Top stories: Boston in 2013

Mayor Thomas Menino. Credit: Metro file photo
Mayor Thomas Menino.
Credit: Metro file photo

There was no shortage of news in Boston in 2013. While the Boston Marathon bombings and other crimes stand alone as the year’s top stories, Metro complied other newsworthy moments that impacted Boston in 2013. 

Menino moves on, Walsh wins
The political world was turned upside down when in March Mayor Thomas Menino announced that he would not be mayor for life and instead would retire after 20 years leading Boston. Menino, who turns 71 at the end of December, was the city’s longest serving mayor. In January state Rep. Marty Walsh will become Mayor Marty Walsh after having beat City Councilor John Connolly in an election. Walsh is planning an elaborate swearing-in ceremony that will take place at Boston College’s Conte Forum and will continue later that night with a party at the Hynes Convention Center featuring the Dropkick Murphys. Walsh already has a long to-do list, including choosing new heads of the police and fire departments as well as a superintendent of schools.

City Hall Plaza gets Fun., festival
City Hall Plaza has hosted concerts before, but nothing like what took place in May on the usually-barren expanse. Organized by Crash Line Productions and the Bowery Presents, Boston Calling attracted thousands of people to the plaza for a weekend music festival. Between the spring show and subsequent fall sequel, City Hall Plaza played host to acts including Fun., Of Monsters and Men, Vampire Weekend, Passion Pit, Major Lazer and Kendrick Lamar. In December, organizers said the festival would be returning in the spring of 2014 for a third time and that another day would be added, stretching the event from Friday evening through Sunday night.

Boston gets blanketed by blizzard
A February blizzard covered Greater Boston in a thick blanket of white, closing schools and knocking out power for days and even claiming some lives. Logan Airport recorded 24.9 inches of snow from the storm and Gov. Deval Patrick issued a rare order that banned travel on roadways except for emergency personnel. It was one of the top five snow storms ever for Boston, making it one of the top stories of the year in 2013.

Close but no white zucchetto
When Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation in February it stunned the world and sent the rumor mill into overdrive. It wasn’t long before Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley was rumored to be a potential papal choice. He wasn’t chosen, but has apparently become a close advisor to Pope Francis, who in April named O’Malley as a member of an advisory board to help the new pope govern the Catholic Church. Also, O’Malley was the one in December to announce the pope’s formation of a special committee to help protect children against sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

Overdoses at venues prompt ‘molly’ scare
Before this year, the drug “molly,” a form of MDMA, was heard mostly in music lyrics. That was until August when three people overdosed on what was believed to be “molly” during a Zedd concert at the House of Blues. Days later a pair of men who police said took “molly” overdosed during a Pavilion show. One of the House of Blues victims, a teenage girl from New Hampshire, died. Following that incident, as well as the drug getting national attention because of other deadly overdoses during a concert in New York City, police from various local departments started publicizing their “molly” busts. In response, city licensing officials and police started offering advice and holding meetings with venues over drug use prevention.

The Phoenix closes after nearly five decades
Citing “significant financial losses,” The Boston Phoenix on March 14 announced that it was closing immediately, along with its online radio station, WFNX.com.
That same day, the 47-year-old alternative arts and news weekly tweeted, “Thank you Boston, good night and good luck.” The publication’s last online issue ran on March 22. Its publisher said the economic crisis that began in 2007 combined with radical changes in the media business was to blame for the company’s downfall.

Menino, education officials slam surprise bus strikers
Mayor Thomas Menino called 635 Boston school bus drivers who staged an illegal and unannounced work strike on Oct. 8 “selfish people who only want to cause disruption to our city.” Drivers who belong to the United Steelworkers of America Local 8751 union staged the wildcat strike in protest of tight driving schedules, lack of bathroom breaks, the elimination of Daily Bus Reports and extensive payroll problems. Four union leaders were later fired for instigating the illegal walkout, which affected more than 33,000 students. Drivers who did not report to a work received letters of reprimand.



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