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News

Water treatment service to return by spring

If all goes according to plan, the Coolidge Avenue Water Treatment Plant will be back in service between February and June of next year.

“It’s an incredibly aggressive schedule – incredibly aggressive,” said Leah Stanton of Weston and Sampson during the Sept. 28 City Council meeting.

The plant has been closed since it was severely damaged by a three-alarm fire on March 13. It was later determined that the blaze was caused by birds that chewed through electrical wires while nesting on the roof.

“The plant’s been offline, let’s get this thing up and running,” said Stanton.

The city’s insurance provider has put the total damage at approximately $3.3 million. Within that figure, Stanton said Peabody would be responsible for about $200,000. She also said it will take “12-14 weeks” to get new pumps and filtration equipment delivered to the plant for installation.

Councillor-at-Large David Gravel said he appreciated Stanton’s update. “It helps to enlighten people on how slow it is to do something with public funds,” he said. “It’s like this crazy elongation of a timeline.”

Councillor-at-Large Anne Manning-Martin said the roof, which was completely destroyed in the fire, was replaced in July. However, crews have not been able to get inside the building, as it remains structurally unsafe. “All that can be done is being done as fast as possible,” said Manning-Martin.

In other news, the council voted unanimously to appoint Matthew Genzale of Julie Circle as an alternate member of the Planning Board and Gerry Kruczkowski of Colonial Road as an alternate member of the Conservation Commission.

Genzale has owned MRG Construction Management since 2011. Prior to his current position, Genzale was a senior project manager at Prism Builders in Wakefield.

Kruczkowski was a student monitor at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School from 2015-2017. For several years, he was a sales representative for companies such as Belmont Springs Water, TruGreen Chemlawn, Workplace Essentials and Curtis 1000.

The councillors also voted unanimously to grant a Special Permit to A Mom’s Village to operate a women’s gym and child enrichment center at 635-637 Lowell St. “We’re really excited about bringing our vision of making motherhood a little bit easier to Peabody,” said owner Stephanie Keohan.

Ward 6 Councillor Barry Sinewitz assured his colleagues that employment offers will be contingent on the results of CORI checks. “It won’t just be a gym where they throw teenagers in to watch the kids,” he said.

In addition, the council unanimously passed two motions regarding The Meadow at Peabody Golf Course. The first motion was to have the course evaluated by an outside company, and the second motion was to refinance the property over a 10-year period.

Sinewitz, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Municipal Golf Course/Skating Rink, said the course has encountered financial trouble and refinancing is a plausible solution. “They want to build a driving range for $40,000 – they don’t have any money,” said Sinewitz. “Even in a good year, I think they made $7,000.”

By Christopher Roberson


 

Peabody woman wins Topsfield Fair cookie contest

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A loyal attendee at the Topsfield Fair for the past several years, resident Sharon Raimo of Intervale Avenue had always wanted to enter the fair’s cookie contest. “I’ve always fancied seeing my cookies on there,” she said.

Therefore, after watching one of her friends enter this year, Raimo decided it was time to give it a shot with her Italian cookies, the recipe for which was given to her many years ago by her mother-in-law. “I tweaked it a bit,” said Raimo.

As the votes were tallied, Raimo quickly learned that she had won $10 and a blue ribbon denoting a first-place finish. “It was hysterical, I’m and English woman making Italian cookies in an American competition,” she said. “It was stunning really; I just did it for a laugh, I never expected to win.”

Although she has been making Italian cookies for the past 16 years, Raimo said she has had a passion for baking since she was a child. “I’m the one who does all the cooking, it’s supply and demand,” she said.

By Christopher Roberson


 

Tanners football notches first win

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The Peabody Tanners may have found their identity after shutting out Revere, 21-0, last Thursday on the road. Head coach Mark Bettencourt is hopeful that his team’s first win of 2017 can supply some momentum entering the second half of the season.

The Tanner defense has been pretty strong through the first four games, having given up just one late touchdown in a 7-0 loss to Danvers and 21 first-half points to a high-powered Marblehead attack. No surprise the defense was up to the task again last Thursday. It was the performance of the Peabody offense, which compiled more points against Revere (21) than it had in the opening three games (14), that was the major plus.

“This was a good win on a short week, and we need to carry it over to our next game if we hope to make the playoffs,” Bettencourt told the press after the victory. The 1-3 Tanners host Masconomet Regional in a nonconference contest this Friday at 7 p.m.

In the win over Revere, the Tanners took a 7-0 lead into halftime and began the second half with a crucial TD drive. Running back Eric DeMayo blasted through the Revere defense for a 60-yard burst, setting up a short scoring run by Elijah White that led to a 14-0 lead. DeMayo collected a six-yard score of his own in the first half after Nolan Murphy recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff.

“That was huge – to get the turnover. That gave us momentum,” said Bettencourt.

The final points came after the Tanners partially blocked a Revere punt in the fourth quarter. RB Noah Freedman ended up scoring on a six-yard run. Kicker Austin Leggett made good on all three PAT attempts. Leggett had a 31-yard field goal attempt blocked after quarterback Jonell Espinal connected for four completions – three to White – to put Peabody in scoring position late in the first half.

“[Running backs] Freedman, DeMayo and Jake Souza all ran hard. We mixed [quarterbacks] Colby Therrien and Jonell Espinal, sometimes changing on the same series,” said Bettencourt in explaining the offensive game plan. “Our two-headed quarterback situation is working and we’ll ride the guy who is throwing the ball better.”

After challenging his offensive line during halftime of the Marblehead game a week earlier, Bettencourt credited the o-line with its “best game” of the season so far after last Thursday’s triumph.

On defense, Cam Powers and White both had interceptions. The Tanner defense has allowed 28 points in the last three games. The offense has totaled 35 points for the year, with 21 of those coming in last week’s win.

By Greg Phipps


   

Peabody volleyball suffers 2nd loss to Danvers

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After capturing the first set and leading by four points late in game two, the Peabody Tanners couldn’t keep the powerhouse Danvers Falcons at bay and ended up on the losing end of a 3-1 final in Northeastern Conference (NEC) volleyball action on Monday at the Danvers High School Field House. It was Peabody’s second setback by Danvers this season, as the Tanners dropped a 3-2 decision at home when the two rivals met back in September.

On Monday, Peabody used solid defensive play and serving to score a 25-20 victory in the first game. The Tanners then appeared on the verge of going up by two games. Peabody led 19-15 late in set two before Danvers produced a 10-3 surge to win 25-22 and even the match at one game apiece. In set three, the Tanners were within two points late but, once again, the hosts would hold on to earn a 25-21 victory and pull ahead, 2-1.

Peabody head coach Lisa Keene, whose team had won four straight entering Monday’s match, said the Tanners played better on Monday than they had in the previous loss to the Falcons. “I think we had a good first, second and third game. We eliminated a lot of the errors we made when we played them the first time,” she explained. “The last game wasn’t as good. We struggled with our serve and receive and rotations, and that cost us six or seven points early.”

After looking a bit rattled early in the fourth set and falling behind, 9-1, the Tanners showed grit and battled back to pull within two at 19-17 before falling short, 25-21.

“They’re a very good team to play against. It’s always a real back-and-forth match between us. We definitely play at a higher level when we play Danvers,” said Keene, whose team fell to 7-3 overall with the loss. Danvers improved to 10-1.

For Peabody, setter Rachel Coleman finished with 18 assists and three aces while Serena Laro and Jillian Alimonti had 11 kills between them.

Despite the defeat, Keene focused on the positive aspects of Monday’s match. “We’ve improved a lot since the season started, and service-wise we did a great job tonight,” she pointed out. “[The Falcons] have a stronger hitting team than we do, so we have to be much stronger on defense against them.”

Field hockey team earns win, tie through first seven games

Through its first seven contests, the Peabody field hockey team has collected one win and one tie. The Tanners lost to Gloucester last Thursday at home to fall to 1-5-1 entering this week’s play. The victory was a 7-0 shutout of Malden. In that game, Courtney Ball scored twice and had an assist while Kayla Moy, Nicole Ferrante, Ashley Annese, Jessica Bacelar and Haley Carter collected the other goals. Mallory LeBlanc had two assists and Sofia Rodriguez got the win in goal.

The Tanners played to a 1-1 tie against Revere. Ball tallied Peabody’s lone score off an assist from LeBlanc.

By Greg Phipps


 

Lady Tanners soccer team falls to Falcons

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It had been a while, 24 games in fact, since the Peabody girls’ soccer team had lost a Northeastern Conference (NEC) game. That finally occurred Tuesday evening, as the Tanners were defeated 3-1 at always-tough Danvers. Peabody, which dipped to 3-2-2 overall after the loss, had dropped two in a row since opening the season with three wins and two ties through its first five contests.

Head coach Dennis Desroches acknowledged that Danvers, which has been a perennial conference contender in recent years, has the most experienced team in the NEC this season. “I think that showed tonight. They were very good crashing [our] goal and they didn’t let us work off ball,” Desroches told the press after the contest. “We were taking an extra touch or two, and against a team that’s as quick as Danvers, they’ll recover and close that down every time.”

The Falcons, who raised their record to 6-2 overall, stormed the Tanner net early and missed on several good scoring opportunities before hitting pay dirt midway through the first half and adding a second score with six minutes remaining in period one to take a 2-0 lead. The second Falcons goal came on a rebound after two consecutive close-in shots hit the crossbar. The young, freshmen-laden Tanners demonstrated their resiliency by scoring in the final minute of the half. Emily Nelson tallied to bring Peabody within a goal at 2-1.

A 12-4 shots-on-goal advantage for Danvers in the opening period was evidence of the home team’s territorial edge. Desroches said his Peabody squad was too hesitant at times on offense and needed to shoot more. Danvers produced the only score of the second half with about 10 minutes left in the game. Tanner goalie Shelby Doucette faced 21 shots and saved 18 of them.

In last week’s close 3-2 non-league defeat at Acton-Boxboro, the same team that eliminated them from last year’s playoffs, the Tanners fell behind just 38 seconds into the contest. Peabody dented the net twice in the second half but couldn’t overcome A-B, which also knocked in two second-half goals.

Desroches said it was a valuable experience for his young team. He credited Catherine Manning, Aja Alimonti, Jordyn Collins and Colleen Crotty with great defense. Nelson and Jillian Arigo had the goals and Nelson and Aja Alimonti dished out assists.

By Greg Phipps


   

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