<![CDATA[NBC Boston - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017https://www.nbcboston.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcboston.com/designimages/clear.gif NBC Boston https://www.nbcboston.comen-usWed, 13 Dec 2017 10:07:20 -0500Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:07:20 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Mass. State Trooper Injured in Overnight Crash on I-93]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:27:41 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/196*120/police+cruiser+ax.jpg

A Massachusetts trooper was injured in an accident on I-93 southbound in Milton.

The incident happened around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

State police said a trooper was assisting other troopers who had stopped a wrong-way driver going north on the southbound side.

Then the trooper was walking the driver, who had been arrested on an OUI charge, back to another trooper's cruiser, another driver hit the stationary cruiser, pushing that cruiser into the trooper, which resulted in a lower body injury.

The trooper was taken to Boston Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The motorist who hit the cruiser was taken to Milton Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. It's unclear if this driver will be charged.

The names of the trooper who was injured and the driver who was arrested on an OUI charge have not been released.

After the crash, two travel lanes were blocked. All travel lanes were reopened as of 4 a.m.

The incident is under investigation.

Editor's note: State police had initially said the crash had happened in Quincy, but later clarified it was in Milton.

<![CDATA[Cold Air Swings in With Biting Wind Chill]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 05:24:06 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/121317+wx+blog.jpg

The low pressure that brought a wintry mix to New England on Tuesday is now very powerful and stalling to our north.

The impact so far has been close to a foot of snow at the ski areas, a coating of ice for much of southern Hampshire and southern and eastern Maine, and less than a 20th of an inch of rain near Boston.

That means that just about all of New England is experiencing icy, and, in some cases, treacherous roads, especially side roads and sidewalks early Wednesday morning.

Because the storm system is stalling over Quebec the next couple of days, we endure an icy cold wind in New England.

With a mixture of sun and clouds and a few flurries, the temperatures Wednesday do not go up much. The temperature will hold in the 20s south and 10s north.

Wind from the west could gust past 40 mph with spotty wind damage possible.

The wind chill factor adds an extra cold sting to the air.

The storm stalling for the next few days may assist in driving the next couple of snow systems coming at us to veer off to the west and south of New England.

Though it is a very challenging forecast, it appears that a little bit of snow should just barely clip Connecticut, Rhode Island, Cape Cod and the Islands Wednesday night into eary Thursday.

Less than an inch or two of snow is likely.

Otherwise most of New England stays fair, with a slightly less windy Thursday.

The air remains very cold with a high temperature in the 10s north to 20s south.

Another weak system will pass close to our coast with the possibility of some more light snow late Friday into Saturday. That storm also will intensify offshore pushing another batch of cold windy weather in here for Friday night and Saturday.

A lot of the weekend may end up dry, but another system is going to be approaching later Sunday, with a chance of more snow developing at night.

The track of that system is still a long ways out and is a big challenge, but it looks like very similar to what happened here on Tuesday, with rain at the coast and snow at the ski areas possible to start off next week.

Either way we are still locked into a pretty wintry pattern, and a white Christmas is likely for most of New England.

<![CDATA['Hot DAMN': Local Lawmakers React to Jones' Defeat of Moore]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 07:58:45 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-890909758.jpg

Democrat Doug Jones performed the unthinkable Tuesday, defeating a Republican endorsed by President Donald Trump in the race for a U.S. Senate seat. New England's largely Democratic delegation was quick to share its excitement on social media.

"Hot DAMN," Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire said in a tweet that had more than 3,000 retweets in just over half an hour.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont put out a statement, congratulating Jones and the residents of Alabama.

"This is a a victory not just for Jones and Democrats," he said. "It is a victory for justice and decency."

Moore was already a controversial figure before allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls were levied. While many Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, pushed for him to drop out of the race, Trump threw his full support behind him in the days leading up to the election.

"Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory," Trump said in a tweet. "The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win."

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts also congratulated the people of Alabama.

"Our democracy thanks you," he said in a tweet.

"It's a proud night for America," agreed Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty
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<![CDATA[Blast of Cold, Several Chances for Snow in the Next Week]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:06:17 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/cold.jpg.png

A blast of winter cold has arrived to New England, and while the cold has staying power, the wind is a bit more fleeting, gusting to 40 mph at times Wednesday and diminishing overnight.

The gusty wind, combined with temperatures in the twenties, means a Wednesday wind chill in the single digits and teens that will carry through the evening.

The next energetic atmospheric disturbance to impact the Northeast is already over the Great Lakes and racing east and will spread increasing clouds to New England overnight, cutting short a viewing of the Geminid meteor shower and delivering a coating to an inch of light snow to the South Coast predawn Thursday through sunrise before exiting.

As cold air persists, the weekend will remain quiet until a chance of snow showers Sunday evening, Tuesday evening and perhaps again next Friday, heading into a Christmas weekend that could bring some volatile weather at times.

<![CDATA[Ex-Staffer: Reported Schumer Sex Suit Is 'Completely False']]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 01:16:57 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/AP_17318739073690.jpg

A former staffer for Sen. Chuck Schumer said a draft of a sexual harassment lawsuit naming the Senate minority leader is "completely false."

In a statement to NBC News the staffer named in the document said "the claims in this document are completely false, my signature is forged, and even basic facts about me are wrong.” It comes hours after news site Axios reported the existence of the document and that Schumer's team had turned it over to Capitol Police.

"I have contacted law enforcement to determine who is responsible," the staffer said. "I parted with Senator Schumer’s office on good terms and have nothing but the fondest memories of my time there."

NBC News is protecting the staffer's anonymity at her request, as she says she's a victim of a crime.

Axios reports Schumer's office is disputing basic facts in the documents, including Schumer's whereabouts during two purported allegations in 2011.

"The document is a forged document and every allegation is false,” a spokesman for Schumer told Axios.”We have turned it over to the Capitol Police and asked them to investigate and pursue criminal charges because it is clear the law has been broken."

He added, "We believe the individual responsible for forging the document should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to prevent other malicious actors from doing the same."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite]]>
<![CDATA[2 in Custody, Shots Reportedly Fired During Home Robbery]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:59:55 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/POLICE+LIGHTS+Connecticut.jpg

Authorities in Massachusetts say two people are in custody after shots were reportedly fired during a home break-in in Lynn.

Lynn police said it happened on Birch Street and Massachusetts Avenue Wednesday morning.

The homeowners interrupted the robbery, according to police.

It's unclear who fired the shots.

One suspect was arrested by state police, while the other was arrested by local authorities. Their names have not been released.

No other details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[2017 Geminids: How to Watch This Year's Best Meteor Shower]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:57:51 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/geminds2013_jcc_960.jpg

Nighttime sky-watchers willing to brave the cold can look forward to a spectacular display of shooting stars Wednesday night.

The Geminid meteor shower, which returns every December, is widely regarded as the most impressive of the year, according to a NASA news release.

"With August's Perseids obscured by bright moonlight, the Geminids will be the best shower this year," said Bill Cooke with NASA's meteoroid environment office. "The thin, waning crescent moon won't spoil the show."

The dazzling display of celestial fireworks will reach its peak of one per minute between midnight and 4 a.m. local time, Cook reported. He noted good rates will also be visible between 7:30 p.m. and dawn the morning of Dec. 14.

The Geminids are spawned by pieces of debris from the distant asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Every December, Earth’s orbit crosses the asteroid’s and those particles burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, creating a meteor shower that lights up the night’s sky.

This year, Phaethon will fly its closest distance to Earth since its discovery in 1983, according to NASA.

Meteor showers can be seen with the naked eye and don't require binoculars or telescopes, though the best view is from the Northern Hemisphere. Observers will see fewer Geminids in the Southern Hemisphere.

And if you can't make it out, or if skies are cloudy, you can watch NASA's Geminids webcast live here from the Automated Lunar and Meteor Observatory at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, starting at sunset, about 5:40 p.m. ET on Dec. 13.

Photo Credit: Juan Carlos Casado via NASA]]>
<![CDATA[Black Voter Turnout, Allegations Doomed Moore: Exit Poll]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:45:33 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/election-line.jpg

The allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore and a Democratic surge boosted by high African-Americans turnout led Doug Jones to his projected election upset win in Alabama, NBC News' exit polls showed.

African Americans made up 29 percent of all Alabama voters, and they broke for Jones by a 96 percent-to-4 percent margin. That essentially matched Barack Obama’s performance with African Americans in the state in 2012.

Ninety-eight percent of black women supported Jones, compared with 34 percent of white women. Still, even that support among white women was more than twice the 16 percent of white women who voted for President Barack Obama in 2012, NBC News reported. Overall, 58 percent of Alabama women voted for Jones. 

Meanwhile, 52 percent of voters in Alabama said allegations against Moore were either "definitely" or "probably" true, and they broke for Jones, 89 percent to 8 percent.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Crashes Into Fire Hydrant, Accident Causes Sink Hole]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:32:31 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/176*120/wrentham+ax.jpg

A man driving a van early Wednesday morning crashed into a fire hydrant after crossing the center line and going off the road.

The accident happened on Dedham Street in Wrentham, Massachusetts around midnight.

The driver of the van has been identified as 54-year-old Joseph White.

Police say he left the scene but was later located and arrested for OUI liquor.

The crash caused the fire hydrant to erupt, spraying water high into the air, which resulted in road flooding. That caused structural damage to the southbound lane, as a large sink hole could be seen from SkyRanger video.

Route 1A (Dedham Street) had been closed in both directions between Winter Street and Route 140, Wrentham Center, but the northbound side has since been reopened. Detours are also in place.

MassDOT has crews on scene and they hope to open one lane of travel by about 8:00 a.m. to alternately let traffic through.

Crews have to check the integrity of the road because the water break may have affected road pavement condition.

White will be arraigned at Wrentham District Court Wednesday. It's not immediately clear if he has an attorney.

The accident remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: Wrentham Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Arlington Police: 29 Break-ins Since End of August]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 04:50:53 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Arlington_Police_report_29_break-ins_since_August.jpg

Arlington, Massachusetts police are warning residents about an increase in home break-ins.

They say there have been 29 break-ins since August 31, including five that occurred on Friday, Dec. 8.

Jewlery, electronics and cash have been targeted in most of the cases.

Many of the crimes have reportedly taken place between dusk and 10 p.m., and at least one suspect spotted by a resident was seen carring a backpack, which is not uncommon in burglaries. 

Police say suspects have gained access to homes through both locked and unlocked windows and doors. 

"Arlington is a safe and vibrant community, but we are not immune to crime, nor are we invisible to those seeking a quick profit by breaking into a home or taking a package from someone’s doorstep,” Chief Frederick Ryan said. “That said, we are asking residents to immediately report suspicious activity to the APD.”

Officers remind Arlington residents to lock their windows and doors, leave a light on when away from home, and do not leave a spare key outside.

They also suggest keeping vehicles locked, setting an alarm system if you have one, hiding valuables, and leaving curtains partially open. 

Anyone with information is urged to call the Arlington police department at 781-643-1212.

The department's criminal investigation bureau is actively investigating all incidents. 

<![CDATA[Investigation Underway After Swastikas Found in HS Classroom]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:42:54 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000011095537.JPG

Police in Massachusetts are investigating after three swastikas were found drawn on a desk in the classroom of a Jewish teacher.

They were discovered at Andover High School on Tuesday afternoon, just hours before the first night of Hanukkah, according to authorities.

Police and school officials are working together to find out who is behind the act, while town and school leaders are trying to use this as a moment to educate.

The Andover superintendent said in a statement, "We seek to find those responsible for these acts, but we also know that we must educate our entire community if we hope to prevent these acts from reoccurring," Andover Superintendent Sheldon Berman said in a statement.

This is the third time in recent months that a swastika has been found in Andover High.

The town manager says they are a tolerant, vibrant and welcoming community and will not allow hate crimes or hate speech in schools or anywhere else.

Town and school officials hope to hold a public forum in the next few months to discuss the matter.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to call Andover High School at 978-247-5500 or Andover police at 978-475-0411.

Photo Credit: NBC Boston]]>
<![CDATA[Cannabis Cafes Coming to Massachusetts]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:54:31 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Mass._Looks_to_Open_Cannabis_Cafes.jpg

Just like buying a drink at the bar, you will soon be able to buy a marijuana product at a so-called "cannabis cafe" in Massachusetts and legally consume it right there.

It's something Will Luzier with Marijuana Policy Project of Massachusetts says will be life changing for many.

"It'll be a place where folks can go who can't use cannabis at home because they use federal housing, or their landlord won't let them, or because they have kids," explained Luzier.

The state agency that regulates legalized marijuana approved a policy on Monday, allowing for such establishments.

Right now, marijuana use in public is illegal in the state, but the Cannabis Control Commission is allowed to license on-premises marijuana establishments.

"A place that might serve food, a place that might be a yoga studio, or wellness studio that offers a massage," Luzier described. "It might be a local club."

The state agency says these businesses will not be allowed to serve alcohol. And like bartenders, marijuana servers will be properly trained to identify when someone is too intoxicated. But public safety officials still have many concerns, including accidents.

"You have to make sure that the safeguards are in place to make sure you're not over-serving people, people are not walking out of there, getting into a motor vehicle, driving away and getting into car crashes and hurting other people," said Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael.

Carmichael is part of the Cannabis Control Commission.

"We need to make sure that the purpose of the law and why people voted for it will be kept in tact, and that's making sure they're safe," he said.

The commission plans to vote on a draft of regulations next week. Those regulations will need to be finalized sometime next March. Marijuana businesses will be allowed to open July 1.

Photo Credit: NBC Boston]]>
<![CDATA[Snowfall Totals for Tuesday's Storm Across New England]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:08:45 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Frank+S+Fitchburg+MA+Snow+ruler.jpg

Snowfall totals are coming in from the National Weather Service for a storm hitting New England with a wintry mix of snow and rain on Tuesday.


Androscoggin County

Auburn 3.0"

Cumberland County

South Portland 4.0"

Cumberland Center 2.9"

Gray 2.9"

Naples 2.6"

Gorham 2.3"

Portland 2.0"

Standish 1.9"

Westbrook 1.8"

Portland Jetport 0.9"

Kennebec County

Mount Vernon 2.5"

Knox County

Rockland 1.5"

Oxford County

Otisfield 2.3"

Sagadahoc County

Topsham 2.0"

Phippsburg 1.2"

York County

Hollis 4.1"

Lebanon 2.0"

South Berwick 1.8"

Alfred 1.5"

Saco 1.3"

Sanford 0.5"


Belknap County

Meredith 4.2"

Coos County

Randolph 11.0"

Grafton County

Plymouth 5.5"

Hillsborough County

Goffstown 0.4"

Merrimack County

Henniker 3.5"

Concord 3.3"

Northfield 2.0"

Rockingham County

Deerfield 2.5"

Stratham 1.3"

Greenland 0.7"


Franklin County

Conway 4.4"

Greenfield 4.0"

Leyden 3.8"

Heath 3.5"

Deerfield 3.3"

Rowe 1.7"

Hawley 1.3"

Buckland 1.3"

Ashfield 1.0"

Leverett 0.5"

Sunderland 0.4"

Hampden County

Blandford 4.0"

Chester 2.5"

Hampshire County

Cummington 4.5"

Plainfield 3.5"

Worthington 2.8"

Williamsburg 2.0"

East Windsor 1.1"

Northampton 1.0"

Plainfield 0.9"

Easthampton 0.1"

Westhampton 0.1"

Middlesex County

Pepperell 1.2"

Townsend 0.3"

Worcester County

Ashburnham 2.2"

Fitchburg 2.1"

Leominster 0.8"

Worcester 0.4"

Westminster 0.3"

Barre 0.1"


Addison County

Hancock 2.3"

South Lincoln 2.0"

Orwell 2.0"

Vergennes 1.0"

Caledonia County

Lydonville 1.5"

Danville 1.1"

Sutton 1.1"

Hardwick 1.0"

Sheffield 1.0"

Wheelock 0.8"

Chittenden County

Winooski 4.3"

South Burlington 3.3"

Jericho 1.1"

Westford 1.0"

Nashville 0.5"

Williston 0.5"

Essex Junction 0.5"

Essex County

Island Pond 1.0"

Lunenberg 0.8"

Granby 0.5"

Franklin County

Swanton 3.0"

Saint Albans 1.6"

Swanton 0.6"

Grand Isle County

Alburgh 1.0"

Lamoille County

Eden Mills 7.0"

Stowe 7.0"

Jefferson 1.2"

Hyde Park 0.9"

Orange County

Braintree Hill 8.3"

Williamstown 6.0"

Vershire 3.0"

Corinth 1.1"

Orleans County

Greensboro 3.0"

Westfield 1.8"

Derby Center 1.0"

Barton 0.2"

Rutland County

Mendon 6.0"

Pittsford 4.0"

West Rutland 3.1"

Mount Holly 3.0"

Castleton 1.8"

Washington County

Waterbury Center 7.0"

Waitsfield 2.5"

Cabot 2.0"

Northfield 2.0"

Woodbury 1.6"

Northfield 1.5"

Montpelier 1.0"

East Calais 0.5"

Plainfield 0.3"

Windsor County

Ludlow 10.8"

Springfield 9.0"

Rochester 8.0"

Woodstock 6.0"

Ludlow 5.4"

Hartland 3.8"

North Hartland Lake 2.6"

Pomfret 2.5"

Photo Credit: Frank S]]>
<![CDATA[Wanna Be Like Tom Brady? There's an App for That]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:22:29 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/tb12.jpg

He's on Facebook. He's on Instagram. And now Tom Brady has his own app.

TB12, the fitness and wellness organization co-founded by Brady, announced Tuesday that it has launched the "TB12 Method" mobile app. The app "offers a roadmap to the TB12 Method and lifestyle," helping users to build positive daily habits that lead to "greater health, well-being and vitality in their lives."

It's basically a digital extension of Brady's book, "The TB12 Method," which focuses on the importance of hydration, nutrition, rest, muscle pliability and fitness to help protect the body against injury and allow for greater performance.

"This app is the next step in making the TB12 Method available to everyone, everywhere," Brady said in a statement.

The app is now available in the Apple app store. You can get a 1-week free trial, but a premium subscription is $19.99 a month or $199.99 a year. It's coming soon to Android devices.

Of course, Brady and his TB12 team might not have chosen the best day to launch the app, as it came on the heels of one of his worst performances in a 27-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. Brady was sacked twice and intercepted twice in a game that had some Patriots fans wondering if their quarterback might be playing hurt.

Photo Credit: TB12 Method Mobile App]]>
<![CDATA[Local Rapper's Music Video Tackling Race Goes Viral]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:14:25 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Worcester_Rapper_Tackles_Race_in_Viral_Video.jpg

A Massachusetts rapper is creating a buzz online with his new song tackling the subject of racism.

In just two weeks after Joyner Lucas of Worcester released "I'm Not Racist," it amassed more than 14 million views on YouTube.

The video starts with a white man in a Make America Great Again cap sitting across the table from a black man in dreadlocks. The man lip syncs the lyrics, "With all due respect, I don't have pity for you black [expletive], that's the way I feel."

Halfway through the song is a twist: the black man responds, lip syncing, "Screaming 'All Lives Matter' is a protest to my protest."

The 29-year-old rapper, who is biracial, says he can easily see both sides, and he wanted his words to be raw, confrontational and uncomfortable.

"A lack of understanding between both parties and different cultures and the way we were raised, our upbringing is ultimately what makes us who we are," he said.

Dr. Rachel Rubin, a pop culture professor at UMass Boston, says it's difficult to start a conversation about race, but music is a way get people talking.

"Culture is a conversation. It just is," she said. "People will watch it and think about it. They'll make arguments and people will like some things and not like some things."

In the nearly-seven-minute song, the two men tackle the n-word, politics and privilege. They end with a hug, which is where Dr. Rubin finds her one dissatisfaction with the song.

"I don't feel like if you're watching something about racism, you really should leave feeling with [an] 'OK, everything's all good now.'"

Joyner says the Hollywood ending may be unrealistic, but he's hopeful.

"That's just the way I see the world, and that's me trying to change the world one day at a time," he said.

<![CDATA[Senators React to Jones' Victory in Alabama Senate Race]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:03:02 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-890909758.jpg

Senators took to social media after Doug Jones was the apparent winner to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, with many Democrats calling it a political setback for President Donald Trump.

"Congratulations to my friend @GDouglasJones. He'll be a great colleague," Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., tweeted. "President Trump went all in for Roy Moore, but proud Alabamians wisely repudiated their behavior."

Most Republicans did not immediately react on Twitter to Jones' win.

When news initially broke of Roy Moore's alleged sexual misconduct in early November, many GOP senators called for Moore to leave the race. But in the final weeks leading up to the election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walked back his original call for Moore to drop out, Trump explicitly endorsed him and and the RNC started to fund his campaign again. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he thinks Jones will be an "outstanding" senator who "will represent Alabama well."

"As Dr. King said, 'The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice,'" Jones said during his victory speech, as he thanked Alabamians. "Tonight ladies and gentleman, tonight in this time, in this place, you helped bend the moral arc a little closer to justice."

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was the only GOP senator to explicitly show support for Jones. Days before the election, he tweeted a photo of a check he sent to Jones' campaign with the words, "Country over Party."

On Tuesday, after it appeared Jones won the election, Flake was the first Republican senator to tweet: "Decency wins."

Here's a look at how members of the Senate reacted to the Alabama outcome on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty
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<![CDATA[Mass. School's 'Time-Out Rooms' Come Under Heavy Fire]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 19:20:36 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000011078073.JPG

A Lawrence, Massachusetts, school is examining its policy on placing children in so-called "time-out rooms" after an irate mother pulled her daughter from the school over the controversial practice. 

"It’s cinder block walls all around and cement floors," said parent Ashley Martinez. 

Martinez says last Friday her first-grade daughter was left alone in one of these rooms at Community Day Arlington Elementary school, even after she told staff it makes her daughter's PTSD and ADHD worse. 

"She ended up getting physical because she’s petrified of the room. She said, ‘Mommy, I didn’t want to go,’" said Martinez. 

After finding out, she immediately pulled her daughter from class and posted a photo online of one of the rooms. It caused outrage because of the poor conditions, including a broken chair with sharp edges, dirty floors, and empty walls. 

Martinez now says it wasn't the time-out room her daughter was pulled from Friday, but still wants the other ones improved. 

In a statement, the district says it's disputing some of the claims but would not get into specifics, since it's still under investigation. They say the time-out space is only used when a student is posing a safety threat to themselves or others. 

One or two staff always accompany students with the door open. Visits are 30 minutes or less and parents are immediately notified. 

School Committee member Pavel Payano says all timeout rooms and relevant procedures at other Lawrence public schools will be scrutinized and questioned. 

"We need to create policies that might change the direction of this school and others in the area," says Payano. 

Martinez says her daughter is back in school and hopes this never happens again. 

"I think higher ups need to step in, I don’t trust the school at all," said Martinez. 

The Department of Education says it will be following up with the school district once the investigation is over. 

<![CDATA['Layaway Angel' Couple Pays Off 35 Items at Toys 'R' Us]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:44:35 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000011077903.JPG

A toy store in Leominster, Massachusetts, has been touched by a "layaway angel" couple who paid off thousands of dollars' worth of items. 

It was early Saturday afternoon when a couple walked into the Toys "R" Us store. They went directly to Matt Hudlin, the store manager, and asked where the layaway orders were. 

"It was really just a heartwarming thing to see," said Hudlin. 

The couple pointed out two aisles of brown boxes and said they would pay the remainder of their individual bills. They paid for 35 orders costing around $4,000. 

The store emailed each customer telling them the bill was paid. Some called back asking if the email was an error. It wasn't.

According to Hudlin, some customers were in tears on the phone. 

Stephanie Florio had one payment left when she walked into the store Tuesday night after work. 

"They said that the 'layaway angel' paid off the last one," said Florio. "I was completely shocked." 

Since October, Florio has been making monthly payments for Christmas toys for her 6-year-old daughter, Isabella. 

"I just want to say, 'Thank you so much for doing this for me and my family,'" said Florio. 

The couple from Saturday is asking to remain anonymous. Recognition isn't their reason for giving. 

"Good to see that there are still people out there that do nice things and don't expect to get recognition for it," said Hugh Murphy of Gardner. "They do it for the sake of doing it." 

<![CDATA[Man Loses Hand in Illegal Fireworks Accident]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:45:31 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/Quincy+Incendary+Device.jpg

A Massachusetts, man lost a hand in an accident involving what are believed to be illegal commercial-grade fireworks on Tuesday.

Emergency crews responded to the scene of a home on Smith Street in Quincy around 2:40 p.m.

The victim, who has not been identified, was taken to a local hospital. The man's cousin said he lost a hand in the accident.

Police said they believe the incident involved an M-80, which is illegal in Massachusetts.

Investigators are waiting on a search warrant so they can remove other fireworks from inside the home.

Photo Credit: Quincy Police]]>
<![CDATA[Baker Meets With Puerto Rico Governor on Hurricane Aid]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:05:23 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000011076785.JPG

It's been months since Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico, leaving destruction that the island is still trying to overcome. Massachusetts has some unique ideas to help with that recovery effort and the governor of Puerto Rico was on Beacon Hill Tuesday to hear them. 

Governor Ricardo Rosselló was in Massachusetts visiting his alma mater, MIT, where he graduated in 2001 with a degree in biomedical engineering. Rosselló was there to encourage students to help rebuild Puerto Rico.

After that, Rosselló met with Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh when word got out that the Board of Higher Education had just unanimously voted to give in-state tuition to displaced Puerto Rican students living in Massachusetts following the hurricane.

"There will be a time where we will call back upon those that have left when we will reach normalcy and we can start rebuilding, but in the meantime, giving that to the students of Puerto Rico is a great blessing," Rosselló said.

Gov. Baker says Massachusetts has already enrolled more than 1,800 students in grades K-12.

"We have been working to ensure that the schools kind of absorb those kids and make sure those kids get the education they need," he said.

But it is unclear how many Puerto Ricans will take advantage of the in-state tuition break.

Whatever the cost, Walsh says we should be doing for Puerto Rico what we would be doing for any state in a similar situation.

"The average citizen doesn’t understand, Puerto Rico is part of the United States of America," Walsh said. "It’s not a foreign government, it’s not a foreign country, it’s part of the United States of America."

Rosselló, a strong supporter of making Puerto Rico a state, took the opportunity to send a message to Congress - that the tax bill being considered would only penalize Puerto Rico by treating it like a foreign country.

"In my view, this is offensive," he said. "And it is a complete byproduct of the second class citizenship that we were exhibiting as Puerto Ricans because we don’t have this representation."

Meanwhile, the number of evacuees fleeing the island has increased in recent weeks and more families are expected to arrive in Massachusetts after the holidays. 

<![CDATA[Teen Stabbed on Basketball Court Behind High School]]> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 04:26:37 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Lynn+Basketball+Hoop+121217.JPG

A teenager was stabbed Tuesday night behind a Massachusetts high school, according to police in Lynn.

The victim, a 16-year-old boy, was stabbed in the abdomen on the basketball court behind Lynn English High School on Goodridge Street just after 8 p.m.

It was not immediately clear whether he is a student at the high school.

The teen was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

Photo Credit: NBC Boston]]>
<![CDATA[Sandy Hook Group Releases PSA Ahead of 5th Anniversary]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 21:45:32 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/%5BNECN%5D4pm_Sandy_Hook_documents_battle-Pkg-E_NECN1500kMP4_640x360_2388538158.jpg

A new PSA urges families and educators to improve their detection of warning signs that could potentially prevent another mass shooting in the U.S.

The video was released by Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit that was co-founded by parents of two students killed in the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Entitled "Tomorrow's News," it depicts a news broadcaster interviewing kids, parents and police about a mass shooting that will occur tomorrow.

"I thought it was an effective video," said Dr. David Barlow, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Boston University.

Over the years, Barlow said more and more research has been conducted on the prevalence of shootings in the U.S. and the public's response to them.

"We are programmed in a very healthy way to move beyond trauma, to get past it," Barlow explained. "The unfortunate side of that equation is it involves forgetting."

In recent years, Barlow said the number of shootings has left many feeling desensitized to the problem, which in turn means little action is taken to prevent them.

"It's extraordinarily frustrating," Barlow said. "It does not allow us to keep these things in mind sufficiently."

Thursday marks the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings, in which 20 children and six adults were killed.

"'Tomorrow's News' continues the conversation about the importance of knowing the signs of someone at risk and taking action," said Mark Barden, co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise. "The work of Sandy Hook Promise focuses on preventing gun violence before it starts. 'Tomorrow's News' is a powerful reminder that everyone can prevent a tragedy when they know the signs."

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[US Open to NKorea Talks 'Without Precondition': Tillerson]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 21:08:51 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/876790472-Rex-Tillerson-White-House.jpg

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that the United States is open to talks with North Korea without preconditions, saying it is unrealistic for the country to give up its nuclear weapons program before discussions can begin.

"It's not realistic to say we're only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your program, they have too much invested in it," Tillerson said at the Atlantic Council think tank, NBC News reported.

Tillerson said President Donald Trump "is very realistic about that as well."

"We've said from the diplomatic side, we're ready to talk any time North Korea would like to talk and we're ready to have the first meeting without precondition," Tillerson said.

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Maine Plow Driver Shortage Continues for 2nd Winter]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:18:16 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Maine_Suffering_From_Snow_Plow_Driver_Shortage.jpg

For the second winter in a row, the Maine Department of Transportation is trying to hire snow plow drivers. The department has about 50 open positions.

"We're trying to be creative to really compete for the experienced work staff that's out there," said Maine DOT spokesperson Ted Talbot.

He the said the statewide worker shortage is the driving force behind the problem. Maine's unemployment rate is at about three percent.

The DOT has tried to offer new incentives to recruit more drivers, such as a $1,000 winter stipend, but the number of unfilled driver positions has remained about the same.

To fill in the gaps, the DOT has turned to an outside contractor called First Vehicle to supply 24 additional drivers.

"We do have enough personnel to plow the roads ... so that's not the concern," said Talbot. "It's more of an in-house concern. What kind of rotations can we put these people on, and still remain safe and everybody rested?"

Talbot said customer service levels will remain the same and drivers should not notice a difference in quality, despite the worker shortage.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Sources: Former Gov. Deval Patrick's Brother-in-Law Arrested]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:27:09 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Bernard+Sigh.jpg

The brother-in-law of former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has been arrested on assault to rape charges in an incident involving a family member, law enforcement sources have told the NBC Boston Investigators. 

Bernard Sigh, 65, was arraigned Monday in Quincy District Court. 

Sources say the assault happened in Milton Saturday. 

Sigh is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing, sources say.

Sigh was convicted in 1993 after he pleaded guilty to spousal rape in California.

No further details were immediately available. 

Photo Credit: LinkedIn]]>
<![CDATA[Boston Pops Perform Holiday Concert at BCH]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:05:28 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Boston_Pops_Perform_Holiday_Concert_at_BCH.jpg

Patients at Boston Children's Hospital were treated to a holiday concert by the Boston Pops.

<![CDATA[Woman Allegedly Assaulted Son on Flight From Boston]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:05:33 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/TLMD-jet-blue-areolinea-st1.jpg

A federal complaint accuses a Colorado woman of assaulting her son during a flight from Boston to Salt Lake City.

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court against Cherice Dawn Klipfel states a passenger on the Sunday JetBlue Airways flight witnessed the mother striking, slapping, kicking and shoving her 8-year-old son.

Records show Klipfel appeared in court Monday on a misdemeanor assault count. She did not enter a plea.

The complaint states two other passengers saw Klipfel ``tightly cover'' her son's face and ``shake him aggressively'' while the boy cried.

The 46-year-old resident of Lakewood, Colorado, is being held at the Davis County jail. Her attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the case.

<![CDATA[Man Exposes Himself to Dunkin' Donuts Employee in Drive-Thru]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:46:34 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Dover+Dunkin+Expose+Suspect.JPG

Police in Dover, New Hampshire, are asking for the public’s help with identifying a man who exposed himself to a Dunkin’ Donuts employee while in a drive-thru.

The incident happened Saturday shortly after 5 p.m. at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 165 Portland Ave.

The suspect, who had "scruffy" facial hair, was driving what police think was a gold Mercury Marquis.

No other description of the suspect was given.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 603-742-4646 or anonymously at the Dover Crimeline at 603-749-6000 or online.

Photo Credit: Dover Police]]>
<![CDATA[Body Found Inside Burned Car in Worcester Cemetery]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:56:15 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/197*120/worcester+cemetery.jpg

Worcester, Massachusetts, police are investigating after a body was found inside a burned car parked in a cemetery Tuesday morning.

Officials responded to Hope Cemetery around 8:30 a.m. and found a sedan engulfed in flames, according to city officials. The body was found inside the vehicle after the fire was extinguished.

Crews set up a tent up over the vehicle, which appeared to have significant burns to the trunk area. Investigators spent a great deal of time taking photos around the trunk.

It is not known at this time whether the body found inside is a man or woman. Officials have not identified the body.

John Dirsa, whose son is buried at the cemetery, said the incident isn't something someone would expect at a cemetery.

"Today, with the way the forensics are and stuff, I can't imagine whoever did this will get away with it," he said.

Police say they know who owns the car involved in the crime.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 508-799-8651 or send an anonymous tip to 274637.

<![CDATA[School Asks FBI to Help Investigate Series of Racist Notes]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:38:00 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Racist_Incidents_Under_Investigation_at_Framingham.jpg

A Massachusetts university has asked the FBI to help investigate a series of racist notes left on campus.

The most recent message was found Friday by Framingham State University freshman Carlos Barbosa Jr.

The 18-year-old says the note was slipped under his door around midnight, and that it's the second racist note he's found this year.

FSU's president had a strong message for the culprit in his latest email to the campus community saying in part, "You do not share our community's values. You do not belong at FSU."

"I'm not worried with catching the person," said Barbosa Jr. "I'm more worried about addressing the issue and why the person felt they were enabled."

Since October, several messages with racial slurs targeting black students have been found on campus. The FBI is now analyzing the handwriting to see if they are connected.

Barbosa Jr. and other students say it's about time the school takes action. 

"It seemed like the school was being pretty passive about it so I'm glad the FBI is now involved," said sophomore Marie Phanord.

"Everybody is just kind of sick of it," Rendly Desair said.

"It's sad obviously," said student Zachary Dumay. "Just means campus isn't a safe place for everybody."

"It's crazy that racism still exists," Aidan Estrella said. "And the fact that it's happening in our own living space"

Barbosa Jr. says he wants change and his immediate focus is trying to start a deeper dialogue between school leaders and students on how to end racism on campus.

"We've been seeing a lot of people protesting trying to make everything right and hopefully it can be in the future soon," he said.

The school's president has asked the entire university to come together Wednesday afternoon for a healing service.

To improve safety, the school is adding additional security cameras on campus, including at student residences.

Anti-bias training for staff and police is scheduled for next week.

<![CDATA[Owner of Home Destroyed by Plane Missed Death by 10 Minutes]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 19:09:07 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clairemont-Plane-Crash_2.jpg

A San Diego man believes the fact that he was not in the backyard of his home when a small plane crashed is a miracle.

Max Sansa left his Clairemont home for work at 4:13 p.m. Saturday.

At 4:25 p.m., a plane fell from the sky shortly after takeoff from Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport.

The plane exploded into flames, killing two people and destroying the home.

The pilots were trying to land in a nearby schoolyard, however, the plane crashed through a fence and skidded into Sansa's yard on Chandler Drive. 

Sansa’s wife and 2-year-old daughter had left that morning to visit family in New York.

“If they weren't in New York, they would be here," Sansa said pointing to the living room. "It's gone. It's all burned."

His friend, Daniel, was staying with him. The two of them had done yard work in the backyard before the crash.

They had finished lunch and were deciding what to do next when Daniel's girlfriend came by.

“They were going to have a nap and Daniel lives in the room where the plane hit,” Sansa said. “But they decided to go to Point Loma for a walk. So that saved their lives.”

The brush with death still weighs on Sansa.

All that’s left of his backyard is an orange tree and part of a hammock.

“We have nothing left,” he said.

When asked what he’s going to do, Sansa suggests waiting a couple of years for the answer.

“I don't know. But I know I have to keep going,” he said.

The generosity of others is part of what keeps him going.

A neighbor stopped by to drop off clothes even during our interview.

“It just gives me hope,” he said.

Sansa says his wife and daughter get back this weekend. Until then he is staying with friends.

The plane, a 1995 Beechcraft Bonanza, was a six-seat single-engine airplane. It was registered to Altitude Aviation Inc., out of Hermosa Beach, California.

On Monday, one of the people killed in the crash was identified as Robert Stelling, 50, of South Hampton, New York. Stelling and his wife were visiting San Diego for a veterinary medicine conference.

Two other occupants of the plane — a man and a woman — walked away from the crash.

An online fundraising page has been set up in the name of Max Sansa. You can find it here. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7/Savonia Guy]]>
<![CDATA[Blast of Snowy Weather Hits Vermont Hard]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:10:55 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000011074229.JPG

A blast of snowy weather Tuesday tested Vermonters’ winter driving skills and patience.

Slide-offs and minor crashes were reported in many communities, including Middlesex, Colchester, and Essex—where a power pole broke when a driver lost control in the slippery conditions and hit it.

That Essex crash caused a temporary power outage to several dozen residents while Green Mountain Power made repairs to the pole.

"Drive slow—take extra time," urged Sgt. Francis Gonyaw of the Colchester Police Department. "The roads are going to be bad today; they’re going to be bad tonight. The National Weather [Service’s] forecast is talking about even into tomorrow. So just patience and slow down."

The mountains were where the most significant accumulations were expected. Skiers and riders took full advantage at Stowe Mountain Resort.

Mount Snow in West Dover boasted on Twitter of getting an inch an hour for part of the day at the resort.

And at Bolton Valley, spokesman Josh Arneson said the fresh snowfall should help spark new bookings for Vermont’s ski industry as a whole.

"This storm is extremely well-timed," Arneson said. "We love getting snow early-season and it’s going to tee us and everybody else up for a great Christmas week."

On downtown Burlington’s famous Church Street Marketplace, a busy destination for shopping and dining, maintenance staff spent the day keeping on top of the snow—ensuring holiday shoppers would have no trouble getting to the stores.

"Everyone’s in the holiday cheer," the marketplace’s Jim Daly said. "They’ve all got smiles on!"

With plow crews out working, the Vermont Agency of Transportation and other transportation officials around New England would also like to see drivers remember to not "crowd the plow" while on the roads. Instead, give those crews the room they need to do their jobs. 

Photo Credit: NBC Boston]]>
<![CDATA[Why Our Lady of Guadalupe Is Celebrated Across the US]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:24:36 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/ladguadaluper_1200x675.jpg

The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe, is celebrated on Dec. 12. For Mexicans and Mexican-Americans as well as other Latinos, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a powerful symbol of devotion, identity and patriotism. Her image inspires artists, activists, feminists and the faithful, NBC News reported.

“In Christianity, for us, Our Lady signifies a lot,” said Father Juan Antonio Gutierrez of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in El Paso, Texas. “She is the one who supports us, helps us, and protects us.” 

“She has been part of Mexican life for almost 500 years, and that’s why both believers and non-believers respect her image," Gutierrez told NBC News. "Our ancestors are represented through her; she represents us.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe has been a staple in Mexican and Mexican American culture for generations and she has one of the more famous apparitions in the world. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Renneisen, File]]>
<![CDATA[Moore Accuser: I Dated Him at 17. Today I'm Saying #NoMoore]]> Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:57:53 -0500 https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-885916584.jpg

Debbie Wesson Gibson is one of the women accusing Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct. She offered her personal account of Moore in an essay for NBC News' THINK section:

I’ve known Roy Moore since 1981, so perhaps you can imagine my shock when he decided to lie — twice — about not knowing me, or knowing any of the women The Washington Post spoke with in November.

Having claimed no sexual misconduct myself, I simply answered honestly that I had dated Moore for a few months when I was 17 and he was 34. I did not “wait 36 years to come out,” as some people have claimed; there was nothing to come out about, as he dated me very publicly. From the Catfish Cabin restaurant in Albertville on our first date is March of 1981 to my high school graduation night on May 22, 1981 to the kisses we exchanged at the Attalla Country Club pool concession area, there was nothing secret about our relationship. With 180 fellow graduates and a stadium full of family and friends and well wishers, it would be more challenging to find someone in Etowah County, Alabama in the spring of 1981 who was not aware that we dated.

Initially, I merely helped establish for reporters that Moore had a pattern of dating very young girls when he was in his 30's. Note that the age of sexual consent in Alabama has been 16 since 1920. The age of majority in Alabama in 1981 was 19, and Moore’s own legal decisions have contained language in which he refers to 17 year olds as children.

Photo Credit: Jon Gerberg/The Washington Post via Getty Images]]>