WSAR NEWS Archives for 2023-01

Fall River Narcotics Firearms Arrest

On Saturday January 28, 2023, after a lengthy investigation, detectives assigned to the Vice Intelligence and
Gang Unit executed a search warrant at a residence located on Palmer St. 

The target of the investigation, 32-
year-old Jordan Kadlec was located inside the residence, and taken into custody without incident.
A search of the home resulted in the seizure of a Glock 23 .40 caliber firearm, 3.5 grams of crack cocaine, and
4.9 grams of fentanyl.

He is charged with possession of a firearm without an FID, carrying a large capacity firearm, possession to
distribute class A drug, possession to distribute class B drug, possession of ammunition without an FID card,
and possession of a large capacity firearm in the commission of a felony.

Another individual who was present during the execution of the search warrant will be summonsed to appear in
court on drug related offenses. 

_Massachusetts Gas Prices Up 6 Cents

Westwood, MA, January 30, 2023 — The average gas price in Massachusetts is up 6 cents from last week ($3.37), averaging $3.43 per gallon. Today’s price is 7 cents lower than a month ago ($3.36), and 4 cents higher than January 30, 2022 ($3.39). Massachusetts’ average gas price is 7 cents lower than the national average.

“January's weather was relatively mild in much of the nation, which led to more drivers hitting the road. However, a return of wintery conditions in February may see a revival of seasonal driving patterns,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. "But with the cost of oil stubbornly hovering around $80 per barrel, drivers probably won't catch a big break at the pump over the next week or two."

AAA Northeast’s January 30 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 8 cents higher than last week ($3.42), averaging $3.50 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 33 cents higher than a month ago ($3.17), and is 14 cents higher than this day last year ($3.36).

Healey-Driscoll Administration Files $282 Million Supplemental Budget Bill proposes funding for immediate emergency shelter needs and food security

BOSTON – Today the Healey-Driscoll Administration filed a $282 million gross / $154 million net Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) supplemental budget to address urgent needs across the state’s family emergency shelter system, which is at capacity and facing significantly elevated levels of demand by families facing homelessness.


The bill proposes $85 million to support the Emergency Assistance program and other necessary services for eligible families in need of emergency shelter in the Commonwealth.


With the shelter system currently at capacity, $64.9 million of this funding would support the Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) efforts to expand the number of units available to provide safe, temporary shelter to vulnerable families facing homelessness.


This includes investments in housing infrastructure and the shelter provider workforce that helps to stabilize and rehouse families. Based on current caseload projections, more than 1,100 shelter units over baseline capacity are needed, and the funds in this bill are critically needed to keep pace with this demand. 

The bill also proposes $21.9 million to support schools through the end of the 2023-2024 school year. The funding is targeted toward the communities experiencing a large influx of families with school-aged children due to state shelter placements – in particular, by providing financial support to schools and school districts for the costs associated with placing new students in local schools.


This bill also includes funding to maintain a temporary central intake center where families can receive timely case management services and health assessments during their first few days in shelter and for costs associated with other necessary health assessments and immigration-focused case management.  

The funding to support emergency shelters and related services would be authorized for DHCD as well as other agencies that play a role in responding to this crisis, and would work in combination with a $20 million appropriation in the economic development bill enacted in November 2022.  

tend two food security programs that will soon run out of funding.  

Gorzkowicz, Rodrigues, Michlewitz, Announce Consensus Revenue Forecast of $40.410 Billion for Fiscal Year 2024 Baseline state tax revenue growth projected at 1.6%

BOSTON?— Secretary of Administration and Finance Matthew J. Gorzkowicz, Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael J. Rodrigues, and House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz today agreed on a consensus revenue forecast for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) of $40.410 billion, a 1.6% increase in state tax revenue over adjusted Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) projected revenue


. In addition, the agreement also estimates an additional $1 billion will be available in FY24 to support new education and transportation initiatives in line with the requirements of the new 4% surtax approved by ballot initiative in November 2022. 


An increase to the FY23 state tax revenue estimate was also announced by Secretary Gorzkowicz today, increasing the forecast by $151 million to $39.768 billion, based on current year-to-date revenues and economic data.


The Secretary and Chairs also reached agreement to utilize $100 million in FY23 to fully pay down pension liabilities attributable to the 2015 Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP) ahead of the previously established pension schedule, which would have seen these additional liabilities fully amortized in Fiscal Year 2027.   


Of the forecasted $40.410 billion in FY24 state tax revenues, an estimated $2.063 billion is projected to be capital gains tax revenue, of which, per statute, $583 million will be transferred to the Stabilization Fund and other long term liability funds for pension and retiree health insurance costs.  

The agreement also includes several off-budget transfers that are mandated by current law, including: 

•    $4.105 billion to be transferred to the pension fund, a $361 million increase over the FY23 contribution that keeps the Commonwealth on schedule to fully fund its pension liability by 2036 

•    $1.463 billion to support the operations of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), an increase of $138 million over the FY23 budgeted contribution  

•    $1.303 billion for the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), an increase of $138 million over the FY23 budgeted contribution, which will support school construction projects across the Commonwealth  

•    $27 million for the Workforce Training Fund to support the Commonwealth’s workforce and business productivity and competitiveness 


Library Unveils Portraits of Local Heroes

The Fall River Public Library will be holding a public unveiling of two recently donated paintings by local artist Sheila Leshinsky Oliveira on Wednesday, February 8 at 10:00 a.m. in the hallway outside the Children’s Room. The paintings depict Fall River natives, Joe Raposo of Sesame Street fame and Sarah Anna Lewis, first Black-American school teacher in Fall River. The public is invited to attend.

Joe Raposo was a composer/songwriter who was born and raised in Fall River and was a co- creator of the popular children’s program Sesame Street. Raposo also wrote music for such musical talents as Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, and Barbara Streisand. Over the course of his career, Raposo was awarded five Grammys and multiple Gold and Platinum albums for his musical achievements. 

Sarah Anna Lewis was the first Black-American school teacher in Fall River. She may have also been the first Black student to graduate from The Bridgewater State Normal School, which is now Bridgewater State University. She was admitted to the college in 1867 and began her teaching career in March 1869, teaching at the “1st Div. Intermediate” school level in Fall River. 

Both paintings by the artist were supported in part by a grant from Fall River Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. The morning’s festivities will include a storytime for children and the chance to meet Elmo and the Cookie Monster, both of Sesame Street fame. 

“We’re extremely delighted and proud to have these two paintings as part of the library’s permanent collection,” commented David Mello, Supervisor of Children’s Services. “Their addition will also serve as a tribute to the lives and accomplishments of two of Fall River’s own citizens, both pioneers in their respective fields.” 

Update on New Bedford's Wind and Rail Projects

According to ABC 6 in Providence, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said the Vineyard Wind project will move above ground in April and May, with turbines, blades, and foundations arriving on New Bedford’s waterfront. Work has already been underway, with contractors laying cable and building substations, while surveyors are deciding where turbines should be placed.


The project will cost is set to be $3.2 million with Mayor Mitchell saying the city is taking steps to make sure turbines aren’t placed in important areas such as fishing habitats, risking a major impacting the city’s fishing industry. Commuters to Boston will have a new option with the South Coast Rail service from New Bedford. The main downtown station is set to open in 2023, along with a Church Street station.


Red Sox land infielder Mondesi in trade with Royals

Ian Browne

BOSTON -- Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom continued his quest to make his team stronger up the middle by acquiring talented but oft-injured infielder Adalberto Mondesi in a trade with the Royals on Tuesday.

In exchange, the Red Sox sent lefty reliever Josh Taylor -- also a player with a history of injury issues -- to Kansas City. The Red Sox will also get a player to be named or cash considerations as part of the exchange.

In Mondesi, the Red Sox get a player who led the Majors in triples (10) in 2019 and stolen bases (24) in ’20 but hasn’t been on the field much the past two seasons. With rule changes coming into play this season that should increase stolen bases, a player like Mondesi figures to be more valuable if he can stay healthy.

“In terms of the talent, the athleticism he has, it's really been top of the scale of anyone who plays big league baseball,” said Bloom. “Obviously he's had a tough time over the years with injuries.”

Mondesi tore his left ACL on April 26, 2022, which ended his season. Bloom said that Mondesi will fly from the Dominican Republic to Fort Myers, Fla., later this week to continue his rehab under the watch of Boston’s medical staff. 

“Our expectation is that he may be a little delayed to start the season, but Opening Day is still a possibility. And with an athlete like this, I wouldn't rule it out,” said Bloom.

Prior to the acquisition of Mondesi, Red Sox manager Alex Cora had said that Kiké Hernández would likely be the team’s primary shortstop.

Bloom said that is still the plan, especially as Mondesi battles back from his latest injury.

“We really liked the upside of this opportunity, thought it made sense,” said Bloom. “Whether he's on time or not, we're expecting him to contribute for the bulk of the year. But as far as how we look at our shortstop situation, it doesn't change anything about where we're headed and the opportunity in front of Kiké. 

“When Adalberto is back, we know given his track record -- I don't think we want to put too much on him -- he'll be part of the mix. We'll bring him along the right way. We'll take care of him, and him being part of the mix will make it easier to take care of everybody.”

Christian Arroyo will also be a key part of Boston’s middle-infield mix, and Bloom didn’t rule out the Red Sox adding more depth before Spring Training.

In his career, Mondesi has started 241 games at short, 64 games at second and 20 at third base. Though Hernández has made only 64 starts at short compared to 187 at second, Bloom recently said that the veteran is a plus defender wherever he plays. Cora raved about how Hernández’s first-step quickness would play at shortstop.

For the last two seasons, Hernández was Boston’s primary center fielder. But after the departure of Xander Bogaerts via free agency and Trevor Story undergoing right elbow surgery that will keep him out indefinitely, the Sox contemplated moving Hernández back to the infield.

Contemplation turned to reality after the Sox signed free-agent slugger Adam Duvall to play center field on a one-year, $7 million deal that became official on Tuesday. Hernández said a few days ago that he prefers playing the infield, because he enjoys playing the game at a faster pace.

The son of former MLB outfielder Raul Mondesi, Adalberto has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, playing just 358 games while appearing in parts of seven seasons, all with the Royals. He'll be eligible to become a free agent after the 2023 season. 

After famously making his MLB debut for Kansas City in the 2015 World Series, Mondesi has posted a lifetime .244/.280/.408 slash with 38 homers and 133 stolen bases in the big leagues.

“Just in terms of looking at what he can do, he’s an awesome defender, he can run, he has power,” said Bloom. “Obviously, the inconsistency of the opportunities he's gotten has probably played into why he hasn't been able to tap into those tools consistently at the plate. But it's all there.

“He'll show you everything you would ever want to see out of a Major League player, and he’s really one of the better athletes to play at the big league level in recent years. So we're excited to get him in the organization, excited to finish this rehab, bring him along the right way, and he has the upside to really, really impact us.”

Thomas Harrigan contributed to this story.

Three Men Convicted of Violent Kidnapping and Shooting Stemming from Cape Cod Heroin Conspiracy

Friday, January 27, 2023

BOSTON – Three men have been convicted in federal court in Boston for their roles in a violent kidnapping tied to a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that distributed heroin throughout the Cape Cod and Pawtucket, R.I., regions.


Anthony Basilici, 39, of Pawtucket, R.I., was convicted yesterday following a five-day jury trial of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin; possession and discharge of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime; kidnapping conspiracy; witness intimidation; and witness retaliation conspiracy.


On Jan. 18, 2023, shortly before trial commenced, Basilici’s two co-defendants, Edwin Otero, 33, of Hyannis, and Justin Joseph, 35, of Pawtucket, R.I., each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin; possession of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime; kidnapping conspiracy; and witness retaliation conspiracy. Otero also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and witness intimidation.


U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled Basilici’s sentencing for April 26, 2023 and sentencing for both Otero and Joseph for April 27, 2023.


“For years, members of Edwin Otero’s drug crew plagued the Cape Cod and Pawtucket communities with their heroin operation and the serious, violent crimes it fueled.


These defendants actively participated in a violent scheme to kidnap, beat and terrorize a victim who they incorrectly believed was working with law enforcement,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “This case is a prime example of how drug trafficking activities drive violence in our neighborhoods. Law-abiding residents in our Commonwealth have a right to live their lives without from fear or intimidation by violent gangs. Thanks to the exceptional work by our investigative partners and prosecution team, this violent criminal enterprise has been brought to its knees – bringing peace and safety back to the Cape Cod and Pawtucket neighborhoods it once terrorized.”



“DEA is committed to investigating and dismantling Drug Trafficking Organizations who are responsible for distributing lethal drugs like heroin,” said Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division. “This conviction not only holds these three men accountable for their crimes but serves as a warning to those traffickers who are fueling the opioid epidemic with deadly drugs in order to profit and destroy people’s lives. DEA’s top priority is combatting the opioid epidemic and the violent acts that often accompany it by working with our local, county, state and federal partners to bring to justice anyone who distributes this poison.”


In 2018, law enforcement began investigating a Cape Cod-wide DTO led by Otero. The investigation revealed Otero, Joseph, Basilici and their other co-defendants distributed large quantities of heroin throughout Cape Cod, including in Hyannis, Mashpee, Centerville, Osterville and in Pawtucket, R.I. As part of the conspiracy, Otero, Joseph and Basilici committed a May 2019 shooting related to a drug debt owed by a drug customer.


Additionally, in April 2019, Otero, Joseph, and Basilici lured a victim from Massachusetts to Rhode Island where they kidnapped and held him, stripped him naked, assaulted him and threatened to rape him. Otero, Joseph, Basilici and other co-conspirators discussed causing physical injury to the victim to retaliate against him because they believed he was cooperating with law enforcement. Otero and Basilici also further intimidated or attempted to intimidate other witnesses after the kidnapping.


Otero, Joseph and Basilici were initially charged along with eight others in May 2019 on the drug conspiracy charges. In connection with those arrests, heroin, packaging materials, scales, a finger press as well as three firearms and ammunition including a 9 millimeter assault-style weapon were seized from Otero’s grandmother’s residence. In March 2020, Otero, Joseph, Basilici and two others – Cameron Cartier and Albert Lee – were indicted in connection with the violent kidnapping and related charges. Cartier and Lee previously pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 14, 2023 and Feb. 16, 2023, respectively. 


The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin provides for a sentence of up to 40 years in prison, up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. The charge of possession and discharge of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime provides for a sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison on and after any other sentence, up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.



The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of kidnapping conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to life in prison, up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charges of witness intimidation and witness retaliation conspiracy provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Cotter bill would establish limits on grocery self-checkouts

STATE HOUSE – Rep. Megan L. Cotter has introduced legislation that would establish limits on self-checkout lanes at grocery stores in Rhode Island.

The bill is meant to start a conversation about corporations’ ever-increasing use of self-checkout lanes to reduce the employment of cashiers, said Representative Cotter (D-Dist. 39, Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond).

“In addition to the frustration and inconvenience self-checkouts represent to many shoppers, this is mainly a jobs issue. Self-checkouts are specifically used to reduce the number of people that stores employ, and the number of hours that their employees work.


The big corporations that own grocery chains no doubt hope the public will just slowly continue to accept this effort, but I’m hoping this bill will start a discussion so Rhode Islanders have a chance to voice their concerns in a place where these corporations will hear them,” said Representative Cotter. 


Representative Cotter said she introduced the bill in large part of out concern for those who work as cashiers, and also for customers, many of whom benefit from the social interactions they have in the community with people like cashiers.

The legislation (2023-H 5161) would restrict grocery stores from having more than eight self-checkouts operating at once, and require that those with self-checkouts also have a minimum of one staffed checkout per self-checkout.

Additionally, the legislation would require that grocery stores give customers a 10-percent discount for checking out their groceries themselves if the order involves 10 or more items.

“Self-checkout is a way grocery stores are avoiding paying employees by getting customers to do cashiers’ jobs for free. It seems only fair that if they are going to take on cashiers’ work, the customer should get something in return,” said Representative Cotter. 

The legislation points to the proliferation of self-checkouts as a force that isolates the elderly, who tend to struggle more with the technology and, in many cases, benefit the social interaction with cashiers.


It also points out that increased use of self-checkouts has allowed grocery stores to rely more heavily on part-time employees, positions which do not provide retail workers with a living wage or access to benefits.


There are costs to the public as well, since many retail workers, particularly those with a part-time schedule, qualify and receive income-based public benefits such as food stamps (formally known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits or "SNAP"), and subsidized health care. Additionally, the move disproportionately harms people of color, who are overrepresented in cashier positions, typically the lowest-paid positions in retail businesses.

Representative Cotter said she doesn’t necessarily expect the legislation to be enacted exactly as currently written; she introduced the legislation as a starting point, and looks forward to the public discussion that will be raised as a result.

“While many people use self-checkout regularly, there are also many people who want the advantages of checking out with a real human being. Stores keep making that harder to do by operating fewer and fewer staffed checkouts and keeping those the lines long to push people toward the self-checkout whether they like it or not. I look forward to hearings on this bill so people have a chance to speak up for their preferences and for jobs,” she said. 

Statement from Governor Healey on the Death of Tyre Nichols

BOSTON – Governor Maura T. Healey issued the following statement on the death of Tyre Nichols: 

“We face another tragic moment in our country. What we see today will cause tremendous pain, for Tyre Nichols’ family, for Memphis, and for Black people forced to relive generational trauma caused by police brutality.  

“While true justice would mean Tyre Nichols being here with his loved ones, the swift action taken by the Memphis Police Chief and prosecutors demonstrates the essential accountability and oversight we need and what families deserve.   

“What happened in Memphis is a betrayal of our basic humanity. We value the dignity and worth of every member of our Black and Brown communities, every person in Massachusetts. 

“Now is a time across this Commonwealth for us to communicate with honesty and understanding, and to show care, empathy and love. We will be guided by our continued conversations with faith leaders and community members, and we will commit to the work we need to do as a nation, and as a state, to address systemic profiling and racism, and protect basic human rights.”  

More Information Released in Statue Damage Case in Fall River

The Fall River Police Department is seeking the assistance of the public with identifying the
person responsible for vandalizing the Good Shepard Parish located at 1598 South Main Street
in Fall River. 

The incident took place on January 25, 2023, at approximately 2:00 PM. The
suspect was last seen walking in the area of Tuttle Street and Dwelly Street. 

Residents with
video surveillance footage in the area are encouraged to contact the Fall River Police
Department. Anyone able to identify this person  is asked to call
508.324.2796 or leave an anonymous tip by calling 508.672.8477 (TIPS).

Statement from Secretary Reidy on the Death of Tyre Nichols

On behalf of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, I extend our deepest sympathy to the loved ones of Tyre Nichols.


We join the Memphis community and the nation in mourning his senseless death and strongly condemn the egregious actions of the five former officers indicted for murder.


Their reprehensible conduct threatens the trust essential to the relationship between police and the communities they serve. We stand with those who seek justice and accountability for Tyre and his family and call for peaceful demonstration from those who will understandably exercise their right to have their voices heard.


The Commonwealth reaffirms its commitment to implementing meaningful reforms, fostering trust in police-community relations, and advancing a fair and equitable criminal justice system for all. 


Terrence M. Reidy
Secretary of Public Safety and Security

New Bedford Stabbing Conviction

A 42-year-old New Bedford man was sentenced to serve 15 to 20 years in state prison after being convicted earlier this week of stabbing his ex-girlfriend and molesting her daughter, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.


Elias Centeio pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court on Tuesday to indictments charging him with Armed Assault in a Dwelling, Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon-Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Under the Age of 14.


On April 2, 2018, the New Bedford Police Department responded to numerous 911 calls regarding a stabbing at 120 Amanda Avenue. Upon arrival, New Bedford Police and EMS observed the victim on the ground surrounded by neighbors trying to help her, and bleeding profusely from multiple areas. Police observed stab wounds to the victim’s face, neck area, and left arm. Prior to the 911 calls, one neighbor heard the victim screaming and found her outside of 120 Amanda Ave. with multiple stab wounds.


 Another neighbor reported to officers that she heard the victim screaming, and when she went outside to investigate she saw the defendant “swinging both arms in a forward motion with a knife”. When she yelled at him to stop, he took off from the scene. Police also observed a large amount of blood in the victim’s apartment. While in the ambulance, the victim told both the New Bedford Police and EMS that defendant was the one who stabbed her.


She was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, where she underwent surgery to repair some of her injuries.  She was stabbed a total of 11 times and almost lost her arm.  She remained there for 10 days and then went to a rehabilitation facility for long-term rehabilitation from her injuries. .


The Defendant and the victim had dated for about eight years and have a young child together. The victim broke up with the defendant in January of 2018 after her daughter (no relation to defendant) told her that the defendant had come into her room when she was sleeping and had touched her vagina under her underwear. 


On the night of the stabbing, the defendant stole a ladder off a neighbor’s truck and climbed through a second-floor window.  He then went downstairs and attacked the victim by stabbing her and chasing her out the door, while continuing to stab her.  This can all be seen on video footage obtained by NB Housing Authority. 


During a sentencing hearing held before Judge Thomas McGuire, Assistant District Attorney Courtney Cahill argued that due to the brutality of the attack in addition to the molestation of a child, the defendant should serve a 25 to 30 year state prison sentence.  However, the defendant, through his attorney, requested a more lenient 12 to 15 year state prison term.  Judge McGuire eventually sentenced the defendant to serve 15 to 20 years in state prison.


“The defendant brutally stabbed the victim, which caused serious injury and could’ve resulted in her being killed. On top of it, he sexually assaulted the victim’s daughter in another incident,” District Attorney Quinn said. “This defendant clearly is a danger to the victim and to the community, and needed to be kept off the street for a long time. This sentence does just that.”

New Bedford Trafficking Conviction

A  45-year-old New Bedford man was convicted by a jury of his peers and sentenced to state prison last Friday in Fall River Superior Court of trafficking fentanyl and distributing crack-cocaine, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Carlos Lacen-Santiago was sentenced by Judge Renee Dupuis to serve five to seven-and-a-half years in state prison.  

On July 31, 2021, New Bedford Police Narcotics Detectives were in possession of a search warrant for a black Honda Accord that was being used as a hub for drug distribution by the defendant.  While conducting surveillance on the vehicle, police observed the defendant approach the vehicle while on his cell phone.  Shortly thereafter, another man also approached the vehicle.  The defendant unlocked the car door and got inside while the other man leaned in, took something in his hand and put it in his pocket.  The other man was stopped a short distance from the car and was found to have a bag of fentanyl in his pocket. 

The defendant was then also approached and detained while police executed the search warrant on the vehicle, where they found an additional 14 grams of fentanyl, two corner bags of crack-cocaine, four digital scales, nearly $1,000 in cash and other materials used for drug distribution.

The two-day jury trial was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Catherine Sauter and Gillian Kirsch. 

At the time of his arrest, the defendant had two prior drug convictions. One was for possession with intent to distribute heroin in 2012 and the other was for trafficking heroin in 2016. In the first case, the defendant served a county jail sentence and in the second case he served a state prison sentence.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Debuts Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program for Sports Wagering

Ahead of the launch of sports wagering in the Commonwealth on January 31, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is expanding options to help people to control their gambling. The MGC today announced that a Voluntary Self-Exclusion (VSE) list has been established specifically for sports wagering.  
Since the first casino in Massachusetts opened in 2015, more than 1,700 people have enrolled a VSE program for casino gaming and today there are 1,329 individuals enrolled. The VSE programs are designed to allow those who want to regain control a means to restrict their access to gambling for a pre-determined amount of time. With the introduction of sports wagering, individuals will have the option to self-exclude from casino gaming floors, retail and digital sportsbooks, or both forms of gambling.  
Individuals interested in excluding themselves just from retail sportsbook locations or mobile/online sports wagering app are able to avail themselves of this option over the phone (1.800.GAM.1234), online (, or in-person at a GameSense Info Centers at PPC, MGM and/or EBH. More information on the program can be found by visiting the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Website. Those currently on the casino VSE list will remain so and will continue to be excluded from the casino floor including the soon to be opened sportsbooks. 
According to a 2022 study conducted by researchers at UMass Amherst, an estimated 13-20% of Massachusetts adults have engaged in sports betting ahead of the law that legalized sports wagering in the Commonwealth. The same study found evidence that the introduction of sprots wagering and participation in sports wagering led to an increase in gambling harms.  
“VSE programs are proven to be a successful tool for those who need a break from gambling to manage their own play,” said MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein. “In light of research we have at our disposal, the MGC and our licensees are committed to offering these types of programs and a range of other resources to help gamblers in the Commonwealth.” 
An early evaluation of the VSE program in Massachusetts found that enrollees reported significant improvements in gambling problems, mental health, and relationship quality six-months after enrolling.  “While VSE is one way to help people struggling with a gambling problem, we highly recommend they also seek treatment from a qualified clinician” said Mark Vander Linden, MGC Director of Research and Responsible Gaming. The Massachusetts Problem Gambling Helpline (800-327-5050) can provide callers with information about treatment and other resources.
“Massachusetts has provided innovation and leadership in the realms of problem and responsible gambling,” said Marlene Warner, CEO, Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health. “This early and comprehensive approach to VSE continues in that tradition. We hope that anyone in need of a conversation and some help with minimizing the impact gambling has on their life will consider this evidence-based program.” 

New Bedford Fentanyl Conviction

A 44-year-old Fentanyl trafficker with an extensive criminal history was sentenced to serve 10 to 12 years in state prison last week in Fall River Superior Court, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Kenny Gonzalez was arrested by New Bedford Police on September 15, 2022, while in possession of just under 600 grams of fentanyl.  On that date, New Bedford Police executed a search warrant on the Nash Road public housing apartment Gonzalez was living in with his girlfriend and her two young children. Police had obtained the warrant after an extensive investigation into the defendant’s fentanyl delivery service.  Located inside the children’s bedroom was a lockbox and a safe containing all the fentanyl, along with bags of mannitol (a cutting agent), several digital scales, a drug ledger, three cell phones, packaging materials and cut corner bags. 

The defendant had been released from prison in New York 18 months prior to this arrest.  He was serving a sentence in New York after being convicted of 1st degree manslaughter with intent to cause serious physical injury.  

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kaitlyn O’Leary and the state prison sentence was imposed by Judge Sharon Donatelle.

“The defendant was found with a significant amount of fentanyl, a poisonous drug that is contributing to a significant amount of death and misery in our county,” District Attorney Quinn said.  “Given the volume of drugs he was selling as part of his fentanyl delivery service, he clearly is a danger and needs to be kept off the street.”

Homeless Assault Conviction

A 31-year-old homeless man who was living in a tent in the woods in Fairhaven at the time of his August, 2020 arrest for violently assaulting and strangling his girlfriend, was sentenced to serve three to five years in prison last week in Fall River Superior Court, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Adam Furtado pleaded guilty to indictments charging him with aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, strangulation and two counts of domestic assault and battery.  In addition to the state prison sentence, Judge Thomas McGuire also placed the defendant on an additional year of probation.

On August 20, 2020 at around 7 am, he victim traveled barefoot to a Taber Street home seeking help. The victim was staying in the tent with the defendant after leaving her sober house program in New Bedford. On the second day in the tent, the defendant returned from a  trip to the Market Basket in New Bedford in an intoxicated state, picked up a rock and struck the victim with it.  After trying to flee from him, the defendant dragged her back to the tent, strangled her and further assaulted her.  

Medica transported the victim to the hospital, where she was found to have bruising on her face, neck, arms, legs, abdomen, chest, back, buttocks and breasts.  X-Rays showed she has also sustained two displaced broken ribs.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jose Vazquez.

“The defendant brutally assaulted the victim, causing serious injury,” District Attorney Quinn said. “This sentence holds him accountable and protects the victim and the public from him.”

Temporary Street Closures on JFK Blvd./Rt. 18 and MacArthur Drive on Friday morning, January 27th

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Travelers are advised of temporary closures of Route 18/JFK Boulevard and MacArthur Drive in the vicinity of the New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal (NBFMT) during the morning of Friday, January 27, 2023.

Demolition activity related to the ongoing construction of the NBFMT will require closures at the following locations for a brief period between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.:

•    MacArthur Drive at Walnut Street (southbound)
•    Route 18/JFK Boulevard at Walnut Street (southbound)
•    Route 18/JFK Boulevard at Griffin Court (northbound)
•    MacArthur Drive at Griffin Court (northbound)

Five Arrested in MA State Police Pursuit

According to CBS 12 in Providence, Massachusetts State Police arrested five people after a pursuit involving a vehicle reportedly stolen in Taunton. Troopers spotted the black Honda Accord around midnight Tuesday on Route 107 in Revere and attempted to stop the car on Route 60, but the driver began to flee but ended with the suspects rear-ending an SUV. All five occupants were arrested as they tried to run from the crash with ages ranging from a 17 year old to a 20 year old, all residing in either Lynn, Brockton or Roxbury. The suspects were each charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle. Police stated 20 year old Alton Lopes was the driver and was also charged with failure to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, operating after license suspension, and a marked lanes violation.


The juvenile suspect was transferred to the Department of Youth Services, while the other four were arraigned yesterday.

Two New Bedford Men Caught with Cocaine

According to CBS 12 in Providence, Police arrested two men earlier this week in New Bedford, one of which was wanted for trafficking cocaine. Emanuel Jose Colon-Vazquez and Thomas Macedo were arrested Monday as detectives saw Colon-Vazquez get into a car and then was pulled over after realizing he had a warrant out for his arrest. Police said Colon-Vazquez has a plastic bag containing over 50 grams of crack cocaine, as well as a digital scale and more than $500 in cash. Colon-Vazquez has been charged with trafficking cocaine in excess of 36 grams and conspiracy.


Colon-Vazquez had three pending charges for possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy. Macedo was also taken into custody after being found with a bag of cocaine on him as well

Rep. Tanzi introduces bill to include casinos in workplace smoking ban

STATE HOUSE – Rep. Teresa A. Tanzi today introduced legislation (2023 H-5237) to include casinos in the state’s law prohibiting smoking in workplaces.

“Casino workers are Rhode Islanders, parents, caregivers, taxpayers and human beings, and they deserve the same protections as everyone else in our state. It is fundamentally wrong to say that no one should be exposed to secondhand smoke in the workplace, but carve out an exception that leaves one group of workers not only unprotected, but in fact, bathed in smoke every day. There’s no excuse for continuing to endanger their health, and we need to pass this bill to let them breathe safely like everyone else,” said Representative Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett).

Casinos are currently exempted from the 2004 Public Health and Workplace Safety Act, which workers and advocates say has a detrimental impact on casino workers. When Rhode Island’s two casinos reopened in June 2020 following the COVID 19 shutdown, they prohibited indoor smoking as a safety measure. In March of 2022, they reinstated smoking in designated gaming floors.

Senators and representatives remind short-term rental owners to register

STATE HOUSE – Senators and representatives from across Rhode Island are reminding owners of short-term rental properties of a new requirement this year: registering their business with the state. They are singling out owners in the city of Newport, which has fallen behind other cities and towns.

Last year the General Assembly passed legislation (2021-H 5505A, 2021-S 0501B) requiring owners of short-term rental units to register with the state by Dec. 31, 2022.


Nearly 3,000 did so, but there are likely others who have not. Owners that haven’t registered will face fines for noncompliance.

In a review of Rhode Island short-term rentals on the site AirDNA, the majority (68%) of rentals around the state have complied with the registration requirement. But in Newport, only 268 (33%) of the 821 active rentals are registered in the state system, meaning 553 have not.  


AirDNA is the leading provider of data and analytics for the $140 billion-dollar short-term rental industry and has developed a method to track the short-term rental performance of every listing on many short-term rental sites.  


Additionally, according to the data and analytics from AirDNA in October 2022, over 700 short-term rental properties advertised on sites such as Airbnb and Vrbo in Newport produced more than $40 million in revenue from August 2021 to August 2022.

Encore Boston Harbor Announces Sports Betting Launch Guests to place sports bets at WynnBET Sportsbook and kiosks starting on Tuesday, January 31st

EVERETT, MA (January 25, 2023) Encore Boston Harbor announced on Wednesday the official launch of in-person sports betting at the resort will begin on Tuesday, January 31st. The property will begin taking sports bets at 10 a.m. at WynnBET Sports Kiosks. The WynnBET Sportsbook will begin taking bets immediately following a special 10 a.m. inaugural event.


“Boston has the best sports fans in the world,” said Jenny Holaday, president of Encore Boston Harbor. “We can’t wait to open Boston’s sportsbook and welcome our guests to bet on their favorite teams.” 


In addition to the WynnBET Sportsbook’s ten live betting windows, the resort will feature the most sports betting kiosks in the state with more than 115. The majority of WynnBET Sports Kiosks will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Other onsite options include the Express Sportsbook located on the first floor of the self-parking garage with 20 kiosks and a 15-minute parking limit for sports bettors looking to get in and out quickly. 


Encore Boston Harbor also offers a website that helps guests create any type of sports bet on their personal mobile device. Guests can save – or copy – the generated QR code and scan it at any open WynnBET Sports Kiosk on property, called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). The QR code will instantly bring up their desired wager on the kiosk screen, allowing sports bettors the time to build their bet slips from any location, then quickly scanning it at any betting kiosk in the resort. To learn more about BYOD, please visit To use BYOD, please visit


“We’ve created a thoughtfully-designed sports betting experience for our guests at Encore Boston Harbor,” said Ian Williams, president of Wynn Interactive. “Whether you’re placing your first sports bet ever, or you’re a seasoned sports bettor, we’ve thought through how we can make your visit as easy and enjoyable as possible.” 


The Encore Boston Harbor first-ever sports bets will be taken in the WynnBET Kiosk Room at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 31. Thirty-two lucky guests will be chosen to place the historic bets. Immediately following, guests can witness Boston championship-winning athletes simultaneously place the first bets at the windows inside the WynnBET Sportsbook. The event will be emceed by ESPN’s Sean McDonough. Championship trophies will also be on display and available for photo opportunities for guests. 


To learn more about sports betting at Encore Boston Harbor, please visit 

MassDOT Storm Advisory Snow and Mixed Precipitation Across the Commonwealth on Wednesday, January 25

Plan in advance of the storm
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising travelers to expect snow throughout the day tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25.  The storm will bring snowfall across Massachusetts from southwest to northeast.  Snow is forecast to change over to rain from south to north late on Wednesday and into Wednesday night. MassDOT advises drivers to check updated forecasts for travel Wednesday as a wintery mix of snow and rain will impact travel, especially on any untreated roadways.
MassDOT will be deploying storm-related logistics as needed.  Drivers should make smart decisions about when they depart, the routes they take and allow extra time to reach destinations.
For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are encouraged to:
•    Download the Mass511 mobile app or visit to view live cameras, travel times, real-time traffic conditions, and project information before setting out on the road. Users can subscribe to receive text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
•    Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
•    Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.

NFL Conference Championship Games This Weekend

After opening at a -1 road favorite, Cinncinnati is now a -2.5 road favorite versus Kansas CIty in Arrowhead Stadium Sunday Night in AFC Conference Championship Game, according to Draft Kings Sports Book.


The Eagles are a -2.5 favorite at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday afternoon versus San Francisco in the NFC Championship game. 



Bristol Community College Theatre program to host After the Blast from February 16 - 18

Bristol Community College’s Theatre program will host its upcoming production of Zoe Kazan’s post-apocalyptic New York City hit, After the Blast from Thursday, Feb. 16, through Saturday, Feb. 18, beginning at 7 p.m.   

The production takes place in the Jackson Arts Center (H building) Studio Theatre, Room H128, on the Bristol Fall River Campus, 777 Elsbree Street. Admission is General Public: $15; Non-Bristol Students and Bristol Faculty/Staff: $10; Bristol Students: $5. Please note that in-person seating is limited to 50 tickets per night. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting  


New York Magazine called the show’s original Lincoln Center Theater production "Sharp and stirring, incisive and breathtakingly humane." 


Brief Synopsis: Set in a future where the surface of the Earth is uninhabitable, humans now live underground where fertility is closely regulated and the world above is simulated via an implant. Anna and Oliver, born several generations after the move underground, have one final hope of having a baby. The production is directed by Brien Lang, Resident Artist of the Wilbury Theatre Group, in Providence, R.I. 


Please note that all students, employees and community members who are attending indoor Bristol events must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, as defined by the college's policy, or have a valid accommodation for COVID-19. For more information, please visit   


Bristol’s Theatre program is an Associate of Arts, in liberal arts & sciences, that provides hands-on training and experience, allowing students to learn and refine their craft as they perform. Students can smoothly transfer to a four-year institution or seek work in the performing arts. In addition to teaching history, literature and art, studying theatre also provides interpersonal communication and problem-solving skills. 

For more information about the Bristol Theatre’s production of After the Blast, beginning Thursday, Feb. 16, please visit or contact Artistic Director and Assistant Professor of Theatre, David Ledoux, by emailing or by calling 774.357.3748.

_Patriots to Reunite with Bill O'Brien as New Offensive Coordinator

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, former Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien is returning to New England and being named offensive coordinator of the Patriots.

Evan Lazar
Staff Writer

Patriots fans clamoring for a reunion woke up to excellent news for New England's offense on Tuesday morning.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, former Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is returning to New England and being named offensive coordinator of the Patriots. O'Brien, who spent the last two seasons in Tuscaloosa, was previously with the Patriots from 2007-2011.

New England interviewed several candidates, including tight ends coach Nick Caley, Cardinals WRs coach Shawn Jefferson, Vikings WRs coach Keenan McCardell, and Oregon top assistant Adrian Klemm. In the end, O'Brien was the leading candidate and got the job.

The Patriots announced last week that they'd be conducting a search for a new offensive coordinator following their worst offensive season of the Bill Belichick era in 2022. After former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels departed to become the head coach of the Raiders, the Pats experimented with Matt Patricia as the de facto OC, and the results were inconsistent.

With O'Brien back at the helm, the Patriots offense could be a combination of New England's old system that O'Brien put his spin on for four seasons and quarterback Mac Jones's college offense at Alabama. The perfect blend between two successful schemes.


The relationship between the offensive coordinator and quarterback is always important, and the Pats new OC and quarterback will hit the ground running


. Along with coaching at his alma mater for the last two seasons, there are reports that Jones and O'Brien worked together during the 2021 offseason as O'Brien began learning the Alabama playbook. Jones, known for his football acumen, helped O'Brien with the new system.


New England now turns its attention to upgrading their roster around Mac Jones and continuing to build on a defense that finished third in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric last season.

The Patriots began their search with a top candidate in mind, and they got their man with Bill O'Brien reportedly returning as New England's offensive coordinator for the 2023 season.


Fall River Shooting

On Saturday January 21, 2023 at approximately 5:45 p.m. officers responded to St. Joseph Street in response to a report of shots fired. Upon arrival, officers located a 60-year-old male suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.


He was treated on scene and transported to St. Luke’s Hospital. He remains hospitalized, in stable condition.

As Officers and Detectives continued their investigation they learned that a physical altercation had occurred between two women outside of a residence on St. Joseph Street.


During that altercation, a male fired multiple rounds in the direction of the victim, striking him three (3) times. The suspect was located and taken into custody without incident.

Armando Rivera Angulo, 29, is charged with armed assault to murder, assault and battery by discharging a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm without a license to carry, and discharging a firearm within 500 ft. of a dwelling.
Armando Rivera

_Massachusetts Gas Prices Up 7 Cents

Westwood, MA, January 23, 2023 — The average gas price in Massachusetts is up 7 cents from last week ($3.30), averaging $3.37 per gallon. Today’s price is 2 cents lower than a month ago ($3.39), and 1 cent higher than January 23, 2022 ($3.36). Massachusetts’ average gas price is 5 cents lower than the national average.

“Gas prices are up as crude oil prices have risen to levels not seen since mid-November thanks to expectations that cooling inflation will spike demand in the United States and China’s economy bounces back from COVID-related shutdowns,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. “Even though national crude inventories have rebounded and are now substantially above average, some of the surplus is due to a drop in refinery output in recent weeks.”


AAA Northeast’s January 23 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 12 cents higher than last week ($3.30), averaging $3.42 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 33 cents higher than a month ago ($3.09), and is 10 cents higher than this day last year ($3.32).

Winter Storm Brings Crashes to Region

With several inches of snow falling in parts of Massachusetts today, drivers may face snowy and icy road conditions at a moment’s notice. Dangerous winter storms, bad weather and sloppy road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths in an average winter, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.


Close to half of all crashes involving bad weather take place in the winter. AAA encourages drivers to be vigilant when hitting the road today and to always stay prepared by carrying an emergency roadside kit in their vehicles. 


“We urge drivers to watch for slippery conditions today,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Government Affairs. “Snow and sleet can cause significant safety problems by reducing visibility and making it difficult to safely maneuver or stop.  And if you’re headed to the airport, check with your airline before you leave home.”


AAA recommends the following tips while driving in snowy and icy conditions:


•    Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.

•    Drive slowly. Always adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.

•    Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: it takes longer to slow down on icy roads.

•    Increase your following distance. Allow five to six seconds of following distance between your vehicle and any vehicle in front of you. This space allows you time to stop safely if the other driver brakes suddenly.

•    Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal. Don’t pump the brakes.

•    Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.

•    Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.

•    Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.


“More than 40 percent of motorists do not carry an emergency kit in their vehicle,” said Ms. Maguire. “Drivers attempting to brave bad weather should remain cautious and always be prepared by packing an emergency roadside kit.”


AAA recommends always keeping the following items in your “emergency kit” for winter driving:
•    Mobile phone and car charger 
•    First-aid kit 
•    Blankets 
•    Drinking water/snacks for everyone in the car including pets 
•    Flashlight with extra batteries
•    Rags, paper towels or pre-moistened wipes
•    Basic toolkit including duct tape and warning devices such as flares or reflectors 
•    Ice scraper/snow brush
•    Jumper cables/jump pack
•    Traction aid such as sand, salt or non-clumping cat litter
•    Tarp, raincoat and gloves
•    Shovel

Rep. Sanchez introduces legislation to raise minimum wage for teens

STATE HOUSE – Rep. Enrique Sanchez has introduced legislation (2023 H-5181)  that would require workers under 18 years of age to be paid the state’s minimum wage.

“A lot of young people in our community are working not because they want to, but because they have to,” Representative Sanchez (D-Dist. 9, Providence) said. “They are out here after school or on the weekends helping their families pay the bills, and they should be paid a fair wage for that.”

State law currently exempts some teenagers from minimum wage protections. Teenagers 14 or 15 years old who work less than 24 hours per week can be paid as low as 75% of the current minimum wage. Full-time students under 19 years of age who work at nonprofit religious, educational, librarial, or community service organizations can be paid as low as 90%.

That, advocates say, creates a two-tiered system that disadvantages all workers.

“I know what it’s like having to work growing up,” Representative Sanchez said. “I know what it’s like having to spend time away from homework, away from friends. I want kids coming up today to earn a fair wage.”

City Reaches Agreement with MBTA For Pedestrian Bridge over J.F.K. Boulevard

Mayor Requests Council Approval of MOU Necessary for Construction to Proceed


New Bedford, Massachusetts – Mayor Jon Mitchell is requesting the City Council approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and the City of New Bedford for a $21 million pedestrian bridge creating access to the new downtown inter-city rail station.


The bridge would provide a walkway over John F. Kennedy Boulevard between Purchase Street and the station to ensure a safe walking route.  After more than a year of negotiations between the City and the MBTA, the MBTA agreed to design and build the bridge according to the City’s preferences.  The City will not be required to pay for any of the construction costs; construction is anticipated to begin this summer.


“New Bedford deserves public amenities and spaces that are both functional and beautiful.  For a highly visible structure like this pedestrian bridge, excellence in design is a must.  We have achieved that goal with this design, and I am grateful for the collaborative efforts between our team and the MBTA’s.  The result will be a new city landmark of which we can all be proud,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell.

Boy Escapes Group Home; Stabs Individual

According to CBS 12 in Providence, a boy escaped from a state-run group home over the weekend and went on to stab an individual several communities away. Staff from Journey Home called Attleboro Police Friday night to report that a juvenile had run away from the facility. Saturday morning, police in Norwood reported that they had the missing juvenile in custody for reportedly stabbing a person. It’s unclear the extent of the stabbing victim’s injuries and what charges the juvenile will be facing. Reports stated he broke into a locked area, stole a park and forestry truck which he then crashed the truck through a fence and drove through the park. The teen was later arrested and charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, malicious damage and driving without a license.

Proposed Septic System Regulations for Local Homeowners

According to CBS 12 in Providence, Massachusetts lawmakers have filed legislation regarding proposed septic system regulations that could cost homeowners tens of thousands of dollars. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, also known as DEP, last year introduced a proposal that would require residents in several communities to upgrade their septic systems. The proposal was created in an effort to control the amount of nitrogen pollution entering waterways. The proposal as it stands right now could require homeowners in parts of Dartmouth, New Bedford, Westport and Fall River to spend up to $50,000 to upgrade their systems in the next five years. Dartmouth Board of Health Director Chris Michaud believes the DEP changes are short-sighted and hopes the legislation will be a “wake up call” for the state.


The DEP is still accepting written comments regarding the proposed changes through Jan. 30, and are also holding two more remote hearings on the issue tomorrow and Wednesday.


Major Crash Leads to Arrest

According to CBS 12 in Providence, an 18-year-old was arrested Thursday following a crash that sent several people to the hospital. Warwick police said they were called to the area of Sandy Lane around 3 p-m. for a two-car crash and arrived to find a sedan and an SUV in the roadway, both with heavy damage with two of the passengers trapped in the car. Six of the seven people involved were injured, as two were taken to the hospital with serious injuries, while three were transported with minor to moderate injuries. Police said the driver of the sedan, Jaden Berthole, was also hurt but declined treatment.


Berthole, of Taunton, was arrested on two counts of driving to endanger resulting in serious personal injury, three counts of driving to endanger resulting in physical injury, and reckless driving, police said. He will also be issued several traffic citations. 


The crash remains under investigation, with police believing speed and roadway conditions appeared to be factors.

Fall River Woman Enters Guilty Plea to Murder

Heavenly Arroyo, an 18-year-old Fall River woman, who three years ago stabbed a 68-year-old woman to death inside her relative’s home, pleaded guilty yesterday in Fall River Superior Court to Second Degree Murder, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced. 

The defendant was sentenced by Judge Renee Dupuis to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 19 years.

On October 6, 2019, the defendant entered Ana Vasquez-Rodriguez’s bedroom and stabbed her 70 times.  The homicide took place in the Johnson Street home of the defendant’s great-uncle, who had taken custody of the defendant at the request of the defendant’s mother a week prior to the killing.  The victim was the mother of the great-uncle’s girlfriend.

On October 6th, the great-uncle and his girlfriend were planning on taking the defendant to New York to visit another relative and obtain some legal documents in order to help the couple to formally gain custody of the troubled defendant.  The trip, however, was delayed due to car problems.  As the day wore on, the defendant became increasingly agitated and impatient. Then, late in the afternoon, the defendant retrieved a pair of scissors from the kitchen, went up to the victim’s bedroom and murdered her.  The victim was bed-ridden after suffering a stroke and could not defend herself. 

At the time of the killing, the only other person inside the home was the victim’s grandson, who was playing a video game with a headset on. After killing the victim, the defendant showered, disposed of her clothing in a nearby dumpster and told the victim’s grandson that his grandmother wasn’t well.  When the grandson looked in on his grandmother, he immediately called 911 and police arrived shortly thereafter.  At first, the defendant claimed she was outside with the dog and witnessed a masked man running from the home, but while in custody she made a series of inculpatory, spontaneous admissions. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Dennis Collins and Maryclare Flynn. 

“This case was a tragedy for everyone involved. The defendant brutally murdered the victim, who was only trying to help her move forward with her life.  The defendant was 15 at the time and suffering from mental health issues.  However, the facts of the case clearly show she is a danger to the community and the state prison sentence is appropriate,” District Attorney Quinn said.  “My heart goes out to the victim’s family, who was present in court yesterday. There is nothing any of them could have done to prevent this terrible incident from occurring. I hope the resolution of this case brings some closure to them and they can try to move forward with their lives.”

Boston Man Arrested for Engaging in Murder-for-Hire Targeting His Wife and Her Boyfriend

U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Boston man was arrested yesterday and charged in connection with allegedly attempting to hire a contract killer – who was actually an undercover federal agent – to murder his wife and the wife’s boyfriend.

Mohammed Chowdhury, 46, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of murder-for-hire. Following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston yesterday, Chowdhury was detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Jan. 20, 2023. 

According to the charging documents, in November 2022, an individual notified federal law enforcement that Chowdhury was soliciting assistance in having his wife murdered. The individual said that Chowdhury had allegedly paid someone to conduct the murder for hire, but that they took the money and did not follow through with Chowdhury’s request. It is alleged that Chowdhury subsequently told the individual that he needed the murder done as soon as possible and that he would get the money to do so, even robbing a store if necessary to obtain the funds. The individual provided Chowdhury’s phone number to law enforcement, who thereafter used an undercover agent posing as a contract killer to communicate with Chowdhury about his alleged murder for hire plot.

It is alleged that on numerous occasions in December 2022 and January 2023, Chowdhury met with undercover agents posing as the contract killer and their associates, to seek help with killing his wife and her new boyfriend whom she left him for. It is alleged that during these meetings and communications, Chowdhury explained that his wife wouldn’t let him see his children and that he wanted the undercover agents to rob and beat his wife and her boyfriend so that he would not be a suspect. Chowdhury allegedly asked the agents, “So how we gonna disappear his, uh, body?” and stated, “No evidence. No evidence. No evidence from like, you know, that, uh, I did something, you know?” Chowdhury allegedly provided the undercover agents with photographs of his wife and her new boyfriend, where they lived, where they worked and their work schedules. It is alleged that Chowdhury ultimately agreed to pay $4,000 per murder, with a deposit of $500. 

Chowdhury met with the undercover agents yesterday morning, allegedly provided the $500 deposit and confirmed that he wanted the murders committed. Chowdhury was then taken into federal custody.

In October 2019, Chowdhury was charged in Boston Municipal Court with violating an Abuse Prevention Order prohibiting him from abusing, contacting, or coming within a certain distance of his wife. Chowdhury pleaded to sufficient facts and received a continuance without a finding.

The charging statute provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. The Boston Police Department provided valuable assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Luke A. Goldworm and John T. Dawley of Rollins’ Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

MassDOT Storm Advisory Wintery Mix and Rain Across the State through Saturday Morning Motorists are advised to allow extra travel time and check forecasts for their routes and destinations

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising travelers to expect a wintery mix of rain and snow which will impact travel in some regions of the state now through Saturday.  Drivers should allow extra travel time and check forecasts for their routes and destinations as this will be a long-duration storm system. Travelers should exercise caution especially in areas of higher elevation, primarily the northern and western parts of Massachusetts and along the New Hampshire border.  

MassDOT will be deploying sanders and plows as needed.  Drivers should make smart decisions about when they depart, the routes they take and allow extra time to reach destinations.
For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are encouraged to:
•    Download the Mass511 mobile app or visit to view live cameras, travel times, real-time traffic conditions, and project information before setting out on the road. Users can subscribe to receive text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
•    Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
•    Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.

Healey-Driscoll Administration Files $987 Million Immediate Needs Bond Bill and $400 Million Chapter 90 Bill Proposal seeks critical authorization for key housing & economic development programs

NORTH ADAMS - Today the Healey-Driscoll Administration filed legislation that seeks $987 million in bond authorization to preempt interruptions to core state capital programs supporting housing and economic development across the Commonwealth, and to remain competitive in the pursuit of federal grants. The administration also filed An Act Financing Improvements to Municipal Roads and Bridges, which authorizes the Commonwealth to borrow $400 million to fund improvements to municipally owned roads and bridges through Chapter 90 grants over the next two fiscal years.  
The Immediate Needs Bond Bill is aimed at providing funds for critical infrastructure programs that have exhausted existing resources, such as MassWorks and the Middle Mile Broadband program. Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll announced the filing on Thursday at Greylock Works in North Adams and Ludlow Mills, two projects that previously received MassWorks funding and represent the impact this program has on local communities.   
The bill also proposes authorization to ensure the continuity of several other ongoing housing production and preservation programs in the near-term. It includes key grant programs that support cities and towns for libraries, seaport development, housing, tourism, planning, and targeted funds for rural and small towns. Finally, the bill includes state matching funds to position the Commonwealth to take advantage of opportunities to compete for once-in-a-generation federal grant dollars in areas including climate change, advanced manufacturing, broadband access, water and sewer infrastructure, and technology.  

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Votes on Preliminary Suitability of Untethered Category 3 Sports Wagering Operators

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) today completed a string of public meetings where commissioners reviewed applications and heard presentations from applicants for untethered Category 3 sports wagering operator licenses. During today’s meeting, commissioners voted on the preliminary suitability of the six operators that applied for an untethered Category 3 license.  
•    Bally’s Interactive (Bally Bet) was found to be preliminarily suitable for a temporary untethered Category 3 sports wagering operator license by a unanimous vote. 

•    Betfair Interactive US (FanDuel) was found to be preliminarily suitable for a temporary untethered Category 3 sports wagering operator license by a unanimous vote. 

•    Betr Holdings (Betr) was found to be preliminarily suitable for a temporary untethered Category 3 sports wagering operator license by a vote of 4-1. 

•    Crown MA Gaming (DraftKings) was found to be preliminarily suitable for a temporary untethered Category 3 sports wagering operator license by a unanimous vote. 

•    Digital Gaming Corporation (Betway) was found to be preliminarily suitable for a temporary untethered Category 3 sports wagering operator license by a unanimous vote. 

•    PointsBet was found to be preliminarily suitable for a temporary untethered Category 3 sports wagering operator license by a unanimous vote. 
Retail sports wagering is scheduled to launch in Massachusetts on January 31. Online/mobile sports wagering is targeted to launch in March 2023. More information will be detailed at future MGC meetings. 
Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 23N permits the MGC to award no more than seven Category 3 sports wagering licenses not connected to a Category 1 or Category 2 sports wagering licensee. Previously, the MGC issued Category 1 sports wagering licenses to Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino. Additionally, five companies have been found preliminarily suitable for Category 3 sports wagering licenses tethered to one of those Category 1 licenses. Those operators are WynnBet, Caesars, BetMGM, Penn Sports Interactive (Barstool Sportsbook), and Fanatics Betting & Gaming.  
The six operators found preliminarily suitable today will join the five operators previously found suitable to make up the Massachusetts online/mobile sports wagering market as soon as March. 
The MGC will establish a procedure by which the suitable Category 3 operators are able to request a temporary license to conduct sports wagering. A full suitability review will now be undertaken by the MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB). Following a temporary license being granted, operators must obtain an operations certificate and meet additional conditions before they can accept wagers on approved sporting events. 

Patriots O-C Search Continues and are confirming that current University of Alabama Crimson Tide Offensive Coordinator and former Patriots Assistant Bill O'Brien has interviewed for same slot in New England this week. 


O'Brien installed the offense that Matt Jones ran in Alabama before being a first round selection of the Patriots. 


There is no timetable for a decision on when a new O-C will be hired. 

Red Sox, Duvall agree on one-year deal (source)

Ian Browne

BOSTON -- The Red Sox continued to re-make their roster on Wednesday, agreeing with veteran outfielder Adam Duvall on a one-year deal worth $7 million, a source told’s Mark Feinsand.


Duvall can also earn up to an additional $3 million in performance bonuses.


The agreement, which has not been confirmed by the club, is pending a physical.


By adding Duvall, a power hitter and a highly-skilled defender in the outfield, the rest of the position-player puzzle is starting to come into focus for Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.

The agreement with Duvall signals that Kiké Hernández, Boston’s primary center fielder the past two seasons, will get most of his playing time at either second base or shortstop in 2023.

With Xander Bogaerts departing to the Padres via free agency and Trevor Story out indefinitely following surgery on his right elbow, the Red Sox were left with vacancies at both middle infield positions. Story had been planning on moving back to shortstop before he instead had to undergo an internal bracing procedure on his elbow.

Hernández has started 187 games at second base in his career, compared to 60 at shortstop, but the Red Sox are confident in his ability to play both positions.

His versatility gives Bloom flexibility to target a shortstop or a second baseman with his next move. The Red Sox also have Christian Arroyo to roam around the infield, but the club prefers the oft-injured, right-handed hitter to be in a utility role.

Based on Boston’s current roster, it seems most likely Duvall will be the team’s center fielder, though he has started only 55 games in center in his career. The other option would be to move Alex Verdugo to center and have Duvall play right, the position he won a Gold Glove at in 2021.

Not only is Duvall a strong defender in the outfield, but he’s versatile. He has started games in all three outfield spots in the past two seasons.

In Duvall, the Red Sox are getting a 34-year-old player who was limited to 86 games with Atlanta last season due to a sprained right wrist and slumped to a .677 OPS to go along with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs.

However, Duvall’s numbers just two years ago make him a viable bounce-back candidate. Splitting the 2021 season with the Marlins and the World Series champion Braves, Duvall ripped 38 homers to go with a National League-leading 113 RBIs in '21.

The hope is that Duvall has the same type of rebound season that Hunter Renfroe did when the Sox signed him in 2021. Renfroe had been designated for assignment by the Rays, and Boston swooped in. Renfroe had 31 homers and 96 RBIs for a Red Sox team that came just two wins shy of getting to the World Series.

Duvall joins Masataka Yoshida and Justin Turner as new position players projected to be in manager Alex Cora’s starting nine. The Red Sox have also made moves on the pitching side, adding starter Corey Kluber and relievers Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin and Joely Rodríguez.

Of course, the biggest move the Sox made this winter was signing star slugger Rafael Devers to a 10-year, $313.5 million extension that will start in 2024.

Once Bloom acquires another middle infielder via free agency or a trade, the bulk of his offseason roster construction will be complete.

The Sox are looking to rebound from a 78-84 finish last season, which placed them in last place in the highly-competitive American League East.

Ed Eagle contributed to this story.

Patriots in Germany in 2023

The Patriots have confirmed via that they will meet the Kansas City Chiefs in Germany during the 2023 NFL Season.


The actual date of the game will be disclosed when the 2023 Schedules are released in April. 


The Patriots last played a regular season International Game in London versus the St. Louis Rams. 

Body Found at T.F. Green Airport Identified

According to NBC 10 in Providence, Warwick police have identified a body found on Tuesday near a garage at Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport. The Warwick Police Department said on Wednesday they have positively identified the body as 51-year-old Rozann Jarosz of Pawtucket. Police reported to Garage C at the airport for a suspected sudden death where the department said the body was found in a grassy area between the garage and Post Road. 


Investigators say there was no obvious signs of trauma, but a cause of death will be determined by the Rhode Island State Medical Examiner as the incident remains under investigation

Seekonk Moving on from Current Police Chief

Seekonk is officially cutting connections with another high ranking officer. According to CBS 12 in Providence, beginning Friday, Dean Isabella will no longer serve as the town’s police chief. The town’s Board of Selectmen rescinded Isabella’s appointment during a meeting Wednesday night. Isabella was inexplicably placed on leave earlier this month, referred by town administrator Shawn Cadime as the department needing a “directional shift.” Isabella took over as Seekonk chief in December 2020 when Former police chief Frank John was placed on leave in 2019, who held the position for only a few months following the resignation of former chief Craig Mace in 2018.


Isabella’s contract expires in December 2023, according to his attorney Eric Brainsky who said Isabella's contract requires a cause for termination, and since the town hasn’t provided one, they plan on suing for damages. Isabella claiming the town’s decisions have caused “irreparable harm” to his reputation.

Protesting Group at Taunton Drag Queen Story Hour

According to ABC 6 in Providence, Drag Queen Story Hour at the Taunton Public Library was interrupted by protesters over the weekend. Police stated over two dozen members of N-S-C-131, a white nationalist group, gathered outside the library Saturday to protest the event. The protesters dressed in black masks and khaki pants waved a painted banner that read, “Drag queens are pedophiles.” The group is also believed to be responsible for the racist flyers throughout Rhode Island in recent months. Police said that no arrests were made in connection with this protest.


The group was also reported to have protested another Drag Queen Story Hour in Fall River.

Majority of the Commonwealth Experiences Improved Drought Conditions Drought Persists within Northeast, Cape Cod, and Islands Regions

BOSTON — Through the month of December 2022, the majority of the state experienced drought improvements, and as a result, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper today announced the following drought declarations: the Islands Region will remain at a Level 2-Significant Drought, the Northeast and Cape Cod Regions have been upgraded to a Level 1-Mild Drought, and the Connecticut River Valley Region will join the Western, Central, and Southeast Regions at Level 0-Normal Conditions.


Rain and snow events during the previous month and a half have been well above normal, and conditions are expected to continue to improve through January 2023.


However, for the state to be completely out of the drought, which is a longer-term condition, Massachusetts will need to benefit from sustained rainfall for a few more months before the entire state is within Normal conditions.

Rehoboth Rape Case ends in a Guilty Plea

A 21-year-old Rehoboth man was sentenced to serve seven to 10 years in state prison last Friday after pleading guilty to indictments charging him with two counts of Rape and Abuse of a Child, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.


Fall River Superior Court Judge Raffi Yessayan also sentenced the defendant, Trevor Breckenridge, to an additional three years of supervised probation and ordered him to register with the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Gillian Kirsch. 


On June 27, 2020, the defendant, who was friends with the 14 year old victim's older brother, was at the victim’s home, hanging out with her brother. According to the victim, the defendant entered her bedroom, kissed her and pushed her onto her bed. The victim said "no, just kissing," but the defendant pinned her down, moved her legs apart, moved her shorts aside, and penetrated her vagina with his fingers.


The victim continued to tell the defendant "no" and attempted to kick him in the chest to get him off of her. The defendant grabbed the victim's ankle and then her neck to hold her down. The defendant said "no, this is happening" and then inserted his penis into her vagina while strangling her at the same time


. The defendant then got up and left, while the victim was crying. The victim told her brother's girlfriend what happened almost immediately and her statement to the brother’s girlfriend is the same exact statement she gave to the police. Police were called right away and the victim was taken to a hospital, where the defendant’s sperm was located on the her underwear.


During the pendency of the case, the defendant posted $5,000 bail.  While on release, he was arrested for indecent assault and battery on a person over 14.  In that case, the female victim alleges the defendant groped her.  After his arrest, his bail was revoked and he was detained.

“The defendant took advantage of his position of trust to violently assault the victim. After being released on bail on this case he assaulted other female victims,” District Attorney Quinn said. “He needs to be kept off the streets to protect female victims and society.”

A Taunton "Romance Scam"

A Taunton man was sentenced to two years behind bars after he and multiple others collected more than a million dollars through online “romance scams.” According to CBS 12 in Providence, Francis Okafor created a fake online identity to manipulate victims into sending money to fake accounts that he opened using fake passports. The 30 year old alongside multiple others he worked alongside would then withdrAw the victims’ money from various bank branches and ATMs, wiring the money overseas. Okafor pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud conspiracy back in August. His federal prison sentence will be followed by two years of supervised release. and is ordered to pay the full amount of stolen cash of over 1.1 million dollars.

MassDOT to Host Two Virtual Public Meetings for the Cape Cod Bridges Program Meetings will be held on Tuesday, January 24, and on Thursday, January 26, at 6:00 p.m.

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing it will be hosting two virtual public meetings for the Cape Cod Bridges Program at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 24, and on Thursday, January 26.


The purpose of these virtual meetings is to provide the public with updates on the program to date including the bridge types under consideration and identified next steps. 


At the meetings, there will be an opportunity for public comments and questions following the formal presentation. All views and comments submitted in response to the meeting will be reviewed and considered to the maximum extent possible.

The meeting materials will also be available on the program website following the meetings for individuals who are unable to virtually attend.


Information regarding the meeting, including the registration link, is available online at: Once registered, individuals will receive a confirmation email from Zoom with information about joining the webinar.


The proposed Cape Cod Bridges Program consists of replacement of the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges, as well as improvements to the approach roadway networks to address the multimodal deficiencies within the Cape Cod Canal area. For more information, please visit the website:

In New Bedford Deadlines for Ward 3 Preliminary Special Election Approaching Register to Vote by Friday, January 13; Request Mail-In Ballots by January 17

New Bedford, Massachusetts– The Board of Election Commissioners advises the public that the deadlines to register to vote or request a mail-in/absentee ballot for Ward 3 Councilor Preliminary Election are quickly approaching. 


The deadline to register is this Friday, January 13th, at 5:00 p.m. in the Election Office located in City Hall at 133 William Street, Room 114.  Office hours that day are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Voters from Ward 3 must be registered by that day to be eligible to vote in the Preliminary Election scheduled for January 24th.


The deadline to request a Mail-In/Absentee ballot is January 17th at 5:00 p.m.  Applications can be located on the City of New Bedford Elections Commission Homepage, at, or requested by emailing 


Voters will be able to vote Absentee at the Elections Office when ballots are available. Further announcements will be made regarding the availability of ballots for voting at the Elections Office. Absentee voting hours will also be held on Saturday, January 21st, from 9:00 a.m. to noon.


The Ward 3 Special Election is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28, 2023.


In the Preliminary Special Election, New Bedford Ward 3 voters will be casting their votes for Councilor for the remainder of Councilor Hugh Dunn’s term.


The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Votes to Find Fanatics Betting and Gaming Preliminarily Suitable for a Category 3 Sports Wagering Operator License

Following multiple public meetings of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) where Fanatics Betting and Gaming (Fanatics) presented and Commissioners reviewed that entity’s application for a sports wagering operator license, Commissioners voted unanimously to find Fanatics preliminarily suitable for a temporary Category 3 sports wagering operator license. 
Commissioners required, and Fanatics agreed to approve an internal responsible gaming plan and provide that plan to the MGC ahead of launching sports wagering in Massachusetts.  
The MGC has announced that retail sports wagering at Category 1 licensees will launch in Massachusetts on January 31. Online/mobile sports wagering is targeted to launch in March 2023.  
Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 23N directs the MGC to award Category 1 sports wagering licenses to those entities that hold a gaming license under MGL Chapter 23K should that entity seek to offer sports wagering, meet requirements set forth by the MGC and pay associated fees.


A Category 1 sports wagering license also permits the holder to offer sports wagering through no more than two individually branded mobile applications or other digital platforms approved by the MGC. Those platforms must be qualified for and issued a Category 3 sports wagering license according to MGL Chapter 23N. The Fanatics Category 3 license will be tethered to Plainridge Park Casino’s Category 1 sports wagering license. 
Fanatics is now eligible to request a temporary license to conduct sports wagering while a full suitability review is undertaken by the MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau. Following a temporary license being granted, Fanatics must obtain an operations certificate and meet additional conditions before they can accept wagers on approved sporting events. 

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Appoints Bruce Band Director of Sports Wagering

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) today announced the appointment of Bruce Band to lead the Commission’s newly established Sports Wagering Division. Band, a longtime gaming industry professional, has served the MGC as Assistant Director of Investigations & Enforcement Bureau and Gaming Agents Division Chief since 2014. 
As Director of Sports Wagering, Band will be the head of the MGC’s Sports Wagering Division and will coordinate with other divisions within the MGC including Research and Responsible Gaming, IT, Legal, and the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau. 
“Bruce has been an essential member of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission team for nearly a decade and on behalf of my fellow commissioners, I am thrilled he will be taking on this new role leading our sports wagering division,” said MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein. “Because Bruce has been working closely on the implementation of sports wagering already, he won’t miss a beat as he begins his new responsibilities and prioritizes the integrity of sports wagering and the safety of patrons here in the Commonwealth. ”   
The Massachusetts State Legislature passed, and former Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation legalizing sports wagering in August 2022. Retail wagering is set to launch at Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino on January 31 and online/mobile wagering is slated to begin in March. 
Through his current role with the MGC, Band has been an active member of the team working to stand up sports wagering in the Commonwealth. Moving forward he is tasked with leading these efforts while reporting to Executive Director Karen Wells and the Commissioners.  
Band has over 45 years of regulatory and casino operations experience having opened nearly 20 casinos in New Jersey and Massachusetts. He has served in various roles at the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, as a casino industry consultant, and most recently his role at the MGC.  

President Ruggerio submits legislation providing for replacement of all lead pipes

President Ruggerio submits legislation providing for replacement of all lead pipes

STATE HOUSE, Providence – President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio has introduced legislation to address lead pipes in Rhode Island’s water supply system.

The Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (2023-S-0002) would create a lead water supply replacement program for both public and private service lines, with a requirement that all affected lines are replaced within 10 years. Last session, President Ruggerio co-sponsored similar legislation, which was introduced by former Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey and passed by the Senate.

“This important legislation will give new urgency to the replacement of antiquated, unsafe lead pipes,” said President Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4 North Providence, Providence). “It addresses a serious threat to the well-being of all our children, and better protects the health of all Rhode Islanders.”

He continued, “No family should have to worry that their home’s water supply may be poisoning their children. A home should be a safe and nurturing environment, and every family deserves access to safe, lead-free, potable drinking water.”

Financial assistance for lead pipe replacement would be provided through the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, including no-cost options for property owners. To help develop the state’s workforce, the legislation would set requirements for water suppliers and contractors to participate in apprenticeship programs.

The bill would require water suppliers to create a service line inventory no later than Oct. 16, 2024, to determine the existence or absence of lead within each water connection in its service area. It would also establish new notification and reporting requirements for suppliers to ensure transparency in the identification and replacement of service lines containing lead.

Additionally, the bill requires a lead risk assessment be conducted for any home built prior to 2011 as part of any transaction involving the property. Currently, those assessments are required only for homes built prior to 1978.

UMass Dartmouth to host acclaimed author Jean Twenge on Feb. 2 Twenge to discuss iGen, her influential study of Gen Z smartphone use

Dartmouth, MA – January 13, 2023 – On February 2, 2023, UMass Dartmouth will host a talk by acclaimed author and Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, Dr. Jean Twenge.


Twenge will discuss her book iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood—and What That Means for the Rest of Us which explored how Gen Z's smartphone use creates a prominent divide between generations that is often problematic. Twenge also argues that this widespread use of smartphones and social media has led to increased rates of anxiety and depression.


The event will occur on February 2, 2023, at 5 pm in the MacLean Campus Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees must RSVP here. Attendees should park in Lots 4, 5, or 6. 


Twenge is also the author of Generation Me, The Narcissism Epidemic, and has authored more than 180 scientific publications and books during her career. Twenge's research has been covered in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and television news programs. She has a BA and MA from the University of Chicago and a PhD from the University of Michigan.

Patriots to Secure the Services of An Offensive Coordinator

This information first appeared on



Evan Lazar
Staff Writer

Following a disappointing campaign where the team missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, the Patriots have made an announcement that should put fans at ease.

In a press release on Thursday night, the team announced the following: the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick have begun contract extension discussions with Jerod Mayo that would keep him with the team long-term. In addition, the team will begin interviewing for offensive coordinator candidates beginning next week.

The Patriots are working to retain Mayo, a hot commodity in an already busy hiring cycle for head coach and defensive coordinators. The Pats linebackers coach was set to interview with the Panthers for their head coaching vacancy and the Browns as a potential defensive coordinator candidate. However, it now appears he won't be going anywhere.

Mayo works closely with fellow linebackers coach Steve Belichick to develop game plans and present the team's plans for upcoming opponents to the players. Although Belichick calls the defense on game day, Mayo has a significant role in sideline procedures and is as well-respected in the organization as any coach on the staff.

New England's defense finished third in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric and was 11th in points per game allowed (20.4) in the 2022 regular season.

The Patriots have not formally announced a promotion for Mayo as a part of their ongoing extensions talks. But Mayo will have a significant role on the defensive side of the ball, and keeping him for the foreseeable future could put Mayo on track to become the team's next head coach.

Although it was evident that changes were needed on offense, Thursday night's announcement was unprecedented for the Patriots in the Belichick era. The Pats head coach is typically stealthy about filling out his coaching staff, but the offense's struggles warrant a direct approach.

According to Football Outsiders, the Patriots total DVOA (-8.5, 24th) was their worst since 1995. With the worst offensive efficiency in 27 seasons, New England's offensive setup featuring Matt Patricia as the play-caller and Joe Judge coaching quarterbacks saw major regression for second-year quarterback Mac Jones. After an above-average rookie season, Jones regressed from the 16th-ranked passer by ESPN's QBR metric (56.9) to 28th out of 31 qualified quarterbacks in QBR in 2022 (35.9).


Longtime Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels's departure to become the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders left a massive void, and McDaniels took several position coaches with him to Vegas as well. Still, the unconventional setup on offense was a failure, and Thursday's announcement acknowledges that.

As for offensive coordinator candidates, one would assume that former Patriots and Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is a top target, while recently fired Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury could also be in the running.

Kingsbury, who piloted successful offenses in the college ranks at Texas Tech and initially in Arizona, was drafted by Belichick in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft as a quarterback.

We'll need to wait and see who the Patriots have in for formal interviews for their vacant offensive coordinator position next week. But changes are coming, and that's a relief.

Fall River Council Member Lebeau back in Court in March

Fall RIver City Council Member Pam Lebeau will be back in a Fall RIver Justice Center Courtroom on March 16 for a pre-trial hearing, after she was arraigned ffor allegedly making harrasing and annoying telephone calls during the Spring and Summer of 2022 to both members of a married couple in Westport. 


In the Initial Westport Police Report, Lebeau is alleged to have confessed to using a smart phone application that concealed her actual cell phone number. 


Lebeau is alleged to have told investigators that the real estate agent with whom she had an affair was sleeeping with a second female co-worker. 



A Proposal for MCAS

The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, better known as MCAS, has been the way academic progress has been measured in Massachusetts being only one of just 8 states where the test is a graduation requirement. According to ABC 6 in Providence, parents and advocacy groups that consist of parents, former teachers, and educators around the Commonwealth are looking to change. While passing the 10th grade MCAS is a requirement to earn a high school diploma, there is no state penalty for students who opt out in grades 3 through 8 as Students can choose to not take the exams with parental approval. Lisa Guisbond, executive director for Citizens for Public Schools hopes the new Healey administration will lead to change on how standardized tests are considered in the Commonwealth.

A Continuing Tradition at the State House

Newly elected Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor  Kim Driscoll are continuing a tradition at the State House with the help of local students. According to CBS 12 in Providence, Healey and Driscoll have launched an essay contest open to all K to 12 students in Massachusetts asking students to research and highlight a former governor who inspires them. The essay requirements include fewer than 600 words and answer questions in about a which Massachusetts Governor gives inspiration and why they should have their portrait hang in the Governor or Lieutenant Governor’s office Alongside other written requirements


Submissions are due before midnight on Friday, January 27.

New Fall River School Committee Vice Chair

The Fall River Public School Committee has elected Mimi Larrivee as the new Vice Chair, as outgoing Vice Chair Paul Hart made the nomination tonight during the regular School Committee Session inside the BMC Durfee Auditorium. 


Hart served for one year, after taking over for Mark Costa, who served multiple terms as the Fall RIver School Committee Vice Chair. 

Bills safety Damar Hamlin released from Cincinnati hospital, returns to Buffalo

This information first appeared on ABC

The NFL player collapsed during a game one week ago.
By Mark Osborne
January 9, 2023, 3:56 PM

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been released from a Cincinnati hospital, one week after he suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed during a Monday Night Football game.

Hamlin, who had his heart restarted on the field, has returned to Buffalo for further treatment at another hospital, doctors said on a conference call Monday afternoon. He is now being treated at Buffalo General, according to Hamlin.

"We are thrilled and proud to share that Damar Hamlin has been released from the hospital and returned to Buffalo," University of Cincinnati Medical Center said in a statement. "He is doing well and this is the next stage of his recovery."

Hamlin tweeted minutes after the press conference that he was returning to Buffalo.

"Headed home to Buffalo today with a lot of love on my heart. Watching the world come together around me on Sunday was truly an amazing feeling," he wrote. "The same love you all have shown me is the same love that I plan to put back into the world n more."

Hamlin collapsed suddenly after tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins on Jan. 2. He was quickly surrounded by medical personnel, who performed CPR and restarted his heart before being loaded into an ambulance and taken to the nearby hospital. The game was suspended and later canceled.

He also thanked his doctors in a tweet Monday afternoon: "Grateful for the awesome care I received at UCMC. Happy to be back in Buffalo. The docs and nurses at Buffalo General have already made me feel at home!"

Hamlin, 24, had his breathing tube removed early Friday morning and was up and walking around the medical unit the same day, Drs. Timothy Pritts and William Knight said at Monday's conference

"We are mostly grateful for how well Damar has done," Pritts said.

The doctors also said that Hamlin did not suffer any brain damage and has made good progress with his physical therapy.

The NFL honored Hamlin across the league on Sunday, the first day of games since his collapse. Players around the league wore "Love for Damar" T-shirts during pregame, while the Bills wore a No. 3 patch on their jerseys.

The Bills returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in their game against the New England Patriots and went on to win 35-24 to lock up the No. 2 seed in the playoffs.

Hamlin, in his second year out of the University of Pittsburgh, shared a photo with his parents from his hospital bed a half hour before game time Sunday and tweeted several times as he watched the Bills and the tributes around the league.

ABC News' Will McDuffie and Teddy Grant contributed to this report.

Bob Kraft Email To Patriots Season Ticket Holders

Bob and Jonathan Kraft have sent this email to Patriots Season Ticket Holders:


''Unfortunately, our season ended sooner than we hoped yesterday afternoon in Buffalo. 

While we always want to be playing games with playoff implacations in Week 18, our expectation was to perform better throughout the season and advance through the playoffs. 

We can assure you that no one in this organization is satisfied with the results from this past season. 


In the weeks ahead, we will be making critical evaluations of all elements of our football operations as we strive to improve and return to the playoffs next year. 


When we welcome you back for the 2023 season, we anticipate presenting you with an improved product on the field, as well as many exciting new features and additions to Gillette Stadium,.


You have helped create a dominant home-field advantage over the past 20 years, and we look forward to creating many more memorable moments in the years ahead. 








Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll Launch Portrait Essay Contest for Students

BOSTON – Governor Maura T. Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kimberley Driscoll today launched a portrait essay contest for Massachusetts students. It’s a tradition that each new Governor and Lieutenant Governor select a portrait of a former Massachusetts Governor to hang in their offices at the State House.  
Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll are asking Massachusetts students to research and suggest a former Governor who inspires them and should be featured in their offices. The winners will be invited to the State House to meet with Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll for the unveiling of their chosen portraits.  
“The State House is the people’s house, and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll and I want our future leaders to have a voice in the symbols and messages we choose to highlight,” said Governor Healey. “This is an exciting opportunity for Massachusetts students to learn more about our state’s history and determine for themselves what makes a great leader. We can’t wait to review the submissions.” 
“Governor Healey and I will be looking at these portraits every day while we are making important decisions that impact the lives of all Massachusetts residents,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll. “Each time we see the portraits, we’ll be reminded of the lessons we learned from these student essays. We hope that all students will participate in this unique opportunity to shape our state’s future.” 
The contest is open to all Massachusetts students. Essays should be less than 600 words and should answer this question: Which former Massachusetts governor inspires you the most, and why should their portrait hang in the Governor or Lieutenant Governor’s office? Students should also include at least 1-2 sentences about how they researched their chosen governor. Essays are due on Friday, January 27, 2023, at 11:59 pm. Additional details and submission instructions can be found here. 
“Massachusetts has a long history of impressive governors who have left a lasting mark not only on our state but on our entire country. Students are going to learn a lot about our history and government through this contest, and maybe it will even spark the interest of a future governor,” said Education Secretary Patrick Tutwiler. 

“We’re asking school administrators, educators, community groups and families to help us get the word out about the portrait contest to all students, including those who attend public or private school and those who are homeschooled.” 

The full list of 2023 opponents for the Patriots:



Buffalo Bills
Indianapolis Colts
Washington Commanders
Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs
Miami Dolphins
Philadelphia Eagles
New Orleans Saints
New York Jets



Buffalo Bills
Denver Broncos
Dallas Cowboys
Miami Dolphins
New York Giants
New York Jets
Las Vegas Raiders
Pittsburgh Steelers

_Massachusetts Gas Prices Down 3 Cents

Westwood, MA, January 9, 2023 — The average gas price in Massachusetts is down 3 cents from last week ($3.35), averaging $3.32 per gallon. Today’s price is 27 cents lower than a month ago ($3.59), and 5 cents lower than January 9, 2022 ($3.37). Massachusetts’ average gas price is 4 cents higher than the national average.


The recent increases in gas prices caused by frigid weather and robust holiday road travel may be ending. While the national average price rose daily starting on Christmas Eve, when it was $3.09, the steam may have run out as pump prices flattened and then fell by a penny over the weekend. The national average for a gallon of gas is now $3.28.


“As we head toward February, pump prices will likely dip, barring any jolt in the global oil market,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. "But it is still possible that the national average prices we saw heading into Christmas may have been the lows for this winter."

AAA Northeast’s January 9 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 7 cents higher than last week ($2.21), averaging $3.28 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 3 cents lower than a month ago ($3.31), and 2 cents lower than this day last year ($3.30).

The latest on Damar Hamlin

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest during Monday's game against the Bengals, had his breathing tube removed overnight and "continues to progress remarkably in his recovery," the Bills announced on Friday, per the physicians at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

"His neurologic function remains intact and he has been able to talk to his family and care team," the Bills said.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Hamlin delivered a message to the team Friday morning and spent time speaking to various teammates on FaceTime.

How Week 18 Works in The NFL

This information is supplied via


NFL owners approved a resolution Friday to potentially adjust the 2022-2023 postseason, including a possible AFC Championship Game at a neutral site, the league announced on Friday.


The resolution was recommended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and approved by the Competition Committee on Thursday. It consists of two elements:


1 - The AFC Championship Game will be played at a neutral site if the participating teams played an unequal number of games and both could have been the number one seed and hosted the game had all AFC clubs played a full 17-game regular season. Those circumstances involve Buffalo or Cincinnati qualifying for the game as a road team and are listed below:


Scenario 1

Buffalo and Kansas City both win or both tie -- a Buffalo vs Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.


Scenario 2

Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Baltimore wins or ties -- a Buffalo vs Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.


Scenario 3

Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Cincinnati wins -- a Buffalo or Cincinnati vs Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.


2 - If Baltimore defeats Cincinnati in Week 18 it will have defeated Cincinnati, a divisional opponent, twice but will not be able to host a playoff game because Cincinnati will have a higher winning percentage for a 16-game schedule than Baltimore will for a 17-game schedule.


If Baltimore defeats Cincinnati and if those two clubs are schedule to play a Wild Card game against one another, the site for that game would be determined by a coin toss. If Cincinnati wins the Week 18 game or if Baltimore and Cincinnati are not scheduled to play one another in the Wild Card round, the game sites would be determined by the regular scheduling procedures.


2023 Resolution G-1 [PDF]

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Statement on the Second Anniversary of the January 6 Attack on the Capitol

Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, will mark 24 months since the attack on the U.S. Capitol that disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the process of affirming the presidential election results.


Under the continued leadership of the Justice Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the attack continues to move forward at an unprecedented speed and scale.


Attorney General Merrick B. Garland made the following statement:

“Two years ago, the United States Capitol was attacked as lawmakers met to affirm the results of a presidential election. Perpetrators attacked police officers, targeted and assaulted members of the media, and interfered with a fundamental element of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next.


“Since then, countless agents, investigators, prosecutors, analysts, and others across the Justice Department have participated in one of the largest, most complex, and most resource-intensive investigations in our history. I am extremely grateful for the dedication, professionalism, and integrity with which they have done this work.


This investigation has resulted in the arrest of more than 950 defendants for their alleged roles in the attack. We have secured convictions for a wide range of criminal conduct on January 6 as well as in the days and weeks leading up to the attack. Our work is far from over.


“We will never forget the sacrifice of the law enforcement officers who defended the members of Congress and others inside the Capitol that day. And we will never forget the five officers who responded selflessly on January 6 and who have since lost their lives: Officer Brian Sicknick, Officer Howard Liebengood, Officer Jeffrey Smith, Officer Gunther Hashida, and Officer Kyle DeFreytag. 


“The Justice Department remains committed to honoring them. We remain committed to ensuring accountability for those criminally responsible for the January 6 assault on our democracy. And we remain committed to doing everything in our power to prevent this from ever happening again.”


Based on the public court documents, below is a snapshot of the investigation as of Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. Complete versions of most of the public court documents used to compile these statistics are available on the Capitol Breach Investigation Resource Page at


Arrests made: More than 950 defendants have been arrested in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia. (This includes those charged in both District and Superior Court).


Criminal charges:

More than 284 defendants have been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees, including approximately 99 individuals who have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer.

Approximately 140 police officers were assaulted Jan. 6 at the Capitol, including about 80 from the U.S. Capitol Police and about 60 from the Metropolitan Police Department.

Approximately 11 individuals have been arrested on a series of charges that relate to assaulting a member of the media, or destroying their equipment, on January 6.

Approximately 860 defendants have been charged with entering or remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds. Of those, 91 defendants have been charged with entering a restricted area with a dangerous or deadly weapon.

Approximately 59 defendants have been charged with destruction of government property, and approximately 36 defendants have been charged with theft of government property.
More than 295 defendants have been charged with corruptly obstructing, influencing, or impeding an official proceeding, or attempting to do so.

Approximately 50 defendants have been charged with conspiracy, either: (a) conspiracy to obstruct a congressional proceeding, (b) conspiracy to obstruct law enforcement during a civil disorder, (c) conspiracy to injure an officer, (d) seditious conspiracy, or (e) some combination of the four.


Approximately 484 individuals have pleaded guilty to a variety of federal charges, many of whom faced or will face incarceration at sentencing.

Approximately 119 have pleaded guilty to felonies. Another 364 have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors.
A total of 52 of those who have pleaded guilty to felonies have pleaded to federal charges of assaulting law enforcement officers. An additional 22 individuals have pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder. Of these 74 defendants, 41 have now been sentenced to prison terms of up to 90 months.

Four of those who have pleaded guilty to felonies have pleaded guilty to the federal charge of seditious conspiracy.


40 individuals have been found guilty at contested trials, including three who were found guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Another 10 individuals have been convicted following an agreed-upon set of facts. 16 of these 50 defendants were found guilty of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, a felony, including one who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.


Approximately 351 federal defendants have had their cases adjudicated and received sentences for their criminal activity on January 6. Approximately 192 have been sentenced to periods of incarceration. Approximately 87 defendants have been sentenced to a period of home detention, including approximately 14 who also were sentenced to a period of incarceration.

Public Assistance:

Citizens from around the country have provided invaluable assistance in identifying individuals in connection with the January 6 attack. The FBI continues to seek the public’s help in identifying approximately 350 individuals believed to have committed violent acts on the Capitol grounds, including over 250 who assaulted police officers.

Additionally, the FBI currently has 14 videos of suspects wanted for violent assaults on federal officers and one video of two suspects wanted for assaults on members of the media on Jan. 6 and is seeking the public’s help to identify them.

Some of the violent offenders about whom the FBI is seeking public tips to identify and locate Evan Neumann, Jonathan Daniel Pollock, AFOs #91, #292, #371, and #383. AFO #91 uses what appears to be a stick to strike multiple officers numerous times while in the doorway of the Lower West Terrace, commonly referred to as the tunnel. AFOs #292, #371, and #383 are all shown on video charging at and assaulting officers, and they appear to grab and attempt to take possession of the officers’ batons.
For images and video of the attackers, please visit Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

Governor Healey Signs Executive Order Creating Massachusetts' First Ever Climate Chief

BOSTON – On the first full day of her administration, Governor Maura Healey signed an Executive Order establishing the position of Climate Chief and creating an Office of Climate Innovation and Resilience within the Governor’s Office. Melissa Hoffer has been appointed as Massachusetts' first Climate Chief. Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to establish such a position at the cabinet level. 
“The climate crisis is Massachusetts’ greatest challenge, but there is enormous opportunity in our response,” said Governor Healey. “I’m filing this Executive Order today, on the first full day of the Healey-Driscoll Administration, because we have no time to delay. It’s essential that we begin coordinating our climate policy across all state agencies and all communities in Massachusetts so that we can make the progress we so urgently need and drive our clean energy economy.” 
“The establishment of Climate Chief and the Office of Climate Innovation and Resilience is critical to Massachusetts’ future,” said Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer. “Climate change impacts all aspects of our lives, and it’s essential that we are coordinating our response across the entire government and the entire state. The action Governor Healey is taking today is putting Massachusetts on the path to a better, healthier, more equitable future.” 
The Office of Climate Innovation and Resilience is charged with harnessing all of the resources and authority available to the Governor and the executive department to advance the Commonwealth’s climate innovation, mitigation, adaptation and resilience policies. The Office is led by the Climate Chief, who is appointed by and reports to the Governor and serves as an officer within the Governor’s cabinet. The Climate Chief is the principal policy advisor to the Governor on all matters relating to climate and leads the development and implementation of policy across executive department agencies and offices. 
Among other provisions, the Executive Order directs the Climate Chief to begin a comprehensive review of current staffing, policymaking and resources of all Secretariats to support a whole-of-government approach to addressing climate change. The Climate Chief is required to present initial recommendations to the Governor within 180 days. Additionally, each Cabinet Secretary is required to appoint a Climate Officer responsible for implementing climate-related efforts within their relevant executive department, in consultation with the Climate Chief. 
On Friday, Governor Healey also swore in her cabinet secretaries and held her first cabinet meeting. She provided additional updates on the cabinet, including announcing the reappointment of Terrence Reidy as Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Mike Doheny will serve as Acting Labor and Workforce Secretary. He has been with the office for nearly a dozen years and most recently served as General Counsel & Undersecretary of Labor. Mary Beckman has been appointed Acting Health and Human Services Secretary. She was previously Chief of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Health Care and Fair Competition Bureau. The hiring process for Labor and Workforce and Health and Human Services Secretaries is active and ongoing. 

Maura Takes The Oath

Massachsetts Governor Maura Healy took the Oath of Office to become the Commonwealth's Chief Executive Officer, as the first woman and fiirst lesbian to be elected Governor in November. 


Governor Healy talked about reducing the cost of living in the Commonwealth, offering Free Community College for those who want to work toward a degree, while also pledging to secure 1,000 new MBTA Employees, and using state land for new housing. 


Healy pointed out that many residents were still dealing with the ongoing pandemic. 

Prysmian Project Public Meeting Final Environmental Impact Report

February 2, 2023
Fairfield Inn
Route 6, Somerset, MA.
6:00pm – 8:00pm

In accordance with Massachusetts state law and regulations, Prysmian Projects N.A.LLC submitted a Final lEnvironmental Impact Report on January 3, 2023.

 The report describes
the potential environmental impacts and mitigation approach of Prysmian’s plan
to build an undersea cable manufacturing factory and marine terminal.


Please join the Prysmian team to learn more and ask questions about this project and report.
Submit comments by February 10, 2023 via email at:
or via online through the MEPA Public Comment Portal at:
or in writing to:

Secretary Bethany A. Card
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Attn: MEPA Office, Alexander Strysky, EEA No. 16554
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114

NFL says talks have begun on whether to resume Bills-Bengals game

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The NFL announced on Wednesday that talks have begun on whether to resume Week 17's Bills-Bengals game, which was postponed after Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during the first quarter of the game.


During a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, NFL EVP of communications, public affairs and policy Jeff Miller said the league has not made a decision on the status of the game but plans to in the coming days, adding that both the Bengals and Bills would be consulted.


NFL EVP of football operations Troy Vincent said during the call that "everything is being considered" regarding the Bills-Bengals game. Vincent said the league will lean on the guiding principles it used during the 2020 and 2021 seasons with the COVID-19 pandemic, including the "value of winning and winning percentage" in order to give Commissioner Roger Goodell suggestions on how to proceed if the game were not to be resumed.


According to NFL Research, the following playoff-clinching scenarios are in play if the Bills-Bengals game is canceled:


Bengals clinch AFC North, but would not have a path to the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage


(Ravens cannot clinch division even if they beat Bengals in Week 18 because an 11-5 Cincinnati team would best an 11-6 Baltimore).

Chiefs can clinch the AFC's No. 1 seed with a win Saturday (Chiefs would be the only team capable of reaching 14 wins).

Chiefs would also clinch the No. 1 seed if the Bills lose vs. the Patriots in Week 18.

Bills can clinch the No. 1 seed with a win vs. the Patriots + a Chiefs loss at the Raiders in Week 18.
Bengals can clinch the No. 2 seed with a win vs. the Ravens + a Bills loss vs. the Patriots in Week 18 (would go to strength of victory tiebreaker).

The Bills, who announced Wednesday afternoon that Hamlin remains in critical condition with signs of improvement, returned to practice earlier in the day for the first time since the harrowing incident. They are 

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Votes to Find Penn Sports Interactive Preliminarily Suitability for a Category 3 Sports Wagering Operator License

Following multiple public meetings of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) where Penn Sports Interactive (PSI) presented and Commissioners reviewed that entity’s application for a sports wagering operator license, Commissioners voted unanimously to find PSI preliminarily suitable for a temporary Category 3 sports wagering operator license. In doing so, Commissioners placed conditions on that vote.  
Commissioners required that the licensee agrees that no persons under the age of 21 will be permitted entrance into any live Barstool College Football Show events, fully cooperate with an IEB investigation of Barstool Sports, Inc. in connection with the licensee’s branding, provide material updates to the IEB relative to proceedings discussed during executive session, and provide the MGC with diversity goals for workforce and supplier spend. 
Following MGC action in December, retail wagering is scheduled to launch in Massachusetts on January 31. Online/mobile sports wagering is targeted to launch in March 2023.  
Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 23N directs the MGC to award Category 1 sports wagering licenses to those entities that hold a gaming license under MGL Chapter 23K should that entity seek to offer sports wagering, meet requirements set forth by the MGC and pay associated fees. A Category 1 sports wagering license also permits the holder to offer sports wagering through no more than two individually branded mobile applications or other digital platforms approved by the MGC. However, those platforms must be qualified for and issued a Category 3 sports wagering license according to MGL Chapter 23N. The PSI Category 3 license would be tethered to Plainridge Park Casino’s Category 1 sports wagering license. 
PSI is now eligible to request a temporary license to conduct sports wagering while a full suitability review is undertaken by the MGC. Following a temporary license being granted, PSI must obtain an operations certificate and meet additional conditions before they can accept wagers on approved sporting events. 

Devers near 11-year, $331M extension with Red Sox (source)

This informationi first appeared on

Ian Browne

BOSTON -- The Red Sox have all but assured that third baseman Rafael Devers won’t be their latest homegrown star to change uniforms. A source told’s Mark Feinsand on Wednesday that Devers and the Sox are finalizing an 11-year, $331 million extension.


The club has not confirmed the move. News of the pending deal -- which would be the largest in Red Sox history by total value -- broke one day after the sides agreed to a one-year, $17.5 million deal for the 2023 season to avoid arbitration. Devers’ deal will be the sixth-largest in MLB history by total value. His $30.09M average annual value will be the 21st highest.


The timing of a megadeal with Devers couldn’t be better, as the team’s fanbase was reeling after Xander Bogaerts slipped away last month as a free agent to the Padres on an 11-year, $280 million contract. With Bogaerts off to the West Coast, the Red Sox faced a possible identity crisis in the coming years as to who the face of the franchise would be.


That will no longer be an issue. The face of the Red Sox for years to come should be that of the frequently-smiling Devers, who has emerged into one of the best run producers in baseball while playing with joyful exuberance.


Over the past two seasons, Devers has taken his game to the next level, tying for sixth in MLB in extra-base hits (146) while posting a .287/.355/.530 slash (137 OPS+). The left-handed slugger is entering his seventh big league season, but he's still only 26 years old.


The Red Sox, after losing Bogaerts to the Padres, knew full well this wasn’t the time to be taking another big PR hit -- not to mention losing another player with elite run-production skills.


In February of 2020, the Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, though that was more of a calculated decision based on several years of unsuccessful negotiations with the five-tool star.


Devers and oft-injured ace Chris Sale are the only star players who remain from the 2018 juggernaut that won the World Series. Relievers Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier are the other players left from that squad.

The Red Sox will have a new look to their team next season, as former core members Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez (Dodgers), Nathan Eovaldi (Rangers) and Christian Vázquez (Twins) have all moved on.

But with Devers now entrenched and his contract situation no longer an issue, things will feel more settled.

In their quest to emerge from a last-place finish in the American League East, the Red Sox's 2023 lineup will be anchored by Devers, Trevor Story, Japanese rookie Masataka Yoshida and Justin Turner, the veteran free agent who recently agreed to terms on a two-year deal with a player option that is still pending a physical. Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo are expected to be other key pieces in manager Alex Cora’s lineup for next season.


But now that Devers and Boston’s front office have found common ground on an extension before Opening Day, the Red Sox have the face of their franchise for the long haul. If Devers stays for the rest of his career -- or at least the majority of it -- he will get the chance to move into the pantheon of all-time Red Sox players.  With 333 extra-base hits in his first six seasons, Devers surpassed Ted Williams and Betts for most in club history before the age of 26.


It is set up to be a win-win for the front office, the players and Devers himself.


The Red Sox initially acquired Devers as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic on Aug. 9, 2013. He was 16 at the time, and the club secured him with a $1.5 million signing bonus.

Instead of making a huge move at the July 2017 Trade Deadline, the Sox summoned Devers to the Major Leagues in the middle of a pennant race at the age of 20.

He made an instant impact, helping the Red Sox win the AL East. Though Boston lost to Houston in four games in the 2017 American League Division Series, Devers was a bright spot, belting two home runs, including an inside-the-parker that brought Fenway Park into an utter frenzy in the ninth inning of Game 4. A comeback in that game fell just short, but Devers would make up for it in upcoming Octobers.

In the World Series-winning season of 2018, it was Devers who mashed a three-run homer against Justin Verlander to cement clinching Game 5 of the AL Championship Series. The Red Sox beat the Dodgers in five games in the Fall Classic, with Devers coming up with the go-ahead hit in the top of the ninth that led his team to a furious comeback victory in Game 4.

Then, there was the 2021 postseason, when Devers belted five home runs to get an upstart team just two wins shy of the World Series.

With his contract situation just about solidified, there could be many October heroics to come for Devers in Boston.

MassDOT and USACE Application Denied for Federal Funding to Replace the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges

Grant application submission to Bridge Investment Program sought competitive, discretionary funding for replacement of federally owned bridges
BOSTON –The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) grant application, requesting $1.882 billion from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) first round of the Bridge Investment Program Grants, to replace the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges has been denied.  


The application to this grant program was filed in August 2022 for funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and sought funding which represents 47 percent of the estimated $3,976,000,000 total project cost for design and construction activities.


The USACE constructed, operates and maintains the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges and the two bridges are a federally-owned asset. 


The BIL competitive Bridge Investment Program awarded $2.1 billion in federal funding. The applications were open to all 50 states and U.S. Territories and the USACE applied for $1.882 billion of that $2.36 billion.


Grants announced today will be funding four projects, just one in New England, in Connecticut.  Please visit this website for information: Biden-Harris Administration Announces $2.1 Billion to Improve Four Nationally Significant Bridges Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s First Large Bridge Grants | US Department of Transportation

“The Cape Cod Bridges are federal assets, and the responsibility to replace them lies with the USACE and the federal government. The Baker-Polito Administration is disappointed that this latest funding application has been denied,” said MassDOT spokesperson Jacquelyn Goddard.  “Despite these bridges being federal assets, the Administration has spent considerable time, energy and funds to support replacing the bridges, including working with the Legislature to pass significant funding to replace the approaches to the bridges and authorization for Massachusetts to compete for federal grants. MassDOT will continue to pursue every possible avenue to support the USACE’s efforts to secure federal discretionary funds to replace the bridges.”


MassDOT and the USACE have been actively working together on plans to replace the federally-owned Bourne and Sagamore Bridges with MassDOT committed to providing the USACE the technical expertise necessary.  The two bridges provide the only roadway connection on and off Cape Cod for the 263,000 residents of the Cape and Islands, as well as the 5 million annual visitors. The project has a total estimated cost of $3.976 billion and would replace both bridges and improve the adjoining roadway network. 

Over the past several years, MassDOT has taken active steps toward improvement projects for Commonwealth-owned assets along the Cape Cod Canal:
•    In 2017: MassDOT established a Cape Cod Bridges working group represented by MassDOT, USACE, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Eastern Federal Lands to provide leadership direction on project scope, entitlements, community outreach, delivery methods, funding, financing, and legislation. 

•    October 2019: MassDOT finalized and published the Cape Cod Canal Transportation Study, recommending that improvements be made to multimodal connectivity and reliability across the Canal.

•    March 2020: USACE finalized and published its Major Rehabilitation Evaluation Report (MRER) and Environmental Assessment (EA) on the current state of repair and the transportation needs of the region.

•    April 2020: The USACE and Assistant Secretary of the Amy for Civil Works officially announced their recommendation to replace the current Sagamore and Bourne bridges.

•    July 2020: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was executed between MassDOT and the USACE.
•    June 2021: Public process commences with public information meetings.  

•    To show continued leadership and commitment, the Commonwealth allocated $350 million in the 2021 Transportation Bond bill to support delivery of the new Cape Cod Bridges. 

•    Additionally in 2022, the Massachusetts Legislature passed, and Governor Baker signed, the largest transportation bond bill (“MassTRAC”), which contained substantial bonding authority to match federal discretionary grant awards, including, if necessary, the ability and flexibility to make funds available for the federal bridge replacement project should they be needed. 

•    On behalf of the entire project team, MassDOT prepared federal funding grant requests for the USACE for consideration of funding through the 2022 INFRA, MEGA, and BIP discretionary grant programs. 

•    Current phase of planning, Phase 1: 
o    Data collection - including environmental conditions and traffic patterns.
o    Public outreach and involvement efforts are underway.
•    Phase 2: Based on public input, MassDOT will develop and refine bridge and roadway options. 

Extinction Rebellion Boston Demonstrates at Governor Healey's State House Inauguration to Demand a Ban on All New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

Climate activists bring banners, signs, and a letter to demand that Governor Healey ban new fossil fuel infrastructure as the first step to a rapid and just decarbonization that will prevent runaway global heating and an uninhabitable Earth. 


BOSTON, MA —  Members of the Boston chapter of Extinction Rebellion demonstrated at the State House during Governor Maura Healey's inauguration Thursday morning to call for a ban on all new fossil fuel infrastructure in the state. Activists delivered a letter addressed to Governor Healey and her newly appointed climate chief, Melissa Hoffer, inviting them to meet with Extinction Rebellion members regarding their demands. 


They brought colorful banners and flags, singing and chanting to draw attention to the state's level of climate inaction thus far. 


Extinction Rebellion demonstrators said that Healey is taking on her position at a crucial crossroads for Massachusetts. "Our intention is to deliver the clear message: No New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure," said activist Jamie McGonagill, "So the incoming gubernatorial team knows to expect pressure from us every day of their term." Under Governor Healey's leadership, we can either continue on with a slow, gradual decarbonization plan that allows for the fossil fuel companies to keep up their quarterly profits but puts the entire world at grave risk, or she can take the bold action needed to prevent the worst impacts of climate breakdown.

 This is perhaps the most important decade of the 21st century. It is the decade in which we must rapidly switch away from fossil fuel consumption and from wholesale destruction of the natural environment to a regenerative society. 


On Governor Healey's campaign website, climate was the first on her list of issues. In her climate plan, she highlighted her plans to "keep carbon in the ground" and to "electrify everything."1 She also pledged that, in her administration, in order to achieve the requirement in the MA 2021 Climate Act “that, over the next eight years, we reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent below 1990 levels,” “all agencies and programs will use the best science and forward-looking climate data in their planning and decision-making." However, these legally binding targets are not possible with the creation of new fossil fuel infrastructure that will be in operation for decades.

Since 1990, governments around the world have acknowledged that we must stop burning fossil fuels in order to avoid catastrophic climate change, yet have failed to put words into sufficient action. At this year’s COP27, the USA refused to agree to phase out government subsidies for fossil fuels, even as scientists warn that we may pass 1.5C global warming as early as 2030. It’s clear that even incremental improvement–improvement that would allow us to align with science-based targets–is being blocked by the fossil fuel lobbyists and government inaction. 


It was also recently reported by the Boston Globe2 that Massachusetts is woefully behind on our current climate goals, which are in and of themselves the bare minimum and not in accordance with the best-case scenarios outlined in the IPCC report. This can hardly be seen as climate leadership. 


According to the Globe, “Boston is so far behind on climate progress that cutting greenhouse emissions in half by the critical milepost of 2030 is already out of reach, a new assessment has found, and reaching the goal of net zero emissions by 2050 will require a decades-long, all-in effort. The report blamed a decade or more of stalled action at the city, state, and federal levels, and said that dramatic changes must now begin.” 


With this in mind, it is financially irresponsible and hopelessly naive for Massachusetts to be building new infrastructure to facilitate the flow of fossil fuels into our state. No, we can’t turn off the fossil fuel faucet tomorrow. But we don’t need to be building new pipes and connections for future fossil fuel flow, infrastructure that is intended to last decades and cost MA taxpayers at a time when, per the best science we have, all our energy investment should be going towards renewable energy infrastructure. 

No Decision on MNF

Monday's game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals will not be resumed this week, the NFL announced in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

This infromation first appeared on



Bills safety Damar Hamlin, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle during Monday's game, which was postponed following the incident, and spent the night in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition, the Bills announced Tuesday.


No changes have been made to the Week 18 schedule, the league said.


"The NFL continues to be in regular contact with the medical team caring for Damar Hamlin, and also the Bills and Bengals organizations and the NFL Players Association. After speaking with both teams and NFLPA leadership, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed the clubs today that the Bills-Bengals game will not be resumed this week," the league said in a statement.


"The NFL has made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date. The league has not made any changes to the Week 18 regular season schedule. We will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available."


In a memo sent to all 32 teams on Tuesday, Goodell noted that each organization had received information that morning from Dr. Nyaka NiiLampti, the league's VP of Wellness & Clinical Services, regarding available mental health and support resources.


"Additional resources including on-site services can be available for any club that wishes this assistance," Goodell said in the memo, obtained by NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero. "If your club would like to make use of these additional resources, please have your Player Engagement lead or Team Clinician contact Dr. NiiLampti."

Triple A Gasoline This Week

The average gas price in Massachusetts is down 2 cents from last week ($3.37), averaging $3.35 per gallon. Today’s price is 33 cents lower than a month ago ($3.68), and 3 cents lower than January 3, 2022 ($3.38). Massachusetts’ average gas price is 13 cents higher than the national average.


The late December winter storm and its frigid temperatures caused gas prices nationally to spike, with refineries as far south as Texas and the Gulf Coast forced to shut down temporarily. The storm also caused holiday travelers to fuel up and hit the road early to beat the bad weather, leading to a spike in overall gas demand. 


“The cost of gas may fluctuate due to less expensive oil and a return to seasonal driving patterns,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. "But 2022 will go down as a record year with a national annual average of $3.96.”


AAA Northeast’s January 3 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 12 cents higher than last week ($3.10), averaging $3.22 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 20 cents lower than a month ago ($3.42), and 6 cents lower than this day last year ($3.28).

Fall River City Council President and V-P for 2023

By margins of 5-3, Fall River City Council Members re elected Joe Camara to be Council President, while  Linda Pereria returns to a leadership role as Vice President. 


Michelle Dionne secured 3 votes in her first run for the Council Presidency while Andrew Raposo secured a trio of votes for the Vice Presidential Slot. 



BCC Investigating "Ransomware Encryption"

According to CBS 12 in Providence, Bristol Community College is investigating a “ransomware encryption” incident. In a statement sent to students, faculty and staff last week, the college said it discovered that someone gained unauthorized access to its network on or around December 23. At this time, there’s no evidence that any personal information was accessed or stolen but said student accounts, financial aid and email, among other online services, are temporarily unavailable as the investigation continues.

New Laws for a New Year

Rhode Island and Massachusetts are seeing a group of new laws going into effect alongside their new minimum wage. According to CBS 12 in Providence, Massachusetts residents earning more than $1 million per year will be taxed an extra 4%, according to the new millionaire’s tax which passed in a ballot measure in November. The Work and and Family Mobility Act will also go into effect in July, A law that allows Massachusetts residents who cannot prove they are in the country legally to get a license. Commonwealth voters approved the measure in November after Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed it. Sports betting will also become legal in the Bay State on January 31, ahead of the NFL'S Super Bowl on February 12.


In Rhode Island, military pensions will no longer be taxed. Rhode Island public buildings will also be required to make single-use restrooms open to people of any gender. A law allowing undocumented individuals to obtain driving privilege cards in Rhode Island will also go into effect on July 1.

A Search for a Hit and Run

According to CBS 12 in Providence, Police are searching for the driver of a truck seen on surveillance sideswiping a parked car and proceeding in Bristol. The car was parked in front of a home on Bay View Avenue Friday night when it was hit by what appears to be a large Ford truck hauling an empty flatbed trailer. The driver appeared on footage to refuse to stop and continued down the road toward Wood Street at full speed.


Anyone who can identify the vehicle is urged to contact the Bristol Police Department’s anonymous tip line. Tips can also be submitted through the Tip411 app.

Patriots Bills on Sunday

The New England Patriots are 7.5 underdogs versus Buffalo this weekend, according to the Draft Kings Sportsbook, as the Patriots must win to secure the 7th and final seed in the AFC Super Bowl Tournament. 


Buffalo must beat Cincinnati tonight on MNF and win over the Patriots to secure the #1 seed for the AFC and a bye into the divisional round versus the lowest remaining seed after the Wild Card Weekend. 

Bruins Win Winter Classic at Fenway

The Boston Bruins outlasted Pittsburgh in the NHL Winter Classic 2-1 tonight inside Fenway Park, as the Bruins hosted the NHL Winter Classic at Fenway for the second time. 


The Bruins scored the second goal of the night with 4:21 remaining in the game; Pittsburgh thought they had tied the game in the final seconds but the green light behind the goal signaling the end of the game was on before the shot went in the Bruins Net. 


The NHL Announced that Seattle and the Las Vegas Golden Knights will be part of the 2024 NHL Winter Classic at T Mobile Park. 

New England Patriots control playoff fate after defeating Dolphins

This first appeared on 

This Published: Jan 01, 2023 at 08:49 PM
Judy Battista
Senior National Columnist

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Gillette Stadium was quiet Sunday afternoon, which is an apt reflection of what this Patriots season has been like. Nobody expected the sort of dominance the Patriots had enjoyed for nearly two decades with Tom Brady after Brady left. But irrelevance? Unimportance? That is what the Patriots were sliding toward Sunday, their offense stuck in the mire again, everyone waiting, hoping for something to save the season from termination by the Miami Dolphins.


There will be plenty of time -- months of the offseason, actually -- to lament that this style of football is simply not sustainable, that the Patriots can't wait around for the defense to keep them alive every week while the offense stumbles into a touchdown or two. Except that the defense kept them alive again, this time with a 39-yard pick-six by Kyle Dugger late in the third quarter that ignited the crowd and the comeback in a 23-21 victory over the Dolphins. The Patriots now control their postseason fate -- no matter what else happens, if they can beat the Bills in Buffalo next week, they are in.

That, of course, is a very tall order. Then again, so is scoring seven defensive touchdowns in a season, and doing it four games in a row, which is what the Patriots have done this season. Safety Devin McCourty said the defense talked on Saturday night about needing to score. That sounded like an unintentional admission that the offense needs a boost. Those touchdowns have helped get the Patriots to 8-8, and they have masked an offense that, incredibly, has scored more than two offensive touchdowns in just two games this season. Whenever this ends, the decision about who will lead the offense next season will loom large. But for now, the offense is doing just enough -- on Sunday, it was an 11-play, 89-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown drive that culminated with Jakobi Meyers finding himself uncovered and waving his hands frantically to call for the ball pre-snap before making the 1-yard TD grab.

The touchdowns have rarely come that easily for the Patriots, but they have also rarely been as statement-making as that one, because it finally complemented all the defense had done.

"When I first came here, I was really fired up because I knew we had such a great defense," said quarterback Mac Jones, who went 20-of-33 for 203 yards and two touchdowns. "Definitely want to be able to produce more on offense. I know we've been saying that a lot. At the end of the day, we've just got to keep trying to win games, play with each other, try to finish games strong, be able to score more points so they don't have to do that part for us."

That will probably have to wait for next season, and whatever offensive retooling Bill Belichick undertakes. But for now, this is a defensive-led team in the classic Belichick mold. Its injury-decimated secondary held the NFL's most explosive receiver duo to nearly nothing -- just 55 receiving yards for Tyreek Hill and 52 for Jaylen Waddle, their lowest combined output since Week 5. The absence of Tua Tagovailoa surely had plenty to do with the relative struggle of the passing game, and the offense sputtered further when starter Teddy Bridgewater hurt a finger on his throwing hand and was replaced by Skylar Thompson.

Even then, the Dolphins drove for a late touchdown and the Patriots needed Hunter Henry to recover an onside kick to secure the win. By then, the Gillette Stadium crowd was back to its more familiar roar.

"Just finding ways to win," McCourty said. "We don't know what it's going to be, but finding a way to win the game. Whatever it is, it's that time of year, we got to figure it out. I don't know what game I said it after or before, but I don't think we have the men in that locker room that have the character to quit."

This season has been an undeniable slog for the Patriots, and in the last month, they had lost four of their last five -- including back-to back-losses to the Raiders and Bengals that had put their season on the brink. Even a late charge into the playoffs can not completely subdue the questions about why Belichick chose to entrust Jones' development and this offense to a former defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia. That has, in turn, given rise to questions about whether Jones is even the quarterback of the Patriots' future.

For those looking for symmetry, just a few moments before the Patriots secured their victory, Brady wrapped up another division title in Tampa, albeit one that came after an unusually messy season for him. The shadow he casts in New England remains long. By this time with Brady, the Patriots were usually worrying only about home-field advantage. That seems like a long time ago.

In the post-Brady age, though, the Patriots may be discovering something different about themselves. The dominance is over, but there is a thrill to discovering resiliency. The Patriots had that Sunday. It might still be an upset if they make the playoffs next week, but these are the Patriots for now, an imperfect team that now knows how the rest of the league lived in its wake. It's a struggle, and it might be disappointing. And it could still be surprising.

"If you've ever had a chance to play this game, you know it's like the game of life, right?" center David Andrews said. "You're going to get knocked down, you're going to get picked back up. You've got to keep pushing. It teaches you a lot about yourself and your teammates."

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Governor-Elect Healy in Taunton

Governor-elect Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor-elect Kim Driscoll will continue their “Team Up Massachusetts” regional inaugural events in Taunton and South Yarmouth tomorrow.


These stops are intended to bring the inaugural festivities across Massachusetts, leading up to their swearing in on January 5th. Healey and Driscoll are hosting a series of service events to bring communities together and give back to those in need. 


In Taunton, Healey and Driscoll will join Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro South at their Taunton Clubhouse to assist with their essential services supplies drive.


The duo will help assemble nearly 500 school supplies kits and 150 personal hygiene care packages, and distribute 500 heads of lettuce from the Clubs’ in-house “Freight Farms” hydroponic farming initiative. These supplies will be distributed to nearly a dozen partner organizations – including Our Daily Bread, Hebron Food Pantry, Girls Inc. of Taunton, and the Old Colony YMCA’s Taunton Branch – that will help provide them to local public schools and families in need.


The personal care products are being generously supplied by Needham-based nonprofit Hope & Comfort. A group of volunteers from Bristol County Savings Bank will also participate in the supplies drive and the produce packaged will go to provide fresh, healthy vegetables to Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro South’s Kids Café Healthy Meals Program which serves more than 100,000 hot, nutritious meals to Club youth annually.

Healey and Driscoll encourage members of the community to donate personal care items, school supplies, and/or nonperishable pantry staples to support Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro South’s ongoing efforts to provide wrap-around essential services to youth and their families. Learn more about BGCMS’s mission and impact at

"VOTES Act" Requires Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to Remove Option for Customers to Opt Out of Automatic Voter Registration

Opportunity to decline automatic voter registration at the RMV will no longer be available effective January 1, 2023

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is announcing that effective January 1, 2023, the RMV is no longer allowed to offer the option for customers to opt out of automatic voter registration. 


The opportunity for driver’s license and ID applicants to decline automatic voter registration is no longer possible in accordance with “The VOTES Act,” a new election reform law which was passed by the Massachusetts State Legislature on June 22, 2022.


On each business day, the RMV will be required to transmit to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, specific applicant information on all eligible transactions with the RMV meeting the select criteria of persons attesting to U.S. citizenship and providing proof of lawful presence. Information that is sent to the Secretary of the Commonwealth will include the applicant’s name, date of birth, address, attestation of citizenship, and an electronic signature.


RMV customers will be allowed to decline voter registration after receiving the acknowledgment notice from their respective municipal election officials. 


The RMV has revised its driver’s license and ID applications and the “Voter Registration Receipt” to reflect the new changes referenced above. To learn more, go online to: Automatic Voter Registration.

The RMV recommends all customers needing to conduct transactions, go online to see if an online transaction is possible, or to prepare for an in-person visit if necessary:  RMV's Online Service Center. 
For the latest RMV updates and information, follow the RMV on Twitter @MassRMV.

Gas Buddies This Week

Average gasoline prices in Massachusetts have fallen 2.5 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.31/g today, according to GasBuddy's survey of 2,830 stations in Massachusetts.


Prices in Massachusetts are 33.9 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand 4.5 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 1.4 cents in the last week and stands at $4.67 per gallon.


According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Massachusetts was priced at $2.83/g yesterday while the most expensive was $4.79/g, a difference of $1.96/g. The lowest price in the state yesterday was $2.83/g while the highest was $4.79/g, a difference of $1.96/g.


The national average price of gasoline has risen 12.3 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.17/g today. The national average is down 22.5 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands 9.5 cents per gallon lower than a year ago, according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million weekly price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country.



"For the first time in two months, the nation's average price of gasoline rose sharply last week, as extremely cold weather led to many refinery issues, shutting down over a million barrels of refining capacity, pushing wholesale prices up," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. "In addition, China's reopening plans gave markets inspiration that global oil demand will start to recover, as China's nearly three year Covid-zero policies appear to be coming to an end. While the jump at the pump will likely be temporary as most refiners get back online after cold-weather related issues, some regions like the Rockies may see more price increases than others as cold-weather shutdowns hit the region fairly hard, with one refinery likely remaining down through the first quarter of 2023. Most areas have seen the bulk of the rise already hit, but should oil continue to rally, more increases could be on the way."

GasBuddy is the authoritative voice for gas prices and the only source for station-level data. GasBuddy's survey updates 288 times every day from the most diverse list of sources covering nearly 150,000 stations nationwide, the most comprehensive and up-to-date in the country. GasBuddy data is accessible at

Bishop da Cunha Shares Reflection on the Passing of Pope Benedict XVI

FALL RIVER — Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., has shared the following reflection on the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:

Today God has called to his eternal reward Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, bringing to an end the earthy journey of this faithful and humble servant who became the 246th successor to St. Peter.  His passing provides us with the opportunity to remember and reflect on his eight-year pontificate and to thank God for his extraordinary service to the Church and to the world.


I am grateful for the opportunities that I had to meet Pope Benedict, to speak with him, to hear him speak, to concelebrate Mass with him and to be close to him. My first experience with him was when he came to the United States on his apostolic visit in 2008, meeting with all the bishops of the country and speaking to us at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on April 16 of that year. The next day, I was blessed to be among the bishops who concelebrated Mass with him at the Nationals Stadium in Washington, DC., with thousands of people participating in what I consider a memorable experience.


In May 2011, I was in Rome for the Beatification of St. Justin Russolillo, the founder of my Religious Congregation, the Society of Divine Vocations, when I met with him again during his general audience. As usual, he was the kind and gentle shepherd to world came to know.


Again in 2011, while in the Vatican for the occasion of the Ad Limina visits of the bishops of the United States, I had the opportunity, together with the other bishops from my region, to gather with the Holy Father for a time of fraternal dialogue, to discuss issues affecting the church in the world, especially in the United States.


What remains so strongly with me from those meetings I had with him was his paternal attitude toward the bishops and his interest and care about our mission in our own dioceses. He showed amazing knowledge and great interest about what was happening in the world.


Pope Benedict was an intellectual giant who actively participated in and influenced many of the documents of Vatican II, and he helped implement many of those pastoral principles that came out of that ecumenical Council. The influence of Pope Benedict has had on the Church is great, and his legacy will live on for generations to come. He had an incredible gift to communicate the truth about the Church and worked determinedly to reconcile faith and reason. He wanted all of us to continue learning and growing in knowledge while at the same time growing in faith and in holiness.


In thanksgiving, let us pray for Pope Benedict and commend him to the Lord who chose him to serve as His vicar on earth and who promised him and us that He would be with us to the end of time.

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