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5 Things You Need to Know Today: Jan. 5

More money will be made available this winter for low-income heating assistance.

Our weekday morning column, 5 Things You Need to Know, provides you with information that can help you plan your day and give you some fodder for water cooler conversations.

1. The state has added millions to , announcing the increase on one of the coldest days this winter. An additional $21.8 million will go to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), increasing the maximum benefit to help low-income residents heat their homes. This brings the state allocation to $99.5 million.

2. has received a $5,000 technology donation from national retailer and technology manufacturer Intel. Middle School East was selected to receive the technology donation from Intel to purchase the latest technology for use in classrooms.

3. The is preparing for its popular, annual . An information session and sign-up meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the center, beginning at 6:30 p.m. At the meeting, youth and their families, will sign up for hair and/or make-up and outfit times. The fashion show is at 6 p.m. Feb. 11. The event will raise awareness about underage drinking.

4. The Milford School Committee meets Thursday for its first meeting since the holidays. The agenda includes acceptance of a pair of gifts for the new . A flag pole has been donated by . A U.S. flag will be donated by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Springfield).

5. Thursday is National Bird Day, a day to appreciate wild birds begun in the 1800s. In recent years, activists have used the day to draw attention to the plight of captive birds, according to the website holidayinsights.com.

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