Public Safety

Chemical vapors found at Mildred Ave. Middle School

A trace amount of vapors from the dry cleaning chemical tetrachloroethylene, also known as perc, has been detected at the Mildred Avenue Middle School in Mattapan. The school was completed in 2003 on a handful of formerly industrial sites that were cleaned up and patched together by the city.

Boston Public Schools and the Department of Environmental Protection both agree that the amount detected in air quality tests is not enough to be threat to students, but plans are being made to address the problem before it gets any worse.  Read more

The utter stupidity some people possess once they get behind the wheel of a car

Motor vehicles - more specifically the misuse of motor vehicles - is a valuable tool for police officers to enforce traffic laws, but more often than not it leads to the discovery of other more serious crimes. It amazes me to no end the utter stupidity some people possess once they get behind the wheel of a car, especially those that have bad licenses, no licenses, warrants, drugs or guns in their possession. Don't believe me? Read on.

January 17, 9:16 p.m.  Read more

Police to cut jobs, move Youth Force out of building on Hancock Street

After two years in a small building at 170 Hancock St., the Boston Police Department's Youth Violence Strike Force and bicycle unit are moving out, part of several other cutbacks - including 60 layoffs - designed to trim the department's budget in a low-revenue year for the city.  Read more

Shooter gets lengthy term for Levin crossfire death

A Dorchester man will serve 27 1/2 to 30 years in prison for the crossfire killing of a visiting Kentucky woman in March 2007. A judge last Friday sentenced Casimiro Barros to the maximum after he was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in the death of 22-year-old Chiara Levin.

Prosecutors say Barros, 22, and Manuel Andrade, 35, were shooting at each other on Geneva Ave. when a stray bullet hit Levin in the head. She and friends had gone to a party with Andrade after meeting him in a nightclub.  Read more

Drunken Grinch caught in the act on Coffey Street

I really don't know what to write about this week. Things have been relatively sane in Dorchester lately. No Manny sightings, no berserk chimps eating neighbors. Actually it's been pretty boring the last couple of months. Good for you, but bad for me, who has to report on our more bizarre incidents. Oh well, I can only write about what I have, I don't make these stories up. So here goes ...

Christmas Eve, 6:53 p.m.  Read more

Arson strikes church in historic theater

Firefighters responding to a pull box alarm on Blue Hill Avenue and Columbia Road found smoke pouring out of the New Fellowship Baptist Church early on Saturday morning. Rushing to discover the source, they found a back door to the church open and fires in multiple locations inside, including the stage.

"The firefighters ruled that the fire was set," said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald. "They based that on the fact that the fire was in multiple locations… and they ruled out all the other possible causes."

The department estimated the damage at $250,000.  Read more

Two arrested for year's first homicide

Boston homicide detectives announced Tuesday the arrest of two men suspected of the Jan. 7 murder of 36-year-old Tyrone Smith on Dorchester's Stanwood Street.

Dorchester residents Trevor Mason, 21 and Daryl Pullen, 20, are expected to be arraigned in Dorchester District Court this week in the shooting of Smith, as well as a 36-year-old unnamed female who survived the attack.  Read more

Osherow on road to recovery

Dorchester real estate agent Kenneth Osherow is already back at work in a limited capacity and recovering well after his partner of five years, Ceslo Cruz, inexplicably attacked him at his second home in Bartlett, N.H. Jan. 17.

Cruz allegedly broke both of Osherow's wrists and stabbed him several times in the back and abdomen. Police interrupted the altercation early that Saturday morning in the basement of Osherow's house. Cruz was charged with attempted murder.  Read more

Man charged in stabbing death of girlfriend

A 29-year-old Dorchester man is being held without bail this week after he allegedly stabbed his girlfriend to death in a Ridgewood Street apartment on Sunday morning. Luz Forty, 38, was found by police when they were called to the scene. Police say the suspect, Mario Gonzalez, called 911 and told them that an intruder had broken into the apartment they shared and stabbed Luz to death. He later admitted that he was the attacker, according to prosecutors. Gonzalez is due back in court on May 5.

Foiled again! Would-be burglars caught in the act

Today is Kaitlyn's birthday. She would have been 25 years old today. She should have been 25 years old today. But she didn't want to reach 25. For reasons known only to her, she couldn't make it through her 24th year.

This weekend we had a birthday remembrance Mass for Katie as well as a 12th anniversary Mass for our cousin Duane Liotti, who at the tender age of 21 took his own life in his South Boston apartment, ironically enough on Kaitlin's 13th birthday. Two beautiful young lives ended so suddenly, so tragically. But why?  Read more