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  • Two alarm blaze rips through Highland Ave. building

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • RHS senior receives $5,000 Hood® Milk Sportsmanship Scholarship

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Mayor submits $227 million FY18 budget

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Playground Dangers

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00
  • Community ’N Unity Celebration

    Monday, May 15, 2017 00:00


The Advocate HOROSCOPE


Aries (March 21st-April 20th): This past week was likely full of excitement and fun. Take this weekend to focus on catching up on work/home matters and tying up loose ends. The full moon on Sunday should have you feeling ready to take on more challenges at work.


Taurus (April 21st-May 20th): Keep up the hard work Taurus, and stay patient. You are so strong right now, emotionally and mentally- and that strength is likely being challenged. Push on, keep going, next month you WILL reap the rewards!


Gemini (May 21st-June 20th): Aches and pains may have you feeling gross this week. Rest and relax- no need to worry about what you are missing at work. Everyone will understand, and catch you up!


Cancer (June 21st-July 22nd): Drop a couple of the balls you are juggling this week Cancer. You can only do so much before you start to look foolish trying to accomplish it all. Delegate and ask for help ! Put your bossy pants on.


Leo (July 23rd-August 22nd): Stand up for yourself when you feel taken advantage of or pushed around at work this week. Just because someone is your higher up, doesn’t mean they can be openly rude to you! Your way too fierce for that kind of bologna.


Virgo (August 23rd-September 22rd): Instead of spending money this weekend (although temptation may be high) focus on getting rid of the old to better know exactly what you need. Clean out your closets, cabinets and drawers and ditch anything with negative memories associated with it!


Libra (September 23th-October 22rd): No means no Libra. Don’t let anyone talk you into doing something you are uncomfortable with this weekend. Stand up to anyone being obnoxious and don’t allow for bossy behavior. Lay down the law!


Scorpio (October 23rd-November 22nd): This week and weekend may be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for you Scorpio- nothing you aren’t used to right?! Go with the flow of your feelings and don’t make yourself do anyone favors.


Sagittarius (November 23rd-December 21st): This upcoming full moon may have you questioning quite a few of your future plans. “What do I really want?” may be the only thought  crossing your mind. Thats a good thing, keep thinking.


Capricorn (December22nd- January 19th): If you find your thoughts are wondering and traveling back to fond memories this weekend take a full trip down memory lane. The full moon is encouraging you to connect back to your true self, and your roots. Pull out the family albums and some wine!


Aquarius (January 20th- February 19th): Continue your research on furthering your career this week similar to last week’s advice. The full moon on Sunday will help you let go of anything that doesn’t seem to be working out. The more knowledge you have the better for next week!


Pisces (February 20th- March 20th): Let it go Pisces, let it all go this weekend. The full moon may stir up some old emotional baggage for you and it is important that you don’t suppress it. Be alone and let it all out! You will feel so much better.

Francesca Piazza is a Lynnfield native available for astrology consultations, tarot readings/parties, crystal healing, custom jewelry, and reiki. Check out for more information or email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

Dear Savvy Senior,

How much does an average funeral and body burial cost? I need to make funeral arrangements for my aunt, who’s terminally ill, and would like to have a cost idea going in so I can plan and budget appropriately.

The Executor


Dear Executor,

It definitely pays to know what charges to expect when pre-planning a funeral. Most people don’t have a clue, and can often be upsold thousands of dollars worth of extra services you may not want or need. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect.

Funeral Prices

The first thing you need to be aware of is that funeral costs will vary considerably depending on your geographic location, the funeral home you choose and the funeral choices you make. With that said, here’s a breakdown of what an average funeral costs, nationwide, according to recent data from the National Funeral Directors Association.

Professional services fee: This is a basic non-declinable fee that covers the funeral provider’s time, expertise and overhead. $2,000

Transfer of the remains: This is for picking up the body and taking it to the funeral home. $310

Embalming and body preparation: Embalming is usually mandatory for open-casket viewing, otherwise it’s not required unless the body is going to be transported across state lines. Embalming costs $695. Other body preparations, which includes hairdressing and cosmetics runs $250.

Funeral viewing and ceremony: If the viewing and funeral ceremony is at the funeral home, you’ll be charged for use of the chapel and any necessary staff. Costs: $420 for viewing, and $495 for funeral ceremony.

Metal casket: This is a big money maker for funeral homes, with markups of up to 300 percent over the wholesale price. $2,395.

Funeral transportation: Use of hearse and driver $318 to transport the body to the cemetery. Use of a service car/van $143.

Memorial printed package: This includes printed programs and memorial guest book.  $155.

In addition to these costs, there are a number of other related expenses such as flowers for the funeral (around $200 to $400), the newspaper obituary fee ($100 to $600 or more), the clergy honorarium ($200 to $300) and extra copies of the death certificate ($5 to $35 per copy depending on the state).

And, a number of large cemetery costs like the plot or mausoleum fee, the vault or grave liner that’s required by most cemeteries, and the opening and closing of the grave, all of which average between $2,000 and $4,000; and the gravestone, which typically costs between $1,000 and $3,000.

All told, the average cost of a total funeral today is around $11,000 or more.

Ways to Save

If you aunt’s estate can’t afford this, there are ways to save. For starters, you should know that prices can vary significantly by funeral provider, so it’s wise to shop around.

If you need some help finding an affordable provider, your area funeral consumers alliance program may be able to refer you. See or call 802-865-8300 for contact information.

There are also free websites you can turn to, like that lets you compare prices, and that will provide estimates from local funeral homes based on what you want.

When evaluating funeral providers, be sure you get an itemized price list of services and products so you can accurately compare and choose what you want.

But, the most significant way to save on a funeral is to request a “direct burial” or “direct cremation.” With these options your aunt would be buried or cremated shortly after death, which skips the embalming and viewing. If she wants a memorial service you can have it at the graveside or at her place of worship without the body. These services usually run between $600 and $2,000, not counting cemetery charges.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.


Celebrating a Century


Honorary Grand Marshall and Peabody Mayor Edward  Bettencourt, Jr. and his wife, Andrea

wave to the crowd during Peabody’s Centennial Parade last Sunday. See more photos from

the event on pages 7-10. (Advocate photo by Dave Sokol)


Peabody’s Anne Manning-Martin, the Republican candidate for Essex County Sheriff in the Nov. 8 General Election, talks about her campaign


Editor’s Note: For this week, we sat down with Peabody Councillor-at-Large Anne Manning-Martin to talk about her campaign for Essex County Sheriff. Manning-Martin, a Republican, faces Democrat Kevin Coppinger and two independent candidates – Mark Archer of Bedford and Kevin Leach of Manchester-by-the-Sea – in the Nov. 8 General Election. Manning-Martin, 50, a Peabody native, has lived in that city most of her life. Of her 25 years in the corrections field, she served mostly recently as deputy superintendent of the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain, a medium security correctional hospital. She received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Anselm College and her master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. She has served 17 years as an elected official in Peabody – the last nine years on the Peabody City Council after serving eight years on the Peabody School Committee. She is married to Jack Martin of Peabody. Gov. Charlie Baker has endorsed her.

Some highlights of the interview follow.

Q: Why are you running for sheriff?

A: I am running for sheriff because the sheriff can make things happen. It’s actually the most important and powerful elected office in the state, in my opinion – because the governor has to work with the legislature, mayors have to work with their city council – but the sheriff answers directly to the residents, the voters and the taxpayers. So the sheriff’s vision and priorities get done – so I want to make things happen. I want to make good things happen. I have been in corrections and working in the field of criminal justice for 25 years, so I know how important it is to work with the community, and public safety is a priority. And I know all of the programs and treatment that we need to provide in prisons, so that when people are released from prison, they are released better than when they went in. And those are the types of programs and focus that I want to bring as sheriff to make good things happen to Essex County and public safety – by reducing recidivism. It’s my field. It’s what I do. It’s what I studied. So, that’s why I want to run for sheriff.

Q: What was the motivator that influenced you to run?

A: Well, I’ve always been committed to my community. I have been committed in an elected capacity for 17 years. A lot of people were surprised that I was on the School Committee for eight years, but I have no children. So, I ran for elective office 17 years ago for the very same reason that I’m running now. I want to help make my community better by making things happen. I’m committed to doing those things. I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Criminal Justice. I’ve spent 25 years in the corrections field and have been an elected official in my city for 17 years. So, when Sheriff Cousins said he was stepping down, I felt I was the most qualified person to run for this position. I can hit the ground running. I know what it’s like to be elected. This [corrections] is my field. This is what I studied and this is what I do, so there were no second thoughts for me. And that’s the reason I’m running.

Q: What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?

A: The things that I just said: my education, my commitment, my experience in programs and treatment, 25 years – my knowledge – in corrections, my understanding that corrections today has to be a balance of treatment vs. sanctions. We want to provide programs of treatment for those who are motivated to change who are incarcerated or are on probation or parole. We want to keep people out of prison, but we also need to recognize that there are people that need to go to prison. There are some bad people out there. We will never be out of business. I will never be out of business in the field of corrections because of folks like that, but we need to focus on those who are motivated and want treatment and want to be better people and want to be good citizens and want to get back to their jobs and their families. And we need to provide those things, but we need to balance. We need to provide treatment for those who are motivated and sanctions to those who are not.

Q: How do you see your role as sheriff?

A: My role as sheriff is to stay connected with the community – community members – reach out to neighborhoods, community leaders, local elected officials, law enforcement, probation, the courts. And keep an open mind and communications as to what their needs are and what they expect and need from the Sheriff’s Department, because the Sheriff’s Department not only acts as the overseer of incarcerated individuals, but it’s also a resource for the community. And we can supplement and complement local cities’ and towns’ needs, whether it’s with the graffiti truck, prison work details – whether it’s to clean parks, clean up debris in areas or shovel in a nasty winter like we had a couple of years ago. The communities have limited resources, and the Sheriff’s Department is there to step up and help. And it will continue to step up in the time of need when I’m sheriff.

Q: Going into the job, do you have any chief criticisms, if any, of the current administration?

A: No, I don’t have any criticisms of somebody who has put in 20 years of dedicated service, and being an elected office of over 600 employees, you take a lot of slings and arrows. I’ve experienced that myself in 17 years as an elected official, and in a management position in corrections. Sometimes the criticism is warranted. Sometimes it’s not. But I’m not one to criticize people who have dedicated their lives and tried to do good things. That keeps good people from running for office and it keeps good people from serving when we criticize people when they’re trying to do the right thing.

Q: Well, how would you improve the Sheriff’s Department?

A: I want to bring in data-driven, evidence-based programming that produces results. I want to use effective, cost-efficient programs that reduce recidivism by addressing the inmate’s individual needs. And each inmate would get individual treatment plans – reentry plans – so that when they leave into the community, the community will work with them to reincorporate them back into their neighborhoods in their cities, because in county corrections, all of the inmates are coming back out. All of them are going back to from whence they came, and the average length of stay is six to nine months. That’s it. So, in six to nine months, who is ever going in is coming out. And we want to make sure they come out better than when they went in, and they’re given the support. Again, motivation is the key. Some don’t want any help – “I’m all set, I don’t need you.” And they don’t want you to know where they’re going. But those who want the help and don’t want to come back [to jail] – you work with the communities to provide the help and reincorporate them. There are certain communities that get more inmates released into their communities. Those are the cities that you want to concentrate on and help to reincorporate their citizens back in. And it’s public safety. Reentry is public safety. We’re going to bring in treatment programs that provide support before and after reentry. And you work with the law enforcement agencies, probation and parole network, well before the inmate is released. Right when they walk in the front door, you start to work on these programs, and you introduce the community network into the prison and make sure it walks out with these inmates – help them get to their meetings, help them get to the unemployment office, help them get their driver’s license – all of these things that have been insurmountable to them for whatever reasons. They lack the skills or the know-how or transportation, even. You help them with those things because those things are the roadblocks that keep them from staying on the straight and narrow and cause them to recidivate; so my program and focus is going to be on reducing recidivism by implementing programs that work.

Q: So you’ll be drawing on your experience within the correctional system?

A: That’s correct.

Q: What do you consider the most challenging part of the job and how would you approach it?

A: The most challenging part of the job, I think, is recognizing the budgetary constraints. The budget for the Essex County Sheriff’s Department has been underfunded by millions of dollars for several years, and so that’s a struggle. So, right when I walk in the door, we’re going to be advocating for a supplemental [budget], because what we need to do – and what I plan to do – is sit down with the House Ways and Means Committee, with the governor and the lieutenant governor and with my local reps and senators and educate them about the fact that the Essex County Sheriff’s Department is one of the busiest, but least-funded. The number of inmates in Essex County is not commensurate with the budget …

Q: Essex County is the third-most-populated county in the state.

A: The budget didn’t keep up with the population. You just hit it on the head. Years ago when the population ballooned, they just level-funded it. And, it doesn’t work, so I’m going to work on educating those so that they understand that Essex County needs more funding to work with the population and reduce recidivism. They don’t have the funds and the support to give the population what it must have in order to not recidivate and to promote public safety. Without the necessary funds, you will not be promoting public safety. You’ll just be churning them in and churning them out. If you’re underfunding, you can’t address the needs of the inmate population. And we know now, too, that the number one need of that population is help in addressing the opioid epidemic crisis. That needs funds to address, and we can’t do it by being budgeted $55 million when you need $70 million.

Q: What are your top priorities? And feel free to elaborate.

A: To continue to address the opioid epidemic and to reduce recidivism by offering evidence-based, date-driven programs that have been proven to reduce recidivism.

There are three communities in Essex County that are in the top 10 where inmates are released. Lawrence and Lynn are two and three, respectively, for inmates released from the Department of Corrections. And then Haverhill is either eight or ten. But, they’re in the top 10 of all cities and towns in the state that receive the most inmates from the Department of Corrections. So what I plan to do is work with those particular cities and have health-care centers, nonprofit agencies, mentors, AA, substance abuse programs that are already networked and involved in those communities that I mentioned and work with me as the sheriff to help identify the inmates. I want the Sheriff’s Department to be the liaison between the Department of Corrections to help identify the date they’re being released, where they are being released and bring that network to the inmates to make that connection and give them their reentry plans. The mentors and the programs will come into the prison, meet these individuals. And if the inmate says, “Yes, I’m interested in doing that,” he’s in the network. He gets a mentor. He gets a reentry plan. He’s released. A mentor helps him.

Reducing recidivism – work with programs – working with staff to increase training and professionalism and advancement. We’ll take a look at staff retention.

Q: Do you plan on bringing any new programs in?

A: Yes. Those are the ones I’m going to focus on. I’m also going to look at female inmates, who are right now sent to Framingham, and that does not promote public safety at all. They’re too far away from their support mechanism. We cannot give them their reentry plans and help them reenter back into their neighborhoods when they’re all the way out in Framingham – no public transportation. Their families can’t visit them. Their kids can visit them. But also the social network, services and the treatment that they need is all the way back in Essex County, so we’re compromising public safety tremendously by not having the women housed in Essex County. So, that is a priority of mine as well. It will definitely promote public safety and create healthier communities for everybody.

Q: So, you have quarters for housing women inmates planned at the Sheriff’s Department?

A: It’s all about managing your population. As you know, Sheriff Cousins just opened up 42 beds for men and 42 for women for detox, pre-trial. That’s a feather in his cap and was probably one of his proudest moments. He did that because he knew the community, knew the need and he saw the opportunity and came up with the bed space and made that happen. I, as well, will look at bed space. I will look at how we’re managing the bed space. I need to get in there and see if construction is needed. Right now it’s about managing your population, having priorities and making things happen, so I need to get in there and see where the bed space is. I’m convinced as well that with sentence reform and the continued focus by the governor and the lieutenant governor on providing substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment in the community for these individuals, the numbers are going to continue to go down. So, when the numbers continue to go down, bed space goes up, and that’s what I’m anticipating happening. And with focusing on substance abuse treatment in the community where it belongs, I’ll have more opportunity for bed space to use for my priority: to provide care and custody to the women of Essex County.

Q: Why is this position important to the people in any particular community? Why should people in the community care about it?

A: Well, that’s an interesting question. While I travel around 34 cities and towns in Essex County, if I were to ask the question of what does the sheriff do, the majority of the people don’t know what the sheriff does. And that’s because Sheriff Cousins has been doing such a good job. So, you educate them, but they generally think it’s just locking people up, and that’s not what a sheriff’s job is. Police officers lock people up. They take people off the street and put them in prison. The sheriff’s job is to make sure people are released to the community better than when they went in, so the sheriff’s job is to provide treatment, to provide education, to provide opportunities, to hold staff and inmates accountable so that staff and inmates are safe; and therefore, the community is safe when these individuals are released. That these people are sober, that they have a plan and programs are in place when they go back into the community. So, that’s why people should care and be very concerned about who’s going to be the next sheriff. Because he [Sheriff Cousins] has been doing such a good job, that’s why you don’t hear too much about it, because there aren’t any problems. So, we need to continue on the path that Sheriff Cousins has set, focus on programs for treatment and education, because that promotes public safety – when people come out of prison better than when they went in. If you just lock them up and forget about them and provide them no services, they are coming out worse, and we cannot perpetuate that big public safety threat.

Q: Anything else that you would like to share about your campaign or plans if elected?

A: My plans if elected – I’m really excited about the opportunity to become sheriff, because I’ve studied this and it’s been my whole career; I love working with my constituents and helping people when I can. I’m the one who has been taking the phone calls for the last 17 years, starting off as a School Committee member and helping people who were dealing with their children having a problem in school. Later, on the City Council, helping people who were having a problem with potholes and anything else that an elected official can help with. I’ve been getting those calls for 17 years from constituents and I do the best to assist them. I plan to do the exact same thing as sheriff of Essex County, because when somebody’s niece, nephew or grandchild or daughter gets in trouble – the type of trouble kids get in today – unfortunately, it’s a lot of drugs and alcohol. They reach out and they call the sheriff directly, and the sheriff as an elected official has the obligation to call back. That’s what I’ve been doing for 17 years. I plan to do the same thing, and I’m just going to continue to try to help people improve their quality of life. And that’s what elected officials do, and I’m going to maintain that mantra as sheriff. Folks who are in need and kids who are in trouble, they can call me.

Finally, I would like to mention that I do have the endorsements of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. It’s a significant endorsement coming from the highest elected officials in the state. It’s significant to me as well, because they also understand what it’s like to be an elected local official because they both came up that way in their respective towns and cities, so it’s a huge endorsement for me on a professional and personal level.”


Tops at the Fair


Peabody resident Karlene Fleuriel-Kiddy won Second Place with her award-winning flower display at the Topsfield Fair this past weekend. Karlene has been in the floral business for 25 years as the former owner of Creations by Karlene. She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . (Courtesy photo)


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