Benjamin Sammis

Craig Waterman

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Saving Our Rehoboth Stories for the Future World

(December 29, 2010) The Carpenter Museum is hosting a free “How-To” on gathering oral histories on Sunday, February 13 at 2 PM.  Anne Valk, a professor from Brown University will explain how to gather oral histories from our families and community members.  Following her discussion, a workshop will be held for Rehoboth high school students who will be conducting oral history interviews with local farmers for the museum’s upcoming project: “UnEarthing Rehoboth’s Farming Past.”  All those interested in learning more are invited to attend.  Please call the museum for more info at 508-252-3031 or you can email carpentermuseum@gmail.com.


Public Safety Crews Respond to Holiday Accidents

(December 27, 2010) Rehoboth police, fire and EMS responded to two motor vehicle accidents on the Christmas holiday.  The first occurred on Friday, December 24 shortly after 3 PM in the area of 344 Tremont street (pictured above) when the responding police unit requested an ambulance to transport the driver, who was alone in the vehicle, to the hospital for evaluation. 

  The vehicle involved, a pick-up truck, crossed the roadway and sideswiped a utility pole on the north side of Tremont, crossed the roadway again and came to rest on a resident’s lawn.

    On Christmas night, there was two vehicle crash on Tremont Street just east of Smith Street with three people involved.  One was transported to the hospital as a precaution while emergency crews remained on the scene until both vehicles were towed away.  Both accidents remain under investigation by the Rehoboth Police Department.


Rehoboth Cultural Council Announces Grantees

(December 24, 2010) The Rehoboth Cultural Council, through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, receives an allotment of funds each year for community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences.  The local council, consisting of Rehoboth residents, has announced the 2011 grant recipients who will receive funding, in part or whole, for their programs or projects. 

    The council surveyed the Rehoboth community to understand which programs would be of interest.  The results of that survey, along with application eligibility were given priority in the council’s decision-making to grant funds to those programs they felt would benefit the Rehoboth community members of all ages and interests. 

   The Massachusetts Cultural Council is part of the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation. Grant recipients must acknowledge the local cultural council that gave the grant, as well as the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

   The Rehoboth Cultural Council congratulates the 2011 grant recipients:

Multidisciplinary programs including:  two projects at the Carpenter Museum - Unearthing Rehoboth’s Farming Past: An Oral History Project, and Open Hearth Cooking, a program from Plimouth Plantation. Davis Bates & Roger Ticknell’s Under One Sky: A Multi-Cultural Celebration.  Rehoboth PTSA for Ben Edwards, Sons of Liberty & Paul Revere’s North End Tour and New Bedford Whaling Museum field trip. Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School for Ancient Cultures at Worcester Art Museum.  Women at Work Museum in Attleboro for the Work at Play program.

Music programs including:  Arts in the Village for Piano Concerto concert. John Root for Popular Music of the Gaslight Era concert.  The ARC of Northern Bristol County for Changing the World for People with Disabilities concert by Flame.

History program:  for the Blanding Library to purchase a library membership/library pass to Plimoth Plantation for use by library users.

Visual Arts programs including:  the Rehoboth PTSA for Rhode Island School of Design trip.  SMARTS Collaborative for their Touring Art Exhibit.

Local Art for:  Melissa Treichler, local folk artist.


BOS and Police Chief Enos Hold Private Discussion

(December 21, 2010) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen met with Rehoboth Police Chief Stephen Enos in a private meeting prior to the public portion of the regularly scheduled selectmen’s meeting. 

    None of the three selectmen or Chief Enos made a statement regarding the content of their private meeting, presumably about an incident on the evening of December 10 after Enos attended a function at the Riviera Inn on North Broadway in East Providence and was later locked out of his unmarked police vehicle.  

   While no crimes were committed or charges issued, the incident has garnered sensational media coverage based on both innuendo and information obtained from the officer witness statement written by EP patrolman Richard Cordeiro who responded to a call made by an unknown person reporting suspicious activity in a residential area a block away from the restaurant.

     According to his report, officer Cordeiro said Enos, who he recognized at that point, informed him “that he had been drinking and requested my assistance.”  Cordeiro wrote,  “I did not believe Enos to be intoxicated to the degree that he would not be able to take care of himself but insisted that he did not walk to his destination.”  Officer Cordeiro was then granted permission over the police radio to transport the involved “party” to an address in Pawtucket.

    According to the report, Enos had informed officer Cordeiro early on that his service weapon was locked inside the cruiser along with a set of personal keys. The Rehoboth police cruiser, according to the officer witness statement, was found locked in the rear of the Riviera Inn parking lot and secured.  It was later towed under police escort to the EP police station for safe keeping.   

   The situation will be discussed in more detail in a public forum at the selectmen’s meeting to be held on January 3, 2011 at the Senior Center.   

   Until then town officials and Chief Enos are not making any official public statements despite hearsay and erroneous information published in the media and online blogs.  Enos has been the Rehoboth Police Chief since 2008 following a lengthy tenure with the East Providence Police. 


Selectmen Have Varied Agenda for Tonight’s Meeting

(December 20, 2010) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will be conducting public business at the Senior Center beginning at 7:30 following a private executive session to discuss litigation, contracts and a personnel issue.

      The first item on the public agenda will be the swearing in of Timothy J. Bartucca as a new Rehoboth police officer.

   According to the published agenda, the BOS will hold a public hearing on an application for a Class II Auto License for All Out Motor Sports on Winthrop Street, and a liquor license renewal for Alison’s Cork & Bottle.

     There will be a discussion with Conscom member Alan Gosselin on the Clerkbase Minute Transcribing System and REMA appointments as well as a discussion on a license application for antique dealer Tom Robinson for the Anawan Trading Post. 

    Among other business, there will be an update of solar projects by Peter Fine and a discussion with David House from the Energy Committee on Ameresco Lease and Power purchase agreement contracts and tax options. 

   There will also be a continuation of discussion about granting a license to the Bristol County Water Authority to access town roadways.


Blizzard of Giving Extended - Please Be Generous

(December 18, 2010) The annual town-wide Blizzard of Giving program has been extended to December 22.  In other words, all donation boxes will remain in place until then, but PLEASE make your donations as soon as possible to allow for pick-up, sorting, wrapping and delivery.  Check the ad in the right side column for list of donations locations.  Thanks!


Plain St. Trash Truck Fire Under Investigation

(December 15, 2010) Rehoboth firefighters were dispatched to a report of a truck fire on Plain Street on Monday, December 13 that remains under investigation.

   Battalion Chief Noons arrived on scene and reported a fully involved commercial trash truck parked close to a building. With Station #3 already handling another call, Stations #1 & #2 responded.

   The fire presented several challenges including accessing the steel box part of the truck that was loaded with trash. Firefighters placed several ladders on the truck and cut holes in the steel to access the fire. Water was supplied by tanker trucks that were reloaded from the water hole at Station #3.

   Firefighters were on scene for close to two hours due to the extensive overhaul that was needed to completely extinguish the fire. Firefighters were assisted on scene by Rehoboth EMS for rehab and Rescue 7 with their light tower.


Fun and Festive Rehoboth Events This Weekend

(December 10, 2010) You won’t have to travel very far to enjoy some entertaining events this weekend.

   On Friday night: the Rehoboth PTSA is sponsoring a Family Movie Night on Friday at 6 PM in the Palmer River School cafeteria.  Rehoboth Contra Dance will feature caller Nils Fredland and Rumblestrip at Goff Memorial Hall at 8 PM. 

   On Saturday: Rehoboth TRIAD is hosting Breakfast with Santa at the Senior Center from 9 to 11 AM. The Rehoboth Business Association is sponsoring a Helping Hands Food Pantry Drop-off from 9 AM to noon at American Form on Route 44.  A tree lighting will be held at Bristol County Savings Bank sponsored by the Rehoboth Anawan Lion’s Club at 3 PM featuring the  Beckwith Middle School band followed by festivities at Francis Farm including visits with Santa and hayrides.  Arts in the Village presents The Russian Duo in concert at Goff Memorial Hall at 7:30 PM. 

  On Sunday:  A Senior Holiday Luncheon will be held at Hillside Country Club at noon and the Sunday Night Jammers will hold a potluck dinner at 6 PM followed by music and dancing at Goff Memorial Hall.

    For more details about any of the events above, visit the Calendar.


MA State Police to Host Sobriety Checkpoints

(December 10, 2010) With holiday parties in full swing, the Massachusetts State Police will be operating sobriety checkpoints “somewhere in Bristol County” on Saturday night into Sunday morning.  According to state police officials, the purpose of the checkpoints is to remove drunk drivers from the road and strengthen public awareness.  They have announced the checkpoints in advance to “reduce public fear and anxiety, assure safety and minimize inconveniences to motorists.”


Carbon Monoxide in Home Sends Five to Hospitals

(December 9, 2010) After a report of a carbon monoxide detector going off in a Homestead Avenue home on Wednesday night, Rehoboth firefighters responded and discovered three children and two adults in the home.  The children were transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence and the two adults to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.


RFD Issues New Patch

(December 7, 2010) A new patch for the Rehoboth Fire Department has been created In memory of the late Ken Marshall, Jr, age 33, the first firefighter to die while on duty in Rehoboth history.


D-R ProMusica to Perform at Taunton Lighting

(December 3, 2010) The ProMusica choral group from Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School will perform at tonight’s “Lights On” event on the Taunton Green.  In a century-old holiday tradition, the Taunton Green is decorated with thousands of lights and holiday attractions.  The festivities being at 5:30 p.m. with more than twenty downtown businesses hosting performances and demonstrations.  One of the new features this year is a 20 x 40 skating rink.  Admission buttons are available for $8 at the gate, or in advance for $6 at downtown businesses today.    


Fund Established to Benefit Marshall Children

(December 3, 2010)   A fund has been established to benefit the two young children of volunteer firefighter Ken Marshall, Jr.  Donations may be send to: The Marshall Children’s Fund, P.O. Box 7201, Cumberland, Rhode Island, 02864.  The fund was set up by Marshall’s Rhode Island employer.


Services Set for Young Fallen Rehoboth Firefighter

(November 27, 2010) Services have been set for Kenneth Marshall, Jr., a fifteen-year veteran of the Rehoboth Fire Department who passed away after suffering a medical emergency while on duty Thanksgiving night.    He is the first firefighter to die while on duty in the history of the Rehoboth Fire Department. 

   Along with other firefighters responding to a fire call at 9:30 PM, Marshall was behind the wheel of a fire engine exiting a bay of the Station One fire station when he suddenly fell unconscious.  His fellow firefighters quickly stopped the fire apparatus and began administering emergency care.  Marshall was quickly transported with a police escort to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro and could not be revived.

   A press conference was held at 10 AM on Saturday morning outside the black bunting-draped Station One RFD headquarters.  While privacy was requested at this time for the Marshall family, an announcement was made that a college fund is being set up for Marshall’s two young children.  More information is available on the RFD website, along with information about funeral arrangements and a page for memorial comments.


RFD Suffers Loss of Firefighter While On Duty

(November 26, 2010) Firefighter Ken Marshall, Jr.. age 33, suffered a medical emergency while responding to a fire call Thanksgiving night at approximately 9:30 PM and was transported to Sturdy Memorial Hospital where he later died.  Fellow firefighters performed CPR and Rehoboth Police escorted the ambulance to Attleboro.

  A fifteen-year veteran of the RFD, Marshall was a third-generation firefighter and leaves a wife and two children, age 3 and 6 years.

  Fire Chief Robert Pray, along with members of the Rehoboth Fire Department, express the deepest sympathy to the Marshall family. 


Public Hearing on Community Preservation Projects

(November 24, 2010) A public hearing will be held on December 8 at 7:30 PM at the Rehoboth Town Office for residents to review three potential projects under consideration for Community Preservation Act funding.

   The Rehoboth Community Preservation Committee (CPC) has received three proposals from residents that will be available for review on December 8.  The CPC welcomes comments and suggestions from the public.  All three projects are seeking funds from the historic resources category.  

   The three proposals are:  1)  Rehoboth Cemetery Map submitted by Cheryl Wyman, a volunteer with the Cemetery Commission; 2) Digital Preservation of Carpenter Museum Slide Transparency Collection submitted by Laura Napolitano of the museum; and 3) Hornbine School window repair submitted by Cathy Potter of the Historical Commission.   


Reconsiderations Fail:  Remaining Articles Pass

(November 23, 2010) With 279 residents in the auditorium, the Special Town Meeting reconvened last night at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School and concluded all business as well as motions to reconsider previously voted-on warrant articles.

    A motion to reconsider approving funds to repair the roof of the old Anawan School was defeated 127 to 143 after much discussion by both sides.  A two-thirds vote was needed to reconsider spending $30,000 from the Community Preservation Fund to repair a building that was only recently inspected by the health agent and found to have extreme black mold and a flood-damaged basement. The building is unused except for a casual storage place by the town office.

   Another motion to reconsider involved the previously defeated article to petition the general court for special legislation restricting persons from holding either elected or appointed town office if they have a criminal record.   Despite Selectman Don Leffort’s appeal to reconsider the article, that also authorized the town to do criminal background checks on anyone wishing to run for office or be appointed to a committee, a voice vote defeated the motion.

   Language changes and modifications were made on articles relating to the solar energy by-law and authorizing selectmen to sign a lease for photovoltaic power production facility at the landfill.  The language alterations were explained and discussed in detail before residents voted to approve the articles paving the way for Rehoboth, a Right to Farm Community, to “farm the sun” in the words of David House of the Energy Committee.

    The article relating to increasing the number of selectmen three to five members was passed by a simple majority vote, but the article underwent a title and language change because such a change would first entail approval by the General Court to amend the town by-laws. Voters approved the next step of petitioning the General Court for approval to amend by-laws to increase the number of selectmen. 

    The article to set up a revolving account for the Conservation Commission passed.


Seventy 2011 D-R Grads Awarded Adams Scholarships

(November 22, 2010) The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recently announced that more than 18,000 students in the class of 2011 have been awarded the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, qualifying them for free tuition at any Massachusetts public college or university. Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School has been notified that seventy students from the class of 2011 will be eligible to receive that award.

     This prestigious scholarship is based on a student’s performance on the grade 10 MCAS English Language Arts and Math tests. To qualify, a student must score Advanced on one exam and either Proficient or Advanced on the other, and rank within the top 25 percent of students in their district.

     Adams Scholarship recipients receive free tuition at any Massachusetts public college or university. The tuition waiver remains in effect for eight consecutive semesters or four years. Recipients must begin to use the waiver in the first fall semester following their high school graduation, and must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better throughout the time of the waiver.

     The Adams Scholarship is the state's only merit-based tuition waiver program, and was established to help families pay for college, create an incentive for students to push themselves academically and encourage them to pursue higher education in Massachusetts.


Attend Part II of the Fall Town Meeting on Monday

(November 19, 2010) The continuation of the Fall Town Meeting will be held on Monday, November 22 from 7:30 PM in the auditorium at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School. On the agenda will be two solar energy related articles (16 and 18) including authorization to sign a lease for a photovoltaic power production facility at the town landfill.  The remaining articles relate to the elected position of stormwater officer (19), vote to amend by-laws for five selectmen instead of three (20), authorizing a revolving account for the conservation commission (21) and any other business “as may legally come before said meeting.”


Rehoboth’s Veterans Honored Ceremony/Lunch

(November 13, 2010)  A collection of Rehoboth citizens including officials, veterans, police, family members, and even youngsters from a local childcare gathered to honor Rehoboth’s veterans on Thursday beginning with a flag ceremony at 11 AM followed by a luncheon attended by about 75 town veterans.  The full story with photos is the on the Veterans page.


Town Meeting: Yes to Solar Energy, No to New Roof

(November 9, 2010)  Part One of the Rehoboth Fall Town Meeting began with moment of silence for ailing Beverly Procopio, the “First Lady of Rehoboth.”  Following a shuffling of articles on the evening’s agenda, 382 residents listened, questioned and sometimes spoke passionately.

   The first five articles passed including: transfer of funds and paying bills, painting the Highway Department’s fuel tanks, purchase of financial software for the town accountant and funding network rewiring at the Rehoboth Town Offices. 

   Residents voted no to use $30,000 from the Community Preservation Fund to repair the roof of the old Anawan School, a historic building in decrepit condition. According to previous inspections performed for the town, the building would need massive repairs and restoration including a new well, if it were to ever be inhabited again.

    Voters approved reallocation of funds: $22,986.73 into the Rehoboth Agricultural and Natural Resources Preservation Trust Fund and $4,500 into the Rehoboth Emergency Management budget. 

    The lease of three police vehicles was approved along with the lease of a new fire department command vehicle and $12,000 to repair the roof on the North Fire Station.

   Two articles asked residents to authorize the town to petition the General Court for special legislation to: revise the town’s recall process and to authorize background checks on individuals seeking public office or appointment to any town committee.  While the background check article was defeated, the proposed revision to the town’s recall process  was “tabled for defeat” in an administrative maneuver with 231 “yes” votes and 91 “no” votes. 

   Residents voted to increase the Transfer Station budget by an additional $15,000 and approved one of three articles paving the way for large-scale solar energy projects, projected to save the town $2.9 million over twenty years.

    The other two solar energy related articles including authorization to sign a lease for a photovoltaic power production facility at the town landfill, will be on the agenda for the continuation of the Fall Town Meeting on Monday, November 22 beginning at 7:30 in the auditorium at DRRHS.  


Palmer River Students Budding Philanthropists

(November 4, 2010)  The staff and students of Palmer River Elementary have traditionally worked on projects that help others in need, but last Friday they got a generous boost from Rhode Island philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein who promised to donate a dollar for every food item donated by students for a recent collective drive for Helping Hands Food Pantry.    Boxes and boxes of donated food items were donated last week.

    The connection with the Feinstein Foundation began with a letter from second grade teacher Sandra Colavolpe who hoped that Palmer River could participate in the Feinstein Good Deeds program.  Although Mr. Feinstein replied in a letter saying there were already 118 RI schools currently in his program, he invited the students of Palmer River to join his initiative for elementary level students.

  Students are encouraged to do good deeds and other acts of kindness that make a positive different and teachers are provided with incentives including grants for projects they undertake with their students. 

    According to principal, Linda McSweeney and assistant principal Elise Dubois, the Feinstein mantra of “I Can Make A Difference” will be a powerful, ongoing message at Palmer River.  Already plans are being developed for other philanthropic activities, both school-wide and with individual classrooms.


Annual Blizzard of Giving Program Off and Running

(November 4, 2010)  The holiday season is officially underway as this year’s annual Blizzard of Giving/Toys for Rehoboth Kids is off and running.  With the help of several organizations including Rehoboth Girl Scouts who are coordinating collection boxes throughout town, the program is managed by Steve Martin of Rehoboth Helping Hands/Food Pantry. 

  HOW TO HELP:  Choose a “snowflake wish” from any Blizzard display and donate the gift inscribed, wrap it and affix the “snowflake” securely to the outside and drop it off in one of many conveniently located collection boxes.  OR you can just donate unwrapped items. Snowflake displays are at: Blanding Library, Palmer River and Beckwith schools, Rehoboth Post Office, and Chartley Country Store.  Collection boxes are located at the places listed above plus: Fitness Mom Studio, Twin Oaks Learning Center, ASAP, Alicia’s Dance Studio, Vino’s Restaurant and Rehoboth Congregational Church. 

     In you have any questions, please contact:  Steve Martin (Helping Hands) at 508-252-3263, Maureen Brawley (Blizzard) at 508-252-4867 or Colleen McBride (Girl Scouts) at 508-252-6430


Board of Selectmen to Discuss FEMA Projects

(November 3, 2010) Among other things on the agenda for tomorrow night’s BOS meeting is an update of FEMA projects and a discussion regarding engineering services.  The town of Rehoboth currently has four bridges indefinitely closed due to flood damage earlier in the year.

     The board will also hold a public hearing for a license application for a utility installation from the Bristol County Water Authority.  There will also be a discussion about voting to set up an account to gift payments for the town landfill lease and power purchase agreement.  

    This meeting will be held at 7 PM at the Town Office.


PTSA Silent Auction: Buy a Chance to Be Principal for the Day

(November 3, 2010) The Rehoboth PTSA has received 79 great items for the organization’s Third Annual Silent Auction to be held on Friday, November 5 at Hillside Country Club by Lombardi’s from 7 PM.

  This fun-filled adults only evening offers a chance to bid on great items, and mingle with friends and neighbors.  Light appetizers and a cash bar will be available.  All proceeds from this fundraiser support the work of the Rehoboth PTSA that serves Palmer River Elementary and D.L. Beckwith Middle School.

    Some of the great items for bid, all donated, include helicopter rides, sports memorabilia, 100 gallons of heating oil, pink bark mulch, a full week of summer camp, one month of music lessons, dance classes, a one week vacation in Florida, a Kindle, Golf, and the “priceless” opportunities to be Principal of Palmer River for one day or  Principal of Beckwith School for one day or Beckwith Assistant Principal for one day.   Check the PTSA website for a complete listing of silent auction items. 


Daisy Scouts Already Busy with Blizzard of Giving

(November 1, 2010) Rehoboth Daisy Girl Scout Troop 247 recently decorated a collection box for the annual Blizzard of Giving program that provides holiday gifts to needy children in the community.  The girls’ box will be located at Vino’s Restaurant on Route 44, a place you can drop new, unwrapped toys, clothes and other gifts that will be distributed through Helping Hands to families who have signed up for the upcoming holiday season.  Great job, girls!


NIXLE Advisory Message Issued Tuesday Morning

(October 26, 2010) An advisory message was issued at 7:22 AM by the Rehoboth Police Department regarding two housebreaks that occurred yesterday, October 25, between 7 AM and 7 PM.  One housebreak occurred at 26 Moulton Street and the other at 44 Danforth Street.

   Stolen in one of the housebreaks was a small Sentry safe and a 40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun. 

   Anyone who may have witnessed suspicious activity in these areas are asked to contact the Rehoboth Police Department at 508-252-3722.


RFD Hosts Mass Fire Academy Class on Aerial Ladders

(October 26, 2010) The Rehoboth fire department hosted a Massachusetts Fire Academy class on aerial ladders the weekend of October 23rd & 24th. Firefighters from Rehoboth, Berkley, Fall River, Wareham and West Barnstable spent two days refreshing and honing there skills on the safe and proficient operation of aerial apparatus. The Academy provides training to fire departments in the Commonwealth at no charge.

    

Business and Trade Professionals Needed

(October 26, 2010) Local business and trade professionals are encouraged to volunteer to serve on the Program Advisory Committee at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School

   The school is reaching out to members of the community to work on the committee that meets twice a year to review employment trends, equipment, curriculum, and generally advise staff on how best to prepare students for careers in automotive, construction, drafting/engineering, early education, manufacturing, marketing and business industries.

  Participants on the committee help guide the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) faculty to preparing students for employment and further education in their chosen career path. In addition, staff occasionally call upon advisory committee members informally, as the need arises. Those interested in serving on the committee, can contact the CTE office at 508-252-5030.


Rehoboth Garden Club Awards Scholarships

(October 25, 2010)  Two area students have been awarded $1,000 scholarships by the Rehoboth Garden Club. 

    Kyle Jackson, a resident of North Dighton, is a graduate of Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School where he ranked 75th in a class of 300 students.  He was a recipient of the Abigail Adams scholarship for his achievements in MCAS testing while a senior at the high school.  He was also awarded the Sportsmanship  Award in football from the South Coast Conference.  Now a college student Kyle currently maintains a 3.0 GPS in the Landscape Architecture program at UMASS Amherst.  

    Lindsay Frazier of Rehoboth is the second scholarship recipient.  She is a 2010 graduate of Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School where she ranked 8th in her class.   She earned 10 varsity letters in sports during her high school career earning MVP in cross country during three of her four years there. Lindsay is currently attending Lehigh University in Pennsylvania where she is majoring in Environmental Sciences.

    Both scholarships will be awarded by the Rehoboth Garden Club upon completion of the first college semester by the recipients.


Rehoboth Land Trust Applauds Eagle Scouts

(October 25, 2010)  Three Eagle Scout candidates combined their efforts to clear and blaze the trails on the Hunt Ministerial Lands on Pond Street. Working together they were able to open the trails for greater accessibility now and helped lay the groundwork for planned boardwalks in the wetlands areas.

    Eagle Scout candidates Gunnar Manchester, John Peranzi and Zach Tavares, each tackled a section. Gunnar improved and cleaned up the start of the trail near the parking lot and installed a sign identifying the trails. John widened and lengthened the middle trail and installed a picnic table and bench near the meadow clearing, and Zach widened and improved the furthest portion of the trail, linking to the middle section. The Land Trust would like to thank each of them for their efforts in a job well done.

    The Rehoboth Land Trust invites the public to enjoy the new, improved trails. We are currently seeking grants for the boardwalk construction.


D-R Students to Receive Anti-Bullying Training

(October 22, 2010)   In the next few weeks, students at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School will receive explanations and training on laws related to bullying and harassment including the difference between bullies, victims and bystanders. 

    According to principal Gail Van Buren, the school administration has drafted new policies that will address first response procedures and how the school will respond to allegations of bullying or harassment.

     Parents have been urged via newsletters and the school district website to contact school officials immediately if they believe their child has been a target of bullying or harassment. 

     The school uses a “critical incident” form to track and investigate cases of alleged bullying/harassment/abuse.  Students will be informed of new policies and procedures before the end October.


Beckwith Middle School Students Named to Council

(October 22, 2010)      Student Council elections were recently held at D.L. Beckwith Middle School. The following students now share the responsibilities of serving on the council and representing the fifth through eight grade student population:

   Charlie Pike, Juliana Springs, Allison Ainley, Kelsey Araujo, Angelina Curtis, Brittany Boucher, John-Paul Landry, Colin Bushell, Cameron MacMaster, Ashton Marshall, Colette Watson,  Madison Burtan, Timothy Pray, Cassidy Burke, Hannah Howard, Andrew Horowitz, Emma Johnson, Taylor Johnson, Kristina Perez,Mitchell Brown, Matthew Hebert, Emily Parker, Evie Rodrigues, Briana Pacheco, Joe Marcille, John Delaney, Surrey Houlker, Sara Enos, Emily McNulty, Nikita Bansal, Zac Oudin, Cody Boehner, Seth Rossi, David Payne, Sara Pierce, Manny Munoz, Tristin Rabbitt, Ali Freitas,Victoria Scott, Tara Dwyer, Rachel Sousa, Danny Johnson, Brandon Tran, Seth Lundstrom, Vanessa Amaral, Brandon Witter, Sam Boyden, and Austin Strycharz.


Associate Member for Rehoboth Planning Board

(October 22, 2010)   The Planning Board is accepting Talent Bank Forms in order to fill the seat of Associate Member.  Talent Bank Forms are available on the Town of Rehoboth’s website (located at the bottom of the Home Page) or within the Selectmen’s Office.

   The Associate Member shall be appointed by the Planning Board for a term of one (1) year, beginning July 1 and ending on June 30.  The Associate Member shall act in the case of absence, an inability to act, or a conflict of interest on the part of any member of the Planning Board, or in the event of a vacancy on the Board, prior to the commencement of a Special Permit (does not include Site Plan approval, Subdivision hearings or ANR meetings) public hearing only.  The Chair shall designate the Associate Planning Board Member to sit in the event that, as stated above, any member is absent, unable to act or has a conflict of interest.


Upcoming Veterans Day “11-11-11” Observances

(October 20, 2010) To honor the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” that commemorates the armistice of World War I, local Veteran’s Day observances will include two events.

    American Legion Post 302 will conduct the annual Veterans Day Flag Ceremony at 11 AM at the Cenotaph on the corner of Route 44 and Danforth Street.  Everyone is welcome to come to the ceremony and pay respect to our country’s military veterans. 

     The Fourth Annual Veterans Day Luncheon will be held at noon at the Senior Center.  This special event is sponsored by TRIAD, a cooperative effort of the Rehoboth Police Department, the Bristol Country Sheriff’s Office and the Council on Aging.  All Rehoboth veterans are invited to attend, free of charge.  Just sign up at the Senior Center, the Rehoboth Town Office or the American Legion.


Lots of Great Weekend Events (weather permitting)

(October 15, 2010) Put the rake away for a while and venture out to one of the great weekend events happening locally and nearby.

    A Fall Fest will be held at the Rehoboth Fair grounds at 76 Almeida Road with activities for all ages including: a demolition derby, horse show, car show, tractor/truck pulls, lawnmower races, and a mud bog.  Other activities include a scarecrow contest, pumpkin carving, face painting, and hayrides.  Friday hours from 6 to 9 PM.  Saturday/Sunday from 9 AM to 6 PM.

   The Rehoboth Minute Company will play a big part in Taunton’s Liberty and Union Weekend this weekend. On Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM, they will be encamped on the grounds of the Old Colony Historical Society and the First Parish Church.  The company will hold a drill competition at 10:45 AM and a mock court martial at 1:15 PM. 

     Bristol County Agricultural High School presents their annual Fall Show will be held on the school grounds with doors opening at noon.  A wonderful array of displays, demonstrations and activities for the entire family.  Livestock Show on Friday from 12 to 3 PM, Horse Show on Saturday from noon, Rabbit Show on Sunday at 11:30 AM.

     For weekend indoor activities, you gave two local options for music and dancing.  A Back to the 50s Party will be held at the Senior Center from 6 to 10 PM.  Tickets are $8 and all proceeds will benefit Rehoboth Friends of the Elderly.  Tix are available at the Senior Center or you can call Jim at 508-643-6969 or Lorraine at 508-252-4593.

     The Sunday Night Jammers, a group of area musicians who meet regularly to play Celtic dance music, will be jamming on Sunday night from 7 to 9 PM at Goff Memorial Hall, 124 Bay State Road. A partner is not required and all dance steps are taught.  A potluck precedes the dance at 6 PM.  If you need more info,  please call Bob Elliott for more info at 508-669-5656 or Judith Schrier at 401-751-4554. 


September’s School Bus Accident Propels Policy Changes

(October 14, 2010) As a result of last month’s school bus accident in Rehoboth, the Dighton-Rehoboth School Committee was informed by the school superintendent there will be changes in the bus safety policy.

     Although Dr. Kathleen Montagano refrained from offering details at Tuesday night’s school committee meeting, she reported meeting with both Dighton and Rehoboth police and fire chiefs while reviewing existing safety procedures. 

     Additionally she reported that police officers have spent time traveling bus routes and studying crossing and intersections.  Any change in school district policy will be shared with parents and the public when finalized.


Park Commissioner Wants Selectman Leffort Recalled

(October 14, 2010) Robert McKim, a member of the Rehoboth Park Commission, took out the recall petition documents last Thursday, reportedly against first-term selectman Donald Leffort.

     According to recall policies and procedures, McKim must now collect the signatures of at least 15 percent of the voters in each precinct, or around 400 registered voters, for a total of at least 1,200 names townwide.    

   The signature petition must be submitted within twenty days.  Then the town clerk must certify the signatures at which point the official in question can either resign or request a recall election that must be held within 60 to 75 days. 

     Town bylaws state that selectmen have seven days following the certification of recall petition signatures to schedule a recall election.  It is unknown at this time how much money it will cost the town to hold a special recall election, nor has McKim issued any statement publicly about his reasons for launching the recall procedure. 


Question of Leash Law Brings Out Array of Commentary

(October 12, 2010) When the Taunton Gazette published a story about a Seekonk woman complaining there was no leash law in Rehoboth, almost two dozen readers commented online.

  Maureen Sisson apparently contacted the Taunton-based newspaper with a story of how she was frightened by a dog who jumped on her while walking on Wheaton Street in Rehoboth, near her home in Seekonk.  She was not happy there was no leash law in Rehoboth and was quoted, “I’m a resident of Seekonk but I pay Massachusetts taxes.” 

      Rehoboth Selectman Ken Foley was quoted in the article explaining that “because Rehoboth has been an agricultural town, people have dogs to protect their property.”  He elaborated, “newer residents who’ve just moved in or people who live in subdivisions want the leash law, but people are afraid that if a leash law in put in place, the rural character would change.”

  Subsequent online commentary, all anonymous, was immediately forthcoming including some vicious human-on-human attacks, as well as attacks on Rehoboth for being a rural community.

   For as many canine owners who defend dog’s right to run free, there were those who  feel there should be a leash law to protect people. Other comments bordered the on the bizarre.

   Some offered helpful tips to try if you encounter an unleashed dog while walking down rural roadways - such as bringing a spray bottle full of water to squirt at a bothersome dog or the less aggressive method of carrying doggie snacks to quickly befriend a strange dog.


Helping Hands Food Pantry Collection on Saturday

(October 8, 2010) Donations for Helping Hands Food Pantry will be held on Saturday, October 9 from 9 AM to 12 NOON at American Form located at 513 Winthrop Street (Route 44).  Sponsored by the Rehoboth Business Association, the convenient drop-off point makes it easy to donate to Helping Hands while out doing errands on Saturday morning.

    All canned and packaged food goods are appreciated, but there is a real need for the following items:  spaghetti/pasta and sauce, canned spaghetti and ravioli, packed mac and cheese, canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned soups/stews, canned tuna/chicken or Spam, cereal, snacks for children, peanut butter, toilet paper, boxed tissues, and hand soap.

  Monetary contributions are also most welcome as Helping Hands provides food to those in need every week of the year. Donations are particularly important to fund the fuel assistance program.  Currently that fund has been depleted and the cold weather is coming.  Please consider making a donation to: RHHP, 127 Martin Street, Rehoboth, MA 02769.  Please call Steve Martin at 508-252-3263 if you have any questions.

 

Rehoboth Business Association Hosts Networking Event

(October 6, 2010) A “Business After Hours” networking event will be held by the Rehoboth Business Assocation (RBA) for all those who are interested in meeting others striving to operate a local business in Rehoboth. This is a great casual opportunity to meet members of the RBA plus enjoy conversation and a light buffet. 

     Everyone is invited to attend this casual, social event hosted by Tim Johnson of Propane Plus at 177 Winthrop Street in Rehoboth from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.  Cost is $12. per person and RSVPs are requested by October 13.

    For more information, please call Dale at 508-252-3312 or email pokey2u@aol.com.  


Foster Care Families Sought in Rehoboth

(October 6, 2010) Dare Family Services, a non-profit agency that provides foster care for children throughout Massachusetts, is looking for caring families in Rehoboth to provide foster care for area children.  While helping a child in need of a home, foster parents will receive excellent training, 24-hour support and a tax-free stipend towards the child’s care. If you have room in your home and your heart for a foster child, please call Dare Family Services for more information at 508-802-9515.


Preservation Committee Wants Project Proposals

(September 24, 2010) The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) has developed project criteria for proposals to be funded by the Community Preservation Act. The criteria along with a Project Submission Form are available at the Town Clerk’s Office.

   Applications should be submitted to the CPC as soon as possible, but no later than October 30, 2010. Proposals will be reviewed at one or more public hearings to be scheduled for December 2010 for consideration at the annual spring Town Meeting. For more information, call Carol Williams, CPC chair, at 508 252-3348.


Lunch Price Increase Announced for D-R Schools

(September 24, 2010) The Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School Committee recently voted to increase school lunch prices beginning in January 2011 when schools reopen following the December holiday recess.

   An increase of twenty-five cents was approved for elementary schools and D-R Regional High School while middle school lunch was increased by forty cents. 

   Palmer River and Dighton Elementary school lunch will increase from $2 to $2.25.  Lunch at both Dighton Middle and D.L. Beckwith will increase from $2.10 to $2.50 and DRRHS lunch will increase from $2.25 to $2.50. 


Rehoboth Board of Health Schedules Flu Clinics

(September 22, 2010) Rehoboth’s public health nurse, Lynn Allienello, RN has announced two tentative dates for seasonal flu vaccine clinics, both to be held at the Town Offices building at 148 Peck Street. 

     The clinic dates, Wednesday, October 27 from 5 to 7 PM and Friday, November 5 from 1 to 3 PM, are tentative only due to receipt of ordered vaccine supplies.  If supplies don’t come in on time, the dates will be reset. 

    Pre-registration is required and you may put your name on the flu shot list by calling Bette Dyer at the Rehoboth Board of Health at 508-252-5947, extension 100.

    Allienello encourages residents to also obtain and complete the Vaccine Administration Form prior to attending in order to increase speed and efficiency on the day of the flu shot clinic.  For have a form sent to you, please email her at RehobothTownNurse@gmail.com.


Blanding Library Staff  Learn How to Defibrillate

(September 21, 2010) Blanding Library will close early at 7 PM on Wednesday, September 22 for staff training.

    With funds received from a Bristol County Savings Foundation grant, the library was able to purchase a defibrillator form Safety Program Consultants.  Staff will be trained on how to use the life-saving device through American Heart Association Heartsaver AED training.


School Bus Accident This Morning Injures Driver/Child

(September 15, 2010) Rehoboth Police are investigating a single vehicle school bus accident which occurred this morning at 7:41 AM on Reynolds Avenue near the Dighton town line. The school bus was transporting approximately 12 children to Dighton Middle School when it left the roadway and struck a tree receiving heavy damage. The school bus driver was transported to Morton Hospital in Taunton for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. One child on the bus was also injured and transported to Morton Hospital.  The other 11 children were transported from the accident scene by parents and school officials.   This accident remains under investigation at this time.  Rehoboth Police are looking for any witnesses to the accident to contact police headquarters at 508-252-3722.


School Committee to Vote on Lunch Increase Tonight

(September 14, 2010) Members of the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School Committee are scheduled to approve a proposed lunch price increase by Chartwells, the national food service company that provides service to Dighton and Rehoboth schools.

    Other agenda items include the approval of a Supervisor of Attendance, approval of home education plan requests and discussion with the Rehoboth Energy Committee.

   The public is always invited to attend the public portion of the school committee meeting held from 7 PM in the Media Center at DRRHS.

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Rehoboth Cultural Council Wants Your Ideas

(September 14, 2010) The Rehoboth Cultural Council has $5,674. available to fund cultural events in town . . . and they want both ideas via an Opinion Survey and also applications for 2011 grants due by October 15.

   The council urges all residents to complete and return the public opinion survey, now available at the Blanding Library and at the Rehoboth Town Offices.  

   Grant monies for 2011 are available to fund cultural events such as workshops, art exhibitions, music festivals and the work of individual artists. Applications are available online at mass-culture.org/Rehoboth.  

   Some of the recipients this year included the Shane Wood Jazz Trio, a touring art exhibit through the SMARTS Collaborative, the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society’s “Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society” Tea and Exhibit,  BuckExpeditions’ Explorer Program, Reading is Magic and the upcoming Pied Potter Hamelin’s Magical Potter’s Wheel show to be held on Sunday, September 19 at the Carpenter Museum. 

     If you have any questions or need assistance with the application form, please email:  rehobothcultural@yahoo.com, or send regular mail to the Rehoboth Town Office, c/0 BOS, 148R Peck Street, Rehoboth, MA 02769.


RBA Hosts Saturday Drop Off for Helping Hands

(September 10, 2010) The Rehoboth Business Association is holding their monthly food drop off to benefit Helping Hands Food Pantry on Saturday, September 11 between 9 AM and 12 Noon at American Form, 513 Winthrop Street (Route 44) in Rehoboth.

     According to Helping Hands manager Steve Martin, the food pantry is low on all items except peanut butter and jelly.  They already have plenty.  But other items are greatly needed including: mac and cheese, canned soups and pasta, canned fruit, tuna fish, pasta, pasta sauces, cereal, any canned vegetable, snacks for children, toilet paper (individually wrapped), tissue, and hand soap.

    More and more Rehoboth residents and families depend on weekly groceries from the food pantry, so please join the RBA in helping.  Cash donations and store cards are also appreciated.  Thank you. 


Rehoboth Fire Department Launches New Website

(September 8, 2010) The Rehoboth Fire Department’s brand new website is now up and running with comprehensive information about the town’s three stations, apparatus and personnel, along with other important information about permits, burning, safety and fire prevention. 

    More information and news will be continuously added. The website is located at www.rehobothfd.com.


Newman YMCA Offers New Adaptive  Programs 

(September 4, 2010) The Newman YMCA in Seekonk is now offering a line-up of adaptive activities and classes for those with physical and/or developmental disabilities, from age three to adults.   

  Although the Y offers inclusion in all their programs, this new array of adaptive classes are open to those with physical and cognitive challenges.  There is a range of fees for participants, both Y members and non-members, however those who accompany the participant will not be charged. Classes are held both days and evenings throughout the week and scholarships are available.   Visit their website for more info.

    The Newman Y is also forming a new Special Needs Committee and seeking those who are interested in shaping more program ideas to add to the new selection of programs. 


Back to School: Rehoboth School Bus Routes

(August 31, 2010) It’s back to school time again.  Parents rejoice.  Students in grades one through twelve report back to school on Thursday, September 2 with kindergarten students on Friday, September 3.  Preschool classrooms open on Tuesday, September 7. 

    Parents of children in kindergarten and preschool are invited to visit Palmer River School on Thursday, September 3 for an “open house” from 9:10 am to 3:15 PM.  This will provide parents of little students with ample opportunity to meet educators and staff who will be available all day to answer questions and soothe anxious moms and dads. 

  

BOS To Discuss New COA Coordinator Position

(August 30, 2010) The agenda for tonight’s board of selectmen’s meeting includes discussion on how to fund a new position of Council on Aging Coordinator. The COA has been without a director since that position had been eliminated.  Hours and services have also been cut at the COA.  The board will also review the application for change of manger for the American Legion Post.  

   Other action items include issues relating to the Cultural Council, the Stormwater Committee, using Chapter 90 funds to purchase a new highway truck, extended listing of town properties with Century 21 and a review of articles for the upcoming fall Town Meeting. 

    Other issues of old business include REPAC’s request for more space at the 320 Anawan Street location the organization rents from the town.

    All interested parties are welcome and encouraged to attend the board of selectmen’s meeting held at the Senior Center beginning at 7:30 with an expected conclusion time of 10 PM. 


NH Man Seeks Info on Rehoboth Resident Circa 1774

(August 26, 2010) Joseph Caliro of Portsmouth, New Hampshire is looking for any information relating to a Rehoboth resident from 1774 named Elijah Ormsbe, son of Daniel Ormsbe.

  Mr. Caliro possesses the original documentation of young Elijah’s indentured servitude to one Ezekiel Kent and witnessed by the Rehoboth board of selectmen of the time including: Aaron Read, William Cole, Shubael Peck, Phillip Wheeler, Ezekiel Kent, and what looks to be a Joseph Smith. 

   The document was also witnessed by Simeon Bowen and a Kennedy (first name illegible) who appear to have be justices.

  Over the years Mr. Caliro has furnished copies of the document to descendants of some of the Rehoboth selectmen identified.  He now continues his quest to learn more about the mysterious Elijah Ormsbe who he believed went on to produce a number of inventions in the manufacture of looms and perhaps even a stream ship. 


Rehoboth Board of Health Issues Egg Safety Guidelines

(August 26, 2010)   Since May 2010, there has been a four-fold increase in the number of cases of Salmonella infections nationwide and officials have identified two egg producers in Iowa as potential sources of contaminated eggs.  MDPH has been monitoring the situation daily and has issued an advisory that is being shared by the Rehoboth Board of Health.

    Thoroughly cooking eggs and egg products help to prevent food borne illness lick the headline above for the complete document. Click here for egg advisory.


D-R School Committee to Discuss Food Price Increase

(August 24, 2010)  Along with other topics to be discussed at tonight’s D-R School Committee meeting, the group will discuss a proposed food price increase. Currently the district utilizes Chartwells, a national food service company that serves more than 2.5 million students daily in 500 school districts. 

  The agenda for tonight’s meeting also includes discussion of a National Grid project, a report by the Negotiations Subcommittee, and an executive session to discuss strategy related to potential litigation and contract negotiations with union personnel.

  As always, the public is invited to attend the open portions of the meeting which begins at 7 PM in the Media Center at D-R Regional High School. 

    

RPD Help Launch Crackdown on Impaired Drivers

(August 23, 2010)  The Rehoboth Police Department, along with those of neighboring towns are taking part in a coordinated effort to detect, arrest and prosecute impaired drivers in conjunction with Rhode Island agencies including the RI Dept. of Public Safety, the RI Dept. of Transportation and the RI law enforcement community.

   On Saturday, a program to crack down on drunk drivers, You Drink & Drive, You Lose,  was launched at a press conference in Providence. 

   The Massachusetts State Police also showed their support for Rhode Island’s efforts by sending one of their mobile Breath Alcohol Testing vehicles (BAT vehicle) to Rhode Island’s statewide kickoff.    

  This vehicle decreases the time law enforcement officers spend processing drunk drivers and acts as a visual deterrent for potential offenders.  The objective of the BAT vehicle is to provide officers with complete on-site testing and detention capabilities as well as work station processing and storage space.

  “All too often, innocent, law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to this careless disregard for human life.  We will be especially vigilant during high-risk nighttime hours when impaired drivers are most likely to be on our roads,” said Colonel Brendan P. Doherty, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

  The RPD, along with more than 10,000 police agencies across the nation are participating in this years’ mid-August through Labor Day crackdown on impaired drivers.


Rehoboth Board of Health’s Guidelines on EEE & WNV

(August 21, 2010) The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Rehoboth Board of Health want residents to know that the risk of mosquito-borne illness is on the rise in Massachusetts. These mosquito-borne illnesses include West Nile virus (WNV) and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).  Click the headline above for the complete document.


Preservation Committee Sets Project Criteria

(August 21, 2010) The Community Preservation Committee (CPC), members reviewed proposed criteria for projects to be funded by the Community Preservation Act funds, and a final version is being prepared.

    The criteria along with a Project Submission form will be available at the Town Clerk’s Office by September 1. The CPC is actively soliciting proposals for projects that quality for funding under the CPA.

   Proposals that are submitted under any one or more of the following four topic areas will be reviewed at one or more public hearings to be scheduled for December 2010. The four topic areas are: (1) acquisition, creation and preservation of open space; (2) acquisition and preservation of historic resources; (3) acquisition, creation and preservation of land for recreational use; and (4) creation, preservation and support of community housing.

   The CPC intends to propose funding from CPA funds for one or more approved projects via the Town Warrant for the Town Meeting in the spring of 2011.


Annual Carpenter Museum Antique and Artisan Show

(August 20, 2010) The Carpenter Museum affords an excellent opportunity each year for artisans and antique dealers to sell their goods at the annual Folk Art, Antique and Artisans Show.  This year the popular event is scheduled in November, on Friday, November 5 from 4 to 9 PM and Saturday, November 6 from 9 AM to 4 PM. 

    The event will be held at Francis Farm in Rehoboth. Interested artisans and antique dealers should reserve a spot at the event as soon as possible by contacting Betty Collins at 401-726-4520.


Rehoboth Cultural Council Seeks Funding Proposals

(August 17, 2010) The Rehoboth Cultural Council, a local agency funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, is seeking funding proposals for community-oriented projects.  These include arts, interpretive sciences and humanities projects.  Individuals, artists, schools and Rehoboth organizations are encouraged to apply by October 15.  Applications and further information is available on-line HERE.  If you have questions, please send an email inquiry to: rehobothcultural@yahoo.com or by regular mail to 148R Peck Street, Rehoboth, MA 02769.


ALERT:  Wednesday Morning House Break on Tremont

(August 11, 2010)    The Rehoboth Police Department issued a 10:09 AM Nixle advisory message about a housebreak that had just occurred at 479 Tremont Street in Rehoboth.  Police are looking for two white male suspects that left on foot.  Approximate age is 25 and one suspect was described as having curly blond hair.  There may possibly be a small red vehicle involved.  Please contact the RPD immediately at 508-252-3722 if you have any information.


What Studies Say About Those Who Abuse Animals

(August 10, 2010)    The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MASPCA) together with a team from Northeastern University issued a study showing that animal abusers are five times more like commit violent crimes including child abuse, spousal and abuse against elders. 

   The American Psychiatric Association considers acts of animal cruelty to be one of the diagnostic criteria for many disorders.  More than twenty-five years of studies in psychology, sociology and criminology clearly illustrate that animal abusers have childhood and adolescent histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty. 

   According to the Agent Allen Brantley of the FBI, animal cruelty “is a clear indicator of psychological issues that can and often do lead to more violent human crimes.” 

   Attacking animals is a recognized phenomenon usually preformed by those with various personality disorders, however animal mutilation is far less common.  It is usually sociopaths or psychopaths who mutilate animals in elaborate ways using knives or surgical instruments.

  There have been fourteen reported cases of animal mutilation in Massachusetts since 2000. There have been 31 cases of animal cruelty reported in Bristol County since 2000 with eight convictions. 

  According to Dr. Randall Lockwood who has acted as a senior vice president for anti-cruelty initiatives for the SPCA, “so much of animal cruelty . . . is really about power or control.” 

   “Often, aggression starts with a real or perceived injustice,” says Dr. Lockwood, and “the person feels powerless and develops a warped sense of self-respect.” 

  Experts agree that animal abuse is performed by people who have no empathy such as psychopaths, sociopaths or those with narcissistic personality disorder. 


Suspected Cruelty to Animals Crime Being Investigated

(August 7, 2010)    Taking away from what would have traditionally been a community-uniting weekend in Rehoboth, was the discovery yesterday of a dead goat, presumably killed intentionally, dumped on the sidewalk and front lawn of local politician Christopher Morra’s  home on Summer Street.

  Instead of the usual celebration of farm animals at this weekend’s annual Rehoboth Agricultural Fair, where each is cared for like a cherished family member, attention has been focused on the suspected animal cruelty.    

    Following the discovery of the dead animal by neighbors and then the homeowners  around 8 AM on Friday morning, Rehoboth Police were called and immediately began investigating a case of possible animal cruelty.  The goat was found with a rope around its neck and appeared to have been disemboweled. 

    With assistance from Peter Gollub, Director of the Law Enforcement Division of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the case is being investigated.  More information will be revealed following an pathologist’s exam at Tuft’s University. 

    A cruelty to animals crime is a felony punishable by up to five years in state prison and/or a $2500 fine.

     Twenty-four hours after the animal’s discovery, the story has captured international attention and several pages of internet content.  However,  the focus of the incident has now shifted from a case of suspected animal cruelty to Mr. Morra himself because of his immediate speculation to the media the incident was undoubtedly related to him personally and his controversial history in local politics.

  Anyone with information should contact Rehoboth Police Detective Jasson Ferreira or Officer Brian Ramos at 508-252-3722.


Monday Morning House Break on New Street

(August 3, 2010) The Rehoboth Police Department issued a Nixle Advisory yesterday about a house break that occurred on Monday, August 2 between 9 and 11 AM at 21 New Street.  Stolen was a large wagon wheel lighting fixture cut from the ceiling of the residence.

    According to the alert issued online to subscribers of the Nixle service, both male and female suspects were driving a green Ford Explorer with Massachusetts registration 719EL7.   Anyone having any information are asked to immediately contact Rehoboth Police at 508-252-3722. 


State Officials Advise Curtailing Evening Events

(July 29, 2010)    The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) asks cities and towns in the high risk areas for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) to curtail evening events at dusk and dawn. Outdoor events should be rescheduled for different times of the day. Even if you are wearing long sleeves and using repellant, it is prudent at this time to take extra precautions.

   DPH expanded the risk areas for EE to include Acushnet, Berkley, Bridgewater, Carver, Duxbury, Fairhaven, Freetown, Halifax, Kingston, Lakeville,  Mattapoisett, Middleboro, New Bedford, Plympton, Raynham, Rochester and Taunton.


Bicycle vs. Motor Vehicle Accident on Tremont Street

(July 27, 2010)    Rehoboth Police, Fire and EMS personnel rushed to the scene of a bicycle and motor vehicle collision at the intersection of Tremont Street and Anawan in the afternoon on Monday, July 26.  The female bike rider was transported to Sturdy Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  The incident is being investigated by the RPD.


Rehoboth Residents Urged to be Abundantly Cautious

(July 22, 2010)   With a reputation for being a sleepy, farming community, Rehoboth is an attractive destination for criminals from surrounding high crime areas.  “It’s a regional thing,” says Rehoboth Police Chief Stephen Enos, “and many criminals are opportunists who come from other places.”

   This week’s mailbox bottle bomb incident exemplifies a rise in property crime in town.  “There is a high pattern of housebreaks,” reports Enos, “and we’re very busy keeping up with the workload this summer.”  He is urging residents to be observant, cautious and vigilant in reporting suspicious activity.  “I can’t tell you how many times we find out later that someone had seen something and didn’t want to bother us by calling in a report,” he notes. 

  Newly appointed Detective Jasson Ferreira is already working on several cases including the mailbox bottle bomb case.  Having one detective is a great asset to the RPD where behind-the-scenes investigations are vigorous and ongoing.  “People don’t realize how much time goes into long-term specialized investigations,” says Enos, “and not having to pull a uniformed officer from the road is a huge benefit to the town.”   

   In the past year there have been several mailbox bottle bomb incidents.  Although no one has been harmed, there is great potential for serious injury and even death.  “The slightest movement could set one off,” cautions Enos, who advises residents to call 911 immediately upon discovery of a suspicious object and stay at least 100 yards away until help comes from the police and fire departments. Even if the bottle just leaks, the caustic agents must be washed away from the area, something the fire department can assist with.

   Keeping out of harm’s way and not making yourself a target is also sound advise.  With home break-ins on the rise this summer, it’s prudent to keep your windows and doors locked when away from home, keep your eyes open for suspicious activity in your neighborhood, and pay close attention to details in order to give officers a good description.  And don’t hesitate to call 911 immediately to report anything suspicious. 


Town Preservation Groups Share Mutual Goals

(July 21, 2010)    Preserving Rehoboth’s agricultural, historic and natural resources is vitally important.  Working together, two groups share many common goals, as well as overlapping members. 

   The Rehoboth Agricultural & Natural Resources Preservation Council and the Rehoboth Community Preservation Committee are working diligently in cooperation on a number of projects to preserve the town’s culture and resources.

    The Ag & Natural Resources Council’s stated purpose is “To facilitate the acquisitions by purchase, gift, options, or other means conservation restrictions, development rights, and/or fee title to agricultural and/or natural resource lands in the Town of Rehoboth…” 

    The Council includes one member each from the Agricultural Commission, Conservation Commission, Planning Board, Park Commission, Board of Health, Water Commission, Board of Assessors, Rehoboth Land Trust, Board of Selectmen, and one non-voting member of the Finance Committee.

     Funds for acquisitions are drawn from the Agricultural Trust Fund which was established by an appropriation from the Town.

    The Rehoboth Community Preservation Committee was established by the voter’s acceptance of the Community Preservation Act in April 2009. Funds are specifically allocated for the preservation of Open Space, Historic Preservation, and Community Housing.

     The funds are also available for the development of recreational resources. The Committee has one member each from the Conservation Commission, Historical Commission, Planning Board, Park Commission, Housing Authority, Agricultural Commission, and two members at-large. Funds for acquisitions are derived from the property tax surcharge and matching grants from the state.

   Several members serve on both committees and work toward common goals. Both groups are open to suggestions from the town voters for possible projects. The council has developed a project submission form available at the town clerk’s office, and the committee is working on project criteria and an application form. Both groups meet at the Town Office on Peck Street on the fourth Wednesday of each month and welcome public input.

    For anyone wishing to make donations to the cause of preserving Reboboth’s natural resources, you can elect to give to the Agricultural Trust Fund or the Community Preservation Fund.  Donations can be sent to the Town Treasurer at 148 Peck Street. Please state to which fund the donation is intended.


Don’t Take Your Gun to Town (Meetings)

(July 15, 2010)    They may be the lyrics of a Johnny Cash song, but the words “don’t take your guns to town” come to mind following this week’s board of selectmen’s meeting held at the Senior Center on Monday night.

     Concern about public safety and concealed firearms has initiated another controversy in town, once again pitting opposing factions in town leadership. 

    While there is no Massachusetts law prohibiting carrying weapons in public venues, town officials could decide to post a weapons ban notice or have residents vote on a bylaw prohibiting weapons at municipal meetings held in public buildings.

      The exception would be any meeting held at one of the three Rehoboth public schools.  Currently the annual spring and fall town meetings are held in the auditorium of Dighton-Rehoboth Regional.  The twice-monthly school committee meetings are held in the media center of D-R.  At times other municipal meetings are conducted at Rehoboth schools.

    Persons carrying any weapons (open or concealed) at any public meetings, hearings or polling on Rehoboth school property would be in violation of state law, subsequently risking arrest and charges.


August Horse Expo to Raise Funds for Playground

(July 15, 2010)    With assistance and support from local businesses and private individuals,  the Bristol Country Horsemen’s Association (BCHA) is hosting the Rehoboth Breed Expo on Sunday, August 15 at Hobby Horse Farm on Bay State Road as a fundraiser for the Nike Park playground construction project.  

     Founded as the Rehoboth Riding Club twenty-five years ago, the group evolved into the BCHA that meets at the South Rehoboth Fire Station on the third Friday of each month during fall, winter and spring.  During the summer months, they meet at Miles Standish State Forest. 

     The expo will center around breed demonstration featuring local animals and lots of exhibits, activities, and vendors from 9 AM until dusk.  Admission is a five dollar donation with children under 12 admitted free.  Indoor areas will allow it to be a rain or shine event. Many businesses are participating including Munroe Feed and Grain and Horsemen’s LTD.   For more info:  bchaonline.org


Reserve Your Antiquarian Clam Bake Tickets Now

(July 11, 2010) Word has spread that last year's Rehoboth Antiquarian Society’s annual clambake was delicious . . . and tickets are selling fast!

      Dating back to the very beginning of the RAS, the first bake was held in 1884 in a field across from Goff Memorial Hall.  It became a highlight of the summer for residents of Rehoboth and nearby towns.  It was so popular in the early twentieth century that people took the trolley from Providence to spend the day in Rehoboth. 

      The annual bake was also a popular event for local and state politicians to meet and greet constituents.  One year Massachusetts Attorney (and future President) Woodrow Wilson attended.

     Despite the dark days of WWI, the Depression and WWII, the Society’s clambake was held every summer until the late 1940s when it was discontinued until it’s revival in 1984.

    Imagine cooking for hundreds upon hundreds of hungry townsfolk and visitors without the benefit of modern innovations. Just getting the clams and seaweed from shore involved many, long hot wagon rides on bumpy country roads.  And instead of cool summer shorts and sandals, think about wearing “your Sunday best” including the tight leather shoes, woolen pants or dresses that required snug corsets and thick stockings.

     Although not as large as it once was, nor as difficult to travel to, today’s clam bake is enjoyed by over a hundred diners seated under the roof of the clambake shed behind Goff Memorial with bakemaster (and selectman) Ken Foley, Jr. orchestrating the all-you-can-eat feast.    

     You’ll enjoy heaping plates of tender clams, fish, sausages, onions, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, stuffing, sweet corn, brown bread and iced cold watermelon for a ticket price of $33. per person.  Seating is limited, so make sure to call soon: 508-252-4363, Monday through Friday between 8:30am and 5pm.


RePAC Publishes Annual Report on Website

(July 8, 2010)    Rehoboth Public Access Corporation (RePAC) issued a financial report for the interim fiscal period from January 1, 2010 to May 31, 2010 in a newly published, seven-page annual report. 

    RePAC, is an independent, non-profit organization that is contracted by the town to provide public access cable television, specifically an “educational” channel and “government” channel. 

     The addition of a third channel for “public access” has been an ongoing issue in the past year and the annual report clearly describes confrontational episodes with members of the Rehoboth board of selectmen (BOS) over the activation of a “public access channel” for the town.

     RePAC had received numerous requests from the Rehoboth community, as well as outside entities such as a pro-life organization, to broadcast programs of a public access nature, defined as anything other than local government or school related programming. 

      According to copies of official correspondence available on the RePAC website, the organization repeatedly asked the BOS to formally issue a request to Comcast in order to activate the third channel which the board refused to do.  

     At the same time, the BOS voted to amend the town’s contract with RePAC so that the the $69,384.22 in yearly funding from Comcast go directly to the BOS to manage instead of the RePAC board of directors. That amendment was repealed at a recent public hearing held by the BOS to address that specific issue.   

     According to the RePAC annual report, on March 19, 2010 “after exhausting all administrative remedies to activate the Public Access Channel” the organization “commenced legal action for declaratory relief in Superior Court to have the third access channel activated for the Rehoboth community.”

    On March 24, as part of a structured settlement, the BOS forwarded a formal request to Comcast which is now in the process of activating the new channel at on cost or expense to either the town of RePAC.  Installation of the new channel at the RePAC studio in the town’s annex building on Anawan Street (the old senior center) is scheduled for sometime in September.

     The seven-page RePAC annual report also contains descriptions of the existing services offered to the community including Channel 9 for municipal government and Channel 15 for broadcasting D-R Regional School District programs, events and meetings. 

     RePAC recorded the DRRHS commencement on its new SX4 Tightrope Media System (TRMS) and is offering DVD copies of the graduation as a method to “fund RePAC’s educational and learning productions.”

     The TRMS system, acquired by funding from Comcast without cost to the town, will allow RePAC to integrate all three channels once the new public access channel is activated in September. It also allows RePAC to simulcast to all schools and the Blanding Library, and in the case the educational channel to Dighton’s Channel 98. 

    The RePAC annual report can be read on repac9.org.


RPD Headquarters Sustains $40,000 in Damages

(July 7, 2010)    A June 28 lightening struck at Rehoboth Police headquarters caused damage estimated in excess of $40,000. 

    Fortunately no one was injured but telephone and radio service was disrupted for a short time in the early evening and quickly restored.

    The lightening strike causes significant damage to vital equipment including the main police and fire radio consoles, the police inter-city radio and back-up radios.  Also damaged was a UPS on the telephone system.  A claim has been filed with the Town’s Insurance carrier, Trident Insurance.

    The police and fire department’s main radios have been temporarily repaired.  Replacement radio consoles have been ordered and are expected to be delivered and installed within the next week.


Second Citizen’s Police Academy Graduation

July 5, 2010) The Rehoboth Police Department held a graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 30 for the twenty-seven members of its second Citizen’s Police Academy class.  

    The class which ran for twelve weeks and included instruction in topics such as Patrol Tactics, Use of Force, Criminal Investigations, Internal Affairs, OUI Enforcement.  

    Graduates enjoyed dinner with department representatives including Chief Enos, Lieutenant Trombetta,  and patrolmen Gardner, Forget and Perry.   Also attending was Police Chaplain, Rev. John Amaral.

    Graduates of this class are:   Tiffany L. Bartholomew, Joshua T. Bell, Laura Calverly, Richard A. Cook, Haley Cook, Eric Farias, Robert Hayes, Derek Henneberry, Sarah Jeffrey, Karleen Kelley, Sharyn Kelley, Ashley Knox, Michael Knox, Derek LaFleur, Lorraine Marcotrigiano, Michael Marcotrigiano, Helen Marques, Carol Martin, Scott Masterson, Evan J. Oliveira, Michael A. Oliveira Jr., Adam Plante, Beverly Procopio, Nicholas S. Procopio, Richard K. Roth, Elizabeth Santos, Jennifer Simoes.

    The RPD plans to hold their next Citizens Police Academy class in the Fall of 2010.  If you would like more information, please call headquarters using the business line at 508-252-3722.


Nixle Alert Issued Early Friday AM on Hit & Run Suspect

(June 25, 2010)  The Rehoboth Police Department is investigating a hit and run accident that happened at 126 Pine Street.  Two people were injured, one seriously, when a vehicle hit a telephone pole.  The suspect, presumably the driver, fled on foot into the woods near the area of 93 Pine Street.  He is described as a white male with a shaved head wearing a black tank top, jeans and sneakers.  Police report the suspect is possibly from the Pawtucket, Rhode Island area.  If you have seen this suspect or have any information, please call police headquarters at 508-252-3722.


Selectmen to Hold Public Hearing on RePAC

(June 25, 2010)  Selectmen invite the public to a special hearing on the possibility of repealing amendments made only a couple months ago to the town’s cable license with Comcast.  The public hearing will be held on Monday, June 28 at 7:45 PM at the Senior Center. 

    Specifically at issue are amendments to the license contract with Comcast that have to do with fees and payments.  In April, an amendment allowed for the transfer of Comcast’s annual public access programming payment directly to the board of selectmen instead of the non-profit Rehoboth Public Access Corporation (RePAC).


EnCom Proposes New Large Scale Solar By-Law

(June 23, 2010)  The town’s Energy Committee has been working diligently on a proposed new by-law to govern large scale solar installations.  The draft document is now available for public review.  Please take some time to read this important proposal.  Large Scale Solar_Model_Bylaw Planning Board Approved Draft for Public Review.pdf.zip


Planning Board Looking for New Associate Member

(June 22, 2010)  The Rehoboth Planning is board is accepting applications for a new associate member to act as a substitute if a regular member is absent, unable to act or has a conflict of interest.  The term is for one year and will run from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011.  After being selected, the associate will be designated by the board chair to sit in when needed under certain conditions prior to the commencement of a “special permit” public hearing not including site plan approval, subdivision hearings or ANR meetings.  Talent Bank Forms are available on the Rehoboth Town website.


RePAC Defines the Word “Meeting” in Policy Letter

(June 21, 2010)  A letter was issued by the Rehoboth Public Access Corp, Inc. (RePAC) on June 10 to the Board of Selectmen and copied to “All Rehoboth Boards, Commissions, Committees, Agencies and School Superintendent” regarding the recording keeping and broadcasting of public meetings.

    The one-page letter signed by Roger Breault, RePAC Chairperson, stated that the organization is guided by Massachusetts General Law in terms of the definition of “meeting” as “any corporal convening . . . in order to make a decision at which any public business or policy matter over which the governmental body has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power is discussed or considered...” 

  “RePAC does not consider political campaigning or the use of a public hearing as a political forum to be part of a meeting as contemplated under M.G.L.c.39, article 23” wrote Breault.

     He stated that “RePAC will avoid live broadcasts of political campaigning and the use of government meetings as thinly veiled political forums on the Government Access Channel.”  He added that those specific types of forums are more appropriate for broadcast on “RePAC’s soon to be activated Public Access Channel.”

    The issue of informing RePAC of government meetings and public hearings with timely notices was also addressed in the letter.  According to Breault, RePAC must receive “timely notices of public hearings, agenda of government meetings and the location/time” at least 24 hours prior to such meetings via email. 

    This letter, as well as a running list of RePAC correspondence, is available on the RePAC website.  


RBA Presents Awards and Elects New Officers

(June 18, 2010)  The Rehoboth Business Association held its year-end meeting on Tuesday, June 15 at Ralph and Joan Arquin’s Country Garden Bed & Breakfast on Tremont Street. 

     Established in 1991 by a group of local business people, the organization’s mission is to serve the “professional as well as personal needs” of the community.  Each year members contribute their resources and energy into many community-wide projects such as the annual roadside cleanup and two annual blood drives. Additionally they donate funds to support town services and other organizations.

    Members benefit from networking and attending meetings with guest speakers that address concerns of small business owners and managers.


Fallen Heroes Honored at American Legion Dedication

May 31, 2010   First Lieutenant Craig Waterman was a medivac helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He and three crewman were all killed when their CH-47 was shot down while trying to land to evacuated dead and wounded.  Almost 43 years have passed since that day, July 30, 1967.  

    The Waterman family offered the Town some land for a veterans’ memorial, but the town turned them down.  Until Saturday, May 29th, it didn’t look as if this courageous young Marine would ever be remembered in his home town. 

     Legionnaires at Post 302 on Bay State Road have fumed about the Town’s lack of patriotism for many years.  At 1:00 PM Saturday, a granite bench was unveiled at the Post’s own memorial located on the corner of Danforth and Winthrop Street  (Route 44).

   Attending the dedication were several dignitaries including:  State Senator James Timilty and State Representative Steven D’Amico who honored the families for their sacrifice.  Lt. Col Paul Landry, Commander of the 79th Troop Command, Home Land Security, based in Rehoboth,  represented the State Adjutant General, Major General Carter.  The American Legion was praised by the State American Legion Commander, Bill Barbour, for taking the initiative to honor these fallen heroes . 

   Eulogies were given by long time friend, Roger Berault and Walter Wisniewski, a USMC and Vietnam veteran who knew Waterman from his days at Pensacola,  FL.  Lt Waterman is survived by his brothers George Waterman of Rehoboth and Randy Waterman of Rehoboth.  Members of Marine Corp League 1218 in Dighton acted as honor guards for the fallen Marines and assisted with the dedication.

   American Legion Post 302 also dedicated a matching granite bench in memory of Capt Benjamin Sammis who was killed seven years ago.  Capt Sammis was a Cobra helicopter pilot killed while providing armed support in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, April 5, 2003.  Eulogizing Capt Sammis was long time family friend, Bruce Morris of Barrington, RI. 

     Marine Tom Lyons, from the Marine organization, Semper Fidelis, eulogized both Marines drawing on the similarities in their military careers and their dedication to their country. Capt Sammis is survived by his widow, Stacy Sammis, his parents, Steve and Beth Sammis of Rehoboth and two brothers, Adam and Jeff.

    Both Rehoboth natives graduated from Dighton –Rehoboth Regional High School.  Waterman was in the first graduating Class of June 1961.  Sammis graduated in 1992.  Waterman went on to Wentworth Institute to a degree in Technical Engineering before entering the Marines.  Sammis graduated from The Citadel in 1996.

     1LT Waterman’s remains were interned in Rehoboth Village Cemetery in 1993 after twenty-five years of being missing in action. Remains of his crew are interned together at a marked area in Arlington  National Cemetery. Capt. Sammis was interned at Arlington National Cemetery with full Military Honors in 2003.

     Elements of the Patriot Guard, a motor cycle group of Vietnam and current veterans were on hand to witness the dedication,  The Patriot Guard members came from several New England states and some had attended a dedication in Plymouth Massachusetts earlier in the day, traveling to Rehoboth to attend the afternoon ceremony.

     Chaplain Veronica Hass, from Post 302 offered several prayers during the service.  The Rehoboth Militia saluted with a firing volley and a vocal and flute rendition of Amazing Grace. Buglers from Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School Band provided Taps.

     Post 302 Junior Vice Commander Michael Costello, father of three daughters serving on active duty, thanked the crowd of about four hundred for attending and paying tribute to the lives of the two fallen Marines. 

     American Legion Post 302 is located on Bay State Road and is commanded by George Amaral.  Post Adjutant Bill Saunders acted as master of ceremony.


REHOBOTH RESIDENTS VOTE TO SAVE BLANDING LIBRARY

(May 25, 2010)  Over 650 residents filled the auditorium at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School at last night’s Town Meeting to exercise their freedom of speech and right to vote on important issues that affect everyone in town.  The meeting will be continued next week on June 1.

    Residents, shocked earlier this spring when the Finance Committee proposed zero funding for the town’s public library, voted 552 to 95 to provide the  $196,507 needed for the library to not only remain open but to guarantee state certification (allowing Blanding to remain a member of the program that connects area libraries). 

    Former selectmen Frederick “Skip” Vadnais, in a clever procedural move, suggested voting to stop reconsideration of the library issue during the remainder of this town meeting.  This prevents the possibility of the library issue being brought up for a reconsidered vote again in next week’s continuation when there may not be as many voters there. 

    Before the library vote, all four articles on the “Special Town Meeting” earlier in the evening were approved as originally submitted in the town warrant including: police details reimbursement; transfer of overlay surplus to the reserve fund; a transfer of funds from Board of Health to Veterans’ Benefits; and payment of $12,953.63 to pay out the contract benefits to the retired director of the Council on Aging (COA). 

     As an amendment to the issue of paying out the past COA director, voters were asked to approve paying accrued interest of $388.62.  Sue Pimental, chair of the Finance Committee, voiced the opinion that paying interest would set a bad precedent and those in attendance voted in agreement to defeat the amendment.

    Immediately following the special meeting votes, the first article on the warrant to authorize disposal of surplus town equipment was approved by residents.  At that point a motion was made and approved to advance the meeting agenda to the “culture and recreation” portion of the finance committee’s budget recommendation article in order to address the library funding issue. 

     That topic filled up the remainder of the evening and the meeting will be continued on Tuesday, June 1 at 7:30 PM in the auditorium at DRRHS.  The meeting will pick up with Article 2 of the warrant, the report of the Finance Committee, a topic guaranteed to provoke much discussion before residents vote whether or not to accept the committee’s budget recommendations for the next fiscal year.  


STEP BACK IN TIME THIS WEEKEND WITH RMC

(May 21, 2010)  The Rehoboth Minute Company will participate this upcoming weekend in a Revolutionary War Encampment at the Freetown Historical Society on both Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23. 

    The public is invited to attend the step back into history and enjoy a variety of activities including the reenactment of the Raid on Freetown which took place about a week before the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775.  If it had not been for that raid, when gun powder and arms were taken from the British and local sympathizers made to promise not to fight the redcoats, the war for independence may well have begun in Freetown.

    The weekend activities will start on Saturday at 10 AM and continue to 5 PM and on Sunday from 10 AM to 2 PM.  Several buildings will be open including a 19th century church, school, blacksmith shop, carriage house and store, as well as the museum and war encampment.  There will be 18th century kids games and activities, military drills, a fashion show and Ladies Tea on Sunday.  

     On Saturday afternoon at 3:15 PM, there will a raid on the encampment and at 6:30 PM the Minutemen will reenact the Raid on Freetown.

    Directions to the Freetown encampment have been modified to account for the closed bridge:  From Route 24 South:  Exit 9, take a left at bottom of ramp.  From Route 24 North:  Exit 9, take a right at the bottom of the ramp.  Then follow South Main Street for about 3/4 mile.  Take a right onto Nottingham Way.  Continue.  Take a left on Christy Lane.  Continue to the end and take a right onto Elm Street.  Once you cross the railroad tracks, the encampment site is on the right.

     Please watch your speed as the road was put in to bypass the bridge only recently and it will be heavily patrolled.


VOTERS MUST DECIDE:  SELECTMEN VS. FINCOM

(May 19, 2010)  Rehoboth residents will have a chance to exercise their right to vote at the annual town meeting on Monday, May 24 and carefully choose how town money is used or not used.

  There is a certain amount of confusion this year because the Finance Committee has their list of budget recommendations and the board of selectmen have issued their own, although one member has been quoted as “adamantly opposed” to a selectmen’s own budget and did not sign the selectmen’s cover letter on the town warrant. 

   Both proposed budgets are included in the warrant, sent to each household by regular mail, along with twenty-seven articles to be voted on a the regular town meeting and four “special town meeting” articles.

    Meanwhile supporters of Blanding Library are hoping residents will vote to keep the library funded.  After the finance committee’s original recommendation of zero funding, the altered recommendation, which must be voted on, is to split $185,000 in funding from two sources including the “stabilization fund” that will require a 2/3 vote at town meeting. 

     Rehoboth’s newest selectmen, Don Leffort, has issued a direct mail piece asking resident’s to support the selectmen’s budget with explanations on six hot issue topics.

    Residents are encouraged to carefully read the town warrant prior to attending the annual/special town meeting on Monday night.


SOUTH COAST SCHOOLS BENEFIT FROM MILLIONS IN FUNDING

(May 14, 2010)  Governor Deval Patrick visited New Bedford’s Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School to emphasize his administration’s commitment to education in southeastern Massachusetts.  So far this year, a total of $303 million has been directed to SE MA schools through Chapter 79.  Another $36 million has been filtered to communities in federal and state grant programs.  A total of $60 million in federal stimulus funds have been provided to SE MA communities to help stabilize school budgets and promote educational reform initiatives.  Governor Patrick was instrumental in getting a total of $2 billion for the state in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for all the public schools in Massachusetts.


MA SELECTED FOR USDA STUDY

(May 14, 2010)  Earlier this week, the Patrick-Murray Administration announced that MA is one of six states selected to participate in a USDA research study on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as the food stamp program. 

The study will focus on SNAP program modernization initiatives including policy changes, waivers, and the use of technology.  MA will receive $75,000 to cover project costs.

According to reports, the SNAP program not only helps those in need of supplemental assistance to access nutritious food, the program generates nearly $2 million in economic activity including local food production, sales and jobs.


MONEY RAISED AT MAY BREAKFAST HELPS RFD

(May 10, 2010)  The annual May Breakfast held by the Station #2 Firefighters Association was a successful fund-raiser for a fund used to purchase equipment and station needs not covered by the ever-decreasing town budget.  Almost two hundred hungry patrons enjoyed the breakfast event.  The firefighters want to thank everyone for their continued support.


LOCAL OPTION MEALS TAX ALREADY HELPING CITIES AND TOWNS

(May 5, 2010)  Rehoboth is one of 78 Massachusetts towns and cities that voted for the .75 percent optional local meals tax.  Already $11.31 million in revenue has been produced and distributed back to local communities.  According the state Department of Revenue, Rehoboth’s average collection this winter was $1,928.60. Nearby Raynham averaged about $23,000 per month and Taunton $43,000 per month. Seasonal summer revenue is expected to increase.


NEW RPD OFFICER SWORN IN AFTER TRAINING

(May 4, 2010)  Rehoboth Police’s newest officer was sworn in at the Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, May 3, 2010.  Patrolman Douglas A. Brown, age 26 of Seekonk, MA graduated from the Municipal Police Training Academy in Randolph on Friday, April 30 after a 21 week training program.  Officer Brown, who fills one of the vacancies in the ranks, will begin field training with a veteran officer before assuming his own patrol duties.   Two additional officers are in training at the academy.


SAFE FOUND BY ROADSIDE ON TREMONT STREET

(May 3, 2010)  A notice went out on the Nixle online advisory system from Rehoboth Police on Monday, May 3 regarding a large metal safe discovered by the roadside on Tremont Street near Dean Street in northern Rehoboth.  Police spotted the safe near the side of the road and retrieved it.   Heavy enough to require two people to lift it, the safe now is in custody at police headquarters.  Anyone having information on a missing safe or its owner are asked to call the RPD as soon as possible at 508-252-3722.


SECOND BRISTOL COUNTY DRC TO OPEN

(April 28, 2010)  A second Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Bristol County will open at 9 a.m., Wednesday, April 28 in North Attleboro to assist individuals, households and businesses with disaster-related damage caused by record-setting March rainfall and resulting flooding.

     The center is located at the: Masonic Lodge, 46 S. Washington Street in North Attleboro, MA. The center will operate daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sundays, until further notice.  To date, more than 200 area residents have visited the DRC located in Fall River at One Government Center, 114 South Main Street to meet face-to-face with recovery specialists about specific disaster-related needs or concerns. The latest center joins the seven DRCs currently open in disaster-designated counties that have provided recovery information to more than 2,100 center visitors.

     Once registered, staff at a center can quickly review and update applicant information and provide specific answers to individual questions and concerns.  Center specialists can also identify possible help from voluntary agencies or provide disaster-related information to reduce future damage risks. 

   Disaster officials ask that before visiting any DRC, people first register by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (800) 462-7585 (TTY) for people with speech or hearing disabilities. The toll-free numbers are staffed 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual registration assistance and help is available.


NEW BUS POLICY WILL AFFECT STUDENTS & PARENTS

(April 21, 2010)   A new district-wide school bus policy will go into effect on July 1, 2010 to eliminate the existing option for students to “switch buses” by written parental request unless granted written permission by the school principal (or designee) for only emergency or extenuating circumstances.  

     According to the new district policy affecting all three Rehoboth schools, a student must be transported to and from one set location five days a week.  Currently students who present a written parental request in the morning  are allowed to take different buses depending on their destination that day, for example an after-school care center or program, a friend’s home, a scout meeting, musical or dance lessons or non-district related athletics. 

     Working parents have traditionally relied on the bus-switch option to have their child either picked up or dropped off  from various safe locations other than home. 

    Older students at Beckwith and D-R rely on bus transportation to deliver them safely to various after-school locations instead of walking or bike riding on dangerous Rehoboth roadways including Route 44.


TOWN-WIDE ROAD CLEANUP UNTIL SATURDAY

(April 22, 2010)  The old saying, “if you don’t do it yourself, it doesn’t get done” applies to the annual town-side Spring road cleanup in Rehoboth. Well, we have until Saturday to “get ‘ur done.” 

     Sponsored by the Rehoboth Business Association (RBA), free pickup of collected roadside trash is provided by Tim Johnson of Propane Plus and Brian Dufrane, who was instrumental in starting the program as a past president of the RBA.  He helped develop relationships with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Department and Massachusetts Highway Department to help clean up Route 44 and convinced the town Board of Health to allow free trash disposal at the transfer station.

     Dufrane, currently an eighth grade math teacher in Taunton, continues to assist in the roadside cleanup program as part of his own commitment to a cleaner Rehoboth.  

    Tim Johnson, owner of Propane Plus, believes the annual roadside cleanup is very easy and efficient.  With his company trucks out all over town on a daily basis, it is easy to pick up the RBA bags along the way.

     “In the past, roadside trash pickup was held on only one designated day,” said Johnson, “and bad weather could seriously effect the program.”

     The current method of having residents collect trash over several weeks makes things easier on everyone.  “With only a little effort and no cost,” Johnson emphasized,  “this is a great opportunity to clean up the town.”


THREE-CAR CRASH AT RTE 44 & WILMARTH BRIDGE

(April 29, 2010)  On Wednesday, April 28, Rehoboth public safety units responded to a multiple vehicle accident that occurred at Route 44 and Wilmarth Bridge Road.  First arriving fire units reported possible injured occupants who were later evaluated by Rehoboth EMS.  The injured declined transport to the hospital.  The accident is currently being investigated by Rehoboth Police. 


MAY 3 DEADLINE FOR DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT

(April 28, 2010)  Massachusetts residents who have lost jobs due to the March flood disaster have until close of business on Monday, May 3 to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits. Applicants may call 617-626-6800 for more info.


SECOND BRISTOL COUNTY DRC TO OPEN

(April 28, 2010)  A second Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Bristol County will open at 9 a.m., Wednesday, April 28 in North Attleboro to assist individuals, households and businesses with disaster-related damage caused by record-setting March rainfall and resulting flooding.

     The center is located at the: Masonic Lodge, 46 S. Washington Street in
North Attleboro, MA. The center will operate daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sundays, until further notice. 

    To date, more than 200 area residents have visited the DRC located in Fall River at One Government Center, 114 South Main Street to meet face-to-face with recovery specialists about specific disaster-related needs or concerns. The latest center joins the seven DRCs currently open in disaster-designated counties that have provided recovery information to more than 2,100 center visitors.

     Once registered, staff at a center can quickly review and update applicant information and provide specific answers to individual questions and concerns.  Center specialists can also identify possible help from voluntary agencies or provide disaster-related information to reduce future damage risks. 

   Disaster officials ask that before visiting any DRC, people first register by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (800) 462-7585 (TTY) for people with speech or hearing disabilities. The toll-free numbers are staffed 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual registration assistance and help is available.


NEW BUS POLICY WILL AFFECT STUDENTS & PARENTS

(April 21, 2010)   A new district-wide school bus policy will go into effect on July 1, 2010 to eliminate the existing option for students to “switch buses” by written parental request unless granted written permission by the school principal (or designee) for only emergency or extenuating circumstances.  

     According to the new district policy affecting all three Rehoboth schools, a student must be transported to and from one set location five days a week.  Currently students who present a written parental request in the morning  are allowed to take different buses depending on their destination that day, for example an after-school care center or program, a friend’s home, a scout meeting, musical or dance lessons or non-district related athletics. 

     Working parents have traditionally relied on the bus-switch option to have their child either picked up or dropped off  from various safe locations other than home.  Older students at Beckwith and D-R rely on bus transportation to deliver them safely to various after-school locations instead of walking or bike riding on dangerous Rehoboth roadways including Route 44.


REHOBOTH GARDEN CLUB TO HOST PLANT SALE

(April 19, 2010)   Once again the public will have a large variety of plants to choose from when the Rehoboth Garden Club holds their annual plant sale on Saturday, May 15 from 10 AM to 2 PM in the Clambake Shed behind Goff Memorial Hall on Bay State Road.  

     Perennials from the gardens of the Garden Club members will be featured and available for purchase along with a large variety of annuals, hanging plants, vegetable plants and herbs.

     Proceeds from the sale will benefit the club’s scholarship awarded annually to a local college student.


RESIDENT WANTS TO THANK GOOD SAMARITAN

(April 19, 2010)   Rehoboth resident Evelyn Rose Bois is very grateful for the quick thinking action of an unknown neighbor who saved her life on the morning of Saturday, April 10.

     Evelyn was woken shortly after 7 AM when Rehoboth police and fire personnel were banging on her door warning her she had to leave immediately because of a gas leak.

     A neighbor had been out for an early morning walk when she noticed the strong smell of gas at Evelyn’s home and called 911 for help.

     “Unfortunately I do not know the lady’s name, but I want to thank her for saving my life,” said Evelyn.  “Her quick thinking kept me safe and helped to correct a serious situation.”


REHOBOTH REAL ESTATE TAX BILLS ON THE WAY

(April 16, 2010)   After a prolonged approval process with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR).  Rehoboth’s tax rate was finally certified on Thursday, April 15.  Tax bills are now being printed and will be sent to property owners with payment due in 30 days.

   Members of the Rehoboth Board of Assessors found working with DOR staff to be extremely frustrating. “The process was horrendous,” said board chair Gene Campbell.   “It wasn’t bad, it was worse than bad.”

     The board submitted their work to DOR in September and only received official approval yesterday.  DOR personnel blamed the long delay for approval on budget cutbacks in their department of state government.

     The process of establishing a tax rate involves determining the levy limit.  The levy limit is the amount of money that can be raised through taxation.  Starting with the prior year levy, an increase of up to 2.5% is allowed and then an amount for new growth is added. 

    New growth includes new houses, additions, subdivided lots, cell towers, electric transmission lines and other additions to the overall value of property in the town.   Any debt exclusion, such as the Senior Center, is factored in. 

   The tax levy in Rehoboth this year is just over $16.6 million, $2000 below the allowable levy limit.  The rate tax is determined by dividing the total assessed value of taxable property in the town. The resulting rate in this case is $9.32 per thousand dollars of assessed value.  The bills are on the way and the town definitely needs the money.


TOWN MEETING DELAYED BY TWO WEEKS

(April 12, 2010)  The annual town meeting, scheduled for May 10, has been delayed two weeks until May 24, but a “special” town meeting may still be held on May 10 at the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School auditorium to address a fiscal crisis.

      Because the town may run out of money at some point during the month of May, a special town meeting must be held so residents can vote on transferring money so that certain departments can remain operational.

     According to the board of selectmen, including newly-elected Don Leffort, they need more time to review warrant articles and allow for adjustments to next year’s budget. 

     Following the departure of board chair, Frederick “Skip” Vadnais, Ken Foley, was elected as the new chairman and Leffort appointed clerk. 

     A determination on when the special town meeting will be made at the next selectmen’s meeting and announced as soon as possible.  Residents must wait for the town warrant to be mailed until dates are set.


DON’T WAIT TO CONTACT FEMA FOR RECOVERY HELP

(April 8, 2010)  A press release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) via the state office in Framingham provides a check list for homeowners, renters and business owners affected by recent flood damage.

    Officials encourage a “take-charge action plan” to help speed the possibility of obtaining state and federal disaster aid.  Don’t wait is the first course of action suggested.  Use the registration line at 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 for the hearing or speech impaired. 

     Disaster assistance covers a wide range of losses including loss of essential personal property such as a major appliance or medical equipment.  Those who have sustained damages should register with FEMA even if they have other insurance because the coverage may not be adequate enough to cover all losses or foundation damage that may appear later on. 

     After registering with FEMA for assistance, it is critical to keep track of important information and keep scheduled appointments.  A FEMA-contracted inspector will make an appointment to visit your home, usually within a week.  You can utilize the Helpline option at the FEMA toll-free number for answers to your questions, contact updates or to change appointment times.

     An essential part of the disaster-assistance process is applying for a disaster loan with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  After registering with FEMA, a loan package will be sent by mail and applicants are encouraged to complete and return promptly. 

     Eligible applicants for relief should carefully read all documentation because federal assistance may have to be repaid if it is duplicated by insurance or other assistance received.

      It is important to know that some applicants for federal relief may receive notification they have been “denied,” but this often means that one or more aspects of the form is not clear or missing.  An “INS-Insured” denial does not necessarily mean “case closed.”  Instead applicants may be required to first settle with their primary insured to prevent duplication of payments. 

     When an insurance settlement is delayed or does not cover losses, FEMA can still be of assistance (if you’ve registered early as advised).  They can assist with uncompensated losses or living expense benefits, along with other issues. 

    FEMA advises checking the local building officials before starting any repairs or reconstruction.  You may need required permits and inspections.  Keeping realistic expectations is also advised because disaster relief is intended to need critical needs, like safety and sanitation, instead of restoring property and possessions to pre-flood conditions. 

    Finally, remember to keep all documentation and all receipts for possible reimbursement.


REHOBOTH VOTERS CHOOSE NEW PUBLIC SERVANTS

(April 6, 2010)  Thirty percent of registered voters turned out yesterday to cast ballots in three contested races including one position on the three-member board of selectmen, one spot on the regional school committee, and three constable positions in Rehoboth.

     Lifelong resident and local businessman Donald Leffort won the selectmen slot in an extremely close contest, winning by 44 votes over veteran five-term selectmen Frederick “Skip” Vadnais.

    In the school committee race, incumbent Richard Barrett, a local school bus driver, won over challenger Michael Deignan, an educational administrator.  

     Of the four candidates running for three constable spots, political newcomer Paul Strollo lost to the three incumbents, Kenneth Abrams, Robert Johnson II, and Douglas Johnson, Sr. 


POST-FLOOD SCHOOL BUS ROUTES BEING TESTED

(April 2, 2010)  Due to damaged roads and missing bridges, several Rehoboth school bus routes have been modified and are being tested today in preparation for schools reopening on Monday, April 5. Using the school system’s communication system, parents were notified via land and/or mobile phone of this week’s school closures. 


REHOBOTH BRIDGES GONE, GOING OR DANGEROUS

(April 2, 2010)  According to Town Administrator David Marciello, Rehoboth has sustained more damage than any other town in Bristol County although the extent of damage can not be fully ascertained by engineers until the water recedes.

    Flooding of the eleven-mile Palmer River and its tributaries caused evacuations and road and bridge closures.  Four bridges have collapsed or closed indefinitely. The Wheeler Street bridge washed away completely and part of the the bridge on Elm Street has fallen into the water. 

     On Moulton Street, a portion of the bridge is gone.  During the deluge, other roads and bridges were closed including Carpenter Street and Danforth Street which now has a sinkhole estimated at eight feet deep.  Many other roads have sinkholes and significant surface damage.

   Rehoboth schools were closed both Wednesday and Thursday following an early release on Tuesday during the torrential rains.  By Tuesday evening, Selectmen had declared a state of emergency in Rehoboth.  They expect to apply for aid from various federal sources.


MOTHER NATURE WREAKS HAVOC WITH RECORD RAIN NIXLE.COM COMMUNITY ALERT SYSTEM WORKS WELL

(March 31, 2010)  By mid-morning the Nixle.com community notification system sent out the first alert from the Rehoboth Police Department warning citizens that a portion of Danforth Street had washed out.  Two hours later, more alerts were sent - another section of Danforth was closed and the Highway Department was offering sandbags to town residents. 

    Meanwhile the decision has been made to release schools early and parents were notified through the school department’s communication system, as they were later in the evening about today’s school closure.

     Rehoboth Police issued another Nixle.com alert asking residents to check in on elderly or disabled neighbors.  The alert included important information about the town’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and phone numbers to call for storm-related problems.  

     Nixle.com is a free service that alerts subscribers to public safety issues and other community information directly by email or text message.


PREVENTING DROP-OUTS A PRIORITY AT DRRHS

(March 26, 2010)  Statistics recently reported in the Attleboro Sun Chronicle dismally showed a decline in the grad rate last year at DRRHS. Despite numerous mechanisms already in place to keep students on the path to graduation, there was a  7.78 percent drop in the grad rate from 2008 to 2009.

   Acutely concerned, principal Gail Van Buren has been looking for explanations but there is no single thread connecting the students to a distinct problem.  Looking at the students involved who did not graduate last year, she discovered a variety of possible explanations including chronic absenteeism and relocation.  Four of students factored into the statistic had left DR to attend night school in Taunton.

     Passing the state MCAS exams, a requirement for graduation, was not a problem.  “They all had passed MCAS,” noted principal Van Buren regretfully.  “Attendance seems to be the issue,” she said, “and you can sometimes track this right back to grade school for some kids.” 

    There are many reasons why students so close to graduation drop out including illness, family difficulties or court issues.  “Sometimes it’s a relationship,” explained Van Buren, “when one leaves, so does the other.” 

     The issue of absenteeism leads to students not having enough credits to graduate and the school offers both preventive measures and remedies.

A call-back system, valuable as a deterrent to absenteeism, automatically alerts parents by phone when their offspring are not in school. 

     There are academic supports in place to help students who have fallen behind for whatever reason.  Summer school is available to make up credits and a buy-back program allows students, together with their parents, to sign a contract promising perfect attendance as a means of regaining missing credit. 

     “These are dangerous times because of the economy,” emphasized Van Buren, “and we are committed to doing everything possible”  to keep kids in school so they can graduate.  “We don’t want them to give up.”


PROPOSED ZERO FUNDING MAY CLOSE LIBRARY JULY 1

(March 24, 2010)  After serving the people of Rehoboth for generations, the Blanding Public Library, located in the town’s most iconic building, is at great risk of locking it’s doors and terminating all services by July 1st.

    Striving for a balanced town budget during dire economic times, the town finance committee has recommended zero funding to the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society, the organization that operates the library as well as Carpenter Museum and Goff Memorial Hall.  The news came by complete surprise earlier this week to library officials who came to Monday night’s selectmen’s meeting looking for answers. 

     Tom Chernecki, president of the Antiquarian Society asked the board if they planned to close the 132-year old library in three months time and was told the finance committee reduced funding from $196,000 for 2010 to zero for 2011.  “The library is the only thing in town that is zero-funded for next year,” said Laura Bennett, library director who notes that traditionally library funding represents only 1 percent of the town’s annual budget. 

     With such a disproportionate cut, the Massachusetts Board of Libraries will pull Blanding’s certification and deny access to the state-wide library system.  Along with town funding, the library depends on state aid for libraries, currently at only $1.05 per resident, a figure likely to be drastically cut and contribute to the closing of public libraries throughout the state, particularly in small towns and communities.

   While no one on the Finance Committee spoke at Monday’s selectmen’s meeting, the selectmen each emphasized they cannot change the finance committee figure nor can they take a position on the matter or offer support until the issue is addressed as an article on the warrant for the May 10 town meeting.

     The Antiquarian Society has a procedural option to first get an article on the town warrant to reallocate the budget and that, if successful, would force an override vote specifically funding the library to take place 35 days after the close of town meeting. 

     Another option would be for the Antiquarian Society to stand up at town meeting and ask for a change in the budget which would result in a general override, also to take place 35 days later.  

    The Antiquarian Society has provided the town of Rehoboth with a public library since 1886, with not only books but a community center for residents of all ages.

     “We’ve been only 1 percent of the town’s budget, but are open six days a week, four evenings a week, and 52 weeks a year,” said library director Bennett.  “Generations of families have passed through the doors,” she added, “it would be tragic to close them now when townspeople need their library more than ever.”

     The Antiquarian Society board of trustees are scheduled to meet this week and members plan to be at the next Selectmen’s meeting.


ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND MISSING THE MARK

(March 26, 2010)  The poor economy is having a significant effect on the annual Citizen’s Scholarship Fund drive.  While the door-to-door campaign conducted by D-R students earlier this month went well despite drenching rains, the business portion of the annual drive has not been successful at all. 

     Plus their planned Antique Show & Sale Fundraiser scheduled for April has been cancelled due to lack of participants.

   Any business wishing to help graduating seniors further their education by contributing to the Citizens Scholarship Fund can still mail in their donations: 


FIRE CHIEF APPOINTED BY GOVERNOR TO COUNCIL

(March 25, 2010)  Rehoboth Fire Chief Robert Pray has been appointed to the Massachusetts Fire Training Council by Governor Deval Patrick.  He is the first chief of a call fire department ever to be appointed to the council.

     The council is the singular agency that certifies all levels of fire service personnel in the Commonwealth.  Additionally, the council has statutory authority to promulgate rules and regulations for the operation of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy.  Each council member is appointed by the governor in what is considered a very prestigious position.


LATEST NEWS ON WOMAN CHARGED WITH MURDER

(March 22, 2010)  More information is coming out about Kim Peno, the Rehoboth woman charged with beating her two-year old son Timothy who died the next day at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.

     Peno, who is scheduled to appear in Taunton District Court this morning, has been the subject of numerous media reports that allege she has a long history of child abuse and neglect in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. 

    Boston television station WBZ reported that Peno is pregnant for the seventh time and has four older children in state custody in RI. Currently the state has custody of her one-year old son Cory and several reports indicate Timothy was in state custody and was only recently returned to the care of his parents. 

     With a documented history of mental illness, Peno allegedly told investigators she had been drinking beer the night of the attack, had taken four Tylenol PM.  She is currently being held without bail.


TOWN PROPOSING NEW OPEN SPACE BYLAW

(March 20, 2010)  A new Open Space Residential Design (OSRD) bylaw will be presented at the Fall Town Meeting.  According to town planner and conservation agent, Leeann Bradley, a subcommittee has spent considerable time working on the new open space bylaw and have prepared a PowerPoint presentation to explain the proposed OSRD plan. Just click on the box to the side to download a PDF.


CRITICALLY INJURED REHOBOTH TODDLER DIES

(March 19, 2010)  The Bristol County District Attorney’s office reported the death of the Rehoboth toddler allegedly beaten by his mother Kim Peno either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning at their home on Blanding Street.  Timothy Peno died this morning in the Intensive Care Unit of Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.


WOMAN ACCUSED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER HELD

(March 19, 2010)  While her critically injured two-year old son is reportedly on life support at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Kim Peno, age 38, was charged with attempted murder and is being held without bail pending a mental health evaluation.   The boy’s sixty-five year old father Joseph Peno has not been charged, but the couple’s one-year old son has been removed from the 19 Blanding Street home and is in state custody.

    Peno’s attorney, Robert Sinsheimer presented his client’s mental health history to Judge Francis Martini in Taunton District Court yesterday afternoon.  She is scheduled to reappear on Monday for a hearing to determine her psychological status. 

     Prior to renting a house in Rehoboth, Peno resided in Rhode Island where according to published reports she had a criminal history during the 1990s including assault of a person over 60, attempted larceny and escape from a correctional facility.

    Further information about Peno’s personal history prior to moving to Rehoboth is unknown at this time.


TWO YEAR OLD BOY IN CRITICAL CONDITION

(March 18, 2010 -  11:13 AM)  Rehoboth Police and Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the alleged attempted murder of a two-year old Rehoboth boy by his mother Kim H. Peno, age 38 of 19 Blanding Road.

    On March 18, 2010 at 12:15 a.m., Joseph Peno, the sixty-five-year old father of the severely injured toddler, brought the boy to Seekonk Police and Fire headquarters seeking assistance. Paramedics rendered immediate aid and then transported the child to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.

      After Seekonk Police determined the alleged incident had occurred at the child’s residence in Rehoboth, they contacted Rehoboth Police.   An investigation was launched by members of the Rehoboth Police Department, Massachusetts State Police Detectives and Seekonk Police into the incident and investigators worked throughout the night.

     Currently the child is listed in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.   Peno is in police custody at Rehoboth Police Headquarters and will be arraigned later this afternoon in Taunton District Court on the following charges: Assault with Intent to Murder, Assault & Battery Upon a Child Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and an unrelated charge of a Default Warrant from Uxbridge District Court.


BEWARE OF CREDIT CARD SCAM AFFECTING AREA

(March 18, 2010)  The Rehoboth Police Department has issued an alert to warn residents about a credit card scam that begins with a phone call and ends with people giving out their card numbers.  People are told by the con artists of problems with their account and asked to give the numbers for verification.  Police Chief Stephen Enos advises people to never give out their credit card numbers under any circumstances and instead call the bank or company that issued the card.


POLICE ASSOCIATION CONDUCT ANNUAL COMMUNITY-WIDE FUNDRAISER

(March 17, 2010)  Once a year, the Rehoboth Police Association hold an annual fundraising campaign with 100% of donations going toward important projects in town. 

     With contributions raised last year they were able to donate $4000 for food holiday baskets through Helping Hands Food Pantry, $3000 in emergency fuel assistance, $1000 to assist families with medical problems, $1000 for scholarships for students going into public safety professions, $1000 for toys and clothing at Christmas, and money for the annual Seniors Christmas Dinner and summer cookout.

     Many other worthwhile projects and community programs were funded.  They were listed in a mailer sent to Rehoboth homes recently.  Association President, Stephen Martin, appealed to residents to contribute to this years campaign with a reminder NOT to mail contribution directly to the police station, but to make checks payable to:  Rehoboth Police Association, P.O. Box 520, Rehoboth, MA 02769.


WGBH HIGH SCHOOL QUIZ SHOW BEGINS MARCH 22

(March 12, 2010)  Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School is among 24 Massachusetts schools competing in a new fast-paced quiz show set to premiere on March 22.  The D-R team will appear on the May 3 episode in the Eastern Massachusetts Qualifying Rounds.  The state quarterfinals, semifinals will follow in June with the state championship to be held on June 16. 


VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR MEMORIAL DAY PARADE

(March 12, 2010)  The committee organizing the combined Dighton-Rehoboth Memorial Day Parade, scheduled for May 31st, invite all interested parties from both towns to attend the next planning meeting on April 7th from 6:30 PM in Dighton at the Marine Corps League house (former VFW) located at 495 School Street. 

     Volunteers are needed to help coordinate marching units, starters, and parking directors.  Groups that wish to participate in the parade, should sent a representative to the April 7th meeting.  For those who cannot attend the meeting, please contact parade organizers, Dighton Veterans Agent Robert “Woody” Woods at 508-269-4545 or Rehoboth Veterans Agent Bill Saunders at 508-252-4467.


REPAC OFFERS VIDEO-ON-DEMAND PROGRAMMING

(March 11, 2010)  Amidst continuing controversy, RePAC, Inc., the nonprofit organization contracted with the town to provide PEG (public, educational, governmental) cable access programming, is now offering online video-on-demand.


NOMINATE YOUR LOCAL SE MA FOOD HERO

(March 10, 2010)  Let’s try and put Rehoboth on the map!  Edible South Shore is currently seeking nominations for their Local Heros Award to honor people how have made a significant contribution to the local food movement.  In other words . . . those who “bring the best local foods and progressive ideas to our community on a daily basis.” 

     Last year’s winners included farms, food and beverage artisans, restaurants and non-profits.  We have representatives of each right category here in Rehoboth, so write up a nomination and send it in today.


WEB BROWSER SAFARI WILL SPEED UP YOUR PC

(March 5, 2010)  Faithful Readers: Safari for both PC and Mac is the world’s fastest web browser and it’s free.  Why wait for pages to load?  Not only will web pages render at lighting speed, the browser features all kinds of terrific functions.  Safari is the browser that “has your back” because it offers private browsing and stops storing searches, cookies and data you fill out in forms.  You also get secure encryption technology to prevent eavesdropping, forgery and digital tampering while you are on the internet.


“MEET THE CANDIDATES” DATES SCHEDULED

(March 3, 2010) You will have at least three opportunities to meet the Rehoboth residents currently running for town office in various capacities.  More news will be forthcoming about which candidates will appear, but the dates have been set. 

   All “meet and greets” will be held at Goff Memorial Hall including two Saturdays and one Wednesday evening prior to the April 5th town election.  Mark your calendar to meet the candidates: Saturday, March 13 from noon to 4 PM, Thursday, April 1 from 6 to 8 PM, and Saturday, April 3 from noon to 4 PM.  


SPECIAL GUESTS TO APPEAR FOR STEM NIGHT

(March 1, 2010)  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and each of those subjects will be presented in fun and novel ways by a roster of special guests at Palmer River Elementary School on Wednesday, March 3 from 6 to 8 PM. 

     Feature presenter Mark Searles, meteorologist from NBC-Channel 10 in Providence, will be in the library from 7 to 8 PM to speak with children about the “STEM” aspects of his profession.  Other guest experts will include Dr. Lifrak explaining the fun of casting in orthopedics, Mr. Downs talking about Colonial quack medicine, architect David Morais discussing the “building of buildings” and Julie Sweet presenting the science of snow and ice.

      Engineering fun with trains will be the topic shared by Mr. Latham and Mr. Greenberg will present “What’s That?”  Rehoboth police will present fingerprint forensics and Firefighter Randy talking about the science of emergency rescue.

     Palmer River students are reminded to sign in at the “Data Desk” because the class with the most participation wins extra recess, a lesson in the science of offering incentives to increase chances of success.

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