The Sixth Floor Report Friday on WSAR at 9am
Red Sox Exhibition Baseball from Florida Sunday at 1pm on WSAR
Fox Sports Radio every weekend on WSAR
Tony From the Right Saturdays at 11am on WSAR
The World According to Dr. Mike Monday through Thursday at 9am on WSAR
All About Cars Saturday at 9am on WSAR
Tuesday on WSAR Law Talk at 1pm, Crusin with Bill at 2pm
Alan Combs on Fox Talk Radio Weeknights at 10pm on WSAR
Red Sox Baseball from Florida Saturday at 1 on WSAR
Total Life Conditioning with Dr Ross Thursdays at 1pm on WSAR
The WSAR Newsroom Weekdays at Noon
Friday on WSAR Ask Your Pharmacist at 1pm
Lars Larson Weeknights at 6pm on WSAR
Wednesday on WSAR Voice of Business at 1pm, C U Wednesdays at 2pm
Phil Valentine Weeknights on WSAR from Westwood One
People on Education; A Service of People Inc Friday at 11am on WSAR
The Financial Planning Hour with Richard Bassett Mondays at 1pm
Everything Auto Sundays at Noon brought to you by Mike's Auto Body
Voice of Business with Rob Mellion Wednesdays at 1pm
Rapid Fire with Ric Oliveira Monday through Thursday 4 to 6, Friday 3 to 6
The Third Degree with Chris Carreiro Monday through Thursday at 3pm
Innovation Southcoast In Cooperation with UMass Dartmouth Thursday at 2pm
Celtics and Toronto Friday on WSAR; Ace Tickets Pregame at 7pm
The Hidden Truth with Laura Washington Friday at 2pm on WSAR
The Bishop's Morning Devotional at 4:40am Daily on WSAR
Celtics and Pistons Sunday on WSAR Ace Tickets Pregame at 5:30pm
Celtics and Hawks Monday on WSAR Ace Tickets Pregame at 7pm
Fall River State of The City Coverage Live on WSAR Wednesday at 7pm
Houston Police are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whomever is responsible for taking the Patriots White Road Jersey from Tom Brady's equipment bag that was in his locker at NRG Stadium following the conclusion of the Super Bowl Sunday Night.
According to the Boston Globe and the New York Post, the jersey may have a value of anywhere from $500,000 to as much as $1 million, assuming it can be sold and authenticated on an underground memorabilia market.
Governor Baker Nominates Justice Elspeth Cypher to Supreme Judicial Court
BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today announced the nomination of Massachusetts Appeals Court Senior Associate Justice Elspeth “Ellie” B. Cypher to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). The nomination is Governor Baker’s fourth to the Commonwealth’s highest court. If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, Justice Cypher will replace retiring Justice Margo Botsford.
“Justice Cypher will bring nearly three decades of broad civil and criminal, trial and appellate experience, including the last sixteen years on the Appeals Court, to the Supreme Judicial Court,” said Governor Baker. “We thank Justice Botsford for her service, wish her well in her retirement and also appreciate the work of the Supreme Judicial Court Nominating Commission, my Chief Legal Counsel Lon Povich and Judicial Nominating Commission Executive Director Sharon Casey, in recommending diverse and experienced candidates. I am confident that, if confirmed, Justice Cypher’s temperament and understanding of the law will continue to advance the strong tradition of the Commonwealth’s highest court.”
Justice Cypher was joined by family, friends and colleagues for the formal announcement today at the State House with the Governor and Lt. Governor.
“The Supreme Judicial Court and the citizens of the Commonwealth will be well served with the addition of Justice Cypher’s sense of justice and civil and knowledge of the law,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “We are, on behalf of the Commonwealth, grateful for the service of Justice Botsford, and look forward to the Governor’s Council’s consideration of Justice Cypher who has demonstrated her ability to work closely with her colleagues and consider matters fairly and impartially in service to the court and all those who appear before it.”
"Justice Cypher is one of the Appeals Court’s finest judges,” said Chief Justice Scott Kafker. “She is fair, experienced and wise and would be an admirable addition to the Supreme Judicial Court."
The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) is the Commonwealth's highest appellate court, consisting of the Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. The seven Justices hear appeals on a broad range of criminal and civil cases from September through May and issue written opinions that are posted online.
For more information about the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, visit http://www.mass.gov/courts/court-info/sjc/.
In February of 2016, Governor Baker named a statewide 12-member Supreme Judicial Nominating Commission (SJC-NC) to recruit, screen and recommend applicants to fill an unprecedented number of upcoming vacancies on the Commonwealth’s highest court.
Associate Justices Kimberly Budd, Frank Gaziano and David Lowy joined the SJC last summer following their nomination by Governor Baker and unanimous approvals by the Governor’s Council. The process was re-opened last October with the expected retirements of Justice Botsford and Justice Geraldine Hines later this year. All judicial nominations are subject to the advice and consent of the Governor’s Council.
About Justice Elspeth “Ellie” B. Cypher:
The Honorable Elspeth “Ellie” B. Cypher was appointed to the Massachusetts Appeals Court in 2000 by Governor Paul Cellucci and now serves as the Senior Associate Justice. In addition to fulfilling the courts role of hearing and deciding criminal and civil appellate cases, Justice Cypher’s role includes chairing the personnel committee and assisting the Chief Justice, Scott L. Kafker, with management of cases and court staff, and fulfilling the duties of the Chief Justice in the event of illness or absence.
Prior to her appointment to the Appeals Court, Justice Cypher served for twelve years with the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney (1988-1993), and later, Chief of Appeals (1993-2000). There she supervised attorneys and support staff in the District Attorney’s Office and wrote and edited appellate briefs and argued cases before the Appeals and Supreme Judicial Courts. From 1994-2006, Justice Cypher also served as a Senior Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Massachusetts School of Law, formerly the Southern New England School of Law. Before joining public service and upon obtaining her law degree, Justice Cypher represented clients in employment law, personal injury, consumer protection and criminal matters for Grayer, Brown and Dilday, a small general practice law firm in Boston.
Justice Cypher earned her Bachelor of Arts from Emerson College in 1980 and obtained her juris doctorate degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1986 where she was also a Literary Editor of the Law Review. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Justice Cypher and her wife, Sharon Levesque, reside in Assonet and have one son.
WSAR has confirmed with the Fall River City Clerk's office in Government Center that an Open Meeting Law Complaint filed after last night's 5-3 vote on the transfer of $20,000 renders the vote null and void, and that the matter will have to be voted a second time on February 17, when Council meets again, and the matter added to the agenda.
Swansea based Patrick Higgins and Associates claims that in their complaint, filed with the Attorney General's Office
'' At last night’s City Council meeting, a motion was made and seconded to lift the Mayor’s transfer request from the table. The financial order was discussed and subsequently adopted, as amended.
The violation alleges that the item was “illegally” deliberated, as this was not an agenda item, and the complainant requests that the vote be re-taken at a future meeting.''
The item was seeking a transfer between line items in the Mayor's Office
Massachusetts Fourth District Congressman Joseph Kennedy III will be in Newton Tuesday Night at 7pm as the Massachusetts Democratic Party tries to pick up the pieces with a Grassroots Meeting among party members.
Massachusetts Democrats are looking at Attorney General Maura Healy, former Newton Mayor Setti Warren, and former Patrick Administration members as a potential nominee to match up against Republican Governor Charlie Baker, who won the office by 40,000 in the 2014 election cycle.
Las Vegas Oddsmakers have the Patriots as a 5.5 point home favorite versus Pittsburgh on Sunday; Patriots and Steelers will kick off at 6:40 at Gillette.
Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniel has pulled his name from consideration for the Forty Niners Coaching slot, electing to stay in New England.
The NFL has moved the Steelers/Chiefs game in Kansas City to a Sunday Night Kickoff at 8:20 EST, after forecast ice storms are going to cause issues in the Midwest this weekend.
The game will be the second game on WSAR and the Westwood One Radio Network on Sunday; Dallas and Green Bay will also be in prime time with a 4:40pm EST kickoff.
On the Friday Edition of ''The Sixth Floor'', Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II alleged that three Fall River City Council Members--Rich Cabeceiras, Pam Lailiberte Lebeau and Cliff Ponte--were ''obstructionists'' who were attempting to block aspects of the Sixth Floor's Agenda.
Cabeceiras told WSAR that he was pleased the issue came to light, alleging that Correia used name calling and other tactics during private sessions with council members.
Lailberte-Lebeau expressed disappointment in what she heard, saying her request to table a request to transfer $30,000 from one line item to another in the mayor's office was simply away to obtain more information about how the money would be utilized.
Correia told WSAR that he felt that changes needed to be made to the nine member lineup of council during the current municipal election cycle.
Fall River Mayor and School Committee Chair Jasiel Correia II is hopeful that a debt exclusion vote may not be needed in terms of the city's financial share of a proposed new BMC Durfee High School, which could begin construction, if everything is approved regarding local and MSBA Financing, in late 2018.
A current Fall River City Ordinance regarding a public vote on any bonding over five million dollars is a potential roadblock that Correia wants adjusted, saying that the city could afford its share of a new Durfee building, and could use bonding rather than a debt exclusion vote as has been proposed.
Correia made the comments during a Monday Night School Committee Meeting at Morton Middle School; the discussion is part of the video on WSAR's Facebook page.
Correia also says that prior discussions of Fall River perhaps being headed toward receivership were incorrect, according to information he has gathered from Commonwealth Financial Administrators.
COO of the School Department, Ken Pacheco, indicated that the MSBA might consider other Fall River sites, while looking at how to incorporate the current auditorium, pool and fieldhouse into the design.
The nine member Fall River City Council meets tonight for the first time in 2017 to elect a President and Vice President; WSAR has learned that current Council President Shawn Cadime and Vice President Linda Pereria will likely be returned to their respective posts.
Council will also hear about an issue in the Buildings and Grounds Department that began with an internal email, obtained by WSAR, alleging that Interim Director Peter Gallagher directed employees to submit overtime for a pair of School Department Projects, instead of the municipal items that were being worked on.
Local Architect Jo Ann Bentley will also appear before Council tonight in order to explain her role in the Pine Street Veterans Building issue, after her name came up during discussions in December on the issue of rehabbing the building.
Council will also get a summary of the current municipal budget as it enters the second half of fiscal year 2018.
Gasoline prices in Massachusetts are up two cents this week, according to AAA Northeast.
AAA’s January 9 survey of prices in Massachusetts finds self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.29 per gallon. The Massachusetts price is eight cents below the national average for regular unleaded of $2.37. A year ago at this time, the average price in Massachusetts was 34 cents lower at $1.95.
The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 25 cents, from a low of $2.19 to a high of $2.44
The Fall River School Committee meets at 5:30pm tonight in its first session of 2017 at Morton Middle School.
Superintendent Dr. Matthew Malone will address the situation regarding Fonseca, and a five year technology plan, along with the start of the development of the Fiscal Year 2018 School Department Budget.
A six item agenda includes a discussion on the latest regarding potential funding for a new BMC Durfee High School from the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
A five item executive session includes a discussion on ''strategies relative to the deployment of security personnel and devices''.
Democratic members of Congress introduced the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017 in the United States Senate and House that would require the President and Vice President to disclose and divest any potential financial conflicts of interest. It also would require presidential appointees to recuse themselves from any specific matters involving the President's financial conflicts of interest that come before members of the executive branch of government. Members of the House and Senate have consistently asked for more transparency and accountability from President-elect Trump.
Massachusetts Senior Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren is one of several co sponsors of the legislation in the Senate.
In November, Democratic senators filed a Resolution stating the Senate's expectation that President-elect Trump needs to decisively and transparently divest all of his business interests and holdings and completely sever his affiliation with the Trump Organization to avoid any actual or perceived conflicts with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits the president from accepting gifts or benefits from foreign governmental actors.
Auditor Bump Focuses Efforts to Strengthen Public Benefits Programs
Announces that Her Office Identified a Record $15.4M in Public Benefits Fraud in FY16
Boston, MA – State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump today announced an initiative to build on her office’s efforts to strengthen the Massachusetts social safety net.
The expanded efforts will concentrate on three areas:
1. Continuing to identify and crack down on fraud in public benefits programs;
2. Expanding information sharing with our partners and increasing our use of data analytics to identify fraud and concentrate on the areas most susceptible to fraud; and
3. Conducting an audit in the coming year to identify barriers eligible Bay State residents face when seeking access to public benefits.
To kick off this effort, Bump today released an annual report on her office’s efforts to identify fraud in these programs.
“From food assistance to medical care, public benefits play an important role in our state, the lives of its residents, and our economy,” Bump said. “It is essential that these programs operate with integrity. That means fighting abuse and fraud, but it also requires that we work to identify the barriers that prohibit Massachusetts residents from accessing benefits for which they are eligible. This is why, in the coming year, we will undertake an audit to understand how effectively government is identifying those eligible persons who are not being served.”
The report released today notes that in fiscal year 2016, the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) identified a record $15.4 million in public benefits fraud, marking a 12 percent increase over the previous year, and a sixth straight year of record-setting findings. In addition, the report highlights that for every dollar invested into BSI, it found $7.06 in fraud, a 14 percent increase over the previous year. Finally, the report notes that for investigations with findings of fraud, the average finding was $14,783, a 21 percent increase over the previous year.
“Since 2011, my office has increased the amount of fraud it has identified every year,” Bump said of the report. “This is not an indication of more fraud, but that we are getting better at identifying it. We have accomplished this by focusing our efforts on the areas of greatest risk for substantial fraud such as food stamp trafficking, and fraudulent provider billing.”
BSI examiners work with state and federal agencies, including the Department of Transitional Assistance, MassHealth, the Department of Early Education and Care, the US Department of Agriculture, both the US and Massachusetts Attorneys General, and other government agencies to document fraudulent activity. Investigations focus both on tips related to individual recipient fraud, as well as provider fraud. The work leads to both prosecution and recovery of funds.
The report also underscores notable achievements and case highlights of BSI. One case highlighted in the report describes a Rhode Island resident who was charged with fraudulently receiving benefits in excess of $60,000 from 2012 to 2015 from the state of Massachusetts. He falsely claimed to be a resident of the Commonwealth, and improperly reported his earned income.
While the majority of investigations of public assistance fraud come from referrals from MassHealth, the Department of Transitional Assistance, or the use of data analytics, the public can also file a complaint through the BSI fraud hotline at (617) 727-6771 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All complaints are confidential.
More information about Bump’s office’s expanded efforts related to public benefits, and her annual report on public benefits fraud are attached.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Releases October 2016
Gross Gaming Revenue for Plainridge Park Casino
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) reported today that the month of October 2016 at Plainridge Park Casino generated $12,576,794.69 in Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). The category 2 slots-parlor is taxed on 49% of gross gaming revenue, of that total taxed amount 82% is paid to Local Aid and 18% goes to the Race Horse Development Fund. To date, the state has collected $107,026,794.20 in total state taxes and race horse assessments from Plainridge Park Casino since its June 24, 2015 opening.
Total collected state taxes and race horse assessments
To view the complete report, please click here. MGC will continue to make monthly revenue reports available on approximately the 15th of each month.
Somerset Town Clerk Dolores Berge has released the final certified balloting numbers for the November 8 General Election.
Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton took Somerset by securing 4,886 votes, compared to Republican Presidential Elect Donald Trump's 4,561.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders earned 54 write in votes, while 208 Somerset voters left their Presidential ballots blank.
Ballot Questions 1, 3 and 4 passed in Somerset while Question 2 failed.
After a year-and-a-half of research and study, the Fall River Diocese Task Force on Catholic Education has issued its Final Report, delineating its findings and recommendations for diocesan schools and the diocesan school system as a whole. Its public release will be this Friday afternoon, November 4.
A News Conference will take place on that day, Friday, November 4, at 1:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity School in Fall River during which Bishop Edgar A. da Cunha, S.D.V., will present and discuss the Final Report. He will also announce a significant gift that has been received to help fund its implementation.
The Bishop will be joined by the Fall River Diocesan Superintendent of Schools, the co-chair of the Task Force, and the co-chair of the newly appointed Implementation Team.
Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II tells WSAR that if some members of the City Council want to put an end to the current Pay As You Throw program for the removal of trash, and as a means to encourage recycling, then someone needs to devise a method to replace the three million in revenue from the program that is currently part of the FY 2017 Fall River Municipal Budget.
Correia tells the ''WSAR Newsroom'' that the program cannot end on a whim, as the DOR would not likely allow a revenue producing enterprise to simply end; the contract with the North Carolina based Waste Zero has a 90 day out clause should the city decide to exercise it.
Early Balloting in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will end on Friday at 5pm, as the Secretary of State has asked that each polling place remain open till the 5pm mark.
If you do vote early, you'll place your ballot in a secured envelope, which you will sign and place in a ballot box; your ballot will be counted on Tuesday Night.
In Fall River, your ballot is secured in a safe in Government Center.
The Polls will be open throughout the Commonwealth on Tuesday starting at 7am.
Sunday at approximately 3:30 p.m. Swansea Police received multiple 911 calls reporting a motor vehicle crash involving a motorcycle on Maple Avenue, south of Route 6. The operator of the motorcycle has been identified as Jamie Tavares, 44, of Swansea.
Mr. Tavares was transported by Swansea Ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. An initial investigation of the scene indicates Tavares was travelling south on Maple Avenue when he collided with a Volkswagen Jetta travelling north on Maple Avenue being operated by a 52-year-old Swansea woman. The driver of the Jetta was uninjured in the crash.
The crash is being investigated by the Swansea Police Accident Reconstruction Unit with assistance from the Swansea Police Detective Division and State Police Detectives assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office. No foul play is suspected in this matter at this time.
This is a release from administrators at UMass Dartmouth about a shots fired incident over the weekend
Late this afternoon, the Department of Public Safety confirmed that multiple gunshots were fired in the area of Cedar Dell. The DPS had received an initial report at approximately 3 a.m., and responded immediately, but found no evidence of gunshots at that time and the reports were attributed to fireworks. A preliminary investigation at that time failed to confirm either fireworks or gunshots being discharged. No witnesses were available to provide further information.
Later this afternoon witnesses came forward with evidence indicating that gunshots were fired, causing damage to three motor vehicles at a Cedar Dell parking lot. There is no indication that anybody was injured. The case is under an active investigation and the campus is secure at this time.
Anyone who may have information concerning this crime or any suspicious behavior should contact DPS immediately at508-999-9191, use the silent witness line at 508.999.8477, or fill out the confidential form at http://www.umassd.edu/publicsafety/silentwitnesstipline/.
Proponents of a Swansea Beach Revitalization Project are vowing to try again by perhaps shrinking a proposal from its current $3.9 million dollar price tag, while warning that some redesign may be needed to rethink a proposal that failed to get the needed two thirds of more than 1100 Swansea voters who attended a single article special town meeting earlier this week.
Opponents argued that spending millions on a beach on the New England Coastline was not a wise expenditure of public dollars, as it could be only be used for a small portion of the year.
As the Fall River City Council prepares to debate and perhaps vote on a Streetscape and Municipal Department Equipment proposal that will be debated first in Finance Committee Tuesday Night, a pair of Fall River City Councilors are asking the other seven members to halt the proceedings so the streetscape proposal, submitted by Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II this summer, will be voted on at a General or Special Election in 2017.
Council Members Ray Mitchell and Richard Cabeceiras submitted the order as part of a 135 page Council Packet available on the city's website; the order asks that the streetscape proposals be combined into a single loan order, with no contracts be executed until voters have a chance to decide the issues.
One hundred percent, A+ grades all around, a perfect score.
The Dartmouth Correctional Complex received a 100 percent score from the American Correctional Association on its recent national accreditation audit. Meeting or exceeding each one of approximately 400 standards set forth by the ACA impressed Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson, but what made him most proud was what the auditors said about the staff.
“One of the auditors who had worked in corrections his whole life said if he was ever to go back into it, he would apply right here in Dartmouth because of the morale, attitude and professionalism of the staff,” Sheriff Hodgson said. “That really stuck with me.”
Three ACA auditors
from Georgia, Florida and New Jersey spent three days combing over operations at the Dartmouth correctional facilities (Bristol County House of Correction, the Women’s Center and the ICE Detention Center). Their audit included tours of each facility, conducting interviews with staff and inmates, and scrutinizing hundreds of pages of policy and documents to verify compliance with national standards.
As a result, The Dartmouth Correctional Complex earned a perfect score on all aspects of facility operations, including security, health services, life safety, food services, inmate discipline, programs and services, staff training and administrative operations. The Dartmouth Correctional Complex is now only one of about 500 correctional organizations nationwide to earn ACA accreditation. Few received a perfect score.
MassDOT will continue overnight lane closures on I-195 East and West on the Braga Bridge and at the approaches to it during the week of October 2.
The overnight closures will take place Sunday through Friday from 7:00 PM each night to 6:00 AM the following morning.
One travel lane will be maintained in each direction at all times.
The closures are necessary for paving, lane striping, and barrier removal.
The deceased victims from yesterday’s crash on Route 195 in Westport are identified as follows.
The operator of the Dodge Caravan livery van is identified as John Oliveria, 68, of Dartmouth. Mr. Oliveria was transported to Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, where he was pronounced deceased. The livery was owned by Regal Transit of New Bedford.
The front-seat passenger of the livery is identified as Josephine Mazzocca, 55, of New Bedford. Ms. Mazzocca was determined to be deceased at the scene.
The front-seat passenger of the BMW 328i is identified as Karonlyne Camile Lima, 23, of New Bedford. Ms. Lima was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, where she was pronounced deceased.
As noted yesterday, the crash occurred when the livery crossed from the westbound side of Route 195, drove through grass median, and entered the eastbound side, where it struck the BMW head-on.
What caused Mr. Oliveria to lose control of the vehicle remains under active investigation.
Among the possible contributing factors that State Police are investigating are whether he suffered a medical incident just prior to the crash.
As noted yesterday, the remaining victims in the livery and BMW were as follows.
The rear-seat passenger of the livery, a 56-year-old New Bedford man, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.
The operator of the BMW, a 25-year-old Fall River man, was also transported to Rhode Island Hospital.
The rear-seat passenger of the BMW, a three-year-old boy, was transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.
As noted yesterday, three other vehicles were involved in secondary crashes after the initial crash.
After the livery van careened off the BMW, it struck an Audi A4 that was traveling eastbound. The operator of the Audi, a 34-year-old Fall River man, was not injured (yesterday’s release erroneously stated that he was injured).
Also after the initial impact, the BMW was struck by a second vehicle, a Subaru Outback that was also traveling eastbound. That impact caused the Subaru to become fully engulfed in flames.
The operator of the Subaru, a 27-year-old Waterbury, Vermont, man, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital.
A fifth vehicle, a Chevrolet Suburban was also traveling eastbound; it avoided colliding with the other vehicles but struck a sign post on the grassy median.
The operator, a 73-year-old man from Barrington, R.I., was not injured.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by State Police from the Dartmouth Barracks and the State Police Detective Unit for Bristol County, with the assistance of the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and the State Police Crime Scene Services Section.
Please note that State Police do not release names of surviving crash victims, nor do we disclose specific familial relationships.
No further information is being released at this time.
Massachusetts took the first official step toward naming a bridge in honor of legendary Red Sox player David Ortiz tonight.
As part of a joint-plan between the House, Senate and Governor’s office, the House Committee on Ways & Means Committee put language out to poll as part of a supplemental budget that would rename the Brookline Avenue bridge, between Lansdowne Street and Newbury Street, and spanning the Massachusetts Turnpike, the “David Ortiz (‘Big Papi’) Bridge.”
The legislation states the honor is “in recognition of his athletic accomplishments during fourteen seasons as a member of the Boston Red Sox, and his personal contributions to the Commonwealth, notably, his charitable commitment to children in New England and the Dominican Republic who do not have access to the critical pediatric services they need, and in helping our city heal in the face of the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy.”
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will place a “suitable marker on the bridge bearing the designation in compliance with the standards of the department.”
“David Ortiz’s accomplishments and heroics on and off the baseball field have made him a living legend, and his heartfelt contributions to the communities here and in his native Dominican Republic have made him an icon,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I am thrilled to be able to help our Commonwealth create a lasting ‘Thank You’ to Big Papi through the renaming of this bridge.”
“I’m so excited to be part of this process of giving David Ortiz, one of the greatest Red Sox of all time, his proper due by naming a bridge in his honor,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said. “David has not only been an extraordinary baseball player, he has been an exemplary and inspirational member of our community, most notably after the Boston Marathon bombings. As a fan, I will miss his stride up to the plate followed by a clutch hit and the ballpark exploding into applause.”
“David Ortiz has been a big part of our community both on and off the field,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “Whether is it leading the Red Sox to multiple World Series Championships or all of his charitable work, he has truly been the pride of Boston. I am proud that we can honor him by naming this bridge after him so his legacy can live on after his playing days have ended.”
“David Ortiz has meant so much to the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and all of Red Sox Nation,” said Representative Brian S. Dempsey, House Chair of the Committee on Ways & Means (D-Haverhill). “Whether it be his clutch curse breaking hits on the diamond, his now legendary speech to rally the spirits of this city in the aftermath of the Marathon Bombing, or his prodigious charity work, ‘Papi’ has left a lasting impact. I am proud that we can recognize his efforts and wish him well as he ends his career with what we hope is another memorable playoff run.”
“As a Red Sox fan, I’m proud that the Commonwealth is taking this step to recognize one of our athletic legends,” said Senator Karen E. Spilka, Senate Chair of the Committee on Ways & Means (D-Ashland). “David Ortiz is a major force in baseball, and he has also made significant contributions to our community over the course of his long career.”
Once the House Ways & Means Committee poll is completed, the House will act on the measure tomorrow. The legislation will then go to the Senate.
Yesterday at about 8:12 a.m., troopers from the State Police Barracks in Dartmouth responded to a multi-vehicle crash on Route 195 eastbound between Exits 10 and 11 in Westport that resulted in three fatalities.
Preliminary investigation by troopers indicates that a 2005 Dodge Caravan livery vehicle traveling westbound crossed the median and struck a 2007 BMW 328i that was traveling in the left lane on the eastbound side head-on.
Two occupants of the livery vehicle that crossed the median suffered fatal injuries, as did one occupant of the BMW that was struck head-on, a 23-year-old New Bedford woman.
Two passengers in the BMW, a 25-year-old man from Fall River and a male toddler from New Bedford, survived the crash but were transported to hospitals with injuries. The toddler was taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital and the adult male to Rhode Island Hospital.
A third occupant of the livery vehicle survived the crash and was transported to Rhode Island Hospital.
Victim identities are not being released at this time. The ages and genders of the victims from the livery vehicle, as well as the name of the company that owns the livery, are not being released because the family notification process is still underway.
The livery vehicle rolled over after the initial impact with the BMW. After the initial head-on impact, preliminary investigation indicates that a 2008 Subaru Outback traveling eastbound struck the BMW; the Subaru then caught on fire.
The Subaru driver, a 27-year-old Vermont man, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital with minor injuries.
Two other eastbound vehicles also suffered minor damage from impacts after the initial crash.
A 2001 Audi A4 operated by a 34-year-old Fall River man was struck by the livery Caravan. A Chevrolet Suburban operated by a 73-year-old Rhode Island man also suffered damage when it impacted one of the other vehicles. The A4 driver suffered minor injuries and was transported to Charlton Hospital.
The facts and circumstances of the crash, including why the livery crossed the median strip, remains under investigation by Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police with assistance from the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and State Police Detective Unit for Bristol County. Troopers were assisted on-scene by Wesport Fire and EMS and MassDOT.
Updated information will be released at an appropriate time.