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November 20, 2018

Loss of PawSox will devastate city, officials say – Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

By AMY ANTHONY

Associated Press

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) – For 40 years, Pawtucket resident Mike Shloul has lived within walking distance of McCoy Stadium, where the PawSox have played home games since 1973.

“I felt like somebody died,” Shloul said of hearing the news that the Pawtucket Red Sox are leaving and might be headed to the neighboring capital city of Providence. The team, he said, is “part of the culture in Pawtucket.”

The expected departure of the Triple-A baseball club takes away one of few bright spots from an old mill town that has never fully recovered from the Great Depression, officials in the Rhode Island city said Tuesday.

“To take the economic activity out of the city’s income stream is a severe blow,” said Robert Billington, a local tourism official who said he was shocked to learn the team’s new owners want to leave.

Boston Red Sox president Larry Lucchino and a group of Rhode Island businessmen announced Monday they had purchased the franchise for an undisclosed amount from the widow of its longtime owner and are planning to move the team. Investor James Skeffington confirmed the new owners are eyeing a piece of land along the Providence River for a new ballpark but said nothing is final.

The new owners said making improvements to McCoy Stadium would be too expensive. The stadium was built in 1942 and renovated in the late 90s.

But Billington, president of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, said he thinks McCoy Stadium could be maintained the way Fenway Park in Boston has been.

“If they can make it in Fenway, I think they can make it here,” he said. “I think there’s a desire not to.”

Billington said he had hoped the new owners would want to reinvest in Pawtucket. The city was a major manufacturer during the American Industrial Revolution, but has struggled to improve its economy since the 1930s. It’s now one of the poorest cities in the state, with a median household income of $40,379.

The team brought fame and fun to the city, he said, along with about 750,000 visitors a year.

“There are a lot of businesses that are supported by the PawSox,” Billington said.

That includes the Right Spot Diner, which overlooks the stadium. Owner Julia Tsimikas said Tuesday she is worried about how losing the team will affect the business she and her family opened in 1975.

“It’s going to be a loss for the whole city,” Tsimikas said.

Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebian said there is both an economic and psychological impact to the departure of the team. He said he tried to keep the team in Pawtucket but the city wasn’t “on the radar” of the new owners.

The new owners said if they built a ballpark in Providence they would use their own funds but would ask the city and the state for support.

Billington said any state help should focus on keeping the team in Pawtucket.

“We’re not fighting against anyone,” Billington said. “It’s for Pawtucket. Let’s figure out how to do it here.”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

This article:

Loss of PawSox will devastate city, officials say – Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

Outdoors: New bass regulations are welcome

Everyone who loves striped bass hoped it would happen. With their stocks plummeting up and down the East Coast, regulations for commercial and recreational fishermen had to change. This year will see a harvest reduction of 25 percent (21.5 percent in Chesapeake Bay), but no one knows for certain if that reduction is enough.

Most likely, we’ll be allowed one fish instead of two per day. Some anglers will naturally gripe considering the modest reward for all the time and gas money spent to get into the bass. But most ethical fishermen and charter boat captains that I have talked to are deeply concerned about the future of our fishery and fully supportive of the reduction. Stripers Forever survey respondents want to ban the harvest of large, prime breeding size stripers until the resource biomass stock is healthier. They also are willing to finance a striped bass conservation stamp to pay for buying out the commercial fishery.

It’s possible that individual states may get an option to initiate a “conservation equivalent” to a one-fish, 28-inch minimum size limit. Some states could possibly, for example, maintain a two-fish limit with a different minimum size. The point is to get as many stripers as possible to breed at least once before they’re legal to harvest. Of course, the larger the female, the more eggs she can produce. We also should be protecting as many of the cows as possible because they are the basis of our sport.

Female stripers can start breeding at about age 4, when they’re around 24 inches long. Males can breed a year earlier, when they’re only about 20 inches long. While a larger, two-fish equivalent policy theoretically could help us get to the needed 25 percent reduction in striper mortality, it seems against the spirit of the effort and not our best alternative. We could definitely do better with a one-fish limit. Many here hope there will be no scheming, and that all states will uniformly implement a one-fish-per-day limit.

At this moment, there are some holdover stripers in New England waters, including big rivers like the Thames and little creeks and harbors at the Cape. But the vast majority of them are now in their offshore, warmer-than-New England wintering grounds off Virginia and North Carolina. They’re going to be vulnerable to increased commercial and recreational pressure as soon as they begin their coastal migration to spawn in Chesapeake Bay, the Delaware, and Hudson River. We won’t see them in numbers here until the first schoolies arrive in early May. The big ones should begin coming through the Canal in mid-May. Much will depend upon how cold our winter is.

Last winter was brutally long. Ocean temperatures remained very cold for a longer-than-normal period. Our stripers, which are very temperature-dependent in their movements, were consequently about two weeks late. Bet on them coming back only when we see ocean temperatures flirt with 50-55 degrees and bait fish especially squid and mackerel move in ahead of them.

Saving bluefins

New regulations are also expected for bluefin tuna stocks, which experience serious mortality as part of by-catch during commercial long-line fishing for yellowfin tuna and swordfish. The bluefins spawn in the Gulf of Mexico where they feed very little, if at all. They winter off North Carolina, where food is abundant and they can begin packing on some weight. In both areas, they’re being taken in big numbers.

While less lethal equipment changes will be implemented, what may help the stocks even more will be a closure to the swordfish and yellowfin tuna fishing once the maximum number for incidental kills of bluefins is reached. While cheating has previously been common, that may finally change significantly with the mandating of video cameras on board commercial vessels to chronicle everything that’s being caught and thrown back.

Big-time knowledge

Serious big boat saltwater fishermen willing to spend $150 to improve their knowledge and skills might want to attend Goose Hummock’s Offshore Bluewater Bash today and Saturday. At the Quincy Boston Marriott on 1000 Marriott Drive, Quincy, two days of in-depth seminars will cover techniques for bluefin tuna, sharks, swordfish, marlin and other pelagic species. Some of the leading professionals in the Northeast will be conducting the seminars, which will concentrate on waters from Stellwagen Bank, east of Chatham, south of the islands, and the offshore canyons. For tickets and information, contact Goose Hummock Shop at (508) 255-0455 or visit www.goose.com/offshore.html.

Must-see viewing

On the Water TV, available on Comcast Sportsnet at 10 a.m. Sundays and 1 p.m. Fridays, will be featuring many of our region’s hottest fishing destinations in its Season 12 this year. Monster Carp on the Blackstone River will resonate with many locals. They’ll also feature Cape Cod Stripers in the Rips, Inshore Methods for Bonito & Albies, Maine Wilderness Kayak Fishing and Top-Water Bluefin Tuna.

Calendar

◼Today-Sunday Northeast Fishing & Hunting Show. Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford. $12. Info: www.fishinghuntingexpo.com.

◼Today-Saturday Goose Hummock Offshore Bluewater Bash saltwater fishing seminar concentrating on tuna and swordfish. Quincy Boston Marriott, 1000 Marriott Drive, Quincy. $150 includes seminars both days, free beer Friday night, breakfast, and lunch Saturday. Info: www.goose.com/bluewaterbash.html.

◼Saturday-Feb. 22 New England Boat Show. Boston Convention Center, 415 Summer St., Boston. 800 boats. 100 boat seminars. $15. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Info: www.NewEnglandBoatShow.com.

◼Sunday Cutting, Mowing, and Burning for Wildlife (ruffed grouse, woodcock, New England cottontails, whip-poorwills etc.) Sterling Land Trust. Free. Speaker Rebecca DiGirolomo, MassWildlife biologist. 2:30 p.m. in the First Church Parish Hall, 6 Meetinghouse Hill Road, Sterling. Light refreshments. Info: Marion Larson, (978) 422-5165.

◼Sunday Leicester Rod & Gun meat raffles every Sunday at 2 p.m.

◼Thursday-Sunday Springfield Sportsmen’s Show. Eastern States Exposition. Info: www.osegsportsmens.com.

◼Feb. 21-22 Rutland Sportsman’s Club Annual Ice Fishing Derby. Saturday 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Weigh-in 1-5 p.m. Sunday 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Weigh-in noon-4 p.m. Open to all Massachusetts fishing license holders. All Massachusetts freshwater lakes and ponds eligible. Four prizes each for bass, yellow perch, pickerel, and pike. Headquarters at Rutland Sportsman’s Club, 75 Pleasantdale Road, Rutland, (508) 886-4721. Tickets available every day at the club after 3 p.m. and at B&A Bait and Tackle.

Contact Mark Blazis at markblazis@charter.net.

Originally posted here: 

Outdoors: New bass regulations are welcome

The Olympic touch

By Josh Farnsworth

Yes, I know.

The economics of bringing the Olympics to Boston, who was awarded the official American Olympic Committee bid for the 2024 games, is something to consider. The Boston committee to bring the games to Massachusetts will have until 2017 to make its case prior to the global winner being selected.

And then there is the traffic.

Gulp.

Put down the calculator and step away from that vehicle for a second and consider what this might mean for Central Massachusetts.

There is a chance here to shine a spotlight, not just on our country, but also on our sliver of real estate we occupy in the world. Planning an event this grand will come with plenty of headache-inducing moments, but the potential for attention on our neck of the woods will never be greater.

Shortly after the bid was announced, Worcester Mayor Joe Petty mentioned the possibility of holding the rowing events on Lake Quinsigamond.

I believe Central Massachusetts can do even better. With existing infrastructure and a plan to relieve some of the angst of jamming every event inside of Route 128, I propose we do the following to allow Central Massachusetts to assist in the 2024 Games:

• Basketball at the DCU Center in Worcester. Whatever “Dream Team” might look like nine years from now, chances are they will still draw fairly heavy audiences.

• Archery/shooting at the Nimrod Gun Club in Princeton. They have the targets set up already, anyways.

• Wrestling at the new Recreation Department building in Holden.

• Equestrian in Grafton, as lodging at Tufts will prove quite handy.

• Marathon weaving down Route 190, cutting through Sterling and to the finish line at the Old Stone Church in West Boylston? Yes, please.

• Cycling along the classic Longsjo Classic route in Fitchburg. Whether this event can comeback as a solid annual event, who knows? But what a tribute using the course this would pay.

• Field hockey at Doyle Field in Leominster. One could use the football field adjacently as a secondary soccer site as well.

• Fencing at Worcester Fencing Club. Makes sense, right?

• Golf at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton. It was good enough for Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer 50 years ago.

• Tennis at the Paxton Sports Centre.

• Table tennis at South Lancaster Academy reinforces the collegiate spirit and profile of the region.

• Boxing in a giant ring built in the middle of the Auburn Mall would create quite the scene.

• Rowing along the Blackstone River, with a beginning launch in Millbury. Sorry, Mayor Petty. More history and substance on this body of water.

• Closing ceremonies? I suggest Rutland put on their fireworks display.

The big city can have the Olympic Stadium and plenty of the festivities for opening the 2024 celebration. Heck, use the city to showcase track and field and the shoreline for beach volleyball, as well as some other great events.

So, take a break, Boston. Central Massachusetts has you covered on many of the sports.

I can feel the heat from the torch right now.

See original: 

The Olympic touch

Secret children, living and dead, reportedly hidden by squalor for years

BLACKSTONE, Mass. — A Massachusetts town along the banks of a river was jarred by a gruesome sight this week: three dead infants in a home so squalid, police officers had to search it in hazmat suits.

Little is known about the infants found in Blackstone, including their ages, gender, as well as the causes and manners of their deaths, according to Tim Connolly of the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office.

What’s also unclear is the relationship between them and a woman arrested in connection with their deaths. Law enforcement officials believe Erika Murray may be their mother, according to WBZ in Boston.

Murray, 31, was arraigned Friday on a slew of charges, including concealing an out of wedlock fetal death, two counts of permitting substantial injury to a child, intimidation of a witness, cruelty to an animal and violating an abuse prevention order, according to Connolly.

She has not been charged in the deaths.

Her attorney, Keith Halpern, suggested to WBZ that his client may be mentally ill.

“Who could live in that house who is not seriously mentally ill?” Halpern asked.

The state’s Department of Children and Families removed four children from the home on August 28 after allegations of negligence, spokeswoman Cayenne Isaksen said.

Two weeks after that, on September 11, detectives went to investigate, but they had ” to wear hazmat suits because of the deplorable conditions inside the home, which included massive insect infestation, mounds of used diapers and feces,” according to Connolly.

It was there, amid the filth and squalor, that police discovered the infants’ remains.

“It was a long and very difficult day,” said Joseph Early, the Worcester County District Attorney. “And a sad day.”

The state’s removal of the four living children at the home last month was the result of the filing of what’s called a 51A report in Massachusetts, according to Alec Loftus, a spokesman for the state’s office of Health and Human Services.

A 51A can be filed by any citizen with reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected. It is not known who filed the report in this case, but Loftus told CNN that “mandatory reporters like police and doctors are required to file when they have cause.”

This was not the first time a 51A had been filed when it came to that home, according to Isaksen. She said such a report was previously received in 2007, but that “it was unsupported and therefore no case was opened.”

For now, Isaksen said DCF has the four children in its care. It is focused on “ensuring (their) safety and well-being and providing them with the proper medical care, support, and services they need,” she said. Connolly said that the family caring for them has no public statement to make at this time.

Murray’s case was adjourned to October 14. Investigators, meanwhile, remain at the scene digging through the squalor.

“Our investigation will continue for quite some time,” Early said.

Read the article: 

Secret children, living and dead, reportedly hidden by squalor for years

Massachusetts town jarred by discovery of 3 dead infants in squalid home

Saturday, September 13, 2014 – 3:20pm

A Massachusetts town along the banks of a river was jarred by a gruesome sight this week: three dead infants in a home so squalid, police officers had to search it in hazmat suits.

Little is known about the infants found in Blackstone, including their ages, gender, as well as the causes and manners of their deaths, according to Tim Connolly of the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office.

What’s also unclear is the relationship between them and a woman arrested in connection with their deaths. Law enforcement officials believe Erika Murray may be their mother, according to WBZ in Boston.

Murray, 31, was arraigned Friday on a slew of charges, including concealing an out of wedlock fetal death, two counts of permitting substantial injury to a child, intimidation of a witness, cruelty to an animal and violating an abuse prevention order, according to Connolly.

She has not been charged in the deaths.

Her attorney, Keith Halpern, suggested to WBZ that his client may be mentally ill.

“Who could live in that house who is not seriously mentally ill?” Halpern asked.

The state’s Department of Children and Families removed four children from the home on August 28 after allegations of negligence, spokeswoman Cayenne Isaksen said.

Two weeks after that, on September 11, detectives went to investigate, but they had ” to wear hazmat suits because of the deplorable conditions inside the home, which included massive insect infestation, mounds of used diapers and feces,” according to Connolly.

It was there, amid the filth and squalor, that police discovered the infants’ remains.

“It was a long and very difficult day,” said Joseph Early, the Worcester County District Attorney. “And a sad day.”

The state’s removal of the four living children at the home last month was the result of the filing of what’s called a 51A report in Massachusetts, according to Alec Loftus, a spokesman for the state’s office of Health and Human Services.

A 51A can be filed by any citizen with reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected. It is not known who filed the report in this case, but Loftus told CNN that “mandatory reporters like police and doctors are required to file when they have cause.”

This was not the first time a 51A had been filed when it came to that home, according to Isaksen. She said such a report was previously received in 2007, but that “it was unsupported and therefore no case was opened.”

For now, Isaksen said DCF has the four children in its care. It is focused on “ensuring (their) safety and well-being and providing them with the proper medical care, support, and services they need,” she said. Connolly said that the family caring for them has no public statement to make at this time.

Murray’s case was adjourned to October 14. Investigators, meanwhile, remain at the scene digging through the squalor.

“Our investigation will continue for quite some time,” Early said.

The-CNN-Wire

Originally posted here: 

Massachusetts town jarred by discovery of 3 dead infants in squalid home