WSAR NEWS Archives for 2019-02

Somerset Booster Treasurer Busted

A 51-year-old Somerset woman, who allegedly stole nearly $35,000 from the Somerset-Berkley Regional High School Athletic Boosters Club, was officially charged this morning with larceny over $1,200 by a  single scheme, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn IIII announced.

 

A criminal complaint against Dulce Pacheco issued this morning in Fall River District Court.  The defendant will be summonsed into court to be arraigned on the charge on March 18 in Fall River District Court.

 

The defendant, who was the Treasurer of the Somerset-Berkley Regional High School Athletic Boosters Club, is alleged to have stolen $34,500 from the private non-profit group.  It is further alleged she then used the stolen money to pay off her mortgage.

 

The matter was investigated by Assistant District Attorney Michael Scott, who is the Chief of DA Quinn’s Financial Crimes Unit.  Officer James Roberts, who is the School Resource Officer at the high school, also assisted in the investigation.

 

Since the defendant has yet to be arraigned in open court, more information on the specific facts of the case cannot be released publicly at this time. 

Kennedy Column on Trans Youth

The Advocate: Why I Fight for Trans Youth
Rep. Joseph Kennedy says passing the Do No Harm Act, which he's about to reintroduce in Congress, is a personal mission.


BY REP. JOSEPH KENNEDY III
FEBRUARY 28 2019 

 

Four years ago, I sat around a crowded conference room in Fenway Health, an incredible organization serving Boston’s LGBTQ community, and met with stakeholders to figure out how we were going to pass a bill to protect transgender citizens in public spaces.


Joining me around the table were experts, physicians, and activists who led the charge on this vital legislation, but one group that stood out to me were Massachusetts families with transgender children who had come to share their stories. And what I heard from them that afternoon has stayed with me ever since.


I vividly remember the young student off to college who planned his car rides home for school vacations based on what states had antidiscrimination laws on the books so he knew where he would be free from legalized bigotry along the way. The family who mapped out any outing based on the availability of inclusive restrooms. The young parents who faced a torrent of doubt and criticism when they supported their 5-year-old son’s transition, yet refused to allow the judgments of others to shake their faith in what their child knew to be true.


What I came to understand there, in that room, was that they were fighting for the same experiences we all want for our children: the ability to take their kids to the movies, to send them to school, to wave them off to proms and sports practices and sleepovers with little worry. The small moments so many of us take for granted. The ones that aren’t so small when you can’t have them.


But they couldn’t. Not because of anything they did or some extenuating circumstance that would pass with time or effort. Rather, because their country — deliberately, consciously, consistently — told them that their child didn’t deserve the same protection and opportunity and experience as the next kid.  


Since that moment, these families became a top priority for me in Washington, where I was honored to take over as chair of the Congressional Trans Equality Task Force in 2017. And I assumed this position just after the election of President Trump, who has brought our fight into sharp focus, as he immediately launched a coordinated, relentless, nationwide assault on the civil and human rights of transgender Americans.


Within the first weeks of taking office, the Trump administration scrubbed references to LGBTQIA+ rights from the White House website and announced it would no longer defend Gavin Grimm or the countless students facing discrimination in school. These efforts continued, attempting to remove questions about sexual orientation and gender identity from the U.S. Census, implementing a ban on transgender service members, and working to literally erase transgender citizens by excluding them from federal civil rights law.


In the midst of this onslaught, parents of trans children gathered in Washington a few weeks ago to share their experiences about what these changes meant for their families.  


One parent spoke of the statistics and stories of violence faced by trans women of color. She said that she cannot get them out of her head and is forced to confront the fact that no matter what she does, her black trans daughter will face threats to her safety that the rest of us won’t. A military mom described what it meant to their family and their trans daughter, Blue, when our president questioned the patriotism of transgender troops. Another recounted having to defend her daughter’s very existence in the eyes of her home state government.


The voices were different, yet all shared the excruciating pain of having to assure your son or daughter that you count even though your government says you don’t. Or even though your country treats you as second-class that yes, you matter. And even while your president insults, degrades, and demeans the very essence of who you are, know that yes, you are beautiful and kind and powerful and worthy.


What’s probably hard to believe is that these kids are among the luckier ones, with parents who have not wavered in their support and advocates by their side. But imagine how many of our trans neighbors today soldier on alone, in the shadows, in the painful reality of life lived under discrimination’s thumb? 


This is why I fight.


Because a country that staked its claim on the radical notion of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must do better. Because the one enduring failure of American history is that those basic promises have too often been limited to straight white cisgender men. Because it is incumbent on those of us privileged enough to have our country’s protection to not just get comfortable with — but to demand — the sharing of that justice and dignity with all.


It’s why we fight for the Equality Act, introduced by Congressman David Cicilline, which would extend ironclad antidiscrimination protections to all. It’s why I joined Congresswoman Jackie Speier earlier this month to introduce a bill that would stop the trans ban in its tracks.


And it’s why, today, I’m reintroducing the Do No Harm Act with Congressman Bobby Scott and Sen. Kamala Harris, which would ensure that religious liberty can no longer be used as an excuse to discriminate against anyone based on their race, gender identity, or sexual orientation.


A few years ago, I became a dad myself. Nothing brings you face to face with vulnerability like becoming a parent. From that first breath, you will spend every moment wrestling with the consuming joy and uneasy vulnerability of loving something so deeply. You tell yourself that if you are prepared enough, involved enough, if you do everything right — you'll be able to protect them from the pain life throws their way.


Of course, you realize that there are places your protection cannot reach. Bullies and broken hearts, sickness and prejudice and hurt.


But you find solace in the one thing you can do, day in and day out: fight for a country that allows your children — all children — to be exactly who they are. Without exception, caveat, or condition. 


REP. JOSEPH KENNEDY III represents Massachusetts's 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The Snow This Week

Updated Forecast Information by National Weather Service: 


What has changed ...
•    WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY expanded to include all of Massachusetts.
What / Where / When ...
•    Light snow will spread across all of Southern New England.
o    Beginning late this afternoon into evening for the CT River Valley, 4 to 6 pm, spreading over the remainder of S New England, 6 to 8 pm.
o    Bulk of the snowfall occurring around 10 pm to 4 am Thursday with snowfall rates less than an inch per hour.
o    Snow tapering 4 am to 7 am Thursday, west to east. 
o    Total snow accumulations around 2 to 4 inches with locally higher amounts. 
?    The potential exists for a swath of 3-6 inches of snow within 20 miles north or south of the MA-Pike, including the Berkshires and greater Worcester and Boston Metro Areas.  
?    Not ruling out amounts that could come close to warning-level criteria of 6-inches.
Impacts ... 
•    Hartford / Springfield / Worcester metro areas ... will see snow develop into this evenings commute.
o    Any accumulations on roadways should be light, mainly a dusting ... bigger concern will be reduced visibility.
•    Boston / Providence metro areas  ... will see snow lingering during the early morning commute on Thursday before ending. 
o    Slick surfaces with any untreated roads in addition to reduced visibility. 
•    With any snow ... and given temperatures will be around 20 degrees, upper teens for most areas throughout the event.
o    Snow will accumulate on all surfaces.
o    A light and fluffy snow, with snowfall rates less than an inch per hour, should make for easy and quick clean-up. 
o    However treatments may have difficulty working given cold temperatures forecast overnight.
o    Expect reductions in visibility and hazardous travel conditions.

When The Towers Come Down

The Suburban St. Louis owners of the Brayton Point Power Plant property have selected the morning of Saturday, April 27, as to when a pair of 500-foot cooling towers will be imploded, making way for the redevelopment of the property, which could become a hub for the construction of wind turbines which would be shipped via barge to locations throughout the Eastern Seaboard. 

Residents of Somerset and Swansea that have lived in the shadows of the towers, which have been the dominant feature of the local skyline for a decade, had concerns at a session in Somerset as to how their homes would be protected from dust and other issues. 

 

Its hoped that the property will be cleaned and ready for development in the 2020s. 

The Spending On Ballot Questions

Ballot question committees report $42.6 million in expenditures, the second highest total ever
            Seven ballot question committees spent $42.6 million on three propositions in 2018, the second highest total ever recorded, according to an OCPF review of ballot question fundraising and spending.
            Question 1, concerning patient-to-nurse limits, accounted for 86 percent of all statewide ballot question spending in 2018. The question failed. 
The Coalition to Protect Patient Safety ballot question committee, which opposed Question 1, broke the spending record for a single committee, reporting $24,733,966 in expenditures. The previous record of $21.6 million was set in 2016 by the Great Schools Massachusetts Committee concerning charter schools.
            OCPF’s review of ballot question activity covered fundraising and spending in 2017-18 for three questions that appeared on the 2018 statewide ballot: 
            Question 1: Patient-to-nurse limits (failed)
            Question 2: Commission on limiting election spending and corporate rights (passed)
            Question 3: Repeal of transgender bill (passed, meaning the current law remains)
___
The two committees organized for Question 1 – one in support and one in opposition – reported a total of $36.9 million in receipts and $36.8 million in expenditures, in addition to $2.5 million in in-kind contributions (such as donated staff time).
The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) was the primary donor to the Committee to Ensure Safe Patient Care Committee, which supported the question. The MNA contributed $10,498,403, or 87 percent of the committee’s total receipts in support of the question.
The committee in opposition to the question, the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety, received 99 percent of its funding from the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association – $24,573,500.
The question failed, 1,858,483 to 787,511. The average spent per vote in opposition was $15.29, and $13.31 for every vote in favor. 
Question 2 had the least amount of financial activity in 2018. 
Two committees were formed, one in support and one in opposition, but only the question’s supporters spent money. 
The People Govern, Not Money Committee reported $214,189 in receipts and $213,932 in expenditures. The opposition group, the No on Two for Freedom of Speech Committee, reported no receipts or expenditures. 
The question, which created a citizen’s commission concerning campaign finance issues, passed 1,871,989 to 751,447. 
Question 3 was a referendum on an existing law concerning gender identity. A “yes” vote maintained the current law. 
The committee supporting no change, the Freedom for All Massachusetts Committee, raised $5.2 million and spent the same amount.  
The committee supporting repeal of the law, the Keep Massachusetts Safe Committee, raised $464,664 and spent $462,389. 
The question passed, 1,806,742 to 857,401. 
___
The figures in this study are based on reports filed by committees covering activity through Dec. 31, 2018, and are subject to change due to any subsequent corrections, deletions or additions made as a result of any review conducted by OCPF or amendments filed by committees.  
            In addition to the fundraising and spending reported by ballot question committees, businesses and other entities reported a total of $115,499 in spending that was independent of any ballot question committee. 
            Reports filed by each of the committees may be found on OCPF’s website at www.ocpf.us. 

A breakdown of activity for each question follows.

Campaign Finance Activity for the 2018
Statewide Ballot Questions

Totals include receipts and expenditures by each ballot question committee organized with OCPF for 2017 and 2018.  In most instances, the committee organized during 2018.

Question 1: Patient-to-nurse limits – Failed

Committee    Receipts    Expenditures    In-Kind Contributions    Outstanding
Liabilities
    Support
Committee to Ensure Safe Patient Care (95450)    $12,044,919    $12,044,919    $374,701    --
Totals in favor    $12,044,919    $12,044,919    $374,701    --
    Oppose
Coalition to Protect Patient Safety (95455)    $24,808,566    $24,733,966*    $2,114,484    $1,000,000
Totals in opposition    $24,808,566    $24,733,966    $2,114,484    $1,000,000
Question 2 Totals    $36,853,485    $36,778,885    $2,489,185    $1,000,000

Vote Count
Yes: 787,511 (spent per vote: $15.29)
No: 1,858,483 (spent per vote: $13.31)
*The highest total ever reported by a single ballot question committee. The previous record was set in 2016 by Great Schools Massachusetts concerning charter schools ($21,586,407)

Question 2: Commission on limiting election spending and corporate rights – Passed

Committee    Receipts    Expenditures    In-Kind Contributions    Outstanding
Liabilities
    Support
People Govern, Not Money (95448)    $214,189    $213,932    $116,582    $20,000
Totals in favor    $214,189    $213,932    $116,582    $20,000
    Oppose
No on Two for Freedom of Speech (95460)    $0    $0    $0    --
Totals in opposition    $0    $0    $0    --
Question 2 Totals    $214,189    $213,932    $116,582    $20,000

Vote Count
Yes: 1,871,989 (spent per vote: 11 cents)
No: 751,447 (spent per vote: 0) 


Question 3: Repeal of transgender bill (a ‘yes’ vote maintained the current law) – Passed

Committee    Receipts    Expenditures    In-Kind Contributions    Outstanding
Liabilities
    Support
Freedom for All Massachusetts* (95442)    $5,197,268    $5,185,008    $887,563    --
Total expenditures in favor of retaining the law    $5,197,268    $5,185,008    $887,563    --
    Oppose
No to 3 (95458)    $685    $685    $45    --
Keep Massachusetts Safe* (95438)    $464,664    $462,389    $179,872    
Total expenditures to repeal    $465,349    $463,074    $179,917    --
Question 3 Total    $5,662,617    $5,648,082    $1,067,480    --
                    

Vote Count
Yes: 1,806,742 (spent per vote: $2.87)
No: 857,401 (spent per vote: 54 cents)
*This study includes activity for 2017 and 2018. However, the Keep Massachusetts Safe Committee also had minimal 2016 activity


Statewide Ballot Question Expenditures
1988 – 2018

Year    Number of Questions    Number of Committees    Total spent 
1988    4    18    $13,317,952
1990    6    20    $5,661,062
1992    4    8    $16,139,661
1994    9    23    $11,155,835
1996    1    3    $1,210,777
1998    3    9    $9,999,283
2000    8    16    $15,340,199
2002    3    6    $2,332,880
2006    3    6    $15,320,327
2008    3    7    $11,516,215
2010    3    9    $9,098,307
2012    3    13    $9,554,909
2014    4    13    $30,193,266
2016    4    15    $57,477,775
2018    3    7    $42,640,899
                

Note: There were no questions on the statewide ballot in 2004.

Triple A Northeast Gasoline This Week

Gasoline prices in Massachusetts are up one cent this week, according to AAA Northeast.

 
AAA’s February 25 survey of prices in Massachusetts finds self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.36 per gallon. The Massachusetts price is three cents lower than the national average for regular unleaded of $2.39. A year ago at this time, the average price in Massachusetts was thirteen cents higher at $2.49.  


“Higher pump prices in more than 40 states have been supported by an increase in demand and a reduced gasoline supply,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “Refineries are also gearing up for spring gasoline production and maintenance season which also tightens supplies and could lead to higher prices.”


The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 62 cents, from a low of $2.17 to a high of $2.79. 

Tampon Tax RI

For about 40 years of every woman’s life, periods are a fairly unavoidable occurrence. 


Managing them with feminine hygiene products is a necessity, not a luxury or an option. 


For that reason, Rep. Edith Ajello and Sen. Louis P. DiPalma are once again pushing for Rhode Island to exempt menstrual products from the state sales tax.


“Menstrual products are a necessity to women, regardless of their ability to afford them, and many can’t.

 

Imposing a tax on them makes a regular necessity more expensive, and amounts to a tax on being a woman. Does the state really need to collect a profit from every woman each time she needs feminine hygiene products? As a matter of principle and a matter of the financial needs of many Rhode Island women, our state should add menstrual products the many items that are already exempt from sales tax,” said Representative Ajello (D-Dist. 1, Providence).

 


The legislation (2019-H 5307, 2019-S 0049) would exempt tampons, panty liners, menstrual cups, sanitary napkins, and other similar products used in connection with women’s menstrual cycles. Both sponsors have filed the bill since 2016, and it has been supported by the Rhode Island Medical Society, Planned Parenthood and the Women’s Policy Institute.
Of the 45 U.S. states that collect sales tax, 10, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, currently exempt feminine hygiene products. Canada eliminated the “tampon tax” nationwide in 2015, and several other countries have as well.


Among the numerous other categories and items that have been declared exempt from state sales tax in Rhode Island are clothing items under $250, food, newspapers, coffins, boats and horse food.


“Rhode Island should not be taxing feminine hygiene products as if buying them is some kind of luxury that indicates a person’s ability to pitch in a little more to support the state. They are a necessity, and one that is already fairly expensive for those of limited means. You can’t buy them with SNAP, and many women and girls can’t afford as many as they actually need. The state doesn’t need to add to their costs. For the same reason we exempt food and clothing — necessity — we should exempt menstrual products,” said Senator DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Tiverton, Newport),


A box of 36 CVS brand tampons currently costs $6.29, on which the state would collect 44 cents sales tax. If a woman were to buy a box at that price every month for 40 years, she would pay about $211 in sales tax on them, a cost to which men are not subject, since there is no similar regular necessity for men on which they pay sales tax.
 

The Feds in MA Collect Cash

 U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling announced today that the District of Massachusetts collected more than $5.213 billion in criminal and civil actions in Fiscal Year 2018. Of this amount, more than $4.9 billion was collected by the District alone - $25,028,095 in criminal actions, and $4,906,284,211 in civil actions. 

 

The District of Massachusetts also worked with other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and components of the Department of Justice to collect an additional $282,208,233 in cases pursued jointly. As a whole, the Justice Department collected nearly $15 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018.

 

The $14,839,821,650 in collections in FY 2018 represents nearly seven times the appropriated $2.13 billion budget for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.

 

In addition to these civil and criminal collections, the District of Massachusetts was also responsible for the forfeiture of $20,788,659 in criminal proceeds, or other property involved in crimes, in Fiscal Year 2018.

 

“I’m proud of the work the prosecutors in my office have done to secure more than $5 billion in civil and criminal collections, and asset forfeitures, in 2018 alone,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “The District of Massachusetts has long been a leader in financial recoveries in the areas of health care fraud, securities fraud and civil settlements, and we will continue to aggressively pursue collections that return money to victims of crime and U.S. taxpayers, and that deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains.”

 

“The men and women of the U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the country work diligently, day in and day out, to see that the citizens of our nation receive justice. The money that we are able to recover for victims and this country as a whole is a direct result of their hard work,” Director James A. Crowell, IV, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.

 

In August 2018, the District of Massachusetts announced a $4.9 billion settlement with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which was the largest penalty ever imposed on a single entity by the Justice Department for financial crisis-era misconduct.

 

U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, along with the Department’s litigating divisions, are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the U.S. and criminal debts owed to federal crime victims.

 

The law requires defendants to pay restitution to victims of certain federal crimes who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss. While restitution is paid to the victim, criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the Department’s Crime Victims Fund, which distributes the funds collected to federal and state victim compensation and victim assistance programs.

 

The largest civil collections were from affirmative civil enforcement cases, in which the United States recovered government money lost to fraud or other misconduct or collected fines imposed on individuals and/or corporations for violations of federal health, safety, civil rights or environmental laws, or fines for other fraudulent conduct.  In addition, civil debts were collected on behalf of several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Education.

Two Girls Walk Into A Bank

On February 20th, 2019 at approximately 3:45 pm Officers of the Fall River Police Department were dispatched to Bay Coast Bank 81 Troy Street in response to an ARMED ROBBERY complaint. Officer Aaron Souza was informed that a young female approximately 5’6” wearing a dark blue sweater with PATRIOT symbols all over it, and black leggings entered the bank and slid a note demanding money or she would blow everything up and kill everybody. The female held her two hands tightly as if she was concealing something. The female obtained an undetermined amount of U.S. currency and fled on foot towards Troy Street. A description of the suspect was broadcast.

 

Detectives Beaulieu, Dwaine Cabeceiras, John McDonald, Jeffrey Autote, and Lt. Jay Huard from the Major Crimes Division arrived and began to canvass the area. During that canvass, they located several cameras. From the multiple cameras, they were able to piece together the suspect’s path.  The suspect left the bank; crossed Troy Street and moments later walked back across Troy Street towards the bank and enters a dark-colored Toyota Camry with another female. Detectives were also able to obtain a Massachusetts registration number for that Camry from a different camera which took them to a Mulberry Street home.

 

On arrival at that Mulberry Street residence, Detectives observed several people in the first-floor windows moving around. They also located a black 2018 Toyota Camry with the same Massachusetts registration in the rear yard. Upon knocking, no one would open the door. The door was then forced open. While speaking with the residents, a female walked through the hallway of the apartment. Detective Cabeceiras recognized her as the female who had entered the vehicle with the robbery suspect. This female, age 15, was now wearing the PATRIOTS sweater.

 

Detectives learned that there was an apartment in the basement and made their way downstairs. While in the basement, a female emerged from the bathroom wearing black leggings similar to those of the robbery suspect. That female, age 14, was identified as the robbery suspect. Both females were taken into custody, each charged with Armed Robbery.
 

Correia Wants to Pay Back Investors

In a series of legal documents released Tuesday night, Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II is seeking permission from Federal Prosecutors in Boston to contact the seven investors who helped create SnoOwl, an application that was operational on the Android and Apple smart phone platforms before Correia became Mayor.

Correia claims to have access to a little over $300,000, which his Defense Attorney, Kevin Reddington, tells the lead prosecutor in the case, Zachery Hafer, in a letter dated January 29, saying the cash is being held in escrow. 

In the letter, Reddington references discussions on the proposal that could have started in November or December; Correia was indicted on 9 Federal Counts of Wire Fraud and 4 of Tax Fraud.

 

When Correia was arrested and arraigned in October 2018, he signed a document as a condition of his ongoing probation that he not have contact with a list of witnesses and others involved in the case; included in that list were the original 7 SnoOwl Investors. 

In a series of documents related to this latest filing, Federal Prosecutors in Boston made it clear they were against the idea, and have the judge in the case to issue a ruling on the matter. 

New Bedford Parking Ban Tickets

The City of New Bedford will void traffic tickets related to the snow emergency parking ban on Sunday, February 17 and Monday, February 18.

 

Residents will not have to pay any fines for violations of the weekend’s snow ban, and can disregard tickets placed on their vehicles. 

 

The announcement of the weekend parking ban was made to local media, who widely reported the ban. The City’s announcement was also posted on City social media pages.

 

However, due to a technical issue, the ban announcement was not posted on the City of New Bedford homepage, www.newbedford-ma.gov. A homepage posting is standard practice as a backstop for providing information to city residents. Residents are encouraged to continue to monitor local media closely as the primary information source during snow emergencies.

Traffic tickets issued due to the snow parking ban – which began at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 17 and ended at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, February 18 – will be voided. Any resident who has already paid snow parking ban tickets for this period will receive a refund.
 

Using Cash In Rhode Island

Rep. Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) has introduced legislation that would protect the rights of customers to pay for things in cash.


“More and more retailers are shifting to cashless transactions in other parts of the country for various reasons,” said Representative Ackerman. “From a consumer perspective, this could have a negative impact on working class customers, senior citizens and college students who don’t have credit cards.”


The legislation (2019-H 5116) would make it unlawful for any retail establishment offering goods or services for sale to discriminate against a prospective customer by requiring the use of credit for purchase of goods or services.


“The U.S. dollar is legal tender and should be accepted at any retail establishment in Rhode Island,” said Representative Ackerman. “Others might not want to share their purchasing habits, which can be tracked by using a credit card and used to build a profile on a consumer’s spending tendencies. Cash transactions also make identity theft more difficult.”


According to a survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, about 8 percent of households have no bank account and only 75 percent of American adults have credit cards.


“Given the age requirements for credit cards, a cashless policy creates a type of age discrimination that we should not be tolerating,” said Representative Ackerman. “Businesses still have an obligation to be accessible to everybody — not just those who have a credit card.”


The bill, which is cosponsored by Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick), Majority Whip John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth), Representatives Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) and Christopher R. Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence), has been referred to the House Corporations Committee.
 

Gasoline This Week

Gasoline prices in Massachusetts are up one cent this week, according to AAA Northeast. 


AAA’s February 18 survey of prices in Massachusetts finds self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.35 per gallon.

 

The Massachusetts price is four cents higher than the national average for regular unleaded of $2.31. A year ago at this time, the average price in Massachusetts was fifteen cents higher at $2.50.  


“Crude oil prices have continued their ascent in recent days, due to a growing belief that global supplies are tightening,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “The start of refinery maintenance season plus the increased demand that comes with milder weather could start to pull pump prices higher over the coming weeks.”


The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 88 cents, from a low of $2.17 to a high of $3.05.

Fall River Arraignment

A 16-year-old Fall River juvenile male who was arrested last Thursday in connection to last week’s homicide of 17-year-old William Wheeler in Fall River waived rendition in Rhode Island this morning and will be arraigned today at 2 p.m. 

in Fall River District Court on a single count of murder.


The defendant can now be publicly identified as Michael Holloway, 16, of Fall River.  He is currently being transported back to Massachusetts by Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to this office. 


The defendant was arrested last Thursday night in West Warwick, RI in connection to the Wednesday night/Thursday morning homicide in Fall River.


Fall River Police, Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office and Homicide Unit prosecutors  continue to investigate the homicide.

 

At around 11:55 P.M.. on Wednesday night, Fall River Police responded to a 911 call regarding a young male being stabbed during an altercation at 96 Fountain Street.

 

 When first responders arrived on scene, they found Mr. Wheeler lying on the floor of the apartment suffering from an apparent stab wound.  

 

The victim was rushed to St. Anne's Hospital where he was declared deceased at 12:42 A.M.. Thursday morning
 

Bristol County Most Wanted Fugitives Initiative

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III, joined by police chiefs from throughout the county and members of the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, today announced a Bristol County Most Wanted Fugitives Initiative and anonymous tip program aimed at tracking down the county’s worst fugitives.

 

During a press conference held at White’s of Westport this morning, DA Quinn unveiled a new website that will routinely update the public about the violent fugitives still on the loose in our communities.  In conjunction with this website, DA Quinn also announced a new anonymous tip program designed specifically to give the general public the opportunity to assist us in locating and apprehending these fugitives from justice. 

 

The Bristol County Most Wanted Fugitives webpage, which can be found on both Facebook at www.facebook.com/bristoldafugitives and via our website www.bristolda.com/fugitives will be updated regularly and will highlight specific fugitives from justice.  The list of fugitives will include information about the criminal cases, information about the defendant’s ties to the community and any other connections to the area.  The webpage will also include information on how to provide an anonymous tip to assist us in locating and apprehending these fugitives.

 

Members of the public will be able to either anonymously send in a tip via text message or anonymously submit a tip via the web at https://new.tipsubmit.com/en/create-report/anonymous/da.bristol.ma.us .  To text in a tip, all a citizen has to do is text the keyword “Bristol” to the phone number CRIMES (274637).  After typing in the word “Bristol,” the citizen can then type in the tip they want to provide.  The text will be received by a member of our state police unit and the state trooper will have the ability to respond to the text to seek more information or get a clarification about the tip.  No state trooper or anyone from our office will have access to the tipster’s actual phone number because when the tip is sent by the citizen it is first routed to Canada and then assigned a random non-existent phone number.  This assures complete anonymity for the tipster.

 

Since internally beginning this initiative in August, we have already located and captured 10 fugitives who defaulted on serious Superior Court cases.

 

“Massachusetts is drowning in hundreds of thousands of open warrants.  While many of the cases involve minor offenses, there are, however, many violent and serious offenders with open arrest and default warrants who are walking the streets of our communities every day.  This has been an issue I have taken very seriously during my 20 year career as a prosecutor.  While we have aggressively tracked down fugitives during my tenure as the district attorney and first assistant district attorney, this initiative will bring added attention and resources to this important public safety issue,” District Attorney Quinn said. “With the public’s assistance and the media shining its spotlight on this growing problem, it is our hope that we can track down violent offenders who skip court and never show up to face the charges. The message here today should be clear: You simply will not get a pass when you skip court and try to evade prosecution.”

The Nips Debate

The Digital Edition of ''The Gloucester Daily Times'' is reporting that Gloucester may join at least two suburban Boston Communities urging the Commonwealth to clamp down on litter by adding Nip Bottles to the list of beverage containers that require 5 cent deposits at the time of purchase. 

 

Gloucester is also set to ask that single use water bottles be added to the current law regarding plastic bottles and cans, as they are in Connecticut. 

 

Any Changes to the Massachusetts law would likely require voter approval. 

 

Gloucester has recently banned plastic bags and certain types of food containers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taunton Stabbing Death

Two individuals have been placed under arrest and are being charged with crimes connected to this afternoon's homicide in Taunton, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III and Taunton Police Chief Edward Walsh announced.

 

Richard Mulcahy, 37, who has ties to Taunton, Weymouth and Florida, will be charged with murder and armed robbery.

 

Danielle Delory, 35, of Taunton is being charged with armed robbery as of Thursday Night. 

 

Both defendants will be arraigned tomorrow morning in Taunton District Court.

 

The investigation into the homicide of 50-year-old Taunton resident Robert Hickey remains under investigation at this time by Taunton Police, Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to this office and Homicide Unit prosecutors.

 

At around 3:45 pm today Taunton Police responded to the area of 33 White Street for a report of an ongoing altercation.

 

 When first responders arrived on scene, they located a male victim who was bleeding from an apparent stab wound.  Mr. Hickey was rushed to Morton Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased at 4:20 pm.

Fall River Stabbing

Fall River Police, Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office and Homicide Unit prosecutors are actively investigating a homicide, which occurred in the City of Fall River during the overnight hours.

 

At around 11:55 p.m. last night, Fall River Police responded to a 911 call regarding a young male being stabbed during an altercation at 96 Fountain Street.  

 

When first responders arrived on scene, they found the victim, 17-year-old William Wheeler, lying on the floor of the apartment suffering from an apparent stab wound.  

 

The victim was rushed to St. Anne's Hospital where he was declared deceased at 12:42 a.m.

 

The investigation is extremely active, fluid and ongoing at this time. No one is in custody as of this hour.

 

Due to the ongoing nature of this investigation, no further information can be released at this time.
 

See The Lombardi Trophy This Weekend

The New England Patriots are Super Bowl Champions for the sixth time in team history and the third time in the last five years! We want you to be a part of the championship celebration. The parade is over, but the party is not!

 

Purchase tickets to The Patriots Hall of Fame this weekend to take your photo with the Super Bowl LIII Vince Lombardi Trophy from Friday, February 8 through Sunday, February 10.

 

We strongly encourage you to buy tickets for the weekend online in advance as time slots will likely sell out. Click here to purchase tickets (admission to The Hall is required).

 

Below is a full list of dates and times the trophy will be available for photos:

 

Friday, February 8, 2019 at 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.


We ask that you bring your own camera and please understand that if lines are long, we will need to, at our discretion, limit the number of photos taken and restrict to one per person/group.

 

Additionally, to keep the line moving, we will not allow guests to take the same photo with multiple cameras. We respectfully ask you to share the photo within your group.

 

 

Want to avoid the wait in line? We will offer a members only line that provides Hall of Fame members priority access to the trophy on an alternating basis. It is not too late to join The Hall’s exclusive team. For more membership information or to purchase, please visit patriotshalloffame.com/memberships or call 508-698-4800.

 

F.R.P.D Press Release - Jan 22. South Main Street Shooting

     On January 22nd, 2019 at approximately 1:00 pm a shooting took place in broad daylight on South Main Street in our city. At that time the suspect fled the area. After an exhaustive investigation, lead investigator Detective Dwaine Cabeceiras along with members of FRPD Major Crimes and Special Operations Division pieced together numerous witness statements and security camera footage to identify a suspect and obtain a warrant for the arrest of that suspect.

 

The Suspect:

 

Rodney Z. Jette 10/02/2000 of 571 Plymouth Avenue Fall River is wanted on charges of:

 

•        Carry/Possession of non large capacity firearm without LTC

•        Carrying a Firearm without a license in public,

•        Attempt to commit A&B by discharging a firearm,

•        Vandalizing property 3 Counts,

•        Discharging a Firearm within 500 Feet of a Building

 

 

     As part of the South Main Street investigation, On Wednesday, February 6th,2019 at approximately 11:45 am Officers Gregory J. Homan and Erick Bettencourt of the Special Operation Divisions Gang Unit were canvassing the area of Tecumseh and Blackstone Streets when they observed Kevin M. Nunes 03/31/2000.

     Mr. Nunes is a person of interest with possible connections to the Snell and Terrance Streets Shooting 01/30/2019 and the December 26th, 2018 Tecumseh Street Shooting. Officer Homen circled the block and while traveling east on Tecumseh, both Officers observed Nunes walk up a stairway on the east side of a residence. Officer Homen parked the cruiser, and both he and Bettencourt exited and walked toward the house. When they reached the house, they observed Nunes walking out to the sidewalk from the west side of the house.

     Officers approached Mr. Nunes, who appeared startled, was breathing heavily, and was visibly nervous to the point his hands were shaking. Knowing Nunes lived at 224 Kennedy Street, Officers asked him about his purpose for entering the Tecumseh Street yard. Nunes replied he was “in a bad mood” and “just out for a walk”. Knowing the area was the scene of a recent shooting, Nunes’ residence being on Kennedy Street, and his visibly nervous condition, Officers detained Nunes and had him sit on the curb.

     Officer Homen went to the rear of the house while Officer Bettencourt asked Nunes who lived in the house and who was he there to visit. Nunes didn’t reply but began sending and receiving text messages. While in the rear of the residence, Officer Homen observed trash barrels, furniture, children’s toys, trash, and cardboard boxes. Behind the boxes against the house, he observed a firearm. As Officer Homen made the discovery, Nunes took off running but was quickly apprehended several yards away by Officers Jose Dapedra, Michael Hadaya, and Bettencourt.

Nunes was subsequently transported to the Police Station.

     While being booked on the firearms charge, a call was dispatched that there was a breaking and entering in progress at 224 Kennedy Street. This is the home of Kevin Nunes. Witnesses stated two men, one Caucasian about 5’10, wearing a black ski mask, black jacket, and blue jeans, the other male was described as black about 5’10”, wearing a black ski mask, brown jacket and blue jeans were observed coming up from the basement. After a confrontation, the males fled in a Black Lexus. There were no signs of forced entry, nothing appeared to be missing. A consent search of the residence was performed with the permission of the residents with the exception of Mr. Nunes’ room. No further evidence was located.

     The vehicle used by Mr. Nunes was located a block away from where he was arrested and the owner of that vehicle gave consent to search it before he took possession of it. Officer Hadaya located two large bags of marihuana (approx. 2lbs total), Officer Dapedra located a scale and Detective John McDonald located ‘GLAD’ sandwich bags in the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle stated those items were not there prior to him letting Mr. Nunes use the vehicle.

A search warrant was obtained for Mr. Nunes room on Kennedy Street. There police located over 19,000 in cash and 2 rounds of ammunition for a firearm and a small amount of marihuana.

       

 

     Kevin M. Nunes 03/31/2000 of 224 Kennedy Street Fall River is charged with:

 

•        Carry/Possession of Large Capacity Firearm/Feeding Device

•        Carry/Possession of Large Capacity Firearm/Feeding Device

•        Carrying a Firearm without a license in public

•        Possession of Ammunition w/o FID

•        Possession of Ammunition w/o FID

•        Trespass w/ Firearm

•        Vandalize Property

•        Possession to Distribute a Class D Substance

 

 

Somerset State of the Town

     The Digital Edition of the ''Spectator'' is reporting that the Chair of the Somerset Board of Selectmen, Holly MacNamara is proposing a state of the town address, with various department heads explaining how money is spent, collected, and what the municipal and school department financial future might be. 
     The ''Spectator'' is reporting that a similar event happened nearly four years ago. 
     With a pair of de-commissioned power plants, including the Brayton Point Power Plant, an expected loss of revenue was built into an overlay account.
     Budgets for various departments were also approved at town meeting in May.

JCIII Status Conference Postponed

A pre trial interim status conference involving Federal Prosecutors and Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II that was set for next week at the Moakley Court House in Boston has been postponed till April 23 at 2pm, with status documents to be filed in mid April. 

 

In documents filed Thursday Morning, Federal Prosecutors and Correia's Defense Attorney, Kevin Reddington, indicated that there were no pending discovery requests after government produced more than 18,000 pages of automatic discovery in November 2018.

 

In documents filed Thursday Morning, the parties have no had any plea discussions, indicating as well that if the case does go to trial, the government expects a trial in United States of America versus Jasiel Correia II to last two to three weeks. 

 

 

 

 

 

Swansea Mall Aftermath

     While the bulk of last night's Swansea Board of Selectmen focused on issues involving discussions with a pair of marijuana dispensaries, the issue of last week's announcement of the closure of the Swansea Mall was debated near the end of the session, as Selectman Chris Carreiro indicated that economic development needed a boost. Carreiro says Swansea is suffering from economic distress in the aftermath of the announcement of the closing of the mall. It will close on the final day of March; The Macy's anchor store will close one week prior to the final closing of the entire complex. 

Michelle Carter Supreme Judicial Court Update

     The Digital Edition of the Boston Globe is reporting that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court has ruled unanimously in a 33 page ruling that Michelle Carter acted with criminal intent when she texted and called Conrad Roy lll during the relationship between the two, ultimately convincing him to take his own life. 
     Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 15 months in prison during a bench trial in 2017. 
     Carter's defense team argued that her text messages, phone calls and e-mails with Roy, which were referenced in the ruling, were forms of free speech and protected by the First Amendment. 
     Carter was 17 and just one month out of a psychiatric hospital when prosecutors charged that she urged Roy, who was 18, to end his life on the night of July 13, 2014 in his pickup truck, in a Fairhaven parking lot.

Multiple Accidents In Somerset

     The Superintendent of the Somerset Public School District tells WSAR News that there were two accidents that happened almost simultaneously Wednesday morning around 7:30 a.m at different locations.

     The first accident happened on Read Street in Somerset, involving what Schoonver termed as a regular yellow bus; the driver of the second vehicle involved in the accident was taken to the Somerset Police Department Headquarters and is being booked on an O.U.I count involving narcotics. 
     The second accident happened at virtually the same time as the first; Schoonover tells WSAR News that it involved a special ed van owned by the Somerset Public School District; The accident happened at the intersection of Brayton Avenue and old Route 6 near the Somerset Pizza Hut location. 
     There were no students in the van at the time of the accident; Schoonover tells WSAR News that a second mini-van ran through a stop sign, hitting the Somerset public school van, which ended up on one side.

     The driver of the Somerset special ed van was taken to a local medical facility and is in stable condition. 
 

Fall River Flag Raising

On Monday, February 4th at 12pm the City of Fall River will be raising the Pan-African Flag in celebration and recognition of Black History Month.  

 

This will be the first Pan-African flag raising for the City of Fall River. 

 

Flag Raisings are a regular occurance in New Bedford, where several nation's flags are raised on an annual basis. 

Patriots Parade

The Patriots will hold their Super Bowl LIII Championship Parade Tuesday Morning in Boston as the parade will step off a 11am. 

While the campus of URI had some issues Sunday Night after the Patriots secured their 6th NFL Championship, the city of Boston was relatively quiet. 

One of the aspects of the parade is how Boston Police will will react to cans of beer tossed at the various duck boats, in a tradition that began during the last Patriots parade; it continued in October 2018, when the World Series Trophy was damaged by a can hitting it. 

The Lombardi Trophy will likely make the same trip. 

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