OPINION: “Dear New Bedford: Dunkin’ trash cans are not your personal dumpsters!”

“These outside Dunkin trash cans are not your personal dumpsters!

I understand putting your previous built-up Dunkin cups that have old Dunkin food bags in them. But, we don’t appreciate the people putting large bags of trash or miscellaneous items like pizza boxes in the cans that come from your houses and cars.

For the pizza boxes, we have a recycling dumpster right outside. As a Dunkin worker in New Bedford, it’s not in the job description to hand pick nasty trash that is *overflowing* the trash cans. We then have to separate garbage and recycling for you and then put them in multiple trash bags.

Even after someone has just changed the trash they get filled up immediately. It’s disgusting and we do the amount of work we *get paid to do*. Respectfully, please don’t overfill the regular-sized outside trash with LARGE bags of garbage or huge items. There are plenty of acceptable things to throw in the trash.

ALSO if you’re about to throw trash in a bin that’s overflowing please just check if the other trashes that are usually emptier aren’t filled and you can throw your trash in those. I often see one or two trash(s) overfilling even with trash piles on the ground next to the can.

Please have consideration because most of the time the other 2 aren’t as full and people only pick one to use for some reason. We change the trashes every day, every shift. Please be considerate and don’t add to trashes coming from the lids.

Thank you!”




Massachusetts Department of Public Health Calls for Tougher Action by Cannabis Industry to Improve Health and Safety After Work-related Asthma Death

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today released an investigative report outlining additional steps the cannabis industry should take to prevent work-related asthma and sent a bulletin to health care providers in the Commonwealth urging vigilance in identifying work-related asthma among workers in that industry.

These steps were taken after an investigation conducted by DPH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confirmed that the first known occupational asthma fatality in the US cannabis workforce happened last year in Massachusetts. The bulletin reminds providers that they are mandated to report cases of work-related asthma and other respiratory diseases to DPH.

The investigation, which was highlighted in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, focused on the circumstances surrounding the death of a 27-year-old production technician who suffered a fatal asthma attack in January 2022 while at work at an indoor cannabis cultivation and processing facility in Massachusetts. The worker’s death occurred seven months after she started employment at the facility and three months after she began working as a flower technician, which involved processing and handling whole and ground cannabis flower buds.

While this is the only known asthma death in the US cannabis industry, other cases of non-fatal respiratory disease among Massachusetts workers in that industry have been reported. Cannabis industry workers can be routinely exposed to various occupational respiratory hazards, including cannabis dust, mold, volatile organic compounds, pollen, bacterial endotoxins, pesticides, soil components, and cleaning disinfectants, which can cause and/or exacerbate chronic diseases, like asthma, if not addressed. Massachusetts has more than 500 licensed cannabis industry employers that provides jobs to 22,000 workers.

“The legalized cannabis industry in Massachusetts is relatively new and the impact on the health and safety of workers demands our careful attention,” said Public Health Commissioner Robert Goldstein, MD, PhD. “As this workforce continues to expand, it will require all of us working together – state and federal agencies, regulators, healthcare providers, and the cannabis industry – to improve working conditions for these employees. At DPH, we will continue to identify and follow up on these cases using our long-standing public health surveillance system for work-related respiratory disease and continue to work with our partners on documenting cases, building evidence around workplace hazards, and on intervention and policy.”

Work-related asthma – or asthma caused or exacerbated by exposures at work – is underrecognized in part because work-related asthma symptoms and industry and occupation data are not routinely collected as part of the physical exam or documented in the medical record, the bulletin to health care providers states.

Approximately 17 percent of new-onset adult asthma cases are related to workplace exposures. Regardless of the cause, an estimated 22-to-58 percent of adults with asthma nationwide suffer work-related exacerbations, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). In Massachusetts, an estimated 200,000 adults have work-related asthma, data from DPH’s Occupational Health Surveillance Program show.

Early recognition of work-related asthma can lead to both medical and workplace interventions that improve patient outcomes and mitigate exposure to the source.

In its bulletin, DPH urged health care providers to:

– Ask patients with new or worsening respiratory or allergic symptoms what they do for work and how it affects their health.
– Perform diagnostic testing, such as allergy testing, pulmonary imaging, and/or spirometry.
– Recommend workplace changes to avoid further exposure, as avoidance of workplace exposure is imperative.
– Report cases of work-related asthma and other work-related respiratory diseases to DPH, as required by law.

Employers also play a critical role in prevention.

The report on the investigation of the Massachusetts worker’s death was prepared by DPH’s Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program, which conducts investigations on the causes of work-related fatalities. The report includes six recommendations for cannabis employers, equipment manufacturers, and the state’s Cannabis Control Commission to improve the health and safety of cannabis industry workers.

“This investigation, which is part of an ongoing collaboration between OSHA and DPH, has identified cannabis dust as an occupational allergen with the potential to cause fatal occupational asthma,” said Virginia Weaver, MD, MPH, Lead Physician, OSHA Occupational Medicine Resident Elective. “The case indicates the importance of identifying allergens in the workplace as early as possible and the need for experienced healthcare providers to manage workers who develop occupational allergies.”

To improve worker safety, the investigative report recommended that:

– Employers should assess and control hazardous materials in the workplace, including asthmagens.
– Employers should ensure that all workers are properly trained about hazardous materials in the workplace.
– Employers should develop and implement a comprehensive safety and health program that addresses hazard recognition, avoidance of unsafe conditions, and proper use of equipment.
– Employers should implement a medical surveillance program to monitor the health of their workers.
– Equipment manufacturers should adopt and implement the concept of Prevention through Design (PtD) to identify potential hazards associated with equipment and then eliminate these hazards through design changes.
– Industry licensing agencies in Massachusetts should consider how they can further support the health and safety of cannabis industry workers.

“Levels of exposure to cannabis dust at work are much higher than what is present during recreational use,” said Emily Sparer-Fine, Director of DPH’s Occupational Health Surveillance Program. “Work processes that include grinding and concentrating an allergen need to be better controlled. It is critical for employers to assess and control exposure to hazardous materials, including the respiratory hazards found in the cannabis processing facilities, such as cannabis dust.”

Employers should utilize the Commonwealth’s Department of Labor Standards’ free and confidential On-Site Consultation service designed to help them recognize and control possible safety and health hazards at their worksites and establish and improve safety and health programs. The goal of the service is to prevent injuries and illnesses that are the result of hazardous workplace conditions and practices.




Massachusetts State Police find woman’s body in Logan Airport garage, suspect flees to Kenya

“The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police announce that an arrest warrant has been obtained for a Lowell man suspected of killing a Whitman woman whose body was located last night in a garage at Logan Airport. The victim had been reported missing by her family on Monday and was the subject of a missing person investigation.

At approximately 6:30 PM Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, Massachusetts State Troopers assigned to the Logan Airport Barracks located a vehicle occupied by a deceased adult female in the Central Parking garage at Logan Airport. A subsequent investigation by the State Police Detective Unit for Suffolk County and State Police Troop F Detectives confirmed that the victim was the missing Whitman woman, Margaret Mbitu, 31. Evidence indicates that she was the victim of a homicide.


Facebook photo.

The investigation identified the suspect as KEVIN KANGETHE, 40, of Lowell and determined that he had boarded a flight to Kenya. State Police Detectives obtained a warrant charging KANGETHE with Ms. Mbitu’s homicide and are working with Kenyan authorities to locate KANGETHE.

The investigation into the facts and circumstances of the homicide are ongoing. The investigation indicates that KANGETHE and Ms. Mbitu knew each other and that the homicide was not a random act. There is no threat to the public or to Logan Airport travelers. No further information is being released at this time to protect the integrity of the investigation.

It has come to our attention that media outlets have shown up at the Mbitu family home in Whitman. Please be advised that the family requests privacy at this time. We respectfully ask any media at the residence to leave.”-Massachusetts State Police.


Facebook photo.




UPDATE: Dartmouth Police seek public’s help in finding man missing from group home

UPDATE: “The missing male, Dennis Darbyshire, has been located, and returned to his group home safely. Thank you for all of your assistance.”

___________________________________________________________________

The Dartmouth Police are seeking the public’s help in finding missing 46-year old Dennis Darbyshire of Dartmouth. He was last seen on Friday, April 30, 2021 when he left his group home in Dartmouth on a newly purchased motorized lime green scooter.

As Darbyshire left without his medication(s) there is concern for his well-being.

According to a family member, Darbyshire likes to visit casinos.

If anyone has information about Darbyshire’s location, they are encouraged to contact the Dartmouth Police Department at 508-910-1700.




Drug Enforcement Agency New England announces 20th Take Back Day

This weekend the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will once again conduct one of its most popular community programs:  National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. 

On Saturday April 24 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the public can dispose of their expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications at 565 collection sites throughout New England, operated by local law enforcement agencies and other community partners. The service is free of charge, no questions asked and most of these collection sites can be found in the lobby of your local Police Department. To find a collection site near you and learn more about the event go to www.deatakeback.com, or by calling 800-882-9539.

Last October during the 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day the New England Field Division and its partners, over the course of four hours, collected a record 115,944.24 pounds or over 57 tons of expired, unused, unwanted prescription drugs, electronic vaping devices and cartridges at collection sites throughout New England. 

“DEA has touched a nerve in America with its recent Take back events, as evidenced by the millions of pounds of pills collected during our previous 19 events,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “These events are only made possible through the dedicated work and commitment of our local, state, and federal partners, and DEA thanks each and every one of them for their continuous efforts on behalf of the American people.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 87,200 Americans dying as a result of a drug overdose in a one-year period (Sept. 1, 2019 to Sept. 1, 2020), the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, accelerating significantly during the first months of the pandemic.

The public can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at collection sites which will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement. 

DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed. 
 
Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way DEA is working to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths. 




Necropsy of deceased dog found in plastic bag found near Massachusetts school reveals extensive abuse

In late March, a young female Jack Russell Terrier-type dog was found deceased near a Lawrence, MA, school.

A necropsy has revealed the dog’s death was the result of extensive abuse, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department, working in conjunction with the Lawrence Police Department, are urgently seeking information to determine who may have been responsible.

A Lawrence police officer discovered the approximately 1-year-old dog along a frequented walking trail behind South Lawrence East Middle School on March 17, at approximately 10:45 a.m.

The white and tan dog had been partially wrapped in a “pee pad” and placed in a black plastic bag. There was blood present inside the bag and on the dog’s body, as well as urine staining on the dog’s tail.

It is likely the dog had not been left in the area for very long.

It appears the animal suffered extreme cruelty and abuse, which led to the dog’s death.

A necropsy has determined the animal’s cause of death to be acute blood loss and multiple skull fractures. Extensive bruising on the body indicates the dog was also intermittently abused in the 36-hours leading up to its death.

Anyone with information pertaining to this ongoing investigation is urged to contact Lawrence Police Det. Carmen Poupora at (978) 794-5900 x625, or ARL Law Enforcement at (617) 426-9170 ext. 110 or cruelty@arlboston.org.




Massachusetts State Police Marine Unit prepares for the worst-case scenario

“This week Troopers assigned to the Massachusetts State Police Marine Unit underwent in-depth training and conducted real-world scenarios for the operation of vessels in zero visibility conditions. This training prepares the unit members to expeditiously respond to emergencies on the water in all conditions, when seconds can matter.

Seen in the pictures here are members of the Marine Unit operating Marine 45 with the forward, port, and starboard side windshields completely blocked off to simulate zero visibility conditions. Marine 45 is a 45-foot SAFE Boat dedicated to Trooper Donald E. Shea who was killed in the line of duty on December 16, 1978.

During the training unit members were posted on the exterior port and starboard sides of Marine 45 to act as safety lookouts while a senior member of the unit conducted scenarios in the cockpit of the vessel. During the scenarios a navigator closely monitored the vessel’s electronic chart plotter and Radar for obstacles and determined a proper course for the pilot to take in order to arrive at their intended destination.

To make the training as realistic as possible, while underway other Marine Unit vessels took the role of small boats operating in the path of Marine 45. These vessels generated a Radar signature for the navigator to interpret allowing them to provide course corrections to the pilot.”-Massachusetts State Police.


Massachusetts State Police photo.


Massachusetts State Police photo.


Massachusetts State Police photo.


Massachusetts State Police photo.


Massachusetts State Police photo.




Massachusetts State Police mourn passing of K9 “Tank,” longtime partner of Trooper Janeczak

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Massachusetts State Police K9 Tank, the longtime partner of Trooper Thomas Janeczak. Tank passed away Monday evening after a short battle with a vicious infection. Trooper Janeczak was by Tank’s side when he passed.

Tank joined the Massachusetts State Police in 2014 when he and Trooper Janeczak were certified through the unit’s Patrol School and Narcotic Detection School. Tank was an excellent dog with an enviable reputation of success, who brought great pride to Trooper Janeczak, the Unit, and the Department. Like all police dogs, he made innumerable contributions to our mission to protect the public, and he made the state a better place for countless citizens — people who live and raise their families here, and who would never know or see him, but for whom life was safer because of the criminals and drugs Tank helped take off the streets of their neighborhoods.

Moreover, Tank was a loyal partner, friend, and member of Trooper Janeczak’s family and our Massachusetts State Police family.

Lt. Erik Ramsland, the K9 Unit commander, asked his unit members to do the following: “In memory of K-9 Tank, spend a little more time with your partner on your next shift, a few more tosses of the ball, a few more minutes of free time. Enjoy that special time together.”

Thank you, Tank. You served with honor and bravery. You have earned well your free time now, in the sunlit green meadows across the bridge.




Boston Police Superintendent-in-Chief Long releases statement on having conviction of murder of Det. Mulligan overturned

“A Message from Boston Police Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long

The reprehensible and corrupt behavior of three former members of the Boston Police Department has caused the conviction in the 1993 murder of Detective John Mulligan to be overturned. Those three detectives not only disgraced themselves, but unfortunately their conduct was used to tarnish the reputation of the entire Boston Police Department.

The Boston Police Department does not and will not tolerate corruption. Every day the members of the Boston Police Department proudly wear their uniform to serve and protect the people of the city. In this case, the actions of a few have significantly impacted the image of the countless members of the Boston Police Department who worked tirelessly, honestly and honorably to bring justice to the Mulligan family.

As Justice Carol Ball stated in her 2015 decision granting the defendant a new trial, “…the conclusions reached here should not be read as an indictment of the many honest and honorable Boston Police officers who worked on the Mulligan murder investigation. Moreover, twenty years after these events, this judge is acutely aware of the strides made by the Boston Police Department in the professional handling of the investigation and prosecution of their cases. This is particularly true of the Homicide Department, which is deservedly held in particularly high regard by this judge.”

Recognizing the issues that surround this case, the Boston Police Department’s belief remains the same, that there was sufficient credible evidence to support a conviction for illegal firearm possession. As Judge Ball stated in her 2015 decision, “[the motion for new trial is] denied as to the firearm convictions as no real doubt as to the justice of those convictions has been established.”

In closing, and most importantly, the Department wants to acknowledge the continued pain and suffering of the Mulligan family. Our support for them has never wavered.”




New Bedford Police Department mourns passing of retired Sgt. Franklin A. Eccleston

“The NBPD grieves the passing of retired Sgt. Franklin A. Eccleston, 67, of New Bedford. He served with the department for 30 years.

During the Vietnam War, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and later served in the Army Reserves. He was a member of the Massachusetts Police Association, the New Bedford Police Association, and the Patriot Guard Riders.

He is survived by his wife Diane, his daughter Melissa Eccleston, and many extended family members.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to his wife, children, and entire family. We will remember and honor him always.”-NBPD.