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RPD ARREST TWO RI MEN FOLLOWING TRAFFIC STOP

(January 17, 2017A routine motor vehicle stop on Winthrop Street (Route 44) last night resulted in the arrest of two men from Pawtucket, RI, one charged by Rehoboth police for two outstanding arrest warrants.

     Office Craig Forget, around 9:45 PM last night, pulled over a vehicle driven by Daniel Andrade, age 29 of Pawtucket.  He was charged with driving without a license.

    His passenger, thirty-five-year-old Andiel Pires, also of Pawtucket, was taken into custody for two outstanding arrest warrants.  One warrant, issued out of Attleboro District Court, was for a MA State Police charge of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, and the second was issued out of New Bedford District Court on a New Bedford Police charge of disorderly conduct. 

    Both men were processed at Rehoboth police headquarters and later released on bail to be arraigned in Taunton District Court today.


WRENTHAM MAN ARRESTED IN REHOBOTH ON DRUNK DRIVING CHARGE

(January 13, 2017)  Rehoboth police last night arrested a Wrentham man on multiple charges including operating his truck under the influence.

      A concerned motorist called police around 7:20 PM to report an erratic driver traveling north on Anawan Street in a full-size pickup truck.  Officers dispatched to the area of Anawan and Tremont Street quickly located the suspected vehicle which had one flat front tire down to the rim.

     Wrentham residents, Louis J Walker, III, age 37, was stopped by Patrolman Thomas Ranley, who conducted field sobriety testing. He was then put under arrest for drink driving and negligent operation, along with charges related to driving an uninsured with revoked registration.  Walker also faces a charge of wrongfully attaching registration plates to a motor vehicle.

    Following his arrest, Walker was processed at Rehoboth police headquarters and released on personal recognizance by the bail clerk.  He is scheduled to be arraigned on six motor vehicle charges today in Taunton District Court.


REHOBOTH POLICE ARREST CONNECTICUT MAN ON INDECENCY CHARGES

(January 13, 2017)  Rehoboth police yesterday afternoon arrested a Connecticut man on charges of performing lewd acts in his car while parked on Pond Street. 

     Police were first alerted by a 31-year-old town resident who called 911 in a frightened state she was out for a run and approached closely
by a black BMW without registration plates driven by a “heavy-set Hispanic-looking male wearing a ski hat.”

    She told police the driver of the BMW followed her closely before pulling along side and driving very slowly.  She observed a lone male operator masturbating and smiling at her. The unidentified resident informed police she began screaming and the vehicle backed up before turning around and leaving the scene at a fast rate of speed.

     Detective James Casey, who was on the road returning to the station from Taunton District Court, observed a vehicle matching the description traveling east on Winthrop Street (Route 44).  He turned around and caught up with the BMW as it turned into the Mannheim Auction House driveway in Taunton. 

     Joao Claudio Silva-Galdino, age 41 of New Milford, Connecticut was stopped without incident and taken into custody on charges of open and gross lewdness, lewd wanton and lascivious conduct, and disorderly conduct.  He was processed at Rehoboth police headquarters where bail was set at $2,040.  Silva-Galdino was then transported to the Bristol County House of Corrections in New Bedford.  He is set to be arraigned today in Taunton District Court.

     The incident is currently under Investigation by the Rehoboth Police Department.  The Rehoboth Police Department were assisted by the Dighton and Taunton Police Departments.


SEMAP GRANT
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FUNDING PROGRAM FOR LOCAL FARMERS 

(January 13, 2017)  The Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) is offering a new innovative funding program for farmers in Bristol, Plymouth, and Norfolk counties.

    The TIE (Technology, Innovation, and Excellence) Grant program is to encourage farmers to trial new equipment, implement new systems, and address the challenges farmers collectively face.

      Farmers face significant challenges, both financially and with time commitments, and this SEMAP TIE grant funding program is intended to lower the economic barriers to innovation.  By disseminating the results of these grant outcomes to the larger community, farmers will share knowledge and experience with other farmers throughout the area. By increasing the ability to create solutions locally we are able to increase local knowledge and capacity and resilience.

    TIE grants, with awards from $500 to $3,000, can be used for materials, consultants, and project costs.  Eligible projects include marketing, production, pest management, cover crops, composting, new crops, pollinators, and new tools that improve profitability, increase innovation and sustainability.

    Applications are due February 10 with final decisions announced at SEMAP’s annual Ag and Food Conference on February 26.  Visit the SEMAP website for full details.


BABYSITTER ARRESTED IN REHOBOTH ON THEFT CHARGE

(January 12, 2017)  Rehoboth police arrested a babysitter for a Rehoboth family on a charge of larceny after she allegedly took approximately $4000 from her employer’s home.

     Michelle O’Kane, age 22 of Baker Street in Bristol, RI was taken into custody yesterday by police at the residence and was later released on personal recognizance. She was scheduled to be arraigned in Taunton District Court today.

    The theft was first reported to local police on January 10 by the Rehoboth homeowner.  The following day, police were called again to the Gorham Street home after O’Kane arrived and tried to return the money.  Responding officers identified the suspect and arrested O’Kane on a single charge of larceny over $250. According to police, nearly $2,600 in cash was recovered.


RESIDENTS FACE FINES FOR UNLAWFUL SNOW DISPOSAL ONTO ROADWAYS

(January 10, 2017)  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen last night held a discussion with Highway Superintendent Michael Costello on the town bylaw regarding homeowners or business owners who deposit snow into public ways.

    Costello said residents, in the process of clearing their own properties, are blowing or plowing snow out into roadways. He told selectmen he wants the highway department to enforce an existing town bylaw prohibiting this practice and fine residents and/or snow removal contractors for any violations.

    The bylaw (Article VI, Section 7) “prohibits the depositing of snow or ice onto or across any public way.”  Public ways are any roadways maintained by the town, and plowed or cleared for public travel during winter ice and snow events.

    Costello reported many residents and privately hired snow removal contractors are violating the law which causes unsafe road conditions that must be then be remedied by highway department personnel.

    According to the bylaw, “any owner or agent violating this by-law shall be punished by a fine, as well as any cost incurred by the Highway Department to correct the conditions.”


OPEN BURNING SEASON TO BEGIN:  BE AWARE OF THE RULES

(January 10, 2017)  The Rehoboth Fire Department is now issuing open burning permits and reminds residents that rules and regulations will be enforced, including issuing fines to offenders.

     Open burning season runs from January 15 through May 1, 2017.  There have been some rule changes this year.  Permits are available from 9 AM to 12 noon at Fire Station 1 at the Public Safety Building at 334 Anawan Street (back RFD entrance). Cost is $5 for the permit, payable by check or money order only.  There is a fine of up to $50 for the first open burning offense.

   Once a permit has been obtained, burning of cut and piled brush is allowed between until 4 PM on authorized days. You must call the fire department at 508-252-3725 to obtain permission to burn on any given day. No calls will be taken before 9 AM.  Please use a land line phone, or cell with a strong signal, to call the fire department.

    Fire Chief Frank Barresi encourages residents to have the permit in hand when calling to get permission to burn. “The permit number is required, as well as other vital info such as your address,” he said, “so, please have it ready.”  He emphasized that callers “often tie up the department’s phone lines by telling them to hold while you run and find your permit.” 

    Barresi also reminds residents the department strictly adheres to State guidelines on when burning is allowed. “Our call takers do not make the rules, and they cannot change them.”

      Residents may only burn cut and piled brush (not brush accumulated from a commercial operation). Burning of any other debris, other than brush, will result in the revocation of your permit. Burning of leaves is not allowed at any time. Burning piles must be a minimum of 75 to 100 feet from the nearest structure, and in an area where smoke will not bother neighbors or drift into roadways.

    It is very important that all fires be extinguished by 4 PM.  With that rule in mind, be sure to only ignite piles that can be completed by 4 PM. 

    “If at any time you feel your fire may be getting out of control, do not hesitate to call 911,” emphasized Barresi. “A fire can double in size every minute,” he said, “and delaying the response can result in damage to property and structures.” 

   Please call the RFD at 508-252-3725 with any questions and concerns about how to burn legally and safely.


PLANNING BOARD TO HOST OPEN DISCUSSION ON CANNABIS BYLAW

(January 10, 2017)  The Rehoboth Planning Board will host a public discussion next month on the drafting of a new bylaw related to the sale and distribution of recreational marijuana following the statewide passage of Question 4 in November 2016.

    The state legislature, along with cities and towns across the Commonwealth, are currently looking a rules and regulations to govern legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes.  The Planning Board has scheduled a public meeting on Wednesday, February 1 at 7 PM in the Town Office on Peck Street.  All interested citizens are invited to attend.

   The use of cannabis for medical purposes has been legal in Massachusetts since 2013.  The MA Department of Health is presently working to update the regulations related to the “humanitarian medical use” of marijuana.  Proposed amendments include expanding registration criteria to include certification of qualifying nurse practitioners, caregiving institutions, and institutional caregivers.  Currently, only qualifying physicians (licensed physician, MD or DO) are legally allowed to issue certification, or medical marijuana permits, to patients.

    A local bylaw, if approved by voters at town meeting, would apply to the sales and distribution (marijuana shops) within the Town of Rehoboth.


TOWN OF REHOBOTH SEEKING APPLICANTS FOR HEALTH AGENT

(January 10, 2017)  The Town of Rehoboth is currently seeking qualified applicants for Town Health Agent, a full-time town employee position.

    Following the announced retirement of longtime Health Agent Bob Ashton, the town’s Board of Health will first review applicants before advising the board selection of finalists.  The BOS will then interview the candidates.

    The town’s health agent is responsible for enforcing state and local laws and regulations on public health, sanitation, solid waste management (transfer station), and food handling, along with rules on design and installation of septic systems, also known as “subsurface disposal systems.”

    Other job requirements include the ability to interpret and enforce regulations, and possess good communication skills because of extensive public contact.  Computer literacy is a must, along with a valid driver’s license. Desired, but not required, are certifications such as: Registered Sanitarian, Certified Health Officer, Soil Evaluator, or Professional Engineer.  Full details are available on the Classified page of Rehoboth Now.

     Those interested in applying for the job, should send a resume and references by February 3 to: Rehoboth Board of health, 148 Peck Street, Rehoboth, MA 02769, or email same to bdyer@town.rehoboth.ma.us.

    

SNOWING MORNING COMMUTE KEEPS PUBLIC SAFETY BUSY WITH ACCIDENTS

(January 6, 2017)  The snowfall this morning kept Rehoboth police, fire and EMS busy responding to several motor vehicles accidents.

    Friday morning commuters had a difficult time on snowy, icy roadways.  Shortly before 6 AM, public safety personnel were called to the scene of an accident on Tremont Street when a car hit a utility pole.  The operator declined transport by EMS to the hospital. Police and fire attended the scene as the vehicle was removed and handled a small fuel spill on the roadway. National Grid was called to replace the pole.

    Around the same time, a single-vehicle rollover accident occurred on the corner of Agricultural and Rocky Hill.  The operator was able to self extricate once the vehicle was stabilized, and declined transport to the hospital.  Removing the vehicle from the woods became a tricky process, according to a fire department report.

     There were at least three other reports of vehicles going off the roadways in Rehoboth this morning.  None of the incidents resulted in injuries.  With more snow predicted for tomorrow, drivers are urged to proceed carefully.

   

STEVEN HOWITT BEGINS FOURTH TERM AS REHOBOTH REPRESENTATIVE

(January 6, 2017)  The Town of Rehoboth continues to be represented at the State House in Boston by Rep. Steven Howitt (R-Seekonk) who was sworn into office on January 4.

    Howitt will serve in the 190th Biennium of the General Court, representing the Fourth Bristol District that includes all of Rehoboth and Seekonk, precincts 1 and 2 in Norton, and precincts 4 and 5 in Swansea.

    “I am honored and humbled to receive the most important endorsement of all from the citizens of the Fourth Bristol District,” said Howitt, who has served as rep
since 2011.   “I want to thank the people for their confidence in me and I am looking forward to continuing to work hard for them as their State Representative.”

    According to a statement issued from his office, Howitt will continue to focus on constituent service as a key priority with a focus on jobs, education and bringing back local aid for Rehoboth, Seekonk, Norton and Swansea.

    Howitt, during his tenure as representative, has maintained a 100% attendance voting record. Prior to being elected, the third-generation Seekonk resident and business owner served one term as selectman, two terms on the planning board, and was held appointments on the recycling committee, and cable TV committee.  He was also past treasurer of the Seekonk Republican Town Committee and delegate to the Massachusetts GOP State Convention. 

    He is a member of many organizations including the Seekonk Lions Club, Sons of the American Legion, Rehoboth Business Association, Republican Jewish Coalition, and Wampanoag Rod and Gun Club.  He is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. 

   Along with working with town officials, Howitt offers other services through his office including tours of the Massachusetts State House, citations requests from the House of Representatives, and meetings with individual constituents and organizations. For more info, visit the representative’s website at StevenHowitt.com


TOWN HEALTH AGENT TO RETIRE; PLANNING BOARD MEMBER RESIGNATION

(January 5, 2017)  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen announced, at their regular meeting last night, the upcoming retirement of longtime town health agent Bob Ashton. 

    After some discussion with members of the Board of Heath, selectman agreed the position of health agent, a
paid town employee, should be advertised in local newspapers and online. 

    The BOS also recently accepted the resignation of Steve Brooks from the Planning Board, an elected position of three years. Brooks leaves his position on the board with more than one year left to his term.  Candidates are encouraged to run for office to complete Brook’s term.  Two other seats (three years terms) on the planning board are up for election this spring.

    Nomination papers for town office became available earlier this week on January 3.  Any registered voter in Rehoboth, not represented by a political party caucus, who wishes to run must return nomination papers to the Board of Registrars at the town office by 5 PM on Monday, February 13 with the required signatures of 38 registered Rehoboth voters.


MORNING ACCIDENT DISRUPTS TRAFFIC ON ROUTE 44

(January 4, 2017)  A two-vehicle accident on Route 44 in front of Bristol County Savings Bank resulted in minor injuries to one occupant and disruption of morning traffic.

    Rehoboth public safety personnel responded to the accident scene.  Police handled traffic and closed one lane while conducting an accident investigation.  Firefighters arrived to deal with a fluid spill and clean up debris, while Rehoboth ES transported one unidentified person to the hospital for emergency care.  The roadway was cleared in approximately 30 minutes.


REHOBOTH MAN ARRESTED ON FAMILY ASSAULT CHARGES

(December 26, 2016)  On December 23, Rehoboth police arrested a local man on four counts of assault and battery on a family member.

    Prior to the arrest, Rehoboth police were notified that officials at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School had seen physical injuries on a student who was then interviewed and photographed by Dighton police. The student claimed his injuries were caused by his father.       

     According to police, the teen’s grandmother brought the juvenile to the Department of Children and Families to report the alleged abuse and a case was opened by investigator Justin Volpe.

   RPD Detective James Casey then traveled to Fall River to interview the teen in the offices of the Child Advocacy Center.  Based upon evidence obtained during the interview, police officers were then sent to the home of Brandon Defaria, age not given.

    Officer Gregory Decastro established contact with Defaria on his mobile phone and requested the man step outside. At first, the request was refused, but Defaria then complied and was arrested without incident, charged with four counts of assault & battery on a family member.    

    Bail was set at $240.00 by Clerk-Magistrate Marc Santos and Defaria was transported to Bristol County Sheriff Office lock-up located at Ash Street in New Bedford, MA.  Rehoboth police released no further information.


CONSIDERING A RUN FOR REHOBOTH MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT?

(December 22, 2016)  Nomination papers will be available on January 3, 2017 for any registered voter in Rehoboth, not represented by a political party caucus, who wishes to run for the annual spring town election on April 3.

    There will be two open seats for the five-member Rehoboth Board of Selectmen (3 years) including one vacancy created upon the resignation of former longtime selectman Michael Costello who has since been hired as the town’s Highway Superintendent.  The other BOS seat is currently occupied by Selectman Dave Perry.

    Other positions include two seats on the Dighton Rehoboth Regional School Committee (3 years), and two seats on the Planning Board (5 years). Other municipal government positions include: one assessor (3 years), one town moderator (1 year), one tax collector (3 years), one seat on the Park Commission (5 years), and two water commissioners (two for 3 years.  

    Nomination papers can be obtained from the town clerk’s office and returned to the Board of Registrars at the town office by 5 PM on Monday, February 13 with the required signatures of 38 registered Rehoboth voters.

     Candidates nominated by either the Republican Town Caucus or the Democratic Town Caucus will be chosen by their respective parties. The Republican caucus will meet on Wednesday, February 15 (inclement weather date 2/22) at 7:30 PM at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center.


MAN TRANSPORTED TO HOSPITAL FOLLOWING TWO VEHICLE CRASH

(December 21, 2016)  A two vehicle accident on New Street and Route 44 yesterday resulted in one injured male who required emergency care at a local hospital.

   Rehoboth public safety personnel responded to the report of an accident by a crew from Brewster Ambulance that happened to be passing by at the time of the crash.  They transported one occupant to the emergency room while Rehoboth EMS evaluated the teens involved in the accident, who were all later released to their parents.

    Rehoboth firefighters cleaned up a fluid spill and debris from the roadways while Rehoboth police controlled traffic and investigated the crash.  The names of the accident victims were not released.   (Photo credit: RFD)


HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT ADDRESSES SANDING AND PLOWING ISSUES

(December 19, 2016)  After the first snow covered local roadways last week, Rehoboth Highway Superintendent Michael Costello addressed sanding and plowing issues made on social media with a lengthy explanation on Facebook.

    The topic of sanding and plowing Rehoboth’s 160 miles of road erupted on the Rehoboth Talk public group page on Facebook on December 17 with both complaints and positive comments on the town’s highway department.

    “When I took the job as your highway superintendent, I knew it would be a thankless job,” wrote Costello, who added he has “very thick skin as many know.”

    He went on to explain it takes 32 outside snow plow contractors to take care of 160 miles of road.  For comparison, he added that Seekonk has 42 miles of road and Dighton only 34 miles.

    Costello related that on the first day as superintendent last month, he discovered the department had only half of the 32 outside snow plow contractors needed for snow and ice removal for the upcoming winter season. After advertising competitive wages to hire outside contractors, Costello was able to hire 16 new snow plow operators. 

    He explained that the newly hired operators had “never plowed our streets” before the first snow last week.  “If a street was not plowed properly,” Costello noted, “it may be because the new operator not knowing the street layout yet.”   

    While some residents complained about too much sand used to treat icy road conditions, other complained the roads were not sanded enough. Some residents complained the town’s resources and tax dollars were being wasted by either unnecessary plowing or sanding. One wrote the town must “hire the blind to plow our roads.”   Others contributors to the Rehoboth Talk Facebook page offered thanks to the highway department for doing an excellent job.

    Costello, who tracks weather conditions and communicates closely with Rehoboth police during a storm event, commented, “If I did not sand and someone had a bad accident, and someone was seriously hurt, everyone would be jumping up and down that the highway didn't sand and it causes accidents.”

    Addressing a complaint from one resident their mailbox had been damaged by a snow plow, Costello encouraged residents contact him directly at 508-243-0150 with concerns or complaints, “because Facebook can not fix it.”