Man convicted of distributing crack cocaine out of vacant Mattapan apartment

Joel "Ninety" Clay, 25, got a 15-to-17-year prison term for running a crack-distribution operation out of a vacant Sturbridge Street apartment, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office says.

Clay was convicted and sentenced last week on charges of trafficking in more than 200 grams of a Class B substance, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition, according to the DA's office. He was acquitted on similar charges related to drugs and weapons found at a Florida Street apartment.  Read more

T warns of robbery risk around Ashmont

A rash of street robberies around Ashmont station prompted the MBTA Transit Police to issue an advisory to their officers on Tuesday. The warning details a string of four armed and unarmed robberies targeting black teenagers over the last week.  Read more

Man gunned down near Marshall Elementary School

Boston Police report a man shot at Bowdoin and Westville streets shortly before noon has died.  Read more

Three shot on Halloween, one in critical condition

A party at 40 Glenway St. ended early this morning when a 21-year-old woman was shot once outside her own party - but that was enough to send her to the hospital in critical condition, police report.  Read more

Man arrested at South Bay as 'kissing bandit' is suspect in attempted rape in Brookline

A homeless man arrested at the South Bay mall on Wednesday after allegedly trying to kiss a woman waiting for her boyfriend in his car turns out to be a suspect in a 2007 attempted rape near the Brookline Village Green Line stop.  Read more

Think spooky but safe for Halloween

Many Dot parents want to let their kids participate in all the Halloween excitement, yet worry that door-to-door trick or treating is fraught with problems. Riding to the rescue is The Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events, which is collaborating with local agencies to offer a pair of upcoming free events that are spooky, but safe.

For those families open to a friendly sort of “scared straight” experience, Mattapan’s B-3  Station is hosting a sort of “haunted hoosegow” tonight (Thurs., Oct. 29) from 3pm to 8pm.  Read more

An afternoon at the revamped Mattapan Public Library

Elizabeth St. Victor, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 29, 2009

Nine months after its revival, the Mattapan Branch Library is strikingly busy on a Thursday afternoon. Students clamor in and out of the young adult and children’s rooms. Older patrons use new computers or borrow from the DVD collection. A group of parents wait in the pristine lobby for their children. Called the most technologically rich library in the Boston Public Library system, it is getting its fair share of use.  Read more

Police seize pit bull that may have attacked girl earlier this month

Boston Police report seizing a pit bull on Talbot Avenue Tuesday morning after its owner allegedly tried to sic the animal on the young daughter of a neighbor with whom she's been feuding.  Read more

A look at the finalists in the City Council at-large race

Voters go to the polls on Nov. 3 with eight choices for four City Council At-Large slots on the ballot. The crop of candidates – many of them aides to politicians at City Hall and in Congress – is both ethnically and ideologically diverse: Two African-Americans, two Latinos, one Republican formerly from Nantucket, and three white men.

The ballot order for the candidates follows:
 Read more

Squaring off for one last time

In historic Faneuil Hall, the mayoral race formally entered its final stretch at around 8 o’clock on Tuesday night when Mayor Thomas Menino and City Councillor At-Large Michael Flaherty stepped off the stage, having sparred during their final forum together.

Education dominated the 90-minute back-and-forth: Charging that the city was “stuck in neutral,” Flaherty continued to hit Menino over the city’s underperforming schools. Out of the city’s 143 schools, 100 of them have been labeled “underperforming” by the state, Flaherty pointed out in one of his stronger performances.  Read more

Time running short for St. William’s deal, says O’Neill

The clock is ticking on whether to locate a Catholic high school, currently in Cambridge, at the former St. William’s School in Savin Hill, the chair of the high school’s board of trustees said this week.

An agreement on whether to relocate North Cambridge Catholic High School to Dorchester must be reached in the “next few days” or the school will have to turn to other sites in Boston, said Thomas O’Neill, who heads the school’s board of trustees as well as a high-powered local lobbying and public relations firm.  Read more

The flu watch: Delays and concerns

Sue Asci, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 29, 2009

While many health care providers are waiting for additional shipments of both seasonal flu and H1N1 flu vaccines, Dorchester has yet to experience large numbers of influenza-like cases this fall.

Still, if the flu season mirrors the spring incidence rate, the number of cases could rise significantly. As a result officials at most health care facilities in Dorchester are advising residents to get both vaccines when they are available.  Read more

Fall Spreads Color in the Cemetery

A horse-drawn wagon meandered through the foliage last Sunday, carrying children and parents on a hayride through the Cedar Grove Cemetery. The annual ride was part of the annual Halloween festivities sponsored by the Cedar Grove Gardens.

Court rejects suit by landlord against tenant in condemned building

The Massachusetts Appeals Court yesterday dismissed a suit by a Dorchester landlord against a tenant who testified about the conditions inside his apartment during a city hearing on whether to condemn the building.  Read more

Police arrest teen on charges he carried a loaded gun

Police report arresting a local teen after he allegedly pointed a loaded gun at a student waiting for a bus on Columbia Road around 7:15 a.m. and then fled when officers spotted him.  Read more

Three indicted for roving gun battle that left two dead at Uphams Corner restaurant

Emmanuel Pina and Sandro Tavares were indicted today for the murder of an innocent chef and a man with whom they allegedly fought at the Ka-Carlos restaurant in Uphams Corner, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports. A third man, Timothy Santos, was indicted on charges of armed assault with intent to murder - he allegedly shot at somebody during the incident, but missed, the DA's office says.  Read more

Mattapan murder linked to heroin distribution

Boston Police reported today that shortly after Carlos Romero Franco, 31, was gunned down on Oct. 16 at 598 Harvard St., they discovered heroin there with an estimated street value of $1 million, as well as a gun and an unspecified amount of cash.  Read more

The Boston Book Festival offers a cornucopia for readers, listeners

Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Copley Square venues

The inaugural one-day Boston Book Festival will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Boston Public Library, Old South Church, Trinity Church and outdoors in Copley Square. Festival events will include presentations and panels featuring 90 writers, scholars, critics, and commentators; a focus on technology as it relates to reading; programming for children, teens and families; writing workshops and competitions; and spoken word and music performances.  Read more

For the Bay State, it’s mostly life in the unmoneyed weeds

Jim O'Sullivan, State House News Service
Oct. 23, 2009

Unscientifically extrapolated from this month’s state economic data, forecasts and a national performance review of child protection laws that may want to circle back with Colorado:

We’re good at protecting abused and neglected kids, except for the occasional murder, but their parents are more likely to be unemployed or filing for bankruptcy – or, if they’re working for the state, on the brink of furloughs and layoffs.

But, if employed, they might be thinking of adding that toy room next spring.  Read more

As fewer artists, visitors take part, Open Studios looks for solutions; event is this weekend

With the 8th annual Dorchester Open Studios (DOS) fast approaching this weekend, ultra-stressed organizers are wrestling with how to maximize the local celebration of the arts in the face of declining involvement of artists and visitors.

Last year DOS advertised the involvement of 100 artists and actually had 86 participating; this time around, the projected number hovers around 65 and at fewer venues.  Read more

Her goal is to honor the elderly

Sue Asci, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 22, 2009

Respecting the spirit and wisdom of the elderly is not only part of the mission at Standish Village, but it is also a core value of the Lower Mills-based assisted living facility’s new executive director Jean Patel Bushnell.

For Bushnell, the journey to this post, which she took over in September, began when she came to the U.S. from Georgetown, Guyana, at the age of 19. And while she has put a lot of energy into developing her education and career throughout that journey, it is her mother whom she credits for her success.  Read more

Mattapan renews Main Street push

Elizabeth St. Victor, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 22, 2009

Citizens and community leaders— and one business owner — from the Mattapan neighborhood gathered for the fourth time on Monday night with one big purpose in mind: How best to write a proposal for a Mattapan Main Street District that will get City Hall's attention and approval?

The Boston Main Streets organization was set up by Mayor Menino in 1995 to provide the city's neighborhoods with the design and financial support they need to maintain and upgrade their commercial districts.  Read more

Connecting past to future in Upham’s Corner

Jill S. Gross, Special to the Reporter
Oct. 22, 2009

History buffs and area residents strolled through the building where the nation’s first supermarket once thrived, threw balls down the lane of a shuttered candlepin alley, and even took a bow on the stage of the Strand Theatre on Saturday morning.

And organizers of a walking tour of Upham’s Corner hoped that as participants took in the sites where past generations watched movies, worshipped, stabled their horses, and bought their bread, they also would become energized about the neighborhood’s future.  Read more

Candidates playing offense, defense

The two mayoral candidates this week offered a preview of the closing weeks of the campaign as incumbent Thomas Menino defended a record of lower crime during his tenure and a history of fighting foreclosures, while City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty hammered the mayor over underperforming schools in the system and City Hall’s e-mail deletion controversy.  Read more

At one time a grand homestead, Wright House waits on the future

The former home of George Wright at 24 Grampian Way, Savin Hill. 	Photo by Ed Forry.The former home of George Wright at 24 Grampian Way, Savin Hill. Photo by Ed Forry.

What was once one of Dorchester’s grandest homes sits sadly today at 24 Grampian Way atop Savin Hill overlooking downtown Boston. The residence, deemed a “haunted house” by neighbors, has fallen into disrepair. It has a history, though: It was once owned by the legendary sportsman George Wright, a Dorchester fixture until his death at age 90 in 1937, who helped revolutionize American sports, particularly major league baseball, in the decades after the Civil War.  Read more