Tom Duggan’s Notebook ~ June, 2017


PHOTO: Tom Duggan, (c) Copyright Valley Patriot Inc. 2017
PHOTO: Tom Duggan, (c) Copyright Valley Patriot Inc. 2017

Last month a fight on Boxford Street in Lawrence resulted in six people being stabbed. One was stabbed in the chest, another stabbed in the face twice. After the victims were transported to the hospital we heard the police call to the helipad at Lawrence General for shots fired at or near the helicopter taking off from the helipad.

After going to the scene, talking to witnesses, monitoring the police radio, speaking to first responders and medical employees, I reported that the Medflight helicopter had “been shot at” with a myriad of sources to back up my report. STORY HERE

Oddly, the next day Medflight issued a press release saying that while they did not see the shooter, they heard the shots near the helipad. They followed that up with a blanket declarative that the helicopter was “NOT” shot at.ice_screenshot_20170629-111057

Now, I’m not in the habit of picking a fight with people who literally save people’s lives every day, but this just made no sense. If they didn’t see the shots, and they know it was near the helipad, how can they know the direction of travel of the bullets? For sure, the helicopter was not hit, thank heavens for that, but this one was a head-scratcher. Coincidentally the police chief in Lawrence issued a press release the next day using very similar wording and quotations. Seems like someone wanted to make sure the Boston press didn’t pick up on the explosive story of a medflight helicopter being shot at in Lawrence because it would make the city look bad. But, it didn’t work, Boston 25 did pick up on the story.


Does Donald Trump believe in Global warming? Who CARES? The so called news media and their Democratic Party bosses have obsessed about whether or not Donald Trump “believes in global warming”. After all, according to CNN Democrat spokesman Jake Tapper, to not believe in global warming is “just a big box of crazy”.

But, they don’t care about whether the Paris Agreement actually works at reducing pollution. They don’t care about whether or not it actually helps the environment. They have spent zero time explaining what the Paris Agreement is or the fact that the agreement doesn’t clean up one toxic site or polluted waterway. That’s because liberals in general, care more about what you believe, what you call things, and that you are on board with their narrative. SO, does it matter that Donald Trump believes in “global warming” NO. What matters is that he helps clean up our rivers and streams, punishes those responsible for poisoning our food and our air, and dedicates resources to cleaning up actual pollution. I believe cleaning up real pollution is more important than spending all that money on “programs” that MIGHT reduce carbon by .0001% … and will take 100 years to do it.


ice_screenshot_20170522-161745FBI Offers $5,000 Reward for Fugitive Diego Barros Pires ~ ARMED AND DANGEROUS!
The Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Division’s Southeastern Massachusetts Gang Task Force and the ATF Boston Field Division are seeking the public’s assistance in locating Diego Barros Pires, an alleged member of a violent street gang in Brockton, Massachusetts.
Diego Barros Pires, a known member of a violent Brockton street gang, is wanted for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of one adult and two minors in Brockton and Quincy, Massachusetts, on October 8, 2016. On March 22, 2017, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Pires in the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, after he was charged with kidnapping and aiding and abetting.

ice_screenshot_20170522-161930On March 22, 2017, Diego Pires, also known as “Smurf” or “Do It” was indicted, along with three other associates, and an arrest warrant was issued out of U.S. District Court in Boston, Massachusetts. Pires was charged with kidnapping, and aiding and abetting. He is wanted for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of one adult and two minors in Brockton and Quincy, Massachusetts. Pires is considered armed and dangerous.

Pires is a 24-year-old Cape Verdean male who is a legal U.S. citizen, with black hair and brown eyes. He is 5’8” in height and weighs approximately 160 pounds. He last resided at 5 Madrid Square, Apartment 7, Brockton, Mass.

Pires has two tattoos; one on his right forearm that says “RIP Johnny,” the other on his left forearm that says “Kyle.”

The FBI is currently offering a monetary reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to his location and arrest.

A wanted poster, including photographs of the subject and his tattoos, can be viewed on

Anyone with information regarding his current whereabouts should call the FBI Boston Division at 1-857-386-2000. Tips can also be electronically submitted at

“Mr. Pires is considered armed and dangerous and we believe he poses a serious danger to the public. At this point in time, we’ve exhausted all investigative leads in locating him and we’re asking anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact law enforcement,” said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division.

The FBI’s Southeastern Massachusetts Gang Task Force is composed of the following agencies: the FBI, the Massachusetts State Police, and Brockton Police Department.


State Rep. Frank Moran has secured $50K for English as a Second Language classes and Citizenship classes. As part of the Massachusetts House of Representatives FY18 budget bill passed just weeks ago, Moran secured an earmark of $50,000 for Casa Dominica, a “nonprofit” that over the years has been able to assist hundreds of community members in providing them with computer classes, English as a Second Language, and Citizenship classes.
“Learning English is of great significance because it opens many doors to opportunities. Once the language is acquired, families are able to progress and improve living conditions, whether that is continuing with higher education or even being able to assist their child with homework” said Representative Moran.


The Methuen Sons of Italy, Lodge 902 held their Scholarship Awards Night last month. These awards are given to students whose parents or grandparents are members of the Sons of Italy Lodge #902.

Dottie Crisa introduced the presenters of the 2017 Scholarships: Joe Salvo, Adult Supervisor gave out the first Jr. Division Scholarship for $1,000 to Marissa Rumore; Ralph Bagarella, President of our Lodge, presented the next $1,000 scholarship to Domenic Privitera; Pio Frittitta, Chairman of our CCT presented the next $1,000 scholarship to John Privitera and Joe Cunha, Trustee gave out a very special Italian American Toilers Scholarship Fund Award for $1,500 to Stanley Wotjas. This award was funded by the Italian American Toilers Milk Fund – the organization has been disbanded and their donation to our scholarship fund is greatly appreciated.


Beginning on Saturday, June 17, Essex Heritage will be hosting escorted, guided boat tours aboard landing craft, Naumkeag, to Bakers Island Light Station! Bakers Island Light Station is ONLY accessible to the public through these tours with Essex Heritage –and the trip to the light station is sure to be an adventure!

Boat tours to Bakers Island Light will be offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with departures at 10:30AM and 2 PM, from Saturday, June 17 through Monday, September 4 (Labor Day). Essex Heritage will also offer new trips and experiences throughout the summer including lobster tours, en plain air painting trips, and wild edibles hikes. As a special pre-opening-day voyage, Essex Heritage will take 18 passengers on Naumkeag to see the Tall Ships arrive in Boston on Friday, June 16th.


ice_screenshot_20170629-110838At a special Nurses Week luncheon held at Lawrence General Hospital on May 11th, chief nursing officer, Karen Moore, RN, announced the recipients of the inaugural Lawrence General nursing awards. Nominated by their peers, these individuals were recognized for their professionalism, clinical expertise, and ongoing dedication to the patients of Lawrence General.
Nursing Award Recipients
• Christina Berard, RN, Medical/Surgical— Clinical Leader Award (Newton, NH)
• Faith Cruz, RN, Maternal Child Health — Mentorship Award (Methuen)
• Stacy Justice, RN, Telemetry — Novice Nurse Award (Haverhill)
• Abigail Wertz, RN, Emergency Center — Compassion Award (Bradford)
• Elaine Ziminsky, RN, IV Team — Nursing Engagement Award (Chelmsford)
Friday, July 14th from 6PM – 12 midnight at the Salem NH VFW Post 8546. 42 N Broadway, Salem, New Hampshire 03079.


Superintendent John Lavoie has announced that three Greater Lawrence Technical School students were recognized in the Memorial Hall Library Teen Poetry Contest.

The students were honored for their entries in the 13th annual contest, and were invited to read their poems aloud.

The three GLTS students’ work was chosen from over 300 contest entries, which were first judged by Teen Librarians Renata Sancken and Anna Tschetter before being passed along to published poet Gayle Heney for the final judging.

The students, all of whom are freshmen from Lawrence, earned the following honors:
Roandy Herrera— Honorable Mention for “I Am From Mom”
Kaylee Sostre — Honorable Mention for “Growing Up, Lawtown”
Vinny Tetiva — Teen’s Choice Award for High School for “The Misunderstood Hood”. Judging for the Teen’s Choice Award was done by teenagers connected to the Teen Room at the Memorial Hall Library.


Methuen resident Jennifer Burns has been named one of 2016’s “Unsung Heroines” by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, in honor of her work addressing the opioid epidemic in the Merrimack Valley.

Burns will be honored at a ceremony at the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday, June 21 at 1pm in the Great Hall.

The Unsung Heroine initiative identifies and honors extraordinary women from across the Commonwealth. Burns was nominated for the recognition by State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen).

“Through her work with the Methuen Police Department’s C.A.R.E.S. Initiative and Lawrence’s New Beginnings Peer Recovery Center, Jennifer has helped countless addicts in the region, connecting them with detox programs and providing them with the resources needed to successfully recover,” said DiZoglio. “Jennifer has greatly educated the community on the substance abuse crisis, worked to decrease stigma surrounding addiction and has been a true leader in bringing citizens across the Merrimack Valley together to raise awareness and promote both prevention and treatment of substance use.”


Kensington, NH: The Carriage Barn, with the support of the Exeter Hospital Foundation, is offering scholarships for its Youth Suicide Prevention Program this summer. Weekly sessions run late June through mid-August. Each session will have a limited number of participants.

The program focuses on working with preteen and adolescents. This is an inclusionary program where people come to have a good time, learn to work with horses, collaborate with others, and gain skills to work with challenged clients.

Often, youths who are depressed feel disempowered and lack the confidence to make independent decisions. Horses are social animals with the ability to sense emotions. They reflect a calming influence for people working with them. Horses provide non-judgmental feedback to humans. Both scientific studies and anecdotal evidence show that working with horses in a therapeutic setting builds confidence, creates a sense of competence, develops problem solving and decision making skills, increases coping skills, and helps with emotional regulation.

The Carriage Barn Adaptive Therapy Programs seek to promote the health and well-being of individuals of all ages with disabilities by enhancing their physical, psychological, cognitive and emotional healing and strengthening through equine activities.

For more information please contact The Carriage Barn at 603-378-0140 or


Marty Hogan, a resident of Lowell’s Centralville neighborhood, officially announced today that he is running for a seat on the City Council.

“It’s no secret that Lowell’s city councilors mostly represent the Belvedere section of the city, and it’s no wonder why that neighborhood receives a disproportionate share of attention,” said Hogan. “That’s great for the people who live there, but it leaves the majority of residents who live elsewhere without a seat at the table when important decisions are being made. I want to bring a new perspective to our City Council, one that focuses on neighborhoods like the one I live in.”
Hogan says he intends to be one of the first candidates to take out nomination papers when they are made available by the city clerk later this week. He plans to host an official campaign kickoff event later this summer. For more information about Marty Hogan and his campaign, please visit


Please pre-register for all classes by calling (978)623-8320, visit us at or come by at 30 Whittier Court to see our complete offerings.
As of June 1 tax abatement applications are available at the Center. 100 hours of work will be required to receive a tax abatement. Please drop by to get an application and sign up for a mandatory information session.

GameSense: An educational journey into the mind of a slot machine

Monday, June 12 at 1:30 p.m. Free of charge with pre-registration

Do you ever wonder why certain slot machines seem to be player friendly while others are not? Slot machines are the most popular casino game and yet are also the most mysterious. Learn more about this favorite game to make your money last longer, have more fun and possibly come out ahead from time to time. All of these are realistic outcomes for an informed slot player. GameSense will engage us in a slot conversation that is not available to most!

Andover 101 with Andover Historical Society on June 23rd at 10am. held at the Center at Punchard. Free of charge with pre-registration.

Historical Society’s popular Andover 101 presentation, an unstuffy one-hour introduction to stories that helped create the Andover we know today. A team of speakers tell 15 short stories, giving you a quick and lively introduction to Andover’s essential stories. What are essential stories? The five minute short stories include geology, Native American life, Salem witch trials of 1692, Underground Railroad, Shawsheen Village and industry.

Brown Bag Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Boston Food Bank, and The Senior Center at Punchard (C@P) are expanding the Brown Bag program. This is FREE to anyone 60+ with an income less than $21,978 for a single person or $29,637 for a couple, or on Mass Health, Chapter 115, food stamps or fuel assistance. This grocery bag is available on the fourth Tuesday of the month, June 27, 2017, at 9:15 am and must be picked up by 10:15 am. Call the Center to see if you are eligible.

Balance Clinic – Wednesday, June 28 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Join us for this new quarterly balance assessment clinic. Take this opportunity for a 1 on 1 assessment with a registered Physical Therapist to develop a plan to improve your balance. It is also an excellent opportunity to visit our Wellness Clinic where our nurses offer a confidential meeting to check blood pressure and help you manage your day-to-day questions and health needs. Please call to register!

Wellness Clinics – Every Wednesday at 2:00 pm. Stop in for an individual meeting with our trained nurses who will help you manage any day-to-day health issues that come up for you, including blood pressure and weight check. Take advantage of this free, confidential service.


heroes in our midst