HomeWeekend Wrap-UpThe Apple Blossom Festival: Weekend Wrap-Up

The Apple Blossom Festival: Weekend Wrap-Up

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WESTFORD — Welcome to the May 14 edition of Weekend Wrap-Up. Here, we highlight the most important news you may have missed this week in Westford. 

Temporary program provides free week of summer camp, after-school care for low-income families

The program provides a free week of camp per-child or a $400 cap on one week of after-school care per-child for families at 300% of the federal income poverty level. Applications will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.

“We don’t know how many applications we’re going to receive, we are not sure what the need will be,” Dick told WestfordCAT. “But right now, this is related to COVID-19 assistance, to provide a little help to those in need.”

Kids Club Summer Camp is slated to begin on June 27, with after-school care set to begin on Aug. 31. Parents can apply here. Questions can be directed to Brittany Nash at 978-399-2564.

“It’s always about Olivia” Live for Liv helps survivors of domestic violence

On the night of Feb. 1, 2010, Jody Marchand’s life changed forever when her husband shot a bullet that lodged in her shoulder and took the life of her daughter Olivia. A pivotal moment that divided Marchand’s life into a “before” and “after.”

Now, over a decade later, Marchand’s organization Live for Liv has helped survivors of domestic violence through providing financial aid and shelter. Marchand has dedicated the organization to helping survivors rebuild a life of their own.

“It’s always about Olivia. However, it is also about helping victims in one shape or another, and we have money to give,” Marchand said.

Live for Liv’s upcoming event Ride for Liv, Run for Liv is scheduled for July 24. It will be held in person for the first time since 2020. Donations to Live for Liv can be made on PayPal.

School Committee responds to Teaching Assistants seeking higher pay

School Committee Chair Chris Sanders spoke on behalf of the committee, thanking teaching assistants for their dedication to the district.

“Our teaching assistants are an absolute vital part of this district,” Sanders said.

He continued, “while TA’s provide invaluable assistance to our teaching staff, their job is so much more than that.”

Sanders then provided an update on the current round of negotiations on the Unit E contract, which is set to expire on June 30.

“That’s why we look forward to adjusting the title of these invaluable staff members to Education Support Professionals. It better reflects the scope of the value and contributions that our Unit E members bring to the job,” he said.

He continued, “we are committed to raising the pay of our ESP’s such that it’s in line with that of surrounding districts and comparable communities.”

Customers note fond memories, nostalgia for Kimball Farm

As Kimball Farms reopens for the 2022 season, customers from far and wide return to have a taste of their favorite ice cream flavors again.

Reporter Melanie Duronio asked patrons “what makes Kimball Farm so special to you?”

Health Department acknowledges ‘thousands’ in unclaimed tobacco fines

“We are still in the process of looking at who in our department will be able to conduct tobacco inspections,” said Health Director Rae Dick in a May 9 Board of Health meeting. “We do not have anyone at this point to conduct those inspections.”

She continued, “fines are being issued and unfortunately we do not have the manpower at this time to follow up on those inspections.”

Dick clarified that though fines are issued, the department is unable to follow-up to collect on issued fines. According to Dick, the town has been unable to collect on approximately $5,000 fines since 2019.

“We have our regional community health and wellness coordinator working on the cessation portion,” she said. “But as far as instructional inspections and follow-ups on fines [we do not have that].”

Firefighters battle additional brush fire near River Road

With several brush fires plaguing the same section of conservation land since late March, firefighters battled an additional brush fire near the Graniteville Ballfield on River Road on Monday morning.

The Westford Fire Department and Westford Police Department are seeking information on suspicious activity from the community.

“If they see suspicious people walking in and out of the woods, with a backpack or something just to say something,” Westford Fire Capt. Mark Valcourt told WestfordCAT in a April 22 phone call.

Photos from the Apple Blossom Parade

 

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Ben Domaingue
Ben Domaingue has previously worked at newspapers in New Hampshire and is a News Reporter covering Westford. He’s passionate about community journalism, photography and hiking.