Man walking his Alpaca downtown New Bedford on Saturday

A man was walking his alpaca on Purchase Street in downtown New Bedford on Saturday.




Friends of Hazelwood Park accepting donations for bowling greens

The Friends of Hazelwood Park, partnering with the Department of Parks, Recreation & Beaches, are excited to announce that an anonymous donor interested in the renovation of the park’s bowling greens will match up to $50,000 received in donations with a 2:1 match – for a total of $150,000 – to restore the greens.

Many city residents remember the traditional bowling on the lawns at Hazelwood Park. According to Bowls USA, modern lawn bowling is a family-friendly activity suitable to people of all ages and abilities. In New Bedford, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) has taught lawn bowling and croquet to participants on the greens for the past 15 years. This summer, the Department of Parks, Recreation & Beaches and the Friends of Hazelwood Park, together with Bowls USA and the Marion Croquet Club, will be offering free family clinics on the greens.

Donations to renovate the greens received by December 31, 2019 will be matched in a 2:1 match up to the $50,000 by the anonymous donor. Those interested in donating should make checks out to the City of New Bedford Department of Parks, Recreation & Beaches, noting the Hazelwood Bowling Greens Fund for the donation.

The intent of the donor is to encourage as many individuals as possible to become involved with the upgrade, development and use of the bowling pitches and croquet greens. The fund will be administered by the Department of Parks, Recreation & Beaches through the Park Board. Disbursement will be limited to expenses to restore and maintain the bowling pitches at Hazelwood Park. Gift receipts to each donor will be issued by the Department of Parks, Recreation & Beaches as required under IRS code and applicable regulations.

Upcoming events:

A Bowling & Croquet Clinic will be held on Tuesday, July 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the Hazelwood bowling greens. Instruction will be provided by the New York Lawn Bowling Club, Essex Lawn Bowling Club and the Marion Mallett Club. Participants will be from Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Community Boating Center, Council on Aging, and Veterans Transition House. The public is welcome to participate.

The Friends of Hazelwood Park are hosting a New Bedford Sunset Cruise fundraiser on Thursday, July 11, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to benefit the bowling green renovations. Funds raised will qualify for the anonymous donor’s match challenge. For more information, contact Parks, Recreation & Beaches at 508-961-3015.

Parks, Recreation & Beaches will be hosting free lawn bowling clinics at Hazelwood Park on Mondays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. during the months of July and August.

For more information on any of these programs contact the Department of Parks, Recreation & Beaches at 508-961-3015 or at info.prb@newbedford-ma.gov.

For more information on the clinics visit, www.nbprb.com. For more information on making a donation to the renovation of the bowling greens, contact the Parks, Recreation & Beaches office at 508-961-3015.




New Bedford Cape Verdean Recognition Parade Set For July 6th

The Traffic Division of the New Bedford Police Department announces that the annual Cape Verdean Recognition Parade will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2019.

The Parade will form at Buttonwood Park at 9:00 am and will step off sharply at 11:00 am from Union St. and Rockdale Ave. The route will be East on Union St. to Acushnet Ave., South on Acushnet Ave., to Grinnell St., West on Grinnell St., then right, North on Purchase St., ending at the Cape Verdean-American Veterans Hall, 561 Purchase St.

Parking is banned along the entire parade route and the ban will be strictly enforced. Illegally parked vehicles WILL be towed at the owner’s expense.

The public is once again being asked to cooperate in order to make this a successful parade celebration.




Empire Ford in New Bedford – Service Department

$9.95 oil changes?! Here’s a look at Empire Ford of New Bedford’s service department – now open to 8pm on Tuesdays and Thursday. Oil changes are $9.95 between 5-8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays! Call 888-693-0925 to make an appointment.




Three Brockton Men Indicted For Selling Drugs Via The Dark Web

Three Brockton men were indicted Wednesday in federal court in Boston on charges of conspiring to manufacture and distribute controlled substances.

Binh Thanh Le, 22, Steven McCall, 23, and Allante Pires, 22, were each charged with conspiring to manufacture and distribute MDMA, Ketamine and Xanax. All three men were previously charged by criminal complaint and were detained following an initial appearance in federal court in May 2019.

According to the charging documents, Le, McCall, and Pires received wholesale quantities of controlled substances in the mail. The three men then processed and manufactured those controlled substances at an office space they rented in Stoughton. To distribute the drugs, the men allegedly created a vendor site entitled “EastSideHigh” on Dark Net Market websites, where they advertised various drugs for sale, including cocaine, MDMA, Ketamine and Xanax.

More than 20 kilograms of MDMA, more than seven kilograms of Ketamine, more than 10,000 Xanax pills, more than $200,000 worth of Bitcoin, and more than $100,000 in cash were seized by authorities. During the execution of a search warrant at the office space in Stoughton, agents encountered and arrested McCall, who was wearing latex gloves and a respirator, and was believed to be in the process of filling drug orders. During the search of that office space, a computer with the “EastSideHigh” vendor page open, and numerous packages containing MDMA and Ketamine, various shipping and packaging materials, and a pill press were recovered.

During the investigation, an undercover federal agent ordered MDMA from one of the “EastSideHigh” vendor sites on a Dark Net Marketplace, and later observed Le allegedly deposit the envelope containing the agent’s order into a United States Postal Service collection box in Stoughton. Pursuant to federal search warrants, numerous other envelopes containing MDMA and Ketamine, which are connected to this drug distribution scheme, were intercepted

On March 27, 2019, Le allegedly met with undercover law enforcement officers at a hotel in Norwood for the purpose of exchanging $200,000 worth of Bitcoin for cash. Le was arrested after he transferred the bitcoin to the agents.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; William Ferrara, Director of Field Operations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey made the announcement today. Agents from Homeland Security Investigations in Colorado, Postal Inspectors from around the country, and the Stoughton, Norwood, and Brockton Police Departments assisted in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James E. Arnold of Lelling’s Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit and Rachel E. Goldstein of Lelling’s Asset Recovery Unit are prosecuting the case.

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




New Bedford Police Officer Charged With Child Pornography Offenses

A New Bedford police officer was arrested today and charged in federal court in Boston with child pornography offenses.

Paul Hodson, 42, of Acushnet, was charged with one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He will appear in federal court in Boston later today.

Following an investigation into the use of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks for the trade of child pornography, a federal search warrant was executed at Hodson’s Acushnet home. Hodson was interviewed on-scene and admitted to using peer-to-peer file-sharing software to trade child pornography. In the course of a preliminary on-scene forensic preview of Hodson’s computer, hundreds of child pornography files were recovered, including at least one file that was distributed to undercover law enforcement in the course of the investigation that led to the search warrant.

The charge of distribution of child pornography provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 20 years in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of possession of child pornography provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police Cyber Crime Unit and Acushnet Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti, Lelling’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and a member of the Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the case.

The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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




New Bedford to raise the LGBTQ flag over City Hall on June 13

According to the New Bedford mayor’s office, the LGBTQ flag will be raised over New Bedford’s city hall during AHA! Pride and will remain through the rest of June in support of LGBT Pride Month.

AHA! is a monthly celebration in downtown New Bedford. Dozens of LGBTQ centric events are planned from 5-9 pm and can be seen here.




City of New Bedford retains outside counsel to oppose Parallel Products proposal in Business Park

The City of New Bedford has retained the Boston-based municipal law firm of KP Law, P.C. (formerly known as Kopelman & Paige) to oppose the proposal of Parallel Products to establish a glass/solid waste/biosolids processing facility on Duchaine Boulevard in the New Bedford Business Park.

In the coming months, the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Office (MEPA) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will review the Parallel Products proposal. KP Law has significant experience in working with these agencies on similar matters, leading the City to retain them for the Parallel Products project.

The City has submitted comments to MEPA regarding the project, initially in March and again in May. Concerns about potential odor, noise, and traffic impacts have been raised among neighbors and City departments, and Mayor Jon Mitchell has written to MEPA to formally oppose the project.

In his May 10 letter to MEPA, Mayor Mitchell wrote that MEPA should consider Parallel’s request in the full context of the development proposed at the site, and not provide any waivers for certain aspects of the expansion that would allow the facility to be approved piecemeal by the state. He also requested that MEPA mandate a full Environmental Impact Report before any decisions are made at the state level regarding development of the site.

KP Law will represent the City of New Bedford in vigorously opposing the proposal at the state level, where it will be subject to multiple reviews and approvals before it can move forward.




New Bedford officials unveil major upgrades to Elm Street parking garage

Mayor Jon Mitchell and City officials announced significant upgrades to the Elm Street Garage, officially reopening the garage after renovations began in 2017.

The new renovation includes improvements to structural performance, security, lighting, and cosmetic changes to the lobby, stairs and elevator areas. New signage including electronic wayfinding signs have also been added to the garage.

“These major upgrades to the Elm Street Garage have significantly improved its security, image and ease of use for both residents and visitors to New Bedford,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “As more businesses and restaurants are opening and drawing more visitors to the downtown, the need for improved options for parking has also grown, and the renovated Elm Street Garage will provide an accessible option for downtown parking.”

In Fiscal Year 2015, the City established the Downtown Parking Enterprise Fund to finance improvements and renovations to transportation facilities downtown. Aging parking meters were replaced in 2014, and the city began its planning for renovation of the Elm Street Garage, with preliminary engineering completed in 2015.

The renovation included structural stabilization, enhancements to the appearance and curb appeal of the garage’s façade, redesign and installation of new LED lighting and security for interior spaces throughout the garage, and a redesigned entrance lobby. The stairways were also renovated, and auto-pay units for self-service were installed in the Elm Street Garage as well as the Zeiterion Garage on Purchase Street. Inside the garage, renovations and structural rehabilitation included resurfacing the concrete parking deck, replacement of parking stops and a fire protection system.

In addition to financing through the Downtown Parking Enterprise Fund, the City obtained a $511,254 award from the National Park Service’s Federal Land Access Program (FLAP) toward the project. In January 2017, the City Council unanimously approved a bond for $5,039,280 to finance the project. The Downtown Parking Enterprise Fund will fully support the debt service on the project.




Judge Refuses To Revoke Bail in New Bedford Domestic, Police Officer Assault Case

Despite being out on bail in connection to an ongoing homicide case when he was arrested earlier this month for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and punching a police officer in the face, a New Bedford District Court judge refused to revoke the defendant’s bail, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Glenn Westgate, 41, of New Bedford, was arrested June 2nd in New Bedford after police were called to his home for reports of a domestic assault. A witness told police that he was doing yard work on his property when he observed the defendant and the victim arguing outside their home on Oliver Street. The witness told police he saw the defendant grab his girlfriend, place his hands around her head and put her into a headlock. He further observed the victim break free from the defendant and run inside the home. The defendant ran into the home after her, at which point the witness called police.

When police arrived at the home, they reported hearing the victim yelling, “get away from me.” Officers knocked on the door several times as the yelling from inside continued. After several minutes passed, the female victim opened the door. At that point, police report that the defendant came running down the stairs yelling at the police to get off his property, and threatened that he will “fu** them up.” While the officers attempted to place the defendant under arrest, he allegedly pushed back and punched one officer in the face with a closed fist, causing minor injuries. The defendant and the officer fell backwards onto the floor, at which point police report the defendant continued to flail his arms and kick his legs in an attempt to get away.

At the time of this incident, the defendant was out on bail for a pending Superior Court case where he was indicted for misleading police in a homicide investigation. He was arrested by State Police in May 2018 on that charge as part of the ongoing investigation into the homicide of Marcus Roberts in New Bedford. When a Superior Court judge set bail in that case, he was also given a bail warning that stated if he was arrested again during the pendency of his case, he could have his bail revoked and be held without bail for 60 days.

During his arraignment on June 3rd in New Bedford District Court in regards to his new arrest, prosecutors from the Bristol County District Attorney office requested that a dangerousness hearing be held. The hearing was held last week and after taking the matter under advisement, Judge James McGovern ruled that the defendant is not a danger and could be freed on $1,000 cash bail as long as he stays away from the victim and resides with his parents. At that point, a prosecutor from this office requested that the defendant’s superior court bail be revoked, meaning he would be held without bail for 60 days. Judge McGovern, however, declined to revoke the defendant’s bail despite the fact that he violated the term of his pre-trial release in the superior court case.

“This defendant was on release for misleading police in a murder investigation. He is now charged with putting his girlfriend in a headlock and punching a police officer in the face. Based on these facts, it is astounding to me that the defendant’s bail was not revoked on the superior court case,” District Attorney Quinn said. “This is another example of how bail warnings given by the court are often meaningless and not enforced. The new bail conditions on the current case imposed by the court are precisely what he should have been complying with when he allegedly committed this new crime. This defendant belongs off the street; not living with his parents.”

Glenn Westgate did make some posts related to the case before and after (on our Facebook page) this article was published.

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