By SCOTT JACKSON
Quincy police arrested an 18-year-old woman from New Hampshire late Tuesday on gun and drug charges.
Officers were dispatched to the parking lot on Avalon Drive around 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, police said, as the reporting party believed the occupants of a Saab were conducting street-level drug transactions. Officers located the vehicle in a secluded area of the parking lot and spoke to the occupants.
The driver was identified as Gillian Connors, age 18, of Derry, N.H., and the passenger was identified as Joseph Mulligan, age 26, of Baxter Street in Boston.
While speaking with Connors and Mulligan, officers believed the two were being untruthful and asked them to step out of the vehicle, police said. Based on the information provided by the caller, and items that were located in plain view, it was apparent that drug transactions were taking place. In addition to the items, an officer located one .22 caliber round in the rear pocket of the passenger seat. Connors stated that she had a permit in the State of New Hampshire and admitted that she had a rifle in the trunk.
Inside the trunk, the officer located a .22 caliber Marlin Model 70 rifle, a clear plastic magazine that was loaded with eleven .22 rounds, and a box of .22 caliber ammunition, police said. The rifle was not loaded, but police said there was no trigger lock or lock for the case to secure it. Wrapped in clothing inside the trunk, the officer also located 38 Oxycodone tablets, 11 grams of cocaine, and 1 gram of fentanyl.
Connors was arrested and charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute Class B (cocaine and oxycodone), possession with intent to distribute Class A (fentanyl), unlawful possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition, and improper storage of a firearm. Police said Connors does not have a license or a permit to carry a firearm in Hampshire as she stated.
Mulligan was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Arraignment information was not immediately available Wednesday.
By SCOTT JACKSON
The city’s licensing board rejected a proposal to open a pawn shop in Quincy Point after more than two dozen residents and the neighborhood’s ward councillor voiced their opposition to the store.
Roman Vynnytski went before the Board of License Commissioners Tuesday to seek a pawnbroker’s license and an old gold/silver license for the proposed store, Golden Circle Pawn. The business would have been located inside the strip mall at 503 Washington St., in the storefront most recently home to Pet Gossip.
Vynnytski said the store would have operated similar to the one featured on the television show “Pawn Stars,” where people could buy or sell second-hand items such as jewelry, electronics and music. Customers looking to sell items would have to fill out the necessary paperwork and present a valid ID. The item and the ID would both be photographed, and the store would send a list of the items it acquired to Quincy police on a daily basis.
Vynnytski has operated a similar pawn shop in Falmouth for seven years. He submitted letters in support of his application from a Mashpee police sergeant and the Falmouth patrolmen’s association.
“We’ve been working with them over time on any investigation,” Vynnytski said. “They’re welcome to check in on any items, if they are stolen or not.”
Nine residents and Ward 2 Councillor Brad Croall spoke against the proposal at the meeting, and board members received letters from 19 others expressing their opposition to Vynnytski’s request.
Jack Mayo, a Claremont Avenue resident, said Quincy Point was once home to many “less-than-savory establishments,” but the area has changed in recent years. A pawn shop, he said, would be a step backwards.
“When someone says pawn shop to me, I think Combat Zone, Downtown Boston,” Mayo said. “I think it’s disgusting that we would even consider in this city doing anything like this.”
Germain Avenue resident Veronica Hillery expressed a similar sentiment.
“It’s really come away from what I remember it as,” she said of Quincy Point. “I’m totally against this. It will do absolutely nothing for the area or the people in it.”
Michael Lorenzano, a Germain Avenue resident and middle school health teacher, said he was worried the pawn shop could attract people desperate to make quick money to purchase illicit drugs.
“We work really hard as a community to fight this opioid epidemic that we’re dealing with,” he said. “As a kid, I remember growing up and in the back of that strip mall seeing people overdosing…I’m afraid that’s going to happen again.”
Croall, the neighborhood’s ward councillor, said he is supportive of the business community but could not support the application for the pawn shop given the neighborhood opposition.
“I have always – and I know you have always – been supportive of the business community and my plan is – when it makes sense in the neighborhoods for the constituents that I represent – to be supportive,” Croall said.
“But in this case I heard what you heard, which was quite a declaration of this type of business is going in the opposite direction as to where we’re trying to advance the community down in Quincy Point. With that, I would respectfully ask that you all consider voting no on this application.”
In response to the residents’ concerns, Vynnytski said pawn shops were problematic 10 or 20 years ago, but the industry has changed for the better since then.
“It’s a completely whole new industry,” he said. “It’s well monitored by local authorities and the state.”
The board voted 5-0 against the request to open the pawn shop.
Health Commissioner Drew Scheele, the board’s chairman, said he believed Vynnytski has a good concept and a good reputation at his store in Falmouth. Scheele, however, said he could not recall a proposal receiving such a strong opposition from residents.
“It sounds like you have a really good concept. It sounds like you’ve done a good job down in Falmouth. I do hear every single neighbor here and I’ve never had this many people actually come to a meeting and this many letters,” Scheele said.
“When I listen to all the neighbors, some of what they say I agree with, some I don’t agree with it, but it’s their neighborhood.”
City Clerk Nicole likewise said she could not vote in favor of the application given the neighborhood’s opposition to it.
“I do believe you run a good business,” she said. “I agree with the chairman that this isn’t the location for it.”
Scheele suggested Vynnytski consider a location in Quincy Center, noting that two jewelry stores in the area already have pawnbrokers’ licenses. Vynnytski said he would take a look at other properties.
The dean of DePaul University’s College of Science and Health has agreed to become the first provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Quincy College, Mayor Thomas P. Koch announced Tuesday.
Dr. Gerald P. Koocher – whose career in academia spans nearly a half-century at some of country’s most renowned higher-educational institutions, including Harvard Medical School, Boston College and the University of Missouri – will be charged with leading Quincy College’s academic programs in the newly created role.
Koocher, who holds his Ph.D. in psychology and is a past president of the American Psychology Association, has held the position at DePaul University in Chicago since 2013. Prior to that, he was dean of the School of Health Sciences at Simmons College in Boston for a decade and later an assistant provost at the college. He remains a dean emeritus there.
“Dr. Koocher’s credentials are impeccable, and he would be great addition to any institution of higher education. So we are truly excited that he has agreed to come to Quincy College to help us not only right the ship, but harness the school’s great potential in the coming years,” Koch said. “He has more higher education experience than perhaps any administrator we’ve been fortunate to have at the college, and that’s going to be absolutely vital as we move the institution forward.”
As Provost, Dr. Koocher will be responsible for all academic programs and issues, including leading efforts to revive the college’s once-flourishing nursing program, and building the foundation for the college’s plans to offer bachelor’s degrees in the near future.
Since being granted executive authority at the college in May, Koch has described the college’s leadership needs as two-fold – a provost to lead academic programs and an interim president to manage the business of the school, things such as raising money for an endowment, dealing with real-estate issues and expanding the school’s relationships with state leaders and the business community.
“Quincy College faces a number of challenges, but also has significant potential for growth,” Dr. Koocher said. “Mayor Koch has taken significant constructive steps to set the college back on track, and I look forward to working with the faculty and administrative team to set a positive trajectory for the future. Restoring accreditation and re-opening the nursing program will rank as the top priority, but many options for new programming also exist.”
Dr. Koocher, a Cambridge native, spent much of his early academic career at Harvard Medical School, where he taught in various capacities for nearly 30 years and retains an academic appointment as a lecturer. At Harvard he served as an assistant professor of psychology; an associate professor of psychology; and as executive director of the Linda Pollin Institute.
He also earned tenured professorships at both DePaul and Simmons College. In addition to his work in academia, Dr. Koocher has been affiliated with a number of renowned hospitals, such as Children’s Hospital in Boston and has been awarded more than 20 professional honors, including the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Public Service in 1992.
Dr. Koocher will begin at Quincy College on September 10. His salary as provost will be $245,000.