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WSAR Headlines Archives for 2014-07

The Fall River Economic Development Team


The process of selecting an Economic Development Liaison to help existing businesses in Fall River, and the hiring of a consulting firm with ties to Beacon Hill and Washington, to obtain grant dollars and market the city to businesses looking to relocate, continues this summer, as two slots will be created for FY 2015. 

Score sheets and other criteria for future presentations are being considered by a panel that will make the final selections, likely in September. 

The Fall River City Council kept $100,000 in the FY 2015 budget for that purpose, after arguing in favor of the slots when the budget was being developed earlier this Spring. 

The PAYT Free Bag Resolution


Fall River City Council Member Mike Miozza tells WSAR that he will introduce a resolution calling on the Sixth Floor to distribute the new purple Pay As You Throw bags to what Miozza terms ''qualified low income residents'' starting with the 2016 Fiscal Year. 

No one knows at this point how many people might qualify, or what the qualifications might be. 

Miozza tells WSAR that 15 percent of the Fall River population is 65 and over, with 20 percent of the population living under the poverty level, and a median income of $34,500, some may find it difficult to purchase the bags, which are on more than 30 store shelves. 

Pay As You Throw begins in Fall River on Monday August 4. 

All Hail The Purple PAYT Bags


The Director of Community Maintenance for the City of Fall River tells WSAR that the city will know on a regular basis how many bags are being sold once the Pay As You Throw Rollout happens on Monday August 4. 

Free 15 gallon bags, with a small insert on what can and cannot be recycled in the blue bins that remain part of the program, arrived in some Fall River Mailboxes over the weekend. 

Ken Pacheco tells WSAR that personal visits will be part of the overall implementation next week. 

Board of Health regulations for various solid waste haulers are being devised by the law department, as several firms sought to offer a solution for private property owners who wanted to bypass the era of the purple bags. 

 

MA Gas Prices This Week


The average price for a gallon of regular self serve unleaded gasoline this week in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is at $3.58, according to Triple A of Southern New England, which is down four cents from a week ago. 
The current national average is $3.52.
WSAR has noted prices of anywhere from $3.48 to 3.63 in Fall River and Somerset. 
Triple A of Southern Mass has noted a price range in the Commonwealth this week of $3.41 to $3.89.
 
 
 

Fall River Carjacking Arrest


The FRPD has arrested a 37 year old suspect over the weekend after a 66 year old woman suffered an injured arm last week when her 2012 Kia Soul was carjacked.

The FRPD indicated it located the stolen car in the 400 block of Hope Street on Saturday morning, and traced their suspect to the vehicle, which was abandoned, then located in the 100 block of Whipple Street. 

37 year Paul Gagne of the 2-hundred block of Danforth in Fall River faces eight total counts in relation to the incident including Carjacking and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. 

Gagne is also wanted in connection with a Friday Morning robbery of a North Side Convince Store. 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall River Carjacking


The Fall River Police Department is looking for a white male suspect thought to be 35 years of age, 5'11'' tall and bald, who allegedly car jacked a vehicle by climbing into the front seat and putting it in reverse, knocking down a 66-year old woman and running over one of her arms in the process of leaving the scene. 
The incident happened Thursday Morning at 8:45am in the 1-thousand block of North Main in Fall River. 
The injured woman suffered non life threatening injuries and was taken to a local medical facility for treatment. 
The vehicle police are looking for is a 2012 Gray Kia Soul with a Massachusetts Plate of 7-6-6-X-X-4. 
If you see the vehicle, you're advised to call the FRPD. 
 
 
 
 
 

Waste Zero T-11 Fall River


The Director of Municipal Operations for Waste Zero, John Craig, tell WSAR that the firm remains confident that its initial goals of 90% compliance in the first weeks of the rollout of Pay As You Throw starts on Monday August 4. 

Craig tells WSAR that new mailings in Portuguese and Spanish will be available in the days leading up to the rollout of the concept, which involves Purple Trash Bags that can be purchased in more than 30 locations in Fall River and Somerset. 

New Hernandez Fall River Trial Date


The ESPN app and the Boston Herald are reporting that a trial date for former Patriot Aaron Hernandez in the Fall River Justice Center has been moved to January 2015.

Hernandez faces First Degree Murder and Weapons charges in the murder of Boston Semi Pro Football Player Odin Lloyd.

The Boston Herald is reporting that notices for Jury Duty could be in the mail in November.

Hernandez may spend two months on trial in Fall River; his defense team will also be working on charges in Suffolk County that Hernandez allegedly murdered two men after an incident in a Boston Nightclub. 

New Fall River Festival


Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan told reporters in Government Center on Monday that a new event, to be named the Spindle City Festival, will happen in Fall River at some point, somewhere, during the Summer of 2015. '

One of the organizers of the former Whaling City Festival in New Bedford, Joe Eugenio, contacted the Sixth Floor and offer his services for a festival that would be free of charge, with various free events, including a car show, a petting zoo, and other attractions. 

While major beer sponsors are active in New Bedford for various feasts, Fall River's event would be alcohol free. 

MA Local Unemployment in June


Fall River's Unemployment rate for June remains at 9.3%, unchanged from May, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Somerset's Unemployment number for June dropped to 6.3%, down three tenths of a percentage point; in Swansea, unemployment went up one tenth of a percentage point to 6.8%.
Unemployment in Taunton was up three tenths of a percentage point from May to June, to 6.3%; in New Bedford, Unemployment moved over half a percentage point from May to June, to 9.9%. 
 
 
 

A New PD Chief in Somerset


Pending the outcome of contract negotiations that could begin as early as this week, the Somerset Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to approve Randolph Police Lieutenant George McNeil during a contentious session at the Somerset Middle School Monday Afternoon. 

McNeil was selected from a field of five finalists. 

McNeil tells WSAR that he hopes to start a K9 unit, and also use the individual talent of officers to create a motorcycle unit, or horse patrol unit. 

McNeil says he helped create a program in Randolph that raised the necessary money to acquire a K9 dog. 

Its possible McNeil will begin his new duties in Mid August; he tells WSAR his wife is looking for a house in Somerset. 

The Public Safety Committee Meeting


The Fall River City Council's Committee on Public Safety meets on Tuesday with a discussion on the Kilburn Street Mill, which was inspected by the Massachusetts EPA earlier this winter. 

The session begins at 5:30 in the Second Floor Council Chambers in Fall River's Government Center. 

The mill was a former cotton mill when it was finished in the 1870s, when Fall River was on its way to becoming a major center for textiles. 

Neighbors have expressed concern that the structure is a major fire hazard; public safety administrators have tried to keep an eye on the building while discussions continue on what to do with the property, and how to protect portions of it that have historic significance. 

The Kids Coming to The Commonwealth


With Governor Patrick allowing as many as 800 children from Latin America to reside for up to four months in the Commonwealth at a pair of military bases, one in Western Mass and the second on Cape Cod, Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan tells WSAR that no one from the Patrick or Obama Administrations has contacted him regarding housing any of the children, whose parents in many cases are leaving them at the U-S/Mexican border, in Fall River. 

Mayors of some other Gateway Cities, including Mayor Jon Mitchell in New Bedford, are expressing concerns about how children are to be housed and educated in communities that already have in some cases severe economic issues. 

Hernandez Girlfriend Update


Bristol County Prosecutors are now claiming they have what is being termed as ''direct evidence that the faience and mother of a daughter produced with Aaron Hernandez allegedly lied to a Bristol County Grand Jury that indicated Hernandez last summer for the murder of Odin Lloyd. 

ESPN is reporting that prosecutors have evidence that contradicts what it says are multiple portions of Shayanna Jenkins testimony.

Jenkins entered a not guilty plea to a single count of perjury.

Bristol County Prosecutors alleged that Hernandez directed Jenkins to gets rid of a box that may have contained a weapon allegedly used in the murder of Lloyd via a phone call from a Boston law office.

Defense Attorneys say their client was berated during testimony before a Bristol County Grand Jury. 

 

 

 

  

The Fall River Outages Update


While the larger outages on Fall River's South Side have been repaired by National Grid crews who beat the utility's original estimate, there remain outages throughout the SouthCoast as thunderstorms move through Southeastern Massachusetts. 

Smaller outages remain in an area of Fall River bordered by the North Wattuppa Pond, Channing Boulevard and Stafford Road. 

As far as NStar is concerned, there are more than 50 outages in Westport, and a little over 200 in Boston. 

Fall River Outages


As a significant line of Thunderstorms moves through Fall River, Somerset, New Bedford and other portions of the SouthCoast this morning, power outages in Fall River have anywhere from 8,000 to 11, 000 National Grid Consumers in the dark. 

National Grid is estimating that power could be restored as early as 8:15am, but those times are tentative at best. 

Portions of Fall River's South Side are in the dark this morning, in an area bordered by Bedford, Globe and Pleasant Streets, and Brayton and Plymouth Avenues. 

An area by Cook Pond is also in the dark. 

 

Jenny Gets a Ring


Former NESN Red Sox Reporter and new CBS NFL Sideline Reporter Jenny Dell announced her engagement to Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks with a shot of the ring on Instagram Monday afternoon. 

Dell and Middlebrooks announced their relationship with a Happy New Year Twitter picture on New Years Eve; she was then removed from her perch on the third base line at Fenway Park and relegated to NESN studio work, while Middlebrooks has been trying to get back on the major league roster in Pawtucket. 

Flanagan FR Econ Director


As the process of setting criteria for a future Economic Development Director begins this week in Fall River, Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan tells WSAR that economic development is a team effort. 

Flanagan tells WSAR he wants to see an Economic Development Director continue the process of retaining jobs while attracting new ones, while working to raise the city's sense of self worth. 

MA Gasoline The Week of 14 July


Triple A of Southeastern MA indicates that the price of a gallon of regular self serve gasoline in the Massachusetts is unchanged from a week ago. 

The Commonwealth average is at $3.67 compared to the national average at $3.61.

WSAR has noted prices at $3-63 in Somerset, to anywhere from $3.69 to $3.73 in Fall River. 

Triple A finds the range of prices in the Commonwealth ranges from a low of $3.55 to a high of $3.89. 

 

Leo's FR Olympic Take


Fall River City Council Member Leo Pellitier tells WSAR that he says its worth a shot to try to secure a 2024 Summer Olympics venue, if Boston is awarded the host city status by the USOC and the IOC in 2017.

Pellitier tells WSAR that while its a longshot, something might pan out, and it would be better to try to secure something than not try at all. 

Miozza's FR Olympic Take


Fall River City Council Member Mike Miozza tells WSAR that while he commends Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan for an effort to land a potential venue for a 2024 Boston Hosted Summer Olympic Games, there are pressing local problems, among them future net school spending targets, and the compliment of police and fire forces to deal with.

The USOC must first make Boston its choice to send to the IOC; the city would then have to convince the IOC that it can make the seven year project work, beginning in 2017, to make a Games a success. 

The IOC is having issues finding a host city for the 2022 Winter Olympics as several European cities have declined...

FRFD Famous Final Scene


Today marks the final day for more than 20 Fall River Fire Fighters who will no longer be a part of the force as the fourth and final  year of a FEMA sponsered SAFER Grant comes to an end. 

Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan and Local 13-14 of the IAFF have an agreement embedded in the current labor agreement to bring the contingent, now at 175, up to 200 by 2018. 

Flanagan tells WSAR that some veteran fire fighters took early retirement this spring which helped bring the final number of laid off fire fighters to something approaching 25, down from the 33 mentioned during recently completed budget hearings. 

BCC BMC Durfee 3 Tiers


As discussions ramp up on the idea of an Early College High School at BMC Durfee High School, in partnership with Bristol Community College, a three tiered system is being discussed that would allow students to earn professional certification in various disciplines, while others could also pursue associate degrees, perhaps toward a four year degree. 

Fall River Superintendent of Public Schools Meg Mayo Brown tells WSAR that the concept would be open to all students, as a means towards getting them involved in the idea of pursuing higher education. 

Mayo Brown tells WSAR the idea would likely be ready for at least a partial rollout, perhaps in January or September of 2015. 

BCC Administrators want Durfee students to be full fledged BCC students, with access to services on the campus located a little over a mile from the primary Durfee campus. 

The Fall River Olympic Letter


Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan has authored a letter to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for his assistance in landing a 2024 Summer Olympics Venue for Fall River. 

Romney helped organize the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002, the last time an American City hosted an Olympic Games. 

Flanagan argues that Fall River's geographic advantages and what are termed in the letter as ''an abundance of available land'' in what is referred to as an ''exquisite Waterfront Area''.

Flanagan says construction and tourism trades would be enhanced. 

Boston is on a list of four finalists that the USOC will whittle down to one in 2015; the IOC will make a determination on a 2024 Summer Olympics Host in 2017. 

The IOC is having issues finding a host for the 2022 Winter Games, as several nations and cities have turned down the assignment. 

Mitchell on PAYT


Fall River City Council President Ray Mitchell tells WSAR that there remains confusion over the upcoming Pay As You Throw program that rolls out on August 4.

Mitchell tells WSAR he's been getting calls from residents confused as to what to do with purple bags that will hit store shelves in a matter of days. 

Mitchell is urging residents to learn and practice recycling as a means towards lowering their overall trash footprint. 

Its hoped that proceeds from the bags will cover the costs of additional FRFD members that were included in the FY 2015 budget. 

Miozza on Economic Development Director


Fall River City Council Member Mike Miozza tells WSAR that a newly minted Economic Development Director can explore tourism avenues, but not at the expense of long term growth for the City of Fall River.

Miozza tells WSAR that he will serve on a selection committee that will include City Administrator Cathy Ann Viveiros and other members, with a first meeting set for next week. 

Fall River Economic Director


Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan tells WSAR that administrators are beginning to write the recommendations for a Economic Development/Tourism Director that will likely be hired later this summer, after City Council Members pressed the case for the slot to be filled during budget deliberations in June. 

$100,000 had been allocated in the FY 2014 budget but was never used to fill the position. 

Flanagan says the Sixth Floor can use the assistance in promoting tourism and trying to find employers willing to relocate to the area. 

Pay As You Throw Bags in Fall River


The consultants working with the City of Fall River to implement Pay As You Throw have published a list of 30 locations where residents can buy the trash bags that will be part of the program when it rolls out on August 4. 

The bags will be available at every Walgreens, CVS, Stop and Shop, 7-11, Rite Aid and Tedeschi locations, among others, later this month. 

New Fall River Bishop


A Brazillian born Priest serving in Newark NJ will become the new Bishop for the Fall River Diocese on September 24 at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in Fall River. 

Edgar Moreira Da Cunha was appointed by Pope Francis I after current Bishop George Coleman submitted his retirement papers upon his 75th birthday in February. 

DaCunha is 60; he will be the 8th Bishop for the Fall River Diocese, which serves 84 parishes and 11 mission churches in Southeastern Massachusetts, the Cape and the Islands.  

 

 

 

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