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News Briefs: Police officers OK’d for retirement

by | Sep 19, 2019 | News

Police officers OK’d for retirement

The saga of the three Hopkinton police officers who went on leave at the same time in 2017 with work-related injuries appears to be nearing an end, as the Middlesex County Retirement Board approved all three for accidental disability retirement.

Peter Booth, Linda Higgins and John Moran have been on leave since July 24, 2017.

Hopkinton Police Chief Edward Lee filed involuntary accident disability retirement applications on behalf of Booth, 48, and Moran, 41, while Higgins, 50, filed her own application.

The three officers had filed a grievance last year seeking proper injury pay. Shortly thereafter, Lee sent letters to the officers’ hometowns indicating their firearms licenses were suspended due to “post-traumatic stress related to injuries incurred while on duty.”

The officers responded by suing the town and Lee in February. Two of the suits were dropped, but Moran’s was still pending as of early September. The town was working on settlements with them.


Moran added to Planning Board

At the Sept. 10 Select Board meeting, Jane Moran was selected to fill a vacant seat on the Planning Board. Members of the Select Board and Planning Board voted in Moran over Smriti Choudhury, Mike McNamara and Mary Arnaut, who all received some support.

Moran, a 40-year Hopkinton resident, worked for the Southborough Police Department for more than three decades, culminating with a stint as police chief before she retired in 2013. She also has volunteered in town for many years, most recently with the Upper Charles Trail Committee.

She replaces Patrick Atwell, who was elected in May but resigned due to a job change. Moran’s term will expire next year.

The Select Board also announced three appointments: Cynthia Esthimer to the Trail Coordination and Management Committee, Ken Weismantel to the Community Preservation Committee, and Ed Harrow to the Open Space Preservation Commission (Conservation Commission Representative).


Vin Bin addresses violation

The owner of the Vin Bin at 22 South St. appeared before the Select Board on Sept. 10 to discuss an alleged violation from June when alcohol was sold to a person under 21 who turned out to be an agent from the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC).

Rick Lombardi acknowledged the violation and explained that an employee who normally works in another department was filling in at the cash register at the time of the transaction. He said the employee was fired that evening.

“We take this very seriously,” Lombardi said. “We have four locations, we’ve been in business 15 years. This does not happen to us. We don’t consider ourselves the type of stores where underage drinkers target, so it was sort of shocking and stunning to us.”

Lombardi was told he may be asked to reappear before the board after the ABCC determines its course of action.


Eagle Scout recognized

Will Dionne was recognized at the Sept. 10 Select Board meeting for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.

Dionne, a Hopkinton High School senior, worked with Friends of Whitehall president Peter Regan to produce a brochure addressing the danger of phosphates that can suffocate the oxygen in the lake, leading to numerous issues. Dionne then formed a group, primarily consisting of fellow Boy Scouts, to go door to door to explain and discuss the issue with homeowners in the lake area.

“It’s an excellent idea and a great project for the community,” Select Board member Brian Herr said.


DCR warns of cyanobacteria at State Park

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced in late August that there was a cyanobacteria bloom in the Upper Hopkinton Reservoir at the State Park, including the beach area. DCR put up signs warning that people and pets should not have contact with the water.

The water was to be retested to determine when the cyanobacteria levels returned to within acceptable limits per Department of Health regulations.

More information is available online at mass.gov/lists/algae-information.


CPC accepts funding applications

The Hopkinton Community Preservation Committee is accepting project funding applications for the fiscal year 2021.

Full applications should be submitted to the committee by Sept. 24 for review during the Sept. 26 meeting.

Projects allowable under the Community Preservation Act include the creation and preservation of open space, the preservation of historic sites, the creation and preservation of affordable housing and the creation and preservation of outdoor recreational facilities.

For more information call 508-497-9745 or email Shannon Soares at ssoares@hopkintonma.gov.


Holiday Stroll seeks sponsors

The annual Holiday Stroll, one of the highlights of holiday season in town, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. At the event, Hopkinton Chamber of Commerce businesses, community groups and nonprofits open their doors to the community, offering festive holiday activities and opportunities to give back in the spirit of the season.

Organizers are looking for local businesses interested in participating and/or being one of the event’s sponsors. Participation forms, which are available at the Chamber of Commerce website (hopchamber.com) are due Oct. 1. For more information, email info@hopchamber.com.