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Recent Articles

Seasonal schedule for Southwick’s Zoo and the Purple Peacock Gift Shop

The zoo’s main grounds may be closed for the winter, but the Purple Peacock Gift Shop will remain open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Purple Peacock offers a variety of unique and distinctive gifts including home décor, jewelry, clothing, fair trade items, plush, and more.

The Skyfari Sky Ride will also be available on weekends in November, weather permitting, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Skyfari ride passes over the Afric... Read More

A different kind of donation drive

If you are like most people, you have an accumulation of clothing and other items in your closet that you don’t use, need or want any longer.  Bay State Trail Riders Association, Inc. (BSTRA), a local 50l(c)(3) nonprofit organization, invites you to bag up those clean, gently used items and donate them.

BSTRA will turn your donation into cash which will be used to fund trail improvements to our local trail systems in state... Read More

The Friendly Ghost of Valentine Marston

By Thomas D'Agostino

A family vacationing at Hampton beach were out walking one morning when they saw a little boy who looked about 12 years old standing in front of an old house smiling. The boy appeared to be glowing brighter than the surrounding area he was standing in. The daughter of the family became frightened over the appearance of the handsome smiling... Read More

CMS Chamber ʽmovesʼ with changing times

CMS Chamber ʽmovesʼ with changing times

By Rod Lee

At first glance a decision by the Central Mass South Chamber of Commerce to vacate its longtime tourist-friendly “Information Center” home on Rt. 20 for a more technology-driven office on Hall Road—also in Sturbridge—would appear to be a counterproductive.

Not so, says CMS South Chamber Executive Director Alexandra McNitt. The move, effective this week, is si... Read More

Brendan Daley, a story of survival and acceptance

By Amy Palumbo-LeClaire

Brendan Daley, a forty-six year old twin, has been through a lot.   Born on October 5, 1970, with a nameless facial disfiguration (Crouzon Disease was speculated upon though never confirmed) that led to over forty surgeries, more than a few stares, and the immense support of family and friends, Brendan has learned to cope, in part, by not taking himself too seriously.

“I like to joke around. ... Read More

CW3 Michelle Ramsey - A Woman in Uniform, A Soldier of Honor

By  Amy Palumbo-LeClaire

Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CW3) Michelle Ramsey, at the age of forty-five, has been in the military longer than she’s been out of it. Minutes before meeting her, I sat atop a high Dunkin Donuts stool in Webster and tightened my abs, as though GI Jane were about to greet me, as though I needed to prove that, despite my shabby (and too obvious) commitment to the gym—we’re somehow on equal ground. Girl... Read More

Addiction support group marks 1st anniversary

By Barbara Van Reed

Anyone with a family member or friend who’s struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism knows this: It’s a terrifying thought that the next phone call might be from an emergency responder letting you know that your loved one will never be coming home again.

Three local women, Pam, Karen, and Maureen, who’ve experienced this first hand, sought to do something to support other families going throu... Read More

Since 1985, WIB networks for women

By Rod Lee

Ironic, isn’t it, that with the nation on the verge of possibly electing its first woman president, women in a workplace that continues to be dominated by men are still fighting for their rights?

Especially when it comes to equal pay.

Empowering women was the reason now-retired insurance broker Judith A. Jaeger founded Sturbridge-based Woman In Business Inc. (WIB) in 1985 and it is the cause that r... Read More

Commercial Lender Todd Donohoe of bankHometown

By  Amy Palumbo-LeClaire

On September 28 of this year, Todd Donohoe celebrated his one-year anniversary as Commercial Lender for Bank Hometown, Auburn. As far as the new job goes, the banker with a college background in Business and Japanese Studies is candid about what “gets him up every day” to come to work:  Helping people. With ten years of management experience (Rental Enterprise, Bank of America, Santander Bank) Dono... Read More

Webster Dudley Business Alliance marks 10 years

By Barbara Van Reed

The Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA) celebrated its 10-year anniversary last week at its annual meeting, held at Point Breeze Restaurant in Webster. The WDBA was founded in October of 2006 to promote the benefits of doing business locally, and currently has more than 50 members.

The group’s president Deb Horan, owner of Booklovers’ Gourmet, recounted some of the lasting contributions the a... Read More