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Five Things to Know on Jan. 2: Free Open Skating

An essential get-me-going daily morning column from Hamilton-Wenham Patch.

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 2. Here are five things you need to know in Hamilton and Wenham:

1. Cold: The sun is forecasted to shine bright on Wednesday, but it will not do much the warm things up. The high temperature will be in the upper 20s with winds gusting to 25 miles per hour.

2. Governor’s Council: The Governor’s Council meets for the first time in the new year on Wednesday. Hamilton and Wenham have a new representative on the council, Eileen Duff (D-Gloucester), who was elected in November to replace Mary-Ellen Manning (D-Peabody), who decided to not seek reelection to run for the state Senate. The council’s Wednesday meeting will include a tribute to the late Councilor Kelly A. Timilty.

3. Energy Help: The Salvation Army’s Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund opens to applications on Wednesday. The . It helps households in temporary crisis who do not qualify for federal or state assistance with the payment of their energy expenses. This year's Fund disbursement is $350 per eligible household for the heating season. For more information on the Fund and how to apply, call 800-334-3047. To donate, go to www.magoodneighbor.org or call 1-800- SAL-ARMY.

4. Stamp: The U.S. Postal Service commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation on Wednesday with the release of a new “forever” stamp. The stamp is available at post offices, including the Hamilton and South Hamilton post offices in Hamilton and the Wenham Post Office. President Abraham Lincoln signed it on Jan. 1, 1863 and the new stamp was unveiled on New Year’s Day at The National Archives in Washington, D.C. where the document is on display. It is the first in a series of three Civil Rights stamps to be released in 2013.

5. Free Skating: Pingree School again hosts a free family skating session on Wednesday at the H. Alden Johnson rink. It runs 1:30-3:30 p.m. and remember to bring your own skates since no rentals are available. Also, no pucks or sticks are allowed.

To find out what is going on today in Hamilton and Wenham, check out our events listings.

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