FROM THE REGION.
New life jacket law named after boy
BOSTON - Gov. Deval L. Patrick yesterday signed into law new requirements for summer camps in the state to have life jackets on hand for use by children.
The signing came exactly five years since the day that 4-year-old Christian Frechette drowned at the town camp beach at Cedar Lake in Sturbridge, with no life jacket.
His father, Derek Frechette, had said he brought life jackets for Christian and his 5-year-old brother to use when they were taken to the town swimming area, but was told by staff there that the camp did not allow their use.
Mr. Frechette pressed for the law in the hopes that it will prevent similar tragedies.
The law, named for Christian, also requires all summer camps with swimming activities to test children at the beginning of the summer to determine their swimming ability and requires camps to have on hand a Coast Guard-approved life jacket for every at-risk swimmer. Other provisions prevent camps from adopting policies to stop parents from providing approved flotation devices for their children's use.
State Sen. Stephen M. Brewer, D-Barre, who lost his own 4-year-old brother to a drowning accident many years ago and first filed the legislation in 2008, said its enactment into law shows that people can make a difference if they are determined.
He said the signing ceremony in the governor's office, attended by Mr. Frechette, his wife and two of his sons, was emotional. "The bill was filed five years ago as a result of the death of a little boy. I had a brother who drowned as well, so I know how visceral this is to a family," Mr. Brewer said.
"Derek Frechette has been a fierce and tireless advocate for this bill," he added. "To lose a child is one of the deepest pains a parent can suffer. I am happy that this bill has been signed into law."
Three administrators named at WSU
WORCESTER - The Worcester State University board of trustees recently approved the appointment of three administrators, the university announced yesterday.
Frank Hall is the new dean of the School of Education, Health and Natural Sciences effective July 2. He was most recently director of the Secondary STEM Education Program at Texas A&M University - Commerce. Mr. Hall succeeds Linda Larrivee, who had been interim dean. She has returned to her previous position as chairman of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Charles Fox will become the new dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences on July 30. He was most recently dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Point Park University. Mr. Fox replaces Lisa Krissoff Boehm, who was interim dean. She has returned to her previous position as chairman of the urban studies department.
Patricia Marshall is the new interim associate vice president for academic affairs effective July 1. She was most recently chairwoman of Worcester State's Department of World Languages. She succeeds Maureen Shamgochian, who has returned to the biology faculty.
Perkins School to lead Taste of Wachusett
LANCASTER - The Perkins School will take over the annual Taste of Wachusett food and beverage event this year, following the closing of the Wachusett Chamber of Commerce, which hosted the event for years.
In its 15th year, the Oct. 24 event will also change venues. It will be held at the Holiday Inn in Boxboro. The Taste of Wachusett initially took place at Clinton Town Hall, but was moved to the Wachusett Village Inn in Westminster because more space was needed.
Kerry A. Flathers of Perkins, the Taste of Wachusett coordinator, said most of the particulars will remain the same, with businesses and high-quality vendors highlighting wares.
"We hope to exceed the 1,500 attendees from last year," she said. "The staff at the Holiday Inn is very familiar with tasting events."
Robert J. Paulhus Jr., president and CEO of Clinton Savings Bank and a supporter of the event, praised Perkins, a nonprofit, private special-needs school.
"The reality is that the when the future of the Taste was in doubt, the Perkins School stepped up," he said.
Police issue warning about paving scam
HOLDEN - Police are advising the public about a paving scam going around town.
According to police, a resident was approached by a man in a pickup truck claiming he had extra asphalt and would give him a deal paving his driveway. The homeowner and the man agreed on a price per square foot, but the man in the pickup would not give an estimate at the homeowner's request.
Police said that once the job was done, the foreman gave the resident an invoice for an exorbitant amount; the homeowner gave the foreman a check, but later contacted the bank, which canceled it. Police said they called the state Fusion Center and other law enforcement agencies and have identified some of the workers.
Police said indications of a scam include the contractor saying there are leftover materials from another job; pressure to make a quick decision; being asked to pay cash; and the offer coming out-of-state. Residents should know that if the price is unreasonably low, the quality of the work and the material will also be low. Residents should not feel pressured into making a quick decision, should check out businesses before hiring them, and should demand a written contract before any work is performed, police said.
Residents who think they are being scammed should immediately call police.
2012 Street List for Southbridge available
SOUTHBRIDGE - The 2012 Street List for Southbridge is available at the town clerk's office. The book costs $12. According to state law, any person wishing to purchase a street list book must sign their name and address in a log.