Well that’s a fun way to start up Monday morning.
Abington Middle/High School was temporarily evacuated this morning after school officials discovered a bomb threat. High school students already in the building were moved to the Frolio School, middle school students were sent to the Beaver Brook Elementary School, and parents received an emergency call from the school principal.
Little is known about exactly what happened, what type of threat it was, and through what medium the threat was made. Abington Police Chief David Del Papa declined to comment saying it’s all part of an active investigation. What is known is that the Massachusetts State Police bomb squad – aided by K-9 units – was called in and performed, as Del Papa described it, a “hasty search.” The building was then cleared, staff and students were allowed to enter, and the school day resumed. (For most…a number of parents either kept their kids at home, or picked them up from the Frolio or Beaver Brook.)
Del Papa declined to say whether the person who made the threat is a member of the Abington schools community or not, but did say he is “confident the case will resolve itself.” He also does not believe anyone is in danger moving forward.
“There is no information we have received to believe there is a sustained threat,” he said.
Schools Superintendent Peter Schafer said school administrators followed the department’s emergency response plan based on the credibility of the threat and the timing of the incident, which was during the start of the morning drop-off period. When classes had resumed, Schafer was clearly aggravated about how the day started.
“All of us have real things to worry about,” he said. “No one needs this additional stress in their lives.”
FIRST VAX CLINIC FOR 5-11 yos TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY
The CDC approved use of the Pfizer vaccine for kids between the ages of 5-11, and Abington’s first vaccination clinics are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. All appointments for those clinics are booked, but Abington Public Health Director Marty Golightly said his department will be releasing details about additional upcoming clinics shortly. The state’s 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases is just over 1,000 per day, which is down from a high of 1,600 in early September. Last January, the daily case count was more than 6,800. Data still shows that children are at a lower-risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 complications than adults, but public health officials say it’s still important that this population get innoculated to further reduce the likelihood of severe illness, or that they spread the virus on to more-susceptible adults.
Dr. Todd Ellerin, the Director of Infectious Diseases at South Shore Hospital, says studies show 5-11 year olds so far have experienced more mild side effects from the vaccine than adults and even kids 12-18. South Shore Health is also hosting a Q&A on Nov. 16 with its Chief of Pediatrics for parents who want more information about the vaccine.
WATER DEPARTMENT GETTING BIG GRANT
The Lieutenant Governor is scheduled to be in Rockland Tuesday to present the Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works with an oversized novelty check representing a $2.2 million state grant to help the water department expand its system capacity. According to a press release posted on Facebook, it’s a MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant that will fund an expansion of the Myers Avenue well field, which will allow 12 new housing developments to move forward. It’s not known which housing projects these are, or how it’s connected to an ongoing system capacity study. The water department announced in April it was freezing all new hookups while it analyzed the system.
SELECTMEN DISCUSSING TAX CLASSIFICATION MONDAY NIGHT
Every year the Board of Selectmen must vote on the town’s property tax rate and decide whether to shift the tax burden more onto commercial tax properties. That discussion and vote will take place Monday night following a presentation by Deputy Assessor Jolanta Briffett. According to a presentation Briffett gave to the Board of Assessors last week, she’s recommending the town tax rate drop from $16.48 per $1,000 of valuation, to $15.22. Sounds good, right? Except the average home price has increased while the average commercial property has decreased. Some towns with large commercial tax bases split their tax rate, charging commercial and industrial properties a higher tax rate. Abington, historically, has not been one of those towns. The assessors’ presentation says adapting the maximum shift would save homeowners 6.5 percent while increasing commercial property taxes by 50 percent.
AHS ADVANCES IN FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
The Green Wave football team trounced St. Paul Diocesan HS Friday night 48-13 to advance in this year’s Division 6 high school tackle football playoffs. The next game is scheduled for this Friday night at 7 p.m. against Sandwich at Memorial Field.
BEAVER BROOK FOOD DRIVE ONGOING
The Beaver Brook Elementary Shool PTO is hosting a food drive to help create turkey boxes. Members of the community can drop off non perishable food items in the school lobby until November 20. Email Bbespto1@gmail.com with any questions.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PARENT CONFERENCES THIS WEEK
Time finally for parents and teachers at the middle school to come together. Parent teacher conferences for grades 5-8 are scheduled for Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday is a half day for the middle school, with students getting out at 11:10 a.m. Breakfast and lunch will be served.
ABINGTON SCHOOLS FUNDRAISER MONDAY AT THE TOY BOX OF HANOVER
Looking to do some early holiday shopping? And interested in helping support Abington Public Schools? For every purchase made Monday at the Toy Box in Hanover, 20 percent will be donated back to Abington PTOs. The fundraiser is running from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and includes purchases made online, in-person, and over the phone. If you can’t make it there, you can call the store at 781-826-3750 and order a gift certificate.
NEW OPENING ON CHARTER REVIEW COMMISSION
There’s an opening on the commission reviewing the town charter. The town charter effectively serves as Abington’s municipal Constitution, and it is reviewed approximately every 10 years. The commission is appointed by Moderator Shawn Reilly. Anyone interested should apply before Wednesday, Nov. 17 by sending a letter or email with their name, address, specific qualifications or reasons why interested to SReilly@ReillyLawOffice.com. No prior municipal board experience is required.
YOUTH BASKETBALL REGISTRATION EXTENDED
Abington Youth Basketball has extended signups for its winter season until Nov 15. Forms and payments can be mailed to PO Box 36, Abington, MA 02351. Checks should be made out to AYBA. Cost is $100 per player, with a $20 discount for each additional player. The family fee is capped at $250. League practice day is Dec 4th, 2021
COMMUNITY OUTREACH MEETING FOR CANNABIS DELIVERY BUSINESS
The team behind a planned cannabis delivery service will host a community outreach meeting on on November 12th at 7 PM. It will be held at 1431 Bedford Street, also known as the South Shore Terminal building, which is where the business would be operated from. The company signed a community host agreement with Abington in September. They are the fifth cannabis operation to express interest in Abington and the first that would be exclusively focused on delivery. Even though they wouldn’t have an actual store front, Abington would still receive a 3% sales tax on deliveries made through the service.
CPA PROJECT DEADLINE TUESDAY
Tuesday’s last day residents can submit project ideas for this year’s round of community preservation act funding. The committee will meet Tuesday at 7 PM to start going over Applications for eligibility. The full process on how to propose a project can be found at the committee’s web page. In addition the committee has put together an online map of all projects previously funded throughout the town. The committee will recommend a slate of projects for funding in the upcoming year. Town meeting has the ultimate vote on whether to approve.
Griffins Dairy Farm Committee, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall. The agenda includes discussions about the community garden, storm damage, and future food truck rodeos.
Board of Selectmen, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. The agenda includes a discussion about the town’s tax rates, appointing a new member to the Board of Health, and a possible RFP to cap the town landfill
Board of Health, 6:45 p.m., Town Hall. The only agenda item is a joint meeting with the Board of Selectmen to appoint a new member.
Community Preservation Committee, 7 p.m., Town Hall. The agenda includes reviewing projects for FY 23
Finance Committee, 7 p.m., Town Hall. The agenda includes discussions about the town’s free cash number, the current FY’22 budget, and the FY’23 budget