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Recent Articles

Banks brighten the season for beneficiaries

By Rod Lee

Without a doubt there is symbolism in the names chosen for banks. “Commerce” suggests prowess in the marketplace. “Unibank” brings to mind inclusiveness. “Webster Five Cents Savings” conjures up the thought of pennies and nickels accruing substantial value, over time, when deposited in a secure place. “Southbridge Savings” and “Savers,” same thing.
“Hometown,” as in Hometown Bank, drives home the message of... Read More

Harrington HealthCare System earns 2015 Top Hospital Distinction

SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. – December 8, 2015 – For the third year in a row, The Leapfrog Group has selected Harrington HealthCare System as one of the nation’s Top Hospitals for patient care. This recognition is awarded to hospitals for demonstrating excellence in hospital safety and quality as measured through the respected Leapfrog Hospital Survey.  This year, Harrington was one of 62 hospitals nationwide, one of only five hospitals i... Read More

‘Tis the season for trees

By Magda Dakin

Nothing says holidays quite like bringing the outdoors in, with fresh cut trees and wreaths.  The remembered holiday smells of childhood range from Grandma’s cookies and pies and fresh logs in the fireplace to the pungent scent of fresh cut evergreens decked over every available surface.  At the center of all those memory making events is the family Christmas tree, or as some prefer to call it, the non... Read More

Chris Bilodeau brings magic to Blackstone Corridor 2016 Calendar

by Christine Galeone

When Douglas photographer Chris Bilodeau was a child in the 1970s and 1980s, his parents had a darkroom. For them, it was a place to develop their black and white film. But for their son, it was a place of inspiration. Mr. Bilodeau recalled “I remember sitting in that little room with the red light and smell of chemicals. It was magical to see plain paper turn into memories.” 

Recently, Mr. Bilo... Read More

Alternatives, families, friends, and then some

By Rod Lee

Meet Sammy Ariel of Whitinsville, a twenty-two year-old singer, dancer and actor. A “triple threat,” as his father, Keith Ariel (who is accustomed to the stage himself), puts it.

Sammy was even an extra in the Vince Vaughn film “Unfinished Business.” Although his scene, shot in Framingham, did not make the final cut, Sammy has lived his dream since the fifth grade with appearances in such plays as “Peter... Read More

Award-winning lecture series comes to Whitinsville

The award-winning January Series of Calvin College is coming to Whitinsville. From Jan. 6 through Jan. 26, 2016, Fairlawn Christian Reformed Church will be one of 48 remote webcast locations worldwide to broadcast one of the nation’s leading lecture and cultural arts series.

The 2016 edition features a solid lineup of speakers including David Brooks, one of America’s most prominent political commentators and OpEd... Read More

What next for Church Street--

By Rod Lee

How much of the more than $14 billion in sales generated nationally by the American Express-driven Small Business Saturday was garnered by merchants here in the southern Blackstone Valley towns of Douglas, Mendon, Northbridge and Uxbridge on November 28th --or throughout the course of the Black Friday-to-Cyber Monday weekend—would be hard to tell.

For the approximately two dozen businesses that took part... Read More

Mama Dolce’s Café reopening postponed

By Ginger Costen

It seems the old Murphy’s Law adage - whatever can go wrong, will go wrong - is alive and well in Webster,- especially for the new owner of Mama Dolce’s Café.  

Darlene Mwangi explained that the grand opening originally planned for December 7 had to be postponed until the bank could fix the technical issues with the computerized sales system.  She hoped that all would go well by the next weekend so... Read More

Agency's new name to reinvigorate regional marketing efforts

WORCESTERTroy Siebels, President of the Hanover Theatre for Performing Arts, announced today that the region’s travel and tourism bureau will be called Discover Central Massachusetts.  The agency, which received the state’s designation as a regional tourism council in July, will serve 35 cities and towns from Worcester to South Worcester County and Blackstone Valley, extending west to Warren and the Brookfields and east... Read More

Empire Travel can take you anywhere you want to go

WDO Chamber Profile by Janet Stoica

DUDLEY – Who knew that when Mary Anne Fontaine began a high school part-time job 27 years ago next-door to Empire Travel in Webster she’d one day be the owner of that travel agency?

Mary Anne began working at Chet’s Smoke Shop in downtown Webster while she was a high-schooler.  “I learned the best customer service skills from Karen (Zmetra) Glenn who worked at her family’s smoke s... Read More