Massachusetts News


  • Maine Plow Driver Shortage Continues for 2nd Winter



    For the second winter in a row, the Maine Department of Transportation is trying to hire snow plow drivers. The department has about 50 open positions.

    "We're trying to be creative to really compete for the experienced work staff that's out there," said Maine DOT spokesperson Ted Talbot.

    He the said the statewide worker shortage is the driving force behind the problem. Maine's unemployment rate is at about three percent.

    The DOT has tried to offer new incentives to recruit more drivers, such as a $1,000 winter stipend, but the number of unfilled driver positions has remained about the same.

    To fill in the gaps, the DOT has turned to an outside contractor called First Vehicle to supply 24 additional drivers.

    "We do have enough personnel to plow the roads ... so that's not the concern," said Talbot. "It's more of an in-house concern. What kind of rotations can we put these people on, and still remain safe and everybody rested?"

    Talbot said customer service levels will remain the same and drivers should not notice a difference in quality, despite the worker shortage.



    Photo Credit: necn
  • Sources: Former Gov. Deval Patrick's Brother-in-Law Arrested



    The brother-in-law of former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has been arrested on assault to rape charges in an incident involving a family member, law enforcement sources have told the NBC Boston Investigators. 

    Bernard Sigh, 65, was arraigned Monday in Quincy District Court. 

    Sources say the assault happened in Milton Saturday. 

    Sigh is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing, sources say.

    Sigh was convicted in 1993 after he pleaded guilty to spousal rape in California.

    No further details were immediately available. 



    Photo Credit: LinkedIn
  • Baker Meets With Puerto Rico Governor on Hurricane Aid



    It's been months since Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico, leaving destruction that the island is still trying to overcome. Massachusetts has some unique ideas to help with that recovery effort and the governor of Puerto Rico was on Beacon Hill Tuesday to hear them. 

    Governor Ricardo Rosselló was in Massachusetts visiting his alma mater, MIT, where he graduated in 2001 with a degree in biomedical engineering. Rosselló was there to encourage students to help rebuild Puerto Rico.

    After that, Rosselló met with Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh when word got out that the Board of Higher Education had just unanimously voted to give in-state tuition to displaced Puerto Rican students living in Massachusetts following the hurricane.

    "There will be a time where we will call back upon those that have left when we will reach normalcy and we can start rebuilding, but in the meantime, giving that to the students of Puerto Rico is a great blessing," Rosselló said.

    Gov. Baker says Massachusetts has already enrolled more than 1,800 students in grades K-12.

    "We have been working to ensure that the schools kind of absorb those kids and make sure those kids get the education they need," he said.

    But it is unclear how many Puerto Ricans will take advantage of the in-state tuition break.

    Whatever the cost, Walsh says we should be doing for Puerto Rico what we would be doing for any state in a similar situation.

    "The average citizen doesn’t understand, Puerto Rico is part of the United States of America," Walsh said. "It’s not a foreign government, it’s not a foreign country, it’s part of the United States of America."

    Rosselló, a strong supporter of making Puerto Rico a state, took the opportunity to send a message to Congress - that the tax bill being considered would only penalize Puerto Rico by treating it like a foreign country.

    "In my view, this is offensive," he said. "And it is a complete byproduct of the second class citizenship that we were exhibiting as Puerto Ricans because we don’t have this representation."

    Meanwhile, the number of evacuees fleeing the island has increased in recent weeks and more families are expected to arrive in Massachusetts after the holidays. 

  • Snowfall Totals for Tuesday's Storm Across New England



    Snowfall totals are coming in from the National Weather Service for a storm hitting New England with a wintry mix of snow and rain on Tuesday.

    MAINE

    Androscoggin County

    Auburn 3.0"

    Cumberland County

    South Portland 4.0"

    Cumberland Center 2.9"

    Gray 2.9"

    Naples 2.6"

    Gorham 2.3"

    Portland 2.0"

    Standish 1.9"

    Westbrook 1.8"

    Portland Jetport 0.9"

    Kennebec County

    Mount Vernon 2.5"

    Knox County

    Rockland 1.5"

    Oxford County

    Otisfield 2.3"

    Sagadahoc County

    Topsham 2.0"

    Phippsburg 1.2"

    York County

    Hollis 4.1"

    Lebanon 2.0"

    South Berwick 1.8"

    Alfred 1.5"

    Saco 1.3"

    Sanford 0.5"

    NEW HAMPSHIRE

    Belknap County

    Meredith 4.2"

    Coos County

    Randolph 11.0"

    Grafton County

    Plymouth 5.5"

    Hillsborough County

    Goffstown 0.4"

    Merrimack County

    Henniker 3.5"

    Concord 3.3"

    Northfield 2.0"

    Rockingham County

    Deerfield 2.5"

    Stratham 1.3"

    Greenland 0.7"

    MASSACHUSETTS

    Franklin County

    Conway 4.4"

    Greenfield 4.0"

    Leyden 3.8"

    Heath 3.5"

    Deerfield 3.3"

    Rowe 1.7"

    Hawley 1.3"

    Buckland 1.3"

    Ashfield 1.0"

    Leverett 0.5"

    Sunderland 0.4"

    Hampden County

    Blandford 4.0"

    Chester 2.5"

    Hampshire County

    Cummington 4.5"

    Plainfield 3.5"

    Worthington 2.8"

    Williamsburg 2.0"

    East Windsor 1.1"

    Northampton 1.0"

    Plainfield 0.9"

    Easthampton 0.1"

    Westhampton 0.1"

    Middlesex County

    Pepperell 1.2"

    Townsend 0.3"

    Worcester County

    Ashburnham 2.2"

    Fitchburg 2.1"

    Leominster 0.8"

    Worcester 0.4"

    Westminster 0.3"

    Barre 0.1"

    VERMONT

    Addison County

    Hancock 2.3"

    South Lincoln 2.0"

    Orwell 2.0"

    Vergennes 1.0"

    Caledonia County

    Lydonville 1.5"

    Danville 1.1"

    Sutton 1.1"

    Hardwick 1.0"

    Sheffield 1.0"

    Wheelock 0.8"

    Chittenden County

    Winooski 4.3"

    South Burlington 3.3"

    Jericho 1.1"

    Westford 1.0"

    Nashville 0.5"

    Williston 0.5"

    Essex Junction 0.5"

    Essex County

    Island Pond 1.0"

    Lunenberg 0.8"

    Granby 0.5"

    Franklin County

    Swanton 3.0"

    Saint Albans 1.6"

    Swanton 0.6"

    Grand Isle County

    Alburgh 1.0"

    Lamoille County

    Eden Mills 7.0"

    Stowe 7.0"

    Jefferson 1.2"

    Hyde Park 0.9"

    Orange County

    Braintree Hill 8.3"

    Williamstown 6.0"

    Vershire 3.0"

    Corinth 1.1"

    Orleans County

    Greensboro 3.0"

    Westfield 1.8"

    Derby Center 1.0"

    Barton 0.2"

    Rutland County

    Mendon 6.0"

    Pittsford 4.0"

    West Rutland 3.1"

    Mount Holly 3.0"

    Castleton 1.8"

    Washington County

    Waterbury Center 7.0"

    Waitsfield 2.5"

    Cabot 2.0"

    Northfield 2.0"

    Woodbury 1.6"

    Northfield 1.5"

    Montpelier 1.0"

    East Calais 0.5"

    Plainfield 0.3"

    Windsor County

    Ludlow 10.8"

    Springfield 9.0"

    Rochester 8.0"

    Woodstock 6.0"

    Ludlow 5.4"

    Hartland 3.8"

    North Hartland Lake 2.6"

    Pomfret 2.5"



    Photo Credit: Frank S
  • Blast of Snowy Weather Hits Vermont Hard



    A blast of snowy weather Tuesday tested Vermonters’ winter driving skills and patience.

    Slide-offs and minor crashes were reported in many communities, including Middlesex, Colchester, and Essex—where a power pole broke when a driver lost control in the slippery conditions and hit it.

    That Essex crash caused a temporary power outage to several dozen residents while Green Mountain Power made repairs to the pole.

    "Drive slow—take extra time," urged Sgt. Francis Gonyaw of the Colchester Police Department. "The roads are going to be bad today; they’re going to be bad tonight. The National Weather [Service’s] forecast is talking about even into tomorrow. So just patience and slow down."

    The mountains were where the most significant accumulations were expected. Skiers and riders took full advantage at Stowe Mountain Resort.

    Mount Snow in West Dover boasted on Twitter of getting an inch an hour for part of the day at the resort.

    And at Bolton Valley, spokesman Josh Arneson said the fresh snowfall should help spark new bookings for Vermont’s ski industry as a whole.

    "This storm is extremely well-timed," Arneson said. "We love getting snow early-season and it’s going to tee us and everybody else up for a great Christmas week."

    On downtown Burlington’s famous Church Street Marketplace, a busy destination for shopping and dining, maintenance staff spent the day keeping on top of the snow—ensuring holiday shoppers would have no trouble getting to the stores.

    "Everyone’s in the holiday cheer," the marketplace’s Jim Daly said. "They’ve all got smiles on!"

    With plow crews out working, the Vermont Agency of Transportation and other transportation officials around New England would also like to see drivers remember to not "crowd the plow" while on the roads. Instead, give those crews the room they need to do their jobs. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Boston
  • Wanna Be Like Tom Brady? There's an App for That



    He's on Facebook. He's on Instagram. And now Tom Brady has his own app.

    TB12, the fitness and wellness organization co-founded by Brady, announced Tuesday that it has launched the "TB12 Method" mobile app. The app "offers a roadmap to the TB12 Method and lifestyle," helping users to build positive daily habits that lead to "greater health, well-being and vitality in their lives."

    It's basically a digital extension of Brady's book, "The TB12 Method," which focuses on the importance of hydration, nutrition, rest, muscle pliability and fitness to help protect the body against injury and allow for greater performance.

    "This app is the next step in making the TB12 Method available to everyone, everywhere," Brady said in a statement.

    The app is now available in the Apple app store. You can get a 1-week free trial, but a premium subscription is $19.99 a month or $199.99 a year. It's coming soon to Android devices.

    Of course, Brady and his TB12 team might not have chosen the best day to launch the app, as it came on the heels of one of his worst performances in a 27-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. Brady was sacked twice and intercepted twice in a game that had some Patriots fans wondering if their quarterback might be playing hurt.



    Photo Credit: TB12 Method Mobile App
  • Woman Allegedly Assaulted Son on Flight From Boston



    A federal complaint accuses a Colorado woman of assaulting her son during a flight from Boston to Salt Lake City.

    The complaint filed in U.S. District Court against Cherice Dawn Klipfel states a passenger on the Sunday JetBlue Airways flight witnessed the mother striking, slapping, kicking and shoving her 8-year-old son.

    Records show Klipfel appeared in court Monday on a misdemeanor assault count. She did not enter a plea.

    The complaint states two other passengers saw Klipfel ``tightly cover'' her son's face and ``shake him aggressively'' while the boy cried.

    The 46-year-old resident of Lakewood, Colorado, is being held at the Davis County jail. Her attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the case.


  • Man Loses Hand in Illegal Fireworks Accident



    A Massachusetts, man lost a hand in an accident involving what are believed to be illegal commercial-grade fireworks on Tuesday.

    Emergency crews responded to the scene of a home on Smith Street in Quincy around 2:40 p.m.

    The victim, who has not been identified, was taken to a local hospital. The man's cousin said he lost a hand in the accident.

    Police said they believe the incident involved an M-80, which is illegal in Massachusetts.

    Investigators are waiting on a search warrant so they can remove other fireworks from inside the home.



    Photo Credit: Quincy Police
  • Man Exposes Himself to Dunkin' Donuts Employee in Drive-Thru



    Police in Dover, New Hampshire, are asking for the public’s help with identifying a man who exposed himself to a Dunkin’ Donuts employee while in a drive-thru.

    The incident happened Saturday shortly after 5 p.m. at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 165 Portland Ave.

    The suspect, who had "scruffy" facial hair, was driving what police think was a gold Mercury Marquis.

    No other description of the suspect was given.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 603-742-4646 or anonymously at the Dover Crimeline at 603-749-6000 or online.



    Photo Credit: Dover Police


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