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Five Things to Know on Jan. 3: Pan-Mass Challenge Registration Opens

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

Today is Thursday, Jan. 3. Here are five things you need to know in Hamilton and Wenham:

1. Freezing: Thursday morning is expected to be the coldest start to the day in a year, with temperatures not forecasted to even get all that high during the day. The sky will be sunny, the high temperature will be in the mid-20s and the wind chill will be as low as -5 degrees.

2. Sky Watch: The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks in the early morning hours of Jan. 4. Your next chance to spot a meteor is to look north (and a little east) and find the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) then look farther north (which would be roughly "up" if the Big Dipper were holding liquid). The constellation Draco ("Dragon") has a "head" of four bright stars that look a little bit like the four stars that make up the cup end of the Big Dipper. "Up" between the end of the Big Dipper's handle and Draco's head, you should spot the meteors.

3. Pan-Mass: Registration opens “alumni” of the Pan-Mass Challenge on Thursday for the 2013 edition, the bicycle ride that spans the state each summer. The 34th annual ride will happen Aug. 3 and 4 this year. Registration for “newcomers” opens on Jan. 17. Last year, 35 riders from Hamilton and Wenham were part of the more than 5,000 participants that raised $37 million toward cancer research.

4. New Hours: It was exactly two years ago on Thursday that the hours changed at Hamilton Town Hall. The “new” hours have the town hall open during typical working day hours and eliminated evening hours and the early closing on Friday.

5. School Committee: The Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee meets on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Buker Elementary School, where it will continue to review the fiscal 2014 budget. On Thursday, specifically the Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School budget will get a look.

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

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