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The group that oversees high school sports in Massachusetts will soon take up a plan to simplify the playoff format in every sport. The top 32 teams in the state in each division would be seeded, placed into brackets, and then play in a tournament until a champion is named. The format ends s…

It’s resolution season, which means countless personal vows to eat less and exercise more. Imagine if the town of Andover made a similar commitment to focus on a specific area for improvement in 2020. If it did, what should that area be?

The year 2019 brought a lot of news to Andover, from continued fallout over the gas disaster to the School Committee’s controversial discussions of whether to adjust school start times. What was the biggest story in town from last year?

Around the Christmas season, it is common to see a display of the Nativity scene: a small manger with the baby Jesus and his family, shepherds, the three wise men believed to have visited Jesus after his birth and several barnyard animals. One might ask, what are the origins of this tradition?

Warmer weather over the past few days dried away most remnants of the last snowstorm — but not all. Ice and snow still lingers, including on sidewalks. Town bylaws require snow removal only in certain downtown areas, and while there is no express penalty, violators can face fines for failin…

Student-athletes help lure big money to their colleges, but under NCAA rules designed to protect amateurism they cannot make money from playing sports. Pressure is growing to change that. California, for one, recently passed a law allowing student-athletes to make money when their names, li…

Today’s children will someday tell their own children about “snow days,” back when winter storms kept them out of school, and their stories will sound unimaginable and strange. Those were days when you didn’t have to “learn,” when you read something that wasn’t required by your English teach…

The Select Board is due to set property tax rates next week, which means rethinking how the town’s tax burden is distributed to homeowners versus owners of commercial and industrial property. If the town sticks with its current ratio, which favors homeowners, and adjusts tax rates according…

The state’s transportation system is literally riddled with challenges: potholed roads, inadequate public transit service, soul-crushing traffic congestion and tailpipe pollution that both causes asthma and heart disease and is the state’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

The town recently hired a sustainability coordinator whose job is to find ways to make Andover more environmentally responsible. Town Manager Andrew Flanagan says he hopes Joyce Losick-Yang, who has a doctorate from MIT and formerly worked for the U.S. Department of Energy, can help Andover …

Vaping is an epidemic. Since starting its investigation in August 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has documented more than 2,000 cases of vaping-related illnesses and over 40 deaths. Here in Massachusetts, there have been three vaping-related deaths and more than 20…

It takes a special kind of depravity to stand over someone who is barely hanging onto life, literally or metaphorically, and nudge them over the edge. Yet there are a growing number of cases of people who’ve done that, or who are accused of doing that, by encouraging, urging and even goading…

The Thanksgiving season is upon us. I am deeply thankful for the support of our students’ parents, whose high expectations help motivate the Andover Public Schools to maintain our strong focus on academic rigor.

No one can claim our nation is perfect. However, over the last 243 years, we have sought to acknowledge our flaws, and thanks to men and women of valor and courage, we have struggled to correct our failings.

Thousands of runners and walkers who finish the Feaster Five on York Street this Thursday will leave the Brickstone Square parking lot with the ultimate race prize — a Table Talk apple pie, suitable for their Thanksgiving table. The thought of sweaty people awarded with pies — really, the t…

Attorney General Maura Healey made headlines last month when she announced a lawsuit against one of the country’s largest energy producers, Exxon Mobil. The company, she alleges, deceived consumers and investors for years by hiding the impact of its products on the environment.

In the next few weeks the Legislature has a chance to make all of us who live in communities served by natural gas feel more reassured about the safety of the pipes that run under our streets and into our homes and provide us with heat, hot water and energy for cooking.

Throughout the past weekend, there were\ plenty of opportunities to show our gratitude to those who’ve served our country in the armed forces — whether at one of the many ceremonies and observances in our area, or by extending a meal or cup of coffee at one of the many businesses offering su…

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

Andover, MA - Robert B. Shapiro, of Andover, formerly of Chestnut Hill, passed away on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. For 56 years, he was the beloved husband of Ruth (Neistadt) Shapiro. Loving father of Mark Shapiro and his wife Janet and daughter Sienna, and Gregg Shapiro and his wife Lauren…

North Andover, MA - Paula Joan Eldridge, in North Andover, formerly of Andover, and Siasconset, on January 8, 2020, at 91 years old. Beloved mother of Victoria Aloiau and Scott Pascucci, and grandmother of Dillon Pascucci and Aiden Pascucci. Predeceased by Vincent Pascucci and Patricia Eldri…

Naples, ME - Robert "Bob" Van Der Zee, 92, of Naples, Maine passed Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019 after a brief illness. Robert was born in Quincy, Massachusetts and raised in Hingham. He was a varsity basketball player known as Chick by his teammates. Bob served his country during World War II. Upon …