1. As 2020 opened, former Gov. Deval Patrick hoped to make his way up through a thick pack of candidates to win the Democratic Party's nomination to seek the office of president. That didn't work out for him, but he was still chasing the dream when we caught up with him on a fundraising stop in Chicago. 

2. Early in the pandemic, Tom Bernard, the North Adams mayor, found himself getting mixed messages about Crane Stationery Co.'s plans for its operations in his city. After a  coronavirus-driven shutdown, the company moved to reopen. Not so fast, Bernard said. The mayor took time one weekend to explain the community interests he sought to balance. 

3. Peter A. Velis, a retired judge, took a complicated handoff from the Springfield diocese when he agreed to look into a Chicopee man's claims of sexual abuse by a late former bishop, Christopher J. Weldon. A year before, the diocese had refuted the man's story. Velis' findings profoundly changed church history. 

Officials in the Springfield Diocese sought to protect the reputation of the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon, a retired judge says, despite a former altar boy’s “unequivocally credible” complaint that the bishop sexually molested him in the 1960s.  Judge Peter A. Velis said in a report made public Wednesday that a Chicopee man’s allegations of repeated sexual assaults by the bishop are believable. Now, Weldon’s name and likeness will be purged from Catholic church venues — and his remains moved from a place of honor.

4. One of the most read stories in The Eagle this year, internationally, was coverage of the intentional destruction of a novel political endorsement of the Biden-Harris ticket. A day after Dicken Crane's hay bales went up in flames in Dalton, a suspect was in custody. Crane wanted to speak with him. 

5. The massive U.S. Postal Service package handling plant in Springfield covers 78 acres and sprawls to nearly one million square feet. As people around Massachusetts learned to their dismay, that's big enough to conceal a problem: a massive backlog in packages. 

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.

Investigations editor

Larry Parnass, investigations editor, joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant and CommonWealth Magazine.