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WSAR NEWS

Outstanding Citizen for 2018 Named


 


The Bristol County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Karl Hetzler, President and co-founder of H&S Tool and Engineering, as this year’s Outstanding Citizen Award winner.

 

The Outstanding Citizen Award is presented by the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce to an exceptional individual within the community in memory of Roger Valcourt.

 

The Outstanding Citizen Award has long been designated as the most prestigious award within the business community. It is bestowed annually upon a citizen who has a long record of volunteerism and leadership that has produced a measurable and lasting contribution to the region. The standard is high because of an outstanding individual named Roger Valcourt.

 

The Outstanding Citizen Award was named in memory of Roger Valcourt. Mr. Valcourt passed away very suddenly in 1979. He was a person who bestowed great character and commitment to community along with a reputation for excellence. The Chamber has since paid tribute to the life and achievements of Roger Valcourt through the annual presentment of the Outstanding Citizen Award. 

 

“We are pleased to honor Karl Hetzler with this award, stated Mike O’Sullivan, President and CEO of the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce. His leadership and volunteerism have had such an incredible impact throughout the region. The effects of Karl’s actions and support will be felt for years to come.”

 

Organizations and people throughout the region can help in honoring Mr. Hetzler and all that he has accomplished by attending the 52nd Roger Valcourt Memorial Dinner on Thursday November 8, 2018 at the Venus de Milo in Swansea, Massachusetts. The Valcourt Memorial Banquet includes a celebratory dinner and the presentation of the Outstanding Citizen Award to Mr. Hetzler. 

 

For more information, please contact the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce at (508) 676.8226, or email communications@bristolcountychamber.org.


 

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Mosquitoes in Rhode Island


The 107 mosquito samples from 27 traps set on Sept. 11 have tested negative for both West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced today.

 

Results from traps set Sept. 17 will be reported next week.

 

To date, in Rhode Island, 10 mosquito samples from seven communities (Central Falls, Cranston, Pawtucket, Providence, South Kingstown, Tiverton and Warren) have tested positive for WNV, and four mosquito samples have tested positive for EEE. Connecticut and Massachusetts continue to report positive findings of WNV in mosquito samples. Positive findings of WNV in Southern New England have been higher this year than recent years.

 

 

“With temperatures starting to cool, mosquito numbers are naturally dwindling,” said Alan Gettman, state Mosquito Abatement Coordinator. “Because the first hard frost doesn’t usually occur until October, however, the risk of being bitten remains high. We think it’s prudent for Rhode Islanders to continue to use caution to reduce mosquito bites until then.”

 

Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that may carry WNV, EEE, or other diseases – and the most effective way to avoid infection.

 

With WNV and EEE established throughout the state, DEM and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) remind the public to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and prevent being bitten, whenever possible. 
 

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FRPD Credit Union Branch Arrest


SUBJECT: FALL RIVER – Armed Robbery / Arrest Saint Anne’s Credit Union South Street
DATE:  September 21st, 2018

 

On September 20th, 2018 at approximately 03:50 pm Officers of the Fall River Police Departments Uniform Division responded to Saint Anne’s Credit Union 2031 South Main Street on a report of an unarmed robbery.

 

Upon arrival, Officer William Pavao was informed that a male had entered the bank and approached the counter. The suspect unfolded a note and handed it to a teller.

 

The note directed the teller to give all the big bills.

 

Upon receiving the cash the suspect, described as a white male with a bushy beard, wearing a black ball cap, a black hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses, and jeans, fled from the bank headed north.

 

 

Officers canvassed the area. During that canvass, Officers Frederick Mello and Jonathan Estrella located a witness who observed the suspect run past. The witnesses identified the suspect as a kid he knew from the neighborhood named Kalvin.

 

The witness went on to say the suspect ran by without saying hi. Officers Estrella and Mello performed a social media search and located a Kalvin Boule with a picture. A surveillance photo was obtained from the Saint Anne’s Credit Union Surveillance system for comparison and found to be a match.

 

 

Officers Estrella and Mello went to St. Anne’s Credit Union and presented their findings to lead Detective Dwaine Cabeceiras and Officer Pavao. Past addresses were checked and that revealed that Boule was the male in the surveillance photo and had just left a King Phillip Street address on foot heading for an appointment in the north end. 

 

 

Local taxicab services were checked and one was found to have picked up a male on South Main Street heading for South Coast Marketplace on Canning Boulevard.

 

Officers were dispatched to South Coast Marketplace and on their arrival observed a taxi with a lone male occupant. As the officers approached, the male fled the cab but was quickly captured by Officers Guy Furtado, Daniel Mello, and State Trooper Brian Kilfoyle.

 

Kalvin M. Boule age 25 of 184 Globe Street Fall River was taken into custody and charged with Unarmed Robbery.                      

    


 

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Case One of Triple E


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus has been detected in a mosquito in Massachusetts for the first time this year, following testing completed at the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory.

 

The mosquito samples were collected on August 17 in the town of Lakeville in Plymouth County. This single finding does not indicate elevated risk from EEE at this time, but personal protection from mosquitoes remains a high priority. Mosquito trapping and testing will continue in the area to monitor risk.

 

There have been no human cases of EEE so far this year and none acquired by a Massachusetts resident in 2017.

“We have been fortunate over the last several years to see little evidence of EEE activity,” said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel, MD. MPH. “Despite that, we know EEE occurs in Massachusetts and this is a timely reminder of that fact.”

 

“The drought in 2015 through 2016 reduced the species of mosquitoes that are responsible for amplifying EEE virus in the bird population,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “The last couple of years have been rebuilding years and our job will be to continue to closely monitor EEE activity through the mosquito surveillance done in conjunction with the Mosquito Control Districts.”

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FRPD captures Bank Branch Robbery Suspect


On September 15th, 2018 at approximately 12:40 pm Officers of the Fall River Police Departments Uniform Division responded to Bay Coast Bank 490 Robeson Street on a report of an unarmed robbery.

 

Upon arrival, Officer Amy Robinson was informed that a male had entered the bank, approached the counter and called a teller over. The suspect threw a crumbled piece of paper at her that directed her to give all the big bills. Upon receiving a small sum of cash, the suspect, described as a white male, wearing a red and white hat, a red sweatshirt, and wearing clear plastic gloves on his hands, fled from the bank headed north on Robeson Street.

 

Uniformed officers canvassed the area but were unable to locate the suspect. Detectives from the Major Crimes Division were notified and responded. Crime Scene Unit Detectives processed the scene and collected physical evidence which included the note and surveillance photos.

 

Detective Derek Beaulieu of the Major Crimes Division was assigned the case and obtained the full surveillance video from Bay Coast Bank. With that as a base, wanted poster were created and circulated to Law enforcement Agencies. 

 

Shortly after the photos were circulated Det. Beaulieu received a tip identifying the male in the photo as Joshua R. Infantino age 30. Det. Beaulieu with the assistance of Detectives Dwaine Cabeceiras, Matt Rezendes, Moses Pereira, and Luis Vertentes gathered information about Infantino which lead to a basement apartment at 722 North Main Street Fall River.

 

Detectives Dwaine Cabeceiras, Matt Rezendes, Moses Pereira, and Luis Vertentes were able locate and take Joshua R. Infantino into custody without incident.


Joshua R. Infantino age 30 with a last known address of 722 North Main Street Fall River was placed under arrest on a charge of Unarmed Robbery. Infantino is due to appear in Second District Court 186 South Main Street today.


 
                               

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Fall River PD Top Ten


The Fall River Police Department has added two fugitives to the “Top Ten Most Wanted.”

Rebecca Nater Payne age 39 LKA 386 Locust Street #3 Fall River, Ma. Is wanted for
Possession of Class E Drug, and Possess to Distribute a Class B Drug – subsequent offense                                                     
         

Mark A. Avery age 43 LKA 552 Buffington Street Fall River, Ma. Is wanted for
Possess to Distribute Class A Drug, Possess to Distribute Class B Drug, and 3 counts Possess to 
Distribute Class E Drug                                                         
    

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of anyone listed in the TOP TEN is asked to call the Fall River Police Department at 508-676-8511 or leave your tips anonymously at 508-672-TIPS (8477)                 
     
 

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Biting Bugs Going Out With a Bang


Department of Public Health announces an additional human case of West Nile virus in Massachusetts
Recommends precautions for avoiding mosquito bites

 

 

BOSTON (September 18, 2018)  - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced an additional human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year. The most recent case is a woman in her 60s from Suffolk County who is hospitalized due to her illness.

 

“This is the 13th case of West Nile virus acquired in Massachusetts by a resident,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “It is not surprising that we are seeing more cases than usual this year given the intense mosquito activity that has been detected during the season.’’

 

``With shorter day lengths we are starting to see the numbers of mosquitoes go down,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “However, it is definitely too early in the season to become complacent. Risk of additional transmission to people continues to be elevated.”

 

On Monday, DPH and the Boston Public Health Commission announced the 12th case of West Nile virus this season:  A man in his 50s from Suffolk County who became ill on September 11 and is currently hospitalized.
 
In 2017, there were six human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts.  

 

WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

 

While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms.

 

When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.
 

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Fall River Phone Scam


The Fall River Police Department has been notified by the Fall River Fire Department (FRFD) that Telemarketers are calling individuals claiming they represent the FRFD and are collecting donations. 

 

 Fire Chief John Lynch stated that the FRFD is NOT soliciting funds and categorically states no such fundraising is taking place.

 

This is a phone scam.
     
The numbers appearing on caller ID’s are 978-908-2395 and 508-418-0979.

 

 If you have further questions regarding donations please contact the Fall River Fire Department at 508-324-2743.

 

If you feel you are the victim of a scam please contact your local police.
 

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Fall River Public Library Events Next Week


Fall River Public Library, 104 North Main Street, has the following events scheduled for the week of September 24, 2018. 

 

Monday, September 24 – New Movie Mondays featuring Jurassic World, 6 p.m. 


Tuesday, September 25 – Preschool Storytime, 10:30 a.m. For children ages 3-5. Walk-ins welcome. 
            ESL Tutoring, 11:30-12:30, Nagle Room
        ESL Tutoring, 12-1, Meeting Room 
(New students welcome. Call 508-324-2700 or arrive 5 minutes early to sign up.) 


The Zen Zone featuring a Reiki Night, 6 p.m. 15 minute sessions available on a first come, first served basis. 


Book Talk: Seven Miles After Sundown, 6 p.m. “East End Eddie” Doherty talks about fishing the Cape Cod Canal. Books available for sale and signing. 


Wednesday, September 26 – Movie Matinee featuring Jurassic World, 1 p.m. 
            Book Club featuring Forever by Pete Hamill, 5:30 p.m. 


Saturday, September 29 – Pregnancy & Labor Support Class, 9:30 a.m. (Registration required. Call the adult circulation desk at 508-324-2700, ext. 2, for information/registration.)


            Breaker Space, 10 a.m. Tech take-apart for kids and parents. Walk-ins welcome. 

 

For questions about any of these programs, Kate Kulpa at 508-324-2700, ext. 110. 
 

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Red Sox Yankees Schedule Change


The New York Yankees in consultation with MLB and the Red Sox have moved this afternoon's game to a 7:05 start time at Yankee Stadium, after heavy rain was forecast for the Tri State Area this afternoon; the same remnants of Tropical Depression Florence are going to be part of New England's Weather Pattern this afternoon. 

 

Herb Chambers Pre Game at 6:20 this afternoon on WSAR with a 7:05 first pitch.

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Still More WNV


BOSTON (September 17, 2018)  - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) today announced the 12th human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year and the fifth case in Suffolk County, which includes Boston. The most recent case is a man in his 50s from Suffolk County who is currently hospitalized.  He became ill on September 11.

 

``Labor Day is often considered to be the unofficial end of summer,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “But it is not the end of the mosquito season. September is still the peak of transmission season and additional cases of WNV infection are likely to occur. Risk from West Nile virus will continue until the first hard frost.”

 

“This patient became ill less than a week ago, indicating that West Nile virus is actively being transmitted from mosquitoes to people,” said Dr. Jenifer Jaeger, Director of BPHC’s Infectious Disease Bureau.  “That’s why it is important that people in greater Boston and elsewhere continue using insect repellents, covering exposed skin, and moving indoors when mosquitos are biting.’’

 

In 2017, there were six human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts

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The Hoodie Rolls The WR Dice


 

The Cleveland Browns announced Monday they traded wide receiver Josh Gordon and a conditional 2019 seventh-round draft pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for a 2019 conditional fifth-rounder.

To make room for Gordon on the roster, the Patriots cut former Browns first-round pick Corey Coleman. The Browns signed free-agent wide receiver Rod Streater.

The Browns made it public over the weekend they were planning to release him after the sides reached a point where the team said it was best to move their separate ways.

"This afternoon we informed Josh Gordon and his representatives that we are going to release him on Monday," general manager John Dorsey said in a statement released Saturday. "For the past six years, the Browns have fully supported and invested in Josh, both personally and professionally, and wanted the best for him, but unfortunately we've reached a point where we feel it's best to part ways and move forward. We wish Josh well."

 


After initially saying they would release him, the Browns shifted to exploring trade options for Gordon.

The final straw for Cleveland came by way of Gordon injuring his hamstring at a promotional photo shoot, per Rapoport.

Selected in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft, Gordon has proven to be an exceptional talent -- when he's on the field. Availability has been Gordon's biggest issue, with the receiver missing all of 2015 and 2016 due to suspension and returning for the final five games of 2017. Of 98 possible games (counting each game from Cleveland's 16-game regular-season slates from 2012-2017 and the first two contests of 2018), Gordon has appeared in just 41.

As a result, typing "six seasons with the Browns" in reference to Gordon isn't entirely accurate. Cleveland has stuck with the receiver through multiple violations of the league's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, offering support when possible through each violation, even as they resulted in extended absences. After finishing the 2017 season healthy, Gordon missed 2018's training camp to ensure his health and wellness, and the Browns again supported Gordon, welcoming him back in the final two weeks of the preseason.

The receiver has admitted in personal pieces published by various outlets that he's struggled with substance abuse since he was in middle school, and that he never played a game sober prior to his 2017 return.

Seemingly in a better place, Gordon returned to the field in Week 1 and caught a game-tying touchdown in Cleveland's eventual tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But just days later, things turned toward separation between the Browns and Gordon, who thanked the organization via an Instagram post.

 

 

Now, back to the football part of this story: Gordon has shown himself to be a rare talent, leading the NFL in receiving in 2013 with 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns despite only appearing in 14 games. He's since found the end zone just twice in the ensuing five seasons.

His catch against Pittsburgh in a steady rain proved, though, why Cleveland stuck by him for so long. It's also why a good amount of teams were interested in Gordon when news of his availability became public.

New England has attempted this type of deal before, bringing in a variety of receivers who found success elsewhere (Chad Johnson, Kenny Britt, Brandon Lloyd, Michael Floyd, etc.). Gordon is on a different tier than those wideouts, though, and is worth the risk as long as he can stay on the field.

It remains to be seen what Gordon will be able to do for the Patriots. One thing is for sure, though: The image of Tom Brady tossing touchdowns to a streaking Gordon sure is tantalizing.

 

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CoastSweep Cleanups Locally


The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that COASTSWEEP, Massachusetts’ statewide beach cleanup, has officially begun and encourages volunteers to join dozens of cleanups along the coast this fall.

 

Organized by the Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), COASTWEEP cleanups will be held throughout September and into early November.

 

Since 1987, thousands of COASTSWEEP volunteers have removed hundreds of tons of marine debris and other trash from Massachusetts beaches, lakes, rivers and seafloor.

 

Westport Westport Town Beach/East Beach 9/22 

 

Steve Connors Westport River Watershed

Alliance

outreach@wrwa.com

508-636-3016

 

Wareham Little Harbor Beach 9/22 Karin Osmond kjobx2@gmail.com

508-868-2933

 

Fairhaven Fort Phoenix Town Beach 9/30 Mary Lou Nicholoson Be the Solution to Pollution bethesolutiontopollution@gmail.com

508 496-070 

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Merrimack Valley Gas Explosion Aftermath Recruitment


     The President of the Bristol County Plumbing and Natural Gas Inspectors Association is recruiting those in the field to help in the Merrimack Valley as the task of inspecting and restoring natural gas service will begin this week. 

 

     Chris Costa is the Taunton Plumbing Inspector and told WSAR News that in his role he is looking for those with certification to help by donating a day of their time, for which they will be compensated. Costa said mutual aid is coming in from various locations and that while electricity was restored, the natural gas restoration could take several weeks. 

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Triple-A Northeast Gas Prices


     The price of a gallon of regular gasoline is up by $0.01 this week, according to Triple-A Northeast.

 

     Triple-A's most recent survey finds a gallon of regular gasoline in Massachusetts is at an average of $2.84/gallon - one cent lower than the current national average, $2.85.

 

     Mary Maguire is the Director of Public and Legislative Affairs for Triple-A Northeast. She told WSAR News that Hurricane Florence had little or no impact on gasoline prices. She said prices have not seen much movement because until the Gulf Coast, which is home to dozens of refineries, the Carolinas only house pipelines and terminals.

 

     The range in prices in the latest Triple-A survey is $0.45 from a low of $2.64 to a high of $3.09. 

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You Too Can Be A Dealer


Bristol Community College expands hospitality education offerings with non-credit casino dealing course

            The job opportunities in the casino industry seem endless. With more than 1,000 casinos in the United States – including two new facilities in Massachusetts, one just over the state line in Tiverton, RI and another in Lincoln, RI.

            Bristol Community College anticipates a growing demand for casino dealers in our area in the coming years. To meet this demand, the college has designed a non-credit casino dealing course tailored to meet the growing need and help you land a job as a casino dealer – a job that allows participants to make a good living and thrive in a position that is promising in our region and throughout the country.


Real world preparation


            This non-credit dealing course is part of Bristol’s unique Hospitality Management degree program, known for its world-class training in preparing students for real-world job experiences. It’s important to know that all casinos have their own policies and procedures to learn, but our course helps you know how to deal the most popular casino games, helping students to succeed faster.


Program details


            All classes in this engaging non-credit course are taught in Bristol’s innovative Casino Lab, located at the Bristol Community College Taunton location at the Silver City Galleria, 2 Galleria Mall Drive. Classes are offered in the evenings, or on weekends.

            The cost for the course is $399 and includes the 130 instructional hours required by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

            To register for the non-credit casino dealing course or for more information, please contact E. Jon Bjornson, coordinator of hospitality management, by phone at 774.357.3143 or email e.jon.bjornson@bristolcc.edu.

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Keating Amendments


FIVE KEATING AMENDMENTS TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW

 

Amendments are critical to the district

 

Washington, DC - Today, five amendments authored by Congressman Keating passed the House and are now headed to the President’s desk for signature.  Two of the amendments are included in the House Amendment to S. 3021, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (WRDA), a bipartisan, bicameral agreement advancing this Congress’ water resources infrastructure priorities.  The other three amendments are included in the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2019 (MINIBUS), which provides funding for key parts of our government for FY19.

 

  1. The first Keating Amendment in WRDA directs the Army Corps to prioritize expedited completion of dredging in Plymouth Harbor ahead of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing in Provincetown and then Plymouth, Massachusetts.
    1. This amendment originally passed the House in June as part of H.R. 8, the Water Resources Development Act of 2018. 

 

  1. The second Keating Amendment in WRDA gives the Army Corps the required congressional authority to repair or replace any of New England’s federally owned bridges that are necessary for evacuation during extreme weather or natural disasters.
    1. This amendment originally passed the House in June as part of H.R. 8, the Water Resources Development Act of 2018. 

 

  1. The first Keating Amendment in the Minibus provides funding for the Veterans Administration (VA) to create an opioid abuse healthcare kit for community healthcare providers.
    1. This amendment originally passed the House as part of H.R.5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2019.

 

  1. The second Keating Amendment in the Minibus provides funding for administrative costs at the VA to ensure providers at VA health facilities complete a continuing medication course in pain management.
    1. This amendment originally passed the House as part of H.R.5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2019.

 

  1. The third Keating Amendment in the Minibus provides funding for marine and hydrokinetic technology research and development.
    1. This was not originally included as an amendment in House legislation.  Instead, Congressman Keating worked with colleagues across the aisle and in the Senate to secure its inclusion in the final legislation.

 

Said Congressman Keating:

“These five provisions will have a great impact on our district. First, the much-needed Plymouth Harbor dredging project will prepare us for the anticipated increase in marine traffic due to the Plymouth 400 celebrations, as well as make way for the Mayflower II to return home.

 

“The Cape Cod Canal Bridges, along with other critical evacuation infrastructure, play a fundamental role in providing for the public safety of the nearly 250,000 people who live on the Cape and Islands. My second WRDA amendment grants the Army Corps the ability to push forward with efforts to ensure safe passage over the Canal, and I look forward to continue working with Army Corps leadership to ensure that our government provides the safest, most resilient evacuation routes it can.

 

“As our district struggles with the highest rates of opioid abuse and overdoses, particularly among our veteran populations, my first two amendments in the Minibus will ensure that the VA is providing the appropriate type of pain management care and that community healthcare providers have the best tools possible as they serve members of our community struggling with addiction.

 

“My final amendment in the Minibus provides funding for a specific area of renewable energy where our district is a true leader: marine and hydrokinetic energy. If we want to continue to be a hub for renewable green energy, and the jobs that come with that industry, we need to invest in its further development.”

 

 

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Operation Golden Ticket


On 02/19/18 the Swansea Police Department began investigating a breaking and entering and larceny from the Verizon store at 728 GAR Hwy, Swansea, MA. Ptlm Amy Gallant and Det Keith Chomka arrived on scene and began investigating this incident. The store was broken into on the night of 02/18/18 and a second time in the early morning hours of 02/19/18 by the same three individuals while one other remained patrolling the area as a look-out vehicle. The individuals have been identified as William “Willy Wonka” Rodriguez a/k/a “Chocolate Man” , 47, Chepiel “Chep” Sanchez, 40, Ignacio “Iggy” Duran, 41, all of Lawrence, MA and Nelson “Pito” Rodriguez, 43, of Fitchburg, MA. An associate of these involved, Marilyn Santiago, 38, was also charged with 2 counts of accessory after the fact for her involvement. After the first entry was made the crew stole approximately $90,000 worth of merchandise. During the second entry the crew cut open multiple safes and stole a little over $2,000 cash.

 

After a lengthy investigation, officers were able to tie this incident to that of a ring committing crimes across 4 states including, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Det Keith Chomka worked closely on a six month investigation with the Essex County District Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts State Police and more than 50 other agencies in a task force on “Operation Golden Ticket” in attempts to identify and arrest these individuals.

 

On 08/20/18 the Essex County Grand Jury secretly returned 177 indictments against the five involved which included breaking and entering, larceny, receiving stolen motor vehicles. This crew was also known to the task force to be stealing ATM’s. These charges include 17 commercial and ATM burglaries and 12 stolen vehicles totaling over $300,000 in stolen property and currency.

 

William “Willy Wonka” Rodriguez, a/k/a Chocolate Man, 47, was arraigned on 60 counts, including 2 counts of conspiracy, 14 counts of breaking and entering in the night to commit a felony, 9 counts of possessing burglarious tools, 11 counts of breaking into a safe or depository, 12 counts of receiving stolen motor vehicle, subsequent offense, 9 counts of larceny, 1 count of receiving stolen property, 1 count of resisting arrest, and assault dangerous weapon.

 

Chepiel “Chep” Sanchez, 41, was indicted on 61 counts, including 2 counts of conspiracy, 14 counts of breaking and entering in the night to commit a felony, 9 counts of possessing burglarious tools, 11 counts of breaking into a safe or depository, 11 counts of receiving stolen motor vehicle, 9 counts of larceny, receiving stolen property, 2 counts of resisting arrest, money laundering, and assault dangerous weapon.

 

Ignacio “Iggy” Duran, 41, was indicted on 10 counts, including 2 counts of conspiracy, possessing burglarious tools, 2 counts of breaking and entering in the night to commit a felony, 2 counts of breaking into a safe or depository, receiving stolen motor vehicle, larceny, and resisting arrest.

 

Nelson “Pito” Rodriguez, 43, was arraigned on 44 counts, including 2 counts of conspiracy, trafficking in fentanyl over 10 grams, 6 counts of possessing burglarious tools, 9 counts of breaking and entering in the night to commit a felony, 7 counts of breaking into a safe or depository, 7 counts of receiving stolen motor vehicle, subsequent offense, 6 counts of larceny, and receiving stolen property.

 

William “Willy Wonka” RodriguezChepiel “Chep” SanchezNelson “Pito” RodriguezIgnacio “Iggy” Duran, were all also indicted as Habitual Offenders under the Massachusetts Habitual Offender statute, Chapter 279, Section 25, due to their extensive criminal histories and prior state prison sentences. A Habitual Offender under Massachusetts law is a defendant who has two prior convictions in which they were sentenced to prison terms greater than three years. With the Habitual Offender sentence enhancement, a sentencing judge, upon conviction of a felony, must impose the maximum sentence permissible for that felony. In this case, each count of Breaking and Entering in the Night Time carries a 20 year state prison term as a maximum penalty, and each Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle count carries a 15 year state prison as a maximum penalty.

 

Essex County Assistant District Attorney Phillip Mallard and Massachusetts State Police Sergeant  Robert Labarge lead the task force and ADA Phillip Mallard is prosecuting this case.

 

Operation Golden Ticket led to indictments pertaining to the following incidents that took place over nine nights during the period of February 2018 through April 2018.

February 9, 2018

  • Theft of a Jeep Cherokee in Waltham, MA
  • Break-in to a Dunkin Donuts in Needham, MA, and Theft of an ATM and Currency valued at $3,600
  • Break-in to a Gulf Station in Needham, MA

 

February 10, 2018

  • Break-in to an Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Portsmouth, NH,
  • Theft of a Five Vehicles from Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Portsmouth, NH,
  • Break-in to Healthpoint Fitness in Waltham, MA,  and Theft of a Citizens Bank ATM containing $52,000

 

February 19, 2018

  • Theft of a Plymouth Voyager in Fall River, MA,
  • Break-in to a Verizon Wireless Store in Swansea, MA, and Theft of over $90,000 in Electronics

 

  • Break-in to United Check Cashing, in Medford, MA,  and Theft of a Safe containing $10,000 in cash
  • Break-in to a U-Haul branch in Malden, MA

 

February 24, 2018

  • Theft of a Dodge Caravan in Plainfield, CT
  • Break-in to a Verizon Wireless Store in Plainfield, CT, and Theft of over $35,000 in Electronics

 

March 3, 2018

  • Theft of a Ford Van in West Springfield, MA,
  • Break-in to a Florence Bank ATM, in West Springfield, MA, and Theft of approximately $61,000 cash

 

March 7, 2018

  • Break-in to a Mobil Station in Hanover, MA, and Theft of approximately $8,000 in cash

 

March 16, 2018

  • Break-in to Doctor Wheels in Yarmouth, MA
  • Theft of a Jeep Cherokee in Yarmouth, MA,
  • Break-in to a Bank of America ATM in Bourne, MA
  • Break-in to Ukrainian Federal Credit Union in Westwood, MA, and Theft of $10,000 cash from an ATM

 

March 30, 2018

  • Theft of a Jeep Cherokee in Newburyport, MA
  • Break-in to a North Shore Bank ATM in Plaistow, NH
  • Break-in to a Speedway in Needham, MA, and Theft of a Safe

 

April 21, 2018

  • Break-in to a Citizens Bank ATM in Marlborough, MA
  • Theft of a Dodge Intrepid in Pawtucket, RI
  • Break-in to State Line Convenience in Attleboro, MA, and Theft of over $10,000 in Cigarettes
  • Theft of a Ford Van in Attleboro, MA

In total over 50 law enforcement agencies across New England contributed to the investigation, which was led by Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s Office. The following law enforcement agencies and sheriff departments assisted in the investigation: Attleboro, Boston, Bourne, Chelmsford, Gardner, Fall River, Fitchburg, Hanover, Harwich, Haverhill, Hudson, Lawrence, Leicester, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Medford, Methuen, Milford, Needham, Newburyport, Newton, Swansea, Springfield, Tyngsborough, Yarmouth, Wakefield, Waltham, West Springfield, Westwood, Worcester, in Massachusetts; Bedford, Nashua, Pelham, Salem, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Plaistow, in New Hampshire; Pawtucket, Providence, in Rhode Island; Plainfield and Waterbury, in Connecticut, and Olde Orchard Beach in Maine.  The Essex County Sheriff Department, Boston Regional Intelligence Center, the Bristol County Sheriff Department, the Massachusetts State Police Fusion Center, National Insurance Crime Bureau, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, the Connecticut State Police, the New Hampshire State Police, New Hampshire Department of Correction, and the Rhode Island State Police also contributed to the investigation.  Assistance was also provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

All five involved have been arrested.

 

William “Willy Wonka” Rodriguez, a/k/a Chocolate Man, was held on $500,000, and for violation of his parole out of New Hampshire.

Chepiel “Chep” Sanchez, was held on $200,000.

Nelson “Pito” Rodriguez, was held on $60,000.

Ignacio “Iggy” Duran, was held on $15,000.

Marilyn Santiago, was held on $1,000 which was posted.

The defendants are due back in Salem Superior Court on October 11, 2018.

 

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JKIII and A Health Care Score


KENNEDY PROPOSES HEALTH CARE SCORE FOR NEW LEGISLATION

 

Rule would require estimate of health coverage losses for new legislation

 

Washington, D.C. – After 3.2 million Americans lost health insurance in 2017, Congressman Joe Kennedy III proposed a new rule requiring an estimate of potential health care coverage losses under any legislation introduced in the House of Representatives.  Similar to already required budget estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, Kennedy’s proposal would prohibit Congress from passing laws that would take away health care from constituents.

 

“Congress should not be in the business of taking health care away from our constituents. Our policies should reflect our belief that health care is a right for all of our neighbors rather than a privilege for the healthy and wealthy. By requiring a health care score on all legislation brought to the House Floor, Congress can halt the decline in health insurance coverage under the Trump Administration, and renew our march towards universal coverage.”

 

According to Kennedy’s proposed rule, “It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, or conference report which, if enacted into law, would reduce the number of individuals in the United States with health insurance, as determined by the Congressional Budget Office in consultation with the Joint Committee on Taxation.”

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New Additions to Patriots WR Core


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced today that they have signed running back Kenjon Barner and wide receivers Corey Coleman and Bennie Fowler. Terms of the contracts were not announced.

Barner, 29, was originally drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round (182nd overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Oregon. The 5-foot-9, 195-pounder was most recently with the Carolina Panthers through training camp this summer and has also had stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers. Barner has appeared in 44 regular-season games with one start and totaled 77 rushing attempts for 317 yards with three touchdowns and 21 receptions for 127 yards. He has also returned 30 punts for 259 yards and 22 kickoffs for 498 yards. Barner has appeared in four postseason contests as a reserve and tallied one punt return for 10 yards and five kickoffs for 115 yards. 

Coleman, 24, is a veteran of two NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns (20016-17). The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder, originally entered the NFL as a first-round draft pick (15th overall) of Cleveland out of Baylor in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was traded by Cleveland to Buffalo for a 2020 seventh-round draft pick on Aug. 8 and then released by Buffalo on Sept. 1, 2018. Coleman has played in 19 NFL games with 18 starts and has 56 receptions for 718 yards and five touchdowns.

Fowler, 27, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Denver Broncos out of Michigan State on May 10, 2014. The 6-foot-1, 212-pounder spent his rookie season on the Broncos practice squad and made his NFL debut with Denver in 2015. Over the past three seasons, Fowler has played in 45 regular-season games with five starts and caught 56 passes for 698 yards and five touchdowns. He also appeared in three postseason contests with the Broncos in 2015 and had two receptions for 35 yards as part of Denver’s Super Bowl 50 championship team. Fowler was signed by Chicago on April 16, 2018 and released on Sept. 1.

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MA Campaign Limits Set


Statewide candidate spending limits set

BOSTON – Seven candidates for statewide office who did not agree to campaign expenditure limits under the Commonwealth’s public financing program and whose opponents have agreed to statutory spending limits for the upcoming general election have filed the required statements declaring the maximum amounts their campaigns will spend through Nov. 6.

 

The candidates who filed statements with OCPF by the deadline of Sept. 10 are Gov. Charles Baker (R); Secretary William Galvin (D); Anthony Amore (R), candidate for state secretary; Attorney General Maura Healey (D); Treasurer Deborah Goldberg (D); Keiko Orrall (R), candidate for state treasurer; and Helen Brady (R), candidate for state auditor.  Baker and his running mate for lieutenant governor, Karyn Polito (R), were required to file one statement as a candidate team.

 

The statements are required from candidates who did not agree to statutory spending limits under the state’s public financing law.  Though they did not agree to the limits, the candidates are still required to declare a self-imposed spending cap if they are opposed by candidates who have agreed to limit spending. 

The self-imposed limits declared by each of the seven filers are:

 

Governor/Lt. Gov.

  • Baker/Polito: $20 Million. The spending limit for Baker’s general election opponent, Jay Gonzalez (D), now increases to $20 million from the statutory limit of $1.5 million.  Spending by lieutenant governor candidates also counts toward the gubernatorial cap of $20 million.  The lieutenant governor candidates are Polito and Quentin Palfrey (D).

Secretary

  • Amore: $2 million. The spending limit for Amore’s opponents, Galvin and unenrolled candidate Juan Gabriel Sanchez (Green-Rainbow), increases to $2 million from the statutory limit of $375,000.
  • Galvin: $1 million.  Galvin’s Republican opponent, Amore, set the limit at $2 million, increasing Galvin’s limit to $2 million.

 

Attorney General

  • Healey: $2.5 million.  The spending limit for Healey’s general election opponent, Republican James McMahon, now increases to $2.5 million from the statutory limit of $625,000.

Treasurer

  • Goldberg: $2 million.  Goldberg and Orrall set the same $2 million spending limit, which will also apply to unenrolled candidate Jamie Guerin (Green-Rainbow). The statutory spending limit for treasurer is $375,000.
  • Orrall: $2 million.

Auditor

  • Brady: $375,000. Because Brady set the spending limit at the public financing statutory spending limit for state auditor candidates, all candidates in the race remain limited to spending $375,000. The other candidates are incumbent Suzanne Bump (D); Libertarian candidate Daniel Fishman; and unenrolled candidate Edward Stamas (Green-Rainbow).
  •  

The declared limits cover the general election campaign period: Sept. 5 to Nov. 6, except for unenrolled candidates, whose campaign period is Aug. 29 to Nov. 6.  

 

The amount of money in the State Election Campaign Fund available to participating candidates is approximately $742,850. The law calls for participating candidate teams for governor and lieutenant governor to be funded first, with any remaining funds to be distributed evenly to candidates for the other statewide offices who are eligible to receive public financing. Because Gonzalez qualified for public financing in the 2018 general election, no funds will be available for other races.  The spending limits are still in effect in the races where no public financing money is available.

 

Two candidates received public finance funding for their primary races – Democratic gubernatorial candidates Gonzalez and Robert Massie.  The Gonzalez Committee received $302,564 in public funds, and the Massie Committee received $164,842. Gonzalez won the primary.

 

General Election Spending Limits for all Statewide Races

Governor/Lt. Governor Team              $20 million

Secretary of the Commonwealth          $2 million

Attorney General                                 $2.5 million

Treasurer                                             $2 million

Auditor                                                $375,000

 

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Bristol Checkpoint This Weekend


Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, announced that a “Sobriety Checkpoint” will be implemented by the Massachusetts State Police on a Public Way in the Counties named below. 

 

The purpose is to further educate the motoring public and strengthen the public’s awareness to the need of detecting and removing those motorists who operate under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs from our roadways. 

 

It will be operated during varied hours, the selection of vehicles will not be arbitrary, safety will be assured, and any inconveniences to motorists will be minimized with advance notice to reduce fear and anxiety.

 

 

THANKS TO A GRANT PROVIDED BY THE

HIGHWAY SAFETY DIVISION OF THE MASSACHUSETTS EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY,

A “SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT” WILL BE HELD IN THE COUNTIES LISTED BELOW:

 

           

COUNTY:        DATE: 

Bristol              Saturday, September 22, 2018 into Sunday, September 23, 2018

 

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Patriots Roster Moves


PATRIOTS RELEASE WIDE RECEIVERS CHAD HANSEN AND RILEY MCCARRON; PLACE RUNNING BACK JEREMY HIL ON INJURED RESERVE

 

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that they have released WR Chad Hansen and WR Riley McCarron. In addition, the Patriots placed RB Jeremy Hill on injured reserve.

 

    Hansen, 23, was claimed off waivers and awarded to New England on Sept. 2, 2018. The 6-foot, 202-pounder was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round (141st overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft out of California. He played in 15 regular-season games with one start last year and posted nine receptions for 94 yards.

 

    McCarron, 25, was signed by the Patriots to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Sept. 6, 2018. The 5-foot-8, 198-pounder played in his first NFL game this past Sunday vs. Houston. McCarron spent the 2018 offseason with the team and was released on the final cut-down before being signed to the practice squad. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Houston out of Iowa. He began his rookie season on the Houston practice squad before finishing the season on the New England practice squad after signing on Sept. 22, 2017.

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Eagle Street Altercation


On Friday, September 7th, 2018 the Fall River Police Department School Resource Officer Daniel Mello was patrolling the Henry Lord Community School 151 Amity Street when an accident with injury was reported to him.

 

During the course of his investigation, SRO Mello learned that a 6-year-old Lord student’s foot was run over by the transportation vehicle dropping him off at the school.

 

 

   The 38-year-old operator for Town Transportation stated to Officer Mello that she dropped off two children at the school and thought they were both clear of the vehicle.

 

As she drove away, the right rear tire rolled over the child’s foot. The child was transported to St. Anne’s for evaluation and treatment. There were no other injuries reported to SRO Mello.

 

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Henry Lord Accident


On Friday, September 7th, 2018 the Fall River Police Department School Resource Officer Daniel Mello was patrolling the Henry Lord Community School 151 Amity Street when an accident with injury was reported to him.

 

During the course of his investigation, SRO Mello learned that a 6-year-old Lord student’s foot was run over by the transportation vehicle dropping him off at the school.

 

   The 38-year-old operator for Town Transportation stated to Officer Mello that she dropped off two children at the school and thought they were both clear of the vehicle.

 

As she drove away, the right rear tire rolled over the child’s foot. The child was transported to St. Anne’s for evaluation and treatment. There were no other injuries reported to SRO Mello.

 

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Rhode Island Murder Dismemberment Case


Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Jamie Barriera (age 37), of Warwick, Albert Barriera (age 53), of Warwick, and Louis Geremia (age 63), of Warwick, appeared today in Kent County Superior Court before Superior Court Justice Daniel A. Procaccini to plead to their roles in the August 10, 2015 murder and dismemberment of 36-year old Kerry Mello.

 

Jamie Barriera pleaded nolo contendere to second degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and mutilation of a dead body.  He was sentenced to a total of 70 years with 35 years to serve and the remainder suspended with probation.  Albert Barriera pleaded nolo contendere to conspiracy to commit felony assault and mutilation of a dead body and was sentenced 10 years to serve. Louis Geremia pleaded nolo contendere to conspiracy to commit felony assault and was sentenced to a total of 10 years with four years to serve and the remainder suspended with probation

 

Two other co-defendants – Francisco Concepcion (age 38) of Warwick, and Graig Bustillo (age 41), of Providence – pleaded guilty earlier to their roles in the murder.  Concepcion pleaded guilty on July 20, 2016 to second degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and mutilation of a dead body.  Bustillo pleaded guilty on May 20, 2016 to conspiracy to commit murder.  Both are awaiting sentencing.

 

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on August 10, 2015, Kerry Mello went to meet Jamie Barriera, Albert Barriera, Louis Geremia, and Francisco Concepcion at the residence of Albert Barriera on Shannon Drive in Warwick to discuss the group’s medical marijuana grow operation.

 

Upon arrival, Mello was physically assaulted by Jamie Barriera causing his death, after which Mello’s body was cut to pieces with a hand saw.  The co-defendants wrapped the body parts in a tarp and drove to a marina in Warwick where Jamie Barriera kept his power boat.  Bustillo drove Mello’s car to Boston in an attempt to cover up the murder.

 

Jamie Barriera, Albert Barriera, and Francisco Concepcion then put the body on the boat, drove out to sea, and dumped the body.

 

Mello’s torso was located by a fishing boat off Westport, MA on August 19th, and his legs and feet washed up on Goosewing Beach in Little Compton on August 21st.

 

Rhode Island State Police Adam Kennett led the investigation and Assistant Attorney General James Baum and Special Assistant Attorney General Timothy Healy prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.

 

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Patriots and Jags Week 2


For the first time since 2016, the early lines for Week 2 in the NFL list the Patriots and Jacksonville as a pick em, meaning the Patriots are not favored in an NFL contest for the first time since the 2016 regular season. 

The Patriots were able to win and cover a 6.5 spread in week 1 over Houston on Sunday. 

The Patriots will being installing this week's game plan on Wednesday. 

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More West Nile


Department of Public Health announces 10th human case of West Nile virus in Massachusetts

Recommends precautions for avoiding mosquito bites

 

BOSTON (September 7, 2018)  - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced the 10th human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year. The most recent case is a man in his 60s from Essex County who was hospitalized during his illness. The risk for additional cases of WNV is being raised to high in Lynn, Malden, Melrose, Revere, Saugus and Winthrop.

 

“Due to information about where this individual was most likely exposed and continued findings of WNV in mosquitoes in the area, there is an increased chance that additional human illnesses could occur,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “That’s why it is important that people continue using insect repellents, covering exposed skin, and moving indoors when mosquitos are biting.’’

 

``Although the weather is cooler right now, temperatures are forecast to increase again next week and so it continues to be extremely important for people to take these steps to avoid mosquito bites,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “With conditions still very favorable for the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus, we recommend everyone continue to try and avoid being bitten.”

 

In 2017, there were six human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts.

 

WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.

 

People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes.

 

Avoid Mosquito Bites

Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)], or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

 

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitos. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.

 

Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors to help keep mosquitos away from your skin.

 

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

Drain Standing Water. Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitos to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change the water in birdbaths frequently.

 

Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitos outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

 

Protect Your Animals

Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitos near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitos. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is diagnosed with WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.

 

More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.

 

 

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Somerset Road Closures


MassDOT Schedules Overnight Lane Closures on I-195 Eastbound and Westbound

Maintenance operations will continue through October

 

 

SOMERSET– The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that there will be overnight lane closures on Interstate 195 westbound and eastbound beginning at 7:00 p.m., on Sunday, September 9, and continuing each night through October 2018.  These closures are necessary to allow for nighttime cleaning and painting operations beneath the Wilbur Avenue/Route 103 Bridge over I-195.  Multiple lane closures are necessary to facilitate the temporary use of large pieces of construction equipment.

 

The work will begin above I-195 westbound lanes and progress to the eastbound lanes. The work is scheduled to occur overnight from 7:00 p.m., to 5:00 a.m. on Sunday nights through Thursday nights, and from 9:00 p.m., to 7:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The roadway may be limited at times to one lane of travel.

 

MassDOT encourages drivers to reduce speed and use caution, and allow for extra time throughout this area.

 

All work is weather dependent and is subject to change without notice.

 

For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are encouraged to:

 

  • Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.

·       Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

 

 

 

 

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City of New Bedford v ABC Disposal


City presses ABC Disposal to stop

unfairly targeting New Bedford residents

 

Letter cites ABC’s multiple violations of its contract with City

 

 

New Bedford, Massachusetts— In a letter today to ABC Disposal, the City of New Bedford put the company on notice that it is in violation of its contract with the City to collect residents’ trash and recycling, and threatened action unless the company complies.

 

The letter cites multiple contract violations including the improper rejection of recycling bins and failing to notify residents of the reason(s) for rejection; failing to promptly notify the Director of Facilities and Fleet management of rejections; refusing to respond to residents’ calls for assistance; and issuing an unauthorized press release and holding an unauthorized press conference – all of which are express violations of ABC’s contractual obligations to the City.

 

“ABC has unfairly targeted New Bedford residents and improperly rejected many recycling bins that should have been collected. Diligent residents have correctly sorted their recycling and still found their recycling rejected, and that is simply unacceptable,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell

 

He added, “ABC is in direct violation of its contract with the City, and must come back into compliance immediately. I will continue to fight to protect taxpayers and ensure that ABC fulfills all its obligations so that residents can count on a reliable delivery of this important service.”

 

Background:

 

For nearly a year, ABC Disposal, Inc., has been demanding more money from the City of New Bedford. Although ABC entered into a contract with the City in which it agreed to collect the City’s solid waste and recyclables for a fixed monthly fee, ABC is now seeking additional payment because the contract has proved to be less profitable for it due to a change in the market for recyclables. 

 

The City has not been unsympathetic to ABC’s situation and has said that it might consider modification of its contract with ABC, provided that ABC demonstrate to the City that the change in the market for recyclables is jeopardizing ABC’s viability, as opposed to merely decreasing its profitability. Despite repeated requests by the City, ABC has refused to provide the City with the necessary information about ABC’s overall financial situation.

 

In an effort to extract more money from the City, ABC this week adopted a new tactic: rejecting many residents’ recycling carts under the pretext of ineligible materials being included in the carts.

 

ABC’s actions this week have resulted in multiple violations of the contract. The City has demanded that ABC cease these violations, and put ABC on notice that if it fails to do so, ABC will be in default, and the City will exercise all of its legal rights. 

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Bad Critters in New Bedford


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the New Bedford Health Department of the finding of West Nile Virus in a primarily bird-biting mosquito sample obtained in the area of the New Bedford Business (Industrial) Park, located off of Phillips Road in the far north end of New Bedford. The mosquito is of the Culiseta melanura species and is mainly bird-biting.

 

The Bristol County Mosquito Control Project conducted its weekly round of spraying this morning, including the area of the New Bedford Business Park. This round targeted the area of Rural Cemetery in addition to areas including Buttonwood Park, Brooklawn Park, Fort Taber, Hazelwood Park, Riverside Park, Clasky Park, Ashley Park, the Poor Farm area, Custom House Square and the downtown area.  Spraying takes place between 2:00 am and sunrise on Thursday mornings, weather permitting. 

 

As part of the mosquito tracking program, the New Bedford Health Department will request that the BCMCP target key areas of the New Bedford for spraying, including public parks and locations that host large public events. 

 

Like EEE and West Nile, the New Bedford Health Department works closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to track other emerging mosquito-borne diseases such as the Zika virus.  While Zika-carrying mosquitoes have not been identified the New Bedford area, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports that the likelihood of becoming infected with Zika virus from a mosquito bite in Massachusetts is very low, residents are urged to take the general precautionary measures to prevent mosquito bites.  In addition, travelers to areas where the Zika virus has been detected in mosquitoes or humans should take extra precaution to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes during their trip.  This includes both females and males who travel to areas where the Zika virus is occurring.  If you or your partner is planning on traveling, you should check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for information about where Zika virus is occurring: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-information.

 

The same precautionary measures are advised for EEE, WNV, and the Zika virus.  These include the following:

 

Avoid Mosquito Bites

 

  • Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours – While mosquitoes are out at all hours of the day, their peak biting times are from dusk to dawn. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing, especially if you work or spend a lot of time outdoors.

 

  • Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

 

  • Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label.  DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children.  Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.  Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin. 

 

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

 

  • Drain Standing Water - Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently. 

 

  • Install or Repair Screens - Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

 

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JCII gives Charlie a Thumbs Up


Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II is one of 10 Massachusetts Democratic Mayors among 22 overall who have officially endorsed the Baker/Polito Ticket for Governor. 

 

In a release from the Baker Campaign Website Thursday Afternoon, Correia says the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are ''leading by example'', saying that Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito have ''demonstrated their commitment to the South Coast'', mentioning the State Pier and South Coast Rail, saying the pair of Republican Incumbents have ''championed Fall River''.

 

Democratic Mayors from Lowell and Springfield also signed on with Baker Endorsements. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Patriots Roster Moves


PATRIOTS MAKE ROSTER TRANSACTIONS

 

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that they have signed WR Riley McCarron to the 53-man roster from the practice squad and added TE Stephen Anderson to the practice squad. In addition, the Patriots placed 2018 second-round draft pick (56th overall) DB Duke Dawson on injured reserve.

 

    McCarron, 25, was signed by New England to the practice squad on Sept. 2, 2018. The 5-foot-8, 198-pounder spent the 2018 offseason with the team and was released on Sept. 1, 2018. McCarron originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Houston out of Iowa. He began his rookie season on the Houston practice squad before finishing the season on the New England practice squad after signing on Sept. 22, 2017.

 

    Anderson, 25, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Houston out of California on May 6, 2016. The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder has appeared in 28 regular-season games with five starts over two seasons with the Texans and totaled 36 receptions for 435 yards and two touchdowns. Anderson has also appeared as a reserve in two playoff contests. He was released by Houston on Sept. 1, 2018.

 

    Dawson, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft with the 56th overall selection out of Florida. The 5-foot-10, 202-pounder played in all 48 games during his college career and posted 82 tackles, six interceptions with three returned for touchdowns and 23 passes defensed. As a senior in 2017, he started in all 11 games and totaled 34 tackles, four interceptions with one returned for a touchdown and nine passes defensed.

 

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Service Projects at UMass Dartmouth on 9-11


 

 

UMass Dartmouth honors September 11 with community service

 

The 8th annual 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance brings together students, faculty, staff, and community members

 

On Sunday, September 9, 2018, the UMass Dartmouth community along with Sharing the Harvest Community Farm at the Dartmouth YMCA will once again collaborate on the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance. This year’s day will consist of with two shifts: 12:00-1:30 p.m. and 2:00-3:30 p.m. This community service event, hosted by the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement, works to harvest thousands of pounds of fresh produce for local food pantries including Arnie’s Cupboard, located on campus.

 

“This event not only raises awareness about hunger issues, but the hands-on experiences of harvesting fresh produce fosters teamwork and a sense of place in the community,” said UMassD Chancellor Robert E. Johnson.

 

Last year, 250 UMass Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff harvested 12,335 pounds of fresh vegetables and removed 10,500 feet of plastic used to protect the plants during the growing season.

 

In the 2017-18 academic year, UMass Dartmouth students performed 256,978 hours of service valued at $8 million. Over 90% of the student body was involved in either service learning or community service/volunteerism. Registration for the event is encouraged. Please register here.

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The Blue Economy Grant


     UMASS Dartmouth has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the United States Department of Commerce and its economic development administration for the development of a Blue Economy corridor running along the south coast of Massachusetts.

 

     The grant will be utilized to help encourage collaboration to attract marine tech companies, talent and research funding. A Blue Economy Symposium earlier in the year on the UMASS Dartmouth campus attracted 100 higher education, government and industry administrators to discuss various challenges in the emerging marine economy.

 

     This ongoing project aims to examine the Blue Economy by looking at supply chain inventory, workforce, higher education research and challenges to exporting various products along the industry sector. 

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Sheriff Hodgson Wants To Crowdfund A Southern Border Wall


     After suggesting the advent of the Trump Administration that prison inmates might volunteer to build a proposed southern border wall between the United States and Mexico, Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson is now part of an effort to crowd fund the money necessary to build the proposed wall. 

 

     The National Sheriff's Association has created a crowd funding page called ''SheriffsWall.org.'' It promises that all the money collected would go towards the construction of a wall at the United States southern border. Sheriff Hodgson said the wall would ''stop the flow of MS-13 gang members, drug cartels and other criminal illegal aliens who continue to walk right in to the United States unabated.''

 

     Sheriff Hodgson presented President Trump with a plaque thanking him for his efforts in supporting law enforcement at his time in the capital. 

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Fall River Child Abuse Suspect Back in Custody


A 39-year-old Fall River man, who had his bail drastically reduced by a Fall River Superior Court judge despite facing serious charges of assaulting his 20-month-old daughter, has been arrested for allegedly committing another crime while out on release and is now back in custody, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

 

Carl Taylor was arrested in May, 2014, for causing substantial abuse to a toddler.  The young victim had extensive injuries and suffered seizures.  The injuries were consistent with violently shaking the baby.  The defendant has had a long history of abusive cases where he has served committed time.   

 

The defendant was then indicted in August, 2014 on charges of assault and battery on a child-causing substantial injury, assault and battery of a child with injury and reckless endangerment of a child.  He was ordered held on $20,000 cash bail at the time of his Superior Court arraignment.

 

While the case was proceeding through the system, the defendant was indicted in December of 2016 on a separate charge of witness intimidation after he allegedly attempted to have his wife confess to the crime he was charged with committing.  While he was in custody he continued to write his wife and mother, urging her to take the rap for both of them.  He stated she had a less serious criminal record, and would receive a more lenient punishment from the court.  The defendant  then allegedly wrote a letter to his lawyer, purporting to be his wife, and demanding that he go into court and plea the case. 

 

In October of 2017, despite the defendant’s lengthy criminal history, the very serious nature of the child abuse charges and the fact that he is accused of committing a new crime while the case was pending, Fall River Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire agreed to reduce the defendant’s bail from $20,000 to $0. The defendant was immediately released back to the streets to live at a sober house in Boston.

 

On July 18, 2018, the defendant was arrested in Burlington on a charge of assault and battery on a pregnant woman (his wife).  In that incident, Burlington Police were called to a local motel after the victim wanted the defendant removed from their room.  The defendant, according to police, was heavily intoxicated to the point where could hardly stand when police arrived at the hotel.  Police officers witnessed the defendant slap the pregnant victim across the face. The assault was also caught on video surveillance.

 

When he was brought into Woburn District Court for arraignment on the new charge, prosecutors from the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office successfully argued to have him held without bail for up 120 days under the state’s dangerousness statute.

 

After the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office was notified of the new arrest in Burlington, Assistant District Attorney Melissa Hendrie requested a warrant be issued for the defendant to be brought back into Fall River Superior Court for violating the condition of his release. He was eventually brought back into Fall River Superior Court late last week, at which point Judge McGuire ordered his bail to be set at $10,000 cash.

 

The defendant’s Bristol County cases have been pending for several years due to the fact that the defendant committed a new crime while in custody and the fact that he has fired four different defense attorneys. Our office has stood ready for trial since 2015.

 

“This is another example of a dangerous defendant who doesn’t belong out on the street. His bail was reduced from $20,000 all the way down to zero despite the fact that he was facing a very serious allegation and has an extensive criminal record,” District Attorney Quinn said.  “It comes as no surprise that, after being released by the court, he assaulted his pregnant wife while intoxicated.  The release of dangerous defendants needs to stop.  There is no reasonable justification for his release.”

 

 

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Patriots and Texans Injury


These Are The Offical Injury Reports for the Patriots and Texans prior to this Sunday's game at Gillette Stadium with coverage on WSAR at 10am Sunday Morning 

 

 

 

Thursday

Friday

Game Status

 

Bentley, Ja'Whaun

LB

Illness

 

Limited Participation

Dawson, Duke

DB

Hamstring

 

Limited Participation

Hollister, Jacob

TE

Hamstring

 

Limited Participation

Michel, Sony

RB

Knee

 

Limited Participation

Cannon, Marcus

T

Calf

 

Full Participation

Ebner, Nate

DB

Knee

 

Full Participation

Houston Texans

Player

Pos.

Injury

 

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

 

Game Status

Webster, Kayvon

CB

Achilles

Did Not Participate

 

Coutee, Keke

WR

Hamstring

Limited Participation

 

Ejiofor, Duke

OLB

Hamstring

Limited Participation

 

Fuller V, Will

WR

Hamstring

Limited Participation

 

Mercilus, Whitney

OLB

Hamstring

Limited Participation

 

Fairbairn, Ka'imi

K

Right Thigh

Full Participation

 

Johnson, Kevin

CB

Concussion

Full Participation

 

Bold indicates a change from the previous day's report.

 

PRACTICE PARTICIPATION

Did Not Participate in Practice

Limited Participation = Less than 100% of a player’s normal repetitions

Full Participation = 100% of a player’s normal repetitions

 

GAME STATUS DEFINITIONS:

Out = Player will not play

Doubtful = Unlikely to play

Questionable = Uncertain as to whether the player will play

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Immigrant Children Suing the Trump Administration


CHILDREN SUE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS FOR DAMAGES IN CLASS ACTION OVER TRAUMA CAUSED BY THEIR UNLAWFUL DETENTION AND SEPARATION FROM THEIR PARENTS

 

Boston, MA –   A team of Boston immigration, civil rights, and trial attorneys jointly filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of children seeking damages against Trump Administration officials for forcibly separating the children from their parents.  The complaint, which describes egregious violations of the constitutional and civil rights of immigrant children, was filed personally against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Senior Presidential Advisor Stephen Miller, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, among other Trump Administration officials who designed and implemented the ill-fated “zero tolerance” policy.

 

The lawsuit, which is believed to be the first of its kind filed nationally, seeks damages including dedicated resources for mental health services and ongoing mental health monitoring for the affected children who have suffered harm as a result of their unlawful and prolonged separation.  Many of the affected children fled persecution only to suffer a worse fate once they crossed the border with their parents. According to the lawsuit, federal officials willfully and intentionally inflicted extreme emotional suffering and trauma on children, some younger than two years of age, particularly those from Central and South America, as part of a calculated effort to deter immigrant parents from asserting their legal right to seek asylum in the United States. 

 

The complaint recites the famous Emma Lazarus sonnet inscribed on the Statue of Liberty – “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free” – and asserts that federal officials have betrayed this American tradition, betrayed the United States Constitution, and betrayed basic American values through their actions, and that they must be held accountable for all present and future suffering they have caused to these innocent children.

 

The lawsuit is filed by parents identified as “E.O.,” “L.J.,” and “F.C.” on behalf of their children, who are identified as “K.O.,” “E.O, Jr.,” and “C.J.” as well on behalf of a class of all other similarly situated children. The plaintiffs are proceeding anonymously because they fear retaliation and social stigma.  

 

The complaint describes in detail one family’s difficult journey to the United States and their experience at the border seeking refuge in this country after fleeing violence in their native Guatemala. This family’s first experience in the United States—the country they looked to for refuge from persecution in Guatemala--was allegedly the forcible separation of K.O. and E.O., Jr. from their mother. A Border Patrol agent is alleged to have physically pried K.O. away from her mother saying: “You’re going to be deported to Guatemala and we’re going to adopt your daughter.”  This act is recited as just the start of the family’s traumatic separation.

 

A second family, F.C. and his 11-year-old son, C.J., also fled life-threatening conditions in Guatemala, seeking asylum. Their prolonged separation, the damaging conditions while in detention and the multiple violations of their rights closely align with those of their co-plaintiffs and fellow class members. 

 

The lawsuit is pending in the United States District Court in Worcester, MA. The legal team will seek the earliest possible court hearing so the case moves forward expeditiously to obtain much needed resources for mental health services for the affected children, as well as damages for their suffering.

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More West Nile Virus


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced four more human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year. The cases include: a man in his 40s from Middlesex County who is hospitalized due to his illness; a man in his 60s from Bristol County who is hospitalized due to his illness; a woman in her 20s from Essex County who was hospitalized during her illness and a woman in her 80s from Suffolk County who was hospitalized during her illness.
 
This brings the total number of WNV cases in Massachusetts this year to nine. A horse from Hampshire County and a llama from Worcester County have also been diagnosed with WNV this year.
 
“The risk for additional people to get infected with WNV is ongoing,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “It is extremely important for people to take steps to avoid mosquito bites including using repellents, wearing clothing to reduce exposed skin, dumping standing water, and moving indoors when mosquitoes are present.”
 
“Even though Labor Day is the unofficial last day of summer in many people’s minds, September is still a month when we typically see many of our human cases of WNV,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “Today’s announcement illustrates why we continue to urge everyone to be vigilant about avoiding mosquito bites.”
 
In 2017, there were 6 human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts. 
 
WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms <https://www.mass.gov/service-details/west-nile-virus-wnv> tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.
 

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Another Take on The JimmyG Trade


One day, the Patriots may rue the decision to trade Jimmy Garoppolo, and some in the organization may see that day coming.

ESPN insider Adam Schefter believes that to be the case.

“I’m sure there is some [regret]. Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be a top quarterback in this league for the next decade or so. You don’t want to let a guy like that go when Tom Brady is at the tail end of his career,” Schefter said on ESPN’s “Woj Pod.”

“In a perfect world you get to hold on to both guys, and when Brady decides to walk away, Garoppolo is ready to step in and assume the throne. But, it didn’t work out like that for a variety of reasons — Jimmy’s contract was coming up, Tom is not ready to quit playing just yet. And people say that timing in life is a lot, and in this particular case it was. Because if Tom had decided a year ago that I am done, maybe they would have been able keep Garoppolo, sign him to a long-term extension. If his contract weren’t coming up at that point, maybe they could have held on to him for another year without losing him.”

The Patriots moved Garoppolo to the 49ers last October for a second-round pick. He started five games last year for the 49ers and won all five, throwing seven touchdowns to five interceptions. He signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract in the offseason.

 
 

 

“They did what they could and they took it as far as they could,” Schefter said. “They would have liked to have taken it further, but the circumstances were such that basically it had run its course. You can’t pay both quarterbacks at the end of the year. It’s just not going to work. I think that is what they ultimately realized. In the end, as much as they would have liked to keep Jimmy G, as much as people there would have liked to have kept Jimmy G.”

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BCC Has A New Primary Logo


Bristol Community College today unveiled a new logo and reaffirms its dedication to creating a “college-going culture” in the region.

 

“Many times the people who live in our communities don’t think that the college education is within reach. But we want them to know that you can attend college without racking up student debt right here at Bristol Community College.”

Laura L. Douglas, Ph.D., President, Bristol Community College

 

AUGUST 30, 2018 – Bristol Community College has unveiled its new logo and a reimagined brand identity that better represents the high-quality education and exceptional student experience offered at the college. For the first time in the college’s history, the new logo will emphasize the name of the college, Bristol, rather than its three-letter acronym, BCC. The logo has a more “collegiate” feel and will transition to a darker, more modern green with an accent color called Bristol gray. The college also announced that the new identity marks a new era in the community college’s history that reaffirms Bristol’s dedication to creating a “college-going culture” in the region.   

 

“First and foremost, we are a community college here to serve the educational needs and further the economic development of Bristol County. Through innovative curriculum and a top-rated education, we are also one of the leading higher education resources in Massachusetts,” said President Laura L. Douglas, Ph.D., Bristol Community College, who joined the college in July 2017. “When we create a college-going culture in our region, where students graduate and assume good jobs, we change lives for the better. Our new brand reaffirms this commitment to the community.” 

 

Bristol is significantly more affordable than four-year institutions and offers the same curriculum and quality education—meaning students can get the same education without racking up the student debt. It is also a comfortable place for adults who wish to begin or go back to college. Welcoming students from a wide variety of socioeconomic, cultural and educational backgrounds, the college provides a full range of associate degree and certificate programs. The college is also on the forefront of new industry and technology in the region. In 2017, Bristol received a $4.4 million grant from Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to accelerate innovative life sciences education and, most recently, leads the nation’s educational training for jobs related to offshore wind.


“We live in a place where mills, manufacturing, construction and fishing have provided jobs for decades. A place where many jobs did not require a college degree. But the mills and factories of yesterday have gone away. Manufacturing has changed, and so have other local industries. As our economy shifts and technology plays a major role in all we do, we need to raise the level of education in our region and prepare our community for new jobs that will lead us to greater prosperity,” President Douglas said. “Many times the people who live in our communities don’t think that the college education is within reach. But we want them to know that you can attend college without racking up student debt. And for those adults who are preparing for college, we offer a high school equivalency program, English as a second language courses and credit for work experience.”


What’s in a logo?


According to Joyce Brennan, Vice President of College Communications, the new brand and logo bring to the forefront the transition that has been taking place at community colleges in Massachusetts and across the country.

 

“There is a strong misconception that the community college education is somehow not on par with four-year universities,” she said. In partnership with Brandigo, a Massachusetts-based brand strategy agency, the college determined its strength is the unique educational experience offered at Bristol – one that is more affordable, tailored to their needs with greater support services built in. There are also endless opportunities that may lead directly into the job force or transfer to a four-year university. In addition, many times the instructors at the community college are also employed by four-year universities in the same community. 

 

“The new logo announces that there is a transformation taking place. The design clarifies who we are and signifies the collegiate experience that Bristol students receive. We know that some people will always refer to us as BCC. What is important to us is that everyone, no matter where they live, understands who we are and what we have to offer. Our online programs have been rapidly growing and we serve 20 towns throughout southeastern Massachusetts. Our brand must be clear, modern and represent the top-quality education every Bristol graduate receives. We are ‘one college’ with locations in Attleboro, Fall River, New Bedford, Taunton and online. It does not matter where you choose to go, you will receive the same, quality education.”

 

College Communications held more than 20 focus groups with faculty, staff, alumni, donors, current students and potential students this past spring with overwhelming positive response to the new logo prototypes, but what stood out the most, according to Brennan, was the excitement around elevating the community college’s overall perception.

 

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Tom Back In Washington


Bristol County, Mass., Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson will be in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Sept. 5, to meet with White House officials on illegal immigration matters, and to urge Congress to act on pending legislation to increase border security.

 

Sheriff Hodgson will join almost 50 other Sheriffs from across the country as a united group of elected law enforcement officers at a media event on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning. Joined by some members of Congress, this group or Sheriffs will share their experiences and public safety challenges associated with illegal aliens, and call on Congress to act on pending legislation to increase border security and reform the immigration system.

 

On Wednesday afternoon, the Sheriffs will participate in a roundtable discussion at the White House with administration officials and policymakers. Hosted by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the round table will focus on immigration, border security and efforts by some elected officials to prevent the critical collaboration of local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. These partnerships maximize law enforcement’s potential to identify criminals in communities and remove them from neighborhoods.

 

“The purpose of this visit is to express the urgency of Congress passing legislation immediately on the security aspects of immigration reform,” Sheriff Hodgson said. “It is our intention to tell Congress that their failure to deal with this issue for 20 years has made our communities less safe and has undermined our promise to the people who elected us to keep them safe.

 

“During our visit to the White House, we will discuss the challenges we face as a result of the ongoing Congressional stalemate, strategies to more easily identify criminal illegal aliens, and explore ways to expand and protect our valuable and critically important relationships with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners,” Sheriff Hodgson continued. “We will also take the opportunity to express and thank President Trump and his administration for re-establishing law enforcement’s footing to enforce our laws.

 

“America’s Sheriffs are elected by the people in their communities to keep them safe, and the continued inaction of Congress has put a major roadblock in law enforcement’s path to protecting our citizens and legal residents. It is our sworn duty to protect our citizens, and we, as Sheriffs, view this opportunity to push for meaningful immigration reform as a way to uphold our promise, our commitment, to the people who elected us to protect them.”

 

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Tribe Settles With Casino


POCASSET INDIANS SETTLE WITH TWIN RIVER-TIVERTON CASINO

 

          Chief George Spring Buffalo of the Pocasset Tribe of the Pokanoket Nation (“Tribe”) announced today that the Tribe has entered into an Agreement with Twin River-Tiverton LLC to settle all matters relating to the development of the casino on lands of historical and cultural significance to the Pocasset Tribe. 

 

          “We are excited to work together with Twin River-Tiverton in respect of the cultural and historical connection of this casino land to the Pocasset ancestors of the Tribe” said Chief Spring Buffalo.  “The Casino is built on lands that were granted by the colonial government as the first Indian reservation in the United States, and near the site of an important battle in the King Philip War” Spring Buffalo added, “and this agreement respects the cultural significance of these lands, and the historical importance of the Pocasset Tribe.  I want to thank Chief Duane Yellow Feather Shepard and Chief Daryl Black Eagle Jamieson and the support of the Tribal Council.”

 

Members of the present day Pocasset Tribe are the direct descendants of the Royal Family of the Pokanoket Nation, including Massasoit (also known as “Ousamequin”), the Sachem of the Pokanoket Nation who led his nation when the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Massasoit entered into a treaty with the Pilgrims in 1621 assuring the peaceful coexistence of the colonists and the Indians.  Massasoit’s territory extended from the eastern tip of Cape Cod through southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island to the Connecticut River, and north to the Charles River.  The Pocasset Tribe has never left its land and retained unbroken existence as a sovereign nation.  The Pocasset Tribe has been recognized as the direct descendants of the original beneficiaries and heirs to certain lands in Fall River and Tiverton, and can prove so through well-documented history.  There was a large and prosperous village of Indians throughout Tiverton, which previously was named ‘Pocasset’. 

 

          “Our history in Rhode Island is long and respected,” said Chief Spring Buffalo.  “The Tribe itself has been a significant factor in the history of the formation of our country.  There have been many books written about the Pocassets and its woman chief, Weetamoe, and all of the happenings surrounding the King Philips War, and our intent is to ensure that our culture and heritage shall be maintained in perpetuity.”  Spring Buffalo added, “it is not our intent to kick anyone off their land where they live and work . . . we are asking that the governments correct the past injustices which they allowed to happen.” 

 

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Patriots Trade With Atlanta


 

FOR IMMEDIAte RELEASE

August 31, 2018

 

PATRIOTS TRADE DB JORDAN RICHARDS TO THE ATLANTA FALCONS

 

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced that they have traded DB Jordan Richards to the Atlanta Falcons for a conditional draft pick.

        Richards, 25, is a veteran of three NFL seasons after joining New England as a second-round draft pick (64th overall) out of Stanford in the 2015 NFL Draft. The 5-foot-11, 210-pounder, has played in 41 regular-season games with seven starts and has 40 total tackles, three passes defensed, two forced fumbles and 10 special teams tackles. He has also played in five postseason games and has registered five total tackles and one special teams tackle. Last season, Richards played in all 16 games with five starts and totaled 22 tackles, once forced fumble, one pass defensed and five special teams tackles. He played in all three postseason games and added five total tackles and one special teams tackle.

 
 
 

 

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Rhode Island Triple E and WNV


 

 

 

 

 

WEEKLY MOSQUITO ADVISORY: THREE POSITIVE RESULTS FOR WEST NILE VIRUS

 

 

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces that test results from three mosquito pools, or samples, from traps set in Central Falls, Cranston, and Tiverton have been confirmed positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

 

Since July 31, eight mosquito samples from six communities – the three mentioned above plus Pawtucket, Providence, and Warren – have tested positive for WNV. Four samples have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) to date.

 

The three positive findings came from 34 mosquito traps set by DEM staff on August 20 and tested at the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) State Health Laboratories. The remaining 135 samples from the 34 traps set August 20 tested negative for WNV and EEE.

 

“These findings are not unexpected. Regional data suggest this is a higher-than-normal risk year for WNV,” said Alan Gettman, state Mosquito Abatement Coordinator. “Last week Massachusetts raised the risk level from low to moderate statewide, and Connecticut officials also have recently advised residents of increased WNV activity. Late summer-early fall always is the peak season for human risk, so it’s especially important now to take precautions if you go outside.”

 

Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that may carry WNV, EEE, or other diseases – and the most effective way to avoid infection. With WNV and EEE established throughout the state, DEM and RIDOH remind the public to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and prevent being bitten, whenever possible. The following precautions are advised:

 

  • Remove anything around your house and yard that collects water; just one cup of water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage, and repair holes in window screens.
  • Remove any water from unused swimming pools, wading pools, boats, planters, trash and recycling bins, tires, and anything else that collects water, and cover them.
  • Change the water in birdbaths at least two times a week, and rinse out birdbaths once a week.
  • Use EPA-approved bug spray with one of the following active ingredients: DEET (at least 20% strength), picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol.
  • Minimize outdoor activity at dawn and at dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Put insect netting over strollers and playpens.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants whenever possible, particularly if you are outdoors during dawn and dusk.

 

Horses are particularly susceptible to WNV and EEE. Horse owners are advised to vaccinate their animals early in the season and practice the following: 

 

  • Remove or cover areas where standing water can collect.
  • Avoid putting animals outside at dawn, dusk, or during the night when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Insect-proof facilities where possible and use approved repellants frequently.
  • Monitor animals for symptoms of fever and/or neurological signs (such as stumbling, moodiness, loss of appetite) and report all suspicious cases to a veterinarian immediately. If you are unsure if your horse is properly vaccinated you should consult with your veterinarian.

 

Visit http://www.health.ri.gov/disease/carriers/mosquitoes/ for additional mosquito prevention tips, videos, and local data. DEM and RIDOH also remind Rhode Islanders to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when traveling to Zika-affected countries. Pregnant women and women who are considering becoming pregnant should not travel to countries with active transmission of Zika.

 

Mosquitoes are trapped weekly by DEM and tested at the RIDOH State Health Laboratories. DEM issues advisories on test results from late June through September, with additional reports as necessary. Typically, positive test results trigger additional trapping to assess risk. 

 

For more information about DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov.  Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.

                                                                                                                                                       

-30-

 

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Swansea's Ruby Tuesday Closed Down


     Ruby Tuesday, which closed its Dartmouth location last Fall, has now closed an additional 3 locations including the Swansea Mall location, according to CBS 12 in Providence. The 2 other local locations that shut down were both in Rhode Island - Johnston and East Greenwich. The remaining local locations of Ruby Tuesday that remain are in Attleboro, Wrentham and Taunton. The casual dining segment continues to have issues, as big box grocery stores are offering pre-packaged fully-cooked meals. As well as a variety of delivery services offering menus that can be shipped and prepared for as low as $10 or more. 

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The Baker Admin. Helps The Swansea's Waterfront Revitalization


     The Banker Administration has announced that the town of Swansea will receive a little over $728,000 to removed 8,300 cubic yards of sediment from the Cole River. This project will support a Swansea Waterfront Revitalization Initiative, in an effort to stimulate tourism and related businesses along the Cole River through enhancement to navigation, public spaces and recreational opportunities. The National Dredging Pilot Program is part of an effort to spend some $50,000,000 for various salt water dredging projects. 

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The MassHire Event


The Commonwealth of Massachsetts, in an attempt to make employers aware of the number of people looking for work, and to steer them in the correct direction when looking to hire, has decided to brand various Career Centers under a Mass Hire name.

 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was in Fall River at the rebranded Fall River Career Center, now known as one of a network of MassHire locations, to cut a ribbon and a large cake with the new logo. 

 

Baker says its vital that employers realize that the various MassHire Centers can make their search for new hires much easier. 

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An Update to FR Top 10


The Fall River Police Department has added two fugitives to the “Top Ten Most Wanted.”

 

  1. Akil Jemmott age 26 LKA 44 Winter Street Apt #2S Fall River / Possession of a Firearm w/o FID Card, Ammunition w/o FID Card, Possess to Distribute Class A Substance, Possession of a Class A Substance, Use of a Firearm in a Felony

                                                  

             

  1. Amanda L. Pestana age 28 LKA 221 Fourth Street Apt#2 Fall River /  Possess to Distribute Class B Substance

                          

   

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of anyone listed in the TOP TEN is asked to call the Fall River Police Department at 508-676-8511 or leave your tips anonymously at 508-672-TIPS (8477)                

    

 

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Swansea Cannabis Updates


     While Plantopia Care Center Inc. was able to secure a letter of non-opposition from the three-member Swansea Board of Selectmen, Green line Dispensaries will have to wait two weeks while selectmen review the information presented after a pair of discussions last night in the community room of the Swansea Police Station on requests for non-opposition regarding medicinal and recreational marijuana in Swansea. 

 

     Plantopia must still go to the zoning board of appeals while also collecting proper documentation before a license will be granted by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. Derek Heim of the selectmen board said the requirements will ultimately met. Selectmen board member Chris Carreiro voted against the Plantopia proposal due to lack of a host agreement while he was impressed by the host agreements that Green line presented. They had a pair of host agreements drawn up and were prepared to off them to the group during their presentation. 

 

     Heim told the session he had no issue with waiting while the third member Steven Kitchen wanted time to review the information the Green line presented who will re-open discussions again in two weeks with the board. 

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Sons Of Anarchy Star Sightings In Fall River


     Principal photography is underway this week for a film starring ''Sons Of Anarchy'' lead Charlie Hunnam at sites in both Fall River and New Bedford, says the film's producers.

 

     ''Jungleland'' is a story that concerns a bare knuckle boxer and his brother who travel across the country for one final fight, before a female tavel companion complicates their relationship. Along with Fall River and New Bedford, the producers indicate that other locations will be utilized for the film including Reno, Nevada; Buffalo, NY; Gary, Indiana and San Francisco. 

 

      Ridley Scott's production firms, Scott Free Productions, is helping to produce the film. Scott is best known for his roles involved in ''Top Gun'', ''Thelma and Louise'', ''Black Hawk Down'' and  a hot of other successful hits. 

 

     The casting for extras happened earlier this month while sightings of star Hunnam has been a topic of social media locally in recent days. 

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Fall River Missing Person


Missing Person: David Viana suffers from several mental disorders and has impaired judgment. He was last seen in the area of St. Anne's Hospital. He is homeless and is known to be in the area of Columbia Street. He is 61 years of age, 5'11", 137 lbs, blue eyes and grey hair. If you have information regarding his whereabouts please contact Detective Sarah Reis of the Major Crimes Division at 508-324-2796.

Image may contain: 1 person

 

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Heat Advisory In Effect Until Wednesday - 9:00 p.m


     A heat advisory that began at 10:00 a.m today will be in effect until 9:00 p.m on Wednesday. Due to temperatures reaching anywhere in the 90s depending on your location, heat index values could be up up to 103 and dew points in the lower 70s. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during outdoor exertion or extended exposure outside. Most of Southern New England will be affected by this brief period of the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity. Heat illnesses will becomes possible because of these conditions so drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sunshine and check up on relatives and neighbors, especially elderly.

 

     Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside reschedule strenuous activities to the early morning or evening. Learn and understand the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the occupational safety and health administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone who is overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded place - Heat Stroke is an emergency so call 9-1-1. 

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Atlantis Charter School Transportation


     On Tuesday night at a special town meeting of the Fall River City Council an amended agreement was approved with Atlantis Charter School regarding a fleet of six Tremblay Buses and a pair of S.R.T.A buses to use Dickinson Street for inbound. This will take place between 6:45 and 9:00 a.m on week day mornings. And then between 2:00 and 4:40 p.m during the afternoons. This will excludes days of early dismassal and emergency situations as a mans of giving any student who needs a ride an option to make it to school on-time. 

 

      Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia ll must now sign the agreement between the city of Fall River and the Atlantis Charter School to make the approved council amendment official.

 

     Also, a pair of loan orders for the Watson and Tansey School repairs worth 10.2 millions dollars and 3 million dollars respectively were authorized to publish by the council. It was sent to the finance committee for their consideration likely at some point in September. 

 

     

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Gasoline Prices This Summer


Labor Day Wraps Up Highest Summer at the Pump Since 2014

August 28, 2018


Motorists had to put in nearly two hours of 'labor' to fill their tanks

BOSTON – Consumers have seen the most expensive summer at the pump since 2014 with an average of $2.73 per gallon thus far, according to GasBuddy, the only smartphone app connecting drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop.

The average gas price over Labor Day weekend is expected to be $2.84 per gallon, a 20 cent increase from Labor Day 2017.

“It’s been consistently a more painful summer at the pump than what we’ve been accustomed to when compared to the last few summers,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Without major hurricanes, we should continue to see prices gently decline in the weeks ahead as demand begins to slow into the autumn, wrapping up the priciest summer at the pump since 2014, but overall, with a moderately less sting than what we saw earlier on this decade. Next year may follow in this year’s footsteps with higher Labor Day gas prices, so what we’re upset about this year could bring nostalgic memories next year. Enjoy it while it lasts.”

While gas prices have remained high, motorists have worked hard to fill their tanks. Taking into account the average wages across the nation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American needs to perform an hour and 48 minutes of labor to earn enough money to fill a tank of gasoline.



When gas prices were $3.58 per gallon during the summer of 2014, motorists had to work 2 hours and 30 minutes to fill their tank, and in 2008 when gas prices were $3.84 per gallon, motorists had to work 3 hours to fill their tanks.

On average, motorists  have also shelled out more than $1.11 billion per day on gasoline purchases this season, up from a decade low of $912 million per day during the summer of 2016. This summer’s total fuel bill, while the highest since 2015, will still be the third lowest since 2011.

While gas prices have remained high, there has been remarkably little movement in gas prices throughout the summer, with the a difference of just 13 cents between the national average’s summer (June 1-Sept. 1) low and high. It represents the smallest difference between low and high since 2010, when the low and high were just 11 cents apart. The same period in 2017 saw a difference of 29 cents between the low and high while the difference was 27 cents in 2016. The most volatile summer, 2005, saw a difference of 91 cents per gallon- prices dropped as low as $2.08 before surging to $2.99 later in the summer due to Hurricane Katrina.

While some have chosen to sweat more to pay the higher fuel bill, smart drivers have turned to Pay with GasBuddy, which offers savings and yearly plans so motorists can pay lower prices. To learn more, visit pay.gasbuddy.com.

 

 

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Labor Day Travel in MA


MassDOT: Labor Day Travel Advisory

 

Scheduled construction will shut down Friday, August 31, through Tuesday, September 4

 

Free coffee will be served at MassDOT service plazas overnight on Monday, September 4

 

I-93 HOV lane will have extended afternoon hours Thursday and Friday, and will be closed Monday, September 4

 

 

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is encouraging Labor Day travelers to make informed decisions, utilize all the available technology tools including www.mass511.com, and consider public transportation if possible to reach destinations.

 

“Everyone who will be traveling throughout the Labor Day weekend should make smart decisions and plan ahead in order to minimize congestion and help ensure efficient travel,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “We encourage members of the public to try out resources such as mass511.com, which shows live conditions and traffic cameras, utilize navigational resources to find the best route and time to travel, and check www.mbta.com for public transit schedules and information.”

 

MassDOT is taking several steps to ensure reliable travel for members of the public who utilize transportation systems across the Commonwealth and will be shutting down scheduled roadway construction for the Labor Day travel period effective at noon, Friday, August 31, per MassDOT’s long-standing policy for holiday weekends. Scheduled road work will then resume at the start of normal business hours on Tuesday, September 4.

 

“With higher traffic volumes expected on roadways across the Commonwealth throughout the Labor Day period, we are advising travelers to make appropriate choices before getting behind the wheel and leaving for their destinations,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “People should exercise safe driving behavior such as minimizing distractions, remaining sober or using a designated driver, obeying posted speed limits, and devoting their full attention to the road ahead of them.”

 

The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy will have normal morning hours this week and open early for the afternoon commute at 2 p.m., on Thursday, August 30, and 1 p.m., on Friday, August 31.  The HOV lane will be closed on Monday, September 3, and will then re-open for regularly scheduled hours on Tuesday, September 4.

 

The additional “swing lane” on Route 1A southbound at the Sumner Tunnel will have extended hours by opening at 3 p.m., on Friday, August 31, and remaining open through 5 a.m., Tuesday, September 4.

 

Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 p.m. Monday, September 3, through 5 a.m., Tuesday, September 4.  The plazas serving free coffee include 11 service plazas along I-90 plus plazas along Route 3 in Plymouth, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 128/I-95 in Newton and Lexington, Route 6 in Barnstable, and the Route 24 northbound and southbound plazas.

 

MassDOT’s Emergency Services Programs, sponsored by MAPFRE, will be increasing patrols on all major roadways to support roadside assistance needs. Requests for assistance can be initiated by calling 911.

 

The MBTA has also released the following information regarding travel on Labor Day, Monday, September 3:

 

  • All subway and commuter rail lines, buses, trackless trolleys, and commuter rails will operate on a Sunday schedule.
  • All ferries and boats will operate on a Sunday schedule.
  • The RIDE will operate on a Sunday schedule.
  • For more information: https://www.mbta.com/holidays

 

For traffic and road conditions, drivers may use the following options to make decisions:

 

  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.
  • Download Waze, the real-time traffic navigation app that provides motorists with real-time traffic conditions across Massachusetts.
  • Visit mass511.com to view travel times, road construction, traffic alerts or crashes along a route. Incidents, road closures, lane closures, real-time live traffic cameras, and weather alerts/forecasts, can all be viewed on the interactive live Traffic Map.
  • Dial 511 from a landline or cell phone to hear information on current conditions on major roadways.
  • Register for a Mass511 account to create and personalize routes and alerts to be notified of events on those routes ahead of time.
  • Check MassDOT Highway Traffic and Travel Resources.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT as incidents that impact traffic flow are generally mentioned in tweets if they occur on the state’s major highways.

 

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers reports that there will be no lane restrictions on the Sagamore Bridge or Bourne Bridge during the Labor Day weekend period.

 

Customers are also advised that the Registry of Motor Vehicles offices are closed for the designated state holiday of Labor Day on Monday, September 3. Please visit at any hour of the day the RMV online at www.mass.gov/rmv to skip the line and perform many transactions. In addition, AAA members now have the opportunity to conduct many RMV services at numerous AAA branch office locations in Massachusetts during AAA normal business hours.

 

Drivers are reminded to avoid littering on roadways. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $5,500 for the first offense.

 

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wishes all members of the public a safe and enjoyable holiday.

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West Nile in MA


State health officials announce first three human cases and one horse case of West Nile virus in Massachusetts

Residents urged to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites

 

BOSTON ( August 24, 2018)  - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced the first three human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year. One is a woman in her 70s from Worcester County who was hospitalized but has since been discharged. The second is a woman in her 60s from Middlesex County who was not hospitalized during her illness. The third is a woman in her 50s from Suffolk County who was hospitalized but has been discharged. A horse, stabled in Hampshire County, also was infected, became severely ill and had to be euthanized.

 

On Tuesday, DPH raised the risk level for West Nile virus from low to moderate in every Massachusetts city and town. It was only the second time since WNV was first detected in the commonwealth in 2000 that public health officials have raised the risk level statewide.

 

“There has been an increase in WNV-infected mosquitoes identified this year throughout the state, an indication that the risk is widespread and ongoing,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “That means that this year, it is extremely important for people to take steps to avoid mosquito bites including using repellents, wearing clothing to reduce exposed skin, dumping standing water, and moving indoors when you notice mosquitoes biting you.”

 

“August and September are the months when we typically see more human cases because it is the beginning of the peak season for possible West Nile virus human infections,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “These new human cases illustrate why we informed people about the increased risk for human infections earlier this week.”

 

In 2017, there were 6 human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts.

 

WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.

 

People can take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes.

 

Avoid Mosquito Bites

Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)], or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

 

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.

 

Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors to help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

 

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change the water in birdbaths frequently.

 

Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

 

Protect Your Animals

Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is diagnosed with WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.

 

More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Opioid Numbers


Year over year opioid-related overdose deaths decline in Massachusetts; opioid prescriptions fall 30 percent

 

The presence of fentanyl continues to rise, now a factor in nearly 90 percent of deaths

 

BOSTON (August 24, 2018) – Opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts have fallen steadily over the past three quarters even as the presence of fentanyl in overdose deaths reached an all-time high.  The presence of fentanyl in the toxicology of those who died from opioid-related overdose deaths rose to nearly 90 percent in 2018, underscoring its impact as the driving force behind the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, according to the latest quarterly opioid-related deaths report released today by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).

 

The report illustrates the changing nature of the epidemic, with cocaine now surpassing heroin in the toxicology for opioid-related deaths, beginning with the fourth quarter of 2017 (October through December). Today, DPH officials reissued a June clinical advisory to all medical providers to warn them about the increase of fentanyl in cocaine.

 

Overall in 2017 there was a 4 percent decrease in opioid-related overdose deaths from 2016.  The data also shows that the Commonwealth has experienced a 30 percent decline in opioid prescriptions since the launch of the Massachusetts Prescription Monitoring Program (MassPAT) in August 2016.  Between April and June 2018, searches by registered prescribers to MassPAT increased by 100,000 searches over the previous quarter, making it the largest increase in searches conducted in a single quarter.

 

“The opioid epidemic is a tragic public health crisis that has taken scores of lives in our Commonwealth, and while we have much work to do, there continue to be trends related to a decline in overdose deaths and a decline in the number of opioid prescriptions written by physicians,” said Governor Baker.  “This quarterly report provides a new level of data revealing an unsettling correlation between high levels of synthetic fentanyl present in toxicology reports and overdose death rates. It is critically important that the Commonwealth understand and study this information so we can better respond to this disease and help more people.  The legislation I signed earlier this month adds another set of tools to our toolkit, including requiring all emergency departments to offer medication-assisted treatment in emergency departments and extending medication-assisted treatment in correctional facilities.”

 

“Our administration is devoted to addressing the opioid epidemic using every tool available, and detailed reports like this are critically important to ongoing and future efforts ranging from treatment to criminal justice,” said Lt. Governor Polito. 

 

Earlier this month, Governor Baker signed An Act for prevention and access to appropriate care and treatment of addiction which is the second major legislative action by the Baker-Polito Administration to address the opioid crisis since taking office in 2015-- efforts widely regarded as a blueprint for the nation.

 

This latest quarterly report found that the rate of synthetic fentanyl present in the toxicology of opioid-related overdose deaths continues to rise --  detected in about  40 percent of deaths in 2014 to nearly 90 percent of cases in the first quarter of 2018. As of last October through December, cocaine has surpassed heroin in the toxicology for opioid-related overdose deaths.

 

Earlier this year, Governor Baker also signed legislation to empower law enforcement by holding fentanyl and carfentanil traffickers more accountable.

 

“When you look at the trend lines over time, while the results of our efforts are having an impact, we must double down on our efforts to implement treatment strategies that meet the needs of the highest risk individuals and communities,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders.

 

This report updated the total number of estimated and confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017 to 2,071, which is 83 fewer deaths than the 2,154 estimated and confirmed deaths in 2016, representing a decrease of 4 percent. There was an increase in opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017 for non-Hispanic black males, whose death rates increased from 21.5 per 100,000 in 2016 to 31.2 per 100,000 in 2017.

 

“The increase in the opioid-related death rate among blacks, but especially black males, is concerning,’’ said Public Health Commission Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. ``We will be targeting our community outreach and public awareness  campaigns to these individuals as we remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce the impact of this preventable disease on all Massachusetts families and communities.”

 

Other findings of the 2018 Q2 report include: 

 

  • In the first six months of 2018, there were a total of 1,017 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths, compared to 975 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths in the first six months of 2017.
  • Opioid-related overdose deaths have fallen for the last three consecutive quarters – from 527 deaths in the fourth quarter last year (October to December) to 519 deaths in the first quarter of this year (January to March) to 497 deaths in the second quarter of this year (April to June).
  • Approximately 258,000 individuals in Massachusetts received prescriptions for Schedule II opioids in the second quarter of 2018 -- more than a 30 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2015, when 390,532 individuals received prescriptions.
  • In the second quarter of 2018, registered users of the Massachusetts Prescription Monitoring Program (MassPAT) conducted an additional 100,000 searches from the previous quarter, which is the largest increase in a single quarter.  DPH officials attribute the increase to the integration of Electronic Health Records into the MassPAT system.
  • The percentage of opioid-related overdose deaths where prescription drugs were present trended downward from 2014 through 2016 and has remained stable since then. In the first quarter of 2018, 19 percent of opioid-related overdose deaths had prescription opioids present in toxicology. 
  • In the first quarter of 2018, the greatest number of suspected opioid Emergency Medical Services overdose incidents continued to be among males aged 25-34, accounting for 25 percent of opioid-related incidents with a known age and gender. 
  • The number of confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths for 2017 is updated to 1,909.
  • The number of confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths for 2016 is updated to 2,089.
  • The number of confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths for 2015 is updated to 1,685.

 

Massachusetts is recognized as a national leader in addressing the opioid epidemic and was the first state in the nation to implement a 7-day limit of first-time opioid prescriptions and to launch core competencies for safe prescribing of opioids in the state’s medical schools, community health centers, nursing, physician assistant, dental schools and schools of social work.

 

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has doubled spending to address the opioid crisis and increased capacity by more than 1,200 treatment beds, including 818 adult substance use treatment beds at different treatment levels.  In addition, the Administration is investing nearly $220 million over five years from the federally approved 1115 Medicaid waiver, which began in fiscal year 2018, to meet the needs of individuals with addictions and/or co-occurring disorders.

 

For more information on the Commonwealth’s response to the opioid epidemic as well as links to the latest data, visit www.mass.gov/opioidresponse. To get help for a substance use disorder, visit www.helplinema.org or call the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline at (800) 327-5050.

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The Speed Boats Are Back


Watch the speed boats arrive at the Borden Light Marina (52 Ferry Street) Today, Friday, August 24th.

 

On Saturday, August 25th

There will be a Boat Parade at 5pm from The Gates of the City to Kennedy Park.

 

Fireworks display at 9pm. Viewing available at the Borden Light Marina & Kennedy Park.

 

Sunday, August 26th

Races on the water at 12pm-2pm-345pm

 

Viewing available at the Borden Light Marina &  The Fall River Line Pier (Gates open at 11am)

 

Food trucks will be in attendance at both the Marina & State Pier!

 

Bring a chair or have a seat on the bleachers to enjoy this great spectacle!

 

 

 

 

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Rhode Island Pushes Back On Guns In Schools


Governor's Office

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 23, 2018

CONTACT:

Mike Raia 

michael.raia@governor.ri.gov

401-222-8134

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Local Education Leaders Stand with Raimondo in Opposition to Trump-DeVos Plan to Arm Teachers

 

PROVIDENCE, RI - Earlier today, Governor Gina M. Raimondo came out in opposition to the Trump-DeVos plan to use federal dollars to purchase firearms for teachers. Since she's been Governor, Rhode Island has taken major steps to strengthen the state's gun laws, including new legislation that takes guns away from domestic abusers, a strong red flag law and a statewide ban of bump stocks.

 

"Guns don't belong in schools and federal education dollars certainly should not be used to purchase firearms. This reported plan won't make our schools safer and will serve only to steal essential funding from our children," Governor Raimondo said earlier today. "As long as I am Governor, I will stand up against the Trump Administration and fight for stronger gun safety laws. I'll fight to change our laws to keep guns out of schools and fight hard to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines."

 

The leaders of two of the state's largest teacher associations are standing up with Governor Raimondo in opposition to this dangerous proposal reportedly coming out of Washington.

 

"I am absolutely appalled that Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos would endorse or even allow the use or diversion of federal education funds to arm teachers. Many of our schools are resource-starved. We need every dollar available for additional staff, books, supplies, and technology to improve instruction for our students," said Frank Flynn, President of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers. "The answer to preventing gun violence in schools is to restrict the presence of guns, not increase it. This idea would make schools less safe."

 

"Putting guns in schools is the last thing we should be doing," said Larry Purtill, President of the National Education Association of Rhode Island. "Educators do not want to be armed or have more guns in schools. We should be focusing on keeping schools gun-free, providing more mental health services, and listening to educators, students and parents. If you are going to help educators, then provide the materials they need to help every student be successful. That is the goal in RI and we need to do everything possible to keep students safe. This idea does just the opposite."

 

Rhode Island remains one of just several states that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms into schools. The Governor supports efforts to change the law and prohibit guns from schools, except for law enforcement.

 

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UMass Law School Numbers


UMass Law first-year enrollment grows in size and quality

 

Fall 2018 cohort 17.5 percent larger than 2017, 42 percent higher than 2016, and enters with higher LSAT scores.

The UMass School of Law, which began classes this week, saw a 17.5 percent increase in its first-year student enrollment, from 80 to 94 students, while continuing its steady improvement in the LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs of incoming students.

 

The 2018 first-year enrollment is a 42 percent increase over 2016, the year the school received full American Bar Association accreditation.

 

Applications to the UMass Dartmouth-based school increased 20.2 percent, from 782 to 940. UMass Law has also become more selective, accepting 57 percent of its applicants, down from 64 percent last year. Improvements in LSAT scores and selectivity is a predictor of higher bar pass rates.

 

“UMass Law is fast becoming recognized as a top choice for aspiring attorneys,” UMass Law Dean Eric Mitnick said. “The combination of lower cost, personalized learning experience, and bar pass and employment success represents a highly attractive value for students from Massachusetts and beyond.”

 

The first-year students entering in fall 2018 are from 12 different counties, 25 different states, and 71 different undergraduate institutions. The average age of the incoming class is 27, ranging from 21 to 61.

 

 

More about UMass Law

 

The UMass School of Law was established in 2010 and earned full ABA accreditation in 2016.

 

The school’s 2017 first-time bar pass rate (72.73 percent) was 5th in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, behind just Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern.

 

The school ranks 4th in Massachusetts and Rhode Island behind just Harvard, Boston College, and Northeastern in the percentage of its graduates securing a job that either requires bar passage or for which attending law school is a genuine demonstrable advantage.

 

In 2017, UMass Law ranked #1 in New England and #11 in the nation for percentage of graduates in public service jobs (27 percent).

 

The school is among the most diverse law schools in New England with approximately 30 percent of its students being persons of color.

 

Every UMass Law student is required to perform 30 hours of pro bono service (the average actual pro bono service performed by students is approximately 150 hours).

 

UMass Law students have delivered more than 117,000 hours of pro bono legal services to the community since 2010.

UMass Law operates Justice Bridge, a law practice incubator in New Bedford and Boston that matches recent law graduates with seasoned mentors to provide legal services to individuals who otherwise could not afford representation.

 

Since 2014, Justice Bridge has served thousands of modest means clients in housing, family, and immigration cases.

Recent awards include: 2017 Massachusetts Bar Association Public Service Award, 2017 Massachusetts Bar Association Oliver Wendell Holmes Scholarship, 2018 Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association Scholarship, Library of Congress Award (national top 10 student law review article).

 

UMass Law houses legal clinics focused on community development, criminal prosecution, human rights, immigration, and tribal law.

 

Faculty research focuses on patent law, drone regulation, gender violence, law and religion, marriage equality, freedom of information, immigration, privacy, and comparative law

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Somebody Has The Measles


STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS ALERT RESIDENTS ABOUT

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO MEASLES AT AN AREA HOSPITAL AND OTHER LOCATIONS

Those exposed or developing symptoms are urged to call their healthcare provider

 

BOSTON (August, 23, 2018) The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed a case of measles which was diagnosed at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC).  The individual, during their infectious period, was in a number of locations that could have resulted in exposures to other people. Measles is very contagious and people who are not immune and visited the locations on the below specified dates may be at risk for developing measles or may now be developing symptoms of the disease.  Anyone who visited these locations on any of these dates during the times listed is advised to contact their health care provider to confirm their immunization status.

 

DPH urges all those who do not know their measles immunization status to get vaccinated with at least one dose of Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.  Measles vaccine given within 72 hours of exposure may prevent measles disease, and vaccination beyond this window will provide protection from subsequent exposures. Lahey hospital has been reaching out to individuals at high risk of exposure, and is collaborating with DPH and local health authorities to ensure that all exposed individuals have this information.

 

Exposures to this individual may have occurred at the following locations and times:

Facility:                                                                 Location:                                             Dates and times

Logan Airport Terminal B                              Boston                                                  8/15, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Lexington High School Library                     251 Waltham St., Lexington         8/16, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Irving H. Mabee Town Pool Complex      80 Worthen Rd., Lexington          8/19, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Lahey Outpatient Center, Lexington       16 Hayden Ave., Lexington          8/20, 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

LHMC, Burlington                                             Emergency Department               8/20, 1:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

LHMC, Burlington                             Inpatient Units 7 Central, 6 Central and 5 Central (ICU and CCU)                                                8/20 from 8:00 p.m. to 8/21 at 9:00 p.m.

 

Those who were exposed and begin to develop symptoms of measles should call their healthcare provider before visiting an office, clinic or emergency department. Visiting a healthcare facility may put others at risk and should be avoided. Anyone who has had measles in the past or has received two doses of the vaccine is unlikely to develop measles even if exposed.

 

Early symptoms of measles occur 10 days to 2 weeks after exposure and may resemble a cold (with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes) and a rash occurs on the skin 2-4 days after the initial symptoms develop. The rash usually appears first on the head and then moves downward. The rash typically lasts a few days and then disappears in the same order. 

 

People with measles may be contagious up to four days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears.

 

People who have had measles in the past or who have been vaccinated against measles per CDC recommendations are considered immune. The CDC recommendations are:

  • Children. Children should receive their first dose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12-15 months.  School-aged children need two doses of MMR vaccine. 
  • Adults. Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain groups at high risk need two doses of MMR, such as international travelers, health care workers, and college students. Adults born in the U.S. before 1957 are considered to be immune to measles from past exposures. 

 

“Fortunately, most people have been vaccinated against measles,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “Our efforts now are to identify people who may be at risk of getting ill and to get them vaccinated.  If they become ill we ask them to telephone their providers rather than going directly to a healthcare facility.” 

 

For additional information, contact your local health department or DPH at 617-983-6800.  Further information is available on the DPH website at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/factsheets/measles.pdf

 

 

 

 

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Tom Has A New Helmet


In a final session with the media before the Patirots leave for their third pre season game versus Carolina on Friday, Quarterback Tom Brady says he likes his new helmet, replacing one he had worn for over 10 seasons. 

 

The new helmet is designed to protect players from concussions; Brady is thought to have suffered several concussions during his 19 season NFL Career. 

 

The new helmet also has a different style facemask, which Brady says affords him better vision reading defenses and looking downfield. 

 

WSAR will carry the season opener from Gillette on Sunday April 9 versus Houston with coverage at 10am and a 1pm kickoff. 

 

 

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The Red Sox 2019 Schedule


The Red Sox will open their 2019 season in Seattle on Thursday, March 28, and will open the Fenway Park home slate on April 9 versus Toronto. 

The Sox will also spend a pair of days in London versus the New York Yankees in the first regular season MLB games played in Europe;  those games happen during the final weekend in June. 

The Sox season in 2019 will close on September 25 in Texas. 

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New Bedford Man Who Viciously Attacked Fiance Sentenced to Prison


A 28-year-old New Bedford man who viciously attacked his fiancé earlier this year was sentenced to serve four to six years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

 

Haikeem Stephenson pleaded guilty this week in Fall River Superior Court to a multi-count indictment, charging him with aggravated assault and battery-causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery on a family or household member and witness intimidation.

 

On February 2nd of this year, the female victim reported to New Bedford Police that on January 31 her fiancé began arguing with her. The defendant punched her in the face with a closed fist. She then grabbed her phone and told him that she was going to call the police. The defendant then slapped the phone out of her hand to prevent her from calling.

 

The defendant continued to beat her, punching her all over her body. The defendant then got on top of victim while on the bed and continued punching. Once the victim was able to get up, the defendant punched her nose and she fell to the floor. The victim told police her nose began to bleed and swell immediately. The victim stated she lost consciousness for about five seconds.

 

The defendant then helped her to the bathroom, so she could attend to the nose bleed. While continuing to yell at her, the defendant asked her if she took the phone with her to the bathroom to call the police. The victim told police she was afraid of the defendant and that is why she didn’t report the assault right away.

 

During her interview with police, officers took photos of her bruises. Her face was bruised with a visible black eye. There were also bruises on her left arm, shoulder, thigh, and legs. The victim obtained an emergency restraining order and went to St. Luke’s Hospital,  where she learned that she had a broken nose and was referred to a specialist.

 

At the time of the incident, the defendant was on probation for an assault with intent to murder case out of Fall River.

 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Courtney Cahill, the chief of DA Quinn’s Domestic Violence Unit, and the state prison sentence was handed down by Judge Thomas McGuire.

 

“It is unfortunate that the defendant did not take advantage of the opportunity for redemption given to him by the court in his previous case,” District Attorney Quinn said. “This was a brutal assault. The defendant presents a danger to the community and needed to be taken off the streets.”

 

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Boston Heroin Conviction with Local Connections


Dominican National Pleads Guilty to Heroin and Fentanyl Conspiracy

BOSTON – The alleged leader of a Boston-based heroin and fentanyl trafficking organization pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston.

Jose Antonio Lugo-Guerrero, a/k/a Fernando Rivera-Rodriguez, 40, who formerly resided in Mattapan, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin, more than 400 grams of fentanyl, and more than five kilograms of cocaine, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled sentencing for Nov. 27, 2018. In February 2017, Lugo-Guerrero was arrested and charged along with 22 co-defendants.  

From mid-2016 through February 2017, federal law enforcement investigated two drug trafficking organizations operating in Taunton and Boston; the former led by Fernando Hernandez, and the latter led by Jose Antonio Lugo-Guerrero. Hernandez’s organization sold heroin and fentanyl to customers who re-distributed a portion of the drugs they obtained. Hernandez obtained drugs from a network of suppliers that included Lugo-Guerrero.

Lugo-Guerrero sold kilograms of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine to customers in Boston, New Bedford, Fall River, and surrounding areas. The evidence, including federal wiretaps in late 2016 and early 2017, further showed that he obtained some of the drugs he sold by robbing other drug dealers. On Nov. 3, 2016, Lugo-Guerrero and five co-defendants traveled to New Bedford panning to rob a drug dealer who had stolen half a kilogram of heroin from Lugo-Guerrero. At Lugo-Guerrero’s direction, one of the co-defendants transported a firearm and provided it to another co-defendant just before the attempted robbery. Based on intercepted communications, law enforcement agents were aware of the planned robbery and stopped and questioned the defendants before it occurred. As a result, Lugo-Guerrero aborted his plan that night and returned to Boston. 

In February 2018, Hernandez was sentenced to 188 months (15½ years) in prison after pleading guilty in November 2017. The court found that Hernandez was responsible for distributing more than a kilogram of heroin over a two-month period in the summer of 2016.

Lugo Guerrero faces a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison and up to life, a minimum of five years of supervised release, a fine of up to $4 million, and will be deported upon completion of his sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Fall River Police Chief Albert F. Dupere; New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro; Taunton Police Chief Edward James Walsh; Boston Police Commissioner William Gross; Bridgewater Police Chief Christopher Delmonte; and Bristol Country District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted Heinrich of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.

 

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MA Climate Change Legislation Now Law


Governor Baker Signs Legislation Directing $2.4 Billion to Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental Protection, and Community Investments

Law Will Continue the Baker-Polito Administration’s Leadership on Climate Change Resiliency and Environmental Stewardship

 

QUINCY – Governor Charlie Baker today ceremonially signed bipartisan legislation to authorize over $2.4 billion in capital allocations for investments in safeguarding residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, protecting environmental resources, and improving recreational opportunities. Consistent with the Baker-Polito Administration’s previously filed legislationAn Act Promoting Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental and Natural Resource Protection and Investment in Recreational Assets and Opportunity (H. 4835) enables critical environmental investments at the state and local levels and will put into law essential components of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569 establishing an integrated strategy for climate change adaptation across the Commonwealth, including the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant program and the Statewide Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation Plan.

 

“Massachusetts is a national leader in addressing the threat of climate change and proactively preparing for its impacts, and I am proud to sign this bipartisan bill to build on those efforts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Commonwealth is now positioned to increase our resiliency to climate change, protect the environment, and improve recreational opportunities. We look forward to working with our legislative and local partners to build a cleaner and more sustainable Commonwealth.”

 

“Our Administration has made planning for the impacts of climate change a priority, and this legislation builds on our innovative efforts to collaborate with municipalities and stakeholders to address this challenge,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The strategic investments in this bill will allow us to continue our strong partnership with local communities to preserve our beautiful natural resources for generations to come and improve the quality of life for citizens in every corner of the Commonwealth.”

 

Recognizing the significant impact of climate change on coastal and inland communities, the legislation authorizes $501 million to respond to and prepare for extreme weather, sea level rise, inland flooding and other climate impacts:

  • $290 million will be used to fund improvements and repairs to dams and seawalls and to implement diverse coastal resiliency strategies
  • $75 million will provide planning and action grants to communities through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program
  • $100 million will be invested in implementing the Commonwealth’s Integrated State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan.

 

Further expanding the Baker-Polito Administration’s Executive Order 569, the legislation codifies the commitments under the Executive Order, including issuance of, and ongoing updates to, an integrated, state-wide hazard mitigation and adaptation plan, continuation of the MVP program, and support for ongoing state agency climate change vulnerability assessments.

 

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to the improvement of our incredible portfolio of state land and recreational facilities, and is proud that this legislation will address deferred maintenance and recreational opportunities,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Additionally, this legislation provides important protections to the Commonwealth’s historic and vital fishing and agricultural industries, while allowing us to better protect and conserve Massachusetts’ air, land, and water.”

 

Continuing the Baker-Polito Administration’s dedication to ensuring all Massachusetts residents have high-quality access to outdoor recreational opportunities, the legislation authorizes $665 million to enable investment in deferred maintenance and recreational resource stewardship across state government – including $25 million for the expansion and interconnection of trails through the MassTrails program and $400 million for Department of Conservation and Recreation recreational facilities across the Commonwealth. 

 

The legislation allocates $581 million to continue supporting communities around the Commonwealth and the environmental stewardship work they do, including:

  • $405 million for community investment grant programs for municipalities, regional planning agencies and other eligible entities
  • $35 million for tree planting and forest land protection programs 
  • $55 million for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets Program which provides funding to communities to provide safe and accessible options for all travel modes - walking, biking, transit and vehicles. 

 

The legislation also includes over $474 million to support environmental programs at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies ranging from air and water quality monitoring to hazardous waste cleanup and the restoration of rivers, wetlands, streams, and lakes. This includes an additional $60 million for the Commonwealth’s Clean Water Trust to continue its strong partnership with cities and towns in developing water infrastructure projects.

 

To protect the Commonwealth’s maritime industry, the legislation will allow the Department of Fish and Game to update decades-old fines and penalty schedules for marine fisheries violations, including doubling non-criminal fines and increasing criminal penalties. To ensure the continued viability of Massachusetts’ agricultural industry and protect family farms, the legislation reduces the estate tax on farmland in agricultural use for at least 10 years. 

 

“Through hard work and collaboration, I am proud that the House and Senate, along with Governor Baker’s administration, have passed a thorough and comprehensive environmental bond bill,” State Representative David Nangle (D-Lowell), House Chair of Environmental Bond Bill Conference Committee. “Included in the legislation are strong new policies and initiatives that will help protect our vital natural resources, as well as funding for dozens of projects throughout our state that will help our cities and towns maintain and grow our greenspaces, parks, and critical seacoast infrastructures.”

 

“I'm grateful for the Governor's support for this important legislation,” said State Senator William Brownsberger (D-Belmont), Senate Chair of Environmental Bond Bill Conference Committee. “I’m also grateful for the strong collaboration between the House and Senate in preparing the legislation.”

 

“An investment in our environment is an investment in our future, and I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their leadership and support towards our Commonwealth’s environmental, agricultural and state climate adaptation programs,” said State Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox), Chairman for the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. “This legislation aims to impact every corner of the Commonwealth. Whether that be through coastal infrastructure, land protection conservation, or even hazardous waste management, we are ensuring that Massachusetts will remain at the forefront of creating strong, environmental policy.”

 

“As a member of the conference committee, I am proud to have worked with my colleagues in the State Legislature and the Baker-Polito Administration to pass legislation that will assist cities and towns in their work to protect the environment and enhance the Commonwealth’s recreational resources,” said State Senator Don Humason (R-Westfield). “In the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire district, this bill will provide essential resources to our local communities as they look to improve storm water management, maintain and improve parks and waterways, and make necessary repairs and enhancements to local bridges and bike paths.”

 

“The bond bill is a reflection of the varied environmental priorities throughout the state,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Senate Chair of Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Committee. “Working with our farmers, foresters, and various environmental groups and individuals, it shows a strong commitment to the preservation and conservation of our natural resources.”

 

“Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration for introducing this Environmental Bond Bill legislation that demonstrates why Massachusetts is a leader in environmental stewardship,” said State Representative Donald Berthiaume Jr. (R-Spencer). “This funding will continue the cooperation between state and local governments on these critical projects to preserve our resources for many years to come.”

 

“The Baker-Polito Administration continues its unprecedented commitment to cities and towns across the Commonwealth with the signing of this vital bipartisan legislation,” said Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch. “In Quincy, we know all too well just how vulnerable our coastal neighborhoods and infrastructure truly are, and this bill makes protecting those assets a major priority across the Commonwealth.”

 

“With the robust environmental bond signed into law, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature have made a significant commitment to help the people of Massachusetts avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable as we face the impacts of climate change,” said Steve Long, Director of Government Relations at the Nature Conservancy. “The Nature Conservancy applauds the bond and welcomes its emphasis on utilizing nature-based solutions—such things as reconnecting flood plains, restoring barrier beaches, and conserving additional forest land to naturally remove carbon pollution from the air. Nature-based solutions can enhance safety and avoid community costs by taking advantage of nature’s services.”

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FR Missing Person


The Fall River Police Department is seeking assistance in locating Richard Todd Fitts, a missing and endangered adult male.

 

   Richard was last seen by his father John on June 8, 2018, when he dropped him off at the train station in Providence. Richard was in route to Dudley Square Boston, it is unknown whether he made it there or not.

 

Additional information can be found on WSARs Facebook Page 

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Boston Area Lane Closures


Lane Closures: Leverett Connector Ramp to Storrow Drive Westbound, August 22; 
Storrow Drive Westbound Lanes, August 24-27

Leverett Connector Ramp to Storrow Drive Westbound

 

MassDOT will implement a single, right lane closure on the Leverett Connector ramp to Storrow Drive westbound from 11:00 PM on Wednesday, August 22 to 5:00 AM the following morning. The closure is necessary to remove temporary traffic protection measures that were needed during bridge construction.

Storrow Drive Westbound Lane Closures

MassDOT will implement lane closures on Storrow Drive westbound in the vicinity of the Longfellow Bridge on Friday, August 24, to Monday, August 27 as follows:

·       Friday, August 24 – single lane closure from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM, double lane closure from 10:00 PM until 8:00 AM the following morning

·       Saturday, August 25 – single lane closure from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, double lane closure from 10:00 PM until 8:00 AM the following morning

·       Sunday, August 26 – single lane closure from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, double lane closure from 9:00 PM until 5:00 AM the following morning

 

The closures are necessary to paint Span 2 of the bridge above the roadway.

 

The roadway in this area consists of three lanes in each direction. A minimum of one lane will be maintained for travel at all times. WSC will make every effort to minimize noise and traffic impacts during the overnight work hours.

For more information on the project, visit the website at www.mass.gov/massdot/longfellowbridge. View construction progress photos on MassDOT’s Longfellow Bridge Flickr Album. For questions or to report issues related to construction, please call the project hotline at 617-519-9892 or email longfellowbridge@state.ma.us.

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FANG in Rhode Island


On the day following acts of civil disobedience outside the Dartmouth House of Corrections, in which entrances were blocked and banners asking for an end to ICE were unfurled, representatives of FANG, a Rhode Island based social justice organization, told WSAR their membership believes in Open Borders, and that they would seek to work with prisoners inside the Dartmouth Corrections Center, in terms of improving conditions regarding food and treatment of inmates in relation to staff. 

Bristol County Tom Hodgson has indicated to WSAR that a nutritionist works with his staff to prepare meals and that inmates in the correctional center have indicated they prefer Tang over orange juice. 

Members of FANG told WSAR that they are affiliated with various Social Justice organizations throughout the Eastern Seaboard and in the Western U-S and are seeking to halt construction of natural gas pipelines, preferring Green alternatives. 

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The Durfee Science Wing


As the last week of summer vacation ticks down in Fall River this week, Fall River Superintendent of Public Schools Dr. Matthew Malone told the Fall River School Committee this week that the Durfee Science Wing, damaged in a flood earlier this year, will be ready to go, as classrooms are coming back on line this week, with teachers being notified as their classrooms are completed. 

 

Malone also told the School Committee that when a new Durfee opens in three years, the new science gear will be moved to middle schools in Fall River, as construction on the new BMC Durfee High School begins this summer. 

 

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The West Nile Update


Massachusetts public health officials raise West Nile virus risk level to moderate statewide

            Residents urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes

BOSTON (August 21, 2018) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced it was raising the risk level for West Nile virus from low to moderate in every Massachusetts city and town and urged residents to take precautions against mosquito bites.

 

Of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, 162 communities are already considered to be at moderate risk for West Nile virus. 

 

This is only the second time that public health officials have raised the risk level statewide. To date, there have been no reported human WNV cases in Massachusetts.

 

“The hot, humid weather in Massachusetts combined with frequent heavy rainfall has provided perfect conditions for mosquito species carrying West Nile Virus to breed,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH.  “I strongly encourage everyone to keep using insect repellant and to be especially aware of mosquito activity at dusk and dawn when the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes is greatest. Move indoors if you are getting bitten.”

 

While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.

 

“August and September are the months when most human cases occur,’’ said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “That’s why we are taking this step today so together we can help keep people from getting sick.”

 

Avoid Mosquito Bites

Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient (DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535) according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

 

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning in areas of high risk.

 

Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

 

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change the water in birdbaths frequently.

 

Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

 

Protect Your Animals

Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is suspected of having WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.

 

More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.

 

 

 

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PawSox WooSox Reaction


Statement from Speaker Mattiello on PawSox’ Move to Worcester

 

STATE HOUSE – Speaker Nicholas Mattiello issued the following statement:

“It is very unfortunate and extremely disappointing that the PawSox have decided to leave Rhode Island.  The state’s proposal contained strong protections for the taxpayers and shifted the risk to the investors.  It was responsive to the concerns of the taxpayers who made it clear that they did not want to accept the risk contained within the original proposal.  It is disheartening the PawSox did not show the same loyalty to the City of Pawtucket and the State of Rhode Island as the taxpayers and fans have shown to them for many decades.”

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FRPD Arrests Three on Thursday and Friday


SUBJECT : Fall River Police Departments Vice and Intelligence Unit –Search Warrant

 

DATE : Friday, August 17th, 2018

 

  

  On Thursday August 16th, 2018, at approximately 11:30 pm, Detectives of Fall River Police Departments Vice and Intelligence Unit were armed with a search warrant for Victoria Travassos age 35 and her 2014 Cadillac ATS. Lead Detective Nicholas Magan followed and stopped the vehicle in a parking on Mariano Bishop Blvd.

 

   Lead Detective Magan was assisted by Detectives Steven Washington, Josh Robillard, Matthew Gauvin, Athan Parousis, Richard Aguiar, and Detective Sergeant Greg Wiley.

 

   Upon stopping the Cadillac, occupants Travassos and driver Matthew J. Amaral age 29 were detained and the search warrant executed.

 

Located in the seat occupied by Amaral was a knotted baggie containing orange pills. This baggie contained 5 suspected Adderall pills and two smaller baggies containing suspected crack cocaine.

 

   During the search of the vehicle, suspected crack cocaine was located inside the center console. Two pocketbooks, containing large sums of cash, were located on the passenger side floorboard. Located within a compartment on the dashboard were 600 blue glassine baggies containing suspected Heroin, a digital scale, and a white powdery substance suspected to be cocaine.

 

In all 600 doses of Heroin, 9.85 grams of Cocaine, 8 grams of Crack Cocaine, and 5 Adderall pills were seized.

 

   Matthew J. Amaral age 29 of 338 Tickle Road Westport and

   Victoria Travassos age 35 of 578 Osborn Street Fall River, were taken into custody on charges of:

        Possession with intent to Distribute a Class A Substance and

        Three counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class B Substance.

 

                                   

 

    On Friday, August 17th, 2018, at approximately 11:00 am, Detectives of Fall River Police Departments Vice and Intelligence Unit executed a No-Knock Search Warrant at 186 Fountain Street apartment #3 in Fall River. The target of this search warrant Ari Rason age 40.

 

Lead Detective Magan was again assisted by Detectives Steven Washington, Josh Robillard, Matthew Gauvin, Athan Parousis, Richard Aguiar, and Detective Sergeant Greg Wiley.

 

Detectives forced their way into apartment three and quickly located Rason in the living room area. Rason was detained and a searched commenced.

 

Detectives located a baggie containing 7.5 grams of a white powdery substance suspected to be cocaine, plastic baggies and a digital scale.

 

  Ari Rason age 40 of 186 Fountain Street apartment 3 was taken into custody on charges of

 

Possession with intent to Distribute a Class B Substance and

Possession of a Class B Substance

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BKs Beacon Tavern

 

 

 

 

 

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