At approximately 12:50 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, the Mutual Bank branch on Liberty Street in Hanson was robbed. The scene is still active and under investigation by the Hanson police. The Express will provide more details as they become available.
Traffic forces W-H building use change due to dangerous traffic flow problem, exacerbated by a lot of illegal parking during events held at WHRHS
On Saturday, Nov. 14, the School Committee voted 8-0-1 on Nov. 18 to amend the district’s building use policy.
Member Robert O’Brien, a lieutenant on the Hanson Fire Department, abstained and member Alexandra Taylor was absent.
The change requires that renters of the facilities for events involving more than 300 participants must pay to provide a police detail “in order to ensure the safety and security” of those participants.
“People were parked up and down [both sides] of the driveway, should a fire truck have to get in here it would require bashing through cars,” said Committee member Fred Small, who sits on the Facilities and Capital Improvements Subcommittee. “They just wouldn’t be able to fit.”
School Committee Chairman Robert Hayes, who was on the grounds during the day Nov. 14, said the problem has cropped up before.
While it says “No Parking” on one side of the driveway pavement, people just park over it, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources/Safety and Security Patrick Dillon said. Hayes added that it is also assumed the posted traffic signs pertain only to school hours. Cars also illegally park on the fire road.
A Hanson school roof project was also a topic of concern.
The Indian Head and Maquan Priority Repair Committee is persuing the penalty clause of the Indian Head roof project over missed deadlines.
The project, originally contracted for completion at about Aug. 21 is now, after several delays, scheduled to conclude Monday, Nov. 30. The most recent missed deadline was Nov. 22, which hinged on the company working Veterans Day. A nor’easter, however, cost two days’ work that week, according to Hayes.
“It’s dragging out way too long and it’s got to be completed,” Hayes said.
School Committee member Kevin Lynam asked about the repair committee’s satisfaction with the work.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from what I’ve heard for the last three months and suddenly people are angry about the time it’s taking,” Lynam noted.
Hayes said the timing is beginning to affect everything.
“Are we dissatisfied with the work? No, but we’re dissatisfied with the [time] it’s been taking,” he said.
Today the Hanson Highway Department reported that a water main broke on Holmes Street. Traffic was delayed and some residents experienced interruption in their water supply. There are some reports that water has been returned to the residents local to Holmes Street.
Just in case you need reasons to advertise in the Express Holiday Gift guide, I will give you some. Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner, and we all know how hectic that season gets. A 2008 holiday stress poll by the APA showed that more than eight out of 10 Americans anticipate stress during the holiday season.
It is my job as the Express Media Editor to help you local business do what you do best – sell your wares. That’s is why we have developed a way to put you in front of local customers in a way that won’t break the bank.
3 Reasons to Advertise in the the Express Holiday Gift Guide
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- Exposure. I almost listed this as the first reason to advertise in the gift guide, but I changed my mind. I thought you needed to now about the affordability factor. But this is actually my favorite reason why you should advertise in the Express Holiday Gift Guide. We have almost doubled our Facebook fanbase in the last six months. Our posts receive an average of 1,000 views. We also have a print audience of approximately 3,000 readers. Plus our websites are visited an average of 79 times per day. This brings you to your potential customers in a multi-platform approach.
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I am so proud to be able to offer you this cost-efficient, effective vehicle of bringing you sales this holiday season! It’s sure to be a feature we will repeat for years to come.
Our Express Holiday Gift Guide prints December 3rd and 4th in both the Whitman-Hanson Express and the Plympton-Halifax Express, debuts online December 5th. *Book your space today! After November 15th, the price jumps to $45.
Read more about dealing with holiday stress here at the American Psychological Association.
The Whitman Public Library will be closed for repairs to the building on Tuesday, Sept. 8 and Wednesday, Sept. 9. The Library staff apologizes for the inconvenience and thanks the public for its understanding as work is done to repair the damage to the building caused by last winter’s extreme weather.
Due to the nature of the repairs the library may be closed for additional days through Saturday, Sept. 12. Please call the main library number 781-447-7613 or check the website for updated information about closures.
During the closure, staff will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist patrons over the phone and via email. Patrons may also use library services in Abington during our brief closure.
Vote for your favorite art! Sponsored by Annie’s Clean Critters. We asked about your summer… and you responded!
We received all kinds of gorgeous artwork, including poems and photos.
(You can vote for up to three entries.)
(Click on a picture to view at a larger size.)
NOTE: If you are unable to click on a checkbox, hit your browser’s refresh button.
By Dave Palana
When the Massachusetts legislature returns from its August recess, state Rep. Geoff Diehl, R-Whitman, will be adding a new goal to his agenda — a seat in a new chamber on Beacon Hill.
Diehl has drawn papers to enter the race for state senate, joining state Rep. Michael Brady, D-Brockton, Republican Scott Hall and Democrat Joseph Lynch on the Oct. 6 special primary election ballot to fill the seat left open when Sen. Thomas Kennedy died in June.
Diehl was the fifth person to announce candidacy for the senate seat, but Republican Viola Ryerson announced July 23 that she is dropping out of the race and supporting Diehl.
Ryerson, a former Hanover Selectman chairman who ran for the seat against Kennedy, said on her campaign Facebook page that Diehl is the strongest Republican candidate for the seat.
“He has the necessary exposure and funding to represent the Republican Party in this effort,” Ryerson said in her message announcing her resignation.
Hall still remains on the ballot as a Republican alternative to Diehl in the Oct. 6 primary with Lynch and Brady vying to represent the Democrats.
Brady joined the house the year before Diehl, who was quick to mention that Brady did not support his bid on the house floor to introduce a ballot question to block taxpayer funding for the now-defunct Boston Olympics bid.
“I introduced a plan to provide taxpayer protection from Olympic overrun on the floor of the house and did not get any support from the other side of the aisle,” Diehl said.
A five-year veteran state representative, Diehl said trying to switch houses was a difficult decision, but said the senate will offer him a larger platform to fight for local issues.
“Before I ran for representative, I was the Whitman Finance Committee’s liaison to the School Committee and I watched the state cut local aid and education funding and I didn’t feel like the current rep was doing enough to fight it,” he said. “Since I’ve been in the house, my decisions have reflected the mentality of fighting to keep more money at the household and local level. [Running for senate] just provides me with a better opportunity to continue that type of work.”
Diehl announced his candidacy Thursday at a kickoff rally at the Shaw’s Plaza in Brockton, where fellow state representatives and 300 supporters joined him. Following his kickoff, he has spent most of his first week on the campaign trail going door to door meeting voters as he tries to mobilize supporters quickly with the primary less than two months away.
“The biggest challenge is that this is a short election, so I need to make people aware of who I am and my candidacy,” he said. “This is going to come down to how quickly we can reach as many people as possible.”
While Diehl is well known in Whitman and East Bridgewater through his work as representative, the largest population of voters in the senate district reside in Brockton, which is home to the three other candidates. However Diehl said his work for Brockton business Sign Design allowed him to make connections with Brockton’s small business owners and also said he has found that many in the city already knew him from his battle on Beacon Hill to fight the gas tax, which was repealed by a ballot question Diehl introduced in the House.
“It’s been really great,” he said. “A lot of people recognized me from [radio interviews on] WRKO and WATD. They not only knew my name but also the work I did on Question 1.”
Whitman Selectmen Chairman Dr. Carl Kowalski worried that Diehl will have a hard time cracking Brockton against three residents of the city, but praised the former Whitman Finance Committee member’s work as the town’s state representative and wished him well in his senate run.
“I think Geoff has been a good rep — keeps the board informed, willing to go to bat for things that he sees as important to the town,” Kowalski, a Democrat, said of Diehl. “I don’t know how easy it’s going to be for him coming from outside of Brockton … but I wish him luck.”
How Do You Keep Cool in Summer?
Sponsored by www.anniescleancritters.com.
We know summer is hot…
but what we don’t know is how you, our readers, beat the heat!
Share some of your summer fun!
Simply download the activity forms below, fill them out and return it to us. Your response might be featured in our newspaper and online! Submissions from all ages & all adjacent towns accepted!
Three Activities to Choose From!
ACTIVITY 1: Coloring Page Theme: What do you do to keep cool?
ACTIVITY 2: Beat-the Heat poem. Theme: Summer fun (Word limit: 45)
ACTIVITY 3: Pet Photos! Theme: How do your pet keep cool? Send in a summer picture of your pet!
Download forms here.
All entries will appear either online or in our newspapers August 13th and 14th!
Send your submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
or mail to:
1000 Main Street • P.O. Box 60
Hanson, MA 02341
Things you should know:
Only a limited number of submissions will appear in print (due to space limitations), but all entries will appear on our websites. The Express Newspapers reserves the right not to publish any submissions it deems inappropriate. Limit of four entries per household. All submissions become the property of the Express Newspapers and WILL NOT BE RETURNED. IF YOU WANT TO KEEP THE ORIGINAL FOR YOUR PERSONAL USE, PLEASE SEND US A COPY!
By Abram Neal
Some health officials across Massachusetts are bracing for a particularly bad season for tick-borne disease this summer due to increasing deer populations and the effects of recent severe winter weather.
There are more than 95,000 deer statewide, according to the Mass. Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Densities range from about 10-15 deer per square mile in northwestern Massachusetts to more than 80 deer per square mile in areas of eastern Massachusetts closed to hunting.
Last winter added to the problem.
“The deep snow likely served as an insulator, much to everyone’s chagrin,” Thomas N. Mather, director of the University of Rhode Island’s Center for Vector-Borne Disease and its TickEncounter Resource Center (tickencounter.org) said in published reports last month.
Other experts see a supposition being voiced base on the biology of the tick, but urge people to take precautions just the same.
“I don’t care what people are saying about tick numbers, it’s absolutely critical that people be vigilant,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Catherine Brown. “There are infected ticks, and lots of them, every single year.”
While the state Department of Public Health (DPH) does not keep count of tick populations, reported cases of Lyme disease number at least 4,000 per year in Massachusetts, according to Brown, who added that represents “a big under-reporting.”
“We don’t actually know that there was a tick explosion because we don’t do any tick surveillance data,” Brown said Tuesday. “In Massachusetts we know that we have large populations of ticks every year and that a certain percentage of them are going to be infected with Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis or Babesiosis.”
Mosquitoes often get the most attention this time of year because of the higher incidences of arboviruses such as West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) carried by the vectors. As of Wednesday, however, there have been no positive test samples for either EEE or West Nile across the state.
“The information on the populations of mosquitoes are that most of them are running average, so there’s nothing that’s really standing out one way or the other,” Brown said. “We had a dry fall and also a dry spring.”
But with recent heavy rainfall, Brown cautioned, we are not out of the woods yet, where mosquitoes are concerned.
“Mosquitoes like moisture, obviously,” she said. “I think we’re just at the time where we’re going to start to see development of more significant mosquito population. We’re right at the beginning of mosquito season.”
Mosquitoes are also more easily managed than ticks, but tick-borne diseases are equally damaging to human health.
Deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease — as well as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, and Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (HGA) — are prevalent during this time of year.
The highest incidence of Lyme is seen in June, July, and August with the most affected age groups are youngsters ages 5 to 9, and older adults between 65 and 75. Data from the Mass. DPH and the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention, shows Bristol and Plymouth Counties, along with Cape Cod and the Islands have the highest incidence rates in the State.
At dawn and dusk, ticks of all varieties sit on the end of branches or blades of grass and extend their front legs to latch onto hosts, medical entymologist Wayne Andrews told those attending a public information forum on tick and mosquito-borne diseases held at Hanson Middle School in 2013. June is the highest-risk time as both nymph and adult ticks are questing for a host at that period in their two-year life cycle.
“I don’t care where I go now, I will get a deer tick on me,” he said. “The morning is the most dangerous time … it’s nice and humid, nice and wet and they will get on you.”
Ticks thrive in brush, wooded, or grassy places and they are after blood, on which they feast after biting an animal or human — that, too, is how they spread disease.
Knowing the wildlife attractive to ticks, and how to keep them out of your yard can also help.
“Ticks are brought to your yard by deer and become infected mainly by feeding on mice,” according to tickencounter.org. “Keep deer out by planting undesirable plants, installing deer fencing or applying deer repellents.
“Mice like to live in stonewalls, around sheds, woodpiles or any enclosed area they can get into. Clean up brush, keep stonewalls clear of leaves, move woodpiles away from daily activity,” the site suggests. “Birdfeeders also attract deer and rodents that may drop ticks off right where you are standing.”
Cathleen Drinan, health agent for both Plympton and Halifax, emphasizes personal protection and education to combat tick-borne diseases. In our region, 58 cases of Lyme disease and two of HGA were discovered in Halifax alone last year.
The culprits aren’t always deer ticks, either, according to Drinan; dog ticks and wood ticks can also cause disease.
The Commonwealth, after a special report was commissioned in 2013 by the General Court, is taking both short and long-term approaches to this public health menace, hoping to return tick-bite rates back to those of 30-50 years ago in the next 25 years.
Vaccination, environmental modes of intervention, deer management, and education on personal protection, are some of the goals set forward in the report.
Ticks usually need to be attached to their host for 24-hours for Lyme disease to develop. Symptoms in humans typically include a round rash for up to a month after the bite, characterized by a clear area in the center, yet this rash does not always develop. Vague flu-like symptoms are also present in the early stages of the disease. Even if symptoms lessen without treatment, the disease may not have cleared completely, so early treatment with antibiotics is necessary to prevent more serious problems from developing months or even years later. These include serious joint, nervous system, and heart problems that can be permanent. Meningitis, an often deadly swelling of the membrane covering the brain, can even develop.
Patients with a “classic” donut-shaped rash are easy to diagnose, but otherwise most of the infected will need a blood test to confirm the Lyme Disease diagnosis.
The best ways to protect yourself from tick bites are to avoid areas where ticks live. If this is not possible, wearing long sleeves and tucking pants into socks are essential. Spraying shoes and legs with insect repellents (make sure they are effective against ticks by reading labels carefully), checking for ticks frequently, and removing ticks quickly with tweezers without squeezing or twisting are all good prevention measures, according to the DPH.
“It is very important for people to educate themselves on the seriousness of this and to use all the personal protection measures they can,” according to Drinan. For more information, visit mass.gov/eohhs. Contact a doctor or nurse if you think you are ill sooner rather than later. All local boards of health have information on ticks, tick-borne diseases, and disease prevention methods.
(Express editor Tracy F. Seelye contributed to this report.)