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Hilltown Voices: Worthington eyes Route 143 road project, public meeting planned

A possible road redesign and improvements may be in the cards for Route 143.

The Worthington Select Board will hold a public informational meeting Jan. 14 to outline the proposal. According to Select Board Administrative Assistant Peggy O’Neal, the engineering firm Clough, Harbour & Associates has been hired to provide planning and design services for the project.

The project will focus on the section of road between the Chesterfield and Peru town lines.

O’Neal said that the breadth of the redesign and specifics of the improvements to the road are not yet known.

“I don’t know what the plan is, but I know that there are some people in town who have expressed concern that the road will just be widened and straightened,” O’Neal said. “People up here like our winding roads and I think one of the fears is that the improvements will just encourage cars to go faster.”

At the meeting, representatives of the firm will give a presentation on the scope of the proposed improvements, and explain the role of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in the project. Feedback on the project will be solicited from residents.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 Jan 14 at the Town Hall.

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Selectman recovers after hip surgery

Longtime Chesterfield Select Board member David Kielson says his health is just about back to normal after hip replacement surgery at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in October.

Kielson was upbeat in an interview Thursday afternoon, saying that the operation only slowed him down for a couple of months.

“For several weeks I didn’t go to any meetings — actually, I didn’t leave the house,” Kielson said. “Now I think I am ready to get back into the thick of it. I don’t even need the cane anymore.”

Kielson’s wife, Gail Kielson, said the surgery alleviated complications from arthritis.

“Before the surgery he would be bent over and hobbling. Now he stands up straight and he is doing remarkably well,” Gail said.

According to Gail, the family is no stranger to serious medical procedures as two of Kielson’s three daughters have undergone brain surgeries in the past. So when Gail heard her husband needed a hip replacement, she took it in stride.

“I thought, it’s a hip replacement, that’s no big deal! It is like taking your car to Jiffy Lube, you’re in, then you’re out, and you’re better,” she said.

Kielson’s recovery took some time, though. After surgery, he spent time at Linda Manor in Northampton, followed by physical therapy at the Pioneer Spine and Sports Physicians in Northampton.

During his hospital stay, Gail said that neither Kielson nor their family members ever lost their sense of humor, joking and singing to keep spirits up.

“People think it is odd that we can laugh at things like brain surgeries and hip replacements,” Gail said. “But Dave is a sweet, caring person with a good sense of humor, and those aspects of his personality were very evident while he was in the hospital.”

Kielson said he plans to be at Monday’s Select Board meeting.

“I will be doing a little catch-up, but I will be there,” he said.

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Indoor winter wonderland

If winter temperatures have you shivering, you may want to experience a bit of the season in the warmth of Meekins Library in Williamsburg.

From now until Jan. 4, Shirley Cranston’s installation depicting a traditional New England village in winter will be on display in the Hawks-Hayden Community Room.

Children’s Librarian Rochelle Wildfong said the display features china and porcelain buildings, as well as a train that circles around the room.

“There are a lot of old-fashioned items featured like farms and country homes, a park, a logging camp, and a library,” Wildfong said. “The children get so excited when it goes up,” she said.

Cranston had collected items for the village over the years. With her children grown and no longer living at home, she decided to donate the Winter Village to the library.

Over the last three years, the exhibit has become a tradition during the holiday season, going up in December and carrying into the New Year.

“It’s a pretty popular. Many people come in to the library just to see it,” Wildfong said.

Items for this column may be sent to Fran Ryan at fryan.gazette@gmail.com.

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