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Archive for May 2011

Raynham honors a hero killed in Afghanistan in ’06

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Published May 31, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B3

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.

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May 31, 2011 at 10:08 am

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Dog missing from shelter is found after police get a tip

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Published May 26, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B2

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.”

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May 26, 2011 at 10:06 am

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Mass. 7th-grader competes in National Geographic Bee

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Published May 25, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

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.

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May 25, 2011 at 11:05 am

56,000 flags to mark veterans’ graves

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Published on May 25, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B14

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.

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May 25, 2011 at 10:03 am

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Lawrence officer rescues man who jumped 60 feet from Merrimack bridge

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Published May 23, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

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.

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May 23, 2011 at 11:00 am

New exhibit to introduce some fearsome new friends

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Published on May 22, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B3

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.”

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May 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

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Six Catholic priests to be ordained today

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Published May 21, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B11

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.”

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May 21, 2011 at 10:00 am

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Robert Burns, WWII veteran, longtime office manager

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Published on May 20, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B11

One summer, his family gathered at a cottage on Herring Pond in Eastham, Robert Burns led a crowd of his nieces and nephews through the water by boat until the boat began taking on water.

Everyone in the boat leaned to one side, tipping it over. The rest of the family watched from shore as the group of soaked youngsters pulled the vessel to land with Mr. Burns sitting atop the boat, yelling “stroke, stroke!”

Having been stranded on the island of Takeshima for 10 days during World War II, Mr. Burns was never fond of being on open water, but he was happy to direct others in true naval fashion.

Robert F. Burns Sr. of Wollaston, a longtime office manager for Harvard University, died of congestive heart failure at Carney Hospital in Dorchester April 10. He was 84.

Mr. Burns was born in Roxbury and was raised there and in Jamaica Plain.

Before he turned 16, he decided to enlist in the Navy, with the permission of his mother.

He began as a gunner’s mate on oil tankers bringing fuel to troops stationed in Europe and North Africa, before heading back to the Boston area, assigned to patrol the harbor.

“I think he felt like he was protecting the people he knew and his family,” said his daughter, Mariellen Burns of Boston.

He continued on to the Pacific Coast and participated in the invasion of Okinawa, Japan, but he and his crew were shipwrecked on Takeshima.

His leadership during the time led to his nomination for the Silver Star, a history he never shared with his children.

“We only found out about it when we were looking through some papers after he passed away,” his daughter said. “This was very typical of him.”

While serving during wartime for five years allowed him to see the world and interact with different people and cultures, it really made Mr. Burns appreciate all he had, she said.

“He loved to just sit and talk to people and meet new people,” she said. “I think he just took great pleasure in small things, because he never forgot how lucky he was to have those moments.”

Mr. Burns was honorably discharged in February 1946 and returned to Boston. He graduated in 1949 from Jamaica Plain High School and began working in office management at the Smith Corona office equipment company.

A few years later, he met June Rahilly at a summer party on White Horse Beach in Plymouth. Two years later, in November 1959, the pair married.

“I asked him not too long ago how he proposed,” his daughter said.

“He pulled over while driving somewhere that sounded like a place to have a drink on the side of the road – typical guy though, and he couldn’t remember the details or the exact location,” she said.

The couple loved to dance, and friends said they were famous for their skills, ranging from swing dance to the jitterbug.

They had three boys and a girl, and Mr. Burns doted on his daughter, projected his love of sports on his sons, and was an active sports dad.

“He was always, always taking them to hockey and doing that kind of thing,” his daughter said. “He was very encouraging to them, and he kind of had an encouraging word for anyone.”

His loyalty to Boston’s sports teams pushed his kindness to the edge, however, especially when they played major rivals.

“I’ve never heard him say anything bad about anyone besides the Yankees and Canadiens,” Burns said.

After Mr. Burns retired from office management at Harvard University, he went on a golfing trip with his friends, to South Carolina and back.

After their return, he landed a hole-in-one at a course on the South Shore.

In the early 1980s, he followed another passion, music, and joined the barbershop chorus South Shore Men of Harmony with a brother.

Also in retirement he frequented the Moose Club in Braintree to visit his friends, catch up on the news, and do charity work.

June Burns died in 2008. In addition to his daughter, Mr. Burns leaves his sons, Robert F. Jr. of Annandale, Va., Brian J. of Wollaston, and Colonel Stephen T. of Springfield, Va.; two sisters, Nancy Norton of Norfolk and Joan Lake of Norwood; and four grandchildren. Services have been held.

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May 20, 2011 at 9:57 am

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Mass. lifts boating advisory on right whales

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Published on May 20, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B2

At the beginning of each year, North Atlantic right whales travel near New England, but after appearing in record numbers this year near Cape Cod, they have all departed.

Because of their recent departure, the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game has lifted the advisory for boaters to avoid the whales, a spokesman for the department said in a statement.

An aerial survey on April 25 documented 124 whales in Cape Cod Bay, a record high for the area, the statement said.

There are only approximately 450 of this breed of whale in existence.

A subsequent aerial survey, conducted May 13, showed the whales had left the area, but officials are warning boaters around the Cape to continue to watch for the animals.

“Though no whales were sighted in the bay, boaters should remain on the lookout for right whales as they may still be present on the backside of Cape Cod and in the Great South Channel,” the statement said.

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May 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

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Whales depart waters off Cape Cod

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Published May 19, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

At the beginning of each year, North Atlantic right whales travel to the coast of New England, but after appearing in record numbers this year near the tip of Cape Cod, they have all departed.

Because of their departure, the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game has lifted the advisory warning boaters to avoid the whales, a department spokesman said in a statement.

On April 25, an aerial survey documented 124 whales in Cape Cod Bay, a record high for the area, the statement said. There are only approximately 450 in existence.

Another aerial survey conducted May 13 showed the whales had left the area, but officials are warning boaters around the Cape continue to watch for the animals.

“Though no whales were sighted in the bay, boaters should remain on the lookout for right whales as they may still be present” in area waters, the statement said.

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May 19, 2011 at 10:37 am