On the same day that Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan announced a $1.7 million dollar construction contract to fix Seabury and other local streets, Flanagan told reporters that he wants a series of debates in the time frame leading up to the December 16 recall election.
While its the opinon of Fall River's City Clerk and the Chair of the Board of Election Commissioners that Flanagan can appear as a contender for Mayor on the same ballot on which he is the subject of a first ever recall effort, its likely a judge will decide that issue at some point this fall.
A suit seeking to halt the recall effort will be on trial in New Bedford Superior Court beginning Monday Morning at 9am.
Fall River City Council Member Mike Miozza tells WSAR he has reached out to other contenders in an effort to see if a consensus could be formed around one candidate in advance of the December 16 Recall Election.
Miozza tells WSAR he has talked to those who already taken out papers and others who are mulling over the idea before a pair of deadlines next week.
Miozza tells WSAR, on the Wednesday Edition of the ''WSAR Newsroom'' that he may wait until the ''11th Hour'' before deciding if he will turn in papers to be certified.
Contenders need to collect 50 signatures from Fall River Registered Voters, then turn those papers in to be certified, then turn in certified papers by November 12 to secure a slot on the second half of a recall ballot.
Fall River's Unemployment Rate moved up by half a percentage point to 10.5% for the month of September; the number of people who filed for unemployment compensation moved up by a little over 200 people.
In New Bedford, unemployment in September dropped by two tenths of a percentage point, as a little under 100 people either dropped off the rolls or found new employment.
Unemployment dropped in Somerset by a tenth of a percentage point, from 7.8% in August to 7.7% in August, while in Swansea, unemployment went up by two tenths of a percentage point, from 7.6% in August, to 7.8% in September.
Former Fall River City Administrator Shawn Cadime tells WSAR that Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan issued the order for ''one or two windows'' of the eventual 22 that were installed in the 6th floor of Government Center during the Summer of 2013.
Cadime tells WSAR that he was not aware of what was going on until he and Community Maintenance Director Ken Pacheco noticed the staging area for the project taking shape during the Spring of 2013.
Cadime tells WSAR, as part of the Monday Edition of ''The WSAR Newsroom'', that he tried to assure that any checks cut for Global Glass of New England would revert back to the City, as the firm's owner, Moses Raposa, owed somewhere between $800,000 to nearly a million dollars in back taxes.
Raposa eventually used a Westport based sub contractor to do the actual labor, then allegedly wrote bad checks to cover the more than $50,000 price tag.
Former Fall River City Administrator Shawn Cadime has indicated to WSAR that he will take out nomination papers this afternoon to run in the December 16 Recall Election as a contender for Mayor of Fall River.
Cadime is a former member of the Fall River School Committee who was named to the City Administrator post by Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan during Flanagan's First Term, and was removed before the start of Flanagan's Third Term earlier this year.
Cadime becomes the 10th Fall River resident to take out nomination papers, joining current City Council Member Mike Miozza, and former council member, Attorney Dave Dennis, and current Mayor Will Flanagan, along with seven other residents who are gathering the 50 signatures to turn in for certification in November.
The price of a gallon of Regular Self Serve Unleaded Gasoline is down 9 cents from a week ago according to this week's Triple A of Southern New England survey.
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Massachusetts is $3.17 per gallon, with a national average of $3.10.
WSAR has noted prices in Fall River and Somerset ranging from $3.09 to 3.39 a gallon over the weekend.
The Triple A of Southern New England Survey finds a price range of 54 cents, from a low of $2.89 to a high of $3.43.
The Fall River Elections Office has indicated to WSAR that former Fall River City Council Member Dave Dennis has taken out nomination papers to become the 9th potential contender on the second half of the December 16 Fall River Mayoral Recall Ballot.
Dennis gave up his council seat as one of four contenders for the Bristol Sixth Democratic Nomination won by Carole Fiola in 2013, then ran a sticker campaign for a council seat in November 2013.
Whether it be through provisions in the Fall River City Charter that allow for a Mayor to step aside on a temporary basis for various incapacitates, or an outright resignation that ends the Mayor's time in office, a majority of Fall River City Council Members are calling for Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan to resign from office, or at least step aside on a temporary basis.
Fall River City Council Member Dan Rego has called on Flanagan to leave office on WSAR and during debate in Council Chambers, while Linda Pereria and Jasiel Correia II have now both endorsed resignation, while Leo Pelliter, Council Vice President Ray Mitchell and Mike Miozza are expressing a desire to see Flanagan take a temporary leave from office.
Miozza and Correia told WSAR this afternoon they would support a vote of no confidence if council were asked to address the issue; several council members have made it clear they have no trust in financial or legal information coming from the Sixth Floor.
First Term Fall River City Council Member Jasiel Correia II has informed WSAR, on Friday's Edition of The ''WSAR Newsroom'' that he will be in court next week to file a Civil Complaint versus Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan, for statements Flanagan allegedly made regarding Correia's citation by the FRPD and others regarding alleged harrasment by members of the Fall River Recall Movement earlier this summer.
Correia tells WSAR he had asked Flanagan to stop making statements regarding Correia's character to various Fall River and Providence media outlets.
The question of if a Recall Election aimed at Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan will happen on December 16 could be answered in a New Bedford Superior Courtroom starting on Monday October 27 at 9am, when a non jury trial in the case will begin.
New Bedford Superior Court Judge Thomas McGwire issued a four page ruling Thursday Afternoon setting the trial date, writing that both parties would have time to appeal any ruling that results in Superior Court.
Eleven witnesses who might have been asked to testify before the Fall River Board of Elections earlier this fall, may now be asked to testify during trial via subpoena.
A Providence County Grand Jury has reported out a 101 count indictment charging 21 people with various counts related to poession of cocaine, possession with intent to deliver and other narcotics counts.
The indictments result from a multi agency effort dubbed ''Operation Get Shorty'' that attempted to crack a cocaine distribution ring throughout Rhode Island.
Four men with ties to the immediate area--59 year old Stephen Graustein of New Bedford, 53 year old Joseph Medeiros of Somerset, 41 year old Eric Hiltz of North Attleboro and 56 year old Glenn Baird of Tiverton--each face 4 counts of conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substance Act and 2 counts of Solicitation of Another to Commit a Felony.
Two more contenders for the December 16 Recall Election have taken out nomination papers to have their names placed on the second half of Fall River's Mayoral Recall Ballot.
Fall River Residents Neil Stewart and Ronald Cabral have taken out nomination papers as of Wednesday, raising the potential field to seven.
Cabral has made the finals in the past 2 City Council Election Cycles, while Stewart is the third person to take out nomination papers who has not previously run for elective office in Fall River.
MassDot is set to implement closure of an additional traffic lane on Interstate 1-95 East and Westbound on the Braga Bridge from 9pm Friday to 1pm Saturday; MassDot says the closure is needed to perform Deck Repairs prior to the onset of winter.
One Travel Lane will be maintained on I 1-95 East and Westbound on the bridge; the Veterans Memorial Bridge is the best means to cross the Taunton River while work proceeds this weekend on the Braga Bridge.
The City of Fall River is waiting for word from the Environmental Protection Agency regarding a renewed permit for the Fall River Water Treatment Plant that would perhaps require the removal of Nitrogen Components from the City's Drinking Water Supply.
Following proposed regulations could come with a $70 Million Plus Price Tag, according to Terry Sullivan, Fall River's Director of Community Utilities, who briefed the nine member City Council earlier this week.
Sullivan told Council that Fall River has joined in a partnership with Taunton and Brockton to fight the new regulations; Sullivan told Council that he will argue that the science used to reach the conclusions is questionable at best; Sullivan says he will argue the city needs to finish the Combined Sewer Overflow project first before taking on another multi million dollar expenditure.
There are new issues cropping up with the proposition of a recall aimed at Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan.
Fall River City Council President Joe Camara has indicated to WSAR that Flanagan has not yet signed the order handed up from City Council this past week which sets a recall election date and puts a calendar in motion regarding the process towards a December 16 election date.
Flanagan has 10 days to sign the order; it would go into effect without his signature.
According to Fall River Election Commissioner Elizabeth Camara, the matter will likely land on the desk of City Solicitor Gary Howayeck on Tuesday, and will likely be debated once Government Center reopens from the Monday Federal Holiday.
Fall River City Council Vice President Ray Mitchell tells WSAR that council has several options available to it as it meets Tuesday Night.
On Monday's edition of ''The WSAR Newsroom'', Fall River School Committee Vice Chair Mark Costa tells WSAR that he is considering a run for Mayor, as part of the recall ballot that will list a number of contenders to perhaps replace current Mayor Will Flanagan is he is recalled.
Costa could join a field of 5 or more contenders that either already pulled papers or are mulling over the process; he tells WSAR he will likely decide in a matter of days.
The Fall River School Committee meets Tuesday Night in the Morton Middle School Auditorium with a ten item agenda on the docket, with a 6:30pm start time.
The seven member Committee will discuss 2014 MCAS Scores, and hear from the DESE about when, or if, monitoring of the district will end.
The faculty at Fonseca will be on hand to discuss extended day learning.
Due to the Columbus Day Holiday on Monday, both the Fall River School Committee and the Fall River City Council will meet on the same night.
Fall River Election Commissioner Elizabeth Camara tells WSAR that with nomination papers now available for the December 16 Recall Election, five contenders have taken out papers on day one, including Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan and current City Council Member Mike Miozza, and one of the 12 names on the orginal Recall Document, Daniel Botelho who ran for a council seat in the last election cycle, along with Richard Branco and John Douglas Vanderhoek.
The final day to obtain nomination papers is October 27, with the deadline to turn in papers for certification set for October 29, while the last day to turn in certified papers for a slot on the ballot is November 12.
Pending a potential court decision, Camara and Fall River City Clerk Allison Bouchard have indicated to WSAR this fall that in their interpretation of election law, and according to the Commonwealth's Election Division in the Secretary of State's office, Flanagan can appear as a contender for Mayor on the same ballot on which he is the subject of a recall attempt.
Fall River City Administrator Cathy Ann Viveiros has confirmed, in a text to the WSAR Newsroom, that the installation of 22 windows on the Sixth Floor of Government Center was completed in the Summer of 2013 with no building permit, no insurance certificate or a performance bond, which could have left the city open to significant liability had an accident occurred in the completion of the work by a Westport based subcontractor.
Viveiros was not a part of the administration in 2013; former City Administrator Shawn Cadime has indicated to WSAR he did not sign off on the work involving the windows.
Viveiros tells WSAR that trying to find out who ordered the work completed is difficult to ascertain without the proper paperwork, which apparently was never filed.
The owner of Global Glass New England in Fall River has turned himself in to answer to a criminal complaint regarding a Westport Subcontractor who installed 22 windows on the Sixth Floor in Fall River's Government Center during the Summer of 2013, in a project was not assigned a Contract or a Work Order, as no paper trail has been located thus far in Government Center, and as of now, no one knows who signed off on the project to install new windows, primarily in the city's legal department.
Moses Rapoza was wanted on 9 counts of allegedly passing bad checks, and a single count of larceny over $250.
Fall River City Council Member Dan Rego told WSAR on Wednesday's edition of the ''WSAR Newsroom'' that, while the A-Gs office has indicated thus far that the City of Fall River has no liability regarding the more than $50,000 in question, the city could still face what Rego described as a Mechanics Lien that could be filed in order to recover the cost of the work and materials.
Rego is calling for an investigation by the Inspector General's office of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
City Administrator Cathy Ann Viveiros and Community Maintenance Director Ken Pacheco had indicated to WSAR that there was nothing in either the FY 2013 or FY 2014 Municipal Budgets to cover the cost of the work that no one signed off on.
In a release issued Wednesday Afternoon, the FRPD has indicated that Rapoza's Defense Attorney is not allowing his client to be interviewed by investigators.
EXCLUSIVE DETAILS ON A NEW CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION THIS MORNING WITH A DIRECT LINK TO GOVERNMENT CENTER.
THE PROBE INVOLVES SOME 50 THOUSAND DOLLARS WORTH OF REPLACEMENT WINDOWS INSTALLED IN THE MAYOR'S OFFICE AND THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT....BUT JUST WHO AUTHORIZED THE WORK AND WHY ARE THERE NO CONTRACTS OR BID PROPOSALS TO BE FOUND...
TUNE INTO WSAR NEWS FOR EXCLUSIVE DETAILS!!!!
The Fall River City Council will meet in a Special Session on Thursday Afternoon at 5:30pm to set a date for the Recall Election aimed at Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan.
Still to be decided is when, or if, a 60 day countdown clock has started for anyone interested to take out nomination papers to appear on the second half of the ballot as a contender for Mayor.
The other question that is not spelled out in the 1981 statute that governs Recall Elections is whether or not the current Mayor could run as a contender for Mayor on the same ballot where he is the subject of a recall.
MassDot has announced that the Plymouth Avenue Roadway Construction Project will be completed in the late Spring or Early Summer of 2015.
As of now, it includes a new turn lane at the Plymouth Avenue Walgreens location to better accommodate traffic flow in Fall River's South End.
The work will commence with the final top course paving in the Spring, and temporary painting will be added for the coming Winter.
New Sidewalks on Plymouth, and new Traffic Lights at the intersection of Plymouth and Rodman, are among the other items related to this particular project.
Gasoline prices in the Commonwealth have dropped by 6 cents a gallon compared to a week ago, and according to Triple A of Southern Massachusetts, are the lowest recorded in 2014 thus far.
The average price for a gallon of regular self serve unleaded gasoline is now at $3.32; prices locally are 13 cents lower than one month ago.
WSAR has noted local price points of anywhere from $3.23 in Fall River and Somerset to a high of $3.49.
The Triple A average has seen a range of 59 cents with a low of 3-10 to a high of $3.69.
The City of Fall River is set to receive $3,960,000 in so called Free Cash; the number is nearly a million dollars more than had been originally forecast by The Sixth Floor; a sum of $3.1 million could be headed to cover FY 2014 Transportation line items with the Fall River School Department, with a chunk will also have to go to stabilization line items in order to protect the city's Bond Rating.
City Administrator Cathy Ann Viveiros tells WSAR that she is reviewing whether or not Fall River Mayor and School Committee Chair Will Flanagan did indeed promise that the school department's issues would be covered under Free Cash.
Viveiros says the City has also filed for a waiver of either a portion of or the entire $3.1 million dollars in transportation dollars from the DESE.
The potential end of hearings this week before the Fall River Board of Elections on issues related to a recall election aimed at Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan could come about as a result of a trio of recusals, as Fall River Election Commissioner Elizabeth Camara, who is a first cousin to City Clerk Allison Bouchard, who could be called to testify, while two other Commissioners, Greg Brihante and Micheal Dunn, are the subject of a joint filing made by the two attorneys representing the Recall Movement and Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan, that was issued this morning.
Documents obtained by WSAR indicated the Camara issue earlier this afternoon.
If the trio recuse themselves, it would effectively end the hearings, which were to resume on Tuesday, with the possible testimony of a group of people who allege they were subject to forms of harassment when signatures were being gathered earlier this summer.
Its likely that objections would be filed before a Superior Court Judge at some point this week or next regarding the gathering of signatures and the legitimacy of some of the more than 3800 that were certified last month.
The setting of an election date could follow any court challenges that would come from either side.
The Fall River Board of Elections has called off a scheduled Monday session that had been set for 6pm.
The current schedule for hearings into the Recall Process is now set for Tuesday at 7pm; Wednesday at 6pm; Thursday at 7pm; Friday at 6pm, and if needed, Saturday at 10am.
All the sessions will happen at Fall River's Government Center Atrium.
A New Bedford man has been convicted of Second Degree Murder in connection to the March 2012 stabbing death of 33 year old Melvin Pina in New Bedford.
28 year old Jose Carrion will be sentenced on Monday at 9am after a seven day trial and 3 days of delberations before the jury returned a verdict on Friday.
Carrion was accused of stabbing the victim five times after the two men encountered each other at an Underground Conduit Street Dance Club in the early morning hours of March 17, 2012.
Pina's body was found in the backyard of a Bates Street home shortly after daybreak.
With the countdown to the begriming of the Aaron Hernandez Trial in the murder of Boston Semi Pro Football Player Odin Lloyd set to begin on January 9, 2015, in the Fall River Justice Center, attorneys on both sides have spent three days arguing to Presiding Judge E. Susan Garth about issues related to evidence gleamed from a Blackberry Cell Phone that may have been the primary phone used by the former Patriot, and one of the first interviews at the North Attleboro Police Station of Hernandez.
Defense Attorneys are trying to throw the evidence out before the beginning of the trial, arguing that Massachusetts State Police abused their power under search warrants that were obtained in the days following the discovery of the body of Odin Lloyd; much of the prosecution's case rests on circumstantial evidence, including the setting of a timeline of where Hernandez and his associates were the night Lloyd was murdered.
Organizers of a Gubinatorial Debate centering on issues related to the SouthCoast are reporting that Republican Nominee Charlie Baker and Democratic Nominee, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, have agreed to a one hour debate at UMass Dartmouth starting at 4pm, Friday, October 17.
There are new issues surfacing regarding the information provided on petitions dealing with a potential recall aimed at Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan, as several women who have domestic protection orders signed the recall petitions, and are finding out now that their addresses and other information are showing up on Facebook pages related to the recall, as the names of those who signed the petitions are being published on Social Media.
There is nothing currently in Massachusetts General Law that prohibits that information from being circulated.
Under current Massachusetts General Law, the recall petitions are public documents; Attorney Les Rich, who is assisting those organizing the recall, has asked Fall River's Corporation Consul for her assistance in redacting information, as has been requested.
Bristol Plymouth First District State Senator Mike Rodrigues tells WSAR the issue is one he wants to research to see if a future session of the Great and General Court could act to try to control that flow of information.
The attorney representing Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan regarding the recall effort has filed a complaint with the City Clerk's office, which is being transmitted to the Election Division.
Attorney Preston Halprin tells WSAR that there are issues with the more than 3,800 signatures that were certified last week, including people who are calling his office, and telling them they were mislead on issues when they signed the petitions this summer.
No hearings have been scheduled regarding when the complaints might be heard, and how long it might take for decisions to be made; City Council Members Ray Mitchell and Leo Pellitier are asking that the recall election happen before the end of 2014.
First Term Fall River City Council Member Jasiel Correia II is indicating to WSAR that the Recall Petition he signed in August on the first night that petitions became available was not part of the more than 3,800 that were certified, and that one in the Elections Division has been able to locate it.
Correia says he was hearing from various sources that his name never turned up on a petition signed in August, and he called the Fall River Elections Commission.
Recall Organizers have indicated they have copies of each petition, and that the petition with Correia's name on was submitted on Tuesday, September 2; it somehow did not turn up as the process of certification continued,
While Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan has scheduled a press conference for 3pm at Government Center in the aftermath of Thursday's Announcement of the certification of signatures that will move a Recall Process forward, a special Fall River City Council Meeting is set for 7pm Tuesday Night that will see the nine member council likely approve a report prepared by the City Clerk's Office regarding the certification and the next steps to be taken in a 1981 law approved by Fall River Voters.
One of those steps will be a five day countdown that would begin on Wednesday of next week, and end on Sunday of next week, in which Flanagan could decide to leave office or stay and campaign against a recall from office.
A date for the actual recall election will likely be set at some point on October; that would then begin a 60 day countdown in which contenders for mayor would file papers with 50 signatures of supporters.
There would be no mayoral primary, as there will be in 2015 during the next municipal election cycle.
There has also been no determination of whether or not Flanagan could appear on the same ballot as a candidate for Mayor, while being the subject of a recall at the top of the ballot.
According to sources with the Recall Effort, along with Fall River City Council Member Mike Miozza, the recall aimed at Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan will proceed to the City Council, which must set a date for a recall election.
According to a letter sent to Council Members, and read live on WSAR by council member Mike Miozza, some 3,847 signatures were certified as part of more than 5500 collected in a process that began in August.
WSAR has reached out to Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan and his attorney specializing in Election Law, Preston Halprin for comment.
Fall River Office of Economic Development Executive Vice President Ken Fiola tells WSAR that he did in fact remove some David Steinhof yard signs from public property early Wednesday Morning, and took them to the house of the Republican Fall River Dentist and put them in his driveway.
Ken Fiola is the husband of Democratc Bristol Sixth District State Rep Carole Fiola, who is running for reelection to the seat she first won in a special election.
Steinhof told WSAR he wanted his signage left alone, and that Fiola had no reason to take his signs and bring them back to him.
Fiola and Steinhof are running against each other for the second time.
The Fall River City Council has rejected a compromise tonight that would have seen the city purchase four lots to expand the Maplewood Park; while a proposal to spend $175,000 in proceeds from empty school buildings passed by a 5-3 margin, a sixth vote to bond out for $100,000 failed by the same margin, as the bonding motion needed six votes.
In the end, council members Pat Casey, Jasiel Correia II and Paul Da Silva, along with Leo Pellitier and Council President Joe Camara, voted in the affirmative with the rest of the eight members voting no; a family medical emergency prevented Council Member Dan Rego from attending tonight's session.
The nine member Fall River City Council is set to decide at some point tonight if they wish to bond $100,000 while using $175 in proceeds from the sale of empty school buildings to fund the cost of purchasing four lots to expand Maplewood Park.
Council will also use an infusion of a little over a million dollars to keep Net School Spending at 100% for the current fiscal year, along with $100,000 to pay for the transportation of Argosey Charter School students; it marks the first time a Fall River Charter has made a request for transportation services.
Stabilization line items are also set for a $146,000 injection if Council approves.
Council will also get a first look at a report on the condition of the Bedford Street Police Station; Real Estate Committee Chair Leo Pellitier tells WSAR that the committee's next order of business will be either selling or auctioning off the building once the Maplewood Park situation is resolved.
Historic Preservationists have told Council that there is renewed interest in the former FRPD Headquarters.
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