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Ashland now permitting online permitting

Posted August 10, 2008 09:15 AM

Ashland’s Department of Inspection Services is now offering the option of applying for permits online.

Residents can visit the new permitting page on the town's web site and fill out an applications for building (residential or commercial), electrical, gas fitting, and plumbing permits.

The site also contains information about fees. Officials are urging anyone with questions to call 508-881-0100 ext. 641 or to contact Inspection Services via email.

-- Rachel Lebeaux

Green Beret from Ashland killed in Afghanistan

Posted July 1, 2008 08:35 AM

A highly decorated Green Beret who was a native of Ashland was killed on Saturday while on patrol in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense said Master Sgt. Shawn E. Simmons, 39, was with two other Green Berets when their vehicle, an RG-31 Mine Protected Vehicle, rolled into a river bed. Simmons, Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey M. Radamorales, 32, of Puerto Rico, and Sgt. James M. Treber, 24, of California, lost their lives.

Simmons is survived by his wife, Tricia, daughter, Erin, and son, Justin, all of North Carolina, and his mother, Alberta Simmons of Florida.

Simmons deployed to Afghanistan in May, his second tour in the country. The 16-year veteran earned the coveted Green Beret in 1999 and was assigned to Special Forces at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 2005, he left Fort Bragg to become an instructor at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, but returned last December.

Simmons' decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, Joint Service Achievement Medal, three Army Achievement Medals, five Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Information on his funeral services was not immediately available.

--Alice C. Elwell

Ashland High School student charged in bomb threat

Posted June 11, 2008 11:05 AM

A 16-year-old Ashland High School student was arrested last week on charges of making a bomb threat at the school.

Following an investigation into the threat, which police say was discovered May 30, officers executed a search warrant at the student's home last Thursday evening.

The student was arrested on charges of making a false bomb threat, threats to commit a crime, vandalism of a school, causing a disturbance in a school, possession of a class D substance, and possession of alcohol by a minor, officials said.

-- Rachel Lebeaux

Ashland's hidden Hindu marvel

Posted October 14, 2007 10:28 AM

(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)


There's a modest stone marker and a belt of trees that separate the Hindu priests from the everyday traffic on Route 135. It's enough to isolate a ceremony completely from the rest of life in Ashland.

One rings a small bell, and several devotees join him in chanting. The priest waves a candelabra in front of a deity statue, which is dressed in gold and red robes and bedecked in flower garlands. The light represents consciousness, and the priest will offer it to the small audience standing just outside the sanctum, staff writer Lisa Kocian reports in today's Globe West.

It's the beginning of a ritual that is repeated several times daily at Ashland's Sri Lakshmi Temple, the largest Hindu temple in the area but mostly unknown to its host community. If it weren't for a few teenagers throwing homemade explosives in the parking lot this summer, most area residents probably wouldn't know that the white, intricately carved temple even exists.

Read more about Ashland's hidden Hindu marvel in the online edition of Globe West.

Also, check out this photo gallery with more images of Sri Lakshmi.

Police probing possible gang ties in Ashland stabbing

Posted October 10, 2007 12:22 PM


MetroWest police are trying to figure out if an attempted robbery during which a victim was stabbed was part of a gang initiation, WCVB/NewsCenter 5 is reporting.

Ashland police said a man was stabbed and robbed at the Presidents Row apartment complex on Saturday.

Ronald Dias, 18, of 20 Presidents Row, and Shingirai Murungu, 17, of 346 Mechanic St., Marlborough, face charges of attempted murder in connection with the attack. They also face assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, attempted armed robbery, mayhem and assault with intent to rob charges.

Ashland to open CPA piggy bank

Posted October 6, 2007 08:35 AM


Residents at the November town meeting will be asked to approve spending about $735,000 from money generated by Community Preservation Act for various projects in town, said Steven Greenberg, chair of Ashland's Community Preservation Act Committee.

The town's CPA coffers hold more than $2 million total, Greenberg said. The largest of the requests is $500,000 to start an affordable housing trust fund. This fund would be run by the town manager and trustees, who would be appointed by selectmen.

Other requests are: $35,000 for a hydro-geology study of the town's water sources and the land around them; $85,000 to study the recently acquired Weston Nurseries land; $90,000 to finish funding a pavilion at the town's senior center; and $25,000 for preliminary investigation into purchasing a historic property at 133 West Union St.

-- Alexandra Perloe

The penguins of August

Posted August 20, 2007 11:14 AM



The recreation department will finish its summer movie series over the next two weeks with showings of the tap-dancing-penguin epic "Happy Feet"ť this Wednesday evening, Aug. 22, and "Flushed Away"ť on Aug. 29.

Both movies begin at 7:15 p.m. at Stone Park.

-- Calvin Hennick

Receding reservoir sparks ban

Posted August 8, 2007 08:03 AM


Water use restrictions in Ashland will remain in place until at least the end of this month, Town Manager John D. Petrin said. The restrictions were triggered when the water level at the Hopkinton Reservoir fell last week.

Ashland gets its water from the aquifer beneath the reservoir, Petrin said.

Residents are prohibited from washing their cars, using automatic sprinkler systems, operating ornamental fountains, or filling swimming pools. Petrin said police will enforce the ban with fines, and further restrictions could be enacted if the water level drops further.

-- Calvin Hennick

Ashland mulls plans for Weston Nurseries land

Posted July 31, 2007 11:47 AM

Co-owner Wayne Mezitt has been selling off pieces of the huge property owned by his family.
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)


Town officials will meet August 14 to discuss what should be done with approximately 33 acres of land recently acquired from Weston Nurseries.

In May, Town Meeting voters authorized the $1.6 million purchase of the land. Because it was bought with money acquired under the state Community Preservation Act, it must be used for affordable housing, historical preservation, open space, or recreation.

-- Calvin Hennick

Man drowns in Hopkinton State Park pond

Posted July 30, 2007 11:19 AM


A 39-year-old Berlin man drowned Friday while taking a swim at Hopkinton State Park.

Police say Darren Oram was at the park's lower beach area in Ashland with a friend when they decided to go in the water yesterday evening. But Oram's friend lost sight of him, then a few moments later saw Oram at the bottom of the pond. Oram never regained consciousness.

Three lifeguards work in the area where Oram drowned, but were unable to save him.

-- AP

Games, music, rides, vendors--and pie, too

Posted July 27, 2007 03:57 PM


Residents will celebrate Ashland Day September 15 in their own way – whether that means playing games, listening to live music, or entering a contest to see who can eat a pie the fastest.

The festivities kick off at Stone Park at 10 a.m., when the winner of the "Citizen of the Year" award will be announced. The celebration, which ends at 5 p.m., will also feature vendor booths, a food tent, and rides for kids.

-- Calvin Hennick

Man hurt diving into shallow water

Posted July 26, 2007 03:36 PM


A day of summer fun at Ashland State Park quickly came to crashing end after a 19-year-old swimmer cut his head diving into two feet of water, WHDH Channel 7 television is reporting

The victim was reportedly swinging on a rope swing when he fell approximately 20 feet into shallow water.

"When we arrived, a camp member said that the nurse from the camp and two lifeguards were over there," Lt David Iarussi, Ashland Fire Department, said.

The good Samaritans swam 75 feet out to the island where the injured man was. Firefighters didn't waste anytime trying to rescue the victim. Instead of waiting for their boat to arrive, they borrowed two canoes, and paddled towards the scene.

Fire officials found the man conscious, but in extreme pain. He was taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center, however there is no word on his condition.

EPA: Ashland decontamination project half done

Posted July 16, 2007 11:47 AM


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is nearly halfway finished with a project to protect 43 homes from dangerous vapors caused by the former Nyanza dye company plant, EPA project manager Jim DiLorenzo says.

The project involves installing equipment that will remove the vapors in the basements of the homes, DiLorenzo said. The project is expected to finish by the end of August, he said. The vapors are the result of groundwater pollution from Nyanza, which dumped chemicals into nearby wetlands in the 1960s and 1970s.

-— Kyle Alspach

Is it possible to have too much fun?

Posted July 3, 2007 11:34 AM



The Recreation Department will offer activities to middle and high school students throughout the month of July, starting Monday.

Next week, the teens and 'tweens will visit Canobie Lake Park and take part in activities including paintball and rock climbing. Other trips include a day at Water Country, Six Flags New England, the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Boston Red Sox. A full week of activities will cost $240, and individual trips are $85.

Officials are urging anyone interested to contact the Recreation Department for more information at 508-881-0105 ext. 13.

-— Kyle Alspach

Hudson passes on head of Ashland schools

Posted July 2, 2007 07:29 AM


Superintendent of Schools Richard Hoffmann will not be
leaving to become superintendent in the Hudson Public Schools.

The Hudson School Committee voted recently to hire the other finalist for the job, Nina Schlikin of Maine. Hoffmann has served as superintendent in Ashland since 2000.

-— Kyle Alspach

Bioweapons at new BU lab?

Posted June 24, 2007 07:12 AM


Are biological weapons being engineered in Boston? That's one of the questions that will be explored by speaker Joan Ecklein during a talk at the Ashland Public Library tomorrow.

Ecklein, a former UMass-Boston sociology professor, will discuss Boston University's new biolab, and will raise questions about whether the program will involve viruses and lethal bacteria that could be accidentally released. The talk will be held in the community room at the library, 66 Front St., at 7 p.m., and is sponsored by the Friends of the Ashland Public Library.

—Kyle Alspach

Hoffman doing superintendent shuffle?

Posted June 22, 2007 09:05 AM


Superintendent Richard Hoffmann will interview for the superintendent position in the Hudson Public Schools on June 25.

Hoffmann, who has served as superintendent in Ashland since 2000, is one of two finalists for the position.

The other finalist is Nina Schlikin, superintendent of Maine's Union 29 District, who is tentatively scheduled to interview on June 29. School Committee members said they haven't set a date yet for making a final decision on which candidate to hire.

-— Kyle Alspach

Benefit held for Ashland student battling cancer

Posted June 18, 2007 10:01 AM


An auction and music event to benefit an Ashland High School student diagnosed with cancer will be held Wednesday evening.

The event, which benefits 16-year-old Amy Cuneo, will include food, music and auctions and all the money raised will go toward her treatments for lymphoblastic lymphoma.

The event will be held at 6 p.m. at the Hudson Portuguese Club on Port Street. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children, and can be purchased by calling Liz Tosti at (508) 881-8726.

-— Kyle Alspach

You are getting sleepy ... yet strangely jazzed up at the same time!

Posted June 5, 2007 09:07 AM

ASHLAND — A hypnotist who doubles as a motivational coach will be the guest speaker at the Ashland Business Association’s meeting tonight.

Kathryn McGlynn of Uxbridge will talk about stress management and goal-setting during the meeting, which is free and open to all business owners, executives and managers.

The meeting will include several other speakers, as well as the
presentation of a $1,000(cq) scholarship to a graduating high school senior. It will be held downstairs in the town library, 66 Front St., at 7 p.m.

-— Kyle Alspach

Bank to reimburse town for bomb scare

Posted June 4, 2007 10:45 AM

bank fax.jpg
The image on the left is the fax bank branches were supposed to receive. But the fax on the right is what they got.
(AP Photo)


Bank of America will reimburse Ashland for at least some of the costs incurred while responding to a bomb scare, which was caused by a misprinted internal bank fax.

The fax showed a lit match and a bomb with a fuse. The rest of the fax, which indicated that it was part of a bank promotion, did not print out.

Bank spokesman Ernesto Anguilla said the bank apologizes for the incident, which arose when staff at the bank’s Ledgemere Plaza branch thought a fax depicted a bomb threat. The incident caused the evacuation of the bank and about 15 other businesses in the plaza for three hours.

Anguilla said he believes bank staff “acted appropriately,” but said the bank will work with Ashland officials to reimburse the town for costs related to the response.

— Kyle Alspach

Bank fax triggers bomb scare in Ashland

Posted May 31, 2007 11:00 AM

bank fax.jpg
The image on the left is the fax bank branches were supposed to receive. But the fax on the right is what they got.
(AP Photo)


A simple internal reminder about an upcoming Bank of America promotion triggered a bomb scare in Ashland yesterday. Bank of America blames a faulty fax machine at the corporate office. Business owners who lost money in the evacuation that ensued blamed skittish bank workers.

Now the bank may be asked to pay for the emergency response.

Read the story here.

$2 million tax override fails in Ashland

Posted May 15, 2007 09:12 PM


Residents overwhelmingly defeated a $2 million property tax override on Tuesday, 2,642 to 948.

It was another defeat for proposed tax increases in this town which has not passed an override since the Proposition 2 1/2 cap took effect in 1982.

The failed override, mostly earmarked for schools, would have added $342 to the average residential property tax bill. Instead, officials said, the schools will face budget cuts and probably hike athletic and busing fees.

Voters also returned incumbent Selectman Adam Shuster to his seat and elected and Board of Health member Art Shapiro to the board, defeating political newcomer Bill Bosworth, according to unofficial results.

In the race for two seats on the School Committee, the winners were Mark Juitt and Kathleen Bach, defeating Deborah Weakley and Denise Montoya.

-- Kyle Alspach

Early start for marathon means early start for road closure

Posted March 15, 2007 12:12 PM


The earlier start time for next month's Boston Marathon will lead to an earlier closure of Route 135 in Ashland.

This year's race will start at 10 a.m. rather than noon, with Route 135 at the Hopkinton-Ashland line closing at 7:30 a.m., and the rest of 135 closed throughout Ashland until about noon.

Further updates on road closures will be posted at the Ashland Police Department's website at

-- Will Kilburn

Serial burglar may have been captured on video in Ashland

Posted February 13, 2007 10:44 AM


A local homeowner who installed cameras to prevent vandalism may have the key to stopping a rash of break-ins throughout the western suburbs.

Ashland Police are working to obtain a videotape shot by a neighbor of Susan Meeks, whose home was burglarized last weekend, TheBostonChannel reports.

Police in Framingham arrested Chester Stevenson when they found allegedly stolen material in the back of his car during a routine traffic stop. Stevenson, a Lynn resident, was arraigned Monday in Framingham District Court.

-- Adam Sell

A tale from the city

Posted January 14, 2007 12:43 PM


Nadia Bercovich of Ashland submitted an item to the Globe magazine's Tales of the City department today about an encounter in a drug store in Framingham.

My mom and I walked into a Walgreens in Framingham, looking for some wrist supporters I could use in gymnastics class. They were by the medications and vitamins.

Uncertain which of the supporters to buy, I decided to try them out. The aisle seemed pretty empty, so I tried a handstand/front walkover.

Suddenly, this elderly man came out of nowhere, shouting, "What kind of meds are you taking!?" That definitely made my day.

Ashland board of health chairman arrested

Posted January 8, 2007 02:30 PM


Reginald Mimms, the chairman of Ashland’s board of health, was arrested at his home late Friday night after police were called by a female at the home.

Ashland Police Lieutenant David Beaudoin says Mimms was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and was released after posting bail Saturday morning.

Mimms faced arraignment today at Framingham District Court. Calls to his home seeking comment weren't immediately returned.

-– Will Kilburn

Taking a dip for a reason

Posted January 2, 2007 01:32 PM

Some of yesterday's hardy swimmers
(Globe Staff Photo by Joanne Rathe)


The last few months may have been some of the warmest on record, but don't tell that to the L Street Brownies.

Yesterday, about 500 people dove into the chilly Atlantic in one of the oldest New Year's Day swims in the country. Some of the participants dive for the exhiliration, but many have more serious reasons for braving the frigid waters.

"This is our sacrifice to the gods," David Hatch of Ashland told the Globe.

Hatch and his friend John Joyce, of Framingham, have swum each week since Hatch's wife Liz Strong was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last September. Joyce wore a purple wristband with Strong's name emblazoned on it.

They actually swim every week, regardless of weather conditions, to recognize Strong's battle with the illness.

-- Adam Sell

They wondered if he knew what he was doing

Posted December 21, 2006 03:58 PM


Phil Moresi 1.jpg

Moresi at a recent practice
(Globe Staff Photo by Bill Polo)

Some of the girls wondered if Phil "Smokey" Moresi knew what he was doing when he took over as girls' basketball coach at Ashland.

Not to worry.

It's been a while since the the 60-year-old athletic director, who took over when coach Karen Renaud hurt her knee, was on the sidelines. But he has an extensive resume coaching high school and college basketball that might be the envy of many, including a streak of 52 high school league game victories.

Moresi, who has never coached girls before, said he's adjusting.

The bus ride home from a recent game was different, he says in the Globe West Take 5 column today. "There was noise, singing, it was a whole different world. But the game was very enjoyable."

Ashland bans smoking in private clubs

Posted December 14, 2006 10:54 AM


The Board of Health passed a regulation yesterday to prohibit smoking in private clubs.

The ban will go into effect on January 2, affecting the American Legion and VFW Posts, as well as the Ashland Fish and Game Club.

The move brings private clubs in line with the rest of the town, in which smoking was banned in workplaces in August 1999.

-- Will Kilburn

Manic Mommies weigh in

Posted November 23, 2006 11:53 AM

The Mommies: Erin Kane and Kristin Brandt


Thanksgiving is a time for appreciating families, and particularly Moms, but motherhood took it on the chin earlier this week when a breastfeeding mother was kicked off a Delta Airlines jet for feeding her hungry infant.

Delta apologized for the incident and reprimanded the flight attendant responsible, but not before it sparked a renewed debate about modesty, prudishness and the best thing for baby.

Ashland's own Manic Mommies, podcasters and bloggers Erin Kane and Kristin Brandt, have weighed in on the subject, with Erin trying to find a middle ground and admitting that "public nursing ... was never something I thoroughly enjoyed or felt entirely comfortable with."

"I did it out of necessity and love for my babies, and because I believed the medical research that proves breast is best," she wrote in a post this week.

-- Ralph Ranalli

Meat, anyone?

Posted October 20, 2006 06:57 PM


Tuck in your napkins, meat-eaters.

The Ashland Lions Club is holding a charity meat raffle tomorrow at TJ Food and Spirits on Route 135 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Prizes include pork loins, pork and beef roasts, hams, hot dogs, Italian sausages, cheese, sirloin strips, chops, and a variety of steaks. The origin of meat raffles is not entirely clear, yet the Ashland event has managed to persevere even in an age of cholesterol concerns.

A winner picking up a pork loin at last year's event. (Photo: Bill Polo/Globe Staff)

There's nothing like a meat raffle

Posted October 16, 2006 03:56 PM


It's time for a meat raffle, that odd kind of fund raiser in which the prizes are all packed with protein.

The Ashland Lions Club is holding a charity meat raffle this Saturday at TJ Food and Spirits on Route 135.

Prizes include pork loins, pork and beef roasts, hams, hot dogs, Italian sausages, cheese, sirloin strips, chops, and a variety of steaks.

The raffle will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with free early-bird tickets available at 12:45.

-- Will Kilburn

Former Ashland chief Melnick a finalist for Sturbridge job

Posted October 14, 2006 10:49 AM


Former Ashland Police Chief Roy Melnick has been looking for another job.

The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reports today that he was one of the finalists to be Sturbridge police chief.

A search committee has recommended an in-house candidate instead for the job.

Are You OK?

Posted September 23, 2006 09:15 AM


The Ashland Police Department is continuing its "Are You OK?" program for seniors and other residents who live alone and would like to have the added assurance of regular check-ins by the police.

Detective Joseph Magnani says that about 30 residents are currently enrolled in the program, in which residents pick a time of day for a computerized system to automatically call them; if they don't answer, a police officer will be dispatched to make sure that everything is OK. To sign up, call the Ashland Council on Aging at 508-881-0140 ext. 10.

-- Will Kilburn

Former Ashland dispatcher convicted

Posted September 13, 2006 02:37 PM


A former dispatcher in the Ashland fire department was convicted yesterday in Middlesex Superior Court on three charges of rape and abuse of a child under 16, a spokeswoman in the district attorney’s office said.

Jeffrey Belmore, 30, who later became a firefighter-EMT in Charlton, has been found guilty on a total of four counts of rape and abuse of a child and faces life in prison. A jury had issued a guilty verdict on the first count Friday.

Reached at his Southbridge home yesterday, Belmore said he would reserve the opportunity to comment, on the advice of his lawyer.

The Middlesex DA’s office would not comment on the verdict until he is sentenced at 3 p.m. Oct. 10, spokeswoman Melissa T. Sherman said.

The charges stem from assaults spanning November 2000 through summer 2001 in Ashland, both at Belmore’s former apartment and at the Ashland Fire Department. The victim was 14 and 15 at the time.

-- Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Privacy concerns

Posted August 27, 2006 09:27 AM


The good news this morning is that the two Fox News journalists who were kidnapped in the Gaza Strip have been released.

But David B. Perry of Ashland has some questions about the Globe's coverage of the story.

In a Letter to the Editor today, he questions the use of a picture --reportedly released by the kidnappers -- of one of the journalists' driver's license, saying he could discern personal information on it.

"I can only hope that the decision to include that photo was a terrible mistake," he wrote.

Ashland carcinogens

Posted August 23, 2006 06:17 PM


People living in about 40 Ashland households were told today that they are being exposed to carcinogenic vapors from a former dye manufacturing factory that the Environmental Protection Agency has been trying to clean up for more than 20 years.

The EPA found low amounts of trichloroethene (TCE), a known cancer causing agent, in basements near what is now known as the Nyanza Superfund site.

“We don’t know that there is an imminent health risk,” EPA spokesman David Deegan told the Globe, “but we want to know we’re doing what we can as quickly as possible.”

The EPA is offering to install fans to ease the threat in any of the 40 homes at a cost of approximately $10,000 each.

Nyanza operated as a dye manufacturing facility from the 1910s to 1978. In April, state officials published a study that found that residents who swam in waters polluted by the dye factory had a higher rate of cancer.

-- Lisa Kocian

Negotiating the piano maze

Posted July 23, 2006 10:27 AM


Sarah Reiss of Ashland admits in today's New York Times that she didn't know much about buying pianos when she plunked down $1,900 for one so she could pursue her long-held dream of playing.

The Times story in which Reiss is featured is a primer on how to buy a piano. It notes there is a bewildering variety of pianos available nowadays.

Reiss's first piano was used. She's now bought her second, a brand-new one. Reiss, 56, says she loves it and expects it to last the rest of her life.

In case of emergency...

Posted July 17, 2006 06:15 PM


The town’s Board of Health is holding an informational meeting for anyone interested in joining the local Medical Reserve Corps. Such groups are being formed locally as part of a nationwide effort to help communities cope in case of a natural or manmade disaster.

Like all participating towns, Ashland is seeking medical and non-medical volunteers including health care professionals, certified first responders, and people with expertise in logistics, communications, hazardous material handling, or accounting.

The meeting is Tuesday, July 18, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 101 Main Street.

--Lisa Kocian

Bag It

Posted July 6, 2006 03:31 PM


If you haven’t yet stocked up on the newly required bright orange pay-as-you-throw trash bags, you might want to wait until tomorrow or Saturday, when most of the stores will restock, according to David Miller, the town’s solid waste manager.

The new program is meant to encourage recycling, which is free, and limit trash, which you have to pay for as you buy the new bags. Miller said compliance was good so far this first week of the new program.

That was the case in my neighborhood, where residents were already taking advantage of the newfound freedom of mixed recycling. Newspaper, glass, plastic, junk mail, and other items that once had to be separated can now all be thrown in the same blue bin. And recycling will now be picked up every week instead of every other week.

Miller said the main question he is getting is if it’s okay to still use trash barrels, and the answer is yes, he said, as long as residents use the orange bags, which are available at Shaw’s Supermarket on Pond Street, both CVS pharmacy locations, and both Brooks Pharmacy locations.

The city has a complete list of all locations or other information online.

-- Lisa Kocian

Wanted: a new lawyer for Ashland

Posted June 8, 2006 05:34 PM

The Ashland Board of Selectmen has dropped its longtime attorney, David M. Thomas.

Since 2002, the town has paid Thomas more than $761,000.

Board Vice Chair John P. Kirwan declined to discuss what precipitated the board’s decision to let Thomas go, saying the selectmen are “moving in a different direction."

Thomas, of the Boston firm Donovan Hatem, had been the town counsel for 13 years. He did not return calls seeking comment. He also serves as special counsel to the town of Hanson. Read more about this story in Sunday's Globe West.

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