Personalities dominated 2012 on the North Shore, some for good, some for ill and some for the last time.
Leading was March’s tragic shooting sparked by one man’s alleged relationship with another’s wife. A Beverly patrolman was shot and seriously injured, while his attacker, a Hamilton sergeant, later fatally shot himself.
A woman accused of setting her Salem Heights apartment building on fire after dousing her two young children with lighter fluid and slashing their throats in March left rescue personnel stunned and speechless. Fortunately, the youngsters survived.
The unexpected death in November of Peabody state Rep. Joyce Spiliotis, after two decades of elected public service, brought a different kind of shock and sadness.
A little of the magic in downtown Beverly disappeared following the decision in September to end Le Grand David at the Cabot Street Cinema Theatre after 36 years. The death of founder Cesareo Pelaez in March had much to do with that.
But it wasn’t all bad news. Yes, Majority Leader Fred Berry has retired from the state Senate after 30 years. But he’ll still be available for a quip. (It was Berry, after all, who once described former Gov. Mitt Romney as getting so angry his hair moved.)
Newly elected in Berry’s place is former Salem City Councilor Joan Lovely.
Reports of his political demise having been grossly exaggerated, Congressman John Tierney shook off the taint surrounding his wife’s felony conviction by beating Republican challenger Richard Tisei.
Have a look at the big picture, and trends seem even better, with Footprint purchasing the Salem power plant, Beverly Hospital affiliating with the Lahey Clinic and the archdiocese offering a plan to deal with the shortage of priests.
Anyway, hope is what new years are for.
Officer shoots cop, self
In the early evening of Feb. 24, Hamilton police Sgt. Kenneth Nagy shot and seriously injured Beverly police officer Jason Lantych outside Starbucks in North Beverly, then returned to the scene five hours later and killed himself with a single gunshot to the head.