Celebrating five years of Dartmouth Week
In the five years since Dartmouth Week started publishing on May 8, 2015, Dartmouth has seen a lot of news.
Among the many changes and improvements include the hiring of a new Town Administrator, the construction of several new buildings (the new police headquarters, the maritime center, the North Dartmouth library) and the renovation of a few others (Memorial Stadium and Padanaram causeway), as well as the Dartmouth High School marching band winning their fourth national championship in a row (okay, less a change and more a continuing success story.)
Many of the stories that we’ve reported through the years are heartwarming, heartbreaking, and everything in between — from a neglected and starving horse that made a miraculous recovery to a global pandemic that has seen the town implement a state of emergency and an outbreak among our most vulnerable residents.
Stories that stand out are the strange case of Donald Webb, a suspect in a 1980 murder whose remains were dug up in 2017 by federal agents in the back yard of his wife’s Dartmouth home following the discovery of a hidden room in the house. One of the longest-tenured fugitives ever to appear on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, Webb had secretly lived in Dartmouth for decades before his death.
Another major community story is that of the well-liked former Select Board member John George Jr., who has returned home and will start selling ice cream again after serving more than 70 months in prison for embezzling thousands from the taxpayer-subsidized Southeastern Regional Bus Company. He also concealed assets of at least $1 million cash in safety deposit boxes that were seized by U.S. Marshals after his 2015 sentencing.
One of the most popular stories of all time was a July 2018 account of the Dartmouth Police Department’s tribute video to fallen officers. Set to Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven, the video was made to honor Weymouth’s Sgt. Michael Chesna, who was fatally shot while on duty just days before, along with other police officers who have been killed in the line of duty. The video was viewed over one million times.
And as the global coronavirus pandemic came to Dartmouth just a couple of months ago, another story caught everyone’s attention — that of a family who returned to their native Massachusetts to shelter safely before realizing they had caught Covid-19, and their candid discussion of their struggle with the virus.
But as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words — and Dartmouth Week has had some memorable shots. Here are some of our favorites from 2015 until today.