Dead Raccoons Found On Beverly Beach: Patch PM

BEVERLY, MA —Today is Friday, Dec. 4. These are the stories Patch is covering on the North Shore and across Massachusetts.

Multiple dead raccoons were found on Dane Street Beach in recent days, leading Beverly police to ask dog walkers and nearby residents to be on the lookout amid the "suspicious" rash of dead animals.

Police said in recent days its Animal Control Division found dead raccoons, which may have been poisoned or illegally trapped, on the northern end of the beach near where the stream feeds into the ocean.

Read the full story here.

Also on the North Shore

Essex Jails Suspend In-Person Visitation Amid Coronavirus Spike

In-person visitations will be suspended at Essex County correctional facilities as of Sunday.

The Essex County Sheriff's Office cited rising coronavirus rates in the region for the suspension of family and friend visitations. Attorneys will still be able visit their clients at the facilities.

A "video visit" program is also being launched in the system.

'Stay Local Salem' Aims To Bring Holiday Business Downtown

Before heading to the mall or a big box store this holiday season, Salem officials are asking North Shore residents to consider heading downtown or to a local retailer's website to see if they can get the same item for about the same price.

Salem on Friday launched the "Stay Local Salem" campaign aimed at supporting local businesses struggling during the coronavirus health crisis.

Peabody Reverts Back One Step In Coronavirus Reopening

Amid concerns of a post-Thanksgiving spike in coronavirus test rates throughout the state and the country, the recent rapid rise in cases continued in Peabody over the past two weeks.

The Peabody cases per 100,000 people — the sole metric the state used until last month to determine the extent to which a community can reopen businesses—rose to 58.5 in Thursday's state report. That is sharply higher than the 36.9 cases from the Nov. 20 report and 15.8 cases from the report four weeks ago.

Peabody remained a "red" high-risk city for community spread, according to current state metrics. Because it is Peabody's third straight week in the "red" the city must revert to step 1 of phase 3 in the state's coronavirus reopening.

Danvers Coronavirus Cases Rise Sharply In Latest State Count

The Danvers cases per 100,000 people rose to 44.3 in Thursday's report. That is sharply higher than the 24.9 cases in the Nov. 20 report.

The Danvers positive test rate was 4.92 percent over the past two weeks.

Across Massachusetts

Ex-Fiance Pleads Guilty To 2018 Murder Of North Andover Woman

The ex-fiancé of a North Andover woman who was found strangled in 2018 pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison Friday, the Essex District Attorney said.

Tewksbury Teachers Union Votes No Confidence In Superintendent

The Tewksbury teachers union recently voted no confidence in the superintendent and assistant superintendent, union President Josh Bilodeau confirmed.

Bilodeau did not give specific examples but cited unprofessional behavior as the reason for the Tewskbury Teacher Association's vote, which he called "a long time coming."

Nor'easter May Bring Up To 8 Inches Of Wet, Heavy Snow To MA

Forecasters who 24 hours ago were hedging on whether an incoming storm would bring snow now say up to 8 inches could fall in parts of Massachusetts this weekend.

A lot of precipitation is expected Saturday, with rain turning to snow Saturday afternoon in what could be a significant nor'easter. Snow could fall at rates of 1-2 inches per hour.

Stiff winds are also expected, combining with the wet, heavy snow to elevate the risk for power outages. The strongest wind gusts could reach over 50 miles per hour along the coast, much of which may only see a dusting of snow.

Pastor Challenges Newton, Plans To Open Pay-What-You-Can Cafe

A local pastor plans to renovate a space in Newton Highlands and turn it into a "pay-what-you-can" community cafe, with proceeds to help address food disparity in the city.

Before the cafe opens, the Rev. Devlin Scott said he's launching a campaign to make Newton focus on doing good for others in the community.

This article originally appeared on the Beverly Patch