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The Winchendon Courier

This is the new version of the Winchendon Courier,

the print publication was in place for 140 years

but as technology has changed so have we. Welcome.


Ruth DeAmicis

As the managing editor of the print Winchendon Courier for 18 years, the newspaper was the heart of the town in so many ways; when the decision to end the print version was made, it just couldn't end. There are advantages to daily uploads, and we welcome your input.



Courtesy photos


At top, Dr. Sheila Harrity, superintendent director with Trixie, students Matteo Larralde from Westminster and Jessica Higbee from Winchendon and Dr. Kayla Sample, the new veterinary medical director with Rocko.


Below: Dr. Kayla Sample and Jessica Higbee give Rocko a bit of an exam in the new “digs.”


Monday sees opening of new veterinary clinic at Monty Tech

FITCHBURG — After more than six years of planning, two years of construction, and $2.5 million raised in donations, grants, and in-kind services, the Monty Tech Veterinary Clinic will open its doors Monday, Sept. 16.  

“This project has been a very special one for the Monty Tech community,” said Sheila Harrity, Superintendent-Director of Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School. “The leadership team had a vision and the talented instructors and students across our trades turned that vision into a beautiful 7,500 sq. ft., state-of-the-art reality.”

Monty Tech is home to 21 vocational technical programs, with the newest addition being veterinary science. Students trained in the new facility receive classroom and lab instruction in a variety of related topics, ranging from fundamentals of animal science to comparative animal anatomy and physiology. In the students’ Junior year, they transition from the classroom to the clinic floor, where they will work side-by-side with veterinarians and technicians to provide care to dogs and cats. To ensure students are trained in the latest industry standards, school officials have partnered with VCA, who provided the veterinary medical director, at no cost to the school. Dr. Kayla Sample, whose impressive resume includes a small animal community internship at the Tufts at Tech Community Veterinary Clinic in Worcester, understands the value of community medicine and has enjoyed working with the next generation of veterinary professionals.  

“Working with high school and college students has been a pleasure. While exams and procedures may take longer to complete in a teaching clinic, having the time and resources to train the veterinary workforce will benefit the profession in the long run,” stated Dr. Sample. “VCA understands the need to have a well-trained workforce, and has invested in the Monty Tech Clinic, as a means to ensure their clinics and hospitals will have a skilled workforce in the coming years.”  

Monty Tech veterinary science students will be involved in all aspects of veterinary care provided at the clinic. Greeting customers, taking histories, and observing exams and procedures, the students will be provided with valuable hands-on learning opportunities that can only be achieved in a clinic or hospital setting. The Monty Tech Clinic, like similar teaching clinics across the state, was designed to serve a specific pet population. Small animals, specifically dogs and cats, from families with limited resources, living in the Monty Tech district will receive subsidized veterinary care.  

“Providing families with accessible veterinary care options for preventative and primary care is imperative, and our clinic aims to reduce financialbarriers that may prevent animals from receiving the care they need,” said Sample. 

“Wehave developed this program in collaboration with a number of area veterinary professionals, and are excited to partner with them as a resource for qualifying clients who may benefit from services at our clinic,” stated Harrity. 

To be eligible for services at the Monty Tech Veterinary Clinic, the owner of the pet must present a valid EBT card and a matching ID, and live within one of the 18 cities and towns comprising the Monty Tech District.  

The Monty Tech District includes the following cities and towns: Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Barre, Fitchburg, Gardner, Harvard, Holden, Hubbardston, Lunenburg, Petersham, Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston, Sterling, Templeton, Westminster, and Winchendon.

“While providing a valuable service to our community and educating the veterinary caregivers of tomorrow, is certainly our goal,” said Sample, “developing passionate advocates for veterinary care and community medicine, is the ultimate win for our profession, and an effort I am so incredibly proud and humbled to lead.”

For questions regarding eligibility, or to schedule an appointment, please call (978) 516-0888.

Livvy and Chuck Tarleton of Sunset View Farm will be part of the program on Thursday.



‘The Biggest Little Farm’ discusses agricultural life


The Beals Memorial Library, 50 Pleasant St., will kick off its DOC & TALK, documentary film and discussion series, with a screening of The Biggest Little Farmon Thursday, Sept. 19 at 6:00 pm. A discussion of farm life and land conservation with special guests Livvy and Chuck Tarleton of Sunset View Farm in Winchendon will follow the film.

The documentary follows a couple through their successes and failures as they work to develop a sustainable farm on 200 acres outside of Los Angeles. Over the years, the desolate land they purchased is transformed into a thriving farm. 

Film critic Sandie Angulo Chen says, “this powerful, deeply personal documentary is both a memoir and an exploration of the Chesters' quest to make their dream of living on a fully sustainable farm come true.”

Call the library at 978-297-0300 for more information.

Learn more about the littlest ‘bugs’ with the nasty reputation on Wednesday.


A Tick Talk this Wednesday at Beals



On Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 6:30 pm, the Beals Memorial Library, 50 Pleasant St., will be hosting a “Tick Talk” presented by Dr. Paul Killinger from the UMass Amherst Laboratory of Medical Zoology.

The public is too often paralyzed by fear of ticks, so a major goal of the talk will be to provide practical information on tick biology, and discuss what each person can do to prevent exposure and infection. The presentation will also cover the latest research on the different stages of tick development, their prevalence in the environment, and the distribution and spread of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne diseases.

Participants are encouraged to bring their questions and get the facts about one of the most prevalent infective agents in our midst.

Call the library at 978-297-0300 for more information.


New dean of students position making a difference


By Jerry Carton

Meet Eddaliz Stevenson. She's the first ever Dean of Students at Murdock Middle school and after just a couple official weeks on the job, she's quickly immersing herself in the school's pulse and culture.

"I'm becoming part of the community and everyone has been really welcoming," enthused Stevenson, who added she's not the kind of administrator who's going to hide in her office. 

"No one's going to get to know me and I'm not going to get to know anyone by sitting here. That's not me anyway. That 's not why I'm here," she stressed.

Stevenson has a lot on her plate. Explained principal Jess Vezina, "She's leading our PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Supports) committee assisting teachers with their behavior support systems and developing intervention strategies.”

"She's working closely with students and parents when behavioral issues arise. She's part of our instructional leadership team," said Vezina.

"I'm in classrooms," remarked Stevenson. 

"We're focusing on the students' social and emotional" well-being as well as academics,” she said.

"How can we support them? That's the bottom line," she reflected.

Stevenson, who was born in Puerto Rico, graduated from Assumption, and has degrees in English and special education, came to MMS from a much larger school (Skyview Middle); and relishes the idea of working in a place where it's easier to get to know staff and students on much more personal basis.  

"Smaller is better. You can make more of a difference," she emphasized.  

"This is what I've always wanted to do. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be in education. I was the first in my family to go to college. I'm already happy here."

She lauded Vezina.  

"Jess has all the qualities I aspire to have. I love working with her," beamed Stevenson.

The admiration is mutual. 

"She's jumped right in. She's motivated to make MMS the best it can be and we are proud to have her as part of our school family," said Vezina.


As Seth Silver deals with medical problems, the River's Edge will be open Saturday, Sunday and Monday only, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. and until further notice. 

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Opinion Page

The Winchendon Courier welcomes Letters to the Editor. Space limits us to no more than 250 words please. Email to admin@thewinchendoncourier.com.


Recalling the stories…


Once upon a time I wrote a story about an owl rescue. Really. I did. This had to be, I don't know, 13-14-15 years ago, somewhere around then. I was out in the woods that spring morning at the invitation of then Winchendon ACO and long time good friend Anne Eddy, who thought this would be a nice little human interest piece.  

Fair enough.  

The problem? I was, if I hazily recall, high as a kite (no, I hadn't driven) on allergy medicine. I rarely used the stuff, but that week everything I'm allergic to was blooming all at once as winter ended. I don't remember if I'd taken a lot of Claratin or whatever, but I was pretty much out of it according to Anne, and she was right. It was sunny and hot, the kind of day which invited lazy drowsiness anyway. I vaguely remember leaning against a tree while Anne and her team (I think there was a team) were coaxing an injured owl off its perch. There are still vignettes in my memory, fuzzy to be sure, but I can still see the owl perched on her shoulder.  

At least I think I can. 

Somehow, I pieced together a fairly coherent story a day or two later, after my head had cleared, and to this day I only partly recall being in the woods for what was very likely the first and last time in my life. Hey, Anne, this really did happen, right?

I mention this because as I gradually descend towards retirement sooner rather than later, I've been thinking about some of the offbeat stories I've written in nearly two decades. I'm not talking about this column. I mean the places I've gone and events I've covered. That's the great thing about this business - the people and the places. You never know what's out there.

Once upon a time in April, 2013, I wrote a story about Tim and Kathy Blouin as they recounted their mesmerizing story as they stood in their hotel room and watched the horror of the Marathon bombing unfold beneath them. Tim had finished the race not all that long before, and their recollections were graphic, chilling and harrowing. And unforgettable.

A few months after that in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington I compiled a bunch of reflections from a wide range of folks across various professional fields who talked about the ways they felt they were trying to make a difference in their respective communities. I thought it was important for cynics to read that, and later that year I provided a forum for people of a certain age to recount where they were on November 22, 1963. 

Once upon a time I wrote a story about a young woman's inspiring struggle with mental health. Brittany LaPointe's candor and courage seemed to be something of a catalyst for others to come forward. I know it moved a couple people to become active in the Out of the Darkness movement. That's quite the impact!

Once upon a time I sat down with Chief Dave Walsh and a number of his officers as they told the stories of what drew them to police work. I hope that series enabled readers to see these cops as more than just the uniform because they're a lot more than just that.  

On primary election day in New Hampshire in 2012, I encountered a supporter of presidential candidate Ron-father-of-Rand- Paul at the VFW Hall in Jaffrey. Because Congressman Paul was talking a lot about liberty, this guy, dressed as Uncle Sam was clanging, you guessed it, a Liberty Bell. The local cops were less than amused and kept telling him he had to move off the road. He countered with a soliloquy regarding his rights. I honestly don't remember how the incident ended. I just remember the guy saying to me, "I'm Uncle Sam and they're just local yokels." Okay. I dutifully wrote that down. 

Some of you might remember the ice storm of December, 2008. I sure do. We spent a couple nights in the Murdock gym. Back in the day I was also covering sports and joked that while I'd always wanted a cot in the "office," I didn't mean being joined by 100 others. But I got a cool story out of it listening to others tell me their stories of that weekend. You can learn a lot simply by listening.

And maybe that's the real lesson. Maybe we should all do a better job of listening? See you next time. 



Jerry Carton writes regularly for The Winchendon Courier. He has a background in both journalism and in politics; including a stint teaching journalism and one advising state level government politicos. 


Laboring under assumptions


It was Labor Day last week. The day we are supposed to pay homage to the working stiff. The ones who do the dirty work, the ones who do the jobs most people don’t want; or the jobs once thought of as the “trades.”

At one time in the annals of history, it was the working stiff who made the difference in the day to day working of the country. If the cows didn’t get milked, there weren’t dairy products available; if the metal workers and ironmongers didn’t work, there wasn’t steel or copper or aluminum available for manufacturing. It was just that simple. 

It got gradually and gradually more complicated of course.

At one time, being a tradesman like a plumber or electrician was extremely honorable, a mason was sought after and the best (and for many years the ONLY) way to learn those jobs was to become an apprentice to someone. Then you worked like old Harry to learn, on the job, doing the job, with direct supervision, and you learned in stages until you were trusted to know the job. Then, and only then, were you honored to be known as a “master” at your job. 

It took years.

It took many people teaching you.

And it wasn’t very easy at all.

We’ve lost sight of that. And just how valuable those trades are. How important those more “menial” jobs are. 

How fast would the people get to their “more important” jobs if the vehicle mechanics disappeared? 

How bad would our lives be if the sewer systems and their mechanical caretakers broke down? 

Our water systems? 

The electrical system, the entire grids of the US?

The system that gets heating oil, propane or natural gas from here to there, repairs the vehicles and the lines, runs the regulating systems?

We’d all be in a whole lot of trouble…

It is very easy to think our only options for our children are college educations and the resulting possible careers; but we would pose the very real idea that the nation was not built by nor is it actually or acutely run by those with college degrees. Not really. Those may be the most vocal and the most visible; they may be the ones we see on media and in print; but those we don’t see, behind the scenes, running the equipment, fixing the equipment, doing the chores, cleaning the systems, making it all work…they outnumber the visible by the thousands. 

So we need to rethink our entire system of value when it comes to work. We need to understand which jobs it is that are of most value in the entire scheme of things, and which are window dressing and noise. 

When it comes down to that, we are back to the wonderful adage about teachers having plenty, and the army having bake sales to buy new bombs……

    Our emails are admin@thewinchendoncourier.com and thewinchendoncourier@gmail.com. You can reach journalist Jerry Carton at pimtim@aol.com. And we still have the same phone number: 978 297-0050.

`Let' stay in touch shall we?

Winchendon Police Department

Editor’s Note: The information contained in this police log was obtained through public documents kept by the police department, and is considered to be the account of the police. All subjects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Police agencies can no longer print the names of people who are arrested or charged with domestic assault related charges. The new law is designed to protect victims, so they are not re-victimized through indirect identification



12:30-4:32 a.m.: building checks & extra patrols, secure; 3:08 a.m.: abandoned MV (Pleasant Street) secure; 9:31 a.m.: burglar alarm (Lincoln Avenue Extension) services rendered; 10:32 a.m.: MV stop (Gardner Road) verbal warning; 10:39 a.m.: keep the peace (Brown Avenue) assisted; 11:36 a.m.: sex offender registration (walk in) assisted; 11:38 a.m.: MV stop (Spring Street) verbal warning; 11:42 a.m.: keep the peace (Spring Street) no PD service required; 12:02 p.m.: DPW call (West Street) referred; 12:45 p.m.: animal complaint (Lakeshore Drive) refer to ACO; 1:48 p.m.: MV stop (Main Street) verbal warning; 2:06 p.m.: 911 hang up (Gardner Road) no PD service required; 4:43 p.m.: MV stop (Lincoln Avenue) traffic citation; 4:43 p.m.: general info (Spring Circle) info taken; 5:23 p.m.: MV operating erratically (Gardner Road) traffic citation, summons issued for negligent operation of MV and failure to drive in right lane; 5:28 p.m.: threats (Mechanic Street) gone on arrival; 5:36 p.m.: harassment (Mechanic Street) no cause for complaint; 6:50 p.m.: illegal burn (Webster Street) area search negative; 7:11 p.m.: tree down (Central Street) refer to DPW; 7:32 p.m.: suicide threats (Lincoln Avenue) spoken to; 7:56 p.m.: suspicious person (Spring Street) no cause for complaint; 8:35 p.m.: officer wanted (Walnut Street) spoken to; 9:19 p.m.: disturbance (Rice Road) unable to locate; 10:06 p.m.: suspicious person (Goodrich Street) no cause for complaint; 10:27 p.m.: assist other PD (Timpany Boulevard) assisted.


12:30-2:42 a.m.: extra patrols & building checks, secure; 9:42 a.m.: keep the peace (Spring Street) advised civil action; 10:07 a.m.: assist citizen (Tolman Road) refer to other agency; 10:29 a.m.: ambulance (Immaculate Heart of Mary Church) transport; 12:43 p.m.: disturbance (Maynard Street) spoken to; 12:52 p.m.: accident (Glenallan Street) report taken; 12:55 p.m.: burglar alarm (Memorial School (secured building); 2:17 p.m.: animal complaint (Metcalf Street) returned to owner; 3:36 p.m.: ambulance (Front Street) transport; 4:35 p.m.: MV stop (Spring Street) traffic citation, summons issued for operating MV with license suspended; 5:06 p.m.: burglar alarm (Memorial School) accidental; 5:22 p.m.: gunshots heard (Elmwood Road) no cause for complaint; 6:03 p.m.: fire alarm (Baldwinville Road) no FD service required; 6:49 p.m.: MV stop (Central Street) written warning; 6:57 p.m.: disturbance (Brown Street) spoken to; 8:18 p.m.: missing person (Spruce Street) returned to home.


12:17 a.m.: MV stop (Spring Street) written warning; 12:20-1:16 a.m.: building checks, secure; 1:11 a.m.: MV stop (Gardner Road) written warning; 4:48 a.m.: MV stop (Front Street) verbal warning; 5:47 a.m.: ambulance (Spring Street) transport; 7:12 a.m.: vandalism (East Street) report taken; 8:36 a.m.: MV violations (East Street) spoken to; 8:55 a.m.: traffic hazard (Central Street) spoken to; 10:07 a.m.: disabled MV (Spring Street) gone on arrival; 10:55 a.m.: stolen MV (Spring Street) report taken; 11:12 a.m.: investigation (Spring Street) report taken; 12:46 p.m.: assist other PD (Phyllis Road) message delivered; 1:30 p.m.: ambulance (North Ashburnham Road) transport; 2:39 p.m.: ambulance (Hospital Drive) transport; 2:50 p.m.: animal complaint (Royalston Road North) unable to locate; 2:57 p.m.: assist citizen (Maple Street) services rendered; 3:32 p.m.: child welfare check (address not printed) referred to court; 3:59 p.m.: arrest (walk in) Dalung Hui, age 42 of 50 Old Centre, Winchendon: based on warrant; 4:53 p.m.: annoying phone calls (West Street) report taken; 5:16 p.m.: illegal burn (Mechanic Street) extinguished; 5:30 p.m.: harassment (Mechanic Street) report taken; 5:38 p.m.: assist other agency (Maple Street) services rendered; 6:24 p.m.: assist other PD (Phyllis Road) message delivered; 7:37 p.m.: ambulance (Mechanic Street) no cause for complaint; 8:16 p.m.: MV stop (Central Street) written warning; 8:50 p.m.: animal complaint (Royalston Road North) unable to locate; 9:29 p.m.: MV stop (Belmont Avenue) verbal warning; 10:21 p.m.: MV stop (Spring Street) verbal warning; 10:50 p.m.: ambulance (Main Street) transport.


12:50 a.m.: fire mutual aid (Timpany Boulevard) assisted; 12:50 a.m.: MV stop (Spring Street) verbal warning; 1:16-1:43 a.m.: building checks, secure; 2:33 a.m.: MV stop (River Street) arrest: Bobby Blair LeBlanc, age 45 of 231 Debora Court, Altamonte Springs, FL: carry firearm without license and operating MV with license suspended; 5:15 a.m.: traffic enforcement (Gardner Road) services rendered; 7:34 a.m.: accident (Central Street) report taken; 8:35 a.m.: animal complaint (Royalston Road North) refer to ACO; 9:30 a.m.: summons service (Linden Street) unable to serve; 11:12 a.m.: summons service (Old Gardner Road) served; 11:14 a.m.: MV stop (Spring Street) verbal warning; 12:29 p.m.: MV stop (River Street) verbal warning; 12:58 p.m.: ambulance (Teel Road) transport; 1:10 p.m.: disturbance (Lincoln Avenue Extension) services rendered; 2:19 p.m.: larceny (River Street) report taken; 2:32 p.m.: runaway (Murdock High School) transport; 2:32 p.m.: FD call (Benjamin Street)  services rendered; 2:38 p.m.: suspicious person (Ash Street) report taken; 3:45 p.m.: keep the peace (Spring Street) assisted; 7:43 p.m.: ambulance (Tolman Road) transport; 8:48 a.m.: MV stop (Spring Street) verbal warning; 9:09 p.m.: extra patrols, secure.


Talking Sports

Constituting the best


I know the provincial view is that the best sports event of the weekend came at Gillette Stadium. Stop being so myopic. The best sporting event of the weekend took place in, gasp, New York.  At Arthur Ashe stadium to be exact where the anticipated coronation of Rafa Nadal as US Open champion somehow morphed into a nearly five-hour slugfest for the ages.

In the end, Nadal eked out the 19th Grand Slam title of his career, 12 of which have come on the clay at Roland Garros in the French, by managing to outlast 23 year-old Daniil Medvedev. The Russian had alternately charmed and alienated the tough New York crowd during the first week of the tournament and as he rallied from a two-set deficit on Sunday, he was hearing lots of cheers from a throng predisposed to strongly prefer Nadal. Medvedev played so well it almost made us forget we'd really wanted a Nadal-Roger Federer final. Almost.  

Bottom line: you don't have to be a huge tennis fan to appreciate how epic it was. I'm for sure not a huge tennis fan. I watch three of the four majors, skipping the Australian because it's on in the middle of the night, but I was glued to ESPN for more than four hours Sunday afternoon and evening. A legendary US Open final v Week 1 of the NFL season? Easy call. 

As for Serena Williams, yeah, she lost a Grand Slam final for the fourth time since her return. So what? Just making those finals is an impressive accomplishment for a 37 year mom of a two year-old who had a very scary time immediately after giving birth. The other moms who have won on tour were under 30. The women's game is in much better shape than the men's. Lots of exciting young players. 

Yes, Antonio Brown is a diva. But good for him to figure out how to play the soulless entity which is the NFL. It took a lot of posturing and absurd theatrics but I'm in favor of people being able to work where they want to work. Owners, every single one of them save one, are all very rich white guys. You think they didn't buy into the late Bob McNair's (Texans) 'plantation' sentiment? Of course they did. You think Colin Kaepernick would have been blacklisted if he'd been white? Chris Long was especially outspoken. You didn't see Howie's kid being blacklisted, did you? 

Don't kid yourself.  

Why should any player trust any owner? Why should labor trust management?  

You know who else gets it? Bill Belichick. Belichick does his own thing too. Sometimes it's infuriating, though I really believe the whole tight-lipped media appearances are his subversive way of needling the powers that be who want everyone to read from the same coach script. Belichick got screwed by ownership too. The Browns/Ravens could have had the courtesy to tell him he wasn't coming with the franchise when it moved from Cleveland to Baltimore after the 1995 season but no, they waited until after he'd bought a house. You have to remember. Coaching in Baltimore was Belichick's dream job. After all, he'd grown up in Annapolis, interned for the Colts using Earl Weaver's office. But Art Modell screwed him. Why should he trust ownership? 

Bottom line on this? Good for AB. Good for BB.  




Immediate openings in the Winchendon and Gardner area

Packing, Assembly, Quality Control, Forklift and More 

Please call for more details


Walk ins are welcome  

Monday through Friday 9am-2pm

At 174 Gov. Dukakis Drive Orange, Ma 01364


Immediate openings for CNA/LNA staff  


Broadview Inc. a Senior Living Community at 547 Central St., is searching for experienced, enthusiastic, and caring individuals to join our team. We are looking to expand our resident care staff and are seeking CNA's and LNA's to fill part-time 11p-7a and 3p-11p shifts! We have a unique, employee friendly environment, competitive wages, and we include free meals during every shift. Broadview Inc. is family owned and operated community that has been serving the elderly community for over 22 years.



The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is having a Direct Care and LPN Hiring Event September 14, 2019 from 10am to 2:00pm at 184 Freight Shed Rd., Baldwinville, MA.

DDS has immediate Full-time and Part-time vacancies in Templeton and surrounding towns.

They are seeking individuals who are compassionate, committed, and willing to learn, for the role of Developmental Services Worker I (DSW I) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN).

You will be required to assist individuals with their activities of daily living, preparing meals, administering medications, helping them make connections within their local community, and supporting them to enjoy meaningful lives.  These positions offer annual step increases, shift and weekend differentials, retirement plan, health and dental plans, and opportunities for advancement.  We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

For Job details, benefits and to register for the event please visit our website:   www.mass.gov/eohhscareers or call (508) 866-8803 for assistance.  Please bring to the event a resume, LPN License, list of 3 Professional References, and a Valid Class D Driver's License.




Thank you for contacting The Winchendon Courier. We will be back in touch soon