, Salem, MA

Local News

December 31, 2013

Tragedy and hope in 2013

Top stories of the year a mix of highs and lows


Chism had moved with his mother to Danversport from Tennessee during a contentious divorce. But if there were signs of trouble, no one so far has admitted to having seen them. Chism is currently being held without bail in a Department of Youth Services facility, awaiting trial as an adult on the murder charge and as a youthful offender on the rape and robbery counts.

Ritzer’s family, friends and colleagues have struggled to cope, seeking ways to honor her memory, including establishing a scholarship fund in her name. Earlier this month, a pink star was hung on the Danvers Christmas tree. Last week, residents along Dascomb Road in Ritzer’s hometown of Andover tied bright pink ribbons to their mailboxes in tribute to the teacher.

Upsets mark Salem city election

The November city election produced dramatic changes on both the City Council and School Committee.

In what may have been the biggest upset, Heather Famico, a 27-year-old teacher, soundly defeated longtime Ward 2 Councilor Mike Sosnowski, whose name had been mentioned as a future mayoral hopeful.

Beth Gerard’s upset of Paul Prevey in the Ward 6 council race was just as stunning, although this one had to go to a recount. In another shocker, newcomer Elaine Milo finished first in the councilor-at-large field. The three women, all first-time candidates, will join a formerly all-male City Council next month.

In other races, newcomer David Eppley won the open Ward 4 seat, and Ward 1 Councilor Bob McCarthy beat back a challenge by former Councilor Steve Pinto. Council President Jerry Ryan failed in his attempt to move from a ward to an at-large seat.

Over at the School Committee, Rachel Hunt, the head of school at Salem Academy Charter School, and Patrick Schultz, the owner of Howling Wolf Taqueria and a former educator, won seats on the school board in their first runs for office. Hunt topped the ticket.

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