A Look Back at Salem's Wild Winter of 2013
Here's a run-down of Salem Patch's 20 most-read stories from the winter of 2013.
Let's face it - most of us have had it with winter altogether and are happy that Wednesday morning marked the first official day of spring.
But before we turn forward in the calendar and start counting robins, let's take a look back at the winter that was.
Salem Council Green Lights New Senior Center: Thanks to some last-minute compromises, Salem city councilors voted 10 to 1 on March 14 to approve a financing proposal from Mayor Kim Driscoll to pay for a new $4.5 million Community Life Center at the intersection of Boston and Bridge streets.
Salem Digs Out From the Blizzard of 2013: On Feb. 9, Salem residents woke up to more than a foot of snow outside of their windows. We asked you, our readers, to submit photos of the aftermath - here's what you came up with.
300 Votes Not Enough, Salem Council Deadlocks on Lovely Vacancy: On Jan. 3, Salem City Council met until 2:30 a.m. and voted 300 times trying to appoint a successor to now state Sen. Joan Lovely, who was formerly the president of the council. She resigned to move to the Senate, leaving a fractured council seemingly incapable of choosing her replacement.
The Demolition of St. Joseph Church: One of the biggest stories of the winter was the demolition of the St. Joseph Church on Lafayette Street. Check out this video from the early days of the demolition, which captured the attention of city residents.
You're Not Crazy, Mystery Explosion Caught on Video: Every once in a while we will put up a story that goes viral. This story has been read more than any other story written on Salem Patch in 2013. On Jan. 5, a powerful flash and boom shocked Salem residents and had many looking for answers.
Salem Package Thief Caught on Video: In this Jan. 1 post, a local man captured the theft of a birdcage he had ordered for Christmas on surveillace camera. The brazen thief walked right up on his front porch in broad daylight and made away with a $300, 64-pound birdcage.
Man Beaten During Road Rage Incident Outside Salem Market Basket: On Jan. 28, a Salem man was reportedly beaten in front of his wife and baby following an alleged road rage incident in the Market Basket parking lot.
New Strain of Norovirus - the Winter Vomiting Bug - on the Rise: Another big story of the winter was the big norovirus outbreak in late January. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the norovirus causes about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths each year, mostly in young children and the elderly.
Mayor: $45M Development Would 'Breathe New Life' Into Salem Block: At their last meeting in February at City Hall, Salem City Council members unanimously approved a motion to designate a 29,000-square-foot parcel off of Washington Street surplus, paving the way for a new $45 million mixed-use development that Mayor Kim Driscoll hopes will revitalize an underutilized downtown block.
Salem Residents Step Up to Replace Stolen Christmas Presents: Here's one of the feel-good stories of the winter. Thanks to some local residents who embraced the true spirit of the holidays, a young Salem boy who would have otherwise been cheated out of gifts this year woke up to a miracle on Christmas morning.
Salem Firefighters Battle Blaze at Downtown High-Rise: Salem Firefighters battled a fire at the Charter Street high-rise that houses the Salem Housing Authority on Sunday, Feb. 24.
President Makes it Official: Salem Birthplace of National Guard: On Jan. 10, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law officially naming the city of Salem as "The Birthplace of the U.S. National Guard.
CinemaSalem Saved by KickStarter Fundraising Page: On Dec. 17, we reported that an online fundraising effort to save CinemaSalem had raised $61,665. Theater Owner Paul Van Ness has enlisted the help of Kickstarter, an online fundraising platform, in the hopes of raising the $60,000 needed to buy the digital projectors he needs to stay in business.
Salem Police Nab Alleged Serial Burglar: On Feb. 26, Salem police officers arrested a local man they believe is responsible for a recent string of break-ins and reportedly recovered thousands of dollars worth of stolen items while searching his apartment.
Council Compromises on Legault to Replace Loveley: In early January, the 10-members of the Salem City Council took only two ballots to elect William Legault as the 11th councilor.
'Naumkeag Ordinary' Opening Soon in Former Cafe Polonia Space: Work is underway inside the former Cafe Polonia space on Washington Street that will reopen in April as Naumkeag Ordinary.
Photos: Before and After Salem Power Station: The computer-rendered photos attached to this post were included in the Visual Impact Study segment of a Footprint Salem Harbor Station Powerpoint slide presentation that was presented to a small crowd of area residents at Bentley Elementary School.
Salem 'Junk Artist' Twists Scrap Metal into Masterpieces: Don't call Herb Mackey an artist - he prefers the title "junk collector". And while Mackey may not consider himself an artist, the whimsical scrap metal sculptures that are scattered across his Blaney Street yard can't be considered anything but works of art.
American Horror Story Season 3 May Be Set in Salem: Get ready Salem - the third season of the Emmy-award winning FX series 'American Horror Story' may be focused on the Salem Witch Trials.
For more of this winter's news stories, check out our news section.