Massachusetts News

  • Affleck Throws Out First Pitch for Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon

    There was major applause for Boston's hometown boy Casey Affleck on Tuesday night, who threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park as part of the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.

    Affleck, the brother of Ben Affleck, recently made Bostonians laugh with his parody of a "real" Dunkin' Donuts fan on Saturday Night Live, and also won an Academy Award for his role in "Manchester By The Sea."

    "I got pretty lucky last year, did a good movie, and had a bunch of accolades, but this is definitely a much bigger honor. Throwing out the first pitch at the Red Sox game is a big deal," said Affleck.

    He also credits the director of the movie.

    "I think the Oscars are a giant, big deal for about 72 hours, then people can't remember who won that year and that's just the way it goes, but it is an honor to be included in the Academy," Affleck said.

    Affleck, who grew up in Cambridge, says he comes home often in the summer. His mom also still lives there.

    "We come back in the summer, take the kids back here, they think this is a vacation. When I was a kid, we'd try to leave Boston and go out to the Cape or somewhere not as hot and sticky, but my kids think coming to Boston is the best vacation in the world."

    As for his next big project?

    "Well I got a movie coming out called "The Old Man and the Gun, with Robert Redford, and that was an amazing experience," he said.

    The event is part of "Jimmy Fund Month" at Fenway Park, which celebrates the Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund's historic partnership of 64 years.

    By evening Tuesday, the Jimmy Fund radio telethon had raised well over one million dollars to support adult and pediatric cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

  • Vehicle Access, T Service to Resume on Comm. Ave Bridge

    For the first time in weeks, commuters will be able to travel over the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge in Boston.

    Officials with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MASSDOT) announced Tuesday night that weather permitting, trolley service on the MBTA’s Green Line B Branch near the bridge will resume Tuesday at 5 a.m.

    Access for private vehicles will also resume on both the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and the Boston University Bridge.

    <p><a href="/traffic" mce_href="/traffic"><b>CLICK HERE FOR THE TRAFFIC MAP</b></a></p>

    Crews will still be completing other work such as installing curbing and sidewalk which is not expected to significantly impact traffic or the local community.

    MassDOT plans to put temporary pavement markings, delineated bicycle lanes, and detours for pedestrians while they complete other necessary work.

    <p><b><a href="" mce_href="" target="_blank">CLICK HERE FOR DETOURS</a></b></p>

    Officials said in order to allow for the completion of the construction project, there will be short term, off-peak lane reductions on Commonwealth Avenue near the bridge.

    MassDOT plans to replace the westbound deck of the bridge next summer.

  • Watching the Solar Eclipse From Above And Below

    Next week, when all eyes are on a rare solar eclipse, some students from the University of Maine will have their sights set even higher.

    They'll be sending a high altitude balloon into space to see the eclipse from the above – and you can watch it, too.

    The balloon will have a camera to livestream the total solar eclipse, and will be available on NASA's website Monday.

    UMaine engineering students Derek Haas and Cameron Sullivan will be traveling with Professor Rick Eason to Clemson University in South Carolina, to be in position to see the total eclipse.

    "I think it's going to be something really spectacular," said Haas.

    A total of 55 teams will be launching balloons across the country, and the NASA website will allow viewers to choose different balloons to view.

    The UMaine students started assembling the technology in the beginning of the summer, and have been putting in long hours to test launch and trouble shoot in the weeks leading up to the eclipse.

    "When you're working on the mechanics, things can get frustrating, but then once it does work and you're watching the view from 100,000 feet up, it's amazing," said Sullivan.

    Professor Rick Eason said the students are gaining valuable problem-solving skills, on a real-world problem, they would not ordinarily get in a classroom.

    When they get the live stream up and running, Eason said it will be a major accomplishment.

    "The ability to send this much data, from that distance — we're right on the edge of what can be done," said Eason.

    Click here to view the livestream.

  • Congressional Reaction to Trump

  • Bay State Leaders Weigh Fate of Confederate Memorial

    With Confederate monuments being vandalized and defaced in cities across America, attention is now being turned to what will happen to the one remaining Confederate memorial in Massachusetts.

    The memorial stands outside of Fort Warren on Georges Island in Boston Harbor. Right now, it's covered with wooden planks as state leaders decide what the next steps are to get it removed.

    "Governor Baker believes we should refrain from the display of symbols, especially in public parks, that do not support liberty and equality for the people of Massachusetts," said Lizzy Guyton, communications director for Baker.

    The monument was erected in 1963 by The United Daughters of the Confederacy's Boston Chapter. Engraved in stone are the names of 13 confederates who died in captivity at the fort.

    "I think you really need to look at how the memorial is being presented," said Jennifer Giaccai, of Washington D.C. "If it's being presented as honoring the hatred that was presented in our past, I believe they belong nowhere."

    In June, the monument was covered.

    "I think it's weak," said Andrea Ferguson of Hyannis. "I think it's a quick band aid. Not a fix."

    Due to the fact Fort Warren is a National Historic Landmark, the removal process will be under more scrutiny.

    Last month, the Massachusetts Historic Commission informed the Department of Conservation and Recreation they would need to submit a form highlighting preferred alternatives, options they are considering and a description of removal techniques.

    In other American cities, confederate monuments are coming down. One was topped Monday in Durham, North Carolina. In Louisville, Kentucky, vandals spattered paint on another monument.

    "Where these statues are, in public squares and so on, you can't help but interpret that as a statement that we still support that message," said John Guyer of Washington D.C.

    For now, the memorial in Boston Harbor will stay on the island shielded from its visitors as its Confederate past leaves its future in question.

  • Police Search for Vandals Who Trashed Little League Field

    Police are searching for the vandals who were caught on surveillance cameras over the weekend trashing a Little League field in Saugus, Massachusetts.

    The large group was caught on six cameras at World Series Park drinking, throwing beer cans, breaking bottles, damaging a dugout, kicking in doors, turning over trash cans and ripping a gutter from the concessions building.

    Bob Davis, the park superintendent, helped start up the baseball field 13 years ago. He said he is at the baseball field almost every day fixing, cleaning or just watching the teams.

    He said the field is used for countless community events and hosts 250 games from Little League all the way to college each season.

    "I felt like I was going to get sick to my stomach. It was like somebody tried to break into your house," said Davis, who discovered the vandalism early Saturday morning.

    More than two dozen people were on the field based on surveillance, despite clearly marked signs forbidding people from trespassing after hours.

    The incident was reported to Saugus police, who now have the surveillance video in their possession.

    "We have malicious destruction to a building, and if we can identify those individuals, we will charge them," Saugus Police Lt. Ron Giorgitti said.

    Unfortunately, police have seen similar incidents around town.

    "We had a report a while back at the other public schools, and we will be working on that and increasing patrols on that too," said Giorgitti.

    Residents who frequent the park said they are shocked and saddened.

    "I'm very disappointed. Bob works so hard to keep this field nice and clean," resident Kim Tobey said.

    Davis said he will be able to make the repairs soon because of donations from the community. He said someone has offered to replace and fix the gutter and doors.

    He also received an offer for someone to update the field's cameras. He said he still wants those responsible for the damage to be caught and punished.

    "We built the field for the kids to play baseball, to give them a nice place to play, and it's pretty disheartening when you see other kids come in and causing damage to that," Davis said.

    Police are reviewing the video and gathering other surveillance video from nearby buildings.

  • Bringing Back the Sunshine

    We started off our Tuesday under gray skies and a few showers, which prompted some fog. These clouds only allowed our high temperatures to reach into the 70s and only a few locations reached 80!

    This evening, a few thunderstorms that developed into the afternoon and early evening into northern New England could spawn a few stronger storms from now through sunset, with the biggest impacts being damaging wind and large hail, but these will be few and far between and likely into far northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and interior Maine.

    New England is sandwiched between a cold front to the north, which will continue to slide from northwest to southeast over the course of the evening. This will skirt off the coastline by Wednesday morning, which will give us a beautiful start to our day under plenty of sunshine and less humid.

    It will be a beautiful beach day with highs stretching into the low to mid 80s, however, rip current risk will be high Wednesday and Thursday along with rough surf. Hurricane Gert is the reason why we’ll see such rough surf as it passes well out to sea between New England and Bermuda as a Cat 1 hurricane. Five to seven foot swells are possible along south-facing beaches along the Rhode Island coast, southeast Massachusetts coastline and the Cape and the Islands. We are still keeping our eyes on the tropics as a few more disturbances are situated off the coast of Africa, so stay tuned.

    As far as the weather inland, we’re tracking a few drier days as high pressure slips in for tomorrow and Thursday. In the meantime, our next system will be developing in the Midwest, sliding into the Great Lakes Region by Thursday evening with a warm front that will slide into western New England by the Friday morning commute, meaning some showers developing. These showers will continue to slide from west to east into Friday afternoon and evening. Showers and storms are still possible into Saturday, but does not look like a total washout. Sunday brings the return to drier conditions.

    In the extended forecast, for the solar eclipse next Monday, even though we are not in the path of totality, the weather will cooperate for us to see the partial eclipse, under mostly sunny skies, so be sure to have the proper glasses for viewing. Highs look to stretch into the mid to upper 80s Monday and Tuesday with a few places possibly reaching 90.

  • NH Felon Turns to Farming to Bide His Time

    Farming has given a convicted felon from New Hampshire a new lease on life.

    Inside the Carroll County Jail in Ossipee, New Hampshire, you’ll find some convicted felons like Daniel Lennon.

    In 2015, Lennon stole $65,000 from a family in Bartlett and was later arrested for drug possession.

    “I don’t know very many people who were as bad as I was,” Lennon said.

    But on a sunny Tuesday afternoon outside of the barbed wire, you’ll meet a different kind of man.

    “It feels so good to do the right thing,” Lennon said during an interview with NBC Boston.

    Once addicted to drugs, now his vice is work.

    “All day, every day, 12 hours a day,” Lennon said.

    His good behavior allowed him to start working at the county farm.

    “It’s really hard work, but it feels good at the end of the day,” Lennon said.

    He’s even found what some may call an unlikely friend in County Commissioner Dave Babson.

    They spend weekends working together at the county’s blueberry patch.

    “I hope that some of these kids in here who have been as stupid as he has wake up and realize they can do it too,” Babson said.

    Over the last couple of years, state leaders have cut $196,000 in funding to the county farm.

    Lennon says it’s a concerning trend for inmates like him who rely the work out here.

    “For a few minutes, you feel like you’re somewhere else,” he said. “Even if it saves one person, it’s worth it.”

    The 27-year-old felon turned hard-working farmer is proving to his son Connor, and so many others that it’s never too late to make a good decision.

    “If I can do it, anybody can do it,” Lennon said, laughing. “I’ll be the guy that turned it around and maybe helped somebody.”

    Lennon will be out of jail in six months and already has a job lined up at an industrial plant nearby.

  • 5 Charged With Witness Intimidation in Baby in Fridge Case

    Five juvenile females are facing charges for intimidating a witness in connection to a case where a baby was placed in a refrigerator by two babysitters last week in Danvers, Massachusetts.

    All five were arraigned Tuesday in Lynn Juvenile Court, according to the Essex District Attorney's Office.

    One of the girls was also charged in the Danvers case. The other four were not involved in that case.

    The original incident occurred on Aug. 7 in Danvers. The two girls involved are facing charges of child endangerment and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon in that case.

    Video posted to Snapchat showed the accused girls putting the baby in the refrigerator, closing the door and laughing as the baby's screams are heard through the refrigerator door. Moments later, they open the refrigerator and remove the baby.

    It's unclear how long the baby was inside. The video was time stamped at 4:37 p.m.

    Both of the girls involved with the refrigerator incident are from Swampscott.

    The child is reportedly doing fine.