Officials advise no swimming at New Bedford beaches after shark sighting in Fairhaven

The New Bedford Mayor’s office confirmed that they are advising no swimming at New Bedford beaches based on a shark sighting in Fairhaven earlier in the day.

The following message was sent out by the Fairhaven Police Department:

“FAIRHAVEN ALERT: This message is being sent by the Fairhaven Police Department and the Harbormaster.

All public beaches are temporarily closed due to a possible shark sighting near Hacker Street. All citizens are asked to stay out of the water.

Any sightings should be reported to the Fairhaven Police Department at 508-997-7421. Currently, the Fairhaven Police and Harbormaster is investigating the incident and the waters.”

Fairhaven closes all beaches due to shark sighting

“FAIRHAVEN ALERT: This message is being sent by the Fairhaven Police Department and the Harbormaster.

All public beaches are temporarily closed due to a possible shark sighting near Hacker Street. All citizens are asked to stay out of the water.

Any sightings should be reported to the Fairhaven Police Department at 508-997-7421. Currently, the Fairhaven Police and Harbormaster is investigating the incident and the waters.”

Protestors rally near Ash Street jail in New Bedford on Saturday

There was a rally today outside of Ash Street Jail conducted by Bristol County for Correctional Justice, Families for Justice and Healing Coalition. They urged legislators to pass S2846, a bill eliminating the costs for calls for the incarcerated prisoners.

Massachusetts State Police investigating fatal pedestrian crash in Blandford

“At approximately 10 p.m. Friday September 25, 2020, Massachusetts State Troopers assigned to State Police-Westfield responded to reports of a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle on Route 90 Eastbound, at the 24.2 mile marker, in Blandford. The victim suffered fatal injuries.

Preliminary investigation indicated that a 49-year-old Pittsfield man, Harry Young, was a passenger in a 2008 Lexus operated by a 36-year-old Becket woman. The Lexus pulled in the breakdown lane and Young jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the roadway for reasons still under investigation. Young was then hit by a 2013 Ford Explorer operated by a 26-year-old Brockton woman. Young was subsequently struck by a 2020 Kenworth tractor trailer operated by a 33-year-old Little Falls, N.Y., man. All operators remained on scene.

Young was determined to be deceased at the scene.

The facts and circumstances of the crash, including why Young got out of the Lexus, remains under investigation by State Police-Westfield, the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and the State Police Detective Unit for Hampden County.

No charges have been filed at this time.

Troopers were assisted on scene by the Massachusetts DOT. Route 90 Eastbound was closed for the investigation, all lanes were opened at 2:17 a.m.”

Single car crash in Massachusetts injures 5 between aged of 13-15 years old

From the Upton Police Department:

“Upton Police Department is investigating an overnight crash on Hartford Ave So.

The single-vehicle crash involved 5 occupants ranging in ages from 13-15 years of age. 3 of the occupants were ejected from the vehicle on impact, 2 occupants were able to exit the vehicle after the crash.”

Upton Police Department photo.

Upton Police Department photo.

No further details available at this time.

New Bedford Symphony Orchestra “Woodwinds and Brass” present video projects

When the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra 2020-2021 season premiered on September 12 with a virtual concert, COVID-19 restrictions limited the number of people allowed on stage, so we selected and performed a program with string and percussion musicians. Now, the NBSO is pleased to present season-opening performances by the orchestra’s woodwind and brass sections, who have created their own separate video projects!

The woodwind musicians got together at the beautiful Gardens at Elm Bank at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in Wellesley to perform “Variations on a Shaker Melody” from Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. NBSO musicians involved in this project include Timothy Macri, flute; Vanessa Holroyd, flute; Laura Shamu, oboe; Laura Pardee Schaefer, English horn; Nicholas Brown, clarinet; Margo McGowan, bass clarinet; Michael Mechanic, bassoon. To access the NBSO Woodwinds video project, visit the NBSO website at under Events/Online Concerts.

The brass section put together a video composite of their performance of Aram Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance. The featured NBSO musicians are Andrew Sorg, Andrew Moreschi, and Geoffrey Shamu on trumpet; Robert Marlatt, Sarah Sutherland, and Kevin Owen on horn; Robert Hoveland and James Monaghan on trombone; Jobey Wilson on tuba; Eric Huber on timpani; Evan Glickman and Dylan Barber on percussion. To access the NBSO Brass video project, visit the NBSO website at under Events/Online Concerts.

The NBSO is a professional orchestra that annually presents a concert series of classical and pops music as well as an outstanding chamber music series. In addition, the NBSO’s innovative and nationally recognized educational programs reach thousands of students each year in local schools and through open access online. The NBSO is dedicated to building a community of music on the South Coast. Visit today!

New Bedford Police Department grieves the passing of former Chief Arthur T. Oliveira

“The New Bedford Police Department grieves the passing of former Chief Arthur T. Oliveira of New Bedford who died on Septembeer 20, 2020.

He was the husband of the late Jeanette E. (Caron) Oliveira.

Chief Oliveira was a member of the New Bedford Police Department for 35 years serving every rank including Chief until his retirement.

He proudly served in the U.S. Navy during World War II aboard LST 226 in the Pacific theater.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to his children and their families. We will remember and honor him always. Rest in peace.”-New Bedford Police Department.

Eligible New Bedford Public Schools students to receive free internet

New Bedford Public Schools has partnered with Comcast and the SouthCoast Community Foundation to provide six months of high-speed internet access through Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program to eligible families served by the school district.

In recognizing the importance of high-speed access for distance learning, Superintendent Thomas Anderson stated, “It is vital that we do all we can to ensure that our students have the tools and the access they need to continue learning remotely in the distance platform. Comcast’s Internet Essentials program is a means to help provide equity for students no matter their economic status. We appreciate and thank Comcast and SouthCoast Community Foundation for their support and look forward to this partnership as it will be a tremendous benefit to our students.”

John Vasconcellos, SouthCoast Community Foundation president, noted, “As we did in the spring, we are delighted to continue our support of this vital program through the Foundation’s Education Fund – an idea that originated with the Community Foundation. Distance learning is now an integral part of the education landscape and this program removes a critical barrier toward greater equity.”

Internet service will be provided through Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, designed for low-income families and individuals to acquire access to the internet. The partnering arrangement enables six months of free access with Comcast providing two months free as part the Internet Essentials program and the SouthCoast Community Foundation sponsoring the additional four months through their Education Fund.

“Our Internet Essentials Program is helping make sure all students are connected for school at home,” said Tim Kelly, Vice President of Government Affairs for Comcast’s Greater Boston Region. “We are committed to closing the digital divide for low-income Americans so that they enjoy success at school, at work and in their communities and we are proud to work with the New Bedford School District to help achieve that goal.”

Eligibility criteria includes eligibility for public assistance programs and residence within a Comcast coverage area. NBPS families who believe they qualify for the program should contact their respective schools. For program details, please visit using any web-connected device, including mobile phones. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. In addition, there are two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

New Bedford’s G & S Pizza announces re-opening of dining room

Back in August we announced that G&S Pizza owners Arthur and Fay had retired after 31 years. It is unclear whether their decision was sped up because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, but they did it in the middle of the heavy restrictions placed on many businesses, and restaurants were among some of the hardest hit.

Restaurants had their dining rooms closed back in mid-March at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and had to solely rely on take-out and/or delivery to survive. With Governor Baker’s phased approach to opening, restaurants were eventually allowed to be offer outdoor seating in Phase 2: Step 1. Many restaurants either expanded their outdoor venues or built one from scratch.

Phase 2: Step 2 followed almost 6 weeks later and allowed eateries to allow indoor seating with restrictions: maintaining a 6′ distance as per social distancing guidelines and wearing masks where that was not possible.

Sitting down in a restaurant is part of the foodie experience, a way to get out of the house, not having to clean up the mess, or simply wanting a different atmosphere. A sort of field trip for the family, a night on the town for a couple, or a change of pace for the bachelor. Of course, many “power” lunches for businesses and co-workers were part of that lifestyle.

Restaurants have been cautious about opening their restaurants in spite of Gov. Baker allowing them. Mirasol’s Cafe and Starbucks in Dartmouth have yet to open their indoor seating. Starbucks said “We don’t plan on opening the inside to sitting any time soon.” Mirasol’s said it would likely not open inside until spring as they had to address the lengthy serpentine lines that often wrap through the eatery or around the building. Their lines are long enough and with 6′ of social distancing between each patron the tail end of the line would likely end somewhere on Faunce Corner Road.

Joining the ranks of restaurants announcing that they are offering indoor seating is G&S Pizza. A Facebook post stated:

“We are so excited to let everyone know that dining room is now open!!!! Please stop by and visit us for some delicious food thank you.”

Rejoice pizza lovers!

New Bedford’s Congdon Elementary named a National Blue Ribbon School

U.S. Department of Education hails Congdon “an inspiring example” of student success.

The U.S. Department of Education has recognized John B. Congdon Elementary School as a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in Washington D.C. made the announcement today. “Congratulations on your recognition as a 2020 Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing National Blue Ribbon School! The U.S. Department of Education acknowledges your students’ success as an inspiring example of how teachers, parents, and community leaders can work together to help students prepare for what comes next,” Secretary DeVos wrote in a letter dated today to Congdon Principal Darcie Aungst.

“The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content,” according to the DOE website.

Nominated by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Congdon is one of only six Massachusetts schools receiving the coveted honor and the only one that is not in an affluent district, Principal Darcie Aungst noted. “Five years ago Congdon was ranked in the bottom 20% of schools in the state. Today we were named one of the top schools in the country! This climb to success happened because the staff, students, and community worked together with the strong belief that ALL of our students can achieve at high levels. We vowed to never give up and to improve every day because the work we do every day at this school is too important,” she said.

Superintendent Thomas Anderson stated, “We are extremely proud of our outstanding team. Their commitment of putting students first is representative of this hard earned and well-deserved honor. This honor is evidence that effective strategic planning combined with a lot of TLC makes continued improvement along multiple benchmarks not only possible, but the norm that all of us can achieve.”

In congratulating the students, staff and families, Mayor Jon Mitchell stated, “Over the last several years, the Congdon School has established itself as one of the best elementary schools in Massachusetts – if not the best. What is striking about today’s announcement is that the majority of the other schools recognized by the Department of Education are located in affluent suburbs of major cities. Congdon’s sustained excellence is a direct result of the school’s first-rate professionals, under the leadership of Principal Darcie Aungst, who have been fervently committed to the proposition that all children, regardless of background, are capable of learning. That one of New Bedford’s elementary schools is in the discussion of ‘America’s best’ is also a reflection of how far the school district has come in recent years.”

Using standards of excellence evidenced by student achievement measures the U.S. Department of Education honors high-performing schools and schools that are making great strides in closing any achievement gaps among student groups.

Aba S. Kumi, Director of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program noted of Congdon, “Your school is one of 367 schools in the nation and one of six schools from Massachusetts to be recognized in 2020.”

The National Blue Ribbon School Program is supported through ongoing collaboration with the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Association for Middle Level Education, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

A list of the2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools is available on both the U. S. Department of Education’s website at and National Blue Ribbon Schools website at Selected profiles of schools are featured on the NBRS website, along with exemplary practices and winning applications and school summaries.

Students celebrate in 2019 Congdon’s designation as a Massachusetts School of Recognition for the second consecutive year. The 2020 Blue Ribbon Award places Congdon among the nation’s best schools. (NBPS photo)

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