Updated: Good Samaritan Thwarts Alleged Carjacking Attempt in Methuen; Victim is Safe

This story has been updated to identify Jay Sarcione as the man who thwarted the crime. A Good Samaritan thwarted a reported Methuen carjacking Friday night after observing a woman under attack in a grocery store parking lot and chasing away the alleged culprit. Methuen Police shortly thereafter caught up with 53-year-old Rafael Rosario, of Lawrence, charging him with strangulation, attempted kidnapping, attempted carjacking and assault and battery, according to Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon. The incident unfolded just before 8 p.m. when Rosario allegedly forced his way into a parked car near Market Basket, 186 Haverhill St. The unidentified woman said she was in her car with the door closed when the man forced his way in, grabbed her by the throat and pushed her further into the car.

Local Housing Authorities Lobby on Beacon Hill for More Money to Reduce Waiting Lists

There are 160,000 people in Massachusetts on waiting lists for public housing, according to housing authority representatives who visited the State House Thursday to ask for more state money and a larger role in helping the state tackle its affordable housing problem. Speakers at the lobby day held by the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials also called for the production of more public housing units. “What we have here is what we already know, is that we have an affordable housing crisis in Massachusetts and throughout the country, and when I think of these staggering waiting list numbers, I always say to myself, what’s the solution?” said the organization’s board President Brian Costello, the executive director of the Watertown Housing Authority. “And for me, it always comes back to Kevin.”

That’s not Housing Committee Co-chair Rep. Kevin Honan, Costello noted, but actor Kevin Costner—more specifically, Costner’s character Ray in the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams,” who hears a mysterious voice in his cornfield instructing him, “If you build it, he will come.”

Costello said there is an “absolutely phenomenal” demand for affordable housing in Massachusetts, and building more affordable housing is part of the solution. The message Costello said he hears, whispered by his housing authority predecessors, is “If you can build it, they’re already here.”

MassNAHRO’s members, which include 242 local housing authorities and four community development agencies, own or manage 43,000 state public housing units and 38,000 federal public housing units.

Winter Storm Brings School Cancellations, Snow Emergency

No school, all schools Haverhill. Day classes are also cancelled because of the weather at Whittier Vo-Tech, Methuen public schools, Pentucket Regional School District, Timberlane Regional Schools, Greater Lawrence Technical School and Northern Essex Community College. All this as a winter storm warning remains in effect until 10 a.m., Monday, but Wave Weather meteorologist Sean Ryan says clouds will be thinning for sunshine through the afternoon with temperatures reaching 35-40 degrees. Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini has declared a snow emergency until noon. That means those without off-street parking must use the odd side of the street.

MBTA Hearing on Fare Hikes Draws Criticism; Haverhill’s Vargas Calls Proposal ‘Deeply Unfair’

The MBTA’s public hearing in Boston Wednesday night on proposed fare increases seemed to touch virtually every grievance and concern directed at the authority in recent years. The State House News Service reports attendees shared stories of being late to work because trains were too full to let on new passengers and of standing on crowded platforms with no information about delays. They warned that the proposed hikes, which average about 6.3 percent, would disproportionately harm low-income commuters who rely on public transit. They cautioned that, by the T's own estimates, higher fares would drive down ridership and push more travelers onto already-crowded roads in carbon-spewing vehicles. In total, dozens of elected officials, transit activists and residents spoke Wednesday, virtually all arguing against the fare hikes.

Several New Fire Academy Recruits to Begin Work in Groveland, Georgetown

Ready and reporting for duty! State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey presented certificates of completion to several graduates of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy this week, with seven firefighters planning to work for the Boxford, Georgetown and Groveland Fire Departments. Ostroskey and local fire chiefs were on hand Thursday night at Boxford’s Masconomet Regional Middle School to celebrate the latest class of 23 men and one woman. The group plans to put their skills to use in 12 fire departments across the Commonwealth. Locally, Boxford welcomes Matthew Denomey, Benjamin Madden, Anthony Micalizzi and Robert Sterner to the job, while Michael Neenan reports for duty in Groveland.

Methuen Police Mourn Loss of Boy, 4, They Befriended Through Cops for Kids With Cancer Charity

Chief Joseph E. Solomon and the Methuen Police Department are mourning the loss of a little boy they befriended through the Cops for Kids With Cancer charity. Four-year-old Brixton Urbaez lost his battle with terminal brain cancer, the department said in a somber social media post Wednesday. News of Brixton’s passing comes 14 months after Methuen Police feted the boy and his parents, Alana and Kadir, at a December 2017 ceremony, providing a $5,000 donation to help defray medical costs. At the time, Brixton’s mother was forced to take a leave of absence from her job to care for the boy. “Brixton fought courageously,” his friends at the department confirmed.

Georgetown Man to Complete Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment After Indecent Exposure Arrest

A Georgetown man has been ordered to complete an addiction treatment program following his arrest this week on indecent exposure charges. Twenty-nine-year-old Zachary M. Benas of 1 Lee Way, Georgetown, was arrested Sunday, Feb. 24 by Georgetown Police after the department was made aware of two incidents where Benas allegedly exposed himself at two local businesses. In a statement, Georgetown’s Chief Donald C. Cudmore praised the victims for coming forward. “I want to thank the brave victims involved in this incident for immediately calling the police as well as the officers for their quick response to apprehend this individual and protect our community,” Cudmore said.

Early Morning Crash on I-495 Kills Driver After Car Goes Airborne Off Ramp in Lawrence

An unidentified 56-year-old driver was killed in the early morning hours Wednesday when his 2006 Pontiac Solstice went airborne after failing to negotiate the Marston Street ramp of Interstate 495 in Lawrence, Massachusetts State Police tell WHAV. Troopers responded to the area shortly before 2:50 a.m. Feb. 27 for a report that the vehicle had rolled over. The driver was the vehicle’s sole occupant, police said. All lanes are reopened to traffic at this hour as the investigation into the accident continues.