WSAR NEWS Archives for 2021-03

A Public Safety Session Reviewing The F.R.P.D

The Fall River City Council on Public Safety have spent the past few months reviewing the actions of the Fall River Police Department after the subject was brought up last year.


Police Chief Jeff Cardozza told committee members at a session Tuesday evening that some Northeast Alternative customers were smoking cannabis after purchasing the product in areas near the location. 


"On three separate occasions, I put vice detectives up there to document everything they see," Cardozza claimed. 


The last traffic detail at the Northeast site took place in early January. Issues with tractor trailers in the nearby culdesac have decreased as well, according to Chief Cardozza. 

The Shield adds a 17th Game in 2021

Commencing with the upcoming 2021 campaign, the NFL is expanding its regular season to 17 games per team.

NFL owners voted in approval of the change Tuesday at the Annual League Meeting, which is taking place virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


"This is a monumental moment in NFL history," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world."


Each club will now take part in an additional AFC vs. NFC game based on division standings from the prior season and on a rotating divisional basis with AFC teams as the home squad for the additional game this season. The preseason schedule will now consist of three games per team.


All 32 teams will play in at least one international game once every eight years, per the new enhanced schedule.

Below is the 17th matchup for each team this season:


Away Team    Home Team
NFC East    AFC East
1. Washington Football Team    1. Buffalo Bills
2. New York Giants    2. Miami Dolphins
3. Dallas Cowboys    3. New England Patriots
4. Philadelphia Eagles    4. New York Jets

NFC West    AFC North
1. Seattle Seahawks    1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Los Angeles Rams    2. Baltimore Ravens
3. Arizona Cardinals    3. Cleveland Browns
4. San Francisco 49ers    4. Cincinnati Bengals

NFC South    AFC South
1. New Orleans Saints    1. Tennessee Titans
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers    2. Indianapolis Colts
3. Carolina Panthers    3. Houston Texans
4. Atlanta Falcons    4. Jacksonville Jaguars

NFC North    AFC West
1. Green Bay Packers    1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Chicago Bears    2. Las Vegas Raiders
3. Minnesota Vikings    3. Los Angeles Chargers
4. Detroit Lions    4. Denver Broncos


NFL Kickoff Weekend will begin Thursday, Sept. 9, and the regular season will end Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.

Super Bowl LVI will take place Feb. 13, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. The 2022 Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Feb. 6 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.


The new schedule brings about a historic change for the league, though one that has been expected.

Since 1978, the league has played a 16-game regular season, as it added two games to the previous 14-contest slate. Now it will add one more.


Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement from March 2020, the NFL first had to negotiate at least one new media contract to make the move to expand to 17 games. The league's new media deal came to fruition and was announced on March 18, setting in motion the shift to 17 games.


Following the league's drop in salary cap for the 2021 season as a result of COVID-19, the schedule expansion is expected to partially lighten the effects of the cap drop and create new revenue.


NFL Network's Tom Pelissero noted the approval of the new media deal and the 17-game schedule will trigger the "media kicker" in the CBA, which will increase the players' share of all revenue to more than 48 percent.

Related Content

Housing Authority Makes Effort To Vaccinate Residents In Fall River

The Fall River Housing Authority has made a concerted effort to vaccinate their residents.


There are 2,500 units that make up the F.R.H.A and administrators are on the hunt for Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine doses for all who reside there. 


There is also an effort to establish various clinics to administer the vaccine. Some have already taken place as the oldest segments of the population became eligible. 


“We sent out a survey to see how many of our residents were interested in the vaccine,” Deb Moraset said. “We were then fortunate enough to set up a clinic with the help of Healthfirst in Fall River at the Our Lady of Light Band Club.” 


Deb is the Associate Director of Property Management for the F.R.H.A. 


“We vaccinated 140 elders on that day,” she said. “It was very exciting for us. We went door-to-door. We helped them fill out their forms and fill out insurance information. It was a big undertaking but it was great to see people happy.”


More clinics are on the way, according to the Program Services Coordinator at the Housing Authority 


“We now have two clinics – one at Sunset Hill this coming Thursday (April 1st) from 11-1:30,” said Joseph DeSilva. 


There will be 100 available Johnson & Johnson single-shot doses available.


“We also have another clinic next Tuesday (April 6th) from 10-1 at Father Diaferio,” he continued.  


250 doses of the J&J version will be made available for that clinic.

Murder Charges Filed in Fall River as a result of an October 2020 Case

A Bristol County Grand Jury on Friday indicted two defendants connected to the October, 2020 death of a 14-year-old Fall River boy and the abuse of one of his triplet brothers, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced. 


John Almond, 33, and Jacyln Marie Coleman, 26, were both indicted on charges of Second Degree Murder and Neglect of a Disabled Person--Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury.


 Jaclyn Marie Coleman was also indicted on a charge of Withholding Evidence From an Official Proceeding.  This indictment relates to the allegation that Ms. Coleman attempted to destroy a cell phone in the presence of police officers.


At around 7:45 a.m. on October 21st, Fall River Police received a 911 call regarding an unresponsive male at 107 Green Street.  When police arrived on scene, they found David Almond to be covered in feces and living in abhorrent conditions.


David Almond, who suffered from an intelectual disability, was rushed to Charlton Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.


During the course of the investigation, police and prosecutors also determined that one of David Almond's triplet brothers, Michael Almond, was the victim of neglect.  On October 21, 2020, he was found in emaciated condition and was transported to Hasbro Children's Hospital for treatment. 


The indictments mean the cases will now be heard in Fall River Superior Court.  An arraignment date has yet to be scheduled by the court. 


"The facts and circumstances relating to the indictments are extremely disturbing and egregious.  I want to thank the prosecutors for their efforts in investigating. We look forward to prosecuting these matters in superior court.," District Attorney Quinn said. 

Regular Gas in MA This Week

Massachusetts’s average gas price is the same as last week, averaging $2.76 per gallon. Today’s price is 12 cents higher than a month ago ($2.64), and 65 cents higher than March 29, 2020 ($2.11). Massachusetts’s average gas price is 10 cents lower than the national average.

“Growing supplies and cheaper crude oil prices are putting downward pressure on pump prices for the majority of motorists,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Government Affairs. “These are positive signs that less expensive gas prices could be around the corner, but not enough to indicate a steady trend just yet.”

AAA Northeast’s March 29 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 2 cents lower than last week ($2.88), averaging $2.86 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 15 cents higher than a month ago ($2.71), and 84 cents higher than this day last year ($2.02).

Jake Writes A CNN Op-Ed

Key Points:

"Donald Trump left President Joe Biden with many messes to clean up: A raging pandemic, a weakened economy and a cascade of foreign and domestic policies that diminished America's standing on the world stage. 
"After two months in office, Biden has already done a superb job of bringing our country back. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan will jump-start our economic recovery and pave the way for schools to reopen, while enabling state and local officials to invest in infrastructure. And the vaccine rollout has ramped up, with experts projecting the United States could reach herd immunity this summer.
"The US may be winning the race between vaccinations and variants — but the world is losing it. As the US recovery effort picks up steam, we have an opportunity to save lives while rebuilding our moral standing in the world post-Trump. To turbocharge the President's Build Back Better agenda at home and christen a new era of US foreign policy, we need to lead a global vaccination initiative to help the world beat back the pandemic, much like the Marshall Plan aided in Europe's recovery after World War II.
"As a student of history and the great-grandson of Harvey Bundy, one of the architects of the Marshall Plan, I don't propose this undertaking lightly. The world needs America to lead. The fight against Covid-19 is a transnational challenge that calls for vision and boldness. In the past, Americans have brought forth their best in times of crisis. After Trump abased our country on the world stage for four years, the United States can reclaim moral leadership through a Marshall Plan for vaccines."


The US needs a Marshall Plan for global vaccinations

Opinion by Jake Auchincloss. Rep. Jake Auchincloss is a Democratic member of Congress who represents Massachusetts' 4th District. He is also a former Newton City councilor and business leader, and a major in the Marine Corps Reserves. 


(CNN)  — Donald Trump left President Joe Biden with many messes to clean up: A raging pandemic, a weakened economy and a cascade of foreign and domestic policies that diminished America's standing on the world stage. 

After two months in office, Biden has already done a superb job of bringing our country back.


The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan will jump-start our economic recovery and pave the way for schools to reopen, while enabling state and local officials to invest in infrastructure. And the vaccine rollout has ramped up, with experts projecting the United States could reach herd immunity this summer.


The US may be winning the race between vaccinations and variants — but the world is losing it. As the US recovery effort picks up steam, we have an opportunity to save lives while rebuilding our moral standing in the world post-Trump. To turbocharge the President's Build Back Better agenda at home and christen a new era of US foreign policy, we need to lead a global vaccination initiative to help the world beat back the pandemic, much like the Marshall Plan aided in Europe's recovery after World War II.



So far, only about six doses have been administered per 100 people worldwide and many countries will not reach herd immunity until 2023, if at all. That timeline doesn't even take into account the possibility that emerging variants could evade the vaccines. The longer it takes to achieve global herd immunity, the more likely it is that Covid-19 will become endemic.


To vaccinate the world faster, the US government needs to provide more funding for COVAX, the global vaccination effort led by the World Health Organization along with UNICEF and other organizations. The United States should also increase direct investments in vaccine manufacturing through public-private partnerships, which would create jobs, leverage vaccine diplomacy and support the biomanufacturing industry, possibly leading to cures for other illnesses as well.


But the chief bottleneck in vaccine production is not money but manufacturing capacity. The private sector has already increased its production by multiples, but it's still not enough to meet the global demand. Vaccines are, in the lexicon of economics, a public good. The market, left alone, is undersupplying a product that benefits the public at large. The federal government needs to support production more expansively, which will require contracts with pioneering biomanufacturers like National Resilience and a review of how to streamline the entirety of the supply chain, from vials to special syringes.


Investing in biomanufacturing — the production of biological products made from living cells — could benefit the US economy and cement our position as a leader in medical innovation. Biomanufacturers are capable of producing an array of pharmaceutical products, from vaccines to cell or gene therapies that could one day treat cancer or Alzheimer's. Given that my state of Massachusetts is already the top biopharma hub in the country, federal funding would help it to expand — from research and development to manufacturing — to become a global center for industrial biology.


Finally, controlling more vaccine production will give the United States greater leverage in vaccine diplomacy. Countries like Russia and China are already offering other countries access to vaccines in an attempt to further their interests. We should not let them set the norms or stakes for these negotiations. In Brazil, for example, China is using vaccine shipments to press for 5G access for the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei. The United States should be countering such strong-arming by providing its own vaccine supplies. Instead of extracting concessions, however, we can be building partnerships in public health, from the logistics of vaccine distribution to the training of medical workers.


As a student of history and the great-grandson of Harvey Bundy, one of the architects of the Marshall Plan, I don't propose this undertaking lightly. The world needs America to lead. The fight against Covid-19 is a transnational challenge that calls for vision and boldness. In the past, Americans have brought forth their best in times of crisis. After Trump abased our country on the world stage for four years, the United States can reclaim moral leadership through a Marshall Plan for vaccines.


The Red Sox and COVID-19

A day after the news came out that Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes tested positive for COVID-19, manager Alex Cora revealed that eight members of the organization are currently in contact tracing.


However, as of Sunday morning, there were no positive tests aside from Barnes.


Out of respect for the privacy of the eight people and their families, Cora didn’t reveal names on the contact-tracing list, other than righty Matt Andriese, who had to be scratched from his start on Saturday against the Pirates.


Four of the eight were identified as “close contacts,” which means they must quarantine for seven days after they were believed to be in close contact with Barnes.


Barnes' positive test took place on Thursday.


The four others who weren’t classified as "close contacts" but are instead "extra scrutiny contacts" can still be limited participants at Spring Training.


Cora’s projected core of regulars was in the lineup on Saturday in Bradenton, Fla., and for Sunday’s home game against the Twins at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers.


Adam Ottavino, Boston’s other closing candidate in addition to Barnes, pitched Sunday, so that’s an indication he isn’t on the close-contact list.


“This contact tracing thing, I’m learning more and more with time, hours and minutes,” Cora said. “There is a good chance that some of these guys will be able to be there for us for Opening Day. It’s when you had contact with Matt, and that’s why you wear the GPS device.


“That has actually served us [well] to keep people out of the contact tracing list and actually adjust time-wise the contact tracing list. The last 12 hours or by the end of the Pittsburgh game has been more positive than negative. The morning [Saturday] was a tough one, but I think we’re in a better spot than we were early yesterday.”


The timing is tough for the Red Sox, with just four days to go before Opening Day. And now the club has additional logistics to consider, such as how it will transport those who are quarantining back to Boston when camp breaks on Tuesday afternoon.


“It’s not a good feeling,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said. “We all know this is possible. Last year we experienced what it feels like to know one of your players has tested positive. But we didn’t have that experience after intake, and this is a whole different feeling because you start thinking about all the different ways this could trend and worst-case scenarios, and that’s part of our job -- to make sure we’re prepared for those.”


Will the recent developments lead Bloom to go outside the organization for some pitching reinforcements?

“It’s interesting because this is a time of year where there’s often a lot of movement. Teams are setting rosters,” Bloom said. “Players might become available that haven’t been throughout the spring. So generally speaking, it’s a time of year when you’re looking around, and this adds a little bit of twist to that. At the same time, we need to make sure that we’ve got our arms around the developing situation here, and to the extent this is just a short-term bump in the road we also need to be mindful of that.”

Work in Raynham

MassDOT Advisory: Raynham


Temporary Closures of Ramp from Route 44 Westbound to Route 24 Southbound 

Daytime closures will take place on Monday, March 29, and on Tuesday, March 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day

RAYNHAM – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing that it will be implementing temporary closures of the ramp from Route 44 westbound to Route 24 southbound in Raynham.


 The closures will take place on Monday, March 29, and on Tuesday, March 30, during daytime hours from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day.  


The closures are needed to allow crews to conduct milling work, loam spreading and concrete median prep operations.
A temporary detour will be in place during the closures.


 Drivers traveling on Route 44 westbound looking to take the ramp to Route 24 southbound should continue on Route 44 westbound to turn right on South Street west. From South Street west, drivers should turn left on Route 104 to turn left onto Route 44 eastbound. From Route 44 eastbound, drivers can take the ramp to Route 24 southbound.

More Bridge Work on The Cape

Cape Cod Canal Sagamore Bridge lane closures to start April 12 due to critical maintenance work


CONCORD, Mass. (March 26, 2021) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District announced today that lane restrictions will begin mid-April on the Sagamore Bridge spanning the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne, Massachusetts, due to scheduled maintenance work.


Beginning April 12, 2021, vehicle travel over the bridge will be reduced from the current two lanes in each direction to a single 12-foot lane in each direction as repairs to structural steel supports and the bridge lighting system are conducted.


Lane restrictions will be in place 24 hours a day until the project is completed. Repair work and lane restrictions are scheduled to end prior to Memorial Day weekend.


Motorists planning to use the Sagamore Bridge during this timeframe should be aware that travel delays are likely to occur during the morning and afternoon peak travel periods each day. Signs, traffic control devices and police details will be used at all times that work is being performed on the bridge.


USACE’s construction contractor for this project, R. Zoppo Corporation of Stoughton, Massachusetts, will perform the work in phases utilizing multiple shifts to keep the bridge open at all times and complete the work as quickly as possible. All traffic lanes on the Bourne Bridge will remain open while work is occurring on the Sagamore Bridge. 


This bridge work is critical to maintaining the structural integrity of the bridges, which are a vital component to the transportation system of Cape Cod, the Islands and southeastern Massachusetts. Work will include steel repairs to base structures of light posts, installation of repaired light posts, repairs to the bridge fence and light brackets, and replacement of conduits, cables and light fixtures.   


For more information and updates, visit the USACE New England District website at, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

The MA Unemployment Numbers for Feb 2021

Massachusetts Unemployment & Job Estimates for February
BOSTON, MA – MARCH 26, 2021 --- The state’s February total unemployment rate is down 0.7 percentage points at 7.1 percent , the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 14,100 jobs in February. This follows last month’s revised gain of 37,900 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 22,300 jobs as gains occurred across all sectors, led by Leisure and Hospitality and Professional, Scientific, and Business Services.


From February 2020 to February 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts lost 325,100 jobs. Losses occurred in each of the private sectors with the exception of Mining and Logging, with the largest percentage losses in Leisure and Hospitality, with 30.1% of the jobs lost; Other Services, with 19.0% of the jobs lost; and Education and Health Services, with 8.9% of the jobs lost.

The February unemployment rate was 0.9 percentage points higher than the national rate of 6.2 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The labor force dropped by 11,900 from 3,756,700 in January, as 15,700 more residents were employed and 27,600 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.


Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up by 4.3 percentage points.

The state’s labor force participation rate – the total number of residents 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks – was down two-tenths of a percentage point at 66.3 percent. Compared to February 2020, the labor force participation rate is down one-tenth of a percentage point.

The Red Sox and An Official Toothpaste


Two Iconic New England Brands Join Forces for a Winning Season
March 25, 2021

New London, Connecticut-based Dr. Sheffield's Certified Natural Toothpaste has been named the “Official Toothpaste of the Boston Red Sox” for the 2021 baseball season, it was announced today.


The Dr. Sheffield’s-Red Sox sponsorship package includes exclusive naming rights, fixed Fenway Park Center Field signage for the 2021 season, Home Plate signage for select home games, digital and email marketing, as well as in-stadium promotional and sampling opportunities (subject to current health and safety guidelines).


“We can’t think of a more perfect fit for Dr. Sheffield’s than the Red Sox; two authentic New England brands that were firsts in their field,” said Jeffrey Davis, President & Chief Executive Officer at Sheffield Pharmaceuticals. “Dr. Sheffield’s is the originator of toothpaste and was the first to put it in a tube, and the Red Sox were one of the 8 original baseball teams in the American League. We look forward to pairing with this iconic brand this season to bring smiles to fans everywhere, ” Davis added.


“We are excited to welcome Dr. Sheffield’s to the Red Sox family,” said Red Sox Executive Vice President Troup Parkinson. “We love to partner with New England brands who share our connection to the region and look forward to working with Dr. Sheffield’s throughout the 2021 season.”


The full line of nine flavors of Dr. Sheffield’s Certified Natural Toothpastes are certified according to the strict standards of the Natural Products Association and contain no fluoride, GMOs, synthetic detergents or foaming agents, and no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Dr. Sheffield’s Naturals is also certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny, signifying no animal testing at any stage of product development.


About Dr. Sheffield’s Certified Natural Toothpaste


Dr. Sheffield’s Naturals is a new line of toothpaste made from an age-old recipe reminiscent of simpler times. In the mid-1870s, Dr. Washington W. Sheffield, a respected dentist from New London, Connecticut, invented a ‘creme dentrifice’ for his patients, replacing the unsavory powders of the time.


He put it in a tube, and the rest is history


. Over 160 years later, Sheffield is back and harsh synthetics are out. Sheffield’s timeless formulas are still free of fluoride, synthetic detergents and foaming agents, GMOs and artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners - and actually taste good!


Dr. Sheffield’s Naturals can be found at CVS,, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Bed, Bath & Beyond stores throughout New England. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Vets COVID-19 Vax Clinic

The vaccination clinics at the New Hope Church in Swansea MA and at URI in South Kingstown RI this Saturday, March 27th, are exclusively for Veterans.


Those wishing for a vaccine must bring a copy of their DD214 if they are not a currently enrolled in the VA Healthcare System. Active Duty personnel are not eligible at this time. 


While the SAVE LIVES Act has been signed we continue to plan on how we are going to provide additional vaccinations to the expanded groups.


We will continue to update on Facebook, via press release and on 


Veterans, caregivers, spouses, and CHAMPVA beneficiaries newly eligible under the law can go to and indicate their interest in receiving a vaccine from VA. Signing up will also give users regular updates about VA’s vaccine rollout process.


For Veterans who cannot attend the weekend clinics the vaccine is available Monday to Friday 8am to 2pm at the Medical Center in Providence. 

The Case of Contaminated MA Water

State Study Suggests Link Between Elevated Rates of Childhood Cancer in Wilmington in the 1990s and Formerly Contaminated Public Water Supply 


Childhood cancer incidence returned to expected rates beginning in 2001;
DPH to continue monitoring 


BOSTON (March 24, 2021) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Environmental Health (DPH) has completed a long-running epidemiological study evaluating potential environmental contributors to elevated rates of childhood cancer observed in the town of Wilmington during the 1990s.


Results of the study suggest an association between maternal (i.e. prenatal) exposure to carcinogenic compounds previously contaminating the Wilmington public water supply and development of childhood cancer, particularly leukemia or lymphoma, during this time period. 


Childhood cancer incidence returned to expected rates beginning in 2001 and DPH will continue to monitor childhood cancer rates in Wilmington.


A state epidemiological investigation was launched in 1999 after concerned Wilmington residents and the Board of Health contacted DPH about a suspected cluster of childhood cancer beginning in 1990 in the south and west sections of town.


The study focused on exposure to n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a contaminant that originated from a now-defunct chemical manufacturing facility located at 51 Eames St. in Wilmington that was operated by a series of companies from 1953 to 1986.


The 53-acre site was last purchased by Olin Chemical Corporation in 1980 and is now managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Superfund Site. The U.S. EPA recently released a $48 million proposed plan to begin clean-up of the Olin Chemical Superfund Site.


A secondary analysis involved exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), also present in the water supply during part of the study period, though from unknown sources.


Only two cases of childhood cancer were diagnosed in Wilmington between 1982 and 1989, but the study found a total of 22 Wilmington children diagnosed with cancer between 1990 and 2000, including eight leukemias and three lymphomas. Since 2001, local childhood cancer incidence returned to expected rates of approximately 1 case per year.


Wilmington’s public drinking water is no longer contaminated with NDMA or TCE and currently poses no known risk to public health. Though contamination of an underground aquifer with NDMA remains, the aquifer is no longer used to supply water to the town. The contaminated wells were closed in 2003.



Despite limitations, including a small sample size and modeled exposure estimates, study results show an association between childhood cancer and prenatal exposure to NDMA, or NDMA and TCE in Wilmington from 1990 to 2000.


This association was observed consistently in a series of analyses and the results are statistically significant with respect to the subset of leukemia or lymphoma diagnoses and potential NDMA exposure. The results remained consistent even after statistical adjustment for other possible cancer risk factors, such as maternal pregnancy exposures, household and occupational exposures, family history of cancer, and childhood medical history.


There was no evidence of increased odds of cancer for children who were exposed to NDMA or TCE during childhood. 


Over the course of the study, DPH has maintained regular communication with a Community Advisory Committee for the study and with the Wilmington Board of Health, both of whom received priority briefings on the study’s results.

The study was reviewed by three external peer reviewers with expertise in water modeling, NDMA, and childhood cancer epidemiology.


The modeled contaminant concentration estimates used to conduct the analysis reflect over a decade of data gathering, hydrogeologic mapping, and sophisticated mathematical modeling of contaminants in groundwater and the town’s water distribution system. 


The full study, including an executive summary and question and answer guide, are available on the DPH website here:


More Phase Four Guidance in MA

Administration Releases Phase 4 Updated Guidance to Health Care and Human Services Providers, Updates Long-Term Care, Assisted Living, and Congregate Care Guidance


More visitation, group activities allowed for vaccinated individuals in long term care and congregate settings following high vaccination rates


BOSTON – As Massachusetts begins Phase 4, this week the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and respective agencies released a series of new guidance documents for health care and human service providers that supports the safe reopening of programs and provider sites and protects workers, patients, families, and the public.


Additionally, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Department of Public Health (DPH), and Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) recently released updated guidance to long-term care facilities (nursing and rest homes), Assisted Living Residences (ALRs), and congregate care settings in response to the high rates of residents and staff that are now vaccinated against COVID-19 in these settings. These changes align with recent guidance published by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 


Health Care Guidance

Beginning March 22, 2021, the Commonwealth moved into Phase 4: New Normal of the State’s reopening process, and the Department of Public Health issued guidance to all health care providers setting minimum standards for continued provision of services.


The new guidance supports the reopening process without jeopardizing health system capacity or the public health standards that are essential to protecting health care workers, patients, families, and the general public.


DPH also issued updated Resurgence Planning and Response Guidance for Acute Care Hospitals to continue the Regional COVID-19 Hospital Preparation and Response Planning Process while aligning with Phase 4 of reopening.

Day Programs

In addition, EOHHS has published updated guidance for day programs as they move into Phase 4, Step 1. day programs are required to continue to adhere to federal and state guidance regarding PPE, workplace safety, and participant safety.


The updated guidance removes square footage requirements that will allow day programs to expand capacity, while adhering to other social distancing and infection control requirements. 


Human Services Transportation

EOHHS has also published updated Phase 4 guidance for Human Services Transportation brokers and drivers.


These organizations provide transportation to certain EOHHS consumers, such as MassHealth members and individuals served by the Department of Developmental Services, Department of Mental Health, Department of Public Health, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind so they can access medical and day services across the state.


The updated guidance now takes into account whether a passenger is fully vaccinated, and allows ride sharing among individuals who are fully vaccinated if a single trip is not available. Drivers and passengers are required to continue to wear face masks during the trip. 


Long Term Care, Assisted Living Residence, and Congregate Care Guidance

In long-term care facilities and ALRs, 86% of all residents are fully vaccinated, with 98% having received at least one dose.


As such, Massachusetts is updating guidance to allow for expanded visitation and congregate activities, lifting quarantine requirements for vaccinated individuals, and updating surveillance testing guidance for vaccinated staff. 



The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and agencies that operate, fund, or license residential congregate care settings, including group homes, residential treatment programs, and clinical stabilization service programs, have released updated visitation guidance that aligns with updates made for long-term care settings, as congregate care setting surveillance testing data shows significantly reduced rates of COVID-19 transmission, with a less than 1% positivity rate among surveillance test results in the past month. Additionally, across these EOHHS congregate care settings, data collected for state- and provider-operated sites indicates that over 70% of residents eligible to be vaccinated have received at least one dose of vaccine, and nearly 60% are fully vaccinated. 


These changes balance the important role visitation and congregate activities play in supporting resident quality of life, while keeping in place critical infection control practices such as mask wearing and good hygiene.

In long-term care facilities, the following changes are now in effect:

?    Visits may now occur in resident rooms when both the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated, without social distancing. Masks should still be worn during visits.

?    Visits no longer need to be scheduled in advance unless scheduling is requested by the facility.

?    Congregate activities that require residents to be closer than six feet apart can resume, such as card games, dining, and watching movies, if residents are fully vaccinated. 

?    Residences cannot require visitors to show proof of vaccination or prevent un-vaccinated visitors from entering the residence. However, if visitors are not yet vaccinated, visits should occur in designated spaces with appropriate social distancing, with the exception of compassionate care visits.

?    Residents who are fully vaccinated and return to the facility from another setting do not need to quarantine for 14 days.

?    Facilities must continue to conduct staff surveillance testing in accordance with DPH guidance,  however, staff who are fully vaccinated may move from weekly testing to biweekly testing.


Updated Assisted Living Residence guidance largely mirrors the updated guidance for long-term care facilities above, with additional changes that allow for:

?    Visits can continue to occur in resident rooms, and social distancing is not required if both the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated.

?    Congregate activities can resume.  Settings such as dining rooms, movie theaters, and gyms within the ALR should follow state guidance for the respective setting (e.g., restaurant, gym, etc.).


For congregate care settings, the following changes are now in effect:

?    Visits may now occur in resident rooms when both the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated, without social distancing. Masks should still be worn during visits.

?    Residents, regardless of vaccination status, may participate in congregate activities in the setting so long as they are not currently isolated or quarantining due to infection, exposure, or new admission status. 

o    Participating residents must remain at least six feet apart, if they are not fully vaccinated. 

o    Small groups of residents who are fully vaccinated may dine together at a table without social distancing, while still following state guidance for these settings.

?    Residents with child(ren) or sibling(s) who may be unvaccinated may visit without physical distance, if both are wearing face coverings, as able.

?    Visits no longer need to be scheduled in advance unless scheduling is requested by a specific program based upon safety considerations.

?    Programs may allow more than two visitors per resident at a time, if all visitors are of the same household.

?    Programs cannot require visitors to show proof of vaccination or prevent un-vaccinated visitors from visiting. However, if visitors are not yet vaccinated, visits should occur in designated spaces with appropriate social distancing.


For the full list of guidance, go to:
•    Health and Human Services Phase 4 Reopening guidance
•    Long term care guidance
•    Assisted Living Residence Guidance
•    Congregate care setting guidance

Celtics Lose on Trade Deadline Eve

The Boston Celtics overcame a 25 point deficit Wednesday Night before losing in Milwaukee by a final of 122-119.


The two teams will meet in Boston at the T-D Garden Friday Night on WSAR at 95.9 FM and 1480 starting at 7, with a 7:30 tipoff. 

Auchencloss on "'Buckets of Money''

Massachusetts Fourth District Congressman Jake Auchencloss indicated on ''A View From The Hill'' Monday on WSAR that Fall River could receive anywhere from 70 to 73 million dollars as part of The American Rescue Act over the next two fiscal years. 

Spending could be allowed on various projects and classifications.

The City of Fall River also has several million dollars remaining from the CARES Act of 2020, with little idea of how that money can be used. 

A Regional Vaccination Clinic Approved in Bristol County

Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan and the City’s Director of Health & Human Services, Tess Curran announced on Thursday that a Bristol Community Vaccination Clinic has been approved.


In conjunction with Attleboro, Somerset, Swansea and Taunton the city of Fall River an initial proposal has been approved by the Department of Public Health. 


Reginal Clinics in Massachusetts are approved based on population density, as well as proximity to other vaccine clinics, such as the mass vaccination center in Dartmouth. 


The clinics will be held 5 days per week among four locations in Fall River, Attleboro, Somerset as well as Taunton and open to all eligible populations statewide vaccinating up to 750 individuals per day. 


Approval of this regional site will allow the City of Fall River to maintain the current clinic at Bristol Community College by providing first-dose appointments on a weekly basis. 


“This regional site is proof of an excellent partnership between five towns and cities,

which will result in more vaccines for all of our residents,” said Mayor Coogan. “I am

thankful for Tess Curran’s hard work in orchestrating our clinic at Bristol Community College.”


It is unclear when the opening date will be with that announcement coming later this month but the Department of Health and Human Services and Fall River EMS Division will continue to operate this clinic.

Amazon Gets a Slice of The New NFL TV Deal

The NFL renewed deals with broadcasting partners CBS, ESPN/ABC, Fox, NBC and Amazon through the 2033 season, the league announced Thursday. The agreement brings the Super Bowl back to ABC and sends Thursday Night Football to an all-digital package on Amazon Prime Video


ABC will be back in the Super Bowl rotation for the first time since 2006, with two Super Bowls during the new deals, which start in 2023. ESPN, which also has a one-year bridge deal for 2022 after its agreement expires following 2021, will continue to broadcast Monday Night Football. More games will be offered on ESPN+, including an International Series game.


Amazon Prime, which has partnered with NFL Network and Fox on Thursday Night Football since 2017, will now handle that package exclusively.


Deals with CBS, Fox and NBC will remain largely the same as previous years, outside of Fox moving away from Thursday Night Football. Each will add digital streaming access through their own services: Paramount+ for CBS, Tubi for Fox and Peacock for NBC.


NFL Network will continue to televise a select number of exclusive games during the year.

ABC has not broadcast a Super Bowl since Al Michaels and John Madden called Super Bowl XL in February 2006. It was the network's seventh Super Bowl, with the first coming in 1985.

Chung Announces His Retirement

There has been no shortage of Patriots news over the first week of free agency, and while most of it has involved players coming, some has involved departures as well.


The latest example of the latter came Thursday morning when veteran safety Patrick Chung announced his retirement via Instagram.

Chung was one of eight opt outs for the Patriots in 2020 but there was optimism that he and the others would be returning this season when fellow safety Devin McCourty mentioned on his podcast that he believed that would be the case. Since then Marcus Cannon was dealt to Houston, Marqise Lee was released and now Chung has decided to retire.


Chung's absence will be felt, even at this advanced stage of his career. In two stints with the Patriots he emerged as a tough and versatile competitor who provided leadership throughout his tenure. He played as a traditional safety in coverage, in the box as a linebacker, worked on tight ends and set a tone that others followed in the secondary.

Originally drafted in the second round in 2009, Chung left for Philadelphia as a free agent in 2013. After just one season with the Eagles, he returned in 2014 and emerged as a more effective player. Bill Belichick often joked that it took him a while to figure out how to best use Chung, but once he did he referred to the safety as one of the best players in the league.

With Chung out of the picture in the secondary, the move to sign former Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills earlier in the week makes more sense. Mills is a similarly versatile player who can work at corner and safety and should be in the mix for a regular spot in the rotation on the back end.


Chung was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams in New England and leaves behind a legacy of toughness few could match.

Massachusetts Vaccine Supply Updated

The Department of Public Health confirmed that yesterday the Commonwealth secured 21,260 doses of COVID-19 vaccine for the seven mass vaccination centers throughout the state and 25,400 doses towards various pharmacy locations.


On Wednesday, 35,662 first doses were administered throughout Massachusetts while 23,376 second doses were given, as well. Johnson & Johnson's single shot dose was administered to 2,421 residents. 


As of Wednesday evening, 972,103 Commonwealth residents are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus with 25,797 finishing up that process yesterday. 


The MA Vax Schedule

During a Wednesday appearance at a Brockton Vaccination Center, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker outlined three dates this Spring when Massachusetts residents of certain ages and professions could begin making appointments for a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine dose. 


The Timeline is designed this way:


Timeline for remaining groups: 

•    March 22nd: Residents 60+ and certain workers 


•    April 5th: Residents 55+ and residents with one certain medical condition 


•    April 19th: General public ages 16 years of age and older


The full timeline is available at 


The Administration has received assurances from the federal government that an increased vaccine supply will be available to states soon. 


Depending on supply, it could take weeks for people to be notified that an appointment is available at a mass vaccination site.


You're being urged to register at for a spot in line when your turn for a vaccine is determined. 

This Fall River Hiking Thing of Ours

City of Fall River Begins Partnership with Appalachian Mountain Club:
AMC Bioreserve Hike Series to Start March 28th

Mayor Paul Coogan’s Office is pleased to announce the kick-off of an exciting new partnership
between the City of Fall River and the Appalachian Mountain Club, America' oldest outdoors
membership organization.


AMC will partner with the city to lead Bioreserve hikes for the public
beginning this spring. The Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve is one of Fall River's best kept
secrets partly because many city residents don't know where to begin to enjoy this 16,000-acre
natural treasure at our doorstep. That's about to change.


AMC’s Bioreserve Hike series begins Sunday, March 28 and hikes will be scheduled every two
weeks through April. Due to pandemic constraints the number of hikers in these early walks will
be limited to ten. On-line registration for each hike is required.


Visit the AMC-SEM Chapter
website to register:,
“Covid-19 has driven residents to find healthy outdoor places to visit, to stay fit and
remain socially distanced,” remarked Mayor Paul Coogan. “The timing couldn’t be better.”

Enjoy an easy to moderate 4-5 mile hike in the heart of the Fall River’s reservation area. The hike
will be 2-3 hours. Beginner hikers are welcome! You must have recently walked a comparable
distance. There will be two groups which are kept socially distanced from each other, in line with
state and AMC requirements.


Trails are mostly flat. Be prepared to step over tree roots and
some rocks. Sturdy shoes required: sneakers are okay.


No open-toed shoes. As with all AMC
hikes, hikers start as a group and end as a group; nobody is left behind. This is one in a regular
series of hikes at different locations in the Bioreserve. The exact location will be emailed to
confirmed registrants. You must bring and be willing to wear a face covering in compliance with
local, state, and AMC requirements. Per MA executive order (
19- order-55/download), a face covering must be worn for the entire activity.

A New Variant in The Commonwealth

State Public Health Officials Announce First Case of the P.1 COVID-19 Variant of Concern in Massachusetts, Urge Continued Protective Measures
BOSTON (March 16, 2021) – The Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that the first case of the P.1 COVID-19 variant of concern, which originated in Brazil, has been detected in Massachusetts. The individual is a woman in her 30s who resides in Barnstable County.


DPH was notified of her test results from genetic sequencing conducted through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national surveillance system. Currently, there is no information available on the woman’s illness or whether she has recently traveled. She tested positive for COVID-19 in late February.


As of today, there have been 213 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, originally found in the United Kingdom, and 6 cases of the B.1.351, which originated in South Africa, reported in Massachusetts. The B.1.1.7 variant is known to spread more easily and has caused a rapid surge of cases in the UK, several other countries, and parts of the United States.
The best defense against variants of concern is to prevent the spread of COVID. 
This includes wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding groups, staying home when you are sick, getting tested if you have symptoms or are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID, and getting vaccinated when it is your turn.
Learn more about variants of concern at New Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19 | CDC and track their presence in both Massachusetts and the US at US COVID-19 Cases Caused by Variants | CDC.


The MA Vax Rollout Continues

In a Tuesday Night Tweet, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker says his administration will release a schedule on Wednesday for all remaining demographic and professional groups in a Commonwealth Wide Vaccine Plan. 


Baker says in the Tweet that ''every resident will know when they are eligible for a vaccine''.


In its Digital Edition Tuesday Night, the Boston Globe reported that the Commonwealth is securing more than 170-thousand new first doses from the Federal Government, a 9% increase from the prior week, with 8,000 doses from Johnson and Johnson that were not part of the equation. 

Patriots Continue to Retool

The Patriots have reportedly made another big move to open up the free agency period, signing tight end Hunter Henry according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter. The team reportedly already added tight end Jonnu Smith, who should pair with Henry to give New England the kind of two-tight-end offense that it has lacked for a decade. Henry and Smith were arguably the top two tight ends on the market and now Bill Belichick has both of them as he continues to remake his team after missing the playoffs.


Terms of the deal were reported to be three years, 37.5 million with $25 million guaranteed. The five-year veteran is coming off a career-high 60 catch campaign in 2020, including four touchdowns. Prior to playing the Chargers this past season, Belichick had this to say about Henry:


"Henry continues to be a complete and very, very good football player for them," said Belichick. "Henry's really been a great player. I've watched him pretty much his whole career. He started at Pulaski Academy down in Little Rock, played for Coach [Kevin] Kelly down there. He had a great career there, went to Arkansas and had a great career at Arkansas. Went to the Chargers and with Virgil Green out, he's really played the Y role this year and showed good ability to block, catch. He runs a variety of routes. He's come back off the injury and has been a very, very productive player for them, along with all their other good skill players. But, he's done a good job for them in a running game, as well as the passing game."

MA Gasoline This Week

AAA: Massachusetts Gas Prices Up Six Cents


Westwood, MA, March 15, 2021 — Massachusetts’s average gas price is up six cents from last week ($2.69), averaging $2.75 per gallon. Today’s price is 28 cents higher than a month ago ($2.47), and 38 cents higher than March 15, 2020 ($2.34). Massachusetts’s average gas price is 11 cents lower than the national average.


Following last month’s winter storm in Texas, the national gas price average has jumped nearly 40 cents to $2.86. Prices will continue to increase this week, especially following the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly reports showing a second week of major decline in gasoline stocks and a substantial increase in U.S. demand.


“On average, Americans are paying 14% more to fill-up compared to February,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Government Affairs. “With increased demand and tighter gasoline supplies, we are looking at more expensive pump prices with little relief in the weeks ahead.”


AAA Northeast’s March 15 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 9 cents higher than last week ($2.77), averaging $2.86 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 36 cents higher than a month ago ($2.50), and 60 cents higher than this day last year ($2.26).

A Possible Final Countdown for JCII

After an incamera hearing involving the Prosecution and Defense Attorneys, U-S Federal Judge Douglas Woodlock has moved up the trial start date for Recalled and Twice Indicted Former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II to April 24, as Jury Selection will begin on that day, with opening arguments set once the jury has been selected inside the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston's Seaport District. 


The former Mayor is alleged to have bilked investors out of a six figure sum in counts 1-13 related to the SnoOwl Smart Phone Application, and is accused of allegedly taking kickbacks for letters of non opposition, for recreational marijuana locations a practice which was eliminated in 2020 by the Cannibas Control Commission. 


(The photo used to illustrate the story is used with the permission of the Fall River Herald News)

A Busy NFL Free Agent Opening Day for The Hoodie

Tracking all of the Patriots transactions during the free agent signing period.



DL Henry Anderson - Reported by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport | Read Full Report

Analysis: "The big defensive lineman is a good fit for the Patriots' defensive scheme, where he will undoubtedly be moved around the line to exploit favorable matchups. His size and length are considerable assets and Anderson has experience doing the dirty work in the trenches." - Mike Dussault


WR Kendrick Bourne - Reported by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport | Read Full Report

Analysis: "The four-year veteran is coming off a career-high 49 catches for 669 yards and two touchdowns after emerging as an undrafted rookie and sustaining his roster spot with San Francisco. Bourne will turn 26 this summer and is the youngest of the Patriots reported signings to open free agency." - Mike Dussault


WR Nelson Agholor - Reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter | Read Full Report

Analysis: "The Patriots continued their torrid start to the free agency tampering period with the addition of receiver Nelson Agholor. The consistent receiver had a productive season in Las Vegas, posting 48 catches and tying a career-high with eight touchdowns." - Mike Dussault


LB Matt Judon - Reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter | Read Full Report

Analysis: "The five-year veteran is a well-balanced outside linebacker who gives New England reinforcements at a position that currently has a wide gap between youth and experience. Still just 28, Judon has 34.5 sacks since being selected in the fifth round of the 2016 draft and should provide the Patriots with a valuable second-level defender who can play every down." - Mike Dussault

DB Jalen Mills - Reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter | Read Full Report

Analysis: "Mills is a versatile young cornerback who spent five seasons in Philadelphia, including winning a Super Bowl in 2017 with the Eagles. He played a fair amount of safety in 2020 as he projects to a fluid role within the Patriots defense. Coaches often describe the Patriots secondary as all being on the same page and Mills should give them some new options to play with." - Mike Dussault


Report: Patriots add tight end Jonnu Smith


DT Davon Godchaux - Reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter | Read Full Report

Analysis: "The four-year veteran played two seasons under Brian Flores so he should have some familiarity with the Patriots scheme. Godchaux has good size to be an interior space-eater as he did in a nose tackle role with the Dolphins, though he played only five games in 2020 after sustaining a biceps injury." - Mike Dussault


TE Jonnu Smith - Reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter | Read Full Report

Analysis: "A four-year veteran, the 25-year old has improved every season, capping off 2020 with 41 catches and eight touchdowns. After two years of not having any threat at the tight end position, this is a strong move by the Patriots to solidify the spot, especially since Smith is a proven red-zone target." - Mike Dussault

Nearly One Million Commonwealth Residents Fully Vaccinated

As of Sunday evening, 2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been shipped to the Commonwealth, according to the Department of Public Health. 


1.6 million Commonwealth residents have secured the first Pfizer or Moderna dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 848,000 people have been fully vaccinated with a second dose.


By the end of the week in Massachusetts, just over 60,000 people secured the Johnson & Johnson version of the vaccine. 


There are now 980,553 residents fully vaccinated across the Commonwealth. 


Cam For Another Year

According to the Digital Edition of The Boston Globe and, the Patriots have signed Cam Newton to a 1 year contract worth $14 million, after a  7-9 season in which the former Carolina Panther QB developed COVID-19 and missed a portion of the season. 


In Tampa Bay, Tom Brady has signed an extension that will keep him as the Bucs QB through the 2022 NFL Season, when Brady will be nearing his 46th birthday. 

Commonwealth's Vaccination Plan Updated

The Baker Administration made a few annoucements yesterday in regards to the Comonwealth's vaccination plan.


A new pre-registration sign-up tool will be rolled out tomorrow, Friday March 11th designed to make it easier to request and book an appointment at one of the seven mass vaccination sites.


“In partnership with Google Cloud, our administration has created a process for eligible residents to fill out a form, get notified when theres availability for them to book and then schedule their appointment to get their vaccination," Governor Charlie Baker said. 


"Initially, this system is only for the 7 mass vaccination sites but more sites will be added to the pre-registration system in April,” he continued. 


The website address is You can also still use the 2-1-1 number if you do not have internet access or technology issues. 


That effort coincides with another trying to get every educator across the Commonwelath vaccinated so in-person instruction can commence this Spring.


The Lieutenant Governor indicated four dates have been chosen specifically for educators and school staff in Massachusetts to receive their vaccination. 


“Our administration is announcing 4 days are being designated at the state’s 7 mass vaccination sites where appointments will only be offered to K-12 educators, K-12 school staff and childcare workers," Karyn Polito said. "These dates are Saturday March 27th, Saturday April 3rd, Saturday April 10th and Sunday April 11th.”


All teachers and school staff must use the new pre-registration tool to book their appointments beginning on Friday. 


“Educators looking to sign up at these 7 sites must use the pre-registration system to request an appointment,” Polito indicated.









Public Safety Highlighted in Coogan's Second State of the City Address

The Fall River Mayor delivered his second State of the City address last night from city council chambers inside of Government Center. 


Mayor Paul Coogan spent the first several minutes paying tribute to first responders and mourning those who perished as a result of the COVID-19 virus. 


Coogan claimed he continues to search for as many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as he can find for city residents. 


The Fall River leader then went on to discuss public safety concerns and explained his administration’s response to those issues in regards to certain changes of the police department.  


“We are now piloting a body camera program after successful negotiations with the police union,” Mayor Coogan said. “We’re getting ready to roll out the cameras for our walking beat, first.”


He said Fall River will start to utilize more cameras throughout the city


“We obtained 50,000 dollars for a neighborhood policing program,” the Mayor said. “We formed partnerships between the school committee and the city to install 20 surveillance cameras – 10 permanent and 10 mobile.


The Fall River Police Department will not be the only public safety service improved. 


“We also allocated 100,000 dollars for turnout gear for the fire department,” Coogan said. “And we’re also finalizing separate plans for a state of the art building for EMS.”


The Mayor went on to praise the work of Police Chief Jeff Cardoza since he took over in the F.R.P.D indicating 6 of the 8 crime categories are showing a downward trend.

Fall River Town Hall Set For Wednesday Afternoon

The Fall River Mayor will be joined by the city's Health and Human Services Secretary for a town hall event Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 pm. 


Mayor Paul Coogan and Tess Curren will host the event through FRGTV's channel 18, their Facebook and website. 


“The main topic we want to hit is to make people understand that the vaccine is safe, it’s the way to go - it’s our way out of this crisis," Mayor Coogan said. "We encourage people to get it.”


The city's leader wants to use this time as an opportunity to bring awarness to the trio of vaccines in hopes that those who are apprehensive will begin to think differently.  


“We’ll have some medical people there talking about the upside," he said. "We don’t want people being afraid of the vaccine.”


the Mayor did say both he and his wife secured a dose of the vaccine at Fall River's Liberal Club. 

State of the City This Afternoon in Fall River

In conjunction with FRGTV, WSAR will offer live coverage of the 2021 State of the City Address from Fall River's Government Center. 


Coogam is will speak before a live audience of School Committee and City Council members; his 2020 State of The City address was prerecorded. 


Live Coverage of tonight's address is brought to you on WSAR, at 1480, 95.9 FM and, by Rick Manuels and Spindle City Auto Glass. 

Patriots Make a Trade with Las Vegas

According to an early morning report from Ian Rapoport, the Patriots are re-acquiring offensive tackle Trent Brown from the Las Vegas Raiders, terms of the deal have not been disclosed, however, it's expected that Brown will re-do his deal and will play out 2021 on a one-year contract with the Patriots.


Still just 27, Brown locked down the left tackle spot in 2018, playing every game and helping to lead the Patriots to a Super Bowl title with a dominant rushing attack that the monstrous Brown was a big part of. Brown's return helps solidify the position that had some questions this offseason, whether he returns to the left side or sticks to the right, where he played upon signing with the Raiders.


The Patriots got a solid performance from rookie Michael Onwenu at right tackle in 2020, but he, like left tackle Isaiah Wynn, could have some interior versatility. Where Brown ends up matters less than the Patriots reinforcing their tackle depth, along with the potential return by Marcus Cannon who opted out of 2020.

Massachusetts Fourth District Congressman Offers Pair of Amendments

Massachusetts Fourth District Congressman Jake Auchincloss offered a pair of amendments for House Resolution One (HR1), known as the "For The People Act" seeking to expand voting rights and offer "electoral reform." 


Each amendment made it to the final version of legislation. The Fourth District Congressman took to the house floor and said this:


“To strengthen the bill, I have added two amendments to empower the younger generation to work together and tackle the challenges that will define our lifetimes, Climate change, gun violence, reproductive rights energize and galvanize younger Americans. The right to vote is how they are heard and how they make change. My amendments will expand and protect this right for young people.”


One amendment would ask for grant dollars to recuit younger poll workers, while the second would seek to reduce ballot issues or challenges. 


“I am proud to offer these amendments that reinforce the importance the democracy that brings all Americans, regardless of age, race, gender identity or income with the a ballot box to cast their vote,” Auchincloss said. 


The legislation will now head to the US Senate where it will definitely face an uphill battle.  

Gen Andrade Sentencing Date Rescheduled

Gen Andrade's sentencing date has been moved to some point in June of this year. 


The former Chief of Staff and Campaign Manager for recalled and twice-indicted former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia agreed with federal prosecutors to reschedule. 


The Probation Department is reportedly still working on a pre-sentence report regarding Andrade, as they've requested the two partes seek a contiuance while paperwork continues to be completed.


Federal prosecutors have recommended to Federal Judge Douglas Woodlock that Andrade receive no jail time. 


Correia's trial date is set for May 4, 2021. 



(The photo used in this story originally appeared in the Fall River Herald News)

Fall River Educators Association Want A Better Vaccine Plan

In response to the news that educators in Massachusetts will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, the Head of the Fall River Educators Association is looking for more details. 


“We want nothing more than to get back to a normal, in-person school experience,” Rebeca Cusicks said. “This remote model and the hybrid model is hard. There’s a lot of misconception that this is easy – this is really hard.”


With over 400,000 additional people now eligible for the vaccine, Cusick wished that in the Governor’s comments this morning he would have had more of a blueprint on how this will get done. 


“I was a little disappointed that the Governor had no plan on how to get this done efficiently or quickly for educators,” she said. “I would hope they would have some plan or encourage local communities to work out a plan of their own.” 


She continued, “Local districts could offer it in a much more efficient manner by setting aside one day or having it done on-site in the schools.”


March 11 is the date set for all teachers and school staff to begin making their appointments with a hope of having live classroom instruction this Spring across the Commonwealth. 


The Fall River Educators Association represents teachers across the city and varios school staff classifications.

Commonwealth Educators Eligible For Vaccination on March 11

Governor Charlie Baker made this announcement in regards to the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Vaccination plan earlier this morning: 


“In an effort to streamline our process and to limit the amount of confusion between federal eligibility guidelines and state eligibility guidelines, and to coordinate with the feds, we’re announcing that educators and school staff will be eligible to begin signing up for vaccine appointments on March 11th.”


It's hoped that with this announcement, in-person instruction can come back fully in the Spring. 


Governor Baker did confirm educators and school staff were up next to receive doses but the “start date” was pushed up after President Biden’s remarks and guidance the night before. 

MA Gasoline Prices This Week

Massachusetts’s average gas price is up eight cents from last week ($2.56), averaging $2.64 per gallon.


Today’s price is 25 cents higher than a month ago ($2.39), and 18 cents higher than March 1, 2020 ($2.46). Massachusetts’s average gas price is 8 cents lower than the national average.


The latest price jumps are a direct result of February’s winter storm that took 26 U.S. refineries offline and pushed refinery utilization from an average of about 83% down to an atypical low of 68%, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its latest data, EIA also 
reported demand at 7.2 million barrels per day. Both utilization and demand rates have not been reported this low since last May. 



AAA forecasts the national gas price average to hit at least $2.80 in March. For motorists, that means they can expect continued increases of at least 5–10 cents locally until 
refinery operations are stable. 

“Barring hurricane season, March may bring the most expensive pump prices of 2021,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Government Affairs. “While the month is roaring in like a lion, by the end of it we could see some relief at the pump as refineries resume normal operations, especially if crude oil prices show signs of stability.”

AAA Northeast’s March 1 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 9 cents higher than last week ($2.63), averaging $2.72 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 30 cents higher than a month ago ($2.42), and 28 cents higher than this day last year ($2.44).

The Moratorium on Evictions Extended

Baker-Polito Administration Extends Utility Shutoff Moratorium
Payment Plans, Financial Assistance Available for Residents Facing Financial Hardship
BOSTON – In an effort to protect Massachusetts ratepayers struggling with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) today issued an Order extending the moratorium on residential gas, electric, and water utility shutoffs to July 1, 2021. 


The moratorium, previously scheduled to end in April, will deliver temporary financial relief for ratepayers while providing additional time for ratepayers to coordinate a payment plan with a utility company and explore the availability of financial assistance programs.
“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to take important steps to ensure continued reliable gas and electric service while protecting residents that are struggling with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DPU Chairman Matthew Nelson. “While this Order will guarantee Massachusetts residents and families who are facing financial hardships due to the pandemic will have uninterrupted gas, electric, and water utility service, we urge residents experiencing financial hardship to be aware of protections and to contact their utility company for assistance.”
The DPU Order prohibits investor-owned utility companies from shutting off gas, electric, and water utility service to residential customers for failure to pay a bill or a portion of a bill until July 1, 2021. Additionally, companies can begin communicating with ratepayers regarding bills in arrears; however, the communication must inform the ratepayer that residential shutoffs for nonpayment will not occur until July 1, 2021 or after, and also provide a list of all repayment programs and debt-forgiveness options available to the ratepayer.
Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Baker-Polito Administration has taken numerous steps to protect ratepayers and ensure reliable utility service. On March 24, 2020, the DPU issued an Order temporarily prohibiting investor-owned utility companies from shutting off gas, electric, and water utility service to any customers for failure to pay a bill or a portion of a bill. In May, the DPU established a Customer Assistance and Ratemaking Working Group, composed of consumer advocate groups, the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Energy Resources, and utility companies, to report on recommendations for moratorium continuation and customer assistance policies.
In August, the DPU issued an Order adopting the Working Group’s recommendations for ending the shutoff moratorium and instituting important new ratepayer protection provisions, including:

•    Utility companies cannot assess late fees or discontinue service to customers enrolled in a payment plan. 
•    To ensure customers have notice of any potential shutoff, companies are required, in advance of any potential shutoff, to issue notices to customers that inform customers about the payments due, the availability of payment plans, and the potential for shutoffs. 
•    Companies must continue waiving late payment fees for small Commercial & Industrial customers for six months following the date that Governor Baker lifts the State of Emergency. 
•    Companies are required to waive any previously required “good faith payments” in circumstances where a customer re-enrolls in an arrearage management plan (AMP) after breaking from a prior AMP.
Residential customers experiencing financial hardship may also be eligible for additional assistance, such as financial assistance programs, if they self-certify to their utility company that there is a seriously ill individual living in the household, a child in the household under 12 months of age in the household, or that all adults in the home are age 65 or older and a minor child resides in the home. Customers should contact their utility company for more information on enrolling in a payment plan, declaring financial hardship or qualifying for financial assistance. For more resources for Massachusetts residents and businesses experiencing financial hardship paying their electric, gas, or water utility bills because of COVID-19, please visit the DPU website.

Keating on Stimulus Bill



Washington, DC – Late last night, the US House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan Act, robust legislation that will help our citizens and communities recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  


Included in the Act is $350 billion directly awarded to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments. These state and local coronavirus relief funds will provide support for the rollout of vaccines as well as the recovery of our local economies, and their usage must address either the pandemic or its negative economic impacts.  


Under this provision, the South Coast was awarded $109,620,356.55 in county funds for Bristol County and a total of $152,368,449.90 for individual cities and towns.  A list of allotments for the towns that fall in the 9th Congressional District in Bristol County can be found below.  As the legislation has only passed the House, these allocations will be finalized once the legislation passes the Senate and is signed into law.


“The American Rescue Plan reflects the urgency that is necessary to combat this virus, provide income and food security, and literally save lives,” said Congressman Bill Keating.  “With the continued vaccine rollout there is light at the end of the tunnel.  This bill will get us there faster, healthier, and stronger than before.”


The American Rescue Plan Act is projected to lift almost 12 million people out of poverty and generate approximately $1.25 for every dollar spent. Additional provisions of the legislation include:

•    A national vaccination program that includes setting up community vaccination sites nationwide as well as additional measures to combat the virus, such as scaling up testing and tracing, addressing shortages of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies, investing in high-quality treatments and addressing health care disparities.

•    A roughly $130 billion investment in school re-opening.  These funds can be used for such things as reducing class sizes, modifying spaces so that students and teachers can socially distance, improving ventilation, implementing more mitigation measures, providing personal protective equipment, and providing summer school or other support for students that help make up lost learning time this year.  The plan also provides resources for higher education, Head Start and child care facilities.

•    $1,400 in direct assistance per person.  The plan will also provide direct housing assistance, nutrition assistance for 40 million Americans, expand access to safe and reliable child care and affordable health care, extend and expand Unemployment Insurance so that 19 million American workers can pay their bills, and supports 27 million children with an expanded Child Tax Credit and 15 million low-wage workers through the Earned Income Tax Credit.  It will give 27 million workers a raise and lift one million out of poverty by raising the federal minimum wage.

•    Crucial support for the hardest-hit small businesses – especially those owned by entrepreneurs from racial and ethnic backgrounds that have experienced systemic discrimination – with EIDL grants, expanded PPP eligibility and more.  The plan also provides crucial resources to protect the jobs of first responders, frontline public health workers, teachers, transit workers and other essential workers that all Americans depend on.


Acushnet    $1,048,215.22
Dartmouth    $3,372,835.94
Fairhaven    $1,586,183.93
Fall River    $73,038,290.39
Marion    $511,824.99
Mattapoisett    $631,494.17
New Bedford    $68,823,343.45
Rockland    $1,774,418.72
Westport    $1,581,843.09  

High School Mental Health Grant

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $4.9 Million for
High School Substance Use and Mental Health Response Teams


Six awards support creation of school-based intervention and treatment programs in ten communities across the Commonwealth 


BOSTON (March 1, 2021) –  The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $4.9 million in grants awarded to six agencies, including hospitals and treatment and behavioral health centers, for the creation of evidence-based and data-driven co-occurring substance use disorder/mental health response teams embedded in high schools in ten communities to offer intervention and treatment services, and provide alternatives to school suspension for substance use. 


The six agencies were selected for grant funding based on their ability to provide access to these crucial services, both in school and in the community, as well as virtually due to instances of remote and hybrid learning. The awardees are:


•    Heywood Hospital, providing services for Athol High School, Gardner High School, Gardner Academy of Learning and Tech, Ralph C. Mahar Regional School (Orange), Narragansett Regional High School (Templeton), and Murdock High School (Winchendon)

•    High Point Treatment Center, providing services for New Bedford High School
•    Institute for Health and Recovery, providing services for Malden High School
•    North Suffolk Mental Health, providing services for Revere High School
•    River Valley Counseling Center, providing services for Holyoke High School North Campus
•    The Brien Center, providing services for Monument Mountain Regional High (Great Barrington)


This grant award will ensure these agencies are prepared to offer services to students suffering from co-occurring substance use disorder/mental health issues. The programs will respond to students’ and their families’ needs, increase collaboration with schools, and provide support to students in crisis. 


“Disruptions to in-school learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a social and emotional toll on many students, and especially those most at risk for substance use and mental health issues,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, who directs the state’s COVID-19 Command Center. “This grant will allow much-needed resources to reach students remotely and offer a mental health-driven alternative to suspensions.”


The grant will be distributed over the course of 6 years, with each program receiving $136,864 per year, or $4.9 million over the life of the award. Funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) State Opioid Response grant, the grant will serve to support the Commonwealth-wide adolescent addiction workforce that is specifically trained and certified to provide targeted substance use interventions and treatment to at-risk students, reducing their risk of developing an opioid or substance use disorder.



These timely awards will support Massachusetts schools’ efforts to effectively respond to student substance use and mental health concerns, as access to high-potency marijuana products increases, rates of on-campus vaping surge, and the overall perception of harm associated with adolescent substance use decreases.


“Massachusetts is taking action to reinforce protections for children affected by substance use and mental health issues in these unprecedented times,” said Deirdre Calvert, Director of the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services at the Department of Public Health.  “This grant program will ensure that at-risk youth receive the services they need to prevent substance use, help combat the opioid epidemic, and support families during the COVID-19 state of emergency.”