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Westport – What more needs to be said about this iconic southcoast town! Scene looking out to Buzzard’s Bay over Audubon land.
photo/EverythingWestport.com June 28, 2016 © All rights reserved.
Local news you may be interested in. Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Photos/EverythingWestport.com except as noted
Visit our regularly updated Theater and Arts Section, and plan your early summer event schedule!
New galleries and art venues added for 2015. New Boston area concerts and theater venue added January, 2016!
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New! 07/31/2016 Click here to watch video of Cultural Survival Bazaar 2016.
06/23/2016 Click here to watch video of WRG May, 2016 Annual Plant Sale.
06/23/2016 Click here to watch video of School Feasibility presentation to Selectmen.
05/27/2016 Click here to view video of dedication of POW and MIA tabletop memorial at Westport Town Hall.
Saturday, July 23 – Westport Point residence fire blamed on early morning lightning strike; heavy fire damage estimated at over $200,000 including belongs according to Westport spokesman Capt. Michael Silvia.
Silvia said when crews arrived they found a small fire on the second floor, which was quickly extinguished.
Upon further investigating the home’s attic they were met with heavy smoke and fire. A narrow staircase to the attic made it difficult for firefighters to reach the attic; the staircase began to burn through before the fire was fully extinguished.
Silvia said his crews attacked the fire from inside and outside the house. The flames were brought under control I about 445 minute.
Silvia said no one was hurt in the fire.
Battling the blaze from inside and outside of the home, Silvia said, firefighters controlled the fire in about 45 minutes. Firefighters inside the home had to reach the attic by climbing a narrow staircase that began to burn through before the fire was fully extinguished, Silvia said.
Assisting Westport firefighters were Westport paramedics and firefighters from Little Compton, Tiverton and Dartmouth. Firefighters from Fall River responded to two other calls in Westport while Westport crews were at the Main Road home.
Strong thunderstorms with severe lightning activity moved through the area Friday night and early Saturday morning and may be to blame for fire.
Meteorologist said the storm was likely a microburst, possibly with winds of 70 mph.
The owners of the property are listed as John and Nancy Pannoni of Westport.
Photo | EverythingWestport.com
Saturday, July 23 – Pressure builds on Governor Baker’s administration to explain progress on Southcoast rail.
Is it just rhetoric or reality?
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito (below) visited the area last Thursday and during a luncheon sponsored by the Fall River and New Bedford Area Chambers of Commerce, gave hope that a new preferred route for south coast rail could make it a reality.
Lt. Gov. Polito spoke before a group of business people and political leaders from the area at Rachel's Lakeside and gave indication that the proposed "Middleboro route" might push the south coast rail forward at a faster pace than the previous route. More...
Future of South Coast Rail unclear after decades of planning.
Saturday, July 23 – Turning a new Leaf to good use! The Westport Energy Committee is looking for ways to help convince town employees to make greater use of the town’s shiny little silver Nissan Leaf, purchased a little more than a year ago with the help of a state Department of Environmental Protection’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Program.
Above: Town Administrator Tim King with Westport’s new Nissan Leaf all electric vehicle. Photo | EverythingWestport.com
But the Leaf’s life in Westport may be short-lived. Is the town’s mileage reimbursement cash for employee use of their own vehicle too good to give up? More...
Saturday, July 23 - Today is ‘Hot Enough For Ya Day’ -- Here’s the day when the tired old greeting actually gains acceptance. Go ahead; say it, if you don’t have anything else to add.
Well, we have something to add – today will be 90 degrees in Westport, the hottest day of the year so far, with high humidity. Good luck parking at Cherry & Webb Beach!
Friday, July 22 - Breaking News Alert from the Boston Globe,
Thursday, July 21 - Westport animal cruelty worse than first thought.
The level of animal cruelty discovered at a 70-acre property off Route 177 is worse than many seasoned veterinarians and animal professionals at the scene have witnessed before, Detective Jeff Majewski, spokesman for Westport Police, said Wednesday.
About 600 to 800 animals have been found at the site, off 465 American Legion Highway, with some dead, others suffering, he said.
Wednesday, July 20 – 'Awful, deplorable conditions,' dead animals at Westport site for 2nd time in 6 years.
Westport Police discovered hundreds of animals Tuesday, many of them dead or in poor condition, along with makeshift cabins, illegal stoves and burning trash, on 70 acres off 465 American Legion Highway, police said.
“It looks like a Third World country,’’ said Westport Police Detective Jeff Majewski, public information officer for the department.
“Many of the animals we have come across are in awful, deplorable conditions,’’ he said. More...
Tuesday, July 19 - Westport furniture maker arrested on charges of not performing work for which he was paid. The owner of Bay State Home Furnishings in Westport was arrested Friday after he reportedly took money to build furniture but never performed the work, police said.
David Bouchard, 55, of 105 Stephen St., Dartmouth, was arrested at his 260 State Road business, said Det. Jeff Majewski of the Westport Police Department.
Left: Westport police photo.
The business is not licensed with the Town of Westport, Majewski said.
Westport police have been investigating complaints by a customer who said she paid him more than $500 to build furniture but the work was never done, Majewski said. Once the money was paid, she was unable to contact Bouchard, Majewski said. More...
Tuesday, July 19 10:00 a.m. – Breaking News – The Bristol County District Attorney’s office announced this morning the body of 35-year-old Emerson Belirio was found in South Watuppa Pond.
His body is now being sent to the Medical examiner.
The three-day search ended tragically, dashing all hopes of a miracle.
The DA’s office still maintained that “no foul play is suspected and alcohol did not seek to have a role in the incident.”
The family said Belirio could swim, but it is unknown if he was wearing a PDF (life vest.)
Monday, July 18 – New Mystery Photo posted! A new Mystery Photo was posted on Monday, July 18th at 7:25 p.m.
Click here to take your best shot at solving our latest mystery photo.
Don’t waste any time... do it now!
Monday, July 18 – Bull fired. Piping Plovers off endangered list. Diocese of Fall River selling their Adamsville Road former youth camp to local conservation group.
And the Planning Board presents 2016 Master Plan updates where a mixed bag of hopes and realities contrast.
Selectmen met last Monday night and quickly dispatched what should have been a very typical summertime agenda.
But this meeting was anything but archetypal. More later...
Monday, July 18 – Updated Tuesday, July 19 – Threatening thunderstorms temporarily halted searchers efforts Tuesday afternoon to recover the Body of Emerson Belirio, the 35-year-old father of three.
According to Gregg Miliote, spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, “The initial reports indicate he jumped off the boat with his life jacket on. The life jacket came up but he did not.”
“As of right now, we’re going to keep searching until we find him,” Miliote said. “It appears to be just a tragic accident.”
The almost 1300-acre South Watuppa Pond, a large recreational body of water, although quite shallow and rocky in drought conditions now has an average depth of 15 to 22 feet, hampering searchers’ recovery efforts.
Recovery efforts will resume Tuesday morning.
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Missing boater on South Watuppa identified as 35-year-old Fall River resident, Emerson Belirio.
Fall River police received a call Saturday afternoon that a man went overboard from a 20-foot Sea King Cabin Cruiser into South Watuppa Pond.
Belirio was a passenger on the cabin cruiser along with his wife, their two children, and another married couple, owners of the boat.
It was not noted if Belirio was wearing a personal flotation device (PDF) at the time of the incident.
The search, called off late Sunday afternoon, was resumed Monday morning.
Above: Rescue personnel search South Watuppa Pond 35-year-old Fall River resident, Emerson Belirio. Photo Courtesy WCVB-TV.
The Dave’s Beach boat ramp was used as the launch point for search personnel from the Fall River Police, Fall River Fire, and the Environmental Police, along with air support from the Air Wing of the Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts State Police troopers, and a sonar boat operated by Bob Anderson of Ocean Server.
Police said foul play is not suspected at this time, and it does not appear that alcohol was involved in the incident.
Sunday, July 17 – Battle of the forty-somethings at The Open.
Henrik Stenson, 40 and Phil Mickelson, 46 are leading the field by six and five strokes respectively strokes as the final pair tee of this morning at 9:30 a.m. in the final round of the 145th playing of the British Open at Royal Troon, Scotland.
Update: 9:45 a.m. – Stenson and Mickelson have a two-shot swing on the first hole as Mickelson birdies and Stenson bogies, putting Mickelson at 12 under, leading by 1.
Fireworks started early on Thursday, when Mickelson shot a course record-tying 63, with a dramatic lip-out on the 18th hole which would have giving Mickelson, holder of five major titles, the record for the lowest round of golf ever shot a major tournament (62).
Mickelson won the Claret Jug in 2003, but said “the excitement of winning another one is driving me to win today.”
Saturday, July 16 – The Grange is getting back to its roots.
As local chapters of the Grange mark 125 years and up, the nation’s oldest agricultural organization is riding the wave of the local food movement attracting new generations of members with initiatives such as its Grange Roots campaign, said Chris Szkutak, legislative director, Massachusetts State Grange.
The Dartmouth Grange's "shared use" commercial kitchen is one of the most active in Massachusetts, helping budding food entrepreneurs realize their culinary dreams. More...
Friday, July 15 – Wild Edibles Walk Draws Crowd at Westport Town Farm. The Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) drew a crowd of over 60 participants last Wednesday for an edible plants walk at the Westport Town Farm. Led by Russ Cohen, expert forager and author of ‘Wild Plants I have Known… and Eaten,’ the crowd eagerly tasted a variety of edible plants that grow wild in our region.
Keys to the identification of each species were provided, along with information on edible portions, seasons of availability, and preparation methods, as well as guidelines for safe and environmentally responsible foraging. The crowd favorite, American pokeweed, was historically used as an ink substitute by American colonists. “The Declaration of Independence was actually written in pokeweed ink,” said Cohen.
For more information on upcoming events, visit www.WestportLandTrust.org. These free hikes, walks, and talks would not be possible without the generous contributions of individuals. “We are a membership supported non-profit that relies on individual donations to provide programs like these,” said outreach and stewardship coordinator, Brendan Buckless.
“We welcome the foraging of invasive edible plants such as Japanese knotweed and Autumn olive on all WLCT destination properties,” said Buckless. “However, please refrain from harvesting native edible plants as they provide habitat for a whole host of native species that would not survive otherwise.”
Sunday, July 10 - Future of South Coast Rail unclear after decades of planning. Imagine being able to hop on the train at a station down the street and get to work, a ball game, a concert in Boston in half the time it takes to drive that grueling commute from SouthCoast.
Photo | PETER PEREIRA/The Standard-Times
It's something you probably imagine every time you sit in suffocating traffic on the bottle-necked highways that take you to the city that is the pulse of the Commonwealth. It's South Coast Rail and it's been promised for decades and decades with nothing but hopes, imaginations, and plans to show. More...
Saturday, July 9 – Westport’s Housing Authority recently contracted with Somerset for the management of its State Road public housing complex after the current manager stepped away from a new contract.
The Fairhaven Housing Authority, manager of the 48-unit Greenwood Terrace since 2010, recently decided not to renew its management agreement with Westport.
Housing Authority chairperson Veronica Beaulieu said a formal contract might take weeks to get officially approved by Somerset and state authorities.
Somerset’s Housing Authority director, Lucia Casey has volunteered her time to immediately begin familiarizing herself with the Westport facility.
The popular public housing complex has a waiting list of between six months and three years for new tenants.
Friday, July 8 – Angela Benetti sent her ex-boyfriend a sympathy card when his dog went missing on Thursday, May 26th.
"The loss of a pet isn't easy ... especially one who was loved as much as yours," the card read. Then Benetti added a personal message. "Sorry for your loss Jimmy, I truly am! angela..."
But according to Westport police, she neglected to mention one thing: they say Benetti was responsible for the disappearance of Jet, a 7-year-old, long-haired female Dachshund. More...
Thursday, July 7 - Looking for work? These days, who isn’t, so listen up.
Amazon announced it will hire at least 500 people to handle merchandise and fill orders at their new warehouse. Hiring should begin this summer.
According to the Fall River Herald News, over 680 people signed up to attend Amazon briefings as of Tuesday afternoon. The sessions were for those interested in jobs as warehouse workers at the 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center under construction in the Biopark, straddling the Freetown line off Route 24.
The first briefings were held at 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Wednesday at Durfee High School, 360 Elsbree Street, Fall River.
Two more briefings will be held on Thursday; the first will be at 10:00 a.m. at Diman Regional Vocational High School, 251 Stonehaven Road. The second in the Bristol Community College Auditorium, 777 Elsbree Street, at 3:00 p.m.
Amazon said thee jobs will be open to people with a high school diploma or a GED. Applicants will have to file online, complete an online test and pass a drug test.
Jobs will also be posted on their website, www.amazon.jobs. You can click or call for the mailing list through the Career Center; to be notified of open Amazon jobs email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Career Center at 508.730.5000.
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Today’s events, listed below, you don’t want to miss! Scroll down to view them all.
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Wednesday, August 24
Wednesday, August 24 - Zumba with Fatima at Sandywoods Center for the Arts building, 43 Muse Way, Tiverton. Starts at 8:30 a.m. 401..378.3872
Wednesday, August 24 - Aerobics at the Westport Senior Center from 8:30 to 9:15 p.m. Join aerobics instructor Wendy Sperduti-Ray for a fun fitness workout. All are welcome. Call ahead to be sure the class isn’t full.
Aerobics on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For more information please call 508.636.1026.
** Attention all Aerobics and Stretch and Tone participants **
As of July 1, 2015 the cost for classes will be $35.00/month for Aerobics and $25.00/ month for Stretch and Tone. Call 508.636.1026 for all the details.
Watercolor painting at the COA. 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. The Watercolor Workshop is a group for those interested in learning and sharing more about the joy of watercolor painting. The membership consists of artists just beginning their journey with watercolor to experienced artists who willingly offer encouragement and motivation to one another. Class size is limited. Please call 508.636.1026 for more information.
Westport Senior Center, 75 Reed Road, Westport.
Wednesday, August 24 - Awaken the Artist Within! Join the Council On Aging for Art Classes on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon.
Hosted by Robert Abele. Robert is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts. His paintings have appeared in numerous publications including the Washington Post and the New York times.
This class is designed as a workshop where all mediums are welcome. Watercolor, oil and colored pencil are just a few of the mediums used by students. Each student is given personal instruction and guidance based on the subject they are working on. Classes are $40.00 per month or $15.00 for a single class. Come in and release the Artist within You.
Westport Senior Center, 75 Reed Road, Westport. Call 508.636.2026 for more information.
Kripalu Yoga with Karen Moore Holliday at the Little Compton Wellness Center from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.; no class on February 24th.
$10 per class.
Need more information? Call 774.644.9977 or visit: www.sanctuarysadhana.com
115 East Main Road, Little Compton.
Ageless Gentle Yoga every Wednesday from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at The Little Compton Community Center, 34 Commons, Little Compton, $17.00 per person.
Experience wellbeing, increased vitality, range of motion and circulation. Release physical and mental stressors, increase self-esteem, manage weight, balance mood and emotions while increasing strength/flexibility, breath and focus. In this supportive practice for body, mind and spirit, personal attention is given. Sequences both seated and standing match needs and abilities. Begin anytime. Everybody is welcome. Sessions ongoing. Discount available for session.
Call 401.816.0024, Caryl Sickul, MA, DMT, Experienced Instructor, Movement Specialist, Wellness Consultant in Private Practice for Decades. Private Sessions, Gift Certificates and Celebrations by appointment.
Vinyasa yoga classes, available at Rivers Of Light Studio, Tiverton.
Osteoporosis exercise at the Westport Senior Center.
Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays from 9:45 - 11:00 a.m.
An exercise for people with or at risk for Osteopenia/ Osteoporosis. Participants will learn about osteoporosis and everyday activities that will improve their day to day lives. A physician form filled out by the doctor that states this would be beneficial is required. There are openings in the Monday, Wednesday & Friday sessions. For more information contact the Westport Council on Aging at 508.636.1026. The instructor is Florence Wypych.
Wednesday, August 24 - Senior Community Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at The Little Compton Community Center, 34 Commons, Little Compton.
Join them for lunch as they enjoy our local catering. Some of the finest cooks in Little Compton are volunteering their time to prepare delicious meals for our seniors every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Don’t miss this opportunity to share good food with good friends in a friendly community atmosphere.
$3 suggested donation for the disabled and seniors age 50 and over. $6 suggested donation under age 50.
Please call to reserve at least 48 hours in advance. 401-635-2400. For more information call or click 401.635.2400 or email:
Poetry Writing at the Westport COA. 1:30 p.m. Members bring a new poem they have written to the weekly Wednesday meeting and constructively critique one another's work. Class size is limited. Please call for information. Convener is Barbara Wickes.
Calling all players for Party Bridge. Intermediate bridge players are invited to play Party Bridge every Wednesday from noon to 3 p.m. at Westport Free Public Library, 408 Old County Road, Westport.
Many of the regular players have headed south for the winter, so new players are invited to join. For more information please call 508.636.2603.
Poetry Night at the Brownell Library. 6:00 p.m. Brownell Library, 44 Commons, Little Compton. Book Club Poetry Night - Come share a favorite poem or enjoy a poem. The event is free and open to everyone.
Wednesday, August 24 - Yoga and Bliss Ice Cream with Andrea DeVeau RYT at the Head public landing every Wednesday night all summer long from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Yoga is by donation $5 to $15 suggested. All levels welcome!
Weather permitting. Cancellations will be posted on FaceBook.
Wednesday, August 24 - Country Line Dance Lessons at St. John’s Athletic Club, 1365 Rodman Street, Fall River. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. $10 per person. Call 774.202.5543 for more information. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Visit their website For all the details.
Wednesday, August 24 – Final Film! The Westport Cultural Council will host its fifth annual film series on three consecutive Wednesdays this summer - August 10th, 17th, and 24th.
The film series is free and open to the public. It is made possible through a grant from the Helen E. Ellis Charitable Trust and will be held at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery, 1 Partners Lane, Westport, MA.
This year, the Council will present three documentary films highlighting the theme “Masters Of Their Craft”. Each film will be introduced by a guest speaker, with a question and answer period to follow.
Films to start at 7:00 p.m.
Click here for all the details.
Karaoke every Wednesday night from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. at Atlantic Sports Pub, 70 Shove Street, Tiverton. The event is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, August 24 – July Contra Dance at Sandywoods, 43 Muse Way, Tiverton.
Celebrate hump day by dancing the night away in our beautiful venue.
Wednesday, August 24 - Hey smarty pants, show White's of Westport what you've got! Do you dominate Trivial Pursuit? Are you the first person to shout out the answer on Jeopardy? Then you'll love their weekly Team? Trivia game.
White's of Westport in the Galley Grille on
Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. to test your knowledge and enjoy some great food and
66 State Road, (Route 6) Westport.
Also don't miss 20 cent wings, half priced appetizers (7:00 – 9:00 p.m.), great beers on tap, plus a chance to win a $20 gift card to use on your next visit to the Galley Grille or Bittersweet Farm.
Karaoke every Wednesday and Thursday night at Oriental Pearl, 576 State Road, Westport from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
For more information please call 508.675.1501 or 401.435.6565.
Wednesday, August 24- Figure drawing with live models at Sandywoods Center for the Arts, 43 Muse Way, Tiverton. 9:45 – 12:45 p.m.
Call 401-316-8272 for more information.
Find out more about the above and other local area events coming up this week. Click here for our all of this week’s event listings!
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Do you heat your home with fuel oil? Then you’ll want to review new safety standards for protecting against costly oil leaks that could be very expensive to remediate.
Click here PDF to see how to protect your oil tank’s fuel line as required by law. The Massachusetts Homeowner Oil Heating System Upgrade and Insurance Law requires you to upgrade your home heating system equipment to prevent leaks from tanks and pipes that connect to your furnace. By making a relatively small expenditure now, you can prevent a much greater expense in the future.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) positive mosquito findings in Westport and a widening swath through Southeastern Massachusetts.
Click here for more information and learn how to protect yourself from EEE.
A defective or non-functioning smoke alarm almost cost a young Westport woman her life in a recent July 4th Drift Road fire. The house burnt to the ground but the woman was saved by an alert Fire Chief. Protect yourself, your family and pets with proper smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Is your property safe? Click here to get all the details and state requirements for all age homes. Do it now. PDF Large file, Please be patient.
16 tips you need to defend yourself against deer ticks and Lyme Disease. Click here to get them now!
10 tips for living with coyotes in Westport. Click here to learn how. PDF
Aerial views courtesy of Geno Silvia
New England Wings - Custom Aerial Photography
Baker’s Beach and Westport Point.
Westport’s Central Village featuring Partners Village Store and Kitchen, Alden Hill Real Estate, and Town Hall Annex.
Local area organizations’ newsletters now on-line!
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