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Quincy Downs North 21-12 In Alumni Game

Robbie Kane (left) and the Quincy Presidents football alumni defeated North Quincy 21-12 in the second annual alumni flag football game Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium. At right is North Quincy alumni Ricky Crane. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Robbie Kane (left) and the Quincy Presidents football alumni defeated North Quincy 21-12 in the second annual alumni flag football game Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium. At right is North Quincy alumni Ricky Crane. The big winner was the football programs at Quincy and North Quincy High Schools. The event raised $10,000 – $5,000 each for the Presidents’ and Red Raiders’ gridiron teams. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

North Quincy's Charlie Plaskasovitas intercepted a Quincy pass late in the second quarter to keep the game close down the stretch but the Presidents prevailed, 21-12. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

North Quincy’s Charlie Plaskasovitas intercepted a Quincy pass late in the second half to keep the game close down the stretch but the Presidents prevailed, 21-12. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Quincy alumni Noel DiBona and Scott Campbell greet North Quincy alumni Sean Halpin at midfield as the teams exchanged handshakes following the second annual Q-NQ Flag Football alumni game. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Quincy alumni Noel DiBona and Scott Campbell greet North Quincy alum Sean Halpin at midfield as the teams exchanged handshakes following the second annual Q-NQ Flag Football alumni game. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

The flag football game was also a reunion for the North Quincy and Quincy cheerleaders alumni. Quincy Sun Photos/Robert Bosworth Story, other photos in the Nov. 26th issue of The Quincy Sun

The flag football game was also a reunion for the North Quincy and Quincy cheerleaders alumni. Quincy Sun Photos/Robert Bosworth Story, other photos in the Nov. 26th issue of The Quincy Sun

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Quincy-North Quincy Football Game Tickets On Sale

The Quincy High School and North Quincy High School Athletic Departments will be selling advanced tickets to the Thanksgiving Day Game until Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 1 p.m.

Tickets will be $5 in advance and sold out of the athletic office at each high school.

Tickets on the day of the game will be $5 for high school students and seniors and $10 for adults.

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Over 46 Million Americans Expected To Travel 50 Plus Miles For Thanksgiving

AAA Travel projects 46.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving weekend, the highest volume for the holiday since 2007 and a 4.2 percent increase over 2013. Almost 90 percent of travelers (41.3 million) will celebrate the holiday with a road trip and will enjoy the lowest gas prices in nearly four years. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 26 through Sunday, November 30.

Highlights from 2014 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast:

  • Thanksgiving holiday travel volume is expected to reach the highest level since 2007, with 46.3 million Americans taking a trip.
  • The 2014 forecast is 4.2 percent higher than the 44.4 million Americans who traveled last year and the greatest growth rate for any holiday since Independence Day 2012.
  • More than a million Massachusetts residents are expected to travel, the highest number locally since 2005.
  • Road trippers will pay the lowest price for fuel in nearly four years with prices locally averaging less than $3.00 per gallon.
  • More than 89 percent of travelers (41.3 million) will travel by automobile, a 4.3 percent increase from 39.6 million last year.
  • Air travel for Thanksgiving is expected to be at the highest level since 2007, with 3.55 million Americans taking to the skies.
  • The average distance traveled this Thanksgiving will be 549 miles roundtrip and Americans will spend an average of $573 during the holiday weekend.
  • Travelers from New England tend to stay a little closer to home than some other parts of the country; however the region will still see a 3.9 percent in overall travel compared to 2013.

“This year, more Americans will give thanks for the opportunity to travel to friends and family than any year since 2007,” said Lloyd P. Albert, AAA Southern New England Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. “Americans are more optimistic about the future as improvements in several key economic factors, including employment, GDP and disposable income, are boosting consumer confidence and the desire to travel.”

“Holiday joy has come early this year with Americans paying the lowest gas prices since 2010. Lower prices are increasing disposable income and enabling families to carve out more money from household budgets for travel this Thanksgiving,” added Mr. Albert.

Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans

The national price of gasoline has fallen below $3.00 per gallon for the first time since Dec. 22, 2010, a welcome gift for travelers as they head into the busy holiday travel season. AAA predicts most U.S. travelers will pay the cheapest Thanksgiving gas prices in four years. More than 89 percent (41.3 million) of holiday travelers will drive to their destination, a 4.3 percent increase from 2013.

Most of travelers’ budgets go toward transportation, food and shopping

Travelers are expected to spend an average of $573 over the course of their holiday travels. Despite lower average gas prices, travelers are allocating 31 percent of their budgets to fuel transportation. Food and beverage and shopping will account for 22 percent and 20 percent of holiday travel budgets, respectively.

Travelers’ spending plans mirror their intended activities this Thanksgiving, with 70 percent of travelers reporting they will enjoy dining during their vacation and 59 percent will go shopping. Eighty-nine percent of travelers plan to spend time with friends and family this Thanksgiving holiday.

AAA offers travel planning resources

AAA’s digital tools for travel planning on the go include the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find current gas prices and discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Travelers can learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

On AAA.com, travelers can find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants using the TripTik Travel Planner or the searchable Travel Guides at AAA.com/Travel. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

AAA’s collection of downloadable eTourBook guides for tablets and smartphones is available free to members at AAA.com/ebooks. Choose from 101 top North American destinations including city titles, like the award-winning Las Vegas, and regions like Wine Country and national parks.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades

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Gubernatorial Election Closest In 50 Years

By SCOTT JACKSON

This month’s gubernatorial election was the Bay State’s closest in the past 50 years.

Republican Charlie Baker defeated Democrat Martha Coakley by 40,165 votes statewide in the Nov. 4. Secretary of State William F. Galvin said Thursday said result was the closest margin in 50 years.

In Quincy, Baker outpolled Coakley by 1,148 votes – 13,397 for Baker and 12,249 for Coakley.

Turnout statewide was at 50.8 percent. A total of 2,186,789 voters cast ballots and there were 4,301,118 registered to vote in the election. Galvin said he was disappointed with the turnout, which he projected would top 2.2 million. This month’s election is only the second non-presidential election since 1990 in which turnout did not exceed 2.2 million. The turnout may increase slightly because of pending recounts in two representative districts.

Turnout in Quincy was 44.3 percent.

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QMC Could Remain Open Until Feb. 4

By SCOTT JACKSON

Quincy Medical Center may remain open until early February to comply with state law regarding the closure of hospitals.

Steward Health Care, the for-profit owner of Quincy Medical Center, had originally planned to close the hospital Dec. 31 and replace it with an emergency department and urgent care center located elsewhere in the city.

Steward announced its decision to close the hospital on Nov. 6, but Massachusetts law requires a minimum of 90 days notice to the Department of Public Health before such a closure can take place. Because of that Steward said it would change its plan to close Quincy Medical Center; it can now possibly remain open until Feb. 4.

“The purpose of the 90-day notification is to ensure an orderly transition for patients and employees. We are working closely with the Department of Public Health on this transition,” Steward spokeswoman Brooke Thurston said in a statement Wednesday.

“As patient census continues to decline, we will be winding down operations in consultation with the Department of Public Health to ensure patient safety throughout the process. The hospital will cease operations as dictated by patient volume, employee and community needs.”

A letter to the Department of Public Health from Steward’s attorneys dated Monday indicated the closure would happen on Feb. 4 at the latest; by that time the company expects its new facilities to be up and running.

Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office is also looking into the closure of Quincy Medical Center. In 2011, before it could acquire QMC, Steward agreed to keep the hospital open for at least 10 years as part of an asset purchase agreement (APA) with the attorney general. The company could’ve shutdown the hospital as early as six-and-a-half years after the purchase was finalized, provided it posted two consecutive years of financial losses and 18 months notice was given to the DPH. Following Steward’s announcement that it would close the hospital effective Dec. 31, a spokesman for Coakley said the office would investigate the matter.

Bob Ross, the chief of the Business and Labor Bureau inside the Attorney General’s Office, refereed to Steward’s decision to comply with the 90-day rule as a positive development in a letter to the company dated Tuesday. The Attorney’s General’s Office, Ross added, would be willing to sit down with Steward officials to alter the obligations included in the 2011 agreement.

“In your November 7 notification letter, you advance several factual and legal contentions that you believe provide a basis to alter Steward’s contractual obligations under the APA and you request an opportunity to discuss Steward’s contentions. Although we do not agree with many of your contentions, this Office is willing to discuss your contentions prior to pressing our contractual rights in court,” Ross wrote in the letter.

“However, a precondition on any such discussions is Steward’s unequivocal compliance with Massachusetts law governing hospital closure and compliance with the Department’s processes thereunder. If Steward satisfactorily confirms that it will so comply, we will be happy to schedule a meeting promptly between Steward and our Office.

“While we evaluate Steward’s contentions that its contractual obligations should be altered, we reserve all our rights to proceed with an appropriate court action to enforce the terms of the APA and related agreements.”

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