WSAR NEWS Archives for 2019-03

Gronk We Hardly Knew Ye

In an Instagram Post Sunday Afternoon, New England Patriot Rob Grownkowski announced his retirement from the NFL, thanking the Patriots Organization and fan base after earning three Super Bowl Rings in a nine year career. 

Keating Statement on Muller Report

Washington, DC - Below is a statement from Congressman Bill Keating on the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that was delivered to Attorney General William Barr. 


“The purpose of the Mueller investigation was to investigate threats and attacks to our democracy. The public should have full access to all the information in the Mueller report, absent any material that would compromise intelligence sources or methods. Providing the public with a summarized or sanitized version would only compromise confidence in our democracy - the very thing this investigation is trying to protect.”
 

A Ten Taxpayer Suit Stops the Count

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II and members of the Fall River Election Commission are the defendants in a 10-taxpayer suit seeking to stop the certification of the Fall River Recall Election on March 12, citing section 5-8(e) of the Fall River City Charter, and its provisions regarding recall elections, which was approved by voters in the 2017 Municipal Election. 

The suit was filed today in the Fall River Justice Center. 

Provisions of the current recall rules do not include a second half of a ballot with contenders for mayor, as was the case on the ballot on March 12. 

 

In a video captured by the Fall River Herald News and posted on its Facebook page, a constable delivering the initial lawsuit was asked to leave the mayor's office on the Sixth Floor of Fall River's Government Center...

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II was recalled by 61% of Fall River voters, while he was returned to office by a margin of 241 votes in the second half of the ballot. 

 

 

 

Fall River School Committee Agenda Proposal

The seven member Fall River school committee will debate a proposed change later this Spring to the way future agendas are constructed, in order to have necessary items taken from draft status to the regular monthly agendas.
                   

Fall River school committee Vice Chair Mark Costa says his proposal has nothing to do with issues surrounding a B.M.C Durfee Building Committee.

 

Costa says the idea is to expand the number of people required to build an agenda for the school committee, as items that were supposed to be on regular agendas remained on draft agendas.

 

Last night's session was the first since Costa and Paul Coogan were dropped from a B.M.C Durfee Building Committee, then asked to return as non-voting members.

Hate Crime in Fall River

A Hebrew cemetery located on McMahon street was defaced over the weekend and at least 25 gravestones were violated with swastika symbols and messages of antisemitic language, according to a release from the Fall River Police Department.


Police were made aware on Sunday when the site manager informed them of a suspicious vehicle parked in the cemetery for two days.

 

Investigators think the original incident happened on Saturday; Some of the gravestones were pushed over; Others were marked using a black magic marker. 
                 

The F.R.P.D says a full canvas of the cemetery is being conducted to determine if other vandalism took place. 

        

About 10 gravestones were defaced with swastikas while others said ''heil Hitler'' and ''Hitler was right;'' A reference to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan ''Make America Great Again'' was noticed as ''This Is MAGA Country'' was seen carved into another stone.
 

The investigation is currently ongoing and no arrests have been made at this time.

Cooling Towers Implosion

A nearly standing room only gathering last night at the North Elementary School auditorium in somerset was treated to video displays of cooling towers identical to the pair at Brayton Point coming down a few years ago, and were assured that their homes, nearby wildlife, and other considerations are part of the planning process.

This coming Saturday at 8:00 a.m, three chimneys will be demolished in an implosion that will take about six seconds.


The two cooling towers that have dominated the local sky line for nearly a decade will take about eight seconds to remove, and will happen at 8:00 a.m on the morning of April 27.

 

The 8:00 a.m start time was selected after a study of wind speed at various hours of the day; A 25-mile an hour wind could cause delays or postponements. 


Sometime after 8:00 a.m on the morning of April 27, two long blasts of a siren will signify a two minute warning, with a short series of sound at the one-minute mark. 
 

if need be the countdown can be stopped and re-start if warranted. 

 

Residents had concerns about potential damage to their homes and concerns over wildlife in the area, which includes deer, rabbits, and the occasional coyote. 

RI A-C-I Heat

ACLU DISMISSES LAWSUIT AFTER ADEQUATE HEAT RESTORED AT ACI FACILITY

 

The ACLU of Rhode Island today voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Department of Corrections (DOC) in January, which challenged the lack of adequate heat for more than a month and a half in cell blocks at the ACI’s Intake Center. 

 

After the suit was filed, the DOC took action to address the heating problems and began providing to ACLU attorneys daily monitoring reports documenting the temperature in the cellblocks. Those reports, as well as information received from inmates, have confirmed that the problem has been resolved for now, prompting the decision to dismiss the suit.

At the time the suit was filed, inmates were complaining they were experiencing numbness in their extremities and had to stay in their beds all day under blankets with multiple layers of clothing in attempts to stay warm. 

 

 

The lawsuit, filed by ACLU of RI cooperating attorneys Sonja Deyoe and Lynette Labinger, argued that the facility’s failure to provide adequate heat during the coldest months of the year had made cells “dangerously cold,” placing prisoners’ health and safety at risk, and constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 

 

 

The dismissal stipulation filed today does not prevent the ACLU from suing again should similar complaints arise in the future.

 

ACLU of RI volunteer attorney Deyoe said today: “While we have dismissed this action because the cold condition has been rectified, we are ready to take action again if the very basic rights to adequate heat, shelter, and security are later denied to these inmates.  While incarceration itself is meant to be both a rehabilitative and punitive experience,  an inmate should never be facing a risk to his or her life due to unlivable conditions.”

Dartmouth Stabbing

DARTMOUTH POLICE DEPARTMENT

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 15, 2019

 

Dartmouth Police Investigate Multiple Stabbings

 

DARTMOUTH, MA - On Thursday, March 14, 2019 at approximately 7:13 p.m., Dartmouth Police responded to #450 State Road (Dunkin Donuts/AT&T Plaza) regarding a stabbing.

 

Upon arrival, officers located two (2) males with stab wounds. Also at this time, a description of a vehicle which another involved male had fled the area in was provided.

 

While responding to the call, Patrolman Shawn SOUZA observed the vehicle, a 2013 Mercedes, operating on State Road near Reed Road.

 

Upon attempting to stop the Mercedes, it accelerated at a high rate of speed. While attempting to negotiate a turn onto Deerfield Road, the operator lost control of the vehicle and crashed. The operator then fled from the vehicle.

 

 

During a search of the area, the operator, subsequently identified as Sadaryl PARHAM, 24, of #255 Main Street, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was located in a swampy area in close proximity to the crash.

 

 

After being placed under arrest, PARHAM was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital to receive treatment for a cut to his hand.

 

 

PARHAM was subsequently charged with two (2) counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault to murder, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, failure to stop for police, negligent operation, marked lanes violation, and speeding.

 

After receiving initial treatment at the scene, the two (2) previously mentioned males located at #450 State Road were transported to the hospital. One of the males was transported to St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River with minor injuries, while the second male, whose wounds were more severe, but not life threatening, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital.

 

The incident remains under investigation by both the Dartmouth Police Department Investigative Services Division and Patrol Division.

State of the City in Fall River Tuesday

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II will deliver a Fall River State of The State Address Tuesday afternoon at 5:30pm in Second Floor Council Chambers in Government Center. 

 

The session is mandated by the Fall River City Charter as it must happen before the third Wednesday in March. 

The speech comes one week after Correia became the second Fall River Mayor since 2014 to be recalled; his political survival was ensured by a 241 vote margin in a five contender field in the second half of the ballot. 

Correia still faces a federal indictment on 9 counts of wire fraud and 4 counts of tax fraud; his case is the subject of a Status Conference next month in Boston. 

Moses is Guilty

The former owner of a now closed Fall River-based glass company pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston on March 11, 2019, to charges that he failed to report and pay over to the IRS taxes he had withheld from his company’s employees.

 

 

Moses Rapoza, 83, of Lakeville, pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return and 11 counts of failing to pay over to the IRS the taxes he withheld from employee wages.

 

U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for June 13, 2019.

 

Rapoza was described as the former owner and operator of Global Specialty Glass Contractors Inc., a glass installation business previously located in Fall River.

 

For every calendar quarter from 2011 through 2014, Rapoza withheld income taxes and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes from wages he paid to his employees, but failed to pay those taxes to the IRS on behalf of the employees.

 

In addition, Rapoza filed a false Form 941 tax return with the IRS, knowing that it understated the amount of wages he had paid to employees.

 

The charge of filing a false tax return provides for a sentence of no greater than three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of failure to pay over taxes provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

 

Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Recall Results

In the end, while Fall River voters recalled Jasiel Correia II as their Mayor by a 61 to 38 percent margin on Tuesday, Correia was able to retain his office by securing a razor-thin, 241 vote margin in the second half of the ballot, as Correia knocked off closest challenger, School Committee Member Paul Coogan, and four other challengers, as about 25 percent of the electorate cast ballots on  Tuesday in the second Mayoral Recall election since 2014. 

Local Unemployment Numbers

The Massachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce Development has issued local unemployment numbers for January 2019, as Fall River posted an unemployment number of 7.4%, compared to the December number of 5.8%. 


Unemployment in New Bedford hit 6.6% of January, compared to 6.1% in December. 

 

Unemployment for Somerset checked in at 4.2%, while in Swansea, the unemployment rate for January was at 4.4%, compared to 3.6% in December. 

Recall Election Campaign Numbers

As the second attempted recall aimed at a Fall River Mayor concludes today with balloting that will conclude at 8:00 p.m, the Office of Campaign and Political Finance gives an indication of where and how the five contenders raised and spent money during a shortened campaign season. 

 

Final spending numbers for the mayoral recall campaign will be due later this month. 


Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia spent a little over $10,000 on billboards, a little over $26,000 for ads on Facebook, and more than $5,000 for ads on W.H.T.B Radio. 


Paul Coogan spent nearly $22,000 while Joe Camara spent a little over $4,000; Kyle Riley spent a little over $17,000 in the reports that were filed before the final day of February. 


Camara was able to raise over $20,000, with school committee member Paul Coogan securing $31,000 in the current campaign season, while Kyle Riley secured over $28,000; Erica Scott-Pacheco raised a little over $6,000, and spent a little over $4,000. 


Scott-Pacheco loaned her campaign $1,000, while Paul Coogan started his campaign with a $20,000 personal loan. 
                      

Somerset Assault Conviction

A 34-year-old Somerset man was convicted of violently assaulting his girlfriend in Fall River and sentenced to serve three years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
 
Deandre Ross pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court last week to indictments charging him with assault and battery-causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery of a police officer, kidnapping and witness intimidation. 
 
On April 14, 2018, Fall River Police responded to the parking lot of Mickey Doyle’s at 5:34 AM.  Upon arrival, officers observed the victim standing with this defendant in the parking lot. Officers noted extreme swelling to the victim’s eye, along with scratches to her neck and fac. . Officers attempted to ask victim what had happened, but the defendant continually interrupted, claiming that victim was drunk and didn’t remember anything, and suggesting that she was jumped by another party. 
 
Once placed in an ambulance and separated from the defendant, the victim disclosed that she had been drinking with the defendant at a storage container he rents, and he became angry and began punching her in the face and torso. In the course of the beating, he tied a rag around the handle to keep the door closed and physically prevented her from leaving. At this point, the defendant struck her several more times. The injuries the victim sustained included broken ribs, a broken orbital, and a broken nose. The victim further stated she was in great fear of the defendant.
 
Once taken into custody, this defendant lashed out violently, repeatedly kicking the arresting officers. In the course of the struggle, the defendant’s mouth was cut, and he proceeded to spit blood at the officers attempting to bring him to the cruiser. 
 
The defendant was held without bail since the date of incident after dangerousness hearings were conducted both in the District and Superior Court. 
 
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Zach Mercer and Kyle McPherson, and the three year state prison term was imposed by Judge Raffi Yessayan.  Upon his release from prison, the defendant will immediately be placed on supervised probation for an additional two years.
 
“The defendant brutally beat the victim, causing several bad injuries. The investigation revealed a history of the defendant beating the victim. This is simply unacceptable,” District Attorney Quinn said. “He needs to be imprisoned to protect her from further abuse.”
 

FR Monday A-M Stabbing

On Monday March 11, 2019 at approximately 8:24AM, Fall River Police responded to a 911 Call at Xtra Mart 1012 Bedford Street.

 

The clerk from the business called stating that a male who had entered the business and was bleeding.


Officers responded and discovered Elvis Jeronimo, a 41-year old male suffering from a stab wound to his abdomen.

 

Emergency Medical Personnel arrived on scene and began rendering aid. The victim quickly identified the suspect as John Dupras (d.o.b. 12-22-1977) and provided officers with a clothing description.

 

Several more officers were canvassing the area in search of Dupras.

 

Officers were able to take him into custody at his residence at 150 Davis Street, Apt 1, Fall River, MA without incident.


During the investigation it was learned that both males were previous acquaintances and an argument occurred which escalated to the point of Jeronimo being stabbed.


The victim was transported to Rhode Island Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Dupras was booked and charged with the following:


? Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon

BCC New Bedford Career Nights

Join Bristol Community College for FREE Career Nights at the Bristol New Bedford campus beginning Wednesday, March 20

 

 

 

            Your new career is within reach!

 

At Bristol Community College’s new Career Nights, at the Bristol New Bedford campus, guests can meet with career advisors, financial aid specialists and faculty to learn more about careers in human services, psychology, substance abuse, criminal justice, emergency medical technician (EMT), health sciences, business and cybersecurity.

 

These events are FREE and open to everyone. 

 

 

            Career Nights take place on Wednesdays, from March 20 - April 10, 2019, from 5 - 7:30 p.m., at the Bristol New Bedford campus, 800 Purchase Street. Each event is dedicated to a different career field!

Bristol New Bedford Career Nights Schedule


•    March 20, 2019: Human Services, Psychology & Substance Abuse
•    March 27, 2019: Criminal Justice & EMT 
•    April 3, 2019: Health Sciences  
•    April 10, 2019: Business & Cybersecurity 


            For more information and event dates, please visit http://www.bristolcc.edu/newcareer.
 

Gasoline Prices for The Week of March 11 2019

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


AAA’s March 11 survey of prices in Massachusetts finds self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.39 per gallon.

 

The Massachusetts price is eight cents lower than the national average for regular unleaded of $2.47.

 

A year ago at this time, the average price in Massachusetts was eleven cents higher at $2.50.  


“Increasing demand, fluctuating oil prices, and decreasing supplies have combined to drive gas prices up across the country,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “Pump prices may continue to increase in coming weeks, but AAA does not expect this year’s high to be nearly as expensive as last year’s national peak price of $2.97.”

 


The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 82 cents, from a low of $2.23 to a high of $3.05. 

Fall River RI Bank Robber

A Fall River, Mass., man who admitted to robbing a Tiverton, R.I., bank in October 2017 was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Providence to 48 months in federal prison.

 

Justin M. Davis, 36, previously admitted to the Court that on October 11, 2017, he passed a note to a teller at a branch office of Bank Newport which read “All $100 50, Empty Draw, No Dye packs, No Alarms.”

 

After the teller handed Davis $4,920 in cash, he ran from the bank toward a nearby cemetery and was seen on surveillance video leaving the area in a vehicle.

 

A short time later, Tiverton police recovered a piece of clothing from the cemetery Davis wore during the robbery. Shortly thereafter, Fall River Police stopped the vehicle Davis was operating.

 

From inside the vehicle police recovered other items of clothing Davis wore during the bank robbery and $3,470 in cash in the same denominations as those stolen during the robbery.

 

 

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith also ordered Davis to serve 3 years supervised release upon completion of his term of incarceration. He pled guilty on September 21, 2018, to a charge of bank robbery.

Bristol County 10 Most Wanted Member Found in Vermont

58-year-old former Norton resident, Anthony Schmitka, one of the first defendants highlighted on the Bristol County Most Wanted Fugitives List unveiled to the public last month, has been tracked down and apprehended in Woodstock, VT., Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced today.

 

 

The defendant had been on the run since early 2016 when he failed to appear for a jury trial in Attleboro District Court.  The defendant was subsequently indicted on two Superior Court charges of larceny over $250 from a person over the age of 60.  This defendant is accused of systematically stealing more than $100,000 from his elderly father. 

 

 

In February 2013, the defendants’ father, who is a US Military Veteran, received a retroactive benefits check for more than $100,000 from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  During the next 12 months, this defendant is alleged to have stolen the money, using a portion of it to play the lottery and gamble at a local casino.

 

 

On February 14, 2019, District Attorney Quinn, joined by members of his state police unit and police chiefs from throughout Bristol County, announced the creation of a Bristol County Most Wanted Fugitives List and a new anonymous tip program during a press conference in Westport.

 

 During that announcement, the defendant’s name and photo was released to the public in hopes that new leads would be generated on his whereabouts.  A week after this announcement, Norton Police received a tip stating that the defendant was hiding out in Vermont. 

 

This information was passed along to DA Quinn’s State Police Unit and the Massachusetts Violent Fugitives Apprehension Section (VFAS), since both agencies had been working collaboratively to locate and apprehend this wanted fugitive.  

 

 

Thanks to that tip, tenacious investigatory work and the assistance of the US Marshals, investigators were able to take this fugitive back into custody yesterday in Vermont.

 

The defendant has since waived rendition, is currently being held in custody in Vermont and will likely be transported back to Massachusetts to face the charges lodged against him in Fall River Superior Court sometime next week.

 

District Attorney Quinn would like to thank VFAS, members of his state police unit, Norton Police, the US Marshals and the Woodstock, VT. Police for their help in locating and apprehending this fugitive from justice.

 

More information on the Bristol County Most Wanted Fugitives List can be found at www.facebook.com/bristoldafugitives and www.bristolda.com/fugitives.

 

“I am very pleased this fugitive was arrested in Vermont through the cooperation of a number of law enforcement agencies.  This case highlights the efforts that we will undertake to locate and apprehend fugitives who skip court or who are wanted for serious crimes,” District Attorney Quinn said. “I want to sincerely thank all the agencies for their cooperative efforts in this case.”

 


 

Robert Kraft To Appear in Florida

The Digital Edition of the Boston Globe is reporting that New England Patriots Majority Owner Robert Kraft has been ordered to appear in court on March 28th for an arraignment on a pair of misdemeanor counts for allegedly soliciting prostitution at a Jupiter, Florida day spa.

 

Kraft is one of of 200 men that face charges after a sting of various Florida locations where human trafficking may have an issue. He'll now be able to be present at all 3 days of NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix, just after the start of the new NFL calendar. 

 

Employees at the spa may well have been Chinese immigrants who were forced to live and work in various spa locations. Two women have been arrested and charged for their roles in running the Jupiter, Florida location. 

The State of the City Address

The Digital Edition of the Fall River Herald News is reporting that the nine member Fall River City Council and the seven member Fall River School Committee have selected March 19 as the date for a joint session for the charter-mandated State of the City Address. 


Current Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia wants to choose the location of the State of the City, and had indicated to WSAR News in February it could happen during a regularly scheduled session of the Fall River School Committee. 


Correia is still open to a March 19 date. The State of the City is normally held in the Fall River City Council Chambers. During a discussion with Will Flanagan on WSAR in February, Fall River City Council President Cliff Ponte had indicated he had polled council members as to when to hold the State of the City Address. 

 

After polling the eight other city council members, Ponte told WSAR in February that March 19 would be the scheduled date. 

 

The current Fall River City Charter mandates that the State of the City Address be delivered by the third Wednesday in March. A five contender recall election is set for Tuesday March 12 

Red Sox Pitcher Hit With PED Suspension via MLB

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced Wednesday that Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2 (GHRP-2), a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

 

 

The 80-game suspension of Wright will commence at the start of the 2019 regular season.

 

 

"I was notified by MLB that I failed a test under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program during this past offseason," Wright said. "Although I do not dispute the validity of the test, I was shocked, as I have never intentionally ingested anything for performance-enhancing purposes. I have fully cooperated with MLB and will continue to try and identify the source of the result."

 

 

The club released a statement after the news was announced:

 

"The Boston Red Sox fully support Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from the game. While we are disappointed by the news of this violation, we will look to provide the appropriate support to Steven at this time. Going forward, the club will not comment further on the matter."

Feds Bust Cape Cod Heroin Ring

BOSTON – A Harwich man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for fentanyl conspiracy.

 

 

Dean Viprino, 46, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to eight years in prison and five years of supervised release.

 

In December 2017, Viprino pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. Viprino is currently in state custody on an unrelated matter.

 

 

Viprino was part of a drug trafficking organization that distributed large quantities of fentanyl, cocaine and heroin on Cape Cod.

 

From April 2017 through August 2017, investigators intercepted phone calls and text messages from this drug organization. Wiretap interceptions, physical surveillance, and drug seizures demonstrated that Viprino had been purchasing fentanyl from this drug trafficking organization for personal use and re-distribution.

 

Other members of the drug trafficking organization are either pending trial or awaiting sentencing.

Higher Ed Financing Issues

BOSTON – Today Governor Charlie Baker filed legislation to clarify and enhance the authority of the Board of Higher Education to monitor the financial health of Massachusetts’ colleges and universities.

 

An Act to Support Financial Stability in Higher Education would require any institution facing financial challenges that may jeopardize the institution’s ability to fulfill its obligations to current and admitted students to notify the Board of Higher Education, and submit to the Board for approval a contingency plan that includes provisions for providing advance notice to students and staff as well as arrangements for students to complete their studies.

 

 

“Massachusetts is home to an impressive collection of public and private colleges and universities that provide great educations, while also serving as major employers and drivers of business across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our legislation will strengthen this crucial component of our economy, but most importantly it will help protect students and families from an abrupt closure that could significantly impact their lives.” 
 
“This legislation would ensure transparency and protection for both students and families,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said. “For those institutions at high risk of closure, we want to ensure sufficient notice to students and staff to make other arrangements so they can complete their programs of study with as little disruption as possible.”  
 
 A handful of recent college closures in New England highlight the need for improved financial reporting from colleges and universities, in particular the sudden closure of Mt. Ida College in Newton last year that surprised students and staff. The legislation provides that the Board of Higher Education may request information from any institution of higher education to determine financial condition. Under the legislation, the Board may also impose reasonable sanctions on any institution that does not comply with notification requirements and requests. Information submitted by institutions of higher education would be exempt from the public records law, under this legislation.

 

 

“We want to make sure that the Board and the Department of Higher Education are capable of being a more proactive participant in ensuring transparency and fairness for students and families, without creating expansive new powers that would be overly burdensome to colleges,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. 
 
The legislation filed today will enable the Board of Higher Education to develop regulations specifying the process by which it will exercise its oversight authority. 

 

“These statutory and regulatory proposals have one goal, which is to be accountable to those students and families who have made significant investments in post-secondary education,” Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago said. “At the same time, we are working closely with institutions to make sure that they are part of the decision-making process as we move forward.”

 

“Our aim should be to maintain confidence among students, families and communities in the many fine and important private colleges in Massachusetts while ensuring that any imminent risk is managed thoughtfully and appropriately,” said Chris Gabrieli, chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. “As part of that, the Department of Higher Education needs to be able to work confidentially with colleges to understand their financial status and plans as well as to have the tools to address the hopefully rare situations where the focus needs to shift to informing students and ensuring solid transition plans.”

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The Federal Prosecutors Respond to JCII

While Jasiel Correia's Lead Defense Attorney, Kevin Reddington, withdrew a request this week to amend a court order that prohibits any communication between Fall River's current Mayor and potential witnesses in ''United States of America v Jasiel Correia II'', Boston based Federal Prosecutors issued a blistering response in explaining why they decided to reject the request, in which Correia had offered to repay what he termed as ''lenders'' in order to reconstitute SnoOwl, a smart phone app that Correia tried to market while a Providence College Student. 

 

Federal Prosecutor Andrew Lelling says the government proposed that Correia and Federal Prosecutors jointly filed a motion to transfer $306,000 Correia indicated was being held in escrow, to a fund controlled by the court, until the conclusion of the criminal case, at which time the victims could be made whole. 

                      

Correia rejected the offer, and his attorney failed to mention it in his filing to the court. 

Federal Prosecutors also noted in their filing that Correia filed the initial motion just weeks before a March 12 Recall Election, and noted that Correia had stated publicly for the first time that he had both the means the desire to repay what Correia has referred to as lenders.

 

Lelling noted that Correia had earlier stated that when it came to SnoOwl, he had done nothing wrong. 

 

Lelliing concludes in his statement that ''given Correia's remarkable about face on whether his victims were entitled to repayment, the apparent political timing, the omission of the government's proposal from his memo, and the brazen attempt to blame the government for the victims not getting their money back, it is clear that motion was not a good faith effort to obtain legal relief''.

 

Correia is due back in court on April 23 for an interim status conference. 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 


                        
                         
                         
                         

                          

The Latest Winter Storm Information

MASSACHUSETTS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
SITUATIONAL AWARENESS STATEMENT

DATE: March 3, 2019
TIME: 4:30 PM
SUBJECT: Winter Storm Tonight into Monday

 

Situation
The National Weather Service continues to monitor the next winter storm, forecast to begin impacting the Commonwealth this evening through Monday morning.  

 

Winter Storm Warnings are now in effect for most of Massachusetts, except for Northern Berkshire County, Franklin County, Western Hampshire County, and Cape Cod, where Winter Weather Advisories remain in effect.

 

 Snow is forecast to begin between 6-8 PM in western MA, and between 8-10 PM in eastern MA.  Snow will end around 4-6am in western MA, and around 6-9 AM in central and northeastern MA.  

 

The time period for the heaviest snow is forecast to occur between 1am and 6am Monday.  Impacts to the Monday Morning Commute are likely.  


The forecast calls for a widespread 6-10” of snow, with locally higher amounts, across much of the region.  Franklin County, Western Hampshire County, and Cape Cod are expected to receive 3-5” of snow, with similar amounts in Northern Berkshire County.  The snow should change to rain on Cape Cod during the early morning hours.


There are no other major risks associated with this storm (no coastal flooding, no wind).  However, there is a risk for isolated power outages from northern CT and into northwest RI and interior MA if higher snow amounts develop.  
After the storm passes on Monday, winds will increase to 30-40 MPH during the day along the coast, including Cape Ann, Cape Cod, and the South Coast.  

 

Daytime temperatures will be 35-40 degrees Monday afternoon, but will be colder Monday night.  Current Monday night temperatures are forecast to be in the single digits in Berkshire County, with teens elsewhere and 20s on the Cape.  Wind chill values will make these temperatures feel like 0-10 degrees.  Winds are forecast to be 5-10 mph.  Tuesday temperatures 
 

Fall River Woman Enters Guilty Plea on Federal Narcotics Counts

Fall River Woman Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges


BOSTON – The mother of an MCI-Cedar Junction inmate pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston in connection with smuggling drugs into the facility.  

 

Margaret Guillemette, 58, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute Suboxone and Alprazolam. In September 2018, she was charged along with Chad Connors, 42, and William Guillemette, 39, both inmates at Massachusetts Correctional Institute – Cedar Junction (MCI-CJ) in South Walpole, and Lisa Guillemette, 42, also of Fall River. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled Margaret Guillemette’s sentencing for May 30, 2019.

 

According to the charging documents, Chad Connors and William Guillemette were inmates housed at MCI-CJ’s Departmental Disciplinary Unit (DDU). It is alleged that Connors was involved in a romantic relationship with a nurse assigned to the DDU. At Connors’ request, the nurse agreed to smuggle contraband, including controlled substances, into MCI-CJ. In order to do this, the nurse opened two P.O. Boxes through a third party.

 

Connors sent letters and money to the nurse at these P.O. Boxes and, at William Guillemette’s direction, his wife, Lisa, and mother, Margaret, obtained and sent Suboxone and Alprazolam to the P.O. Boxes. The nurse subsequently smuggled the drugs into the DDU and delivered them to Connors.

 

It is alleged that Connors and William Guillemette distributed the drugs to other inmates, who sent checks to Lisa and Margaret Guillemette as payment for the drugs. Suboxone and Alprazolam are Schedule III and Schedule IV controlled substances, respectively.  

 

The nurse was previously charged and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute Suboxone and Alprazolam.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute Suboxone and Alprazolam provide for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $500,000 and forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.  

The Dartmouth Agreement

UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson and Dartmouth Select Board Chair Shawn MacDonald will formalize a “town-gown” compact at the first Annual Community Breakfast today, seeking to strengthen an already strong half-century relationship between the university and town.

 


The agreement “characterizes a commitment and on-going relationship among well-meaning and mutually interested parties to work together to uphold the values of cooperation and civic responsibility, and to strengthen the educational, cultural, and economic fabric of the community.”

 


The compact notes that the university has been located on 710 acres of land in Dartmouth since 1964, and has evolved into a Tier 1 National Research University with more than 8,500 students, 1,400 faculty and staff members, and 52,000 alumni. This includes 370 students, 235 employees, and 2,400 alumni living in Dartmouth.

 


The university and town commit to:
1.    Establishing and maintaining an active Town/Gown Task Force, including members representing the interests of the Town and the University.
2.    Collaborating to implement mutually beneficial activities identified by the Town/Gown Task Force, and approved by governing bodies of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the Town of Dartmouth.
3.     Issuing an annual Town/Gown Task Force Report indicating collaborative activity and progress in the following areas:
•    Business and economic development
•    Health and wellness
•    Teaching, learning and research
•    Public safety and emergency management
•    Cultural and civic engagement
•    Land and facilities management
4. Holding at least one joint meeting of Town and University leaders per year to discuss common challenges and opportunities.
Initial activities of the task force include:
•    Increase communication to town residents regarding the UMass Dartmouth cultural and recreational activities open to town residents.
•    Establish an internship pipeline from the University to Town Hall, providing students with valuable experiential learning opportunities.
•    Re-establish the annual UMass Dartmouth Freedom Festival in connection with July, 2020 Independence Day celebration.
•    Establish professional development programs for Town of Dartmouth employees that can be replicated by other municipalities.
•    Formalize university-town protocols related to public safety and emergency management.
•    Establish land and facility use working group to identify opportunities for mutually beneficial development. 
•    Evaluate opportunities for students to engage with the business community
 

Fall River Parking Ban This Weekend

Fall River, MA – Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II announces a citywide parking ban, which will go into effect beginning Friday, March 1, 2019, at 6:00 pm until further notice.


Motorists are reminded that when a parking ban is in effect, parking is allowed on the north side of all city streets that run east and west and that parking is allowed on the west side of all streets that run north and south.  

 

In most cases, this means no parking on the fire hydrant side.


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

 


Parking is not allowed within 20 feet of a corner to allow access for snow removing vehicles.  Parking allowed, unless posted, on both sides of any street that is divided by a traffic median, but parking against the median is prohibited.
If any vehicle is in violation of the parking ban and must be towed to clear streets for plows or emergency vehicles, the owner must call the Fall River Police Department at (508) 324-2801, for the location of the towed vehicle.

 

 All towing fees must be paid to the respective tow company prior to the release of the stored vehicle. 
Parking is available at the following locations until the ban is no longer in effect:
FLINT MUNICIPAL PARKING LOT ON PLEASANT STREET, MUNICIPAL LOT ON COLUMBIA

 


Residents are advised to tune in to the local radio station WSAR 1480 – WHTB 1400 for any updates related to the ban.

 

 Also stay tuned to channel 18 FRED TV, Fall River Web Site www.fallriverma.org, as well as channel 6 WLNE, 10 WJAR, 12 WPRI.

 


Please call the following numbers with all and any questions or concerns regarding the snow storm/parking ban:
 Mayor’s Office:                    508-324-2600 or  508-324-2601
 Snow Storm Station:            508-324-2801 or 508-207-2584
 DPW Office:                          508-324-2761 or 508-324-2760
 

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