5 Things You Need To Know Today: Dec. 21

Framingham Police sent special gift to boy with brain cancer, it's the longest night of the year as winter officially begins and today at 9:30 a.m. a moment of silence will be held for those killed last Friday in Connecticut.

Our daily column, 5 Things You Need to Know Today, will help you to get your day started and offer you some fodder for water cooler conversation.

1. At 6:12 a.m. the 2012 Winter Solstice begins. This is the longest night of the year, which means despite the cold winter, the days get progressively longer after the winter solstice until the summer solstice in 2013. Plymouth Church at 7 p.m. will host a free  "Longest Night" Church Service  and Edwards Church at 7 p.m. will hold an Opening to the Light: Yoga for the Longest Night at 7 p.m. Admission $12.

2. Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy issued a proclamation declaring today, Dec. 21 as a Day of Mourning. He also called on Connecticut places of worship and government buildings to ring bells 26 times during the moment of silence. Many are observing a national moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. including Framingham Patch.

Patch is among the many websites which will display a tribute to victims of the Sandy Hook shooting over their sites tomorrow, Friday, at 9:30 a.m.

3.  In accordance with President Obama's proclamation, Governor Deval L. Patrick has ordered that the United States flag and the Commonwealth flag be lowered to half-staff at all state buildings until sunset today, Dec. 21 in honor of Hawaiian Senator Daniel K. Inouye who died Monday, Dec. 17, 2012.

Editor's Note: Many government sites and businesses have already been flying the flag at half-staff since the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT.

4. Today's photo for the column comes from the Burlington Police Department. Nathan Norman, 6, of Virginia has brain cancer. Like most little boys, Nathan loves to watch cops, firemen and EMT's speed to calls in shiny cars and trucks —sirens blaring and lights flashing —making no stops as they race to save people. This Christmas, Nathan called upon these heroes to make his wish come true by sending him cards, letters and patches —anything with a first responder insignia. More than 200 police officers from across New England did just that hand delivering cards to Norman. Among the deliveries was framed patches from the Framingham Police Department.

5. As winter has arrived, keep in mind when the Town of Framingham declares a snow emergency parking is prohibited on all arterial roads. These roads are posted with red and white signs.  If you are unsure, a list of arterial roads can be found at this link: http://www.framinghamma.gov/DocumentView.aspx?DID=4528


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