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Disaster avoided

Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

Dateline Greenfield: Last week, the town avoided what could have been a catastrophe when a gas leak was detected along Federal Street. As the story goes, Robert Strahan, the deputy fire chief in Greenfield, was driving home when he smelled natural gas coming in the vent of his vehicle. He stopped and made the call to the station, setting in motion the closing of a portion of the street and the evacuation of several businesses along a section of the road as the location of the gas leak was sought. We don’t know how dangerous this particular situation could have become, but the fact that it was found before anything could happen was a blessing.

Dateline Greenfield: We would like to think that the International Olympic Committee did a significant amount of research in determining that it was going to drop wrestling from the Olympics in 2020. One of the criteria that the IOC used was television ratings. We can’t really comment on viewing habits elsewhere, but we do know that when Greenfield’s Elena Pirozhkova was wrestling, there were plenty of people tuned in from Franklin County. And isn’t that what drives people to watch many of the different events anyway, having a connection in some way? Pirozhkova is preparing to earn another trip to the Olympics in 2016. We wish her luck in being part of the sport’s swan song at the games. We hope she can bring home a medal three years from now, as it may be her last chance.

Dateline the state: So former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown joins Fox News as a contributor. You got to love that television provides such a haven for politicians in need of another career these days. And two years in the Senate really gives him all that much insight ... please.

Dateline the area: The storm a little more than a week ago left the region with plenty of snow, narrower streets, visually obstructive snowbanks and covered sidewalks. We urge drivers and pedestrians to be on the lookout for each other and realize that conditions aren’t normal when it comes to sharing the roads.

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