Norfolk County Sheriff Patrick McDermott is warning county residents that phone scammers have been impersonating local law enforcement, including the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office, in an attempt to fraudulently steal funds from residents.
“Residents should remain vigilant when they receive calls asking them for money. The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement will never call residents and demand payment,” said Sheriff McDermott. “We are working closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement to track down these criminals and help keep local residents safe from fraudulent calls.”
Scammers have recently started identifying themselves on the phone as officers from local law enforcement, including the Sheriff’s Office, even using the names of actual officers in those departments in an attempt to con callers out of funds. They may attempt to instill fear in recipients by claiming there is a warrant for their arrest, unpaid fines, or that a relative has been arrested and needs money to be released.
“If you ever receive a call from someone claiming to be the Sheriff’s Office or another law enforcement agency, it is okay to hang up and call that agency directly, even if the caller ID appears to be legitimate,” said Sheriff McDermott. “If it’s a legitimate call, we won’t be upset if you take precautions to confirm our identity, but remember that we will never demand payment for anything over the phone.”
The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office shared tips for identifying and avoiding fraudulent scam calls:
Scam callers often try to instill a sense of urgency so that the recipient feels that they have to act quickly and not think too much about the validity of the call. Hanging up and looking up the correct number for the law enforcement office the caller claims to be from (instead of relying on the number that appears on caller ID) is a good way to confirm the identity of the caller.
Scammers will frequently demand payment in difficult-to-trace ways, such as cash left in a local locker, gift cards, Bitcoin transfers, or more.
Scammers will sometimes target families and pretend to be an officer who has arrested a relative, such as a grandchild or will pretend to be the relative. If you receive a call from a relative in distress who is asking for money, hang up and call that relative directly to confirm.
The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office encourages residents to report any suspicious or scam calls to their local police department. This helps local law enforcement track the rate and frequency of calls and identify common tactics and strategies scammers may be adopting.
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, 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.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising travelers of the extreme cold temperatures forecast across the Commonwealth on Friday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, Feb. 4. The National Weather Service warns that the negative 30 degree wind chill could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes, and strong northwest winds of 24 to 29 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 43 mph in some areas, could occur Friday afternoon and evening.
MassDOT will not be closing the Sumner Tunnel from Friday, Feb. 3 through Monday, Feb. 6 due to the anticipated extreme temperatures. Crews will be unable to complete the necessary work during these conditions and the tunnel will remain open.
Flights at Logan Airport have already been impacted this week due to inclement weather across the country and delays at both Logan and Worcester Regional Airport are possible with the frigid temperature expected this weekend. Massport is urging passengers to check with their airlines on the status of their flight before coming to the airports.
The Healey-Driscoll Administration will use its authority on a case-by-case basis to keep South Station in Boston open during extreme weather events. That will begin this weekend, on Friday night, Feb. 3 and Saturday night, Feb. 4, during Boston’s cold weather emergency.
“We have been in close contact with local leaders and service providers to make sure people are being taking care of during the extreme weather, including having providers available to offer transportation to shelter for those who want it as well as other resources,” said Gov. Maura Healey. “We encourage anyone who needs a place to stay to accept this offer and spend the night at a safe, warm shelter rather than at the station.”
The MBTA is preparing for extreme cold weather conditions beginning Friday, February 3, and lasting throughout the weekend. Keolis and the MBTA are closely monitoring potential impacts to service and infrastructure. Crews will be ready to respond to any issues.
The MBTA will operate trains and buses at or near regular schedules, but riders should anticipate that delays may occur due to the extreme cold conditions. Riders are encouraged to visit MBTA.com/Winter for updated service information. Customers can also monitor service on Twitter at @MBTA and @MBTA_CR, and riders are encouraged to sign up for T-Alerts. Riders are also encouraged to be cautious when near railroad crossings, when accessing stations, and when boarding or alighting trains. Hazardous conditions can be reported to the MBTA Call Center at (617)-222-3200 or on Twitter.
The previously scheduled Orange Line service suspension between Ruggles and North Station on Saturday, Feb. 4, has been cancelled. However, the Orange Line service suspension scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 5, will take place between Back Bay and North Station. Riders should use Green Line service between Copley and Government Center.
The MBTA is implementing its cold-weather mitigation measures, which include storing buses and trains indoors or in tunnels overnight and conducting regular checks of vehicles that remain outside. The MBTA will be cycling trains in and out of rail yards so they are not sitting idle for extended periods of time. For trains that are not running throughout the system, MBTA personnel will be opening and closing doors as well as testing brakes and propulsion systems to prevent moisture buildup and freezing. To protect equipment from the extreme cold, Keolis will also need to idle locomotives continuously at maintenance facilities and layover yards. Signaling and track crews will be inspecting tracks to ensure that heaters for track switches and third rail are operating as designed.
For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are encouraged to:
Download the Mass511 mobile app or visit www.mass511.com to view live cameras, travel times, real-time traffic conditions, and project information before setting out on the road. Users can subscribe to receive text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.
For more MBTA information, please visit mbta.comor connect with the T on Twitter @MBTA, Facebook/TheMBTA, Instagram @theMBTA, or TikTok @thembta.
Frigid temperatures are headed this way, possibly affecting vehicles both during the upcoming weekend and next Monday morning after cars have sat idle for a few days. AAA Northeast has some tips to make sure your car starts in the coldest weather of the season:
A strong, fully charged battery is important – if your vehicle battery is more than five years old it may need a replacement.
If you don’t drive often, drive the car for at least 30 minutes this week. It won’t fully charge the battery but it will help.
When you first get in the car make sure all the lights and other accessories are off.
Turn the key to the “on” position and wait a couple of seconds, then crank the engine.
If the engine doesn’t start in 10-15 seconds, stop, rest and try again.
Once the car is started it is not necessary to warm it up for more than the time it takes to put on your seat belt, adjust the heat and radio. Then drive gently until you feel the heat coming from the climate control. Allowing the car to sit and warm up only warms the engine, not the brakes, suspension, or transmission.
If you own an electric car, cold weather range can be reduced up to 50 percent. To maximize range in cold weather:
Warm the battery while it is plugged in, so it will accept a charge more efficiently. During cold weather preconditioning also increases your EV range because the battery will be warmed up to its best operating temperature.
Warm the vehicle cabin while the car is plugged in.
Depending on the vehicle, the seat heaters may be more efficient than the heater.
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.
Norfolk County Sheriff Patrick McDermott will host a “Coffee with the Sheriff” diner visit in Quincy at The Early American on Thursday, Feb. 9th from 8 – 9:30 a.m. He will visit with residents, talk about their ideas, and answer questions about public safety and the work of the Sheriff’s Office.
“One of the best ways for me to understand the public safety needs of Norfolk County is to be able to sit down with residents in their home communities,” said Sheriff McDermott. “These diner tours are an opportunity to talk with people about their ideas and answer their questions while also highlighting some of the great local businesses in our county.”
The “Coffee with the Sheriff” visits are designed to give residents and community members a chance to meet with Sheriff McDermott in their hometowns and discuss issues important to them. Visits are scheduled at local diners and coffee shops around Norfolk County.
Renovations are underway at historic Mount Wollaston Cemetery, Mayor Thomas Koch announces.Improvements will include a new gate and entrance at Sea Street, new tree plantings, safety improvements, and renovations to the perimeter granite wall.
The new decorative wrought-iron Gothic style entrance gate will represent the period which the cemetery was originally Consecrated in 1855.The entrance gate is 25 feet high by 85 feet wide and will accommodate vehicles and pedestrians alike.The ornamental iron gate is being fabricated by Robinson Iron in Alexander City, Alabama.
A large portion of the original Gothic Revival Briggs cemetery gate was removed in 1960 to allow for modern vehicles to pass in and out of the Sea Street gate.The gate provided the signature entrance to this historic burial ground for more than 100 years.
“Mount Wollaston Cemetery captures our city’s history better than any single location in a very historic city,” said Mayor Koch.“The beauty of the granite works throughout Mount Wollaston is akin to an art museum and showcases the advances in the granite industry that originated in Quincy but can now be found around the world.
“We are attempting to restore the intended splendor of this sacred ground and honor the aesthetic intentions of the original cemetery. This is one of the most important properties in our city and should be afforded the prominence and respect that it deserves,” Koch added.
With the assistance of Cong. Stephen Lynch, a Federal ARPA grant was secured for the project.The estimated project cost for all of the improvements is just under $3 million.
Mount Wollaston Cemetery was developed in 1854 after the Hancock Cemetery in Quincy Center reached its capacity.The cemetery was designed by Luther Briggs as a garden cemetery modeled after Mount Auburn Cemetery and Forest Hills Cemetery.A gothic revival theme was chosen for the architecture.
The first two plots at Mount Wollaston Cemetery were purchased by Charles Francis Adams Sr., son of President John Quincy Adams.
The lowest bid for the project was submitted by MJ Nichols who will be working with Foulsham Corporation to perform the work.Local architect James Edwards of Edwards and Holmes assisted the mayor in the design of the new gate.The planting plan and palette were designed by Landscape Architect Craig Halvorson.
The entrance to the cemetery off Sea Street will be narrowed for pedestrian safety, officials said.The existing wide driveway mouth allows cars to turn at higher rates of speed into the cemetery entrance. This change will also allow for limited additional burials in the Veterans Section of Mount Wollaston once the project is completed.
Work will also include realigning the war monuments at Mount Wollaston in chronological order. The World War II Monument will be provided more prominence by removing the stone podium that currently blocks it from view.Later in 2023, the city will be dedicating a new monument in the Veterans Section paying tribute to the men and women who served the nation’s military in the various wars from Desert Storm (1990) through the current day War on Terror.This project will help provide space for that monument.
The Cemetery Board of Managers has been working with the design team since the inception of this project.The all-volunteer Board of Managers consists of Paul Mauriello (chairperson), George Bouchard (vice chairperson), Linda Perchard, Jim Nichols, John Norton, Susan Kindregan and Robert LaFleur.
“Mount Wollaston Cemetery was designed as a sacred and beautiful place and we must continue to honor the intentions of the designers of this historic burial ground,” said Commissioner of Natural Resources Dave Murphy.“The new entrance gate will augment the beauty of the public art throughout Mount Wollaston Cemetery and pay respect to the tens of thousands of Quincy residents interred therein.I want to thank the project team for designing a truly remarkable project that will add to the prestige and beauty of Mount Wollaston.”
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.
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 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.