SALEM, MA — A touch of snow in the air on a Sunday seems like an appropriate way to kick off the final few days before the holidays.
This week's snowstorm was a biggie — with some schools choosing to give students and staff the day off, and others opting for one less day hitting the books in the warm sun of June. Meanwhile, North Shore small businesses continue to do amazing things navigating the immense challenges thrown their way in 2020.
Whether you are decking the halls or curling up by a fire this Sunday, here are a few stories you might have missed on the North Shore this week.
The first year owning a restaurant is difficult enough without having to make some of the choices Kathleen Rodgers has had to make in her first year owning Spitfire Tacos of Salem.
Rodgers said she and her partner, Ryan, still feel fortunate with how their new business has been embraced in The Point neighborhood. So, they decided that while they can't see their families this year, they can do something nice for others who may be a little lonely themselves during the pandemic.
The predawn anticipation of huddling next to the radio for snow cancellations may be a distant thing of the past in the age of social media blasts and automated calls, but in 2020 a new wrinkle to the school "snow day" is whether that means a day or off or a day in front of the computer for North Shore students.
For the first time ahead of Thursday's snowstorm, superintendents faced balancing the consistency of switching staff and students to remote learning amid the changes of the coronavirus crisis, or giving everyone a little breather as they dig out and maybe enjoy a little socially distanced sledding in a punishing pandemic year.
Salem residents can now get around town for $2 or less as part of a new ride-sharing service called the Salem Skipper.
The service, which includes plexiglass partitions to allow for social distancing, will work like a minibus where riders can "hail" the Skipper through a phone app or through a phone call. Advanced algorithms will allow for multiple riders to share the same vehicle through directing passengers to nearby "virtual" bus stops within a short walking distance.
The city hopes the ride-sharing option will help Salem's efforts to become a "car-light community."
Beverly residents eager to waive goodbye to 2020 can do it virtually this year with the city's family-friendly celebration going remote on New Year's Eve for the first time in its 27 years.
The free virtual event will run from 7 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 31.
The MBTA apparently listened as local and state officials, T workers and the riding public decried proposed massive cuts to service proposed to make up for lost ridership due to the coronavirus health crisis at recent public forums.
Yet, while the extent and lengths of the cuts were ultimately reduced in some cases in the Fiscal Management Control Board's final recommendation, they will still be significant for North Shore residents who rely on traveling the commuter rail at off-peak hours and who utilize certain bus lines through Salem.
The Marblehead Board of Selectmen and police chief said a police officer accused of carving a swastika into another officer's personal vehicle has resigned.
Registered Nurse Michele Hnath became the first member of North Shore Medical Center staff to receive the first dose of the vaccine on Wednesday.
The intensive care unit staff members are among those with the greatest exposure to the coronavirus virus, so they are among the first wave to receive the vaccine.
The Salem State University community is mourning the passing of the school's first woman president.
Nancy Harrington, who died this weekend, was 81. Harrington was the school's 12th president and presided over the institution for 17 years. She was a Salem High and Salem State alumna who earned her bachelor's degree in 1960 and her master's degree in 1963.