How the Perkins School for the Blind helped victims of the Halifax explosion

As we all know, Bostonians rushed to Halifax, NS in 1917 after a massive explosion. Among them: Edward Allen, director of the Perkins School for the Blind. A number of the survivors were blinded.

The Perkins School has set up an online exhibit about the work by Allen and others to help newly blinded Haligonians. First, he had to overcome opposition from local eye specialists who resented "outsiders."

Smoker starts North End fire that kills two

Firefighters going up. Photo by BFD.

The Boston Fire Department reports "careless disposal of smoking material" started a three-alarm fire at 282 Hanover St. that killed two men - one after he jumped from the building to escape the flames.

The second man was found dead inside the building.

They are the first fire deaths in Boston this year, the department reports. Boston Police homicide detectives joined the investigation, standard for all fire deaths.

Firefighters responded at 1 a.m. for a fire on the third floor of the five-floor building. The smoker was in a second-floor bedroom, the department reports.

Two other adults and an infant were taken to to the hospital with injuries.

The fire caused an estimated $1.5 million in damage, the department says, adding 12 people were made homeless.

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 01:00

Guy who organized Chelsea MS-13 gang convicted at trial; faces 20 years in federal prison

A federal jury today convicted Rafael "Tremendo" Leoner Aguirre, 22, on a variety of racketeering charges that could land him in prison for 20 years, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.

Among the acts for which he was convicted: Two attempted murders, one in which he went after two rivals with a machete in Chelsea on April 6, 2014, the other in which he and other MS-13 members opened fire on two other men with guns, hitting one.

Prosecutors say that when Leoner Aguirre, then 19, moved to Chelsea a year after entering the US illegally from El Salvador, he organized a number of leaderless MS-13 members and wannabes into a full-fledged "clique" or gang, called Enfermos Criminal Salvatrucha, and promptly set them to attacking, fatally, if possible, members of rival gangs, such as the 18th Street Gang:

Even before arriving in Chelsea, Leoner Aguirre began recruiting and planning MS-13 activities. Among other things, Leoner Aguirre created recruitment videos for MS-13 and posted them on YouTube. This enabled younger members to view these videos, including one witness who testified that he first saw these videos while at a local high school. ...

More junior members of the Enfermos clique also committed a number of racketeering acts after Leoner Aguirre arrived in Massachusetts, including a shooting that resulted in the death of an innocent bystander.

Some 61 alleged MS-13 members were arrested in federal and local sweeps in 2016. Officials blame them for at least five murders, including those of several teenagers in East Boston.

Braintree man charged with beating, stabbing Dorchester man to death during home invasion

Sun, 11/05/2017 - 15:00

Thomas Frank Isaac Jr., 21, of Braintree was arraignnetd on a murder charge today for the death of Nelson Torres-Santa, 55, who was found dead and partially decomposed in his 330 Bowdon Str. apartment on the afternoon of Nov. 13. Read more.


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