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New Bedford WWII Veteran Normand O. Chartier passes away

Norman_Chartier_GrandMarshall_WW2CombatMedic_01
Photo by Josh Souza.

“I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Normand Chartier, a lifelong New Bedford resident and World War II Army Veteran who landed on Utah Beach on D-Day and fought at the Battle of the Bulge. Mr. Chartier was a true American hero, and we are profoundly grateful for his gallant service to our nation. I had the honor of knowing Norm as a friend, and I will miss him dearly.

For decades, Normand was active in his community volunteering much of his time at the New Bedford Fort Taber Fort Rodman Military Museum and was a founding member of the Exercise Tiger Association. Most recently, Normand proudly served as Grand Marshal of the 2014 New Bedford Veterans Day Parade.

On behalf of the City of New Bedford, I extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Marcelle and the entire Chartier family as well as to his many friends and fellow veterans.”

– New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell

About Normand O. Chartier
Normand served as a Combat Medic in Company F, 2nd Battalion Raider Platoon, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division during WWII. Normand was a lifelong New Bedford resident having entered the service from 1117 Joyce Street in New Bedford.

Normand’s unit landed on Utah Beach on D-Day June 6, 1944, and fought through the Normandy Campaign, Northern France, Rhineland, the Ardennes and Central Europe campaigns ending their tour on VE Day outside of Munich, Germany. Normand’s unit was one of those credited with the liberation of Dachau Concentration Camp, where he witnessed firsthand the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi regime.

Normand returned home from the service and on June 5, 1948, married Marcelle Audette. Normand was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a volunteer at the Fort Taber Fort Rodman Military Museum, and one of the founding members of the Exercise Tiger Association.

Mr. Chartier was interviewed for the New Bedford Cable Network series “Heroes Among Us,” which profiles local area veterans as they reflect upon their war time service. The series is hosted by the President of the Fort Taber/Fort Rodman Historical Association Joseph Langlois, and was produced by Cable Access Videographer Sue Richards.

His Funeral will be held on Friday at 11 AM from the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford, followed by his Funeral Mass at Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church at 12 Noon. Burial with follow in the Massachusetts National Cemetery. Visiting hours Thursday 4-8 PM. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Fort Taber – Fort Rodman Military Museum, 1000C South Rodney French Blvd., New Bedford, MA 02744. Obituary: http://www.saundersdwyer.com/Obituaries.htm




Tom Quinn Sworn in as Acting Bristol County District Attorney

District Attorney Quinn was appointed acting District Attorney on January 2nd by Gov. Deval Patrick.

Tom Quinn was sworn as Acting Bristol County District Attorney late this afternoon at the Fall River Justice Center during a private ceremony attended by staff members, a large contingent of Bristol County Police Chiefs and members of District Attorney Quinn’s family.

District Attorney Quinn was sworn in by Fall River District Court Judge Gilbert Nadeau.

During his brief remarks to police and staff, District Attorney Quinn said, “I am overwhelmed by the support of the office for me continuing as Bristol County District Attorney. I hope I can gain the confidence of Governor Baker and his administration in the coming days. I am focused on doing the very important work of our office and look forward to continuing to fight for the people in Bristol County.”

District Attorney Quinn was appointed acting District Attorney on January 2nd by Gov. Deval Patrick. He was appointed after former District Attorney Sam Sutter, who served two terms as district attorney, resigned his post. Mr. Sutter resigned after being elected Fall River Mayor last month.





District Attorney Quinn Announces Murder Charge in Connection to New Year’s Fall River Homicide

The arrest came as a result of information developed by investigators with the Fall River Police Department’s Major Crimes and Uniform Divisions, Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the district attorney’s office and Homicide Unit prosecutors.

District Attorney Tom Quinn and Fall River Police Chief Daniel Racine today announced Jeffrey Souza has been charged with murder in connection to the January 1st killing of 28-year-old Kyle Brady in Fall River.

Mr. Souza, 24, of 135 Mott Street, who is already being held in custody on illegal firearms charges connected to the homicide, will be arraigned for the murder charge Tuesday morning in Fall River District Court.

District Attorney Quinn will handle tomorrow’s arraignment for the Commonwealth and will be available to the media immediately afterwards.

The homicide continues to be under investigation by Assistant District Attorney Michael Cahillane, the Fall River Police Department’s Major Crimes and Uniform divisions, and Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to this office.

“I compliment the Fall River Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, Prosecutors from my office and the Newport Police Department for their coordinated efforts in apprehending the suspect within hours of the homicide taking place,” Said District Attorney Quinn. “ I look forward to continuing to work closely with law enforcement throughout Bristol County to continue to protect the public and bring justice to victims.”

Mr. Souza was arrested without incident Saturday by Newport, RI Police shortly before noon.

The arrest came as a result of information developed by investigators with the Fall River Police Department’s Major Crimes and Uniform Divisions, Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the district attorney’s office and Homicide Unit prosecutors.

Fall River Police (both the Major Crimes Division and Uniform Division), Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to this office and Homicide Unit prosecutors are actively investigating the homicide, which occurred in the City of Fall River during the overnight hours January 1st.

Uniform Division officers from the Fall River Police Department responded to the intersection of Albert Street and Huard Street around 1:17 am today in regards to a male being shot. The victim, who has been identified as Kyle Brady, of Fall River, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

“While homicide is always tragic, I am pleased the suspect was apprehended so swiftly. The Fall River Police Department’s thoughts and prayers are with Kyle’s family, and we hope to aid them with their search for justice and closure,” Chief Racine said. “I commend the law enforcement investigators and District Attorney Quinn’s staff for their excellent work.”





City Seeks Public Input on Updated Draft Local Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

The Local Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan examines the natural hazards facing the City, assesses the vulnerability of the area’s residents, property and businesses, and makes recommendations on ways to mitigate the negative effects of typical natural hazards. (FEMA.org)

The City of New Bedford with assistance from its consultant, CDM Smith, has developed an updated “Local Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan.” This plan is intended to serve as an all encompassing guide to identifying and understanding the types of natural hazards New Bedford is vulnerable to as well as to outline community plans to mitigate those potential hazards in advance of their occurrence.

The plan/document already incorporates the input and expertise of the relevant city department heads and local leaders. However, it is vitally important that City property owners and residents review the plan and offer feedback which can be incorporated in the final version. To encourage this public review and feedback, the City has posted the plan online: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/emergency-management/new-bedford-multi-hazard-mitigation-plan/. New Bedford residents and property owners are invited to review the plan and provide feedback and comment before it is presented to the City Council for adoption and submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) for acceptance.

The plan will remain on the City web site for several weeks and will be updated as needed to reflect the most current version. It is anticipated that on or about January 30, 2015 the document will be submitted to FEMA for its review while the City of New Bedford continues to refine the plan and ensure that it is accurate and finalized before being presented to the City Council.

Comments and feedback on the Local Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan may be emailed to David Fredette, City Engineer, at david.fredette@newbedford-ma.gov or sent by hard copy to the City Department of Public Infrastructure, 1105 Shawmut Avenue, New Bedford, MA 02746 Attn: David Fredette or call (508) 979-1550 x128.


About the Local Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan
The Local Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan examines the natural hazards facing the City, assesses the vulnerability of the area’s residents, property and businesses, and makes recommendations on ways to mitigate the negative effects of typical natural hazards. The effort has drawn from the local knowledge of a group of officials and residents, and the recommendations presented are meant to be realistic and effective steps for mitigating natural hazards. Ultimately, it is hoped that these actions will translate into savings, fewer lives lost, less property destroyed, and minimal disruption to essential services.





Maine man arrested for New Bedford Cumberland Farms armed robbery

armed-robbery-new-bedfordThis morning at approximately 12:30am an armed robbery occurred at the Cumberland Farms at 810 Rockdale Ave. The victim was not harmed.

The suspect entered the store armed with a knife and demanded cash. After obtaining an undisclosed amount of money, he was last seen running easterly on Mill St. behind the business.

Off. Keith Almeida, who was in the area, observed a male jumping fences near Florence and Mill St. who matched the description.

Shortly thereafter, the suspect was taken into custody near the intersection of Tremont St. and Hillman St. The money was recovered and returned to the store.

The arresting officer is Walter Gaj Jr. Scheduled to be arraigned this morning in New Bedford district court;

  • Kevin Murray age 39 of Boot Foot Rd., Bridgewater, Maine is facing a charge of armed robbery.



Off duty New Bedford police officer stops Acushnet home robbery

acuhnet-arrestAt approximately 12:23PM on Saturday, 1/3/2015, Acushnet Police received a call from off duty New Bedford Police Sergeant Jason Gomes reporting he had detained a female that had just broken into a home on Mattapoisett Road in Acushnet.

Sgt. Gomes received a telephone call from a close family friend that lives nearby reporting she was on the second floor of her home and that she could hear someone walking around on the first floor. Sgt. Gomes went to the home and found the side door slightly open. He entered and found an unfamiliar female at the top of the stairs to the second floor. Sgt. Gomes engaged her in conversation and quickly determined she did not belong in the house. He was escorting her from the home just as Acushnet Police Sgt. Keith Ashley and Officer Jeremy Fontes arrived on scene.

A subsequent investigation revealed Jessica Soucy DOB 9/25/91, with addresses in NH as well as Lawrence and Freetown, MA had broken into the house. She was also in possession of jewelry taken from the home. The 16 year old female resident that was home at the time of the incident was not harmed and never came in contact with the suspect.

Ms. Soucy is being charged with breaking and entering in the daytime, placing a person in fear and larceny over $250. She is scheduled to be arraigned in New Bedford District Court on Monday, 1/5/2015.

The Acushnet Police would like to thank Sgt. Gomes for his assistance. He is also the commander of the NBPD Port Security Unit.




Mass Department of Public Health Identifies Cluster of Salmonella Illnesses in New Bedford

The New Bedford Board of Health follows up on all reported cases of food borne illness within the City and works in tandem with the MDPH to determine the source. (Wikipedia)

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the local New Bedford Board of Health of several cases of food borne illness linked to food recently served by the Churrascaria Aveirense Restaurant located at 175 Sawyer Street in New Bedford. The New Bedford Board of Health has asked the restaurant owners to close the establishment until further notice. The Board of Health will not permit the restaurant to reopen until all employees have tested negative for the bacteria and the restaurant has met all food safety requirements.

MADPH has informed the local board of health that several persons have tested positive for the bacteria known as Salmonella. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, you should contact your primary health care provider.

The New Bedford Board of Health follows up on all reported cases of food borne illness within the City and works in tandem with the MDPH to determine the source. They also inspect local food establishments to ensure compliance with relevant food safety requirements.

The local Board of Health has issued an informational fact sheet on Salmonella http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/factsheets/salmonella.pdf and can be reached at 508-991-6199.





Memphis man wanted for kidnapping, sexual battery arrested in New Bedford

aressted-new-bedfordLast night officers from Uniform Patrol responded to Market Ministries Shelter for an unrelated matter. Upon arrival an individual residing at the shelter fled through the rear of the building and over a fence. The house manager, finding this suspicious as the police were there for a matter not involving him at all researched his name, Dontel Morgan DOB: 07/05/86, and learned that he was wanted from Memphis, Tennessee.

This information was quickly passed on to detectives and early this morning they began an active search for this male in the downtown area. Trooper David Reis with the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and New Bedford Police Detectives Alberto Silva and Stephen Taylor located him at the intersection of Walnut Street and Acushnet Avenue where he was arrested without incident.

His warrants are for two counts of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, two counts of sexual battery, three counts of kidnapping, and three counts of possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to commit a crime.

Details of his reported crimes from MyFox Memphis:

Police say the first attack took place at the Emerald Park Apartments on June 21 where he forced two women into their apartment at gunpoint. While inside he ransacked the home and sexually assaulted both women.

Then on June 28, police say Morgan struck again, this time targeting a 32-year-old woman who was walking alone down the stairs at an apartment complex on Village Grove Drive. Police say he grabbed the woman, tried to drag her into a dark area, and hit her with a gun, but she was able to escape.




New Bedford Cultural Council awards $70,749 in grants

New Bedford Cultural CouncilThe New Bedford Cultural Council is pleased to announce the awarding of $70,749 to local organizations and individuals for its 2014-2015 grant cycle. The New Bedford Cultural Council awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. New Bedford is the 4th largest local cultural council in the state.

The members of the New Bedford Local Cultural Council volunteer their time to promote excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life in the City of New Bedford.

“This year we received over $170,000 in grant requests. With just $70,749 to distribute our decisions were very difficult.” said Jill Horton-Simms, Chair. “There were so many worthwhile project requests. It is undeniably clear that New Bedford Cultural Council needs more funding,” she continued.

The 2015 grantees are: AHA!, Cape Verdean Recognition Committee, Inc., Overhead Arts, Working Waterfront Festival, Your Theatre, New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks!, New Bedford Free Public Library, WHALE, Community Leadership Team of Neighborworks SOMA, Dennison Memorial Community Center, New Bedford High School, New Bedford Ballet, Portuguese United for Education, Inc., New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, Southcoast Children’s Theatre, Southeastern Massachusetts Educational Collaborative, Community Economic Development Center, The Siren, Ryan McFee, Taylor School, New Bedford Festival Theatre, Brooklawn Park History, New Bedford Whaling Museum, Elizabeth Carter Brooks School, Reel Serious, New Bedford High Drama Club, NBPS All-City Concert and Marching Band, Pulaski Magnet School, New Bedford High Band Boosters, Global Learning Public Charter School, City of New Bedford Department of Community Services, Renaissance Community School for the Arts, Whaling City Jr./Sr. High School, New Bedford Folk Festival, New Bedford Historical Society, Marion Institute, UGLY Walls – Jeremiah Hernandez, New Bedford Open Studios, Nativity Prep, Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical School, Parker Elementary School, and Our Sisters School.

The NBCC will hold two information sessions during the fall, one of which is a workshop to help potential applicants through the grant application process. All standard and field trip applicants are encouraged to attend. Information will be posted in the Standard-Times, but all are urged to keep follow the NBCC on Facebook.com/nbculturalcouncil.

In Massachusetts, public funding for the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences is provided through a central agency, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and a network of local cultural councils that serve every city and town in the state. The New Bedford Cultural Council is the 4th largest Council in the state.

The MCC is funded by appropriations from the state Legislature and from the National Endowment for the Arts. The mission of the MCC and its local cultural council partners is “to promote excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.”




Benefits for New Bedford Veterans and Widows

Call the New Bedford Veterans Services office to determine eligibility: 508-991-6184 or email cgomes@newbedford-ma.gov

Can answer yes to the following questions?

  • Are you a New Bedford resident?
  • Are you unemployed with little or no income?
  • Are you working but barely making it by?
  • Are you retired and on fixed income such as Social Security and/or a pension(s)?

If you are a Veteran or widow of a Veteran with limited income and assets you may qualify for M.G.L. Chapter 115 benefits. These benefits are used to help assist Veterans and widows of Veterans while they look for employment or subsidize the income of those who are working or retired. Assets include but not limited to bank accounts, CD’s & IRA’s

The following are approximately income and asset limits in order to qualify, additional questions will determine eligibility:

  • Single Veteran or Widow: under $1,430.00 income, $3,200.00 Assets*
  • Retired Single Veteran or Widow: under $1,945.00 Income, $3,200 Assets*
  • Married Veteran: under $1,673.00 Income, $7,000.00 Assets*
  • Retired Married Veteran: under $2,313.00, $7,000.00 Assets*

*Asset amount listed is based on having no life insurance

Call the New Bedford Veterans Services office to determine eligibility: 508-991-6184 or email cgomes@newbedford-ma.gov


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