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Westborough

Westborough Superintendent: Student body of 2008-2009 most diverse ever

Posted August 19, 2008 07:09 AM

In a letter posted recently on the Westborough School Department's website, Superintendent Anne Towle said the town's students are expected to be the most diverse ever in the upcoming year.

Around 12 percent of Westborough students do not speak English as their first language, said the letter, which also discussed Towle's thoughts on other subjects related to the upcoming school year.

Around seven percent have limited English proficiency. Minorities make up a fifth of total students. Towle said the diversity would improve students' understanding of the greater world.

An estimated 3,560 students will attend Westborough Public Schools on the first day of school on Wednesday, August 27.

-- John Dyer

A sign of lean times

Posted August 8, 2008 09:10 AM

The Westborough Food Pantry has seen an unusual amount of activity in recent weeks, said Virginia Lindsay, who helps run the charity.

Normally, the pantry serves about 50 families a week. Recently, around 65 families have been coming to the pantry at least once a week. Lindsay said she believes the tough economy is forcing people to cut back on the amount they can spend on food.

Residents who want to donate food can drop off items at the fire station on the corner of Milk and Grove Streets. Lindsay said monetary donations can be mailed to the food pantry at P.O. Box 502, Westborough, MA 01581.

-- John Dyer

Man killed in second train-on-pedestrian strike in two days

Posted August 6, 2008 08:52 AM

A man was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Westborough yesterday, the second time someone was hit by a train west of Boston in two days.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene after he was struck by Amtrak train 449 en route from Boston to Albany, N.Y., police and Amtrak officials said.

"It was an apparent suicide," said Tim Connolly, a spokesman for the Worcester district attorney's office. "He was on the platform and just prior to 12:30, as the Amtrak westbound train approached the station, he jumped off the platform, ran across the eastbound tracks, scaled the chain-link fence, and then fell onto the tracks just as the westbound train arrived."

The man was struck on the tracks near the Smith Parkway station in Westborough, Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy Connell said.

There were no injuries to the 92 passengers on the train, who were taken by buses to Albany after nearly three hours of delays, Connell said. The authorized speed in that area is 60 miles per hour, Connell said. Westborough police are working with state, transit, Amtrak, and CSX police, to investigate the event.

"I wasn't aware of it until the train stopped," said train passenger Liz Herold of Saco, Maine. "It's a horrible thing, and I feel very bad for the driver."

On Monday night, a 54-year-old man was struck by a commuter rail train in Framingham, police and fire officials said. Gregory Buchanan was flown to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester with leg injuries, Framingham police said. There was no word on his condition.

-- Jeannie M. Nuss

Downtown Westborough's stall and crawl predictions prove untrue

Posted July 28, 2008 06:51 AM

The recently-completed first phase of Westborough's downtown traffic study has shown that downtown daytime traffic is 44 percent less busy than forecasts predicted three years ago.

Police Chief Alan Gordon said approximately 4,500 cars traveled through the downtown are on a typical day, far less than the 8,000 originally forecasted three years ago when the Bay State Commons shopping and residential development was first proposed for the area.

Gordon said a slow economy and empty storefronts, some of which are scheduled to be filled, are probably the case of the low levels of traffic.

The chief said he intended to check traffic again in September when the shopping season heats up.

-- John Dyer

Westborough woman indicted for embezzling more than $220,000 from Sudbury greenhouse

Posted June 23, 2008 11:14 AM

A Westborough woman has been indicted for allegedly embezzling more than $220,000 from her former employer in a ghost employee scam, state and local prosecutors said.

Eda Vivar, 44, was indicted on larceny charges Friday, according to the office of State Attorney General Martha Coakley.

The indictment alleges that Vivar, while employed as a Human Resource Payroll and Benefits Administrator at Cavicchio Greenhouse, Inc., of Sudbury, defrauded the company's payroll system by siphoning the salaries of two non-existent two employees into her personal bank accounts. As a result of this scheme, Vivar allegedly stole funds totaling $220,615.25, the indictment alleges.

The alleged fraud was initially detected by an in-house audit conducted by Cavicchio Greenhouse, Inc. in June 2005, prosecutors said. An arraignment date has not yet been scheduled.

-- Ralph Ranalli

Westborough reaches agreement with teachers

Posted June 10, 2008 06:45 PM

The Westborough School Committee and the Westborough Teachers Association reached an agreement in their year-long contract talks on Monday night.

The settlement would give teachers a one percent retroactive pay hike for the past school year, when they worked without a contract, and another half-percent increase on June 30. For each of the next two school years, teachers would receive three percent salary increases.

Under union rules, the teachers can't officially accept the contract immediately. Teachers need to wait 10 school days from when the proposed contract is presented to them before they can hold a vote, said union President Bonnie Ross. Town Meeting also has to approve the contract in October.

Because the last day of school for teachers is Tuesday, June 17, they don't have a sufficient amount of days under the union constitution to hold a vote. That means they will have to wait until the beginning of the next school year in September before being able to accept the settlement.

Town officials and union representatives said the settlement was a compromise between the two sides' positions. "I think it's a very fair contract for everyone involved, for teachers, for citizens of Westborough, for everyone" said School Committee Chair Craig Harris.

On Tuesday, the union held a general meeting to discuss the settlement. Ross said members had a few questions about details, but on the whole welcomed the proposed agreement. "I thought it was a positive meeting," said Ross.

--John Dyer

Name that tune

Posted November 15, 2007 01:40 PM

westborough.jpg

WESTBOROUGH

Westborough High School officials are looking for anyone who may remember the melody to the old school song, "Happy Years" (Not to be confused with the song of the same name by Dave Somerville and the Diamonds or "Happy New Years Baby," by Johny Otis).

The words to the song were recently rediscovered in a yearbook from 1950, but they do not indicate how the melody was sung. The song was composed in 1936 by Gordon Aldrich, and the lyrics were written by Susan Beardslee and Shirley Lawrence.

Anyone with information should contact David Jost in the Fine Arts Office at Westborough High School by calling 508-836-7716 or via e-mail.

-- Denise Taylor

Police: Newton bank robber also may have struck in Westborough, Stoughton

Posted August 16, 2007 02:08 PM

newtonrobbery3.JPG

NEWTON

Newton police suspect a man who robbed the Village Bank branch in Nonantum yesterday may be responsible for two other bank robberies in Westborough and Stoughton earlier this month.

The Village Bank was robbed shortly before 3 p.m. when a man police described at 6-foot tall, clean-shaven, and wearing a Red Sox baseball cap, passed a note to a teller demanding money and said he had a gun. Police said the suspect then fled with cash.

Police said they think the same man robbed Citizens Bank branches in Westborough on Aug. 5 and in Stoughton on Aug. 6. Compare suspects for yourself. Police have posted photos from each of the robberies on the links below.

Newton robbery photo
Wesborough robbery photo
Stoughton robbery photo

Anyone with information is asked to call the Newton Police Department Detective Bureau at (617)796-2104.

-- Meg Woolhouse

Officials warn drivers of flying rocks in Westborough

Posted August 15, 2007 01:19 PM

WESTBOROUGH

Police in Westborough are investigating a series of incidents involving rocks hitting passing cars on Route 9, WCVB/NewsCenter 5 and the Bostonchannel.com are reporting.

The news station reported that drivers are being warned to be on the lookout for flying rocks near the Connector Road Bridge about 1 mile from Interstate 495. Officials said drivers traveling eastbound on the road early in the morning have been hit by flying rocks or debris and several have been injured.

They said at least two drivers were hurt by rocks recently while they were traveling on the road between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m.

At least seven vehicles have been damaged since July 11 and one driver was hospitalized after a piece of windshield glass flew into his eyes on Monday.

Traffic alert: fatal crash in Westbrough

Posted July 20, 2007 04:42 PM

WESTBOROUGH

Boston.com is reporting that the right and middle lanes of the Mass Pike eastbound in Westborough are closed due to a fatal motor vehicle crash.

The lane closures are also causing significant delays on Route 495 North and South approaching the Pike.

Travelers are advised to seek alternate routes as traffic is expected to be heavy until the vehicle is removed. This story is still developing.

Westborough makes the list of "100 Best Places to Live" in US

Posted July 17, 2007 11:43 AM

Moneylogo.jpg

WESTBOROUGH

We're No. 73!

OK, maybe it's not such a hot distinction, unless of course it's your position on Money magazine's 100 "Best Places to Live" in the US. Now it's Westborough's latest claim to fame.

The magazine cited the town's proximity to Boston, its recreational opportunities including the town beach (on Lake Chauncy), its six sites on the National Register of Historic Places, and its town meeting style of government.

"The historic Eastern Massachusetts town of 18,000 was long a Native American settlement before the English began arriving in the late 1600s," the magazine states. "Westborough is run by a system that's pretty unique to small New England towns - the open town meeting - in which residents are invited to comment and vote on all proposed policies."

Westborough was the only Globe West town to make the list. Other Massachusetts towns on the list include Milton at No. 7, Chelmsford at No. 21, Easton at No. 48, and Wilbraham at No. 94.

-- Ralph Ranalli

The gift that never goes out of style

Posted July 9, 2007 11:32 AM

WESTBOROUGH

The town has accepted a land gift of 24 acres from a developer building a 300 unit complex near the Commuter Rail station on Smith Valve Parkway.

The Board of Selectmen last month voted unanimously to accept the deed for 24 acres from developer Francis Zarette of Shrewsbury, town officials said. The land on Main Street will be jointly managed by the Westborough Community Land Trust and the Conservation Commission.

Zarette's project, dubbed Westboro Village, has received town approvals, but has not yet been built. Located on the site of a former gravel pit along Gleason Street, it will be a combination of shops, office space, single family homes, townhouses, and condominiums.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Fast times at Westborough High

Posted July 6, 2007 01:07 PM

WestboroughHigh.JPG
Westborough High's field hockey team gets pumped up for a game.
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)

WESTBOROUGH

More than 60 percent of Westborough High School students have consumed alcohol, at least 26 percent have used marijuana or smoked cigarettes, 22 percent have had sexual intercourse, and nearly 10 percent have dabbled in a variety of illegal drugs including ecstasy, heroin and cocaine, according to a just released survey.

A total of 987 students -- more than 91 percent of the student body -- participated in the anonymous and voluntary Adolescent Health Survey conducted last year by the MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation.

Among the survey's other findings:

* 23 percent of students had rode in a car recently with someone who had been drinking;
* 13 percent recently drove themselves after consuming alcohol;
* 25 percent felt very stressed over the previous 30 days;
* 22 percent had been in a physical fight over the course of the year;
* 26 percent had been bullied over the course of the year, and;
* Among those who were sexually active, 73 percent used condoms.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Former Westborough man defies federal agents in New Hampshire

Posted June 22, 2007 11:09 AM

edbrown.JPG
Convicted tax evader Ed Brown has become a celebrity on the internet among fringe groups.
(AP photo)

WESTBOROUGH

He has been holed up for five months in his turreted New Hampshire mountain compound with federal prison time hanging over his head. And convicted tax cheat Ed Brown, a handgun tucked in his pants and a hunting knife on his belt, vows that he is not coming out alive.

"They think they can intimidate us," the former Westborough resident Brown said of federal agents. "They can't. Not everyone in the world is a coward. We're men."

The defiant stand by this New Hampshire exterminator and his wife, Elaine, a dentist, over their refusal to pay $625,000 in taxes because they refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the US government echoes previous sieges in Waco and Ruby Ridge.

During a rare and recent interview in his fortified home with Globe City & Region reporter Raja Mishra, Brown ranted about the government and accused President Bush of orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks.

But this standoff carries a new dimension: Brown's antigovernment crusade has rocketed through cyberspace, transforming the once-anonymous couple into a cause célèbre among fringe groups around the world and leaving federal agents wary of turning them into martyrs.

Brown's blog has received more than a million hits in a month. Randy Weaver, who infamously resisted arrest at Ruby Ridge in Idaho in 1992, has joined Brown at his compound to offer his support after word spread online. Supporters from across the country arrive bearing supplies and camaraderie.

Read more about Brown's standoff in the Globe's online edition.

Biz director picked for Westborough schools

Posted June 20, 2007 09:18 AM

WESTBOROUGH

A New York man has been selected from more than 20 applicants to serve as the new business director of Westborough’s public schools.

Daniel P. Hendricks of Fairport, N.Y., who will begin the position Aug. 1, has been the assistant superintendent for business in the Gates Chili Central School District for more than a decade, according to Superintendent Anne Towle. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Murray State University in Kentucky and a master of science and a certificate of advanced graduate study from the State university of New York at Brockport.

Hendricks’ full title is director of administration and finance for the public schools, a position created after Assistant Superintendent Les Olson announced he would be leaving to head the Stoneham public schools.

New Assistant Superintendent Marianne O'Connor will handle day to day tasks while Hendricks will deal with the finances.

-- Jen Rosinski

New lock-up facility for girls on old hospital grounds

Posted June 19, 2007 09:24 AM

WESTBOROUGH

A new Department of Youth Services lock-up facility designed especially for young women on the grounds of Westborough State Hospital will open at the end of the month.

The Zara Cisco Brough Princess Whiteflower Center for Girls in Westborough, named after a local Nipmuc Tribe leader and activist, will house 25 girls in the statewide Pelletier Assessment Center and 15 girls in the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps Rotenberg School, according to Barbara Morton, the DYS regional director of the Central Region.

The $20 million center will take the place of the Pelletier Center, which was built in 1890 and is no longer habitable, Morton said.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Local couple wins damage award against former selectman

Posted June 17, 2007 12:40 PM

WESTBOROUGH

A local couple has won a lawsuit against a former selectman on charges of slander, loss of business sand emotional distress.

John and Laurie Pardee claimed that former selectmen Joan Bentley Walker in a July 1998 open public meeting accused them of vandalizing the restaurant at Westborough Country Club and not paying rent, according to the couple’s Worcester lawyer, Gary S. Brackett.

The Pardees, who operated the restaurant from 1984 to 1996, were before selectmen for a restaurant lease they did not secure.
A Worcester Superior Court jury on Monday awarded the couple $74,000, but the amount is closer to $125,000 after interest Brackett said.

-- Jennifer Rosnski

The grid gets bigger for ExaGrid

Posted June 7, 2007 10:57 AM

WESTBOROUGH

A local company that provides disk-based computer back-up solutions for companies is on a hiring binge after achieving record growth in the first quarter of the year.

ExaGrid Systems has reported a record quarter in sales for the time period ending March 31, the sixth consecutive quarter of record sales,
according to the company, which produces cost-effective disk-based backup solutions. Sales in the first quarter of this year were 66 percent higher than those from the same time last year.

The success has sparked ExaGrid to open their doors to jobseekers. The company currently has 15 openings including those for systems and software engineers. Go to www.exagrid.com for more information.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Westborough mulls cable competition

Posted June 6, 2007 10:28 AM

WESTBOROUGH

Residents could have a choice of cable providers if the Board of Selectmen awards Verizon a license next Tuesday night, after holding a public hearing on the matter.

If approved, the license would run for 15 years (CQ), the maximum allowed under state law, and will provide the town with four percent of the company’s revenue each quarter to pay for public, educational, and government programming. The hearing will be held at 7 p.m. in the selectmen’s meeting room in town hall.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Going beyond 'bonjour' and 'como estas' for students

Posted June 5, 2007 12:30 PM

WESTBOROUGH

Should Mandarin should be added to the curriculum in the Westborough public schools?

That will be one of the questions studied by a newly-created foreign language task force.

The task force will evaluate the districts needs to determine whether French and Spanish should continue to be taught at the middle and high school levels and if other languages should be added, Superintendent Anne Towle said. In addition to Mandarin, there has been talk about adding German and Portuguese.

Also under consideration would be a program in the elementary schools that pair English speaking students with those who are fluent in another language, Towle said. The program, which is already in place in Framingham and Holliston, attempts to help both students gain greater knowledge and understanding of the other’s culture and language.

The task force will begin in the fall and expects to have recommendation by January.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Swimming water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

Posted June 4, 2007 11:35 AM

WESTBOROUGH

The beach at Lake Chauncy will be closed to swimmers, boating and fishing this Thursday so a herbicidal treatment can be applied to reduce weeds and nuisance vegetation, town officials say.

Aquatic Control Technology of Sutton will apply the treatment, which the beach receives annually, according to the Recreation Department.

The beach will be back open on Friday, but leave that herd of thirsty cows home for another week. Use of the lake water for drinking, cooking, irrigation and livestock will still be restricted through Wednesday, June 13, officials said.

Officials are urging anyone with questions treatment to contact the Board of Health at 508-366-3045 or the Recreation Department at 508-366-3066.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Flagging an issue in Westbrough

Posted May 30, 2007 11:57 AM

fieldofflags.jpg
(Somers Congregational Church image)

WESTBOROUGH

A traveling exhibit featuring flags representing Americans who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be on display through the middle of next month on the lawn of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Westborough, where a prayer for peace will also be held.

Field of Flags, currently a collection of 3,718 flags, will be on display in front of the West Main Street church through June 17. The names of the people associated with the flags are listed on a display board and in a notebook, and more flags will be added as fatalities increase.

The exhibit was originated by the Somers Congregational Church in Somers, Conn. and has traveled to Virginia and North Carolina. The church's web site said the exhibit was not conceived as a protest, but as a "silent, patriotic, and poignant reminider of the cost of war."

A service will be held in front of the flags at 7:30 p.m. June 10 to remember the dead and pray for peace.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Westborough seniors honored

Posted May 28, 2007 08:30 AM

WESTBOROUGH

A senior citizen who started a cribbage club and who tirelessly shuttled his peers to medical appointments and the senior center and has been named Volunteer of the Year by the Westborough Senior Center.

Luis Torres of Westborough, a retired U.S. Army sergeant, was one of six people honored at a volunteer breakfast at the center earlier this month, Volunteer Coordinator Patricia Horrigan said. The others honored for their service include Lois and Leonard Anderson, Priscilla Federici, Beverly Johnson, and Cassandra O’Connor.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Westborough schools eye beefed-up security

Posted May 22, 2007 09:56 AM

WESTBOROUGH

The Westborough School Committee is studying whether to launch significantly increased security measures at the town's schools, including whether to lock all exterior doors and install security cameras.

At the suggestion of Superintendent Anne Towle, a subcommittee to review safety procedures at all six schools in the district. The subcommittee, which will meet quarterly, will include members of the administration, police department, school committee and teachers, Towle said.

The costs to install cameras and change the locking system at the entrances of all six schools – so that all doors are locked to outside visitors who must be buzzed in - will be presented to the School Committee on June 6, Towle said.

If approved, the changes would be funded out of the current budget and completed over the summer. Other measures the School Committee is also considering include enhancing the visitor pass system, setting up cameras in the back parking lot, and installing metal detectors.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Westborough elects newcomer to board of selectmen

Posted May 3, 2007 03:05 PM

WESTBOROUGH

A political newcomer -- the son of a former town counsel -- defeated a former selectman hoping to return to the board in Tuesday’s election. Timothy Dodd, the son of Alan Dodd, won a three-year seat with 998 votes, according the town clerk’s office.

That was nearly 200 votes more than Denzil Drewry, who served on the board for four terms until he was ousted by former School Committee member George Thompson last year. Incumbent Leigh Emery was re-elected to the board for another three years with 1,012 votes.

In the only other contested race, Joanne M. Mallozzi was elected to a one-year seat on the Planning Board with 629 votes, defeating Robert Amey, 436 votes; and Kenneth Ferrera, 378 votes. Of the town’s 11,158 eligible voters, 15 percent showed up at the polls.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Ringing in Spring, with a vengeance

Posted April 24, 2007 05:32 AM

WESTBOROUGH

The Rotary Club’s first annual bake-off, a road race, and a fishing program are among the events featured at the Westborough Spring Festival this weekend.

The two-day festival will kick off at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Westborough High School with a fundraising walk to benefit a state Department of Social Services pilot program that helps foster babies.

Other events on Saturday include a learn-to-fish program offered by the Westborough Community Land Trust will and a spaghetti dinner sponsored by the Lion’s Club. Sunday’s programs include the bake-off, a 5K road race for dogs and their owners, a dog show, and Historical Society walking tours.

For more information, visit the festival's online site.

Spring Festival 2007.jpg

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Evergreen Solar to build $150M plant in Westborough

Posted April 18, 2007 01:32 PM

WESTBOROUGH

Governor Deval L. Patrick got the opportunity to show his commitment to business and the environment yesterday, when the state revealed it had bested bids from North Carolina to Mexico to build a solar-panel factory that will create as many as 375 jobs, the Globe reports today.

The $150 million plant, to be built by Evergreen Solar Inc. in Westborough, will receive more than $44 million in state and private grants and loans. Patrick disclosed the winning bid yesterday with Evergreen chief executive Richard M. Feldt and NStar senior vice president Joseph Nolan, who said the electric utility will begin working with Evergreen to help it target customers willing to buy and install solar panels.

"The message to the state and the nation is clear," Patrick said. "We want Massachusetts to be the home of clean energy technology."

-- Megan Woolhouse

More responsibility for Les

Posted April 9, 2007 09:57 AM

WESTBOROUGH

After 17 years as second-in-command, Westborough Assistant Superintendent Les Olsen will be given the chance at a top job as he takes over the Stoneham schools come July 1.

Westborough Superintendent Anne Towle said she will use Olsen's departure as an opportunity to convert his old position from assistant superintendent to director of administration and finance.

The new director will have 28 responsibilities including payroll and contract negotiation. The district began advertising the position this week with a salary range of $90,000 to $110,000.

Olson was hired by Westborough in 1990 as a business manager and became the assistant superintendent four years later. The Newton resident had previously worked for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as an associate director of evaluation.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Hats in the ring in Westborough

Posted April 4, 2007 03:47 PM

WESTBOROUGH

The race for two seats on the Board of Selectmen in this May’s election will include an incumbent, former selectman and the son of a former town counsel.

Current Selectmen Leigh Emery is seeking a second three-year term on the board, according to the town clerk’s office. The other contenders are Denzil Drewry, a selectman for 12 years wholost his bid for re-election last year and Timothy Dodd, the son of former Town Counsel Alan Dodd. The elder Dodd who was reinstated to the bar last May after a one-year suspension for mishandling funds.

Current Selectmen Chairman George Barrette has already announced he will not seek re-election because of a promotion that places more demands on his time.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Couple open Westborough running gear store

Posted April 1, 2007 04:52 PM

WESTBOROUGH

A Milford couple once joked as they ran about opening their own running specialty store.

In December 2004, Jessica and Richard Allen acted on their dreams, opening PR Running on Lyman Street.

The store has become a hub for serious runners and walkers, The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reports today.

American Superconductor plans to cut 37 jobs

Posted March 29, 2007 05:02 PM

WESTBOROUGH

Westborough-based American Superconductor said Thursday that it plans to restructure its operations and cut its workforce by 13 percent, the AP reports.

The company, which employs 238 people, plans to cut 37 jobs in Massachusetts.

-- AP

Westborough police: man attacked a 10-year-old hockey player

Posted March 23, 2007 12:35 PM

WESTBOROUGH

Westborough police charged a 46-year-old man with assaulting a child after he allegedly attacked a 10-year-old hockey player as he skated off the ice.

Richard Rosenberger is scheduled to be arraigned today in Westborough District Court on charges that also include assault with a dangerous weapon.

According to a police press release, Rosenberger attacked the boy at the Northstar Youth Forum Ice Arena on March 3. "The victim alleged he was kicked and struck with a closed fist repeatedly causing him physical harm," police said in the release. The hockey player was not identified.

-- Globe City & Region staff

Squeeze a bit too tight in Westborough

Posted March 20, 2007 08:23 AM

WESTBOROUGH

Plans to build a combined police and fire complex on land the town bought last year may not be possible because the site has been deemed too small.

Town meeting last year paid $1.14 million for a one-story brick building and a plot of land that sits next to the Milk Street fire station, in hopes of creating a joint police and fire station. The only problem is that the Municipal Building Committee's consultant has since determined the land is too small to fit a large enough building and adequate parking, member Dexter Blois said.

The committee now will ask town meeting for up to $125,000 to demolish the building already on the Milk Street property and another $125,000 for a space needs analysis of all town facilities except the school and library, Blois said.

An alternative plan under study would use the Milk Street land to build a new fire station and expanding the police department within the Forbes municipal building on West Main Street, Blois said.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Truck driver killed in fiery crash

Posted March 13, 2007 08:40 AM

HOPKINTON/WESTBOROUGH/REGION

A truck driver was killed overnight when two tractor-trailers crashed on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Hopkinton, State Police reported.

The two tractor-trailers were traveling near the Hopkinton-Westborough town line at about 11:19 p.m. when a cargo truck rear-ended a car carrier, police said. The cargo truck burst into flames and the driver was unable to escape. Police did not release the driver's name.

The operator of the car-carrier, Tyronne Gadsen, 44, of Charlotte, N.C. was not injured. Officials said the crash remains under investigation.

The crash forced the closure of the westbound lanes for three hours. The left lane of the westbound Mass. Pike opened at about 2 a.m., but other lanes remains closed into the morning rush.

-- Globe City & Region staff

This story was first reported in the Local News Updates blog.

A man with a second chance helping others get one too

Posted March 12, 2007 10:00 AM

WESTBOROUGH

A local man who underwent stem cell transplant in hopes of treating a rare autoimmune disease now plans to start an organization to help others with life-threatening illnesses navigate their own medical care.

David Rubenstein returned home to Westborough in February after undergoing the experimental procedure to repair his immune system at MaineGeneral Medical Center. The father of two has diffuse systemic scleroderma – a disease that leads to the overproduction of collagen and the hardening of connective tissues and organs.

The 52-year-old is now watching and waiting to see if the treatment has helped. Meanwhile, he has pledged to form a non-profit to help those with serious illness manage their health care.

Rubenstein said his experience has shown him you have to be the captain of your own medical ship, and he is working with an attorney to craft his new project organization.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Teaching people how to fish

Posted March 7, 2007 03:06 PM

WESTBOROUGH

MassWildlife's Field Headquarters in Westborough will host an Angler Education Instructor Workshop this Saturday, the Berkshire Eagle reports.

The event will take place at 1 Rabbit Hill Rd., Westborough, MA.

Participants will be certified to offer fishing clinics and classes throughout the state.

We still wish they'd called it "Angler Management", though.

-- Adam Sell

To Infiniti and beyond!

Posted March 5, 2007 10:05 AM

infinitilogo.jpg

WESTBOROUGH

An Infiniti showroom may soon join the Ford dealership Herb Chambers operates at the intersection of Route 9 and Otis Street.

Herb Chambers has filed an application with the Westborough Planning Board to build a 34,098-square-foot glass showroom on a portion of the 6.7 acres site, which is home to the 18,727-square-foot Ford dealership and an 8,910-square-foot collision center. The expansion is expected to add 28 car trips during morning peak traffic hours, 45 car trips during afternoon hours, and a total of 121 parking spaces to that portion of Route 9.

For the project to proceed, it must be granted three special permits because there will be shared parking, a shared driveway and a change of use, Town Planner Jim Robbins said. The Board of Selectmen will have a public hearing on the water tank issue at 8 p.m. on March 13 in the hearing room of the Town House.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Insurance, other costs drive budget increase in Westborough

Posted February 25, 2007 06:48 AM

WESTBOROUGH

The town's budget for fiscal 2008 will jump 5.2 percent to $77.9 million, with fixed costs of like insurance and the cost of funding student attendance at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlborough accounting for most of the increase, according to a budget summary prepared by Town Coordinator Henry L. Danis Jr.

The budget is $3.9 million more than the current year, but would give less money to the Westborough schools than Superintendent of Schools Anne L. Towle has requested. Danis’s proposed school budget is $35.2 million, while Towle has asked for $35.7 million.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Senior days at Westborough High

Posted February 19, 2007 06:34 AM

WESTBOROUGH

Senior citizens can now use the Westborough High School fitness room on weekday afternoons thanks to a grant from the MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation of Framingham.

The fitness room - and its trainers - at the West Main Street high school is available to seniors from 4:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

To register, complete a form that is available at the senior center, school department offices, library and town hall. For more information, call Westborough public schools’ community education at 508-836-7766.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Cyberspace tune-up in Westborough

Posted February 17, 2007 10:25 AM

westboroughseal.jpg

WESTBOROUGH

The town’s new and improved web site is now live and will soon offer residents complete results of town meting.

The new site will also broadcast emergency bulletins on the home page when needed, town technology coordinator Joe Lawrence said. The site is hosted by Virtual Town Hall of Portland, Maine, the same company the town has been using since it first went on-line in 2002.

In response to resident requests, the site will include a complete listing of all town meeting articles and their positive or negative votes beginning with this year’s May town meeting. The site also allows residents to request email notifications of town news and meeting agendas.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

New life for an old pond

Posted February 15, 2007 11:55 AM

WESTBOROUGH

The restoration of Gilmore Pond, a once popular fishing hole, is getting a kickstart via a $2,000 donation from the Westborough Civic Club, a local non-profit group says.

The Westborough Community Land Trust will match the donation with its own funds and use the money to bring the pond, which is located off Gilmore Farm Road in the southwest corner of town, back to life. The pond is on 35 acres of open space donated to the trust by the developers of the nearby Orchard Hill Estates.

Don Burns, the trust’s stewardship chairman, says the plan calls for improving the pond’s water quality so that it can again be a fishing destination, removing invasive plants, erecting benches and improving trails. The project is expected to take three to five years to complete amd will be presented in the coming months to the Conservation Commission for approval.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Hats in the ring in Westborough, Part II

Posted February 13, 2007 12:04 PM

WESTBOROUGH

George Barrette, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, says has decided not to run for re-election because of a recent job promotion that has reduced his free time.

Barrette has been named vice president of sales and marketing for the East Coast at Spectera, a Baltimore-based company that markets vision and eye-care plans.

"I don't have any interest in being a selectmen in name only. That's not my style," says Barrette, who is serving his second term on the board. "I am absolutely not retiring from public service. Once my schedule settles down I'll re-involve myself in Westborough."

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Hats in the ring in Westborough

Posted February 13, 2007 09:03 AM

Westboroughseal.jpg

WESTBOROUGH

Election season is officially under way in Westborough.

For the Board of Selectment, so far only Leigh Emery has submitted papers to run for re-election of his 3-year term. Denzil Drewry, who lost his seat last year to former School Committee Chairman George Thompson filed papers to get it back. Current Chairman George Barrette so far has not yet filed his papers.

In all, there are nine open seats in town government, including two on the Board of Selectmen. The other open positions are one 1-year slot and one 5-year slot on the Planning Board, two three-year seats on the School Committee and three 3-year positions on the Library Trustees.

Officials are urging any resident interested in running for office to pick up nomination papers at the town clerk’s office anytime before 5 p.m. March 12. The papers must be returned to the town clerk no later than 5 p.m. March 13 along with the signatures of at least 50 registered voters.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Ain't got no culture?

Posted February 10, 2007 02:57 PM

WESTBOROUGH

If you think culture is something besides the active ingredient in yogurt, the Westborough Cultural Council wants to hear from you.

The council is inviting all residents to share their thoughts and ideas at its annual community input meeting next week, where feedback will be sought on current activities as well as suggestions for future events.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 20 in the second floor Historical Commission meeting room of the Forbes Municipal Building in downtown. Anying interested in more information can contact council member Pamela Kapitz at 508-366-0089.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Winds of change blowing through Westborough schools

Posted February 8, 2007 02:35 PM

WESTBOROUGH

Change is underway in the Westborough school department, with a new principal taking the reigns at the high school and the assistant superintendent vying for a new job in Milford.

John G. Smith has been named the new principal of Westborough High School by Superintendent Anne Towle, who made the announcement last week. Smith, currently the principal at Nashoba Regional High School in Bolton, will start his new position on July 1. The Shrewsbury resident replaces John Pierce, who will retire at the end of the school year after seven years as principal.

In other news, Assistant Superintendent Les Olson, also the district’s business manager, is one of eight semi-finalists for the job of Milford Superintendent. He will be interviewed next week by the Milford School Committee, who will then narrow down the field at their Feb. 15 meeting.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Westborough businessman sentenced in fraud case

Posted January 11, 2007 02:23 PM

WESTBOROUGH

A Westborough medical oxygen distributor was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison yesterday for defrauding the government's Medicare program and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts out of almost $1 million.

In addition to handing down the sentence, United States District Court Judge Patti B. Saris ordered the defendant, James Taylor, 67, to pay $636,088 in restitution. Taylor had previously paid $279,560 in restitution as part of a related civil settlement.

Authorities said Taylor billed Medicare and Blue Cross for oxygen equipment that was never delivered to patients' homes, or billed for more expensive equipment than was delivered.

The sentence was announced by US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan , and Joseph C. Moraski, special agent in charge for the New England region of the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services.

-- Christopher Rowland

Parents grounded for giving booze to minors

Posted January 11, 2007 09:23 AM

WESTBOROUGH

Westborough parents accused of supplying alcohol to a teen at a house party last summer have agreed to complete community service and probation in exchange for their cases being dismissed after one year.

Karl and Carolyn C. Bjork will each complete 100 hours of community service, including attending a class on at-risk youth, and remain on probation for one year as part of a deal struck between prosecutors, police and the Bjork’s defense attorney, Westborough Police Chief Alan Gordon said.

The Bjorks were each charged with one count of furnishing alcoholic beverages to a person under 21 after a hearing in October. Police said the Bjorks were home when their teen-age daughter hosted a party in August at their Gale Meadow Way home, where officers investigating a car accident found vomit, empty beer cans and red plastic cups in the road.

Police went to the home after an interviewing an 18 year old who had crashed his Pontiac into a Volvo on Haskell Street on his way home. The teen, who passed field sobriety tests, told them he had drunk three beers at the party.

Westborough District Court Judge Paul Waickowski continued the Bjork’s case without a finding at a pre-trial conference on Dec. 19, Gordon said. The Bjorks did not plead guilty, but admitted there was enough evidence to find them guilty if the case went to trial.

The case will be dismissed on Dec. 19, 2007 as long as the Bjorks complete the terms of the deal and are not charged with a crime.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

American Superconductor performance is electric

Posted December 12, 2006 01:59 PM

WESTBOROUGH

High-tech materials that can deliver 150 times more electricity than conventional wire are starting to push into the commercial market.

And that's good news for Westborough-based American Superconductor Corp., one of three companies in the United States that make products using the technology, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

"It's been a long time coming, a real marathon, but it's exciting because we're seeing the promise become reality," says the firm's president, Greg Yurek.

Westborough public schools honored for clean air

Posted December 9, 2006 03:27 PM

WESTBOROUGH

The Westborough school system is among seven districts nationwide to receive awards from the federal government for keeping air in the schools clean.

“EPA commends these award-winning schools for their remarkable progress toward safe and healthier learning environments,” Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office, said in a statement. “Schools that have indoor air quality management programs are seeing improvements in student health.”

“This award recognizes work that teachers, parents and administrators have done for the last several years,” said Les Olson, assistant superintendent for schools. “We are doing all we can to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.”

The EPA says indoor levels of pollutants may be two to five times – sometimes more than 100 times – higher than outdoor levels.

Rally recalls drunken-driving victim

Posted December 3, 2006 06:13 PM

WESTBOROUGH

Family and friends held an awareness rally for three hours at Route 9 and Otis Street in front of Wal-Mart yesterday, near where an alleged drunken driver killed Evagelos V. Pashos.

Passing cars honked horns in support of the nearly 50 people holding signs with pictures of the 21-year-old Shrewsbury man, who was finishing up his senior year at Suffolk University. The rally lasted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mr. Pashos’ family is calling for tougher laws against first-time drunken drivers, and has enlisted the help of local legislators. Lina Pashos, the victim’s sister, said the family plans to hold a rally before every court appearance by the driver, Alison J. Voorhis. Her car collided head-on with Mr. Pashos’ vehicle on Sept. 24.

Ms. Voorhis, 47, of Hopkinton is due in court Thursday for a pretrial hearing. She is charged with motor vehicle homicide, among other charges. Police said they found an empty beer bottle in her car and a plastic cup that appeared to contain an alcoholic beverage.

-- Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Awareness-raising vigil to be held for crash victim

Posted November 29, 2006 11:41 AM

SHREWSBURY

A Shrewsbury family hoping to toughen the state's drunk driving laws after the death of their son say they will bring more than 100 relatives, friends, and supporters to the site of the crash Saturday.

Relatives of Evagelos V. Pashos will hold an awareness-raising vigil from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Wal-Mart on Rte. 9 in Westborough, just around the corner from where the 21-year-old Northeastern University student was killed in a head-on collision this September.

Alison J. Voorhis, 47, of Hopkinton is charged with motor vehicular homicide and drunken driving in connection with the crash, which occurred just over the Northborough town line.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Westborough man counsels students after tour in Iraq

Posted November 29, 2006 10:52 AM

soldier.jpg
Carlos V. Silva
(Globe Staff Photo by Michele McDonald)

WESTBOROUGH

In his year in Iraq, Carlos V. Silva rushed onto smoldering battlefields to counsel soldiers too traumatized to climb back into the gunnery turrets of Humvees.

Now, a month after his return, the US Army Reserve major is working again at a South End school advising troubled teens who struggle to balance school with acute emotional problems.

Silva, a father of two who lives in Westborough, has the same goal at McKinley South End Academy as he did on the battlefield. He wants to help others recognize the root of their problems and work through their fears, the Globe's breaking news blog reports.

-- Andrew Ryan

Seeing the light in Westborough

Posted November 25, 2006 08:35 AM

WESTBOROUGH

A Peabody company’s proposal to add a traffic light and re-open a median on Rte. 9 - closed after a serious accident two years ago - has received unanimous approval from the Westborough Board of Selectmen.

The Richmond Company filed plans to construct a $20 million development called Turnpike Crossing with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office (MEPA) in January. The development would include a 140,000 square foot Home Depot and 50,000 square feet of office space at 170 Turnpike Road. The land is currently leased by the Westborough Rotary Club to operate a golf driving range that funds their philanthropic efforts.

As part of that proposal, a traffic light would be installed at the development’s entrance – near where Bertucci’s restaurant now stands - just west of the Rte. 9 and Lyman Street intersection, which would also be upgraded.

The median was open, allowing turns in either direction, until a serious accident on New Year’s Eve. 2004. There was no light installed at the time. The selectmen have sent a letter of support to Mass Highway, which would have to approve the re-opening of the median and the installation of the traffic light.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

The ups and downs of taxes, Westborough edition

Posted November 22, 2006 04:34 PM

WESTBOROUGH

Taxes on the average single-family home will increase by about $37 next year based on the town’s new tax rate and house values.

The Board of Selectmen last week voted to set a single tax rate for both commercial and residential property and accepted the Board of Assessors new tax rate of $13.66 for every $1,000 of value, Chief Assessor Linda Swadel said. The new rate will be in effect when tax bills go out in January.

The change increases to $6197.54 the yearly tax bill for the average single family home in town, Swadel said.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

A sound decision

Posted November 21, 2006 07:51 AM

bose_logo.jpg

WESTBOROUGH

Bose Corp. has announced it will expand its offices to an EMC-owned complex on Rte. 9 in Westborough this spring.

The Framingham-based audio company has agreed to lease 180,000 square feet in Westborough Technology Park to consolidate sales and service division in one location, spokeswoman Joanne Berthiaume said.

The move, expected to take place sometime next spring, will not create new jobs. It will, however, provide more space ion the Stow offices for an expansion of the company’s automotive systems division – which designs sound systems for luxury car makers including Ferrari and Porsche.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

My name is Wile E. Coyote, Genius

Posted November 16, 2006 10:39 AM

WileE.jpg
Not him.

WESTBOROUGH

Coyote sightings over the past several days in the southwest side of town have prompted Westborough police to warn residents to look after their pets and keep trash under control.

More than half a dozen residents have called police since to report coyote sightings in the early morning hours in the neighborhoods around Harvest Way and Nash Street, Police Chief Alan Gordon said.

For residents who don't happen to be Roadrunners, police have suggested that they should make loud noises and slowly walk away if they see coyotes. They also said they should call animal control at 508-366-3060 if they witness aggressive coyotes or believe a pet has been attacked.

Coyote.JPG
Him. (Photo: Tom Herde/Globe Staff)

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Westborough selectmen refuse to reopen case of town counsel

Posted November 15, 2006 02:55 PM

WESTBOROUGH

The Westborough Board of Selectmen has unanimously agreed to not to re-open the search for town counsel and to reaffirm their Sept. 20 appointment of Gregory B. Franks of Boston.

Franks, the sole recommendation of the search committee, started his three-year job on Oct. 23.

The names of other two candidates, Andrea W. McCarthy, and Mary A. Maslowski, were made public last week after Worcester Superior Court judge Jeffrey A. Locke’s ruled that the town violated the state’s open meting laws by considering the three finalists in closed session.

McCarthy is a Medway resident with an office in her hometown. Maslowski, a Marlborough resident, is currently assistant corporate counsel for the City of Chelsea.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Westborough case could have wider implications

Posted November 11, 2006 03:45 PM

WESTBOROUGH

A Superior Court judge's ruling in a case involving the way the Westborough selectmen picked their town counsel could have broader implications, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports.

The judge ruled that selectmen violated the state's Open Meeting Law by attempting to select a town counsel without conducting the search in public.

The selectmen had argued that a committee it created was engaged in a preliminary screening process when it held a series of closed-door meetings and reduced the number of candidates from 24 to one.

The Worcester County district attorney's office, which filed the suit in response to a written complaint from a Westborough resident, said that once the list of candidates had been reduced to three names, the search should have been conducted in public.

The decision is important because "it emphasizes that there can be no further consideration in closed sessions of candidates who have passed a prior preliminary screening," Patricia C. Smith of the district attorney's office told Lawyers Weekly.

Westborough shows how it's done

Posted November 4, 2006 08:57 AM

WESTBOROUGH

Two big mixed-use developments planned for Westborough, one underway downtown and another planned by the commuter rail station, might seem out of place so far west of Boston.

But developers and town officials say Westborough's push to steer growth to its small downtown and around its train line could show other exurban towns how to pursue "smart growth," the Globe reports today.

-- Ron DePasquale

Bose returning to Westborough

Posted November 3, 2006 12:00 PM

WESTBOROUGH

Bose Corp, the maker of high-end stereos and audio equipment, is returning to Westborough, the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reports.

The company has subleased 180,000 square feet at 9 Technology Drive. Bose spokeswoman Joanne Berthiaume said the move will help Bose consolidate its sales and services operations, previously housed at a facility in Stow. The move will open up room in Stow for the automotive systems division.

The move is scheduled for the spring and summer of 2007. Berthiaume wouldn't say how many workers would be moving to Westborough.

-- Erica Tochin

Man dies in Westborough crash

Posted October 28, 2006 10:55 AM

WESTBOROUGH

A Westborough man died after his tractor-trailer truck struck a tree on Thursday afternoon in Westborough.

Police identified the victim as Warren Lahna, 60. The accident happened about 4:30 p.m. on Ruggles Street.

Police said they found the tractor-trailer off the road with the nose section against a tree. Lahna was removed from the vehicle and taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester where he was pronounced dead.

Police said the accident happened on a slight curve, and appears to have taken place after Lahna had a medical problem.

-- AP

Bank shot: Frosh earns high honors at UNH

Posted October 26, 2006 05:00 PM

WESTBOROUGH/SPORTS

Chris Banks started with a bang for the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team, netting three goals in his first college game. And that was just the start of something special for the Westborough teen.

Banks, who leads the America East in goals (12) and points (24) as a freshman, was selected Thursday afternoon as the conference's Striker of the Year, as well as Rookie of the Year.

"It's a great honor, because it was voted on by the other coaches in the conference and they feel that Chris is the most dangerous striker in the America East," said New Hampshire coach Rob Thompson. "Chris has done a great job, he's scored critical goals. He's been a great teammate all year, which is most important. If you win these type of honors, it means your program is doing well."

Banks, who has connected for three game-winning goals thus far, was also named first team all-conference.

New Hampshire (11-4-3, 5-2-1 America East), seeded third in the America East Tournament, will play host to sixth-seeded Stony Brook (6-11-1, 3-4-1 America East) in the opening round of the America East tournament on Saturday at 5 p.m. on Bremner Field in Durham, N.H.

-- Craig Larson


Moments before death, she saved others

Posted October 24, 2006 05:32 PM

In the final moments before her death, a 22-year-old Shrewsbury woman may well have saved the lives of others.

Meredith Marzilli grabbed the wheel of her father’s car after he suffered an apparent medical attack and swerved to avoid two vehicles Sunday morning.

‘‘She probably saved a few other people by taking the action she did,’’ said Westborough Police Chief Alan Gordon.

Anthony Marzilli, 57, was driving his daughter back to Northeastern University in Boston at the time of the accident, Gordon said. She was a senior at the School of Business.

Witnesses told police that Marzilli appeared to lose control of his 2004 Chevy Malibu as it traveled down Route 9 east near Research Drive in Westborough. It was later determined he suffered from a medical emergency, which Gordon said he could not divulge.

After avoiding a collision, the Chevy pulled into an off-ramp, hit a grassy area, rolled over, struck a guard rail, and flipped, ejecting Meredith Marzilli.

She was pronounced dead at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester shortly after the 9:48 a.m. crash.

Anthony Marzilli was conscious during and after the accident and suffered from non-life-threatening injuries, Gordon said.

Gordon said that Meredith Marzilli’s family told him that she always wore a seat belt. The chief said she must have unhooked it to take over the wheel. Had she been wearing it, she may not have been ejected from the car, he said. -- Jennifer Rosinksi

Parents charged for hosting teen drinking

Posted October 24, 2006 05:25 PM

Two Westborough parents will face criminal charges next month for hosting a house party this summer where alcohol was allegedly consumed by more than two dozen teens, one of whom was arrested after a car accident in town.

Karl and Carolyn C. Bjork are to be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 20 in Westborough District Court on one count each of furnishing alcoholic beverages to a person under 21.

Criminal complaints were issued against the couple after a hearing was held Tuesday before Assistant Clerk Magistrate Mary Anne Pozzessere.

‘‘I hate to see it come down to this, but obviously people are not getting the message that this is unacceptable behavior,’’ said Police Chief Alan Gordon.

The Bjorks’ attorney, Mark E. Sullivan, would not discuss the facts of the case or the backgrounds of his clients.

‘‘Both of them are very nice people and very good citizens of Westborough and have never been in any kind of trouble in their lives,’’ Sullivan said.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Town counsel takes office -- for now

Posted October 23, 2006 04:45 PM

Westborough’s new town counsel, Gregory B. Franks, was sworn in today, but his tenure could be short-lived if a judge sides with Worcester District Attorney John J. Conte.

The DA says that the town violated the open meeting law by not making the finalists public.

A search committee last month submitted only Franks's name to the selectmen, who then appointed him. When Westborough refused to rescind the appointment, the DA filed suit.

Worcester Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Locke heard arguments from both sides two weeks ago and took the matter under advisement.

Westborough Town Coordinator Henry Danis said Monday that Franks was already working on existing town cases.
“He will continue to work unless God, nature or the courts steps in,” Danis said. -Jennifer Rosinski

Calling all students

Posted October 22, 2006 01:22 PM

WESTBOROUGH

In an effort to beef up security, Gibbons Middle School in Westborough is getting a state-of-the art intercom system.

The Fisher Street school for grades 7 and 8 will receive a new intercom to replace a 10-year-old unit that cannot be heard in eight classrooms, several hallways and a few other areas of the building, Superintendent Anne Towle said.

Last Wednesday, the School Committee approved $20,000 to $30,000 from the district’s fiscal 2007 budget on the purchase of a new unit.

The school intercom system is for daily and emergency announcements, Towle said. The idea for an upgrade came after officials began reviewing security procedures in place at all district schools, she said.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Big plans for Westborough downtown

Posted October 22, 2006 10:48 AM

WESTBOROUGH

The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester takes a look today at the Bay State Commons project in Westborough.

The 22-acre, $100 million development will include 350,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. It will also include 36 luxury townhouse-style condos.

Developers are promising the development will make the downtown a happening, thriving place.

DA sues town over open meeting law

Posted September 29, 2006 04:22 PM

WESTBOROUGH

The Worcester District Attorney’s Office today filed a lawsuit charging the town of Westborough, its Board of Selectmen, and the Town Counsel Search Committee with violating open meeting laws in the selection of a new town attorney.

The suit filed in Worcester Superior Court asks that a judge order the town to rescind its selection, make public the transcripts of all meeting held in executive session, and fine both boards $1,000 for each meeting held in violation of the law.

District Attorney John J. Conte filed the lawsuit one week after sending a letter to the town ruling the selection was invalid and asking them to repeat the process.

Selectmen on Sept. 20 voted to hire Boston attorney Gregory B. Franks as counsel at a salary of $92,924 a year. Franks, who was to start Oct. 23, was the sole candidate presented to the board by the search panel, which interviewed eight finalists in closed sessions.

The DA's office says only the preliminary screening can be kept secret, but finalists must be interviewed in public. Town Coordinator Henry Danis, also a member of he search committee, could not be reached for comment Friday.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Tired feet, but strong support

Posted September 19, 2006 01:04 PM

WESTBOROUGH

If you're going to be out there for hours, then a lawn chair is a handy thing...

Voters heading to cast ballots at the Gibbons Middle School in Westborough today were treated to some last-minute campaigning by Ed Manion, Don Gillis, and Barbara Adams.

shrewsbury.jpg

(Globe Staff Photo by Bill Polo)

Health care fraud convictions

Posted September 16, 2006 08:19 AM

WESTBOROUGH

A Westborough man and three Westborough companies that he owned have pleaded guilty to federal health care fraud charges, federal officials announced.

James Taylor, 67, along with Vejay Oxygen Inc., West Suburban Medical Rental Inc., and Westborough Home Health Inc. pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Patti Saris.

U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and an official from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the conviction yesterday.

Prosecutors say that Taylor and the companies overbilled Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts for respiratory home care equipment.

Westborough rollover

Posted August 29, 2006 08:43 AM

WESTBOROUGH

A woman was injured during a rollover accident last night during rush hour on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Westborough, the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reports this morning.

The accident happened in the westbound lanes about a half-mile east of the Upton line around 6:30 p.m., according to state police.

The driver was taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. Police said her injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.

Westborough YMCA upgrade

Posted August 28, 2006 09:20 AM

WESTBOROUGH

Work begins this week on the YMCA of Greater Worcester's $15 million plan to expand and upgrade its two Worcester branches and its Westborough campus.

Most of the funding for the overall project is coming from foundations and corporations, but a fund-raising campaign is planned to get some financial support from members.

The YMCA of Greater Worcester serves 41 communities.

-- AP

Septic settlement

Posted August 17, 2006 04:20 PM

WESTBOROUGH

A local septic business has agreed to pay a $10,000 penalty for using an unapproved treatment process in violation of state regulations, the attorney general's office has announced.

Attorney General Thomas Reilly said in the statement issued earlier this week that the BioSolutions case should send "a clear message" that only approved methods should be used.

Septic Guys Inc. and BioSolutions, both of Westborough, and both owned by Westborough couple Stanley and Patricia Labovitz, reached a settlement with the state that included dropping a lawsuit against Septic Guys and fining BioSolutions $10,000, the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reported today.

The lawsuit stems from charges that the businesses used a treatment process in which pressurized air and plastic were injected into failed septic fields. The process has not been approved in Massachusetts, and state environmental regulators claim that it can crack the ground and cause raw sewage to seep into groundwater.

-- Erica Tochin


Medical fraud charges

Posted July 28, 2006 04:20 PM

WESTBOROUGH

A Westborough man could potentially spend 10 years behind bars if he is convicted on charges of federal health care fraud.

James Taylor, who owns three companies in Westborough, is said to have over-billed Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield for equipment. In a 10-year period, he allegedly defrauded Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of more than $915,000, the AP reports today.

Each of the three companies owned by Taylor -- West Suburban Medical Rental Inc., Westborough Home Health Inc. and Vejay Oxygen Inc. -- could face fines of up to 1.6 times the loss to Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

-- Erica Tochin


Tunnel troubles

Posted July 13, 2006 02:19 PM

REGION

The Globe's Political Intelligence blog has asked readers what they think of Matt Amorello, the Turnpike Authority chairman who is on the hot seat after the tunnel accident that killed a woman and raised thorny questions about the safety of the Big Dig tunnels. And the comments are flowing in.

Michelle from Westborough writes: "I'm angry that someone was killed and people knew it could happen and yet did nothing. That to me is incomprehensible. I'm very angry that supervisors weren't supervising at the big dig. That is also incomprehensible and irresponsible. I hope they pay dearly for it.''

Business news

Posted July 12, 2006 01:05 PM

WESTBOROUGH

American Superconductor Corp. of Westborough, has been awarded a $1.3 million contract extension for its second-generation high-temperature superconductor wire with the Defense Department.

The Globe's business news blog also reports this morning on a $73 million Navy contract award to Waltham-based Raytheon Co.

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