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Northborough native killed while riding bike to work in DC

Posted July 8, 2008 08:25 PM

A young woman from Northborough just starting her career in Washington D.C. was killed this morning when she was run over by a garbage truck while riding her bicycle to work.

Alice Swanson, 22, was pronounced dead at a Washington hospital after she was struck at the intersection of 20th Street and R Streets in the city's Northwest section. She was riding westbound on R Street when a garbage truck traveling in the same direction took a right and apparently didn't see her, said Officer Joshua Aldiva, a Metropolitan Police Department spokesman.

aliceswanson.JPG(Middle East Institute Photo)
A 2007 Amherst College graduate, Swanson was fluent in Spanish and Arabic. She recently completed an internship program at The Middle East Institute, a D.C.-based think tank. A lover of international affairs and travel, she studied abroad in India and Nicaragua during college.

The Institute expressed its sadness at Swanson’s death, calling her "a true spirit of friendship" in a memorial statement on their website.

"Alice's intelligence and passion for learning was rivaled only by her great warmth and friendliness," Adam Mendelson, Swanson’s former boss and the managing editor of the organization's Middle East Journal publication, said in a statement. "I can't ever recall her without a smile on her face."

Swanson’s family is left with a deep loss.

"She is so energetic and enthusiastic. She always wants to explore or travel," said her father, Brian, reached by telephone in Northborough, where Alice was born and raised. "She’s got a room full of maps here, world maps and things like that. She wanted to travel."

"I just feel that she had so many things that she wanted to do -- to help people. Now it's not going to happen."

-- John M. Guilfoil

Balanced budgets Barry stepping down

Posted May 1, 2008 06:35 AM

Longtime Northborough Town Administrator Barry Brenner has announced his retirement.

After 35 years managing municipal governments in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, including 11 years as top public servant in Northborough, Brenner said in a statement that his retirement would be effective in the fall and his last working day will be in July.

Selectmen have praised Brenner's stewardship of the town's finances, citing the lack of Proposition 2 1/2 overrides to fund municipal services during his tenure. The town approved overrides for the schools and for capital projects, but never for town operating expenses while he was town administrator.

-- John Dyer

Fire in Northborough destroys strip mall, slows traffic

Posted March 25, 2008 09:12 AM

Traffic is moving again on Route 20 in Northborough this morning after the road was closed for four hours while firefighters battled a five-alarm blaze at a strip mall.

One person was hurt in the fire and taken to a local hospital with injuries that the Fire Department described as not life-threatening.

The blaze erupted at 2:50 a.m. in the Northborough Shopping Center, which includes a jeweler, a food market, and an appliance shop.

Chief David Durgin of the Northborough Fire Department said the fire was reported by a passing limousine driver. A portion of the roof of the one-story structure collapsed at the height of the blaze, Durgin said.

It took firefighters from Northborough and neighboring communities several hours to bring the flames under control. Route 20 was closed from about 3:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

-- Kate Augusto

Material from the Associated Press was included in this report.

Northborough teens accused of stealing booze from restaurant

Posted August 20, 2007 02:57 PM


A 15-year-old Northborough boy and his 14-year-old sister are accused of breaking into a restaurant and stealing crates of alcohol.

Northborough police allege the two broke into Guiseppe's Grill early Saturday through a back window and packed up bottles of vodka, whisky, rum and other liquors. The teens -- who also disabled at least two surveillance cameras -- where arrested later in the day, but police did not release their names.

Both will be arraigned at a later date in Worcester Juvenile Court on various charges, including malicious destruction of property and larceny.

-- AP

Scholarship story is no fish tale

Posted July 23, 2007 12:16 PM


Scholarships are doled out in lots of interesting ways, but Drew Houser of Northborough, an incoming freshman at Unity College in Maine, has a fascinating tale about one that didn't get awau.

Houser won a year's worth of tuition (worth approximately $18,000) at, of all places, a fishing tournament on Unity Pond yesterday. But the story didn't end there, according to a story in the Waldo County Citizen newspaper's online edition.

Hauser was fishing on the same pond where his father, a Unity College graduate, died in a small plane crash in 1992. Not only that, but Hauser didn't even catch the winning fish.

-- Ralph Ranalli

Water and sewer rates in Northborough to rise

Posted July 10, 2007 10:31 AM


The average household will pay $22 more for water and $62 more for sewer service this year based on new rates that will be reflected in bills mailed in October.

The new rates will be applied to water usage that began in May, Public Works Director Kara Buzanoski said.

Water rates increased 5.5 percent mainly due to increasing in the price of using water from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Buzanoski said. The new block rates now start at $33.21 for each thousand cubic feet used, an increase of about $1.75. The average household uses 12,000 cubic feet of water a year, officials said.

Sewer rates went up 15.6 percent because of payments on capital projects, Buzanoski said. The new block rates start at $37.73 for each thousand cubic feet used, an increase of about $5.00.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

The Loop is in in Northborough

Posted July 3, 2007 11:07 AM


The Loop project, a planned outdoor mall near the interchange of routes 9 and 20, has overcome one its last hurdles before construction can begin.

By a unanimous vote, the Board of Selectmen last week opted not to exercise its right of first refusal and buy the land on which the shopping center would sit, town officials said. The town could have bought the acre property if officials had decided to match the $11.5 million offer from the developers, according to Town Planner Kathy Joubert.

The land had been classified as Chapter 61 conservation land, which meant that the owners got tax exemptions in exchange for giving municipalities the right of first refusal. The land is being sold by Mary and Robert Borgatti.

The town has already approved plans by Brendon Properties and The Wilder Companies of Boston to build the retail center and plans by Avalon Bay Communities Inc. to build a 350-unit apartment complex.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

This town board's a dump

Posted June 19, 2007 09:16 AM


In light of the increasing costs of the pay as you throw trash program, the Board of Selectmen has agreed to form a group to study garbage and will over the next few weeks determine its scope and goals.

The board will on Monday share their own individual visions and time frame for the Solid Waste Citizens Study Group and come up with a unified vision at its July 16 meeting, Town Administrator Barry Brenner said. The group would be comprised of four residents, two members of the Recycling Committee and a selectmen representative.

Pay as you throw has been in place for four years, but the fees have not been enough to cover the cost of the service.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Local schools go green

Posted June 13, 2007 02:57 PM


Several local schools won 'Green Team' awards from the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs following a program to reduce pollution and protect the environment.

The Globe West area schools honored were:

  • Berlin Middle School in Berlin
  • Fowler School in Maynard
  • Marion E. Zeh School in Northborough
  • Melican Middle School in Northborough
  • Beatrice H. Wood School in Plainville
  • James Fitzgerald Elementary School in Waltham
  • Hemenway School in Framingham
  • Mary E. Stapleton School in Framingham

Schools that won awards received recycling equipment to make their individual programs more effective.

-- Adam Sell

No cage matches for this dog

Posted June 5, 2007 10:26 AM


Phineas, an Airedale Terrier owned by Brant Viner and Margaret Harling of West Street, attacked a beagle mix named Junior who lives up the street for the third time in March of this year, Northborough Dog Officer Claudia McGuire said.

Phineas' owners have been ordered by the Board of Selectmen to install a high fence or an enclosed dog pen that will keep the animal contained.

Junior, owned by Sandy Lin, suffered puncture wounds to his front legs twice.

Selectmen ordered Phineas’ owners to install a chain link or stockade fencing that surrounds their property or a six foot high dog pen with a roof and floor.

If Phineas gets out again he will be in violation of selectmen’s order and his owners will be issued a $25 to $100 fine and will go back before the board, McGuire said.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Police Academy 14 (and 15-20)

Posted June 5, 2007 08:55 AM



Young adults can learn the ropes of the police business starting tomorrow night, when Police Explorer Post 32 returns after a year-long hiatus.

Northborough Police officers Jeffrey Noel and Scott Maffioli will oversee the program for Northborough residents who have completed at least the eighth grade and who are between the ages of 14 and 20, Noel said. The program was suspended when the previous advisor took a job with another police department.

Noel said the post will provide young adults with practical experience for a future law enforcement career and teach life skills, character, and leadership. Practical exercises will include accident scene investigation, bike and community policing, and fingerprinting.

The first meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., at the police station on Main Street. Anyone seeking is urged to call Noel or Maffioli at 508-393-1515.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Northborough senior center project moves ahead

Posted May 26, 2007 01:48 PM

Northborough seniors will have more to smile about soon.
(Globe staff photo by Michele McDonald


Plans are under way to hire a project manager and architect now that town meeting has approved a $495,000 debt exclusion to design a new senior center.

The architect, once hired, will come up with new comprehensive sketches based on the conceptual design already in place, Senior Center Director Kelly Burke said. Those new designs will lead to a detailed cost breakdown of the entire project.

Burke said town meeting will be asked for construction funds for the project next spring. The new senior center would be more than five times the size of the current 2,678 square foot center.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Calling all 3-year-old boys, calling all 3-year-old boys...

Posted May 26, 2007 11:55 AM


Tonka, schmonka. Try some real trucks on for size.

The town's Recreation Department is sponsoring an event next Saturday, June 2, when all of the trucks used by the Department of Public works will be on display for a free viewing and ride along.

There is no need to pre-register for the event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the parking lot of Algonquin Regional High School. Cameras are not only welcome, but encouraged.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Amateur competition, professional pressure

Posted May 25, 2007 10:05 AM



A Northborough man will be among 75 amateur pianists to compete in a prestigious worldwide competition this week.

Robert Finley, a retired electrical engineer, is among three Massachusetts residents who will compete in the Van Cliburn Foundation’s fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs from May 28 to June 3 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Finley, a native of England, will compete against fellow Bay State residents Ellen Dodson of Lexington and Richard Einhorn of South Hamilton. The contest, which takes place every four years, awards $2,000 for first place, $1,500 for second, and $1,000 for third.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Northborough Police Chief to decide on OUI officer's discipline

Posted May 22, 2007 01:24 PM



The chief of the Northborough Police Department says he will decide by next month about discipline for an officer arrested on drunken driving charges after slamming his pickup truck into a telephone pole two weeks ago.

Chief Mark Leahy said patrolman James Scesny, 38, has been using sick time to stay at home and recover from the accident, which took place about half a mile rom his Clinton home shortly after 2 a.m. on May 13.
Leahy, who was on vacation last week, said he will decide on discipline after the completion of an internal investigation, which should be wrapped up by June 1.

Any comments on the matter before then would be “premature,” Leahy said.

Scesny and his girlfriend, Janice Wrzesinski, were both injured when the red Chevy pick-up crashed into a telephone pole at Main and Church streets, according to Clinton police reports. Scesny was arraigned in Clinton District Court on May 14 on charges of operating under the influence, negligent operation, and violating marked lanes. He is due in back in court on June 19 for a pre-trial conference.

A former detective and school resource officer, Scesny currently works the day shift in the traffic division. Officials said he has never faced disciplinary action before.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Renovated library, new senior center on track after Northborough vote

Posted May 15, 2007 12:41 PM

Voters in Northborough approved funds for a renovated library yesterday.
(Globe staff photo by Wendy Maeda)


A renovated and expanded library will open to the public by the end of next year and plans for a new $6 million senior center are in the works following positive override votes in yesterday's election.

Town voters also returned all incumbents to their respective offices.

A measure to increase taxes by $1.7 million to pay for the cost increase of the library project won by a vote of 1,652 to 1,165, Town Clerk Andrew Dowd said. The debt exclusion override will cost the average homeowner an estimated $22.07 a year for 20 years. The $8 million library project is being paid for with a combination of town, state and donated funds.

The override to pay for a $495,000 design for a new senior center was also victorious with a vote of 1,582 to 1,225, Dowd said. That measure increase will cost the average homeowner $6.58 a year for 20 years. Voters will be asked to approve construction costs next year.

In town government races, meanwhile, Selectman Leslie Rutan beat challenger Howard Stone, Town Moderator Frederick George Jr. defeated hopeful Christopher Tully, and Southborough School Committee member Nancy Berglund bested opponent Joan Frank.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Northborough police detective charged with DUI

Posted May 14, 2007 02:23 PM


Northborough Police Detective James F. Scesny was arraigned on drunken driving and other charges today in connection with a crash early Sunday morning that injured the officer and his girlfriend.

Detective Scesny, 38, of 79 Beacon St., Clinton, faces charges in Clinton District Court of driving under the influence of liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and a marked lanes violation. His case was continued to June 19 and he was released on personal recognizance.

-- Worcester Telegram & Gazette

What if they held a recycling event and not enough people showed up?

Posted May 10, 2007 10:37 AM

Who will speak up for junque in Northborough?
(Globe staff photo by Tom Landers)


After 13 years, town officials say they are canceling the annual summer Junque Day because the dwindling number of volunteers can no longer handle the sheer size of the swap meet-style event.

A victim of its own success, Junque Day had grown so popular by last year that two days were needed to ensure that all of the donated items were taken, members of the Recycling Committee said. It also became too difficult to enforce the rule that all items dropped off were usable and not just waste, members said.

The swap was typically held June 1 on Colburn Street. Officials left the door open that the event could be brought back in the future if enough volunteers come forward.

Anyone seeking more information is urged to contact the Engineering Department at Town Hall at 508-393-5015 or via e-mail. .

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Will the judge stop Stop & Shop?

Posted May 8, 2007 03:15 PM



A judge will decide whether the town overstepped its authority by shooting down Stop& Shop’s plans for a downtown supermarket last summer.

Lawyers for both sides presented their arguments more than an hour last week in Boston Land Court before Judge Alexander Sands, said Kevin O'Flaherty of Goulston & Storrs, who is representing the owners of the land at 77 Main Street. Barbara J. Saint Andre of Kopelman & Paige represented the town.

The Planning Board denied Stop & Shop a permit to build the store in July 2006 and that decision was upheld locally by the building inspector’s refusal issue a building permit and the Zoning Board of Appeals refusal to overturn the decision. The town believes it had the right to turn the project down because Stop & Shop failed to provide a complete traffic study.

Sands took the case under advisement and will issue a ruling that O’Flaherty said he does not expect for at least three months.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Would you like some recycled energy with that?

Posted April 24, 2007 05:56 AM


A few months ago, Globe West ran a story about two brothers from Northborough who converted their cars to run off used restaurant fryer oil.

Now apparently one of the brothers just invented a contraption to run a household furnace off of used fryer oil and posted it on YouTube. Check it out.

-- Susan Chaityn Lebovits

School superintendent's funeral Saturday

Posted April 11, 2007 04:48 PM



A wake will be held for Rosemary Joseph, superintendent of the Northborough/Southborough public schools, Friday evening followed by a funeral Mass Saturday morning.

Joseph, 54, died at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Tuesday afternoon from complications of a brain aneurysm, according to friends and colleagues.

Joseph had been leading the regional district for less than a year.

“I very much enjoyed working with her and we’ll certainly all miss her,” said Linda Murdock, principal of Trottier Middle School in Southborough. “I’m definitely very sad.”

Calling hours are scheduled from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Daniel T. Morrill Funeral Home, 130 Hamilton St., Southbridge. A funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 14 at 10 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church, 263 Hamilton St., Southbridge. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be sent to the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents for a scholarship fund to benefit all three districts in which she worked.

Checks should be made out to the MASS Scholarship Fund and sent to MASS at 132 Lincoln St., Suite 6L, Boston, MA 02111.

Joseph leaves her husband of 35 years, Larry Joseph; two children, David C. Joseph of Malden and Leigh A. Joseph of Holland, an English teacher at Tantasqua Regional High School; and three brothers, Robert Gillette and William Gillette, both of Westford and Daniel Gillette.

- Jennifer Rosinski

School chief dies after short illness

Posted April 10, 2007 07:10 PM


Rosemary Joseph, superintendent of the Northborough and Southborough public schools, died at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston this afternoon after a short illness.

Joseph, who had led the district for less than a year, was 54.

She became “suddenly and seriously ill” on Saturday while at her home in West Barnstable, said Larry Joseph, her husband of 34 years.

He would not elaborate on her illness, but said “no one thought it was life threatening.”

“It’s a complete shock,” said Paul Gaffney, chair of the Southborough School Committee and a member of the regional school committee. “We were all looking forward to working with her for a long time.”

Nancy Berglund, chair of the Northborough School Committee, described Joseph as "so grounded and very knowledgeable and professional.”

Members of the district’s three school committees learned Joseph was ill Sunday night and scheduled a meeting for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Trottier School in Southborough to decide who should take over in her absence.

Now they will use the meeting to draw up an interim plan for managing the district.

Joseph, the former superintendent of the Harwich public schools, started the job May 15.

She leaves two children, Leigh, 34, and David, 26.

Her husband said funeral arrangements are still incomplete. They will be handled by the Daniel T. Morrill Funeral Home in Southbridge.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Budgets, overrides the hot topics in Northborough

Posted March 23, 2007 08:06 AM


The town’s proposed fiscal 2008 budget and the possibility of three overrides will be the subject of a joint meeting between the Board of Selectmen and Appropriations Committee Monday night.

April Town Meeting will be asked to approve increasing the municipal budget by 4.5 percent for a total of $14.18 million.

The school budgets include $9.46 million for Algonquin, $697,395 for Assabet Valley regional Technical High School and $16.9 million for Northborough public schools. The Northborough School Committee could also ask town meeting for a $219,434 operational override if Superintendent Rosemary Joseph can’t cut the budget enough.

Residents will also be asked to consider two debt exclusion overrides: $1.7 million in borrowing to expand the library and $495,000 for architectural designs for the new senior center.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the selectmen’s meeting room in town hall.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

North(borough) vs. South(borough)

Posted March 20, 2007 02:11 PM


Northborough is owed $1.5 million more in reimbursement money than Southborough for the $61 million addition and renovation of Algonquin Regional High School, according to a legal opinion offered by town counsel.

Current state law should be used to determine how to split reimbursement money from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, not the agreement signed by the two towns before the construction actually began, according to a letter from David J. Doneski of the Boston law firm Kopelman and Paige in Boston. His opinion is at odds with Southborough and the regional school district.

A new state formula instructs money in regional districts to be divided based upon each communities reimbursement rate.
Northborough's Financial Planning Committee has estimated that the town should receive $1.5 million more in reimbursements under that new formula. The Northborough-Southborough Regional District School Committee voted to let the towns resolve the dispute.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

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

Church provides a home for the sad at Christmas

Posted December 20, 2006 01:07 PM


A Northborough church is home to a growing number of people who don't want to celebrate Christmas.

That's why the Trinity Church holds a "Blue Christmas" service, which attracts mostly depressed, grieving people. Instead of Christmas carols, the piano plays somber music. Instead of wreaths and ornaments, communicants lay dead branches on a table covered in blue cloth.

"It just seems that whatever griefs or pain people have increase in this time," Rev. Cynthia Maybeck, pastor of the church, told the Globe. "Everything on the commercials is 'Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas, such a season of tidings and great joy' -- and there's a lot of people whose hearts are breaking."

-- Erica Tochin

Northborough hikes the cost of trash

Posted December 12, 2006 08:00 PM


Northborough selectmen last night raised trash bag fees 20 percent, hoping to cover part of an expected $250,000 shortfall in the trash disposal budget for fiscal 2008.

The board voted 3-2 to increase the cost of small bags from $1.25 to $1.50 and large bags from $2.50 to $3. The increase is expected to go into effect Jan. 1.

Town Engineer Frederic E. Litchfield Jr. told selectmen that a 48 percent fee hike was required to cover new rates at the Wheelabrator incinerator in Millbury.

Selectmen Jeff Amberson and William Pantazis voted against hiking the bag fee; in the past, they have favored a tax override to help cover trash costs.

-- Carolyn Kessel Stewart

It takes a zoning subcommittee to raise a village

Posted December 4, 2006 09:08 AM


Creating a village atmosphere in downtown is among the changes to the town’s bylaws a zoning subcommittee will present to Northborough’s Planning Board tomorrow.

The subcommittee has been meeting since September to reorganize town zoning, this year focusing on changes to the town’s business districts, said Town Planner Kathy Joubert, who sits on the panel. The group will discuss possible changes to the industrial and commercial district next year.

Among the changes the subcommittee is studying are creating a pedestrian-friendly town center where visitors will walk from business to business after parking their cars, Joubert said. The recommendations will be presented to town meeting in April for approval.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Speak up... What? ... Speak up!

Posted December 2, 2006 12:45 PM


Northborough residents will be able to share concerns with and ask questions of the Board of Selectmen next month at a first-of-its-kind listening session.

Board members last week agreed to schedule the open meeting at the suggestion of a local resident, Town Administrator Barry Brenner said. Selectmen have in the past held office hours, but this is the first meeting of its kind, Brenner said.

Selectmen will evaluate the meeting to determine whether it should be scheduled regularly in the future, Brenner said. The one-hour session will kick-off at 7 p.m. on Dec. 4 in the selectmen’s meeting room at Town Hall.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Awareness-raising vigil to be held for crash victim

Posted November 29, 2006 11:41 AM


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

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

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

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Crash knocks out power in Northborough

Posted November 24, 2006 08:56 AM


An allegedly drunk driver in Northborough ran his pickup truck into an electrical pole on South Street and Cedar Hill Road last night at 6:45, knocking out power to fewer than 40 households, according to Northborough police.

The driver of the pickup, Richard H. Merrill Jr. , 45, of Westborough, was uninjured, but was arrested at the scene and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. According to a National Grid spokeswoman, power was to be restored to the affected customers overnight.

-- Globe City & Region staff

Homes for (just after) the holidays

Posted November 18, 2006 02:31 PM


Four three-bedroom homes in an affordable housing development on Hudson Street in Northborough will be sold in a lottery early next year.

All four homes are roughly 1,200 square feet with 1 ½ baths and will be sold for $168,900 to eligible first-time homebuyers. Construction should be complete by February. The homes are being built by Northborough developer Anthony Abu as part of his approval from the Planning Board for a 30-unit 55 and over complex currently under construction on Lincoln Street.

To be eligible for a home, buyers must have no more than $50,000 in assets including retirement accounts and not exceed state income limits, which cap a family of four at $57,350 a year. Preference will be given to local residents, those employed by the town or regional school district and children or parents of current residents.

Applications and detailed information about the guidelines will be provided at a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 12 in the selectmen’s meeting room at Town Hall. Applications are also available in the planning office at Town Hall and online.

The lottery deadline is Dec. 29 and the lottery will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 4 in the town hall.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Mystery signs pop up in Northborough

Posted November 16, 2006 02:09 PM


A bright yellow sign that proclaims "Why-Kurt?" has Northborough residents scratching their heads in confusion, the Nashua Telegraph reports.

The mystery signs, which first popped up in Nashua, have become a topic of debate in some towns. Residents are throwing out theories as to what the signs mean.

Who is Kurt, and why does he have yellow signs all over the place? Do you have a theory? Write us at

Happy holidays -- a year late

Posted November 13, 2006 09:19 AM


The $60.8 million renovation and addition of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough should finally be complete – more than a year overdue – by the times students leave for the winter holiday, school officials say.

Three sections of the school still undergoing construction will be ready and available for students and staff once they return from break, Superintendent Rosemary Joseph said. Those areas include the administrative wing (including with the principal’s office and guidance area), the auditorium, the old gym and the band room.

The project was stalled in December 2005 when the Algonquin Building Committee fired Eastern Contractors Inc. of Framingham for failing to meet the May 2005 deadline.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Cable competition in Northborough

Posted November 6, 2006 10:32 AM


The town of Northborough has begun negotiations with telecommunications giant Verizon, which wants to offer cable service to residents and compete with the current sole provider, Charter Communications.

The Board of Selectmen last Monday voted unanimously to begin the process, Town Administrator Barry Brenner said. Verizon would have to offer the town service comparable to Charter's, including public access channels, Brenner said.

The town does not have control over what the cable providers charge residents, but residents in other towns have seen rates decline when competing companies vie for customers.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Pieces of history

Posted November 4, 2006 08:29 AM


A mantle, decorative tile, and other historic touches have been salvaged from a century-old mansion in Northborough that is being demolished today to make way for four duplexes and one single family home.

The items will be put on display and available for viewing when the Historical Society museum on Main Street reopens in May, said Ellen Racine, the museum curator. The museum closed for the winter in October.

The society worked out an agreement with Westborough developer Robert Moss to remove several items from the red-brick home overlooking the Assabet River.The house on Park Lane was built in 1870 with bricks from local brickyards by farmer and carpenter Charles Winn, who designed its 17 rooms for his wife, Maria. Other pieces taken from the house include a decorative outdoor thermometer, a doorbell, a doorknob, a plaster wall hanging and portions of wooden parquet flooring.

Moss received permission form the Planning Board last month to tear down the home and construct Winn Terrace on five acres. The Historical Commission could have bought or moved the home to save it from destruction, but it did not have enough money.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Northborough's finest finally full-strength

Posted October 30, 2006 08:37 AM


The Northborough Police Department will be at full strength for the first time in almost a year when the town’s newest police officer starts his job today.

Justin Faucher, 24, of Rutland became the town’s 20th police officer when his hire was unanimously approved by the Board of Selectmen lat Monday night, Police Chief Mark Leahy said. Faucher replaces Sgt. Patrick McStay, who joined the State Police earlier this year.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Stop & Shop seeks another bite at the apple

Posted October 22, 2006 01:14 PM


The Stop & Shop supermarket chain, which has has sued Northborough for shooting down a proposed downtown store, will ask the Zoning Board of Appeals to overturn that decision Tuesday.

Stop & Shop wants the ZBA to reverse the Planning Board’s June 30 denial and approve their application for a 63,500-square foot grocery store on almost 10 acres between Hudson and Main Streets, Town Planner Kathy Joubert said.

The company filed a lawsuit Worcester Land Court in July asking a judge to direct the Planning Board to approve the project for 77 Main Street because the board exercised power it does not have. The lawsuit is pending.

The Planning Board argued Stop & Shop did not provide all of the requested information, including a study of how Rte. 20 and its surrounding streets would be affected if a traffic light were not installed at the store entrance. Stop & Shop claims that study was not required.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Northborough church launches ambitious expansion

Posted October 21, 2006 09:43 AM


Striving to accomodate an expanding congregation of more than 300, the Church of the Nativity in Northborough has embarked on a campaign to raise $625,000 to renovate its buildings as part of a three phase plan, church leaders tell Globe West.

The Howard Street Episcopal church will undergo the first stage of its transformation at the beginning of the year, the Rev. Leonard Cowan said. Expected to take three years, the project includes renovating the original 1963 chapel, parish hall, office space, and parking lot.

The second phase will cost $1.2 million and include the construction of a new nursery school and youth ministry building, Cowan said. The final $3.1 million phase calls for a new worship center and Christian education youth space.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Home invasion suspect eludes neighbors in Northborough

Posted October 17, 2006 04:10 PM


A man who pistol-whipped a Northborough woman in her apartment Sunday evening eluded pursuing neighbors by posing as a bystander offering to help, Northborough police said.

The unidentified woman escaped with only bruises and scrapes to her face after her screams scared away her attacker, Detective Sergeant William Lyver said.

Sometime before 8:40 p.m., woman first saw the man in the parking lot of her apartment complex. They exchanged words about the weather and he followed her inside the front door of the building, The Residence at the Falls at 200 Hudson St., police said.

The man then followed the victim into her apartment while she carried packages to a kitchen counter, police said.

‘‘She turned around to shut the door and he was there. He reached forward to grab her by the face and neck,’’ Lyver said. ‘‘She screamed, he disengaged, and she was knocked to the kitchen floor.’’

The man ran out of the apartment and was followed by two male neighbors. Posing as a bystander, the attacker pretended to help by claiming the man jumped over a fence and into the river. The man then did just that as the shocked neighbors looked on, the neighbors told police.

Police said neighbors’s description of the man matched the victim’s description of her attacker. A 9mm plastic pellet gun with an orange tip was found near the fence.

The victim described the man as between 22 and 25 years old, 5 foot 9 inches tall and weighing 150 to 160 pounds. He has a narrow face with a scraggly goatee and long unkempt hair and was wearing a blue denim jacket. She had never seen him before.

Police are still searching for the suspect and a $500 reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction. Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call Northborough police at 508-393-1515.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Allen Street bridge to close

Posted October 14, 2006 10:31 AM


The Allen Street bridge that spans the Assabet River and leads motorists to downtown Northborough is expected to be closed Monday and it won't re-open until spring as the state installs a new deck.

While the bridge is closed, drivers can take Hudson Street to Route 20, acting DPW director Kara Buzanoski said.

Tractor-trailers, however, cannot fit under the Wachusett Aqueduct on Hudson Street. Signs will be posted on Route 290 and the Mass Pike to alert truck drivers of the change and suggest detours.

The repairs come nearly five years after Mass Highway first found cracks in the concrete understructure of the bridge, which was built in 1985, Buzanoski said.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Development approved in Northborough

Posted October 11, 2006 10:54 AM


A development that will replace a century-old mansion in Northborough has been approved by the Planning Board.

Winn Terrace, both the name of the complex and the street, was unanimously approved by the five-member board, Town Planner Kathy Joubert said. The subdivision presented by Westborough developer Robert Moss will include four duplexes and one single-family home on five acres.

The red brick mansion overlooking the Assabet River will soon be torn down to make way for the new homes. The 17-room home with granite steps and a large front porch was designed by farmer and carpenter Charles Winn for his wife Maria. It was built in 1870 with bricks from local brickyards and in 1880 became home to a boarder named Newell Houston Ensley, the only educated black man to live in town at the time.

The town's Historical Commission did not have enough money to save the home by either buying or moving the building.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

A move from downtown

Posted September 23, 2006 09:00 AM


Lowe's Variety and Meat Shop, a well-known market that has served downtown Northborough for 40 years, will move to a new location on Route 20 next month.

Owner Tom Lowe said 500 more square feet of space and additional parking were among the reasons he decided to move the business from its current 23 West Main St. location to the Northborough Shopping Center at 255 West Main St. in a storefront once occupied by Jenifer's Hallmark.

Lowe, who took over the family business 20 years ago, said he hopes to have the new store open by Halloween. It will feature more products, including natural snd organic groceries, and an expanded up-to-date meat market.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

A tale from the city

Posted September 10, 2006 09:46 AM


Rose Russo sent this item to the Globe magazine's "Tales of the City" department.

In the midst of morning rush-hour traffic, our van broke down at the Mass. Pike Cambridge/Allston exit to Memorial Drive.

With a huge truck ready to plow into us and a million cars around our vehicle, a homeless man with a cardboard sign came over to redirect traffic and prevent them from smashing into us until we got our van started again.

My daughter turned to me and said, "See, Mom. Even in the city, you can get help from the most unexpected places." I put all the money I had on me that day into the homeless man's can.


Big Dig suggestion

Posted July 17, 2006 08:20 AM


Robert Caron of Northborough has a suggestion for Gov. Mitt Romney on how to deal with the Big Dig safety crisis.

Romney should turn the entire Big Dig over to the US Army Corps of Engineers, Caron proposes in a Letter to the Editor today.

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