Teachers kept students inside school during fire; A mother's letter to the Harwich police; 2-car Dennis crash; Prisioner's death was from natural causes

Teachers fined for keeping students inside school during fire
Further disciplinary action against teachers will be taken

By James Kinsella

Three teachers at Mattacheese Middle School in Yarmouth each have been fined $100 for failing to evacuate students in their charge from the school during a fire alarm.

Sarah Wheaton, Linda Greene and John Tierney each were cited for failing to evacuate a building during an alarm, according to Yarmouth Deputy Fire Chief Robert Kelleher.

Deputy Chief Kelleher said about 60 students remained in the school during the alarm, which was sounded after a smoky fire broke out in a boys' bathroom on the first floor of the school. The alarm occurred during a heavy rain.

Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School Supt. Carol Woodbury said further disciplinary action would be taken against the teachers, but declined to say anything further, citing the need to protect their privacy.
Karen Janollari, a parent of a student who was evacuated from the school during the fire, said she was concerned about the teachers' decisions to keep students inside the school.

"Their decision not to leave the school could have been fatal," Janollari said Thursday evening. "They did not know why that alarm had been pulled."

She said she and a number of other Mattacheese parents "think the consequences should be greater than a $100 fine."

In the aftermath of the incident, Deputy Chief Kelleher said, the Yarmouth Fire Department has agreed with the school administration to conduct training with all of the school district's staff on the proper response during fire alarms.

The deputy chief said the department has concluded its investigation into the failure of certain teachers and students to evacuate the building during the alarm. The Yarmouth police and fire departments are continuing to investigate the fire in the bathroom, which they consider arson.

Two cars end up on new Dennis sidewalk


d-10-2-rt13408_400SOUTH DENNIS - Police cited a Harwich woman for failure to take care in stopping following a two-car accident at 10:10 a.m. Thursday. The collision occurred almost directly in front of the Dennis Police Facility and across from Agway.

Marcia Thorgate-Smith, 40, was traveling south on Route 134 in a PT Cruiser when she reached up to adjust her visor to block the sun, according to Officer James Winn.

Winn said Thorgate-Smith returned her gaze to the road too late to avoid colliding with the rear of a GMC Sierra driven by Rachael Colby, 42, also of Harwich.

Both cars ended up on the new sidewalk along Route 134.

Dennis rescue personnel transported both women to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis with minor injuries.

The Dennis Police response was nearly instant. The blue PT Cruiser's damagewas on the front while the GMC (on right) was hit in the rear driver'sside.

In the photo below we can see the entrance to the Dennis Police Station in the far left.

Photos by cctoday.


Child pornographer's death attributed to natural causes

Howe ConstableNANTUCKET - Howe Constable, the Nantucket man who died two months after being sentenced to federal prison on child pornography charges, died of natural causes, according to the office of the New York City Chief Medical Examiner.

Constable died from heart disease, Grace Burgess, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner, said yesterday. He was sentenced in June to 25 years in federal prison, and he died Aug. 13 while at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. He was 55.

In March, Constable, a former assistant coach for the Nantucket High School sailing team, pleaded guilty to producing pornography and bringing it into the United States.

Read the previous stories about Constable below;

September 26, 2008

Chief William A. Mason
Harwich Police Department
183 Sisson Road
Harwich, MA 02645


Dear Chief Mason:

harwichpd_shield_100It is undoubtedly every parent's worst nightmare to have your child taken from you without your knowledge and/or consent.  Unfortunately, this is precisely what happened to me when my estranged husband took my daughter from her school without any of her belongings and headed to Harwich.  I was fortunate in that I was able to get immediate (temporary) sole custody which then allowed me to go to my local police department who, in turn, contacted the Harwich Police Department for assistance.

"Chief Mason, again, thank you to you and every member of the policedepartment that assisted both [withheld] and me. Thank you, thank you,thank you."

Sergeant Manly from the Wayland Police Department contacted Sergeant Campbell and he was immediately incredibly helpful.  Sergeant Campbell worked with Sergeant Manly on the best way to handle this matter and informed us that he would put out a description of my estranged husband's car.  Within a very short period of time, the car was located in a restaurant parking lot at which time the court ORDER was faxed to Sergeant Campbell and, thereafter, my daughter was retrieved and taken to the Harwich Police Station.

Needless to say, while I was ecstatic that my daughter, [withheld] had been located I was beside myself with worry as she would not be around anyone that she knew, wis in a strange location, truly did not know what was going on and it was going to take me two hours to get to her.  As it turned out, there was no need for me to worry, [withheld] was being treated like royalty and frankly, she had a wonderful time on her adventure to the "Police Officers' Station" as she refers to it.

As I drove to Harwich not only did Sergeant Campbell call me to let [withheld] speak to me but Communication Specialist Amy Handel called as well.  Each of these phone calls was so reassuring to me and [withheld] sounded great.

I will leave you with one short story; the other day as I was getting[withheld] ready for school she asked me if the next time I had to worklate (I told her I was working late and that is why she had to wait forme at the police station) if she could go back to the "Police Officers'Station" to see her friends because she had such a good time there and"they really miss me, mom."

When I arrived at the police station I was greeted by Sergeant Campbell and, I believe, Sergeant David Jacek, who took me right to see [withheld].  What I saw was nothing short of amazing. [withheld]was sitting at a table with Communication Specialist Amy Handel , (who had had the dubious honor of entertaining/occupying [withheld] during her visit), surrounded by artwork, coloring pages, a stuffed animal, a fabulous police hat etc.  I cannot begin to tell you how relieved I was to see her but even more so to see that she had a wonderful time.  We packed up our stuff and headed home and I really expected [withheld] to be asleep within two minutes of getting into the car but that was not to occur, instead she went on and on about her adventure at the "Police Officers' Station" and all of the wonderful people there.

I am sorry that this is so long winded but I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate the assistance and care that both [withheld] and I received from everyone at the Harwich Police Department.  From my initial contact with Sergeant Campbell, to the transport of [withheld] by Officer Richard Buttrick (who[withheld] refers to as "daddy's friend"), to Sergeant David Jacek and Communication Specialist Amy Handel who cared so wonderfully for [withheld] while she was at the police station, each member of the department went above and beyond to help us and, for that, I cannot say thank you enough.  They are all truly amazing and wonderful people.

I will leave you with one short story; the other day as I was getting [withheld] ready for school she asked me if the next time I had to work late (I told her I was working late and that is why she had to wait for me at the police station) if she could go back to the "Police Officers' Station" to see her friends because she had such a good time there and "they really miss me, mom."

Chief Mason, again, thank you to you and every member of the police department that assisted both [withheld] and me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Very truly yours,

Name Withheld

Flags to be lowered to half-staff in observance of the National Fallen Firefighters  Service this Sunday

NATIONWIDE - The Yarmouth Fire Department will join with therest of the Fire Departments across the United States in the observanceof the National Fallen Firefighters Service on Sunday October5, 2008 by lowering the flag to half-staff.  This is an annualobservance to memorialize fallen firefighters across the Nation. 

americanflag_200Thelaw requires the American flag be lowered in tribute on only a few dayseach year. One of these days is the observance of the National FallenFirefighters Memorial Service.
On October 16, 2001, President Bushapproved legislation requiring the American flag to be lowered tohalf-staff on all Federal buildings to memorialize fallen firefighters.

Public Law 107-51 requires this action to occur annually inconjunction with observance of the National Fallen FirefightersMemorial Service.  This includes the U.S. Capitol and the White House,as well as buildings in your local community.


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