SALEM, MA — A 20-year-old skatepark no longer suitable for skateboarding and a baseball field too small for regulation games have been transformed into a skater's haven and the future home of Salem High varsity baseball as part of the The Ryan Brennan Memorial Skatepark at Gallows Hill Parkin Salem Project.
The project took four years from planning to last week's grand opening, and faced delays due to environmental discoveries and the coronavirus health crisis, before the $1.6 million project was completed to the point where it could be opened to skaters of all levels.
The new skate park includes a "bowl" where skaters of all levels can zoom up the sides and spin down, while Mansell Field will host Salem High when the Witches return to the field and the grass gets through the growing season this fall and into the start of the spring.
More from the North Shore and across Massachusetts
Salem is doing its best to extend the outdoor dining season as long as possible during the coronavirus health crisis.
As temperatures dip, the city is preparing to deliver 20 outdoor heaters to eight restaurants so they can keep serving guests on their patios into November, and perhaps beyond.
Salem City Solicitor Beth Rennard said heaters are being distributed this week to Dube's Seafood Restaurant, Tin Whistle, Bertini's, Iaho, Notch Brewing, Blue Fez, Thai Place and Fountain Place.
In small town such as Swampscott, the recent jump in coronavirus rates reinforces that it can only take one party, one family, one small outbreak to affect the lives of nearly everyone in town.
"That's why everybody in public health is nervous when Thanksgiving comes up," Swampscott Director of Public Health Jeffrey Vaughan told Patch.
The calls keep coming even though the space available was long been sold out and the pleas to "Stay away from Salem" this Halloween season were coming loud, clear and consistent from the city.
State coronavirus-related restrictions whittled the hordes of ghost-story hunters bounding through the streets and graveyards of the Witch City typical of this time of year to groups of 10 or less. Smaller groups mean fewer tips for the tour guides, who had previously been able to make a living in the tourism industry with one big income boost arriving each October.
"This isn't just hurting our company," Salem Ghost Tours manager Josef Kruger told Patch this week. "This is hurting all companies in Salem."
As Beverly residents made strong use of mail-in, drop box and early-voting options, City Clerk Lisa Kent assured them that whichever method they choose to cast a ballot for the Nov. 3 general election it will be secure.
Kent said more than half of the 30,259 registered voters in the city have already either voted or requested a mail-in ballot. She said 11,100 of the 15,652 mail-in ballots requested have been returned, while 3,197 ballots were cast through Monday in early voting.
"We are pretty impressed with Beverly (voters)," Kent told Patch Tuesday morning.
It was a speech Travis Roy delivered in thousands of auditoriums across the country over the course of more than two decades that left packed rows of students in a captivated silence.
It wasn't so much a story about how the Yarmouth, Maine native was paralyzed just 11 seconds into his college hockey career at Boston University. It was a story about how he kept persevering as a quadriplegic, and an inspiration to many, that kept the typically rowdy and restless Waltham High student body focused on each word during his 2012 talk in the school's Robinson Auditorium.
"I've come a long way and I'm proud of that," Roy told the hushed Waltham High crowd. "The support of my friends and my family has made me strong because of it."