New Bedford’s BP ZOO welcomes three 14-day old American beaver kits born to Wicket and Justin

This is the first birth for adult beavers, Justin and Wickett.

“New Bedford, Massachusetts: The Buttonwood Park Zoo is proud to announce the birth of three American beaver babies, known as kits, an exciting addition to the Zoo’s diverse animal population. The kits, born May 16th to first time parents eight-year-old female Wicket and six-year-old male Justin, have already begun exploring their outdoor habitat. Beaver kits are born with their eyes open, their teeth fully erupted and capable of swimming – with one of them testing their skills at only fourteen days old!

BPZOO Veterinarian, Dr. Emmy Budas, examined all three kits on May 31st, determining they were all in good health and at healthy weights. The sex of each kit will be determined at a later date, as it will require an x-ray.

Beaver kits are born with their eyes open, their teeth fully erupted and capable of swimming. Pictured here is BPZOO’s male American beaver, Justin, helping a kit back to the den after their first swim. Buttonwood Park Zoo photo.

“All three beaver kits are growing at a fast and steady rate,” reported Dr. Budas. “They have thick fuzzy coats, which helps keep them afloat when learning to swim. They are all beginning to explore eating solid foods, which is beyond adorable to watch. It has been such a joy seeing Wicket and Justin be so caring and attentive to their kits. This little family is definitely a heart-warming sight to see!”

While American beaver populations are stable in the wild, these new arrivals are excellent ambassadors for their species, giving BPZOO the opportunity to showcase the vital role beavers play in our ecosystems.

Acting as nature’s engineers, beavers are known for their extraordinary ability to transform their surroundings through activities such as dam building using sticks, mud, and stones. These dams create ponds and wetlands that support diverse ecosystems, serving as crucial habitats for fish, amphibians, birds, and many plant species, promoting biodiversity.

According to BPZOO Veternarian, Dr. Emmy Budas, the kits are beginning to explore eating solid foods, which is beyond adorable to watch. Buttonwood Park Zoo photo.

The dams also play a critical role in maintaining water levels in streams and rivers. By trapping sediments and improving water quality, beaver dams contribute to healthier aquatic environments. The wetlands they create also act as carbon sinks, aiding in climate change mitigation. These industrious engineers are known to alter their environment the most compared to any other organism on Earth – except for humans.

Guests to BPZOO may be able to witness these natural dam building behaviors when visiting Wicket, Justin, and the three new kits this summer. Scheduled “Keeper Chats” may be held throughout the summer and provide an opportunity to learn more about beaver behaviors, their environmental impact, and BPZOO’s ongoing conservation efforts alongside them.”-BP ZOO.

New Bedford offices and facilities closed as New Bedford observes Juneteenth

“NEW BEDFORD – City offices will be closed to the public on Wednesday, June 19, as New Bedford observes the Juneteenth holiday. This includes public libraries. Buttonwood Park Zoo will remain open.

The City of New Bedford was gifted an Official Juneteenth Flag by Human Rights Commissioner Sidney A. Murray II. The flag will be hoisted Tuesday, June 18, as part of the City’s annual flag raising ceremony at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, specifically the date that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, were finally notified of their emancipation on June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth was first recognized in Massachusetts in 2007 and was formally designated a state holiday during the summer of 2020. Observance of the holiday began in 2021, and Mayor Jon Mitchell designated Juneteenth a City-observed holiday beginning that year.

Wednesday’s observance will delay residential trash, recycling, bulky pickup, and yard waste routes by one day for customers with normal pickup Wednesday-Friday as there will be no collection on Wednesday. Downtown and Commercial collection will not take place on Wednesday but will remain on schedule for Thursday and Friday. There is no delay in business cardboard pickup.”-City of New Bedford.

Westport, Dartmouth Fire Departments race to reported fire at restaurant

“At approximately 1830 this evening firefighters were dispatched to a fire alarm activation at the Bayside restaurant on Horseneck Road…minutes later the department received a call for a reported structure fire at Westport Dog on Main Road.

Mutual aid from Dartmouth Fire District 2 was called to handle the alarm activation, while engines diverted to the reported structure fire, along with mutual aid from Tiverton and Little Compton.

Crews arrived to find smoke in the building from a reported dryer fire. Firefighters ensured the fire was out, checked for fire extension and ventilated smoke from the building.

Many thanks to the Westport Police, E911 dispatchers and our mutual aid partners for their assistance.

From @nfpadotorg:

🔥In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 15,970 home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year.
🔥These fires caused annual averages of 13 civilian deaths, 444 civilian injuries, and $238 million in direct property damage.
🔥The vast majority of fires (92%) involved clothes dryers.
🔥The leading items first ignited in dryer fires were dust, fiber or lint (26% of total) and clothing (26%), while items first ignited in washing machine fires were part of the appliance itself, including wire or cable insulation (26%), appliance housing or casing (24%), and drive belt (11%).

🔥🚨Be sure to properly clean and maintain your dryer, by removing the lint from the filter after each use and having the exhaust vent inspected annually and cleaned to reduce the risk of fire.”-Westport Fire Department.

Westport Fire Department photo.

Westport Fire Department photo.

Westport Fire Department photo.

Rochester Firefighters battle fire that erupts in car after crash on Mary’s Pond Road

“Earlier this week this crash on Marys Pond Road sent the operator to the hospital.

First arriving units reported that the vehicle was on fire but the occupant had been extricated from the vehicle. The fire was quickly extinguished and the operator was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Rochester Fire Department.”-Rochester Fire Department.

Rochester Fire Department photo.

Rochester Fire Department photo.

Rochester Fire Department photo.

Rochester Fire Department photo.

Rochester Fire Department photo.

Rochester Fire Department photo.

Rochester Fire Department photo.

Taunton’s Jordan’s Furniture donates 100 bicycles to kids at ten Massachusetts Boys and Girls Clubs

“Yesterday, Eliot Tatelman, President and CEO of Jordan’s Furniture, donated approximately 100 bicycles to each of the ten area Boys and Girls Clubs that participated.

The event took place at the Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester and had approximately 2,500 adults, kids, staff, and volunteers. Entertainment and food were enjoyed by all! Thank You Eliot!”-Massachusetts State Police.

Massachusetts State Police photo.

Massachusetts State Police photo.

Massachusetts State Police photo.

Massachusetts State Police photo.

Wareham Police Officer injured en route to dirt bike accident involving juvenile

“(Wareham, MA) – On June 15, 2024, at approximately 12:37 pm, the Wareham Patrol Division along with Wareham EMS and Onset Fire Department responded to a dirt bike crash involving a juvenile at a motocross track located at 131 Atwood Farm Way, East Wareham, MA.

The crash is being investigated by the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office. For additional information regarding this incident contact Beth Stone with the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office at (508) 584-8120.

One of our officers was involved in a motor vehicle crash while responding to the high priority incident. The officer was
transported to Tobey Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.”-Wareham Police Department.

South Coast Rail Start Delayed Until Spring 2025

By Chris Lisinski
State House News Service

The long-awaited MBTA commuter rail expansion to the South Coast will not open to passengers until next spring, nearly 18 months after the original opening date attached to the project.

After sharing the latest outlook with community members Thursday night, T officials announced Friday that they now expect service to begin in spring 2025, a delay they said would allow “more resources and attention to make South Coast Rail reliable on the first day of service and beyond.”

The New Bedford Light reported that MBTA General Manager Phil told attendees at a Thursday meeting that he realized in the spring the timeline for South Coast Rail had been “slipping.” Eng earlier this year named Karen Antion as the new project manager, and MBTA officials said that move was “needed to ensure the success and safety of the project.”

It’s the latest delay for a project that has been postponed several times. In December 2022, while celebrating a project milestone, then-MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said passengers could expect to begin riding the new rails by the end of 2023. By the fall of 2023, officials changed the timeline to summer 2024, and this spring, the T’s leadership suggested that goal might no longer be possible.

Debate about expanding commuter rail service to the South Coast stretches back decades.

Once complete, the $1.1 billion project’s first phase will offer commuter rail service linking Boston to New Bedford, Fall River and other nearby communities. State officials say Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford are the only major cities within 50 miles of Boston that lack commuter rail access to the state’s capital.

T officials said four of the extension’s stations — Fall River, Freetown, Middleborough and Church Street — are complete, and two more in Ned Bedford and East Taunton will be finished this summer.

Test trains will begin running Monday at speeds of up to 79 miles per hour, and Eng urged locals to be careful near tracks. Between August and January, the T will also test anti-collision technology on the system.

The agency also announced a fare structure for the extension. All South Coast Rail stations will be in Zone 8, so passengers will owe $12.25 for a one-way ticket or $388 for a monthly pass.

Officials said the distance between Boston and the new stations suggests they should be placed in either Zone 8 or Zone 9.

Disabled woman frustrated by New Bedford Housing Authority’s refusal to put up handicap ramp

“Can anyone out there help us? ♿ New Bedford Housing Authority won’t put up a ramp for those of us who have a disability and struggle with walking and have difficulty with stairs.

We are seeking help to get a ramp put in so we can have easier access to the upper street sidewalk from the lower sidewalk which leads to our homes, which requires using stairways. You can Google Parkdale Projects on the Rockdale Avenue side to see the steep stairs we are forced to maneuver. There is no other access to the lower sidewalk and our homes except these steep stairs.

There is plenty of room for a ramp. The New Bedford city council gave their approval for a ramp but Joe Beauregard, head of housing told Joseph Lopes, ward counselor, that it’s “not feasible”. How can it not be feasible to give those with disabilities a ramp versus dangerous stairs?


I’m searching for advocates as I am not sure where to turn for help at this point. I have reached out to MOD and other sites hoping to find someone who can help. I’m waiting for a response from anyone who’s willing to try to help us. I have also reached out to channels 10, 6 and 12 in hopes of finding an advocate in this matter of helping those with disabilities.”–Lillian Connor.

This is a photo taken from my porch. Lillian Connor photo.

This is the backdoor stairs which is not the issue. We just avoid them and don’t have an issue with them. Lillian Connor photo.

This is the hill that leads to Summit Street, in back of our unit. Lillian Connor photo.

Massachusetts to turn into open oven with 3-day heat wave of extreme, dangerous heat, humidity


After a beautiful weekend, dangerous heat and humidity begins to overspread parts of the region Tue and peaks in the Wed through Friday time frame.

Outside of any relief on the immediate coast from sea breezes…expect heat indices between 95 and 105 degrees.”-US National Weather Service Boston MA.

TUESDAY. US National Weather Service Boston MA photo.

WEDNESDAY. US National Weather Service Boston MA photo.

TURSDAY. US National Weather Service Boston MA photo.

New Bedford firefighter Anthony Poente selected as 2024 recipient of the New Bedford Way Award

“In recognition of his work, Fire & Life Safety Educator Firefighter Anthony Poente was selected as a 2024 recipient of the New Bedford Way Award!!

Firefighter Anthony is well known throughout the community, he is an outstanding example of someone who demonstrates their commitment to public safety through prevention and education initiatives. He has charisma, jokes, and finds innovative ways to teach for all ages.

Firefighter Anthony has fostered positive relationships with schools, businesses, community groups, public service organizations, and churches, to ensure they have access to public fire & life safety education.

Well deserved, congratulations!!”-New Bedford Fire Department.

New Bedford Fire Department photo.