Faces Of New Bedford – #22: Joseph Arruda

Meet Joseph “The Beardfather” Arruda, a 36-year-old direct support residential staff, founder of Beards of New Bedford, and President of the South Coast Beard and Mustache Guild.

He also helps his wife run the gallery that she co-owns, TL6 the Gallery, which is located on William Street in downtown New Bedford.

After growing up in Somerset, and attending the University of Massachusetts, he moved to New Bedford in 2000 to be closer to his friends and this new community that he had become so fond of. His father’s family had lived here for generations and his grandfather was a fire fighter here for 40 years, so he always felt a strong connection to the city.

After deciding to grow a beard a few years back, he never would have understood then how much it would impact his life today. He created a page on Facebook titled “Beards of New Bedford”, where he chronicled the growth of his beard and, after garnering some attention from the community, other men’s beards as well. With the formation of a group of guys that were interested in growing and styling their facial hair, the South Coast Beard and Mustache Guild had come to life. They started holding beard competitions and have focused the proceeds of these events, which include different categories of beards and mustaches, to benefit charitable organizations. He really believes that by uniting with others in similar interests we can really make a change in our city.

“The Guild is home to welders, artists, photographers, professionals, and even some women, but the one thing that ties us together is our love for beards and wanting to help people.”


Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com

Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

New Bedford Man Convicted of 2013 New Bedford Murder

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced that Jeremy Amaral has been convicted of first degree murder and witness intimidation connected to the March 2013 slaying of 35-year-old Tiffany Ann Durfee in New Bedford.

A jury of his peers voted to convict Mr. Amaral, 36, of New Bedford, this afternoon in Fall River Superior Court, after deliberating for about six hours over the course of two days.

After his conviction, Mr. Amaral was immediately sentenced by Superior Court Judge Gary Nickerson to serve a lifetime prison sentence with no possibility of parole. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Dennis Collins, Chief of District Attorney Quinn’s Homicide Unit.

Mr. Amaral stood accused of killing Ms. Durfee by stabbing her in the neck inside her North Street apartment. He then left her to die and stole her 55-inch flat screen television and sold it for drug money.

“I am grateful that the jury held this defendant accountable for a very brutal and senseless murder all because of the defendant’s drug habit. Ironically, the defendant and victim were friends. I would like to compliment ADA Dennis Collins, Chief of the Homicide Unit, for his effective prosecution of this case,” District Attorney Quinn said. “I would also like to acknowledge New Bedford Detectives William Sauve and William Westgate as well as State Police Trooper Zachary Johnson for their hard work in this case. This was Detective Sauve and Westgate’s second murder trial this month. This defendant has a violent past and deserves to be in prison for the rest of his life.”

New Bedford man arrested for unarmed robbery

The suspect jumped the counter after his transaction was declined after using an ID that didn’t match the debit card.

Earlier this week there was an unarmed robbery that took place at the 7-11 located at 1499 Acushnet Ave. The female clerk suffered a scratch to her hand during a struggle with the suspect.

The suspect entered the store and attempted to use a debit card that did not match his identification to buy a carton of cigarettes. When the transaction was declined, he jumped the counter and struggled with the clerk. He then fled on foot with several packs of cigarettes.

Shortly thereafter, Trooper Paul Gifford of the Massachusetts State Police alertly spotted the suspect who matched the description in the area of Sawyer and North Front St. A foot chase ensued and the suspect was taken into custody. Trooper Gifford is the arresting officer and the suspect will be arraigned this morning in New Bedford district court. He is facing unarmed robbery charges.

The stolen cigarettes were recovered and returned to the store.

Cedric Wade-McIlwain age 32 New Bedford

Man Who Received Thousands of Dollars for Bogus Veterans Charity Convicted; Funds To Be Transferred to Wounded Warriors Project

During his sentencing hearing in Fall River Superior Court Monday, Assistant District Attorney argued for a two to three years state prison sentence and also sought to have the seized money transferred to a reputable veterans charitable organization.

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced that a 53-year-old man accused of fraudulently receiving thousands of dollars for a bogus armed forces veterans’ charity has been convicted in Fall River Superior Court, and that proceeds seized during the investigation will be turned over to the Wounded Warriors Project charitable fund.

Gary Fincher, a homeless drifter from Texas, was pleaded guilty Monday to charges of larceny over $250 and misleading police.

On August 4, 2014, Sgt. Michael Ellsworth of the Mansfield Police Department witnessed Mr. Fincher soliciting donations for a charity called “Help for Homeless Vets.” Mr. Fincher was soliciting the donations outside of the Mansfield Stop and Shop grocery store. The defendant was seated at a table near the exit doors of the store, was wearing a veterans hat and an veterans ID badge. His table was stocked with signage and pamphlets for the “Help for Homeless Vets” charity. The defendant, in a brief exchange with Sgt. Ellsworth, said he had served in the military in 1979 and 1980.

Sgt. Ellsworth, a veteran himself, made inquiries to the Attorney General’s Office and was informed that “Help for Homeless Vets” was not a registered charitable organization. When Sgt. Ellsworth returned to the grocery store to speak with Mr. Fincher, the defendant had already packed up his table and was on the move.

Through further investigation by Mansfield Police, it was determined that Mr. Fincher was keeping the money donated to the non-existent charitable organization. $783 in cash was located in his vehicle and around $10,000 was in a bank account. After his arrest, the defendant admitted to police that he travelled the country accepting money from strangers under the pretense that he was collecting money for charity.

During his sentencing hearing in Fall River Superior Court Monday, Assistant District Attorney argued for a two to three years state prison sentence and also sought to have the seized money transferred to a reputable veterans charitable organization. Mr. Fincher’s defense argued for a 14 month state prison term.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Superior Court Judge Rene Dupuis sentenced Mr. Fincher to 14 months in state prison (deemed served due to his pretrial detention), and ordered that $8,979 be paid as restitution to the Wounded Warriors project, a nationally recognized veterans charity. Judge Dupuis also placed Mr. Fincher on supervised probation for three years. If he violates his probation, he faces up to 10 years in state prison.

“I am happy that the defendant has been held accountable for his despicable conduct. Holding himself out as collecting for a Veterans Organization, when in fact, he was stealing the money for himself. The defendant took advantage of the good will of the citizens of Bristol County,” District Attorney Quinn said. “Although I feel he deserved more prison time I am pleased that the monies seized from the defendant will be turned over to the Wounded Warrior Project. These are the individuals that deserve our gratitude and admiration for fighting to protect us and suffering life altering injuries.”

State Police Investigate Another Fatal Crash

This morning, at approximately 7:18 a.m., troopers from the State Police Barracks in Springfield responded to reports of a single-vehicle rollover crash on Interstate 91 Northbound at Exit 14 in West Springfield. Upon arrival, troopers discovered that a 2015 Honda Civic had been traveling northbound and for reasons still under investigation, exited the left lane into the median, and rolled over.

The vehicle came to rest on its wheels in the median. The man driving, who is yet to be identified, was determined to be deceased as a result of injuries sustained from the crash. After identification and next-of-kin notification is made, the driver’s name will be released.

The left two lanes were closed initially. The middle lane was reopened for traffic at approximately 8:54 a.m. The left lane remains closed as the reconstruction is still ongoing. The remaining facts and circumstances of the crash are currently under investigation by troopers from the Springfield Barracks. Troop B Headquarters, State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section (CARS), State Police Crime Scene Services Section (CSSS), West Springfield Fire/EMS Department, Holyoke Fire Department, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (Mass DOT), all assisted on scene.

No further information is currently available. Please do not contact the barracks directly.

Fishing industry artists to present gallery talk; Exhibit at public library extended through November

Photo Caption: “The Wheelhouse”, an illustration by industry artist Bob Bowers is one of the pieces on display at the New Bedford Public Library

Inside Out: The New Bedford Fishing Industry Through Industry Eyes, is a multi-media exhibit featuring the work of six artists who are all employed in or retired from the local fishing industry. The exhibit which is on display at the main branch of the New Bedford Public Library (613 Pleasant Street) has been extended through November 30th. The public is invited to a gallery talk on November 12th (AHA night) from 7:00-8:00 pm. The exhibit, which features photographs of Alan Cass, Serina Gundersen, and Phil Mello, illustrations of Bob Bowers, knot work of Manny Vinagre, and boat models of Manuel Silva, is a project of the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center.

At the gallery talk on November 12th, each of the artists will talk about the relationship between their work and their art. While many past exhibits have explored aspects of the working port and the fishing industry through the eyes of artists and photojournalists, this exhibit features the work of those on the inside. From this vantage point, these artists have access to what is often a closed world. Their often intimate work provides viewers a unique opportunity to see the fishing industry from the “inside out”.

Serina Gundersen’s photographs industry objects and provides an intimate portrait of a single family business. Phillip Mello documents shoreside workers over a forty year period. Alan Cass captures the everyday and extraordinary aspects of life at sea. Bob Bowers creates detailed drawings of the boats and their gear. Manny Vinagre uses his knot tying skills to create pieces that are both decorative and functional. Manuel Silva, who passed away in June, created, in miniature, the workboats on which he spent so much of his life. His son Joao DaSilva will talk about his work.

The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the history and culture of New Bedford’s fishing industry through archives, exhibits, and programs. For more information contact the Center at 508-993-8894 or nbfishingheritagecenter@gmail.com.

Chamber Music Series Presents “Oboe Chaud” November 7 & 8

The New Bedford Symphony celebrates its 100th anniversary this 2015-16 season!

The South Coast Chamber Music Series presents “Oboe Chaud” on November 7 & 8. In this second concert of the four-concert series, the spotlight is on oboist Donna Cobert as she performs two unique English works, Ernest Moeran’s rhapsodic Fantasy Quartet and York Bowen’s spicy sonata for oboe and piano. Also performing are Piotr Buczek, violin; Don Krishnaswami, viola; Timothy Roberts, cello; and Janice Weber, piano. The program includes Shostakovich’s haunting second Piano Trio, making its South Coast debut, along with the masterly Piano Quartet of Robert Schumann. Performances are Saturday, November 7, at 5pm, St. Gabriel’s Church, 124 Front Street, Marion and Sunday, November 8, at 4pm, Grace Episcopal Church, 133 School Street, New Bedford. Tickets are $20 at the door.

In 1915, New Bedford schoolteacher Clarence Arey founded a symphony orchestra to bring classical music to our region. Today, the NBSO is a superb professional orchestra that performs with internationally renowned guest artists, annually presenting a 7-concert series of classical and pops music and a 4-concert chamber music series, as well as providing nationally recognized educational programs for the children of South Coast. You deserve a symphony in your life–the New Bedford Symphony! Visit us at www.nbsymphony.org.

November is New Bedford Open Studios month – guide to all you need to know!

The 11th annual New Bedford Open Studios tour takes place throughout November, 2015.

These studios and galleries are in re-purposed former mill buildings around the city. It kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 7 at Kilburn Mills Studios, 101 W. Rodney French Blvd. from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Then, it moves to The Ropeworks, 123 Sawyer Street, on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 15 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Finally, it winds up at Hatch Street Studios for a grand finale over three days: Fri. Nov. 20 5 – 9 p.m.; Sat. Nov. 21 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 22 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Your details can be found at NewBedfordOpenStudio.org and Facebook.com/NewBedfordOpenStudios.

Okay – the New Bedford Open Studios tour is on your calendar. But…you may have some questions about just what an Open Studios tour is all about and what you can expect.

We’re here to help with this handy guide to the New Bedford Open Studios tour in 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions are:

How much is the New Bedford Open Studios Tour?
It’s FREE.

How does it work?
Artists open their doors to some of the most inspiring spaces in the city for a day or weekend and you walk in and check it out. Some artists will be guest artists from outside the area simply displaying their work. That’s it. You make the tour your own. You can spend 1 hour or 4 hours in any one building visting the different studios.

These buildings are big. Are there a lot of stairs to climb?
Surprisingly few. The Ropeworks is all on one floor. You could roller-skate through it. Hatch Street Studios has a gazillion stairs to the fourth floor – BUT there is an elevator and a very friendly elevator operator who will whisk you up faster than Scotty beamed Spock through space. Kilburn has a few stairs here and there but hey, you need some exercise.

Why should I go on the New Bedford Open Studios tour?
You want to support an artist you know.
You want to see a lot of art.
You want to buy art.
You want to get inspired making your own artwork.
You want to expose your kids to the creative life.
You never miss a chance to see the insides of beautiful old mill buildings.
You are curious about what contemporary, working artists are making.
You want to support living artists rather than dead ones.
You want to talk to artists about how they create their work.
You wonder what it would be like to be an artist.
You need a good dose of inspiration in your life.
You really need to get out of the house.

Do I have to talk to the artists?
Nope. Not unless you want to. These are experienced professionals who are accustomed to having people view their work in art galleries. Don’t feel the need to chat unless you want to. But…

Should I talk to the artists?
Absolutely! Ask them about the medium they work in. Is it oil? Acrylic? Printmaking? Ask them about the process. How did you make that? Ask about their inspiration. Where do you get ideas for your work?

Don’t worry about asking “dumb” questions. There are none. All artists participating in the New Bedford Open studios tour want to hear what you think. They will appreciate your curiousity.

Can I buy some art?
Absolutely again! While there is no obligation to buy art on the tour, there is no reason why you shouldn’t. The New Bedford Open Studios tour is an opportunity for artists and art patrons to connect. If you want to support working artists, you’ll find plenty to choose from on the tour.
Some artists and artisans will have their prices displayed. Some will have a price sheet. Some will negotiate a price. Some accept commissions – and this is your chance to find them.

In case you see something that you love, bring cash, a checkbook, and some artists – but not all – do accept credit cards. If you buy a piece, some artists will let you walk away with it, some might ask you to come back to pick up.

How do I keep in touch with artists after the tour?
When you find an artist whose work you like, there are several ways to keep the connection going.
Sign their guest book and include your email so they can keep in touch with you.
Take their cards, post cards, or other take-aways to help you remember them and their work.
LIKE their artist page on Facebook and follow the artist on Instagram and/or Twitter if they’re on social media.

The New Bedford Open Studios tour only happens once a year but many artists and patrons enjoy year-round relationships. And that all starts this November in New Bedford.

Find out more at NewBedfordOpenStudio.org and Facebook.com/NewBedfordOpenStudio.

State Police Investigating Crash that Killed Elderly Pedestrian

The Massachusetts State Police continue to investigate the death of a Revere man, who passed away after he was struck by a car as he walked across Revere Beach Boulevard in a marked crosswalk last weekend.

Allen Flynn, 86, died at Massachusetts General Hospital, to where he had been transported after being struck at approximately 10 a.m. Saturday, October 24.

Preliminary investigation by Troop A of the State Police and the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section indicates that Mr. Flynn was walking in the crosswalk in an easterly direction, away from the area of Bianchi’s Pizza and toward the beach wall, when he was struck by a 2003 Honda Civic operated by a 21-year-old East Boston man. Preliminary investigation indicates the Honda’s driver made a hard brake application immediately prior to the impact.

Mr. Flynn was transported by ambulance with serious injuries and later died at the hospital. State Police secured the Honda for further examination of the vehicle. Evidence at the scene was documented by State Police Crime Scene Services and collision reconstruction troopers.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation to determine if criminal charges are warranted against the driver. No further information is being released at this time.

Mayor Mitchell, City Council and Community to Celebrate the Groundbreaking of “Tom Lopes Park”

Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 3:00 P.M. at the City-owned lot known as One Washington Square (where County and South Sixth Streets meet).

In June of 2015, in support of the family of Tom Lopes, Mayor Jon Mitchell formally proposed that New Bedford name a vacant City-owned parcel at One Washington Square, “Tom Lopes Park,” to honor the first Cape-Verdean American elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, publisher of Cape Verdean News and longtime New Bedford neighborhood advocate and mentor.

The New Bedford City Council voted in support of the proposal and on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 3:00 P.M., Mayor Jon Mitchell, members of the City Council, along with family and friends of Tom Lopes will gather at the city-owned lot at County and Sixth Streets for the ground breaking ceremony of Tom Lopes Park.

The Community Leadership Team of NeighborWorks has been working with Waterfront Historic Area League (WHALE), local artist Erik Durant and others to design and build a memorial sculpture in honor of Tom Lopes. Fundraising is underway to support the memorial sculpture which will be sited in Tom Lopes Park.

“We honor Tom Lopes for many reasons, but primarily because he was a pioneer—a trailblazer, courageous, with eyes fixed on the horizon. The park and sculpture at a prominent gateway in our city will stand as a permanent reminder to present and future residents that one person can truly make a difference,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell.

In July, a portrait of Tom Lopes was unveiled at the New Bedford Free Public Library. On Friday, October 30, at 6:00 p.m. the documentary film, The Reel Tom Lopes, will premiere at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

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