The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed at least one case of rabies in a raccoon in Wayland. According to DPH representative Anne Roach, the animal tested positive for the virus last week.
Statewide, 19 animals tested positive for rabies between January and March, according to DPH, including 12 raccoons, five skunks, one bobcat and one bat. That's up from 15 animals during the same period in 2012.
Rabies is a very serious disease that affects the brain and spinal cord of mammals, according to the DPH's website. Rabies is caused by a virus and almost always causes death.
Roach said it is important to keep a safe distance away from any animal that is behaving strangely and to call the proper authorities. For more information, visit the DPH rabies website.
University President Timothy J. Flanagan praised Spilka for her leadership in advancing public transportation and strengthening public higher education in Massachusetts.
“In my many years as a MetroWest resident and legislator, I have had a long and extremely rewarding relationship with Framingham State University – we are truly partners in advancing higher education,” Spilka said. “FSU is a prime example of what makes my work as a public servant worthwhile: the opportunity to invest resources, creativity and new ideas into an institution that prepares the next generation for the challenges you will face in the 21st century.”
Spilka represents the Second Middlesex and Norfolk district, comprised of Ashland, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway and Natick.
There will be a new place to buy an Xbox game console or Surface tablet locally. Microsoft will be opening a store on June 8 in the Natick Mall.
Microsoft has stores in Boston and Braintree, however this will be its first location in the MetroWest, according to the mall's marketing manager, J. Lynn Josephson.
The tech giant groomed its pedigree with the Windows, which became the dominant operating system for PC users. However, the company has struggled in recent years on the hardware front.
While the Xbox has been a hit with gamers, it's had to contend with some high-profile flops (remember the Zune and Windows Vista?). Meanwhile, the company has been attempting to make a bigger dent in the smart phone market with the Windows Phone OS.
Apple, which has been waving a ride of popularity with it iPhones and iPads, already operates a retail store in the Natick Mall.
Microsoft's grand opening ceremonies will be held at 10:30 a.m. June 8, and the store will open at 11 a.m.
The occasion will be marked by a concert from the band Weezer at 5 p.m. at a location near the Microsoft Store that has yet to be confirmed.
The store will be located on the mall's first level across from Williams-Sonoma. Store hours will be Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Check the Microsoft Store or Natick Mall websites for more details.
On Saturday and Sunday, Belkin Family Lookout Farm opens the gates for Memorial Day Weekend from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., according to a press release.
Celebrate the long weekend and take an excursion on the farm’s famous train, ride through the orchards, visit the Children’s Play Area, take a turn on the moon bounce, visit the farm animals, and find your way through the burlap maze.
There’ll be face painting, live children’s entertainment, and caterpillar rides. The Belkin Family Lookout Farm is located at 89 Pleasant Street South.
Established as a farm in 1651, Belkin Family Lookout Farm in South Natick is recognized as one of the oldest continuously-working farms in the country.
Mike the Music Man will perform at the Children's Play Area - shows are at 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and Memorial Day Monday.
Face painting for kids between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
The Saltonstall Nature Center at Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick will host a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday at 3 p.m. to kick off a $1.6 million renovation and expansion project, Mass Audubon announced in a press release.
The center first underwent a makeover 30 years ago when it was from transformed a century-old horse barn into the current center.
Construction now has begun on a second renovation in order to facilitate the center's more-than 22,000 annual visitors. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and will improve and expand upon the center's energy-efficient features, including natural ventilation, a rainwater collection system, and a rooftop solar array that produces electricity to power the entire building.
Other improvements will include: A new entryway and lobby with nature displays and a retail shop; A new covered, four-season program pavilion; redesigned classroom space for students, scouts, and other groups that will double the sanctuary’s capacity for programming; a new, ADA-compliant elevator; an improved floor plan; and upgraded heating and cooling systems, electrical, plumbing, and insulation.
The sanctuary will be open during construction, with a variety of summer programs, including day camp for children, canoe excursions, and evening activities.
Mass Audubon President Henry Tepper, Campaign for Broadmoor Chair Margaret Robinson, and Wildlife Sanctuary Director Elissa Landre, will be on hand at Thursday's ceremony.
Photo courtesy of wellesleyweekend.com
Wellesley officials are warning that there will be road closures and cannon firings this weekend as the town holds its annual parade Sunday and celebrates "Wonderful Wellesley Weekend."
The annual veterans' parade will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. beginning at the intersection of Routes 16 and 9, and will end in Wellesley Square. There will be a concert at 6:30 p.m., and fireworks at dusk.
A full day of activities is also listed for Saturday, with events like a pancake breakfast, free eye exams, a town forest walk, art activities, and open houses at law enforcement and fire stations.
A cannon will be fired every hour during the day Saturday on the Town Hall Green, located on Washington Street in Wellesley Square. Officials warn that although the cannons may sound like an explosion, there should be no need for concern.
There will also be major road closures on Sunday due to the town parade. Washington Street from Route 9 in Wellesley Hills square to Oakland Street will be closed starting at 11:45 a.m. Sunday. At 12:30 p.m., Washington Street from Wellesley Hills Square to Central Street will be closed, as will Central Street from Washington Street to Cross Street. The Crest Road bridge will also be closed.
Roads will reopen at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
However, at 8 p.m. Sunday, Washington Street will be closed from State Street (Kingsbury Street bridge) to Forest Street (Rockland Street bridge) because of a local firework show. There will be a detour in place. Washington Street should re-open at about 9:30 p.m., officials said.
There will be temporary "No Parking" signs posted for Sunday’s events in and around the Washington Street area. Any cars who park in the closed-off area will be towed.
The Wellesley Police Department will send out reminder alerts on Sunday as roads close and open.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at email@example.com
One month after the Boston Marathon bombings changed their lives forever, family and friends of the Norden brothers gathered this morning in Hopkinton to walk the 26.2-mile route to Boston that so many were unable to finish.
Brothers J.P. Norden, 33, and Paul Norden, 31, who grew up in Stoneham, each lost a leg and suffered burns and other wounds when they had gathered with four others at the finish line April 15 to cheer on friend Mike Jefferson, who was running in the race. The Norden brothers are now receiving treatment at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. Paul is scheduled to be released later this week.
Speaking in Hopkinton, the brothers' uncle, Peter Brown, recalled watching the marathon on TV, and watched as the two bombs went off. Shortly thereafter, he received a frantic call from his sister. "I couldn't understand her, she was so emotional," he said. "My nephew, Pete, came on, and said 'Paul's in the hospital. We can't find J.P.'"
All six friends who had come to watch Jefferson suffered injuries, including Norden friend Marc Fucarile, who lost a leg and remains hospitalized at Massachusetts General.
As the Norden brothers began their recoveries, family members started looking for ways to help and to raise money.
"We wanted to do some thing to help with the healing, that could pay tribute and raise some funds to help the boys long-term," said Brown. "What I worry about is, six months from now, a year from now, what these guys are going to have to do to get better, and process what they've endured."
In the meantime, Brown said that Wednesday's goal was to walk the marathon route together, as family and friends.
Brown, who planned to walk the route today, called it a "monumental" task, adding he was feeling a little apprehensive about the finish line area, where two bomb blasts killed three and wounded more than 200.
"I'm trying to focus on just finishing this thing," said Caitlin Norden, speaking with her sister, Colleen, near the Hopkinton starting line.
"It's for them, so we'll do whatever we can to help them," Caitlin said, referring to her brothers J.D. and Paul. "They went to watch their friend finish, so we're going to finish it for them."
Caitlin said her brothers were surprised to learn of the walk, but added she was hoping to see them at the finish line on Boylston Street. "We're so tight. We couldn't be closer."
"I feel like, what they've been through, we can handle a few blisters to get through this," said Caitlin. "Just having them in our mind will get us through it."
Caitlin said her family has drawn strength and inspiration by watching the brothers recover. She said she has been to memorials at the finish line, and said she was grateful that her family can still tell the brothers "we love them."
Brown said the brothers have been getting "stronger every day" and have been "incredibly positive."
Clad in a shirt whose back read, "We decide when our Marathon ends," family friend Holly Judd, of Woburn, who was also walking the route, described the family as supportive and "amazing."
Now that the shock of the events is starting to wear off, Judd said it was time for the healing to begin. "That's the next step."
"I just kind of feel that this was taken away from J.P. and Paul, so we're going to finish it for them," Judd said. "They have amazing strength."
Supporters of the Nordens weren't the only ones who decided to make the trek to Boston Wednesday morning. Earlier, a small group, organized by Phil White of Derby, Vt. through Facebook, departed Hopkinton to walk the marathon route.
"I love Boston," White said. "I wanted to do something to honor the victims, and do something to take back the route from the demons of hate and fear."
Elaine Howley of Waltham, who was part of White's group, said that "we need to stand up and stand together, and make a strident noise against those who would have it undone."
Noreen Geraghty of Holyoke said she was hoping to feel a sense of closure after crossing finish line. "First there was a lot of anger, now it's about getting on with everything and healing. And I think today will be a nice part of that."
Absentee ballots for the June 25 Special State Election are now available, according to Town Clerk Diane Packer.
Absentee applications must be received no later than noon on June 24. Voters may vote absentee if they will be absent from Natick on the day of the election, have a physical disability that prevents them from voting at the polling place, or if a religious belief prevents them from casting a ballot on election day.
The last day to register to vote for this election is June 5. The Town Clerk;s Office will remain open until 8 p.m. on that day.
Voter registration forms and absentee ballot applications are available at the Town Clerk’s Office or by going online to http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howabs.htm. Absentee ballot applications may be completed by the voter or a family member. Sample ballots are available online at www.natickma.gov.
The Town Clerk’s Office is located on the first floor of Town Hall at 13 East Central Street. Office hours are Monday-Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Friday, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Call the Town Clerk’s office at (508) 647-6430 Ext. 4 for more information.
Fifteen individuals were charged May 9 with conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone, including three Natick men, one of which allegedly used his shipping company as a front for drug traficking.
Three Natick men, Christopher Yancey, 41, and Michael Bourque and Frank McGuire, both 42, were arrested according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts.
Also arrested were Robert Hagenaars, 37, of Waltham; Brian Chisholm, 44, of Newton; Barry Goolst, 52, of Waltham; Phillip Goolst, 49, of Waltham; Thomas Ehwa, 26, of Waltham; Michael Roy, 32, of Milford; Corey Assencoa, 43, of Hopkinton; Sean Cotter, 41, of Acton; Mark Newton, 27, of Hudson; Mark Ouellette, 43, of Shirley; John Kinney, 29, of Woburn; and Raymond Panaggio, 44, of Newton.
The attorney's office stated that, according to the criminal complaint affidavit, a court-authorized wiretap was utilized to intercept communication between the defendants over the course of approximately four months. It is alleged that Bourque, the owner and operator of DEX Corporation, a shipping company located in Natick, used DEX Corporation as a front for his drug trafficking operations.
The criminal complaint affidavit details Bourque’s distribution of thousands of oxycodone pills to both re-distributors and drug customers. Bourque allegedly acquired oxycodone from multiple sources of narcotics supply and utilized Yancey, Phillip Goolst, Barry Goolst, and McGuire, among others, to distribute pills and collect drug proceeds.
The U.S. Attorney's office alleges that on March 29, Ouellette and Cotter distributed 700 oxycodone pills to Bourque. In a search of Ouellette’s home, law enforcement recovered 1,500 to 2,000 pills of suspected oxycodone, over $30,000 in cash, and a loaded firearm.
According to the attorney's office, from at least February 2011 through April 2013, Bourque, Hagenaars, Chisholm, Barry Goolst, Phillip Goolst, Ehwa, McGuire, Roy, Yancey, Assencoa, Cotter, Newton, Ouellette, Kinney, and Panaggio purchased, sold, and/or distributed wholesale quantities of oxycodone .
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working alongside our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who wreak havoc in Massachusetts cities and towns through the distribution and sale of illegal drugs,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “We will continue to keep a vigilant eye over the communities and neighborhoods that we serve in an effort to ensure the highest degree of safety and quality of life for all residents. This investigation exemplifies the commitment and cooperation between all levels of law enforcement which strive, above all else, to protect their communities from crime and those that perpetrate illegal activities.”
“With these arrests today, we hope to send a strong message that trafficking and distributing prescription pain medication will not be tolerated, and we will utilize the full breadth of our law enforcement resources to bare. We are committed to identifying, investigating, arresting, prosecuting, and sending to prison those responsible for this illegal drug trafficking,” said Special Agent in Charge John J. Arvanitis. “This case highlights the strengths of our law enforcement partnerships and the dedication of the men and women who participated in the investigation.”
The charge of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and a $1 million fine.
The case was investigated by DEA Boston; Federal Bureau of Investigation (Boston); Homeland Security Investigations (Boston); Internal Revenue Service (Boston); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Police Departments of Framingham, Waltham, Millis, Natick, Newton, Lexington, Arlington, Holliston, Boston, Stoughton, Haverhill, Shirley, Hopkinton, Watertown, Braintree, Woburn, Acton, and Milford; Massachusetts State Police; Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council (MetroLEC); and Butte (California) Interagency Narcotics Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Neil J. Gallagher and Michael I. Yoon of Ortiz’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
NATICK — Armed Forces Day often slips under the radar, overshadowed by holidays such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
For John Harlow, Chief of Public Affairs at Natick Soldier Systems Center, Armed Forces Day is an important day to acknowledge the men and women in uniform who risk everything to serve their country. The day is also be a chance for the labs to reach out to the community, and show the people of Natick what the labs do at its first Armed Forces Day celebration on May 18.
The event, open to the public, will include a 5-kilometer run, installation tours, and military displays from the Massachusetts Army National Guard.
"Armed Forces Day is meant to be a day to honor Americans serving in the military," said Lt. Col. Frank Sobchak, U.S. Army Garrison Natick commander, in a written statement. "This year we will help celebrate that event by opening our doors to the public to show what we at Natick do for our Armed Forces – some of the research, development and engineering that is performed to make their lives safer and help them accomplish their missions more easily and effectively."
According to a statement on the labs' website, the day will begin with the 5K trail run at 8:30 a.m., followed by an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., attendees may visit military displays and take installation tours. A closing ceremony will be held at 2 p.m.
"It's a chance for us to show the public what we do," said Harlow, regarding the open house, in an interview. "When you think about what we do here, it impacts every single soldier in the Army, one way or the other. Here's a chance to show the taxpayers, who fund our research, who fund our salaries, fund out equipment, what we're doing. And showing that we're good stewards of the taxpayers' dollars."
Harlow said about 120 participated in the first 5K held last year.
"It's a chance to build camaraderie between us and the community," said Harlow, who served in the Army from1988 to 1992, and again from 1993 to 1997, and is a Desert Storm Veteran. Harlow cited a two-day antiterrorism/emergency management exercise at the labs that involved local police and other first responders as evidence of a good working relationship between the town and the base.
In a statement on the labs' website, Lt. Steven Pagliarulo of the Natick Police Department said that the exercise served an important purpose for his officers: "It's imperative that we train together and become familiar with each other's protocols. Also, we want our officers to be familiar with the base itself. Some of our newer officers have never been here, so it's important to have face-to-face contact."
Visitors will get a peak at various areas of the labs, such as the Doriot Climatic Chambers, an indoor facility that can simulate a variety of climate and weather conditions. Other highlights will include U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, shelter technology by Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems, and a display by Natick Soldier, Research, Development and Engineering Center.
National Guard displays will include infantry equipment; a howitzer; engineering equipment; an armored security vehicle; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear equipment; logistics equipment; a field litter ambulance; civil support team equipment; firefighter apparatus; explosive ordnance disposal equipment; water purification equipment; and light medium tactical vehicles.
"The Guard and Reserve provide an unbelievable service in combat these days," said Harlow. "It's a chance for them to show their neighbors, 'This is what we've done. Here's the service we provide for our nation.'"
He added that it was National Guard soldiers assigned to the 1060th Transportation Company of Framingham who ran toward the bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon to assist victims in the midst of chaos. "They ran right into it, started trying to save lives," he said.
"If you combine the active duty Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and then the Reserve and National Guard, that's just over three and a half million people. That's one percent. One percent raises their right hand and swears to protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. One percent will put their life on the line without thinking about it. Here's a chance to meet the one percent," Harlow said.
Registration for the 5K is $15 in advance, or $20 the day of the race. Registration forms can be downloaded online.
For more information e-mail NatickArmy5K@gmail.com.
Proceeds for the run go to the Family Morale and Recreation Fund.
John Swinconeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.