Week in Review: Former Foxborough Teacher Accused of Sexual Abuse, Police Chief Being Sued and More
A recap of this week's headlines from Sept. 24-28.
Miss anything in Foxborough this week? Here's your chance to sit back and catch up on some Patch. Below is a recap of this week’s biggest headlines on Foxborough Patch:
William E. Sheehan, a former Foxborough resident and elementary and middle school teacher has been accused of sexually abusing multiple children under the age of 15 while in town from 1978 to 1981, according to Foxborough Police and court documents.
Following an investigation, Foxborough Police obtained a warrant for Sheehan’s arrest.
Sheehan, 73, currently lives in an assisted living facility in Fort Myers, Fla. and if arrested would face 11 felonies – 9 counts of indecent assault and battery on child under 14 and two counts of indecent assault and battery on child 14 or over, according to court documents.
Foxborough Police recently travelled to Fort Myers to serve Sheehan the warrant but left Florida without making an arrest due to Sheehan’s medical condition.
Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary said the investigation is “ongoing.”
Recent reports of a sexual abuse case in Foxborough involving a former Ahern Middle School teacher from over 30 years ago is likely to cause shock, anger and sadness throughout the community.
Understanding this type of reaction, Foxborough Schools Superintendent Debra Spinelli was proactive in issuing a letter to parents in the community Thursday.
"These reports of child sexual abuse in this community in the past are deeply disturbing to those of us who live and work in Foxborough," Spinelli said Thursday in response to Foxborough Patch inquiries. "The Foxborough Public School District joins other institutions throughout the town in expressing concern and empathy to any victims and their families. While these cases may have occurred some 40 years ago in Foxborough, we are still deeply impacted as a caring school community.
"Now, more than ever, we must come together as a community to confront the past and work together to protect children from abuse. I am confident that our school community – administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, and students – will work together to minimize any impact these terrible allegations might have on our primary mission to educate the children of Foxborough in a safe and caring environment."
Two men who attended a Bruce Springsteen concert at Gillette Stadium in August and allegedy taken into protective custody by Foxborough Police have filed a class action lawsuit against Police Chief Edward O'Leary and the town.
Plaintiffs Paul Weldner and Timothy Dutton, both of Portland, Maine, filed the class action lawsuit in federal court Monday alleging that the Foxborough Police Department is putting people into protective custody even when people are not incapacitated.
Weldner and Dutton sued Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary and the Town of Foxborough on behalf of all the people affected by Foxborough’s unconstitutional use of the protective custody statute, according to the press release.
Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary declined to comment on the class action lawsuit filed against him and the town for “improper” practice of protective custody during a Bruce Springsteen concert at Gillette Stadium in August. O’Leary’s reasoning for no comment was simple – he has not received any official notification of the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court Monday, according to a press release from the Law Offices of Howard Friedman P.C. in Boston.
“The town has not received the documentation of the suit,” O’Leary said. “It appears the lawyers have sent out a press release prior to notifying the community. I’m going to decline any comment about the allegations until we finally have some specific [information] on the matter.”
A Foxborough man has been summonsed to Wrentham District Court after police discovered “a substantial cultivation” of marijuana plants at the 48 Mirimichi Rd. residence Monday morning, according to Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary.
Two officers approached the 48 Mirimichi Rd. home Monday morning and spoke to the owner, who gave police consent to enter the residence, according to O’Leary.
“[When officers entered] they discovered a fairly substantial cultivation of marijuana,” O’Leary said. “All those items were seized and marked for evidence.”
Boyden Library's renovation project is on schedule to meet its target reopening date of late spring 2013, according to the library's director, Jerry Cirillo.
"The project is pretty much on schedule – a few areas are slightly behind while others are ahead of schedule but the overall project is on schedule and on budget,” Cirillo said.
The library, which is currently operating at Chestnut Green, plans to reopen at its renovated Bird Street location in May or June.
WALPOLE – A letter from Walpole Town Administrator Michael Boynton will be sent to local legislators this week to propose a plan that would give surrounding communities in close proximity to major entertainment venues and stadiums revenue from their respective ticket sales.
For Gillette Stadium that means communities like Walpole, Wrentham, Sharon and Norfolk.
The proposal, which Boynton stressed is to “start a dialogue,” would ask owners of venues such as Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park and Comcast Center (Mansfield) to apply a charge of up to $3 per ticket over face value in order to mitigate the burden on surrounding communities.
Trader Joe's, which just recently opened a location at Patriot Place in Foxborough, has ordered a recall of its salted peanut butter after 29 salmonella illnesses in 18 states have been linked to the product, according to an article in The Huffington Post.
The neighborhood grocery store chain's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, which is sold nationwide, has been linked to the salmonella illnesses, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Some members of Foxborough’s Board of Selectmen have expressed concerns with two of the eight liquor licenses the Kraft Group hopes to acquire to further develop Patriot Place and Route 1.
The Kraft Group told selectmen during the Sept. 18 BOS meeting it is looking for six all alcohol liquor licenses for restaurants and two package store licenses. It is the latter that have some BOS members concerned.
Foxborough’s 21-0 victory over North Attleboro (3-1) Friday night may not matter in the Hockomock League standings at the end of the season but it certainly meant something to Warriors’ head coach Jack Martinelli and the 96 players on his roster.
“It counts for my kids,” Martinelli said of Friday’s win over North Attleboro. … “In our league, it’s weird ... we play 11 games but only four count. I’m not a fan of it but it is what it is. … It’s still Foxborough-North no matter what. At the end of the day, it doesn’t mean anything on paper but for our kids it’s big.”
The “big win” was Foxborough’s first over North Attleboro since 2009 – The Warriors beat North, 24-22 that year.
Understanding there will never be another Mike O’Leary in the Foxborough Public School District, a Facilities Manager Search Committee set out to find a candidate that could best forward O’Leary’s 11 years of work.
On Sept. 17, Foxborough Schools Superintendent Debra Spinelli and Business Administrator Bill Yukna announced during the School Committee meeting they had found the district’s next Facilities Manager – Tony Moussalli.
It's been a busy start to the school year for new Foxborough High School principal Diana Myers-Pachla, according to several rumors circulating throughout the high school.
In the first few weeks of the 2012-13 school year, Myers-Pachla has required students to wear uniforms and check their cell phones in at the doors of Foxborough High School. She has also banned pep rallies and has changed the seniors’ last day of school from the end of May to the end of June.
Sound too extreme to be true? That's because they are only rumors.
These were just some of the rumors Myers-Pachla "put to bed" at the Sept. 17 Foxborough School Committee meeting as she set the record straight between fact and fiction.
The publication recently gathered data from more than 200 public high schools in the Greater Boston area to determine which schools are the best, and determined Foxborough is the 42nd best high school along Route 495.
The Foxborough Regional Charter School is one of the best in Greater Boston area, according to Boston Magazine’s Best Schools 2012 issue.
The FRCS was ranked second out of 22 charter schools and 230 overall evaluated by Boston Magazine in the Greater Boston area.
Among the charter schools ranked, only Salem Academy Charter School came in ahead of FRCS.
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski held a press conference at Walpole’s Stop & Shop Tuesday to announce a portion of the proceeds from his new cereal, “Gronk Flakes,” will benefit the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation.
The frosted corn flakes are being sold for $3.99 a box. You can also order them online in a two-pack for $10. Some of the proceeds will benefit the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation, which helps youth charities.
More than 64,000 boxes of Gronk Flakes are on sale now at New England-area Stop & Shop stores, including the Foxborough location of Route 140 Main Street.