Daily News - Staff picks top stories of 2018

Daily News - Staff picks top stories of 2018

The Daily News staff spent the final days of 2018 sifting through the top newsmakers of the past 12 months.

Editor’s note: The Daily News staff spent the final days of 2018 sifting through the top newsmakers of the past 12 months. As is the case each December, there were as many topics to choose from as there are weeks in a year. Here are our Top 10.

1.) In December, Norman Miller chose health over beer.

After more than a dozen years, staff writer Miller announced he was ending his Beer Nut column in The MetroWest Daily News and other GateHouse Media newspapers. After a medical scare that turned out to be minor, Miller said he needed an overall lifestyle change to hopefully lose weight before it was too late, and that included all of the extra calories he took in from beer.

The announcement garnered a lot of attention, both locally and nationally. Miller said he received hundreds of emails and messages on social media from people from around the country. Several news outlets outside of GateHouse Media wrote articles about Miller’s decision.

Where does it stand?

Has Miller stayed strong? The answer is yes. He said since the medical scare on Nov. 8, he only had two beers, both on Thanksgiving. He has had no beer, or alcohol, since that day and has dramatically changed his overall diet by cutting his carb intake by about 75 percent.

2.) In March, Brian Flores promoted by Patriots.

With defensive coordinator Matt Patricia getting hired as head coach of the Detroit Lions, the Patriots announced that Brian Flores would coordinate their defense - even though Flores wasn’t getting the title of defensive coordinator.

“I’ve never been big on titles,” said Flores, a four-year linebacker at Boston College. “I’m here to work. I’m here to help this team win any way I can. I think I’ve always said that in some form or fashion.”

here does it stand?

Flores still doesn’t have the title, but he has nonetheless helped the Patriots to an 11-5 record and a first-round bye for the upcoming playoffs. A highlight came on Dec. 2, when the Pats defense held a dynamic Minnesota Vikings offense to just 10 points in a Patriots win.

3.) On Sept. 15, at about 11:30 p.m., a group of teens and men in their early 20s descended onto a home on Bradford Road in Framingham, some armed with bats and other weapons, seeking another man.

During what became a large brawl, a teenage girl was hit in the head with a bat and sent to the hospital with a concussion.

Four people were arrested - Raphael Rosario Torres, 18; Dario Medina, 21; Ezequiel Cordero, 25, all of Framingham, and an unnamed juvenile.

The incident sparked debate if there was a gang problem in Framingham. Police said there were no gangs in the city, while the group members identified themselves as a gang. A prosecutor during a Framingham District Court hearing identified the group as a gang and said the incident was “gang violence,” and an officer testified that the group was a gang.

All three were declared a danger at a hearing in Framingham District Court, but were released on various amounts of bail.

Where does it stand?

The case is still making its way through Framingham District Court. All three men are due back in court on Feb. 11 for a compliance hearing.

4.) Temazcal Tequila Cantina opens in Framingham.

With several restaurants closing over the past several years along Rte. 9 in Framingham, many officials and residents worried about the vacant spots. But Temazcal Tequila Cantina garnered plenty of attention this fall when the upscale Mexican restaurant with more than 250 tequilas opened in the former location of Papa Razzi Italian restaurant, which closed in November 2017. The restaurant is known for “old world Mexican dishes with a modern twist.”

The restaurant is known for making everything from scratch and offering cocktails with fresh ingredients.

Framingham is the fifth Massachusetts location of Temazcal, which opened in the Seaport in 2011. Other locations include Burlington, Dedham and Lynnfield. Its design is influenced by Mexico and its culture, and the tequila library is designed to give it an authentic cantina feel.

Where does it stand?
Open for four months, Temazcal is part of a new wave of regional restaurants opening along Rte. 9. It has received an average of 4 out 5 stars based on 80 Google reviews.

5.) Marian High School in Framingham closes, citing declining enrollment.

The 62-year-old Catholic school was founded in 1956 by Cardinal Richard Cushing, archbishop of the Boston Archdiocese, and guided by the Sisters of St. Joseph. It had gradually moved toward becoming a less religious faculty in recent years, and had been independent of the Boston Archdiocese since the 2004-05 school year.

In its final year, the school had an enrollment of 221 students. Marian coordinated with Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, a Catholic school in Brighton, to accommodate former Marian students this year. Teachers and staff also were also given priority for open positions at other Catholic schools within the Boston Archdiocese.

Where does it stand?

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston is now marketing the school’s campus at 273 Union Ave. for long-term land leases, with or without the existing buildings. Administrators from the Framingham Public Schools toured the site twice, but downplayed the possibility of putting the Marian property to use, citing the need for extensive renovations.

Where does it stand?
It came as a surprise when school Superintendent Peter Sanchioni resigned Feb. 28 after holding the job for 10 years.

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