WSAR NEWS Archives for 2023-03

Second New Bedford Fire Victim Identified

The second deceased individual who died Tuesday as a result of a structure fire at 1305 Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford has been positively identified as Wayne Bourdon, 63, who resided in the building where the fire occurred.  


The confirmation was released by the Bristol County District Attorney's office this afternoon. 


The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Massachusetts Households to Receive First State-Funded Extra SNAP Payment on April 7

BOSTON - Individuals and families in Massachusetts will receive their first state-funded extra Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payment on April 7, 2023, following Governor Healey’s signing of a supplemental budget that includes $130 million to create an offramp from the extra COVID SNAP benefits, known as SNAP Emergency Allotments.


The Congressional Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023 ended these payments as of February 2023 and Massachusetts households received their last federal payment on March 2, 2023. 

The state-funded extra SNAP benefits will be available in the beginning of April, May, and June 2023 for the prior month.


For example, households eligible for SNAP in March will receive the extra SNAP in early April. As directed by the supplemental budget, the payment amount will equal up to 40% of the difference between a household’s maximum benefit amount for their household size and their regular monthly benefit amount, with a minimum amount of $38 a month. 


The state has a dedicated website, , to provide information on the state-funded extra benefits and help households plan for the end of the temporary federal and state benefits. Individuals and families should explore any previously unreported expenses that may increase their regular SNAP benefits and tell DTA about them right away, including:


·    If they have medical costs over $35 a month for anyone in their SNAP household who is 60 or older or has a disability,

·    If their housing costs have gone up (rent/mortgage), and

·    If one is working, looking for work, or in school, tell DTA about any child or disabled adult care costs.


Households can tell DTA about these changes by uploading information via the agency’s free mobile app and online portal DTA Connect , calling the DTA Assistance Line at 877-382-2363, visiting a local DTA office, or working with one of the department’s over 100 SNAP outreach partners . SNAP outreach partners are local community organizations who work with DTA to help people apply for and maintain their SNAP benefits. 


Also, Massachusetts households who receive SNAP benefits can automatically participate in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP). HIP puts money back on an EBT card when SNAP is used to buy local fruits and vegetables from HIP farm vendors, up to $40, $60 or $80 a month depending on household size. Find a HIP vendor at .


More resources available to help individuals and families:
·    Community Food Resources: call or text Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline, 1-800-645-8333
·    If you have children under age 5/are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may be eligible for the WIC nutrition program: or call 800-942-1007

·    All K-12 students can get free school meals this school year 

·    Rent or mortgage help: Call 2-1-1 or go to

·    Fuel Assistance help paying for heat: go to or call 800-632-8175

·    Money to help pay for the internet or a computer: ,

·    Get help with 2022 taxes and any COVID stimulus or Child Tax Credit money you are owed:

·    If you have children/are pregnant and have no income or low income, you may be able to get TAFDC cash benefits. If you are 65 or older or disabled with no or very low income you may be able to get EAEDC cash benefits. Learn more/apply:


In person Early Voting will be held at the Town Office Building at the Town Clerk's Office on the following  dates:


               8:30 AM – 4:00 PM


         8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

       8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Red Sox set 2023 Opening Week roster

BOSTON, MA—The Boston Red Sox today set their 2023 Opening Week 26-man roster by making the following moves:

Outfielder Raimel Tapia was selected to the active Major League roster from Triple-A Worcester.

Right-handed pitchers Brayan Bello and Wyatt Mills were placed on the 15-Day Injured List (retroactive to March 27) with right elbow inflammation.

Left-handed pitcher James Paxton was placed on the 15-Day Injured List (retroactive to March 27) with a right hamstring strain.

Left-handed pitcher Joely Rodriguez was placed on the 15-Day Injured List (retroactive to March 27) with a right oblique strain.

Right-handed pitcher Garrett Whitlock was placed on the 15-Day Injured List (retroactive to March 27) due to recovery from right hip surgery.

Infielder Adalberto Mondesi was placed on the 60-Day Injured List due to recovery from left knee surgery.

: Auchincloss to Hold Town Halls in Franklin and Bristol County Tomorrow

Newton, MA — On Saturday, April 1st, Congressman Jake Auchincloss (D, MA-04) will host a series of in-person town halls in Franklin and in Bristol County in Dighton.


Auchincloss will discuss recent developments in Congress and take audience questions. The town halls will be open press. Full details can be found below. Please RSVP to for any further details. 


Who: Congressman Jake Auchincloss

What: In-person town halls

When: Saturday, April 1st. 

•    Franklin, 10:30 AM, Franklin Senior Center: 10 Daniel McCahill Street, Franklin, MA, 02038

•    Dighton, 12:30 PM, Bristol County Agricultural High School: 135 Center Street, Dighton, MA 02715


City Announces 2023 Election Calendar Nomination Papers Available April 4th

New Bedford, Massachusetts – The Board of Election Commissioners advises the public that the 2023 Municipal Election Calendar is now set. Nomination Papers for Local Office will be available starting on Tuesday, April 4th.  


The Election Office is located in City Hall, 133 William St. Room 114.  Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Candidates need to sign up and will be given an information packet that contains the Election Calendar and nomination papers.


Before issuance of nomination papers, the candidate must sign a statement containing their name, address, and the office the person intends to be a candidate.  Anyone other than the candidate must present a signed authorization to secure papers on their behalf.


Candidates must obtain 50 certified signatures, per MGL 53 9A, to be eligible to appear on the Preliminary Ballot scheduled for October 3rd.


The Municipal Election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 7, 2023.


In the Preliminary Municipal Election, New Bedford voters will be casting their votes for Mayor, Assesor-At-Large, School Committee, Councilors-At-Large, and Ward Councilors.

Professional Wrestling Returns to Fall River

The Police Athletic League of Fall River, Incorporated, is sponsoring a night of “Professional Wrestling” during school spring vacation week on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at the P.A.L. Hall, located at 31 Franklin Street, in Fall River.   
    Doors open at 6:00 p.m., the first match bell time is at 7:00 p.m..    The snack bar will be open throughout the night.  Several action packed matches are scheduled.  Please note the card is subject to change.   
    The ticket prices per person are $20.00 general admission, $25.00 for front row ringside.  Tickets for the event may be purchased in advance by calling Top Rope Promotions at 508-525-1866.  

Official fund announced for individuals displaced by rooming house fire

New Bedford, Massachusetts– The City of New Bedford along with non-profit partners including the Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford have announced Rise Up For Homes as the official relief fund for individuals displaced by Tuesday’s rooming house fire on Acushnet Avenue.


“The fire has abruptly displaced dozens of residents and turned their lives upside down. I appreciate the partnership of the Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford and all of the partners involved in Rise Up For Homes to help meet the challenge,” said Mayor Mitchell. 


Rise Up For Homes is a collaborative campaign established by the City of New Bedford’s Homeless Service Providers Network (HSPN). The Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford, a non-profit 501(c)3 serves as the fiscal conduit of the funds. 


To donate, checks made out to Rise Up For Homes can be dropped off or mailed to the Inter-Church Council, 128 Union Street Suite 100, New Bedford, MA 02740. The Inter-Church Council can be reached at (508) 993-6242.


To donate online, please visit


NB Man Back in Jail After Stabbing

A New Bedford man convicted of beating another man to death more than two decades ago is back behind bars after he reportedly stabbed a woman last year. According to CBS 12 in Providence, 41 year old Robert Tirado, pleaded guilty last week to one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury. The stabbing happened shortly after he was released from prison on his previous conviction when Tirado watched as the victim picked up his girlfriend and dropped her on the pavement which enraged Tirado to get out of his car and stabbed the victim seven times in the back. The victim was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries, including a collapsed lung. Despite her injuries, police say she did not cooperate with the investigation. Quinn said Tirado’s girlfriend abandoned her three children to help him evade capture. Tirado was arrested in Rhode Island more than a month later.


Tirado was sentenced to serve between four and seven years in prison.

Local Business to Lay Off Over 60 Employees

According to CBS 12 in Providence, Blue Harvest Fisheries will soon shut down its waterfront fish processing plant in New Bedford. The groundfish processing plant will officially close in May and will lead to  all 64 employees who work there being laid off at that time. New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell expressed frustration with the decision, stating that he’s primarily concerned about closure’s impact “on the families of the affected workers.” and is  in communication with Blue Harvest and is urging them to coordinate with MassHire Greater New Bedford and the Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Blue Harvest said it will be pivoting its focus to constructing and acquiring the modern, up-to-date fleet it needs


Blue Harvest employs over 400 people in total.

Drugs and Weapons Search in NB

Two people were arrested after detectives found drugs and a “cache of weapons” inside a New Bedford home over the weekend. According to CBS 12 in Providence, detectives searched the Harwich Street home Sunday in connection with an ongoing investigation where officers found over 40 grams of crack cocaine, more than three pounds of marijuana, numerous suboxone strips alongside $800 in cash.A continued search led detectives to find a stockpile of weapons, including four handguns, a sawed-off shotgun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition as well as a stun gun and a bulletproof vest. A 50 year old Leroy Mosley and 45 year old Jill Martin,were taken into custody following the search as both are being charged with trafficking cocaine in excess of 36 grams, possessing illegal firearms and ammunition and possession of a large capacity firearm.


28 year old Cheri Jardin, wasn’t home when the raid took place, although police said he will be facing charges.

19 Year Old Arrested on Gun and Drug Charges

According to CBS 12 in Providence, police arrested a 19-year-old man earlier this week after he took off running from a traffic stop. Shortly after officers pulled a vehicle over Monday night near Spring Street where a masked passenger got out of the car and started running. The suspect entered a nearby parking lot before tossing what appeared to be a firearm over a nearby fence. Luis Garcia, was taken into custody following a brief struggle. Garcia had 29 individually wrapped baggies of crack cocaine on him, and the firearm he tossed over the fence was a loaded pistol. Police also located 29 grams of marijuana on him and more than $400 in cash. Garcia has been arrested and released on bail twice last year, once for a similar incident.


Garcia is now being charged with trafficking in excess of 18 grams of cocaine, trespassing, carrying a loaded firearm, carrying ammunition and a high-capacity feeding device while committing a felony.

Bomb Threat at Greater NB Voc. Tec. HS

According to ABC 6 in Providence, a bomb threat Thursday was made to the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School. The staff of the vocational school discovered a bomb threat Thursday night and called police as NBPD sent K9 dogs trained to detect explosive materials and were called to the scene to conduct a search of the school but later discovered no dangerous items were found. The school sent out a message to parents advising them of the situation as there has been no further information regarding a suspect  immediately available.

A Bid for the Bank Street Armory

According to the digital edition of the Fall River Herald, the Bank Street Armory in Fall River has a local developer interested defined by a backgrounD of transforming old city buildings for redevelopment. The principal of development company Main Street Projects, Alan Macomber was the only entity to respond by a March 17 deadline to a request for proposals by the city to redevelop the armory. Macomber recently completed a $21 million redevelopment of the former Bradford Durfee Textile School on Durfee Street that once stood as campuses of Bristol Community College and Southeastern Massachusetts University before becoming the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

DATTCO to Stop New Bedford-Boston Bus Service

According to CBS 12 in Providence, DATTCO announced it will stop offering its New Bedford to Boston bus service next month.The decision was made based on ongoing financial struggles as the service will officially stop running on April 16. New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said he was “troubled” by the decision but says the city is now working with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to rectify the situation.

NB Arrested After Throwing Women into a Campfire

According to CBS 12 in Providence, Police have arrested a New Bedford man accused of throwing a woman into a campfire Monday night. The 45 year old Robert McWilliams, has been charged with assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, intimidation of a witness and assault with intent to kill after officers were called to Long Road Monday night shortly after receiving a report of a suspicious person only to arrive to find a woman suffering from burns to her upper body. The woman told the officers McWilliams had attacked her in the woods and threw her into the campfire. The woman was transported to the hospital, with the severity of her injuries unknown at this time.


Officers later found McWilliams in the woods and arrested him without incident.


Somerset Selectmen Meet Friday

The Somerset Board of Slectmen will meet Friday  Afternoon at 5:30 in a 30 minute Executive Session in the Somerset Town Hall with Town Administrator Mark Ulluchi in Somerset Town Hall, before the session moves to the Somerset Public Library. 


Its possible that the 3 Somerset Selectmen could vote to improve a contract amendment with Ulluchi, while the trio will also discuss public school budgets in Somerset for K-8 and the Somerset Berkley Regional School District. 

Department of Public Utilities Approves Reductions to National Grid's Basic Service Rates Approval will Result in Lower Electric Utility Bills for National Grid Customers Starting May 1st

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) today announced it approved reductions in electric basic service rates for Massachusetts Electric Company and Nantucket Electric Company, each d/b/a National Grid electric customers.


On average, the decreases will result in a monthly bill decrease of about 40 percent for a typical residential customer. National Grid serves approximately 1.39 million electric distribution customers.

Beginning with usage after May 1, 2023, customers on the company’s basic service rate can expect lower electric bills. 

Bristol Community College and Elms College agreement creates a seamless path to a bachelor's degree in biology and biotechnology

Bristol Community College and Elms College agreement creates a seamless path to a bachelor's degree in biology and biotechnology

Bristol Community College and Elms College, in Chicopee, Mass., have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), creating more seamless paths for Bristol students to complete their bachelor’s degrees in biology or biotechnology. 

The agreement saves students time and money by guaranteeing that students who earn an  Associate in Science in Life Sciences at Bristol will enter the Bachelor of Science in biology or biotechnology programs at Elms College with at least 60 accepted transfer credits and third-year status.


The programs are open to all Bristol transfer students who have completed their associate degree with a minimum grade point average of 2.0. 

“This cost-saving pathway will combine the academic support and transfer resources of both institutions, simplifying the transition to a bachelor's degree program, while aiding student success,” said Dr. Laura L. Douglas, President, Bristol Community College. “This collaboration is also a wonderful extension of Bristol Community College and Elms College’s shared mission of expanding access to higher education.” 


“We are delighted to partner with Bristol Community College to offer students a seamless and flexible path to continue their education at Elms College and at the same time bring more skilled workers in the life sciences to the region,” said Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., MBA, President, Elms College. 


In addition to guaranteed admission and seamless transition to Elms College, Bristol students will also benefit from additional offerings including: 

•    Collaborative academic advising and transfer counseling from Bristol Community College and Elms College, to aid success.
•    Enrollment in Elms College’s Master of Biotechnology or Biomedical Sciences programs for interested students who successfully complete the Bachelor of Science in biology or biotechnology program with a grade point average of 3.5.


•    Eligibility for Elms College financial aid and housing consideration as appropriate. 
For more information about the program please contact Bristol Community College’s Transfer Services, by calling 774.357.2234, or emailing 

Two Gun-Related Arrested in Two Days

According to ABC 6, the New Bedford Police Department seized two guns in two separate cases this past weekend. On March 18 detectives said they searched the home of 41-year-old Paul Silva who was the target of an active investigation where they located 30 grams of crack cocaine, nearly 3 grams of powder cocaine and one handgun. Silva and another man in the house, Nicholas Taft were both charged with trafficking cocaine and unlawful possession of a gun and ammunition.


The next day, police received a tip about a juvenile with a gun where responding officers found a juvenile with a pistol stolen from Maine. The juvenile initially violently resisted arrest but was eventually taken into custody. This was the second time they were arrested with a gun, their first case was thrown out by a judge in district court.

22-year-old Attleboro man Sentenced for Rape

A 22-year-old Attleboro man has been sentenced for raping and molesting his pre-teen neighbor in 2019. According to ABC 6, Kevin Cardona pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court on March 3 to indictments on rape of a child by force and indecent assault and battery on a person under the age of 14. Documentation states the incident occurred during a Super Bowl party in February of 2019 at the victim’s home in Attleboro when he entered the girl’s bedroom where he assaulted her while covering her mouth. The victim reported the incident to her therapist the next day who then got Attleboro police involved. Records show DNA found that matched that of Cardona.


Cardona was sentenced to serve three to five years in state prison, followed by five years of supervised probation.


The ACLU of Rhode Island released a report today detailing the significant number of out-of-school suspensions meted out each year to Rhode Island public school elementary school students, including kindergartners, often for such minor offenses as “disrespect.” The report also makes plain the “discriminatory and harmful suspension patterns” in the out-of-school suspension rates for students, adversely affecting Black, multi-racial and Hispanic students, and students with disabilities.


The report examined suspension data for the three years preceding the Covid-19 pandemic — 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019. The disparate results were consistent: Every year that was studied mirrored results that had been tracked over a period of two decades, showing “severe” suspension disparities of students of color and students with disabilities across all grades. 


A breakdown of out-of-school suspension data by school district is provided in Appendices A and B of the report, beginning on page 25. 


Highlights from the report include, but are not limited to, the following:

•    In the 2018-2019 school year, there were 116 out-of-school suspensions of kindergartners and first graders, and about a third of those suspensions were for subjective and minor offenses such as “disrespect” and “insubordination.” There were more than 1,400 suspensions of K-5 students that year, and that made up almost 15% of all the suspensions issued that year for all grades.


•    At their lowest rates across these three school years, Black and multi-racial students statewide experienced out-of-school suspensions at a rate more than one-and-a-half times higher than would be expected for their population, and Hispanic students were over-suspended at a rate 1.3 times that which would be expected for their population. Comparatively, the highest rate of suspension that white students experienced was still much less than what would be expected for their school population. 


•    Across each school year, students with disabilities were at least two-and-a-half times as likely to be given an out-of-school suspension as students without a disability. 


•    These significantly disproportionate rates of suspension of students of color and students with disabilities have been consistent for more than 15 years.


In order to address these disparities, the ACLU report urges, among other recommendations, legislation to significantly curb the ability of schools to issue out-of-school suspensions to K-5 students, and to hold school districts more accountable in analyzing suspension data and responding to any disparities on the basis of race or disability that their data may show.


The report also suggests that school districts are ignoring a 2016 law that was designed to limit the use of out-of-school suspensions to only serious acts of misconduct. Instead, the report shows students are inordinately suspended for minor and subjective types of misconduct such as “insubordination” or “disrespect.”


ACLU of Rhode Island Policy Associate Hannah Stern said today: “In order to truly provide an equitable, uplifting, and educationally enriching school environment for all students in our state, we must make sure that no students are being inappropriately removed and excluded from the classroom.


Normal adolescent misbehaviors or social-emotional needs should not be met with punishment. Rather, we must ensure that students have appropriate supports, and that discriminatory practices are being actively eradicated from schools.”


Legislation that incorporates some of the report’s recommendations is expected to be heard at the State House in the next week or two.

A copy of the report can be found here. 

Rep. Solomon bills would increase penalties for theft of catalytic converters, OK interstate compact

STATE HOUSE — Building on the success of last year’s legislation to curb the theft of catalytic converters, Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) has introduced two bills that would increase the penalties for those thefts, and create an interstate compact to hamper thieves.

Last session, the General Assembly enacted Representative Solomon’s law (2022-H 7751B) that requires that purchasers of a catalytic converter, except for business-to-business transactions, obtain either the vehicle registration or the vehicle identification number from the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed and provide upon request, the information to a law enforcement agency.

“We’ve given businesses the opportunity to do the right thing,” said Representative Solomon. “Now we’re making it tougher and holding them more accountable. This is a serious issue that’s affecting everybody. When it happens to poor people or disabled people, they can hardly afford to replace them.”

The first bill (2023-H 5841) would mandate a bill of sale, eliminate cash payments and require the attorney general to suspend the license of any violator of the law. Additionally, the legislation would change the requirement for every person licensed under this chapter to retain a copy of the report form for a period of one year to three years from the date of the sale. Also, a conviction under this law would be a felony subject to fine and imprisonment.

The second bill (2023-H 5842) would establish an interstate compact that would regulate the purchase and sale of catalytic converters specifically and precious metals generally with the goal of preventing the proliferation of stolen converters. It would set licensing and reporting requirements for each sale or purchase of converters.

“I think the time has come for an interstate compact because this is truly a nationwide issue,” said Representative Solomon. “Not only are thefts picking up locally, such as the FBI raid on a Providence scrap metal business, but we hear constant news reports about catalytic converter thefts all over the country. Even the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile fell victim to thieves last month.”

Testimony in favor of the legislation submitted by the National Insurance Crime Bureau to the House Committee on Corporations said, “Catalytic converter theft has skyrocketed in recent years in part due to the significant rise in the price of various precious metals, including rhodium, platinum, and palladium. All are used in the construction of catalytic converters.


Criminals are seizing the opportunity to profit off these increased prices by removing the catalytic converter from vehicles — in relatively easy fashion — and selling the stolen part on the black market. The component precious metals can be recycled into new products. Nationally, catalytic converter thefts more than quadrupled from 3,389 in 2019 to 14,433 in 2020. Thefts jumped dramatically yet again to over 52,000 in 2021, an increase of 1,215% since 2019.”                                                   

Announcing the Massachusetts Chambers of Commerce Policy Network Network Convenes to Strategize Necessary Policy Solutions for People & Businesses

One SouthCoast Chamber announces the launch of the statewide policy network, the Massachusetts Chambers of Commerce Policy Network (the “Chambers Policy Network”).


The Chambers Policy Network, led by the Presidents and Chief Executive Officers of large regional chambers of commerce, plans to use its collective statewide voice to advocate for policy and business issues that will strengthen the quality of life and economy in the Commonwealth.


The Chambers Policy Network is designed to leverage the existing impact and on-the-ground local knowledge of these local Chambers to provide solutions to policy challenges that hinder the success and legacy of residents, employees, and businesses.  Our goal is a growing statewide economy that works for all and strengthens our ability to retain talent and businesses in Massachusetts. 


The Chambers Policy Network will focus on the issues that directly tie to the region’s future: statewide competitiveness, taxes and revenue, transportation, broadband access, talent development and retention, housing, climate change, higher education, and the ease of doing business. Through this transformative and collaborative network, the immense value of businesses, their employees, and their Chambers are leveraged to advance statewide equity and economic opportunity.


“The launch of the Chambers Policy Network is the region’s first formal policy advocacy network of Chambers dedicated to solving the complex issues that our cities and entire state face. By unlocking the unique strengths of Chambers, we will be able to strategize and advance solutions to policy challenges. From housing to transportation, taxes, and business climate and more – all of these are interconnected and statewide issues that can help make Massachusetts a place where workers and businesses can succeed,” said James E. Rooney, President & CEO, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.


Mike O’Sullivan, CEO of One SouthCoast Chamber, said, “This is a new day for us on the South Coast. To be able to have the largest regional chambers band together over issues of importance for all of business in Massachusetts is a game changer. We can still engage on issues of importance to the region as a chamber and take advantage of the power of this new network to support common goals.”


The Chamber Policy Network will initially consist of ten of the largest Chambers from across the entire state as founding members with plans to expand to include other Chambers in 2024. 


  MA Chambers Policy Network Founding Members

James E. Rooney, President & CEO, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Tim Murray, President & CEO, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Diana Szynal, President, Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce
Rick Sullivan, President & CEO, Western MA Economic Development Council
Paul Niedzwiecki, CEO, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
Peter Forman, President & CEO, South Shore Chamber of Commerce
Karen Andreas, President & CEO, North Shore Chamber of Commerce
Greg Reibman, President Charles River Regional Chamber
Michael O’Sullivan Co-CEO, One SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce
Jonathan Butler, President & CEO, 1Berkshire

Included in its plans are annual sharing of regional chamber policy priorities and yearly Chamber Policy Network visits to Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill to promote its agenda.

One SouthCoast Chamber is one of the largest business organizations in the Commonwealth with more than 1250 business members, representing thousands of employees. With offices in Fall River and New Bedford, the Chamber is actively engaged in supporting member businesses in connectivity, business education, business growth and advocacy. 


Cooley heads to Georgetown

Providence College is in the market for a new Men's Head Basketball Coach, after now former Coach Ed Cooley put his house up for sale Monday Morning, while Google's listing for Georgetown Basketball listed Cooley as the head coach by mid afternoon Monday. 


While Cooley will remain in the Big East, he replaces former Georgetown Center Patrick Ewing, who was relieved of his duties prior to the start of the NCAA Men's Division One National Championship Basketball Tournament. 

Kluber Gets Game One

The Red Sox made it official prior to the weekend that Corey Kluber would get the Opening Day Start in Fenway Park versus Baltimore on Thursday, March 30. 


Kluber is a former American League Cy Young Award Winner who was signed as a free agent over the winter. 

The Red Sox have about 10 days left before they leave camp and head north with a 26-man roster and a host of questions to answer as to how the 2023 season could lead to a post season for the Red Sox. 

WSAR This Weekend

This Weekend on 95.9 and 1480 WSAR, the Red Sox will meet the Orioles in Florida Saturday afternoon starting at 1, with Fox Sports Radio providing the lead in at 6 to the Celtics and Jazz in Utah, with coverage at 8:30pm and a tip just after 9.


Sunday on WSAR, The Red Sox will meet the Phillies with coverage on the  Red Sox Radio Network at 1pm.



Providence Bows Out

The #11 Seed Providence College saw its season end last night, losing to #6 Kentiucky in East Region, by a final of 61-53.


Still to be decided is the future of Men's Head Baskebtall Coach Ed Cooley, who is a target for Georgetown after Patrick Ewing was dismissed as their head coach prior to the start of the NCAA Men's Division One Basketball National Championship Tournament; according to the digital edition of the Providence Journal.


Cooley has spent 12 seasons in Providence and has taken the men's team to the Sweet 16 in past tournaments; he has indicated he would isten if Georgetown wished to make an offer. 

Bristol Sheriff and Ash Street Jail

DARTMOUTH – It’s budget season on Beacon Hill, and Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux is asking lawmakers to move forward on exploring his idea of closing the Ash Street Jail in New Bedford.


Sheriff Heroux this week sent letters to members of the local legislative delegation to request $300,000 for a feasibility study on closing Ash Street and moving inmates to a renovated housing unit inside the House of Corrections in Dartmouth.


“I urge you to please coordinate with the delegation to get a $300,000 line item in the budget to fund the first step in this process, a feasibility study by the state Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM),” Sheriff Heroux wrote to the delegation members. “This study will guide the rest of the proposal and show us whether it is feasible to move forward.”


The Ash Street Jail opened in 1888 with parts of site construction dating back to the 1830s. While clean, safe and secure, it does not fit the needs of a modern corrections system focused on inmate rehabilitation while being responsible with taxpayers’ money.


The Ash Street Jail costs more than $5 million a year to operate, and is about 200,000 square feet, with outdated classrooms and limited space for treatment programs. The empty housing unit in Dartmouth he seeks to renovate into single cells and move Ash Street Jail inmates to, the GC unit, is 9,000 square feet and located near the main hubs of education and substance abuse programming.


“First and most importantly, the move would benefit the inmates by increasing rehabilitation, education, substance abuse and vocational training opportunities,” Sheriff Heroux said. “Also, the move would save taxpayers thousands every year in utility, maintenance and transportation costs by going from a 200,000-square-foot facility at Ash Street to a more-modern 9,000-square-foot, climate controlled housing unit in Dartmouth. Closing Ash Street and moving the operation to Dartmouth will quickly pay for itself.”


Sheriff Heroux also invited lawmakers who could not attend the previous tour and information session to come and visit the correctional facilities to learn more about the project and ask questions.


Asleep At the Wheel: Drivers Unaware of How Drowsy They Really Are New AAA Research Shows Drowsy Drivers Often Fail to Take Breaks

Asleep At the Wheel: Drivers Unaware of How Drowsy They Really Are  

New AAA Research Shows Drowsy Drivers Often Fail to Take Breaks 

Westwood, MA- It's something that most drivers experience but may not realize until it’s too late – feeling drowsy – which plays an underappreciated role in traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths.


Although underreported in government statistics, previous research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has estimated that 16% to 21% of all police-reported fatal vehicle crashes likely involve drowsy driving.


And now, new Foundation research finds that drivers may underestimate their drowsiness, leading them to stay behind the wheel instead of stopping for a much-needed break.   


"Being drowsy while driving is a dangerous form of impairment, and it does not resolve or improve with continued driving," said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. "Our goal is to help drivers learn to heed the early warning signs of drowsiness so they can stop, rest, and then continue their journey as safely as possible."


Drowsiness refers to a state of increased tendency to fall asleep. Beyond the danger of falling asleep at the wheel, drowsiness also impairs drivers by reducing their alertness. Crashes caused by drowsy driving tend to be severe because the driver may not attempt to brake or swerve to avoid a collision, so the resulting impact occurs at a high rate of speed. A drowsy driver may also be startled and lose control of the vehicle. 


Researchers designed a 150-mile simulated nighttime highway driving experiment for the study. Every 20 miles, there was a simulated "rest area" at which participants could stop, leave the driving simulator, walk around, nap, drink coffee, or eat a snack. A monetary incentive encouraged drivers to complete the drive as quickly as possible while incentivizing them to avoid crashing. Researchers used a brief survey to gauge how drowsy drivers felt and measured the percentage of time their eyes were closed to gauge sleepiness.


Key Findings
Levels of drowsiness generally increased throughout the simulated highway driving experiment. Participants were usually aware that they were drowsy, but their perceptions of the extent of their sleepiness were not always accurate and affected decision-making.
•    When drivers rated their level of drowsiness as low, 75% of them were, in fact, moderately or severely drowsy. 
•    Even when drivers’ eyes were closed for 15 seconds or longer over a one-minute window— indicative of severe drowsiness—one in four still rated their drowsiness as low.
•    Drivers very rarely took breaks unless they perceived that they were very drowsy. 
•    Even when drivers recognized they were extremely drowsy, they still declined 75% of their opportunities to take breaks and kept driving.

The results demonstrate a need to help drivers recognize how drowsy they are. Knowing the warning signs of drowsiness can help drivers avoid dozing off behind the wheel. The most common symptoms include:
•    Having trouble keeping your eyes open
•    Drifting from your lane
•    Not remembering the last few miles driven


While the signs of drowsiness should never be ignored, drivers must not wait for their bodies to sound the alarm. They should prioritize sleeping at least seven hours before hitting the road.
AAA recommends that drivers:
•    Travel at times of the day when they are normally awake
•    Avoid heavy foods
•    Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment
For longer trips, drivers should:
•    Schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles
•    Travel with an alert passenger and take turns driving
•    Do not underestimate the power of a quick nap. Pulling into a rest stop and taking a quick catnap — at least 20 minutes and no more than 30 minutes of sleep– can help to keep you alert on the road.
    AAA supports the development of vehicle technology that can passively monitor drivers for impairment and prevent or limit vehicle operation when needed.  The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requires NHTSA to create testing standards for this kind of technology that can detect driver impairment, including that caused by drowsiness, medical impairment, or drugs, including alcohol.

Patriots Sign OT Calvin Anderson; Release QB Brian Hoyer

The Patriots announced today that they have signed tackle Calvin Anderson and released quarterback Brian Hoyer.
Mar 16, 2023 at 05:17 PM

New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that they have signed T Calvin Anderson as an unrestricted free agent from the Denver Broncos. Terms of the contract were not announced. In addition, the Patriots announced that they have released QB Brian Hoyer.


Anderson, 26, is a veteran of four NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos (2019-22). The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with New England on May 2, 2019 out of Texas but was released on May 13 and claimed off waivers by the New York Jets. After beginning his rookie season on the Jets practice squad, Anderson was signed by Denver to the 53-man roster on Oct. 1, 2019. Overall, he has played in 41 regular season games with 12 starts, one at right tackle and 11 at left tackle. Last season, Anderson played in 14 games with seven starts at left tackle for Denver.


Hoyer, 37, had three different stints with New England after originally joining the team as a rookie free agent out of Michigan State in 2009. He played with New England through the 2011 season and again for part of the 2017 season and all of the 2018 season, before returning to the Patriots in 2020.


The 6-foot-2, 216-pounder is a veteran of 14 NFL seasons and has spent time with Arizona (2012), Pittsburgh (2012), Cleveland (2013-14), Houston (2015), Chicago (2016), San Francisco (2017) and Indianapolis (2019), in addition to the Patriots.


Overall, Hoyer has played in 76 regular-season games with 40 starts and has completed 902-of-1,518 passes for 10,668 yards with 53 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. He has also played in two postseason contests with one start and completed 15-of-34 pass attempts with no touchdowns and four interceptions. Hoyer has made 30 appearances with New England in the regular season with two starts and has completed 61-of-92 pass attempts for 729 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.


Last season, Hoyer played and started at Green Bay on Oct. 2 but was injured early in the game and finished the year on injured reserve. He completed 5-of-6 passes for 37 yards prior to suffering his injury.


Patriots add tight end Mike Gesicki

This first appeared on

Report: Patriots add tight end Mike Gesicki
According to reports, the Patriots are adding a move tight end to their roster.

Mike Dussault Writer


According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Patriots are signing former Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki. The team had a roster need at the position after trading Jonnu Smith to the Falcons and Gesicki should form a nice pairing with veteran Hunter Henry, providing the offense with an athletic player to be utilized by offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.

After four productive seasons with the Dolphins, including a breakout 2021 in which he had 73 catches for 780 yards, the arrival of head coach Mike McDaniel signaled a reduced workload for Gesicki. He started just one game and had just one touchdown catch on 32 receptions, less than half of his previous year's production while his snap totals were cut in half as well.


Gesicki is still only 27 years old and with 18 career touchdowns offers some intriguing red zone potential. Even in a draft class loaded with promising tight end prospects, the addition of Gesicki should provide an immediate impact. Bill O'Brien constructed a two-tight-end offense in the early 2010's that set records and now he'll have two veteran tight ends to employ.


Gesicki was recruited to Penn State by O'Brien before being drafted in the second round of 2018's draft, so there's already an existing familiarity between the two.


With reported offensive additions of Juju Smith-Schuster, James Robinson and now Gesicki, the Patriots have been remaking their offense in key playmaker positions while padding their depth along the offensive line and retaining their own players on 

MSP Save Two Hikers

According to ABC 6 in Providence, Massachusetts State Police rescued two stranded hikers in the Mount Washington State Forest during an overnight snowstorm.Police said the hours-long rescue began just before 8:00 p-m. on Tuesday when a 9-1-1 call from one of the hikers detailed their situation who said him and his friend were hiking on the Alander Trail in the state forest near the New York and Connecticut state lines when the winter weather began to worsen updating officers that the snow was covering the trail markers and had filled in their tracks so they could not retrace their steps back down the mountain. The search party stated the snow was roughly two feet deep and the snowmobiles couldn’t clear the trails. Finally at 2:30 a.m. the search team located the two hikers who were suffering from fatigue and cold temperatures but were not injured. More than two hours later, the search team and the hikers made it out of the forest and reached the DCR headquarters where the two men were taken to a nearby hospital.

Assault Leads to Arrest in Fairhaven

 A New Bedford man was arrested for an alleged assault at a Walmart in Fairhaven. According to CBS 12 in Providence, Police responded to a report of a fight just after 11 p-m. Tuesday. The 22 year old Brandin Gonsalves, is accused of taking out a gun during the fight and striking the victim with it. Police found three rounds of ammunition and a loaded magazine with additional rounds of ammunition on scene as it's unclear if any rounds were fired during the incident. Gonsalves is charged with assault with intent to kill, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, possession of ammunition without a license, and carrying a firearm without a license while the victim was treated at a local hospital and released.

Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces End of COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in Massachusetts

Administration also files legislation to extend certain staffing flexibilities for health care providers; Will rescind vaccine mandate for Executive Branch employees on May 11 
BOSTON – Today the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced that the state’s COVID-19 public health emergency will end on May 11, 2023, to align with the end of the federal public health emergency. The announcement this week, ahead of the 45-day notice required by state law, allows additional time for impacted organizations to prepare for the end of the public health emergency. 
Governor Healey will also file legislation that would extend key flexibilities provided by the public health emergency, particularly around staffing for the health care industry and emergency medical services (EMS). The Governor also announced that on May 11 she plans to rescind Executive Order 595 that required all Executive Branch state employees to have received their primary series COVID-19 vaccines. 
“Thanks to the hard work of our health care providers and communities, we’ve made important progress in the fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Healey. “We know that we have the tools to manage this virus – vaccines, masking, testing, getting treatments and staying home when sick – and we’ve reached the point where we can update our guidance to reflect where we are now. I’d also like to acknowledge the leadership of Governor Baker and his administration, who saved countless lives by putting these important measures in place in a time of immense crisis.” 
“Executive Order No. 595 has been a successful tool for boosting vaccination rates and reducing the spread and severity of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. We’re grateful to the state employees who did their part to keep themselves, their coworkers and their communities safe,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll. “We encourage Massachusetts residents to continue taking important prevention measures to keep our communities healthy, like getting boosted, masking and staying home when you’re feeling sick.” 
“We are fortunate that in Massachusetts, the wide availability of vaccines, tests, effective treatments, and PPE changed the course of a pandemic that brought loss and hardship to so many. Three years on from the start of the pandemic, we are now in a very different place,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh. “While we will continue living with COVID-19, we can now incorporate the tools to manage this virus into our standing response to respiratory illness within our communities and healthcare system.” 
Governor Healey’s legislation would:  
•    Continue flexibilities currently in place regarding staffing for out-of-hospital dialysis centers. This would apply for 6 months to allow dialysis centers time to return to pre-COVID staffing levels.    
•    Authorize certain non-Medication Administration Program (MAP) certified staff to administer certain prepackaged medications in community settings. This would apply for 6 months to enable DPH to finalize reforms that streamline the MAP program training requirements. 
•    Allow staffing of Advanced Life Support level ambulance transports with a single EMT provider and a first responder driver (rather than 2 certified EMTs). This would be a permanent change based on the positive experience of this staffing model over the last three years. 
Executive Order No. 595 helped raise the percentage of fully vaccinated executive department employees from around 76 percent to over 99 percent. Mandates for staff in certain roles and settings will remain in place, per CMS and EOHHS regulations. 

Felix and Acosta introduce bill to reform solitary confinement

STATE HOUSE – When Brandon Robinson worked as a porter at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) in Cranston, it was his job to clean up after a suicide. 

“When a suicide would occur, it was my job to clean the blood off the walls and untie the knots in the sheets of those who took their lives.


Individuals taking their own lives was a regular occurrence,” Robinson said. “They would be in solitary so long they would start hallucinating, seeing things that aren’t there. They just couldn’t cope.”

A new bill by Sen. Jonathon Acosta (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket) and Rep. Leo Felix (D-Dist. 61, Pawtucket) (2023-S 0617) would establish an oversight committee to monitor the use of solitary confinement in Rhode Island.


The bill would also lay out clear guidelines for when solitary confinement could be used and when it couldn’t. The practice would be restricted to punishment for violent offences and prohibited, except in emergencies, for inmates with developmental or psychiatric disabilities and no one could be kept in solitary confinement for more than 22 hours each day.

The United Nations defines keeping inmates in solitary confinement for more than 22 hours a day as torture. Robinson and other former inmates say they were regularly kept alone in their cell for 23 or 24 hours a day.

“This bill is not about banning solitary confinement,” said Senator Acosta. “It’s about reforming the system to ensure accountability and ensure the practice is used as a last resort.”

Solitary confinement, also called restrictive housing, involves securing incarcerated individuals in a small cell, around eight by ten feet, without human contact.

Defenders of the practice say it is a necessary tool to maintain control in a difficult environment. By separating violent inmates from the general population, they argue, correctional officers can best keep inmates safe. And creating a disincentive to violent behavior, they say, is crucial to preventing fights.

But advocates argue that overusing solitary confinement is counterproductive and leads to more violence. They point to studies in states such as Massachusetts, Virginia, and Maine that all found lower reports of violent incidents after they restricted and regulated the use of solitary confinement.

“Solitary confinement is a cruel and ineffective approach to addressing violence in prisons and our communities,” said Representative Felix. “Studies show that prolonged isolation leads to severe psychological distress, particularly for individuals with serious mental illnesses, which can exacerbate the risk of violence. By limiting the use of this harmful practice, we can prioritize rehabilitation over punishment and, ultimately, create a safer society for all.”

Elisha Liberty, of Foster, says the system is often abused. Her sister, Charlene Liberty, had severe mental health issues and attempted suicide many times in solitary confinement. The case is the subject of a lawsuit by the RI ACLU.

“We need to have oversight to make sure correctional officers aren’t abusing their power,” Liberty said. “My sister was sick, she needed help. Locking her away with no human contact just made her deteriorate and led to her death.”

Robinson, who was raised and lives in Providence, served a fifteen-year sentence at the ACI and got out in 2019. He has since received his bachelor’s degree and is pursuing a master’s degree from Roger Williams University and organizing for reforms to how correctional officers use solitary confinement.
“I know there are stresses being a correctional officer, but they have no idea what it’s like being in solitary confinement. No idea,” he said. “When I was serving my time, I saw people who were violent who needed to be separated from the rest of the population. But I also saw people get put in solitary because their t-shirt wasn’t tucked in or they didn’t stand up fast enough at count. Right now, there’s no accountability, no regulations. A correctional officer having a bad day could literally torture you with no repercussions or oversight.”

Advocates also point to the fiscal costs of solitary confinement. Keeping an inmate at the high security center costs the state roughly $216,000 per year, according to the Department of Corrections 2021 annual report. 

“The staff at the ACI have a hard job, I understand that” said Senator Acosta. “They’ve told me they care about this problem, too, and want to make improvements. We want to work together to reform this system, because all Rhode Islanders have rights.”

_Patriots Make Splash By Signing Free-Agent WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

This story first appeared on Patriots. com


The Patriots add a much-needed playmaker to the offense with the addition of Smith-Schuster.

Evan Lazar
Staff Writer

The Patriots have made their first significant external free-agent addition of the offseason by signing former Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to a three-year contract, according to reports.

Smith-Schuster won Super Bowl LVII with Kansas City this past season in a bounce-back year. The former Steelers draft pick was second on the team behind superstar tight end Travis Kelce in targets (101), receptions (78), and receiving yards (933) in a campaign that more resembles his first four seasons in Pittsburgh rather than an injury-plagued 2021.


After the Patriots lost top wideout Jakobi Meyers to the Raiders this week, the 26-year-old is s a clear replacement for Meyers with a similar skill set. The one-time Pro Bowler possesses above-average quickness for a 6-foot-1 receiver, shows strong hands and physicality at the catch point, and runs similar routes with inside-outside alignment versatility.


Although there will certainly be overlap in how new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien deploys Smith-Schuster, there are a few areas where JuJu offers more playmaking upside than Meyers.


Smith-Schuster and Meyers are often referred to as big slot receivers, but the Pats newest pass-catcher presents more flexibility to play him on the outside. Last season, Smith-Schuster ran nearly 60 percent of his routes out wide, catching 49 passes for 544 yards.


Smith-Schuster can line up at the "X" receiver position and win contested catches, hauling in seven of his 15 contested targets. Mainly, the Chiefs would throw him jump balls on out-and-ups or have him use his body control and feel for the sideline on back-shoulder fades.


Along with offering a bit more on the outside, Smith-Schuster is an upgrade over Meyers in accumulating yards after the catch. He averaged 5.9 yards after the catch and forced nine missed tackles as a ball carrier in 2022. For comparison, Meyers accumulated 3.6 yards after the catch per reception and only forced two missed tackles, per PFF.


It remains to be seen whether or not Smith-Schuster can grasp the offense, develop a comparable repertoire with quarterback Mac Jones, and be as consistent as Meyers was in his four seasons in New England.


However, you can see why the Patriots would view Smith-Schuster as a more dynamic playmaker while maintaining the chain-moving and security blanket-style traits Meyers brought to the offense.


New England needs to aggressively pursue upgrades at wide receiver this offseason, especially following Meyers's departure to Las Vegas, and is starting to do so with this move.

S&P Sustains City's Bond Rating, Citing "Very Strong Management" and Economic Benefits of Offshore Wind Development

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings cited “very strong management with strong financial management practices” along with the diversification of the city’s economy with the advent of offshore wind energy projects like Vineyard Wind, in the agency’s decision to award the City of New Bedford a AA/Positive long-term rating, and a AA-/Stable underlying rating.


The rating was issued in conjunction with the City’s sale this week of $29 million in bonds and $16 million in bond anticipation notes (BANs).

“New Bedford’s economic profile has benefited from efforts to diversify the city’s traditional dependence on fishing and port activities, as well as from the relative affordability of the city and investments to support offshore wind development,” according to S&P’s latest report on the City’s finances.  The report also noted the City’s efforts to maintain “consistent finances with the maintenance of adequate reserves.”

“Well-embedded financial-management policies” also played a positive role, with S&P citing the City’s adherence to policies governing capital planning, debt management, and operating reserves.
“S&P’s rating is a direct reflection of the professionalism and dedication of both our economic development and finance teams,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said.

Mitchell added, “Our work to grow and diversify the local economy, and our careful management of the City Budget, are paying off.  The result is a favorable credit rating which helps hold down the interest rate on city borrowings, and that translates into savings for local taxpayers.”

The City plans to use the proceeds from the bond sale to fund various capital projects, including public safety, communications, infrastructure, and school renovations.

Bristol Community College to honor outstanding and inspiring alumni at the Bristol Awards on April 20

Join Bristol Community College for the annual Bristol Awards, an event created to honor the efforts of an outstanding and inspiring group of alumni. The Bristol Awards event will be held on Thursday, April 20, 2023, with a gathering from 6 to 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and awards from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in the Commonwealth College Center (G Building), on the Bristol Fall River Campus, 777 Elsbree Street. 
The cost is $50 per person to attend. Please RSVP and register by April 6, 2023, by calling 774.357.2007 or by visiting Please send checks payable to: 

Bristol Community College Foundation 
777 Elsbree Street, D109 
Fall River, MA 02720 
The Paragon Award is the most distinguished award given to a graduate of Bristol Community College. Inspiring alumni will also be honored in the event’s annual categories, including the Black or African American Alumnus, Maury Kusinitz Volunteer of the Year and the Alumni Service Awards. 
2023 Bristol Paragon Award Recipient: Paul E. Coogan ‘74, of Fall River, Mass. 
Fall River Mayor Paul E. Coogan earned his associate degree in 1974 from Bristol Community College and received his Bachelor of Science in 1976 from Southeastern Massachusetts University (now UMass Dartmouth). Paul later earned a Master of Science in 1996 from California College for Health Sciences. 

Paul worked in the Fall River Public Schools for more than 30 years in a variety of roles, such as a teacher, program director and vice-principal. From 2016 to 2017, he was a SMILES Mentor Recruiter at People Incorporated. 

From 2016 to 2019, Paul proudly served as an elected official on the Fall River School Committee. Before that, he served as Chairman of the Greater Fall River Regional Vocational School Committee. Paul was elected Mayor of Fall River in 2019. 

Blending his personal passion for running and fitness with a commitment to community, Paul has volunteered as race director for the Westport Long Run, Fall River 5k and Girls that Rock 5k. He has completed seven Boston Marathons and enjoys spending time with his wife, Judi. 
2023 Black or African American Alumna Award: Chelsie Stephenson ’15, of Fall River, Mass. 
2023 Maury Kusinitz Volunteer of the Year Award: Bristol Community College Mobile Food Market Volunteer Group. 

2023 Alumni Service Awards: 

Clifford Clement ’74, of Somerset, Mass. 
Maiza M. Silva ’06, of Fall River, Mass. 

Shellise Jackson ’16, ’18, of Fall River, Mass. 

For more information about the Bristol Community College Foundation’s Bristol Awards, please visit

Fall River Assault Conviction

A 25-year-old Fall River man who assaulted three senior citizens who were holding “Back the Blue” signs outside the Fall River Police Station last October was sentenced to serve jail time last Thursday in Fall River District Court,” Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.


Jajuan Torres pled guilty in district court to three counts of assault and battery on a person over the age of 60.


 Judge Thomas Barrett sentenced the defendant to two years in the Bristol County House of Corrections, with 120 days to serve and the balance of the sentence suspended for two years.  If the defendant gets in further trouble during those two years, he will be liable to serve the entirety of the jail sentence.  The judge also ordered him to undergo mental health treatment.


The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Henry Sousa. 


On October 29, 2022, Fall River Police responded to the police station parking lot and observed the defendant confronting three older men holding "Back the Blue" signs.  


The defendant slapped a 66-year-old man in the head in front of the officers.  An  84-year-old man then told police that prior to their arrival, the defendant had approached him and demanded he give him the sign he was holding. When the victim refused, the defendant tried to grab it from him, pushing him to the ground in the process.  A 64-year-old man attempted to intervene, which resulted in the defendant spitting on him and slapping him in the head. When the men told the defendant they were going to call 911, the defendant said he would "slap the (expletive) out of you guys for calling the police." 


Two of the victims appeared in court during last Thursday’s plea hearing and were pleased with the disposition of the case.  They both addressed the court and expressed forgiveness to the defendant, and said they hope he gets the help he needs.  This is the defendant’s first felony conviction.


“This conduct is simply unacceptable especially when directed at older victims, who were exercising their First Amendment rights. I am pleased that the defendant was held accountable for his actions,” District Attorney Quinn said. 

Former NBPD Officer Accused of Stealing City-Owned Property

Police have arrested a former New Bedford officer accused of stealing city-owned property and dealing drugs. According to CBS 12 in Providence, 54 year old Stephen Greany, was taken into custody after detectives found numerous stolen items in his Francis Street home including a gaming console, fire alarms, and a bulletproof vest, among other items. Police believe Greany stole those items from the city while working for the Department of Fleet and Facilities Management. Continued search found that he was in possession of more than two pounds of marijuana, roughly 130  pills, steroid , suboxone as well as 49 rounds of ammunition and $6,400 in cash in his home. Greany is facing several charges, including larceny and possession with intent to distribute class B and D substances.

_Jakobi Meyers signs three-year deal with Raiders

According to reports, the Patriots will lose their leading receiver to Josh McDaniels and the Raiders.

Mike Dussault Writer

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, free agent wide receiver Jakobi Meyers intends to sign a three-year deal with Las Vegas that will reunite him with Josh McDaniels, his offensive coordinator for the first three years of his career.

Meyers broke into the league as an undrafted rookie in 2019, where his consistency and continuous improvement earned him early accolades during his first training camp. He'd be active for 15 games as a rookie, grabbing 26 receptions from Tom Brady during Brady's final year with the Pats.


Meyers continued to ascend in 2020 with Cam Newton under center, improving to 59 catches while also throwing two touchdowns. That production again grew in his third season with his third different starting quarterback, Mac Jones. Meyers' 83 catches that year led the team, while he also finally picked up his first two receiving touchdowns at long last


. It was a breakout year for the receiver, however 2022 was a challenging injury year for Meyers, as he missed three games but battled through bumps and bruises all season long while playing under a second-round RFA tender. He still picked up 67 catches and posted six touchdowns as he fought through those injuries.


Meyers was one of those special receivers that don't happen very often, an undrafted player who surpasses even a first-round pick at his position selected in the same year. He produced no matter which quarterback was throwing him the ball, from the greatest of all time to a rookie. It's little surprise that Josh McDaniels made the effort to reunite with Meyers, his reliability and locker room presence alone ensure that the Raiders are getting a player that will positively impact their team on and off the field.


For the Patriots, it leaves a major hole in their receiver room but his departure isn't entirely shocking. Meyers was a security blanket for Mac Jones and had a knack for coming up with tough catches in critical moments, they'll need to find a way to replace that important production. With potential outside threats like DeVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton, New England should put a renewed focus on the middle of the field and provide Mac with a similar option capable of quickly getting open and coming down with the ball.


There are a number of intriguing options in that regard, especially in the draft like personal favorites Zay Flowers, Josh Downs and Jayden Reed, while a lackluster free agency group that was headlined by Meyers offers some veteran flier options like Parris Campbell or Jamison Crowder but little in the way of clear upgrade.

Healey-Driscoll Administration Announces Funding for Swim Lessons

BOSTON — In an effort to increase access to swimming lessons and enhance water safety, the Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced funding for the Safe Water Initiative Massachusetts (SWIM) program to expand free swimming lessons to children and adults across the Commonwealth.


The SWIM Request for Responses (RFR) makes available $350,000 for nonprofit and private entities, enabling these partner organizations to offer free, beginner swim lessons to Massachusetts residents of all ages.  

Fall River Homicide Victim

At 10:52 pm on Monday,  New Bedford Police were notified that the Shot Spotter system detected shots fired in the area of Dartmouth Street at Dunbar Street. 


Responding officers located the victim, Derek Pires, 29, of Fall River, sitting in the driver’s seat of a black Dodge Charger parked on the south side of Dunbar Street.  


The victim had sustained gunshots wounds and was rushed to Saint Luke’s Hospital, Where he was pronounced deceased at 1:30 am today. He was the sole occupant in the vehicle.


Homicide Unit prosecutors, Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the district attorney's office and New Bedford Police are actively investigating.  Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, no further information about the facts of the case can be disseminated at this time,


If anyone has information regarding this incident, they are urged to call 508-991-6300 or to utilize the New Bedford Police Anonymous Tip Line at 508 961-4584.

Speeding on I95 Leads to Fatal Crash

Police have arrested a 19-year-old man accused of causing a deadly crash in Braintree last month. According to CBS 12 in Providence, Hedweens Quetant of Boston, has been charged with manslaughter, vehicular homicide by negligent operation, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, racing a motor vehicle and witness intimidation as massachusetts State Police believe Quetant was racing another driver that investigators believe his car was going roughly 120 mph on Interstate 93 North when he crashed into 46 year old Michael Wojdag’s SUV who was ejected from his vehicle and suffered life-threatening injuries. He was rushed to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Wojdag’s passengers, identified by police as a 45-year-old woman and a teenager, suffered minor injuries in the crash


Neither Quetant nor the four passengers in his vehicle were injured.

A New Mayor Sworn in Attleboro

According to CBS 12 in Providence, the new mayor of Attleboro was sworn into office Saturday morning at City Hall. The 56 year old Mayor Cathleen DeSimone officially takes over the city'S government today beating out acting Mayor James Dilisio during a special election last week. Dilisio had been serving as acting mayor since former Mayor Paul Heroux became Bristol County Sheriff.

Providence in the Field of 68

The Providence Friars are the #11 seed in the NCAA East Region, and will matchup with #6 seed Kentucky Friday Night at 7pm , as the Field of 68  for the Division One Men's Basketball National Championship was announced Sunday. 

Providence made it to the Sweet 16 one year ago.  

Governor Healey Issues Statement on Silicon Valley Bank

BOSTON – Massachusetts Governor Maura T. Healey and Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao today issued the following statements on the FDIC’s appointment as the receiver of Silicon Valley Bank. 
Governor Maura T. Healey: 
“We have been closely monitoring the situation with Silicon Valley Bank. I have spoken with federal regulators and the White House, and they understand the impact of the situation on Massachusetts.


I have also spoken with members of the business and banking communities and our state and federal delegation. Our administration is actively working to support individuals and businesses affected by SVB’s closure and to find solutions to help them address immediate needs, including putting supports in place to ensure that small businesses and employees do not experience significant disruptions.


We will continue to be in dialogue with decision-makers and support all efforts to preserve the strength and stability of our markets and protect jobs, businesses, non-profits and our economy. We have confidence in the strength of our regional banks and banking operations.” 
Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao: 
“My office has been working throughout the weekend to gather data on the impact of Silicon Valley Bank’s closure here in Massachusetts and to assess how sectors of our economy may be affected in the days ahead. We know Massachusetts may be uniquely impacted by this situation due to our strong technology, innovation, and life sciences sectors and because SVB had a broad client base here, including nonprofits, individuals and others.


We are confident in the FDIC’s process in resolving bank closures and in the Massachusetts banking sector. The Healey-Driscoll Administration is working across secretariats to develop creative solutions to help businesses and individuals meet their needs and fill gaps where necessary.” 

Eastern Daylight Time Returns at 2am

This is the weekend when most of the United States returns to Daylight Savings Time. 


Most of your digital clocks will move up one hour by themselves; you''ll need to reset your battery operated clocks by yourself. 

Taunton Criminal Conviction

A 38-year-old Taunton man was convicted by a jury in Taunton District Court last week of digitally raping and molesting his girlfriend’s pre-teen daughter and received the maximum penalty allowed by law in the district court level, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
Joel Carrion Mercado was convicted by a Jury of Six after a two-day trial of two counts of rape of a child and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14.  The jury deliberated for about two-and-a-half hours before returning its guilty verdicts.  Judge Daniel Hourihan immediately sentenced the defendant to the maximum two-and-a-half years in the House of Corrections and placed him on supervised probation for an additional three years.  The defendant must register as a sex offenders and have no contact with the victim.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Abbey Barr. 
The young victim was the Commonwealth’s sole witness in the case.  During her testimony, she detailed two incidents in late 2020 when the defendant entered her bedroom late at night while she was sleeping, pulled down her pants and digitally raped her.  She also testified to at least two other incident of molestation in 2021 with a very similar pattern of behavior involving the defendant creeping into her bedroom late at night.
Eventually, the young girl worked up the courage to tell a friend that the man she viewed as “a second father” had been molesting her.  That friend told her father about what the victim had confided to her, at which point the friend’s father informed the victim’s biological father about it.  The victim’s biological father immediately reported the matter to Taunton Police.
“I am pleased the jury found the defendant accountable for repeatedly molesting the young victim. Unfortunately had had access to the girl due to a relationship with the mother which left him alone with the girl at night.  I commend the young victim for her courage in coming forward and taking part in the prosecution, which is a difficult ordeal for anyone, let alone a young victim,” District Attorney Quinn said.

Healey-Driscoll Administration Proposes $240 Million Investment in Department of Developmental Services Programs

Secretary Walsh and Commissioner Ryder visit DDS-supported programs in Northampton that provide key services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities


NORTHAMPTON, MA – Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh today joined Commissioner of Disability Services Jane Ryder and local municipal and legislative leaders on a visit to DDS-supported programs to highlight key funding for disability services in the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s FY24 budget proposal. On a tour of Pathlight’s Milestones Day Program, Family Empowerment Center, and Autism Connections Support Center, as well as ServiceNet’s Rooster Cafe, Secretary Walsh and Commissioner Ryder met with staff and program participants to discuss the impact of this critical funding on day and employment supports. 


The Healey-Driscoll Administration’s FY24 budget proposal, announced last week, allocates over $240 million toward Department of Developmental Services (DDS) day and work programs and allocates an additional $204.5 million in annualized rate increases to support the direct care workforce. The budget proposal also allocates $98 million to DDS Family Support and Respite services, in addition to increasing funding toward DDS adult autism services to $52.5 million next fiscal year.

USACE announces upcoming work on Railroad Bridge will cause Canal closures for marine traffic

CONCORD, Mass. (March 10, 2023) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District announced today that work on the Cape Cod Canal Vertical Lift Railroad Bridge in Bourne, Mass., near Buzzards Bay, will begin March 13, 2023, and last approximately two weeks.


To complete the rehabilitation and replacement of critical bridge components, the Railroad Bridge will be lowered each day from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Cape Cod Canal will be closed to all marine traffic when the bridge is being worked on.


Bridge work will be conducted March 13-17 and March 20-24, and USACE officials stated the Canal will be re-opened as early as safely possible each workday. The schedule is weather dependent and the number of days with scheduled closures will be reduced if work progresses faster than predicted. 


USACE safety boats will be stationed at both ends of the Canal to warn approaching vessels. Maritime questions should be directed to the Duty Marine Traffic Controller at the Cape Cod Canal Field Office by calling (978) 318-8500 or utilizing VHF Channel 14. 


All U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District news releases are available online at

New Bedford Announces $3 Million in Investments to Reduce Homelessness and Address Affordable Housing and Housing Instability through HOME-ARP Plan

New Bedford, Massachusetts – Mayor Jon Mitchell has announced the city has allocated over three million dollars of HOME-American Rescue Plan Program (HOME-ARP) funding to reduce homelessness and increase housing stability in New Bedford.


The HOME-ARP Allocation Plan, which will be up for approval by the City Council on Thursday, March 9th, includes $900,000 for the development of affordable rental housing, $700,000 for development of shelter beds for the unhoused, $500,000 for rental assistance programs, and nearly $600,000 for non-profits to provide supportive services and community housing development initiatives.


These investments are in addition to those made available through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), Continuum of Care (CoC), and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) programs. 


“New Bedford residents have not been spared from state and national trends of escalating housing costs,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “These funds will be a critical part of an overall strategy to ease the burden of rising housing costs for our residents.”


HOME-ARP funding, allocated by the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), is the most recent federal relief package created to assist states, counties and local governments address the negative economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. The ARP Act appropriated funds to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for distribution under its HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME). The City of New Bedford has been advised by HUD it will receive a total allocation of $3,175,399 in HOME-ARP funding upon submission of its plan.


In developing the plan, the Office of Housing & Community Development (OHCD) conducted several public meetings, held consultations with stakeholders, and conducted a survey of residents.  The final draft of the plan was then made available for a 15-day public comment period.

Liberty Delivers During Record-Breaking Cold Investment in Infrastructure Key to Strong Performance

Fall River, MA, March 9, 2023 - In early February, Massachusetts experienced record-breaking cold temperatures that put Liberty’s natural gas distribution system to the test. Despite a large increase in gas usage from customers to keep their homes and business warm, Liberty’s system performed exceptionally well. 
The ability of the system to continue providing customers with safe and reliable service can largely be attributed to Liberty’s commitment to complete upgrades to our underground gas piping as part of the Gas System Enhancement Program (GSEP). 
“Extremely cold and sustained temperatures like the ones experienced have the potential to really disrupt gas service to customers. While it may not be something we experience often, we are committed to ensuring our customers have constant access to natural gas” said Tatiana Roc, President, Liberty - Massachusetts. 
To continue the quest for optimal performance, Liberty intends to resume construction activities on their natural gas distribution system beginning in early March. In addition to improving reliability, these improvements will also reduce methane emissions. 
Work is scheduled to begin the week of March 20th in the Columbia Street neighborhood in Fall River. Liberty recognizes this project may cause some inconvenience for residents, businesses, and commuters. We will do our best to minimize disruption and keep communities informed. 
“We realize that street construction in a busy city like Fall River can be intrusive and frustrating for residents and visitors. The improvements we are making to our gas distribution system will enhance safety and reliability and will ensure customers have access to natural gas when they need it most,” said Roc. 
Some other projects that will take place in Fall River over the 2023 construction season include: 
•    The Abbot Court Playground area - Birch St (Bay St to S. Main St) 

•    Bedford St area including Bedford St (N. Main St to Robeson St) and many side streets 

•    Ferry St (Columbia St area) including Columbia St, Hope St, Rodman St and many side 

•    Globe St (between Bay St and S. Main St) and many side streets 

•    Quequechan Preserve Area -Judson St and York St 

•    N. Main St area - Between Wilson Rd and Rt79 overpass including many side streets 

•    The Oak Grove Cemetery neighborhood (east) including Locust St (Ratcliffe St to N. 
Eastern Ave) and side streets 

•    The Cook Pond area including Kilburn St, Tripp St, Tuttle and side streets 
Liberty performs this work in compliance with local, state and federal regulations, and all projects are subject to Department of Public Utilities oversight. Liberty also works closely with local municipal officials to coordinate GSEP work with their own infrastructure improvement projects, such as new water and sewer mains and road reconstruction, to minimize disruptions. Liberty and its subcontractors carry photo identification for verification. 
If customers or residents have questions about the construction work taking place in 2023, Please contact Liberty at 1-800-544-4944. Updates and information will be available at as well as on Twitter and Facebook. 

New Bedford Molester Conviction

A 50-year-old New Bedford man was sentenced to the maximum allowable jail sentence last week after being convicted at trial in New Bedford District Court of molesting his pre-teen stepdaughter on multiple occasions, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.


A Jury of Six in New Bedford District Court last week deliberated for about two hours before finding Gerson Pascual-Santana guilty of all three counts of Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under the Age of 14.  The trial was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Karlyn Butler.


After the conviction was announced, Judge Douglas Darnbrough sentenced the defendant to the maximum two-and-a-half years in the House of Corrections on count one, an additional one year in the House of Corrections on count two and eight years of probation on count three.


 The defendant will serve three-and-a-half years in jail, to be followed by eight years of probation.  He also must register as a sex offender, have no contact with the victim and undergo sex offender treatment.


On March 11, 2020, the 10-year-old girl was in school taking part in a classroom exercise called “Warrior Wednesday,” during which students are encouraged top share examples of times they showed bravery by overcoming something difficult.  It was at this time that the victim disclosed the abuse to her teacher and class.


After the teacher reported the matter to the authorities, the victim took part in a forensic interview at the Bristol County Children’s Advocacy Center, where she recounted at least three incidents of molestation.


Despite the fact that her mother and grandparents all testified on behalf of the defendant during the trial, the young victim overcame these difficult obstacles and testified in open court about the abuse she suffered through.  Her courageous and credible testimony was supported by that of her teacher, whose own testimony corroborated what the girl told the jury.


“The defendant, who unfortunately had access to the victim due to his relationship with her mother, molested the victim on several occasions. It’s extremely sad that the victim’s mother and grandparents supported the defendant in this case,” District Attorney Quinn said.  “I commend the victim for persevering through very difficult circumstances.  She was clearly vindicated by the jury’s verdict. I hope by the courage she has displayed that she can move forward with her life.”

MassDOT Advisory: Fall River Overnight Bridge Maintenance Operations on President Avenue (Route 6) Bridge and Meridian Street Bridge over Route 24 Sunday, March 12, to Friday March 31

Work will occur weekly, from Sunday night to Friday morning, during overnight hours from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. 
Temporary lane and shoulder closures will be in place

FALL RIVER - The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is announcing it will be performing overnight bridge maintenance operations on the President Avenue (Route 6) Bridge and on the Meridian Street Bridge located over Route 24 in Fall River.


 The work is scheduled to be conducted weekly, from Sunday night to Friday morning, from Sunday, March 12, to Friday March 31, during overnight hours from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.  All work is anticipated to be concluded by 5:00 a.m. on Friday, March 31.


Standard temporary traffic control management operations will be utilized including the use of police details for various lane and shoulder closures on Route 24 northbound and southbound in Fall River. A minimum of one travel lane will be maintained at all times in both directions. 


Drivers who are traveling through the affected areas should expect delays, reduce speed, and use caution. 
All scheduled work is weather dependent and/or may be impacted due to an emergency situation. 

Diocese of Fall River Announces Closure of Bishop Connolly High School

(FALL RIVER, MA) – The Diocese of Fall River announced today that Bishop Connolly High School will cease operations at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.


 Despite the Diocese’s best efforts to maintain the operational and financial viability of this school, the continued decline in enrollment and substantial financial impact of the pandemic and current economic environment have proven unsustainable.  

Over the past many years, the Diocese of Fall River has worked very hard to maintain educational excellence, expand enrollment and recruitment activities, and bolster financial aid opportunities at Bishop Connolly High School.  


Despite these efforts, Bishop Connolly has experienced a significant decline in enrollment and, as a result, the Diocese has spent over $1 million to sustain the school over the past five years.  The Diocese no longer has the resources to continue to keep Bishop Connolly operational. 

“While we sincerely regret having to close Bishop Connolly, our ultimate goal is to strengthen Catholic education in the Diocese for the future,” said Daniel S. Roy, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Fall River.  “We are committed to helping families transition to other Diocesan Catholic high schools and to make the process as seamless as possible.”

“We continue to experience very challenging times that have put an even greater financial strain on many families,” stated Bishop Edgar da Cunha, S.D.V., of the Diocese of Fall River. “So many people have extraordinary needs amidst this economic uncertainty, and the Diocese needs to leverage its precious resources to an even greater extent.  We are confident that our Catholic school leadership will provide both pastoral support and educational guidance to all affected families so that their children can transition and be welcomed into a new Catholic school family.”

Parent Zoom meetings with the school leadership have been scheduled to address the following:

?      Admissions to other Diocesan high schools
?      Tuition and financial aid
?      Transportation
?      Additional family questions  

For over a century, Catholic schools have educated thousands of children in the Diocese of Fall River.  Today, there are over 5300 students from six weeks old through 12th grade in 19 Catholic schools from Attleboro to Cape Cod.  Catholic education continues to be recognized for its rigorous academic education, while providing the moral and faith formation according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Healey-Driscoll Administration Holds Law Enforcement Training To Enhance Missing Persons and Unidentified Human Remains Investigations The Administration's Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Commits $300,000 to Establish a Statewide Missing and Unidentified Person

 The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced a statewide training for 300 members of law enforcement focused on missing persons and unidentified human remains investigations.


The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), in coordination with the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) and the Massachusetts State Police (MSP), hosted a virtual training on March 7, 2023, to offer municipal police agencies advanced education on best practices, digital evidence techniques, and a review of forensic services to bolster investigations and support improved outcomes. 

In addition, the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Budget proposes $300,000 to establish a Missing and Unidentified Persons Coordination Unit that will support municipal law enforcement and strengthen statewide coordination on the handling of missing and unidentified persons cases.


The new unit will designate several full-time positions at the state level to enhance stakeholder collaboration, advance continued policy development, participate in the development of training curriculum, and lead the standardization of data collection and uniform reporting. 

_Massachusetts Gas Prices Down 2 Cents

Westwood, MA, March 6, 2023 — The average gas price in Massachusetts is down 2 cents from last week ($3.29), averaging $3.27 per gallon. Today’s price is 15 cents lower than a month ago ($3.42), and 80 cents lower than March 6, 2022 ($4.07). Massachusetts’ average gas price is 13 cents lower than the national average.


“With demand up and inventories down in the region, some higher prices locally don’t come as a surprise,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. "Another reason is that the seasonal switch to summer blend gasoline is underway, which may account for this bounce in pump prices.”


AAA Northeast’s March 6 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 4 cents higher than last week ($3.36), averaging $3.40 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 7 cents lower than a month ago ($3.47), and is 60 cents lower than this day last year ($4.00).

Saturday-3-11-23 Annual Rehoboth-Seekonk Rabies Clinic

9:00 AM-12:00 PM - Seekonk Public Safety Building - 500 Taunton Avenue (Route 44-Make right at the yellow blinking light-parking lot on left.)
Annual Rehoboth-Seekonk Rabies Clinic
Saturday, March 11, 2023

Time:  9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Address:     Seekonk Public Safety Building

500 Taunton Avenue (Route 44) - Make a right by the blinking light.
Seekonk, MA 02771

Cost:  $15.00 Cash Only - For the vaccination. 

The Rehoboth Town Clerk's Office will be present to process your dog's 2023 license.  
2023 Dog License Fees:  $10-Spayed/Neutered or $20-Female/Male (Intact) 

Payment can be made, for the 2023 license, by Cash, Check or Credit Card ($1 transaction fee will be applied on credit card sales; .40 cents for EFT)   
The Rabies clinic is open to Rehoboth and Seekonk animal owners as well as non-residents. Cats and ferrets must be in a secured carrier, dogs on leashes. For MA and RI animal owners, in order to be issued a MA three-year Rabies certificate you must bring either a certificate for a Rabies vaccination dated between 3/12/22 and 6/12/22, or a previous MA or RI three year Rabies certificate from your veterinarian. You can also bring last year’s Rabies certificate as documentation. A one year vaccination certificate will be issued if you do not have your current rabies certificate.  The clinic is open to dogs, cats and ferrets.  Dr. Truesdale from Central Ave Veterinary Hospital will be administering the vaccinations.

McGaw submits bill to enable composting as an alternative to burial, cremation Legislation would make greener option available in R.I.

STATE HOUSE – After hearing from numerous constituents interested in reducing their impact on the planet in perpetuity, Rep. Michelle McGaw has introduced legislation to allow natural organic reduction — sometimes referred to as “human composting” — as an alternative to cremation or burial.

“Not everyone is comfortable with the impact of burial, which occupies land, or cremation, which emits a significant amount of carbon,” said Representative McGaw (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton). “Natural organic reduction is a greener alternative that may be preferable for those concerned about how their final wishes affect the planet. I have constituents who would like to have this option available, so I introduced this bill to start the conversation about whether and how to offer this possibility in Rhode Island.”

Natural organic reduction is performed indoors in specialized facilities equipped with vessels in which deceased bodies are placed along with organic matter that helps speed the natural decomposition process. The chambers keep the vessels warm, between 130 to 160 degrees, and the contents are “blended” regularly over the course of four to seven weeks. The result is about a cubic yard of nutrient-dense soil. 

Washington state legalized the practice in 2019, and since then five more states, including New York have followed suit.

Representative McGaw’s legislation, which she introduced Thursday, establishes laws for the creation and operation of natural organic reduction facilities in Rhode Island. The facilities would be licensed and regulated by the Department of Health, which would be responsible for enforcing all applicable health and safety regulations. 

Under the bill as written, once the process is complete, the resulting material would need to be scattered in a cemetery in a designated garden or area there; placed in a grave, crypt or niche; or retrieved by the family of the deceased.

The process is designed to reduce the impact on the earth, compared to burial or cremation. Burial involves occupying land and uses resources involved in caskets, grave liners and gravestones. Cremation requires the burning of fossil fuel and results in average of 534 pounds of carbon in the atmosphere per cremation – the equivalent of driving a car 500 miles.

Representative McGaw said she expects the bill would undergo changes during the legislative process, and that she introduced it as a start to the conversation – albeit one that, like many matters concerning death, may make some people uncomfortable. But others will find comfort in the prospect of going to their final resting place as part of the earth, helping to support life in the future.

“For people who have respected the earth and tried to lighten their impact on it in life, it makes sense to also want to take the greenest, most environmentally beneficial route in death. This is an option that we should work to make available here in Rhode Island, for our people and for our planet,” said Representative McGaw.

Defendant also allegedly attempted to stab a flight attendant in the neck

BOSTON – A Leominster, Mass. man has been arrested and charged for allegedly attempting to open an emergency exit door while aboard a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston and then allegedly attempting to stab a flight attendant in the neck.


Francisco Severo Torres, 33, was charged with one count of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon. Torres was arrested last evening at Boston Logan International Airport and, following an initial appearance today before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Dein, was detained pending a hearing set for March 9, 2023. 


According to the charging documents, on March 5, 2023, Torres was a passenger aboard a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston. Approximately 45 minutes prior to landing, the flight crew received an alarm in the cockpit that a starboard side door located between the first class and coach sections of the aircraft was disarmed.


Upon inspection, a flight attendant found that the door’s locking handle had been moved out of the fully locked position – approximately a quarter of the way towards the towards the unlocked position – and that the emergency slide arming lever had been moved to the “disarmed” position. The flight attendant reported this to the captain and flight crew after securing the door and emergency slide. 


In subsequent discussions, a fellow flight attendant reported that he had observed Torres near the door and believed Torres had tampered with the door. A flight attendant then confronted Torres about tampering with the door, to which he allegedly responded by asking if there were cameras showing that he had done so. According to court documents, the flight attendant then notified the captain that they believed Torres posed a threat to the aircraft and that the captain needed to land the aircraft as soon as possible.  


Shortly thereafter, it is alleged that Torres got out of his seat and approached the starboard side door where two flight attendants were standing in the aisle. One of the flight attendants saw Torres mouthing something that he could not hear.


Torres then allegedly thrust towards one of the flight attendants in a stabbing motion with a broken metal spoon, hitting the flight attendant on the neck area three times. Passengers then tackled Torres and he was restrained with the assistance of flight crew. Torres was immediately taken into custody upon the flight’s arrival to Boston.  

It is alleged that during subsequent interviews, passengers who were aboard the flight reported that Torres asked a fellow passenger where on the safety card it showed where the door handle was located during the flight attendants’ safety briefing prior to takeoff and that Torres was seen pacing in a galley before attacking the flight attendant. 

The charge of interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon 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. 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.

A Look Into Prison Suicides in Bristol County

A nationally recognized expert on suicide prevention in correctional facilities has started an assessment of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office.


Lindsay M. Hayes, who headed the U.S. Justice Department’s only nationwide reviews of correctional suicides, arrived at the Bristol County House of Corrections Monday morning and met with Sheriff Paul Heroux and BCSO staff to begin his review.


“We have a blindspot somewhere,” Sheriff Heroux said. “Lindsay brings decades of experience in the field of jail suicides and will be a fresh set of eyes on our policies, procedures and operations around inmate suicide.”


Hayes will spend three days on site at both the House of Corrections in Dartmouth and the Ash Street Jail in New Bedford. He began his review with a walk-through with mental health clinicians visiting inmates on suicide watches.


Other areas he will look at include training data, booking procedures and screening, vendor relations with the BCSO’s medical partner, Correctional Psychiatric Services, and a review of five years’ worth of suicide incidents and mortality reviews.


He aims to have a report with his findings and recommendations completed in a month or so. The report, he said, will look at eight areas: Training, admission/screening, communication, housing, observation, intervention/emergency response, incident reports and investigative review.


Since 1983, Hayes has served as a consultant in providing staff training and program assessment/development services in the area of suicide prevention in correctional facilities to various county and state jurisdictions throughout the country.  He has also served as the suicide prevention consultant to the Special Litigation Section of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in their investigations of conditions of confinement in various correctional facilities. He has worked with the Mass. Department of Corrections and several other county correctional systems in the Bay State.

Hayes lives on Cape Cod and previously lived in Mansfield.

New Bedford Domestic Violence Conviction

A repeat domestic abuser from New Bedford who violently attacked and strangled his girlfriend in June 2021 was sentenced to serve four years in state prison last Friday in Fall River Superior Court, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.


Abdul Yakubu, 36, pled guilty to indictments charging him with Strangulation, Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, and Domestic Assault and Battery-Subsequent offense.


On June 30, 2021, New Bedford Police responded to a 911 call from the victim’s Belleville Avenue neighbor.  When they arrived, the found the female victim to have bruising on her cheeks, eyelids, forehead and neck. Police also noted a broken doorframe when they entered the apartment. 


The victim stated that the defendant, who had been her boyfriend for about three weeks, pulled her by the hair, strangled her with his hands and repeatedly punched her in the face.  After throwing her to the floor and kicking her, the defendant left the apartment.  


Shortly thereafter, he kicked in the front door and re-entered the apartment to assault her again by pushing her on the bed and strangling her.


The defendant has served multiple jail and prison sentences for domestic violence in the past and has had at least eight restraining orders filed against him by at least three separate victims.


The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Courtney Cahill and the state prison sentence was imposed by Judge Raffi Yessayan.  The defendant was also placed on supervised probation for an additional three years.


“This defendant has a history of serious violence against women and has served already served prison time. He is clearly a danger to women and needs to be kept off the streets to protect them,” District Attorney Quinn said.

Gun Fired in New Bedford

A 22-year-old was arrested in New Bedford after he allegedly fired a gun multiple times in the area of Cove Street and Rodney French Boulevard Saturday night. According to CBS 12 in Providence, New Bedford police  responded to the area around 11 and were able to locate the suspect based on a witness description. Police then approached the suspect, later identified as Wilber Alvarado, who fled on foot into a house when police finally got him into custody. Police said they then found that Alvarado had concealed a loaded Glock 22 handgun in a bag of potting soil and in possession of crack cocaine.


Alvarado was charged with disorderly conduct, possession of a high-capacity firearm and ammunition without a license, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, and possession of a class “B” substance. 

Fall River Man Brings Gun to Trampoline Park

According to CBS 12 in Providence, a Fall River man is facing charges after he allegedly brought a loaded handgun into a children’s trampoline park this past weekend. Officers were called to Funz Trampoline Park in New Bedford around 7 p.m. on Saturday for the report  When the suspect, identified as 32-year-old Chantra Say, saw the police upon their arrival, he attempted to hand a bag to another person, who refused to take it then threw the bag into a nearby garbage can. Say resisted arrest but police say they were eventually able to place him under arrest and take him into custody. The bag was located containing a loaded 9 mm handgun, with 13 rounds of ammunition inside.


Say is currently on probation for assault with intent to commit murder and possession of a firearm for his involvement in a 2010 shooting and has been charged with carrying a high-capacity firearm, possession of ammunition, and resisting arrest.

Might MA Have Some $ For You?

Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg has announced the latest grouping of names added to the state's list of unclaimed property owners, and fortunately for you this is one shot that Tuukka Rask can’t stop.

Over 50,000 new properties worth millions of dollars belong to individuals and businesses throughout the Commonwealth including Tom Brady, David Ortiz, Kevin Garnett, and Tuuuuuuukka Rask. 
This is no Hail Mary pass; it is more of a slam dunk when you visit One in ten Massachusetts residents are owed money. And unlike athletes that retire, your unclaimed property is always on the roster.  

“As Tom Brady likes to say, let’s go!” said State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg. “And to quote Kevin Garnett after winning the 2008 NBA Championship, anything is possible……. especially when you visit” 

Unclaimed property includes forgotten savings and checking accounts, un-cashed checks, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, dividends, and the contents of unattended safe deposit boxes. These accounts have had too much hang time and are turned over to the state after three years of inactivity. This newly released list includes only individuals and businesses with unclaimed property over $100. 


All new individuals and businesses added to the unclaimed property list will be published in the Boston Globe on March 5th and will be in the Boston Herald on March 12th. In addition, the names will be published in over 30 regional and local papers. 
So, if you are looking to hit “one out of the pahkk”, remember that Treasury releases an updated list of unclaimed property assets every six months as the new accounts are turned over to the Commonwealth. Last year, Treasury processed over 151,000 claims of over $176 million in property to its rightful owners.
This newly released list includes only individuals and businesses with unclaimed property over $100. Treasurer Goldberg urges all citizens to check the comprehensive list for all amounts at or call our live call center at 888-344-MASS (6277).

UMass Dartmouth receives $3.6M grant from the U.S. Navy for sustained research efforts in marine science and technology The latest award from the Office of Naval Research to create new projects in critical blue economy sectors

Dartmouth, MA – Today, UMass Dartmouth and Congressman William Keating announced a $3.6M grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for the Marine and UnderSea Technology research program (MUST) at UMass Dartmouth's collaborative research projects with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport.


The $3.6M grant will fund nine projects that focus on supporting the blue economy and offshore wind sectors through research projects that focus on improving sensors for unmanned undersea vehicles, wave energy conversion, underwater data transmissions and detection systems, and the habits of marine species in wind farm areas. Partner institutions and industries include BNWC, Brown University, Boston Engineering Cooperation, and Jaia Robotics Inc.


"Southeastern Massachusetts is well-positioned to be the national leader on blue economy projects, and this latest grant from the Office of Naval Research reaffirms what we already know: that UMass Dartmouth is uniquely positioned to lead the region forward as a blue economy hub," said Congressman Bill Keating. "The cutting-edge research undertaken at UMass Dartmouth will continue to assist the Navy and keep sailors and assets stationed throughout the world safe and on-mission, and that is something our region should be proud of."


"The marine science and technology research conducted by UMass Dartmouth and our collaborators at the Office of Naval Research and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport directly impacts the local economy and has global implications, " said Chancellor Mark A. Fuller. "Through the research and teaching of our faculty, we are empowering the next generation of blue economy and sustainable energy innovators that will use the power of our waters to achieve remarkable things."


MUST has funded 38 research projects, bringing together regional and national collaborators to strengthen the Navy's access to cutting-edge research and build a pipeline for a highly trained workforce. These areas of study include autonomous underwater vehicles and increasing their battery life, biofouling, composite materials, modeling ocean dynamics, undersea acoustics for communications and sensing technologies, oxidation mitigation for naval vessels, predictive modeling algorithms, and the use of autonomous vehicles to survey coastal environments.

MassDOT Storm Advisory: Snow Occurring Overnight Tonight and Saturday

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising the public to plan ahead if traveling tonight through Saturday as snow and mixed precipitation across the Commonwealth will make for challenging driving conditions and poor visibility.


The National Weather Service is forecasting snow and a wintry mix tonight into Saturday, with more significant weather impacts in the northern part of the state. Some rain will mix in as well later tonight into the day Saturday, especially across southern/southeastern areas.


A wintry mix will continue throughout the day on Saturday before conditions become mostly snow once again later Saturday afternoon and evening for all regions. 
“The public is urged to plan ahead, allow for extra time, plan to travel at reduced speeds, and anticipate slippery conditions, especially on secondary roads and local streets,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Snowy conditions and chance of freezing rain will cause difficult driving conditions across the Commonwealth.” 
The MBTA advises its customers to check bus, train, and other schedules in case weather conditions impact service:  The MBTA is treating outdoor platforms and nearby pedestrian walkways in advance of the precipitation and has taken steps to deploy features on corridors which include third rail and switch heaters. The MBTA will also run observation trains on all subway lines during the overnight hours to address any areas affected by snow or cold conditions in advance.
Massport advises travelers flying to check with airlines about flight schedules as plane arrival and departures will depend on how the storm system impacts the Commonwealth and states outside of Massachusetts.   
For the most up-to-date information on transportation impacts, please check Twitter: @MassDOT @MBTA @MBTA_CR, @MassDCR, and @MassRMV.

Somerset Parking Ban

The Town of Somerset has established a parking ban that begins at 10pm tonight and runs for 24 hours, ending at 10pm Saturday Night.

A rain snow mix is set to begin at some point overnight and continue into Saturday. 

Fall River Arrest

On March 2, 2023 in response to a recent spike in shooting incidents in the city, Vice, Intelligence, and Gang
detectives were conducting surveillance in the South End of the city.

During this time, Detectives received information of a male who was in possession of an illegal firearm. When
they observed this male walking in the area of Palmer St. they identified themselves, which resulted in a brief
foot pursuit. The suspect was ultimately apprehended.

A subsequent search lead to the discovery of a black Taurus PT 99 AF Para firearm in his waistband, along with
17 bags of crack cocaine, 7 bags of fentanyl, and $665 in U.S. currency.

Lamahrion Colson, 18, is charged with multiple firearms and drug related offenses to include, carrying a large
capacity firearm, carrying a loaded firearm without a license to carry, possession to distribute a class A drug,
and possession to distribute a class B drug. Detectives will also be seeking to charge Colson under the Armed
Career Criminal statute. 

Liberty Hosts Hundreds for M.U.S.T. Training Session with Dig SafeĀ®

The event drew excavators, utility workers, and local students from Diman Vocational Technical High School  
Fall River, MA March 1, 2023 – With spring - and construction season - quickly approaching, Liberty Massachusetts hosted a M.U.S.T. (Managing Underground Safety Training) program this morning in Westport to share vital information regarding safe digging practices.  
Coming together in-person for the first time since 2020, expert contractors, industry leaders, and state regulators presented to more about 190 excavators and utility workers.


The training covered potential hazards of utility damage, excavation safety best practices, damage prevention laws and regulations, and other safety topics.


Jim Carey from Liberty emceed the event, while Hannah Camara, also from Liberty, presented a segment on damage prevention for gas distribution systems.  
The event also focused on preparing the workforce of tomorrow in Massachusetts. Twelve students from Diman Vocational Technical High School in Fall River were in attendance to learn directly from industry professionals on career development, technical job skills and professional opportunities in the utilities industry.  
“Liberty is proud to support Dig Safe and promote safety in our communities.” said Tatiana Roc, President of Liberty - Massachusetts. “It was encouraging to know that there was a packed house of industry experts and trade professionals eager to share important safety information, learn from one another, and most importantly, engage with students eager to jumpstart their careers and contribute to the workforce.”  
Dig Safe® is a nonprofit organization that connects professionals and homeowners planning excavation projects with utility companies to ensure safety plans and procedures are followed prior to digging. This includes having utility lines clearly marked before a shovel hits the ground. All those planning any type of digging this spring – from planting trees and installing fences to larger excavation projects like swimming pools or new homes - must call 811 or (888) 344-7233 to contact Dig Safe and consult with your local utilities. Individuals can also request a utility mark-out at  


Dog licenses for the 2023 licensing period of April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 will be available
at the Fall River City Clerk’s Office Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and
Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. beginning on Monday, March 20, 2023.


Counter service
will be provided in the Government Center Lobby from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on March 20,

Licenses may also be purchased by sending a request by mail to City Clerk, One Government
Center, Fall River, MA 02722 or on the city’s website by searching “Dog

Owners are required to obtain a dog license for all dogs four months or older. Dog owners
cannot be issued a license unless they first produce a veterinarian’s certificate indicating that
their dog has been vaccinated against rabies and that the vaccination has not expired. To avoid
unnecessary inconvenience, when applying for a dog license, please bring a valid veterinarian’s
certificate with current Fall River address.

License fees are $15.00 for male or female dogs and $10.00 for neutered males or spayed
females. To obtain a neutered male or spayed female license, owners must present a
veterinarian’s certificate stating that the dog has been neutered or spayed. A $5.00 mail
processing fee for the total order is required for mailed and online requests. All forms of
payment are accepted.


Checks or money orders should be made payable to the City of Fall River.
Under Massachusetts General Laws, any dog owner 70 years of age or older is entitled to a free
license with proof of age. Owners of unlicensed dogs shall be subject to all fines and penalties as
set forth in Section 6-12 of the Code of the City of Fall River.

Potter, Kallman introduce bill to decriminalize magic mushrooms

STATE HOUSE – Rep. Brandon Potter and Sen. Meghan Kallman are sponsoring legislation to decriminalize personal use of psilocybin, the hallucinogen found in so-called magic mushrooms.


The bill would also, contingent on FDA approval, allow psilocybin to be used as a treatment for chronic mental health disorders.

“Veterans and many others in our community are struggling with chronic PTSD, depression and other mental health disorders that can be totally debilitating,” said Representative Potter (D-Dist. 16, Cranston). “We should give them the freedom to try every tool available and not criminalize a natural, effective remedy.”

Psilocybin is a naturally occurring hallucinogen that has been used by humans for thousands of years. Researchers in the United States isolated the compound in 1959 and began using it in psychotherapy. But as President Nixon’s “war on drugs” picked up steam in the 1970s, psilocybin was made illegal, preventing researchers from exploring its therapeutic value. Some scientists received permission from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct research starting in the 1990s. Since then, dozens of universities and biotechnology companies have found benefits for patients with chronic mental illness.

As chronic depression, anxiety and PTSD has risen around the country, many individuals and communities have begun using psilocybin as treatment. In 2020, voters in Oregon approved the therapeutic use and decriminalization of psilocybin by referendum. Colorado voters followed suit in 2022. Several other states, including New York, New Jersey and Vermont are considering similar bills.
The bill would allow individuals to possess up to one ounce of psilocybin or grow mushrooms containing psilocybin at home for personal use. It would also require the Rhode Island Department of Health to promulgate rules surrounding the use of psilocybin as a treatment, contingent upon approval from the FDA. 

Under current federal law, psilocybin is listed as a Schedule 1 drug, along with much more harmful, addictive substances such as fentanyl and cocaine. State law currently puts it in the same category as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines. That, advocates say, is a complete misunderstanding of the impact of psilocybin on the body.

“Psilocybin is not addictive. It’s naturally occurring and people have been using it recreationally and medicinally for thousands of years,” said Senator Kallman (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, Providence). “It is only illegal because, over 50 years ago, President Nixon associated it with his political opponents. It’s time to undo that mistake and give our neighbors struggling with chronic mental illness, and all Rhode Islanders, the freedom to use psilocybin responsibly.”

DCR Opens Applications for Lifeguards, with Up to $1,250 in Bonuses and Higher Wages

DCR is Hiring Lifeguards, Swim Instructors, Pool, and Waterfront Supervisors for the 2023 Summer Season 
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) today announced it is now accepting applications for summer lifeguards, swim instructors, and other roles across the Commonwealth. This year, DCR is offering bonuses of up to $1,250 for qualified lifeguard applicants that commit to working at an agency beach or pool for the 2023 season. DCR is also increasing the hourly rate for lifeguards and pool staff for the 2023 season to between $22 and $27 depending on position and associated certifications.  

_Fear of Self-Driving Cars on the Rise

Drivers Increasingly Anxious as Autonomous Technology Advances

The results of AAA's annual automated vehicle survey show that while there is still a high level of interest in partially-automated vehicle technology, attitudes toward fully self-driving vehicles have become increasingly apprehensive. This year there was a major increase in drivers who are afraid, rising to 68% as compared to 55% in 2022.


This is a 13% jump from last year’s survey and the biggest increase since 2020. AAA believes automakers must be diligent in creating an environment that promotes the use of more advanced vehicle technologies in a secure, reliable, and educational manner. This includes the consistent naming of vehicle systems available to consumers today. 

“We were not expecting such a dramatic decline in trust from previous years,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. “Although with the number of high-profile crashes that have occurred from over-reliance on current vehicle technologies, this isn’t entirely surprising.” 

Even with advancements made in recent years, these findings suggest improvements are still needed to build public trust and knowledge surrounding emerging vehicle technology. There is also a need to dispel confusion around automated vehicles.


AAA’s survey found that nearly one in ten drivers believe they can buy a vehicle that drives itself while they sleep. Currently, there is no such vehicle available for purchase by the public that would allow someone to fully disengage from the task of driving.

This perception could stem from misleading or confusing names of vehicle systems that are on the market. AAA found that 22% of Americans expect driver support systems, with names like Autopilot, ProPILOT, or Pilot Assist, to have the ability to drive the car by itself without any supervision, indicating a gap in consumer understanding.

What are Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)? Consumers aren’t entirely opposed to advanced vehicle technology. In fact, six in ten U.S. drivers would “definitely” or “probably” want these systems in their next car purchase. 

•    Examples of ADAS include blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking. Check out AAA’s, Clearing the Confusion, which provides naming and descriptions of ADAS in a consistent, easy-to-understand manner. 

•    Active driving assistance (ADA) is also considered ADAS, however, it differs in its functionality from other systems. ADA combines braking, accelerating, and steering through a combined use of adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assistance. This technology actively assists the driver versus other ADAS that only turns on when needed. ADA is also the only ADAS classified as Level 2 automation as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers.  

What is a fully self-driving vehicle? 
•    A vehicle capable of operating without human involvement. A human driver is not required to control the vehicle at any time, nor required to be present in the vehicle while moving. These vehicles are not available for purchase by consumers and are classified as Level 5 automation as defined by the SAE. 

“AAA seeks to partner with automakers to create greater consistency across the industry. Together, we can help consumers understand the type of technology their vehicle has along with how, when and where to use these systems, which will ultimately build trust in the vehicles of the future,” said Ms. Maguire. 

Bruins Acquire Tyler Bertuzzi From Red Wings Detroit receives 2024 1st-round pick and 2025 4th-round pick

BOSTON - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, March 2, that the team has acquired forward Tyler Bertuzzi from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a 2024 first-round draft pick (top-10 protected) and a 2025 fourth-round draft pick. Detroit will retain 50 percent of Bertuzzi's salary.


Bertuzzi, 28, has appeared in 29 games with Detroit in 2022-23, recording four goals and 10 assists for 14 points. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound forward has played 305 career NHL games, all with Detroit, totaling 88 goals and 114 assists for 202 points. The Sudbury, Ontario native was originally selected by Detroit in the second round (58th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Rep. Stewart bills would limit rent increases to once annually, increase notice time for rent increases

STATE HOUSE —Rep. Jennifer Stewart (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket) has introduced two pieces of legislation that would limit rent increases and extend the amount of notice required before a rent increase goes into effect.

The first bill (2023-H 5691) would prohibit a landlord from increasing the rent for a residential property more than once annually. Violation of this provision would be deemed a deceptive trade practice and subject to penalties.

“A two-bedroom apartment in Rhode Island in 2012 cost an average of $1,485 a month, according to Rhode Island Housing,” said Representative Stewart. “By 2022, that same apartment went up to an average of $1,996, and that number continues to climb. This legislation will protect Rhode Island tenants from sudden and arbitrary rent increases.


Thousands of renters in Rhode Island experienced a reduction in income due to the pandemic; that, coupled with increased utility costs and runaway inflation, has created a rent burden that most Rhode Islanders cannot afford. We need to put these protections in place to help ease that burden.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends households spend no more than 30% of their income on housing, including utilities. Average Rhode Islanders living in the Providence metro area are putting nearly 32% of their income toward paying rent. A report released by ranks Providence-Warwick ninth out of the nation’s top 50 metro areas when it comes to rental burdens.

The second bill (2023-H 5362) would require that landlords of residential properties must give tenants notice of a rent increase at least 120 days prior to the effective date of the increase. The act would also increase the notice requirement for rent increases for a month-to-month tenant who is over the age of 62 to at least 150 days. A violation would be a misdemeanor and would be punishable by a fine of $500. Similar legislation (2023-S 0365) has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Tiara Mack (D-Dist. 6, Providence).

“The other side of this legislative package is giving tenants more time to deal with rent increases,” said Representative Stewart. “Sudden rent hikes can be overwhelming — especially for those who are just scraping by. Giving those tenants more time to adjust their finances would also help to ease that burden and slow down the eviction process.”

Both bills have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, which is scheduled to hear testimony on both bills tonight at the rise of the House (about 4:30 p.m.) in Room 101 on the first floor of the State House.                   

Pharmacists, physicians testify in favor of bill to allow pharmacists to prescribe, dispense birth control

STATE HOUSE — Members of the Rhode Island Pharmacy Association, in addition to medical professionals and women’s rights activists, testified in favor of legislation introduced by Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) that would allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control.

The House Committee on Health and Human Services heard testimony Tuesday on the bill (2023-H 5282), which would authorize a pharmacist to prescribe and dispense hormonal contraceptives, provided that the pharmacist has completed a training program approved by the state Board of Pharmacy.

“Taking time off work, finding transportation to a clinic and paying for a doctor’s visit is a lot of work to get birth control — provided you can get access to a primary care physician in the first place,” said Representative Vella-Wilkinson. “Pharmacist-prescribed birth control would improve the quality of life for so many women, which is an important goal of our evolving health care system.”

Dr. Andrea Arena, a Rhode Island resident and family physician testifying in favor of the bill, told the committee, “Access to primary care is a crisis both in Rhode Island and nationally; even my physician colleagues have difficulty finding primary care physicians for themselves and their families. Patients routinely wait months if they are able to secure an appointment.”

Rhode Island would join several other states that have existing laws allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control.

Audrey Whalen, a pharmacist speaking on behalf of the Rhode Island Pharmacists Association, told the committee, “As the most accessible health care providers, pharmacists are uniquely positioned to improve access to contraceptive care and eliminate barriers many women face in accessing contraception.”

Dr. Beth Cronin, Rhode Island Section chair for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said she was “delighted” the committee was hearing the legislation and that the bill “will allow for improved access to contraceptive care for all who need it by eliminating the need for separate office visits to obtain a variety of contraceptive options.”

Under the legislation, the pharmacist would also be required to provide a self-screening risk assessment tool that the patient must use prior to the pharmacist’s prescribing the birth control.
Many other primary care physicians, Brown University medical students, the League of Women Voters and the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom testified in favor of the legislation. Sen. Meghan E. Kallman (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, Providence) has introduced similar legislation (2023-S 0103) in the Senate.        


The Massachusetts-led Center will host training on emerging topics, including climate change, to enhance regional preparedness and community resiliency 
BOSTON – The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced the launch of the Northeast Emergency Management Training & Education Center (NEMTEC), designed to strengthen regional response to climate change and other emergencies. Led by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), this comprehensive training program will provide advanced education and expanded resources to New England’s emergency management professionals, who face evolving challenges due to the increasing complexity and frequency of crisis events.
The six New England states formed NEMTEC to meet a growing need among state and local emergency managers for improved access to training on emerging trends and expanding risks, including human-made hazards, infectious diseases, and climate and weather-related emergencies. NEMTEC participants from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island will learn the latest strategies, tactics, and skills to mitigate the severity of threats and improve outcomes.


BOSTON – Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, March 2, that the team has signed forward David Pastrnak to an eight-year contract extension through the 2030-31 season with an annual NHL cap hit of $11.25 million. 
Pastrnak, 26, has played in 60 games with the Bruins this season, recording 42 goals and 38 assists for 80 points with a plus-27 rating. 
Pastrnak leads the Bruins in goals (42), assists (38), points (80), points per game (1.33), even strength goals (28), even strength points (51), power play goals (14), and power play points (29) so far this season while averaging 19:48 time on ice per game. This is Pastrnak’s third career 40-goal season. 
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound winger has spent all nine seasons of his career in Boston, playing in a total of 570 games for the Bruins. In that time, Pastrnak has amassed 282 goals and 302 assists for 584 points. 
He ranks in the top 20 in Bruins franchise history in goals (9th, 282), hat tricks (3rd, 13) assists (18th, 302) and points (14th, 584). 
Pastrnak tallied a career-high 48 goals during the 2019-20 season in which he earned the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, awarded annually to the leading goal scorer in the National Hockey League. 
The Havirov, Czech Republic native was originally drafted by the Bruins in the first round (25th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. 

A New Mayor in Attleboro

According to CBS 12 in Providence, City Councilor Cathleen DeSimone has won the special election for mayor of Attleboro. DeSimone defeated three other candidates, Acting Mayor James DiLisio, former City Councilor John Davis and political newcomer Timothy Barone as she received 49% of the votes. Sheran on a platform of preserving the city’s financial stability. Turnout was low as only just over 5,400 of Attleboro nearly 33,000 voters casted a ballot for a total voter turnout of only 16.5%.


The newly elected mayor will face voters once again just months from now, during the regularly scheduled bi-annual election for the job this November.