Jack Spillane

Columnist covering all things New Bedford

City Council ward races present a test of loyalties

In Ward 1 and Ward 6, the incumbents have been among Mayor Jon Mitchell’s most reliable supporters. And both challengers sound like members of the minority opposition led by councilors Linda Morad and Brian Gomes.

Alma del Mar Charter Schools making the grade

By January, Alma will have built two entirely new school buildings, its original Ottiwell campus on Belleville Avenue and a second $24 million Douglass campus on Church Street.

Right-leaning voices ring out at New Bedford debate

You really would not have been surprised if former President Trump had made an appearance shouting, “Make New Bedford Great Again!” and candidates at the council table all started banging their fists and shouting, “Four more years!”

New Bedford loses yet another grand old church

St. Joseph-St. Therese’s may join four other impressive but nearly impossible to reuse church buildings — St. John the Baptist, St. Kilian, St. Ann, and Trinity Methodist.

COVID cases climbing in New Bedford schools

Between Sept. 16-22, 61 New Bedford school students tested positive for COVID-19, the second-highest number in the state after the much larger city of Springfield.

COVID tragedies spark costly pension grabs for city, state

Ward 3 Councilor Hugh Dunn’s plan would make any death of any police officer or firefighter from COVID-19 exactly equal to the heroism of an officer who is shot to death on the street or a firefighter who loses his life in a burning building.

Shocking sewer and water bills on tap for New Bedford

New Bedford has lost an $11 million state Revolving Fund grant for this year’s work, and it could incur fines of up to $56,000 a day, plus legal costs, according to a letter from city infrastructure chief Jamie Ponte.

Difficult questions persist in City Councilor Dunn’s OUI case

The three New Bedford patrolmen had no good answers for why they did not ask Dunn where he was coming from that rainy Friday night; if he had been drinking; and how he crashed his Hyundai Genesis into both a Chevy truck and a Toyota SUV.

Running for office in New Bedford? No thanks

There are so few candidates running for office in New Bedford this year that there will be no preliminary election in five of the city’s six wards.

New Bedford suburbs lag far behind the state in vaccinations

Dartmouth’s fully vaccinated rate of 49% is 16 points lower than the statewide rate of 65%. And the rates in Acushnet, Fairhaven and Freetown are not much better, coming in at 54%, 57% and 57% respectively, as of Aug. 10.

Time for truth about New Bedford, vaccines and COVID-19

The sad and bitter truth is that because we have failed to get vaccinated in great enough numbers in the city, our school kids will probably spend at least part of another year with their faces covered while they learn.

Josh Amaral bows out of School Committee race

Amaral, who will not seek a third term, has been on the School Committee since he was little over a year out of UMass Dartmouth, where he was a political science major.

Jo-Jo doesn’t live here

Fortes deceived the city for the last seven elections, voting from a residence where he did not live. He also ran for Ward 4 City Council two times from the same bogus address, city election officials say.

New Bedford COVID-19 cluster surges to 45

Among the 39 people who attended the July 10 event and tested positive, only 5 were vaccinated. Six others, who later came in close contact with 39 partiers, also tested positive.

DA seeks justice in case of Councilor Hugh Dunn

State police say an EMT and paramedic on the scene the night of the accidents described it as “obvious” that he had been drinking and that they smelled alcohol on his breath.

Water, Water everywhere

This year DATMA is up and down Union again, and over on MacArthur Drive, between the State Pier and the Black Whale.

Fairhaven sends a message for Pride month

The three-member Board of Selectmen has made it clear over the last month that the Pride flag has no place on the property that is the seat of town government in Fairhaven.

It’s beach time in New Bedford

Cisco Brewers is going to draw back the curtain on what lovely city beaches New Bedford has, with vistas every bit as breathtaking as West Island and sparkling ocean as charming as Horseneck.

What the heck is happening in the South End?

A month into the 2021 municipal election’s campaign filing period, the William Street political world is abuzz over a Ward 6 race that would normally be a low-key affair.


After graduating from Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School, Michael P. Cassidy enlisted in the Marines and fought in Operation Desert Storm. He died on April 28, 2021, after a long battle with COVID-19.

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