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News Nearby: Leaf-Blower Ban Upheld, Hollywood in Reading

A look at some of the top recent headlines from just beyond Winchester.

Arlington Town Meeting Upholds Seasonal Leaf-Blower Ban: 

Arlington Town Meeting members kept the town's seasonal leaf-blower ban in place Wednesday night. Members voted 110-95 against substituting a motion that would have put a repeal of the ban to a vote. The ban, which prohibits the use of gas-powered leaf blowers on private property from May 15 to Oct. 15, has yet to take effect, as it's pending the approval of the state attorney general's office. Town Meeting passed the ban in May in a 95-85 vote.

A Slice of Hollywood Opening in North Reading: 

Former Golden Globes regular Alex Williams took what she learned from being styled for the red carpet in Beverly Hills and brought it to North Reading when she opened her own salon on Main Street.

Williams spent two years attending the Golden Globes to escort stars to be photographed by the Hollywood Foreign Press and interviewed on Extra and other entertainment shows. Williams had to look the part to do her job, and spent hours in hair and makeup before getting to work. 

Opening her salon, Axle Color Studio, fulfilled her dream of offering local customers the Beverly Hills salon experience without the travel or high price point.

MSBA Approves $3.1M in Grants to Build MHS Science Labs:

The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) recently awarded $3.1 million to Melrose High School for the construction of new science labs, according to a report on the Boston Globe website.

On Oct. 3 the MSBA also signed off on plans for a new elementary school in Georgetown and renovation of a middle school in Newburyport, according to the Globe.

In June, Melrose was chosen along with nine other public high schools to receive funding under the MSBA’s Science Labratory Initiative, through which $60 million in federal stimulus money is being used to reimburse school districts with a percentage of the project’s cost, reads the Globe report. The Melrose grant will cover nearly 50 percent of the total project budget of $6.5 million, the Globe reported.

According to City Planner Denise Gaffey, the grants will be used toward the construction of the science labs, technology and software. The same SMART Boards, which are interactive white boards, currently used in science classrooms will be used in the new ones as well, according to Gaffey, because "they aren't incredibly old," she said.

Ragucci: Stoneham DPW Completes Most Street Repaving in 30 Years:

The Stoneham Department of Public Works has had one of its most productive years in recent memory when it comes to street repaving, as the department has repaved more than four miles of roads, according to Town Administrator David Ragucci.

"According to Director of Public Works (Robert Grover), this is the most he's ever had paved since he's been with the town of Stoneham which is about 30 years," Ragucci told the Stoneham Board of Selectmen Tuesday night atTown Hall in the Banquet Room. 

Selectman Robert Sweeney asked Ragucci if Chapter 90 money was used on the repaving projects, and the town administrator confirmed that the town spent $400,000 in Chapter 90 funds. Ragucci noted that $300,000 was also spent "on the streets that were torn up to do the water line replacement" and Selectman Chairman Frank Vallarelli added that utility work was also completed during that project.

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