WSAR NEWS Archives for 2018-12

The 9-1-1 Issues

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Situational Awareness Statement
December 28, 2018 1:45 PM
Subject: Cellular and Landline 911 Continue to Experience Technical Difficulties and Sporadic Outages
Due to an ongoing nationwide issue affecting some household landline and wireless cellular carriers in Massachusetts, 9-1-1 calls made from either a landline telephone or cellular telephone may not go through.


The initial release of information regarding this issue this morning stated that the problem was confined to cellular 911 calls. However, updated information suggests that there may be a landline impact as well.


Callers may hear a fast busy signal, hear a recording saying “All circuits are busy” or something similar, or may get connected to a different emergency call center than they were expecting.



In Case of Emergency: 
In an emergency, callers should always try to dial 9-1-1.  If the call will not go through because of this outage, you should make a second call to the 10-digit emergency number of your local police/fire department. These numbers are available on the Internet and available through Directory Assistance. Remember, it is important for callers to give their exact location to the dispatcher as it may not automatically display for the dispatcher. 



If you cannot locate your city or town’s 10-digit emergency number, please contact the State 9-1-1 Department at 508-872-2508 and tell the dispatcher the exact location of the emergency, including city or town, and they can transfer the call to the correct department.



Additional updates will be provided as we learn more about the status of the carrier outages nationwide that are affecting 9-1-1 service in Massachusetts.


Additionally, Text-To-911 service is available in Massachusetts. Remember, “Call If You Can, Text If You Can’t.” It is important that you send the dispatcher the EXACT location, including CITY or TOWN, of your emergency so the proper help is sent.


Stay Informed:
Utilize Massachusetts Alerts to receive emergency notifications and information from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service.  Massachusetts Alerts is a free app that is available for Android and iPhones. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit:



Utilize MEMA’s real-time power outage viewer to stay informed about current power outages in your community and region, and across the state, including information from utility companies about restoration times:
Utilize MEMA’s live weather radar and forecasting tools:

Online Resources:
For additional information and resources, visit:
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency at
MEMA's Facebook page:
MEMA Twitter: @MassEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency at
National Weather Service Boston/Norton at
National Weather Service Albany, NY at
National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center:
National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center:
Mass211 at

Dartmouth Murder Arrest

A suspect wanted in connection with the Saturday night homicide of 37-year-old Joseph Tavares was arrested this evening and will be arraigned in New Bedford District Court tomorrow morning.


Robert A. Rose, Jr., 48, of New Bedford, was charged this evening with murder and misleading police. The arrest occurred at the Dartmouth Police Station after a follow up interview with the defendant.


At around 10:34 p.m. on December 22, Dartmouth Police received a 911 call from the night manager at the Regency Hotel on Faunce Corner Road.


 The night manager reported to police that a man was bleeding heavily inside a car in the hotel's rear parking lot.


When first responders arrived minutes later, they found the victim, 37-year-old Joseph Tavares of Fall River, sitting unresponsive in the driver's seat of the vehicle.  


Mr. Tavares was suffering from apparent gunshot wounds and was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford, where he was pronounced dead at 11:07 pm.


The night manager at the hotel told police he was alerted to the vehicle after a hotel guest said they heard loud thuds and breaking glass coming from the rear parking lot.  

UMass Dartmouth SMAST East Building Earns LEED Silver Status

UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology announced that its SMAST East building in New Bedford has been awarded LEED® Silver. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes, and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained, and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.


"Achieving this LEED Silver certification is the culmination of the hard efforts of a terrific design and construction team working in collaboration with the University, UMass Building Authority and Mass Department of Capital Asset Management, said Steven E. Lohrenz, Dean of SMAST. “The project has provided much-needed facilities for advancing education and research about our oceans, and doing it in an environmentally-responsible manner."


SMAST East opened fall of 2017, tripling its presence in New Bedford with the $55 million, 64,000-square-feet building. Designed by Ellenzweig, the destination space for marine science includes flexible wet and dry labs, a state-of-the-art computational facility, classroom space, break rooms, high-bay storage for equipment, conferencing space, and a temperature-controlled seawater lab. The seawater lab offers various water conditions to address current and future research initiatives requiring a range of water temperatures and degrees of filtration. The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries collaborated with SMAST on the space, which comprises marine scientists, students, and staff.

SMAST East achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.


LEED is the foremost program for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings. More than 92,000 commercial projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 19.3 billion total commercial square feet of construction space in all 50 states and more than 167 countries and territories.


“Achieving LEED certification is more than implementing sustainable practices. It represents a commitment to making the world a better place and influencing others to do better,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president, and CEO, USGBC. Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, SMAST East demonstrates their leadership through their LEED certification of Silver.


This satisfaction also meets the intentions of UMass Dartmouth's Climate Action Plan.

Swansea Mall Solution?



Senior member of the Board of Selectmen, Attorney Christopher Carreiro, will make a comprehensive presentation to Swansea Officials and the Board of Selectmen on January 2, 2019 at 6:30PM at the Swansea School Administration Building, to propose taking the blighted Swansea Mall by eminent domain.


Carreiro said "Wal-Mart's restrictions imposed on the Swansea Mall in 2012 are oppressive, contrary to public policy, and have made comprehensive redevelopment of the Swansea Mall impossible. These restrictions must be extinguished by eminent domain so that the highest and best use of the Swansea Mall can be realized."


Carreiro's proposal was developed over the past 18 months and will explain that the Town of Swansea, acting through a proposed Redevelopment Authority, would not expend its own funds to purchase the Mall, instead it would utilize its eminent domain powers to act as an intermediary, and bring the buyer and seller together, for the purpose of releasing all restrictions on the land, to effectuate redevelopment.


Carreiro stated "The Town of Swansea has lost, in the aggregate, over $6.5 million dollars in tax revenue from the declining Swansea Mall since 2004, and government intervention is now absolutely necessary to promote economic development and revitalize Swansea Mall Drive and the Route 6 corridor."


Carreiro's presentation will include details of the economic conditions and events leading to the deterioration of the Swansea Mall, as well as the required governmental action necessary to commence government intervention.


Carreiro has also identified two additional vacant parcels of land, located along Route 6, for an eminent domain taking, which Carreiro has deemed ripe for redevelopment.


The presentation will also discuss the possibility of incorporating Swansea Town Hall and other municipal departmental offices into a redevelopment plan for the Swansea Mall property.


MassDOT New Years 2019

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising the public to plan ahead for the New Year’s holiday, to drive sober and to take note of holiday schedules for the MBTA, use of the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on I-93 between Boston and Quincy, and for visiting Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) customer service center locations.
MassDOT is taking several steps to ensure safe and reliable travel for all citizens who utilize transportation systems across the Commonwealth and will be shutting down scheduled roadway construction between 5 a.m., Friday, December 28, and the start of business on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, per MassDOT’s long-standing policy of not scheduling work during high volume travel periods. 
The I-93 HOV lane between Boston-Quincy will operate on an adjusted schedule through Tuesday, January 1. Today, Thursday, December 27, the HOV lane will open one hour early, at 2 p.m., and remain open until 8 p.m. On Friday, December 28, the HOV lane will operate in the morning on a regular weekday schedule, between the hours of 5 a.m., and 10 a.m., and Friday afternoon, the HOV lane will open two hours early at 1 p.m., and remain open until 8 p.m. On Monday, December 31, the HOV lane will be closed. The HOV lane will resume normal operations on Tuesday, January 1. 
The Sumner Tunnel Swing Lane will also operate on an adjusted schedule through January 2, 2019. On Thursday, December 27, the swing lane will be open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Friday, December 28, the swing lane will open at 1 p.m. and remain open until 5 a.m. on Wednesday, January 2. The swing lane will then resume normal operations.

The MBTA has also announced the following schedule information:

•    All MBTA services will be free after 8 p.m., Monday, December 31, until the end of service.

•    All subway lines will operate a weekend schedule on Monday, December 31, with trains then operating at rush-hour levels of service from 3 p.m., until approximately 2 a.m. On Tuesday, January 1, 2019, all subway lines will operate on a Sunday schedule.

•    On Monday, December 31, the Commuter Rail will operate a weekday schedule and provide late-night service. Trains will make all stops enroute to their destinations and customers must arrive prior to the departure times. Bicycles are also prohibited on all inbound Commuter Rail trains between 10 a.m., and 6 p.m., and all outbound trains from 4 p.m., through the end of service on New Year’s Eve. The Commuter Rail will operate on a Sunday schedule on Tuesday, January 1, 2019. 

•    Buses will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Monday, December 31, and will operate on a Sunday schedule on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

•    Ferry service will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Monday, December 31. There will be no ferry service on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

•    The RIDE will operate on a weekday schedule on Monday, December 31. On Tuesday, January 1, The RIDE will operate on a Sunday schedule.

•    More information can be found by viewing the full MBTA holiday schedule.
RMV customer service locations will be closed on the state holiday of Tuesday, January 1, 2019. The Registry reminds motorists to “Skip the Line, Go Online” and visit to begin or complete many license and registration transactions.  In addition, AAA members now have the opportunity to conduct many RMV transactions at AAA branch office locations in Massachusetts. 
Free coffee will be served at more than a dozen service plazas along state highways from 10 p.m., Monday, December 31, through 5 a.m., Tuesday, January 1, 2019. These locations include 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.

At Boston Logan Airport, travelers should monitor for updated airline and airport information and Transportation Security Administration carry-on luggage regulations.  The Massport website allows travelers to check flight status, parking conditions and public transportation options from smartphones or tablets. Massport also encourages travelers to check with their airlines before heading to the airport for the most updated flight status and travel information.
Members of the public are encouraged to consider traveling to destinations this holiday season by using public transportation.  If driving, individuals are urged to plan ahead, allow extra time for travel, and take advantage of the many communication tools now available to help trips go smoothly.
For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are encouraged to:
•    Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
•    Visit, 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.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation wishes all members of the public a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Correia Sets Up a Potential Recall

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II told his supporters via Social Media Platfroms on Wednesday that they were in ''campaign mode'', as the two term Mayor refused to resign, setting up a potential recall election that will likely happen in Mid March.


In a letter that was transmitted via Twitter and Facebook, Correia touted his desire to end the Pay As You Throw Program, which the nine member City Council decided to retain in the current 2019 Fiscal Year Municipal Budget. 

Correia all but challenged citizens to engage in a recall effort days after his federal indictment was unsealed, in which was he charged with nine allegations of wire fraud and four of filing false income tax returns. 

Dartmouth Homicide

Massachusetts State Police assigned to this office, Homicide Unit prosecutors and Dartmouth Police are actively investigating a homicide, which occurred Saturday night in Dartmouth.


At around 10:34 p.m., Dartmouth Police received a 911 call from the night manager at the Regency Hotel on Faunce Corner Road.  


The night manager reported to police that a man was bleeding heavily inside a car in the hotel's rear parking lot.


When first responders arrived minutes later, they found the victim, 37-year-old Joseph Tavares of Fall River, sitting unresponsive in the driver's seat of the vehicle.  


Mr. Tavares was suffering from apparent gunshot wounds and was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford, where he was pronounced dead at 11:07 pm.


The night manager at the hotel told police he was alerted to the vehicle after a hotel guest said they heard loud thuds and breaking glass coming from the rear parking lot.


The investigation is being coordinated by Chief of the office's homicide unit,  

Assistant District Attorney Dennis Collins.




Fall River Armed Robbery

On Friday December 21, 2018 at approximately 10:30PM, Fall River Police were dispatched to the area of the traffic rotary at North Main Street and Airport Road.


Officer Tyler Paquette responded and observed a male later identified as Quincy Sears (d.o.b. 08-18-1993) being held down on the ground by three other males.


After quickly speaking with the males, it was determined they were victims of a armed robbery that was committed by SEARS. Officer Paquette detained SEARS and further investigated.


It was determined that several minutes earlier, the males were outside of Royal Pizza located at 4263 North Main Street when they were approached by SEARS who had dark clothing on, a ski mask and gloves.


He then pointed a handgun at them and demanded one of the victims “give him all of his money”. One of the males attempted to use their phone to call 911 and SEARS threatened to shoot all three of them. After obtaining cash from one of the males, SEARS began running north toward the rotary.

The victims began chasing SEARS by following him in their motor vehicle. Eventually they were able to catch up with him at the rotary area and were able to subdue him while calling for police assistance. Officers were able to locate a Replica Handgun BB-Gun in the vicinity where SEARS was captured. Also SEARS was still wearing the black ski mask and gloves, these items along with the associated clothing were seized as evidence.


Office Paquette attempted to speak with SEARS regarding his side of the incident, but it was apparent that his account of the incident was far different than the three victims. Officer Paquette found it very peculiar that SEARS was wearing black ski mask and gloves on a very mild winter night and SEARS had a very poor explanation of what he was doing prior to being captured.


At this time, SEARS was informed he was under arrest. SEARS had suffered injuries during the scuffle and was transported to the hospital for further evaluation.

Quincy Sears (d.o.b. 08-18-1993) of 51G Rolling Green Drive, Fall River, MA was charged with the following:
• Armed Robbery while Masked
• 3 Counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon
• Intimidation of a Witness

SEARS was unable to be formally booked due to still under medical treatment at the time of this release.

Patriots Clinch the AFC East



The New England Patriots clinched the AFC East division title after the Miami Dolphins lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 17-7, on Sunday.


The Pats were up 24-6 against the Buffalo Bills at the time and went on to top their division rivals, 24-12.

In securing their 10th consecutive division title, the Patriots have become the first team in NFL history to earn 10 straight playoff appearances.


It's also their 16th playoff appearance over a 20-year span -- only the San Francisco 49ers (1983-2002) achieved more playoff berths over a two-decade long period (17) than the Patriots.


New England (10-5) has won the division in 16 of 18 seasons since Tom Brady became its starting quarterback in 2001, per NFL Research.


Since NFL division realignment in 2002, the Patriots have won the AFC East 15 times.


New England also secured its 16th consecutive season with a double-digit win total -- tying the 49ers' mark from 1983-1998.


The last time the Patriots didn't win at least 10 games -- 2002. They've also gone 86-23 against AFC East opponents in the Tom Brady era.

We Wish Josh its on to Buffalo

While wishing WR Josh Gordon the best, as Gordon works through issues after a suspension from the NFL, Patriots Head Coach Bill Billichick maintained the Patriots were focusing on the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Gillette Stadium, as the Patriots are 12.5 home favorites, sitting in the third slot in the AFC Super Bowl Tournament. 

The over under is 44.5. 

The Patriots close out the regular NFL Season on the final Sunday of 2018 versus the Jets. 

Stephen Long Letter To Macy

Fall River City Council Member Stephen Long has penned a letter to Fall River Corporation Counsel Joe Macy, asking if Macy had prior knowledge that Mayor Jasiel Correia II would have his attorney at the ready during a December 18 Council Session that sought to accept the certification of signatures from the Elections Division and the Fall River Clerk's office.


A copy of the letter is available on WSAR's Facebook page. 

Long says maneuvering in the Board of Elections is a waste of time; he told WSAR Friday Night that bringing more lawyers in is ''a waste of time''

The January 2 Council Session

The Fall River City Council will choose from a pair of election calenders that will set into motion the potential recall election aimed at Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II on January 2 2019 at 5:45pm in Council Chambers in Government Center.

That portion of the Council Packet can be viewed at WSAR's Facebook page. 

Correia continues to try to post a challenge to the certified signatures and has hired a Quincy based Attorney as his representative, while he also continues to, with his defense attorney, look at more than 18,000 documents collected by Federal Prosecutors regarding an October Indictment alleging 4 counts of Tax Fraud and 9 counts of Wire Fraud. 

Galvin Met Life Ruling




            After a year-long investigation into MetLife for failing to make pension payments to retirees, Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin has announced that his office has entered into a consent order, requiring MetLife to pay a fine of $1 million and provide payments, with interest, to hundreds of Massachusetts retirees and beneficiaries it had wrongly designated as “presumed dead.”

“My primary goal in this investigation has always been to get this money returned to the retirees to whom it is owed,” Galvin said. “Many of the people affected are elderly and are surviving on a fixed income. While the payments may have seemed small or insignificant to MetLife, these checks could have made a big difference for the people who never received them. They will now receive those payments, with interest.”

            Among the recipients of the pension back payments will be Massachusetts retirees who worked for grocery stores, hospitals, and manufacturers which have since gone out of business. Many of these employees were unaware that they could expect pension payments from MetLife. MetLife acquired the obligation to pay the employees’ pensions from their former employers, which sold their pension obligations to MetLife.


This made MetLife’s responsible for paying the companies’ former employees under a Group Annuity Contract. MetLife was required to keep funds in reserve for these retirees and to make payments when the former workers came of age.

“The problem with this system of transferring pension responsibilities is that nobody is policing it,” Galvin said. “I believe that new legislation is necessary to make sure that retirees do not keep falling through the cracks.”

Galvin first announced that he was opening an investigation into MetLife on December 18, 2017, after the company disclosed that it had failed to make payments to thousands of retired workers, because of MetLife’s own inability to locate them. 

MetLife provided the names of the missing pensioners to Galvin’s office as part of the investigation. Through its own searches, Galvin’s Securities Division was able to locate a majority of the Massachusetts retirees affected within just two months.


Galvin’s office was also able to ascertain that some of the retirees involved had passed away without receiving their pension payments, and that their beneficiaries are potentially entitled to payments from MetLife. 

Approximately half of the seniors lost by MetLife were still living at the same address the company had on file for them for the entire time MetLife failed to make payments to them.

MetLife was provided with the results of the Securities Division’s searches in March 2018, though several plan participants reported to Galvin's office that MetLife had been slow to respond, had lost their paperwork, or had not provided back payments with interest.

While the average age of retirees affected was 72, many of those whose pension payments were withheld are much older. A 92-year-old woman from Abington had difficulty completing the paperwork MetLife sent her after the investigation began, because she is legally blind. Others had trouble getting in touch with MetLife regarding issues with their paperwork, which delayed payments even further.

In June 2018, Galvin’s Securities Division charged MetLife with fraud in connection with the misleading statements the insurance company made in public filings about the company's finances, resulting from the failure to adequately administer employer pension plans.


Under these pension plans, MetLife was responsible for reserving enough money to make payments to Massachusetts pensioners. Instead, some reserves were released and became assets which inflated MetLife’s bottom line.

The complaint filed in June stated that MetLife did not take reasonable steps to notify plan participants when their pensions were initially transferred. After the transfer, MetLife’s only contact with the pensioners was two form letters, sent more than 5 years apart, to those to whom payments were owed. MetLife designated plan participants who did not respond to the notices that were sent to the address on file as “presumed dead.” 

Once a plan participant was presumed dead by MetLife, the money to which the retiree was entitled was no longer held in reserve by the company and was reported by MetLife as assets in public filings. The complaint stated that these reserves should not have been released and that doing so resulted in misleading financial statements.

The consent order details specific steps the company must take in order to contact all of the Massachusetts pensioners and beneficiaries that the company lost track of and presumed dead. The company must take meaningful steps to contact those owed payments and to assist them in obtaining the payments, with interest. 

In addition to providing financial restitution to retirees to whom back payments are owed, the order sanctions MetLife, and requires the company to pay a $1 million fine.


R-I Sex Workers React to Foxy Lady Arrests

                                      ADVOCACY GROUPS CONDEMN LAST WEEK’S ARREST
                                            OF SEX WORKERS AT THE FOXY LADY

Joined by a number of local and national organizations, the sex worker advocacy group
COYOTE-RI today blasted Providence city officials for their arrest last week of three sex
workers on charges of soliciting for prostitution at the Foxy Lady adult entertainment


In a statement issued today, the groups called for the charges against the women
to be dropped and an end to “the ongoing harassment of sex workers.”

COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) Rhode Island is a group of sex workers, former sex
workers, trafficking victims and allies that advocates for policies that promote the health and
safety of people involved in the sex industry.


The group’s statement today calls last week’s
police raid “a grotesque misuse of taxpayer dollars to oppress adult women whose only alleged
crime is selling services to consenting adults in a private location.”


Local groups joining in the
statement included RICARES, TGI Network of Rhode Island, and the ACLU of Rhode Island.
The Providence Licensing Board is today considering revoking the Foxy Lady’s license based
solely on these arrests, which is a harsher punishment, the establishment’s lawyers have pointed
out, than that meted out to nightclubs where shootings have taken place.

COYOTE-RI’s statement, which has also been signed online by hundreds of individuals, adds:
“Criminalization of sex work has done absolutely nothing to curtail ‘the oldest profession.’

Instead, it has led to increased rates of violence and stigma against sex workers, and even
adverse health outcomes. A recent study showed that that repressive policing was associated
with having three times the odds of experiencing sexual and physical violence from clients or
other parties. That is why such diverse and respected groups as the World Health Organization,
United Nations AIDS, and Amnesty International all recommend decriminalization of sex
work to reduce violence against, and incidence of HIV among, sex workers.”

The statement concludes by saying that “moralistic raids on sex workers trying to
provide for themselves will not ‘save’ them, but rather will contribute to long-term harm and
their continued marginalization. Arrests like these don’t stop crime, but instead only create
more victims. We urge City officials to drop the charges against these women and end the
ongoing harassment of sex workers.”

Gasoline This Week According To Triple A

                                  GAS PRICES DOWN THREE CENTS, SAYS AAA


Gasoline prices in Massachusetts are down three cents this week, according to AAA Northeast. 

AAA’s December 17 survey of prices in Massachusetts finds self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.59 per gallon. The Massachusetts price is twenty-two cents higher than the national average for regular unleaded of $2.37.


A year ago at this time, the average price in Massachusetts was 13 cents lower at $2.46.

“The national average is a nickel less than last week, twenty-six cents less than last month and six cents less than a year ago,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “With gasoline production on the high side – 10 million barrels per day – amid low seasonal demand, motorists can expect gas prices to continue declining through year-end.”


AAA expects 102 million Americans to drive to their holiday destination this year, which is a four percent increase year-over-year. There is little doubt cheaper gas prices are at least one of the reasons that we are seeing more people hit the road this holiday season.

The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 66 cents, from a low of $2.39 to a high of $3.05.

The Easton Investigation

Prosecutors with the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office , in conjunction with Massachusetts State Police Troopers assigned to this office, are engaged in an investigation into the non-fatal police shooting, which occurred in the Town of Easton Sunday afternoon.
Although we are unable to release any information about the facts of the investigation itself while it remains active and ongoing, we can now identify the suspect/shooting victim as 29-year-old Serge J. Andre Jr. of Hyde Park.  Mr. Andre is currently in serious condition at Boston Medical Center.
Easton Police, late this afternoon, filed preliminary criminal complaints at Taunton District Court, charging Mr. Andre with Attempt to Commit a Crime-Breaking and Entering, Failure to Stop for Police, Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended License--subsequent offense.  The defendant could potentially face further charges as a result of our ongoing investigation. 


The Taunton District Court clerk's office has indicated it may wish to arraign the defendant via videoconference later this afternoon or tomorrow.  Our office has no confirmation of this at this time and does not control arraignment times or dates.  For media questions regarding videoconference arraignments, please contact the Clerk's Office.  

Providence Bookkeeper Charged

                                   Office Manager, Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud


PROVIDENCE – A former office manager and bookkeeper for a used car dealership in Cranston today admitted the she defrauded her former employer by altering and misrepresenting information entered in financial records.


Appearing before U.S. District Court John J. McConnell, Jr., Michelle Saritelli, 45, of South Kingstown, admitted to the Court that from January 2014 to October 5, 2017, she engineered and executed a scheme to defraud the owners of Stamas Auto and Truck Center by pocketing dealership checks and substantial portions of checks cashed on a weekly basis to fund the dealership’s petty cash fund, and by writing checks to her domestic partner for auto repair services and parts sales not provided.


The government alleges that the loss to Stamas Auto is between $250,000 and $560,000.


According to court documents, on September 27, 2017, the owners of Stamas Auto were notified that their bank accounts had been frozen. An internal review of the accounts by the business owners determined that several check ledgers were missing, funds were unaccounted for, and that numerous checks had been forged and/or fraudulently cashed.


The majority of missing bank ledgers were located during a court-authorized search of Saritelli’s residence on June 7, 2018.


An investigation by the Cranston Police Department and the FBI determined that Saritelli deposited stolen funds in bank accounts controlled by her and her parents.


The majority of cash was withdrawn from ATMs at banks located near Saritelli’s South Kingstown residence and at casinos in Newport, Lincoln, Foxwoods, and Mohegan Sun.


Saritelli’s guilty plea today to bank fraud is announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Harold H. Shaw, and Cranston Police Chief Colonel Michael J. Winquist.

Saritelli is scheduled to be sentenced on March 18, 2019.


The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.


The Certification is Complete

The Fall River City Council will meet for their final regularly scheduled session for 2018 this coming Tuesday in Government Center,  with one central question to answer, after the magic number of 2510 certified registered signatures of Fall River voters was met and exceeded, as more than double that number of signatures were ultimately counted.


Council must now set a date for the Second Recall Election since 2014, this time aimed at Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II, who also faces a 13 count Federal Indictment on allegations of Wire Fraud and Filing False Tax Returns. 


Contenders for Mayor, who will include the current Mayor, must secure 300 signatures of registered voters, which then must be certified, under the provisions of the current Fall River City Charter. 



Route 24 Accident

One person is dead and a second is hosptialized in Rhode Island Hospital after a tractor trailer carrying gasoline rolled over on Route 24 North Bound in Fall River at Exit 8. 

According to Massachusetts State Police a passenger vehicle was involved as well. 


As of early this morning, Route 24 is closed in both directions, with traffic being diverted onto Airport Road. 

EBay at the FR Public Library


                                               Learn to Use eBay at the Library! 



Thinking about searching eBay for bargain gifts? Or maybe you have items you no longer need and want to sell? Fall River Public Library, 104 North Main Street, will offer a free workshop, Getting Started with eBay, on Tuesday, December 18 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, December 20 at 6 p.m. 

This online selling platform can be a great resource for both buyers and sellers, where you can find everything from collectible toys to car parts to computers.


Rather than scouring flea markets and secondhand stores for collectables, buyers can search online to quickly find exactly what they need, and compare prices from different sellers. Sellers can find a home for products they no longer need that may be sitting at home unused. Instead of the work and mess of hosting a yard sale, eBay lets sellers reach hundreds of shoppers with one listing. 


In this class, we'll go over the basics of how to get started using eBay, from how to set up an account and link your banking information to search strategies, uploading photos, understanding commissions and payments, the difference between bidding and "buy it now" listings, and how to be a savvy buyer. Issues of safety and online security will also be discussed. 

This class is offered at two different times. Choose an afternoon or evening class—whichever works for you. You can bring your own computer if you'd like, or use a library computer, or just watch the presentation. If you want to set up your own eBay account during the class, you should have a current email address and a PayPal account. 
If you would like one-on-one help after the class, you can make an appointment to get personalized tech help. 
For more information or to register for the class, call the library at 508-324-2700, ext. 2, or email Rob at 

Check Your Lights

                            Deteriorated Headlights Produce 80 Percent Less Light Than When New


New research from AAA reveals that clouded or yellowed headlights generate only 20 percent of the amount of light that new headlights do, leading to dangerous nighttime driving conditions.


This decrease is caused by sunlight damage to protective plastic coatings, resulting in discoloration that considerably diminishes the headlight’s ability to provide adequate light on dark roadways.


With 50 percent of crashes occurring at night, AAA urges drivers to check their headlights for signs of deterioration and invest in new headlights or, at a minimum, a low-cost service to boost the safety of driving after dark.

“Walk through any parking lot and it is evident that deteriorated headlights are a problem for most vehicle owners,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “Headlights on the road in the U.S., even when new, don’t produce a sufficient amount of lighting, so any reduction in performance is a real safety issue.” 


AAA examined the impact deterioration can have on the amount of light produced by conducting research using an accredited laboratory to test headlights from two popular sedans, approximately 11 years in age.


Results from the degraded headlights were measured against new headlights to quantify the amount of light produced for each. 


Research revealed that deteriorated headlights, when used on low beam, provided just 22 percent of the amount of light a new headlight does when operating at full capacity.


AAA also examined the effects that replacing or restoring a headlight can have on improving the amount of light produced.


Replacing headlights with original equipment manufacturer parts is the most effective method to restore light output back to 100 percent.

Aftermarket parts also performed well, restoring light output between 83 and 90 percent, however these did fail to meet certain requirements for light intensity and were found to be more likely to produce glare for oncoming traffic.


Restoring headlights, while the most cost-effective option, offered less of an improvement in light output than replacement. 

Compounding the problem of driving with deteriorated headlights is the fact that U.S. headlights have significant shortcomings.


Previous AAA research found that halogen headlights fail to safely illuminate unlit roadways at speeds as low as 40 mph, with high beam settings offering only marginal improvements.


Even the most advanced headlights tested illuminated just 40 percent of the sight distances that the full light of day provides. By not maintaining headlights, drivers are unknowingly operating in dangerously dim conditions.

“Driving at night with headlights that produce only 20 percent of the light they did when new, which is already subpar, is a risk drivers shouldn’t take,” continued Ms. Maguire. “Especially when there are convenient and inexpensive solutions that can dramatically improve lighting performance.”

Most headlights are made of plastic and exposure to sunlight breaks down the plastic coating, causing discoloration that obscures the amount of light produced.


Depending on where and how the vehicle is used, headlights can begin showing signs of deterioration as early as three years to five years.

Unlike batteries or tires, most drivers are not in the habit of routinely inspecting their headlights. AAA suggests drivers check their headlights for changes in appearance such as yellowing or clouding and if the bulb is difficult to see, it is time to have the lenses replaced or restored as soon as possible.


AAA recommends replacement since this method offers the most improvement in the amount of light produced. Both replacement and restoration services are provided by many repair shops including many AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities. 

The Signature Certification Process

The process of certifying signatures of registered Fall River voters in order to determine if a Recall aimed at Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II could take place in 2019 could be completed in a matter of days. 


Fall River Board of Election Commissioners Chair Kelly Souza Young tells WSAR the process is ongoing as of this week, but could wrap up relatively soon. 


If the magic number of 2,510 is achieved, that would trigger a notice to the Fall River City Clerk, who would notify the 9-member City Council, while a notification would then go out to Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II, giving him a five day window to decide to resign or to run for Mayor, essentially for the third time. 

Council would have a 65-day window to decide when to set the date for a Recall Election that could happen, barring any legal challenges, in the first or second quarter of 2019. 



Fall River Public Library Needs Bottles

Fall River Public Library, 104 North Main Street, is looking for donations of gallon water bottles to use in building a life-size igloo for our children’s room! 


Clean, empty gallon jugs can be dropped off at the children’s room any time from now through mid-January, 2019. Our children’s staff will construct an indoor igloo made entirely out of repurposed water bottles. 


For sanitary reasons, we can only accept donations of water bottles, not those that previously contained milk or juice. 

For questions about our winter project, call David Mello, Supervisor of Children’s Services, at 508-324-2700, ext. 4, or email 

B-C-C and UMass Join Forces

              Bristol Community College and UMass Dartmouth launch the Plus Program: Bristol + UMassD, creating a                                          streamlined path to a bachelor’s degree for local students 



Bristol Community College and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), launching the Plus Program: Bristol + UMassD.


This program will provide students with access to high quality and affordable associate and bachelor’s degree opportunities in the Commonwealth.


The program will begin enrolling students in September 2019.

UMass Dartmouth will award merit scholarships of at least $2,500 a year to Bristol students who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and who enroll as full-time, day students at UMass Dartmouth.


This program is also open to Bristol students with less than 30 credits, as well as any students who are participating in the UMassD/Bristol articulation agreements or the MassTransfer A2B programs. 

Students who completed their AS/AA degree from Bristol will enter UMass Dartmouth as juniors. The Plus Program: Bristol + UMassD provides collaborative on-site academic advising and access to a variety of UMass Dartmouth experiences while pursuing a Bristol Community College associate degree. 

“Students in our region deserve to have seamless access to a high-quality and affordable education,” said Bristol Community College President Laura L. Douglas, Ph.D. “The Bristol + UMassD program provides a bridge between institutions that is collaborative and combines the specialized resources of both institutions, creating a rich college experience, while also streamlining the transition to a bachelor's degree.” 

“This innovative collaboration advances our goal to increase educational attainment across the region,” sad UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D. “Together, Bristol Community College and UMass Dartmouth are equipping students with the adaptable skillset and agile mindset required to succeed in a rapidly evolving economy.” 

In addition to guaranteed admission to UMass Dartmouth and no application costs, Bristol students will also benefit from a number of additional offerings including:

•    UMass Dartmouth’s career development staff will offer workshops at Bristol so that students can plan their career path from their first year at Bristol through their UMass Dartmouth graduation.
•    Bristol students will receive priority registration in UMass Dartmouth courses for their entering semester.
•    Students will have access to the library, fitness center, bookstore, and dining halls at both campuses. 
•    Students will receive Bristol and UMass Dartmouth ID cards that provide access to sporting events, musical and theatre productions, speaker programs, and other events at both campuses. 

Bristol students who sign up for and meet the guidelines of the Commonwealth Commitment program will attend UMass Dartmouth at frozen tuition and fees throughout their remaining two years of study, a 10% rebate on tuition and fees per semester, as well as the MassTransfer tuition credit.


Students would realize an approximate 40 percent savings if they attended UMass Dartmouth through the Commonwealth Commitment.


The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Commonwealth Commitment is an agreement between the state’s 15 community colleges and four-year institutions that freezes tuition and fees upon program entry while offering other rebates.

For more information about the Plus Program: Bristol + UMassD visit or contact the Bristol Community College Office of Transfer Affairs at 774.357.2234 or email 

Triple A Gasoline This Week

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

AAA’s December 10 survey of prices in Massachusetts finds self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.62 per gallon.


The Massachusetts price is twenty cents higher than the national average for regular unleaded of $2.42.


A year ago at this time, the average price in Massachusetts was 13 cents lower at $2.49.  

“With many motorists planning holiday road trips, the drop in pump prices couldn’t come at a better time,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “In every state, gas prices have dropped by double digits month over month, and AAA expects the national gas prices average to dip as low as $2.40 by year’s end due to cheaper crude oil prices.”

The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 70 cents, from a low of $2.39 to a high of $3.09. 

Fall River Former Coach Convicted

Brandon Rivera, a 37 year old Fall River youth basketball coach, plead guilty and was sentenced in the Fall River Superior Court on November 6, 2108, for molesting one of his 15 year old players, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced. 

On May 7, 2018, the mother of the 15 year old minor victim reported to police that the defendant, an old family friend and her daughter’s travel basketball coach, had been at her family home and took her daughter’s cell phone.  


The victim indicated to police that the defendant took her cell phone because he was upset that she was communicating with a boy her own age that he determined was bad for her.  


The victim stated that the defendant forcefully took her phone from her on May 4, 2018, grabbing her breast which caused bruising. Through further investigation the victim disclosed that the defendant had engaged in sexual encounters with her on 3 or 4 occasion at his home starting in October of 2017 and ending in May 2018.


 The defendant had sex with the victim and one time ejaculated on her stomach.


 The defendant also solicited naked photos of the victim.  A nude photo of the victim was located on the defendant’s phone by police.  Police also located school emails where the defendant discussed with the victim how she could minimize and deny the events that transpired between the two.  


The defendant’s phone contained text messages with the victim that confirmed their intimate relationship, the controlling nature of the relationship by the defendant and the bruising the child sustained from the May 2018 incident.


 Defendant was indicted and charged with Aggravated Rape, Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person over 14, Assault and Battery and Possession of Child Pornography.  

At sentencing, Judge Mark Hallal imposed an agreed upon State Prison sentence of 5 to 7 years for a Statutory Rape and 8 years of probation to follow on charges of; Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person over 14, Assault and Battery and Possession of Child Pornography.  The Commonwealth was represented by Assistant District Attorney Lesly Leahy.


 Conditions of probation prevent the defendant from having any unsupervised contact with children; with limited exceptions for any biological children with notice and agreement by the other parent.


 The defendant must register with the Sex Offender Registry Board, attend sex offender treatment as ordered by the court and wear a GPS tracking device. The defendant cannot loiter or reside within 300 feet of any school, k-12, daycare, playground, public pool, arcade, theme park, skating rink, toy store or any other location where children under 18 may be readily observed to congregate.  


The defendant must seek prior approval if he has a legitimate reason to visit such a location.  


The defendant must successfully enter and complete a Batterers Program.  The defendant cannot coach children in any manner.

“This defendant took advantage of his position as a coach and family friend to sexually molest the victim.” District Attorney Quinn said. “The sentence holds the defendant accountable for this significant breach of trust but the victim will have to carry this with her for the rest of her life.”  

Providence Cocaine Trafficker

PROVIDENCE, RI – A Providence man today admitted to trafficking cocaine through the U.S. Postal Service from Puerto Rico to Rhode Island, and to shipping packages containing cash to Puerto Rico.


 Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Eliot Figueroa-Rosario, 44, pled guilty to attempted possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, announced United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Boston Division Joseph W. Cronin, and Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.


According to court documents, for more than a year, United States Postal Inspection Service inspectors conducted an investigation into Figueroa-Rosario’s drug trafficking activities and his involvement in a series of packages shipped to and from Puerto Rico. 


In May 2017 and May 2018, Figueroa-Rosario was captured on video surveillance shipping parcels to Puerto Rico from the U.S. Postal Service Providence Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC). A court-authorized search of the packages found them to contain $16,000 and $26,000 respectively. The cash was seized by law enforcement.


On June 15, 2018, a Priority Mail package mailed three days earlier from Puerto Rico and addressed to Figueroa-Rosario’s Providence residence was intercepted from the mail stream at the P&DC. The package was examined by a Rhode Island State Police K-9, which detected the presence of a narcotic odor. A federal court-authorized inspection of the contents of the package revealed 1160 grams of cocaine.


Several days later a Postal Service Inspection undercover agent delivered the package to Figueroa-Rosario’s residence. Figueroa-Rosario accepted the package and was arrested.


A court-authorized search of the residence by U.S. Postal Inspectors and members of the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force resulted in the seizure of, among other items, evidence of packages shipped from Puerto Rico to Figueroa-Rosario’s residence and $6,500 in cash found hidden in a floor vent.


Figueroa-Rosario is scheduled to be sentenced on March 15, 2019.


Attempted possession with attempt to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine is punishable by statutory penalties of 5-40 years of imprisonment; a term of supervised release of at least 4 years and up to life; and a fine of $5,000,000.

Patriots Friday Practice and Injury Report

Tom Brady and Rob Grownkowski were removed from the Patriots Injury Report earlier this week after a walk through Friday practice in Foxboro prior to the Patriots leaving T-F Green Airport in their specially designed aircraft to meet the Dolphins Sunday in Hard Rock Stadium. 

Kick at 1 on WSAR...pregame coverage on the Patriots Radio Network at 10am Sunday Morning. 


Patriots are 7.5 point road favorites...



Kennedy on Medicare for All

Republished from ''The Hill''.com




Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) says he “would hope” to be able to support a revised "Medicare for all" bill next year, but said he has concerns with the current version of the bill.


Adding Kennedy as a co-sponsor of the Medicare for all bill would be a major boost in momentum for the effort, bringing on board a rising Democratic star whose legendary family has long been a leader in the push for universal health care.

Kennedy has come under pressure from progressive activists to support the current version of the Medicare for all bill, known as H.R. 676. But Kennedy told The Hill that his concerns with the way the current bill is written prevent him from signing on.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) is working on a revised version of the bill to introduce in the new session of Congress in January.

“I would hope I would be able to support that,” Kennedy said of the revised measure.

He says his concerns about the current bill include that it includes restrictions on abortion funding and could negatively affect investor-owned hospitals, which include Catholic hospitals in Massachusetts.

More broadly, he says the bill needs more vetting and detail, including spelling out how it would be paid for, and how its system of payment to doctors and hospitals would work.

The comments are a note of caution to progressives, who are energized at the prospect of voting on a Medicare for all bill now that Democrats have won back the House.

Kennedy said he “absolutely” supports the idea of single-payer health insurance, which has the government provide health insurance for everyone.

But he pointed to Republicans’ failure to repeal ObamaCare last year as a warning.

“I think that we have also seen over the course of the past two years that the details around health care actually matter,” Kennedy said.

“What I think needs to happen, which our Republican colleagues certainly did not do, to their detriment, is to actually come up with and put an awful lot of thought into what a strong single-payer bill would look like, and some of the alternatives, and actually flesh them out to get vetted,” he added.

Republicans have attacked the need for tax increases to pay for the trillions of dollars in costs of a Medicare for all, single-payer system.

“I think everybody's clear that taxes are going to have to go up in order to finance this,” Kennedy said, adding that the details of who gets taxed more matter. “How does that impact lower income families? How does it impact middle class families?” he said.

House Democrats are divided between progressives pushing for a vote on Medicare for all and more centrist members who want to take smaller, more measured steps to strengthen the Affordable Care Act.

Kennedy said he thinks “both” of those steps need to happen.

“There's no doubt that our country needs to continue this progress towards making sure that everybody gets access to health care that you need, when you need it, at a price you can afford,” he said. “That has been something that's one of the big driving motivators for me in my work here, it's been something that obviously members of my family have been working on for a very long time.”


Cape Cod Federal Case

                              Cape Cod Woman Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud
             Defendant involved in fraudulent lottery scheme defrauding victims of thousands of dollars


BOSTON – A Cape Cod woman pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to her role in a fraudulent lottery scheme.

Ashley Barrett, 26, of Hyannis, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud.


U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for Feb. 26, 2019. On March 29, 2018, Barrett was arrested and was released from custody on conditions.


Between September 2013 and January 2016, Barrett and others devised a scheme to defraud elderly victims across the country by falsely representing to them that they had won millions of dollars in a lottery, and that, in order to receive their winnings, they had to pay a fee. The victims were directed to make payments to specific addresses. In July 2015, one victim mailed Barrett a check for $2,500, which Barrett deposited into one of her bank accounts.


The charging statute for mail fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Fall River Break In Arrest

The Fall River Police Department issued a “Community Alert” earlier this week as a result of a series of breaking and entering crimes that had occurred specifically to equipment trailers and utility body trucks.


As a result of this alert, numerous tips were sent to the Major Crimes Division and an investigation lead by Detective Luis Vertentes and Detective Dwaine Cabeceiras was conducted.

Through video surveillance footage collected from scenes of the crimes and also from anonymous tips, a person of interest was developed and identified as Brandon Arruda (Age: 28).


It also was discovered by review of video surveillance that that suspect was wearing what appeared to be a GPS tracking anklet very similar to the ones issued while individuals are on probation.


It was also discovered that ARRUDA was in fact on probation and had been issued a GPS anklet. Further investigation with the assistance of Fall River District Court Probation Officer Mark Costa, Detectives learned that based on ARRUDA’s GPS history that he had been present at the majority of the reported break-ins.


Based on this information, an arrest warrant was sought and issued for ARRUDA. Detectives then were able to locate ARRUDA with aid of Probation. He was taken into custody without incident shortly after midnight this morning. ARRUDA faces numerous charges to include:

• LARCENY OVER $1,200 (2 Counts)

Without the assistance of the community this small crime spree would not have come to such a quick resolution. Also the vigilance of the Detectives who were assigned to this case worked around clock to bring this individual to justice.


The Fall River Police would like to thank all those that helped in identifying this suspect. ARRUDA will be arraigned in Fall River District Court on Monday, December 3, 2018 for the charges listed above.

Rehoboth Chase and Accident

On Sunday 12/01/2018 at approximately 21:05 hrs. Officer Gil Lima observed a vehicle travelling west bound on Winthrop St. (Rt.44) at a high rate of speed.


 He attempted to stop that vehicle at which time the suspect accelerated and began to pass several cars in an attempt to allude Officer Lima.  


He was able to catch up to the suspect vehicle in the area of Williams St.


The suspect then reversed direction before continuing northbound on Williams St. Upon reaching the intersection at Anawan St. the vehicle lost control and struck a tree directly in front of the Police and Fire headquarters.


The suspect then continued South on Anawan St. before turning back west bound on Winthrop St..


The suspect continued to operate in an unsafe manner travelling at extremely high rates of speed and passing vehicles in an unsafe manner. Officer Lima lost sight of the vehicle and the Seekonk Police were advised of the vehicle description.


A short time later Officer Lima and Seekonk Officers found that the suspect vehicle had again crashed, this time just over the Seekonk line on Rt.44. The large SUV had crossed into the eastbound lane, struck the guardrail, continued for a short distance before striking a tree.


The suspect had to be extricated from the vehicle by the Seekonk Fire Department and was later transported to the hospital with serious injuries.
The suspect was identified Jonathan Cruz 33 years old of Rehoboth. Cruz will be summonsed in on the following charges:
Failure to Stop for Police, Operating to Endanger, Leaving the Scene of Property Damage, Speeding, Failure to Yield, Marked Lanes Violations