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Medfield coach reprimanded, but defends record

Posted April 21, 2009 05:00 AM

UPDATED, APRIL 21, 2009:

At the conclusion of a month-long investigation by Medfield school officials, George Maris received a written reprimand on February 22, 2008 for actions the administration deemed inappropriate and using "bad judgment," with the varsity boys' hockey team.

Maris did not return to the bench in 2008: the regular season had been completed by late February, and Medfield, with a losing record, did not qualify for the state tournament. He chose not to re-apply for the position.

"We didn't have the same coaching philosophies about coaching high school kids," said the 50-year-old Maris, who maintains that there was no negligence involved and that players' safety was never compromised. "I let kids be themselves, I let them do what they want, within reason. Most kids have common sense, and I think that you get more out of a student-athlete that way, than being a drill sergeant."

The Montreal native had previously served as an assistant boys' hockey coach at North Smithfield (R.I.) and Cranston East (R.I.) high schools, where those teams won state titles and sportsmanship awards. He was also the varsity boys' hockey coach at Foxborough High for the 2006-2007 season in a two-decade plus coaching career.

Maris is currently the head coach of the Rhode Island-based Canadian Hockey Club U-19 Midget team that plays its games at New England Sports Center in Marlborough and in Minnesota. His goal remains the same: coach at the high school or college level.

-- Craig Larson


Medfield High first-year varsity boys' hockey coach George Maris has been placed on paid administrative leave until "concerns and rumors" surrounding the program are addressed, according to School Superintendent Robert Maguire.

High school principal Judith Noble held meetings with players and parents on Friday to announce the decision.

"There's a whole series of things that have been brought to our attention," Maguire said on Monday. "This will give the principal time to look into the issues and determine what's substantiated and what's not."

He declined to be more specific.

"It would be inappropriate to comment on the nature of the rumors before the principal gets to the bottom of it," he said. "In case anybody's mind is running, it's our understanding that there's nothing we're dealing with that's criminal in nature."

In Maris' absence, assistants Toby Carlow and Tony Iafolla will direct the Warriors (2-9-1 overall), who are currently the last-place team in the Tri-Valley League. Carlow played at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, while Iafolla is a Medfield alum who graduated in 1999.

The two were on the bench on Saturday night, when Medfield registered its second win of the year, an 8-4 thrashing of Dover-Sherborn.

"I feel very confident in who we're leaving the kids to," said Medfield High athletic director Jon Kirby. "Toby's done a real good job and Tony's known these guys for a long time."

Maris replaced John Panciocco, who stepped down after guiding the Medfield program for eight seasons, including a pair of league titles.

-- Matt Porter

Newton North is all lit up

Posted November 18, 2008 08:50 AM


If you drive down Walnut Street at night, then you've noticed the Newton North construction site looking a lot like Rockefeller Center. If you're curious why the city is spending money on keeping the area lit up all day and night, it's not just for the holiday season.

"During working hours, the lights are there for the safety of the workers," Jeremy Solomon, the mayor's spokesman, wrote in an email. "After hours, they are on to (1) deter trespassers, and (2) to protect the safety of trespassers. Clearly, an unlit, partially constructed four-story structure presents a significant public safety hazard."

For more news and information about Newton, go to

Medfield seniors flocking to new center

Posted July 30, 2008 08:47 AM


Medfield's $3.1 million investment in a new senior center is already paying dividends, with participation in senior activities rising 70 percent since the facility opened in January, according to director Roberta Lynch.

Lynch said that 342 people participated in one or more senior activities between the time when the center opened on Jan. 7 to July 25, compared with just 201 people during the same period in 2007.

"It truly has become a home away from home for many people who come here," Lynch said.

The town funded the construction of the new center on Ice House Road through debt-exclusion overrides.

-- Calvin Hennick

Challenger kicks off campaign against Wrentham's Ross

Posted July 25, 2008 07:15 AM

Thomas Roache, Medfield High School graduate and progressive community organizer, officially kicked off his campaign for state representative last week with an event at the Zullo Gallery in Medfield.

TomRoache2.jpg Challenger Thomas Roache ( image)
Roache, an independent, is hoping to unseat Wrentham Republican Richard Ross, who has held the Ninth Norfolk district seat since 2005. The 28-year-old is running on a platform of making the state more affordable and says he will not hold another job if elected.

RichardRoss2.JPGIncumbent Richard Ross (Globe file image)
Roache, a former captain of the Medfield High School football team, has also worked for an international development think tank in Washington D.C. and for an aid agency that provided psychological counseling to war victims in Beruit. Ross owns and operates R. J. Ross Funeral Home in Wrentham.

-- Calvin Hennick

Medfield: Fireworks are for rockers, not hawkers

Posted July 21, 2008 07:59 AM

Medfield town officials have given local merchants permission to hold their annual downtown street fair on Sept. 20, but have decided not to schedule the town's yearly fireworks display to coincide with the event.

Fireworks have been held on Medfield Day, which is sponsored by the Medfield Employers and Merchants Organization, in some recent years, but Selectman Osler Peterson said this year's display would be held the week before, to coincide with the Sept. 13 Fall Fest.

The event showcases high-school rock bands.

-- Calvin Hennick

Medfield wants more control of development at old State Hospital site

Posted July 3, 2008 08:12 AM

Medfield's Board of Selectmen has voted to support a proposed 440-unit housing development at the site of the former Medfield State Hospital only if state officials agree to give up a provision that would allow them to unilaterally alter the plan.

A bill currently before the state legislature would would authorize the state to sell the property to a private developer. Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said that the selectmen want to strip the bill of language that would allow the state to change the plan without input from the town.

Even if the bill passes, the town would have to rezone the land before the project could proceed.

If the bill does not become law before the July 31 -- end of the current legislative session -- the legislation would expire and would have to be filed again, Sullivan said.

-- Calvin Hennick

Medfield voters will go to the polls for an override vote next month

Posted May 8, 2008 06:56 AM

Medfield voters will decide on June 2 whether to pass an $850,000 Proposition 2 1/2 override.

Officials have said that the override amount would add approximately $215 to the property tax bill for the average single-family home in the town.

Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said that the need for extra revenue is being driven by increased pension and health care costs.

-- Calvin Hennick

Medfield Town Meeting voters greenlight two projects, but leave recreation lovers seeing red

Posted April 30, 2008 06:36 AM

Medfield Town Meeting voters have approved two major building projects in town, but have shot down another.

At Monday's meeting, voters approved spending $1.1 million in design plans and other costs for a public works facility and $100,000 for a preliminary study for a new police and fire station.

Town meeting voters killed a request for $450,000 that would have funded design plans and other costs for a new parks and recreation facility, however.

The costs associated with the public works and public safety projects are being paid for with funds the town has on hand. The recreation building would have required a debt-exclusion override that would have added about $30 per year to the average single-family home property tax bill.

-- Calvin Hennick

A new center of attention for upcoming Medfield election

Posted March 11, 2008 08:43 AM

Residents will vote for the first time this year at the new Center at Medfield, the town's new senior center, for the March 31 local election.

Town Clerk Carol Mayer said all residents should be receiving notifications by mail, along with a small map with directions to the new building, which is located on Ice House Road.

Anyone with further questions is being encouraged to contact Mayer's office at 508-359-8505, ext. 630.

-- Calvin Hennick

Medfield selectmen candidates to face the public on March 12

Posted March 8, 2008 07:02 AM

The League of Women Voters of Medfield will hold a forum for the three candidates vying for the open seat on the town's Board of Selectmen.

The forum will be held on March 12 at 7 p.m. at the Center at Medfield, the town's new senior center. Featured will be candidates Mark Fisher, Christopher Lennon, and Geralyn Warren, who will all outline their qualifications and field questions from the audience in advance of the March 31 election.

Following the forum, the league will host an an informational session about a land buy that
will also be on the ballot. Voters must approve a $2.5 million debt-exclusion override for the town to make the purchase, which would protect 66 acres of land as open space.

-- Calvin Hennick

Curt, schmurt ... Leo sightings to grip Medfield!

Posted December 28, 2007 09:50 AM

His Leo-ness
(Globe archive photo)


Medfield Town Administrator Michael Sullivan says said he expects film crews to begin site work this month on the grounds of the former Medfield State Hospital for "Shutter Island," a Martin Scorsese film.

The film, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, is based on the best-selling thriller about a hospital for the criminally insane by Boston's own Dennis Lehane. Filming will likely begin in March, Sullivan said.

-- Calvin Hennick

Watershed purchase mulled in Medfield

Posted December 10, 2007 10:39 AM


The state has announced a $500,000 grant to help Medfield purchase about 36 acres of watershed land near the intersection of North and School streets.

The land protects a well site, currently unused, at the former Medfield State Hospital. Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said the total price of the land would be about $3 million, meaning town meeting voters would have to approve about $2.5 million to acquire the land.

-- Calvin Hennick

Building the future in Medfield

Posted December 4, 2007 09:11 AM


A committee set up to study the financial implications of three proposed municipal building projects will likely report its findings next month, Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said.

Officials say the town needs new quarters for the Department of Public Works, the Parks and Recreation Department, and the police and fire departments. The total cost of the facilities could be as much as $30 million, officials said.

-- Calvin Hennick

The ups and downs of property ownership

Posted November 25, 2007 07:27 AM


Medfield's selectmen have approved a tax rate for the 2008 fiscal year of $12.80 per hundred thousand dollars of home value, up from $12.27 per hundred thousand last year.

Principal assessor Stan Bergeron said the average single-family tax will go up only about $70 (about 1 percent), because property values decreased by about 4 percent on average.

-- Calvin Hennick

Schussing those noisy kids

Posted November 20, 2007 10:07 AM


The Medfield Parks and Recreation Department will hold a skiing program on six Sundays in January and February at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area for children and teens from third grade through high school.

The deadline to sign up is Dec. 6 and the cost for skiing is $37, with additional charges for transportation, equipment rental, and lessons. Children in grades 3 through 5 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Anyone seeking more information is urged to call the Medfield Recreation Department at 508-359-2715.

-- Calvin Hennick

Private funds, public pride in Medfield

Posted November 16, 2007 10:09 AM


Private donations will pay for all or almost all of the cost of nine new flagpoles at Baxter Park, Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said.

The cost of one 50-foot flag pole, and eight 15-footers for flags representing the town, the state, and the branches of the military, was about $16,000, Sullivan said. The flags were dedicated
on Veterans Day.

-- Calvin Hennick

No extra cash for Medfield senior center builder

Posted November 14, 2007 01:50 PM


The town will not pay the builder of the town's new senior center extra money for delays that were a result of weather last winter, Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said.

Braintree-based Northeast Interiors had asked the town to pay unspecified amounts of money to compensate for costs incurred during the delays. Sullivan said the town's contract with the developer clearly states that Northeast Interiors assumed the risk of weather delays.

The $3.1 million project was originally scheduled to be finished last July, but is now slated to be complete on Dec. 20.

-- Calvin Hennick

The sound of kindness

Posted September 4, 2007 11:29 AM


Two teenage brothers from Medfield brothers are collecting unused guitars to donate to
needy children.

Billy and Mike Stanton have already shipped guitars to children in Afghanistan and Jordan and have received requests from schools in Puerto Rico and Iraq. The brothers also accept donations of guitar cases, picks, and strings.

Anyone interested in donating is urged contact the brothers by calling 508-359-2337 or via email.

-- Calvin Hennick

Their flags are still there

Posted September 1, 2007 01:45 PM


Town workers last week removed the stump of a 65-foot wooden flagpole in Baxter Park that was hit by lightning earlier this year.

Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said the pole will be replaced by a 50-foot fiberglass pole, along with eight 15-foot poles for flags representing the town, the state, and the branches of the military. Sullivan said about $15,000 to $18,000 will have to be raised to pay for the new flagpoles.

-- Calvin Hennick

Medfield 12 year old is an ambassador of healing

Posted August 30, 2007 09:36 AM



A 12-year-old boy from Medfield will serve as a youth ambassador for the 11th Annual Boston Arthritis Walk on Sept. 23.

Nicholas Papantonis has suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since he was four years old. Last year, Papantonis was the top youth fundraiser for the walk, raising approximately $3,400.

-- Calvin Hennick

Plane-ly heard in Medfield

Posted August 22, 2007 03:57 PM



Paul Rhuda, the chairman of the Medfield Board of Selectmen, will serve on a regional committee that is studying whether noise from planes flying into and out of Logan Airport can be spread out among communities in the Boston area.

Some residents have complained about aircraft noise, but Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said planes usually fly over Medfield only when weather conditions force pilots off their normal routes.

-- Calvin Hennick

How do you spell Medfield schools on the web? B-O-R-I-N-G

Posted August 18, 2007 11:08 PM


School Committee members are aiming to revamp the school district’s web site to make it more visually interesting, according to Superintendent Robert Maguire.

The board met earlier this month to discuss the site, and members agreed that it has solid content and is easily navigable. The web site features a plain white background and contains only a few photographs, however, and the committee is expected to take up the issue tomorrow.

“A lot of the discussion focused on just visual appearance,” Maguire said. “It’s kind of a work in progress,” he said.

-- Calvin Hennick

Medfield officials race to finish road before start of school

Posted August 2, 2007 09:41 AM


Workers hope to complete a road project on Pound Street, which runs past the Thomas Blake Middle School, before school begins on September 4, Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said.

Workers are replacing sidewalks and curbing along the road and laying down new asphalt. Sullivan said about half of the road will be renovated this summer, with the rest to be completed next year.

-- Calvin Hennick

Tackling a financial shortfall in Medfield

Posted August 1, 2007 12:15 PM

(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)


Another $25,000 to $50,000 must be raised before upgrades to the athletic facilities at Medfield High School can be completed, Superintendent Robert Maguire said.

Town Meeting voters this spring appropriated $125,000 for the project, and volunteers are raising the rest of the money. A new track has already been completed and opened to the public last week.

Officials next plan to replace bleachers and the press box. Maguire said anyone wishing to donate to the project can contact his office at (508) 359-2302.

-- Calvin Hennick

Medfield athletic project on track, under budget

Posted July 20, 2007 01:56 PM


Workers have finished resurfacing the track at Medfield High School, and builders will now turn their attention to replacing the school's bleachers and press box, Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said recently.

The total cost of the project was initially slated at $300,000, Sullivan said, but officials are hoping that construction assistance from town highway workers will drive the cost down to between $225,000 and or $250,000. Town Meeting voters this spring appropriated $125,000 for the project, and volunteers are raising the rest of the money.

Sullivan said officials had hoped to complete all parts of the project by the beginning of the school year, but he now thinks that goal may be too ambitious.

-– Calvin Hennick

For adoption: 1,500 pound bouncing baby (bovine) boy

Posted July 9, 2007 09:43 AM



Thunder, the 1,500-pound Simmental steer raised by Medfield resident Hilary Maxson, is for sale.

Maxson purchased the animal to take to livestock shows when she was a student at Walpole's Norfolk County Agricultural High School but had difficulty parting with her pet. While preparing to leave for college last summer, Maxson started looking for a home for the bovine, but had difficulty finding one that would guarantee that he wouldn't end up on someone's cookout menu.

A year later, Maxson is resigned to reality: keeping Thunder is no longer feasible. "Whatever happens, happens," she wrote in an email.

Maxson is asking anyone interested in buying the animal to call her at 508-359-9893.

-- Alison O'Leary Murray

Hot wings for a good cause

Posted June 20, 2007 09:00 AM


Firefighters will hold their annual chicken bake Saturday, starting at 4:30 p.m., at the fire station on North St.

The event is the largest fundraising event each year for the firefighters' relief fund. Town Administrator Michael Sullivan advises arriving early. "It's usually sold out," he said.

Firefighters expect a former or current New England Patriots player to make an appearance.

– Calvin Hennick

Raising money off the cuff

Posted June 14, 2007 04:06 PM


Performers from ImprovBoston will help residents laugh it up for a cause tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Medfield High School auditorium.

The event is billed as "family-friendly" and is a fundraiser for the local Destination ImagiNation program, which allows children to participate in creative problem-solving competitions.

Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the door.

– Calvin Hennick

No summer vacation for new principal

Posted June 7, 2007 11:32 AM


Robert Parga, who was hired as the new principal of the Blake Middle School in December, will begin working in Medfield on July 1. Parga is currently an assistant principal at Kennedy Middle School in Natick, and Medfield Superintendent Robert Maguire said Parga has been attending school events to become acquainted with the district. Parga is replacing Margaret Mongiello, who is retiring.

- Calvin Hennick

Death of a (quiet dinner due to a) Salesman

Posted May 25, 2007 10:36 AM



Selectmen this week granted Verizon a permit to its cable services door to door for up to three weeks.

The company will have to inform the town when it intends to start, and it must finish by June 30. Selectmen earlier this year awarded a franchise to the company, allowing it to offer cable television in

Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said he knows residents don’t enjoy being disturbed by door-to-door solicitors, but that the town couldn’t legally deny Verizon's request.

-– Calvin Hennick

Medfield boy dies during lacrosse practice

Posted April 25, 2007 09:37 AM


An eighth-grader at St. Sebastian's School in Needham died yesterday while practicing lacrosse on a school field, officials said.

William Judge, 14, of Medfield collapsed shortly after 3:30 p.m., rescue officials said. Officials at the Catholic school for boys said he was involved in a "noncontact drill" at lacrosse practice.

In a statement last night, school officials said he received immediate medical attention from school officials and members of the Needham police and fire departments. Paramedics took him to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Needham, where he was pronounced dead.

-- David Abel and Michael Naughton

Medfield resident named Celtics president

Posted April 18, 2007 04:22 PM

rich gotham1.jpg

Rich Gotham
(Globe staff photo by David Kamerman)

Rich Gotham, who grew up in Milford and now lives in Medfield, has been promoted to president of the Boston Celtics, the team announced today.

A Providence College alum, Gotham joined the Celtics as the executive vice president of sales, marketing and corporate development in April 2003 and was promoted to chief operating officer in June 2006. Prior to working for the Celtics, he had a successful career in the online media and Internet technology industries, the team said.

"Under Rich's guidance, the Boston Celtics organization has achieved great success in growing our business," chief executive and managing partner Wyc Grousbeck said in a statement.

"Like a lot of people, I've been a Boston sports fan for as long as I can remember," Gotham said in a Globe West profile last year. "Most of my early memories, the ones I cling to, are emotional feelings about sporting events."

Celtics championship teams of the 1980s, led by Larry Bird , especially stoked Gotham's passion for sports. While Gotham followed every Boston team, there was "an emotional connection" with the Celtics, he said.

One race contested as voters go to the polls tomorrow in Medfield

Posted March 25, 2007 03:01 PM


The Wheelock School on Elm Street should be bustling tomorrow as the annual town election takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A single position will be contested, with four candidates competing for two seats on the School Committee. Incumbents Tim Bonfatti and Carolyn Casey will face off against Joanne Romanow and write-in candidate Albert Roderick.

Three of the 13 positions up for election — the Housing Authority, the Board of Trust Fund Commissioners, and the Parks and Recreation Commission — have no candidates, through the positions can be filled through write-in votes.

— Charlie Russo

Medfield considering overrides

Posted March 15, 2007 12:02 PM


Town officials are hoping to postpone until fall discussion of several projects that would require tax hikes through debt exclusion overrides.

They include a $4.75 million recreation facility; $200,000 to supplement the $2.8 million senior center now under construction; and smaller amounts to pay for the planning and design of a building to house the police and fire departments and a garage for the public works department.

Facing an $800,000 shortfall in next year's budget, the town may have to ask voters this spring to approve a Proposition 2 1/2 operating override.

An operating override permanently increases the cap on tax collections; a debt exclusion override expires when loans for a particular project are paid off.

-- Charlie Russo

Verizon moves into Medfield

Posted March 2, 2007 11:03 AM


Selectmen last week granted Verizon Communications a license to offer Internet, television, and telephone services in town.

The deal calls for Verizon to pay $160,000 in three installments over five years, which will be earmarked for equipment at the town's Cable 8 local Internet access. Also, 4.75 percent of Verizon's cable revenue will go directly to Cable 8.

The terms are similar to the contract between the town and Comcast, which had been the only cable provider in town.

-- Charlie Russo

Medfield High principal to head Wellesley High

Posted January 26, 2007 01:57 PM


A principal's gamble pays off: After declining an offer to become principal of Franklin High School earlier this week, Medfield High School Principal Andrew Keough sent an e-mail to parents today to announce that he has accepted the position of principal at Wellesley High School.

Keough, 44, a Sherborn resident, said in his letter that it was a difficult decision to leave Medfield. He said moving to Wellesley would ensure long-term security for him and his family. His contract with Medfield is set to expire June 30.

In a telephone interview, Keough said Wellesley offers new challenges after his four years in Medfield.

Citing Wellesley High School's bigger school population, wider variety of courses, and upcoming accreditation process, he said he's not one to stay in one school system for decades. "I perform better when faced with big challenges," he said. "I prefer to continue to challenge myself."

-- Alison O'Leary Murray

Medfield State pictures on display at Harvard

Posted January 25, 2007 02:25 PM


A scene from Medfield Insane Asylum, c. 1903
(Unidentified artist, courtesy Harvard University)


The Medfield State Hospital may have closed in 2003, but photographs of the institution in its heyday can be seen in a new exhibition at Harvard University's Arthur M. Sackler Museum.

The exhibition, "Classified Documents: The Social Museum of Harvard University, 1903-1931," showcases more than 100 photographs taken in the early 1900s of social conditions and institutions across the country.

The photos document what was then called the Medfield Insane Asylum, the first state-operated institution for chronic cases of insanity in Massachusetts.

Others were taken at New York's Institute for Feeble-minded Children and Ellis Island's Immigrant Station. The original collection was intended to encourage contemplation and a comparison of how society treats its most vulnerable members. The exhibition will be on display through June 10.

-- Charlie Russo

Worker dies after fall from scaffolding in Medfield

Posted January 24, 2007 03:02 PM


A construction worker died today when scaffolding collapsed in Medfield and he fell at least 10 feet, authorities said.

Raymond Fenoff, 38, of Douglas, was working as a roofer on a new home on Old Village Square when the scaffolding beneath him appears to have failed, officials said.

Fenoff was working for his family's company.

A number of law enforcement officials responded to the scene, including Medfield Police Chief Robert Meaney, Jr. and State Police detectives working for the office of Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating.

A spokesman for the district attorney said an initial probe found no signs of foul play. Fenoff's body was taken to the state medical examiner's office in Boston for a forensic examination.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also responded to the scene. The federal investigators are trying to determine whether proper safety procedures were being used at the construction site.

-- Globe Staff

Montrose School gets financial backing

Posted January 16, 2007 11:53 AM


The Montrose School will open the doors to its first permanent campus in downtown Medfield later this month, thanks in part to financial backing from the state.

MassDevelopment, a quasi-public agency that encourages development in the state, provided a $6 million tax-exempt bond that will help pay for the renovation of buildings and construction of athletic fields at the school's new 13.5-acre site.

The bond proceeds will also help the school refinance existing loans used to purchase the property.

MassDevelopment's support of the Montrose School was part of $17.5 million in tax-exempt bonds issued by the state on behalf of three private schools.

-- Charlie Russo

Leading candidates announced for Franklin High principal

Posted January 10, 2007 01:40 PM


The envelope, please ...

Two local school administrators were named as top picks to take over as Franklin High School principal and lead the school through a major period of change.

Medfield High School Principal Andrew Keough and John G. Smith, Principal of the Nashoba Regional High School in Bolton, are the two contenders, Superintendent Wayne Ogden said.

Each will spend a day this week with groups of parents, teachers and students before they're interviewed by Ogden.

Ogden said he plans to sit in on the student groups' meetings with the candidates and plans to gather data from as many of the 100 high school faculty members as possible before making his decision, which could come as early as Jan. 19.

Ogden said he will choose the candidate with the best combination of experience and ability to take the school through what the district hopes will be a major renovation of the high school building.

-- Alison O'Leary Murray

Whooping cough hits Medfield -- again

Posted January 9, 2007 12:42 PM


Whooping cough has turned up in Medfield again.

A Blake Middle School student was diagnosed with whooping cough today, and health officials are now working to identify any other students who may have contracted the illness, which is also known as pertussis.

An e-mail was sent to all parents advising them to contact health care professionals or the school nurse if a child has a severe cough or a cough that lasts longer than a week.

The illness infects people through germs that spread via sneezing, coughing, or talking and is most dangerous to infants, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.

In October, five high school students were treated for whooping cough, which is a "very common" illness during cold months, said Donna Rheaume, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Health.

-- Charlie Russo

New principal at Medfield middle school

Posted January 8, 2007 02:39 PM


A new principal has been chosen at the T.A. Blake Middle School. Robert Parga, currently an assistant principal at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Natick, will take over July 1.

He was the search committee’s top choice. He will earn $113,000. Parga takes over for Margaret Mongiello, who announced her upcoming retirement this past summer. Mongiello is a 10-year veteran at the school who oversaw the renovation of the building.

“We had a very strong pool of candidates,” said Robert Maguire, superintendent of schools.

-- Charlie Russo

Tips for the inaugural ball

Posted January 3, 2007 01:15 PM


Millie Downing, founder of the Etiquette School of New England in Medfield, offers simple fashion tips for the Deval Patrick inaugural parties tomorrow.

The main gala's invitation specifies 'black tie optional.' "Optional means that minimally men should be in a suit and tie, preferably black," Downing said.

For women, Downing suggests an elegant floor-length dress. She implores party-goers not to wear anything funky.

-- Adam Sell

Lead detected in Medfield schools' water

Posted December 4, 2006 06:31 PM


Two elementary schools in Medfield are relying on bottled water for all their drinking and cooking needs, after periodic water testing detected lead levels that exceeded state Department of Environmental Protection regulations.

Two samples taken at the Dale Street School and one of two samples from the Wheelock School exceeded DEP guidelines. However, only one of the four samples exceeded less-stringent federal lead regulations. No problems were detected in similar tests performed last year.

School Superintendent Robert Maguire said the school water systems have been flushed and new water samples taken, though an analysis of the new samples has not been completed.

Maguire said that water quality experts have told him that the high lead levels may simply be a result of water stagnating in pipes too long.

School officials will determine whether additional steps should be taken to prevent future lead contamination after analyzing the most recent test results.

"The solution that we know right now is a good one, whether we have to do it for one week or three months, is the bottled water," Maguire said.

Medfield dogs mostly licensed, officials say

Posted November 14, 2006 08:17 AM


Medfield officials say they've had some success in their campaign to get dogs licensed.

The number of unlicensed dogs in town -- that officials know about -- has been reduced to four, said Town Administrator Michael Sullivan.

The dogs' owners will be issued summonses to court where they could be required to pay $60 in license fees and late fines, plus additional court fees.

The action comes just months after controversy arose when selectmen floated the idea of euthanizing unlicensed animals.

The licenses are important to ensure the animals have received their rabies shots, Sullivan said, especially after a rabid raccoon was discovered in town this summer.

-- Charlie Russo

Discussion slated in Medfield of underage drinking

Posted November 13, 2006 03:28 PM


A parents’ discussion of underage drinking issues in town will take place tonight at 7 p.m. in the high school library, 88R South St.

The meeting follows up on an underage drinking panel discussion in October and is an opportunity for parents to talk about the issue with each other.

Jan Tarlow, one of the organizers of tonight’s event and a member of the Medfield Youth Community Collaborative, said the meeting could lead to future events and the creation of committees that could focus on various steps to combat underage drinking, such as developing more youth activities in town or spreading information about substance abuse to other parents.

“It’s a new initiative in town and where it goes is going to depend on the people,” said Tarlow, the mother of two teenage high school students.

-- Charlie Russo

What's his secret?

Posted November 1, 2006 04:51 PM



(Michael Kraemer with his team zooming by, Globe Staff Photo by Bill Polo)

With a large roster and a coach who emphasizes a team-oriented approach, the Medfield High School cross-country squad has achieved a remarkable record: four straight undefeated seasons in league meet competition.

The team clinched its fourth consecutive regular season perfect record last week (Oct. 24) with a narrow victory over perennial powerhouse Hopkinton that lifted it to 7-0 against Tri-Valley League rivals.

The Warriors finished a close second to Holliston at the league championship meet Monday, competing without their top runner, Dan O’Connell, who sat out to rest an injured knee. But the team remains a contender in the state championship races that will cap off the season.

Medfield’s consistent success is often attributed to an all-for-one, one-for-all approach emphasized by coach Michael Kraemer.

Read more about the Medfield cross country team in tomorrow's Globe West.

-- Charlie Russo

Medfield considers the importance of quiet

Posted October 26, 2006 02:54 PM


No tooting, no wailing, and no howling. That's a rule being pondered by Medfield selectmen.

They're looking at establishing a quiet zone around the Main Street railroad crossing because of residents' concerns about the impact of train whistles on their sleeping habits and health, said Kristine Trierweiler, assistant town manager.

However, Trierweiler said, officials have discovered that the costs and procedures of establishing such a zone would be significantly greater than initially expected.

Towns that establish quiet zones are required to install safer and more expensive railroad crossings. Applying for such a zone is a long and expensive process, Trierweiler said, and the town's liability if an accident occurred would increase significantly.

Selectmen accepted the updated information at their Tuesday meeting but made no decision on the issue.

-- Charlie Russo

Contract awarded for Medfield senior center

Posted October 19, 2006 06:09 PM


Braintree-based Northeast Interiors has won the $2.6 million contract to build the town's first senior center.

Plans for the Adult Community Center call for an 8,000 square-foot building resembling a barn on a vacant piece of land off of West Mill Street between Adams and Harding streets.

A new street, which will be named Icehouse Road will be built with a railroad crossing to access the site.

The building will allow seniors to move out from a single room in the Pfaff Center, which hosts space for a variety of community groups. Construction is expected to require about one year to complete.

-- Charlie Russo

Whooping cough found in Medfield

Posted October 19, 2006 11:34 AM


A Medfield High School student was diagnosed with pertussis, also known as whooping cough, yesterday, and school officials have asked four other students who may have been exposed to the illness to stay home until Monday to prevent the disease from spreading.

The ill student was a member of a junior varsity soccer team, said Mary Patch, high school nurse. Four team members who may have exhibited early symptoms of the illness have been asked to stay home and take antibiotics.

Pertussis symptoms start off similar to those of a cold and include a runny nose, sneezing and cough; all of which gradually worsen.

The cough continues to intensify and can lead to spells during which the person has difficulty breathing and can cause other health problems. After several weeks the illness fades away.

The illness infects people through germs that spread via sneezing, coughing or talking. Pertussis is most dangerous to infants younger than one year of age, older individuals, and people with compromised immune systems, such as chemotherapy patients.

More information is available by calling the state Department of Public Health at (617) 983-6800, the local Board of Health at (508) 359-8585, extension 604, or checking the state health department's Web site,

A question for the candidates

Posted September 25, 2006 06:49 PM


A question from a Medfield resident in tonight's gubernatorial debate. Schonda Schilling, wife of Red Sox star Curt Schilling, asked the candidates whether teachers should receive merit pay.

Republican Kerry Healey said she supported merit pay, while Democrat Deval Patrick said that, rather than individual merit pay, he supported merit pay that rewarded cooperation, such as awards for teams or schools.

Independent Christy Mihos and Green/Rainbow Party candidate Grace Ross also participated in the debate on Fox25, which was moderated by TV journalist Chris Wallace.


No laughing matter

Posted September 6, 2006 03:45 PM


School buses in Medfield were at the mercy of suspected student pranksters last week after the batteries were removed from most of the vehicles, causing delays for students on the second day of school.

Police, public works and school workers were able to gather all the batteries and reinstall them in less than in hour. However, buses to both the high school and the middle school were delayed.

No vandals have been identified, and school officials have not decided whether they will press charges if someone is implicated.

"I think we'll cross that bridge when we come to it," said Robert Maguire, superintendent of schools.

-- Charlie Russo

Too cool on college

Posted September 3, 2006 10:06 AM


John M. of Medfield is worried because his son doesn't seem that interested in getting into college.

Ron Fletcher gives John some advice in today's "Ask the Teacher" column.

Fletcher says John should hear his son out, then make the case for a college education, emphasizing how it creates opportunities.

"Use your knowledge of your son's talents and interests to explain the relevance and worth of a college degree," he advises.

Medfield treasure?

Posted August 23, 2006 10:57 AM


No word yet on whether the Medfield parents of a notorious Internet spammer will allow America Online to search their property to see if their son buried gold there.

But the man's grandparents say they will allow a search of their property in Westwood.

Robert Davis, 90, grandfather of Davis Wolfgang Hawke, said he and his wife decided to compromise and allow the company to use radar and sonar to find out if anything is in their yard in.

Davis said he wanted to avoid an expensive legal battle with AOL. The Internet company wants to search for the treasure to satisfy a $12.8 million judgment it won against Hawke in court in Virginia last year for bombarding AOL customers with spam e-mails.

Hawke's mother, Peggy Greenbaum, has maintained she intends to fight AOL's attempts to search her property in Medfield.

-- AP

Seizing your dogs

Posted August 20, 2006 11:13 AM


Could they really be serious? Officials in Medfield are talking real tough about unlicensed dogs.

They say that dog owners could have their beloved pets taken away if they are not licensed by next month.

The impounded dogs could be put up for adoption and, if there are no takers, they could be euthanized.

``It's not fair to the dogs, but someone has to be responsible for it," Selectman Paul Rhuda said in today's Globe West. ``We can't have them running wild."

It's not the first time Medfield officials have played the heavy on unlicensed dogs. Last year, they threatened to take owners of the dogs to court. But they haven't pursued that tack aggressively.

Gold in Medfield

Posted August 17, 2006 08:08 AM


Gold and platinum bars possibly buried in the yard of a Medfield home? It's a strange tale.

And that's not the half of it. The Globe tells the strange story today of Davis Wolfgang Hawke, the 27-year-old suspected of hiding the treasure at his parents' house.

Hawke handed out neo-Nazi leaflets as a Westwood high school student. Then his reputation among hate groups was ruined when word spread he was Andrew Britt Greenbaum, son of a Jewish father.

The Globe reports today that Hawke reinvented himself as an online spammer, making millions of dollars.

Now AOL has won a $12.8 million judgment against him and believes he may have buried sokme of his spamming profits in his parents' yard.

Buried gold in Medfield

Posted August 16, 2006 07:29 AM


Dig this: AOL believes a renegade Internet spammer buried gold and platinum on his parents' property in Medfield and wants to bring in bulldozers to search for the treasure and satisfy a $12.8 million judgment it won in federal court.

The family says it knows nothing about any buried treasure and will fight AOL's gold-digging plans, the AP reports today from Washington.

AOL said it intends to search for bars of gold and platinum that the company believes are hidden near the home of Davis Wolfgang Hawke's parents on two acres in Medfield.

-- AP

Thunder's fate unclear

Posted July 26, 2006 11:11 AM


No word yet on the fate of Thunder the steer.

Thunder, you may recall, was the very nice animal that Hilary Maxson, 18, from Medfield considers her pet. Maxson is concerned that when she goes to college this fall, Thunder will end up on someone's barbecue. She's looking for a suitable home.

Correspondent Alison O'Leary Murray who wrote the July 20 story notes that she's received about 15 emails, some from as far away as Florida, with suggestions and offers to help.

20we3steer 1.jpg

(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)

Thunder update

Posted July 21, 2006 11:04 AM


Correspondent Alison O'Leary Murray reports that she's gotten more than a dozen emails about her Globe West story about a Medfield girl who's worried that Thunder, her 1,500-pound Simmental steer, will end up on the grill when she heads off to college in the fall.

The emails, which flowed in from as far away as North Carolina and Maine, have included everything from suggestions for a home for the steer to offers of cash and lodging for the animal.

More than 220 people emailed the story from yesterday.

Thunder in the pasture

Posted July 20, 2006 09:54 AM


It's an old story. A summer that starts out long and ends up being short. One friend going to college and the other staying behind, facing an uncertain future.

But in this case, the one staying behind is a 1,500-pound steer.

Hilary Maxson loves her pet Thunder but she can't take him to college -- so she's worried he'll end up on someone's grill, Globe West reports today.

Medfield landmark star of MFA show

Posted July 9, 2006 10:17 AM


Art lovers flocking to the ``Americans in Paris: 1860-1900'' exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston are seeing famous pictures like ``Whistler's Mother'' and ``In the Luxembourg Gardens.''

But there's also a less-famous work depicting a scene many suburbanites drive by every day.

``Roadside Cottage'' (1890) by Dennis Miller Bunker still sits on a busy stretch of Route 109 in Medfield, more than a century after the young, Paris-trained artist painted its sun-dappled entryway.

Read more about the local artist and his work in today's Globe West.

Down to the wire for Medfield State

Posted July 7, 2006 02:38 PM


Just a few weeks ahead of a deadline for a vote in the state Legislature, the state Department of Mental Health has requested a change to the plans to redevelop Medfield State Hospital.

The DMH has requested that 44 out of a proposed 440 housing units be
reserved for clients of the department.

Town officials worry the change could scare away developers because of lower profit margins for the sale of those units and trouble the DMH clients, who would be isolated from stores and public transportation at the hospital campus.

State officials said the request would match the terms of other hospital redevelopment plans, like the Danvers and Metropolitan properties.

Officials involved want to finalize the plan so legislators can vote on it before they switch to an informal session August 1. The next formal session begins next year.

--Charlie Russo

Medfield elections

Posted June 6, 2006 04:58 PM

Medfield voters approved two Proposition 2 1/2 overrides at a special
election earlier this week (Monday June 5), one to pay for construction of
a new adult community center and the other to boost next year's budget.

Voters approved, 1,440-589, an $800,000 debt exclusion override to pay for
the senior center’s construction.

Voters also passed by a vote of 1,276-770 a $1 million boost to the $44
million town and school operating budgets.

The two overrides together will add roughly $54 per $100,000 of value to a
person's property tax bill. After the 20 years, when the senior center is paid off, the amount will decrease slightly. -- Charlie Russo

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