Archive for May 2011
Townspeople dedicated a signpost in the center of Raynham yesterday to honor Sergeant First Class Jared Monti, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006.
Monti’s father said Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and about 200 residents gathered outside of the First Congregational Church on South Main Street for an hourlong dedication ceremony that paid tribute to the 1994 Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School graduate, appropriately held on Memorial Day.
The townspeople and Raynham Veterans’ Services made arrangements for the monument, which displays Monti’s name, the phrase “Fallen Heroes,” and the Medal of Honor. The sign sits at the intersection of four main streets.
“The pride that they had in doing it was just fantastic,” said his father, Paul Monti.
Monti was killed in June 2006 when he attempted to rescue a wounded comrade during a firefight in Afghanistan, on his fifth tour of duty during his 12-year military career. In 2009, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his efforts.
Since then, his father has organized events through the SFC Jared C. Monti Memorial Scholarship Fund. Because the Raynham signpost and ceremony were efforts of the town, Paul Monti found yesterday’s events especially touching. “That was a really emotional part, and the real heartwarming part because this little town has adopted my son as their own,” he said.
Also yesterday, a plaque at City Hall Plaza in Brockton was dedicated to Army Captain Anthony Palermo Jr., who was killed in Iraq in 2007.
A 9-year-old Shih Tzu has been returned to the MSPCA-Angell facility after it was allegedly taken Sunday afternoon, officials said.
A staff member noticed the dog, Bella, was missing Sunday afternoon and reported her stolen to Boston police, spokesman Rob Halpin said in a statement.
A visitor who was at the facility in Jamaica Plain on Sunday called and reported having seen a woman with a dog fitting Bella’s description in her bag, said Amanda Kennedy, director of the center’s Animal Care and Adoption Center.
With the help of the tip and surveillance video, police were able to identify a suspect.
Boston and Malden police went to the woman’s house in Malden and found Bella. The investigation is ongoing, and no additional details have been released.
Kennedy said Bella was in stable condition when she was returned.
“We’re just so thrilled to have her back,” she said. “She seems happy to be back.”
Plainville seventh-grader Karthik Karnik competed in the final round of the National Geographic Bee today against nine other geography whizzes from across the country.
While he didn’t finish in the top three, Karnik, 13, was among the seven other finalists who won $500 in the contest, which was held in Washington, D.C., and moderated by “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek.
The top three won college scholarships of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000. The top finisher was Tine Valencic, 13, of Texas, who will also get a lifetime subscription to National Geographic magazine and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
Karnik had won the title of 2011 Massachusetts National Geographic Bee Champion earlier this year.
The contest is scheduled to air over four nights beginning June 13 at 6:30 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel, the company said in a statement.
The first Veterans Day after his son was killed in Afghanistan, Paul Monti visited the grave of Sergeant First Class Jared Monti at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, with plastic American flags in hand.
When Monti asked why none of the graves had flags, even for the holiday, he learned flags were restricted from the grounds because they interfered with maintenance.
“They didn’t allow flags on individual graves, and that made me quite upset,” he said.
Monti spent four years trying to reverse the rule, and this Memorial Day, he and a group of volunteers plan to place 56,000 flags on the graves at the cemetery, he said.
Somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 people are expected to join Monti on Saturday to place the small $1 flags.
“I think I’ll probably be elated once I see it done, but in a somber sort of way,” he said. “We are honoring the dead; and these people served their country, and they deserve at least a little respect.”
Before Monti and volunteers distribute the flags, they plan to hold a ceremony at noon to honor the veterans. There may be short speeches, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the national anthem, but he isn’t planning anything extravagant.
“We want to keep it kind of simple – this is something being done by the people, not being done by politicians or anything,” he said of the ceremony.
Volunteers are welcome.
Jared Monti won the Medal of Honor for heroism when his patrol was attacked in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan in 2006. He was shot and killed while moving fellow soldiers from gunfire and saved a man who suffered a gunshot wound.
A Lawrence police officer rescued a man who jumped off a bridge and fell 60 feet into the Merrimack River on Sunday night, officials said.
Officer Joseph Padellaro plucked Julio Santiago, 21, from the water, Police Chief John Romero said.
Santiago had been texting his ex-girlfriend indicating he was going to commit suicide, Romero said. She called police, who were dispatched to all three bridges in the area.
Officers found Santiago on the Central Bridge and tried to speak with him, but he jumped anyway.
“That’s a tough bridge to survive because of the water current there and it’s so cold,” Romero said.
Police were stationed along the riverbank and tried to send out flotation devices but could not retrieve Santiago. Padellaro was the last officer stationed along the river, and jumped into the water to grab Santiago, Romero said.
Padellaro was able to grab Santiago’s belt and bring him to shore, where Lawrence firefighters and an ambulance were able to treat Santiago.
He was taken to Lawrence General Hospital for treatment and evaluation. Though Santiago’s current condition is unknown, Romero said he didn’t believe the injuries were serious.
Along the Charles River, eight workers have spent the past two weeks trying to bring dinosaurs back to life.
Eight trucks arrived at the Museum of Science two weeks ago, packed with dinosaur tracks, skeletons, and other artifacts that will make up the museum’s newest exhibit. The exhibit, called “Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries,” which will also include life-size mechanized dinosaurs, is scheduled to open June 5.
“We’ve got a really good start on the more structural aspects of the exhibit, and now we’re really getting into finishing up details and getting everything prepped for the artifacts to be installed,” said Shana Hawrylchak, a senior temporary exhibit coordinator for the museum.
The exhibit, which helps explain how dinosaurs walked, traveled, and formed herds, has been put up at museums across the country over the past six years.
It first opened in 2005 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and is based on research by several of its paleontologists.
“We’ve been looking forward to this for a few years now,” said Paul Fontaine, vice president of education at the Museum of Science. “What’s really exciting about this exhibit is that everybody knows about dinosaurs, but this exhibit has a lot of new information.”
The range of information is presented through replicas of dinosaur skeletons, mechanical dinosaurs, and an array of artifacts, images, and videos.
“I think one of the things that makes an exhibit like this challenging is it has a lot of different aspects to it,” Hawrylchak said.
Reconstructing the dinosaurs, each of which weighs more than 3,000 pounds, was an “elaborate process,” she said. The model skeletons arrived in sections that had to be assembled.
“We had about six or seven guys operating crank lifts and hoisting the pieces into position,” she said. Others bolted the parts together.
Currently about three-fifths of the exhibit is assembled. Four more workers will join the team this week to help set it up. A few others will focus on lighting and audiovisual aspects, said Hawrylchak.
Mark Norell was the curator of the exhibit when it opened in New York, and his research is included.
The most eye-grabbing part, he said in a phone interview from the American Museum of Natural History, is the diorama room, which shows dinosaurs in their natural environment by recreating what northeast China looked like 130 million years ago.
“The first thing you notice is it looks like a forest today,” said Norell, who is also the chairman and curator of the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. “The animals are a little peculiar, but at the same time are a little familiar.”
Hawrylchak and her crew have been working on creating the detailed room for the past week. So far they have completed the structure. This week, they will add foliage and insects.
The exhibit will run until Aug. 21 and will be free with Exhibit Halls admission.
Fontaine predicted that it will have wide appeal.
“Kids are going to love it because of things like the mechanical dinosaurs,” he said. “But even for me to stand next to an accurate, full-size Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton – it makes you kind of glad you live now and not 65 million years ago.”
Six men will be ordained to the priesthood today and celebrate their first Masses as priests at separate churches in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston tomorrow, the archdiocese announced.
“It’s really one of the great moments each year that we have as an archdiocese and as a church that we celebrate,” said Terrence C. Donilon, the archdiocese’s secretary for communications.
Though nationally the number of men who want to become priests has dropped, the number being ordained in Boston has nearly doubled since 2003 under Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, said Donilon.
The six men are a good number “for the current day and age that we live in,” Donilon said. “It’s admirable, it’s courageous, and at a time when society is so conflicted on so many issues, that these people have decided to follow in the footsteps of Christ, we look to them as our spiritual leaders.”
John Anthony D’Arpino, Michael Joseph Farrell, Sean Patrick Hurley, Andrew Taegon Kwang Lee, Mark William Murphy, and Carlos David Suarez will become priests in the two-hour ceremony.
“Each of them have their own particular story,” said the Rev. Dan Hennessey, vocation director for the Archdiocese of Boston. “All of them will be great priests.”
The ordination Mass is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Washington Street in Boston.
“The ordination of these six men to the priesthood is a moment of great joy for our archdiocese,” O’Malley said in a statement yesterday. “Through the gift of the priestly vocation, the church can continue to carry on the saving ministry of Jesus Christ. We are blessed by the commitment and faithful devotion of our priests here in the Archdiocese of Boston.”