New Bedford Light’s Jack Spillane on Star Store, Dunn Trial [TOWNSQUARE SUNDAY]
New Bedford Light columnist Jack Spillane offers perspective and informed opinions on the news of the day. You may not always agree with him, but his writing always makes you think.
It's a pleasure to have Spillane join Townsquare Sunday on a periodic basis to offer insights into important stories on the SouthCoast. On this week's program, we discussed a variety of recent stories, including the impact of a state decision to purchase the former Star Store building in downtown New Bedford for $1.
Both Spillane and I see the purchase of the Star Store as a long-term commitment by the state to keep the UMass College of Visual and Performing Arts in downtown New Bedford. It will keep students in the downtown area, and enable the CVPA to remain a centerpiece of New Bedford's growing arts community.
State Senator Mark Montigny of New Bedford pushed for the move. He helped engineer the plan more than 20 years ago to make the Star Store part of the UMass system. Spillane suggested the Star Store is a big part of Montigny's legislative legacy, and I agree.
The trial of New Bedford Ward 3 City Councilor Hugh Dunn, charged by the District Attorney's Office with operating under the influence and other violations in connection with a car crash in May 2021, has been delayed several times, and New Bedford Light wondered why.
Based on reporting by the Light's Anastasia Lennon, Spillane said the court proceedings have been delayed in part because of an arbitration process involving the three police officers who responded to the accident scene. The officers initially said they did not detect any smell of alcohol on Dunn at the scene, but those statements were contradicted by an EMS employee who said Dunn appeared disoriented and smelled of alcohol.
The officers issued no citations or charges the night of the crash, and were later suspended by the department without pay for mishandling the incident. The city's police union is appealing the disciplinary action in arbitration. It's likely there won't be a trial until that matter is resolved. Dunn's new trial date is October 11.
You can read Spillane's columns and other important stories at newbedfordlight.org. His Townsquare Sunday interview can be heard here:
Townsquare Sunday is a public affairs program heard every Sunday morning at 6 and 11 on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM. The program highlights individuals and organizations striving to make Greater New Bedford a better place to live and work.
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