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WSAR NEWS

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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MA Unemployment for July


Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for July

 

BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 17, 2018The state’s total unemployment rate increased to 3.6 percent in July from the June rate of 3.5 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 4,800 jobs in July. Over the month, the private sector added 5,900 jobs as gains occurred in Education and Health Services; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Construction; Manufacturing; and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities.

 

From July 2017 to July 2018, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 66,800 jobs. 

 

The July unemployment rate was three-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.9 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

“Job estimates show the Commonwealth has gained over 51,000 jobs since December and 213,600 jobs since January 2015. These job gains, alongside low unemployment rates and labor force growth are signs of the continued health of the Massachusetts labor market,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.

 

The labor force increased by 27,100 from 3,758,900 in June, as 24,700 more residents were employed and 2,400 more residents were unemployed over the month.

 

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point from 3.7 percent in July 2017.

 

The state’s labor force participation rate – the total number of residents 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks – is up four-tenths of a percentage point over the month at 67.3 percent. Compared to July 2017, the labor force participation rate is up 1.8 percentage points. 

 

The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in Construction; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Leisure and Hospitality; and Other Services.

 

July 2018 Employment Overview

 

Education and Health Services added 2,700 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 8,000 (+1.0%) jobs. 

 

Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 2,100 (+0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 27,100 (+4.8%) jobs.

 

Construction gained 1,900 (+1.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 11,500 (+7.6%) jobs.

 

Manufacturing added 1,400 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing gained 5,400 (+2.2%) jobs.

 

Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 500 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 1,300 (+0.2%) jobs.

 

Information jobs level remained unchanged over the month. Over the year, Information lost 700 (-0.8%) jobs.

 

Financial Activities jobs level remained unchanged over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities added 900 (+0.4%) jobs.

 

Other Services lost 900 (-0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 3,600 (+2.6%) jobs.

 

Leisure and Hospitality lost 1,900 (-0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 9,700 (+2.6%) jobs.

 

Government lost 1,100 (-0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government lost 100 (0.0%) jobs.

 

Labor Force Overview

The July estimates show 3,650,200 Massachusetts residents were employed and 135,800 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,786,000. The unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point at 3.6 percent. The July labor force increased by 27,100 from 3,758,900 in June, as 24,700 more residents were employed and 2,400 more residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, increased four-tenths of a percentage point to 67.3 percent. The labor force was up 124,600 from the 3,661,400 July 2017 estimate, with 124,900 more residents employed and 300 fewer residents unemployed.

 

The unemployment rate is based on a monthly sample of households. The job estimates are derived from a monthly sample survey of employers. As a result, the two statistics may exhibit different monthly trends.

 

NOTES:

The labor force is the sum of the numbers of employed residents and those unemployed, that is residents not working but actively seeking work in the last four weeks. Estimates may not add up to the total labor force due to rounding.

 

Local area unemployment statistics for July 2018 will be released on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. The preliminary August 2018 and revised July 2018 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, September 21, 2018. See the 2018 Revised Media Advisory annual schedule  for a complete list of release dates.

 

Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.

###

 

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Choosing to Opt Out


 The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Offers Enrollment in Voluntary-Self Exclusion Program

Resource is one component of MGC’s comprehensive strategy to reduce gambling-related harm

 

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) and the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling (MCCG) seek to raise awareness about the availability of the Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program (VSE) prior to the August 24th opening of MGM Springfield, the state’s first resort casino. The statewide VSE program allows individuals to voluntarily exclude themselves from the gaming floor of all Massachusetts casinos for a pre-determined length of time. 

 

“Research has clearly shown that voluntary self-exclusion can effectively help persons struggling to control their gambling,” said Mark Vander Linden, MGC’s director of research and responsible gaming. “Although we recognize the decision to limit your gambling can be difficult, enrolling in the program is not.  We are steadfast in our commitment to provide the people of Massachusetts with the tools necessary to empower consumer decisions about healthy levels of play, and when it may be time to step away. ” 

 

VSE provides participants the flexibility to choose their term of self-exclusion from six-months to a lifetime. As a deterrent from continued gambling at Massachusetts casinos, any person on the VSE list identified on the gaming floor will be escorted from the area and must forfeit any money wagered.

 

Information provided by enrollees is private and confidential and will only be shared with Massachusetts gaming establishments and MCCG to help enrollees honor their commitment.  Under no circumstances will the information of someone who chooses self-exclusion be shared with a family member, employer, or clinician.

 

The MGC values the importance of face-to-face interaction and requires in-person enrollment with a trained VSE professional. Trained advisors are available at several convenient locations and are also be able to help enrollees with accessing additional support services.

 

To schedule enrollment:

1.800.426.1234 or 617-426-4554

  • Contact the Massachusetts Gaming Commission
    Located in Boston and Springfield

(Off-site location is available under certain circumstances.)
617.533.9737 or vse@state.ma.us

  • Speak with a GameSense Advisor at a GameSense Info Center
    Located at MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino

 

Enrollees are required to bring identification and must be prepared to complete an enrollment form. To expedite the process, enrollees may review the form in advance.

 

“This is an important safety net for those for whom gambling is not a safe or risk-free activity. The MGC has implemented an evidence-based practice such as Voluntary Self-Exclusion, and further enhanced it to strengthen its efficacy.  The MCCG stands ready to provide any additional resources and referrals for those enrollees in need,” said Marlene Warner, executive director of MCCG. 

 

Visit the GameSense website to review most Frequently Asked Questions about VSE.

 

In addition to the VSE, MGM Springfield offers a Self-Limit Access Program. This program allows patrons to voluntarily self-limit access to casino privileges such as personal check cashing abilities, credit privileges, receiving direct mail materials and participating in player recognition programs

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PawSox We Hardly Knew Ye


Various New England Media Outlets are reporting that the ownership group for the Triple A International League Franchise for the Boston Red will leave McCoy Stadium and the City of Pawtucket when the 2020 Baseball Season ends for a new ballpark in the City of Worcester. 

 

The official announcement is set to be in Worcester at 2pm this afternoon. 

 

The State of Rhode Island and the City of Pawtucket had agreed with the PawSox Ownership Group on the financing for a new ballpark in downtown Pawtucket, but negotiations with Worcester Administrators continued this spring and summer, and a deal with finalized earlier this month. 

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Dartmouth Man Convicted of Robbery and Abuse


A 31-year-old Dartmouth man who, despite commiitting an armed robbery against an 11-year-old girl in New Bedford, was released back to the street only to then get re-arrested after committing new crimes, was sentenced for serve three to four years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

 

Brandon Tetrault pleaded guilty last week in Fall River Superior Court to charges of armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon.

 

On December 14, 2017, the defendant entered the Atlantic Seafood Market wearing a mask.  The defendant immediately approached the counter and, while holding what appeared to be a knife in his pocket, demanded money from the register. The 11-year-old daughter of the owner, who happened to be sitting behind the counter, opened the register and gave cash to the defendant. Responding officers reviewed surveillance video and broadcast a description of the suspect. Another officer working a patrol in the city saw a person fitting the description go into a building. Police eventually found the defendant in an apartment, along with the clothing he was wearing during the robbery, a knife and the cash from the register.

 

Due to the seriousness of the charges and the defendant’s lengthy criminal record of convictions, prosecutors in New Bedford District Court attempted to have the defendant held without bail at a dangerousness hearing. Judge Thomas Barrett, however, released the defendant on the condition that he wear a GPS monitoring device and abide by a 6 pm to 6 a.m. curfew. 

 

Within six months of his pre-trial release, the defendant was arrested again, this time for multiple counts of violating an abuse prevention order.  The defendant is accused of sending numerous harrassing texts and posting nude photos of the victim on his social media accounts.  The victim had previously taken out still active restraining orders against the defendant, after suffering assaults and abuse at his hands.

 

After successfully arguing to have his bail revoked after his most recent arrest in New Bedford District Court, meaning he would be held without bail for up to 90 days, the defeendant agreed to plead guilty to the Superior Court armed robbery case.

 

The three to four year state prison sentence was handed down by Judge Thomas McGuire, and the case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Chuck Nadeau.  The New Bedford District Court cases remain open and pending at this time.

 

“Although I am pleased the defendant was convicted of this serious offense, it is unfortunate that he had to be re-arrested to him into custody. We requested that a District Court judge hold him as a danger to the community because of his significant criminal record and the fact that he robbed an 11-year-old child.  But the judge chose to release him without any bail, on some conditions. This should not have happened. Bail conditions imposed on dangerous defendants do not work,” District Attorney Quinn said. “I have overseen the prosecution of hundreds of armed robbery cases. Most defendants charged with armed robbery are dangers to the community based on the violent act itself, and, in many cases, their criminal background. This defendant shoul have been held without bail. Instead, it took him committing a new crime to get him back into custody. This is another example of a defendant who was a danger to the community who should not have been out on the street.”

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The Sheriff Goes To Washington


DARTMOUTH – Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson will be at the White House in Washington D.C. on Monday for an event in  which President Trump will honor law enforcement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).

 

The event, titled The Salute to the Heroes of ICE and CBP, takes place at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20. Sheriff Hodgson is among a group of seven or so Sheriffs from around the country attending the event.

 

“ICE and CBP agents are on the front lines of law enforcement’s battle against criminal illegal aliens,” Sheriff Hodgson said. “I stand with President Trump, ICE, CBP and the rest of the law enforcement community on the local, state and federal levels in the effort to protect the public from these lawbreakers who entered the U.S. illegally and are committing crimes.”

Sheriff Hodgson is scheduled to meet with senior White House officials after the ceremony to discuss illegal immigration reforms.

 

The nation’s capital will be a familiar place for Sheriff Hodgson. He is scheduled to be back in September for an event on Capitol Hill with up to 50 Sheriffs from coast to coast rallying for congressional action on illegal immigration reforms

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MassDOT Lee's River Ave


MassDOT Advisory: Somerset, August 19

MassDOT Schedules Overnight Bridge Repair Operations for the Bridge over Lees River Avenue over I-195

Bridge repairs will continue through September 2018

 

 

SOMERSET – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced that overnight repairs to the bridge carrying Lees River Avenue over Interstate 195 will begin this Sunday, August 19, and will continue through September 2018.

 

The bridge repair work is scheduled to take place during overnight hours, from 8:00 p.m. to 4:30 a.m., from Sunday to Friday each week.

 

Traffic management will consist of various lane and shoulder closures. Lane closures will be in place from 9:00 p.m., to 4:00 a.m., with one lane of travel maintained at all times.

 

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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New Bedford Shooting Homicide


On Friday, August 10, 2018, members of the New Bedford Police Department responded at 1:12 a.m. to the area of 20 Bentley Street for shots fired. 

 

When they arrived at the scene they located a male identified as Christopher Dunton, 24, on the roadway outside of a Yellow Cab, suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. 

 

Mr. Dunton was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. 

 

The investigation of this matter is active and ongoing by both the New Bedford Police Department and the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

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Somerset Traffic Fatal


On Friday, August 10, 2018, at approximately 12:35 am, Somerset Police Dispatch received information of a motor vehicle crash on Route 138 involving a marked Somerset Police cruiser and a Green Honda Civic. 

 

When police arrived on scene they located the Green Honda Civic facing South in the North bound travel lane of Route 138. The operator of the Civic was identified as 20 year old Hailey Allard of Somerset, MA. 

 

Ms. Allard was transported to Charlton Memorial Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased. 

 

The Somerset officer was transported for treatment of non- life threatening injuries.  This matter is active and currently being investigated by the Massachusetts State Police.
 

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MA Notice on 3-D Weapons


This notice is issued jointly by the Office of the Attorney General, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police, and the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association.

 

 

Recent developments, including advances in technology, have raised the possibility of building firearms and other weapons through the use of 3D printing.

 

This technology may make it possible for individuals in Massachusetts to produce or acquire a weapon that presents significant public safety risks

 

.1 This notice serves as a reminder that the creation, transfer, or possession of a weapon made with a 3D printer can subject an individual to serious criminal or civil liability under Massachusetts law.

 

2 Among the laws potentially implicated by the creation of a weapon using 3D printing are the following: • Plastic Weapons: Weapons made exclusively from plastic or that otherwise cannot be detected by an xray machine or walk-through metal detector are unlawful, as are “covert weapons,” weapons designed to look like something other than a gun (e.g., a key chain, pen, or cigarette lighter). They cannot be sold, transferred, or possessed. M.G.L. c. 140, § 131N.

 

• License Requirement: An appropriate state-issued license is required to: (1) possess or carry a weapon; (2) sell, rent, or lease a weapon; and (3) possess or purchase ammunition. M.G.L. c. 140, §§ 122B, 129B, 129C, 131(d); M.G.L. c. 269, § 10(a), (h).

 

• Reporting of Sales: Sales and other transfers of weapons must generally be reported to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services by the transferee at the Massachusetts Gun Transaction Portal on the internet, unless the weapon is purchased from a licensed dealer. The information required includes the caliber, make, and serial number of the weapon. M.G.L. c. 140, § 128B; 803 C.M.R. 10.00.

 

• Safety Requirements: Only firearms that are on the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s approved firearms roster may be sold by a licensed firearms dealer. Currently, no firearms made with 3D printing technology are approved for sale in Massachusetts. M.G.L. c. 140, §§ 123, clauses 18 to 20, 131-3/4; 501 C.M.R. 7.00.

 

• Safe Storage: All weapons must be securely stored. There are enhanced penalties for weapons left unsecured around minors. M.G.L. c. 140, § 131L.

 

• Assault Weapons: The sale, transfer, or possession of any “assault weapon” is prohibited. Any weapon that meets the definition of an “assault weapon” under Massachusetts law, whether made in whole or in part out of plastic, is prohibited. M.G.L. c. 140, §§ 121, 131M. The Attorney General’s handgun regulations generally prohibit the commercial sale of handguns without certain safety features that decrease the likelihood of accidental discharge and injury, including to children. These regulations apply to handguns made, in whole or in part out of plastic, and subject individuals who violate the regulations to civil liability. M.G.L. c. 93A, § 2(a); 940 C.M.R. 16.00. 1 “Weapon” is defined in Massachusetts as “any rifle, shotgun or firearm.” M.G.L. c. 140, § 121. 2 There are also numerous provisions of federal law applicable to these weapons. 

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New Bedford Homicide Early Thursday AM


New Bedford Police and Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office and Homicide Unit prosecutors are actively investigating a homicide which happened in New Bedford early Thursday morning. 
 
New Bedford Police received a 9-1-1 call today around 5:25 a.m regarding a stabbing inside an apartment in the three hundred block of Cottage Street. 
 
First responders indicate the victim, 47-year-old Allan Monteiro Sr. of New Bedford died at the scene. 
 
The D.A.'s Office is calling the current investigation into what happened ''extremely active''.

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Koda the K-9 Dog finds Drugs in Freetown


Police in Freetown used K-9 dog Koda to help find what is alleged to have been cocaine inside a pickup truck Tuesday afternoon after the truck was located behind Prine Express in Freetown just before 6 p.m. 
 
Ryan Reynolds of the two hundred block of Middleboro Road in East Freetown was exiting his vehicle when police arrived. 
Also found in side the pickup truck were 32 pills, a quantity of suboxone, and more than $400 in cash, along with scales, a pill cutter, four cell phones, plastic baggies and what police describe as a large double edge knife. 
 
Reynolds was released on $500 cash bail and is set for arraignment at Fall River District Court. 
 
Reynolds is being charged with three possession counts, including class B and E substances and possession of a dangerous weapon. 

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Missing and Endangered Fall River Woman


                                                                  Missing and Endangered

 

     The Fall River Police Department is seeking public assistance in locating a missing and endangered adult female  Sanda Ann Silvia.

 

   Ms. Silvia was last seen August 7th, 2018 around 12:00 pm when she walked out of her treatment center wearing a white shirt and carrying a large ‘Dunkin Donuts’ bag.

Ms. Silvia frequents the waterfront area and is in need of medication.

                                She is 5’4” 125 lbs with green eyes and blonde graying hair.

 

 

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Bonus Voter Registration Session


The Board of Election Commissioners in the City of Fall River announce a Special Voter Registration Session to take place before the State Primary Election on Tuesday September 4, 2018

 

In addition to the regular hours of 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m Monday through Friday, the Board of Elections Office will be open the following additional hours for voter registration. We are located on the sixth floor of Government Center. 

 

THE FINAL DAY FOR VOTER REGISTRATION FOR THE STATE PRIMARY ELECTION IS WEDNESDAY AUGUST 15, 2018 BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 9:00 A.M AND 8:00 P.M. 

 

Anyone wishing to have their voting status restored due to residence or individual name change, party change, or have any questions regarding voter status should telephone the Board of Elections at (508) 324-2630.

 

Mail-in registration forms are available. This form can be used to register to vote, change your name or address or change your party. If you are unable to come to our office, reqest one of these forms or go to Elections of the city website at www.fallriverma.org and register online. 

 

 In addition to registerng, the absentee ballots are avilable. A registered voter who will be unable to vote at the polls on Election Day due to: (1) absence from your city or town during normal polling hours, (2) physical disability preventing you from going to the polling place, or (3) religous beliefs can vote absentee. An application will need to be filled out before sending a ballot to the voter. The deadline to have an Absentee Application on file to vote absentee is noon time the day before the election.   

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DPH On Job Related Accidents and Painkillers


BOSTON  (August 8, 2018) - The rate of fatal opioid overdoses varied significantly by industry and occupation from 2011 to 2015, with construction workers dying from opioid overdoses at six times the average rate for all Massachusetts workers, according to a report released today by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).

 

Using available death certificate data, DPH analyzed 4,302 opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts from 2011 to 2015 by industry and occupation to understand whether work, and specifically work-related injuries, might have contributed to opioid use disorders.

 

Overall, workers employed in occupations known to have high rates of work-related injuries had higher rates of fatal opioid overdoses.

 

In addition, workers in occupations with lower rates of paid sick leave and higher job insecurity had higher rates of opioid overdoses.

 

Construction and extraction workers (quarrying and mining) accounted for more than 24 percent of all opioid-related deaths among the working population. This occupation group had a high death rate - 150.6 deaths per 100,000 workers - and a high number of opioid-related deaths - 1,096 - during this time period.

 

“These findings are significant because they identify the industries and occupations where strategies can be developed to intervene before injuries occur,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “The Baker-Polito Administration uses data to identify the highest risk in order to develop specific services to mitigate these trends.”

 

Despite the small number of workers employed in the farming, fishing, and forestry occupations, these jobs also had a high opioid death rate. While there were fewer deaths among this group (61) than in the construction occupations, the rate of opioid-related deaths -143.9 per 100,000 workers – was more than five times the average rate of 25.1 per 100,000 for Massachusetts workers.

 

“Work-related injuries often serve as the initiation for opioid pain medication, which can subsequently lead to opioid misuse,’’ said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “Ensuring that jobs are safe, that the risk of injury is low and that workers have the time for rehabilitation and are not self-medicating to keep working are all key to decreasing opioid overdose deaths among workers.”

 

Among the report’s other findings:

 

  • Several other occupations also had rates of opioid-related overdose deaths that were significantly higher than the average rate for all Massachusetts workers. These included:
    • Material moving occupations (59.1)
    • Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations (54.0)
    • Transportation occupations (42.6)
    • Production occupations (42.1)
    • Food preparation and serving related occupations (39.5)
    • Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations (38.3)
    • Healthcare support occupations (31.8)
  • Similar to findings for all opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts, the majority -77.3 percent - of deaths in this study were among males.
  • There were several occupation groups where females had significantly elevated rates of opioid-related overdose deaths. Specifically, female workers in healthcare support occupations (30.1) and food preparation and serving-related occupations (28.9) had rates higher than the 25.1 average rate for Massachusetts workers.

 

In 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents launched a two-year pilot program called the Opioid Alternative Treatment Pathway (OATP) as a tool to address the state’s opioid epidemic by giving attorneys, judges, and injured workers within the workers’ compensation system quicker access to medical professionals to make treatment decisions.

 

DPH also has taken steps to address the findings, including:

  • Conducting additional research, with support from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to assess the extent to which work-related injuries serve as an initiation for opioid pain medication, leading to opioid misuse
  • Working on the development and implementation of an educational outreach plan targeting high-risk worker groups
  • Conducting outreach to involve stakeholders in identifying and developing intervention strategies to prevent opioid misuse among high-risk working populations 

 

The report was created by DPH’s Occupational Health Surveillance Program (OHSP), in collaboration with the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, Injury Surveillance Program, and Office of Special Analytic Projects, and was funded by the CDC. 

 

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has doubled spending to address the opioid crisis and increased capacity by more than 1,200 treatment beds. In addition, the Administration is investing $219 million over five years from the federally approved 1115 Medicaid waiver 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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Parking For The Feast


Police Chief Al Dupere has authorized the issuance of “Special Parking Permits” for the 2018 Great Holy Ghost Feast of New England.
 
The permits will be valid from Friday, August 24, 2018 through Sunday August 26, 2018.
 
Residents eligible for permits are those living on Bradford Avenue (#380-#651) and Middle Street (#517-#685) between Broadway to South Main St. Also eligible are Eagle Street (#289 and #303,) Fountain Street (#311 and #358,) and Mulberry Street (#358-#384,) between Bradford Avenue and Division Street. Division Street #369, #381, #451, and #509 only are eligible.
 
Parking permits will be distributed by Captain Paul F. Gauvin, on Wednesday August 22, 2018 from 2:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. at the Fall River Police Mobile Command Post located in upper Kennedy Park, adjacent to the right field corner of the Federal Little League Field.
 
Residents must present their current motor vehicle registration certificate to be issued a permit.
 
Permits will only be issued to residents living within the above listed addresses with vehicles registered to the above listed address areas. 

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Rhode Island and Mass. Filing Suit Again VS. Trump Administration


     The Attorney Generals of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, along with 5 other states have filed suits versus the Trump Administration to block efforts to what it alleges are efforts to punish jurisdictions that did not agree to what are termed immigration-related conditions on federal law enforcement grants.

 

     The suit was file this week in the U.S. District Court for he Southern District of New York, the A.G's of the Commonwealth and Rhode Island argue that the Trump Administration's conditions on the grants are interfering with the rights of states and cities to set the grants are interfering with the rights of states and cities to set their own law enforcement policies and the Department of Justice lacks the legal authority to impose new conditions are how funds are used. 

 

      At issue are some 25 million federal dollars in Edward Byrnbe Memorial Justice Assistance Grants for fiscal year 2017. The Trump Administration is asking states to allow federal agents access to correctional facilities, to question immigrants, along with giving advance notice of an immigrants scheduled release date. 

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Gasoline This Week According to Triple A


Gasoline prices in Massachusetts are up two cents this week, according to AAA Northeast.

 

AAA’s August 6 survey of prices in Massachusetts finds self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.84 per gallon.

 

The Massachusetts price is two cents lower than the national average for regular unleaded of $2.86. A year ago at this time, the average price in Massachusetts was 55 cents lower at $2.29. 

 

“With gasoline demand running high and supply running lower, we will likely see an end-of-summer pump price rally as inventories continue to tighten, especially on the East Coast,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs.

 

The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 40 cents, from a low of $2.69 to a high of $3.09. 

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F-R-P-D Task Force


Beginning on Friday June 22, 2018, Chief Albert F. Dupere ordered the organization of a joint Crime & Gang Impact Task Force which was comprised of a rotation of officers from Major Crimes Division, Vice & Intelligence Division, Special Operations Division and Uniform Division.
 
This group of individuals also worked in conjunction with the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and members of the FBI Gang Task Force.
 
This team effort focused specifically on disrupting and destroying illegal drug, gang activity and violent crimes. Most importantly striving to make a significant impact on recent targeted gang related gun violence that had been plaguing certain areas of the city.
 
This team worked relentlessly to reach resolutions on two shootings that occurred in June on Pine Street, an armed robbery & shooting incident occurring shortly after on Water Street, and a shooting occurring in broad daylight on Rocliffe Street in July.
 
They also apprehended numerous known violent fugitives and gang members. In total, they made approximately 38 Arrests, 5 of which involved gun related incidents, 7 were drug related and 24 of the arrests made were of Gang Members or known gang associates. One arrest was a fugitive who was involved in a shooting in Maine and fled to Fall River.
 
The Fall River Police Department is dedicated in reducing the fear of crime and most importantly improving the quality of life in the neighborhoods that were victimized by these acts of violence.
 
The incidents investigated throughout this operation all were targeted acts of violence against rival gang members and associates.
 
In just over a month, this task force made a dramatic impact on crime in our city, placed many gang members in jail and seized numerous illegal firearms off of our streets.
 
The team also worked heavily on gathering intelligence in order to better understand the gang crime patterns in our city, how to proactively prevent violent crime and also act quickly toward resolution in the wake of an incident.
 
 
The latest notable activity from the Task Force resulted in two arrests and a firearm seizure. On July 26, 2018, Officer Matthew Mendes while assigned to the Task Force gathered intelligence of a location that the violent street gang known as the "Asian Boyz" were using as a hangout.
 
Further investigation revealed that two of the members were identified as Christopher Dejesus and a 16 year old juvenile. It was determined they were possibly present in the basement common area of 14 Downing Street.
Further information gathered from social media was video footage of the individuals mentioned holding firearms and pointing them toward the camera while being recorded
 
. One of the firearms viewed was very distinct with a tan/cream colored grip and an extended magazine. Officers also noted the area in the background of the videos. Sgt. Brett Kimball, Officers Kevin BShara, Kwin Silva, Greg Homen, Fred Mello, Matt Mendes and Detectives Rick Aguiar, Luis Duarte, Eric Copsetta began undercover surveillance in the area of 14 Downing Street. While conducting surveillance they observed Dejesus and the juvenile standing in the yard of the residence.
 
Due to the belief these individuals may be armed, officers began exiting their vehicle and attempted to encounter these suspects. Dejesus attempted to flee but was detained.
 
The juvenile fled through the basement common area but was intercepted as he attempted to exit through the front entry. In the basement common area, officers located the same distinct firearm with the unique grip and extended magazine in plain view. The scene was immediately secured and a search warrant was applied for by Officer Matt Mendes.
 
Once the search warrant was executed, a further search was conducted and Detective Duarte located a plastic bag containing twelve (12) rounds of ammunition hidden in the drop ceiling of the basement.
 
The firearm was seized as well and identified as a Springfield Armory 1911 .45 caliber semi automatic pistol equipped with a high capacity loaded extended magazine.
 
Christopher Dejesus (d.o.b. 07-06-1999) was also taken into custody and charged with the following crimes:
 
? Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm
 
? Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Feeding Device
 
? Possession of Ammunition without an FID Card
 
? Firearm Violation with 1 prior violent/drug crime conviction
 
The 16 year old juvenile was charged with: ? Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm ? Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Feeding Device ? Possession of Ammunition without an FID Card ? Firearm Violation with 1 prior violent/drug crime conviction
 
In closing, this dynamic approach of using a multi-unit task force created a surge of resources for focusing on investigation, intelligence gathering and most importantly a proactive approach to policing.
 
The Fall River Police Department would not have been able to achieve this great success without the dedication and determination of our officers.
 

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Forever Paws Animal Shelter Begins New Program


The Forever Paws Animal Shelter has started a new program called the Shelter Buddies Reading Program. It is designed to help shelter dogs become more adoptable. Reading to the dogs helps to bring comfort to and reduce the anxiety of shelter pets, and it nurtures empathy in children. Participants will sit outside of the dog's kennel and read to them.

 

Forever Paws is looking for kind kids ages 6-15. One parent is required to attend the training and must accompany the child every time they come to read and must attend the orientation. Closed-toed, rubber-soled shoes are required to protect your feet and give better traction when walking through the animal wings. At this time, also please bring something to sit on the floor. 

 

You are welcome to bring a favorite book. The shelter is looking for book donations with an animal them to start a library of their own for the children volunteers. 

 

You only need to attend ONE training session and then you will be able to read to the animals between 11pm and 4pm. You can come read for as little or as long as you'd like during designated hours, available seven days a week. 

 

Forever Paws is also asking for a one-time $5.00 donation to offset the cost of the program.

 

The first orientation begins on August 26th at 10am. For future orientations please call for dates and time. (508-677-9154) 

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New Bedford Tourism


 
New Bedford, Massachusetts- Several local businesses have committed to supporting tourism in New Bedford, sponsoring a campaign for visiting New Bedford this summer.
 
These businesses demonstrated a commitment to promoting the city, with two major investments including a new billboard advertising New Bedford and a sampler CD of local music to showcase the city’s arts, music and culture scene:
 
- The new billboard on I-195 westbound (an in-kind design by Design Principles, Inc., and sponsored by Skip’s Marine): Sponsors said it was important to promote Destination New Bedford’s new brand with a fresh, welcoming sign to thousands of daily travelers.
 
“My dad and I have always been big supporters of the city,” Ray Drouin, President of Skip’s Marine, said of the company founded by his father, Skip Drouin. “Our business has been involved with and supported by the seafood industry for over 55 years. We should all be proud to say that New Bedford is the #1 fishing port in the United States.”
 
- The Destination New Bedford Music sampler CD (sponsored by Whaling City Sound): the Office of Tourism and Marketing will sell the CD at a promotional price of $10 in its efforts to promote New Bedford as a leisure travel destination, and to market the city’s history, culture, shopping, dining, arts and entertainment locally, regionally and nationally.
 
“New Bedford is undergoing one of our periodic resurgences, this time energized by artists and the creative economy,” said Neal Weiss, President of Whaling City Sound.
 
“The city’s extensive multi-cultural history carries the customs, celebrations and culinary traditions of many nations into the present, with the benefit that these gifts are now available to anyone who wants to visit.
 
Whaling City Sound began issuing jazz CDs 20 years ago to bring talented area artists and others to a wider audience. Five #1 CDs on jazz radio and one Grammy nomination later, we have succeeded in spreading the names and music of our performers over the internet and airwaves worldwide.
 
Jazz has a special
 
place in New Bedford, and New Bedford has a special place in the jazz world. The city has provided a fertile ground for Whaling City Sound to grow and expand. We are honored to work with Destination New Bedford in bringing our message to the wider population, and to offer others a glimpse of what we have and cherish on a daily basis.”
 
“The businesses we worked with on these specialty projects are not typically looked at as tourism related businesses like attractions and cultural institutions, but these are businesses that are investing back into the community,” said Dagny Ashley, New Bedford’s director of tourism and marketing. “They see the importance of tourism as an economic generator and how that supports small businesses. It has been such a pleasure to work with Skip’s Marine, Design Principles, and Whaling City sound on these out-of-the-box creative initiatives that benefit our community.”
 
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Keating Resolution


 

 

 

KEATING BITMAP BILL ADVANCED THROUGH COMMITTEE

 

Washington, DC – Last week, H.R. 6439, the Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) Authorization Act of 2018 passed out of the Homeland Security Committee with a bipartisan vote of 20-7.  The legislation was introduced by Congressman Bill Keating and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) to fully authorize BITMAP, a program designed to better identify national security threats.

 

BITMAP is a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations (ICE/HSI)-led program established in 2011 under then-President Obama, in which partner-country law enforcement officers collect and share biometric and biographic data on special interest individuals to identify potential threat actors who utilize illicit pathways to enter the United States. In the last few years, BITMAP has identified several hundred known or suspected terrorists in addition to criminals, drug smugglers, human traffickers, murderers, child predators, and dangerous gangs like MS-13.

 

Rep. Bill Keating: "The BITMAP program has proven extremely useful in increasing our capacity for information sharing and developing comprehensive strategies with our international partners to intercept known or suspected terrorists and criminals before they reach our borders. It is keeping Americans safer. This is another way Members of the Committee are working together to thwart those who wish to do us all harm.”

 

Chairman McCaul: “As terror threats evolve over time, our adversaries become more agile, desperate to avoid detection and sneak into our country. One of the ways they try to come here is through the exploitation of illicit pathways in South and Central America. To combat this threat, we must leverage our international partnerships and use the most advanced technology to our advantage. ICE’s BITMAP program shares valuable data from law enforcement officers in participating countries with our own law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Simply put, this bill will help stop dangerous individuals who want to bring harm to the American people from entering the country. I look forward to this bill advancing to the House floor for a vote and continuing the Committee’s efforts to better secure the homeland

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Gasoline in MA This Week


GAS PRICES UP TWO CENTS, SAYS AAA

 

Gasoline prices in Massachusetts are up two cents this week, according to AAA Northeast.

 

AAA’s July 30 survey of prices in Massachusetts finds self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.82 per gallon. The Massachusetts price is three cents lower than the national average for regular unleaded of $2.85. A year ago at this time, the average price in Massachusetts was 58 cents lower at $2.24. 

 

“U.S. gasoline demand strengthened and supply declined over the last week, leading to slightly higher average prices both locally and across the country,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “If crude and gasoline inventories continue to tighten, prices at the pump will remain volatile throughout the northeast.”

 

The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 38 cents, from a low of $2.61 to a high of $2.99.

 

AAA advises motorists to shop around for the best prices in their area, and to make sure they and their passengers buckle up — every time.

 

Today’s local gas prices and their ranges are as follows:

 

Self Serve                                           Grade                        

$2.82 ($2.61-$2.99)                            Regular Unleaded                  

$3.06 ($2.89-$3.29)                            Midgrade Unleaded               

$3.24 ($2.99-$3.49)                            Premium Unleaded                

$3.16 ($2.99-$3.39)                            Diesel       

                              

Find the most up-to-date local gas prices with the AAA Fuel Finder by logging onto AAA.com and clicking on Gas Saving Tips & Tools.

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Cape Cod Swimmers Caution


     The Digital Edition of the Cape Cod Times is reporting that public safety administrators are asking you that if you're swimming in the waters of Cape Cod to exercise caution and swim safely.

 

     A Fall River man, Matthew Maderios drowned on July 5th while trying to swim out to an anchored boat at Mayflower Beach.

 

     John Lima of Lakeville drowned on July 12th in the waters off Pocassat; He was in cardiac arrest by the time he reached the shore.

     

     Five people have drowned in the water of the Cape and the Islands over the past two weeks.

 

     The victims have ranged in age from 42-76; at least one has suffered cardiac arrest while in the water.

 

     16 people have drowned this Summer since June 1st according to Massachusetts State Police. 

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Special School Committee Meeting


     A special session of the Fall River School Committee will happen at 2:00pm on Tuesday afternoon (7/31) in the Spencer Borden Elementary School Community Room with one topic on the agenda. 

 

     Fall River Superintendent of Public Schools Doctor Matthew Malone and Chief Financial Officer for the School Department, Kevin Almeida, will offer recommendations for utilizing the second payment in Fiscal Year 2018 for Puerto Rico and U.S.B.I Hurricane Relief funds for the Fall River School District, which total nearly $453,000.

 

      The district accepted an estimated 150 children whose families relocated to Fall River after Hurricane Maria. 

 

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Baker Signs New Police Training Bill


                Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed into Law House Bill 45-16 which allows the Municipal Police Training Committee to conduct additional recruitment and training that will give local police the critical tools needed to ensure the safety of residents and communities. The M.P.T.C is responsible for training and setting standards for local police, Umass Police, and State Environmental Police.
 
                The new law allows for up to 10 million in annual revenue for police training funded by a two dollar, one-time surcharge on rental cars in the Commonwealth and revenue from the Marijuana Regulation Fund along with grants, gifts and donations to be used for the fund itself.
 
                The Massachusetts Police Training Commission can expand first aid and first line supervision training along with field training and training for SRO's and sexual assault investigator training. 

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Red Sox Rained Out


The Red Sox were rained out in Baltimore Wednesday Night, after 24 minutes of play and a more than 2 hour rain delay. 

 

No makeup date has been announced; the Sox are in Baltimore during the second weekend in August, and will likely play a day night doubleheader on Friday or Saturday during what will now be a four game series. 

 

The Sox are back in Fenway tonight for an 11 day, 10 game homestand. 

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Kennedy Medicaid Bill


Congressman Joe Kennedy III today introduced a bipartisan bill to streamline the reimbursement process for care provided to children outside of the state where they are enrolled in a Medicaid program.

 

Cosponsored by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Congressman David McKinley (R-WV), the Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act would create an enhanced screening and enrollment process for Medicaid’s pediatric providers and suppliers when there is a low risk for fraud, waste and abuse.

 

“Complex, burdensome rules and regulations should never barricade a child from the lifesaving care he or she deserves,” said Congressman Kennedy. “State borders cannot stand in the way of kids and families seeking specialized care at one of our Commonwealth’s world-renowned hospitals. By passing the Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act, we can ensure that young lives aren’t lost or forever altered because of a bureaucratic delay.”

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Katie Brown Grant


Katie Brown Educational Program Receives $8,500 from the Bristol County Savings Charitable Foundation

 

Taunton, MA- On Wednesday, June 27, 2018, the Katie Brown Educational Program (KBEP) was awarded an $8,500 grant from the Bristol County Savings Bank Charitable Foundation.

 

“KBEP has had a consistent presence in the communities of Dighton, Rehoboth, and Taunton for a number of years,” said Claire Spaulding McVicker, Executive Director at the Katie Brown Educational Program. “Funding from the Bristol County Savings Bank Charitable Foundation has supported our work since 2012.  It was in thanks to that support that we've been able to grow our presence and reach in those communities.  “

 

Support from the Bristol County Savings Charitable Foundation will enable KBEP to continue providing effective (and cost-effective) relationship violence prevention education at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School, Taunton High School, and Dighton Middle School.

 

Founded in 2001, the Katie Brown Educational Program is a relationship violence prevention program taught to students in grades 4-12 in Southeastern, MA and Rhode Island. Since its inception, highly qualified educators have provided more than 88,000 students with the skills necessary to promote and have healthy dating relationships. The program has also expanded to include relationship sexual violence prevention (RSVP) programming, parent workshops, professional development workshops, a Consent Awareness Pledge, webinars and a host of other programs relative to developing a culture of healthy relationships.

 

The Bristol County Savings Charitable Foundation (BCSCF) was established in 1996 with the purpose of funding needs that contribute to the economic and social well-being of the people and institutions located in the greater Attleboro/Taunton, greater New Bedford, greater Fall River, Massachusetts area and the Pawtucket, Rhode Island area.

Since the BCSCF began, close to $19 million in grants have been committed to 501(c)(3) organizations in our local communities.

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FR Prostitution Busts


On Saturday, July 14th, 2018 at approximately 16:30 p.m. Fall River Police Department Vice and Intelligence Detective Gary Barboza and Detective Sergeant Andrew Joseph were on patrol in North Main and Vestal Street area when he observed a female on the corner staring at males as they drove past.  The Detectives pulled their vehicle over and Detective Barboza exited and approached the female on foot. When he got close to the female, the female asked for a cigarette. He Detective stated he had none. The female asked if he wanted ‘to do something’ then went on to described a sexual act she was willing to do for $30. She then pointed to a house on the corner offering to kick her roommate out. Detective Barboza then gave a signal to Sgt. Joseph who drove up with his badge displayed.

     Cheri L. Keefe age 49 of Fall River was placed under arrest on charges of Sexual Conduct for a Fee.

                                                                  

 

On Monday July 16th 2018 at approximately 7:30 pm Fall River Police Department Vice and Intelligence Detective James Elumba was in the area of South Main and Morgan Street when he observed a female on the corner staring at males as they drove past. Detective Elumba suspected she may be prostituting so he drove past her and parked approximately 40 feet away. The female approached his vehicle and stuck her head in the passenger window uninvited. During a brief conversation she offered to perform a sexual act for $20.

The detective stated he would have to get some money and would be right back. Detective Elumba drove away and picked up Detective Athan Parousis. They returned to the corner and found the female waiting. The Detectives identified themselves as Police and arrested the female on a charge of Sexual Conduct for a Fee. She was identified as Dawna Cheatham age 25 of Fall River.

                                                         

 

Approximately 30 minutes later Det. Elumba was notified by Det. Parousis that there was another female at the corner of Hartwell and Rodman Streets staring at males as they drove past. Suspecting prostitution he drove past her and parked approximately 50 feet away. The female approached his vehicle and stuck her head in the window uninvited. During a brief conversation she offered to perform a sexual act for $30. Again the detective stated he would have to get some money and would be right back. Detective Elumba drove away and picked up Detective Athan Parousis and returned to the corner. When they returned to the corner, they found the female waiting. The Detectives identified themselves as Police and arrested the female on a charge of Sexual Conduct for a Fee. She was identified as Tanya Gaudreau age 32 of New Bedford.

                                                       

 

 

Approximately 60 minutes later Det. Richard Aguiar notified Det. Parousis that there was a female at the corner of Morgan and Second Streets staring at males as they past. Suspecting prostitution he drove past her and parked. This female walked over and began a conversation where she agreed to perform a certain sexual act for $30. When Det. Aguair called for Det. Parousis, the female started yelling she didn’t do anything and ran away. The female was located two building away hiding behind a dumpster. The female, identified as Tieonah Addington age 35 of Fall River was placed under arrest on charges of Sexual Conduct for a Fee.

                                                                                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dartmouth Accident


State Police responded to a single car motor vehicle accident on Route 195 Eastbound in Dartmouth between  Route 88 and Highland Avenue at approximately 3:00 pm Friday Afternoon

 

It was determined that the motor vehicle involved was travelling on 195 East when it left the roadway and struck the Highland Avenue overpass bridge. 

 

The male operator and lone occupant, Richard Carroll, of New Canaan, CT, was immediately transported to St. Luke’s Hospital where he was pronounced deceased a short time later. 

 

This matter remains under investigation.

 

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FRHA Housing Director


The Fall River Housing Authority Board has decided to restart its process to hire a new Executive Director, after refusing to hire Jeffery Driscoll, a Somerset Based Attorney who was the only finalist left from a search that began earlier this year. 

 

A 45 minutes executive session led to the decision during an FRHA session at their Morgan Street Headquarters. 

 

The current chair of the FRHA Board, Roger Tasche, indicated it would be next month before the topic is revisited. 

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FR School Security


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FR Armed Robbery


Armed Robbery - Stop & Save Convenience 345 Robeson Street
 
DATE: Wednesday February 21, 2018 @ Approximately 8:00PM
 
On Wednesday February 21, 2018 at approximately 8:00PM, The Fall River Police responded to Stop & Save Convenience located at 345 Robeson Street in regard to an Armed Robbery. Upon arrival responding Officer Thomas DeMello spoke with the victim who stated that he was just "pepper" sprayed by a suspect and explained that cigarettes were stolen.
 
No money was obtained during the commission of the crime.
 
After interviewing the victim, Officer DeMello identified that the store was equipped with video surveillance. .
 
The Fall River Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in identifying the suspects pictured in these screen captures.
 
Suspect #1: black male, 19-21 years of age, 5'7-5'9 thin build, small amount of facial hair on chin, wearing black pants, black jacket, grey Patriots hoodie, red and blue flat brim cap, black Nike Jordan style sneakers with white soles and red laces.
 
This suspect pepper sprayed the clerk and stole Newport cigarettes.
 
Suspect#2: black male, thin build 19-21 years of age, 6'- 6'1, black hoodie, grey sweatpantss, black sneakers. This suspect appears to be the lookout.
 
Anyone with information regarding this incident please contact Detective Larry Ferreira of the FRPD Major Crimes Division at 508-324-2796. Anonymous TIPS are also accepted through our TIP line @ 508-672-TIPS and also Facebook Messenger.
 

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Friday Afternoon Durfee Statement


On Thursday, February 15, 2018 at approximately 6pm, we received an email from a student alerting us to an anonymous social media posting regarding a threat of violence at B.M.C. Durfee High School.
 
We immediately began an investigation, working closely with the Fall River Police Department, to ascertain the validity of the threat and make a determination of threat level assessment.
 
Based on the facts as we knew them, we determined the threat was not credible; however, out of an abundance of caution, we increased our level of security at B.M.C. Durfee High School today, Friday, February 16, 2018.
 
As such, we employed the use of metal detectors and bag checks. We also had additional police presence, working in partnership with the Fall River Police Department. Attendance was down today, as to be expected, but school was safe and learning and teaching was happening in our classrooms.
 
The Fall River Police Department is investigating all leads regarding the origin of the anonymous social media post. The FBI is presently assisting the Fall River Police Department in this effort.
 
No other information can be released at this time so as not to jeopardize the investigation. We encourage anyone who may have any information regarding the origin of the anonymous social media post to please contact the Fall River Police Department.
 
Further, we ask that parents help us by monitoring their child’s social media activity as well as ensure that their backpacks and belongings are always safe.
 
Honest, open communication is always the first line of defense in the prevention of school violence. We will always keep these lines of communication open.
 
B.M.C. Durfee High School is a safe and secure high school. The school leadership team, the faculty and staff, the school resource officers, the security officers, and our counseling professionals maintain rigorous safety and security protocols and procedures on a daily basis.
 
 
Matthew H. Malone, Ph.D., Superintendent

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UMass and the Portuguese American Community


UMass Dartmouth to strengthen its partnership with the Portuguese-American community and the Lusophone world

 

Chancellor Robert E. Johnson to visit Catholic University and the Camões Institute in Lisbon, and bring the university’s Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture under his supervision

 

UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert E. Johnson has launched a coordinated effort to strengthen the university’s partnership with the region’s Portuguese-American community and the global Lusophone diaspora. The university is located in a region with the largest percentage of Portuguese-Americans in the United States.

 

“To know the Portuguese-American community is to know the SouthCoast,” Chancellor Johnson said. “In my first six months as chancellor, I have enjoyed learning about the extraordinary contributions of Portuguese-Americans to the business, cultural and civic life of this region, the Commonwealth, and nation. Now, I am looking forward to reaffirming our commitment to the Portuguese-American community and the Portuguese-speaking world.”

 

As part of the initiative, Chancellor Johnson will move the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, the university’s primary conduit to the Portuguese-American community, from the College of Arts and Sciences to the Office of the Chancellor. The governance structure of the Center, with a faculty-led executive board and community-based advisory board, will continue.

 

Next week, Chancellor Johnson will visit the Catholic University of Portugal as well as the Camões Institute, a Lisbon-based national center that promotes international cooperation and education. The Institute has been a major supporter of UMass Dartmouth’s Portuguese-related education, research, and outreach programs.

 

“My goal is for our university to fully embrace its historic connection to Portugal, the Azores, and the rest of the Portuguese diaspora in new and innovative ways,’’ Chancellor Johnson said. “To accomplish that goal, we need to coordinate and align the many critical inter-disciplinary initiatives connected to the Center. I believe there is great potential for new innovative partnerships and outreach both close to home and abroad.”

 

The university is home to the nationally renowned Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, Department of Portuguese, Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, and the Tagus Press, the latter of which publishes Portuguese literary works. The university has also established multiple academic and economic development partnerships, including:

 

-- The School for Marine Science and Technology has formed a doctoral education partnership with Brazil’s University of São Paulo Institute of Oceanography.

 

-- The College of Nursing partners with the University of the Azores on the “Bridging the Atlantic” community nursing student exchange program.

 

-- The Charlton College of Business and Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship bring students to a “Startup Weekend” entrepreneurship forum at the Nonagon Science and Technology Park in the Azores.

 

-- The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is advising the Azores business and government community on the development of a technology incubator.

 

 

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Malone Letter on School Safety


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The latest on the Durfee Threat


During the evening of Thursday February 15, 2018, The Fall River Police received several reports of a threatening message being circulated via the social media application "SnapChat".
 
Specifically mentioned in that message was a threat of Durfee being "Florida pt 2".
 
This message was posted on an account that appeared to be anonymous. Further details of this investigation cannot be released at this time.
 
The Fall River Police Department takes any threat to our community and especially the safety of our students with the utmost concern.
 
Due to the threat, increased security measures were taken by the Fall River Police to ensure the safety of our students at B.M.C. Durfee High School as well as all other campuses within our school district.
 
The Fall River Police Department and Fall River School District worked collaboratively to devise a security plan.
 
The Fall River Special Operations Division, Fall River Police School Resource Unit and Fall River Public Schools Security Team implemented elevated security protocols and increased police presence both uniformed and undercover to ensure the safety of our students.
 
The investigation is ongoing as it relates to the source of the circulated threat on SnapChat.
 
The Fall River Police Department encourages all individuals that if you "see something say something". All threats will be considered serious and investigated diligently.
 
The safety and security of the children within our community is paramount and we ask for the community's assistance in ensuring we continue to foster this safe and secure environment.
 
 

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Rob Clears Protocol


The lone remaining question mark heading into Super Bowl LII has been answered: Rob Gronkowskihas been cleared from concussion protocol and will play against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Gronkowski will meet with the media on Thursday afternoon, a sign that the New England Patriots tight end has cleared the protocol after spending a week and a half under wraps following the AFC Championship Game.

 

coach Bill Belichick said “hopefully he’ll be ready to go” when asked about Rob Gronkowski. Asked about getting him back, Belichick said “it’s good.”

There was little doubt that Gronk was going to miss the Super Bowl. The tight end didn't mince his words Tuesday when he said, "Yes," he expected to play.

Gronk returned to practice on Saturday after suffering a concussion in the title game and was limited on Wednesday.

All the pieces are in place for the Pats, who, with Gronk ready and able, are fully healthy for Super Sunday.

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MassDOT and the Patriots


The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is encouraging safe driving behavior for Super Bowl weekend and helping to spread team spirit in recognition of the New England Patriots participation of the 52nd Super Bowl this Sunday, February 4th, 2018, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

 

“We certainly want the home team to do well and share everyone’s excitement about the big game, which is why we are lighting some infrastructure with red and blue,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “In addition, as people make plans to get together or perhaps travel to watch the game, we will use some message boards to remind the public to think about safety.  Let’s all do our part to get ourselves and others home safe, designate a driver who has not been drinking and follow the rules of the road.”

 

The following MassDOT and MBTA infrastructure will be lit in the team colors of the Patriots:

 

·         The Burns Bridge in Worcester will be lit in red, white and blue on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night.

 

·         The Zakim Bridge in Boston will be lit in red, white, and blue on Friday and Saturday night. (The bridge will be lit orange for World Cancer Day on Sunday as a result of a previous lighting request.)

 

·         The Government Center MBTA Station and South Station will be lit in red, white and blue on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night.

 

There will also be special text on portable message boards controlled by MassDOT which will encourage safe and sober driving during Super Bowl celebrations. The text will read: “Don’t Get Sacked, Drive Sober Sunday,” “Do Your Job, Don’t Drink & Drive,” and “No Days Off, Always Wear Seatbelt.” These messages will appear on select roadway message boards beginning at 7 a.m., Friday, February 2 and through the end of the day on Sunday, February 4.

 

In addition, the Registry for Motor Vehicles (RMV) reminds the public that it announced last September that a re-designed special New England Patriots license plate was available. The plate is a specialty plate which highlights the team’s five Super Bowl championships with the specific emblem of “5X Champions.” Below the emblem are the numerals of each Super Bowl that the Patriots have won and a star to celebrate each championship. Registry customers can continue to purchase the license plate at state-wide RMV Service Centers or online at http://www.massrmv.com. After paying a registration fee, a license plate holder will then pay a special plate renewal fee of $40 every two years. Proceeds from this plate benefit the New England Patriots Foundation

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The BCC Seat


 Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has appointed Frank Baptista, founder and host of Radio Voz do Emigrante/WHTB-1400AM, as a member of the Bristol Community College Board of Trustees. 

            Prior to founding and hosting Radio Voz do Emigrante, Mr. Baptista was the founder and host of Impacto, WJAR-TV 10, a bi-weekly television program serving the Portuguese-speaking community in Southern New England. He previously contributed the column, A Nossa Voz, in the Fall River Herald News, about Portuguese history, national issues, and events, in the United States, and had formerly served as a personnel director at the Shelburne Shirt Company in Fall River.

 

            Baptista serves as a board member of LusoCentro at Bristol Community College, SER Jobs for Progress, and the Massachusetts Health Association Quality Partners. He is a member of the Prince Henry Society of Fall River, Fall River Day of Portugal, Sociadade Cultural Acoreana, Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States, and the Advisory Board of Rhode Island Public Radio. He is an advisor to the National Organization of Portuguese-Americans (NAPO).

 

            Baptista has studied at Rhode Island College, Brown University, and the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and speaks Portuguese, English, Creole, and Spanish.

            Bristol Community College’s Board of Trustees works tirelessly to ensure the college’s institutional activities remain at the highest level of quality, and BCC’s success is attributed to their dedication and the dedication of our exemplary employees.

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Bristol County Chamber Testimony on MA Minimum Wage


Written Testimony of the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce

Submitted to The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development for the Hearing Record on regarding HB4111 - Initiative Petition -

An Act for a law raising the minimum wage

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

 

The Bristol County Chamber of Commerce wishes to voice opposition to HB4111 - Initiative Petition - An Act for a law raising the minimum wage. What greatly troubles the more than eight hundred member businesses of the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce is that the drive to increase the minimum wage comes on the heels of the health care assessment on employers and an increase to the EMAC fees. This action also follows the mandating of employer paid sick leave, and increases to employer paid health care, unemployment and workers compensation insurance. Where is does it stop?

 

In 2016, the Massachusetts minimum wage rose to $11 per hour. That was a 9% increase, which small businesses also had to absorb. Massachusetts is now one of the highest minimum wage states in the United States. Three-quarters of Massachusetts employers will face another substantial increase if the initiative petition for the $15 per hour minimum wage is passed. It is also important to reflect that a $15 minimum wage is actually over $20 per hour when employer withholdings, and other mandated contributions are added. Time and a half on Sundays within the retail sector will also shift to an outrageous $22.50. Impacts from the initiative petition for employer paid family and medical is another fear.

 

Competiveness within the retail sector is a serious issue in Massachusetts that needs more attention. Look at the statewide closings of Walmart, Best Buy, J.C. Penny and Benny’s as evidence. In an e-commerce environment where consumers shop for the cheapest price via the internet there is little room for brick and mortar businesses to remain competitive. The establishment of a $15 minimum wage will certainly impact to the remaining retailers in Massachusetts.

 

Another genuine concern is that Massachusetts is one of the few states without a teen wage. Rhode Island and New Hampshire are competitor states that offer a competitive minimum wage and an introductory teen wage. The Rhode Island minimum wage is $10.50 an hour. Their teen wage is $ 9.09 per hour for workers under 19 and 7.58 an hour for 14 – 15 year olds. New Hampshire has a $7.25 minimum wage and a teen wage of $5.46. At $22.50, who is going to hire a teen?

 

The bottom line is that small businesses in Massachusetts are getting beaten down by the onslaught of fees and initiative driven mandates. In addition to raising the minimum wage there are initiatives and bills in play that if passed will mandate employer paid family and medical leave, enact strict scheduling and establish a millionaire’s tax on small businesses. According to “Forbes’s Magazine,” Massachusetts is the highest cost of doing business state in the nation. The initiative petition for a $15 minimum wage increase unfairly punishes mom and pop businesses as if they are Wall Street brokerages. Keep in mind that large employers will adjust through automation but your constituent café on Main Street, or the hardware store in your district are less resilient.

 

In the days ahead it is hoped that members of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will take the time to contemplate the impacts of what a $15 minimum wage will do to their constituents who own and run small businesses. Please also balance the totality of the impacts when considering additional anti-business burdens such as strict scheduling and employer paid family and medical leave. Thank you in advance for the opportunity to submit testimony on this important issue.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Robert A. Mellion, Esq.

Chief Executive Officer/ President

Bristol County Chamber of Commerce

 

 

 

 

Written Testimony of the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce

Submitted to The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development for the Hearing Record on HB4110 - Initiative Petition -

An Act establishing a paid family and medical leave insurance program

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

 

The Bristol County Chamber of Commerce wishes to voice its opposition to HB4110 - Initiative Petition - An Act establishing a paid family and medical leave insurance program, that if enacted would mandate an Employer Paid Family & Medical Leave benefit at the expense of Massachusetts businesses. Of great concern is that the threat of an Employer Paid Family and Medical Leave law comes on the heels of the health care assessment on employers and an increase to the EMAC fees. This action also follows the mandating of employer paid sick leave, and increases to employer paid health care, unemployment and workers compensation insurance. Where is does it stop?

 

Employer paid family and medical leave will be a great burden to small business businesses by mandating their workers 26 weeks paid time off to care for themselves and 16 weeks for family members. Both benefits would allow for intermittent and extended periods of time with pay. The paid benefits will be employer financed and could cost small businesses as much as $1000 per week, per employee. This is in addition to the expense of finding and paying for alternative workers that will be needed to make up for the individuals taking employer paid time off.
 
While a handful of states, such as Rhode Island and New Jersey, have enacted medical and family leave provisions, their programs are mostly funded by employee payroll deductions. Massachusetts would be an exception by placing such a burden on businesses. For the Massachusetts program to work, $1 billion in new taxes must be raised. 50% of the new tax will be from employers and 50% on employees. Approximately $70 million of that $1 billion will be to fund a new state agency. In addition to the $1 billion needed, it will also cost the state an estimated $55 million to provide the new benefit.

 

Please also keep in mind that Massachusetts is already identified as the highest cost state in the nation to do business within. It is additionally important to recognize that the current Legislative Session includes bills and initiative petitions that if enacted would mandate 3 weeks in advance employer scheduling, establish a $15 minimum wage, establish a millionaire’s tax that is a another tax on limited liability companies and S corporations and further increase the cost of energy in the state that already has the highest cost for electricity in the United States. The newly enacted employer paid health care assessment is just now hitting businesses. Another hit is Unemployment Insurance. All of these hardships are coming at Massachusetts companies at once. It is too much for many small businesses to endure.

 

In the days ahead it is hoped that members of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will take the time to contemplate the impacts of what employer paid family and medical leave can do to their constituent businesses. Please try to balance the totality of the impacts when considering additional burdens such as “HB4110 - Initiative Petition - An Act establishing a paid family and medical leave insurance program.” Hopefully it will be recognized that all of these employer paid mandates are too much for Massachusetts businesses to absorb in one legislative session.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony on this important issue.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Robert A. Mellion, Esq.

President & CEO

Bristol County Chamber of Commerce

 

 

 

Jennifer Lourenco

Communications Manager

 

FOR SIGNATURE

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Rhode Island $15 An Hour


With the backing of working Rhode Islanders and a coalition of community organizations, Sen. Gayle L. Goldin, Sen. Jeanine Calkin, Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell and Rep. Susan R. Donovan today announced their campaign for a $15 minimum wage by 2023 and equal pay for women and minorities.

The legislators held a State House event with a coalition of community organizations to announce their introduction of bills to enact the minimum wage raises and provide protections and transparency in the workplace to help women and people of color demand equal pay for equal work.

The minimum wage legislation would gradually increase the hourly minimum wage from $10.10 to $15 by 2023, and would also gradually increase the hourly minimum wage for employees receiving gratuities, currently $3.89, until it is equal to the non-tipped minimum wage by 2028. From 2024 onward, the minimum wage would be linked to the cost of living or the consumer price index.

The sponsors said the minimum wage effort — known as the “Fight for $15” — is focused on ensuring that people who work full time are not living in poverty.

Representative Ranglin-Vassell (D-Dist. 5, Providence), who works as a Providence school teacher, related reading a student’s essay in which he talked about having completely empty cupboards, despite his mother’s working double shifts.

“We can help families in Rhode Island by passing a $15 living wage so that children whose parents work up to 80 hours per week do not have to go to bed hungry. Some will say, ‘let them pull themselves up by their own boot straps.’ People who care about justice say ‘You can’t pull yourself up by your boot straps if you can’t even afford boots.’ That’s why we are fighting day in and day out to make sure that if you work full time or even double time as my student’s mom does, you should never live in poverty.” 

According to the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, 165,000 Rhode Islanders would be affected by the increase. Approximately 65,000 children in the state have at least one parent who would be affected. Rhode Island’s Economic Progress Institute estimates that a single adult needs $20,500 per year to meet basic needs. A single-parent family needs $52,932 and a two-parent family requires $58,054 to raise a toddler and a school-aged child.

While the sponsors acknowledge that $15 still falls short of the wage it takes to support a family in Rhode Island, they said it would be a step toward greater fairness for working people.

“We continue to live in a period of tremendous income inequality. At a time where CEOs earn about 335 times that of the average worker and corporations make huge profits, their employees struggle to make ends meet. We need to stand by working families and fight for a living wage of $15 an hour, which our legislation would implement over the next 5 years.  Not only would we be supporting the hard-working people of our state, but raising the minimum wage would stimulate the economy by increasing consumer spending,” said Senator Calkin (D-Dist. 30, Warwick).

Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, New York, Washington, Oregon and the District of Columbia and many cities have already enacted increases that will eventually reach $12 to $15 an hour.

The Fair Pay Act, sponsored by Senator Goldin and Representative Donovan, would make it illegal to pay workers less than their white, male colleagues without a clearly documented difference in skills. It clarifies “comparable work,” making it clear that workers need to be paid equally for “substantially similar” work even if every detail is not the same. It bans policies that prevent workers from discussing their pay with each other and removes past salary history as a consideration since discrimination is perpetuated over time by employers relying on past salaries, rather than skills and value, to determine current pay.  It also requires the employer to disclose the salary range for the position. Last year, Massachusetts passed a similar Fair Pay Act, joining cities and companies across the country that are enacting these policies.

In Rhode Island, a woman working full-time still makes only 86 cents to the dollar that her male counterpart makes. Women of color are even more deeply affected. Black women in Rhode Island make 58 percent of what their white male counterparts make; for Latinas, the number is even lower—51 percent. On average, Rhode Island working women lose more than $7,000 per year to the wage gap—money desperately needed by working families.

“Despite the existing Equal Pay Act, wage discrimination laws are poorly enforced and cases are extremely difficult to prove and win. Stronger legislation such as the Fair Pay Act is needed to ease the burden of filing claims and clarify the right to pay equity,” said Rep. Susan R. Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth). “Women work just as hard as our counterparts to advance our careers and support our families. If we are serious about economic equality for women and people of color and supporting working families, we need to address the practices that continue to allow employers to discriminate against employees and perpetuate the wage gap.”

The sponsors linked this effort to address inequities to nationwide efforts to address power dynamics in the workplace.

“In recent months, the imbalance of power in our culture and our workplaces has been given some of the long-overdue public discussion it deserves. The fair pay bill we are introducing directly addresses the imbalance of power that, too often, holds women back. This is about recognizing that every woman deserves to be paid what a man is paid. Period. That equal rights mean exactly that: equality. This isn’t a zero sum game; When we pay women equally, we all prosper,” said Senator Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence).

The bills are supported by a coalition that includes the Center for Justice, the Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Economic Progress Institute, Jobs with Justice, Planned Parenthood, RI NOW, the Rhode Island Food Bank, SEIU 1199, SEIU 32BJ, Teamsters Local 251, the Women’s Fund of RI and Working Families.

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Text of JKIII SOTU Response


Congressman Joe Kennedy’s Democratic Response to President Trump’s State of the Union

 

As Prepared for Delivery

 

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts today delivered the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union.  Below is a full transcript of his remarks:


Good evening ladies and gentlemen.  It is a privilege to join you tonight.

 

We are here in Fall River, Massachusetts – a proud American city, built by immigrants. 

 

From textiles to robots, this is a place that knows how to make great things.

 

The students with us this evening in the autoshop at Diman Regional Technical School carry on that rich legacy.

 

Like many American hometowns, Fall River has faced its share of storms. But people here are tough. They fight for each other. They pull for their city. 

 

It is a fitting place to gather as our nation reflects on the state of our union.

 

This is a difficult task.  Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid.  We all feel the fault lines of a fractured country.  We hear the voices of Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken.

 

We see an economy that makes stocks soar, investor portfolios bulge and corporate profits climb but fails to give workers their fair share of the reward.

 

A government that struggles to keep itself open.

 

Russia knee-deep in our democracy.

 

An all-out war on environmental protection.

 

A Justice Department rolling back civil rights by the day.

 

Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets.

 

Bullets tearing through our classrooms, concerts, and congregations.  Targeting our safest, sacred places. 

 

And that nagging, sinking feeling, no matter your political beliefs: this is not right.  This is not who we are.

 

It would be easy to dismiss the past year as chaos. Partisanship. Politics.

But it’s far bigger than that.  This administration isn’t just targeting the laws that protect us – they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection.

 

For them, dignity isn’t something you’re born with but something you measure. 

 

By your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size.

 

Not to mention, the gender of your spouse.  The country of your birth.  The color of your skin.  The God of your prayers.

 

Their record is a rebuke of our highest American ideal: the belief that we are all worthy, we are all equal and we all count.  In the eyes of our law and our leaders, our God and our government.

 

That is the American promise.

 

But today that promise is being broken.  By an Administration that callously appraises our worthiness and decides who makes the cut and who can be bargained away.

 

They are turning American life into a zero-sum game.

 

Where, in order for one to win, another must lose.

 

Where we can guarantee America’s safety if we slash our safety net.

 

We can extend healthcare to Mississippi if we gut it in Massachusetts. 

 

We can cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them for families tomorrow.

 

We can take care of sick kids if we sacrifice Dreamers.

 

We are bombarded with one false choice after another:

 

Coal miners or single moms.  Rural communities or inner cities.  The coast or the heartland.

As if the mechanic in Pittsburgh and the teacher in Tulsa and the daycare worker in Birmingham are somehow bitter rivals, rather than mutual casualties of a system forcefully rigged for those at the top.

 

As if the parent who lies awake terrified that their transgender son will be beaten and bullied at school is any more or less legitimate than the parent whose heart is shattered by a daughter in the grips of opioid addiction.

 

So here is the answer Democrats offer tonight: we choose both.  We fight for both.  Because the strongest, richest, greatest nation in the world shouldn’t leave any one behind. 

    

We choose a better deal for all who call this country home.

 

We choose the living wage, paid leave and affordable child care your family needs to survive.

 

We choose pensions that are solvent, trade pacts that are fair, roads and bridges that won’t rust away, and good education you can afford.

 

We choose a health care system that offers mercy, whether you suffer from cancer or depression or addiction.

 

We choose an economy strong enough to boast record stock prices AND brave enough to admit that top CEOs making 300 times the average worker is not right. 


We choose Fall River.

 

We choose the thousands of American communities whose roads aren’t paved with power or privilege, but with honest effort, good faith, and the resolve to build something better for their kids.

 

That is our story. It began the day our Founding Fathers and Mothers set sail for a New World, fleeing oppression and intolerance.

 

It continued with every word of our Independence – the audacity to declare that all men are created equal. An imperfect promise for a nation struggling to become a more perfect union.

 

It grew with every suffragette’s step, every Freedom Riders voice, every weary soul we welcomed to our shores.

 

And to all the Dreamers watching tonight, let me be clear: Ustedes son parte de nuestra historia. Vamos a luchar por ustedes y no nos vamos alejar.

 

You are a part of our story. We will fight for you. We will not walk away.

 

America, we carry that story on our shoulders.

 

You swarmed Washington last year to ensure no parent has to worry if they can afford to save their child’s life.

 

You proudly marched together last weekend – thousands deep -- in the streets of Las Vegas and Philadelphia and Nashville.

 

You sat high atop your mom’s shoulders and held a sign that read: “Build a wall and my generation will tear it down.”

 

You bravely say, me too.  You steadfastly say, black lives matter.

 

You wade through flood waters, battle hurricanes, and brave wildfires and mudslides to save a stranger.

 

You fight your own, quiet battles every single day.

 

You drag your weary bodies to that extra shift so your families won’t feel the sting of scarcity.

 

You leave loved ones at home to defend our country overseas, or patrol our neighborhoods overnight. 

 

You serve.  You rescue.  You help.  You heal.

 

That – more than any law or leader, any debate or disagreement – that is what drives us toward progress.

 

Bullies may land a punch.  They might leave a mark.  But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future.

 

Politicians can be cheered for the promises they make.  Our country will be judged by the promises we keep.

 

That is the measure of our character.  That’s who we are.

  

Out of many.  One.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, have faith: The state of our union is hopeful, resilient, enduring.

 

Thank you, God Bless you and your families, and God Bless the United States of America.

 

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The Rail Discussion


MassDOT Releases Draft State Rail Plan for Public Comment

 

Plan outlines proposed 20-year vision for the statewide rail system

 

 

 

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is seeking public comment on its newly released draft Massachusetts State Rail Plan, which articulates the Commonwealth’s priorities and proposed plans for passenger and freight rail investment over the next 20 years.

 

Highlights from the draft plan include:

 

·        A commitment to study east-west passenger rail service between Springfield and Boston;

 

·        Designation of Springfield to Greenfield pilot service as a priority for implementation;

 

·        Continued commitment to both South Coast Rail Phase I in the near term and the project’s full build in the long term.

 

The Draft State Rail Plan documents the current state of the intercity passenger and freight rail system. It identifies planned improvements and describes the Commonwealth’s near term priorities, based on MassDOT’s Capital Investment Plan and outlines a long-term proposed plan for rail investment in the Commonwealth.  While state of good repair investment remains at the forefront of MassDOT’s long-term investment strategy, the plan identifies modernization and expansion projects that are priorities for implementation, those that warrant further study, and those where no action is recommended at this time.

 

“The finalized State Rail Plan will help guide the Commonwealth’s investments in both passenger and freight rail services for years to come and ensure project coordination between local, state, and federal partners, as well as with other key stakeholders,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The 20-year plan will support the development of regional transportation corridors. Investments in these critical assets are designed to improve the rail system, add capacity where needed in order to meet the needs of rail customers and foster the goals of the communities we serve.”

 

The Draft State Rail Plan fulfills Federal Railroad Administration requirements to regularly update a comprehensive rail plan for the state and is currently available online at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/rail-plan/. The plan’s commitment to further study and analyze the costs and impacts of various proposed service models for service from Boston to western Massachusetts reflects requests for such a review. Over the next few months, MassDOT plans to develop a Request for Proposals for a thorough and robust study and analysis of such possible service.

 

"This is encouraging news and should give the people of Western Massachusetts hope that the Commonwealth will conduct the study of east-west rail that they have long asked for,” said State Senator Eric Lesser, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies (D-Longmeadow).  “I thank MassDOT for addressing this need and look forward to working with them and the Administration on a thorough feasibility study that adequately addresses the realities and opportunities of establishing Boston to Springfield rail service. With the facts in front of us, we can begin to address the transportation needs of Western Massachusetts." 

 

 “Today’s release of the updated statewide rail plan continues the state’s commitment to maintaining and expanding a critical part of the transportation system in Massachusetts,” said House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Transportation, Bill Straus (D-Mattapoisett).  “The combined values of transportation access, public safety and environmental protection are all parts of the new plan. Early start service for South Coast Rail is a key part of the new plan and I appreciate the Administration’s demonstrated commitment to this expanded service.” 

 

On South Coast Rail, MassDOT is preparing a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (DSEIR) on Phase 1 for filing in early 2018. 

 

The Draft State Rail Plan also designates Springfield to Greenfield pilot service as a priority for implementation. MassDOT seeks to build off Connecticut DOT’s CT Rail Service that is set to begin this year from New Haven to Springfield, adding through service to Greenfield as a pilot.

 

“This new state rail plan underscores that having a connected rail network, which can efficiently move people and freight, has rapidly become the new normal and a powerful engine for achieving enhanced mobility, economic progress, improved air quality and a sustainable future,” said Tim Brennan, Executive Director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. “Now that the Commonwealth has its new, modern rail plan in place, the focus must now shift to its implementation.”

 

“The Governor’s draft rail plan outlines steps towards a better connected Commonwealth,” said State Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Transportation, Joseph Boncore (D-Winthrop). “These priorities and investments in our rail lines will improve access to goods, jobs and housing for the whole of the state, further strengthening the Commonwealth’s economy.”

 

The Draft State Rail Plan does not include policy decisions regarding specific MBTA commuter rail investments, which are the subject of other ongoing studies by the MBTA, including Focus40, the long range investment plan for the MBTA, and the MBTA Commuter Rail Vision, an 18- month effort that has just begun to study different approaches to delivering commuter rail service. 

 

The public comment period on the Draft State Rail Plan will be open through February 16. Comments can be sent to Planning@dot.state.ma.us to the attention of Jen Slesinger.

 

MassDOT is also holding a public meeting tonight to present a summary of the draft plan and receive public comment. The details of the public meeting are as follows:

 

Monday, January 29, at 6 p.m.

Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA Hub)

60 Foster Street

Worcester

  

The WRTA Hub is located across the street from Worcester’s Union Station.

 

The meeting location is accessible to people with disabilities. Persons who would like to request any language (non-English) interpretation assistance, American Sign Language interpreters, assistive listening devices, handouts in alternative formats, or information on the meeting should contact Jessica Ortiz by email jortiz@fhiplan.com or by phone (917) 933-7440.

 

Public Transit: All WRTA buses arrive and depart from the WRTA Hub. The MBTA Commuter Rail train arrives in Union Station and riders will exit Union Station via the Greyhound Bus terminal area on the lower floor to the WRTA Hub.

 

Driving: Use the Union Station Garage:  225 Franklin Street, Worcester, for parking.  After parking, walk across Harding Street to the WRTA Hub.

 

For more information on the Draft State Rail Plan visit the website: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/rail-plan.

 

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Gasoline in MA This Week


Gasoline prices in Massachusetts are down one cent this week but are still seven cents higher than at the beginning of January, according to AAA Northeast.

 

AAA’s January 29 survey of prices in Massachusetts finds self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.50 per gallon. The Massachusetts price is eight cents below the national average for regular unleaded of $2.58. A year ago at this time, the average price in Massachusetts was 30 cents lower at $2.20.

 

“Compared to the first few weeks of January last year, consumer gasoline demand is noticeably higher, which is surprising given the frigid winter much of the country has experienced this month,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “But demand isn’t the only factor driving prices up. Crude oil has been selling at expensive rates the past few months. Those higher market prices are now trickling over to consumers at the pump.”

 

The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 38 cents, from a low of $2.41 to a high of $2.79

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JKIII Guest at SOTU


Congressman Joe Kennedy III today announced that he will invite Staff Sergeant Patricia King, a transgender infantry solider and Massachusetts native, to the State of the Union tomorrow night. After being selected to provide the Democratic response to the State of the Union, Congressman Kennedy won’t be able to accompany Staff Sergeant King but is deeply honored that she will attend the address in his place.

 

“Staff Sergeant Patricia King represents the best and bravest our nation has to offer. For nearly two decades, she has valiantly served our country and defended not only our safety, but our values at home and abroad. Although I won’t be able to join her Tuesday night, I know that she will make our Commonwealth and our country proud at the State of the Union.”

 

 

Staff Sergeant Patricia King is an infantry soldier and has served for 18 years. SSG King is originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She attended Cape Cod Tech and graduated in 1999. Patricia has been stationed in Italy, where she participated in the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team reactivation jump. From there she went to Fort Drum. During her time at Fort Drum, she deployed to Afghanistan twice. SSG King participated in operations Glock, Harpoon and Anaconda and was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge. SSG King has served as an observer controller at Joint Readiness Training Center and a Military Transition Team instructor at Fort Polk.

 

From 2013 to 2014, SSG King served as a Platoon Sergeant and then Platoon Leader for the Regional Command South PSD under Major General LaCamera. She was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service after a year with no casualties in her care. SSG King began gender transition in January of 2015. Since that time SSG King has served as a platoon sergeant in A Co, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 4th Infantry Division.

 

From there, she went to Fort Lewis, WA where she serves as an infantry squad leader in B Co, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment (Patriots). Patricia is the daughter of Kenneth and Veronica King. Patricia has two sons; Peyton 11, and Isaiah 10.

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Use The ITM


City residents can now use BayCoast Bank

Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs)

for utility, real estate, personal property, excise taxes

 

23 Elm Street in New Bedford (drive-through and walk-up)

714 Dartmouth Street in Dartmouth (walk-up)

 

New Bedford, Massachusetts- Effective immediately, New Bedford residents can now utilize two BayCoast Bank Interactive Teller Machine (ITM) locations for certain payments. Residents who are unable to come to City Hall during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) can take advantage of this option to make payments at BayCoast’s ITM locations at 23 Elm Street in New Bedford, 714 Dartmouth Street in Dartmouth, or at any of its other ITM locations in Fall River, Seekonk, Attleboro, and Little Compton, RI. Visit www.baycoastbank.com or call 508-678-7641 or 888-806-2872 for more information.

 

The ITMs accept cash or checks; the ITMs combine the convenience of a traditional ATM with the personal service of banking for customers, allowing the customer to see and talk to a real person through a video monitor.

 

“We’re happy to help make tax payments easier for New Bedford residents, by accepting payments at our Interactive Teller Machines,” said Ann Ramos-Desrosiers, Chief Community Banking Officer at BayCoast. “Now residents can make their payments as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 7 p.m. on weekdays, and on Saturdays between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. at our Elm Street branch – or any of our ITMs throughout the Southcoast.”

“BayCoast Bank has served as an alternate payment center for the residents of the City of New Bedford for many years,” said Renee Fernandes, Treasurer-Collector for the City. “The ability to utilize the new ITM technology for City payments, especially when city offices are closed, provides our customers with greater flexibility.”

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The MA Governor's Budget Proposal


Governor Baker Releases Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal

$40.9 billion budget invests in mental health services, substance misuse, local aid, education, workforce development and deposits money into the Stabilization Fund

 

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration filed its Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget proposal, a $40.9 billion spending plan that invests historic funding levels for local communities, provides tax relief to working families, and increases funding for education, substance misuse, and mental health services.

 

“This fiscally responsible budget continues to support every community in the Commonwealth—without raising taxes on the people of Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  “Through tax credits, new programs and increased investments, our proposal will support working families as well as small businesses and enhance programs to make college more affordable, fight the opioid epidemic and get workers the skills they need to compete for better jobs.  We look forward to working with the Legislature in the coming months to pass a sustainable and balanced state budget.”

 

“The local aid and Community Compact investments in our budget proposal reaffirm our commitment to serving as a reliable partner to cities and towns across the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Our proposal will also fund a new State Police class, important public safety grants for municipalities, as well as youth and domestic violence prevention programs, further strengthening safety in our cities and towns.”

 

“Our Fiscal Year 2019 proposal maintains structural balance, protects and rebuilds the Rainy Day Fund, keeps spending in line with recurring revenue and manages the growth of MassHealth spending,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “This budget continues to make progress on improving the Commonwealth’s long-term fiscal health.”

 

The FY19 budget proposal, known as House 2, relies on a consensus revenue tax estimate of $27.594 billion, which is 3.5% growth over the revised FY18 tax revenue projection. House 2 increases overall spending by 2.6% and keeps MassHealth growth to 0.5% over FY18 estimated spending.

 

House 2 relies on less than $100 million in non-recurring revenue, and anticipates a deposit of $96 million into the Stabilization Fund, which would bring total reserves to $1.463 billion, an increase of 30% since the Baker-Polito administration took office.

 

The fiscally responsible plan makes investments across key areas without raising taxes or fees to balance the budget.

 

Support for Working Families

The administration proposes to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 23% of the federal credit to 30%, which would provide about 450,000 individuals with relief in Fiscal Year 2020, the first year this change would go into effect. In 2015, the administration worked with the Legislature to raise the EITC from 15% of the federal credit to 23%.

 

Reducing Burden for Small Business Owners

The administration proposes to cut the filing fee for forming a limited liability company (LLC) in Massachusetts in half to $250. The Commonwealth’s LLC filing fee is one of the highest in the country.

 

House 2 also supports the new veteran tax credit for smaller businesses, which was first proposed by the Baker-Polito administration and enacted by the Legislature in FY18. Businesses with 100 or fewer employees are eligible for a two-year $2,000 annual tax credit when they hire and retain an unemployed veteran.

 

Local Education Aid to Historic Level

House 2 includes $4.865 billion in local education aid, an all-time high. FY19 funding includes $15 million for schools districts that have experienced significant levels of enrollment of students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that were displaced by Hurricanes Maria and Irma. The budget also proposes $24.3 million in Chapter 70 aid for districts as a down payment on the rising cost of healthcare, which was the biggest recommendation from the Foundation Budget Review Commission.

 

Higher Education

The administration’s proposal includes over $100 million in scholarship assistance for students pursuing post-secondary education at campuses across the Commonwealth, including $7.1 million to double the MassGrant program for community college students. This new MassGrant funding is the largest increase in scholarship assistance in over a decade and will help close any remaining gap in financial aid for tuition and fees for all full and part-time students at the Commonwealth’s 15 community colleges.


House 2 also proposes $3 million in new support for an early college program that will focus on engaging student populations who are currently underrepresented in college and encouraging students to enter STEM fields.


Strengthened Behavioral Health Services

House 2 recommends an increase of $93.2 million for the Department of Mental Health (DMH), which includes a significant investment in funding for DMH’s Adult Community Clinical Services, DMH’s redesigned community-based service model for adults with serious mental illness. The new model will integrate behavioral and physical health to provide active and assertive outreach and engagement, continuous clinical coverage, and include peer and recovery coaches as part of the treatment plan.

 

New Substance Misuse Recovery Program at MASAC

To strengthen overall treatment and aftercare services provided to civilly committed individuals, the administration recommends $12.8 million, including a $3 million increase, for the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center (MASAC) in Plymouth. This new funding will support the hiring of new substance abuse counselors and implementation of a new Medication Assisted Treatment Reentry Initiative tailored to meet the needs of the civilly committed population at MASAC.

 

Children and Families

Since taking office, the administration has led reforms at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and has increased funding by $132.8 million to support the hiring of approximately 600 new employees to address the critical infrastructure needed to run the agency, including over 300 social workers. House 2 recommends nearly $1 billion for DCF, a $20 million increase over FY18 spending, which will support the continued hiring of new staff dedicated to serving the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable children.

 

Housing

The administration recently announced the Housing Choice initiative to encourage municipalities to plan for and build the diverse housing stock the Commonwealth needs to address affordable housing challenges. House 2 has nearly $3 million in new funding to provide this program incentives, grant funding, and technical assistance.

 

Good Government Reforms

To bring the Commonwealth in line with other states and private sector employers, the Baker-Polito administration proposes to cap accrued sick time for executive branch and higher education employees to 1,000 hours.

 

In order to level the playing field between hotels, motels, and transient accommodations, the Baker-Polito administration proposes to require operators who rent rooms for 150 or more days per year to collect and remit room occupancy tax. The proposal also permits the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue (DOR) to enter into voluntary agreements with intermediaries who facilitate short-term rentals for the collection of room occupancy tax.

 

THE BAKER-POLITO ADMINISTRATION’S FY19 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS BY NUMBERS

 

Fiscal Overview

·       Nearly eliminates the inherited structural deficit by reducing the budgeted use of one-time revenues to under $100 million, down from $1.2 billion in FY15.

·       Anticipates a deposit of $96 million into the Stabilization Fund.

Supporting the Commonwealth’s Communities

·       $1.099 billion in unrestricted general government aid (UGGA), a 3.5% or $37 million increase over FY18, equal to the consensus revenue tax revenue growth rate.

·       $6.8 million in Community Compact-related programming.

·       Holds the line on no new tax rate increases.

Addressing College Affordability

·       $7.1 million in new funding to double the MassGrant program for community college students. This funding will close any remaining gap in financial aid for tuition and fees for all students at the Commonwealth’s 15 community colleges.

·       $3 million in new support for an early college program that will focus on engaging student populations who are currently underrepresented in college and encouraging students to enter STEM fields.

·       $250,000 increase for the recently expanded Commonwealth Commitment program, which allows students to begin their post-secondary education as a community college and transfer to a state university and save on the cost of a traditional bachelor’s degree.

Health and Human Services

·       $25 million to continue fully-funding the Turning 22 class at the Department of Developmental Services.

·       $16.5 million, including $2.3 million increase, to support a $12 per elder formula grant, to provide additional funding for local Councils on Aging.

·       The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) renewed efforts to support economic mobility and employment for individuals and their families will be aided in this budget by $4 million to build on efforts to get people back to work in sustainable jobs and on a path to long-term self-sufficiency.

Substance Misuse and the Opioid Epidemic

·       $149.2 million in funding at the Department of Public Health (DPH) to support efforts to fight the opioid epidemic including:

o   $63 million in residential services;

o   $21 million in continued investment in step-down and transitional beds;

o   $4 million in youth step-down, transitional, and residential services;

o   $4 million in Section 35 step-down beds for civilly committed individuals.

·       $13.2 million to continue investment in Section 35 beds for civilly committed women at Taunton State Hospital.

·       $5 million to a new Substance Use Prevention, Education, and Screening Trust Fund, which will help identify and implement effective, comprehensive prevention and intervention programs and tools for students.

·       $2.5 million for the Commonwealth’s five recovery high schools, which will be transferred from DPH to DESE to better serve the educational needs of students who are in recovery from alcohol and drug misuse.

MassHealth

·       Over the past three years, the administration has worked hard to continue to bring the MassHealth growth rate to a sustainable level --  1.3% growth in today’s proposal, down from an unsustainable 14.9% in 2015.

·       Included in today’s proposal is an innovative approach to drug purchasing that will allow MassHealth to maximize value for the Commonwealth and maintain robust access to prescription drugs for its members, including implementing new negotiation and price transparency levers.

Public Safety

·       $59 million to fully-fund the new clinical contract at Bridgewater State Hospital to continue supporting the significant improvements to patient care.

·       $15.9 million, including $3.8 million in new funding, for the recently created State Police Division of Homeland Security and Preparedness to support consolidated counter-terrorism, opioid interdiction and criminal intelligence operations that were previously spread across other divisions.

·       $10.7 million for a new class of 200 officers and instructors at the Department of Correction.

·       $7.7 million for a new State Police class of 100 recruits, the third new State Police class funded since the Baker-Polito administration took office.

·       $250,000 to support doubling the daily pay rate for National Guard soldiers and airmen performing active state duty, consistent with legislation Governor Baker filed in December.

Transportation

·       $584.8 million investment in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, including the MBTA and Regional Transit Authorities, an 8% increase over FY18 spending.

·       A nearly $1.032 billion sales tax transfer this year, an increase of $25.1 million over FY18. This funding is in addition to $127 million in operating budget support, in combination with $60 million in capital funding that will be included in the FY19 capital budget.

·       Since the FMCB was formed in 2015, the MBTA has made significant progress on reducing its annual operating deficit, including reducing the projected FY18 operating budget deficit from $335 million to a projected $50 million.

Workforce Development and Economic Development

·       $4 million increase to support approximately 20 additional grants for training and certification programs to bridge the skills gap.

·       $2 million for the Small Business Technical Assistance Program, to provide technical assistance, education, and access to capital for small businesses.

·       $1.7 million in new support at the Executive Office for Housing Economic Development to provide grants to regional workforce organizations to train unemployed and underemployed individuals in advanced manufacturing.

·       $1.5 million in new funding to support the development of accelerated certificate programs at community colleges in information technology, healthcare, and manufacturing, and $700,000 to fund over 400 new apprenticeships in these fields.

·       $1 million increase, $3.9 million total, for the Connecting Activities program at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), which provides paid internships for 10,000 high school students, prioritizing participation in STEM fields.

·       $1 million in new funding to support the development of post-secondary Vocational Institutes in manufacturing and other high-demand sectors, through collaborations among voc-tech high schools, community colleges, universities, and employers.

·       $500,000 increase, for total support of $2 million, for the STEM Pipeline Fund at EOE to support planning and implementation grants for high schools to establish Innovation Pathways in partnership with local employers.

Energy and Environmental Affairs

·       $2 million in new funding for municipal technical support, climate science, and targeted investments in environmental justice.

·       $17.7 million in FY19 funding will support nearly 20 million healthy and nutritious meals through the Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Food Assistance Program.

·       $625,000 to support a new environmental police class of ten officers who will oversee protection of the Commonwealth’s natural resources, marine recreation, and hunting and fishing industries.

·       Allow for $20 million in retained revenue at the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to protect over 450,000 acres of parks, forests, beaches, bike trails, and watersheds

·       $450,000 for the School of Marine Science and Technology at UMass Dartmouth, as well as full support for the Commercial Fisheries Industry Based Survey at $400,000 to continue enhancing the science behind the management and regulations of the Commonwealth’s fisheries.

To access the Governor’s filing letter, budget message, and specific account information click here.

 

 

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The MSBA and Fall River Take Another Step


Today, we had a very productive meeting with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).

As a result of said meeting, we have a draft agreement - pending final MSBA Board of Directors approval - for a total new B.M.C. Durfee High School building project cost of $263,496 million.

The city’s tentative share of the total cost, pending MSBA board approval, is $98.5 million. This represents a MSBA grant of 62.5% of the total cost with the City of Fall River providing 37.5% of the total project cost.

The final date for MSBA approval is Wednesday, February 14, 2018. We look forward to our next City Council meeting when we will provide details regarding the full project scope and estimated cost to our taxpayers.

 
Cathy Ann Viveiros, City Administrator
Mary L. Sahady, CPA, Esq., Director of Financial Services
Kenneth Pacheco, Co-Chair Durfee Building Committee and FRPS Chief Operating Officer
Matthew H. Malone, PhD., Superintendent of Schools

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From The Bristol County Chamber of Commerce Regarding Electricity


The outrageously high cost of energy in Massachusetts is reaching a tipping point for many businesses and residents.

 

Contrary to arguments put forward by advocates with an unmistakable agenda these legitimate concerns have little to do with mid-winter price spikes. The simple fact is that cheap electricity is available throughout much of the United States, but it has not been the case in Massachusetts.

 

Massachusetts has the distinction of historically having the highest costs for energy in the continental United States.

 

It is one of the factors identified by “Forbes Magazine” that distinguishes Massachusetts as the most expensive state in the United States to conduct business.

 

In 2014, the cost of electricity in Massachusetts spiked to more than double the cost during the past decade. In 2016 the Energy Information Administration reported that electricity costs in Massachusetts were 63% higher than the national average for residents, 58% higher for commercial users, and 108% higher for industry.

 

In late December, 2017, “Bloomberg News” announced that the “spot-market price for natural gas hit $35.35 in New England.” The cost is now 13 times more expensive than at the central US price-setting location. To white wash these cost inequalities is insulting to the people paying their utility bills.

 

Why are costs for energy so high in Massachusetts? The straight forward answer is that Massachusetts does not have sufficient infrastructure to meet increasing consumer demand. Massachusetts electricity usage comprises more than 46 percent of New England’s overall demand. The problem became acute due to the decommissioning with no immediate replacement of approximately 10,000 megawatts of energy production.

 

The shift away from coal, oil and nuclear energy production during the past decade has been significant. Electricity produced from oil has dropped from 22 percent of the total generation ten years ago to a less than 1 percent level today. Coal production of electricity was formally at 18 percent and is now below 5 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of power produced by natural gas has nearly tripled.

 

Brayton Point Station, a now closed coal fired power plant in Somerset, Massachusetts, is a good illustration of policy without concern for the immediate consequences. While the cessation of Brayton Point has been heralded as a great victory for environmentalists, the 1,530-megawatt power plant was the primary producer of electricity in southeastern Massachusetts.

 

There is no replacement for the energy production gap created by loss of Brayton Point station, or the previously closed Montaup power plant in Somerset.

 

These two power plants equated to a 2000 megawatts net loss of electricity production in southeastern Massachusetts. The policy advocates have moved on to other priorities, but residents and businesses in southeastern Massachusetts must now import their electricity from somewhere else at a far higher cost.

 

The people of Somerset must also reconcile two empty power plants that no longer generate tax dollars. The situation in Somerset is a mess.

 

After years of advocacy from chambers and business associations, lawmakers in 2015 approved legislation to build new infrastructure. Business groups and many ratepayers had hoped for a pragmatic solution that reduced or stabilized costs, while also looking ahead to sustainability. Sustainability ended up superseding cost concerns as the new law required utilities to contract for both hydroelectricity and offshore wind. Meanwhile, a sensible effort to simultaneously expand natural gas pipeline infrastructure was thwarted.

 

Trending away from “dirty” fossil fuels is essential, but the cost of conversion to alternative options must be a factor.

 

Keep in mind that the introduction of alternative power generation as a primary source of energy production in Massachusetts is still many years away. Importation of hydroelectricity from Canada and power from off-shore windfarms will require the securing of significant tracts of land and water, must overcome permitting obstacles and have upfront infrastructure investment costs to be paid by consumers.

 

This is why natural gas, as a gap bridging cost stabilizer should no longer be put aside for political convenience. Leveraging gas in combination with the expansion of green alternatives is a reasonable strategy that can help contain the high cost of energy while also meeting environmental aspirations. There is no reason why Massachusetts cannot be practical and forward thinking simultaneously. Not addressing the cost of energy is already impacting the Massachusetts economy. Now is the time for action.

 

Respectfully,

 

Robert A. Mellion, Esq.

President & CEO

Bristol County Chamber of Commerce

 

 

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Fall River City Council Special Meeting


In a text to WSAR, Fall River City Council President Cliff Ponte has announced a Special Meeting of the Fall River City Council set for 5:30pm Tuesday Night, with a single item on the agenda.

The Fall River City Council will be asked to vote to place a single question on a March 6 Special Election Ballot regarding the Yes or No Question on the city's share for a proposed new BMC Durfee High School.

If approved, the school would likely open in 2022.

Its estimated the local share would be somewhere between 95 and 99 million dollars.

 

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The Statement on Durfee


We are in receipt of the air quality report performed by Rhode Island Analytical.
 
The report shows no findings, signifying that the air is clean. Therefore, we will have a normal school day at B.M.C. Durfee High School tomorrow, Friday, January 12, 2018.
 
The school has a contingency classroom plan in place and has begun their communication plan with the school community. Also, the school’s West Main Entrance will be closed until further notice.
 
Clean-up and recovery efforts will be ongoing for the foreseeable future and although it will not be a perfect educational setting, we are confident we will be successful.
 
We are grateful for the efforts of our maintenance teams, faculty, staff, leadership, and community partners.
 
We appreciate the outpouring of concern and support as well as the patience provided as we get back to school.
 
Matthew H. Malone, Ph.D., Superintendent

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School at Durfee Friday


In a tweet this afternoon, Fall River Public Schools have announced that school will back in session for Friday, January 12, as an Air Quality Report showed no issues inside the damaged portion of the building.

Administrators, according to the tweet, have a contingency classroom plan in place for Durfee students and teachers for Friday and beyond.

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More Durfee Information


This morning at approximately 3:00am, the Fall River Fire Department received an alarm call from our box at B.M.C. Durfee High School.
 
At 3:40am, FRFD discovered a six inch fire stand-pipe on the fourth floor stairway of the science wing located at the West Main Entrance.
 
Said stand-pipe suffered a catastrophic failure at its zenith.
 
The FRPD and our maintenance team were able to locate the shut off valve (approximately 4:00am), stopping the flow of water.
 
The FRPD and our maintenance team opened the building’s doors to the outside, draining an accumulated 3 feet of water from the stairwell and the 4 inches of water that dispersed throughout the building.
 
We estimate roughly 40k gallons of water entered the building, affecting a total of four floors of classroom and office space. Note: This was not a cold weather malfunction but the result of a 40-year-old pipe that ruptured. Due to building’s design deficiencies and the confinement’s of the building systems, time was added to our inability to shut the flow of water as the valves are in a compartment under the stairwell.
 
At 4:10am, we determined that we would not be able to open Durfee for students and faculty.
 
As such, we began our communication chain at that time. Concurrent with this, our maintenance team began the clean-up and recovery efforts with the assistance of an outside contractor. This work is ongoing and will be for the foreseeable future.
 
We are presently conducting a full damage assessment to account for the totality of this catastrophic failure of our plumbing system.
 
As you may imagine, we lost computers, equipment, materials, supplies, files, other assorted instructional technology, and the personal and professional possessions of faculty, staff, and students.
 
As we continue to assess damage, organize a classroom schedule contingency, and ensure the full safety of our school facility, B.M.C. Durfee High School will be closed for students, faculty and staff tomorrow, Thursday, January 11, 2018 as a result of today's flood.
 
Tomorrow, we will assess our ability to open on Friday and will communicate using social media and our call system when we are able to make a fully informed decision tomorrow afternoon.
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Matthew H. Malone, Ph.D., Superintendent

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Patricia To NY Football Giants?


The New York Daily News and Boston Globe are reporting that the New York Giants are likely to hire Patriots Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia as their new Head Coach once the Patriots have completed the NFL Post Season. 

Patricia has interviewed with four different NFL Franchises during the week the Patriots had a bye in the AFC Super Bowl Tournament. 

The Patriots are 13.5 point favorities when they host Tennessee Saturday Night on WSAR; coverage starts at 5pm with an 8:15 kickoff. 

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The Durfee Pipes Situation


The water break at BMC Durfee High School which closed school today spilled more than 50,000 gallons of water into 15 classrooms in the science wing of the school.

 

The flooding caused massive damage to the roofs, computers, school supplies and poured through the halls.

 

School officials were conducting a damage survey this morning, And while they may be able to get the floors dry, the issue will also be one of ceiling tiles and mold.

 

We will have a full update on the flooding during the ''WSAR Newsroom''.

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Tansey Situation


In a tweet this morning on the Tansey Twitter Page, administrators are indicating that a smell associated with natural gas has forced the closure of Tansey for remainder of the school day.

Students at Tansey are now in the BMC Durfee auditorium and can be picked up now through 3pm.

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Gasoline This Week in The Commonwealth


Gasoline prices in Massachusetts are up five cents this week, according to AAA Northeast.

AAA’s January 8 survey of prices in Massachusetts finds self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.48 per gallon. The Massachusetts price is one cent below the national average for regular unleaded of $2.49. A year ago at this time, the average price in Massachusetts was 19 cents lower at $2.29.

“Crude oil prices at the end of 2017 were the highest at the end of the year since 2013, helping to keep pump prices from their traditional January dip,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “The cold weather has also played a role, with more crude being needed for production of  home heating oil.”

The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 48 cents, from a low of $2.31 to a high of $2.79.

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The Unfunded Election Mandate


Auditor Bump Certifies More Than $1 Million in Unfunded Mandated Early Voting Costs on Municipalities for 2016 Election

 

BOSTON, MAIn a letter to members of the Massachusetts Legislature today, State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump certified that municipalities spent $1,063,978.14 in unfunded, mandated costs to provide early voting in the 2016 general election. In the Final Supplemental Budget for Fiscal Year 2017, the Legislature directed Bump’s Division of Local Mandates (DLM) to provide a formal certification of these costs by January 10, 2018.

 

Additionally, in her letter, Bump called on the legislature to provide funding for these 2016 costs in an upcoming supplemental budget. She also encouraged the body to develop a process for funding these costs in future elections, and noted that her office has provided suggestions to legislative committees.

 

“Early voting is an important addition to our democratic processes and funding the expenses incurred by our municipalities will make it that much stronger,” Bump said in her certification letter.

 

To compile and certify these costs, Bump sent an electronic survey to the 351 city and town clerks seeking information about the expenditures they incurred to meet the requirements of the early voting law.

 

In February 2017, Bump determined that parts of the early voting law constituted an unfunded mandate under the Local Mandates Law. In the determination, Bump cited the requirements that municipalities establish an early voting polling location that has sufficient staffing and privacy for votes as the factors driving the conclusion.

 

The early voting law, which was passed in 2014, requires that municipalities allow any qualified voter during biennial state elections (and other elections taking place at that time) to vote during a twelve-day early voting period. The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office reports that more than one million voters cast their ballots during this period in 2016, representing more than 22 percent of registered voters in the state.

 

DLM was established in 1980 as part of Proposition 2 ½, an initiative that limits the abilities of cities and towns to increase property taxes. Under the state’s Local Mandate Law, the Legislature and state agencies are prohibited from passing costs along to municipalities to implement state programs. DLM was established to respond to municipal request to determine whether an unfunded mandate has been passed on to local governments, and make a cost determination of the state funding necessary to sustain a mandate. Since its creation, DLM has received 675 petitions from municipalities and members of the Legislature asking the Division to review whether legislative or regulatory action imposes an impermissible unfunded mandate on a municipality. In response, DLM has issued 436 unfunded mandate determinations, finding in favor of municipalities 79 times. As a result of these efforts, approximately $343 million in state funding or other remediation has been provided to local communities.

 

Bump’s certification letter is available here.

 

A spreadsheet of the reported costs from municipalities is available here.

 

 

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Fall River Larceny Arrest


On Janaury 7th 2018 Officers of the Fall River Police Departments Uniform Division were dispatched to SRTA Bus Terminal in regards to a robbery complaint. The 60 year old female victim stated she was lying on her bed counting rent money when the suspect (Daniel A. Garrison - age 52) entered, took the money and refused to return it. When told by the victim that she was calling the police, Mr. Garrison took the victims cell phone and broke it.

 

Lead Officer Jason Fournier with assistance from Officers Raul Camara, Adam Talbot, Timothy Magan and Joseph Kubicek began a canvass of the area after learning the suspect was dropped off in the area of Hall Street.

 

Officers Fournier, Magan and Sergeants’ Bryan Nadeau and Brett Kimball were able located the suspect on Hall Street. Mr. Garrison as taken into custody without incident on charges of Larceny from a Person as well as Assault and Battery on a Person over 60, and Witness Intimidation.

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Keating Off Shore Drilling


KEATING STATEMENT ON ADMINISTRATION’S

OFFSHORE DRILLING PROPOSAL

 

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Trump Administration announced its proposed plan to increase leasing for offshore drilling across the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf, and Arctic Coasts.  Below is Congressman Keating’s statement in response to this proposal.

 

“Reckless does not begin to describe the Trump Administration's decision to expand offshore oil and gas drilling coast-to-coast. This unprecedented move ignores concerns expressed by military leaders and the deep and widespread bipartisan opposition voiced by municipal and state representatives.

 

“Allowing this drilling threatens the safety of our waterfront communities, the health of our oceans, and the future of our climate – not to mention the havoc it could wreak on the local economies of coastal communities, like those across New England, who count on fresh fish and clean beaches for their seafood and tourism industries. The economic hit that Gulf communities took after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was devastating. Have we learned nothing?

 

“This is not the type of action the American people want or are demanding. I will work with my colleagues from both coasts and both sides of the aisle to oppose this extreme measure and to block further offshore drilling. There is no reward that could justify these risks.”

 

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FR Stabbing


On January 5th 2018 at approximately 9:00 A.M. Officers of the Fall River Police Departments Uniform Division responded to 57 Bates Street Fall River in regards to a stabbing complaint. On the Officers arrival they located a 69 year old female who was suffering from multiple stab wounds. The victim, who was found conscious and alert, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment. Her condition is listed as ‘serious’ at this time.

 

A 74 year old male was detained for questioning. This incident is currently under investigation by the Fall River Police Departments Major Crimes Division. It is not considered to be a random act.

 

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The DACA Letter


University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan and the chancellors of the five UMass campuses today issued a statement calling on Congress to find a permanent legislation solution to the protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

 

The statement followed a letter sent by the six UMass leaders to the Massachusetts congressional delegation this week outlining how the termination of DACA affects UMass and its students.

 

UMass leadership statement:

 

“On behalf of the five-campus, 75,000-student University of Massachusetts system, we call on Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that protects the ‘Dreamers’ so that they may remain in the United States without fear of deportation. DACA has allowed ‘Dreamers’ to emerge from the shadows to achieve their life goals, including the pursuit of higher education. These hardworking young people have made wide-ranging contributions to our campuses. Without a permanent legislative solution, roughly 800,000 DACA recipients are threatened with a return to the shadows, loss of access to legal employment and education, and the dread of possible deportation. We urge Congress to quickly act on bipartisan legislation to protect the ‘Dreamers’ and their contributions to academic institutions and to society as a whole.”

 

UMass President Marty Meehan

UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy

UMass Boston Interim Chancellor Barry Mills

UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson

UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney

UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael Collins

 

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The December MA Revenue


Massachusetts Department of Revenue Commissioner Christopher C. Harding today announced that preliminary revenue collections for December totaled $3.006 billion, which is $527 million or 21.2% above the monthly benchmark, and $517 million or 20.8% more than the actual collections in December 2016.

“December and January are important collection months, especially for individual estimated payments, which are by their nature volatile collections,” said Commissioner Harding.  “Estimated payments are 153.3% above their projected December benchmark, and thus it is likely that a portion of those payments are borrowed from January and future months within the fiscal year (*). ”

For the fiscal year-to-date through December, revenue collections totaled $12.924 billion, $728 million or 6.0% more than the year-to-date benchmark and $966 million or 8.1% more than the same fiscal year-to-date period in 2016.

“Withholding payments in December also performed better than expected, which may reflect increased bonus-related activities.  Regular sales tax collections, which reflect actual sales activity from November, likely include better-than-expected seasonal shopping such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” continued Harding.  “While the revenue numbers appear strong halfway through the fiscal year, we caution against using these results to project full year revenue growth given that some tax categories may have been affected by timing factors.  We will closely monitor revenues in January and during the filing season.”

 

·        December 2017 revenues of $3.006 billion were $527 million above benchmark

·        Income tax collections were $479 million above benchmark  

·        Withholding collections (a subcategory of income tax) were $67 million above the monthly benchmark  

·        Sales and use tax collections were $25 million above the monthly benchmark

·        Corporate and business taxes were $11 million above the monthly benchmark  

·        For the fiscal year-to-date period, revenues of $12.924 billion are $728 million or 6.0% above benchmark and $966 million or 8.1% above the prior year figure  

 

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The Ban In Rhode Island


ADVISORY: Rhode Island Bans Tractor Trailer Travel on State Roadways

 

Effective until 9 p.m. tonight

 

Trucks should seek alternate routes or safe place to park until snow subsides

 

 

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is reminding the public that the State of Rhode Island has announced a ban on tractor trailer trucks on all Rhode Island state roadways effective now and through 9 o’clock tonight.

 

“Tractor trailer trucks in Massachusetts that are seeking to travel through Rhode Island should find alternate routes or a safe place to park and wait out the storm,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Our MassDOT Highway Division crews will be focusing on clearing rest areas and locations near the Rhode Island border where trucks can safely stop and wait until the snow subsides and they are again able to travel. In the interest of safety, trucks and other vehicles should not stop on the side of the highway in breakdown lanes due to the decreased visibility and inclement weather. We are continuing to collaborate with our state and local partners and key stakeholders in the trucking industry regarding this development and encourage everyone to avoid traveling during this significant winter storm if possible.”

 

Major travel routes from Massachusetts into the Rhode Island area include I-95, I-195, I-495 and Route 146. For more information on conditions travelers are encouraged to:

 

  • Dial 511 before heading out onto the roadways and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, access to traffic cameras, 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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Storm Update via MEMA


MASSACHUSETTS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
SITUATIONAL AWARENESS STATEMENT #5

DATE: January 4, 2018
TIME: 9:00 AM
SUBJECT: Coastal Flooding Concerns

 

SITUATION

Coastal Flooding Concerns

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting moderate coastal flooding with a pockets of major coastal flooding along east and north facing shorelines south of Boston and on Nantucket.  As of 9 AM, the surge had increased to around 1.9 feet in Boston and 1.8 feet in Nantucket. Waves height may build to around 15 feet off Cape Ann and Mass Bay by the time of the high tide (mid-day). Wind direction at the time of the high tide looks to be about 020 degrees or NNE along most of the eastern MA shoreline. 

In addition, NWS is anticipating rather extensive inundation and some damage to very vulnerable structures and infrastructure along the immediate shore, such as decks, stairs, docks, parking lots, and the like.  Some neighborhoods may become isolated and many shore roads may become impassable for a while and remain impassable long after the high tide due to slow drainage. The Plymouth County coast, and Cape Cod Bay shoreline from Sandwich to Dennis and perhaps even further east to Eastham, are areas of particular concern. Due to such high water levels and strong onshore winds, there is a potential for serious impacts to route 6A in Sandwich among other locations.

 

STATE SUPPORT/ASSETS

 

ESF 16 (Military Support): National Guard

The National Guard has staged High Water Vehicles in the following communities/areas in anticipation of moderate to major coastal flooding with the mid-day high tide:

·        Marshfield

·        Scituate

·        Hull

·        Braintree

·        Hingham National Guard Armory

ESF 10 (Hazardous Materials and Environmental Protection): Coastal Zone Management (CZM)

CZM has activated portions of the Coastal Storm Damage Assessment Team to conduct assessments of damage after the mid-day high tide in 23 coastal communities where moderate to major coastal flooding is predicted. 

 

SEOC OPERATIONS

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is operating at Level 2 (Partial Activation). In addition, MEMA’s Regional Emergency Operations Centers in Tewksbury (Region 1) and Bridgewater (Region 2) are activated.

 

Representatives of the following agencies/organizations are present in the State EOC:

ESF-1 (Transportation): MassDOT

ESF-3 (Public Works): DCR, OPSI

ESF-4 (Firefighting): DFS

ESF-5 (Business and Industry): NEDRIX

ESF-6 (Mass Care): ARC

ESF-8 (Health and Medical): MDPH

ESF-9 (Search and Rescue): MEP, USCG

ESF-10 (Environmental Protection): DEP, CZM

ESF-12 (Energy): DPU, National Grid, Eversource, Unitil

ESF-13 (Public Safety): MSP

ESF-16 (Military Support): MANG

 

 

The SEOC will continue to monitor the forecast and will disseminate Situational Awareness Statements as necessary

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The New FR Council Assignments


 
You will note that the Committee titled -  Budget, Prep, Revenue and Audit has not been assigned as of yet as I've sent in an order to the City Clerks office to abolish the committee and refer all items to Finance. 
 
As Council President, I've had the opportunity to sit down with Vice President Lebeau and speak with all my colleagues regarding their requests for chairmanships and committees they want to serve on.    I have had the opportunity to speak with all councilors regarding committee assignments.  They are all excited to start a new term with some new committee assignments.  I feel that after speaking with each councilor, each councilor is ready to get the ground running.
 
Over the next two years, my goal is to see that more work is done in sub-committee before a specific item/resolution item reaches full council.     I feel extremely confident that each committee chair has the ability and work ethic to make this goal a common goal.
 
WE are all looking forward to a successful 2018 year!
 
 

City Council President:  Cliff Ponte

City Council Vice President:  Pam Lebeau

 

2018 City Council Committee Assignments:

 

Economic Development & Tourism:  Chair:  Pam Lebeau
Members:   Stephen Long, Shawn Cadime

 

Health & Environmental Affairs:   Chair: Steven Camara
Members:   Derek Viveiros, Stephen Long

 

Human Services, Housing, Youth and Elder Affairs:  Chair: Joseph Camara
Members:   Leo Pelletier, Stephen Long

 

Ordinance & Legislation: Chair: Stephen Long
Members:   Pam Lebeau, Shawn Cadime, Derek Viveiros, Brad Kilby

 

Public Safety:   Chair:   Brad Kilby
Members:  Derek Viveiros, Joseph Camara

 

Public Works and Transportation Chair:   Derek Viveiros
Members:   Steve Camara, Joseph Camara

 

Real Estate Chair:  Leo Pelletier
Members:   Steven Camara, Brad Kilby

 

Regulations Chair:   Shawn Cadime
Members:   Leo Pelletier, Pam Lebeau

 

 

Liaisons:

Arts & Entertainment:  S.Camara, S.Long

Council on Aging: L.Pelletier,J.Camara

School Committee:  S.Cadime, S.Camara

Senior Senate: B.Kilby, D.Viveiros

Veterans: P.Lebeau, Steve Long

Library: J.Camara, D.Viverios

Neighborhood: D. Viveiros, S. Long

 

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FR Library Happenings


Try Out a Plio-Barre Class @the Library!

 

 

Is a healthier, more energetic you one of your goals this year? Come to the Friends of the Fall River Public Library’s Plio-Barre Class series at 104 North Main Street, Fall River, MA. Every Thursday at 5:30 p.m., starting January 11, 2018, you can exercise your body with this low-impact mix of Pilates and strength training exercises. Have fun and get stronger while challenging yourself!

Instructor Leslie Rego has numerous years’ experience in wellness and fitness. She will help you sculpt, slim, and stretch your entire body. Wear comfortable clothing and bring your yoga mat if you have one. No registration is required. Drop-in fee is just $5 per class.

 

For further information contact Liane Verville, Library Administrator, at 508-324-2700, ext. 112, or visit the Library’s website at fallriverlibrary.org.

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The Latest from MEMA on This Week's Snowstorm


MASSACHUSETTS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
SITUATIONAL AWARENESS STATEMENT

DATE:              January 2, 2018
TIME:               4:30 PM
SUBJECT:         Winter Storm Thursday; Dangerously Cold Weather This Weekend

 

Situation

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting a strong coastal storm on Thursday that will bring accumulating snow across the entire state, with the eastern half of the state seeing the greatest amounts. Strong and possibly damaging winds are also expected, with the greatest threat along the coast, including the Cape and Islands. Starting on Friday, bitterly cold weather will return and persist into the weekend.

Forecast for Thursday:

  • Snow will overspread the region starting early Thursday morning (between 4 AM and 8 AM) and last through the day before ending sometime Thursday evening (between 5 PM and 10 PM). Snowfall rates could be as much as 1-2” per hour.
  • In southeastern Massachusetts and the Cape and Islands, precipitation may start as rain but will transition to snow by Thursday afternoon as temperatures drop. A flash freeze is possible in this area.  The precise location of the rain/snow line is still uncertain; it likely will fall somewhere south of the Boston to Providence line, and north of the Cape Cod Canal.  There likely will be an area of heavy wet snow just to the north of the rain/snow line.  The potential for power outages is higher in areas that receive heavy wet snow.
  • All of the state will see accumulating snow, with the greatest amounts in eastern and central Massachusetts, which could receive 8-12” of snow. The Cape and Islands is expected to receive 4-8” of snow, while western Massachusetts could see 3-6” of snow.
  • Wind gusts will increase Thursday morning and last into the evening. Interior Massachusetts could see 40-50 MPH gusts, with 50-65 MPH gusts near the coast and up to 70 MPH gusts on the Cape and Islands.
  • Thursday’s midday high tide is an astronomical high tide. Combined with the 1.5 to 2 feet of storm surge forecast, this tide could result in minor to moderate coastal flooding, especially on north and east facing beaches.
  • The major areas of uncertainty in the forecast at this point are (i) how far west the heaviest snowfall totals occur (if the storm tracks further west than currently forecast, central and western MA could also see up to 12” of snow), and (ii) the exact location of the rain/snow line in southeastern Massachusetts.

Forecast for Friday/Saturday:

  • Bitterly cold weather will return Friday and Saturday. Daytime highs will hover around 0 degrees, while overnight lows could reach 10-20 degrees below zero.
  • Wind chills could be as low as 15-35 degrees below zero, particularly on Friday night when wind gusts are expected to be 35-40 mph over much of Massachusetts.

Impacts:

Impacts associated with Thursday’s storm:

  • Snowfall combined with strong winds will result in poor visibility and difficult travel conditions throughout Massachusetts on Thursday. Both morning and evening commutes are forecast to be impacted. Near-blizzard conditions are possible in eastern Massachusetts and travel in this area could become difficult to impossible.
  • A flash freeze is possible Thursday afternoon or evening to the south of the rain/snow line as rain transitions to snow in southeastern Massachusetts, resulting in icy conditions on roads and sidewalks.
  • Strong wind gusts could cause tree damage and scattered power outages, especially on the Cape and Islands.
  • Minor to moderate coastal impacts are forecast from Boston northward and generally moderate coastal impacts for much of the coastline south of Boston. This may translate to fairly widespread flooding of vulnerable shore roads and basements. A few low spots might receive a little over 3 feet of inundation. Waves on top of the high water level may cause scattered damage to access stairs, docks, beach parking lots, decks/porches near the surf zone, and the like. Chunks of sea ice could also exacerbate scattered shoreline damage.

 

Impacts associated with cold weather Friday/Saturday:

  • Potentially life-threatening wind chill temperatures
  • Frostbite and hypothermia possible for those without proper protection from the cold. Frostbite can occur in as little as 30 minutes for unprotected skin.
  • Possible increase in fires from unsafe/improper use of alternative heating sources or people trying to thaw frozen pipes with blowtorches or similar devices
  • Possible increase in incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning from unsafe/improper use of alternative heating sources
  • Possible vehicle failure
  • Possible water main breaks and pipe bursts

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The Fall River Parking Ban


Fall River, MA – Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II announces a citywide parking ban, which will go into effect beginning Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 6:00pm until further notice.

 

Motorists are reminded that when a parking ban is in effect, parking is allowed on the north side of all city streets that run east and west and that parking is allowed on the west side of all streets that run north and south.   In most cases this means no parking on the fire hydrant side.

 

Motorist are asked to participate in the parking ban to allow emergency vehicles, including police, fire and medical, clear access to all streets while allowing better access to snow plows for cleaner and safer streets. 

 

Parking is not allowed within 20 feet of a corner to allow access for snow removing vehicles.  Parking allowed, unless posted, on both sides of any street that is divided by a traffic median, but parking against the median is prohibited.

 

If any vehicle is in violation of the parking ban and must be towed to clear streets for plows or emergency vehicles, the owner must call the Fall River Police Department at (508) 324-2801, for the location of the towed vehicle.  All towing fees must be paid to the respective tow company prior to release of the stored vehicle.

 

Parking is available at the following locations until the ban is no longer in effect:

FLINT MUNICIPAL PARKING LOT ON PLEASANT STREET, MUNICIPAL LOT ON COLUMBI

 

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BCC MLK


Bristol Community College to offer FREE ONE-Credit Course honoring the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. beginning march 26, 2018

 

            Bristol Community College will offer a FREE, one-credit course, The Readings of Martin Luther King, Jr, (HST 162 16 CRN 10361) on Mondays, from 6:30-9 p.m., beginning March 26, 2018, until May 17, 2018, at the BCC Fall River campus, 777 Elsbree Street. This course is FREE and open to the public.

            In this course participants will read and hear some of Dr. King’s works in order to gain a better understanding of both the man, and his effect on this country, and world history.

 

            During the little more than ten years when Dr. King was in the center of the struggle for equal rights in this country, he gave numerous speeches and sermons many of which have been preserved both in written form, as well as in recordings. In addition, he penned five books and gave many transcribed interviews. A review of such works provides a glimpse into the thinking of this great man, and helps us to better understand what motivated him to devote his life to the movement for positive change. The works also reflect the evolution of King’s thinking and actions as he drew upon his prior learning, as well as his experiences.

            This engaging course offering coincides with the college’s free
annual breakfast to honor the life and ideals of Dr. King on January 15, 2018, at 8:30 a.m., at the BCC Fall River campus. The event will feature Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Dr. Robert E. Johnson as the keynote speaker, the awarding of the 2018 African American Alumnus of the year, and the presentation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Poster and Essay contest winners chosen from participants at area schools. 

            For more information about the course, or to register, please visit http://webapp.bristolcc.edu/coursesearch/?term=201801&camp=1&type=CR&subj=HST
. Select “HST 162 – Readings of Martin Luther King” from the “course” selection box. Here, you will also find registration instructions.

            For more information about the
18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast, please visit http://www.bristolcc.edu/mlk/.

 

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On Snow Removal


U.S. Department of Labor Urges Employees and Employers Engaged

In Snow Removal and Cleanup to Be Aware of Potential Hazards

 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - With record snowfalls in Pennsylvania and Western New York, along with frigid temperatures in the Northeast and Midwest, the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging all those involved in snow removal and cleanup to take precautions and focus on safety.

 

Workers performing snow removal operations may be exposed to serious hazards, including slips and falls while walking on snow and ice, falls from roofs and roof edges, through skylights, or from aerial ladders and lifts. Workers may also be injured by a roof collapse.  Other storm recovery work hazards include being struck by vehicles, carbon monoxide, hypothermia, and being injured by powered equipment. 

 

Those working outdoors may also be at risk of cold stress, including first responders who are on duty for long periods of time. Anyone working outside for prolonged periods may experience cold stress with mild symptoms, such as shivering while remaining alert. Moderate to severe symptoms include shivering stops, confusion, slurred speech, heart rate/breathing slowness, and loss of consciousness.  When the body is unable to warm itself, serious cold-related injuries may occur, such as frostbite.

 

A full list of winter storm hazards and safeguards is available at http://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/winter_weather/index.html  or http://www.osha.gov.

 

 

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov

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Fall River Polar Plunge Postponed


Due to the New Year's Day Forecast, the City of Fall River has postponed the Polar Plunge Event till another day in January when the cold is not a significant factor. 

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