WSAR NEWS Archives for 2021-01

The Fall River Parking Ban

City of Fall River – Winter Storm Preparation & Parking Ban


(Fall River, MA- January 31, 2021)- Due to the forecasted snow on Monday, February 1st, a parking ban will be in effect from 8:00am on 2/1/21 until further notice.

 

Parking is only allowed on the north side of city streets that run east and west and on the west side of streets that run north and south.

 

Parking is allowed, unless posted, on both sides of any street that is divided by a traffic median.

 

Parking against a median is prohibited.

 

Parking is not allowed within 20 feet of a corner to allow access for snow removing vehicles.


Parking is available at the following locations until the ban is no longer in effect:


• City Parking Lot on Cash Street
• City Parking Lot on corner of Hunter and Columbia Street
• Talbot Middle School on Melrose Street
• Morton Middle School Parking Lot on Hood Street

MA State Offices Closed due to Impending Snow

Baker-Polito Administration Directs Non-Emergency State Employees Not to Report to Workplaces Tomorrow  

 

BOSTON – Due to the upcoming winter storm, the Baker-Polito Administration directed all non-emergency state employees working in Executive Branch agencies not to report to their workplaces tomorrow, Monday, February 1, 2021.

 

Registry of Motor Vehicle customer service centers will close at noon on Monday. Customers who have appointments for transactions or scheduled road tests Monday afternoon can go to mass.gov/RMV to reschedule

 

All other Executive Branch state offices will be closed to the public tomorrow.

 

The Baker-Polito Administration has transitioned a large percentage of Executive Branch Employees to telework plans due to COVID-19 and those employees will be expected to telework. 
 
The Administration is urging residents to stay off roadways and to use public transportation when possible as the storm moves across the Commonwealth by mid-day tomorrow. 
 
“Driving tomorrow will be hazardous due to the high winds and snow in the forecast, so we are asking everyone to stay off the roads, avoid traveling if possible and to use public transportation if they have to go out,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  
 
MassDOT has approximately 3,900 pieces of state and vendor equipment available for snow and ice operations and this includes over 1,400 plow and spreader combos, 2,100 plows, and 460 front-end loaders.
 
Due to the storm, DOT anticipates imposing a ban on travel on Monday by tractor trailers on I-90 between the hours of 10:00 AM until 11:59 PM. Massachusetts State Police may also impose a speed restriction for motor vehicles of 40 m.p.h. on I-90 between specific interchanges if conditions warrant.
 
COVID-19 Vaccination Sites: In the case of closures due to inclement weather, providers of COVID-19 vaccination sites will reach out to individuals with appointments directly to reschedule. If individuals cannot safely get to their appointments, they will be allowed to reschedule directly with the provider with whom they scheduled a vaccination.

 

For further questions on winter weather impacts, individuals should reach out to provider sites directly. To find contact info for an individual site, please check the map at mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap.
 
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, MassDOT, and State Police are working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the forecast. The MBTA Storm Desk will continue to monitor rail service throughout the storm and provide updates to commuters at http://www.MBTA.com/winter.
     

With Snow on The Way in The Riv

In advance of what could turn out to be a significant winter storm,  the Main Branch of the Fall River Public Library , the Department of Public Works Yard on Lewiston Street and Fall River's Government Center will be closed on this Monday, with normal business hours expected to be back in vouge on Tuesday. 

 

A Fall River Parking Ban begins at 8am this morning, continuing until further notice. 

 

A Parking Ban in New Bedford will also begin at 8am this morning. 

The COVID-19 Command Center on Getting Appointments

COVID-19 Command Center Announces More Details For Vaccine Online Booking Process
Thousands of appointments to be added weekly, most availability at mass vaccination sites

 

BOSTON- Today, the Command Center provided additional instructions for the online booking process for residents 75 years and older for the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Beginning February 1st, residents age 75 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts.  Appointments became available yesterday for online booking at www.mass.gov/COVIDVaccine. 

 

Right now and until more vaccines are readily available, there is a very high demand for a limited number of appointments through the online platform.  

 

Additional appointments will be added to the website regularly, with the most availability at mass vaccination sites. Some smaller sites, like CVS Health, will post a smaller number of new appointments daily. 


More mass vaccination sites will be announced soon in other locations. On Wednesday, 10,000 appointments were posted in Springfield and Danvers and were filled within hours.  

 

Today, Springfield and Danvers made another 15,000 appointments available, Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park posted a total of 20,000 appointments this morning.  


CVS Health will post 1,152 new appointments daily across their 8 sites, for a total of 8,000 per week.  CVS Health is posting new appointments online daily.

 

In total, over 35,000 new appointments are live  over the course of the day for appointments in the next 7 days.

The Homeless in Fall River Have a Place This Weekend

In response to the upcoming cold weather, the First
Step Inn and the Timao Center are prepared to accommodate anyone in need of shelter.

 

Those
seeking services should contact the First Step Inn by calling 508-679-8001 or 508-974-9972. The
First Step Inn is located at 134 Durfee Street, Fall River, MA 02720.


Due to Covid-19 restrictions, individuals will receive a Covid-19 test before being
admitted. Fall River’s shelters are currently below capacity and are prepared to accommodate
more individuals.


Street outreach workers from the City of Fall River and Steppingstone Inc will be
patrolling the City over the weekend to ensure that anyone in need of shelter has access.

If You're 75 and over in MA Its Your Turn for COVID-19 Vaccine

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Vaccine Appointment Booking for Individuals 75+
Vaccinations for Individuals 75+ to Begin on February 1 as part of Phase Two

 


BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced individuals ages 75 and over can visit www.mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap to start booking an appointment for vaccine beginning Monday, February 1st.  

 

A map with all available locations is available at www.mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap. 


Residents should visit the website, find a convenient location, and schedule an appointment online.  

 

Due to extremely high demand for appointments and limited vaccine supply, it may take time to secure an available appointment. Residents are encouraged to keep checking the website as appointments are added on a rolling basis.

 

The Vaccine Map has multiple provider types (i.e., mass vaccination, pharmacies, local vaccination sites) and appointments will go live on a rolling basis over the course of the day. 


Steps to book an appointment: 
1.    Visit www.mass.gov/CovidVaccineMap and click on the map. 
2.    Select a location, schedule an appointment online 
3.    Have your important information with you, such as your insurance card 
4.    Fill out the self-attestation form, which will need to be presented at their appointment.

 

Information for community organizations and individuals ages 75 and older can be found at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccinations-for-people-ages-75-and-older.

 

This page will be updated as additional information becomes available. 

The Super Bowl Info

The AFC and NFC Championship Game happens Sunday, February 7, in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, the home field for the NFC Champions, the Tampa Bay Bucs.   

 

Its the first time in the history of the NFL's Championship game that a team will host the game on its home turf. 

 

Currently, the AFC Champion and defending champion Kansas City Chiefs are favored by 3 points; the over under sits at 56.5

Former New Bedford Mayor Dead due to COVID-19 Complications

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell released the following statement on the passing of former Mayor Frederick M. Kalisz, Jr., who served as Mayor from 1998 to 2006:  


“I was saddened to learn this morning of the sudden passing of former Mayor Frederick M. Kalisz, Jr., a dedicated public servant and a steadfast friend. Mayor Kalisz served as City Councilor for Ward 2 before his election as Mayor in 1997, eventually becoming New Bedford’s third-longest serving mayor.   

 

Mayor Kalisz’s tenure was marked by an unwavering devotion to the City and its residents. He worked tirelessly to improve every city neighborhood, and strove over his four terms to activate the city’s potential.

 

 Among his many accomplishments, he established the New Bedford Economic Development Council in its current form, oversaw the construction of three state-of-the-art middle schools, created a new permanent home for SeaLab, renovated the Buttonwood Park Zoo, and led the resumption of ferry service to Martha’s Vineyard.

 

All of these efforts paved the way for more progress thereafter. Mayor Kalisz poured his heart into the job, and New Bedford is the better for it. 

 

After leaving office in 2006, he continued to serve others – earning a doctorate, leading the Parents Alliance for Catholic Education, and serving as Register of Deeds for Bristol County’s southern district since 2017. 

 

He also continued his lifelong commitment to volunteering at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the city’s only remaining ethnically Polish Catholic church. 

 

I will miss Fred’s encouragement and support over the years, and I will miss our friendship. Ann and I offer our heartfelt condolences to his wife Pat, his son Ricky, and his many friends and family.  

 

In observance of Mayor Kalisz’s passing, I have ordered the flags at all City buildings be flown at half-staff.”—Mayor Jon Mitchell 
 

Swansea Appoints a New Police Chief

The three member Swansea Board of Selectmen have agreed to offer the appointment of Police Chief to Lieutenant Mark Haslam of the Swansea Police Department, after a debate during a regular Selectmen's  session Tuesday Night. 

 

Haslam was one of three finalists in the process; a fourth from the Fall River Police Department dropped out of the process in December. 

A Contract between Haslam and the town of Swansea will still need to be negotiated. 

No Player Secures the Needed Baseball HOF Votes

The Baseball Hall of Fame will not induct a player as part of a 2021 class to be enshrined in July in Cooperstown NY, as former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling garnered nearly 72 % of the vote, while Barry Bonds, and former Sox Starting Pitcher Roger Clemens also could not break out of the 60% range. 

A Fall River Solid Waste Reminder

The Department of Community Maintenance Compliance Division would like to remind Fall River  residents that it is
against City Ordinance to place or store unattended items on City sidewalks and or City property.

 

If you
wish to leave an item out for a friend to collect or an item with a “Free” sign that someone may choose to
take, please leave these items on your property for the safety of the public.


Chapter 26. Environment
Article II. Litter
§ 26-34. Depositing in gutter, street or other public place; duty to keep sidewalk and gutter clean.
[Amended 12-20-1994 by Ord. No. 1994-33]


A.
No person shall sweep into or deposit in any gutter, street or other public place within the City the
accumulation of yard waste (leaves, grass or twigs) or litter from any building or lot or from a public or
private sidewalk or driveway.


B.
Persons owning or occupying property shall keep the sidewalk and gutter in front of their premises free of
litter and yard waste.
If you have any further questions or concerns please contact us here at:


https://www.fallriverma.org/


508-324-2585


solidwaste@fallriverma.org
 

MA Unemployment for December 2020

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts indicated that the Unemployment rate for December is up by 7/10th of a percentage point, toe end the month of December at 7.4%. 

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Preliminary Job Estimates Indicate that Massachusetts lost 600 jobs in December. 

The local numbers for the 351 cities and towns are due next week. 


###

Henry Aaron Dies at 86

One of MLBs most endearing starts on the past 60 years died this morning in his sleep at the age of 86, as first confirmed by the Atlanta Braves. 

Henry Aaron's career in MLB spanned 24 years, in which he amassed 755 home runs and more than 2,000 RBIs. 

 

He was also the first hitter in MLB to hit 500 home runs and secure 3,000 hits. 

The President's Pardons

 

 

The latest batch of names, released by the White House on Trump's final night as president, granted 73 pardons and commuted all or part of the sentence of 70 additional individuals, after Trump had already issued several dozen such directives in recent months.

Hockey on Pause in Somerset Berkley

The Somerset Berkley Regional School Committee was told Wednesday Night during its Zoom.com session that its Men's Ice Hockey Squad won't be on the ice until at least January 21, after the school was told that the entire team was to quarantine after told they were classified as close contacts due to a player on an opposing squad having COVID-19 during a recent match. 

The Search for a Fall River City Administrator Continues

A series of interviews with contenders for the job of Fall River City Administrator is set to happen some time today in Government Center. 

 

The announcement was made last night during Council's regular session, in which Council President Cliff Ponte answered a question from Council Member Leo Pellitier by disclosing the interview process. 

 

Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan has operated without a City Administrator in what is now the second year of his term; the last City Administrator, Cathy Ann Viveiros, served the Flanagan, Sutter and Correia Administrations before leaving Government Center when Correia's term ended. 

She is now a member of an Everett Non Profit. 

New Free Testing Site In Fall River At BCC

Fall River has welcomed a new Free COVID-19 Testing Site, brought to you by the Commonwealth's Stop The Spread Movement and CIC Health. 

 

The new drive-through site will be located at Bristol Community College in parking lots 2 & 3 and available Monday through Saturday. 

 

Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be open from 8am until 3pm. 

 

Tuesday and Thursday will be available between 12pm and 7pm while Saturday will be open between 10am and 2pm.

 

Testing is appointment only and available at www.cic-health.com/stopthespread.

 

No identification or insurance is required and results should be in around 24-36 hours. 

 

 

A New COVID-19 Strain

Department of Public Health announces first case of COVID-19 variant confirmed in Massachusetts

 

BOSTON (January 17, 2021) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health today announced that the first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 has been detected in Massachusetts.

 

This is the same variant initially discovered in the United Kingdom.

 

The individual developed symptoms in early January and tested positive for COVID-19.  

 

A genetic sample was sent to an out-of-state laboratory as part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) established surveillance process to identify COVID-19 variants.

 

The State Public Health Laboratory was notified last evening of the results.

 

The individual is a Boston resident, a female in her 20’s.  

 

She had traveled to the United Kingdom and became ill the day after she returned.

 

She had tested negative prior to leaving the UK.

 

The individual was interviewed by contact tracers at the time the initial positive result was received, and close contacts were identified. She is being re-interviewed by public health officials now that the variant has been identified as the cause of illness. 

 

Surveillance testing for the B.1.1.7 variant has been ongoing at the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory in collaboration with clinical diagnostic laboratories and academic partners. Surveillance consists of genomic sequencing on portions of COVID-19 positive specimens.

 

To date, the CDC has reported 88 cases from 14 states in the United States.  

 

Given the increased transmissibility of this variant and the number of states and other countries that have found infected cases, the Department expected the variant to arrive in Massachusetts eventually.

 

The public health risk reduction measures remain the same. Individuals must continue to wear masks or face coverings while out in public, maintain 6-foot social distancing, stay home when you are sick, and get tested if you have symptoms or are identified as a close contact.

Gasoline In MA This Week

Massachusetts’s average gas price is up seven cents from last week ($2.27), averaging $2.34 per gallon.

 

Today’s price is 19 cents higher than a month ago ($2.15), and 24 cents cheaper than January 18, 2020 ($2.58).

 

Massachusetts’s average gas price is 4 cents lower than the national average.


“These rising prices were expected as supply tightens and crude oil gets more expensive,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Government Affairs. 


AAA Northeast’s January 18 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 7 cents higher than last week ($2.31), averaging $2.38 a gallon

 

. Today’s national average price is 17 cents higher than a month ago ($2.21), and 17 cents cheaper than this day last year ($2.55).
 

The Friday Case Number in Fall River

COVID-19 Update


90 new cases


(Fall River, MA- January 15, 2021)- 9,997 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Fall River. We
remain at 253 fatalities.

Another Correia Trial Delay

The trial of former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II is now set to begin in the Moakley Federal Court House on March 16 with jury selection, with a final pre trial conference on the first day of February.

 

The pre trial conference on the first day of February will likely be a first look at a courtroom designed for social distancing with more than 26 people allowed in at any one time. 

The Activation of the Guard in MA

Massachusetts National Guard Personnel Prepare to Deploy to Washington D.C., Activate in Massachusetts

 

While there are no known threats to the Commonwealth, personnel will be available to support local law enforcement during potential protests

 

BOSTON—At the request of the federal government and the National Guard Bureau, Governor Baker today approved an order that will activate up to 500 Massachusetts National Guard personnel for deployment to Washington, DC, where they will support the District of Columbia National Guard during next week’s inaugural activities.  

 

These personnel are expected to deploy to our nation’s capital in the coming days.

 

Here in Massachusetts, the Baker-Polito Administration remains in constant communication with local, state, and federal law enforcement officials to monitor intelligence and safeguard the Commonwealth.

 

The Administration is not aware of any specific threats to Massachusetts at this time and continues to work with partner agencies to maintain the multi-layered security plans in place to protect residents and centers of government. 

 

Out of an abundance of caution and in the wake of the violence at the nation’s capital, Governor Baker signed an additional order activating up to 500 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to support state and local law enforcement within the Commonwealth.

 

The order makes Guard personnel available in the event that municipal leaders require assistance to maintain public safety while protecting the exercise of First Amendment rights. National Guard personnel are deployed only at the request of, and in coordination with, the communities seeking support.

 

The Massachusetts National Guard’s diverse and highly-trained members have a track record of success supporting civilian authorities during and after emergencies, and its units frequently train side-by-side with state and local first responders, making them well-suited for in-state operations.

 

 Personnel drawn from the Guard’s military police units undergo federally-accredited police training and receive additional instruction on Massachusetts police training standards.  When assisting a local police department, they use that department's policies, radio frequencies, etc., whenever possible.

Governor Baker State of The Commonwealth Date

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has announced that he will use virtual means to deliver a State of the Commonwealth from the Massachusetts Statehouse on the night of Tuesday, January 26 at 7pm EST . 

 

The Governor normally uses the House Chambers, but with a pandemic still in vouge, will deliver the address on a video hookup for the first time in the history of the Commonwealth. 

The New ''Stop The Spread'' location in Fall River

 

The Massachusetts Stop the Spread program will
continue in Fall River through a new provider, CIC Health, at Bristol Community College at 777
Elsbree Street.

 

 

This new testing location is a continuation of the State of Massachusetts’ Stop the
Spread program, which has been providing free Covid-19 tests in Fall River since July- most
recently through SSTAR and Seven Hills Behavioral Health.

 

CIC Health’s testing location at
BCC will be the only provider of Stop the Spread testing in Fall River after January 15th.


CIC Health will be operating drive-through testing out of Parking Lots 2 and 3 on the
BCC campus.

 

The hours of operation beginning Monday, January 18 are Monday, Wednesday
and Friday: 8AM-3PM; Tuesday and Thursday: 12-7PM; and Saturday: 10AM-2PM.


CIC Health will be utilizing self-administered RT-PCR tests at this location.

 

Testing will
be by appointment via mass.gov/info-details/stop-the-spread. Individuals do not need to present
an ID at the Fall River, or any, Stop the Spread site.

 

Minors (under the age of 18) must be
accompanied by a parent or guardian and on-site staff can assist parents or guardians with
collecting younger minors’ samples if needed.

 

Testing is free, covered by the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, and results can be expected within 48 hours.


For more detailed information and answers to other questions, please see CIC Health’s
FAQ at www.cic-health.com/support.

Freetown Accident Investigation

Police continue to seek the public's assistance in an effort to solve a September 1st pedestrian fatality involving a motor vehicle in Freetown.

 

Police are actively investigating the County Road incident.  Freetown Police were called to the area of 130 County Road in Freetown at approximately 12:59 am on Tuesday, September 1st.

 

Police discovered the victim, identified as 35 year old Christopher Pennenga of Freetown, lying in the roadway with significant injuries. He was pronounced deceased a short time later.  
 
Massachusetts State Police detectives from Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s office responded to the scene and are being assisted in the active and ongoing investigation by the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section and Freetown Police.

 

The vehicle involved in the incident is believed to be a black or dark colored sedan.  The vehicle may or may not have sustained some damage to its tire, wheel well or undercarriage.  

 

If anyone has any information about this case or may have seen the sedan during or after the incident, we urge them to come forward and contact Detective Shane Kelley of the Freetown Police Department at 508-763-4017.
 

MassDOT Bridge Repair

MassDOT Board Approves Contract to Replace Three Bridges Carrying Route 24 over Route 140 and South Coast Rail at Interchange 12 in Taunton

 

 

TAUNTON –  The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board of Directors has approved the awarding of a contract worth almost $116.5 million to replace three structurally-deficient bridges and perform additional roadway and interchange improvements along Route 24 over Route 140 at Interchange 12 in Taunton.

 

 The purpose of the project is to replace three bridges:  Route 24 over Middleborough Secondary Rail Road, Route 24 over Route 140, and Route 24 over the New Bedford Mainline Rail Road.  


The project will facilitate the following bridge and highway reconstruction operations: replacing the Route 24 southbound ramp to Route 140 northbound/Industrial Drive (exit 12B); widening Route 24 to support three future travel lanes in each direction along with acceleration and deceleration lanes at interchange ramps; reconstructing interchange ramps between Routes 24 and 140 including two lane entrance ramps from Route 140; creating a new bypass lane on Route 140 southbound, between the Route 24 northbound and southbound ramps; and upgrading traffic signals and lighting.

 

 In addition, Route 140 will be widened to accommodate additional turning lanes and the Route 140 southbound bypass lane.


“This project will facilitate several key transportation improvements to this heavily-traveled area within the south coast region,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “I would like to thank state and local officials and community members for their support and input and for their future patience while traveling within this area as each piece of the project is developed.”


The project was advertised on August 8, 2020. Bids were opened on November 4, 2020, with the Cardi Corporation being named the low bidder. Construction is anticipated to take approximately six years to complete.  Two lanes of traffic will be maintained at all times during construction operations.
 
To minimize construction related traffic disruptions, construction of the interchange improvements has been combined with improvements to Route 140 at Industrial Drive associated with the South Coast Rail Bridge carrying Route 24 over South Coast Rail.
 
The project is located at Interchange 12 on Route 24 at the interchange with Route 140 in Taunton. Project limits on Route 24 extend from the Hart Street overpass to a point approximately 1,500 feet south of the bridge carrying Route 24 over South Coast Rail.  

 

Work on Route 140 will begin at the existing at grade rail crossing and extend through the Stevens Street interchange.  The project includes improvements along 8,800 linear feet of Route 24 and 5,400 linear feet of Route 140.
 
 

New Interim Chancellor at UMass Dartmouth

A nine-year dean of the University of Massachusetts Amherst's business school who now holds the flagship campus' top development role will take over next week as the interim chancellor of UMass Dartmouth.


UMass President Marty Meehan announced Tuesday that Mark Fuller, the vice chancellor for advancement at UMass Amherst and former dean of UMass Amherst's Isenberg School of Management, will step into the Dartmouth job on Jan. 19.


Fuller will take the reins from Mark Preble, who has been leading the 8,500-student campus since last summer. Former chancellor Robert Johnson resigned after three years in the job to become president of Western New England University.


The UMass Board of Trustees does not need to sign off on Meehan's interim chancellor selection, and a UMass spokesman said a search for a permanent Dartmouth chancellor is not currently scheduled, which leaves the length of Fuller's run open-ended for now.


Describing himself as "inspired by UMass Dartmouth's mission, energy, and momentum," Fuller said in a statement that he looks forward to getting to know the school community and learning from students, faculty and South Coast neighbors.


"As a first-generation, working class student and a young man who was unsure of what he wanted to do with his life, it took the guidance of mentors and hands-on work experience to chart my academic and career pathway," he said. "I was fortunate to find both at the University of Arizona, and those experiences very much informed my choice to pursue a career in public higher education."


Fuller has been at UMass since 2009, leading the Isenberg School until he moved on to the vice chancellor role in 2018. Before coming to Massachusetts, he was a professor and information systems department chair at Washington State University and had previously taught at Baylor University.


He holds bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Arizona and, according to UMass, is a first-generation college graduate who, with support from his widowed mother, dealt with the cost of his education by working as a cardiac technician and taking out loans.


"UMass Dartmouth is a university to watch, and at this time of an unprecedented public health challenge, proven, passionate leadership is needed to continue this exciting trajectory and provide a world class education to our students," Meehan said. "UMass Dartmouth is also the heart of the South Coast region, and Mark Fuller understands the university's economic impact on the community."


UMass Dartmouth is home to the only public law school in Massachusetts and offers more than 90 undergraduate programs. Half of its undergrads are first-generation students, and 41 percent demonstrate the degree of financial need that makes them eligible for federal Pell grants.


UMass Trustee Stephen Karam, a principal of the Karam Financial Group in Fall River, said the school serves as a major regional employer, a talent pipeline for local businesses and "a key partner in the economic development of the South Coast."


He said Fuller "has a proven record of working closely with business leaders to build a university community that values the input of industry and ensures that students graduate with the skills they need for the high-wage, high-growth jobs of the future."
 

Mass Vaccination Site at Gillette

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Launch of First COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Site at Gillette Stadium

 

Foxboro Stadium Will Ramp Up To Inoculating 5,000 First Responders Per Day

 

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the first location for a COVID-19 mass vaccination site in the Commonwealth, located at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

 

These sites will initially be available to first responders and later other eligible individuals as the Command Center works through the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

 

This site will open with the capacity to do 300 vaccines per day, ramping up to administering up to 5,000 vaccines per day over time.

 

CIC Health will operate the site, with Brigham & Women’s Hospital as the medical director and Fallon Ambulance supporting the clinical staffing.

 

Eligible vaccine recipients will be able to schedule appointments on the state’s COVID vaccine website at mass.gov/COVIDvaccine and CIC Health’s website at cichealth.com/vaccines.

 

The COVID-19 Command Center is working to set up additional mass vaccination sites throughout the Commonwealth, and more details will be available soon.

Mayor Coogan Recuses Himself In Malone Matter

At an executive session Monday night, The Fall River School Committee made public that an investigation into the conduct of Superintendent Doctor Matthew Malone has been ongoing for several months. 

 

The session concluded with an amended contract for Dr. Malone, approved by a 4-2 margin with School Committee Members Paul Aguiar and Paul Hart as the two ‘no votes.’ 

 

The nature of the complaints against the Fall River Public School District Superintendent have not been disclosed. 

 

Hart and Aguiar both expressed their disappointment with the process, as well as Superintendent Malone. In his comments, Aguiar said a hearing should have been conducted into the matter or matters. 

 

Fall River Mayor and Chair of the School Committee Paul Coogan had to recuse himself from the session and did not cast a vote.

 

The State Ethics Commission sent a letter to the Fall River Mayor last Friday on January 8th telling him, “Your brother is the Human Resources Director for the Fall River Public Schools, and he reports directly to the Superintendent.”

 

The Fall River Mayor contacted the Commission on November 23rd for guidance. 

 

They told him later on in the letter, “Under (section) 19, while you serve as Mayor and as a School Committee member, you may not participate as a municipal employee in a particular matter if you or an immediate family member has a financial interest in the matter. Because you are an elected official, your only option in such an instance is to recuse yourself.” 

 

The Commission told Mayor Coogan that a long-standing precedent indicates a municipal employee has a financial interest in who his direct supervisor will be. They advised that financial interests of the Mayor’s brother could be affected by any decision by the School Committee regarding whether Superintendent Malone would continue to be his direct supervisor.

Malone Reworked Contract

The Fall River School Committee admitted publicly for the first time Monday Night at its regular session at Kuss Middle School that Superintendent Dr. Matthew Malone was the subject of an investigation since the Fall of 2020, after several complaints had been lodged against him. 

 

In the end, the seven member committee voted by a margin of 4-2 with Fall River Mayor and School Committee Chair Paul Coogan not voting on a reworked contract after several months of discussions in executive session. 

The Hoodie Says No Medal

ABC News and ESPN's Adam Scheftner are reporting that Bill Belichick has decided against a Thursday Ceremony in Washington, where he was to accept a Medal of Freedom from outgoing President Trump.

 

Belichick has been a supporter of the President, as is Patriots Majority Owner Bob Kraft.

ABC reported that Belichick was flattered, but in the aftermath of what happened in Washington last week, he decided against the honor. 

Auchencloss on Wednesday on Capitol Hill

Massachusetts Fourth District Congressman Jake Auchencloss tells WSAR that he had known for some time that there could be issues on January 6, when the unsealing of the Electoral College Votes happed in the House and Senate, but says he will wait for the facts to emerge from an investigation as what happened and why on Wednesday, when an attempted coup was ended hours after it began, sponsored in part by the Trump Administration as means of remaining in office after January 20. 

Auchencloss indicated to WSAR that he knew by the size and the anger of the crowds that gathered outside the White House, and later near the Capitol Complex, that there would be significant problems; he says he was shocked at  how easy it was for those who wanted to breach the building were able to do so. 

The Hoodie Gets The Medal of Freedom

The Digital Edition of The Boston Globe is reporting that current Patriots Coach Bill Belichcik will be the focus of a Thursday White House Ceremony that will see Belichick honored by President Trump with the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest Civilian Honor. 

Belichick has been a supporter of President Trump, writing a letter that Trump read at a New Hampshire Rally the night before the balloting in 2016.

 

Patriots Majority Owner Robert Kraft has also been a guest on Air Force One and donated $1 million to the Trump Inaugural in 2017 

Trump to Skip the Swearing In

ABC News is reporting that President Trump has indicated via Twitter that he will not attend the inauguration of his successor, President Elect Joe Biden on January 20.

 

In a tweet just after 11am EST, Trump wrote, ''To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20''.

 

Trump had made it known that he would likely not be attending for several weeks after a contested election. 

 

The President did offer a sort of concession speech via Twitter Thursday Night, offering a promise of a smooth transition. 

 

 

 

The Bruins Select A New Captain

The Boston Bruins announced today, January 7, that Patrice Bergeron has been named the 20th captain of the Boston Bruins. 

 

"To be Captain of an Original Six franchise is an honor, and a role that comes with much responsibility to his teammates and the fans," said Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs. "There is no doubt in my mind that Patrice is the natural successor to the Captain role, and he will represent this franchise very well. He has consistently and reliably contributed to this team's advancement and has been an adept leader for many years, both on and off the ice. His tenure as Captain will be one of great success." 

 

"Throughout Patrice Bergeron's historic career with the Boston Bruins, he has carried himself with great integrity, humility and resiliency," said Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs, "These qualities make Patrice a natural leader and an obvious choice as to who should serve as the next Captain of the Boston Bruins. We are incredibly proud to have Patrice fill this important role and look forward to watching him lead the locker room this season and beyond." 

 

"It's a privilege to name Patrice the 20th Captain of the Boston Bruins," said Bruins President Cam Neely. "For 16 seasons we have all watched Patrice grow not only into an elite player but also a tremendous leader. Patrice represents the Bruins organization and our fans with integrity, determination and class. On and off the ice he embodies what it means to be a Bruin, and we couldn't be prouder that he will lead our team as Captain." 

 

"It is with great privilege that we present Patrice Bergeron as the 20th Captain of the Boston Bruins," said Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney. "Patrice Bergeron exudes leadership, character, talent, will and empathy. We all know Bergy embraces the legacy of the Boston Bruins, as he will with the Captaincy. Bergy has earned the respect of all of his teammates, coaches and everyone in the Bruins organization. Congratulations to Patrice, Stephanie, Zack, Victoria and Noah." 

 

Bergeron joins the ranks of past Bruins captains, including seven Hall of Famers and seven former Bruins whose numbers have been retired.  

 

Past Bruins Captains include Zdeno Chara (2006-20), Joe Thornton (2002-05), Jason Allison (2000-01), Ray Bourque (1985-2000), Rick Middleton (1985-88), Terry O'Reilly (1983-85), Wayne Cashman (1977-83), John Bucyk (1966-67 and 1973-77), Leo Boivin (1963-66), Don McKenney (1961-63), Ferny Flaman (1955-61), Ed Sanford (1954-55), Milt Schmidt (1950-54), John Crawford (1946-50), Ralph 'Cooney' Weiland (1938-39), Aubrey 'Dit' Clapper (1932-38 and 1939-47), George Owen (1931-32), Lionel Hitchman (1927-31), Sprague Cleghorn (1925-27). 

 

Entering his 17th NHL season, all with the Bruins, the L'Ancienne Lorette, Quebec native ranks third in Bruins history in games played (1089) and game-winning goals (67), fifth in goals (352) and assists (517), and sixth in points (869). The 6-foot-1, 195-pound centerman also ranks third in Bruins history in playoff games played (149), playoff points (111), playoff assists (69) and fourth in playoff goals (42). 

 

Among active NHL players, Bergeron ranks 3rd in plus/minus (+201), 14th in points, 15th in assists, 17th in goals and 18th in games played. Bergeron also ranks 9th among active players in playoff games played, 9th in playoff goals, 9th in playoff assists and 11th in playoff points. 

 

 

A Statement from the Acting Federal A-G

Statement of Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen


“Yesterday, our Nation watched in disbelief as a mob breached the Capitol Building and required federal and local law enforcement to help restore order.  

 

The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that those responsible for this attack on our Government and the rule of law face the full consequences of their actions under the law.

 

 Our criminal prosecutors have been working throughout the night with special agents and investigators from the U.S. Capitol Police, FBI, ATF, Metropolitan Police Department and the public to gather the evidence, identify perpetrators, and charge federal crimes where warranted.  

 

Some participants in yesterday’s violence will be charged today, and we will continue to methodically assess evidence, charge crimes and make arrests in the coming days and weeks to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law.”

Statements from Baker and Polito

Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito Issue Statements on Violence at the US Capitol

 

BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito issued the following statements:
 
“I join with Americans from every corner of the country to condemn the violence unfolding at the Capitol, and President Trump and his supporters must do the same immediately,” said Governor Baker.

 

“The chaos now unfolding is the sad but predictable outcome of weeks of attacks, perpetrated by President Trump and his supporters against the democratic process that makes America the greatest nation on earth, and these baseless challenges to President-elect Biden’s victory must stop.” 

 

“The horrific violence unfolding at the Capitol is an attack on our democracy and should be condemned without qualification by President Trump and his supporters,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “It is time for all Americans to embrace a peaceful transition of power and move forward to heal our nation.” 

In Washington: The Aftermath

ABC News is reporting that several Democratic House Members are preparing Articles of Impeachment versus outgoing President Donald Trump, after an attempted coup was attempted on Capital Hill Wednesday afternoon, as House and Senate Members were debating challenges to the count of ballots cast by members of the Electoral College. 

At least one person was shot, as the National Guard  and other law enforcement units were called to the Capital after a rally near the White House earlier Wednesday Morning. 

 

In a taped message, Trump called his supporters ''special people'' and continued to insist that the election was stolen from him in November. 

 

In a Tweet, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey called Trump ''a fascist' and said he was responsible for what happened Wednesday. 

A 25% Liquor License Rebate in Fall River

City of Fall River Plans to Refund 25% of 2021 Liquor License Fees


(Fall River, MA- January 6th, 2020)- Mayor Paul Coogan, in conjunction with the City
Council, is pleased to announce that a 25% refund of the 2021 liquor license fees had been
forwarded to the Fall River Licensing Board for their consideration. The list of discounted
licenses subject to this proposed refund can be found below.


The refunds impact restaurants, private clubs and breweries, which have been financially
burdened due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The 25% discount reflects the quarter of the 2020 year
when bars, restaurants and clubs were closed due to state Covid-19 regulations.


“Our business owners have dealt with uncertainty and tremendous challenges since the
pandemic started,” said Mayor Paul Coogan. “But small businesses are the backbone of our
community. As federal and state stimulus and Covid-19 guidance change, we are constantly
keeping an eye on what aid will be coming to restaurants while exploring ways we can help
entrepreneurs stay afloat.”


The following liquor license fees will be eligible for the 25% rebate:


- All Alcohol Common Victualler Restaurant
- Beer & Wine Common Victualler Restaurant
- All Alcohol Common Victualler, Club
- All Alcohol Common Victualler Vets, Club
- Farmer Brewer Licenses
- Seasonal All Alcohol

Holiday Tree Pickup in Fall River

Christmas Tree Disposal


(Fall River, MA- January 5th, 2020)- Mayor Paul Coogan and the Department of Community
Maintenance would like to remind residents that Christmas trees can be disposed of by placing them beside
trash carts this week (the week of 1/4) or next week (the week of 1/11) during regular trash pick-ups.


Residents may also dispose of trees at the DPW Yard on Lewiston St free of charge during normal hours of
operation. Trees must be free of all decorations and coverings.


With questions of concerns, please reach out to the Department of Community maintenance at 508-
324-2568.

Auchencloss on Trump Call

Massachusetts Fourth District Congressman Jake Auchencloss says he does not understand why Republicans are willing to go to the mat for President Trump this week as votes from electors will be counted this week, in the final certification of a Joe Biden victory in the 2020 Presidential race. 

 

Auchencloss says the 1 hour and 6 minute call that Trump made to the Georgia Secretary of State's office has the President sounding like a ''petulant child'' that is not getting his way. 

 

Auchencloss took questions that part of a one hour video of his new Congressional Staff and Office. 

First Local Baby of 2021

Southcoast Welcomes Fall River’s New Year’s Baby at Charlton Memorial 
 
FALL RIVER, Mass. – Fall River’s first baby born in 2021 arrived at 3:52 am on January 1 at Charlton Memorial Hospital. 

Veronica Rodrigues and Jeffrey Clementino, of Fall River, welcomed daughter Cassandra Maria Clementino to the world early Friday morning. Cassandra weighed in at 4 pounds, 12.4 ounces, and measured 18 inches. She is the couple’s first child.

 

In honor of the distinction of New Year’s Baby, the Auxiliary of Charlton Memorial donated a plush toy and gift card to the happy family. 

 

Southcoast Health offers maternity services at Charlton Memorial in Fall River and St. Luke’s in New Bedford, named to Newsweek and Leapfrog’s Best Maternity Hospitals. For more information, visit https://www.southcoast.org/services/maternity-services/.
 

New Health Care Legislation Signed in Massachusetts

Governor Charlie Baker today signed comprehensive health care legislation that promotes key priorities initially included in the Administration’s health care legislation filed in 2019.

 

The new law increases insurance coverage for telehealth services, expands the scope of practice for nurse practitioners, other specialized nurses, and optometrists, and takes steps to protect consumers from surprise medical bills.

 

Recognizing the continuing impacts of COVID-19, the law also extends requirements for all insurance carriers in Massachusetts to cover COVID-19 testing and treatment.

 

The legislation signed today contains several priorities initially included in the Baker-Polito Administration’s health care legislation which was introduced in the fall of 2019, including requiring coverage of telehealth services and expanding the scope of practice for Advanced Practice Nurses.

 

The legislation also extends, and in some instances codifies, critical measures taken through executive action throughout the pandemic to ensure timely access and coverage for COVID-19 treatment and services. 

 

In addition to the provisions enacted today, the recently signed Fiscal Year 2021 budget includes several provisions that correspond to proposals initially introduced in the Administration’s health care legislation.

 

These proposals require all Massachusetts insurers to use a standard credentialing form, and prohibit additional costs for same-day billing for multiple primary care and behavioral health visits.

 

The key provisions of the new law include:

 

  • Requiring coverage of telehealth services including behavioral health care
  • Expanding Scope of Practice for Advanced Practice Nurses and Optometrists
  • Increasing disclosures around provider costs and network status to protect consumers from surprise medical bills
  • Removing barriers to urgent care centers for MassHealth members
  • Extending insurance coverage and access to COVID-19 testing and treatment
  • Directing a study and report of the impacts of COVID-19 on the health care system

 

Fall River New Year's Day Shooting Details

Fall River Major Crimes Detectives continue their investigation into a New Year's Day shooting that happened in the 200 block of Lawrence Street in Fall River, where a male victim was hit in the groin. 

 

Investigators have determined that 10 shots were fired from inside a vehicle, which left the scene. 

 

The victim was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where was upgraded to stable condition. 

 

The investigation into the shooting remains active.   If you have information, you''re asked to dial the FRPD at 508 676 8511. 

Joseph Kennedy III Says Goodbye for Now

KENNEDY CLOSES CONGRESSIONAL SERVICE

 

Newton, MA -- Congressman Joe Kennedy III today released a thank you letter to the constituents of the 4th Congressional District.  After serving MA-4 for four terms, Kennedy ends his service today. 

Originally posted on social media, the letter is pasted in full below: 

To the 4th District: 
 
This is simply a note to say thank you.
 
It has been the honor of my professional career to represent you in Congress for the last eight years.
 
There have been the big moments: Watching President Obama sign my very first bill into law. Getting to deliver the Democratic response to President Trump’s first State of the Union from Diman Voc-Tech here in the 4th District. Working with heroes of mine like John Lewis and Dolores Huerta. Traveling to new places, giving big speeches, meeting some of the most incredible and inspiring people you can imagine.
 
But what will stick with me most are the small moments, the personal ones.  Like the first time I ever gave a speech on the House floor. It was to honor the late Dr. Irving Fradkin, a tireless education advocate from Fall River. I was nervous. I spoke too fast. (I always speak too fast!) But it was where I understood, maybe for the first time, what an incredible platform this job affords you, and how you can use it to shine light where light is most needed or deserved.
 
There were all of the late, unremarkable nights with my staff in our messy office, hammering out the details of some complex legislative puzzle and wondering how I got so lucky to do this work day in and day out with people I respect and love.
 
And all the memories here at home, in the 4th. Donning waders and getting knee-deep in the cranberry bogs. Touring the ships at Battleship Cove. Getting my fill at Morin’s or Zaftig’s or Portugalia or Oliva’s or Off Broadway. Walking in your 4th of July parades, visiting your schools, meeting your families… all of that political work that maybe sounds cliché, but means so much to those of us serving. It’s how we stay connected, how we understand what you and your community need. It’s what makes this work so unbelievably worthwhile.
 
This isn’t always an easy job. It’s a lot of time on airplanes, a lot of time away from home and family -- there were plenty of late nights in some crowded committee room on the Hill where I’d wonder why the heck I was here and not home with Lauren, Ellie and James.
 
But you reminded me. Every single day, you reminded me. When you walked into my Washington office and shared your most vulnerable stories, to explain why a piece of legislation was so important. When you pulled me aside at the Whole Foods across the street from our Newton office while grabbing lunch, or the Dunks in Taunton to say thank you. When you showed up at my office hours in your city or town -- maybe to ask for help, maybe to give me hell for a vote you didn’t agree with, but often just to talk.
 
I’m going to miss that. I’m going to miss our talks and visits, my weekly drives up and down Route 24. (Being stuck in endless traffic at the I-93 split? Not so much.)
 
But of course, this isn’t good-bye. I’m excited to be home more. I hope I’ll see you often. I’m counting on us staying in touch.
 
Thank you for the trust you put in me. I didn’t take one minute of it for granted.
 
With gratitude,
  
Joe Kennedy III
# # # 
 

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