WSAR NEWS Archives for 2022-05

$3.3 Million Available in New Bedford

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Mayor Jon Mitchell announced today that $3.3 million in funding is being made available to support local businesses and entrepreneurs.

 

Earlier this year, the City launched a Small Business Assistance Program to distribute portions of federal funding that New Bedford received under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). On May 13, Mayor Mitchell and local arts leaders celebrated funding for local artists and arts groups, awarded through the small business program. 

 

That same program is now allocating another portion of its funds, to assist local businesses and entrepreneurs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerate their financial recovery. The funding will be distributed under two separate initiatives: NBForward!, which will provide funding to businesses negatively affected by the pandemic, and NB100!, which will focus on assisting early-stage entrepreneurs affected because of their industry or location. 

 

The New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC) will be tasked with administering the respective grant processes as an expansion of their long-standing small business support activities. 

 

The NBEDC’s two awarded programs will focus on small businesses and homegrown start-ups via new, streamlined processes that are designed to be easy to access, flexible, efficient, and measurable in outcome, with a goal of positioning New Bedford as one of the strongest and most diverse small business economies per capita in the post-pandemic Commonwealth.

 

“Entrepreneurs drive opportunity and growth in our economy. Positioning them for success will accelerate New Bedford’s emergence from the pandemic,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “The New Bedford Economic Development Council has a proven track record of supporting small businesses, and these two new programs will leverage their experience and expertise.”

 

“Connectivity is critical to help small businesses achieve success throughout the business lifecycle,” says Anthony Sapienza, President of the New Bedford Economic Development Council. “From beginning to end, both NB100! and NBForward! are designed to not only provide New Bedford businesses with much-needed financial support to come out of the pandemic, but also the technical know-how necessary to remain viable and vibrant for years to come. No matter where someone may be in their entrepreneurial journey—whether they be just starting out or a well-established operation—in New Bedford we have a pathway available for them.”

 

The NBEDC’s new NBForward! program will offer at least 100 grants of up to $20,000 – in conjunction with matching loan financing from other, non-ARPA sources, and with payments deferred for three months – along with technical assistance including business planning, resource guidance, and best practices.

 

NBForward! is designed to provide existing local businesses with working capital to position themselves for future growth. Eligible uses of the capital include:
• Business lease-hold improvements, construction, renovations (with documented
building-owner approval and City permit verification)
• Business lease or mortgage payments
• Business utility payments
• Business monthly insurance costs
• Business payroll
• Business inventory expenses
• Other approved business fixed and operating expenses

The new NB100! program aims to promote entrepreneurship, grow local wealth, and strengthen community bonds by helping 100 new businesses get off the ground. As the first phase of assistance, the NBEDC will lead technical assistance delivered by New Bedford SourceLink resource partners, including: EforAll, Groundwork, Co-Creative Center, New Bedford Ocean Cluster, UMass Dartmouth, Bristol Community College, and Junior Achievement.

As a separate and subsequent phase, the NBEDC will offer $10,000 grants to eligible
small businesses that have successfully completed the technical support program. Eligible uses of those grant funds will include:
• Business lease or mortgage payments
• Business utility payments
• Business monthly insurance costs
• Business payroll
• Business inventory expenses
• Acquisition of new equipment/property
• Construction/repair of existing property
• Reimburse business expenses incurred beginning March 3, 2021
• Working capital for other operating expenses

NBEDC staff will be engaged in managing both programs to ensure an efficient review and approval process for eligible applicants.  The formal application process will be accessed via the NBEDC homepage at: https://nbedc.org. 

Learn more on the City’s ARPA website: www.newbedford-ma.gov/arpa.
 

Mayor Mitchell Announces Long-Term Lease for PACE at Greene School

  Head Start program secures dedicated home, increased grant ability


New Bedford, Massachusetts – Mayor Jon Mitchell announced that the City of New Bedford has established a long-term lease agreement with PACE, which will now have a dedicated home for its Head Start child development program in the former T.A. Greene School at 32 Madison St.

 

While PACE Head Start has been occupying 32 Madison St. since 1992, the family-centered program had been using short-term leases that offered a degree of flexibility but hindered long-term operating arrangements, capital fundraising campaigns and grant applications. The current short-term agreement was set to expire June 30.

 

The establishment of a long-term lease is a landmark occasion for the private nonprofit formally known as People Acting in Community Endeavors, which will now have the ability to apply for grants specifically geared toward early childhood education facilities that need capital improvements. At the conclusion of the lease’s 25-year term, PACE will have the opportunity to take full ownership of the building.


“Securing a long-term home for PACE Head Start in its Greene School location is a milestone in our effort to support quality childcare options for New Bedford families,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “It will facilitate building upgrades necessary for a successful early learning environment.” 


Pam Kuechler, Executive Director of PACE, said: “Our agency is excited to celebrate this momentous occasion in our 40th year of operation. We are grateful to secure our long-term future in a part of the city we’re proud to call home. With this commitment, we can attract the capital resources necessary to maintain and enhance our high-quality learning spaces, and preserve this valuable historic school site into the future.” 


Head Start Program Director Jill Fox stated: “We are happy to be in such a great neighborhood, close to bus lines, the library and great playgrounds.” Fox said the program will complete a major bathroom renovation at the site this month, and plans to conduct masonry repairs, roof improvements, and window replacements in the future.

 

PACE Head Start and Early Head Start provide family-centered child development programming for more than 260 income-eligible families with children up to age 5 in the Greater New Bedford area. The program is free for families who qualify. Part-day and full-day center-based services are available Monday through Friday. Learn more online. 


PACE, established 40 years ago in 1982, is a multi-faceted social services nonprofit serving Greater New Bedford whose mission is to deliver innovative and effective programs and services to the community in their pursuit of brighter futures. In addition to Head Start, PACE provides other early childhood, adult education, family support, housing, health, and basic needs programs throughout the area.
 

RI AFL-CIO to support commonsense gun legislation

Providence, RI - The last few days have once again reminded us of the terrible effect of gun violence plaguing our country. Nineteen children and 2 teachers were murdered in Uvalde, TX, while anguished parents helplessly waited outside of the school building while the shooting was taking place. Only days earlier, a racist gunman shot and killed 10 people and wounded 4 workers while they shopped and worked at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY. Our hearts are broken, once again, by these senseless acts of utter cruelty.

Enough is enough. As a labor movement, as workers, as parents, and as men and women of good conscience, we must act.  Therefore, the Rhode Island AFL-CIO has made the decision to support 3 pieces of legislation currently pending in the General Assembly.

An act limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds. 
(Senate Bill No. 2653  House Bill No. 6614)

An act regulating assault weapons. 
(Senate Bill No. 2224 House Bill No. 6615)

An act raising the age to buy guns to 21.
(Senate Bill No. 2637 House Bill No. 7457)

George Nee, President of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO said: “These measures will not heal the fractures in our hearts caused by more tragedies involving guns in this country, but it is a start.  We have long advocated for workplace safety, for the simple right to go to work with the simple expectation of being able to get home safely.”

Patrick Crowley, Secretary-Treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO said: “Ending the scourge of gun violence is a labor issue, and as the voice for working men and women in Rhode Island, we must speak as loud as possible when our brothers and sisters, and the children in their care or the people that they serve, are taken from us by preventable violence.”

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO came to this decision after speaking directly with the leaders of our largest affiliate unions and polling the members of the Federation’s executive board. Therefore, we urge the General Assembly act, and call on Governor McKee to sign, these commonsense measures.

###
 

Southcoast Health Transitions COVID-19 Testing Locations Temporary COVID-19 testing trailers are scheduled to close

FAIRHAVEN, FALL RIVER, NEW BEDFORD and WAREHAM, Mass. – On Saturday, May 28, 2022, the COVID-19 test collection trailers at all three Southcoast hospital sites will close, officials announced. 
Testing will transition to alternate collection locations within established patient care centers for asymptomatic patients, with limited appointment availability for symptomatic patients, who are encouraged to use at-home antigen tests when able, officials said. 


Southcoast Health asks patients to please use MyChart or contact the COVID-19 Hotline (508-973-1919) to make an appointment for PCR testing. Hours and availability at each site will vary.
PCR tests are often used by patients needing results for travel, return to work or school, and/or surgeries requiring admission.

 

New COVID-19 Test Collection Locations (APPOINTMENTS REQUIRED THROUGH MYCHART OR BY CALLING 508-973-1919)


Fairhaven: Southcoast Lab Patient Service Center, 208 Mill Road


Fall River: Southcoast Lab Patient Service Center, 373 New Boston Rd.
Fall River: Southcoast Patient Service Center, Truesdale Health, 1030 President’s Ave.
Fall River: Charlton Memorial Hospital Outpatient Lab Collection


New Bedford: St. Luke’s Hospital Outpatient Lab Collection Alcove


Wareham: Tobey Hospital Outpatient Lab Collection 


To schedule, log in to MyChart – once you are logged in, scroll down to the COVID-19 Testing button to book an appointment.
To sign-up for MyChart, follow this link for activation of your account, mychart.southcoast.org/mychart/signup. 

 

COVID-19 testing appointments will be available at the locations above beginning Tuesday May 31, 2022. 


The transition comes as community demand for laboratory run COVID Testing has diminished significantly due to a decrease in cases and access to at-home testing. 


As a reminder, Southcoast pre-surgical patients that are not being admitted post-surgery DO NOT require PCR testing, and should perform a home test as directed by the providers’ office. 

 

Pre-surgical patients that will be admitted to the hospital post-surgery should be scheduled for PCR testing 48-72 hours prior to the surgery.


For all information about COVID-19 testing and vaccination, please visit COVID-19 Vaccination Information | Southcoast Health. 


For information on obtaining at-home tests, please visit COVID.gov/tests - Free at-home COVID-19 tests.
 

More on ''Shore Thing''

Three weeks after our office announced the results of the highly successful take down of a sophisticated fentanyl trafficking ring operating in and around Taunton and Fall River, investigators have now arrested one of the alleged supplier os the trafficking organization, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

"Operation Shore Thing," a multi-jurisdictional year-long extensive investigation into a narcotics trafficking ring operating in and around Taunton and Fall River, has resulted in the seizure of approximately $350,000 worth of fentanyl and oxycodone, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III and State Police Superintendent, Col. Christopher Mason announced on May 11.

On May 23rd, the multi-jurisdictional task force were able to track an alleged supplier of the drug rig, 44-year-old Antonio Valdez, from his home in Dorchester to Fall River, where he was eventually apprehended while in possession of 21 grams of fentanyl, two grams of cocaine and numerous oxycodone pills. He was charged with trafficking in fentanyl, trafficking oxycodone and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

“I am pleased that our wiretap investigation has now resulted in the  arrest of the alleged supplier and the seizure of more fentanyl and oxycodone, both of which are directly contributing to the fatal overdoses in our communities,” District Attorney Quinn said. 

In all, "Operation Shore Thing" resulted in the seizure of approximately 1,971 grams of fentanyl, more than 4,300 oxycodone tablets, 53 grams of crack cocaine, two illegal firearm and $75,000 in cash. (photos attached to this email)

"I’m very pleased this investigation, in collaboration with the CINRET Unit of the state police and others, resulted in the dismantling of a large scale fentanyl distribution ring that was connected to a number of communities in our county," District Attorney Quinn said. "The investigation involved the seizure of just under two kilos of fentanyl, thousands of oxycodone pills and other narcotics that contribute to the drug problem in our community, and sadly result in fatal overdoses.  We will continue to investigate these drug organizations and hold people accountable for contributing to the ongoing addiction problems in our communities."

For more than a year, the Massachusetts State Police Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction Enforcement Team (CINRET) South task force and prosecutors from District Attorney Quinn's office proactively investigated a drug trafficking organization based out of Bristol County. The trafficking organization was suspected of perpetuating street and mid-level opioid drug dealing throughout Bristol County and the region. The investigation included numerous search warrants for covert surveillance of the organization.
 
The mission of CINRET South is to partner with other state, local and federal agencies to work collectively in partnerships to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations. CINRET South identifies, targets, investigates, and seizes the illicit assets of drug trafficking organizations whose transportation and/or distribution of opioids, specifically fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone, and other drugs that extensively impact southern Massachusetts and the surrounding New England region in a negative manner with overdoses, hospitalizations, violent crimes, and property offenses. CINRET South is comprised of members of the Massachusetts State Police, Homeland Security Investigations, the Brockton Police Department, and the East Bridgewater Police Department. 
 
On Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at approximately 4:08 pm, CINRET South, members of District Attorney Quinn’s Massachusetts State Police Unit, Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit, Massachusetts State Police D-Community Action Team, Fall River Police, Taunton Police, and Somerset Police members formed four teams and spontaneously arrested six target subjects and executed search warrants at four locations in Taunton and Fall River.
 
After the six arrests and search warrant executions in Bristol County, investigators identified the primary oxycodone source of supply to the organization. The residence, verified through surveillance and records checks, was identified, and located in Lawrence.  On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at approximately 6:03am, CINRET South, along members of CINRET North, Lawrence Police, Andover Police, and Homeland Security Investigations executed a “knock and announce” search warrant in Lawrence without incident. The oxycodone supplier was located and apprehended.

“Operation Shore Thing leaves us sure of one very big thing — southeastern Massachusetts is safer today than it was before, thanks to the tenacious work of state troopers,  police officers, federal agents, and prosecutors. Through their efforts, a heavy volume of illegal narcotics that fuel pain, death, and addiction were taken out of circulation, and the crew who profited from the misery that their product inflicted on others now face justice," Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, said. 

The following individuals were also arrested:
 
1. Christopher MCLAUGHLIN, 40, of  56 Saint Joseph Street, Apt#302, Fall River
 
- Conspiracy to violate the drug law
- Trafficking Fentanyl
- Trafficking Cocaine
- Trafficking Oxycodone 
- Possession with intent to Distribute Class B 
 
2. Casey RUBY, 34, of 62 Shores Street, Apt#1, Taunton MA
 
- Conspiracy to violate the drug law
- Trafficking Fentanyl
- Trafficking Cocaine
- Trafficking Oxycodone
- Possession with intent to Distribute Class B 
- Possession of a Firearm w/o ID x 2
- Possession of a large capacity weapon of feeding device x 2
- Possession of ammunition without FID card
 
3. Joshua NAZARIO, 31, of 62 Shores Street, Apt#1, Taunton, MA
 
- Conspiracy to violate the drug law
- Trafficking Fentanyl
- Trafficking Cocaine
- Trafficking Oxycodone
- Possession with intent to Distribute Class B 
- Possession of a Firearm w/o ID x 2
- Possession of a large capacity weapon of feeding device x 2
- Possession of ammunition without FID card
 
4. Eddyberto MEJIA, 28, of 46 Cottage Street, Taunton, MA
-Conspiracy to violate the drug law
- Possession with intent to Distribute Class B (Oxycodone)
 
5. Eusebio ANDRADE, 39, of 1205 Cohannet Street, Taunton, MA
 
-Trafficking Fentanyl
-Conspiracy to violate the drug law
- Trafficking Oxycodone
 
6. Corey ROBEIRO, 32, of 68 Wales Street, Apt. 2, Taunton, MA
 
-Conspiracy to violate the drug law
-Trafficking Fentanyl
-Possession of Class B drug 
 
7. Rocio TAVERAS, 48 of 64 Nesmith Street, Lawrence, MA 
 
-Conspiracy to violate the drug law
- Trafficking Oxycodone 
- Distribution of Class B (Oxycodone) 


 

Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Free, walk-up COVID-19 clinics in New Bedford offer all CDC-approved vaccine doses and boosters, for adults and youth. Bringing your vaccination card when getting your booster shot is helpful, but not required. Clinics provided by Seven Hills Behavioral Health, unless otherwise marked.

NOTE: No clinic will be held at the Andrea McCoy Recreation Center on Saturday, May 28, or at the former Fire Station 11 on Monday, May 30, due to the Memorial Day holiday.

Visit vaxnb.com for updated schedules of local COVID-19 vaccination and testing locations. Upcoming vaccine locations in New Bedford include:

Wednesday, June 1:
-    Community Economic Development Center (1501 Acushnet Ave.) – 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, vaccines and boosters for children and adults 

Friday, June 3:
-    PAACA (360 Coggeshall St.) – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, vaccines and boosters for children and adults

Saturday, June 4:
-    Former Fire Station 11 (754 Brock Ave.) – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, vaccines and boosters for children and adults 

Monday, June 6:
-    Former Fire Station 11 (754 Brock Ave.) – 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, vaccines and boosters for children and adults

Wednesday, June 8:
-    Community Economic Development Center (1501 Acushnet Ave.) – 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, vaccines and boosters for children and adults 

Friday, June 10:
-    PAACA (360 Coggeshall St.) – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, vaccines and boosters for children and adults
-    Guatemala Festival (Phillips Avenue Pocket Park) – 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, vaccines and boosters for children and adults 

Saturday, June 11:
-    Former Fire Station 11 (754 Brock Ave.) – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, vaccines and boosters for children and adults 

Reminder on the importance of vaccinations: 
Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is not only about protecting yourself – it’s also about protecting your family, friends, and community. Vaccination is critically important to consider ahead of large gatherings, which can lead to super-spreader events, clusters, hospitalizations, and severe illness among people who are unvaccinated. 

State Resources for Vaccine Records, Locations 
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has free online services to find your personal vaccine records and local vaccination locations, including many pharmacies. 
Access your vaccine records at https://myvaxrecords.mass.gov/, and find local listings at https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/.
 

Upcoming COVID-19 Testing Sites

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Project Beacon’s appointment-based COVID-19 testing at New Bedford Regional Airport—part of the state’s Stop the Spread program—is offering testing on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. 

Appointments for free COVID-19 tests can be made at beacontesting.com. Airport officials ask that people reach the site via the airport’s side entrance on Downey Street. 

Contact Project Beacon by email at help@beacontesting.com; or by calling 617-741-7310.

NOTE: Project Beacon will not be offering testing on Sunday, May 29, due to the Memorial Day holiday.  

The federal government is offering free at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits online, at COVIDtests.gov. Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order a third round of free at-home tests. Each order includes eight rapid antigen COVID-19 tests. 

If you test positive with a rapid test, isolate for at least five days and notify close contacts. State guidance on isolation and quarantining can be found here.
If you test negative, re-testing a day or more later is advised, particularly if you have symptoms or a known exposure to the virus. 

Testing sites in New Bedford and surrounding towns can be found on the state’s Stop the Spread website, www.mass.gov/info-details/find-a-covid-19-test.

Upcoming testing locations in New Bedford include: 

Tuesday, May 31: 
-    Project Beacon at New Bedford Regional Airport (1569 Airport Road) – 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, June 2:
-    Project Beacon at New Bedford Regional Airport (1569 Airport Road) – 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 5: 
-    Project Beacon at New Bedford Regional Airport (1569 Airport Road) – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, June 7: 
-    Project Beacon at New Bedford Regional Airport (1569 Airport Road) – 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, June 9:
-    Project Beacon at New Bedford Regional Airport (1569 Airport Road) – 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 12: 
-    Project Beacon at New Bedford Regional Airport (1569 Airport Road) – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Football in Fenway

BOSTON, MA - The Wasabi Fenway Bowl, an annual college football bowl game at Fenway Park, will take place on Saturday, December 17, at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN.

 

The Wasabi Fenway Bowl will mark the return of college football to America's Most Beloved Ballpark and will feature teams from the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

 

It is part of a multi-year partnership between ESPN Events and Fenway Sports Management (FSM), the sales, marketing, and special events arm for Fenway Sports Group's impressive portfolio of sports properties.

 

Two prior attempts to play the game have ended with one of the participating schools unable to take part due to COVID-19 as 2022 will mark the third attempt to hold the bowl game inside Fenway Park 

White House Announces Antiviral Treatment Paxlovid in RI

According to NBC 10 in Providence, the White House has announced more steps to make the antiviral treatment Paxlovid more accessible across the United States as it projects COVID-19 infections will continue to spread over the summer travel season. The nation's first federally backed test-to-treat site is opening today in Rhode Island, providing patients with immediate access to the drug once they test positive with more federally supported sites set to open in Massachusetts and New York City soon. Federal regulators have also sent clearer guidance to physicians to help them determine how to manage paxlovid's interactions with other drugs, with an eye toward helping prescribers find ways to get the life-saving medication to more patients. The U.S. has ordered 20 million courses of Paxlovid from the drugmaker Pfizer, and the country risks running out this winter if the drug continues to be used widely.

Local Police Responses to the Texas Elementary Shooting

According to NBC 10 in Providence, police departments in at least three southern New England communities said they will increase their presence at schools today in response to a school shooting in Texas. Providence Police said in a facebook post that they will “have a heightened presence surrounding our city schools and will remain vigilant in our effort to keep our students and community safe.Dighton Police also posted a similar message stating "Do not be alarmed to see DPD officers outside of our schools in the morning during drop off.” Swansea police also responded and said they regularly review safety plans with the school department.

NBPD Arrest Two Who Stole from Supermarket Customers

According to ABC 6, New Bedford Police have arrested two people that stole from a family outside of a supermarket over the weekend. The incident happened at Riverside Park near Coffin Avenue on Sunday when police tracked down a man and woman, identified as 44-year-old Timothy McGettigan and 43-year-old Wendy Harrison, hiding in the woods. According to police, the two had a bag that was stolen from customers of a nearby store who were sitting on a bench waiting for their car to come around, both McGettigan and Harrison were arrested and charged with larceny from a person and possession of an open container. Harrison was also charged with carrying a knife larger than 2 and a half inches.

Sale Making Progress

May 24: Chris Sale throws second bullpen session


Sale threw his first 15-pitch bullpen session on May 19, then he threw another one on May 24. The southpaw continues to progress through his throwing program and will up his pitch count to 25 in his next bullpen session on May 27. The plan is for him to get through two 25-pitch bullpen sessions with the goal of starting live batting practice after that.

 

“He threw sliders, changes and fastball,” manager Alex Cora said. “I talked to him today and he’s in good spirits. He liked what he saw.” -- Joey Pollizze

Atlantis's Samantha Roman McKee Named 2023 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Semifinalist

Fall River educator honored for leadership, commitment, and her innovative approach to teaching

 

Fall River, Mass., May 24, 2022 — Atlantis Charter School, a public charter school serving students in Kindergarten through Grade 12, today announced that second-grade teacher Samantha Roman McKee was named a 2023 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Semifinalist.


Each year, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education honors a licensed PreK-12 Massachusetts public school teacher who exemplifies excellent teaching in the Commonwealth.

 

The Teacher of the Year program highlights student achievement, educators’ commitment to the profession, innovations in education, and teacher leadership. 


“Samantha McKee’s ability to engage her students, utilize technology, and share best practices is unmatched and unprecedented,” said Atlantis Lower School principal Corrie Marchand. “She greets her students with music, challenges, and a vast array of online programs that they navigate seamlessly thanks to her teaching and modeling. Her students are growing and learning despite the many challenges they face, and that is due to her dedication. We are fortunate to have her on our staff.”


McKee, of North Attleboro, joined the Atlantis teaching staff as a first-grade teacher in 2016 through Teach for America and moved to second grade in 2017 where she remains today. She has become a role model for other teachers at the school, regularly sharing her practices with staff at professional development sessions and taking time to work one-on-one with new staff members or team members who are struggling. 


McKee is fluent in English and Spanish. She is in the process of completing her Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and a Graduate Bilingual Education Certificate.


“I started graduate school in the fall of 2020. I was inspired to act when I saw that ELL students were some of the most affected by online learning,” McKee said. “Being bilingual myself gives me a unique perspective to help students of a similar background. I wanted more tools to promote educational equity for all my students, especially my ELLs.”


McKee strives to foster a community where students are excited to learn and want to do their best. 
“I try to make small, meaningful changes every day. My mantra in my classroom is “Practice Makes Progress.” I don’t aim for perfection because I do not believe it exists. There are always ways to improve. It doesn’t matter how long It takes to reach your goal as long as you make progress along the way.”
 

Fall River Finds A Building

Members of the Fall River City Council who had asked for funding to construct a building large enough to hold street sweepers and other large vehicles and equipment were stunned to learn last night in a Finance Committee session that such a building did exsist, having been purchased some six years ago, and remaining in its original packaging, ready to assemble. 

 

The disclosure was made by Fall River City Administrator Seth Thomas Aitkin, who told council members that once a collection of discarded fire trucks and other muniicpal vehicles was sold for scrap, there would be enough room to build the large storage facility later this summer. 

Community Forum for Booker T. Washington mural at Pilgrim United Church of Christ in New Bedford

NEW BEDFORD, MA  — The public is invited to share their views, ideas, questions, and insights on Booker T. Washington and his visits to New Bedford at the turn of the last century. 
 
This event is being held to provide input for mural artist, Mr. Eden Soares, as he prepares the design of a mural of Washington to be created in commemoration of Washington’s visits to New Bedford and of his legacy of promoting education for all.  
 
The forum will be held on Tuesday, May 31, from 4-5:30 p.m. at 634 Purchase Street and is being hosted by the Pilgrim United Church of Christ.  Mr. Soares will be present to listen to the community’s views as he prepares the design for the mural. 
 
If you have questions, please feel free to write to: puccnbcouncil@gmail.com.
 
This program is supported in part by a grant from the New Bedford Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
 
This project also received a Wicked Cool Places grant, facilitated by New Bedford Creative at the NBEDC, and funded by the City of New Bedford’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund, with additional support from Bristol County Savings Bank, Barr Foundation, Mass Cultural Council, and MassDevelopment’s TDI Creative Cities Initiative.
 

Fall River Muni Budget Hearings

The dates and times for the Committee on Finance Meetings are as follows:
•    Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
•    Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
•    Monday, June 6, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
•    Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
•    Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.

 

The dates and times for the Special Meetings of the City Council are as follows (if needed):
•    Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. 
•    Monday, June 6, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
•    Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
•    Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
 

The Sheriff Wants a Closed Loophole

DARTMOUTH – Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson is asking the area’s legislative delegation to pass urgent legislation on Beacon Hill to fix a legal loophole that currently prevents jails and regional lock-ups from housing protective custody individuals.

 

Back in April, the Massachusetts Appeals Court issued a decision in the Baptista vs. Bristol County Sheriff’s Department and the City of New Bedford case in which the court found that intoxicated protective custody individuals cannot be held in a “county jail” but only a “police station.” Following the decision, Sheriff Hodgson notified area police chiefs and the Mass. State Police that the regional Lock-up at the Ash Street Jail in New Bedford could no longer hold protective custody individuals.

 

Sheriff Hodgson is asking the legislature to insert language to close this legal loophole and allow individuals in protective custody to be held at the Ash Street Jail to support the police departments in Bristol County and beyond.

 

“Many police departments don’t have the staffing or facilities to house protective custody individuals,” Sheriff Hodgson said. “Communities across Bristol County are safer when police are on the streets protecting the people rather than sitting at the police station with a protective custody individual.”

 

Sheriff Hodgson recently notified all county police chiefs and the MSP of the legislative request, and several have expressed support and offered to contact legislators to help move the measure along.

 

The Sheriff’s Office was recently cleared in the Baptista lawsuit, which stems from the 2013 death of an individual in protective custody after he got into a fight with another individual in a holding cell at the Ash Street Jail. In 2016, Luis Mojica pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the incident.

Auchencloss Texas Shooting React

“Two things are happening in Texas right now: 18 sets of parents are preparing to bury their children and the NRA is preparing its annual convention.

 

The NRA should cancel its convention, but it won’t – it’ll run the same playbook it has since Columbine.

 

Will any politician who is planning to address the convention speak the plain truth to their craven power?

 

The NRA has blood on its hands. It must be disbanded.” 

Details from Texas via ABC

At least 19 children and two teachers are dead after a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

 

The 18-year-old suspect, a student at Uvalde High School, is also dead, Gov. Greg Abbott said.

 

Abbott said the suspect "shot and killed horrifically and incomprehensibly" more than a dozen students and a teacher.

 

The suspect also allegedly shot and killed his grandmother at a separate scene before entering the school and again opening fire. He then crashed his car outside the elementary school, according to multiple law enforcement officials.


The shooter was identified by law enforcement sources and the governor as Salvador Ramos.

Authorities have recovered an AR-15-style rifle and numerous magazines, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News.


The suspect, who was wearing body armor, was immediately engaged outside the building as he approached the school by a Uvalde Independent School District police officer, who was shot by the suspect, the sources said.

The students shot were mainly third- and fourth-graders, and one teacher, according to the sources.

U.S. Border Patrol Agents responded to a law enforcement request for assistance, and Uvalde ISD officers and Border Patrol Tactical Unit agents traded fire with the suspect inside the building.

 

Two responding police officers were among those injured, Abbott said. They are expected to survive, he said. One of the Border Patrol agents sustained injuries while trying to protect students and is at the hospital recovering, Del Rio Sector Chief Jason D. Owens told ABC News.

 

"When parents drop their kids off at school, they have every expectation to know that they're going to be able to pick their child up when that school day ends. And there are families who are in mourning right now," Abbott said. "The state of Texas is in mourning with them for the reality that these parents are not going to be able to pick up their children."

 



Uvalde Memorial Hospital had said 15 students were being treated in the hospital's emergency department in the wake of the incident. Two patients were transferred to San Antonio for treatment, while a third was pending transfer, the hospital said. A 45-year-old was also hospitalized after getting grazed by a bullet, the hospital said.

 

University Health in San Antonio said it had two patients from the shooting incident -- a 66-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl -- both in critical condition.


Two adult victims of the shooting, both in critical condition, are also being treated at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, according to an Army official.

 

A number of the shooting victims are children of Customs and Border Patrol agents, law enforcement sources told ABC News.


Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin did not confirm casualties, but told ABC News in a text message that "this is a very bad situation." He said the office is trying to contact parents before releasing 

Dartmouth Police Make Arrest After Standoff

According to CBS 12 in Providence, Police have placed a man into custody following a standoff in Dartmouth where the suspect had barricaded himself inside his home. Police were alerted to the area after receiving a call about several people fighting on Fenton Street at approximately 5:07 a.m Sunday morning when Officers then received information that Derrick Paine, 40, barricaded himself inside with a gun he allegedly brandished during the fight. After extended negotiations with police, Paine exited the home and was placed under arrest.

 

Along with an already existing outstanding warrant for prior motor vehicle offenses, Paine was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and carrying a firearm without a license. The incident remains under investigation.

Fall River Capture

On Thursday, May 19, 2022, Fall River Police received information that Eric Espinal (35 years of age) was
going to be travelling to Fall River during the evening hours. 

Espinal was wanted on a warrant stemming
from an incident on Ridge St, in Fall River from the night before where he beat his victim with a pistol and
then shot at them.

 Detectives from the Vice Intelligence and Gang Unit as well as Uniform Division Officers
set up in the area where they expected to see Espinal.
At approximately 9:43pm,

 Espinal was spotted in a motor vehicle. Upon realizing that police were closing
in, Espinal began to run on foot. After a foot chase through the neighborhood, Espinal was taken into
custody in the 500 block of Williams St.

Eric Espinal was arrested and brought to the Fall River Police station where he was processed and ordered
held by a Bail Commissioner. It is expected that Espinal will be brought before the court in Fall River this
morning for arraignment.

The Fall River Police Department would like to thank the community for the information provided which
helped lead to the capture of this dangerous fugitive.
 

Baker-Polito Administration Announces COVID-19 Boosters Available for Children Ages 5-11

Children ages 5-11 now eligible for Pfizer COVID-19 Pediatric Booster
 
BOSTON– Following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Baker-Polito Administration announced today that all Massachusetts residents ages 5-11 are eligible to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 booster. The booster should be administered at least five months after completion of a primary COVID-19 vaccine series to provide continued protection against COVID-19. 

Children ages 5 to 11 are able to receive the Pfizer Pediatric COVID-19 booster from hundreds of locations across the Commonwealth, ranging from retail pharmacies, primary care practices, community health centers, hospital systems, state-supported vaccination sites and mobile clinics. 

“Just as it does for adults, getting a booster dose will provide continued protection for this age group against COVID-19 and its variants, and that’s good news,” said DPH Chief Medical Officer Estevan Garcia. “As a pediatrician and as a parent, I want to stress that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is safe and effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalizations in children, and I encourage parents and families to get their children boosted and contact their health care provider if they have any questions.”

How to find a pediatric COVID-19 booster appointment:
1.    Parents who prefer to have their child vaccinated by their primary care provider should call their provider’s office directly.

2.    Visit the VaxFinder tool at vaxfinder.mass.gov for a full list of hundreds of available locations. Residents will be able to narrow results to search for locations offering the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, with some appointments available now for booking. Additional appointments will be available online in the coming days. Many locations will be booking appointments out weeks in advance.

3.    For individuals who are unable to use VaxFinder, or have difficulty accessing the internet, the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line (Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 6 PM, Saturday and Sunday 9 AM – 2 PM) is available by calling 2-1-1. The COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line is available in English and Spanish and has translators available in approximately 100 additional languages.

The COVID-19 booster is safe, effective, and free.  Additional information on the COVID-booster, including FAQs, can be found at mass.gov/covidvaccinekids .  

Vaccines are widely available across the Commonwealth and the best protection against COVID-19 is remaining up to date on vaccinations and boosters. A fully vaccinated person is much less likely to get sick or spread the virus that causes COVID-19, especially if they have their booster shot. Learn more at https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine

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Volunteers to Create Memorial Day Flag Garden to Honor More Than 37,000 Fallen Heroes

BOSTON – Dozens of military and 9/11 families will join volunteers from throughout the region on Boston Common Wednesday to create the 13th annual Memorial Day flag garden of more than 37,000 flags to honor every Massachusetts fallen service hero since the Revolutionary War.
 
All volunteers will be fully vaccinated and masking will follow the latest guidance from the City of Boston. 
 
On Wednesday May 25, 2022, the flag-planting will begin at 10 a.m. 

On Thursday May 26, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. there will be a public Memorial Day ceremony with families of the fallen heroes, Governor Baker, the Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard, Major General Gary Keefe and other leaders. 
 


What:   Volunteers to plant a total of 37,360 American flags to honor of every military hero from Massachusetts who has fallen since the Revolutionary War. The final 388 flags honoring those who have fallen as a result of the wars since 9/11 will be placed during a small ceremony Thursday.

Who:    Organizers from the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund and its partners at Home Base
Military, 9/11 and volunteer teams
Governor Charlie Baker
Other state, local leaders
 
When:  Flag planting begins Wednesday May 25 at 10 a.m.
            Ceremony with Governor Baker, organizers, families of the fallen Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
 
Where: Adjacent to the Soldiers & Sailors Monument (Charles Street side)
            Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts
 
 

Fall River Rape Conviction

A 42-year-old former Fall River man was sentenced to serve up to 15 years in state prison after being convicted of raping his pre-teen step-daughter on multiple occasions, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Vincente Garcia, who was living in Worcester prior to arrest in March of 2021, pleaded guilty to indictments charging him with one count of rape of a child by force, three counts of rape of a child –aggravated by age difference, two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person under 14 and one count of unnatural acts on a child under 16. 

Between 2011 and 2013, the defendant raped the young girl orally, vaginally and anally.  He indecently assaulted her by forcing her hand on his penis and by touching her vagina with his hand. The child reported that she was terrified of the defendant due to previous domestic violence issues involving the defendant and her mother.  When the victim turned 16 she was a patient at a Franklin County Community Care Center, where she told a nurse about the past abuse. The nurse immediately filed a 51A, which was forwarded on to District Attorney Quinn’s Special Victims Unit for further investigation. 

The victim and her mother submitted victim impact statements to the presiding judge and were both satisfied with the final disposition of this case. 

“The repeated sexual abuse of a young child by this defendant was egregious conduct. I commend the victim for her persistence in disclosing these traumatic experiences. The lengthy state prison sentence holds the defendant accountable for this deplorable conduct,” District Attorney Quinn said.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Maryclare Flynn and the 12 to 15 year state prison sentence was imposed by Judge Renee Dupuis.  Judge Dupuis also ordered that the defendant be placed on supervised probation for an additional 10 years.
 

City of Fall River MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND- 2022 Schedule of Events

FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2022:
The City of Fall River will be conducting a Flag Raising Ceremony at 10:00 AM.
at the main entrance of Oak Grove Cemetery, Prospect St., Fall River, MA and
will be held rain or shine. Public is invited.

FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2018:
The Fall River War Veterans Council in conjunction with Rolling Thunder New
England will be conducting the Washing of the Vietnam Wall at 4:30 PM at
Bicentennial Park, Fall River, MA. To be held rain or shine. Public is invited.

FRIDAY, MAY 27, and SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2022:
The City of Fall River’s Graves Officer and volunteers will be placing
approximately 11,000 American Flags on veterans’ graves throughout the city and
will also place 30 memorial wreaths on veterans’ monuments throughout the city.
To be held rain or shine. Public is invited.


SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2022:
The Fall River War Veterans Council in conjunction with Rolling Thunder New
England will be conducting a Candlelight Ceremony, Vietnam Wall at 8:30 PM
at Bicentennial Park, Fall River, MA. Prior to the ceremony, there will be an
audio and video presentation commencing at 6:00PM and running through to until
the candle lighting. To be held rain or shine. Public is invited

SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2022:
Richard Urban, ESQ and the Polish Kanji Association will be conducting a
ceremony at the Polish Monument at 8:00 AM on Plymouth Ave. Green, Fall
River, MA in front of Holy Trinity Church. There will be a mass held in the
church at 9:00 a.m., with breakfast being served following mass in the Holy Trinity
Hall. To be held rain or shine. Public is invited.

SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2022:
A memorial ceremony in honor of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. James T. Griffin who was
killed in action in Germany on June 11, 1943 during WWII will be held at 11:00
AM, at Griffin Park, located at Fourth, Fifth and Branch Streets. Assembly is
at Corky Row Club on Third and Branch Streets immediately preceding the
ceremony. To be held rain or shine. Public is invited.

SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2022:
The Italian American Veterans and the Sons of Italy will be conducting a
ceremony at the Italian War Veterans’ Monument at just prior to the main
ceremony event at the Vietnam Wall, Bicentennial Park, Fall River, MA. To
be held rain or shine. Public is invited.

SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2022:
The Fall River War Veterans Council in conjunction with Rolling Thunder New
England will be conducting a Wreath Laying Ceremony, Vietnam Wall at
approximately 2:30 PM at Bicentennial Park, Fall River, MA. Prior to the
ceremony, there will be a motorcade into Bicentennial Park by Rolling Thunder
New England. To be held rain or shine. Public is invited


MONDAY, MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 30, 2022:
The City of Fall River will be conducting a Memorial Ceremony in honor of U.S.
Army Pvt. Michael E. Bouthot, U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. Robert J. Barrett
and U.S. Army Spc. Scott A. Andrews, who were killed in action in the Global
War on Terrorism. This ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. at Snake Hill in
North Park, President Ave., Fall River, MA and will be held rain or shine. Public
is invited.


MONDAY, MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 30, 2022:
Richard Urban, Esq. will be holding a memorial ceremony in honor of U.S. Army
Corporal David L. Miller, a WWII Prisoner of War and survivor of the Bataan
Death March of 1942, who died in a Japanese prison camp in 1943. Ceremony
will be held rain or shine at 11:30 a.m. at the Miller Green located at the
intersection of South Main and Shove Streets. Public is invited.
MONDAY, MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 30, 2022:

The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 207 will be conducting their annual
Memorial Day Ceremony at 12:00PM (noon) aboard the USS Massachusetts at
Battleship Cove, Fall River, MA and will be held rain or shine. Public is invited.

MONDAY, MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 300, 2022:
The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 207 and the Fall River War Veterans’
Council will be holding a prayer service and military honors at 1:30 p.m. at the
War Memorial Monument located in upper Kennedy Park, So. Main St.,
(across from St. Anne’s Church), Fall River, MA and will be held rain or shine.
Public is invited.

MONDAY, MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 30, 2022:
The City of Fall River and the Fall River War Veterans’ Council will be
conducting the annual Memorial Day Parade that will travel from Kennedy Park,
So. Main St., east on Sullivan Drive to Third St., Fall River, MA and will
conclude at the Fall River Government Center Atrium, One Government
Center, where closing ceremonies will be held. Assembly of parade is at
Kennedy Park, corner of So. Main St. and Bradford Ave. at 12:30 PM and step
off is at 2:00 PM., rain or shine. Public is invited. 

SouthCoast Honors First Responders

Southcoast ‘Hero for Health’ Awards Presented to First Responders  
During National EMS Week, 36 departments honored for service to their communities 

Southcoast Health announced that 36 municipal departments providing emergency medical services (EMS) across southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and Rhode Island are the recipients of the not-for-profit community health system’s 2021-22 Hero for Health Awards. 

“We recognize that your departments continue to go above and beyond the call of duty, especially during these past two years, placing your lives on the line throughout the pandemic,” Southcoast Health President and CEO Dr. Ray Kruger, a onetime emergency medical technician (EMT) himself, told first responders during a National EMS Week ceremony. “The sacrifice, dedication, and service you and your teams provide cannot be overstated. All of us owe you a debt of gratitude.”

The annual Southcoast Health Hero for Health Award is presented to outstanding leaders who, through their work, advocate for optimal health and wellness in the region. Marylou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, accepted the 2020-21 award. 

“Southcoast Health has played an indispensable role in improving the health and safety of the people of our area,” said Acushnet Fire & EMS Chief Kevin Gallagher, who announced during the event his upcoming retirement after 34 years of service. “From Charlton Memorial’s Heart and Vascular Center to the new Level II Trauma Center at St. Luke’s and the Tobey Emergency Center opening in Wareham on May 25, our neighbors’ lives have been saved and will continue to be saved by this organization. I’ve seen it firsthand, many times over.”

The following departments are Southcoast’s 2021-22 Heroes for Health:

•    Acushnet Fire & EMS  

•    Barnstable Fire Department

•    Berkley Fire & Rescue Department

•    Bourne Fire Rescue & Emergency Services

•    Carver EMS   

•    Centerville Osterville Marston Mills Fire Department

•    Cotuit Fire Department

•    Dartmouth STAT Dartmouth EMS

•    Dighton Fire Department

•    Fairhaven Fire Department

•    Fall River Fire Department

•    Falmouth Fire & Rescue 

•    Freetown Fire Department

•    Hyannis Fire Department

•    Lakeville Fire Department 

•    Little Compton Fire Department

•    Marion Fire & EMS

•    Mashpee Fire & Rescue

•    Mattapoisett Police EMS

•    Middleborough Brewster Ambulance Service

•    Middletown Fire Department

•    New Bedford  EMS

•    Newport Fire Department

•    Portsmouth Fire Department

•    Raynham Fire Department

•    Rehoboth Ambulance Service

•    Rochester Fire Department

•    Sandwich Fire Department

•    Seekonk Fire Department

•    Somerset Fire Department

•    Swansea Ambulance Corps

•    Taunton Brewster Ambulance Service

•    Tiverton Fire Department

•    Wareham  EMS

•    West Barnstable Fire Department

•    Westport Fire Department


 

Swansea PD Honors Fallen Officers

According to CBS 12 in Providence, community members gathered at Swansea Police Department on Wednesday to remember those in law enforcement who have been killed in the line of duty. As part of National Police Week, Swansea Police held a ceremony to honor two of their own in Lt. Robert Cabral and Sgt. Randall Shea.

 

During the ceremony, students in grades 3-5 from Elizabeth S. Brown and Joseph G. Luther Elementary Schools read essays about what a police officer means to them.

Latest COVID Numbers in MA

According to the Boston Herald, Massachusetts reported almost 5,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases and over 11,500 vaccinations, including booster shots, had been administered thursday. The Department of Public Health also reported 14 deaths yesterday. The state reported that over 850 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 with the seven-day percent positivity reaching 9.25%.

 

The Commonwealth has reached a total over 1.68 million cases and over 19,000 total deaths

Mayor Mitchell Announces New Grant Opportunities For Local Artists and Arts Groups

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Speaking at Hatch Street Studies earlier today, Mayor Jon Mitchell and other leaders announced that $1.2 million in funding is being made available to support local artists and art-related organizations.

 

Earlier this year the City launched a Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) to distributed a portion of the federal grant that New Bedford received under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

 

 With today’s announcement, the SBAP will now allocate a portion of its funds exclusively to assist local artists and arts/culture organizations.  The funding will be distributed under three separate initiatives:  Wicked Cool Places, Art is Everywhere, and ARTnet; the New Bedford Economic Development Council (EDC) will be tasked with administering the respective grant processes through the NBEDC’s arts & culture-focused arm, New Bedford Creative.

 

“The artists that comprise New Bedford’s thriving arts community are themselves small businesses.  Funding to accelerate their emergence from the pandemic represents a timely investment in our economy and will energize our cultural scene,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said.

 

"Supporting arts, culture, and creativity is critical to catalyzing broader community and economic development," New Bedford EDC President Tony Sapienza said. "This important boost to support artists and art-related organizations will build the momentum of how the city is promoted to the region and the world – that this is a great place to live, work, and visit."

 

The NBEDC’s New Bedford Creative will administer direct grants through:

 

(1) the existing Wicked Cool Places initiative, for creative placemaking and place-keeping projects;


(2) the Art is Everywhere initiative, for arts-based economic development projects that advance diversity, equity, inclusion and access; and


(3) A new program called ARTnet, which will support economic and professional assistance to help artists create sustainable business plans by providing working capital grants, business planning support, training workshops, and access to a network of creative-entrepreneur peers.

 

ARTnet holds particular promise for the arts community, as it is designed to help the City achieve three key goals in its Arts and Culture Plan:

 

? Incentivize creatives to live and create in the city with affordable workspace;
? Support community development and arts entrepreneurship;
? Establish a leadership group of artists.

 

Altogether, the three initiatives will help advance five major cultural strategies spelled out in the Arts and Culture Plan:


? Expand public art in New Bedford and utilize it as a tool for placemaking and
enhancing the city’s identity as a cultural community;


? Strategically enhance and expand the diversity of programming;


? Increase arts funding, collaboration and resource-sharing to grow the operating
capacity of arts and culture organizations and artists;


? Develop innovative arts programming to position New Bedford as an arts destination;


? Support community development and arts entrepreneurship.


Margo Saulnier, the NBEDC’s director of creative strategies, will manage distributions of art-related grants and support. Saulnier has been with the NBEDC since October 2017 and during that time has managed the City’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund. She also has facilitated the creation and implementation of the city’s strategic arts and culture plan.

 

“New Bedford has an incredible pool of talented people with a deep attachment to the city and a fierce ambition to involve themselves in its civic and professional life," Saulnier said. "On their behalf, I’m thrilled to acknowledge this terrific investment in that pursuit. Those practicing art in all its forms will now have more opportunity to enrich us and make us a greater Destination New Bedford than ever.” 

Learn more on the City’s ARPA website: www.newbedford-ma.gov/arpa.

MOHEGAN BLUFFS STAIRCASE ON BLOCK ISLAND CLOSED TO PUBLIC FOR CRITICAL REPAIRS STARTING MAY 23

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is announcing today that the Edward S. Payne overlook and Mohegan Bluffs staircase on Block Island will be closed to the public due to repairs on the staircase beginning May 23. DEM is partnering with the Town of New Shoreham Fire Department to close the parking lot and staircase until the work is completed.  

 

“Public spaces must be accessible for public enjoyment and accessibility starts with safety,” said DEM Director Terry Gray. “We hope that those wishing to take in the dramatic view of the Atlantic from the overlook will understand that it must be temporarily closed while the staircase is being repaired. As always, DEM appreciates the partnership of the Town of New Shoreham and The Nature Conservancy in ensuring public access to this spectacular vista.”

 

The Mohegan Bluffs are around 150 feet high and located on the southeast coast of Block Island. The staircase has over 140 steps that lead from the top of the bluffs to the beach below. DEM’s contractor is Cranston-based Sole Source Construction. 

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates.

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Wednesday Shooting #2 in Fall River

On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at approximately 8:11pm, Uniform Division Officers responded to the 200
block of Ridge St. on the report of gunfire. Ofc. Connor Levesque investigated and was able to determine
that Eric Espinal (35 years of age) during an argument on the street, struck a victim with a firearm and then
fired two shots striking the victim’s car.

Believing that Espinal was inside of a first floor apartment on Ridge St., and knowing that he was armed,
additional officers responded to the scene and secured the building. The Fall River Police Emergency
Services Unit responded and entered the multi-family home. A sweep was conducted of each floor until it
was determined that Espinal had fled prior to police arrival.

This morning a warrant was issued for the arrest of Eric Espinal for various felony charges some of which
are Firearm Armed Assault to Murder, Carrying a Firearm without a License (3rd offense), Carrying a
Loaded Firearm (2nd offense), and Attempt to Commit A&B by Discharging a Firearm. Please note this is
not a list of all charges.

Eric Espinal (35 years of age) of Norwood, MA should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone seeing
Espinal or knowing his location should not approach but instead call their local police department. Anyone
having information on Espinal or if seen in Fall River please contact us at (508) 676-8511 or (508) 672-
TIPS (8477). 
 

Wednesday Shooting #1 in Fall River

On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at approximately 10:18am, Fall River Police Communications received a
911 call about a shooting in the Corky Row neighborhood. Uniform Division Officers arrived on scene and
quickly determined that gunshots had been fired in the vicinity of Second and Wade Streets.

 Officers and
Detectives from the Major Crimes Division began to canvas the area speaking with witnesses and viewing
surveillance video.

Based on the investigation by lead Detective Cheyenne Fortin, it appears that there were no injuries from
this incident. Detectives were able to determine that a confrontation had taken place between three black
males. At some point two of the males take off running when the third male brandished a handgun and
started shooting at the males running from him.

Detectives were able to determine that the male suspect had entered a Second St. business called “OhKay
Soul”, which had a sign on the door indicating it was closed. Several people were standing outside of the
business one of whom identified herself (Stephanie Micklos, 34 years of age) as the renter of the property
and business owner. Another women present, Alison Dill (37 years of age) identified herself as a friend of
Micklos. These people were brought to the Fall River Police Station to speak with detectives.


A short time later a male was spotted by Ofc. Jonathan Souza, who was watching the property, exiting
OhKay Soul. The male was identified as Kayvon Ashton (36 years of age). Ashton was placed under arrest
due to outstanding warrants while the investigation into the shooting continued.

Based on facts learned during the investigation a search warrant was granted by an Assistant Clerk
Magistrate of the Second (Fall River) District Court for the business identified as OhKay Soul, 394 Second
St. Detectives conducted a search of the business and recovered clothing worn by the shooter during the
incident along with a loaded Glock .40 caliber pistol and 22 round extended magazine. An investigation in
to the status of the firearm is ongoing.

As the investigation unfolded it was determined that Kayvon Ashton was the male responsible for the
shooting. Additionally, the evidence shows that Alison Dill and Stephanie Micklos mislead detectives
during the investigation. All three have been arrested.
 

Massachusetts Announces Second Round of Premium Payments to Low-Income Workers

$500 payments will be delivered to approximately 330,000 individuals in Round 2

BOSTON - The Baker-Polito Administration today announced its plan for a second round of $500 payments to low-income workers under the COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay program, which was passed by the Massachusetts Legislature and signed by Governor Baker in December 2021 as part of a $4 billion spending plan for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. These payments will deliver approximately $165 million to an estimated 330,000 eligible individuals in June. 

The first round of payments <https://www.mass.gov/news/massachusetts-to-begin-distribution-of-premium-payments-to-low-income-workers>, distributed in March 2022, provided $500 checks to approximately 480,000 people. Individuals in the second round of payments did not receive payments in the first round. With this second round of payments, over $400 million of the $460 million program will have been distributed to eligible individuals.

Click here to learn more about the program and see if you are eligible. <https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-essential-employee-premium-pay-program>

The eligibility parameters for the second round of payments largely mirror those of the first round, but criteria have been updated for annual changes in minimum wage and federal poverty level calculations. Eligibility will be based on filed 2021 Massachusetts tax returns. Individuals will be eligible for payments if their 2021 income from employment was at least $13,500 and their total income put them at or below 300% of the federal poverty level. 

The lower bound of this range equates to working 20 hours a week for 50 weeks at minimum wage as of 2021 ($13.50). The federal poverty level is set by the federal government and increases with household or family size. For example, the maximum total income for a single filer with no dependents will be $38,640; a resident who files with a spouse and two dependents, or with no spouse and three dependents, could be eligible with a household income up to $79,500. Married filers can each be eligible, provided each independently qualifies. Based on these parameters, the below chart indicates eligibility for these payments by household size:
 

NB Man Charged with Rape Thanks to DA's Support Dog

A New Bedford man will spend up to 20 years behind bars thanks in part to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office's new support dog. According to CBS 12 in Providence, 44 year old Lawrence Trahan, was convicted earlier this month of aggravated rape of a child and battery of a person under the age of 14. Detectives began investigating trahan in December 2017 when the victim, a 10-year-old girl, first came forward after being sexually assaulted more than 20 times, the DA's office said the victim struggled to talk about what Trahan did to her but that's when the DA's office brought in chief, a support dog whose job is to comfort children during forensic interviews, to help ease her anxiety it worked and, as a result of the victim's testimony, trahan was sentenced to serve between 15 and 20 years in state prison, followed by five years of supervised release. The judge also barred Trahan from having any unsupervised contact with children and ordered to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen Drops Local Lawsuit

According to CBS 12 in Providence, actor Sacha Baron Cohen has agreed to drop his lawsuit against a Somerset cannabis dispensary. Baron Cohen filed a lawsuit against Solar Therapeutics last summer for using his character, borat, on a billboard without his permission, according to Cohen, was seeking $9 million in damages. The billboard showed Baron Cohen posing as Borat to promote the company with the phrase, "It's Nice!" a reference to one of his character's popular catchphrases, as well as, "Happy 4-20!" The lawsuit claimed that Baron Cohen would never help advertise cannabis because he "does not believe it is a healthy choice." It was dismissed without prejudice yesterday, meaning Baron Cohen can't take further legal action against the company.

Congressman Auchincloss Endorses Healey

Today, 4th District Congressman Jake Auchincloss has announced that he has endorsed Attorney General and Democratic Nominee Maura Healey for Massachusetts Governor. Congressman Auchincloss stated that "Maura Healey will keep Massachusetts moving forward - she will continue what is working and fix what is not.”

Fall River Train Incident

On Monday, May 16, 2022, at approximately 7:29pm, Fall River Police Communications received a call
about a derailed train in the area of North Main and Clark Streets in Fall River. It was reported that the train
in question was a freight train and it was learned that it was carrying hazardous cargo.

Upon arrival, police personnel learned that they was no immediate threat to public safety. From viewing
the scene and speaking with the train crew it was learned that the train was travelling south when it collided
with a tree which had fallen on the tracks. Due to what is being described as a low speed collision the train
derailed and came off the track. The train remained upright although it was off the rails. When the
derailment occurred the diesel fuel tank for the train was punctured and began to leak.

Due to the leaking diesel fuel an environmental clean-up company has been contacted and will be
responding to the scene. No injuries have been reported due to this incident.

It is important to note that the train’s cargo is intact. The environmental impact of the spilled diesel fuel is
the primary concern at this point.

Mass Coastal Railroad is the train company and representatives are on scene.

I am being told that the first priority is empty the diesel fuel tank (approx. 18000 gallons), once that is
addressed the work can begin on getting the train back on track.
Fall River Police and Fire are on scene providing assistance. 
 

Sale and Wacha nearing a return

May 16: LHP Chris Sale resumes throwing
In an important development, Sale has resumed his throwing program after being shut down at the beginning of the month due to a non-baseball medical issue. 

“He started playing catch. From where we were a few weeks ago to there, that’s a good sign,” said manager Alex Cora. 

Sale’s original injury was a stress fracture in his right ribcage that he suffered during the lockout in late February. The Red Sox hope he will be ready to return to action in mid- to late-June. Sale was placed on the 60-day injured list prior to the start of the season. -- Ian Browne

May 16: RHP Michael Wacha tunes up for return

Wacha, who was Boston’s best starting pitcher this season before suffering an intercostal injury, fired two innings and threw 35 pitches in a simulated game on May 16. The hope is that Wacha will reclaim his spot in the rotation on May 20, the first day he is eligible to be activated from the 15-day injured list. 

“Let’s see how it feels after [the sim game], how he feels tomorrow, then we'll make a decision if [his next start] is right after,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. -- Ian Browne

Rep. Haddad is star of energy documentary

By Michael Jonas – CommonWealth executive editor
May 16, 2022

 

Rep. Patricia Haddad of Somerset, long a powerful figure in the Massachusetts House, is now also the star of a new documentary written, directed, and produced by California-based filmmaker Kiki Goshay about America’s love affair with energy.
 
The documentary’s strength is the long look it takes at the country’s haphazard energy evolution from one president to the next, and from one crisis to the next. The story is told using Haddad and Somerset as the laboratory where those twists and turns play out – often with devastating personal and environmental consequences.
 
“It is a microcosm of all of America,” Goshay says of Somerset on The Codcast.
 
Somerset is a small community located on Mount Hope Bay across from Fall River. Electricity has long been its chief export, but the fuel used to produce the power has changed with the times. At Brayton Point, the power plant started with coal, shifted to oil when that fuel was cheap and plentiful, and then reverted to coal with the formation of OPEC and the run-up in oil prices in the 1970s.

?(Story continued after the break.)

    
This week on the Codcast, we interview California-based filmmaker Kiki Goshay about her documentary staring Rep. Patricia Haddad of Somerset, a powerful figure in the Massachusetts House.
?Listen to the full interview.

Then came the environmental movement and the discovery that the Brayton Point plant was polluting the air and killing off the fish in the bay. That led to expensive scrubbers and cooling towers, which made the plant too costly to operate when cheap fracked natural gas came along. The plant was torn down and the cooling towers were imploded in April 2019, paving the way for a turn to offshore wind that has taken far longer than planned with the foot-dragging of the Trump administration finally giving way to the full-speed-ahead approach of the Biden administration. (CommonWealth has written a lot about this segment of the town’s history.)
 
What gives the documentary poignancy is its look at how the twists and turns of American energy policy have been felt in Somerset. Haddad recalls how she kept the windows closed on one side of her house to keep the coal dust out, yet accepted that inconvenience and others because the plant kept the town going financially. Indeed, she fought for the coal plant right up until it was torn down.
 
“I fell in love with her when I met her because she’s so open and honest,” said Goshay, “Her personal arc is really interesting to me because she first said she was the queen of coal and now [she says] ‘I’m the witch of wind.’ She is proud to have changed her stance as a politician and a leader to adapt to the reality of what was happening. That’s what we need in leadership, people who will adapt to what’s happening right now, not be stuck in a certain position.”
 
Goshay adopted a very unconventional approach to shooting her series of documentaries over the last three years. She raised enough money to do the filming and editing, using her daughter as the narrator, but she had no commitment from any cable or streaming platform to eventually carry the series. She held a screening of the Somerset episode last week at the local high school.


Goshay said she felt she needed to push ahead with the project for personal reasons as she watched the country fail to wake up to the dangers of climate change. She interviewed scientists, entrepreneurs, and policymakers like Haddad and came away far more optimistic about the nation’s future.
 
“I called [the documentary series] ‘Empowered’ because it’s exactly how I felt personally,” she said. “When I did this deep dive and met all of these people over the course of two years, I felt this excitement for the future for the first time. I really thought, wow, things are going to be better in five years and even better than that in 10 years because I met the people that are doing the work and I realized we have the tools.”
 
One of the people she interviewed was Phil Colarusso, a marine biologist with the Environmental Protection Agency in September 2002. While investigating the environmental impact of the Brayton Point power plant, he went on a dive in Mount Hope Bay and over the course of 50 minutes didn’t see a single fish.
 
Goshay said she asked Colarusso more recently if the fish will ever return. He reminded her of the cleanup of Boston Harbor and its startling return. Goshay said she now believes Mount Hope Bay has a chance to recover.
 
“If we give nature a chance, and back off from fighting it, it comes back,” she said.

Red Sox announce roster moves

BOSTON, MA—The Boston Red Sox today announced the following roster moves:

Reinstated left-handed pitcher Rich Hill from the COVID-19 Related Injured List.

Optioned right-handed pitcher Kutter Crawford to Triple-A Worcester following last night’s game.

Designated outfielder Jaylin Davis for assignment.

Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom made the announcement.

Hill, 42, was placed on the COVID-19 Related Injured List on Friday, May 6, and is scheduled to start tonight’s game against the Texas Rangers. The left-hander tossed 5.0 scoreless innings in his last outing on May 5, his third consecutive scoreless start. In five starts for Boston this season, Hill is 0-1 with a 2.86 ERA (7 ER/22.0 IP).

Crawford, 26, tossed 2.0 scoreless relief innings in last night’s win against the Rangers, striking out one while allowing one hit and one walk. The right-hander made his first Opening Day roster this season and has posted an 8.44 ERA (10 ER/10.2 IP) in eight relief appearances.

Davis, 27, played in two games for Boston after being claimed off waivers on April 28, making one start in left field. The right-handed hitter also played nine games for Worcester, batting .200 (6-for-30) with one home run and three RBI while making five starts in left field, two in center field, and one in right field.

BOSTON RED SOX 40-MAN ROSTER (40)

Pitchers (23): Matt Barnes, Brayan Bello, Ryan Brasier, Kutter Crawford, Tyler Danish, Austin Davis, Jake Diekman, Nathan Eovaldi, Jay Groome, Darwinzon Hernandez, Rich Hill, Tanner Houck, Bryan Mata, Nick Pivetta, Hansel Robles, Hirokazu Sawamura, John Schreiber, Connor Seabold, Matt Strahm, Phillips Valdez, Michael Wacha, Garrett Whitlock, Josh Winckowski

Catchers (4): Ronaldo Hernández, Kevin Plawecki, Christian Vázquez, Connor Wong

Infielders (6): Jonathan Araúz, Xander Bogaerts, Bobby Dalbec, Rafael Devers, Jeter Downs, Trevor Story

Outfielders (5): Jackie Bradley Jr., Franchy Cordero, Jarren Duran, J.D. Martinez, Alex Verdugo

Infielder/Outfielders (2): Christian Arroyo, Kiké Hernández

60-DAY INJURED LIST (3)

Pitchers (3): James Paxton, Chris Sale, Josh Taylor

Fall River Biker Battle

On Saturday, May 14, 2022, at approximately 12:25pm the Fall River Police Department responded to the
area of 1401 Pleasant St. in response to a report of a large fight with weapons.


Upon arrival, officer’s learned that a fight had broken out between two rival motorcycle clubs in the area
of Pleasant St. and Cash St involving approximately 50 individuals.

 

Seven (7) adult males were injured as
a result of the melee. Four (4) were transported to Rhode Island Hospital and the remaining three (3) victims were transported to Charlton Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.



Detectives from the Major Crimes Division have been assigned to investigate the fight. They are currently
conducting interviews and reviewing video surveillance to identify those involved

Arrests in New Bedford and Fall River

Two men have been apprehended in connection with the April 29th homicide of 36-year-old Luis Miranda in New Bedford, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.


Jonathan Medina Perez, 41, was arrested early this morning at his home on Pleasant Street in Fall River.  He is charged with Murder and Two Counts of Armed Assault with Intent to Murder.

Jonathan Goncalves, 33, of New Bedford was arrested on Saturday at his family's home on Washington Street in New Bedford, and charged with Accessory to Murder-Before the Fact and Accessory to Murder-After the Fact.

The arrests came as a result of an extensive investigation by Prosecutors from District Attorney Quinn's office, State Police Detectives assigned to District Attorney Quinn's office and New Bedford Police detectives.

Both defendants will be arraigned this morning in New Bedford District Court.  The arraignments will be handled by Assistant District Attorney Shawn Guilderson, who coordinated the investigation into the homicide.


At 1:01 am on April 29, ShotSpotter alerted New Bedford Police to shots being fired in the area of 193 Weld Street.  When first responders arrived on scene, they located a male gunshot victim as the lone occupant of a Chrysler Sebring.  The victim, later identified as Miranda, was determined deceased on scene by New Bedford paramedics. 
 

_Massachusetts Gas Prices Up 21 Cents

Westwood, MA, May 16, 2022 — Massachusetts’s average gas price is up 21 cents from last week ($4.39), averaging $4.60 per gallon. Today’s price is 53 cents higher than a month ago ($4.07), and $1.69 higher than May 16, 2021 ($2.91). Massachusetts’s average gas price is 12 cents higher than the national average.

 

“The high cost of crude oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, continues to push up pump prices dramatically for consumers,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Government Affairs. “Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline that we typically see between spring break and Memorial Day--which would normally help lower prices--is having no effect this year.”

AAA Northeast’s May 16 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 16 cents higher than last week ($4.32), averaging $4.48 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 41 cents higher a month ago ($4.07), and $1.44 higher than this day last year ($3.04).

RI Legislative Black and Latino Caucus issues statement on Buffalo mass shooting

  STATE HOUSE – The Rhode Island Legislative Black and Latino Caucus, chaired by Rep. Karen Alzate, is issuing the following statement concerning the mass shooting that took place over the weekend in Buffalo, NY:

            “The Rhode Island Black and Latino Caucus extends our deepest sympathies to the victims of, and those affected by, this vile display of hatred, bigotry and evil.  As we learn more about this horrendous attack, it is apparent that we still have much more work to do on preventative mental health treatment and common sense gun laws to ensure these heinous attacks no longer continue in our society. 

 Our hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones and we emphatically condemn the unspeakable and racist evil that was sadly witnessed in Buffalo,” said Representative Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket).

            The Rhode Island Legislative Black and Latino Caucus represents and advocates for the interests of disadvantaged people throughout the State of Rhode Island. It seeks to increase a diverse participation and representation in all levels of government. The goal is to close, and ultimately to eliminate, disparities that still exist between white and non-white Americans in every aspect of life.
 

MassDOT Encourages Drivers to Look Twice for Motorcycles

Motorcyclists advised: be bright and visible, take your time and anticipate

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Four new PSA safety videos now available


BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), in collaboration with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Highway Safety Division, is launching four new PSA safety videos that seek to increase awareness about motorcycle safety.

 

The “At Home” motorcycle safety campaign showcases 14 licensed motorcyclists who are MassDOT employees sharing their riding experiences and discussing common safety problems facing motorcyclists on roadways. The interviews on the PSA safety videos have safe driving tips, suggestions for motorcycle training, mention the dangers posed by vehicles making unsafe left turns, and include the slogan: “RIDE SMART.”  The motorcyclists say riding smart includes taking your time, being bright and visible, anticipating, and riding cautiously.  One interviewee states: motorcyclists are not “invincible.”  

 

Roadway fatalities in Massachusetts and nationwide have been rising since the pandemic began. Motorcyclists face an increased risk of severe injury and death when crashes occur. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and, as the temperature gets warmer, this month usually marks the start of motorcycle riding season for many owners. MassDOT wants to remind all road users of the importance of motorcycle safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,579 motorcyclists died in traffic crashes in 2020, an 11 percent increase from 2019, which accounts for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities that year. 

 

In 2021, Massachusetts had the highest number of motorcyclists killed than in any previous year. The two most common roadway fatality crashes are single-vehicle crashes that involve a motorcycle driver failing to negotiate a curve in the road, and crashes involving a left-turning vehicle striking a motorcyclist.  The “At Home” motorcycle safety campaign aims to remind motorcyclists and vehicle drivers to drive and ride with caution.  Non motorcycle drivers are advised to scan the entire road ahead, stay focused on driving and not be distracted, and especially when turning or changing lanes, be mindful of motorcyclists and always look twice. 

 

MassDOT asks that all road users consider their safety, and the safety and well-being of others on the roadway. Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and vehicle drivers play an essential role in motorcyclist safety. 

The series of motorcycle safety campaign videos can be found on MassDOT’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzBxrvXzs-5EU2BHxbDXa12eSUJxcskZB. 

###


 

MASSACHUSETTS TO COMPETE FOR NEW FEDERAL "HIGH RISK-HIGH REWARD" BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH AGENCY

Governor Charlie Baker, U.S. House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal, UMass President Marty Meehan, and MassBio CEO Joe Boncore launch effort to build Bay State case for newly-funded Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health

 

Today, a new effort was launched to rally support for locating the newly-funded federal Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) in Massachusetts. The effort includes top leaders from Massachusetts higher education, industry and government convened by Governor Charlie Baker, U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means Chair Richard E. Neal, University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan, and MassBio CEO Joe Boncore.

 

ARPA-H was created by the Biden Administration to accelerate research aimed at preventing and curing diseases ranging from infectious disease, chronic disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. The March 2022 omnibus passed by Congress and signed into law by the President invested $1 billion to launch ARPA-H. The President’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposal includes an additional $6.5 billion in funding for ARPA-H for the next three years. 

 

The agency is modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and is designed to be more agile than the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ARPA-H does not yet have an agency headquarters. 

 

“Massachusetts is a global hub for health care research, life sciences, and academia, making our state a highly attractive place for the headquarters of the new ARPA-H agency,” said Governor Baker. “We look forward to working with our partners in government, higher education and the vibrant life sciences and health care sectors of our economy to make a strong case for the Commonwealth to be the home of this exciting new agency.”

 

"Massachusetts has the finest hospitals, colleges and universities, and biotech sector in the world,” said Chairman Neal. “When it comes to healthcare, higher education, and innovation, we are at the forefront of global leadership. Massachusetts is an international hub for medical research and development, which is why our state is the best location for ARPA-H. I am eager to make this a reality."

 

“There is no place in the world better equipped than Massachusetts to host the ARPA-H agency and accelerate innovation through biomedical research,” said President Meehan. “As we have learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we need to be faster and more proactive in confronting global health threats, and this new initiative will advance that mission.”  

 

“Massachusetts has the highest density of biopharma research and development in the country, supported by world-class talent, universities, hospitals, and other research institutions,” said MassBio’s Boncore. “Locating ARPA-H’s headquarters here would enable the federal government to tap into our incredible life sciences ecosystem and leverage the Commonwealth’s synergistic network across industries, research institutions, and the scientific community. Massachusetts has all the ingredients today to unlock the rapid acceleration in biomedical research and development that is ARPA-H’s stated mission.” 

 

With several states expected to pursue the headquarters for ARPA-H, Baker, Neal, Meehan, and Boncore stressed the importance of rapidly building the strongest possible case for Massachusetts, grounded by the concentration of world-class research universities, hospitals, companies, and a bi-partisan commitment in government to build the life sciences ecosystem.

 

Massachusetts continues to see solid indicators of the strength of the life sciences industry and the outsized role the state plays nationally. 18 of the top 20 biopharma companies in the world have a presence in Massachusetts. In 2021, Massachusetts saw a record-breaking 70 percent increase in venture capital (VC) funding, representing 36 percent of the total national VC biopharma investments. Demand for lab space remains high as companies are eager to be in Massachusetts; the state has built and filled over 21.6 million square feet of lab space over the last ten years, with a projected 20 million new square feet in the next 5 years. 


For over a decade, Massachusetts has focused on sustaining and strengthening the Commonwealth’s nation-leading life sciences sector. In 2008, the Commonwealth made a $1 billion, 10-year commitment to solidify the state’s prominence in the life sciences. This ambitious effort, known as the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, created a body, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, charged with carrying out the initiative. In 2018, the Massachusetts Legislature passed, and Governor Baker signed legislation to invest up to $623 million in bond authorization and tax credits over five years in education, research and development, and workforce training.


The following individuals joined Governor Baker, Chairman Neal, President Meehan, and Boncore for a meeting at the UMass Club today to begin forming a statewide coalition to promote Massachusetts’ bid for the ARPA-H headquarters:

 

Paul Andrew, Vice President for Public Affairs & Communications, Harvard University
Jay Ash, President & CEO, Massachusetts Competitive Partnership
Jake Auchincloss, Congressman, MA 4th Congressional District
Robert Brown, President, Boston University
Julie Chen, Chancellor-Elect, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Robert Diamond, Partner, Capitol Counsel
Michael Firestone, Chief of Policy & Strategic Planning, City of Boston
John Fish, Chairman & CEO,  Suffolk Construction
Elissa Flynn-Poppey, Chair of Government Law Practice, Mintz Levin 
Mark Fuller, Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Ari Glantz, Executive Director, New England Venture Capital Association 
David Goldston, DC Office, MIT
Christine Heenan, Chief Communications Officer Executive Partner, Flagship Pioneering
Ann Jablon, Partner, Capitol Counsel
Brian Johnson, President, MassMEDIC
Paula Johnson, President, Wellesley College
Michael Kennealy, Secretary, Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development
Barbara Kroncke, Executive Director, UMass Building Authority
Father William Leahy, President, Boston College
David Madigan, Provost, Northeastern University
Ron Mariano, Speaker, Massachusetts House of Representatives
Edward Markey, U.S. Senator, Massachusetts
Robert McCarron, President, AICUM
Nikko Mendoza, State Director, Office of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren
Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, President & COO, MassBio
Peter Reinhart, Director IALS, UMass Amherst
James Rooney, President & CEO, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
William Shaw, Vice Provost for Research, Tufts University
Michael Sroczynski, Senior Vice President, Massachusetts Hospital Association
Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Boston
Kenn Turner, President & CEO, Mass Life Sciences Center
Steve Walsh, President & CEO, Massachusetts Hospital Association

###


 

Swansea Motorcycle Crash

Swansea Police say two people were seriously injured after their motorcycle collided with a car on Saturday afternoon. According to NBC 10 in Providence, police responded to the intersection of Arrowhead Court and Hortonville Road temporarily closing Hailes Hill to Milford Road after the collision. The 44-year-old man operating the motorcycle and a woman riding with him were transported to the hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the car, a 33-year-old man, was not injured. The crash remains under investigation.

The Patriots 2022 Schedule

 


DATE OPPONENT TIME (ET) NETWORK

New England Pre Season 


TBD NEW YORK GIANTS TBD PATRIOTS PRESEASON TV NETWORK
TBD CAROLINA PANTHERS TBD PATRIOTS PRESEASON TV NETWORK
TBD AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS TBD PATRIOTS PRESEASON TV NETWORK

 

Patriots Regular Season 


DATE OPPONENT TIME (ET) NETWORK


SUN., SEPT. 11 AT MIAMI DOLPHINS 1:00 PM CBS


SUN., SEPT. 18 AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS 1:00 PM CBS


SUN., SEPT. 25 BALTIMORE RAVENS 1:00 PM FOX


SUN., OCT. 2 AT GREEN BAY PACKERS 4:25 PM CBS


SUN., OCT. 9 DETROIT LIONS 1:00 PM FOX


SUN., OCT. 16 AT CLEVELAND BROWNS 1:00 PM CBS


MON., OCT. 24 CHICAGO BEARS 8:15 PM ESPN


SUN., OCT. 30 AT NEW YORK JETS 1:00 PM CBS


SUN., NOV. 6 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 1:00 PM CBS


SUN., NOV. 20 NEW YORK JETS 1:00 PM CBS


THU., NOV. 24 AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS 8:20 PM NBC


THU., DEC. 1 BUFFALO BILLS 8:15 PM PRIME VIDEO


MON., DEC. 12 AT ARIZONA CARDINALS 8:15 PM ESPN


SUN., DEC. 18 AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS 8:20 PM NBC


SAT., DEC. 24 CINCINNATI BENGALS 1:00 PM CBS


SUN., JAN. 1 MIAMI DOLPHINS 1:00 PM CBS


SAT/SUN., JAN. 7/8 AT BUFFALO BILLS TBD TBD

Mayor Mitchell Announces New Grant Opportunities For Local Artists and Arts Groups

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Speaking at Hatch Street Studies on Friday, Mayor Jon Mitchell and other leaders announced that $1.2 million in funding is being made available to support local artists and art-related organizations.
 
Earlier this year the City launched a Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) to distributed a portion of the federal grant that New Bedford received under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  With today’s announcement, the SBAP will now allocate a portion of its funds exclusively to assist local artists and arts/culture organizations.  The funding will be distributed under three separate initiatives:  Wicked Cool Places, Art is Everywhere, and ARTnet; the New Bedford Economic Development Council (EDC) will be tasked with administering the respective grant processes through the NBEDC’s arts & culture-focused arm, New Bedford Creative.
 
“The artists that comprise New Bedford’s thriving arts community are themselves small businesses.  Funding to accelerate their emergence from the pandemic represents a timely investment in our economy and will energize our cultural scene,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said.
 
"Supporting arts, culture, and creativity is critical to catalyzing broader community and economic development," New Bedford EDC President Tony Sapienza said. "This important boost to support artists and art-related organizations will build the momentum of how the city is promoted to the region and the world – that this is a great place to live, work, and visit."
 
The NBEDC’s New Bedford Creative will administer direct grants through:
 
(1) the existing Wicked Cool Places initiative, for creative placemaking and place-keeping projects;
(2) the Art is Everywhere initiative, for arts-based economic development projects that advance diversity, equity, inclusion and access; and
(3) A new program called ARTnet, which will support economic and professional assistance to help artists create sustainable business plans by providing working capital grants, business planning support, training workshops, and access to a network of creative-entrepreneur peers.
 
ARTnet holds particular promise for the arts community, as it is designed to help the City achieve three key goals in its Arts and Culture Plan:
 
? Incentivize creatives to live and create in the city with affordable workspace;
? Support community development and arts entrepreneurship;
? Establish a leadership group of artists.
 
Altogether, the three initiatives will help advance five major cultural strategies spelled out in the Arts and Culture Plan:


? Expand public art in New Bedford and utilize it as a tool for placemaking and
enhancing the city’s identity as a cultural community;
? Strategically enhance and expand the diversity of programming;
? Increase arts funding, collaboration and resource-sharing to grow the operating
capacity of arts and culture organizations and artists;
? Develop innovative arts programming to position New Bedford as an arts destination;
? Support community development and arts entrepreneurship.
Margo Saulnier, the NBEDC’s director of creative strategies, will manage distributions of art-related grants and support. Saulnier has been with the NBEDC since October 2017 and during that time has managed the City’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Fund. She also has facilitated the creation and implementation of the city’s strategic arts and culture plan.
 
“New Bedford has an incredible pool of talented people with a deep attachment to the city and a fierce ambition to involve themselves in its civic and professional life," Saulnier said. "On their behalf, I’m thrilled to acknowledge this terrific investment in that pursuit. Those practicing art in all its forms will now have more opportunity to enrich us and make us a greater Destination New Bedford than ever.” 
 
Learn more on the City’s ARPA website: www.newbedford-ma.gov/arpa.
 

Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics in New Bedford

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Free, walk-up COVID-19 clinics in New Bedford offer all CDC-approved vaccine doses and boosters, for adults and youth. Bringing your vaccination card when getting your booster shot is helpful, but not required. 


Clinics provided by Seven Hills Behavioral Health, unless otherwise marked.

 

NOTE: No clinic will be held at the Andrea McCoy Recreation Center on Saturday, May 28, or at the former Fire Station 11 on Monday, May 30, due to the Memorial Day holiday.

 

Visit vaxnb.com for updated schedules of local COVID-19 vaccination and testing locations. Upcoming vaccine locations in New Bedford include:

 

Saturday, May 14:
-    Andrea McCoy Recreation Center (181 Hillman St.) – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, boosters, vaccines for children 5 – 11, boosters for teens 12-17

Monday, May 16:
-    Former Fire Station 11 (754 Brock Ave.) – 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, boosters, vaccines for children 5 – 11, boosters for teens 12-17

Friday, May 20:
-    PAACA (360 Coggeshall St.) – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, boosters, w/ pediatric vaccines for children 5 – 11 years old & boosters for teens 12-17

Saturday, May 21:
-    Andrea McCoy Recreation Center (181 Hillman St.) – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, boosters, vaccines for children 5 – 11, boosters for teens 12-17

Monday, May 23:
-    Former Fire Station 11 (754 Brock Ave.) – 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, boosters, vaccines for children 5 – 11, boosters for teens 12-17

Friday, May 27:
-    PAACA (360 Coggeshall St.) – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, boosters, w/ pediatric vaccines for children 5 – 11 years old & boosters for teens 12-17

Reminder on the importance of vaccinations: 
Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is not only about protecting yourself – it’s also about protecting your family, friends, and community. Vaccination is critically important to consider ahead of large gatherings, which can lead to super-spreader events, clusters, hospitalizations, and severe illness among people who are unvaccinated. 

State Resources for Vaccine Records, Locations 
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has free online services to find your personal vaccine records and local vaccination locations, including many pharmacies. 
Access your vaccine records at https://myvaxrecords.mass.gov/, and find local listings at https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/.
 

Upcoming COVID-19 Testing Sites in New Bedford

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Project Beacon’s appointment-based COVID-19 testing at New Bedford Regional Airport—part of the state’s Stop the Spread program—is offering testing on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. 

Appointments for free COVID-19 tests can be made at beacontesting.com. Airport officials ask that people reach the site via the airport’s side entrance on Downey Street. 

Contact Project Beacon by email at help@beacontesting.com; or by calling 617-741-7310.

NOTE: Project Beacon will not be offering testing on Sunday, May 29, due to the Memorial Day holiday.  

The federal government is offering free at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits online, at COVIDtests.gov. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order TWO SETS of four free tests. If you’ve only ordered one set of four, you are now eligible to order a second set. 

If you test positive with a rapid test, isolate for at least five days and notify close contacts. State guidance on isolation and quarantining can be found here.
If you test negative, re-testing a day or more later is advised, particularly if you have symptoms or a known exposure to the virus. 

Testing sites in New Bedford and surrounding towns can be found on the state’s Stop the Spread website, www.mass.gov/info-details/find-a-covid-19-test.

Upcoming testing locations in New Bedford include: 

Sunday, May 15: 
-    Project Beacon at New Bedford Regional Airport (1569 Airport Road) – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, May 17: 
-    Project Beacon at New Bedford Regional Airport (1569 Airport Road) – 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, May 19:
-    Project Beacon at New Bedford Regional Airport (1569 Airport Road) – 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday, May 22: 
-    Project Beacon at New Bedford Regional Airport (1569 Airport Road) – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, May 24: 
-    Project Beacon at New Bedford Regional Airport (1569 Airport Road) – 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, May 26:
-    Project Beacon at New Bedford Regional Airport (1569 Airport Road) – 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
 

RI Senate, House committees to consider cannabis legalization bills

STATE HOUSE – The Senate Judiciary Committee and House Finance Committee are scheduled to vote on bills to legalize recreational cannabis in Rhode Island on Wednesday, May 18.


The legislation (2022-S 2430 and 2022-H 7593), introduced by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence) and Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence), would legalize, regulate and tax the sale and possession of cannabis for recreational use. It also includes social equity provisions to reduce barriers to participation for those communities that have long been disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition.


Amended language will be posted at least 24 hours prior to the May 18 committee meetings.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 3:30 p.m. in Room 313 on the third floor of the State House.


The House Finance Committee will meet at the Rise of the House (approximately 5:30 p.m.) in Room 35 on the lower level of the State House.
Both meetings will be live streamed at http://rilegislature.gov/CapTV/Pages/default.aspx. 
 

ANNUAL REHOBOTH's TOWN MEETING TOMORROW - SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2022

Rehoboth's Annual Town Meeting is set for 1:00 PM on Saturday, May 14, 2022 - Francis Farm Community Complex - Museum Building - 27 Francis Farm Road, Rehoboth (Off County Street).

 

 Voter Check-In starts at 12:00 PM. Warrant and Finance Committee Documents are located @ https://www.rehobothma.gov/home/news/annual-town-meeting-may-14-2022-warrant-posted 

Celtics Force a Game 7 Sunday

The NBAs Eastern Conference Semi Final Series between the Celtics and the defending NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks will go to a Game 7 at the T-D Garden, after a 108 95 Boston win Friday Night. 

 

You'll hear the game on the Celtics Radio Network Sunday on WHTB starting at 3pm with a 3:30 Tip,

 

 

TF Green Postponing Some Flights

According to NBC 10 IN Providence, Breeze Airways saying yesterday that it is suspending its brand-new nonstop service from Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport to Jacksonville, Florida, for the month of June. Nonstop flights to Jacksonville will begin in May, but will not be available in June.

Bristol Community College announces in-person Commencement Ceremony, Class of 2022 Valedictorian, Salutatorian and prestigious award recipients.

Bristol Community College will celebrate its 55th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 21, 2022, beginning at 11 a.m., under the college’s solar canopies at the Bristol Fall River Campus, 777 Elsbree Street. The first in-person commencement ceremony since the pandemic began in March 2020.  

 

At the upcoming in-person ceremony, Bristol will award approximately 971 degrees and certificates including degrees in Associate in Science, Associate in Arts, and Associate in Applied Science. Certificates of achievement will also be awarded. Academic achievement with cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude designations will additionally be recognized. Graduates from all Bristol Community College locations will attend, including the Attleboro Campus, Fall River Campus, New Bedford Campus and Taunton Center. 

 


Bristol is also hosting “Take Two!," an in-person celebration of the college’s 2020 and 2021 Graduates, on Friday, May 20, at 5 p.m. Bristol’s ‘20 and ‘21 graduates, as well as their guests will gather under the solar canopies on the Fall River Campus, where the 2022 commencement stage and seating will be set up. After brief welcoming remarks, each graduate will have their name called and be given the opportunity to cross the stage and be photographed. For more information, please visit www.bristolcc.edu/taketwo.  

 

The college would like to take this opportunity to announce our prestigious award recipients including the Class of 2022 Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Distinguished Citizen Award and Honorary Degree. 

For updates about Bristol’s 2022 in-person Commencement Ceremony, please frequently visit http://www.bristolcc.edu/commencement.  
   

CLASS OF 2022 VALEDICTORIAN AND SALUTATORIAN   

This year’s Valedictorian is Victoria Perry, of New Bedford, Associate in Science in engineering science (engineering science transfer); and the Salutatorian is Kevin England, of Wareham, Associate in Arts in general studies.  

   
Victoria Perry, of New Bedford, is a 17-year-old full-time dual-enrollment student and leader dedicated to her long-time goal of becoming a fighter pilot. In May, she will achieve both her Associate in Science in engineering science (engineering science transfer) and High School diploma. She is Bristol’s first United States Naval Academy Midshipman and is the prime example of how far Bristol students can soar. 
 

Victoria excelled in her courses and actively served the college as Vice President of the Student Senate, Open Educational Resources Taskforce Student Ambassador, Grievance Committee Student Representative, Academic Calendar Committee Student Representative and as a member of STEM Starter Academy. A believer in giving back to her community, Victoria is an Eagle Scout and volunteers at regional food drives and nursing homes. 

 
Victoria credits Bristol’s Dual-Enrollment program with advancing her educational and career goals through the program’s challenging college-level coursework, academic advising and inclusive experience. She is grateful to the college’s faculty and staff for their unwavering encouragement, guidance and support throughout her academic journey at Bristol. 
 
Victoria will report for her Plebe year at the United States Naval Academy in the summer of 2022. Acceptance to the academy is extremely limited with a nine percent acceptance rate. 

Kevin England, of Wareham, attributes his success to the support of his family, friends and Bristol faculty who have helped him to persevere past his challenges and become a voice for others with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In high school, Kevin was a member of the National Honor Society, received the Principal’s Award and earned all A grades as one of the top 10 in his class. 

 
While studying at Bristol, Kevin also excelled academically and was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year colleges, for students with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher. In addition, he serves his community as a volunteer in the CARE program at Wareham Middle School, regional food drives and raising money for UNICEF.  

 

To achieve his academic and career goals at Bristol, Kevin utilized the college’s Tutoring and Academic Support Center and worked closely with the college’s Office of Disability Services on individualized support services and accommodations that worked best for him.  

 
This fall, Kevin will continue his education in communications at Bridgewater State University, with the goal of pursuing a career in the social media or multimedia field. 
The college is proud to announce the following prestigious award recipients to be honored at Bristol Community College’s 2022 Commencement Ceremony:  
   
DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN AWARD 

The Distinguished Citizen Award is presented annually to an outstanding local citizen whose character and achievements have enriched the life of the community, or to an individual who has made distinguished contributions in the fields of health, education, business, industry, labor, government or the arts.  

This year, the 2022 Distinguished Citizen Award was presented to Gail M. Fortes 

Gail M. Fortes has served as the Executive Director of the YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts since September 2006. She has also served the YWCA in numerous other roles and capacities since January 1994. Gail is a dedicated community member and is truly committed to the YWCA mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.  

 

Gail earned her bachelor's degree in physical education and master's degree in public administration from Bridgewater State University. She is also the recipient of the 2015 New Bedford Woman of the Year Award from The Standard-Times and a 2016 Unsung Heroine Award from the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.  

 

In her role at the YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts, Gail oversees programming in the areas of racial and social justice, economic empowerment, adult and youth services, and residential programming for women. Under her leadership, the YWCA completed a $4.2 million capital project, which included the renovation of the historic Levi Standish House (YWCA administrative offices) and the construction of a two-story building addition that included the YWkids School Age Child Care, a Mass. licensed Early Education and Care program for 52 children ages 5 to 13 on the first floor, and on the second floor, Another Woman's Place Residential Program that includes eight single room occupancy housing units for low-income women ages 18 and over. 

 

As a tireless community leader, Gail serves on several boards and community organizations including Vice-Chair of the Southcoast Community Foundation, Past President of the National Association of YWCA Executives, Board Member of the One SouthCoast Chamber, Board Member of BayCoast Bank, Trustee for Alma del Mar Charter School, Trustee for Global Learning Charter Public School, Board Member of the United Front Development Corp., Chair of the Board for Youth Opportunities Unlimited and Treasurer of the Cape Verdean Association in New Bedford. Gail also serves as host of the Dartmouth Cable Television Show “Voices of Women.” 

Gail M. Fortes is a resident of New Bedford. 

HONORARY DEGREE OF ASSOCIATE IN HUMANE LETTERS  

  

The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education has granted Bristol Community College the right to award honorary associate degrees in humane letters. The college awards these degrees to individuals who illustrate, through a career of intellect and service, the best of Bristol Community College’s vision – to change the world, learner by learner. 

This year’s 2022 honorary degree recipient is Kerry Murphy Benenato, Ph.D. for her innovative contributions to medicine, including mRNA-1273, Moderna, Inc.’s COVID-19 Vaccine. 

Dr. Benenato received her Bachelor of Science in chemistry, with a minor in math from Providence College; her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Boston College and was a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University. 

Following her post-doctoral work, she joined AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, where she was part of the Infectious Diseases group, focusing on the identification of new therapies for gram-negative bacterial infections. After seven years at AstraZeneca, she joined Moderna, Inc. as the founding member of the Platform Delivery Chemistry team, aimed at identifying novel lipid nanoparticle components for the delivery of mRNA therapies. 


Dr. Benenato is currently the Vice President of Platform Delivery at Moderna, responsible for the organization's Discovery Chemistry, Pre-formulation and Formulation Discovery teams. Since joining Moderna, she has led the discovery of multiple novel delivery vehicles, which have progressed into human clinical trials for a range of indications. She is also an inventor of over 20 United States Patents.   

LAST LECTURE  

The Last Lecture is a faculty honor created by the Bristol Community College Student Senate. The award honors one exemplary faculty member who has affected students’ education and their lives in significant ways.  

Kathleen Plante, Ph.D., RN, Professor of Nursing at Bristol Community College has been selected by students to deliver the Last Lecture at Bristol’s 2022 Commencement Ceremony.  

   

GRAND MARSHAL 

Howard Tinberg, Ph.D., Professor of English at Bristol Community College, has been honored to serve as the Grand Marshal at Bristol’s 2022 Commencement Ceremony. Continuing Bristol's tradition of awarding this honor to one of the college's longest-serving faculty or staff members, Dr. Tinberg will lead this year’s graduates to the commencement stage. 


For more information about Bristol Community College’s 2022 Commencement Ceremony, please visit http://www.bristolcc.edu/commencement. 


 

A Dangerousness Result

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III today announced that Scot Trudeau, the 47-year-old Worcester man indicted recently for a cold case 2010 New Bedford aggravated rape thanks to the DA’s Untested Rape Kit Initiative, was found dangerous by a Superior Court judge and is being held without bail.

 

A 30-minute long dangerousness hearing was held on Tuesday before Judge Gregory White in Fall River Superior Court.  During that hearing Deputy District Attorney William McCauley argued that the defendant should be found dangerous and held in jail pending trial. Today, Judge White agreed, and issued a brief slip opinion stating that the defendant is a danger to the community and should be detained.  The defendant is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on June 14.

 

“I am very pleased with the court’s ruling in this matter.  This was an important step in the process of protecting the public and hopefully bringing justice to a victim who went through the trauma of being raped and the indignity of having to then submit to a rape kit procedure only to then learn more than a decade later that her rape kit was never fully tested,” District Attorney Quinn said. “This case demonstrates why my office undertook the painstaking process of first discovering a massive statewide problem, then finding a way to solve it in Bristol County and finally put that plan into action.  If this victim’s rape kit had been fully tested, this defendant would have been arrested seven years ago.”

 

District Attorney Quinn’s Untested Rape Kit Initiative led to the recent indictment of Mr. Trudeau on charges of Aggravated Rape and Assault and Battery connected to the cold case 2010 rape of a woman in New Bedford.  


 
On March 18 2010, a 23-year-old woman was walking along Coffin Avenue in the north end of New Bedford when she was violently attacked by two men.  She was struck in the head and then dragged to a  secluded area, where one of the men (this defendant) raped her while the other one held her down.  She could not see or identify them because they were wearing hooded sweatshirts.  She gave a description of them to the police and was taken to St Luke’s Hospital for treatment. While at the hospital, the victim submitted to a sex assault evidence collection kit (Rape Kit).  

 

That kit was one of more than 1,100 from Bristol County alone that was never fully tested by the state lab.  However, after our office became aware of the scope and breadth of the problem with untested rape kits in Bristol County and throughout the state, we took action to obtain a federal grant. We then began the painstaking process of inventorying and prioritizing all untested rape kits in our county, and are now in the process of getting all 1,148 previously untested Bristol County rape kits fully tested by a private lab under the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant obtained by District Attorney Quinn in 2019.


 
In February of 2022, the rape kit connected to this case was tested and resulted in the recovery of a DNA profile, which in turn resulted in a CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) hit to Scot Trudeau, 47, of Worcester.  If this victim’s rape kit had been fully tested in 2010, it would have matched to the defendant’s DNA sample provided after his federal conviction in 2015 for child sexual exploitation.  Furthermore, if we had not undertaken this initiative and brought this issue to light statewide, the kit would likely never have been fully tested and the case would have remained unsolved.  The statute of limitations on this case would have expired in March 2025.  We are hopeful that this case will be the first of several to be solved thanks to our initiative. 

 

“I am extremely pleased that our rape kit testing initiative has already resulted in indictments against this defendant for a cold case violent sexual assault committed more than a decade ago in New Bedford.  This case demonstrates the importance of fully testing all sexual assault kits. If we did not obtain the grant to have all these kits fully tested, this case never would have been solved and the statute of limitations would have expired,” District Attorney Quinn said. “Victims who have been sexually assaulted have gone through a very traumatic experience and have a right to have these kits fully tested, especially when an assailant cannot be identified.”

 

Mr. Trudeau is currently on federal probation after serving a federal sentence for attempting to travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. 
  
When informed about the indictment and the underlying issues regarding untested rape kits throughout the state, the victim in this case expressed shock about the rape kit never being tested, appreciation to our office for going through this meticulous process to revive her case and many others, and relief that the suspect has now been identified and will be prosecuted. 
 
The revelation that so many rape kits throughout the state were not being fully tested began shortly after a defendant by the name of John Loflin was convicted in late 2013 for the cold case 2002 murder of Marlene Rose in New Bedford.  Loflin had previously been charged with a 1997 New Bedford rape, but the case was eventually dismissed after the alleged victim left the country.  

 

The alleged victim in that case submitted to a rape kit.  That rape kit was sent up to the state lab three weeks after the rape, but unbeknownst to law enforcement, it had never been fully tested.  After Marlene Rose was murdered in 2002, DNA evidence was collected and sent to the state lab for testing.  If the 1997 rape kit had been fully tested at the time, the Marlene Rose DNA evidence would have matched to that 1997 case and Loflin would have been arrested in connection to the Marlene Rose homicide.  Instead, Loflin was not identified as the murderer of Rose until 2011 when he was arrested in Tennessee on unrelated charges.  Loflin was compelled by Tennessee law to provide a DNA sample as a result of his criminal charges in that state. Once that DNA sample was uploaded to CODIS, it immediately matched with the 2002 DNA evidence connected to the murder of Marlene Rose.  Loflin was then charged here in Bristol County with Marlene Rose’s murder and was eventually convicted and sentenced to life in prison in November of 2013.
 
After learning about the 1997 rape case and discovering that the rape kit in that case had never been tested, our office began looking into other cold case rapes and attempted to determine whether there were other rape kits that were also not fully tested by the state lab. District Attorney Quinn poured a number of resources and man hours into this review.  After inventorying many rape kits from all 20 of Bristol County’s cities and towns, it began to become clear that there were a great deal of rape kits that were not being fully tested.  Our office then researched and applied for the federal SAKI grant. In October of 2018, our office was notified that our grant application was approved and that federal grant money would be awarded.  In June of 2019, the federal grant money was deposited into the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office account.  We immediately used that grant money to hire a retired Massachusetts State Police detective to assist staff members in our office with training, inventorying and prioritizing the untested rape kits.  Our office is the first District Attorney’s office in the state to undertake this large-scale initiative and obtain the federal grant program.
 
After numerous delays due to Covid-19 and other issues with the state lab, the first batches of prioritized untested rape kits were sent to a private lab (Bode Laboratories) for testing in April of 2021.  Although the testing got off to a slow start, we have been informed that all 1,148 previously untested rape kits will likely be fully tested by the private lab by the end of this year.  Our office is optimistic that other cold case sexual assaults and other crimes will be solved as a result of this initiative.

 

“During the investigation of a cold case homicide we discovered that more than 1,100 rape kits in our county had not been fully tested.  This was totally unacceptable, especially for victims, the public and law enforcement who believed these kits were being fully tested. I immediately dedicated office resources so that every rape kit would now be fully tested to help identify perpetrators who had remained uncharged," District Attorney Quinn said.  "I am optimistic there are other cases that will be solved as a result of our rape kit initiative. Our office discovered a major problem, took action and devoted an immense amount of resources to it, and is now in the process of solving it.” 


 

Patriots Potential Trade

Mike Reiss
ESPN Staff Writer

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots are finalizing a trade of backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham to the Las Vegas Raiders, a source confirmed to ESPN.

The teams will flip late-round draft picks in the deal, according to a source.

Stidham, who at one point was considered a top candidate to replace Tom Brady in New England in 2020, enters his fourth season in the NFL and will vie for a backup spot behind starter Derek Carr in Las Vegas. He joins Nick Mullens and Garrett Gilbert in a competition for that role.


SI.com first reported the trade Thursday morning.

As for Stidham's time with the Patriots, it took several notable turns. The former Auburn star was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 draft and quickly ascended to the No. 2 role behind Brady in his rookie season.

Then when Brady departed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency in 2020, Stidham seemed primed to elevate to the starting role before New England signed veteran Cam Newton in the weeks leading up to training camp. Newton quickly earned the No. 1 job, and veteran Brian Hoyer also beat out Stidham for the top backup spot.

In 2021, Stidham's path was blocked again when the Patriots selected quarterback Mac Jones in the first round of the draft. Stidham's standing on the 2022 roster was placed in jeopardy when the Patriots selected Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe in the fourth round of the draft.

Stidham has appeared in eight games over his three NFL seasons, all as a reserve. He has completed 48 of 124 passes for 270 yards, with two touchdowns and four interceptions.

He has one year remaining on his contract and is scheduled to earn a base salary of $965,000. The Patriots have been tight to the salary cap, and trading Stidham provides some short-term relief.

N-B Mayor Announces Community Development Funding in Draft Action Plan

Proposed Projects Include Renovations to Boys & Girls Club, West Beach Bathhouse  

 

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Mayor Jon Mitchell announced nearly $6 million in proposed funding allocations detailed in the City’s draft FY 2022 Housing & Community Development Action Plan, which is open for public comment.

 

Proposed allocations include $480,000 for building renovations at the Greater New Bedford Boys & Girls Club and $850,000 in improvements to the West Beach Bathhouse, including handicap accessibility. Additional proposals in the plan include nearly $1.9 million for home investment partnerships, such as the Rental Housing and Neighborhoods First programs.  

 

The draft Action Plan is subject to New Bedford City Council approval and proposes allocations of funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provided to support local housing and community development needs. Funds also include existing and anticipated income from City programs, and are allocated through three channels: Community Block Development Grants (CDBG); the HOME Investment Partnership program (HOME); and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG).

 

“These programs are vital to our neighborhoods, families, and residents who otherwise need housing support,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “The proposed allocations will strengthen key programs and facilities across the City, and are the product of a thoughtful public input process.” 

 

The draft plan states that: “The primary objective of the CDBG program is to develop viable communities through the provision of decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities. HOME funds are dedicated to preserving and creating affordable housing. ESG supports outreach and shelters for homeless persons, as well as programs that prevent or rapidly re-house individuals and families experiencing homelessness.” 

 

This year’s proposed allocations total $3.8 million in CDBG funding, $1.9 million in HOME funding, and $290,000 in ESG funding. 

 

The City’s Office of Housing and Community Development has held an extensive outreach and local input process in recent months, including two public forums held in January via Zoom, followed by a public comment period in February and March. That process led to the current draft plan, which is scheduled to appear before New Bedford City Council for review at upcoming meetings. 

 

“We look forward to taking up this draft plan at City Council later this month,” City Council President Ian Abreu said. “This Action Plan has direct impacts on all of our neighborhoods and quality of life, and we hope to hear from as many constituents as possible during this comment period.” 

 

“Community Development funding is critical for supporting our neighborhoods and families,” City Councilor Ryan Pereira said. “I’m excited to participate in this public process and listen to the people of New Bedford.”

The current public comment period is open through May 20. 

View the draft plan on the Housing and Community Development website, here: https://www.newbedford-ma.gov/housing-community-development

Written comments are encouraged and can be submitted via email to: OHCD@newbedford-ma.gov, or by mail to: Office of Housing and Community Development, 608 Pleasant St., New Bedford MA, 02740. 
 

Warren Book Statements

SEATTLE -- A federal judge in Seattle has declined to order Sen. Elizabeth Warren to retract statements she made criticizing a book that promotes misinformation about COVID-19 and suggesting that companies that sold it might face liability.

 

U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein on Monday issued an order rejecting the request by the publisher and authors of the book “The Truth About COVID-19,” which accuses the “global elite” of using the pandemic to grab “unprecedented power.”

 


The publishing company, Chelsea Green of White River Junction, Vermont, and the authors, including prominent anti-vaccine propagandist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., sued the Massachusetts Democrat last fall. Kennedy is a nephew of President John F. Kennedy and the son of his slain brother, former U.S. attorney general, civil rights activist and Democratic presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy.

 

The lawsuit said a letter Warren sent to Amazon complaining about the company's sale of the book amounted to censorship. The plaintiffs sought a preliminary court order requiring Warren to publicly retract her letter and banning her from issuing further such letters.

 

The book is by Dr. Joseph Mercola, a Florida osteopath who has a long history of selling unapproved health products, and Ronnie Cummins, an activist against genetically modified food. It features a foreword by Kennedy.

It promotes unproven and possibly dangerous treatments for the coronavirus, Warren said, while falsely suggesting COVID-19 vaccines approved by the government have not been properly tested. The Food and Drug Administration has warned Mercola to stop offering vitamin D and other products as “safe and/or effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.”

In a letter last September, Warren accused Seattle-based Amazon of peddling misinformation, saying the company's search algorithms promoted the book. Warren suggested Amazon's actions were “unethical, unacceptable, and potentially unlawful,” and she asked the company to review its algorithms.

Two days later, another bookseller, Barnes & Noble, stopped sales of the work.

Chelsea Green, along with the book’s authors, sued, saying the book contains factual information and reasonable opinions protected by the First Amendment. Warren’s “veiled threats” that Amazon or other booksellers could face legal repercussions for selling the book amounted to unlawful government censorship, the lawsuit said.

But in her order denying the request for a preliminary injunction, Rothstein noted that Warren is just one senator, “far removed from the power to legally punish booksellers for continuing to sell” the book.

“The threat of legal sanctions can act as an unlawful restriction on speech, but a threat will only be perceived as such if there is a realistic chance the threatened action can be carried out,” Rothstein wrote. “Defendant Warren does not have any unilateral investigative authority, and there is no immediate statutory basis for her statement that Amazon’s practices are ‘potentially unlawful.’”

The lawsuit continues but the judge wrote that the plaintiffs were “unlikely to succeed on the merits of their claim that Defendant Warren’s letter constitutes a prior restraint on speech.”

The book continued to be offered for sale on Amazon's website.


 

NBPD Arrest Three on Gun and Drug Charges

According to ABC 6, New Bedford Police arrested three people on drug and gun charges on Monday. Police said that they arrested 42-year-old Johna fonseca, 28-year-old Keeland Rose, and a juvenile. Detectives watched a drug deal between Fonseca and Rose, where Fonseca bought a percocet from Rose. Investigators said that they stopped Rose as well as a juvenile shortly after the deal. During a search police seized a 22-caliber revolver loaded with five rounds of ammunition from the juvenile, and a Smith And Wesson Bodyguard 38 LOADED with three rounds of ammunition from Rose. ROSE faces 3 charges, Fonseca faces 2, and the juvenile with 1 of carrying a loaded firearm and ammunition without a license. Police said that they have now seized seven guns in the city so far in May alone.

''Operation Shore Thing''

"Operation Shore Thing," a multi-jurisdictional year-long extensive investigation into a narcotics trafficking ring operating in and around Taunton and Fall River, has resulted in the seizure of approximately $350,000 worth of fentanyl and oxycodone, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III and State Police Superintendent, Col. Christopher Mason announced.

 

In all, "Operation Shore Thing" resulted in the seizure of approximately 1,950 grams of fentanyl, 4,310 oxycodone tablets, 51 grams of crack cocaine, two illegal firearm and $75,000 in cash.

 

"I’m very pleased this investigation, in collaboration with the CINRET Unit of the state police and others, resulted in the dismantling of a large scale fentanyl distribution ring that was connected to a number of communities in our county," District Attorney Quinn said. "The investigation involved the seizure of just under two kilos of fentanyl, thousands of oxycodone pills and other narcotics that contribute to the drug problem in our community, and sadly result in fatal overdoses.  We will continue to investigate these drug organizations and hold people accountable for contributing to the ongoing addiction problems in our communities."

 

For more than a year, the Massachusetts State Police Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction Enforcement Team (CINRET) South task force and prosecutors from District Attorney Quinn's office proactively investigated a drug trafficking organization based out of Bristol County. The trafficking organization was suspected of perpetuating street and mid-level opioid drug dealing throughout Bristol County and the region. The investigation included numerous search warrants for covert surveillance of the organization.
 
The mission of CINRET South is to partner with other state, local and federal agencies to work collectively in partnerships to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations. CINRET South identifies, targets, investigates, and seizes the illicit assets of drug trafficking organizations whose transportation and/or distribution of opioids, specifically fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone, and other drugs that extensively impact southern Massachusetts and the surrounding New England region in a negative manner with overdoses, hospitalizations, violent crimes, and property offenses. CINRET South is comprised of members of the Massachusetts State Police, Homeland Security Investigations, the Brockton Police Department, and the East Bridgewater Police Department. 
 
On Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at approximately 4:08 pm, CINRET South, members of District Attorney Quinn’s Massachusetts State Police Unit, Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit, Massachusetts State Police D-Community Action Team, Fall River Police, Taunton Police, and Somerset Police members formed four teams and spontaneously arrested six target subjects and executed search warrants at four locations in Taunton and Fall River.
 
After the six arrests and search warrant executions in Bristol County, investigators identified the primary oxycodone source of supply to the organization. The residence, verified through surveillance and records checks, was identified, and located in Lawrence.  On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at approximately 6:03am, CINRET South, along members of CINRET North, Lawrence Police, Andover Police, and Homeland Security Investigations executed a “knock and announce” search warrant in Lawrence without incident. The oxycodone supplier was located and apprehended.

 

“Operation Shore Thing leaves us sure of one very big thing - southeastern Massachusetts is safer today than it was before, thanks to the tenacious work of state troopers,  police officers, federal agents, and prosecutors. Through their efforts, a heavy volume of illegal narcotics that fuel pain, death, and addiction were taken out of circulation, and the crew who profited from the misery that their product inflicted on others now face justice," Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, said. 

The following individuals were arrested:
 
1. Christopher MCLAUGHLIN, 40, of  56 Saint Joseph Street, Apt#302, Fall River
 
- Conspiracy to violate the drug law
- Trafficking Fentanyl
- Trafficking Cocaine
- Trafficking Oxycodone 
- Possession with intent to Distribute Class B 
 
2. Casey RUBY, 34, of 62 Shores Street, Apt#1, Taunton MA
 
- Conspiracy to violate the drug law
- Trafficking Fentanyl
- Trafficking Cocaine
- Trafficking Oxycodone
- Possession with intent to Distribute Class B 
- Possession of a Firearm w/o ID x 2
- Possession of a large capacity weapon of feeding device x 2
- Possession of ammunition without FID card
 
3. Joshua NAZARIO, 31, of 62 Shores Street, Apt#1, Taunton, MA
 
- Conspiracy to violate the drug law
- Trafficking Fentanyl
- Trafficking Cocaine
- Trafficking Oxycodone
- Possession with intent to Distribute Class B 
- Possession of a Firearm w/o ID x 2
- Possession of a large capacity weapon of feeding device x 2
- Possession of ammunition without FID card
 
4. Eddyberto MEJIA, 28, of 46 Cottage Street, Taunton, MA
-Conspiracy to violate the drug law
- Possession with intent to Distribute Class B (Oxycodone)
 
5. Eusebio ANDRADE, 39, of 1205 Cohannet Street, Taunton, MA
 
-Trafficking Fentanyl
-Conspiracy to violate the drug law
- Trafficking Oxycodone
 
6. Corey ROBEIRO, 32, of 68 Wales Street, Apt. 2, Taunton, MA
 
-Conspiracy to violate the drug law
-Trafficking Fentanyl
-Possession of Class B drug 
 
7. Rocio TAVERAS, 48 of 64 Nesmith Street, Lawrence, MA 
 
-Conspiracy to violate the drug law
- Trafficking Oxycodone 
- Distribution of Class B (Oxycodone) 

Sale Setback

Ian Browne

@IanMBrowne

This story first appeared on The Red Sox Website 

BOSTON -- Red Sox ace Chris Sale’s return from a stress fracture in his right rib cage will be delayed a few weeks due to what chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom termed “a personal medical issue.”

The original plan was for Sale to be back right around the time he was first eligible to return from the 60-day injured list, which is June 4.

Now, the best-case scenario for Sale’s first start of 2022 will be around the third week of June.

“Yeah, give or take,” said Bloom. “Could be a little past that. I don’t know exactly.”

Bloom wasn’t able to divulge much on the injury.

“It’s a personal medical issue, it’s not orthopedic, it’s not Covid-related, [it has] paused his throwing for a little while,” said Bloom. “So, we want to respect his privacy and it’s not baseball-related. He should be back throwing in a matter of days, but it’s obviously slowing him down. Everything else is fine.”

• Red Sox Injuries & Moves

Sale, a seven-time All-Star, has had tough luck with injuries the last few seasons.

Down the stretch in 2018, he battled a shoulder injury. That postseason, he had a stomach ailment that slowed him. That October ended well for Sale, as he fired the final pitch at Dodger Stadium to clinch the World Series championship for Boston.

In 2019, Sale developed an elbow issue in August that forced him to miss the final six weeks of the season. He tried rest and rehab that offseason, but suffered another setback in Spring Training.

Sale had Tommy John surgery on March 30, 2020 and didn’t pitch at all that season.

He returned on Aug. 14, 2021 and went 5-1 with a 3.16 ERA in nine starts in the regular season. Sale didn’t fare as well in the postseason, going 0-1 with an 8.00 ERA in three starts in which he totaled nine innings.

All systems were supposed to be go for Sale in ‘22, but he suffered his rib cage injury during the lockout and wasn’t able to inform the team about it until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was reached on March 10.

Though the Red Sox entered Saturday with a 10-17 record and in last place in the American League East, the starting rotation has been the strength of the club thus far.

It will be a much bigger strength when Sale returns to action.

Dangerousness Hearing on Cold Case Rape Kit Suspect

A dangerousness hearing was held this afternoon in Fall River Superior Court in the case of Commonwealth vs Scot Trudeau, who was recently indicted for a 2010 New Bedford cold case rape.

 

After a 30-minute hearing, Judge Gregory White took the matter under advisement and ordered that the defendant continue to be held without bail pending his eventual ruling on dangerousness.

 

 The indictment, which charges the defendant with aggravated rape and assault and battery, came as a result of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III’s Rape Kit Initiative

 

.  Scot Trudeau, 47, of Worcester has been indicted by a Bristol County Grand Jury on charges of Aggravated Rape and Assault and Battery connected to the cold case 2010 rape of a woman in New Bedford.
 
On March 18 2010, a 23-year-old woman was walking along Coffin Avenue in the north end of New Bedford when she was violently attacked by two men.

 

 She was struck in the head and then dragged to a  secluded area, where one of the men (this defendant) raped her while the other one held her down.  

She could not see or identify them because they were wearing hooded sweatshirts.  

She gave a description of them to the police and was taken to St Luke’s Hospital for treatment. While at the hospital, the victim submitted to a sex assault evidence collection kit (Rape Kit).  That kit was one of more than 1,100 from Bristol County alone that was never fully tested by the state lab.

 

 However, after our office became aware of the scope and breadth of the problem with untested rape kits in Bristol County and throughout the state, we took action to obtain a federal grant. We then began the painstaking process of inventorying and prioritizing all untested rape kits in our county, and are now in the process of getting all 1,148 previously untested Bristol County rape kits fully tested by a private lab under the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant obtained by District Attorney Quinn in 2019.
 

Mayor Mitchell Announces Program Supporting Capital Improvements for Privately Owned Cultural Facilities

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Mayor Jon Mitchell announced today a funding opportunity for facilities in the City’s Arts & Culture sector that need capital investments and support to revitalize their buildings, equipment, and outdoor spaces.  

Arts & Culture is a vital segment of New Bedford’s economy and community that has huge impacts on quality of life and job creation, with significant potential growth and development opportunities for existing and emerging cultural enterprises. 

The City therefore is seeking Expressions of Interest from owners and operators of privately owned cultural facilities – for-profit or nonprofit – that are seeking financial support for capital investments such as building stabilization; roof repair; improved outdoor spaces; audio-visual equipment that enables “hybrid” events, such as remote participation in live events; renovations that increase or improve occupancy; and more.

“Cultural facilities across the City support small businesses and are themselves economic anchors in their neighborhoods,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “We want to accelerate their emergence from the pandemic by helping them upgrade their buildings and grounds.”

Cultural facilities and organizations enable public access to, and participation with, the arts, history, and humanities, while also helping preserve and promote the customs and cultural heritage of a group or groups of people. 
    
Expressions of Interest are informal, shortened applications that allow feedback about eligibility before a full application is begun. An evaluation team will review proposals, and selected applicants will receive financial support funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

Release of funding to selected applicants will be contingent on meeting a minimum match requirement, which will be no less than 25% of total project costs. The applicant’s operating costs and funding from other ARPA-funded programs may not be used as matching funds. 

Currently, the minimum grant award is $100,000 and the maximum is $400,000. This means that that total project cost must by at least $125,000, including matching funds.

As ARPA represents a one-time infusion of federal funds, financial support will be steered toward one-time items, rather than the creation of new programs or the expansion of existing services that would involve future spending obligations. Requests for funding to cover general operating expenses will not be considered.

The deadline for submissions of Expression of Interest is Friday, June 10.

Email questions about the Expression of Interest to: ARPA@newbedford-ma.gov.

All responses are to be submitted electronically in an editable Word or OpenDocument Format document to: ARPA@newbedford-ma.gov, with the name of your organization and “Cultural Facilities Expression of Interest” in the subject line. 

Fall River Bank Robbery and Stabbing Suspect

On Monday, May 9, 2022, officers assigned to the Uniform Division responded to the Fall River Five Cents
Savings Bank branch at 79 North Main St. due to an attempted robbery.

 On scene, Ofc. Jonathan Souza
was able to view surveillance footage of a male who entered the bank and passed a note to a teller demanding
money. Ofc. Souza recognized the suspect as Jesse Pritchard, 57 years of age, who was suspected of
committing last week’s stabbing in the 100 block of Nashua St. (Wednesday, May 4).

The suspect’s information was broadcast to all Fall River Police personnel. As the investigation continued
at the Five Cents Savings Bank, Ofc. Matthew Rezendes began to check the area for Pritchard who was last
seen walking down North Main Street.

 Ofc. Rezendes was at BayCoast Bank, 490 Robeson St., when he
spotted Pritchard leaving that bank and walking quickly down the sidewalk. 

Ofc. Rezendes attempted to
stop Pritchard who upon seeing the officer fled on foot in to backyards.

After a short foot chase, Ofc. Rezendes and Ofc. MarQues Pires were able to place Pritchard under arrest.
Two knives were recovered from Pritchard during the arrest.

 It was later determined that while inside of
BayCoast Bank, Pritchard handed a bank teller a note demanding money. He had fled with a still
undetermined amount of currency. Pritchard will be charged with incidents taking place at the two banks
as well as the Nashua St. stabbing.

Jesse Pritchard is being charged with Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon Serious Injury, Armed
Assault to Rob, and Armed Robbery. 

The F-R Public Hearing on The FY 2023 Municipal Budget

In order to meet the provisions of the Fall River City Charter, section 6-4 (a), a public hearing is now set for May 31 2022 at 5:30pm EDT in Second Floor Council Chambers in Fall River's Government Center to hear everyone who wishes to be heard regarding the current budget document. 

 

The proposed operating budget is avaliable for public inspection at the Main Branch of the Fall River Public Library, and the Office of City Clerk in Government Center, or on the CIty of Fall River Website at fallriverma.org.

The Final Four in Somerset

Town Administrator Recruitment Finalist Interviews Thursday Afternoon at 12:45 in the Somerset Public Library :


1:00 PM Steven A Sette


2:15 PM William R Riccio, Jr.


3:30 PM David J Marciello


4:45 PM Thomas M Guerino


Deliberations & potential offer of employment to a candidate for Town Administrator position
(Vote may occur)

 

One of the four contenders will become the new Somerset Town Administrator later this Spring. 

Rape Charges in NB

According to Abc 6, a man who was arrested after Bristol County's push to test more rape kits is scheduled for to appear in court today. Scot Trudeau, 47, was indicted on charges of aggravated rape and assault in battery in connection with a 2010 rape in New Bedford. The Bristol County District Attorney's Office said the case was the first indictment secured using an "untested rape kit initiative." District Attorney Thomas Quinn said the rape kit was not fully tested in 2010. The statue of limitations on this rape case would have expired in 2025.

Washington Post: Opinion: Our democracy at home depends on preserving freedom in Ukraine

This first appeared in the Sunday Edition of The Washington Post 

By: Congressman Jake Auchincloss and Congresswoman Liz Cheney 

Liz Cheney, a Republican, is Wyoming’s at-large representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. Jake Auchincloss, a Democrat, represents Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional District in the House.

As a Republican congresswoman from Wyoming and a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, we have firsthand experience with the partisan clashes in Washington. The two of us have frequently been on opposite sides this term, including on national security issues such as President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, which one of us (Cheney) opposed and the other (Auchincloss) supported.

But on the issue of Ukraine, there is no daylight between us. And there should be no partisan divide among members in Congress. It must be the policy of the United States that the strategic objective in Ukraine is victory for a free and democratic Ukraine, and defeat for Vladimir Putin. The strength of our democracy here at home depends on it. 

The war in Ukraine entered a pivotal new phase on April 19. Russia is now fighting for complete control of Donbas and southern Ukraine. If successful, Putin’s forces will landlock and dismember the country — and may attack the capital again. What began as a war of maneuver, in which speed and mobility were critical, is becoming a war of attrition, in which firepower and willpower are ever more important. 

The United States is critical to sustaining both for our Ukrainian allies. To balance the disparity in firepower, the U.S. government must guarantee weapons, training and intelligence support that Ukrainian forces can use. And it should work closely with European allies to wield primary and secondary sanctions to blockade Russian oil exports to reduce Moscow’s ability to fund its war machine. To buttress Ukrainian willpower, the United States should rally its NATO allies to make it clear that the sovereignty of Ukraine is not negotiable, and Putin must not benefit from his aggression.

We in Congress have an important role in this commitment. Last week, we both voted for the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, which, like its namesake from World War II, will enable more materiel support for an ally whose cause is existential. With our voices and votes, members of Congress must demonstrate bipartisan support for a policy of victory for the people of Ukraine.

Putin, in particular, must be under no illusion about U.S. resolve. The Russian president has long sought to divide, disorient and demoralize the U.S. body politic. His efforts will not succeed. Neither the United States nor the world will sit silently by as Russia commits atrocities and war crimes across Ukraine. We will not remain neutral in this fundamental battle for freedom. In the United States, across party lines, we know that our own security requires the survival of freedom and the defeat of Russian forces in Ukraine. In this, we are united.

Since 1945, the United States has been the linchpin of the postwar, rules-based international order. In this order, might does not make right; under this order, freedom, prosperity and human rights have all advanced. If the United States and its allies cannot prevent and punish war crimes right on NATO’s border, then enemies further afield, big and small, will be emboldened.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wants to see the United States and NATO fail in this effort. The CCP opposes the postwar order and seeks to replace it with a global surveillance state that would extinguish freedom. Hong Kong has been the most notable casualty of the CCP’s targeting of the postwar order. Many experts predict Taiwan is their next target.

Each potential flash point is different. But from East Asia to Europe, Africa to Latin America, they are threaded together by the same existential question: Is democracy on the march, or in retreat? The outcome in Ukraine will reverberate across the world.

The United States — and Congress — must continue to deliver a strong and unequivocal answer, because democracy everywhere is fragile. Strains of authoritarianism here at home make that painfully clear. Democracies, though, draw succor from one another. In defending Ukraine’s democracy, we stand up for our own. In combating tyranny overseas, we strengthen our freedom at home.

So, yes, the partisan temperature is high. The parties disagree on plenty.

But from deep-red Wyoming to deep-blue Massachusetts, Republicans and Democrats must demonstrate to our allies and our enemies alike that there are no half-measures on the front lines of the free world. The United States must stand with the people of Ukraine.

They are not just fighting for their own freedom. They are fighting for ours, too.

Dr. Julie Chen named UMass Lowell Chancellor

President Meehan cites Dr. Chen’s “deep commitment to empowering students and communities through education and innovation”

 

Dr. Julie Chen, who has served as UMass Lowell’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation since 2016 and has been a member of the faculty since 1997, was named Chancellor of the nearly 18,000-student national research university today. She will succeed current Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, who announced last July that she would be retiring as the leader of the 18,000-student university following this academic year.

 

In recommending Dr. Chen to the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees, UMass President Marty Meehan, a UMass Lowell alumnus and former UMass Lowell Chancellor, said: “With her vast experience in all the areas that will determine the success of the university in the years ahead, and with her deep commitment to empowering students and communities through education and innovation, Dr. Chen is the right person at this moment to lead UMass Lowell.”


Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Manning, also a UMass Lowell, alumnus, said: “Julie Chen’s track record of excellence and innovation speaks for itself. Not only will she bring tremendous experience to a complex job, she will be a visible and positive role model for students, a results-driven leader, and a collaborative partner, all aimed at driving student success and community prosperity.”

 

The vote of the Board was unanimous.

 

Dr. Chen said she is looking forward to building on the strong foundation laid by her predecessors, Meehan and Moloney.  “A UMass Lowell degree is a demonstration of the academic excellence and hands-on learning our graduates carry with them as they advance their careers and communities and apply their knowledge to the challenges our society faces,” she said. “I am honored to be selected by President Meehan and the Board of Trustees as the university’s next chancellor, and I’m excited to work with our great faculty, staff, supporters and partners to provide growing numbers of students with this UMass Lowell advantage in the years ahead.”

 

“We were charged by President Meehan and Chairman Manning to lead a search process that attracted the best possible candidates to lead a truly world class university and were pleased by the interest we received from higher education leaders across the country,” Search Committee Co-Chairs Mary Burns, a UMass Trustee and UMass Lowell alumna, and Jerry Colella, a UMass Lowell alumnus and business leader, said. “Today, we are excited that one of those nationally distinguished leaders, Julie Chen, has been named chancellor of our alma mater, and we look forward to working with her.”

 

“I fully support Dr. Chen’s appointment as our Chancellor and look forward to working with her as she leads UMass Lowell to the next level,” said Dr. Michael Graves, President of the UMass Lowell Faculty Senate. “Dr. Chen’s commitment to diversity, student success, innovation, and collaboration will serve our university community well.”

 

“Students have expressed a great deal of support on behalf of Dr. Chen to me for her candidacy and are excited to see her lead the university in its next steps,” said Derek Houle, UMass Lowell Student Trustee and a member of the Class of 2022. “I’m very glad this is the direction we are heading.”

 

“Julie Chen recognizes UMass Lowell's important role in the socioeconomic development of the region and state and has already dedicated years to that purpose,” said Amy Hoey, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, Circle Health & Lowell General Hospital, and a UMass Lowell alumna. “This is an excellent choice by President Meehan and the Board.”

 

More about Julie Chen
As the Chief Research Officer, Dr. Chen directs UMass Lowell’s nearly $95 million research enterprise, which also includes industry partnerships, technology transfer, startups & innovation, core research facilities, and economic development programs. 

 

She has facilitated numerous innovative collaboration models, including:
•    The Fabric Discovery Center, the nation’s first center to integrate three Manufacturing USA Institutes, coupling the expertise in smart textiles, flexible electronics, and robotics.

•    UMass Lowell’s Core Research Facilities, shared high-tech equipment that enables efficient maintenance, training, and enhanced access of by faculty, students, and over 200 external industry users.

•    The Rist Institute for Sustainability and Energy that brings together experts in science, engineering, economics, policy, business, education, and operations to address complex challenges in sustainability and climate change.

•    Various institutes and centers such as the Raytheon-UMass Lowell Research Institute and HEROES, a unique interdisciplinary research and development partnership that brings together complementary expertise, intellectual assets, and research expertise from UMass Lowell and U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center to enhance the protection of U.S. soldiers.

Chen joined the UMass Lowell faculty in 1997 after six years as an assistant professor at Boston University. She was appointed vice provost for research in 2009 and was promoted to vice chancellor in 2016 with an added external and outreach focus. As a member of the Executive Cabinet, Chen has helped lead the implementation of the 2020 Strategic Plan, resulting in an expansion and modernization of physical infrastructure, the recruitment of outstanding faculty and students, increases in retention and graduation rates, advances in diversity, equity and inclusion, and historic growth of revenues from research, online programs and the endowment.

A strong advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, Chen serves as the co-lead for the university’s Council on Social Justice and Inclusion. Additionally, she was one of the co-principal investigators on a $3.5 million NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant to help support and elevate women faculty in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines at UMass Lowell.

Chen received her PhD, Master of Science, and Bachelor of Science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in mechanical engineering where she was a student athlete and academic all-American. 

Dr. Chen’s full bio

About the search process
The search for a new chancellor began January 27 with the appointment of a 10-member search committee, which held eight listening sessions attended by hundreds of UMass Lowell stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff and community members. The search firm of Isaacson Miller communicated with 127 prospective candidates, resulting in 42. Three finalists were identified by the search committee and visited UMass Lowell last week.

About UMass Lowell
Located in the Merrimack Valley north of the Boston, the nearly 18,000–student UMass Lowell – one of five campuses of the University of Massachusetts System – has achieved significant growth in research funding, private giving, and student applications over the past several years. As enrollment has increased – 16 percent over the last decade – so have the academic qualifications of UMass Lowell students, with a combined SAT of 1257 and 3.67 average GPA for last fall’s entering class. UMass Lowell is ranked among the top 200 research universities in the nation and the top 100 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. Total annual research expenditures exceed $94 million. Among the more than 100,000 alumni worldwide, 60,000-plus live in Massachusetts.

###
 

Mayor Mitchell Announces Expansion of Enhanced Fa├žade Program for Local Businesses

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Mayor Jon Mitchell announced today an expansion of a new program supporting the City’s small businesses, opening the door to more applicants and generating even greater commercial revitalization across the City. 

The City’s Enhanced Façade Improvement Program enables eligible commercial property owners, tenants, and nonprofit organizations to receive a grant of up to $40,000 for eligible commercial façade improvements. Applicants are required to provide a 25% match of the total award.

The program is off to a fast start, with 11 businesses applying for funding in its first month. Despite this early success, small business support organizations and city councilors who been actively promoting the program have noted that the match requirement may put the program out of the reach of small businesses. While the City has a separate, long-standing façade improvement program that issues grants of up to $2,000 without a match requirement, those grants have at times proven insufficient for making significant upgrades to business properties. 

In response to the feedback, the City is expanding the program to make it more accessible for the smallest businesses, while preserving the accountability mechanism that a match requirement provides. Specifically, the City will exempt the first $10,000 of a project’s cost from the 25% match. Additional costs above $10,000 will be subject to the match requirement. The maximum total grant will remain at $40,000. 

Mayor Mitchell said the expansion of opportunity for applicants came after collaborative discussions with city councilors. 

“I want to thank Councilors Ian Abreu and Maria Giesta for reaching out to me with constructive feedback on how we might improve the façade enhancement program,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “I agree with them that adjustments to the match requirement will broaden the impact of the program, while still ensuring that ARPA funds will leverage private investment.”  

Mayor Mitchell announced the Enhanced Façade Improvement Program on March 29, as the City’s first investment of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The façade enhancement program is designed to revitalize commercial neighborhoods, stimulate private investment and customer patronage, and preserve and beautify New Bedford’s commercial districts. 

Eligible improvements include replacement or restoration of original architectural details; signs and awnings mounted to the building façade; new storefront construction within an existing building; window replacement and window framing; painting and/or residing of buildings; exterior lighting, and more.
“By putting money in the hands of our small businesses, we seek to accelerate their growth and the well-being of the neighborhoods in which they operate,” Mayor Mitchell said in March. “When small businesses succeed, a city thrives.” 

Businesses, commercial property owners, nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities can download a program application on the City’s ARPA website: www.newbedford-ma.gov/arpa.

Bridge Painting in Raynham

MassDOT Advisory: Raynham

 Overnight Bridge Painting Operations on Orchard Street Bridge over Route 24
 
Work will begin at 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, and will continue weekly, Sunday through Friday, during overnight hours from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. 
 
Work is anticipated to be conducted for four weeks
 
 
RAYNHAM - The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing it will be conducting overnight bridge painting operations on the Orchard Street Bridge located over Route 24 northbound and southbound in Raynham.  The work will begin at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, and will continue weekly, Monday through Friday, during overnight hours from 9:00 p.m. to 5:30 the following morning.  The work is anticipated to be completed in four weeks.
 
Standard traffic control management operations will be utilized including the use of various lane and shoulder closures and police details. 
 
The contractor will temporarily close one active lane at a time starting with the breakdown and travel lanes. Those lanes will be opened and then the high-speed lane will be temporarily closed as work progresses.  After the work in the southbound direction has been completed, painting operations will switch to the northbound direction following the same pattern.

MA Gasoline This Week

Massachusetts’s average gas price is up 18 cents from last week ($4.21), averaging $4.39 per gallon. Today’s price is 27 cents higher than a month ago ($4.12), and $1.54 higher than May 9, 2021 ($2.85). Massachusetts’s average gas price is 7 cents higher than the national average.

Drivers are paying more at the pump—a lot more—as the cost of gasoline moves steadily higher. In the past two weeks, the national average for a gallon of gasoline has risen 20 cents to $4.32, a penny less than the record high set on March 11. The increase is primarily due to the high cost of crude oil, which was hovering near $100 a barrel last week and is now closing in on $110. 

“With the cost of oil accounting for more than half of the pump price, more expensive oil means more expensive gasoline,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Government Affairs. “Locally, prices have now moved past those record high levels of early March.”

AAA Northeast’s May 9 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 13 cents higher than last week ($4.19), averaging $4.32 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 20 cents higher a month ago ($4.12), and $1.36 higher than this day last year ($2.96).

INAUGURAL LUMEN CHRISTI GALA WILL SUPPORT REPAIRS TO ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL

FALL RIVER — A first-time-ever event will take place next month both to celebrate St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River and to help restore the iconic 166-year-old church.


The inaugural Lumen Christi Cathedral Gala is set for 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 8, at White’s of Westport, and its proceeds will help to fund the cost of making critical repairs to the structure in several areas including its roof, bell tower, and stained-glass windows.


Father Thomas Washburn, who is rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral, explained that the name of Lumen Christi “was selected for the Gala because it is a Latin phrase meaning ‘Light of Christ’ and because that phrase very aptly describes the role the Cathedral plays in our Diocese.”


The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption serves as the spiritual center of the Diocese of Fall River, where its bishop has his chair, in Greek, cathedra, and where the Catholic community of Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod and the Islands gathers with its bishop to celebrate significant diocesan liturgies and events.


“This church is so important to the life of our entire Diocese and it’s important that everyone be involved in it,” said Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V. “We want to bring everyone together to celebrate this beautiful Cathedral and to raise money for its restoration to ensure that it continues to serve many generations to come.”


St. Mary’s was built over the years 1852-1855 with its steeple, which rises 195 feet into the Fall River skyline, completed three years later. Originally a parish church, it was designated a cathedral church upon the establishment of the Diocese of Fall River in 1904.


“As you can imagine, it takes a lot of work to maintain and a lot of resources to keep up with the care of this grand edifice,” Father Washburn said. “For a building of this age, many repair and renovation projects are becoming critical. It is our hope that proceeds from the Lumen Christi Cathedral Gala will help us begin to address the immediate and long-term needs of this historical church.”


The Gala will feature a multi-course seated meal, a brief program highlighting the Cathedral, and entertainment by Vatican III, a jazz group featuring Fall River diocesan priest Father Matt Gill and seminarians Deacon Matthew Laird and Deacon Larry Valliere plus Father Patrick Fiorillo of the Boston Archdiocese.  With both deacons set to be ordained to the priesthood on June 4, the group’s performance at the Gala will be its first as a quartet of priests. 


The evening program will also recognize the service of Bob and Christine Long, proprietors of Long Built Homes in New Bedford and members of St. Mary Parish in South Dartmouth. The couple will be honored for their work on the board of the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts and for their overall support of the Diocese of Fall River.


Serving as co-chairs of the Lumen Christi Cathedral Gala are Nick Christ, who is president of BayCoast Bank and co-chair of the Catholic Foundation of SE Mass. board, and Maryellen Sullivan Hughes of Mattapoisett, also of the Catholic Foundation board.
 

FREA Contract

While meeting in Executive Session tonight in Kuss Middle School, the 6 members of the Fall River School Committee who attended the session either live or via Zoom approved a memorandum of agreement with the Fall River Educators Association after months of negotiations. 
 
The length of the contract and other details were not disclosed. 
 

Patriots Help With Lights Out! in New Bedford

Since the New England Patriots teamed up with the New Bedford Police Department to launch the Lights On! program in December, Officer Tyler Vieira has seen how well it's been received first-hand.

Instead of pulling a car over and writing a citation for a burned-out taillight or headlight, officers have been able to surprise the driver with a voucher to repair the issue for free. The initiative sets out to create positive experiences, and thus, strengthen the relationship between the police and the communities they serve.

The program offered a new twist on Wednesday, with Patriots running back James White accompanying Vieira on a ride-along to hand out vouchers.

"We've been doing (the program) for several months already, and I'll tell you what, I've given out more than 20 since we got involved with this program and it puts a lot of smiles on people's faces," Vieria said.

"I've had people cry to me on traffic stops, you know, saying that I helped them out so much. Single mothers, single fathers, it's definitely beneficial to not only the public but to us as well. It builds a good relationship."

White, who grew up with two parents in law enforcement, knows how important that connection with the community is – especially in recent years.


"I think that's what's most important, especially during these times," White said. "Building that relationship with the community so everybody feels somewhat comfortable when they interact with you guys."

Vieira certainly embodies that goal.

He's been on the force for three years and is just 26 years old, but his life experience to this point has poised him perfectly to be that bridge between the police and the community.

The ride-along began with Viera showing White the neighborhood he grew up in. For every street corner surrounding the Temple Landing Housing Development in the city's west end, he has a story about violence that took place there. While driving by a basketball court adjacent to the complex, Vieira acknowledged a makeshift memorial set up after the murder of Mateo Morales, a teenager who was fatally stabbed in 2016.

"I was actually outside when this one happened; this was a little 14-year-old kid who got stabbed behind my house," Vieira said, right before stopping to greet three maintenance workers by name.


"It wasn't the best area. Surrounded by violence. I grew up with a single mother raising three children all on her own in a war zone. Things were tough out there. But you know what, what has me here now is pain struggle, loneliness -- all that stuff made me a better man. And I bring my past experiences with me on this job, and it helps me out so much. It gives me an advantage that not many officers have."

After White learned more about Vieira's story, he commended the officer for his desire to effect real change in his hometown.

"That's really cool," White told Vieira. "That's also important too, for people in the community to get into the police department. People see familiar faces and I think that definitely helps.

"There's got to be more people like yourself in departments, for sure."

White's father, Tyrone White, served as captain of the Miami-Dade Police Department until an off-duty car accident took his life in 2020. His mother, Lisa, is a retired probation specialist.

The two men also found common ground in discussing their young children, long-term plans to move to Florida and the ways they try to not take their work home with them. White shared that his father worked in a sex trafficking unit, something Vieira hopes to get into down the road in his career.


"My dad always preached to me and my brother that to whom much is given much is required," White said. "He said if I ever made it and got an opportunity to take care of my family to make sure I take care of other people as much as possible."


About 10 minutes into the ride, an older Honda Accord with a broken taillight drove by at a four-way intersection and Vieira turned on the blue lights. The officer approached the car to first feel out the situation, and he came back to report the young male driver was less than thrilled to be stopped for an issue with his lights.

That changed once Vieira summoned for White, wearing his football jersey, to deliver the voucher. The interaction ended with smiles and handshakes.

"A lot of times those traffic stops are not positive outcomes," said New Bedford Chief of Police Paul Oliveira, who wrote a letter to Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft to request help from the Patriots and Revolution to bring the Lights On! program to New England. Oliveira saw a commercial for it during a Monday Night Football game and received an immediate response.

"A lot of times when people have their light out it is because they can't afford to fix it. So, what are we doing by giving them a ticket? We're just giving them a further burden. Here's the ticket, plus now you have to get the light fixed. So, $35 ticket, they don't pay the ticket, you get a warrant. So, this program really allows us to not have to cite anything. No. Instead, here, you go get it fixed."


Thanks to some light rain, the next traffic stop didn't take long.

The woman driving the second car Vieira and White pulled over couldn't believe her luck -- that not only was she avoiding an annoying ticket, but a Patriots player was helping her fix the issue.

After the encounter, when the ride-along was finished, White went back to the station to meet with employees of the department. There, a dispatcher made the running back aware of a call she received from the woman in the second car.

Despite being pulled over just 30 minutes before, she was hoping to voluntarily return to the police station to thank White and Viera for the experience. She also hoped to grab a photo with White after some initial shock caused her to miss the opportunity during the traffic stop.

Certainly, the New Bedford Police and the Patriots made for at least two positive encounters that day.


 

Rhode Island House Committee on State Government and Elections scheduled to vote on Let RI Vote Act

STATE HOUSE — The House Committee on State Government and Elections is scheduled to meet Tuesday to vote on the Let RI Vote Act introduced by Majority Whip Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence).


The bill (2022-H 7100A), which was amended in committee, is identical to legislation (2022-S 2007A) recently passed by the Senate. It would allow voting by mail without needing an excuse, improve voter roll cleanup procedures, allow voters to apply for mail ballots through an online system, allow long-term nursing home residents to receive mail ballot applications automatically, codify mail ballot drop box requirements, remove the notary and witness requirement for mail ballots, establish a voter information hotline, and allow more time to request special Braille ballots.


The committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday, May 10, at the rise of the House (about 4:30 p.m.) in the House Lounge on the second floor of the State House.


The panel will also consider several election-related bills including:
?    2022-H 7213 — This bill, introduced by Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence), would allow a classified employee to seek elected office provided that they resign their position upon being elected.


?    2022-H 7422— This bill, introduced by Rep. Jacquelyn M. Baginski (D-Dist. 17, Cranston), would allow local board of canvassers’ discretion to substitute the physical posting in each voting district of senatorial district meetings, representative district meetings, and voting district meetings with publication in newspaper of local circulation.


?    2022-H 7423 — This bill, introduced by Representative Baginski, would replace the requirement that the notice for the final canvass and correction of voter registration files be posted in a newspaper with the requirement that the notice for the final canvass to be published on the official website maintained by the city/town.


?    2022-H 7428 —This bill, introduced by Rep. Evan Patrick Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick), would allow the Board of Elections to begin the certification of mail ballots 20 days prior to election day. It also establishes a new and more comprehensive mail ballot voter signature verification process.


The House Committee on State Government and Elections is chaired by Representative Shanley. The meeting will be televised by Capitol Television on Cox Communications (channels 15, 61, and 1061 for high definition), Full Channel (on 15) and Verizon (on channel 34). Livestreaming is available at https://www.rilegislature.gov/CapTV/Pages/default.aspx.
 

Red Sox place right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha on 15-day injured list

This is the text of an official News Release from the Boston Red Sox 

BOSTON, MA – The Boston Red Sox today placed right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha on the 15-day Injured List due to left intercostal irritation, retroactive to May 5. To fill Wacha’s spot on the active roster, the club recalled right-handed pitcher Tyler Danish from Triple-A Worcester.

Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom made the announcement.

Wacha, 30, last started on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels, allowing just three hits over 5.2 scoreless innings to earn the win. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA (4 ER/26.0 IP) in five starts this season. Wacha leads the American League (min. 25.0 IP) in opponent batting average (.148) and opponent OPS (.467), ranking second in ERA.

Danish, 27, has posted a 3.86 ERA (2 ER/4.2 IP) in four relief appearances for Boston this season. The right-hander most recently appeared for the club on April 27 at Toronto, tossing a scoreless inning in the Red Sox’ 7-1 win. Danish has not allowed a run in five relief appearances for Worcester this season, striking out eight and walking two in 5.1 innings.

Red Sox Call Up Tonight


Pat James

@patjames24

Looking to shake their early-season slump, the Red Sox are calling up No. 4 prospect Jarren Duran to join the team ahead of Friday’s series opener against the White Sox, a source told MLB.com.

Duran made his Major League debut shortly after the All-Star break last season, but struggled to the tune of a .215/.241/.336 slash line in 33 games. The performance resulted in the outfielder being optioned back to Triple-A Worcester in late August, and although he returned to the big league club amid a COVID-19 outbreak, he didn’t play in the Majors after Sept. 1.

So far this year, Duran has been sensational with Worcester, hitting .397/.478/.638 with eight extra-base hits and seven steals in 15 games. Over his last two games, Duran has recorded five RBIs and hit his second home run of the season.

Duran’s promotion comes a day after Shohei Ohtani and the Angels handed the Red Sox their second shutout loss of the season. Boston ranks 24th in the Majors in runs scored (90 in 26 games) and has gotten little offensive production from everyday outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr., Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo.

Flu Discovery in RI

– In light of the US
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) announcement of the
first human case of avian influenza
A(H5) in the United States last week,
the Rhode Island Department of
Environmental Management (DEM) is
reconfirming that its ongoing
surveillance efforts have not detected
highly pathogenic avian influenza
(HPAI) in Rhode Island thus far. The
Rhode Island Department of Health
(RIDOH) and DEM are informing Rhode
Islanders that the public health risk to
humans remains low.
Rhode Island is now the only state in New England that has not detected HPAI in wild or domestic birds or
flocks. To date, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories has
confirmed HPAI in commercial and backyard flocks in 29 states and in wild birds in 34 states. The disease
was first detected in South Carolina in January. Rhode Island is at risk because the flu has been detected in
hunter-harvested wild waterfowl reported along the Atlantic flyway, which is the migratory bird route that
includes Rhode Island, and because of its proximity to the southern New England states where the disease
has been found.
RIDOH and DEM are informing Rhode Islanders of the following key messages:
1. The public health threat is low. The public health threat is low. Although avian influenza can infect people, person-to-person spread
has occurred very rarely, mainly in family clusters. Also, no sustained transmission has been noted,
according to the CDC. Avian influenza viruses respond to standard antiviral drugs. The case
confirmed by CDC last week involved a Colorado man who had direct contact with infected birds and
Telephone 401.222.4700 | www.dem.ri.gov | Rhode Island Relay 711
was involved in the culling (depopulating) of poultry with presumptive HPAI. The patient reported
fatigue for a few days as his only symptom and has since recovered. The patient was treated with
the influenza antiviral drug oseltamivir. (Click here to read the CDC’s press release.)
2. The food supply remains safe. The food supply remains safe. The United States has the strongest avian influenza surveillance
program in the world to ensure that the food supply remains safe. Public health officials continue to
pay close attention to note any changes in the pattern of the virus and continue to prohibit the
introduction of infected poultry products into the food chain.
3. HPAI has not been detected in Rhode Island. HPAI has not been detected in Rhode Island. The state agencies are confident that their coordinated
response plan will control avian influenza should there be a local case confirmed.
4. Don’t touch dead birds with your bare hands Don’t touch dead birds with your bare hands on’t touch dead birds with your bare hands. If HPAI is detected in Rhode Island and poultry
producers and household keepers of backyard chicken coops find dead birds in their flocks, DEM
urges owners to wear rubber gloves, dispose of the birds in plastic bags, and call one of the numbers
below to discuss disposal options for your situation. Proper composting of dead birds or on-site
burial are the preferred methods of disposal but may not be practical in all cases. Proper disposal is
necessary to ensure the dead birds do not serve as a source of contamination for living birds.
5. Contact DEM with any concerns. Contact DEM with any concerns. Bird owners should contact DEM at 401-222-2781 if they believe
there are sick birds in their flocks. To report sick or dying domestic poultry after regular business
hours, call 401-222-3070. To report sick or dying wild birds, call DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife at
401-789-0281. DEM encourages constituents to complete this online form in all suspected cases of
HPAI infection. Helpful tips and information about HPAI also are available online here.
“The Rhode Island Division of Agriculture and Forestry remains on alert to respond to any cases of HPAI in
the state,” said State Veterinarian Scott Marshall, DVM, who is leading DEM’s response to the HPAI threat.
“We meet every other day with the New England state veterinarians and federal veterinarians from USDA to
coordinate efforts. We also participate in several national-level calls every week. We are extremely grateful
to the citizens of Rhode Island who are reporting sick or dead poultry so that we can triage cases, and we
have tested several poultry flocks because of this reporting. Thankfully, all have tested negative so far, but
we remain prepared to respond.”
Dr. Marshall added that the approach of warmer weather is a positive factor. “Historically, warmer and drier
weather signals a lower risk of HPAI as these conditions do not favor survivability of the virus in the
environment,” he said. “There is nothing to indicate this outbreak will be different. Nationally, cases have
been trending lower for three weeks in commercial poultry and for backyard poultry, although last week
showed a small blip increase in backyard cases.”
Avian influenza, sometimes called bird flu or avian flu, is a disease of birds, usually carried by wild waterfowl
and other waterbirds. Sometimes, this disease also can spread from wild birds into domestic poultry. HPAI
infection brings a grim prognosis, with domestic poultry mortality rates surpassing 90 percent. Without
control of the spread by humanely killing infected chickens, all poultry could be wiped out across the state.
Humanely depopulating infected birds will limit how much they suffer from the infection and remove them
as a source of infection for other birds.
Since advising the public about HPAI in March, DEM has focused on reaching out to poultry owners to
protect their flocks by enhancing biosecurity. Biosecurity, Dr. Marshall explains, involves basic but essential
measures such as restricting access to and keeping people away from your birds; keeping your birds
separated from all wild birds, particularly migratory waterfowl; keeping cages, coops, and clothes clean and
disinfected; properly disposing of dead birds; not sharing equipment with other poultry producers or
Telephone 401.222.4700 | www.dem.ri.gov | Rhode Island Relay 711
farmers; knowing the warning signs of infectious diseases, and reporting sick birds or unusual bird deaths to
DEM.
For more information on the avian flu, how it's transmitted, symptoms, and emergency response, please
visit our website. For more information about DEM divisions and programs, follow us on Facebook, Twitter
(@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates. 

California Man Embezzling in MA

According to NBC 10 in Providence, Federal Prosecutors say a California man charged with embezzling more than $1.2 million from his Massachusetts-based employer over a 16-year period has agreed to plead guilty. Federal Prosecutors in Boston said Monday that Darrell Pike of California, embezzled the money from 2005 until 2021 while working as general manager of the California company. Prosecutors say he did so by submitting fraudulent invoices to his employer on behalf of a fake temporary staffing company and depositing the money into a bank account he controlled.

Senate Versus MA Tax Cut

According to ABC 6, a strong Massachusetts economic outlook is prompting democratic leaders in the state senate to consider a package of tax cuts. Democratic Senate President Karen Spilka said the healthy financial position means the legislature should consider tax breaks, which democrats have so far resisted. That's despite urging from Republican Governor Charlie Baker, who has proposed his own package of $690 million in tax cuts.

City of Fall River Partners with PVD Food Truck Events for Summer Food Truck Series

FALL RIVER, MA- May 4, 2022)- The Office of Mayor Paul Coogan is pleased to announce
that the City of Fall River will be partnering with local event organizer PVD Food Truck Events
to bring free food truck nights to the Gates of the City at Fall River’s waterfront.
The event series, called Fall River Food Trucks at the Gates, will consist of three
Thursday night events starting at 5pm on June 2nd, July 7th and September 1st

 

. Plans include a
rotating group of over a dozen food trucks, live music, and beer and wine supplied by Troy City
Brewery, Primo Catering and Gooseneck Vineyards. The City will be closing a portion of Ponta
Delgada Boulevard and Water Street to provide more space for the event.

 

 Guests are encouraged
to bring lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy the food and music on the grassy area around the Gates.
“We are thrilled that PVD Food Truck Events has chosen Fall River as their newest
location,” said Mayor Paul E. Coogan. “Not only will these events provide some family fun for
our residents, they will also introduce visitors from across Southern New England to Fall River’s
waterfront. Our hope is that residents and visitors alike will come down to the Gates, enjoy local
food and beer, and explore Fall River’s growing waterfront.”

 

Fall River Food Trucks at the Gates will be PVD Food Truck Events first event series in
Massachusetts. Since 2015, the group, led by organizer Eric Weiner, has planned food truck
events in communities across Rhode Island, often drawing crowds of over a thousand guests.
"It is always refreshing when we have an opportunity to work with a city that is excited
and engaged in bringing in our community events,” remarked Eric Weiner, owner of PVD Food
Truck Events. “We cannot wait to spend some summer evenings hanging out and introducing the
residents of Fall River to our food truck events, while introducing others from local communities
to the Fall River waterfront.”

 

A Facebook event series has been created for Fall River Food Trucks at the Gates.
Residents can follow the event page for information and updates on each night’s food truck lineup, musical performances and more: https://fb.me/e/3gJmqqc2l. You can learn more about PVD
Food Truck Events by visiting the website www.FoodTrucksIn.com/food-truck-events.
Food trucks already licensed in the City of Fall River have been contacted by PVD Food
Trucks to participate. Any licensed trucks looking to participate in this summer’s events should
contact Eric Weiner at eric@weinerworks.com.

 

ABOUT THE GATES OF THE CITY:

The Gates of the City, located on Ponta Delgada Boulevard in Fall River, are a full-scale
replica of the Portas da Cidade in Ponta Delgada, the largest city in the Azores and a sister city of
Fall River. The Gates, consisting of three 30-foot by 60-foot arches, were a gift from the city of
Ponta Delgada and were completed in 2006. Since then, the Gates and its surrounding green
space have become a popular venue for local events, including the annual Day of Portugal
festival and outdoor performances from the nearby Narrows Center for the Arts. Before the
COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Fall River hosted an annual food truck festival at the Gates of
the City on Memorial Day Weekend

Fall River Weapons Narcotics Arrest

On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at approximately 1:40pm, Officer Michael Pavao, while assigned to the Fall
River Police Department Special Operations Division was on patrol in the area of McDonald’s, 834 Brayton
Avenue.

While in the area Officer Pavao observed Theodore Wilcox III, 37 years old exiting an Audi sedan which
was parked in the McDonald’s parking lot. Wilcox was known to be the subject of an active arrest warrant.
Officer Pavao made a request for additional units to assist in executing the arrest warrant. Wilcox would
subsequently be taken into police custody on the outstanding arrest warrant without incident.

It was discovered that Wilcox had a loaded Polymer 80 pistol secreted in his waistband. Wilcox has not
been issued a Massachusetts License to Carry and cannot legally possess the pistol. He was also found to
be in possession of 115 Xanax pills for which he has no prescription.

In addition to the outstanding arrest warrant, Theodore Wilcox is being charged with felony firearms
offenses and Possession to Distribute a Class A Drug. An investigation is ongoing to determine the status
of the pistol.
 

Red Sox Roster Moves This Week

LATEST NEWS
May 3: LHP Josh Taylor (lower back strain) recalled from Minor League rehab assignment
Taylor, Boston’s best left-on-left reliever last season, has had a tough time recovering from a back injury he came to Spring Training with. Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Tuesday that Taylor had a “setback” a few days ago. Taylor had pitched three times on his rehab assignment, the last of those outings taking place on April 27.

“He feels better today but of course we had to take him off his rehab assignment,” said Cora. “We’re going through testing and all that stuff. We’ll know more later in the week.” -- Ian Browne

May 1: OF Jaylin Davis, RHP Phillips Valdez optioned
Davis and Valdez will be optioned to Triple-A Worcester to get the roster down to 26 by the May 2 deadline. Davis had two hits against Baltimore on Sunday, but Valdez allowed four runs during the Orioles' six-run rally after a rain delay in the sixth inning. -- Byron Kerr

May 1: DH Christian Arroyo (left calf tightness) day to day
Arroyo felt left calf tightness in his final at-bat Saturday night against the Orioles. Manager Alex Cora gave Arroyo the day off Sunday. Arroyo hit a two-run shot Friday night, his only hit in the series. -- Byron Kerr

May 1: OF/DH J.D. Martinez returns from adductor injury
Martinez returned to the Red Sox lineup Sunday. He had been nursing an adductor strain. This is his first appearance since April 27. The slugger has slashed .278/.344/.825 in 54 at-bats this season. -- Byron Kerr

May 1: LHP Derek Holland opts out of Minor League contract
Holland opted out and will become a free agent. The left-hander almost made the team out of Spring Training after appearing in 39 games last season for the Tigers. He is 82-83 with a 4.62 ERA in 13 big league seasons. -- Byron Kerr

Patriots Roster Moves

The New England Patriots announced that they have released RB Devine Ozigbo (pronounced – oh-ZIG-bo).

Ozigbo, 25, was signed by New England to the practice squad on Nov. 30, 2021, after being released by Jacksonville on Nov. 17. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder was elevated by New England to the active roster prior to the game at Indianapolis on Dec. 18. He dressed but did not play in the game before reverting to the practice squad.

Ozigbo has played with Jacksonville (2019-21) and New Orleans (2021) during his NFL career after originally joining New Orleans as a rookie free agent out of Nebraska in 2019. 

After being released by New Orleans at the end of training camp in 2019, Ozigbo was claimed off waivers by Jacksonville.

 Ozigbo spent the first part of the 2021 season on the Jacksonville practice squad before being signed by New Orleans to the 53-man roster on Oct. 6. After being released by New Orleans on Oct. 30, he was claimed by Jacksonville for a second stint with the team.

 Ozigbo played in one game for the Jaguars and two games for New Orleans last season. Overall, he has played in 21 regular-season games and totaled 11 rushing attempts for 25 yards and 13 receptions for 72 yards.

ATV Ordinance in Fall River Under Development

The Ordinance and Legislation Committee will continue to work with the Corporation Counsul and Fall River's City Administrator to craft an ordinance regarding the proliferation of ATVs and motor bikes on Fall River Streets. 

 

Corporation Counsul Alan Rumsey noted that Commonwealth Statutes already prohibit ATVs from City Streets, while FRPD Interim Police Chief Paul Gauvin indicated that techniques are being developed to help aprehend those who are operating the vehicles illegally. 

 

Ordiances in Providence, Boston and Taunton are being examined and language will likely be part of a Fall River Ordiance. 

 

 

Seekonk Yard Waste Schedule

Yard Waste Collection
POSTED ON: MAY 3, 2022 - 4:36PM

Curbside Collection - Bags or Bundle

Yard waste collection for the spring will begin on May 2nd and end on May 27th, 2022.  All waste must be bagged or bundled.  Bags must be kept as dry as possible to avoid having the bottom fall out during pick-up.

Bags - Must use paper bags only, no plastic bags allowed.  30 gallon paper bags can be purchased at your local home center, hardware or department store.

Bundles - Must be tied securely with string or twine (DO NOT tie with wire) and cannot exceed 24 inches in length with a maximum material diameter of 1 ½ inches. 

Any bag or bundle placed curbside is subject to a maximum weight limit of 30 pounds.  A maximum of 25 bags or bundles will be picked up at one time. 

Please note that the yard waste collection is performed by the DPW.  We try to schedule the pick-up to coincide with your trash collection.  In the event that your yard waste is not picked up the same day as your trash collection, simply leave it out and DPW will pick it up within a few days.

Drop Off at T.A.R.F. (Transfer and Recycling Facility)

Yard waste can be dropped off at the T.A.R.F. located behind the American Legion, 351 Fall River Avenue.  The facility is open 8:00AM - 3:00PM (closed for lunch 12:00PM - 12:30PM) Monday - Friday (excluding holidays), as well as every Saturday between April and November from 8:00AM - 12:00PM.  Bags must be emptied on site to ensure contents are appropriate.

DO NOT INCLUDE (Curbside or Drop-off)

Oversized branches, logs, stumps, household garbage, metal of any kind, rocks, soil, ashes or animal waste as well as any items used in gardening or planting such as pots, flats, fertilizer and seed bags, etc.    Any of these items will likely cause damage to machinery and contaminate the compost produced.

Compost is available to all residents, free of charge and can be picked up at the T.A.R.F. during the hours indicated above.

R-I House OKs bill to provide injured police dogs ambulance transport, EMT care

STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives today approved legislation sponsored by Rep. David A. Bennett to allow police dogs injured in the line of duty to get emergency first aid from EMTs and be transported by ambulance to veterinary hospitals.


The legislation (2022-H 7021A), which now heads to the Senate, is based on a Massachusetts law that was introduced in response to the shooting of a police dog in Barnstable, Mass., in 2018. The bill was signed into law there last month.


“Police dogs are some of the most loyal, untiring public servants there are. They protect and serve the public alongside human officers, sometimes at great risk to their own lives and safety. They are also valuable resources, having undergone months or years of training to be able to perform special duties.

 

They absolutely deserve to have all the necessary emergency treatment if they get hurt in the line of duty, and no EMT should have to decline to help them or face any kind of repercussion for helping to save their lives,” said Representative Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston). 


Current law allows EMTs and ambulances to be used only for people. 


Representative Bennett’s bill would allow EMTs to transport police dogs injured on the job to a veterinary hospital and to provide first aid, as long as there are no humans waiting for treatment or transport. 


The bill directs the Department of Health, in consultation with police, EMTs and veterinarians, to develop policies and procedures for training EMTs for safe handling and first aid for police dogs, identifying veterinary hospitals that can accept them and sterilizing ambulances for allergens following the transportation of a police dog. 


In Massachusetts, the bill is called “Nero’s Law,” after Yarmouth police K-9 Nero, who was shot along with his human partner, Officer Sean Gannon, while serving a warrant. Gannon’s wounds were fatal, and Nero nearly bled to death while holed up for hours with the suspect inside his home. Nero was eventually transported in a police cruiser for treatment because the EMTs on site weren’t legally allowed to treat or transport him. He survived his injuries and now lives in retirement with Gannon’s widow. 


The bill is cosponsored by House Deputy Speaker Charlene M. Lima (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence), Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick), House Floor Manager John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth), Rep. Evan P. Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick), Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick), Rep. Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence), Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport), Rep. Robert E. Craven (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown) and Rep. Thomas E. Noret (D-Dist. 25, Coventry, West Warwick).
 

Red Sox option outfielder Jaylin Davis and right-handed pitcher Phillips Valdez to Triple-A Worcester

BOSTON, MA – Following today’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, the Boston Red Sox optioned outfielder Jaylin Davis and right-handed pitcher Phillips Valdez to Triple-A Worcester.

Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom made the announcement.

Davis, 27, was claimed off waivers from the San Francisco Giants on Thursday and added to the major league roster prior to Friday’s game in Baltimore. After making his Red Sox debut yesterday as a pinch runner, he started in left field today and went 2-for-4.

Valdez, 30, tossed 2.0 relief innings today, allowing four runs on four hits with a strikeout. The right-hander began the season not allowing a run in his first six outings. In eight relief appearances for Boston this season, he owns a 6.10 ERA (7 ER/10.1 IP).

Installation of Sandra Lowery as Fire Chief for the Town of Seekonk

Fire Chief Installation
The public is cordially invited to join in celebrating the installation of Sandra Lowery as Fire Chief for the Town of Seekonk on Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 10:00am.  The ceremony will be held in the apparatus bay at the Town of Seekonk Public Safety Complex located at 500 Taunton Avenue, Seekonk, MA.

If the Public Safety Complex parking area is full, there is additional parking located at the Town Hall.

_Massachusetts Gas Prices Up Eight Cents

Westwood, MA, May 2, 2022 — Massachusetts’s average gas price is up 8 cents from last week ($4.13), averaging $4.21 per gallon. Today’s price is 1 cent higher than a month ago ($4.20), and $1.42 higher than May 2, 2021 ($2.79). Massachusetts’s average gas price is 2 cents higher than the national average.

Pump prices rose again over the past week due primarily to the high cost of crude oil. The cost of a barrel of crude continues to hover around $100. With the oil price accounting for about 60% of pump prices, the national average for a gallon of regular is now $4.19, an increase of seven cents since Monday, April 25.

“As long as the supply remains tight, it will be hard for crude oil prices to fall and consumers will in turn face higher prices at the pump,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Government Affairs. “It now costs drivers in the U.S. about $23 more to fill up than a year ago.”

AAA Northeast’s May 2 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 7 cents higher than last week ($4.12), averaging $4.19 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 1 cent lower a month ago ($4.20), and $1.29 higher than this day last year ($2.90).
 

DEM TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARING MAY 10 ON PROPOSED HUNTING AND TRAPPING SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s (DEM) Division of Fish and Wildlife will hold a public hearing May 10 to discuss the proposed 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits. 

What: Public hearing on 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits.

When: Tuesday, May 10, at 7 PM.

Where: The Foundry, 235 Promenade Street, Room 300, Providence, 02908.

Interested parties may present comments concerning the draft regulations at the hearing or submit written comments by emailing  Ashley Schipritt or calling 401-423-1928 by 4 PM May 17, 2022. Copies of the draft regulations also can be provided prior to the workshop.

For more information about DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov or follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates. 

House Judiciary Committee meets on Thursday to vote on prisoners' rights bill

STATE HOUSE – The House Judiciary Committee will be meeting on Thursday, May 5 at 3:30 p.m. in the House Lounge of the State House to vote on legislation which repeals the provision of the General Laws that declares prisoners serving a life sentence as civilly dead.

The bill (2022-H 7411) is sponsored by Rep. Evan P. Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick).

The meeting will be televised live on Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox on Channels 15 and 61, on i3Broadband on Channel 15 and on Channel 34 by Verizon subscribers.  The meeting will also be live streamed at http://rilegislature.gov/CapTV/Pages/default.aspx.
 

The City of Fall River to Host Public Meeting on Flint Revitalization Project

(Fall River, MA- May 2, 2022)- On Wednesday, May 4th, 2022 at 6:30pm the City of Fall
River, the Fall River Redevelopment Authority and the Fall River Community Development
Agency will be hosting a meeting at the Our Lady of Light Band & Banquet Hall, located at 664
Quarry St in Fall River, to gain citizen input on plans to revitalize the Flint neighborhood and
Pleasant Street Corridor. 

The meeting is open to the public and light refreshments will be served.
The City of Fall River is currently working with a team of consultants to develop a
Revitalization Plan and an Urban Renewal Plan for the Flint and Pleasant St. areas.

 Feedback
gathered at Wednesday’s meeting will be incorporated into the forthcoming plans.
Those unable to attend Wednesday’s meeting may provide their input by completing the
survey at https://bit.ly/Flint-Pleasant. An informational video about the project can be viewed at
https://vimeo.com/691542394

Mayflower Wind Event

Fall River, MA— April 18, 2022—Mayflower Wind, the developer of an offshore wind project located in deep waters far off the coast of Massachusetts, will host a free virtual open house on Wednesday, May 4, 6:30 – 7:30 PM to provide information about its SouthCoast Project.

 

The open house will feature a three-dimensional tour of the project from the offshore wind energy lease area located in federal waters extending through an intermediate crossing underneath Portsmouth, RI to an onshore grid connection at Brayton Point in Somerset, MA.

 

The fourth in a series of virtual public forums, The Future of Clean Energy is Here, Mayflower Wind will present information on the following:

 

The Offshore Wind Energy Lease Area 
Export Cable Route and Intermediate Portsmouth, RI Crossing?? 
Brayton Point (Somerset, MA) Converter Station and Grid Connection? 


SouthCoast Project Timeline and Next Steps
“We are excited to be able to bring our SouthCoast Project to life with a 3D interactive tour,” said Daniel Hubbard, Director of External Affairs & General Counsel. “We encourage everyone to attend this event to learn more about offshore wind energy and how it makes its way from the outer continental shelf to interconnecting with the electric grid in Brayton Point.”

 

Mayflower Wind’s Christopher Hardy, External Outreach Manager; Kelsey Perry, Community Liaison Officer; and Dugan Becker, Community Liaison Officer will conduct the session along with subject matter experts Kelly Smith, Onshore Engineering Lead; Tim Reiher, Export Cable & Inter-Array Cable Lead; and Joel Southall, Fisheries Liaison to help answer questions during the Q&A session. All are welcome to participate in this FREE Zoom event by registering in advance.

 

Late last year Mayflower Wind was awarded 400 megawatts in Massachusetts’ offshore wind energy procurement. The win is accompanied by an economic development package that includes commitments to spend up to $42 million to support workforce and supply chain development across the SouthCoast. Mayflower Wind has another power purchase agreement with the Commonwealth’s largest electric utilities to supply an additional 804 megawatts of clean renewable offshore wind energy.

 

Mayflower Wind has the potential to generate over 2,400 megawatts of low-cost clean energy. The project expects to begin generating power by the late -2020’s. The May 4th virtual open house continues the company’s series of free online events to provide project information and a discussion forum for community members and others. Sign up for project updates.

 

About Mayflower Wind
Mayflower Wind, a 50/50 joint venture between Shell Renewables and Energy Solutions LLC and Ocean Winds, is developing an offshore wind lease area with the potential to supply over 2,400 megawatts (MW) of low-cost clean energy to electricity customers in New England. Mayflower Wind is committed to zero harm, innovation and industry development, and investing in our local communities. For more information visit mayflowerwind.com.

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Gun Fire in Dartmouth

Between two groups of people are under investigation in Dartmouth. According to CBS 12 in Providence, police were called to the parking lot of the Dartmouth Mall around 10:30 P.M. Friday night of reports of shots being fired. Upon arrival, police learned that two groups of people had exchanged gunfire, then left the area. Detectives on scene found several shell casings, and bullet fragments that hit a parked vehicle that was not associated with any of the shooters.

 

No one was injured and everyone involved took off from the scene before police arrived as police ask if anyone has additional information to contact the department.

Fall River Standing with Ukraine Event

People across and around Fall River came together yesterday in support of those surrounded by the Ukraine-Russian war. The Interfaith Solidarity Walk started at Blessed Trinity polish National Catholic Church on Plymouth Avenue and ended at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church on Center Street. According to CBS 12 in Providence, Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan declared may 1st as Support Ukraine Day in the city

 

Following the ceremony, many walked the streets of Fall River with sunflowers and Ukrainian flags in hand. Father Robert Nemkovich said his parish has already raised and donated 10,000 to their sister parish in Poland to help bring supplies and refugees to the border. WSAR spoke with Bishop Edgar De Cunha who attended the event and stated that no matter the differences in faith, the support remains universal.

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