The following Dracut-centric items were previously published in recent editions of the Sunday Political Column.

The former Dracut doctor who is facing a slew of serious charges after he allegedly illegally prescribed opioids that resulted in an at-risk patient's death had a brief appearance in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn last week.

It appears the most significant action taken during the hearing was the naming of court-appointed lawyer Steve Weymouth of Boston. In the early phases of the case, Richard Miron was represented by lawyers from the Lowell firm of Gallagher & Cavanaugh.

Miron was also ordered to return to court on Feb. 21 for a scheduling conference.

A trial date is likely to be scheduled during that session.

Miron, 76, was indicted by a Middlesex County grand jury late last year on 23 counts of illegal prescribing of controlled substances, 23 counts of Medicaid false claims, and one count of involuntary manslaughter.

Lawyers assigned to the office of Attorney General Maura Healey are prosecuting the case.

The case is significant because it marks the first time a Massachusetts doctor has been charged in the death of a patient who overdosed on opioids prescribed by a doctor.

Lowell has three state representatives and one state senator.

So why did Lowell's John MacDonald go to a Dracut legislator to work on a PTSD bill and not one of his own state representatives in the city?

MacDonald, a Republican who lost November's state Senate race to Democrat Edward Kennedy, has worked with Democratic Rep.


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Colleen Garry in the past on veteran issues, he said. He has been very involved in the group Veterans Assisting Veterans, and Dracut's Garry has been on the VAV honorary board as well.

She has been "extremely supportive" of veteran causes, he said. "Not to mention we talk all the time," MacDonald added.

They've been working together on a bill -- titled "An act establishing a Commission on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" -- that they say could help those facing mental-health and PTSD battles.

The bill would bring together numerous experts to address mental health and find effective treatments for PTSD, MacDonald said.

He said he wants to help veterans, first-responders and children like Lowell's Anna Aslanian, a 16-year-old who took her own life in October after getting relentlessly bullied in school.

MacDonald is a close friend of the Aslanian family.

Barry Finegold of Andover, who is back representing the 2nd Essex Middlesex District as its state Senator, has chosen his staff for the upcoming legislative session.

n Chief of Staff MaryRose Mazzola. A Chelmsford native and Lowell Catholic High School graduate, Mazzola is the granddaughter of the late UMass Lowell Chancellor William Hogan. Her mother, Colleen, is an early-childhood-education teacher at Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford. She said she will make $70,000.

n Ross Peterson is the legislative director and general counsel. Peterson is from the North Shore and was previously working at a law firm and will make $54,000, according to Mazzola.

n Legislative Aide Tom Mahoney served as Finegold's field director during the campaign. He is making $40,000, according to Mazzola.

n Chanel Rossi will begin is the constituent services director. Rossi is in her final year of law school. She will make $40,000, Mazzola said.

n Marina Acosta is working part time as the team's district director. She is from Lawrence and will run office hours in that city. Acosta will make $21 an hour and work a maximum of 18.75 hours per week, according to Mazzola.

Besides Andover and Lawrence, the district includes Dracut and Tewksbury.