New Bedford | WCAI

New Bedford

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

With a week to go to finish the 2020 Census, workers are knocking on doors to find people who haven’t replied.

 

Some are reluctant to answer because they live in an illegal apartment, or because someone in the home is in the country illegally. Others don’t fill out the Census for their seasonal home — which they’re supposed to do.

 

And some people just aren’t going to troubleshoot if there’s a problem.

Jennette Barnes

Protesters in New Bedford gathered Wednesday for the fifth consecutive day to denounce police brutality against black Americans in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minnesota.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell says a Freetown resident has tested positive for coronavirus, the first confirmed case in Greater New Bedford. In addition, two New Bedford residents are under self-quarantine.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

 

 

The largest hospital group on the South Coast hopes to open a drive-through testing site for coronavirus as soon as possible—maybe even Thursday.

Christina Gracia

The city of New Bedford has reached a half-million-dollar settlement with the family of a teen who was killed during a police altercation in 2012. Fifteen-year-old Malcolm Gracia was shot and killed after police say he pulled a knife on an officer. A judge later said police stopped Gracia illegally.

Eve Zuckoff

In a new experiment, scientists working at the Mass Maritime Academy in Bourne are finding that ocean acidification may have a profound effect on juvenile sea scallops.  

Brian Morris/WCAI

Nathan and Polly Johnson were two of New Bedford’s leading abolitionists in the mid-1800s. It was in their house that a 20-year-old Frederick Douglass found refuge after fleeing slavery on a Maryland plantation.

Spinner Publications

Spinner Publications has just issued the second in a three volume set, "A Picture History of New Bedford 1925-1980." Covering the small happenings and the major events of the city the series gives a comprehensive look at the people, places and stories of the city.

We talk with Alfred Saulniers, Joseph Thomas, and Jay Avila, the editors of the book.   

New Bedford Mayor's Office

New Bedford is nicknamed the Whaling City because of its history as one of the most important whaling ports of the Nineteenth Century. It remains one of the biggest cities on the south coast of Massachusetts and one of the top fishing ports in the country. 

In addition to its maritime roots, New Bedford is also known for a vibrant arts scene and is host to a number of festivals. 

But New Bedford also struggles with many common urban issues. Crime, drugs, and stagnant economic growth are a constant threat. 

Gabrielle Healy

On a recent July morning, around 20 students worked in the Our Sister’s School community garden. They grew vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Gabrielle Healy

Imagine a warm tart, about the circumference of a coffee mug with flaky, crispy dough, surrounding creamy custard. Delicious. The pastry is a Portuguese specialty called pastel de nata.

“I personally prefer them hot out of the oven topped with a little bit of cinnamon, that’s the only way to have them,” Jessica Coelho, owner of Tia Maria’s European Café said.

Brian Morris/WCAI

Voters in New Bedford have resoundingly approved a casino referendum, with 8,355 voters in favor of the project, and 3,040 against. The comfortable margin of 73 percent suggested that most voters agree that a casino could bring many new jobs, as well as a boost to the city’s image. 

Brian Morris/WCAI

New Bedford voters go to the polls tomorrow to decide if they want a $650-million dollar casino, hotel and conference center built along the city’s waterfront. Developers promise the project will breathe much-needed new life into the city and generate thousands of jobs. They also would put $50-million dollars into a massive environmental cleanup. 

New Bedford resident Gene Gallagher was one of about 70 people who showed up at the Normandin Middle School in the city’s North End last week to learn more about the project -- though Gallagher already knows how he’ll vote.

South Coast Manufacturers Draw On Local Talent

May 26, 2015
Brian Morris/WCAI

The South Coast has a much longer and more robust history of making products than Cape Cod or the Islands. Two South Coast manufacturers in particular make very different types of products, but both employ specially-trained local talent to produce them.   

Davico Manufacturing in New Bedford has spent 28 years making just one thing - replacement catalytic converters. But within that one product category, there’s a huge amount of variety: 1,700 different sku’s, or part numbers, according to Davico Business Development Manager Glen Hamblet,

South Coast Kids Fly For Free

May 18, 2015
Brian Morris/WCAI

It’s a dream of  many young people to fly in a plane, and perhaps one day become professional pilots. Recently, a number of South Coast kids got a chance to take a free flight at the New Bedford Regional Airport. – some even handling the controls for a few minutes. Event organizers say that the objective is simple: give kids a taste of being up in the sky, and it just might spark a lifelong interest in aviation. 

BOEM

The federal government is auctioning off more than 742,000 acres of federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard. The plan is to fill the area with offshore wind turbines – enough turbines to power 1-and-a-half million homes. But with the recent news that the offshore Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound may not go forward, it’s not at all clear that these new initiatives can succeed either. 

Brian Morris/WCAI

Last summer, the New Bedford whaleship Charles W. Morgan sailed around New England after an extensive restoration. The Morgan gained fame as the last remaining whaler in the world. But what of the other vessels that once were part of the large New Bedford whaling fleet? The story of New Bedford’s Stone Fleet is told by two park rangers from the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park - Judy Roderiques and Lucy Bly, also known as the “1850’s ladies,” Abby and Ruth.  

Brian Morris/WCAI

 During the last few months, we’ve reported extensively on the Marine Commerce Terminal in New Bedford, currently under construction and scheduled to come online early next year. When completed, it will serve as a staging area for Cape Wind and other offshore wind turbine projects. But recently, state and local officials have found themselves at odds over what to call the terminal. Locals thought it would be the “New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal”, but state officials have other ideas.

Lighting the World Took a Toll on New Bedford Harbor

Oct 27, 2014
More than thirty years after being added to the EPA's National Priorities List of toxic cleanup sites, much of New Bedford Harbor remains off-limits for fishing.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The mud at the bottom of New Bedford Harbor tells a tale of more than a century of industrial pollution. John Farrington helped reveal that history and get the harbor on the EPA’s cleanup list.

Brian Morris/WCAI

The Family Pantry of Cape Cod operates out of a nondescript building in an industrial section of Harwich. It’s open three days a week, and offers a lifeline for many Cape Cod residents and families who come here to stock up on much-needed food items. Recently, frozen bluefish fillets have been added to that list. 

Lewis Hine

Joe Thomas, Historian and co-founder of Spinner Publications, and WCAI Southcoast Reporter Brian Morris join Mindy Todd on The Point to talk about the history of the mills in New Bedford, and efforts to revitalize these structures for present day use.

Brian Morris/WCAI

New Bedford’s textile mills once churned out fabric 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some of the old mills have been torn down, but others survive as artist spaces, outlets and apparel manufacturers. About a half dozen of the red brick structures have been restored and turned into high-end apartments. Manomet Place in New Bedford’s North End is one example. 

Brian Morris/WCAI

Driving through New Bedford along Route 195, it’s hard not to notice the long red brick buildings on either side of the highway. These are the old textile mills, built mostly in the early 1900’s. They’re a familiar part of the landscape, but many people don’t know the stories these buildings have to tell: of the immigrant workers who came here by the thousands; of the working conditions they faced; of a textile industry that exploded in New Bedford and then faded just as quickly; and of the present-day debate about whether to save these buildings or tear them down. 

New Bedford Solar Farm Sits Atop EPA Superfund Site

Sep 22, 2014
Brian Morris/WCAI

A new solar energy farm in New Bedford is designed to power more than 200 homes. But this particular solar array sits atop a Superfund site. And it's taken a lot of coordinated effort at the local, State and Federal levels to make the project happen. 

On a crisp and clear Friday afternoon, more than 5,000 sleek new solar panels slant skyward at the 11-acre Sullivan's Ledge site in New Bedford. With New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and others looking on, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy touted the fact that a polluted site could now be put to good use.

Here for Work, Immigrants Face Violence

Sep 22, 2014
Sarah Reynolds

Friday is payday for many New Bedford businesses. That makes for a bustling Acushnet Avenue with money-sending shops on nearly every block. Transportes Vasquez sends money and other goods from immigrants in New Bedford to their homes in Guatemala. The owner, Luis Vasquez says on average, 500 people come by to send money every weekend.

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