Morrissey retailer to close doors

National Wholesale Liquidators, the discount retailer that specializes in a no-frills shopping experience, will close its Morrissey Boulevard store in the new year. The company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 10 and has been seeking a buyer since 2006, according to published reports.  Read more

Mattapan leaders plan to seek Main Streets designation

In a time of looming economic gloominess, a number of Mattapan business owners are banding together in hopes of winning a city-designated Main Streets district in the new year. Advocates for the idea have set up a working committee to lobby for the city's support for a Mattapan designation. The group met last Tuesday to discuss the pros and cons.  Read more

Bank robber strikes out twice, gets 100 months

Guns and masks and getaway cars are not required for a stiff sentence for bank robbery. Prosecutors told a U.S. District judge that on July 10, Scott F. Backus, 46, of Dorchester, passed a note demanding money to Citizens Bank employee in downtown Boston. When the employee didn't immediately respond, Backus backed out and walked to a second Citizen's Bank and repeated the process. Again he got cold feet and walked out, but this time he ran smack into federal agents who had just left the first bank to answer the call at the second bank.  Read more

Dot's Eagles contemplate flying the Pop Warner nest ; Coach: Adult attacked player to set off Disney brawl

It has been a hectic week for the Dorchester Pop Warner Eagles organization. What was supposed to be a time of fun and - potentially - glory at the Pop Warner National Championship tournament in Florida turned into a nightmare after members of Dorchester's midget squad were involved in a brawl at a Disney World hotel with a rival team from Rhode Island. The fight resulted in a tough disciplinary crackdown by the national Pop Warner board, which has barred all levels of the Dorchester league from participating in post-season competition for the next three years.  Read more

He's only four, but Alexander has a big need

Alexander Phan, 4, reads with his father Steve Phan. The youngser is suffering from a rare disease and needs a bone marrow transplant. A donor drive is set for this Saturday at St. Mark's Church. Photo by Rochelle Ballin.

For a four year old, Alexander Phan is extremely intelligent. When he isn't playing with his 19-month old sister Kayla or his six-year-old brother Peter, he is sitting at the wooden table by the door of his family's apartment, writing.  Read more

Eyewitness Christmas: Tellin' it how it was

Editor's note: Tony, an angel, visits earth fairly often now because there is a lot for him to do here. He dictated this article to an old friend of ours, Ed Madden, about 13 years ago, while he was still with us. He says they are still engaging in a bit of deviltry, and enjoying every heavenly minute of it. By Tony, an Angel

I don't really know how I got picked for the job of going down to Bethlehem that night. It certainly wasn't my great singing voice. You folks think all angels are born singers, but we're not.

 Read more

Richie to head governor's political team

Dorchester's Charlotte Golar Richie, a top government relations adviser to Gov. Deval Patrick, is leaving the administration to helm Patrick's political operation, according to sources familiar with the change.

A former lawmaker and housing chief in Boston, Richie joined Patrick as senior director of federal, state and community affairs in July 2007, as the administration was recovering from early difficulties.  Read more

Former Tuttle Street resident charged in January murder

After an 11-month investigation, a Suffolk County grand jury this week indicted a Dorchester man in the fatal stabbing of a young Roxbury hair stylist. Steven Odegard, 41, was charged with the first-degree murder of Daniel Yakovleff, who was found stabbed on Jan. 17 in Odegard's third floor apartment at 56 Tuttle St.  Read more

Family apologizes for phony cancer fundraiser

A 24 year-old local man who claimed he was dying of cancer last summer faked it, according to an account reported by Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker last week. In his Friday column, headlined "Lying for love," Walker told readers that he too was duped when he wrote a sympathetic piece about Jake Severino last summer, just before a fundraiser was held to benefit him at Florian Hall. The Reporter also published a brief news item before the Sept. 11 "time" in our Sept. 4 edition.  Read more

Face slasher gets decade behind bars

Dorchester's Steven Banks, 48, was sentenced last Friday to nine to 10 years in prison for slashing the face of his former girlfriend's former boyfriend. According to evidence and testimony introduced at the trial, the love triangle met on Hopkins Street, Nov. 13, 2007. When the woman introduced her former boyfriend to Banks as "one of my oldest and dearest friends," Banks said, " I don't shake hands." After a "discussion" Banks slashed the victim's face from ear to chin and took off in a motor vehicle. The knife was later found by police in Banks' possession.  Read more

Feeney appoints 'fact-finder' on Turner council role

Council President Maureen Feeney appointed former Chief Magistrate Judge Charles B. Swartwood III this week as an independent fact finder to advise the council on whether District 7 Councillor Chuck Turner is fit to serve on the council.

"He began his work yesterday," said Feeney's chief of staff Justin Holmes. "It isn't to find guilt or innocence, it is a question of qualification."  Read more

Foreclosure activity nationally drops to June levels

The number of American homeowners dragged into the housing crisis fell last month to the lowest level since June as new state laws lengthened the foreclosure process, RealtyTrac reported last Thursday.

"We're going to have a pretty significant spike in January,'' said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's vice president for marketing. Plus, as job losses mount, "increases in foreclosure activity follow that pretty directly,'' he added.  Read more

DCR floats 'disc golf' idea for Pope John Paul II Park

A rough sketch that was passed around this month's Neponset Greenway Council meeting has some devotees of the flying disc flying high.

Drawn up by an intern at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, according to sources who were there, the sketch envisioned a nine-hole disc golf course in a lesser-used section of the Pope John Paul II Park.

"It's just an idea at this point," said Wendy Fox, spokesperson for the DCR. "We're just looking at it."  Read more

Nuestra CDC begins its fight against blight

On the Roxbury-Dorchester border around Quincy and Dacia streets, the battle to stem blight caused by foreclosed and empty properties has begun. Nuestra Community Development Corporation acquired its first foreclosed three-decker at 21 Dacia, just inside the Dorchester border and right in the middle of one of three "Foreclosure Intervention Team" priority areas chosen by the city.

"We need to buy one building every month or two," said Nuestra director David Price this week.  Read more

Health commission votes to ban cigar, hookah bars

The Boston Public Health Commission voted last Thursday to extinguish cigar bars and hookah bars and end the sales of tobacco in pharmacies and on college campuses, giving Boston some of the toughest anti-tobacco rules in the nation.

The panel, however, decided to give the bars 10 years before they would have to close, doubling the original proposed grace period for the establishments.

Boston is the largest city, by far, to move to outlaw smoking bars, which have been exempt from the city's four-year-old workplace smoking ban.  Read more

Outrage over T's trolley tree cuts

The remains of two mature trees and a stand of bushes along the Neponset Greenway. Photo by Pete Stidman.

Many users and neighbors of the Mattapan High Speed Line were horrified last week at what they called a total clear-cutting of all vegetation anywhere near the line's tracks.  Read more

MWRA 'still open' to talks on odor facility

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority this week said it is still open to negotiations on a tense standoff over the design of an "odor control" facility on Columbia Point, but Joseph J. Corcoran - whose company plans a billion-dollar development next door - is sticking to his guns, saying Corcoran Jennison Cos. should not have to pay an extra dime to make sure the neighborhood isn't impacted by fumes.  Read more

Wilkerson enters 'not guilty' plea in federal court

"Not guilty, your honor."

Those words, said firmly and confidently, made up former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson's first public comments since she was ushered out of her Senate office by her sons and family friends, after formally resigning on Nov. 19.

Before an audience in the jury box comprised of visiting prosecutors, judges and defense attorneys from Macedonia, Wilkerson pleaded not guilty during her arraignment on Monday in U.S. District Court in Boston, kicking off what could be a long legal fight for the Roxbury Democrat. Her next court date is Jan. 22.  Read more

Council hopeful cited for stickers

Complaints from civic leaders about candidate Doug Bennett's bumper stickers - plastered on public equipment all over Dorchester in recent weeks - have resulted in a fine from the city's inspectional services department. This sticker was one of two improperly displayed at the intersection of Columbia Road and Dorchester Ave. this week.  Read more

Will Staff Sgt. Lynch be coming home soon?

William Lynch, pictured in 1937 after joining the Marines.

The somber bugle's "Taps" echoed through the streets as the Lynch family and the Dorchester neighborhood memorialized their fallen son.

Despite being less than five, Judy Armour vividly remembers the 1950s ceremony honoring her uncle William Joseph Lynch for his service as a Marine in World War II. Armour and her family sat on a stage erected for the event. Mayor John Hynes attended and had a few words to say.  Read more

Menino: City could lose $60 million in local aid

State House News Service
Dec. 10, 2008

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said Tuesday that the capital's loss in a local aid rollback could be as much as $60 million, warning that economic realities could force the city to face the same service cutbacks that have prompted other mayors to stop plowing residential streets.

Accepting instead of bucking House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi's pronouncement Monday that state assistance to cities and towns could drop 10 percent next fiscal year, Menino said, "We as a city have been realizing that might happen."  Read more

Second miracle the goal

Since last spring, leaders in the world of violence-intervention from across the city have been conjuring up ideas and tactics to bring back the best aspects of the Boston Miracle, the citywide collaboration that brought the city's homicide rate crashing down from the triple digits in 1990 to 31 by 1999.  Read more

Newly-minted captain takes command at C-11: Richard Sexton, 42, replaces John Greland

Superintendent Daniel Linskey, who commands the BPD's Bureau of Fields Services, is shown with Captain Richard Sexton, who was appointed to take command of Dorchester's Area C-11 last Friday. Photo by Bill Forry  Read more

Precarious photos put viewers in their place

Fran Osborn-Blaschke's "Sunset" taken in Provincetown from Noonan's Landing at 42 degrees 02' 57.81" north latitude, 70 degrees 07' 05.55" west longitude.

"Some people consciously try to use art to understand things, but I just appreciate them," photographer Fran Osborn-Blaschke says of his work. His recent series, titled "curve of the Earth" is a testament to this statement.  Read more

Pastor at Blessed Mother Teresa is moving to Weymouth parish

Advent is traditionally a time of anticipation and joy, but for members of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish recent news has tinged the season with feelings of loss and anxiety. Last Friday word quickly spread through the Columbia-Savin Hill community that Cardinal Sean O'Malley had reassigned BMT's well-liked pastor, Fr. Paul Soper, to Saint Albert the Great Parish of Weymouth, effective in early January.  Read more