<![CDATA[NECN - New England News]]>Copyright 2018https://www.necn.com/news/new-england http://media.necn.com/designimages/clear.gif NECN https://www.necn.comen-usTue, 20 Mar 2018 05:55:56 -0400Tue, 20 Mar 2018 05:55:56 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[4th March Nor'easter to Bring Up to a Foot of Snow]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 04:54:27 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/forecastaccumulation_Tuesday.png

Sunny skies today for the Vernal Equinox. You’ll notice that it’s spring by looking at the calendar, NOT by how it feels outside. Temperatures, yet again, will be well below average. Clouds will increase overnight with our approaching storm system.

The fourth nor'easter since March 2 will arrive Wednesday, and linger into early Thursday. The storm coupled with strong high-pressure over Ontario that will generate wind from the northeast gusts past 50 mph at the coast once again. Coastal flooding will be a concern. Minor to moderate flood is possible during the late Wednesday night high tide.

Snow arrives early morning Wednesday in Connecticut, then spreads to the north and east into Maine by late day. Along the coast and south of Boston may be a mixture of rain and snow. This also means it'll be a very wet snow along Interstate 95 and towards the water.

Snow will be heaviest Wednesday afternoon and overnight, with snowfall rates once again in the order of 1 or 2 inches per hour.

The exception is in Vermont, far northern New Hampshire and much of the state of Maine where snow will be lighter or maybe miss altogether.

Snowfall amounts in the order of 6 to 12 inches are likely.

Snow continues in Maine Thursday, otherwise a mixture of sun and clouds, and cold, with a high temperature in the 30s. Wind from the northwest will continue gusting past 40 mph.

High-pressure should bring in brighter and pretty cold weather for late in the week and start the weekend.

The next system will be racing across the country and may arrive in New England before the weekend is done, with another mixture of rain and snow, but it DOES NOT look like a coastal storm at this time.

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<![CDATA[5-Year-Old Girl With Autism Falls From Window in Lynn]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 23:29:00 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/5-Year-Old_Expected_to_Recover_Fall_From_Lynn_Window.jpg

A 5-year-old girl with autism was taken to a hospital after falling from a window Monday in Lynn, Massachusetts.

The child, named Anitra, took a terrible fall from a second-story window. Her father, Bun Tuy, rushed to the family's home on Houghton Street to figure out what happened.

"I just got a call from my wife saying, 'Come home,' my kid has fallen through the window," he recalled.

The child's father believes a snow bank may have cushioned her fall. He's grateful she wasn't badly hurt, and he just wants her back home with her family.

"She's very active, playful," he said.

Anitra was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment. She is expected to recover.

Police are continuing to investigate.

<![CDATA[Teen Arrested After Alleged Threat at Methuen High School]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 23:16:30 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/214*120/Methuen+High+School.jpg

A Massachusetts teenager has been arrested after allegedly threatening his high school.

Police responded to Methuen High School around 2 p.m. Monday after classmates reported that a 16-year-old boy had made disturbing comments, referencing bullets, death and a mass shooting.

The teenager, a Methuen resident whose name has not been released, was arrested at the school.

Police searched the teen's home and didn't find any weapons.

"This is an excellent example of 'see something, say something,'" Mayor James Jajuga said in a statement. "In this instance, students heard disturbing remakrs about committing violence at school, and they spoke up immediately. This is one of the ways we keep our community and schools safe."

Authorities do not believe the school is in any danger.

The suspect is expected to be arraigned at Lawrence Juvenile Court.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Department 'Standing Down' Until Crews Get Updated Gear]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 19:35:14 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Maine_Fire_Department__Standing_Down__Due_to_Old_Gear.jpg

A fire department in Maine has an emergency of its own. Firefighters have been ordered to "stand down" and stop responding to calls until they get updated gear.

Limington Selectman Bruce Rozett said town officials learned on Friday that the department was using dangerously outdated equipment. Federal guidelines require boots, coats, pants and helmets be retired every 10 years, but much of Limington's firefighter gear was purchased in 2005.

"Rather than put one of our firefighters in jeopardy, we would have the fire department stand down," said Rozett.

He said the gear is supposed to be inspected annually, and he does not know how its condition slipped through the cracks.

The longtime fire chief retired earlier this month, and the assistant chief was recently surveying the equipment, Rozett said. The assistant was the one who alerted selectmen about the age of the gear.

"While understanding how we got here and who may be responsible is important, it's not at all important until we get the fire department back in service," said Rozett.

For now, only paramedics responding to medical calls will be working in the fire department.

Rozett said the town has coordinated with neighboring fire departments to ensure mutual aid during fire emergencies in Limington. He hopes to secure gear from other departments and get the department up and running again in a few days.

"The community should not be worried at all," he said.

But some are concerned.

Misty Romero moved to Limington after her house in Demark, Maine, burned down last year. Shortly after her house fire, the restaurant where she worked was also destroyed by a fire.

"It was the most traumatizing thing that's ever happened to me in my entire life," said Romero.

Having her new community put a pause on fire services makes her feel unsafe.

"If they can't get it together, we'll probably have to move out of town because that's unreasonable," she said.

<![CDATA[Crews Continue to Investigate Deadly Springfield Fire]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 18:19:14 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Deadly_Springfield_Fire.jpg

Investigators say Aden Abdakadr and his two young children, ages two and one-year-old, were killed in Sunday's apartment fire in Springfield.

"These people lost their lives," said Sherylyn Rodriguez who lives two apartments away from the family.

"They lost their homes and they have nothing to return to."

Rodriguez said she slept through the fire alarms. She woke up to the sound of screaming children.

"The rest of (their) family got out and I was on the bus with part of the family that was rescued from that," said Rodriguez. "All I heard was 'did he go to the hospital, did he make it out, did he make it out?"

Imam Wissam Abdul Baki of the Islamic Center of Western Massachusetts said Abdakadr's wife, who is four months pregnant, escaped and is in the hospital.

The family immigrated from Somalia years ago.

"The father went to save the children and he stayed with them," said Baki.

On Monday, fire investigators continued to go down their list of possible causes.

They flew a drone to look at the destruction.

Commissioner BJ Calvi said the fire started on the second floor and worked its way up.

Abdakadr and his children were found in an apartment on the second floor.

According to Calvi, fire alarms tend to go off frequently in buildings such as this.

"First thing companies didn't see a lot of people evacuating from the building on this side and there are very few on the other side upon arrival," said Calvi. "Right after they pulled up upon arrival they had several people jumping from windows...they could have quite possible been ignoring the alarm."

Calvi said at this point, the fire does not appear to be suspicious.

The nearly 80 people who have been displaced are staying in hotels until they can find permanent housing.

<![CDATA[REAL ID Act Complicates Inspections and Licenses in Mass.]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 18:53:45 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Massachusetts+REAL+ID+031918.JPG

Big changes at the RMV starting Friday will mean changes for Massachusetts drivers trying to get vehicles inspected or renew their driver's licenses.

The process is two-fold. As part of a cut-over to the new ATLAS system, all RMV services will be unavailable from 7 p.m. Thursday to 8 a.m. Monday.

That means no vehicle inspections, no road tests and no RMV services in person or online.

"We might lose some business, but what are we going to do at this point," said Vicky Mantas, the manager of ALFA Auto Fuel in Roslindale. "We've just got to be patient and wait until we start back up again on Monday."

"The new ATLAS system that the registry is implementing on March 26 will enable us to fully comply with the federal REAL ID Act requirements," said Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney.

Starting Monday, to get a license, you will need to provide documentation showing U.S. citizenship or lawful presence. You can still get the standard Massachusetts license (and even renew online), but after October 2020, you will need the new REAL ID or passport to fly in U.S. And obtaining that REAL ID will require going to the RMV or your AAA office in person.

"They can print out the sheet, it'll tell them all the documentation they need to bring," Deveney said. "It also has a bar code, so they'll be able to scan it and all of their information will be in our system."

But the change has caused confusion for many drivers.

"That's kind of crazy, why – I mean, I don't understand that," said Scott McKay of Quincy.

"This is crazy," Sheila Cline of Roslindale added. "I mean, we don't have life complicated enough?!"

For more information on the new requirements in Massachusetts, click here.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Boston]]>
<![CDATA[Some Could See a Foot of Snow From 4th March Nor'easter ]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:04:52 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/214*120/newmap1.jpg

The fourth nor'easter of March is here for our Wednesday and especially Wednesday night into early Thursday.

Snow arrives early morning Wednesday in Connecticut, then spreads to the north and east into Maine by late day. Along the coast and south of Boston may be a mixture of rain and snow.

This also means it'll be a very wet snow along Interstate 95 and toward the water.

Snow will be heaviest Wednesday afternoon and overnight, with snowfall rates once again in the order for 1 or 2 inches per hour.

The exception is in Vermont, far northern New Hampshire and much of the state of Maine where snow will be lighter or maybe miss all together. Snowfall amounts in the order of 6 to 12 inches are likely.

The tide is also running stronger, and we may experience minor to moderate coastal flooding especially with the high tide before sunrise Thursday morning.

Snow continues in Maine Thursday, otherwise we'll see a mixture of sun and clouds and cold, with a high temperature in the 30s. Wind from the northwest will continue gusting past 40 mph.

First, though, we enjoy a sunny bright in Vernal Equinox on Tuesday, with temperatures starting out in the single numbers and teens, warming to the 20s north and 30s to near 40 degrees along the south coast.

Wind becomes light and variable, eventually coming in and out of the east by sunset. 

The storm, coupled with strong high-pressure over Ontario, will generate wind from the northeast, with gusts past 50 mph at the coast once again.

High-pressure should bring in brighter and pretty cold weather for late in the week and to start the weekend.

The next system will be racing across the country and may arrive in New England before the weekend is done, with another mixture of rain and snow. But it does not look like a coastal storm at this time.

<![CDATA[7 Ways to Deal With Frozen Pipes]]> Wed, 03 Jan 2018 13:34:11 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/AP_7307390352661.jpg Pipe freezing is a common problem during winter’s most frigid days. With a long stretch of subzero temperatures gripping the tri-state, here’s what to know about keeping your pipes from freezing and potentially bursting.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Mayor Fires Back After Trump Blames Mass. City for NH Opioids]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 05:42:30 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Donald+Trump+Dan+Rivera.jpg

President Donald Trump singled out the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts, as a significant source of the drugs pouring into New Hampshire during a speech on his new opioid plan Monday.

Speaking at Manchester Community College, Trump said Lawrence is "one of the primary sources of fentanyl in six New Hampshire counties," according to a Dartmouth College study. He tied this to the fact that Lawrence is a so-called sanctuary city, and also cited the recent arrest of 15 MS-13 gang members in Boston.

"Every day, sanctuary cities release illegal immigrants, drug dealers, traffickers, gang members, into our cities," Trump said. "They're protected by these cities, and you say, 'What are they doing?' They're safe havens for just some terrible people, and they're making it very dangerous for our law enforcement officers.

"You see it all the time," he continued. "As the people of New Hampshire have learned firsthand, ending sanctuary cities is crucial to stopping the drug addiction crisis."

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera fired back at Trump later Monday afternoon.

"I've got a lot of emotions running through me right now, because it's not very often that the president takes your city's name in vain. So I'd like to start by saying shame on the president'" Rivera said. "He's trafficking in pain and divisiveness, creating boogiemen where we need solutions."

Furthermore, Rivera argued, Trump's proposed solution is one that has failed in the past.

"I'm a Reagan baby, I'm a kid from the 80s. I remember the crack epidemic. I remember the 'Just Say No' to drugs campaigns. I remember the increased prison time for dealers and users," he recalled. "But you know what beat the crack epidemic and the cocaine epidemic? It was police practicing community policing, jobs for inner-city kids, and treatment, treatment, treatment. Serious, long-term, expensive treatment."

U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, a Democrat from Massachusetts and a member of the bipartisan Heroin Task Force, agreed that the epidemic should not be combated as a crime.

"Over a decade and a half ago, as Norfolk County district attorney, I started an opioid task force, and what I learned from my experience is that the president has it all wrong," Keating said in a statement. "Back then, I was tasked with the responsibility of approaching it from a criminal side, but I learned this is much more a public health issue. That is why the Centers for Disease Control advocates for an approach of combining medically assisted and behavioral health treatment as the best course."

"Massachusetts has been a leader in treatment and prevention natinwide," Keating added. "While interdiction and law enforcement have a place, the narrow approach that dominated the president's remarks today simply won't work. President Trump is taking us backwards."

Rivera pointed to Trump's earlier criticisms of the Granite State and accused him of politicizing a deadly crisis.

"Talking out of both sides of his mouth today, he went to New Hampshire, smiling in New Hampshire's face, after calling them a 'drug-infested den.' This is not a political problem, this is not a crime problem, this is not an immigration problem. This is a human problem," Rivera said. "This is an American problem, with more than 175 Americans dying every day. And the president continues to treat every problem that faces our country like a campaign rally, and it's not."

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who Trump praised in his speech Monday, offered similar criticism of Lawrence a year ago, accusing the city of fueling the Granite State's drug crisis.

Sununu labeled Lawrence as the prime source of fentanyl coming into his state and warned that he was about to "get tough" on dealers across the state border.

Rivera hit back at the time, accusing Sununu of "threatening the sovereignty" of Massachusetts and failing to build enough treatment beds in New Hampshire.

"The opioid crisis is so large that no community is without a problem, and to make it about Lawrence is the trap," Rivera said.

Sununu and Rivera later spoke on the phone, after which Sununu said Lawrence has been "doing a good job" on the opioid issue.

Sununu wasn't the first New England governor to accuse Lawrence, a city of many immigrants, of fueling the region's drug crisis. Maine Gov. Paul LePage said black and Hispanic drug dealers from Lawrence and Lowell were trafficking drugs into his state.

Trump was in New Hampshire on Monday to unveil his plan to combat the country's opioid crisis. His plan calls for stiffer penalties for drug traffickers, including the death penalty where it's appropriate under the current law.

Trump's three-part plan includes multiple steps to raise awareness, cut the illicit drug flow and expand proven treatment options.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Boston]]>
<![CDATA[Latest Timeline, Expectations for This Week's Nor'easter]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 16:23:17 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/199*120/GettyImages-1611327113.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[4th March Nor'easter Could Bring Plowable Snow]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:04:58 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/160*160/better+gif+download.gif

For a while, it looked like a fouth March nor'easter might miss New England, but not any longer, as the storm forecasted to hit Wednesday is now expected to bring snow to a large swath of the region.

A band of rain and snow will extend onto the south coast Wednesday morning, working northward during the day. By afternoon and evening, some of the snow will likely fall heavily at times around Boston points south.

That continues into the night and even into Thursday morning before winding down during the daylight hours. However, snow will continue in Maine.

The exact track will determine exactly how much snow falls. Right now a plowable snow is likely (60 percent chance) from southeastern Connecticut into Rhode Island, southeastern Massachusetts, and around Boston. That includes MetroWest and parts of the North Shore. Much of coastal and Downeast Maine is also in that category.

Much of western and central Massachusetts into New Hampshire and interior Maine have a 40 percent chance of a plowable snow, which we’re calling 3 inches or more. Vermont has the lowest chance, 20 percent, of seeing plowable snow.

But for the next two days, at least, things should be mostly quiet.

Monday is the last full day of winter, and it feels like it. After starting with very cold morning lows, highs Monday will reach the 20s in far northern New England, with 30s and 40s in southern New England. Sunshine will be widespread, and we’ll still have a wind out of the northwest at 10 to 20 mph.

Mostly clear and cold conditions rule Monday night, then Tuesday starts off with sunshine. Clouds will increase from south to north as spring officially begins at 12:15 p.m.

Photo Credit: NOAA/Star]]>
<![CDATA[BAA Reveals 2018 Boston Marathon Banners]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:27:37 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/2018+Boston+Marathon+Banners+Unveiled.JPG

The banners for 2018 Boston Marathon were unveiled Monday morning in Boston by the Boston Athletic Association.

Over 500 banners will line the 26.2-mile journey from Hopkinton to the city's Back Bay neighborhood when runners take their mark on April 16.

Among those who attended the unveiling at Marathon Sports on Boylston Street was former marathon legend Will Rodgers and top American marathoners Dathan Ritzenhein and Shadrack Biwott.

Officials with John Hancock, a principal sponsor of the marathon, were also on hand to talk about this year's theme, "Together Forward."

"Our marathon theme, Together Forward, exemplifies our collective experiences in organizing, supporting and participating in an event that challenges us to be our best, because it demands us to be at our best, not only on Marathon Monday but in every moment leading up to race day," John Hancock Executive Vice President James Gallagher said.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh echoed those sentiments, adding that the marathon is one of the city's oldest and proudest traditions.

"We know the marathon isn't just a tradition — it's an event that represents the resilience of the human spirit," Walsh said.

This year will be the 122nd running of the Boston Marathon.

<![CDATA['Mack' the Harp Seal Released Back Into Ocean]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 11:03:19 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Mack+the+seal+released.JPG

A harp seal found dehydrated on a New Hampshire beach last month has been rehabilitated and released back into the ocean.

The gray seal named "Mack" was found Feb. 15 at Hampton Beach State Park in Hampton eating sand, according to officials with the Seacoast Science Center Marine Mammal Rescue Team.

The animal welfare organization said Mack had been alert and responsive to noise and movement but had discharge coming from both eyes.

After determining he needed rehabilitation, Mack was transported to National Marine Life Center (NMLC) in Bourne, Massachusetts for care. Further tests showed critical dehydration and radiographs showed that he had rocks in his stomach.

According to the Seacoast Science Center Marine Mammal Rescue Team, Mack quickly bounced back and began regaining his strength.

He was ready to be released back into the wild on Sunday afternoon on Hampton Beach where dozens of people sent him off with cheers.

Marine officials said Mack will likely migrate back to the Canadian Provinces and the Arctic.

<![CDATA[Cellist Yo-Yo Ma to Give Lecture on Role of Culture at MIT]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 06:10:56 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Yo+Yo+Ma+file.JPG

World-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma is set to give a lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The school says Ma will visit the campus Monday to deliver a talk titled "Yo-Yo Ma: Culture, Understanding and Survival" as part of a lecture series featuring figures in modern thought.

Ma is a prolific performer who has recorded more than 100 albums and has worked to promote collaboration among artists from different cultures.

He was born in Paris and became a child prodigy after learning the cello at age 4. He has won 18 Grammy awards, the National Medal of the Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The event will feature a lecture from Ma and a conversation between the cellist and MIT President L. Rafael Reif.

<![CDATA[Uber Driver Accused of Sexual Assault Faces Judge]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 18:51:29 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Ranjan-Thapa1.jpg

An Uber driver accused of sexually assaulting a passenger in Boston's South End over the weekend faced a judge Monday.

Ranjan Thapa, 26, of Everett, was ordered to be held on $10,000 cash bail after entering a not guilty plea on a rape charge in Roxbury District Court on Monday morning.

Prosecutors said the victim was intoxicated and couldn't give consent; however, Thapa's attorney argued that the victim came onto him and that just because the victim couldn't remember consenting, that it didn't mean the victim didn't consent.

His attorney also added that his client "hadn't been with a woman in several years" and that "he knew he'd get in trouble."

Thapa also allegedly told to police that he had sex with the victim twice before he was arrested near Hemenway Street in the city's South End neighborhood just after 1 a.m. on Sunday.

Boston police said Northeastern University police officers had stopped a man who identified himself as a rideshare operator who was taking a female passenger to her home.

Police on scene made observations that led them to believe the woman was in distress and may have been the victim of a sexual assault. The woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Following an investigation by Boston police's sexual assault unit, Thapa was taken into custody and charged.

Thapa's brother-in-law, Rabindra Lamichane, told NBC10 Boston outside the courthouse Monday that the family is shocked over the allegations. He said Thapa has never been in trouble with the law before.

"We heard this happened and we are totally shocked. We never expected this. He’s a regular guy," Lamichane said.

He said Thapa came to the United States in 2011 and is a student at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The school said it is aware of the criminal charges against him and is pursuing "appropriate next steps" in response."

Thapa's second job as an Uber driver is to help him financially survive, his family said.

Uber has confirmed that Thapa did drive for them.

"What police describe is deeply troubling. The driver has been removed from the app, and we stand ready to assist the Boston Police Department with their investigation," the company said in a statement.

The incident remains under investigation by Boston police.

Thapa is due back in court on April 17.

If you’re a victim of a sexual assault that has or has not been reported to police and would feel more comfortable seeking confidential advice from a non-law enforcement agency or representative, the Boston Police Department advises and encourages you to call the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center at 1-800-841-8371. BARCC provides free and confidential counseling, case management, legal and medical advocacy services to survivors in the greater Boston area.

<![CDATA[Cold Temperatures Stick Around as 4th Nor'easter Approaches]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 07:13:08 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/MondayTempsHIGHS_TODAY.png

Don’t write off our next nor’easter. Accumulating snow is possible by Wednesday.

Before we get to Wednesday, it will be cold. Temperatures will stay in the 30s both today and Tuesday. High pressure will keep things quiet for the next 48 hours.

OK, let’s get back to nor’easter number 4. It appears a track closer to the benchmark is looking a bit more likely. Accumulating snow is looking more likely for coastal southern New England. Currently, it appears the heaviest snow would fall for the Cape and the Islands.

This forecast has been going back and forth for quite some time. At this point, be prepared for snow, but it’s too early to detail amounts and intensity.

We might not be done after nor’easter number 4 — number 5 is looking possible late in the weekend and into early the following week. Let’s get through the fourth before we go into any detail on the fifth!

<![CDATA[Boston Rideshare Driver Charged With Rape]]> Sun, 18 Mar 2018 23:17:02 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/160*160/1521230830-Police-lights-%28KXAS-TV-NBC5%29-%281%29.jpg

Boston police officers have arrested a rideshare driver in connection to a sexual assault in the South End.

Ranjan Thapa, 26, of Everett, was arrested and charged with rape Sunday.

Officers responded around 1:03 a.m. Sunday to a call for a sexual assault in the area of Hemenway Street in Boston. 

Northeastern University police officers had stopped a man who identified himself as a rideshare operator who was taking a female passenger to her home.

Police on scene made observations that led them to believe the female passenger was in distress and may have been the victim of a sexual assault.

She was transported to an area hospital for treatment.

The Boston Police sexual assault unit investigated the incident, leading to the arrest and charge against Thapa.

The incident remains under investigation by the Boston Police Department.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives in the sexual assault unit at 617-343-4400. For those who wish to assist the investigation anonymously, you can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers tip line at 1-800-494-TIPS or by texting the word 'TIP' to CRIME (27463).

Thapa will be arraigned Monday in Roxbury District Court. It's not immediately clear if he has a lawyer.

No other information was immediately available.

If you’re a victim of a sexual assault that has or has not been reported to police and would feel more comfortable seeking confidential advice from a non-law enforcement agency or representative, the Boston Police Department advises and encourages you to call the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center at 1-800-841-8371. BARCC provides free and confidential counseling, case management, legal and medical advocacy services to survivors in the greater Boston area.

<![CDATA[Fast-Moving Fire Rips Through Hartford Apartment Building ]]> Sun, 18 Mar 2018 20:53:31 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/HARTFORD-CHARLOTTE-STREET-FIRE.jpg

Six people awoken by flames in their Hartford apartment building early Sunday morning are now looking for a new place to stay.

Fire broke out at 67 Charlotte Street at 2 a.m. It didn’t take long for the fire to grow out of control, spreading from the back porch to the front of the building.

“This type of a fire, it’s very rapidly moving fire. You’ve got the porches which will provide for an opportunity for the fire to extend rapidly to all the floors,” Hartford Fire Deputy Chief Ian Tenney said.

The first firefighters on the scene rushed to the second floor after receiving a report that someone was trapped inside. It turned out to be a false alarm. All six occupants escaped without injury, according to authorities.

“All occupants were accounted for. At that point in time we had a partial collapse in the rear, the rear porches. We made the decision at that point to remove all the companies,” Tenney said.

With the porch collapsing and the third floor caving in, crews were forced to fight the flames from the outside. Four hours after the fire first broke out, crews were still putting out hot spots and the charred skeleton of the structure smoldered in the sub-freezing air.

“The cold certainly doesn’t help. It produces an increased risk of slips and falls to anybody operating around the fire scene,” Tenney said.

Tenney says no firefighters were injured. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Accumulating Snow Looking More Likely With 4th Nor'easter]]> Sun, 18 Mar 2018 23:37:46 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/031817+wx+blog.jpg

On Saturday we were hopeful that Nor’easter #4 wouldn’t deliver much more than a glancing blow. Unfortunately, there is a new trend we’re watching with the forecast models. It’s a snowier trend and it appears that the areas hardest hit during the last two Nor’easters could receive the most snow this time around.

With a significant snowpack, spring flooding is a growing concern. The NOAA has been flying aircraft over New England collecting snow water data for the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NERFC). The threat for river flooding is in the "Above to Much Above normal" for a majority of New England.

We had a similar threat back in 2011 and 2015 when there was a substantial snowpack, fortunately those two years featured a slow melt with not much rain. Hopefully our active pattern turns quiet.

At Boston Logan airport, precipitation for the month of March is already 2.52 inches above normal. It should also be noted that Boston has received above average precipitation in January and February, as well.

Ok, let’s get back to Nor’easter #4. It appears a track closer to the benchmark is looking a bit more likely. Accumulating snow is looking more likely for coastal southern New England. Currently, it appears the heaviest snow would fall for the Cape and Islands. This forecast has been going back and forth for quite some time. At this point, be prepared for snow, but it’s too early to detail amounts and intensity.

We might not be done after Nor’easter #4... number 5 is looking possible late in the weekend and into early the following week. Let’s get through the fourth before we go into any detail on the fifth, though!

<![CDATA[Mass. State Trooper Accused of Being Drunk on the Job]]> Sun, 18 Mar 2018 23:25:36 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Mass._State_Police_Trooper_Allegedly_Drunk_on_the_Job.jpg

A Massachusetts State Police trooper was placed on administrative leave Sunday for allegedly being drunk during his shift, according to a police spokesman.

Trooper Jonathan Brown, who works at the Devens barracks, was in the middle of working an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift when he was relieved of duty around 2 a.m. Sunday, State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said.

"The reason for that action was observations made relative to temporary fitness for duty," said Procopio.

Brown was allegedly intoxicated when he arrived for work and was slurring his speech on the radio. It's not believed Brown was drinking while on the job.

When NBC10 Boston knocked at Brown's door, he answered but didn't have much to say.

"No comment," Brown replied when asked about the allegations against him.

Troopers assigned to the Devens barracks are not given take-home cruisers, unlike some other barracks, so it would appear Brown drove his own personal vehicle to the barracks at the start of his shift on St. Patrick's Day.

State Police say Brown has been placed on administrative leave pending a duty status hearing that will be held during the upcoming week.

Officials are looking to see if Brown responded to any calls while working the shift in question.

The incident remains under investigation.

No other information was immediately available.

<![CDATA[Father, 2 Sons Killed in Springfield Apartment Fire]]> Sun, 18 Mar 2018 23:34:00 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/216*120/Springfield+MA+Belmont+Ave+fire+031818.jpg

Three people are dead following a Springfield, Massachusetts fire in a four-story apartment building.

The Imam at the Islamic Center of Western Massachusetts says the three were members of his congregation, a father and his two young sons.

"The father went to save the children, and he stayed with them," Imam Wissam Abdul Baki said.

Their bodies were found in a second-floor apartment, the same floor where investigators say the fire started.

"This is obviously a tragic situation that occurred."

The man's wife, who is four months pregnant, was able to escape. She is still in the hospital and is expected to be okay.

Baki says the family immigrated from Somalia years ago. He calls them hardworking and humble.

"Those people are immigrants, came to this country to find the best opportunities but the fate that was waiting for them."

By the time firefighters arrived at the scene on Belmont Avenue just after 7 a.m. Sunday, two people could be seen jumping out of third floor windows, a 30-foot fall.

Fire officials said those who jumped out of the windows included a pregnant woman and child. Those injured in the fire were taken to local hospitals.

Springfield Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi said fire alarms were going off when they got there, but there are no sprinklers in the building. Because of when it was built, the building legally doesn't need any.

Authorities are not yet sure how the fire started but they do know it worked its way up from the second floor.

"There was about a 20-mile-an-hour wind blowing down here this morning," Calvi said. "The rear windows on the second floor failed from the fire damage. Once the windows failed, the wind drove that fire right from the second floor."

In addition to the injured, between 60 to 80 people were displaced by the fire, officials said. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said city officials are working on providing resources to those displaced by the fire.

Video from the scene shows smoke billowing from the building. Firefighters said frigid temperatures on Sunday morning hampered their efforts, making the area surrounding the fire icy as crews worked to knock down the blaze.

Fire investigators were on scene until 9 p.m. Sunday and will return Monday morning.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by Springfield firefighters, the State Fire Marshall's office and state police.

Photo Credit: WWLP]]>
<![CDATA[Cold End to St. Patrick's Day Weekend]]> Sun, 18 Mar 2018 10:25:08 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Today_forecast.jpg

After a frigid start to our Sunday, sunshine prevails allowing temperatures to rebound into the 30s south and 20s north. Yes, that’s a warm-up from this morning’s lows in the single digits to teens. With breezy northwesterly winds over the course of the afternoon, be sure to bundle up in all your green wintry gear as you head out to any of the local St. Patrick’s Day parades taking place.

Tonight, temperatures slip back into the teens to 20s south, a few spots north will slip into the single digits, but it will not be nearly as cold as this morning. Similar to Sunday, the bright and brisk conditions will stick around for Monday and Tuesday. Late Tuesday is when we start to notice a transition to some unsettled weather.

The set-up midweek has New England sandwiched between a strong area of high pressure anchored over southern Canada and a coastal system sliding off the mid-Atlantic coast early Tuesday. By Tuesday night, the outer bands of this coastal system could bring some mix to snow for the Cape and the Islands. These showers could extend into early Wednesday.

Another round of wintry precipitation is likely late Wednesday into early Thursday as another coastal low swings in the similar path as Tuesday night’s system.

This time around, we could see some of those showers advancing slightly farther westward, so southeastern Massachusetts, Cape and Islands and the Downeast Maine coastline could get some accumulating snow, but not nearly as much as last week’s storm.

The bulk of the storm will remain south and east, but gusty winds and battering surf for the already vulnerable shoreline. The forecast of the midweek storms is not set in stone just yet. A wobble in any direction in the track of the midweek systems could make for more snow for southeastern New England or it could be a complete miss and remain far out at sea.

Looks like the next best chance at breaking the 40 degree mark for highs will be by next weekend, so unfortunately, there is no significant warm up in sight. The first day of spring is Tuesday and it looks rather chilly. Next weekend brings a chance for showers late Sunday, otherwise dry for the rest of the weekend.

<![CDATA[Cold St. Patrick's Day; 4th Nor'easter Not Likely]]> Sun, 18 Mar 2018 09:38:06 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Sunday_HIGHS_TODAY.png

It will be sunny, but cold for today's St. Patrick’s Day parades. Temperatures will be well below average in the mid-30s. Colder weather will stick around to start off the coming week.

Nor’easter number 4 is looking less and less likely. We need the break and it appears we will get one. The next coastal storm should be shoved south thanks to a strong area of high pressure anchored over southern Canada.

We will see a glancing blow as rain and snow showers are possible mid-week. Gusty winds at the coast will also build some big waves, which could target the already vulnerable shoreline.

There is no significant warm-up in sight. The first day of spring is Tuesday and it looks rather chilly. Our exclusive 10-day forecast is only showing high temperatures in the mid and upper 40s by day 10.

If you don’t like snow, thankfully that strong March sun is helping the melting process — you can already see grass in some areas!

<![CDATA[Coast Guard Monitoring Repairs of Ferry That Stranded]]> Sun, 18 Mar 2018 23:27:32 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Coast_Guard_Monitoring_Repairs_to_Ferry_That_Stranded.jpg

The Coast Guard is monitoring repairs being made to a ferry that lost power Saturday night while en route to Woods Hole from Martha's Vineyard.

The Motor Vessel Martha's Vineyard became disabled with 78 people and 10 crewmembes on board while it was en route to Woods Hole from Martha's Vineyard. The captain reported the incident to the Coast Guard around 9 p.m.

The Coast Guard Cutter Hammerhead and a boat crew from Coast Guard Station Woods Hole responded and waited on scene while the ferry awaited commercial tow.

The Coast Guard said the disabled boat was anchored outside Vineyard Haven between the East and West Chop.

The MV Martha's Vineyard was towed by three tugs into the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal at 1:30 a.m. where all passengers and crewmembers were safely offloaded.

No injuries were reported, and authorities are investigating the cause of the power loss.

<![CDATA[Man Paralyzed After Being Crushed by Tree During Nor'easter]]> Sat, 17 Mar 2018 21:33:16 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Roslindale_Man_Paralyzed_After_Being_Crushed_by_Tree.jpg

A Boston man is paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life after a tree branch fell on him during last week's nor'easter.

Scott Berry was snowblowing outside of his Roslindale home on March 8 when a branch came down on him. His daughter was among the first to rush to his aid.

"The first thing I heard was 'Caitlyn, Caitlyn, wake up, a tree just fell on your father,'" Caitlyn Berry said. "The first thing he said was 'I can't feel my legs.'"

Scott never heard or saw the branch coming, as he was wearing headphones to drown out the sound of the snowblower. The snapped limb weighed too much for the family and the EMTs who arrived on the scene to lift.

"They ended up having to call the fire department because the people in the ambulance couldn't lift it off of him," said Caitlyn Berry.

Thousands of dollars raised through a Gofundme page and the Greg Hill foundation will go towards the family's medical costs and modifying the home to be handicap accessible.

<![CDATA[4th Consecutive Nor'easter Unlikely Due to Bitter Cold]]> Sat, 17 Mar 2018 23:39:17 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/WX+031718.jpg

The prospect of a fourth nor'easter is looking less and less likely.

It's been an exhausting stretch over the last two weeks. The three nor'easters have reshaped our shoreline, dumped record amounts of snow and left hundreds of thousands of people in the dark for days. We need the break, and it appears we will get one.

The next coastal storm should be shoved south, thanks to a strong area of high pressure anchored over southern Canada. We will see a glancing blow. Rain and snow showers are possible mid-week. Gusty winds at the coast will also build some big waves, which could target the already vulnerable shoreline.

There is no significant warm-up in sight. The first day of spring is Tuesday and it looks rather chilly. Our exclusive 10-day forecast is only showing high temperatures in the mid and upper 40s by day 10. If you don't like snow, thankfully that strong March sun is helping the melting process – you can already see grass in some areas!

If you're keeping track of snowfall in Boston, Logan International Airport has received 57.2 inches so far this season! That's more than a foot and a half above average. Even though this next nor'easter appears to be a miss, we still have plenty of time to add to that total.

<![CDATA['Welcome Home!': Navy Mom Surprise Kids at School Assembly]]> Sat, 17 Mar 2018 15:58:18 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000013613564.JPG

Two students at a Massachusetts elementary school had a special surprise this week when their mother, a Navy officer, showed up at an assembly for a welcome home ceremony after her deployment.

In a video released by Plymouth Public Schools, South Elementary School students Emma and Cameron ran up to their mother, Chief Petty Officer Katherine Ayer, as she walked into the gym after coming home from her deployment.

Soon, the entire room stood up and clapped during the reunion, as Cameron and Emma hugged their mother.

A faculty member speaking to students said they were thanking Chief Petty Officer Ayers for her service.

Photo Credit: EDTV]]>
<![CDATA[Mass. AG Investigating Facebook, Cambridge Analytica]]> Sat, 17 Mar 2018 23:32:52 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-577700812.jpg

Massachusetts' attorney general is launching an investigation into the data-analysis firm that worked for President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, which is facing allegations it kept inappropriately obtained user information after telling Facebook the company had deleted it.

Maura Healey announced the probe Saturday afternoon.

"Massachusetts residents deserve answers immediately from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica," Healey tweeted. "We are launching an investigation."

Facebook announced Friday that they had suspended the accounts of Strategic Communication Laboratories, including the company's political data firm, Cambridge Analytica, after a University of Cambridge psychology professor passed on an app's data that used a Facebook Login to SCL and Cambridge Analytica.

The app, "thisisyourdigitallife," reportedly provided a personality test, and presented itself on social media as "a research app used by psychologists." It was downloaded by about 270,000 people, according to Facebook, and allowed the psychology professor, Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, access to data such as location, pages they had liked, and even access to who their friends were, if their friends had lower privacy settings.

Kogan allegedly then passed along the data to SCL/Cambridge Analytica and Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies.

Although Facebook did not release how many user profiles were affected, the New York Times reports that Cambridge Analytica ultimately amassed data from more than 50 million profiles as a result of the data provided by Kogan.

Cambridge Analytica reportedly told Facebook it had destroyed the data in 2015, but Facebook said it recently received reports that not all the data had been deleted.

"We are moving aggressively to determine the accuracy of these claims," Facebook VP & Deputy General Counsel Paul Grewal wrote online. "If true, this is another unacceptable violation of trust and the commitments they made."

Grewal said SCL/Cambridge Analytica, Kogan and Wylie may face legal action, in addition to having their accounts suspended.

Cambridge Analytica denied wrongdoing in a series of tweets online.

"Reality Check: Cambridge Analytica uses client and commercially and publicly available data; we don't use or hold any Facebook data," the firm said. "CA did not use any Facebook data for the 2016 Trump campaign."

Facebook has faced controversy as a result of the company's response to the 2016 election, including around the influence of Russian-bought ads.

Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica is facing scrutiny, including how it's funded by the family of billionaire donor Robert Mercer, who supported Trump's campaign and the campaigns of other conservative candidates.

The data-analytics firm has also been brought up a few times in the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including when its CEO said in November that the company reached out to WikiLeaks' Julian Assange during the campaign in an attempt to obtain emails in connection with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign. Cambridge Analytica has denied involvement in Russian election interference.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police: Standoff Ends After Barricaded Man Surrenders]]> Sat, 17 Mar 2018 20:44:01 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/DYgkN8dV4AEPL6U.jpg

An hourslong standoff ended Saturday evening after a man who was barricaded inside a Massachusetts home surrendered, police say.

State and local police responded around 11:30 a.m. to Harold Bishop Boulevard in North Attleboro, where they say an armed man would not come out.

State police's STOP team and a crisis negotiator were on the scene.

Police said around 8:30 p.m. that the man had surrendered and authorities had secured the weapon he had.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: WJAR]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Charged in Fatal East Haven Stabbing]]> Sun, 18 Mar 2018 09:48:01 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/EAST-HAVEN-STABBING-ARREST.jpg

A 27-year-old man is dead and a woman has been arrested after a stabbing during a domestic incident at an apartment in East Haven Saturday, according to East Haven police.

Police said a man was stabbed by a woman in a first-floor apartment at the Foxon Woods apartment complex on Old Foxon Road around 12:45 a.m.

The victim, identified as New Haven resident Glenton Whyte, was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital where he died of his injuries. 

The woman involved in the incident, identified as 28-year-old Cleisha Greene, was arrested. She was charged with second-degree manslaughter and issued a $250,000 bond.

Police told NBC Connecticut this is a case of domestic violence, but said they’ve never dealt with the pair before. The investigation into what led up to the stabbing is still early and they aren’t ruling anything out.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/East Haven Police
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<![CDATA[Report: Patrick Chung Signing Contract Extension With Pats]]> Sat, 17 Mar 2018 11:08:47 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-876404700.jpg

Safety Patrick Chung is signing a contract extension with the New England Patriots, according to the NFL Network.

NFL Inside Ian Rapoport tweeted Saturday that Chung is expected to sign the short-term contract extension, per sources, meaning his impressive second stint with the team will continue.

Chung tweeted Saturday that "sometimes things just happen out of nowhere," seemingly offering a reaction to the contract extension.

Chung was due $2 mllion in 2018, the last year of his current deal. The starting safety was re-signed by the Patriots on April 3, 2014, after one season with the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Head Coach Bill Belichick had strong praise for Chung just a few days before this year's Super Bowl, saying at the time, "he's one of the best players in the league, one of the best players on our team."

The safety's contract extension comes after a busy week for the Patriots. First it was the mass exodus of players like Danny Amendola, Nate Solder, Dion Lewis, and Malcolm Butler. That was followed by a flurry of signings, including the reported signing of defensive end Adrian Clayborn from the Atlanta Falcons, running back Jeremy Hill from the Cincinnati Bengals and offensive tackle Matt Tobin from the Seattle Seahawks.

The team also acquired defensive tackle Danny Shelton and cornerback Jason McCourty in separate trades with the Cleveland Browns, and New England re-signed running back Rex Burkhead, as well.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Where to Find St. Patrick's Day Deals]]> Sat, 17 Mar 2018 11:16:50 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/243*120/dunkin+donuts+sign.jpg

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

On Saturday, everyone can have the luck of the Irish with some businesses offering holiday deals.

The shamrock shake is available at McDonald's for $2, with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House charities.

Baskin-Robbins is giving free samples of their mint chip n' oreo cookies milkshake from 3-7 p.m.

Twelve lucky customers will get a chance to win a year's supply of free donuts at Dunkin' by sharing how you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Dunkin' Donuts by using the hashtags #DDLuckyDozen and #Sweepstakes on Twitter and Instagram. One grand prize winner will receive a trip to the Dunkin' Donuts headquarters in Boston and get to create their own donuts in the test kitchen.

Chili's has a drink called the Lucky Jameson (an Irish spin on a margarita, made with Jameson whiskey), which is available for just $5.

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<![CDATA[Website Ranks Best Cities to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day]]> Sat, 17 Mar 2018 09:49:25 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Best_cities_for_st._patrick_s_day.jpg

According to one website, Boston is the second best city in the country to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Chicago took the top spot, according to the Tripping.com list, because you can go green in the Windy City by watching the Chicago River dyed green.

Boston's second-place spot acknowledges that the city's annual parade is perhaps the most popular in the nation.

Philadelphia took third, as the city claims to have the largest bar crawl.

In fourth, Dublin...Ohio. It may not be Ireland but this small Ohio town has a great parade, a pancake breakfast and Irish shops and pubs.

Rounding out the top five is New York City, which has one of the biggest St. Pat's Day parades.

New Orleans takes the sixth spot, boasting an entire week of parades.

In the last spot on the list is San Diego, where they have an annual ShamROCK all-day party with Irish bands and green pints of beer. 

Whichever city you're celebrating in, Tripping.com says it's these seven cities that won't disappoint on March 17.

<![CDATA[Beloved Fallen Firefighter Honored With Watertown Memorial]]> Sat, 17 Mar 2018 13:09:59 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/187*120/watertown+memorial.jpg

A beloved Massachusetts firefighter who died while battling a blaze in 2017 was honored Saturday on the anniversary of his death.

Watertown Firefighter Joseph Toscano, a married father of five, died on March 17, 2017 afer collapsing at the scene of a 2-alarm fire on Merrifield Avenue. City officials said he collapsed from an apparent heart attack.

On Saturday, one year after his death, Watertown honored Toscano with a memorial dedication ceremony at the corner of Merrifield Avenue and Bigelow Avenue, where they revealed Joseph Toscano Square.

It had been 12 months since some have had the courage to return to the place where Toscano died.

"It was very difficult for me to come back by here for a long time and when I did come by it was hard for me to look at the house," Fire Chief Robert Quinn said.

Toscano's wife Marueen said through tears that her husband would have been deeply touched to have his name on the corner in Watertown where they first met 27 years ago.

The entire Watertown fire department came out to the dedication ceremony Saturday morning to honor Toscano, who is remembered as a "man of great integrity and honor" with a "heart of gold." 

"It's beautiful, beautiful," Maureen said, "and it really does give us strenth."

For many, they are trading in painful memories of loss and replacing them with a memorial where they can come and remember a remarkable man.

"Just his committment and his loyalty. He just loved the fire department and it shows," Maureen said.

Just like Toscano's long-lasting effect on his community and loved ones, Joseph Toscano Square will be around for years to come.

The 54-year-old was a 20-year veteran of the fire department. More than 1,000 firefighters and other public servants lined up in rows to pay respects to one of their own as Toscano's body was carried into St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Watertown.

"May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warmly upon your face. May the rain fall softly, and until we meet agin, may God hold you in his hand."

<![CDATA[Snow Flurry or Shower Possible on Cold, Windy St. Pat's Day]]> Sat, 17 Mar 2018 09:53:17 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/031718+wx+blog.png

While New Englanders revert to the winter coat, hat and gloves, winter sports enthusiasts will revel in the new 3-5 feet of snow that’s fallen in Northern New England over the past week to 10 days, bringing some of the best conditions for skiing, boarding and snowmobiling, save for some possible lift holds due to gusty wind this weekend.

Saturday morning brings a quick-moving disturbance that will enhance the chilly air and also will deliver some scattered snow squalls late morning or midday to Southern New England.

Cold dry weather is expected to round out the Sunday Parades, temperatures start out in the single numbers and teens, warming to near freezing tomorrow.

Next week starts fairly quiet and chilly, but a larger storm approaches by late Tuesday or Tuesday night. This storm will be yet another one that reorganizes off the Eastern Seaboard, meaning the potential exists for yet another nor’easter.

It’s still early and there’s plenty of time to work out the details, but our exclusive, in-house guidance continues to show greater than 50-percent chance the storm impacts New England Tuesday night through Wednesday, with some plowable snow possible, particularly in Southern New England.

Suffice to say, we’ll be keeping a close eye on this one…though behind it, the weather should quiet for at least the start of next weekend, when temperatures may reach the 40s, but the next system is likely on our doorstep.

<![CDATA[Family of Slain Woman Upset With Killer's Plea Deal]]> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 23:59:02 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Family_Angered_by_Manslaughter_Plea_Deal_in_Mom_s_Death.jpg

The family of a late Massachusetts woman is not happy her killer was given a plea deal.

Jason Fleury, 37, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2014 death of 25-year-old Jaimee Mendez. Prosecutors say he dumped her body in the ocean months before it washed up on shore in Swampscott.

Fleury was sentenced to 17 years in prison, but will get credit for time served.

Mendez's family is stunned and angry.

The young mother’s family had been through a rollercoaster of pain, starting with her disappearance in November 2014, her body washing up on King’s Beach in pieces, long months waiting for the state Medical Examiner to release her body, and finally with police charging then 37-year-old Jason Fleury with her murder nine months after she went missing.

Mendez's mother did not hold back as she addressed Fleury in court.

"I want him to know that if you don't feel her yet, you will. You will feel her," she said. "You took her rom her son."

Prosecutors said they had strong evidence, including Mendez's blood in Fleury's car, but they gave him a deal to trade a murder trial for a manslaughter conviction.

"I wanted him to get life without parole," Mendez's mother said.

The last anyone heard from Mendez was when she called a friend to say she was with a man who made her nervous. That man, prosecutors say, was Fleury, a convicted sex offender who fled to Virginia after she went missing.

Nine months later, he was charged with her murder, but few details about how and why Mendez was killed have ever been released. Her family hoped they’d get answers at his trial, which was slated to start in two weeks.

“You try not to fall apart every single day,” the victim's aunt, Beatrice Mendez, said through tears Thursday. “You put on a face to go on and get ready for something that is going to rip your heart out.”

<![CDATA[Not Done Yet: Patriots Keep Making Additions After Losses]]> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 21:55:41 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Jeremy+Hill+Matt+Tobin+Adrian+Clayborn.jpg

As the dust settles from a hectic week in Foxboro, maybe the demise of the New England Patriots isn't as imminent as it seems after all.

The Patriots reportedly signed defensive end Adrian Clayborn away from the Atlanta Falcons, running back Jeremy Hill away from the Cincinnati Bengals and offensive tackle Matt Tobin away from the Seattle Seahawks late Friday. The signings cap off a week which began with mass departures from Foxboro, but also included the acquisitions of defensive tackle Danny Shelton and cornerback Jason McCourty in separate trades with the Cleveland Browns, as well as the re-signing of running back Rex Burkhead.

Clayborn and Shelton were both first round picks upon entering the NFL. McCourty, of course, is the twin brother of New England safety Devin McCourty. He, along with Shelton, will be moving from a team that went 1-31 over the last two seasons to a team that’s played in each of the last two Super Bowls.

Clayborn, who'll turn 30 prior to the start of training camp, signed a two-year, $12 million contract, according to multiple reports. A seven-year veteran, Clayborn registered a career-high 9.5 sacks last season with Atlanta, although that total is a bit misleading: six came in a single game against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 12. Nevertheless, the sack total was the highest since his rookie year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011, when he had 7.5.

His addition provides some much-needed depth along the edge for the Patriots, who also have Trey Flowers, Deatrich Wise Jr. and Eric Lee signed for next season. Clayborn did not suit up for the Falcons in Super Bowl LI against New England after suffering a torn bicep earlier in the postseason.

Hill, 25, spent the first four seasons of his career with the Bengals, who drafted him in the second round in 2014. After rushing for 1,124 yards in his first year in the league – averaging a robust 5.1 yards per carry in the process – Hill has seen his production level off, failing to crack 1,000 yards again and never averaging more than 3.8 yards per carry in a single season.

Through his first three seasons in the league, however, Hill had 29 rushing touchdowns – tied for most in the NFL over that span, along with former Patriots' runner LeGarrette Blount. In seven games last season, he had just 116 yards on 37 carries. He's the second back in as many off-seasons to join New England via Cincinnati, following Burkhead.

With the 27-year-old Burkhead back in the fold as well, the Patriots' depth chart in the backfield also consists of James White, Mike Gillislee and Brandon Bolden, the latter of whom is primarily a special teamer. It goes without saying New England should still draft a running back next month. Burkhead signed a three-year, $9.75 million with the Patriots on Wednesday.

Shelton, 24, was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2015 draft, the same draft which produced current Patriot defensive lineman Malcom Brown with the last pick of the first round (No. 32). At 6-foot-2, 343 pounds, Shelton is the closest thing New England has had to Vince Wilfork since he departed following the 2014 season. In 46 career games – 44 starts – Shelton has 1.5 sacks, 71 tackles and a pass defended.

The Patriots gave up a 2018 third-round pick to acquire Shelton, while also receiving a 2018 fifth-round pick back from the Browns.

Jason McCourty came from Cleveland with a 2018 seventh-round pick, with New England giving a 2018 sixth-rounder back.

Jason and Devin McCourty are identical twins, although Jason left Rutgers a year earlier than Devin and has been in the NFL since the Tennessee Titans drafted him in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL draft.

Despite an extra year of service time in the league, Jason has never appeared in a postseason game. The Titans missed the playoffs in each of his eight seasons in Nashville, only to get back to the postseason a year after he departed. Devin's Patriots have had a first-round bye in each of his first eight seasons.

In his lone season with Cleveland, when the Browns became just the second team in league history to go 0-16, Jason McCourty appeared in 14 games, recording three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and defended 14 passes.

Communication issues certainly shouldn't exist between the McCourty brothers in the secondary, although whether Jason winds up starting alongside Stephon Gilmore at corner remains to be seen. Eric Rowe, Jonathan Jones and Cyrus Jones are also on New England's depth chart at the position.

Tobin, 27, first signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He appeared in 15 games last season with Seattle, all as a reserve, and has 21 career starts in 57 games.

For a week that began with the losses of wide receiver Danny Amendola to the Miami Dolphins, left tackle Nate Solder to the New York Giants and running back Dion Lewis and cornerback Malcolm Butler to the Titans, the Patriots have done quite well for themselves in re-stocking their roster.

Some of New England's key free agents who remain unsigned include special teams captain Matthew Slater and offensive tackles LaAdrian Waddle and Cam Fleming.

There's still more questions than answers when it comes to tight end Rob Gronkowski returning, too. But as expected, the Patriots have staved off the sky from falling too far just yet.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Seth Moulton and Joe Kennedy: Friends or Rivals?]]> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 20:14:55 -0400 https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Moulton_and_Kennedy_Address_Rivalry_Rumors.jpg

It's a growing topic of conversation among Massachusetts politicos — Seth Moulton or Joe Kennedy? With both congressmen considered future presidential candidates, the rivalry rumors are flying. So is it true?

Moulton says no.

"We're in the same workout room, we worked out this morning. We were literally right next to each other doing diamond pushups," he said.

If there's a rivalry, Kennedy is not letting on, either.

"Oh, come on," he said.

Asked to set the record straight — friend or foe — Kennedy laughed.

"Friend," he said. "Give me a break."

Moulton and Kennedy have high profiles on Capitol Hill – for different reasons. On paper, the two are quite similar: both are 30-something, Harvard educated, liberal, white congressman from Massachusetts. It's their approach that differs: Moulton is a former Marine captain who got elected by taking on a fellow long-serving Democrat. He stepped forward after Donald Trump won in 2016 calling for new, fresh leadership to replace House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"I don't think it hurt my standing in the House," Moulton said. "It probably hurt my standing with her a little bit."

By contrast, Kennedy has shown a greater willingness to work within the party structure. He is known as a workhorse who has recently taken on a more public role. The grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and great nephew of President John F. Kennedy was tapped by Pelosi to give the Democratic rebuttal to President Trump's State of the Union.

"It's exciting," Kennedy said. "It's nice to see that the message that the speech seems to have resonated, Chapstickgate aside."

Their different styles are considered emblematic of the two different paths facing the Democratic party — Moulton, bold and rebellious; Kennedy, patient and measured. Is that an accurate description?

"That's what people say, but I think people are creating this rivalry to make some interesting news," Moulton said.

"I can see why that's a story to tell," Kennedy said. "I think that that's probably more story than substance."

Kennedy invited Moulton to be part of his morning workout group and Moulton invited Kennedy to his wedding last September. They are often seen walking together on their way to cast votes in the House. The friendship certainly seems to be authentic. Moulton says he calls Kennedy often for advice and there is frequent texting between them. Kennedy praises Moulton's service to the country and says he's a leading voice on foreign policy and a valued voice in the house.