Bristol Plymouth First District State Senator Mike Rodrigues tells WSAR that grants for the City of Fall River's Fire and Police Departments have survived, and while smaller than first proposed, will provide close to $1 million in assistance.
Rodrigues tells WSAR that the FRFD will receive about $484,000, while the FRPD will receive a little over $464,000.
Rodrigues tells WSAR that the grants were reduced by around $30,000; there is no timetable on when the grants will be in the hands of Government Center Administrators.
The grant for the Fire Department will likely go to cover an ongoing overtime line item shortfall.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has announced a two part application process toward the awarding of the Region C Destination Resort Casino License, which is set to happen in the Fall of 2015.
The Commission has set the first phase of the application process to end on January 30 2015, with a second application process concluding on May 26 2015.
Applicants are required to meet with the Gaming Commission's Investigations and Enforcement Bureau as one of the first steps in the process.
The Commission indicates that only KG Urban has paid a $400,000 application fee, while its background investigation is ongoing.
K-G Urban has selected a site on the New Bedford Waterfront for a commercial license holder.
The Commission has also modified the 500 million dollar investment requirement for Region C in Southeastern Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has included Fall River, New Bedford and Taunton in a list of 23 cities and towns that seek to help first responders save lives by providing for training and supplies of Naloxone.
The total amount to be shared by the cities and towns on the list of 23 is listed as $600.000.
The Commonwealth's DPH is reporting that nearly 700 overdoses have been reversed in the Spring and Summer of 2014 by using doses of nasal naloxone.
A Virginia-based pharmaceutical firm has provided some 4,000 auto injections of naloxone to first responders throughout the Commonwealth free of charge.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is set to close North and South Davol Streets in Fall River, between the U-Turn and Central Street tomorrow for work related to the Route 79 and Braga Bridge Improvement Project.
The closures happen between 6am and 5pm, as the contractors involved are preparing for traffic changes for what are termed Stage One B Detours.
MassDOT says once Saturday's project is finished, the traffic that is currently using North Davol Street to travel North and Southbound will be shifted to South Davol Street, which will be open to 2 way traffic between Central Street and the U Turn.
A pair of detours will be set up tomorrow to redirect North and Southbound traffic tomorrow.
An unidentified bidder has submitted a winning bid of $6,650,000 for the Swansea Mall, in a two day on line auction at auction.com
The bidding was extended by well over 10 minutes; an auction.com spokesperson tells WSAR that happened when a flurry of activity happened in the final two minutes leading up to a 2:30pm EST deadline.
The online auction began on Wednesday with a required opening bid of $1.9 million.
The nearly 30 year old mall has a 75% occupancy rate, and sits on nearly 100 acres.
ESPN is reporting that running back LaGarrette Blount is returning to the Patriots on a 2 year deal.
Blount ran for 772 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Patriots in 2013.
Blount was cut in Pittsburgh over the weekend after he left the field before the end of the game after getting no carries.
MassDot is set to open all travel lanes on the Cape Cod Canal's Sagamore and Bourne bridges in Bourne, MA, through the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend, starting on Wednesday through Sunday, according to the Army Crops of Engineers in the New England District.
Travel Lane Restrictions, with one lane in each direction--one lane going on to the Cape and the one lane leaving the Cape--will resume on the Sagamore Bridge on Monday, December 1, as contractors finish the $12.3 million bridge painting project.
A brief one article town meeting in Freetown last night completed another step in bringing forth a one million square foot Amazon Distribution Center to the Fall River Bio Technology and Life Sciences Park on Route 24 and Innovation Way, as more than 200 people unanimously agreed on a Tax Incentive Financing agreement that is essentially the same as one agreed to in Fall River earlier this month.
FRED Executive Vice President Ken Viola tells SAR that the next step happens on December 17 in Boston, when economic administrators review the Fall River and Freetown TI agreements, while the Commonwealth looks to add its own sweeteners to the deal for the Seattle based internet retailer.
If all the documents are approved, ground could be broken during the First Quarter of 2015.
Traffic continues to flow normally on the Braga Bridge this afternoon, after a trio of accidents ground traffic to a halt just after 11am Wednesday Morning.
Massachusetts State Police indicated to WSAR that two of the accidents were cleared quickly, while a third blocked the left lane westbound, backing traffic up for a couple of miles, before it began to sort itself out around 11:30am.
Several New Bedford Media Outlets are reporting that some type of note detailing a threat was located at New Bedford High School earlier Wednesday Morning.
Students at New Bedford High School are safe, according to a spokesperson, as the four grades were taken to two separate locations; 9th and 10th graders were taken to Keith Middle School, while Juniors and Seniors were taken to the Nobreiga Field House.
No dismissals are planned; State Police and New Bedford Police were searching the building before issuing an all clear order.
As part of the expenditure of $911,000 in supplemental appropriations, Fonseca Elementary School in Fall River will be getting money to help pay for expanded learning time.
BMC Durfee's heating bill, and the addition of 11 paraprofessionals in the district's Kindergarten and early elementary class rooms are also part of the overall expenditures, as its hoped that each Kindergarten and Elementary classroom in the district will have at least two adults overseeing larger numbers of students.
The School Committee approved the recommendations of its Finance Committee on Monday Night at Kuss Middle School.
One of the 8 Fall River Mayoral Contenders on the second portion of the December 16 Recall Ballot tells WSAR he may be looking at legal challenge to the current ballot because he was not allowed to list his status as a U-s Military vet, which is allowed under Massachusetts General Law.
Louis Alves Melim, who ran for a School Committee seat during a recent election cycle in Fall River, tells WSAR he's looking at securing legal representation and perhaps filing an injuction against the current construction of the ballot.
Melim tells WSAR he has issues with a recent New Bedford Superior Court ruling that allows Mayor Will Flanagan to appear at the top of the list of eight contenders as the incumbent in the recall election.
Fall River City Council Member Jasiel Correia II tells the Monday Edition of the WSAR Newsroom that he is trying to facilitate the redevelopment of the King Phillip Mill Complex, as the Commonwealth's Environmental Protection Agency has refused for a second time this year to continue clean up procedures by removing various chemical filled barrels, as a smokestack on the property has structural integrity issues.
Correia tells the Monday Edition of the ''WSAR Newsroom'' that he has worked with developers to keep as much of the complex in tact as possible; Correia tells WSAR money could be bonded out to help pay for the demolition of the smokestack.
Conjecture and speculation regarding a rumored Massachusetts State Police investigation of the Fall River Police Department are ''Not Accurate'' according to the Primary Spokesperson for the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, Greg Milliote.
Milliote tells WSAR that there is no investigation of any facet of the FRPD, including Chief Dan Racine.
Racine's contract is set to be extended for four years by the Fall River City Council during its final November session tomorrow night.
Racine began the investigation into alleged maleficence by Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan earlier this summer before handing off the investigation to a special prosecutor.
Racine was selected through an interview process involving the Presidents of various Fall River Neighborhood Associations during the first Flanagan term.
Fall River City Council Member Leo Pelletier is asking for a resolution to be fast tracked tomorrow night during the final November session for the nine member body, as a means towards replacing at least 3 pieces of heavy equipment in advance of the upcoming Winter Season.
Pelletier is asking for a bond to be issued to help pay for the purchase of a wheel loader, backhoe and brush cutter, to replace gear that is nearly 15 years old, after its 2000 purchase.
According to a resolution sponsored by Pelletier, a new wheel loader will run $160,000, a new backhoe would cost $120,000 and a brush cutter starts at $60,000.
The Fall River December 16 Mayoral Sweepstakes is down to 8, as the deadline to pull one's name off the final ballot is set for today.
According to Fall River Election Commissioner Elizabeth Camara, Ronald Travassos and Richard Urban have asked their names be removed from the final ballot; an order to print the ballots goes in today.
Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan, City Council Member Mike Miozza, Current Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter, former Fall River City Administrator Shawn Cadime, and former Council Member Dave Dennis, along with Paul Anderson, Ronald Cabral and Louis Alves Melim remain on the ballot.
The Fall River School Committee meets Monday at 6:30pm at Kuss Middle School, with a ten item agenda, including 5 discussion items and 5 items on which the 7 members will vote.
The Committee will also discuss a proposal for Extended Learning Time at Fonseca Elementary, along with recommendations on how to use $140,000 for Argosy Charter School Transportation, and recommendations for the use of a $911,000 supplemental appropriation.
The Fall River City Council meets on Tuesday in Government Center; the Finance Committee session at 6pm will focus on issues regarding moorings and pump outs with the Fall River Harbormaster.
Council will also hear about a new contract for current FRPD Chief Dan Racine and ongoing negotiations with Fall River Re Creation over the empty Silvia School Property.
Seven Resolutions will focus on the future of textile mills dating to the 19th Century; another asks the Ordnance and Legislation sub committee to review the 1981 Recall Statute.
Attorneys representing Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan in issues related to the Recall, and those arguing on behalf of the Recall Movement, will meet in a New Bedford Superior Courtroom where Judge Thomas McGuire will hear arguments as to whether or not a December 16 Recall Ballot is actually a Primary Ballot under Mass General Law, and if Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan's name will appear at the top of the second half of the ballot.
The hearing falls on the same day as the deadline for certification of signatures that will determine who has earned a slot among 12 potential contenders for the December 16 ballot.
Fall River First Term City Council Member Jasiel Correia II tells WSAR that he has filed a Civil Lawsuit versus Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan.
The suit arises from alleged calls Flanagan made to various New England Media Outlets after Correia was arrested for alleged use of a cell phone in traffic stop earlier this fall; a criminal complaint is being investigated after an August meeting in Flanagan's personal vehicle after Correia signed a recall petition on the day they were released.
Correia contends that his integrity is being smeared.
The ''Providence Journal'' and ESPN Boston are reporting that the Red Sox may be willing to go 6 years and perhaps $120 million to retain the services of starting pitcher Jon Lester, who was traded to Oakland and started in the AL Wild Card Game for the Athletics in October.
The Red Sox offered Lester four years and $70 million during spring training in 2014 before both sides shut down negotiations...
A budget deficit of some $300 million plus in the Commonwealth for the current fiscal year is delaying around $1 million in grants for the FRPD and the FRFD, according to Bristol Plymouth First District State Senator Mike Rodrigues, appearing on the Monday edition of the ''WSAR Newsroom''.
Rodrigues tells WSAR that it would appear the budget cuts are going to be utilized rather than using money from the Commonwealth's Rainy Day Fund to close the budget deficit in the ongoing fiscal year.
The President of IAFF local 1314 representing Fall River Firefighters, Jason Burns, tells WSAR that he is still looking for answers as to when the grant might be released.
Gasoline prices, according to Triple A of Southern New England, are down 8 cents this week, with the Commonwealth average for a gallon of regular self serve unleaded falling below $3 for a gallon for the first time since December 2010.
The average for a gallon of regular self serve unleaded is now $2.96 a gallon, down eight cents over the past seven days.
WSAR has noted prices over the weekend in New Bedford, Fall River and Somerset at a low of $2.77 to a high of $3.29.
Triple A of Southern New England finds the price average around the Commonwealth at a low of $2.75 to a high of $3.43.
Freetown Selectwoman Lisa Pacehco tells WSAR that department heads in Freetown have been briefed on what is happening regarding the progress of perhaps securing an Amazon Distribution Center in the Bio Technology and Life Sciences Park on Route 24 and Innovation Way.
The next part in the process will have the Fall River City Council meeting in a special session Thursday Night at 5:30pm on a Tax Incentive Financing Agreement; Freetown Voters will take part in a Special Town Meeting on Wednesday November 19
Its possible that as many as 1,000 permanent jobs could be created by 2017.
The ''Boston Globe'' is reporting that NStar, which serves the Greater Boston Area, along with New Bedford and portions of the SouthCoast, is asking for a 29% increase in Electricity Rates, beginning on the first day of 2015.
NStar says that energy prices are moving upward, because of issues with the Natural Gas Supply, that produces more than half of New England's Electricity.
NStar's request mirrors that of a 37% increase that has submitted by National Grid.
The Electricity firms in the Commonwealth have been deregulated under Mass General Law; National Grid and NStar buy electricity on the wholesale market and sell it to consumers; neither firm produces electricity on its own.
The nine member Fall River City Council will meet this coming Thursday at 5:30pm to consider the T-I-F agreement that was approved unanimously by the City's Tax Incentive Financing Board last night in Government Center.
The Tax Incentive Financing agreement which has been proposed is part of the meeting packet that you can download at the City of Fall River Website.
Four financial orders are part of the agenda, which include $250,000 for Fire Department Salaries from the tax levy and stabilization line items, and $60,000 to pay for the December 16 Recall Election from the Stabilization Line Item.
The Fall River City Council Sub Committee on Finance has approved and will send to the Full School Committee later this month how a supplemental budget of some $911,000 approved by the Fall River City Council earlier this Fall will be distributed to various buildings throughout the district.
Committee Chair Melissa Panchely tells WSAR that Expanded Learning Time at Fonseca Elementary is at the top of the current list, worth $130,000 for one half year.
The cost to heat the BMC Durfee High School building is also getting a needed cash infusion of $116,000, as the cost of natural gas is going up almost 50%.
Eleven Para Professionals--3 in Sylvia, 3 in Greene, 2 in Fonseca and 2 in Doran, while computer network upgrades and equipment worth $218,000 at Greene, Doran and Watson are set to be approved.
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue, and the Commonwealth's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education are indicating to the Fall River Public School Department that will it postpone the payment of $500,000 of a $3.1 million dollar deficit in the FY 2014 Budget, its not to be considered a waiver, and the money will have to be made up in a future fiscal year to insure adherence to Net School Spending provisions.
The Sixth Floor in Fall River and the Fall River City Council are still discussing if they will use a portion of the $3.9 million in so called Free Cash to pay off at least $2.6 million dollars.
Fall River Superintendent of Public Schools Meg Mayo Brown tells WSAR the final official notification of the figures involved could likely be in their hands this week or next.
Issues surrounding the placement of Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan's name on the second half of a December 16 recall ballot, and whether or not that election should come with a primary are two of the issues that will likely have attorneys in New Bedford Superior Court in a matter of days.
Fall River Assistant Corporation Consul Gary Howayeck issued a legal opinion Wednesday that Flanagan's name, as the incumbent Mayor, would be listed at the top of the second half of the December 16 ballot.
Recall Attorney Les Rich is now asking the court for a ruling on whether or not a primary among the 11 contenders be held on December 16, with a final election in January 2015, among two finalists, as is called for in the Fall River City Charter.
Flanagan's attorney for matters relating to the Recall, Preston Halprin, tells WSAR the concept is ''bizarre''.
After first winning his seat in a Special Election after John Kerry left his Senate Seat to become Secretary of State in a Second Obama Term in 2013, Massachusetts Junior Democratic Senator Ed Markey has been projected as the winner and has been re elected to a full six year term, defeating Republican Brian Herr.
One week after a two hour bench trial which was heard by New Bedford Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire on various issues relatred to the Fall River Recall Effort.
McGuire issued a 22 page ruling issued just after 11am Monday Morning.
The Judge ruled that the recall petitions were filed in Government Center on Tuesday September 2, the day following the Labor Day Observence were filed ''within the time period perscribed by law.
McGuire ruled that recall petitions were valid ''regardless of whether the city clerk provided blank recall petitions to any person.''
The court also ruled that the petitions filed were valid ''regardless er any other person circulated and gathered signatures on those petitions.''
The Recall Act does not violate the mayor's right to due process of law; there had been an argument made that the Mayor's right to hold office was being violated by the recall effort.
Finally, McGuire ruled that the Mayor is eligible to appear as a candidate of section 2 of the ballot used at the recall election.
Evidence of the remaining claims can be presented by either of the attorneys if they choose to do so.
MassDOT is set to implement traffic changes for it is calling the Stage One B of construction in the Route 79 project on Wednesday November 12; MassDOT indicates its a ''phased approach'' starting in the middle of December, with four changes to traffic patterns in place through the Summer of 2015.
Among the changes to be phased into place:
*Motorists on Broadway bound for I-195 East and Westbound will be shifted to a temporary ramp to allow for the demolition of the exsisting elevated ramp.
*North Davol Street will then be closed to two way traffic between Central Street and the U Turn and open South Davol Street to two way traffic between Central Street and the U Turn.
*The Water Street Connector will then be open to one way traffic while a portion of Broadway from Columbia Street to the Water Street Connector will carry two way traffic.
*Anawan Street and Pocasset Street will then be closed to through traffic between Davol Street and the Work Out World Parking Lot, while local access will be maintained.
The Swansea Mall, which opened in 1974, will be going on the auction block next month, according to the website, Auction.com
A $25,000 deposit is required, and an opening bid of $1.9 million will be the starting point in a two day auction that will begin on November 18.
The listing calls the Swansea Mall ''one of the largest and best positioned shopping malls available at what is termed a ''deep discount''.
Auction.com calls the Swansea Mall a ''true once in an economic cycle investment opportunity.''
The Fall River Elections office is indicating in a series of texts to WSAR that several mayoral contenders have returned papers for certification of signatures on the final day of the Recall Election Calendar in which to do so.
Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter and Fall River Resident Ronald Travassos turned in papers earlier today, joining former Fall River City Administrator Shawn Cadime, former Council Member Dave Dennis, and two time Council Finalist Ronald Cabral, along with current Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan, and current Council Member Mike Miozza, who had all turned in papers over the past several days.
One of the 12 organizers of the Fall River Recall Movement, Dan Betelho, indicated on his Facebook Page earlier this morning that he will not be submitting papers, saying he does not have the physical assets, including volunteers, to run a successful campaign.
Massachusetts State Police Detectives and the Bristol County D-As Office are investigating a fatal police involved shooting that happened late Thursday Night.
Dartmouth Police responded to a call from a Ledgewood Boulevard Apartment just after 11pm, in regards to a domestic dispute after a 25 year old New Bedford man gained access to an ex girlfriend's apartment, allegedly damaging a computer and a television.
Dartmouth police indicate that 25 year old Luis Roman called the ex girlfriends' father while statements were being taken by the police, saying he would return to the scene with a loaded weapon and that he was not going back to jail.
Roman did return to the scene; Dartmouth Police ordered out of his vehicle with his hands raised; as officers approached, Dartmouth Police say Roman took out one of two weapons he carried with him to the scene; two shots were fired at officers, who then returned fire, hitting the suspect, who was taken to Saint Luke's Hospital in New Bedford.
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