Massachusetts News


  • Overdosed: New England Fights Back



    There have been so many news stories on the opioid addiction crisis in New England. The statistics. The overdoses. The deaths.

    The reality is staggering.

    But the terms "opioid crisis" and "addiction epidemic" don't resonate.

    As a journalist, I've seen the incredible impact this issue has had on our communities, and I wanted to present it in a way that everyone could access and “feel.” As a parent, I am frightened.

    That's why it is so important not only to confront this story, but also to approach it in a different way.

    One focus of "Overdosed: New England Fights Back" is on those suffering from what is now more commonly called "substance use disorder." The other core element is the response to the problem.

    There has been a shift. Police are approaching addicts as individuals who need help, rather than criminals. Doctors are re-thinking their approach to care. Recovery units are now offering more than just a bed.

    Why?

    Because nothing has been working. The drugs get stronger and the overdose statistics are increasingly overwhelming.

    Yes, overdose deaths may seem to be slightly down, or at least at a plateau, however, that is likely skewed by the increased distribution of the overdose reversing drug, Narcan. Police carry it. Schools -- including high schools and even middle schools -- have it. And there are dozens of other ways people can now get their hands on it to save a life.

    Saving a life means one more opportunity to get clean and sober, one more chance to survive. That's important because one thing I learned all too clearly in reporting on this topic: It takes multiple trips through recovery before it sticks.

    We spoke to addicts and those in recovery – for hours.

    They, too, notice the shift.

    "When you're on the street and you're on drugs, you feel like nobody cares, like nobody gives a [expletive], they're people on phones," said a young man we met in detox who we will simply refer to as Matt. " Sadly to say, this being my third time here, it kind of feels good that I actually could build a couple of connections and not be embarrassed to make a call like I need help, (that) I need a bed or I am going to die."

    Those candid comments came from almost everyone we spoke to for this story. The reason is simple: Once many of these individuals have experienced the depths of addiction, they often stop screening themselves when discussing their reality.

    Their comments are striking in their honesty, yet also express the incredible vulnerability of someone trying to overcome addiction.

    Every day is a struggle for many of them. That is not hyperbole. That is their reality.

  • Red Sox Lose Game 2 of ALDS Against Astros 8-2



    Carlos Correa homered, doubled and drove in four runs, Jose Altuve got two more hits and the Houston Astros hammered the Boston Red Sox 8-2 Friday to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the AL Division Series.
     
       George Springer also homered to help Dallas Keuchel coast in Houston's second straight romp by the exact same score.
     
       The Astros will go for a sweep in the best-of-five matchup Sunday at Fenway Park.
     
       A day after Altuve hit three home runs in the playoff opener, he got things going with a two-out single in the first inning off Drew Pomeranz. Correa, who went 0 for 4 on Thursday, made it 2-0 when he launched a towering shot onto the train tracks atop left field.
     
       Keuchel pitched into the sixth, allowing one run and three hits while striking out seven.

    Carlos Correa homered, doubled and drove in four runs, Jose Altuve got two more hits and the Houston Astros hammered the Boston Red Sox 8-2 Friday to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the AL Division Series.

    George Springer also homered to help Dallas Keuchel coast in Houston's second straight romp by the exact same score.

    The Astros will go for a sweep in the best-of-five matchup Sunday at Fenway Park.

    A day after Altuve hit three home runs in the playoff opener, he got things going with a two-out single in the first inning off Drew Pomeranz. Correa, who went 0 for 4 on Thursday, made it 2-0 when he launched a towering shot onto the train tracks atop left field.

    Keuchel pitched into the sixth, allowing one run and three hits while striking out seven.



    Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com
  • Massachusetts Lawmakers Eye Ban on 'Bump Stocks'



    Politicians on both sides of the isle are advocating for a ban on 'bump stocks' in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting. Massachusetts lawmakers are leading the way.

  • 2 State Reps. Worry for Safety After Hate-Filled Notes Found



    Two Republican state representatives in New Hampshire say they’re worried for their families and neighbors after getting hate-filled, handwritten notes in their mailboxes.

    NBC Boston spoke with one of those representatives Friday and he said a personal threat is one thing, but when a person brings his children into it – they’ve crossed a serious line.

    The postcard that landed in Representative Sean Morrison’s Epping mailbox a couple days ago said, in part, “I hope your kid blows a big hole in his head with your gun. Cull the gene pool of you NRA vermin.”

    Morrison declined an on camera interview, but told us over the phone, “A threat like this is why I believe in the second amendment.”

    Nearby, parents James and Samantha LaVoie felt the same way.

    “It’s exactly why I carry a gun, for the safety of my family, myself, and my son,” James said.

    “Our world is going into a really scary place, it makes me worry about his future,” said Samantha as she held their toddler son, Gavin.

    Representative Morrison said to reference the death of his two kids is proof that whoever sent the note is mentally unstable. “There is no place for language like that when we are trying to discuss adult issues,” he said.

    A similar note was sent to Epping’s other representative. Both are Republicans who voted in support of the concealed carry bill earlier this year.

    While Granite Staters admit that tensions are high on both sides of the gun control debate following the Las Vegas shooting, some say there’s no excuse for this kind of hatred.

    “I think people were probably more civilized 100 years ago,” said Epping resident Kathy Carter.

    “I think it’s disgusting,” said Brentwood resident Richard Rowe. “There’s nothing wrong with having guns, it’s the person behind the gun that’s the trouble.”

    Epping Police said all they know right now is that the letters came from the Manchester area and now the U.S. Postal Service is investigating. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Boston
  • Chances for Showers This Weekend; Wettest on Columbus Day



    For your Friday evening, a few spot sprinkles linger, but these should fade around sunset as the line of showers have been fading for most of the day today. Overnight, temperatures slip into the low 60s south, ranging from 50s to 40s north under some partly to mostly cloudy skies. Saturday starts off dry, but the main focus this holiday weekend will be on the temperatures and the building humidity.

    With that humidity, as a warm front waltzes in from the southwest by midday Saturday, we’ll see a spot sprinkle for the mountains and lakes region, otherwise mostly cloudy skies with a muggy feel by the late afternoon. Saturday’s highs will range into the 70s.

    Sunday the warm front slides to the north and everyone across New England will notice the shift in the humidity, however, a weak cold front from the west will start to advance closer to our area by the evening, meaning a clash between these two air masses will result in a few showers, ranging from the afternoon to evening hours. Don't worry, Sunday is not a washout by any means, there will still be plenty of dry time during the day for outdoor plans. Highs on Sunday will range into the 80s south, 70s north.

    Sunday’s warm-up into a summery, almost tropical-like air mass will be short-lived as the remnants of Tropical Storm Nate will be bringing in the moisture for Columbus Day Monday. Out of the long-holiday weekend, Monday will be the wettest and highs will be in the low to mid 70s.

    Tropical Storm Nate is currently just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and is expected to cross into the warm Gulf waters, strengthening to a Cat. 1 Hurricane before making landfall along the Gulf Coast line of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, and the far western Florida panhandle. Hurricane Warnings have been put into effect for most of those in the path of Nate. After making landfall late Saturday into early Sunday morning, Nate will weaken and also be swept up into southern New England by Monday and by that time will be sub-tropical.

    New England needs the moisture as the most recent drought monitor categorizes most of New England as unseasonably dry. We could see some locations reach at least 2 inches or more through Tuesday, which could result in localized flooding in southern New England. The rest of the week contains a cool-down with highs into the 60s through Friday.

  • The Scene: Live Production of 'PJ Masks' in Boston



    Kids show sensation PJ Masks comes to Boston. Jackie Bruno goes behind the scenes with two young fans to see how the show makes a difference in their lives.

  • Student Arrested, Cop Injured During High School Lockdown



    One student was arrested Friday after an incident that caused Melrose High School in Massachusetts to go into lockdown. An officer was injured while apprehending the student, who police say did not cooperate with police instructions.

    Students said it was a stressful and frightening situation for them.

    "They said 'Get away from the windows' and that's when everyone started to freak out and get up and start running," said student Kelsey Contreras.

    A student was detained by police during the lockdown, and that student injured an officer in the process.

    Around 9:30 a.m. administrators at Melrose High School were informed by a parent that a male student may have a gun in the building.

    "It was kind of scary and everyone started to have panic attacks," said Contreras.

    Melrose High School immediately went into a lockdown and the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School went into a 'shelter in place.' The Melrose Police Department was immediately notified. The MHS Resource Officer, along with school administrators, went to the classroom of the student in question and took him into custody, confiscating his backpack in the process.

    "You can't throw around the term gun you have to respond you cannot debate it," said Superintendent Cyndy Taymore.

    Upon a search of the student, he had no weapons on his person or in his backpack.

    "At no time was the students safety being compromised," said Police Chief Michael Lyle.

    When confronted, the student would not listen to the instructions of police and left the building. He was then detained by police outside the high school. During that altercation, a police officer was injured. The police officer was taken to Melrose Wakefield Hospital with leg injuries that are not believed to be life threatening.

    "The kids get upset and we understand why they get upset but we'd rather go through the stress than take a chance in any given day," said superintendent Taymore.

    The lockdown and shelter in place were lifted at approximately 9:45 a.m. and classes resumed as normal.

    "My first response is nervousness but honestly I trust these guys. The school did a great job responding," said mother Andrea Maguire.

    Superintendent Taymore and Chief Lyle stressed that at no time was anyone in the schools or community in any danger and that there was never a weapon in the building.

    According to officials at Melrose High school, the student cannot be expelled according to Massachusetts law. The schools are responsible for providing an education for the students, so the administration will discuss on Monday how they will proceed with the student for the rest of the year.

  • Juvenile Charged in Connection With 'Serious' School Threats



    A juvenile male has been charged in connection with serious threats that were found on a Massachusetts high school’s wall earlier this week, prompting an increase in security. 

    The threats were found and reported by a student Wednesday night at the Presentation of Mary Academy in Methuen. The exact nature of those threats has not been revealed by police. 

    A student of the school will appear in Lawrence Juvenile District Court on a charge of willfully communicating or causing to be communicated a threat. 

    Classes on Thursday were delayed until 8:25 a.m. while officials investigated the threats, two of which Methuen police said were serious and had no dates. While police said it was enough to jump into action to keep kids safe, they wish it didn't have to come to this. 

    "I know parents are nervous, I know students are extremely nervous," said Chief Joe Solomon Thursday. "Today will be a tough day for kids in school academically because you gotta go through a metal detector, it's like you're going to a jail. It's a very scary situation. Education is for education, not for a very high level of security, is for education but unfortunately it's necessary today." 

    A school threat assessment team assisted in controlled entry, while metal detectors were used alongside bag searches to ensure student safety. 

    "It's very unfortunate to have turmoil in a school like this but more importantly it's all about safety and we have to think of the students and faculty as well as we move forward," said Methuen Mayor Stephen Zanni. 

    It is not clear when the student will appear in court or if he has an attorney.



    Photo Credit: NBC Boston
  • Police: Young Girls Receiving Lewd Photos on Snapchat



    Young girls in one New Hampshire town are reportedly receiving indecent photos to their Snapchat accounts, according to police. 

    Litchfield police say they are working to identify the person or people behind the incidents. 

    The public is asked to report any instances of inappropriate photos on Snapchat to police. 

    In addition, police are asking parents to talk about safe internet practices with their children. 



    Photo Credit: Getty Images


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