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Of nearly 180 canoes in River Rat Race, Zaveral/MacDowell team claims victory
04-13-2024 6:56 PM

By GREG VINE

Despite fickle weather conditions, canoeists and spectators alike enthusiastically awaited the start of Saturday’s 59th running of the River Rat Race from Athol to Orange.From about 11 a.m. until just before boats were put in the water — around 12:30...

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Faith Matters: How to still the muddy waters of overthinking: Clarity, peace and God can be found in the quiet spaces
04-12-2024 10:43 AM

By THE REV. CINDY LAJOY

Have you ever walked through a season of your life where, no matter how hard you tried, you were unable to see your way through to the “other side?” Maybe you have been anxious for months about a major decision you need to make, but despite your...


Orange resident Dennis Carey marks 40 years participating in River Rat Race
04-11-2024 5:22 PM

By GREG VINE

It might be a stretch to claim that Dennis Carey, 56, of Orange, could paddle the 5.2-mile River Rat Race with his eyes closed — but it wouldn’t be much of one.This year’s race, which takes place on Saturday, will mark the 40th River Rat competition...


Safety a team effort at River Rat Race
04-11-2024 5:06 PM

By MAX BOWEN

With potentially hundreds of participants converging on the Millers River for this weekend’s River Rat Race from Athol to Orange, making sure there aren’t any problems could be a challenge, but it’s one organizers say they are ready for.Jason Rushford...


Track & field preview 2024: Frontier aims for repeat Intercounty League titles
04-09-2024 4:32 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Two years ago, Frontier’s Jack Vecellio captured an all-state title in the pole vault while Greenfield’s Liviu Mihailicenco won a state championship in the high jump. On the girls side, Greenfield’s Tess Rancourt placed third at New Englands in the...


After six decades, River Rat Race paddles on
04-09-2024 3:28 PM

By GREG VINE

The first River Rat Race from Athol to Orange in 1963 may have been a more informal event, but it marked the start of a tradition that generations of North Quabbin residents have come to cherish.This year’s race will be on Saturday, April 13, at 1...


Community events abound for River Rat Race weekend
04-09-2024 3:24 PM

By GREG VINE

While the River Rat Race is the star, there will be plenty more to watch and enjoy this weekend.Things get underway Friday night, April 12, with the drawing of positions at Athol Town Hall. Drawings begin promptly at 7 p.m. Anyone who can’t attend...


Softball preview 2024: Greenfield seeks third-straight Div. 5 state championship
04-04-2024 3:41 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

It would be hard to find a more dominant postseason run than the one the Greenfield softball team had a season ago. After winning the 2022 MIAA Division 5 state championship, the Green Wave came back last spring with a loaded squad and dominated their...


2024 high school baseball preview: Pioneer looks to get over Final Four hump
04-03-2024 5:13 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Is it possible to finish the year with a 21-2 record and not be satisfied with the results? The Pioneer baseball team sure wasn’t. The Panthers won the first 18 games of their season in 2023 and did so in convincing fashion, cruising into the Western...


Boys volleyball preview: Frontier looks to earn third straight Western Mass. title
04-01-2024 3:45 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

It’d be hard to imagine a program getting off to a better start than the Frontier boys volleyball team.Legendary Redhawk girls volleyball coach Sean MacDonald and Courtney Parent started the boys program at Frontier two years ago and in their first...


GAAMHA opens new Athol facility for women with substance abuse, mental health disorders
03-31-2024 11:45 AM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — Seeking to address a lack of resources for women battling with substance abuse and mental health disorders, Gardner-based GAAMHA has opened a new facility in Athol called Sunrise Ridge.The 32-bed residential treatment facility at 648 Pleasant...


Libraries still in the business of books, but embrace growing role as community ‘third space’
03-31-2024 11:36 AM

By MAX BOWEN

Tilton Library Director Candace Bradbury-Carlin said that in recent years, libraries have grown beyond a place to study or get books and into a “third space,” serving their patrons in new and diverse ways.At the South Deerfield library, this could...


Faith Matters: Never-ending love is the message of Easter: As Jesus’ disciples of today, spreading this love is our mission
03-29-2024 12:23 PM

By THE REV. DR. CANDI ASHENDEN

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and many little children in our towns will wake up to discover that the Easter Bunny has arrived while they slept and hidden real and/or plastic-colored eggs around their living rooms or yards, perhaps along with some little...


My Turn: High school feasibility study prompts questions galore
03-29-2024 8:55 AM

By ROBERT W. MACDONALD

The article “Committee explores new high school” in the March 23 edition of the Athol Daily News really triggered my Grumpy Gene.First, it seems that $1.5 to $ 1.7 million is required for a “feasibility study” to deal with “the need to prevent...


My Turn: Ambulance staff request last shot for service
03-21-2024 6:16 PM

By KEN DUFFY

 On April 1, the voters of Athol will have a very important override question on the ballot for their consideration. This question concerns adding staff — three EMT/medic/firefighter positions — to the Fire Department. A fourth position will be added...


Gary Deyo: Ambulance service needs more support
03-20-2024 6:08 PM

If Athol is to continue ambulance service, it is clear that more personnel is required.Everyone involved in making the decisions to keep Athol functional as a good place to live has done their utmost to mitigate this personnel shortage. The budget...


Athol’s L.S. Starrett to become private company
03-12-2024 4:02 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — In an agreement expected to be finalized later this year, precision tool manufacturer L.S. Starrett announced that it will transition from a public to a private company and merge with MiddleGround Capital, a private equity firm.The proposed...


MIAA boys basketball: Defense propels Pioneer past Athol, into Div. 5 Elite Eight for 2nd consecutive year (PHOTOS)
03-05-2024 8:58 PM

By GARRETT COTE

NORTHFIELD — Late in the second quarter, No. 14 Athol found itself down just two points after cutting into No. 3 Pioneer’s once eight-point lead.During the next stoppage, Panthers head coach Scott Thayer belted out “everybody relax” to his team...


State Tournament Roundup: Franklin Tech girls basketball cruises past PV Christian
03-01-2024 9:43 PM

By GEORGE MILLER

TURNERS FALLS — The only real difficulty for Franklin Tech came in the fourth quarter Friday night, but oh, what a considerable difficulty it was.Pioneer Valley Christian, trailing 44-20 after three quarters, flew back into contention on the strength...


Class C semis: Top-seeded Mahar beats rival Athol for a 3rd time, books WMass final ticket for first time since 2012
02-22-2024 9:00 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

ORANGE — When two rivals meet in a Western Mass. semifinal, the expectation is that points will be hard to come by.That was the case on Thursday when top-seeded Mahar and No. 4 Athol squared off with a spot in the Western Mass. Class C final on the...


H.S. Roundup: Late run propels Athol boys basketball to opening-round victory over Ware
02-19-2024 9:16 PM

As to be expected in a 4-5 tournament matchup, it was a close game midway through the fourth quarter between the Athol and Ware boys basketball teams on Monday night.The No. 4 Bears held a 38-35 lead with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter of the...

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