New Arrest In Quincy Murder

By SCOTT JACKSON

Another of the seven men charged with murder in the August shooting death of a Quincy man in the parking area of his apartment building has been arrested.

Derek Miranda

Derek Miranda, age 28, with ties to Randolph and Dorchester, was arrested on Thursday afternoon and is due to be arraigned Friday at 9 a.m. in Norfolk County Superior Court, a spokesperson for Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said.

“We are thankful to the Quincy Police and the State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section for their continued partnership in this investigation and in apprehending those under indictment for this murder,” Morrissey said in a statement.
Miranda is one of seven men who were indicted for murder in December in connection with the Aug. 18 fatal shooting of Jordan Wiggins in the parking area of Wiggins’ residence within the Elevation apartment complex at Crown Colony. Miranda was indicted on a number of charges, including murder, armed home invasion, and two counts each of kidnapping with intent to extort and armed assault with intent to rob.
Four of the other men, all facing murder and other charges, were previously arrested and arraigned in Superior Court. They are Cornel Bell Jr., Dante Clarke, Dwayne Harper and Sheik Ramos. Each of those defendants pleaded not guilty during their arraignments and were ordered held without bail. All four are due back in court on March 6 for a pre-trial conference.
The remaining men, Walter Batista and Clayton Rodrigues, remain at large.

Two-Alarm Fire Displaces 9 Residents

By SCOTT JACKSON

A two-alarm fire inside a multi-family residence on Buckley Street in West Quincy displaced nine residents.

Firefighters were called to the home at 25 Buckley St. around 1:15 a.m. on Jan. 25, Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Barron Jr. said. The fire began in a first floor apartment and spread to the second floor of the house.

One resident of the house was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Barron said. A firefighter sustained minor injuries and remained on scene.

Crews were able to bring the fire under control within about an hour and a half and were on scene were for two and a half hours that morning, Barron said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation as of Feb. 1, Barron said, but it is not considered suspicious.

BBB: Resources To Make Your Home More Cyber Secure

BBB recommends the sites below to assist with finding resources to make your home more cyber secure.

Family and media
Control With Cable is an initiative of the cable industry to educate parents about online safety and the appropriate use of the Internet by their children. Control With Cable’s “Control, Education, Choice” guidebook teaches parents how to keep their family safe on the Web.

Entertainment software rating board
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is a nonprofit, self-regulatory body that assigns age and content ratings for video games and mobile apps so parents can make informed choices. As part of its self-regulatory role for the video game industry, the ESRB also enforces industry-adopted advertising guidelines and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices under its Privacy Online program. ESRB has online privacy and security resources for parents, including a family discussion guide, and tips on setting parental controls.

GetNetWise
This site is a resource for families to learn how to protect themselves from online danger and create the safest online experience possible. The glossary and kid sites are a resource for parents teaching their children about the Internet.

Internet keep safe (iKeepSafe) coalition
The iKeepSafe Coalition is a partnership of governors and/or first spouses, attorneys general, public health and educational professionals, law enforcement officials, and industry leaders working together for the health and safety of youth online.

i-SAFE Enterprises
i-SAFE is an Internet safety education nonprofit foundation that educates students on avoiding dangerous, inappropriate, or unlawful online behavior.

Net Cetera (Online Safety Guide for Parents)
Net Cetera is an FTC-developed guide that advises parents on discussing online safety with children of all ages. Topics include online socialization and communication, mobile phones, protecting your computer from malware and setting up parental controls.

Savvy Cyber Kids
The mission of Savvy Cyber Kids, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is to teach children safety before they go online. Using traditional learning tools, such as children’s picture books, Savvy Cyber Kids focuses on preparing children to be more cautious online, engraining security awareness and ethics into the minds of preschool-aged children.

Norton Family Resource Center
Provides Internet safety tips, a family online safety guide, and information on cyberbullying and cybercrime.

Symantec Cyber Education page provides information about a range of cybersecurity topics.

Wreaths Across America To Honor ‘The Four Chaplains’ Feb. 3

On Friday, Feb. 3rd, 2023, Wreaths Across America will honor the American heroes known as “The Four Chaplains” with a special live event at 1 pm EST, from the nondenominational Balsam Valley Chapel and balsam tip lands located in the Downeast Region of Maine. This event is open to the local public and will be streamed on the organization’s Official Facebook Page and on Wreaths Across America Radio.

On January 23, 1943, the U.S.A.T. Dorchester left New York harbor bound for Greenland carrying over 900 officers, servicemen and civilian workers. The ship was a coastal passenger steamship requisitioned and operated by the War Shipping Administration (WSA) for wartime use as a troop ship. The ship was transiting the Labrador Sea when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat (U-233) on February 3, 1943. The ship sank and 675 people on board lost their lives. Amidst the chaos to save 230 lives four chaplains guided soldiers trapped below deck to escape hatches and gave away their life jackets to save others on that fateful day. When the chaplains had done all they could, they linked arms to pray and sing hymns as the Dorchester slipped beneath the waves.

To Vie Facebook Live event, https://fb.me/e/3kdsMqpvd

To learn more about “The Four Chaplains,” view this video.

To learn more and to download pictures of the Four Chaplains and the U.S.A.T. Dorchester, follow this link.

To learn more about Coast Guardsman Charles Walter David Jr., follow this link.

Quincy Man Sentenced For Counterfeiting $100 Bills

A Quincy man has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison for counterfeiting over 4,000 fake $100 bills.

Victor Cardona, 34, on Jan. 18 was sentenced by US District Court Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 41 months in prison, two years of supervised release and a fine of $5,000. In October 2022, Cardona pleaded guilty to one count of counterfeiting US currency, specifically, forged older-style $100 bills.

During a search of Cardona’s residence in October 2019, a counterfeit currency manufacturing facility was discovered, federal prosecutors said. Found inside the residence was equipment and materials used to create counterfeit bills, specifically, inkjet printers, a paper shredder containing counterfeit bills that had been discarded, a “counterfeit buster” detection pen and counterfeit bills, including one fake $100 bill in Cardona’s wallet. Several authentic $100 bills with serial numbers which were tied to counterfeit currency recovered from across the country were also found. Burned remains of counterfeit currency were also located in Cardona’s backyard.

According to court documents, Cardona admitted that he procured the materials to create the counterfeit currency and hosted one or more other individuals at his home on a weekly basis for the purpose of creating the fake bills. In total, Cardona produced, or participated in the production of, over 4,000 fake $100 bills that were identified as counterfeit and traced by serial number to the authentic bills found at Cardona’s residence. To date, the government has recovered over $467,000 in counterfeit $100 bills traced back to the authentic bills found at Cardona’s residence.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Andrew Murphy, special agent in charge of the US Secret Service, Boston Field Office, announced the sentencing. Many local police departments, including the Quincy Police Department and Salem Police Department, provided valuable assistance with the investigation. Assistant US Attorney Adam W. Deitch of Rollins’ Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted the case.

Devine, Buenaventura To Face Off For Open Council Seat

By SCOTT JACKSON

James Devine and Joel Buenaventura were the top two vote getters in the four-person preliminary election for the vacant Ward 4 seat on the Quincy City Council and will go head to head in next month’s final election.

Joel Buenaventura
James Devine

Devine finished first and Buenaventura second in Tuesday’s preliminary contest. Devine finished with 318 votes, 42.18 percent of all votes cast.  Buenaventura garnered 234 votes or 31.03 percent of the total vote.

Devine was the top vote getter in four of the ward’s five precincts in the preliminary election and Buenaventura finished second in each of those precincts. The exception was Precinct 4, where Buenaventura came in first and Devine was second.

Those two candidates will face each other in the final special election on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The winner of that contest will be able to serve the remainder of the council term, which expires at the end of the year, and could run for a full two-year term in November’s municipal election.

Coming in third and fourth in the preliminary contest were Matthew Lyons and Sharon Cintolo, respectively. Lyons polled 149 votes (19.76 percent) and Cintolo 53 votes (7.03 percent). Lyons came in third in all five precincts and Cintolo placed fourth in each of them.

Turnout in the preliminary election was 6.83 percent, with 756 of the ward’s 11,068 registered voters casting ballots.

Early voting, both in-person and by mail, will be available for the final election as they were for the preliminary contest.

In-person early voting will take place at the office of the city’s election department, which is located on the second floor of the glass city hall annex building at 1305 Hancock St. For the final election, early voting will take place there from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday, Jan. 30, to Friday, Feb. 3.

The last day to apply to vote by mail in the final election is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Applications can be obtained online at quincyma.gov or by calling the election department at 617-376-1144.

Absentee balloting will also take place at the office of the election department. Residents who wish to vote absentee may do so daily between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., once ballots are available. Absentee balloting ends at noon on Monday, Feb. 6. Voters who would like an absentee ballot mailed to them, can call the election department or visit the city website.

The deadline to register to vote in the final election is 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28.

The special election is being held to fill the seat vacated by Brian Palmucci, who resigned in the fall upon his appointment to a judgeship. Palmucci was first elected in 2009 and had been the longest-serving incumbent councillor at the time of his departure.

QCAP Opens Doors to New South West Community Center

Quincy Community Action Programs held a ribbon cutting on Nov. 29 to celebrate the reopening of its South West Community Center. From left to right: first row: QCAP Board President Tim McAloon, Esq., Mayor Thomas P. Koch, Paul M. Connolly, Pat Connolly Second Row: Board Asst. Treasurer Doug Moseley, Board Vice President Josephine Shea, CEO Beth Ann Strollo, South West Community Center Director Melinda Alexander Third Row: Board Member Emeritus Jim Murdoch, Board Treasurer Reverend Sheldon Bennett, Board Member Maureen Ayers, Board Member Michelle Higgins, Board Member Linda Perry, Board Clerk Nan O’Neill, Esq., Board Member Pat Packard, Board Member Mike Berry. Photo courtesy Nicole Chaput Photography.

On Tuesday, Nov. 29, Quincy Community Action Programs, Inc. celebrated the Grand Re-Opening and Ribbon Cutting for the new South West Community Center in South West Quincy, where the nonprofit has been serving food since 1968.

Over 130 people were in attendance including elected officials, funders of the project, community partners and private donors. Guests gathered for a light breakfast and tours of the new facility, including the new food pantry warehouse, a children and family engagement room, and office space where clients can access services such as housing and heating assistance and free income tax preparation.

Mayor Thomas P. Koch and Speaker Ronald J. Mariano were in attendance as keynote speakers. Both congratulated QCAP leadership and staff for opening the new facility that will provide critical resources for local families who are struggling to make ends meet.

Paul and Pat Connolly surrounded by their family after the building dedication to Paul. Front Row: Kevin Connolly, Paul Connolly, Pat Connolly, Sandi & David Connolly. Back Row:  Joseph, Kyra and Erin Connolly, Carol & Bryan Connolly. Photo courtesy Nicole Chaput Photography.

The building was dedicated to long-time Quincy resident and member of the QCAP Board of Directors, Paul M. Connolly. For 20 years Connolly has represented the South West Quincy neighborhood – first on behalf of his son, former Ward 4 Councilor Bryan Connolly, then on behalf of the low income residents of South West Quincy who elected him as their representative to the QCAP Board of Directors. Speaker Mariano and Mayor Koch offered warm and personal congratulations to Paul Connolly for his contributions to the community and this well-deserved recognition.

Josephine Shea spoke on behalf of the QCAP Board of Directors stating, “Paul’s dedication to the South West Quincy community, his unwavering support of QCAP’s Food Center and overall mission, and his steadfast belief that every person deserves to have their basic needs met with dignity, make QCAP leadership proud to honor Paul M. Connolly with the dedication of the new South West Community Center in his name.”

Paul and his wife Pat raised three sons in Quincy and instilled these values of service and leadership in their family. Their son, Bryan, now an attorney, has donated countless hours to Quincy Community Action Programs assisting with the development of QCAP’s Head Start Center at 22 Pray Street, and now the South West Community Center at 18 Copeland Street.

The project was funded by public COVID-related funding to address food insecurity, state community action funds, as well as generous donations from local businesses, foundations and private donors. Beth Ann Strollo, QCAP Chief Executive Officer, thanked the many supporters in attendance, noting the support from Mayor Koch and Speaker Mariano, the Quincy state delegation and the many local banks, foundations and businesses who sponsored the project.

“I want to offer our sincere gratitude to all of you – the contributors, supporters, donors – you gave us the resources to transform this building into what it is today.”

Strollo also recognized the project’s architect Jim Edwards and general contractor Commonwealth Building Inc. for their excellent work throughout the renovation process..

The opening of the new food pantry and client services center comes at a critical time when the cost of food, housing and fuel are on the rise, and many families are feeling the effects of the added stress on household budgets. As many residents begin to recover from the pandemic’s financial impact, low-income households and communities of color are having the most difficult time bouncing back. Quincy Community Action Programs, Inc. is seeing food insecurity among local families remain high. As the community need for food has grown over the last 24 months, so has QCAP’s need for increased pantry storage space at their long-time Food Center in South West Quincy.

Also attending the ribbon cutting were: Mayor of Braintree Charles Kokoros, QCAP Board President Tim McAloon, Speaker Ronald Mariano, Paul Connolly, Sen. John Keenan, Rep. Bruce Ayers Second row: Linda Perry, Josephine Shea, Beth Ann Strollo, Mike Berry Third Row: Board members: Reverend Sheldon Bennett, Michelle Higgins, Maureen Ayers Back row: Board Members: Doug Moseley, Nan O’Neill, Pat Packard, James Murdoch

“The need is great,” says CEO Beth Ann Strollo. “While the pandemic is easing for some, recovery has been slow for many in the low-income community. Families continue to make hard decisions about whether to pay their rent, their heating costs, or put food on their tables. We are thrilled to open our doors to this new Community Center as a resource in the neighborhood we have been serving since 1965. We cannot thank our supporters enough for helping to make this a reality for our neighbors in need.”

More than a food pantry, the South West Community Center is a welcoming place to gather for cooking and nutrition classes, menu-planning workshops, family engagement activities, and more. The new Center is here to help during the holidays and beyond by providing assistance through monthly food orders, holiday meals and gifts, mobile food pantries and food delivery services.

“This new building will allow us to address the increased needs of so many residents, not just in South West Quincy but throughout the local area through mobile pantries and food delivery services launched in 2021 in response to both the pandemic and the long time problem of food insecurity,” said Strollo.

Donations to the Center are welcome during the holidays and year-round. Food donations to QCAP’s food center help to fill gaps caused by the increased need, and they help supply the pantry with items that are more difficult to find such as cooking oils, spices, and coffee. There is also an ongoing need at the food center for donations of non-food items such as cleaning supplies, toilet paper, feminine products, soap, and toothpaste and toothbrushes. QCAP also encourages monetary donations at this time of year and can stretch every dollar donated to the food center to have the biggest impact on clients who are struggling with hunger.

“A donation to QCAP helps us ensure that households get healthy, nutritious food and other services like heating assistance that help families get by in very challenging times,” says South West Community Center Director, Melinda Alexander.

The pantry at the Center is accessible to clients and donors five days a week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except on Wednesdays when it is open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. to accommodate working families. For more information on the services the food center provides or donations needed, please call 617-471-0796.

QCAP also provides heating assistance to residents in Quincy, Braintree, Milton, and Weymouth. Heating assistance can help significantly reduce monthly bills, even if heat is included in the rent. For more information on this, please call 617-657-5301 or visit qcap.org/energy.

Rental assistance is also available through QCAP’s housing program. QCAP has helped families avoid eviction through rental assistance funding and advocacy. For more information on eligibility, please call 617-657-5376 or visit qcap.org/housing.

“We are thrilled to be opening the new Center that will provide a place to turn for help when our neighbors face challenging times. This project would not be possible without the support of such a caring community. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our community, local elected officials, volunteers, and donors,” reflects QCAP CEO Beth Ann Strollo.