7 Stories That Shaped Our Year
Take a look at the biggest stories of North Andover in 2012.
Today, 2012 ends. So we're looking back at the past year at the stories that made us laugh, cry and say "What the...?"
Here are 7 stories that shaped our year.
1. Moderator Madness
At the start of the year, not many people would have guessed that the biggest local election race would be for town moderator. Then enters Mark DiSalvo into the race. DiSalvo, who has helped Democratic campaigns at various levels of government, ignited a firestorm among his detractors in town. The North Andover Town Republican Party endorsed Frank MacMillan Jr. Then Charlie Salisbury, a Republican, also endorsed MacMillan. Despite these high-profile endorsements, DiSalvo defeated MacMillan and former Finance Committee member Ramsey Bahrawy, taking more than 50 percent of the vote in the three-way race.
2. Unofficial Mayor
When Patch announced its "Unofficial Mayor of North Andover" contest in the spring, nominations started trickling in. Then things really took off. In the end, about 16,000 people voted and Stachey's Pizza owner Terry Holland was named Unofficial Mayor of North Andover. Holland was "inaugurated" at the annual Sheep Shearing Festival.
3. Town Meeting
In June, North Andover held its first Town Meeting with Andrew Maylor as town manager and Mark DiSalvo as town moderator. Town Meeting proved to be contentious between the Finance Committee and Maylor. Residents voted to keep the CPA tax, establish a new capital stabilization fund and reject a both Route 125 sewer design plan and a 4.3 million energy savings project.
4. Veteran Violence
In July, two young veterans were charged with committing shocking violent crimes on the same day in North Andover.
Afghanistan War veteran Joseph Costello allegedly walked into Citizens Bank in North Andover and demanded money, saying he had explosives. He is also accused of committing similar robberies in Salem, N.H., Chelmsford and North Reading. At his arraignment, Costello told the judge he suffered from PTSD and drug addiction.
Iraq War veteran Phillip Brooks was charged with assaulting senior citizens at the Veterans of Foreign Wars in North Andover during his own wedding reception. Brooks' attorney told the judge his client suffers with mental illness and substance abuse.
5. National Night Out
This year, National Night Out saw a huge crowd -- some estimates have it between 4,000 and 5,000 people. The annual event, in cooperation with the North Andover Police Department and CrimeWatch, has become a huge attraction in town.
6. Hurricane Sandy
As Halloween approached and we thought we were out of hurricane season, nature had other ideas. Hurricane Sandy barrelled up the east coast and caused unimaginable devastation. Many North Andover people pitched in to help the families impacted by the storm, including Turtle Lane Maple Farm which collected a truck full of items for families in New York.
7. Election 2012
It was a huge year in politics. State Rep. David Torrisi was ousted in the Democratic primary by Diana DiZoglio (who later won the general election), State Rep. Jim Lyons defeated Barbara L'Italien for a second time, Elizabeth Warren defeated Sen. Scott Brown and President Barack Obama was elected to a second term.