Dave Labonte can't wait for the day he can hop on his bike at Franklin State Forest and keep going, all the way to Palmer.
And getting there is a journey the Franklin bicycle enthusiast is more than willing to undertake as well, he said.
Labonte and his fellow Franklin Odd Fellows have offered their lodge hall for the first meeting in the area to start discussions on Franklin's portion of the rail trail. An old railroad bed will be transformed into a paved bicycle path that will wind through 15 towns, starting in Franklin and heading through Bellingham and Blackstone, to Palmer and back up to Southbridge and Sturbridge.
"It is a big undertaking, but I think we in Franklin have the easiest stretch of all the towns," Labonte said.
In the aftermath of several recent underage drinking parties, and the death of a Plainville teen who wandered away from such a party in the woods and drowned in a local swamp, the King Philip Regional School District is planning a forum for parents on adolescent substance abuse and other social issues.
The forum, which will address both substance abuse by teens and parental strategies associated with substance use, will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at King Philip High School, Rte. 140, Wrentham.