Harry Richard Wagg II, 67

SALEMMr. Harry Richard Wagg II, 67, of Salem, beloved husband of Maureen (Leonard) Wagg, died Saturday, July 15, 2017 at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers.

Born in Malden, he was the son of Harry Wagg I of Lancaster, Pa. and the late Muriel (Solberg) Wagg. He was raised and educated in Stoneham and was a graduate of Stoneham High School. He continued his education at Salem State College where he earned his Bachelor Degree.

Mr. Wagg had been employed with Boston Regional Medical Center as the plant operation manager for 24 years. He was then associated with Kindred Hospital Long Term Care Facility as plant operations manager for nine years and currently he was employed with the City of Salem as the Assistant Building Inspector until the time of his passing. He was known for his attention to detail and dedication to his craft.

A longtime resident of the City of Salem, Harry enjoyed sailing, woodworking, and had a deep passion for music. He spent Memorial Day every year playing the trumpet at services all over the North Shore. Harry greatest pleasure was spending time with his family. He was a devoted husband, father, son, brother and uncle who will be deeply missed.

Harry is survived by his loving wife of 18 years Maureen (Leonard) Wagg of Salem, his sons, Harry R. Wagg III and his wife Raegan of Ipswich and Shawn R. McDonald of Lynn, his father, Harry Wagg of Lancaster, Pa., his grandchildren, Henry John Wagg and Dorothy Rose Wagg, his sister Kristin Glowacki of Lancaster, Pa and two nieces and two nephews.

Service information: Relatives and friends are invited to visiting hours which will be held in THE O’DONNELL Funeral Home 46 Washington Sq., (at Salem Common) Salem, Sunday, July 23 from 1-4 p.m. All other services are private. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Harry’s memory to Salem Jazz & Soul Festival – To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit


King of the Ring is coming to Lynn


Boxing will make its way back to Lynn when the “King of the Ring Championship Series” comes to St. Michael’s Hall. The series kicks off on July 28 and runs for the following two Fridays after that. All three parts of the series begin at 7 p.m. and take place at St. Michael’s Hall on Elmwood Avenue.

The event will include open class fighters from ages 17 and over, all of which must have more than 10 fights of experience. Each bout will consist of three rounds, each of which will last three minutes. The tournament-style series will conclude on August 11.

Alex Sepulveda, who trains local boxers at Private Jewels Fitness, played a key role in bringing the series to Lynn. Last month, Sepulveda helped reintroduce Lynn to the sport of boxing when Private Jewels, the facility he owns, teamed up with Stop the Violence to organize the “Boxing For Hope” showcase at Lynn Tech.

After receiving a positive response by way of a strong crowd at “Boxing For Hope,” Sepulveda, a Lynn native, is enthusiastic to kick off “King of the Ring.”

“I can’t be any more excited,” Sepulveda said. “It’s a national event. We already have six states committed to the event. We have great sponsors and every fighter takes home a belt. It’s going to be great.”

Sepulveda set out to promote the event two months ago and so far, he said, the response has provided him a reason to hold high expectations for the series.

“We started promoting this event early,” Sepulveda said. “We’ve been promoting it for about two solid months and we’ve been getting a great response and great feedback. We have a couple of professionals that’ll be in attendance and a couple boxing scouts. These kids fighting in this series could be the next Floyd Mayweather, or the next Mike Tyson.”  

And per usual, a good cause is at the forefront of what the series will stand for.

“The big part of it is that this event is another fundraiser to keep our boxing program alive and help keep these kids off the streets,” Sepulveda said.

Three of Sepulveda’s boxers will take the ring in the upcoming series.

Zach Calmus, a Marblehead native, will fight in the super heavyweight division. Calmus is a Central Division Golden Gloves champion.

Charlie Espinal, who hails from Salem, will fight in the 152-pound weight class. Espinal, a Golden Gloves and Silver Gloves champion, took home a victory last month at “Boxing For Hope.”

Moises Zorralla, a Lynn resident who hails from Puerto Rico, will fight in the 125-pound weight class.

“This is all top-notch talent,” Sepulveda said. “This is the best that all of New England has to offer. I’ve had some kids calling from Louisiana hoping to fight in this event. We’re going to have some really talented, top-notch boxers fighting here.”

Tickets for “King of the Ring” cost $20 and can be purchased in-person at Private Jewels or online at They can also be purchased at the door on the night of the event or at Salem’s Royal Blendz barbershop on Washington Street. Fans must purchase separate tickets in order to be admitted into all three portions of the series.

Sepulveda recognized that organizing the event was a team effort.

“I appreciate St. Michael’s Hall for helping us get the hall and helping us make this dream a reality,” Sepulveda said. “This is for the city of Lynn and it should be. It was a  complete team effort.”

Fans who’ll be in attendance, Sepulveda said, can expect competitive boxing from the moment the first bell rings. A handful of the boxers who’ll participate are Golden Gloves champions who are looking to become professionals.

“This is going to be one of the best boxing events around in a long time,” Sepulveda said. “This is going to be a great event. It’s going to be one to remember.”

Showcase gives kids a chance to learn from the pros

Patriots player Brandon King demonstrates a drill at last year’s All American Fundamental Showcase at Manning Field.


NFL agent and Salem native Sean Stellato has always prided himself in giving back to the community. On July 23, he’ll bring a handful of his NFL clients to Lynn for his 10th annual “All American Fundamental Showcase,” which will be hosted at Manning Field.

The showcase serves as a football clinic for kids from ages six to 18. Participants will be coached and evaluated in football fundamentals such as the 40-yard dash, the 20-yard shuttle, three-cone drill, broad jump and positional drills.

“This is for kids looking to develop skills, be inspired and develop techniques,” Stellato said. “We try to make it like Disney World for the kids for the day. You don’t have to be the best football player in the world. It’s a great opportunity for kids, especially those from Lynn.”

Among those attending the showcase are NFL stars Brandon King of the New England Patriots, Stephen Evans of the Philadelphia Eagles, Chris Manhertz of the Carolina Panthers and Joe Vellano of the Atlanta Falcons. Brian Flores, linebackers coach for the Patriots, and former New England running back Patrick Pass will also be in attendance.

“It’s an ultra special day,” Stellato said. “I hope kids come out of this educated and inspired. There’s a lot of talent and pedigree that comes through here. Some kids might not have the confidence. If they really want something, they should go out and do it.”

Participants will also have the neat opportunity to interact one-on-one with the coaches and players while absorbing tips and pointers from them. That, Stellato added, is what makes July’s clinic at Manning a unique event.

“The guys really work out with the kids,” Stellato said. “You don’t see that at some of the other camps. At a lot of these other camps, the players walk around and snap a photo with the kids and that’s it.”

Stellato, who starred for the football team at Salem High as a quarterback, knows firsthand that the talent on the gridiron has always been at a high level across the North Shore.

“There’s a ton of football talent on the North Shore,” Stellato said. “A lot of the programs have always competed, with solid teams. I think there are definitely kids that are very talented and plenty of kids that can play outside of this area.”

Although the clinic makes for a special event for the young talents hoping to develop their skills, the NFL players who do the coaching also get an enjoyable experience out of it. Many of them were once in the shoes of those who have attended Stellato’s showcase throughout the past ten years.

“A lot of these guys were there,” Stellato said. “They were one of these kids in attendance, with big dreams. The odds of playing or coaching in the NFL aren’t high but it’s possible. This really touches the players and uplifts them. They enjoy helping the kids develop.”

Stellato added, “This is a special time to be a Massachusetts football player, with these kids growing up through the Patriots dynasty. I just really want these kids to be inspired and dream big.”

Online registration for the event has already began and forms can be found on Stellato’s website,, under the “Upcoming Events” tab. Registration will also take place on the day of the showcase, at 8 a.m. The showcase itself kicks off at 9 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m. Price discounts are available for Lynn residents.

“It’s going to be an uplifting day,” Stellato said. “Part of being a pro is giving back, being able to educate and inspire the next generation.”

“The kids can expect a very uplifting day,” Stellato added. “A ton of coaching, they’ll compete, work hard, develop mentally and physically and it’s a going to be a moving day for them.”

Late rally drives West Lynn past Salem


LYNN — Little League games can go south in a hurry. All it takes is a couple of walks, or a crazy play, or — worse — an ill-timed error and the whole game changes.

That’s what happened to the Salem Little League all-star team Thursday night at Pine Hill’s Chris Spagnoli Field. Salem was sailing along. Its lead over West Lynn wasn’t what you’d call commanding, but pitcher Kegan LeClare needed just six more outs to go and his team would be advancing in the District 16 tournament.

Instead, West Lynn scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and then had to withstand a last-ditch effort by Salem to hold on to a 9-7 victory in a heart-stopping game that meant elimination for  Salem and a game Saturday (at Peabody’s MacArthur Park at 5 p.m.) between West Lynn and Swampscott.

“It happens,” said Salem’s Phil LeClare. “They’re just 12 years old. As much as you practice, and as hard as you work, there comes a time when the game tightens up, and the margin of error gets smaller.”

Until the fifth inning, it was all Salem, which had built a 4-1 lead behind the arm of Kegan LeClare and the bat of shortstop Edibel Perez, who scored two of the runs and knocked in a third, getting on base the first three times he got up.

West Lynn’s Jason Gallo said his team got off to a slow start with the bats.

“I think it was just our whole team,” he said. “But everything changed in the fifth inning. That’s when we woke up.”

Almani Gerado started things off with a single, with Dominic Giordano following suit. A walk to Nico Ramirez loaded the bases before Gerado came home on an error. By this time, Kegan LeClare was out in favor of Perez.

Marcus Martinez then hit a ground ball back to the pitcher that forced Giordano at the plate for the first out of the inning, but Ben Marciano reached on an error, scoring another run to make it 4-3, and Ryan Scaglione’s base hit finally put  West Lynn in the lead, 5-4.

Marciano scored on a wild pitch to make the score 6-4, and Tyler Maynard’s triple scored Scaglione with the seventh run. Maynard came home when Gerado reached on an error, and Gerado scored  moments later on a wild pitch.

In the top of the sixth, West Lynn’s Maynard got two quick outs before Mike Ready walked and scored when Perez reached on an error. Kegan LeClare was next, and he hit a pitch that was almost over his head that cleared the left-field fence for a two-run homer and before anyone had time to digest it, the score was 9-7.

But Maynard came back to retire Radhlen Pena on a called third strike to end the game.

Suspect in Lynn homicide indicted for drive-by shooting

Brian Brito stands with attorney Rebecca Whitehill, in Salem Superior Court during his June 23, 2017 arraignment.


SALEMBrian Brito, the 22-year-old man accused of killing a food deliveryman in Lynn and raping a store clerk during a robbery in North Andover, has been indicted on charges from a separate non fatal drive-by shooting in Lawrence.

Brito, of New Hampshire, was indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury on Thursday on two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, two counts of armed assault with intent to murder and carrying a firearm without a license, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s office.

The indictment alleges that on March 25, Brito drove up to a car parked on Berkley Street and shot the two women inside, striking one of them in the head and the other in the leg. He is alleged to have been wearing a ski mask and a hooded sweatshirt, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s office.

He is currently being held without bail on the murder and aggravated rape charges from the Lynn murder and North Andover robbery and rape.
Brito is also accused of shooting and killing Mohammadreza Sina Zangiband, a 24-year-old deliveryman for Atha’s Roast Beef, and robbing a North Andover convenience store and raping the store clerk on March 27.

He was indicted for murder, two counts of aggravated rape, kidnapping, armed and masked robbery, carrying a firearm without a license and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card on May 25, authorities said.

Zangiband, of Salem, was delivering food for Atha’s when he was shot multiple times on Bowler Street. He was found dead in his vehicle, a 2012 Hyundai Sonata, with at least one gunshot wound to the head.

In an affidavit filed by State Police Trooper Thomas J. Sullivan IV in Lynn District Court, he wrote that evidence has indicated that the confrontation between the two motorists, Brito and Zangiband, may have been the result of a road rage incident.

Video surveillance and a witness account described a dark colored Audi, allegedly driven by Brito, coming from behind the Hyundai on the left, overtaking it and forcing it to pull over, blocking the car in before the shooting. The man then got out of the Audi, walked around his car, back toward the Hyundai and pointed a black semi-automatic handgun at the driver, identified as Zangiband, and shot him four to five times.

Brito will be arraigned on the new charges at his next court appearance in Salem Superior Court on Aug. 10.

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




Miezwa going strong at US Senior Open

Bernie Miezwa, a 70-year-old caddie at Salem Country Club from Danvers put down the bags and took a job for Fox Sports calling out what clubs players were going to hit on the 3rd hole during the first round of the U.S. Senior Open.


PEABODY – When Bernie Miezwa caddied for Susie Berdoy in the 1984 Women’s U.S. Open at Salem Country Club, little did he know that 33 years later he’d still be lugging a bag around the treasured Donald Ross-designed course.

Even in 2001, when he assisted Oregon dentist Jeff Lienasser during the USGA’s previous Senior Open at Salem, he probably envisioned that’d be it.

Yet here he is, at age 70, still left holding the bag.

Miezwa, a Salem native and former Peabody resident who now calls Danvers home, has been caddying for more than 55 years. He’s older than nearly every player in the 38th U.S. Senior Open Championship, which began yesterday.

“At my age, the hills are getting higher or my feet are getting shorter,” he said, with a grin. “At 200 pounds and 5-foot-2, I seem to be shrinking.”

In practice rounds earlier this week, the retired Sylvania employee caddied for amateur David Schmidt of Virginia and pro John Hearn of Hawaii. Yesterday afternoon, he was working as a spotter for Fox Sports, standing on the 3rd tee, compiling data on the players’ club choices on the 149-yard par-three hole.

He can still be found in Salem’s caddie barn most weekend mornings, along with another long-timer, Jimmy Byrne of Peabody.

“Way back when, I cut my eyeteeth at Kernwood. I’d walk a couple of miles from my home, wait all day, while the older kids got all the assignments. If I was lucky, I’d get a bag by day’s end. But I loved caddying right away. Why would any kid want to work in a store or flip burgers, when you could be outdoors, on a beautiful course.”

Miezwa said Salem’s caddie program is the best around, and the commitment and support from members is unprecedented. “They take it seriously. So many members at Salem caddied here growing up, and they know what a difference it can make in a young person’s life.”

Miezwa caddied every year when the LPGA’s Boston Five Classic was held at Ferncroft CC in Middleton and in subsequent years when the tourney got new sponsors and moved to courses in Canton and Agawam. He used vacation time to do this, no doubt problematic for his then-wife; they eventually divorced after 16 years of marriage. He’s been with his current girlfriend for 24 years.

The going rate when Miezwa started caddying was 75 cents to shag balls and about $2 for 18 holes. At Salem and most local courses today, caddies get $40 per bag plus tips per round. “When I got out of the Army, I started working at Sylvania in 1978. I made 80 bucks for a 40-hour week,” said Miezwa, a natural-born storyteller if ever there was one.

“I’m old school. A caddie shuts up and keeps up. Today, a caddie has to keep up with technology, but I’m spot-on when going up against a laser (to determine yardage). I won’t use them. I step off the yardage, and I’m every bit as accurate as a laser,” said Miezwa.

How much longer will Miezwa caddie? “My feet hurt. My back aches. I am feeling my age; my body’s wearing down. But you come here in May and June, early morning, birds are chirping, the grass is wet with dew, there’s no better place on earth than Salem Country Club.”

He adds: “You pay to go to a fitness center. Here, I get my exercise and I get paid to do it. You can’t beat that.”

Salem Country Club hosts clinic for juniors

Two-time U.S. Open winner Hale Irwin, left, shows Christian Bachand, 8, of Dover, N.H., how to properly grip the club during the junior clinic at Salem Country Club on Tuesday.


PEABODY — More than 100 North Shore juniors, including a busload from the Camp Eastman summer day camp program at the Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody, were treated to a junior golf clinic at Salem Country Club during Tuesday’s  U.S. Senior Open practice round.  The children not only received a brief introduction to the fundamentals of the golf swing, they also received a strong message from five-time USGA champion (three U.S Opens and two U.S. Senior Opens), Hale Irwin, and honorary chairman and National Hockey League Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, who conducted the clinic.

The message?  Don’t specialize in just one sport.

“I played baseball in the summers and and a lot of hockey, but summer was baseball and I think the break from playing just hockey actually helped my hockey,” Bourque said.  “The time to learn the fundamentals of any sport is when you are young, and it’s been my experience that kids who play other sports in addition to their favorite end up better off not just as athletes, but in life in general.

“Today everything is so specific to one sport now and I don’t like it. I think if the kids don’t get away from the sport they are playing, it kind of gets in their face and becomes more like work than play.  When you step away, you are excited to get back to it.”

Two lucky attendees were plucked from the enthusiastic group to help demonstrate how to properly swing a golf club, 8-year-old Christian Bachand of Dover, N.H. and 10-year-old Jacob Guthrie of Lynn.

“We are both volunteering for the tournament this week,” said Mike Bachand, Christian’s father.  “Christian has been playing golf for three years now and he just loves it.”

The clinic also included many local schoolchildren from Lynn, Peabody, Salem and Danvers, who received complimentary admission for the day.

“We distributed 400 tickets to the schools in those four cities, so the kids got to come to Salem and experience the championship,” said general chairman Bill Sheehan, a Peabody native.  “It’s sort of reversal of the way these things go. Juniors are admitted free with a fully ticketed adult, but today, the parents got to get in with their child.”

Irwin enlisted the aid of a couple of players who were practicing on the range next to the clinic, one being Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.  He helped Bachand with his posture, getting him to bend his knees. The result? A beautiful shot right down the middle.

“How about that advice,” said Irwin.

Bourque said he didn’t have the opportunity to play golf until he came to Boston to play for the Bruins.

“I wish I had played when I was younger, but once I had the chance here, I developed a love for the game.”

Tournament director Eddie Carbone was also on hand.

“This is what it’s all about, the kids having a chance to see the world’s greatest players,” said Carbone.

Salem head golf professional Kevin Wood was the master of ceremonies.

“That’s the best advice I have heard in a long time,” he said. “I played football, basketball, hockey and baseball and didn’t take up golf till I was 14.  Kids should play the sports they love and not be pushed into having to choose just one.”


Lynn boxers excited to host event at Tech

The boxers at Private Jewels pose for a group picture. Front row, left to right, are Alex Sepulveda, Daniel Marte and Frank Marte. Back row, left to right, are Charlie Espinal, Nelson Carrion, Jodie Adams, Furcy Ferreras, Adam Zorrilla, Zach Calmus and Eric Atebezi. 


LYNN– Training for Saturday’s “Boxing For Hope” fundraiser at Lynn Tech is wrapping up and the group of boxers at Private Jewels Fitness is ready showcase its talent.

Private Jewels, on Summer Street, will see 11 of its boxers participate in Saturday’s event. Many of them are Lynn natives, but regardless of where they’re from, the opportunity to fight for a positive cause is one they all appreciate.

Charles Espinal, a 21-year-old Salem native, is ready to get back in the ring after a two-year hiatus.

“I took a two-year layoff from boxing,” Espinal said. “I really want everyone to know that I’m back in the game.”

Espinal, who attended Sisson Elementary School, said he’s excited for Saturday’s event. He views the fundraiser as a chance to box with some of his closest friends from Private Jewels.

“It’s not every day you get to box in your own backyard,” Espinal said. “It’s a huge opportunity. It’s a real big deal. I have a lot of my own friends and family coming to the event so I want to make sure I give them a good fight.”

Nelson Carrion, a 12-year-old KIPP student, is making his third appearance in the ring. Despite having two prior fights, Carrion will approach his match on Saturday as if it’s his first.

“It’s my third boxing match and I’m excited,” Carrion said. “I treat every boxing match like it’s my first.”

The positive message within “Boxing For Hope” is one that resonates with Carrion.

“It’s special because we’re boxing for hope,” Carrion said. “There are a lot of people around the world that need hope.”

Zach Calmus, a 25-year-old native of Marblehead, is also excited to flash his talents for a positive cause.

“Fighting here in Lynn is great because everyone loves it,” Calmus said. “The boxing interest is huge, especially when it’s for a good cause. It’s great to fight, but it’s even better to fight when you’re doing it for a good cause.”

Calmus has come away a victor in five of his last eight fights and is looking to ride that wave of momentum when he boxes on Saturday.

“I’m excited to showcase my skills in front of the community,” Calmus, who goes by the ring name “Shark Attack,” said. “I’ve won five of my last eight fights. My motivation has been at a tip-top level.”

Furcy Ferreras, a 28-year-old Peabody native, is facing a unique circumstance. Ferreras has yet to find an opponent for Saturday’s event but he’s staying on his toes in case a foe arises.

“I haven’t found a match-up so right now I’m on my even-keel mode,” Ferreras said. “Once I hear that I have a match-up my fight mode will come on.”

If he does get to participate in the event, the opportunity will be one Ferreras won’t forget anytime soon. Having spent countless hours training at Private Jewels with the group of fellow boxers and gym owner Alex Sepulveda, Ferreras knows the fighters have a special chance ahead of them.

“Lynn’s like my second home,” Ferreras said. “This is big for us. We started from the ground up. I’ve seen so many kids come through this gym. Some stay, some don’t. We have a great team of boxers now. This is the best we’ve ever been here.”

Daniel Marte also faces a unique situation in that he won’t be taking part in the fundraiser. That’s because Marte will be participating in a national tournament in West Virginia which kicks off on Friday.

“I’m excited,” Marte, an 11-year-old KIPP student, said. “One of my hardest fights took place in Missouri and he’ll be there so he’s one of the people I really want to fight.”

“My goal is to win as many fights as possible and advance to the next tournament,” Marte added.

Marte acknowledged his trainer, Sepulveda, as well as the rest of the staff and boxers at Private Jewels for pushing him to the level he’s reached.

“I’m really thankful for Private Jewels for making the boxer that I am,” Marte said, “and for helping me build progress.”

Saturday’s “Boxing For Hope” event starts at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased at Private Jewels or at the door. The event is a joint fundraising effort between Stop the Violence Lynn and Private Jewels. with the goal of continuing to provide Lynn’s youth alternative activities to decrease gun violence, drug use and gang involvement.

Over the past Three years STVL has organized three city wide peace walks, 3 youth basketball tournaments, 2 flag football events, as well as two motivational speaker series at Lynn City Hall Auditorium. All proceeds will be used to help facilitate youth violence prevention activities

Wyoma stays alert on the basepaths in win

Wyoma shortstop Allie Fritz makes a good stop on a hard grounder in the first inning.


MARBLEHEAD — Behind great baserunning and solid pitching, the Wyoma Little League All-Star softball team took down Marblehead, 9-3, at Marblehead Veterans Middle School on Wednesday evening. Baserunning was key in the win for Wyoma, as four of its nine runs came from sprinting home on passed balls.

“We are aggressive on the basepaths and we will take the extra base when we have the chance,” said Wyoma coach Jay Newhall. “We stayed aggressive for the whole game today and it worked in our favor for sure.”

In the circle, Lily Newhall took control for Wyoma. She tossed a complete game and gave up three runs on three hits with eight strikeouts, and she retired 14 of the final 18 batters she faced.

“One of the best things about having a pitcher like her is that she gets stronger as the game goes on,” said Newhall. “They were making some contact early on, and then as the game went on they weren’t. She did a great job today and I’m proud of her.”

On the offensive end for Wyoma, Kaelyn Jennings (2-for-3) and Reese Brinkler (2-for-4) each had two RBI and Gianna Nikolakakis (1-for-3) had one RBI.

For Marblehead, pitcher Emma Hortaridis had the lone RBI and also tossed a complete game in the circle, striking out 13 batters in the loss.

Wyoma jumped right out of the gate in the top of the first, starting with its leadoff hitter. After Jennings walked to lead off the game, she stole both second and third base before taking home on a passed ball to make it 1-0. Marblehead eventually walked the bases loaded, and two more runs were able to score on passed balls. Although Hortaridis struck out the final two batters to get out of the inning, Marblehead was already in a 3-0 hole.

The score stayed there until the bottom of the second, when Marblehead used the basepaths to notch a couple of runs. With runners on second and third with one out, Bridgette Tauro scored from third after a dropped third strike got away behind the plate to make it 3-1. Just a few pitches later, Lucy Rubino scored on a passed ball to cut the deficit to one run.

It was at this point that the pitchers on both sides settled down for a few innings and the game got close, with the game stuck at 3-2 until the top of the fifth.

It was in the top of the fifth that Wyoma was able to break the game open. With runners on second and third with one out, another run came in on a passed ball. Now with a runner just on third, Brinkler knocked an RBI single to left field to make it 5-2. Nikolakakis followed that up with another RBI single, then Jennings busted the game open with a two-run double to left-centerfield to make it 8-2.

Marblehead got one run back in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single from Hortaridis, but that was as close as it could get. Newhall closed the door and retired the final four batters of the game to walk away with the win.

“You can’t ever complain about a win,” said Newhall. “We played a good defensive game, got good pitching and got some timely hits. So getting a little bit of everything was nice today.”

Next up for Wyoma is Salem on Friday at Lynn Woods.

Vincent E. Amanti, 83

Vincent Emanuel Amanti, husband of Mary Anne (Lozzi) Amanti, formerly of Lynn, Salem, Falmouth, and Estero, Fla., passed away peacefully at Hope Hospice in Bonita Springs, Fla. on his 83rd birthday, June 1, 2017.

Born in Lynn, Vincent was a devoted son to the late Emanuel and Margaret (Nicoletti) Amanti of Salem. He worked alongside his father and brother at E. Amanti and Sons of Salem for many years.

A loving and dedicated husband, father, uncle, friend, and mentor, Vincent touched many lives through his generosity of resources and time. He lived, “It’s better to give than to receive.” He served in the Navy CBs during the Korean War; he ran a Boy Scout troop 20-plus years; and he was a member and Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus. As a young boy, he was active at Holy Family Church and continued that service for many years, volunteering as a lector, calling Bingo, singing on special occasions, and cooking sausages for the annual Festa. He loved to sing. He also loved to travel, crisscrossing the United States and touring many international destinations. He spent his retirement with his beloved wife of 43 years, Mary Anne, dividing time between the beaches of Cape Cod and Florida.

Family meant everything to Vin. As patriarch of a blended family, he leaves eight children and their spouses, Paul and Ceci Amanti of Arizona, Jean Marie (Amanti) and Robert Beanland of California, Lisa (Amanti) and Stephen Duzz of Beverly, Christina (Tina Amanti) Constantino of Peabody, Douglas Keegan of California, Linda (Keegan) and Larry Mason of Nahant, Lori and Evelyn Keegan-Wright of California and Joseph and Sharon Keegan of Florida. He also leaves his siblings and their spouses, Anthony and Norma Amanti of Westfield, John and Mary E. Amanti of Salem, and Grace (Amanti) Pietrogallo of Westfield. He is predeceased by his son, Michael Amanti, his brother, Gerald Amanti, his sister, Natalie (Amanti) Geleski and his brother-in- laws Charles Geleski and Louis Pietrogallo. He also leaves seventeen grandchildren and five great grandchildren, along with many loving nieces and nephews.

Service information: A Mass will be held at Holy Family Church, on Monday, June 19 at 11 a.m. followed by a family burial at St. Joseph Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Joanne’s House at Hope Hospice of Bonita Springs, FL ( Please visit to sign the guestbook.

Lynn council ponders trash fee


LYNN   It could cost more to toss your trash.

The city’s Ordinance and Rules Committee will consider a plan on Tuesday night that would charge property owners an annual trash disposal fee that could raise as much as $2 million annually.

Under the proposal, the fee would apply to any unit that is not owner-occupied. For example, owners of a single-family home who live in the dwelling would be exempt.

But landlords of two-, three-, four-, five- and six-family homes who live in the house would be charged for those units they do not live in. Out-of-town landlords would pay the most.

Owners of apartment buildings with more than six units are responsible for their own trash removal, so those commercial property owners would not be affected.

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy declined to comment.

City Council President Darren Cyr said he favors the measure.

“The city is in such a financial mess that I do believe we need to do something,” he said. “Consider that 90 percent of the communities around us have trash fees, including Swampscott, Salem, Nahant and Saugus. The reason is the cost of getting rid of trash is expensive.”

Peter Caron, the city’s chief financial officer, who floated the idea to help fix a budget deficit, said the fee has not been determined. But he said the discussion has been in the $150 to $220 range.  

“One of the provisions we are considering is Lynn residents who are landlords would pay a lower fee than out-of-town landlords,” he said.

For example, a two-family with the owner living on one floor would pay a discounted rate on the second unit. Out-of-town landlords would pay the full fee for both apartments.

The city picks up trash for 27,000 units. Of that number less than 10,000 units would pay the fee. There are about 12,000 single-family homes in Lynn.

Ward 1 City Councilor Wayne Lozzi, chairman of the Ordinance and Rules Committee, said while he is reluctant to approve raising another fee, he will support it.

“I would not support a citywide, all inclusive fee,” he said. “But  a limited trash fee makes sense given the financial climate. It’s so bad that we have to entertain some kind of a fee.”

Multi-families are not as quick to recycle and those units generate heavy waste and the costs are higher, Lozzi  said.

“Single-family owners seem to care more and do recycle more and that’s a good thing and that keeps costs down.”

The likely trash fee comes on the heels of a recent City Council vote to impose a .0075 percent tax on top of the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax on meals. The new levy would add 75 cents to a $100 dinner bill, about 19 cents to a $25 meal and raise $700,000 annually for the city.

Thomas Grillo can be reached at




Boy fatally struck by commuter rail train

An outbound MBTA commuter rail train appears to be stopped before entering Lynn Station around 9:30 p.m.

SALEM — A boy was struck and killed by a commuter rail train Friday night near Salem Station, according to the MBTA.

Jaydon Dancy, 11, was pronounced dead from his injuries, police said.

The Essex District Attorney’s office said Dancy was with other boys at a nearby park and was hit while he was crossing the tracks, trying to retrieve his bicycle.

“An outbound train passed at 8:04 and then an inbound train went by about a minute later,” DA spokeswoman Carrie Kimball Monahan said. “Investigators believe that the boy was not aware of the second train. It appears to be a tragic accident and no foul play is suspected.”

The MBTA Police said there are no adequate words to convey the tragic event.

Around 9:30 p.m. Friday, an outbound train appeared to be stopped in the distance, outside Lynn Station. EMS was still on scene at the time, according to an MBTA tweet.

“We ask that you respect the victim’s family’s privacy at this time,” the T said.

This incident comes one week after 49-year-old Patricia McCabe, of Lynn, was killed by an inbound commuter rail train at Lynn Station. Foul play is not suspected in her death, police said.


Bridget M. McGovern, 90

SALEMBridget M. “Bridie” (Kelly) McGovern, 90, of Salem, passed away on Wednesday June 7, 2017. She was the wife of the late Thomas Michael McGovern. Born and raised in County Roscommon, Ireland, she was the daughter of the late Patrick Joseph and Mary Kate (Farrell) Kelly. She came to the United States in 1949, and had lived in Rhode Island for many years, before moving to Salem in 2011.

Bridie had worked for the United States Postal Service in Providence for over 20 years until her retirement in 1993. A devout Catholic, she was always involved in her church community. She was a volunteer for hospice as well as at South County Hospital. She was an expert seamstress and an avid knitter.

She is survived by her six children; Patricia McWilliams and her husband Joseph of San Antonio, Texas, Michael McGovern and his wife Virginia of San Diego, Calif., Maureen McGovern and her husband Daniel Murphy of Lynn, Kevin McGovern and his wife Joann Buckley of Walpole, Eileen Lotz and her husband Craig of Atlanta, Ga., and Stephen McGovern of Salem; as well as 13 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews both in the U.S. and Ireland. She was the sister of the late Imelda Pluck and Thomas, Patrick, Bernard, and Eugene Kelly.

Service information: Her funeral will be held on Saturday at 9 a.m. from the SOLIMINE Funeral Home, 67 Ocean St. (Rt 1A), Lynn, followed by a Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. in St. John the Evangelist Church, Swampscott. Burial will be on Monday at 12 p.m. in St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket, RI. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting hours are today, Friday, from 4-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. John the Evangelist Church, 174 Humphrey St, Swampscott, MA 01907. Directions and guestbook at


2 Salem men charged with Peabody attack


PEABODY Two Salem men are facing charges following an alleged assault early Wednesday morning.

Shortly before 2:30 a.m., police got a call about men assaulting on a woman on Tremont Street.

Police arrested Jason B. Coombs, 36, and Jamison P. Wood, 34, both of 321 Jefferson Ave. in Salem, on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to rape, unarmed assault with intent to rob, and assault and battery with serious injury.

Because of the nature of the charges, Peabody Police Capt. Dennis Bonaiuto said there were few details of the assault that could be released at this time. He did say that the victim may have known at least one of the suspects beforehand.

Nonprofit awards doctors, students

Alicia Luongo of Saugus receives the David Solimine Sr. Honorary Scholarship from Boston North Cancer Association. She is joined by board members Kevin McCarthy of Nahant (left), David Solimine Sr. of Lynn and President Susan McCarthy of Nahant.


Boston North Cancer Association (BNCA) honored North Shore doctors and students last month at the 7th annual Hope Begins Here Awards.

The Peabody-based nonprofit whose mission is to support the prevention, research, education and care of cancer, recognized Dr. Noel P. DeFelippo for more than 30 years of excellence and dedication in the treatment of patients with bladder, kidney, prostate and testicular cancer.

The Swampscott resident practices at Urology Consultants of the North Shore with offices in Salem and Danvers.

Lynn offers discounted home composters

The BNCA Scholarship Program recognizes childhood cancer survivors, young people of parents with cancer, and medical school students who show a promising career in cancer treatment.

Arthur Kautz of Swampscott High School was awarded the $3,500 Hope Begins Here Scholarship, which is given to a senior whose parent either died from cancer, survived cancer during the applicant’s childhood years, or is undergoing treatment for cancer.

Alicia Luongo of Saugus High School and Cassidy Woods of Wakefield, a student at Bishop Fenwick High School, received the $3,500 David J. Solimine Sr. Honorary Scholarship.

Stewart Pine, a 2010 Newburyport High School graduate attending Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine was awarded the $7,500 F. John Bargoot, MD Memorial Scholarship.

Matt Demirs can be reached at

Marblehead resident pledges $5M to NSMC

From left, Dr. David Torchiana, CEO of Partners HealthCare, Dr. David Roberts, president of NSMC, Arthur Epstein and Brian McCarthy, members of the NSMC Board of Trustees, celebrate Epstein’s historic gift to NSMC.

MARBLEHEAD – Longtime resident Arthur J. Epstein has pledged $5 million to the North Shore Medical Center (NSMC), the largest donation in the hospital’s 144-year history.

The gift will be used to build a behavioral health center at the Salem campus. NSMC will name the new facility in Epstein’s honor when it opens in the fall of 2019.

“Many families face mental health or addiction issues and they often struggle to find high-quality care,” said Epstein in a statement. “I’m proud to support the Center’s efforts to address this dire need in our health care system. I’m grateful that North Shore families will have a place to go where they are assured their loved ones will receive excellent care.”

Now a  Brookline resident, Epstein lived with his family in Marblehead for more than 50 years. He made his first major gift to the Center in 2002, followed in 2007 by a $1 million donation to support the Massachusetts General Hospital/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care in Danvers.

Having a ball in Swampscott

Last fall, NSMC broke ground on a $207 million complex to consolidate medical, surgical, behavioral health and emergency care on one campus in Salem. As part of this project, NSMC is converting the former Spaulding Hospital North Shore into a 90-bed behavioral health facility. It will be aligned with Massachusetts General Hospital and add two dozen beds to the region for psychiatry and behavioral health. It is designed to integrate addiction treatment with inpatient and outpatient psychiatry, mental health services and further development of community-based programs.

Epstein is an entrepreneur and investor who began his career with Midas Muffler in 1965, eventually holding 30 New England locations. A partner in the real estate firm Cres Development, Epstein was also a member of numerous corporate boards, including Malden Trust Co., now Eastern Bank, and Portland Glass. He has served on NSMC’s Board of Trustees since 2006.

Epstein is a supporter of many nonprofit organizations, including Boston Children’s Hospital, The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Massachusetts General Hospital, Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Congregation Shirat Hayam in Swampscott. Earlier this year, he pledged $5 million to Cohen Hillel Academy, a K-8 Jewish independent school in Marblehead. In recognition of this gift, the largest in the school’s 62-year history, the school will be renamed the Arthur J. Epstein School next year.


Local baseball teams gear up for states

Sean Devin and the Rams earned the No. 1 seed in Division 2 North. 


Lynn Classical will enter this year’s MIAA baseball tournament as the No. 1 seed in Division 2.

The Rams were 19-1 during the regular season, losing only to No. 6 Reading in a non-league game. If the two teams meet in the upcoming North sectional — which gets under way Thursday with first-round games involving Marblehead at Boston Latin, Gloucester at Beverly and Woburn at Danvers — it will not be until the final. The Rams and Rockets are on opposite sides of the bracket.

Classical is the only team that drew a bye in Division 2. The Rams’ first game is Monday against either Marblehead of Boston Latin.

The Rams were led this season by catcher Matt Lauria and shortstop Andrew Moccia, both senior captains. Classical also had several members of last year’s Babe Ruth 15-year-old World Series team, and just about all of them played roles. David Barnard Jr. and Brett Bucklin made up two-thirds of a sophomore rotation that also included Jonathan Nicosia. Senior George Dimis, who had been injured for much of the season, came back to round out the pitching staff by the end of the season.

A.J. Luciano was rock-steady at third, as was Christian Burt at second; and Kevin Durant ended up starting in right field.

Senior Tyler Way proved to be among the best center fielders in the Northeastern Conference, and Sean Devin played a strong left field. Herbie Newton generally played first, and also was effective in relief.

Thursday in first-round action, Marblehead visits Boston Latin, Gloucester is at Beverly (1), Salem goes to North Andover (4:30) and Danvers hosts Woburn (6:30).

In Division 1A, St. John’s Prep is the only local team to get a nod. The Eagles, who finished at 16-5, were slotted in at No. 2 behind St. John’s of Shrewsbury.

Division 1A, unlike the other four levels, is a double-elimination tournament.

The Prep will play its first game today, at home, against Newton North — a team the Eagles defeated two weeks ago, also on at the Brother Linus Commons.

The Eagles have been runners-up in Division 1A for two straight seasons, losing both times to Braintree.

In Division 1, Peabody draws the sixth seed and will begin play Thursday (time TBA) at home against Cambridge. A win would put the Tanners in Lexington Tuesday.

The Tanners started the season strong, handing The Prep one of its five losses, but struggled down the stretch to finish at 14-8. Also in at No. 7 is Malden Catholic (12-8). The Lancers draw No. 10 Acton-Boxborough in the opener Thursday (7). If they win, the Lancers would play at No. 2 Andover next Wednesday.

No. 12 Medford (10-10) will travel to Alumni Field in Lowell Friday (7)

Division 3 is loaded, not only in local-area teams but in talent in general.

“It’s always the toughest division, with the most teams, and with the most talent,” said St. Mary’s coach Derek Dana, whose Spartans, 13-7, are seeded seventh.

“There are a lot of teams in Division 3 that play in leagues with a lot of D1 teams,” said Dana. “Their records might not look good, but they’re playing tough competition during the season and they’re going to bring it every game.”

One of those teams is No. 10 Weston, which the Spartans play Thursday (5:30) at Fraser Field.

“They’re in a good league (Dual County) and it says they’re 12-8, but I’ll bet they’re better than that. We didn’t play them this year, so we’ll try to find out as much about them as we can.”

As far as Dana is concerned, he’s more focused on his team.

“That’s really all I care about,” he said. “If we go out and play well, pitch, hit, field, run the bases, stay focused … we’ll be fine.”

The two games St. Mary’s played in the recent Clancy Tournament — a win and a loss — unveiled some disturbing issues that Dana would like to see cleaned up.

“We were sloppy on defense,” he said. “Our starting pitching was good enough to win. But we’ve got to get better at the plate, and certainly have to clean up our defense.

“This is the tournament,” he said. “Everybody’s ready. Hopefully, this is the time of year we start doing it too.”

The Spartans, winners of a state title in 2015, fell in the second round last year to East Boston, which is seeded fourth with an 18-2 record.

Lynnfield is one of three 18-2 teams. The Pioneers drew the third seed and will have to wait until Sunday to play its game between the winner of No. 19 Saugus and No. 14 North Reading.

“We’ve been doing all right,” said Lynnfield coach John O’Brien. “We hit a little bump in the road losing down in Belmont. But we rebounded with a big win over a real good Reading team.”

The Pioneers will get a chance — if North Reading beats Saugus — to avenge last year’s Division 3 North final defeat at the hands of the Hornets.

“That might have been a little bit of a letdown,” O’Brien said. “We’d have a big win over Austin Prep (coming from four runs down in the seventh inning) a couple of days before.”

O’Brien boasts what he sees as the best player in the Cape Ann League in shortstop/pitcher Justin Juliano.

“He does everything for us,” he said.

Also in Division 3, Swampscott (11-10 and seeded 13th) is home Thursday (time TBA) against 4-14 Stoneham;). Friday, Bishop Fenwick, seeded sixth at 10-10, is home against Bedford.

In Division 4, No. 11 Winthrop (8-12) will visit sixth-seeded Mystic Valley (11-7) Thursday at 3:30.

Clancy Tournament comes full-circle for Lynn’s Tgettis

St. Mary’s baseball coach Derek Dana (left) poses with Jim Tgettis (middle) and Classical coach Mike Zukowski. Both Dana and Zukowski played for Tgettis in their high school baseball careers. Dana played for him at St. Mary’s, while Zukowski did so in his senior season at Classical. 


LYNN — When Memorial Day weekend rolls around, memories of the Nipper Clancy Tournament fill Jim Tgettis with joy.

Tgettis, a Lynn native, is a former baseball player and coach, who has fond memories of his involvement with the Clancy Tournament in Lynn. That’s because there’s a good chance that nobody has ever been more closely involved with the annual tournament than Tgettis since its inception in 1982.

Tgettis is one of four coaches who founded the tournament, along with North Reading’s Frank Carey, Lynn Tech’s Bart Conlon, and Classical’s Dick Maag. Tgettis was then at the helm of a St. Mary’s baseball program that was looking to fill its schedule.

“I was appointed coach at St. Mary’s pretty late, so I had an 18-game schedule,” he said. “I was looking to fill it to 20 games and I was looking for a way to promote the school. In those days, you had to win 75 percent of your games to qualify for the state tournament. It was tough to put together a 20-game schedule and be competitive. Most teams didn’t want to make that type of a commitment.”

Tgettis and his three coaching counterparts decided to form a tournament in Clancy’s honor. At the time, Tgettis recalled, end-of-season tournaments weren’t as popular.

“We were looking to get into playing with Classical, Lynn Tech and North Reading,” Tgettis said. “Today there are a lot of tournaments at the end of the season, but back then we were one of the few.”

The unique connection between each of the four coaches is that they all, at one point in their careers, played for Clancy. Tgettis played under Clancy’s tutelage in 1961, and then again from 1968 to 1969.

“He was demanding,” Tgettis said. “He was a tremendous motivator and a very dedicated, smart baseball guy. If you made one of his teams, you felt something special. He made you feel that way.

“He made you enjoy baseball. As tough as he was, he made you enjoy working and playing for him. He had so many ways to motivate you. He was a fun guy, an enjoyable guy and one who demanded tremendous respect.”

The respect Clancy warranted wasn’t limited to his players. Winning a game against one of Clancy’s teams,Tgettis noted, was no small feat.

“If you played for him, he made you feel that you could do anything for your teammates,” Tgettis said. “If you played against him, and were fortunate enough to win, that was an accomplishment.”

When the tournament first began, Tgettis assumed the role of its director. He remained in that position until 1991, two years before he left St. Mary’s. Tgettis led the Spartans from 1981-1993, and returned to coach in Lynn when he took over at Classical from 1996-2008.

“It was always extremely important to me, having played for Nipper,” Tgettis said. “I played for him in Little League and then again in Legion Baseball. I had the utmost respect for him and his ability to motivate his players. He was way beyond his time.”

Aside from honoring Clancy, a Lynn baseball pioneer who also coached at St. Mary’s, the tournament was also designed to showcase top-notch local talent through a competitive schedule. To prove just how evenly-matched it was, the four teams involved split the first four tournaments. North Reading won it in 1982, St. Mary’s in 1983, Tech in 1984 and Classical in 1985. English joined the tournament in 1991, while Tech has since stayed away from it.

“The thing about it is you realize that you have to get up to play or you’re going to get embarrassed,” Tgettis said. “That goes back to the original plan. If we were going to do this, we had to make sure it was done right. That’s what made it so competitive. We had great teams in Lynn and a great team from North Reading. We had the recipe for success.”

Through its 35 years, a number of talented stars have played, including Classical’s Ken Hill, Jeff Waldron and current coach Mike Zukowski, St. Mary’s Tim Fila, Christian Howard and current coach Derek Dana,  English’s Ben Bowden, Roberto Reyes and Leo Estabrook and Tech’s Al Donovan, Jay Murphy, Jerson Perez, and Yuri Sanchez.

“The talent level was great year after year,” Tgettis said. “Just participating would get you ready for the state tournament, but winning it would pronounce you ready for state tournament play.”

Tgettis’ last coaching stint was at Salem, where he led the Witches from 2009-2012. Although he hasn’t coached in the Clancy Tournament since 2008, Tgettis still has a special connection to the annual event.

He became aware of that connection when he watched from the Fraser Field bleachers at last year’s tournament.

“I looked at the coaches and assistants at St. Mary’s and Classical and I realized that I coached them all,” Tgettis said. “Seeing a bunch of the guys that I coached, at the two schools that I coached, it kind of hit me.”

Among those who played for Tgettis are head coaches Dana of the Spartans and Zukowski of the Rams.

“I remember countless hours of coach Tgettis telling us about Nipper Clancy,” Dana said. “I’d like to think that I appreciated how great Nipper was. It was important to him, so it became important to me and it still is.”

Zukowski added, “The Clancy Tournament itself, you remember coming down to Fraser Field as a kid and it’s something special. It was always awesome to play against your friends and your rivals. All the guys that coached were legendary coaches and I was always lucky to play for coach Tgettis my senior year.”

Both Classical and St. Mary’s come into the tournament following strong seasons in which each clinched a state tournament berth.

Classical, the Northeastern Conference champion, is 17-1 and has a strong mix of veteran bats and young pitchers. St. Mary’s is 12-7 and carries a talented group of arms too. English is 6-12 but has fallen victim to tough luck in a handful of close games.

“I’ve seen Classical play,” Tgettis said. “They’re highly motivated and talented. I haven’t seen St. Mary’s but I speak with Derek regularly. I know how they play the game. North Reading has a lot of tradition and I know Joe (Caponigro) will have his team ready to play.”

Most recently, St. Mary’s has dominated the tournament by winning six of its last nine.

Both Dana and Zukowski expect this year’s tournament to be as competitive as it traditionally has been.

“I’ve seen English and they’re a better team than their record shows,” Dana said. “They’ve had some tough losses. Classical’s having an outstanding season, North Reading’s a great program. It was a great tournament from the start and it continues to be so.”

“North Reading is at the top of its league, English is always competitive and St. Mary’s is always at the top of its game,” Zukowski said. “Our guys will be pretty amped up to play in this. I think we’ll put some good games together.”

Edith Hayden, 96

SALEMMrs. Edith Hayden, 96, of Salem passed away Monday at Salem Hospital surrounded by her family. She was the beloved wife of the late Robert L. Hayden Sr., married for more than 66 years. Born in Newfoundland, Canada, she attended Fisher Jr. College in Boston. She was a member of the First Church in Swampscott for over 50 years. An avid reader, she enjoyed knitting and doing crossword puzzles. She reveled in the spending time with family and friends.

She is survived by her five children: Robert L. Hayden Jr. and his wife Gloria of Sante Fe, NM, Bruce W. Hayden and his wife Cyndi of Warsaw, N.Y., Todd A. Hayden and his wife Jill of St. Louis Park, Minn., Elizabeth E. Plourde and her husband Robert of Haverill and Jude Toner and her Husband John of Marblehead.: Seven grandchildren: Alec Vegan, Jamison Adair and his wife Christine , Christopher Plourde, Caitlin Plourde, Heather Mason, Lesley Hayden, Douglas Hayden and the late Blake Adair and five great-grandchildren.

Service Information: In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Edith may be made to University of Massachusetts Memorial Foundation (UMMF) in support of Medical research. Online:; mail to: Office of Advancement, UMass Medical School/UMass Memorial Health Care, 333 South Street Shrewsbury MA 01545. Checks made to UMMF-Medical Research.

The family invites you to join them in the celebration of her life at 11 a.m., Saturday May 27 at the Clubhouse at The Village at Vinnin Square, 200 Loring Hills Ave, Salem, MA.


Swampscott gives green light to Greenwood


SWAMPSCOTT — Town officials have signed a purchase and sale agreement with Groom Construction for the redevelopment of the former Swampscott Middle School on Greenwood Avenue, which included a stipulation to dismiss the longstanding lawsuit the company had against the town.

Last month, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a proposal from Salem-based Groom Construction, which had submitted two concepts.

The Board of Selectmen entered into a purchase and sale agreement with the company for the construction of a 28-unit apartment or condominium project, which the board accepted as the primary concept, and adhered to the zoning approved at Town Meeting last year. In lieu of not offering any affordable housing, Groom would contribute $150,000 to the town’s affordable housing trust, officials said.

“I’m happy that we’ve been able to negotiate an agreement and we’ll be able to move forward on this chapter of our really long history with this building,” said Naomi Dreeben, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen.

The company can switch to a 60-unit Chapter 40B affordable housing project, with 25 percent of the apartments or condominiums allocated as affordable, which the board approved as an alternative, if there is litigation from the neighbors for the primary concept, officials said.

Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald said part of the purchase and sale agreement was contingent on having the lawsuit dismissed that the company had against the town. According to a Salem Superior Court document, the lawsuit has been dismissed “with prejudice, without costs and with each party waiving all rights of appeal.”

“I think that really resolves a potential risk to the town and any time we can avoid a potential lawsuit and situation that was a financial risk to the town, that’s a good thing,” Fitzgerald said.

The suit stemmed from an initial zoning change approved at Town Meeting, which allowed for a multi-family unit on the parcel. That was overturned in Massachusetts Land Court after neighbors filed suit in 2014, and zoning reverted back to single-family housing.

The litigation with Groom, which originally won approval for a 41-unit condominium project on the site in 2012, had to be settled before the town could proceed with the sale of the property.

Peter Kane, director of community development, said the purchase price for the property is $1.2 million, with the company responsible for costs to abate and demolish the entire structure.

A new chapter for Saugus author

He said the company would be credited for those costs up to $1.2 million, which would offset the purchase price, but Groom has to have documentation for whatever is spent on abatement and demolition. He said the company has previously estimated those costs to be $1.3 million, which could technically make the purchase price zero dollars.

Kane said the purchase and sale agreement allows for the buyer to go through the permitting process before they close on the property. He said the permitting process can take up to six months.

Once that is complete, Kane said the company and town can close on the sale of the property, and then Groom can sign off on the land development agreement attached to the purchase and sale agreement, which puts the buyer in the position to develop the property in the way agreed to with the town.

Officials estimate the project will generate at least $325,000 annually in real estate tax revenue.

Selectman Peter Spellios has said the Chapter 40B alternative project would give the town protection against a potential spot zoning lawsuit from neighbors, as it is exempt from zoning, and therefore, harder to appeal. The proposal from Groom approved by the Selectmen last month was the company’s response to the town’s most recent Request for Proposals (RFP) for the project.

In January, the board decided to act upon the advice of Town Counsel and reissue the RFP with both options — conforming to Town Meeting zoning and a Chapter 40B project — when the Selectmen had been slated to approve or deny a proposal from Groom to convert the middle school into 28 luxury apartments or condominiums.

Officials said at the time that Town Counsel made the recommendation because neighbors had been clear they were again intending to bring litigation against the town. Neighbors were concerned that a 28-unit structure would be out of character with the existing neighborhood.

Kane said at this point the town has not received any notice of a lawsuit.

Tom Groom, owner of the company, could not be reached for comment.

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


Swampscott voters to decide rail-trail fate

Pictured is a plan for the Swampscott rail trail.


SWAMPSCOTT — Town Meeting members approved allocating funds allowing plans for a proposed rail trail to move forward last week, but a group of residents opposing the trail fought the vote and appear to have forced a special election.

Abutters to the proposed trail, who have been vocal in their opposition, and other residents, spearheaded a citizen’s petition, seeking to force the question brought before and approved at Town Meeting, to be placed on a ballot.

At Town Meeting by a 210-56 vote, members approved allocating $850,000 for the design and engineering of the trail location within the National Grid corridor, as well as the legal fees and costs for acquisition of easement rights.

After the citizen’s petition garnered nearly 900 certified signatures, voters will likely be asked to allocate the funds during a town-wide election, with a date yet to be determined, according to Town Clerk Susan Duplin.

Officials have said $240,000 of the funds would be used to hire professionals for design and engineering costs. About $610,000 would be for acquisition of easement rights, where the town would work with the property owners (National Grid and/or other parties) to secure the rights. This may be done through eminent domain, or by donation/gift of the land.

The funds would not be for construction of the trail, which would be financed through donations, grants, and private funds, officials said.

Officials have said National Grid pays property taxes for the 11 parcels that make up the utility corridor, but doesn’t have clear title on all of them. Through a title process, numerous owners have been identified, which could include abutters.

The two-plus mile, 10-foot wide trail would run from the Swampscott Train Station to the Marblehead line at Seaview Avenue, connecting with the Marblehead rail trail, which also links to trails in Salem.

Paul Dwyer, a Swampscott resident who lives along the proposed trail, said the group became aware of a section in the town charter, that allows a challenge to the Town Meeting vote by means of a petition, and that could subsequently force a ballot initiative. He said when they didn’t win at Town Meeting, the group decided to start the petition drive.

The town charter (Section 2-6) reads that votes, except a vote to adjourn or authorize the borrowing of money in receipt of taxes for the current year, passed at Town Meeting don’t go into effect for five days.

The Town Meeting vote can be challenged within five days by filing a petition with the Board of Selectmen, asking that the question be submitted to the town’s voters. If five percent of the town’s registered voters sign the petition, the question in substantially the same language that was presented to Town Meeting, would appear on a ballot during a special election, according to the charter.

Ehrlich: Tax credit will earn income for state

Dwyer said the response to the petition was overwhelming in town. He said people want to be heard on this issue, as opposed to just passing it through Town Meeting because it’s a lot of money to be spent. If the town sinks $850,000 into the project, and then can’t raise enough money to construct the trail, would more funds be requested at Town Meeting, he asked.

He said the other thing people have a problem with is eminent domain, which he said is a great thing to be used to build a new hospital or school, but not to build a recreational trail. Dwyer said people think eminent domain is the wrong thing to do to your neighbors.

“We’re very optimistic and enthused about the support that happened last week and continues to go on, so we hope that carries over to an election,” Dwyer said. “There are so many financial needs in this town that this trail is a luxury and a want more than anything else. We don’t need it, we can’t afford it, and there are many, many more priorities in town than a trail.”

Duplin said there were 10,662 registered voters as of week. The petition needed to garner 5 percent of those voters, or 533 signatures, to force the town-wide vote. She said there were 946 signatures submitted, and that 889 were certified. Other signatures were not certified for things such as illegible signature, some people signed who don’t live in town, and several people signed the petition twice, she added.

After the clerk’s office is done certifying the signatures, Duplin said there is a 48-hour window where anyone can file an objection to the signatures, which expires Wednesday at 5 p.m. She said the petition was handed in on Saturday, within five days of Town Meeting, and the signatures were certified on Monday. If objections are filed, she said the Board of Registrars would have to hold a hearing within 14 days.

Duplin said anyone can file objections for various reasons, but usually the reason is to reduce the number of certified signatures on the petition.

Naomi Dreeben, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, said she has consulted with Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald and some other members of the board, and doesn’t believe it’s wise to challenge the petition.

“I think it will go to a vote,” Dreeben said. “They clearly collected enough signatures and they have been certified so we’re not going to challenge it … People have a right to request a ballot measure for the town-wide vote and we’ll honor that.”

Dreeben said the board would set a date for the election, but the Selectmen have not met yet to discuss that. She said the Town Meeting vote was extremely clear on its approval to allocate the funds.

“I believe the Town Meeting is a good representation of the rest of the town, and I’m quite confident the town-wide vote will be consistent with the Town Meeting vote,” Dreeben said.

Duplin said an election usually costs the town between $10,000 to $12,000, for things such as ballot printing, poll workers and supplies.

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


Gruesome details emerge in double killing

Michael Hebb, left, and Wes Doughty are arraigned separately in Salem Superior Court.


SALEM — It’s been more than three months since the double murder of an engaged couple at a Farm Avenue home in Peabody in February, but more gruesome details emerged during arraignments for the accused killer and his alleged accomplice on Monday.

Wes Doughty, 39, and Michael Hebb, 45, were arraigned separately in Salem Superior Court in connection with the murders of Mark Greenlaw, 37, and his fiancee, Jennifer O’Connor, 40, at 19 Farm Ave.

Doughty was arraigned on two counts of murder and one count each of rape, attempted arson, carjacking, kidnapping, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Doughty is accused of raping O’Connor, trying to set the house on fire, and accused of the armed carjacking of a 64-year-old grandfather, Kenneth Metz, in Middleton days later while on the run. He was captured in South Carolina, a week later.

Hebb, was arraigned on two counts of accessory after the fact and one count of attempted arson. Murder charges he was arraigned on Feb. 21 in Peabody District Court were dismissed after an Essex County grand jury handed up indictments earlier this month for both men.

Both men pleaded not guilty to their respective charges.

New details emerged during Hebb’s appearance.

Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall said Hebb was living at the house with his nominal uncle, David Moise Sr., who is physically disabled, his girlfriend and a number of other people.

MacDougall said the home, which has since been condemned, operated a crack cocaine dealing business, and Hebb was one of the principals involved in the drug’s distribution.

In the days leading up to the homicides, MacDougall said it appeared that Greenlaw had asked if he and O’Connor could come stay at the home. She said Greenlaw’s sister was being asked to leave the home or was leaving of her own volition. She said there was some suggestion that Greenlaw was moving into Hebb’s role in the crack cocaine business in that same time period.

Hebb and Doughty allegedly had multiple conversations about Greenlaw’s incursions into the home, and that Hebb had made unsubstantiated allegations that Greenlaw was abusing Moise in some way, MacDougall said. She said Moise was the main head of the house, and used to be the owner, but had sold it to a neighbor and was leasing it long-term.

MacDougall said the evidence shows that Hebb told Doughty Greenlaw and perhaps his sister had been abusing, possibly poisoning, possibly drugging Moise. She said there is no real evidence of any of that. She said the Commonwealth would allege that he was playing on Doughty’s deep loyalty and devotion for Moise, essentially revving him up.

Even based on his own statement, Hebb at a minimum acquiesced to Doughty’s plan to murder Greenlaw, MacDougall said. After his arrest, Hebb had given a lengthy recorded statement to authorities about his involvement in the murders, according to his defense attorney, Ray Buso.

Shortly after Greenlaw’s and O’Connor arrival at the house, sometime likely late Friday, Feb. 17, Doughty shot Greenlaw once in the face with a shotgun, MacDougall said. She said Hebb appeared to have been upstairs in the home at the time, but almost immediately came downstairs, and at that point, at a minimum, witnessed Doughty repeatedly stab, slit the throat and rape O’Connor.

Hebb then went upstairs and reported to a witness “that Doughty was an idiot” because he was leaving his DNA in O’Connor, MacDougall said.

McGee nurses senior health spending

MacDougall said it was by Hebb’s own admission that he then participated in cleaning up the house, as there was a great deal of blood in numerous areas, and ultimately wrapping up the two bodies.

She said the bodies were in bags and wrapped in cellophane. In addition, she said a carpet was taken out from the floor that was nailed down and split in two so that each of them could be wrapped in the carpet and further in cellophane.

MacDougall said the bodies were taken down to the basement, along with the mattress O’Connor was killed on, and were stacked there with a number of items, including several firearms and knives.

She said cans of kerosene and a propane torch were found in the vicinity of the bodies. MacDougall said it is the Commonwealth’s belief, based in part on statements by Hebb, that the men’s ultimate intention was to burn the bodies.

MacDougall said Hebb’s girlfriend was also in the home, and ultimately became concerned for her safety based on statements  made to her, and she believed she may have been next to be killed. She fled the night of Feb. 18, and dove into the car window of a Good Samaritan who drove her to the Danvers State Police barracks, MacDougall said.

On the way, Hebb’s girlfriend made calls to Greenlaw’s family members, who started showing up at the Peabody Police Department. A marked police cruiser was sent to 19 Farm Ave., which MacDougall said the two defendants became aware of, causing them to not complete their efforts to burn the bodies and run out the side door through a swamp area.

MacDougall said Hebb contacted a friend to pick them up, telling him their car had broken down on the side of the 95 on ramp in Peabody, where authorities believe Doughty stashed the murder weapons, which were ultimately recovered there. She said Hebb claimed in his statement that he did everything under duress to try to protect himself, his girlfriend and Moise, because he claims that essentially Doughty had a gun to him.

Buso said the vast majority of the Commonwealth’s statement was the subject of Hebb’s recorded statement. He said Hebb was unaware the first murder was going to take place, and did not observe it.

“In this recorded statement, he describes what the government now calls duress,” Buso said. “His belief was that if he did not cooperate with the other defendant, his uncle, for lack of a better word, and the girlfriend, were going to be killed … His version of the events indicated that he did what he needed to do to keep those two people from being killed also.”

Hebb was eventually taken into custody at his former girlfriend’s apartment in Peabody, after Doughty left, MacDougall said.

Doughty and Hebb will continue to be held without bail and return to court July 11 for a pretrial conference. Doughty’s attorney, John Apruzzese, did not argue for bail. Buso requested $10,000 cash bail for Hebb. MacDougall requested $150,000 bail.

Buso argued that before the murders, Hebb had a short record, with mostly motor vehicle violations. He said that Hebb could stay with his mother, who lives in Peabody.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Drechsler said he was inclined to set bail at $60,000 with conditions.

Should his family intend to post that $60,000 bail, Hebb would need to have a hearing before a judge, with his mother or whomever he would be staying with, to ensure they could properly oversee him during his release. He would be on GPS monitoring and under house arrest. For now, he’s being held until his next date, according to Carrie Kimball Monahan, spokeswoman for the Essex County District Attorney’s office.

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


Peabody sweeps league track meet

Saugus’ Kiley Ronan is just about to nail a landing in the long jump during the Northeastern Conference meet Saturday at Peabody High.


PEABODY — The Peabody boys and girls track teams continued their dominance in the Northeastern Conference, as they both won the NEC league meet Saturday on their home turf at Peabody High.

On the boys side, it wasn’t close, as the Tanners topped second-place finisher Somerville, 160-104. Salem finished third (31) and Classical fourth (30). The girls meet was a closer affair, with Peabody beating out Gloucester, 105-86. Beverly finished third (83) ahead of Saugus (42).

In the 100-meter dash, Peabody’s Amanda Andrews (12.74 seconds) barely topped Saugus’ Haley Dennis (12.8) in a photo-finish type of race. Andrews added another win to her resume in the 200, again barely sneaking by a Sachem; this time it was Kiley Ronan, who ran a 27.1. In the 800, Gloucester’s Carly Curcuru grabbed first (2:22.3), but it was a close battle for second between Peabody’s Sophia Anderle (2:26.0) and Winthrop’s Heidy Benson (2:26.3).

Anderle logged a win in the 400 hurdles (1:07.4), topping Salem’s Danielle Stotts (1:07.6) and English’s Elizabeth Rozon (1:09.2).

In the field events, Gloucester’s Sierra Rudolph was a triple-winner, clearing five feet, six inches to win the high jump. Beverly’s Tyler Orlandella, Peabody’s Alexa Flewelling and Saugus’ Gianna Filaretos all cleared 5-0. Rudolph also won the long jump (17-1 1/4), topping Marblehead’s Gabriella Marks (16-6 1/4) and English’s Hannah Trahant (16-4 3/4). Finally, Rudolph took first in the triple jump (35-7).

Beverly’s Gracie Sparkman (36-6) edged Swampscott’s Maisie Vasquez (35-5 1/4) in the shot put, and came in second to Peabody’s Nene Onwuogu (102-3) in the discus. Revere’s Samantha Myrtil (115-6) had a good showing in the javelin, topping Tanner Emily Baclear (105-5).

Other winners included Beverly’s India Ingemi in the 400 (58.78), Gloucester’s Eve Feuerhach in the mile (5:25.2), Gloucester’s Holly Fossa in the 2-miles (12:02.8) and Beverly’s Tyler Orlandella in the 100 hurdles (16.18).

In the relays, the Saugus team took the 4×100 race (50.92), Gloucester won the 4×400 (4:16.2) and Beverly won the 4×800 (10:31.8).

For the boys, Classical’s Gilley Kabamba won the mile (4:35.9), topping Peabody’s Claudio Rocha (4:36.0) by one-tenth of a second in one of the best races of the day.

Somerville’s Elijah Jeffreys (11.21) topped English’s Juan Avelino (11.51) in the 100. Shaq Joseph logged another win for Somerville in the 200 (22.91), topping Danvers’ Anthony Spignese (23.35), Classical’s Emmanuel Kalambayi (23.76) and English’s Prince Brown (24.25).

Peabody’s Marc Alperen won the 800 (2:02.1) and the Tanners took the took two spots in the 2-miles (Shane Braz, 10:01.9 and Joe Farhat, 10:27.4). Peabody’s Moisse Irizarry won the 110 hurdles (15.46) and the 400 hurdles (57.64). Irizarry (6-0) also finished second to Somerville’s Phillips Magre (6-2) in the high jump. Avelino finished fourth (5-10). Patrick Pang logged another Tanner win in the shot put (48-11 1/2). Peabody’s Connor Ramos (139-8) topped English’s Samuel Adewale (134-4) in the discus. Swampscott’s Alex Sheehan won the javelin (158-10).

Other winners included Somerville’s Magre in the 400 (49.91), Somerville in the 4×100 relay (44.56) and 4×400 relay (3:28.0), Peabody in the 4×800 relay (8:51.1).


Roundup: Dove sets Swampscott lacrosse scoring mark

Swampscott’s Andrew Dove, right, set a career scoring record in the Big Blue’s win over Salem Saturday.



Local high school lacrosse records continue to fall. A day after Lauren Wolff broke the all-time girls lacrosse scoring record at Peabody High, it was Swampscott’s Andrew Dove’s turn to make history.

The senior scored five goals and logged two assists to record his 208th point, breaking the Big Blue school record in their 19-9 win over Salem at Bertram Field Saturday.


St. Mary’s 2, Masconomet 1

St. Mary’s 5, Lowell Catholic 0

Solid pitching paced the Spartans to a pair of wins this weekend.

On Saturday, Lou Vidal tossed a complete-game shutout in the 5-0 win over Lowell Catholic. Vidal allowed two hits and two walks with one strikeout.

Lee Pacheco made a handful of nice defensive plays at shortstop, and hit an RBI-single. Ryan Turenne hit a 2-RBI double and Kyle Ouellette added an RBI-single. Bobby Alcock plated the fifth run for the Spartans on a fielders’ choice.

On Sunday, Alcock tossed seven innings and allowed just one run on six hits and two walks. He fanned eight Masconomet batters in the 2-1 win. “Another outstanding effort by Bobby,” Spartans coach Derek Dana said. “He gives us a chance to win every time he’s on the mound. He got stronger as the game wore on.” Josh Mateo brought home Aedan Leydon to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning. The Spartans scored the winning run in the sixth with a two-out rally sparked by seniors Tyler Donovan and Jack Ward. Donovan walked and pinch-runner Connor Donahue scored on an RBI-double off Ward’s bat. “It was nice for those two seniors, Jack and Tyler, to get it done with two outs and bring in the go-ahead run,” Dana said. St. Mary’s improves to 12-6 with the two wins and hosts St. John’s Prep on Tuesday night.

“We still need to hit better but the pitching and defense has been outstanding,” Dana said. “The kids are staying with it and looking to build some momentum going into the Clancy Tournament and the state tournament.”

Fenwick 6, Swampscott 2

Sean Lahrizi went 2-for-4 for the Big Blue and Will Salisbury added a hit and drove in two runs in the loss. David Peterson (1-for-3) went the distance and got the loss on the mound, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits while walking two and striking out four.


Arlington 14, Saugus 2

The Sachems fell on the road Saturday, and are looking for two wins in their final four games to clinch a tournament berth.

Winthrop 11, Matignon 4

Vikings junior Jaidon Brown allowed five hits in a complete-game victory as Winthrop improved to 6-10.

Woburn 9, Swampscott 1

The Big Blue managed just two hits against a tough Woburn team.


St. Mary’s 11, Salem 8

At Manning Field, Brittany McPherson had a strong game in net for the 12-5 Spartans.

Maddie Hentosh and Codi Butt led the way from mid field. Liz Weiss had four goals, as did Butt, along with three assists.

Hentosh also scored two goals, and Meghan Parthum scored one.

“It wasn’t our best game, but we pulled out the W,” said Spartan coach K.C. Butt. “Brittany had an awesome game. She is a true leader.”

Peabody 12, Gloucester 4

Lauren Wolff led the way with six points and Colleen Crotty added five points as the Tanners improved to 15-2. Chloe Gizzi (3 points), Sarah Buckley (3 points) and Olivia Kiricoples (2 points) also contributed offensively. On defense, Alyssa Shashaty, Catherine Manning, Kelly Crotty and Carla Patania played well, and goalie Gianna Denisco made 12 saves.


Catholic Central League Meet

St. Mary’s James Brumfield was named the CCL MVP, winning the 100-meter hurdles, high jump and 100-meter dash. The Spartan boys finished fourth and girls finished fifth.

Catholic Conference League Meet

St. John’s Prep’s Andrew Coutu won the 400 (51.18 seconds), Tristan Shelgren won the mile (4:27.80) and Nik Reardon won the high jump (6 feet, 4 inches) in the Catholic Conference meet..


Hebb, Doughty expected to be arraigned

Michael Hebb, left, and Wes Doughty are accused in connection with the killing of a Peabody couple.

SALEM Two men facing charges in connection with the February killing of a Peabody couple are scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Salem Superior Court.

Wes Doughty, 39, will be arraigned on two counts of murder and rape, attempted arson, carjacking, kidnapping, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Co-defendant, Michael Hebb, 45, will also be arraigned on two counts of accessory after the fact and one count of attempted arson.

The bodies of Mark Greenlaw, 37, and fiancee Jennifer O’Connor, 40, were found in the basement of a Farm Avenue home on Feb. 18. Greenlaw had been shot in the head and O’Connor was stabbed in her neck and torso.

Brothers face murder for fatal brick attack

In addition to being accused of killing the couple, Doughty allegedly raped O’Connor, took steps to set the Farm Avenue house on fire, and carjacked Kenneth Metz, 64, in Middleton days later while on the run, according to law enforcement officials.

Police in South Carolina arrested Doughty on Feb. 24 after questioning him for panhandling. Investigators discovered he was wanted for the Peabody double homicide in Peabody and the carjacking.

Hebb was indicted for two counts of accessory after the fact and one count of attempted arson. Murder charges he was arraigned on Feb. 21 in Peabody District Court have been dismissed.


North Shore Comic Con on Saturday


LYNN The Lynn Museum/LynnArts will host the North Shore Comic Con on Saturday.

Carolyn Cole, director of the Downtown Lynn Cultural District, conceived the idea after being inspired by the work from Massachusetts illustrator and comic Brandon Gorski during a Raw Art Works event.

Gorski, who has worked closely with Cole to organize the convention, said comics are becoming more popular.

“Comic books are no longer a closeted thing,” Gorski said. “Now even more people are getting into comic books because people are being exposed to the genre in new ways.”

In the 1980s, Lynn had a thriving comic book scene, when four comic book stores served the city. Tim Coles, owner of a comic bookstore in Lynn, Cole’s Comics, agrees with Gorski. He said there has been attraction to his store the only one in Lynn and comic books in general over the past 10 years.

“I believe that movies and TV shows have helped stimulate the activity,” he said.

Coles said is too early to tell if the comic con event downtown will increase sales.

“Because it is a new event, I am unsure of what will come about,” he said.

ADL continues to push for change

The event is funded by the Economic Development Industrial Corp., the city’s development bank, through the Community Development Block Grant program.

Carolyn Cole says she is excited about the event.

“We want to make people feel welcome and show them what we have, while giving the community and kids access to the art and culture that Lynn has,” she said.

There are 14 vendors, including Gorski, who are scheduled to have tables at the event.

“We are bringing people from places like Danvers, Malden, Beverly, Salem and more,” Gorski said. “You don’t ever see artists coming to Lynn to do things like this showcase and that’s what we are trying to change.”

The work will be diverse including Camden Ballard, whose hand-sculpted masks are used in horror movies. Bailey Bollen from “The Droid You Are Looking For Baked Goods,” will give away R2-D2 cupcakes.

Cole hopes to put Lynn on the map in the world of comics. The largest comic con event in the nation takes place in San Diego. Boston has a strong showing every year for their comic con convention, but Cole said the cost for artists to feature their work in the show is high.

One of the most exciting parts of the night, Cole said, will be the unveiling of the unnamed Lynn resident who was written into Elliot S. Maggin’s comic as Superman’s friend and psychiatrist.

Admission to the event is free. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at in the LynnArts on Exchange Street. Kids and students get in for free. All activities like DIY superhero costume making and fantasy face painting will be free. DJ Vanilla Rice, a Cambodian Lynn rapper who used to run the music program at the Lynn YMCA, will entertain. There will also be raffle prizes from the Bent Water Brewing Co., White Rose Coffeehouse, and others.



Danvers sneaks past Saugus in continuation

John Torres slides safely into third base in the 10th inning. 


SAUGUS — It may have taken 12 innings and a full week to finish, but the Danvers baseball team finally came up with a timely hit to sneak past Saugus, 2-1, in a tightly contested matchup at World Series Park Tuesday afternoon.

The game was a continuation from May 9 and went nine innings with the score tied 1-1 before it was postponed due to darkness.

“It was big to finally get a key hit,” said Danvers coach Roger Day. “We had so many chances in the nine-inning game last week and then more chances today, so we needed to capitalize on one of them.”

The big hit came from centerfielder Jordan DeDonato, who smacked a line-drive RBI double with two outs to left field to give Danvers the lead in the top of the 12th. The inning started off with Tommy Mento reaching on an error before Matt Andreas moved him over with a bunt and Zach Dillon struck out. Then, with two outs, DeDonato worked a full count before lining a ball down the line in left to bring in Mento.

“Luckily for us we were able to get a big two-out hit, which we haven’t had many of this year, so that was great,” said Day. “We had to move guys to second to give ourselves some chances, and we were able to make some big plays when we had to on both sides of the ball.”

The win didn’t come without a fight, as both teams moved at least one runner to third base in the 10th, 11th and 12th innings. The Falcons came out and got runners to second and third with two outs in the 10th, but Saugus pitcher Todd Tringale worked out of the inning by forcing a groundout. Saugus then moved runners to first and third with two outs in the bottom of the 10th before Danvers pitcher Dean Borders notched a strikeout to escape.

Danvers once again got a runner to third with two outs in the 11th, but the Sachems escaped unscathed after Tringale made an impressive barehanded play on a comebacker to the mound and the score remained at 1-1.

Saugus’ best chance for a win came in the bottom of the 11th, when a walk to Steve Ruggiero and an infield single by Justin Horvath put runners on first and second with no outs. The rally was slowed when Borders picked the runner off second, but a walk to the next batter and then a passed ball placed runners on second and third with two outs. Then, after throwing one pitch to Saugus second baseman Mike Mabee, Borders was forced to leave the game with an injury, forcing Justin Roberto into the game. Roberto responded with a big strikeout to get Danvers out of the jam.

The Sachems had one more chance to get that elusive tying run in the bottom of the 12th, moving runners to first and second with two outs, but Roberto worked his way out of the jam once again to give the Falcons the win.

Danvers (13-2) takes on Swampscott tonight.

For Saugus (6-8), the mantra is clear: win four of the next six and get into the tournament. It won’t be easy though, as the Sachems will play four more games over the next five days.

“We just have to get into the tournament,” said Saugus coach Joe Luis. “All we can do here is take this as a learning experience and keep pushing. We’ve got a tough stretch coming up here and pitching will be key, but we’ve just got to take it one game at a time.”

Saugus will play against Salem this afternoon.

NSMC, nonprofit join to help overdose victims

LYNN A local nonprofit is teaming with North Shore Medical Center to provide recovery coaches for every person treated for an overdose in Union Hospital’s emergency room.

Bridgewell, a Peabody-based nonprofit with extensive experience in providing treatment and housing for people recovering from substance use disorders, now offers 24/7 emergency response services by trained recovery coaches. All recovery coaches have personally overcome their own addictions and can relate firsthand to those struggling after an overdose, according to a press release from North Shore Medical Center. NSMC, which operates emergency rooms in Salem and Lynn, is the largest medical provider on the North Shore.

“We know from our experience that individuals with substance use disorders respond to recovery coaches who understand their experience and can provide unconditional support and guidance,” said Mark Kennard, director of community services at Bridgewell.

As a society, Kennard said we can no longer enable overdose victims to simply walk out of the emergency room without any support.

“We feel fortunate to partner with Bridgewell in this challenging work, and believe that the experience and dedication of the coaches will enhance the lives of our patients in ways that complement the expertise and efforts of our Emergency Department staff,” said Jane Clarke, R.N. and executive director of emergency services at NSMC.

Work continues for Market Basket access

The recovery coach program at NSMC began in late March and has already assisted more than 20 people and their family members, including some who entered recovery programs as a direct result of this intervention in the emergency room. According to police records, a total of 439 opioid-related overdoses occurred in Lynn last year, an increase from 349 in 2015.

As part of this program, Bridgewell has hired six recovery coaches who are available to NSMC Union Hospital staff to call as soon as an overdose case appears at the hospital.

Once contacted by NSMC, the coaches come to the hospital right away to establish a relationship with the overdose patient and begin discussions about options for treatment. All recovery coaches have completed a newly implemented state certification and training process.

While initially available only in Lynn, the hope is to expand the recovery coach program to Salem Hospital later this year.

Lynn man indicted in trafficking scheme

SALEM  A Lynn man was indicted Wednesday in connection with allegedly trafficking more than a kilogram of cocaine as part of an operation that brought drugs from Mexico and the Dominican Republic into Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Euclides A. Lopez, 51, was indicted by an Essex County grand jury on charges of trafficking more than 200 grams of cocaine and conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act, according to a news release from state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.

Law enforcement officials seized in December more than a kilogram of cocaine, $10,810 in cash, jewelry, and a scale to measure cocaine from Lopez’s Lynn apartment.

North Shore gets money for road repairs

His arrest was part of a larger operation by state police assigned to the attorney general’s office and the New England Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency with the help of the Lynn Police Department.

On Dec. 13, Lopez was one of 20 people arrested.

In all, authorities seized more than $500,000 in cash, luxury vehicles, firearms, cocaine, and heroin.

The investigation is ongoing.

Getting a jump on jobs at Lynn Tech

Carmen Arins, Lizabeth Acevedo and Yuleidy Pimenetel gather information about the Gregg Neighborhood House.


LYNN — Emily Blaney won’t graduate high school until next year, but the 16-year-old already has a career plan.

“I work with special ed kids and I’ve noticed I’m very good at comforting them,” she said. “I’ve decided to be a kindergarten teacher or open a daycare center.”

The Lynn Vocational Technical Institute junior spoke with representatives from the region’s colleges Thursday at the school’s Career Fair about furthering her education. Tech offers a childcare program that provides her with hands-on classroom training with kids.

Blaney was one of more than 100 students who packed the school’s lobby to talk with recruiters from schools, companies, retailers, hospitals, nonprofits, the military and city departments, including police and fire.

School Superintendent Dr. Catherine Latham said she was wowed by the number of employers gathered to consider Tech graduates.

“It’s so wonderful for our students to have such a diverse collection of opportunities all in one place,” she said. “Many of these organizations have taken on our students as part of the district’s co-op program.”

Amado and Cristian Roman, 17-year-old twins, said they are seeking opportunities to do an internship at a newspaper where they can use their video production skills.

“I already have lots of hands-on experience recording and editing videos,” said Amado. “I think I have a lot to offer a newspaper.”

Students get a taste of the Real World

His brother, Cristian, said they are considering programs at Emerson College and Fitchburg State University to enhance their skills.

Mary Zwiercan, human resources director at the North Shore Medical Center (NSMC), one of two dozen employers who had a booth at the fair, said the Salem-based hospital has more than 200 jobs available from cafeteria workers, security, radiation technicians and nurses.

“We have an aging workforce and we are hiring, that’s why I’m here,” she said.  

NSCM operates a co-op program at Tech in health sciences where juniors can earn their certified nursing assistant certification. Seniors can enroll in the co-op program which puts students in healthcare settings every other week for 30 hours at $12 per hour.

“They are my future certified nursing assistants and maybe future nurses and doctors,” Zwiercan said.  

Christopher Menjivar said he’s not sure what he’ll do following graduation next year. For now, the 17-year-old junior is founder of Eagles Handyman & Construction Co., a seven-person firm that does home remodeling.

“I’m considering UMass-Boston,” he said. “All things are possible.”

Thomas Grillo can be reached at


Lynn man sideswipes 3 cars, police say

The driver of a Chevrolet Malibu with a missing tire was arrested.


LYNN — A Lynn man is headed to court after police said he sideswiped three cars on Western Avenue Monday morning and hit a fence before officers arrested him on Tracy Avenue.

The incident began at 8:19 a.m. as Salem resident Erin Silva drove down Western Avenue from her Salem home on her way to work. She said the driver of a Chevrolet Malibu sideswiped her car and sped up as he passed her.

“He started speeding. I tried to follow him. It was like a movie,” Silva said.

She alerted an officer working a police detail on Chatham Street and police stopped Edwin Bravo on Tracy Avenue with the right front tire missing from the Malibu. Police charged Bravo, 28, of Adams Street, with unlicensed operation and four counts of leaving the scene of property damage. He is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Lynn District Court.

5 arrested for alleged assault, extortion

Harry Ofilos, 74

SALEM Harry Ofilos, 74, of Salem, passed away peacefully at the Kaplan Family Hospice House on May 5, 2017, surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with brain cancer.

Harry is survived by his wife Jeannine (Tache’) Ofilos; eldest son Jonathan Ofilos, his wife Michelle and their two children Julia and Ryan, all of Salem; his son Matthew Ofilos of Reston, Virginia; and daughter Alyssa (Ofilos) Sweeney and her husband Kevin of Salem. Additionally, Harry is survived by his brother Christy Ofilos and his wife Claire of Lynn, his sister Georgia Aucone and her husband Richard of Lynn, his sister-in-law Laura Ofilos of Jamaica Plain, his brother-in-law Kenneth Tache’ of Salem, many loving nieces and nephews, and his close friend and co-worker Carla (Petruccelli) Fay of Revere. Harry was preceded in death by his parents Nicholas and Stella Ofilos, his brother John Ofilos, and his close friend and father-in-law, Henry Tache’.

Harry was born in Lynn and is a graduate of Lynn Classical High School and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, where he earned his Doctorate of Pharmacy. He served two years in the Army as a Pharmacist and Specialist (E-5) at Ft. Jackson, S.C. during the Vietnam conflict. Upon his return to Massachusetts, he continued his calling as a pharmacist in Winthrop, where, in 1984, he purchased Brown’s Pharmacy, serving the community for 32 years, making many close friends and life-long customers. Harry was known as a selfless, compassionate man who would do anything for his family, friends, and customers. As an entrepreneur and healthcare provider, Harry was trusted throughout the community. Whether you were picking up your medication, or just in for a coffee and donut, you could be sure that Harry would be at Brown’s waiting to greet you.

Sidney Farber once proclaimed: “It has been said the purpose of life is to spend it on something that outlives you. No man finds his ultimate end in himself, but does so by sharing with others.” Harry’s legacy will live on for many years through all of those who were lucky enough to know him and use his life as the standard for compassion and generosity.

Service information: A visitation will be held on May 9, 2017, at the SOLIMINE Funeral Home, 67 Ocean Street, Lynn, MA, from 4 – 8 p.m. A funeral service will be held on May 10, 2017, at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 54 South Common St, Lynn, MA at 11 a.m. with burial to follow at the Greenlawn Cemetery in Salem.

Throughout the year there were many special individuals and charities that supported Harry and his family. Please consider donations to the Survivors by the Sea organization or The Adult Brain Tumor Research Fund, c/o Patrick Wen M.D., Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215.

The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the amazing doctors, nurses and caregivers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Beverly Hospital, the Kaplan Family Hospice House and the many home health aids who helped throughout the year. For directions and guestbook please visit

Anthony James Davis

SALEMAnthony James Davis, of Salem, formerly of Lynn and Swampscott, died Thursday, May 4, 2017, unexpectedly at North Shore Medical Center, Salem Hospital.

He is the husband of Elizabeth(Wilson) Davis. He was born in Lynn the son of Karen J. Worth of Ipswich and Jessie Davis of Swampscott. He was raised in Lynn and Swampscott and attended Swampscott Schools.

Tony also known as “Big Tizzle” loved his family and friends unconditionally. He enjoyed life to the fullest. He loved learning new things and helping others. He loved spending time with his son and hiking with family and friends. He loved music and singing. He was a loving and attentive husband and shared her altruistic philosophy on life.

In addition to his wife he is survived by his son Anthony John Davis of Ipswich, his stepdaughter Taylor Jackson of Salem, his Mother, Karen J. Worth of Ipswich, his Father and Stepmother, Jessie and Deborah Davis of Swampscott his maternal grandparents, Arlene and John Worth, his paternal grandparents, Barbara Davis and the late Jesse Davis. He leaves his brothers and sisters, Jayna and Nicholas Davis of Ipswich, Ethan Davis of Swampscott, and Sara -Rose Sauerborn of Swampscott. He also leaves his aunts and uncles John Worth of Lynn, Cheryl Mario and her husband Louis of Peabody, John Davis and his wife Bernice of Lynn Joseph Davis and his wife Kathy of Lynn Michael Davis and his wife Susan of Salem, Barbara Paramataris and her husband John of Lynn, Mary Davis of Lynn, Katie Davis and Christina Davis both of Maine and the late James Davis and late Dan Anderson. Anthony also leaves many cousins and countless friends.

Service information: His funeral will be held on Thursday May 11, 2017 at 11 a.m. in the SOLIMINE Funeral Home, 426 Broadway (Rte 129) Lynn. Visiting hours are on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 from 4-8 p.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in his memory to Project Cope 66 Silsbee Street, Lynn, Massachusetts 01902. Directions and guestbook at


Strong offensive showing paces Revere past Lynn

Jack Stafford scored two goals for the Jets. 


REVERE — Despite giving up a goal just 10 seconds into the game, the Revere boys lacrosse team got it together quickly and took down the Lynn Jets, 18-6, in a Northeastern Conference matchup at Harry Della Russo Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

Sophomore Eric Bua led the way with six goals and one assist for the Patriots, while senior Anthony DeStefano had three goals and two assists. Senior captain Ed Sullivan and sophomore Rick Briana each had two goals and two assists, sophomore Nick Sujko had two goals and sophomore Matt Stasio had one goal and one assist. Senior captain Dan Muller had one goal and senior Wes Spagnuolo had one assist.

“We played really well out there today, especially in the second half,” said Revere coach Austin Powers. “We had a bit of a slow start there, but we were able to pick it up and move the ball better, play good defense and help our goalie out.”

For the Jets, Ryan Clark had three goals and one assist, Jack Stafford had two goals and Shidley Belice had one goal. Chandler Donavan had one assist.

“We had some good stretches on offense today early on, but we just couldn’t keep stringing them together,” said Jets coach Peter Pappagianopoulos. “We’ve just got to keep working on getting better in that area.”

Lynn got on the board first, right off the opening faceoff. Belice won the draw and bolted up the field, weaved through some defenders and fired it home to give the Jets a 1-0 lead. But that only kicked Revere into high gear, as the Patriots went on to score six unanswered goals before Lynn stopped the bleeding.

It started with a goal off the ensuing faceoff. Bua won the draw and did the same thing as Belice, weaving through defenders and firing it home. He scored again less than 20 seconds later, then assisted on DeStefano’s first goal to make it 3-1. Briana, Bua and Sujko all tallied goals before the Jets got a goal from Stafford on the man-advantage with 2:28 to go in the first to make it 6-2.

“Usually when we start out slow like that it doesn’t end well for us, so this feels good,” Powers said of the early turnaround. “When we fall behind early like that it’s tough for us to come back, so those early goals to take that lead were huge.”

Clark made it 6-3 with a goal less than 30 seconds into the second, but Revere answered back with goals from Briana and DeStefano to stretch the deficit back to five goals. Clark scored again with 4:54 left to make it 8-4, but the Patriots again answered with two straight goals (from Sullivan and Bua) and took a 10-4 lead into halftime.

The second half was much of the same, with Bua scoring to make it 11-4 at the 9:45 mark, then Clark answered with his third goal of the game. But that was as close as Lynn would get, as Revere closed the third quarter on a 4-0 run to take a 10-goal lead into the final frame.

Three more Revere goals in the fourth put the game completely out of reach, and the Patriots cruised to victory.

Revere (11-2, 8-1 NEC) will now have the weekend off to prepare for a road game against Swampscott on Monday. The Big Blue are Revere’s only league loss on the season, having lost 7-6 at home back on April 13.

“It’s definitely a big game for us because it’s our only league loss and we played them really close the last time,” said Powers. “We know they’re a really good team, so we’re going to need to be ready to go.”

The Jets (3-8) play Salem on Monday at Manning Field.

Ifs, ands, and abutters may force trail off Grid

Pictured is a plan for the Swampscott rail trail.


SWAMPSCOTT — National Grid representatives have informed town officials that they will not voluntarily enter into a license with the town for a proposed rail trail within the company’s corridor.

Town Meeting members will be asked to approve a warrant article on May 15 requesting $850,000 for the design and engineering of the trail location within the National Grid corridor, as well as the legal fees and costs for acquisition of the easement rights.

The two-plus mile, 10-foot wide trail would run from the Swampscott Train Station to the Marblehead line at Seaview Avenue, connecting with the Marblehead rail trail, which also links to trails in Salem, officials said.

A recent email from a National Grid representative, Michael Guerin, was sent to Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald and director of community development Peter Kane in response to Kane’s April 6 email requesting a meeting to discuss the town’s proposed rail trail.

National Grid’s correspondence detailed the company’s concerns with the proposed trail, saying: “National Grid has property rights along the right-of-way proposed to be used for the rail trail.”

Guerin further stated in the email that the company has significant concerns about the opposition from neighbors along the right-of-way, and that National Grid has been contacted repeatedly by abutters and their legal counsel.

“These residents have been very vocal about their opposition to the rail trail and until such time as their objections have been resolved, National Grid does not feel it can voluntarily enter into a license with the town for the proposed trail,” Guerin wrote.

“If, however, the town of Swampscott intends to take the rail trail by eminent domain, then National Grid would meet with you to discuss how to best ensure National Grid’s ability to continue to use and maintain the right-of-way for its electric facilities, so that we can continue to provide safe and reliable service to our customers,” Guerin continued.

Kane said the letter wasn’t surprising and was expected based on past discussions with National Grid. On Tuesday, at a Rail Trail Informational meeting, he said the town had a meeting with National Grid earlier this week.

“Based on the town’s research and discussions with National Grid over the past few years, we knew they wouldn’t be able to provide us a low- or no-cost license for the exact reason they stated in the email,” Kane said in an email. “This is the reason why the Board of Selectmen submitted a warrant article for Town Meeting for funding to instead go through the eminent domain process.

“This email substantiates our statements at the public meetings that the town can’t get a license,” Kane wrote. “This is a standard type of response and we look forward to working with our utility to bring this amenity to the town.”

Kane said $240,000 of the requested Town Meeting funds would be used to hire professionals for design and engineering costs. About $610,000 would be for acquisition of easement rights, where the town would work with the property owners (National Grid and/or other parties) to secure the rights. This may be done through eminent domain, with compensation for owners, or by donation/gift of the land.

The Town Meeting funds would not for be construction of the trail, which would be paid for by donations, grants and private funds, officials said.

Marblehead’s Rosenthal donates $1 million to Northeast Arc

Thomas Palleria, an abutter of the proposed trail, said he owns land that the town may try to take by eminent domain. He said neighbors have been living under the threat of eminent domain for years.

Town Meeting has voted for the creation of the trail on four separate occasions, including three times since 2002, Kane said. In 2009, Town Meeting gave the town the authority to use eminent domain for a recreational easement, but didn’t allocate the funds for that process.

Palleria said he thinks that eminent domain proceedings against National Grid are going to increase the cost of acquiring the easement rights, potentially to an amount much larger than the funds requested at Town Meeting.

He said there are also potential issues with appraised values of land for abutters and legal fees that could push numbers beyond that $850,000 figure.

In addition, Palleria said there’s “no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” referring to additional funds needed for construction of the trail, which the town would have to go out and find after the design, engineering and acquisition phase. There’s no guarantee that the rail trail is even feasible, he added.

Other residents at the informational meeting agreed, with one saying that Town Meeting could be voting in $850,000 that could get the town nothing, referring to the trail. Some argued that the warrant article should be split, with Town Meeting only voting to allocate funds for the design and engineering phase, and drop asking for funds for acquisition of easement rights until the first phase was completed.

Kane, through a presentation on Tuesday night, identified grant opportunities that Swampscott could pursue for the trail construction, including the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation: Recreational Trails Program, Mass State Transportation Improvement Plan, MassDOT Complete Streets, Safe Routes to Schools, and nonprofit grant opportunities such as PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program and The Barr Foundation.

The rail bed, where National Grid power lines run to Marblehead, has been vacant since the 1960s, when the Marblehead railroad branch shut down. It was sold to National Grid’s predecessor.

Town officials meet with National Grid representatives in 2014 and 2015, who were believed to be the sole owners of the easement wanted by the town for the trail. Officials said the town had previously been in discussions to acquire the easement from the company for little to no cost, but it has since been learned that National Grid doesn’t appear to own all of the land. Through a title process, numerous owners have been identified, which could include abutters.

Kane said the utility corridor is made up of 11 parcels of property, which make up a total area of about 500,000 square feet. The rail trail easement would be about 90,000 square feet, or 18 percent. National Grid pays property taxes for all 11 parcels, and paid $57,778 in FY17. Although National Grid pays the property taxes, not all 11 parcels are held in fee simple title by the company, meaning it doesn’t hold clear title on all of them.

Not all residents who spoke on Tuesday were against the trail.

Eric Bachman said one of the reasons he moved to Swampscott 10 years ago was for enticement of the rail trail. He said he imagines it as safer place kids can ride their bikes and as free exercise, or a way people can get out in nature.

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

Summoning up Swampscott’s yesteryears

College graduations and wedding season are around the corner and spring was the time, not so long ago, when Swampscott residents booked a couple of rooms in Cap’n Jack’s for their out-of-town guests.

The quaint waterfront inn with its ocean views has been relegated to town history but Swampscott’s days as a place to visit and stay on the North Shore may not be over. The Planning Board next Monday is reviewing a proposed “Tourist Lodging Overlay District.”

Creating the district, according to a town legal notice, also involves adopting “general regulations for all types of travel and tourist lodging establishments and specific regulations for hotels, motels, inns, and bed and breakfast establishments for a new overlay district in three areas of town.”

Swampscott isn’t in any danger of seeing Humphrey Street or Vinnin Square turn into a Motel Row similar to Route 1 during its heyday. The town has probably permanently consigned to history the glory days of the New Ocean House and other resort hotels that summoned up memories of the Roaring Twenties.

But Cap’n Jack’s occupied a special, nostalgic niche in the minds of town residents who viewed it as a slightly-frayed welcome mat to people visiting from around the country, even the world. With its small-town casual ambience, the bygone inn broadcast a gentle reminder to visitors: “Enjoy Salem and Boston but don’t forget to appreciate Swampscott’s beauty.”

Ifs, ands, and abutters may force trail off Grid

The upcoming Planning Board hearing raises a couple of interesting questions about the value of setting the stage for increased town tourism. Question one: Is there a market for tourism?

There is no question Swampscott is a beautiful place to visit and stay and a North Shore gem. European tourists reportedly make the North Shore a destination in part because of its proximity to Boston and mix of small scenic New England towns and oceanscapes.

The more immediate question focuses on the degree to which town residents have an interest in seeing, much less promoting, an increase in local tourism. The answers to that question can potentially shape how residents and town officials eventually view the tourist district.

If the town decides to put a committed effort into tourism promotion and marketing, those efforts will only commence after debate among residents. That debate could conclude with residents deciding to dedicate a tourist district to bed and breakfast locations that serve as summer or fall weekend destinations or places to put up Uncle George or Cousin Edna when they come to town for a wedding or graduation.

The tourism debate might just end with locals concluding: The old ways are the best ways.

Peter H. Sekenski, 65

SAUGUS — Peter H. Sekenski, 65 years old, passed away on May 1 due to complications after suffering a heart attack.

Born in Salem, a lifelong resident of Saugus, he was the son of the late Paul Sekenski and Frances (Koza) Sekenski. Peter worked most of his life as a commercial lobsterman, spending much of his time at the Saugus River. He was especially known as a loyal friend, avid gardener and party host. He thoroughly enjoyed golfing, having a cold drink and relaxing in his yard with his dog Nelson.

He was the beloved father of Lauren (Sekenski) Fritz and her husband Christopher Fritz of Danvers; grandfather to Macguire. Dear brother of Paul Sekenski of Florida, Susan (Sekenski) Townsend of New Hampshire, and Claudia (Sekenski) Reynolds of New Hampshire. Devoted cousin of John Koza of Connecticut. Loving uncle, cousin and friend to many.

Service Information: A visitation will be held on Thursday 4-8 p.m. in the BISBEE-PORCELLA Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, relatives and friends invited. For directions and condolences

On Friday from 6-10 p.m. a celebration of life will be hosted by Peters Family at the Fox Hill Yacht Club, 114 Ballard St., Saugus, all are welcome.

In lieu of cut flowers, Peter’s family would appreciate a unique or special perennial plant that can be planted in Peter’s memory, as a way of remembering his life and love for gardening.


Stuff of Legend at Salem State

John Legend speaks at Salem State University.


SALEM — John Legend is making a difference in the world. He’s shining a light on social injustice and demanding that all children have a right to a great education and that too many Americans of color are ending up in jail. He’s dined with presidents for heaven’s sake.

So what’s he doing up on stage in Salem State University’s Rockett Arena singing a song about poo-poo in his daughter Luna’s diaper?

“Somebody’s got a stinky booty/And daddy’s going to clean it up.”

Lisa Hughes, the WBZ anchor and the host interviewer last night at the Salem State Series event honoring Legend, had asked the pop star/actor if he ever made up songs at home. The untitled poopy song was the result. It’s not quite the equal of “All of me/Loves all of you.”

Legend was on the Salem State University campus Tuesday night to perform three songs (“Love Me Now,” “Ordinary People” and the worldwide smash love song “All of Me) and to discuss his social activism on such issues as criminal justice reform and education. The award-winning entertainer received the inaugural Salem Advocate for Social Justice award from the Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice. The program lasted about an hour.

Monday night, Hollywood power couple, Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen, walked the red carpet at the star-studded Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The previous week, the couple attended the TIME 100 Gala, where Legend was honored as one of the magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the year. (Legend signed a copy of the magazine which was presented to Salem State’s retiring President Patricia Maguire Meservey.)

Welch Florist celebrates 70 years

Last night he quietly and passionately talked about the support he got from his parents (his dad was a factory worker; his mom stayed at home), teachers, guidance counselors and others. He excelled at school and was the first member of his family to go to college.

“Every child in America has that right,” he said to cheers. “America is great, but there are things America can do better, in regards to criminal justice, gun violence and providing a quality education for all kids. We lock up a higher number of people than they do anywhere else in the world. No matter what you think of other countries, they don’t incarcerate as many people as we do … and if someone does get in trouble, we should not just throw them away.”

Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll likened Legend’s activism to keeping the message of the Salem Witch Trials alive, “and we believe that’s never been more important than this year,” she said.

The performer’s philanthropy and activism are, well, legendary. The Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice recognition is just the most recent acknowledgement of his efforts. Legend has worked throughout his career to make a difference in the lives of others, contributing time, money and his talents to dozens of charities and foundations, starting in 2007 when he traveled to Louisiana and helped families devastated by Hurricane Katrina.  

After reading Earth Institute founder Jeffrey Sachs’ book “The End of Poverty,” Legend immediately traveled to Ghana to learn firsthand the problems faced by African countries and steer residents in impoverished villages toward self-sufficiency. That led to his starting the successful Show Me Campaign to raise funds for those efforts.

A group of Salem State students attended the Black, Brown and College Bound Summit in Tampa, Fla., in February, where Legend was the keynote speaker. At Salem State, The Brotherhood is focused on academic success and retention, offering men of color resources and mentorship to reach academic and achievement goals. An effective Crowdfunding effort funded the trip. Those young men took a bow to wild cheers from the near-capacity audience last night.

Legend’s work has garnered him 19 Grammys, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe award, and a BET Award for best new artist, among others. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Legend recently won his first Golden Globe, a Grammy and a Critic’s Choice Award for his song “Glory,” which he wrote and performed with Common for the film “Selma.” He has worked with a who’s who of today’s musical stars, including Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Jay Z. Legend most recently played the role of a musician in “La La Land.” He will return to the area on June 19 for a concert at Boston’s Blue Hills Bank Pavilion.

Future of ER care at Union uncertain

The future of emergency care remains uncertain at the soon-to-close Union Hospital.


LYNN — No decisions have been made about the future of emergency care at Union Hospital after it closes in 2019.

Members of the Emergent/Urgent Care Planning Group, which includes hospital executives, public officials, and residents, met at City Hall on Monday in a two-hour meeting that was closed to the press and public.

Dr. David J. Roberts, president of the North Shore Medical Center (NSMC), said the meeting was one of many to determine the scope of emergency room services NSMC will provide in Lynn after Union shutters its campus.

“Our goal is to keep some form of emergency care, hopefully at the Union campus, but that will depend on who buys it,” he said.

It could be located in another Lynn location, he said.

Last year, the state Department of Public Health unanimously approved a $180 million expansion of NSMC that will close Union and move the beds to the new Salem campus in 2019. The medical facilities in Lynn and Salem are a part of Partners HealthCare. They recently posted the biggest annual operating loss in its 22-year history when it reported $108 million in losses on operations in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2016.

Lynn lays down the law for students

The panel has been discussing whether to provide full emergency room services or urgent care, Roberts said.

A complete ER accepts ambulances and all comers no matter how sick, embedded into a hospital that provides other services, such as surgery, he said. Urgent care is where patients go when they are not desperately ill, but have an acute condition that must be dealt with immediately.

“Having an emergency room absent all of the support services may not be the way to go,” Roberts said. “But this committee is evaluating all of this and no decision has been made.”

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, a member of the panel, said they are making progress toward consensus about what the future of health care in Lynn will look like.  

State Sen. Thomas McGee (D-Lynn), who also serves on the committee, said these are ongoing meetings that discuss options for when the hospital closes.

When Roberts was asked why the meeting excluded the public, he referred the question to Laura Fleming, a hospital spokeswoman.

“These sessions have always been closed to the public,” she said. “I don’t know why and I don’t have a well thought out answer. No one has ever asked me that question before.”

Thomas Grillo can be reached at


Girls Inc. of Lynn to hold 19th annual H.A.L.T. event

Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, where Girls Inc. of Lynn will be holding the event.

LYNN — Girls Inc. of Lynn will host its 19th annual H.A.L.T. (Healthy Alternatives for Lynn Teens) event at the Lynn Vocational Technical Institute High School cafeteria Saturday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. The event serves to increase positive social norms by highlighting healthy alternatives to drinking and other risky behaviors, and inspire youths to become involved in their communities and make healthy choices.

Created by teens for teens, this free event is open to eighth through 12th grade students, including students from the Marblehead, Swampscott, and Salem communities. Youths participate in workshops focused on empowering oneself and others. The workshops are led by Girls Inc. of Lynn peer leaders and staff from other social organizations in the community. Afterward, teens are invited to enjoy international food and a pizza-tasting contest. Following dinner, teens who were nominated by their school or community organization will receive a Youth in Action Award. The night will conclude with a choice of either dancing or competing in a basketball tournament — a new addition to the event this year, made possible by a collaboration with Stop the Violence Lynn and the Lynn Police Department’s Drop-in Center.

“The H.A.L.T. event is a great opportunity to celebrate teen’s accomplishments and contributions, while providing a safe, educational, and fun space for them to hang out, be inspired, and make new friendships,” says Deb Ansourlian, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Lynn.

In addition, all chaperones attending H.A.L.T. are invited to a networking session while the teens are participating in workshops. This networking session provides an opportunity to learn about what other similar organizations in the community are doing and brainstorm ways to collaborate.

Girls Inc. of Lynn is a nonprofit organization, and an affiliate of the national Girls Inc. model. Girls Inc. of Lynn aims to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold by meeting the needs of girls in the community, developing their capacity to overcome the effects of discrimination and be self-sufficient, responsible members of the community. By providing girls aged 5-18 with after-school and summer programs tailored to their needs, Girls Inc. of Lynn has served as a vigorous advocate for all girls in the surrounding North Shore communities since 1942.

How much would you pay for this pottery?

This piece of pottery — about the size of a hot plate — fetched $3,900 at auction.

SALEM — At an April 3 auction, a bidder put up $3,900 for this piece of Marblehead pottery, according to Witch City Consignment & Thrift co-owner Jenn Bayles. The bidder claimed that the piece could be worth upward of $10,000-20,000.

Tell us how much you would have bid for the piece.

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Some say trash; others see treasure


Some say trash; others see treasure

Witch City Consignment & Thrift is located at 301 Essex St. in Salem.


SALEM — Witch City Consignment & Thrift sells anything. Well —

“Almost anything — that we can sell that’s legal,” Jenn Bayles, 39, says with a laugh Wednesday, an hour before opening the 11-year-old shop she owns with her father, Joe.

Take a right; pass displays of designer sneakers, bags, small antiques and collectibles. Then, a left to follow a passage of cabinets and tabletops to one side; artwork and frames on the other.

Above, a hanging banner says, “Ask us about our next auction.”

Jenn Bayles

This piece was purchased for $3,900.

The shop’s most recent auction was April 3. Bayles said it was the first in about a year and drew more than 100 people. The next one should be in a few months, she said.

One notable piece of merchandise from the April 3 auction came out of a Marblehead estate. A small piece of pottery — “literally a tile,” Bayles said — fetched $3,900.

The piece is small; Bayles said about the size of a hot plate. “In the antiques world, pottery is a big thing,” she said. Supposedly this was a rare one.

Bayles said she thinks the color of the piece made it special. On the backside of the tile, she remembers a marking of a ship with lines going through it.

Sounds about right. Marblehead Pottery “bears a signature of a square rigged sailing ship flanked by the letters M and P,” information on says.

“The very earliest marks were hand-drawn or painted,” the website says. “Some early pieces had Marblehead written beneath the ship. Other early pieces were simply marked with only the ship.” It appears the pottery was made between 1904 and 1936.

This piece, Bayles said, came from a home clean-out in Marblehead. It was in the attic, wrapped in newspaper. At auction, four or five bidders went at it, she said. But at the end, it was down to two.

“Everyone keeps talking about it,” she said Wednesday. “Because the (successful bidder) said that it could be worth $10,000-20,000.”

The underbidder, Bayles said, afterward told her father he wished he had gone higher.

The piece was sold with seemingly similar items; some only selling for $20-35, Nayles said. “If I had put that (Marblehead Pottery) up for $20, someone just hit the jackpot,” she said.

Bayles gets stories like that all the time. She said a customer once bought a record for a dollar; he told her he would sell it for $100 on eBay. But that’s OK with Bayles: it means he will come back, she said.

Toward the center of the shop are wicker baskets filled with what appears to be unrelated, black-and-white family photos; or what Bayles affectionately calls “instant families.”

David Wilson

A sampling of the “instant families.”

Sold for $1, these photos are a mix: some posed portraits; one, a photo dated 1956 of a woman smiling in a intricate, white gown; presumably a wedding dress.

Another, dated 1946, shows a young girl lifted off the ground by a man; perhaps her father. She could be well into her 70s now.

These photos are not only some of the shop’s best sellers, but have a story. And sometimes the customers do the legwork.

“One person, years ago, bought a picture, researched it, found the family and sent it to them,” Bayles said.

The family’s reaction, she said: “Oh my god, I was at a thrift store!”

Other items that often draw interest are old license plates, magazines, newspapers and records.

There’s something for everybody, Bayles said. Some merchandise flies out the door; other pieces stay for a while.

“I love doing this,” she said, surrounded by items. “A lot of people think it’s easy, but it’s not.”

Witch City Consignment is located at 301 Essex St. in Salem. Visit or follow Witch City Consignment & Thrift on Facebook for information on merchandise and upcoming auctions.

David Wilson can be reached at


Saugus falls short to Gloucester


SAUGUS — When a pitcher is throwing strikes, it’s usually tough for the opposing team to pull out a win. When a pitcher is throwing strikes and leading the team at the plate, it becomes even tougher.

That was the theme of Gloucester’s 4-2 win over Saugus at World Series Park on Monday. Gloucester starting pitcher Marc Phinney tossed 5 2/3 strong innings and went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI.

“He (Phinney) has pitched a lot for us, the way the schedule’s worked out he’s made four starts for us now,” Fishermen coach Bryan Lafata said. “He’s a senior, a captain, three-year varsity player. He doesn’t wow you, but he hits his spots. He definitely was our leader today.”

Monday’s game was tied 2-2 heading into the top of the seventh inning, before Phinney brought home Matt Smith with the go-ahead run. Two batters later, Gloucester added an insurance run with a single off the bat of Jack Sperry, scoring Liam Lyons for the 4-2 advantage.

The loss puts Saugus at 2-5 on the season, and is especially tough on the Sachems given the performance they received from pitcher Steve Ruggiero. Ruggiero threw six innings and fanned seven Gloucester batters.

“Ruggiero pitched a good game,” Sachems coach Joe Luis said. “(In the top of the seventh) they had two righties up to bat, eighth and ninth hitters. Ruggiero was over 100 pitches, so we brought in relief.

“He tossed a good game but at 100 pitches, we can only let him go so far,” Luis added. “We can’t let him throw much more than that, it’s a long season.”

The Fishermen took the first lead of the game, 1-0, thanks to an RBI single from Matt Heckman in the top of the second inning. Sal Costanzo led off the inning with a single and advanced to second after Jeremy McCollum was hit by a pitch. Costanzo then took third on a passed ball and scored on Heckman’s RBI single.

Saugus tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom half of the frame. Nick Dascoli reached first base on an error to start the rally. A pair of walks drawn by Jimmy Alcott and Justin Horvath loaded the bases for Paul Stamatopoulos, who tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center.

The Sachems threatened for more, but Phinney forced a 6-4-3 double-play to end the inning with no further damage.

The game remained tied at 1-1 until Gloucester reclaimed the lead in the top of the fifth. Ryan Strescino singled to start the inning. Pinch-runner Nate Young advanced to second after a single from Heckman. A double-steal placed runners on second and third, with no outs, for Phinney. The pitcher’s sacrifice fly to center scored Young to give Gloucester a 2-1 edge.

A solo home-run from Dascoli in the bottom of the sixth gave Saugus life and tied the game at 2-2. Dascoli’s blast cleared the fences in left-center, good for his first home run of the season.

“That was big,” Luis said. “We had a chance, possibly, to get the winning run in the seventh if we hold them in the top of the inning, but it is what it is.”

Gloucester scored twice in the seventh for the 4-2 win.

“Normally it’s good to win close games,” Lafata said. “Unfortunately every game has been like that for us this year. We’ve had two extra-inning games. Our reliever, Liam Lyons, that’s his third win this season. Marc’s pitching well but he hasn’t gotten the wins. That’s the funny thing about it.”

Both teams are back at it on Wednesday when Gloucester (5-2) battles Salem and Saugus clashes against Danvers.

Things going well with Donovan at Salem State

Al Donovan, the new baseball coach at Salem State, says things are going well in his first season at the helm.



SALEM — During his days with the Lynn Tech baseball team, Al Donovan was a standout pitcher.

A 1984 graduate, Donovan, compiled a 21-3 record on the mound in his three seasons as a Tiger.

Now Donovan’s tackling a big role just five miles north of his hometown. Last August, Donovan was named head coach of the baseball team at Salem State University after two seasons as pitching coach.

With Donovan at the helm, the Vikings are off and running this season. Salem State started the season with a spring trip to Arizona, where the Vikings matched up against a slate of top competition from around the country.

The games in Arizona gave the new head coach an early indication of what his team will look like this year. That indication, Donovan said, was one that he liked.

“Things are pretty good (this season),” Donovan said. “We had a successful trip to Arizona. We went 7-4 and played some great competition. It was tough for our pitching staff to stay intact during that stretch but they did well. Our bats left with five home runs, so we hit the ball well. It was a successful trip.”

Since returning from Arizona, the Vikings have gone 8-8, placing them at 15-13 on the season.

They earned a big 5-3 win over Endicott earlier this week, after losing to the Gulls, 4-0, in the Vikings’ first game of the season.

“I’m happy with the way we’re playing ball,” Donovan said. “We just need to be a little more consistent in what we do from hitting, to pitching and fielding. If we’re a little more consistent, we’ll be in good shape.”

The Vikings won the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) in each of Donovan’s two seasons as pitching coach. Donovan foresees a competitive set of conference games ahead.

“It’s going to be a tough conference this year,” Donovan said. “Everyone’s improved this year: Worcester State University, Mass Maritime, Framingham State. It’s going to be a battle. Everyone comes to play. It’s going to be a tough road. Every year it comes down to pitching and defense. We need to go out and battle every single week.”

In adjusting to his new role as head coach, Donovan has noticed that leading the program comes with new responsibilities. Time management has been key as he tackles those responsibilities.

“There’s a lot that goes into being the head coach from trying to raise money to support your spring trip, to making sure you have everything in compliance, to scheduling,”

Donovan said. “You have to be able to manage your time. Time management is important.”

Luckily Donovan has had two full seasons with the Vikings to lean on, meaning he didn’t come into the role without familiarity with his players.

“It’s a good part of it, being here the past two years with the pitching staff,” Donovan said. “I’m able to know the individual players and their strengths and weaknesses.”

Joining Donovan on the coaching staff are former Vikings catcher Mike Lamothe, Angelo Salustri and John Sheehan.

Among the many conversations that the coaches have had together is one about the handful of local players on the team. Salem State carries 11 players from the North Shore area on its roster, including Lynners Nick Day, Joe Kasper and Matt Stanley. Also among the locals is a trio of pitchers from Peabody in Tyler Fitzgerald, Steve Leavitt and Andrew McLaughlin, as well as co-captain Teghan Malionek from Salem.

Donovan credited the pack of local talent on his team to the high school coaches in the area who have developed successful programs.

“I’ve talked to my assistant coaches about this, I’m a big believer that the North Shore is rich in high school baseball,” Donovan said. “That’s to the credit of the coaches in the area. A number of these coaches are outstanding coaches and do a great job developing players. If we can keep these guys at home, we’ll have a great program. It’s a great aspect.”

As the Vikings move into conference play, Donovan’s goal is for his team to improve on a daily basis. If the team finds the right combination of pitching, hitting and defense, Salem State should be right back in the thick of things in MASCAC.

“We’re trying to improve every single day to be the best possible team we can be,” Donovan said. “The kids are working very hard. Progression is starting to take its place. As we’re progressing, we need to get to a point to where we’re doing it consistently. I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids that are working hard.”

Warren: Unless we fight, they won’t believe us

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren rallies the crowd at Salem High School.


SALEM — “I’m going to say something really controversial — I believe in science,” said U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren to a packed auditorium at Salem High School Thursday night.

Warren was answering one of about 80 questions submitted by attendees to a town hall forum. The inquiry was about how Environmental Protection Agency budget cuts will affect the North Shore, an area with a long history of industrial pollution.

“We need to be thinking about how we are going to keep ourselves going in a world that’s changing around us,” said Warren, who advocated for doubling down on science and infrastructure funding.   

Many of the forum attendees were from Salem, Marblehead, and Nahant, but a few came from as far as Lawrence to ask their questions.

Warren gave a particularly passionate response to a question about how the Democratic party can send a unifying message to voters. The answer lies in action as opposed to a change in branding, she said.

“The reality is, unless we’re going to get out there and fight … no one’s going to believe us,” said Warren. “Why should they believe us?”

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The topic of universal health care came up, which Warren called a basic human right. She acknowledged the existence of issues with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, but said the constant initiatives to repeal it have stood in the way of making critical adjustments.  

Marblehead resident Jason Mondale brought up a bill Warren introduced with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to decrease the cost of hearing aids.

Warren described the bipartisan bill as an example of a small crack in the law where legislators were able to work for an effective change.  

National issues such as the recent decision by the Trump administration to attack Syria were addressed by Warren, who assured the crowd that the president cannot take additional military action without the approval of Congress. She said if he wants a shot of getting that approval, he will need to explain his plan of action in detail first.

“We are safer when people in other countries are safer,” said Warren. She said in many instances, building partnerships can be more effective than deploying weapons.  

A vocal critic of the Trump administration, Warren is up for re-election next year.

Swampscott sizes up rail trail plan

A map shows the path of the planned Swampscott Rail Trail. 


SWAMPSCOTT — Residents got a chance to sound off on plans to convert abandoned railroad tracks into a community rail trail on Thursday night with opponents citing safety, privacy, wildlife and cost concerns. Proponents say the trail provides health benefits and a safe, alternative mode of travel.

Residents packed a room at Swampscott High School for an informational meeting on the rail trail, with heated comments and questions fielded by Peter Kane, director of community development, who started off the discussion with a presentation.

Elizabeth Pappalardo, an abutter of where the trail would be, said her concern was not just about privacy with people making use of it near her property. Her backyard has become home to wildlife, she said, and she sees deer, foxes and skunks. She said she was concerned for the animals who would be displaced.

Pappalardo said she and other neighbors may not be comfortable having swing sets in their backyards, with people cruising through Salem and Marblehead, as the trail would link to the ones in those two communities. She was worried about safety, saying she wouldn’t be able to have her kids in the backyard by themselves any more.

“We’re asking for your help to protect our children, privacy, safety and our town,” Pappalardo said.

Jonathan Leamon, a Swampscott resident, said he is in favor of the trail. As a bicycle rider, he said it’s pretty much a downer when the trail comes into Swampscott and just ends. He argued that the incidences of crime along the rail trails is actually down.

“My goal is to have a rail trail in my lifetime,” Leamon said. “Now that I’m retired, I’d really like to ride on it while I can still ride a bicycle.”

Town Meeting members in May will be asked to approve a warrant article requesting $850,000 to be used for the design and engineering of the trail location within the National Grid corridor, as well as the legal fees and costs for acquisition of the easement rights, as previously reported in The Item.

The Town Meeting funds would not be for construction of the trail, which would be paid for by donations, grants and private funds, officials said.

Kane said $240,000 of those requested funds would be used to hire professionals for design and engineering costs. About $610,000 would for acquisition of easement rights, where the town would work with the property owners (National Grid and/or other parties) to secure the rights. This may be done through eminent domain, with compensation for owners, or by donation/gift of the land.

Town officials met with National Grid representatives in 2014 and 2015, who were believed to be the sole owners of the easement wanted by the town for the trail. Officials said the town had previously been in discussions to acquire the easement from the company for little to no cost, but it has since been learned that National Grid doesn’t appear to own all of the land. Through a title process, numerous owners have been identified, which could include abutters.

The two-plus mile trail would run from the Swampscott Train Station to the Marblehead line at Seaview Avenue connecting with the Marblehead Rail Trail, which also links to trails in Salem. The 10-feet wide trail would cross Paradise Road, Walker Road and Humphrey Street and then go into Marblehead, officials said.

The rail bed, where National Grid power lines run to Marblehead, has been vacant since the 1960s, when the Marblehead railroad branch shut down. It was sold to National Grid’s predecessor.

The town has full rights to the area that separates the ballfields behind the middle school and the middle school. The town would have to acquire the remainder of the easement for recreational use.

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Brian Maloney said he was one of the abutters who thinks that he owns land on part of the easement the town is looking to acquire. He said he has legitimate concerns about crime at his house. There have been breaking and enterings up and down the path, he said. Another abutter, who didn’t want to share his name, said he had been robbed three times, and the way the people got access was through the trail.

Maloney said he was also a father of three children and said “I never would have bought this house if I knew this was the case.” He had also grown up in the house, which has been in his family for three generations.

Town Meeting has voted for the creation of the trail on four separate occasions, including three times since 2002, Kane said. In 2009, Town Meeting gave the town the authority to use eminent domain for a recreational easement, but didn’t allocate the funds for that process.

“After 17 years, we sit here tonight,” said Paul Dwyer, an abutter. “We’re going to bet $850,000 that we may be able to finish this with donations.”

Not all abutters were against the trail.

“I don’t have any concerns,” said Frances Weiner. “I welcome the trail.”

Weiner said she was not afraid of being killed on the rail trail. She said she was more afraid of being killed on her bike riding to the rail trail.

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

Ruggiero denied Peabody superintendent post

Debra Ruggiero answers questions during an interview for the superintendent position.


PEABODY — Interim Superintendent Herb Levine will likely serve one more year as the head of the school district.

The search for a new superintendent came to a temporary end Wednesday night, when the Peabody School Committee voted to request a waiver from the state’s Department of Education allowing Levine to stay on for another year because of a critical shortage of qualified superintendent candidates.

The vote means Debra Ruggiero, the principal of Lynn’s Harrington School and the last finalist standing in the committee’s superintendent search, will not be offered the Peabody position.

Committee members praised Ruggiero, but the members were united in saying they were disappointed there were no candidates brought forward with the kind of central office experience they believe Peabody needs. The two other finalists, John Oteri and Arthur Unobskey, were offered the top school jobs in Malden and Wayland, respectively, and withdrew from consideration in Peabody.

“I think the three finalists we had were excellent people, I just think they lacked the district experience,” said School Committee member Tom Rossignoll. “We want somebody with district experience, and that was not offered to us.”

Several committee members also said they believed the search process, which was overseen by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, started a little too late this year to bring in enough qualified candidates.

“I think one of the problems with starting a little late is that candidates were scooped up quickly,” said School Committee member Brandi Carpenter. “If we’re going to do it again, we need to start earlier and we need to think outside the box.”

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Carpenter also said she felt Ruggiero was an excellent candidate, but that she and the other finalists lacked the budget and contract negotiation skills needed in such a large district.

“I too, although it was not the fault of the candidates, was disappointed in the pool,” said committee member Jarrod Hochman. “This is a quasi-urban community with over 6,000 students, over 1,000 employees, and a $72 million budget. We had candidates who did not have experience with collective bargaining, and not one candidate had experience formulating a budget beyond the building or department level.”

Committee members noted that the process next year should wrap up by March, rather than April, in an effort to get a jump on the best candidates.

For Levine, the 2017-18 school year will be his third year in a row as interim superintendent in Peabody. The former Salem school chief was also the interim superintendent in Peabody during the 2011-12 school year.

Levine said he is willing to stay on in the interim position for another year, but that he was drawing a line in the sand.

“I’m not going to work beyond that; I’m going to be 70 years old,” he said. “I’m proud to have the privilege to steer the ship for one more year.”


Next steps for Swampscott rail trail

SWAMPSCOTT — Plans to convert abandoned railroad tracks into a community rail trail will be outlined in a public forum at the Swampscott High School cafeteria Thursday at 7 p.m.

A second informational meeting on the rail trail will be Tuesday, May 2 at 7 p.m. in room B129 at the high school.

“It’s just to learn more and to also be part of the next step of bringing the rail trail to town,” said Peter Kane, director of community development.

Town officials said in a press release it’s been years in the making, but the next big step to making the Swampscott Rail Trail a reality will take place during Town Meeting May 15.

The Board of Selectmen have unanimously sponsored a warrant article requesting $850,000 to be used for the design and engineering of the trail location within the National Grid corridor, as well the legal fees and costs for acquisition of the easement rights, as previously reported in The Item.

The Town Meeting funds would not be for construction of the trail, which would be paid for by donations, grants and private funds, officials said.

Kane said the meetings will give a history of the rail trail process, what the actual process is going forward, show the plan of the relative location of the trail, and discuss how the money will be used.

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The two-plus mile trail would run from the Swampscott Train Station to the Marblehead line at Seaview Avenue, connecting with the Marblehead Rail Trail, which also links to trails in Salem. The 10-feet wide trail would cross Paradise Road, Walker Road and Humphrey Street and then go into Marblehead, officials said.

The rail bed, where National Grid power lines run to Marblehead, has been vacant since the 1960s, when the Marblehead railroad branch shut down. It was sold to National Grid’s predecessor.

The town has full rights to area that separates the ballfields behind the middle school and the middle school. The town would have to acquire the remainder of the easement for recreational use.

The trail was identified as a priority in the Open Space & Recreation Plan in 2013 and last year in the Master Plan process. Town Meeting has approved the creation of the trail on three separate occasions, officials said.

Visit for information on the rail trail and Town Meeting warrant article.


Divers search Foster Pond for evidence

Authorities are on scene at Foster Pond in a search for evidence.


SWAMPSCOTT Divers took to Foster Pond to recover evidence from a home invasion that occurred in Salem about a month ago.

Swampscott Police Sgt. Tim Cassidy said detectives from the department are working with the Salem Police Department to search the pond. Authorities believe someone threw an item, which he declined to identify, into the pond following the invasion.

“They received information that something was in there,” Cassidy said. “That someone had thrown something, maybe evidence, in there.”

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Several residents, including Fisher Avenue resident Chris Miles, were initially alarmed by the large truck labeled Salem Police Special Operations and police in diving equipment. Miles said he asked a police officer on scene.

“He said the neighborhood is safe and that they were helping Salem investigate a case,” he said.

Cassidy said police will return later in the week to continue the search.

“It was a little murky today so (divers will) try to go back,” he said.

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

Peabody has say in statewide conversation

Patrick Maguire talks to Massachusetts state senators about real estate.


PEABODY — It was the North Shore’s turn to host a Commonwealth Conversation in the form of a Town Hall Forum at the Higgins Middle School on Tuesday night.

Commonwealth Conversations began as a way for members of the Senate and local government to hear citizen concerns in nine areas of the state.

Members of the audience were given two minutes to stand before legislators and speak their minds on whatever issue they wished to address.

State Sen. Joan Lovely of the Second Essex District was one of nine senators present for the forum, along with State Rep. Thomas Walsh (D-Peabody).

Earlier in the day, the legislators visited Roca in Chelsea, attended a forum regarding transportation at the Lynn Museum and took a development walking tour of Malden.

“You’re going to see something very unusual. Twenty-five percent of the state Senate not saying a word,” said State Sen. Michael Rodrigues.

A few topics, such as climate change, the privatization of the MBTA, and animal cruelty came up several times throughout the night, but the concerns of citizens ran a wide gamut.

Patrick Maguire, president-elect of the North Shore Association of Realtors came to the podium to talk about housing affordability, which he said faces barriers in local zoning laws and could be addressed through the passage of Bill S.94.

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Carl Nellis, a Gloucester resident who works in Peabody, was at the forum on behalf of political group Essex County #6 Indivisible in support of the Safe Communities Act, designed to prevent local law officers from becoming involved with immigration enforcement.   

Others in the audience sought support for carbon pricing bills as a means of cutting carbon emissions in the state. Sue Kirby of Salem endorsed the incremental raising of the state minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021.

“No one should work full-time and make so little that they can’t make ends meet,” she said.

The town hall forums are part of the process by which the Senate sets its agenda. Commentary provided in the forums was written up in a report at the end of the senators’ previous tour.