Smoky two-alarm fire forces evacuation of Post Office Square building

10 Post Office Square. Photo by BFD.

The Boston Fire Department reports firefighters responded at 9:48 to a fire in a basement electrical vault at 10 Post Office Square that was sending smoke up into the rest of the building.

After firefighters were unable to identify the circuit that was causing the problem, the building's occupants - and the firefighters themselves - were ordered out to await the arrival of an Eversource crew that could shut the power to the building from the street.

The department reports the power was shut off around 11 p.m. and with that, firefighters were able to clear the smoke from the building.

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 21:48

After uproar, state withdraws planned changes for North Station commuter-rail routes for now

MassDOT and the MBTA today withdrew impending changes to the schedules of North Station commuter-rail line, saying they will come up with new proposed schedules next month to go into effect this spring - after public comment.

In December, the MBTA will release in draft form proposed new schedules for both North Side and South Side services, along with specific plans for extensive public engagement. Following the period of public engagement, MassDOT and the MBTA will make changes based on the feedback received and then implement the new schedules for the entire Commuter Rail system in spring 2016.

State officials insist the changes will help "minimize cascading failures and ensure that on-time service can be delivered both safely and consistently." But in a statement, state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack acknowledged:

The MBTA needs to do more than provide reliable Commuter Rail service to our customers - it needs to listen to those customers and understand their needs and concerns and incorporate them into service planning. We understand that even small challenges in long-standing schedules impact the daily lives of our riders and we need to hear and incorporate their feedback before finalizing schedule changes.

No more Pretty Things beer

The local craft brewers are calling it a day, with their last beer to ship in a couple weeks:

We hope our beers brought you joy and brought you closer together. There’s no greater goal for a batch of beer or a project like ours.

After seven years it’s time to draw the curtains and head off to a new adventure. A poorly drawn grain of barley called Jack D’Or made this whole thing possible. He’ll be coming with us.

Cheers to you all.

Via Boston Restaurant Talk.

Citizen complaint of the day: Affleck's from Cambridge, so he can park his cars there instead of in South Boston

A peeved citizen, or maybe a citizen who's trying to be funny, it's hard to tell when it comes to Southie, filed a complaint today that these two cars, parked outside 61 M St., don't have residential parking permits.

The city replies:

Case Closed. Case Noted. Resident parking goes into effect at 6pm. Will check area then.

Cars for Ben's movie parked in the Back Bay.

Dorchester man wanted for killing, immolating woman as revenge for son's murder

Plymouth County officials have issued an APB for Fernando Owens, 43, of Dorchester, on charges he murdered a New Jersey woman and set her body on fire because he apparently thought she had something to do with the murder of his son Dominic, shot to death on Shepton Street in Dorchester on Nov. 3.

The Plymouth County District Attorney's office reports:

State Police investigators have determined that Owens was acquainted with the victim in this case and that he believed [Ashley Bortner, 29], had a hand in the recent death of Fernando's son, Domenic Owens. Police seized items from Fernando Owens' home at 65 Lonsdale Street in Dorchester that link him to the murder, including the same sort of Egyptian cotton bath towel and identical electrical cord found on the victim.

Dominic Owens died around the corner from his father's home.

Prosecutors say Bortner's body was found, burning, near train tracks in Bridgewater, almost 24 hours after the younger Owens's death:

Her body was burned over 70%, she had been gagged by her own clothing and her face was wrapped with a towel and she was found in a comforter. Bortner’s hands and feet were bound behind her and electrical cord was around her neck.

Separately, a Manchester, NH husband and wife were charged with being accessories after the fact:

Cell phone records from the Squires put the couple in Bridgewater around the time of the 911 call to Bridgewater Police on November 3rd. Additionally, the Squires own a vehicle similar to the dark SUV described by the 911 caller.

If you see Owens, contact State Police at 508-947-8087, MBTA Transit Police at 617-222-1050 or Bridgewater Police at 508-697-6118.

Innocent, etc.

DA: Man posed as high-flying lawyer, bilked clients

From his Web site.

A man who claimed to be "a Harvard educated attorney" with offices in Boston, New York and London is, in fact, a con man who bilked at least two clients out of thousands of dollars for legal work he never did - and bought stuff using their names - the Suffolk County District Attorney's office charges.

David Koraca, a.k.a. David Corazza, whose Web site claims "decades of experience helping clients prepare for, avoid and manage a wide range of corporate crises involving legal, business, consumer, shareholder and public relations issues" and an office at International Place, was arraigned today in Boston Municipal Court on two counts each of unauthorized practice of law and larceny over $250 by scheme, the DA's office reports.

He had bail set at $10,000.

According to the DA's office:

In July, an acquaintance accepted Koraca’s offer of legal help with financial issues she was experiencing. The victim met with Koraca at his rented office at One International Place, where Koraca made copies of her credit cards and took down her personal information, including Social Security number, prosecutors said.

In October, the victim discovered $1,004.22 in unauthorized charges on one of her credit cards – many of which were made to Amazon. When she confronted Koraca, he allegedly told the victim that the charges were for his services. He later allegedly made statements to the victim that he would reimburse the credit card charges; however, he never made the payments, prosecutors said.

A second acquaintance in September hired to Koraca to represent her in divorce proceedings. She paid Koraca a total of $6,960 for legal services and provided personal and credit card information, prosecutors said. The victim later made repeated attempts to contact Koraca but received no response.

Earlier this month, the woman discovered unauthorized charges on her credit cards and accounts totaling more than $21,000. Among those charges were payments made to the company from which Koraca rented his One International Place office, prosecutors said.

Boston Police assigned to the department’s Special Investigations Unit arrested Koraca at his office yesterday. He was found with a Massachusetts Bar Association card bearing the name David Corazza and an ID number. The MBA has no record of a David Koraca or a David Corazza authorized to practice law, nor do they have a record of any attorney assigned the number on the card, prosecutors said.

On Koraca's page, he lists a background that does not include a law degree:

He demonstrated his grasp for management by supervising staff and handling scheduling and budgeting for three Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO) series, The Sopranos, Entourage, and Oz. In addition, David Corazza offered his services as a financial analyst and contract negotiator to Universal Studios, Showtime Networks Inc., HBO, and Playboy.

David Corazza attended New York University to study finance and law, and he took courses in film production and screenwriting at American Film Institute, where he received a Master's degree. At present, he is studying for his MBA in International Business at Harvard University. David Corazza serves as Vice President of Universal Jet Charter, as well as a VIP host in Las Vegas. He continues to produce commercials and music videos, and he regularly speaks at film festivals and fundraisers.

Innocent, etc.