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Hockomock Area YMCA Gymnasts Score Big at Nationals

July 24th, 2014 · No Comments


Hockmomock Area YMCA gymnasts attend opening ceremonies at the YMCA National Gymnastics Championship in Tampa, Florida in preparation for competition. Front Row: Sandy Whitaker (Mansfield, MA), Caitlin Nolan (Bellingham, MA), Caroline Szajda and Jennifer Thoener (North Attleboro, MA). Back Row: Sarah Thomas, Paige Moore, and Mimi Gray (all of North Attleboro, MA), Jenn Laporte (Plainville, MA), Megan Lipponen (Pawtucket, RI), Lacey Whitaker, (Mansfield, MA), Alanis Tirabassi (Attleboro, MA), Lindsay Howlett (North Attleboro, MA), and Samantha Dalton (Wrentham, MA). Gymnastics is one of the most popular national competitive sports leagues at the YMCA.

 Team Returns with Great Memories of a Successful Year

 [NORTH ATTLEBORO] – The YMCA National Gymnastics Championship took place July 1-5 at the Tampa Convention Center with gymnasts from the Hockomock Area YMCA taking top spots in several categories. Thirteen athletes from seven area towns were able to make the trip, representing USA Gymnastics Levels 4 through 9. “They did a great job exemplifying the spirit of our Y,” says Coach Krissy Carrier. “Their support for fellow teammates was amazing.”

 Carrier has coached at the Y’s North Attleboro branch for seven years and says it’s been rewarding to watch the team bond. There are 55 girls on the team, ages 5-18 starting in October, 2013 they competed in 17 Y-USA and USA Gymnastics competitions. Carrier says she aims to motivate the girls to do well in competition while making it a goal to develop well-rounded athletes and future leaders. As envisioned, the older teammates look out for the younger ones and currently five enjoy teaching Gymnastics at the Y. Many gymnasts play other sports throughout the year and all the girls participate in fundraising to help families in need in the community, who might not otherwise have the opportunity for a Y experience through the annual Reach Out for Youth and Families Campaign.

 The girls’ strong performance in Tampa resulted in 11 top ten placements and Megan Lipponen of Pawtucket, RI placing 9th in the country overall for Level 8 gymnasts. The team also announces honors taken by Samantha Dalton (Level 9) of Wrentham, MA and Kayla Schuberth (Level 5) of North Attleboro, MA. The two earned top spots at the YMCA Northeast Regional Championships held this spring in Glastonbury, CT.

 The national competition hosted approximately 2,000 gymnasts in two days of competition culminating in a finals competition on the third day. Representing the Hockomock Area YMCA were:

Level 9, Lacey Whitaker and Samantha Dalton; Level 8 was represented by Alanis Tirabassi, Megan Lipponen, Paige Moore and Mimi Gray. Megan Lipponen came in 9th in the country overall and placed 3rd on vault, 2nd on bars, 2nd on beam and 4th on floor. Mimi Gray placed first on vault; Level 7 was represented by Caitlin Nolan; Level 6 was represented by Sarah Thomas and Jennifer Laporte. Jenn placed 6th on bars and 8th on beam; Level 5 was represented by Lindsay Howlett; Level 4 was represented by Sandy Whitaker, Jennifer Thoener, and Caroline Szajda. Caroline placed 2nd on floor and 5th on bars. Sandy placed 3rd on bars and 8th on beam. The team placed 11th as a team out of 27 teams.

 The team extends congratulations and best wishes to graduating seniors Lacey Whitaker, Alanis Terabassi, and Sara Thomas. “They will be missed greatly,” says Carrier. She proudly shares that they all will pursue college athletics, including gymnastics at Rhode Island College for Lacey. Alanis will play field hockey for Salem State University and Sara has plans of starting a gymnastics club at her future home of Westfield State University.

 To learn more about the Hockomock Area YMCA gymnastics programs, contact Krissy Carrier at 508.643.5261 or

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Top Ranking for Massachusetts In Child Well-Being

July 24th, 2014 · No Comments

Commonwealth Ranked Best in Child Well-Being

Mark Scheerer

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When it comes to the well-being of children, Massachusetts is number one in the nation, according to the 25th annual Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids County report. Photo credit: Randen Peterson / Flickr

When it comes to the well-being of children, Massachusetts is first in the nation, according to the 25th annual Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count report. The commonwealth rose from third place last year to first this year.

The report examines 16 indicators across four areas: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, says the strong numbers are a result of hard work.

“This number one ranking reflects the fact here in Massachusetts we’ve made real, significant and smart investments in our children, and it’s paid off,” says Berger. “Children in Massachusetts now have a better chance to succeed than anywhere else in America.”

The commonwealth was ranked number one in education, number two in healthcare and number eight in child-related issues of family and community.

Despite the laudable results, Berger says there is room for improvement in several areas. The survey shows Massachusetts fourth-graders leading the nation in reading, with a proficiency level of 47 percent.

“On the other hand, that means 53 percent are not proficient,” says Berger. “We can’t leave half of our kids behind if you want to build a really strong economy and a strong and healthy society.”

One of the four areas where Massachusetts slipped from last year’s results is the percentage of children living in poverty, which is now up a percentage point over last year at 15 percent.

“One in seven children in Massachusetts grows up in poverty. While that’s better than the nation as a whole, one in seven is far too many kids to be living in poverty in a nation and a state as wealthy as Massachusetts,” says Berger.

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Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group To Meet In September

July 24th, 2014 · No Comments

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group will not meet in August. The next group is scheduled for Tuesday, September 2nd. Community VNA provides a support group on the first Tuesday of each month for caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. The goal is to help you with the challenges of caring for a loved one. Joyce Colletto, RN, Alzheimer’s Program Liaison will facilitate.

The group meets from 1:30PM to 2:30PM at Community VNA, 10 Emory Street in Attleboro MA.

Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information and upcoming dates, please call 800-220-0110 or go online to

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Norton Public Library

July 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

Take in a Day with the Paw Sox!

Check the Norton Public Library TixKeeper calendar for available game dates.  Each coupon admits up to 6 people for $21 or $4 each, is valid on the date shown and must be exchanged at the box office for General Admission tickets (please arrive early to exchange coupon at the box office for tickets). General admission is first come, first served seating in the following areas:  blue seats in the stadium bow, the grass berm in left field and the center field bleachers.

Regular admission: $10.00/$7.00/$5.00
Discount: $21 for up to 6 people
Potential savings: $39.00

 Monday, July 28, 2014
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Young Engineers: The Physics of Trees

Contact: Leslianne Costello 508-286-2696 How do trees get water and nutrients all the way from the roots to the treetop? Learn about cohesion, adhesion, and surface tension and how these concepts relate to trees.

Students will be challenged to build a structure taller than themselves! This 1.5 hour program is for students ages 9-12, and is presented by the staff of the Mass Audubon Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Norton Library. Registration is required as space is limited.
Sign-up sheets will be available in the front of the library 2 weeks prior to the event. Library staff cannot take registrations by phone or email.
Location: Community Room

  Tuesday, July 29, 2014
7:00 PM
New Orleans Connection: Summer Concert Series

Bring a blanket or chairs and join us in the Library Park! This concert series is free and open to the public, rain or shine (rain location: library community room).

Enjoy some old-fashioned entertainment with Paul Gookin (banjo and percussion), Timothy Mahoney (banjo) and Elmer Drotos (clarinet and saxophone.) This talented trio will get your toes tapping, hands clapping and include lots of audience participation!
Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

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A Once In A ZOO MOON Event!

July 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

July 23 from 6-9 PM at Capron Park Zoo

Attleboro, MA: What could be better on a sultry summer evening than to take a relaxing walk? Why not make it a walk through the zoo? ZOO MOON is happening July 23 from 6-9 PM at Capron Park Zoo (rain date: 7/30/13).

 Enjoy an evening stroll through the zoo while supporting local artists and businesses during this family-friendly, open-air market night. Summer heat got you wishing for fall? Cool off at the SPLASHPAD during the Zoo Moon evening. Make sure to see our new AMERICAN ALLIGATOR. The Zoo also has new BABY MEERKATS that are starting to run around the exhibit that are sure to make you smile.

 With a choice of products from over 90 different local crafters and small businesses, you are sure to be able to find a gift for that someone special. Some businesses include: Heavenly Goddess, Wildtree, The Pampered Chef and more. For a list of featured businesses, please visit the zoo’s website:

 AVOID THE LINES! PRE-PURCHASE TICKETS! You can come to the zoo and purchase Zoo Moon tickets until closing on Wednesday: $5/adult (age 13+) and $3/child (age 3-12)

Night of event: $6/adult (age 13+), $4/child (age 3-12), 2 and under are free 

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Bread Lab Baking Up Business Success

July 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

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Baking up success: Talking business over croissants and coffee at the Bread Lab, 999 Main St., on Monday, July 21 were (from left) Jennifer Moyer, social sales director, Paul Ouellette, Northern R.I. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president, Jess Powers, corporate catering sales, co-owner Deana Martin, Mayor Donald R. Grebien, Susan Mara, city assistant planning director, Christine Sullivan, Pawtucket Foundation development director, city arts and culture official Herb Weiss, city Planning Director Barney Heath and Gail Ahlers of Ahlers Designs.

PAWTUCKET – Opened less than four months ago, the Bread Lab, at 999 Main St. in the Hope Artiste Village complex, is branching out in several ways to spark its business growth.

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Bread Lab co-owner Deana Martin gestures to make a point to (from left) Paul Ouellette, Northern R.I. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president, corporate catering sales director Jess Powers and Mayor Donald R. Grebien during their visit to the new business on Monday, July 21.

Besides the range of craft breads it is named for, the Bread Lab also has a restaurant offering a wide menu with local ingredients, gourmet pizzas, a small bar, makes its own ice cream, hosts live entertainment several nights a week and boasts extensive catering services.

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Brown University students Ivy Sokol and Jared Rothenberg tap into the ice coffee and Wi-Fi at the Bread Lab, 999 Main St., as they collaborate on a project.

And they love their large, airy space in the former Hope Webbing Mill. “You can’t find this space in downtown Providence, you can’t find it,” Deana Martin, who owns the Bread Lab with her husband Keith, told Mayor Donald Grebien and members of his economic development team with representatives of the Northern R.I. Chamber of Commerce and the Pawtucket Foundation who visited the new business on Monday, July 21 as part of Grebien’s ongoing personal outreach to local businesses.

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 Bartender Candace Jenkins (left) and manager Mindy Bennivedes pose in front of the giant Bread Lab sign

“You come in here, you feel like it’s your grandmother’s kitchen,” Martin described the Bread Lab’s atmosphere. “Good food, good value – that’s where our focus is. And bring your kids,” she smiled. “You get the sandwiches and salads from us, they’re made by chefs. It’s attention to detail.”

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Pastry chef Rhiannon McDaniel with some of her confectionery creations.

Martin told Grebien that the center of her business plan for economic growth is “focused on catering.” Her husband Keith noted the venue also hosts live music by talented performers several nights a week, typically of the easier-listening variety that most diners prefer, as well as a trivia night on Wednesday. Upcoming plans include weekend brunch to coincide with the return of the highly successful Winter Farmers Market at Hope Artiste.

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Executive chef Allen Forte displays a three-pepper balsamic glaze pizza at the Bread Lab, 999 Main St. in Pawtucket’s Hope Artiste Village.

The Bread Lab’s large space where diners can look beyond the counter to see foods being made is part of a trend Martin said she was not initially aware of but now finds catching on elsewhere. “Europe, Los Angeles – where bakeries bring out their operations in the open,” she related.

For more on the Bread Lab including its extensive menu, go to

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Tinker Bell At Pawtucket Library

July 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

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 Tinker Bell looks down at her 200 th visit party cake.

On Tuesday July 22, 2014 Tinker Bell trotted into the Pawtucket Children’s Library as she does every Tuesday evening. This evening was special, this was her 200th visit as a therapy dog.

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Joslyn L Benton, Johneya Taylor, and Ava Mabrouk take turns reading to Tinker Bell and therapy dog in training Wendy.

A therapy dog since 2010, Tinker Bell has worked as a therapy dog at the Pawtucket Library both as part of a reading improvement program as well as the preschool story book dog. Tinker bell also visits patients at the Miriam HospitalE DAWN Tinkerbell sign 

Tinker Bell arrives in the children’s library to her congratulations sign.

What does Tinker Bell bring the children at the Pawtucket Library? According to individual teachers and parents, Tinker Bell has helped children build confidence and self-esteem by having the children read to her in 15 minute appointments.

Tinker Bell is available on Tuesdays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Call 725-3714 x209 to make an appointment.

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Tinkerbell and friends green shirt-Eugene Jeffers Coordinator of Children’s Services, Wendy, blue shirt Kacey Richards  Circulation Supervisor, red shirt Dawn Goff- owner/trainer of Tinker bell and Wendy, Tinker Bell

By reading to Tinker Bell, the children get an empowering feeling of being the helper and teacher rather than having the whole experience focus on the child’s lack of skill. After all, it is much more fun to read with a friend who listens attentively and does not judge, than read for your teacher in front of your peers.

Happy 200th visit Tinker Bell and Thanks!

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Local Movie At Massachusetts Independent Film Festival

July 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

Local movie, ‘Right There’, filmed in North Attleboro, accepted by Massachusetts Independent Film Festival

 NORTH ATTLEBORO, MA – Film Production Company IM Filmworks announces that its most recent film, RIGHT THERE, has been accepted by the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival.

 Producer/Director Nathan Suher says, “RIGHT THERE is a mash-up of several genres. It’s a silent film that on the surface is a light-hearted romantic comedy, but at its core it is also a portrait of unrequited love.” RIGHT THERE may lack dialogue, but it is not lacking sound. Musician/Composer Kevin Keough was brought on to write the score. “Kevin’s score really compliments the overall mood of the film; it’s beautiful, yet bittersweet”.

 “It’s an honor to have my film as part of the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival. Being screened with so many other terrific movies gives me a sense of great satisfaction.   Knowing that all of the hard work put into this film by our cast and crew is recognized in this important way inspires me to build upon this accomplishment and set loftier goals as a filmmaker,” says Producer/Director Nathan Suher.

 RIGHT THERE will be screened at the historic Somerville Theater (55 Davis Square, Somerville, MA) on Wednesday, August 6th at 6:20pm as part of the Block 4 screening group.

 For more information about IM Filmworks, Producer/Director Nathan Suher, the movie ‘RIGHT THERE’, and for tickets to the event visit or

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‘Dew Good Award’

July 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

Honey Dew Donuts® to Recognize Heroic Citizens with ‘Dew Good Award’

 WHAT:  A special Honey Dew Donuts® “Dew Good Award” event in honor of Plainville Firefighter Lt. Richard Ball and Hockomock Area YMCA staff members Joe Halus and Nicole Powers.

 WHY:  In honor of these individuals’ heroic efforts on March 21, 2014 at the Hockomock Area YMCA in North Attleboro, MA. Hall, Halus and Powers helped save the life of Cumberland, RI resident Tom Argentieri.

On that day, Argentieri went into cardiac arrest while playing basketball and Ball, Halus and Powers sprang into action. Ball directed YMCA staff to call 911 and Halus reacted quickly, calling 911 then running into the pool area to find Powers, who was working as a lifeguard. Powers, certified in CPR, rushed into the gym and helped Ball resuscitate Argentieri before paramedics arrived on the scene. Argentieri was rushed to Sturdy Memorial Hospital and later recovered.

 WHO:  Honey Dew President Richard Bowen will present each of the honorees with a plaque and a pass for free coffee for a year. Honey Dew Donuts® established the Dew Good Award in 2005 to honor community members who demonstrate extraordinary citizenship.

 WHEN:  11:30 AM to 12:30 PM July 29, 2014

 WHERE:  Honey Dew Donuts® North Attleboro

225 East Washington Street

North Attleboro, MA

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Rehoboth: Free Community Dance

July 21st, 2014 · No Comments

* FREE *

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On Sunday evening, August 24, from 7 to 9 p.m., there will be a community dance held at Goff Memorial Hall, 124 Bay State Road, in Rehoboth. This dance is hosted by the Sunday Night Jammers, a group of area musicians who meet regularly on Sunday evenings at Goff Hall to play Celtic dance music.

 The August 24 dance will feature contra dance steps and a variety of international and couple dances, such as polkas and waltzes. All dance steps will be taught.

Admission is free and open to the public, and all ages and beginners are welcome. It is not necessary to come with a partner. A potluck precedes the dance at 6 p.m. For information, contact Bob Elliott at or call 774-644-1369.

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