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Feature Articles

Screw-machine company runs like a fine Swiss watch

By Rod Lee

It was almost a given that Kenneth Mandile would gravitate toward his father’s machine shop after graduation from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and maybe even that he would buy the company when John Mandile retired in 1997.

Ken Mandile had, after all, been working in the screw-machine industry from the age of ten. “I grew up in the busine... Read More

Webster volunteers for town committees are impressive

By Janet Stoica

Doug Willardson, Webster’s new Town Administrator, is very enthusiastic and energized when speaking about his new town’s government.  Much of his enthusiasm comes from wanting to see Webster’s development continue to improve, especially the downtown area.

Have you ever heard of a parklet?  Well, get out your e-device and Google it!  A parklet looks fresh and interesting -  it’s a temporary sidewalk e... Read More

The mystery stones of Burnt Hill

By Thomas D’Agostino

As we try to trace the ancestry of our European forefathers, we always find more data that other races may have been here first. It appears that Burnt Hill in Heath is a living archeological testament to this theory set in stone. Or, shall I say, set up in stone.

Twenty-one stones sit carefully notched into the bedrock on top of the 1,855-foot rise. The stones weigh three to five hundred pounds... Read More

Millbury Savings Bank pledges $25,000 to Fuel Fund for 2017

MILLBURY, MASSACHUSETTS, January 17, 2017For this winter’s home heating season, Millbury Savings Bank has contributed another $25,000 to its Community Energy Assistance Program, a fund the bank established in 2005 to help low-income residents pay their home energy costs. This brings the bank’s total contributions to the program to $305,000.

“Our energy assistance program has been critical to helping local... Read More

Grafton Job Corps could open doors for young women in Blackstone Valley

by Christine Galeone

Did you know that the Grafton Job Corps is not only a member of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, but it also partners with other local employers to provide them with qualified employees who have completed its program?

Colleen Lanza, director of the GJC center, indicated that Chamber support and enthusiasm for its programs have been immense. She said that Chamber president and CEO Jeann... Read More

High Altitude jump rope team perseveres for success

By  Amy Palumbo-LeClaire

Last September (2016) Alexandra and Lauren Materia may have been at the end of their ropes after their coach resigned, but they refused to give up jumping as a team.  Now the jump ropers have a new name, coach, matching sneakers, and a general manager who’s behind them every step of the way.

“The girls have brought such power to the team,” said General Manager Stephen Materia, father of the... Read More

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 ho... Read More

A national park—now a local historic district?

By Rod Lee

Downtown Whitinsville merchants working hard to breathe new life into Church St. are surely going to welcome the news that a move is afoot to create a “local historic district” to be integrated into the Blackstone Valley’s recently earned status as a national park.

While the “boundaries” for such a district as defined by bylaws now being formulated by a five-person committee headed by Kenneth M. Warchol a... Read More

Ray Belsito Jr. shifts Arnie’s Auto Body into high gear

By  Amy Palumbo-LeClaire

Ray Belsito Jr. knew he wanted to be involved with cars “in some way, shape, or form” at an early age.  The second generation auto mechanic who still recalls mixing bondo at his father’s shop in Webster (Ray’s Auto Restoration) may have taken a few career turns, but when it comes to reaching that goal, his hands have remained steady at the wheel. 

“My grandfather is seventy-six and still doe... Read More

Improv Asylum to headline WDO Chamber meeting

By Barbara Van Reed

Members of Boston’s comedy theater Improv Asylum will bring their unique presentation style to the Webster Dudley Oxford Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting in a keynote feature called “Train your Head to Think on its Feet.”

The group will show how the tools and techniques of improv can lead to better teambuilding and a more effective workplace.

The Chamber’s annual meeting will be held fro... Read More