Framingham Online News

2014 NORAD Santa Tracker

Filed under: General Interest by News Staff at 10:11 pm on December 23, 2014

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Months become weeks, weeks become days, and as December 25th approaches, children's questions like; "How long until Christmas?", and "Are you sure Santa knows where our house is?", come with increasing frequency.

Thanks to NORAD, (the North American Aerospace Defense Command), kids of all ages can track Santa's travels on Christmas Eve with radar accuracy -- and spend time on the NORAD Santa Tracker Website playing games and enjoying other activities while they wait for the jolliest elf to arrive.


History of the NORAD Santa Tracker:

1955 Sears Christmas Ad mistakenly publishes Air Force hotline number

1955 Sears Christmas Ad mistakenly publishes Air Force / CONAD hotline number.

In 1955, a U.S. Air Force agency called "CONAD", (the Continental Air Command), had it's phone number, (ME2-6681), mistakenly published in Christmas ad for the Sears Roebuck store in Colorado Springs, CO.

The ad encouraged kids to call the number to talk to Santa.

In the spirit of Christmas, CONAD Operations Director, Col. Harry Shoup had staff give children updates on Santa's location.

Three years later, the United States and Canada formed NORAD, and the agency decided to follow Col. Shoup's lead, and made the "Santa Hotline" a favorite annual event for the agency.

From 1955 to 1996, the "Santa Tracker" was a call-in telephone hotline and newspapers, radio and television programs promoted it to children across the country.

In 1997, Santa went high-tech, and the agency created the NORAD Santa Tracker website -- which has been updated over the past 15 years to include "live satellite tracking" and fun, interactive activities for kids.

Click link below to visit -


Former Framingham Dentist Sentenced In Child Pornography Case

Filed under: General Interest by News Staff at 12:01 am on December 17, 2014
Melvin Dr. Mel Ehrlich, Framingham, MA

Melvin "Dr. Mel" Ehrlich, sentenced to one year in jail.

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced today that a former pediatric dentist with an office in Framingham has been sentenced after pleading guilty to five indictments charging him with possession and distribution of child pornography for images allegedly found on his laptop computer.

On December 18, Melvin A. Ehrlich, 52, of Millis, pleaded guilty to charges of distribution of visual material showing a child in a state of nudity or sexual conduct (2 counts), and possession of child pornography (3 counts). Middlesex Superior Court Judge Mitchell H. Kaplan sentenced Ehrlich to one year in the Middlesex County House of Correction in Billerica and three years’ probation. The District Attorney’s office had requested two to three years in state prison and five years’ probation. Judge Kaplan stayed the sentence until December 29.

“It was disturbing to find out that someone who had been a trusted medical professional was involved in child pornography,” said District Attorney Ryan. “It’s frightening to think about the number of times people brought their children to Ehrlich’s dental practice having no idea that in his down time he was looking at disturbing and graphic images of other young people who were being exploited. This case is a reminder that those who engage in child pornography may be in any profession, of any age, and of any educational level.”

According to authorities, in the spring of 2013, Ehrlich made arrangements to have his personal laptop computer picked up at his dental office by a Framingham business for maintenance work to remove a reported virus from the computer. While working on Ehrlich’s laptop, a technician observed downloaded images of child pornography. The business called Framingham Police, who immediately launched an investigation.

On April 11, 2013, Ehrlich was arraigned on charges related to child pornography in Framingham District Court. An extensive forensic investigation was conducted and revealed that Ehrlich used this personal laptop computer under various user names to download and distribute commercially traded child pornography images. The data recovered was sent to and confirmed to be commercially traded child pornography by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

At the time of this incident, Ehrlich was a pediatric dentist who operated a business called Wee Care for Kids in Framingham. The investigation did not reveal any evidence that Ehrlich abused any of his patients or manufactured any images of child pornography. Ehrlich is no longer employed as a pediatric dentist.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Kristin Noto of the Special Investigations Unit of the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. The case was investigated by Framingham Police, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Child Protection and Cyber Protection Units within the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

Source: Middlesex District Attorney, Press Release

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FREE Kids Nature Activities at Cochituate State Park (July 2014)

Filed under: Arts / Culture,General Interest by News Staff at 2:10 pm on July 7, 2014
Cochituate State Park

There's lots to do at Cochituate State Park!

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Between the towns of Framingham, Wayland and Natick, MA, Lake Cochituate offer many recreational summer activities including swimming, boating and fishing.

Many locals may not realize that just a few hundred yards east of the Framingham/Natick town line, (on Rt. 30), the beach, picnic area, boat launch, snack bar and canoe rental shop are in "Cochituate State Park", which is part of the Massachusetts State Park system and operated by the MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation.

Throughout the months of July and August, (Tuesdays-Saturdays), the park provides fun, educational, and FREE summer activities for kids and families!

Most of the activities have a different theme each week, so ...[read more]

Summer Stuff To Do (for Bored Kids)

Filed under: General Interest by News Staff at 11:59 pm on July 6, 2014

FRAMINGHAM, MA - During summer vacation many parents may be hearing the all too familiar "I'm bored" from their school age progeny.

Hey Ma! I'm bored!In these "difficult economic times" things to do that are are free or only cost a few dollars -- and don't require excessive driving can help stretch the family budget between trips to Six Flags, Canobie Lake Park or other New England area day trips.

For activities in the list that require traveling in town -- consider having kids go places on MWRTA routes.  Older kids can walk to a neighborhood bus stop, and go by themselves -- relieving their parents of driving duty -- and helping reduce local daytime traffic.

Things to do in Framingham in the Summer:

  • Make some Sidewalk Chalk and color on the driveway, a concrete deck or the sidewalk with colored chalk.  If you find a big enough area, you can use the chalk to make a bike riding course or ...[read more]

Traffic Alerts / Road Construction - May 12th-16th, 2014

Filed under: General Interest by News Staff at 9:24 am on May 9, 2014
Signs near road construction work advise drivers to Be Prepared To Stop in Framingham, MA.

"One Lane Alternating Traffic Pattern" means drivers should be prepared to stop and wait while traffic is allowed to pass from the other direction near some roadwork projects in Framingham.

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Roadwork on several major projects in town will continue this week.

Construction activities are scheduled to take place daily (Monday through Friday) between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily, (North Concord St. work will start after 8:30am to reduce morning rush hour traffic).

Use caution and expect delays while traveling in the area.

The Town of Framingham Department of Public Works / Highway Division / Capital Projects website offers residents and visitors to Framingham helpful information about current and upcoming construction projects.

You can view up to date traffic alerts, maps of project work sites and traffic detours, and sign up to receive email alerts for all or any of the currently listed projects, (see link below for more info).

Email traffics alert for the week of May 12th - 16th, 2014 indicates that: ...[read more]

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