TOPSFIELD, MA — Here's our recap of the top stories Patch covered on the North Shore this week:
October on the North Shore without the Topsfield Fair just won't seem like October.
But the Essex Agricultural Society, the fair's organizer, finally gave in Wednesday, canceling the Topsfield Fair for just the third time in its history. While most other New England Fairs canceled their 2020 events weeks ago, the Topsfield Fair had held out hope they could still hold the event Oct. 2-12.
"The safety and health of our community has to be our top priority and due to the current restrictions hosting the Topsfield Fair this year is impossible," James O'Brien, general manager of the Topsfield Fair, said.
If you're looking for a silver lining on this story, here it is: After being canceled in 1943, 1944 and 1945, the Topsfield Fair greeted record-breaking crowds in 1947. The only other cancellation was in 1918, when the fair was not held during the Spanish flu pandemic.
Marblehead police identified a suspect in the vandalism of a Black Lives Matter banner at the town's Unitarian Universalist Church, and the person may be connected to similar thefts and vandalism in other nearby towns. The Clerk-Magistrate of the Lynn District Court will determine if there is probable cause for a criminal complaint.
Two Beverly police officers pulled a woman who appeared to be "distraught and suicidal" from the Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Danvers River.
A Rowley man who pleaded guilty to recording himself repeatedly raping a girl who was eight and nine at the time of the attacks was sentenced to 15 to 18 years in prison by a Salem Superior Court judge. Darryl Moore, 39, of Rowley, was the manager of Leslie's Poolmart in Danvers at the time of his arrest.
Eric Jalbert, 31, of Beverly, who was released from the Essex County jail after testing positive for the coronavirus in April, was charged with smuggling drugs and other contraband into the jail.
Summer Of "No Good Choices" For North Shore School Committees
School districts have until Aug. 10 to finalize reopening decisions and forward them to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. And then has forced North Shore school systems to live through what Salem committee member Amanda Campbell called "the summer of no good decisions."
Peabody school officials say they need to add staff members to safely reopen. The Salem School committee will meet Aug. 4 and 6 to hear recommendations and make a decision on how to reopen schools this fall: in person, fully-remote or a hybrid model that combines in-person and remote learning. Beverly school committee members held a similar meeting this week and will make their final decision on Aug. 6, and many members signaled they were reluctant to reopen.
The concern is justified: this week Salem Public Schools shut down the summer program at Horace Mann Laboratory School Tuesday after a bus monitor tested positive for the coronavirus, and the number of active coronavirus cases is rising in many North Shore communities.
Restaurants Coming And Going
You can celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day on Sunday by welcoming the Cookie Monstah to Swampscott.
A beloved Salem restaurant is the latest local eatery to fall victim to the coronavirus. Scratch Kitchen, which opened in 2011, said Monday it had closed.
"It has come with a lot of hard thinking and was not an easy decision but we will be closing Scratch Kitchen," the restaurant said in a Facebook post Monday. "We will miss you and hope you are doing well during this period of time."
Meanwhile, Beverly will be getting a new restaurant this fall. Rossetti Restaurant, an Italian restaurant with locations in Lynn and Winthrop, plans to open in a 3,900-square-foot space at North Shore Crossing. Jason Maynard, formerly of Mistral Restaurant in the South End, will serve as executive chef.
Help Patch Find North Shore Heroes
Doctors, nurses, police and grocery store workers alike are just some of the professions with a high potential for exposure to the virus. Patch wants to recognize as many of these heroes as possible.
Let us know about those making a difference in this difficult time by filling out the form below and we'd be happy to share their impact with the rest of the community.
And, finally this week: Marblehead Selectman Judy Jacobi, who lead the push to restore Abbot Hall and Fort Sewall, died over the weekend. She was 80.