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New Year's Baby Born in North Adams

Staff reports
01:37PM / Sunday, January 04, 2009
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Paul Harvey Daniels
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Paul Harvey Daniels eschewed the traditional middle-of-the-night arrival to make his debut in the middle of the afternoon on New Year's Day.

It wasn't soon enough for mom Dawn Marie Daniels, 33, who had been having contractions on and off since Christmas. She went to the hospital on Wednesday only to be sent home; her water broke at 4:30 a.m. on New Year's Day and the couple headed for the hospital, this time to stay.

Young Paul was expected to arrive on Jan. 6, but, she said, "they come when they're ready."

Once the contractions began, dad John M. Daniels Jr., 37, had actually been hoping the newest member of the family would be early.

"I was pushing for Dec. 31," he joked, "to get the deduction."

Paul Harvey had his own schedule, however, and was born at 2:28 p.m., the first baby of the New Year in Berkshire County. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces.

"He was anxiously awaited," said paternal grandmother Elaine Daniels of Cheshire.

It was a bit of a coup for North Adams Regional Hospital, which hadn't had a first baby of the year in recent memory. The honor usually goes to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, which brings nearly three times as many babies into the world as NARH. The North Adams hospital has about 300 births a year.

Nurse Lynn Burke thought it had been at least 20 years since NARH claimed the title but no one was quite sure. "It's been a long time," she said.

The Cheshire couple married in 2005 and have another child. Paul's big brother Henry is 2.

He's not named for radio legend Paul Harvey; the couple wasn't thinking of him at all. "The name did kind of sound familiar," said John Daniels.

Paul Harvey is actually named for three people — his maternal grandmother Paula Rhinemiller, Paul Madigan, the late husband of his great-great-aunt Bernice Madigan, and the late Harvey John Daniels, his paternal great-grandfather and former Cheshire selectman.

His grandfathers are John M. Daniels Sr. and Leslie Rhinemiller.

Dawn, a special education teacher at Lee Middle and High School, and John, who works for the U.S. Postal Service and Future Homes Inc., haven't decided yet whether to add a third child to their family.

"Never say never," said Dawn Daniels as young Paul yawned mightily.
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