WSAR NEWS Archives for 2024-04

After historic bylaw change, Madeiran feast committee and club to allow female members

NEW BEDFORD – It’s been a decades-long battle, but women will now be allowed to serve as festeiras (committee members) of the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament alongside their male counterparts, and ultimately become members of the Clube Madeirense S.S. Sacramento, Inc., the organization which sponsors the annual staple celebration in New Bedford.


On April 28, the club voted to amend its bylaws to include women, passing the measure with 116 votes to 21.


The historic vote was held six months after an unsuccessful attempt to change the bylaws took place on Oct. 29, when the vote was split 50-50. For the change to be approved, 75 percent of the club’s general assembly had to agree to the motion.



Southeastern, MA health care 'in crisis' even without hospital closings. How bad is it?

With the fate of Steward hospitals like Morton in Taunton hanging in the balance, State Sen. Marc Pacheco said Southeastern Massachusetts and the Cape and Islands “cannot withstand any further loss of healthcare in terms of hospital closings.”


“That just can’t happen. It would be a threat to the region’s health, when we’re already in a crisis situation,” the Taunton Democrat said at a state hearing in Taunton Wednesday, April 24, on the precarious state of healthcare in this region of the state.


The hearing of the Senate Post Audit & Oversight Committee, which Pacheco chairs, took place against the backdrop of the ongoing financial crisis enveloping Steward Health Care, which owns eight hospitals in Massachusetts, including Morton, Saint Anne’s in Fall River and Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton.



Several restaurants are on the Fall River real estate market. Why are they not selling?

FALL RIVER — The city has long had the reputation of having fantastic dining. It’s also currently in the midst of a scorching hot real estate market with several long-beloved eateries for sale. But selling restaurants isn’t easy. 


On the market right now are Fall River landmarks like Patti’s Pierogis, Mee Sum and O Gil, longstanding hotspots whose multicultural cuisine reflects the city’s history as a haven for immigrants. Newer eateries with promise, like Towne House and 19 Prime, are up for grabs. The Historic Abbey, the Rock Street restaurant and function hall that was once Lizzie Borden’s church, was put on the market last summer. It too is still available.  


Some have lingered for months or years. Some have seen drastic drops in their asking price. 

Yet triple-deckers and single-family homes, even in rough shape, get snapped up quickly. So why is selling a restaurant challenging?


“All the ones that aren’t selling, they come with their own pile of issues,” said Holly Bronhard, a Realtor with eXp Realty. “I don’t think it has anything to do with the market.”



6 displaced by New Bedford house fire

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Six people were forced from their home after a fire broke out in New Bedford Sunday evening.


Crews responding to Shawmut Avenue around 6 p.m. found heavy smoke and fire coming from the garage of the single-family home.


The fire was under control by 6:30 p.m. and the scene was cleared by 8 p.m.

No injuries were reported and the fire is under investigation.



Opening statements to begin in Karen Read trial

DEDHAM, Mass. (WPRI) — The long-awaited Karen Read murder trial is set to open Monday with opening statements.


Read, 43, of Mansfield, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her Boston police officer boyfriend, John O’Keefe.


Prosecutors said O’Keefe was found unresponsive in a snowbank outside of a Canton home in January 2022. O’Keefe, a 16-year veteran of the Boston Police Department, was rushed to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.


Investigators believe Read dropped O’Keefe off at the Fairview Road home and hit him as she was leaving, according to prosecutors.


Prosecutors said Read told officers the two had been out drinking with friends prior to the incident, adding that she dropped him off and went home because she was not feeling well.


Meanwhile, Read’s defense says she is the victim of a coverup. They believe that O’Keefe was beaten inside the home, bitten by a dog, and left outside.



Police identify man involved in East Providence chase

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The East Providence Police Department (EPPD) arrested a man after a brief car chase regarding a stolen vehicle from North Providence.


Police Captain Michael Rapoza told 12 News that the pursuit started in Seekonk on Sunday and continued into East Providence.

Police followed this vehicle for a short period of time before calling off the chase in the Rumford area.


Seekonk police then found the vehicle with no driver inside shortly after the chase was called off.



Lionel Messi gets 2 goals at record New England crowd

Lionel Messi scored two goals to excite a New England Revolution-record crowd, leading Inter Miami CF to a 4-1 victory on Saturday night.


Messi didn’t disappoint the crowd of 65,612 that filled Gillette Stadium, scoring on a left-footed kick from deep inside the box for his ninth goal of the season, breaking a 1-all tie in the 68th minute.


The attendance beat the previous record of 61,316, when the Revolution lost to the LA Galaxy in the 2002 MLS final.


See more at

Town Meeting voters will decide on this and more

Westport Annual Town Meeting voters, on May 7, will have a chance to make some considerable changes in town, including a zoning bylaw change that would make Airbnb rentals legal, and a scaled-down water/sewer extension project.


While Westport voters decided against a $35,000,000 debt exclusion that would have funded a large water/sewer extension spanning Rte. 6, a set of articles and motions relative to the project will still be presented as planned. However, officials will seek to modify the amount on Town Meeting floor down to $8 million, according to Infratructure Oversight Committee member Bob Daylor.


"The Infrastructure Oversight Committee plans to ask the Town Meeting to amend the motion to reduce it to $8 million which is the estimated cost for the first section alone," Daylor said in a warrant review video posted to the town's official YouTube channel. "That would allow the critical first piece of connection to Fall River to happen and to build it roughly to the Route 88 area. Really, the commercial heart in the northwest would now have water and sewer."



NFL Draft: Patriots swap picks, then take WR in Round 2

FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Hours after welcoming their new quarterback to Foxboro, the Patriots picked out a new target for him.


New England had the #34 pick in the NFL Draft, which they traded Friday night to the Chargers along with pick #137 in exchange for picks #37 and #110.


With that #37 pick, the Patriots selected Ja’Lynn Polk from the University of Washington.



2 security guards stabbed at Rhode Island Hospital

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence police are investigating a stabbing at Rhode Island Hospital where two security guards were hurt early Friday morning.


Commander Timothy O’Hara said 39-year-old Manuel Gouveia was being escorted out of the waiting area just before 2 a.m. for a disturbance when he pulled out a straight-edged razor blade and assaulted two security guards.


“The hospital’s Providence Police detail was on scene and quickly apprehended the assailant,” a spokesperson for Lifespan told 12 News. “Thankfully, the officers were not seriously injured, and we thank them for keeping our staff and other patients safe.”


The guards suffered lacerations, O’Hara said, one above the ear and one behind the neck. They were treated for their injuries.


See more at

'Hometown hero' Emeril Lagasse makes surprise stops in Fall River. Here's why he was here.

FALL RIVER — It was just a typical Sunday for a few local eateries, then BAM! In walks one of Fall River's most famous former residents, celebrity chef and James Beard winner Emeril Lagasse.


"We were very loud on Sunday and it switched to murmurs really quickly," said Andrew Ferreira, co-owner of Europa Pastries and Coffee Shop, which received a surprise visit from Lagasse amid their morning rush.


The city native was in town doing research for his first Portuguese restaurant he plans to open in New Orleans late this summer. Research included a trip back to his roots for a culinary tour of popular Portuguese spots in the Providence, Fall River and New Bedford areas.



Man pleads not guilty to drunk driving manslaughter charges in fatal Christmas night crash

FALL RIVER — Adam Gauthier, formerly of Somerset, accused of killing three family members on Christmas night on the Veterans’ Memorial Bridge in an alleged drunk driving accident, pleaded not guilty to related charges on Wednesday in Bristol County Superior Court. 


Gauthier, 41, was indicted last month by a Bristol County grand jury on three counts of manslaughter while operating under the influence and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. 


Gauthier is accused of driving a 2023 Range Rover SUV drunk the wrong way from the Somerset side of the bridge on Route 6. He allegedly crashed into several vehicles head-on. The crash killed Jacoby Arruda, 15, and his grandparents, Floriano Arruda, 73, and Donna Arruda, 68, all of Seekonk. 


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

Fall River rallies to save Saint Anne's Hospital

FALL RIVER — Tracy Bishop, an employee of Saint Anne’s Hospital for the past 20 years, said the facility is more than her workplace. 


“It’s a family hospital," she said. “My grandparents were here. My children, my husband, my mom. It's so much more than keeping the doors open. It’s a family. It’s a community." 


She and a few dozen other people attended an hourlong rally at Kennedy Park across from Saint Anne’s on Thursday afternoon. Workers and their supporters held signs and spoke out strongly, urging new ownership of Steward Health Care facilities in the face of a financial crisis that could close hospitals like Saint Anne's, destabilize patient care for more than 200,000 state residents, and have severe downstream economic effects.


Read more from Dan  Medeiros at

Expect 'a huge emergence' of mosquitoes this May

Mosquitoes are universally understood to be the major downside of spring and summer. Like ticks, there's no such thing as a good mosquito season — more often divided into categories of "bad" and "very bad."


According to Sam Telford, professor of infectious diseases and global health at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton, unfortunately this year is going to be the latter.


"This year will be tremendous for mosquitoes," said Telford. "As it warms up, with all the standing water there will be a huge emergence in May."


April showers may bring May flowers, but they also leave a great deal of standing water — which means a number of ready-made mosquito nurseries.



Who will the Patriots draft?

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — NFL Draft week is here. Round 1 begins on Thursday, and for New England Nation, it’ll be three days of suspense as the Patriots look to set themselves up for the future.


Watch New England Nation: The Draft, where 12 Sports Director Taylor Begley and Andy Gresh analyze the Patriots’ needs and who they could draft this week.


This is the most important draft for the Patriots in more than three decades.


See more at

Fall River ex-cop gets almost 3 years in prison for beating a man, lying on police reports

FALL RIVER — Former Fall River police officer Nicholas Hoar was sentenced in a Boston federal court today to serve 33 months in prison for striking a man in custody in the head with a metal baton then lying about it in police reports. 


Hoar, 37, was convicted in February of assaulting William Harvey, 58, as he and other officers were placing Harvey in a jail cell after his arrest on a misdemeanor domestic complaint on Dec. 21, 2020.  

“I believe he deserved more because he abused his power,” Harvey said in an interview after Hoar's sentencing.


Harvey had been charged with a felony count for allegedly assaulting Hoar and spent over 200 days in jail before the Bristol County District Attorney's office dropped the charge when Hoar was indicted in November 2022.


Read moer from Jo C. Goode at

High demand is pushing hospitals past their limits, say Southeastern Mass. hospital CEOs

BOSTON — A financial crisis at Steward Health Care has rendered the for-profit system as one of the biggest boogeymen in state government circles, but a pair of leaders at Steward hospitals told lawmakers Wednesday that they face many of the same challenges as their peers in nonprofit settings.


Sharp increases in patient demand pushing hospital capacity to its limits emerged as a common theme affecting providers as senators placed a magnifying glass on the state of health care in southeastern Massachusetts.


Several hospital CEOs said they continue to struggle with tight operating margins, especially among those who serve a higher share of the significant number of publicly insured patients, and face strain trying to serve everyone in need. In some cases, the capacity crunch coincides with — or is exacerbated by — staffing shortages and hiring challenges, they said.



Winning mentality: Fall River native assumes head coaching duties at Somerset Berkley

SOMERSET — Jason Martin has tasted success since his high school days at Diman Regional Vocational Technical School.


As a junior, he started at second base for a Bengals team that went undefeated during the regular season. He received a bunch of accolades as a catcher his senior year, including being named a Herald News All-Scholastic.


Now, the Fall River native is ready to write a new chapter in his life.


Martin was recently named the new Somerset Berkley baseball coach for spring this season. Martin takes over a group that finished 16-4 in 2023 and advanced to the Division 2 Sweet 16 state tournament.


Read more from Steven Sanchez at

Traffic down 33% on Washington Bridge; McKee seeks $20M for rebuild

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Many drivers have changed their travel habits amid the extended closure of the westbound Washington Bridge, according to R.I. Department of Transportation data obtained by Target 12.


On Monday, just under 65,000 cars used the temporary westbound I-195 lanes on the eastbound Washington Bridge, RIDOT data shows. That was down 33% from the daily average of 96,000 before the abrupt closure of the westbound bridge last December.


However, that was a significant increase compared with earlier this month. Monday marked the first weekday with three lanes of traffic in both directions on the eastbound bridge.


See more at

It's life or death': Taunton residents rally against possible closure of Morton Hospital

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Several Taunton residents gathered outside Morton Hospital Tuesday to express their concerns over the facility’s potential closure.


“We’re a city of 60,000 people,” Jamie Kelley said. “Who is going to move here if there’s no hospital?”

Morton Hospital is one of nine facilities on the chopping block for the financially embattled Steward Health Care.


“We need someplace to go for health care,” Jacqueline Fitts said. “Not just my family, but every family in this community.”


See more at

Tiverton man sentenced for attempted stabbing of Fall River police officers, medic

FALL RIVER — A Tiverton man faces up to a decade in state prison for robbing a man outside a Fall River marijuana dispensary and attempting to stab city police officers and a paramedic in January 2022, the Bristol County District Attorney's office announced.


Dillon Nobles, 26, was sentenced last week to six to 10 years after pleading guilty in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count each of armed assault with intent to murder, armed assault with intent to rob and resisting arrest. 


All charges stem from Jan. 24, 2022 incidents in Fall River.



Should new athletic fields be part of Somerset school project? Voters to weigh in.

SOMERSET — Voters will get a second shot at approving plans to make athletic fields a part of the ongoing new Somerset Middle School building project. And this time, one can argue, paying for the fields would not be a financial burden.


Earlier this year, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) announced that Somerset was one of 31 state towns/school districts to receive a supplemental grant for unanticipated cost escalations. Somerset's supplemental grant is for $6,886,598 million. The current middle school project is for $85 million and the MSBA's original grant, paid in monthly reimbursements, is for $31.8 million.


The town's middle school building committee is finalizing an article, requesting funding for construction of athletic fields and for solar panel installation on the new school, for the May 20 Town Meeting. Voters had previously rejected a similar proposal, thereby forcing middle school outdoor sports teams to be bused to other town venues for home events since spring of 2023.




One in a million odds: Dighton resident wins $1 million from MA lottery ticket

DIGHTON — Michael Stephens, a former deep-sea fisherman from Dighton, became the second $1 million Lottery prize winner in the Massachusetts Lottery’s new JAWS instant ticket game.


The odds of winning were one in 1,344,000, according to the Massachusetts State Lottery's website.


Stephens, who bought the lucky scratch off ticket at the Olde Village Corner Store in Somerset, claimed the one-time cash payment of $650,000 at the Massachusetts State Lottery headquarters in Dorchester on April 22.


He plans to share the winnings with his family and travel with his wife.



Healey shoots down suggestion of adding traffic tolls at Mass. borders

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey on Monday said she would not propose tolls on motorists driving in from across any of the borders with neighboring states.


The statement came after state Transportation Secretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt discussed the possibility of erecting border tolls during an April 10 meeting of the advocacy group WalkMassachusetts. Following remarks in which she took municipal police departments to task for not doing enough to cite speeding motorists, she raised the tolls as a potential source of revenue for transportation improvements.


"The secretary's comments do not represent the views of this administration; and to be clear I am not proposing tolls at any border," Healey said in the Monday statement. "I have spoken to the Secretary and made that clear, and that I have confidence in her leadership moving forward in this important time as we work to ensure a strong and robust state transportation system."



Fall River may give the Bank Street Armory to the historical board

FALL RIVER — In the three months since the City Council voted down the sale of the Bank Street Armory for redevelopment into market-rate housing, there’s been some progress to move oversight to the Historical Commission to help restore the 1897 building. 


Mayor Paul Coogan said his administration is using $35,000 left from a previous Community Preservation Act grant to shore up the building and avoid further damage. 


“We’re buttoning it up,” said Coogan. “We’re going to secure the windows and putting drains up to make sure water is running away from the building.” 


City Council Vice President Linda Pereira, a vocal opponent of the sale, wants to work with the Historical Commission to acquire grants to fund repairs so the city can use the space for things like office space and cultural events.   

Fall River school board wants public input on new superintendent

FALL RIVER — The School Committee is seeking input into what parents, teachers, students and members of the general public want to see in the next school superintendent. 


Fall River Public Schools sent parents an online survey asking for guidance in the committee’s upcoming superintendent search. 


Superintendent Maria Pontes announced recently that she’s retiring as of June 30. She led the city’s schools as interim superintendent starting in 2021, with the job being made permanent in September 2022. 


Pontes has worked nearly four decades in the city’s school system. 



Experts say it's going to be a bad tick season

Every year, Sam Telford is asked the same question. "How bad will this year's tick season be?"


Telford, a professor of Infectious Diseases and Global health at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, gives the same answer. It's never going to be a good tick season, so take the same precautions as always.


"People just need to just take the precautions as part of their normal behavior," said Telford. "Get into the habit of reaching for the repellent every time we go outdoors."


This applies not only to hikers and dog walkers but gardeners and landscapers, anyone who may be digging around in backyard bushes.


Learn how to protect yourself at

We HeART Fall River Festival bringing food trucks, art vendors, entertainment downtown

FALL RIVER — The downtown area will hum with life next month during the fourth annual We HeART Fall River Festival. 


The free event will take place Saturday, May 11, from noon to 4 p.m. The family-friendly event will take place on the south side of Government Center along Sullivan Drive, and will feature food trucks, vendors, live entertainment, arts and crafts activities and more. 


The festival will be presented by the Fall River Arts and Cultural Council and Viva Fall River, in partnership with the city of Fall River, the Narrows Center for the Arts and the Fall River Farmers and Artisans Market. 


It will be supported in part by a grant from the Fall River Cultural Council, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, with support from the Rotary Club of Fall River, the Office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III, and by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism and Southeast Massachusetts Visitors Bureau.



1 arrested after stabbing outside Fall River bus terminal

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A man was taken to the hospital Friday after he was stabbed during a fight in Fall River.


City police tell 12 News they were called to the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) bus terminal on 4th Street just after 3 p.m. and arrived to find the victim suffering from “at least one serious stab wound.”


One of the men involved was said to be armed with a large knife, according to police.


See more at

Going to Gillette for Inter Miami CF Revolution match? MBTA offering $10 roundtrip ticket

If you're a soccer fan, you know how big a deal the game is between Inter Miami CF and New England Revolution on Saturday, April 27.


It's a chance to see one of the greatest soccer players of all time, Lionel Messi, without having to leave New England. And as the 2022 World Cup Champion has a relatively short contract with the team, it could be a relatively rare event.


Which is why, the sellout match is expected to set a new single-game attendance record at Gillette Stadium for the Revolution.


And it's why if you're one of the people with tickets to the big game, you might want to start thinking about how you're going to get there.



The Karen Read murder trial Dateline episode hasn't aired yet. 4 other ways to learn more.

Need context for the Karen Read murder trial?


That would make sense, after all, it's been more than two years since Boston police officer John O'Keefe was found dead in the snow in 2022.


Since then, Read was arrested and charged for the alleged murder and an investigation has been launched into a lead investigator on the case.


If it seems like a story made to be a Dateline episode, it appears to be in the works. Last summer, NBC released a clip of an exclusive interview with Read and said an episode titled "Taillight Murderer" is forthcoming. So far, no release date has been given for the episode.


But, if you want know more about this highly divisive and controversial case, here are some places you can learn more.



Fall River woman wins 'Jaws'-themed vacation from Mass. Lottery, with chance to win $1M

A Fall River woman has won an all-expenses-paid trip to shark-infested waters. 


The Massachusetts State Lottery named Jean Keough of Fall River one of the first six winners of a trip to Martha’s Vineyard, inspired by the classic blockbuster film “Jaws. While there, she’ll have a chance at winning $1 million.  


In the summer of 2025, Keough and a guest will enjoy a three-night stay at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown, with meals, a “Jaws”-themed tour of the island, $1,000 spending cash and more. 


She and five other winners were randomly selected in a second-chance drawing from those who held non-winning “Jaws” scratch tickets from the Mass. State Lottery. 



Route 79 roadwork will close U-turn, shift lanes.

FALL RIVER — Drivers along Davol Street through the Route 79 corridor construction will have to get used to some new traffic patterns, including a permanent change starting Monday. 


According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, one U-turn will be closing while another opens, while lanes from the Veterans Memorial Bridge will shift. 


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Fall River water and sewer rates rising significantly in 2025 budget.

FALL RIVER — The City Council earlier this month took the first of two votes to set water and sewer rates in the upcoming 2025 budget, and ratepayers are going to see a significant increase this year of nearly 24% in their utility bills. 


But the vote to increase the rates was not unanimous. 


“There are people who are really, really going to struggle with this,” City Councilor Michelle Dionne said during the April 8 council meeting. 


Dionne was one of three no votes for rate increases, along with city councilors Linda Pereira and Cliff Ponte.


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

Police ID woman killed by car on I-195 in Westport

Massachusetts State Police continue to investigate the death of a woman who was hit by a car Monday night on I-195 East.


The woman was identified Wednesday as 51-year-old Sherry M. Henderson of New Bedford.


Police said Henderson got out of a vehicle in the area of Exit 15 in Westport after getting into a fight with her boyfriend. She was walking in the right lane when she was struck by a Ford Fusion.



Fall River is looking to hire a new veterans agent, and may have to increase the salary

FALL RIVER — The city is on the hunt again for a new veterans’ agent, as Michelle Hamilton, after a year on the job, is moving on to another community.


City Administrator Seth Aitken said the city has advertised for the position. The city is looking to hire its fourth director for the Veterans' Services department since 2021. 


Hamilton was hired in March 2023. Aitken praised Hamilton for her work and the initiatives she brought to the department. 


“As a veterans' agent, she had a heart for veterans. She had a dedication to, not just the work, but forming relationships in the veterans' community that was outstanding. She made connections with veterans and increased the level of service to veterans,” said Aitken.


Read more from Jo C. Goode at heraldnews,com.

Lead singer for the Grammy winning, Billboard topping R&B group Tavares dies

Arthur “Pooch” Tavares, member of the iconic music group Tavares, has passed away.


His brother, Perry Lee “Tiny” Tavares, posted a photo tribute on his Facebook page Wednesday morning, with the message, "Miss what we had."


On the final photo, depicting Pooch with brother Ralph, who passed away in 2021, he wrote, “Now you two can get the stage ready for us. RI-Paradise.”


The post quickly drew over 400 expressions of sympathy and condolence.


"You have to take your music seriously. You have to have a passion for it. If you don't work hard at it you will never last," said Pooch in a previous Standard-Times article. "The constant rehearsing the fighting for everything you want ... without that passion for it you have nothing."



Middleboro/Lakeville commuters: Temporary bus service coming.

People who use the Middleboro/Lakeville commuter rail station to get to and from Boston will have a slight detour coming soon. 


The MBTA announced Tuesday that train service between the Middleboro/Lakeville and Bridgewater platforms will be replaced by buses from Saturday, April 27, to Sunday, May 5. 


It’s meant to accommodate ongoing work on the South Coast Rail project, the MBTA stated. 



Coogan: Cost to build a new Diman will soar to $6.5M a year.

FALL RIVER — In February 2022, the City Council voted to approve a nearly $300 million construction project for the new Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School. 


Unlike in Diman's sending communities of Somerset, Swansea and Westport, where paying for their portion of the school was on town ballots, the council side-stepped putting the project before city voters, although it was an option. 


About 75% of Diman's student population lives in Fall River. 


Now the hard financial realities are percolating to the surface regarding how much Fall River’s portion of a new Diman will be in the coming years, and Mayor Paul Coogan wants to place a question on November’s ballot asking voters to decide whether the project should be paid for through a debt exclusion.


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

RIDOT opening 3rd westbound lane on Washington Bridge ahead of schedule

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — An additional travel lane on the westbound side of the Washington Bridge will open sooner than anticipated, according to R.I. Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti.


Alviti told 12 News the third lane is slated to open sometime Friday night, roughly a week ahead of schedule.


The lane is one of two that RIDOT planned to install in a bid to ease congestion on the bridge. RIDOT added a third lane on the eastbound side last week.


See more at

Jury selection continues in Karen Read trial b

DEDHAM, Mass. (WPRI) — Jury selection continues Wednesday in Karen Read’s high-profile murder trial.


Read, 43, of Mansfield, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her Boston police officer boyfriend, John O’Keefe.


Prosecutors said O’Keefe was found unresponsive in a snowbank outside of a Canton home in January 2022. O’Keefe, a 16-year veteran of the Boston Police Department, was rushed to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.


Investigators believe Read dropped O’Keefe off at the Fairview Road home and hit him as she was leaving, according to prosecutors.


Meanwhile, Read’s defense says she is the victim of a coverup. They believe that O’Keefe was beaten inside the home, bitten by a dog, and left outside.


See more at

'This job is what she loved': Family mourns death of beloved Spencer Borden crossing guard

FALL RIVER — Peggy McGowan was a helper. 


If someone needed cheering up, Peggy helped them forget their problems. If you needed a ride, she’d ask when and where. If a fellow AA member needed anything from a coffee to a sponsor, she stepped up.  


In her job as a crossing guard, her instinct to reach out and help was at its purest — a fixture for several years outside Spencer Borden Elementary School, every morning and afternoon, she guided kids to safety across President Avenue. The fare was a high-five, a fist-bump, a kind greeting, a smile. And while Peggy had had a decades-long career in social services, this simple part-time gig, wearing a reflective vest and holding a stop sign, was the job she was most proud of. 


Peggy died March 28 after her car was hit head-on in Taunton. She was 67. Not only has she left behind a devastated, close-knit family — she is survived by hundreds of friends. She watched generations of them grow up on their way to and from school. 


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Man uses rock to break 6 pumps at Tiverton gas station

TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A Tiverton gas station won’t be able to sell gas for at least a few weeks after it was targeted by a vandal.


The incident happened around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday at American Dream on Main Road. Speaking on behalf of the owner, an employee told 12 News the suspect was seen on surveillance video trying to use firewood to break the station’s security cameras and gas pumps.


When that didn’t work, the employee said the suspect grabbed a rock and destroyed the screens on all six pumps.



Woman hit, killed by car on I-195 in Westport

WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) — A woman has died after she was struck by a car on I-195 East in Westport late Monday night, according to Massachusetts State Police.


A preliminary investigation said around 10 p.m., a woman got out of a car near Exit 15 and was walking in the right lane when a Ford Fusion hit her.


She was pronounced dead at the scene, state police said.


The driver and passenger in the Ford stayed at the scene and were not hurt.

State police say the driver of the car the woman was in took off after the crash.



Grandmother speaks out about infant death

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — The grandmother of the 2-month-old infant that passed away this month spoke with 12 News on Sunday.


Officers responded to a home in Newport the night of April 11 for a report of an unresponsive 2-month-old.


The infant was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead, police said.


Luwada Jones says she is the grandmother of the 2-month old infant.


“I’m hurt, broken, I’m numb,” Luwada Jones said.



Ethiopia's Sisay Lemma wins Boston Marathon; Kenya's Hellen Obiri repeats in women's race

Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia set a blistering pace and held on to win the Boston Marathon on Monday, running alone through most of the course to finish in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 17 seconds — the 10th fastest time in the race’s 128-year history.


Hellen Obiri defended her title in the women’s race, outsprinting fellow Kenyan Sharon Lokedi down Boylston Street to win by eight seconds. Obiri is the first woman to win back-to-back Boston Marathons since 2005.


Lemma arrived in Boston with the fastest time in the field, becoming just the fourth person ever to break 2:02:00 when he won in Valencia last year. And the 2021 London champion showed it on the course, separating himself from the pack in Ashland and opening a lead of more than half of a mile.



Police investigating ex-Fall River cop guilty of brutality. Here are the people involved.

FALL RIVER — The Fall River Police Department has hired an independent firm to investigate the December 2020 assault of a man in custody with a baton and lying on a police report, which led to the federal conviction of former patrolman Nicholas Hoar in February. 


Agents from the FBI's Boston office investigated Hoar after he assaulted then-55-year-old William Harvey on Dec. 21, 2020, after Harvey was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge. 


Hoar was indicted in November 2022 by a federal grand jury on one count of deprivation of rights under color of law and two counts of filing false reports. He was convicted on all three charges and will be sentenced in U.S. District Court on April 24.


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

Mitchell leads delegation of US mayors on trip to Israel

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell led a group of U.S. mayors on a four-day trip to Israel earlier this week as part of a joint program between the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC).


AJC’s Project Interchange aims to enhance Americans’ understanding of politics in the Middle East by sponsoring trips to Israel for mayoral delegations, who meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, academics, and experts.


“Although this is the USCM’s fourth mayoral delegation to Israel, the issues in the region today are more relevant than ever to Americans,” Mitchell said. “I believe that it is important for mayors, as the leaders of their cities, to take opportunities like this to deepen their understanding of a situation that, as everyone can agree, is complicated and difficult.”


Mitchell was joined by Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Daniel Rickman and Gresham, Oregon Mayor Travis Stovall, as well as USCM and AJC officials.



A spectator's guide to the 2024 Boston Marathon: What to know

On Monday, more than 30,000 runners will participate in the 128th Boston Marathon and many more will flock to the course sidelines to show their support and cheer on friends, family, and complete strangers. 


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the current starting line in Hopkinton. Initially, the race started in Ashland because it was about 26 miles on the train from the Boston Athletic Association's headquarters. When the official length of the marathon was extended, organizers had to move the race out a little further to where runners start their journey today.


If you want to be a part of the celebration, but don’t have the legs to run 26.2 miles, check out our spectator guide to the 2024 Boston Marathon:



2-month-old found dead in Newport

The Newport Police Department is investigating the death of an infant.


Officers responded to the Festival Field Housing Development on Girard Avenue around 11 p.m. Thursday for a report of an unresponsive 2-month-old.


The infant was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.


A 17-year-old was taken into custody for felony delinquent charges, according to police, which requires an arraignment in family court.


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Providence man charged in deadly Route 44 hit-and-run

A 19-year-old Providence man was arrested Thursday in connection with a deadly hit-and-run in Dighton.


Massachusetts State Police allege Michael Laboy drove off after hitting 57-year-old Paul DeMoura on the night of April 4, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.


Police said DeMoura was hit while walking along Route 44. An off-duty Taunton police officer spotted him in the breakdown lane around 10 p.m. and called it in.


DeMoura was later pronounced dead at Morton Hospital.



Wondering why Fall River has giant billboard recruiting teachers ... in Brockton. Here's why

Hanging above Exit 31A along Route 24 in Brockton is a billboard advertising a hiring event at the Fall River Public Schools' Durfee High School taking place at the end of April.


If you get off the highway at Exit 31A, it takes you straight to Brockton High School in one direction and Stonehill College in the other.


Brockton Public Schools have been in the spotlight recently for turmoil and violence — with teachers warning of a mass exodus if things don't improve.


That coupled with a national teacher shortage got us wondering if that's why Fall River's recruiting billboard was placed in Brockton. If you were wondering, too, here's what Fall River Public Schools told us.


Fall River Public Schools is currently recruiting for roughly 65 to 70 open positions, primarily special education staff, English language learning staff and teachers for science and math at every level.


Mayor Coogan said that Brockton was an attractive location to advertise due to its proximity to colleges like Stonehill and Bridgewater State University.



Fall River wants to sell decrepit Silvia School again. Their vision for it is wide open.

FALL RIVER — The city got approval from the City Council last January to take back the blighted former Silvia Elementary School on Hartwell Street from local businessman David Hebert, and now the city is looking for a new owner to redevelop the property. 


“I would like to see that piece redeveloped,” said Coogan. “Now if that means saving some of the building, that's fine. If it means taking it all down, that’s fine. Leveling the lot and making it a green space, that’s fine.” 


Coogan said he wants to “throw a wide net” for proposals. 


“We just know that right now it's an eyesore and it needs work,” said Coogan. “It’s one of the main entrances right off the highway into the city and into Government Center. So, it sure would be nice to rehabilitate that whole corner. We’ll look for the best proposal to make that corner look more attractive and functional.”


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

O.J. Simpson dies of prostate cancer at 76, his family announces

O.J. Simpson, the football star and actor whose life took a shocking turn when he was accused of stabbing to death his ex-wife and a man who was with her the night of the killings, died Wednesday of prostate cancer at the age of 76, according to a post on social media attributed to the Simpson family.


"Our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer,'' the post said. "He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace."


Simpson was acquitted of two counts of murder during a televised trial that gripped America and divided the country largely among racial lines. But the jury in a civil trial found Simpson liable for the double murder, and he later served nine years in prison for his role in a botched armed robbery. He was granted parole in 2017.



Summer start to South Coast Rail looks 'unlikely' — but there's one bright spot for riders

FALL RIVER — Shannon Avery-Desmarais of Swansea told South Coast Rail Director of Community Engagement Jean Fox that she’s thrilled about commuter rail service coming to Fall River, since it allowed her to take a new position in Boston. But the job, she said, starts in July — and so far, the MBTA has been cagey about when service will start. 


“I’m wondering if I might be on a train in the fall, maybe?” she asked during Wednesday’s public meeting, held at Morton Middle School. “Or are we talking 2025?” 


“I wish I could give you an answer today,” Fox said. “I could probably tell you July is unlikely.”


Audience members who entered the meeting with questions about the consumer-level details of South Coast Rail service left with almost no answers — and a sense that the MBTA may be backing away from its previously stated timeline that trains would be rolling sometime this summer.


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Police: OUI suspect was going 70+ mph before deadly Route 44 crash

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A Taunton man accused of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a Fall River woman was arraigned Wednesday on several charges.


Ricky Jorge Ponte, 29, was arrested after police say he walked away from the scene of the Route 44 crash that left 67-year-old Peggy McGowan trapped inside her SUV.


McGowan, a school crossing guard in Fall River, died at the hospital late last month.





House budget plan would increase Mass. state spending by 3.3%

Touting spending that they believe will better support Massachusetts students, their families and businesses, leaders in the House of Representatives on Wednesday unveiled a $57.9 billion budget for fiscal 2025, which starts July 1.


The proposed budget is $150 million less than the one proposed in January by Gov. Maura Healey.


Speaker Ronald Mariano, D-Quincy, said the House had maintained its focus on fiscal responsibility in preparing the budget, resulting in 3.3% across-the-board growth over the current budget.


The budget plan does not call for any major tax hikes. It does make use of $1.3 billion in new one-time or recurring revenues, including legalization of online Lottery sales and redirection of money that would otherwise automatically be stashed into savings.



Taunton man ignored cries for help after causing crash that killed Fall River woman: cops

A Taunton man who police say was speeding and driving drunk when he caused a head-on crash that killed a beloved Fall River school crossing guard was arraigned Wednesday morning in Taunton District Court and ordered held on $25,000 bail.


Ricky J. Ponte, 29, allegedly drove his Mercedes sedan into a Honda CRV being driven by 67-year-old Margaret “Peggy” McGowan, after police say Ponte tried to illegally pass another vehicle while heading west on Route 44 in Taunton.


McGowan died 18 days later in Rhode Island Hospital a day after she was taken off life support, authorities said.


The crash happened on Saturday night, March 10, at around 9:15 p.m. after McGowan — who grew up and worked in Taunton before retiring and moving to Fall River — had picked up her 16-year-old niece, after the girl had finished working a shift at a nearby restaurant, police said.



Former substitute teacher convicted on child rape charges

FREETOWN, Mass. (WPRI) — A former Freetown substitute teacher accused of repeatedly raping and molesting a 14-year-old girl nearly six years ago was found guilty Monday, according to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III.


Gilbert Hernandez, 58, of Taunton, was convicted by a jury on five counts of aggravated rape of a child, two counts of rape of a child by force, four counts of indecent assault and battery and two counts of dissemination of obscene matter to a child.


Quinn said Hernandez knew the victim through a close friendship she’d developed with his son, as well as his role a substitute teacher in the Freetown Lakeville Regional School District.


Hernandez, who was arrested and charged in March 2021, was also a Sunday school teacher at a Freetown church that the victim attended.


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3rd eastbound lane open on Washington Bridge

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Crews worked overnight to add a third lane on the eastbound side of I-195 on the Washington Bridge.


It was not ready for the morning commute, leading to long delays as the highway was down to one lane.


Around 7 a.m., the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) said all three lanes were finally open.



'The Borden Bequest': Murder mystery dinner combines intrigue, fictional local history

Are you a fan of history?


How about mystery?




If you are, there’s an event coming up soon at Heritage State Park that you’re sure to love.


“The Borden Bequest,” a murder mystery dinner, will have you diving into some local history while you try to solve the puzzles surrounding the mysterious death of a shipping tycoon.


Mastermind Adventures Inc. and the Creative Arts Network have teamed up to bring this work of historical fiction to life.


Guests can expect to enjoy both dinner and a bit of deviousness.

Before you go, here’s everything you need to know about “The Borden Bequest”:


Read more from Kristina Fontes at

Swansea voters elect new faces on town's Board of Selectmen, School Committee

SWANSEA — The town elected Michael Beaudette to the Board of Selectmen on Monday. 


Beaudette, a building industry manager with no previous experience in town government, received 1,070 votes, beating out Joyce Moore (963 votes), Mark Shane (959 votes) and Randy Lebeau (106 votes), according to unofficial results. 


The town clerk’s office said 3,180 votes were cast; nine write-in ballots were cast, and 73 ballots were blank. 


Beaudette is a fresh face on the board after selectman Christopher Carreiro opted not to run for re-election. Carreiro, who joined the board in 2015, has set his sights on the race for Bristol County Register of Deeds’ Fall River District.


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Somerset voters opt to re-elect incumbents in annual town election; Smith beats McNamara

SOMERSET — Voters on Monday night re-elected Allen Smith to the Board of Selectmen, beating out erstwhile selectman Holly McNamara in what had been a contentious race. 


It was a decisive victory for Smith, who received more than 60% of the vote to McNamara’s 38%. 


According to unofficial results, 2,033 voters chose Smith while 1,282 chose McNamara. 

There were 15 write-in votes and 36 blank ballots. 


This begins Smith’s second term on the Board of Selectmen.


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Massachusetts educators argue students be better off without MCAS graduation requirement

FALL RIVER — Some Fall River teachers and educators are calling for eliminating the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System as a high school graduation requirement, arguing alternative assessment methods will help to narrow down educational inequality and fit communities' current needs.


Advocates have filed a ballot question to replace the MCAS graduation requirement with an alternative assessment tool that allows school districts to determine whether students' competencies fit state standards.


"Having relative success on the MCAS is a convenient excuse for high tests for districts to mask or avoid the challenges they have," said Paul Tritter, the director of professional learning for the Boston Teachers Union.


He said that the current accountability system under MCAS requirements "intended to close achievement gaps has made them worse."


Read  more at

As South Coast Rail construction nears completion, safety testing next on agenda

DARTMOUTH - South Coast Rail's start will have to wait until safety testing has been fully completed.


Jean Fox, project manager for South Coast Rail-MassDOT, said a start date for "revenue service," meaning the advent of paying customers taking advantage of rail service to Boston, can't be pinpointed yet.


"I don't have it at this time because the testing and commissioning is so robust. We're going to keep targeting and pushing and pushing. It's going to take awhile. That's what it's all about, safety."

Fox provided a South Coast rail update to the Rail to Boston Coalition at the UMass Dartmouth Law School Friday.



RIDOT shifting crossover point on I-195 by the Washington Bridge

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Some new traffic patterns will be implemented in Providence this week as part of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s (RIDOT) efforts to ease congestion.


RIDOT is working toward providing three lanes of travel in both directions of I-195 over the Washington Bridge.


Overnight on Monday, crews will be shifting the crossover point for westbound traffic a half-mile closer to the Washington Bridge ahead of the Tuesday-morning commute.



New Bedford Film Festival nominated several local filmmakers.

NEW BEDFORD -- New Bedford Film Festival announced its nominations on Thursday, for its highly-anticipated award ceremony taking place on April 21 at 7 p.m. at Steeple Playhouse.


The festival has already generated buzz with its star-studded nominations, featuring local filmmakers and Hollywood actors alike.


In a video hosted by Marion actor Paul Kandarian, festival board members such as Alyssa Botelho, Vincente DiSanti, Ryan Nunes, Von Marie Moniz and Leia Onofrey, along with festival co-founder Ethan de Aguiar, announced the nominations in a video posted on YouTube.


The video also featured guest appearances from Drew Furtado of the New Bedford Whaling Museum and Sarah Athanas, co-founder of Ground Work New Bedford. Both organizations will be hosting screenings during the festival.



Federal trial ready to begin for Swansea snack salesman at U.S. Capitol riots

FALL RIVER — Former grocer and Swansea resident Michael St. Pierre, accused of participating in the riot on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, heads to the federal District of Columbia District Court on April 15 for the start of his trial. 


St. Pierre opted out of defending himself in front of a jury and will have a bench trial before federal Judge Jia M. Cobb, according to court documents. 


Records also show that St. Pierre that met with federal prosecutors on Oct. 27 and again on March 12, and informed them that he was not willing to plead to any felony charges and no deal was offered.


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

The total solar eclipse is today: Get the latest forecast and everything you need to know

Happy Solar Eclipse Day! The first total solar eclipse in the United States since 2017 is happening today, April 8, 2024 and it’s expected to be bigger and better than the one the one that happened seven years ago.  


The 115-mile wide path of totality will stretch across 13 U.S. states, with approximately 31 million Americans living in the path of totality. Though, plenty more people are expected to travel to see the spectacle.  


Massachusetts is just outside the path of totality, with a magnitude of about 93%. That means that Bay State residents won’t get the full effect, but it will get significantly darker as the vast majority of the sun is blocked by the moon.



Man killed in Dighton hit-and-run

 (WPRI) — A 57-year-old man has died after being hit by a car in Dighton Thursday evening, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.


Police said a Dighton officer was driving down Route 44 near the Taunton line and came across an injured man in the road.


The man, identified as Paul DeMoura, was rushed to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.


Investigators believe DeMoura had been hit by a vehicle while walking along the shoulder of the road.



New Jersey earthquake felt in Southern New England

The United States Geological Survey says there was a 4.8 magnitude earthquake recorded in New Jersey on Friday.


The earthquake happened around 10:25 a.m. in Lebanon.


It was felt as far as away as Rhode Island and Massachusetts.


John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport are on a ground stop while runways are inspected for damage, according to the FAA.


The survey says while earthquakes on the East Coast are less common than out West, they can be felt much more widely.


This is the largest earthquake in the Northeast since the 5.8 quake in Virginia in August 2011.



LACROSSE PREVIEWS: History-making appearances for Greater Fall River area teams

FALL RIVER — Three Greater Fall River lacrosse teams embark on a brand, new journey to start the spring season.


Somerset Berkley boys and girls along with Westport boys head into their first-ever, full varsity season in 2024. Both Raider teams kick off the season on April 10 against Seekonk while the Wildcats already hit the ground running and currently has a 1-1 record.


See a preview of the three lacrossse teams from Steven Sanchez at

Two in contentious fight for Somerset selectmen's seat

Somerset voters will have just two choices to make when they cast ballots in the annual Town Election on April 8. 


Out of 10 races on the ballot for positions in town government, two are contested: selectmen and sewer commissioner. 


Selectman Allen Smith is up for re-election, challenged by former selectman Holly McNamara. The seat is a three-year term.


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

SouthCoast Wind's plans for Somerset could involve two stations: 5 things to know

SWANSEA — SouthCoast Wind representatives detailed the offshore wind farm proposal they plan to connect to a substation in Brayton Point, suggesting the site could potentially hold two substations, at a meeting held in Swansea on Thursday. 


A handful of residents present at the Swansea Senior and Community Center heard speakers describe the yearslong, study-intensive process to bring the project to life, and the potential for future projects.


SouthCoast Wind has leased over 127,000 acres of federal waters to build its wind energy farm. It plans to deliver the electricity via undersea cable to a substation in Brayton Point, which will convert the current and feed it into the power grid. The project could start construction in 2025.


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

Westport's ballot. Here's what it means for voters.

A project long in the works to extend water and sewer service across Westport will be on the annual Town Election ballot on April 9. 


Voters will decide whether to exclude from Proposition 2½ the amount required to pay for the project. Though the ballot does not specify that amount, it is estimated to cost $35 million. 


The project is "the trunkline of Westport's future sewer system,” according to the project's website. The water and sewer line would cross Westport from Fall River to Dartmouth following Route 6, with four pump stations along the way to deliver sewage for treatment at Fall River’s system. 


Read more from Dan Medeiros at

UMass Dartmouth 'monster' sculpture, made of 32,000+ nip bottles, has a message

DARTMOUTH — There's a certain irony to the "performative sculpture" being worked on at UMass Dartmouth's main campus, to be featured during this month's AHA! Night in downtown New Bedford. As much pride and effort as the project's many artists and volunteers are putting into making the 60-foot long "monster" look its best, everyone involved would agree it's a piece of art that shouldn't exist.


Incorporating 32,885 plastic alcohol "nip" bottles found littered throughout local beaches, parks and other sites, the piece, titled "Sculpture Monster: Creature from the Plasticine Era," will make its debut as part of the "Earth Eve" parade during the "Sustainable South Coast" themed AHA! Night scheduled for April 11.


"It's going to be about 60-feet long and take about 30 students to carry it," said Rebecca McGee Tuck, the artist brought on board by UMass Dartmouth to lead this project, given her specialty in making art out of waste to deliver environmental messages. Tuck said the piece — which she describes as depicting a long "sea serpent-like creature" made up of individual sections — will stand as a campus-wide UMass Dartmouth collaboration, with involvement from multiple departments.



Private-equity backed health care 'kills people,' Warren says at U.S. Senate hearing

BOSTON — An emergency room doctor who worked at Good Samaritan in Brockton and other community hospitals owned by Steward Health Care said private equity ownership of hospitals stands in the way of "safe and adequate care."


Dr. Ellana Stinson spoke to a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Wednesday, April 3.


"I think this is a time where the community needs to start organizing and really demanding the resources that they need to get the care that they deserve," Stinson said after the event.


U.S. senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren hosted the hearing. Stinson joined a panel that included a campaigner with a non-profit watchdog, a union nurse from North Carolina and a pediatrician who ran the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama before running for governor on a platform of single-payer health care.



BCC to launch Wolfson Speaker Series with former Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza

FALL RIVER – Former White House photographer and New Bedford native Pete Souza remembers becoming transfixed with a still photo when he was eight years old.


Little did he know the impact that photo of former Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in as president aboard a plane shortly after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination - with Jacqueline Kennedy by his side – would have on his future career.


“Even though I didn’t actually pick up a camera until I was in college, still photographs meant something to me,” Souza told O Jornal in a virtual interview from Wisconsin. “I just didn’t understand it fully at the time.”


Souza, who served as Chief Official White House Photographer for President Barack Obama for all eight years and an Official White House Photographer for President Ronald Reagan, will be coming to Bristol Community College on April 18 to talk about his life and experience as a photographer and best-selling author.

Judge refuses to dismiss Somerset's $3.5M criminal case against Brayton Point: What's next

FALL RIVER — A Fall River District Court judge denied St. Louis-based Brayton Point LLC’s request to dismiss a $3.5 million criminal case brought by the town of Somerset. 


Judge Paul Pino made the one-sentence ruling on March 19, indicating that the arguments made by Brayton Point’s attorney were all matters that could be heard at trial, the same day both sides attended the dismissal hearing. 


Near the hearing's end, Pino advised Brayton Point attorney Patrick J. McBurney and Somerset attorneys Arthur Frank and retired judge Joseph Macy. 


"Both sides, at some point, need to become more realistic about what the value of the case is. Try to work it out," said Pino.


Read more from Jo C. Goode at

Washington Bridge forensic analysis needs more time, delaying 'day of reckoning'

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee’s office announced Tuesday that the team of consultants conducting a forensic analysis of the Washington Bridge needs more time to complete their work, and it’s now unclear when their much-anticipated report will be released.


The announcement comes a week after McKee had said he expected to release the forensic analysis of the doomed westbound I-195 bridge “within the next week or so.” He previously said the report would trigger a “day of reckoning” for those responsible for the bridge’s failure.



Powerball Jackpot Grows Again!

The Powerball jackpot is up to $1.09 billion after no tickets matched the winning numbers during Monday night's drawing.

The winning numbers Monday night were: 19, 24, 40, 42, 56 and a red Powerball 23. The Power Play was 2X.


The grand prize now sits at an estimated $1.09 billion, which carries a one-time cash payout option of $527.3 million. Winners typically select the cash prize over the annuity option, which is paid out as one immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments.


The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 292.2 million.



Former Red Sox executive Larry Lucchino dies at 78

BOSTON (WPRI) — Larry Lucchino, who served as the president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox for one of the most successful periods in team history, has died at the age of 78, CBS News reports.


The Red Sox won three World Series during Lucchino’s tenure from 2002 to 2015.


More recently, Lucchino was the chairman and principal owner of the Worcester Red Sox. He was part of the ownership group that bought the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2015 and eventually relocated the team.



Westport lottery player hits it big Easter weekend

Easter weekend was life-changing for one Massachusetts State Lottery player.


Buying a“$4,000,000 Bonus Bucks” scratch ticket turned $10 into a seven-figure fortune for the lucky player. The game has just three $4 million winners and 1 in 5.376 million odds of winning the big payout.


A customer bought the $4 million winning ticket on Friday, March 29, at Star Country Store & Deli in Westport.



Mass. lawmakers try to reach agreement on supplemental budget to shore up shelter system

Massachusetts lawmakers on Monday launched the process of reconciling separate supplemental budget proposals filed last month, with the House proposing $245 million to fund the emergency shelter system through the end of June, while the Senate proposes $825 million to fund the system through the middle of next year.


Both proposals would limit the amount of time families are allowed to stay in the shelters to nine months, with extensions under certain circumstances.


The House proposal would also extend certain pandemic-era provisions, such as allowing bars and restaurants to continue selling "to-go" cocktails and streamlining the application process for seasonal outdoor dining. While the Senate included changes to outdoor dining applications, the provision allowing the continued sale of cocktails "to-go" was missing from its version.



Diman students, hiking group connect to improve Fall River's Bioreserve

FALL RIVER — On Blossom Road, in a 19th-century timber-frame wagon shed, a half-dozen kids from Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School were busy building bridges connecting Fall River’s past to its future. 


The carpentry students under instructor Jeff Cabral were building the frames for bog bridges — lengths of pressure-treated lumber that will be topped with planks and installed in the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve to help hikers cross muddy trails.  


City forester Mike Labossiere said they’ll build about 600 feet of bridge. 


Read more from Dan Medeiros at



Duck at local animal sanctuary celebrates 17th birthday by

TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI) — When West Place Animal Sanctuary was established in 2007, Erna the Crested Pekin duck was there.


The beloved bird is one of the Tiverton sanctuary’s original farm animal rescues.


Staff and volunteers celebrated Erna’s 17th birthday on Sunday, a major milestone considering her species has an average lifespan of 8 to 12 years.


See more at

End of the line for South Coast Rail: MBTA to talk project's final stages at meeting

FALL RIVER — It's nearly boarding time. 


The South Coast Rail team has invited the public to a community meeting to discuss the project, which is wrapping up construction. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 10, at 6 p.m. at Morton Middle School. 


Representatives from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will be on hand to deliver information about Fall River’s new commuter rail line to Boston.


What will the MBTA be talking about? 

  • Construction: The entire South Coast Rail project should be substantially complete by the end of this month, so the MBTA will be marking that milestone. 
  • Testing: The project is now in the midst of a monthslong testing phase where the MBTA simulates service. 
  • Safety: The MBTA has been heavily promoting the need for caution along the rights of way and discouraging illegal dumping.

Read more from DAn Medeiros at


Swansea voters meet school board and selectmen candidates ahead of annual town election

With Swansea’s Annual Town Election coming up on April 8, voters were able to hear candidates for town offices pitch themselves on Wednesday, tackling topics from the incoming superintendent to the controversial municipal complex proposal that was soundly rejected in November. 


Swansea's Meet the Candidates Night, lasting over two and a half hours at Joseph Case High School, introduced voters to candidates for several town offices.  


Hosted by businessman Carl Sawejko, the event saw School Committee and Board of Selectmen hopefuls given two minutes each for opening and closing statements and to respond to questions posed by the moderator, retired journalist Bill Hall. 


The full event was streamed live online, and is available on the town’s Vimeo channel, 


For a roundup of the candidates running for the major contested races... click here at