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(Wednesday, November 22, 2017)  A local man faces five vehicular charges after he was taken into custody following a brief attempt to hide from Rehoboth police.

     While on patrol shortly after 7 o'clock yesterday night, Officer Nicholas Barros observed a vehicle traveling eastbound on Tremont Street at a high rate of speed, believed to be 74 mph in a posted 45 mph zone.

Police say the driver failed to stop and continued driving in “an erratic manner” before turning onto Nicole Way and parking in the driveway of a residence. “The operator then exited his vehicle and attempted to elude Officer Barros.”

     Eric Bombadier, age 35 of Rehoboth, was arrested without further incident on charges including driving with a revoked license, speeding, failure to stop for police, passing violation, and operating to endanger. Bombardier was released from Rehoboth police custody on $540 bail.

    Bombardier is known to Rehoboth police. In 2011, he admitted facts sufficient for a finding of guilty on Rehoboth police charges of assault and battery on a police officer and two counts of resisting arrest.

Earlier this year, Bombardier was arrested by Rhode Island State troopers as a fugitive from justice on charges originating out of the Seekonk Police Department for drunk driving, child endangerment while intoxicated, negligent operation and destruction of property.


(November 13, 2
017)  A Rehoboth woman faces multiple criminal charges including assault on a public employee following a high speed motor vehicle chase by police that took place last Friday.

     While on patrol, Sgt. Richard Shailor observed a vehicle traveling at an “extremely high rate of speed” north bound on Moulton Street. He reported the vehicle was speeding in excess of 75 mph in a posted 40 mph zone before almost driving off the road attempting a turn.

     Catherine Tattrie, age 51, was stopped and charged with drunk driving, operating to endanger, marked lane violation and speeding.  As the result of an incident during booking, Tattrie was also changed with assault and battery of a public employee.  She is set to be arraigned in Taunton District Court today.


(November 13, 2017)  Rehoboth police arrested a Norton man on drunk driving and other charges following a motor vehicle accident that occurred early Saturday morning in South Rehoboth.

     Sgt. Richard Shalor, along with patrolmen Douglas Brown and Terrence Hedrick, were dispatched to Pleasant Street after a 911 caller reported a crash and a man walking around a truck with a rifle in his hands.

      Officers quickly found 42-year-old Steven Adams of Norton and took him into custody.  He was changed with operating under the influence second offense, operating to endanger, marked lanes violation, and carrying a loaded firearm while intoxicated.  Adams was scheduled to be arraigned in Taunton District Court today.   


(November 12, 2017)  State Representative Steven Howitt, R-Seekonk, joined with his colleagues to support legislation honoring Massachusetts veterans for their service while also approving funding for a new Soldiers Home in Chelsea.

    On November 8, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 4018, which allows municipalities to establish a local Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Celebration Fund, and House Bill 2763, which provides for the designation of special veterans-only parking spaces at city and town halls. Both bills passed unanimously.

The House also gave initial approval to a $199 million bond proposal to pay for the design and construction of a new Soldiers Home in Chelsea, more than half of which is eligible for federal reimbursement.

     The authorization was included as part of a capital improvement bond bill, House Bill 4015, which passed on a vote of 156-0. Established in 1882, the Chelsea Soldiers Home offers housing and personal health care services to Massachusetts veterans. The state plans to build a new 154-bed facility that will provide the state’s veterans with a community living center for long term care.

     House Bill 4018, sponsored by Representative Donald Wong (R-Saugus), authorizes cities and towns to include a check-off box on their municipal property tax or motor vehicle excise tax bills, or a separate form enclosed with these bills, for residents to make a voluntary donation over and above the amount owed on their tax bills. These donations will then be used to help fund the creation and restoration of municipal war monuments and to support other local activities honoring the contributions and sacrifices of the community’s veterans.

    House Bill 2763, sponsored by Representative Claire Cronin (D-Brockton), requires a designated parking space to be made available free of charge to veterans at all city and town hall parking lots during regular business hours. Non-veterans who park illegally in these spots will be subject to a $100 fine and the potential towing of their vehicle.

     “As the proud son of a World War II veteran who served with the US Navy Seabees in the Pacific Theatre of Operation, and who is always near and dear in mind and heart, we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to our veterans.” said Howitt. “I’m very proud to support these initiatives in recognition and appreciation of their service to our country.” All three bills now move to the Senate for further action.


(November 8, 2017)   Rehoboth public safety personnel were dispatched this morning after sunrise to the scene of a single roll over motor vehicle crash on Perryville.

    Upon arrival to the accident scene, police and firefighters found all occupants had exited the vehicle. Two were later transported by Rehoboth EMS to the hospital as a precaution. The driver and passengers were not identified.

    Public safety personnel remained on the scene until the vehicle was righted and debris removed. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.


(November 7, 2017)  Rehoboth residents last night at Fall Special Town Meeting voted on various important town issues including approving purchase of a new ladder truck for the fire department and a new lift van for veterans services.

    The $820K new ladder truck will replace a 32-year-old apparatus taken out of service last May because it no longer met NFPA safety standards.  The new truck will provide firefighters with greater “reach and rescue” capabilities needed to address fires in large, multi-story structures.  The new veterans van will replace a donated 2002 mini-van that can no longer be repaired.

    Other approved expenditures for capital improvement include a public safety phone system upgrade as the current system uses outdated and unsupported software, and a concrete saw for the highway department to replace a smaller broken saw.

    Last night’s meeting began at with 123 registered voters in attendance.  Initial procedural maneuvering to change the order of several article items took the first thirty minutes of the almost 3-hour meeting.

   The D-R regional school district, while successful in advancing their Articles 6 and 7 to the beginning of the meeting, had the first article to approve $3,101,837M to replace the regional high school roof tabled after a hand count of voters.

    George Solas of the finance committee motioned to table the article until spring 2018 citing uncertainties related to Rehoboth’s share of the roof replacement project based on the current regional school agreement under review since 2013 by the school committee and special task forces without any definitive action.

   Article 7 to fund $107K to install enhanced fiber installation to enhance internet service to schools, the public safety building and town office was passed by voters.

   Voters approved an amended FY18 town budget of $68K following a motion by Finance Committee Chairman Michael Deignan to reduce the number from $75,392K based on current, updated figures unavailable when the warrant was printed.

    Article 4 to provide $50K in “seed money” to the Rehoboth 375 Anniversary Committee to help defray initial costs for town-sponsored anniversary events was approved by voters.

     The civic group, Citizens Against the Rehoboth Compressor Station (CARCS), was successful in getting their proposed lengthy Chapter E zoning bylaw approved by voters with one amendment made last night on the floor.  A language change was approved regarding the Comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (CHIA), that it be “paid for by the applicant” or the entity seeking to construct a LNG compressor station.

    After some discussion, voters approved a lengthy package of new sign bylaws in Rehoboth. This was the third attempt by the planning board to update sign restrictions and regulations for businesses, organizations and residents. Working in conjunction with the Rehoboth Business Association, the package passed by a hand count of voters (100 yes to 8 no).

   Hand counts are performed when the town moderator deems the voice vote to be difficult to determine. A two-thirds margin is required to pass a hand vote.

   Residents were asked to bring non-perishable food donations for the Rehoboth Food Pantry.  Members of Boy Scout Troop 13 collected almost 60 pounds of food donations.


(November 5, 2017)  The Rehoboth Finance Committee has offered recommendations on nine warrant articles for Fall Special Town Meeting to be held on Monday, November 6 starting at 7 PM in the auditorium at Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School.

     All residents received a STM warrant by mail in October in preparation for the special town meeting. 

     FinCom has recommended approving Article 1, the town’s FY2018 Amended Budget.  If approved by voters, the town would use fund an amended budget of $75,392 through the end of the fiscal year which ends June 30, 2018.  FinCom recommends using free cash, or “raising and appropriating” the necessary funds.

    The committee also recommends approving Article 2 to provide $50K in “seed money” to the Rehoboth 375 Anniversary Committee to help fun town-sponsored events in celebration of the town’s anniversary including a parade to be held in October 2018. 

    FinCom recommends using free cash to fund Article 2, as well as Article 3 to spend $863,536 pm capital equipment including a new ladder truck for the Rehoboth Fire Department to replace a 32-year-old vehicle.  Another capital expense on Article 3 include the purchase of a handicapped accessible van with a lift for Veterans Services to replace the old vehicle which can no longer be repaired.  

     Members of the finance committee make no recommendations on Article 4, proposed new signage bylaws and Article 5, a new zoning bylaw on natural gas compressor station permitting.  According to FinCom Chairman Michael Deignan, “the finance committee does not provide a recommendation on bylaw or zoning articles unless they specifically deal with a financial issue pertaining to the town.

    FinCom also makes no recommendation on Article 6 -- to approve the “$3,101,837 borrowing authorized by the Dighton Rehoboth School District” to fund replacing the 27-year-old roof on the high school. Due to ongoing questions and proposed amendments to the regional school district agreement, members of the finance decline to recommend passing Article 6.

    Approving Article 7 was recommended for approval using capital stabilization to fund $107K to install fiber connections for enhanced internet service for DRRHS, D.L. Beckwith Middle School, Palmer River Elementary School, the public safety building and town office.

    FinCom recommends approval of Article 8 to allow the town’s board of assessors to “abate land of low value taxes when the tax collector determines the cost to collect the taxes is more than the amount owed for taxes.” Approving Article 9 to reauthorize and “offset receipts” account for the town’s Transfer Station that handles solid waste and recycling is also recommended.


(November 3, 2017)  The Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Division of Local Services, has certified the Town of Rehoboth has $1,179,38. in available funds or “free cash.”

    According to Town Accountant Roberta Oliveira, in a memo dated October 30, several factors contribute to the amount of free cash including increased license and permit fees, and one-time revenue sources.

     The actual monies collected from licenses and permits exceeded expectations by $158K as fees were increased for building and planning board permits and board of health permits.  Local meals taxes provided the town with $9K more than expected and departmental revenues were $9K over the number anticipated during the town budgeting process.

     One-time only revenue added up to $233K including sale of foreclosed properties ($202K), surplus equipment sales ($31K).  Motor vehicles excise taxes accounted for $381K in free cash and additional state aid resulted in an additional $90K.

    “We have been fortunate in exceeding our estimates,” wrote Oliveira in the memo.  “Our conservative approach in estimating the motor vehicle excise revenue has remained steady and follows the recommendations of the Department of Revenue,” she added.

     The town also benefited from “appropriation turn backs” of $319K, or monies budgeted in town departments not actually used for various reasons, such as obtaining a grant or savings in projected wages of personnel, contracted services, or anticipated expenses such as gasoline use.

     Due to “aggressive” collection efforts, delinquent taxpayers were motivated to pay over $55K in various town taxations or set up payment arrangements.


(November 3, 2017)  Members of Citizens Against Rehoboth Compressor Station (CARCS) hand-delivered a petition with more than 2,500 local signatures to the office of Governor Charlie Baker this week calling for his support and action to “protect and preserve our communities.”

    CARCS worked hard to galvanize support and find ways to get the Governor to acknowledge us,” said CARCS Director Tracy Manzella. “We’ve gone door to door, staged countless community events, sponsored letter writing campaigns, given interviews, published articles, met with local, state and federal government officials, drafted bylaws and even given a power point presentation at the Governors’ Executive office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, but the Governor himself? So far, no luck.”

    The group was unsuccessful in getting Baker’s attention while protesting the proposed LNG gas compressor station in North Rehoboth outside a recent political fundraiser held for Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas.  Members say they have tried for over 19-months to communicate with Baker without success, and say he managed to avoid them at the fundraiser by “slipping in a side door and existing no less deftly.”

   While delivering the CARCS petition, the group stood in solidarity with Weymouth residents fighting against a proposed compressor station in their town. According to CARCS members, they “implored Baker to hold all gas capacity projects to the strictest environmental standards throughout the permitting approval process.

    Brian Hatch, CARCS member and attorney, acknowledges Baker is pivotal in preventing these pipeline projects. "The state has more influence than the Governor thinks, and we want him to stand against this."

    Manzella added, “We need our Governor to lead and protect his constituents from the financial burden and negative health impacts that will result from ramping up our reliance on fossil fuels.”


(October 26, 2017)  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen have scheduled a Special Fall Town Meeting on Monday, November 6 beginning at 7 PM in the auditorium of Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School. 

     Residents are encouraged to bring along a non-perishable donation for the Boy Scout food drive to support Rehoboth Food Pantry (formerly Helping Hands). Paper goods and monetary donations are always appreciated.

    Friday, October 27 is the last day to register if you plan on voting at the special town meeting on November 6.  The town clerk’s office will be open for extended hours from 8 AM to 8 PM.  Anyone who will be 18 years of age or over by November 6, 2017 may register.

     Mail-in voter registration applications (available at the town office, post office, senior center) may be used. Complete the form and drop off or mail to the Town Clerk’s Office, 148 Peck Street. Mail-in registration must be postmarked by October 27 and received in the town clerk’s office by November 3 for the resident to be able to vote on November 6 at special town meeting.

    Potential voters may also register online.  Residents may check their voter status on the Secretary of State’s website. If your registration indicates your status as inactive, please contact the town clerk’s office Monday through Thursday from 8 AM to 4 PM and on Friday from 8 AM to 12 Noon, or call 508 252-6502, Extension 3109 or 3110.


(October 24, 2017)  Over three days last week, volunteers from the Rehoboth Lions Club and Rehoboth Anawan Lions Club, along with school nurses, screened 897 students using the SPOT Camera technology at Palmer River Elementary School, D. L. Beckwith Middle School and the Preschool Program at Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School.

     The SPOT Camera screens both eyes at once for six amblyopia risk factors from a non-threatening distance of three feet.  At Palmer River, 557 children in grades K through 4 were screened; 271 students in grades 5 through 8 were screened at Beckwith Middle and 69 pre-schoolers had their eyes checked at the DRRHS preschool program.
     “As a result of the screenings, 80 students were referred for follow-up with eye care professionals,” said Mike Salois, past president of the Rehoboth Lions Club who initiated the project.  The SPOT Camera was supplied by the regional Lions Club District 33S.

    School District Superintendent Dr. Anthony Azar thanked the local Lions volunteers who were trained to use the technology.  “It is always a positive experience for our schools and community organizations to collaborate on important issues facing our students,” commented Azar.  It typically takes a school nurse an entire school year to provide vision checks to all students.

     “The SPOT technology was remarkable,” said Elisa DeBois, vice principal at Palmer River Elementary.  “Early detection of vision impairments is critical to our educators,” she added.  “I am excited about the partnership of our school nurses with the Lions. Together, with this new technology, we can positively impact the lives of many students.”

    Laura Schwall, President of the Anawan Lions Club, acknowledged Salois for spearheading the eye screening initiative.  “Mike brought the concept to the clubs, arranged for training and use of the SPOT cameras,” said Schwall who added that Salois participated in all three days of screenings and ensured the program ran smoothly.

    “Also, I echo Dr. Azar’s comments and look forward to additional opportunities to collaborate and continue the long-standing commitment of the Lions in support of our community,” emphasized Schwall.


(October 23, 2017)  Earlier this year, local teen environmentalist Abby Abrahamson saw littering in Rehoboth as a major problem and set to work to create a sustainable litter prevention program.

    Littering is a problem all too familiar in Rehoboth with trash commonly found scattered along almost every local roadway. The Rehoboth Litter Prevention Initiative (RLPI) mission is to provide preventative solutions that curb the litter epidemic from worsening and to educate residents on how and why we should keep the community clean.

   Last July, Abrahamson received permission from the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen to place three litter collection barrels along the designated 3.5-mile walking route in South Rehoboth.

    "The board of selectmen is very impressed with the level of detail Abby brings to the litter prevention initiative,” said Selectman Gerry Schwall.  “We thank her for her commitment to her fellow citizens and hope others will be motivated by Abby's vision and help expand the initiative to other parts of town."

    The trash barrels have two purposes: to provide a form of disposal as an alternative to littering, and to provide receptacles for those who pick up litter along the walking route.

    According to 16-year-old Abrahamson, the litter barrels are meant to be a solution to existing situational problems.  “After the first mile, a person’s bag is often already full. If they planned on walking the full 3.5-mile route, they would have to carry the trash for another 2.5 miles. This can discourage people from picking up litter, and also causes certain areas of the route to be neglected if the trash bag is already full when the person passes by.”

    The dark green metal, 55-gallon barrels feature 12x18 color decals of a painting called “Rehoboth Vibe” created by talented local artist Melissa Treichler.  The sturdy receptacles were recently placed at the intersection of Brook, Peckham, and Water Street, at the triangle near the intersection of Providence Street and Mason Street, and at the Miller Bird Sanctuary. The Rehoboth Highway Department will provide care and maintenance of the litter collection barrels.       

    “This project would not be possible without funding from the Rehoboth Business Association,, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Program.”  Abrahamson is a member of the Roots and Shoots National Youth Leadership Council.

     “I am extremely grateful for the support provided by these organizations,” said Abrahamson. “I would also like to acknowledge Rehoboth Highway Superintendent Mike Costello for his invaluable guidance and support. He has played a key role in helping to get this initiative up off the ground and start successfully.”  

   Recently, Abrahamson was appointed the town’s Litter Prevention Coordinator by the board of selectmen.  She is also currently leading the Keep Rehoboth Beautiful event for Rehoboth’s 375th Anniversary Celebration this coming spring.

    Residents can stay updated on the progress of the Rehoboth Litter Prevention Initiative by visiting the official Facebook page.


(October 23, 2017)  Members of the local group Citizens Against the Rehoboth Compressor Station (CARCS) welcomed Setti Warren, City of Newton Mayor and current Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate on Saturday, October 21 to the site of the proposed LNG gas compressor station in North Rehoboth.

     Warren spoke out against the proposed station and any new gas expansion proposals that may be filed in the future by Enbridge, the corporate entity that recently acquired Spectra Energy. 

     “You can’t imagine how excited we were when Mayor Warren reached out to CARCS to meet with us and tour the compressor station location,” said Tracy Manzella, CARCS director.  “It is always gratifying when our policy makers show us they are listening, and that they are concerned,” added Manzella.  “This is a complex issue, and every candidate for governor should take the time necessary to get the facts about the numerous negative impacts to our state and it’s citizens should these gas projects go through.”  

     While Enbridge has yet to reapply with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) since they withdrew their Access Northeast LNG proposal last summer, CARCS’ protest movement has not slowed. Residents have been asked to keep their anti-compressor station lawn signs up. 

    At Rehoboth Special Town Meeting scheduled for Monday, November 6, residents will be able to vote on a new town bylaw designed to protect the town if the compressor station is built.  “The bylaws would include safety regulations to protect residents,” said CARCS member and Attleboro attorney Brian Hatch.

      Although the Natural Gas Act states that interstate pipelines fall under federal jurisdiction, CARCS believes they (Enbridge) can be influenced by state opposition. "The state has more influence than it thinks," added Hatch. "We want the governor to stand against this."

      Warren expressed how important it was for him to see the actual location of the compressor station in North Rehoboth near the Poncin Hewitt Fields neighborhood in nearby Attleboro.  After seeing how damaging an industrial facility would be in a residential neighborhood, he shared his opinion the compressor station would have “huge adverse effects.”   CARCS members have accumulated both environmental and health data suggesting noise from the compressor would be harmful to residents within a radius of miles.

   “It’s wrong,” said Warren.  “Governor Baker should come down here and see this, listen, and make a decision based on what is in the best interest of the people he works for.”

       CARCS Director Tracy Manzella is pictured with City of Newton Mayor Setti Warren at the Poncin Hewitt Sports Complex in Attleboro, close to the site of the proposed gas compressor station.  Photo submitted by CARCS photographer Doug Pyron.




(October 17, 2017)  The Rehoboth Fire Department’s “SAFE” crew spent the weekend of October 14 and 15 helping residents of Horton Estates, an over-55 community, with their smoke detectors and alarms.

     SAFE officer Lt. Larrivee, along with firefighters Chris Riley, and Anthony Lizotte installed new batteries in over 30 homes.  The safety measure was initiated by Kevin Tierney, a member of the Horton Estates governing board.

While some residents provided new batteries, most were purchased through grant money and installed free of charge.  New smoke detectors and CO alarms were also installed by the firefighters, as well as house number signs for many residents.

     Recently the SAFE crew made visits to elementary and middle school students in Rehoboth teaching them about fire safety measures.  Pictured above are Firefighter Riley, Kevin Tierney and SAFE Officer Lt. Larrivee. 


(October 15, 2017)  The Rehoboth Anawan Lions Club and Rehoboth Lions Club have partnered with Palmer River Elementary School, D. L. Beckwith MIddle School, and the DRRHS Preschool program to provide SPOT Camera vision screening to students this week on Monday (PRES), Tuesday (DRRHS Preschool), and Wednesday (BMS).

     “The SPOT Camera screens both eyes and screens for six amblyopia risk factors from a nonthreatening distance of three feet,” explained Laura Schwall, President of the Anawan Lions Club.  “Any issues detected during the screening are immediately provided to the school nurse.”

     An estimated 25% of school aged children suffer from a vision disorder. Undiagnosed risk factors can lead to issues with child development or social-emotional behavior.  The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the use of instrument-based testing such as the SPOT Camera.

    Volunteers from the local Lions Club received special training to use the SPOT camera under the supervision of school nurses.  Due to efforts by Mike Salois, past president of the local chapter, the SPOT Camera is on loan from Lion Club District 33-S for the screenings this week on October 16, 17, and 18.  Typically, it takes a single school nurse almost an entire school year to provide screening to all students.

    “It is our hope that by supporting our schools with technology and volunteers, risk factors will be identified sooner,” emphasized Schwall, “and early intervention from an eye care professional will produce a better outcome for the child.”

    For more information about the SPOT Camera and vision screening, an article is available from Lion District 33-S.


(October 14, 2017) Rehoboth police last night arrested an Attleboro teen after receiving a report of an intoxicated male at the Exxon station on Route 44.

     Around 8:30 PM, officers were dispatched to the gas station and located 19-year-old Matthew J. Decambra of Attleboro who allegedly tried to exchange drugs for cigarettes, according to statements taken from witnesses.

     Decambra was taken into custody by Sgt. Richard Shailor, Officer Louis DiBacco and Officer Jeff Perry and charged with possession of a Class E substance (codeine, morphine, or opium).  He was booked and later released on $200 cash bail.  The teen is scheduled to be arraigned in Taunton District Court on Monday.


(October 12, 2017)  The Special State Senate Election for the Bristol & Norfolk Senate seat will be held on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at all three Rehoboth precincts from 7 AM to 8 PM. Rehoboth residents are encouraged to come to the polls and vote.

    Precinct I is located in the Rehoboth Town Office at 148 Peck Street. Precinct 2 is the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center at 55 Bay State Road and Precinct 3 is the South Fire Station at 104 Pleasant Street.

    Voters who will be out of town on October 17 or who will be unable to get to the polls may contact the Town Clerk’s Office to obtain an absentee ballot. A written request to the town clerk with the voter’s original signature is required to obtain a ballot.  Absentee ballot applications are also available at the Rehoboth Post Office, Blanding Library, and Senior Center. Absentee ballot request forms are also available online for an individual request. To obtain a ballot for a family member, click here

    The cut-off for applying for absentee ballots is 12 noon on Monday, October 16.  If you are not sure if you are registered to vote or what precinct you vote in, you may check your voter status on the Secretary of State’s website.

     If your registration indicates your voter status as inactive or have questions about voting eligibility, please contact the town clerk’s office, Monday through Thursday from 8 AM to 4 PM and Friday from 8 AM to 12 PM by calling 508 252-6502, Extension 3109 or 3110.


(October 3, 2017)  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen last night voted to charge the Regionalization vs. De-Regionalization Exploration Committee, made up of appointed citizens, with finding three sets of numbers for Rehoboth’s portion of the regional school budget based on three scenarios.

    The committee, established in 2015 with six appointed members, was formed to review de-regionalization of K-8 while maintaining the regional high school.  They were also asked to examine full district regionalization including construction of regional elementary and middle schools to serve students from both towns. Because the regional school agreement would affect either option, the committee had to also evaluate how each town formulates their portion, or assessment, of the yearly school budget.

     George Solas and Mike McBride spoke for the committee at last night’s meeting along with Sue McBride who served on the Regional Agreement Amendment Committee (RAAC) that dissolved earlier this year after reaching an impasse. She is also a member of the Rehoboth Finance Committee.

     RAAC had members appointed by selectmen in both towns including town officials, school committee members and citizens at large.  A new Regional Agreement Amendment Task Force was formed internally by the school committee to examine the same issue. 

     The Regionalization vs. De-regionalization committee also dissolved earlier this year, at least unofficially, as members resigned, leaving McBride and Solas to update selectmen.  “The de-regionalization piece slowed down because RAAC was hoping for unification,” explained Solas, “but that didn’t work.” 

    All five Rehoboth selectmen agreed more information is needed on the “what ifs” of keeping the school district status quo or proposing radical change.  Any plan must go before voters at town meetings in both towns.

    “We need more help,” said Sue McBride, appealing to the selectmen after they charged three citizens with complex due diligence, as well as meeting with state officials to accomplish a daunting task.  BOS chairman Skip Vadnais replied that Solas and the McBrides  are now “charged with getting (their own) help.”

    “I just want to see some numbers,” said Selectman Sue Pimental.  Selectmen Dave Perry added, “We need to know how the assessments are made for each town and how to get the best bang for our bucks.”

     Historically, Rehoboth pays more than Dighton based on the “statutory” assessment formula, essentially subsidizing the less affluent town and Dighton students.  The state also allows an “alternative” method to formulate each town’s portion based on other considerations.   

     “Keep it simple,” admonished Pimental.  “I would like to see three scenarios, the statutory method, and two alternatives methods,” she added.  “One alternative method pulling out K-8, and another alternative method without regionalized transportation aid (from the state).”

      Vadnais also requested the McBrides and Solas, who is also a member of the Rehoboth Finance Committee, come up with numbers for costs related to de-regionalizing and reconstruction.  Secession from the regional district agreement will inevitably cost the town substantial funding.  Other significant costs may include establishing a separate, independent school district with central office, superintendent, special education director, separate school committees, unions, and providing transportation without state aid that goes to regionalized districts.

     The McBrides, who met with Christine Lynch of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, explained that getting exact numbers for complete regionalization is difficult without first working with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). 

    Sue McBride noted that state officials look at several factors before approving and/or funding new school construction.  “They look at the condition of existing schools, projected enrollment, “green” schools and what the town will do with the existing schools,” McBride added.  She also mentioned that, “Christine Lynch said building a regional middle school is an easier task that building a regional elementary school” because towns usually want to keep their own elementary school.

    Selectmen wondered if the town should first apply to the MSBA for funding to build a regional elementary and middle school campus, and withdraw the application if needed.  “We need specifics and numbers,” said Vadnais.

   Other regional school districts in the state of Massachusetts have dissolved successfully with the approval of the Department of Education.  According to the McBrides, the state legislature can and has approved an override for de-regionalization for at least three districts in the state.

     “This is a conversation,” said Selectman Gerry Schwall, “this is about coming to some agreement about the allocation of costs.  This is about looking at an alternative assessment.”

RehobothNow offers two submitted opinion essays on the topic of the regional school assessment. Please visit the FEATURES page.


(October 2, 2017)  An Attleboro man was arrested yesterday by Rehoboth police and faces several vehicular charges including driving under the influence.

     Rodney Brunelle, age 53, was observed by Sgt. Richard Shailor driving northbound on Plain Street in a vehicle towing a trailer with no working lights.  Following a brief investigation, Shailor took Brunelle into custody and charged him with OUI, driving to endanger and having an open container of alcohol in the motor vehicle.

    It is unknown if Brunelle was released or held in custody until his arraignment today in Taunton District Court.


(October 2, 2017)  Tonight’s regular meeting of the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will include an agenda item with members of the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School Committee to discuss the topic of the regional school agreement.

   The issue of the regional school agreement and how the two towns divide the yearly school budget has been ongoing and contentious for several years.  In 2014, a Regional Agreement Amendment Committee (RAAC) was formed to study the regional contract, make recommendations, and draft a new agreement to eventually be voted on by townspeople in both Rehoboth and Dighton.

    RAAC was a large municipal committee consisted of members appointed by selectmen of both towns. Members included school committee members from each town, other town officials, and citizen members.  RAAC was dissolved earlier this year after reaching an impasse.  The regional school committee then established an internal task force called the Regional Agreement Amendment Task Force (RAATF) to make another attempt.  This task force is currently active with six members from the school committee, three from each town.

    A third committee, the Regionalization-De-regionalization Exploration Committee was formed to examine the same issue, but dissolved due to member drop out for various reasons.  Members of that committee are scheduled to appear at tonight’s BOS meeting to being at 7 PM in the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center.  All interested citizens are encouraged and welcome to attend any posted municipal meeting with the exception of meeting closed in executive session.



(October 2, 2017)  With an estimated expense of over $9K per election, the Town of Rehoboth now faces paying for the special state senate primary held last month to fill the vacant seat of Senator Jim Timilty who resigned last spring to take another job as Norfolk County Treasurer.

    A request has been made by the Rehoboth Finance Committee to transfer funds from the town’s Reserve Fund, in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws. Selectmen will vote at tonight’s regular BOS meeting to approve the transfer.

     According to the Reserve Fund transfer request, the special state senate primary cost a total of $9,169 to conduct polling in all three precincts from 7 AM to 8 PM on September 19. Only 535 residents, out of 8,604 registered voters, took part in the primary election.

    The greatest expenses per election include wages for election workers, voting ballots, and voting equipment memory packs.  Other expenses include purchased services, election equipment set-up and take down for three precincts and mileage for officials, as well as required election worker meals, coffee and donuts.

    The total election expense does not include copying four voting lists (ream of legal paper per list), consumables such as bottled water, printing and postage related to mailing instructions to election workers, as well as postage to mail absentee ballots.

    The special state senate election will be held later this month on October 17.  The candidates are Democrat Paul Feeney, Joseph Shirtsleeve (no party), and Republican Jacob Ventura.


(October 1, 2017)  The Ferreira companies extend a public thank you to "all who helped and donated to provide supplies and funds for those devastated by the hurricanes down South."

    In cooperation with the Salvation Army, the multi-company business empire headed by Rehoboth resident John Ferreira appealed to citizens of southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island to help fill a 53-foot trailer that left on September 27 with 30,000 pounds of food and supplies for those in need.

    "Thank you to every church, school, organization and company that donated," read a press release from the Ferreira companies including J & J Materials, Ferreira Construction, Nantucket Pavers, Hillside Country Club, Cristallo Spa, Dublin Rose Irish Sports Club,Stout Irish Sports Bar and The Whiskey Republic.

   Special thanks were extended to Pastor Sean Smith and all those at Stone Coast Community Church, Rehoboth Anawan Lions Club, Cross Insurance, G. Lopes Construction, Toppa Food Service & Paper Company, Hoxie Landscape, Miss Lisa’s Dance Studio, Seekonk Rod & Gun Club, and Tickles.

   "Thank you to our extraordinary employees who donated and spread the word to gain additional donations. Thank you to Cat Country 98.1 for getting the message out there to their listeners."

   A special package was included in the trucked shipment --  letters of hope and prayers from the students of Talbot Middle School in Fall River, Massachusetts.


(September 25, 2017)  The Rehoboth Democratic Town Committee (RDTC) has announced its endorsement of Paul Feeney for State Senate in the Bristol-Norfolk District.     

    During a recent RDTC meeting, Paul Feeney was vetted by committee members and found to be honest, trustworthy, and one of high integrity. 

    “Mr. Feeney's experience as a former area selectman and as chief of staff to Senator James Timilty will undoubtably  be an asset to Rehoboth.  Paul is sincere in every sense of the word and will work tirelessly for all Rehoboth residents as their State Senator,”  said Paul Jacques, Chair RDTC.   

    The committee encourages Rehoboth voters to visit Feeney’s website to learn more about his candidacy. The special state senate election is scheduled for Tuesday, October 17.  Registered voters from all three precincts in Rehoboth can cast their vote from 7 AM to 8 PM.  Precinct one is the Rehoboth Town Office on Peck Street.  Precinct 2 is the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center on Bay State Road and Precinct 3 is the South Rehoboth Fire Station 3 on Pleasant Street.



(September 23, 2017) Rehoboth Fire Department personnel were dispatched early this morning to Miller Street following report of a house fire.

    The emergency call came in about 3 AM of a fire at 16 Miller Street in Rehoboth. First arriving crews discovered smoke coming from a large two-family home.

    Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire and keep it from spreading beyond the basement. The house had working smoke detectors and the family, along with a pet dog, were able to escape without injury. They will be staying with relatives who came to the scene.

    The last fire crews cleared the scene just after 6 AM. The cause of the fire appears to be electrical. Seekonk firefighters assisted at the scene while Norton and Swansea provided station coverage.


(September 19, 2017)  The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health has released a report on the indoor air quality of the Rehoboth Town Office on Peck Street.

   The air quality report on the sixty-year-old, concrete block building was performed by the state during two visits to Rehboth in July after concerned occupants requested an assessment.  The building was originally constructed in 1956 as a military facility at the Peck Street Nike Missile Site during the Cold War.

    The report found carbon dioxide levels about the MDPH guideline of 800 parts per million in six of eighteen areas surveyed.  It was noted that “several areas were unoccupied, which can reduce carbon dioxide levels.”  The relative humidity level was above the MDPH recommended range of 40 to 60% in a number of areas.  The temperature levels in the building in July were within or close to the MDPH recommended range of 70 to 78 degrees in areas tested.

     Twenty-five specific recommendations were made by the MDPH/BEH inspectors if the building continues to be used long-term as a town office. The two most critical areas of concern are ventilation and microbial/moisture.

   “The building lacks a mechanical heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to provide fresh air to occupied areas.”  Instead town employees open windows or doors, or use “fan only” on window AC units that occupy a single window in a room.  Both methods become impractical during cold weather months. 

    Inspectors noted holes or gaps in walls, ceilings, and floors.  In the kitchen area (now an office after the July inspection) fiberglass insulation was exposed.  The building is also filled with old asbestos-containing floor tiles that are damaged in several areas.  In other areas the tiles are covered by old carpeting that was observed to be worn, dirty and past the recommended service life of eleven years.

     The state inspectors recommend removing the carpets in a manner consistent with federal EPA regulations when the building is unoccupied because of the asbestos-containing floors tiles.

   The building’s condensation issues and lack of vapor barrier, together with the reported asbestos-containing floor tiles, present signifiant problems related to water damage and mold-growth in the building 

    Last year, the town had to deal with a mold emergency in the permanent records vault that houses some of the country’s oldest town records. Because of mold infestation in the vault, the entire contents had to be professionally treated and restored by a mold remediation company and record preservation experts at a cost of $10 thousand.

   The MDPH inspectors concluded the priceless historical records stored in the vault will continue to be both a source of mold and particulates, but that ventilation alone “cannot serve to reduce or eliminate mold growth on these materials.”

   While voters at town meeting last year approved spending $70K for a proper vault installation, the project was put on hold waiting to see if residents approved a temporary tax increase to fund building a new municipal complex.  The ballot vote to approve the tax increase was defeated by a small margin of little over 100 voters.

     As a result, the town records vault now has a tarp taped on the interior ceiling in an attempt to keep out water from the building’s leaking roof. While a dehumidifier is used in the vault, officials believe it is only a matter of time until mold develops one again. 

    The MDPH report recommends disposing all contaminated materials not worthy of preservation, restoration or transfer to digital media. Valuable historic artifacts must be evaluated professionally at great expense and “should only be considered for conservation of irreplaceable items.”  Disposal of some of early America’s first town records may be the most economically feasible solution.

    The long and expensive list of 25 specific recommendations from MDPH include installation of a comprehensive HVAC system, removal and replacement of carpeting, repair of the chronic water leaks, improve roof drainage, replace ceiling tiles, improve ground-level drainage around the building, remove back trees and shrubs within five feet of the building exterior, contract with a pest exterminator, replace termite-damaged wood, and “refrain from storing paper and cardboard in areas prone to chronic moisture.”

    Along with the state’s assessment, the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen voted in August to approve up to a $40K expenditure for a thorough building “envelope” evaluation of the town office on Peck Street and the Public Safety Building that houses police, fire and EMS services.


(September 19, 2017) A passenger in a deadly car accident last week on Reynolds Street in Rehoboth  that claimed the driver’s life has perished from her injuries.

    According to family members, thirty-four-year-old Elizabeth Resendes of Taunton died on Sunday in Rhode Island Hospital in Providence where she was transported following the accident on September 13.  Resendes was the mother of five children.

     The driver, thirty-four-year-old Joshua Troufield of Attleboro was pronounced deceased at the scene.   Both accident victims were found unconscious and Troufield had to be extricated from the vehicle by Rehoboth firefighters.

   Police say speed was a factor in the single-car crash that occurred during daylight in good weather on a straight section of Reynolds Avenue.  The small SUV apparently went off the roadway and struck a tree causing significant damage to the vehicle.  The case remains under investigation.


(September 14, 2017) Early yesterday evening around 5:30 PM, Rehoboth police were dispatched to a single vehicle accident that resulted in the death of the driver and critical injuries to the passenger.

    Following several 911 calls, officers arriving at the scene near 36 Reynolds Avenue found a heavily damaged vehicle with two occupants, both unconscious.  Emergency personnel were able to remove a female passenger who was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, assessed in critical condition.  The male driver had to be extricated from the vehicle by Rehoboth firefighters.  He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

    The accident is under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police CARS Unit and the Rehoboth Police Department.  The names of the victims were not released.


(September 13, 2017) The polls will be open at all three precincts in Rehoboth on Tuesday, September 19 from 7 AM to 8 PM for the Special State Senate Primary election to fill the seat for the Bristol and Norfolk district that includes Rehoboth.

   The state senate seat was vacated earlier this year by Senator James Timility who resigned to become Norfolk County treasurer.

    The Democratic party candidates for the primary are Paul R. Feeney of Foxborough and Edward R. Philips of Sharon.  Feeney is a former Foxboro selectmen and Philips served on Sharon’s finance committee.

   Republican candidates include Michael C. Berry of Walpole, Harry C. Brousaides of Walpole, Tim Hempton of Walpole, and Jacob Ventura of Attleboro.  Berry is a former selectman in Walpole, Brousaides is a town meeting member, Hempton is a a representative town meeting member, and Ventura is a former finance committee member and legislative aid for Representative Steven Howitt.

     Precinct 1 is located at the town office on Peck Street, Precinct 2 is the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center on Bay State Road, and Precinct 3 is at the South Rehoboth Fire Station 3 on Pleasant Street.


(September 12, 2017) Rehoboth-based Ferreira Companies, working with the Salvation Army, is now collecting donations to fill a 53-foot freight truck to be driven to Texas to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

    The community is asked to be generous and donate the following types of items: cleaning supplies (mops/buckets/gloves/masks), baby supplies (diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, pacifiers), canned pet food and pet supplies, personal care products, non-perishable canned goods and bottled water.

     Donations will be accepted during business hours at the following Ferreira businesses: J & J Materials . Ferreira Construction . Nantucket Pavers located at 71 Fall River Avenue in Rehoboth; Hillside Country Club and Cristallo Spa at 82 Hillside Avenue in Rehoboth; Dublin Rose Irish Sports Pub at 940 Fall River Avenue in Seekonk, The Whiskey Republic at 15 Bridge Street in Providence; Stout Irish Sports Bar at 50 Exchange Terrace in Providence; J & J Materials at 990 Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown, RI; J & J Materials at #43 Route 28A in Pocasset, MA.

    Based on public response, the J & J Materials may send additional freight trucks to Texas. For more information, please contact Bradley Doyle at 508-536-0125 or


(September 11, 2017) Members of both the Rehoboth and Seekonk fire departments held a joint training on Sunday, September 10 on the issue of Rural Water Supply and Tanker Shuttle Operations.

    Rehoboth has no municipal water supply and Seekonk has areas without hydrants, so tankers are required to extinguish fires on some occasions. The training also covered where to find static water supplies in each locale in the event of a fire.

Over thirty officers and firefighters participated in the training. The two fire departments often respond to fires and other emergencies in the other town.


(September 11, 2017) A Pawtucket man is set to appear in Taunton District Court today for arraignment on charges following a Saturday arrest by Rehoboth police.

  Jason D. Klegraefe, age 31, was taken into custody after crossing over the center line while driving on Pond Street and almost hitting a Rehoboth police cruiser head on.

    Klegraefe was charged with a third operating under the influence change along with negligent operation and a marked lane violation.  He was booked and released on $540 cash bail.  The arresting patrolman was Gil Lima assisted by Patrolman Nick Barros.


(September 7, 2017) Students returning to Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School (DRRHS) will walk through the front entrance into a nursery of native plants growing to supply a future grant-funded outdoor “living” classroom.

    The new courtyard designed by Terra Cura Inc. will incorporate a multitude of social and teaching spaces providing hands-on learning.

The area will complement an indoor laboratory space to form the school’s Green Innovation Center for sustainability, sciences and arts programs.

    A land-based design and consulting firm, Terra Cura held six education and design charrettes with students and the administration over the past year.  The next step was a collaboration with Next Phase Studios, a Boston-based architecture and planning firm leading the design of the complementary indoor laboratory space.

    The outdoor living classroom will showcase regenerative agriculture and sustainable landscape design and management.

   “Our goal was to create an innovative yet practical design of an outdoor education center for the students at DRRHS,” said Adam Davenport, co-founder of Terra Cura. The design program revolves around ecological, social, and education space.  “With teachers, students and staff, we envisioned a landscape that can be an active, living space where students can learn about the world around them, how we interact with it, the potential for a sustainable future, and take part towards creating that future,” noted Davenport.

    The project began last year with the vision of Tabitha Yeager, the school’s Environmental Technology & Sustainability teacher. She secured funding through a Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant and connected with Terra Cura. Yeager is pictured above with DRRHS Facilities Manager David Nappi going over the Terra Cura plans for the outdoor classroom.

    The design connects directly with her curriculum and will allow students to get hands-on experience while managing the landscape, and then take part in their own design process focused on expanding sustainability.

   The indoor lab space will contain a variety of “energy” centers that allow students to manipulate interior and exterior climate and environments. The outdoor space will accent different social and environmental spaces through native plants, insects, and ecology.     

    Through the use of IoT sensors and monitoring systems, students will learn about clean energy monitoring and soil health to further support needs for efficient, sustainable spaces. This specialized equipment will enhance the school’s environmental curriculum to meet anticipated rising demand for green and sustainability professions.

    Based in New Bedford and Somerville, Terra Cura uses an integrative approach to harmonize complex living systems. Their mission is to transform social, economic and ecological factors towards a sustainable future.  Projects like the one at D-R combine professional design services with community engagement and advocacy.

   Additional funding is currently being sought for the construction of both indoor and outdoor spaces of the Green Innovation Center.


(September 3, 2017) The Rehoboth Town Nurse and Board of Health have issued a warning to residents that the risk factor for West Nile Risk in Rehoboth was upgraded to moderate.

    Mosquito samples collected in Rehoboth, as well as some surrounding towns, have tested positive for West Nile Virus. Residents are advised to take precautions against being bitten by mosquitos including staying inside during peak mosquito activity hours (dusk and dawn), wearing long sleeves and pants while outside, wearing insect repellant, removing standing water sources around the home, and repairing any damaged window screens.        

   More information on mosquito-borne viruses, the risk factors in Massachusetts, and what you can do can be found on the Rehoboth Now’s special page with Important Mosquito Information page. For any additional questions, please call Rehoboth Town Nurse Jaime Conlon at 508-252-5947, ext. 3127.


(August 30, 2017)  The Town of Rehoboth is seeking volunteers to serve on a committee to assist in updating the town’s 2018 Open Space and Recreation Plan.

    With a technical assistance grant from the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD), the town can now begin the process of updating this plan.  Once completed, the plan will allow the town to qualify for many state grant programs focused on the acquisition and protection of open space and for new recreational facilities.

    The new committee will be comprised of five officials from existing town committees including the conservation commission, planning board, agricultural commission, parks commission, and the agricultural and Natural Resources Preservation Council. 

    The final two members will be at-large citizens members appointed by selectmen. Interested individuals must be registered voters and possess a basic understanding of the duties and responsibilities.

    Those interested in applying for appointment are invited to complete and submit an online talent bank form and forward to the Conservation/Planning Office, Town Hall, 148 Peck Street. Application forms are also available at the Rehoboth Town Office in the Selectmen’s Office.

  If you have any questions about the new committee, please email Leeann Bradley, Conservation Agent/Town Planner,


(August 29, 2017)  The Rehoboth Cultural Council, local affiliate of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, announces the opening of the 2018 grant cycle with funding available for programs and projects that promote the arts, humanities, and social sciences in the local community.

   The council strongly encourages local artists, musicians, historians, craft persons, etc., who have something to share with their community, to apply.  Members of the RCC will be at the Blanding Library to assist those interested with the application process on two dates: Wednesday, September 13 from 6 to 7:30 PM and Wednesday, September 20 from 1 to 3 PM.

   Grant applications will be accepted from September 1 through October 16, 2017. Programs must be completed between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.  Grants are awarded on a reimbursement basis. Applicants should include a letter of support from their host agency or venue with their application.    

     Teachers are encouraged to apply for grants which will help to defray the cost of field trips to cultural events. Applications must be submitted electronically by October 16, 2017. Please visit the MCC website for additional contact Information and grant application forms.

   The RCC is actively seeking new members with an interest in promoting the arts in the local community. As a town committee, members are appointed by the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen for three-year terms. Anyone interested should complete a Talent Bank form available on the town website. The next scheduled RCC meeting will be held on Monday, November 20 at 7 PM at the Blanding Library.


(August 27, 2017)  Walking the red carpet at tonight’s televised 2017 Video Music Awards (8 PM EST) will be a Rehoboth-native and her husband as special guests invited by MTV last week to appear on the show.

     Aimee (Moriarty-Barrows) Crutcher, DRRHS Class of 2007, will escort her husband USAF Airman First Class Sterling James Crutcher as he joins other transgender military service members to share their stories with millions of viewers. The invitation from MTV was prompted by President Trump’s directive to the Pentagon to move forward on banishing transgender people from serving in the military to take effect next year.

    The advocacy organization GLAAD and SPARTA, a LGBTQ service members and veterans gro
up, released the news yesterday that GLADD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis will walk with Crutcher, Logan Ireland, Jennifer Peace and Akira Wyatt, and trans veterans Laila Ireland and Brynn Tannhill.  They will be joined by August Getty, fashion designer and LGBTQ philanthropist.

   "MTV continues to be a pioneer and fierce advocate for the LGBTQ community by giving one of the most visible platforms to voices that need to be heard,” said Ellis. “Throughout all the tweets, memos, and speculation, brave transgender Americans are still serving their country and defending the freedoms of this nation while meeting the same rigorous standards of their peers. We are proud to stand with them.”

    GLAAD became aware of Airman Crutcher when he posted his personal story on social media following President Trump’s order to ban transgender service members.  After first getting approval from his commanding officers to share his story with the public, his heart-felt post about serving his country went viral.

    The Crutchers are currently stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.  Earlier this year Airman Crutcher was deployed to Qatar Air Base as a munitions technician. He is also a recent college graduate with a degree in psychology, and an advocate for the transgender community.

    A graduate of Bridgewater State University with a degree in early childhood education, Mrs. Crutcher is the granddaughter of Rehoboth resident Mary Beth Moriarty and the late John Moriarty. Her parents are Buddy Barrows and Bonnie Moriarty.

    As a member of the Screen Actors Guild, she has appeared in feature films including last year’s Ghostbusters that was filmed in Boston. She owns Bella Princess Company, employing a cast of performers for children’s parties and charitable events.  Her musical and theatrical career began at D-R where she sang with the chorus, performed in shows and was a member of the marching band color guard.

   The invitation from MTV for the couple to be flown to LA for tonight’s award show and after party was a recent surprise and a secret until yesterday. The MTV VMA Pre-Show will air live outside the “Fabulous” Forum in Inglewood, California today at 7 PM EST and will be streamed live on and on Twitter beginning at 6 PM.


(August 23, 2017) State Representative Steven S. Howitt (R-Seekonk) and District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn met with Rehoboth seniors on August 21 at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center to discuss proper methods of discarding old or unused prescription drugs, and the prevention of identity theft.

    The audience of local seniors were able to express their concerns and ask question regarding the safekeeping of their medications. Both Howitt and Quinn had the opportunity to instruct the senior community on the crucial steps of prescription drug disposal. They also discussed potential dangers that seniors may face on a daily basis, particularly online and telephone scams. They provided seniors with information on ways to prevent theft of private information. (submitted photo).


(August 23, 2017) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen, at their regular meeting earlier this week, voted to conduct a Special Town Meeting on Monday, November 6, 2017 to start at 7 PM in the auditorium of Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School.  

    The warrant for this fall meeting was opened on August 21 and will close at noon on Thursday, September 14.  Any party wishing to submit an article on the warrant for consideration at this special town meeting should do so in writing by the September 14 deadline.


(August 20, 2017) The Rehoboth Police Department has announced the launch of a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative to get impaired drivers off local roadways.

   With a special grant from the Highway Safety Division (HSD) of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), RPD will increase the number of impaired driving patrols throughout town.

   Joining more than 200 local police departments across the state and the state police in the national law enforcement mobilization, the campaign will now include the drivers under the influence of marijuana. According to police, there risks increase exponentially when alcohol and marijuana are combined.

     “Drivers who have had too much to drink or are under the influence of marijuana or other drugs are a serious danger to everyone on the road with them,” said Sergeant Richard Shailor. “This grant funding will allow us to add patrols specifically to remove impaired drivers and as a result reduce the needless deaths and injuries they cause.”

     “There is clear evidence that drivers who have used marijuana, especially in combination with alcohol, are significantly impaired,” said Jeff Larason, Director of the Highway Safety Division. “We are urging motorists to plan ahead for a sober ride home by using public transportation, a ride-sharing service or a designated driver. Do not put yourself and each person in the car and on the road with you at risk.”



(August 16, 2017) A fifteen-year-old Taunton male faces multiple charges including theft of a motorcycle following a chase by Rehoboth police that ended in a crash.

     Shortly before 7 PM last night, police received a call reporting a stolen motorcycle that was traveling on Route 44.

     Officers quickly found a motorcycle fitting the description and attempted to stop the operator who failed to pull over. A pursuit following on Route 44 through Rehoboth and Dighton into Taunton until the teen crashed the motorcycle on Cohannet Street.

     The teen was transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence to be checked for minor injury and later released.  He was taken into custody by Rehoboth police and charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle, unlicensed operation, negligent operation, speeding and other motor vehicle offenses.

     He is set to appear in Taunton Juvenile Court this morning.  The case remains under investigation by Rehoboth Patrolman Gil Lima.


(August 16, 2017) Local residents who have recently become vocal on social media expressing their opposition to a proposed plan for affordable senior housing in Rehoboth, are urging others to attend the Rehoboth Zoning Board of Appeals meeting on Thursday, August 17 at 7:30 PM at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center. 

    The regular meeting of the ZBA includes an agenda item that continues a previous discussion on permit issues to transform the town-owned Anawan School located on Bay State Road into 36 affordable apartment units. 

    Bringing affordable senior housing to Rehoboth was formally initiated by selectmen in 2012. A housing needs study was performed by SRPEDD (Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (view here).  A development feasibility study was performed by the Boston-based Mass Housing Partnership.  Each finished study was presented at selectmen’s meetings and offered to the public for input.

   The next step was obtaining proposals from companies that specialize in leasing public properties and turning them into affordable housing units. Two organizations were invited to make presentations at  board of selectmen’s meetings.  Once again, public input was welcomed.

     A leasing agreement signed last year with Providence-based Women's Development Corporation for the purpose of transforming the old school into low-income apartments for eligible senior citzens, disabled military veterans and disabled adults.

    Following last week's release of site plans for the proposed apartment building, many residents expressed their opinions, complaints, as well as speculation and inaccurate information on the Rehoboth Talk Facebook page.

   While the ZBA meeting tomorrow is not a formal public hearing on senior housing.  The public is always welcome and encouraged to attend municipal meeting, but those who wish to ask questions or address the board must first identify themselves and request permission to speak.  It is up to the chairman of the committee to grant permission and set a time limit for public input.

    Members of the ZBA include Charles DeBlois, Jr., Frank Moitozo, Michael T. O’Hern, Richard Barrett, and Ryan Duvally.  Establishing local polices on public housing will be under the Rehoboth Housing Authority composed of the following members: Lynore McKim, Robert McKim, George Cardono, Barbara Parent, Neal Harrington, and Andrew Carden.


(Updated: August 11, 2017) The Town of Rehoboth website now offers a “conceptual design” for transforming the old Anawan elementary school on Bay State Road into affordable senior housing.

   The town entered an agreement last year leasing the property to Providence-based Women’s Development Corporation (WDC) to build a complex featuring 31 single bedroom apartments and 5 two-bedroom units along with a community room and administrative office. Unit floor plans are included in the project design along with illustrations, including changes to the property such as moving the community garden and creating a new parking adjacent to the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center.  The small public playground at the rear of the property will remain.

     Once completed, the complex will offer affordable housing to low-income senior citizens, disabled veterans and adults with special needs. Despite rumors, low-income families will not be eligible to rent the units. 

    Since 2012, the town has gone through the process of assessing the old school building for various uses.   Based on comprehensive evaluations that eliminated several uses including town offices or police station, the town examined turning the building into senior housing. 

    A housing needs study was performed by SRPEDD (Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (view here). Next, a development feasibility study was performed by the Boston-based Mass Housing Partnership.  Each finished study was presented at selectmen’s meetings and offered to the public for input.

    The next step was obtaining proposals from companies that specialize in leasing public properties and turning them into affordable housing units. Two organizations were invited to make presentations at  board of selectmen’s meetings.  Once again, public input was welcomed.

    An agreement was finally made with one, working in conjunction with WDC that has developed and managed low and moderate income housing for families, elders and people with special needs since 1979.

    Once the Anawan School and property was leased for that purchase, WDC hired Commonwealth Engineers and Consultants, Inc. of Providence to design the new facility. 

    While WDC will manage the facility once occupied, the town’s housing authority will be involved in establishing local policies. Typically most area communities that offer affordable senior housing, including Dighton, have a waiting list of eligible renters who can wait years for a vacancy.

    Those interested in looking at the plan should visit the town website.


(August 9, 2017)  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen on Monday night voted to approve up to a $40K expenditure for a thorough building “envelope” evaluation of the town office on Peck Street and the Public Safety Building that houses police, fire and EMS services.

    A committee to formally assess the physical conditions of the buildings was formed in the spring following the April defeat by voters at town election to pass a debt exclusion to fund a proposed $9.3 million new municipal complex. The committee met in executive session and released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to hire an outside civil engineering company to do the assessments. The RFQ was written to “not exceed $40,000. 

    Selectmen approved hiring Boston-area Russo Barr Associates, Inc. to assess both buildings and submit a comprehensive report that can be used as evidence to pursue future planning.

    The firm will begin the process next week to inspection the building and collect hazardous material samples. A draft report will be issued by the end of the month according to Andy Barr.

    While both buildings will be inspected for code violations, the evaluation does not include structural analysis or inspection of the grounds surrounding the building.

    Russo Barr Associates is an engineering consulting firm that specializes in Building Envelope Technology.  According to the company’s website, the “design firm not a contractor or materials manufacturer.”  With staff including registered civil engineers, registered structural engineers and registered roof consultants, the firm provides “unbiased and objective diagnosis of your building envelope problems.”

    Following Rehoboth voters unwillingness to pass a debt exclusion to build a municipal complex, selectmen anticipated “draconian” measures must be taken to deal with the problems of two outdated public buildings deemed unsafe for employees and visitors.

    They warned the town may be forced to consider a Proposition 2 1/2 tax override that will increase taxes permanently if the buildings were deemed unsafe. The first step in that process would be having a comprehensive evaluation performed by outside professionals.


(August 9, 2017) The Rehoboth Parks Commission is pleased to announce four upcoming free concerts to be held this month and next at the Rehoboth Veterans Memorial Gazebo on the Redway Plain.

    The first concert, featuring the Providence-based band Rhythm 44,  will be held on Sunday, August 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Tony Funches, former lead singer of The Platters, will headline the Sunday, August 27 concert from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.  The Villannaires will perform from 5:30 to 9 PM on Saturday, September 9.  Rhythm 44 will return for another show on Sunday, September 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. 

    Residents are invited to bring lawn chairs, blankets, insect repellant and whatever else you need to enjoy a warm summer evening outdoors listening to live music.

    The free concerts are supported in part by the Rehoboth Cultural Council, local affiliate of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


(August 9, 2017) Bristol and Norfolk state senate candidate Jacob Ventura recently visited a Rehoboth business Bay State Trading Post to campaign and discuss sales tax.

    Ventura specifically discussed the state legislature’s inaction to vote on Governor Charles Baker’s legislation (H 3871) to declare August 19 and 20 as a Massachusetts sales tax holiday, which would eliminate sales tax on purchases under $2,500.

    “The sales tax holiday is a very important boost for small businesses throughout Massachusetts.  Many small business owners and families count on this holiday for much needed relief from the sales tax,” Ventura said.

    The two-day break from the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax has been enacted eleven times in the past thirteen years, and is supported by the business community because it increases their sales during a slow time of year.  The legislature did not pass a sales tax holiday last year.

    “The legislature should make it a priority to pass this bill to give relief to small businesses and consumers,” said Ventura.  “When elected to the state senate, I will file legislation that will make the annual sales tax holiday permanent and advocate lowering the sales tax to 5%.”

    An attorney, Ventura is running in the September 19 Republican primary to succeed former State Senator James E. Timilty (D-Walpole).  Jacob graduated with a Bachelor of Science in finance from UMass Dartmouth in 2009 and holds a Juris Doctorate from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 2016.


(August 7, 2017) A brand new 2018 Toyota Camry LE will be the prize offered to the first person to get a hole-in-one at the 29th Annual Rehoboth Lions Golf Tournament on August 19 at Segregansett Country Club in Taunton.

    According to tournament organizer Ray Medeiros, the brand new Camry was offered to the Lions by Mike Hills, General Manager of Bristol Toyota.  There will be a specified hole on the course designated for the Camry prize.  In addition, every par 3 will have a hole-in-one prize.

     The tournament, supported by corporate sponsor Propane Plus, raises money for the local Lions chapter which in turn donates to local organizations such as youth athletics, scouting troops, and Helping Hands Food Pantry. 

    The local Lions also use proceeds from fundraising events, such as the golf tournament, to purchase medical equipment for individuals and families in need, and support Mass Lions Eye Research.

    This year’s tournament will be held on Saturday, August 19 starting at 1 PM.  Segregansett Country Club is located off Route 44 in Taunton. The club requires proper attire with collared shirts only, soft spikes, and no jeans.  Players must register by August 11. Fee for a single golfer is $125 and includes 18 holes, cart, dinner buffet and great prizes.

    Those interested in playing in the tournaments and getting a chance to win a brand new Camry should contact Ray Medeiros at 508-252-9470. Click here for full details.


(August 2, 2017) The official Town of Rehoboth 375 Anniversary Celebration Committee is now meeting to plan events and projects for the remainder of 2017 and throughout 2018.

    Fundraising has already begun to fund the Rehoboth 375 Parade, slated for October 2018.  Hosting a huge parade for significant anniversary years is a time-honored tradition in Rehoboth. 

   The committee is full of enthusiastic volunteers, appointed by selectmen, to organize the official 'town' events in recognition of the 375 anniversary. Their goal, according to committee chairman Michael Costello is to engage the entire Rehoboth community in “a year of fun and offer wonderful memories for everyone, young and old.”

   Local organizations, businesses and non-profits are encouraged to participate by hosting their own 375-themed projects or public events during 2018. All anniversary endeavors will be promoted on the website, a one-stop online resource and companion website of Rehoboth Now.

     Town-hosted anniversary events, including the parade, will depend on fundraisers and direct contributions as there is no money in the already frugal town budget for celebratory events.

       The committee hopes residents will support upcoming fundraisers that offer something in return -- a fun time, a good meal, a memorable event, or a 375th commemorative souvenir.  Plans are being considered for pasta suppers, breakfasts, a dinner/dance ball, a clam bake, road race, concerts, Taste of Rehoboth, and golf tournament. Other events being planned include a town-wide roadside clean up, digging up the 325th time capsule and burying a 375th time capsule, hosting a Rehoboth Has Talent Show, and showcasing a Grown in Rehoboth Contest.

     “If you call Rehoboth home, join us in celebrating this amazing anniversary as one of the country's oldest towns,” said Costello.  “Working  together, we can make 2018 a year to remember.”

     Donations are now being accepted online via Paypal on the website.  Checks can be made payable to: 375th Anniversary Committee, 148 Peck Street, Rehoboth, MA 02769.

   Residents are also invited to visit the 375 Anniversary booth at the 18th Annual 'Larry Procopio' Harvest Block Party on Saturday, September 16 from 10 AM to 3 PM on the Redway Plain.

      This annual 'party for Rehoboth’ has a deep connection with the town’s 350th.  Founded by the late Larry and Bev Procopio, the block party was a means to carry on the town-side enthusiasm of the 350th by offering a free town event. Following Larry’s passing, the block party was named in his honor. For many years, Bev took charge and managed the annual event.  Following her death, a Town Events Committee was formed to orchestrate the celebration each September.


(July 29, 2017) Rehoboth police last night arrested a Connecticut woman on multiple charges related to impaired driving.

    Police dispatch received a call around ten o’clock reporting an erratic driver on Route 44 coming into Rehoboth from Dighton. Officers were able to locate the described vehicle and stopped the driver, Patricia Trahan of Jewett City, Connecticut.  She was arrested for impaired driving and taken into custody and booked.

     Trahan is scheduled to appear in Taunton District Court on Monday, July to be arraigned on charges including operating under the influence of alcohol, an open container of marijuana, and driving to endanger.  Patrolman David Aguiar is the officer in charge of case investigation.


(July 23, 2017) Four unnamed persons were found by Rehoboth public safety personnel after a three-hour search and rescue on Friday night in the swampy woodlands off Anawan Street.

    A 911 call was made to report an unknown number of people lost in the mosquito-infested swamp behind a residential property after sunset on Friday. Police arrived at the scene and were told some individuals had gone into the woods and could not find their way out once darkness fell.

    Rehoboth firefighters were called to assist using the fire department’s rescue ATV and the Rehoboth EMS gator vehicle.  Responders at first had a difficult time determining how many people were involved due to differing information provided. 

     According to Fire Chief Frank Barresi, both firefighters and police were “knee deep in mud and uneven terrain” trying to locate the victims.  When they reached the end of a path, presumed to be taken by the victims, they were already about a half mile into the woods reported Barresi.

    Rescuers determined two of the four victims were still deeper into the swamp after a first communication was made with them. The location of the other two was unknown. At that point Chief Barresi activated the Bristol County Tech Rescue Team to bring in more equipment, manpower and an additional off-road vehicle. The Massachusetts State Police air wing put on standby for assistance upon request of Rehoboth Police Lt. James Medeiros. Numerous police, fire, EMS and tech rescue vehicles took up the northbound lane of Route 118.

     The first two victims were brought out by ATV to waiting ambulances and assessed by Rehoboth EMS.  The other two victims were located about an hour later even further into the swamp, brought out and assessed.  All four were released.  No injuries were reported by police, firefighters or members of the tech rescue team.

    “The warm, humid weather and abundance of insects added to the difficulty of the operation,” noted Barresi.  The names and ages of the the four people rescued were not released by officials, nor the reason the individuals decided to go off into the insect-infested swamp after dark during a July heat wave.


(July 21, 2017) The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society (RAS) was presented with a grant from Bristol County Savings Bank (BCSB), through its charitable foundation, at a ceremony recently in Westport, Massachusetts.

    Grants totaling $71,800 were awarded to nine non-profits in the greater Taunton/Attleboro, Massachusetts area. RAS Vice President Suzanne Withers (pictured front row far left) and Carpenter Museum Director Elyssa Tardiff (back row, third from left) were on hand to receive the grant.

    Founded in 1884, the RAS preserves, promotes and enhances the significant historical, education, and cultural assets of Rehoboth.  The non-profit owns and operates the Carpenter Museum, E. Otis Dyer Barn, Blanding Public Library, and Goff Memorial Hall. The organization also hosts the very popular Arts in the Village Classical Concert Series featuring world-class performers.

    A new Research Center is currently being constructed on the upper level of the museum’s Farmhouse, an 18th century-style, gambrel-roofed structure built in 1978 that offers exhibitions and community meeting space with kitchen facilities. The spacious, new center will contain the museum’s library of research and genealogy materials and be open to the public during regular operating hours.

     “Our Foundation is proud to grant nine deserving non-profit organizations in the greater Taunton/Attleboro community,” said Patrick J. Murray, President & CEO of BCSB and President of BCSCF.   “As a mutual community bank, we believe that the communities we serve are our stockholders.  So, our mission is to support our local neighborhoods to meet the growing needs of the population.  One way to accomplish that goal is to assist the good work of these non-profits.”


(July 20, 2017) The Town of Rehoboth Building Department recently completed a move from a town-owned building on Anawan Street to the Rehoboth Town Office at 148 Peck Street.

    Officials say the reason for the move was to consolidate services for residents and offer more convenience. Instead of making stops at two locations, residents seeking building department services only need to visit the town office.

     The Anawan Street building was recently occupied by both the building department  and Rehoboth TV, the town-run cable access PEG (public, education, government) provider through Comcast.

    To accommodate the building department, town office employees were obliged to give up a small lunch room that also served as a mail room and storage area. The room also served as an additional meeting room for town departments and committees.

    A small closet, approximately 3 x 6 feet in size, located next to a restroom, will serve as a storage/meal preparation area with a microwave and refrigerator.  Personnel must eat at their desks or leave the building.  A picnic table is located outdoors.

    Over the last few years, town residents have voted three times against a temporary debt exclusion for a designated period of time to fund a new town office, and later a new municipal complex.  Following the failed last attempt on a ballot question at April town election, selectmen declared the town office a health hazard and vowed to remove personnel as quickly as possible.  One option, they said, would be renting temporary trailers to house town departments.

     Selectmen also announced at that time they would move the building department out of the Anawan Street building.  Officials have said the Anawan Street building, for many years the town’s senior center, will now be used solely for the RehobothTV operation which is managed by town employees.

     Meanwhile, a new committee was recently formed to analyze the condition of town buildings with the goal of hiring engineers to provide third-party evaluations and recommendations. The Physical Conditions Assessment Report Committee has so far only met in executive session.  No information has been released by town officials.



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