The final frontier: Local is first woman to solo hike Alaskan range

Kristin Gates struggled to pull her paddle through the breaking waves. For three days and two nights she’d paddled, stopping only for the bathroom. She ate very little. Continue reading

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Healing Newtown: Mother carries message of love left by late son

Jesse Lewis left a message for his family that remains a driving force in his mother’s life as she moves to bring compassion into public school curriculum. The 6-year-old’s prophetic message? Nurturing Healing Love. Continue reading

Healing Newtown: How humanity’s worst brought out its best

 Mary Hamilton stares at a treasure map. Somewhere within its maze of dotted lines and obstacles lies the treasure. But it’s not gold or dollars or even notoriety that lurks within its riddle. It’s a glimpse into the mind of a child. A child traumatized by the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.

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The return of the record: Johnny’s vinyl haven still going strong

The sign in Johnny’s store window read “Going Out of Business,” and it seemed as though this record shop was on the path of obsolescence carved out by MP3s and iTunes — a path laden with other record store casualties, remnants of what some were calling a bygone era. Continue reading

A virtuouso in the making

Middle schooler Christopher Jessup learned to sing before he learned to speak. As a baby, his parents remember him humming in his crib, perhaps recalling a classic jazz tune from the home stereo. “I like to sing,” Chris said, pausing from rehearsals for the Middlesex Middle School variety show last spring. “I like to sing a lot.” Continue reading