Briefs

Recent headlines from Globe South.

Brockton

Parade planning underway

Volunteers are needed to help the city plan its 28th annual Greater Brockton Holiday Parade, to be held Nov. 29 at 1 p.m. Planning meetings began Sept. 16 and will continue until Nov. 25. Meetings are scheduled for Tuesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. at Joe Angelo’s Café, 11 Crescent St. Help is needed in the areas of marketing, parade route planning, food court, and floats. City officials hope to build attendance and participation in anticipation of the 125th anniversary next year of James Edgar’s decision to become a department store Santa, which began an American tradition. Edgar, who owned a Brockton department store, decided to become “Santa” in 1890 to entertain children, city officials say. Contact parade chairman John Merian at 508-612-2688 for more information about volunteering.

Mansfield

First six fire captains appointed

With the appointment of the department’s first six captains recently, Fire Chief Neal Boldrighini said a major reorganization of his department that has been in the work for decades took a giant step forward. “It’s needed movement forward” in light of the growing complexities of fire service and emergency response needs, Boldrighini said. The six captains, who were formerly lieutenants with the department, will be in charged with making major decisions at the scene for the department, which receives roughly 3,000 emergency runs out of 6,000 calls for service each year out of its two stations. He said he also expects within a year to name new lieutenants from among the department’s 36 firefighters. Those sworn in as captains are: William Burgess, Richard Fiske, Marc Goyette, Robert Merritt, Donald Tebeau, and John Terry .

Easton

Pumpkin masterpieces wanted

The South Shore Great Pumpkin Challenge is on, and looking for great pumpkin artists. Giant pumpkins will be placed on Depot Street and Route 123 in Easton Wednesday and will be displayed until Oct. 9. Volunteers will be needed to craft them into works of art. The goal is 50 giant pumpkins. Decorating starts Thursday and finishes Saturday morning. If interested in participating, e-mail SSGreatPumpkinChallenge@gmail.com for information.

East Bridgewater

Two finalists for superintendent

The School Committee Monday named two finalists for the position of superintendent of schools. The committee will make site visits to the Blackstone-Millville School District to see Paul Haughey, director of student services, and to Smithfield, R.I., where the other finalist is Craig Levis, director of special education. The two finalists will also visit East Bridgewater before the committee makes its final selection by Oct. 7, on a day yet to be determined. The committee also voted unanimously to seek funding from a Special Town Meeting yet to be scheduled for two additional buses to ease problems that have plagued the district for the first few weeks of school. School Committee chairman George McCabe said problems have been caused by the decision to cut three buses to help balance this year’s budget. The committee will be seeking $140,000 to add two more buses. “Otherwise, we’ll have situations where kids continue to spend too much time on buses both going to school and coming home,” he said. McCabe said problems have been exacerbated by the fact that the town has very few sidewalks, which can make situating safe bus stops problematic. “We’ve worked with the town’s safety officer to change some stops, but other changes will have to wait until we have more buses.”

Braintree

Town hosts Aging Master Program

The town has been selected as a pilot site for the Aging Mastery Program, a free, 12-week program designed to educate and encourage health and lifestyle improvements for adults ages 55 and older. The program, a collaboration between the National Councils on Aging and the Massachusetts Councils on Aging, will touch upon physical activity, healthy eating, and medication management among other topics. An introductory session was held on Monday at the Department of Elder Affairs, 71 Cleveland Ave. Subsequent sessions will be held on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. at the same location. While the program is at capacity, interested parties are still encouraged to register their name and phone number with the Department of Elder Affairs. For more information, call 781-848-1963.

Kingston

Adams Center holds program on Jones River archeology

The Adams Center Trustees and the Kingston Cultural Council will host a program on what archeology can tell us about the lives of native peoples in the Jones River area before the coming of European settlers. Vocational archeologist Sheila Lynch Benttinen will speak on “The People before the Pilgrims: the Jones River Area” at the Adams Center, a former library restored as a community center, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. Her topic includes early migrations into the Northeast, ancient sites in the Kingston area, “the Great Sickness,” the Pilgrims’ arrival, pictures of artifacts from local collections, and “the Wampanoags Today.” Interest in archeological research into Native American culture has surged locally following the discovery of intact archeological remains of a native community on the town-owned Hall Property and the question of how much of the site can be preserved for historical and cultural reasons. The program is free.

Weymouth

Town gets cash for health

The town is getting $110,000 over the next three fiscal years to help combat obesity and promote healthy habits. The money is part of more than $1 million awarded by the state Department of Pubic Health to 22 programs in Massachusetts. “These grants enable cities and towns to make healthy eating and active living easier for people to achieve,” DPH Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett said in a press release. “The grantees are working to make the healthy choice the easy choice by ensuring the availability of healthy affordable foods and promoting opportunities for physical activity.” Weymouth has received similar grants in the past, using the money to help start a local farmers market, encouraging students to walk to school, and working with local restaurants to offer healthy, affordable menu choices, according to Valerie Sullivan, the town’s Wellness Coordinator.

Hingham

Residents invited to tour new middle school

Residents are invited to tour the newly completed $60 million middle school Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., officials said. Attendees can take informal tours with staff and student ambassadors, and School Committee and School Building Committee representatives will also be on hand to answer questions. The school building itself is complete, but crews are still working on the fields and site construction, according to a town announcement. The school, which the town voted to approve two years ago, will cost the town about $36 million after state funding, officials previously said. For more, visit www.hingham-ma.gov.

Abington

Four firefighters to be hired

The town will soon be hiring four new firefighter/paramedics after receiving a $541,000 federal grant. Fire Chief John Nuttall said he will be looking to staff a second ambulance, which will help to pay for the firefighters beyond the two years of funding provided by the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant. He said he plans to have six employees on a shift at all times, instead of the current five. He said the department averages 3,400 calls a year, a heavy volume for the current 22 members of the department. He said he hopes to have the new employees hired by December. They will likely attend the nine-week fire academy next summer, Nuttall said.

Scituate

Fire chief retires

Fire Chief Richard Judge retired last week, with his last day of work Thursday 36 years to the day since he started at the department back in 1978. Judge, 60, had been chief for seven years and spent his entire firefighting career in Scituate. “I always said you know when it’s time to leave, and it’s time,” said.Judge, adding that he’s going to Aruba for a two-week vacation and will then figure out what to do next. “I will continue to work,” he said. “My wife is a very successful realtor and I figured I’d get my real estate license and help her out. Or I may go back to building houses.” Judge said that Deputy Fire Chief John Murphy is being considered for the job, which will be filled by the town administrator.

Rockland

Local team to compete at BBQ event

A Rockland team is headed to Lynchburg, Tenn., next month to take part in the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue. The six-member Team Que and a Half Men will be representing Massachusetts in the prestigious barbecue competition, set for Oct. 25-26. Teams from across the US and around the world will vie in the categories of pork ribs, pork shoulder, beef brisket, and chicken, as well as sauces and desserts. The team earned the right to represent Massachusetts by winning a state-sanctioned championship event in Harvard a year ago. The team, consisting of Bill Minihan, Julie Minihan, Brian Martin, Sue Martin, Maura Martin, and Rico Pasquale, takes part in about 25 competitions around the country each year. All are Rockland residents, except Pasquale, who is from Raynham. “Being selected to compete in such a prestigious event is a big honor,” Bill Minihan, the team’s pitmaster, said in a statement. “We have worked very hard to get to this level, and we are all very excited to put our recipes up against the best in the world.”

Quincy

Home takings proceed for $12M N.Quincy High expansion

The city’s process of purchasing eight homes on Hunt Street and one on Newbury Avenue for the expansion of the North Quincy High School campus and flood mitigation is going well, but engineers have drafted an alternate plan in the event the city fails to take all the properties, said City Solicitor James Timmins. So far, the city has purchased four of the properties and has three others under agreement, Timmins said. Officials have been in contact with the owners of the remaining two properties at 30-32 and 42-44 Hunt St., who are being represented by lawyers, Timmins said. After the $12 million project was authorized in June, city officials began negotiations with the homeowners to purchase their homes, as opposed to pursuing the more aggressive option of eminent domain takings. Those under agreement must be out of their homes by the end of October, Timmins said. The duplex on 42-44 Hunt St. is being held up by an estate matter that could be straightened out soon, he said. The alternate project draft indicates that if officials cannot reach an agreement with the owners of 30-32 Hunt St., a proposed parking lot would still be viable and built around the perimeter of that home, Timmins said. The proposed project includes a new 157-spot parking lot, renovations to Teel Field and construction of two flood water-retention ponds.

Randolph

Progress continues, but town below state levels on MCAS

The town’s public schools got to take part in a little celebrating and a recommitment to the long hard work of improving the district as MCAS scores were released recently showing that, while the district overall remains below the state average, it did meet many of the improvement goals set by the state. “There are some great things taking place and we are thankful for the substantial growth,” said School Superintendent Thomas Anderson. He said it is unlikely that the district will move out of the state’s underperforming category this year. However, Randolph High School moved from a Level 3 school up to a Level 2 and that was “a major accomplishment” for all those involved, he said in an interview. Additionally the Young and Lyons elementary schools both showed significant gains in English and math. Anderson said the state-mandated Accelerated Improvement Plan, which was put into place four years ago and has been tweaked every year, has grown into a strong foundation for the district. “The real mission here is to keep our students moving along. The only way to do that is in the classrooms. It’s not all about the test. It’s about the teaching and learning process,” Anderson said. “It’s hard and we really need to recognize the effort.” Full MCAS results are available at BostonGlobe.com’s Sept. 19 edition.

Pembroke

Ban on e-cigarettes takes effect

The Board of Health is advising the public that as of this Tuesday it will be illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to anyone under 18 in Pembroke. The ban was part of an overhaul of the town’s tobacco regulations adopted by the board Aug. 25, according to Lisa Cullity, the town’s health agent. She said that Pembroke joins more than 60 other Massachusetts communities that have prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes to minors due to concerns that the nicotine delivery products can be addictive and lead to use of other drugs. As with Pembroke’s other tobacco rules, anyone violating the ban could face a fine of up to $500. Cullity said, however, that the board, following its general policy, would likely provide for first-time offenders to receive a warning, imposing the fine only for second and subsequent offenses.

Norwell

Session coming on proposed trash program

The board of health is reaching out to the town’s seniors to provide additional information about the pay-as-you-throw curbside trash collection program being considered for Norwell. “A lot of seniors are all worked up because they think it’s going to cost them more money,” said Health Agent Brian Flynn. “It’s really not going to cost that much for seniors. It will cost more for larger families who will be generating the most trash.” With trash fees through the town’s current provider, Southeastern Massachusetts Resource Recovery Facility, expected to double next year, town officials are eyeing a pay-as-you-throw program. Flynn said that in addition to saving money, moving away from a flat-rate, taxpayer-funded trash removal program will encourage recycling and reduce the amount of trash that is thrown away. No date has been set, but the board of health — along with a representative from the state Department of Environmental Protection — will give a presentation, and answer questions, at the Norwell Senior Center/Council on Aging in the next few weeks.

Milton

Friends of Blue Hills to mark 35th anniversary

The Friends of the Blue Hills will mark their 35th anniversary at a fund-raiser celebration Oct. 9 at Fuller Village, organizers said. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, a beer tasting by Blue Hills Brewery, silent auction, a raffle for a dinner for six at the top of the Blue Hills Observatory catered by Steel & Rye, and awards for community partners. Joseph Bagley, archeologist for the city of Boston, will serve as the keynote speaker. Tickets for the event cost $35 through Friday, or $40 at the door. For more, visit friendsofthebluehills.org/celebrate35.

Hull

Landlady agrees to stop short-term rentals

Landlady Rochelle K. Greene will pay the town $3,500 in fines and stop renting two houses on Massasoit Avenue for periods of less than 30 days, in exchange for the town dropping its lawsuit against her and agreeing not to impose higher fines, according to town attorney James Lampke. The town took Greene and her Sand and Sea Rentals company to court in July, claiming the short-term rentals violated the town’s bylaw prohibiting rentals of less than 30 days. Two other homeowners have challenged the town’s interpretation of the bylaw in a case pending before the state’s Land Court. If those homeowners prevail, Greene can ask that her case be reopened by the Housing Court judge who signed the settlement agreement earlier this month, Lampke said.

Holbrook

School district rating rises

The Holbrook school district rose to Level 2 from Level 3 in the state’s five-level rating system when 2014 MCAS results were released Sept. 19. Superintendent Patricia Lally issued a written statement in which she hailed the change as an “unprecedented accomplishment” and said the district will continue working toward Level 1 status. She credited re-assignment of personnel, changes to programming, and the presence of a new curriculum director and reading coordinator, along with other changes, with contributing to the improvement, and she acknowledged the “unfailing efforts” of the entire school community. Based on scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests, districts and individual schools are assigned a level, 1 through 5, in which 5 represents state takeover of a chronically underperforming school. A district’s rating can be no higher than its lowest school. Sixty-one percent of districts are rated Level 2, and 19 percent are rated Level 1, according to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Hanover

Substance abuse forum Tuesday

Residents are invited to a public forum on substance abuse this Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the high school, 287 Cedar St. The event, free and open to all, is being organized by state Representative Rhonda Nyman, a Hanover Democrat. It will feature an expert panel consisting of Cheryl Bartlett, commissioner of the state Department of Public Health; state Representative Elizabeth Malia, a Jamaica Plain Democrat who is House chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse; and Joanne Peterson, founder and executive director of the Learn to Cope Foundation. The intent of the forum is to raise awareness about substance abuse, in particular the recent rise in opiate abuse, and to discuss resources and strategies to deal with the problem. For more information, call Francis DiBona at 617-722-2210.

Freetown

Fall Special Town Meeting date set

Accepting an easement so improvements can be made to an intersection near a large commercial recycling facility that is opening on Campanelli Drive and using solar power to help reduce Freetown’s electric bill are two of the items that will be on the Fall Special Town Meeting warrant Oct. 27. Selectmen last week scheduled the meeting for 7 p.m. at the Freetown Elementary School. Republic Services Environmental Solutions is obtaining an easement from an abutting neighbor so it can widen the intersection of South Main Street and Ridge Hill Road and install sidewalks, said Town Administrator Jack Healey. He said that the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee are reviewing another article that would allow the town to enter into an agreement with Borrego Solar Systems to purchase power at a reduced rate. “We still have to work out details, but this could save 17 percent on the cost of the town’s electric bill,” Healey said.

Duxbury

Police get new contract

Selectmen approved a contract earlier this month that gives the police a 5 percent raise over four years, including a 2 percent hike in the final year. The contract runs from July 2013 through June 2016, according to the agreement. The contract also allows for educational incentive pay — 10 percent for officers who hold an associate’s degree as of July 1, 2011, 18 percent for a bachelor’s degree, and 23 percent for a master’s. Those not receiving an education incentive are entitled to a 3 percent increase after 10 years of service. The contract also increased family sick leave to five days per year and allowed for patrol officers filling in for a sergeant to receive higher pay for that shift. Holiday compensatory days were reduced from 11 to 7 per year.

Cohasset

Clinics offer flu vaccine

Flu season is sneaking up and the town Board of Health is getting ready by scheduling four clinics to administer flu shots. The clinics are open to any town resident age 9 or older. Participants should bring their health insurance cards and wear short-sleeved shirts. Clinics will be held Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon, in the Town Hall auditorium; Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Cohasset Elder Affairs office, 3 North Main St.; Nov. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the Cohasset Recreation Center, 55R South Main St.; and Nov. 18 in the Paul Pratt Memorial Library meeting room, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Anyone with questions can call public health nurse Mary Goodwin at 781-383-2210. Goodwin said the town has an ample supply of flu vaccine.

Carver

Town seeks proposals to develop Route 44 interchange

The Carver Business Development Committee is seeking proposals to redevelop the state-owned Department of Transportation property at the Spring Street-Route 44 interchange. Since the opening of the new state Route 44 highway several years ago, the town has been seeking commercial expansion in the North Carver district near the highway. Working with state and regional agencies, the group is now looking for a development project that attractively incorporates an automobile service center into a design reflecting the site’s surroundings. The development committee is looking for a proposal that complements neighboring residential neighborhoods, avoids any negative impact on the town’s water resources, and enhances the area’s real estate values through a quality design. Examples of the kinds of project designs the group is seeking can be in found on its posting in the headlines section of the town’s website at www.carverma.org/carverma.

Wareham

Town Meeting warrant set

Town Meeting will be held Oct. 27, and there are 36 articles on the warrant. Among the items to be decided by voters are proposals to replace the wheelchair lift at Minot Forest Elementary School; spend up to $114,543 from the Community Preservation Fund to restore the American Legion Hall Post 220 at 777 Main St.; use $98,000 from that fund to restore the Old Methodist Meeting House at 495 Main St.; and use $70,000 from it to create an additional housing unit at Agawam Village at 57 Sandwich Road. The Community Events Committee also put forth an article to petition the Legislature to allow the Community Events Fund to receive a percentage of parking meter proceeds and excise tax revenues every year. The full warrant can be viewed online at www.wareham.ma.us. Town Meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the Wareham High School auditorium at 7 Viking Drive.

Whitman

Cell tower passes balloon test

The Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously voted to allow the construction of an AT&T cellphone tower near Bedford Street after a trial balloon floated to the height of the 150-foot pole apparently put neighbors at ease that it would not be visible from nearby streets, said board chairman John J. Goldrosen. “We were satisfied,” he said in an interview. Goldrosen said the board also had asked the company to investigate whether it could use an existing pole on the police station, but that option was found inadequate to make the desired improvement in cellphone service. The board action granted a needed variance and other permissions, but the project still faces Conservation Commission review, said Goldrosen.

Walpole

Demolition party planned

Demolition started earlier this month on the old mill building at the Blackburn and Union Privileges Superfund cleanup site – a long-awaited development that selectmen applauded at their Sept. 16 meeting. In fact, officials are so pleased they’ve scheduled an “It’s Coming Down” celebration for 9 a.m. Oct. 14 at the 55 South St. location and invited the public to cheer the demolition. The mill demolition is expected to take about five months, and will be followed by intensive scrubbing of the contaminated site through 2016, according to Walpole health director Robin Chapell. The area was added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s national priority list of hazardous waste sites in 1994. Commercial and industrial use of the land dates back to the 1600s, and, between 1891 and 1915, the site was used to manufacture tires, rubber goods, and insulating materials.

Westwood

Book sale starts Thursday

The Friends of the Westwood Library will hold its October book sale beginning Thursday. In addition to books, the event will offer CDs and DVDs for sale. These sales are among the Friends’ biggest fund-raisers. All proceeds will benefit the town’s library. The sale will take place at the Main Branch of the library on High Street. The hours are 1 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, visit the Friends Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestwoodLibrary.

Sharon

Town looks to buy site near school

The town is considering buying the house and land at 175 Pond St. because it abuts Sharon High School, officials said. School Committee chairwoman Veronica Wiseman said the land could be used to increase the footprint of the school, which she said is due for a renovation soon. She said selectmen always have an eye out for properties that could benefit the schools or the town, because not much open land remains in Sharon. A number of town committees must give their approval for the potential purchase to go to Town Meeting. The School Committee has been quoted a price of $317,000 for the house, she said. Assessors’ records indicate the property is valued for tax purposes at $303,100 and includes roughly a half acre of land.

Norwood

Ice rink plans continue

Plans for a regional ice rink continue, with no date set yet for a groundbreaking. Bill Naumann, president of the Norwood Nuggets youth hockey organization, said in an interview that the town-hired architects, DiLullo Associates, are in the process of designing the rink. When the design is completed, it will be shown to the state for approval. The state late last year approved $5.66 million for a regional rink to be located in Norwood. The process has met with some unsuccessful challenges by a resident, but the town continues with plans for the indoor rink behind the Coakley Middle School. “It’s a public process; it is what it is,” said Naumann, who along with others, is anxious for the rink to be built.

Norton

Town seeks traffic upgrade

Town officials are launching a renewed effort to have traffic lights installed at the Interstate 495 and Route 123 interchange, bolstered by a recent report citing the need for signals. The town for some years has advocated for lights to improve safety at the intersection. The Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District recently conducted a traffic study that concluded traffic signals are warranted at the on and off ramps of I-495 at that location, according to Town Administrator Michael Yunits. He said the Board of Selectmen recently authorized officials to use the report as a basis for stepped-up attempts to spur the state to undertake the project.

Mattapoisett

Volunteers sought for oyster planting

With about 50,000 oysters to plant into Pine Island Pond, town natural resource officer Kevin Magowan is seeking the public’s help. The oysters were grown from seed starting in June 2013 and are now almost three inches long, the right size for release, he said in an e-mail. This is the first year the town is trying to boost oyster numbers for recreational shellfishing, and the planting will be Saturday starting at 9 a.m., with more dates to be added as needed. In addition to helping shellfishermen, the oysters’ natural filtration capabilities help keep the water clean, he said. Oyster reproductive powers also come into play, Magowan said, as “one adult female oyster can produce up to 30 million eggs per summer.” Volunteers are advised to dress for the weather and wear gloves and protective footwear. Parking is available on Island Street and nearby Angelica Avenue, he said. For more information, e-mail Magowan at kjmagowan@yahoo.com.

Marion

CVS hearing set for Oct. 6

A crowd is expected at the planning board meeting Oct. 6, when plans for a proposed CVS pharmacy at the corner of Route 6 and Front Street will be outlined by Mark Investments, a Wellesley-based development company. The board heard preliminary plans in September for the store, which at a proposed 14,619 square feet would be the largest in town, said Stephen J. Kokkins, chairman of the planning board. “Our reaction in September was this is quite large for Marion, a town where the next-largest establishment is a third of that,” Kokkins said by phone. CVS would need a myriad of special permits, including deviations from zoning and parking requirements that are required for any proposed building larger than 5,000 square feet, he said. The generic look of CVS stores is another issue he said, one that doesn’t “reflect the character of the town, a seaside community.” The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Marion Music Hall on Front Street, to accommodate what is expected to be a large number of residents attending.

Hanson

Voters to fill selectmen’s seat

The Board of Selectmen has set Dec. 13 as the date for a special election to replace Selectman David W. Soper, who announced he is resigning effective Oct. 8. Nomination papers are now available in the town clerk’s office. The last day to obtain them is Oct. 21 and to return them Oct. 25. In a letter to the town clerk announcing his resignation, Soper wrote: “My current situation, both personal and professional, does not allow me to devote the time and energy I feel necessary to properly represent the voters of Hanson.” Now in his second term, Soper has been chairman since May. Whoever is elected to replace him will finish the remainder of his term, which expires in May 2016.

Canton

Roundabout project is back on

Selectmen reinstituted a plan to move forward with a roundabout at the intersection of Pleasant Street, Bolivar Street, and Lincolnshire Drive over vocal opposition at a meeting Sept. 16. The meeting marked the sixth time selectmen had discussed the plan, which involves installing a roundabout costing approximately $250,000, according to selectmen chairman Victor Del Vecchio. Selectmen believe the rotary will slow traffic on Pleasant Street and improve safety at the intersection. Gary McNaughton of McMahon Associates Inc., the town’s consultant, said he supported the plan, even though he often advises against roundabouts, he said. The roughly 50 residents in attendance, one of whom described the plan as “cockamamie,” mostly spoke against the plan. The only exception was a Lincolnshire Drive resident who said the intersection was dangerous and should be changed. Selectmen also voted to potentially add three flashing pedestrian lights at crosswalks near the roundabout.

Bridgewater

Energy savings to top $21,000 annually

The town has completed its first round of energy-saving improvements under the state Green Communities program, and expects to save more than $21,000 a year on utilities, according to Town Manager Michael Dutton. “It was a very good return on investment. I’m quite happy with that,” he said in an interview. The town was designated a Green Community in 2011 and received a grant of $200,800. Along with $50,000 in incentives from National Grid and $40,000 in town funds, the grant paid for energy audits of eight public buildings and changes based on the audits at the police station, fire station, and library. Projects included changing lighting to energy-efficient fixtures, fixing longstanding climate-control problems at the police station, and upgrading air-conditioning, Dutton said. The town plans to apply for the next round of competitive grant funding to do additional work, he said.

Stoughton

MCAS scores lift district

Superintendent of Schools Marguerite Rizzi announced recently that for the first time in the district’s history, four of the district’s seven schools have achieved Level 1 MCAS scores, and the district as a whole has achieved Level 2 status. The state Department of Education classifies schools and districts into one of five accountability and assistance levels, with the highest performing Level 1, and the lowest Level 5. The overall district level is determined by the level of its lowest-rated school, and Stoughton had no school lower than Level 2 after the results of last spring’s tests were announced. “I am very proud to announce that the Stoughton district has risen to Level 2 from Level 3, because after three years of planning and hard work, the other schools in our district are now all Level 2, with no schools remaining in Level 3,” Rizzi said. The Gibbons, South, and Hansen elementary schools and Stoughton High are all at Level 1 status, with the West and Dawe elementary schools and the O’Donnell Middle School at Level 2. Rizzi credited the administration, teachers, and students at Gibbons for a “monumental accomplishment” for going from Level 3 to Level 1 in just one year. Rizzi said the rise in scores was “the result of constant, steadfast planning and improvement over the last five years.”

Dedham

New town manager named

Selectmen unanimously picked Swansea Town Administrator James Kern to be Dedham’s new town manager at a meeting Sept. 18. Kern was among three finalists interviewed by selectmen out of an original pool of more than 30 candidates. Kern, who holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Rhode Island is currently negotiating a contract with selectmen, which will include compensation as well as an agreed upon starting date. “Dedham is a community on the move, and I look forward to being a part of it,” Kern is quoted as saying in astatement rfeleased by the selectmen. Former town manager William Keegan took a job as town manager in Foxborough in April. Assistant town manager Nancy Baker has served as interim manager since then.

Rochester

Special Town Meeting scheduled

Voters will face nine articles at a Special Town Meeting Oct. 20, one of which seeks $20,000 for a feasibility study to find permanent space for several town departments, including building and conservation, which are now housed in the town hall annex. Other articles include one seeking $10,000 for electronic voting equipment; another to access $69,500 from the special education costs stabilization fund to defray unanticipated special education costs in fiscal year 2015; and a zoning bylaw amendment that outlines regulations for home businesses. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Rochester Memorial School on Pine Street.

Raynham

Panel to deliver recommendations

At the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, the Capital Planning Committee is set to present its recommendations on spending for capital projects this fiscal year. The committee developed the proposed spending list from its review of spending requests from individual departments for their capital needs. Selectmen will consider approving the panel’s recommendations for placement on the warrant of the fall Town Meeting that convenes Oct. 27. The town customarily takes up spending requests for capital needs — facility upgrades and purchases of vehicles and equipment — at its fall Town Meeting.

Carver

School, state officials to meet

Carver school officials are planning to meet with the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s board of directors at the board’s Oct. 6 meeting about the school department’s choice for an Owners Project Manager to oversee the construction of a new elementary school. The school department is working on selecting a manager from the bids it received to do the job, assistant superintendent Peter Gray said last week. The school building authority has agreed to help Carver pay for a new school to serve 750 elementary school students, but last month told officials that a new feasibility study would be required before further steps could be taken. The site for the new school has not been chosen.

Pembroke

Applications available for cultural grants

The Cultural Council is advising residents that it is accepting applications through Oct. 15 for the grants it will be awarding this fiscal year. The council each year receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which it disburses in grants to support cultural activities in the community. In fiscal 2015, the Pembroke council was awarded $4,770 by the state. Eligible projects include exhibits, festivals, field trips, art projects, short-term artist residencies, or performances in schools, workshops, and lectures Application forms are available at www.massculturalcouncil.org For more information, contact Linda McCollum at 781-293-6771 or lmccollum@sailsinc.org.

Lakeville

Groups sponsoring veterans walkway

The Lakeville Historical Commission and Preserve Our Local Landmarks are sponsoring a brick fund-raiser to create a veterans walkway at Town Hall, to be built next to the Veterans Honor Roll. Each brick costs $75 and can be engraved with up to three lines of text, with 16 characters per line. The fund-raiser runs through Dec. 31 with walkway construction set to begin next summer. Order forms and information can be found at www.lakevillema.org. For questions, call historical commission member Kathleen Barrack at 774-259-1320.

Kingston

Committee formed to study library options

Following up on the work of the Library Needs Assessment Committee, the town has formed a Library Building Study Committee to review information about the town’s current and future library needs and determine whether the current library building can be expanded or reconfigured, or whether a new location is needed. According to library director Sia Stewart, as of last week the new group’s members included selectwoman Sue Munford, library trustee Vanessa Verkade, library staff representative Jennifer Humfryes, and at-large members John Wheble (owner of Rocky Nook Oysters), and historical commission member John Burrey. Stewart will serve on the committee as a non-voting member. The town has received funding for a study from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the town, and the Kingston Public Library Foundation. According to the library department, it appears likely that the site of the current library can accommodate the needed additional space.

Cohasset

Board sets Oct. vote on fluoride

The Board of Health is scheduled to decide at its Oct. 14 meeting whether or not to recommend reducing the amount of fluoride added to the town’s drinking water supplied by Aquarion Water Company, according to town Health Agent Felix Zemel. Aquarion suggested lowering the fluoride level two years ago, and the towns of Hingham and Hull agreed, Zemel said. But Cohasset’s Board of Health decided to study the matter and Aquarion has held off making any changes, he said. A graduate student from Tufts University School of Medicine recently completed his research for the town and is recommending that the fluoride level remain the same until the federal government issues new standards. The government had indicated it would lower the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water, but appears to be backing away from that stand, Zemel said. Fluoride is added to the water to help combat tooth decay, but excessive amounts can discolor teeth.

Norwell

Grove Street ‘shed,’ or not?

Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines a shed as “a slight structure built for shelter or storage, especially a single-storied building with one or more sides unenclosed.” But what about a 20-foot by 8-foot metal structure that looks more like a shipping container? Norwell Building Inspector Tim FitzGerald recently issued a building permit for what he said is a shed behind the house at 31 Grove St. Neighbor Ramona Caruso disagreed with FitzGerald’s interpretation and is considering trying to get the Zoning Board of Appeals to overturn his decision. “It’s not a shed. It’s an old, rusty shipping cargo container that can be seen from the street and is an eyesore,” said Caruso, who is trying to sell her house across the street. “It devalues everyone’s property in the neighborhood.” FitzGerald said a shed is not limited to a wooden structure, and that the metal edifice does meet the building code requirements regarding size and setbacks. He said the homeowner is planning to put a fence around the structure to decrease its visibility.

Randolph

Amazing Race, Randolph-style

Those who can muster at least a mite of mental strength or a touch of physical toughness and who harbor a love for the town are invited to join The Randolph Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt Oct. 11 at noon. Teams of four will follow clues to locations around town, sometimes driving and sometimes facing physical challenges to get there. The captain of last year’s winning quartet, Town Clerk Brian P. Howard, said he plans to be back and ready to face all challengers this year armed with his “vast and broad” knowledge of the town and his teammates’ physical strength. “It was such a fun, festive atmosphere,” Howard said. “There were things I even learned about the town. You were getting an education and you didn’t know it,” said Howard. “Fortunately, my other team members are in much better physical condition that I.” The event is sponsored by the town’s Ownership and Pride Committee, several local companies, and the Randolph Historical Society. A registration fee of $25 a person covers the cost of the event, which ends with a celebration at Memorial Field. Committee member Keith Wortzman, who is also on the School Committee, said intergenerational teams and those sponsored by companies are encouraged. “We hope this will be a growing tradition. It’s a good way to become involved in the community. It’s also a great way to learn about the town.” For more information, e-mail randolphamazingrace@gmail.com.

Quincy

Enroll for school meals online

Parents can now enroll and pay for school meals online. Parents and guardians of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals can now apply for the service online. The school department has partnered with HeartlandApps.com, a state-certified site that allows parents and guardians to apply once a year for all eligible students in their households, said Laura Owens, assistant to the superintendent for communications and operations. Approval is instantaneous, eliminating the wait that can come through the usual paper application, Owens said. Students who are eligible for reduced-price meals may also enroll in the district’s electronic meal payment system through MySchoolBucks.com, which allows parents and guardians to deposit money into students’ accounts, eliminating the need for them to carry cash. Students with electronic accounts give a five-digit pin at checkout to pay for their meals. The account also allows parents and guardians to keep track of what the students are eating. Currently MySchoolBucks is not available to students at Beechwood, Bernazzani, and Lincoln-Hancock elementary schools, but department officials expect to include those schools by the end of October, Owens said.

Wareham

Schools use crowdfunding to honor local vets

When school officials came up with a plan to display 1,800 small flags in honor of Veterans Day, they turned to the crowdfunding website GoFundMe to try to raise the money. What happened next came as a surprise — they surpassed their $550 fund-raising goal in just two days. “What I didn’t expect was the huge way the Wareham community responded,” said Schools Superintendent Kimberly Shaver-Hood, in a statement on the schools website. “I am humbled and thrilled that we can honor each of our town’s veterans with a flag.” As of last week, the schools had raised more than $600 in donations.

Halifax

Blackledge to be unspoken presence in 40B Workshop Oct 22

The elephant in the room that can’t be talked about at an informational workshop in October on the state’s 40B housing law will be the proposed Blackledge Farm development that has again been raised as a possibility for a tract of land off of Franklin Street. The town will hold the workshop on how affordable housing projects that fall under the state’s 40B regulations work Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. “This is not the place to talk specifically about Blackledge,” Town Administrator Charlie Seelig said in an interview, adding that residents can ask general questions about the 40B regulations that were implemented to encourage the affordable housing development in communities in which less than 10 percent of the housing stock is considered affordable. Halifax is at about one percent, Seelig said. The workshop will feature a presentation by Ezra Haber Glenn of Public Planning, Research, & Implementation who will review the state and local steps in the process, including appeals. Bowker LLC’s latest proposal is to build 52 single-family homes, about 13 of which will be affordable units under a comprehensive site permit filed with the Massachusetts Housing Financial Authority. Seelig asks that those wishing to attend the workshop reserve a spot so enough material can be printed.

Braintree

Town to install solar array

Braintree Electric Light Department will install an array of approximately 4,000 solar panels this fall at the town’s closed landfill off Ivory Street. According to the department’s general manager Bill Bottiggi, the array will generate enough electricity to power more than 200 homes. “It’ll feed our current distribution system,” he said. “We’re always looking to increase our affordable energy portfolio.” Bottiggi and Mayor Joseph Sullivan made the project official with a formal announcement Sept. 11. The solar array, which will take up approximately seven acres of the landfill, should be completed in December, Bottiggi said.

Brockton

Playground work to start soon

Improvements to an abandoned city playground on Mulberry Street will begin soon, Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter announced last week. The facility had long fallen into disrepair. The $150,000 reconstruction, approved recently by the state, will be financed with state and federal funds. The project includes a playground, new basketball courts, fencing, and off-street parking, according to the mayor’s update on his Facebook page. Brockton was among five communities in the state to receive funds in the one-time program, which was announced in May. Braintree, Quincy, Randolph, and Weymouth also received funds. The park is located just north of downtown.

Bridgewater

School, airline team up

The aviation program at Bridgewater State University has become part of JetBlue Airways’ University Gateway Program, which provides career planning and mentoring to student pilots. The partnership, which began Aug. 29, is JetBlue’s first in the Boston area. JetBlue pilots connect with students by phone, e-mail, and occasional in-person meetings. Tamara Young, a spokeswoman for the airline, said students learn about the company’s culture in hopes that they will be a good fit as future JetBlue pilots. The partnership with the university will make use of the school’s existing relationship with regional airline Cape Air. Students will intern at Cape Air or another regional carrier, become flight instructors, fly with a regional airline for at least two years, and may ultimately interview with JetBlue. Aviation students need a 3.0 grade point average and professors’ recommendations to participate.

Avon

Voters say aye repeatedly

Voters whizzed through last week’s Special Town Meeting, approving all eight articles in less than an hour, according to Selectmen Chair Francis Hegarty. Town Meeting voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to buy a vacant corner lot on Main Street in Goere’s Square, and to clean and landscape the property – at a total cost of $65,100, he said. The meeting also approved giving high-tech machine shop Accu-Rounds a tax exemption on a sliding scale over 10 years in exchange for a guarantee the company will stay and expand in the Avon Industrial Park. The meeting agreed to transfer $60,950 from free cash to fund new Town Administrator Francis Crimmins Jr.’s $135,000 salary and to cover the vacation pay owed the previous administrator, Hegarty said.

East Bridgewater

‘Triangle’ documentary to screen

A 200-square-mile area of southeastern Massachusetts has become known for an unusually high number of reports of strange happenings, baffling mysteries, and sinister deeds. A documentary that premiered last year called “The Bridgewater Triangle” calls attention to these reported ghostly hauntings, cryptic animal sightings, UFO sightings and the like in the triangle-shaped area bordered by Abington to the north, Freetown to the southeast, and Rehoboth to the southwest. The documentary will be presented Saturday at East Bridgewater Junior-Senior High’s main auditorium with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The full 90-minute film will start at 7 p.m., with a question-and-answer session with the film’s cast and crew immediately to follow. The event is free to the school’s students, and general admission for others is $10. A portion of the night’s proceeds will benefit East Bridgewater Community Access Television. The film is also sponsored by the East Bridgewater Arts Council. The cast includes community access TV staff member Anne Kerrigan and East Bridgewater resident Mike Markowicz. For more information, go to thebridgewatertriangledocumentary.com.

Dedham

New superintendent observes classes

New Superintendent Michael Welch has pledged to hit the ground running and told School Committee members what he has been up to in the first week since school began. Welch began as superintendent July 1, replacing June Doe, who retired. On Sept. 10, in his report to the School Committee, Welch said he had visited every classroom at the Avery School with principal Clare Sullivan and participated in a discussion about teaching techniques. Welch congratulated the custodial staff, particularly for their work at the Riverdale School, where Welch said their work getting the school ready for classes was especially effective. Welch added that over the summer 60 new staff members were hired, including teachers, psychologists, and paraprofessionals who are replacing staffers who had left.

Plymouth

Golfers wanted for Habitat for Humanity tourney

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Plymouth is still registering golfers to play in its 14th annual golf tournament Oct. 4. The tournament is scheduled for a shotgun start at 8 a.m. at Southers Marsh Golf Club in Plymouth. The $115 fee is due Oct. 1, and includes a golf cart, steak and chicken buffet, prizes, and a gift bag. There will be a putting contest, a raffle, and prizes will be awarded for the winning team, longest drive, and closest to the pin. Tickets can be purchased at the Habitat office at 72 North Main St. in Carver, or online at www.hfhplymouth.org. For more information, contact 508-866-4188.

Milton

Library foundation selling gala tickets

Tickets are now available for the Milton Library Foundation’s 10th anniversary gala benefiting the library on Oct. 23, library officials announced recently. The event will be held at Lombardo’s in Randolph and will feature a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. and a dinner at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $150 each. There will also be a silent auction, with bidding to begin Oct. 15 at www.BiddingForGood.com/MLFGala. For more information on the event, visit www.miltonlibrary.org/foundation.

Canton

Officer weighs in on police militarization debate

Canton Police social media specialist Rob Quirk joined the discussion about the use of military-style weaponry by local police departments in the wake of the Ferguson, Mo. shooting. In a blog entry posted earlier this month, Quirk wrote he was not a “gun guy” and would do the job without one if he could. However, Quirk related the story of a 1997 California bank robbery in which the robbers severely outgunned police — to the point where police had to commandeer weapons from a nearby gun shop. “We must be prepared,” Quirk wrote. “If we can’t protect ourselves, we can’t protect you.” He continued: “Although the armored vehicles and AR-15s do not have a place in everyday policing, they do have a place.” To read the full entry, visit robquirk1.wordpress.com.

Westwood

Welcome, 7th graders

Xaverian Brothers High School opened the school year with an inaugural class of seventh-graders representing 40 communities, according to a post on its website. The school enrolled 111 boys this year scheduled to graduate in 2020. The program expansion began last year with construction of a 32,500square-foot addition for an academic and wellness center, including classrooms and athletic facilities. The Catholic college prep school for boys celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

West Bridgewater

Police renew texting crackdown

West Bridgewater police on Sept. 11 renewed their crackdown on distracted driving, stopping 84 drivers on Route 106 suspected of texting, viewing, or accessing the Internet while behind the wheel and issuing citations to 36 of them during a 3-hour period. Lieutenant Victor Flaherty said officers have stopped 440 vehicles and issued 265 citations during their enforcement efforts since the state passed the law against distracted driving. Flaherty said that in addition to texting, drivers cited in the latest crackdown were doing such things as checking their e-mail, updating Facebook, or tweeting. “One driver was tweeting to tell other drivers that we were down on Route 106,” Flaherty said. “We actually went on Facebook ourselves before we did this to tell people to be careful, because we were going to be out there.” The Massachusetts law enacted in 2010 makes it illegal for drivers in the state to send an electronic message or access the Internet from behind the wheel. Violators are subject to fines that begin at $100 and go to $500 for subsequent offenses. Flaherty said police decided to resume their crackdown on distracted driving after three new officers recently joined the force.

Walpole

Family run Saturday at Bird Park

In a tip of the hat to tradition, the Friends of Francis William Bird Park are holding a family trail run on Saturday at the park, with a four-mile course for adults and a half-mile one for kids. “Back in the early years of the park, Bird & Son Corporation used to host field day events for the workers and their families,” said Friends’ spokesman Brian Blaquiere. “Old pictures of these events showed families having such a good time that we thought it was about time we brought back park traditions like these.” The park, which is owned and managed by The Trustees of Reservations, was created in 1925 by the Bird family. Advance registration for the four-mile race is $25; registration the day of the event is $30. The kids’ “fun run” is $5. Registration and more race information are available by going to coolrunning.com and searching “Bird Park,” or at www.facebook.com/birdparktrailrun and clicking on the “register” link. Proceeds go to toward improvements and events at the park.

Stoughton

Parent-child program returns

The Stoughton Public Schools will be offering for the third time this fall a program that helps parents prepare their young children for success in school. The Parent-Child Home Program is aimed at children from the ages of 16 months to 2½ years old (30 months). A trained home visitor will pay calls on parents and children twice a month, beginning in October, bringing gifts of books and toys as program materials, and demonstrating ways for parents to use them for the educational benefit of their child. The program follows the educational calendar for the Stoughton Public Schools. There is no cost for eligible families. To apply, contact Maryann Dawson, Parent-Child Home Program coordinator, at 781-344-7003, ext. 7305, or via e-mail, M_Dawson@stoughtonschools.org.

Raynham

Applicants sought for housing authority

The Board of Selectmen and the Housing Authority are seeking residents interested in applying for two open seats on the authority. One of the seats is vacant due to the resignation of Michael King. The other has been vacant since the annual town election last April, when no one ran to succeed retiring member Robert Magner. Selectmen and the remaining authority members will be making joint appointments to fill the seats. Anyone who would like to apply can do so by submitting a letter of interest or a resume to the Housing Authority at its office, 75 Mill St., or the selectmen at their Town Hall office. The term will run through the next annual town election, in April 2015. Voters at that time will elect candidates to fill out the remaining two years of each of the two terms.

Norwood

Protection against 40B continues

Building permits have been issued for the 262-unit Upland Woods and a groundbreaking is tentatively set for mid-October. The issuing of the permits came just in time for the town to be able to keep its Chapter 40B “safe haven” status, which gives local officials more leeway to reject further 40B affordable housing projects. Upland Woods will be located on the former Polaroid property. The development will be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with 25 percent reserved for residents of low to moderate income.

Norton

Zoning Board has an opening

Town officials are accepting applications from residents interested in filling a vacant seat on the Zoning Board of Appeals. The position became open due to the resignation of Jason K. Brolsma. The zoning board acts on petitions for variances from town zoning rules and applications for comprehensive permits under the state’s affordable housing law, Chapter 40B. It also considers appeals of adverse zoning decisions by the building inspector. Anyone interested in applying is asked to contact the Board of Selectmen at 508-285-0210.

Mattapoisett

Council seeking grant proposals

The Mattapoisett Cultural Council this year will distribute $4,300 in grants, and is seeking proposals for community-oriented arts, humanities, and science programs. The grants support a variety of artistic projects and activities in the area, including exhibits, festivals, field trips, short-term artist residences or performances in schools, workshops, and lectures. Past grants have gone to theatrical programs at the town library and council on aging, and a performance by the SouthCoast Children’s Chorus. Applications must be received by Oct. 15. For forms and information, visit www.mass-culture.org/Mattapoisett. Forms are also available at Mattapoisett Free Public Library on Barstow Street.

Mansfield

Timeline set for school head choice

All they want for winter break is a permanent school superintendent. The School Committee has set a Dec. 18 timeline to select the permanent replacement for Brenda J. Hodges, who announced her decision to resign amid charges of plagiarism this summer. School Committee Chairman Michael A Trowbridge said an 11-member search committee has been selected and the position has been posted on various sites. “We had a lot of parents and staff volunteer to be on the committee. It’s an exciting time . . . to be part of the process, choosing the next leader of the schools,” Trowbridge said in an e-mail. According to the advertisement, the School Committee is “seeking a dynamic, motivated educational leader with a strong background in school finance, collaborative leadership style, and excellent communication skills.” He said deadline for applications is Oct. 15. The district has about 4,175 students. Interim School Superintendent Zeffo Gianetti, who will serve through June 2015, is expected to be among the applicants, Trowbridge said. Along with Trowbridge, those serving on the committee include: School Committee member Kiera O’Neil, Selectman Jess Aptowitz, and Town Manager William R. Ross.

Marion

‘John Adams’ giving free talk

John Adams, the second president of the United States, is coming to town Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Marion Music Hall, in the form of historical reenactor George Baker, a lawyer in New Canaan, Conn. The presentation, sponsored by the Sippican Historical Society, is entitled “Meet John Adams — A Witty and Revolutionary Conversation with America’s Second President,” and is free and open to the public. “We’ve offered historical interpretations before — Natalie Hemingway as Sara Delano Roosevelt and Elizabeth Taber, and Wendy Bidstrup as Cecil Clark Davis,” Sippican Historical Society executive director Kimberly A. Teves said in an e-mail. “Historical character reenactments provide a level of engagement and interaction beyond that of a basic lecture, and our audiences greatly enjoy them.” Baker has spoken at venues across the country, including three presidential libraries. For more information, call the Sippican Historical Society at 508-748-1116. For information on Baker, visit www.johnadamstoday.com/george-baker.

Hanson

State of the Town talk online

Town administrator Ron San Angelo is inviting residents who missed his recent State of the Town address to see it online. Angelo presented the talk last month on Hanson Highlights, the monthly television show he hosts on the Whitman Hanson Community Access station (Channel 6). The show can be seen by going on the YouTube website and searching for “Hanson Highlights 8-20-2014 show.” San Angelo uses the show to keep residents informed about local matters. The State of the Town address is a one-year update on major issues facing Hanson. Anyone with questions can contact San Angelo at 781-293-2131, ext. 101 or rsanangelo@hanson-ma.gov.

Foxborough

Patriots employee lots stir concern

Foxborough residents who live near two proposed parking lots for New England Patriots employees jammed into a public hearing recently and said they were concerned that the additional traffic will create a safety hazard on local roads. If approved by the town’s Planning Board, the new employee lots and traffic pattern would move employee traffic for Gillette Stadium from Route 1 to a newly connected access route near the Route 1 overpass bridge. The Kraft Group, which owns Gillette Stadium and the Patriots, is trying to remove some of its employee traffic from Route 1 to reduce traffic jams. Data provided by the Kraft Group indicates several hundred employees each hour would be diverted at peak times.The plan is to use shuttle buses to transport them to and from the parking areas. The town’s Planning Board has asked the Kraft Group to provide additional data and presentations for the public.

Easton

Sports complex hits a peak

The contractor overseeing a significant addition and renovation of the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex at Stonehill College recently celebrated a topping off ceremony, signifying the erection of girders for its highest point. The 24,000-square-foot renovation and 50,000-square-foot addition is expected to be completed in July 2015, according to the construction management company BOND, which is overseeing the work. Construction on the $15 million project began in May. When completed, the new facility will include additional recreational space for dance and group exercise, as well as expanded student locker rooms and weight training and fitness space. BOND is a 107-year-old construction management firm that specializes in projects for healthcare and academic clients.

Weymouth

Pumpkin Give-a-Wey Oct. 4

The name says it all: Pumpkins are free at the Great Pumpkin Give-a-Wey Oct. 4 at Weymouth Town Hall and Libby Field. That is, pumpkins are free to anyone who donates to a nonprofit organization represented at tables located in the Town Hall parking lot. The annual event runs from noon to 4 p.m., with a rain date of Oct. 18. Other features include horse-drawn hayrides, pony rides, music, a chili cook-off, a food court, demonstrations by the police and fire departments, the Weymouth Farmers Market, and a visit from the New England Aquarium’s traveling tidepool. Free parking is available at the Academy Avenue and Chapman schools. The event is sponsored by the mayor’s office and the town’s Community Events Committee.

Scituate

Four running for selectman’s seat

Four people are running for the open seat on the Board of Selectmen, which has been vacant since Rick Murray resigned July 28 for personal reasons. Town Clerk Kathleen A. Curran said the names on the Nov. 4 special town election ballot are Marilyn Howe, Gerard P. Kelly, Michael G. Scott, and Maura Curran — no relation to the clerk. Lincoln Heineman had pulled nomination papers, but withdrew from the race last week, the clerk said. The remaining candidates have until Oct. 2 to withdraw, she said. The term for the open position expires in May 2015.

Marshfield

Another Zoning Board member bows out

Paul Younker resigned from the Zoning Board of Appeals on Aug. 25, becoming the third person to leave the board — not all voluntarily — since June. This summer, the Board of Selectmen chose not to reappoint longtime member and chairman Michael Harrington, leading Arthur Vercollone to withdraw his name from reappointment. Younker complained in his resignation letter that after Harrington’s dismissal, the selectmen did not give board members a “heads-up” about new appointees or an opportunity to meet them before their appointment. “I can only assume from this action that a group more suitable to the thinking of the Board of Selectmen has been put in place,” he wrote. Selectman John Hall has previously said the zoning board was not sufficiently business-friendly. Only two members, Joseph Kelleher and Kevin McMahon, remain from prior to Harrington’s departure. Recent appointees are members Lynne Fidler and Mark Ford, and associate members Heidi Conway and Francis Hubbard.

Hull

Sidewalk and streetscape work underway

Construction of new sidewalks and installation of new curbing and historic-style street lights should be finished on the ocean side of Nantasket Avenue near Nantasket Beach by the beginning of October as the town’s Surfside redevelopment project gears up, according to town Community Development Director Donald Fultz. “And then they’ll start on the bay side,” he said. Work will stop over the winter and resume in the spring for some landscaping details and a final coat of paving on the road, he said. The state is supplying most of the money for the $2.2 million project, which is designed to revitalize the Nantasket Beach business area, Fultz said.

Holbrook

Crime tip line opens

An anonymous tip line to report illegal activity of a non-emergency nature has opened in Holbrook. Acting Chief of Police William Smith said in an interview that the primary goal of the line is to accept tips about drugs in order to help stem what he called the heroin crisis. “I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “Any help we can get.” He said the Holbrook Board of Health started the tip line in August with donated funds. The number, 781-767-COPS, goes to an answering machine in the detectives’ office. Emergency calls should still go to 911.

Hanover

Two more chances on hazardous waste

In a series of hazardous waste collection days being held by the member towns of the South Shore Recycling Cooperative, there are two more opportunities to unload such materials. Hanover, Norwell, and Rockland are teaming to hold a collection Oct. 4 at the Hanover transfer station, 118 Rockland St. (Route 139). On Oct. 25, Weymouth is hosting a collection at its public works facility at 120 Winter St. Both events are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The collections are free and open to residents of all member towns, which also include Cohasset, Duxbury, Hingham, Kingston, and Scituate. Residents who would like to drop off items at collection days organized by other member towns must obtain a signed authorization form from their town’s responsible department — the Department of Public Works or the Board of Health. Otherwise, they can attend but must pay a fee. For more information, call the cooperative at 781-329-8318, or go to ssrcoop.info and click on “Hazardous Waste.”

Duxbury

Selectmen honor police

Selectmen honored two police officers and swore in a firefighter paramedic at their Monday meeting. Sergeant Dennis Symmonds was recognized for his 40 years of service to the town, first as a firefighter, then as a police officer. His accomplishments include founding the town’s DARE education program in 1990 and serving as a motorcycle unit officer and a regional crisis negotiator. Also recognized was special police officer Edward A. Delvecchio, who is retiring after seven years with the department. And being sworn in this week was firefighter paramedic Keith Nette, a former fulltime safety dispatcher, who was hired this summer.

Abington

Rail trail to be dedicated

Dedication of the Abington portion of the Hanover Branch Rail Trail is set Sunday. Assistant Town Manager Dori Jamieson said in an interview that the extension of the rail trail through Abington will give walkers and bikers more opportunities by connecting with Rockland rail trails. She said the 1,700-foot stretch was in need of extensive clearing, which was done at no cost to the town by Iron Horse Preservation Society, a not-for-profit educational and historical organization founded for the preservation and rehabilitation of railroad heritage. The ceremony is expected to begin at 2 p.m. and includes local and state representatives and the Abington Town Choir.

Rochester

Police issuing free gun locks

The Rochester Police Department is giving away free gun locks to residents, said Police Chief Paul H. Magee, available for pick up at the station any time. The cable-style locks were donated to the department by Project Child Safe, Magee said in an e-mail, a nationwide program created by the National Shooting Sports Foundation that promotes safe gunhandling and gun storage practices. “Safely storing firearms is the duty of every responsible gun owner,” Magee said. “The use of gun locks can prevent tragedy and help to ensure use only by an authorized user.”