State & Region Briefs

Friday, July 13, 2018
Bus driver says passenger passed by ‘because you are black’

EDGARTOWN — A bus driver has been fired for telling a would-be passenger that he wasn’t picked up because he’s black.

The Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority says the exchange was caught on video Wednesday afternoon.

Transit officials say the bus was traveling from Edgartown to Oak Bluffs when the driver passed the person. The bus was at capacity, but officials say the driver had failed to switch the marquee indicating it was full.

The man took an Uber to Oak Bluffs where he caught up with the bus and questioned the driver about why he was passed by.

At first, the driver said the bus was full. But when pressed, the driver said, “it’s because you are black.”

The transit authority says it has “zero-tolerance” for that type of behavior.

Berkshire wind farm to add 2 more turbines

HANCOCK — Massachusetts’ second largest wind farm is adding two more turbines capable of powering nearly 2,000 additional homes.

The Berkshire Wind Power Cooperative announced Thursday the Berkshire Wind Power Project will create an additional 4.6 megawatts with the added turbines. The 10 turbines, which will have a combined generating capacity of 19.6 megawatts, are expected to power 7,840 homes.

Fourteen Massachusetts municipal utilities across the state and the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. make up the cooperative.

The wind farm sits atop Brodie Mountain in Hancock where speeds average 18.3 mph.

Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. spokeswoman Kate Roy says the cooperative can’t disclose the cost estimate. Roy says the cooperative hasn’t picked a vendor for the project yet.

The project is scheduled to be completed by next spring.

Man drowns while swimming with his children

BOURNE — A father swimming with his children started struggling and apparently drowned despite the efforts of two good Samaritans.

Authorities say 50-year-old John Lima, of Lakeville, was swimming off Bourne at about 5:30 Thursday when he started struggling.

Bourne Deputy Fire Chief Joe Carrara says two people helped pull Lima out of the water. He was already in cardiac arrest by the time first responders arrived.

He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The death remains under investigation but does not appear suspicious.

Plane makes emergency landing due to smoke in cockpit

GROTON, Conn. — Aviation officials say a plane with smoke in the cockpit made an emergency landing in Groton.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the Dassault Falcon aircraft, operated by Dumont Aircraft Charter, landed safely at the airport about 7:15 p.m. Thursday after the crew reported smoke in the cockpit. The Day reports local first responders were at the site of the landing, Groton-New London Airport.

The FAA says the aircraft later departed from the airport for Boston’s Logan International Airport. The FAA is investigating.

Pittsfield man gets prison for series of ATM thefts

PITTSFIELD — A man who pleaded guilty to helping steal several ATMs in the Berkshires has been sentenced to up to four years in prison.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that 29-year-old Nicholas Beauchamp said he participated in a series of break-ins and thefts between August and September to help pay off drug debts. The Pittsfield man pleaded guilty to 13 charges.

He told police that he and another man stole the cash-dispensing machines from stores, a sub shop and an American Legion post in and around Pittsfield by loading them onto a hand truck and taking them to a state forest where they broke them open and removed the cash. The machines contained as much as $2,200 and as little as $60.

The other man’s case remains open.

From Associated Press