Police ID woman killed by car on I-195 in Westport

Massachusetts State Police continue to investigate the death of a woman who was hit by a car Monday night on I-195 East.


The woman was identified Wednesday as 51-year-old Sherry M. Henderson of New Bedford.


Police said Henderson got out of a vehicle in the area of Exit 15 in Westport after getting into a fight with her boyfriend. She was walking in the right lane when she was struck by a Ford Fusion.



Fall River is looking to hire a new veterans agent, and may have to increase the salary

FALL RIVER — The city is on the hunt again for a new veterans’ agent, as Michelle Hamilton, after a year on the job, is moving on to another community.


City Administrator Seth Aitken said the city has advertised for the position. The city is looking to hire its fourth director for the Veterans' Services department since 2021. 


Hamilton was hired in March 2023. Aitken praised Hamilton for her work and the initiatives she brought to the department. 


“As a veterans' agent, she had a heart for veterans. She had a dedication to, not just the work, but forming relationships in the veterans' community that was outstanding. She made connections with veterans and increased the level of service to veterans,” said Aitken.


Read more from Jo C. Goode at heraldnews,com.

Lead singer for the Grammy winning, Billboard topping R&B group Tavares dies

Arthur “Pooch” Tavares, member of the iconic music group Tavares, has passed away.


His brother, Perry Lee “Tiny” Tavares, posted a photo tribute on his Facebook page Wednesday morning, with the message, "Miss what we had."


On the final photo, depicting Pooch with brother Ralph, who passed away in 2021, he wrote, “Now you two can get the stage ready for us. RI-Paradise.”


The post quickly drew over 400 expressions of sympathy and condolence.


"You have to take your music seriously. You have to have a passion for it. If you don't work hard at it you will never last," said Pooch in a previous Standard-Times article. "The constant rehearsing the fighting for everything you want ... without that passion for it you have nothing."



Middleboro/Lakeville commuters: Temporary bus service coming.

People who use the Middleboro/Lakeville commuter rail station to get to and from Boston will have a slight detour coming soon. 


The MBTA announced Tuesday that train service between the Middleboro/Lakeville and Bridgewater platforms will be replaced by buses from Saturday, April 27, to Sunday, May 5. 


It’s meant to accommodate ongoing work on the South Coast Rail project, the MBTA stated. 



Coogan: Cost to build a new Diman will soar to $6.5M a year.

FALL RIVER — In February 2022, the City Council voted to approve a nearly $300 million construction project for the new Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School. 


Unlike in Diman's sending communities of Somerset, Swansea and Westport, where paying for their portion of the school was on town ballots, the council side-stepped putting the project before city voters, although it was an option. 


About 75% of Diman's student population lives in Fall River. 


Now the hard financial realities are percolating to the surface regarding how much Fall River’s portion of a new Diman will be in the coming years, and Mayor Paul Coogan wants to place a question on November’s ballot asking voters to decide whether the project should be paid for through a debt exclusion.


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

RIDOT opening 3rd westbound lane on Washington Bridge ahead of schedule

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — An additional travel lane on the westbound side of the Washington Bridge will open sooner than anticipated, according to R.I. Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti.


Alviti told 12 News the third lane is slated to open sometime Friday night, roughly a week ahead of schedule.


The lane is one of two that RIDOT planned to install in a bid to ease congestion on the bridge. RIDOT added a third lane on the eastbound side last week.


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Jury selection continues in Karen Read trial b

DEDHAM, Mass. (WPRI) — Jury selection continues Wednesday in Karen Read’s high-profile murder trial.


Read, 43, of Mansfield, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her Boston police officer boyfriend, John O’Keefe.


Prosecutors said O’Keefe was found unresponsive in a snowbank outside of a Canton home in January 2022. O’Keefe, a 16-year veteran of the Boston Police Department, was rushed to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.


Investigators believe Read dropped O’Keefe off at the Fairview Road home and hit him as she was leaving, according to prosecutors.


Meanwhile, Read’s defense says she is the victim of a coverup. They believe that O’Keefe was beaten inside the home, bitten by a dog, and left outside.


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'This job is what she loved': Family mourns death of beloved Spencer Borden crossing guard

FALL RIVER — Peggy McGowan was a helper. 


If someone needed cheering up, Peggy helped them forget their problems. If you needed a ride, she’d ask when and where. If a fellow AA member needed anything from a coffee to a sponsor, she stepped up.  


In her job as a crossing guard, her instinct to reach out and help was at its purest — a fixture for several years outside Spencer Borden Elementary School, every morning and afternoon, she guided kids to safety across President Avenue. The fare was a high-five, a fist-bump, a kind greeting, a smile. And while Peggy had had a decades-long career in social services, this simple part-time gig, wearing a reflective vest and holding a stop sign, was the job she was most proud of. 


Peggy died March 28 after her car was hit head-on in Taunton. She was 67. Not only has she left behind a devastated, close-knit family — she is survived by hundreds of friends. She watched generations of them grow up on their way to and from school. 


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Man uses rock to break 6 pumps at Tiverton gas station

TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A Tiverton gas station won’t be able to sell gas for at least a few weeks after it was targeted by a vandal.


The incident happened around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday at American Dream on Main Road. Speaking on behalf of the owner, an employee told 12 News the suspect was seen on surveillance video trying to use firewood to break the station’s security cameras and gas pumps.


When that didn’t work, the employee said the suspect grabbed a rock and destroyed the screens on all six pumps.



Woman hit, killed by car on I-195 in Westport

WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) — A woman has died after she was struck by a car on I-195 East in Westport late Monday night, according to Massachusetts State Police.


A preliminary investigation said around 10 p.m., a woman got out of a car near Exit 15 and was walking in the right lane when a Ford Fusion hit her.


She was pronounced dead at the scene, state police said.


The driver and passenger in the Ford stayed at the scene and were not hurt.

State police say the driver of the car the woman was in took off after the crash.



Grandmother speaks out about infant death

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — The grandmother of the 2-month-old infant that passed away this month spoke with 12 News on Sunday.


Officers responded to a home in Newport the night of April 11 for a report of an unresponsive 2-month-old.


The infant was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead, police said.


Luwada Jones says she is the grandmother of the 2-month old infant.


“I’m hurt, broken, I’m numb,” Luwada Jones said.



Ethiopia's Sisay Lemma wins Boston Marathon; Kenya's Hellen Obiri repeats in women's race

Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia set a blistering pace and held on to win the Boston Marathon on Monday, running alone through most of the course to finish in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 17 seconds — the 10th fastest time in the race’s 128-year history.


Hellen Obiri defended her title in the women’s race, outsprinting fellow Kenyan Sharon Lokedi down Boylston Street to win by eight seconds. Obiri is the first woman to win back-to-back Boston Marathons since 2005.


Lemma arrived in Boston with the fastest time in the field, becoming just the fourth person ever to break 2:02:00 when he won in Valencia last year. And the 2021 London champion showed it on the course, separating himself from the pack in Ashland and opening a lead of more than half of a mile.



Police investigating ex-Fall River cop guilty of brutality. Here are the people involved.

FALL RIVER — The Fall River Police Department has hired an independent firm to investigate the December 2020 assault of a man in custody with a baton and lying on a police report, which led to the federal conviction of former patrolman Nicholas Hoar in February. 


Agents from the FBI's Boston office investigated Hoar after he assaulted then-55-year-old William Harvey on Dec. 21, 2020, after Harvey was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge. 


Hoar was indicted in November 2022 by a federal grand jury on one count of deprivation of rights under color of law and two counts of filing false reports. He was convicted on all three charges and will be sentenced in U.S. District Court on April 24.


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

Mitchell leads delegation of US mayors on trip to Israel

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell led a group of U.S. mayors on a four-day trip to Israel earlier this week as part of a joint program between the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC).


AJC’s Project Interchange aims to enhance Americans’ understanding of politics in the Middle East by sponsoring trips to Israel for mayoral delegations, who meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, academics, and experts.


“Although this is the USCM’s fourth mayoral delegation to Israel, the issues in the region today are more relevant than ever to Americans,” Mitchell said. “I believe that it is important for mayors, as the leaders of their cities, to take opportunities like this to deepen their understanding of a situation that, as everyone can agree, is complicated and difficult.”


Mitchell was joined by Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Daniel Rickman and Gresham, Oregon Mayor Travis Stovall, as well as USCM and AJC officials.



A spectator's guide to the 2024 Boston Marathon: What to know

On Monday, more than 30,000 runners will participate in the 128th Boston Marathon and many more will flock to the course sidelines to show their support and cheer on friends, family, and complete strangers. 


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the current starting line in Hopkinton. Initially, the race started in Ashland because it was about 26 miles on the train from the Boston Athletic Association's headquarters. When the official length of the marathon was extended, organizers had to move the race out a little further to where runners start their journey today.


If you want to be a part of the celebration, but don’t have the legs to run 26.2 miles, check out our spectator guide to the 2024 Boston Marathon:



2-month-old found dead in Newport

The Newport Police Department is investigating the death of an infant.


Officers responded to the Festival Field Housing Development on Girard Avenue around 11 p.m. Thursday for a report of an unresponsive 2-month-old.


The infant was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.


A 17-year-old was taken into custody for felony delinquent charges, according to police, which requires an arraignment in family court.


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Providence man charged in deadly Route 44 hit-and-run

A 19-year-old Providence man was arrested Thursday in connection with a deadly hit-and-run in Dighton.


Massachusetts State Police allege Michael Laboy drove off after hitting 57-year-old Paul DeMoura on the night of April 4, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.


Police said DeMoura was hit while walking along Route 44. An off-duty Taunton police officer spotted him in the breakdown lane around 10 p.m. and called it in.


DeMoura was later pronounced dead at Morton Hospital.



Wondering why Fall River has giant billboard recruiting teachers ... in Brockton. Here's why

Hanging above Exit 31A along Route 24 in Brockton is a billboard advertising a hiring event at the Fall River Public Schools' Durfee High School taking place at the end of April.


If you get off the highway at Exit 31A, it takes you straight to Brockton High School in one direction and Stonehill College in the other.


Brockton Public Schools have been in the spotlight recently for turmoil and violence — with teachers warning of a mass exodus if things don't improve.


That coupled with a national teacher shortage got us wondering if that's why Fall River's recruiting billboard was placed in Brockton. If you were wondering, too, here's what Fall River Public Schools told us.


Fall River Public Schools is currently recruiting for roughly 65 to 70 open positions, primarily special education staff, English language learning staff and teachers for science and math at every level.


Mayor Coogan said that Brockton was an attractive location to advertise due to its proximity to colleges like Stonehill and Bridgewater State University.



Fall River wants to sell decrepit Silvia School again. Their vision for it is wide open.

FALL RIVER — The city got approval from the City Council last January to take back the blighted former Silvia Elementary School on Hartwell Street from local businessman David Hebert, and now the city is looking for a new owner to redevelop the property. 


“I would like to see that piece redeveloped,” said Coogan. “Now if that means saving some of the building, that's fine. If it means taking it all down, that’s fine. Leveling the lot and making it a green space, that’s fine.” 


Coogan said he wants to “throw a wide net” for proposals. 


“We just know that right now it's an eyesore and it needs work,” said Coogan. “It’s one of the main entrances right off the highway into the city and into Government Center. So, it sure would be nice to rehabilitate that whole corner. We’ll look for the best proposal to make that corner look more attractive and functional.”


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

O.J. Simpson dies of prostate cancer at 76, his family announces

O.J. Simpson, the football star and actor whose life took a shocking turn when he was accused of stabbing to death his ex-wife and a man who was with her the night of the killings, died Wednesday of prostate cancer at the age of 76, according to a post on social media attributed to the Simpson family.


"Our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer,'' the post said. "He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace."


Simpson was acquitted of two counts of murder during a televised trial that gripped America and divided the country largely among racial lines. But the jury in a civil trial found Simpson liable for the double murder, and he later served nine years in prison for his role in a botched armed robbery. He was granted parole in 2017.



Summer start to South Coast Rail looks 'unlikely' — but there's one bright spot for riders

FALL RIVER — Shannon Avery-Desmarais of Swansea told South Coast Rail Director of Community Engagement Jean Fox that she’s thrilled about commuter rail service coming to Fall River, since it allowed her to take a new position in Boston. But the job, she said, starts in July — and so far, the MBTA has been cagey about when service will start. 


“I’m wondering if I might be on a train in the fall, maybe?” she asked during Wednesday’s public meeting, held at Morton Middle School. “Or are we talking 2025?” 


“I wish I could give you an answer today,” Fox said. “I could probably tell you July is unlikely.”


Audience members who entered the meeting with questions about the consumer-level details of South Coast Rail service left with almost no answers — and a sense that the MBTA may be backing away from its previously stated timeline that trains would be rolling sometime this summer.


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Police: OUI suspect was going 70+ mph before deadly Route 44 crash

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A Taunton man accused of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a Fall River woman was arraigned Wednesday on several charges.


Ricky Jorge Ponte, 29, was arrested after police say he walked away from the scene of the Route 44 crash that left 67-year-old Peggy McGowan trapped inside her SUV.


McGowan, a school crossing guard in Fall River, died at the hospital late last month.





House budget plan would increase Mass. state spending by 3.3%

Touting spending that they believe will better support Massachusetts students, their families and businesses, leaders in the House of Representatives on Wednesday unveiled a $57.9 billion budget for fiscal 2025, which starts July 1.


The proposed budget is $150 million less than the one proposed in January by Gov. Maura Healey.


Speaker Ronald Mariano, D-Quincy, said the House had maintained its focus on fiscal responsibility in preparing the budget, resulting in 3.3% across-the-board growth over the current budget.


The budget plan does not call for any major tax hikes. It does make use of $1.3 billion in new one-time or recurring revenues, including legalization of online Lottery sales and redirection of money that would otherwise automatically be stashed into savings.



Taunton man ignored cries for help after causing crash that killed Fall River woman: cops

A Taunton man who police say was speeding and driving drunk when he caused a head-on crash that killed a beloved Fall River school crossing guard was arraigned Wednesday morning in Taunton District Court and ordered held on $25,000 bail.


Ricky J. Ponte, 29, allegedly drove his Mercedes sedan into a Honda CRV being driven by 67-year-old Margaret “Peggy” McGowan, after police say Ponte tried to illegally pass another vehicle while heading west on Route 44 in Taunton.


McGowan died 18 days later in Rhode Island Hospital a day after she was taken off life support, authorities said.


The crash happened on Saturday night, March 10, at around 9:15 p.m. after McGowan — who grew up and worked in Taunton before retiring and moving to Fall River — had picked up her 16-year-old niece, after the girl had finished working a shift at a nearby restaurant, police said.



Former substitute teacher convicted on child rape charges

FREETOWN, Mass. (WPRI) — A former Freetown substitute teacher accused of repeatedly raping and molesting a 14-year-old girl nearly six years ago was found guilty Monday, according to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III.


Gilbert Hernandez, 58, of Taunton, was convicted by a jury on five counts of aggravated rape of a child, two counts of rape of a child by force, four counts of indecent assault and battery and two counts of dissemination of obscene matter to a child.


Quinn said Hernandez knew the victim through a close friendship she’d developed with his son, as well as his role a substitute teacher in the Freetown Lakeville Regional School District.


Hernandez, who was arrested and charged in March 2021, was also a Sunday school teacher at a Freetown church that the victim attended.


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