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What is social distancing?  Are gloves and masks the best way to protect ourselves from COVID-19?  What are the critical everyday things we can do to stay safe?  Joanne MacInnis, RN, is the founder and president of Aberdeen Home Care and a weekly contributor here.  With 35 years of nursing practice, management and administration experience focused on home care and hospice, Joanne is the perfect person to sit down and talk about COVID-19.

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The situation with the novel coronavirus continues to evolve.  So, too, does the Town’s response.  The developments are very fluid and require daily monitoring and decision making.  Fortunately, we have a good team in place to help us all through this crisis.  

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

With school closures from the COVID-19 virus in Massachusetts, what steps can families expect for distance learning and enrichment programs?  This March 16th letter from Patricia Puglisi, M-E Regional High School principal answers these questions for familes.

On February 29, the MERHS Drama Company performed their preliminary-winning one-act performance, entitled "The Losers Club," by Jonathan Turner Smith at the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guilds’ (METG) 89th DramaFest competition against 7 other schools at Andover High.  The cast, which includes an all student tech crew and is made up of mostly lower classmen, including only one junior and one senior, has been busy tightening and polishing up the roughly 36 minute "drama/comedy" as they prepare for the next round of competition, the semi-finals, hosted at Framingham High School on Saturday, March 14.

Each year voters are asked to review and approve a series of projects that are funded through the Community Preservation Fund.  The dollars for the fund come from a 1.5% surcharge on everyone’s real estate bill as well as matching funds from the state.  The match started out at 100% but has declined significantly as more communities have adopted the Community Preservation Act.  Revamped legislation is hoping to put the match at a minimum of 35%.

M-E Regional High School DECA chapter members earned the organization’s highest honors at DECA State Career Development Conference held at the Hynes Auditorium, February 27 - 29.  Forty-two students qualified to participate at state level and took rigorous exams and solved timed, novel business case role plays, delivered case solutions to industry professionals in a timed format.

This years  Manchester Reads will focus on the environment, sustainability and answering the call to embrace and defend the natural world. During the month of March, the library will provide books and events that center around these important themes.  The adult’s non-fiction book will be The Outdoor Citizen: Get Out, Give Back, Get Active by local Manchester resident John Judge.  For kids we have the books, The Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate and Can you Hear the Trees Talking?, by Peter Wohllenben.  For young adults we have, Dry, by Shusterman and no one is Too Small to Make a Difference, by Greata Thunberg.

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Businesses that are the lifeblood of our community are themselves adapting to new recommendations and mandates for safety.  Restaurants.  Stores and shops and services.  They've changed it up with creativity and passion.  Support them.  Buy gift cards.  Get take out—regularly.  Shop online with them, our neighbors, before clicking to Amazon or chain stores.

On Monday, March 2nd, students and staff at Memorial School donned their most colorful and Seuss-inspired gear to celebrate the joy of reading and the great work of Dr. Seuss! Students were greeted by staff decked out as Seuss characters, enjoyed a Seuss Photo Booth for class photos, had One Fish, Two Fish at lunch, enjoyed a school wide DEAR time, a Seuss Raffle for taking the Reader's Pledge to be lifelong readers, and competed in a Classroom Door Decorating Contest (Congrats to Ms. Garofalo's 3rd grade for their win!)

MBTS resident Bob Coyne speaks at Monday’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting regarding the Complete Streets update provided by Greg Federspiel and DPW Director Chuck Dam. Complete/Safe Streets became the hot topic with several townspeople voicing their opinions on how the allocated money for thes…

Last week’s neighborhood open house and wrap party in Manchester for This Old House’s Season 41 project—featuring an incredible top-to-bottom renovation of a home near Singing Beach—brought a slew of curiosity seekers. 

Local Rotarians made the leap to eradicate polio on Leap Day, February 29, at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester.  Brian DesRosiers from Essex, Joanne Donnelly and Stephen Laspesa (both from Manchester) jumped into the frigid waters as part of the annual Polar Plunge sponsored by Rotary Interna…

The Selectmen plan to take up the review of various roads and their speed limits at their second meeting in March, 3/16.  Last fall, a study committee, comprised of residents and public safety staff, reviewed the history of speed limits on various roads.  Their recommendations are the basis of the possible revisions.  Before moving forward with the recommendations, the Selectmen welcome feedback on the proposed changes. 

The Manchester Club held its February meeting at the American Legion Hall this past Thursday evening.  Todd Crane and his crew served up a delicious meal including a fresh salad of mixed greens, the locally famous Mort Mayo/Bill Crane fish dinner with mashed potatoes and green beans, and a desert of Haagen Daaz ice cream bars.