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Man caught digging large hole at Rural Cemetery

new-bedford-cemetery-man-diggingOn Saturday afternoon at approximately 4pm south end officers were sent to the Rural Cemetery on Dartmouth St. regarding a male digging behind a grave. A witness walking in the area observed this and called police. When officers arrived they immediately recognized the suspect from previous encounters. He is a 24 yr. old New Bedford man.

The man was up to his chest in a hole in the ground that he had dug using a small garden tool and a plastic bottle. He stated he began digging around 4am. He began telling the officers that he had permission from the Federal Government to do the digging and that he owned the land.

Officers Matthew Rodrigues and David Raymond were able to pull the male out of the hole and he was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital for evaluation.




Rochester man arrested for stealing 8 handguns from Fairhaven home

david normanFairhaven Police Detectives arrested a 22 year old man last Monday, September 15th in relation to a breaking and entering into a Howland Street home. David Norman of Pauline’s Way, Rochester was taken into custody for the September 12th break.

Norman is accused of breaking into a Howland Street house and stealing numerous firearms and ammunition. Fairhaven Detectives determined Norman broke into the house, and then a gun safe. He is accused of stealing 8 assorted handguns and ammunition. It is unsure what he did with the firearms after he stole them. However Norman was no longer in possession of them at the time of his arrest.

So far, police have managed to recover one of the guns, but the rest of the firearms are still missing. The handguns stolen by Norman include a Smith and Wesson 9 millimeter, a Luger 9 millimeter, a 45 semiautomatic, a black powder 44 caliber and three revolvers. Norman was arrested September 15th and charged with 8 counts of larceny of a firearm, 2 counts of vandalism, breaking and entering in the nighttime to commit a felony, larceny from a building and unlawful possession of a firearm. He was arraigned the following day in Third District Court and was held pending a dangerousness hearing.




Missing Afghan soldiers from Cape Cod caught trying to enter Canada

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The missing Afghan National Army Soldiers. Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada, and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar were found trying to cross into Canada at the Rainbow Bridge at Niagra Falls. The Rainbow Bridge spans from New York into Ontario, Canada .

The soldiers were reported missing Saturday night from Camp Edwards on the Joint Base Cape Cod. The men arrived Camp Edwards with other Afghan soldier on September 11th, 2014, for a training exercise.




Purse snatcher in the south end of New Bedford

Last Thursday night (9/18/14) at approximately 10pm a 46 yr. old New Bedford woman was robbed of her purse as she was walking in the area of David St. and West Rodney French Blvd. She was not harmed. The suspect came up behind her and grabbed her purse without saying anything. He then fled easterly on David St. towards Brock Avenue. The purse contained her phone, identifications, and currency.

Description:

  • White male
  • Tall and thin
  • Late 20’s to early 30’s
  • Wearing Jeans, a grey hooded sweatshirt, and a red baseball cap.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Detective Division at 508-991-6300 ext. 320.




New Bedford’s Superfund Site Turned into Solar Park

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A look at the solar facility at the Superfund Site in New Bedford. Photo by Josh Souza.

With help from U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, New Bedford’s nationally-recognized Renewable Energy Initiative took a major step forward today as the Sullivan’s Ledge Solar Project was officially commissioned on the site of one of the country’s most high-profile “Superfund” hazardous waste sites.

The City’s Renewable Energy Initiative is designed to dramatically reduce city government electricity costs– saving taxpayers millions in the coming years–help create local construction jobs, re-develop contaminated properties, and help fight climate change.

The City’s recent achievements in implementing its comprehensive renewable energy strategy have cemented its place as a state and national leader.  According to a recent report, New Bedford has now installed more solar power per person than any other U.S. city besides Honolulu.  On the East Coast only New York City has installed more solar power.

The featured speaker at the Friday, September 19th, 2014 commissioning ceremony, United States EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy cited New Bedford’s effort to redevelop contaminated sites at Sullivan’s Ledge and other city properties as an example to the nation.

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New Bedford Hosts U.S. EPA Head Gina McCarthy
at Superfund Site Turned Solar Park. Photo by Josh Souza.

“Today, thanks to the Sullivan’s Ledge Superfund cleanup and our partnership with state and local governments, and the private sector, we’re entering the next chapter in the city’s history,” said Administrator McCarthy.

“I applaud the city of New Bedford for using the property to make clean, sustainable power— Sullivan’s Ledge will now add 2 megawatts of clean power to the grid— and for heeding our moral obligation to act on climate change and invest in renewable, local energy.  This is the kind of leadership that we need in cities and towns across the country.”

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Photo by Josh Souza.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell highlighted the City’s recent progress, “Just a few years ago this site was regarded as a problem with no good solution.  Just a few years ago New Bedford began testing solar on a few school roofs and city buildings.  Today, what we once thought of here as a problem is now a source of pride.  And what was once a modest local effort has turned into one of the nation’s most ambitious moves to adopt solar.  New Bedford’s leadership position has other communities asking how we managed to achieve so much so quickly.”

“As we speak, the Sullivan’s Ledge Solar Project is quietly generating power, cutting City utility bills and saving taxpayer dollars.  Our renewable power program is also strengthening our City’s economy and our environment in a big way.  I could not be prouder of the creativity, commitment, and teamwork of all those here who helped us reach our goals,” added Mayor Mitchell.

At 1.8 megawatts, and with more than 5,000 solar panels spread across ten acres, the Sullivan’s Ledge solar project annually produces enough electricity for 226 homes.

It is projected to save New Bedford approximately $2.7 million over the next twenty years through the purchase of solar net metering credits.  Even so, it represents just one of ten solar projects installed as part of the City’s Renewable Energy Initiative.

Original Energy Goals Being Surpassed

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The Sullivan’s Ledge solar project is one of several sizable solar power contracts the Mitchell Administration has inked since taking office, including a 4.2 megawatt project on City-owned land in Rochester which broke ground last spring.  In all 16.25 megawatts of projects are now installed or under construction. The City has one project remaining under construction, a 3.7 MW system in the New Bedford Business Park.

When all 16 megawatts of projects are completed New Bedford will have exceeded the City’s 2011 goal of purchasing ten megawatts of power from renewable sources within five years.  No other Massachusetts municipality has achieved comparable progress toward the ten megawatt benchmark.  (Ten megawatts represents enough energy to power approximately 1,500 homes.)  The Mitchell Administration has also adopted a long-term goal of purchasing two-thirds of its energy needs from solar sources.  Now at 50%, it is on track to achieve its goal by year’s end.

“The Patrick Administration is committed to securing our clean energy future and reclaiming economic opportunity for the Commonwealth’s cities and towns through investments in renewable energy,” said Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Deputy Commissioner Dan Burgess.

“In collaboration with federal and local partners we are reinforcing the Commonwealth’s national leadership in clean energy with projects like this in New Bedford.  With 643 megawatts of solar installed, we are well on our way to meeting our goal of 1,600 megawatts by 2020,” he continued.

Taxpayer Savings

The City of New Bedford is a major purchaser of electricity from the grid, with nearly one hundred city buildings including wastewater and water treatment plants, so the combined projected energy savings from all solar projects are substantial, generating $500,000 in budget savings this year and nearly $22 million over the next twenty years.

Environmental Benefits

“Our approach has been simple:  Find ways to turn our environmental liabilities into environmental assets,” said the Mayor.  “These solar projects are not just about cutting local government’s utility bills and saving taxpayer dollars, but are part of a larger environmental strategy to both clean up contaminated properties and reduce fossil fuel consumption.”

Sullivan’s Ledge operated as a granite quarry until about 1932.  Between the 1940s and the 1970s, local industries used the quarry pits and adjacent areas for disposal of hazardous material and other wastes.  Beginning in the 1980s until 2000, the site was cleaned up in three stages which included excavation and capping among other remedies.  It continues to be closely monitored.  The cleanup solution meets all U.S. EPA and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) standards and ensures the health and safety of residents.

“EPA partners with the City of New Bedford on many projects, and today we are very proud to see the City prioritize renewable energy solutions, and develop them by putting a Superfund site property back to good use providing clean, renewable energy,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.  “Thanks to EPA and all the partners here for cleaning up the site, it is now being used in an innovative way by becoming part of the City’s Energy Initiative.”

“MassDEP is delighted to have worked with the City of New Bedford and EPA to turn Sullivan’s Ledge into a solar energy success story,” said MassDEP Commissioner David W. Cash.  “As part of our Clean Energy Results Program, MassDEP has made it a priority to support the siting of renewable energy installations on contaminated lands and landfills, and this project demonstrates the energy, environmental and economic benefits to be gained from this strategy.”

Local Jobs

The City undertook the Sullivan’s Project in cooperation with several private-sector partners, including Boston-based BlueWave Capital, SunEdison, and Beaumont Solar.  All partners committed to maximizing the hiring of local workers.

BlueWave, led by Managing Partner John Devillars, has served as the City’s development partner on the Sullivan’s Project and others, since the inception of the City’s Initiative.  SunEdison, as owner and operator, entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with the City, and assumed responsibility for financing, installation, ongoing operations, and maintenance.  Beaumont Solar Company of New Bedford, led by President and CEO Phil Cavallo, installed the solar panels for SunEdison.

“As a company dedicated to employing New Bedford-area residents, we thrive on win-win projects like Sullivan’s Ledge.  In all, Beaumont Solar employed twelve New Bedford residents on this job site.  This project is a direct reflection of their professionalism and talent,” said Beaumont Solar President and CEO Phil Cavallo.

“This project exemplifies why our company was ranked as one of the most influential solar companies in Massachusetts and the country.  We believe our entire region prospers when we act as responsibly minded members of the community.  These are the ideals on which Beaumont Solar was founded,” Cavallo continued.

“We are proud to have been selected by the City to help them make energy history.  When it comes to embracing renewable energy, New Bedford stands as a model to other municipalities,” said Matthew Dickey, Managing Director of Sales for SunEdison.

“Sullivan’s Ledge marks the latest chapter in the New Bedford solar success story,” said John DeVillars, Managing Partner of BlueWave Capital LLC, which developed the Sullivan’s Ledge project with SunEdison.  “We are proud to have been a part of an exceptional team of professionals from the City, EPA, MA DEP and SunEdison,” said DeVillars, a former regional administrator with the Environmental Protection Agency. “This team has done a masterful job on an extraordinarily challenging project.”




Police, Bomb technicians responded to Lafayette Street in Fairhaven

Fairhaven Police responded to a Lafayette Street residence Friday afternoon on September 19th, 2014, to conduct a welfare check on a male party at that location. The welfare check was requested by family members who stated a man at that location had made some irrational statements.

Officers responded to check the well being of the man and noticed some suspicious items on the property. As a precaution, the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad responded to ensure the device was not dangerous. Bomb Technicians arrived and quickly determined the device posed no risk to public safety. In addition to the State Police, the Fairhaven Fire Department stationed in the area until the scene was deemed safe.

All measures taken were strictly precautionary until it could be determined the device was in fact a hoax. It appeared to be clumsily assembled and highly unlikely to be a threat. However, officials decided not to leave anything to chance and decided to call in experts to confirm there was no danger to the public.




Alaska School Adds New Bedford to Their School Trip

Planning to Experience Maritime, Portuguese, and African-American History and Culture

The seventh and eighth graders of Anchor Lutheran School in Anchorage, AK, will be visiting New Bedford on their biennial east coast historic tour on Saturday, Sept, 20, 2014. It’s the first visit to the city for the school.

Admittedly, they’re not going to be in New Bedford for more than four hours, but it is enough time to give them a glimpse into its rich maritime, Portuguese, and African- American heritage.

Mr.Jim Scriven, the Principal of Anchor Lutheran, always requests a visit to a new area or museum each time they travel. On their previous trip they toured Lowell, MA to learn about the Industrial Revolution, but this year, Anne Marie Whittaker, a tour guide and professional student travel planner, added the New Bedford Whaling Museum, a National Park Service Underground Railroad walking tour, and an authentic Portuguese dinner at Cotali Mar.

“I wish we could stay longer, said Ms. Whittaker, “but it’s a whirlwind tour and we’re covering all the way from Massachusetts to Washington, DC in only ten days; they are traveling 4643 miles, so we need to make the most of our time!”

A whirlwind it is! In Massachusetts alone, these students will visit the Mayflower II and Plimoth Plantation; follow the Freedom Trail, including a visit the USS Constitution before it goes into dry dock; have an in-depth tour of Lexington and Concord; Harvard Yard; the site of the Boston Marathon bombings; and the perennial school favorite: a tour of Fenway Park! (The Sox are away during their time in Boston, so they are going to a Yankees game, instead, to say farewell to Derek Jeter.)

Other tour highlights include: Hyde Park, USMA West Point, Concordia Lutheran College (Bronxville), a private schooner cruise of New York Harbor, the National September 11th Memorial, Eldridge Street Synagogue, a Broadway show, Independence Hall, a meeting with both Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, dinner in an Amish home, Gettysburg Battlefield, Washington, DC monuments and memorials, U.S. Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, and they recently received word that they have secured one of the most coveted appointments: a tour of the White House.

Each travel program is curriculum-based and Whittaker has been custom- planning Anchor’s student tours since 1996. Scriven is the second Principal she has worked with; Keith Brosz, his predecessor, was the first to consider Boston and New England as a destination over the usual ones to the south of Washington, DC. Happily, both Principals shared the same desire to have a great deal of educational content as well as opportunities to sample regional or ethnic foods, including lobster and Atlantic salmon.

Talking about food, Whittaker contacted New Bedford’s Marketing and Cultural Tourism Manager, Jerrie Lyndon to help them find an authentic Portuguese restaurant to honor that community. Lyndon appreciated her rationale as well as the need for a dining room that could accommodate the almost 50 travelers. She suggested Cotali Mar and called Kathy Gillet, the Event Coordinator. Kathy and Cotali Mar’s chef, were willing to create a special meal – just for the group. The dinner includes traditional Portuguese paella – a truly exotic dish for Alaskans.

Whittaker adds, “It was a lot of fun working with Kathy! I learned so much about Portuguese food, but I am still having problems with pronunciation!”

While whaling is no novelty to Alaskans, New Bedford gives them another perspective of the industry and importance of the world-renown seaport; their teachers expect that the memories of their visit will serve them well when they eventually read, Moby Dick, in high school. Brian Witkowski, Education Programs Manager, of the New Bedford Whaling Museum was a great help in choosing the right program for the group.

An ardent supporter of the National Park Service and its programs, Whittaker didn’t hesitate to contact Karissa DeCarlo, Acting Chief of Interpretation and Education, of the New Bedford Whaling National Park. As a result, the Anchor students will be walking in the steps of Frederick Douglass and other free and former enslaved African-Americans.

The experience that Whittaker has had designing the New Bedford portion of Anchor’s trip has been more than gratifying, “There is so much more here than I imagined; there’s also a tremendous sense of pride and hospitality and they’ve been so eager to please us.”

Ms. DeCarlo summed it up from her end in an email to Whittaker, “Believe me, everyone here is THRILLED to serve a group from AK. That does not happen every day.”

Anchor Lutheran School and Early Childhood Center is an accredited school that offers a Christian K-8 school program along with an Early Childhood program and provides an educational and childcare alternative for parents who want their children instructed and cared for in a warm Christian atmosphere by committed Christian teachers and staff.

Anchor is one of approximately 2,400 schools affiliated with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (including early childhood centers, elementary schools, high schools, and universities providing both undergraduate and graduate degrees), a school system that dates back to the 1840‘s and that is the largest Christian Protestant school system in our nation.

Anne Marie Whittaker, based in Alexandria, VA, has been a free-lance, professional tour guide and educational tour planner for the past 30 years and works directly with schools to create curriculum-based and experiential travel programs.





New Bedford man attempts to rob Coggeshall Street 7-11 with knife

knife-robbery-7-11-new-bedfordOn the morning of September 12th at approximately 12:15am a male attempted to rob the 7-11 at 45 Coggeshall St. at knifepoint. He was unsuccessful.

The suspect entered the store and brandished a knife to the 22 yr. old female clerk and demanded money. The owner, who was present, took out a small baseball bat and told the male he was not getting anything. The suspect then fled the store. The owner then followed the male to the area of Mitchell St. where the suspect discarded some clothing and a kitchen knife.

The suspect was taken into custody shortly thereafter at the intersection of Coggeshall St. and Belleville Ave. without incident.

He was brought back to the store where he was identified by the clerk as the same person who tried to rob the store.

Scheduled to be arraigned this morning in New Bedford district court;

  • Edward Tuffo age 50 of Acushnet Ave. 
  • One count of Attempted Armed Robbery.

The arresting officers were Antonio Almeida and Steven Almeida.




New Bedford police seek identity of man in pocketbook theft

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New Bedford detectives are looking to identify the male in this photo. He is wanted for questioning in the theft of a pocketbook, from inside of a carriage, at a local supermarket.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Michael Lopes at 508-991-6300 ext. 137




Downtown New Bedford to get new parking meters, raise parking rates

new-bedford-ma-parking-meterThe City of New Bedford Traffic Commission has contracted with a private vendor to replace old, outdated public parking meters in the downtown with new, modern meters. This work will commence on Thursday, September 11, 2014.

The new meters will continue to accept quarters, but will also allow for the convenience of credit card payment. To offset the cost of the new meters and the additional costs associated with credit card processing, and to enable the City to continue to make investments in the downtown’s parking and transportation infrastructure, the Traffic Commission has instituted a modest rate increase. Customers will now pay 25 cents for 20 minutes of parking at a metered space. The current rate is 25 cents for 30 minutes.

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