WSAR NEWS Archives for 2024-02

1 arrested, others sought after gunfire in New Bedford

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — New Bedford police have made an arrest in a shooting incident from earlier this month, but say they’re still searching for more suspects.


Danielson Varela, 18, was taken into custody last Friday on charges of assault and battery by firearm, firing a gun within 500 feet of a building, and destruction of property.


Police said the shots were fired around noon on Thursday, Feb. 15, outside a convenience store on Brock Avenue.


No injuries were reported, but a vehicle was damaged, according to police.



Police: Newport arson suspect carjacked woman with fishing spear

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — A 25-year-old Newport man is facing a slew of charges after a fire broke out at the Carey Mansion property.


Police said they were called to Bellevue Avenue around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday for a reported carjacking. The victim told police that a man pointed the bolt of a spear gun at her and ordered her out of her car, then drove off.


The stolen vehicle was found with heavy front-end damage in the area of Wickham and Brenton roads. The suspect, Foster Krupa, was also there, and police said two officers were injured while trying to arrest him.



Somerset Berkley goalie rides the emotion of family support in Division 3 playoff game

FALL RIVER — Brandon Silva said Wednesday's Division 3 Round of 32 matchup against defending state champion Nashoba meant more to him than just a playoff hockey game.


The Somerset Berkley senior netminder had a special member of the family in attendance at Driscoll Skating Arena — his dad Scott — who missed his entire sophomore season and last season's playoff loss against Auburn in the first round.


Scott was hospitalized and nearly died. He has now since recovered.


"[This] means a lot," said an emotional Silva after the 12th seeded Raiders sent the 21st seeded Wolves home packing with a 4-2 win. "My dad did not get to watch me play but he was here today. So this means a lot."


The Raiders (16-2-2) will take on either fifth seed Essex North Shore or 37th seed Bishop Stang.



Case sophomore brings the energy and hustle in postseason matchup

SWANSEA — It's not all about Emma Plante's height. Or her reach. Or the court vision. You just can't ignore the work ethic, the hustle.


It all explains not only why she's Joseph Case High School's very effective starting center, but also why her teammates chose the sophomore as a team captain.


"This year, stepping into the starter role and as a captain as a sophomore, there's a lot of leadership in there," Case first-year head coach Ellie Roberts said after the 5-foot-11 Plante (22 points, 8 rebounds, 6 blocks) led the No. 16 Cardinals (15-6) to a 52-25 Division 4 preliminary-round girls basketball win over No. 49 Smith Vocational Techical High School Tuesday night at Monahan Gymnasium.



McConnell to step down as the Senate Republican leader in November

Mitch McConnell, the longest-serving Senate leader in history who maintained his power in the face of dramatic convulsions in the Republican Party for almost two decades, will step down from that position in November.


McConnell, who turned 82 last week, was set to announce his decision Wednesday in the well of the Senate, a place where he looked in awe from its back benches in 1985 when he arrived and where he grew increasingly comfortable in the front row seat afforded the party leaders.


“One of life’s most underappreciated talents is to know when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter,” he said in prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press. “So I stand before you today … to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate.”



A new commercial for Amazon pitches life and jobs in Fall River

FALL RIVER — You have 30 seconds — quick, name the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Fall River.


Was it “birdwatching”?  


Amazon seems to think so. 


An ad for the online retail giant, which has been playing on TV stations and embedded in podcasts in recent days, pitches Fall River as the home of "historic charm, great birdwatching, and an Amazon warehouse.”  


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Fall River Police Officers Make A Save While Off Duty

From the Fall River Police Department Facebook Page...


On January 28, 2024, Officers Guy Furtado and Garrett Nelson were enjoying a relaxing day off on the slopes at Okemo Mountain Resort. After their group decided to call it quits and head into the ski lodge, the two off duty police officers decided to take one final run on the slopes. It turned out to be a run they will never forget.

As they made their way down the black diamond trail, they encountered something unexpected. 45-year-old William Polzun Jr. of Manchester, CT was frantically screaming for help. As it turned out, Polzun’s son Nathan 20, collapsed while making what was also their last run of the day. After hearing Polzun Jr.’s screams for help, Officers Furtado and Nelson quickly made their way over to assess the situation.  Finding Nathan unresponsive with no pulse, Officer Nelson quickly called 911 to alert the ski patrol as Officer Furtado began life saving CPR.    

Today, the men were reunited at the Fall River Police Department Headquarters. Polzun Jr., while overcome with emotion stated that his son is “only alive today because of the quick action of these two superheroes”

As he recounted the events, Mr. Polzun Jr. stated that when his son collapsed on the trail, he remembers seeing his lifeless body in the snow. He immediately panicked and began screaming for help. Suddenly, he heard a calm voice say, “I’ll do the compressions, and hold his head while you give the breaths”. As Officer Guy Furtado walked him through administering rescue breaths, Officer Garrett Nelson provided key details to the responding ski patrol and additional advanced life support to give Nathan a fighting chance.

While Nathan Polzun states he has no recollection of that day’s events, he credits Officers Furtado and Nelson for saving his life. Both men say that Nathan is on the road to recovery, and they hope to share the slopes with Officers Furtado and Nelson next year once Nathan receives medical clearance.  

As this reunion took place, the officers stood and listened with humility as Mr. Polzun Jr. spoke about their heroic efforts. They exchanged handshakes, hugs, and contact information, hoping for a reunion on the slopes.

Please join us in commending these fine officers on an outstanding job.

30 Fall River area boys basketball players to watch in the state tournament

FALL RIVER — The high school boys basketball playoff round began Monday with 217 teams competing across the state of Massachusetts. 


Four Greater Fall River teams — Atlantis Charter, Case, Durfee and Somerset Berkley — each punched their ticket to the state tournament. 


Here's a look at 30 players to watch this postseason from the Greater Fall River area.


Read the complete story from Steven Sanchez at

Robin Murphy, one of the 'Satanic cult' killers, is up for parole. Could she go free?

NATICK — Forty-four years after she confessed and was convicted of killing her lover in the infamous Fall River “Satanic cult murders,” Robin Murphy, 61, is asking the Massachusetts Parole Board for her release, again. 


As he has done at previous hearings for her release, state Rep. Alan Silvia, the retired city detective who worked on the three gruesome murders, said he’ll be at the March 5 parole board hearing to speak out against granting Murphy’s freedom. 


“My position hasn’t changed. I think she’s a danger to society,” said Silvia. “She was released once on parole, which she violated. She’s not someone, I believe, who can live in society without placing others at risk. I’m concerned about that.”


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

26 Fall River area girls basketball players to watch in the state tournament

FALL RIVER — The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association high school girls basketball postseason gets underway this week as 211 teams from around the state compete for one goal in mind — a state championship in their respective divisions.


Four Greater Fall River local teams — Case, Durfee, Somerset Berkley and Westport — each punched their ticket to the big dance with the hopes of advancing far in the state tournament. Here's a look at 26 girl basketball players to watch in the state tournament from the Greater Fall River area.


Read the full story from Steven Sanchez at

Impacted by the AT&T outage? Here's how much they'll reimburse you

If you’re an AT&T customer, there’s a good chance you haven’t forgotten about the hours-long outage the company experienced last week.


On Thursday, thousands of AT&T users reported that they were unable to make calls or use their data. Outage tracker Downdetector noted that outages, which began at about 3:30 a.m. ET, peaked at around 73,000 reported incidents. AT&T had more than 58,000 outages around noon ET on Thursday, in locations including Houston, Atlanta and Chicago.


The carrier has more than 240 million subscribers, the country’s largest.



A real estate developer flipped the Sacred Heart Church for over $2M.

FALL RIVER — Local real estate company Roll the Dice LLC did just that and came up with aces when they flipped the former Sacred Heart Church at 160 Linden St. for $2.05 million, after purchasing the property from the Diocese of Fall River for $499,000 last September. 


Roll the Dice LLC owners are listed in the state corporation database as Thomas Gamache and Michael Amaral.


City records indicate the assessed value of the Linden Street property is $572,800. 


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

The MIAA final power rankings are out. Where do Fall River high school winter teams stand?

FALL RIVER — On Saturday, the MIAA released its final tournament power rankings for Fall River area winter sports team.


The rankings only include scores entered into Arbiter, verified by MIAA and schools as of Feb. 24 at 4 a.m.


The top 32 boys and girls basketball teams qualify for the tournament, regardless of record. The top 32 ranked schools for boys and girls hockey power rated teams also qualify, regardless of record. Teams outside the top 32 with a .500 or better record also qualify.


To find out where the Fall River area teams placed, check the story from Steven Sanchez at

Whaling Museum exhibit a dream come true for New Bedford painter

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Roy Rossow has had a passion for painting ever since he was young.


Now 49, the Jamaican-born artist looks back fondly on when he first fell in love with the medium.


“My grandmother used to bring home comic books for me all the time, but I didn’t really read the stories,” he recalled. “I was really fascinated by the imagery. That’s what started it all.”


That imagery was what inspired Rossow to start doodling and sketching.

Rossow picked up his first paint brush as a teenager.


Read the full story at

Washington Bridge closure costs surpass $2M in under three months

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The costs associated with the closure of the westbound side of the Washington Bridge surpassed at least $2 million in just 68 days, Target 12 has learned. 


R.I. Department of Transportation (RIDOT) spokesperson Charles St. Martin told Target 12 that as of Feb. 16, the agency paid $2,085,619 in expenses that include police detail, operations, construction and maintenance.


“The amount is a snapshot of costs paid at that time and additional invoices may be in process,” St. Martin said.



Draft report: I-195 Washington Bridge needs major repairs or 'full bridge replacement'

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A draft report on the fate of the Washington Bridge obtained by Target 12 warns Rhode Island officials they need to either make major repairs to the structure or replace it entirely.


The 45-page report by Michael Murdock of VN Engineers Inc., dated Wednesday, urges the R.I. Department of Transportation to consider “the demolition and replacement of the superstructure, and potentially a full bridge replacement.”


Anything less than that, the report suggests, runs the risk that the bridge could collapse due to its severe structural problems. The unusual design of the bridge, which opened in 1968, also “poses significant challenges for its inspection, maintenance, and repair,” according to the report.

Courier: At least $37K was stolen during Swansea armed robbery

SWANSEA, Mass. (WPRI) — A courier who was robbed at gunpoint outside a Swansea bank earlier this week told police he believes the suspects followed him there after he picked up tens of thousands of dollars from five marijuana dispensaries.


One of the suspects, 29-year-old Giovany Fouyolle, was arrested that same afternoon. He currently faces several charges, including armed robbery with a firearm and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.


However, during Fouyolle’s arraignment on Wednesday, his defense attorney claimed his client was “nowhere near” Swansea at the time of the robbery, telling the court he has video evidence that Fouyolle was actually at a casino.


Police are now said to be reviewing that evidence as they search for the second suspect.



Westport girls basketball relies on team chemistry for success

WESTPORT — Nestled in the far corner of Southeastern Massachusetts sits the historic town of Westport.


It is also home to one of the top girls basketball programs in Division 5.


The Wildcats finished up the 2023-24 winter regular season on Thursday with a 19-1 mark after beating Fairhaven, 56-16, on Senior Night at Westport High School.


It is one of the top marks in school history before the postseason since former head coach Mike Ponte's team finished the 2017 season at 21-2. And the Wildcats were without former 1,000-point scorer and current Bridgewater State University student Leah Sylvain. 


Read more from Steven Sanchez at

Mayor Coogan has big plans for new trolley

A brand new bookmobile and an old-fashioned style trolley have arrived in the city purchased with American Rescue Plan Act funding. 


Tuesday, a very excited Mayor Paul Coogan got the call that the city’s handicap accessible trolley was delivered to the Department of Community Maintenance facility on Lewiston Street, and immediately drove over from Government Center to check it out. 


“This really is going to be nice for the city,” said Coogan, who has plans to be getting it in operation by summer to take residents and tourists on a loop from the waterfront to areas around downtown. “It will allow us to take people around, especially tourists. It really is a heck of a hike up that hill from the waterfront to Main Street.” 


The city purchased the trolley for $60,000. Coogan said the trolley will display the city logo and could be rented out for outside events to help pay for its upkeep and driver.


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

Defense attorney claims client was 'nowhere near' Swansea robbery

SWANSEA, Mass. (WPRI) — A man suspected of robbing a courier at gunpoint in Swansea appeared in court Wednesday, but his attorney says they have the wrong man.


Giovany Fouyolle, 29, was arrested Monday in connection with a robbery outside the BayCoast Bank on Swansea Mall Drive. Police said the courier was making a delivery when he was approached by two suspects, who demanded the money.


The courier resisted, however, and fired two shots at the men, who fled in a U-Haul van, according to police.



RIDOT to add lanes on Washington Bridge in hopes of cutting travel times

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — In an effort to ease congestion caused by the closure of the westbound side of the Washington Bridge, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will be updating the traffic pattern over the next few months.


RIDOT Director Peter Alviti and other state leaders held a news conference Wednesday to lay out their plans, which include adding a third travel lane in both directions.


The westbound side of the bridge was abruptly shut down on Dec. 11 after an engineer discovered significant structural issues. This caused substantial traffic backups on I-195 between Providence and East Providence, as well as in the surrounding neighborhoods that were used as detours.


Find the full story at

Massachusetts gas prices rose from last week

State gas prices rose for the second consecutive week and reached an average of $3.14 per gallon of regular fuel on Monday, up from last week's price of $3.11 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.


The average fuel price in state has risen about 7 cents since last month.


According to the EIA, gas prices across the state in the last year have been as low as $3.07 on Jan. 29, 2024, and as high as $3.76 on Aug. 7, 2023.


A year ago, the average gas price in Massachusetts was 5% higher at $3.30 per gallon.



Diman and HealthFirst have partnered up. Students can get free health care

ALL RIVER — Starting in early March, the more than 1,400 students at Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School will have free access to doctors right in their building. 


HealthFirst Family Care Center announced it is partnering with Diman to open the area’s first school-based health center. Diman Assistant Superintendent and Principal Andrew Rebello said that means students can see a doctor with no co-pay. 


"Instead of students missing school for a doctor’s appointment, they can be seen here,” Rebello said. “This allows students to receive the next level of care without missing an entire day of school for an outside medical appointment.” 


“We have been looking to open a school-based health center in the SouthCoast since 2021,” said HealthFirst Chief Operating Officer Linda Medeiros. “We look forward to supporting the students of Diman and the Greater Fall River area.” 


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Fall River Popeyes employee charged with assaulting customer

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Officers arrested a Popeyes employee Monday evening after he hit a customer with a metal tray, according to police.


Colby McCarthy, 19, has been charged with felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.


Detective Sgt. Moses Pereira told 12 News that McCarthy had been arguing with the 22-year-old customer over the length of time it took to receive his food order.


Pereira said McCarthy threw the metal tray at the customer during the argument and hit him above his left eye. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

McCarthy has since been fired, according to a spokesperson for Popeyes.



Sen. Warren sounds the alarm on abortion rights at SouthCoast health roundtable talk

WAREHAM — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren met with healthcare advocates in Wareham on Tuesday afternoon to support efforts to ensure access to reproductive health for all. 


The Massachusetts Democrat was at Health Imperatives in Wareham, one of several locations including New Bedford, Brockton, Plymouth, Hyannis, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, to hear from local leaders and discuss strategies for improving care in vulnerable communities. 


“Even here in blue Massachusetts, access to abortion services is limited in areas that are not near one of the major cities, and this meeting was with people who are expanding that access to the Cape, the Islands, to Greater Plymouth area, and I want celebrate and thank them for their work,” she said. 



Governor blasts Steward's handling of financial crisis, wants them to hand over hospitals

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey said time's up for Steward Health Care, calling on the financially troubled network to hand over its hospitals to other operators.


In a Tuesday letter, the first-term Democrat gave Steward Health Care until the end of the day Friday to hand over audited financial reports the hospital owner has kept under wraps for years despite a court order.


Steward owns Brockton's Good Samaritan Medical Center, Morton Hospital in Taunton, Saint Anne's in Fall River and six other Bay State hospitals. Healey vowed to "take all actions necessary" to protect patients including "freezing admissions, closing beds, cancelling procedures and transferring patients to other hospitals."



R.I. attorney John Deaton moves to Swansea, announces run against Sen. Elizabeth Warren

SWANSEA — A Rhode Island-based attorney announced on Tuesday he will run as a Republican against Sen. Elizabeth Warren. 


A cryptocurrency advocate, lawyer specializing in asbestos cases and former Marine, John Deaton moved to Swansea into a rental home last month, according to Politico. The political news site also reported that Deaton has recently placed his Barrington, Rhode Island, home on the market for $2.5 million.


Deaton made the announcement via a YouTube video and on social media. 


“I am running for U.S. Senate to continue my life's mission to shake things up for the people who need it most,” said Deaton in the video. 


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

Teen injured after car rolls 370 feet in Tiverton crash

TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A teenager was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital with serious injuries after a crash in Tiverton early Tuesday morning.


Police say the victim was ejected from the vehicle after it rolled over multiple times, traveling about 370 feet before catching on fire. The 19-year-old was the only person in the car. 


The crash happened around 1 a.m. on Fish Road near Hooper Street.



1 in custody after attempted robbery outside Swansea bank

SWANSEA, Mass. (WPRI) — Police have a suspect in custody and they’re searching for one more after an attempted robbery Monday afternoon in Swansea.


Swansea police told 12 News a courier was attempting to make a delivery at a dropbox outside BayCoast Bank on Swansea Mall Drive when he was approached by two men, who demanded the money at gunpoint.


The courier resisted, firing two shots at the men, who drove off in a U-Haul van.



Patriots captain Matthew Slater announces retirement after 16 years

FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Matthew Slater is ending his career the way he started it: as a New England Patriot.


The longtime captain and special teams specialist released a statement Tuesday announcing his retirement from the NFL.


“I have given all that I possibly can to respect and honor the game,” he wrote. “Though it is time for my relationship with the game to evolve, the love I have for it will last a lifetime.”


See the full story at

Massachusetts educators push to change MCAS requirement for high school graduation

BOSTON  Teachers and educators are calling for the state to change its MCAS requirement for graduation, arguing that it does not accurately measure student achievement or school performance.


Advocates have filed two ballot initiatives  one to remove the MCAS as a graduation requirement, and another that would allow districts to determine whether a student has satisfied curriculum requirements.


Craig Consigli, an assistant superintendent at Milford Public Schools, said the act of taking the MCAS — a three-hour test — is uncommon for students, and not reflective of a normal learning experience.


“It’s stressful for sixth graders, it’s stressful for 10th graders,” he said. “Then when you put on top of it, if you don’t pass this test you don’t get a diploma, I can’t imagine the stress and pressure these kids feel.”


Read the full story at

Garage in Somerset up in flames

SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) — A home on Ripley Street in Somerset was affected by a garage fire Sunday afternoon.


According to Chief Jamison Barros, when crews arrived around 2:15 p.m., they were met with heavy flames in the garage of the home on Ripley Street. Crews from both Swansea and Somerset responded to the fire.


For more on this story click on

Four candidates file papers to join Swansea selectmen. See who will be on April's ballot

SWANSEA — Four candidates have filed papers to seek election to the Board of Selectmen seat held for the last nine years by Christopher Carreiro.


Carreiro announced last month that he would not seek re-election to the three-year post and instead will focus on a run for the office of Bristol County register of deeds.


Michael Kevin Beaudette, Randy J. LeBeau, Joyce A. Moore, and Mark T. Shane submitted their nomination papers for Board of Selectmen by the deadline of this past Friday at 5 p.m., according to Town Clerk Diane Pelland.



Things to do during school vacation

“What do you want to do?”


If you need an answer to this age-old question for making plans, we’ve got you covered.


In Things To Do, we take a look at, well, things to do, happening every week in the Greater Fall River area and around the SouthCoast.


From weekdays to weekends, there’s always plenty going on.


And we’re not only taking a look at what’s happening this week, we’re also giving you a heads up for events that are coming soon.


Read more from Kristina Fontes at

The MIAA power rankings are out. Where do Fall River high school winter teams stand?

FALL RIVER — On Friday, the MIAA released another tournament power rankings for Fall River area winter sports team.


The rankings only include scores entered into Arbiter, verified by MIAA and schools as of Feb. 16 at 4 a.m.


The top 32 boys and girls basketball teams qualify for the tournament, regardless of record. The top 32 ranked schools for boys and girls hockey power rated teams also qualify, regardless of record. Teams outside the top 32 with a .500 or better record also qualify.


See where the Fall River area schools rank at

The Portuguese Kids are getting their own TV series

FALL RIVER — Celebrating 20 years of leaving people in stitches with their sold-out shows and viral videos, The Portuguese Kids are about to bring their humorous portrayals of growing up first generation Portuguese-American to their biggest audience yet – up to 20-plus million homes across the globe and millions of other viewers via their mobile devices.


Founded by Fall River natives Brian Martins and Derrick DeMelo, the mixed improv comedy group has stricken a first-of-a-kind deal with Portugal’s RTP International broadcasting service and their new TV series ‘Portuguese Problems’ will be broadcast worldwide starting Monday, March 18.



Swansea school committee votes unanimously on new school superintendent

SWANSEA — Scott Holcomb, principal at Taunton High School, has been selected as the town's next superintendent of schools.


At a school committee meeting at the police department's community room on Thursday night, the committee voted 5-0 in favor of Holcomb, choosing him over the other two finalists, Joseph Case Junior High School principal Robert Silveira and Craig Levis, an educational consultant and the former superintendent and assistant superintendent in Coventry, Rhode Island.


Holcomb's hiring is contingent upon successful contract negotiations which would be held, in executive session, at a future special meeting.


Read more from Greg Sullivan at

Somerset's Annual Town Election is April 8. Here's who's running this time

SOMERSET — There is only one contested race in the upcoming town election and it will pit a former Board of Selectman member against an incumbent for the one available seat.


Board of Selectman Allen Smith is being challenged by former selectman Holly McNamara, as of Friday, the last day for candidates to submit nomination papers.


The town election in April 2021 saw a contentious election season between Smith, the president of the group Save Our Bay Brayton Point, and then-incumbent Dave Berube, with a backdrop of division in the town on how Brayton Point should be redeveloped. It is an issue that remains a hotbed topic in the town. 


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

Fall River native, pillar of Temple Beth El, Ken Littman has died

Ken Littman loved to talk, because he had so much to share. Friends said whether the topic was Fall River history, faith, politics, sports, music or the law, he spoke with clarity, conviction, passion and wisdom. 


Littman, a Fall River native, attorney, politician and pillar of the city’s Jewish community, died Thursday at 72.  


Littman was a longtime congregant and board member of Congregation Beth El despite living 40 minutes away in Jamestown, Rhode Island. In an interview in January, Littman told The Herald News he didn't mind the drive for Sabbath services. 


“I’ve always had the connection," he said. “There are other synagogues around here I could have joined, but I always wanted to go back to that one.” 


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Manhunt finds Fall River man who missed trial date on child pornography charges

FALL RIVER — Scott Fontaine, the Fall River man who skipped out on the start of his trial on sexual abuse and child pornography charges, setting off a local manhunt, has been found and arrested. 


The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office stated that Fontaine, 48, never showed up in court for his scheduled jury trial at Fall River Superior Court on Monday.  


He was scheduled to face indictments charging him with indecent assault and battery on a person under the age of 14, posing/exhibiting a child in the nude and possessing child pornography. 



Case basketball heads to the playoffs

TAUNTON — Two teams — the Case and Bristol-Plymouth boys basketball teams— are heading into different directions this winter.


The playoff-bound Cardinals recently punched their ticket to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament. It will be the first time for Case (11-7) in the playoff-type atmosphere game since the start of the pandemic in 2020 when they participated in a shortened South Coast Conference tournament.


The Craftsmen made the state tournament the last two seasons but was bounced in the Division 3 preliminary round each time. Last year, they won the Mayflower Large division (16-4) for the first time since 1979.


"We started off playing OK and we got better toward the middle," said B-P head coach Tim Plante, whose team dropped 7-11 on the season after losing to Cardinals 66-37 on Thursday. "Towards the end, we started playing harder teams and [they're] tough for us. They play a different brand of basketball."


Read more from Steven Sanchez at

Police nab gunman in shooting that wounded undercover detective

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Police have arrested an 18-year-old man accused of shooting an undercover detective in the face outside of a New Bedford pizza shop last summer, according to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn.


Denzel Gomes, 18, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon shortly after his flight from Portugal landed at Logan International Airport.


Gomes, formerly of New Bedford, is facing a number of charges, including armed assault with intent to murder and assault and battery with a firearm.


Detectives believe Gomes shot and wounded New Bedford Police Detective Lavar Gilbert last July as he was sitting in an unmarked cruiser parked near the intersection of Rivet and Orchard Streets.


Gilbert, a 17-year veteran assigned to the Organized Crime Intelligence Bureau, was hit in the face by a bullet that shattered his driver’s side window. He drove himself to St. Luke’s Hospital after what New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell described as an “extremely close call.”


Investigators believe Gilbert was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was likely not Gomes’ intended target.



A Fall River cop is guilty of brutality, and police are conducting their own investigation

FALL RIVER — Nicholas Hoar, the 37-year-old Fall River police officer found guilty in federal court on Feb. 1 for assaulting a prisoner with a police baton and lying about it to cover up the assault, resigned from the Fall River Police Department days after his conviction. 


With Hoar free on bail as he awaits sentencing on April 24, the Fall River Police Department is moving ahead with internal investigations into the assault on William Harvey, 58, inside a jail cell at police headquarters on Dec. 21, 2020. 


After a four-day trial, a jury convicted Hoar of depriving Harvey of his civil rights under color of law and two counts of filing false reports. 


Read moe from Jo C. Goode at

State sends monitors to Good Sam, Morton, Saint Anne's amid reports of dangerous conditions

BOSTON — Public health officials, alarmed by staffing and supply shortages at financially troubled Steward Health Care hospitals, have sent monitors to Good Samaritan Medical Center and plan to dispatch them to Morton Hospital this week and Saint Anne's next week.


Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Robert H. Goldstein announced Wednesday that Department of Public Health watchers have been at Good Sam, Brockton's only remaining trauma center, for two weeks.


"This is a situation that is enormously challenging and unsustainable," Goldstein said.


Inspection records for Good Sam document failures such as not having enough nurses to meet the needs of patients.



'A beautiful person': Fall River's Kathy Castro had infectious enthusiasm for the arts

FALL RIVER — Whether it was in print, on radio, on TV, on the stage, or one-on-one, Kathy Castro reached out. Throughout her life in Fall River, she saw endless beauty in art, culture and community, and wanted to share it with anyone who would listen. 

Castro, a Fall River native who created the Portuguese language weekly O Jornaland for decades championed the local arts scene as a teacher, a commentator, a director and a mentor, died last week after a brief period of illness. She was 79. 


Read more about Kathy's life in a piece by Dan Medeiros at

A Fall River teacher fired for a Facebook post settles a lawsuit with the city

FALL RIVER — A Fall River School Department special education teacher fired then reinstated after posting alleged racially charged comments on social media in 2020 has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit she filed against the city, the School Department and former Superintendent Matthew Malone. 

Corporation Counsel Alan Rumsey confirmed that teacher Taryn Camara has agreed to a $90,000 settlement for her breach of contract claim. He declined to discuss the lawsuit further. 


Camara’s attorney, Mark Gagliardi, did not immediately return a request for comment. 

According to federal court documents, the case was headed to trial after mediation with the court failed and before the two sides reached an agreement. 


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

Forever Paws fundraiser lets you put your ex's name on a litter box for Valentine's Day

FALL RIVER — Forever Paws Animal Shelter wants to know if there’s someonethat you are never, ever, ever getting back together with.


Like, ever.


That’s because Forever Paws, 300 Lynwood St., Fall River, is doing an anti-Valentine this year.


“It's becoming a pretty popular trend/fundraiser for shelters and zoos, but we had to put our own little Taylor Swift spin on it,” Forever Paws told The Herald News.


The lyrics above are from Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” and they were how Forever Paws made the announcement on their Facebook page.


If there is someone that you never, ever intend to get back together with, you can make a donation to Forever Paws, and they will put that person’s name on a litter box for you.


Read more from Kristina Fontes at

Weather forecasters say a storm is coming to the SouthCoast. How much snow will we get?

The SouthCoast will see significant snowfall on Monday night into Tuesday, according to the latest forecasts, with 6 to 10 inches predicted.


The Weather Channel's forecast map has even more snow predicted: up to 12 inches.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for most of southeastern New England, including the cities of Fall River, New Bedford and Taunton, from early Tuesday through early Wednesday. The warning ranges as far as Rhode Island and Connecticut and northern Massachusetts. 


Early Tuesday will see rain before turning to snow that morning. Locally, besides the snow, the storm could also bring wind gusts as high as 50 mph, according to the NWS.  


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

With upcoming national and state elections, here's what to know about city polling changes

FALL RIVER — After the City Council approved the changes in some polling locations last month, staff at the Board of Elections has been busy getting the word out to voters.


“I just did a PSA announcement with FRGTV which should be released next week. Every registered voter who is impacted by the change should have received a direct mailing from my office,” said Board of Elections Chairman Ryan Lyons.


In the upcoming weeks, Lyons said he’ll be conducting an interview on the changes with WSAR. 


“So, the conversation on the changes will be ongoing,” said Lyons.


He presented the changes Jan. 23 to the Council, which gave its unanimous approval. Lyons has said the changes are meant to make access to voting easier, with more accessible parking, including for handicap voters. 

Read more from Jo C. Goode at

Who is the Herald News Midseason Athlete of the Year? 66 nominees

FALL RIVER — 66 athletes from the Fall River area have been selected to the 2023-24 Herald News Mid-season Athlete of the Year ballot.


This poll is for athletes from five different high schools — Atlantis Charter, Case, Diman, Durfee, Somerset Berkley and Westport. The poll includes ice hockey, wrestling, gymnastics, swimming and track and field with male and female to be selected.


Supporters of the schools and athletes can visit to vote for the athlete of their choosing. Voting will conclude on Feb. 16 with the winner announced on and X (formerly known as Twitter).


Don't wait, vote now and often for your favorite choice.


 Vote now at

Swansea is hiring a new superintendent, and you can meet the 3 candidates

SWANSEA — Three people are up for consideration as the next superintendent of Swansea Public Schools, and the public is invited to meet them and ask questions. 

The town is hosting a community night on Monday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Hoyle Elementary School, 70 Community Lane. 


Scott Holcomb, Craig Levis and Robert Silveira were chosen by the superintendent search committee. They will take part in three panels at the school, one comprised of families and community members, another with school staff and a third with students. 


Learn more about the forum and the candidates from Dan Medeiros at

Could Chick-fil-A be coming to Somerset?

SOMERSET — Could Chick-fil-A be coming to town?

It's a possibility.


There's another one nearby, in Fall River, that opened up in 2022 at SouthCoast Marketplace.


According to the Somerset Planning Board's agenda for their Tuesday, Feb. 13 meetingChick-fil-A has filed an application to develop a parcel of land at 564 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy., Somerset.


The planning board's agenda states that the restaurant chain is seeking approval "to construct a new restaurant with two drive-through lanes."


Read more from Kristina Fontes at

RIDOT launches I-195 bridge traffic tracking tool for commuters

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) unveiled a new travel tool Friday to help drivers better plan their commutes throughout the Washington Bridge closure.


The new tool consists of a series of charts relaying the change in travel times on different days and hours for nine different routes.


The travel times listed are in comparison to what commuters were used to prior to the bridge closure, according to RIDOT.


Learn more at

1 critically wounded in Fall River shooting

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — An investigation is underway after a man was shot in Fall River Friday night.


Fall River Police Detective Sgt. Moses Pereira tells 12 News officers responded to Blackstone Street behind the Stop & Shop following reports of shots fired.


The officers arrived to find the victim, identified as a 34-year-old man, suffering from several gunshot wounds, according to Pereira. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.


It’s unclear whether police have anyone in custody.


 Video is available at

Police nab fugitive hiding in Dartmouth hotel

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — Detectives arrested a fugitive who was found hiding in a Dartmouth hotel Wednesday evening, according to police.


Royleton Haston Jr., 22, of Plymouth, was wanted on seven arrest warrants with charges ranging from assault and battery on a correctional facility employee and malicious destruction of a motor vehicle to violation of an abuse prevention order and failure to stop for police.


Police said an officer on patrol noticed a car in the parking lot of a Best Western matching the description of Haston’s vehicle, prompting detectives to secure a search warrant for the room he was staying in.



6-car crash on I-195 results in minor injuries

SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — Emergency crews responded Thursday morning to a crash involving six vehicles on I-195 West.


Police said it happened just after 9 a.m. in the area of Exit 1 in Seekonk.

Four people suffered minor injuries, including a 32-year-old Fairhaven woman and 49-year-old Bristol woman, according to police.


The cause of the crash is under investigation.


Courtesy of

Gov. Healey defends nomination of former domestic partner to state Supreme Judicial Court

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey defended her nomination of associate state Appeals Court Justice Gabrielle Wolohojian, her former romantic partner of many years, to an open seat on the state Supreme Judicial Court.


“There is no one more qualified, there is no one more prepared to join the Supreme Judicial Court,” Healey said in response to criticism from the state Republican Committee that the appointment smacked of nepotism. “That’s not just my position, but overwhelmingly the position from the Nomination Commission and from the legal community.”


The Supreme Judicial Court seat opened with the resignation last week of Justice David A. Lowy.


“I am proud of the nomination,” Healey said, explaining that the greatest responsibility of her role as governor is to nominate the most qualified people to fill vacancies on Massachusetts benches in its courts.


Read more at herald

Owner says Somerset house may take months to fix after fatal car crash

SOMERSET — Owen Kiernan said Sunday was a terrible day, when a truck plowed into his home on South Street, killing the driver and rendering the house uninhabitable — but he said an even greater tragedy was avoided. 

“We were extremely lucky," said Kiernan, who owns the home at 117 South St. “The fact of the matter is, it could have been 10 times worse.” 


The house is a three-unit apartment building near Pierce Beach in Somerset. Kiernan said it’s unfortunate that the driver died, but luckily no one else was harmed in the crash.


“It’s just very, very lucky that the truck didn’t create a spark or a fire,” Kiernan said. “In the basement, the gas pipe was broken off the hot water heater. ... Electrical panels were down there, as well. It’s just so lucky we didn't have an explosion.” 


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Fall River police investigating 'disgusting' vandalism at waterfront Iwo Jima Memorial

FALL RIVER — “It’s a punch in the gut.” 


That’s the reaction from Marine Corps League Commandant Bruce Aldrich when he found out vandals had desecrated Fall River’s replica Iwo Jima Memorial located in Veterans Memorial Bicentennial Park with painted graffiti.


Aldrich, who has dedicated the last 10 years to looking after the monument, which honors Marine Corps soldiers who fought and died defending the United States since 1775, found out about the vandalism on Saturday. 


The vandals used yellow spray paint, drawing phallic symbols and signs on the statue depicting Marines raising the American flag. 


Aldrich said the vandalism likely occurred about a week earlier, and he has since discovered someone spray-painted another memorial in the park, damaging a granite pedestal and a plaque. 


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

RIDOT: I-195 bridge closure has already cost state $860K

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The abrupt closure of the westbound side of the Washington Bridge has been far from cheap, 12 News has learned.


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) estimates the closure has cost the state roughly $860,000 so far. That estimate includes costs for inspections and in-depth examinations of the bridge, as well as material testing, police details and traffic control.


It appears that running tab will be open for quite some time as the closure continues to upend the I-195 corridor.



Gov. Healey tours Boys & Girls Club to support literacy program

FALL RIVER — At the Boys & Girls Club of Fall River on Monday afternoon, Gov. Maura Healey asked a group of teens what school means to them. The kids were shy, reluctant to speak, but one girl gave it to her straight: 

“School’s not part of my life.” 


Healey was direct, too, but not unkind. “Well, we want it to be,” she said. 


The governor, Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler and other state and local officials toured the Boys & Girls Club in support of the administration’s Literacy Launch program, which aims to improve early reading in kids ages 3 to Grade 3, and other statewide initiatives to guide students to educational success from childhood to college. 

Healey said that Massachusetts is the top state nationally in terms of quality of education. 


“But the fact of the matter is, not everyone is feeling it,” she said. “Not every student is seeing the same success or seeing the same results. Our job every day is to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to support all 351 cities and towns and the young people who live there.” 


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

46 years ago, the Blizzard of '78 hit New England

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Do you remember where you were on February 6, 1978?


We have seen our fair share of snow this year, but 45 years ago New England was rocked by the Blizzard of ’78.


That storm dropped more than 27 inches of snow over the course of 30 hours — no one expected it to be as bad as it was.


Nearly 2,000 cars were stranded along major highways and people were trapped inside their homes.





Best of the best: Meet Greater Fall River's Football All-Scholastics

FALL RIVER — The final installment of the Herald News Fall-Scholastics is here.


We take a look at Fall River area football athletes who shined the brighest on the gridiron this past fall. There were great moments for teams such as sharing a league title and punching a ticket to the postseason after a 10-year drought.


The Herald News is pleased to announce the 2023 Football All-Scholastic team from Greater Fall River high schools.


Read more from Steven Sanchez at

Country singer Toby Keith dies after battle with stomach cancer

“Beer For My Horses” singer-songwriter Toby Keith has died. He was 62.


Keith, who was battling stomach cancer, passed peacefully on Monday surrounded by his family, according to a statement posted on the country singer’s website. “He fought his fight with grace and courage,” the statement said. He was diagnosed in 2022.


He was known for his overt patriotism on post 9/11 songs like “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” and boisterous barroom tunes like “I Love This Bar” and “Red Solo Cup.” He had a powerful booming voice, a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and range that carried love songs as well as drinking songs.


Among his 20 No. 1 Billboard hits were “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” “As Good As I Once Was,” “My List” and “Beer for My Horses,” a duet with Willie Nelson.


Keith worked as a roughneck in the oil fields of Oklahoma as a young man, then played semi-pro football before launching his career as a singer.



Federal Highway Administrator to tour Washington Bridge

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt is visiting Rhode Island on Monday to tour the Washington Bridge while local officials test a new traffic pattern aimed at alleviating congestion.


It’s the first weekday commute after the R.I. Department of Transportation (RIDOT) reduced the number of lanes on I-195 West from three to two near the East Shore Expressway entrance in East Providence.


RIDOT said traffic modeling conducted by engineers showed that creating a merge at that point of the highway should reduce travel time.


Read more from Melanie DaSilva at

MBTA says South Coast Rail stations will be finished within weeks

South Coast Rail is gaining steam, with key stations in the project almost complete, according to officials at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 


The project, which will connect Fall River, New Bedford and Taunton with Boston by MBTA commuter rail, is still on track for a summer 2024 opening.


The South Coast Rail project will feature six new stations for passengers: Middleborough, East Taunton, Freetown, Fall River Depot, Church Street and New Bedford. Two layover stations have also been built, which are facilities to house MBTA crews and equipment and store trains when not in use: Weaver’s Cove in Fall River and Wamsutta in New Bedford. 


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Somerset man dies after car crashes into house near Pierce Beach

A Somerset man was killed after the car he was driving crashed into a house in Somerset early Sunday morning.


Somerset Police Chief Todd Costa reported that shortly before 3 a.m. on Sunday, police received a report that a vehicle had crashed into a home at 117 South St. near Pierce Beach. 


Upon arrival, police said, officers found a gray Chevrolet Silverado had crashed into the southeast corner of the house. According to Somerset Police and the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, the driver, Sean Patrick Cronan, 32, of Somerset was pronounced dead at the scene.


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Vote: Who is the Herald News Boys Basketball Midseason Player of the Year?

FALL RIVER — Eighteen girls basketball players from the Fall River area have been selected to the 2023-24 Herald News Mid-season Player of the Year ballot.

This poll is for athletes from six different high schools — Atlantis Charter, Case, Diman, Durfee, Somerset Berkley and Westport.


Supporters of the schools and athletes can visit to vote for the athlete of their choosing. Voting will conclude Feb. 9 with the winner announced on and X (formerly known as Twitter).


More from Steven Sanchez and your place to vote at

Dartmouth PD undercover sex sting leads to seven arrests

An undercover sex sting operation in Dartmouth led to seven arrests on Thursday, the Dartmouth Police Department announced.


The operation was a joint effort of members of Dartmouth Police Department Investigative Services Division and Massachusetts State Police High Risk Victims Unit to combat the growing threat of prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation, a release Friday from the DPD states.


The sting netted a total of seven men who were charged with sexual conduct for a fee.



Steward: Bridge funding will stabilize hospitals, including Brockton, Taunton, Fall River

Despite facing major financial challenges, Steward Health Care is not currently planning to shutter any of its Massachusetts hospitals, a company executive said Friday after elected officials have been sounding the alarm about potential closures that could harm vulnerable residents throughout eastern Massachusetts.


Steward owns nine hospitals in Massachusetts, including Morton in Taunton, Good Samaritan in Brockton and St. Anne's in Fall River.


Steward "has agreed upon the principal terms for a significant financial transaction to help stabilize our company," Steward Executive Vice President Dr. Michael Callum said in a message to colleagues. Callum's message was shared by a nurses union and a Steward official confirmed that it was sent to employees on Friday morning.


Read the full story at

Bristol CC President Laura Douglas is retiring

FALL RIVER — After a 40-year career in education, seven of them spent in Fall River, Bristol Community College President Laura Douglas is retiring. 


Douglas, who joined the college in 2017, announced this week that she’d be stepping down in January 2025, giving the school and its Board of Trustees plenty of time to find a replacement. 


“It takes time to bring on a new leader, so you really have to plan in advance,” Douglas said. “It's a long process but one that I know that our board will take very seriously — and our campus will for certain be involved, as well as members of the community.” 

According to a release from the college, the Board of Trustees will begin its search for a new president in the spring.


Douglas said she will be putting together a transition team with the goal of passing the baton smoothly.  


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Fall River officer found guilty in excessive force case

BOSTON — Fall River police officer Nicholas Hoar, accused of lying on police reports to cover up his use of excessive force on a man in custody inside a jail cell three years ago, was found guilty Thursday after a four-day trial. 


After four hours of deliberation at the John Joseph Moakley U.S. District Court in Boston, Hoar, 37, was found guilty on all three counts: one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, resulting in bodily injury, and two counts of filing false reports for lying about the incident. 


U.S. District Court Judge Allison Burroughs will sentence Hoar on April 24. He will remain free on bail until the hearing. 


The complete story from Jo C. Goode is available at

Photo exhibit remembers when Hurricane Carol swept through Westport

WESTPORT — Hurricane Carol washed ashore almost 70 years ago, but if you were around to see it, you're not likely to have forgotten it.


The storm arrived on Aug. 31, 1954 and it swept a wall of water across Horseneck and up the Westport River.


As caretakers of town history, the Westport Historical Society certainly hasn't forgotten Hurricane Carol either.


They've put together a photo exhibition: "Hurricane! An exhibition marking the 70th anniversary of Hurricane Carol."


The exhibition will be running through March at the Westport Free Public Library, and the photos are enriched by the stories and words of Westporters who witnessed the storm.


Read the complete story from Kristina Fontes at

Theo Epstein to return to Red Sox as advisor

Theo Epstein, who as Red Sox general manager was the architect of two World Series championships, is returning to the organization as a minority owner and part-time senior adviser to its parent company, Fenway Sports Group.


Epstein, who also helped the Chicago Cubs win the 2016 title — their first in 108 years — will advise the sports and entertainment conglomerate on operations and investment strategy.


“This is truly a unique opportunity for me — a chance to partner with people who mean a lot to me; a chance to challenge myself in new arenas; and a chance to use my experience and perspective to help others succeed and win at the highest level,” Epstein said in a statement. “The special connection I feel toward this organization and the ownership group has stayed with me through the years.”


Complete story at

Jamie Lee Curtis, Woody Harrelson and Albert Brooks to film movie in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The capital city will soon become the backdrop of an upcoming blockbuster film.


R.I. Film and Television Office Executive Director Steven Feinberg welcomed the star-studded cast of “Ella McKay” to the Ocean State Thursday.


The movie follows an idealistic young politician who’s juggling a difficult personal life and challenging workload while preparing to take over for her mentor, the state’s longtime incumbent governor.


The cast includes “Barbie” actress Emma Mackey, Jamie Lee Curtis, Woody Harrelson and Albert Brooks, according to Feinberg.


The film is being produced by James L. Brooks, who’s been nominated for 58 Emmy Awards and has won 21 of them. This is the first film Brooks will be directing in more than 13 years.


The complete story is at

Cape Cod hotel to become New England's first 'Margaritaville' resort

HYANNIS, Mass. (WPRI) — The Cape Codder Resort & Spa is looking to attract Jimmy Buffett fans by becoming New England’s first “Margaritaville” resort.


The hotel said it is currently in the process of a $30 million renovation to become the Margaritaville Resort Cape Cod. The renovations are scheduled to be completed in June.


There will be 272 guestrooms and suites, as well as a spa, an outdoor pool, a kids club, an indoor water park and “signature Margaritaville bars and eateries.”



Herald News Chooses Greater Fall River's Boys Soccer All-Scholastics

FALL RIVER — Five Herald News boys soccer teams — Atlantis Charter, Diman, Durfee, Somerset Berkley and Westport — each punched their ticket to the postseason.


No one had quite the season like the Wildcats, who finished the regular season with an unbeaten record and their first state championship in school history.


The Herald News is pleased to announce the 2023 Boys Soccer All-Scholastic first and second teams from Greater Fall River high schools.


Read the complete story from Steven Sanchez here at

Durfee and Somerset art students to be featured in a gallery

FALL RIVER — Budding high school artists will soon be able to share their work with more than fellow students and family — the whole city can see what their imaginations have created. 


The Greater Fall River Art Association will open the Community Gallery at 80 Belmont St. to B.M.C. Durfee High School art students and their work for all of February. The show will be on display to the public for free, with the show opening and receptions on Feb. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Feb. 4 from 1 to 4 p.m.


In March, the gallery will feature work from students at Somerset Berkley Regional High School. Somerset Berkley’s show officially opens with events on March 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. and March 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. 


Read more from Dan Medeiros at