Monthly Archives: February 2017

It’s 70 in February!

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Sunset in Newport Photo by: Abigail DesVergnes

By: Abigail DesVergnes

Area schools typically call this week away from school Winter Break. But with Southern New England awash in sunshine and temperatures in the 60s, students somehow leapfrogged from Christmas and Hanukkah to early Spring Break.

“How did we get this weather in the middle of February?” an incredulous Brooklyn Palermo of Attleboro wondered Thursday. “How did we get so lucky?”

Palermo, 18, spent the day on her grandparents Attleboro farm off Pleasant Street, where she cared for their three horses, could enjoy the fresh air – and the farm actually smelled like a farm.

With the temperature climbing to a phenomenal 67 degrees in Attleboro on Thursday, she relished the outdoor work.

“Perhaps I’d feel differently if it was freezing cold temperatures, but with the sun shining, I’m practically removing the layers and strutting about like it’s spring,” Palermo said.

With early February snowbanks close to melted, Palermo and her cousins took the horses out for trail rides – something she hasn’t been able to do in months.

Palermo said the trail was “absolutely beautiful.”

The week has been a slice of bliss in the midst of what ordinarily is the cruelest of months.

Look up February in the dictionary, and you’ll find it’s Latin for “frightfully depressing.”

Not really, but that’s what the dictionary should say.

Kacie Rodas of Attleboro spent Thursday soaking up rays and inhaling salt-scented air at the beach.

She spread a blanket on Newport’s Second Beach, splayed her toes in the toasty sand and admired the surfers.

“We’ve been in hibernation for such a while now,” said Rodas, 17. “Now it’s time that we all come out and enjoy this beautiful world.”

Driving home from the beach, Rodas made sure to roll down the car windows.

Brian MacDonald of Attleboro was happy just to get out of the house.

MacDonald, 16, and several friends met up at the Hyman Fine Elementary School basketball courts to play a pick-up game – something he hasn’t done since last fall.

“It’s great to finally be able to do something outside, and get out of the house,” he said. “This warm weather is putting me in a great mood.

“I was getting really bored staying inside.”

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Attleboro High students hear tales of service from current and retired military personnel

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BY: Abigail DesVergnes

There are memories of military service that go said – and unsaid.

But at Attleboro High School Tuesday, a panel of seven active-duty and retired military personnel of varying ages and service to the country regaled students with their stories.

Panel member J.J McGrath served in the Marines from 1975 to 1981, encouraged to enlist to continue a long line of family military service, including his father who served in World War II and an uncle who was a prisoner of war in World War II.

McGrath recalled the day he walked into boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina.

“At 17 I had know idea what I was capable of, and I learned quickly that I didn’t know anything,” McGrath said. “The training I went through was brutal. I was broken down and built into someone willing to fight for not only myself, but my country.”

Another panel member, Eric Dipietrantonio, told students about his recent experience at reconnaissance training for the Marines in Okinawa, Japan.

He discussed the psychological and emotional effects it had on him and others who went through the training.

“I soon learned that the only limits in life are the ones you set on yourself,” he said. “One of my proudest moments will always be graduating from recon school.”

Retired Army Col. Glenn Weidner, who teaches Spanish now at Attleboro High, said he spent 30 years as an artilleryman during the Cold War.

His years of service took him around the world to places like Germany, Spain, Chile and Ecuador, learning about the diverse cultures of those countries.

AHS senior Jacob Vieira sat in awe listening to the panel, wondering what military service would be like for him.

Vieira recently applied to the Air Force Academy, and hopes to be accepted in the upcoming year.

“I found the discussion to be informative and insightful,” he said. “It was eye-opening to see how accomplished and proud each member turned out to be.”

Cash me inside, how bout dat

Thursday’s blinding snowstorm brought the first snow day of winter to area schools, but few students were outside playing amongst tiny white flakes that felt more like icy, wind-flung needles.

Attleboro High School senior Sarah Carello used her snow day to just relax.

“Snow days are the perfect time to take a break from your busy schedule, and take time for yourself,” Carello said.

She spent the day watching movies and studying for next week’s exams.

Others just hung out with friends.

After hearing Wednesday night that school would be cancelled Thursday, AHS juniors Alison Wall and Hannah Aspinwall decided they, and a few other friends, would get snowed in together and have a sleepover.

The friends slept until late Thursday morning, then took to the kitchen to get creative.

They cooked up all sorts of wintertime snacks, from homemade cookies to pancakes — and, of course, hot chocolate with marshmallows.

After gorging on those treats, they laid low and binge-watched movies on Netflix.

“It doesn’t get better than staying inside and watching movies all day long with your best friends,” Wall said.

Snow days are special, and lately they’ve been few and far between — although late Thursday, Attleboro canceled school on Friday as well.

AHS senior Andrew Gingras said he had “waited a while for this.”

Gingras invited two friends over to play video games and eat junk food.

In between, they shoveled out the pizza guy who got stuck in the driveway.

That’s right, Gingras and company called in an order to Briggs Pizzeria in Attleboro, and the daring driver risked life and limb on snow-clogged streets to make the delivery — only to get stuck in the driveway.

It took Gingras, his friends and the driver 15 minutes to shovel out the car.

But, Gingras said, “it was all worth it. The pizza was delicious.”

AHS senior Kacie Rodas wasn’t feeling so daring, and was relieved she didn’t have to drive to school.

She lost control of her car and skidded in snow and ice on the way to school several weeks ago, and is a little nervous about it now.

“It’s important that everyone stay off the road and remains safe,” she said.Thursday’s blinding snowstorm brought the first snow day of winter to area schools, but few students were outside playing amongst tiny white flakes that felt more like icy, wind-flung needles.

Attleboro High School senior Sarah Carello used her snow day to just relax.

“Snow days are the perfect time to take a break from your busy schedule, and take time for yourself,” Carello said.

She spent the day watching movies and studying for next week’s exams.

Others just hung out with friends.

After hearing Wednesday night that school would be cancelled Thursday, AHS juniors Alison Wall and Hannah Aspinwall decided they, and a few other friends, would get snowed in together and have a sleepover.

The friends slept until late Thursday morning, then took to the kitchen to get creative.

They cooked up all sorts of wintertime snacks, from homemade cookies to pancakes — and, of course, hot chocolate with marshmallows.

After gorging on those treats, they laid low and binge-watched movies on Netflix.

“It doesn’t get better than staying inside and watching movies all day long with your best friends,” Wall said.

Snow days are special, and lately they’ve been few and far between.

AHS senior Andrew Gingras said he had “waited a while for this.”

Gingras invited two friends over to play video games and eat junk food.

In between, they shoveled out the pizza guy who got stuck in the driveway.

Thats right, Gingras and company called in an order to Briggs Pizzeria in Attleboro, and the daring driver risked life and limb on snow-clogged streets to make the delivery — only to get stuck in the driveway.

It took Gingras, his friends and the driver 15 minutes to shovel out the car.

But, Gingras said, “it was all worth it. The pizza was delicious.”

AHS senior Kacie Rodas wasn’t feeling so daring, and was relieved she didn’t have to drive to school.

She lost control of her car and skidded in snow and ice on the way to school several weeks ago, and is a little nervous about it now.

“It’s important that everyone stay off the road and remains safe,” she said.

Pats win an inspiration to Attleboro High School students

AHS Celebrates Patriots GN

Photo by Tom Maguire: The Sun Chronicle Staff Emily Vieira (Left) and Marissa Dias (right)

By: Abigail DesVergnes

Students garbed in Patriots attire sent a feeling of victory through the halls and into the classrooms of Attleboro High School Monday morning on the heels of New England’s stunning Super Bowl win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Although many students stayed up late for the final seconds of the overtime game, their excitement and utter shock at the 34-28 outcome made waking up the next morning a lot easier.

AHS senior Alex Whittingham didn’t make it to bed until midnight, but remained wide awake all day Monday.

“Any other day I would be drowsy, but not today – today is a celebration for all of us New England fans,” he said.

Throughout the sprawling school building, classmates relived the game, from the devastating start to the victorious end.

Emily Vieira almost stop watching the game at halftime, when the Patriots were down 28-3.

“I was disappointed,” she said. “Although, I hoped for a comeback, I didn’t think it could happen.”

Neither did the rest of the country.

At that point, ESPN Stats and Info gave the Falcons a 98.9 percent chance of winning the game.

But, the Patriots took their 1.1 percent chance, and made history.

And once the fourth quarter came around, students said they turned to superstition.

Whittingham changed his outfit to what he wore during the Super Bowl victory in 2014 against the Seattle Seahawks.

“I just didn’t want to lose hope,” he said. “I rallied behind my team because I knew they had the potential to win.”

While Whittingham was changing outfits, senior Marissa Dias was at a party where everyone had to remain in the same spot to maintain good luck.