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Mention of Aherns in
Newspaper Stories of 2001

Falmouth Court
(The following pleaded innocent.)
AHERN , David, 18, 122 Snake Pond Road, Forestdale; breaking and entering in the daytime for felony leaving person in fear, larceny under $250, Dec. 27 in Falmouth. Pretrial hearing Feb. 12.
Cape Cod Times 16 January 2001
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Man gets 10 years for treating prostitute like slave
A Prostitute was treated as a slave by a Cork criminal who terrorised her. Yesterday, he was jailed for 10 years for what the judge described as one of the worst cases of its kind. Judge A.G. Murphy sentenced Christopher Aherne, 40, of Ferndale Villas, Lough Road, Cork, at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday. At the end of the trial last year, Mr Aherne was convicted on six charges of demanding money from Sheila O’Byrne at Morrissons Island, Cork, and other places, and threatening to kill her or cause her serious harm at Morrissons Island and using a Stanley knife to intimidate her at Emmet Place. Judge Murphy said: "This man fought this case tooth and nail and lied under oath. Then or now he has not shown a scintilla of remorse. "The victim is from the most vulnerable sector of society and is therefore most in need of protection. "He threatened to kill her and cut her up. He had a knife. He hit her. He obtained money from her to the extent that she had none. She went hungry. He was killing the goose that laid the golden egg and he did not care."

The victim in the case previously praised Sergeant Gerry Corbett and other gardaí at MacCurtain Street who treated her with dignity and took her complaints seriously enough to investigate them. Sgt. Corbett said Ms O'Byrne was left with nowhere else to turn when she approached the gardaí. Things had become so desperate for her that she considered suicide as a way of escaping from Mr Aherne. "This was a very despicable crime. He operated a reign of terror which subdued this woman to virtual slavery," Sgt. Corbett said. Mr Aherne was addicted to heroin and got involved in criminal behaviour early in life, Patrick McCarthy SC said. Ms O’Byrne said she ended up paying Mr Aherne £240 a week and £50 extra if she was late with her payments. "I kept working and working. I did not live a life, I just saw the streets, I was left with nothing, I was starving," she said.

Irish Examiner 16 February 2001
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Kyla Delanie Raine Ahern, a girl, born Feb. 16 to Tiffany Miller and Bryan Ahern of Fort Walton Beach, at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.
Northwest Florida Daily News 20 February 2001
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WEST BOYLSTON—Mr. and Mrs. Stephen D. Cope II of 164 Fairbanks St. announce the engagement of their daughter, Miss Cortney J. Cope, to Sean M. O'Hearn. Miss Cope, a graduate of Framingham State College, is an eighth-grade English teacher at Magruder Middle School, Torrance, Calif. Mr. O'Hearn, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Brian P. O'Hearn of 7 Lexington Drive, is a graduate of WPI, Worcester. He is a design engineer with Garrett Engine Boosting Systems, Torrance. A July wedding is planned.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette 25 February 2001
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Local Teen Experiences Life in Nation's Capitol
Matthew Ahearn of Phoenix was recently in Washington, D.C., writing an amendment to an education bill. He is not a politician, but rather, a 17-year-old junior at Brophy College Preparatory, attending a National Young Leaders Conference (NYLC). The NYLC offers students with leadership potential and scholastic achievement the opportunity to spend six days in Washington, meeting with members of the government, participating in role-playing activities and sightseeing.

Ahearn was recommended for the program by faculty members at his high school. He then attended the conference with two other Brophy students, Feb. 13-18. Ahearn says that the most educational part of the trip focused on role-playing activities - three simulations that presented real-life situations for each of the three branches of the federal government. In the executive branch simulation, Ahearn and a group of 22 students acted as the president and cabinet members responding to a crisis situation. A simulation of an actual Supreme Court case had the students acting as justices and attorneys.

Ahearn says the most involved of the simulations was the model Congress, in which the group examined an actual education bill. "Our group was a caucus with certain ideas and our job was to have the bill amended - change some things to make it fit in our favor. There were eight other caucuses, and then there were committees, and there was leadership for each of the parties," he explains. The group wrote the bill and the amendments, attended committee hearings and voted. Ahearn's job in the model Congress was to write an amendment for his group. "I learned so much about how the government works. You get taught how the system works, but you don't really understand it until you're there - you see it happening," Ahearn says.

Also meaningful for Ahearn, he says, was the opportunity to meet with political leaders, including one of Bill Clinton's top advisors, and meeting students from across the country who were involved in the conference. Though Ahearn enjoyed his experience, he doesn't see politics in his own future. He is a pianist and gives piano lessons as an after-school job. "I'm really involved in music," he says. "I want to go study about the recording and producing aspect - that's what really interests me." He plans to apply to Berklee College of Music in Boston and perhaps to Northwestern University in Illinois, as well. Ahearn is active at Brophy. A former baseball player, he currently plays football and is a member of National Honor Society and President's Men. Ahearn lives with his parents, Gayle and Mike, and his 15-year-old sister, Melissa, a student at Sunnyslope High School. For more information about the National Young Leaders Conference, visit the Web site at

Jewish News of Greater Phoenix 2 March 2001
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Haynes pleads not guilty
Gettis Haynes Sr., 63, of Hannibal, pleaded not guilty Monday to two charges that were filed after the accident death of a Quincy, Ill., woman. On Oct. 24, 2000, Hope Ahern, 35, of Quincy, died from injuries suffered when she was standing behind her car on the shoulder of I-72 just west of the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge. She had driven off the highway to change a flat tire, and was hit by Haynes' car after he also pulled off the highway.

Haynes is charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault. Both are Class C felonies. He was arraigned Monday in Circuit Court, where his not guilty plea was heard by Judge Robert Clayton II. The case was continued to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20. Haynes remained in custod at Marion County Jail in Palmyra, with bond set at $50,000, cash only. His bond was reduced Feb. 2 in Associate Circuit Court from $100,000, cash only, to the current bond.
— Hannibal, MO Courier-Post 6 March 2001
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The late Patrick T. Aherne from Glensharrold is featured in the Saint Patrick's Day issue of Ireland's Eye Magazine. Two of his articles from The West Limerick Journal are reprinted in the very popular family magazine. The story of the Fenian Captain Guiry who was born in Shanrath, Castlemahon and spent some time in Glensharrold while on the run. The other article tells the story of the Old Rural tradition The House Station which took place at Tom Madigan's House in Rooshagh. It is nice to see local stories highlighted in a national magazine. [Born in Glensharrold, Aherne wrote "The Land War and it’s Miseries" and edited many issues of the West Limerick Journal.]
Limerick Leader 7 April 2001
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Selectmen Set Articles for Meetings
Selectmen also heard arguments by Owen Ahearn of 100 Cedar Drive against dog owner Michael Oliveira. Mr. Ahearn complained about barking and argued that Mr. Oliveira hasn't followed a selectmen's letter asking that his two dogs be kept outside only from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mr. Oliveira said that since the letter was delivered in January, the dogs only stayed outside after the 9 p.m. curfew once. Mr. Oliveira and Mr. Ahearn agreed to a probationary period of 60 days on the order. If Mr. Oliveira violates the order, selectmen may impose fines.
South Coast Today 25 April 2001
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Timothy E. Ahern, 45, of 124 Orchard Hill Drive, Oxford, charged with larceny under $250, dismissed, $50 costs, $126.11 restitution; and larceny under $250, dismissed.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette 1 May 2001
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The following were processed in Plaistow District Court from April 23 through April 30 with Judge Peter Hurd presiding: Earle Ahern, 32, of 5 Debra Ave., Raymond, pleaded not guilty to a charge of operating with a suspended registration and was found not guilty. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of operating without an inspection sticker and was found not guilty.
The Rockingham News 18 May 2001
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A Mystery At the End Of a Rainbow
It's making people crazy," Hemang Patel said from behind the counter of his family's convenience store, wearing a slightly amused smile. "I had a call from someone in Philadelphia this morning who wanted directions to come here," he said. "I said 'Why?' He said, 'I want to play Pick 6.' " An apparition of great wealth haunts Mr. Patel's store, which supplies all life's needs, from Slim Jims to Mr. Coffee filters to Tower of Power fat-burning tablets. A few days ago, news spread that the winning ticket in the $46 million Big Game drawing from last June 9 was sold at the store. The one-year deadline for turning in the ticket is looming, but the winner has not appeared. . . . 

Joan Ahern, 60, of Pearl River, N.Y., has a vision. "Something is hitting me that it's a lady," she said. Peering at a sample ticket with the winning numbers, she sees that the woman has children ages 2, 6 and 7, explaining three of the six numbers. "A man wouldn't have the patience," she said. "A man wouldn't come in and say my son is this age, my daughter is that age. He would come in and say, 'Give me a Quick Pick.' " Then what happened, Mrs. Ahern? This beleaguered mother with three young children (and an impatient husband, no doubt) put the ticket in her pocket and went home to do—what else?—laundry. "She had the kids and she threw the ticket in the washer by mistake," Mrs. Ahern said. "It's gone." She waves off other theories, especially those involving a male winner. "I heard a rumor that that the man had a girlfriend and she ran off with the ticket," she said, but added derisively, "That's just hearsay." . . . 

New York Times 6 June 2001
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Woman Seriously Hurt in Thruway Rollover
A woman's leg was seriously hurt when her car rolled over on the Thruway yesterday afternoon. State police said Kelly Ahern, 26, of Asheville, N.C., was driving south on the Thruway around 12:30 p.m. when her car apparently veered off the road. She then appeared to over-correct and her car skidded into the grass median and overturned. Ahern was not wearing a seatbelt and was partly ejected from the car, police said. The Vails Gate Fire Company used an extrication device to remove her from the car. She was flown to Westchester Medical Center for treatment for a compound fracture of her left leg.
Times Herald-Record 30 June 2001
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Man, 19, Stabbed in Suspected Gang Fight
A 19-year-old man was stabbed in the chest and wrist Sunday night in Newhall in a possible gang-related fight, authorities said. Michael Ahern was taken by friends to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery, said Det. Ignacio Somoano of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Ahern and his friends, identified by authorities as gang members, were involved in a fight near Market and Pine streets shortly before midnight, Somoano said, adding that the stabbing might be related to an incident that same night in which gunfire was heard. Hospital officials declined to comment on Ahern's condition. No one was arrested.
Los Angeles Times 3 July 2001
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Gangs Linked to Stab Wounds
NEWHALL- A stabbing in Newhall and scattered gunfire in Canyon Country capped a violent dispute Sunday night among rival gang members, authorities said Monday. Michael Ahern, 19, of Canyon Country was stabbed twice in the chest and wrist with some weapon, pointed like an ice pick, and underwent surgery early Monday morning at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, said Lt. Tim Peters of the Santa Clarita sheriff's station. Three of Ahern's friends drove him to the hospital. All four of the men were identified by investigators as having gang ties, Peters said. About an hour before the stabbing, gunfire was reported in the 19000 block of Newhouse Street near Ahern's home, Peters said. Residents of the area told deputies that firecrackers had been set off, but deputies dismissed the story after finding a vehicle with a bullet hole, Peters said. Detectives with the station's anti-gang unit are investigating the case and believe the stabbing may be linked to a June 18 shooting in the same neighborhood, Peters said. The shooting victim, Heriberto Ruiz, 27, of Newhall, has been released from the hospital but has refused to provide investigators with information, officials said. "It's not clear yet, but there's a strong possibility the two incidents are linked," Peters said, adding that authorities have no suspects in either case. Detectives had not yet interviewed Ahern by late Monday afternoon. He is expected to survive his stab wounds, officials said. Ahern was stabbed just before midnight in the neighborhood near Market and Pine streets, a few blocks from where the shooting occurred several weeks ago, officials said.
Daily News of Los Angeles 3 July 2001
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100 Fulton St., Unit 5V - Michael E. Ahern to Elizabeth A. Reece, $845,000
The Boston Globe 19 July 2001
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Yearly Pilgrimage Created its Own Community
Every once in a while, a greeting card slides out of a folder Lou Rielle is transferring from one neat pile on his bed to another. Invariably, the card has a painting of a saint or of Mary or Jesus on the front. The penmanship is Palmer method-perfect or that of someone who has trouble simply printing. What each card has in common are the same five words: Thank you. God Bless You. The appreciation and the prayers are always addressed to Rita and Louis Rielle. For a thoughtful deed. For a small consideration. But mostly for the work they've invested in keeping the Andrew J. Ahearn Memorial Pilgrimage to the St. Anne de Beaupre Shrine in Quebec a yearly tradition. Andy Ahearn was 66 when he died suddenly in March of 1956. Thirty-four years earlier, he had been cured at the shrine. He'd been diagnosed as a "hopeless cripple" and "beyond the help of medical science" after falling from a delivery wagon in 1915, breaking two vertebrae in the lumbar region. His daughter Rita was 13 days old.

Andy endured seven years of physical and economic misery before learning of the St. Anne de Beaupre Shrine in Quebec. The little town located 20 miles from Quebec City on the St. Lawrence River is called the "Lourdes of the New World" because of its reputation as a healing place. He mortgaged his house to be able to afford the train trip to Canada. And there, on July 26, the Feast of St. Anne, celebrating the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus, Andy Ahearn dropped his crutches and walked. Andy promised St. Anne that if he was cured, he would return to the shrine every year with disabled pilgrims. He kept his vow, even tirelessly raising funds for those who, like himself, could not afford the trip. Upon Andy's death, his daughter and son-in-law kept the promise and pilgrimage alive. She was a school teacher; he worked as a general foreman for the post office. "It's what Dad would have wanted us to do," Lou Rielle says. "It was the right thing to do. A lot of work. But the right thing to do. You wouldn't believe the backing we've received through the years. What a story it would make to credit the volunteer nurses and aides who come year after year to ensure people can make the trip. They give up their vacations to help. We couldn't do it without them. That's for sure." He says this while sitting in his easy chair in Room 305 of the Mont Marie Health Care Center in Holyoke.

Lou is 88. Leans on a cane to walk. Apologizes for his memory. But he is mostly gracious and organized. He moved to the Mont the day after Rita's funeral last August. She was 84 and had endured a long illness. Mounting medical bills forced the Rielles to sell their Springfield home. "This is my office now," Lou says with a grin, pointing to the three stacks of Ahearn Pilgrimage history on his bed. The smile fades from his face. The room is dominated by photographs of Rita and of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, plus his video collection of films from the 1940s and '50s. "I miss her," he says. "She was a great girl. We were married for 58 wonderful years. There's a big hole in my life right now without her. It's not easy. I try not to complain too much." He doesn't. Instead, Lou tells what capable hands the Ahearn Pilgrimages are now in with Leonard DiVittorio of Astoria, N.Y. "Lenny's been with us, oh, the last 25 years or so," Louis says. "What a good, thoughtful, big-hearted man. The last trip we were probably in charge of was two years ago. Maybe it was '98 or '97. I told you my memory isn't what it used to be. It was before Rita fell and broke her hip, which started the whole thing. It's safe to say we ran it for more than 40 years. We actually ran it longer than Dad, I guess. It was our honor and privilege. We made a lot of good friends. It's time to get out of the way."

There were no dramatic cures while Lou and Rita ran the pilgrimage. "Certainly nothing like what happened with Dad," he says. "Some people's arthritis got better, a few people with multiple sclerosis had it go into remission, but, mostly I think the pilgrimage created this community — people praying not just for cures for themselves, but praying for each other, getting closer to God. It's a chance for some to go someplace special every year. It's brought comfort and hope." Lou hopes to return to St. Anne's this year. "I don't know if I can make the whole trip," he says. "But I'd like to be there on the 26th, the feast day. The day Dad was cured. It will be strange not to be there with Rita. But it seems like the place where I should be."
Union-News 22 July 2001
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Residents of an apartment at 903-44 Street SE had an unwelcomed guest this morning. The unwelcomed guest was a three and a half to four foot snake. Fire crews were dispatched to this address at 10:45 this morning. Upon arrival, a female occupant was peering out of a bedroom at a large snake in the apartment. The crew of #12 station cautiously approached the door of the suite. Fortunately, due to his son's interest in snakes, the Captain of #12 Pump is very knowledgeable about snakes and immediately identified the "intruder" as a California King Snake.

Captain Terry Ahearn instantly knew that the snake was not venomous, but is classified as a "constrictor-type" snake. Unlike life-threatening snakes, he stated "It is a good kind of snake". Captain Ahearn was also aware that these snakes can live for over a month without food. The owner of the snake was located. She is the occupant of another suite at this address. She disclosed that she had taken the snake out of its cage five days ago to clean the cage at which time it disappeared. She assumed that it had entered a heat vent and would return to its "home" when it was hungry and therefore had not alerted the other tenants of the apartment complex. The snake had entered the neighbouring suite via the heat vent. Captain Ahearn picked up the snake and using a Fire Department tongs tool, placed the snake into a pillow case. EMS stood by in the event that there were any injuries sustained in the capture. The uninjured snake was returned to the rightful owner. There were no human injuries at this incident. Along with his crew, Captain Ahearn is credited with being the "right responder at the right time".
City of Calgary Press Release 5 August 2001
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WEST BOYLSTON—Miss Cortney J. Cope and Sean M. O'Hearn were married in First Congregational Church. The bride, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen D. Cope of West Boylston, is a graduate of Framingham State College. She is an English teacher with the Franklin Public Schools. The bridegroom, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Brian P. O'Hearn of West Boylston, is a graduate of WPI, Worcester, and is a technical consultant for Vistagy, Waltham.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette 26 August 2001
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Patrick Ahern, 19, of 20 Merrill Drive, Atkinson, was arrested and charged with transporting alcohol in a motor vehicle, possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle and speeding.
The Rockingham News 31 August 2001
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Sting nets three for prostitution
Three Omaha women were charged with prostitution after a sting operation was conducted by the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force Thursday. A detective with the task force posed as a paying customer at a Council Bluffs hotel. Three women responded to the detective's contacts. Reports stated that at 8:44 p.m., Renay Ahern, 37, allegedly agreed to perform oral and straight sex for $100. Ahern was cited for prostitution and released. At 9:27 p.m., Shaquila Bruce, 21, agreed to perform oral sex on the detective for $200. Bruce was charged with suspicion of prostitution and possession of marijuana after officers searched her after her arrest. Bruce was transported to Pottawattamie County Jail. At 11:08 p.m., Debra R. Anderson, 21, was cited and released for prostitution after allegedly agreeing to perform a sex act with the detective for $200.
The Daily Nonpareil 11 September 2001
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Priest is Sued in Alleged Love Affair
MILFORD, Conn. — A West Haven woman who says she had a sexual relationship with a priest who was counselling her has filed a lawsuit against the priest and the Archdiocese of Hartford. Doreen Ahern asserts in a lawsuit filed Monday in Superior Court that her affair with the Rev. Matthew Kappalumakkel began in April 1996 and lasted until she ended it four years later. Ahern says in the suit that she had "a long psychiatric history, including emotional problems" when she went to Kappalumakkel for counseling, then became involved in an "intimate" relationship. Kappalumakkel's lawyer, Hugh Keefe, said Monday that his client denies the allegations and will fight the claims. Keefe also said that Ahern had previously made similar claims against Kappalumakkel then withdrew them, and said he understood she was seeking money. "Today, every disgruntled person looking for east money takes a shot at Roman Catholic priests, because they have become punching bags," Keefe said.

Ahern's lawyer John Williams said that although $300,000 might have been on the table at some time during previous talks, there is neither a demand nor a settlement offer now active. "The church did offer her money . . . obviously the lawsuit is seeking money," Williams said. The Archdioces of Hartford is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit for allegedly failing to supervise the priest. "We are deeply troubled by the allegations set forth in the lawsuit, and we are concerned for the welfare of the individuals allegedly involved," said Monsignor Charles Johnson, a spokesman for the archdiocese.
The Boston Globe 12 September 2001
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Soccer League
Like Abbeyfeale Utd. in Division One, Ballingarry scored two goals in the last few minutes to win by a goal away to Athea Utd. Patrick O'Keeffe had opened the scoring for Ballingarry from a corner but Padraig Dillon equalised for Athea, who then went ahead through Gerard Ahern, whose goal looked increasingly likely to be sufficient to capture all three points and put Athea in the Division two driving seat. However Ballingarry didn't give up and they got their reward four minutes from time when Stephen Dunworth equalised and the same player heightened his hero status in injury-time when he scored the winner.
Limerick Leader 22 September 2001
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Joshua Ahern, 22, of Quincy, charged with disorderly behavior, dismissed; and possession of marijuana, continued without a finding for six months, ordered to undergo drug evaluation, to remain drug-free and to submit to random drug tests, $50 costs.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette 18 October 2001
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NYPD Detective, stationed at the Arson and Explosion Squad at Police Headquarters
Background: Grandparents emigrated from Co Cork. Resides in Yorktown Heights.

Family: Wife Barbara; daughter Hayley Kathleen, 7; son John Ryan, 22 months.

NYPD background: "I became a cop in the summer of 1987. I always wanted to be a cop since I was a little kid—maybe from watching too much TV! At the end of college I joined up and I've loved it. I've jumped around a lot—I was in housing, then I was in narcotics, then missing persons and how I'm here."

Describe your September 11 experience: "It was primary day in the city and I assigned election duty. I didn't have to be in work until 12:30. I was home, and my wife called to tell me a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I turned on the TV and saw it, but I knew I'd be down there digging as my unit handles fires and explosions so I put on my jumpsuit. As I was driving down I heard about the collapses on the news, but was stuck in traffic. "It was just surreal. I parked my car by headquarters, and I walked to the scene. As I came down Broadway it went from being a sunny day to almost black. People were coughing and looking lost; it's just so hard to describe. And when I saw the buildings I couldn't get over it. There aren't any words to describe it. "I got there about a half hour after the second building collapsed. I went right to the scene and tried to hook up with guys from my team. A few guys were missing in the beginning, so our initial mission was to try and find them. We did, and then we just started digging. It's a dangerous job, but we didn't think about it. We just wanted to get started."

What have you been doing since September 11? "We just got pulled out last week because of the cutting down. I was down there pretty much every day; I think I've had five or six days off since it happened. "I told anyone who had family who were lost there to come and see it for closure. There was no way that anyone could have survived. In the beginning people thought there was hope, but I just thought that they should've gone down to see for themselves how horrific it was."

How do you feel about your job? "I'm very proud to be a NYPD officer. It's something I always wanted to do, and I'm in a unit that does a lot of good. Now people have seen the amount of good that we can do. I'm very happy where I am."

Irish Voice 8 November 2001
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Nov. 20 - Bryan S. Ahern, 30, of Bennetts End, Wright, charged with violation of probation on an original charge of battery.
Northwest Florida Daily News 29 November 2001
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Benefit Calendar Lets You See the Forest and the Trees
Ever hear of the Waugh Arboretum? That's part of its problem.

We're not talking about an obscure little corner of the state. The Waugh Arboretum boasts more than 1,500 species growing on 1,400 acres of prime real estate in the Pioneer Valley and is used by 30,000 people every day. That's because the arboretum comprises the entire campus of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. A 2002 calendar featuring paintings, collages, and photos of favorite campus trees contributed by Pioneer Valley artists, many of them UMass graduates, is part of a new communitywide effort to raise awareness of the arboretum and funds to maintain the trees. ''We had a wonderful gallery show in the Student Union Art Gallery and a reception and many people,'' said R. Marc Fournier, assistant director for grounds management, who came up with the calendar idea. Forty-five artists competed to participate.

The fortunes of the arboretum have flowed and ebbed over the past 138 years. If the Victorian era was high tide for the campus's many rare trees, the second half of the 20th century was low tide, when the very existence of the arboretum seems to have been forgotten, and many trees were killed by construction and lack of care. The trees were more treasured in the early years of the campus, which was founded in 1863 as the Massachusetts Agricultural College. When its first sitting president, William Smith Clark, helped start the Sapporo Agricultural College in Hokkaido, Japan, in 1876, he and his colleagues sent back many unusual specimens, such as the first Japanese elm planted in this country. Graduating classes also often planted trees, and one class planted a tree for every graduating member.

In 1944, the collection was named the Waugh Arboretum in honor of landscape architecture professor Frank Waugh. It slipped from the university's consciousness in the 1960s, however, when a great building boom on campus saw trees as obstacles rather than assets. In 1986, a campus maintenance crew cut down the oldest cork tree in the United States without any knowledge that they were killing a historic tree. It was closely related to the Arnold Arboretum's ''Corky,'' which has been called the best-loved tree in New England and whose demise was widely mourned after the weight of an entire school class posing for a photo on its horizontal branch snapped its roots several years ago. The 60-foot-tall UMass sakhalin cork tree was equally horizontal in habit, with a trunk 3.5 feet in diameter.

Jack Ahern was one person profoundly affected by the killing of the cork tree, which he calls a tragedy. It occurred only two weeks after he started his job heading the university's Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. ''It was brought back from Japan by William S. Clark and cut down under the guise of safety removal, though it's not clear that it couldn't have been saved,'' he recalled recently. ''I found out after the deed was done. We didn't have a procedure for the maintenance department conferring with people who knew about the trees, so those things fell through the cracks. But the controversy did lead to some good things, such as labeling the trees again. We tried to create something good out of something bad that had happened.''

The good things eventually included Ahern's appointment three years ago as director of the Waugh Arboretum, an unpaid position that had been vacant for decades. He formed the Arboretum Advisory Board with a group from three university departments - landscape architecture and regional planning, grounds management, and forestry - who were concerned about the declining collection and wanted to raise awareness and funds. They helped initiate an annual Arbor Day celebration the last Friday of every April that includes tree plantings, campus tree tours, pruning demonstrations, and an exhibit of student outdoor sculpture.

Kat Eldred and her staff in the communications and marketing department on campus worked with the artists to create the calendar. ''We should always be this entrepreneurial,'' she said, ''but in these economic times, it even becomes more imperative. It's unlikely that the arboretum would be a funding priority... but we would stand to lose so much if we didn't maintain it.'' The calendar cover features a painting by Rachel Folsom of Amherst of a 127-year-old European beech in the university's Durfee Garden, its gray trunk etched with students' initials. ''I was attracted to those muscular branches,'' Folsom said. ''I hated the idea of the graffiti, but I was fascinated by them at the same time, the generations of college students proclaiming their love.'' Artist Louise Minks of Leverett chose to paint a Japanese lilac planted by Clark in the 1870s. ''I've always been interested in William Clark, who is still remembered very fondly by the Japanese students, who visit his grave,'' she said. Amherst artist Marcia Howard made a paper collage of a 100-year-old oak against the skyline of the university library, the chapel, and Memorial Hall. She has been enjoying the arboretum for 26 years and said the campus looks ''remarkably nicer'' now. ''There's been a lot of work to revitalize the trees.''

Fournier is excited about the progress being made. Early last fall, the grounds management department successfully moved a 70-foot pin oak from the site of the new School of Management addition and planted it in a safe location. ''In the past, it would have just been cut down,'' said Fournier. ''This is a new spirit.'' A key part of that revitalization will be the selection of new trees. During the nadir of the previous three decades, the arboretum lost diversity. Many rare trees dying of old age were thoughtlessly replaced with commonplace landscape trees.

''We have way too many crabapples on campus now,'' said Ahern. ''We're trying to be more systematic about replacement. We need some more Asian conifers, such as Chinese fir and Russian arborvitae. We need to start to renew our collection of Japanese maples. The ones planted by William Clark are dying, sadly, and need to be replaced.'' ''This past spring, the university marked the 125th anniversary of Clark's arrival in Hokkaido with a trio of Japanese cherry trees, a perfect example of how the arboretum helps to make the campus more than a collection of trees and buildings,'' said Ahern, who wrote the 1999 ''A Guide to the Landscape Architecture of Boston'' (Hubbard Educational Trust). ''It's a place where horticulture, history, and learning converge, hopefully transforming young lives.''

To purchase a copy of the 2002 calendar, ''Rise Up and Take Us With You: Fifteen Pioneer Valley Artists Celebrate University Heritage Trees,'' call 413-545-2619 to pay by credit card, or send checks or money order for $16.45 (payable to the University of Massachusetts Amherst) to Valerie Knightly, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Grounds Management Department, Physical Plant Building, 360 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9248. Proceeds will benefit the UMass Waugh Arboretum.
The Boston Globe 13 December 2001
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PLYMOUTH—A Plymouth man charged with stabbing his brother in the neck was released on $2,000 bail and ordered to stay away from the victim and witnesses to the alleged assault. Judge Thomas Brownell released Michael O'Hearn on bail Tuesday after determining that O'Hearn was not a danger to the community. O'Hearn had been held without bail pending the hearing. Judge Brownell ordered O'Hearn to seek or maintain employment, report monthly to probation authorities, and refrain from carrying weapons or abusing alcohol or drugs.

Police charged O'Hearn, 28, with assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery after an alleged altercation at the brothers' Hillside Drive home. Police said Michael O'Hearn grabbed a kitchen knife with a 5-inch blade and stabbed Ryan O'Hearn, 26, in the neck after a heated argument that escalated into a physical fight. O'Hearn pleaded innocent to the charges. He is due back in court Jan. 16. Ryan O'Hearn was taken to Jordan Hospital and transferred to Boston Medical Center. He is in fair condition, according to hospital officials. Police said the dispute was a continuation of an earlier fight in which Ryan O'Hearn slashed at his brother with a hunting knife, cutting him on the hand. Ryan O'Hearn will be summoned to court on assault charges, according to police.

The Patriot Ledger 13 December 2001
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