By Carol Britton Meyer
Opry, a mixed-breed rescue pup who traveled here from Texas, recently joined the Hingham Police Department as a comfort dog to promote healing and wellness in the community.
Opry, who celebrated her first birthday recently with a party at the Senior Center, was bred specifically to be a comfort dog. She was donated to HPD by PAWS New England and funded through a Plymouth County District Attorney's Office grant.
Opry lives with her handler, Hingham High School Resource Officer Thomas Ford, and his family.
"Opry will be a community-wide resource and will have a broad skill set in how to handle stress in children and adults who are going through traumatic incidents, police officers, town employees, and others in stressful situations," Ford said recently.
Opry's temperament is uniquely suited for her new role as a comfort dog, offering a calming presence to help victims of trauma or those in crisis, according to Hingham Police Chief David Jones.
Opry is also available to visit schools, assisted living communities, and other locations upon request. All Opry's care and training are through private funding and donations.
In a press release, Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz noted that Opry is the first-ever comfort dog to serve with the Hingham Police "and is a great addition to the Department and to the Hingham Community. . . . Opry has developed a comforting presence and commands smiles wherever she goes," he said.
By Carol Britton Meyer
An article submitted by the South Shore Country Club Management Committee will appear on this year's Town Meeting warrant, asking voters to approve funding of up to $8 million to pay for the design and construction of a town-owned pool facility over a 20-year period.
The proposal includes a handicapped-accessible six-lane, 25-yard lap pool, a zero-depth entry pool, a bathhouse, and a splash pad -- contingent not only on voter approval at Town Meeting but also on the subsequent town election. The pool design would accommodate an all-season "bubble" covering.
That figure would be lower if Town Meeting approves the Community Preservation Committee-recommended allocation of $550,000 from Hingham's Community Preservation Act funds.
There's also the potential for private fundraising, which would reduce the impact on taxpayers.
Gaining the necessary approvals would not preempt the required town review process for the pool facility.
Any proposal beyond a summer pool would require future Town Meeting approval on the budget side.
"This is a nice project that will accommodate everyone in town, from babies to senior citizens," SSCC Management Committee Chair Christine Smith said recently.
She noted that with SSCC celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022, this would be the "perfect time [for the community] to get behind the project."
By: Carol Britton Meyer
Matthew Scheufele -- who is currently serving as principal of Centerville Elementary School in the Barnstable Public Schools -- has been appointed as the new Foster Elementary School principal, effective July 1.
Scheufele began his career as a grades 3-5 classroom teacher at the Federal Furnace Elementary School in the Plymouth Public Schools and served from 2005-2007 as the vice principal of the Nathaniel Morton Elementary School, also part of the PPS district, before assuming his current role.
Interim Supt. of Schools Gary Maestas and Asst. Supt. Jamie LaBillois outlined the search process in a recent email to the Foster School community, including interviewing the six candidates for the position in early March, a semi-finalist round with incoming Supt. of Schools Dr. Margaret Adams, and a visit by the three finalists to Foster School on March 24.
"From the interview, thorough reference checking with his colleagues and supervisors, past and present, and time spent throughout the interview process, it is quite apparent that Mr. Scheufele is the perfect fit to lead Foster Elementary School into the future," Maestas and LaBillois said.
By Carol Britton Meyer
Hingham’s 2022 Annual Town Meeting will be held Saturday, April 30, on the Hingham High School turf field, starting at 2 p.m.
"Town Meeting is an opportunity for residents to participate in their community’s legislative process," Town Clerk Carol Falvey said recently. "Although COVID-19 cases have decreased dramatically in town and throughout Plymouth County, we plan to hold the meeting outdoors out of an abundance of caution."
The full Town Meeting warrant is posted on the town website, and a copy will be mailed to every Hingham household in the coming weeks.
The rain dates for Town Meeting are Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m. on the turf field and Monday, May 9, at 7 p.m. inside the high school.
The annual town election will be held Saturday, May 14, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Updates on new precinct information based on the 2020 United States Census will be shared with residents in the near future.
Be sure to mark your calendar with these important dates!