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Mention of Aherns in
Newspaper Stories of 2010


Medfield—It was a rocky start to the new year for the town's Board of Selectmen Monday, as one of its members sustained serious neck injuries, causing him to miss the board's most recent meeting. Secretary of the Board Patrick Ahern was injured Thursday, Dec. 31 while out shoveling his driveway. Some debris fell on him from above, causing what Chairman of the Board Phil Shapiro called "serious injuries" to Ahern's neck.

According to the Westwood Police Log, the accident happened at 3:32 p.m. The report reads: "caller reports that the party fell". Ahern was taken to Norwood Hospital. Monday night was only the second time Ahern missed a meeting in the 12 years since becoming a member of the Board, according to Shapiro, who added Ahern's presence would be missed. It is not known when Ahern will return to his seat in the Selectman's Meeting Room, but his fellow board members are already looking forward to getting him back. "I know that [Selectman Nancy Hyde] and I are wishing him a speedy recovery," said Shapiro. Until Ahern's return, the board will function as a two-person team, with Hyde assuming the secretary role until Ahern can come back. Selectmen went into executive session at about 8:55 p.m. to discuss litigation. Shapiro said before going into the closed session that the board would not be returning to open session afterwards.

Westwood Press 7 January 2010
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Durham shed destroyed by fire
Durham, MO — A Wednesday night fire destroyed a shed used to restore and house antiques. The alarm came in just before 9 p.m. at the David and Glenda Ahern residence. Crews from Ewing, Maywood and Lewistown responded. The building and a vehicle in front of it were destroyed. Firefighters saved a nearby trailer used to store antiques. There were no injuries The cause remained under investigation. Five Highland High School students who are junior firefighters helped battle the blaze.
Hannibal Courier-Post 7 January 2010
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Defendant dies of heart attack
A man representing himself in Forsyth District Court died Monday after having a heart attack. Lawrence Ahern, who was in his 60s, was waiting to make final arguments on a motion he filed to have a money judgment against him set aside, said Judge Lisa Menefee of District Court, who was overseeing civil District Court on the fourth floor. Paramedics were called to the Forsyth County Hall of Justice at 10:35 a.m. They treated Ahern, who was then taken to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
Winston-Salem Journal 8 January 2010
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Eddie Ahern wins at Lingfield despite crashing car into a ditch
Ahern lost control of his car three miles from Lingfield
Jockey was victorious on Beauchamp Viceroy
Kempton and Lingfield survived early-morning inspections to stage all-weather meetings yesterday, though officials at Lingfield required a second look at the course after almost an inch of snow fell overnight. Eddie Ahern was among those who struggled to make it to the course after his car skidded off the road near the village of Crowhurst, three miles away. "I wanted to go round a bend but the car just went straight on," said the jockey, who emerged uninjured after ending up in a ditch. Ahern flagged down a lift to cover the remaining distance to Lingfield but missed the first of his four booked rides and may have wondered if he had wasted the effort when discovering that the second was a non-runner. But Beauchamp Viceroy put a smile on his face by getting first run on a reluctant-looking Aeroplane in the four-runner conditions race. "He is a nice horse but he can run a good race and then be disappointing the next time," said Ahern, whose car was later recovered with the help of a tractor.
The Guardian 10 January 2010
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Kristen Knecht—Ryan Ahearn Engagement
[photo]
Warwick—Frank and Donna Ahearn of Warwick announce the engagement of their son, Ryan Christopher Ahearn, to Kristen Marie Knecht, the daughter of Judd and Sheri Knecht of Norfolk, Va. Ryan is a graduate of Warwick Valley High School and the University of Virginia, where he received a bachelor of science degree in computer science. He is a senior application programmer at Pragmatics in Charlottesville, Va. Kristen also received her bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia, and is currently pursuing a master's degree there in urban and environmental planning. A May 2010 wedding is planned in Norfolk, Va.
The Warwick Advertiser 14 January 2010
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Officer detains suspect on way to crime scene
A 911 call Sunday that gave the description of a man who allegedly tried to walk away from Food Lion on N. Kings Highway with a shopping cart full of beer led to the man's detention and eventual arrest by the Myrtle Beach police officer responding to the call. A report at the Myrtle Beach Police Department said that the caller, store employee Sally O'Hearn, said in her call that the suspect was approximately 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed 200 pounds.

The officer responding to the call saw a man matching the description standing on the street, picked him up and took him to the grocery store. There, O'Hearn identified the man, Antonio Martinez of Socastee, as being the man she watched put beer and other items into a shopping cart and then walk out the delicatessen door without paying. She told police she chased him into the parking lot where he abandoned the cart and merchandise and kept walking. Martinez was charged with his second offense of shoplifting under $1,000.

The Sun News 19 January 2010
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CHILLED BY CHOICE
Living in atmospheric spaces and conserving financial and natural resources.
   Serious cold, Justin Ladda said, is when the sponge in the kitchen sink feels like wood, or the toothpaste freezes or the refrigerator turns itself off, as it did one particularly frigid day last winter. Not that Mr. Ladda, a 56-year-old sculptor who has lived heat-free in his Lower East Side loft for three decades, is bothered by such extremes. “Winter comes and goes,” he'll tell you blithely, adjusting his black wool scarf and watch cap. (Along with fingerless gloves, long underwear and felt slippers, they are part of Mr. Ladda's at-home uniform, when the mercury dips.)
   Mr. Ladda, whose work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, decided long ago to live without central heating. Proper temperature control, you see, would require insulating his wooden ceiling, and ruining its fine acoustics. “I know this sounds really lame, but I listen to a lot of music and it just sounds better,” he said. Also, the rent on his unimproved live-work loft is only $300, well below many people's winter utility bills.
   But beyond thrift and acoustics, what is perhaps most notable about Mr. Ladda's chilly interior is that like, say, teepee-dwelling Mongolian reindeer herders, or perhaps some very rugged environmentalists, Mr. Ladda has come to thrive in the cold.
   As Americans across the country wrestle with spuses and their thermostats ove how low to go — as they join contests like Freeze Yer Buns, now in its third year, a challenge posed by Deanna Duke, a Seattle-bases environmental blogger who calls herself the Crunchy Chicken, to lower the thermostat to around 55 degrees, or follow the lead of the Maine couple trying to live comfortably in a furnace-free house and blogging about it in their Cold House Journal — there are those who are living nearly without heat by choice, and doing just fine, thank you very much. Indeed, 55 degrees would qualify as sauna conditions for Mr. Ladda and others whose interiors hover around the 30- or 40-degree mark in deep winter.
   Many belong to that hardy genus Artista domestica, a group unusually skilled at foraging in urban frontiers, and long known for sacrificing “normal” creature comforts in favor of other boons like low overhead and capacious, atmospheric habitats. Why they stick it out and how they cope, are object lessons in creative adaptation fueld by thrift, environmentalism and a commitment to unique real estate. (Denial and long underwear help. too.)
 . . . 
   Joe Ahearn, 23, who lives with four roommates in a Queens warehouse (rent: $3,000), uses a space heater in his bedroom (there are five bedrooms and a basement), but the bathroom and the main living room “are pretty much a lost cause,” he said. Showering between November and March is a challenge. A music promoter whose company is called Sleep When Dead, he hosts shows in his house five out of seven nights, which raises the temperature a good 10 or 20 degrees, or so it seems. “Human beings are remarkably efficient space heaters. ” Mr. Ahearn said, and he basks in the damp, warm fug that remains after a performance. Still, his most successful cold-abatement strategy has been romantic: last year he had a grilfriend, and spent most nights at her house.
 . . . 
New York Times 21 January 2010
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A welcome chance to break free of partisan allegiances
A reader from New Jersey, Anthony J. Frascino ("Anarchy in the Bay State," Letters, Jan. 26) would have you believe that independents are "uninformed" "spoilers," who "care nothing about democracy" and are "determined to make the United States ungovernable." In fact, they are people who do care about democracy because they are part of the roughly 50 percent of the public who even bother going to the polls, and for whom the false dichotomy of Democrat vs. Republican has become stale.
   If, instead of letting petty allegiances govern one's voting tendencies, ballots are cast for whomever represents the closest match of ideas and policies in the voter's mind, perhaps we will one day escape the bitter us-vs.-them partisan divide, broaden the election day choices to more than just two prospective candidates, and, as with the great melting pot, bring new kinds of politicians to Washington who can render the inane concept of voting along party lines less tenable.
Steven Ahern
Duxbury
The Boston Globe 31 January 2010
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Ahearn on the mend: Selectman working to beat spinal injury
Westwood —Selectman Patrick Ahearn, who suffered a spinal injury last month in a fall in his driveway, reported he's slowly recovering with the aid of physical therapy and much-appreciated support from friends and the community. Ahearn said he's been in touch with Town Hall and hopes to attend the next Selectmen's meeting remotely via an Internet connection. Selectman Phil Shapiro said teleconferencing during the meeting is possible at Town Hall, but they need to make sure Ahearn's computer at the hospital can handle it. The Board of Selectmen has been operating with just two members since news of his accident was reported during the Jan. 4 selectmen's meeting. It was only the second time Ahearn had missed a meeting in his 12 years as a member of the board.

Contrary to earlier reports, Ahearn said nothing fell on him during the Dec. 31 accident. He said he slipped and fell, suffering an injury to his spinal cord. "My legs went out from underneath me," Ahearn said, and he landed on his back. He said the Westwood police and fire department were "right on the spot" to help him. He was initially transported to Norwood Hospital, then transferred to Brigham and Women's Hospital for five days, then transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation on Jan. 4. "Through hard work and God's graces I seem to be on the mend," Ahearn said during a phone interview last Thursday. He said he has full use of his left hand and arm, some use of his right hand, tremendous use of his left leg and is working on his right leg, which he can move.. Ahearn said he has feeling in all his limbs.

During his recovery, Ahearn said he's been touched and heartened by the support and good wishes he's received from neighbors and the community. "There are times I feel like George Bailey (from the movie 'It's a Wonderful Life') with the support I've gotten from the town," Ahearn said, "Westwood's a wonderful place." Carol Ahearn, his wife, said they've received notes, cards, rides and dinners from people who want to help her and her husband during this time. "The town of Westwood has been wonderful," Carol said, "We're just very thankful for the support. Ahearn said he wanted to, "Just thank them all who sent cards, made phone calls and have done wonderful things for my family and myself. I will never forget them and I'm working very hard to get back in their service 100 percent."

Westwood Press 4 February 2010
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Arlington, Mass. — Charles Ahern of Arlington and Harry Wildasin of Lexington were both at Iwo Jima, Japan in 1945 when the famous World War II battle took place. Sixty-five years after that invasion, the two veterans will be Sen. Ken Donnelly's guests at the State House on Friday, Feb. 19, as the state celebrates Iwo Jima Day in a ceremony to honor Iwo Jima veterans and remember the battle. "This event is such a great opportunity to honor the sacrifices of the men who fought at Iwo Jima 65 years ago and to hear firsthand the stories of those who were there," said Donnelly, D-Arlington, who is the chairman of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.

Wildasin, who became the youngest officer in the Marine Corps at age 20, recalled his arrival at Iwo Jima. "The landing was really noisy," he said. "Besides the Japanese mortars and machine guns, they had the battleships fire their shells overhead." In the course of the battle, 41 of the 57 men in his platoon were lost, and Wildasin himself was wounded.

Ahern signed up for military service in February 1942 while he was still in his final year at college, although he was allowed to graduate before leaving for Officer Candidate School in July. He recalled landing on Iwo Jima and attempting to take a hill while being fired at from the front and the back. "You grew old in a hurry," Ahern said.

Following the end of World War II, Wildasin earned a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University, while Ahern went to work at the First National Bank of Boston and then became a customs employee working for the Department of the Navy. Donnelly stressed the need to continue to support Massachusetts veterans. "These men and those who fought alongside them risked their lives to protect our country and our way of life," he said. "No matter how much time goes by, we can never forget the sacrifices made by our soldiers and our veterans — both those who served in years past, and those who continue to serve our country today."

Arlington Advocate 17 February 2010
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Husband broke court order
A husband has been ordered to complete 150 hours of community service after breaking a restraining order. Andrew Timothy A'Hearn, 48, from Leigh, admitted breaking the conditions of an order which bans any contact with his ex-partner Sharon. A restraining order was placed on A'Hearn in August after he was convicted of harassment. Wigan Magistrates Court heard that A'Hearn received a threatening text from an anonymous number on January 6 which he suspected had been sent by his wife's new partner. A'Hearn contacted his mother-in-law Elizabeth Bell to report the text and avoid speaking to his ex-partner. However, by speaking to Mrs Bell, A'Hearn had breached his restraining order and he was later arrested. The defendant said he had not realised that by contacting his wife's family he had broken the terms of his order and has since moved to Bolton. Wigan magistrates ordered the defendant to complete 150 hours of work in the community and pay £100 in costs.
Wigan Today 18 February 2010
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Wojtowicz, Ahearn
Announcement is made of the engagement and upcoming wedding of Abby Marie Ahearn, Shavertown, to Robert Andrew Wojtowicz Jr., Shavertown. The bride-to-be is the daughter of Patrick and Marybeth Ahearn, Susquehanna, formerly of Danville. She is a 1999 graduate of Danville Senior High School and earned a bachelor's degree in English and political science from Albright College in 2003. She works as a medical center representative for Genentech. The prospective groom is the son of Robert and Doreen Wojtowicz, Wilkes-Barre. He is a 1998 graduate of James M. Coughlin High School and earned a bachelor's degree in business and political science from Albright College in 2002. He works as a sales consultant for Synthes Spine. The wedding is set for April 24 at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, Wilkes-Barre.
The Weekender 21 February 2010
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Two children shot; suspect in custody in Denver school shooting
LITTLETON, Colo.—Two students have been shot at the Deer Creek Middle School this afternoon and the suspected shooter — an adult male — is in custody, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's department. Mark Techmeyer, spokesman for the sheriff's department, said the two juveniles have been transported to a hospital where they are in stable condition. He said both victims were outside the school.

The shooting was reported at 3:14 p.m., according to Techmeyer. The students were identified as Reagan Webber and Matt Thieu. Both 8th graders were being treated at Littleton Adventist Hospital where Regan was listed in good condition and Matt in fair condition, according to hospital spokeswoman Maurine Taylor. Techmeyer said that the wounds are not life-threatening although the 32-year-old man, whose name had not been released by 7 p.m., was using a "high-powered rifle." Jared Nelson, 13, was on a bus when he saw the gunman round a corner on the north side of the school, pull a rifle off his shoulder, fire a round into the air and then shoot a student. "It was kind of shocking when I saw it happening," he said. Several people said that math teacher David Benke then charged and tackled the gunman as he got off a second shot.

Sean Ahearn, 13, saw the same scene unfold, dropped his cello, and jumped in a stranger's car. Then he called his mother, Colleen, with chilling words: "Don't come and get me. Somebody's shooting in the school. I'm in a lady's car." Luke Myrant, 14, says an older guy came in the front door and fired one shot into the air and then reloaded. "He didn't look happy at all," Luke said. The kids scattered. "I was scared to death for my life," Luke said. "My body was shaking and my lip was quivering like I was cold." "I've never been so scared in my life." Teachers were telling kids to get down and not make any noise. The kids were scattered and began texting one another.

Techmeyer said the gun used was a high-powered rifle. Techmeyer said the man launched his attack as the kids were leaving school and boarding school buses. Outside, monitoring the school bus boarding, were several staff, said the sheriff's spokesman. He said that two staff members saw the shooter and simultaneously tackled him. He said a third staff member rushed to their aid and all three were able to disarm the man. "There were some true heroes here today," said Techmeyer. By the time deputies arrived the man was being held by school staff and had been disarmed, he added. Techmeyer said he did not know the relationship, if any, between the shooter and the two children.

Peyton Pritekel, 13, said one of the victims, a girl was brought into the school after the shooting and was bleeding. The girl told them that this guy walked up and asked if they went to Deer Creek. They said yes and he fired twice. "He was just some random guy," Pritekel said, describing him as in his late teens or twenties. "God was looking down on us. I mean amen." Although the shooter is believed to have acted alone, at 5:45 p.m. officers were still carefully checking the school "to make sure we have this under control," said Techmeyer.

Deer Creek Middle School, 9201 W. Columbine Drive, is in the Jefferson County School District. Students from the school were being taken at 4 p.m. from Deer Creek Middle to nearby Stony Creek Elementary school. Parents were asked to go to Stony Creek to pick up their children. Both schools will be closed on Wednesday. Counselors will be at Stony Creek Elementary at 7:30 a.m. to talk with any students who would like their services. Techmeyer said that he "expects a long, long investigation" and that interviews with students and staff will be "non-stop" beginning today and lasting several weeks. He said that as far as he knows the shooter was armed with only the rifle. He said the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department will attempt to trace the origins of the rifle but may ask for the assistance of the ATF. Techmeyer said that authorities are hoping to let students and staff back into the school early this evening to collect their belongings.

Silicon Valley Mercury-News 23 February 2010
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Allison Kelly and Liam Ahearn engaged
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kelly of Westfield announce the engagement of their daughter, Allison Kelly, to Liam Ahearn of Cranford. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Ahearn of Cranford. The bride-elect graduated from Roselle Catholic H.S. and The College of New Jersey with a bachelor's degree in special education. She will receive her master's degree in learning disabilities from Kean University, Union this year. She is employed by the Summit Board of Education as a special education teacher. Her fiancé graduated from St. Peter's Prepatory School in Jersey City and Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., with a bachelor's degree in economics. He is employed at Capstone Advisory Group in Saddle Brook as a restructuring advisor. The couple will be married in October 2010.
Suburban News 23 February 2010
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Rothbury bull rider Jason O'Hearn back in the States
After a relaxing summer on his parents' Rothbury property, Jason O'Hearn is back in the United States for another season on the bull riding circuit. O'Hearn flew out on Monday and will compete in his first American rodeo for the year in San Antonio, Texas on Friday. While he spent most of the summer catching up with family and friends, O'Hearn made time to contest the Allora Show Rodeo at Warwick, Queensland on February 6 and 7. O'Hearn tied for second with Tenterfield bull rider Rory Smith, behind Gunnedah's Mitchell Duff. "It was good to blow out a few cobwebs and get back into the groove," O'Hearn said. The San Antonio event is the start of a busy year for the bull rider, who will travel far and wide to compete in rodeos every weekend.

"Sometimes there will be two or three a weekend, during their summer time it's pretty full-on," O'Hearn said. Throughout the year he will attend qualifying events for the Pro Bull Riding (PBR) World Finals, which will be held in Las Vegas in November. O'Hearn missed out on a place at the 2009 finals — injury setbacks saw him ranked around 60th, and the top 40 qualify for the event. One of O'Hearn's highlights of 2010 is sure to be the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada, which he qualified for after success in a number of events last year. Held from July 9 to 18, the Calgary Stampede is one of the biggest shows in international rodeo, with a $100,000 first prize up for grabs.

O'Hearn is no stranger to the Canadian circuit — after winning the Australian bull riding championship in 2004, he packed his bags for Canada and spent two years there. Since then he has picked up a swag of titles including International Rodeo Bull Riding Champion in New Zealand in November 2008. It was for this effort among others that he gained the Cessnock City Sportsperson of the Year award in March last year.

At 30, O'Hearn realises he is coming towards the tail-end of his career and hopes to make the most of his time left in the arena. "Hopefully I've got a couple more good years left in me," he said.

The Advertiser 24 February 2010
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Sunroom contractor sentenced to four years in jail
LAWRENCE — Dorris and Bill O'Hearn signed a contract with American Sunroom Co. in November 2003. One month later, company owner James Brien sent the couple a Christmas card. In February 2004, Brien arrived at the O'Hearn's home in Leominster to take final measurements for their new sunroom. But what was supposed to be a "dream come true" quickly turned into a nightmare, Dorris O'Hearn said yesterday in Lawrence Superior Court. "There would be no sunroom," she told Judge Maureen Hogan. "What James Brien did was make one of his own dreams come true by stealing $23,000 from us."

Brien, 60, of North Andover, was sentenced yesterday to four years in jail. In January, he was found guilty of 22 counts of general contractor violations, having failed to build sunrooms for customers who paid him a collective $365,586. Hogan said Brien will be eligible for parole after two years. Upon completion of his sentence, he must serve 10 years of probation. Brien must pay his victims back in full, and while on probation must submit annual financial disclosures to officials and inform them of any future business ventures. In court yesterday, Assistant Attorney General David Andrews told Hogan that Brien has been convicted in the past in connection to similar schemes involving the sale of pools, water filtration systems, and for a fraudulent commodities trading business. "What we have here, your Honor, is a defendant who has not learned from his past transgressions," Andrews said.

The state attorney general's office launched an investigation into American Sunroom Co. in February 2004. Brien was indicted by the Essex County grand jury in June 2006. He pleaded not guilty in Superior Court that July and was released on personal recognizance. Charged with one count of larceny over $250 by false pretense and 22 counts of general contractor violations, Brien's trial lasted nine days. On Jan. 29, Hogan found Brien not guilty on the larceny charge but guilty on all 22 general contractor violations, which each carry a maximum sentence of one year in jail. Brien sat quietly before Hogan in court yesterday afternoon. "Your crimes were not the result of bad business judgment and bad business decisions," Hogan told Brien before issuing his sentence. "Your goal was to get money for you and your family and you took from good, hardworking people to do so."

Only O'Hearn, 65, chose to read a victim impact statement yesterday. O'Hearn said any money she and her husband receive from Brien will go toward the second mortgage they took out in 2006 to build a sunroom with a different contractor. "It's finally over," said O'Hearn. "We've been waiting for this."

Lawrence Eagle-Tribune 10 March 2010
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Memorial fundraiser for tragic Samantha
The parents of a teenager who died when she suffered an epileptic fit and fell down the stairs have set up a fundraising appeal in her memory. Mum Linda McGoff had never heard of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) until her daughter Samantha Ahearn collapsed at their Radcliffe home. At an inquest into her daughter's death, Mrs McGoff relived the tragic moment 19-year-old Samantha died in her arms the day before she was due to go on holiday with a friend.

Now Mrs McGoff and her husband Billy are hoping to prevent other families experiencing the devastation they have endured by raising awareness and funding research into the condition. Mrs McGoff said: "We didn't know you could die from epilepsy. If we had realised it is such a serious condition, if we had known it was deadly, we would have done everything in our power to see a neurologist sooner." Last Wednesday, Rochdale Coroner's Court heard that Samantha, a Holy Cross College student, had only been diagnosed with epilepsy six months before she died. She was due to fly to Tenerife for a holiday with a friend in July, 2009, and had been upstairs packing before she tumbled down the stairs. Her parents rushed into the hallway of their home in Dumers Lane, Radcliffe, to help Samantha. Mrs McGoff, said: "She felt as if she was due to have a fit and wanted to get it out of the way before she went on holiday because we were there. The fit seemed different to normal, there was no response from her, that's how I know she died in my arms." Paramedics spent more than an hour trying to resuscitate Samantha to no avail.

Pathologist Dr Adegoke Oyegade said that Samantha had not suffered any injuries from the fall. The teenager had been in a car accident and suffered whiplash weeks before experiencing her first fit. Coroner Simon Nelson said it was "difficult to ignore" the relationship between the collision and the fitting and ruled a verdict of SUDEP. He said: "There is clearly a great deal to be learnt, not only by sufferers, but families who have to care for young people who have epilepsy."

Around £2,900 has already been raised through donations and a charity auction is being held at Radcliffe Civic Suite on June 19. Mr McGoff said: "There is nothing we can do for Sam now but if we can prevent one family having to go through what we are going through, that is all we can do." Mrs McGoff added: "Samantha had so many friends and was determined and driven, a very loving daughter."

* To donate to the Sam Ahearn Appeal, visit: justgiving.com/samahearn

Lancashire Telegraph 11 March 2010
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Irish sound is sure to allure
By Lana Sweeten-Shults
If you head downtown Saturday, be prepared to get a little Irish on ya. Eighth Street will be going green, after all — or at the least the 600 block of it — for the annual St. Patrick's Day Downtown Street Festival, when everyone suddenly finds a little Irish heritage in their family. About 36.3 million Americans claimed Irish ancestry in 2008 — more than four times the population of Ireland, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — and those Irish folk celebrate that ancestry in what has become the biggest party of cultural heritage in the United States. That means, of course, that even in Wichita Falls, you'll get a little Irish on ya, thanks to Saturday's annual St. Paddy's Fest. It's just one of the festivals organized annually by Downtown Wichita Falls Development Inc. The revitalization group, which promotes downtown, is the same one that puts together City Lights and the Cajun Festival. When it comes to the St. Patrick's Day fest, it'll be all about the music, but with a focus on bringing in more families to the music-heavy event.

The 3,200 or so that donned their green leprechaun hats and beaded shamrock necklaces last year found some Celtic manna, and rock distraction, too, among the bands. This year is no different, with five groups playing on outdoor and indoor stages. Danny Ahern, co-owner of downtown's Iron Horse Pub and a native of Tipperary, Ireland, started this whole shindig nine years ago when he was nostalgic for home — and a good party. So he organized the event for the Pub then expanded it a few years later by making the party a Downtown Wichita Falls Development Inc. event. In the past, he brought his good buddies, Shannon Folk of Killaloe, Ireland, to the festival to play traditional folk tunes. But in 2009, and this year, too, Ireland's Call will take the outdoor stage, along with Dallas-based Celtic alternative rock band the Killdares and opening act A Formal Affair. Ireland's Call, from the Limerick area of the Emerald Isle, will bring that traditional Irish folk sound to the outdoor stage.

"The music has been handed down to all four of us from our parents, who learned from their parents, so it's a legacy that goes back for generations," band member Mickey Dunne told the Times Record News in 2009. The group's music is richly imbued with the banjo, fiddle, whistles and typical band gear of guitar and bass, along with uilleann pipes — an instrument Dunne not only plays but makes in his day job. Ahern said he used to watch Dunne's bandmate in Ireland's Call, Martin Byrnes, when he was a kid growing up in Ireland. And the CD "A True-Born Irishman," produced by Dunne and Byrnes, has been in the Pub's jukebox since it opened. The group also includes Joe Maher, a founding member of the Rake n Ramblers, which was big in Ireland in the '70s and '80s, and Bryan Healy, an in-demand bass player who is from one of the great musical families back home. The guys will deliver traditional Irish jigs and reels but will mix in a few other musical genres, too.

The Killdares, on the other hand, puts its own twist on Celtic music by adding some Texas rock backbone to it. Drummer and lead vocalist Tim Smith has said the group's sound has been described as Celtic alternative rock — a mash-up of Texas, rock and Celtic sounds that has included such innovative performances as a bagpipe rendition of "Blitzkrieg Bob" in the past. The group, which has been around since 1996, has released five CDs and has been named to quite a few "best of" music lists in Texas. It also boasts some mean-green fiddling from Roberta Rast, a six-time national fiddle champion from Idaho and the 2005 Grand Master Champion. Ahern said he's been trying to book the Killdares for the St. Paddy's Day street party for a while and feels lucky he nabbed the band this year. The group is generally booked solid around the holiday. The Killdares have played Hotter'N Hell and are a favorite at the Iron Horse, too.

Opening act A Formal Affair, meanwhile, has made the rounds on the local club scene and has played FallsFest. The band has called its sound "as hard rock as you can get with a piano." A Formal Affair plays originals and covers music that ranges from John Mayer to Lil Wayne. Besides the outdoor stage, festival-goers can head into the Iron Horse Pub, too, where the indoor stage will spotlight Mike O'Neill and Daddy-O. The group is known for its stellar musicianship and straight-up rock, sometimes bluesy, sound. O'Neill, by the way, has performed with Delbert McClinton, Jerry Fisher of Blood, Sweat and Tears, the Doobie Brothers, Freddie King and Stephen Bruton and T-Bone Burnett (Burnett just won an Oscar for his work on the music in the film "Crazy Heart"). And local favorite AA Bottom will reunite at the festival, too. The group played its first show in 1989 as the opening act for legendary Texas guitarist Eric Johnson. The guys played regularly in Texas and Oklahoma and released three CDs before group members started touring with Wichita Falls' Johnny Cooper until 2008.

Besides all the music, Kelly Atkins, executive assistant at the Downtown Wichita Falls Development Inc. office, said a number of family-friendly activities will keep young festival-goers occupied. "Pepper the Clown's going to be out there and Quarter Note the Clown, who will be the face painter," she said. Oriental Express will tote along games such as Krazy Tubes, basketball and Texas Toads. Outside of the family realm, Miss Fannie's Feline Friends will sell Irish-related items, Shamrock Insurance plans on being represented at the festival, and a scented candles vendor will be there, too, along with a psychic.

Food will range from Domino's Pizza to sausage from Bar-L, hamburgers and hotdogs from MT's Cafe, and barbecue sandwiches and roasted corn from Court Appointed Special Advocates. And downtown merchants are running a Find the Pot O' Gold promotion, too, beginning at 11 a.m., hoping to get festival-goers to come out a little early and do some shopping. Atkins said volunteers from Sheppard Air Force Base, Hirschi High School and the Midwestern State University rugby team are always out volunteering to make the event bigger and better. And Ahern added Downtown Wichita Falls Development Inc. is hoping to attract about 4,000 of his fellow Irishmen to the event and to anyone who just wants to get a little Irish on 'em.

Wichita Falls Times Record News 12 March 2010
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BENNINGTON — The annual St. Patrick's Day parade will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday. The parade will begin on Safford Street, move down Main Street, turn left on Depot Street and end at the Bennington Fire Facility. Organizer T.J. Carmody said there will be bands, veterans groups and students participating in the parade. This year's Grand Marshall is John Ahearn, of Bennington, a National Guard veteran who served two terms of duty in Iraq. Ahearn is the chief financial officer of the Rifenburg Company in Troy, N.Y.
Rutland Herald 13 March 2010
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Hingham students in BC High honor society
Patrick R. Ahern, Matthew J. Burke and Brian J. Sullivan of Hingham, juniors at Boston College High School, were among the 106 seniors and juniors inducted into the Robert J. Fulton, S.J. Chapter of the National Honor Society at a ceremony Feb. 2 at Boston College High School's Fahey-Hunter Commons. . . . 
Hingham Journal 14 March 2010
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Essex County Chronicles: Today's twirlers owe debt of thanks to Salem's Ahern family
Jim McAllister
While watching a few minutes of a band movie the other day, I recalled that I had once been given a lengthy document written by beloved Salem bandmaster Claude Phillips about the famous baton-twirling family of Salem, the Aherns. After a difficult search of my archives, the document was located and thus another Essex County Chronicles column was born.

According to the author, who knew most them personally, the members of this Loring Avenue clan probably did more to popularize baton-twirling than anyone else in America. And the man behind the movement was Civil War veteran Patrick Ahern. Patrick had served in the Massachusetts 20th Volunteer Regiment — he enlisted as a drummer at age 15 but ended up serving in the infantry — and was wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Happily he survived and at war's end was living in Salem. A soldier at heart, Ahern soon took over the drilling of a unit composed of more than 100 children of Civil War veterans through the Phil H. Sheridan Post 34 of the Grand Army of the Republic. He also headed a political marching band and drill team organized for the benefit of two-time Salem mayor, Gen. William Cogswell. The Cogwell Zouaves marched and performed at political rallies.

Ahern's three children, 10-year-old Annie, 7-year-old Henry, and little Walter, 5, received special training from their father and began performing on their own under the name the "Montgomery Zouaves." Dressed in the colorful uniforms often associated with Zouave units, and performing in front of a backdrop painted to look like a Civil War encampment, the Ahern children took the New York City theater world by storm with their program of sharp drills and rifle-twirling. Their New York run was almost brought to a premature end by opponents of child labor. But the family managed to wrangle a meeting with Mayor Liam Grace who was so impressed he allowed them to continue performing — implementing a 9:30 p.m. curfew — and stated that drilling and rifle spinning should be taught in every school. At the conclusion of their New Your tour, the Ahern troupe returned to Salem. They spent the next few years performing in the greater Salem area and touring with various circuses and entertainment shows.

In the ensuing decades, the group's name would change, other family members would be added, and new Ahern family drill teams would be formed. It would be left up to one of those newcomers, Walter Ahern, to bring the baton into prominence. Performing as a member of the "Roosevelt Zouaves" at the turn of the century, Walter replaced his rifle with a baton, which he soon mastered. To watch him handle a flaming baton was, recalled Claude Phillips, "breathtaking." Walter performed with the Salem Witches, dressed in cape and witch hat, and the legendary Salem Cadet Band led by Jean Missud; and he competed against the very best baton twirlers in the country, holding his own against all of them. According to Phillips, he "set the pace for other baton twirlers of his or any other time." Walter also probably did more to promote the craft than anyone in America.

But in the memories of area residents it is Ollie Ahern, the youngest of the family, who is "the" baton impresario. Ollie performed for many years in the 1920s and 1930s with famed Mal Hallett Orchestra. The Salem-based band played at venues across the country and at various times included the legendary Jack Teagarten and Gene Krupa. Ollie Ahern was a "featured performer" of the Hallett band. The highlight of many of the group's concerts was the "Overseas Medley," composed of bits and pieces of patriotic songs. During this number Ahern would bring the crowd to its feet with his spirited twirling. In the 1920s, Ollie began teaching the baton at Salem High School. His national reputation attracted many young enthusiasts, and before long other area schools were also offering baton courses taught by the master. The impact of those early years can still be felt today as baton-twirling units are still a staple at parades, football games, and band competitions. More than 250 female baton-twirlers from the area gathered at Bertram Field in Salem one day in 1931 to take part in one of the first mass baton performances ever given. Phillips recalled that it was filmed by "a covey of news-reel photographers' and subsequently aired all over the country."

The Salem News 22 March 2010
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Deltona death possibly murder
Man, 56, suffered trauma, police say
A 56-year-old man was found slain in his Deltona home early Wednesday but sheriff's investigators aren't releasing many details. The body of Francis Ahern was found about 1:45 a.m. in the house he owned at 671 Stallings Ave., said Volusia County sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson. There were signs of trauma and sheriff's deputies labeled the death a homicide. "While the investigation is still in its preliminary stages, based on the information gathered thus far, the death does not appear to be the result of a random act," Davidson said.

Roommate and friend Rex J. Pierce said later Wednesday that Ahern's death is the most horrific thing he's ever lived through. Pierce was interviewed by Volusia County sheriff's investigators and released with the advice not to say anything to anyone about Ahern's death. "Investigators told me not to say anything," Pierce said by phone Wednesday night. "He was one of the warmest, gentlest people I've ever known. Anyone who knew him would say that. This is horrible. It hasn't even been 24 hours."

Pierce and Ahern's 27-year-old stepson were home when deputies who were dispatched to the home arrived, Davidson said. Both men were questioned and released. Investigators obtained a search warrant for the home and continue to process the scene for evidence. Frances Esten of Sarasota was Ahern's stepmother at one time. She said Ahern had worked as a printer, but was unemployed and looking for a job. "I really wasn't close to the family after his father died," she said. "His brother (Paul, of Ocala) called me and told me about it. I've been trying to reach his daughter, but her phone is disconnected." Attempts to reach Paul Ahern on Wednesday were unsuccessful. Sheriff's deputies were called to Ahern's home five times in the past year, including when his wife, Jan, 55, was found in her bed dead of natural causes on Aug. 31, 2009, Davidson said. There was a report of credit card fraud made by Ahern's daughter Aug. 9. A warrant was served on a James Stevens of Deltona at Ahern's home on July 18, 2009, on a charge of dealing in stolen property. Stevens was 26 at the time. No reports were filed the other two times deputies were called to the home.

Daytona Beach News-Journal 8 April 2010
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A 27-year-old Deltona man was arrested today, accused of first-degree murder in the death of his stepfather. James Stevens was arrested a little after 3 p.m. Daytona Beach and is being held without bail in the Volusia County Branch Jail, Volusia County Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said. He is accused in the death of Francis Ahern, 56, who was found dead inside his home on Stallings Avenue Deltona early Wednesday, Davidson said. When deputies responded to a 911 call from the home they found Ahern's body inside. It was Stevens who placed the 911 call, said Davidson, who described Stevens as initially being very calm before becoming more animated. "Someone broke in the back door," he told a Sheriff's Office dispatcher. "They beat my stepfather up pretty good." After Stevens hung up the phone about a minute into the call, the dispatcher called back and kept him on the phone until deputies arrived, Davidson said.

Deputies found Stevens was covered in blood, including his face, hands, legs and feet as well as his clothing, Davidson said. Ahern's body was face down in the bedroom, where investigators think he and Stevens had been injecting cocaine, he said. "There were obvious signs of trauma to the victim's body," Davidson said. Ahern resided at the home along with his [stepson] Stevens and a 59-year-old roommate, who were questioned by investigators. Reports that an unknown intruder beat Ahern to death didn't make sense, Davidson said. The doors were locked and there were no signs of forced entry and despite claiming he was in an adjoining bathroom during the attack, Stevens insisted he saw and heard nothing, Davidson said.

While Stevens did not confess to the murder, he eventually acknowledged that there was no home invasion, no one else entered or left the bedroom where his stepfather was killed and that the blood on him "looks bad," Davidson said. Investigators did not have enough evidence to arrest him at the time, Davidson said. After investigators obtained a search warrant, crime scene technicians entered the house and pieces of a broken hand-held, electric massager scattered around the body in the master bedroom. The broken pieces along with the power cord had blood on them, Davidson said. Several pieces of the massager were wrapped in tissue and dumped in the commode, as if someone had been trying to flush them down the toilet he said.

Orlando Sentinel 9 April 2010
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Bertie Ahern's nephew died from cocktail of alcohol and drugs
A cocktail of alcohol and anti-depressants killed former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's nephew Dylan. The 37-year-old died suddenly last November after a night out in Copper Face Jack's nightclub with a friend. The son of former Lord Mayor and city councillor Maurice Ahern was found dead on the floor of his bedroom by his friend the next afternoon. A keen runner and council clerical officer, Dylan was in perfect health when he died.

His inquest has heard he had been upset in the months after he broke up with his girlfriend but had been in "great form" on a night out with a workmate just hours before his death. Toxicology results from a post-mortem examination on his body showed the presence of alcohol and Dothiepin — an antidepressant drug. The cause of death was found to be central nervous system toxicity and an inquest jury at Dublin County Coroner's Court returned a verdict of "death by misadventure".

Dylan was one of six children, well known in the Dublin Central constituency where he had canvassed for both his father and uncle during a series of election campaigns — most recently last June. Dylan grew up in Malahide and worked in the sports section of Dublin City Council. According to inquest documents, Dylan was found by his flatmate and best friend Colin McGhee at their apartment at Temple Gardens, Santry, in November of last year. Mr McGhee, a recruitment agency director, told gardaí how Dylan had been in "very poor form" for the previous 18 months and had nowhere to stay. He had broken up with his girlfriend at the time. In his Garda statement, Mr McGhee (37) said he "took Dylan in and gave him a home". He described his flatmate as a "binge drinker" and said he had been drinking heavily recently. He found him dead on his bedroom floor at 1pm on November 21 last year. Dylan's workmate Annette Cleary told gardaí he had been in good form the night before in Copper Face Jack's. "We were drinking and dancing and having a good time," she told gardaí. "We didn't stay together the whole time. Dylan was looking for a girl so he went off on his own." The last time she saw him was at 3.30am and she left alone. "Throughout all day Friday in work and the pub Dylan was in great form," Ms Cleary said in her statement. When gardaí responded to Mr McGhee's 999 call, they found Dylan's body in the apartment hallway, where he had taken him to try to resuscitate him. Garda Tanya Shinkins said she saw no suspicious circumstances and a doctor pronounced Dylan dead at the scene at 2.15pm.

An autopsy report noted that Dylan had been "apparently suffering from depression".

Belfast Telegraph 12 April 2010
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"Free" trip for WWII vets paid long ago
By Dave Perry
This week, five Sun City men are on a "free" trip to Washington, D.C. They paid for it more than 65 years ago. Grant Bergemann, Bernie Fox, Jerry Ahern, Larry Beckett and Jack Buchanan are all veterans of World War II. Now in their 80s and 90s, the longtime Sun City residents flew Southwest Airlines from Tucson to Washington on Tuesday. They'll visit the World War II Memorial dedicated in 2005. And they'll do much more. There is a meeting with former Sen. Bob Dole, himself a decorated and wounded WWII veteran. There are color guards, banners and music, a special dinner, a visit Arlington National Cemetery to witness a changing of the guard.

All expenses for the three-day, two-night trip are paid for through donations to Honor Flight, the non-profit organization that flies veterans to Washington to see their memorial. "It's all gratis to them," said Barb Brownlie, Honor Flight Arizona board liaison and Tucson area volunteer. "This was such an awesome opportunity to work with our older population. I knew they would truly be blessed by this opportunity."

Ahern has never been to Washington. Friends who have taken the Honor flight trip said they were "treated like royalty. I heard so much about it." Bergemann said friends who have taken the Honor Flight trip have described it as "one of the most fond experiences they've had in their life. It's the way they're treated. They roll out the carpet for them. "This is something special, to be recognized," Bergemann said. Andrew G. "Grant" Bergemann was stationed in the Pacific for 3-1/2 years, working as an air inspector with a depot repair squadron. "We fixed those old shot-up airplanes," he remembers. "We had to keep the aircraft parts up to date. We'd inspect to be sure they were properly cared for." Bernard "Bernie" Fox started his service with the 37th Infantry, then was transferred to the Signal Corps, operating radar, plotting courses for planes, and checking for the enemy. He, too, was in the Pacific Theater, serving in the war for two years as part of his military career. Larry Beckett was a pilot, based in England. He flew 41 missions over Germany, until the war's end, and stayed in the military for 33 years, both on active duty and in the reserves.

Jerry Ahern spent most of his two-year war service as a medic on an Army troop ship, traveling back and forth between the East Coast of the United States and Europe. "We took care of people in sick bay," he said. Medics treated troops who were seasick, or who tumbled from high bunk beds onto steel decks. Jack Buchanan enlisted after Pearl Harbor, and was trained stateside as a pilot. He was scheduled to go to Japan as part of a replacement training unit when the atomic bombs were dropped in August 1945, bringing the war to a close. Buchanan later flew in Korea.

When they came home, "World War II veterans were not observed as well as others," Fox said. "We were welcomed home," Bergemann said. "Your family welcomes you back." Primarily, though, "we were back into society, and forgot about World War II. I've got to get a job." He returned to a school teaching position. Years later, Honor Flight honors their commitments as young men.

Honor Flight was started by a retired Air Force pilot and physician's assistant from Ohio who asked veterans if they'd like to visit the WWII memorial. The response was overwhelming. Honor Flight has a waiting list of 51 Southern Arizona WWII veterans awaiting a trip to Washington, and the list grows as more veterans are identified. "A lot have never heard of this," Ahern said. "There's so many to fly," Brownlie said. "We just don't have the capital."

In this country, an estimated 1,200 WWII veterans die every day. Most of them have never seen the memorial. Brownlie wants to spread the word about Honor Flight, and broaden the awareness. "I've talked more about my experiences in World War II today than since I got out," said Bergemann, who is a youthful 92 years of age. "It's nice to share experiences with people involved in the same type of activity."

The Explorer 13 April 2010
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KSC dancers land an opportunity of a lifetime
Friends' dance careers advance to the next level
Getting paid to do what you love is a dream come true for most and for two Keene State College dancers, that dream has become a reality. Senior Shawn Ahern, and junior Tom Sommo are two dancers among three hundred and fifty who auditioned for two available spots in the world famous dance company Pilobolus. Four male dancers from Dartmouth, N.H. started the Pilobolus Dance Theater in 1971, and it is one of the most well-known dance companies in the business. According to Ahern. Pilobolus tours internationally and has been spotlighted in commercials and has been involved with the Tony Awards as well as the Oscars. Ahern signed a three year contract to be one of seven dancers in the main tour company. Ahern will be touring thirty weeks out of the year and rehearsing twenty weeks out of the year.

Sommo is more of a part-time member of the company who will be participating in a new project called "Shadowland," a dance theater that tours internationally. The two best friends joked about the situation during their audition, wondering what it would be like if they received the two open spots in the company. According to Ahern and Sommo, they could not believe they were able to make it into the top two. "We're two hillbillies from New Hampshire and Maine," joked Ahern. Ahern said one of the directors of Pilobolus was shocked that two best friends from KSC made it into the top two during the audition, asking them "What's in the water at Keene?" "A lot of the dancers we were auditioning with were from Juilliard, New York University, the Boston Conservatory, and some professionals and some people were there from all over the world," Ahern said. As they made it through multiple rounds of the audition, it became more of a reality," Ahern said. Ahern grew up in dance studios, as his mom was a professional ballerina and now co-owns her own studio. After graduating from his mom's dance studio, Ahern lived in Vienna, Austria for a year where he learned a lot about ballet, jazz, and tap, as well as break dancing on the streets of Vienna.

Sommo has a different dance background. He began his technique classes for dance when he arrived at KSC. He had been into break dancing in his senior year of high school, but did not have any formal training until he came here. Ahern spoke about the stigma about dancing as a career, and how people do not believe that a dancer could ever make a living professionally in the dance world. "Now we're both going to be working professionally, making a living at what we love to do. It's quite literally a dream come true," Ahern said. Sommo agreed, and said while not everyone understands his passion, it remains worthwhile. "It's a dream for me. My parents don't necessarily understand dance as a living, but now they do, now that there's a paycheck," he joked. "It's difficult to have those conversations." "Even coming from a family of artists and dancers, there's still always this question of 'Well, is this what you really want to do?'" Ahern said. "I think there is something to be said about loving what you do every day as opposed to saving up money and going on a vacation to escape from your life." Both Ahern and Sommo said their families are extremely supportive of them. "I have very supportive sisters," Sommo said, who has five older sisters. "They've all followed their dreams and that is an inspiration to me."

The faculty at KSC has also had a huge impact on the two best friends. "The faculty in the dance department has had an incredible influence on my decisions to become a dancer," Sommo said. Marcia Murdock, professor of dance and theater at KSC, said Sommo and Ahern are incredible talents with exciting energy. She said they both have an inherent understanding of movement. "Sommo has learned how to shape his natural intuitive dance talent," Murdock said. "Ahern has developed his already strong training at Keene and has developed as an artist," Murdock continued. As their mentor, Murdock said she tries to recognize their strengths and encourage development. According to Murdock, both dancers welcome risks and take challenges and the fact that they were recognized and chosen to be in Pilobolus at such a young age is a wonderful gift.

William Seigh, professor of dance and theater, as well as Ahern and Sommo's advisor, agreed that these dancers are exceptional. "It is unheard of for dancers to be recognized as they have," Seigh said. He said that it is a joy working with the two of them, and he said that he knows it is an ideal, wonderful realization of a dream for the two dancers. "They are starting work just like someone graduating and getting their dream job right out of college," Seigh said. "We believe in them." Senior Angie Hartley auditioned with both Ahern and Sommo for Pilobolus and knows first hand how skilled the two are. "They are both just really talented people, really artistically driven. Shawn is a really gifted choreographer and performer. Tom is one of the most imaginative people I've ever met," she said. Hartley said she loves working with them. She said Ahern is really detail oriented and Sommo is really fun and takes a lot of risks. "The audition was really positive and affirmation that we're talented people," Hartley said. Ahern and Sommo agreed that the idea of the "starving artist" is not necessarily true, but they have faced obstacles to get where they are today. "I think facing myself, figuring out who I was, was the biggest challenge," Sommo said. "Growing up in a rural, blue collar, working class part of society, dance wasn't always an acceptable choice professionally or as a hobby for a young man," Ahern said. He recalled the time in high school when he was actually beaten up by lacrosse players for being a male dancer. "It's unfortunate, but these are the things that you learn from and shape who you are as a person. Right now, I just signed a contract with a wonderful company and I'm going to be doing what I love to do," Ahern said.

The Equinox 5 May 2010
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Douglas Ahern of Andover and Laura Ahern of North Andover announce the engagement of their daughter, KARA B. AHERN, to ADAM E. PETERS, son of Jim and Vicki Peters of Lowell. The bride-to-be is a graduate of Bridgewater State College and the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is employed as a certified orientation and mobility instructor by Carroll Center for the Blind. Her fiance is a graduate of Clark University. He is employed as a program coordinator by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A July wedding is planned.
The Lowell Sun 8 May 2010
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Salem real estate transactions
The following real estate transactions recently took place in Salem:
8 Conant St.: June A. Garry to Carol J. Ahearn and Liam F. Ahearn, $329,000.
The Salem News 10 May 2010
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Ottawa's famed son largely forgotten by history
A monument erected to the "Thomas Edison of Canada'" at Lansdowne Park has been in a state of neglect for some years. That's about to change, reports Joanne Chianello.
[photo]
When Kelly Ahearn Ray, left, was a child, her mother, Mary Ahearn, and her father would bring her to Lansdowne Park, where she'd drink from the fountain erected as a memorial to their ancestor, Thomas Ahearn. Kelly says she didn't then know how important he was.

When Kelly Ahearn Ray was little, her parents would take her and her two big brothers to Lansdowne Park. They would run around and get their kites stuck on the Aberdeen Pavilion, or the Cow Castle as they referred to it then. A Sunday afternoon at Lansdowne was never complete without a stop by the fountain. Not just any drinking fountain, mind, but the one dedicated to Thomas Ahearn. "My mom would be very proud and tell us how were related to him," Kelly says. "I would just get a drink from the fountain, but I didn't realize how important he was." During the past two decades, the fountain has been neglected and no one has been able to drink from it for many years, although over that time Kelly has learned about the enduring contribution of her great-great-great uncle. The same cannot be said for the rest of Ottawa.

Sometimes referred to as the "Thomas Edison of Canada," Ahearn was one of the country's leading industrialists, bringing a wide range of electrical projects to Ottawa as well as cities across Canada. He is probably the capital's most famous inventor, if one can be famous, but largely forgotten. Now that Lansdowne is being redeveloped, some want to see Ahearn afforded the respect his memory deserves, especially Kelly's mother, Thomas' great-great grandniece, Mary Ahearn. "I'd certainly like to see someplace — and I hope it's here — that recognizes him for the contribution he made to the city," Mary says as she stands by the fountain in the Lansdowne parking lot, directly across from the Urbandale Centre, right up against a fence. "It's sort of a nice piece," she says of the copper bas-relief profile of her ancestor. "But it's certainly not in a place where people would gather."

Born in 1855 in Lebreton Flats to Irish immigrant parents, young Thomas, like many an Ottawa entrepreneur to follow, was obsessed with new technology. As a teenager, he fled to New York City, where he worked as a messenger boy with Western Union to learn how to operate a telegraph. His two-year adventure served only to feed his imagination and ambition. Although largely self-taught — historian Valerie Knowles writes that, at age 24, he "devised a primitive telephone system based upon a Scientific American article" — Ahearn helped transform Ottawa into a modern city. Even a passing glance at his list of accomplishments leads one to wonder how Thomas Ahearn can be anything but a household name. By the time he died, he had 11 Canadian patents, including one for the electric flat iron and the electric stove. In fact, in 1892, Ahearn threw an elaborate dinner at the Windsor Hotel, where everything was cooked by an electric appliance. Although dinner was served at the hotel, it was actually prepared at Lansdowne Park and was the first demonstration of "electric cooking" in Canada.

With his partner and boyhood friend, Warren Soper, Ahearn brought the first outdoor electric lighting to Ottawa's streets and later to businesses and homes. They constructed and equipped long-distance lines from Pembroke to Quebec City, via Ottawa and Montreal, and installed telegram lines for the CPR from the Atlantic to the Pacific. However, perhaps Ahearn's most enduring legacy was the Ottawa Electric Railway Co. The city's first streetcar rumbled from the company's garage on Albert Street to the Lansdowne Park exhibitions grounds on June 25, 1891. Driving it was none other than Ahearn himself. The O.E.R. would eventually be sold to the city, forming the basis of the city's public transit system.

Ahearn contributed to the cultural life of the city, was the first chairman of the predecessor of the National Capital Commission, sat on boards for national companies and local hospitals. When he realized that the Champlain Bridge project only had enough money to get to Ward Island, Ahearn took it upon himself to finance it all the way to Quebec.

In the 1949, his son Frank — who owned the Ottawa Senators when they won the Stanley Cup — asked the city to accept a memorial drinking fountain dedicated to his father, who had died in 1938. Frank Ahearn likely wanted citizens to remember his father's connection to Lansdowne Park. Perhaps his family thought a water fountain was a useful public service. Considering Thomas Ahearn's stature at the time, and his family's enormous wealth, the memorial's modesty seems curious. Today it's almost unknown to citizens of the city he helped build. Even those intimately connected with the Lansdowne redevelopment project were taken by surprise when told of the historic fountain, but they were quick to realize its significance. "This is not a very dignified way to remember Mr. Ahearn," says Councillor Peter Hume, who is the lead politician on the Lansdowne project and involved in judging the upcoming designs for the urban park portion. Because he has toured the site so often, Hume thinks he has probably seen it "but never twigged to its history. "The way this project originally evolved hasn't given a lot of prominence to the cultural and historical importance of Lansdowne Park. " That has changed, he says. The design team will be considering commissioning a statue, naming a square or in some other "more fitting way" recognize Ahearn. "This is a great way to infuse the history back into Lansdowne."

Ottawa Citizen 10 May 2010
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FENWAY FAITHFUL TAKE VOWS
After celebrating their marriage April 23 at Anthony's Pier Four in Boston, Agawam native Kathryn (Katie) E. Fitzpatrick and her husband, John F. Ahern Jr., hosted 48 of their friends and family at Fenway Park on Saturday. There was a large cheering crowd when the Red Sox autotron scoreboard announced their wedding at the third inning break. And the celebrating continued as the hometown team beat the Baltimore Orioles 7 to 6. Parents of the bride are Joe and Lynn Fitzpatrick, of Agawam.
Springfield Sunday Republican 16 May 2010
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PALMER POLICE DEPARTMENT
ACCIDENTS
3 May 12, Glenn Hwy. and W. Arctic Ave.: A 1993 Ford Crown Victoria driven by Cynthia O'Hearn, 60, Palmer, allegedly ran a red light and hit a 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Rhiannon Healy, 27, Davis, Calif. O'Hearn was hospitalized with a broken ankle.
Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman 17 May 2010
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Birth Announcements
Kenzie Lynne Ahearn
Chris and Tonya Ahearn announce the birth of their daughter, Kenzie Lynne Ahearn, on Feb. 16, 2010, at Morris Hospital. She weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and she was 19 inches long. Kenzie was welcomed home by her two brothers, Riley, 4-½ and Connor, 2-½. Maternal grandparents are Greg and Lori Brandt. Paternal grandparents are Mick and Mary Lynn Ahearn. Great-grandmas are Lois Brandt and Elinor Ahearn.
Morris Daily Herald 18 May 2010
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Closed for the summer
Monday's benefit for Frank Ahearn at Tommy's Comedy Lounge in the Theater District will be the club's last show, at least for the summer. Low attendance and co-owner Ahearn's recovery from a massive stroke in December have forced the club into "summer hiatus," according to Ahearn's partner, City Councilor John Tobin. Tobin and Ahearn will reassess the club, which opened in May 2009, with an eye toward reopening in the fall. "The intention is not for it to go away, that's for sure," says Tobin. "I'd consider it a failure if it didn't come back" Tobin also plans to expand the schedule at Nick's Comedy Stop.
The Boston Globe 21 May 2010
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Syracuse teachers, employees elect a new union president: Kevin Ahern
Syracuse school district employees have elected a new president of the Syracuse Teachers Association. Kevin Ahern beat the current president, Anne Marie Voutsinas, the union announced Friday. Balloting was Thursday, but a vote total was not released. "We're facing enormous changes in terms of Race to the Top, the state mandates in order to comply," he said. "The economy is a real problem for us" with getting enough funding a challenge. Ahern, 51, of Syracuse, is a Nottingham High School graduate. He taught English for 12 years at Levy School, Corcoran High School and Clary Magnet School. He has worked as a union officer since 2004. The union represents 3,400 teachers, nurses, teaching assistants and other district employees. Ahern takes over as president on July 1.
The Syracuse Post-Standard 21 May 2010
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Full Boar
HAMISH the pig was anything but a bore at one of Australia's premier pet shows held recently. The boar, who lives at Edgar's Mission Animal Sanctuary in Kilmore, came away with second prize in the best trick competition at the annual RSPCA Million Paws walk. Hamish set tongues and tails wagging with his repertoire of tricks, including a crowd-pleasing display of doing a high-five while standing on a stump. Sanctuary manager Pam Ahern said she only taught the porcine the trick the day before the competition. "Pigs are without a doubt the smartest animal I have worked with," Ms Ahern said. The event raised money for the RSPCA, which was fitting as it was from there that Hamish, homeless and unloved, found his way to the sanctuary to be with 200 other rescued animals. "From day one, Hamish became an ambassador for the millions of other not so lucky pigs, showing people what truly remarkable, clean and fun loving animals they really are," Ms Ahern said. People can follow Hamish on his own Facebook page, the amusingly titled "Hamish-the-Pigs-are-for-Lovin-not-for-the-Oven-tour".
Kilmore Star 25 May 2010
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Heat to rise near record levels
Sarah O'Hearn, a 25-year-old from Marshfield, was soaking up the sun today at Carson Beach in South Boston. "I get spring fever," O'Hearn said. "The nice weather puts you in a good mood. I prefer it a little bit cooler. But if not, I can just jump in the water." It was the perfect day for a trip to the beach, with temperatures expected to climb toward 90 in Boston, near the record of 92 set in 2007. "Today might get close" to the record, said Bill Simpson, a National Weather Service meteorologist, while noting that along the shore it will be cooler. . . . 
The Boston Globe 25 May 2010
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An unlikely love story amid the casualties of war in Iraq
Petula Dvorak
For weeks, with the tumult of war-torn Baghdad swirling around them, they met on a bench every evening. They sat and talked, laughed and flirted. He touched her hand once. ''Oh, no,'' she gasped as she quickly pulled her tiny hand away from his big one. Her brother was nearby, chaperoning. But she was captivated by Major James Ahearn's startling blue eyes and his fair skin. She thinks of those eyes every day as she's chatting with customers at the beauty salon where she does hair. Lena Ahearn is 34 and lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her four-year-old daughter, Kadi (short for Khadijah). She is one of the more unlikely war widows gathering in Washington this weekend for a National Memorial Day Concert — an Iraqi woman still grieving three years after her American husband was killed by a roadside bomb while on a patrol in her home town, Baghdad. And while much of America will be celebrating Memorial Day weekend with barbecues or trips to the beach, Ahearn is going to finish her shift, sweep up the wet curls of hair on the floor at the salon and take her daughter to Arlington National Cemetery, where the love of her life is buried in Section 60.

The Ahearns met in Baghdad in 2003, where he was the patrol captain in charge of Lena's neighbourhood. When he visited her family's home, ''I was the only one in the house who spoke English, so my mum woke me up,'' Lena said. ''So I came out and I looked at him. And I was, like, 'Those blue eyes! Oh, man, he has beautiful white teeth! And he has the strong officer face.' He told me he finishes his duty at eight at night. And he came back. We sat on the bench and we talked until 11. He did that every night for a month.'' They fell in love during those many nights on the bench. Ahearn brought food and water to her family then talked for hours with Lena, who was 27 at the time and had a degree in psychology.

Ahearn, then 39, returned to the US, divorced his American wife and returned to Lena. He converted to Islam so he could marry her. They wed in Jordan and eventually moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Before settling down, they had a second wedding in Las Vegas that his family attended. Lena dyed her hair blonde and wore a white wedding dress. They were an unusual couple. It wasn't uncommon for soldiers to return to the US with English or German wives after World War II or Vietnamese wives after the Vietnam War. But in this conflict, the culture and the people seem very far apart. Except on that bench near Lena's house.

Then, in July 2007, the bomb hit Ahearn's car. And there she was, a Muslim woman with a daughter, grief-stricken and alone on an army post in America. Not long after Ahearn was buried at Arlington, Lena and her daughter moved to an apartment in Virginia not far from her husband's grave. She'd go online every few months to one of the memorial pages set up for Ahearn and write him a love note. She was grateful for her work at a hair salon, where she could chat with her customers during the day. But at night, she went home to Kadi, who looked at the pictures of her father and said ''Baba'', the Arabic word for daddy. Lena was aching. One of her husband's friends suggested she contact Taryn Davis, a war widow who founded the American Widow Project after realising how lonely she was in her grief. The project's website includes the blogs written by some of the widows of the nearly 5500 US service members who have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is an astounding portrait of the cost of war. There are hundreds of wedding photos, smiling couple shots and baby-home-from-the-hospital pictures taken before a roadside bomb ripped apart a young family's plans. On some blogs, women send chatty updates to their dead husbands about the kitchen tiles, their children's school work or the weird ping in the family car. On others, they go deep into their grief, the politics of war, the dark, dark wrongs of all of it.

Lena Ahearn tried that but ultimately found that ''I needed to talk to people who were also experiencing this,'' she said. So she reached out to other widows, who regularly get together for tea, lunches, spa dates, even skydiving. They are quintessential American women. All ponytails, jeans and ''y'alls.'' Lena worried they wouldn't accept her, that her accent, her religion, her dark eyes would remind them of the place where their husbands were killed. ''When I met the widows, I told them, 'If you guys don't like me, for whatever reason, I totally understand it.' '' They smothered her in hugs. No widows' tea for Lena. Right away, she went on a skydiving trip. Did she jump? ''Oh, hell yeah, I did,'' she replied. ''Jimmy was airborne so I really wanted to know what it felt like, what he did. That night I did it, I had an amazing dream, like he came to me and he was still alive.''

Before visiting his grave, Lena plans to meet Davis and the widows on Sunday for the 8pm Memorial Day concert, which will honour the fallen and their families. The widows are beginning to arrive now. Many of them will also visit Arlington Cemetery. These women will never be counted among the casualties of war. But that's exactly what they are.

The Washington Post 30 May 2010
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P.S. We love each other: Best-selling author Cecelia Ahern ties the knot in secret
It was the ceremony that took even friends and family by surprise, but celebrity chick-lit author Cecelia Ahern has shared a glimpse into her secret wedding day. Daughter of the former Ireland Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and sister-in-law of Westlife's Nicky Byrne, Cecelia, 28, and husband David Keoghan, 31, issued a portrait from their wedding reception which took place in Kildare on Friday. Cecelia — who also had a stab at pop stardom when she was part of Irish girlgroup Shimma in 2000 — opted for natural, minimal make-up to complement her elegant white strapless Oscar de la Renta gown She wore her in a classy up-do hairstyle, while former international athlete David wore a white suit with a blue shirt and a chequered tie.

Cecelia has consistently topped the best-sellers charts since writing her first novel PS, I Love You in 2002. Her debut went on to be made into a 2007 movie starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler and at least three more of her novels are being developed into films. Most recently, Cecelia wrote and co-produced the hit 2009 US comedy Samantha Who? which starred Christina Applegate and Jennifer Esposito. But in her personal life, Cecelia has always preferred to stay private about her relationship with the hurdler-turned-actor partner. Cecelia provided unstinting support for David when it was falsely claimed that he sexually assaulted a fellow student while in college in America in 2002. At the time he said: 'I knew from when I first met Cecelia that she was the girl for me but, after all this, I am even more sure. She has been absolutely brilliant. I don't know anyone else who could have been so great.'

Eager to stay out of the spotlight, the couple tied the knot secretly at St Nicholas of Myra church in Kinsealy, north Dublin at 2pm after telling guests the event was their six-month-old daughter Robin's christening. The celebrations included a lavish party at the prestigious Village at Lyons on the Kildare-Dublin border, and receptions in the restored conservatory at the La Serre restaurant and The Mill, a reception room with panelled walls complemented by tapestries and a 17th century fireplace.

Unlike sister Georgina, who wed Westlife singer Nicky in 2003, Cecelia had said she would never sell the rights to her wedding pictures. In an interview in 2008, she said: 'If we do get married, it will be a really small wedding. It definitely won't be a big showbiz affair with lots of stars at it.' The newlyweds and their party spent some time enjoying the warm sun on La Serre's lawn. The entrance to the courtyard was dotted with small bouquets in white, faintest pink and yellow. About 170 guests — including Westlife, and Boyzone star Ronan and wife Yvonne Keating, who were at separate tables — attended the ceremony at Lyons and partied until the small hours of the morning, enjoying a DJ as well as food.

Daily Mail 14 June 2010
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Accused priest was 'tipped off'
A PRIVATE investigator hired by a Catholic Church panel to investigate sexual abuse allegations against Father David O'Hearn tipped Father O'Hearn off during the inquiry, a statement tendered to Newcastle Local Court said. Members of the panel, which was set up by the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese to investigate and assess allegations made against priests, also believed that one of their own disclosed information to Father O'Hearn, a police statement said.

Father O'Hearn, 49, of Raymond Terrace, will face Newcastle District Court next week after he was committed for trial on Thursday for 17 historical child sexual assault allegations relating to five complainants. Helen Keevers worked for the diocese's child protection unit and was on the panel that was asked by Bishop Michael Malone in 2004 or 2005 to investigate Father O'Hearn, her statement said. A panel member was asked to investigate, but declined because they were friends with Father O'Hearn. A private investigator was hired, but he told Father O'Hearn's friend: "Tell your mate there's nothing to worry about," Ms Keevers' statement said. Father O'Hearn's friend told the panel about that disclosure and a private investigator from Sydney took over the investigation. He found that there was no substance to the allegations against Father O'Hearn. Father O'Hearn later told Ms Keevers that the first private investigator told him he had nothing to worry about. Members of the panel believed that the friend also discussed the investigation with Father O'Hearn and disclosed information to him, Ms Keevers' statement said.

Newcastle Herald 19 June 2010
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1-year probation for fake bank account
One of two men accused of scheming to embezzle nearly $20,000 from two credit unions pleaded guilty Wednesday to a lesser charge of synthetic identity deception. David A. Lister, 34, of Huntington pleaded guilty in Allen Superior Court, admitting to creating the identity of a fictitious person to create a fraudulent bank account at Eastern Indiana Federal Credit Union and taking thousands of dollars. He was sentenced to a year on probation, with a year in prison suspended. William O'Hern was also charged in connection with the case. Both men worked at Bradford-Scott Data Corp., which maintains credit union finance software. Under the terms of Lister's plea agreement, two charges of fraud on a financial institution were dismissed. According to court documents, Lister paid the money back. The status of O'Hern's case was unknown Wednesday.
The Journal Gazette 1 July 2010
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No bull! Aussie in first
Just moments before Jason O'Hearn nodded his head, the rodeo announcer asked if any Aussies were in attendance. Somewhere in the Calgary Stampede grandstand, O'Hearn's parents must've been hootin' and hollering. Eight seconds later, everybody was making noise. The up-and-coming cowboy from Cessnock, Australia, was one of just two bullriders able to keep his perch for eight seconds in Tuesday's performance, earning a loud roar from the soaking-wet spectators.

"It's a good way to start," O'Hearn said after collecting his bronze for a 79.5-ride aboard Beaver. "I guess it could have been a bit drier, but can't complain with the win." Chalk one up up for the Aussie. It's an international crop of bullriders in Pool B, with O'Hearn joining six Americans, two Canucks and one Brazilian in the battle for bragging rights. The bulls weren't showing any signs of favouritism in Tuesday's go-round. Steve Woolsey's left side was painted with mud after he was ejected from his seat on Slash. Douglas Duncan (Jim Dandy) and Bobby Welsh (Glaslyn Gangster) were both sent flying after two stomps. Aaron Roy of Yellow Grass, Sask., was tossed back into the chute where his date with Before Dark started. And poor Ty Elliott, of High River, accepted the offer of a re-ride, only to get bucked off for the second time in less than a half hour. The only other bullrider to hang on until the whistle sounded was two-time defending world champion J.W. Harris, who racked up 78.5 points on Beastrom's Bean There.

With only two qualified rides, O'Hearn not only pocketed the $5,500 first-place prize, he also split the unclaimed $7,500 with Harris. Perhaps he could buy dinner for his out-of-town cheering section? "(My parents) don't get to see me ride too much, but once they heard I was in the Calgary Stampede, they wanted to come over," O'Hearn said. "I'm glad they did now." According to the 31-year-old, there could be more roughstock enthusiasts arriving from Down Under. There's no doubt O'Hearn is proud of his heritage. In fact, his baby blue chaps are decorated with a kangaroo in boxing gloves. And O'Hearn, who now lives with a fellow bullrider in Decatur, Texas, is optimistic other Aussie cowboys have more than a fighting chance of becoming big names in the sport.

"You're country of origin and where you grew up, that's the proudest place in the world to be from, so I'd like to sort of get it out and let everybody know I'm from there," O'Hearn said. "It's not the biggest sport, but it's slowly growing up (in Australia) he added. "There's some real good cowboys over there. There's some real talented bullriders and whatnot over there. It's hard, financially, to get over here, but it's just a matter of a few years and it will slowly grow."

The Calgary Sun 13 July 2010
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Letter to Editor
Once again July 4th passed in Hanover without a whimper. We residents should all be ashamed and embarrassed. No bonfire, no bunting on any town buildings, no speeches, no reading of the Declaration of Independence, no parade, no nothing. Again. Oh, I know the lament: no state handouts, not enough property tax money — even though we have the second highest rate on the South Shore. Hingham has the best celebration around outside of Boston. Parade, fireworks, old fashioned baseball game, concerts, speeches and more. How do they do it? Donations. Not a single penny of tax dollars is used. A little creativity and this can be a premier event again in Hanover. If this ever comes to pass again in the future, please, please, please do not have it on Hanover Day. Hanover Day is not July 4th.
JERRY O'HEARN   
The Patriot Ledger 14 July 2010
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Pipe organ's rich complexity, relative obscurity make organists a rare breed
By Melinda Mawdsley
The appeal of rattling church rafters turned John Ahern toward the pipe organ. Granted, Ahern, 17, doesn't want church walls to collapse when he plays chords during a hymn, but he likes the power. "I think every organ player secretly wants to rumble a building," Ahern said. It may seem improbable that a musical instrument's sound could shake a building, but the thunderous notes of "Danse Macabre" by Camille Saint-SaŽns on a pipe organ could make a listener believe it to be possible. "It's a vast instrument," Ahern said. Ahern is an anomaly, according to his teacher, Philip Wyse, the primary organist at the First United Methodist Church. Wyse, 74, and Kent Bates, 47, the organist at the First Presbyterian Church, yearn for others in Ahern's generation with the desire to learn how to play the pipe organ. Otherwise, a time may come when organists are even more difficult to find.

At this time, there may be "a handful" of teenagers in the area interested in learning how to play the pipe organ, said Monte Atkinson, 57, director of choral activities at Mesa State College and also an organist. Perhaps the lack of interest is because of a lack of exposure to the pipe organ, the three organists said. Besides, the pipe organ's glory days — think J.S. Bach, who died 260 years ago July 28 — are long in the past. In addition, the pipe organ, which at first or even second glance, is intimidating with its numerous keyboards, foot pedals and buttons.

Ahern, who played the piano for years before attempting the pipe organ, admitted he spent 18 months making a bevy of mistakes before he felt comfortable enough to decide to study pipe organ performance at college in the fall of 2011. After all, the pipe organ is "the king of instruments," according to Wyse, who bases this on the instrument's rich sound and the complexity of its build. The pipe organ at the First United Methodist Church has more than 1,500 pipes, the majority of which are housed in two chambers behind the sanctuary walls. It was built in the late 1920s, as was the pipe organ at the First Presbyterian Church. To illustrate the physical size of a pipe organ, Bates showed off the chambers behind the First Presbyterian Church sanctuary walls where more than 1,000 pipes are hidden in two rooms. In addition to the pipes, there is a blower that supplies the wind for the instrument and the wind chests each pipe sits on. An electric board that communicates between the organ and the pipes hangs on one wall. Each pipe makes one sound that can be made quieter or louder by the organist pushing a pedal that opens or closes a chamber door like window blinds, Bates explained. To get multiple pipes to produce sound at one time, organists use knobs, tabs or buttons, depending on the organ manufacturer, to control octaves and tones. A pipe organ produces an original harmonizing sound based on the blend of pipes played at one time, Bates said. Playing a three-note chord means air is pushed through three individual, handmade pipes to produce three notes. It's wholly different than an electric keyboard or electric organ where the sound is pumped through a speaker. That distinction gives the pipe organ a three-dimensional sound, Bates said.

The difficulty of learning an instrument as large and complex as the pipe organ doesn't trump Ahern's desire to become its master. It simply increases his fascination. "The versatility of the sound amazed me at the beginning, and it still amazes me," said Ahern, who a little while later launched into Olivier Messiaen's "Outburst of Joy."

The Daily Sentinel 16 July 2010
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Ahern a man of values
I encourage every voter in the 6th District to return John Ahern to the state house. John Ahern will uphold Judeo-Christian values, such as a marriage is between a "man and a woman." John Driscoll supports gay marriage rights. Ahern will fight to keep our taxes low. Driscoll voted against his party's tax hike — but only after enough votes were guaranteed that tax hikes would pass with or without his vote. Don't be fooled. Ahern will fight to keep jobs in Washington. Ahern will continue to fight for stronger DUI laws. Ahern, as a veteran himself, looked out for veterans by fighting for a nursing home and a veterans cemetery on the East Side. Ahern will fight to get rid of bad teachers and will fight to reward good teachers. Unlike Driscoll, Ahern will not bow to the masters in Olympia or Washington, D.C. He is his own man. Vote Ahern!
William A. Hall
Spokane
The Spokesman-Review 17 July 2010
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Man charged with DWI after 5 parked cars are struck
Norwich—Police said a Gales Ferry man whose license was suspended was charged with drunken driving Monday after a motor vehicle mishap. Patrol officers were called to the Ames Plaza on Salem Turnpike about 1:10 p.m. to respond to a report of a hit-and-run accident at the entrance to the shopping center, police said. No one was injured in the incident. They said the driver, later identified as William P. O'Hearn, 27, of 7 Parkwood Road, Gales Ferry, continued into the parking area to the rear of Connecticut Works, where his car struck five parked cars. Police charged O'Hearn with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving with a suspended license, and two counts of evading responsibility. Five cars were towed from the scene. O'Hearn was held in police custody on $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Norwich Superior Court this morning.
The Day 17 July 2010
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2nd embezzler spared prison for ID scheme
A Fort Wayne man who admitted to bank fraud was sentenced Friday to 1½ years on probation. William P. O'Hern, 39, of the 4500 block of Winterfield Run, pleaded guilty this year to two counts of fraud on a financial institution. He and David A. Lister, of Huntington, both worked at Bradford-Scott Data Corp., which maintains financial software for credit unions. The two men created fictitious identities to embezzle money from two different credit unions. This month, Lister was sentenced to a year on probation for a felony charge of synthetic identity deception. Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck sentenced O'Hern to four years in prison on each count, to be served at the same time, but ordered the prison sentence suspended. The plea deal called for O'Hern to spend three years on probation, but because most of the restitution had been made, prosecutors agreed to cut the probation time in half. Most of the restitution, which totaled more than $20,900, was repaid by Lister.
The Journal Gazette 17 July 2010
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Myrtle Beach woman charged with cruelty to children
A 35-year-old Myrtle Beach woman was arrested after a 13-year-old boy told police she struck him with a belt, according to a police report. Kelly A. O'Hearn was charged with cruelty to children after officers saw the boy walking along Grissom Parkway near Mr. Joe White Avenue about 6 p.m. Sunday, police said. The teen was upset and told the officer he had been hit with a belt and was walking to his grandmother's house, according to the report. The officer reported a large welt and some abrasions on the teen's back. O'Hearn told police she did hit the boy with a belt and commented on his size and uncooperative manner, according to the report. The teen, who is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 230 pounds, was taken into emergency protective custody and later released to his grandmother.
The Sun News 19 July 2010
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Bedford's Ahern is regaining strength
It was the summer of 2008 and Dave Ahern, a Bedford High graduate (class of 2006) who had just completed a standout sophomore season with the Babson College baseball team both at the plate and on the mound, was looking forward to playing summer ball with the Rockville (Md.) Express in the Cal Ripken Sr. Collegiate Baseball League. "I had played a few games with the Cassell Club in the Intercity League, then had the chance to go to Rockville,'' Ahern recalled recently. "I was throwing in the low 90s when I got to Rockville, but then I blew my pitching elbow out and I knew right away something was wrong.'' Ahern, who had batted .356 that spring for Babson and was also starting and relieving for the Beavers, underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2008. His recovery was on target until a lung infection sidelined him for the entire 2009 college season.

While hitting .343 for Babson this spring, and earning New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference first-team honors as an outfielder, Ahern was still building up his arm strength, pitching just four innings. The experience left him looking forward to a return to the mound next season as a fifth-year senior and two-time captain. This summer, the prospects for such a comeback have been buoyed by his strong performance as a relief pitcher with the Sanford Mainers in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Ahern had compiled a 1.20 earned-run average through 12 games; as of Sunday, he hadn't allowed a run in six consecutive appearances. "My head coach at Babson sent me up here to get my innings in, and his plans are for me to be a weekend starter next season,'' said Ahern, who led the Wellesley college's squad in hits and doubles this spring. "I feel my elbow is healthy again and I'm hitting 92 with my fastball. It's been a total turnaround. "I've always had success hitting and pitching and love both aspects of the game, and although I'd love to hit this summer, I know I have to just work on my pitching.''

He has been taking batting practice with the Mainers, Ahern said, "so I can keep my swing in the groove, and the best part is that I've put the injury out of my mind.'' Ahern was a Dual County League All-Star in both hockey and basketball at Bedford High, and the league MVP for hockey his senior year, when he played right wing. A shortstop and pitcher in baseball, he hit .350 his senior year. "I was hoping to play both sports at Babson,'' he said, "but the injuries and the illness pretty much made the decision for me just to stay with baseball. But perhaps the illness was a blessing in disguise, because I may not have been ready to pitch last year.'' Coach Matt Noone said he has high hopes for Ahern next season. "Dave's healthy and his velocity is back,'' said Noone, "and although he's had some bad luck, he's a gifted athlete and tremendous competitor who gets two-strike hits, and when on the mound gives everybody on our team a lot of confidence. I'm encouraged with what he's done this summer.''

The Boston Globe 22 July 2010
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Longtime Indian Hills member Chuck O'Hearn, the golf club's oldest active member at age 86, with two knee replacements and a 16-handicap, shot an 83 the other day at the Stillwater course. O'Hearn has shot his age or better a dozen times this year.
Pioneer Press 24 July 2010
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6th candidates won't debate before primary
Driscoll, Ahern, O'Quinn seeking position
It's one of the most contested primaries in Eastern Washington, but voters won't get a chance to see a debate of the candidates for the state House seat representing the 6th Legislative District before the Aug. 17 primary. The one debate that was scheduled for incumbent Democrat John Driscoll and Republicans Shelly O'Quinn and John Ahern was canceled after Driscoll and Ahern decided not to participate. Unlike her opponents, O'Quinn has refused to participate in video interviews on campaign issues with The Spokesman-Review. O'Quinn sent a news release criticizing Driscoll and Ahern for not appearing at The League of Women Voters of the Spokane Area forum on July 13. "It is unfortunate that the voters will not have the opportunity to see the candidates next to one another talking about the issues," she said in her news release.

Ahern said he decided not to show up after he got word that Driscoll wasn't going to be there. He said he questioned if O'Quinn would participate because she earlier declined to participate in the newspaper's video interviews. He said he attended a campaign event instead. "There was uncertainty whether she would show up or not," Ahern said. "I decided I got better things to do." Ann Murphy, president of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, said Ahern had originally said he would appear but later canceled. Driscoll never accepted an invitation, she said. League rules don't allow debates to be held with one candidate, so the forum for the 6th District House seat was canceled, she said. Driscoll said his campaign decided last fall not to participate in any forum or debate until after the primary "when my final opponent has been chosen." "After we know the results of the primary, I am more than happy to debate my opponent anytime and anywhere," Driscoll said. "And I'm actually looking forward to it."

When 6th District candidates were interviewed by The Spokesman-Review in recent weeks, O'Quinn declined to be videotaped and would not allow her interview to be recorded unless the newspaper agreed not to post the recording on the Internet. O'Quinn said the League's forum, which is replayed on City Cable 5, would have reached many more voters than videos on spokesman.com. "Our campaign has a rule that we don't do video unless we own it," O'Quinn said.

The Spokesman-Review 31 July 2010
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PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. — Timothy Ahearn, 35 of Woodstock, finished third in the 38th Annual Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. Ahearn finished 56 seconds behind winner Nico Toutenhoofd in the 7.6-mile uphill course with a time of 58:22.
Norwich Bulletin 21 August 2010
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Ahern distances himself from Madigan
Illinois legislative candidate Dennis Ahern, who got a $10,000 donation from House Speaker Mike Madigan in the last days before the Democratic primary in February, is now distancing himself from the powerful Chicago politician. Ahern said Tuesday he won't vote for Madigan to be the speaker if he's elected. Instead, he said he'll back a freshman legislator. Ahern said insiders deride legislators as "mushrooms" dictated to by the party leadership. "I believe that if I allowed the status quo to continue, it would be a disservice to the people I am aiming to serve," Ahern said in a statement. He could not be reached for additional comment.

Ahern is facing Republican Rich Morthland in the 71st District race to succeed state Rep. Mike Boland, who is stepping down. Morthland has been pressing Ahern lately to swear off donations from Madigan, criticizing him for being hostile to gun ownership. He's also campaigned against corruption in Chicago and Springfield. The 71st District race is expected to be closely contested, which in the past has meant a lot of money coming from both parties. Madigan backed Ahern in the final days of a three-way Democratic primary in February, and Steve Brown, a spokesman for the speaker, said "we have staff working there now." "Candidates develop a variety of strategies during the campaign. This is apparently is one of them," Brown added. Madigan also chairs the state Democratic Party.

Morthland said he is running to rid the state of Madigan's influence, and that he'd continue watching for his footprints in the 71st district race. "Obviously, we'll have to watch very, very closely," he said. Ahern said he's knocked on 6,000 doors throughout the district, and it's become clear people want change. "I must believe that change must start at the top," he said in the news release. "We cannot continue to let a state of 11 million diverse, unique folks, be legislated by just a few," he added. The district includes parts of Carroll, Henry, Rock Island and Whiteside counties.

Quad-City Times 24 August 2010
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Success Story: Chloe O'Hearn
By Lesley Young
With a musician/ musicologist for a father, Chloe O'Hearn has always enjoyed watching live music and moving to the beat. "I've been dancing ever since I could walk," said O'Hearn, 34. "My parents took me to music festivals. They had a huge music collection. Music is a big part of my life." It's no surprise that boogying down became an exercise outlet for the mother of a 6-year-old. "I hadn't gone out dancing a lot after my son was born," O'Hearn said. In addition, a month of bed rest during her pregnancy had tipped the scales over her desired weight. "While I was in the hospital on bed rest, my grandma gave me a five-pound box of Dinstuhl's chocolates. I attribute my weight gain to that box," said the Memphis resident. "After my son was born, I weighed 35 pounds more than I did before I was pregnant." When she was able to get back into the music clubs to shake it up, she discovered the Memphis Raqs, a belly-dancing troupe in Memphis. She took home director Liz DiMaggio's card and rallied a group of her friends to attend a class. "I've been coming ever since," O'Hearn said.

All of a sudden, she started to drop some pounds. "Once I started losing weight, and I realized I could actually lose weight doing this, I set a goal to get back to my normal weight," she said. Losing a pound here and there, over the course of three to four months, O'Hearn achieved her goal. "I went through my closet a few weeks ago, and all my clothes made me look like the saggy baggy elephant," she said. "I had about three pants that fit me, and those I hadn't worn in a very long time." Because she was doing something she loves, her choice of "exercise" didn't feel like a workout. "I've never really been big on exercise. I didn't really start doing belly dancing for exercise," she said. "It's like a bonus."

Recently she discovered a new love: hula hooping. "I've always sucked at hula hooping," she said. "I had seen it at a hippie festival, and I always thought it would be really cool to do that, so I was determined to learn how to hula hoop." She purchased an adult-size hula hoop at the Bonnaroo music festival and got to work. "I spent a week in my back yard hula hooping in my bathing suit, and I figured out how to keep it from falling down," she said. "Now I take it with me when I go dancing." She also just signed up for a class at the MidSouth World Dance Center, where she also attends her belly dancing classes. "I've always had fun dancing. I've never been scared to make a fool of myself," she said. "I feel like if you're not drenched in sweat by the time you're done, you're not having fun."

The Commercial Appeal 30 August 2010
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Invisible Families
A hidden niche of the homeless
By Erika Schultz
Since spring, journalists from the community and The Seattle Times have been working to produce stories about family homelessness as part of a fellowship through Seattle University, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Homelessness and poverty are complex topics. While working on the project, reporter Lornet Turnbull and I talked to dozens of organizations, caseworkers and families. It's important for photographers to be active in the reporting and researching. You can't expect stories to be dropped in your lap. You have to find them. And, in our case, it took months. There is a reason why our series is called "Invisible Families." Parents with kids are the fastest growing yet least visible sector of the homeless population. Families stay hidden away — doubling up with friends or staying in emergency shelters — versus sleeping on the street. And finding a family who feels comfortable sharing their story can be a challenge. Some parents feel fine discussing their struggles, but their child may not want friends at school to know. Caseworkers are sometimes protective of their clients, because they may be stressed or dealing with trauma. They may want to refer you to a family who was previously homeless, versus a family who is in a tougher situation. Other families may not want to be labeled as homeless. They see their situation as only temporary. So, when we met families who felt comfortable sharing their stories and opened up their lives to us, it felt very precious.

Kim Ahern, 47, moved her two sons — including Jack, 9 — from Chicago to Seattle in April after months of looking for work. While in the Midwest, she read online that jobs would open up in Seattle at the end of the recession. Without lining up a job, she moved to Seattle hoping to find secretarial work and a fresh start. The hotel vouchers Kim Ahern was counting on weren't available when she arrived in Seattle, so she reluctantly moved with Jack and Tom, 19, into Nickelsville, one of Seattle's tent cities. It was a backup plan. They stayed at Nickelsville's Central District location for two weeks. Then they traveled with the encampment when it moved to Skyway. Kim and Jack allowed me to be with them on good days and bad, during all hours of the day and night. They were generous with their time and always returned my calls. When big moments happened in their lives — like moving into their first apartment in Seattle — they let me know. And, I tried to be there during those important occasions if I was scheduled to work that day or not. Through the photographs, captions and video, I hope I conveyed not only the basics of their story, but Kim's sense of humor and love for her son. I also hope I shared part of Jack's imaginative and gregarious personality.

It takes a lot of courage to share your story with the public — especially during difficult times. I really appreciate Kim, Tom and Jack for opening up their lives to all of us. I hope it only gets better for them as they settle into their new lives in Seattle.

[photo]
After being tucked in for the night, Jack Ahern, 9, plays inside his tent at Nicklesville. In the future, he hopes to go whale watching in the San Juan Island and eat spaghetti for his birthday in the Space Needle. Homeless since April, he and his mother Kim Ahern recently moved into a small apartment in the University District.
The Seattle Times 31 August 2010
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Vacations, weddings in doubt as storm nears
Brian Ahearn and his fiance had their wedding plans set for Saturday. A poignant ceremony at Foster's Pavilion at Rowes Wharf to be followed by a scenic reception aboard a yacht touring Boston Harbor, family members and friends from across the country toasting their marriage. But then came word of Earl, a Category 4 hurricane churning its way up the Atlantic, and a hurricane watch issued late yesterday for Cape Cod and the Islands, and those plans are now just as unsteady as the seas.

"Boston hasn't had a hurricane in some time, so we don't know what to expect,'' said Ahearn, 31, of Connecticut, who has downloaded several weather applications on his smartphone to keep up with forecasts. "We have all these contingency plans, but we don't know what we're expecting.''

The storm, which was located about 565 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., last night, is expected to arrive off the Massachusetts coast by tomorrow. It will be the first tropical storm to reach the area this season, and potentially the first hurricane to make landfall here since 1991. And already it has created a holding pattern for the betrothed and wedding planners, boaters, vacationers, and business owners. It has become a spoiler for what would have otherwise been a pleasurable Labor Day weekend, the official end of summer, with the forecast predicting sunny skies from late Saturday through Monday.

"If you're planning to go for vacation, [put] some flexibility in there,'' said Craig Fugate, administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Weather forecasters tracking the storm say that, in the best-case scenario, Hurricane Earl will pass about 100 miles within the southeastern edge of Nantucket sometime tomorrow night, which would pound Eastern Massachusetts with tropical storm-like rain and winds as high as 50 miles per hour. In a worst-case scenario, forecasters say, the hurricane could slam Massachusetts' shores with winds higher than 74 miles per hour, downing trees and power lines and causing floods and other havoc.
 . . . 

The Boston Globe 2 September 2010
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Hingham — Hingham Public Library's Clemens Gallery will present the oil paintings of Hingham artist Susan Ahearn through Sept. 30. Ahearn has been working predominantly as an oil painter since 2008. She maintains a studio in the E.T. Wright Building in Rockland, where she is a member of the 4th Floor Artists group. Her paintings include plein air landscapes, still life and portraits. Many of her paintings are done alla prima, meaning the painting is completed all in one session. She prefers alla prima painting for the direct expressive nature of capturing a subject. Ahearn's painting style can be described as contemporary impressionistic. She enjoys participating in juried shows, the Hingham Arts Walk, and Rockland Open Studios and is a member of both the South Shore Art Center of Cohasset and the North River Arts Society in Marshfield Hills.
Hingham Journal 27 September 2010
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Danny visits Samantha's family for photo session
The family of Bury sixth form student Samantha Ahearn, who died after suffering an epileptic fit, received a visit from a very special guest. Award-winning film director Danny Boyle kept his promise to the family on Sunday that he would pose for a photograph to support their appeal. The Sam Ahearn Appeal was set up by 19-year-old Samantha's parents, Linda and Billy McGoff, following her tragic death in July last year. A pyjama-themed event, which was held at Radcliffe Civic Suite in June, raised more than £6,500 for the appeal, thanks to support from the local community and the appearance of Mr Boyle. But Mrs McGoff was so wrapped up in the organisation of the event that she forgot to arrange a photograph with the star. She said: "I was so gutted because I was just so busy that night. It's really nice that he's gone to the trouble, I know he doesn't have a lot of time so it's nice that he came to see us."

Mr Boyle chatted to the family, including sister Alice, aged three, and brother Adam, aged 17, about the ongoing appeal. Mrs McGoff said: "He brought his Oscar and Alice was just stroking its head. Danny was so down the earth. "We want to let people know that the charity is still going and if they would like to help, please get in touch." The appeal was set up in aid of Epilepsy Bereaved which supported the McGoffs after Samantha, a Holy Cross College student, suffered a fatal epileptic fit at their home in Dumers Lane, Radcliffe. To donate to the Sam Ahearn Appeal: visit justgiving.com/samahearn, or contact Mrs McGoff on 07873 208 463.

Bury Times 30 September 2010
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Texters get a swift message
On ban's first day, police halt distracted drivers
Troopers Anthony Dear and Michael Ahern pulled their State Police cruiser onto Interstate 93 southbound in Boston at half past noon yesterday. "I'll be eyes right," Ahern said, "you be eyes left." It was Day One of the state's ban on texting while driving, and the troopers were scanning cars around them. They spotted: a man scarfing pretzels, a woman eating a peach, and a multitude of people on cellphones — not textbook behavior, but not against the law. And then they saw him: A man with razored sideburns, driving a Chrysler 300 with tiny boxing gloves dangling from the mirror, his head down and his right hand cradling a touchscreen phone. His thumb was tapping. He sat in stop-and-go traffic on a two-lane onramp by the South Bay Center, cars passing him on the right, a gap opening in front of him. Occasionally he rolled forward, still studying his phone. "No idea we're even here," Ahern said, narrating. "He is on that thing. Now he's got no hands on the wheel. Now he's no hands on the wheel, looking down." Nearly two minutes elapsed before the man, a 29-year-old from Chelmsford, saw the cruiser on his left. "Pull over," Dear said through the cruiser's speakers, as he activated the lights. "He's going to get the hundred dollars," he said to Ahern, before approaching the Chrysler, ready to write his first citation for a violation of Chapter 90, Section 13B of the Massachusetts General Laws, a statute that had been in effect for only 12 hours.

The texting ban for drivers is one part of a legislative package known as the Safe Driving Act, which took effect yesterday and which also bans drivers under age 18 from using a cellphone in any fashion behind the wheel. Adults face a $100 fine for a first offense, while junior operators, those under 18, face license suspension, as well as the fine. Dear and Ahern are members of the State Police's Community Action Team, a floating unit that supplements regular state and local patrols in high-crash and high-crime areas across Greater Boston. Yesterday, they allowed the Globe to observe as they followed a zigzagging route from South Boston to Dedham and back on highways and local roads to enforce the new ban, as well as all other traffic laws. "It's not just about texting," said Dear, noting that there is also an established law that enables police to write $35 citations for "impeded operation" or "unsafe driving" of almost any kind, be it operating while listening to headphones, or driving with the seat reclined too far.

The new law is part of a wave of related bills enacted nationally amid growing awareness of the dangers posed by distracted drivers. In 2009, nearly 1 million accidents and 500,000 injuries were attributed to distraction. Last year, Americans sent 1.6 trillion text messages and spent 2.3 trillion minutes talking on cellphones, much of it done on the roads. "The classic is the phone on the shoulder, the coffee in the left hand, the breakfast sandwich in the right hand, driving with the knees," said Ahern, as he and his partner headed south on patrol.

Troopers are encouraged to use discretion and common sense, drawing on their experience and the circumstances, in enforcing the distracted-driving laws. Near the Braintree Split, the pair spotted a man in a Toyota Highlander who appeared to be either dozing or texting. "His eyes are up, his eyes are down . . . I want to see where his hands are," said Ahern, as Dear navigated for a closer look. But when the troopers pulled alongside the man, he locked his focus on the road, both hands on the wheel. They kept driving. Going north on Route 128, they passed a man in a Volvo SUV craning to sip a tall drink without removing it from the cupholder — awkward, but not enough for a citation. They pulled onto Exit 15A in Dedham, where a man in a Honda Civic waiting for traffic to move seemed to be fiddling with something out of view. "Whatever he was doing, he put it down fast," Ahern said, as they passed.

They merged onto Route 1, where a woman with an infant in the back seat of her Ford Explorer had stopped in the middle of the road, studying a smartphone in plain view, as traffic sped past her after a red light changed back to green. They signaled her to pull over into the adjacent parking lot at Legacy Place. Ahern approached, his flat-brimmed hat drawn down to his eyes, his right hand resting just above his holstered Sig Sauer handgun. Ahern issued a warning to the woman. She said she had been studying directions on her phone's GPS and failed to notice that the light had changed, and he instructed her not to do it again, at least for her child's sake. "All she had to do was pull into a parking lot," said Dear, photos of his own young sons tucked into the dome light overhead.

On the VFW Parkway, the troopers saw another driver studying a smartphone, oblivious to the road conditions. The man, a courier, said he had been reading instructions that get beamed to his phone by a dispatcher, while talking to the dispatcher on a two-way radio — still a violation of the law. He had not noticed the light change. "As soon as I heard about the law, I thought, "This is going to affect me," said Bob Faria, 55, of Quincy after receiving a written warning. "I didn't think it was going to affect me today. But I had a feeling it was going to affect me, in at least looking around before I do anything stupid like that."

The troopers said they were issuing more first-day warnings than citations, except for egregious violations, with education their primary goal. "If nothing else, a citation, a warning — it educates the public," Ahern said. "And that education hopefully will help curb the behavior."

They drove through parts of Mattapan and Dorchester, issuing another warning, to a woman studying handwritten directions while taking her newborn to see her aunt, and stopping at a light at Blue Hill Avenue, where a homeless man with a shock of gray hair and a translucent poncho walked among the cars. "Talk about impeding traffic," Ahern said. "He's been here since I was like 7 years old." Near Bowdoin and Washington streets, they waited at a light across from a vacant lot where two men were chatting, the troopers studying the men and the men studying the troopers. One man raised his arms, giving two thumbs up. "Hey!" he shouted. "No texting!" The troopers smiled. "See," Ahern said. "People are paying attention."

The Boston Globe 1 October 2010
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Lee—Ahearn
Mr. Wylie and Mrs. Dianne Lee of Boiling Springs announce the engagement of their daughter, Victoria Dianne Lee, to Jonathan McKeown Ahearn. The wedding is planned for Dec. 18, 2010, in Lattimore.

About the bride-elect: Victoria is the granddaughter of Charles and Nell Smith of Grover and the late Jap and Flossie Lee of Lattimore. She is a 2003 graduate of Crest High School and a 2008 graduate of Gardner-Webb University having earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and Psychology. She is employed by Charleston County School District as a third-grade teacher.

About the future bridegroom: Jonathan is the son of Kevin Ahearn of Charlotte and Robin Ahearn of Charleston, S.C. and the grandson of Bobby and Bonnie Bunch of Seabrook Island, S.C. He is a 2004 graduate of Providence High School and a 2008 graduate of Gardner-Webb University having earned a B.S. in health and wellness. He is enrolled in the Medical University of South Carolina in the Physical Therapy Program.

The Star 4 October 2010
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Ashley Ahearn rising above the net for Bentley
Marshfield — Marshfield High School grad Ashley Ahearn (Class of 2010) is having a monster year for the Bentley University women's volleyball team. One of the leading freshman for Falcons, Ahearn went on a tear at the Pepsi Bash at the Beach Tournament at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Palm Beach, Fla., last week, helping her team start the tourney with a pair of 3-0 victories. The Falcons opened the tournament with a 25-19, 25-11, 25-16 win over Ohio Valley University and followed that up with a 25-17, 25-12 and 25-19 victory against Ave Maria University. The Falcons lost the last two games of the tournament, 3-0, to Palm Beach Atlantic University and Flagler University.

Ahearn and two of her senior teammates — Alaura Berry and Andrea Farah — led the Falcons in hitting in the matches against Ohio Valley and Ave Maria. Against Ohio Valley, Ahearn had five kills, and combined with Berry and Farah for a .444 hitting percentage. Ahearn hit a team-high .692, to go along with 10 kills (third highest on the team), in the win over Ave Maria. Ahearn finished the four-match tournament with 26 kills. Ahearn's most eye-opening performance this season came Oct. 6 when she hit a career-high 15 kills in a 3-1 loss to Southern New Hampshire University. Ahearn was the only Falcon with double figures in kills, and she hit .355 en route to her 15 kills. An Atlantic Coast League all-star last year for the Marshfield High School varsity volleyball team, Ahearn helped lead the Lady Rams to the Division 1 South Sectional semifinals.

Marshfield Mariner 13 October 2010
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West Point Cadets Experience Traditional Chinese Dance
WEST POINT, New York—Following a performance of music and classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun Performing Arts received standing ovations from the audience at the United States Military Academy West Point on Oct. 16. Held at the academy's Eisenhower Hall Theatre, dubbed "America's Theater," Shen Yun Performing Arts brought to life on stage China's 5,000 years of culture.

"I really enjoyed the show," Briana O'Hearn, one of the Cadets at the academy, said. "It was really interesting to know the acrobatic type things actually came from traditional Chinese dance—I really liked that—and just seeing some of the cultural aspects," she said. The dancers of Shen Yun Performing Arts are trained in the art of classical Chinese dance. The dance form includes a rich set of movements, ranging from gentle hand gestures to energetic flips and turns. "If you really want to experience the traditional Chinese dance, I would suggest it," Ms. O'Hearn said, speaking about the show. "There was really quite a variety, and I really liked how there was kind of a story told throughout the whole thing."

Ms. O'Hearn is part of West Point's Chinese club and is currently taking Chinese language classes at the academy. Following the show, she and other Cadets had the opportunity to speak with several dancers and the master of ceremonies of Shen Yun Performing Arts. . . . 

The Epoch Times 17 October 2010
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FFA teams compete at World Expo
REEDSVILLE — The Reedsville FFA sent three teams to compete in dairy cattle evaluation, forage management and dairy products at the World Dairy Exposition in Madison recently. Mike Kocourek, Dan Hagenow and Justin Schwahn competed in the forage management cup. The contest consisted of judging six different rings of hay or silage with visual and/or analytical data, identification of 60 plants and seeds of crops used for forage and weeds which compete with forage crops, and a 60-question, multiple choice test covering forage production, quality and handling. Rachel Hill, Taylor Schultz and Kyle Laabs competed in the dairy cattle evaluation contest. This contest consisted of judging four classes of dairy cows or heifers and answering a set of questions from one of the classes shown.

Robert O'Hearn, John O'Hearn and Mitch Anhalt judged dairy products that consisted of five sections. The sections included a written exam relating to the dairy industry, cheese identification, evaluation of milk flavors, scoring of sediment discs, and identifying five to 10 products as real or artificial.

Lake Shore Chronicle 17 October 2010
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Buck, Ahearn square off for county treasurer job
PORTSMOUTH — A former Rockingham County treasurer is looking to get his job back this election season. Republican Edward "Sandy" Buck III is running against incumbent Democrat David Ahearn for the position Buck lost two years ago. Buck was the Rockingham County treasurer for eight years before he was defeated by Ahearn two years ago during the 2008 elections. "I stand on my record as your county treasurer," Buck said. "With my past experience in the treasurer's office and my quarter century of government service, financial management, computer knowledge and strong interpersonal skills, I will again maintain the best treasurer's office in the best county in New Hampshire." Buck said he is the best candidate because he already has 25 years of experience with government service, financial management and computer skills. Ahearn of Hampton Falls is seeking his third term and has a background working for General Motors and Dow Chemical.
Foster's Daily Democrat 30 October 2010
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Births
O'HEARN — A daughter, Quinn Marie, to Kevin and Melissa (Piedmonte) O'Hearn of Traverse City, Oct. 10.
Traverse City Record Eagle 31 October 2010
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SEMINOLE—First-time candidate Larry Ahern defeated incumbent Janet Long to take the state House District 51 seat. Republican Ahern, 55, was a virtual unknown when he announced his candidacy against Long, 65, a Democrat. Ahern took an early lead Tuesday, eventually earning 50.5 percent of the vote to Long's 44 percent. The owner of a swimming pool remodeling business, Ahern emphasized conservatism and a business-friendly attitude. Long, who was elected in 2006, stressed her record at working with fellow House members on both sides of the aisle. The campaign soon became noteworthy for the charges and barbs Ahern and Long traded. She was criticized for a commercial in which her son, a war hero, characterized Ahern as a coward. Long said the charge was based on Ahern's reliance on Republican party money, support and campaign literature. Ahern also defeated Victoria Torres, a tea party candidate who lived in Orlando. State law required that she be a Pinellas County resident as of election day in order to take office. But Torres was the absent candidate for the duration of the campaign and it is unclear if she did move to Pinellas. She received 5.5 percent of the vote.
St. Petersburg Times 2 November 2010
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Wedding goes off without a hitch after thief rides off in limo
A man armed with a hammer took the role of wedding crasher to a whole new level in Dorchester yesterday, carjacking a limousine parked in front of a church and forcing the chauffeur and six bridesmaids from the vehicle, police and a cleric said. Police responded to the scene at about 1:45 p.m., said Officer James Kenneally, a Boston police spokesman. No injuries were reported.

The Right Rev. Jack Ahern, pastor of the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta at St. Margaret's Church on Columbia Road, said the bride and groom were inside the church and unaware of what happened, and the bridesmaids stayed calm once they got inside. "They all acted as if nothing happened," Ahern said. "They just didn't want to ruin the bride's wedding." Ahern said that according to witnesses, a man who had just broken into a nearby house ordered the driver and the wedding party out of the vehicle. "He whacked the window and whacked the limo driver" before taking off in the vehicle, Ahern said.

The priest said he was inside the church at the time of the incident, and one usher told him that the commotion was "just a fender bender," but a second usher came clean. "He said 'we can't lie to you,'" Ahern said. Kenneally, the police spokesman, said further details on the robbery were not available early last night. WCVB-TV (Channel 5) reported that the man abandoned the limo on West Fifth Street and remained at large last night.

Ahern said the bride and groom, whom he identified as Braintree residents Jillian Sherlock, 26, and Nikhil Pereira, 37, will not soon forget the wild lead-up to their nuptials. "They'll have a story to tell 50 years from now," he said.

The Boston Globe 7 November 2010
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GH man to be given state fitness award on Tuesday
LANSING—Jimmy O'Hearn of Grand Haven will be honored Tuesday by the Michigan Fitness Foundation for his dedicated pursuit of a healthy and active lifestyle during the fourth annual Governor's Fitness Awards at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing.
[photo]
O'Hearn is one of four Charles T. Kuntzleman Award winners from across the state who have overcome great challenges in efforts to include physical activity as a part of their daily routines. The award is named after the former chairman of the Michigan Fitness Foundation and author of "They Accepted the Challenge"—a book about people who, despite great obstacles, have pursued a life of physical activity. "Our hope is that these amazing award winners will inspire others to make a commitment to healthy living," said Terence Thomas, chairman of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports. "Their stories show that physical activity is a key component in qualify of life."

O'Hearn has been physically active his entire life. After overcoming skin cancer three times, he was told that he had prostate cancer at age 66. This news did not stop him from going to the gym for his daily workouts. It was during one of these workouts that O'Hearn decided he was not going to let cancer beat him. "I told myself, 'I am going to fight this thing,'" said O'Hearn. "If I lose, I'm going down fighting." When his doctor gave him the news that he was cancer-free, he also told O'Hearn that he recovered so quickly because of his consistent workouts. This inspired him to return to college to earn a personal training certification, specializing in senior fitness and working with the mentally and physically challenged. With this certification, O'Hearn said he hopes to teach others the values and benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Now 72, O'Hearn conducts 15 senior fitness classes a week and continues to train daily. He is also a seven-time Senior Olympics gold medalist in track and field.

Grand Haven Tribune 8 November 2010
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MARATHON, Fla.—An off duty Coral Gables police officer has been charged after getting into a fight with a hotel employee in the Florida Keys. According to an arrest warrant issued last week, Lt. Edward Claughton assaulted Justin Ahearn after an argument in October. Ahearn said the two had been talking earlier in the day. Later, Claughton called and asked Ahearn to come back to the resort so he could tip him. Ahearn said he met the officer outside and that's when he was attacked. A witness said Claughton jumped on top of Ahearn, pushing him and trying to hit him. According to the warrant, Ahearn received cuts on his lip. A spokeswoman for Coral Gables police said Monday that Claughton is on paid administrative leave pending investigation but declined further comment.
The Miami Herald 15 November 2010
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Police officer awarded compensation after being bitten by prostitute during search
A POLICE officer bitten on the hand by a prostitute on the Darling Downs 2 1/2-years ago has been awarded $6000 in compensation. The Toowoomba District Court ordered Huan Wang pay Detective Constable Patrick John O'Hearn, then aged 34, criminal compensation for biting him while he conducted a search of her hotel room on March 3, 2008. Judge Tony Rafter, SC, in a written judgement only recently available, said Const. O'Hearn had been assigned to the Queensland Police Service's prostitution enforcement task when he arranged a meeting with a prostitute who had advertised her services in a pre-text telephone call to a mobile telephone featured in a local newspaper advertisement.

"(The officer) later attended at a Toowoomba motel room where he gave (Wang) a sum of money in exchange for sexual services,'' Judge Rafter said. He said Const O'Hearn then identified himself as a police officer and with the help of a police colleague searched the room. "The search revealed a sum of money, a diary, two mobile telephones and some loose papers,'' he said. "While (Const O'Hearn) was interviewing (Wang) she suddenly walked over to the other police officer and snatched papers from his hand  . . .  and appeared  . . .  (she was) going to tear up the documents. "(Const O'Hearn) placed his left hand on the papers ... (and Wang) bit his left hand in the area between the thumb and fingers ... (and he) immediately felt pain and discomfort.''

Judge Rafter said Const O'Hearn also became anxious when he noticed the bite penetrated his skin and the officer feared the possibility of catching transmittable diseases. He said Const O'Hearn later went to the Toowoomba Base Hospital where he was prescribed antibiotics and underwent blood tests for infectious diseases. The court was told the tests later showed Const O'Hearn did not contract any diseases as a result of the attack. Wang was sentenced to six months', wholly suspended jail term on September 11 last year after pleading guilty to assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty.

The Courier-Mail 15 November 2010
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S. Boston man charged in church break-in
An unemployed South Boston man with a long criminal history was arraigned yesterday in a break-in at a Dorchester church Sunday morning, and authorities are trying to determine whether he is linked to a rash of recent church break-ins throughout the area, including a theft from the poor box at Mission Church in Roxbury. Michael Bagley, 44, wore a brown hooded sweatshirt and appeared bewildered during his arraignment in Dorchester District Court. He was charged with breaking and entering and attempting to commit a crime at St. Brendan Catholic Parish in Dorchester and with stealing a 2-foot stick from the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta at St. Margaret's Church, also in Dorchester. Bagley's attorney, John G. MacLachlan, entered a plea of not guilty on his client's behalf. Bagley, who has two outstanding charges against him in Dedham District Court, including breaking and entering at a temple, was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail.

"My client went into [St. Brendan] to use the bathroom," MacLachlan said during the arraignment. "He's given food and help from the church, so it isn't unusual for him to be there." MacLachlan said Bagley has learning disabilities and lives with his mother. Christina Corda, assistant Suffolk district attorney, said there has been a string of burglaries of churches in recent weeks, but MacLachlan denied that Bagley had anything to do with the incidents. Authorities believe Bagley is connected to the burglary at Mission Church, formally named the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, where someone broke through a century-old stained glass window to get inside and stole as much as $300 from a poor box and a donation box. Police say that crime occurred between 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday.

The Rev. Jack Ahern, pastor of the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta at St. Margaret's Church, as well as at St. Peter's Church, also in Dorchester, said he has counseled the defendant and given him food vouchers over the years. At least 10 break-ins have occurred at those three churches in recent months, with valuable items being stolen. "I don't want to believe it, but maybe he was responsible for what's been happening lately," Ahern said yesterday. Ahern said that he has found Bagley inside Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta at St. Margaret's Church several times when the church was locked. "We keep the church open during the day, and apparently he hides inside until it is locked for the night. I've arrived in the morning and found him asleep on a couch."

Ahern said someone recently broke into his own residence, the St. Ambrose rectory in Dorchester. "I woke up at 5 a.m. and someone was in my bedroom." Ahern said he did not get a good look at the suspect. "Here's a person who is down on his luck," Ahern said of Bagley. "He doesn't have a mean bone in his body. His situation engenders some empathy." The Rev. Raymond Collins, pastor of Mission Church, said that some people think that the churches are an easy mark if they are not cared for properly. "But we feel we do secure the church quite well." He added, "We don't have break-ins like this all the time by any means, but people have gone after churches. I know this by my experiences in other cities as well."

Collins did offer a message to whoever is responsible for the theft: "The only message for [the suspect] would be I hope he seeks out other ways of supporting himself, rather than stealing from other people."

The Boston Globe 16 November 2010
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BOXBOROUGH
CIVIL WAR HISTORY—The Boxborough Historical Society is hosting Dennis Ahern, an expert on the local history of the Civil War tonight at 7 at Town Hall. Ahern will talk about local men who responded to President Lincoln's request for volunteer militia and fought a rebel mob in Baltimore. They were among the first casualties of the war.
The Boston Globe 21 November 2010
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Ex-Arkansas police officer sentenced in shooting
A former Bella Vista police officer has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for the death of a man following a vehicle chase. Benton County prosecutors had charged Coleman Brackney with felony manslaughter, but he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor negligent homicide under an agreement reached between Prosecuting Attorney Van Stone and defense lawyer, Drew Miller. He was sentenced Thursday. Authorities say Brackney shot James Ahern six times Jan. 20. Brackney had been questioning people about recent break-ins in the area. An Arkansas State Police investigation determined that the sixth shot came after Ahern appeared to be surrendering and wouldn't have had use of his right arm because of an earlier round Brackney had fired. Brackney has said he feared Ahern was trying to kill him with his vehicle.
The Washington Examiner 3 December 2010
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Need to disappear?
Frank Ahearn, master of skip tracing, can help make anyone vanish for right price
by James Fanelli
Frank Ahearn used to hunt deadbeats on the lam, track down the targets of British tabloids, and smoke out unsavory characters who had gone off the grid. Nowadays, when people come to Ahearn, they aren't looking for someone, they want to disappear — and they're willing to pay. The upper West Sider gets $12,000 to $20,000 to help clients leave home and become untraceable to debt collectors, stalkers or anyone else searching for them. "People leave for two reasons — either money or violence," said Ahearn, 48, who wrote a book detailing his craft, "How to Disappear," published this fall. He's helped a corporate whistleblower rewarded handsomely by the government move to the Caribbean and avoid possible retaliation from the people he helped put away. He's helped battered wives escape abusive husbands.

Ahearn perfected the disappearing act after spending 26 years as a skip tracer — a bounty hunter who tracks down people who have purposely gone missing. Hired by debt collectors or clients with grudges, skip tracers use public databases and credit reports to find addresses and phone numbers for a target. "When you look for someone, you don't look for them, you look for what they left behind," he said. The true trick of the trade is what Ahearn calls "pretexting," or lying to obtain information. He would call banks and phone companies pretending to be the person he was looking for. He'd also blarney family members and old neighbors into giving up details about a target's new life. One sneaky method he used to verify someone's new address was to masquerade as a delivery man trying to return a damaged package. That trick worked on Monica Lewinsky, when a tabloid hired him to track her down. Ahearn said he found 99% of the people he was hunting, but business got tougher over the years as stricter privacy laws made lying to banks and phone companies a crime.

Ahearn — who says he helped the mob track down people who owed money — also got burned out from the bad karma. "I just couldn't do it anymore," he said. "I knew that this work was a limited run in life." Sporting a ponytail, two faded tattoos on his left arm and Versus sunglasses, Ahearn comes off affable and talkative, but he has a hardboiled past. He was raised in Inwood and later the Bronx, with his dad running illegal gambling dens. At 18, Ahearn had done a year in drug rehab. When he got out, he took a job with a private investigation firm doing undercover work at retail stores to prevent employee thefts. That led to opportunities in skip tracing with the firm. Ahearn started making people disappear two years ago, when he just happened to strike up a conversation at a New Jersey book store with the corporate whistleblower. Interest exploded after Ahearn wrote about his tactics for escapeartist.com, a website that provides off-shore accounting tips. He made it a full-time business about a year ago.

Part of the job is instructing clients how to set up shell corporations and use prepaid cell phones. He schools them on how to outsmart private investigators and skip tracers. Business is booming, but he plans to call it a career soon. "I do what I do to make money. It was a gateway to end skip tracing," he said. "I only see myself doing this another year or so."

New York Daily News 5 December 2010
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Crime can't erode grace
by Yvonne Abraham
It's official. Nothing is sacred. Father Jack Ahern pulled a heavy gold curtain away from the tabernacle at St. Peter's on Bowdoin Street on Friday morning, revealing battered brass doors that barely shut anymore. Somebody went to the most important place in the church — a place Catholics believe contains the living presence of Christ — and whaled on it with a hammer. "Maybe they thought it was a safe," Ahern said, hopefully.

You know things are bad when they start knocking off churches. And judging by the number of churches knocked off recently, things are very bad indeed. "I'm seeing levels of desperation out there I haven't seen for a long while," said the gray-haired 57-year-old. He would know. Like most priests and ministers, he sees a lot of people who live on the margins. They come to the three Dorchester churches he oversees for food and laundry money and help with the rent. They come because they don't belong anywhere else. And sometimes they come to steal. There have been 15 break-ins at Boston-area churches in the last few months. And that's just the Catholic ones. There's usually an uptick in robberies this time of year. People with mental or emotional issues can be undone by the holidays, and they're the ones most likely to break into a church, said Joe McEnness, who is in charge of risk management for the Boston Archdiocese. It's also a time when financial pressures make people do crazy things. But usually, that means two or three break-ins for the season, not 15.

Ahern had three robberies in November: One at his rectory, where he woke one morning to see a man making off with cash and his ring; one at St. Peter's, where somebody smashed a stained-glass window, hammered at the tabernacle and ripped the poor boxes off the walls; and one at Blessed Mother Teresa. He didn't know about that one until a man arrested on suspicion of another robbery told police he'd also stolen from the Columbia Road church. That man's name is Michael Bagley, and Ahern has known him for 16 years. The gaunt, mentally ill, homeless man often came to the Dorchester churches for food and to wash up. Some mornings, Ahern would open up St. Peter's to find Bagley had spent the night. He doesn't think he would batter a tabernacle. "There's a certain sadness and melancholy to him," Ahern said. "He was so gentle and grateful, it was easy to give him things."

On Thursday, police arrested a man they believe is responsible for some other church robberies, and Ahern knew him, too. Richard Shiner sometimes used the food pantry at Blessed Mother Teresa. Churches are easy targets, and these thefts aren't going to change that. Sure, they can empty the poor boxes and make sure the doors and windows are locked at night. But there's only so much you can do without undermining what a church stands for. To give respite from the chaos outside, churches need to remain open as much as possible; they need gifts of cash so they have something to give; and they need to keep welcoming men like Bagley. "We have to continue to do these things if we are going to be faithful to Christ," Ahern said.

Ahern thinks that faithfulness is why Bagley — and probably others — stole from churches in the first place. "I'm sure he has a sense that . . . he'd find forgiveness here," Ahern said. If Bagley comes back — and Ahern wants him to — the priest will sit him down and ask why he didn't just ask for whatever he needed. And then Ahern would give him whatever he needed. So, nothing is sacred, except this: No matter what the Michael Bagleys of the world do, the Jack Aherns will always unlock the door and let them in.

The Boston Globe 5 December 2010
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Ledyard
William P. O'Hearn, 28, of 7 Parkwood Drive, Gales Ferry, was charged Thursday with using a motor vehicle without permission, driving with a suspended license and driving an unregistered motor vehicle.
The Day 10 December 2010
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After gas shutoff, freezing weather
by Brian R. Ballou
METHUEN—As if the loss of gas service overnight was not enough bad news for hundreds of residents of a western section of the city, Mother Nature threw another punch early yesterday, giving the region one of the coldest days of the year. "We froze," said Ron Begin, 70. "It was terrible, and my pipes in the basement froze and bust," he said yesterday afternoon, standing on Pelham Street, staring at a Columbia Gas of Massachusetts employee who had just parked his truck. Temperatures in the area dipped into single digits yesterday, according to the National Weather Service, as puddles iced over, lawns were frozen stiff, and people bundled up in heavy winter jackets.

A crew doing routine maintenance Thursday at Railroad and Osgood streets noticed at about 4 p.m. that the pressure inside a nearby gas main had suddenly dropped. That forced the company to shut off gas on 83 streets for about 950 residential, commercial, and industrial clients. By 8:30 last night, gas was restored to all but 30 customers, who were not home at the time representatives came to inspect, said spokesman Dan DiNunno. He said the company left tags on those doors and would have extra staff throughout the night to restore services as soon as customers returned home. But thoughout the day, the shutoff caused major disruptions in the city of about 44,000 residents, just north of Lawrence and south of the New Hampshire border. Classes, from kindergarten through high school, were canceled. A few affected businesses pushed back their openings. Some residents took the day off to make sure they were home when Columbia Gas workers came to turn the service back on. "Hey, when are you going to do this side of the street?" Begin asked the Columbia Gas worker. The employee yelled back over traffic, "We have to do this side first, but someone should be there soon."

As many as 81 employees, some traveling from Springfield or Brockton, went house to house to restore service, just hours after they had gone house to house to shut it off. At a handful of homes where they got no answer earlier in the day, a locksmith accompanied by a police officer opened doors. On Thursday night, many residents donned thick sleepwear and wrapped themselves with blankets as they faced a long, frigid night.

"It got to 40 degrees in my house last night," said David O'Hearn, 33, a teacher in the Lawrence school district. "I came home last night at 11, and it was already freezing inside. Thankfully, my brother who lives on the other side of town gave me two space heaters. I have three little kids, and we all had to bundle up." O'Hearn said his three daughters, ages 8 and younger, had difficulty sleeping in the cold.

Gas service to three housing complexes for seniors was restored early yesterday. "Our concern was for all of our residents, but particularly our most vulnerable residents," said Mayor William Manzi III, speaking from his office. "Thankfully, it worked out, but it was a concern. It required a pretty big mobilization on the part of the city, and we'll be talking to the company about the bill for that at some date very soon." An emergency shelter was set up at the Timony Grammar School on Pleasant View Street, but only two residents utilized it. Two residents stayed at a hotel because of health issues, according to Red Cross officials.

DiNunno said the company, formerly Bay State Gas, is investigating what led to the loss of pressure in the gas main. And the company anticipates getting a bill. "We're like any company; we have insurance to cover these types of things," DiNunno said. "I'm sure there are certain expenses out there that will come back to us."

The Boston Globe 11 December 2010
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Bertie Ahern quits Irish politics
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern last night dramatically announced his retirement from politics and conceded he could have done some things differently. But he now stands to draw down a massive pension. He will get a ministerial pension of around €98,000 (£84,000) and a TD's pension of around €48,000 (£41,000) — giving him around €146,000 (£125,000) a year. Then he would also be entitled to a once-off lump sum of around €146,000 on retirement.

The Dublin Central TD's decision to retire ahead of the Republic's general election, in which Fianna Fail is expected to suffer a huge loss of seats, was made during a speech to the party's O'Donovan Rossa Cumann last night. In his address Mr Ahern acknowledged the economic turmoil being endured and the difficulties faced by so many in the Republic. "I dearly wish there was no crisis. I realise that it would have been better if some things had been done differently," he said. "But I will not denigrate the good that has been done, or belittle the effort it took to achieve it." He insisted that Ireland is not "banjaxed" and is not an "economic corpse", as has been previously claimed by Labour. The former Taoiseach acknowledged that people's confidence had been "knocked back" and plans for the future put on hold given the economic and banking crisis which has unfolded since September 2009. "But if these are difficult days, we can have a genuine confidence for the future based on the real, the sustainable and the lasting gains which Ireland has made. Yes some gains have been lost, but in truth many remain," |he added. "The truth is that our country will recover. We will regain our stride and we will succeed in |holding on to many of the gains we have made together," he said. The former Taoiseach said it had always been his plan to retire at the age of 60 and this was an "unalterable position".

Taoiseach Brian Cowen paid tribute to Mr Ahern, who now joins a number of other high profile Irish politicians bowing out of politics ahead of the general election. Mr Cowen described his predecessor as "without question the consummate politician of our |generation in this country". "He is a person of rare ability and extraordinary talent. He has an immense work ethic and he is a superb negotiator." The Taoiseach thanked Mr Ahern for all his work and contributions to the peace process, and claimed Irish people will "always hold him in high esteem".

Belfast Telegraph 31 December 2010
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