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Crosstown Currents

Dudley Selectman Fox — two decades of service

By Rod Lee

In deciding not to run for re-election this year, Dudley Selectman Peter Fox can look back on two decades of service to an adopted hometown for which he has deep affection.

Dudley residents are no doubt familiar with Mr. Fox’s contributions as a member of a board that he considers to be an “excellent” steward of the municipality’s well-being (“we don’t always agree, but we respect one another,” he says).

Giving disadvantaged youth the right Connections

By Rod Lee

With offices in Acton, Grafton, Harvard, Newton Centre (at the Jewish Community Center), now Oxford (on Millbury Boulevard, as of January), Pepperell and Wellesley, the “Connections PT Team” could have said “we’re doing our part” just by its extensive work helping patients rehabilitate their bodies from ailments and injuries.

At 22 years, Booklovers’ Gourmet has much to celebrate

By Rod Lee

It is a Wednesday in late February with a touch of spring in the air. Debra Horan is talking about the milestone she has reached with twenty-two years in business as owner of Booklovers’ Gourmet on East Main St. in Webster.

  A celebration to mark Booklovers’ Gourmet’s latest anniversary and to thank the public for its ongoing support will take place all day Saturday, March 4th with special discounts, giveaways and raffles from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There will of course be birthday cake as well.

New CrossFit gym in Hopedale ʽlifts’ members’ lives

By Rod Lee

One might say that the CrossFit Final Duel “box” on Rosenfeld Drive in Hopedale is where the rubber meets the road.

Rubber weights crashing with a resounding thud onto rubber mats near the end of a WOD (“workout of the day”) run by Owner Donna Lombard would be music to the ears of CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman, were he to pay a visit and see about a dozen of his disciples taking part in the hour-long program—a high-intensity combination of strength and conditioning, aerobics, calisthenics and Olympic weightlifting.

Bluegrass Jam helps Willow Brook hit the right notes

By Rod Lee

The “Bluegrass Jam” for which Willow Brook Restaurant on Hastings St. (Rt. 16) in Mendon is justly celebrated began to happen within a year or so of the establishment’s opening in November of 2009 and is still going as strong as a Bill Monroe or Hank Williams tune that lingers on the ears.

But don’t think for a minute that there is anything one-dimensional about the Hackenson family’s Tuesday-through-Sunday operation (the restaurant is closed on Mondays).

A new year, a fresh look for bankHometown

By Rod Lee

Few individuals, few entities are turning the leaf on a new year quite as excitedly as Webster-based bankHometown, formerly Hometown Bank.

A fixture in South County for well over a century, bankHometown is roaring into 2017 with what President/CEO Michael D. Hewitt describes as “a new, fresh and modern logo and brand.” The revamp, assuring that bankHometown’s future will be “brighter than ever,” resulted from a “strategic partnership” formed through the merger of the holding companies of Hometown Bank and Easthampton Savings Bank in September of 2015.

Trendzʽingʼ in the right direction for 2017

By Rod Lee

It is hard to imagine 2017 starting much better than it has, business-wise, for Tracy DeRienzo of Trendz Consignment Boutique on Providence Road in Northbridge.

There is her second-place showing to New To You in Holden for “Best Clothing” and “Best Consignment” in the T&G’s annual contest; this, coupled with a first as “Best Consignment Boutique” in the recent Readers Choice Awards.

“It’s an honor even to be a finalist” in those kind of customer-appreciation competitions, Ms. DeRienzo said.