Local woman stranded in Cabo Verde for days because of Coronavirus concerns

“Many people have told me to reach out to you about this matter. Two of my friends and I have been in Cabo Verde (an island of the West Coast of Africa) for 2 weeks now.

After Trump spoke about closing the border with European countries we started to panic because our flight had an hour and a half layover in Portugal. Our flight was with SATA Azores Airlines. To reassure our flight would be okay we spoke to their agency out here in Praia, Cape Verde.

The woman at the agency reassured us that our flight will be fine and would not be getting canceled. So our stress and nerves calmed down because we thought we would be heading home on March 16th. Once March 16th arrived we headed to the airport around 9:00am, our flight was at 12:50 pm. We see hundreds of people waiting in lines with their luggage.

From overhearing people talking the word was that all flights got canceled until March 31st. We did not get an email, a text, an alert on their app…NOTHING. There were no workers walking around explaining what was happening and instead it was hundreds of people confused and worried.

There was one person at the SATA desk at the Praia airport for hundreds of people who just figured out their flight was canceled once they arrived at the airport from workers who help travelers with their luggage. After waiting 2-3 hours at the airport we decided to head to the SATA agency which was awful.


They said no refunds and they refused to help us look for other flights available, the women working kept smiling as if she took us as a joke. We were getting nowhere at the agency so we decided to head to the US Embassy out here and they were just as useless.

We had to wait 2 hours because they were on a lunch break and we searched for them for about 20 minutes just for them to tell us they can’t do anything to help us. They said we need to look into flights and tell family to send money. We then, by ourselves, secured our tickets with Cabo Verde Airlines who was doing a direct flight to Boston early Saturday morning on March 21st.

They guaranteed our flight home. Come Thursday, March 18th, I got a call from my hotel that another airline called TAP would be canceling all their flights after today and other airlines may be doing the same… still no email or alert from SATA or Cabo Verde airline.

We rushed to the airport to stand in line for 3-4 hours to find out Cape Verde closed their borders but the Prime Minister stated U.S Citizens can fly home. As we are at the airport I get an email from the U.S Embassy to go directly to the SATA agency because there is word there will be a direct flight to Boston tonight.

We followed the Embassy’s directions and headed to the agency. The woman who gave us a hard time before was there and reassured us that there will definitely be a flight tonight directing to Boston for U.S Citizens but the time was still unsure.

We packed all our stuff and headed to the airport for hours just for them to tell us there was no flight. They said our flight will be Friday, March 20 at 2:45 pm. This morning we called and now they are saying Boston won’t approve them to land. Cape Verde is not a European country and has NO cases of Coronavirus. We don’t know what else to do.

We just want to be home with our family. I made a Facebook live last night explaining all of this. Please help us get the word out! We need prayers!

Thank you,
Brianna Tavares”

Six Greater New Bedford area high schools to compete in Junior Achievement Titan Business Challenge

Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts (JA) and Title Sponsor, Bristol County Savings Bank, announce that six schools from the New Bedford area – Bishop Stang High School, Dartmouth High School, Fairhaven High School, Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School and New Bedford High School – will participate in the 7th Annual Junior Achievement Titan Business Challenge to take place on the campus of UMass Dartmouth this coming Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The Junior Achievement Titan Business Challenge is a business strategy competition in which high school students compete against other schools in teams using an online, interactive business simulation which provides students with essential business knowledge. Each of the schools will compete against an estimated 200 students from 13 other schools.

“We are excited to have six schools from the greater New Bedford area competing in JA’s Titan Business Challenge this year,” said Jeffrey Pelletier, JA President. “Thanks to the support of the Bank and our other community partners, more than 1,000 students over the past six years have had the opportunity to participate in this hands-on, dynamic learning experience while gaining knowledge from some of the region’s top business leaders and competing for scholarship awards that can help make a higher education possible.”

During the event, the students will compete for scholarships while gaining insight into the world of business, at no cost to the students or their high schools. In addition to developing budgets and interpreting financial reports, students can expect to increase their knowledge of pricing, production, capital investment, R&D, marketing and charitable giving.

City Councilor Dunn calls for the end of New Bedford fire station blackouts

“Over the past few years, we’ve had four fatalities while stations were blacked out. Since October, we’ve had two fatalities in Ward 3 while stations were blacked out. Enough is enough.”

City Councilor Hugh Dunn presented a written motion last night that called for the City Council to go on record against the New Bedford Fire Department station “blackouts.”

On December 28, 2019, a fire at 143 Myrtle Street claimed the life of an elderly man.

New Bedford High School launches Financial Services Lab

With representatives of the region’s banking and workforce sectors looking on, school officials marked the opening today of New Bedford High School’s state-of-the-art Financial Services Laboratory with a ribbon cutting ceremony and tour of the facility.

The NBHS Financial Services Laboratory is a major capital project supported by the school’s award of a $125,000 Massachusetts Workforce Skills Capital Grant earlier in 2019. The lab occupies newly renovated and conjoined classroom space situated in the heart of the school’s central core, adjacent to the school store. The lab will serve as the hub for financial services education connected to the school’s Academy of Finance.

Finance Lab equipment includes stock tickers, 4k touchscreen monitors, advanced computer systems, and two banks of soft seating to serve as collaboration stations.

Superintendent Thomas Anderson noted “this facility adds enormous capability to New Bedford High’s Academy of Finance programs. Through it students will be introduced to the principles of finance, investment and international trade in a real world context.”

“We are excited to officially open our finance lab today, and look forward to our students engaging in rich financial services projects”, said Bernadette Coelho, NBHS Headmaster. “We are grateful for Governor Baker’s support of our Workforce Skills Capital grant award that made this advanced technical learning environment possible.”

“Our grant award was driven toward developing a laboratory that prepares students for success within the high priority labor growth area of financial services”, said Christopher Cummings Manager of CVTE. “Our new finance lab, which we intend to be the flagship training center for this industry, will help us maximize these career opportunities”, he added.

Spotlight: New Bedford’s Churrascaria Novo Mundo

Looking for some amazing holiday platters? Here’s a sample of what Churrascaria Novo Mundo at 98 County Street in New Bedford has to offer. Contact (508) 991-8661 or stop by today!

Spotlight: Fall River’s Famous Churrascaria Portuguese BBQ & Grill Family Restaurant

Check out some of the amazing food at Famous Churrascaria Portuguese BBQ & Grill Family Restaurant on 144 Rodman St. in Fall River. Lunch special: 1/2 Chicken with Fries and Rice for $6.99. Try the grilled octopus, Portuguese steak, kabobs or chicken, and ribs. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week.

Empire Ford donates Turkeys and hams to New Bedford families for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Empire Ford of New Bedford donated dozens of turkeys, hams, clothing and other food items to families at four New Bedford shelters could have a better Thanksgiving.

Spotlight on Advanced Embroidery in Westport

Check out our spotlight on Advanced Embroidery at 85 Blossom Road in Westport. Call (508) 678-8993 or e-mail advandrea2013@gmail.com for a quote or more information.

Mayor Mitchell provides statement after airplane crash at Rural Cemetery in New Bedford

Around 3 pm on Monday, a plane crashed into the Rural Cemetery in New Bedford. Mayor Mitchell provided a statement a few hours later.

UPDATE: The pilot of the Cessna 150 that went down in Rural Cemetery has been identified as 74-year-old Paul Vidal. Wife Carol said that he had mentioned in the past that if he was ever in any sort of trouble that he would put the plane down in a way that wouldn’t harm anyone. It appears he made every effort to do so.

Video shortly after the crash:

Paul interviews folks stuck at the New Bedford/Fairhaven bridge

What are your thoughts on the New Bedford/Fairhaven bridge? Paul interview people in their cars waiting for the bridge to open back up to vehicle traffic.