Editor's note: Year in Review highlights some of the headlines from The Item in 2012. January through March ran Dec. 7. April through June ran Dec. 14. July through September ran Dec. 21. The rest of the year is running in today's issue.
Lancaster's Thayer Memorial Library celebrated its 150th anniversary with a birthday party, with cake and a rocket.
At separate special town meetings, voters in Lancaster and Bolton rejected an $8 million renovation project for Nashoba Regional High School. Lancaster approved a $3.4 million renovation of the Prescott Building into a Historical Commission office and museum complex, with other town offices and some rental space.
Longtime Clinton Librarian Christine Flaherty announced she was retiring. Flaherty was at the Bigelow Free Public Library for 27 years.
A 12-year-old Lancaster boy was hospitalized with serious injuries after he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. The Clinton woman who was driving faced charges after leaving the scene of the accident. The boy, Jack Lally, faced months of rehabilitation. In the coming weeks, community members came together to support the Lally family.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation opened the top of the Wachusett Reservoir dam to visitors for one day only, much to the delight of residents who brought their families to reminisce.
After an on-again off-again couple of weeks, a blues and barbecue festival was approved to be held at the Bolton Fairgrounds, in Lancaster. Initially, there was concern that the festival was advertised as bring your own bottle; selectmen said it was a public safety issue. In addition, the fair organizers owed the town for details worked during the August fair. But the Bolton Fair committee pushed the event because low turn-out in August was causing financial problems.
The Gallery of African Art reopened in its expanded space. The gallery, which focuses on Western African art, is accessible through Sunrise Boutique, 62 High St., Clinton.
After two months of investigation, longtime town firefighter Dean Weeks was indicted by a Worcester grand jury on four criminal counts stemming from an August dryer fire at his ex-wife's house. Doreen Weeks suffered burns to her legs and hair as a result of the fire. Dean Weeks was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (propane gas), assault and battery on a disabled person causing bodily injury, wanton destruction of property valued over $250 and misleading a...