Two of New Bedford EMS’s best receive much-deserved accolades

“Congratulations to New Bedford EMS Director Mike Thomas on 20 years of service to the citizens of New Bedford. Mike has done it all in EMS and currently lead us into the future.

Congratulations are also in order for Paramedic Andrea Garcia for receiving the New Bedford Way Award. She is one of many dedicated New Bedford EMS EMT’s and Paramedics.”-New Bedford EMS.

New Bedford EMS photo.

Massachusetts Delegation Pushing For 500% Increase In Shelter Aid

Colin A. Young
State House News Service

The entire Massachusetts delegation in Washington late last week got on board with a request for five times more money that what the federal government has already allocated to the Bay State to provide new arrivals in the state with shelter and humanitarian services.

In a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell, the delegation wrote that Massachusetts is struggling, as the only state in the country with a legal requirement to shelter homeless families, to provide and pay for services for 7,377 families living in state shelters and an additional 800 families on a waiting list.

“With shelter facilities at capacity, families have been forced to sleep outdoors and in cars, in a state with below-freezing temperatures for months of the year. Some have turned to airport lobbies and hospital emergency rooms for makeshift shelter. The Commonwealth is now running out of shelter funding and faces a shortfall in its shelter budget for the upcoming fiscal year,” the delegation wrote.

Massachusetts applied for $34.5 million in FEMA Shelter and Services Program (SSP) funding, and has been allocated almost $7 million, the lawmakers said. The delegation said this year’s allotment is “more than triple the $1.9 million the Commonwealth received in 2023,” but “hardly makes a dent in the over $900 million that the Commonwealth expects to spend on shelter in the upcoming fiscal year.”

The delegation members said they “recognize that the total pool of SSP funding is inadequate,” pointing out that Congress this year appropriated $650 million for the program, down from $800 million a year before and less than half of the $1.4 billion President Joe Biden requested. The delegation said FEMA has already allocated $275 million of the $650 million to states, and will now award about $341 million through a competitive process (keeping the remainder in reserve).

Beacon Hill leaders have seldom discussed the shelter crisis, which has been fueled by an influx of migrant families to Massachusetts over the last year, without calling on the federal government to reform immigration laws, provide additional funding and work permit flexibility for states housing migrants, or both.

New Bedford: where should new home be for Huntington statue, Whalemen’s, Fishermen’s Memorial?

“Good afternoon New Bedford. We need your help to choose the new home of the famed Anna Hyatt Huntington statue, The Whalemen’s and Fishermen’s Memorial.

The 14-foot statue was created by the famous artist in 1963, and has recently been restored and is ready to return to New Bedford.

We’ve narrowed the final locations to three choices, so please check out the Google survey and select your favorite. It only takes a few seconds; we’re not collecting emails, no need to log in or make a password, just click on the link and check your favorite location and hit submit.

We’ll let everyone know by the end of July where its new home will be. Please visit to cast your vote. Thanks all!”-City of New Bedford.

City of New Bedford photo.

Should it be on West Rodney French Blvd.?City of New Bedford photo.

Should it be on Cove Road? City of New Bedford photo.

Should it be at the soon-to-be pedestrain bridge? City of New Bedford photo.

45-year-old New Bedford man, repeat offender, charged with trafficking Fentanyl

“NEW BEDFORD – A local man has been arrested by narcotics detectives for trafficking Fentanyl.

On Monday, June 10, Det. Emily Pacheco concluded her investigation into a fentanyl distribution operation being conducted out of 113 Reynolds St., first floor, for which she obtained a search warrant. The target of the investigation was JOSE SANTIAGO, 46.

During a search of the residence, detectives located over 200 grams of fentanyl, 5 grams of psychedelic mushrooms, digital scales, packaging materials, and $215, which was seized due to the nature of the resulting charges.

SANTIAGO was taken into custody and charged with trafficking over 200 grams of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute class A substance, among other charges. SANTIAGO has a previous conviction of trafficking in heroin and has recently pleaded guilty to drug charges in U.S. District court.

If you have any information regarding criminal activity, you can report it anonymously at our website or by calling 508-99-CRIME.”-City of New Bedford Police Department.

City of New Bedford Police Department photo.

City of New Bedford city office closures, trash, recycling schedule for Juneteenth

Juneteenth Notice:

City Hall and all City offices will be closed on Wednesday in observance of Juneteenth.

Additionally, there will be no trash pick up on Wednesday and a delay for the rest of the week.”-City of New Bedford.

City of New Bedford photo.

Multiple Massachusetts Fire Departments respond to plane that crashes into Merrimack River

“Yesterday around 2:15 PM the North Andover 911 Communications Center were alerted by the Lawrence Municipal Airport Air Traffic Control Tower of a plane crash in the Merrimack River behind the Amazon complex.

A box alarm was transmitted bringing all North Andover fire apparatus to the scene. There is one confirmed fatality. The scene was cleared at 7:20 PM.

Thank you to our mutual aid companies along with the many state and federal resources who assisted:

• Andover Fire Rescue
• Lawrence Fire Department
• Methuen Fire Department
• Lawrence General Hospital ALS
• North Andover Police Department
• Massachusetts State Police Air Wing
• Massachusetts State Police Dive Team
• Beverly Fire Department Dive Team
• Massachusetts Environmental Police
• National Transportation Safety Board
• Federal Aviation Administration
• REHAB FIVE.”-North Andover Fire Department.

James Hassam photo.

New Bedford’s BP ZOO welcomes three 14-day old American beaver kits born to Wicket and Justin

This is the first birth for adult beavers, Justin and Wickett.

“New Bedford, Massachusetts: The Buttonwood Park Zoo is proud to announce the birth of three American beaver babies, known as kits, an exciting addition to the Zoo’s diverse animal population. The kits, born May 16th to first time parents eight-year-old female Wicket and six-year-old male Justin, have already begun exploring their outdoor habitat. Beaver kits are born with their eyes open, their teeth fully erupted and capable of swimming – with one of them testing their skills at only fourteen days old!

BPZOO Veterinarian, Dr. Emmy Budas, examined all three kits on May 31st, determining they were all in good health and at healthy weights. The sex of each kit will be determined at a later date, as it will require an x-ray.

Beaver kits are born with their eyes open, their teeth fully erupted and capable of swimming. Pictured here is BPZOO’s male American beaver, Justin, helping a kit back to the den after their first swim. Buttonwood Park Zoo photo.

“All three beaver kits are growing at a fast and steady rate,” reported Dr. Budas. “They have thick fuzzy coats, which helps keep them afloat when learning to swim. They are all beginning to explore eating solid foods, which is beyond adorable to watch. It has been such a joy seeing Wicket and Justin be so caring and attentive to their kits. This little family is definitely a heart-warming sight to see!”

While American beaver populations are stable in the wild, these new arrivals are excellent ambassadors for their species, giving BPZOO the opportunity to showcase the vital role beavers play in our ecosystems.

Acting as nature’s engineers, beavers are known for their extraordinary ability to transform their surroundings through activities such as dam building using sticks, mud, and stones. These dams create ponds and wetlands that support diverse ecosystems, serving as crucial habitats for fish, amphibians, birds, and many plant species, promoting biodiversity.

According to BPZOO Veternarian, Dr. Emmy Budas, the kits are beginning to explore eating solid foods, which is beyond adorable to watch. Buttonwood Park Zoo photo.

The dams also play a critical role in maintaining water levels in streams and rivers. By trapping sediments and improving water quality, beaver dams contribute to healthier aquatic environments. The wetlands they create also act as carbon sinks, aiding in climate change mitigation. These industrious engineers are known to alter their environment the most compared to any other organism on Earth – except for humans.

Guests to BPZOO may be able to witness these natural dam building behaviors when visiting Wicket, Justin, and the three new kits this summer. Scheduled “Keeper Chats” may be held throughout the summer and provide an opportunity to learn more about beaver behaviors, their environmental impact, and BPZOO’s ongoing conservation efforts alongside them.”-BP ZOO.

New Bedford offices and facilities closed as New Bedford observes Juneteenth

“NEW BEDFORD – City offices will be closed to the public on Wednesday, June 19, as New Bedford observes the Juneteenth holiday. This includes public libraries. Buttonwood Park Zoo will remain open.

The City of New Bedford was gifted an Official Juneteenth Flag by Human Rights Commissioner Sidney A. Murray II. The flag will be hoisted Tuesday, June 18, as part of the City’s annual flag raising ceremony at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, specifically the date that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, were finally notified of their emancipation on June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth was first recognized in Massachusetts in 2007 and was formally designated a state holiday during the summer of 2020. Observance of the holiday began in 2021, and Mayor Jon Mitchell designated Juneteenth a City-observed holiday beginning that year.

Wednesday’s observance will delay residential trash, recycling, bulky pickup, and yard waste routes by one day for customers with normal pickup Wednesday-Friday as there will be no collection on Wednesday. Downtown and Commercial collection will not take place on Wednesday but will remain on schedule for Thursday and Friday. There is no delay in business cardboard pickup.”-City of New Bedford.

New Leaf Is Hosting A Hiring Event In Fall River This Week

On Thursday June 20th and Friday June 21st New Leaf will be hosting a hiring event at their brand new 2nd location from 12pm to 5pm. Their new location at 360 second street in Fall River is ahead of schedule so its time to staff up! Bring a resume and chat with a hiring manager to start your new career!

They are hiring for the retail side as well as security and inventory specialists. Want to join a growing team and thriving business? This is your opportunity. Apply in person this Thursday and Friday; if you can’t make make it you can send a resume to:

Westport, Dartmouth Fire Departments race to reported fire at restaurant

“At approximately 1830 this evening firefighters were dispatched to a fire alarm activation at the Bayside restaurant on Horseneck Road…minutes later the department received a call for a reported structure fire at Westport Dog on Main Road.

Mutual aid from Dartmouth Fire District 2 was called to handle the alarm activation, while engines diverted to the reported structure fire, along with mutual aid from Tiverton and Little Compton.

Crews arrived to find smoke in the building from a reported dryer fire. Firefighters ensured the fire was out, checked for fire extension and ventilated smoke from the building.

Many thanks to the Westport Police, E911 dispatchers and our mutual aid partners for their assistance.

From @nfpadotorg:

🔥In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 15,970 home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year.
🔥These fires caused annual averages of 13 civilian deaths, 444 civilian injuries, and $238 million in direct property damage.
🔥The vast majority of fires (92%) involved clothes dryers.
🔥The leading items first ignited in dryer fires were dust, fiber or lint (26% of total) and clothing (26%), while items first ignited in washing machine fires were part of the appliance itself, including wire or cable insulation (26%), appliance housing or casing (24%), and drive belt (11%).

🔥🚨Be sure to properly clean and maintain your dryer, by removing the lint from the filter after each use and having the exhaust vent inspected annually and cleaned to reduce the risk of fire.”-Westport Fire Department.

Westport Fire Department photo.

Westport Fire Department photo.

Westport Fire Department photo.