All posts by mwebber

Register O’Donnell Reports on April’s Real Estate Activity in Norfolk County

Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell stated that real estate sales remained sluggish in Norfolk County, but that the industry saw a slight increase in the volume of mortgage lending activity.

“During April 2019, a total of 1,378 real estate sales were recorded, an identical number to what was recorded in April of 2018. The average sales price, both residential and commercial, did decrease 9% year over year coming in at $802,656. In addition, total dollar sales volume for the month was $665 million, a 9% decrease from the previous year. Hopefully, in the upcoming spring and summer months, we will see a turnaround in these numbers.”

One bright spot for April was in mortgage lending activity. A total of 2,022 mortgages were recorded in April in Norfolk County, a modest 2% increase compared to April 2018. Total mortgage borrowing came in at just over $1 billion. “These figures,” noted the Register “may have been stimulated by increased consumer confidence and the Federal Reserve Bank’s decision to defer interest rate increases during the past few months.”

An area of great improvement seen during April was the reduced amount of foreclosure activity. Register O’Donnell stated, “During April there was a 29% decrease in the number of foreclosures recorded. Even more significantly was the 35 Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings, the first step in the foreclosure process, recorded during the month, resulting in a whopping 57% decrease year over year. I am very pleased the foreclosure numbers are continuing to trend in this direction.”

The Register did note that for anyone experiencing financial trouble with their mortgage, there is help readily available. “The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds continues to partner with Quincy Community Action Programs, 617-479-8181 x376 and NeighborWorks Southern Mass, 508-587-0950. These non-profit agencies are equipped to help those who have received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage document. Another option is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400.”

On the consumer front, Norfolk County homeowners continued to take advantage of the protections offered through the Homestead Act. A total of 933 Homestead documents were recorded in April, a modest 4% increase from the previous year. “The Homestead law provides limited protection against the forced sale of a homeowner’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge Norfolk County homeowners to consider this important consumer protection tool,” noted O’Donnell.

In conclusion, Register O’Donnell stated, “I was not discouraged by the number of real estate sales recorded in Norfolk County during the month of April. With the economy in eastern Massachusetts continuing to perform well, my hope is that we will see additional inventory hit the market, resulting in increased sales and lending activity. If this occurs, it would certainly help first-time home buyers who are having trouble securing properties due to limited inventory.”

“Finally, I was also very encouraged by the foreclosure numbers. While one foreclosure is one too many, I am starting to believe that the worst is behind us.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at or follow us on and/or

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street, Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at

Patriot Place To Host 5th Annual Foxborough Street Painting Festival May 18

Community Press Release

Patriot Place and Foxborough Public Schools team up to host a day of creative fun featuring local artists and free family activities on Saturday, May 18.

The fifth annual Foxborough Street Painting Festival featuring the creative works of local artists of all ages will be held on Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Patriot Place.

The festival was established in 2014 through a partnership between the Foxborough Public Schools Art Department, Foxboro Dental Associates and Patriot Place. That collaboration has dedicated a day each spring to celebrating the community arts and recognizing the work of local artists through awards and cash prizes.

Saturday’s event will again feature a day filled with free family fun with activities like balloon and caricature artists, a live DJ and a special appearance by Patriots mascot Pat Patriot planned throughout Patriot Place’s North Marketplace. 

Artists interested in participating in the festival are required to register. Applications can be found here:  Registered artists will be assigned a 5’x5’ cement square to design their own canvas from pastel chalks with the theme, “Travel Destinations.”

Last year’s festival drew artists from 16 different communities and produced more than 50 vibrantly colored chalk drawings throughout Patriot Place. The event raised more than $1,000 for the Gerald Roy Memorial Scholarship in honor of the longtime art teacher at Foxborough High School and former K-12 Art Department head for Foxborough Public Schools. The Gerald Roy Memorial Scholarship, with the support of Roy’s family and friends, awarded scholarships to four Foxborough High School graduating seniors from the Class of 2018.

For more information, visit


The Foxborough High School Art Department is committed to providing students with an exceptional visual arts education by encouraging the development of skills both in and out of the classroom. It is our common belief that the community should be integrated into the academic curriculum. By providing structured time for students to work on community service projects and designating the month of May for school-based art shows, artistic work is being connected to social context.

Patriots Show Appreciation For Teachers With A Surprise Visit To Foxborough Elementary School

Community Press Release

Patriots players James White, Rex Burkhead, Stephen Anderson, Keion Crossen and Braxton Berrios visit teachers and students at the Igo Elementary School on Tuesday, May 7, in recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week.


The New England Patriots celebrated National Teacher Appreciation Week with a surprise visit to the Igo Elementary School in Foxborough Tuesday afternoon to thank teachers and staff for their dedication to their profession and the impact they make on the lives of their students. 

Patriots players James White, Rex Burkhead, Keion Crossen, Stephen Anderson and Braxton Berrios roamed the hallways with Igo Principal Mike Stanton, Foxborough Schools Superintendent Dr. Amy Berdos and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Alison Mello; bouncing from class to class to thank more than 60 teachers and staff and visit with students. 

The players presented each staff member with flowers, a personalized certificate of appreciation from the Patriots Foundation and a Patriots Super Bowl LIII Champion hat. 


The New England Patriots Foundation was created by Robert Kraft to support charitable and philanthropic agencies throughout New England. The Foundation’s primary goal is to support programs that aid the youth and families of New England while underscoring the Kraft family’s deep commitment to philanthropic activities in the community. The Foundation actively supports non-profit groups focusing on health, education, youth fitness and community enrichment while also implementing its own programs in those areas of focus. For more information about the New England Patriots Foundation, visit

Foxborough Public Schools Receive $5,250 From Partners In Patriotism Fund To Support Ecg Screenings For Students

Community Press Release

Foxborough had the highest participation rate of students participating in the Boston ECG Project

The Partners in Patriotism Fund awarded Foxborough Public Schools with a grant of $5,250 to provide no cost ECG screenings from the Boston ECG Project to Foxborough High School and Ahern Middle School students.

The program aims to uncover undetected cardiac conditions that may result in sudden cardiac death, or other long-term health issues.

“Foxborough had the highest participation rate in the state to date with 361 students screened,” said Foxborough Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Alison Mello. “This grant helps the ECG Project in its goal of screening 10,000 students in the state by subsidizing the cost.”

Through the PIP Fund grant, the schools were able to offer the screenings at no cost to students and fund the use of the equipment and trained nurses to administer the screenings.

Cynthia Glennon, clinical director for the Boston ECG Project, said the nonprofit organization is conducting a large academic clinical data study in Massachusetts with the hope that data will show a need to change state legislation to include ECG screenings as part of student wellness checks in schools.

Dr. Mello said Foxborough schools became aware of the ECG Project after the district’s nurses attended a professional development session last October, which led to a meeting between Mello, Foxborough Schools Superintendent Dr. Amy Berdos and Dr. John B. Cadigan III and his team from the Boston ECG Project.

“They explained their study, shared examples of preventable sudden cardiac death and outlined how their screenings detect issues such as cardiac abnormalities that could become problematic, but also other conditions such as hypertension, that when addressed, can be mitigated,” said Dr. Mello. “It was great to participate in the program and we hope this study leads to major changes in the annual physical process for children.”

The Partners in Patriotism Fund is a registered nonprofit organization established by the Kraft family in 2014. The Fund is dedicated to supporting Foxborough philanthropic and community efforts through monetary donations of up to $100,000 annually. A Grants Committee, comprised of Foxborough residents, is appointed annually to vet grant applications and determine allocation of funds. The Fund assists residents of Foxborough through the support of charitable endeavors, as well as through personal financial assistance. For more information, visit

Foxborough Public Schools Receives $19,000 From Partners In Patriotism Fund To Launch Stem Program At Ahern Middle School

Community Press Release

Foxborough Public Schools has set out to actively cultivate student interest in computer science, engineering and biomedical science through a new program endorsed by MA STEM Hub and funded largely by the Kraft family’s nonprofit Partners in Patriotism Fund.

Through a grant of $19,159, the Ahern Middle School will implement Project Lead The Way (PLTW) to revamp the enrichment and elective offerings available to all seventh and eighth grade students in the 2019-2020 school year.

The goal of the program, according to Foxborough Schools Assistant Superintendent Alison Mello, is to engage students in learning experiences in STEM that are motivating, hands-on, civic-minded, inspire curiosity and develop problem-solving skills.

“Building student interest, capacity and awareness in these STEM fields is a high priority for Foxborough Public Schools as we know that the learning experiences will build critical problem-solving and collaboration skills that will prepare them for a variety of career opportunities available in these fields,” said Mello.

The program also incorporates a civics component into the learning modules, which will help build student awareness of their ability to impact and help others.

Mello said the PIP Fund grant allows the school to implement the following four modules for all seventh and eighth grade students: Medical Detectives, Green Architecture, Computer Science for Innovators and Makers and Design and Modeling.

“Because PLTW is experiential, there is a significant initial investment in materials and equipment,” said Mello. “Without the support of the PIP Fund, we would have had to scale back the implementation significantly and offer fewer modules to our students.”

PLTW is expected to begin this summer with a full week of training for all teachers leading a module and student courses will commence during the school year.

“The benefits that our students will receive from this program will have long lasting implications and the PIP Fund’s support makes it possible to involve more students in these unique and powerful learning experiences,” said Mello.