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SELECTMEN TO HOST FINANCIAL SUMMIT INFO MEETING FOR PUBLIC

(April 19, 2018) To give citizens a chance to learn more about next year’s proposed town budget and articles on the warrant for special and annual town meetings, the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will host a “Pre-Town Meeting Financial Summit” discussion on Tuesday, May 8 starting at 7 PM at the Gladys L. Hurrell Rehoboth Senior Center.   

    Selectmen and members of the Rehoboth Finance Committee will be on hand to provide an overview of the FY 2019 budget, the town’s capital improvement plan, and review each article in the warrant. Sponsors and supporters of any article are strongly encouraged to attend the pre-town meeting. The public may address questions to sponsors of an article.

     This pre-town meeting will be taped and rebroadcast by RehobothTV on Comcast Public Access Channel 9 or online by demand at RehobothTV.org. 

     The STM/ATM warrant should be delivered by regular mail to all Rehoboth residents by April 30.  The meeting warrant will also be available online on the Town of Rehoboth website.

      Special and Annual Town Meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, May 14. STM will being at 7 PM followed by ATM at 7:30 PM in the DRRHS auditorium.


SPECIAL AND ANNUAL TOWN MEETINGS SET FOR TUEDAY, MAY 15

(April 19, 2018) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen voted to re-schedule the date for both Special and Annual Town Meetings to Tuesday, May 15 instead of Monday, May 14.

      The Special Town Meeting will begin at 7 PM followed by Annual Town Meeting at 7:30 PM in the auditorium at Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School, 2700 Regional Road, N. Dighton.

RFD MEMORIAL ENHANCED BY EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT

(April 17, 2018) Rehoboth resident Michael Koussa, as part of his Boy Scout Eagle Service Project to recognize local firefighters, has completed the next step in his project by completing enhancements to the Rehoboth Fire Department Memorial at Station Three on Pleasant Street in South Re
hoboth.

     With a team of fellow Boy Scouts, Koussa finished additional stone work, added new shrubs, and installed two granite benches.  The memorial is open to anyone who wants to visit. 

    “Please stop by and see the work, under Michael’s leadership, that has been completed,” said Mark Haskell, Assistant Fire Chief.

    A member of Boy Scout Troop 3 in North Dighton, Koussa’s Eagle project includes identifying the graves of Rehoboth firefighters, a process he has completed. The next phase is placing grave markers and firefighter memorial flags next to gravestones.


D-R STUDENT NAMED WINNER OF

TRINITY REP WRITING COMPETITION

(April 17, 2018) Trinity Rep in Providence announced that Emma Paulhus, a student at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School, is one of four winners of the WRITE HERE! WRITE NOW! playwriting competition for New England high school students.

     Each award-winning student will have their ten-minute play presented by professional actors as a staged reading at Trinity Rep on May 7, 2018 at 7 pm, a free event open to the public. Paulhus’ play, Grandma and Technology, focuses on teaching older generations how to use technology.

      In addition to seeing their plays performed on stage, winners also receive a scholarship towards any Trinity Rep Young Actors Studio after school class and 20 free tickets to a Project Discovery student matinee performance during the 2018–2019 season for their school.

     WRITE HERE! WRITE NOW! is presented each year as part of the “Beyond Trinity Rep” Community Education movement at the organization. Creative writing, English, and theater teachers are asked by Trinity Rep’s education department to assign a ten-minute play as a part of their classroom curriculum. All completed plays are then submitted free of charge to the competition.

Scripts are adjudicated through a blind evaluation process by Trinity Rep’s education, artistic, and literary staff. Each year, four winners are selected with at least one winner from a Providence, RI high school.


CARPENTER MUSEUM’S NEW RESEARCH CENTER

(April 17, 2018) The Carpenter Museum’s new research center is now open to the public on the main floor of the museum farmhouse building housing an impressive collection of reference materials. 

    The center, to be formally dedicated the E. Otis Dyer, Jr. Research Center on Saturday, May 12, includes genealogical and historical materials previously housed in the Robert S. Trim Collection at the Blanding Public Library. The combined collection of research materials spans four centuries of Rehoboth history and includes thousands of objects, archival materials, and photographs.

     Hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 4 PM and the third Saturday of each month form 9 AM to noon. Admission is free for RAS members, Rehoboth residents and visitors under age 18.  There is a suggested $5 donation for all other visitors.  Additionally, visitors are welcome to schedule an appointment to view objects and archival materials.

     The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremony on May 12 at 3 PM with a reception to follow.  For more information and to RSVP to attend the dedication, please visit RehobothAntiquarian.org.


FIFTEEN ACTS TO COMPETE FOR CASH IN REHOBOTH 375 TALENT SHOW

(April 13, 2018) The Rehoboth 375 Anniversary Committee is very pleased to announce that fifteen talented acts will compete for cash prizes on Saturday, May 5 at the Rehoboth 375 Talent Show to be held in the auditorium at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School starting at 6:30 PM.

      Contestants include: Brenna Guay, Jacob Calamar, Lindsay Carlson, Avery Thomas, Jay Cunningham, Counterfeit Cash (Rodney Bruelle and Jim Sequin), Salvador Lopez, Katie Calverley, Benjamin Foss, Zachariah Padin, David Falcon, Bill Maiorano, Richard Barrett, Magic Eye (Matthew Earle, Matthew Little, Ethan Votalato, Conor Harrington and Kyle Kelly), and the duo of Charles and Christopher Pike.

      Thanks to generous donors, cash prizes will be awarded to two categories (age 17 and under, age 18 and over) with first place prizes of $500, second place prizes of $250 and third place prizes of $100.

    Funding for the 17 and under prizes were a generous donation from Michael and Anna Deignan in honor of her father, Frank Nizzari, a well-known classical and jazz musician, composer, and recording artist who passed away in 2005. Along with founding the jazz ensemble Northwind, he was a frequent guest with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops playing bassoon, saxophone and clarinet, and he taught at both Berklee School of Music and Boston University.

      Tickets are $5 per person, $20 for a family up to five with children five years and under admitted free. Tickets available at the door.  No assigned seating, so get there early.  Refreshments and 375 commemorative items will also be available for purchase.  This event is a fundraiser for the Rehoboth 375 Parade.


PUBLIC INVITED TO ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING ON APRIL 19

(April 12, 2018) Residents are invited to attend the next meeting of the town’s Animal Advisory Committee on Thursday, April 19 at 7 PM at the Blanding Library to learn more about town meeting warrant items concerning animal welfare.

    The committee, which was formed by the town in 2014, will discuss animal-related warrant articles to be presented during annual town meeting “in order to gain an understanding of the proposed changes and to share concerns” prior to the May 14 meeting.

     According to the committee, by-law changes relate to companion animals, mainly dogs, to ensure the safety and health of the public through better animal control enforcement.  A second goal is to bring Rehoboth by-laws related to animals up-to-date with Massachusetts state laws.

     One proposed by-law relates to dealing with “dangerous and nuisance” dogs by establishing clear due process for citations, hearings, judgements and appeals.  The committee proposes fines up to $300 as an incentive for dog-owners to comply with by-laws.

     Another proposed by-law updates the penalties for not vaccinating dogs and cats for rabies, imposing a maximum fine of $100 as mandated by new state law.

     While keeping current low licensing rates for individual dogs, the committee proposes to moderately increase fees charged by the town for dog kennels. Violating dog licensing requirements will include new state law to impose a minimum fine of $50 in addition to late fees.

    Other proposed changes relate to new state law on neglect and abuse of dogs with regulations on proper care, treatment, tethering, shelter, feeding and protecting dogs confined in hot or cold closed vehicles.

     According to the committee, the proposed by-law changes are welcomed by Rehoboth Animal Control Officer Rob Johnson as a means to protect both residents and animals.

   Documents including a one-page summary are available for review on the town website.


TENTATIVE APPROVAL GIVEN FOR MEDICAL CANNABIS FACILITY IN REHBOTH

(April 11, 2018) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen on Monday night gave preliminary approval for the construction of a medical marijuana processing facility on Barney Avenue

    Representatives of Verdant Medical, based in Boston, told selectmen the proposed facility would be constructed on undeveloped land and employ twenty full-time employees working between the hours of 8 AM to 8 PM.  The facility would not be accessible to the public.

     Final approval is contingent on Verdant Medical submitting a favorable user agreement plus a comprehensive overview of security procedures by the Rehoboth Police Department.


REHOBOTH POLICE MAKE STUN GUN POSSESSION ARREST

(April 11, 2018). Rehoboth police, while conducting a motor vehicle stop yesterday evening, arrested a Fall River resident for possession of a stun gun.

      Telecia Jean-Simon, age 21, was pulled over by Officer Jeff Perry on Moulton Street shortly after 7 PM. A stun gun was found in Jean-Simon’s possession by Sgt. Craig Forget.

    After being taken into custody, Jean-Simon was charged with possession of a portable electronic devise known as a stun gun with bail set at $5040 and held at the Ash Street Jail and Lockup in New Bedford. Arraignment is scheduled for today in Taunton District Court.


LOCAL KOREAN  WAR VETERANS ELIGIBLE FOR PEACE MEDAL

(April 6, 2018) The Town of Rehoboth’s Veterans Services Office seeks any local military veteran who served in Korea between June 25, 1950 and July  27, 1953.

     Those who served during that time period in Korea are now eligible to be awarded the “Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal.”  The medal is offered through the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Boston in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Patriot and Veteran’s Affairs.

   The Korean War, known in South Korea as 625 (for June 25) and in North Korea as Fatherland Liberation War,

began as a police action conducted under the oversight of the United Nations. Caught unprepared by the North Korean attack of South Korea, the Truman administration was more concerned about Korea’s powerful communist neighbors in China to the west and the Soviet Union to the north and soon appropriated $12 billion for military action.    

      According to the Department of Defense, the U.S. provided about 90% of troops sent to fight with the South Koreans. The U.S. forces sustained a total of 36,574 deaths during the war. As of June 2017, there are still 7,747 American soldiers still unaccounted for from the war.

    Eligible veterans must be be able to provide their DD From 214 to apply. Please contact Rehoboth Veterans Services Officer Jake Kramer at 508-252-4467 or email him at veterans@town.rehoboth.ma.us

    

OFFICIAL SPRING ELECTION RESULTS

(Updated April 6, 2018) Nineteen percent of registered voters in Rehoboth made it to the polls on Monday, April 2 to cast votes to elect town officials and approve a temporary tax to fund replacing the roof on Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School. Click here to view official election results.


TOWN OFFICIALS HOPING FOR BETTER ELECTION TURNOUT

(March 29, 2018) Rehoboth town officials are hoping for a better than average turnout for the annual election on Monday, April 2 from 7 AM to 8 PM at all three polling precincts (Precinct 1 is the 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).

     While 30% of registered voters cast ballots in the spring 2017 election when funding for a new municipal complex was a question on the ballot, only 13% voted in last fall’s special state senate election, and a mere 375 voted in the 2016 spring election.

      If you are unable to vote on Monday, April 2, you may request an absentee ballot by completing the application online and sending it to the Town Clerk’s office via email (LSchwall@town.rehoboth.ma.us or LShaker@town.rehoboth.ma.us.  Once received, they will send you an absentee ballot to complete and return to the town office by April 2.

     If you prefer to vote in person, you can stop by the town office today until 4 PM.  While the town office will be closed for business on Good Friday, the Town Clerk’s Office will be open for those voters who would like to vote absentee from 8 AM to 5 PM tomorrow March 30.  If you have questions, please contact the Town Clerk’s Office to Election Day at 508-252-6502, ext. 3110.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON SMOKE ALARM RECALL

(March 27, 2018) The Rehoboth Fire Department has issued a warning about the recall of Kidde Dual Sensor Smoke Alarms due to the risk of failure to alert consumers to a fire.

    The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission advises consumers to remove the alarm from the wall/ceiling and visually inspect it through the opening on the side of the alarm for the presence of a yellow cap.  Consumers should not attempt to take apart the alarm, open the casing, or otherwise remove the yellow cap themselves.  If a yellow cap is present, the consumer should immediately contact Kidde to receive instructions and request a free replacement smoke alarm.  If no yellow cap is present, consumers should reinstall the smoke alarm and no further action is needed. For safety, do not remove any alarm before installing a new one.

    The Kidde alarms were sold nationwide at the Home Depot, Walmart and other retailers, and online from Amazon and other websites from September 2016 through January 2018 for between 420 and $40. Call Kidde toll-free at 833-551-7739 from 8:30 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday or call on Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 AM to 3 PM.  Or visit Kidde.com and click on Product Safety recall for more info.


REHOBOTH FIRE DEPT. RECOGNIZES EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT TO IDENTIFY

LOCAL FIREFIGHTERS GRAVES

(March 26, 2018) The Rehoboth Fire Department recognized a local Boy Scout with the Chief’s Excellence Award at the annual Fireman’s Ball held on Saturday night at Hillside Country Club in Rehoboth.

    Michael Koussa, a Rehoboth resident and member of Boy Scout Troop 3 from North Dighton, received the award for his Eagle Scout project identifying, locating and marking the graves of Rehoboth firefighters.  The Chief’s Excellence Award is not given every year and this is the first time it was awarded to a non-firefighter.

    Koussa was originally provided with the names of 119 firefighters to begin his project and expanded that number to 130 after conducting lengthy research.  So far, he has located the final resting place for 129 of those firefighters. He also received the endorsement and assistance of the Rehoboth Cemetery Commission, and Veterans Graves Officer Jake Kramer for his Eagle Scout project.

    With all but one grave identified, Koussa is now raising funds through public donations to purchase firefighter grave identification markers and flags for each grave.  He also plans to purchase a bench and landscaping for the firefighter’s memorial at Fire Station 3 on Pleasant Street.  Koussa is pictured above with his proud parents and Rehoboth Fire Chief Frank Barresi.

      If you would like to make a donation, please contact Michael Koussa at mjk7780@comcast.net. To learn more about Koussa’s Eagle Scout Project, click Firefighters Graves Project.


LOCAL MAN AND COMPANION ARRESTED AFTER TRAFFIC STOP

(March 24, 2018) Rehoboth police yesterday morning arrested two individuals suspected of receiving stolen property following a traffic stop for speeding.

    While on patrol, Officer Jasson Ferreira stopped a vehicle on Board Street driven by twenty-five-year old Cassandra Mullenhour of Johnston, RI.  Police say the the vehicle was traveling at 57 mph in a posted 40 mph zone. 

    Unable to produce valid identification, Mullenhour and her companion,  Kenneth Neves, age 31 of Rehoboth, both “were acting nervous” according to police and gave “vague and evasive” answers to questions.  Police say neither was properly licensed. 

    Sgt. Mark Rossi and Officer Greg DeCastro arrived at the scene and observed unopened boxes inside the vehicle, a gas-operated power washer and several expensive construction power tools with store security devices still attached.   

   Both suspects were placed under arrest, unable to explain the origin of the products in the vehicle. During a personal search, drug paraphernalia was discovered on Neves.  A subsequent search was made by Seekonk Police Officer Steve Fundakowski and his K-9 partner Zuzu.  No drugs were found in the vehicle.

    Mullenhour was charged with operating a vehicle without a license and receiving stolen property and Neves was charged with receiving stolen property. Both were arraigned in Taunton District Court on the charges.

    Police were able to trace the merchandise to The Home Depot and the case remains under investigation.

 

REP. HOWITT BACKS BILL AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION

(March 23, 2018) Taking a strong stance against discrimination and harassment in the workplace, State Representative Steven Howitt (R- Seekonk) joined with his colleagues to approve a new series of rules that clearly define the House’s policies on sexual harassment.

    The new rules set uniform standards and procedures for reporting, investigating, and punishing incidents of harassment at the State House, while providing a guarantee of confidentiality for those who report violations and implementing safeguards so they will not be subject to retaliation by their accusers.  The rules changes – which apply to all of the House’s elected members, appointed officers, employees and interns – were approved on March 15.

     “The House delivered a strong message today against sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination, and in support of maintaining high professional standards of conduct for legislators and state employees,” said Howitt who represents Rehoboth. “No one should ever have to work in a hostile environment or fear that they might lose their job for reporting inappropriate behavior.”

    The new rules provide for the creation of three new positions within the House of Representatives, including an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer, a Director of Human Resources, and a Director of Employee Engagement.

    The EEO Officer, who will be appointed by the House Rules Committee to a two-year term, will be responsible for reviewing and investigating all complaints of harassment or retaliation, and for recommending disciplinary, remedial, or preventative action when appropriate.  The EEO Officer will have up to 90 days to conduct an investigation and file a report on their findings and recommendations.

     The Director of Human Resources, who will also be appointed by the House Rules Committee to a two-year term, will be responsible for developing and overseeing standards for both current and prospective employees.  In addition to establishing a standard employment application and mandatory background and reference checks for potential hires, the Director of Human Resources will also develop guidelines for employee performance reviews, discipline, and separations from employment.

    The Director of Employee Engagement, who will be appointed by the House Committee on Personnel and Administration, will work with the Director of Human Resources to develop ways to enhance the skills and professional development of all House employees, and to engage these employees in roundtable discussions on issues of importance or concern.

    The new rules also contain provisions to address potential conflicts of interest involving the EEO Officer.  If a complaint is filed against the EEO Officer or one of their appointees, House Counsel will conduct the investigation in consultation with the Director of Human Resources.  If the EEO Officer believes they cannot objectively assess a complaint, House Counsel will either conduct the investigation or refer the complaint to outside counsel.

     The rules changes will take effect immediately.


SINGLE VEHICLE CRASH RESULTS IN ARREST OF LOCAL MAN

(March 23, 2018) Rehoboth police yesterday evening took a local man into custody following a single vehicle crash on Bay State Road.

     Around 7:45 PM, police received a report that a Nissan Murano had crashed into a stone wall in front of a residence. Officers arrived at the scene and discovered 30-year-old Justin Palmer of Rehoboth behind the wheel, the single occupant of the vehicle. 

    As a precaution, Palmer was transported to the hospital to be evaluated and later released.  He was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation and a marked lane violation.  He was released on personal recognizance and scheduled to be arraigned in Taunton District Court today.


PLANNING BOARD INVITES RESIDENTS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ISSUES TO BE DECIDED AT SPRING TOWN MEETING ON MAY 14

(March 22, 2018)  The Rehoboth Planning Board invites interested residents to attend their meetings of April 4 and April 18 to learn more about two warrant articles which to be presented during the Annual Town Meeting on Monday, May 14 at 7 PM in the DRRHS auditorium.

     The first warrant item relates to the Recreational Marijuana Bylaw that will replace the temporary moratorium currently in place.  The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has finalized their regulations and is slated to begin accepting applications for recreational marijuana establishments on April 1, 2018. 

    The second warrant item is a the Zoning Bylaw Recodification. The planning board, along with former town building Inspector Michael O’Hern, have worked on bringing this document before voters once again after its failure to pass at town meeting four years ago.

     According to Leeann Bradley, the Rehoboth Town Planner and Conservation Agent,  “All issues that were of concern have been resolved.”    She explained, “This new document is only to bring the format and wording into compliance with Massachusetts General Law.  No new substantive material has been added.”
    The planning board invites all residents to attend in order to gain further understanding or share concerns prior to the May 14 Annual Town Meeting.  Drafts of both documents can be requested from the Town Planner, Leeann Bradley, LBradley@town.rehoboth.ma.us or 508-252-6891. 


IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON APRIL 2 SPRING ELECTION

(March 21, 2018)  Rehoboth residents are encouraged to cast a ballot at the Rehoboth Spring Election on Monday, April 2 from 7 AM to 8 PM. Precinct I voters will cast their ballots at the Town Office Building, Precinct II voters will cast their ballots at Gladys L. Hurrell Rehoboth Senior Center, and Precinct III voters will cast their ballots at the South Rehoboth Fire Station.

    Positions to be elected on the ballot for 2018 are Moderator (one for one year), Selectmen (two for three years), Town Clerk (one for three years), Assessor (one for three years), School Committee (two for three years), Housing Authority (one for five years and one for three years), Planning Board (two for five years and one for four years), Park Commission (one for five years and one for three years), Stormwater Officer (one for three years), Tree Warden (one for three years) and Water Commissioner (one for three years).

   There is one ballot question on the issue of replacing the roof at Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School.  The yes or no question reads:  Shall the Town of Rehoboth be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one- half, so-called, the amounts required to pay its assessments by the District to pay the principal of and interest on the bond issued by the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District in order to pay the costs of roof replacement and /or repair at the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School, including the payment of all costs incidental or related thereto?

    To be eligible to vote in this election, you must have been registered by March 13.  If you would like to check your voter status and what precinct you are registered, please either call the clerk’s office or check online at:

    Any voter who will be unable to get to the polls on election day may cast an absentee ballot in the Town Clerk’s Office prior to that date or submit a written request to the Town Clerk for a ballot to be mailed to them. Please note that an original signature of the voter requesting an absentee ballot must be obtained before Friday, March 30 at 5 PM.  Even though the town office is closed for Good Friday, the Town Clerk’s Office will be open from 8 AM to 5 PM.  Applications are available at the Rehoboth Post Office and online.


REHOBOTH MAN ARRESTED ON MARIJUANA CHARGES

(March 16, 2018)  Rehoboth police arrested a local man on multiple charges related to marijuana cultivation and distribution, along with a fireworks possession charge.

     After arriving at a Winthrop Street address yesterday morning to serve an arrest warrant, officers discovered “a large amount of marijuana growing inside the residence” and took the 32-year-old Taylor Munson into custody.

     After securing a search warrant, police say they returned to the residence and found approximately 45 marijuana plants, along with about 2 pounds of packaged cannabis and a “large quantity of marijuana oils” also known as dabs.  Police say they also confiscated cultivation equipment and grow lights.

    Munson was charged with “unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, cultivation or possession of controlled substances in Class D” and unlawful possession of fireworks.

     The Rehoboth Police Department did not release any information on the arrest warrant that originally brought them to the residence.  The case is being investigated by Patrolman Gilbert Lima.

    Munson was scheduled to be arraigned in Taunton District Court today.


MA RMV ANNOUNCES UPCOMING TEMPORARY DISRUPTIONS IN SERVICES

(March 16, 2018)  The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has announced service cancellations for next week due to a transition to new technology.

     Please note there will be no motor vehicle inspections in Massachusetts on March 23, 24, and 25. Additionally, the RVM service centers will be closed on March 23.  AAA business locations will be unable to offer RVM services on March 23 and 24.  The RVM’s online services will be unavailable as of 7 PM on Thursday, March 22 through 8 AM on Monday, March 26.


TOWN OFFICE CLOSED TODAY . STORM CANCELLATIONS . EXTENDED DEADLINE

(March 13, 2018)  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen have closed the Rehoboth Town Office today. Residents are encouraged to report a power outage directly to National Grid by calling 800-465-1212 or through the company’s website.

      Also closed are Rehoboth schools, the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center and the Blanding Public Library.  Municipal meetings for today and tonight have been canceled including the Dighton-Rehoboth School Committee meeting and Parks Commission meeting scheduled for this evening.

     Due to the storm, the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office obtained a court order to “enlarge election related deadlines that fall on Tuesday, March 13, 2017 by 24 hours to Wednesday, March 14, 2018 from 9 AM to 8 PM.”  

     Should the Rehoboth Town Office remain closed tomorrow, voter registration forms will be available at the Rehoboth Police Station, 334 Anawan Street. Residents wishing to register to vote in the April 2 Spring Election should either register online at RegisterToVoteMA.com.  If you have an questions or concerns, please contact Rehoboth Town Clerk Laura Schwall at 508-269-4585.


COMMUNITY CONVERSATION ON SUICIDE PREVENTION

(March 13, 2018)  The Rehoboth Board of Health on Monday, March 19 will host a Community Conversation on issues related to suicide prevention in collaboration with the Bristol County Regional Coalition for Suicide Prevention, Community Counseling of Bristol County and the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, and Greater Attleboro Area Suicide Prevention Coalition.

     The public is invited to attend this important public health forum to be held at the Blanding Public Library/Goff Memorial Hall from 6 to 7:45 PM.   Speakers will address issues of loss, grief and healing, suicide attempts and recovery.  Other topics include new innovative wellness check options and training for a variety of impacted people including new resilience-baed and creativity-focused projects for teens. 

     If you have questions, please contact Jaime Conlon, Rehoboth Public Health Nurse at 508-252-5947, ext. 3127 or email jconlon@town.rehoboth.ma.us.

    

VENTURA ANNOUNCES SECOND TRY AT STATE SENATE SEAT

(March 13, 2018)  Attorney Jacob J. Ventura (R-Attleboro) has formally announced his 2018 candidacy for the Massachusetts State Senate to represent the Bristol and Norfolk district that  includes Rehoboth.

    Ventura ran for the seat as the Republican nominee in the 2017 special election for the district and was defeated by Paul Feeney.  A resident of Sharon, Ventura has served as a legislative aide to State Representative Steven Howitt (R-Seekonk) who represents Seekonk, Rehoboth, and Norton.

    “I’m running for State Senator to ensure that all of our constituents have an advocate in the Senate that will represent their values. I am committed to helping build stronger communities, strengthening public safety, and being an advocate for good governance,” said Ventura.

     “I look forward to meeting with people across the district over the coming weeks and months to listen to their thoughts about issues affecting them and their families. I will run a positive and policy-oriented campaign that focuses on advancing Governor Charlie Baker’s fiscal agenda.”

     Born and raised in southeastern Massachusetts, Ventura is an undergraduate of UMass Dartmouth and obtained a Juris Doctorate from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 2016.  


MAN FOUND ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL IN TRAFFIC ON ROUTE 44

(March 11, 2018)  Rehoboth police placed a Taunton man under arrest after he was found asleep at the wheel of his running vehicle on Route 44 yesterday evening.

    Around 5:35 PM, officers responded to the report of a vehicle stopped in traffic near the intersection of Route 44 and Route 118 with the driver unresponsive and found Antonio O. Monteiro apparently sleeping.

    According to police, Sgt. Craig Forget and Officer Mark Wetherell banged on the windows of Monteiro’s vehicle and yelled to get his attention before he finally woke and unlocked the doors. Forgot was able to reach in and place the vehicle in park and turn off the engine.

    Officer Louis DiBacco arrived to assist the other two officers and administered field sobriety tests.  Monteiro, age 63 of Cohannet Street in Taunton was taken into custody and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. 

    He was released on personal recognizance and is scheduled to be arraigned in Taunton District Court on Monday.


SELECTMEN FILL PLANNING BOARD SEAT TEMPORARILY

(March 8, 2018) With the resignation of Michael Costa on the town’s planning board, Rehoboth selectmen on Monday night appointed Jake Kramer to fill the vacant seat on a temporary basis until the April 2 town election.

    Kramer, a town employee who serves as Veterans Services Officer, has been endorsed by the Republican Town Committee (RTC) as a write-in candidate on the April 2 ballot for a 4-year term on the planning board. 

    At their caucus in February, the Republican Town Committee, chaired by Selectmen Frederick “Skip” Vadnais, previously endorsed Clark Curtis to run for a 5-year term on the planning board, but Curtis did not accept the nomination.  The RTC executive board then nominated Patricia “Tish” Vadnais as their candidate to fill the 5-year seat currently held by Michael Costello. Her name will appear on the April 2 ballot.

      The seven-member planning board, serving one of the town’s most important municipal functions, consists of officials elected on alternate years to four or five year terms. 


REHOBOTH FIRE DEPT. QUICKLY CONTROL STRUCTURAL FIRE ON LOCUST

(March 6, 2018) The Rehoboth Fire Department was summoned to the historic Rehoboth Village area about 7:30 this morning following the report of a structural fire at 19 Locust Avenue.

      A large volume of black smoke and high flames from the fire could be seen in the area. Firefighters tackled the blaze for about thirty minutes before the first was “knock backed” shortly after 8 AM. An investigation by the RFD into the cause of the fire has been initiated.  The State Fire Marshall’s office was notified to assist with the investigation. No injuries have been reported. (Photo by Syd Bauman of Rehoboth Ambulance)


REHOBOTH MAN ARRESTED SUNDAY AT CUMBERLAND FARMS

(March 5, 2018) Rehoboth police were called yesterday afternoon to the parking lot of the Cumberland Farms on Route 44 shortly after noon to investigate possible drug activity and arrested a Rehoboth man for possession and two outstanding arrest warrants.

    A 911 caller described suspicious activity inside a tan Hyundai sedan with Rhode Island registration parked at the Cumberland Farms Rhode Island.  Sgt. Mark Rossi was the first officer to arrive at the scene and observed a male subject inside the vehicle removing a hypodermic needle from his arm.  According to a police press release, the suspect noticed Rossi and then dropped the syringe on the seat and attempted to conceal it. 

    Officers Louis DiBacco and Jacob Miranda arrived on the scene along with Seekonk K-9 Officer Fundakowski and his K-9 partner Zuzo.  The suspect was ordered out of the vehicle.  Officers say they observed a small open case on the passenger front seat of the Hyandai containing assorted drug paraphernalia. Zuzo located a small amount of a white powdery substance, consistent with heroin, in a glassine bag inside the vehicle. 

    Rehoboth resident Kenneth Neves, age 31, was place under arrested and held on $540 cash bail before a transfer to the Bristol County House of Corrections in New Bedford.

    Neves will be arraigned in Taunton District Court today, charged with possession of a Class A Substance (heroin) and two outstanding arrest warrants also out of Taunton District Court.


REHOBOTH FIRE DEPT. RESPONDS TO OVER 80 CALLS DURING AND AFTER STORM

(March 5, 2018) The Rehoboth Fire Department responded to over 80 calls for service between Friday afternoon and Sunday during and after the destructive nor’easter.

    Emergency response calls ranged from extinguishing a shed fire to assisting homeowners with water emergencies involving basement flooding, from 4 inches of water to over 4 feet.  Other fire department calls involved assisting at residences with downed wires and fallen trees. 

     On Sunday afternoon, firefighters responded to a fire cause in a shed by an overheated generator surrounded by combustible materials.  RFD reminds owners to make sure all generators and gasoline are separated and used in well ventilated areas.

     The department received emergency calls for high carbon monoxide readings because generators were left running inside a garage or too close to the house.


IMPORTANT STORM AFTERMATH UPDATE

(March 3, 2018 - Updated March 4) Rehoboth town officials report the following information: The Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center will be opened this morning, as it was yesterday, as a warming station for those without heat.  You can also charge your electronic devices there and use the restroom facilities.

     Water can be obtained at the Rehoboth Public Safety Building on Anawan Street (Route 118). Drive around to the rear of the building.

     80% of Rehoboth was without power on Saturday morning.  National Grid informed town officials yesterday morning they would first work on restoring power to Route 44 and in North Rehoboth near Chartley Store and Tremont Street. National Grid told officials they hope to restore full power by Sunday afternoon, but according to their website and customers alerts have extended that to Tuesday, March 6.

    By Saturday morning, officials reported that all roads had been cleared of fallen trees and debris by the Rehoboth Highway Department and Forestry Department. Some roads may remain closed waiting for National Grid repair equipment and personnel. 

     Residents are encouraged to remain cautious as tree and limbs may still fall and cause damage or close roadways.


REHOBOTH POLICE TAKE LOCAL TEEN INTO CUSTODY, TURN OVER TO DIGHTON

(March 2, 2018) An identified 17-year-old male was taken into custody at approximately 10:45 AM this morning by Rehoboth police.

     After serving an arrest warrant at the teen's residence in Rehoboth, police turned him over to Dighton Police.

Based on new information regarding threats of violence at Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School originally reported on Wednesday, February 28, Dighton PD were able to obtain a a warrant for the teen's arrest.

     According to the warrant, the teen will be charged in Taunton Juvenile Court with the following: disturbing a school assembly and bomb/hijack threat with serious public alarm.


REHOBOTH FIRE DEPT. URGES COMPLIANCE WITH HOME INSPECTION RULES

(February 28, 2018) The Rehoboth Fire Department has encountered numerous issues related to home inspections and urge residents to follow proper compliance procedures including planning for adequate lead time for inspections.

    Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 148 section 26F, mandates that “upon sale or transfer of homes the seller must install approved smoke detectors.” Chapter 148 section 26 1/2 also mandates the installation of carbon monoxide detectors.

     “We have had numerous requests for inspections within seven days or less of closing dates and this cannot be accommodated,” emphasized Rehoboth Fire Chief Frank Barresi.  “Please plan ahead!”

        It is imperative to schedule an inspection a minimum of three weeks in advance, and as early as one month, before your closing date. Inspections are only done on Tuesday mornings and if you have not scheduled your inspection well in front of your closing date you may have to reschedule your closing.

      According to Barresi, the realtor is responsible for the preparation and proper compliance for the inspection. “We are seeing numerous cases when that responsibility is being passed on to the seller,” he explained.   “As part of their responsibility, your realtor has a legal obligation to guide you through compliance and scheduling of this inspection.”

        The date of construction of your property and your fuel requirements for appliances and heating determines the type and number of devices required and the proper operation of them. Devices must be placed in the proper location and fall within the area requirements for the home. Devices in the wrong locations must be moved. A local ordinance also requires the house to be adequately numbered at the street with easy-to-read numbering.

     Having the wrong or inoperable devices will result in a failed inspection. Home owners should also understand that non-compliant, inoperable, broken and illegal devices will not pass inspection and there will be an additional fee of $35 for a re-inspection.

     Home inspection fees of $35 must be rendered by check only payable to the Town of Rehoboth.  Cash and credit cards are not accepted. More information about regulations can be found on the mass.gov website.

    “If you can’t find the answers to questions regarding compliance for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in this guide,” said Barresi,  “please feel free to contact us at 508-252-3725 for additional assistance. We sincerely want the sale of your home, as it relates to this mandated inspection, to be painless and free of frustration!”


ALLEGED ARMED BANK ROBBER IN CRASH WITH TWO CRUISERS AFTER CHASE

(February 27, 2018) A multiple vehicle crash involving two Rehoboth police cruisers occurred late yesterday afternoon on Kelton Street when a suspect in a Swansea bank robbery led officers on a chase that ended with an arrest by gunpoint.

     According to a joint press release from both police departments, a white male wearing a blue sweatshirt, baseball cap and gloves with a “black firearm” entered the Santander Bank on Route 6 in Swansea shortly before 5 PM demanding money.  After an undisclosed amount of money was handed over, the suspect was seen fleeing the scene in a silver Toyota RAV-4.  

   Shortly after a “be on the lookout” was broadcast to area police with a description of the suspect, Rehoboth police received a 911 call reporting a silver RAV had just driven across the golf course at Middlebrook Country Club on Pleasant Street. 

    The suspect was located and pursued by Officer Mark Wetherell northbound on Chestnut Street.  Officer Thomas Ranley in another cruiser joined the chase that proceeded to Moulton Street (Route 118) where the suspect drove his vehicle over a lawn before turning onto Kelton Street where the multiple crash occurred.

     The driver was removed at gunpoint from his vehicle by the pursuing officers along with Sgt. Richard Shailor.  Money was discovered stuffed in the alleged bank robber’s sweatshirt. Swansea Police who arrived at the crash scene determined Nobles was the same individual suspected of robbing the Santander bank.    

       Jason Nobles, age 36 from Lowell, Massachusetts was taken into custody by Swansea police and transported to Rhode Island Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police said two Rehoboth officers, not specifically identified, were transported to Sturdy Memorial Hospital “as a precaution.”

     Rehoboth Police Chief James Trombetta and Officer Louis DiBacco assisted with the investigation at the scene along with Swansea police Sgt. Mark Foley, Patrick Mooney and Jonathan Boyd.  

    Nobles was charged by Swansea police with armed robbery while masked, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to rob, and use of a vehicle during the commission of a felony.  Rehoboth Police additionally charged Nobles with multiple motor vehicle offenses, failure to stop for police, operating to endanger, operating after revocation, and two counts of destruction of property.

    Processing the crime scene at the Santander bank were Swansea patrolman Rob Wilson and Detectives Keith Chomka and Joey Faria.  FBI Special Agent Geoff Kelly and Massachusetts Trooper Mark Wheeler of the Bank Robbery Task Force are involved in the investigation.


REHOBOTH BROTHERS ARRESTED ON MULTIPLE CHARGES

(February 23, 2018) On Wednesday, Rehoboth police arrested two brothers from Rehoboth on multiple charges related to breaking into vehicles at an Ash Street residence that occurred in January.

     George Lallier, age 20, was found hiding inside a utility closet in the basement of his Tremont Street residence and taken into custody without incident with the assistance of the Seekonk Police K-9 unit.  Richard Lallier, age 26, was taking into custody by Rehoboth police at a residence in Seekonk with assistance from the Seekonk officers.

     Both men are transported to the Rehoboth police station and charged with five felony counts of breaking and entering vehicle nighttime for a felony, two counts of vandalizing property, one count of larceny under $250 and a conspiracy charge.  They were transported to Taunton District Court for arraignment.


SEEKONK MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING CRASH ON ROUTE 44

(February 22, 2018) Rehoboth police charged a Seekonk man with multiple vehicular charges including driving under the influence after a crash on Route 44 on Wednesday which was followed by a second crash caused by onlookers.

   While on patrol driving on Bay State Road, Sgt. Richard Shailor first observed a suspicious driver and began to follow the vehicle when he was flagged down by another motorist who reported an erratic driver.

   According to Shailor, the witness reported being almost struck head by a vehicle that went on to almost hit a utility pole.  Shailor quickly discovered the erratic driver had just crashed into a “large decorative stone” in front of a business at 466 Winthrop Street (Route 44). The impact threw the stone, with an estimated weight of two thousand pounds, about 25 feet and the vehicle suffered heavy font end damage.

    Additional police assistance arrived including Officers Mark Wetherell and Louis DiBacco who suspected the driver was under the influence of drugs. An officer from the Somerset Police Department trained in drug recognition was summoned to the scene and assisted with an investigation.

     Kenneth Carter, age 37 of Seekonk, was taken into custody and charged with operating under the influence of drugs, speeding, negligent operation and a marked lane violation. He was later released on his own recognizance and scheduled for arraignment in Taunton District Court yesterday.

    Members of the Rehoboth Fire Department and Rehoboth Ambulance assisted on the scene as a second accident occurred caused by onlookers to the initial crash.


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.


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.