residents were injured, according to Fire Chief Joseph Guarnera, but all were displaced by the fire. He noted that the Red...


Athol’s L.S. Starrett to become private company
03-12-2024 2:33 PM

By Max Bowen

ATHOL — In an agreement expected to be finalized later this year, precision tool manufacturer L.S. Starrett announced that it will transition from a public to a private company and merge with MiddleGround Capital, a private equity firm.The proposed...


Proposal to allow Athol school buses to use Vine Street gate fails
02-20-2024 4:23 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — A much-contested pilot aimed at lessening congestion at the Athol Community Elementary School (ACES) will not proceed, following a vote at the Feb. 14 meeting of the Athol Royalston Regional School District School Committee.The vote followed...


Warwick officials mapping out plan for Route 78 tree removal
02-09-2024 5:00 PM

By MAX BOWEN

WARWICK — Town and state officials are in the last leg of the planning process to remove dozens of trees from Winchester Road (Route 78) that are deemed a threat.According to Selectboard member Keith Ross, the plan is to remove an estimated 80 to 100...


Otter River Pub to reopen Feb. 5 following devastating fire
02-02-2024 5:01 PM

By MAX BOWEN

TEMPLETON — After four months of extensive renovations, the Otter River Pub & Red Onion Pool Hall will officially open for business on Monday, Feb. 5.It was on Sept. 27 that a fire ravaged the historical building, causing significant damage to the...


United Way food drive helps Athol, Winchendon pantries
01-25-2024 10:29 AM

By Max Bowen

ATHOL—A three-month food drive conducted by the United Way of North Central Massachusetts (UWNCM) has proven a big help to local food pantries.Run from Oct. 1 through Dec. 12, the “Gathering to Give: Harvesting for a Cause” food drive supplied over...


Athol Fire Department launches new web site
01-23-2024 5:00 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — Earlier this month, the Fire Department opened the digital doors to a new website, and the chief said the response has been very positive.Opened at the beginning of January, the new site replaces one which Fire Chief Joseph Guarnera described...


Six-town board votes to draft agreement for potential Pioneer, Gill-Montague school merger
01-07-2024 5:00 PM

By MAX BOWEN

Following a nearly unanimous vote, the Six Town Regionalization Planning Board will begin work on a regional agreement that would combine the Gill-Montague and Pioneer Valley regional school districts.The 13-3 vote at the Jan. 3 meeting was only on...


Phillipston photographer wins in Mass Audubon contest
01-05-2024 4:44 PM

By MAX BOWEN

PHILLIPSTON — A casual kayak ride on Tully Lake has become an award-winning photo for Norm Eggert.The picture shows Norm’s wife Cheryl near the lake’s boat launch, framed by trees in the morning light, and was chosen by Mass Audubon as the winner in...


Erving, Warwock officials map out goals for 2024
01-05-2024 4:43 PM

By MAX BOWEN

To kick off the new year, officials in northern Franklin County towns shared their plans for 2024.WarwickThe town will certainly have a full plate in 2024. One of the bigger issues is the continued operation of the town’s new school district, which...


Orange house fires believed to be accidental, says State Fire Marshal
01-04-2024 3:20 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ORANGE — A fire on Jones Street on Christmas Day is believed to have originated on a stovetop and was accidental, according to the State Fire Marshal’s office.The three-alarm fire, reported at 15 Jones St. at 4:05 p.m., caused significant interior...


Heyood Hospital’s first baby of 2024
01-04-2024 3:16 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — Katelyn and Tim Nault of Athol started off the new year by welcoming their daughter Eva Lynn into the world.According to information provided by Heywood Hospital of Gardner, Eva Lynn was born at 7:47 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2, at the hospital’s...


Police search Athol, Gardner hospitals following bomb threat
01-04-2024 12:25 PM

By Max Bowen

ATHOL—A bomb threat e-mailed to Athol Hospital on Thursday morning has been determined to not be a credible threat, according to Athol Police.Police from Athol and Gardner responded to a report of the threat on Thursday at 8:08 a.m., police said in a...


Petersham resident recounts unusual story of a bear and her horses
12-31-2023 9:16 AM

By MAX BOWEN

PETERSHAM—Andi Balser is no stranger to bears on her property.The Petersham resident encounters them fairly often, and most times, they’re scared off by her 80-pound dog, Colby. But on Oct. 24, she said a bear walked into her yard and could not be...


Two dogs killed, resident injured in Christmas Day fire in Orange
12-26-2023 12:08 PM

By Max Bowen

ORANGE — A three-alarm house fire on Jones Street reported the afternoon of Christmas Day killed two dogs and left the home uninhabitable, according to the Orange Fire Department.The fire was reported at 15 Jones St. at 4:05 p.m. Initially a...

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