Metro Boston’s biggest stories of 2014 - Metro US

Metro Boston’s biggest stories of 2014

Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro

The Hub has always been a hot bed of activity when it comes to shocking news stories and monumental events, and 2014 has been no exception. Here is a look at Metro’s top 10 stories of the year.

1.Tom Menino dies

Thomas Menino, a self-described “lunch bucket guy” who rose from Hyde Park to dominate Boston and Massachusetts politics as the capital city’s mayor for 20 years, passed away on Oct. 30 after a battle with cancer. He was 71.

Elected in 1993 after four months as acting mayor, Menino was known as a tireless worker and a chief executive focused on delivering neighborhood services.

2. Boston firefighters killed in Back Bay blaze

Two veteran Boston firefighters, one a father of three and the other a combat Marine veteran, died when they became trapped by a massive fire that tore through a Back Bay brownstone in March. Lt. Edward J. Walsh, 43, of Engine 33 and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, 33, of Ladder 15 were both trapped in the building’s basement, officials said. Sparks from welders were to blame for the fire.

3.Mayor Walsh takes office

For the first time in two decades, Bostonians in January welcomed a new mayor. Walsh, 46, won a close November election with about 51 percent of the vote. He beat former City Councilor John Connolly who attended his Jan. 6 swearing-in. Walsh replaced long-time Mayor, Thomas Menino, who led the city since 1993.

4. Boston Marathon Anniversary

About 2,500 invited guests attended a Boston Remembers ceremony at the Hynes Convention Center, just blocks from the Boston Marathon finish line, where a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs detonated on April 15, 2013.

The explosions killed three – Martin Richard, 8, Krystle Campbell, 29, and Lu Lingzi, 23 – and injured 264 others. Sixteen people lost limbs.

During a stirring speech, Vice President Joe Biden called the bombing survivors an inspiration to Americans who are suffering hardships.

“You are living proof that America can never, never, never be defeated. You are the proof of that assertion. So much has been taken from you, but you’ve never given up,” Biden said.

5. Boston Marathon 2014

Under perfect skies, amid the cheers and smiles of roughly 1 million people, Boston took back its marathon on April 21, 2014. Marathon Monday went off without a hitch. Meb Keflezighi brought home the men’s gold, and Rita Jeptoo came in first in the women’s race.

6. Market Basket

Popular Massachusetts grocery chain Market Basket was hot with employee and customer outrage over the summer when beloved CEO Arthur T. Demoulas was ousted by family members. Hundreds of workers walked off the job, and thousands of Demoulas supporters demonstrated. Iin August, Demoulas agreed to buy the company for $1.5 billion, ending more than two months of unrest.

7. Wynn Casino coming to Everett

In September, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission chose Wynn Resorts’ Everett casino proposal over Mohegan Sun’s plans for Suffolk Downs in Revere. Wynn wants to redevelop some 26 acres of former industrial land along the Mystic River. Their proposal includes environmental cleanup and river dredging.

8. Expelled: Henriquez loses seat in historic House vote

The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted in February 146-5 to expel Dorchester Rep. Carlos Henriquez, who in January was convicted of beating a woman after she refused to have sex with him. It marked the first time in 98 years that a House member was expelled.

9. A heated election

Just two days after Menino was laid to rest, Boston voters elected Republican Charlie Baker as governor over Democrat Martha Coakley, by about 40,000 votes – 48.4 percent to 46.6 percent. Voters also defeated Question 2 to expand the bottle bill to include a 5-cent deposit on water, juices and sports drinks by 73 percent to 27 percent. Voters rejected Question 3 to repeal the state’s casino gambling law, 60 percent to 40 percent. They approved Question 1 to repeal the law that ties the gas tax to the consumer price index 52 percent to 48 percent, and also passed Question 4, requiring businesses to offer employees paid sick time 60 percent to 40 percent.

10. Tsarnaev tension

Throughout the course of the year, readers following the case of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have absorbed the back and forth between federal prosecutors and the accused terrorist’s defense team. His attorneys have requested a change of venue several times – the latest request was filed on Dec. 21 – citing media saturation. On Dec. 18, for the first time in 17 months, the 21-year-old suspect appeared in federal court. Now, after the holidays, he is due to stand trial. Jury selection begins on January 5. Stay with Metro for coverage.

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