Back to school

$100m bet for high schools in seven Boston suburbs

Inside the new Methuen High School

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe staff

The average cost of the seven new or renovated schools opening in the suburbs at the start of this academic year is $100 million.

Students at Little People’s Child Care in Medford have a hands-on lesson in luaus.

Back to School

Road to kindergarten more than child’s play

When it comes to socializing pre-schoolers, atmosphere is key, friendship is crucial, and manners are a must.

Matt Malone

Q&A with Matt Malone, the state secretary of education

Malone has visited 270 of the state’s elementary and secondary schools and nearly all of the higher education campuses.

Writer Peter H. Reynolds tells students his hobbies are thinking and dreaming.

Beverly Beckham

Finding inspiration from ‘The Dot’

I had no idea that the author and illustrator of “The Dot,” Peter H. Reynolds, is also co-owner of Blue Bunny Books and Toys.

Back to school

Workshop tackles sports hazing head-on

A small group of high school administrators, athletic directors, and coaches got a crash course on high school hazing and how to prevent it.

Amazon.com seeks tax break from Stoughton

Stoughton voters will be asked at a special Town Meeting Sept. 8 to approve tax breaks for the online retail giant.

The lobster roll and onion rings are the real deal at Marvels’ Lunch Box, a two-year-old spot on Nantasket Avenue in Hull.

Dining Out

Superb seafood at Marvel’s Lunch Box in Hull

Our table couldn’t stop raving about the crab roll, the lobster roll, the fried clams, the fish and chips -- even the onion rings.

New high school athletic directors south of Boston

As high schools get set to kick off another fall season of sports, there are a few new faces heading athletic departments in the area.

Gumbo and Nick shortly before he departed for the Peace Corps.

Bella English

The kids are grown and gone, and the dog misses them, too

With both of them gone, the dog has been wandering from one room to the other, in search of answers.

Cartoon Caption Contest

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/08/20/BostonGlobe.com/Regional/Images/new%20development.jpg Un-development

Send us your submissions for this week’s cartoon, and see the winning caption and finalists from last week’s contest.

Beverly Beckham

Writer Peter H. Reynolds tells students his hobbies are thinking and dreaming.

Beverly Beckham

Finding inspiration from ‘The Dot’

I had no idea that the author and illustrator of “The Dot,” Peter H. Reynolds, is also co-owner of Blue Bunny Books and Toys.

Interactive Graphic

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2013/06/11/BostonGlobe.com/Regional/Images/2013-03-21T021641Z_01_PXP452_RTRMDNP_3_BOXING-BRAIN.jpg High school concussions

See the number of concussions reported by area high schools with a sortable table.

Globe South Briefs

Walpole

New name for ice rink

The Iorio Arena is now officially the Rodman Arena, with signs having gone up on the private ice rink earlier this month. The new name is the only change at the busy rink, which has been owned by former manager Rob Barletta since February of 2013, according to current general manager Cathy Harrop. She said Rodman Ford in Foxborough bought the naming rights to the Walpole landmark, but the operation will remain the same. Walpole High School boys’ and girls’ hockey teams use the rink, as do high school teams from Medfield and Easton, and Walpole Express’s junior hockey players. The rink was built originally as a practice space for the US Women’s Olympic hockey team in the mid-1990s.

Wareham

Weigh in on Wareham Village parking

A public meeting to discuss the parking in Wareham Village will be held Sept. 29 at 5 p.m. at the Town Hall auditorium at 54 Marion Road. Representatives of Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, which has been hired by the town, will talk about ways to improve parking in the village center, and the public is welcome to weigh in with opinions and suggestions. The Wareham Community and Economic Development Authority is also asking people to fill out this online parking survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/warehamvillage. There are 10 questions, including “How long did/does it take you to find a spot?” and “In the last three months, have you ever failed to find parking and just left?” Parking has become a hot topic in Wareham lately, as many residents aren’t happy with the new parking permit system that was recently implemented in Onset; some have even claimed it’s illegal. Currently parking is free in Wareham Village, according to Salvador Pina, director of the Wareham Community and Economic Development Authority, and he expects a good turnout at the Sept. 29 meeting. “Oh yeah. Given the controversial stuff going on in Onset, I’m sure we’ll see lots of people,” said Pina.

Whitman

Kennel owner donates pet oxygen masks to fire department

With as many as 10 Labrador retrievers at the specialty kennel in their home at any time, Whitman fire Lieutenant Tim Clancy and his wife, Danielle, say their recent gift of four pet oxygen kits to the town’s Fire Department just made sense. “I read an article about the kits in a dog magazine and I thought, ‘This is an awesome idea!’ ” said Danielle. “Who better to donate these masks to the Fire Department than us?” The couple donated the four kits, which cost $75 each, to the department through a donation to the Emma Zen Foundation, emmazenfoundation.com . Fire officials will receive training in how to use the kits, which include three sizes of masks that fit over the jowls of animals and can connect with an oxygen source or a ventilation bag. The kits will be stored on first-response vehicles starting in September for use on animals suffering from smoke inhalation, she said. They can be used to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation without the mouth-to-snout contact, Danielle said. As well as having four Labrador retrievers of their own, the Clancys take in up to six additional Labradors at a time at Wildrose Kennels of New England, the kennel they operate out of their home and converted garage. The specialty kennel trains dogs for Wildrose Kennels of Mississippi for use in hunting birds or game and to accompany their owners on adventure situations such as kayaking or boating. Danielle, who also volunteers to train diabetic-alert dogs, said she is currently doing basic obedience training with an 18-week-old puppy named Rory, which includes getting him used to being in crowds.

Mansfield

Town installs new phone system

A new, unified telephone system was installed and put into operation this month with little disruption and at a cost of about $100,000 less than anticipated, according to Town Manager William R. Ross. The new system replaces a variety of systems that served the town government and schools and ties into the town’s fiber optic network, Ross said in an interview. Town Meeting approved $387,000 for the new system and the final cost of the one installed by Carousel Industries expected to be about $280,00 to $290,000. Ross said all offices now have central messaging, a central directory, and most calls between school and town offices now require callers to dial only four digits. For outgoing calls to 911, the new system will identify the origin of the call down to the extension, which “will show the school and the room number if a teacher dials 911,” he said. The new system does not replace the town’s incoming 911 call service and the town was unable to tie in a few town government offices, including the animal shelter and the waste-water treatment plant, which is situated in Norton, Ross said. “This is a much better system,” he said. “We’ve already invested in the fiber optic network. We’ll save some money for the taxpayers over time.”