, Salem, MA

Local News

December 31, 2013

Tragedy and hope in 2013

Top stories of the year a mix of highs and lows


Angie Miller scores big on ‘Idol’

Angie Miller’s ascent on “American Idol” captivated local viewers and introduced the 19-year-old singing phenom and Beverly High graduate to an audience of millions. She made it to the popular talent show’s top three before being eliminated.

Throughout her run, Miller earned accolades from the judges for her performances of hit songs — including the rendition of “I’ll Stand by You” she dedicated to Boston in the aftermath of the city’s marathon bombing — as well as her own piano-backed compositions.

Miller’s success brought her and her potential music career a great deal of visibility; it also brought Beverly itself before a national spotlight when the show made an emotional visit in early May, during which Miller performed for a crowd of 15,000 at her old high school.

The Essex Street resident turned down three college scholarships in favor of auditioning for “American Idol.” Her achievements are all the more pronounced given she suffers from hearing loss in both ears.

Brimbal Avenue plan sparks controversy

A transportation project that had been in the planning stages for years suddenly became the No. 1 topic in Beverly, drawing packed public hearings and sparking a rare upcoming special election.

The Brimbal Avenue interchange project is a multimillion 2-phase plan to improve traffic around Brimbal Avenue and Route 128 and open up hundreds of acres of land to potential development.

Mayor Bill Scanlon has touted the project as one of the keys to the city’s future because of its ability to generate property taxes that will pay for city services.

But Scanlon, who had been working on the plans for more than a decade, was caught off-guard by the vehement opposition of neighbors, who called the project oversized and said it will destroy the area’s quality of life.

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