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Nonprofit Hudson wheelchair repair shop shuts its doors

Posted April 30, 2008 09:34 AM

David Heim, a Hudson resident who repaired expensive electric wheelchairs and other medical devices at low cost, has closed down his shop.

Heim, who ran the nonprofit Wheelchair Recycler service, gained fame when he received Christopher Reeve's wheelchair after the actor died and used its parts for other disabled people's chairs.

Heim said his success led to one problem: He eventually received so many donated wheelchairs that he ran out of space to keep them all. Until this past winter, he had worked out of a storage facility in Marlborough, often repairing chairs in the facility's parking lot.

Without the space to store the surplus parts he needs to offer cheap or free services, he said, he decided earlier this month that he would rather shut down than throw away expensive electric chairs he couldn't store.

-- John Dyer

Hudson voters approve override for senior center expansion

Posted February 6, 2008 12:08 PM


A $4.4 million debt exclusion override measure in Hudson passed with 3,882 votes in favor compared to 1,732 votes against yesterday.

Town Clerk Joan Wordell said turnout was very heavy, which was expected given the presidential primary vote (which was on a separate ballot).

The override will fund an expansion and renovation of the towns' senior center.

Unlike an operating override, which permanently adds to the total amount of property tax revenue a town can collect from property owners and businesses, a debt exclusion override raises taxes to fund a specific project and expires when the bonds for the project are paid off.

Wordell also said that 78 voters turned in blank ballots.

-- Adam Sell

State to begin school project studies early

Posted October 4, 2007 09:51 AM


The state will begin feasibility studies for local school projects about a month earlier than anticipated, potentially allowing some projects to be ready for Town Meeting votes next spring, staff writer James Vaznis of the reports in the Globe's City & Region Section today.

On Nov. 2, the state School Building Authority will decide which school districts' proposed projects to study first. Other districts will be selected on a rolling basis after that.

Being selected for a feasibility study doesn't automatically guarantee construction funding, but it is a prerequisite. More than a dozen school districts west of Boston are among 161 districts statewide competing for about $500 million in construction funds this year, the first time in four years the state is doling out school construction money.

In choosing which feasibility studies to pursue first, the state has been dispatching inspection teams to analyze building conditions and enrollment trends, visiting 90 districts so far. Those districts include Berlin-Boylston, Franklin, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Maynard, Nashoba, Natick, Needham, Norfolk, Shrewsbury, Wayland, and Wellesley.

The resulting studies, which should be completed this winter, will give the state the first glimpse of how much it could potentially cost to do all the projects. In all, 161 districts have expressed interest in 422 school projects.

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

Federal judge to rule whether Hudson High School student's First Amendment rights violated

Posted June 19, 2007 10:15 AM


A U.S. District Court judge will decide whether to dismiss a lawsuit which alleging Hudson High School violated a former student’s rights by removing posters that advertised a controversial conservative web site.

Judge Patti B. Saris has taken under advisement a motion to dismiss the case filed by the town’s Boston attorney, John J. Davis. Christopher Bowler was a senior and co-president of the school's Conservative Club in May 2005 when he filed the lawsuit against the town, the school, Principal John Stapelfeld, Assistant Principal David Champigny, and Superintendent Sheldon Berman.

Bowler alleged that the school violated his right to freedom of speech by removing posters that advertised the club and included the web address of an affiliated group, the High School Conservative Clubs of America, which at the time linked to videos of beheadings made by Iraqi insurgents. Davis, the town's attorney, has argued that the beheading videos are not protected speech and, even if they are, the school is entitled to take steps to protect its students, some as young as 12 years old.

The court showdown comes after a year of negotiations failed to produce a settlement.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

How will Hudson's flushing fix affect the environment?

Posted June 7, 2007 11:24 AM


A report outlining the environmental impact of upgrading the town’s wastewater treatment plant will be unveiled and discussed tonight in a public hearing.

The public is invited to attend and share their comments on the draft recommendations contained in a comprehensive wastewater management plan. All public comment will be forwarded to the state for review.
The town will spend $16 million to upgrade the plant that discharges into the Assabet River. New requirements from the state Department of Environmental Protection limiting phosphorus discharge are among the reasons for the improvements.

The hearing will be held at 7 p.m. in the town hall auditorium. For more information, contact Department of Public Works Director Anthony Marques at 978-562-9333.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Fire hires

Posted June 6, 2007 09:55 AM


The fire department has added four call firefighters to its ranks, bringing the total number of volunteers closer to the town's goal of 15.

The Board of Selectmen recently approved the appointments of David C. Prockett, Mark Exarhopoulos, Christopher M. Devoe, and Craig C. Collins to the department as call firefighters, Fire Chief John Blood said. All are Hudson residents. The department now has 12 call firefighters, who are paid only for the times they show up to a scene or provide back up at the fire station.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Superintendent search deadline extended in Hudson

Posted May 31, 2007 11:52 AM


A screening committee evaluating applications for the next superintendent of schools has been given until June 12 to decide whether to make recommendations to the School Committee or halt the search and hire an interim leader.

The 11-member screening committee has been asked to assess 24 applications and to decide whether any of those candidates would be a worthy permanent superintendent or, if not, to hire an interim superintendent and resume the search next year with professional help, officials said.

The School Committee recently voted to extend the screening committee's review period until the next school Committee meeting, said Amy Baker, a member of the school and screening committees. The original deadline was this week.

Superintendent Sheldon Berman will leave the district on July 1 to head the Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Filling Marty's shoes

Posted May 26, 2007 11:42 AM

US Representative Marty Meehan will take the helm at UMass Lowell in July.
(Getty images photo by Jamie Rose)


Health care will be debated at a town meeting style candidate’s debate in the Fifth Congressional District race next Saturday at the Riverside at the Hudson Portuguese Club.

Eileen Donoghue), Jamie Eldridge, Barry Finegold, and Niki Tsongas are among the candidates who have pledged to participate forum, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon and is being presented by the Middlesex & Worcester Democratic Coalition. Candidates will answer questions from a moderator and the audience on the issues of health insurance, prescription medication, and people with disabilities.

Congressman Marty Meehan is resigning effective July 1 to take over as chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The fifth Congressional District includes Hudson, Berlin, Bolton, Stow, Sudbury Wayland and Maynard.

For more information, contact event coordinator Kate Hogan by e-mail or by calling 978-897-0821.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Count favors CPA in Hudson

Posted May 15, 2007 12:37 PM


Voters overwhelmingly approved a one percent Community Preservation Act (CPA) surcharge and re-elected two incumbents in yesterday’s election.

The CPA passed with a vote of 1,042 to 386, according to Town Clerk Joan Wordell. A similar measure failed at the polls by less than 100 votes in 2002.

Yesterday's vote won’t cost homeowners anything for the next five years, however, because town officials have said they will initially stock the new CPA fund with the proceeds of a recent $2.75 million land sale. Without that money, the CPA would have cost the average homeowner $36 annually. CPA funds can be used to preserve open space and historic sites, and to create affordable housing and recreational facilities.

Voters also re-elected Santino Parente and Carl Leeber to the Board of Selectmen with votes of 1,167 and 933 respectively. Challenger Cipriano Pinto garnered 629 votes.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Make-your-own syrup, free

Posted May 10, 2007 10:16 AM

The October Glory red maple in all its ... well, you know.
(Oregon State University photo)


The town is offering to give away 30 maple trees, including planting, to the first residents who contact the Hudson Public Works Department .

The 11th annual tree planting program will provide 30 "October Glory" red maples to property owners who pick up tree planting requests and submit signed permission slips.

Requests may be picked up at 1 Municipal Drive from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Anyone seeking more information is urged to call the department at 978-562-9333.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

P.S. The headline is a joke. You need sugar maples to make syrup. Sorry.

Hudson voters go to the polls Monday

Posted May 9, 2007 10:14 AM

Hudson voters will decide whether to adopt create a Community Preservation Act fund, which would would be used to preserve open space and historic sites and to create affordable housing and recreational facilities.
(Globe staff photo by Justine Hunt)


Voters in Hudson on Monday will decide the make-up of the town’s Board of Selectmen and Planning Board and whether to finally adopt the Community Preservation Act.

Selectmen Santino Parente and Carl Leeber are being challenged in their bids for reelection to their three-year seats by Cipriano Pinto, who is currently one of the town’s three constables. James Vereault and Stewart Rappaport, meanwhile, are competing to serve one year left of a three-year term on the Planning Board, a vacancy created when Sante Parente died in January.

Voters also will also be asked for the second time to approve a town CPA fund, which would be used to preserve open space and historic sites and to create affordable housing and recreational facilities. It would be funded by a one percent surcharge on property taxes.

Unlike in most towns, however, Hudson homeowners wouldn't see any change in their tax bills for five years, because the town plans to use the proceeds of a $2.75 million land sale to offset the cost to residents. Without that money the CPA would cost the average homeowner $36. The measure was approved at November town meeting.

A three-percent CPA surcharge was shot down at the polls by less than 100 votes in 2002 after being approved at the fall town meeting.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

The replacements

Posted May 8, 2007 02:33 PM



Two Hudson High School graduates have been hired as police officers, replacing the pair that resigned in February after deciding they no longer wanted to work in law enforcement.

The Board of Selectmen has approved the appointment of Jesse Hayden, 26, and Shamus Veo, 24, who both became reserve officers in May of 2006, Police Chief Richard Braga said. Hayden has a criminal justice degree from Saint Anselm College and Veo is working on a criminal justice degree at UMass Lowell.

Their first day on the job will be May 21 at the MBTA Police Academy in Quincy. Veo and Hayden replace Justin Bush and Robert Rego, who submitted resignation papers after their first day at the academy.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Governor Patrick to appear in Hudson tomorrow evening

Posted April 23, 2007 02:23 PM

(Globe staff photo by Janet Knott)


Gov. Deval Patrick will be pressing the flesh, sharing his priorities and answering questions in Hudson tomorrow evening as part of the sixth community event to he held since his January inauguration.

The event will kick off at 6 p.m. with Patrick’s brief opening remarks in the Intel Theatre at Hudson High School on Brigham Street, according to Stephen Crawford, a spokesman for Patrick’s political committee, which is sponsoring the meetings.

“It’s a setting that he particularly enjoys and he began a series of these as part of his governorship,” Crawford said.

Patrick is expected to outline his plans for state and talk about the issues shared by residents during his campaign, including adding more police, property tax relief and expanding full-day kindergarten. He will then field questions until roughly 7:30 p.m.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Gimme a sign

Posted April 8, 2007 06:59 AM


For $10, residents can buy one of more than six dozen old street signs the town has replaced.

Public Works is selling the signs on a first come, first serve basis with preference given to those who live on the street whose sign they are seeking. The signs were removed from poles around town to make way for new larger signs required by the federal government.

Residents can purchase the signs at the Public Works office from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Anyone interested is urged to call 978-562-9333 for more information.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

His new Kentucky home

Posted April 6, 2007 03:23 PM

Sheldon Berman
(Globe staff photo)


Hudson Superintendent of Schools Sheldon Berman will soon be calling Kentucky his new home after accepting a contract today to run the Louisville school district, one of the nation’s largest.

The 58-year-old will move his wife and three sons to Kentucky by July 1, when he will officially begin his new job. He has been at the helm in Hudson for 14 years, during which time he was named Massachusetts Superintendent of the Year.

The seven-member Jefferson County Board of Education unanimously voted this morning to offer Berman a four-year contract with a $260,000 a year base salary. He made $190,000 last year. Berman was the sole finalists after two others dropped out.

Jefferson County Public Schools is the nation’s 31st largest district with 98,000 students. Hudson has 2,900 students.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

A house grows in Hudson

Posted April 4, 2007 11:26 AM



Habitat for Humanity is coming to Hudson to build a home for a low-income family and the details of the plan will be unveiled at a meeting Tuesday night.

Habitat for Humanity of North Central Massachusetts will unveil how the house will be planned, financed, and built as well as share a slideshow presentation. The process of selecting a family will also be outlined.

A local committee is raising donations, which will be matched up to $8,500 by the Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson.
The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the church on the corner of Main and Church streets. Anyone seeking more information is urged to call volunteer coordinator, Emily Moyer, at 617-257-5951 or visit the organization online.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Hudson superintendent remains top candidate for Kentucky job

Posted March 30, 2007 07:49 PM


Three members of a Kentucky school board will visit Hudson next week -- the final phase of interviewing Superintendent Sheldon Berman for the top job in a school district of nearly 100,000 students.

The Jefferson County Board of Education voted today to continue with Berman as the sole candidate, district spokeswoman Lauren Roberts said. A final decision is expected by the end of next week.

Three of the board’s seven members will travel to Massachusetts and spend Tuesday visiting Hudson and its schools, Roberts said. Those members are Linda Duncan, Carol Haddad and Debbie Wesslund.

Berman spent Monday and Tuesday in Louisville, Ky. meeting with education and community leaders, who are wary of his lack of experience leading a large and poverty-stricken urban district.

A recruiter asked Berman to apply for the job, the only position he has sought in his 14 years at the helm of Hudson’s schools. Berman has been credited with creating the Virtual High School program and making a national name for Hudson, known for its service learning and community service curriculum.

The 58-year-old, honored in 2003 as superintendent of the year, has said he was intrigued by the possibility of influencing such a large district.

The Jefferson County district is the 30th largest school district in the country with 98,000 students in 157 schools, 5,700 teachers and an $890 million annual budget. It is 36.6 percent African-American.

Hudson’s district includes 2,882 students in six schools, 217 teachers, and a $26 million annual budget. It is 1.6 percent African-American.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Catching the wind in Hudson

Posted March 28, 2007 06:46 AM


Hudson Light & Power this month joined forces with Mass Energy to give customers the option of giving to the New England Wind Fund, which promotes the development of wind power, manager Yakov Levin said. Customers can make one-time or monthly donations, all of which are tax-deductible.

Levin said the program began after a local environmental group, the Hudson Area Climate Action Network, met with the Hudson Municipal Light Board to discuss global warming. Light & Power currently buys 2 percent of its energy from hydroelectric power plants, and a total of 43 percent of Light & Power’s energy resources have been certified as not contributing to global warming.

Anyone interested in more information is urged to visit the power company online for more information or stop by the Light & Power office at 49 Forest Avenue or mail-in forms.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

A new Kentucky home for Hudson superintendent?

Posted March 22, 2007 06:37 AM



Superintendent Sheldon Berman will meet with educators in Louisville, Kentucky Tuesday as the lone finalist for the top job in the Jefferson County public school district, officials said.

The district picked three finalists, but its web site said this week that two of them - most recently Martin Brooks, the superintendent of the Plainview-Old Bethpage school district on Long Island, NY - had withdrawn their names from consideration.

Berman, a former Massachusetts Superintendent of the Year who has been in Hudson since 1993, will meet with the school board for a second interview and attend a reception to meet with staff, parents, and community leaders. School officials in Louisville plan to make their selection final by March 30, with the new superintendent taking over by July 1.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Syringe-wielding robber needles Route 495 communities

Posted March 21, 2007 03:46 PM


Berlin is the latest of three communities along Route 495 to be hit by a robber wielding what is believed to be a blood-filled syringe.

A man wearing a black ski mask and black jacket and brandishing the syringe walked into the Shell gas station on Central Street last Wednesday evening and screamed for money, Police Chief Otto F. Rhode Jr. said. The man grabbed the entire cash register drawer and ran away. A state police K-9 unit tracked his cent to a Rte. 495 on-ramp, where police believe a car was waiting.

Rhode said the robbery may be linked to similar thefts in Marlborough and Hudson last month.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Former Hudson priest cleared of abuse allegations by the archdiocese

Posted March 19, 2007 06:18 AM

The Rev. Thomas Curran
(Globe Archive photo)


The former priest of St. Michael’s Parish has been cleared of two allegations of sexual abuse that dated back more than 25 years.

The Archdiocese of Boston has announced that the claims against Rev. Thomas Curran have been found to be “unsubstantiated,” according to a press release. Curran has been removed from administrative leave and placed on permanent disability, but his ministry will be restricted to sacramentalal celebrations with members of his own family, church officials said.

Curran, who was assigned to St. Michael’s in 1996, was placed on leave in August 2002 after the first allegation was reported. The second allegation was reported in March 2004. The allegations that Curran abused a boy and introduced him to the Rev. Paul R. Shanley date back to the 1970s when Curran was assigned to St. Mary’s Parish in Cambridge.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Seven year old gives the gift of play on his birthday

Posted March 13, 2007 10:40 AM


A local boy has donated $220 collected at his seventh birthday party to the town for the renovation of South Street park.

Dakota Antelman asked the 11 guests at his party to bring money for the park instead of gifts for his birthday, town Assistant Administrator and Director of Community Development Michelle Ciccolo said. Two bricks will be installed in the park in his honor. One will read, “Dakota and Keegan Antelman love to play here. May everyone share this space and have fun.”

The new park, funded primarily with a state Department of Housing and Community Development grant, will have a playground, skateboard area, and water splash feature.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Pub violations hearing on tap in Hudson

Posted March 7, 2007 07:09 AM


A Hudson bar will appear before the Board of Selectmen this Monday night to face its seventh liquor license violation over the past five years, town officials say.

The Santa Barbara Pub is accused of over-serving a customer on December 3, 2006, Executive Assistant Paul Blazar said. The unnamed customer, an out of state resident, said he had his last drink at the bar when he was arrested on drunken driving charges.

The town’s guidelines call for punishments that range from written warnings to revoking the liquor license. Town records show that the School Street bar has six prior violations on its record since 2002, ranging in severity from over-serving patrons to assaults at the bar to serving minors.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Dreaming of dollars in Hudson

Posted March 5, 2007 09:26 AM


Town officials hope to win almost $1 million in state grant money to pay for several projects, including the design of the renovation and addition of the senior center.

An application for $261,105 to pay for the design of a new senior center is included in the $988,000 the town is hoping to win from the state Department of Housing and Community Development, which gives out block grants annually, Town Planner Jennifer Burke said. A feasibility study calls for adding onto the back of the Church Street building and adding an elevator to make it handicapped accessible, a project expected to cost roughly $3.2 million.

The town is also asking for $561,500 to reconstruct the South Street parking lot and $100,000 to upgrade downtown building facades. Even if the town wins the grant money it can apply again next year for up to $800,000 in construction funds.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Open seat in Hudson

Posted February 25, 2007 06:05 AM


The Conservation Commission is seeking a seventh member to fill a vacancy created when the board’s newest appointee resigned last year. Realtor Mike Berry was the last person appointed to commission by the Board of Selectmen in April, but he resigned in August when he realized he could not make the time commitment.

Hudson residents with experience or expertise in conservation, wildlife, planning and botany, among others, are encouraged to apply, Conservation Agent Katrina Proctor said. The term expires Dec. 31, 2008 and anyone interested is urged to call the conservation office at 978-562-2020 for more information.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

A senior citizen's gift benefits her peers in Hudson

Posted February 21, 2007 07:46 AM


Many of Hudson's senior citizens will enjoy natural views of historic farmland for years to come -- thanks to a woman who could be old enough to be their mother.

Mary Sauta, 96, has agreed to place a conservation restriction on the remaining portion of the family’s farm -- 7.5 acres off of Brook Street, which is located near a development of homes for those 55 and older. According to her son, Charles Sauta. The Sauta family sold more than 25 acres almost two years ago to Midland Development, which is constructing 66 units of age restricted housing.

Mary Sauta still lives in the farmhouse on the land, where a barn also sits.

“She wanted it always to be kept as farmland forever, so we said, “fine, we’ll do it.’ ” said Charles Sauta, 72, who lives across the street from the farmhouse.

A conservation restriction is a permanent deed restriction placed on privately-owned land that protects it from development. The Hudson Board of Selectmen and Conservation Commission have approved the restriction, which now must be approved by the state Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, Charles Sauta said.

The land would still be owned by a Sauta family trust, but the town would oversee the property. Towns typically have to pay landowners the worth of the land without developmental rights in exchange for a conservation restriction, but Mary Sauta didn’t want the money, Charles Sauta said.

“She has everything she needs. It would only be a few more bucks,” said Charles Sauta, who estimated the land is worth $600,000 to $800,000. “We’re just going to let it go the way she wants.”

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Seeing red in Hudson's budget

Posted February 15, 2007 12:26 PM

Hudson Executive Assistant Paul Blazar
(Globe Staff photo by Janet Knott)


The school department’s fiscal 2008 budget request, which if kept in tact would require a property tax override, will be the topic of discussions between Executive Assistant Paul Blazar and Superintendent Sheldon Berman over the next several weeks.

The preliminary school budget is asking the town to pony up $26.4 million, a 7.5 percent ($1.84 million) increase over last year’s budget. But Blazar said the town can only afford to handle a 4.5 percent ($1.1 million) increase. Anything above that amount would require voters to approve a tax override.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Cold, flat feet

Posted February 12, 2007 02:25 PM


Two police officers hired in December resigned after their first day on the job late last month saying they no longer wanted to work in law enforcement.

Justin Bush and Robert Rego both submitted resignation papers on Jan. 29, which would have been their first day at the MBTA police academy in Quincy, Hudson Police Chief Richard Braga said. Both men said they were having second thoughts about becoming police officers. Rego, a former security guard, worked as a reserve officer for two years and Bush, small a business owner, for just about a year before they were hired as full-time police officers on Dec. 4, 2006, town officials said.

Braga said he will now seek to hire two replacement officers off the state’s civil service list.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Death leaves a hole in Hudson

Posted February 10, 2007 02:44 PM


The death of Sante “Santino” Parente, who succumbed to liver cancer last month at the age of 60, has left both a hole in the social fabric of Hudson and an opening on the town's Planning Board.

Parente, who was born in Italy and came to the United States in 1974, was the father of Board of Selectmen Chairman Santino “Sonny” Parente and the owner of a local auto repair shop and gas station. His term on the Planning Board would have expired next year.

Town official said that anyone interested in finishing Parente's term should submit a cover letter, resume and board and committee interest card to the selectmen’s office on the third floor of town hall by March 1. The board plans to interview candidates at its March 20 meeting. The new member would be appointed until the May election.

Anyone interested can contact Town Planner Jennifer Burke by e-mail or by calling (978) 562-9963.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Hudson man arraigned in crash that killed his best friend

Posted February 8, 2007 04:20 PM


A young Hudson man has been arraigned on aggravated drunk driving charges in a late December crash that killed his best friend, the Nashua Telegraph reports.

Gabriel King, 19, was driving a 1999 Toyota Camry on Dec. 28 when he crashed into a tree in Hollis, N.H., near the Nashua line. Jared Nathan, 20, was killed.

Prosecutors say that the aggravated DWI charge carries a maximum of seven years in prison, but they may decide to charge King with negligent homicide, which carries a 15-year maximum jail term.

Nathan was a former child cast member of the PBS show "Zoom."

-- Adam Sell

Former Gov. Cellucci won't back Romney

Posted January 26, 2007 09:37 AM


Former Massachusetts governor Paul Cellucci told the Globe yesterday that he is supporting former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani for president over Mitt Romney -- even though Romney called Cellucci and asked for his endorsement in a meeting two weeks ago.

Cellucci, who lives in Hudson, called Romney, who served one term as Massachusetts governor, a "capable leader" and said there was no snub intended. "This is not anti-Mitt. This is pro-Rudy," Cellucci said in an interview with the Globe.

Nonetheless, Giuliani's staff, which is preparing for the former mayor's debut on the New Hampshire campaign trail tonight, was quick to tout the endorsement as a sign of Romney's weakness and Giuliani's growing appeal.

-- James W. Pindell

Hudson girl charged with stabbing threats

Posted January 23, 2007 04:05 PM


A 16-year-old Hudson girl has been arraigned on charges she threatened to stab two 13-year-old Northborough girls during an online chat last weekend.

The alleged victims, students at Melican Middle School, were chatting with a Hudson boy Sunday evening when the girl butted into the conversation and began making the threats, including stabbing the girls with a knife, Northborough Det. Sgt. William Lyver said.

Police do not know the motive for the threats, but say it has nothing to do with the boy. The 16-year-old girl, who is not enrolled in any school, does not know the 13-year-olds.

One of the Northborough girls was chatting from her stepfather’s Marlborough home. She told her stepfather about the threats and he in turn notified Marlborough police. Marlborough police passed the information on to Northborough about 9 p.m. that night.

The girl was arrested at 2 p.m. yesterday outside her Hudson home and was arraigned in Worcester Juvenile Court later that afternoon on two counts each of threatening to commit a crime, assault and battery, and threatening to commit a crime, murder, Lyver said.

A uniformed officer was stationed at Melican Middle School yesterday as a precaution.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Hudson man killed in accident

Posted January 7, 2007 11:43 AM


Kenneth White, 65, of Hudson was killed while trying to cross Washington Street in his hometown just before 6:30 p.m. Friday night, Hudson police said. Marya Snow, 44, of Hudson, was driving a 2001 Toyota Sienna south when she allegedly struck White.

Emergency workers called for a medical helicopter, but because of overcast conditions the aircraft were grounded, said Fire Lieutenant David Prockett. White was taken by ambulance to UMass Medical Center in Worcester, where he was pronounced dead.

-- Michael Naughton

Hudson man facing drunk drive charges in fatal crash

Posted December 30, 2006 02:19 PM


A 19-year-old Hudson man is facing drunk driving charges after a car crash in New Hampshire killed the friend who was riding with him.

Gabriel King is facing a charge of aggravated drunken driving. He was released on $500 cash and $1,500 personal recognizance bail.

Jared Nathan, 21, a former cast member of the PBS children's television show "Zoom," was killed in the crash. Friends said King had been Nathan's roommate at the Walnut Hill School in Natick.

Nathan, who lived in Nashua, N.H., was a third-year acting student at the Juilliard School in New York, friends said. He was home on Christmas break.

The Toyota Camry driven by King crashed into a tree and overturned early Thursday in Hollis, N.H., authorities said.

-- AP

Hudson scam artist sentenced to federal prison

Posted December 22, 2006 11:17 AM


A Hudson man who swindled 41 people out of a combined $255,000 in an online scam in which he sold Super Bowl tickets he did not have has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison.

Michael R. Deppe, 20, was also sentenced yesterday to three years of probation and was ordered to pay $12,500 in fines and $520,000 in restitution, which includes other online scams.

Deppe was convicted in May of three counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud.

He had previously pleaded guilty to another scheme in which he received about $115,000 for selling electronics and Rolex watches online that were never delivered.

Deppe and another man partnered to sell tickets over online auction site eBay to the Feb. 3, 2005 Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in Jacksonville, Fla.

The tickets were never delivered to the customers who ordered them and their money was never refunded, prosecutors said.

The other man was not charged.

-- AP

Hudson priest faces abuse allegations

Posted November 28, 2006 08:31 AM


The Rev. Steven Poitras, associate pastor of St. Michael Parish in Hudson, has been placed on administrative leave pending investigation of an allegation that he sexually abused a child in 1994, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston announced yesterday.

The Massachusetts attorney general's office and the Essex district attorney's office have been notified of the accusation, the archdiocese said in a statement; an internal investigation has also been launched.

"The decision to place Father Poitras on administrative leave does not represent a determination of his guilt or innocence," the archdiocese said in a City & Region story today.

-- Charles Radin

Banking on history

Posted November 25, 2006 09:41 AM


When you get to 110, maybe a facelift isn't such a bad idea.

Renovations of the 110-year-old Hudson Savings Bank – intended to both modernize the building and enhance its historic flavor - are underway and should be complete by the spring, bank officials say.

The two stage $800,000 project includes removing two of seven teller stations, upgrading heating and air conditioning systems and opening up the lobby portion of the Main Street building, President and CEO Mark O’Connell said.

O’Connell said brass gates in front of the safety deposit box area will be cleaned and restored and all the original windows will be replaced with new ones that are historically correct. The bank has been in existence in Hudson since 1869 and been in its current Main Street location since the building opened in 1895.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Fire union reversal sets up Town Meeting fight

Posted November 17, 2006 05:30 PM

The Hudson firefighters union has changed its mind and wants residents to shoot down the town proposal to remove the fire chief and deputy fire chief from Civil Service.

Members of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1713 voted to take a neutral stance on the matter in June, but took a second vote in September to oppose the measure, which will go before residents for the second time in almost a decade at special town meeting Monday.

“The body felt the chances of the chief coming from within were diminished” if removed from civil service,” said Hudson firefighter and union president Dennis Griffin.

Executive Assistant Paul Blazar said he was shocked by the union's turnabout, which he only just learned about from a third party.

“I find it distressing,” he said. “In labor relations, people's word and an atmosphere of trust are critical between the parties.”

Special town meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the high school auditorium. There are 14 articles on the warrant, which can be accessed at under meetings and events.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Spruce up or pay up

Posted November 13, 2006 09:12 AM


Broken down cars, rusty commercial equipment and eyesore homes will be subject to $200 fines if Hudson Building Commissioner Jeffrey Wood has his way.

Tired of receiving the same complaints about a handful of problem properties in town and worried that their number will grow, Wood is proposing that a general nuisance bylaw at this spring’s town meeting in May.

Similar to one already in effect in Marlborough, the bylaw would prohibit homeowners from storing items like car engines and refrigerators on their front lawns, Wood said. The bylaw would also require homeowners to perform general upkeep on property or face fines of up to $200 per day.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Builders need not apply

Posted October 30, 2006 08:17 AM


Interested in owning property but too lazy to build a house? Has Hudson got a deal for you.

Next Wednesday, Nov. 8, the town will auction off four properties that owe more than $70,000 combined in back taxes. The catch? All four pieces of vacant land have been deemed unsuitable for building, Treasurer/ Tax Collector Stephen W. Price said.

The smallest piece of property is less than a tenth of an acre on Cox Street with $496.34 in overdue taxes last owned by Richard Munroe. The largest parcel is more than 3.5 acres on Forest Avenue with $52,865.60 in back taxes last owned Andrew J. Lane of Country Estates Realty Trust. The remaining pieces of land are .11 acres on Bolton Street with $10,128.78 in overdue taxes and 1.60 acres on White Pond Road with $7,134.39 owed.

The auction will take place at 11 a.m. in the town hall auditorium. Bidders must make an initial $500 deposit on the day of the auction and the remaining amount must be paid within 10 days.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Two years in jail for ex-bank manager

Posted October 26, 2006 07:14 PM

A former branch manager at Hudson Savings Bank has been sentenced to two years in federal prison and ordered to pay back the $653,297.72 he embezzled from the bank over a five-year period.

Milton J. Pereira, 38, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $200 fine by Judge Rya W. Zobel in US District Court in Boston today, according to the office of US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan.

Pereira, a Shrewsbury resident, pleaded guilty in August to two counts of embezzlement for taking $8,000 from a customer’s account in February 2002 and $12,000 from another customer’s account in May 2005.

While Pereira only pleaded guilty to those two counts, prosecutors said there was evidence Pereira stole more than $650,000 from over 60 customer accounts from 2000 to 2005 to cover his gambling habits, credit card bills and mortgage. He was fired from the bank in August 2005.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Hamming it up in Hudson

Posted October 26, 2006 09:18 AM


St. Luke’s Episcopal Church's annual Harvest Fair will get rolling tomorrow with a ham supper in downtown Hudson.

The dinner at the Washington Street church on the rotary will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; the cost is $10 per person.

More events are planned from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, including a silent auction, bake sale, craft table and face painting and tattoos. An 11:30 a.m. lunch of sandwiches, hot dogs and chicken noodle soup will cost $7 per person.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Calling all gamers

Posted October 20, 2006 03:31 PM


Want to stay up all night, play video games and socialize? If you answered yes to all of these questions, Intel in Hudson is the place for you this weekend.

Starting tonight at 9 p.m., The LAN Party Association of New England (LPANE) will host its annual Nor'easter LAN (Local Area Network) party for gaming enthusiasts in the area. The party will run till 9 a.m. Sunday.

Intel has set aside a room with some cots so that people might be able to get a little sleep, but Patrick Ward, Intel's public affairs communications manager doubts anyone will be doing much of that.

"It's about building community, having fun and playing their games together with other people," said Ward.

LPANE will offer various prizes throughout the weekend, and will also be ordering 90 pizzas on Saturday night.

The entry fee at the door is $40, and all proceeds will go to the United Way. Intel will match the funds dollar for dollar.

Most of the people in attendance are professionals who deal in computers, but anyone is welcome. Intel's Hudson site is at 75 Reed Road.

-- Erica Tochin

Bank to electric patrons: Pay up

Posted October 12, 2006 07:29 PM


Citizens Bank is contacting Hudson electricity customers asking them to write new checks to replace those mislaid by a courier service.

After Hudson Light and Power Department deposited 579 checks at the Pope Street branch of Citizens Bank last month, they were lost or stolen as they were taken to a processing center.

Yakov Levin, manager of the municipal power department, said that on two occasions, in a letter and an e-mail, the bank referred to the loss as a robbery or theft.

But he added that a thief could not cash the checks because all have a stamp on the back directing that they be deposited in the Hudson Light and Power account.

Levin said Hudson refused the bank's request to provide information about the customers. Asked how the bank was contacting people, Citizens spokesman Mike Jones said, "We have our ways."

The checks were from residential and commercial customers for the mid-July to mid-August billing cycle. Levin would not disclose the amounts involved.

The power department has warned customers to alert their own banks to watch for efforts to siphon off money using stolen account numbers. No instances of fraud have been reported.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Check, please

Posted October 11, 2006 03:06 PM


Should Hudson Light & Power dump Citizens Bank after the disappearance of more than 500 checks written by the utility's customers last month?

That question will be debated next week by The Hudson Municipal Light board, the elected body that oversees the utility.

A courier service was taking a pouch filled with the 579 checks – as well as cash and other checks – from the Pope Street Citizens Bank branch to an unidentified processing center when they were stolen, said Yakov Levin, manager of the Hudson Light & Power Department.

Levin said Hudson Light & Power was notified that the pouch was missing on Sept. 13, one week after the checks were deposited, but did not alert its customers because Citizens Bank said the pouch would likely be found. A letter from the municipal utility went out to customers on Oct. 5 after they were told the pouch was stolen, Levin said.

Levin said a thief cannot cash the stolen checks because all have a stamp on the back which directs they be deposited into the Hudson Light & Power account. A Citizens spokesman, meanwhile, said the bank has found no fraud after monitoring the accounts of affected customers and that local branches have also been directed to refund any stop check fees.

Board will take up the matter at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the department headquarters on Forest Avenue and review the facts surrounding the theft and discuss whether to keep its relationship with Citizens, Levin said.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

No hoops just yet at Hudson home

Posted September 23, 2006 09:15 AM


A Hudson resident who wanted to build an expansive addition that included an indoor basketball court and library onto his modest ranch has agreed to withdraw his proposal after the Zoning Board of Appeals sided with the town's building commissioner and agreed the construction would turn the ranch into a two-family home.

Building Commissioner Jeffrey Wood ruled that Bruce E. LaFreniere, Jr.'s plans for the house at 85 Fort Meadow Drive would turn it into a multiple family home, which is not allowed in that neighborhood under the town's bylaws, according to Town Planner Jennifer Burke.

LaFreniere agreed to withdraw his proposal after an administrative hearing with the ZBA last week and will submit new plans later, Burke said. LaFreniere and his Marlborough attorney,Christopher Flood, could not be reached for comment.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Gas station no longer required to provide bottled water

Posted September 14, 2006 11:03 AM


George McGee no longer has to supply bottled water to people who own homes near his now-closed gas station.

McGee owned a gas station that polluted the Lake Boon wells last year. He had been supplying bottled water to homeowners living within 1,000 feet of the contamination.

Now, he is only supplying to a handful of residents whose wells have tested positive for a gasoline additive called methyl tertiary butyl ether (MBTE).

The state ordered a clean-up of the property, and installation of filtration systems in homes with high levels of MBTE.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Remember this face?

Posted September 13, 2006 10:50 AM



(Globe Staff Photo by John Blanding)

The Globe Business section reports this morning that Hudson's Paul Cellucci, the former Republican governor and former ambassador to Canada, has joined a Boston law firm.

In his new job at McCarter & English, Cellucci is to help strengthen relationships between U.S. and Canadian businesses and government agencies, particularly in the life sciences, energy and technology markets.

Layoffs at Intel?

Posted September 7, 2006 09:48 AM


Intel Corp., by far the biggest employer in Hudson, is set to lay off 10,500 jobs companywide, although details have not been announced. That's created some worry in town.

A Worcester Telegram & Gazette editorial says today that the Hudson facility looks poised to emerge with relatively few layoffs.

The editorial points out that since Intel acquired the site from Digital in 1998, it has invested millions of dollars in the plant and that last year it launched an expansion. The editorial also noted the area's experienced and well-trained workforce.

-- Erica Tochin

Teacher resigns in wake of drug charge

Posted September 1, 2006 03:40 PM


Diane Soule resigned her teaching position today, two days after being arrested on drug charges.

A replacement has already been hired for the Forest Avenue School fifth grade teacher and will be in class Tuesday, Hudson Public Schools said in a statement today.

"Our primary concern now is that we address the needs of those students who were to have or have had Ms. Soule as a teacher," the statement said.

The district will have counselors available for students and parents Tuesday morning.

Soule, 55, was arrested Wednesday night smoking cocaine with two other adults in the kitchen of a Hudson apartment, Police Chief Richard Braga said.

Armed with a search warrant, police forced their way into the Pope Street home shortly after arresting a Clinton man they believe sold the group the cocaine, Braga said.

Hudson Superintendent Sheldon Berman said, "Clearly the charges are very serious and we take that very seriously."

Soule had been a fith grade teacher for at least 14 years and has been with the district for more than 30 years, Berman said in an interview yesterday.

"She is a dearly loved and well respected teacher and a very effective teacher," he said. "We are very shocked by this and very saddened by it."

Soule spent five hours in jail before being bailed out about midnight. She was arraigned today on charges of illegal possession of a class B substance, cocaine; distribution of a class B substance, cocaine; and conspiracy to violate controlled substance laws, Braga said.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Tractor mania

Posted August 27, 2006 09:51 AM


Tony D'Amato of Hudson was one of those showing off his machine at an antique tractor expo in New Hampshire yesterday, the Telegraph of Nashua reported.

D'Amato and his son restored a 1944 "A" for the New England John Deere Expo.

"It was a fun project," he said.

Perhaps the best quote came from Stan Clark of Parsonsfield, Maine.

“I’m like a drug addict. But I don’t do drugs, I do tractors," Clark said.

Francis Fine, 89

Posted August 24, 2006 11:05 AM


Francis Fine of Hudson, a metallurgist who made high-quality miniature weapons, has died. He was 89.

For 60 years, he crafted models of pistols, swords, daggers and medieval spiked clubs that were usually about 1/20th the original size.

Mr. Fine, whose day job was as supervisor of casting designs at Raytheon, was also known throughout his life for making people laugh at humorous -- and sometimes outrageous -- stories, the Globe reports in an obituary today.

Opinions on the solar system -- and other topics

Posted August 20, 2006 10:25 AM


"My Very Energetic Mother Can Jump Straight Up North Past Chilly Xena" -- that's the mnenomic device that Jennifer Murphy of Hudson proposes for the new lineup in the solar system.

Murphy says in a Letter to the Editor today that she doubts it will last for long, though, with the astronomical union mulling over additional planets.

In other letters, Mary Connaughton, a member of the Commission on Judicial Conduct from Framingham, comments on a recent Globe editorial.

And Eric Olson of Newton, an instructor at Brandeis, talks about renewable energy credits.

Paging Dr. Naismith

Posted August 9, 2006 10:59 AM


Boston may have Red Sox fever, but thanks to a group of elementary schoolers from Hudson, basketball is now the official sport of Massachusetts, staff writer Michael Levenson reports in today's City & Region Section.

Fourth graders from the Joseph P. Mulready School wrote to legislators, proposing a bill to make basketball the official state sport. Basketball was invented in Springfield in 1891 by an educator, Dr. James Naismith, and the city is still home to the national Basketball Hall of Fame.

Governor Mitt Romney made it happen yesterday, signing the bill as the students -- dressed in oversize Celtics jerseys -- looked on. They celebrated by chowing down on cake in the State House pressroom.

Charles E. Garnett, 87

Posted July 26, 2006 11:03 AM


Charles Edward Garnett , 87, a World War II veteran and former owner of a local textile company, has died, a Globe obituary reports today.

As the owner and operator of Hudson Combing Co. in Hudson and Brady Combing Co. of Brady, Texas , Mr. Garnett was a national producer of mohair.

He was a long-time resident of Hudson, where he was involved in community affairs.

Mr. Garnett was also the father-in-law of former Massachusetts governor and ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci.

Rainy day

Posted July 22, 2006 03:00 PM


Gray and rainy outside today.

Forecasters say some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall and light flooding. Ten-year-old Kim LaSala, of Hudson, went fishing along the Saugus River in this picture by Globe photographer Wendy Maeda.


Deadline for FEMA Flood Damage Help July 24

Posted July 14, 2006 08:20 AM


Hudson's Acting Fire Chief John M. Blood has a reminder for Middlesex County homeowners, business owners and renters who suffered property damage from regional flooding back in mid-May: the registration deadline for FEMA disaster assistance is July 24.

Anyone affected by the flooding can call FEMA toll-free at (800) 621-FEMA or log on to to learn more.

There are several disaster assistance programs available, including housing assistance, unemployment benefits and homeowner/business disaster loans.

-- Erica Noonan

No suspicions in Hudson fire

Posted July 5, 2006 05:20 PM


Hudson Fire Chief John Blood is urging everyone to check their smoke detectors, saying detectors that are more than 10 years old should be replaced.

Blood's comments come after the death of Fredrick E. Compton. Compton, 72, died last week in a fire that started in the rear bedroom of his Lincoln Street residence. Compton did not have a working smoke detector.

The state fire marshal's office says today that the cause of the fire is undetermined, but the fire is not believed to be suspicious.

Stealth recruitment?

Posted July 3, 2006 09:38 AM


Parents in Hudson are upset at Cobblestone magazine, designed for 9 -to -14-year-olds, for an issue that some feel was essentially a recruiting pitch for the Army.

The New Hampshire-based magazine, which is distributed to schools nationwide, dedicated its latest issue to the Army, and included articles on career opportunities in the Army and what it's like to go through boot camp.

The editors of the magazine told the Globe in a front-page story today that the idea for the issue was theirs alone.

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