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Quirk Collects Toys For Tots

Quirk Auto Dealers' employers and donated hundreds of new toys this year for the Toys For To

Quirk Auto Dealers’ employees and customer donated hundreds of new toys this year for the Toys For Tots Foundation. The donations – including bicycles, toys cars, dolls, action figures, stuffed animals, puzzles, board games, and footballs and basketballs – were enough to fill three bins and the bed of a Ford F-150. Pictured (left to right) are Quincy firefighters Brian Franklin, Tom Malvesti, and Lt. Kevin Ferent, who checked out the donations Friday morning. Marines are scheduled to pick up the donations later Friday and distribute them to children in need. Quincy Sun Photo/Scott Jackson

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Strange Package Found On Steps Of Wollaston Home

By KRIS KALABOKAS

Police are stepping up patrols after a strange package was found on the steps of a Wollaston home Thursday morning.

Capt. John Dougan said a resident of the home off of Hancock Street who didn’t want to be identified found the package as she was leaving for work Thursday morning.

After picking it up and examining it she called police.

The Quincy Fire Department, a hazmat crew, and police arrived at the home a little after 9 a.m. to find a short note containing vague threats directed at the residents of the home and a trace of “white powdery residue” which was not substantial enough to be analyzed, said Dougan.

He could give no further details as to what was in the note.

The package, he said, was left at the home some time Wednesday night.

No other suspicious activity has been noted in the neighborhood but police are increasing their presence in the area, he said.

Should anybody find or see something concerning, they should immediately contact police, he added.

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Sheriff Launches Program To Curb Drug Abuse

Norfolk County Sheriff Michael G. Bellotti has begun a new program to help inmates stay clean and sober after their release from jail.

The program involves the inmates being injected with the pharmaceutical drug, Vivitrol, which blocks the brain’s receptors to opiate drugs and alcohol, preventing an abuser from feeling their effects.

“During their incarceration, drug abusers go through detox. Many are clean and sober for the first time in many years. They feel healthy again while they are with us,” Sheriff Bellotti said. “The object of this program is to keep them from backsliding when they wrap up their sentences and are released back into the community. That is when they are most vulnerable. That is when the temptation is greatest.”

If an inmate agrees to participate in the program, he receives a Vivitrol injection shortly before his release back into the community. Vivitrol blocks the intoxicating effects of opiate drugs such as heroin and Oxycontin. The inmate must also agree to attend counseling sessions to support the treatment.

The injection last for four weeks, after which he can receive another dose of Vivitrol.

“We understand this is not going to end the scourge of drug addiction, but other agencies have had success with this program, and we believe it can be positive force,” Sheriff Bellotti said. “If it works as we hope, it will keep many inmates from reoffending and therefore, stop the revolving door cycle of crime. The whole point of this is to make our communities safer.”

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Salvation Army Christmas Requests Up 30 Percent

By SCOTT JACKSON

The Quincy Salvation Army has seen a 30 percent increase in requests for assistance this Christmas season. It’s not too late to help the organization meet the rise in demand.

The Salvation Army helped out 173 families through its Christmas assistance program, which provides toys for children and baskets of food, last year. As of Dec. 12, 226 families have requested assistance this year, according to Capt. Tim Ross, and the organization will continue to accept requests up until Christmas Eve on Dec. 24.

“As of last Friday when we ran the numbers we noticed we were 30 percent higher than last year for our Christmas assistance requests,” Ross said Thursday.

“We’re still getting people coming in and filling out applications. We serve people up until Christmas Eve.”

Donations of new, unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items can be made at the Salvation Army’s Quincy headquarters at 6 Baxter St., during business hours. Monetary donations are also accepted. The Quincy Corps can be contacted at 617-472-2345 or online at salvationarmyma.org/quincy.

“People can always bring new toys and drop them off unwrapped,” Ross said. “We can always use non-perishable food. It goes into our pantry after Christmas.”

So far this year, Ross said the Quincy Corps has been able to meet the increased demand because of corporate donations. Local businesses have been setting up Angels Trees, allowing employees to select a child to help out.

“It’s because of their generosity we’ve been able to meet the increased demand,” Ross stated.

The Quincy Corps is on pace to meet its $130,000 goal for this year’s Red Kettle Campaign, which ends on Christmas Eve. As of Wednesday, Ross said, the Salvation Army had 30 percent of that goal left to raise with six days to do so.

“We’re on target to meet that if people continue to be generous,” he said.

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13,500 Jobs Added; Mass. Unemployment Rate Down 0.2%

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) reports that preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show Massachusetts added 13,500 jobs in November for a total preliminary estimate of 3,438,500.  The November total unemployment rate was 5.8 percent, down 0.2 of a percentage point over the month.

Since November 2013, Massachusetts has added a net of 59,600 jobs; with 57,400 jobs added in the private sector.  The total unemployment rate for the year is down 1.3 percent from the November 2013 rate of 7.1 percent.

BLS also revised its October job estimates to a 1,600 job gain from the 1,200 gain previously reported for the month.

November 2014 Employment Overview

Education and Health Services added 3,900 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 18,100 (+2.5%) jobs.

Financial Activities gained 2,600 (+1.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities added 4,500 (+2.2%) jobs.

Other Services added 1,700 (+1.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services jobs are up 2,800 (+2.2%) jobs.

Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 1,600 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 13,000 (+2.5%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 1,500 (+0.3%) jobs over the month.  Over the year, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 9,000 (+1.6%) jobs.

Manufacturing gained 1,300 (+0.5%) jobs over the month.  Over the year, Manufacturing lost 1,300 (-0.5%) jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality added 1,300 (+0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 1,800 (+0.5%) jobs.

Construction lost 400 (-0.3%) jobs over the month.  Over the year, Construction has added 2,000 (+1.6%) jobs.

Information lost 200 (-0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information added 7,400 (+8.5%) jobs.

Government added 100 (0.0%) jobs over the month.  Over the year, Government gained 2,200 (+0.5%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview

 

The November 2014 estimates show 3,355,800 Massachusetts residents were employed and 207,800 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,563,600. The November labor force increased by 17,600 from 3,546,000 in October, as 21,000 more residents were employed and 3,400 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force was an estimated 80,300 above the 3,483,300 November 2013 estimate, with 120,600 more residents employed and 40,300 fewer residents unemployed.

The unemployment rate is based on a monthly sample of households. The job estimates are derived from a monthly sample survey of employers.  As a result, the two statistics may exhibit different monthly trends.

 

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