Lowell in the news, May 5, 2011

A variety of stories from today were from or related to the city of Lowell:

Probation Officer Arraigned: Benjamin Okiwe, who formerly worked in the probation office at Lowell Superior Court, was arraigned in Lowell District Court on charges of larceny over $250 and larceny by scheme arising out of his supervision of individuals on probation.

Superintendent barred from school grounds: The Sandwich school committee voted to ban the town’s superintendent of schools, Mary Ellen Johnson, from school grounds during the school day. This occurred in executive session so the reasons for the ban are unclear. Johnson was one of the finalists for the Lowell superintendent of school position that went to Jean Franco last week.

Nashua to Lowell rail hits a bump: The New Hampshire legislature didn’t kill the plans for a rail link between Nashua and Lowell but they did scale back the proposal, much to the disappointment of the Nashua Chamber of Commerce.

Massachusetts Poetry Festival: The Massachusetts Poetry Festival commences in Salem this weekend. The last time this festival was held, it was in Lowell.

Sierra Leone’s Golden Jubilee: Web-based Africa News has a big story about last weekend’s festivities in Lowell in honor of Sierra Leone’s Fiftieth Anniversary

Bruins goalie Tim Thomas: There’s nothing like a hot goalie at playoff time and Boston’s Tim Thomas is certainly that. Did you know that Thomas almost became a UMass Lowell Riverhawk? He was headed for the school in the fall of 1993 but the team already had an outstanding goaltender – Dwayne Roloson, who now at age 41 is in the playoff nets for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Figuring he’s just sit on the bench behind Roloson, Thomas instead went to University of Vermont from 1993 through 1997. He was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1994 draft and spent nearly a decade kicking around the minors until he stuck with the Boston Bruins in 2005.