March News Notes
Two Contested Races in Seekonk’s Local Election
There are two contested races in the April 3 local election – for school committee and water commission. There are two seats available on the school committee, a three-year seat and a two-year seat. The three-year seat is a contest between incumbent William Woods and newcomer Erin Brouillette. Deborah Viveiros, who was appointed last year to fill a vacancy when Bob Richardson resigned, is running unopposed for the two-year seat. For one three-year seat on the water commission, incumbent Christopher Craft is being challenged by Douglas Brown and Jeffrey Starr Mararian. The last day to register to vote for the town election is March 14, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town clerk’s office. For more information on the local races, see Town Clerk Jan Parker’s column in this issue.
Selectmen Approve School Roof Projects
The Board of Selectmen approved two school building projects to replace portions of the roofs at Aitken Elementary School and Hurley Middle School. Aitken School will also have the heating system and some windows replaced. The project reportedly required town approval to move forward. The design work is expected to be completed by the spring, according to an article in the Sun Chronicle, so the roof repairs can take place during the summer. According to school officials, some of the cost will be reimbursed by the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
New Bill Proposed in State Senate Prohibits Schools from Using Native American Names for Sports
A bill filed by Sen. Barbara L’Italien, D-Andover, on behalf of a constituent, would prohibit King Philip, Foxboro, Seekonk and other schools from using Native American names for their sports teams and mascots. L’Italien reportedly has not taken a position on the issue. The constituent, Linda Thomas, says the nicknames, such as the Warriors used in Seekonk and Foxboro are offensive and should not be allowed, according to an article in the Sun Chronicle. A few local legislators have said the decision should be left to the school districts. Thomas reportedly said that Native American groups support the bill. A final decision on the bill has not been made.
Robbery attempted at Cumberland Farms on Route 6
An attempted robbery took place last month at the Cumberland Farms store on Route 6. The incident took place about 6:30 p.m. No weapons were shown. According to a Sun Chronicle article, a woman told the clerk to open the cash drawer, but it is unclear whether she was given any money. A suspect was arrested at a house near the convenience store a few hours later when police responded to a call about an unwanted person.
Police Report a Car Was Broken Into While Parked at Convenience Store
Last month someone stole a backpack from a car that was parked at Crossroads Convenience Store on Fall River Avenue while the driver was inside the store. Police are looking for the suspect who was driving a Cadillac, according to a Sun Chronicle article. They released photos of the suspect and the car from video surveillance cameras. Police remind residents to always lock their cars whenever they leave their vehicle unattended.
Meeting on Compressor Station Cancelled
Spectra Energy, one of the companies behind the controversial natural gas pipeline expansion, and a proposed gas compressor station in Rehoboth, cancelled a public meeting that was scheduled for February 27 at D-R High School. Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas, who opposes the project, said it may indicate that the project is not going forward, according to an article in the Sun Chronicle. A press release from the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen said that the proposal is on hold and Spectra is reevaluating and restructuring the proposal. “They do not wish to meet with us regarding any specific plans and will not move ahead until they have restructured a specific proposal,” said the release. The Sun Chronicle article indicated that there are issues with financing and there is a possibility that the project will not occur. Representatives for Citizens Against the Rehoboth Compressor Station (CARCS) say they will continue to fight the project until Access Northeast officially withdraws its application with the federal government. In February, the Attleboro City Council held a vote supporting CARCS’ efforts. The proposed location for the compressor station is on 10 acres of land off Finnegan’s Way, which is off Tremont Street, on the Attleboro-Rehoboth line.