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News

Family-owned furniture store continues to thrive on Rt. 1

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When he was 14 years old, Luke Taber began selling bedroom furniture with his father and has never looked back.

“I love the product, I love what we do; we deliver a lot of kids’ first beds,” said Taber, who is now 37 and the operations manager at Bedrooms on Route 1 South. “It feels good, it feels like you’re doing the right thing.”

In the same vein, Taber said their line of Maxtrix Kids Furniture continues to be the store’s top seller. He said customers are attracted to Maxtrix products, as the same bed can be converted into a loft bed or a bunk bed to accommodate the changing needs of a growing child. “It’s basically à la carte,” said Tabor. “They’re really a dedicated youth furniture line.”

Although business is typically steady throughout the year, Taber said July and October tend to be the most profitable months, adding that July was the store’s best month thus far in 2017.

“There’s never a dull moment here at Bedrooms,” he said, adding that the store has done well for a small business on Route 1.

Taber also said Bedrooms’ products are made from either Canadian birch or maple and are tested for quality using European standards. “They base everything off European standards, which are a lot tougher than U.S. standards,” he said. “It’s not going to be that $999 [Discount Furniture] special that you’re going to get a year out of.”

Taber said having a diverse product line and personalized customer service is what sets Bedrooms apart from its competition. “We’re a specialty store, we have all the options,” he said, adding that their beds are available in “at least three to four” different colors.

Taber also emphasized that none of his customers are ever treated like mere numbers. “We know customers’ names, where they live and what they do,” he said, adding that many of the same faces come back for additional purchases.

In addition, Taber said Bedrooms offers a line of adult furniture and features an array of Serta mattresses.

Taber also said Bedrooms is in the process of becoming more involved with the city and is currently exploring different opportunities for community outreach.

Bedrooms is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store can be reached at 978-535-6421.

By Christopher Roberson


 

International Festival back for 34th year

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 Every September since 1983, North Shore residents have enjoyed “the largest exhibition of culture on the North Shore” with Peabody’s International Festival.

Mary Bellavance, of Mayor Edward Bettencourt’s Office, said the festival was the brainchild of former Mayor Peter Torigian. “He was all about community programs,” she said. “It was just a way to showcase the different ethnicities we had here in the city.”

Bellavance said the festival was originally held in front of City Hall, until its ever-increasing size compelled organizers to move it to Main Street four years ago. “Main Street is actually much wider than Lowell Street,” said Bellavance.

The festival, which is host to approximately 80,000 each year, spans from Peabody Square to Washington Street.

She said Police Capt. Scott Richards will be in charge of public safety again this year. “In the 34 years we’ve run this festival, we’ve never had a problem,” she said.

The weekend-long events will begin on Sept. 9 at 9 a.m. with the Progeria International Race for Research. Race registration will open at 7:45 a.m. at the Leather City Common at 53 Lowell St. It will include both a two-mile run/walk and a 5k road race. “[It’s] a great course for the serious athlete, families and teams,” festival organizers said in a written statement. “Put your happy feet on and join us for the biggest and best road race in the city.”

The festival itself will then be held on Sept. 10 from noon to 6 p.m. Bellavance said there will be “60-65” booths this year, including vendors such as the United Polish Organization, the Portuguese Continental Union, the Knights of Columbus, and the NexMex Thing. She said a number of Main Street businesses will also be participating for the first time this year. In addition, a number of local artists will have their work on display at the International Festival Galleria on Foster Street.

Patrons can also enjoy live ethnic entertainment on both days. Although the final line up has not been confirmed, Bellavance said the event will open with Bona Recreativa Portuguesa as well as North Shore Acappella.

The festival will also include the Kid’s Day Celebration on the eastern end of Veterans Memorial Park at 45 Walnut St. That part of the festival will feature a magician, moon bounces, dance demonstrations, music and arts and crafts.

“It’s one of the proudest days in the City of Peabody,” said City Council President Joel Saslaw. “It really represents the melting pot that we are; it’s one big block party.”

Saslaw said his teenage sons also look forward to the festival every year. “It’s a legacy event; it’s a family-friendly event,” he said. “At the end of the day, what brings people together – food – the food is a huge part of it.”

Councillor-at-Large David Gravel said he enjoys the festival’s overall atmosphere. “As you walk down Main Street, you see your neighbors, your friends and everyone seems to have a big smile – it is truly a lot of fun,” he said.

Ward 4 Councillor Edward Charest said the festival appears to be growing once again after leveling off for a few years. “I see it going back up again,” he said. “I’m so glad we hang on to our traditions.”

Charest also said he is a big fan of the eclectic variety of food. “I usually eat my way through, I love it all,” he said.

By Christopher Roberson


 

Dog Park Festival planned for Sept. 9

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During the same weekend as the International Festival, Peabody’s dogs will be having a party of their own. The Peabody Dog Festival, which is now in its second year, will be held to raise money for an off-leash dog park at Emerson Park, which is located at 34 Perkins St. The event will be held on Sept. 9 from noon to 4 p.m. at Emerson Park.

Tammy Ross, president of the Friends of Peabody Dog Park, said the first Dog Festival was held in 2015 and raised $1,200 despite a mild turnout. To date, the organization has raised $4,000 and has a goal of $20,000. The remaining costs will be covered by a grant the city received from the Stanton Foundation, “an organization that supports the development of enclosed dog parks in Massachusetts cities and towns.”

“This time around, we’re expecting more vendors and more attendees,” said Ross. “Peabody is the only city in the area without a dog park, so we’re very excited to see our efforts come to fruition.”

The festival will feature live music, agility and obedience demonstrations, contests and prizes.

Ross also said the Friends are continuing to accept sponsorships and are also selling memorial bricks that will be engraved and put in the new dog park.

Some of the 18 vendors at this year’s festival will include Gone To The Dogs, Lucky Dogs Day Care, Paws 4 A Cure, and Leash Love.

According to its website, https://www.friendsofpeabodydogpark.org, the Friends group came together four years ago and has been working with Mayor Edward Bettencourt as well as Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Davis to find suitable area for the dog park. Corbeil Park in West Peabody was initially identified as a possible location; however, it was ultimately removed from contention following flooding and drainage problems. The 1.7-acre Emerson Park was subsequently chosen by city officials last year.

For additional information about the festival, call 978-595-1419 or send email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Anyone wishing to make a donation can send a check to Secretary/Treasurer Kathleen Giadone, 8 Jackson Ave., Peabody, MA 01960.

By Christopher Roberson


   

Peabody athlete graduates from Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

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Justin R. Winschel, of Peabody, graduated from Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Mass., on June 9, 2017.

Justin had an incredible high school football career at BB&N and was often recognized as a student-athlete, being named 1st Team All-NEPSAC 2016, 1st Team All-ISL 2016, BB&N Best Lineman 2016 and 2015, BB&N Captain 2016 and 2015, and Honorable Mention ISL 2015. His last high school football game was when he played for the “North team” in the Shriner’s 39th annual football game at Bentley College field on June 17, 2017.

Justin has chosen to attend Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, this fall. He will be playing football and studying Business and Russian.

Justin is the oldest of four children of Dan and Ellen Winschel, of 30 Catherine Dr. in Peabody. His sisters, Sophia and Marlana, attend Peabody High School as upcoming juniors, and his brother, Kevin, attends the Higgins Middle School as an upcoming 7th grader. One of Justin’s biggest fans was his late Don “Pappa” Finegold, who passed away earlier this year.

Justin had attended the Burke School and Higgins Middle School before going to Austin Prep in Reading, Mass., for four years. He transferred to BB&N his sophomore year.

 

Champions stave off elimination in NSBL playoffs

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The Peabody Champions demonstrated major fortitude with a convincing 10-0 win Monday evening in Game 3 of their North Shore Baseball League (NSBL) semifinal series against the top-seeded Swampscott Sox at Swampscott Middle School Field.

The night before, the fourth-seeded Champions suffered a discouraging blow when Swampscott slugger Elvis Rodriguez hammered a seventh-inning, walk-off grand slam to give the Sox a 7-4 victory and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five matchup. What added to the frustration for Peabody was that it had rallied with three runs in the top half of the seventh to pull ahead, 4-3, on a two-run single by Chad Martin and Derek Lyons’ run-scoring double.

With the fourth contest set for Wednesday at Twi Field in Danvers (after press deadline), Swampscott, 10-1 winners in Game 1, held a 2-1 series lead heading into Wednesday’s action. The Champions advanced by defeating the North Shore Phillies, 2 games to 1, in the opening playoff round while Swampscott knocked off Marblehead in round one.

It was do-or-die for Peabody on Monday and lefty starter David Hoar rose to the occasion, shutting out the hard-hitting Sox through five innings with seven strikeouts. Meanwhile, the Champions got big nights offensively from David Ruggiero (4-for-4, home run, 2 RBIs) and Martin (3 hits, 2-run homer, 5 RBIs). The game was called when the Champions tallied four times in the top of the sixth to take a 10-run cushion.

Martin’s base hit gave Peabody a 1-0 lead in the first inning; RBI singles by Ruggiero and Jon Cahill made it 3-0 in the second; and Ruggiero’s solo round-tripper followed by Martin’s blast with a runner on base in the fourth gave Peabody a commanding 6-0 lead it would not relinquish.

In Sunday’s loss, the Champions were down, 3-1, heading into seventh. Their lone run up to that point came off a solo homer by Lyons in the second. Peabody starter Brian Marshall pitched well through 4 1/3 innings before giving up two runs in the fifth and falling behind 3-1. Swampscott loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh. Peabody managed to get the first out before Rodriguez went yard for the win.

In other action, the sixth-seeded North Shore Storm, who play their games at Peabody High School’s Bezemes Diamond, were eliminated in the first round by losing twice in a row to the third-seeded Beverly Recs last week. Beverly edged the Storm, 4-3, in the first game, and the Recs jumped ahead, 4-0, early in Game 2. North Shore battled back to climb within 4-3, but Beverly outscored the Storm, 3-1, the rest of the way to earn a 7-4 win and advance to the semifinal round.

Beverly trailed the second-seeded Kingston Night Owls, 2-1, in its semifinal series entering Wednesday’s action. The semifinal winners will face off in a best-of-seven series for the league title.

By Greg Phipps


   

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