A look back at 2021 in the Tri-Town

The past 12 months in Tri-Town have seen covid challenges, numerous housing plans, and a goldendoodle walking among the Bulldogs. Here’s a quick look at some of the notable 2021 news in our neighborhood.

A major achievement in early 2021 came in January, when Marion became the first city in the region to obtain state approval to administer covid-19 vaccines. the a municipal clinic vaccinated first responders – including firefighters, police and emergency medical personnel – from Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester and Wareham.

Shortly after the first responders clinic in February, Marion and Mattapoisett started vaccinating their other eligible residents.

Around the same time, facing some opposition to state city-run vaccination clinics, the Rochester Council on Aging got creative in getting elderly residents vaccinated by helping the elderly to get vaccinated. make an appointment at mass vaccination sites – then transport them there.

Within the Tri-Town, vaccinations of eligible populations continued regularly despite the first concerns about how vaccines are distributed. As 2022 approaches, Marion and Mattapoisett are claiming some of the the highest vaccination rates from any municipality in the County of Plymouth.

Amid the lingering coronavirus problems, the three cities have also found ways to slowly but steadily bring their students back to class for in person instruction.

Growth, change

Various Tri-Town projects and developments continued to advance in 2021 – and Marion saw the loss of at least one long-standing municipal institution.

In February, it was announced that the Marion Lockheed Martin complex would be close by 2022. The news surprised many city officials and current and former Lockheed Martin employees, and many mourned the loss from one of the city’s major employers.

Housing developments were also making the headlines in Tri-Town.

A 48-unit complex on the waterfront has been proposed for Wareham Road in Marion. Although a zoning change that would have paved the way for development did not obtain the required two-thirds majority At the city meeting in October, city administrator Jay McGrail said the city planned to bring the issue back to voters after a public awareness campaign.

Marion and Rochester have both moved closer to the satisfaction of State requirement “40B” that at least 10% of the city’s housing is considered affordable.

Rochester Crossroads’ 208-unit apartments are expected to push the city up above the 10% threshold. Marion would see her percentage of affordable housing cross the threshold if the Heron Cove project, proposed for construction off Highway 6 near the Wareham Line, is licensed and built.

In December, after more than 30 years of work, Mattapoisett opened its new fire station on 62 County Road.

The Ned Point Lighthouse in Mattapoisett, which had been closed since 2019 due to restoration and demolition work, also reopened for visits.

Leadership upheavals

In July, Mattapoisett Police Chief Mary Lyons retired from the department after his arrest after a traffic stop in Bourne. Lyon was accused of having operated under the influence of alcohol and cited with a lane violation marked by a state police officer.

In December, Mattapoisett sworn in to his new police chief, Jason King, who was interim chef for five months and has lived in Mattapoisett most of his life.

In November, Southcoast Health President and CEO Keith Hovan was arrested and charged with assault and battery after an incident at his home in Rochester. These charges were fall before his trial at the request of the victim. Police discovered illegal large-capacity gun magazines in his Rochester home, and Hovan is scheduled to have a magistrate’s hearing Jan. 10 for the magazine charges.

Hovan took a leave of the hospital system.

During the summer Tabor Academy’s new principal, Tony Jaccaci, arrived in Marion to settle down before the start of her first school year at school. Jaccaci is originally from New England with a long curriculum vitae in leadership roles in schools around the world.

In April, Mattapoisett Select Board Member John Decosta deceased at 58, just two weeks after publicly sharing his cancer diagnosis. The longtime Mattapoisett resident had also worked for the town’s fire department for 17 years.

The headquarters of Decosta was completed by Tyler Macallister after a special election in July. Macallister previously served on the board until he stepped down in 2019 to run for the city’s administrator.

Weird, wacky and wonderful

The 3 baby Arapawa goats – the world’s rarest breed – were born at the Pine Meadow Alpacas farm in Mattapoisett this spring.

Old Rochester Regional High School has recruited a new four-legged ‘staff’ – a support the mini goldendoodle named Abby, who helps students and staff. And, in May, Brian Sitarz, a Navy officer who had just returned from his third deployment, surprised his daughter Kaylee in high school.

In the fall, the Old Rochester volleyball team won the title of Division 3 State Champion – a first for the program.

Two Tri-Town athletes had the opportunity to shine on the world stage in 2021: Marion’s Meghan Parks participated in the CrossFit Games (finish ninth in her age group) and Rochester’s Gia Doonan traveled to Tokyo for the Olympics as a member of the U.S. Women’s Eight Rowing Team, which ultimately came in fourth place.

It’s All About the Animals, a cat shelter in Rochester, found itself almost overwhelmed by an abundance of 77 kittens.

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