South County Notebook: Feb. 27, 2020

  • Aimee Anderson, mother of co-champion chef Valdemar Anderson, and co-champion Tomas Michaelson pose for a photo after victory in the Friends of the Field Memorial Library’s first chili cook-off on Saturday. The two received an apron to share, pictured on Michaelson, as they often cook together. Contributed photo/Charlene Galt

  • More than 30 people came to sample and vote on chili made by 10 local residents as part of the Friends of the Field Memorial Library’s first chili cook-off on Saturday. Contributed photo/Grace Larson

Published: 2/26/2020 5:43:02 PM
Blais to connect with constituents on Leap Day

SUNDERLAND — State Rep. Natalie M. Blais, D-Sunderland, invites residents of the 1st Franklin District to meet up with her at one of seven stops on her day-long district tour on Saturday, which is Leap Day.

“I’m taking advantage of the extra day on Leap Year to talk with constituents,” Blais explained. “It is important for me to meet constituents where they are, and this tour provides opportunities to hear concerns and answer questions.”

According to a press release from Blais, the “Leaping Across the District Tour” includes stops at seven communities in the 1st Franklin District, including three in Franklin County:

■8 to 8:45 a.m. — Huntington Transfer Station, Mill Street in Huntington

■9 to 9:45 a.m. — Middlefield Transfer Station, Bell Road in Middlefield

■10:15 to 11:15 a.m. — Worthington Library, 1 Huntington Road in Worthington

■11:45 to 12:45 p.m. — Meekins Library, 2 Williams St. in Williamsburg

■1 to 2 p.m. — Field Memorial Library, 1 Elm St. in Conway

■2:30 to 3:10 p.m. — M.N. Spear Memorial Library, 10 Cooleyville Road in Shutesbury

■3:30 to 4:30 p.m. — “Climate Resiliency: Deerfield 2030” forum at Frontier Regional School

This forum, aimed at motivating attendees to take action to combat climate change, takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is being funded by a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Residents are asked to register in advance by calling the Deerfield Selectboard Office at 413-665-1400, ext. 111 or by emailing

The 1st Franklin District includes the communities of Ashfield, Buckland, Conway, Deerfield, Leverett, Montague, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Whately, Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Williamsburg and Worthington.

Chili champions crowned in Conway

CONWAY — More than 30 people came to sample and vote on chili made by 10 local residents as part of the Friends of the Field Memorial Library’s first chili cook-off on Saturday.

The winners were high schoolers Tomas Michaelson and Valdemar Anderson, who received the chili champion apron to share, as they often cook together. The second place prize went to Sue Fenton and Phil Kantor took third place, receiving chili-themed oven mitts and kitchen towels, respectively.

According to Thaddeus Bennett, a member of the Friends of the Field Memorial Library since 2017, the event was held to celebrate the library and its community room, and as a thank you for the community’s support of the Field Memorial Library. He said the Friends are considering the idea of making the chili cook-off an annual event following the great turnout in its first year.

Democratic caucus set for Wednesday

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Town Democrats will hold a caucus on Wednesday, March 4, at 7 p.m. at the South County Senior Center, 67 North Main St., to elect delegates to the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s 2020 nominating convention.

The convention will be held May 30 at the Tsongas Center in Lowell. All registered Democrats in Deerfield are eligible to participate.

One male and one female delegate, and one delegate of either gender or non-binary, will be elected. Three alternates will also be selected. Those not elected as a delegate or alternate who meet the qualifications may apply to be add-on delegates in the following categories: youth, minority, LGBTQ and disabled.

Deerfield seeking comments on Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

DEERFIELD — In partnership with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) Planning Department, the Deerfield Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Committee has prepared a draft 2020 Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan that is ready for public review.

Deerfield will be eligible for state and federal grants to fund pre- and post-disaster mitigation projects once the plan is approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and adopted by the town.

According to the town, the plan’s purpose is to pinpoint natural and other hazards that may affect the community; to identify infrastructure at the highest risk for being damaged by hazards; to inventory and assess current hazard mitigation policies, programs and regulations; and to determine steps to prevent damage to property and loss of life.

The draft plan will be available at and a paper copy will be available at the Town Administrator’s Office and the Tilton Library.

A public comment period is expected to last until March 13. Comments can be mailed to: Kimberly Noake MacPhee, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, 12 Olive St., Suite 2, Greenfield, MA 01301. They can also be emailed to or relayed by phone at 413-774-3167, ext. 130.

Humane society changing hours

LEVERETT — Dakin Humane Society has announced a change in its hours at its adoption centers in Leverett and Springfield. On the first Wednesday of each month, the Leverett Adoption Center will be closed, and the Springfield Adoption Center will have a delayed opening at 2 p.m.

“This slight change in our hours was decided upon to provide our staff with some additional training time,” said Executive Director Carmine DiCenso. “More animals being brought to Dakin have behavioral and medical complications that require specific training. Our staff is dedicated to providing that specialized care that will help these animals become adoption candidates.”

The changes will be in effect on the following dates in 2020: March 4, April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1, Aug. 5, Sept. 2, Oct. 7, Nov. 4 and Dec. 2.


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