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  • Malden Democratic City Committee hosts 16th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
  • Councillor hosts Ward 4 Community Meeting

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
  • Greatest of All Time

    Friday, February 10, 2017 00:00
  • “We are lucky because …”

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00
  • Mystic Valley History students advance to State Finals

    Friday, March 17, 2017 00:00

News

Lady Tanners hockey scores for charity

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In the past month the Peabody area girls hockey team teamed up with the charity Haven From Hunger to bring a little warmth to those in need. Under the moniker “Socks From Jocks”, the team collected around 200 pairs of socks for people in need. According to the charity, socks are among the most scarce and most needed item.

The Peabody Tanner Girls Co-op Hockey Team represents three communities: Peabody, North Reading, and Lynnfield. Between January 23 and the 27th, donors could drop off the socks at a hamper placed at the McVann O’Keefe Memorial Skating Rink where the girls practice. It was the girls’ second year of the drive.

According to Maria Terris, event coordinator at the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce, the PACC originally came up with the idea and brought it to the team. “We liked the ring of “Socks from Jocks” so we went with it,” Terris said.

Haven From Hunger is one of the main resources in Peabody serving the homeless or needy. Every year they provide food to over 1,800 households and distributed over 600,000 meals.

By Melanie Higgins


 

Council moves forward with pot shop moratorium

At the February 16th meeting of the city council, councilors set in motion a process to create a temporary moratorium on marijuana shops in Peabody. Council members unanimously voted to submit language for approval that would provide the basis for a moratorium similar to that of West Bridgewater, Mass. The move comes nearly 4 months after the state legalized the sale, distribution and use of the substance during the nationwide election. While the state overwhelmingly voted to legalize the drug, Peabody said no.

Numerous council members, including the mayor, are publicly opposed to marijuana shops in the city, as well as the legalization of the drug altogether. Mayor Ted Bettencourt was one person in particular who was a staunch opponent of question 4, which legalized marijuana in Massachusetts. The Mayor said at the meeting that he is more open to the idea of medical marijuana, however, and supports a zone on the highway to potentially allow for a dispensary, which he said would be a “great value”. The council most notably banned medical marijuana from the city in 2013.

Councilor Anne Manning-Martin called the law a “doozy” and said that going to the Massachusetts Municipal Meeting recently to talk about the issue only confirmed that. “There are more questions than answers.” Manning-Martin said. She said that many communities are mystified about how to approach the law, which she said has caused “a lot of confusion” regarding implementing the law, policing, and overseeing safeguards.

Even communities who are pushing for a ban, such as Lynnfield, find that doing so could be tremulous. Manning-Martin explained that if they chose to pursue an outright ban and it fails, it could open the flood gates for lawsuits from the industry. As it stands, the language on banning marijuana is rudimentary.

“I support a ban, but we have to get it right.” Manning-Martin said.

Manning-Martin instead suggested that the council follow in the footsteps of West Bridgewater, whose language instituting a temporary moratorium on marijuana shops in their community was just passed by the Massachusetts Attorney General – the final step it needs in order for it to be effective.

The state legislature has just recently formed committees to write language on marijuana shops which will help inform community legislators. According to the council, the proposed moratorium would give the council a year to wait for language from the state legislature that would help support a ban.

The motion to adopt a moratorium similar to the language of West Bridgewater passed 5-0 in the subcommittee and 11-0 in the regular council meeting. Going forward, the council has a few more steps to make before the moratorium can take into effect, including amending its zoning ordinance through the planning board, which could take 6-8 weeks.

By Melanie Higgins


 

Suspect in Peabody double-murder apprehended in South Carolina

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Doughty pleads not guilty at Peabody District Court

The hunt is over. After nearly a week on the lam since his alleged participation in a grisly double-murder in Peabody last month, Wes Doughty is in police custody.

Peabody police had put out a wanted ad for Doughty on its social media hoping it would lead to his arrest. Massachusetts State Police and the Essex County Attorney General’s office also put out bulletins advising the public to steer clear of Doughty, who was believed to be armed and dangerous throughout the ordeal.

Doughty was believed to be partly responsible for the murders of Jennifer O’Connor, 40, and Mark Greenlaw, 37, both residents of the 19 Farm Avenue bungalow where they were killed. Michael Hebb, who is another suspect in the murders, was captured last week and is currently being held without bail.

Before he was caught, it was reported that Doughty was involved in a carjacking at Hailey’s Restaurant in Middleton last Wednesday evening at around 7pm. Doughty allegedly stole the gray 2006 Honda Accord at knifepoint, then restricted the driver using a seatbelt and drove south. The victim, who was identified as 64 year old Middleton grandfather Kenneth Metz, was able to escape when Doughty stopped at a liquor store in Boston. Middleton police said that the victim suffered only minor injuries.

“When I realized he had a pen knife, I just decided to cooperate,” Metz said, according to a FOX25 video.

Metz told reporters that Doughty quickly revealed to him that he was responsible for the murders. He said that the victims were trying to sell heroin to his godfather, so he killed them. He said that he didn’t want his godfather addicted to heroin.

As part of the investigation, police closed down a section of route 128 near the I-95 split on Friday afternoon. The section was reopened around 2pm. Helicopter footage showed police dragging a large white box from the woods off of the highway. Multiple police units were involved in the Friday investigation, including Peabody police, State Police, State Police Marine Units, crime scene personnel, and others.

Doughty was finally apprehended the same day at around 5pm in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Police identified him after arresting him for panhandling outside a McDonalds. The car supposedly involved in the carjacking was found at a nearby restaurant.

Doughty was brought up on charges of “fugitive from justice” in Spartanburg County Detention Facility on Monday, February 27th. He waived rendition and was subsequently transferred to Massachusetts where he was arraigned at Peabody District Court Tuesday morning. He pleaded not guilty and is currently being held without bail.

By Melanie Higgins


   

“The play’s the thing” to get more downtown

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If all goes according to the script, Peabody could soon be getting an official theatre in its downtown. Thanks in large part to Northeast Arc, the space that used to house a post office at 22 Foster St. was just recently used to host a sold-out performance of the play “Love Letters.” Representatives for the organization hope that the money raised to renovate the space will pave the way for even more performances, fundraisers and concerts, and even more foot traffic downtown.

Susan Ring Brown, Director of Development at Northeast Arc, says that the organization, which supports people with disabilities, is working very hard to fundraise the $500,000 needed to renovate the current bare-bones space. Thanks to a $100,000 donation from the city’s community development department, the organization is just under half of what it needs to meet that goal. “We’re promoting cultural opportunity to pull the city together,” Brown said of the project.

The theatre itself is located in the back of the ArcWorks Community Art Center, where it formerly housed its shredding operations. The new space would fit about 120 people and is very minimalist. True to its definition as a “black box” theatre, the space is designed to be flexible so that it can be used for other purposes. Brown said that it could also be used to seat up to 175 people for a special event, such as a dinner.

“We were so surprised that so many people came out to the show,” Tim Brown, Northeast Arc’s director of Innovation and Strategy, said. Brown said that events will continue to go on as the theatre undergoes construction, and he hopes that most of the renovations wrap up by the end of this coming summer.

City Councillor Tom Gould has been a supporter of the project from the beginning. He hopes that the theatre will be just what the city needs to revitalize its downtown and even spur an “arts scene.” He added that he hopes the creation of the theatre will inspire the creation of more development, such as bars, restaurants and breweries – “We think it’s a wonderful fit for downtown.”

Anyone interested in donating to the theatre project can do so by visiting www.ne-arc.org.

By Melanie Higgins


 

Jeffrey and Susan Brudnick Center to Host Free Screening of Acclaimed “Being Mortal” Documentary on March 16 from 3-5pm

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Panel Discussion Exploring End-of-Life Care and Home-Made Refreshments to Follow Film

The Jeffrey and Susan Brudnick Center for Living is holding a free community screening of the highly acclaimed documentary “Being Mortal” on Thursday, March 16 at 240 Lynnfield Street in Peabody from 3pm to 5pm. Immediately following the screening, there will be a panel discussion and Q&A which will address concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences. The discussion will be led by industry experts, including a physician, social worker, nurse and spiritual counselor. Refreshments will be served and attendees will have the opportunity to speak with the panelists on a one-to-one basis.

“Being Mortal” delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film investigates the practice of caring for the dying and explores the relationships between patients and their doctors. It follows a surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande, as he shares stories from the people and families he encounters. When Dr. Gawande’s own father gets cancer, his search for answers about how best to care for the dying becomes a personal quest. The film sheds light on how a medical system focused on a cure often leaves out the sensitive conversations that need to happen so a patient’s true wishes can be known and honored at the end.

“Being Mortal” underscores the importance of people planning ahead and talking with family members about end-of-life decisions. Seventy percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but nearly 70 percent die in hospitals and institutions. Ninety percent of Americans know they should have conversations about end-of-life care, yet only 30 percent have done so.

In February 2015, “Being Mortal” aired nationally on the PBS program “Frontline.” For more information about the film, visit http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/being-mortal. The film is adapted from Dr. Gawande’s 2014 nationally best-selling book of the same name.

The free screening is made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America.For more information about the event or to make a reservation, contact Jill Hurley at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 617-889-0779.

   

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