REHOBOTH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE ASKS RESIDENTS TO

TAKE ONLINE SURVEY TO GAUGE PUBLIC OPINION

(July 31, 2015)  With the approval of the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen, the town’s Economic Development Committee (EDC) is seeking citizen input via an online opinion survey.

   The survey was developed to gain a “better understanding of what residents and voters collectively see as the most desirable areas for business expansion.”

   The EDC was formed in 2014 following a request from the Rehoboth Business Association for representation on a municipal committee addressing local business issues and bylaws. Only town officials had been appointed to the zoning bylaw review committee approved by voters in 2013 at town meeting and appointed later by selectmen.  A public hearing on the proposed zoning revisions was held in March 2014.  The new zoning bylaw package was rejected by voters two months later at town meeting. There has been no recent progress in adopting new zoning bylaws to replace regulations considered outdated, illegal, or ‘unfriendly’ to local business.

    “Sharing your opinions is critical to help us know what residents think about business in town,” voiced the EDC flyer promoting the online survey.

    Members of the EDC include local business people LInda Ferreira, Sean Kane, and John Jordan; community members Lorraine Botts and Stephen Silva; and  Stephen Brooks, Jr., member of the town’s planning board.  Prior to his departure, Town Administrator Jeff Ritter attended ECD meetings and facilitated bringing guests to the meetings such as School Superintendent Anthony Azar and representatives from regional organizations.

     Residents are asked to complete the survey at: RehobothSurvey.com.


REP. HOWITT WELCOMES GOVERNOR TO
4TH BRISTOL DISTRICT

(July 29, 2015) Representative Steven Howitt (R-Seekonk) welcomed Governor Charlie Baker to the Fourth Bristol District this month at a fundraising event held at Crestwood Country Club in Rehoboth.

    The governor took the opportunity to commend Howitt on the hard work he does for his constituents in Rehoboth and the other communities of the district.

   “This is a great state and we do a lot of things really well,” said Baker. “Our goal is to make sure we keep getting better and better and better going forward. With folks like Steven representing you, that’s exactly the type of people we need on the team with the pragmatic approach to get stuff done. I’m happy to be here.”

   Many other local officials from Southeastern Massachusetts were also in attendance. "I am humbled and honored to have so many people with us this evening, Republicans and Democrats alike,”  noted Howitt.


REHOBOTH SELECTMEN MEET TONIGHT WITH MIXED AGENDA

(July 27, 2015)  The Rehoboth selectmen will meet tonight in regular session at the senior center at 7 PM with an agenda that begins with a vote to appoint an additional full-time police officer and part-time dispatcher.

    Selectmen will also interview a candidate for the positon of Veterans Services Officer to replace Jack Taylor who recently resigned after nine months of service to the town.

    A representative from the town’s personnel board, Dave Scanlon will present selectmen with updates on several town employee policies including discipline, sexual harassment, performance review, and family medical leave and maternity leave.

   A follow-up discussion will be held regarding an animal control (dog) issues at a residence on Winthrop Street. Selectmen will provide an update on the municipal power aggregation project awaiting state approval. Rehoboth is one of thirteen communities that have joined together to contract as a group to procure more affordable electricity.

    Other itens on tonight’s agenda include awarding a contract for the purchase of a new pumper of the fire department; approval of liquor license applications; and reappointments and appointments to various municipal committees and boards.

    As always, the public is invited to attend. Open public forum will be held at the beginning of the meeting for event announcements and later following action items for citizens to address any issue of their concern.


DRIVER  INJURED IN ROLLOVER ACCIDENT ON FAIRVIEW

(July 24, 2015)  Trapped in her overturned vehicle, an unidentified woman was extricated by Rehoboth Fire Department personnel following a single car accident on Fairview Avenue near Oak Street yesterday morning.

    Emergency responders were dispatched to the accident scene that closed the roadway for over thirty minutes. The driver, the sole occupant, apparently first struck a utility pole before flipping over.  She was treated by Rehoboth EMS at the scene and then transported to the hospital for treatment. Her condition was not made available to the public.

    Rehoboth police are investigating the accident, the second in six days following road work done last Friday on Fairview Avenue from Tremont Street to Anawan Street.  The extensive roadwork required the posting of loose stone signs warning motorists to use caution and reduce speed.

   

MUNICIPAL POWER AGGREGATION PLAN MOVES AHEAD

(July 23, 2015)  As part of the process to gain state approval to move forward with a municipal power aggregation plan, a public hearing will be held in Boston in late August.

   Rehoboth is one of thirteen cities and towns in Southeastern Massachusetts that have joined together to procure a contract for electric supply on behalf of electricity consumers within municipal borders.  The municipalities have retained Good Energy as their agent in these proceedings.

   When approved, individual consumers will automatically be enrolled in the municipal aggregation program, but will have a chance to ‘opt-out’ and remain enrolled in basic service provided by National Grid. 

   The public hearing will be held on Wednesday, August 26 at 2 PM at the Department of Public Utilities located at One South Station, fifth floor.  Any person who would like to comment at the public hearing may attend or submit written comments to the Department of Public Utilities by Tuesday, August 25 at 5 PM. Copies must be submitted to other involved parties.  Full details and instructions to submit comments are available on the town website. A copy of the Town of Rehoboth petition is available at the town office, 148 Peck Street.

   

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REHOBOTH CULTURAL COUNCIL

BEGINS GRANT SEASON

(July 23, 2015) The Rehoboth Cultural Council, the local affiliate of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, will begin their annual grant cycle with three informational workshops in August and September to help interested applicants learn more about the process.

   The local council receives an allotment of funds through the state to support programs and projects that promote the arts, humanities and social sciences. Last year the council awarded twelve grants for a variety of events or programs. Monies awarded by the local council are not part of the town budget.

   The 2016 grant application period runs from September 1 through October 15. Grant-funded programs must be completed between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. Grants are awarded on a reimbursement basis.

    Individuals, groups, and schools are invited to apply for cultural council grants and can learn more the process at three scheduled workshops to be held at the Blanding Library on Wednesday, August 26 from 1 to 3 PM; Thursday, September 3 from 6 to 7:30 PM; and Saturday, September 12 from 10:30 to 12 Noon.  Information and grant applications may be found at  mass-culture.org/Rehoboth


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CRASH ON FAIRVIEW AVENUE UNDER INVESTIGATION

(July 19, 2015) Rehoboth public safety personnel were dispatched early Saturday morning to a motor vehicle crash into a pole on Fairview Ave. 

   The occupants were evaluated by Rehoboth EMS while firefighters contained a fluid spill and cleaned up debris while police investigated. Utilities were notified as the pole was snapped at the base.

   The road was shut down for approximately 45 minutes while the scene was cleared. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the RPD.


ALLEGED ASSAULT OF RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE ENDS IN ARREST

(July 17, 2015) Rehoboth police arrested New Bedford man yesterday afternoon on a charge of assault to murder following an incident in the parking lot of a Rehoboth restaurant on Winthrop Street (Route 44).

   Office Jacob Miranda responded to the parking lot Don Tequila’s at 569 Winthrop Street for a report of a hit-and-run motor vehicle accident.  He spoke to a female employee who stated her ex-boyfriend had arrived at her work place, started yelling at her, and popped one of her vehicle tires in the parking lot.    

   The alleged victim said Luis Iraola, age 21 of New Bedford, threatened to burn her vehicle and proceeded to remove a bottle of lighter fluid and box of matches from his vehicle.  A physical altercation ensued and Iraola lost possession of the lighter fluid.

  According to the woman, Iraola then pushed her to the ground before returning to his vehicle and then drove intentionally towards the victim and struck her parked vehicle.  Police report he quickly left the parking lot and drove away.

   Police sent out an all points bulletin on Iraola and a short time later he was taken into custody in New Bedford. He  was later transferred to the custody of the Rehoboth Police Department and charged with multiple crimes including assault to murder, domestic assault and battery, attempted burning of a motor vehicle, vandalism, and destruction of property over $250. 

    He was later transported to the Bristol County Sheriff’s Department Ash Street Jail to await determination on bail. He was scheduled to be arraigned in Taunton District Court today. Officer Miranda was assisted at the scene by Sgt. Ross and Detective Eastwood.


REHOBOTH HORSE OWNERS INVITED TO BLESSING AT LA SALETTE

(July 15, 2015)  Organizers of Rehoboth Breed Expo invite horse owners from Rehoboth and other communities to a free public ‘Blessing of the Horses’ at La Salette Shrine in Attleboro.

    The ‘blessing’ will be given at 8 AM sharp by Father Pat prior to the gates opening for the annual Rehoboth Breed Expo on Sunday, August 2.

    Horse owners are asked to arrive with ample time to unload and tack horses in the center parking lot before walking animals to the blessing area. Parking Staff will be on hand to assist entering the lot, parking trailers and exiting.

   To avoid confusion, the blessing is separate from the all-day horse breed exposition that requires an admission charge. Gates open for the expo at 9 AM.  Those needing more information should contact Ray Viau at 508-468-7627 or email viau@comcast.net


RHODE ISLAND MAN ARRESTED AFTER SATURDAY EVENING CRASH 

(July 13, 2015)  A  Rhode Island man was arrested on Saturday evening by Rehoboth police on multiple charges are crashing his vehicle into a utility pole.

    Officers responded to e report of a motor vehicle crash near the intersection of Anawan Street and Perryville Road where a utility pole was snapped at the base and electrical wires were hanging close to the roadway. Perryville Road was closed for several hours while crews replaced the damaged utilities.

   Roger Pratas, age 46 of Bristol, RI was arrested on a drunk driving charge as well as negligent operation of an unlicensed vehicle.  He was held on $2500 cash bail and was scheduled to appear for arraignment in Taunton District Court today.

   The accident is being by Patrolmen Thomas Ranley and Louis DiBacco with Sgt. Norman Todd assisting.


REHOBOTH POLICE ARREST MAN ON FOURTH DRUNK DRIVING CHARGE 

(July 11, 2015)  A Shrewsbury man was arrested yesterday afternoon by Rehoboth police on multiple vehicular charges after a hit and run accident involving property damage on Anawan Street.

   Police were dispatched around 3 PM after receiving a call reporting an accident in the area of 73 Anawan Street. A small white SUV with front end damage was witnessed leaving the scene.

   Patrolman Craig Forget located the vehicle at the Exxon gas station on the corner of Anawan and Route 44  and saw it  jumped the curb and almost struck a van in the parking lot. Assisting officers were Lt. James Medeiros, and Lt. Michael Brady.

   After a brief investigation, Domingo M Fernandes, age 63 of Shrewsbury, MA was taken into custody and charged with a fourth operating under the influence of alcohol charge, negligent operation, leaving the scene of property damage,  and a marked lanes violation.  He was held on $20,000 cash bail and transported to the New Bedford House of Correction. Fernandes is set to be arraigned in Taunton District Court on Monday morning


LOCAL BUSINESS AND ORGANIZATIONS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL

LARRY PROCOPIO’ HARVEST  BLOCK PARTY

(July 6, 2015)  The Rehoboth Town Events Committee has set the date for the 16th Annual “Larry Procopio’ Harvest Block Party for Saturday, September 19 on the Redway Plain.

   Local businesses, organizations, clubs, groups, schools, churches and residents with special trades and crafts are invited to participate in the ‘no admission, no parking fee” event. Display booths are offered to town organizations free of charge with all vendors, particularly those selling food and beverages, asked to consider a suggested donation to support the event.

   The original concept for a ‘free party for all in Rehoboth” was the brainchild of the late Larry Procopio following the town’s 350th anniversary celebration in 1993. Six years later, Procopio had garnered enough community support to host the first block party which he and his wife Bev organized and managed for several years with the help of volunteers. After Procopio’s death, his wife carried on his vision and managed the event until she fell into ill health.  A formal town events committee was then created then to carry on the tradition with Mary Beth Moriarty serving as chairperson.

     This year’s HBP will once again feature lots of entertainment, hayrides, pony rides, tractor and train rides, bounce houses, petting zoo, live music, demonstrations, food to purchase, and lots of display booths and vendors. Visit the Harvest Block Party page for complete information.

  

REHOBOTH BREED EXPO TO INCLUDE BLESSING OF HORSES

(July 5, 2015)  The sixth annual Rehoboth Breed Expo, to be held at nearby LaSalette Shrine this year, will feature a  public blessing of the horses administered by Father Pat at 8 AM before the gates open.

   The day-long event will be held on Sunday, August 2 from 9 AM to 4 PM with over 20 equestrian demonstrations. Horse breeds, large and small, are slated to participate in the expo including two rare Suffolk Punch Drafts owned by Shawn Conway. On other end of the spectrum, a miniature horse owned and shown by Pat Musser will be driven.

    The expo will feature a variety of vendors selling goods, food, beverages and refreshments. Plenty of children’s activities  will be offered at this family-friendly event. Gate fee for adults is $8 and children 12 and under are admitted free. Rehoboth Breed Expo is a non-profit organization. Each year, a portion of the gate fee supports local charities.


“WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT . . .”

(July 3, 2015)  The fourth annual candlelight re-reading of the Declaration of Independence will be held tomorrow night at the Dighton Community Church following a procession through the historic church cemetery.

   Join members of the church congregation and members of the Rehoboth Minute Company, 13th Continental Regiment along with other patriots beginning at 8:30 PM for the candlelight walk. 

   Dighton Selectman Patrick  W. Menges will re-read the Declaration in a silent, candlelit church. The document was originally read to citizens at the church on July 13, 1776 in what may have been the first reading after its passage on July 4.  The Declaration was then read to citizens throughout the 13 colonies before the final signing in August.

   This event is free of charge and will be held rain or shine. Donations will be accepted. Those attending should be able to remain quiet during the re-reading and refrain from using electronics. Candles will be provided if you don’t have your own colonial lantern.  Those who don’t wish to walk may wait inside the church during the procession. Colonial dress is welcomed by not required. Refreshments will be served after in the Friendship Hall.


REHOBOTH LAND TRUST CALLS FOR VOLUNTEER STEWARDS TO ADOPT A PROPERTY

(June 30 2015) The Rehoboth Land Trust (RLT) has announced the creation of a Stewardship Committee to assist in monitoring and maintenance of RLT properties.

   Established in 1989, the RLT is a registered charitable non-profit organization with over 100 acres under their stewardship. Working in cooperation with other conservations groups, the group promotes preservation of the rural/agricultural character of the Town of Rehoboth. the group is working with The Trustees of Reservations on the Palmer River Greenway Initiative.

   Volunteers are needed to “adopt” a RLT-owned property and perform tasks such as visual inspection for damage, trash pickup and trail maintenance. Specific properties include the Ephraim Hunt Ministerial Land on Pond Street, River Run on Carpenter Street next to the Palmer River, the 76 Mason Street Property, and the parking lot of the Beagle Club Conservation Area.

   Those interested in volunteering as a steward for a specific property are asked to contact Diane Biello at 508-252-4241 or send her an email at Biello1@verizon.net.


REHOBOTH MAN TAKEN TO HOSPITAL FOLLOWING CAR CRASH INTO YARD

(June 29, 2015)  A young Rehoboth man was transported to the hospital for treatment following a single-vehicle crash at a residence yesterday morning.

   Rehoboth police were dispatched to Providence Street about 10:10 AM yesterday and found a black Toyota Carolla with air bags deployed in the front yard of the residence.  The driver, Nicholas Drury, age 22 of Cherry Lane in Rehoboth, was found inside the car with injuries that required transport to Miriam Hospital by Rehoboth Ambulance.

   An investigation was conducted by responding patrolmen Paul McGovern and James Casey.  It was determined Drury drove off the roadway and first crossed a front yard at 3 Miller Street causing “substantial damage to the yard” before continuing eastward, crashing into several trees, and ending up in the yard of the Providence Street home.

   Drury was issued a criminal motor vehicle citation for negligent operation and failure to stay in marked lanes.


REHOBOTH WOMAN HIT BY CAR ON ROUTE 44

(June 28, 2015)  A Rehoboth woman was struck by a car on Route 44 last night and is reported in serious condition in the trauma unit of Rhode Island Hospital.

  Rehoboth police responded to a motor vehicle crash involving a pedestrian and upon arrival found a woman lying in the middle of the roadway.  The victim, later identified as 30-year-old Holly Elizabeth Boysen of Rehoboth was treated at the scene by Rehoboth Ambulance personnel and transported to the hospital with serious injuries.    

  It is believed Boysen was attempting to cross Winthrop Street in an unlit area during rainy weather conditions when she was struck by a Ford Escape traveling eastbound. The driver, 51-year-old Eileen Gallagher of Marshfield stopped and remained at the scene to cooperate fully with police.

  The accident is currently under investigation by the Rehoboth Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit.


SOMERSET MAN ARRESTED IN REHOBOTH ON DUI CHARGE 

(June 27, 2015) Following a report of a motor vehicle crash on Anawan Street, Rehoboth police early this morning arrested a Somerset man on a drunk driving charge.

   Police were dispatched to a wooded area near #74 Anawan Street and discovered 21-year-old Joseph White of Somerset standing near his vehicle approximately twenty yards of the roadway. An investigation determined that White had been traveling northbound on Anawan Street before crossing back and forth across the roadway, then off through the woods into a tree. 

   White was arrested at the scene and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and later released on his own recognizance.  He is scheduled to appear in Taunton District Court for arraignment on Monday.


NO INJURIES IN CRASH THAT CLOSED ROUTE 44 ON MONDAY EVENING 

(June 23, 2015) Rehoboth public safety personnel were dispatched to a two-vehicle crash on Route 44 at Wilmarth Bridge Road at approximately 5:30 yesterday. Despite heavy damage to both vehicles, no one was injured. 

   Rehoboth police shut down the eastbound lane of Route 44 for almost an hour while the two vehicles were removed. Firefighters used a cutting torch to separate the rear axle of one vehicles that became dislodged in the crash. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the RPD.



REHOBOTH SELECTMEN OFFER USED BULLDOZER FOR SALE

(June 18, 2015) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen have a used John Deere bulldozer they’d like to sell as surplus equipment. See photo right.

   Interested parties can submit a bid in a sealed envelope by 10 AM on Monday, June 29 to the office of the selectmen at the town office on Peck Street.  Envelopes will be opened and read aloud.  Payment in full will be due on Tuesday, June 30 by 4 PM.  Minimum bid is $10,000 for this ‘as is” piece of heavy equipment.

   If you would like to view this bulldozer up close, please drop by the Highway Department at 345 Anawan Street. 


REHOBOTH BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

NAMES OFFICERS FOR 2015-16

(June 17, 2015) The Rehoboth Business Association (RBA) last night at the organization’s annual meeting elected executive officers for the next fiscal year.

    RBA members chose to retain the existing roster of officers, all local business women. Re-elected to serve as RBA president, Linda Ferriera is a financial advisor who operates a Rehoboth-based Edward Jones office. Leslie Gouveia, owner of Hot Diggity Dog Walking, will serve a second term as vice president.  Diana Rochfort, manager of the Rehoboth branch of Bristol County Savings Bank will continue to serve as treasurer.  Continuing in her long-time role as RBA secretary is Cynthia Saleeba of Rehoboth-based Home and Commercial Security, Inc. (Pictured left to right: Diana Rochfort, Linda Ferreira, Cynthia Saleeba, and Leslie Gouveia)

   The RBA is comprised of local business owners and managers committed to networking, promoting local enterprise, and enhancing business development in Rehoboth. The group hosts regular ‘Business After Hours’ networking events at local businesses and offer dinner meetings with guest speakers on a variety of business topics.          

   The RBA supports the local community with an annual spring roadside clean up campaign and hosts a pre-election ‘Meet the Candidates Night’ each spring. Members of the RBA serve on the town’s  economic development committee.  More information about the RBA can be found on the organization’s website.


DRRHS ACCREDITATION REPORT CONTAINS WARNING

(June 8, 2015) While awarding continued accreditation to Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School, a report from the New England Association of Schools & Colleges placed the school warning for a list of significant concerns.

    The Committee on Public Secondary Schools visited the school in late March for a comprehensive accreditation evaluation and commended the school on twenty-two practices such as “high student involvement in school-wide programs, athletics and extracurricular activities supported by large groups of parents.” Preparing students for “21st-century learning expectations” was also favorably noted along with “authentic learning opportunities especially in the Career and Technical Education Program.”

   Areas of concern that led to the school being placed on warning include lack of up-to-date technology to support teachers and students, and lack of “dependable funding for ongoing professional development, technology support, curriculum revisions, instructional materials and supplies.” Other concerns were lack of school cleanliness, black mold, leaking roof, aging boiler, chipped paints, water stained ceiling tiles, and “inconsistency of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.”

    While residents voted against accepting a roof repair partial funding opportunity in 2014, an increased school budget last year allowed the hiring of a facilities manager who, according to School Superintendent Anthony Azar, “helps us with maintaining our buildings.”  Referring to “dependable funding” concerns, Azar said, “We have an active capital committee charged with monitoring our capital plan.”

   The accreditation report gave DRRHS officials until April 1, 2016 to submit a Special Progress Report addressing both technology and facilities issues. 

    School officials are also charged with providing detailed responses to three areas involving special education (SPED).  Evaluators want confirmation that a qualified leader is in charge of the high school special education department and proof that SPED staff have “a voice in decision-making at the school.”  The school must also “develop a more coordinated and monitored systems” for intervention programs.

   According to Azar, those issues “have been festering for at least the past three years in the SPED department” and the FY16 budget includes professional development funds “to address the issues with our special education staff training.”   He added that Kyle Rile, the district’s Director of Special Education since 2012, has hired a special education coordinator for the high school who will be in charge of students with IEPs or individual education plans. During the current school year, special education students were overseen by the high school psychologist, a position that will be eliminated next year according to Azar.

   “I directed Mr. Riley to meet with his staff weekly and meet with principals bi-weekly to progress monitor the interventions in each building as see through the eyes of each principal, special education teacher and student,”  noted Azar who said he is confident the school will receive full accreditation in two years.

    “Our (school district) budget passed in both Rehoboth and Dighton with hardly a whisper which means to us that our communities trust that we are on the right track to meet head on their concerns,” emphasized Azar.

    The complete accreditation report is available on the school district website. Click here.

  

THREE MEN ARRESTED ON SUSPECTED BURGLARY CHARGES

(June 6, 2015) Rehoboth police arrested two Rhode Island men along with an identified juvenile mid-day on Thursday on charges related to suspected home burglary.

   Police reported to a home on Anawan Street following a call from a suspicious homeowner who had been approached by a man in his driveway soliciting landscaping work. The resident gave a description of two young men and a teen driving traveling in a dark blue pickup truck. The vehicle
in question matched the description of one seen in the area of tw
o recent home break-ins on May 21.

   Officer James Casey quickly located the vehicle in the driveway of nearby home and questioned the men who gave conflicting stories.  They were found in possession of a screwdriver, considered a burglarious tool, and some rubber gloves.  Assisting officers at the scene were Jacob Miranda and Lt. James Trombetta.

   Twenty-six-year-old Matthew Andrade from Woonsocket and East Providence, 20-year-old Nuno Ferreira of Woonsocket and a 16-year-old from East Providence were taken into custody and questioned by Officer Nicole Eastwood who determined they were planning to break into the home on Anawan prior to being interrupted.

   All three were charged with conspiracy to commit breaking and entering, possession of burglarious tools and disturbing the peace with Andrade also charged with driving without a license.  They were arraigned in Taunton District Court yesterday. Officer Eastwood continues to investigate this case as well as other Rehoboth house breaks in recent weeks. Anyone having additional information is asked to contact  Eastwood or Sgt. Brian Ramos.

  

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE DRRHS CLASS OF 2015

READ ABOUT THE CELEBRATION OF EXCELLENCE ON THE FEATURES PAGE


TOWN HALL INSTALLS CONVENIENT DROP BOX FOR RESIDENTS

(June 5, 2015) Rehoboth residents can now drop off mail when the town office is closed in a newly installed locked drop box located outside the main entrance.

    A collaborative project of Town Administrator Jeff Ritter, Town Clerk Laura Schwall and Town Treasurer Cheryl Gouveia, the new drop box can be used for tax payments, dog licenses, town census forms, etc. Residents are asked to avoid including cash money with any correspondence that may be deposited in the drop box.

   “We hope the addition of the drop box helps to make our town government services more accessible to the public,” said Schwall in the town newsletter than can be found on the town website.

 

REHOBOTH SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB INSTALLS NEW OFFICERS

(June 3, 2015) The Rehoboth Senior Citizens Club held the annual officer installation luncheon on Thursday, May 21 at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center. Members were served a delicious stuffed chicken breast made by Chef Bill and volunteers.

    The new officers are President Lorraine Botts; First Vice President Steve Silva; Second Vice President Elaine Amaral; Treasurer Pat Laurino; Secretary Cindy Dewey, and Chaplain Ann DeAmaral.

   “We will be working together as a team to bring enjoyment to our many members,” said the organization’s newly-elected president.

   In June the club will host a Strawberry Festival on Thursday, June 18 and a picnic in July. The group conducts one big fundraiser every October, a fall bazaar that raises money for luncheons and activities throughout the year. Members are already knitting, crafting, obtaining items for our roll-up table, and gathering raffle items.

    Open to anyone 55 years and over, the club meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 12:30 PM, or noon if a lunch is served.  Yearly membership is $4 for both Rehoboth residents and others and due in May by check made out to Rehoboth Senior Citizens Club and mailed to the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center.  Donations are always gratefully accepted.


TOWN PERSONNEL POLICIES ON SELECTMEN’S AGENDA

(June 1, 2015) The Rehoboth selectmen will meet tonight in regular public session beginning at 7 PM at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center. 

    Tonight’s agenda includes several action items related to recommendations proposed by the personnel board for job descriptions for building commissioner/zoning officer, assistant town administrator, and executive assistance. Selectmen will also vote on a personnel policy on performance evaluations.

   The BOS will also vote to approve budget amendments; a reserve fund transfer; issue bid documents for the purchase of a new fire truck tanker approved at town meeting; approve the redesign and conversion service agreement with Virtual Town all; discuss the grant agreement for library services between the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society and the town; and address improvements to Old Chestnut Street.  They will also set a summer BOS meeting schedule. As always the public is invited to attend and participate in open public forum.


ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY PARADE AND VETERANS MEMORIAL DEDICATION

(May 26, 2015) The new parade route on Bay State Road was lined with spectators yesterday to enjoy the annual Memorial Day recognition event.  Hundreds stayed for the dedication of the Rehoboth Veterans Memorial gazebo and walkway memorials on the Redway Plain. 

   Ten years in the making, the $150,000 memorial funded through donations includes engraved bricks of all Rehoboth veterans since the town’s founding in 1643, with additional walkways featuring engraved bricks that honor non-Rehoboth veterans or recognized families, individuals or businesses.

    Rehoboth Veterans Services Officer Jack Taylor acted as master of ceremonies for the event that featured several guest speakers including local resident Major General Kevin R. McBride, Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard since 2011 and past Rehoboth selectman.

   Also speaking were Representative Steven Howitt; Michael Costello, chair of the Rehoboth selectmen; Dean Cronin, chair of the Dighton selectmen; and Patrick Menges, selectman from Dighton who recited President Lincoln’s address at Gettysburg.  Rev. John Amaral who acts as chaplain of the Rehoboth Fire Department opened the

dedication with a prayer, and a benediction was given by Veronica Hass of Rehoboth American Legion Post 302.

   Members of the memorial committee were recognized for their efforts including Steve Sammis, who along with his wife Beth, laid a wreath at the gazebo in honor of their son Benjamin who was killed in action in Iraq in 2003.  The Sammis/Waterman Athletic Complex behind the Rehoboth town office features a memorial to both Ben Sammis and Craig Waterman, a Rehoboth solider who was killed during the Vietnam War. Another wreath was placed on the Vietnam War section of the memorial walkway to honor the 40th anniversary of the end of that conflict.  Vietnam vets participated in a drumming chant by members of the Dighton Intertribal Indian Council.

   Ken Abrams of the memorial committee unveiled a granite stone engraved with the dedication date and names of all the committee members involved.  Also participating in the event were members of the Rehoboth Minute Company, the DRRHS Marching Band, and D.L. Beckwith Middle School Band.  Click for more photos.

    

REHOBOTH POLICE ISSUE PARADE ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION

(May 23, 2015) The Rehoboth Police Department has issued information on road closures for Monday, May 25 for the annual Rehoboth-Dighton Memorial Day Parade.

   Beginning at approximately 9:15 AM,  the Route118 section of Bay State Road, from County Street to the traffic light at Route 44, will be closed to traffic.  Only parade participants will be allowed through. 

   At approximately 10:00 AM, the remaining section of Bay State Road, from County Street to the Route 44 intersection at the Redway Plain will also be closed.  Only parade participants and the public attending the parade will be allowed access. These restrictions are expected to be in place to approximately 12:30 PM.


ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY PARADE AND VETERANS MEMORIAL DEDICATION

(May 22, 2015) Monday, May 25 will be an extra special Memorial Day for the Town of Rehoboth and local veterans.   Along with a significant parade route change that eliminates the closure of Route 44, the new Rehoboth Veterans Memorial on the Redway Plain will be dedicated along with a tribute to Vietnam veterans in honor of the 40th anniversary of the end of that war.

    The ceremony dedicating the Veterans Memorial gazebo and engraved brick paver walkways on the Redway Plain will be conducted at 11:30 AM following the parade.  The featured guest speaker will Major General Kevin R. McBride, Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard since 2011 until his anticipated retirement on June 1. McBride is a past Rehoboth selectman.

   The Veterans Memorial Relocation Committee has worked with patience and determination over the last several years to plan, fund-raise, and construct a single, comprehensive and visible veterans memorial on the Redway Plain. Other military memorials recognizing the contributions of local veterans in specific conflicts, or those who lost their lives during battle, are located in various places including the Sammis/Waterman Athletic Complex on Peck Street behind the town offices.

    “We found it suiting to dedicate our memorial in honor of all veterans on a day when our great nation remembers all those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the country’s armed forces,” read a statement issues by the memorial committee.  “We could not have gotten to this point without your support, and we hope you will honor us with your attendance at this year’s Memorial Day Ceremony.” 

    Committee members include Ken Abrams (chair), Ann Messenger, Derek Rousseau, Steve Sammis, Bill Saunders, and Jennifer Schwall along with two members who have passed away since the original conception of the project, George Amaral and Larry Procopio.

   Through community support and donations, the committee was able to nearly raise their goal of $150,000 to construct the site on the Redway Plain. Engraved pavers will continue to be available for purchase.  

    The Rehoboth Parks Commission, responsible for the use of the town-owned Redway Plain property, was also very integral to the project including members Chuck Procopio, Kathleen Amaral, Bob McKim, and Lynore McKim.

    Residents are invited to gather on the Redway Plain at the conclusion of the parade, estimated at 11:30 AM for the dedication ceremony.  Please be advised there will be no parking of vehicles on the Redway Plain since it is a working agricultural field leased for growing hay.

   The combine Dighton-Rehoboth Memorial Day parade will begin at 10:30 AM from the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center on Route 118, past American Legion Post 322 down Bay State Road past Goff Memorial Hall/Blanding Library through Rehoboth Village continuing past the Rehoboth Village Cemetery to Pond Street and the Redway Plain.  The parade route will be closed to traffic for the duration. Parade viewers who park somewhere along the route should be aware they may be required to wait for a period of time until roadways are cleared of returning parade participants. 

  

REHOBOTH RESIDENTS CONCLUDE ANNUAL TOWN MEETING

(May 19, 2015) The Rehoboth Annual Town Meeting was reconvened last night at the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School auditorium with 93 residents in attendance to vote on the remaining thirteen articles on the meeting warrant.

   Article 16, an amendment to general town bylaw related to dog kennels was approved by voters add a new section for licensing the operation of a personal dog kennel in addition to commercial dog kennels that must still appear before the zoning board to seek approval.  The bylaw amendment allows the board of selectmen to grant a personal kennel license following a public hearing.  Officials made it clear several factors will be addressed before making a determination to grant a license including the number of dogs, living conditions, and clarification of a complaint process. An amendment was made a town meeting to forego the necessity of conducting a public hearing before selectmen could grant a personal kennel license, but was defeated by voters.

    Article 17 regarding a bylaw amendment on the public consumption of marijuana was passed.  Rehoboth police can issue a fine of up to $300 to anyone consuming marijuana in any public space owned by or under the control of the town.

    After some discussion, residents voted to defeat Article 18 to authorize the town to sale of a seven-acre parcel of land off Rocky Hill Road.  The land was originally sold to the town by the Robert Thayer family for $1 with the intent of forever being kept as open space, conservation land.  Due to a clerical error, the parcel was never properly deeded as conservation property and abutters now sought to purchase it from the town for residential use.  Despite first approving an amendment to restrict the sale by requiring the minimum assessed value, a provision the land could not be sub-divided, and giving the proceeds to the conservation commission to use,  the article itself was defeated.

   Voters quickly approved the remaining warrant articles that included accepting various reports and re-authorizing various departmental accounts.


POLICE REPORT FIFTEEN HOUSE BREAKS IN PAST MONTH

(May 14, 2015) The Rehoboth Police Department report fifteen house break ins or attempted breaks have occurred throughout town in the past month. 

   Police say most of the break-ins have taken place during daytime hours.  Suspects seem to target jewelry and all size electronics including computers and televisions. Residents are asked to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious -- unknown persons or out-of-the-ordinary activity to the police immediately.

   Homeowners are advised to lock and secure the doors and windows of homes and garages, and utilize an alarm system or security cameras if available. Residents are also reminded to lock parked vehicles.

    Anyone with information regarding these recent incidents should contact Sgt. Brian Ramos 508-252-3722 ext.1120.


INFORMATIONAL MEETING ON 44/118 INTERSECTION PROJECT

(May 14, 2015) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will host an informational meeting regarding safety issues at the intersection of Route 44 and Route 118.  The meeting will be held at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center on Tuesday, May 26 at approximately 7:30 PM. 

    Last year, State Representative Steve Howitt assisted selectmen in securing an allocation, part of the Transportation Bond Bill, to address long-standing traffic safety concerns at this high volume intersection.

     Rehoboth Town Administrator Jeff Ritter said the 44/118 intersection is ranked among the most dangerous in Southeastern Massachusetts according to the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District.

   “In order to move the project planning forward,” said Ritter,  “representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation  will be present to receive comments not only from the board of selectmen but also the public, emergency response personnel and staff. 

   Comments can be submitted in writing to the BOS office in advance of the meeting or in person that night.


UNPAID DOG LICENSES? LATE FINES BEGIN JUNE 1

(May 14, 2015) Rehoboth dog owners have until May 31 to pay yearly dog license fees. Unpaid licenses as of May 31 will be assessed A $15 per dog late fee in addition to the license fee(s).

   Residents may purchase their dog’s 2015 licenses either at the Town Clerk’s Office, by mail, or online. The hours for town hall are Monday through Thursday from 8 AM to 4 PM, and on Friday from 8 AM to 12 Noon. The licensing fees are:  male or female dog $20, female-spayed or male-neutered $10. Please make checks are made payable to Town of Rehoboth.  

   Whether renewing online, via mail, or in person, dog license applications must be accompanied by a current year rabies certificate with a vaccination date covering the current licensing year, also proof of spay or neuter if applying for the $10 licensing fee unless we already have your documentation on file in the Clerk’s Office. 

    If you are unsure about your licensing status, please call 508-252-6502 ext. 3110 or ext. 3109. Dog owners should note that the license(s) will not be returned unless a stamped, self-addressed envelope is included with the postage (70¢ for one dog tag, 91¢ for two dog tags and 98¢ for three dog tags).


RECAP OF TOWN MEETINGS ACTIONS SO FAR

(May 13, 2015) Here are the results so far from the May 2015 Special Town Meeting and Annual Town Meeting conducted Monday night in the auditorium of Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School.

   Rehoboth voters at STM approved Article 1 - FY2015 Budget Adjustments; Article 2 - Snow and Ice Deficit; Article 3 - FY15 Capital Budget with the elimination of the purchase of a new dump truck; Article 4 & 5 - Forestry Wages and Equipment; Article 6 & 7 - RPD Shift Differentials and Buy-Back; Article 8 - Providence Street Conservation Restriction; Article 9 - Anawan School Affordable Housing; and Article 10 - Overlay Surplus Abatements.

   STM Article 3 to fund FY15 Capital Improvement Plan items included replacement of a tanker truck and a pumper truck for the fire department; two new fully equipped police cruisers; two snow plows, a tank monitor and used motor oil system for the highway department;  and a water filtration system and exterior painting and repairs to the town offices.

   During the Annual Town Meeting, Rehoboth voters approved Article 1 - Town Surplus Equipment Sale Authorization; Article 2 - the recommended FY16 Budget; Articles 3, 4, & 5 School Budgets; Article 6 - Community Preservation Budget; Article 7 - PILOT Agreement for 280 Summer Street; Article 8 & 9 - Acceptance of MA General Law Provisions; and Article 10 - Sale of Real Estate Account Use of Funds.

    Article 11 on a public safety/municipal center building was tabled.  Voters approved street acceptances of Liberty Lane, Lorimar Lane, and Mikayla Ann Drive. Articles 13 and 14 on funding a stabilization account and a capital stabilization account were tabled for purposes of defeat. Article 15 on a zoning bylaw amendment on dog kennels was approved.  

   The eight remaining warrant articles will be voted on when the annual town meeting reconvenes.


WARWICK MAN ARRESTED BY RPD AT HERB CHAMBERS VEHICLE LOT

(May 9, 2015) Rehoboth police arrested a Warwick man yesterday night at the Herb Chambers car lot located on Route 44 after he was seen walking around between parked vehicles.

    Officer James Casey was doing a routine security check of the car dealership’s storage facility located in Rehoboth when he observed Michael D. Farias, age 49 of Warwick, RI and confronted him.  Casey found the man in possession of a screwdriver, a pair of gloves, and a flashlight. A van driven by Farias was found to contain “numerous items commonly used in the theft of tires and rims from motor vehicles.”

    Farias  is currently being held on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in Taunton District Court on Monday to be arraigned.  Sgt. Richard Shailor and Officer Louis DiBacco assisted Officer Casey with the arrest.


PALMER RIVER TEACHER ONE OF STATE’S TOP FIVE EDUCATORS OF THE YEAR

(May 6, 2015) Jennifer Ormerod, a second grade teacher at Rehoboth’s Palmer River School, was named one of the top five Massachusetts teachers of the year in an announcement made yesterday on National Teacher Day by the Mitchell D. Chester, Commissioner of the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

   Ormerod, along with  DRRHS English teacher Deven Antani, both made the top eleven candidates for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year in a selection process that began last fall with a call for nominations from administrators, teachers, students, parents and others.

   Five finalists were then selected in late April and interviewed by an independent review panel of experts, including past recipients of the recognition. That panel then recommended one finalist, Audrey Jackson, a fifth-grade teacher in Boston. Jackson will go on to represent Massachusetts in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

  

RPD OFFICERS AND HUMVEE APPEAR FOR PARADE DUTY IN NEWPORT

(May 5, 2015) The Rehoboth Police Department announce their recent appearance in the 31st Annual Aquidneck Island Police parade in Newport, RI last Sunday. 

   Officers Louise Dibacco and Jacob Miranda “represented the RPD that included the entry of one of our recently acquired Humvee police vehicles.”

    According to the press release, the annual parade honors law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

     “During 2014, there were 127 total law enforcement deaths in the line of duty with the average tour of duty being twelve years and three monts of service,” wrote Brian Ramos of the RPD who described the parade.

    “Agencies from around the nation to include New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Washington D.C. and international agencies such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have commemorated these fallen officers with the local and state including the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Team which comes from the Washington, D.C. barracks to perform and commemorate those officers killed in the line of duty.”  


SCHOOL COMMITTEE SCHEDULES SPECIAL MEETING FOR THURSDAY

(May 5, 2015) The Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School Committee will meet for a special meeting on Thursday at 6:30 PM in the media center at DRRHS. Coming in advance of the annual town meeting on Monday, May 11, this special SchoolCom meeting may prove to be a turning point in what has become a contentious battle over the proposed school budget for FY16.

    District School Superintendent Anthony Azar told the Sun Chronicle, “we are very close to balancing the budget without an override.”  The override refers to the probability the town budget, school budget or both be passed at town meeting contingent on a ballot vote to override the tax-limiting Proposition 2 1/2.

   Last night Rehoboth selectmen at their regular meeting made progress in creating an ad hoc committee to investigate full regionalization of the school district.  While sharing a regional high school, both Rehoboth and Dighton operate a single elementary and single middle school under different budget assessments. Full regionalization would mean one budget to operate an educational campus including DRRHS plus a new elementary/middle school to house all Rehoboth and Dighton students. 

   According to selectmen, Dighton’s elementary and middle schools are currently overcrowded and Rehoboth’s Palmer River and Beckwith Middle require significant restoration.  Building a brand new school will solve both those problems while taking advantage of state and federal funding to fund construction estimated at $8M.


BOS REHOBOTH SELECTMEN TO MEET WITH DIGHTON SELECTMEN TONIGHT; DISCUSS TOWN MEETING; TALK ABOUT AUCTION OF TAX TITLE PROPERTY

(May 4, 2015) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will meet tonight in public session beginning at 7 PM at the Gladys L. Hurrell  Senior Center following an executive session for clerical collective bargaining and an update on DRRSC contract negotiations.

   The first order of regular business will be a discussion with members of the Dighton Board of Selectmen followed by a review of the upcoming May 11 annual and special town meetings with the town moderator and town clerk.

    Other business is a discussion with the tax collector on an anticipated auction of selected tax title properties. The selectmen will also have a discussion with members of the finance committee on the proposed FY16 budget to be voted on at town meeting. 

   Officials have tentatively scheduled two additional nights of town meeting, on Monday, May 18 and Tuesday, May 26, if business is not completed on May 11.


ROUTE 44 TRAFFIC DIVERTED FOR

CAR FIRE, ONE INJURED

(May 1, 2015) Yesterday evening the Rehoboth Fire Department was dispatched to a car fire on Route 44. First arriving units report the car fully involved in flames.      

   According to RFD officials, the unidentified occupants were traveling on Route 44 when their car began to malfunction. After stopping, one occupant was injured when the engine compartment ‘flashed over‘ as he opened the hood.  Rehoboth EMS transported the man to the hospital. Traffic on Route 44 was diverted around the scene for approximately thirty minutes by Rehoboth police while firefighters extinguished the car and the vehicle was removed. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the RFD.


TOWN OFFICIALS OFFER SUMMARY OF BUDGET SITUATION

(May 1, 2015) Last night at Goff Memorial Hall, the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen and Rehoboth Finance Committee hosted a public information meeting for residents on the town’s financial situation.  Using a Powerpoint presentation, officials provided an overview of the upcoming May 11 annual and special town meetings and explained the warrant articles.  They also provided a detailed summary of town’s funding sources, or as it was put ‘Before we can spend money, we need to know how much we have, and where it comes from.”  Residents were able to ask questions following the presentation.  The meeting was taped and can be seen on RehobothTV.com.  The powerpoint presentation is readily available on the town’s website.


REHOBOTH FIRE DEPARTMENT WARNS ‘BURNING SEASON IS OVER’

(May 1, 2015) The Rehoboth Fire Department reminds residents that May 1 is the last day of burning season for 2015. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts sets the dates for open burning and they cannot be changed by local government or the Fire Chief.

   “Anyone who burns after today will be doing so without a permit thus making it illegal,” warns Fire Chief Frank Barresi.  “If the fire department responds to your property for illegal burning you will be subject to fines and possible restitution for the response,” he added.  As a reminder: commercial waste haulers do provide services for the removal of yard waste if needed.


SCHOOL COMMITTEE REJECTS PLEA TO REDUCE PROPOSED FY16 BUDGET

(April 30, 2015) The Dighton Rehoboth Regional School Committee on Tuesday night rejected a request from the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen and Rehoboth Finance Committee to reduce the proposed FY16 school budget assessment by $400K.

   While Rehoboth members of the school committee supported the town’s request, they were outvoted by Dighton members including those questioning Rehoboth’s proposed use free cash in FY16 to replace two fire trucks than can no longer be repaired and face non-compliance.

    In what could be a repeat of last year’s ‘town vs school’ battle at town meeting, similar procedural maneuvering is anticipated by officials on both sides.  It is likely a member of the school committee will propose an amendent to the finance committee’s school budget recommendation in order to pass a $800K increase for FY16, a figure on top of the $1.6 school budget increase made in FY15.

   Finance Committee chairman Michael Deignan has stated he will motion at town meeting to make the budget contingent on passage of a Prop two-and-a-half override ballot.  Last year’s failed override took place July 15 with 37% of registered voters participating. The failure to raise taxes (an estimated average of $300 per Rehoboth household) to offset the increased school budget resulted in a 20 percent across the board budget cut of all town department, except the school district.

   If another override ballot fails, Deignan warned the town will make drastic cuts to service including closing the senior center and cutting funding to the library to zero.  Other cuts mentioned on a list compiled by FinCom include eliminating funding for the park commission, historial commission, agricultural commission, Memorial Day activities, maintenance of the town’s historic cemeteries, and elimination of the tree warden and forestry department, along with reductions to the town roads/drainage program -- all to achieve $443,253 in cuts to offset the increased school budget for next year.

   “The residents will have to decide if they want a Proposition 2 1/2 override to fund those departments, or not,” said Deignan to the Sun Chronicle today. Selectmen have all shared the opinion the town can simply not afford significant increases in the school budget without drastic cuts to all other municipal departments.

    School Superintendent Anthony Azar has said his job is to elevate the district’s state ranking from Level II to Level I and increased funding is needed. School officials say their ever-increasing budget is needed to make the district competitive, increase enrollment to include out of district students, reduce the number of students who enroll in other schools, offer expanded vocational programs, and continue to brand and market the ‘D-R Difference.” 


ATTENTION RESIDENTS: REGISTER, BE INFORMED, ATTEND TOWN MEETING

(April 28, 2015) Rehoboth residents are encouraged to register to vote by Friday, May 1 in order to participate at the annual town meeting and special town meeting to be held on Monday, May 11 in the auditorium at Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School beginning at 7 PM.  The Rehoboth Town Clerk’s Office will be open for special all-day voter registration from 8 AM to 8 PM on Friday, May 1.

   Residents are also asked by town officials to attend an informational ‘Pre-Meeting Meeting” on Thursday, April 30 at Goff Memorial Hall beginning at 7 PM.  Selectmen and members of the town’s finance committee will be on hand to answer questions about the proposed FY16 town budget and warrant articles.  A printed meeting warrant was mailed last week to every Rehoboth household.  You are encouraged to read the warrant and attend the meeting this Thursday to have your questions answered prior to the actual town meeting when questions and comments from voters will have time limits. 

    It is imperative for voting residents to attend town meeting to vote on the proposed budget and other important town business. Last year saw increased attendance by supporters in order to pass an increased school budget that created a $1.7 million deficit in the town’s operating budget.  Following the failure to pass a Proposition 2 1/2 override last summer, officials were forced to make 20 percent across the board cuts in all municipal departments other than the school district.

    Once again this year, the school committee is asking for an additional budget increase that will create a $1.1 million deficit for the town for FY16.  Rehoboth selectmen and the finance committee requested the school committee reduce their proposed budget by $400K, and have further suggested using $400K from the town’s free cash supply, and reduce municipal budgets by $400K. The school committee is meeting tonight and will address the request to lower their proposed budget assessment for Rehoboth’s portion of the regional budget.


TOWN OF REHOBOTH HOSTS SURPLUS EQUIPMENT SALE

(April 24, 2015) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will hold a sale of surplus equipment and vehicles with items for sale available for viewing beginning Monday, May 18 at the Rehoboth Highway Garage, 345 Anawan Street, Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 3 PM.

   Bidding will be accepted through Wednesday, June 3 at 3 PM “at which time all sealed bids will be opened, read aloud and taken under advisement.”

    All bids must be received by that time and items will be sold “as is.” Some items may be subject to a minimum bid amount. Bids must be submitted in separate envelopes and the bid identification number is to be displayed on the front of the envelope along with a brief description; for example, #7—1957 Red Corvette.

   A list of all items currently for sale is available from the Board of Selectmen’s Office or by calling 508-252-3758, ext. 3107. You may also contact the Rehoboth Highway Department at 508-252-3913. Bidders are encouraged to check back frequently for an updated list. The list will be published and updated on RehobothNow as provided.


BOS AND FINCOM INVITE PUBLIC TO BUDGET Q & A MEETING

(April 22, 2015) Rehoboth selectmen, at their regular meeting last night, announced a ‘Pre-Annual Meeting Meeting’ intended as an opportunity for residents to ask questions  about the proposed FY16 budget and warrant articles for the upcoming annual town meeting and special town meeting scheduled for Monday, May 11 at 7 PM in the DRRHS auditorium.

    The Q & A will be held at Goff Memorial Hall on Thursday, April 30 at 7 PM.  According to selectmen, the meeting will be broadcast live on RehobothTV Channel 9 and available for viewing on demand at RehobothTV.com.  Along with the BOS and FinCom, town department heads and committee representatives have been urged to attend to answer questions from the public regarding their proposed budget lines and warrant articles.

  Selectmen last night also voted to stop pursuing participation in a proposed multi-community public communications center coordinated by the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD). SRPEDD representatives told selectmen the town has “everything to gain and nothing to lose” by getting onboard in the preliminary process of looking into regional 911 dispatch that would be located in Fall River. Neighboring Dighton has already voted to commence negotiations, although the project will depend on state funding. One of the concerns expressed by Rehoboth selectmen are the probable, eventual loss of local dispatcher jobs if a regional dispatch center is established.

    The BOS  quickly reviewed an open meeting law complaint against the town made by a resident of Chicopee, MA. According to Town Administrator Jeff Ritter, the matter was discussed with town legal counsel and a reply to the complaint sent to all appropriate parties.  A determination will be made at some point by the Office of the MA Attorney General.


SELECTMEN TO DISCUSS OPEN MEETING LAW COMPLAINT TONIGHT

(April 21, 2015) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen meet tonight at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center at 7 PM in regular session with an agenda that includes discussion of an unspecified open meeting law complaint.

    A presentation will be held tonight of a feasibility study for a southeastern Massachusetts multi-community public safety communications center.  Selectmen will also approve and sign the warrants for special town meeting and annual town meeting, both to be on the same night of May 11 at 7 PM in the high school auditorium.  The BOS will also review their annual report for 2014.

    Other agenda items tonight include budget amendments, snow and ice removal invoices.  As always, open public forum will be conducted after agenda items and before selectmen’s reports.


REHOBOTH POLICE REPORT INCREASE IN HOUSE BREAK INS

(April 18, 2015) The Rehoboth Police Department issued a press release this morning warning local residents about an increase in recent house breaks.

      According to police, several house breaks have occurred throughout town in the last week, with a majority of the occurring during daytime hours. They ask that residents remain vigilant and report any suspicious person(s) or activity to the police immediately. Residents should also secure their homes and vehicles when left unattended, and utilize an alarm system if available. 

   Anyone with possible information regarding these recent incidents can contact Sgt. Brian Ramos 508-252-3722 ext. 1120.


FINANCE COMMITTEE RELEASES LETTER TO RESIDENTS AND

BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MAY TOWN MEETING WARRANT

(April 18, 2015) In a meeting held on Thursday night, members of the Rehoboth Finance Committee approved their final recommendations for the FY16 budget to be voted on at the annual town meeting.

   They also submitted their formal letter to residents for inclusion in the printed warrant for special and annual town meetings to be mailed soon to Rehoboth households.  The letter announces a ‘Pre-Town-Meeting Meeting’ or financial summit scheduled for Thursday, April 30 with both the board of selectmen and finance committee. Members will be available to answer questions about the town budget.


Click here for FinCom letter to residents.     Click here for FY16 Budget Recommendations.


TOWN OFFICIALS AND SCHOOL COMMITTEE REACH IMPASSE ON BUDGET

(April 16, 2015) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, and School Committee, along with the school superintendent and district business manager, met together last night at the senior center to discuss the FY16 proposed budget.

   With a proposed school budget increase of $715,000 for FY16 added to the FY15 increase of $1.7M (a total of $2.4M in two years), the town faces with a deficit of $1.2M.  Finance Committee Chairman Michael Deignan presented a plan to reduce the proposed FY16 budget by making $400K in cuts from town department budgets, using $400K from free cash, and asking the school department to reduce their proposed budget assessment by $400K. 

    “If the town can find $400 thousand in our $8.1M budget,” said Deignan, “I am sure the school department can find $400 thousand in their $15.77M budget.”  He added the objective before town meeting on May 11 is to work together to balance the needs of the town and the needs of the school department.

   The town’s financial position is affected by Proposition 2 1/2 that limited tax increases and only a trickling revenue stream from the limited number of businesses in town. An override of Prop 2 1/2 failed last summer when the town faced a budget deficit of $1.7M when residents approved an equal amount increase for schools at town meeting. The town’s response was to cut 20 percent from all other town departments including public safety and the highway department.

    “We are at the bones,” said Selectman Sue Pimental, “the school budget is unsustainable in our budget.”

     School Superintendent Anthony Azar, who was appointed last July, said his responsibility is to bring the district up from a Level 2  ranking to a Level I ranking.  School districts in Massachusetts are ranked on a five-level scale under the 2010 Act Relative to the Achievement Gap.  He outlined the improvements and initiatives taken this year to improve the district to be competitive including restructuring and reallocating programs and funding. He also acknowledged a past dysfunctional relationship between school administration and the district business manager that has improved with transparency.

    “I can not reduce any more out of the side we’re on,” said Selectmen Skip Vadnais.  “You’ve got to give us something more,” he added. BOS Chairman Michael Costello cut to the chase.  “We know what you need and you know what we need.  Do you have a bottom number?”

    School Committee Chairman Eliza Couture replied that “we can’t give you a number tonight,” but added they will discuss the request to reduce their proposed budget at their next meeting. 

   If either Rehoboth or Dighton residents do not approve a school budget at respective town meetings, the state will eventually step in to make determinations that will affect both the school and town budgets.

    “When the state comes in and takes over, it’s out of our control,” said Pimental.

 

REHOBOTH SELECTMEN TO MEET FOR REGULAR MONDAY MEETING AND 

DISCUSSION WITH SCHOOL COMMITTEE AND FINANCE COMMITTEE 

(April 13, 2015) Rehoboth selectmen are scheduled to meet twice this week including their regular weekly meeting tonight at the senior center beginning in executive session at 6 PM followed by the public segment at 7 PM.  The BOS will also meet on Wednesday for a joint discussion with the Rehoboth Finance Committee and the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School Committee.

   Tonight’s regular meeting agenda includes a discussion with Acting Police Chief Lt. James Trombetta to review the police department’s capital improvement inventory list.  Last week, Trombetta told selectmen the department needs three new cruisers and an increased budget to support two additional patrolman positions. The board will also discuss the anticipated purchase of new fire trucks as part of the FY16 budget with members of the finance committee.

   Selectmen will also vote to close a continued public hearing related to granting a Class II auto license to Car Crazy, LLC, a business that hopes to open at 51 Winthrop Street but is running into zoning bylaw compliance issues.  Other business includes appointments, budget amendments, and a review the warrants for special town meeting and annual town meeting on May 11.

    On Wednesday, the BOS will meet jointly with the school committee and finance committee on issues related to the FY16 budget. The school committee originally proposed a 6.24% increase in the regional school budget over the current school budget. After a Proposition 2 1/2 override failed last summer, the town was forced to make 20 percent budget cuts in all town department in order to pay for the $1.6M school budget increase approved at town meeting last May.

     The school committee recently submitted a reduced budget increase of less than 4 percent, but according to

FinCom Chair Michael Deignan, even that number will mean a $1.1M deficit for the town. According to Deignan, the school committee indicated last week they may be able to “shave” an additional $200-300K from their proposed budget. 

    Upon review of the school district’s latest published budget, FinCom member George Solas identified over 100 budget line items amounting to nearly $700K  that were not expended during that fiscal year.  Those same items are listed on the district’s proposed FY16 budget.  That issue, as well as the district’s Excess and Deficiency (E & D) funds, are both topics likely to be discussed in detail at Wednesday night’s special joint meeting set to begin at 7 PM at the senior center.  As always the public is invited and encouraged to attend.


REHOBOTH POLICE ASK FOR THREE NEW CRUISERS, MORE OFFICERS

(April 8, 2015) Along with announcing a grant from the state, Rehoboth Acting Police Chief Lt. James Trombetta told selectmen last night the department will need three new cruisers and the budget to fund two additional patrolman positions. 

    Trombetta said he recently received notice from the state of a $30K grant to be used specifically for departmental equipment. He reviewed with selectmen the department’s proposed budget for next fiscal year including a need for three new police cruisers.  Last year the department purchased five new cruisers as part of the town’s capital needs plan.  

    Last year, due to a budget deficit of over $1.6M, all town departments were required to cut their budgets by 20 percent. For the police department that meant postponing Trombetta’s promotion to chief, and reassigning three detectives to patrol duty. Funding for two additional full-time officers is being requested by Trombetta for FY16. Next year’s police budget will also include the chief’s salary, benefit package and incentive pay.

    The town’s finance committee is reviewing the proposed FY16 budget to be voted on by residents on May 11 at town meeting.  According to FinCom Chair Michael Deignan, the town faces a budget deficit of $1.2M if budget increases proposed by the school district is passed.  Selectmen, who have no control over how the district spends the municipal funding for education, will appeal in good faith to district administration and the school committee to lower their requested budget.

   

UNCONTESTED RACES = LOW VOTER TURNOUT IN REHOBOTH

(April 7, 2015) Only five percent of Rehoboth registered voters turned up to vote yesterday in the annual spring town election.  With only uncontested races this year, there were no surprises other than some votes for write-in candidates.   Full election results can be found here.


REP. HOWITT SECURES $616K IN CHAPTER 90 FUNDING FOR REHOBOTH

(April 3, 2015) Representative Steven Howitt announced yesterday Rehoboth will receive $615,931 for road and bridge repairs as part of a $200 million Chapter 90 bond authorization approved by the House of Representatives on March 25.

   The state’s Chapter 90 program allocates funding for road and bridge maintenance and repairs using a formula that is based on a weighted average of a city or town's population, employment, and total mileage of roads. The funds are paid out as reimbursements to communities for qualifying infrastructure work.

Chapter 90 funds can be used for a variety of municipal roadway projects, including resurfacing, drainage, sidewalks, traffic control and street lighting. The funding can also be used for certain road building machinery, equipment and tools.

   "I am quite pleased that this was a unanimous vote by the House for much needed Chapter 90 local aid. Not only is this state money much needed on top of the already approved pot hole local aid funding, but this money, subject to the Senate approval, will be released in a timely manner so roadwork can start as soon as possible", said Representative Howitt,

   Governor Baker previously released $100 million in Chapter 90 bond funding in January, shortly after taking office. That money, along with the $200 million approved by the House of Representatives, will be used by municipalities during the 2015 construction season, which runs from April to November.

Earlier this month, the Baker Administration allocated an additional $30 million in bond funding to reimburse cities and towns under the Winter Recovery Assistance Program (WRAP). The WRAP program is designed to assist municipalities with the cost of repairing or replacing damaged signs, guardrails, storm drains and line striping, while also helping to pay for filling potholes, repairing cracks in pavement and addressing other road surface defects.

The bill now heads to the Senate for further action.


SELECTMEN REVIEW STM AND ATM WARRANTS TONIGHT

(March 30, 2015) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will meet tonight at the senior center in regular session beginning at 7 PM with an agenda including a review of both the Special Town Meeting (STM) and Annual Town Meeting (ATM) warrants, along with a discussion with Town Moderator William Cute on town meeting articles.

   Other business on this evening’s agenda includes a public hearing on an application for a Class II Auto license for Car Crazy Auto, LLC located at 51 Winthrop Street. Selectmen will also vote to approve snow and ice removal invoices of nearly $19K for a total deficit of over $158K for this winter season.

    Selectmen will also vote to sign a Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT) contract for winter recovery assistance for $92K. They will also hold a discussion on the town’s municipal representative for regional school committee collective bargaining.


HISTORIC HORNBINE MAY BE FORCED TO REDUCE PROGRAMS NEXT YEAR

(March 28, 2015) Rehoboth’s historical one-room schoolhouse, the Hornbine School, may be forced to reduce programs in 2016 if volunteers don’t step forward to train this spring to serve as ‘teachers’ for visiting classrooms of elementary students.

    Last year over 600 students had the unique opportunity to spend a school day ‘back in time’ at the Hornbine School. Along with 150 third-graders from Palmer River School, over four hundred students from Swansea, North Dartmouth, Rumford, Barrington, and Providence visited the school and learned what it was like to attend a one-room schoolhouse in the 1860s.

   Bev Pettine, who has served as the director of the visitation program and performed the duties of ‘school marm‘ for the last seventeen years announced her retirement.  Without volunteers to assume Pettine’s many responsibilities in 2016, the future of the unique visitation program is in question.

    “We have a wonderful old building and great program that has been carefully developed over seventeen years,” said Cathy Potter of the Rehoboth Historical Commission. “It would be sad to lose it.”  Potter is concerned that without volunteers stepping up soon, the school will only be able to host Palmer River students this year.

    The Hornbine Association is hosting an meeting at the school on Saturday, April 11 at 10:30 AM for potential volunteers including those who wish to train as ‘teachers.”  Members of the non-profit association that operates the school will be on hand to answer questions about volunteer opportunities.  Those who cannot make this meeting can contact Cathy Potter at 508-252-3682. 


REHOBOTH POLICE ARREST RI MAN FOR DUI

(March 28, 2015) Rehoboth police earlier this morning arrested a Rhode Island man following a traffic stop on charges including operating under the influence.

    Officer James Casey while on patrol stopped a vehicle on Brook Street after observing “several instances of erratic and unsafe operation.”  Kenneth Beck, age 47 of Burrillville, RI was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, operating to endanger, and  operating after suspension. He was released on $240 bail and is due in Taunton District Court on Monday for arraignment.


REHOBOTH RESIDENTS ASKED TO REPORT POTHOLES 

(March 27, 2015) Residents of Rehoboth are encouraged to notify the appropriate offices to report potholes. For potholes on state maintained roadways (Route 44 and Route 6), please notify  the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Transportation as to the exact pothole location if possible.  Or call the MassDOT’s pothole hotline at 857-368-4636.

    Any potholes located on town roads should be reported to the Rehoboth Highway Department at 508-252-3912. Please note that Route 118 (Tremont/Anawan/Plain/Moulton Streets/Bay State Road) is a town road.


AGRICULTURAL COMMISSION TO HOST WORKSHOP

(March 25, 2015) The Rehoboth Agricultural Commission will host a free informational workshop on cost share programs offered by the Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural to farmers and landowners in the Palmer River Watershed. 

     Residents are invited to come learn more on Thursday, April 30 at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center beginning at 7 PM.  Information will be provided on both federal and state cost share programs designed to help landowners address water quality concerns and improve the condition of their operations. Farmers, woodlot owners and equine operations are encouraged to attend. 

     The workshop is part of an ongoing series of educational sessions offered by the Agricultural Commission to help address water quality concerns in the Palmer River Watershed.  Future workshop will include farm tours and open barn events. 


VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR HISTORIC
HORNBINE ONE-ROOM SCHOOL

(March 24, 2015) The Hornbine School and Rehoboth Historical Commission are seeking enthusiastic volunteers to help at the historic one-room schoolhouse located on Hornbine Road.

    Since the schoolhouse was first restored in the 1960s, it has taken the tireless effort and enthusiasm of small groups of Rehoboth residents to maintain this gem of a historic site.

    Bev Pettine, who has managed most of the responsibilities at the Hornbine School for the last seventeen years, is retiring in June following the annual spring season of visits from area elementary classrooms.     

    As the designated “school marm” she’s hosted thousands of elementary students who visit the school to “step back in time” to when Rehoboth children of all ages attended a one-room school in their neighborhood.  It is a tradition for third graders from Palmer River Elementary School to spend a day at Hornbine, dress in period attire,  and learn lessons sitting at antique desks using slates and chalk.  The children also have a chance to play outdoors trying old-fashioned games, bring their lunch in a basket or tin, and use the “sanitary” or outhouse behind the school.

    “We hope to find individuals who will enjoy taking on one or more responsibilities at the school, said local historian and retired Palmer River teacher Dave Downs.  “Although the teaching position is one of the most important, there are many other ways individuals can get involved.”

    Volunteers are needed to work as docents for regularly scheduled Sunday open houses that are held twice a month June through September from 2 to 4 PM.  Eight open houses are held during the summer season. Other volunteers are needed to assist with opening and/or closing of building each season.

    “There are many other possibilities available for individuals who treasure history,” added Downs who helps coordinate Hornbine operation and functions along with Cathy Potter of the Rehoboth Historical Commission.

    Those interested in ‘teaching’ duties are encouraged to start this spring to take advantage of the help and guidance of Pettine before she retires.  Please contact either Dave Downs at 508-222-7326 or Cathy Potter at 508-252-3682 for more information.


TEMPORARY BUILDING INSPECTOR APPOINTED

(March 24, 2015)  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen last night during their regular meeting introduced an additional agenda item to appoint a temporary building inspector. 

    After accepting the sudden resignation of Tom Nerney as the town’s building inspector, selectmen appoint Michael O’Hern to the postion, effective immediately.  According to BOS chair Mike Costello, O’Hern agreed to come out of retirement when asked earlier that day to assume the temporary position.  With vast experience and knowledge of municipal policies and building inspection, O’Hern will be able to step in and manage the office of building inspection starting today.  Costello did not elaborate on the reasons for the sudden departure of Nerney.


SELECTMEN AND FIN COM CONTINUE BUDGET TALKS TONIGHT

(March 23, 2015)  Following an executive session and meeting the town legal counsel, the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will meet tonight at the senior center in regular session at 7 PM for continued discussions with department heads and councils on their proposed FY16 budgets.

     Selectmen will hear from forestry, veterans services, council on aging, cemetery commission, board of assessors, the town accountant and members of the finance committee. Previously in the last month, the BOS held budget discussions with the school district, police, fire, and highway department.

     Tonight selectmen will also review warrants for annual town meeting and special town meeting to be held on Monday, May 11 this year.  They will also vote to forward a preliminary FY16 budget to the finance committee.

     Some other business is on the regular agenda tonight including approval of several budge amendements, approval of snow and ice removal invoices.  To date, the town is running a total deficit of $139,654 for snow and ice removal costs.  Following the regular session of agenda items, open public forum will be held before individual selectmen’s reports.


STOP FOR LOUD MUFFLER LEADS TO ARREST OF SOMERSET MAN

(March 22, 2015)  After stopping a driver on Tremont Street yesterday morning for a loud muffler and missing front license plate, Rehoboth police arrested the driver for drug possession.

    Patrolman James Casey arrested Matthew J. Decambra, age 26 of County Street in Somerset after discovering he was in possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute.  He was also charged with a registration place violation and equipment violation.  Decambra was booked and released on $540. cash bail and is scheduled for arraignment on Monday in Taunton District Court.


JOINT DISCUSSION TONIGHT ON SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET

(March 16, 2015)  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will have a joint discussion tonight on the proposed FY16 school district budget at their regular Monday night meeting at the senior center at 7 PM.

   Joining the selectmen will be the town’s finance committee along with district superintendent Dr. Anthony Azar and members of the regional school committee.

    The school district in late February had proposed a FY16 budget that includes an increase of over $1 million in additional funding from Rehoboth to a budget already increased by over $1.6 million at the 2014 spring town meeting. There is a proposed 6.24% increase in the total assessment for the entire regional school budget shared by Rehoboth and Dighton. Rehoboth’s contribution this year is $14,712,299 with Dighton contributing $8,423,946.   For FY16, Rehoboth is being asked for an additional $1,029,147 and Dighton for an additional $712,115.

    Transportation costs for Rehoboth students in the proposed budget is $1,221,135, and a proposed $999,754 for Dighton transportation.

   Other business at tonight’s BOS meeting include a budget discussion with newly promoted Acting Police Chief Lt. James Trombetta who is slated to become permanent chief on July 1.  Tonight Trombetta will present his FY16 budget including his salary, benefit and bonus package.

   Also on the agenda is old business on the topic of directional signs displayed on utility poles.


WATER PROBLEM FIXED: SENIOR CENTER REOPENS

(March 13, 2015)  After being closed on Monday due to a water problem, the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center has reopened for regular activities today.  According to an announcement on the Town of Rehoboth website, the following people were thanked for helping to fix the water problem that forced closure of the town owned building that is operated by the Council on Aging.  Those thanked include Health Agent Bob Ashton, Plumbing Inspector Jim Sine, Selectmen Dave Perry, and the highway department.


SENIOR CENTER REMAINS CLOSED DUE TO WATER PROBLEM

(March 12, 2015)  The Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center remains closed for today and tomorrow due to a water problem that caused officials to close the building on Monday. Regularly scheduled activities have been curtailed including AARP tax preparation appointments.  Residents with questions may call 508-252-3372.


TUESDAY MORNING FIRE ON COUNTY STREET

(March 10, 2015) The Rehoboth Fire Department credits an alert passer-by for calling in a report of smoke coming from a shed behind a home on County Street in Rehoboth this morning.

     Firefighters were dispatched around 8 AM and quickly knocked down the fire, saving most of the contents of the wooden shed.  According to Fire Chief Frank Barresi, three engines and a tanker responded to the fire. 

   All units cleared the scene by around 9:30 AM.  Seekonk Fire Department provided an engine for coverage.  The cause of the fire appears to be accidental, but is under investigation.


UPDATE ON ANAWAN RESERVOIR DRAWDOWN

(March 4, 2015) The Anawan Club released an update on the water drawdown that began in January at the Anawan Reservoir, also known as Bad Luck Pond. 

   “Due to weather delays, the drawdown of the Anawan Reservoir will resume March 9, 2015. This notice is to remind the public that any ice that has developed or continues to develop on the Reservoir remains UNSAFE and is not to be trespassed on. Signs to this affect have been installed at common access points.”

   Operating a private clubhouse on the pond since 1896, the Anawan Club has an ongoing large construction project through the winter. “We are rebuilding the entire berm, replacing discharge apparatus and other safety considerations recommended by the Massachusetts Office of Dam Safety,” said Hutson earlier this year. The project has been held up by winter weather conditions, but hoped to be completed before summer.


SNOW CAUSES BARN COLLAPSE ON MARTIN STREET

(March 3, 2015) Rehoboth public safety personnel responded yesterday morning to the report of a barn collapse on Martin Street.  A riding ring attached to the barn had caved in pulling the roof in front of the stalls down with it. Because horse stalls were not accessible from the front, the rear doors were pried open and three horses removed safely. There were no injuries to the residents or the animals. The town animal control officer and building inspector were also on the scene. Rehoboth Fire Department companies cleared the scene within two hours.  


SUSPECT IN DECEMBER INCIDENT APPREHENDED

(March 3, 2015)   A suspect who escaped on foot into the woods off County Street after a minor car crash last December, leaving behind a suitcase full of drugs, was arraigned yesterday in Taunton District Court on a variety of charges following his apprehension by Rehoboth police.

    On February 26, Gilberto Oliveira-Mendes was driving a U-Haul moving truck through Rehoboth on Route 44 when he was stopped by Officer Craig Forget for a minor vehicle infraction. The twenty-one-year-old Taunton man then took off at a high rate of speed toward Seekonk.  Officer Forget pursued the truck westward on Route 44 into East Providence and onto Route 195 before exiting at South Main Street where Oliveira-Mendes abandoned the vehicle and took off on foot.  After a lengthy chase, Officer Forget took custody of Oliveira-Mendes in the area of Peck St in Providence with the assistance of RI State Police, Providence Police and East Providence Police.

     Acting Police Chief Lt. James Trombetta identified Oliveira-Mendes as the suspect wanted on drug trafficking charges stemming from the December incident on County Street. Oliveira-Mendes fled that scene on foot, dropping a suitcase containing a large quantity of narcotics including heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and oxycodone pills. 

    An arrest warrant was issued for Oliveira-Mendes and he has eluded police for over two months. Yesterday he was arraigned on charges from both the December 17 and February 26 incidents including: trafficking cocaine, trafficking heroin, possession to distribute Class D substance, speeding, reckless operation, failure to stop for police, marked land violations, failure to stop for a red light, and operating with a suspended license.


REHOBOTH FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS

(March 3, 2015) The Rehoboth Fire Department is pleased to announce the promotions of three lieutenants to the rank of Captain.

    Scott Wentworth was promoted to the rank of Captain assigned to Station 1 (Center Station). A member of the Rehoboth Fire Department for fifteen years, Captain Wentworth has served seven years as a lieutenant. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Fire Academy with certifications in Firefighter I/II and Fire Officer I.  He also is a member of the Rehoboth Call Firefighters Association.

   Ken Marcotrigiano was promoted to the rank of Captain assigned to Station 2 (North Station).  Captain Marcotrigiano has served the RFD for twenty-seven years with twelve years as lieutenant. He is the fire department’s EMS Coordinator and is Co-President of the Rehoboth Call Firefighters Association. 

   Dan Noons was promoted to the rank of Captain assigned to Station 3 (South Station). A thirty year veteran of the RFD, he served seven years as lieutenant.  Captain Noons is Co-President of the Rehoboth Call Firefighters Association, and serves the Department with his two brothers, Deputy Bob Noons and Assistant Chief Al Noons.


ARREST OF SUSPECT IN 2012 REHOBOTH HOME BREAK-IN

(February 28, 2015)   The Rehoboth Police Department reports the arrest yesterday of a suspect in a 2012 break-in of a Pleasant Street home based on DNA evidence analyzed by the Massachusetts State Police Forensic Services Group.

   Vincent Derrico, age 37 of North Providence RI was taken into custody by Rehoboth police after being apprehended in Rhode Island and held as a fugitive from justice based on an outstanding Rehoboth arrest warrant.       

    Derrico was linked to the home break-in through blood collected as DNA evidence from the crime scene.  Hewas arraigned yesterday in Taunton District Court on charges of breaking and entering during the daytime, and larceny over $250.  

     According to police, Derrico is the third break-in suspect arrested in the past year based on DNA evidence collected at the scene by Rehoboth detectives.  A twenty-four-year old Fall River man, Paul LaFrance was linked to a December 2011 vehicle break-in on Chestnut Street.  Stephen Babbin, age 44 of Carver, MA and Warwick, RI was linked to a December 2010 breaking and entering of a home on Plain Street. It is unknown if either men has been convicted of the alleged crimes.


SELECTMEN WANT ACCOUNTABILITY FOR MONDAY SCHOOL CLOSURE

(February 27, 2015) Rehoboth selectmen at their regular meeting Monday night expressed their concern and great displeasure the Dighton Rehoboth Regional School District closed schools on Monday following winter vacation week.

    The district sent out an automated messages to parents early Monday morning that schools would not be opened. While poor weather was not a factor on Monday in the closure of all schools, safety of roofs with snow accumulations was the issue provided by the school district.

   “All schools were closed today and nobody told our building inspector about unsafe roofs,” said Michael Costello, BOS chairman, who added he began receiving calls from parents early that morning.  When local officials went to the high school to investigate they found “three high school students on the roof shoveling snow.”  When asked, they said they were working for a local contractor and were immediately told to stop and get off the roof. Costello said the Superintendent of Schools office was closed.

    “This is unacceptable,” noted Costello who questioned why the district new facilities manager did not address snow removal on the roofs during the vacation week.  “I hope the Rehoboth members of the school committee ask him some serious questions.”  With increased school funding this fiscal year, the district was able to create a new position of facilities manager to oversee the five schools in Rehoboth and Dighton for a salary of over $80K plus benefits.

   Selectmen Joe Tito said he received the automated notice as he was getting his daughter ready for school that morning.  “As a parent, I was not happy,” he emphasized as families were left scrambling at the last minute to find child care or miss work.  “The evaluation (of the roofs) should have been done last week.”  

    Selectmen Sue Pimental agreed that district administration “dropped the ball” and wondered why the Rehoboth building inspector was not called and informed last week of any problems.

    “We are always left in the dark with regard to the schools,” concluded Costello.  “I think they need to communicate with us and our public safety people.”


CANDIDATES FOR REHOBOTH SPRING ELECTION - NO COMPETITION

(February 20, 2015) Tuesday was the deadline for spring election candidates to submit their nomination papers either independently or through a party caucus, and all candidates for the April 6 election run unopposed this year.

   There are two candidates for the two available selectmen’s seat, both nominated by the Republication caucus.  Susan Pimental will retain her seat on the BOS, and Gerald Schwall will assume the seat of Dr. Joe Tito who decided not to run for a third term.

    The Republic caucus also nominated incumbents David A. Katseff and Katherine F. (Dennen) Cooper for Dighotn-Rehoboth School Committee. Incumbent Town Clerk Laura Schwall was nominated for a three-year term. Incumbent Susan Taylor was nominated to retain her position on the board of assessors.  Charles Procopio, who currently serves as a member of the board of assessors, was nominated for another five-year term on the park commission. Robert E. Johnson, II was selected by the caucus for another tree-year term as tree warden. Incumbent David Perry, Jr. for chosen for another three-year term as stormwater officer.  Thirty-year veteran of the planning board Edward Berozzi, Jr. was nominated for another five year term. Lynore McKim, who serves on both the park commission and Rehoboth Cultural Council, was nominated for a five-year term on the housing authority.

   The Democratic caucus nominated long-time Town Moderator William Cute for another one-year term. The also nominated incumbent Thomas Nicholson to another three-year term on the water commission. 

   Only a few town offices are paid positions including the town clerk and town assessor.  The town moderator position usually involves payent of a stipend for conducting the two traditional town meetings held each year along with extra meetings as needed, but Cute has declined compensation.

     Last year, the voter turnout for spring town election was dismal due to mostly uncontested races. Only 1,362 of the town’s 8,078 registered voters bothered to go to the polls.


UPDATE ON SNOW REMOVAL; UPDATED SNOW SURVEY RESULTS

(February 19, 2015) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen spent some time at their Monday night meeting discussing snow removal. A modified snow and ice removal policy was approved last autumn when the town budget was cut by 20 percent affecting all town departments except the district school budget. 

    The most significant change is waiting until three inches of snow has fallen before plows take to the roadways, along with fewer town employees in the highway department.  The town currently operates eleven vehicles with three employees along with hired sub-contractors to operate town equipment.  According to BOS Chairman Mike Costello, the town additionally hires 23 independent snow plow drivers.

    Town Administrator Jeff Ritter said the town has spent $215,000 on snow removal so far this year. Traditionally the snow removal budget goes over the anticipated amount.  The estimate for FY15 was $200,000. 

    While there have been some complaints about both secondary and tertiary roadways, town officials praised the work of the highway department.  Costello emphasized one problem relates to the use of a sand/salt mix on the roads instead of straight salting. The policy to use a sand/salt mix was approved at town meeting several years ago in response to concerns about salt damage to water sources and wells.

    Ritter took a moment to thank observant town employees who noticed the town office buildings, which were closed at the time, had no heat.  A prompt investigation revealed the heating oil tanks were empty and had not been automatically refilled by the service provider.  The problem was corrected before any damage occurred.

    Results from the RehobothNow Snow Survey have been updated today reflecting an additional 26 respondents. The survey will remain active through the end of the month. Share your opinions!


REHOBOTH FIRE DEPARTMENT REMINDER: KEEP YOUR VENTS CLEAR

(February 16, 2015) With the accumulation of multiple recent snow storms, the Rehoboth Fire Department reminds residents to keep all vents for fuel burning appliances clear. 

   According to Fire Chief Frank Barresi, the department has received numerous calls for carbon monoxide alarms.  In some cases, firefighters discovered CO at dangerous levels.  Massachusetts law requires dwellings to have working CO detectors on every level. 

    “If you need assistance with getting a CO detector or need a site visit to ensure proper placement, just call us,” said Barresi.  Those interested should call the RFD at 508-252-3725.

    On Saturday morning, RFD assisted with mutual aid to a two-alarm fire in Berkley by sending a tanker and personnel.  With a temperature of minus-eleven degrees on arrival, firefighters dealt with freezing water, hoses and trucks.  “It took a strong effort to extinguish the fire,” said Baressi.  The Rehoboth apparatus returned to the station later Saturday morning.


OWNER DESPERATE TO FIND LOST ELDERLY ‘THERAPEUTIC’ DOG

(February 13, 2015) An Attleboro women is desperate to locate her elderly companion dog that may the same yellow canine seen by two witnesses in the vicinity of Route 44.

     “Pete” is a fourteen-year-old, yellow lab mix dog that acts as a “therapeutic companion” to Roxanne Houghton of Attleboro who believes the dog may be somewhere in Rehoboth or Norton. Pete went missing on January 22 from their home and may be limping due to a soft tissue injury in a rear leg. 

    She is not wearing a collar and is friendly to people, but not fond of other dogs. Houghton has been in contact with Rehoboth Animal Control.

    According to Houghton who has asthma, Pete serves as her ‘therapy’ dog, but is not a formally trained service animal.  “She has been my instinctual therapy dog,” explained Houghton who depends on Pete to calm her when she has a severe asthma attack.

    If you see this animal, please contact either Jane Foster, Rehoboth Animal Control Officer at 508-252-5421, ext. 3126, or call Roxanne Houghton directly at  774-254-0359.


REHOBOTH RESIDENTS SHARING THEIR OPINIONS ON SNOW REMOVAL

(February 12, 2015) As of publishing time this morning, 46 people responded to the snow survey opened on February 9.  You can view the current results today on the Survey page including unedited written comments by anonymous respondents.

    The survey will remain active through the end of the month at RehobothNow opinion survey and the results will be updated on February 20 and 27.


TOWN OFFICE CLOSED TODAY; NO MUNICIPAL MEETINGS

(February 9, 2015) The Rehoboth Town Office is closed today due to the poor weather conditions.  There are no municipal meeting scheduled for today. 


HOW ARE YOU DEALING WITH WINTER 2015? 

(February 9, 2015)  Take a quick RehobothNow opinion survey about snow and ice removal on town roadways, and the town services you may have used during over the winter so far. You can also share you stories, both positive and negative.  This survey will remain active through the month of February.  Results will be published on the Survey page beginning February 12 and updated daily.


RPD ARREST TWO FALL RIVER MEN AT GUNPOINT

(February 5, 2015) The Rehoboth Police Department report the arrests at gunpoint of two Fall River men yesterday night around 9 PM after a manhunt of several hours in the area of Almeida Road and Barney Avenue near Seekonk.

   Five hours earlier, an alert was issued by East Providence police searching for a gold-colored Mercedes Benz traveling at speeds of over 100 mph on I-195 towards the Massachusetts state line.  When the
Mercedes reached a traffic jam caused by two accidents in the highway, the driver attempted backing up according to witnesses and got stuck in snow on the median. The two men then fled on foot near the area of Almeida Road.
   Massachusetts State Police, along with Rehoboth and Seekonk police began an extensive search of the area that lasted several hours. Sgt. James Medeiros of the RPD spotted the two suspects walking toward Barney Road and after a brief pursuit held them at gunpoint until additional officers arrived to assist including Officers Jacob Miranda and Thomas Ranley.
It was discovered later the two were hiding on the roof of a business.

    Robert Dias, age 29 of Fall River and Richard Ferreira, age 36 of Fall River, were taken into custody charged with breaking and entering the Old Castle Precast building in Almeida Road, trespassing and resisting arrest.  Dias was additionally charged with heroin possession and had two outstanding arrest warrants for armed robbery in New Bedford.  Bail for Dias was set at $4,540 and Ferreira’s bail was set at $2,540.  Both were transported to the Bristol County House of Corrections and due in Taunton District Court today for arraignment.


TOWN OFFICIALS MAKE UP MEETINGS TONIGHT

(February 5, 2015) The Rehoboth Board of Selection will make up Monday’s canceled meeting tonight at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center beginning at  6:15 PM with an executive session followed by regular session at 7 PM.

    The BOS agenda for executive session includes issues related to collective bargaining with non-union personnel, and litigation involving REPAC vs TOR, REPAC vs Ritter, and collective bargaining with the clerical union.  Their regular session includes a variety of business.  They will meet with members of the finance committee on funding alternatives for “proposed revisions to the Regional School District Agreement.”  Selectmen will also meet with members of the animal advisory committee to review their recommendations for the town animal shelter and other animal-related issues. 

    The Rehoboth Finance Committee will also meet tonight at the senior center to approve a reserve fund transfer from the fire department and also meet with selectmen during their regular session.

    The Rehoboth Community Preservation Committee (CPC) has a rescheduled executive session tonight with the town’s Agricultural and Natural Resources Preservation Council at the town office.  No information was released on the topic of this meeting.

    The CPC will make up a canceled meeting at 7:30 tonight in the lunch room of the town office while the Rehoboth Agricultural Commission makes up their meeting in the main meeting room of the town office tonight at 7:30 PM.

 

TOWN OFFICE CLOSED TODAY; BOS AND FIN COM MEETINGS CANCELED

(February 2, 2015) The Rehoboth Town Office is closed today due to weather conditions.  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen Meeting scheduled for tonight at the senior center is canceled, along with the scheduled meeting of the Rehoboth Finance Committee.


REHOBOTH AMBULANCE SEEKS BOARD MEMBER

(February 2, 2015) The Rehoboth Ambulance Committee, Inc. is looking for a member of the community to serve on the Board of Directors. RAC is a registered non-profit organization providing emergency medical services to the residents and visitors to the Town of Rehoboth. The committee is led Chairperson/Chief Scott Meagher with assistance from a vice-chairperson, secretary and treasurer, and the board of directors.

   The board of directors consists of four members of the RAC and three members of the community who are not members of the RAC. These outside members of the board may be residents of Rehoboth, former residents of Rehoboth who lived in Rehoboth for at least three years, or medical professionals. The board of directors meets monthly on the first Tuesday of each month in the evening.

   If you have been looking for a way to help Rehoboth Ambulance, please contact Don Tebeau at 508-216-4956 with questions or email him at dtebeau@rehobothambulance.org.


SUPPORT THE RFD CALL FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION

(February 2, 2015) The Rehoboth Call Firefighters Association has announced the 44th Annual Firemen’s Ball will be held in Saturday, March 21 at Hillside Country Club.  This full-filled night with members of the RFD is also a major fundraiser for the department.

   The Rehoboth Fire Department is a call department that is staffed by local residents, your neighbors. These residents selflessly give up many hours of their free time to serve our community. These hours are spent performing drills, duty time, fighting fires, assisting Rehoboth Ambulance and performing multiple other duties beneficial to the community.

   As a group, the Rehoboth Call Firefighters Association (RCFA) helps to raise money for these brave firefighters.  The money raised is used to help firefighters in need, assist in purchasing safety equipment for  firefighters, offering a scholarship for future firefighters, purchasing a ball ticket for each member of the Department, and many other things helpful to not only the Department, but also to the community as a whole.  RCFA is a not-for-profit organization and all proceeds go directly to the Association to support the firefighters of Rehoboth.

    You can help with a donation in the form of an advertisement or message in the Firemen's Ball booklet.  A full-page is $100, half page is $75, quarter page is $50 and a booster (name and address) is $25.  Any donation is appreciated. There is a February 20 deadline for ad submissions in order to allow time for printing.  Please make checks payable to RCFA and send your information along with payment to: RCFA, P. O. Box 313, Rehoboth, MA 02769.  For best quality, please send an electronic copy of your ad to Ken.marco@comcast.net or you may contact Ken direct at 401-439-0333 in regards to placing an advertisement. If you are interested in attending the Firemen’s Ball in March 21,  please contact Dan Noons at 508-509-8357 for tickets and information.


REHOBOTH POLICE CHARGE TWO DRIVERS FOR OUI IN SEPARATE INCIDENTS

(January 31, 2015) Rehoboth police placed two drivers under arrest for operating under the influence in two separate incidents this week.

   On January 28, officers responded to a report of a vehicle off the road on County Street and found a black SUV in the front yard of a residence.  Sean Overton, age 21 of Alexandria, Virginia, was taken into custody by patrolmen Paul McGovern and Craig Forget and charged with OUI, negligent operation and a marked lanes violation.  Overton was scheduled to appear in Taunton District Court yesterday and was released on $40 bail.

   Shortly after 10 PM last night, officers were dispatched to the intersection of Winthrop Street (Route 44) and Wilmarth Bridge Road for a reported vehicle accident with injuries. Officer Craig Forget arrived in the scene to find two vehicles, both with heavy front end damage.

   Fifty-five-year old Laurie Ovalles from Bristol, RI, was driving south on Wilmarth Bridge Road, failed to stop at the intersection and hit a vehicle occupied by two female Dighton residents who were both transported to Sturdy Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Ovalies was arrested at the scene and charged with OUI, negligent operation, and failure to stop.  She was later released on bail and is set to appear in Taunton District Court on Monday for arraignment on the charges.  RPD Sgt. James Medeiros and Officer Thomas Ranley assisted with the crash along with Rehoboth Fire Department and Rehoboth Ambulance personnel.


REHOBOTH SELECTMEN PLAN TO CATCH UP TONIGHT

(January 27, 2015) A lack of quorum cancelled the January 20 meeting of the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen. Then the rescheduled meeting fell victim to Blizzard Juno. Hopefully tonight all will proceed smoothly and the five selectmen will gather at the senior center, first in executive session at 6 PM, followed by regular session at 7 PM. 

    The executive agenda for tonight includes collective bargaining with the police patrolman union along with lawsuits involving the town.  Regular session will include a meeting with representatives of SRPEDD to discuss a community transportation plan. Selectmen will also meet with members of the animal advisory committee to review their recommendations for policies related to the animal shelter and other issues.

     Other business includes a budget amendments, a reserve fund transfer, committee appointments, traffic signage, and the FY16 budget preparation process. As always, open public forum will be held to allow residents to contribute their opinions, ask questions and make community announcements. 


REHOBOTH FIRE DEPARTMENT’S NEW
TRUCK

(January 29, 2015) The Rehoboth Fire Department placed a new brush truck in service last week. Designated Brush #2, the truck will be based at Marshall Station Two in North Rehoboth.

   The 2015 Ford F-350 cab and chassis was approved under last year's capital plan at town meeting. According to Fire Chief Frank Barresi, the bed, pump and tank from the station’s old 28-year-old military surplus Chevrolet was swapped onto the new  chassis.

   “Rehoboth has vast areas of woods, fields and forests and the new truck will add to the department's capability to extinguish fires in those locations,” said Barresi. “The Department would like to thank Consolidated Truck & Equipment and the members of Station # 2 for donating the time and material to transition the vehicle.


REFRESHER: TOWN OF REHOBOTH SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL POLICIES

(January 27, 2015) Back on September 30, 2014, the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen approved a revised policy for snow and ice removal following a discussion with the Mike Tyler, highway department supervisor.

    Facing a reduced town operating budget and a 44% increase in the cost of road salt, Tyler said Rehoboth should “start doing what other towns are already doing” by establishing a system of primary, secondary and tertiary roadways.

    Selectmen agreed with Tyler’s revised plan to divide the town’s roadways into three categories.  Primary roadways will be treated and plowed first, followed by secondary connector roadways, and finally roadways in residential areas or developments. 

    The highway department will wait to sand/salt until snow fall reaches one inch on roads. Plows will go out when snow fall has reached a depth of three inches.  Both primary and secondary roadways will be treated and plowed both in the daytime and overnight, however tertiary roads will only be treated between 7 AM and 3 PM.


WATER DRAW DOWN AT ANAWAN RESERVOIR

(January 27, 2015) In a press release issued by the Anawan Club in Rehoboth, a water draw down is presently occurring at Anawan Reservoir, aka Bad Luck Pond and will continue despite the snow conditions.  The water levels in the pond will be adjusted up or down through the winter season.

  “Due to the adjusted water levels, any ice that has developed or continues to develop on the reservoir will be unsafe,” according to the release from the Anawan Club, an organization that has operated a clubhouse on the pond since 1896. Signs have been posted with ice warnings. 

    According to Anawan Club President Jack Hutson, the organization has an ongoing large construction project through the winter. “We are rebuilding the entire berm, replacing discharge apparatus and other safety considerations recommended by the Massachusetts Office of Dam Safety,” said Hutson.  The project should be completed by spring of this year.


OPEN BURNING 101: PLEASE KNOW THE RULES

(January 22, 2015) The Rehoboth Fire Department reports some confusion from residents on open burning rules and regulations and how to obtain and pay for a permit.  It is important to know this information if you plan to do any burning on your property lest you be fined for open burning offenses.

   Burning season runs through May 1, 2015 and open burning permit can be obtained seven days a week from 9 AM to 12 Noon at Fire Station One in the Public Safety Building located at 334 Anawan Street (back door). Each permit is $5 which lasts for the burning season. Payment by check or money order only. There is a fine of up to $50 for a first burning violation offense. If you have any questions or concerns about how to burn legally and safely, please call the RFD at 508-252-3725.

   Here is a review of the rules.  A permit holder must call 508-252-3725 every day you wish to burn between 9 AM and 12 PM to obtain permission. No calls are answered before 9 AM. Have your permit number, address and phone number readily available. In other words, please don’t tie up one of the department’s two phone lines by telling them to hold on while you run and try to find your permit.

   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 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 State guidelines that determine whether or not burning will be allowed.  Call takers do not make that decision and cannot reverse it.

    If at any time you feel you 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.


LAST NIGHT’S BOS MEETING CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF QUORUM

(January 21, 2015) Viewers of Rehoboth Government Channel 9 who expected to watch last night’s regularly scheduled board of selectmen’s meeting watched the screen go black at 7 PM. According to those who were at the senior center for the meeting, only two of the three selectmen were in attendance and the meeting was cancelled due to lack of quorum.

   According to the meeting agenda, an executive session was scheduled to begin at 6 PM to discuss both police union collective bargaining, as well as lawsuits against the town including RePAC vs. BOS, and Cichocki vs TOR, and other litigation not specified on the agenda.

    During regular session, selectmen were to open and close the warrant for Special Town Meeting on May 11, along with meeting with the Animal Control Advisory Committee to review recommendations for the animal shelter.

    It is assumed the meeting was cancelled at six o’clock when the quorum requirement was not met.


BREAKING NEWS: TWO THURSDAY MORNING ROLLOVERS

(January 15, 2015) Rehoboth public safety personnel were kept busy as roads iced over Thursday morning with two rolled over motor vehicles.  The first crash occurred on Plain Street and another a short time later on Baker Road.  One of the drivers was transported to the hospital by Rehoboth EMS with non-life threatening injuries. Both accidents are currently under investigation.


RPD OFFICER NOTICES CHIMNEY FIRE ON PLEASANT STREET

(January 15, 2015) An alert officer of the Rehoboth Police Department is credited with noticing a smoking chimney fire at a Pleasant Street residence Wednesday morning.

   The officer quickly called in the smoke report and address to the dispatcher.  Rehoboth firefighters rapidly arrived on the scene to find a small blockage burning in the chimney that was cleared and extinguished.  The scene was clearly in approximately one hour.

    "The officer could quite possibly have averted what could have become a serious fire,” said Rehoboth Fire Chief Frank Barresi.  “This was the second time firefighters responded to a residential chimney fire in less than a week.” Residents are cautioned to follow the usual fire safety advise including having chimneys cleaned and properly maintained on a regular basis. 


ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE INVITE PUBLIC TO MEETING

(January 13, 2015) The Rehoboth Animal Advisory Committee invites all interested residents to attend their meeting tonight at the town office at 7:30 PM to observe and offer comments during open session following the posted agenda items.

   The meeting agenda includes actions on a drafts for a euthanasia policy and transfer policy related to the town’s animal shelter. 

    The committee will also consider other topics related to the town’s shelter including how Rehoboth evaluates animals and decides on their outcomes; how Rehoboth and other shelters use veterinarians; specific characteristics of an animal adoption policy and the shelter’s volunteer program. 

   They committee will also discuss how the shelter handles dogs that “are not under control.” 


SELECTMEN TITO SAYS HE WON’T SEEK THIRD TERM

(January 13, 2015) At last night’s board of selectmen’s meeting, Selectman Joe Tito, MD announced he would not seek re-election for a third term. “Officially, I am not running again,” said Tito.  “It’s been a privilege to serve.”

   Two positions on the board of selectmen are up for election on April 6 including Selectmen Sue Pimental’s seat.  She made no public statement last night about her intent to run for another term or not.

    Nomination papers are now available for any registered voter in Rehoboth wishing to run for election who intends to run independently rather than through a party caucus. 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 Tuesday, February 17.

   Other positions to be elected on the ballot for 2015 are Moderator (one for 1 year), Town Clerk (one for 3 years), Assessor (one for 3 years), School Committee (two for 3 years), Planning Board (one for 5 years), Park Commission (one for 5 years), Housing Authority (one for 5 years), Storm Water Officer (one for 5 years), Tree Warden (one for 3 years), and Water Commissioner (one for 3 years).


BOS APPROVE DEPARTMENT LIAISONS, MAKE APPOINTMENTS

(January 13, 2015) The five Rehoboth selectmen, all appearing glum, opened the regular session of the meeting late after conducting an executive session where the posted topic of discussion was collective bargaining with police unions. 

   They approved their BOS departmental liaison assignments and quickly tabled the next two agenda items related to the Pleasant Street Culvert Project.  Selectmen approved one-day liquor licenses submitted by organizations for events to be held at the South Seekonk Rode & Gun Club. They made two committee appointments including Lawrence Shelton to the Rehoboth Emergency Management Agency, and Thomas Nerney to the Zoning Bylaw Review Committee which will meet this winter.  The review committee’s proposed new town zoning bylaw package was rejected at the last town meeting.

  Town Administrator Jeff Ritter reported last night he had just finished the first draft of the warrant for the May 11 annual town meeting. He said all town departments have been charged with submitting their FY16 budgets by February 9.

    He also mentioned receiving complaints from concerned citizens about the poor audio quality of municipal meetings last week broadcast on public access Channel 9 by RehobothTV which is operated by the town.  While Ritter acknowledged technical problems, he told selectmen that signage will be placed near microphones reminding people to speak clearly into the mics.

   During open public forum, Richard Panofsky asked selectmen to consider putting some visual cue on the driveway from the town office onto Peck Street because the roadway is impossible to see at night with no lighting.  The BOS voted to have a reflective strip or something similar put on the roadway to help drivers see where the driveway ends and the road begins.


REHOBOTH HOSTS MASS FIRE ACADEMY CLASS ON HIGH VOLTAGE SAFETY

(January 12, 2015) On Sunday, January 11, the Rehoboth Fire Department hosted a Massachusetts Fire Academy class at Station Three with over 40 firefighters from Rehoboth and other communities in attendance. 

   The newly introduced class focused on high voltage awareness as firefighters constantly deal with power lines, transmission facilities and the equipment related to it.

    “The class was a great refresher on the do's and don'ts with high voltage,” said Fire Chief Frank Baressi.  “A lot of focus was on firefighter safety itself and situational awareness.”

   According to Baressi, the Academy received over 60 requests for the new class, but the class could only accommodate one-third of those interested in attending.  Rehoboth was chosen to host the new class in part because the RFD is known for being progressive with training and has hosted Academy training in the past. National Grid provided the pictured training prop for the program.


REHOBOTH FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS

(January 10, 2015)  The Office of Fire Chief Frank Barresi, Town of Rehoboth Fire Department, is pleased to announce the following promotions within the on-call fire department. Only the fire chief is a full-time paid employee of the town.  All other firefighters and department officers are on-call as needed and have other occupations. On-call personnel pursue training and continuing education year-round.

    Robert “Bobby” Noons, 35 year veteran of the RFD, was promoted to the position of Deputy Fire Chief. He previously served as Assistant Fire Chief and Battalion Chief under retired Chief Bob Pray, and was formally Captain of Station 3.  Chief Noons resides on Davis Street in Rehoboth with his wife and two daughters. He is employed as an equipment operator for J&J Materials in Rehoboth.

    With 32 years of service in the RFD, Jeff Rassol was promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief.  Chief Rassol was previously Captain of Station 2 for fifteen years.  He is assigned the duty of Chief of Fleet Maintenance.  Chief Rassol resides on Tremont Street in Rehoboth with his wife and daughter, and is employed as a HVAC service technician for Aero Plumbing and Heating.

    A 27-year veteran of the RFD, Al “Alfie” Noons was promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief.  Previously Captain of Station 3 for nine years, he is assigned the duty of Chief of Training.  He resides on Davis Street in Rehoboth with his wife and 3 children, and is employed as a union elevator technician for Otis Elevator.

   With 25 years of service with the RFD, Mark Haskell was promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief.  Previously Captain of Station 1 for nine years, he is assigned the duty of Chief of Administration.  Chief Haskell resides on Pond Street in Rehoboth with his wife and two sons.  He is employed as the President of Corporate Relations and Government Affairs for Stat/SouthCoast EMS based in North Dartmouth Mass and Coastline EMS based in East Providence RI.


REHOBOTH FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE CHIMNEY FIRE AND FRIGID TEMPERATURE

(January 9, 2015)  On the coldest day of the winter so far, Rehoboth firefighters battled a residential chimney fire together with the frigid temperature yesterday after being were dispatched to a home on Hillside Avenue in
Rehoboth.

    According to Fire Chief Frank Barresi, the fire proved to be stubborn and it took close to an hour to get it under control.  He noted that firefighters “had to contend with a thick blockage in the chimney while preventing it from spreading into the walls or attic.”

    After the fire was declared under control, it took a while to remove and extinguish the smoldering material. The scene was cleared after approximately two hours. Rehoboth EMS provided rehab while the Rehoboth Police Department provided traffic control on the narrow street. Norton firefighters covered the central fire station. There were no injuries and a dollar estimate has not yet been placed on the damage to the property.


REHOBOTH CULTURAL COUNCIL ANNOUNCES 2015 GRANT RECIPIENTS

(January 8, 2015) The Rehoboth Cultural Council is pleased to announce the recipients of 2015 grants to fund thirteen events or programs that adhere to state-wide Massachusetts Cultural Council’s criteria.

   Each approved grant supports a program or event that benefits residents of Rehoboth, both the public in general or selected groups. Some grants completely fund a project or event while others reflect only partial funding. This year’s recipients include: Rehoboth Breed Expo for the non-profit’s annual summer event; Rehoboth Minutemen to support a Colonial Encampment this summer; Blanding Library to purchase a patron pass for the New England Aquarium; Blanding Library to support a performance by Kandie Carle ‘Edwardian Lady’ for their ‘Mother’s Day Strip Tea’ on May 9; funding for Beckwith Middle School to support a field trip to ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Trinity Rep in Providence; Carpenter Museum for their annual Strawberry Festival in June; Carpenter Museum to support their bus tour of historic homes on April 19; Rehoboth Antiquarian Society’s Arts in the Village Classical Music Series; the SMARTS Collaborative’s Traveling Art Exhibit; Mass Audubon’s Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary’s ‘Paper Making’ program; Deb Banna’s ‘Teen Grafitt Art Class’ at the Blanding Library; Deb Banna’s ‘Children’s Chalk Art & Painting Class’ at the Blanding Library; and ‘Summer Reading and Story Telling Celebration’ by Davis Bates and Roger Tincknell scheduled in June at the Blanding Library. Visit the RCC page for grant amounts.


FLAT TIRE PRECIPITATES TWO ARRESTS BY REHOBOTH POLICE

(January 6, 2015) What began as a flat tire yesterday evening on Davis Street ended up in a manhunt and arrest of two individuals on a variety of charges.

    Around 5:15 last night, Rehoboth patrolman Paul McGovern while on patrol noticed vehicle with a flat tire on the side of Davis Street west of Kingsley Way.  The driver, quickly identified as twenty-five-year-old Lindsey Gemaly of New Bedford, was driving on a revoked registration and had an active arrest warrant for disorderly conduct and assault and battery on a police officer. She was taken into custody by Officer McGovern with the assistance of Lt. Bruce Dube who arrived on the scene to assist. Gemaly was charged with operating an uninsured vehicle and released on $140 bail.

    A passenger in the disabled vehicle, identified as twenty-two-year-old Anthony Marcotte of Cranston, RI, took off and began running through neighborhood yards.  RPD called for assistance from Swansea and Seekonk police departments, as well as the MA State Police K-9 Unit, in searching for Marcotte who was discovered on Davis Street by Seekonk patrolman Fred Paquin. There was an active warrant for Marcotte’s arrest on charges of uttering a counterfeit note and possession of a counterfeit note. He was charged by Rehoboth police with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and giving a false name before being transported to the Bristol County Jail, held on $5000 bail.   


NOMINATION PAPERS NOW AVAILABLE FOR SPRING TOWN ELECTION

(January 6, 2015) Nomination papers are now available for any registered voter in Rehoboth wishing to run for election 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 Tuesday, February 17.

   Positions to be elected on the ballot for 2015 are Moderator (one for 1 year), Selectmen (two for 3 years), Town Clerk (one for 3 years), Assessor (one for 3 years), School Committee (two for 3 years), Planning Board (one for 5 years), Park Commission (one for 5 years), Housing Authority (one for 5 years), Storm Water Officer (one for 5 years), Tree Warden (one for 3 years), and Water Commissioner (one for 3 years).

    The Annual Town Election for the Town of Rehoboth will be held on Monday, April 6, 2015 with the polls open from 10 AM to 8 PM. All three precincts will be open. 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.

    The final voter registration date to be eligible to vote in the Annual Town Election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 from 8 AM to 8 AM at the Town Clerk’s Office.

    Prospective voters may also register to vote by calling the Town Clerk’s Office to request a Mail-In voter registration form.  Forms are also available online.


REHOBOTH-SEEKONK JOINT RABIES CLINIC ANNOUNCED

(January 6, 2015) For the second year, a cooperative rabies clinic for the towns of Rehoboth and Seekonk will be held 9 AM to 12 noon on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at the Seekonk Public Works Department garage on Route 44 and Lake Street.

   The clinic is open to non-residents and Rehoboth/Seekonk animal owners. Cats must be in carriers, dogs on leashes. Massachusetts animal owners must bring either a certificate for a rabies vaccination dated between March 9 and June 9 of last year or a previous Massachusetts three-year rabies certificate from a veterinarian.

   Rhode Island animal owners must bring a two-year certificate of previous rabies vaccinations. The clinic is open to dogs, cats, and ferrets. Dr. William Truesdale of Central Avenue Veterinary Hospital will administer the vaccinations.  Rabies Vaccine Cost: $12 per animal, with payment only in cash. Proceeds will benefit the Seekonk Animal Control Department.

   The Rehoboth and Seekonk Town Clerks will also be at the rabies clinic to register your dogs for the 2015 Dog Licensing season.  Proof of current rabies vaccination is required. Rehoboth dog license fees may be paid by check, cash, or debit/credit cards.  The 2015 dog license is due April 1, and is late after May 31. The fees are: spayed female/neutered male, $10; and un-spayed female/un-neutered male $20. 


SELECTMEN HAVE SHORT AGENDA FOR FIRST BOS MEETING OF 2015

(January 5, 2015) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will meet tonight at 7 PM in regular session at the senior center with a relatively brief posted agenda.

   Following the town administrator’s report, selectmen will convene a public hearing at 7:15 to discuss the transfer of an all alcohol package store liquor license from Azevedo’s Mini Market to Winthrop Street Liquors. Other agenda items include an update by Good Energy, the vendor selected by Rehoboth and other southeastern communities to solicit price quotes for collective purchasing of electricity for residents and local businesses.

    Selectmen will vote to authorize Mike Taylor of the highway department to proceed with Chapter 90 paperwork required for the Pleasant Street culvert project.

    The board is expected to set the date for the annual spring town meeting for Monday, May 11, along with dates to open and close the town meeting warrant. As always, open public forum will be held before the individual selectmen’s reports. Residents are invited to attend and participate.


NEW YEAR’S EVE CRASH ON TREMONT STREET SENDS TWO TO HOSPITAL

(January 1, 2015) Rehoboth public safety personnel were dispatched shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve to a single motor vehicle crash on the west end of Tremont Street. A white Maserati was found in the woods with the two occupants standing nearby. Firefighters and EMS treated and transported the two unidentified occupants, with unknown injuries, to the hospital using two ambulances. Firefighters remained on scene until the vehicle was removed.  National Grid was requested to the scene for a snapped support pole. The accident remains under investigation by the RPD.



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