State & Region Briefs

Thursday, January 11, 2018
Boston museum re-ups $10M reward for return of art

BOSTON — The $10 million reward offered by a Boston museum for information that leads to the return of more than a half-billion dollars’ worth of stolen art isn’t expiring after all.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum announced Thursday that it’s extending the reward for the largest art heist in U.S. history that had expired at midnight Dec. 31.

Museum trustees President Steve Kidder says the reward demonstrates the museum and trustees remain committed to recovering the stolen works.

Two men disguised as Boston police officers entered the museum on March 18, 1990, tied up two security guards and made off with 13 pieces, including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas and Manet.

The reward was bumped to $10 million last May and led to promising leads that continue to be pursued.

Feds look to keep Codfather out of business, issue fines

NEW BEDFORD — The federal government is trying to keep the disgraced fishing magnate known as the Codfather out of the seafood business.

Carlos Rafael was sentenced last year to nearly four years in prison after pleading guilty to evading fishing quotas and smuggling money to Portugal.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say they filed a charging document against Rafael, two of his scallop boat captains and 28 businesses related to Rafael on Wednesday.

A NOAA spokeswoman says the case seeks to deny any future applications by Rafael for any permit issued by the agency.

It also seeks nearly $1 million in civil penalties. The agency also hopes to revoke a seafood dealer permit issued to Carlos Seafood in New Bedford and 38 commercial fishing permits.

Northampton upholds law limiting surveillance

NORTHAMPTON — The Northampton city council has voted to uphold a local ordinance that limits the use of municipally-operated surveillance devices in the city’s main business district.

The council passed the ordinance last month but Mayor David Narkewicz vetoed it and suggested several changes.

The council’s 7-2 vote Wednesday overrode the mayor’s veto.

The ordinance was proposed by council President Ryan O’Donnell in response to a police proposal to install more surveillance in the city’s downtown. Opponents said the increased surveillance was intrusive. Supporters, including many business owners, said it would cut down on crime.

The ordinance limits the use of video cameras, license plate readers, facial recognition systems and cellphone locators.

There are exceptions, including cameras at the police station and parking garages, and temporary surveillance during criminal investigations.

Man dies after being pulled from house fire

WESTWOOD — One man has died after being pulled from a burning house in Massachusetts.

Westwood Fire Chief John Deckers says firefighters found the man quickly as they arrived on scene at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital.

On Thursday, the Norfolk district attorney’s office identified the victim Thursday as 47-year-old Michael Lennon. He lived in the home.

Several nearby departments sent firefighters and equipment to help contain the blaze.

The cause is under investigation, but authorities say it does not appear suspicious.

The fire marshal’s office says the death was the state’s third fire fatality of the year.

Doughnut shops in state make playoff bet with Tenn. shops

BOSTON — Gourmet doughnut shops in Massachusetts and Tennessee have placed a sweet wager on this weekend’s playoff game between the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans.

If the Patriots win, Five Daughters Bakery in Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville, will send a dozen doughnuts to Kane’s Donuts in Saugus, Mass., north of Boston.

Should the Titans win, Kane’s will send a dozen treats south, but as Kane’s co-owner Maria Delios said in a video on the shop’s Facebook page, “We all know that’s not happening.”

The losing shop’s workers also have to wear the winning team’s jerseys at work.

Kane’s made similar bets with doughnut shops in Houston, Pittsburgh and Atlanta last year — and won them all as the Patriots won the Super Bowl.

From Associated Press