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Around Southampton; new health agent settles in

  • Adam Kinney, the new health agent, poses for a portrait in his office at the Southampton Town Hall on Thursday, January 31, 2013.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Adam Kinney, the new health agent, poses for a portrait in his office at the Southampton Town Hall on Thursday, January 31, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Adam Kinney, the new health agent, poses for a portrait in his office at the Southampton Town Hall on Thursday, January 31, 2013.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Adam Kinney, the new health agent, poses for a portrait in his office at the Southampton Town Hall on Thursday, January 31, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Adam Kinney, the new health agent, poses for a portrait in his office at the Southampton Town Hall on Thursday, January 31, 2013.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Adam Kinney, the new health agent, poses for a portrait in his office at the Southampton Town Hall on Thursday, January 31, 2013.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

A 32-year-old Wilbraham man who specializes in lead and asbestos inspections is the town’s new health agent. Adam Kinney started work Dec. 11, replacing former health agent Joshua Mathieu, who left to become Palmer’s full-time health agent in September.

“It’s a nice little town,” Kinney said at his office in Town Hall this week. “Everyone seems to know each other.”

The Oneida, N.Y., native said he earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental forest biology from the State University of New York before going to work for the Erie County Health Department in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2005.

He said his work there was similar to what he does in Southampton. “It’s just a much smaller department,” he said.

Before taking the job in Southampton, he worked for three years at the Institute for Environmental Education in Wilmington.

“I did lead, radon and asbestos inspections and taught people how to do mold and lead work,” he said.

After speaking with concerned residents, Kinney said one of his first goals here is to establish a sharps disposal station in town where people, including diabetics, can safely dispose of used syringes.

“I’m catching up on things, getting things organized towards the way I like them so I can be efficient out in the field,” he said.

Kinney is an hourly employee earning about $24,740 a year based on a 30-hour workweek.

•••

Lion’s Club event

The Southampton Lions Club is holding its first-ever Valentine’s Day Dessert and Dance Feb. 9, and organizer Art Lustenberger said the group hopes to make it an annual event.

“Last year our club celebrated its 50th anniversary with a dinner-dance around this same time,” Lustenberger said. “It was a lot of fun in the middle of the winter when most people don’t go out as much, and we wanted to do something similar this year.”

The event, which runs Feb. 9 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Southampton Country Club, features desserts from Partners Restaurant in Southwick, music from DJ Matt Gagnon of Southampton’s Party Patrol, raffle prizes and a cash bar.

“It’s just a good reason to get out and have some fun with your significant other,” he said.

Tickets are $22 and should be purchased as soon as possible by contacting Lustenberger at 527-0132 or any Lions Club member.

•••

Library fundraiser

The Friends of Edwards Public Library is departing from its usual fundraising book and bake sales and debuting a new fundraising effort.

“Wine with Friends” is a wine and cheese event taking place Feb. 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the library at 30 East St.

A $10 donation — $8 for Friends members — gets anyone 21 years or older four tastes of red and white wines provided by the Westfield Spirit Shop. Attendees can also enjoy cheese and fruit while visiting with neighbors and discussing ways to support the library, according to a press release from the Friends of Edwards Public Library.

In the case of inclement weather, the event will be postponed to March 8 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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