(January 27, 2015) Back on September 30, 2014, the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen approved a revised policy for snow and ice removal following a discussion with the Mike Tyler, highway department supervisor.

    Facing a reduced town operating budget and a 44% increase in the cost of road salt, Tyler said Rehoboth should “start doing what other towns are already doing” by establishing a system of primary, secondar and tertiary roadways.

    Selectmen agreed with Tyler’s revised plan to divide the town’s roadways into three categories.  Primary roadways will be treated and plowed first, followed by secondary connector roadways, and finally roadways in residential areas or developments. 

    The highway department will wait to sand/salt until snow fall reaches one inch on roads. Plows will go out when snow fall has reached a depth of three inches.  Both primary and secondary roadways will be treated and plowed both in the daytime and overnight, however tertiary roads will only be treated between 7 AM and 3 PM.


(January 27, 2015) In a press release issued by the Anawan Club in Rehoboth, a water draw down is presently occurring at Anawan Reservoir, aka Bad Luck Pond and will continue despite the snow conditions.  The water levels in the pond will be adjusted up or down through the winter season.

  “Due to the adjusted water levels, any ice that has developed or continues to develop on the reservoir will be unsafe,” according to the release from the Anawan Club, an organization that has operated a clubhouse on the pond since 1896. Signs have been posted with ice warnings. 


(January 22, 2015) The Rehoboth Fire Department reports some confusion from residents on open burning rules and regulations and how to obtain and pay for a permit.  It is important to know this information if you plan to do any burning on your property lest you be fined for open burning offenses.

   Burning season runs through May 1, 2015 and open burning permit can be obtained seven days a week from 9 AM to 12 Noon at Fire Station One in the Public Safety Building located at 334 Anawan Street (back door). Each permit is $5 which lasts for the burning season. Payment by check or money order only. There is a fine of up to $50 for a first burning violation offense. If you have any questions or concerns about how to burn legally and safely, please call the RFD at 508-252-3725.

   Here is a review of the rules.  A permit holder must call 508-252-3725 every day you wish to burn between 9 AM and 12 PM to obtain permission. No calls are answered before 9 AM. Have your permit number, address and phone number readily available. In other words, please don’t tie up one of the department’s two phone lines by telling them to hold on while you run and try to find your permit.

   You may only burn cut and piled brush that has not been accumulated from a commercial operation. Burning of any other debris other than brush will result in the revocation of your permit. The burning of leaves is not allowed.

    All fires must be extinguished by 4 PM. This will be strictly enforced. Be sure to only ignite piles that can completed by 4 PM.

    Construct piles a minimum of 75 to 100 feet from the nearest structure and in an area where smoke will not be a nuisance to neighbors or roadways.

    Please keep in mind there are State guidelines that determine whether or not burning will be allowed.  Call takers do not make that decision and cannot reverse it.

    If at any time you feel you fire may be getting out of control, do not hesitate to call 911 and ask the fire department to respond. A fire can double in size every minute and delaying the response can result in damage to property and structures.


(January 21, 2015) Viewers of Rehoboth Government Channel 9 who expected to watch last night’s regularly scheduled board of selectmen’s meeting watched the screen go black at 7 PM. According to those who were at the senior center for the meeting, only two of the three selectmen were in attendance and the meeting was cancelled due to lack of quorum.

   According to the meeting agenda, an executive session was scheduled to begin at 6 PM to discuss both police union collective bargaining, as well as lawsuits against the town including RePAC vs. BOS, and Cichocki vs TOR, and other litigation not specified on the agenda.

    During regular session, selectmen were to open and close the warrant for Special Town Meeting on May 11, along with meeting with the Animal Control Advisory Committee to review recommendations for the animal shelter.

    It is assumed the meeting was cancelled at six o’clock when the quorum requirement was not met.


(January 15, 2015) Rehoboth public safety personnel were kept busy as roads iced over Thursday morning with two rolled over motor vehicles.  The first crash occurred on Plain Street and another a short time later on Baker Road.  One of the drivers was transported to the hospital by Rehoboth EMS with non-life threatening injuries. Both accidents are currently under investigation.


(January 15, 2015) An alert officer of the Rehoboth Police Department is credited with noticing a smoking chimney fire at a Pleasant Street residence Wednesday morning.

   The officer quickly called in the smoke report and address to the dispatcher.  Rehoboth firefighters rapidly arrived on the scene to find a small blockage burning in the chimney that was cleared and extinguished.  The scene was clearly in approximately one hour.

    "The officer could quite possibly have averted what could have become a serious fire,” said Rehoboth Fire Chief Frank Barresi.  “This was the second time firefighters responded to a residential chimney fire in less than a week.” Residents are cautioned to follow the usual fire safety advise including having chimneys cleaned and properly maintained on a regular basis. 


(January 13, 2015) The Rehoboth Animal Advisory Committee invites all interested residents to attend their meeting tonight at the town office at 7:30 PM to observe and offer comments during open session following the posted agenda items.

   The meeting agenda includes actions on a drafts for a euthanasia policy and transfer policy related to the town’s animal shelter. 

    The committee will also consider other topics related to the town’s shelter including how Rehoboth evaluates animals and decides on their outcomes; how Rehoboth and other shelters use veterinarians; specific characteristics of an animal adoption policy and the shelter’s volunteer program. 

   They committee will also discuss how the shelter handles dogs that “are not under control.” 


(January 13, 2015) At last night’s board of selectmen’s meeting, Selectman Joe Tito, MD announced he would not seek re-election for a third term. “Officially, I am not running again,” said Tito.  “It’s been a privilege to serve.”

   Two positions on the board of selectmen are up for election on April 6 including Selectmen Sue Pimental’s seat.  She made no public statement last night about her intent to run for another term or not.

    Nomination papers are now available for any registered voter in Rehoboth wishing to run for election who intends to run independently rather than through a party caucus. Papers may be picked up by prospective candidates at the Town Clerk’s office and must be returned, signed by a minimum of 38 registered voters, to the Board of Registrars at the Town Clerk’s Office by 5 PM on Tuesday, February 17.

   Other positions to be elected on the ballot for 2015 are Moderator (one for 1 year), Town Clerk (one for 3 years), Assessor (one for 3 years), School Committee (two for 3 years), Planning Board (one for 5 years), Park Commission (one for 5 years), Housing Authority (one for 5 years), Storm Water Officer (one for 5 years), Tree Warden (one for 3 years), and Water Commissioner (one for 3 years).


(January 13, 2015) The five Rehoboth selectmen, all appearing glum, opened the regular session of the meeting late after conducting an executive session where the posted topic of discussion was collective bargaining with police unions. 

   They approved their BOS departmental liaison assignments and quickly tabled the next two agenda items related to the Pleasant Street Culvert Project.  Selectmen approved one-day liquor licenses submitted by organizations for events to be held at the South Seekonk Rode & Gun Club. They made two committee appointments including Lawrence Shelton to the Rehoboth Emergency Management Agency, and Thomas Nerney to the Zoning Bylaw Review Committee which will meet this winter.  The review committee’s proposed new town zoning bylaw package was rejected at the last town meeting.

  Town Administrator Jeff Ritter reported last night he had just finished the first draft of the warrant for the May 11 annual town meeting. He said all town departments have been charged with submitting their FY16 budgets by February 9.

    He also mentioned receiving complaints from concerned citizens about the poor audio quality of municipal meetings last week broadcast on public access Channel 9 by RehobothTV which is operated by the town.  While Ritter acknowledged technical problems, he told selectmen that signage will be placed near microphones reminding people to speak clearly into the mics.

   During open public forum, Richard Panofsky asked selectmen to consider putting some visual cue on the driveway from the town office onto Peck Street because the roadway is impossible to see at night with no lighting.  The BOS voted to have a reflective strip or something similar put on the roadway to help drivers see where the driveway ends and the road begins.


(January 12, 2015) On Sunday, January 11, the Rehoboth Fire Department hosted a Massachusetts Fire Academy class at Station Three with over 40 firefighters from Rehoboth and other communities in attendance. 

   The newly introduced class focused on high voltage awareness as firefighters constantly deal with power lines, transmission facilities and the equipment related to it.

    “The class was a great refresher on the do's and don'ts with high voltage,” said Fire Chief Frank Baressi.  “A lot of focus was on firefighter safety itself and situational awareness.”

   According to Baressi, the Academy received over 60 requests for the new class, but the class could only accommodate one-third of those interested in attending.  Rehoboth was chosen to host the new class in part because the RFD is known for being progressive with training and has hosted Academy training in the past. National Grid provided the pictured training prop for the program.


(January 10, 2015)  The Office of Fire Chief Frank Barresi, Town of Rehoboth Fire Department, is pleased to announce the following promotions within the on-call fire department. Only the fire chief is a full-time paid employee of the town.  All other firefighters and department officers are on-call as needed and have other occupations. On-call personnel pursue training and continuing education year-round.

    Robert “Bobby” Noons, 35 year veteran of the RFD, was promoted to the position of Deputy Fire Chief. He previously served as Assistant Fire Chief and Battalion Chief under retired Chief Bob Pray, and was formally Captain of Station 3.  Chief Noons resides on Davis Street in Rehoboht with his wife and two daughters. He is employed as an equipment operator for J&J Materials in Rehoboth.

    With 32 years of service in the RFD, Jeff Rassol was promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief.  Chief Rassol was previously Captain of Station 2 for fifteen years.  He is assigned the duty of Chief of Fleet Maintenance.  Chief Rassol resides on Tremont Street in Rehoboth with his wife and daughter, and is employed as a HVAC service technician for Aero Plumbing and Heating.

    A 27-year veteran of the RFD, Al “Alfie” Noons was promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief.  Previously Captain of Station 3 for nine years, he is assigned the duty of Chief of Training.  He resides on Davis Street in Rehoboth with his wife and 3 children, and is employed as a union elevator technician for Otis Elevator.

   With 25 years of service with the RFD, Mark Haskell was promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief.  Previously Captain of Station 1 for nine years, he is assigned the duty of Chief of Administration.  Chief Haskell resides on Pond Street in Rehoboth with his wife and two sons.  He is employed as the President of Corporate Relations and Government Affairs for Stat/SouthCoast EMS based in North Dartmouth Mass and Coastline EMS based in East Providence RI.


(January 9, 2015)  On the coldest day of the winter so far, Rehoboth firefighters battled a residential chimney fire together with the frigid temperature yesterday after being were dispatched to a home on Hillside Avenue in

    According to Fire Chief Frank Barresi, the fire proved to be stubborn and it took close to an hour to get it under control.  He noted that firefighters “had to contend with a thick blockage in the chimney while preventing it from spreading into the walls or attic.”

    After the fire was declared under control, it took a while to remove and extinguish the smoldering material. The scene was cleared after approximately two hours. Rehoboth EMS provided rehab while the Rehoboth Police Department provided traffic control on the narrow street. Norton firefighters covered the central fire station. There were no injuries and a dollar estimate has not yet been placed on the damage to the property.


(January 8, 2015) The Rehoboth Cultural Council is pleased to announce the recipients of 2015 grants to fund thirteen events or programs that adhere to state-wide Massachusetts Cultural Council’s criteria.

   Each approved grant supports a program or event that benefits residents of Rehoboth, both the public in general or selected groups. Some grants completely fund a project or event while others reflect only partial funding. This year’s recipients include: Rehoboth Breed Expo for the non-profit’s annual summer event; Rehoboth Minutemen to support a Colonial Encampment this summer; Blanding Library to purchase a patron pass for the New England Aquarium; Blanding Library to support a performance by Kandie Carle ‘Edwardian Lady’ for their ‘Mother’s Day Strip Tea’ on May 9; funding for Beckwith Middle School to support a field trip to ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Trinity Rep in Providence; Carpenter Museum for their annual Strawberry Festival in June; Carpenter Museum to support their bus tour of historic homes on April 19; Rehoboth Antiquarian Society’s Arts in the Village Classical Music Series; the SMARTS Collaborative’s Traveling Art Exhibit; Mass Audubon’s Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary’s ‘Paper Making’ program; Deb Banna’s ‘Teen Grafitt Art Class’ at the Blanding Library; Deb Banna’s ‘Children’s Chalk Art & Painting Class’ at the Blanding Library; and ‘Summer Reading and Story Telling Celebration’ by Davis Bates and Roger Tincknell scheduled in June at the Blanding Library. Visit the RCC page for grant amounts.


(January 6, 2015) What began as a flat tire yesterday evening on Davis Street ended up in a manhunt and arrest of two individuals on a variety of charges.

    Around 5:15 last night, Rehoboth patrolman Paul McGovern while on patrol noticed vehicle with a flat tire on the side of Davis Street west of Kingsley Way.  The driver, quickly identified as twenty-five-year-old Lindsey Gemaly of New Bedford, was driving on a revoked registration and had an active arrest warrant for disorderly conduct and assault and battery on a police officer. She was taken into custody by Officer McGovern with the assistance of Lt. Bruce Dube who arrived on the scene to assist. Gemaly was charged with operating an uninsured vehicle and released on $140 bail.

    A passenger in the disabled vehicle, identified as twenty-two-year-old Anthony Marcotte of Cranston, RI, took off and began running through neighborhood yards.  RPD called for assistance from Swansea and Seekonk police departments, as well as the MA State Police K-9 Unit, in searching for Marcotte who was discovered on Davis Street by Seekonk patrolman Fred Paquin. There was an active warrant for Marcotte’s arrest on charges of uttering a counterfeit note and possession of a counterfeit note. He was charged by Rehoboth police with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and giving a false name before being transported to the Bristol County Jail, held on $5000 bail.   


(January 6, 2015) Nomination papers are now available for any registered voter in Rehoboth wishing to run for election on the Town ballot and who chooses not to seek a nomination through their registered party’s caucus process. 

   Nomination papers may be picked up by prospective candidates at the Town Clerk’s office and must be returned, signed by a minimum of 38 registered voters, to the Board of Registrars at the Town Clerk’s Office by 5 PM. on Tuesday, February 17.

   Positions to be elected on the ballot for 2015 are Moderator (one for 1 year), Selectmen (two for 3 years), Town Clerk (one for 3 years), Assessor (one for 3 years), School Committee (two for 3 years), Planning Board (one for 5 years), Park Commission (one for 5 years), Housing Authority (one for 5 years), Storm Water Officer (one for 5 years), Tree Warden (one for 3 years), and Water Commissioner (one for 3 years).

    The Annual Town Election for the Town of Rehoboth will be held on Monday, April 6, 2015 with the polls open from 10 AM to 8 PM. All three precincts will be open. Precinct I is the Town Office Building at 148 Peck Street, Precinct II is the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center at 55 Bay State Road, and Precinct III is the South Fire Station at 102 Pleasant Street.

    The final voter registration date to be eligible to vote in the Annual Town Election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 from 8 AM to 8 AM at the Town Clerk’s Office.

    Prospective voters may also register to vote by calling the Town Clerk’s Office to request a Mail-In voter registration form.  Forms are also available online.


(January 6, 2015) For the second year, a cooperative rabies clinic for the towns of Rehoboth and Seekonk will be held 9 AM to 12 noon on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at the Seekonk Public Works Department garage on Route 44 and Lake Street.

   The clinic is open to non-residents and Rehoboth/Seekonk animal owners. Cats must be in carriers, dogs on leashes. Massachusetts animal owners must bring either a certificate for a rabies vaccination dated between March 9 and June 9 of last year or a previous Massachusetts three-year rabies certificate from a veterinarian.

   Rhode Island animal owners must bring a two-year certificate of previous rabies vaccinations. The clinic is open to dogs, cats, and ferrets. Dr. William Truesdale of Central Avenue Veterinary Hospital will administer the vaccinations.  Rabies Vaccine Cost: $12 per animal, with payment only in cash. Proceeds will benefit the Seekonk Animal Control Department.

   The Rehoboth and Seekonk Town Clerks will also be at the rabies clinic to register your dogs for the 2015 Dog Licensing season.  Proof of current rabies vaccination is required. Rehoboth dog license fees may be paid by check, cash, or debit/credit cards.  The 2015 dog license is due April 1, and is late after May 31. The fees are: spayed female/neutered male, $10; and un-spayed female/un-neutered male $20. 


(January 5, 2015) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will meet tonight at 7 PM in regular session at the senior center with a relatively brief posted agenda.

   Following the town administrator’s report, selectmen will convene a public hearing at 7:15 to discuss the transfer of an all alcohol package store liquor license from Azevedo’s Mini Market to Winthrop Street Liquors. Other agenda items include an update by Good Energy, the vendor selected by Rehoboth and other southeastern communities to solicit price quotes for collective purchasing of electricity for residents and local businesses.

    Selectmen will vote to authorize Mike Taylor of the highway department to proceed with Chapter 90 paperwork required for the Pleasant Street culvert project.

    The board is expected to set the date for the annual spring town meeting for Monday, May 11, along with dates to open and close the town meeting warrant. As always, open public forum will be held before the individual selectmen’s reports. Residents are invited to attend and participate.


(January 1, 2015) Rehoboth public safety personnel were dispatched shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve to a single motor vehicle crash on the west end of Tremont Street. A white Maserati was found in the woods with the two occupants standing nearby. Firefighters and EMS treated and transported the two unidentified occupants, with unknown injuries, to the hospital using two ambulances. Firefighters remained on scene until the vehicle was removed.  National Grid was requested to the scene for a snapped support pole. The accident remains under investigation by the RPD.


(December 31, 2014) At the selectmen’s meeting on Monday night, Fire Chief Barresi announced the awarding of two grants to the department for a total amount of $7218 to be used for awareness and education programs.

    The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services awarded the RFD the 2015 SAFE and Senior SAFE grants.  The funds will be used to present awareness and education programs for both school children and elders in the community.  Important issues to be covered include fire prevention, general home safety, and how to be prepared in the event of a fire.

    The SAFE programs are designed to lower the overall fire-related risk reduction in the community. Since the inception of the program twenty years ago, child fire deaths have been reduced by a phenomenal 72 percent. 

    Barresi credits the hard work and dedication of Rehoboth SAFE officer LT. Randy Larrivee and the firefighters who assist him with the programs local success.

    "Lt. Larrivee is totally dedicated to the mission of the program and deserves all of the credit for it's success,” emphasized Barresi.  Anyone seeking more information or wishing to have a presentation for their group or organization can contact the RFD at 508-252-3725 or visit their website.


(December 29, 2014) A Swansea man is scheduled to appear in Taunton District Court today on a number of charges after leading Rehoboth police on a 24-mile pursuit through four towns on December 27.

    After receiving a report on a suspect who left the scene of a disturbance in Swansea, Sgt. Richard Shailor of the Rehoboth Police Department located an erratic driver on First Street who failed to stop.  The driver, identified as Robert Lowney, Jr., age 44 of Swansea, kept police in pursuit through Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Barrington while committing numerous motor vehicle violations and speeding from 10 to 30 miles per hour over the posted limit.

   Rehoboth police were assisted by officers from Swansea and Seekonk, as well as Massachusetts State Police during the lengthy pursuit. After the suspect crashed his van into a fence on Old Stevens Road in Swansea, he fled on foot. 

    According to Rehoboth police, Lowney was located by Officer Louis DiBacco and was tased when he resisted arrest.  Officer Matt Gardner from the Seekonk police and Trooper French of the State police assisted DiBacco in making the arrest.  Lowney faces Rehoboth police charges of drunk driving (third offense), operating to endanger, marked lane violation, stop sign violation, unlicensed operation, failure to stop for police, and resisting arrest. He will also face additional charges from Seekonk and Swansea police.



(December 19, 2014) The Town of Rehoboth, working with the Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) and eleven other communities, selected Good Energy as the vendor to solicit price quotes for collective purchasing of electricity for residents and local businesses. Individual participation is strictly voluntary.

    At special town meeting on October 27, residents voted to authorize the board of selectmen to work with other communities on “electric aggregation” in time to meet the cut-off date for enrollment in the MA Municipal Energy Aggregation program. The benefits to aggregate buying include savings for residents on their electric bills, long-term budget stability, no early termination fees, renewable energy options, and protection from rising energy prices which have risen dramatically in the last 12 months.

   The initial group of four communities grew to a total of twelve towns or cities representing over 92,000 residential or business accounts in Southeastern Massachusetts. The list of participating communities includes Acushnet, Dighton, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Northbridge, Norton, Plainville, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, and Swansea.

   Good Energy, a company that develops and implements “aggressive and innovative savings programs tailored to the end user’s patterns of electricity consumption” began in Pennsylvania and expanded to other states.  Their goal is to “continuously assess the market for the best available deals on electricity.”  Typically, Good Energy is able to save commercial businesses up to 30% on their power supply costs.

   A website was created by SRPEDD with valuable information on the program, frequently asked questions, cautionary advise, and regular progress updates.  The program is anticipated to take effect next summer.

    Information will also be available on the Town of Rehoboth website.




SPRING COUNTDOWN:  Only 53 Days Until Spring Arrives!