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Southborough attracting mixed-income developments

Posted August 9, 2008 09:13 AM

Another Chapter 40B project wants to come to Southborough.

Local developer Bill Depietri recently told town officials that he intended to file papers to build 16 units on a 6.5 acre parcel on Oregon Road, Town Planner Vera Kolias said. Depietri intends to build under Chapter 40B, which allows him to circumvent local zoning rules as long as one-quarter of his condos are affordable according to state guidelines.

A handful of other Chapter 40B projects have been proposed recently in the town, including an apartment project off Crystal Pond Road and another, smaller condo complex off Route 9 near Woodland Road.

-- John Dyer

Commuter Rail users demanding more service

Posted August 12, 2007 10:50 AM

commuter rail.JPG
Commuters at busy Southborough Station
(Globe staff photo by Dominic Chavez)


It's a beautiful sound for morning commuters in Southborough, one that comes around not nearly often enough: Clank-i-ty, clank-i-ty, clank-i-ty, clank!

When those bells toll in the commuter rail parking lot, it means the next sound will be the roar of a purple-trimmed MBTA train, set to cart workers off to Boston for jobs in the Financial District, on Beacon Hill, in the Longwood Medical Area, or at any number of other centers made accessible to residents in suburbs west of Boston by public transportation.

There's another sound to which commuters here have become accustomed: Promises from politicians for more trains, to relieve the overcrowding and inconvenient scheduling that have curtailed the convenience of commuter rail,staff writer John Drake reports.

But despite hundreds of thousands of tax dollars on studies and numerous commitments from Beacon Hill, not one new train has been added between Framingham and Worcester in the last six years.

Read more about the growing demand for Commuter Rail Service in the online edition of today's Globe West.

On the road (trip) again

Posted July 11, 2007 11:31 AM


A Southborough man and travel executive has just released a family road trip travel guide written with help from his wife and two teen children.

The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Family Road Trip was written by Joe Cali and has chapters authored by his wife, Wendy, daughter, Christie, and son, Josh. The family has taken more than 20 road trips to 46 states and visited 20 countries.

Cali is the executive vice president of strategic planning for Grand Circle Travel Corporation . The book is available online and in stores. For more information, visit

--Jennifer Rosinski

A road less traveled in Southborough

Posted July 6, 2007 11:17 AM


Responding to pleas from neighbors, the Board of Selectmen will ask the state to prohibit trucks from using Latisquama and White Bagley roads -- which are both located right off Rte. 9 -- as throughways.

A truck count and map will be sent to MassHighway along with a letter outlining the request, Town Administrator Jean Kitchen said. Trucks will be asked to instead travel on Rte. 85, except for those that need to reach addresses on the two roads. All others face citations from the police department.

Residents of Latisquama Road presented their request to the board at a meeting late last month, Kitchen said. The narrowness and poor shape of the road were among their reasons for asking trucks to be excluded.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Autism school to open Middle Eastern campus

Posted June 28, 2007 10:49 AM


A leading autism center in Massachusetts will manage a $100 million, decadelong effort to bring cutting-edge research and treatment of children to the United Arab Emirates, the center announced yesterday.

The New England Center for Children signed the deal last week with officials in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, to start a program for children with the developmental disorder that affects social and communication skills.

The center will send 50 to 60 employees over the next few years -- six are scheduled to go by December -- to start the operation and train 30 to 40 instructors from Abu Dhabi.

The Health Authority- Abu Dhabi and the New England Center will join to build the new center and provide housing for New England Center employees in Abu Dhabi.

Read more in today's Globe.

-- Claire Cummings

Southborough memorial gets a facelift

Posted June 21, 2007 09:17 AM


A project to spruced up the town's war memorial is underway and will be unveiled in time for Veteran’s Day this fall.

The granite memorial in downtown between Main and Common streets will be upgraded by the installation of a brick patio and handicap ramp as well as a granite podium and granite benches, according to project coordinator Peter Phaneuf. The names of veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will be etched on paver stones within the patio.

The project will cost $25,000, which town meeting funded last spring.
The original memorial was built in 1970 and includes the names of veterans from World Wars I and II and the Vietnam War.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Rockets' red glare saved by green from local businesses

Posted June 18, 2007 10:19 AM


The town’s annual free summer festival and fireworks display will kick off next weekend thanks in part to donations from two local businesses.

The fireworks display, a Southborough tradition, was in jeopardy this year until local builders Bill Depietri of Capital Group Properties and John Parsons of Parsons Commercial Group agreed to again sponsor the fireworks.

Southborough Summer Nights will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the fields at Neary school. The event includes live music from The Infractions, face-painting, pony rides, an obstacle course, food vendors, tattoos, and the fireworks at dusk. The rain date is Aug. 27.

- Jennifer Rosinski

Cable competition comes to Southborough

Posted May 31, 2007 11:54 AM


Homeowners now have a choice of cable providers after the town signed a 12-year license agreement with Verizon, which pledges to have the town hooked up within three years.

Under the agreement signed last week, Verizon will provide the town with a one-time $100,000 payment for new equipment and dedicate four percent of its annual revenue for public, educational and government programming, Town Administrator Jean Kitchen said.

Verizon, which will compete with Charter Communications, will offer its FiOS TV service through an all-digital fiber-optic network. Kitchen said above ground wiring should be in place with 12 months, but that underground wiring would take up to three years to install.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

UFDBs (Unidentified Flying Double-Bogeys)

Posted May 21, 2007 09:55 AM

Could the UFOs spotted by the Mexican air force in March have just been a golf tournament at the Campeche Country Club?
(Reuters image)


If you see glowing orbs whizzing around the sky in Stow next Friday night, don't panic or rush to the phone to call the nice US Air Force folks at Area 51.

Golfers will be using special glow-in-the-dark balls as part of a night time tournament to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. The MS GlowBall tornament at the Stow Acres Country Club is being organized by Southborough woman whose sister is afflicted with the disease.

Michelle Labich also organized a town-wide yard sale to raise money for MS research and will soon participate in four separate bike rides to raise funds. The tournament will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with dinner, music and a cash bar and continue with a silent auction, raffle and dancing. Golf will begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets cost $100 for golfers and $50 for party-goers. All proceeds will go to the Central New England chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Anyone seeking more information is urged to contact the organizers by e-mail or call 508-460-1204.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Empowerment through Power Bars

Posted May 18, 2007 08:19 AM


If you’ve got extra boxes of protein bars hanging around, organizers of a care package drive for troops oversees will take them off your hands this weekend in Southborough.

The event, which coincides with Armed Forces Weekend, will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Senior Center at Cordaville Hall at the crossroads of Routes 30 and 85. WROR-FM radio will be playing music and giving out bumper stickers from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.

“It doesn't take much, go through your pantry and together as a community we can make a difference and touch the lives of thousands of strangers,” said organizer and Southborough resident Lisa Braccio. “This is so important to me. It has become my life mission.”

Items in demand include beef jerky, hard candy, crackers, peanut butter, cans of tuna and ravioli as well as toothbrushes, body lotion, razors, gum and air fresheners. This weekend’s drive marks the fifth of what has become a bi-annual event. So far 2,200 boxes have been shipped to soldiers oversees.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Southborough police will propose sex offender bylaw

Posted May 11, 2007 10:10 AM



The Southborough police department plans to present the town with a sex offender bylaw modeled after proposals written by two other towns.

The proposal is still in development, but Chief William Webber said it would prohibit sex offenders from living near schools, daycare centers, parks, elderly housing or places of worship. Details of the actual distance and the level of sex offenders covered by the proposal are still being worked out.

Webber said parts of the proposal are being picked up from similar ones enacted in West Boylston and proposed in Marlborough as well as a bill filed by state Rep. Karyn Polito, the Shrewsbury Republican.

Work began on the bylaw after town meeting shot down a citizen’s petition last month that would require hotels to notify police of guests that are sex offenders.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

The first flush of Spring

Posted April 30, 2007 12:17 PM



If your water is a little gritty and sparse this week, don’t fret. It's just the Department of Public Works flushing the town's hydrants.

The town periodically flushes hydrants to clear sediment from water mains and maintain water quality. Homeowners are advised to run cold water if internal plumbing needs to be cleaned out after the flushing.

The flushing program begins today in the West End. Southborough Center follows on Tuesday, Fayville on Wednesday, the South End on Thursday, and the town's northwest corner on Friday. The town is asking residents seeking more information to call 508-485-1210.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

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

Mystery solved: no Native American mass grave in Southborough

Posted April 4, 2007 06:42 PM

A radar scan showing three grave vaults in Southborough's Old Burial Ground.


The town’s oldest mystery has been solved: there is no mass grave of Native Americans at the Old Burial Ground.

An examination of the downtown cemetery has revealed there are more than 700 unmarked graves – including a plot outside the walls - and a pile of debris from the Hurricane of 1938, said David Falconi, chairman of the Historical Commission and president of the Historical Society. No evidence was found, however, of a long-rumored Native American mass grave.

Now the town is working with an archeologist and waiting for the final report from Russell Kempton of New England Geophysical of Mendon, who used ground penetrating radar to scan the graveyard last year.

Falconi said the archeologist, Newton resident Barbara Donohue (CQ), will conduct research on the burial ground using town and state records. A presentation of both reports is being prepared for this fall’s Heritage Day.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Southborough doctor may have the solution for cellulite

Posted March 29, 2007 05:28 PM


Cellulite may have finally met its match. Dr. Elliot Lach, a plastic surgeon in Southborough, has helped develop a device that removes cellulite, the Globe reports.

The SmoothShapes 100 uses infrared light to zap away the fat, liquefying it while a massager moves what's left to the lymphatic meridians, which take it away.

-- Adam Sell

US indicts ex-selectman in sex sting

Posted March 23, 2007 06:13 PM


A former Southborough selectman has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges stemming from an Internet sex sting.

William Christensen, 60, is alleged to have traveled to Rhode Island to have sex with a person he met in an on-line chat room who said she was a 15-year-old Providence girl. In fact, the girl was a detective.

Christensen was charged with traveling across state lines to entice a minor in sexual conduct and using interstate commerce to entice a minor, according to Rhode Island US Attorney Robert Clark Corrente.

The retired software engineer faces up to 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each charge.

Rhode Island state police arrested Christensen last May - one week after he lost his bid for re-election - when he drove his red Subaru Forester into the Evergreen Apartments parking lot in East Providence.

Christensen, a married man with two grown sons, was carrying condoms, police said.

In December, Christensen avoided jail time in a similar case from Plymouth County.

He received five years probation after pleading guilty to soliciting sex on the Internet from a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.

Christensen’s indictment information was included in a press release launching Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice program that focuses on prosecution and awareness of Internet-based crimes against children.

- 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

Natick developer plans apartment complex in Southborough

Posted March 19, 2007 11:29 AM


A Natick man who owns land on Route 9 has filed plans to build a four-story apartment building in the Fayville section of town under the state’s affordable housing rules.

Robert Heavey wants to construct Woodland Meadows at the corner of Woodland Road and Rte. 9. Under state regulations, 20 percent of the 44 units must be offered as affordable housing, but in return, Heavey will qualify for some leeway from local zoning restrictions.

The project must go before the Zoning Board of Appeals and Conservation Commission for approval and will require at least one waiver because it surpasses the town’s 35-foot height limit. The state Housing Partnership must issue the project a permit approving the site before it can go before the ZBA, Town Administrator Jean Kitchen said.

Town Conservation Administrator Beth Rosenblum said Heavey has had a history of failing to comply with notices of conditions the Conservation Commission has issued for the installation of septic systems near wetlands. In 1998 Heavey was also forced to pay a fine to the state Department of Environmental Protection after he modified a wetland without permission.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Town shows heart in starting art barter

Posted March 14, 2007 09:46 AM



The town has agreed to cover the cost of utilities at the Southborough Arts Center in exchange for some of the studio fees and space for the Recreation Department.

The Arts Center approached the town for help because the utilities at the Highland Street building were becoming too expensive, Town Administrator Jean Kitchen said. A $14,550 transfer from the town’s reserve fund will pay the rest of this year’s bills, which will now be added to the town budget, Kitchen said. The utilities, which include, heat, electricity, water and telephone, will cost $25,000 next year.

The Recreation Department is expected to move into the Highland Street building from the Historical Society building behind the Town House by the end of the month, Kitchen said. Recreation will be able to host programs and events at the new location.

“It seems to be a win-win for both sides,” Kitchen said.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Just a little something we found under the couch cushions...

Posted March 13, 2007 11:34 AM


If you had $1.78 million in extra free cash just lying around, what would you do with it?

Thats just one of the scintillating issues that will be facing Southborough residents at the upcoming annual Town Meeting next month. One proposal on the warrant would return the windfall to taxpayers in the form of a refund or a tax reduction, but that measure is not supported by the Board of Selectmen.

Southborough officials realized they had the extra money when they closed the books in the fall. The cash was left over because some expenses – including healthcare - were lower than expected while some revenues like excise taxes and interest income were higher than expected.

Town Moderator John Wilson and the Town Governance Study Committee are also requesting that voters approve a reduction in the quorum size for annual Town Meetings from 150 residents to 100. Southborough has a history of delaying town meetings until a quorum is reached -- it took more than an hour to get one last November.

This year's annual Town Meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on April 9 at the Trottier Middle School on Parkerville Road.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Super-sized water issue in Southborough

Posted March 5, 2007 10:33 AM


Increasing water demand from the construction of super-sized homes over the past decade has forced the town to propose the construction of a $2.5 million water storage tank on Fairview Hill.

Public Works Director Karen Galligan said se plans to ask the April Town Meeting for the money to cover the cost of the two million-gallon tank, which was identified as a need in a recent water study completed by H2O Engineering Consulting Associates Inc. The tank would be built on a 1.23-acre parcel of town-owned land on the hill between Deerfoot Road and Sarsen Stone Way.

The report states the tank is needed to fix low pressure problems in parts of town and to make sure there is enough water to fight fires in the part of town south of Rte. 9. Water consumption in Southborough is increasing faster than population due in part to over sized homes with large yards, swimming pools, and multiple large appliances that use water, town officials say.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Selectmen chairman too busy to run again

Posted February 23, 2007 12:13 PM


Southborough's selectmen chairman will not seek re-election.

Roger Challen announced yesterday that he needs to spend more time with his small high-tech business.

So far only Dan Bradley(cq), a former member of the Northborough-Southborough Regional District School Committee and a friend of Challen’s, has taken out papers for the seat.

Bradley, a 56-year-old insurance agent, has been involved in the Algonquin Regional High School building project since its inception and founded the local Save Algonquin Now group.

The deadline to file papers for the May 14 election is March 23. Candidates must have the signatures of 44 registered town voters.

Looking back on his three-term, Challen cited conserving 133 acres at Chestnut Hill Farm as one of the achievements that most pleased him.

- Carolyn Kessel Stewart

Andrew Sheridan, 20

Posted January 14, 2007 11:12 AM


Andrew Sheridan was never one to bring attention to himself. Frequently the 20-year-old Southborough native would find a way to help his friends and teammates to excel by taking a supporting role. The Hamilton College sophomore died Monday after having a seizure during a soccer game in Northborough.

"He led us in assists," said Benjamin Lee, speaking of the intramural soccer team on which he and Mr. Sheridan played. Lee is the outgoing president of the Alpha-Iota chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, to which Mr. Sheridan also belonged. "He was so much better than everyone else playing that he assisted instead of outright scoring himself."

Soccer was one of the activities that Mr. Sheridan was most often associated with. He captained the soccer team at the private St. Mark's School in Southborough. He was stricken Monday while playing at Teamworks Northboro, an indoor facility, and died at UMass-Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, the Globe reports today.

Southborough crash injures five

Posted January 6, 2007 09:21 AM


Five people, including a 7-month-old infant, were injured in a four-car collision in Soutborough around 6 p.m. that shut down part of Route 30 for about an hour.

All of the victims were taken to UMass Memorial Marlborough Hospital or UMass Medical Center in Worcester. One of the victims was in serious condition, and the others were in stable condition, police said.

The accident was part of a string of crashes yesterday in which two people were killed and at least nine were injured.

-- Michael Naughton

Jay Engel, 74

Posted December 16, 2006 09:24 AM


Jay Engel, a teacher at St. Mark's in Southborough who persuaded famous writers and musicians to visit the school and took students on trips to Boston and New York City for opera and theater, died Nov. 11 in his Framingham home of myelodysplastic syndrome. He was 74.

With a voice and presence that often listed toward the Shakespearean, "he was one of those people who, when he entered a room, you absolutely knew it," John Warren, head of school at St. Mark's and a former student of Mr. Engel's, told the Globe in an obituary today. "It was a booming voice with lots of inflection. At 8 o'clock in the morning, there was no way you were going to stay sleepy."

-- Bryan Marquard

Former Southborough official sentenced in online sex sting

Posted December 5, 2006 11:59 AM


Former Southborough selectman William Christensen will not have to serve jail time for his conviction on charges of soliciting sex online from a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.

But Christensen, who was arrested in an on-line sting operation in Massachusetts, still faces charges resulting from a similar operation in Rhode Island.

Plymouth Superior Court Judge Joseph M. Walker III sentenced Christensen to two and a half years in the Plymouth County House of Correction but suspended the sentence and assigned Christensen five years of probation on the condition that he register as a sex offender, stay away from minors, and off the Internet.

He also must continue counseling, pay a $2,500 fine, and accept random monitoring of his home computer use.

Prosecutors had pushed for a three-to-five-year sentence.

"We thought this sort of crime warranted jail time," said Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz. "The judge disagreed with us."

The 59-year-old retired software engineer was caught up in the Internet sting in May when he began chatting with and sending sexually graphic photos to an apparent 13-year-old girl in a Yahoo chat room. The girl was a female Plymouth Country deputy sheriff.

Christensen still faces charges in Rhode Island for allegedly arranging a rendezvous on-line with another undercover detective during the same week. Christensen was arrested in East Providence, where he allegedly planned to meet someone he thought to be a 15-year-old girl.

Christensen, a married father of two grown sons, was arrested shortly after being voted off the Board of Selectmen, on which he had served for 12 years. He has been free on $5,000 bail since May.

-- Carolyn Kessel Stewart

Days of wine and orchids in Southborough

Posted December 5, 2006 07:08 AM


Despite the hype over the recently-defeated Question 1, food stores have always been able to apply for liquor licenses. In Southborough, that means wine and beer should be for sale by January at a gourmet shop that has opened at the old Capasso Farms site on Framingham Road.

The Board of Selectmen voted last week to grant a retail package store wine and malt license to Amerish Foods LLC, which opened The Country Gourmet earlier this month, Selectmen Chairman Roger Challen said.

Robert Ciccarelli and Pauline Bownes-Ciccarelli of Natick are leasing the property from John and Elizabeth Sherry, who closed their roadside stand in June after almost 30 years in business. The new store offers organic products, homemade pies, prepared foods and has an extensive greenhouse with cacti and orchids, Bownes-Ciccarelli said.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

The ups and downs of taxes, Southborough edition

Posted November 22, 2006 04:45 PM


Taxes on the average single family home in Southborough are likely to jump more than $400 next year if the state approves new figures prepared by the assessor’s office.

Preliminary figures on the fiscal 2007 tax rate were shared with the Board of Selectmen Tuesday night, but will not be officially accepted until the board’s Dec. 5 meeting, Selectmen Chairman Roger Challen said.

Annual taxes on the average single family home in Southborough are expected to rise $406 from $6,883 to $7,289, a 5.9 percent increase, Challen said. That number reflects a raise in the tax rate from $12.36 per $1,000 of value to $12.58 and an increase in the value of the average single family home in the town from $556,900 to $579,400.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

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

E-mergency info

Posted October 31, 2006 09:51 AM


Most everone in Southborough knows that when the horn at the fire station sounds, there is an emergency and that they can check out their local cable television access station for updates.

Well, now town officials want resident to know they will soon be able check the web too for emergency alerts and emergency planning information via the revamped Southborough Fire Department web site.

The site also includes information on how to prepare for emergencies like blizzards, floods and power outages as well as emergency evacuation plans and important contact numbers, Fire Chief John Mauro said.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Affordable house lottery in Southborough

Posted October 21, 2006 10:02 AM


The first single family home built as affordable housing by the town of Southborough will be sold next month in a lottery that will be explained in a public meeting Monday night.

The home at 26 Gilmore Road has been under construction since August by Brendon Homes, a Southborough developer who agreed to build the home as part of getting approval from the Planning Board for a subdivision, Town Planner Vera Kolias said.

The house is being built on town land with $93,376 from the Community Preservation Act account and $100,000 from Brendon Homes. The 1,628 square foot home, which will sell for $177,500, includes 1.5 bathrooms, a two-car garage and walk out basement.

Preference will be given to current and former Southborough residents, the adult child or sibling of a resident, graduates of Southborough public schools, those who have worked in town for six months and employees of either the town, school department or Algonquin Regional High School.

Applications and income guidelines will be available at the 7 p.m. meeting in the town offices, but can also be accessed by going to or The deadline is midnight Nov. 8 and the lottery is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Nov. 15.

- Jennifer Rosinski

A search for lost souls

Posted October 8, 2006 09:51 AM

Russell Kempton of New England Geophysical uses a ground penetrating radar devise to search for unmarked graves as Russell Horne of the Southborough Historical Society marks the site with a stake. (Photo: Bill Polo/Globe Staff)


``I've got one," Russell Kempton said, after running a lawnmower-like contraption over a five-foot stretch of grassy earth.

``Oh, good," answered Russell Horne as he hustled over with a fistful of foot-long metal stakes. Horne, a Marlborough resident whose family helped found Southborough, knelt down and jabbed one into the ground. With a few whacks of a hammer, the metal disappeared underneath the grass until only the pink plastic ribbon tied around the spike head was visible.

The pair repeated those motions 124 times in four hours on one recent morning, each time marking another long forgotten body.

So far, 321 unmarked graves have been discovered in Southborough's Old Burial Ground, Globe Correspondent Jennifer Rosinksi reports today. Kempton, a geologist with New England Geophysical of Mendon, was awarded $3,000 by the Historical Commission in July to use his ground-penetrating radar to search for unmarked graves in the three-acre cemetery, located on Common Street behind the library.

Read more about the high-tech search for long-lost graves in today's Globe West section.

Soccer mecca hits roadblock

Posted September 17, 2006 10:00 AM


A plan has been sidelined to build a massive indoor and outdoor soccer facility in Southborough and Marlborough.

The Southborough Zoning Board denied Fore Kicks Inc.’s application for two exemptions from the town’s zoning laws last Thursday, building inspector Peter Johnson said.

The company, which operates a similar complex in Norfolk, needed town approval to build in an area zoned residential and to install 10 90-foot light poles, 70 feet higher than allowed by law.

Fore Kicks has since withdrawn the application it submitted to the Planning Board, which also had to approve the project, which called for the construction of four outdoor regulation-sized soccer fields with artificial turf on 30 acres off Rte. 85 that once served as an equestrian facility.

The Marlborough side of the project off Mill Street would include an indoor soccer facility with 274 parking spaces. The Planning Board in Marlborough has to approve that project.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

Teen drinking crackdown

Posted September 14, 2006 08:42 AM


Southborough police have a message for teenagers planning to hold a drinking party: We're going to crash it, and no one will leave without our say-so.

As the one-year anniversary nears of an alcohol-related crash that killed two teenage sisters from Southborough, local police are implementing a policy setting out strict rules for officers who encounter underage drinking.

``There is concept out there that this is small infraction, that it should be overlooked, `It's just some kids drinking beer; what's the problem?' " Police Chief William Webber said, citing excuses he has heard from parents. His response: ``It results in death."

Read more of this story in today's Globe West.

AIDS Vaccine

Posted July 19, 2006 07:20 PM


The Gates Foundation announced today it is investing a total of $287 million in the search for an AIDS vaccine, including $18 million for a Boston researcher, Dr. Norman Letvin of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Globe's breaking news blog reports today.

But some other scientists, including Ronald Desrosiers, a pioneering AIDS researcher affiliated with Harvard University who runs the New England Regional Primate Research Center in Southborough, Mass. have their doubts about whether it's possible to find such a vaccine, Newhouse News Service reports.

About globe west updates Welcome to Globe West Updates, the news blog of the Globe West regional section of The Boston Globe. Check in with us often to see updated items about Boston's western suburbs from our staff reporters and correspondents. Give us your reaction to our stories in the print editions or on the blog by using the form below. Get involved — with Globe West!