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Ray Duckler
The Card family up in Jackson this past week. Greg is holding Lily, 4 along with his wife Amber and son Brayden.
Courtesy of the Card family)

Ray Duckler: War and sand replaced by magic and snow

Sunday, December 21, 2014

For Greg and Amber Card, neither place seemed real. Not the Middle East, with its enemy soldiers, blood and death. Not the North Pole, with its Santa Claus, elves and magic. Call them contrasting visions, fighting for a foothold in the couple’s minds. Earlier this month, they were invited to something called Christmas Can Cure, an annual five-day event in Jackson that honors those who have served in the military. Each December, a red carpet of train rides, sleigh rides, gifts, shopping and hot chocolate rolls out, this time for Greg, Amber and their two young children. Rewind, to nearly a decade ago, when Greg …

Ray Duckler: Katherine Drouin’s battle moves in front of the camera

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Katherine Drouin’s fight against an eating disorder, featured in a two-part Monitor series last August, will be one of three segments chronicled in a TV documentary Monday night. The hourlong show, called My Strange Criminal Addiction, will start at 10 on Investigation Discovery. Drouin compulsively eats and purges, and that addiction has in the past led to a long police record for shoplifting …

Ray Duckler: Alosa’s team a traveling show you won’t want to miss

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bring a pressure gauge to the Pembroke Academy gym, and the needle might spin out of control. Pressure is part of the culture there these days. From the pressure of expectations, to the pressure to succeed at a higher level, to the pressure opposing teams will apply defensively, to the pressure of playing …

Ray Duckler: Looking to inspire others through a clear vision

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Randy Pierce is blind, but his tunnel vision is 20/20. Sure, he slipped on a rock during a recent hike, and walked into a branch because his guide dog, Autumn, was sniffing on the job. But Pierce sets …

Ray Duckler: Jumping into a new phase in life

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Spencer Reed, emotionally guarded most of his life, landed Friday with the eyes of a child who’d just gotten a puppy. He turned 90 on Thursday, but his seven children are enjoying his rebirth lately, a face-lift of …

Ray Duckler: Remembering how we got here, and where we might be going

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mike Pelletier gave the Iraqi children backpacks filled with chalk, pencils and paper. The children, in turn, gave Pelletier hope. He said yesterday he could see the appreciation in their eyes 10 years ago while serving in the …

Ray Duckler: Revisiting the past will shape the future

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The war on terror is back. Back in our minds. The voters’ minds. It’s no longer just jobs and the economy and immigration. Not since a group of Sunni extremists, once known as ISIS, now widely referred to as the Islamic State, began killing people in Syria. Not …

Ray Duckler: No day at the beach for honeymooners

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ryan Beauchesne called it the typical “I’m drowning move,” meaning he heard a boy scream “help,” then saw only a hand above the water’s surface. Moments later, the 28-year-old Concord High graduate was swimming in the cold bay …

Ray Duckler: The war on terror hits home hard

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The violence in Syria and Iraq hit close to home, in our own backyards. While the Islamic State says it wants to raise its black flag in the White House, the militant group’s brutality forced us to lower …

Ray Duckler: Labor of love as Market Basket employees celebrate holiday

Monday, September 1, 2014

Today is Labor Day, celebrated the first Monday each September. And thanks to a New England-based grocery store chain, the last Wednesday each August should also be declared Labor Day, a different one of sorts. At least around …

Ray Duckler: ‘A long battle’ for treatment

Sunday, August 31, 2014

To Katherine Drouin and her supporters, none of this makes sense. Forget the drawn-out process of getting lab work and a psychiatric evaluation, tests needed before Drouin could receive treatment for her eating disorder. Forget the lack of …

Ray Duckler: Time to pay back Beanie for all she’s done

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Things got done on a recent afternoon on Clinton Street in Concord. All in the name of Beanie. “Melanie and Paul will be cooking hot dogs and hamburgers.” “Don’t worry about posts for the fencing.” “Saturday night I’ll …

Ray Duckler: Birth of a legend, while patrolling the streets

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Charles Lapierre’s strong-yet-gentle hands touched many lives around here. And that included the lives of newborn babies. That’s one of the stories you’ll hear about Lapierre, who died earlier this month at the age of 100. It’s the …

Ray Duckler: A meeting of the minds for Pembroke? Maybe

Thursday, August 7, 2014

With the speed of a poorly run half-court offense, it appears that, finally, a dispute involving the Pembroke Academy boys’ basketball team might be nearing an end. Optimism emerged from a meeting held yesterday at Southern New Hampshire …

Ray Duckler: Witnessing a mother’s sorrow at a very private moment

Monday, August 4, 2014

The car rolled downhill on the narrow cemetery road in Concord, an innocuous part of a peaceful landscape. Debbie Sargent had no reason to think someone, a Jehovah’s Witness, had targeted her on a visit to see her …