Middlesex Top Stories

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MIDDLESEX - With the first shovels full of dirt likely to be scooped from the future construction site sometime next summer, a dogged band of Stoneham citizens and politicians can finally celebrate the fruits of their decade-plus long pursuit of a new high school.

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The “Plan B” for the area’s Salvation Army fund-raising efforts during the holiday season is more in place this year than last year.

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MIDDLESEX - Reading Town Meeting representatives earlier this month killed a proposal to institute a temporary permitting freeze on new 40R redevelopments within the community’s downtown area.

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The NewDEAL, a “selective national network of exceptional, rising, pro-growth progressive state and local elected leaders,” announced that the efforts of Massachusetts State Representative Tram Nguyen (D-Andover) to promote justice for victims of violent crimes have made her a finalist in th…

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The casting, with Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, is brilliant, and the ending, in a top-down convertible, is sublime. So why is the rest of Pablo Larraín's "Spencer" such a hollow exercise in high camp?

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According to the website www.endhomelessness.org, a reported 17,975 homeless people live in Massachusetts or 26.1 per 10,000. For comparison, California has a homelessness rate of 40.9 per 10,000 and New York has a homelessness rate of 46.9 per 10,000.

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MIDDLESEX - With about $141 in financial assistance from the Mass. School Building Authority (MSBA) at stake, the future of a new $317 million Northeast Metropolitan Technical High School could very well rest on the outcome of several key municipal meetings over the next 10 days.

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Christian Detzel wanted to give back to a good cause. The 53-year old Burlington resident reached a stage in his life where he felt settled; he was married and had a couple of young children. The passing of his mother soon after the birth of his first child inspired him to give back to child…

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Winchester recently made a bit of local history when it held a special election back in June to overturn a vote of Town Meeting. Something like that last happened 70 or 80 years ago and it involved a "movie house" that residents supported but the Board of Selectmen did not (even though the t…

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MIDDLESEX - With the last redevelopment plans torpedoed by the Great Recession more than a dozen years earlier, Stoneham’s citizens acted last spring to revive plans to redevelop portions of an underutilized industrial zone near the Woburn line into housing.

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After graduating Framingham State in 2018, Sarah Lyn Norton got accepted into the Peace Corps in Nepal and expected to head out in January of 2019. Unfortunately, things fell through, leaving Norton, a 2014 graduate of Woburn Memorial High School, with no job, living at home and feeling hear…

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MIDDLESEX - A little over five years ago now, superintendents representing a dozen school districts in the Middlesex League urged their home communities to delay the start of classes for adolescents until at least 8 a.m.

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Cities and towns involved in the Resilient Mystic Collaborative applauded the doubling of annual funds for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Grant Program to $21 million in the Baker Administration’s FY2022 Capital Plan.

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WILMINGTON - With local farmers once cultivating one of the largest hops crops in the United States, many major brewers and beer makers long ago crowned the Town of Wilmington with the nickname of “Hop Town.”

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State Senator Barry Finegold (a Democrat who represents Tewksbury in the Second Essex and Middlesex District), Representative Natalie Higgins (D-Leominster), and Conrad Roy’s mother submitted testimony last week to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in support of Conrad’s Law (S.1032/H.164…

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MIDDLESEX - Officials from a Lowell-based addictions treatment center just recently sold a previously skeptical Reading public on the merits of moving a one-of-a-kind substance abuse recovery facility into a quiet residential neighborhood by the town’s public library.

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MIDDLESEX - A number Stonehamites and town officials believe a changing climate could worsen area flooding hazards, including by Montvale Avenue and within neighborhoods by various streams.

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STONEHAM - Nearly 20-years-ago now, an environmental attorney hired by a private citizen first argued the Town of Stoneham had achieved a 1.5 percent land mass "safe harbor" that protected the community from adverse Chapter 40B developments.

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With the project’s cost estimates ranging between $245 and $300 million, Northeast Metropolitan Technical High School officials’ ambitious proposal to erect a brand new three-story facility on a hillside opposite the existing vocational school might sound like a tough sell.

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Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that hit the United States last winter and remains a public safety crisis, officials canceled the 2020 Boston Marathon (and related events) and moved the 2021 Marathon to October. This means many people missed out on the excitement of either competing profe…

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On March 16, eight people including six women of Asian decent were shot and killed in three separate shooting incidents in Atlanta, Georgia, all by the same shooter. He has since been arrested and charged with eight counts of murder. The eight victims were Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Gran…

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Asa Sheldon probably did not know much of his father’s role in the American Revolution. Born five years after the end of the war, he knew little of his father, who died when Asa was 15.

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State education officials’ insistence on sticking to the rite of administering MCAS examinations to children for the 2020/2021 academic year continues to rankle already frustrated rank-and-file administrators and educators.

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Shayne and Megan Gaffney received quite the surprise when their daughter was born two years ago at Winchester Hospital with a medical condition called congenital cytomegalovirus, the leading viral cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in children. Now, the couple hopes to hel…

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MIDDLESEX - The transformation of Reading Center into a smart-growth district continued earlier this month after town officials approved a much downscaled redevelopment of the old Reading Chronicle property off Main Street.

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MIDDLESEX - Former State Rep. Tim O’Leary would spurn any hero references, but a recent review of his new whodunit novel could just as aptly be summarizing the Wakefield resident’s story since his disastrous political collapse back in the early 1990s.

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It’s been almost a year since the coronavirus reached American shores and in that time more than 400,000 died and millions more became infected. Even with multiple vaccines at the ready, COVID-19 cases continue to surge. This pandemic forced many businesses to either close or operate at a di…

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Tewksbury’s Police Department just added a new officer, though unlike most of the other ones this one walks on four legs (and barks).

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MIDDLESEX - Ever since Horace Mann established the roots of the state’s modern education system back in the mid-1800s, children across Massachusetts have eagerly anticipated New England’s infamous winter season in the hopes of getting a surprise day-off from school.

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MIDDLESEX EAST - He just couldn’t sleep. That’s the explanation of how a 27-year-old from Woburn managed to secure some 15,000 medical-grade and high-end fabric masks and launch a grassroots charity that donated every single one of them to area hospitals, businesses, and non-profits.

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Although 2020 has been a difficult year for so many, one family in Wilmington has much to be thankful for this year. After two years, Matthew and Kate Ertsos officially and legally became the adoptive parents of three young children: seven-year old Lily, five-year old Russell and two-year ol…