Rochester Police charge Middleborough man with OUI, firearm offenses

“On Sunday July 31, 2022 at 1:00am, Officer Delmonte and Officer Alves conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle traveling west on North Ave.

Following a roadside investigation, the operator of the vehicle was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol.

During an inventory of the vehicle, a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun was located between the drivers seat and the center console. The operator, Timothy PENNEY of Middleborough, was transported to the Rochester Police Department for booking. He was arraigned Monday 8/1/22 at Wareham District Court on the following charges:

• OUI-Liquor
• Possession of a Large Capacity Feeding Device
• Carry a Firearm While Intoxicated
• Improper Storage of a Firearm
• Carry Dangerous Weapon (x2)
• Open Container of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle
• Motor Vehicle No Inspection.” -Rochester Police Department.

Massachusetts legislators pass emergency response support for Southcoast Rail Fire & Rescue

“Great news!

The Transportation Bond Bill Conference Committee which I chaired on behalf of the House of Representatives in my role as Chair of the Transportation Committee, completed our work on Saturday.

On Sunday, both the House and Senate adopted the overall bill which includes my original amendment for special safety extraction equipment necessary to be ready for the start of South Coast Rail service in 2023. The final authorization of $900,000 will allow for the purchase of new specialized safety equipment which would be deployed strategically with the fire departments in New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton and Lakeville.

As is often the case, this great idea started with a meeting request to me from New Bedford Fire Chief Kruger along with members of New Bedford Firefighters Local #841 and the PFFM Legislative Team represented by Billy Cabral. As a group, we reached out to my Bristol County colleagues in the Legislature and the regional fire chiefs in Bristol and Plymouth Counties. The public always benefits from this kind of cooperation and experience.

While every legislator from our region pitched in, key help was provided by Senator Montigny, and my House colleagues Rep. Chris Markey, Rep. Paul Schmid and Rep Chris Hendricks.

The legislation is now on Governor Baker’s desk and I urge him to support this critical part of the bill during his review and expected approval.” -Rep Bill Straus.

Dartmouth, Rochester Fire Departments assist Freetown Fire Department fight house fire

Shortly after 6:00PM Freetown Firefighters were dispatched to 42 water street for a reported house fire.

First arriving companies and Car 1 reported a working fire. The house was vacant and has been boarded up for several years. Crews remained on scene until 11 PM.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by local officials along with the State Fire Marshal’s office.

Thanks to our mutual aid partners:

• Berkley fire
• Lakeville Fire
• Dartmouth Dist 3
• Rochester Fire
• Providence Canteen.” -Freetown Fire Department.

All photos by the Freetown Fire Department:

New Bedford single mother seeks public help for alleged car accident scam

“I am looking for public help. On July 1, 2022, between Rockdale Ave and Bolton St. at 2:56 pm, I was driving with my son to get some karate shoes for him. He has an atypical syndrome that produces several symptoms including autism, OCD, a very low immune system (for which he had a fever that week), anxiety, among others.

A man who was driving a black Honda in front of me stepped on the brakes and this caused me to brake very close to his car, but there was no car-to-car contact. The passenger, a pregnant woman, got out of the car screaming and took a picture of my license plate.

From inside my car I told her that I had not touched her car. I did not get out of my car at any moment because I will never leave my son alone in the car and her car did not have any marks on it. A few days later I receive a citation letter from the court. I have never had a case in my life, nor a ticket

This girl’s report said that I left the scene knowing there was an accident. It says that she was driving the vehicle and her husband was a passenger which wasn’t true. The report also states that I got out of my vehicle and talked to them and that I knew that their car had marks.

Yesterday, I went to court to explain the situation without lawyers because I don’t have anything to hide. The prosecutor decides that he should file charges against me because I did not call 911 to report that a crash happened. The man was driving before the incident and changed places with his female passenger. They calculated everything they were going to say and then called and lied to the police.

I am asking for help! If there is any witness, cameras in the area, or someone who has recorded the incident, please help me!

I am a low-income, responsible, single mother of a special needs child. I do not drink, I do not smoke, I have never had a ticket on my record, and I have never harmed anyone.

Please, if anyone has any information or cameras installed in this area that can support what I say, it would help me a lot.

The police say that there are no cameras in this area. This situation it’s killing me psychologically. If you have any information please email hercubsil@gmail.com.”

GNB Voc-Tech ‘Hall of Famer’ nominated to High School’s District Committee

Mayor Jon Mitchell has nominated a Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School alumna and Hall of Famer to the high school’s district committee.

Carol Pimentel, in addition to her induction into GNB Voc-Tech’s Athletic Hall of Fame, also has been honored with the high school’s Career Achievement Award. She has had an extensive career in public service for the City and financial management for the University of Massachusetts higher education system. Her career highlights include service as City Auditor from 1986-89; director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Development from 1989-92; senior auditor for the President’s Office of the University of Massachusetts from 1992-93; and budget director and internal audit director roles for UMass-Dartmouth from 1993-2010.

“Carol is a distinguished alumna of what was then New Bedford Vocational High School, and has had an equally successful career in financial management, municipal service and higher education,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “Her professional experience as well as several decades of community service make her eminently qualified to serve on the District Committee.”

“Carol Pimentel is an experienced and dedicated public servant who will do an outstanding job of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion on the GNB Voc-Tech School Committee. I’m confident that my colleagues, along with the community, will be just as impressed as I am with her passion, energy and commitment to our students and their families, the faculty and staff, and the Greater New Bedford area,” said City Councillor Shane Burgo.

Pimentel’s community service includes roles as commissioner for the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and for the Schooner Ernestina; extensive involvement with the YWCA and YMCA; vice president of the Cape Verdean Universal Development Association; treasurer of the New Bedford Women’s Center; and membership on several UMass entities, including the African American Conference Committee and the Council on Cultural Diversity and Pluralism.

Pimentel’s appointment is subject to City Council approval.

Southcoast Hospitals Earn U.S. News Recognition in Massachusetts and Rhode Island

The U.S. News and World Report announced Tuesday, July 26, that Southcoast Hospitals Group – which includes Charlton Memorial, St. Luke’s and Tobey – is ranked #12 on its list of Best Hospitals in Massachusetts and #2 in the Providence Metro Area.

The annual Best Hospitals rankings and ratings, now in their 33rd year, are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive quality care for challenging health conditions or elective procedures.

“Congratulations to everyone who helped make this possible! Earning a spot on this list is a major accomplishment, and this recognition represents the outstanding dedication, clinical expertise and compassion you bring to Southcoast each day,” said Ray Kruger, MD, President and CEO of Southcoast Health, in an internal letter. “Thank you for all that you do for our patients and community.”

Nationwide, 493 hospitals were identified as Best Regional Hospitals compared with 531 last year. Southcoast Hospitals Group is one of just 13 out of 105 hospitals in Massachusetts to make the list.

For the 2022-2023 rankings and ratings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 hospitals across 15 specialties and 20 procedures and conditions. In the 15 specialties, 164 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty. State and metro area rankings reflect the highest performing hospitals in the area across multiple areas of care.

Southcoast Hospitals Group ranked as a high-performing system for seven procedures and conditions:

· Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
· Colon cancer surgery
· Diabetes
· Heart attack
· Heart failure
· Kidney failure
· Stroke

U.S. News evaluated each hospital’s performance using a variety of measures such as survival rates, complication rates, patient experience and level of nursing care. The Best Hospitals methodology factors in data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, American Hospital Association, professional organizations and medical specialists.

For more information, visit the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals.

Mayor Mitchell Announces New City Auditor

The City of New Bedford has hired Emily Arpke as its new Auditor, Mayor Jon Mitchell announced today.

Arpke comes to New Bedford from the Brockton Redevelopment Authority, where she spent four years improving and managing financial operations; directing all budgeting, grant program development and oversight; and managing compliance as the Chief Operating Officer. She also added $6.5 million in new grant funding and doubled the Redevelopment Authority’s staff.

Arpke has a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Northeastern University.

“Ms. Arpke is a proven professional who will bring a high level of expertise and a dedication to public service to the Auditor’s Office,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “We’re excited to have her on board.”

Mayor Mitchell nominated Arpke for the position in a letter to New Bedford City Council, which recently confirmed her appointment.

“Emily brings an abundance of energy and passion to the City Auditor role,” said Robert Ekstrom, the former City Auditor who assisted in Arpke’s recruitment. “She will question the status quo, seek out best courses of action, and work seamlessly with the Chief Financial Officer to support all facets of City government and the constituents it serves. In short, she is the innovative and interpretive watchdog any municipality aspires to have.”

The Auditor’s Office is responsible for the City’s accounting and financial reporting system, including preparation of its annual comprehensive financial report; recommending and implementing financial policies; and administration of the annual budgets adopted by the City Council. Additionally, the office authorizes payments to vendors and monitors Federal and State grant activity, ensuring each complies with applicable laws, ordinances, and policies.

Learn more at: https://www.newbedford-ma.gov/auditors-office/

Fairhaven Fire Department announces passing of Lt. Kevin Polson, military veteran

“The Fairhaven Call Firefighters Association and Fairhaven Fire-EMS are extremely saddened to announce the passing of Lieutenant Kevin Polson.

Lt. Polson, started with the Fairhaven Fire Department in 1995, he was a proud call firefighter, Kevin earned a promotion to the rank of Lieutenant and served the Town of Fairhaven for 25+ years. Kevin was a proud Military Veteran, a proud Department of Corrections Officer, and a proud family man!

His family meant the world to him.

Kevin was the owner and operator of Southcoast EMT Training, Kevin and his training put out hundreds of EMTs and paramedics across the Commonwealth! The Southcoast region truly had top of the line Emergency Medical training because of Kevin.

He was the first person to render aid to anyone in need, from helping with education, to just sitting and talking.

Please keep his family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts. Lieutenant Kevin Polson will deeply be missed.

-Fairhaven Call Firefigthers Association
-A Few Serving Many-” -Fairhaven Fire Department.

All photos by the Fairhaven Fire Department:

OPINION: “New Bedford Mayor shows complete disregard for community and health!”

“Yet again, the City of New Bedford stands to exploit its community. Two weeks ago, the mayor acted unilaterally by entering into an agreement with Parallel Products, now ironically called South Coast Renewables, without public participation or knowledge. Within this agreement, the mayor agrees to not oppose any future applications of approval for the company’s project which, due to ambiguous contract language, could include the reconsideration of biosolids processing, once again without seeking or requiring community consultation or consent.

This agreement incentivizes increased tonnage of trash processing, as the city will receive $2 for every ton processed. It is worth noting that in similar agreements in other communities, host cities are receiving $4 per ton. The maximum amount of waste tonnage received is not clarified in the agreement. The list of materials this facility will process according to this agreement includes multiple waste items that could be dealt with more sustainably and efficiently elsewhere. Rather than supporting the broken system of single stream recycling, the city should be advocating for expansion of programs like the Bottle Bill, Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging and paper, and other efforts to reduce and prevent waste. Commingling waste only leads to further contamination and guarantees most of this waste will not be reused or recycled.

The city should not be financially incentivized to bring in more waste and should not be encouraging more consumption, especially in a time of climate crisis. Additionally, there is no mention of how the types of waste will be monitored, how much would be recycled or reused, or where any of this waste would end up if/when it leaves this facility. $2/ton is very little compensation for everything the community is going to endure. $800,000 is a very small percentage of the city’s $431M dollar budget.

There is no moratorium for traffic on Phillips Rd, only a fining system in place that will be virtually impossible to enforce. What is the alternatively approved route? How will South Coast Renewables compensate New Bedford residents for this additional pollution, noise, and traffic in their communities, an “unquantifiable” impact? The agreement states the City of New Bedford will “incur various expenses and impacts….both quantifiable and unquantifiable”. Parallel Products explicitly admits this facility will negatively impact roads, infrastructure, and other public services in New Bedford. Additionally, there are costs that cannot even be calculated at this time. The unquantifiable impacts will be at the costs of residents and may mean anything from property values decreases, long-term health issues, and loss of business in the community.

It is quite unfortunate that neither the mayor nor the company brought in members of the community for feedback. It is especially disheartening that no member of zero waste initiatives or environmental groups were contacted by Mr. Cusson on behalf of the company. Guidance could have been offered on how to make this project economically feasible both for the company and the city, as well as truly environmentally friendly. The agreement states that both parties – the city and the company – were involved in the drafting of the agreement. Where was the community’s input? Both parties are aware of South Coast Neighbors United/Citizens Against the Parallel Products Project, and deliberately left out the people who will be most impacted by these decisions. The mayor is an elected official who works for the people of New Bedford, not South Coast Renewables.

Considering this company’s location in an Environmental Justice area, and New Bedford’s history of environmental injustice, it is doubly discouraging to the members of the community. This was a backdoor deal to further exploit the citizens of New Bedford. Mr. Mayor, our health is not for sale! Shame on you!

Wendy Morrill and Tracy Wallace
President and Vice President of South Coast Neighbors United.”

Boston Celtics Legend Bill Russell has Died

As reported by the AP, Bill Russell, 11 time world champion with the Boston Celtics has died at age 88. A prodigious rebounder and consummate team player, Russell rose to prominence at the University of San Francisco leading the team to back to back NCAA championships and then winning a gold medal in the Olympics. From 1956 to 1969 he ruled the court. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a 12-time NBA All-Star, he was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty that won 11 NBA championships during his 13-year career.

He was selected into the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971 and the NBA 35th Anniversary Team in 1980, named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996,one of only four players to receive all three honors, and selected into the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021. In 2009, the NBA renamed in his honor the NBA Finals’ Most Valuable Player trophy to the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. In 2011, Barack Obama awarded Russell the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments on the court and in the civil rights movement.

Here is a statement from Adam Silver, Commissioner of the NBA:
NEW YORK – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Bill Russell:

“Bill Russell was the greatest champion in all of team sports. The countless accolades that he earned for his storied career with the Boston Celtics – including a record 11 championships and five MVP awards – only begin to tell the story of Bill’s immense impact on our league and broader society.

“Bill stood for something much bigger than sports: the values of equality, respect and inclusion that he stamped into the DNA of our league. At the height of his athletic career, Bill advocated vigorously for civil rights and social justice, a legacy he passed down to generations of NBA players who followed in his footsteps. Through the taunts, threats and unthinkable adversity, Bill rose above it all and remained true to his belief that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.

“For nearly 35 years since Bill completed his trailblazing career as the league’s first Black head coach, we were fortunate to see him at every major NBA event, including the NBA Finals, where he presented the Bill Russell Trophy to the Finals MVP.

“I cherished my friendship with Bill and was thrilled when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I often called him basketball’s Babe Ruth for how he transcended time. Bill was the ultimate winner and consummate teammate, and his influence on the NBA will be felt forever. We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Jeannine, his family and his many friends.”

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