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Ray Duckler
Stanley Magdziarz on his farm in Hooksett.
(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

Ray Duckler: In a one-shot deal, Magdziarz finally gets his prize

Friday, October 24, 2014

The woods, Stanley Magdziarz says, insulate him from life’s harsh terms. There, he’s able to put aside his sadness, caused by family tragedies, feeling safe, fulfilled, at peace. And there, in the woods of Berlin last Sunday, after waiting 26 years for the right to go moose hunting, after successfully killing a few dozen deer through his life, and after his 78th birthday, Magdziarz bagged a 755-pound bull. A former Marine and expert sharpshooter, one shot, first time out. “I can’t explain it,” said Magdziarz, sitting in his kitchen, a rifle lying on the table in front of him. “Very thrilling to get a moose. …

Ray Duckler: As Shaheen, Brown camps battle over territory before debate, a chicken works ‘undercover’

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Why didn’t the chicken cross the road? Because he didn’t have to, and that was fine with the chicken. Let me explain, and please, be patient. Before we address the chicken, we must first address who received permits to make noise and carry signs during the lead-up to last night’s debate between U.S. …

Ray Duckler: Listen up: There’s more to her than meets the eye

Monday, October 20, 2014

Metaphorically speaking, Kristen Vermilyea wants you to look in a mirror, at yourselves. Not at her chest. At least not for too long. She’s an actress, writer and filmmaker, formerly of Pembroke, living in Switzerland, who believes in something dear to her heart, about two features located close to her heart. “The point …

Ray Duckler: Tis the season to have fun, stay safe

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Andrew Beauregard admits that 10 years ago, when he crashed his scooter while drunk and nearly died, he thought he had a big red “S” on his chest and a red cape on his back. He was captain …

Ray Duckler: With Pope on hand, SPCA unveils its new facility

Friday, May 30, 2014

On the surface lies the stoic New Englander who’s close to the vest, doesn’t mince words and is modest, probably to a fault. Beneath, however, is someone with an extraordinary love for animals, plus the wallet to keep …

Ray Duckler: It’s time to bring Pembroke back into the fold

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pembroke Academy needs allies quickly, before basketball schedules are submitted sometime this summer. Anyone willing to extend an olive branch to this beleaguered program and play the Spartans next season? It’s time. Time to lay down your arms and declare peace, time to withdraw the boycott directed at …

Ray Duckler: Victoria Shouldis, the cat’s meow, paused to remember the SPCA

Monday, May 26, 2014

The SPCA is in good shape these days, thanks to the late Victoria Shouldis. So, in fact, is her cat, Casy. Both are the beneficiaries of a woman from Hillsboro who died of cancer three years ago, and …

Ray Duckler: There’s no place like home, but no one’s answering the door

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Vicki McCloskey, a triathlete barely 5 feet tall, banged her open hand on the table for emphasis. Then she did it again, then again. She’s frustrated that her father, Donald McCloskey, who’s 89 and who saved lives on …

Ray Duckler: Brentwood officer Steve Arkell touched many

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Jane Young, a veteran, hard-boiled law enforcement official, doesn’t let her guard down easily. Yesterday, though, she did. The state associate attorney general told the media that earlier in the day she’d been with the family of Brentwood …

Ray Duckler: Doctor, nurses recall Boston Marathon bombings

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

One year ago today, an emergency broadcast at a Boston hospital on Charles Street crackled with chilling words. “Multiple victims. Code Red.” “We knew this was not a drill,” said Deb Trocchi, a registered nurse at Massachusetts Eye …

Ray Duckler: Couple to return to Boston after a marathon of indecision

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vicki Miller, approaching the Boston Marathon finish line a year ago today, ducked between two parked trucks and waited for a third explosion. Or, she wondered, maybe gunshots would be fired. She simply didn’t know. Her husband, Tom, two blocks away when the bombs detonated, said he felt …

Ray Duckler: Move over, Teddy; here comes Big Papi

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Teddy Roosevelt once spoke at the State House, and he built the Panama Canal. Dwight Eisenhower spoke there, too, and he led the invasion of Nazi-controlled Europe during World War II. And now, add David Ortiz to that …

Ray Duckler: Merrimack Valley took pride in change; Will Belmont follow?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A light clicked on at Merrimack Valley High School 10 years ago, when the school changed its nickname from the Indians to the Pride. Will Belmont High School soon flip the switch, too? We’ll know more on April 16, when the school’s student council hosts an open forum …

Ray Duckler: A tragedy in Boston hits home here

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Phil Tirrell pulled the bill of his hat down to hide his tears. Already emotionally vulnerable after the deaths of two Boston firefighters, he choked up over childhood memories of his father, the longtime fire chief in Lempster. …

Ray Duckler: Laura Zerra of Belmont steals show on Discovery’s ‘Naked and Afraid’

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Think you’re tough? Think you possess an adventurous spirit? Well, you’re not, and you don’t. Not compared with Laura Zerra, whose home address is Earth, but whose mind-set is out of this world. For our purposes, she lives …