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LOCAL VETERANS APPRECIATE SWEET NEW RIDE, A BRAND NEW HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE VAN

(February 17, 2018)   Rehoboth military veterans have made their opinions known -- they are extremely happy to have a handicapped accessible van instead of the old one with a sliding door that wouldn’t stay closed and a wheelchair ramp that didn’t work properly.

     One of the services offered through the Rehoboth Veterans Services office is transportation for vets to medical appointments or trips to VA hospitals and clinics.  While some are disabled veterans, others are elderly and no longer drive.  At last year’s November town meeting, residents voted to purchase a brand new van after hearing the old one was held together with rope and duct tape.  More than once, the sliding door opened while on the road to the VA hospital in Rhode Island.  The old van had been repaired so many times, auto mechanics said it could no longer be fixed.

     Veterans Services Officer Jake Kramer approached the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen last September to get a warrant on the town meeting warrant to buy the new vehicle, this time with a mechanical lift instead of hydraulic.

    Kramer reports local veterans are “so happy with the town’s new van, they want to thank all the residents of Rehoboth for going the extra mile to support them in their time of need.”

     Trained volunteer drivers transport any veteran in need upon request.  To learn more about how to get a ride or how to become a volunteer for the Veterans Services Department, contact Jake at veterans@rehoboth.town.ma.us for more information.


RESIDENTS INVITED TO AUDITION FOR

REHOBOTH 375 TALENT SHOW

(February 17, 2018)  The Rehoboth 375 Anniversary Committee encourages Rehoboth and Dighton residents to audition for the Rehoboth 375 Talent Show to be held this spring on Saturday, May 5 in the auditorium at Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School.

    If you are 13 years of age or older and have an entertaining talent, you are invited to audition on either Sunday, March 11 or Sunday, March 25 from 1 PM in the DRRHS auditorium.

     Contestants are asked to pre-register by email to audition on either March 11 or 25. Include your name, contact info, age, and describe your act.  You may include one photograph and/or link to a video. To pre-register or get more information, email TalentShow@Rehoboth375.com.

     Contestants are also required to comolete and sign a contestant application form. Minors must have a parent or guardian sign the form available online.  

      Please arrive for your audition ready to perform. All acts considered, not to exceed five minutes. Contestants are asked to donate $2 with proceeds to benefit the Rehoboth 375 Parade next October. Those chosen to perform in the judged Talent Show on May 5 will compete for cash prizes - $500 first place, $250 second place and $100 third place.  For more information, visit the Rehobohth375.com website, or email TalentShow@Rehoboth375.com.


CANDIDATES FOR REHOBOTH SPRING ELECTION ON APRIL 2

(February 14, 2018) Campaign season now begins for candidates vying for a variety of elected municipal positions on the Rehoboth Spring Election ballot on Monday, April 2 at all three voting precincts.

     The roster of candidates includes those nominated by the Rehoboth Republic Town Committee, the Rehoboth Democratic Town Committee, and those running without endorsement from either political party.

    Candidates for two open seats on the board of selectmen for a three-year term include incumbent Gerald Schwall (R), Michael Costello (R), Craig Chapman, Jonathan Clark and Antonio Oliveira.

     Incumbent Town Clerk Laura Schwall (R) is running unopposed for a three-year term. William Cute (D) is running unopposed for another one-year term as Rehoboth Town Moderator.

     Candidates Michael Deignan (R) and George Solas (R) received Republican nominations to run for two seats (three-year terms) on the Dighton Rehoboth Regional School Committee against incumbents Katherine Cooper and David Katseff.

     Susan Taylor (R) is running for another three-year term on the Rehoboth Board of Assessors. Tomas Ennis is running for another five-year seat on the Rehoboth Planning Board.  Other incumbents running for additional terms include: David Perry, Jr. (R) for a three-year term as stormwater officer; Robert Johnson (R) for a three-year term as tree warden; Thomas Nicholson (D) for a three-year term as water commissioner; both George Cardono (R) and Kenneth Abrams (R) for three-year seats on the Rehoboth Park Commission.

     Clark Curtis was nominated at the Rehoboth Republican Town Committee caucus to run for a five-year seat on the planning board, but has yet to sign the nomination papers.  He has 72 hours to accept the Republican nomination.

    

PUBLIC INVITED TO REHOBOTH LAND TRUST ANNUAL MEETING FEATURING GUEST SPEAKERS E. OTIS DYER AND BETSY DEXTER DYER

(February 12, 2018) The Rehoboth Land Trust (RLT) the non-profit custodian of over 1000 acres of conservation land, invites the public to attend their annual meeting at the Carpenter Musuem on Monday, March 5 at 7 PM with featured speakers E. Otis Dyer, Sr. and Betsey Dexter Dyer.

    Last December, RLT received the largest gift of land in the organization’s history from longtime Rehoboth residents, Jean and E. Otis Dyer, Sr. and the late E.O. Dyer Jr. of Fairview Avenue. The 433 acres of Squannakonk Swamp, to be named the Roy Wheaton Horton Preserve, lies to the south of Route 44 and comprises many parcels acquired by the Dyers over many years.

    A land surveyor by profession, Dyer will be joined by his daughter, a Professor of Biology at Wheaton College to share stories and answer questions about how this important assemblage of wetlands and uplands grew and became a protected refuge for wildlife and land for outdoor enthusiasts to explore.

     Dyer, age 91, is also a local historian and author with a unique perspective and knowledge of Rehoboth to share. His book, “Swamp Yankee,” describes Squannakonk Swamp in detail and tells the tale of how true Squannakonk Swamp Yankee Roy Wheaton Horton played an influential role in Dyer’s life. Books will be available to purchase or to order, or bring your own copy to be signed.

     The RLT’s work is supported through the volunteer efforts and generous donations of its members and friends. To date, we have conserved over 650 acres, provided public access to open space, and continued to work with property owners to preserve the landscape and conserve natural resources that benefit the community.

    Those interested in land protection in Rehoboth and would enjoy meeting other like-minded residents.

The RLT is a 501(C)(3) organization. Join our membership, as an Individual ($25), a Family ($50), a Sustainer ($100), or support us at a level of your choice. Please mail checks payable to Rehoboth Land Trust, PO Box 335, Rehoboth, MA. 02769.


REHOBOTH MAN APPOINTED TOWN AMBASSADOR TO LAGOA, AZORES

(February 7, 2018) On Monday night, local businessman Manny Botelho was appointed by the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen as town ambassador to Rehoboth’s sister municipality of Lagoa on the Island of Saint Miguel in the Azores (pictured left taking the oath of office with Town Clerk Laura Schwall).

     Thirteen-years-ago, Rehoboth entered into a “protocol of sisterhood” with Lagoa to establish and promote social, cultural, sporting and commercial relations. Rehoboth’s population includes both Lagoa natives and their descendants. 

    When the sisterhood protocol was initiated in 2005, Rehoboth residents John Ferreira and John Krasnianski were appointed as town representatives while the Municipality of Lagoa was represented by João António Ferreira Ponte.  Ferreira recently approached the selectmen to consider appointing Botelho as ambassador to Lagoa. 

     Botelho is well-known in the local community and has operated Manny’s Auto Repair at 2 Park Street in North Rehoboth since 1976. As ambassador, he will represent Rehoboth to enhance relations with the people of Lagoa, a community of over 14,000 residents in the southwestern part of São Miguel Island.  A popular tourist destination, Lagoa was founded in 1515 and became a municipality in 1522. (Photo credit: Michael Deignan)

   

REHOBOTH BUILDING DEPT. ANNOUNCES NEW TEMPORARY OFFICE HOURS

(February 3, 2018)  The Rehoboth Building Department, housed at the Rehoboth Town Office on Peck Street, announces temporary business hours during the month of February.

     Those needing to conduct business with the building department should make note of the hours:  Monday, February 5 through Thursday, February 8 from 9 AM to 3 PM; Friday, February 9 from 9 AM to noon; Monday, February 12 through Thursday, February 15 from 9 AM to 3 PM; Friday, February 16 from 9 AM to 3 PM.

     Additionally, the office will be closed on Monday, February 19 for Presidents Day. Anyone requiring assistance, please contact Building Inspector Bill McDonough at 508-838-4979.


CONGRESSMAN KENNEDY MEETS WITH CARCS COMMUNITY ADVOCATES

(February 2, 2018) Representatives from Citizens Against Rehoboth Compressor Station (CARCS) long with other citizen advocacy groups met with Congressman Joe Kennedy III on January 26 to discuss Massachusetts energy policy.

    The coalition of concerned medical, climate, and citizen advocacy groups came together to discuss the urgent need to circumvent a Massachusetts energy policy that refers to natural gas as a bridge fuel calling for more gas capacity projects.

     “We have met with the Congressman before, and we really appreciate his open-door policy and readiness to listen,” said CARCS director Tracy Manzella, “and while we commend him for all of his outstanding work in Washington on our behalf, we will continue to urge him to exert whatever influence he can to address the pressing concerns of his constituents right here at home.”

     According to South Coast Neighbors United (SCNU) President Wendy Graça, there is “nothing natural about so-called natural gas.”  She said, “If it is a bridge fuel, it is a bridge to nowhere. We are at a crossroads and decisions we make today will either impede or accelerate our efforts toward a clean energy future.”

     Climate activist Mary Dewart of Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) and Climate Action Brookline emphasized, “There are better, real-world alternatives to our Governor’s ‘combo platter’ energy approach which is already overloaded with gas. Massachusetts businesses are driving clean energy jobs and economic growth, and what we need to do now is modernize our grid towards renewables, not invest in more dirty energy projects.” 

     Dr. Brita Lundberg, an infectious diseases physician and member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, expressed the growing concern of the medical community over direct human exposures to toxins, carcinogens, and environmental pollutants from natural gas infrastructure (NGI), as well as the indirect health consequences of methane gas as a contributor to climate change.

    Citing a mounting body of medical evidence, Dr. Lundberg touched on known human health impacts from hazardous air pollutant exposure to methane gas releases such as asthma and other respiratory complaints. She also referenced illnesses from exposures to benzene and other carcinogens, which have been detected in populations living close to the gas drilling rigs, including childhood cancers such as acute lymphocytic leukemia.

    When considering the health consequences, Beth Rodio of Mothers Out Front, asked the Congressman “to think as a parent about this issue. We are concerned about the effects of fracked gas on children’s health and are asking for leadership and action from all of our representatives."

    Photo above: (L to R) Mary Dewart of Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) and Climate Action Brookline, Wendy Graça of South Coast Neighbors United (SCNU) and STEM Education & Teacher Development at UMass Dartmouth, Tracy Manzella of Citizens Against the Rehoboth Compressor Station (CARCS), Beth Rodio of Mothers Out Front (MOF) and No Sharon Gas Pipeline (NSGP), and Dr. Brita Lundberg MD, Infectious Disease Specialist of Mass Health Professionals for Clean Energy, stand with Congressman Joe Kennedy III.

    

REHOBOTH RESIDENTS APPROVE ALL ITEMS ON STM WARRANT

(January 30, 2018) Registered voters at last night’s Rehoboth Special Town Meeting (STM) approved all seven warrant including an amended warrant to spend $20K in free cash to secure an option to purchase a 15-plus acre parcel of land adjacent to the town’s public safety building on Anawan Street.

     Town Moderator William Cute brought the meeting to order with only 64 voters in attendance although a total number of 143 voters eventually took seats in the high school auditorium to vote on important town issues.

    Citizens quickly approved the first three articles including over $18K in supplemental funding for an amended FY2018 budget.  Voters also approved spending $2,000 for capital equipment, a gas-powered sign post driver for the highway department.

    Resident voted to fund $15K in needed repairs to the HVAC system at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center.  Selectmen are optimistic, however, that a grant requested by State Senator Paul Feeney will come in pay for the HVAC repairs so the approved $15K can be restored to the town. 

     Article 4 on the warrant, to spend $839K to purchase three parcels of land next to the town’s public safety building, was amended on the spot.  According to Selectman Dave Perry, new developments that “just unfolded in the last hour” convinced officials to amend the article from an outright purchase to spending $20K for an option to purchase the land by August. 

     Selectman Gerry Schwall thanked land owner Steve Dorrance for offering the property at a reasonable price while agreeing to accept a non-refundable $20K to take the property off the market until August.  If the deal goes through, the money will be applied to the total cost. 

     Residents will then be able to vote on a municipal complex plan at May town meeting and later vote on a debt exclusion or Prop 2 1/2 override at a special election during the summer.  

     With the additional 15 acres, officials will be able to address all the issues brought up by citizens related to the construction of a comprehensive municipal complex on Awawan Street.  “This is a good place to put a new town hall and municipal complex,” said Schwall.  “We need to take some action now because it will take three years until it’s done.”

     According to Selectman Jim Muri, the combined 25 acres would offer “endless possibilities for designs of a municipal complex” on land with existing water and septic along with ample space for parkings and multiple driveways. 

    Last August, selectmen ordered a $40K comprehensive physical assessment of both the town office and public safety building.  The results of the report were released last week.  To bring both buildings into baseline compliance, a minimum of $4 million in repairs must be made without providing any additional space to already over-crowded facilities.

    Voters last night also approved Article 5 to allow selectmen to renew current cell tower license and lease agreements.  They also voted to approve Article 6 to pay an outstanding FY17 invoice of $90.

     Article 7 to approve borrowing $3,101, 837 to replace and repair the DRRHS roof was also approved by voters at special town meeting.  However, the next step is putting the issue before voters as a binding question on the April 2 Town election ballot.  According to school committee officials, if a debt exclusion is passed to fund the roof repairs, the anticipated tax increase is around $26 dollars per year for the average house with an assessed value of $350K.

    

CITIZENS URGED TO ATTEND SPECIAL TOWN MEETING TONIGHT

(January 29, 2018) Registered voters in Rehoboth are urged to attend tonight’s Special Town Meeting (STM) to vote on important town issues starting at 7 PM in the auditorium at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School.

     For the past 375 years, Rehoboth residents have gathered at town meetings, our form of municipal government, to vote on how the town is run by elected and appointed officials, and how revenue is spent. 

     The warrant for tonight’s STM includes approving an amended Fiscal Year 2018 town budget and a FY2018 capital article.  Citizens will be asked to approve spending $15K on HVAC repairs at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center; a land purchase; authorizing a license/lease for cellular towers; payment of a prior year’s bill; and voting to put a binding question on the spring town election ballot for a debt exclusion for roof repairs at DRHHS. 

     All households received the STM warrant by regular mail.  Please bring it with you to the meeting.  Additionally, copy of the warrant can be found on the town website.   

      The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen are scheduled to meet in Room 103 at 6:15 PM and the Rehoboth Finance Committee will meet at 6:45 PM in the auditorium prior to the start of the STM which will be run according to town bylaws by Town Moderator William Cute.

    

REHOBOTH KICKS OFF 375 ANNIVERSARY YEAR IN STYLE

(January 29, 2018) Nearly 200 people helped kick off Rehoboth's 375 Anniversary at a costume ball dinner dance held at Hillside Country Club in Rehoboth on Saturday, January 27.

     As a special surprise, an impressive fireworks display was donated by Hillside Country Club shortly after 7 PM before the plated dinner was served. Fire protection for the fireworks display was provided voluntarily by firefighters from the Rehoboth Fire Department.

      The successful dinner dance fundraiser was organized by the 375 Anniversary Ball sub-committee chaired by Laura Schwall with vice-chair Cheryl Gouveia, and members Jake Kramer, Kelly Hathaway, Jean Grota, and Kim Fagundes.

     Following a cocktail hour, members of the Rehoboth Minutemen and color guard took part in the welcome ceremony and Pledge of Allegiance followed by introduction of the ball committee by Schwall.  Michael Costello, chairman of the Rehoboth 375 Anniversary Committee, welcomed the gathering and introduced Representative Steven Howitt who offered congratulations.  The group was then greeted by Frederick “Skip” Vadnais who welcomed everyone on behalf of the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen.

    Live music for the event was provided by Rehoboth-based band Rhythm 44, event photographer was Bill Parmentier of Rehoboth and, videography was provided by Daylight Weddings. Dozens of unique floral centerpieces were created by Sheila Bouchard of Rehoboth's Designs by Sheila, each an original creation reflecting a different time period along with a framed description of that era in Rehoboth history.

     Elected town officials in attendance included Town Clerk Laura Schwall, Treasurer and Tax Collector Cheryl Gouveia, Town Administrator, Selectman Skip Vadnais, Selectman Susan Pimental, Selectman Gerry Schwall, Selectman Dave Perry, and Selectman James Muri, Water Commissioner Kathleen Conti, Water Commissioner Joe Nunes, Water Commissioner Patricia “Tish” Vadnais, and Constable Michael Deignan, along with Town Administrator Helen Dennen.  

    The event was a fundraiser for the Rehoboth 375 Parade to be held on Sunday, October 7, 2018. Table sponsors included Anawan Pharmacy, American Legion Post 302, B Conway Construction, Blu Sky Real Estate, Bristol Legal Law Office of Luke P. Travis, Designs by Sheila, Edward Jones-Rehoboth, "Elaine, Doug, Katie and Dakota", Graphics Inc, Greystone Kennels, Hathaway Builders in Memory of Steve Hathaway, Heritage Realty, Paul Jacques Family & Supporters, JLS Mailing, Manny & Sons, Munroe Feed & Supply, One Horse Pizza & Saloon, Plaza Pizza, Propane Plus, Rehoboth Breed Expo, Rehoboth Congregational Church, Rehoboth Country Club, Seekonk Supply, Rehoboth Now, RE/MAX Integrity, Target Marketing and Wayside Auto Sales.

     Donations for the raffle table came from: American Legion Post 302, Anjulans Florist and Gardens, Block Party 2017, Brian Cardoza, Tom & Betsy Charnecki, China Gourmet,  Allan & Ellen Corvi, Michael Costello, Deanna DiMarzio Photography, George and Sandy Delaney, Kelly Doran, Cathy Edington, Mandy Ezky, Elaine Ferreira, Grapevine Fine Wine & Spirits, Frank and Cheryl Gouveia, Bruce Graham, Neal Harrington, Hillside Country Club, Honey Dew Donuts Seekonk, iAlive Restaurant, Jake and Sheila Kramer, Loraine's Stitch n Craft, Lovely Nails, M & D's Country Kitchen, Richard Moschella, Paradise Nails, Plaza Pizza, Propane Plus, Propel Winter Guard, Rehoboth Breed Expo, Rehoboth Now, Gerry and Laura Schwall, Vino's Family Cafe, Welshman Xmas Party, Donald and Donna Welshman, Bruce and Sarah Weaver, and Zeno's II Chinese.


REHOBOTH CULTURAL COUNCIL ANNOUNCES 2018 GRANT RECIPIENTS

(January 26, 2018) The Rehoboth Cultural Council (RCC) is pleased to announce the award of 14 grants totaling $5,300 to support local cultural programs in 2018.

   The RCC is the local affiliate of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) that consists of 329 local cultural councils serving 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. Members of the local council are appointed for three-year terms by the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen. Current members include Catherine Allen, Sandra Delany, Gloria Lagasse, Molly Lewandowski,
Lisa Milich, Desire Palmer, Susan Robert and Melissa Treichler. 

    The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the MCC that in turn distributes funding to local cultural councils to grant to community-based projects in the arts, sciences, and humanities.

     The 2018 local grant recipients include two $300 grants to Arts in the Village Classical Music Series to support upcoming concerts at Goff Memorial Hall, a $600 grant to the Rehoboth PTSA for a musical workshop, and $400 to support the Rehoboth 375 Parade.

     D-R Marching Band Boosters were granted $400 to support the high school band’s participation in UMASS Band Day, and the DRRHS Latin Class was awarded a $300 grant to help fund a field trip.  A grant of $100 was given to the SMARTS Collaborative to support that group’s annual Student Art Touring Exhibit  at D. L. Beckwith Middle School.  Beckwith additionally received a $500 grant to support a student field trip.

     The Carpenter Museum received two grants, one of $500 to support the museum’s annual Strawberry Festival in June, and another for $400 to fund a Rehoboth history lecture and exhibit to recognize the town’s 375th anniversary.  The Blanding Public Library was granted $500 to purchase a patron pass to the New England Aquarium Library. 

    A grant of $500 was awarded to the Rehoboth Parks Commission to support summer concerts on the Redway Plain.  The Rehoboth Council on Aging was selected for two grants in 2018 including $300 for an art class, and $200 for a musical performance at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center.

   The RCC is part of the the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based\ projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. 

     All those interested in applying for appointment to the RCC should complete and return a Talent Bank forms available on the town’s website under the tab Board of Selectmen. For further information, please contact Molly Lewandowski at culturalcouncil@town.rehoboth.ma.us.


REHOBOTH FIRE STATION THREE ASSOCIATION RECEIVES $500 GRANT

(January 26, 2018) Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation has announced that Rehoboth Fire Station Three Men’s Fire Association, Inc. was awarded $500 from the Foundation’s Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grant program.

     Elizabeth Lambert, an employee of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, nominated the Rehoboth firefighters for the award. Funds will be used for equipment, trainings, and supplies.

    The Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grant program was created by Harvard Pilgrim and the Foundation to commemorate Harvard Pilgrim members who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. This program allows each Harvard Pilgrim employee to award a $500 grant, completely funded by the Foundation, to the local charity of his or her choice each calendar year. 

     Since this community grants program began in 2002, Harvard Pilgrim employees have directed more than $5.2 million to thousands of organizations throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.


REHOBOTH’S CONGRESSMAN JOE KENNEDY TO DELIVER DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE TO STATE OF THE UNION

(January 26, 2018) U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer announced yesterday that Congressman Joe Kennedy III will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s joint address to Congress next week.

     Currently serving his third term, thirty-seven-year old Congressman Joe Kennedy III has emerged as a powerful voice for social and economic justice as a champion of affordable health care, vocational education, a livable minimum wage and American manufacturing. 

     Kennedy keeps in touch with local constituents by offering office hours in all 34 towns he represents in the 4th Massachusetts District including Rehoboth.  He was a guest speaker at the dedication of the Rehoboth Veterans Memorial on the Redway Plain. 

     As a member of the influential House Energy & Commerce Committee, Kennedy has been a leader on issues that range from mental health and addiction to medical research and rising energy costs.  In Congress, he is a leading voice for LGBTQ equality, voting rights, civil rights and immigration reform.  His opposition to President Trump’s health care plan garnered national attention, as have his efforts to reform this country’s badly broken mental health system. 

     Kennedy was recently in Taunton visiting the Manet Community Health Center on Tuesday for an update on the center’s expansion since his visit last year. The Taunton facility offers ten rooms for primary care purposes to provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) coverage for individuals dealing with substance abuse, particularly opioid users.

     “From health care to economic justice to civil rights, the Democratic agenda stands in powerful contrast to President Trump's broken promises to American families," said Congressman Kennedy. "Our vision for this union is guided by a simple belief that equality and economic dignity should be afforded to every American. I'm honored to have been chosen by Leader Pelosi and Leader Schumer to deliver our party's response."

   Prior to serving in Congress, Joe was an Assistant District Attorney in Massachusetts and a member of the Peace Corps in Latin America.  He received his undergraduate degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University and his law degree from Harvard.  He is married to Lauren Birchfield Kennedy, a health policy expert.  They live in Newton, MA with their small children, Eleanor and James.


SCHOOL DISTRICT ANNOUNCES PRE-SCHOOL SCREENING

(January 24, 2018)  The Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District is scheduling preschool screenings for the 2018-2019 school year for new applicants at least three years of age by August 31, 2018.

    Screening appointments take place during the week of March 5 through 9 at the Dighton-Rehoboth Preschool Program located at the DRRHS facility, 2700 Regional Road in North Dighton. A developmental and social skills screening will take approximately 45 minutes. 

    The pre-school screening helps to identify children who may need of additional educational or therapeutic services such as speech and language, adaptive physical education, and/or occupational therapy.  Children who are screened also become eligible for a lottery of available openings in the integrated preschool program.  This inclusive program offers a play-centered, interactive, curriculum-rich preschool experience for both typically-developing children and children with special needs. 

    Parents and/or guardians are asked to bring the following documentation to the screening: proof of residency (recent utility, tax statement, lease or mortgage); child’s original birth certificate or certified copy; parent/guardian driver’s license, and other legal documents if applicable (guardianship).

    To schedule an appointment for a screening, please call Nancy Peixoto between the hours of 9:15 AM and 12:45 PM weekdays at 508‑252-5000, ext. 5314. Leave a message and call back number. If you have any questions, please call 508-252-5000, Ext. 5314.






PALMER RIVER’S ELISE DEBOIS NAMED MASSACHUSETTS

ELEMENTARY ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR

(January 18, 2018)  The Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association (MSAA) has announced the selection of Elise DuBois of Palmer River Elementary School as their Elementary Assistant Principal of the Year. 

    "We are extremely excited for Mrs. DuBois in becoming the Assistant Principal of the year,” said Dr. Anthony Azar, Superintendent of the Dighton Rehoboth Regional School District.  “Her dedication and commitment to her students is paramount to whom she is as an educator and as a person.”

    Azar describes the PRES assistant principal “a true leader that supports the core values of our district while providing leadership in our district's Title I programs as well as our focus district wide on P.B.I.S (Positive Behavioral Intervention Strategies).”  He added,  “She is a trusted and valued member of our Administrative T.E.A.M (Together Everyone Achieves More)."

     A five-person committee reviewed all applications and selected two finalists, who were then interviewed by the committee.  According to Rick Rogers, Assistant Director

Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association, “Elise emerged as the choice based on her exceptional leadership skills and her tireless work on behalf of the students, families, and staff of Palmer River Elementary School.”

    The committee was impressed with her work to support a school climate of positivity by implementing PBIS, and establish a data-driven approach to excellence through “collaborative work on data analysis, planning and sharing best practice”.  Rogers noted, “Her enthusiasm, her innovativeness and her genuine concern for excellence were evident throughout her interview.”

     Debois will be formally recognized as part of the MSAA Summer Leadership Institute next summer in July at the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center.   


CARPENTER MUSEUM ANNOUNCES OPENING OF NEW RESEARCH CENTER

(January 18, 2018)  The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society (RAS) has announced the opening of a new research and genealogy center in a transformed space on the upper level of the Carpenter Museum in Rehoboth Village on Locust Street.

    The Research Center offers a centralized location for the museum’s impressive collection of reference materials combined with genealogical and historical materials previously housed in the Robert S. Trim Collection at the Blanding Public Library. A formal dedication and reception is planned for March 3 following a day-long symposium on Rehoboth history and genealogy in recognition of Rehoboth’s 375 anniversary year.

   Spanning four centuries of Rehoboth history, the research center includes thousands of objects, archival materials, and photographs. Patrons are invited to utilize the center during expanded new hours of Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from  1 to 4 PM and the third Saturday of each month from 9 AM to 12 Noon. 

    Admission to the museum, including the main replica farmhouse building, Otis E. Dyer, Sr. Barn, and Research Center, is free for Rehoboth Antiquarian Society members, Rehoboth residents, and visitors under 18. For all other visitors, there is a suggested donation of $5/person.

   Visitors are invited to schedule an appointment with Crystal Johnson, Collections Manager, to view objects and archival materials while also making use of reference materials. For more information or to request an appointment, please contact our Collections Manager, Crystal Johnson, at collections@rehobothantiquarian.org.

     The museum additionally hosts a monthly Genealogy Group for all those interested in researching their familial roots. The meetings are open to the public free of charge.

     Museum Director Elyssa Tardiff is currently recruiting volunteers to help lead museum tours and provide assistance to patrons.  Please contact her with any questions at info@rehobothantiquarian.org or (508) 252-3031 for more information.


ANNUAL OPEN BURNING SEASON PERMITS

(January 18, 2018)  The Rehoboth Fire Department reminds residents that open burning season runs from January 15 through May 1 and permits must be obtained prior to any burning. Residents must be aware of rules and regulations to avoid penalties and fines.

    The fire department issues open burning permits everyday of the week including holidays from 9 AM to 12 noon at RFD headquarters in the Rehoboth Public Safety Building located on Anawan Street.

   Once you have a permit, you MUST call the fire department at 508-252-3725 between 9 AM and 12 noon each day you wish to burn. Have your permit number and address readily available. No calls are answered before 9 AM. Please use a land line phone or a cell phone with a strong signal.

    You may only burn cut and piled brush that has not been accumulated from a commercial operation. Burning of any other debris other than brush will result in the revocation of your permit. The burning of leaves is not allowed.

    All fires must be extinguished by 4 PM. This will be strictly enforced. Be sure to only ignite piles that can be completed by 4 PM. Construct piles a minimum of 75 to 100 feet from the nearest structure and in an area where smoke will not be a nuisance to neighbors or roadways.

    Please keep in mind there are Massachusetts state guidelines that determine whether or not burning will be allowed and the State decides daily on whether burning will be allowed. The call takers do not make that decision and cannot reverse it.

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

     If you have any questions or concerns about how to burn legally and safely, please call 508-252-3725.


D-R SCHOOL DISTRICT RECEIVES $50K GRANT

(January 9, 2018)  The Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District was recently awarded a $50K grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to examine resource allocation and best practices.

   The Resource Reallocation to District Priorities (RADAR) grant supports “making meaningful changes in resource allocation to support best practices and district improvement strategies.”  According to a district press release, D-R received the highest allowable amount for a single school district. The grant will be distributed over the course of the next two years.

    The RADAR grant is paired with an “action research consultant” who will help gather data, measure impact, and report results.  The D-R grant was “specifically written to increase and enhance science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, also known as STEAM learning, throughout the district. Funds from the grant may be used to cover costs associated with overseeing the implementation and evaluation of proposed changes. 

    Locally, the grant will be used to for “integrated curriculum unit design, professional development for teachers, equipment and increased computer science courses.”  The grant will provide funding for STEAM curriculum and also help the district gauge the impact through Academic Return on Investment (A-ROI). 

     “We are extremely grateful for the resources availed to our school district by  Dr. Anthony Azar, Superintendent of Schools.  “It provides us additional means to support our two overreaching district goals to increase student achievement and sustain financial stability of both member towns,” he added.


STORM UPDATE: WARMING SHELTER OPEN AT SENIOR CENTER

(January 4, 2018 - 12:30 PM)  Please be advised the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center is now open as a "warming shelter" from the storm. The command center for Rehoboth Emergency Management Agency (REMA) is relocated from the Rehoboth Public Safety Building to the senior center.

    There are currently no power outages reported in Rehoboth, however if anyone should need a warm place to be for any reason, please go to the senior center at 55 Bay State Road.  If REMA determines a need is there for extended and/or overnight shelter, an announcement will be made. Please check RehobothNow Facebook page for the latest information. Dial 911 for emergencies or 774-371-0017 for non-emergencies.


WINTER STORM CLOSINGS, MEETING CANCELLATIONS

(January 4, 2018) Due to the first winter storm of 2018, the Town of Rehoboth has closed the town office, schools, senior center and public library.  Municipal meetings have been canceled for today and tonight.

     The Rehoboth Emergency Management Agency (REMA) will be meeting this morning to determine whether or not to open the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center as a “warming station” for anyone who may be without heat and/or power.  Beckwith Middle School is the town’s designated emergency shelter.  REMA will determine if and when the shelter will be opened.  Please check RehobothNow Facebook page for the latest information.

    Citizens are asked to contact  National Grid to report a power outage either by phone at 1-800-465-1212 or online at National Grid.  Please make sure you charge your mobile devices so you can stay connected.  


REHOBOTH FIRE DEPARTMENT ISSUES STERN WARNING

(January 4, 2018) The Rehoboth Fire Department has issued a stern warning on the dangers of using Kerosene heaters.

   “The department received word that some people are discussing the use of Kerosene heaters should they lose power to prevent pipes from freezing in their basements on social media,” said Fire Chief Frank Barresi.

    The use of kerosene heaters indoors in Massachusetts is not only illegal it is dangerous due to the large quantities of carbon monoxide they emit.

    Barresi advised that “only properly vented fuel burners with separate supply tanks are legal, and must be installed by a licensed technician who has pulled a permit.”

     He added, “Please be safe! Your life and the lives of your families is not worth the cost of repairing a frozen pipe!”

  Mass General Laws Section 25B: Section 25B. No person shall use, allow to be used, sell or offer for sale any unvented liquid fired space heater. As used in this section, ''space heater'' includes portable space heater, parlor heater, cabinet heater, room heater and any similar heater having a barometric fed fuel control and its fuel supply tank located less than forty-two inches from the center of the burner and means the type of heating appliance adapted for burning kerosene, range oil or number one fuel oil and used principally for the heating of the space in and adjacent to that in which such appliance is located. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.


CARPENTER MIUSEUM AWARDED $5000 GRANT FROM BCSB FOUNDATION

(January 4, 2018) The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society’s Carpenter Museum recently received a $5,000 grant from the Bristol County Savings Charitable Foundation to continue an educational initiative, “Farm-Fresh History: Teaching America’s Past with Locally Grown Collections.”

     The museum began the “Farm-Fresh History” initiative last October with a previous grant from the the bank’s charitable foundation. Nearly 200 eighth-graders at D. L. Beckwith Middle School were given an opportunity to explore the daily life of a Revolutionary War soldier and a Rehoboth teenager named Joseph Pierce who served as a drummer in 1775-76.

    Along with seeing the actual drum from the museum’s collection used by Pierce, students participated in hands-on activities with a “traveling history trunk” of artifact replicas including a soldier’s overcoat and tri-cornered hat to try on, a replica drum, and other soldier’s supplies and sundries. Students read a letter from a soldier to his wife and children at home and learned some military drum calls.

    With the current grant, the Carpenter Museum will install a new exhibit and print materials exploring Rehoboth history over the past four centuries as it intersects with important events in U.S. history. Additionally, the museum will be able to produce more traveling history trunks on topics like WWII, industrialization, and immigration and will continue to digitize archival materials on topics requested by teachers.These materials will be freely accessible to teachers, students, and researchers on the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society website.

   Since opening in 1978, the Carpenter Museum has offered an immersive visit to the museum for area third graders to learn about local history and colonial Rehoboth.

    According to Museum Director Dr. Elyssa Tardiff, PhD., the museum “holds that effective history education -- taught by well-trained teachers using rich historical materials -- helps students to build important 21st-century skills, encourages them to feel empathy for others, and instills in them a sense of pride in their community.”


REGISTER TO VOTE BEFORE JANUARY 29 SPECIAL TOWN MEETING

(January 4, 2018) Rehoboth residents who wish to vote at the Special Town Meeting on Monday, January 29 at 7 PM in the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School auditorium (inclement weather date Tuesday, January 30), must be registered by January 19. 

     For the convenience of residents, the Town Clerk’s Office will be open from 8 AM to 8 PM on Friday, January 19.  Anyone who will be 18 years of age or over by January 29, 2018 may register.

      Voter registration may also take place during regular business hours at the Town Clerk’s Office, Monday through Thursday from 8 AM to 4 PM, and Friday from 8 AM to 12 noon.  Potential voters may also register online or by picking up a voter registration application at the Rehoboth Town Office at 148 Peck Street, the Rehoboth Post Office or Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center.

    Please complete the form and mail (or drop-off) at the town clerk’s office.  The mail-in registration, for those wishing to be eligible to vote in the January 29, 2018 Special Town Meeting, must be postmarked by January 19, 2018 and received in the Town Clerk’s Office no later than January 26.    

     

COMPLETE YOUR TOWN CENSUS FORM AND LICENSE YOUR DOGS

(January 4, 2018) Annual Census Forms for year 2018 have been mailed to all households in Rehoboth. Residents are asked to review the pre-printed forms, make corrections, and return them within ten (10) days after receipt.

   The Board of Registrars is required to conduct an annual listing of residents as of the first of January each year.  In addition to the name, address, date of birth, occupation, veteran status/war era, and number of dogs, the form includes a section for school information required by the school department.

   Results of the census are used to prove residency for a variety of reasons. The data is used for state college entrance applications, veterans’ benefits, amending and establishing birth records, locating missing persons, establishing precinct lines, predicting future school enrollment, state, and federal funding to the town, police and fire protection, updating the voting list and other legal purposes. Failure to return the completed form may result in voters being placed on an inactive voting list or being dropped from the voting list.

    New residents may receive blank forms, which they are asked to complete and return. If no form is received, residents are asked to contact the town clerk’s office at 508-252-6502, ext. 3110 or ext. 3109.  Blank census forms are also available on the town website.

    Residents are asked to return their completed form by mail or place their form in one of the “Census” containers at the Blanding Public Library, the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center, and at Bristol County Savings Bank on Route 44. The containers will remain at these locations through the end of January.  Additionally, you will also be able to scan in your signed and completed census forms and email them to either LSchwall@town.rehoboth.ma.us or LShaker@town.rehoboth.ma.us.

    For the convenience of dog owners, an application for the 2018 Dog License(s) was included in the census mailing. This gives dog owners the opportunity to license their dogs well before the annual April 1 due date should they want to license their dogs early. 

    Dog license applications must be accompanied by a current rabies certificate (with a vaccination date of May 1, 2018 or later) and proof of spay or neuter unless we already have it on file in the clerk’s office (if applying for the $10 licensing fee). 

    If you’re unsure, please give the office a call and they can see if your information is up-to-date. Dog owners should note the license(s) will not be returned unless a stamped, self-addressed envelope (SASE) is included. The current postage on the SASE should be 71¢ for one dog tag, 93¢ for two dog tags and $1.15 postage for three tags.


NOMINATION PAPERS FOR SPRING TOWN ELECTION ON MONDAY, APRIL 23

(January 4, 2018) Nomination papers are now available for any registered voter in Rehoboth wishing to run for election on Monday, April 2, 2018 on the Town ballot and who chooses not to seek a nomination through their registered party’s caucus process. 

    Nomination papers may be picked up by prospective candidates at the Town Clerk’s office and must be returned, signed by a minimum of 38 registered voters, to the Board of Registrars at the Town Clerk’s Office by 5 PM on Monday, February 12.

   Positions to be elected on the ballot for 2018 are Moderator (one for 1 year), Selectmen (two positions for 3 years), Town Clerk (one for 3 years), Assessor (one for 3 years), School Committee (two for 3 years), Planning Board (two for 5 years), Housing Authority (one for 5 years and potentially another position for a 3-year term.

    According to Rehoboth Town Clerk Laura Schwall, the town is waiting to hear from the State to see if the recently accepted Legislation will require the elimination of one of the currently elected Housing Authority positions; the 3-year position).

   Other elected seats include Park Commission (two - one for 5 years and one for 3 years), Stormwater Officer (one for 3 years), Tree Warden (one for 3 years) and Water Commissioner (one for 3 years) positions.

   The Annual Town Election for the Town of Rehoboth will be held on Monday, April 2, 2018 with the polls open from 7 AM to 8 PM at all three polling precincts: Precinct I is the Town Office Building at 148 Peck Street, Precinct II is the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center at 55 Bay State Road, and Precinct III is the South Fire Station at 102 Pleasant Street.

      Final voter registration date to be eligible to vote in the Annual Town Election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13 from 8 AM to 8 PM at the town clerk’s office.

    Applications for absentee ballots are available as of January 2 and may be obtained from the Town Clerk’s Office. Absentee ballots are obtained by written request only and must have the voter’s original signature. The deadline for filing absentee applications is Friday, March 30 at 5 PM.  Absentee ballot request forms are also available online for an individual request or here for a family member.

    Any questions regarding voter eligibility or requests for mail-in voter registration forms may be directed to the Town Clerk’s Office.  


TAUNTON MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING THREE CAR CRASH

(December 30, 2017) In the early hours this morning, Rehoboth Police arrested a Taunton man on multiple vehicular charges following a multiple car crash on Route 44 near Blanding Road.

    Several 911 calls came in around 2 PM reporting a serious accident. Police upon arrival found three heavily damaged vehicles in the roadway. After speaking with those involved in the accident, as well as witnesses, police determined the crash occurred when the first vehicle, traveling north on Blanding, was hit on the passenger side while crossing Route 44 by the second vehicle and spun around 180 degrees.

     The second vehicle, traveling westbound toward Seekonk, then veered into the east bound lane and struck the third vehicle head on.  The drivers of the first and second vehicles were transported to the hospital with what police describe as minor injuries.

    The driver of the second vehicle, 23-year-old Devon Pina of Taunton, was subsequently arrested on a variety of charges related to operating under the influence alcohol and negligent operation while driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle with attached plates.

    Bail was set at $200 and Pina is scheduled to appear in Taunton District Court for arraignment on the charges.  The accident and arrest are being investigated by Officer Douglas Brown.


REHOBOTH REPUBLICAN CAUCUS SEEKS CANDIDATES

(December 28, 2017) The Rehoboth Republican Town Committee seeks to nominate candidates for the April spring town election with a caucus to be held on Tuesday, February 13 at 7:30 PM in the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center at 55 Bay State Road.  In the case of inclement weather, an alternate date of Wednesday, February 21, 2018  has been scheduled.

    The elected town official seats to be filled this spring include the following: Town Clerk (3 year term), Town Moderator (1 year term), Board of Assessors (3 year term) two seats on the Board of Selectmen (3 year terms), two seats on the District School Committee (3 year terms), two seats on the Planning Board (5 year terms), two seats on the Housing Authority (3 and 5 year terms), two seats on the Park Commission (3 and 5 year terms), Stormwater Officer (3 year term), Tree Warden (3 year term), and Water Commissioner (3 year term).

     Anyone interested in seeking any of the above offices as a Republican candidate should contact the Chairman of the Republican Town Committee, Frederick “Skip” Vadnais at 252-3535.  The Caucus is open to any registered Republican or un-enrolled voter of the Town of Rehoboth as of December 1, 2017.


EAST PROVIDENCE MAN ARRESTED IN REHOBOTH

(December 28, 2017) Rehoboth police arrested an East Providence man during a traffic stop on outstanding warrants yesterday morning shortly before 6 AM on Route 6.

     While on patrol Officer Paul McGovern observed a Ford pickup traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed. After stopping the vehicle, the driver was identified as 60-year-old Thomas J. Dillon of East Providence, RI.  It was discovered he was operating under revoked Massachusetts license status and had two outstanding warrants for arrest issued by Boston District court.

    According to a Rehoboth Police Department press release, Dillon was placed under arrest and taken into custody and later transported to Taunton District Court. No other information was released.


SELECTMEN SCHEDULE SPECIAL TOWN MEETING IN JANUARY

(December 20, 2017) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen earlier this week voted to schedule a special town meeting on Monday, January 29, 2018 at 7 PM in the auditorium at Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School.  If weather proves inclement that night, the meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 30.

     Selectmen also voted to open the meeting warrant, or slate of issues to be addressed.  Articles may be submitted to the selectmen’s office by Tuesday, January 2, 2018 by 4 PM  to be considered for inclusion on the meeting warrant. 

    While most articles for the warrant are submitted by town officials, citizens may also submit an article for the special town meeting warrant. The process is fairly simple. Prepare a document with the exact language for the article followed by spaces/pages for at least 10% of the total number of registered voters/petitioners. Signatures must include the printed name and address along with a signature. 

    The town clerk then validates the signatures and forwards the petition to the board of selectmen.  Please contact Town Clerk Laura Schwall with any questions at  508 252-6502, Extension 109 or 110.


SOCIAL MEDIA SPARKS FURY AGAINST SCHOOL OFFICIALS

(December 19, 2017) Users of the local social media launched a barrage of commentary yesterday about a Dighton-Rehoboth school official who allegedly propositioned an undercover New Bedford police decoy in a prostitution sting operation some months ago.

    The fury began with the copied image of a digital communication sent to parents last week by both the School Superintendent Dr. Anthony Azar and Principal Joe Pirraglia of D. L. Beckwith Middle School. The brief, two paragraph message informed parents that officials were recently made aware of the allegation against Aaron Viera and an article in the Fall River Herald News from October that listed him as one of 15 arrested and arraigned on charges.

    “We are doing our best to ensure that any distractions are minimized,” wrote Superintendent Azar, and assured parents “once our investigation has concluded an update will be forthcoming.”  He recognized the situation “has caused some disruption to the teaching and learning at Beckwith.” 

     Unwilling to wait for the update promised by Azar, parents and Rehoboth residents took to social media to debate, cast accusations, and spread misinformation. Others quickly convicted Viera in a cyber court of public opinion. School officials were accused of covering up the incident and allowing Viera, now on paid leave, to continue working for a period of time.  Some parents demanded Viera’s immediate firing by administration.

     According to New Bedford police, 45-year-old Viera was one of 15 men arrested in a sting operation with officers acting as prostitutes in the city’s north end. Those arrested were charged with the offense of “sexual conduct for a fee.”

    The flurry of postings on the Rehoboth Talk Facebook page was enough to capture the attention of Channel 10 News and the Attleboro Sun Chronicle that ran a front page story today.  Both news outlets reported on the parent outrage made on social media, along with the same basic facts surrounding the arrest.  The school district has released no further information on Viera nor made a formal statement on the district website.

     A resident of New Bedford, Viera was previously an assistant principal for the City of New Bedford school department between 2010 and 2014. According to professional information published online, Viera has a masters degree in educational leadership from Fitchburg State College, teacher certification in elementary education, and a BFA in visual design. He has made no public statement.

     Massachusetts has strict laws that criminalize actions related to prostitution. Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the “defendant either engaged, or agree to engage, or offer to engage in sexual conduct for a fee.”  By law, the penalties if convicted, include a fine of up to $500, up to 1 year of jail time, and submission of a DNA sample to the Massachusetts DNA Database.

     There is a national push for law enforcement to target men who buy sex, rather than the sex workers, to reduce the demand for prostitution and curb human trafficking. Since 1996, New Bedford police have used reverse sting operations and shaming by publicizing the identities of men arrested.

     According to the U.S. Department of Justice, research indicates the “conviction rates for those arrested in sting operations are impressively high” despite the entrapment defense used by defense attorneys. Other science-based data shows that sting operations using police decoys or baiting only reduces or prevents crime for a limited period and has no long-term benefits.


FALL RIVER MAN ARRESTED AFTER VEHICLE BREAKDOWN

(December 17, 2017) Rehoboth police, while assisting the driver of a disabled vehicle, discovered one passenger was wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant.

     Officer Mark Wetherell was on routine patrol last night when he discovered a vehicle parked in the breakdown lane on Moulton Street (Route 118). While offering assistance on a cold, snowy night, he discovered one of the passengers was wanted for various motor vehicle offenses. 

     Richard Pacheco, age 58 of Fall River, was taken into custody without incident and later released on personal recognizance.


LOCAL WOMEN SURVIVE OVERDOSE IN SEPARATE INCIDENTS

(December 15, 2017) Two young women survived overdose incidents in Rehoboth yesterday due to the quick action of members of the Rehoboth Police Department and Rehoboth Ambulance.

    Family members in both cases called 911 to report unresponsive victims barely breathing. Officers arrived at the separate residences were assisted by ambulance personnel who successfully administered Narcan. Both women, one age 28 and the other age 29, eventually regained consciousness and were transported to local hospitals for further medical care.

    The two incidents, which occurred just hours apart, are believed by police to be unrelated. Each was a suspected overdose caused by heroin or other opium derived drug.  Neither overdose victim was identified by police and both cases remain under investigation by the RPD.

    According to police, the town has seen an increase in recent years of drug overdose incidents, both fatal and non-fatal. The drug Fentanyl, when mixed with heroin is significantly more potent than heroin increasing the likelihood of an overdose or death.


REP. STEVEN HOWITT RETAINS PERFECT STATE HOUSE VOTING RECORD

(December 15, 2017) State Representative Steven Howitt (R-Seekonk) who represents Rehoboth has maintained his perfect voting record for the first half of the 2017-2018 legislative session by participating in all 305 roll call votes cast in the House of Representatives.

    Howitt cast votes this session on several key bills that were signed into law, including the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which requires employers to provide reasonable workplace accommodations for expectant and nursing mothers, as well as a proposal to double the one-time survivor benefits paid to the families of police, firefighters and other public safety officials killed in the line of duty, which was increased from $150,000 to $300,000.

  He also backed efforts to reimburse cities and towns for the costs associated with implementing the state’s early voting law during the November 2016 election cycle.  The Division of Local Mandates in the State Auditor’s Office is currently in the process of collecting and certifying these costs.

     “I’m very proud to have served in this capacity for the first half of the 2017-2018 legislative session,” said Representative Howitt. “We are at the halfway point and, going forward in the new year, I believe the House will continue to accomplish the people’s work. I talk with countless constituents and they know my door is always open. I am privileged to enjoy the support, rapport, and feedback on the issues that that we tackle together, or that I work to solve their behalf. I want to thank my constituents for the important role they play in making the 4th Bristol District a great place to live and work. Also, I would like to congratulate my fellow 61 representatives who have also maintained their perfect voting records.”

     Howitt serves on the Committees on Redistricting, Transportation, and Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.


TOWN RENEWS ELECTRICITY AGGREGATION PROGRAM

(December 14, 2017) The Town of Rehoboth has entered a three-year contract to continue an electricity aggregation program with Public Power, LLC offering consumer savings to residents beginning January 2018.

    Rehoboth is one of 23 communities that launched a Community Electricity Aggregation (CEA) programs one year ago. By purchasing together, these communities collectively saved over $8 million to date for their residents and have now renewed their supply contracts for another three years.

     The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen are pleased to provide local citizens with the opportunity to participate in this fixed term contract that will “help protect our residents and businesses from future spikes in electricity prices.”

    In an environment of continuing rate volatility, aggregation programs have successfully provided safe harbor for rate payers with one fixed rate while maintaining the freedom to leave the program at any time without penalty. The goals of the program are to provide ratepayers with reduced electric rates, price stability and a responsible alternative to utility rates.  

    The new electric rate is fixed at $0.10122 per kilowatt hour (kWh) from January 2018 to January 2021. This compares favorably with the Basic Service rate for National Grid from November 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018 which will be $0.12673 per kWh.

    The electricity supply will be provided by Public Power, LLC. Public Power won a highly competitive bid conducted by consultant Good Energy in April 2017, beating out two of the nation’s largest power companies. The supplier name will change from Constellation to Public Power and this will be reflected along with the new rate of $0.10122 per kilowatt hour on your January 2018 bill which you will receive in February 2018.

    If you are currently enrolled in the program, you will automatically continue your participation. If you opted out of the original program, you will not be sent another opt-out letter, and you will not be enrolled in the new contract.

     If you are on the Basic Service with National Grid and have not previously opted out, you will be sent an opt-out letter with details. Residents who wish to sign up for the program, including residents who previously opted out or who are currently with a third-party supplier, may still join the program by contacting Public Power, LLC at 800- 830-2944, or by email at customercare@ppandu.com.

    Please note that residents currently on with a third-party supplier should check for any early termination fees associated with their existing supply contract prior to joining the new program.

    Municipal officials emphasize that no one affiliated with the program will call, email or knock on residents’ doors asking them to enroll or re-enroll. As before, there is no penalty or termination fee for leaving the program at any time.

    This Community Electricity Aggregation buying group is the largest in Massachusetts and the third largest of its kind in the country with the partner communities of Acushnet, Attleboro, Carver, Dartmouth, Dedham, Dighton, Douglas, Dracut, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Northbridge, Norton, Plainville, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Westford, and Westport.

    Residents should be aware the aggregation rate compares favorably with the winter rate of National Grid, but there is no guarantee of future savings under the program. The National Grid basic service rate changes every six months. 

    For more info about the Community Electricity Aggregation program, visit masscea.com.

REHOBOTH TOWN CLERK EARNS PRESTIGIOUS CERTIFICATION

(December 5, 2017) Rehoboth Town Clerk Laura Schwall recently qualified for the Massachusetts Town Clerks’ Association’s (MTCA) prestigious CMMC (Certified Massachusetts Municipal Clerk) designation and will receive her commemorative pin and plaque at the MTCA Winter Conference in Devens, MA next February. Currently, only 119 of the Commonwealth’s 301 town clerks hold this designation.  

    The CMMC designation is achieved by attending MTCA-sponsored educational courses and passing a two hundred and fifty-question aptitude test measuring the municipal clerk’s knowledge of Massachusetts General Laws in categories such as elections and election procedures, vital records, campaign & political finance, town meetings, Chapter 40A (planning), Chapter 41 (zoning), ethics and public records.

    Schwall has served as the elected town clerk for 4 1⁄2 years. Before that she worked for ten years at Palmer River Elementary School as the computer lab instructor. She is president of the Rehoboth Anawan Lion’s Club, a trustee of the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society, and member of the 375 Anniversary Committee for the Town of Rehoboth.

    A “Summa Cum Laude” graduate of Northeastern University, Schwall has a bachelor of science degree in liberal studies with a concentration in education. Additionally, she serves as a justice of the peace and notary public.

    She is a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Lota Xi Chapter – National Honor Society for Adult Learners in Continuing Higher Education, the Golden Key International Honor Society; the International Association for the Advancement of Educational Research (AAER), PDK International (Phi Delta Kappa International) - Professional Association for Educators.  She is a member of the MTCA and has also earned the status of Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC).   

    Schwall continues her professional development through courses sponsored by the MTCA, the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Elections Division and other divisions of state government.


RPD SEEKS PUBLIC’S HELP WITH PEDESTRIAN HIT & RUN

(December 2, 2017) Rehoboth police are seeking the public’s help in locating a vehicle suspected of a pedestrian hit and run around 6 PM last night on Winthrop Street (Route 44).

     A 911 call came in to report an injured female pedestrian in the area of 206 Winthrop. Officers were dispatched and quickly located the victim lying on the shoulder of the north side roadway.

      The 41-year-old woman, who has not been identified by police, was conscious and able to report she had been struck from behind while walking. She was unable to provide more details or identify the vehicle involved.

Members of the Rehoboth Fire Department, and Rehoboth Ambulance rendered aid to the victim at the scene. She was later transported to RI Hospital with what were believed to be minor injuries.

     Based on the initial investigation at the scene it is believed the suspect vehicle may be a dark blue colored 2011 or newer model BMW 3 Series sedan or coupe. The vehicle is believed to be missing a passenger side mirror. Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Jeffrey Perry at Rehoboth Police Department 508-252-3722.


RI WOMAN FACES CHARGES AFTER VEHICULAR HIT & RUN

(December 2, 2017) Rehoboth police were summoned yesterday evening to the scene of a vehicular hit and run accident around 6:30 PM at the intersection of Tremont and Anawan streets.

   RPD dispatch received a 911 call reporting a two-vehicle accident, the second hit and run incident in less than one hour.  Officers who arrived at the accident scene were informed that a white Nissan sedan with front-end damage had fled the area. 

   According to police, there were six occupants of the vehicle that that been hit, all were uninjured. Their identities were not released by the Rehoboth Police Department.

   Based on the BOLA alert, Sgt. Cronin of the Dighton Police Department located a vehicle matching the description traveling east on Wellington Street in Dighton. He was able to stop the vehicle driven by Soyna Paiva, age 46 of Warren, Rhode Island. 

   RPD Officer Thomas Ranley responded and drove to Dighton where it was determined Paiva was operating the suspect vehicle. According to police, she faces pending charges of leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and negligent operation.


ALL 2017 NEWS ARTICLES