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Week in Review: Bus Cuts in Medford Schools, Home Sales on the Rise, Shoplifting at Kohl's

A look at some of the top recent stories from Medford.

A judge in federal court approved a request Wednesday to seal from the public the psychological evaluation of a Medford business owner who admitted to more than $560,000 in credit fraud. Harry Levy, owner of Hank Lee's Magic Factory, will have his sentencing memorandum sealed from the public. The memorandum, to be filed by his attorney, will outline Levy's request for sentencing on charges of credit card fraud and issuing false statements, which stem from him making over a half-million dollars in unauthorized charges on one customer's credit card then misleading investigators, according to court filings.

Medford Home Sales Continue to Outpace State Figures: Home sales in Medford were up nearly 70 percent last month compared to July 2011, according to recently released real estate data. Statewide, it was the busiest July for home sales since 2005, according to data recently released by real estate publisher The Warren Group. And Medford sales far outpaced the state increase, according to the data. Medford home sales rose from 23 in July 2011 to 39 in July 2012 -- a 69.6 percent increase. Home sales statewide in July rose from 3,922 in 2011 to 4,979, according to the data.

In a cost-saving measure, Medford Public Schools will be using two fewer buses than last school year, according to Superintendent Roy Belson. As part of the consolidation, a bus previously dedicated to Medford students attending Minuteman Regional High School in Lexington was eliminated, Belson said. Instead, a bus will pick up Medford students attending Minuteman, drop them off in Lexington and return to Medford to run routes for Medford Public Schools, Belson said. After making a run of elementary school drop-offs in the afternoon, the bus will return to Lexington to pick up Minuteman students at 3:30 p.m., about an hour after the school day ends, except on Wednesdays when it will arrive in Lexington at 2:30 p.m., Belson said.

Four Shoplifting Arrests at Kohl's in One Afternoon: Police were called to Kohl's department store three times on Wednesday and arrested four people there on shoplifting charges, according to the police log.

Tragedy was avoided at Medford's Wright's Pond earlier this summer when an unconscious 3-year-old girl was pulled from the water by two other young swimmers and revived by lifeguards, according to city officials. Semrawit Ghebrelul spent a day in the hospital after the Aug. 17 incident, but has fully recovered. Her rescuers were presented with Keys to the City by Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn Friday.

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