Overnight parking ban in effect Dec. 1

Starting Saturday, a winter overnight parking ban on all roads and in all public parking lots within the Andover will be in effect from 1 to 6 a.m. The ban will run Dec. 1 to March 31.

Motor vehicles parked for longer than one hour on roadways and in public lots during this time will be subject to a parking violation. Vehicles that are interfering with snow and ice removal operations, regardless of the time of day, may be towed at the owner’s expense.

Ballardvale tree lighting on Sunday

The annual lighting of the so-called “smallest tree” will be held on the Ballardvale Green on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m, according to the Ballardvale Historic District Commission. The group invites neighbors and friends to attend and enjoy hot drinks, cookies and singing around the tree. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Master of Ceremonies will be Richard Bowen, commission member.

Local storytellers to perform

Biking as a cancer cure, an encounter with Jane Goodall, the unearthing of a loved one's insecurities: these are some of the personal tales that will be shared on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Locke Street Unitarian Universalist Congregation by members of the Andover Storytellers Guild.

The newly formed group of local storytellers meets regularly to exchange stories, ideas and experiences and to help each other bring their stories to the larger community. Six members | Magdalen Cantwell, Jane Gossard, Nicolette Heavey, Sandy Hutchins, Susan Lenoe and Lani Peterson | have collaborated to present "The Power of Story: To Connect, to Heal, to Inspire," as part of the Women's Spirituality Series. The women will share personal stories, then "audience members will be able to explore their own memoruas story," according to a release. If desired, people can share their own tales.

Andover judge at center of national story

The chief justice of the state Superior Court said the Andover judge who released a convicted killer | now charged with murdering a newlywed couple in Washington state | should not give in to political pressure to quit the bench.

Chief Justice Barbara Rouse has defended Judge Kathe Tuttman of Andover, who is now a focus of criticism in former Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

Romney appointed Tuttman to the bench in 2006 but last week called on her to resign for allowing the release without bail of Daniel Tavares Jr., 41, after prosecutors tried to keep him incarcerated on charges of assaulting two guards while serving a 16-year prison sentence for stabbing his mother to death. The charges themselves were not filed until after Tavares had served his sentence.

New York Republican Rudy Giuliani, who is vying for the GOP nomination against Romney, has cited the Tavares case to criticize Romney's record on crime.

Tuttman has denied requests for comment and on Sunday requested an Andover police officer come to her home to escort members of the media off her property.

Tavares had completed a 16-year sentence for manslaughter after killing his mother. But he was being held in jail on $100,000 bail over charges he had assaulted corrections officers while in prison. Tuttman heard Tavares' appeal of the bail and released him on personal recognizance. The prosecution also asked that Tavares wear a monitoring bracelet, but he was not required to do so. Tavares reported to a probation officer twice, then disappeared. He is now charged with shooting two people, Brian and Beverly Mauck, allegedly over a $50 debt.

Many judges and defense lawyers are supporting Tuttman.

Romney asking Tuttman to step down is "political grandstanding at its worst," said Michael Coyne, associate dean at Massachusetts School of Law in Andover.

Tuttman made the right choice at the time, Coyne said. He added that even if bail had been set, Tavares could have made bail.

"It's not a failure of the judicial system, but a failure of an individual to live within society's rules," Coyne said. "Judge Tuttman didn't cause it. She happened to be the person that sat on the case."

Rouse said Tuttman made her decision based on the law.

| Courtney Paquette

New possible location for town yard

A task force charged with finding a new home for the town yard has narrowed its search to two pieces of land | one near the West Andover landfill, and the other next to the Greater Lawrence Technical School's baseball fields.

Town yard task force members have been looking at possible sites since the group formed in August. The current yard sits off Lewis Street, near downtown.

The town owns the land near the landfill, about 30 acres off Ledge Road.

Andover would have to buy the other property being considered | 15 acres at 5 Campanelli Drive off River Road | from the Burlington-based Gutierrez Co. The company is otherwise ready to build a 100,000-square-foot industrial building there.

"They could start building as soon as they pull permits," Planning Director Paul Materazzo said. "They've been approved by the boards. ... But they are very interested in looking to move forward with a mixed-use development at the current town yard, a public/private partnership."

The task force learned of the Gutierrez property last Friday after sending out a request for proposals for anyone interested in selling land for a yard. The town also received a request from a resident offering his 2.3 acres at 170 Greenwood Road, close to the town's land on Ledge Road.

| Crystal Bozek

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