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WHT 10.20.16-1

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On this week's front page:

Falcon soars to Eagle ranks

Brian Shea soon to be newest Eagle Scout for Troop 359

By Peter Spotts
Turley Publications Staff Writer

WILBRAHAM – Boy Scout Troop 359 will soon have their newest Eagle Scout after Brian Shea completed his Eagle Scout project this past September.
Shea, who joined the scouts in 2010, recently spent about 12 hours organizing a group of volunteers cleaning cemetery stones at the East Wilbraham Cemetery on Boston Road on Sept. 10 and 11 from 9 a.m. To 3 p.m. each day. The project exceeded his expectations.
“Me and a group of about 50 people cleaned about 500 cemetery stones by using some sodium hypochlorite and water,” Brian explained. “I think it went very well. I was only planning on doing 300 so doing 500 was very successful. I had a great turnout and many of the stones turned from blackish gray to pure white and they get whiter as it goes along. I am very happy.”
Adding, “There were a couple stones from the Civil War so they wanted those renovated. They also could not find where someone was buried because most of the stones were illegible. I could not end up finding it though.”
Among the cast of volunteers were friends, family, and fellow Scouts, as well as members of the Minnechaug National Honor Society, whom Brian is very thankful were all able to come out and help his project. His inspiration for the cemetery cleaning came from his friend Jesse Kellner who did a similar project at the Adams Cemetery last year.
During his six years in the Scouts, Shea has made many friends and experiences he will take away with him. He enjoyed many of the trips he was able to take with his fellow Scouts including a particularity memorable hike in New Mexico.
“My friend got me involved in Cub Scouts [and] I heard it was a lot of fun to go on all the trips and you made a lot of friends. My troop went to a Scout range in New Mexico. We did a 60 mile hike. I think we peaked out at like 11,000 feet. That was my top of the mountain experience as they say,” Shea recollected.
Along his journey Shea has had support from his friends, family, Scouts, and Scoutmaster Ken Lynch, who has been a role model for Shea to emulate and strive towards.
“He has been a model leader for me. He always has the quote of saying 'scouting is outing' so like what a model Scout should be. He is also an Eagle Scout so he has been a model for what I try to be,” he said.
Brian has finished his Eagle project and completed his Board of Review leaving his court of honor as the final step before he is an official Eagle Scout, which he expects to happen sometime in January. As he reflected on his time in the Scouts, Brian said that he has learned much about how to be a leader and hopes he will be able to continue to use the valuable experiences he gained as he moves into the next stage of his life.
“Definitely how to be a leader. I went to this national youth leadership training and I was on staff for it for four years. Then I went to a special training in [Washington] D.C. called the NYLT Leadership Academy which just really taught me how to be a leader and support the people that you are leading,” he explained.
His father, John, has also noticed the leadership changes in his son, noting that Brian “has really taken off in terms of leadership and I am proud and happy with what he has accomplished. He has grown as a person, a leader. He is more outgoing [and] proactive. He is taking on more responsibilities.”
As Scouts and high school draw to a close, Brian shifts his focus onto the next chapter in his life. He is currently interning at Rediker software in Hampden and is currently looking for schools that will fit his interest in computer science.
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Advisory Committee to hold public hearing tonight

HAMPDEN – The Advisory Committee will hold a Special Town Meeting warrant hearing Monday, Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Town House auditorium, 625 Main St. The hearing is to gather public input prior to making recommendations for all articles on the warrant.
While resident voters will decide whether to amend the regional agreement to allow for middle school students in Hampden and Wilbraham to attend Wilbraham Middle School in a regional setting, residents are advised to limit discussion at the hearing as the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School Committee will hold an information session the following night, Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Minnechaug Regional High School, 621 Main St. Wilbraham, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Special Town Meeting will be held Monday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at Bethlehem Church, 123 Allen St.
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Deadline to vote in Special Town Meeting is Oct. 14

Residents of Hampden and Wilbraham wishing to vote in the Special Town Meeting on Monday, Oct. 24 have until 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14 to register.
While Town Meetings are open to the public, only registered voters in town may participate. New residents who were registered in another town may not be on file with the clerk's office. To register, residents may visit the Town Clerk’s Office daily between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in Wilbraham (240 Springfield St.) or between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday in Hampden (625 Main St.). Additionally, the offices will be open until 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14.
Online, residents may check their voter status at Folks may reigster to vote at
For more information, Wilbraham residents may call 596-2800 ext. 200. Hampden residents may call 566-2151 ext. 103.
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