Big Blue have big shoes to fill

Luke Marshall and the Big Blue will look to be competitive this spring while replacing a number of talented seniors from last year’s team. 


SWAMPSCOTT — The benefit of having a senior-heavy roster is that experience can often drive a team to a run at a state championship.

The downfall is that those seniors need to be replaced the next season.

That’s the challenge the Swampscott baseball team will face this spring.

The Big Blue reached the second round of the state tournament last spring, where it was ousted by Austin Prep in a game played over two days due to lightning. The Blue were leading when the storm hit, but the Cougars rallied the next day.

“It was a tough pill to swallow,” Big Blue coach Jason Calichman said. “We lost a lot of seniors, but it looks like we have a nice mix of underclassmen with older, experienced players.”

Calichman, in his fifth season directing the Big Blue, leads a coaching staff that also includes assistants Brendan Nolan, Kevin Rogers and Robert Serino. All four of the coaches are former Swampscott baseball players themselves.

“All of us played at Swampscott High and we know what it’s like to represent the town,” Calichman said.

For leadership this season, the Big Blue will rely on senior Louis Olivieri, fresh from being among the scoring leaders for the hockey team, who returns at catcher. Olivieri enters his fourth season as a varsity starter.

“He’s the catcher, he has control of the field at catcher,” Calichman said. “We’ll lean on him a lot for leadership and experience. Hopefully he’ll have another great year and lead the way for us.”

Other key returners include seniors Sean Lahrizi at center field, AJ Venuti at first base and David Peterson at left field.

On the mound, Swampscott lost a trio of star pitchers in Cory Bleau, CJ Howard and Gavin Sullivan, but brings back a pair of talented hurlers in junior Luke Marshall and senior Josh Rubin. Calichman will also look to hand the ball to Peterson for some innings.

“If we throw strikes, we’ll be in games,” Calichman said. “If we don’t, it’ll be tough.”

“We’ll really need people to step up and pound the strike zone,” Calichman added.

Aside from that, every other position is up for grabs. Although the vacancies raise a number of question marks, they’ve also created interesting competitions throughout the preseason. Calichman won’t deny that his team lost a lot of talent from last season but eventually every senior gets replaced.

“We’re only four days in but I’ve been really happy with the work ethic and the level of competition through those four days,” Calichman said. “You look at losing all the guys we lost last year. They, at some point, filled in for somebody too. Somebody will step up, it’s just a matter of who. Whether they’re a freshman or a senior, we’ll go with the best player.”

Four days into the preseason, Calichman has also noticed some rust from his players. He’s sure that rust will start to go away once the players get an increased amount of reps in practice and scrimmages.

“You’re looking at kids that are a little rusty,” Calichman said. “We really want kids playing three sports in Swampscott so they’re just getting into baseball now. We’re knocking off some rust, but that’s expected. As far as the approach to one another and the team teamwork, I can’t say enough about them. I’m optimistic that this group can gel together and win some games.”

Swampscott has six scrimmages scheduled, the first of which is slated to take place at Lynn English Wednesday. The Big Blue will scrimmage against the Bulldogs twice, while also battling against St. Mary’s, Manchester-Essex, Salem and Reading.

“I’m really hoping we get them in,” Calichman said. “We need to see the team in action. I’m really looking forward to the scrimmages to see how these guys step up and to find our pitching.”

Swampscott opens the season April 10 against Marblehead.

“Hopefully we’re playing this game the same way up 10 or down 10,” Calichman said. “We represent the town well and that’s my goal. If we’re up 10, we carry ourselves the right way. If we’re down 10, we keep grinding. Competitiveness will be our focal point this season.”


Legend’s Salem State visit rescheduled

John Legend, left, is pictured in a scene with Ryan Gosling in “La La Land.”

SALEM — John Legend fans will have wait a little longer to see their idol.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the award-winning singer-songwriter’s appearance at Salem State University has been rescheduled to May 2. The initial date was March 30.

The May 2 Salem State speakers series event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Rockett Arena. All tickets purchased for the March 30 event are valid for May 2 and may be used for entry. Questions or concerns should be directed to the series box office at (978) 542-7555 or on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

At Salem State, Legend will perform some of his hit songs in addition to discussing his initiative, the Show Me Campaign, which focuses on education as a key to breaking the cycle of poverty, and the #FREEAMERICA campaign, which is aimed at ending the school-to-prison pipeline. At the event, Legend will receive the inaugural Salem Advocate for Social Justice award from the Salem Award Foundation.

Tickets, $25 to $100, may be purchased at or by calling the box office.

Legend is an award-winning singer-songwriter whose work has garnered him 19 Grammy awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe award, and a BET Award for best new artist, among others.

The Salem State series is presented by the Salem State Foundation which was incorporated in 1977 as a 501(c) (3) private, nonprofit organization. Its mission is to help Salem State achieve its goals by raising, investing and distributing private contributions for the benefit of the university. In so doing, the foundation provides the opportunity to meet the needs of the Salem State community not met through public funding.

Denorabilia LLC is the presenting sponsor for this event. The Salem State series is solely funded through corporate sponsorships and individual ticket sales.

US surgeon general visiting Salem State


SALEM Dr. Antonia Novello, the first Hispanic woman to serve as U.S. Surgeon General, will speak at a series of events in Greater Boston next week.

She will speak on making history as the first Latina surgeon general, health care disparities, engaging the next generation workforce, strengthening the Latino pipeline into STEM fields and the vision and voice of women.  

Hosted by the Association of Latino Professionals for America and Salem State University, the 73-year-old native of Puerto Rico will attend events in Salem, Haverhill, Lawrence and Boston.  

During her tenure under Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Novello focused on the health of young people, women, and minorities, spoke out on under-age drinking, smoking, drug abuse, AIDS, childhood immunization and improved health care for Hispanics and other minorities.

In 1999, she was appointed commissioner of the New York State Health and was responsible for disaster management following the 9/11 attacks.

During the week of March 20-25, Novello will attend events at Salem High School, Collins Middle School in Salem, Simmons College, Salem State University, Salvatore’s Restaurant in Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Eastern Bank, both in Boston.

“It is a true historic moment to host Dr. Novello in Boston at a time where there is much conversation on health care issues impacting Latinos,” said Enna Jimenez, president of the Association for Latino Professionals For America, in a statement.

Swampscott pulls plug on yacht club

Novello received her B.S. from the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras in 1965 and her M.D. degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine at San Juan in 1970. She completed her residency in nephrology at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.

In 1978, Novello joined the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, her first assignment being as a project officer at the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism and Digestive Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She held various positions at NIH, rising to deputy director in 1986.

Novello earned a masters in public health from John Hopkins in 1982. Novello was appointed Surgeon General by Bush in 1990.

In 2009, Novello ran afoul of the law. She pleaded guilty to a felony charge as part of a plea deal to avoid prison time. The doctor admitted she forced state employees to handle personal chores when she was the New York’s health commissioner. The deal called for community service, $22,500 in restitution and a $5,000 fine. Novello faced up to 12 years in prison if convicted. Investigators said Novello used state workers to chauffeur her on shopping trips and rearrange heavy furniture at her apartment.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at tgrillo@itemlive.comMaterial from Associated Press was used in this report.

Businesses asked to warm up to summer jobs


LYNN Despite this week’s blizzard, the first day of summer is just three months away.

Savvy youth are already seeking jobs to fill their vacation months with work and pockets with cash. But they need employers to step up.

Now in its 13th year, FirstJobs is a community-wide effort to provide work experiences for youth in 19 local communities by the North Shore Workforce Investment Board. The Salem-based nonprofit is a one-stop career center with an office in Lynn. They are seeking private sector businesses and nonprofits that can employ youths.

“We are greatly concerned that young people are not working,” said Mary Sarris, executive director. “At one time, the employment rate for teens was more than 50 percent, but it has dropped to below 30 percent.”

The summer employment program is designed to provide first-time summer employment opportunities for youth between the ages of 14-21 for eight weeks during July and August.

Youth are recruited and trained by FirstJobs. They connect local businesses needing summer help with youth seeking employment.

The cost is $1,760 to hire a teen to work 20 hours per week in July and August at minimum wage, $11 an hour.  

Hiberian 5K just days away

For employers unable to hire a teen, they are asked to consider a tax-deductible contribution to the program. Donations allow them to place teens at nonprofits.

Job readiness workshops are required of participants applying to grant-funded positions and recommended for all youth. The job readiness workshops prepare them for skills needed to succeed once they gain employment.

“We teach them about dress codes, what to do if they’re going to be late or absent, things important to know for their first job,” Sarris said.  

Last summer, the program provided 597 youth with jobs at 180 private sector and nonprofit employers. Among the companies to offer teens work were: Dunkin’ Donuts, North Shore Animal Hospital, Empire Loan, Hampton Inn and Starbucks.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at

Breaking new ground for veterans

Peabody deserves praise for Veterans Services Director Stephen Patten’s initiative to provide free legal services for men and women who served their country.

Porcello Law Offices in Salem is Peabody’s new partner in a campaign to help veterans and their families navigate the legal system. The effort to connect veterans with the legal help they need starts with a Porcello attorney spending two days a month at the Torigian Community Life Center, a Peabody location that counts many veterans among its residents.

The legal aid program represents a progressive approach by Patten and the city to reach out to veterans and it is a tribute to Porcello, a firm founded by a veteran.

Patten’s initiative mirrors the collaboration by Lynn doctors and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure local veterans have a convenient local source for medical care. Instead of driving to a Veterans Affairs hospital out of town, veterans can get health care in the local Boston Street clinic.

The facility is an enduring tribute to former U.S. Rep. John Tierney who fought to get federal money for the clinic after vowing he would ensure no veteran living in the Sixth Congressional District had to travel more than 15 miles from home to receive care.

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton has worked to provide support for the clinic and fellow veterans who use its services, including mental health counseling and other help available in part through interactive technology connecting the clinic with other medical offices.

Patten’s efforts and the Lynn clinic’s success buttresses work by the Lynn Housing Authority and Neighborhood Development to end homelessness among local veterans. Combine these efforts  with strong commitments to veterans in surrounding communities, including Saugus, Swampscott and Revere, then it is clear strong potential exists to do more for veterans.

This potential is only limited by the imagination and drive of veterans old and young, women and men, representing the full spectrum of veterans.

New efforts on the part of veterans can begin with Moulton obtaining the federal resources needed to conduct a valuable “hyper survey” of Lynn area and North Shore veterans. This study can assess in detail and accurately gauge the needs and challenges facing veterans.

Don’t bury Lynn’s future: Vote yes on schools

So much more can be done on behalf of veterans.

Lynn English High School’s Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets can be harnessed to provide services to veterans beyond the good work the students already perform under Sgt. Major Ken Oswald’s leadership.

Older veterans need companionship assistance and there is a historic need for young people to assist in oral history projects aimed at preserving the memories and experiences of the few remaining World War II veterans as well as Korean War veterans.

There is also a compelling need for younger veterans to have opportunities to define and shape the services and assistance they need. They can work with Moulton, Patten and other veterans affairs experts, including Lynn Veterans Service Director Michael Sweeney, to outline long-range veterans assistance plans.

Veterans have done their share for their country. But the work to be done on their behalf is just beginning.

Swampscott gets reel about addiction

Swampscott Police Chief Ronald Madigan addresses the crowd in the Swampscott High School auditorium.


SWAMPSCOTT — If only I had checked on him sooner, maybe I could have saved him, Swampscott Firefighter Chris DiPietro told a crowd of town residents about his brother Ryan, whom he lost to a drug overdose a year ago.

“If Only” was also the title of a short film shown to residents at Swampscott High School Thursday night, which highlights the dangers of prescription drug and opioid misuse and abuse. The film was presented by the Mark Wahlberg Foundation, and was produced by Executive Director James Wahlberg, who also spoke about his recovery from addiction.

The screening was followed by an interactive discussion about drug use and addiction, featuring a panel of local experts, a licensed physician, people in recovery from addiction and those who have a family member struggling with the disease. Outside of the panel, DiPietro was one of the few featured speakers who spoke about losing a family member to an overdose.

DiPietro said his brother, Ryan, enjoyed sports, music, comic books, hanging out with friends and loved his family. At some point in his life though, he said Ryan took a wrong turn that led him down a path of destruction and ultimately, his death. He said many people don’t realize the impact addiction has on families, the fighting and yelling, and countless sleepless nights where a mother and father wait up for their child to come home. Often, they don’t.

He said he found his brother after a fatal overdose on Feb. 16, 2016, the day before his birthday. DiPietro had gone with his wife and son to visit Ryan at his parents’ house. As he entered the house, he said he could smell a faint odor, but couldn’t explain what it was. First, he checked in the bedroom after calling out for Ryan, and then the TV room, where he could see him on the floor, more than likely dead for a few hours.

DiPietro attempted CPR and then called 911. First responders arrived within minutes. He said he goes on and on about that day, asking what he could have done differently.

“I like to go on and say as a professional firefighter and first responder, I’m trained in overdose response,” he said. “However, no training could prepare me for the loss of a loved one, such as my brother.”

Swampscott needs a plan

Bryanna Snow, 27, a Swampscott resident, lost her 22-year-old brother, Eric, almost two years ago to a heroin overdose. It was his first relapse. Nine months later, she lost her mother to addiction. She spoke to be courageous on her family’s behalf and try to prevent another family from suffering like hers.

When Snow lost her grandfather to cancer, she said the family received lots of support. When her brother died, it was a different story. Nobody called, she said, and nobody came by. People wouldn’t make eye contact with her in public.

“And I thought, this agony I’m feeling — how can anyone treat me this way and not understand how much this hurts, how much I want to hear his name, how much I want to feel connected with the world, because when this happens, you don’t feel human anymore,” Snow said. “You feel like you’ve lost a piece of your heart and you’ll never get it back.”

Toby Channen, a Salem resident, said she was one of the lucky ones. Her son, Jacob, who she didn’t know at the time was a part-time marijuana dealer in college, got hooked on opioids after a drug transaction went wrong. He was led down a dark path in the woods one night with a gun to his head, thinking that he was going to die. Instead, the people took the gun to beat Jacob to a pulp, breaking every bone in his face, except for his jaw.

Channen said receiving that 4:30 a.m. call was what she thought was her worst nightmare. She picked him up, took him home and to a doctor. He was given opioid pain pills and got hooked. He went back to college to finish out his freshman year and switched his major from criminal justice to becoming an opioid addict. He flunked out and for the next three years, she said, the family didn’t know what his problem was, until one of Jacob’s friends broke the code of silence among peers and told her that her son was doing more than smoking pot.

“Would you as a peer be willing to risk your friendship to save your friend’s life like my son’s friend did?” Channen said. “I hope you too can be a hero.”

From then on, Channen said a long road of recovery began. Jacob did get into treatment, after she gave him an ultimatum, but he relapsed 20 months later. Fortunately, he went right back into treatment, and the family went down to surprise him for his one year of sobriety last month. Before he got into treatment, she said she spent every waking moment being paralyzed with fear that she was going to find him dead from a heroin overdose.

“We can only live one day at a time,” she said. “One day at a time. Will I ever be able to breathe again? No, of course not, but that doesn’t mean we can’t live effectively and healthy. I will, however, be able to exhale now.”

Maureen Cavanagh, of Magnolia New Beginnings, a panelist, spoke about the importance of delaying first use of drugs to prevent the likelihood of addiction. Dr. Jeffrey Gold, another panelist, spoke about how mental illness often underlies addiction, whether it is ADHD or bipolar disorder. He spoke about the importance of continually checking on the wellbeing of kids, and just letting them be kids, when they’re under so much pressure.

Alex Costa, a recovering drug addict, said it was important to stop prescribing opioid pain medication for instances such as getting wisdom teeth pulled or for an injured wrist. Michael Duggan, CEO of Wicked Sober, and recovering drug addict, said he got hooked on pain medication after injuring his wrist. That morphed into heroin addiction. He said the real drug dealers are the pharmaceutical companies.

In Swampscott, in the past 24 months there were 42 overdoses and 13 of those were fatal, according to Police Chief Ronald Madigan.

The Overdose Response Team in town was formed by the police department in 2016. Members include police officers, school and town officials, and fire officials.

Following overdoses Detective Rose Cheever, Officer Brendan Reen, and Mary Wheeler, of Healthy Streets Outreach Program, go to residences to conduct “door knocks,” or follow-ups with the families afterward.

Madigan said work has been done to turn away from drug use as simply a crime and recognizing it as the problem of addiction. The focus instead has shifted to getting people help and into treatment, he said.

Gayla Cawley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley


‘We are celebrating by being here to serve’

Dr. Alina Reznik, an optometrist at Lynn Community Eye Care Services, talks about International Women’s Day.


LYNN — Solidarity for International Women’s Day took many different forms on Wednesday.

Women were encouraged to take the day off from work, avoid shopping and wear red as part of A Day Without a Woman, an offshoot of the Women’s March that drew out thousands of protesters in January.

For many women across the North Shore, however, taking a break from the daily grind wasn’t an option.

“I think if we weren’t here, women would suffer and that’s not contributing to the cause,” said Cindy StegerWilson, director of marketing and communications at Lynn Community Health Center. “We are celebrating by being here to serve the women in our community.”

Lynn Community optometrist Dr. Alina Reznik said she sees too many patients to even consider taking a day off.

Instead, Reznik urged that women honor the event by taking care of themselves and their health.  

Education coordinator Teresa Martinez of North Shore Family Daycare in Lynn said she didn’t know of any employees who elected to stay home.

“There’s a better way to show support other than by calling out,” she said.

Warren: Trump is trying to bully mayors

A few businesses in the area did opt to keep their doors closed.

“By ensuring that women have pay equity, a livable wage and paid leave, businesses can demonstrate that their long-term actions align with the values we are standing up for on this day,” said a Facebook post by Salem diner The Ugly Mug.

Others, such as Deanne Healey, president of the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce, were less sure of the ideal way to mark the occasion.  

“I have conflicted feelings,” said Healey. “I applaud the point they’re trying to make. It’s just difficult to pull off. It’s even harder as a small business.”

Diane Calver, owner of DiHard Fitness in Peabody, employs almost entirely women.   

She said that while everyone came into work on Wednesday, the business will host an all-female spin class dedicated to International Women’s Day on Friday.

“I’m a hardworking female myself,” said Calver. “Anything to do with helping women, I’m all for.”

On ‘A Day Without a Woman,’ where will you be?

Leah Dearborn can be reached at

Geraldine C. Agocs, 92

WAKE FOREST, N.C.Geraldine C. (Sobocinski) Agocs, age 92, of Wake Forest, N.C., former longtime resident of Lynn, Salem and Hamilton, passed away on Friday, March 3, 2017 at Duke Raleigh Hospital in Raleigh, N.C.

She was born on Jan. 11, 1925 in Salem, the daughter of the late Constantine and Aniela (Zawacka) Sobocinski. She was raised and educated in Salem and graduated from Salem High School, Class of 1942.

She worked as a secretary at Hytron in Salem and later at John Hancock in Lynn.

She lived in Lynn for 38 years, moving to Hamilton in June 2000 to live with her son, John and his family. Together, they moved to Wake Forest, N.C., in 2008. Jerri was a parishioner of St. Pius V in Lynn, St. Paul’s in Hamilton and St. Catherine of Sienna in Wake Forest. She will be remembered by her family as a very pious and compassionate woman who loved her family very much.

She was predeceased by her husband of 38 years, Lewis A. Agocs in 1986. She is survived by her three sons, Alan Agocs and his wife Kim of Brownfield, Maine, David Agocs and his wife Sandy of Lynn and John Agocs and his wife Abbie of Wake Forest, N.C.; her four grandchildren, Robert Agocs, Bob Esbjorn, Daniel Agocs and Rebecca Agocs, as well as her four great-grandchildren, Brianna Esbjorn, Cameron Esbjorn, Ella Agocs and Lilah Agocs also survive her.

Service information: Family and friends are invited to attend calling hours on Thursday, March 9, 2017 from 4-8 p.m. at CUFFE-MCGINN Funeral Home, 157 Maple St., Lynn, MA 01904. Her funeral will begin on Friday, March 10, 2017 at 8 a.m. at the funeral home, with a Mass of Christian burial to follow at 9 a.m. at St. Pius V Church, 215 Maple St., Lynn, MA 01904. Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery on Boston Street in Lynn. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to St. Pius V Religious Education, Attn: Deborah, 215 Maple St., Lynn, MA 01904. Please visit for directions or to sign the online guest book.

Bertha Sweeney, 89

LYNN — Bertha Rose Marie (Bedard) Sweeney, of Lynn, died Sunday, March 5, 2017, surrounded by her loving family, in the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers after a brief illness. She was the wife of the late Kenneth E. Sweeney.

Born in Salem on Feb. 7, 1928, she was the daughter of the late Arthur and Ida (Plourde) Bedard. She was raised in Lynn and Salem, and had lived in Lynn for the greater part of her life. She was a graduate of St. Jean Baptiste High School in Lynn. In 2015, she moved to Brookdale Assisted Living in Danvers, and was very happy being part of the community there. She loved the connections she made there with staff and residents alike.

A homemaker, Bertha had worked at Lynn Hospital in her earlier years. She was a communicant of St. Pius V Church, Lynn. She enjoyed knitting, bingo, and going to casinos. She took frequent trips on the casino boat out of Lynn, and enjoyed monthly get-togethers with her friends. She was devoted to her family, and will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her nine children and their spouses; Richard Sweeney and Jan Whalen of Lynn, James and Ann Sweeney of Lynn, Patricia and Edmund Poole of Fitzwilliam, N.H., Catherine and Glen Davis of Lynn, Edward and Geraldine Sweeney of Derry, N.H., Elizabeth and Thomas Daley of Georgetown, William and Ana Sweeney of Peabody, Mary and Daniel Vienneau of Groveland, and Margaret and Robert Conway of Lynn; as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews; and her siblings; Rena Bastarache of Lynn, Roland Bedard of Lynn, and Henry Bedard of Danvers. She was predeceased by her siblings; Lucille Melanson, Lucien Bedard, Rita D’Entremont, Muriel Kennedy, Louis Bedard, and Irene Despres.

Service information: Her funeral will be held on Thursday at 8 a.m. from the SOLIMINE Funeral Home, 426 Broadway (Rt. 129), Lynn, followed by a funeral Mass at 9 a.m. in St. Pius V Church, Lynn. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting hours are Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty St., Danvers, MA 01923. Directions and guestbook at

Terry G. Koutsos, 91

SALEM — Terry G. Koutsos, age 91, of Salem, formerly of Lynn and Saugus, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on March 3, 2017 at the Abbott House. He proudly served in the U.S. Army with the 127 Company B Engineer Corp. from August 1943-April 1946. He received three battle stars, a good conduct medal, and the European African Middle Eastern Theatre, and American Campaign Ribbons, as well as the Victory Medal. Terry worked for the United States Postal Service for 35 years and never took a sick day. He even walked to work during the Blizzard of ’78.

Terry loved to read, dance, and spend time with his family and he had quite the sweet tooth. He also enjoyed vacationing in St. Martin and on the Cape. Terry was a good man with a kind heart and he will be missed.

He is survived by his beloved wife Eugenia (Loupis) Koutsos, with whom he shared 57 years of marriage, and was the cherished father of Tina (Koutsos) Jordan and George T. Koutsos. “Papou” was “Superman” to his five grandchildren, Alexandra Koutsos, Kristiana Koutsos, Katharine Jordan, Emily Jordan, and Michael Koutsos. Terry was devoted to his family which also includes his sister-in-law Paula Paragios and her husband Kosta, sister-in-law Aphrodite Mihalakis, son-in-law James Jordan, and daughter-in-law Ruth (Boudreau) Koutsos, his sister Helen O’Donnell, his brother Nick Johnson, his nieces and nephews; Peter Mihalakis; Elina Mihalakis; Chris Paragios, his wife Georgia and their daughter Chrysa; Brian O’Donnell and his wife LeeAnne, Kevin O’Donnell,  Soula Loupis and family, Eugenia Loupis, many close friends  and the wonderful people who cared for him at Abbott House. He is predeceased by his brothers Louis and Andy Koutsos, brothers-in-law Frank O’Donnell, Andonis Loupis, and Nicholas Mihalakis; and his parents Constance (Harritos) and George Koutsos.  

Service information: His funeral will be held on Wednesday at 9 a.m. from the SOLIMINE Funeral Home, 67 Ocean St. (Rte. 1A), Lynn, followed by a Funeral Service at 10 a.m. in St. George Greek Orthodox Church. Burial with military honors will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Visiting hours Tuesday 4-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 54 S Common St., Lynn, MA 01902. Directions and guestbook at,

Murder suspect known to stay in Lynn

Pictured is murder suspect David Michael Grossack.

BOSTON — A 47-year-old man who has committed violent offenses in Massachusetts and California is now wanted on a murder charge, according to the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section.

David Michael Grossack, described as a 6-foot-2 inch, 175-pound white male with brown hair and hazel eyes, is being pursued by the Middlesex County State Police Detective Unit and the Everett Police Department. He also has three active warrants in Massachusetts for unrelated charges.

Grossack is believed to be homeless, and has frequented shelters in Boston, Lynn and Salem, police say. He also has reported ties to Beverly, Norton and Saugus.

Police say Grossack’s criminal history includes convictions for carrying a dangerous weapon-knife, assault and battery, violate abuse prevention act, breaking and entering, and disorderly conduct / solicit lewd act.

Grossack has a small tattoo on the back of his left hand near the knuckle of his index finger, and may have access to weapons, police say. Nationwide extradition has been authorized.

Photo released of bank robbery suspect

Cook-off to help fund sergeant’s run

Peabody Police Sgt. Jim Harkins poses with his three children, Natalie, James and Rachel.


PEABODY — Peabody Police Sgt. Jim Harkins is quick to acknowledge he’s not a natural runner.

But on April 17, the 37-year-old father of three will tackle the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon; it’s a leap for someone who has only participated in half-marathons.

Something special will keep him pushing one foot in front of the other, he said: He’s running for Massachusetts-based charity Cops for Kids with Cancer.

As an official charity partner of the marathon, Cops for Kids with Cancer opens the race to those who may not have a fast enough qualifying time.

All Harkins needs to do to run, is raise $10,000 for the charity. As of Thursday night, he’s at $1,920.

Harkins, who has been with the Peabody Police Department for about 10 years, said that officers notify Cops for Kids with Cancer of a family that has a child with cancer. After a verification process, the charity provides families with $5,000; they can do whatever they like with the money.

The charity aims “to remove some financial burden so all their energies can go to helping their child beat cancer and live a healthy life,”  says their website.

To help reach his fundraising goal, Harkins planned a chicken wing cook-off for Friday at the Holy Ghost Society, 20 Howley St. in Peabody. More than 15 restaurants from Beverly, Danvers, Lynn, Peabody and Salem will be participating, he said.

Harkins said the restaurants will cook their chicken on their premises, and bring it to the facility.  The cook-off begins at 6 p.m. and goes until all the wings are finished or “until everybody leaves,” he said.

Tickets are $25 at the door. Harkins said he has already sold 150, and hopes to sell an additional 100-200 Friday night.

Cook-off guests will turn in their tickets to receive a ballot. After tasting, they will vote on the  top-three chicken wings. The winning restaurant will receive a certificate and, later, a trophy, Harkins said.

There will be about 35 raffles that cook-off guests can enter. Among the prizes are gift cards, gift baskets, electronics, and even firearm education classes for four, Harkins said.

There will also be a silent auction featuring sports memorabilia.

So, why chicken wings, one might want to ask Harkins. The self-described “buffalo-wing nut” explains, simply, they are his favorite food.

In fact, Harkins quickly says he has driven to Philadelphia just to try some extraordinary wings.

Wait; you repeat that to him: Philadelphia, just for wings?

He pauses. “I cannot confirm or deny that report,” he says with a laugh.

Visit to learn more about Harkins, or to donate toward his total.

David Wilson can be reached at

Restaurant owner announces city council bid

Taso Nikolakopoulos is the latest candidate for councilor-at-large.


LYNN Taso Nikolakopoulos is the latest candidate to throw his hat in the ring for an at-large seat on the City Council.

“I see a lot of disconnect between the council, the mayor’s office and the community,” said the 47-year-old owner of John’s Roast Beef & Seafood. “We need more of a collaborative effort and I really think I can change things.”

Married with two children, Nikolakopoulos said he will focus his campaign on a handful of issues that promise to advance the city.

“The key is economic growth,” he said.

First, the city must invest in a planning department, he said.  While other communities like Salem and Somerville have robust planning divisions that guide development, he said Lynn is lacking.

“When you call the city of Salem and tell them you plan to invest $2 million, you get someone who will guide you through the process,” she said. “Within a few steps, you know where you stand.”

On how the cash-strapped city would pay for a new department, he said, “I think we can find $300,000 in a $300 million budget.”

The other thing needed to spur growth, he said, is streamlined permitting.

“It still takes as much as four times longer to get permits in  Lynn than competing municipalities,” he said.

Figueroa for stronger community connections

Nikolakopoulos would also update the city’s plans for the Lynnway and add manufacturing to the mix of allowed uses on the non-waterside section of the busy road.

“My idea is to create a unique overlay district for manufacturing to bring in revenue,” he said.

On schools, he favors the controversial ballot question scheduled for March 14 to support construction of two new middle schools at a cost of $188.5 million.

“I am voting yes,” he said.

If approved, a 652-student school would be built near on Parkland Avenue and a second facility to serve 1,008 students would be constructed on Commercial Street. While parents in the Pickering Middle School district support the project, there’s opposition from many Pine Hill residents who oppose the new school on Pine Grove Cemetery land near Breeds Pond Reservoir.

Nikolakopoulos said he also favors teaching trades at Lynn English and Classical high schools.

“Teaching trade skills at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute is not enough,” he said. “We need to offer it at the other high schools. Not every family can afford a four-year college.”

On how to pay for expanded services, he suggested returning  parking meters to the downtown as a way to generate revenue.

Nikolakopoulos emigrated to the U.S. from Kalamata, Greece in the 1970s with his parents at age 4 during a time of political unrest in the southeast European nation.

He was enrolled in a Greek bilingual program at Washington Elementary School, attended St. Mary’s High School and later graduated from the College of St. Joseph’s, a small Catholic school in Vermont, where he was soccer captain.

After graduation, he worked a few jobs at the State House, including as a research analyst for the Joint Committee on Transportation. All the while, he helped his family at the restaurant.

“I’ve been working more than 70 hours a week since I was 22,” he said. “I don’t have free weekends, unless I go away.”

Nikolakopoulos joins what is expected to be a crowded field that includes incumbents Brian LaPierre, Buzzy Barton, Hong Net and Daniel Cahill. It’s unclear whether Cahill, who was elected as a state representative last year, will seek reelection.

In addition, Jaime Figueroa, a 28-year-old Suffolk University student, hopes to be the city’s first Latino councilor and Brian Field, who works at Solimine Funeral Homes, said he is considering a run.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at

Peabody murder story gets grislier

Murder suspect Wes Doughty appears for his arraignment at Peabody District Court.


PEABODY — The second man charged with the first-degree murders of a man and woman in a Farm Avenue home on Feb. 18 was ordered held without bail Tuesday morning.

Wes Doughty, 39, pleaded not guilty and was ordered by Peabody District Court Judge James Barretto to return for a probable cause hearing on April 6.

Doughty, of Danvers, was on the run for a week after the bodies of Mark Greenlaw, 37, and Jennifer O’Connor, 40, were found at 19 Farm Ave.

Murder suspect Wes Doughty captured in S.C.

Authorities released the cause of death for both victims following the arraignment. Greenlaw died after he was shot in the head and his girlfriend, O’Connor, was killed after she was stabbed in her neck and torso, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s office.

Kenneth Metz, a 64-year-old grandfather, told reporters that Doughty carjacked him outside a Middleton restaurant last Wednesday, before he was able to escape three hours later in Boston. Metz told reporters last Thursday that Doughty confessed to the double murder, saying that he killed the couple because they had given heroin to his godfather.

Authorities say Doughty drove more than 900 miles to South Carolina where he was arrested last Friday after being questioned for panhandling. Investigators there learned that he was wanted for a double homicide in Peabody and carjacking in Boston.

Carjack victim: Murder suspect confessed

John Apruzzese, of Salem, defense attorney for Doughty, spoke briefly with reporters following the arraignment.

“Everyone has heard the Commonwealth’s version of events,” said Apruzzese. “Today, the defense investigation begins. As more facts come out, we’ll let you know what’s going on.”

Doughty is expected to be arraigned in Salem District Court on Thursday on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person 60 or older, armed carjacking and kidnapping in connection with the alleged carjacking last week, according to the DA’s office.

Michael Hebb, 45, the other suspect in the double homicide, was arraigned on first-degree murder charges on Feb. 21. He pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail. He is scheduled to return to court March 28 for a probable cause hearing.

Barretto has ordered that all files associated with the investigation be impounded, at the prosecution’s request, including arrest warrants for both Doughty and Hebb, and all search warrants, including the one for the bungalow-style home at 19 Farm Ave.

Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for the DA’s office, said everything was impounded to protect the integrity of the grand jury investigation.

Monahan said no family members were present for Doughty’s arraignment, but that they are being kept informed.

City health officials have since condemned the scene of the killings on Farm Avenue, and a vacate order was issued to the property owners. Authorities initially had difficulty determining the number of victims because they described the home as being in poor condition and messy. The bodies were somewhat concealed and X-ray machinery was used to make that determination.

Gayla Cawley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

Marblehead doctor to co-chair cancer walk

Pictured is Dr. Allyson Preston of Marblehead.


MARBLEHEAD – Dr. Allyson Preston will serve as co-chair of this year’s North Shore Cancer Walk on June 25.

Dr. Preston, a Marblehead resident, has lived and worked on the North Shore for 30 years. She joined North Shore Medical Center as a staff physician and became chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2006. She graduated from George Washington University Medical School and trained at the University of Pittsburgh in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Preston has taken part in the Cancer Walk for many years. She began participating when her children were in strollers; now her 9-year-old granddaughter is participating for the second time. She stepped up as co-chair because, as a physician and breast cancer survivor, she knows firsthand what North Shore Medical Center and the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center mean to the community.

For more than two decades, the North Shore Cancer Walk has brought together mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors, co-workers, businesses, teachers and students all focused on raising funds for cancer care on the North Shore. To date, this community has raised $22 million. That mission will be celebrated again this year, as walkers wind their way along the 10K (6.2 mile) route through Salem. Brittany Isherwood of Newburyport is co-chair.

“As a physician, I’ve been proud to be part of a team at NSMC that delivers world-class, locally based medical care to thousands of patients each year. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, I had all of my treatment – from testing to surgery to chemotherapy – at North Shore Medical Center and Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center,” said Dr. Preston. “Stepping through the door as a patient that first day was unnerving, but I immediately felt wrapped in a blanket of caring and competence. The high level of care didn’t at all surprise me, but it had new meaning, as a patient.”

The Item welcomes 3 new communities

Proceeds will support oncology services at North Shore Medical Center and the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center. In the past, contributions have supported new technologies, renovations, clinical trials, wellness services such as massage and acupuncture to help alleviate pain and nausea, as well as supportive care programs for patients and their families.

Registration is now open for the 2017 North Shore Cancer Walk. To learn more or to register, go to


Rebellion: a North Shore tradition

Rev. Barnard (portrayed by Jeff Barz-Snell, Minister of the First Church of Salem), left, addresses the crowd, while Lieutenant Colonel Leslie (portrayed by Charlie Newhall of Salem) instructs his troops during a reenactment of Leslie’s retreat on Sunday.


SALEM — Resistance was in the air on Saturday, with surly Colonists invited to take part in a reenactment of Leslie’s retreat, a historic event with wide-reaching repercussions.

“Leslie’s retreat is kind of a big one,” said event organizer Stacia Kraft. “Somebody needs to do something about this every year. North Salem people have always been aware and attached to this story.”

On Feb. 26, 1775, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Leslie and the 64th regiment led the advancement of British troops from Marblehead to seize ammunition stored near North Bridge in Salem.

Once there, they met with resistance from local men who refused to lower the bridge and let them pass. A compromise was eventually struck without any fatalities, and Colonel Leslie retreated with his men.

The confrontation marked the first armed resistance to royal authority by colonists, according to a plaque on the bridge commemorating the event.

“It was the first place where they resisted the crown, which just wasn’t done,” said Craig Burnham, a self-described North Salem local. “The crown went where the crown wanted.”

Residents of what is now known as Peabody, formerly part of Danvers, were involved as well.

Salem city historian Jim McAllister said the Danvers regiment followed Leslie’s troops as they marched back to Marblehead playing “The World Turned Upside Down,” a tune later made famous by the British surrender at Yorktown.

“There’s a lot of different stories about Leslie’s retreat,” said Jane Arlander, who attended the event in the character of her ancestor, Mary Mulliken Sanderson.

Reenactment participants gathered at Hamilton Hall and the First Church on Essex Street in Salem before converging at the corner of Federal and North streets.

When a group of individuals wearing red and holding fake weapons approached in the guise of British troops, they were greeted by loud boos and at least one shout of “lobster-coated scallywags!”

After a heated discussion between Colonel Leslie, portrayed by Charles Newhall of Salem, and Colonial leaders, an agreement was reached and the fake weapons were lowered.

“I personally like the angle that it was peaceful,” said organizer Michael Selbst, a sentiment shared by Kraft.

“It was a grassroots effort,” said Kraft while sipping one of George Washington’s favorite beverages, Fish House Punch.

Kraft emphasized the timeliness and importance of nonviolent dissent in regards to why the history of Leslie’s retreat is still so relevant today.

“People are turning from being consumers to being citizens,” she said.

The reenactment is one of a series of upcoming events celebrating the area’s revolutionary history, including a resistance ball at Hamilton Hall on April 8.

Garlitz helps St. John’s have stellar wrestling weekend

READING – Ryan Garlitz of St. John’s Prep made it to the finals of the 113-pound weight class, but then dropped a 6-3 decision to Jake Ferri of Shawsheen, in the All-State wrestling tournament, held on Friday and Saturday at Hawkes Field House in Reading.

Garlitz trailed by just one point entering the third period, but Ferri – the defending New England champion at 106 pounds – scored on an escape and then a takedown in the final minute of the match.

Malcolm Mitchell finished third in the 126-pound division and Zach Alexander was fourth in the 132-pound weight class to lead St. John’s Prep to a 3-way tie for eighth place in the team competition, one spot behind Danvers, which was led by Quintin Holland’s second place finish at 170 pounds.

In the first round, Garlitz pinned Mike Titus of Saugus/Winthrop in 1:10, then defeated Marshfield’s Jacob Garcia, 16-1 by technical fall, and then beat Woburn’s John Lafferty by the same 16-1 score in the semifinals.

Mitchell defeated Wilson Ordonez of Marlboro, 6-3, in the first round and then beat Eddie Marinilli of Canton, 4-2 in the quarterfinals. After losing to Jack Perry of North Andover, 3-1, in the semifinals, he beat Mohari Miller of Springfield Cathedral, 3-2, before defeating Marinilli, 10-7, in the third place match.

Alexander topped Adrian Polanco of North Andover, 10-8, in the first round and then pinned Cameron Anzuino of Wayland in the quarterfinals before losing 15-2 in the semifinals to Burlington’s Josh Lee, the eventual champion at 132 pounds.

Alexander defeated Nashoba’s Brevin Cassella, 1-0, before losing to West Springfield’s Josh Bergeron, 9-7, in the third place match.

For Danvers, Holland lost, 13-11, in the finals to Josh Bechen of Catholic Memorial. Colby Holland finished third in the 145-pound division, losing to Jeremy Su of Natick, 6-5, in the semifinals before defeating Xzander Chapman of Putnam, 5-3, in the third place match.

Also from Danvers, Jack Anderson finished fourth in the 160-pound division, losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Ahmed Sharif of Putnam, 5-2. He then lost to Westford’s Cam Eldridge in the third place match, 3-1. Max Leete also captured eighth place for the Falcons at 113 pounds.

For Swampscott/Marblehead, Stephen Hopkins lost his first match, 7-4, to Brett Kimball of Milford in the 138-pound division, but then rallied to win a pair of consolation matches, defeating North Attleboro’s Zach Gould, 14-1, and Ronnie Oliver of Carver, 4-3, before being pinned by Marshfield’s Neil Ryan.

Before losing to Garlitz, Titus defeated Dan Cooper of North Attleboro, 7-2, in the round of 32. He lost, 5-2, to Leete in his first consolation match. Also for Saugus/Winthrop, Dominic Clark was pinned in his first match by Shaun Mears of Whittier Tech and then lost his first consolation match to Chris Waslaske of Athol, 6-1, in the 170-pound division.

Nick Shairs of Beverly finished seventh in the 195-pound division. He pinned Jordan Correia of the Josiah Quincy School in the first round, and then lost, 13-8, to Travis Manick of Methuen in the quarterfinals. After splitting two more matches, he pinned Correa in the seventh place match.

Also for Beverly, Ameer Alshafri lost two matches in the 182-pound weight class.

For Salem, Calvin Dalton finished in eighth place in the 103-pound division. After losing his first match to Patrick Hughes of Chelmsford, Dalton won a pair of matches in the consolation round before being defeated by Trevor Nugent of Masconomet. He then lost the seventh place match to Brady Folan of North Andover, 7-1.

Minnechaug won the team title with 84.5 points.

The top seven finishers in each weight class advance to the New England Tournament, which will be held in Providence, R.I., on Friday and Saturday.

Lynn boys basketball teams prep for tourney

Javonte Edwards and the No. 14 Lynn English boys basketball team will visit No. 3 Central Catholic on Tuesday night. 


The MIAA boys basketball state tournament pairings were released on Friday, and all four Lynn teams will compete for a shot at a state title.

In Division 1 North, English (10-9), the No. 14 seed, will visit No. 3 Central Catholic on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs boast a talented nucleus led by Tommy Rijo and Ivy Lopes. Javonte Edwards is a strong presence in the paint and gives English a boost when he knocks down his mid-range jump shot. Calvin Seng runs the offense and is capable of catching fire from the three at anytime. English qualified for the tournament with a win in its final game of the season at Swampscott.

In Division 2 North, Classical (18-3) drew the third seed and will host No. 14 Salem on Monday night. The Rams finished the season with three wins a row, giving coach Tom Grassa a reason to feel his team is coming into the state tournament on a good note.

“The fact that we’re coming off a win against Marblehead has to be helpful,” Grassa said. “We beat Beverly, English and Marblehead to give us three wins in four days to end the season. That should certainly give us some momentum coming into the tournament.”

Salem is no stranger to Classical. The two talented Northeastern Conference teams battled it out earlier in the season, with the Rams grabbing a 54-43 win.

“They’re a dangerous team,” Grassa said of the Witches. “They’re probably the best three-point shooting team, maybe in the league. They were down 20 points to Marblehead and managed to cut that down to two points in the fourth quarter.”

Salem boasts a handful of talented outside shooters, meaning the Rams will have to be strong on defense to get the win.

“They can be an explosive team,” Grassa said. “It’s easy to defend a team that has one shooter. They have five guys on the perimeter that can hit three-pointers.”

After being knocked out of last season’s tournament in the first round with a loss at Arlington, Classical is coming in hungry this time around.

“We certainly do not want to get knocked out in the first round,” Grassa said. “I think getting beat by Arlington last year may serve as a heavy motivational point to survive.”

In Division 3, Tech drew the No. 15 seed and visits No. 2 Newburyport on Monday. The Tigers (7-13) finished the season on a four-game win streak and clinched the Commonwealth Athletic Conference Small in the process. Coach Stevie Patrick said his team is feeling good after achieving the goals it set in the preseason.

“We did everything we said we were going to do,” Patrick said. “We won the CAC, we’re in the state tournament, and we have a few players who might be all-stars.”

Patrick said the team’s solid ending is a good sign moving into the tournament.

“We’re coming in with a four-game winning streak,” Patrick said. “I don’t think we can ask for anything better. We’ve been practicing extremely hard.”

The Tigers didn’t play against Newburyport during the regular season, but Patrick scouted the Clippers last week and came away impressed.

“I had a feeling we were going to be playing them so I watched them a week ago against Mystic Valley,” Patrick said. “They’re smart, they play together very well and they have athleticism. They’re similar to us and they play together.”

In Division 4, St. Mary’s, the No. 3 seed, has a first-round bye. The Spartans will host the winner of Tuesday’s matchup between No. 6 Maimonides and No. 11 Winthrop on Thursday.

The Spartans are off until Thursday’s game, meaning it’ll be a one-week layoff between games for St. Mary’s. Although some teams prefer to avoid long breaks, the Spartans will use the week to heal up.

“We had some injuries up until a week and a half ago,” St. Mary’s coach Dave Brown said. “We played very well in the Spartan Classic and the consolation game of the Comcast Tournament, so I was pleased to see that.”

Brown added, “We played our last five games in six days. The kids will be able to rest and heal up their injuries. We’ll get some shooting in, some sprints and we’ll be ready to go.”

Brown, who used to coach at Winthrop, said it would be a neat opportunity to clash against the Vikings. A few of Brown’s former players are currently on the Winthrop coaching staff.


Plenty of local teams in state tourney

Chris Canela and the No. 9 Peabody Tanners will visit No. 8 Lawrence on Monday night. 


There’s no shortage of local teams that will participate in this year’s MIAA boys basketball state tournament.

In Division 1 North, No. 5 St. John’s Prep will host No. 12 Revere on Tuesday night. The Eagles finished the regular season at 15-5, led by strong play from Matt Relihan, Tommy O’Neil and Brett McNiff. Revere won 8 of its final 10 games to finish at 13-9 under first-year coach David Leary. Players to watch on the Patriots side include Mass Joof and Curtis High.

Peabody (13-7) drew the No. 9 seed in Division 1, earning the Tanners a trip to Lawrence to play the No. 8 Lancers on Monday night.

“I’ve had a chance to get an initial scouting report on them (Lancers), we’re familiar with them,” Tanners coach Thad Broughton said. “They’re a terrific team and they play in a tough conference but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Peabody will have to stick to its strengths to come out of Lawrence with the win.

“We went up there for the state tournament two years ago,” Broughton recalled. “It was a great atmosphere. We need to do all the things that got us in the tournament, which are take care of the basketball, rebound and defend.”

Also in Division 1, No. 7 Malden (14-6) hosts No. 10 Somerville on Monday.

In Division 2 North, No. 2 Marblehead (19-1) hosts No. 15 Wakefield on Monday. The Magicians put together a strong season led by Patrick Bugler and Derek Marino. Bo Millett has served as a strong rebounder for the Magicians down the stretch.

“Wakefield’s a tough team,” Magicians coach Mike Giardi said. “Their record is very deceiving. We saw them in our Sheridan Tournament. They play really hard and it’s going to be a tough game for us.”

Although the Magicians had a great regular season, Giardi and his players understand that the tournament is a different story.

“We’re fortunate that we’ve played very well in key moments,” Giardi said. “We overcame some adversity. When you’re in the tournament, it’s one game at a time.”

Division 2 features a battle between two talented NEC powerhouses in No. 3 Classical (18-3) and No. 14 Salem (10-8), at Classical on Monday. The Rams and Witches met in the regular season, with Classical notching a 54-43 win at Salem. The Witches feature a number of outside shooters who are capable of heating up from the three. Nate Lebron and Henny Vlaun are two names to watch for Salem in the tournament.

Also in the Division 2 North bracket, No. 12 Beverly (12-8) visits No. 5 Brighton and No. 10 Malden Catholic (13-7) is at No. 7 North Andover. Pat Gavin is the player to keep an eye out for on the Beverly side.

In Division 3 North, Lynnfield and Saugus will look to make noise.

The No. 4 Pioneers (16-4) put together a great regular season. They’ll host No. 13 Stoneham on Monday. Lynnfield is anchored by its two leading scorers, Louis Ellis and Billy Arsenault.

Saugus (7-13), which made the tournament under the Sullivan Rule, drew the No. 14 seed in the bracket. The Sachems will hit the road for a matchup at No. 3 Weston on Monday.

Sachems assistant coach Mark Bertrand said the tough NEC schedule has prepared Saugus for what the team will see in the tournament.

“We knew as the season progressed that we’d likely be on the road,” Bertrand said. “That’s the great thing about the NEC, we’re battle-tested.”

Bertrand added, “As much as we would’ve liked to have won more games, the NEC gets you ready.”

Saugus has seen film on Weston and will continue to study its upcoming opponent as Monday’s game nears.

“We’ve seen them,” Bertrand said. “We have some film and we’ll look at some more over the weekend. They’re really good. They’ll be ready for us.”

Although the Sachems didn’t finish the regular season with as many wins as the team had hoped, the state tournament brings a new beginning.

“We would’ve loved to have been 15-5 but that didn’t happen,” Bertrand said. “Everyone’s 0-0 right now. We know we have a good team and they’re starting to gel. Most teams come together in the second half.”

A pair of local teams are featured in the Division 4 bracket in No. 10 Mystic Valley and No. 11 Winthrop. Mystic Valley  (11-9) will make the trip up to No. 7 Pope John on Monday. The Vikings (8-12) will visit No. 6 Maimonides on Tuesday. The winner of the game will clash against No. 3 St. Mary’s (15-5), last year’s Division 4 state champion, at Conigliaro Gym.

Lynn teen says he was attacked by 3


LYNN A 13-year-old boy from Lynn told police he was assaulted and robbed by three males Wednesday night on North Common Street.

Lynn Police responded to a children’s hospital in Salem to speak with the teenager, who told officers he had been assaulted in the area of the Commons, and had scratches, bruises and swelling to his head and face, Lynn Police Lt. Rick Donnelly said.

Donnelly said the alleged assault happened at approximately 8 p.m., when the boy was visiting a friend’s house on North Common Street. The boy told police three males between 16-20 years old jumped him from behind, and began punching him.

The assailants, who were wearing all black clothing and had bandanas on their faces, allegedly threw him to the ground, where they punched and kicked him several times, Donnelly said.

The boy had his phone stolen, but didn’t see what direction the assailants fled to, Donnelly said.

The incident is under investigation.

Police log: 2-24-2017

Gayla Cawley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley


Frances Cohen, 99

SALEM — Frances (Callum) Cohen, of Salem, formerly of Lynn, entered into rest on Feb. 21, 2017, at the age of 99.

Frances was born in Boston to the late Samuel and Minnie (Levine) Callum. She moved to Lynn and resided there for nearly 50 years. She graduated in 1936 from Lynn Classical High and went on to work as an insurance clerk prior to retiring.

Frances was the beloved wife of the late Herbert H. Cohen. Devoted mother of Ronald H. Cohen of Salem and Steven B. Cohen and his wife Michelle of North Andover. Loving sister of Marion Levine of Lynn. Dear grandmother of Kristen Palumbo and her husband Kevin and Justin Cohen and his wife Beth. Great-grandmother of 10. Frances is predeceased by her siblings; Merrill Callum, Barry Callum and Richard Callum.

Service information: Funeral services will be held on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at 11 a.m. at STANETSKY-HYMANSON Memorial Chapel, 10 Vinnin St., Salem, MA 01970. Interment will be held at Pride of Lynn Cemetery, 89 Lakeshore Rd., Lynn, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations in Frances’ name may be made to The American Cancer Society, 30 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701 or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472.

Joseph R. Turcotte, 86

SALEM — Mr. Joseph R. Turcotte, 86, of Salem, beloved husband of the late Ruth Marie (Furey) Turcotte, died peacefully Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, surrounded by his family.

Born in Salem, he was the son of the late Telesphore and Bertha (Dupuis) Turcotte. He was raised and educated in Salem and attended the former St. James School.

An honorably discharged veteran he served his country as a member of the United States Army during the Korean War. He was very proud of his military service and honored to have defended his beloved country.

Mr. Turcotte had been employed as the general foreman of the City of Salem Water Department for 37 years until the time of his retirement in 1991.

A truly prideful and proud gentleman, Joseph was dedicated and devoted to his family. He had a colorful, vibrant and outgoing personality that endeared him to many. If you met Joe once you never forgot him. He was quick with a smile and joke and loved to make others laugh.

Family was paramount in his life and he showed his fondness for those he loved liberally. He was very proud of his children and grandchildren and through his actions and words taught his family to always stick together through thick and thin and forever be proud of who they are and of whom and where they come from.

He loved animals, traveling, dining out, games of chance, sun worshiping, spending time at the lakes of New Hampshire and traveling to Florida. He could often be found in the stands exuberantly cheering on his children and grandchildren in their endeavors as he wore his heart on his sleeve and showered those he loved with affection. His legacy of pride, love and humor will live on through the generations.

Joe is survived by his children, Joseph R. Turcotte Jr. and his wife Linda of Peabody, John Turcotte of Salem, Deborah Phelan and her husband Brian of Salem, Ellen Hanson and her husband Scott of Salem, Sharon Hickman and her husband John of Newburyport, Ruth Grube and her husband Dennis of Peabody, James Turcotte and his wife Christine of Beverly and Thomas Turcotte and his wife Catherine of Salem, his grandchildren, Lindsay Willard and her husband Ben, Danny and Corey Phelan, Christopher Hanson and his wife Amber, Emily and Gary Hanson, Taylor, Sean, Nathan and Anna Hickman, Alexandra, A.J. and Zachary Grube, Jamie Martin and her husband Sean, and Ruth, Sara and Joseph Turcotte, his five great-grandchildren, Christopher, Jamison, Delilah, Maggie and Ava, his sister Rita O’Day of Salem, his brother, John “Brud” Turcotte and his wife Darcie of Salem and many nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Bertha Jalbert and Henry and Robert Turcotte.

Service information: His funeral will be held from The O’DONNELL Funeral Home, 46 Washington Sq., (At Salem Common) Salem, Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 9:15 a.m. followed by his funeral Mass in the Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorne Blvd., Salem at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends invited. Burial in Greenlawn Cemetery, Salem. Visiting hours Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 4-8 p.m. Donations in Joe’s memory may be made to the New England Center and Home for Veterans, P.O. Box 845257, Boston, MA 02284. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit

Carol A. Bannister, 80

SALEM — Carol Audrey (Turcotte) Bannister, 80 years old, passed away Feb. 14, 2017 at her home surrounded by her loving family.

Daughter of the late Jere and Juliette (Cyr) Turcotte, and wife of the late Robert James Bannister, Carol was born and raised in Salem. She worked for Parker Brothers and EG&G until her retirement.  

Carol had a true zest for life. She was a loving and a devoted mother and wife.  Her greatest pleasure in life was her children and grandchildren. She and her husband enjoyed spending their summers with their children at the family cabin on Lake Winnipesaukee. After her retirement, Carol became a snowbird and spent her winters in Florida where she had a great group of friends. She loved playing cards and competing in friendly games.  

Carol is survived by her son, Robert Bannister of Salem; her daughter, Julie-Ann Carrick and her husband Matthew of Peabody, her daughter, Nadene LaChance and her husband Kenneth of Peabody, her son, Mark Bannister and his wife Judith McCormack of Salem; her grandsons, Brett Carrick and his fiancé Kara, Shaun Carrick and his wife Laura, Michael LaChance, James Bannister and granddaughter Macayla LaChance. She also leaves her three great grandchildren, Chloe, Caleb and Mellani Carrick; and her sister, Francine (Turcotte) Pike and her husband Richard of Estero, Fla.

Service information: Visiting hours for Carol will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017 from 3-7 p.m. at the MURPHY Funeral Home, 85 Federal St. (corner of North Street), Salem, MA 01970. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Thomas Church on Monday at 10:30 a.m. at 1 Margin St., Peabody, MA 01960. Interment will take place at Greenlawn Cemetery, 57 Orne St., Salem, MA 01970. In lieu of flowers please consider making a memorial contribution in Carol’s memory to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123, or the National Kidney Foundation, 85 Astor Ave., Suite 2, Norwood, MA 02062. For additional information or online guestbook please visit or call 978-744-0497.


Police nab Marblehead trail assault suspect


MARBLEHEAD — The GPS bracelet that has already linked Mounir Rhoulam, 39, of Swampscott, to a rash of tire slashings and five alleged assaults against women on the Lynn-Swampscott line, has also tied him to an assault last October on the Marblehead Rail Trail.

On Oct. 26, police received a call shortly after 11 a.m. that a man had exposed himself and tried to grab a woman on the portion of the popular 4-mile trail outside Tower School, a private pre-K to 8 school on West Shore Drive. The trail connects Marblehead, Swampscott and Salem.

Rhoulam was arraigned in Lynn District Court Wednesday on charges of open and gross lewdness, indecent exposure and assault. He was also arraigned on numerous other charges stemming from a Jan. 9 arrest by Swampscott Police. After his arrest, police discovered Rhoulam was already on probation, and a GPS ankle bracelet put him in the area of five alleged assaults against women in Swampscott and Lynn.

Police also believe, through the suspect’s GPS bracelet, Rhoulam was in the area of a rash of tire slashings that began in October and ended in January. A total of 32 people reported their tires slashed in Swampscott alone. There have been no tire slashings in the area since Rhoulam’s arrest. Lynn and Saugus Police also reported similar incidents.

Rhoulam was held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Feb. 23.

Police eye Swampscott man in tire slashings

According to court documents, on the date of the incident in Marblehead, the victim told police she was walking alone on the path toward Salem when she saw a man ahead of her on a bike in the area of the Tower School athletic fields. At first, she related, she wasn’t concerned, but became nervous when he got off the bike. She told police the man had exposed and grabbed himself with his right hand, while trying to grab her with his left hand. She jumped back and screamed for help and then the man fled on the bike toward Salem without making physical contact or saying a word, according to the documents.

Several people on the path who heard her yell came to her aid and helped her call 911, but when asked, none of them had seen the incident, according to documents.

Schools were notified of the incident by police, who searched the area with assistance from a Salem K9 unit, but the suspect was not found. Police continued to patrol the rail trail the day after the alleged assault, with no sighting of the suspect the victim described. A woman came forward on the day of the incident after seeing a news broadcast about the alleged assault to relate an odd encounter on the path to police. The woman told police about an encounter she had walking on the path on Oct. 23, when she felt someone behind her and turned to see a man on a bike. She said the man rummaged around in his bag for longer than it should have taken him to find anything, as the bag was very small, and was “panting” while doing so. She was concerned enough to pick up a large rock, and told police she left with the feeling she wanted to tell other walkers or joggers to avoid the trail, according to court documents.

Marblehead Police Sgt. Sean Brady wrote in his report that he spoke with Swampscott Police Sgt. Tim Cassidy on Jan. 12 regarding the arrest of Rhoulam. Brady wrote that Rhoulam, a registered sex offender, is on probation and wears a GPS monitoring bracelet. Police checked Rhoulam’s sex offender registry photo, which matched the description of the suspect from the rail trail assault case, court documents say.

Brady spoke with Rhoulam’s probation officer, who was able to access his whereabouts on Oct. 26. The GPS bracelet placed him in the same location of the encounter with the victim at approximately 11 a.m., according to court documents. The probation officer said Rhoulam had been on probation for a sexual assault conviction out of Revere.

In Lynn, overall crime drops, violence jumps

Gayla Cawley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley


McCarthy scores twice, Magicians down Sachems

Marblehead’s Aidan Gillis reaches around Saugus’ Brenden Patterson to get the puck. 


SAUGUS — Behind two goals from senior forward James McCarthy, the Marblehead boys hockey team took down the Saugus Sachems, 4-1, at Kasabuski Arena on Wednesday night. The win punched a tournament ticket for the Magicians (10-6-3).

Senior forward Braden Haley notched a four-point night with a goal and three assists, while Drew Cioffi added a goal and an assist. Senior goalie Ronan Cunningham had 18 saves in the win.

“The ice conditions weren’t the greatest out there tonight, but we talked to the guys about fighting through it,” said Marblehead coach Bob Jackson. “Once we got those two goals in the second, I think we were able to carry that momentum through the rest of the game.”

For Saugus (9-5-4), junior forward John Torres scored the lone goal on an assist from senior forward Brenden Patterson. Junior goalie Nick Sanderson had 27 saves.

“I think we competed hard and played well through the first two periods, but in the third I think [Marblehead] wanted it more,” said Saugus coach Jeff Natalucci. “I would’ve liked to see a little more from our guys in that last period, but we just have to keep working.”

Both teams came out flying in the first period, with each recording six shots on goal in the frame. Haley had a great scoring opportunity for the Magicians but missed the post, while Saugus got several good scoring chances on a powerplay midway through the period. But, both goalies stood tall in net and the first period ended as it started, at 0-0.

The Sachems got another powerplay chance early in the second period, but Marblehead’s penalty kill was rock-solid all night and didn’t allow anything close to the net, mainly due to the Magicians’ ability to block shots in the open ice.
Marblehead got on the board first with 7:35 left in the second. Haley sent the puck behind the net to Cioffi, who maneuvered around before flicking a pass out front to McCarthy, who fired a wrist shot from the slot right into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.

After yet another unsuccessful powerplay opportunity, the Sachems were able to answer with a goal of their own. After a battle for the puck behind the Marblehead net, Patterson took control of the puck and sent a quick pass to Ronan, who was waiting next to the net. Instead of making a pass or skating out to get a better angle on the shot, Ronan flipped the puck up and scored top shelf on a shot from almost behind the net to tie the score at 1-1.

The tie was short-lived, however, as McCarthy cleaned up a puck in front of the net to take a 2-1 lead with 50 seconds left in the period.

There wasn’t any action in the third period until about four minutes left, when Cioffi grabbed a rebound from a Haley shot and deked past Sanderson to make it 3-1.

Saugus had more powerplay chances in the third period, but once again they could not find the net. The Sachems went 0-for-5 on the powerplay on the night.

“I thought we had plenty of good opportunities, but we just couldn’t finish,” said Natalucci. “Our puck movement was there, but they blocked a lot of shots. And even when we did get the shots through, we’re not going hard enough to the net. So we’ve got to work on it and get better.”

While Jackson obviously doesn’t want his team committing five penalties in any game, he was pleased with the way his guys killed them off.

“Penalties have been an issue for us all year, and we took some dumb ones tonight,” said Jackson. “It’s been a point of focus all year and will continue to be, but the way the guys fought through that adversity was good to see.”

After Saugus pulled its goalie with 1:35 to go, Haley was able to score an empty-netter to seal the win for Marblehead.

The Magicians will finish out the regular season with three more games, starting with a game against NEC foe Swampscott on Saturday at Rockett Arena in Salem.

Saugus will take on North Reading at Kasabuski Arena on Friday night.

End of season tournaments on the horizon


End-of-season high school tournaments in basketball and hockey will dot the horizon beginning Sunday.

These games serve as a precursor to the official MIAA state tournaments, whose pairings will be announced Friday, Feb. 24 for basketball and Saturday, Feb. 25 for hockey.

The tournaments serve several purposes. Teams look to them as ways to prepare them for the state tournaments. And very often, participating teams need them to win games that will make them eligible for state tournament play.

In basketball, the Larry McIntire International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) Board 130 Classic will be held Sunday and Monday at Beverly High School’s Henry Cabot Lodge Field House.

The tournament is named for the former Big East referee and longtime assigner for several high school leagues and the MIAA North sectional tournament. It returns to the North Shore after being played at North Andover last year. It has also been held at Central Catholic High School and St. John’s Prep.

“We’re very excited to have the tournament in Beverly,” said Board 130 president Peter Dion. “With seven North Shore teams and a first-class venue, we are hoping for big crowds both days.”

The tournament includes both the Bishop Fenwick boys and girls as well as St. John’s Prep.

Also participating are Masconomet and Beverly, which is close to the lineup of the former North Shore Invitational Tournament, for which McIntire served as co-chair, along with Mike O’Brien, who broadcasts area sports on North Shore 104.9.

One boys player and one girls player will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Since starting the tournament in 2011, the board has awarded $24,000 in scholarships. All seniors playing in the tournament were invited to apply for the scholarships.

“We want to be able to help student-athletes while showcasing some great talent,” said Scholarship Committee chairman Dave Margossian.

IAABO Board 130 has more than 400 members who officiate basketball games from the youth to collegiate levels.

St. Mary’s will hold its 12th Spartan Classic, Sunday and Monday for girls; and Feb. 22-23 for boys. Both tournaments are at the Conigliaro Gym at St. Mary’s.

The St. Mary’s girls will vie for their seventh overall Division 3 championship and fifth in a row.

Other teams participating are: Arlington Catholic, Groton-Dunstable, Belmont, Pentucket, Newton North, Bayview Academy, Arlington, Billerica, Latin Academy, Rockland and Coyle-Cassidy.

For the boys, it’ll be St. Clement, Salem, Greater Lawrence and St. Mary’s.

The 22nd annual Newburyport Bank Ice Hockey Classic  will be held from Monday through next Friday at the Henry Graf Skating Rink. Teams participating include Lynn and Danvers for the boys and Marblehead and Lynn/Winthrop for the girls.

For dates and times for individual games, please consult the accompanying schedules.


Richard Nagle, 86

SALEM — Mr. Richard Nagle, age 86, of Salem, died on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, at his home in Salem, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Richard is survived by his niece, Ann Dostert, nephews, Joseph LaPointe and his wife MaryJo of Lynn, and James LaPointe and his wife Gail of Salem, as well as several grandnieces and grandnephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Mary Nagle LaPointe and his brother William Nagle.

Richard was born on Jan. 7, 1931 in Lynn to William and Mary (Halligan) Nagle. He graduated from St. Mary’s Boy’s High School in 1948. He worked as a control room operator for Massachusetts Electric/National Grid for 48 years until his retirement. He really enjoyed his co-workers and found it difficult to retire.

Service information: His funeral will be held from the SOLIMINE Funeral Home, 426 Broadway (Route 129), Lynn on Friday at 8 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass at St. Mary’s Church, Lynn at 9 a.m. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Lynn. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting hours will be on Thursday from 4-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Kaplan Family Hospice House, c/o Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan St., Danvers, MA 01923. Directions and guest book at

Nancy L. Arons, 71

LYNN — Nancy Lorraine Arons, age 71, of Lynn, died Feb. 13, 2017. She was the devoted, longtime companion of the late David O. Hicks.

Born and raised in Salem, she was the daughter of the late Ernest and Helen (Cann) Dion.

Nancy was employed for many years as a nurse’s aide at Mount Pleasant Hospital. She enjoyed working puzzles, cooking and taking care of her grandchildren.

She was the mother of Michael Arons and his wife Lisa of Lynn, Kenneth Arons of Lynn, Donald Arons and his wife Kelly of Peabody, Donna Arons of Lynn and the late Debbie Arons and Mark Arons. She also leaves five grandchildren, Michelle Arons of Beverly, Anthony Arons of Haverhill, Victoria Arons of Peabody, Rebecca Arons of Peabody and Katie Knowles of Lynn. She was the sister of Charlie Dion of Beverly, Rick Dion of Peabody and Connie Dumas of Beverly.

Service information: A memorial gathering of friends and relatives will be held Saturday, Feb. 18 from 4-6 p.m. to include a service at 5 p.m., at GOODRICH Funeral Home, 128 Washington St., Lynn.

Local tattoo artists make their mark

Meagan Allison of New Hampshire stays still as Owen Loughran works on a tattoo on her back at 7 Deadly Sins. 


LYNN Local tattoo artists might have conflicting views on what trends and issues are most relevant, but one thing they can agree on is that tattoos are far from a fad.

“It’s a lifestyle,” said Jared Breault, a tattoo artist for more than 10 years who works at 7 Deadly Sins in Lynn. “To last in this industry, you have to have a passion for it and want to do it for the rest of your life.”

Owned by Jared’s father, Rich Breault, 7 Deadly Sins opened in June 2015. Despite owning the shop, Rich said he doesn’t have any tattoos, and disliked them when Jared got his first at 17.

Rich said his opinion changed after his son experienced prejudice for having tattoos. He now accepts them as part of today’s culture.

“People discriminate against Jared because of his tattoos,” Rich said. “They assume he’s a drug addict, gang member or jailbird because of an old-school mentality that tattoos are related to crime.

“But don’t judge a book by its cover,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.”

Beyond the prejudice, Jared said house artists are the industry’s biggest problem. House artists are people who tattoo from inside their homes without a license from the local board of health, or without sanitary and safety certifications required by law.

Jared said house artistry is unsafe, unsanitary and gives the industry a bad name.

“There are at least 50 house artists in Lynn,” Jared said. “Some (house artists) tattoo people who are underage; some take drugs for payment, and they’re all risking people to infection by not having the same sterile environment as a licensed shop.”  

However, there isn’t a local school or cooperative education program to study becoming a professional tattoo artist, meaning even some licensed artists begin as house artists.

Currently, the only way to train professionally is through an apprenticeship, but opportunities aren’t easy to come by.

“Most of us start as house artists because you have to get lucky to get into a shop, know someone and have a level of skill,” said artist Brian Chukwuanu of Boston Street Tattoo.

Despite the difficulty getting a foot in the door, Chukwuanu said everything is better working in a shop, from access to cutting-edge technology, to friendly competition with co-workers.

“Working in a shop has changed me as an artist; collaborating with colleagues alone changes everything,” he said.

Unlike Jared Breault, Chukwuanu said he doesn’t think house artists are problematic to the industry. In fact, he said 40 percent of Boston Street Tattoo’s business comes from covering up house artists’ work.

But Jared Breault and Brian Chukwuanu agree the industry’s tools are too accessible to the public.

Both said it should be harder to purchase equipment, such as ink or tattoo machines (commonly called tattoo guns) without being a licensed tattoo artist, and that the internet makes it easy for equipment to fall into unskilled hands.

But the internet’s role isn’t entirely bad, especially when it comes to social media, said Joey Uribe, another artist at Boston Street Tattoo. He said social media allows the industry to evolve.

“It helps the quality of art improve because you find artists on social media who are the best in the world right now, and you strive to meet that level of talent,” he said.

Further, Uribe said social media helps shops and artists gain a following.

Trailer burns in Revere snow

The presence of women is another area where the industry is evolving. Though the industry can seem dominated by male artists, Chukwuanu said it’s a misconception that there aren’t a lot of female artists.

At 7 Deadly Sins, artist Sofia Davila is on staff three days a week. Women also own local shops, including Juli Moon of Juli Moon Studio in Lynn, Mulysa Mayhem of Good Mojo Tattoos in Beverly, and Kristin Welch and Kelly Doty of the Helheim Gallery in Salem.

Doty was a recent finalist on the Spike TV show “Ink Masters.”

Technology is another evolving aspect. For decades, the only type of tattoo machine was a loud, heavy device attached to a coil. Now, artists can buy equipment such as a rotary machine, which is cordless, lighter and quieter.

Rotary machines are quicker to use, and cause less scarring, meaning they’re less painful and allow tattoos to heal faster, Jared Breault said. “Some people are ‘loyal to the coil’ and won’t use the newer equipment, but if you don’t keep up with the times, how will you keep improving?”

But other artists think choosing a traditional coil machine over a modern rotary is a matter of preference, not skill. Chukwuanu, who uses traditional and modern machines, said that time and natural talent creates the best artists, not state-of-the-art tools.

At the end of the day though, artists appreciate the freedom to do what they’re most passionate about. “I couldn’t ask for a better job; I love coming into work,” Jared Breault said.

Both Uribe and Chukwuanu said that tattooing is an honor, and they’ll only stop when they physically can’t do it anymore.

Small Valentine’s Day tattoos will be $35 at 7 Deadly Sins from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Artists from Boston Street Tattoo will be at the Boston Tattoo Convention from Friday, March 24 to Sunday, March 26 at the Hynes Convention Center.


My funny Valentine

Jane Parent and Mark Bennett tell the story about how they got engaged as their dog Sheila sits with them.


Granted, everyone’s engagement story is special and unique, but some are more special and unique than others. With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, here are the stories of two Lynn couples that will tug at your heart and bring a smile to your face.

Mark Bennett and Jane Parent

It’s a good thing bowling was canceled, or Mark Bennett and Jane Parent might have never gotten married.

The couple has been together for some 26 years. They met when both were helping friends move into a house in Danvers. “Mark and I bickered over how to tie the furniture down in my truck,” said Parent, who grew up in Salem. On March 2, 1991 their friends hosted a skating party in the Meadows behind their home, the two connected and that was, as Humphrey Bogart said, the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

They never felt an urge to get married, since they have no children together. But now that they’re both 62 years old, it made sense to “make it legal” from a financial viewpoint since common law marriage is not recognized in Massachusetts. “We own a house together. Believe it or not, we are actually grownups,” said Parent.

Bennett, a mail handler at the US Postal Service’s Processing and Distribution Center in North Reading, said he and Parent always “at some point in time planned to get married.” The Beverly Farms native found out that Lynn City Hall was open Tuesday nights and a justice of the peace could be provided. He told Parent.

“I can’t get married on a Tuesday. I bowl on Tuesdays,” she said.

Parent, until recently a surgical technologist at Winchester Hospital, has been bowling with the Kardettes for more than 30 years every Tuesday night at Sunnyside Lanes in Danvers. The guys played cards every Tuesday night at the Polish Club in Danvers, and this group of now-“AARP-eligible married and single women” decided to make their own fun.

And then in 2015 a holiday miracle happened. Bowling had been cancelled the week between Christmas and New Year’s. “I have no bowling that night, so let’s get married,” Parent told a bemused Bennett.

“He said ‘OK,’” she continued. “There was none of that getting down on one knee stuff.”

Bennett asked if his bride-to-be wanted a ring. “Why would I want a ring? I’ve got my mother’s beautiful ring.”

So, on Dec. 29, 2015, Mark Bennett and Jane Parent tied the knot at Lynn City Hall. “It was snowy and slippery, a messy night,” added Bennett with a laugh. “We got it done, and then we had dinner at the Blue Ox. It was wonderful.

“We came home and then I went to work.”

Was there a honeymoon? The two flash an are-you-serious look. “Jane went to St. John’s with the girls and I went to Americade (Motorcycle Rally) in Lake George, N.Y., with some friends.” They both had a spectacular time.

“Our relationship to each other was sobriety,” added Parent, sharing the couch in their Lynnfield Street home with Bennett and their German shepherd Sheila. “It’s been easy to work things out rationally.”

“We accept a higher power. This, Jane and our life together, is the gift that’s been given to me. … Sometimes it’s been a good gift,” said Bennett with a smirk.

“We had rented in a mobile home park in Peabody for 11 years,” said Bennett. “Jane said ‘We need a house. We need a garage we can put our bikes in.’ I joke that we bought a garage with a house attached.

“Adventures with Jane has been the theme of our relationship,” added Bennett. “My life has been filled with adventures I never could have envisioned. My tendency is to be conservative. I’d fly to San Diego to visit my sister, but not Jane. She researched and planned 16 days on motorcycles all the way to Mexico, and then we rode into San Diego.”

“We’ve been very blessed,” added Parent.

Do they have special Valentine’s Day plans? “Hmmm. Well, there’s no bowling that Tuesday night, so who knows,” said Parent.

Brian and MaryBeth Maes

For years, Brian Maes’ friends had urged him to check out MaryBeth Linehan, a sassy singer from North Billerica. “You two would be perfect together,” they insisted, and they were talking about a romantic partnership rather than a musical one.

Maes, a successful musician in his own right who has played in bands with Peter Wolf, Barry Goudreau and other notables, said “uh, huh” and dragged his feet as men are wont to do.

One evening, his band and her band were rocking the house on different floors at the former Bleachers club in Salem. “I heard her sing and thought, “Wow. She can really sing and she’s beautiful.’ I vividly remember crossing paths with her and her band in the back stairway that bands used at Bleachers.”

Still, Brian did nothing.

A frustrated mutual friend, Lou Spagnola, the bassist in the band Fortune, tried to intervene. One night at the Crackers bar in Beverly, matchmaker Lou approached MaryBeth and asked “Do you want to meet my friend for coffee?” MaryBeth snapped, “What are we, in middle school? No!”

Spagnola eventually got them together. He invited MaryBeth to an open mic night Brian was hosting. They found a table, and Lou walked over to Brian: “I’m going to the bathroom. Go over and make idle chit-chat.” He did. He was smitten.

That was in 2001. “It was magic,” said Maes. “I had to tell myself to calm down, don’t scare her away. The feeling stayed with me for the whole ride home.”

MaryBeth, sitting next to Brian on a couch in the music studio next to their Garfield Avenue home, said she felt the sparks too. Soon after, MaryBeth took voice lessons from Brian; afterward they went for pizza at Prince in Saugus. A bit later she attended a special studio session Brian was doing.

“My closest friends were there. Dennis Tully, Guy Pond, Patty Barkas. All three said ‘Brian, what’s with this girl? You two are amazing together.’ Patty told me to ‘marry that girl and impregnate her immediately.’”

Brian asked MaryBeth on a date. To a middle school production of “The Wizard of Oz” that starred then-11-year-old Annie McNerney, one of his voice students. The man behind the curtain had finally mustered some courage.

“It was a magical first date,” Brian said. “On May 20, 2001,” they sing in unison. They became engaged on Dec. 9, 2002, MaryBeth’s birthday.

“I was determined to propose on her birthday,” said Brian. “I went to the Jewelers Building in Boston. I had the whole thing planned out.” Brian put the ring in his jacket pocket, the one closest to his heart.

They met up and walked to the Frog Pond ice skating rink on Boston Common. Brian was a nervous wreck. “It was wicked cold. I was afraid I was going to lose the ring.” While they were skating, Brian started his well-prepared proposal. “I love you. Things are, um, really good. We’re doing so good.” An inexpert skater approached and nearly ran into them. Brian started again. “We’re doing so good…” MaryBeth said “Yes. We are.”

“I’m about to pop the question,” said Brian, with a laugh, “and this same guy comes toward us yelling ‘Please move. I’m out of control.’”

Brian cleared his throat and started again. “We’re doing so good…” MaryBeth said “Yes. We’re doing so good. What’s wrong with you?”

“What are you doing for the rest of your life? We’re doing so good…” MaryBeth accepted. “It was like ‘Love Story,’” said Brian.

They walked arm-in-arm to the Theater District, saw the musical “Stomp,” ate Thai at Montien and then saw “Blue Man Group.” Afterward, they stopped for a nightcap at the Tam, the quintessential Boston dive bar. The old timers sitting at the bar bought them shots. MaryBeth found a pay phone on the street and called her parents: “ ‘I’m engaged.’ My parents were very excited.”

A justice of the peace married them on March 16, 2003 upstairs at the Lyceum restaurant in Salem with about 60 family members joining the celebration. Among the revelers were Brian’s 94-year-old Uncle Gil, who “danced with all the pretty girls and carried around a coffee cup that was full of whiskey.”  They honeymooned on the West Coast of Ireland. MaryBeth was pregnant with their daughter Madeline, who is now 13 and a budding musician.

Bill Brotherton is The Item’s Features editor. He can be reached at

Rules are changing at Lynn Shelter

Mark Evans is the new executive director and Samantha Wheeler the new director of development at the Lynn Shelter Association.


LYNN — For more than 30 years, the Lynn Shelter Association has offered the homeless a place to stay.

But it was strictly for people who were clean and sober.

Now, that rule is changing.

Mark Evans, who was hired as executive director last summer following the retirement of Marjorie St. Paul, is offering what some would call a kinder, gentler approach.

“Our lease with the city says we must run a dry shelter and we do,” he said. “You have to be sober to engage with us. But if you show up highly intoxicated, we’ll tell you to come back when you’re able to be coherent and have a conversation with us. You won’t be banned for life.”

That approach, dubbed “housing first,” is to get a safe place to live and then the support to stay clean.

“I’m a social worker and the board was looking to bring more of a clinical lens to the agency,” Evans said.

Samantha Wheeler, the agency’s new development director, said if a homeless person has a home where they feel safe, there is a better chance they will work on issues that led them to be homeless, such as alcoholism.  

Founded in 1984, the association offers shelter programs, case-management, housing opportunities, job training and placement services for the homeless on the North Shore. Clients can access adult basic education classes, mental health assessment, substance abuse counseling and access to detox and treatment, as well as assisted access to state and federal benefits.

The nonprofit operates the adult emergency shelter downtown in addition to three family-style homes on Western Avenue, Green and Baker streets. It also manages the Osmund, a former hotel, which provides semi-independent living arrangements and case management.  

The Association has 83 employees and a $3.8 million annual budget. Major donors include the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, Lynn Housing Authority and Neighborhood Community Development and the city of Lynn.

The other goal that has been set for Evans is to build partnerships with other nonprofits. They are teaming with Lifebridge, a Salem-based homeless shelter, to coordinate services between organizations.

“If they have an empty bed and we were at capacity, we could  send a client over,” he said. “The goal is regional coordinated services.”

The agency has launched a new initiative called the Launching Pad. They are working with the Haven Project, another Lynn nonprofit, that serves homeless young adults. Under the project, Haven does case management while the Association provides the housing.

“It’s working together in the best interest of the client,” he said.

One other priority that has been identified for the new management is to enhance their property on Liberty Street.

“It’s looking a little ratty,” Evans said. “We acknowledge that our presence can be difficult in the community. We want to create some gardens and paint the front of the building with the help of volunteers. We want to show that we are part of the community and we care about it.”

Kids storm Lynn YMCA on their day off

Thomas Grillo can be reached at

Police eye Swampscott man in tire slashings

This still from surveillance video shows a suspect in a string of tire slashings, Swampscott police said last month.

SWAMPSCOTT A notorious tire slasher may now be in police custody.

Mounir Rhoulam, 39, of Swampscott was arrested on charges of trespassing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after an early morning foot chase last month by Lynn and Swampscott police.

Following his arrest, police discovered that Rhoulam was already on probation, according to an email from the Swampscott department.

A GPS ankle bracelet put him in the area of five alleged assaults against women near Beach Avenue and Essex Street on the Lynn-Swampscott line, in addition to others in Marblehead and Salem.

Police also believe Rhoulam was in the area of a rash of tire slashings that began in October and ended in January.

A total of 32 people reported their tires slashed in Swampscott alone. There have been no tire slashing incidents in the area since Rhoulam’s arrest Jan. 9.  

Rhoulam has been charged with 22 counts of malicious destruction under $250 and 11 counts of malicious destruction over $250. He is due in Lynn District Court on Feb. 15.

Police: GPS links sex offender to assaults

Peabody man convicted in girlfriend’s death

SALEM A 61-year old Peabody man was convicted Friday of voluntary manslaughter in the stabbing death of his 55-year-old girlfriend.  

Brandon Hoar faced first-degree murder charges after Peabody police responded to his home at 1 Gates Road in June 2015 for a well-being check.

Police found Hoar sitting on the front steps and Cheryl Young, his girlfriend of 25 years, in the living room with a knife protruding from her chest.  

The victim’s 5-year-old granddaughter, who was the subject of a custody hearing that day in Salem Probate Court, was asleep in the master bedroom.  Hoar told police that he had stabbed her the day before.

Hoar is expected to be sentenced in Salem Superior Court later this month.

Rachelle Bond pleads in daughter’s death

Giardi named Marblehead baseball coach

Mike Giardi was named the Marblehead boys varsity baseball coach.  

Marblehead High School has named Mike Giardi as its next boys varsity baseball coach.

Giardi takes over for Jason Tarasuik, who stepped down after 12 years as head coach of the program.

Giardi is no stranger to Marblehead High School athletics, having served as the Boys varsity basketball coach from 1999-2005 and from 2013 to present. During his first tenure with the Magicians, he inherited a 3-17 last place team that he transformed into a 2005 Northeastern Conference champion.

Giardi’s current MHS Boys Varsity Basketball squad is poised for another trip to the MIAA State Tournament with a 15-2 record, with 5 games remaining.

Since 2008, Giardi has also served as assistant coach and offensive coordinator of Marblehead’s varsity football program, leading the team to MIAA Super Bowl appearances in 2010 and again in 2016, and to MIAA State Playoff appearances in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015.

A 1994 graduate of Harvard University, Giardi was inducted into the Harvard University Hall of Fame (2008) recognizing his accomplishments in both football and baseball. As a three-year starting quarterback for the Crimson, he was twice named team MVP and was an All-Ivy League selection. Giardi graduated Harvard holding the Harvard career records in rushing touchdowns and total offense, records which have since been broken.

As a four-year starter in baseball, he was twice named to the All-Ivy team and was voted Ivy League Player of the Year in 1994. After Harvard, he spent three years playing in the San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees and Montreal Expos organizations.

A Salem native, Giardi was a standout three-sport Northeastern Conference All-Star in basketball, baseball and football at Salem High School. He also holds the distinction of being inducted into the Salem High School Hall of Fame.

Giardi holds a master’s degree in secondary education and has been the lead mathematics teacher at Marblehead High School since 2008. He began his teaching career at Marblehead High School in 2001.

Beverly A. Veilleux, 76

LYNN — Mrs. Beverly Ann (Cole) Veilleux, age 76, of Lynn, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, at the Life Care Center of the North Shore. She was the wife of Robert H. Veilleux, with whom she shared 57 years of marriage.

Born in Salem, she was the daughter of the late Herbert W. and Marie (Hosker) Cole. She was raised in Swampscott and was a graduate of Swampscott High School. Beverly had lived in Lynn for the past 57 years.

She had worked as a computer operator at Champion Lamp, Phillips Norelco, and many other area companies for many years. She enjoyed crafts, especially knitting and sewing. She also enjoyed taking pictures and gardening.

In addition to her husband she is survived by two children; Deborah Dingle, of Lynn and Robert H. Veilleux Jr. and his longtime companion Ana “Lidia” Juarez, of Stoneham, her former daughter-in-law Katherine Veilleux of Lynn, six grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. She was also the sister of the late Bruce Cole.

Service information: Her funeral service will be held in the SOLIMINE Funeral Home, 426 Broadway (Rt. 129), Lynn, on Saturday at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Visiting hours Friday 4-7 p.m. Directions and guestbook at

Talking about Trump in Marblehead

Jonathan Heins, 13, listens during a Norma Marks Shribman Memorial Town Hall gathering at Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead. He is the grandson of panelist, Michael Harrington.


MARBLEHEAD President Donald Trump’s rise to power was the focus of Wednesday night’s panel discussion which brought more than 200 spectators to Temple Emanu-El.

“Many people feel like the political system was offering them nothing, and, in my opinion, had some pretty legitimate grievances with that,” said James M. Shannon, former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts who later served as the Massachusetts attorney general. “We just have to acknowledge that a lot of people have been left behind, have been threatened, have had stagnant wages or wages that have declined. I think we have to have a little more respect for the people who voted for Donald Trump than we tend to have around here.”

The event was held in memory of Norma Marks Shribman, who had a special interest in current affairs, and sponsored by her children; David Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Jeffrey Shribman of Marblehead; Peter Shribman of Swampscott; and Cindy Liptrop of Marblehead.

David Shribman formerly worked as the Washington bureau chief for The Boston Globe, where he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1995. A Salem native, he also spent time as a reporter with the Salem News.

He said his mother loved a crowd and would have been pleased with the size of the audience.

Shannon was among four panelists chosen because of their role as prominent observers of the political scene.

He sat beside Mickey Edwards, a former Republican congressman from Oklahoma and former John Quincy Adams lecturer in politics at Harvard University; Katherine Seelye, New England bureau chief for The New York Times, who has been with the Times since 1994 and covered six presidential elections; and Michael J. Harrington, former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts, who won a special election in 1969 and was elected to four full terms as a congressman.

Shannon also expressed disappointment in U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, whom he said he expected more from. Instead, he said, Mattis stood beside Trump with a smile on his face while he signed executive orders that don’t align with what the country stands for.

Edwards agreed, adding he was equally concerned with the people Trump has on the White House staff.

Kellyanne (Conway), when she was Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, would come speak to my class when I was teaching at Harvard and she’s smart but her ideas are bad,” Edwards said.

Seelye said that while covering a primary in New Hampshire last year, she kept thinking that one thing after another would surely be the remark or action that would eliminate him from the presidential race.

“I kept thinking no candidate could get away with saying something like this or doing something like this,” she said. “In a way, I’m just as dumbfounded as I was a year ago.”

The change in administration has brought many added challenges to the media, she said. Her staff has to be extra conscious of remaining impartial.

“It’s a challenge every day in multiple ways one is this question of lies whether you call something that is blatantly untrue a lie,” she said.

According to the dictionary, a lie is only a lie if it was intended to be untrue, she said.

“This is just one of 5 million decisions going on in newsrooms today on how to deal with this phenomenon,” Seelye said.

Swampscott grapples with education spending

Bridget Turcotte can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Coming attractions


Bill Staines will perform at the me & thee coffeehouse.

Bill Staines at me & thee

MARBLEHEAD — Folk Legacy Month at the me & thee continues with the appearance of Bill Staines tomorrow night. Staines has performed on the coffeehouse stage every year since it began in 1970. Quentin Callewaert opens the show at 8 p.m. The me & thee coffee house is at the Unitarian Universalist Church on 28 Mugford St. in Marblehead.

Staines became involved with the Boston-Cambridge folk scene in the early 1960s and for a time emceed the Sunday Hootenanny at the legendary Club 47 in Cambridge. He performs nearly 200 concerts a year and drives some 65,000 miles annually. He has recorded 26 albums and many of his songs have appeared in grade school music books, church hymnals and scouting campfire songbooks.

Callewaert has been on the music scene for only a few years but he’s making a major buzz as one of the most gifted guitarists around — and the Byfield resident is still in high school. Quentin plays a combination of classical, traditional, contemporary and popular material as well as his own finely crafted original compositions.

The door charge for this show is $20. Tickets are available at the me & thee website at

Bite into the Big Apple with a weekend away

Sculpture exhibit

LYNN Mary Spitzer, a sculptor based at the Lydia Pinkham Building, will exhibit some of her work at Christopher’s Cafe, 2 Lewis St., through March 4. The restaurant is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

‘Artful Prose’

LYNN North Shore Community College and the Lynn Museum are collaborating on two Black History Month programs. “Artful Prose: A Spoken Word Event” will occupy the LynnArts Gallery tonight from 6-8 p.m. A festive “Harlem Renaissance Gala” will follow at Lynn Museum on Feb. 23.

The Lynn High School Jazz Band is expected to perform at the gala. Boston-based actor Alan White will recite poems and stories from the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural, social and artistic explosion that revitalized Harlem, N.Y., in the 1920s.

The “Artful Prose” night is an open mic, spoken word showcase. Everyone is invited to participate and all will be given up to three minutes to share their talent. The subject matter need not be related to Black History Month.

Both events are free and open to all

To perform at “Artful Prose,” sign up here: To attend, use this link:

For free tickets to the gala, use this link:

‘Love Letters’

PEABODY — Northeast Arc, a nonprofit organization that helps children and adults with disabilities become full participants in the community, will host “Love Letters” at the ArcWorks Community Art Center tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the performance benefit Arc’s planned construction of a Black Box Theater at ArcWorks.

“Love Letters” is the story of a man and a woman whose friendship spans 50 years, during which, despite making different choices and taking different paths, they share a bond that cannot be broken. Starring in the production are John Archer of Danvers and Anne Marilyn Lucas of Marblehead. It is being directed by Aimee Oliver of Wenham.

Tickets, $25, can be purchased at or by calling Pam Silva at 978-624-2403. For additional information visit

‘Thomas Spencer: Salem Abolitionist’

SALEMHistorical Interpreter and storyteller Merrill Kohlhofer will present “Thomas Spencer: Salem Abolitionist,” a program about the anti-slavery effort in the port city of Salem, tonight at National Park Service Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Program begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free. For additional information, call 978-740-1650.

The Gift of Song

SWAMPSCOTT — The First Church in Swampscott will present “The Gift of Song: Voices of Black America” on Sunday at 3 p.m. in the church sanctuary at 40 Monument Ave. The gifted musicians and actors in this program include baritone Robert Honeysucker, internationally renowned opera and concert singer; reader Samuel Martinborough, performer and theater educator; tenor Antanas Meilus; soprano Kynesha Patterson; organist Andrew Soll; and pianist and artistic director Beverly Soll. An interfaith choir will also participate in the performance. The concert is free and open to the public; free-will donations will be accepted. For more information, call 781-592-6081 or visit

Seminar explains success for small business

Steve Grossman, CEO of Inner City Capital Connections Program, speaks at the Enterprise Center at Salem State University.


SALEM — It was standing room only at the Enterprise Center at Salem State University on Monday as entrepreneurs packed a conference room hoping to learn how to expand their businesses.

North Shore small business owners attended “Inner City Capital Connections” (ICCC), an informational session that detailed how to access a free program that offers a multidimensional approach to growing a business, including executive education, webinars, coaching and access to capital sources.

“Until we became participants, we thought we had reached as high as we could go,” said Cynthia Schenck, a 2016 program graduate and CEO of Lynn-based International Medical Interpreters of the North Shore. “ICCC changed our lives and changed our business for the better. This week alone, we hired four new employees. If you’re thinking about starting or growing a business, think about joining ICCC.”

Since its inception in 2005 and with the generosity of Staples, Dunkin’ Donuts, Boston Foundation, National Grid and other firms, Boston-based ICCC has worked with 1,122 companies nationwide, including 837 businesses that have raised more than $1.32 billion in debt and equity capital and created 11,000 jobs.

Through the work of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and Salem State University, ICCC has added a North Shore recruitment focus.

This national program is designed to help small businesses build capacity for sustainable growth in revenue, profitability and employment. To be eligible, a business must have revenues of  $1 million or more and be headquartered in or have at least 40 percent of its employees reside within an economically-distressed urban area.

Training takes place over many months, showing awareness that small business owners cannot take a week off for study, according to Steve Grossman, CEO of the parent nonprofit Inner City Capital Connections. The program promises to serve as a way for the region’s small businesses, including those that are minority-, women- and immigrant-owned, to learn how to create good-paying jobs.

About 100 inner-city entrepreneurs from Massachusetts will be selected to attend the session in June. Tuition is waived for all accepted participants.

Grossman said he was at the Democratic Convention last summer when Jason Denoncourt, Moulton’s economic development director, approached him.

“We were in the middle of the convention and he was strategizing with me about how we can build small businesses and do economic development on the North Shore,” he said.

Denoncourt’s persistence is credited with helping to bring the North Shore into the ICCC program, Grossman said.

“When people talk about economic development, they speak of initiatives like bringing General Electric Co. to Boston,” he said. “It’s not easy to pull off attracting such a large company to your city. ICCC is getting the small businesses that are already here, providing training and access to capital that they need to grow and by doing so, create jobs.”

Schenck, the program graduate, said she learned how to grow her company while still having time for herself.

“When we started ICCC, we were dragging and tired all the time because we worked 24/7 365 days a year,” she said. “Now, we have a little more time to do things we want to do.”

Laura Swanson, the Enterprise Center’s executive director, said their mission is to help grow businesses.

“We want you start your business here, stay here and grow here,” she said.

Moulton said the North Shore is known as the place for startups and growing long term businesses.

“This should be a model for the rest of the country,” he said.  

Dose of history at House of the Seven Gables

Thomas Grillo can be reached at

Massachusetts roommates die in R.I. crash

RICHMOND, R.I. Two Massachusetts roommates were killed in a car crash Saturday near Exit 3 on Interstate 95.

Sean McCarriston, 32, and Ryan J. Gromada, 24, were driving southbound at a high speed when McCarriston’s vehicle hit the vehicle directly in front of it, Rhode Island police said.

Police said McCarriston’s vehicle hit a highway barrier and rolled over several times, ejecting the two Fitchburg men. A Facebook profile appearing to belong to McCarriston said he had lived in Salem.

The driver of the other vehicle was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Neither McCarriston or Gromada were wearing seat belts, according to a preliminary investigation, police said.

Police said they do not believe drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.

Suspect in grocery store threat arrested

Seven OD in Essex County


LYNN — Essex County was hit hard by the heroin epidemic over the weekend, with seven fatal apparent overdoses reported, nearly half of its 16 fatalities in January.

In Lynn and Peabody, the fatalities from Friday morning to Sunday morning outpaced their numbers in January.

Three people died from apparent heroin overdoses in Lynn during that time span, while two fatalities were reported last month, according to Carrie Kimball Monahan, spokeswoman for the Essex County District Attorney’s office.

In Peabody, two people died apparently from overdoses over the weekend, while there was one reported fatality last month, Monahan said.

Before the weekend, there was one death from an apparent overdose Feb. 1 when a 45-year-old man died in Methuen, Monahan said.

The first fatal apparent overdose Lynn Police responded to was on Andrew Street, where they found a 52-year-old woman. Monahan said her office got the call approximately 9 a.m. Friday.

With an unattended death, the Essex State Police Detective Unit, formerly known as the CPAC unit, assigned to the DA’s office, also responds, along with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The CPAC unit responded to a second Lynn fatal overdose at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on Broad Street for a 49-year-old man. The third was Sunday at 6:13 a.m. on Lynn Shore Drive, where a 33-year-old man was found.

In Peabody, a 34-year-old woman died on Cashman Road at approximately 2 a.m. Friday, according to the DA’s office, and a 36-year-old man died from an apparent overdose around 10:20 a.m. Saturday on Brown Street.

There were also apparent overdose deaths in Lawrence and Haverhill, with each town reporting one each this weekend.

There were 16 fatal apparent overdoses reported in Essex County in January. Aside from the two in Lynn and one in Peabody, there were three in Salem, two each in Gloucester, Lawrence and Salisbury, and one apiece in Haverhill, Newburyport, Amesbury, and Saugus, according to the DA’s office.

Lynn Police reported their department’s response in a Facebook post on Sunday.

“We have had at least three fatal apparent heroin overdoses so far this weekend,” Lynn police said in a statement. “We believe there have also been at least 15 in the greater Boston area. Not using is best preventative care, but not using alone and having Narcan (the lifesaving overdose drug) available are the next best. If you have a phone, you’re not alone. Make a call.”

Lynn Police Lt. Christopher Kelly said the department has to wait for the medical examiner’s office to officially rule the cause of death. But from the preliminary investigation, the deaths can be ruled as possibly drug-related. He said on Sunday afternoon that the medical examiner’s office, which takes jurisdiction over the case, told the department that they had seen a large spike in the past 24 hours of possible opiate deaths.

“We’ve gone to a few medical calls that have been for deceased persons and during the investigation, the suspected use of opiate drugs was prevalent during some of these,” Kelly said. Kelly said the numbers are “alarming.” He said police, by posting on social media, wanted to get the word out to the public, particularly addicts and families of addicts, that overdoses typically come in waves, based on a particular batch of heroin, or what it’s being mixed with.

Particularly when the fentanyl, which is increasingly being mixed with heroin, is strong, the result is potentially fatal.

“Any time (there’s) illegal drug use, there’s always that risk of a fatal overdose,” Kelly said on Sunday. “Obviously, in the last 24 hours, that risk has spiked dramatically.”

Gayla Cawley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

Francesca Gallo, 87

LYNN — Mrs. Francesca (Capano) Gallo, 87, of Danvers, formerly of Salem and Lynn, passed away on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. Francesca was the beloved wife of the late Pietro Gallo, to whom she was married for 48 years.

Born in Cardinale, Italy, she was the daughter of the late Pietro and Vittoria (Chiera) Capano. She came to the U.S. in 1971 and resided in Lynn until moving to Salem in 1988. In addition to being a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was an avid gardener and cook. She loved to crochet and taught many children from Salem the craft. She worked for many years at Lynn and Union Hospitals.

Francesca was the loving mother of Vittoria Foti of Billerica and her late husband Robert, Rosetta O’Grady and her husband, Francis of Saugus, the late Maria Alexander and her husband, John of Salem, Nicholas Gallo and his wife, Concetta of Georgetown, Grace Tucker and her husband, John of Wenham, and Rita Gallo of Danvers; the cherished grandmother of Christopher Foti and his wife, Stacey, Jamie Foti and his wife Robyn, Jimmy O’Grady and his wife, Nellie, Matt O’Grady his fiancé, Nicole, Jason Alexander and his wife, Alyssa, Sean Alexander and his wife, Breanna, Jay and Ashley Tucker; the great-grandmother of Amelia, Cooper, Atia and Livia Foti and AnaBella and Sophia Alexander; the dear sister of Vittorio Capano of Nahant; and the aunt of several nieces and nephews.

Service information: Francesca’s funeral will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 11 a.m. from the CUFFE-McGINN Funeral Home, 157 Maple St., Lynn, followed by a funeral Mass at 12 p.m. at St. Pius V Church, 215 Maple St., Lynn. Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn. Relatives and friends are invited. Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7, in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations in Francesca’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association MA Chapter, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472 or via For the online guestbook please visit

Swampscott cop roots for former teammate

Jon Loyte, No. 89, is pictured playing for Boston College.


For some Boston College fans and alumni, their rooting interests might be split this Sunday as the Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl. Few opposing players hold such a high standing in New England than Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who guided the Eagles to a 25-7 record, three bowl victories and an Atlantic Coast Conference Atlantic Division title in his three years starting at BC.

But for Swampscott police officer Jon Loyte, the choice is easy. He’ll be pulling for his former teammate.

Loyte, a St. John’s Prep graduate, played alongside Ryan for two seasons at Boston College, and says that even though he’s a lifelong Patriots fan, his rooting interests side with his former teammate.

“It’s pretty cool, it’s a win-win situation,” Loyte said. “I’m a lifelong Patriots fan, but playing with Matt and having that experience, I’m rooting for him every game, so personally, I’ll be rooting for Matt Sunday.

“(Ryan) really put BC on the map in recent years to keep the legacy going,” Loyte added. “I’m always going to root for him, but … if the Patriots win, that won’t be too bad. It’s a great matchup.”

Loyte, who was born in Salem and grew up in Gloucester, was a standout tight end and defensive end for St. John’s Prep. His senior year at the Prep, he was a member of the 2002 team that went to the Division 1 Super Bowl before falling to Everett.

Loyte began his collegiate career at Vanderbilt University, spending his freshman and sophomore years with the Commodores. In 2005, Loyte made the choice to transfer to Boston College for personal reasons.

“My grandfather got sick, and my family couldn’t come out to see me play in Tennessee,” Loyte said. “I grew up loving BC, I wanted to go there, but I had a great recruiting trip at Vanderbilt. I wanted to see a different part of the country.”

But Loyte says that coming back to play at BC was a good decision. After he was redshirted in 2005, Loyte pulled in six catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games for the Eagles in 2006 as BC went 10-3. In 2007, Loyte had a bigger impact, logging 135 yards on 13 catches and a touchdown. That touchdown came in Loyte’s final collegiate game in the Champs Sports Bowl against Michigan State and got the Eagles on the board. The pass came from none other than Ryan, who set the single-season Boston College record for touchdowns with 31 that season, surpassing Doug Flutie.

Loyte said that memory is pretty cool, but the season as a whole was full of great memories.

“We were one of the best teams in BC history,” Loyte said of the 2007 squad that went 11-3 and fell in the ACC championship to Virginia Tech. “At Vanderbilt, we had a couple of tough years, going 2-9 and 2-10. But at BC, we went to bowl games and had a lot of players from that team keep playing from there. That year (2007) was a great year, we were ranked No. 2 in the country at one point.”

Loyte said that to see a former teammate put together an MVP-caliber season and play on the biggest stages has been “awesome.”

“I really hope he gets it (the MVP award). He deserves it,” Loyte said. “It’s been his year. The microscope is on him, because other teammates played in the NFL, but he’s been the most successful. I’m always rooting for him.”

A Super surprise in Saugus

Loyte said that he doesn’t regularly keep in touch with Ryan anymore, but will see him if he’s in the area. Most recently, that was when Ryan’s number 12 was retired by the Eagles back in November. A lot of former teammates came back to the city to tailgate with Ryan.

“Everybody (on the team) was close friends, you’re with each other every day, so you get close,” Loyte said. “I’ve seen (Ryan) when he’s come back to school for games, but I don’t talk to him much.”

After college, Loyte attended NFL mini camps for Tampa Bay, Buffalo and the New York Giants, and played a season in the Arena Football League. Now, the 32-year-old is a Swampscott police officer.

As for his prediction for Sunday? Well, even though his rooting interests are with Ryan, he acknowledged it might be an uphill climb for Matty Ice and the Falcons.

“Both offenses are good. I think the Patriots have a great shot and the Falcons are definitely the underdogs,” Loyte said. “But the Falcons offense has been humming, and they have amazing players at every skill position, so anything can happen.”

Patriots fans share game-day superstitions

Al Jackson and his dog, Krypto, both in Patriots jerseys on Feb. 1, are ready for the big game.


When the Patriots kick off Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, Lynnfield’s Jane Dempsey Adams might not even be home. She may be on her way to Rhode Island.

But Lynn’s Al Jackson knows where he’ll be: In his favorite chair — the one in which no one else can sit once the Patriots game begins.

They are two among countless fans who are convinced their rituals and superstitions are crucial to Patriots’ wins during the season — and especially Sunday.

Some, like Swampscott’s Tom Driscoll, are almost intentionally pessimistic.

“I fully analyze how the Patriots could lose and how uneasy I feel about their chances to win,” said Driscoll, the clerk of courts in Essex County. “Then, I tell my two sons if they’re here, or text them just before kickoff. They berate me.

“And then, when the game is comfortably in control by the Pats, I announced that I knew they had this game in the bag.”

Others are slaves to other rituals.

“We never leave the house,” said Lynn’s Karyann Milonopoulos. “We wear the same shirts, pants, socks, earrings … sit in the same spot, and only certain people can come over.”

Says Salem’s Clare Giuffrida, “I stress-eat on the couch, by myself, wearing the same pants and shirt I wore for the 2001 Super Bowl win.”

These superstitions are not always football-related, either.

“My husband won’t let me take down the rest of our holiday lights — superstitious — as we always put them on during the game,” said Carol Dullea.

Adams might have the most unusual ritual of them all. She doesn’t watch. That’s not by choice.

“I am asked not to watch the game,” she says. “Bill (her husband, who is a former offensive lineman for the Buffalo Bills), and my sister Patti asked me not to watch the Super Bowl specifically with them because every time I do, they lose.”

She says that started in 2008 when the Patriots lost to the New York Giants and ruined their perfect season.

And it’s just grown from there.

“I think I only watched two games this year,” she said. “One was the Buffalo game they lost, and the other was the Seattle game.”

That was the only other game the Patriots lost this season.

“We had a lot of people over,” she said. “There was food all over the place, and they started losing. Patti said ‘you have to get out of here.’ I said, ‘what are you talking about?’ She said, “every time you watch, this is what happens.’”

“So I went into the laundry room and fiddled around, did a few things, and they decided I was not far enough away. So I went upstairs and they kept texting me the score.”

Are you the ultimate Patriots fan?

Jackson, a former boys soccer coach at St. Mary’s, has “a nice, leather recliner couch, and I have my corner.

“My wife and I have company on Super Bowl Sunday, and we put a sign on the couch saying no one can sit there. This is my seat.

“When I sit in it, we win,” he said.

All the time?

“This is the Patriots,” Jackson said. “They don’t lose very often.”

But when they do?

“Nobody’s perfect,” he said. “I just brush it off as something was wrong that day. The stars didn’t align properly. Maybe Belichick wasn’t angry enough that week or something.”

Jackson believes he’s entitled to be a little superstitious about the Patriots — and a little bit proud of them as well.

“I remember that 1-15 season they had (in 1990),” he said. “I sat in the pouring rain the last game of the season. So I say for the past 20 seasons, we’ve been blessed. We have nothing to complain about. This has been quite a ride.”

Sunday, about the only choice for Jackson, a football and hockey player at Lynn Classical, will be which shirt to wear.

“It’ll either by my (Tom) Brady shirt or my John Hannah shirt,” he said. “When I go to the game, it’ almost always Hog Hannah. He’s the greatest Patriot ever not named Brady. I used to sit by myself in Section 208 just to watch him. That was a great football team too. We just could never get over the hump.”

Tell us your Patriots superstitions

Football runs through Adams’ family. Her brother, Dave Dempsey, coached at Lynn Classical; and her husband, Bill, not only played in the pros, but later coached at Lynnfield High.

“He was superstitious then, too,” she said. “If they won, he’d wear the same thing every week.

“For a while, he didn’t watch on TV much,” she said. “He was more wrapped up in his own games. But since he stopped coaching, he’s gotten back into it.”

A Swampscott High contemporary of Dick Jauron, Adams says the two have rekindled their friendship. Now that Jauron has returned to the area his interest has even deepened.

“And,” she said, “somehow he thinks I have some power over what’s going on.”

She’s not sure she’ll even be home Sunday.

“I have to be in Rhode Island for work (FCM Travel Solutions), so I just may go down Sunday and rent a room in a hotel,” she said.

“I probably won’t even watch,” she said. “I’m sure someone, Bill, or someone, will text me scores.”

Newton lesson can be Massachusetts win

While Newton Mayor Setti Warren was visiting Lynn, he met Susan Masiello.

Setti Warren wants to be the second Democrat named Warren to hover like a bright star shining above Massachusetts’ political landscape. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren strode onto the national political stage after beating Republican Scott Brown — and Newton Mayor Warren wants to be the state’s next governor.

He hasn’t announced his candidacy. But the veteran and former Clinton administration official is holding the obligatory conversations to get the word out on his potential run.

He met with the Item’s editorial board on Wednesday after attending a meet-and-greet in Salem and plans to make similar stops over the next four or five months before deciding if he is going to throw his hat into the ring in 2018.

Warren is the full package when it comes to aspirational politicians. He is young and energetic. He served his country enlisting in the Navy after 9/11. He has strong campaign and governing experience and his mayoral track record is an impressive and bold one.

In seeking a second term as mayor in 2013, Warren tied his political fortunes to property-tax- override proposals aimed at giving Newton more revenue to invest in infrastructure. He knew the political risks involved in tying his reelection so closely to the override proposal. But the override passed, Warren got reelected and he intends to duplicate his formula for success if he runs for governor.

Warren backs a proposed millionaire’s tax adding a 4 percent surcharge on the state’s highest wage earners. “This is about asking people really well off to make an investment in the state,” he said.

If Warren runs and becomes the Democratic Party’s choice for governor, it is almost a certainty he will face off in November 2018 against Gov. Charlie Baker.

Warren sets sights on governor’s job

The Swampscott resident and first-term governor enjoys great voter poll ratings and Baker is taking full advantage of that odd Massachusetts political balance formula subscribing to the notion that voters favor a Democrat-controlled state Legislature and — with Deval Patrick as the exception in recent history — a Republican governor.

It doesn’t take a vivid imagination to conjure up an image of Baker licking his chops at the prospect of running against a Democrat unafraid of raising taxes. But the race for governor is two years away and plenty is bound to happen politically over the next two years.

President Trump might follow through with his promise to spend money on rebuilding America’s infrastructure and pour money into Massachusetts. A federal cash infusion would certainly boost Baker’s electability. But the governor is no friend of Donald Trump’s and Trump knows Massachusetts voted solidly for Hillary Clinton.

Warren knows he has an uphill battle to win the governor’s office. But he has some strong assets working in his favor. He is a skilled listener who wants to hear what people have to say. He is also an articulate advocate for rebuilding what he calls Massachusetts’ “abominable” transportation system.

Warren understands why extending the Blue Line to Lynn works economically. He knows the idea makes simple mass-transit common sense. The Baker administration shows no signs of moving on extension proposals regardless of how long the city has lobbied for it — and pulled the plug on a Lynn-to-Boston ferry last summer.

Can Warren — if he runs and wins — replicate his success in Newton on the state stage? The answer is “yes,” if logic and conversation carry the day.

School Roundup: Tech girls move above .500

Malvelis Hernandez scored eight points in Tech’s win. 


The Lynn Tech girls basketball team is now above .500 on the season following a 47-25 win over Presentation of Mary at home on Thursday evening. Alondra Sanchez was the team’s leading scorer with 13 points, while Jamila Constantine and Ariana Anaya each scored 10 points. Malvelis Hernandez contributed eight points in the win.

Tech (8-7) has a quick turnaround with another home game tonight against Northeast Metro Regional Vocational Tech.

Hamilton-Wenham 32, Swampscott 25

The Big Blue held an 11-9 lead at halftime in a defensive struggle at home against Hamilton-Wenham, but the Generals bounced back and outscored the Blue 10-4 in the third quarter and 13-10 in the fourth on the way to a 32-25 win.

The Generals swept the season series with the Big Blue (7-8), winning at home on opening night, December 13.

Big Blue coach Katelyn Leonard said it was great to hold a good team like Hamilton-Wenham to just 32 points, but her team has to cut down on the turnovers and find a way to generate more offense.

“Turnovers really killed us, we actually played a great game on defense, so the key for us now is to cut down on the turnovers and find our offense,” Leonard said.

Nikki Rosa led Swampscott with 11 points, Hannah Leahy chipped in with six. The Blue are back on their home court Friday night against Salem.

“We can’t dwell on this game tonight, we’ve got Salem, and we need to move forward and play well Friday night,” the coach added.

Peabody police weigh in on assault rise


PEABODY — Police are taking a closer look at domestic violence cases after the release of some sobering crime statistics last week.

The 2015 annual department report, belatedly presented by Police Chief Thomas M. Griffin at a Municipal Safety Committee meeting, showed an increase in homicide and aggravated assaults.

The homicide rate in the city went up from one case in 2014 to three, said the report. Rape went up 67 percent, from three to five cases, and aggravated assaults saw a 14 percent spike.

Griffin said two of the homicides were related to domestic violence, while the third was a fatal stabbing that occurred in the kitchen of the P.F. Chang’s restaurant on Andover Street.

“These are very concerning numbers,” said Councilor Anne Manning-Martin, who asked Griffin to outline his plan up through the present day for combating violent crime.

Griffin said the department has reinstituted the Rape Aggression Defense Program (RAD), which is aimed primarily at teaching confidence and self-defense to women.  

Each installment of the program, which will start again soon, runs for four nights, said Griffin. Participants discuss how to make safe choices and take part in a hands-on component where they practice punching officers dressed in safety suits.

“I don’t believe any of these sexual assaults were stranger situations,” said Griffin. “It’s more about finding out what’s going on in the family.”

A high-risk domestic violence team meets monthly to discuss any recent incidents, said Griffin, who has reached out to church groups in the area for their help in pinpointing abuse.

He said it can be difficult to keep victims involved with domestic violence cases as they progress through court.

“Hopefully we’re reaching people that may not have wanted to talk to us in the past,” said Griffin. “The message we want to send out is that we want to help anyone who asks. It doesn’t matter who you are, whether you have a job or not.”

The chief recommended Salem-based Healing Abuse Working for Change (HAWC) as an effective resource for residents seeking refuge from domestic violence.

The annual report wasn’t all bad news; it outlined favorable statistics that included a 15 percent overall decrease in violent crimes and a 38 percent reduction in property crimes.  

The 2016 report has yet to be released, but Griffin said he expects it to be ready by the end of April at the latest.

Revere receives emergency response grant

Leah Dearborn can be reached at

Coming attractions

Beverly Soll, Samuel Martinborough, Antanas Meilusa and Kynesha Patterson will be part of “The Gift of Song: Voices of Black America” on Feb. 12 in Swampscott.

Love Letters

PEABODY — Northeast Arc, a nonprofit organization that helps children and adults with disabilities become full participants in the community, will host “Love Letters” at the ArcWorks Community Art Center on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the performance benefit Arc’s planned construction of a Black Box Theater at ArcWorks.

Written by AR Gurney, “Love Letters” is the story of a man and a woman whose friendship spans 50 years, during which, despite making different choices and taking different paths, they share a bond that cannot be broken. Starring in the production are John Archer of Danvers and Anne Marilyn Lucas of Marblehead. It is being directed by Aimee Oliver of Wenham.

Archer has performed in musical theater, cabaret style singing and opera performances throughout New England. Recently, he was featured soloist in “Best of Broadway.”  

Lucas has acted in New York City, Boston, London and in regional theaters. Lucas taught in the theater department at Salem State University and has also directed for Summer Theatre at Salem State, Marblehead Little Theatre, Salem Theatre Company, Boston Playwright’s Theater and for The Boston Theater Marathon. She serves on the Marblehead Little Theatre board.

Oliver is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and has performed professionally in films, television and off-Broadway.

Tickets, $25, can be purchased at or by calling Pam Silva at 978-624-2403. For additional information visit

Folk Legacy Month

MARBLEHEAD — Bob Franke opens the me & thee winter season tomorrow night as the first act of the coffeehouse’s Folk Legacy Month. Aaron Nathans and Michael G. Ronstadt open the show. The me & thee coffeehouse is at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 28 Mugford St.

Tom Paxton said of Franke: “It’s about Bob Franke’s integrity. I always think of Bob as if Emerson and Thoreau had picked up acoustic guitars and gotten into songwriting.  There’s touches of Mark Twain and Buddy Holly in there, too.” Franke’s career as a singer-songwriter began in the mid-1960s when he was a student at the University of Michigan. He was one of the first people to perform at the famous Ark Coffeehouse. He moved to Cambridge after graduation and the rest is a wonderful addition to Boston folk music history.

Franke’s songwriting skills have become well-known among the folk community. Peter, Paul and Mary, David Wilcox, Garnet Rogers and June Tabor among others have all performed Bob’s songs.

Opening act Aaron Nathans and Michael G. Ronstadt, both successful musicians in their own right, blend smart, bittersweet songwriting and virtuosic cello into an intriguing and exciting musical collaboration. Michael hails from music royalty. The nephew of Linda Ronstadt, Michael carries on the music traditions of his family, performing 200 nights a year with various projects. Aaron was a 2011 Kerrville Folk Finalist, and has opened for Lucy Kaplansky, Tracy Grammer, Vance Gilbert and The Kennedys.

The door charge for this show is $20. Tickets are also available at the me & thee website at

‘Thomas Spencer: Salem Abolitionist’

Historical Interpreter and storyteller Merrill Kohlhofer will present “Thomas Spencer: Salem Abolitionist,” a program about the anti-slavery effort in the port city of Salem.

Using information about a number of Salem abolitionists, Kohlhofer created the Thomas Spencer character for this presentation. It will be held Thursday, Feb. 9 at National Park Service Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty St., Salem. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Program begins at 7 p.m. admission is free. For additional information, call 978-740-1650.

A collaborative effort for Black History Month

The Gift of Song

SWAMPSCOTT — The First Church in Swampscott will present “The Gift of Song: Voices of Black America” on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m., in the church sanctuary at 40 Monument Ave. The gifted musicians and actors in this program include baritone Robert Honeysucker, internationally renowned opera and concert singer; reader Samuel Martinborough, performer and theater educator; tenor Antanas Meilus; soprano Kynesha Patterson; organist Andrew Soll; and pianist and artistic director, Beverly Soll. An interfaith choir will also participate in the performance.  

The Black History Month program will include songs of freed slaves as presented to the world by the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University in the years immediately after the American Civil War. In addition, there will be lullabies, spirituals and art songs, including those influenced by the blues. Also, reflections and poetry dating from times of slavery, the civil rights movement and the present day are among the literary works presented in this special performance.  

The concert is free and open to the public; free-will donations will be accepted. For more information, call 781-592-6081 or visit

House of the Seven Gables welcomes Lynn

The House of the Seven Gables will be open for complimentary tours for Lynn residents on Feb. 5.

The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby St. in Salem, is saying “Welcome home” to Lynn residents on Sunday, Feb. 5 with a complimentary guided tour.

The House of the Seven Gables is a museum inspired by American literature and the settlement house movement of the 19th century, according to their website.

Lynn residents must show valid identification. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and tour times will vary throughout the day.

The museum will host additional complimentary tours for Marblehead residents on Feb. 12.


Magicians shine at NEC Swim Meet

Classical’s Sarah Sirois won the girls diving portion of the NEC swim meet. 

SALEM — Marblehead finished first overall with 865 points in the Northeastern Conference swim meet at Salem State Wednesday night.

The Magician girls also took first with 577 points, and the Danvers boys finished first with 411.

The Falcons were second overall with 624 points, followed by Beverly, Classical, Revere, Peabody, Gloucester, English, Salem and Swampscott.

The English girls finished third with 222 points and the Classical boys were third with 276.

Winners in each category were:

Girls diving: Sarah Sirois, Classical, 242; boys diving; Alex Pedro, Classical, 199.80; girls 500 free: Nicole Welch, Beverly, 5:13.43; boys 500 free: Kevin Pichardo-Cedillo, Beverly, 5:23.00.

Girls 200 medley relay: Marblehead (Grace Maguire, Meagan Hathaway, Amanda Wager, Ellie Ronan, 1:54.75); boys 200 medley relay: Danvers (Jared Casey, Raphael Hicaro, Tyler Keyes, Jackson McPherson, 1:55.77); girls 200 free: Nicole Welch, Beverly, 1:56.32; boys 200 free: Anthony Carvalhis, Revere,1:55.75.

Girls 200 IM: Grace Maguire, Marblehead, 2:12.96; boys 200 IM: Raphael Hicaro, Danvers, 2:18.99.

Girls 50 free: Tessa Diaz, Swampscott, 25.80; boys 50 free: Renne Venico, Salem, 24.34; girls 100 free: Ellie Ronan, Marblehead, 55:67; boys 100 free: Conor McCarthy, Peabody, 53.29; girls 100 fly: Meagan Hathaway, Marblehead, 59.79; boys 100 fly: Anthony Carvalhis, Revere, 1:01.35.

Girls 100 backstroke: Ellie Ronan, Marblehead, 58.87; boys 100 backstroke: Jared Casey, Danvers, 1:02.12; girls 100 breaststroke: Amanda Wager, Marblehead, 1:10.69; boys 100 breaststroke: Conor McCarthy, Peabody, 1:06.39; boys 200 free relay: Beverly (Kevin Pichardo-Cedillo, Gavin Gleason, Kostya Vostrika, Brendan Ward, 1:44.00); girls 400 free relay: Marblehead (Meagan Hathaway, Amanda Wager, Grace Maguire, Ellie Ronan, 3:42.94); girls 100 backstroke: Ellie Ronan, Marblehead, 58.87;boys 100 backstroke: Jared Casey, Danvers, 1:02.12.

Girls 200 free relay: Beverly (Grace Athanas, Andrea Higgins, Sofia Blomqvist,Nicole Welch,1:47.49; men’s 200 free relay: Classical (Alex Pedro, Jacob Lang, Harrison Seitz, Eric Macorri, 1:42.20.)

Marblehead Rotary reaching out to refugees

Bob Erbetta and Rosaleen Doherty of the Marblehead Rotary pack supplies for refugee camps in Turkey and Syria.


MARBLEHEAD — The Rotary Club of Marblehead Harbor is working to help Syrian refugees.

Starting today, the Rotary Club, in coordination with SPUR, a Marblehead-based organization, is collecting supplies through the end of the month to fill a shipping container to help refugees in Syria.

The club is working with NuDay Syria, a nonprofit that works to alleviate the suffering and displacement in Syria. Each month, NuDay sends supplies through an established transportation network to refugee camps in Turkey and Syria. The organization is particularly focused on Syrian women and girls, who are often overlooked and have few skills and little experience providing for their families, according to information from the Rotary Club.

Although organizers say the fundraiser has been in the works for months, the effort has become more timely in light of President Donald Trump’s recent Executive Order, temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven majority Muslim countries, including Syria.

“I can see what the president wanted to do,” said Robert Erbetta, Rotary Club member and one of the leaders for the collection effort. “I can’t fault him for wanting the country to be more secure.”

Erbetta said it’s a timeout until the country has a better vetting process. He said the feeling of club members is that they’d like to help the people in Syria and the Middle East by sending supplies. Some of those people have nothing, he said.

Rosaleen Doherty, service committee chairwoman for the Rotary Club, said there’s been Rotary interest in helping Syrian refugees for almost a year. She said the challenge was figuring out how to get the supplies from the U.S. to Syria. Then, she learned about NuDay Syria and about how they could get the needed items to refugee camps.

Doherty said the goal is to collect 800 boxes of supplies, which would fill a shipping container. Volunteers with Rotary and SPUR would collect and sort the items, before the supplies are sent to NuDay Syria, which is then responsible for getting them to the refugees.

“As citizens, we have the power to help no matter what the administration is doing,” Doherty said. “We talked about the Syrian refugee crisis last year and we didn’t really know what we could do to help … What we can do is send our stuff there. We’re Americans. We have mountains of it. I can’t think of a better use for it.

“We think with the Syrian refugees is that the suffering these people are going through is beyond our comprehension,” she continued. “We have the ability and channel to help.”

Heidi Whear, co-chairperson of the club’s collection project, said she’s been extremely passionate about what’s going on in Syria for awhile.

“Honestly, we’ve had this planned for numerous months,” said Whear. “It’s kind of timely that all of this is happening. I think it’s necessary regardless of what Trump is saying.”

Whear said the most tragic thing from the travel ban is the stories about families who left Syria and came to the U.S. with the expectation that the rest of their family would be joining them eventually. Now, they won’t be allowed in, she said.

“It’s tragic,” she said. “It’s devastating. Hopefully things will get turned around.”

Supplies that are needed are new or like-new clothing for adult women and men, children and infants; hats, gloves, mittens, shoes, bags and purses; bedding, soccer balls, stuffed animals, crayons, pencils and non-battery toys. Items also needed include diapers, female hygiene supplies, soap bars, powdered detergent, toothbrushes, over-the-counter medication, vitamins, wheelchairs and walkers.

The Rotary Clubs ask that wheelchairs and walkers be dropped off at The First Church Swampscott Congregational, 40 Monument Ave., between 10 a.m. and noon weekdays.

For other donated items, collection boxes are set up in Marblehead at the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA, 40 Leggs Hill Road; 5 Trager Road; National Grand Bank, 91 Pleasant St.; St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 135 Lafayette St.; and Marblehead Community Center, 10 Humphrey St. In Swampscott, boxes are located at Atlantic Hearing Care, Inc., Suite 1G, 900 Paradise Road and Eastern Bank, 405 Paradise Road. Boxes are also at three Right at Home Senior Care locations — third floor at 19 Front St. in Salem, 350 Main St. in Haverhill at the back entrance and 120 Middlesex Ave. in Somerville.

The Rotary Club of Marblehead Harbor and SPUR websites will be updated regularly with new donation drop-off locations. Volunteers are needed. For questions about donations, contact Doherty at Right at Home Senior Care at 978-234-0672 or 978-744-5151.

Discussing the Trump administration

Gayla Cawley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.