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A visitor that recently turned up at a Maine train museum has been identified as a rare albino porcupine.

Seashore Trolley Museum volunteer Herb Pence was in his car getting ready to leave Monday when a white object appeared in the distance. Some visitors noticed it too and asked Pence what it was.

At first, Pence said it seemed "like a plastic bag" but "then it moved."

Another volunteer came out of the museum to take a picture of the moving white ball.

Upon further examination, it was determined to be an albino porcupine which is rare because only one of every 10,000 of the species is albino.

Since Monday, the Kennebunkport museum has received calls about the creature and even launched a contest to name it.

As of Thursday, name suggestions included Tribble, Trolley, Herb, Porky McPorcupine, and the more avant-garde, Lamp.

Museum staff say they believe the porcupine lives in a clump of bushes towards the front of the museum property near the driveway and visitor's center.

Staff is hoping people respect the animal's space and don't try to pet him or her, though they are welcome to take pictures if there's a sighting.

"Frankly, what I hope is that nothing happens to it," said Pence.

The museum is already caring for the critter and have put a water bowl out for it.

As long as no predators or pet-hungry tourists grab the resident rodent, museum officials said they're fine with the animal drawing in some extra visitors.

"I hope the publicity encourages people to come here because we have a great story to tell," said Pence. "We have a lot of equipment from around the United States."

Name ideas for porcupine can be submitted through the museum's Facebook page.


Photo Credit: Fred Hessler
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NECN by Alysha Palumbo, Melissa Buja And Yo.. - 1h ago


A Massachusetts man is being held without bail in connection with the attempted murder of his wife in Belmont.

Hector Romero, 51, was arraigned Thursday in Cambridge District Court on charges of armed assault with intent to murder, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, two counts of wanton destruction of property under $1,200, wanton destruction of property over $1,200 and failure to stop for police.

Romero was arrested Wednesday morning after leading police on a pursuit through three communities.

Witnesses said they saw Romero chasing a woman down a Partridge Lane driveway with a knife at about 9:30 a.m., catching up to her at the bottom.

The woman, who has since been identified as Romero's wife, was found with stab wounds minutes later, according to the Middlesex District Attorney's Office.

"You just see the woman’s on the ground and the guy’s basically on top and struggling," recalled neighbor Zhijie Sui.

Construction workers who heard the screams and saw the woman running from her husband grabbed shovels and rushed over to help.

"I just went to the girl, I take my shirt and she had a deep cut in the throat, and I put my shirt on it," said construction worker Fabio Depina.

Authorities said the victim had tried to leave after an initial confrontation but Romero allegedly dragged her out of the vehicle and attacked her.

The victim remains hospitalized with numerous stab wounds, including a 3-inch laceration to her neck, according to authorities.

Romero fled the scene in the vehicle and led police on a chase through Arlington before crashing his vehicle in Cambridge. He was taken into custody and transported to a hospital for injuries sustained in the crash, authorities said.

It's unclear when Romero is due back in court.


Photo Credit: Mark Garfinkel
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A kitten was recently found in a sealed cardboard box along a busy street in Malden, Massachusetts, and now police and the Animal Rescue League of Boston are searching for the person who abandoned her.

The 2-month-old kitten was found Wednesday afternoon on Hawthorne Street. A driver with the MBTA's The Ride noticed a cardboard box and stopped, according to the ARL.

The box, which had two holes punched into the side, was sealed with packing tape. When the driver opened the box, the kitten was discovered inside.

Despite Wednesday being a humid day, ARL officials said the kitten did not suffer any heat-related medical issues and appears to be in good health.

The incident is being called "a clear case of animal cruelty and abandonment."

More than a handful of animals have been abandoned in just the last week, according to the ARL.

In Massachusetts, abandoning an animal is illegal and punishable by up to 7 years in prison. A $5,000 fine can also be imposed.

Anyone with information on the recent case of abandonment is urged to contact Malden Animal Control at 781-397-7171 x. 1302, or ARL Law Enforcement at 617-426-9170.

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Over the sound of police dogs panting, Denise Gannon asked lawmakers to look at two pictures.

She held up one that showed her son, the late Yarmouth police officer Sean Gannon, and his K9 partner Nero. She said the other, which she passed to a court officer to distribute among Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee members, showed Nero after he was wounded in the 2018 shooting that killed Sgt. Gannon and had to wait hours to receive emergency veterinary care.

"If Sean would have seen that, as any K9 officer would, he would have been devastated, because they live not only as working partners but as their family members," Denise Gannon said Thursday. "I would ask each one of you, as members of the committee, who would you leave in your family, in that state, for hours without being attended immediately? This is something we can fix. There are things that happened that can't change, but we can change this."

The Gannon family joined other K9 officers, public safety officials and lawmakers in urging support for legislation filed by Rep. Will Crocker, known as "Nero's bill," that would allow emergency medical personnel to treat and transport working animals, provided there is not a human in need they must attend to.

Crocker said the bill (H 2037) grew out of attempts by Cape Cod residents, law enforcement, and the veterinary community "to make something good happen out of something so bad."

Sgt. Sean Gannon, 32, was killed on April 12, 2018 when he, Nero, and other officers from Barnstable and Yarmouth were serving a warrant in Marstons Mills.

Barnstable Sgt. Troy Perry, supervisor of his department's K9 unit, said he served as incident commander for all on-scene and canine operations that day, and had to make "the most difficult and unfair decision of my 22-year career" regarding Nero's treatment.

Perry said he had been informed that Gannon had succumbed to his injuries, and that Nero had been shot in the head while holed up with an armed suspect. Nero was located and rescued in a secondary search, and Perry said there was a "high probability" the dog would not survive the extensive injuries.

Though several ambulances and various rescue personnel were on scene, Perry said neither the equipment or skills were available to Nero because state law prohibits licensed medical professionals from treating or transporting police K9s.

After what he described as an "eternity of internal debate," Perry made the call to load Nero into the cramped backseat of a police cruiser with a doctor and a retired K9 officer, where the two men were able to provide basic treatment while bringing him to an emergency veterinary center in Dennis.

"My decision, or my gamble, was made through the guidance of an outdated and unrealistic law that was almost a no-win situation for all involved," he said. "Imagine the implications if my gamble did not pay off. Nero would not be here today. Dara, Sean's wife, and his family, would have lost such a meaningful connection to Sean. The Yarmouth Police Department would have lost a second officer on that day, and our community would have lost a symbol of survival and resilience."

Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings and Michael Winn, chief of the Centerville Osterville Marstons Mills Fire Department, also spoke in support. Yarmouth K9 handler Michael Kramer was one of three K9 officers who testified for the bill with their dogs alongside.

"There isn't a K9 handler worth his spit that wouldn't risk their life for their dog, and frankly, I think we should be ashamed of ourselves, all of us, for not doing this sooner," Kramer said, standing with his dog, Satu. "It's just a travesty because if we were both hurt, I would want him treated before myself."

One of the last speakers to testify on Crocker's bill, Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson, told the lawmakers on the committee that he had been watching their body language throughout the morning and said he was "pretty sure you're convinced this is the right thing to do."

"You're in a position where you have to legislate common sense, so all I can ask you is to move this as quickly as you can and get it done," he said. "You will make a lot of people happy. The support in the public is unbelievable. You will all look good by doing what is right."

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Hopefully you were able to enjoy the cooler temperatures and lower humidity levels today, because the heat is starting Friday.

Downpours and scattered showers continue in the forecast this evening, mainly south along the more humid airmass boundary.

The rain tapers off overnight, and we will have Friday morning clouds south with increasing sunshine in the afternoon. By late afternoon, our temperatures will be in the low 90s inland, with heat index temperatures in the mid-90s.

We are watching the possibility of a storm complex developing Friday afternoon in New York and Pennsylvania. As that complex travels around the ridge of high pressure (dome of heat) - we call these “ridge runners” - they can grow in size and strength to a derecho event.

There is a small chance that the northern edge of these storms may move into western New England sometime Friday evening. Stay tuned for further updates on that.

The heat index is how uncomfortable we feel based on the effects of the temperature and humidity. We sweat to cool off and normally the sweat evaporates quick enough to cool us off.

When we have high humidity levels, our bodies can’t cool as efficiently or as quickly as in dry air. The chance of overheating, or heat stroke, will be high this weekend as temperatures won’t even cool off overnight. So the stress on our bodies will build through Sunday.

Saturday afternoon will bring the hottest temperatures of the season to the northeast. Highs will be around 100 degrees and heat index values 100-110. This is dangerous heat, and we will not get much relief overnight as lows will be around 80 and still humid.

Speaking of 100... the last time we hit 100 in Boston was on July 22, 2011, and it was 102. Hartford hit 100 on July 18, 2012; Providence hit 101 on July 22, 2011; Worcester hit 102 on July 4, 1911.

The record high for Saturday in Boston is 99 which was set in 1991. Worcester’s record is 95 also set in 1991. We forecast to at least tie both records.

Sunday will be just as hot in the 90s with heat index temperatures also in the 100 to 110 degree range. A cold front approaches the area and will bring scattered storms to northern and western New England by afternoon.

That cold front will bring us relief from the heat, but will keep storm chances across the northeast for the start to next week. Highs cool off to around 80 by mid-week.


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The United States Navy has launched a search for a missing active-duty sailor after a reported “overboard incident” onboard USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea.

Navy officials confirmed Thursday that a sailor was missing from Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). On Wednesday, there was an overboard incident onboard the vessel as it operated in the Arabian Sea.

USS Abraham – as well as Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), Spanish Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate Méndez Núñez (F 104) and Pakistan Navy Ship PSN Aslat (F265) – "are currently conducting search and rescue operations in the Arabian Sea," the Navy said.

The sailor’s name has not yet been released by officials. For now, the Navy has listed his status as "Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown," or "DUSTWUN."

Further details of the incident were not immediately released.

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is currently deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to “ensure security in the Central Region,” according to the Navy, “connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.”

In May, it was directed toward the Middle East, amid tensions.

Commissioned in 1989, USS Abraham Lincoln was homeported in San Diego from 2006 to 2011 before moving to Norfolk, Virginia. Last August, the Navy announced Abraham Lincoln would be shifted back to its San Diego homeport.

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Photo Credit: U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur
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Police in a Cape Cod town are investigating after three fake legs were placed near a memorial for the victim of a fatal shark attack last summer.

Wellfleet police told the Cape Cod Times that the fake legs were placed near a memorial stone at the town-owned Newcomb Hollow Beach for Arthur Medici, who died last September when he was bitten by a great white shark while boogie boarding.

The items have been removed because they were in poor taste, but police said they don't know who put them there. Police said they are investigating it as "suspicious activity" but no charges have been filed.

Photos published by the newspaper show one of the fake legs covered in blood, while another has an "RIP" tag attached to it.

Medici, 26, of Revere, was boogie boarding off Newcomb Hollow Beach just after noon on Sept. 15, 2018 when he was attacked by a great white shark. He later died at a local hospital, becoming the state's first shark attack fatality in more than 80 years.

He had moved to the U.S. from Brazil to pursue a degree in engineering, and was studying at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston. He also worked as a pizza delivery driver for a local restaurant.

Witnesses at the scene told police that Medici and a friend were in the water about 30 yards off the beach boogie boarding when the attack happened.

A group of people, including first responders, carried Medici down the beach to a waiting ambulance. 

The attack was the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936, and the second shark attack of the summer. A month earlier, a 61-year-old New York man was severely injujred after fighting off a shark in Truro, about 4 miles north of the Wellfleet attack.

Researchers on Cape Cod launched a new study last month focused on the hunting and feeding habits of the region's great white sharks following last year's two attacks on humans, including the state's first fatal one in more than 80 years. They hope the work contributes critical information to the ongoing debate over how to keep Cape beachgoers safe.

One Massachusetts citizens group is calling for eliminating federal protections on seals, which have been blamed for drawing an increased number of great white sharks to the region in recent years.


Photo Credit: NBC10 Boston
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At least 13 Philadelphia police officers will be fired as a result of racist, homophobic and violent social media posts revealed last month by the Plain View Project, Police Commissioner Richard Ross announced Thursday. 

These officers were found to be the worst offenders among 328 local cops identified in the project's national database. The most egregious posts included a meme that declared "Death to Islam."

An additional four officers, whose posts were less violent, will be suspended for 30 days and must undergo anti-bias training.

A third class of officers who violated the police department's social media policy but did not advocate hate or excessive force will be suspended for five days. They must also participate in continued sensitivity training.

"I continue to be very angered and disappointed by these posts," Ross said. "I am saddened that there are some who would attempt to justify hateful behavior."

None of the officers disciplined were identified pending final paperwork. Several were still out on vacation when their firings were made public, Ross said. Those officers had previously been informed of disciplinary action.

John McNesby, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, said the union was aware of the dismissals and "disappointed officers will be fired without due process."

The union is currently meeting with each officer to prepare an "appropriate response to protect our members' rights under the contract," McNesby said.

“FOP Lodge #5 and our members condemn racist and hateful speech in any form," he added. “The overwhelming majority of our members serve this city with integrity and professionalism.”

Thursday's announcement comes one month after 72 officers were placed on administrative leave shortly after the release of the Plain View Project database, made public June 1.

The 3,000 posts in question were uncovered by a team of researchers who spent nearly two years looking at the personal Facebook accounts of police officers from Arizona to Florida. They found officers bashing immigrants and Muslims, promoting racist stereotypes, identifying with right-wing militia groups and glorifying police brutality.

A sergeant in Philadelphia commented that a young suspect should be "taken out back and put down like the rabid animal he is."

All the posts were public and some dated back to 2010. None of the 72 Philadelphia officers on leave denied the posts, Ross said. 

"When this issue first came to light, many of the posts were deeply disturbing," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said. "We have a duty to represent ourselves and our city ... We will not allow this incident to break down the progress we have made and we pledge to do better" moving forward.

The Philadelphia Law Department, Philadelphia law firm Ballard Spahr and the Internal Affairs Unit of the Philadelphia Police Department worked in tandem over the past month to investigate the Facebook posts and determine whether any were protected by the First Amendment, Ross said.

The Internal Affairs investigation identified and prioritized officers who advocated violence or death against classes of protected people, such as religious and racial minorities. 

In addition to that investigation, every member of the Philadelphia police department will be required to watch a training video outlining social media and off-duty policies in regards to race, ethnicity, code and conduct.

"It is so sad that ... a country that is supposed to be the greatest country in the world, that we have such hatred that doesn’t seem to end," Ross said.

The police department will also develop a mechanism to inspect officers' social media posts and identify potential problems, work with outside groups dealing with anti-bias and anti-racism training and consult with the Anti-Defamation League.



Photo Credit: Courtesy: Plain View Project
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Maine Wildlife Park in Gray is saying goodbye to its biggest star.

“Maggie” the moose, who went viral last year when she was found abandoned in a Wallagrass, Maine backyard, passed away this week from a ruptured brain aneurysm, the park said in a Facebook post, Thursday.   

Maggie became a sensation after a woman spotted the abandoned animal and heard her cry. The woman’s dog approached Maggie in an encounter that quickly spread online. 

The video got the attention of wildlife officials who took the calf to Gray, where she was looked after.

Maggie drew record crowds to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray last year, according to the park.

“Maggie bridged two worlds,” the park said in the post. “She served as a link between her species and our own by capturing the hearts of people everywhere.”

Maggie was just over a year old when she passed away on Tuesday.



Photo Credit: Maine Wildlife Park
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The mother-daughter duo accused of killing a pregnant Chicago teen before cutting her unborn baby from her womb and claiming it as their own are now facing a new murder charge- for the infant's death. 

Desiree and Clarisa Figueroa have been charged with murder after the infant who was ripped from 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa's womb following her death died at a Chicago hospital last month, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's office. 

Both were ordered held without bond on the new charge Thursday. 

Ochoa's infant child died weeks after his mother's murder. The baby's death was ruled a homicide by the Cook County Medical Examiner, who determined the child died from a lack of oxygen and blood to his brain and cited "maternal assault and demise." 

The Figueroas, along with Clarisa Figueroa's boyfriend Piotr Bobak, had already pleaded not guilty in the death of Marlen Ochoa.

The mother and daughter pair were charged with first-degree murder in the Ochoa's grisly killing. Bobak was charged with concealing the homicide. 

"Not only will the state not be able to prove him guilty, he’s innocent," said Bobak's lawyer Hal Garfinkel. "Mr bobak is innocent. Both of us look forward to his day in court."

Authorities contend that not long after Clarisa Figueroa's adult son died of natural causes, she told her family she was pregnant. They say she plotted for months to acquire a newborn, and that she posted an ultrasound and photos of a room decorated for a baby on her Facebook page. In March, she and Ochoa connected on a Facebook page for pregnant women.

Prosecutors alleged the mother-daughter pair lured Ochoa to their home, where they offered to give her clothes and other items for her unborn child. As Desiree Figueroa was showing Ochoa a photo album of her late brother to distract her, Clarisa Figueroa sneaked up behind her and strangled her with a cord before her baby was cut from her womb.

Later that day, Clarisa Figueroa called 911 claiming that her newborn baby was not breathing. When first responders arrived, the child was blue. They tried to resuscitate the infant and took him to Christ Medical Center, where he remained until his death.

Prosecutors said 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa was examined in a birthing center at Advocate Christ Medical Center on April 23 after claiming to have given birth, "but showed no signs consistent with a woman who had just delivered a baby."

A technician at the Oak Lawn hospital cleaned blood from Figueroa’s arms, face and hands, prosecutors said, but it was unclear if anyone verified that she had actually given birth. Figueroa was allegedly able to pass off the baby as her own for weeks.

An investigation from the Illinois Department of Public Health cleared the hospital in the case, but noted deficiencies in their process. 


Photo Credit: Chicago Police Department

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