MBTA celebrates Autism Acceptance Month with inaugural participation in the Autism Transit Project

“BOSTON – The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is pleased to announce its first-ever involvement in the Autism Transit Project, an initiative that empowers children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to create public service announcements for transit systems across the country. In recognition of Autism Acceptance Month during April, starting today and through mid-May, the MBTA will play public announcements created by local children with ASD in stations across the system. The MBTA joins other transit agencies in this meaningful project organized by the Autism Transit Project, a 501c3 non-profit organization.

“Our transportation system should be accessible to all of our residents and visitors. The Autism Transit Project is an extension of that commitment and supports one of the MBTA’s key goals, which is to make sure every single traveler can navigate the system successfully,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “This is a great way to spread the word about Autism Awareness Month and to help educate other people in their same situation.”

“We are honored to participate in the Autism Transit Project and celebrate Autism Acceptance Month with our community,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “This initiative not only raises awareness about autism, but also provides a unique platform for children with ASD to showcase their talents and make a positive impact on our public transportation system and help us lift up our values and our commitment of fostering a public transit system where everyone feels welcome, respected, and safe. Thank you to the children and families for being part of the T family with their participation today and recording these great public service announcements.”

“Children with autism sometimes fixate on feats of everyday mechanical engineering,” said Jonathan Trichter, founder of The Autism Transit Project. “This is especially true of trains and transit systems—something frontline MBTA workers see every day. In addition, children with autism may not come to language naturally. Instead, they grab onto phrases they hear in places they love and use them to communicate with the world around them. As a result, it is not unusual for the first full sentence a child with autism utters to be a transit service announcement. This is why this project is so special. And today, the MBTA is creating a space for these kids to participate in civic life and be heard.”

“From simply watching trains, to walking up and touching a train, to getting on and taking a ride on a train, to riding every line in the entire MBTA system, this program, while physically measurable in some ways, has an immeasurable impact on my son, Christopher. Thank you!” said Robin Long-Tarjan, whose son, Christopher (age 14), participated in the project this year.

The Autism Transit Project and the MBTA collaborated with families from greater Boston within the MBTA service area on announcement scripts and produced the recordings. Announcements by the children included tips on how to safely board and disembark trains, offering seats to others, and remembering to be kind while riding the T.

To further support the program and express gratitude to the participating children, the MBTA welcomed them for an exclusive tour of its Operations Control Center where they gained a behind-the-scenes look at the system and met bus and subway dispatchers. Additionally, the MBTA will feature the Autism Transit Project on its in-station digital screens and social media channels.

The MBTA’s participation in the Autism Transit Project follows another recent initiative supporting young transit enthusiasts with disabilities. On March 21, the MBTA hosted a field trip from Boston Public Schools’s Horace Mann School for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing at its Emergency Training Center in South Boston. Staff from various departments led students through a hands-on experience with public transit in a controlled environment.

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About the Autism Transit Project

The Autism Transit Project is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission it is to spread acceptance and awareness that people with autism are worthy and valuable parts of their societies—different perhaps, but no less. The project relies on its ability to channel the connection many with autism spectrum disorder (“ASD”) have to mass transit systems in a positive way. It started with an idea when its founder, Jonathan Trichter, launched a widely praised initiative that allows autistic children who love trains to record subway service announcements that are then broadcast publicly throughout their local transit systems in conjunction with Autism Acceptance Months. Last year, in 2023, over 100 children and five major transit agencies across the country participated. This year, seven transit agencies participated with even more kiddos!

For more information, visit mbta.com or connect with the T on X (the site formerly known as Twitter) @MBTA and @MBTA_CR, Facebook /TheMBTA, Instagram @theMBTA, Threads @thembta, or TikTok @thembta. “




Brockton Fire, Police, and EMS respond to wild, motor vehicle crash

“Earlier this morning Brockton Firefighters, Brewster Ambulance Service and Brockton Police Department responded to Montello Street in the area of Snell Place for this motor vehicle crash.

This is a developing story that will be updated as more information comes in.”-Brockton Fire Department.


Brockton Fire Department photo.


Brockton Fire Department photo.


Brockton Fire Department photo.




Massachusetts State Police welcome two new members to the family: “Nolan” and “Nasa”

“We are thrilled to welcome two new members to the Massachusetts State Police family. Last week, members of our Mounted Unit drove to Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, to pick up two new horses, Nolan and NASA. (NASA has the white star on his forehead.)

The four-year-old Percheron/Thoroughbred crossbreeds had been cared for and trained by Asbury students since they were foals. As Nolan and NASA graduate from the university’s Equine Studies program, their student trainers do the same.

Upon meeting our newest horses, it was immediately apparent to our Mounted Unit Troopers that the students did an outstanding job caring for these beautiful animals and training them to be police horses. By late afternoon of the next day, Nolan and NASA were getting used to their new home at the MSP’s barn. Next was further training with Mounted Unit Troopers.


Massachusetts State Police photo.

The initial MSP training was in the basics: Nolan and NASA were taught how to get on and off our trailers. Next came groundwork exercises, after which they were fitted for bridles and saddles. We used the recent rainy stretch to work with them in our indoor corral, testing their abilities in walk, trot, and canter. They also did some sensory training. The next step will be outdoor training on the trails around Walden Pond.

We are extremely grateful to Asbury University and the student trainers. We know that Nolan and NASA were family to them as well, and that it was not easy for them to say goodbye to these two beautiful animals that they raised since they were babies. We thank them, and hope they take some comfort in the knowledge that we will continue to give Nolan and NASA great care and love, and we hope also that they take pride in knowing that the babies they nurtured are now part of our mission to serve and protect our citizens.”-Massachusetts State Police.


Massachusetts State Police photo.


Massachusetts State Police photo.




Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Day for New Bedford, Dartmouth, Freetown residents

“New Bedford, MA – Around Earth Day, and every day, it is important to properly handle hazardous products. If you cannot use these products for their intended purpose, or give them to someone who can, take them to Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Day on Saturday, May 4, 2024. It is from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Crapo Hill Landfill, 300 Samuel Barnet Boulevard, New Bedford. Proof of residency in New Bedford, Dartmouth, or Freetown is required.

Sign up to participate. Visit gnbrrmdistrict.org to select a time slot. Please arrive as close to your selected time slot as possible. If you do not have internet access, call (508) 979-1493 to sign up.

• Examples of accepted waste include oil-based paints, paint thinner, pesticides, and old gasoline.

• Do not bring latex paint (if you cannot give it away, dry it out and place it in the regular trash).

• Do not bring anything that is accepted at your transfer station including: antifreeze, fluorescent light bulbs, mercury containing devices, motor oil, propane (or other) tanks or cylinders, TVs, or computer monitors.

• The maximum amount of household hazardous waste you can bring is 25 gallons or 25 pounds. Collection is for households only. No businesses, schools, or contractors.

This event takes place at the Crapo Hill Landfill, 300 Samuel Barnet Boulevard, New Bedford. Please note, traffic flows in one direction at this event. The only way to enter is through the New Bedford Business Park. GPS may suggest a different route, but if you try that, you will have to turn around and enter through the New Bedford Business Park.

For more information, contact the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District by email at Marissa@gnbrrmdistrict.org or by phone at (508) 979-1493.”




New Bedford has roadwork sites for the upcoming week of April 22, 2024 – April 26, 2024

“The City of New Bedford has roadwork sites for the upcoming week of April 22, 2024 – April 26, 2024, and they are as follows:

Eversource will be working on gas main relays and services on:

• Main relay on Acushnet Ave from Phillips Rd to Bowles St
• Main relay on Acushnet Ave from Phillips Rd to 3082 Acushnet Ave
• Main relay on Princeton St from Church St to Ashley Blvd
• Services on Central Ave from Church St to Conduit St
• Services on County St from Cove St to Rivet St
• Services on Jouvette St from County St to Crapo St
• Services on W. Rodney French Blvd from Calumet St to Bayview St
• Test holes on Church St from Park Ave to Nash Rd

Other:

• Contractor (Barletta Heavy Division) continue work at future pedestrian bridge across Rte 18.
• Contractor (PA Landers) will be working on a road reconstruction project at West Rodney French Boulevard from Cove Street to George Street.
• Contractor (JH Lynch) will be working on the MassDOT road reconstruction project at the intersection of Rockdale Avenue at Allen Street. Paving operations scheduled for Monday, April 22nd and Tuesday, April 23rd with no local traffic access. Traffic detours will be in place during workday hours of operation.
• Contractor (various utility companies) will be working on utility pole transfers at the MassDOT road reconstruction project on Kings Highway from Mt. Pleasant Street to Oliver Street.
• Contractor (PA Landers) scheduled to continue work at the MassDOT road reconstruction project on County Street from Nelson Street to Rivet Street.
• Contractor (Various utility companies) will be working on utility pole transfers at the MassDOT road reconstruction project on Acushnet Avenue from Tobey Street to Pequot Street.
• MassDOT will be staging installation and beam end cleaning and concrete encasements at I-195 East and West bound lanes over Purchase Street, County Street and State Street. Work will take place Sunday – Thursday with overnight operations only.
• Contractor (SCR Constructors) will continue site work at the future South Coast Rail station platform locations in the city. (Church Street at Carlisle Street and Wamsutta Street at Acushnet Avenue.) and continue site work at future pedestrian bridge across Rte. 18 impacting parking along Purchase Street between Willis Street and Pearl Street and at the Division of Career Services on Acushnet Avenue. If you have questions, please email the project team at SouthCoastRail@dot.state.ma.us
• MassDOT is scheduled to start pavement preservation and related work on Route 140 both northbound and southbound from mile marker 0.0 to mile marker 5.2 starting April 1st and is scheduled until January 15th, 2026. Work to be conducted during overnight hours. Police details and ramp closures with detours to be expected.
 
Project: Lead Service Line Replacement Program Phase II   General Contractor: C. Naughton Corp. (Monday-Friday 7:00am -5:00pm)
• The contractor will be working Lead Service Line Replacements. Monday on Oak Street between Allen Street and Grape Street. Tuesday on Clay Street between Grape Street and Hickory Street, Bay Street between Ward Street and Borden Street. Wednesday on Bay Street between Borden Street and Columbia Street, Columbia Street between Bay Street and Allen Street. Thursday on Bedford Street between Cottage Street and Ash Street, Waverly Street between Bedford Street and Allen Street. Friday on Ward Street, between Allen Street and Bedford Street, Allen Street between Ward Street and Borden Street. At times during working hours, these locations may be closed to thru traffic with signs posted to detour traffic around work areas. Police details will be on-site allowing access to residents only and assisting with traffic management.

Project: Grape Street Collector Rehabilitation General Contractor: Green Mountain Pipeline Services Subcontractor: Duke’s Root Control and Ribeiro Construction Inc (Friday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM)
• The Subcontractor, Ribeiro Construction, is scheduled to install a new sewer manhole and 8-in and 10-in PVC sewer pipe at the southwest corner of Buttonwood Park Pond. This work will not impact traffic.

Project: Phase 4 Transmission Main Reinforcement Project   Contractor: C. Naughton Corp. (Monday-Friday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM)
• The Contractor will continue replacing a section of the existing 48-in water transmission main north of the railroad crossing at Chipaway Road in East Freetown.

Project: Shawmut Avenue and Howland Street Pumping Station Improvements Project General Contractor: WES Construction Corp. (Monday-Friday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM)
• The contractor is scheduled to continue installation of granite curb and concrete sidewalk replacement along Nash Road between Shawmut Avenue and Mount Pleasant Street. Lane restrictions will be in place during working hours, with one lane of alternating traffic open. Police officers will be on-site to assist with traffic management.”




The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office Is Now Recruiting And Offering A $5000 Signing Bonus

The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office is now hiring for their September 2024 Correction Officer Academy!

What does a career with the BCSO look like? Well, Correction Officers keep the jail safe for staff, visitors, and inmates. They preserve order, enforce facility rules along with all local, state and federal laws. Day to day duties vary depending on the assignment an officer is given, but generally monitor inmate activities, assist with investigations, conduct searches, respond to emergency situations, and document incidents.

They provide other services such as transporting inmates to and from court as well as monitor inmates assigned to work details. Officers are assigned to one of three eight-hour shifts: 7am to 3pm, 3pm to 11pm, or 11pm to 7am.

Are you looking to start a new career? With a $5,000 hiring bonus, state health, dental, and life insurance, as well as a state pension, there is no better time to apply to be a Corrections Officer.

Ready to apply? Click the link below to take the first step in your new career today!
https://www.bcso-ma.us/employment.htm




Southcoast Health recognizes “Donate Life Month” with annual New Bedford flag-raising ceremony

“NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – Community members, providers, nurses and staff gathered at St. Luke’s Hospital this morning for New England Donor Services and Southcoast Health’s annual flag-raising ceremony in recognition of Donate Life Month.

Celebrated every April since 2003, Donate Life Month is a time to recognize the recipients of organ and tissue donation. This month also brings an increase in awareness about becoming a donor and the opportunity to give someone in need of a transplant a second chance at life.

For the second year, Southcoast Health was honored to have the family of Sam Ellis – his mother and Southcoast Employee Cheryl Ellis, his sister Sophia-Lynn Bechard, Derek Bechard and Barbara Sullivan – present at the flag raising to share the story of Sam’s organ donation, after passing away due to a motor vehicle accident three years ago.


Southcoast Health photo.

“Donate Life Month is a time to honor and remember those who gave a life-saving donation to someone in need of an organ or tissue transplant – and to inspire others to make the decision to register to donate,” said David O. McCready, President and CEO of Southcoast Health. “On behalf of everyone here at Southcoast Health, I want to express how deeply grateful we are for our community partners, providers, nurses and staff who make this possible. I especially want to thank Sophia-Lynn for sharing her family’s story. This is the single best way to shine a light on the impact and importance of organ donation.”

In 2023, 21 donors across Southcoast Health made 63 organ and 35 tissue transplants possible. So far, in 2024, 6 lifesaving donors have given 16 organ transplants and 16 tissue donations, officials said.

“I’m proud to be part of such a giving and compassionate community that supports the importance of organ donation. I want to express my gratitude to all organ donors and their families for their generosity and courage in making the decision to donate – even in the midst of loss and grief,” said Tonya Johnson, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Southcoast Hospitals Group at the event.

All three Southcoast Health Hospitals, Charlton Memorial, St. Luke’s and Tobey, work in collaboration with New England Donor Services, the area’s local designated organ procurement organization, to provide lifesaving donations to individuals in need of an organ or tissue transplant.

Dr. Charles Strom, Senior Director, Organ Surgical Services at New England Donor Services (NEDS), also spoke at the event, emphasizing the importance of the collaboration between Southcoast Heath and NEDS to help make organ donation possible in the South Coast region.

According to the New England Donor Services, there are currently more than 115,000 men, women and children in the United States waiting for a potentially life-saving transplant. More than 5,000 of these individuals live in the New England region.

Recognizing this cause year-round, Southcoast Heath hospitals fly the New England Donor Services Flag on the last day of each month where an organ donation has occurred to honor the person who gave a second chance at life to others.

You can register to be an organ and tissue donor through the National Donate Life Registry or at the RMV when you renew your license.”




Massachusetts Div. of Fisheries & Wildlife “Fisher Cats are misunderstood creatures!”

“Fishers, sometimes called “fisher cats” are one of our most misunderstood creatures. Because they are rarely seen, many people don’t know much about them, which has led to some misconceptions about their behavior.

Can you separate facts from fiction?

Learn why they are called fishers, why they are important to our ecosystem, and listen to audio of critters who make strange sounds at night: bit.ly/fishers-fact-fiction.”-Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife.


Christina Radcliffe photo.


Christina Radcliffe photo.


Christina Radcliffe photo.


Christina Radcliffe photo.




[VIDEO] Fall River teen takes Massachusetts State Troopers on high speed chase involving helicopter

Shortly before 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Massachusetts State Troopers attempted to stop a stolen vehicle related to an earlier Be On the Lookout (BOLO) notification. The vehicle fled the initial stop but was quickly observed merging on to Route 79 northbound. Troopers followed the vehicle for a short time, but disengaged when the vehicle exited the highway on to local roadways.

A Massachusetts State Police Air Wing flight crew, operating in Air 2, responded to provide overflight support and was and able to locate then track the suspect vehicle on Route 24 northbound in the area of Exit 11. After exiting the highway, the vehicle turned onto a loop subdivision in Berkley at which point members of the Berkley Police Department were able to block both exits, trapping the suspect vehicle inside. The three occupants quickly bailed out of the vehicle and were apprehended within a few minutes.

Troopers arrested and charged ALEXIA SPRINGER, 21, of Fall River, and LIJAH FORTES, 27, of Fall River, with Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle.

The driver, KOBE WEST, 19, of Fall River is charged with:

1. Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle;
2. Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Revoked Driver’s License;
3. Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle;
4. Failure to Stop for Police;
5. Marked Lanes Violation; and
6. Speeding.

WEST was also wanted on five outstanding warrants for his arrest.

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Catalytic converter theft crew responsible for $2 million in losses in Massachusetts, Rhode Island

Theft crew responsible for an estimated $2 million in losses across Massachusetts and New Hampshire during 2022 and 2023.

“BOSTON – The leader of a regional organized theft crew who orchestrated the thefts of catalytic converters from nearly 500 vehicles across the region, multiple jewelry store robberies and the stealing of ATMs pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston.

Rafael Davila, a/k/a “Robbin Hood,” 35, of Springfield, Mass, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce; interstate transportation of stolen property; conspiracy commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit bank theft; and bank theft. U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin scheduled sentencing for July 30, 2024.

In April 2023, Rafael Davila was arrested and charged along with six others in connection with the theft, transportation and sale of stolen catalytic converters taken from nearly 500 vehicles across Massachusetts and New Hampshire in 2022 through April 2023. It is believed that a significant number of additional thefts have not been identified or were not ever reported to law enforcement.

According to court filings, there has been a precipitous decline in catalytic converter thefts reported in Massachusetts as a result of the April 2023 takedown – with less than 15 reported incidents of catalytic converter theft over the past 11 months following the arrests, in comparison to the hundreds of thefts reported during the nine-month period prior.

Catalytic converter theft has become a nationwide problem due to the high-valued precious metals they contain – some of which are more valuable than gold, with black-market prices being more than $1,000 each in recent years. The theft of a vehicle’s catalytic converter results in damage that renders the vehicle inoperable – both mechanically and legally under EPA regulations – until properly replaced.

The crew was led by Davila, who engaged in catalytic converter thefts and burglaries on a full-time basis – committing thefts multiple nights per week for upwards of eight hours a night. Davila was responsible for the planning of and transportation to each targeted theft – using his vehicle, determining price values for stolen converters and purchasing needed materials. Davila maintained meticulous notes accounting for the locations that he and his co-conspirators had targeted and the number of catalytic converters that had been stolen, including the makes and models and when they were dropped off for sale.

The thefts resulted in losses of approximately $5,000 per vehicle with certain trucks costing over $10,000 to repair. This amounts to an approximate $2 million in losses suffered by more than 300 separate victims who were forced to deal with their vehicles being disabled for potentially weeks on end. The more than 300 victims included businesses and individuals across Massachusetts and parts of New Hampshire, including a food pantry, automotive businesses, tradesmen, a bakery, single parents, a home healthcare provider and the elderly. Some businesses were repeatedly targeted on multiple nights.

Once in possession of the stolen catalytic converters, the crew would then sell them to Jose Torres, who would accumulate stolen catalytic converters from multiple theft crews and then in turn sell them to scrap dealers – transacting approximately $30,000 to $80,000 in stolen catalytic converters per week. Torres then sold stolen catalytic converters to scrap dealers who have since been charged federally for interstate transportation of stolen property and money laundering in the District of Connecticut, the Eastern District of California and Northern District of Oklahoma. Rafael Davila admitted to conspiring with Torres to transact in the stolen catalytic converters.

In addition to the catalytic converter thefts, Davila also admitted to conspiring to steal from ATMs of federally insured banks in Massachusetts on three separate occasions in December 2022. This conspiracy involved the use of stolen trucks and chains to rip the ATMs from the ground and gain access to the vault.

Rafael Davila also admitted to committing burglaries of two New Hampshire jewelry stores on Jan. 12, 2023, and the theft of a trailer on Dec. 14, 2022. Davila admitted to breaking into the stores by smashing the glass doors and breaking the jewelry cases and stealing the jewelry. The combined total value of the jewelry stolen during the burglaries was determined to be over $137,000, with each store facing approximately $10,000 in costs to repair the resulting damage.

Rafael Davila is the seventh and final defendant charged in Operation Cut & Run to plead guilty. All six of his co-defendants have pleaded guilty – three of whom have since been sentenced, each to more than three years in prison. The three remaining defendants are awaiting sentencing.

The charge of conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of interstate transportation of stolen property provides for a sentence of up to 10 years, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of conspiracy to commit bank theft provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of bank theft provides for a sentence of up to 10 years, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the proceeds, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; John E. Mawn Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police; and Kevin Gallagher, Director of Operations for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Northeast Region made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was also provided by the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Districts of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Northern District of Oklahoma and the Eastern District of California; Homeland Security Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office; and the New England State Police Information Network. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip A. Mallard of the Organized Crime & Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.

Over 70 local police departments in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut contributed to this investigation through the submission of their investigations of catalytic converter thefts in their jurisdiction. The Massachusetts Police Departments contributing to the investigation were Abington, Acton, Andover, Auburn, Bedford, Bellingham, Beverly, Billerica, Burlington, Bridgewater, Canton, Carver, Chelmsford, Concord, Cranston, East Hampton, Easton, Fitchburg, Framingham, Franklin, Gardner, Hampton, Hanover, Haverhill, Hingham, Holliston, Holyoke, Hudson, Ipswich, Lawrence, Leominster, Lynn, Malden, Mansfield, Medford, Marlborough, Methuen, Middleton, Milford, Millbury, Needham, Newton, Northborough, Norwell, Norwood, Peabody, Pembroke, Plymouth, Randolph, Rockland, Sharon, Shrewsbury, Springfield, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sudbury, Tyngsborough, Walpole, Waltham, Watertown, West Bridgewater, Weymouth, Wilmington, Woburn and Worcester. The New Hampshire Police Departments contributing to the investigation were Bow, Concord, Derry, Hooksett, Hudson, Londonderry, Manchester, Salem, Windham. The Connecticut Police Departments contributing to the investigation were South Windsor and Windsor.”-Massachusetts Department of Justice.