EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 2, 2012

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for recent newsmakers

CHEERS to Salem police Sgt. Michael Wagner and Officer John O’Donnell for their rescue of a bald eagle caught in a trap. Cheers also to James Ransom of Methuen and a friend who were scouting possible hunting areas when they found the eagle.

The eagle was caught when it was feeding on a skinned beaver that had been placed as bait in the trap. There was nothing illegal about the trap, which was properly registered.

The eagle’s leg and wing had become entangled in the trap. The police officers placed a blanket over the eagle and donned heavy gloves to work on freeing it. The eagle had only a minor cut on one talon and quickly flew away after the blanket was removed.

Wagner said the call was among the more memorable and rewarding he has had in his career.

“I wouldn’t call myself an animal expert, just an animal lover,” Wagner told reporter Doug Ireland. “I would do anything to help a poor animal in distress.”

The eagle itself turned out to have an interesting story. The bird was banded and the serial numbers there led to the discovery that the eagle had been hatched in 2005 near the Scituate Reservoir in Rhode Island. The eagle, believed to be a female, is part of one of the 35 nesting pairs living in New Hampshire.

Well done to those who helped rescue this majestic bird.

JEERS to the twisted tales told by speeders.

Leonard Thomas Jr. of Methuen told a New Hampshire judge he had been speeding because he was rushing to get a part to fix a malfunctioning freezer at the Tuscan Kitchen restaurant in Salem. Thomas had been stopped on Route 28 traveling between 62 mph and 67 mph in a zone where the speed limit is 30 mph. That level of infraction normally would result in up to a 30-day suspension of a driver’s license.

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