Archive for April 2011
The Brave Little Toaster. The Little Engine That Could. Now you may be able to add to that list The House That Called Police.
Emergency officials in Marblehead say they received a call from an empty house and responded to find that a pipe had flooded the cellar.
Police Chief Robert Picariello said department officials are unsure how the call from 31 Rockaway Ave. was placed at 7:58 a.m. Wednesday. The house appeared to have been empty since the leak began.
The call lasted about two seconds, he estimated, enough to obtain the address. When the department called back, there was only static.
The Salem News reported the 911 call went to police from the house after water short-circuited the phone system and apparently sparked the emergency call.
Officers who arrived on the scene saw water in the home and summoned the fire department.
Firefighters gained entry and found a pipe leaking on the second floor and the cellar flooded.
“It was pretty bad; black mold was everywhere,” said Fire Captain Mike Porter.
Firefighters called a company to pump out the water, and all utilities were shut down, he said.
The town health director and building commissioner will continue looking into the home’s safety, but Porter said he did not think it was safe for people to enter because of the extensive mold growth.
Records show the homeowner is James Cowin, but his listed number for the address is no longer in service.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A Suffolk grand jury indicted five people yesterday after dozens of false training records were found in the third leg of an investigation into fraudulent emergency medical technician recertifications, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced yesterday.
EMT instructor Thomas Codair, 49, of Cambridge, is accused of allowing police officers, firefighters, and other EMTs to sign rosters for refresher classes required by the state, even though they did not attend the courses, Coakley said.
Codair is charged with four counts of Office of Emergency Medical Services violations and three counts of conspiracy to commit such violations.
Four top executives of LifeLine Ambulance in Woburn were indicted on charges of participating in the scheme, all of whom signed attendance rosters for a 2007 class and submitted them to the Office of Emergency Medical Services to renew their EMT status, Coakley said.
Indicted were Brian Connor, 49, of Arlington; Jonathan Kulis, 37, of Wilmington; Michael McPherson, 38, of Billerica; and Brian O’Connor, 39, of Woburn, Coakley said.
The five are to be arraigned at a later time in Suffolk Superior Court.
A full breakfast – and wedding cake – will be offered at a Babson College dining hall Friday morning at 6 a.m. for those who want to watch the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
“Everybody’s talking about [the wedding], and it’s also part of our efforts to relieve stress as we enter finals season,” said Michael Chmura, spokesman for the Wellesley college.
With London five hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, diehard royals fans in the Bay State are going to have to get up early Friday morning to see the momentous event.
The British consulate will hold an invitation-only viewing party at the British Residence on Beacon Hill, beginning at 6 a.m. The consulate will host an “open house” later at the Old State House downtown from noon to 2 p.m., where a recording of the wedding will be played, and guests can sign an official wedding register for Will and Kate.
Some restaurants and pubs in the area are amending their fare and hours for the wedding, including Elephant & Castle, an English pub in downtown Boston. Starting at 6 a.m. the bar will show wedding coverage while serving traditional British breakfast and accompanied by British beer.
-shared byline with Katherine Landergan
After weeks of deliberation, a grand jury has not indicted a Stonehill College student accused of raping an 8-year-old girl he tutored in Brockton, and he will not be prosecuted, authorities said yesterday.
As a result, Kevin Treseler, 21, of Millis will be welcomed back to Stonehill, from which he was suspended last month following the allegations.
Treseler is not sure he will return to the Easton school, his lawyer said.
“Kevin Treseler’s name has been cleared,” said his attorney, Michael P. Doolin of Dorchester. “I hope that he’s able to go back to the life that he had, and his family is very relieved and gratified for the findings of the grand jury.”
Matthew H. Malone, superintendent of Brockton’s public schools, said officials believe a crime was committed and the school district will continue to work with law enforcement to identify a perpetrator. He did not indicate whether another participant in the tutoring program would be targeted.
“First and foremost, our priority has always been and will continue to be the 8-year-old girl in the center of this case, who has clearly been victimized in some way,” he said. “We’re continuing to support the student as we support many students who are victims of trauma.”
Bridget Norton Middleton, spokeswoman for the Plymouth district attorney, concurred. “Our concern now is the victim and that she has all the services she needs,” Middleton said.
Brockton police arrested Treseler March 21 on two counts of rape of a child with force and two counts of indecent assault and battery of a child younger than 14.
Treseler was a math tutor at Angelo Elementary School, where the assaults allegedly took place from January through March. At his arrest, his initial lawyer, Kari D. Cincotta, said the circumstances did “not bear out to support [the alleged victim’s] allegations.”
Treseler worked at the school as part of a federal work-study program, America Counts. The tutoring sessions were held in a regular classroom, under the supervision of a teacher.
Yesterday’s announcement came as a relief to Treseler’s family. “His parents are very happy and relieved,” Doolin said. “It’s been very difficult.”
A Stonehill spokesman, Martin McGovern, said in a statement yesterday that Treseler is welcome back to school.
“We look forward to helping Kevin reintegrate into college life and to supporting him as he makes that transition, if that is his wish,” he said.
With the year 2011 almost one-third completed, the number of murders recorded in Boston remains strikingly low.
Eight murders have been recorded in the city as April’s end nears on Saturday, down from the 17 recorded at the same point last year, said Officer James Kenneally, a Boston police spokesman. That’s a 53 percent decrease.
At the end of the first quarter in March, there were five murders compared with 11 at the same time last year, a 55 percent decline that experts and officials at the time attributed partially to the stormy winter weather that pounded the region at the beginning of the year.
Another factor has been cooperation between the public and police, officials say.
“Any reduction in crime is obviously a good sign and more often than not, a reduction can be attributed to the partnership that allows the police and the public to work in collaboration with the other,” Kenneally said today.
Seventy-two people were killed in Boston in 2010, 49 in 2009, 63 in 2008, and 66 in 2007.
Two Boston police dispatchers will be honored today for keeping their cool as they took calls from the public and communicated with officers on the street during two crimes that generated headlines in 2010.
Jeanne Smallcomb and Melinda Santos will be honored by the Massachusetts State 911 Department in Worcester for their “exceptional service as emergency telecommunicators.”
Smallcomb was dispatching officers on April 3, 2010, when an alleged gang member opened fire on officers, leading to a shootout. During the incident, the suspect fatally shot himself, but all the officers were unharmed.
Santos was working on Sept. 28, 2010, when four people were fatally shot and a fifth person was grievously wounded in Mattapan.
Smallcomb said her main priority while on a call is to make sure officers get home safe, and she felt honored to be recognized.
“You go home feeling like you did something good for the day, and it’s all unknown. So to be recognized for one of my calls is really special to me,” Smallcomb said.
It was a good day for the operations division, the communication hub of the department. But the Globe reported last month that the division was the unit cited for the most disciplinary problems in 2010. A police spokesman said at the time that while there are some problems, most employees excel at what they do under very stressful conditions.
A former Roxbury pharmacist has been convicted of falsely collecting Medicaid reimbursements totaling more than $555,000.
Aloysius Chukwukere Nsonwu, 63, pleaded guilty last week in Suffolk Superior Court to 25 counts of Medicaid false claims, 25 counts of larceny by false pretenses, and conspiracy. He collected the money from December 2004 to January 2009, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office said in a statement.
Nsonwu was the owner and sole officer of Egleston Square Pharmacy Inc. He was reimbursed for prescriptions for HIV medication that were never ordered by a doctor and never dispensed.
He pleaded guilty in February to similar charges in a separate federal case. He is to be sentenced June 17 in federal court. Once he is sentenced in federal court, he will return to Suffolk Superior Court for sentencing on the state charges, the attorney general’s office said in a statement.