By SCOTT JACKSON
Three of the four statues stolen early Thursday morning from the Nativity Scene at the Hancock Cemetery have been recovered and were returned to the Nativity Scene Friday afternoon, but one remains on the lam.
Quincy Police recovered the statues of baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph on Furnace Avenue in West Quincy around 7 a.m. Friday. They statues were recovered just over 24 hours after a city employee first noticed they were missing around 2:20 a.m. Thursday after a misplaced shepherd. Mayor Thomas Koch, who was on hand to see the statues returned to the nativity scene located next to old City Hall, was happy Quincy’s residents would once again be able to enjoy the display.
“I’m obviously pleased that somebody made the phone call and the police located them and they are returned so the people of the city can enjoy it,” the mayor told The Sun. ”It’s part of our Christmas display here in Quincy Center that’s well received and well enjoyed by the families of our city.”
A statue of a lamb that was taken along with the Holy Family statues is still missing.
The investigation into the theft is ongoing. Koch said there are no suspects, but added the Police Department has obtained security footage that possibly shows the vehicle that left the statues on Furnace Avenue. Anyone with information on the theft is asked to contact the Quincy Police Department at 617-479-1212.
This is the third time the baby Jesus statue has been taken from the nativity scene. In 2004, the statue was found on the banks of the Town River after it had been missing for a week. It was also taken almost exactly one year ago, on Dec. 6, 2012, and found later that day in Mount Wollaston Cemetery.
The fiberglass statues were donated by the Roman Catholic Parishes of Quincy in memory of the late Rev. Cornelius Heery, the longtime pastor of Sacred Heart Church in North Quincy. The set of statues cost upwards of $20,000 when they were purchased more than 15 years ago, according to the mayor.
All the figures on display had been bolted down and the mayor said the city will consider additional security measures after the figures were stolen Thursday morning.
Some 70 community leaders – including the city’s Congressman – and other elected officials, businessmen and women, and directors of social service organizations and educational institutions – are volunteering to ring the bell for the Salvation Army in Quincy Center beginning today – Thursday, Dec. 5.
The kettle is located outside City Hall near the John Adams Statue and McIntyre Mall, 1305 Hancock St., Quincy Center.
Kettle dates and times are Thursday, Dec. 5, Friday, Dec. 6 and next Thursday, Dec. 12. Leaders will be manning the kettle from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. all three days.
This is the 17th annual community leader kettle that was established by the late Henry Bosworth, the founder of The Quincy Sun and longtime member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board.
Mr. Bosworth first initiated the community leader kettle in 1997 and coordinated the assistance program for 12 years. In the early years, the kettle was manned by volunteers outside the former Ryderís Curtain and Drapery Store in Quincy Center. The downtown location was later moved to in front of City Hall.
Money collected by the red kettles helps fund holiday assistance initiatives including toys and clothing for children and food vouchers for families. The money is also used year-round to help those who need help with food, utilities, heat and other necessities.
The Quincy Salvation Army helps thousands of individuals and families in need annually.
Here’s the line up of community bell ringers:
Thursday, Dec. 5
9 a.m. – Mayor Thomas Koch, School Committeewoman Barbara Isola, City Council President Mike McFarland.
10 a.m. – City Clerk Joseph Shea, Norfolk County Commissioner John Gillis and Norfolk County Register of Deeds Bill O’Donnell.
11 a.m. – House Majority Leader Ron Mariano, Pat Ryan, Salem Radio; and Donna Mavromates, vice president, Quincy Chamber of Commerce.
Noon – Ward 4 Councillor Brian Palmucci and Joyce Livramento-Young, executive director, South Shore Workforce Investment Board.
1 p.m. – Former Mayor Frank McCauley, Quincy Housing Authority Director Jim Lydon and Ward 1 Councillor Margaret Laforest.
2 p.m. –Beth Ann Strollo, executive director, Quincy Community Action Programs, Inc.; former Norfolk County Atty. George Burke, Sean Galvin, president, Quincy Chamber of Commerce; Mike Riley, The Heritgage Companies; and David Dennis, Dennis & Associates.
3 p.m. – State Rep. Tackey Chan, Ryan Barrett, E.L. Barrett Company; Sean Kenealy, Key Realty; and Wendy Simmons, Prism Energy Services.
Friday, Dec. 6
9 a.m. – Anthony Ricci, chairman Quincy Historic Commission; James Edwards, president, Quincy Historical Society; and John Yazwinksi, president and CEO, Father Bill’s & MainSpring.
10 a.m. – Norfolk County Dist. Atty. Michael Morrissey, Bob Noble past state commander Ex-Prisoners of War, Department of Massachusetts; Bob Curry, Curry Hardware; Frank Trainor, Commonwealth Building; Bruce Wood, Wood Commercial Painting; Steve DesRoches, Neponset Valley Survey Associates.
11 a.m. – Cong. Stephen Lynch; School Committeeman Paul Bregoli; Steve Tobias, Tobias Hearing; Robert Clark, Clark Chiropractic and Maralin Manning, Salvation Army Advisory Board.
Noon – School Supt. Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, NQHS Principal Rob Shaw and QHS Principal Larry Taglieri.
1 p.m. – Quincy Kiwanis Club President Josephine Vidal, Rotary Club President Dolly DiPesa, Quincy Lions Club President Jeff Poirier; School Committeewoman Anne Mahoney and Norfolk County Register of Probate Patrick McDermott.
2 p.m. – School Committeeman-Elect Noel DiBona and Ward 2 Councillor Brad Croall.
3 p.m. – Ward 3 City Councillor Kevin Coughlin and Councillor Doug Gutro.
Thursday, Dec. 12
9 a.m. – School Committeewoman Kathy Hubley, Quincy Access TV Executive Director Bette Campbell; and Quincy Salvation Army Board member and Quincy Sun Publisher Robert Bosworth.
10 a.m. – Norfolk County Sheriff Michael Bellotti, Quincy Fire Chief Joseph Barron and Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan.
11 a.m. – Former state treasurer Tim Cahill, Rick Doane, executive director, Interfaith Social Services; Don Uvanitte, vice president, Eastern Insurance; Dr. Abe Abdul, Lux Dental; Anthony Agnitti, Agnitti Insurance.
Noon – Ward 5 Councillor Kirsten Hughes and Christine Cedrone, chairperson, Quincy Republican Committee.
1 p.m. – State Rep. Bruce Ayers, Steve Wessling, Wessling Architects; Christa Hegarty, Dependable Cleaners, Atty. Peter Bellotti and Donna Keble, Eastern Bank.
2 p.m. – Isobel Bertman, Rogers Jewelry and Quincy Salvation Army Board member; Quincy College President Peter Tsaffaras and Ed Fitzgerald, director, Quincy Historical Society.
3 p.m. School Committeeman David McCarthy and School Committeewoman Emily Lebo.
The Nickerson Post American Legion #382 is extending their care package program to deliver care packages to overseas US troops year-round.
To launch the effort, the post is hosting a “Care Package Gear Raiser” kickoff party on Monday, Dec. 9th from 6 to 9 p.m. Participants are asked to bring items from a list of goods commonly requested by overseas US troops. These items will be collected and packed by volunteers, and mailed to troops year-round as requests for care packages come in.
Financial donations will also be accepted.
The Post is located at 20 Moon Island Rd., Squantum.
The kickoff party is a simple cash bar social, with music provided by Foolosopher Trivia. After the event, donations will be accepted year-round by dropping items off at the Nickerson Post.
For more information, as well as a list of the goods requested by the troops, visit the Nickerson Post web site at www.NickersonPost.com.
The Robert I. Nickerson Post #382 is located at 20 Moon Island Rd., in the Squantum neighborhood of Quincy. The American Legion is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth, advocating patriotism, and continued devotion to its fellow service members and veterans.
On Monday Cong. Stephen F. Lynch (D-South Boston) and Walter B. Jones of (R-NC) jointly introduced a bipartisan House resolution, H. Res. 428, designed to shed additional light on continuing questions about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The House resolution urges President Barack Obama to declassify 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001. This portion has remained classified since the inquiry’s findings were first released in December 2002. Lynch recently had the opportunity to review the 28 pages and believes they should be made public.
“Twelve years after the horrific September 11 attacks, unanswered questions still remain. These pages contain information that is vital to a full understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding this tragedy. The families of the victims and the American people deserve better; they deserve answers, they deserve a full accounting, and that has not happened yet,” Lynch said.
“I am very pleased to be working with my friend and colleague Congressman Jones to ensure these pages see the light of day. I strongly encourage my colleagues to review this classified section of the Inquiry, and to work with me and Congressman Jones to get it declassified.”
Granite Telecommunications held a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday to celebrate the opening of its new 125,000 square foot facility in North Quincy.
The new building – together with Granite’s existing headquarters – creates a corporate campus setting, the company said in a press release. Granite has more than doubled its office space by adding 125,000 square foot of office space, larger and improved parking and pathways interconnecting the two buildings on the Newport Avenue Extension. The company is the process of making its buildings more environmentally efficient by adding an energy management system and more efficient lighting.
To help staff the new facility, Granite Telecommunications said it plans to double its workforce over the next five years. The firm currently employs 1,100 workers, up from 500 in 2008, and 17 in 2002. Speaking at the ribbon cutting, Mayor Thomas Koch praised the company for its commitment to the city.
“Granite Telecommunications has made a tremendous commitment to the City of Quincy, and its continued growth is another great testament to our city’s economic future,” Koch said.
Also on hand for the ribbon cutting was U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. Granite CEO Robert T. Hale, Jr., thanked Markey and other officials, as well as the company’s employees, for helping making the new building a reality.
“The opening of our newest building reflects how far Granite has come and, more importantly, where we are going,” Hale said. “The building will allow us to continue to provide industry-best products and services to our customers, including several new ones. Celebrating this special occasion with those who have made this possible – including our dedicated employees, Senator Markey and other public officials – makes sense. We look forward to continuing our growth together.”
The new facility also includes a new training facility for workers known as Granite University, which will encompass an entire wing of the expansion. This internal training and development department will educate new and existing employees in hands-on product demonstration labs and computer classrooms. Lessons will include product knowledge, sales, leadership, customer service, and technical applications. Granite University’s aim is to prepare the company for its transition into the next generation of products and services, and to accommodate employees’ continued progress in this constantly changing industry.
The new building will also include a state-of-the-art network operating center that allows employees to monitor real time connections for customers across the United States and Canada.