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NEW ONLINE ASSESSORS PROPERTY DATABASE

(November 26, 2014)  The Rehoboth Town Assessor’s office now offers an online property database on the Town of Rehoboth website using AppGeo.

   The online tool includes a variety of map options and thematic overlays; a search option with address, property ID or owner name; property info including ownership, valuation and land; abutter info; client info panel; help tools; and site contact info/disclaimer info.

   The data currently available includes parcel info updated January 1, 2014 and property data updated January 1, 2014.  According to the disclaimer info, the “data available here is updated in the normal course of business and may not always represent the most current information. In addition, some of the data contained herein may have been compiled from third-party sources and the accuracy of that information cannot be confirmed.”

   Users encountering any function problems can use the ‘comment’ section to notify the town and AppGeo.


REHOBOTH GIRL SCOUTS BUSY WITH BLIZZARD OF GIVING

(November 26, 2014)  Have you seen the Blizzard of Giving collection boxes around town? Rehoboth Girl Scout Troops are busy collecting toys and other gifts for local children through December 12.  Please help the girls make this year the most successful one yet.

    Donate new unwrapped toys or select a “snowflake” and purchase the requested gift, then return it to one of our boxes. The “snowflakes’ can be found at: Anawan Cleaners, Blanding Library, Chartley Store, D.L. Beckwith Middle School, and Palmer River Elementary School. Then place unwrapped or “snowflake” gifts in one of the Girl Scout collection boxes at Anawan Cleaners, Blanding Library, Chartley Store, D.L. Beckwith Middle School, and Palmer River Elementary School, J&J Materials (Rt 6), Rehoboth Congregational Church, Vino’s Restaurant, Rehoboth House of Pizza, Alicia’s Dance Studio, USA Karate, and Twin Oaks Farm Learning Center.

   This has been a community service project of Rehoboth Girl Scouts for nearly 15 years and they thank everyone for helping to make our community a better place for everyone.


RPD BLAME BUDGET CUTS FOR SLOWING GUN LICENSE APPLICATIONS

(November 25, 2014)  At last night selectmen’s meeting, Acting Rehoboth Police Chief Lt. James Trombetta blamed budget cuts to his department for slowing the process of issuing gun licenses to residents. 

    According to Lt. Trombetta, gun license applications previously were processed up to five days a week by department detectives who were forced to go back on patrol duty after budget cuts in August.  Gun license applications are now processed one Saturday per month with appointments booked into September of next year.

    Lt. Trombetta said he must use the department’s overtime budget to pay personnel to process paperwork and run fingerprints on Saturdays. The department currently has 35 employees including six reserve officers, an office administrator and five dispatchers.

   Earlier this month, selectmen approved a $20K reserve fund transfer request from Lt. Trombetta to purchase new fingerprinting equipment.

   Lt. Trombetta told selectmen the police department has suffered “collateral damage” because of budget cuts and warned there could be a two-year wait for gun licenses if he can’t pay for extra help.

    In other news, Lt. Trombetta announced the department has received notice of two grants.  The RPD will receive a $3000 grant to use for a pedestrian and bicycle safety program.  He said they will use the funds to “put together something for the elementary school.”  The department has also received $2,500 for a car seat safety program. Officer Bree Krasnianski, who is certified to install car safety seats, will be in charge of the program.  She is in the process of purchasing safety seats to give to families in need.  Any resident who needs assistance installing a child safety seat can also receive help. 


PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULED FOR TREE REMOVAL PLAN

(November 23, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen will conduct a public hearing on Monday, December 8 on an extensive tree removal plan proposed by National Grid for seventy-one locations on Fairview Avenue and eleven locations on Homestead Avenue. A detailed description of the plan, including tree location, species and reason for removal, is available for review as a PDF document on the town website.


REHOBOTH MAN CITED FOR DRIVING INTO RPD CRUISER

(November 20, 2014)  A Rehoboth man was cited by Rehoboth police for side swiping a RPD cruiser and injuring an officer on Tuesday evening.

   Patrolman Craig Forget had just pulled over to investigate a one-vehicle crash involving a deer in the area of 527 Winthrop Street (Route 44) when a box truck driven by Donald Dyer of Rehoboth swiped the cruiser causing severe damage to the driver’s side.  Officer Forget sustained minor injuries and was transported to Rhode Island Hospital for medical attention.

    According to police, Dyer made “no attempt to slow down or move left to avoid a collision with the police cruiser even though the emergency lights were activated.”  Dyer was issued a citation for negligent operation of a motor vehicle. He was also cited under the Commonwealths’ “Move over” Law. 

    The incident is being investigated by Sgt. Norman Todd, and Patrolman Jacob Miranda. It is unknown if the damaged police cruiser is one of the five new vehicles purchased by the RPD after being approved by residents at the annual town meeting last May.


TOWN NURSE OFFERS FLU VACCINE, MEDICAL SUPPLIES

(November 19, 2014)  The Rehoboth Town Public Health Nurse would like residents to know that flu vaccines are still available free of charge. Those interested should call Jaime Conlon, RN, BSN, CCRN, CEN to schedule an appointment to come to the Rehoboth Town Office for a flu shot. 

    The nurses office has medical supplies to offer residents free of charge including diabetic lancets for blood glucose testing, glucometers, and ostomy supplies.  Contact Conlon at 508-252-5947, ext. 3127 to arrange a pick up or to schedule a flu shot.


REHOBOTH CRASH SENDS MOTHER AND SON TO HOSPITAL

(November 16, 2014)  A single vehicle accident yesterday afternoon on Barney Avenue in Rehoboth resulted in the transport of a Rehoboth woman and her twelve-year-old son to Rhode Island hospitals.

    Rehoboth police and fire were dispatched to the scene after a Jeep Cherokee driven by Cynthia Medeiros, age 47 of Wheeler Street, stuck a utility pole shattering it into three pieces and rolling the vehicle onto the side.  Medeiros was trapped inside the vehicle and extracted by firefighters.  She was transported to Rhode Island Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

     According to the police report, passers-by assisted the boy from the car before responders arrived. He was later transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital as a precaution.

     The crash is under investigation by the Rehoboth Police Department.


CAR VS. GUARDRAIL CRASH RESULTS IN OUI ARREST

(November 16, 2014)  Rehoboth police report the arrest of 28-year-old William D. Pires of Dighton, MA on vehicular charges including operating under the influence.

    Pires was taken into custody yesterday evening after patrolmen Louis Dibacco and Jacob Miranda responded to the report of a single-vehicle accident in the area of Danforth Street and Perryville Road in Rehoboth.

    According to police, officers “observed a single vehicle crash vs. guardrail(s)” and charged Pires with OUI, operating to endanger and failure to stay within marked lines.  Pires was released on personal recognizance after paying $40 bail and is scheduled to appear in Taunton District Court on Monday.

   

FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN YOUTUBE FOR GOFF HALL/BLANDING LIBRARY

(November 14, 2014)  The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society’s campaign to raise the remaining 85K needed for building improvements now includes a YouTube video showing the need for universal access and ADA-compliant restrooms.

    The brief presentation features historic images of the one-hundred-year-old building along with contemporary photos showing the many uses of the auditorium and library. 

    The need for universal access and new restrooms is clearly shown with images of one young Rehoboth resident. Seven-year-old Aidan Benjamin volunteered to show the challenges he faces trying to access the downstairs children’s library. Although the building features a ramp to the front entrance, persons of any age with disabilities cannot readily navigate the single staircase to the lower level or the building’s 1915-era restrooms located downstairs. 

    Rehoboth residents were recently mailed a campaign brochure outlining the project with construction to begin next year.  The YouTube video will reach a larger audience of potential donors including supporters of libraries, gothic architecture, and the disabilities community.  Watch the YouTube presentation.       

  

POLICE REQUEST 20K FOR NEW FINGER PRINTING EQUIPMENT

(November 10, 2014)  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will meet tonight at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center at 7 PM following an executive session to discuss contracts for police dispatchers, clerical and highway department personnel.

   On tonight’s agenda is a $20K reserve fund transfer request from Acting Police Chief Lt. James Trombetta to purchase new fingerprinting equipment.  The evening’s agenda also includes an update on the Wheeler Street Bridge replacement. They will vote to accept of a gift of $600 from Friends of the Rehoboth Animal Shelter for replacement gutters on the town’s animal shelter behind the town office.  Selectmen will also discuss a job posting for a highway department mechanic.

    Bill Maiorano, director of the REMA, will announce an almost $6K grant for the town’s emergency management system. 

    Selectmen will spend some time recapping the October 27 special town meeting.


DORCHESTER MURDER SUSPECT FOUND DEAD ON REHOBOTH TOWNLINE

(November 10, 2014)  The body of a Boston murder suspect was found by Massachusetts State Police early Sunday morning in the woods off Route 195 near the Rehoboth/Swansea town line after the man’s vehicle was found on the side of the road.

    A statewide manhunt had been underway since Saturday afternoon for thirty-year-old Paulo Rosa of Dorchester, wanted in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, Audilia DaVeiga.  She was found in the couple’s home “suffering from life threatening injuries” after a 911 call by someone reporting a shooting.  According to a Boston Police statement, she died on the scene.  

    Sate police report Rosa apparently killed himself, but have released no other information on the cause and manner of his death.

    Five years ago on October 23, 2009, a New Hampshire murder suspect was discovered dead from suicide in the woods off Reservoir Avenue and Simmons Street.  Binh Vernet, age 48 of Londonderry, had stabbed his wife in their home in front of their two children. Suzanne Vernet, age 46, was found unconscious and flown to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston where she later died. 

    Rehoboth police were called to Reservoir Avenue after a report from neighbors about a suspicious van parked about 150 yards into the woods. Vernet’s body was discovered with the help of Officer Craig Forget, and the now retired police dog Cesar.

     According to investigators in New Hampshire, authorities never discovered a connection between the dead man and the town of Rehoboth. 


BE GENEROUS:  ANNUAL HOLIDAY GIVING PROGRAMS

(November 5, 2014)  Rehoboth’s annual holiday giving programs are just around the corner, from Thanksgiving baskets to holiday gifts for children and teens, to fuel assistance to help heat Rehoboth homes this winter. 

Helping Hands

    Rehoboth Helping Hands Food Pantry will once again provide Thanksgiving baskets to individuals and families in need.  Many local groups and organizations are collecting for this effort including schools, churches, and scout troops.  The Rehoboth Business Association will have a non-perishable food drop off on Saturday, November 8 from 9 AM to 12 Noon at the Edward Jones office on Route 44.  If you have any food donations, including home baked goods or perishable items, please call Rehoboth Helpings Hands Director Steve Martin at 508-252-3263. Families in need should also contact Martin if they wish to receive a holiday basket for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.

    Martin reports pledges to donate Thanksgiving baskets have been made by the Rehoboth Congregational Church, Palmer River Elementary School, and American Legion Post 302.  Students and staff from Beckwith Middle School has in the midst of a food drive, and personnel from the Rehoboth Post Office held a food drive for Helping Hands in late October.  After Thanksgiving, Helping Hands Food Pantry will begin right away with their Christmas basket program. Food donations will again be collected by various local groups.

Blizzard of Giving Program

    The annual Rehoboth Blizzard of Giving program helps children and families with two ways to donate toys and other gifts. Donors can choose a specific gift request  from a Rehoboth family listed on “snowflake” bulletin boards located at several locations in town.  Pick a snowflake, purchase that specific request, wrap it and affix the snowflake identification.  Then drop off at any Blizzard of Giving boxes located at Anawan Cleaners, the Blanding Library, Chartley Country Store, D. L. Beckwith Middle School, and Palmer River Elementary School.  

   You can also donate any unwrapped toy item and drop it off at one of the Blizzard boxes by Friday, December 12.  Rehoboth Girl Scouts and girls from the local American Heritage troop will be collecting the donations.  Please contact Blizzard organizer Maureen Brawley for more info at 508-252-4867.  The contact for Rehoboth Girls Scouts is Colleen McBride at 508-252-6430.  Liz Day is the contact for the American Heritage Girls and she can be contacted at 508-336-5262.

Fuel Assistance Program

   According to Steve Martin, who also coordinated the Helping Hands Fuel Assistance program, there have been 15 local requests for fuel assistance, but only one pledge to help.  The need for help to keep homes warm this winter is critical.  While cash donations are needed to purchase fuel, donors may also wish to pay for wood, pellets, or an order of heating oil or propane.  Please contact Martin for more information at 508-252-3263 or write a check to Rehoboth Helping Hands (note fuel assistance) and mail to 127 Martin Street, Rehoboth, MA 02769.

For more info on Food Pantry dates and times, and ordering for holidays, please visit the Helping Hands page.


AGRICULTURAL COMMISSION TO HOLD EQUINE INDUSTRY WORKSHOP

(November 5, 2014)  The Rehoboth Agricultural Commission invites anyone interested to an informational workshop specifically for the equine industry on Thursday, December 11 at 7 PM to be held at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center on Bay State Road. 

    Horse owners are an important part of the agricultural industry in Rehoboth and this group is not typically reached by traditional agricultural assistance programs.

    There will be a presentation from the Rehoboth Board of Health on the town’s horse regulations; information on composting horse manure; and a representative from the USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Service to discuss the technical and financial assistance available to horse farms.

    The Rehoboth Agricultural Commission, in partnership with the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts is providing landowners in the Palmer River watershed with information and assistance to prevent nonpoint source pollution.

We will be presenting information on the Palmer River water quality initiative and how you can help through proper manure management, composting, pasture management, and addressing barnyard runoff.


VETERANS DAY OBSERVANCE AND FREE LUNCH FOR REHOBOTH VETS

(November 3, 2014)  Veterans Day will be observed in Rehoboth on Tuesday, November 11 beginning at 11 AM with a ceremony at the cenotaph at the corner of Route 44 and Danforth followed by a walking tour of the new veterans memorial across the road on the Redway Plain. 

   A free lunch will be served to all Rehoboth veterans beginning at 12 noon at American Legion Post 302, 84 Bay State Road.  Menu will be roast pork, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetable, rolls with butter.  Chicken will also be available for some.  Those planning to attend the free luncheon should call Bette Dyer at the Veterans Services Office at 508-252-4467, ext. 3100 to RSVP.



ARCHIVED NEWS ARTICLES - 2014


ARCHIVED NEWS ARTICLES - 2013

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FRIDAY MORNING CRASH SENDS
MAN TO HOSPITAL

(November 29, 2014)  A single vehicle crash yesterday morning on Moulton Street in Rehoboth sent an unnamed man to the hospital.  Rehoboth police, fire and EMS responded rapidly to the report of a pickup truck crashed into trees. The driver and sole occupant was trapped inside the vehicle.  Firefighters used hydraulic tools to free the victim in approximately ten minutes. The victim was transported to the hospital by Rehoboth EMS with what was described as minor injuries. The cause of the accident remains under investigation by Rehoboth Police.

PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULED FOR TREE REMOVAL PLAN

(December 4, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen will conduct a public hearing on Monday, December 8 on an extensive tree removal plan proposed by National Grid for seventy-one locations on Fairview Avenue and eleven locations on Homestead Avenue.

    Earlier this week at their Monday night meeting, Selectman Dave Perry discussed preparing for the public hearing by taking a drive to check out the marked trees on Fairview and on Homestead.  Selectman Skip Vadnais agreed that familiarizing themselves with the trees and locations would be a good idea in order to answer questions posed next week by citizens attending the public hearing.

   A detailed description of the plan, including tree location, species and reason for removal, is available for review as a PDF document on the town website.


AUDIT FINDS REHOBOTH IN GOOD FINANCIAL HEALTH
(December 2, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen were happy to hear a favorable audit report at last night’s BOS meeting.     

    According to audit accountant Michael Milligan, the town’s annual fiscal year 2014 financial audit process “went smoothly with all departments.”  He noted there were “no issues” and “no adjustment to the financial statements.”

    “I’d say you had a good year,” noted Milligan who added the town acquired no new debt and payed down existing debt.

    In August, all town departments were compelled to reduce operating budget by 20 percent following rejection of a Proposition 2 1/2 override ballot in July.  The override was put forth to voters to address an almost $1.7M shortfall in the fiscal year15 budget after residents voted to increase the school district budget for the same amount.

    Milligan also mentioned the town was recently paid a visit by the Internal Revenue Service and that process resulted in no fines, unlike many other surrounding towns. IRS officials did however recommend the town create a policy for use of town vehicles by employees.  Selectmen spend a few minutes discussing possible policies, specifically town vehicles used by the police chief, fire chief and highway superintendent. In cases of emergencies, it would be better and faster for public safety officials to use town vehicles.  The alternative would be for them to use their personal vehicles to drive to town and then switch to a town vehicle.

   

CASTING DIRECTOR LOOKING FOR EXTRAS

(December 6, 2014)  Chris Petit, extras casting director for the upcoming feature film "Bleed for This" from executive producer Martin Scorsese and director Ben Younger, is looking for extras for a massive film shoot on December 16 and 17 at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence.

   Petit wrote to RehobothNow asking to publicize this rare opportunity -- it will be the largest film shoot in New England history and YOU can play a part. The film follows the inspirational true-life story of RI boxing legend Vinny Pazienza and his miraculous comeback to be World Champion after a new fatal car accident almost ended his life.

   “We'd love for all of you to be a part of this historic film. It's sure to be a blast for everybody involved,” wrote Petit.

   The film stars Miles Teller (Divergent), Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight), Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy), and Ciaran Hinds (Game of Thornes).

   Click the flyer on the left for more details and instructions.

REHOBOTH FIREFIGHTERS DEAL WITH WOOD STOVE FIRE

(December 16, 2014)  Rehoboth firefighters were dispatched yesterday morning to a residence on Wheeler Street in response to a report of a wood stove fire.

   First arriving crews reported fire showing from the back corner of the building. Firefighters attacked the fire immediately and had it under control in approximately fifteen minutes. The remainder of the structure had heat and smoke damage, but a brand new car appeared unscathed. 

    Crews spent another hour wetting down hot spots and removing parts of the building to expose any remaining fire. The Seekonk fire department sent an engine company to the scene to assist Rehoboth firefighters with the overhaul. Rehoboth EMS and the Providence Canteen provided rehab.

    The fire remains under investigation but appears to be accidental.


REHOBOTH SELECTMEN TAKE HARD LINE ON SENIOR CENTER USE

(December 16, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen last night denied a request made a Council on Aging board member to recuse themselves from voting on allowing the Republican Town Committee to conduct their winter caucus at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center.

    Marjorie Johnston of the COA board told selectmen that her “telephone was ringing off the hook“  last week with complaints after the BOS addressed a request to allow the RTC to use the building, as well as town voting equipment, for their caucus. They tabled the action item then and readdressed it last night.

   The RTC usually conducts their caucus to choose Republican candidates for the annual spring town election at Palmer River Elementary School. Johnston explained she had “no problem allowing the caucus to take place at the senior center” as she was aware it is “getting too expensive for organizations to rent the school.”

    Johnston said selectmen however have a close political association with the RTC.  “I am uncomfortable having you selectmen deal with this,” said Johnston, who noted four of the five sitting selectmen were nominated by the RTC.  “You should recuse yourself and let the council on aging decide.”  She added there was no policy or fee structure in place for organizations to rent the senior center. In the past selectmen have allowed other groups to use the building free of charge.

    Selectmen Skip Vadnais said Massachusetts State Law dictates the BOS must provide a caucus place within the boundaries of the town. “I am not going to recuse ourselves from anything,” he said sternly.  “We are in charge of all town buildings.  You (the council on aging board) are in charge of programs in this building.”

   Three other selectmen told Johnston they would not recuse themselves from voting. “As a taxpayer, I have every right to use this for any reason, and I pay for this building,” said Selectmen Sue Pimental.   “I think it is a legitimate use of the building,” added Selectmen Joe Tito, “that furthers the democratic process in town.”  Selectmen Dave Perry said he agreed with Vadnias and Pimental. BOS chairman Mike Costello did not comment.

    “I am questioning the fact the selectmen have made it a political issue,” said Johnston who noted the COA board is meeting this week.  She indicated the board would discuss the BOS allowing organizations to use the building without charging any fees.

     “I think this is ridiculous,” said Pimental. “I am not willing to continue this conversation any longer,” added Vadnais before the BOS voted to approved the RTC request to use the center.

  

BOS MEETING TONIGHT:  SELECTMEN TO ADDRESS VARIOUS HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT ISSUES, 2015 LICENSE RENEWALS, FY16 BUDGET GUIDELINES

(December 15, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen will meet in regular session tonight at the senior center to discuss a number of highway department related issues including a job posting for a equipment operator.

    Selectmen will review and approve job descriptions submitted by the town’s personnel borad for highway department equipment operator and mechanics positions.  They will also vote to approve Chapter 90 reimbursement requests of $14,415  and $53,360  for the Wheeler Street Bridge project. Another action item includes voting to approve Chapter 90 reimbursement and final report of $263,120 for improvements to town roadways including paving and line painting.

    Also on the agenda for tonight’s meeting are renewals of town licenses for 2015 and a discussion of the FY16 budget guidelines for town departments.

    Selectmen will also return to a tabled agenda item related to a request by the Republican Town Committee to hold their February caucus meeting in a town building and use town voting equipment.

    As always, the public is invited to attend and participate in open public forum.


NATIONAL GRID TRANSFORMER FIRE CAUSES POWER OUTAGE

(December 11, 2014)  A National Grid transformer fire Wednesday night resulted in power loss of nearly 700 customers in Rehoboth and nearby Seekonk. This came only two days after National Grid representatives spoke at length to selectmen about installation of new a sub-station along Route 44 and other improvements to service. 

    According to a brief Sun Chronicle report, “595 of Rehoboth’s 4,999 National Grid customers” lost power overnight. Additionally, 88 Seekonk customers lost power. While Rehoboth firefighters responded to the sub-station fire and downed wires, they received reciprocal help from the Attleboro Fire Department to help deal with emergency calls including reported smoke at a residence on Rocky Hill.

    Town officials have not released any information on the cause of the transformer fire.


SELECTMEN APPROVE PROMOTION OF RESERVE POLICE OFFICER, APPROVE TREE REMOVAL PLAN, URGE NATIONAL GRID TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS QUICKLY

(December 9, 2014)  The five Rehoboth selectmen approved promotion of a reserve police officer to full-time status as the first order of business at last night’s BOS meeting.

    Reserve police officer Adam Brown was promoted to full-time replacing Patrolman Ryan Brule who is leaving the department to work for the Yarmouth Police Department on Cape Cod beginning next month.  According to Acting Chief  Lt. James Trombetta, Officer Brule will be using his accrued time off for the rest of this month. Trombetta reported another full-time patrolman, Officer Craig Forget is currently on medical leave for injuries, described as minor in a police press release, sustained when his cruiser was sideswiped by another vehicle in November.    

    Trombetta said Brown, with an associates degree in criminal justice, is the brother of another RPD officer and has the appropriate training to “go on the road tomorrow.”

     In other business, a public hearing was held on a tree removal plan proposed by National Grid for seventy-one locations on Fairview Avenue and eleven locations on Homestead Avenue. Selectmen Dave Perry and Skip Vadnais reported they visited every tree tagged for removal and saw no problems. 

   Tree Warden Rob Johnson and a representative from National Grid described some of the reasons why the trees should be removed, primarily to eliminate potential hazards to power lines. National Grid pays for the tree removal, anticipated to begin immediately and last for 1-2 months, while the remaining wood is distributed via the tree warden.  Johnson noted that property owners have first right to collect the wood, but if they choose to pass, there is a policy and waiting list for residents who wish wood.  Selectmen Vadnais added the free wood list is prioritized by need.  If anyone wishes to add their name to that list, please visit the town office.

   Selectmen and three representatives from National Grid discussed, at length and in technical detail, the power company’s plans to improve equipment and services in Rehoboth.  The long-term improvement plan will take years to complete. Selectmen urged progress be made as quickly as possible with a concerted effort to improve service during power outages particularly on Route 44.

    Last night’s agenda items related to a discussion of de-regionalization of grades K through 8, along with costs of school bus contract services, was postponed to a later date.


BOS MEETING TONIGHT INCLUDES DISCUSSION OF K-8 DE-REGIONALIZATION,

SCHOOL BUS COSTS, NEW NATIONAL GRID SUB-STATION, TREE REMOVAL

(December 8, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen will meet in regular session tonight at the senior center including a public hearing set for 7:15 on an extensive tree removal plan proposed by National Grid for Fairview Avenue and Homestead Avenue.

    The agenda includes the appointment of a new police office, and a discussion by selectmen on the costs involved with de-regionalization of grades K through 8 from the Dighton-Rehoboth school district. They will also discuss the costs associated with the town’s contract with Taunton-based Bloom Bus Company to provide school bus transportation.

    The selectmen’s busy agenda also includes a discussion with National Grid on possible locations for a new ‘step-down sub-station‘ in Rehoboth.  Residents had an opportunity at the special town meeting in late October to approve an Article 7 allowing National Grid to construct a sub-station on the Redway Plain on Route 44. The article was tabled because the Rehoboth Park Commission, that oversees the Redway Plain property, voted two days before the town meeting to reject the National Grid’s plan. Since that time, members of the park commission have explained their rejection of the plan and encouraged National Grid to come up with alternative solutions.

    Other agenda items include a discussion with Town Clerk Laura Schwall on the town calendar, the signing of a municipal aggregation contract, and license renewals for 2015.

   According to the posted meeting agenda for tonight, there will be no executive session conducted.  The regular BOS meeting is set to begin at 7 PM.  As always, the public is invited to attend and contribute during open public forum segments.

SUSPECT AT LARGE AFTER WEDNESDAY NIGHT DRUG BUST FOLLOWING CAR ACCIDENT ON COUNTY STREET

(December 18, 2014) What began last night as a routine police response to a disturbance and minor vehicle accident resulted in a manhunt for a suspect still at large.

   Rehoboth police responded around 7 PM to a 911 report of a disturbance in progress in the area of 80 County Street.  Sgt. Medeiros and Officer Ranley of the Rehoboth Police Department arrived to the location to find two males arguing as they stood next to two vehicles in the roadway. 

   While the officers were investigating the circumstances of the crash, one man removed a large suitcase from the rear of one of the vehicles and fled. He dropped the suitcase after running a short distance and then darted into the darkened woods.

    A large quantity of assorted narcotics were inside the suitcase including two kilograms of heroin, 500 grams of cocaine, approximately 300 Oxycodone pills and around 3 pounds of marijuana. Police believe the drugs have an estimated street value of $250K. Police also discovered two replica gas powered bb/pellet pistols, one a black 9mm replica, and the other a silver.50 caliber Desert Eagle replica. The pistols were found in Oliveira-Mendes’ vehicle.

   Gilberto Oliveira-Mendes, age 20 of Taunton, MA was identified as the suspect that fled the scene.  Police arrested Latesha Santos, age 24 of Wareham, after they determined she had driven to the area to assist Oliveira-Mendes with his escape. Police have not identified the other male involved in the mnor car accident.

    Rehoboth police conducted a search last night with assistance from Dighton Police, Seekonk Police, Bristol County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, Massachusetts State Police from Dartmouth, and Massachusetts State Police Air Wing Unit.

   There is an arrest warrant for Oliveira-Mendes for trafficking in heroin, a Class A felony; trafficking in cocaine, a Class B felony; and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, a Class D offense.  Santos was charged with obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact. She was arraigned in Taunton District Court today and released on $3,500 bail. Any information on the fugitive Oliveira-Mendes should contact the RPD, either Sgt. Ramos or Detective Eastwood at 508-252-3722.

GOOD ENERGY SELECTED FOR COLLECTIVE PURCHASING OF ELECTRICITY

(December 19, 2014) The Town of Rehoboth, working with the Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) and eleven other communities, selected Good Energy as the vendor to solicit price quotes for collective purchasing of electricity for residents and local businesses. Individual participation is strictly voluntary.

    At special town meeting on October 27, residents voted to authorize the board of selectmen to work with other communities on “electric aggregation” in time to meet the cut-off date for enrollment in the MA Municipal Energy Aggregation program. The benefits to aggregate buying include savings for residents on their electric bills, long-term budget stability, no early termination fees, renewable energy options, and protection from rising energy prices which have risen dramatically in the last 12 months.

   The initial group of four communities grew to a total of twelve towns or cities representing over 92,000 residential or business accounts in Southeastern Massachusetts. The list of participating communities includes Acushnet, Dighton, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Northbridge, Norton, Plainville, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, and Swansea.

   Good Energy, a company that develops and implements “aggressive and innovative savings programs tailored to the end user’s patterns of electricity consumption” began in Pennsylvania and expanded to other states.  Their goal is to “continuously assess the market for the best available deals on electricity.”  Typically, Good Energy is able to save commercial businesses up to 30% on their power supply costs.

   A website was created by SRPEDD with valuable information on the program, frequently asked questions, cautionary advise, and regular progress updates.  The program is anticipated to take effect next summer.

    Information will also be available on the Town of Rehoboth website.