Tewksbury Patch launched on Aug. 18 and over the past four-and-a-half months, we've published more than 800 articles and multi-media presentations and well over 1,000 photos.
All of these items had one thing in common, they all helped to tell the story of Tewksbury and its people. Some chapters this year have been triumphant and delightful, others have generated frustration or anger.
Below are listed 10 men and women who made headlines in Tewksbury since we launched in August.
10) Jason Guy -- Another name that you might not immediately identify, but there is a young boy from Maine that will never forget him. Guy risked his life to go out into an icy river in Maine and save boy that had gotten himself trapped.
9) Fire Chief Richard Mackey -- Tewksbury's fire chief made news over the summer when he announced that he would be retiring in 2011. The early announcement gives the town plenty of time to complete a search process for a successor.
8A) Ryan Woolaver and 8B) Sean Connolly -- It was the year of the quarterback in 2010, as Tewksbury's Ryan Woolaver led Shawsheen Tech to the Div. 4 Super Bowl Championship with wins over Madison Park and Blue Hills. Connolly was headed toward an historic season, throwing touchdown passes at a record pace, when he was injured against Central Catholic and missed several games. Still, he came back to lead the Redmen to a Thanksgiving Day win over Wilmington.
7) Steve Levine -- The Tewksbury High boys soccer coach led his club to another post-season appearance. But the only coach the Redmen have ever had made headlines when announced his retirement after a 35-year career.
6A) John Lipomi and 6B) Nicole Sarakis -- Though the names may not immediately ring a bell, they are the couple that pulled off a series of robberies in South Tewksbury, targeting the Shell gas station and the nearby Dunkin Donuts. Eventually, it was Sarakis' attempt to cash in stolen Lottery scratch tickets from one of the robberies that snared the couple.
5) Krochmal Farms -- Krochmal Farms and its ownership team found itself at the center of two major stories over the past several months. The first was the ongoing battle between the farm, some of its neighbors and the Board of Health over foul smells attributed to the farm's piggery. The farm staff also took a lead role in the effort to prevent local access from the proposed I-93 interchange. On a more upbeat story line, the farm hosted a fundraiser for three young cancer patients.
4) Anne Marie Stronach -- Anytime a big decision was being made in town, it seemed that Anne Marie Stronach was involved. In addition to her position on the Board of Selectmen, she served as chairwoman of the Green Committee, which suffered a key defeat at the fall Town Meeting. She also served on the High School Building Committee, which approved the general contracting bids, leading to the groundbreaking for the new high school, which will open in 2012.
3) Roy Patterson -- It has been an up and down year for the Director of Tewksbury's Parks and Recreation Department. But one thing is for certain -- Roy Patterson has made news. He was credited by many residents for continuing to grow the Parks and Recreation Department, adding new programs for young and old. He also spoke about proposed field improvements, once the state officially turns over a certain parcel of land. He also played major roles in such events as the Fourth of July Celebration, the Safe Halloween and the Lighting of the Common. But later in the year, the headlines were not as positive, as Patterson was placed on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation into possible misuse of department funds.
2) Town Manager Richard Montuori -- When he started on the job at the beginning of the year, Montouri brought with him the reputation of being a no-nonsense manager who had the ability to bring department heads together for common objectives. Those skills have been put to the test in his first year on the job. Montuori did not hide from his role in the decision to raise sewer and water rates over the summer. He held a series of public meetings in the fall and answered questions about he rate hikes. In the face of expected cuts in state aid, Montuori ordered his department heads to slash the expense line on their Fiscal Year 2012 Budget by 10 percent. He also played a role in the efforts gain support Washington to stop local access from the proposed I-93 interchange.
1) School Superintendent Dr. John O'Connor -- Though on the job for less than a year, Dr. O'Connor has been actively involved in several historic school events, including the first day of school under the new school realignment, the ground breaking of the new high school and the start of a challenging budget cycle. O'Connor also solved a dispute over gym time between the town's youth basketball programs.