Friday, September 29, 2006

Warriors Lose To Reading, 24-13

The Wakefield Warriors lost to Reading on Friday Night 24-13. The game was played at 7:00 PM at Landrigan Field.

Matt Tyre (Senior) scored on a 25 yard TD pass from Derek Dettore and Bill Spang (Senior) scored on a eight yard run for the Warriors.

Jack Lee scored three touchdowns for Reading.

Matt Mackay (1 INT) played solid defense at the strong safety position while Nick Serino held up the Rockets passing game.

More information will follow.

Top Story - 9/29

Owners of Station Nightclub Sentenced
Left: A screenshot showing the beginning of the fire. The video was shot by Brian Butler, there, ironically, for a news story on nightclub safety. Source: Wikipedia.

The infamous Derderian brothers, Michael and Jeffrey were sentenced to 4 years in jail and 500 hours of community service respectively. In 2000, the Derderians installed a foam polyurethane to deaden sound. In February of 2003, the foam ignited during a concert involving indoor fireworks.

Jeffrey stated "There are many days I wish I didn't make it out of that bulding.....I know many of you would have liked if I had died too," refering to the pain he caused to the 100 people's who had died families that winter night in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

Source: Boston Globe

WHS Girls Soccer Winners Over Rival

The Wakefield High School girls soccer team blanked Melrose on Thursday 3-0. Rebecca Luciani, a junior, netted her third of the season in the first half while seniors Brittany Kelleher (3) and Ella Merullo (3) got goals in th second half. Sophomore Erin Jackson saved five shots while in goal. The Warriors next game is on Saturday in Burlington.

9/29 Sports Briefs

- The Boston Red Sox had a day off on Thursday. The Red Sox will face the Baltimore Orioles in a three game series to conclude the season. Tonight, reliever turned starter Julian Tavarez (4-4, 4.52 ERA) will face off against Orioles star Eric Bedard (15-10, 3.67 ERA).

- The New England Patriots injury report did not change at all on Thursday. The list of injuries is as follows:

Artrell Hawkins - Questionable
Ellis Hobbs - Questionable
Chad Jackson - Questionable
Nick Kazcur - Questionable
Eugene Wilson - Questionable
Tom Brady - Probable
Doug Gabriel - Probable
Matt Light - Probable
Ryan O'Callaghan - Probable

Sources (Boston Globe,
Images: (Niagara Falls University, [Owned by Glen Maganzini]

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Top Stories - September 28, 2006

WHS MCAS scores improve slightly

The 10th grade Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) results were released yesterday by the Massachusetts Department of Education, showing a slight improvement at Wakefield High School.

On the English exam, 79 percent of WHS 10th graders scored in either the “advanced/above proficient” or “proficient” categories. Sixteen percent scored in the “needs improvement” category. Five percent received a “warning/failing” score.

On the math exam, 74 percent of WHS sophomores scored either advanced/above proficient or proficient. Twenty-two percent scored under needs improvement and four percent received warning/failing grades.

The scores are up slightly from last year. In 2005, 78 percent of WHS sophomores received an advanced/above proficient or proficient in English and 74 percent received advanced/above proficient or proficient in math.

WHS sophomores fared better than the rest of the state. Statewide, 69 percent of 10th grade test takers scored advanced/above proficient or proficient on English. Twenty-four percent of grade 10 students statewide were classified as needing improvement and seven percent received warning/failing grades in English.

Parents reach $5 million settlement with hospital

The New Hampshire parents of a brain-damaged 5-year-old boy have reached a $5 million settlement with a doctor and nurse at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.

Michelle and Kendall Turner of Bedford claimed that critical mistakes were made during the delivery of their son, Dustin, in 2001. The Turners contend that Dustin should have been delivered by emergency C-section, and that if he had would not have sustained the severe cerebral palsy that left him unable to walk, talk or eat on his own.

A lawyer for Dr. Mitchell Zagor said his client agreed to settle the case through mediation, although the exact cause of Dustin’s brain damage was never determined. The settlement is believed to be one of the largest pretrial medical malpractice settlements in Massachusetts history.

Gang leader sentenced to life in witness killing

The leader of a North Shore gang was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for ordering the murder of a 19-year-old woman to stop her from talking to police about the gang's criminal activities.

Paul A. DeCologero, 47, was convicted in March for ordering the November 1996 killing of Aislin Silva.

Prosecutors said Silva ordered members of his gang, the "DeCologero Crew," to kill Silva after police found some guns her boyfriend, Stephen DiCenso, a member of the gang, had stored in her apartment. When DiCenso told DeCologero that Silva was nervous and would probably cooperate with police, he ordered her killed, according to testimony at his trial.

DeCologero, moments after listening to heart-wrenching statements from the teenager's mother, father and sister, gave a statement of his own, insisting he is innocent and blaming "corrupt" federal agents for his conviction.

"I never had anything to do with hurting Aislin, and my heart goes out to Aislin's family," he said. "I was denied the right to a fair trial."

Silva's father, Joe Silva, later dismissed DeCologero's remarks.

"Paul DeCologero just got life in prison -- what he deserves for what he did," Joe Silva said. "Everything coming out of him was just lies."

Cement storm delays trip home for thousands of kids

An explosion from a cement silo next to a Charlestown school bus yard dumped dust on one-third of Boston’s school bus fleet today, sending 61 school bus drivers to the hospital and delaying the trip home for thousands of Boston school children.

“As a result of this emergency, no school buses are leaving the Charlestown bus yard this afternoon,” said Michael Contompasis, interim superintendent of Boston Public Schools. “Therefore, BPS families should be prepared for significant delays in yellow bus transportation.”

The bus company said it would be impossible to compensate for the number of employees incapacitated by the explosion.

“We won’t have enough bus drivers to cover all our routes,” said Carey Paster, the president of First Student, the school bus company.

Late buses from around the city have been called in to help transport students home.

(Sources: Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Observer, Boston Globe, Boston Herald)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Top Stories - September 26, 2006

U.S. intelligence report: U.S. failure in Iraq would inspire terrorists elsewhere

WASHINGTON - A declassified government intelligence report says the war in Iraq has become a “cause celebre” for Islamic extremists, breeding deep resentment of the U.S. that is likely to get worse before it gets better.
In the bleak report, released yesterday on President Bush’s orders, the nation’s most veteran analysts conclude that despite serious damage to the leadership of al-Qaeda, the threat from Islamic extremists has spread both in numbers and in geographic reach.
“If this trend continues, threats to U.S. interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide,” the document says. “We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.”

Forum to address no-peanuts policy
Wakefield schools are starting off the new year with a new set of policies, including an allergy policy that bans peanuts and peanut-based products on school premises.
According to a Massachusetts Department of Education report, 6 to 8 percent of school-age children are affected by food allergies.
"We’re simply trying to protect the safety of all of the children," said Wakefield School Committee member Cheryl Ford at the committee’s Sept. 12 meeting. Ford put together a "frequently asked questions" list that addresses concerns about the allergy policy.
Ford and School Committee member Bill Chetwynd are working on tying the school’s allergy policy into an overall wellness plan.
"We have a great opportunity to be in the forefront of this whole movement," Ford said. "When you have students with airborne allergies, you have to be proactive."

McGrail is new light commissioner

Former Wakefield selectman and State Senator Stephen J. McGrail is the new member of the Municipal Gas and Light Commission. The Board of Selectmen and the Light Commissioners met in joint session last night to appoint a new Commissioner to fill the unexpired term of Eugene J. Sullivan Jr. Sullivan recently resigned to accept the position of MGLD Financial Assistant, succeeding William Connelly, who retired.
McGrail received seven votes during last night’s joint meeting, more than any of the other five local individuals who also sought to fill the vacant position.
McGrail will hold the office until next April, at which time he may run for election.

Cardinal laughing all the way to the blog

He has spiced his entries with ‘‘lol,’’ Internet slang for ‘‘laughing out loud,’’ posted snapshots of himself pointing at a roadside pizza stand and checking his cellphone for voice mail, and written about the warm soda he downed in an Italian restaurant.
Launching his new blog on a trip to Rome, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley sounds at times more like a college student on his first trip to Europe than a prince of the Church. Jokey and informal, the archbishop of Boston is trying his best to reach out to a generation of Catholics hooked on e-mail, instant messaging, and MySpace.
Catholics and blog specialists are taking notice, offering praise for a blog they say is surprisingly readable.
Looking and sounding like any tourist on a budget, O’Malley’s blog shows him wandering about Rome, marveling at marble statuary, browsing through kiosks, posing for photos with friends, and giving shout-outs to his family members. Since he launched the website last week, he has received 9,000 visitors, 65,585 page views, and scores of comments.

(Sources: Boston Herald, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Observer, Boston Globe)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Top Stories - September 19, 2006

Deval Patrick walks away with a win

Crack open the history books, Deval Patrick has captured the Democratic nomination for governor.
Patrick is now the first African American to win a major party’s nomination for the corner office.
With results pouring in from all over the state, Patrick’s grassroots campaign has taken root and Attorney General Tom Reilly just conceded the race.
Early results showed Patrick taking the lead: With 17 percent of the precincts reporting, Patrick was shown with 48 percent, or 85,382 votes. Chris Gabrieli was shown with 29 percent, or 52,314 votes, while Reilly trailed the pack with 23 percent, or 40,559 votes.

Developing story:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christopher Gabrieli is giving a concession speech in which he said that he told Deval Patrick he will work diligently on his behalf in the general election. But he scolded GOP nominee Kerry Healey for running negative ads against him in the waning days of the campaign that criticized his support of stem cell research. "Tonight, this campaign ends, but its spirit lives on," he said. Attorney General Thomas Reilly, a candidate in the same race, conceded earlier. Timothy P. Murray, 38, the three-term mayor of Worcester, has been nominated as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.

Early voter turnout is fairly strong

Poll workers around Wakefield were happy about the healthy amount of voters who turned out for today’s primary election so far this morning.
At 9:15 a.m., 109 votes were cast in Precinct 5 and 121 were cast in Precinct 6. Voters from both precincts voted at the West Side Social Club on Harrington Court.
Meanwhile, at the Masonic Temple on Salem Street, 143 votes were cast from Precinct 7 at 9:45 a.m., while 132 were cast from Precinct 1 at the same time.
A complete count of town votes will appear in tomorrow’s Item.
Among the voters at the West Side Social Club was School Committee member Anthony Guardia, who stressed the importance of voting while he was there. Guardia has been an open supporter of Sean Grant, a Saugus Democrat who is running for State Representative in the Ninth Essex District, which includes Precincts 1, 2 and 7 in Wakefield.
At the Masonic Temple, Vin Falzone, the father of Mark Falzone, the current State Representative of the Ninth Essex District, was on hand to support his son. Vin Falzone says he holds signs for his favorite candidates at the Masonic Temple during every election.
“I guess it’s tradition,” Falzone said.

Family sues furniture store saying it let the bedbugs bite

A “devastated” Randolph family has brought a $500,000 federal lawsuit against Bob’s Discount Furniture, claiming a teen sleep set they purchased from the zany retailer infested their home with bloodsucking bedbugs.
“I had to literally get rid of everything - clothes, the TV, keepsakes, my wedding gown,” a teary newlywed Yvette Downey, 39, told the Herald.
“Right now, I’m living out of green garbage bags,” Downey said. “We were sleeping on the kitchen floor. No one wanted us to bring the bedbugs to their house.”
Downey credited Bob’s with refunding her $698. The Connecticut-based chain store also had her home decontaminated after confirming the wood bed was “infested with bedbugs,” according to her product liability suit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston.
But Robert “Bob” Kaufman, the company’s president and celebrity pitchman, cautioned, “We are customer-oriented, so don’t confuse reaction with responsibility.
“My heart goes out to these people,” he said yesterday. “I’m sure it’s a terrifying, ugly situation. But to say we’re responsible for it, that’s a stretch. I’d be out of business if we delivered buggy furniture.”

(Sources: Boston Herald, Wakefield Daily Item, Boston Globe)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Interesting little items...

Found this story in the Boston Herald:

School may nix dances after grope
Framingham educators may abolish school dances after a man allegedly snuck into an event a week ago and sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl on the dance floor.
"We got duped," said Framingham High Principal Michael Welch.
Now the music may stop.
Servulo Filho, 23, apparently used a student ID to gain entry to last Saturday's dance, then allegedly groped the girl in the cafeteria. Filho has been charged with indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or more.
The incident is prompting school staff to weigh whether the benefits of the dances - raising money, promoting school spirit - are worth the headaches of trying to control bad behavior and ensuring security.
"What are we getting out of this?" Welch said. "We're having a hard time seeing what we're going to accomplish."
The school will not cancel the prom, homecoming, or other semi-formal and formal events, because students tend to behave better when they're "all dressed up," Welch said.
He said he will discuss the future of the dances with the student government when it meets again.

I don't think it looks good for non-formal dances at Framingham High, though I'm sure the "student government" will argue to keep them. Question is, will Wakefield High find out about this, and nix dances as well?

Also, while talking to Chris Morrill, I learned, to my suprise, that the Drama Club met Sunday to read-through their upcoming play A Flea in Her Ear. More info here:

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Top Stories - September 14, 2006

Religious ruminations

If you didn’t know it was there, the existence and location of Temple Emmanuel may be a mystery to some Wakefield residents. But in fact the former Yuell family estate at 120 Chestnut Street has been the Conservative synagogue’s permanent home since 1951, and a number of rabbis have served as Emmanuel’s spiritual leader since the temple received its official charter in 1947 with 22 original family members.
Extensive renovations were made to the Yuell estate to accommodate the needs of the now warm and welcoming house of worship. During this time and toward these efforts, Protestant churches in town donated money to the building fund and offered space in their churches for services. In 1964, Temple Emmanuel became an official member of the Wakefield Council of Churches.
After the retirement of Rabbi Baruch Goldstein - its first and only full-time leader - in the 1970s, Emmanuel has seen a number of part-time rabbis come and go. But because the roots of the temple go back to 1895 when the first Jewish family settled in Wakefield - and was the first to be part of Congregation Agudus Achim, "a company of brothers" organized in 1915 - the modern-day congregation is almost sure to continue growing and worshipping at this site.
To that end, Rabbi Mark Newton has led the congregation for the past year. A full-time genealogist and graduate of Georgetown University and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical School in Philadelphia, Newton, 49, has lived in Dorchester’s Ashmont Hill since 1993. However, he can trace his family’s Irish Catholic roots 350 years back to this diverse Boston neighborhood.
Not Jewish by birth, Newton was struck by the content of a class on Judaism he took in his freshman year at Georgetown in 1975 and has chosen to continue along this spiritual path ever since.
"I was always a maverick," he said from the temple library last Shabbat (Saturday) afternoon. Fluent in five languages including Hebrew, German, French, Dutch and Aramaic, the religious scholar said while he benefited from the structure and discipline of Catholicism, especially its role in inspiring him to appreciate the importance of religion in general, he didn’t believe in it and came to Georgetown looking for a spiritual home.
"I was thunderstruck by the Judaism 101 course I took," he said. And while he said he still feels fully Irish, and a smattering of other ethnicities to which he is heir, Newton said he has long felt more at home with the rituals, history, traditions and critical thinking he encountered in the study and practice of Judaism.

Health agent draws selectmen’s ire

Wakefield’s Health Agent Peter Gray came under fire at this week’s selectmen’s meeting as board members criticized Gray’s response to two separate requests for assistance from local citizens.
In the first complaint, the board received a three-page letter from Marisa Courtois of Evergreen Estates at 252 Albion St. Courtois states in her letter that a sewer pipe that flows out to Albion Street broke in February, 2006 and was repaired by the DPW. “On May 15, 2006,” Courtois wrote, “with the heavy rains this pipe burst, sending a fountain of raw sewerage into the air filling the brook, then overflowing the detention pond behind 252 Albion Street.”
In a matter of hours, Courtois claims in her letter, she was looking at one big pond. “The worst part was,” Courtois wrote, “as the water subsided the toilet paper and black sludge that had surfaced onto the rocks and driveway dried and the smell got stronger.”

AG: Boston-area firm to be searched in HP pretexting probe

SAN FRANCISCO --Investigators plan to search the Boston-area offices of a private investigation firm involved in the Hewlett-Packard Co. spying scandal, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said Thursday.
Lockyer told The Associated Press that he is working with Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly in the investigation of Security Outsourcing Solutions, a small firm believed to have aided HP in its possibly illegal probe to root out media leaks in its ranks.
"He's assisting in getting our search warrants served on that firm so that we can fully examine their records," Lockyer said.
He said the firm's Needham, Mass., offices will likely be searched early next week, but he has not decided whether the firm broke any laws.
"I would like to see the results of the search warrant before having a settled opinion on that," Lockyer said.

Down the drain -- Turmoil takes toll on Brady

FOXBORO -- As long as Tom Brady plays, he’ll probably never share an on-field bond as strong as the one that linked him to Deion Branch.
That’s what makes the following so strange: Perhaps no one benefits more from Branch’s departure than Brady himself.
The Patriots quarterback yesterday made his first public comments on Monday’s trade that sent Branch to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2007 first-round draft pick. He readily admitted the uncertainty surrounding his friend had become a distraction that now - for better or worse - is lifted.
“I think everyone wanted Deion here. Certainly myself, knowing what kind of person and player he is,” Brady said. “I speak for myself when I say that I’m a very emotional person and over the last four or five months, it’s been draining. At least now I feel like I can move on.”
That drain took its toll on the field, particularly earlier this week, when Brady had one of the least-productive games of his career, completing just 11-of-23 passes for 163 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 19-17 comeback victory over the Buffalo Bills.

(Sources: Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield Observer, Boston Globe, Boston Herald)

Étudiant, Spin/Outlook news


The school paper is being revamped, according to its advisors, Ms. Schilling and Ms. Tinker. Apparently, Chris and I aren't the only ones who didn't like the direction The Spin was going. Among the reported changes (according to Chris, who recently talked with the advisors...and showed them a little website he and a friend made)...

-The name. Hence, the end of "The Spin". Perhaps because "spin" isn't exactly a good thing in journalism? We'll see.

-The newspaper will be less of a soapbox and more of a...surprise...newspaper. Get this: positions. Students will help edit the paper (not just Ms. Schilling and Ms. Tinker). The title, "writer" will actually signify that yes, you're in the club.

-More issues per school year! More newspaper goodness! More eight-dollar movie tickets I have to pay for!

And you know what the best part is? Chris and I are going to help fix things up. In the near future, we will meet with Ms. Schilling and Ms. Tinker, to talk about newspapers and newsblogs, and all sorts of goodies.

Now, the three people reading right now may be asking themselves, "What does all this have to do with this blog?" Well, believe it or not, teachers know about it. Hell, even Ms. Freedman's seen it. And they like what they see. They like it enough, they're willing to help us recruit writers. Ms. Chase has suggested I speak to her classes...

I would personally love for there to be some school paper/Étudiant "synergy", though I also would like the Étudiant to remain independent (i.e. no censorship). If we could share writers/articles however, that would be wonderful.

More details as they arrive...


There was a short meeting between myself, Chris Morrill, Ms. Schilling, and Ms. Tinker today.

  • We discussed the Étudiant, which the teachers agree should remain independent of the school, but the school still seems willing to "promote" the blog, i.e. help us get more writers.
  • Chris and I will also make posters to recruit newspaper writers, help create an online version of the school paper, and...get this...we get to re-name the damn thing.
  • Writing an article might, MIGHT, get you extra credit. Maybe. Perhaps.
  • The first issue of the year should be out at the tail end of October.

After much discussion (and even arguing), Chris and I have settled on The New Outlook for a name...though it'll eventually be shortened to just The Outlook. Chris has also made plenty of fliers, which we'll copy and post all over the school, and you can expect something in the announcements, too. Cool beans. Click to enlarge:

I'll throw in a flier of my own as well; after some finishing touches, I'll post it. These are gonna be all over the school, but you saw it here first!

And assuming we get a good turnout at the Outlook meeting...can you say new Étudiant writers?


Chris and I met with Ms. Tinker today. She revealed that there will be six issues this year, and that those who show up to the Thursday meeting for the paper will actually vote on the title, along with former writers. Apparently, Chris jumped the gun in announcing a name change to the school. Crazy kid.


Today we had that meeting. We got a good turnout, and we had some good discussions about potential changes. Expect the new, official name of the paper to be decided soon. I suggested section headings. Chris suggested newsprint. Exciting stuff.

Some Étudiant news today as well. The amazing Glen Maganzini, who attended the Spin meeting, has offered to advertise this blog at his website, New England Sports News. He (along with the other attendees) also expressed interest in contributing to the Étudiant. Chris has also considered putting out a monthly print edition of the Étudiant.

Finally, the first issue of Spin/whatever the hell the name of this paper's gonna be, will be out on October 30th. And yes, my movie reviews will be back...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bomb scare at Shaw's


The Wakefield Shaw's and its parking lot has been evacuated, and a member of the bomb squad has examined a suspicious package. He has since come outside, but at the moment, no word on if the place is safe. Shaw's is currently closed. More details as they arrive.
(Source: NBC Channel 7 Boston)


Shaw's is back up and running, and the whole town is talking about the bomb scare. Shaw's is talking to its employees about the incident, according to student/Shaw's employees. More details as they arrive...

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Top Stories - September 6, 2006

Left: Jihad Chankhour

Sigh. The school year has started. Hence, the recent lack of updates: I've been focusing on last-minute summer assignments. Of course, there would be many more updates here if only we had MORE CONTRIBUTORS! If you're interested in writing for this site, do what's right and e-mail me or Chris!

You've heard most school news. You've heard the announcements, and you can read them here. However, today, we have an update on the Graveside murder.

Trial of WHS grads’ alleged killers scheduled for Aug. 2007

New details have been revealed about the December 2005 murder of four men - three of whom were from or had ties to Wakefield - in a Dorchester basement recording studio.
Speaking at the Aug. 22 Superior Court arraignments of Dorchester residents and murder suspects Calvin Carnes, 19, and Robert Turner, 19, Assistant District Attorney David Meier said one suspect fired a total of 15 bullets into the victims, and that his accomplice actively participated in the duo’s efforts to evade detection, soliciting various individuals to assist in fabricating an alibi before giving an incriminating statement to police.
While no information on a motive for the murders has been released, Attorney Meier pointed to a wealth of forensic, eyewitness and circumstantial evidence indicating that Carnes "intentionally and in cold blood executed" Jason Bachiller, 21, Jihad Chankhour, 22, Christopher Vieira, 19, and Edwin Duncan, 21, in the basement of Duncan’s 43 Bourneside Street home on the night of Dec. 13, 2005.

(Source: Wakefield Observer)

And here's some more top stories of the day.

Former Comverse CEO located

Comverse’s fugitive ex-Chairman and CEO Jacob (a.k.a. Kobi) Alexander has been located in a fishing village in Sri Lanka and may be close to turning himself in to the FBI, the Web site reported Aug. 25.
It was initially believed that Alexander had fled to Israel because he holds dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship. But as the Israeli newspaperMaariv reported last week, Israeli private investigator Moshe Buller traced a one-minute Internet phone call Alexander made from the fishing village to his daughter in Israel.
In an interview with the Israeli Web site Ynet, Buller said the lawyer representing Alexander had spent the week of Aug. 21 at the FBI office in New York and was apparently working out a deal. There was no confirmation of the story and calls to the FBI press office were not returned by press time.

North Ave. is the most dangerous for drivers

The Wakefield Police Department has released motor vehicle accident statistics from July 1, 2005 to Aug. 29, 2006 and the results could surprise you. In all there were 152 accidents on local roadways last year.
Wakefield Police Traffic Officer Lt. Mark Pherson says the area with the highest amount of car accidents is most likely the Route 129 rotary. However, accident statistics on the rotary are unavailable because most of the calls on the state road are handled by State Police, who said they are unable to release such statistics. To make matters more complicated, part of the rotary lies in Reading, while the rest is located in Wakefield.
Besides the rotary, the roads with the highest number of recorded crashes are North Avenue, Main Street, Water Street, Salem Street and Chestnut Street.
According to the statistics, Wakefield Police responded to more motor vehicle accidents at the corner of Chestnut Street and North Avenue than any other intersection in town with 10 accidents recorded since July 2005.
Lt. Pherson says the lack of a traffic light at the Chestnut Street/North Avenue intersection could be a reason for the high number of crashes.

Boston's Hancock Tower, others for sale

A Boston-based real estate investment firm said Wednesday it is putting up for sale a portfolio of 10 buildings in four cities, including Boston's John Hancock Tower, a sleek skyscraper that rises 60 stories and is New England's tallest building.
With nearly 1.8 million square feet, the Hancock Tower is the largest of the properties in an investment portfolio of high-end commercial property that Beacon Capital Partners is offering for sale.
The sale also includes buildings in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Denver, the firm said in a prepared statement. The buildings -- most of which range in size from 200,000 square feet to 900,000 -- make up one of four of the firm's portfolios of commercial properties.

(Sources: Wakefield Observer, Wakefield Item, Boston Globe)

Monday, September 4, 2006

Australian 'crocodile hunter' Steve Irwin killed by stingray

by Marc Lavine
Mon Sep 4, 3:19 AM ET

World-renowned Australian "crocodile hunter" and television environmentalist Steve Irwin has been killed by a stingray on the famed Great Barrier Reef, police said.

The iconic Irwin, 44, known for his enthusiastic handling of even the deadliest of wildlife, was killed when a stingray barb punctured his chest during the filming of an underwater documentary off the coast of the northeastern Australian state of Queensland.

"It is believed that Mr Irwin collapsed after being stung by a stingray at Batt Reef off Port Douglas at about 11:00 am (0100 GMT). He had been filming a documentary," a statement from the Queensland Police Service said.

"After being stung by a stingray, his crew called for medical treatment and the Queensland medical helicopter responded, however Mr Irwin had died," the statement added.

Stingrays have several sharp and highly toxic barbs on their tails that they use to defend themselves when they feel threatened.

"(They) are also like a bayonet, like a bayonet on a rifle," Australian wildlife filmmaker David Ireland said. "If it hits any vital organs it's as deadly as a bayonet."

Ambulance service officials said Irwin had suffered a puncture wound to the left side of his chest and he was immediately pronounced dead.

Police said the larger-than-life Irwin's family had been informed of his death. Irwin was married to US-born Terri Irwin and the couple had two children aged eight and three. Irwin's widow was informed of his death while hiking in Tasmania, police said.

The garrulous animal-lover's rallying cry of "crikey" when faced with a crocodile, snake or ferocious-looking spider, made him an Australian icon across the world.

His "Crocodile Hunter" show, in which the tousle-haired adventurer appeared in his trademark khaki shorts and shirt, was first broadcast in 1992 and has been shown around the world on the Discovery cable network ever since.

His outspoken persona became so popular that he won a cameo role in a Hollywood movie, "Dr Dolittle 2," starring US comic actor Eddie Murphy.

Irwin, who was born in the southern Australian city of Melbourne, was raised in Queensland by parents who owned small reptile park that he would eventually take over.

The young Irwin became a crocodile trapper, ridding residential areas of their reptilian threats for a fee.

Irwin's fearless approach to the animal kingdom however provoked international outrage when he involved his infant son in one of his death-defying antics.

In early 2004, he fed a four-metre (13-foot) crocodile with one hand while clutching his baby son Bob in the other during a show at his Australia Zoo reptile park on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland state.

But Irwin was unrepentant when confronted about the incident in an interview. "What I would do differently is I would make sure there were no cameras around," he said.

"I will continue to educate my children and the children of the world so they don't go into the water with crocs."

Australia immediately mourned the loss of one of its best-known sons, with shocked radio listeners and television viewers calling in to express their grief and disbelief.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who used a photograph of his family at Irwin's zoo on his official Christmas card last year, praised Irwin, who has appeared in public service announcements and worldwide events aimed at promoting Australian tourism.

"The minister knew him, was fond of him and was very, very appreciative of all the work he'd done to promote Australia overseas," a spokesman said.

And Queensland's Tourism Minister Margaret Keech summed up Australia's reaction to Irwin's sudden death.

"He's done so much for Australia and he'll be missed by the entire world," she told Sky television.