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Community News For The Manchester Edition

Free Rail Trail Hike

MANCHESTER — The public is invited to a Cheney Railroad history walk on Saturday, July 29, at 1 p.m., starting at the tracks in the North End. Hikers will have an easy walk along the former railroad, built in 1869 to connect the Cheney silk mills to the main rail line in the North End.

At 2.5 miles, it was the shortest private freight-and-passenger railroad in the United States. Attendees will hike along the one-mile portion owned by the Manchester Land Conservation Trust, to Center Springs Park and the town's new bridge over Bigelow Brook. The walk will take approximately two hours, round trip.

Participants will hear about the history of the railroad and see maps and old pictures. Meet at the tracks at the North End of Main Street in Manchester, on the north (right) side of Farr's Sporting Goods, 2 Main St. Park at the nearby shopping plaza or Eighth Utilities District office building; please do not park in Farr's parking lot.

A special railroad favor will be given to children who attend the hike, co-sponsored by the Connecticut Forest & Park Association and the Manchester Land Trust. No dogs, please. More information about the Trust and a printable self-guided rail trail map are available at www.manchesterlandtrust.org. Pictured is one of the Cheney railroad engines, circa 1900s.

CPA Society Reappoints Local Woman

MANCHESTER — The Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants reappointed CPA Mary K. Wisenski of Manchester to serve as a member-at-large of its Advisory Council for the organization's 2017-18 activity year.

The Advisory Council contemplates the future of the Connecticut Society of CPAs and the accounting profession, and in doing so serves as a sounding board and source of information for the CTCPA Board of Directors.

Wisenski is a senior manager, assurance and advisory services with Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina Glastonbury. She holds a B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a M.S.A. in accounting from the University of Connecticut.

New Cantor

MANCHESTER — Beth Sholom B'nai Israel is pleased to welcome Cantor Sarah Bolts to its congregation to serve as the next cantor/education director. Bolts was ordained as a cantor in June 2016 at Hebrew College in Newton, Mass. She comes from Brookline, Mass., and has worked in various communities in Maryland and Massachusetts serving as cantorial soloist, professional Torah reader, b'nai mitzvah tutor and ba'alat t'fillah.

Manchester High Reunion

MANCHESTER — The Manchester High School class of 1967 will celebrate its 50th reunion on Saturday, Sept. 9, at Villa Louisa in Bolton. For information about the reunion, contact Class Vice President Dave White at whitedavidp@att.net. To purchase tickets at $60 per person, mail checks to: MHS Class of '67, P.O. Box 226, Coventry, CT (checks payable to MHS Class of '67) The Reunion Committee is still trying to reach classmates and asks that people share the reunion information.

Bentley Storytime

BOLTON — Going Buggy For Books Storytime will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, at Bentley Memorial Library, 206 Bolton Center Road. The event will feature stories, crafts, games and treats. All are welcome to attend. Call 860-646-7349 or email Bentley@biblio.org to register.

Not So "YA" Book Club

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Public Library's Not So "YA" Book Club is a group for adults who still can't get enough of young adult literature. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, July 27, at 7 p.m. at the Whiton Branch, 100 North Main St.

This month, the book is "The Wrath and the Dawn" by Renée Ahdieh, a story inspired by "A Thousand and One Nights." Copies of the book are available at Cheney. This is a free program and no registration is required. For more information. contact Ashley at aspears@manchesterct.gov or 860-645-0821.

Woodbridge Barn Restored

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Historical Society will conduct free open houses of the restored 18th-century barn and the grounds of its Woodbridge farmstead from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the following Sundays: Aug. 13, Aug. 27, Sept. 10, Sept. 24, Oct. 8, Oct. 22, and Nov. 12.

The farmstead is located in Manchester Green, 495 East Middle Turnpike, near its intersection with Woodbridge Street. The barn, located behind (north of) the house, was restored with funds from the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office, the SBM Charitable Foundation, and individual donors.

Visitors can park at the municipal lot behind the Senior Center, and along the street that runs between the Senior Center and the farmstead itself. From the street, walk to the backyard using the grass driveway between the house and Woodbridge Pizza. The Woodbridge farmstead is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Historical Society is in the process of developing displays of farm tools and equipment. More information about local history at www.manchesterhistory.org

Mental Illness Alliance Meets

MANCHESTER — The National Alliance for Mental Illness support group meets on the third Thursday of every month at the Center Congregational Church, 11 Center St., from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The meeting is open to all families and friends of people with mental illness and focuses on sharing experiences and information. All the information is held confidential. For more information, contact Karen at 860-649-5659.

Market Nights

MANCHESTER — Market Nights are coming to Manchester. The Spruce Street Market will run from 5 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday evening, until Oct. 4 at 153 & 160 Spruce St.

Every market night will feature live music, open gallery hours, and the opportunity to support local farmers and artisans. Call the Office of Neighborhoods and Families at 860-647-3089 for more information.

Pet Food Drive

MANCHESTER — Bennet PTSA representatives are holding a pet food and supply drive to benefit Manchester residents through Manchester Animal Control. They are collecting crunchy and canned dog and cat food, used tennis balls and waste bags. For more information, email bennetacademyptsa@gmail.com.

Yoga Classes

MANCHESTER — Morning and evening yoga classes for people of all levels will take place at the Meetinghouse of Unitarian Universalist Society: East, 153 Vernon St. West. For more information, visit www.uuse.org or 860-646-5151.

Cost to attend is $40 per eight-week session or a $6 drop-in fee. Guests are asked to bring a yoga mat or large towel and wear loose clothing. First-time students are asked to arrive 10 minutes early.

St. James School Accepting Applications

MANCHESTER — St. James School in Manchester is currently accepting new student applications for its pre-K, elementary school and middle school 2017-18 school year.

Applications may be obtained by visiting the school's website, www.SaintJamesSchool.net, e-mailing aguenther@SaintJamesSchool.net, or calling the school's main office at 860-643-5088.

St. James School accepts students of all religious faiths and from all towns in the surrounding area. Tuition assistance is available to qualifying families.

Poets And Writers

MANCHESTER — The Wit & Wisdom Poets and Writers Club in Manchester is looking for new and established poets and writers. Club meetings are held at the Arbors, 403 W. Center St., on the second Saturday of each month, between 1 and 3 p.m. For more information, contact Charles Gilbert at 860-647-7348 or email Debbie at wwpoetryclub@gmail.com

MCC Library Goes Live

MANCHESTER — As part of the Integrated Library Project, the Raymond F. Damato Library at Manchester Community College has gone live with a comprehensive online search tool that will find and deliver materials stored not just at MCC but also at the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) libraries and the Hartford-based Connecticut State Library.

Any state resident of high school age or older with valid ID is welcome to register as a borrower at MCC's Library. To use the new search tool, visit www.manchestercc.edu/library and enter keywords.

Youth Mini Grant Program

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Youth Commission is requesting proposals for mini grants. Applications for the Manchester Youth Commission Mini Grant Program are available at townofmanchester.org. Contact Heather at 860-647-5215, or heatherw@manchesterct.gov for details.

Hoopla Digital Content Available

MANCHESTER — Manchester Public Library card holders can download the free Hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or iOS device or visit hoopladigital.com to begin enjoying thousands of titles. Once registered patrons can borrow up to 10 items each month and Hoopla digital's automatic return feature eliminates late fees. Hoopla allows multiple simultaneous downloads so there is no wait to borrow. Titles are available for instant streaming or temporary downloading. To learn more about this exciting new offering click on the "Online Databases" link at library.townofmanchester.org.

MS Support Group

MANCHESTER — The Manchester MS Support Group meets at the Presbyterian Church, 394 Lydall St., at 10 a.m. on the first Monday of each month. Contact Nancy at 860-742-5155 or Karen at 860-746-4247. Visit ctfightsMS.org or call 800-FIGHT MS.

Softball Umpires Sought

STATEWIDE — The North Central Connecticut Board of Softball Umpires is seeking new members for the 2017 season. Our board provides services to schools, youth and adult recreational leagues in the greater Hartford area. No experience is necessary. For more information or to join, contact Al at prez798@aol.com or call/text 860-205-1688.

Operation Fuel Offering Energy Assistance

HARTFORD — Operation Fuel's statewide network of fuel banks started taking energy assistance applications on Wednesday, July 5, from households that are in financial crisis and are in danger of having their utility services terminated.

Individuals who need energy assistance should call 211. The annual winter moratorium, which prevents households from having their electricity and gas shut off, ended on May 1 and will not resume until November 1, 2017.

Energy affordability is a year-round problem for more than 322,000 Connecticut households. Operation Fuel is Connecticut's only statewide nonprofit energy assistance program. For the fiscal year, which ends June 30, Operation Fuel has provided over $3.3 million in energy assistance to more than 7,830 households. This includes $2.1 million in energy assistance for the 2017 winter program and $1.2 million in energy assistance last summer.

Now in its 40th year, Operation Fuel is a statewide nonprofit program that provides emergency energy assistance year-round to lower-income working families and individuals, the elderly, and disabled individuals who are in financial crisis.

For more information on Operation Fuel or to make a donation, go to www.operationfuel.org. Donations also can be sent to Operation Fuel, 75 Charter Oak Avenue, Suite 2-240, Hartford, CT, 06106.

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