Bristol County, Mass., Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson will be in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Sept. 5, to meet with White House officials on illegal immigration matters, and to urge Congress to act on pending legislation to increase border security.
Sheriff Hodgson will join almost 50 other Sheriffs from across the country as a united group of elected law enforcement officers at a media event on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning. Joined by some members of Congress, this group or Sheriffs will share their experiences and public safety challenges associated with illegal aliens, and call on Congress to act on pending legislation to increase border security and reform the immigration system.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Sheriffs will participate in a roundtable discussion at the White House with administration officials and policymakers. Hosted by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the round table will focus on immigration, border security and efforts by some elected officials to prevent the critical collaboration of local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. These partnerships maximize law enforcement’s potential to identify criminals in communities and remove them from neighborhoods.
“The purpose of this visit is to express the urgency of Congress passing legislation immediately on the security aspects of immigration reform,” Sheriff Hodgson said. “It is our intention to tell Congress that their failure to deal with this issue for 20 years has made our communities less safe and has undermined our promise to the people who elected us to keep them safe.
“During our visit to the White House, we will discuss the challenges we face as a result of the ongoing Congressional stalemate, strategies to more easily identify criminal illegal aliens, and explore ways to expand and protect our valuable and critically important relationships with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners,” Sheriff Hodgson continued. “We will also take the opportunity to express and thank President Trump and his administration for re-establishing law enforcement’s footing to enforce our laws.
“America’s Sheriffs are elected by the people in their communities to keep them safe, and the continued inaction of Congress has put a major roadblock in law enforcement’s path to protecting our citizens and legal residents. It is our sworn duty to protect our citizens, and we, as Sheriffs, view this opportunity to push for meaningful immigration reform as a way to uphold our promise, our commitment, to the people who elected us to protect them.”
POCASSET INDIANS SETTLE WITH TWIN RIVER-TIVERTON CASINO
Chief George Spring Buffalo of the Pocasset Tribe of the Pokanoket Nation (“Tribe”) announced today that the Tribe has entered into an Agreement with Twin River-Tiverton LLC to settle all matters relating to the development of the casino on lands of historical and cultural significance to the Pocasset Tribe.
“We are excited to work together with Twin River-Tiverton in respect of the cultural and historical connection of this casino land to the Pocasset ancestors of the Tribe” said Chief Spring Buffalo. “The Casino is built on lands that were granted by the colonial government as the first Indian reservation in the United States, and near the site of an important battle in the King Philip War” Spring Buffalo added, “and this agreement respects the cultural significance of these lands, and the historical importance of the Pocasset Tribe. I want to thank Chief Duane Yellow Feather Shepard and Chief Daryl Black Eagle Jamieson and the support of the Tribal Council.”
Members of the present day Pocasset Tribe are the direct descendants of the Royal Family of the Pokanoket Nation, including Massasoit (also known as “Ousamequin”), the Sachem of the Pokanoket Nation who led his nation when the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Massasoit entered into a treaty with the Pilgrims in 1621 assuring the peaceful coexistence of the colonists and the Indians. Massasoit’s territory extended from the eastern tip of Cape Cod through southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island to the Connecticut River, and north to the Charles River. The Pocasset Tribe has never left its land and retained unbroken existence as a sovereign nation. The Pocasset Tribe has been recognized as the direct descendants of the original beneficiaries and heirs to certain lands in Fall River and Tiverton, and can prove so through well-documented history. There was a large and prosperous village of Indians throughout Tiverton, which previously was named ‘Pocasset’.
“Our history in Rhode Island is long and respected,” said Chief Spring Buffalo. “The Tribe itself has been a significant factor in the history of the formation of our country. There have been many books written about the Pocassets and its woman chief, Weetamoe, and all of the happenings surrounding the King Philips War, and our intent is to ensure that our culture and heritage shall be maintained in perpetuity.” Spring Buffalo added, “it is not our intent to kick anyone off their land where they live and work . . . we are asking that the governments correct the past injustices which they allowed to happen.”
FOR IMMEDIAte RELEASE
August 31, 2018
PATRIOTS TRADE DB JORDAN RICHARDS TO THE ATLANTA FALCONS
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced that they have traded DB Jordan Richards to the Atlanta Falcons for a conditional draft pick.
Richards, 25, is a veteran of three NFL seasons after joining New England as a second-round draft pick (64th overall) out of Stanford in the 2015 NFL Draft. The 5-foot-11, 210-pounder, has played in 41 regular-season games with seven starts and has 40 total tackles, three passes defensed, two forced fumbles and 10 special teams tackles. He has also played in five postseason games and has registered five total tackles and one special teams tackle. Last season, Richards played in all 16 games with five starts and totaled 22 tackles, once forced fumble, one pass defensed and five special teams tackles. He played in all three postseason games and added five total tackles and one special teams tackle.
WEEKLY MOSQUITO ADVISORY: THREE POSITIVE RESULTS FOR WEST NILE VIRUS
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces that test results from three mosquito pools, or samples, from traps set in Central Falls, Cranston, and Tiverton have been confirmed positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).
Since July 31, eight mosquito samples from six communities – the three mentioned above plus Pawtucket, Providence, and Warren – have tested positive for WNV. Four samples have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) to date.
The three positive findings came from 34 mosquito traps set by DEM staff on August 20 and tested at the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) State Health Laboratories. The remaining 135 samples from the 34 traps set August 20 tested negative for WNV and EEE.
“These findings are not unexpected. Regional data suggest this is a higher-than-normal risk year for WNV,” said Alan Gettman, state Mosquito Abatement Coordinator. “Last week Massachusetts raised the risk level from low to moderate statewide, and Connecticut officials also have recently advised residents of increased WNV activity. Late summer-early fall always is the peak season for human risk, so it’s especially important now to take precautions if you go outside.”
Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that may carry WNV, EEE, or other diseases – and the most effective way to avoid infection. With WNV and EEE established throughout the state, DEM and RIDOH remind the public to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and prevent being bitten, whenever possible. The following precautions are advised:
Remove anything around your house and yard that collects water; just one cup of water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes.
Clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage, and repair holes in window screens.
Remove any water from unused swimming pools, wading pools, boats, planters, trash and recycling bins, tires, and anything else that collects water, and cover them.
Change the water in birdbaths at least two times a week, and rinse out birdbaths once a week.
Use EPA-approved bug spray with one of the following active ingredients: DEET (at least 20% strength), picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol.
Minimize outdoor activity at dawn and at dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Put insect netting over strollers and playpens.
Wear long sleeves and long pants whenever possible, particularly if you are outdoors during dawn and dusk.
Horses are particularly susceptible to WNV and EEE. Horse owners are advised to vaccinate their animals early in the season and practice the following:
Remove or cover areas where standing water can collect.
Avoid putting animals outside at dawn, dusk, or during the night when mosquitoes are most active.
Insect-proof facilities where possible and use approved repellants frequently.
Monitor animals for symptoms of fever and/or neurological signs (such as stumbling, moodiness, loss of appetite) and report all suspicious cases to a veterinarian immediately. If you are unsure if your horse is properly vaccinated you should consult with your veterinarian.
Visit http://www.health.ri.gov/disease/carriers/mosquitoes/ for additional mosquito prevention tips, videos, and local data. DEM and RIDOH also remind Rhode Islanders to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when traveling to Zika-affected countries. Pregnant women and women who are considering becoming pregnant should not travel to countries with active transmission of Zika.
Mosquitoes are trapped weekly by DEM and tested at the RIDOH State Health Laboratories. DEM issues advisories on test results from late June through September, with additional reports as necessary. Typically, positive test results trigger additional trapping to assess risk.
For more information about DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.
Ruby Tuesday, which closed its Dartmouth location last Fall, has now closed an additional 3 locations including the Swansea Mall location, according to CBS 12 in Providence. The 2 other local locations that shut down were both in Rhode Island - Johnston and East Greenwich. The remaining local locations of Ruby Tuesday that remain are in Attleboro, Wrentham and Taunton. The casual dining segment continues to have issues, as big box grocery stores are offering pre-packaged fully-cooked meals. As well as a variety of delivery services offering menus that can be shipped and prepared for as low as $10 or more.
The Banker Administration has announced that the town of Swansea will receive a little over $728,000 to removed 8,300 cubic yards of sediment from the Cole River. This project will support a Swansea Waterfront Revitalization Initiative, in an effort to stimulate tourism and related businesses along the Cole River through enhancement to navigation, public spaces and recreational opportunities. The National Dredging Pilot Program is part of an effort to spend some $50,000,000 for various salt water dredging projects.
The Commonwealth of Massachsetts, in an attempt to make employers aware of the number of people looking for work, and to steer them in the correct direction when looking to hire, has decided to brand various Career Centers under a Mass Hire name.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was in Fall River at the rebranded Fall River Career Center, now known as one of a network of MassHire locations, to cut a ribbon and a large cake with the new logo.
Baker says its vital that employers realize that the various MassHire Centers can make their search for new hires much easier.
The Fall River Police Department has added two fugitives to the “Top Ten Most Wanted.”
Akil Jemmott age 26 LKA 44 Winter Street Apt #2S Fall River / Possession of a Firearm w/o FID Card, Ammunition w/o FID Card, Possess to Distribute Class A Substance, Possession of a Class A Substance, Use of a Firearm in a Felony
Amanda L. Pestana age 28 LKA 221 Fourth Street Apt#2 Fall River / Possess to Distribute Class B Substance
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of anyone listed in the TOP TEN is asked to call the Fall River Police Department at 508-676-8511 or leave your tips anonymously at 508-672-TIPS (8477)
While Plantopia Care Center Inc. was able to secure a letter of non-opposition from the three-member Swansea Board of Selectmen, Green line Dispensaries will have to wait two weeks while selectmen review the information presented after a pair of discussions last night in the community room of the Swansea Police Station on requests for non-opposition regarding medicinal and recreational marijuana in Swansea.
Plantopia must still go to the zoning board of appeals while also collecting proper documentation before a license will be granted by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. Derek Heim of the selectmen board said the requirements will ultimately met. Selectmen board member Chris Carreiro voted against the Plantopia proposal due to lack of a host agreement while he was impressed by the host agreements that Green line presented. They had a pair of host agreements drawn up and were prepared to off them to the group during their presentation.
Heim told the session he had no issue with waiting while the third member Steven Kitchen wanted time to review the information the Green line presented who will re-open discussions again in two weeks with the board.
Principal photography is underway this week for a film starring ''Sons Of Anarchy'' lead Charlie Hunnam at sites in both Fall River and New Bedford, says the film's producers.
''Jungleland'' is a story that concerns a bare knuckle boxer and his brother who travel across the country for one final fight, before a female tavel companion complicates their relationship. Along with Fall River and New Bedford, the producers indicate that other locations will be utilized for the film including Reno, Nevada; Buffalo, NY; Gary, Indiana and San Francisco.
Ridley Scott's production firms, Scott Free Productions, is helping to produce the film. Scott is best known for his roles involved in ''Top Gun'', ''Thelma and Louise'', ''Black Hawk Down'' and a hot of other successful hits.
The casting for extras happened earlier this month while sightings of star Hunnam has been a topic of social media locally in recent days.
Missing Person: David Viana suffers from several mental disorders and has impaired judgment. He was last seen in the area of St. Anne's Hospital. He is homeless and is known to be in the area of Columbia Street. He is 61 years of age, 5'11", 137 lbs, blue eyes and grey hair. If you have information regarding his whereabouts please contact Detective Sarah Reis of the Major Crimes Division at 508-324-2796.
A heat advisory that began at 10:00 a.m today will be in effect until 9:00 p.m on Wednesday. Due to temperatures reaching anywhere in the 90s depending on your location, heat index values could be up up to 103 and dew points in the lower 70s. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during outdoor exertion or extended exposure outside. Most of Southern New England will be affected by this brief period of the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity. Heat illnesses will becomes possible because of these conditions so drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sunshine and check up on relatives and neighbors, especially elderly.
Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside reschedule strenuous activities to the early morning or evening. Learn and understand the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the occupational safety and health administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone who is overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded place - Heat Stroke is an emergency so call 9-1-1.
On Tuesday night at a special town meeting of the Fall River City Council an amended agreement was approved with Atlantis Charter School regarding a fleet of six Tremblay Buses and a pair of S.R.T.A buses to use Dickinson Street for inbound. This will take place between 6:45 and 9:00 a.m on week day mornings. And then between 2:00 and 4:40 p.m during the afternoons. This will excludes days of early dismassal and emergency situations as a mans of giving any student who needs a ride an option to make it to school on-time.
Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia ll must now sign the agreement between the city of Fall River and the Atlantis Charter School to make the approved council amendment official.
Also, a pair of loan orders for the Watson and Tansey School repairs worth 10.2 millions dollars and 3 million dollars respectively were authorized to publish by the council. It was sent to the finance committee for their consideration likely at some point in September.
Labor Day Wraps Up Highest Summer at the Pump Since 2014
August 28, 2018
Motorists had to put in nearly two hours of 'labor' to fill their tanks
BOSTON – Consumers have seen the most expensive summer at the pump since 2014 with an average of $2.73 per gallon thus far, according to GasBuddy, the only smartphone app connecting drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop.
The average gas price over Labor Day weekend is expected to be $2.84 per gallon, a 20 cent increase from Labor Day 2017.
“It’s been consistently a more painful summer at the pump than what we’ve been accustomed to when compared to the last few summers,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Without major hurricanes, we should continue to see prices gently decline in the weeks ahead as demand begins to slow into the autumn, wrapping up the priciest summer at the pump since 2014, but overall, with a moderately less sting than what we saw earlier on this decade. Next year may follow in this year’s footsteps with higher Labor Day gas prices, so what we’re upset about this year could bring nostalgic memories next year. Enjoy it while it lasts.”
While gas prices have remained high, motorists have worked hard to fill their tanks. Taking into account the average wages across the nation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American needs to perform an hour and 48 minutes of labor to earn enough money to fill a tank of gasoline.
When gas prices were $3.58 per gallon during the summer of 2014, motorists had to work 2 hours and 30 minutes to fill their tank, and in 2008 when gas prices were $3.84 per gallon, motorists had to work 3 hours to fill their tanks.
On average, motorists have also shelled out more than $1.11 billion per day on gasoline purchases this season, up from a decade low of $912 million per day during the summer of 2016. This summer’s total fuel bill, while the highest since 2015, will still be the third lowest since 2011.
While gas prices have remained high, there has been remarkably little movement in gas prices throughout the summer, with the a difference of just 13 cents between the national average’s summer (June 1-Sept. 1) low and high. It represents the smallest difference between low and high since 2010, when the low and high were just 11 cents apart. The same period in 2017 saw a difference of 29 cents between the low and high while the difference was 27 cents in 2016. The most volatile summer, 2005, saw a difference of 91 cents per gallon- prices dropped as low as $2.08 before surging to $2.99 later in the summer due to Hurricane Katrina.
While some have chosen to sweat more to pay the higher fuel bill, smart drivers have turned to Pay with GasBuddy, which offers savings and yearly plans so motorists can pay lower prices. To learn more, visit pay.gasbuddy.com.
MassDOT: Labor Day Travel Advisory
Scheduled construction will shut down Friday, August 31, through Tuesday, September 4
Free coffee will be served at MassDOT service plazas overnight on Monday, September 4
I-93 HOV lane will have extended afternoon hours Thursday and Friday, and will be closed Monday, September 4
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is encouraging Labor Day travelers to make informed decisions, utilize all the available technology tools including www.mass511.com, and consider public transportation if possible to reach destinations.
“Everyone who will be traveling throughout the Labor Day weekend should make smart decisions and plan ahead in order to minimize congestion and help ensure efficient travel,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “We encourage members of the public to try out resources such as mass511.com, which shows live conditions and traffic cameras, utilize navigational resources to find the best route and time to travel, and check www.mbta.com for public transit schedules and information.”
MassDOT is taking several steps to ensure reliable travel for members of the public who utilize transportation systems across the Commonwealth and will be shutting down scheduled roadway construction for the Labor Day travel period effective at noon, Friday, August 31, per MassDOT’s long-standing policy for holiday weekends. Scheduled road work will then resume at the start of normal business hours on Tuesday, September 4.
“With higher traffic volumes expected on roadways across the Commonwealth throughout the Labor Day period, we are advising travelers to make appropriate choices before getting behind the wheel and leaving for their destinations,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “People should exercise safe driving behavior such as minimizing distractions, remaining sober or using a designated driver, obeying posted speed limits, and devoting their full attention to the road ahead of them.”
The High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy will have normal morning hours this week and open early for the afternoon commute at 2 p.m., on Thursday, August 30, and 1 p.m., on Friday, August 31. The HOV lane will be closed on Monday, September 3, and will then re-open for regularly scheduled hours on Tuesday, September 4.
The additional “swing lane” on Route 1A southbound at the Sumner Tunnel will have extended hours by opening at 3 p.m., on Friday, August 31, and remaining open through 5 a.m., Tuesday, September 4.
Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 p.m. Monday, September 3, through 5 a.m., Tuesday, September 4. The plazas serving free coffee include 11 service plazas along I-90 plus plazas along Route 3 in Plymouth, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 128/I-95 in Newton and Lexington, Route 6 in Barnstable, and the Route 24 northbound and southbound plazas.
MassDOT’s Emergency Services Programs, sponsored by MAPFRE, will be increasing patrols on all major roadways to support roadside assistance needs. Requests for assistance can be initiated by calling 911.
The MBTA has also released the following information regarding travel on Labor Day, Monday, September 3:
All subway and commuter rail lines, buses, trackless trolleys, and commuter rails will operate on a Sunday schedule.
All ferries and boats will operate on a Sunday schedule.
The RIDE will operate on a Sunday schedule.
For more information: https://www.mbta.com/holidays
For traffic and road conditions, drivers may use the following options to make decisions:
Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.
Download Waze, the real-time traffic navigation app that provides motorists with real-time traffic conditions across Massachusetts.
Visit mass511.com to view travel times, road construction, traffic alerts or crashes along a route. Incidents, road closures, lane closures, real-time live traffic cameras, and weather alerts/forecasts, can all be viewed on the interactive live Traffic Map.
Dial 511 from a landline or cell phone to hear information on current conditions on major roadways.
Register for a Mass511 account to create and personalize routes and alerts to be notified of events on those routes ahead of time.
Check MassDOT Highway Traffic and Travel Resources.
Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT as incidents that impact traffic flow are generally mentioned in tweets if they occur on the state’s major highways.
The U.S Army Corps of Engineers reports that there will be no lane restrictions on the Sagamore Bridge or Bourne Bridge during the Labor Day weekend period.
Customers are also advised that the Registry of Motor Vehicles offices are closed for the designated state holiday of Labor Day on Monday, September 3. Please visit at any hour of the day the RMV online at www.mass.gov/rmv to skip the line and perform many transactions. In addition, AAA members now have the opportunity to conduct many RMV services at numerous AAA branch office locations in Massachusetts during AAA normal business hours.
Drivers are reminded to avoid littering on roadways. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $5,500 for the first offense.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wishes all members of the public a safe and enjoyable holiday.
State health officials announce first three human cases and one horse case of West Nile virus in Massachusetts
Residents urged to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites
BOSTON ( August 24, 2018) - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced the first three human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year. One is a woman in her 70s from Worcester County who was hospitalized but has since been discharged. The second is a woman in her 60s from Middlesex County who was not hospitalized during her illness. The third is a woman in her 50s from Suffolk County who was hospitalized but has been discharged. A horse, stabled in Hampshire County, also was infected, became severely ill and had to be euthanized.
On Tuesday, DPH raised the risk level for West Nile virus from low to moderate in every Massachusetts city and town. It was only the second time since WNV was first detected in the commonwealth in 2000 that public health officials have raised the risk level statewide.
“There has been an increase in WNV-infected mosquitoes identified this year throughout the state, an indication that the risk is widespread and ongoing,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “That means that this year, it is extremely important for people to take steps to avoid mosquito bites including using repellents, wearing clothing to reduce exposed skin, dumping standing water, and moving indoors when you notice mosquitoes biting you.”
“August and September are the months when we typically see more human cases because it is the beginning of the peak season for possible West Nile virus human infections,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “These new human cases illustrate why we informed people about the increased risk for human infections earlier this week.”
In 2017, there were 6 human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts.
WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.
People can take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)], or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors to help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change the water in birdbaths frequently.
Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Protect Your Animals
Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is diagnosed with WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.
More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.
Year over year opioid-related overdose deaths decline in Massachusetts; opioid prescriptions fall 30 percent
The presence of fentanyl continues to rise, now a factor in nearly 90 percent of deaths
BOSTON (August 24, 2018) – Opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts have fallen steadily over the past three quarters even as the presence of fentanyl in overdose deaths reached an all-time high. The presence of fentanyl in the toxicology of those who died from opioid-related overdose deaths rose to nearly 90 percent in 2018, underscoring its impact as the driving force behind the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, according to the latest quarterly opioid-related deaths report released today by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).
The report illustrates the changing nature of the epidemic, with cocaine now surpassing heroin in the toxicology for opioid-related deaths, beginning with the fourth quarter of 2017 (October through December). Today, DPH officials reissued a June clinical advisory to all medical providers to warn them about the increase of fentanyl in cocaine.
Overall in 2017 there was a 4 percent decrease in opioid-related overdose deaths from 2016. The data also shows that the Commonwealth has experienced a 30 percent decline in opioid prescriptions since the launch of the Massachusetts Prescription Monitoring Program (MassPAT) in August 2016. Between April and June 2018, searches by registered prescribers to MassPAT increased by 100,000 searches over the previous quarter, making it the largest increase in searches conducted in a single quarter.
“The opioid epidemic is a tragic public health crisis that has taken scores of lives in our Commonwealth, and while we have much work to do, there continue to be trends related to a decline in overdose deaths and a decline in the number of opioid prescriptions written by physicians,” said Governor Baker. “This quarterly report provides a new level of data revealing an unsettling correlation between high levels of synthetic fentanyl present in toxicology reports and overdose death rates. It is critically important that the Commonwealth understand and study this information so we can better respond to this disease and help more people. The legislation I signed earlier this month adds another set of tools to our toolkit, including requiring all emergency departments to offer medication-assisted treatment in emergency departments and extending medication-assisted treatment in correctional facilities.”
“Our administration is devoted to addressing the opioid epidemic using every tool available, and detailed reports like this are critically important to ongoing and future efforts ranging from treatment to criminal justice,” said Lt. Governor Polito.
Earlier this month, Governor Baker signed An Act for prevention and access to appropriate care and treatment of addiction which is the second major legislative action by the Baker-Polito Administration to address the opioid crisis since taking office in 2015-- efforts widely regarded as a blueprint for the nation.
This latest quarterly report found that the rate of synthetic fentanyl present in the toxicology of opioid-related overdose deaths continues to rise -- detected in about 40 percent of deaths in 2014 to nearly 90 percent of cases in the first quarter of 2018. As of last October through December, cocaine has surpassed heroin in the toxicology for opioid-related overdose deaths.
Earlier this year, Governor Baker also signed legislation to empower law enforcement by holding fentanyl and carfentanil traffickers more accountable.
“When you look at the trend lines over time, while the results of our efforts are having an impact, we must double down on our efforts to implement treatment strategies that meet the needs of the highest risk individuals and communities,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders.
This report updated the total number of estimated and confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017 to 2,071, which is 83 fewer deaths than the 2,154 estimated and confirmed deaths in 2016, representing a decrease of 4 percent. There was an increase in opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017 for non-Hispanic black males, whose death rates increased from 21.5 per 100,000 in 2016 to 31.2 per 100,000 in 2017.
“The increase in the opioid-related death rate among blacks, but especially black males, is concerning,’’ said Public Health Commission Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. ``We will be targeting our community outreach and public awareness campaigns to these individuals as we remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce the impact of this preventable disease on all Massachusetts families and communities.”
Other findings of the 2018 Q2 report include:
In the first six months of 2018, there were a total of 1,017 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths, compared to 975 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths in the first six months of 2017.
Opioid-related overdose deaths have fallen for the last three consecutive quarters – from 527 deaths in the fourth quarter last year (October to December) to 519 deaths in the first quarter of this year (January to March) to 497 deaths in the second quarter of this year (April to June).
Approximately 258,000 individuals in Massachusetts received prescriptions for Schedule II opioids in the second quarter of 2018 -- more than a 30 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2015, when 390,532 individuals received prescriptions.
In the second quarter of 2018, registered users of the Massachusetts Prescription Monitoring Program (MassPAT) conducted an additional 100,000 searches from the previous quarter, which is the largest increase in a single quarter. DPH officials attribute the increase to the integration of Electronic Health Records into the MassPAT system.
The percentage of opioid-related overdose deaths where prescription drugs were present trended downward from 2014 through 2016 and has remained stable since then. In the first quarter of 2018, 19 percent of opioid-related overdose deaths had prescription opioids present in toxicology.
In the first quarter of 2018, the greatest number of suspected opioid Emergency Medical Services overdose incidents continued to be among males aged 25-34, accounting for 25 percent of opioid-related incidents with a known age and gender.
The number of confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths for 2017 is updated to 1,909.
The number of confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths for 2016 is updated to 2,089.
The number of confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths for 2015 is updated to 1,685.
Massachusetts is recognized as a national leader in addressing the opioid epidemic and was the first state in the nation to implement a 7-day limit of first-time opioid prescriptions and to launch core competencies for safe prescribing of opioids in the state’s medical schools, community health centers, nursing, physician assistant, dental schools and schools of social work.
Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has doubled spending to address the opioid crisis and increased capacity by more than 1,200 treatment beds, including 818 adult substance use treatment beds at different treatment levels. In addition, the Administration is investing nearly $220 million over five years from the federally approved 1115 Medicaid waiver, which began in fiscal year 2018, to meet the needs of individuals with addictions and/or co-occurring disorders.
For more information on the Commonwealth’s response to the opioid epidemic as well as links to the latest data, visit www.mass.gov/opioidresponse. To get help for a substance use disorder, visit www.helplinema.org or call the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline at (800) 327-5050.
Watch the speed boats arrive at the Borden Light Marina (52 Ferry Street) Today, Friday, August 24th.
On Saturday, August 25th
There will be a Boat Parade at 5pm from The Gates of the City to Kennedy Park.
Fireworks display at 9pm. Viewing available at the Borden Light Marina & Kennedy Park.
Sunday, August 26th
Races on the water at 12pm-2pm-345pm
Viewing available at the Borden Light Marina & The Fall River Line Pier (Gates open at 11am)
Food trucks will be in attendance at both the Marina & State Pier!
Bring a chair or have a seat on the bleachers to enjoy this great spectacle!
Local Education Leaders Stand with Raimondo in Opposition to Trump-DeVos Plan to Arm Teachers
PROVIDENCE, RI - Earlier today, Governor Gina M. Raimondo came out in opposition to the Trump-DeVos plan to use federal dollars to purchase firearms for teachers. Since she's been Governor, Rhode Island has taken major steps to strengthen the state's gun laws, including new legislation that takes guns away from domestic abusers, a strong red flag law and a statewide ban of bump stocks.
"Guns don't belong in schools and federal education dollars certainly should not be used to purchase firearms. This reported plan won't make our schools safer and will serve only to steal essential funding from our children," Governor Raimondo said earlier today. "As long as I am Governor, I will stand up against the Trump Administration and fight for stronger gun safety laws. I'll fight to change our laws to keep guns out of schools and fight hard to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines."
The leaders of two of the state's largest teacher associations are standing up with Governor Raimondo in opposition to this dangerous proposal reportedly coming out of Washington.
"I am absolutely appalled that Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos would endorse or even allow the use or diversion of federal education funds to arm teachers. Many of our schools are resource-starved. We need every dollar available for additional staff, books, supplies, and technology to improve instruction for our students," said Frank Flynn, President of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers. "The answer to preventing gun violence in schools is to restrict the presence of guns, not increase it. This idea would make schools less safe."
"Putting guns in schools is the last thing we should be doing," said Larry Purtill, President of the National Education Association of Rhode Island. "Educators do not want to be armed or have more guns in schools. We should be focusing on keeping schools gun-free, providing more mental health services, and listening to educators, students and parents. If you are going to help educators, then provide the materials they need to help every student be successful. That is the goal in RI and we need to do everything possible to keep students safe. This idea does just the opposite."
Rhode Island remains one of just several states that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms into schools. The Governor supports efforts to change the law and prohibit guns from schools, except for law enforcement.
UMass Law first-year enrollment grows in size and quality
Fall 2018 cohort 17.5 percent larger than 2017, 42 percent higher than 2016, and enters with higher LSAT scores.
The UMass School of Law, which began classes this week, saw a 17.5 percent increase in its first-year student enrollment, from 80 to 94 students, while continuing its steady improvement in the LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs of incoming students.
The 2018 first-year enrollment is a 42 percent increase over 2016, the year the school received full American Bar Association accreditation.
Applications to the UMass Dartmouth-based school increased 20.2 percent, from 782 to 940. UMass Law has also become more selective, accepting 57 percent of its applicants, down from 64 percent last year. Improvements in LSAT scores and selectivity is a predictor of higher bar pass rates.
“UMass Law is fast becoming recognized as a top choice for aspiring attorneys,” UMass Law Dean Eric Mitnick said. “The combination of lower cost, personalized learning experience, and bar pass and employment success represents a highly attractive value for students from Massachusetts and beyond.”
The first-year students entering in fall 2018 are from 12 different counties, 25 different states, and 71 different undergraduate institutions. The average age of the incoming class is 27, ranging from 21 to 61.
More about UMass Law
The UMass School of Law was established in 2010 and earned full ABA accreditation in 2016.
The school’s 2017 first-time bar pass rate (72.73 percent) was 5th in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, behind just Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern.
The school ranks 4th in Massachusetts and Rhode Island behind just Harvard, Boston College, and Northeastern in the percentage of its graduates securing a job that either requires bar passage or for which attending law school is a genuine demonstrable advantage.
In 2017, UMass Law ranked #1 in New England and #11 in the nation for percentage of graduates in public service jobs (27 percent).
The school is among the most diverse law schools in New England with approximately 30 percent of its students being persons of color.
Every UMass Law student is required to perform 30 hours of pro bono service (the average actual pro bono service performed by students is approximately 150 hours).
UMass Law students have delivered more than 117,000 hours of pro bono legal services to the community since 2010.
UMass Law operates Justice Bridge, a law practice incubator in New Bedford and Boston that matches recent law graduates with seasoned mentors to provide legal services to individuals who otherwise could not afford representation.
Since 2014, Justice Bridge has served thousands of modest means clients in housing, family, and immigration cases.
Recent awards include: 2017 Massachusetts Bar Association Public Service Award, 2017 Massachusetts Bar Association Oliver Wendell Holmes Scholarship, 2018 Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association Scholarship, Library of Congress Award (national top 10 student law review article).
UMass Law houses legal clinics focused on community development, criminal prosecution, human rights, immigration, and tribal law.
Faculty research focuses on patent law, drone regulation, gender violence, law and religion, marriage equality, freedom of information, immigration, privacy, and comparative law
STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS ALERT RESIDENTS ABOUT
POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO MEASLES AT AN AREA HOSPITAL AND OTHER LOCATIONS
Those exposed or developing symptoms are urged to call their healthcare provider
BOSTON (August, 23, 2018) The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed a case of measles which was diagnosed at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC). The individual, during their infectious period, was in a number of locations that could have resulted in exposures to other people. Measles is very contagious and people who are not immune and visited the locations on the below specified dates may be at risk for developing measles or may now be developing symptoms of the disease. Anyone who visited these locations on any of these dates during the times listed is advised to contact their health care provider to confirm their immunization status.
DPH urges all those who do not know their measles immunization status to get vaccinated with at least one dose of Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Measles vaccine given within 72 hours of exposure may prevent measles disease, and vaccination beyond this window will provide protection from subsequent exposures. Lahey hospital has been reaching out to individuals at high risk of exposure, and is collaborating with DPH and local health authorities to ensure that all exposed individuals have this information.
Exposures to this individual may have occurred at the following locations and times:
Facility: Location: Dates and times
Logan Airport Terminal B Boston 8/15, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Lexington High School Library 251 Waltham St., Lexington 8/16, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Irving H. Mabee Town Pool Complex 80 Worthen Rd., Lexington 8/19, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Lahey Outpatient Center, Lexington 16 Hayden Ave., Lexington 8/20, 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
LHMC, Burlington Emergency Department 8/20, 1:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
LHMC, Burlington Inpatient Units 7 Central, 6 Central and 5 Central (ICU and CCU) 8/20 from 8:00 p.m. to 8/21 at 9:00 p.m.
Those who were exposed and begin to develop symptoms of measles should call their healthcare provider before visiting an office, clinic or emergency department. Visiting a healthcare facility may put others at risk and should be avoided. Anyone who has had measles in the past or has received two doses of the vaccine is unlikely to develop measles even if exposed.
Early symptoms of measles occur 10 days to 2 weeks after exposure and may resemble a cold (with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes) and a rash occurs on the skin 2-4 days after the initial symptoms develop. The rash usually appears first on the head and then moves downward. The rash typically lasts a few days and then disappears in the same order.
People with measles may be contagious up to four days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears.
People who have had measles in the past or who have been vaccinated against measles per CDC recommendations are considered immune. The CDC recommendations are:
Children. Children should receive their first dose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12-15 months. School-aged children need two doses of MMR vaccine.
Adults. Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain groups at high risk need two doses of MMR, such as international travelers, health care workers, and college students. Adults born in the U.S. before 1957 are considered to be immune to measles from past exposures.
“Fortunately, most people have been vaccinated against measles,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “Our efforts now are to identify people who may be at risk of getting ill and to get them vaccinated. If they become ill we ask them to telephone their providers rather than going directly to a healthcare facility.”
For additional information, contact your local health department or DPH at 617-983-6800. Further information is available on the DPH website at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/factsheets/measles.pdf
In a final session with the media before the Patirots leave for their third pre season game versus Carolina on Friday, Quarterback Tom Brady says he likes his new helmet, replacing one he had worn for over 10 seasons.
The new helmet is designed to protect players from concussions; Brady is thought to have suffered several concussions during his 19 season NFL Career.
The new helmet also has a different style facemask, which Brady says affords him better vision reading defenses and looking downfield.
WSAR will carry the season opener from Gillette on Sunday April 9 versus Houston with coverage at 10am and a 1pm kickoff.
The Red Sox will open their 2019 season in Seattle on Thursday, March 28, and will open the Fenway Park home slate on April 9 versus Toronto.
The Sox will also spend a pair of days in London versus the New York Yankees in the first regular season MLB games played in Europe; those games happen during the final weekend in June.
The Sox season in 2019 will close on September 25 in Texas.
A 28-year-old New Bedford man who viciously attacked his fiancé earlier this year was sentenced to serve four to six years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
Haikeem Stephenson pleaded guilty this week in Fall River Superior Court to a multi-count indictment, charging him with aggravated assault and battery-causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery on a family or household member and witness intimidation.
On February 2nd of this year, the female victim reported to New Bedford Police that on January 31 her fiancé began arguing with her. The defendant punched her in the face with a closed fist. She then grabbed her phone and told him that she was going to call the police. The defendant then slapped the phone out of her hand to prevent her from calling.
The defendant continued to beat her, punching her all over her body. The defendant then got on top of victim while on the bed and continued punching. Once the victim was able to get up, the defendant punched her nose and she fell to the floor. The victim told police her nose began to bleed and swell immediately. The victim stated she lost consciousness for about five seconds.
The defendant then helped her to the bathroom, so she could attend to the nose bleed. While continuing to yell at her, the defendant asked her if she took the phone with her to the bathroom to call the police. The victim told police she was afraid of the defendant and that is why she didn’t report the assault right away.
During her interview with police, officers took photos of her bruises. Her face was bruised with a visible black eye. There were also bruises on her left arm, shoulder, thigh, and legs. The victim obtained an emergency restraining order and went to St. Luke’s Hospital, where she learned that she had a broken nose and was referred to a specialist.
At the time of the incident, the defendant was on probation for an assault with intent to murder case out of Fall River.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Courtney Cahill, the chief of DA Quinn’s Domestic Violence Unit, and the state prison sentence was handed down by Judge Thomas McGuire.
“It is unfortunate that the defendant did not take advantage of the opportunity for redemption given to him by the court in his previous case,” District Attorney Quinn said. “This was a brutal assault. The defendant presents a danger to the community and needed to be taken off the streets.”
Dominican National Pleads Guilty to Heroin and Fentanyl Conspiracy
BOSTON – The alleged leader of a Boston-based heroin and fentanyl trafficking organization pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston.
Jose Antonio Lugo-Guerrero, a/k/a Fernando Rivera-Rodriguez, 40, who formerly resided in Mattapan, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin, more than 400 grams of fentanyl, and more than five kilograms of cocaine, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled sentencing for Nov. 27, 2018. In February 2017, Lugo-Guerrero was arrested and charged along with 22 co-defendants.
From mid-2016 through February 2017, federal law enforcement investigated two drug trafficking organizations operating in Taunton and Boston; the former led by Fernando Hernandez, and the latter led by Jose Antonio Lugo-Guerrero. Hernandez’s organization sold heroin and fentanyl to customers who re-distributed a portion of the drugs they obtained. Hernandez obtained drugs from a network of suppliers that included Lugo-Guerrero.
Lugo-Guerrero sold kilograms of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine to customers in Boston, New Bedford, Fall River, and surrounding areas. The evidence, including federal wiretaps in late 2016 and early 2017, further showed that he obtained some of the drugs he sold by robbing other drug dealers. On Nov. 3, 2016, Lugo-Guerrero and five co-defendants traveled to New Bedford panning to rob a drug dealer who had stolen half a kilogram of heroin from Lugo-Guerrero. At Lugo-Guerrero’s direction, one of the co-defendants transported a firearm and provided it to another co-defendant just before the attempted robbery. Based on intercepted communications, law enforcement agents were aware of the planned robbery and stopped and questioned the defendants before it occurred. As a result, Lugo-Guerrero aborted his plan that night and returned to Boston.
In February 2018, Hernandez was sentenced to 188 months (15½ years) in prison after pleading guilty in November 2017. The court found that Hernandez was responsible for distributing more than a kilogram of heroin over a two-month period in the summer of 2016.
Lugo Guerrero faces a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison and up to life, a minimum of five years of supervised release, a fine of up to $4 million, and will be deported upon completion of his sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Fall River Police Chief Albert F. Dupere; New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro; Taunton Police Chief Edward James Walsh; Boston Police Commissioner William Gross; Bridgewater Police Chief Christopher Delmonte; and Bristol Country District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted Heinrich of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.
Governor Baker Signs Legislation Directing $2.4 Billion to Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental Protection, and Community Investments
Law Will Continue the Baker-Polito Administration’s Leadership on Climate Change Resiliency and Environmental Stewardship
QUINCY – Governor Charlie Baker today ceremonially signed bipartisan legislation to authorize over $2.4 billion in capital allocations for investments in safeguarding residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, protecting environmental resources, and improving recreational opportunities. Consistent with the Baker-Polito Administration’s previously filed legislation, An Act Promoting Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental and Natural Resource Protection and Investment in Recreational Assets and Opportunity (H. 4835) enables critical environmental investments at the state and local levels and will put into law essential components of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569 establishing an integrated strategy for climate change adaptation across the Commonwealth, including the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant program and the Statewide Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation Plan.
“Massachusetts is a national leader in addressing the threat of climate change and proactively preparing for its impacts, and I am proud to sign this bipartisan bill to build on those efforts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Commonwealth is now positioned to increase our resiliency to climate change, protect the environment, and improve recreational opportunities. We look forward to working with our legislative and local partners to build a cleaner and more sustainable Commonwealth.”
“Our Administration has made planning for the impacts of climate change a priority, and this legislation builds on our innovative efforts to collaborate with municipalities and stakeholders to address this challenge,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The strategic investments in this bill will allow us to continue our strong partnership with local communities to preserve our beautiful natural resources for generations to come and improve the quality of life for citizens in every corner of the Commonwealth.”
Recognizing the significant impact of climate change on coastal and inland communities, the legislation authorizes $501 million to respond to and prepare for extreme weather, sea level rise, inland flooding and other climate impacts:
$290 million will be used to fund improvements and repairs to dams and seawalls and to implement diverse coastal resiliency strategies
$75 million will provide planning and action grants to communities through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program
$100 million will be invested in implementing the Commonwealth’s Integrated State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan.
Further expanding the Baker-Polito Administration’s Executive Order 569, the legislation codifies the commitments under the Executive Order, including issuance of, and ongoing updates to, an integrated, state-wide hazard mitigation and adaptation plan, continuation of the MVP program, and support for ongoing state agency climate change vulnerability assessments.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to the improvement of our incredible portfolio of state land and recreational facilities, and is proud that this legislation will address deferred maintenance and recreational opportunities,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Additionally, this legislation provides important protections to the Commonwealth’s historic and vital fishing and agricultural industries, while allowing us to better protect and conserve Massachusetts’ air, land, and water.”
Continuing the Baker-Polito Administration’s dedication to ensuring all Massachusetts residents have high-quality access to outdoor recreational opportunities, the legislation authorizes $665 million to enable investment in deferred maintenance and recreational resource stewardship across state government – including $25 million for the expansion and interconnection of trails through the MassTrails program and $400 million for Department of Conservation and Recreation recreational facilities across the Commonwealth.
The legislation allocates $581 million to continue supporting communities around the Commonwealth and the environmental stewardship work they do, including:
$405 million for community investment grant programs for municipalities, regional planning agencies and other eligible entities
$35 million for tree planting and forest land protection programs
$55 million for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets Program which provides funding to communities to provide safe and accessible options for all travel modes - walking, biking, transit and vehicles.
The legislation also includes over $474 million to support environmental programs at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies ranging from air and water quality monitoring to hazardous waste cleanup and the restoration of rivers, wetlands, streams, and lakes. This includes an additional $60 million for the Commonwealth’s Clean Water Trust to continue its strong partnership with cities and towns in developing water infrastructure projects.
To protect the Commonwealth’s maritime industry, the legislation will allow the Department of Fish and Game to update decades-old fines and penalty schedules for marine fisheries violations, including doubling non-criminal fines and increasing criminal penalties. To ensure the continued viability of Massachusetts’ agricultural industry and protect family farms, the legislation reduces the estate tax on farmland in agricultural use for at least 10 years.
“Through hard work and collaboration, I am proud that the House and Senate, along with Governor Baker’s administration, have passed a thorough and comprehensive environmental bond bill,” State Representative David Nangle (D-Lowell), House Chair of Environmental Bond Bill Conference Committee. “Included in the legislation are strong new policies and initiatives that will help protect our vital natural resources, as well as funding for dozens of projects throughout our state that will help our cities and towns maintain and grow our greenspaces, parks, and critical seacoast infrastructures.”
“I'm grateful for the Governor's support for this important legislation,” said State Senator William Brownsberger (D-Belmont), Senate Chair of Environmental Bond Bill Conference Committee. “I’m also grateful for the strong collaboration between the House and Senate in preparing the legislation.”
“An investment in our environment is an investment in our future, and I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their leadership and support towards our Commonwealth’s environmental, agricultural and state climate adaptation programs,” said State Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox), Chairman for the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. “This legislation aims to impact every corner of the Commonwealth. Whether that be through coastal infrastructure, land protection conservation, or even hazardous waste management, we are ensuring that Massachusetts will remain at the forefront of creating strong, environmental policy.”
“As a member of the conference committee, I am proud to have worked with my colleagues in the State Legislature and the Baker-Polito Administration to pass legislation that will assist cities and towns in their work to protect the environment and enhance the Commonwealth’s recreational resources,” said State Senator Don Humason (R-Westfield). “In the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire district, this bill will provide essential resources to our local communities as they look to improve storm water management, maintain and improve parks and waterways, and make necessary repairs and enhancements to local bridges and bike paths.”
“The bond bill is a reflection of the varied environmental priorities throughout the state,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Senate Chair of Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Committee. “Working with our farmers, foresters, and various environmental groups and individuals, it shows a strong commitment to the preservation and conservation of our natural resources.”
“Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration for introducing this Environmental Bond Bill legislation that demonstrates why Massachusetts is a leader in environmental stewardship,” said State Representative Donald Berthiaume Jr. (R-Spencer). “This funding will continue the cooperation between state and local governments on these critical projects to preserve our resources for many years to come.”
“The Baker-Polito Administration continues its unprecedented commitment to cities and towns across the Commonwealth with the signing of this vital bipartisan legislation,” said Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch. “In Quincy, we know all too well just how vulnerable our coastal neighborhoods and infrastructure truly are, and this bill makes protecting those assets a major priority across the Commonwealth.”
“With the robust environmental bond signed into law, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature have made a significant commitment to help the people of Massachusetts avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable as we face the impacts of climate change,” said Steve Long, Director of Government Relations at the Nature Conservancy. “The Nature Conservancy applauds the bond and welcomes its emphasis on utilizing nature-based solutions—such things as reconnecting flood plains, restoring barrier beaches, and conserving additional forest land to naturally remove carbon pollution from the air. Nature-based solutions can enhance safety and avoid community costs by taking advantage of nature’s services.”
The Fall River Police Department is seeking assistance in locating Richard Todd Fitts, a missing and endangered adult male.
Richard was last seen by his father John on June 8, 2018, when he dropped him off at the train station in Providence. Richard was in route to Dudley Square Boston, it is unknown whether he made it there or not.
Additional information can be found on WSARs Facebook Page
Lane Closures: Leverett Connector Ramp to Storrow Drive Westbound, August 22;
Storrow Drive Westbound Lanes, August 24-27
Leverett Connector Ramp to Storrow Drive Westbound
MassDOT will implement a single, right lane closure on the Leverett Connector ramp to Storrow Drive westbound from 11:00 PM on Wednesday, August 22 to 5:00 AM the following morning. The closure is necessary to remove temporary traffic protection measures that were needed during bridge construction.
Storrow Drive Westbound Lane Closures
MassDOT will implement lane closures on Storrow Drive westbound in the vicinity of the Longfellow Bridge on Friday, August 24, to Monday, August 27 as follows:
· Friday, August 24 – single lane closure from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM, double lane closure from 10:00 PM until 8:00 AM the following morning
· Saturday, August 25 – single lane closure from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, double lane closure from 10:00 PM until 8:00 AM the following morning
· Sunday, August 26 – single lane closure from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, double lane closure from 9:00 PM until 5:00 AM the following morning
The closures are necessary to paint Span 2 of the bridge above the roadway.
The roadway in this area consists of three lanes in each direction. A minimum of one lane will be maintained for travel at all times. WSC will make every effort to minimize noise and traffic impacts during the overnight work hours.
For more information on the project, visit the website at www.mass.gov/massdot/longfellowbridge. View construction progress photos on MassDOT’s Longfellow Bridge Flickr Album. For questions or to report issues related to construction, please call the project hotline at 617-519-9892 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the day following acts of civil disobedience outside the Dartmouth House of Corrections, in which entrances were blocked and banners asking for an end to ICE were unfurled, representatives of FANG, a Rhode Island based social justice organization, told WSAR their membership believes in Open Borders, and that they would seek to work with prisoners inside the Dartmouth Corrections Center, in terms of improving conditions regarding food and treatment of inmates in relation to staff.
Bristol County Tom Hodgson has indicated to WSAR that a nutritionist works with his staff to prepare meals and that inmates in the correctional center have indicated they prefer Tang over orange juice.
Members of FANG told WSAR that they are affiliated with various Social Justice organizations throughout the Eastern Seaboard and in the Western U-S and are seeking to halt construction of natural gas pipelines, preferring Green alternatives.
As the last week of summer vacation ticks down in Fall River this week, Fall River Superintendent of Public Schools Dr. Matthew Malone told the Fall River School Committee this week that the Durfee Science Wing, damaged in a flood earlier this year, will be ready to go, as classrooms are coming back on line this week, with teachers being notified as their classrooms are completed.
Malone also told the School Committee that when a new Durfee opens in three years, the new science gear will be moved to middle schools in Fall River, as construction on the new BMC Durfee High School begins this summer.
Massachusetts public health officials raise West Nile virus risk level to moderate statewide
Residents urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes
BOSTON (August 21, 2018) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced it was raising the risk level for West Nile virus from low to moderate in every Massachusetts city and town and urged residents to take precautions against mosquito bites.
Of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, 162 communities are already considered to be at moderate risk for West Nile virus.
This is only the second time that public health officials have raised the risk level statewide. To date, there have been no reported human WNV cases in Massachusetts.
“The hot, humid weather in Massachusetts combined with frequent heavy rainfall has provided perfect conditions for mosquito species carrying West Nile Virus to breed,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “I strongly encourage everyone to keep using insect repellant and to be especially aware of mosquito activity at dusk and dawn when the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes is greatest. Move indoors if you are getting bitten.”
While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.
“August and September are the months when most human cases occur,’’ said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “That’s why we are taking this step today so together we can help keep people from getting sick.”
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient (DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535) according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning in areas of high risk.
Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change the water in birdbaths frequently.
Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Protect Your Animals
Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is suspected of having WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.
More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.
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.”
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
Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for July
BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 17, 2018 –The 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.
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.
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 email@example.com
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
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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''.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)