The public is being asked to be on the lookout for a Jack Russell terrier mix who has been on the run through several communities for nearly two weeks.
The little dog was spotted in West Peabody on July 31, but the city’s animal control officer was unsuccessful in catching her after a resident called to say the dog was in her backyard.
The dog then eluded capture by animal control in Lynnfield on Aug. 1.
After she was seen on Lake Street in West Peabody near Devil's Dishful Pond, rescuers set up a trap, feed station, and a camera. But the next time the dog was reported seen on Aug. 7, she was running around Wilmington.
The latest reports say she's been seen running frantically off Park Street in North Reading.
The dog weighs about 15 pounds, is white and tan with brown spots, and is not wearing a collar.
Those who spot her are asked not to chase her. Call 781-334-8364.
Months after her office was criticized for its handling of a domestic violence case that ended in murder, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan is pushing legislation that increases penalties on defendants with a history of violence and in cases where the victim is a household or family member.
Ryan testified before the Joint Committee on Public Safety Thursday in favor of a bill (H 3242) that broadens the aggravated assault and battery statute when the defendant has previously been convicted of certain crimes, including violating a restraining order. The bill, entitled “an act relative to protecting domestic violence victims from repeat offenders,” was filed by Rep. Carolyn Dykema, a Democrat from Holliston.
The legislation also increases penalties for a defendant on an assault and battery charge who violates a judge’s order not to contact the victim as a condition of release on bail. Currently, a defendant is subject to increased penalties only when the assault and battery occurs in violation of a restraining order, according to Ryan.
“Right now the legislation does not provide for violation of the court order, a stay away order, to be an aggravating factor. This bill would remedy that,” she said. “This bill would say that if you have been ordered by the court to stay away from the victim and you, in fact, violate that order, commit an assault and battery, that will be an aggravating factor. It just increases the number of aggravating factors.”
The legislation gives prosecutors more tools to recommend higher sentences, and gives judges more discretion in sentencing, without creating mandatory minimum sentences, Ryan said.
Ryan is pushing for passage of four domestic violence bills, according to a spokeswoman. “It is part and parcel of a broader review of domestic violence legislation to increase penalties and discretion in sentencing that began when the DA took office,” spokeswoman MaryBeth Long said.
Ryan testified before lawmakers in July on a handful of bills, including one to create a new crime of strangulation and strangulation with serious bodily injury. In October, the Senate passed a domestic violence bill that included the strangulation measure. The bill is awaiting action in the House.
In August, the Middlesex District Attorney’s office was criticized for how it handled the case against Jared Remy, who was in court on an assault and battery charge two days before he allegedly killed his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, a case that has spurred a reexamination of laws intended to prevent domestic violence.
Remy was arrested for allegedly slamming his longtime girlfriend into a mirror, and the DA’s office was publicly criticized for not asking a judge to continue to hold him, based on a past history of domestic violence charges, or ordering him to stay away from Martel following his arraignment.
In the wake of Martel’s murder, House Speaker Robert DeLeo asked Attorney General Martha Coakley to partner with him in looking at the state’s restraining order laws.
Dykema, who filed the bill in January, said abusers often have a history of violence before the domestic violence incident that should raise a red flag.
The bill recognizes if the defendant has a past history of violent behavior, they would be eligible for increased penalties on the domestic violence charge, Dykema said.
Dykema told the News Service the issue hit close to home for her after a Westborough mother was murdered in a domestic violence incident several years ago. After the woman’s death, she worked with former Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone, and then Ryan when she took office, Dykema said.
One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, Dykema said.
“The most frustrating thing I hear from the public when you read these tragedies in the paper, there is a clear history of violence. People ask themselves, and I ask myself, why weren’t we able to recognize this…to discern the clear signs. This (bill) allows us to recognize those past patterns of behavior.”
About 85 middle school students in Middlesex County were honored for their leadership, judgment, and decision-making -- especially when it came to avoiding drugs and alcohol -- at an annual peer leadership conference hosted by the Middlesex District Attorney's office.
The conference, which was also hosted by nonprofit Middlesex Partnerships for Youth and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Association, was held Monday at the Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford. Students from nine local schools who were chosen as role models by school officials were recognized at the event, according to a statement from the district attorney's office.
The nine school districts include Bedford, Dover-Sherborn, Groton-Dunstable, Littleton, Lowell, Reading, Somerville, Weston, and Wilmington.
The event included a keynote address by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, and a presentation by Interscholastic Association's "You Lead" program that supports and connects resources for young people choosing not to use drugs, drink alcohol or smoke tobacco.
“Our youth are under a tremendous amount of pressure whether it to be to fit in with their peers or to be academically or athletically successful,” Ryan said in the statement. “It is refreshing to see these youth who have made good choices in their lives and are committed to healthy living.
"This program is about supporting those who exhibit the confidence, maturity and strength to make positive decisions everyday and to help them continue to be a role model in their community.”
A similar event will be held next month for high school students, officials said.
For more information, visit the Middlesex District Attorney's website.
BOSTON (AP) — The new year is a few weeks away but it’s not too early to think about 2014 hunting licenses.
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife says 2014 hunting, sporting, fishing, and trapping licenses will be available for purchase starting on Monday.
They can be purchased at all license vendor locations, MassWildlife District offices, the West Boylston Field Headquarters, and at MassFishHunt.org.
Anyone 15 or older needs a license to hunt or for freshwater fishing.
Freshwater fishing licenses for minors ages 15 to 17 are free and can be obtained online.
The department also reminds hunters that all deer harvested during shotgun season must be checked at a check station. Online checking is not available from Dec. 2 until Dec. 14.
With Sen. Katherine Clark in good position to win a special election to Congress in December, Rep. Paul Brodeur, a Melrose Democrat, is considering running for her seat.
"I have not decided yet. I am absolutely thinking about it,” said Brodeur, who said he wants the seat to be held by a “practical progressive.”
Other candidates have also surfaced, according to the Boston Globe. Reps. Christopher Fallon, a Malden Democrat, and Rep. Jason Lewis, a Winchester Democrat, also live in the district.
The Fifth Middlesex state Senate district includes Malden, Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, and portions of Winchester.
Clark launched her campaign to succeed Ed Markey in Congress before the longtime Malden pol won his special election for U.S. Senate. Clark, who bested a large primary field, is running against Frank Addivinola Jr., a Boston Republican who ran for the Boston City Council and lost in September’s preliminary.
Independent James Aulenti of Wellesley is also on the ballot, as well as James Hall of Arlington running under the tag Justice Peace Security.
As far as the state senate is concerned, Brodeur said his “first and foremost” consideration would be his family, including children aged 9 and 11, and he would make up his mind in the “next couple weeks” about whether to run.
“The perpetual campaign is not built to foster a positive family environment,” Brodeur said, after testifying about the need for media literacy education at an Education Committee hearing.
Before Clark, the Senate district was represented by Republican Richard Tisei, who gave up his seat in 2010 to run for lieutenant governor.
- A. Metzger/SHNS
A new Twitter account purportedly set up to draft state Rep. Marc Lombardo for a Congressional run in the 6th District against U.S. Rep. John Tierney had even the potential candidate baffled on Wednesday, but the Billerica Republican would not rule out a run.
“I was very flattered to see that,” Lombardo said. “It’s certainly something that I would have to discuss with my family, and explore with people in the district to see if there was a path to victory.”
Lombardo helped accelerate the buzz on Wednesday when he retweeted the account’s first dispatch: “RT if you think @marctlombardo would make a great Congressman!”
Whoever is behind the account, which did not include identifying information, described Lombardo as a “true conservative.”
Lombardo said he had no idea who was behind the effort, though he did say that last week an anonymous letter arrived at his house also urging him to run.
“I wish I knew who it was so I could talk to them about it,” Lombardo said.
At the time Lombardo retweeted the message, the account had just two followers: a reporter at the Lowell Sun and Red Sox TV color analyst and former second baseman Jerry Remy. Andover Rep. Jim Lyons, however, soon seconded the notion that Lombardo would “make a great Congressman.”
Lombardo used to reside in U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas’s district, but Billerica was redrawn into Tierney’s district during the redistricting process.
Former Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei of Wakefield ran against Tierney in 2012.
A visitor to the State House press gallery popped his head in Wednesday and surfaced the Lombardo for Congress Twitter talk, calling it the “hilarity of the day.”