The year 2012 was a difficult one for news in Groton, with some painful stories at the top, but other more hopeful ones as well. From a horrific accident in a nearby town to the public suicide of a local firefighter, here are the top 10 stories that ran on Groton Patch during the year, based on readership.
1. 6-Year-Old Boy Dies In Wood Chipper Accident On April 10, 6-year-old Jeffrey Bourgeois, of Salem, was with his father at a work site when the boy picked up a branch to put into a wood chipper and was pulled into it. Police said the child’s father was performing tree work at a private home at 24 Brookside Drive.
2. Shock And Sadness Over the Loss of Tim Devine On July 24, a Poquonnock Bridge firefighter and the owner of a local fitness center died by suicide after a standoff with negotiators on the shoreline of the University of Connecticut Avery Point campus. Tim Devine, 30, had been with the fire department for four years and owned CrossFit Groton, which had raised thousands of dollars for various causes in the community. It was later reported Devine had been told he was being investigated for improper sexual contact with teen boys hours before he fatally shot himself.
3. Groton Long Point Wakes to the Damage From Hurricane Sandy On Oct. 30, residents of Groton Long Point returned after Hurricane Sandy and found fallen trees, downed power lines, flooded basements and beach sand washed over their yards. George Wolfe, a senior patrol office for Groton Long Point Police Department, called it the worst storm he’d seen in 29 years. Related stories about road closures and mandatory evacuations of Groton Long Point, Mystic and Noank also ranked high on our list, including this story:
4. Groton Pics & Clips No surprise here ... this is where you, our readers, uploaded dozens and dozens of your great photographs and videos, and people kept coming back to take a look.
5. Groton School Board Places Kadri On Leave On May 7, the Groton Board of Education voted unanimously to place Superintendent Paul Kadri on administrative leave pending an investigation of his "interactions with and treatment of district employees." Related stories, such as the report outlining the details of the allegations also ranked high:
6. UPDATED: Two Arrested In Armed Robbery At Navy Federal Credit Union On Sept. 14, police charged a New London man with first-degree robbery in connection with an armed robbery at the Navy Federal Credit Union on Sailfish Drive in Groton. Kevin A. Dew, Jr., 28, of 225 Coleman St. in New London, was also charged with second-degree larceny, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal use of a firearm, possession of a pistol without a permit and possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle, police said. No one was injured in the robbery.
7. UPDATED: Body Found At Bluff Point Was Woman Who Has Been Tentatively Identified On July 28, Bluff Point State Park was closed after a report of a body found in the water. Tricia Beattie's death was never solved, but was ruled a suicide when the autopsy report finally came out months later.
8. UPDATED: Northeast Parent Launches Petition To Prevent Teacher's Return In March, a fourth grade Groton teacher was placed on paid administrative leave for asking students to hold paper towels in their mouths for five minutes if they spoke out in class. Related stories about the teacher, including the original story about her placement on leave also placed high on the list: Groton Teacher Placed On Leave For Telling Students To Hold Paper Towels In Mouths
9. Leaving The Casino To Follow A Dream In Groton A bold move by a man to quit his steady job a the casino to open a frozen yogurt shop in Groton also drew in readers. On St. Patrick’s Day, Greg Kosma walked out of his job at Foxwoods Resort Casino after 20 years, rented a store in Groton and spent his savings to make it what he wanted. His shop, “Frogeez,” has enjoyed success and Kosma has since opened a second location at Crystal Mall.
10. Five Groton Restaurants Make CT Magazine's Best List Connecticut Magazine's Annual Reader's Choice ranking of restaurants rounds out our top ten. The votes put five Groton restaurants on the best list: the Oyster Club, Paul's Pasta, Ortega's, Chester's and Mirch Masala.