Star-spangled career: Bruins’ Rene Rancourt reflects on a life defined by the national anthem

Rene Rancourt wonders a lot of things about his career.

What if that hard check during a hockey scrimmage in Lewiston, Maine, had never landed? What if he’d been pressed into battle in Vietnam, like a lot of his Army buddies were?

What if Kate Smith hadn’t been sick on Oct. 21, 1975? What if John Kiley, director of music for the Boston Garden and Fenway Park, didn’t have his number?

“Wow. If those things didn’t happen, who knows where my life would have taken me?” said Rancourt, who for the last 42 years has performed the national anthem before Boston Bruins home games. 

“God, I’m a very lucky guy,” he said. “I had no idea where my voice would take me. I get emotional when I think about it. What a ride it has been. What a ride.”

Rancourt’s “ride” — performing for the Bruins and their fans, making appearances, singing at weddings — ends

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Salem ready to take a second look at Winter Island

SALEM — A decade has passed since city leaders took a hard look at the old U.S. Coast Guard property on Winter Island. Not much has happened since.

The site still features a crumbling, boarded-up barracks, dating to 1934, and a hangar, once used for seaplanes, that needs work but is still used by the city for boat repair and storage.

A comprehensive study in 2007 determined the barracks could be saved with a roughly $1 million investment. But no funding was ever found.

Now, city officials want to take another look at the site.

“We’re looking to do an update to the building assessment, the structural assessment of the building, and based on that putting out a request for interest basically to see what people or organizations might be interested in seeing on those locations,” said Dominick Pangallo, chief of staff to Mayor Kim Driscoll. “The condition of the hangar is probably better than the

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Man, 53, hit by car in Beverly

BEVERLY — Police are investigating after a 53-year-old man was hit by a car Sunday night while crossing Cabot Street. 

The incident happened at the intersection of Cabot Street and Harrison Avenue. The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene, according to a tweet from Beverly police Chief John LeLacheur. 

The man was flown to a Boston hospital, LeLacheur said. 

Members of the Beverly police Traffic Unit and State Police Reconstruction Unit are investigating. 

Check back for updates as they become available. 

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Enrollment continues to decline in Salem schools

SALEM — Enrollment in the Salem Public Schools is expected to drop by 116 this fall, marking a loss of about 1,000 students in less than a decade. But Salem isn’t the only system facing decreased enrollment.

Peabody, Danvers, Marblehead, Hamilton-Wenham and Swampscott have also seen enrollments drop in the past five years. In fact, the only nearby district where the student population is continuing to grow is Beverly.

Ask Salem officials why this is happening, and two answers come up: changing demographics in the city paired with the cost to live in the area, and options like Essex Tech and Salem Academy Charter School drawing students outside of the district.

Since the 2011-12 academic year, Salem’s enrollment has dipped by an average of 151 students a year. The New England School Development Council predicts a drop of another 116 students this fall.

There were 4,596 students attending Salem schools in the 2011-12 school

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DA: Ex-Beverly councilor tried to intervene in relative’s court case

PEABODY — A former Beverly city councilor, censured by colleagues a decade ago over an anonymous letter containing false allegations of a police coverup, attempted to intervene in a relative’s court case in Peabody last week. 

John Burke, who is now a Middlesex County assistant district attorney, showed up last Monday in Peabody District Court for the arraignment of a cousin who was charged in a domestic abuse case, Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for the Essex District Attorney’s office confirmed on Monday. 

Monahan confirmed that Burke sat inside the bar, the enclosed area at the front of the courtroom typically reserved for attorneys who are appearing in court on behalf of clients, and then discussed the case with an Essex assistant district attorney. 

At some point in that discussion, Burke flashed a badge of some sort, leading the prosecutor to believe he was connected with state police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s office,

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Driver charged in 2017 fatal crash

BEVERLY — A Lynn man will be in court next month to face charges in a fatal crash in Beverly last year. 

A Salem District Court clerk on Thursday found probable cause to charge Dean Santamaria-Capetanelis, 48, with motor vehicle homicide by reckless driving, failing to stay within marked lanes and speeding. 

The March 28, 2017, crash at the intersection of Essex Street and Meadow Road in Beverly killed Jeffrey DeLorenzo, 28, of Beverly, and injured another driver, Walter Kosmowski, 60, also of Beverly. 

Santamaria-Capetanelis, who was living on Nicole Road in Beverly at the time, told police he was rushing to Beverly Hospital after cutting his finger at home. 

“Yes, all of this is my fault,” Santamaria-Capetanelis, pointing to the crash scene, told Beverly police Patrolman Kevin Coletti, according to the police report. 

A witness, 38-year-old Jennifer Holmgren of Gloucester, was driving south on Essex Street in a Honda Accord, she told police, when she

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Microsoft walks away from Windows 7, Office 2013 support forums

Microsoft has quietly told customers that it will stop participating in the online support forums devoted to consumer questions about Windows 7 and a host of other products.

The announcement, which Microsoft posted over the weekend to several of the affected support forums, said the change would take place next month.

“Effective July 2018, the Microsoft Community forums listed below will shift support scope and Microsoft staff will no longer provide technical support there,” the identical messages stated. “There will be no proactive reviews, monitoring, answering or answer marking of questions.”

Along with Windows 7, the other products covered by the mandate include Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 RT, Office 2010 and Office 2013, the Security Essentials antivirus program and the early Surface and Surface Pro 2-in-1 devices.

Saugus ends Gloucester’s win streak in shutout

The Gloucester girls tennis team ran into a buzz saw on Monday at the Ross Tennis Courts in the form of Saugus.

The powerful Sachems flexed their muscles en route to a 5-0 victory.

With the loss, Gloucester snaps a three-game win streak and falls to 3-2 on the season. Monday’s loss, however, has not sullied a solid start for the team.

After dropping the opener to Medford, the Fishermen rattled off three straight victories over Everett (5-0), Lynn English (5-0) and Swampscott (3-2).

The team has been powered by a potent trio of singles player, who have all won individually in each of Gloucester’s wins this spring. Lexi Zubricki has thrived at the No. 1 singles spot with Christina Jones right behind her, giving Gloucester a strong No. 2. Tori Carini has also been strong at No. 3 singles.

Courtney Goulart and Julia Brown have been solid at No. 1 doubles along with the No.

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Gordon College suspends custodian accused of child rape

NEWBURYPORT — Bert Reed, a former City Council president and School Committee member accused of raping a child, was ordered held without bail pending a hearing May 4 to determine if he poses a danger to his alleged victim or the public. 

The 42-year-old Merrimac Street resident was arrested Friday and arraigned in Newburyport District Court on Monday afternoon on three counts of aggravated rape of a child, enticement of a child under 16, disseminating obscene matter to a minor and possession of child pornography. 

Reed had been working at Gordon College in Wenham but was “suspended from his employment” there, according to Rick Sweeney, vice president for external relations.

“Gordon College learned Sunday evening of the arrest and charges filed against Mr. Reed, who had been employed as a custodian on the College’s Physical Plant staff,” Sweeney said in an email Monday. “We were shocked and deeply troubled to learn of the allegations against him. The College has

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Neville Brothers saxophonist Charles Neville dead at 79

A Grammy-winning saxophonist whose Cape Ann concerts benefited local students’ trips to his native New Orleans to help rebuild the city ravaged by Hurricane Katrina has died.

New Orleans-born saxophone player Charles Neville, who once backed up B.B. King and later gained fame with the Neville Brothers band and their rollicking blend of funk, jazz and rhythm and blues, died Thursday, months after he disclosed he was fighting pancreatic cancer. He was 79.

Neville’s career dated to the 1950s when he performed with King and other musical greats. Yet he was best known for three decades of performances with his siblings Aaron, Art and Cyril as the Grammy-winning Neville Brothers band. The band was formed in the 1970s and gained fans with high-energy performances featuring a distinctive fusion of funk, jazz and New Orleans rhythm and blues.

Neville and Gloucester resident Henri Smith with his New Orleans-style band headed a Mardi Gras party in Gloucester for several

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