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Archive for February 2011

Police say Lawrence man may be linked to several burglaries

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Published on February 28, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

An attempted burglary at an 86-year-old Lawrence woman’s home that led to a suspect being arrested may be linked to four other recent burglaries in the area, officials said.

The suspect, Jorge Fuentes, 32 of Lawrence, is to be arraigned today in Lawrence District Court on charges of burglary while armed with a dangerous weapon. He also faces charges from a previous larceny case. Lawrence Police Chief John Romero said.

Fuentes had visited the woman’s home a week earlier, asking if she had cable TV.

“The first encounter struck her as a bit odd,” Romero said.

When Fuentes returned Friday morning, the woman didn’t open the door. She called police, ran to the kitchen and grabbed a broom. Fuentes didn’t know the woman was home, Romero said, and made his way to the back of the home and attempted to gain entry through a bedroom window.

“On the phone, we could actually hear him breaking the glass of the back window,” he said.

Police were able to respond before Fuentes entered the home, and the woman was able to avoid visual contact with him.

“She was very shaken up,” Romero said. “I mean, she was terrified, but she was able to report accurate information.”

Romero said police were continuing to investigate to see whether Fuentes was linked to the other cases.


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February 28, 2011 at 12:00 am

‘The Fighter’ wins Oscars — and stirs local pride

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Published on February 28, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

Lowell’s Top Donut shop is abuzz after the Academy Awards Sunday night, where the locally based movie “The Fighter” took home two Oscars.

The shop, which made a cameo in the film, has been full of conversation about the awards this morning between customers and himself, owner Robin Ley said.

“I’m so happy ‘The Fighter’ won two awards last night,” he said. “We’re very excited.”

Ley said he feels the film will give the community national and international recognition.

“The locals are proud, and the whole community is so happy,” he said. “We’re so proud to live in Lowell.”

The Venue movie theater in Lexington also makes an appearance in the film – and the theater is still showing “The Fighter.”

“People here are very excited about the film being even nominated for an Academy Award,” said Irene Gravina, a manager at the theater. “The ceremony was just last night so I haven’t talked to customers about it today, but I’m sure everyone is thrilled.”


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February 28, 2011 at 12:00 am

Joseph Martorelli, CPA whose family was everything

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Published on February 25, 2011 in The Boston Globe, Page B12

When Joseph Martorelli met Lenore Teodosio in 2000, he was in the throes of a nearly decade-long fight against lymphoma.

The challenges presented by his health inspired the couple to live “differently; we lived life to the fullest every day,” said Lenore, who married him in 2002.

“We didn’t sweat the small stuff. We knew that he wouldn’t live long – we figured maybe [to] 60. We never imagined it was 50, though.”

Mr. Martorelli, a certified public accountant who preferred to spend as much time as possible with his family, died Feb. 19 at the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven, from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterial infection. He was 50 and lived in Guilford, Conn.

Mr. Martorelli grew up in New Haven in a large and close-knit Italian-American family. The week was punctuated by big Sunday dinners, a tradition his extended family continued at his mother’s house.

He graduated from Eli Whitney High School in Hamden in 1978, and majored in financial accounting at the University of New Haven, from which he received a bachelor’s degree in 1982.

He began his career at a small financial firm and started working at Saab-Scania of America in Connecticut in 1984. In 1992, he left his position as director of finance and administration to found the accounting firm Orange and Martorelli in Milford.

Since its launch, the firm had collected nearly 1,000 clients, including extensive work with the Boston management and consulting firm Carlisle, Fauth & Gaskins.

A large focus of Mr. Martorelli’s life was his family, especially his daughters, Catherine and Christina, the product of a first marriage, which ended in divorce.

“Family to him was his life; his brilliance was secondary,” his wife said. “Family tradition meant the world to him.”

He also was a volunteer chief financial officer for the Cure Chief Foundation and worked with Stand Up to Cancer and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Societies.

Recently, Mr. Martorelli became a member of the Knights of Columbus. In 2009, the Milford Columbus Committee, of which he was treasurer, honored him with the special achievement award in recognition of his volunteer and charitable work.

As part of this, he received an apostolic blessing from the Vatican, in a document signed by Pope Benedict XVI.

In addition to his wife and daughters, all of Guilford, Mr. Martorelli leaves his parents, Joseph and Immaculata of New Haven; and two sisters, Rose Guilfoil and Maria Fisk of New Haven.

A funeral Mass will be said at St. Bernadette Church in New Haven today at 10 a.m.

Burial will be in East Lawn Cemetery in East Haven, Conn.

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February 25, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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Rain will slow, winds will rise and temperatures will drop tonight

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Published on February 25, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

-Shared byline with Katherine Landergan

The heavy rain and warm temperatures will taper off tonight, leaving behind some puddles, some ponding on roads and flooded streets. But officials said today they are not yet worrying about widespread flooding from rivers and streams in the state.

“At this point we aren’t seeing or hearing of any significant river flooding,” Scott MacLeod, spokesman for Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said this afternoon.

He said the main flooding concern is more localized, specifically for basements in areas more prone to flooding. Currently, MEMA has noticed ponding of water, a buildup of water on roadways and some standing water, but none have caused serious problems, he said.

The National Weather Service this afternoon issued a flood advisory to most of Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island and New Hampshire as a result of the long duration rainstorm.

“The focus is on street and poor drainage flooding, and not the rivers and streams,’’ said meteorologist Charlie Foley. “A concern for many people will be water in their basement.’’

The Weather Service is also continuing to warn about dangerously strong winds for Eastern Massachusetts, a concern that was earlier limited to the southeastern corner of the state, Cape Cod and the Islands.

The wind advisory will remain in effect until early Saturday morning and is issued when forecasts show sustained winds between 31 and 39 miles an hour, the Weather Service said. Wind gusts could reach 57 miles an hour, the Weather Service said.

Temperatures will drop overnight into the low 20s for the Boston area and to lower levels in the suburbs, freezing any standing water, the Weather Service said.

Tomorrow, temperatures in Boston will be in the low 30s, but a warming trend – along with more precipitation — is expected for the first part of next week, according to the Weather Service.


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February 25, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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Police say man who drove into river was texting

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Published on February 23, 2011 in The Boston Globe, Page B2

A man crashed through a guardrail on the White Fuel Bridge and plummeted into the Waters River in Danvers after he was distracted by text messaging while driving Monday night, officials said.

Gerald Maher, 22, of Danvers will be summonsed to court on charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and texting while driving, Danvers police said. A Salem District Court official said a court date has not yet been scheduled.

Danvers Police Captain Patrick Ambrose said Maher, who was distracted by texting, hit a snow bank, swerved into the opposite lane on Route 35, crashed through the bridge guardrail, and landed in the river around 11:45 p.m.

“The guardrail was just completely torn off,” he said.

Maher escaped from the car and made his way to shore. He was transported to Beverly Hospital, treated, and released, police said.

The Beverly police dive team searched the area but has not yet found Maher’s 1999 Nissan Altima, Ambrose said.

The team is slated to return to the river this morning to continue the search. No one else was in the vehicle at the time of the crash, police said.

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February 23, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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A night of bitter cold to be followed by sunny skies, weather service says

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Published on February 22, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

-Shared byline with Katherine Landergan

Bitter cold will envelop the region tonight as temperatures plummet below zero in the northern and western suburbs while Boston will confront relatively mild temperatures in the teens, according to the National Weather Service.

The Cape and Islands will be the warmest in the region with overnight temperatures in the 20s, according to the weather service.

But the cold should soon fade away.

Under mostly sunny skies, the temperatures will rebound to the mid and upper 30s tomorrow, according to the weather service. On Thursday, highs will also be in the upper 30s to 40s, and lows will be in the upper teens.

Increased clouds will be floating above the state Thursday. A mix of sleet and snow is forecast for late Thursday through Friday night, although the weather service says it may be just rain or snow depending on the temperature.

“At this point it could go either way – it could rain or it could snow,” he said.


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February 22, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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Newton fire claims life of former WGBH producer, friend says

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Published on February 21, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

-Shared byline with Travis Andersen

NEWTON — A fire that broke out early this morning at a Newton home has claimed the life of an award-winning former television producer for WGBH, a family friend said today.

The friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Beth Deare, who was in her early 60s, died in the blaze. Deare lived at 56 Waverley Ave. with roommates and had been battling brain cancer, he said.

“She was a wonderful person,” the friend said. “She was an extremely dignified woman.”

He said she had won several Emmy awards for her work in television. Deare was a long-time host and associate producer of WGBH’s “Say Brother,” a public-affairs television program by, for and about African Americans, according the station’s website.

Deare produced national broadcast projects for PBS, including “Midnight Ramble,” about early race movies. She also taught at Bunker Hill Community College, according to the school’s website.

“She was a talented producer and someone who really made connections with others and the community,” said Jeanne Hopkins, WGBH vice president for communications and government relations. “She was really committed to ‘Say Brother’ and being an active voice in the African American community.”

Newton Deputy Fire Chief Mike Castro said investigators believe the fire started in the victim’s second floor bedroom. He said the cause of the fire is under investigation but there are no signs that it was suspicious.

Castro said firefighters had difficulty finding the victim because the roof collapsed from the third floor onto the second floor.


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February 21, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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Leonard Bloksberg; professor taught, encouraged social work

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Published on February 19, 2011 in The Boston Globe, Page B9

When Leonard Bloksberg was about 7, he invited one of his friends from school to accompany him to a movie. At the time, the mid-1930s, the movie cost a nickel.

But his friend could not go. He said his family did not have enough money for him to attend. For Lenny Bloksberg, a little boy growing up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, the realization of social classes was jarring.

“Lenny said that it was as if his whole sense of social justice started at that moment, because he could not imagine why he could have a nickel and the other boy could not,” said Nancy R. Stone, Dr. Bloksberg’s wife.

Dr. Bloksberg, a longtime social work professor at Boston University and a social work advocate, died of prostate cancer in his Florida home on Feb. 13. He was 81 and also had a home in New Hampshire.

Dr. Bloksberg was born in New York, raised in Brooklyn, and spent much of his youth in his father’s dress shop, where he earned 15 cents for each hem he completed.

He was accepted to Brooklyn Technical High School, something he felt helped shape the course of his life. He graduated from the school in 1946.

“He felt that the fact that he was able to take a test and get into Brooklyn Tech High School was the decisive term in his life,” Stone said. “It was an achievement to get into the high school, and it was rigorous and had wonderful teachers.”

He went on to study at the City College of New York, graduating in 1950. He received his master’s degree in social work from Columbia University in 1953

He worked at Jewish community centers before he began pursuing a doctorate in philosophy at the Heller School at Brandeis University. He received his degree in 1966.

Dr. Bloksberg joined the Boston University faculty in 1962.

He worked at the school until 2000, teaching social welfare policy covering problems of poverty, child welfare, social welfare, and family services.

“He particularly liked being able to present material to [students] that they hadn’t previously thought was important,” said Stone, who said her husband took the class to the State House to meet those backing welfare legislation.

Dr. Bloksberg strived to instill in his three daughters and five grandchildren his belief that everyone should be treated equally and as individuals.

“Sometimes I think he gave [his grandchildren] too much intellectual credit,” said his daughter Fran Bloksberg, who lives in Baltimore. “He would force them to go on walks with him so he could have alone time with them.”

About 30 years ago, while at Boston University, he met Stone. The couple married in August of last year in a small ceremony in their New Hampshire living room.

Dr. Bloksberg was appointed to the Massachusetts Commission on Mental Health by Governor Michael S. Dukakis in 1988. (The commission became the Department of Mental Health in 1998.) He was awarded the Beverly Ross Fliegel Award for Social Policy and Change by the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers in 1995.

Besides his wife, daughter, and grandchildren, he leaves another daughter, Susan Shillue of Scituate. His daughter Robin Bloksberg died in 2000.

Memorial services will be held Sunday in Lake Worth, Fla., and in late June in New Hampshire.

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February 19, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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Bedbugs on their minds

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Published on February 17, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

Scores of property managers, pest exterminators, and others are gathering today at a Dedham hotel to learn new inspection techniques and treatments for bedbug infestations.

Throughout the day, about 200 attendees will learn new methods for finding and treating bedbugs, the biology behind the pests, and results of new studies on the bugs.

“Unfortunately, the problems are growing in New England and throughout the country,” said Missy Henriksen, the National Pest Management Association’s vice president for public affairs.

Bedbug problems have made headlines in the past few years. New York caught the spotlight in the fall, with reports of infestations in the Empire State Building, Bloomingdale’s, and Lincoln Center.

A federal government working group held a summit earlier this month to brainstorm on how to eliminate the common creatures that can hide in mattresses, wallpaper, and even picture frames. The insects can survive for months without eating and are known for biting people while they sleep, spreading easily through nearly anything, including clothing.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health doesn’t collect statistics on bedbugs because they do not spread infectious diseases, so there are few comprehensive statistics available, a spokesman said.

But Globe North reported in November that pest control experts north of Boston were seeing an increase in calls for help with bedbug problems. And Boston ranked 11th last year on a list of the 15 most bedbug-infested cities that was released by the pest control company Terminix.


Written by jdunccc

February 17, 2011 at 12:00 am

Spreading blaze destroys Chelsea house No major injuries, but 50 homeless

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Published on February 16, 2011 in The Boston Globe, Page B2

-Shared byline with John Guilfoil

A large house fire in Chelsea spread to a neighboring six-family home yesterday and destroyed it, leaving 50 people homeless.

Jay Ash, Chelsea’s city manager, said there were no serious injuries.

The three-alarm blaze broke out around 11 a.m. at 102 Marlborough St. and spread to the larger house at 117 Library St.

The Marlborough Street house was damaged, but it was the Library Street house that was hit hardest and destroyed. Fire officials believe the high winds yesterday contributed to the spread of the fire.

One person was initially reported missing — a father thought his daughter might be in one of the buildings — but firefighters thoroughly searched and determined no one was inside, according to Chelsea’s acting fire chief, David Lafond. Ash said authorities believe the missing resident was out on an errand.

Chelsea’s Fire Investigation Unit and State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan’s office are investigating the fire’s cause.

The American Red Cross was assisting people who could not return home because of the damage, said a spokeswoman, Nancy Rowe. Two disaster relief teams responded to help the displaced residents. An overnight shelter was opened at the Williams Middle School on Walnut Street.

A large crowd gathered and watched the scene from neighboring homes. In densely-packed Chelsea, 36,166 residents live in a city of 1.8 square miles, according to the US Census Bureau. Firefighters said that the close bunching of homes, coupled with high winds, can be a dangerous combination during a fire.

Firefighters remained on scene well into the evening, dousing hot spots and investigating. One firefighter, Captain Michael Gurska, injured his shoulder after falling on ice and was being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital yesterday, according to the Fire Department.

Firefighters from Boston, Revere, Everett, Malden, Lynn, Cambridge, Saugus, Winthrop, and Medford came to assist Chelsea during the fire.

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February 16, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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