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At $2,995 Could This Nicely Equipped 2001 VW Jetta VR6 Prove A Nice Deal?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Jetta has about everything you could want in VW’s handsome small wagon, including the VR6 engine, manual transmission, and fancy leather seats. Let’s see if it’s priced to make you want it even more.

For something so rare, we’ve sure seen a lot of ZJ Grand Cherokees with stick-shifts around these parts. It’s been two in total, which has got to be some sort of record! At $700, the one that David Tracy bought was the cheaper of the two, but $1,800 for yesterday’s 1993 Grand Cherokee Laredo didn’t seem too bad, and in fact, earned the shifty off-roader a decent 63 percent Nice Price win.

I noted in the post for yesterday’s Jeep that almost two-weeks on the classifieds seemed an awfully long time for something so cheap and desirable. Those must have been the magic words since the seller pulled the ad that very morning. Hopefully, the Jeep went to a good new home.

Today we’re looking at another car that needs a good home. This 2001 Volkswagen Jetta GLX wagon is dealer offered and comes with a clean title, a modest 121K on the clock, and a 2.8-litre VR6/5-speed stick drivetrain under its hood.

Let’s start off with that last attribute, shall we? Now, admittedly, 174 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque are not stellar specs in today’s automotive climate. And, having each of those come on at above 3,500 rpm makes lower rev adventures a little underwhelming.

As we have previously discussed, however, it’s not so much the power that Volkswagen’s narrow-angle V6 makes, but the sonorous noises it creates while making it. It’s pretty glorious.

These are lovely to hear and having one elevates the Jetta from econobox status to near-classic status. Add to that the clunky but swell-ratio’d 5-speed in this wagon body and you have what could be literally considered a sporty utility.

The car itself looks to be in very decent shape. The silver metallic paint shows well, and with the exception of some loading scrapes on the rear bumper, so too does the body beneath.

The headlamp lenses on this generation of Jetta tend to yellow and cloud like an old man’s memory, although the lights on this one are clear and without issue. It should also be noted that this generation of Jetta is quite possibly one of the most accomplished car designs of the ‘80s and 90s. It’s still quite handsome and contemporary even today. A roof rack and factory alloys complete the picture here.

The interior has held up amazingly as well. This being a GLX, it rocks leather seating surfaces and fake wood trim amping up the luxury aspirations. The seats look to be in excellent shape both front and rear, while monster mats portend decent carpet.

The dash has a working MFD, dual-zone climate control, and double-DIN factory stereo with a CD changer atop the AM/FM/Cassette player. Power windows, mirrors, seats, and door locks mean you won’t have to stress too hard to find your fit, while a sizable moonroof above all that extends the benefit to claustrophobics.

The dealer-posted ad spends more time listing other vehicles for sale than describing the Jetta, but it does claim the car to have “No mechanical issues” and that it “Runs and drives excellent.” It further notes the car’s “Good tires and brakes” and I should point out that the seller spelled brakes correctly here. Any seller that uses “breaks” in describing a car’s clampers should be considered immediately suspect.

This Jetta is offered in Boston so I will give them the latitude that it is, in fact, a “Car” and not a “Cah” as they may confusingly aver it to be over the phone. Other fun New England-isms include calling roundabouts “rotaries” and claiming everything good to be “wicked.”

How wicked is the asking price for this well-equipped Jetta wagon? How about $2,995?

This being dealer-offered that, of course, doesn’t include the tax and license that inevitably get added, but it’s a good starting point for our purposes.

What do you think, is this VR6 Jetta worth the $2,995 asking as it’s presented in the ad? Or, does that price make this Vee-Dub a Vee-Don’t?

You decide!

Boston, MA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to EdHelmsBakery for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at [email protected] and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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What meteorologists are saying about the rain and freezing rain forecast for Massachusetts – Boston.com

Dialynn Dwyer, Boston.com Staff

December 30, 2019

The last Monday of the year is forecast to be a soggy and slick one in Massachusetts. 

Precipitation moved into the region overnight and is predicted to continue through Monday evening, falling as chilly rain for much of the eastern Bay State and as freezing rain and sleet to interior parts of the state, according to the National Weather Service. The service has issued Ice Storm warnings for the eastern slopes of the Berkshires and the Worcester Hills, where accumulations of one-quarter to one-half inch of ice could accumulate. 

Conditions are forecast to improve “slowly” on Tuesday, the service said. 

Here’s what local forecasters are saying about the storm bringing a damp, cold end to 2019.

National Weather Service: ‘Expect slick roads developing into the morning commute, lingering into this afternoon.’

[430 AM Icing Update] Higher-elevation significant icing expected today into tonight. Lesser icing across northern CT, northern Providence County in RI into MA (mainly W of I-495). Expect slick roads developing into the morning commute, lingering into this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/Xy0UoEpc6f

— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) December 30, 2019

[5:20 am Radar] Bit of lull in rain shield now across #MA #RI #CT but more rain upstream over the Lower Hudson Valley of #NY that will track across CT/MA & RI over the next few hours. Freezing rain/ice threat continues in the hilly terrain especially in Berks & Worcester Hills pic.twitter.com/MaCoKiUIzu

— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) December 30, 2019

[5:25 AM Temps] Few more areas of at/below freezing temperatures popping up into north-central MA. Increasing slick spots as temperatures cool. pic.twitter.com/VZ5l8VD5em

— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) December 30, 2019

Dave Epstein: ‘While there are areas with freezing rain and sleet, most of us are just seeing a cold rain.’

As colder air works in today the rain will mix with and in some cases completely changed to sleet, especially north of the Mass Pike. Still risk for significant icing across Western Massachusetts and the higher elevations of Worcester county. pic.twitter.com/g9YHZFY48U

— Dave Epstein (@growingwisdom) December 30, 2019

No issues along coastline beyond wet roads today. pic.twitter.com/xYj2fub6lM

— Dave Epstein (@growingwisdom) December 30, 2019

While there are areas with freezing rain and sleet, most of us are just seeing a cold rain. pic.twitter.com/xzSzsLlXEW

— Dave Epstein (@growingwisdom) December 30, 2019

Chris Lambert, WHDH: ‘Mainly rain near and south of the Pike, east of 495.’

Sleet and freezing rain an issue across the interior today. Best chance of seeing 0.25″ or more of ice accretion in 1000′ up across the Worcester Hills. pic.twitter.com/Yzwm3Q7xKF

— Chris Lambert (@clamberton7) December 30, 2019

Mainly rain near and south of the Pike, east of 495. Sleet and freezing rain most prolonged well north and west. pic.twitter.com/s2612m6uJk

— Chris Lambert (@clamberton7) December 30, 2019

Cindy Fitzgibbon, WCVB: ‘Elevated areas in northern Worcester County could see up to .50″ ice accretion — more possible in the Berkshires. Tree limbs could sag/break with possible power outages in addition to slick roads.’

Rain at varying intensity with a raw east wind in Boston today… upper 30°s in the city but as you go N&W it gets colder with icing and freezing rain a concern. Watch for slick roads N&W thru tonight #wcvb pic.twitter.com/qwAhVH8Qbw

— Cindy Fitzgibbon (@Met_CindyFitz) December 30, 2019

Ice Storm Warning for northern Worcester Hills and Berkshires. Elevated areas in northern Worcester County could see up to .50″ ice accretion- more possible in the Berkshires. Tree limbs could sag/break with possible power outages in addition to slick roads #WCVB pic.twitter.com/tgPanMRgqy

— Cindy Fitzgibbon (@Met_CindyFitz) December 30, 2019

Shiri Spear, Boston 25 News: ‘Outside of 128 you need to be cautious of icy roads — ALL DAY.’

The biggest problems from ice will occur at higher elevations like the Worcester Hills, Monadnocks & Berkshires. Even trace amounts can lead to dangerous conditions. @boston25 pic.twitter.com/ng6wIClhoK

— Shiri Spear (@ShiriSpear) December 30, 2019

Eastern & southeastern MA have a soaking day ahead

Outside of 128 you need to be cautious of icy roads – ALL DAY.

The local forecast continues until 10 AM on @boston25. pic.twitter.com/KhakDfphxE

— Shiri Spear (@ShiriSpear) December 30, 2019

Eric Fisher, WBZ: ‘General ice/rain mix all day (wettest coast/SE iciest NW). Shifting back to mostly rain overnight. Ends tomorrow morning.’

Mixed bag of ice, rain, and some flakes north this morning. Boston and SE Mass all rain. Iciest NW. Varying conditions all day https://t.co/coTTVgMSPw

— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) December 30, 2019

About 24 more hours with this one. General ice/rain mix all day (wettest coast/SE iciest NW). Shifting back to mostly rain overnight. Ends tomorrow morning. Mild-ish tomorrow in the 40s for NYE preps pic.twitter.com/JqiygEVK7u

— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) December 30, 2019

Some of the Berkshire/foothill towns starting to get bad. This is where the worst of the freezing rain will be today https://t.co/cddZWn6dAi

— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) December 30, 2019

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What Boston meteorologists are saying about the timing, snow totals, and impact of Tuesday’s winter weather – Boston.com

Arianna MacNeill Boston.com Staff

updated on December 16, 2019

National Weather Service: ‘Not a major #snow/#ice event for #MA #RI #CT but timing will impact the [Tuesday] AM commute especially south of the Mass Pike’

[4pm] Still looking at an impactful #winter storm on Tue. #Snow begins in pre-dawn hours with reduced visibility & icy roads for AM commute. Changeover to wintry mix/rain south of #MA turnpike. Moderate #ice accretion possible in Northern #CT/#RI. #Arctic blast Wed night/Thu. pic.twitter.com/xbgYpJHxYv

— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) December 16, 2019

Not a major #snow/#ice event for #MA #RI #CT but timing will impact the Tue AM commute especially south of the Mass Pike into CT/RI, then north of the Pike after the AM commute. Here is an approximate timeline. Loop begins @ 12 am, ends 12 pm. Blue=snow, red/pink=ice & green=rain pic.twitter.com/Vw5iHW2lqs

— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) December 16, 2019

[Tue Snow] Snow develops south of the MA Pike between 3 and 6 am Tue with a significant impact to the AM commute, before changing to a wintry mix. Lighter snow overspreads northern MA by mid Tue am. Snow/ice continue Tue afternoon with a change to rain southeast of

I-95. pic.twitter.com/XeQW2vquhf

— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) December 16, 2019

David Epstein: ‘Morning commute still the loser in the upcoming weather system’

Morning commute still the loser in the upcoming weather system. Not a big storm by any measure however. pic.twitter.com/zKc8vcmOzY

— Dave Epstein (@growingwisdom) December 16, 2019

Route 84 through Tolland, Vernon, etc. could be quite dicey tomorrow once the chance occurs. pic.twitter.com/yBTh18FZye

— Dave Epstein (@growingwisdom) December 16, 2019

Radar should be lit up with snow tomorrow morning. It’s not a big storm, another commute impact one for Tuesday’s ride in an out of work. pic.twitter.com/vuSsEfVvbf

— Dave Epstein (@growingwisdom) December 16, 2019

Looks like most of the snow falls through early afternoon, lighter precip thereafter, but not stopping until evening. pic.twitter.com/GXXy6tUk3n

— Dave Epstein (@growingwisdom) December 16, 2019

Eric Fisher, WBZ: ‘A burst of snow developing before daybreak [Tuesday], followed by an icy mix (and rain toward far SE Mass)’

A burst of snow developing before daybreak tomorrow, followed by an icy mix (and rain toward far SE Mass).

Snowiest to the north and iciest across CT/RI.

Slick day for travel expected for both the AM and PM pic.twitter.com/zLDy9Z5CBJ

— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) December 16, 2019

Best chance to hold on to just snow (instead of mixing) is in NH/VT tomorrow. Maybe we get lucky with northern MA towns just north of Route 2. Everywhere else it’s a kitchen sink mess. #wbz pic.twitter.com/tBeV26W2HO

— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) December 16, 2019

*Fixed graphic (computer glitch)

Forecast snow + sleet accumulations tomorrow. Moves in 4-6am. Starts all snow then the icy mix will creep in as the day wears on. #wbz pic.twitter.com/7vMl8FNddg

— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) December 16, 2019

Deep winter cold this week. We go from no snow cover and minor river flooding to ice everywhere and arctic cold. This December has been a wild ride! Definitely not boring. #wbz pic.twitter.com/PeMHN6O6TJ

— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) December 16, 2019

After tomorrow, there is one last window for a storm between now and Christmas…and it’s next Monday. Guidance is keeping it south of us for now but I wouldn’t shut that window just yet. pic.twitter.com/DV9q2MGgHd

— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) December 16, 2019

Matt Noyes, NBC10 Boston and NECN: ‘Snow goes to a mix of atmospheric garbage’

Of course, I hope you’re able to tune in every morning so we can start our day together. If you missed @nbc10boston or @necn this morning, here’s the snow accumulation thoughts I offered. Starts after midnight for most of us, worst is 4-11am in Southern New England. pic.twitter.com/fLgNKjsn17

— Matt Noyes NBC10 Boston & NECN (@MattNBCBoston) December 16, 2019

Even though intensity wanes later tomorrow & snow goes to a mix of atmospheric garbage (consisting of snow, sleet, freezing rain & for Southeast MA and immediate coastal MA, rain), it won’t end-end until around midnight Tue night, depicted here by @nbc10boston exclusive guidance. pic.twitter.com/fFmdDo1J8n

— Matt Noyes NBC10 Boston & NECN (@MattNBCBoston) December 16, 2019

Josh Wurster, 7News: ‘It will impact both the AM & PM commutes [Tuesday]’

Snow amounts are not blockbuster amounts… generally 2-4″ for most. It is all about the timing with this one. Sometimes heavy and steady snow for the morning commute tomorrow before changing to a mix in the afternoon. pic.twitter.com/GdTnuCNFPJ

— Josh Wurster (@joshwurster_) December 16, 2019

There is an ice threat as well. For us, it’ll be a slick spots on the roads and bridges in the afternoon. Bigger ice threat for Connecticut. Don’t worry this is nothing comparable to 2008. Just a light glaze south of the Pike. pic.twitter.com/mun5SmtWk9

— Josh Wurster (@joshwurster_) December 16, 2019

Tomorrow looks like a mess with snow to a wintry mix all day. Behind this system… our coldest air of the season. Here’s the cold that moves in Wednesday night and Thursday. Sub Zero wind chills Thursday morning. pic.twitter.com/DTOgO5Mf3c

— Josh Wurster (@joshwurster_) December 16, 2019

Jeremy Reiner, 7News: ‘Messy Tuesday on the way!’

Messy Tuesday on the way! Snow arrives pre-dawn and mixes with sleet, rain along & south of Pike. Mostly snow north. Snow amounts are not overwhelming but definitely impactful due to timing. #7news pic.twitter.com/QWKjaQsNCy

— Jeremy Reiner (@jreineron7) December 16, 2019

Pete Bouchard, NBC10 Boston: ‘Both commutes a little harried.’

Some adjustments (up) to my original numbers from yesterday. Starts predawn tomorrow. Wraps in the eve. Both commutes a little harried. Snow at 1st for everyone, then final map shows PM drive. pic.twitter.com/FLTJTSxufP

— Pete Bouchard NBC10 Boston (@PeteNBCBoston) December 16, 2019

A.J. Burnett, WCVB: ‘Part of Tuesday’s storm will feature sleet and ice in some areas’

☃️A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for parts of the following counties: Hillsborough, Rockingham, Merrimack, Cheshire. Stay with https://t.co/Z77ksWReD7 for the latest forecast! #WCVB pic.twitter.com/kA8Wpd90RQ

— A.J. Burnett ⚡️📺🎙 (@WxManAJB) December 16, 2019

Part of Tuesday’s storm will feature sleet and ice in some areas. The amount of ice will vary, but here’s an idea of the impact different ice accumulations can have. Full story: https://t.co/kMxtRHp44R #WCVB pic.twitter.com/TtcTbRcFVh

— A.J. Burnett ⚡️📺🎙 (@WxManAJB) December 16, 2019

A little bit of everything with the storm that will bring snow, ice, sleet to the #Boston area on Tuesday. #wcvb pic.twitter.com/DPUO13VZX2

— A.J. Burnett ⚡️📺🎙 (@WxManAJB) December 16, 2019

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‘I can’t believe I did this’: 13-year-old dies in Pembroke crash, driver charged with OUI – Boston 25 News

PEMBROKE, Mass. — Boston 25 News has learned that 13-year-old Claire Zisserson was killed in a crash in Pembroke that critically injured two others, as a 31-year-old Marshfield man faces manslaughter and other OUI charges in connection with the teen’s death.

Gregory Goodsell was held without bail after his arraignment Monday.

He pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter OUI, two counts of OUI liquor causing serious injury, possessing an open alcohol container in a motor vehicle, negligent driving, speeding, marked lanes violation, failure to stop or yield at a signal, and improper passing. A dangerousness hearing is set for Jan. 3.

Another 13-year-old girl, identified as Kendall Zemotel, and a 50-year-old woman are in critical condition, according to Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz.

While Zemotel remains hospitalized, Plymouth Selectwoman Betty Cavacco has set up a GoFundMe account to help the victim and her family.

Greg Goodsell at his arraignment on Dec. 3src, 2src19, for OUI charges, among others. He's accused of driving under the influence, killing a 13-year-old girl and critically hurting two others in Pembroke on Dec. 29, 2src19.

Greg Goodsell at his arraignment on Dec. 30, 2019, for OUI charges, among others. He’s accused of driving under the influence, killing a 13-year-old girl and critically hurting two others in Pembroke on Dec. 29, 2019.

Goodsell, an employee of Hi-Way Safety Systems of Rockland, which is a MassDOT contractor, told police he was coming from a company Christmas party at his boss’s home when the crash occurred. He was arrested on scene and sent to South Shore Hospital for evaluation.

“It was an incredibly gruesome scene, and when you look at the remnants. And the worst thing of all is it was 100 percent avoidable,” Cruz said.

Pembroke Police Chief Richard Well said he broke the devastating news to the victim’s family.

“I spoke with the family this morning and I can’t even imagine what they have to go through,” Well said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the Zisserson family.

According to court documents, the three females were in a Subaru that sustained heavy damage to the passenger side, while Goodsell drove a Ford truck that had heavy front-end damage.

(Dave Curran)

(Dave Curran)

Court documents show that Goodsell was slurring his speech, had glassy, blood-shot eyes, and smelled of alcohol when an officer arrived. He allegedly told police, “I know I shouldn’t have been driving…I can’t believe I did this…I drank way too much, I’m so sorry,” according to documents. He also admitted to using cocaine on Saturday night and into the early morning before driving.

He was placed under arrest and, unable to walk on his own, was assisted to the police cruiser, according to documents.

Witnesses said they saw Goodsell driving at a high speed, passing cars, driving through red lights and swerving. One witness said they saw Goodsell “traveling at the speed of lightning.”

A half-empty bottle of Jameson whiskey was found on the rear seat of Goodsell’s truck, along with an empty beer can, according to documents.

Boston 25 News reached out to MassDOT, who told us Hi-Way Safety Systems is used as “both a prime and a subcontractor on a number of active MassDOT contracts predominately providing signage, pavement markings, and traffic control.”

A MassDOT spokesperson told us “We are saddened by this tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim. MassDOT is extremely disappointed to learn of the circumstances surrounding this incident. We require that all of our contractors adhere to strict standards of safety and we are conducting a review into the status of Hi-Way Safety Systems Inc. with regard to active MassDOT contracts.”

13-year-old Pembroke crash victim identified, driver charged with manslaughter OUI

Boston 25 reached out to the company and was given the following statement from the attorney, “Our thoughts and prayers go to the family who has suffered a terrible tragedy and a tremendous loss. I will be working to gather the facts once I am available to do so. The Corporation is cooperating with, and will continue cooperating with, the authorities.”

Goodsell’s father told Boston 25 News the Hi-Way Safety company party was held at the Knights of Columbus in Pembroke Saturday night.

“He’s got a 21-month-old daughter. He’s a good kid. He just screwed up, he knows it,” said Jay Goodsell.

The district attorney said the holiday party and what was served are also under investigation.

“The crime itself at the scene of Oak and Church Street is solely the responsibility of the defendant in this matter, however, there is and there remains an ongoing investigation as to what was going on prior to that time at the party that was held in our county prior to that time,” said Cruz.

Sources told Boston 25 that police are also investigating the death of a male who attended the same party as Gregory Goodsell.

An attorney for the Hi-Way Safety company confirmed Monday night that the company is also looking into the death of an employee at a Rockland motel.

Rockland police on Tuesday released a statement that they are investigating the death of a 41-year-old Rockland man who was found unresponsive Sunday at a Comfort Inn motel on Hingham Street. The man, identified as Joseph Amaral, of Rockland, was found just before 8 a.m. and transported to the hospital where he later died, the statement said. Amaral’s cause of death will be determined by the State medical examiner.

When asked earlier Monday about whether or not there had been a second death connected to the party separate from the crash, Cruz said: “I’m not in a position to confirm that as of yet, but like I said, there are a number of things that were going on as I understand it. There are a number of things we’re investigating right now.”

Boston 25 News has learned the RMV has suspended Goodsell’s license indefinitely as an “immediate threat.” According to his driving record, he’s been cited three times for speeding and for two other crashes since 2006.

Goodsell is being held without bail until a dangerousness hearing Friday.

Gregory Goodsell, an employee of Hi-Way Safety Systems of Rockland, which is a MassDOT contractor, told police he was coming from a company Christmas party at his boss’s home when the crash occurred.

© 2020 © 2019 Cox Media Group

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An Ebola patient treated in the U.S. chose to remain anonymous. Now he’s telling his story. – Boston.com

When they wheeled Preston Gorman into a light spring breeze outside the National Institutes of Health nearly five years ago, he was, medically speaking, among the most fortunate people on the planet.

Gorman’s doctors had just defeated advanced Ebola virus disease, one of the most fearsome infections known to medicine. There were smiles and hugs and handshakes in the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where Gorman had spent the previous month in isolation, attended every moment by a medical SWAT team in moon suits.

Doctors, nurses and other caregivers gathered for a short prayer with Gorman and his family before sending him home to Texas in the same private jet that had raced him to NIH from Sierra Leone. At his parents’ home outside Dallas, siblings, aunts and cousins turned out to celebrate the emaciated young man who had returned from the dead.

And then Gorman’s life fell apart.

At a time when another Ebola outbreak is spreading, Gorman is a reminder of how easily trauma can be overlooked after severe illness. Gorman’s family and friends, and the medical system that so skillfully battled his disease, all missed the gravity of his condition.

“No one said, ‘You’ve just been selected for a really hard journey, and by the way none of your family is gonna understand, none of your friends are going to understand and you’re not going to understand,’ ” Gorman recalled. “They’re thinking it’s all over, and I walk into this group of people, and I don’t even know what’s happening.”

A prolonged battle with severe post-traumatic stress cost Gorman his family, the woman he intended to marry, his friends and his job. One of the luckiest men alive, he considered suicide.

Gorman, 38, who chose to remain anonymous until now, was one of 11 people treated for Ebola infections in the United States during the West Africa outbreak of 2014-2016. The others have been previously identified.

Today Gorman is climbing back. He has a job, roommates and new friends in Austin. He maintains his faith, though his views on religion have changed. He still struggles at times, but he also feels joy again. And hope.

“It forced me to dig deep, find out who I really was, and rely on God’s direction in the healing process that is still ongoing to this day,” Gorman said in one of many emails and conversations over the past few months. “There were many mistakes and dark moments. But a journey that, I hope, in the end will be worth it.”

Research has revealed extensive post-traumatic stress among Ebola survivors, their caregivers and witnesses to the widespread death in West Africa. During his brief stay in Sierra Leone, Gorman was all three.

“He wasn’t just there to witness it, but rather became a victim himself,” said Lorenzo Paladino of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, who has studied post traumatic stress. Fear, survivor’s guilt, deferred grieving and helplessness, as well as Gorman’s history of depression, all can play a role in post-traumatic stress.

Medical experts are also learning that surviving a life-threatening illness that requires intensive care can leave cognitive and emotional scars, a condition called post-intensive care syndrome.

“We’re not very good, even in this country, at figuring that all out and giving people that support,” said Natasha Tobias-White, an intensive care nurse who worked with Gorman in Sierra Leone.

Working in Maforki

Gorman grew up in Cedar Hill, Texas, a Dallas suburb, in an evangelical family. He trained as a firefighter and paramedic, then went back to school to become a physician assistant.

When Ebola broke out in West Africa, he felt a calling to help. He quit his job and volunteered with the Boston nonprofit Partners in Health, which had opened a treatment center, its first, in the Sierra Leone community of Maforki.

“I think having been a firefighter, having been a paramedic, I was used to running into situations where everybody else is running out,” he said. “And that’s what I did.”

Gorman’s scrapbook includes photos of his training to work in an Ebola treatment unit. —(Ilana Panich-Linsman/for The Washington Post)

Care for Ebola patients in West Africa consisted mostly of providing support – intravenous fluids, pain relief and other medication – in the hope that the victim’s immune system would rally and conquer the virus. About 40% of the 28,600 people infected in West Africa died.

Hundreds of health-care workers were infected. Providing care required meticulous attention to putting on and taking off the protective suit and mask. Every inch of skin had to be covered. A single exposure could be fatal.

After a week of training, Gorman arrived in Maforki in March 2015 and spent a few days shadowing other caregivers at the Ebola treatment center in a former vocational school. But then he was sent to the government hospital in nearby Port Loko and assigned to manage a men’s ward with a mix of patients.

In chaotic, understaffed wards without electricity and running water, foreign medical providers tried to care for people with tuberculosis, broken bones and malaria. “I’ve never treated TB before,” Gorman said. “It was overwhelming. You could barely keep track of it all.”

Gorman did not have to wear the protective suit there. Anyone suspected of Ebola infection was separated at the entrance and sent to a treatment center. One day, at a morning meeting, he passed out. Dehydration was common; his colleagues quickly assisted him. He went back to the living quarters in Maforki to recuperate.

The next day he awoke with a high fever, a sign of Ebola infection. No one knows how Gorman contracted the disease.

He was quarantined. The colleagues who had touched him when he fainted were sent home for monitoring. Gorman’s clothes, his computer and all his possessions, except for a flip phone, were confiscated and, presumably, burned. He never saw them again.

Steadily weakening, Gorman was sent to a treatment facility for caregivers run by the British Army. It was two hours away, over the rough roads of West Africa.

“Somebody came in and dropped a [protective] suit on the floor and said, ‘Put this on,’ because I was going to isolate myself.”

It was a painful ride on a metal bench in the stifling rear of the ambulance. He called his father. They prayed together. Then Gorman began to vomit, another Ebola symptom. “I’m hurling all over the back of that thing. I mean, it’s just . . . a sheet of vomit back there.”

After a couple of hours, the driver banged on the wall of the cab. “We’re here,” he said.

No one came to help. Gorman let himself out the back of the ambulance and barely made it to the entry of the treatment unit. He slid off a chair and curled up on the ground. No one could touch him.

In the treatment unit, uncontrollable diarrhea began. Gorman was too weak to leave his bed. Caregivers did the best they could.

Gorman is transferred in a protective bubble from an airplane to an ambulance at Dulles International Airport in Virginia for the trip to NIH. —(Jeff Potts, Division of Occupational Health and Safety, Office of Research Services, NIH)

Arrangements were made to evacuate him to NIH. A four-hour ride to the airstrip in the back of another ambulance would be followed by a 16-hour flight.

“I’ve got two IV’s and I’ve got two catheters sticking out of me that I’m going to have to take with me on this damn ambulance and be all by myself the whole time. Nobody was gonna get in the back,” he recalled. “It’s terrible. I’ve never felt that lonely.”

On the plane, one of the nurses gave Gorman drugs to ease his pain and knock him out. Upon arrival, he was placed in a plastic bubble and taken off the plane on a conveyor belt. He had been in Africa for 19 days.

Daniel Chertow, one of the doctors who would provide Gorman’s care, met him at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and rode with him in the back of an ambulance to NIH.

Chertow said: “We’re going to take care of you,” Gorman recalled. “I’ll never forget that.”

Treatment at NIH

With the infection progressing rapidly, Gorman’s chances of survival in Sierra Leone were zero. In the NIH’s Special Clinical Studies Unit, one of the most advanced medical facilities in the world, his odds were only slightly better.

In the isolation unit, 50 or 60 specially trained medical personnel who had volunteered for the assignment monitored Gorman’s health in teams around the clock.

Gorman was one of the sickest patients ever housed in the NIH unit, said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and one of Gorman’s many doctors.

One by one, Gorman’s organs began to fail. His kidneys, his liver, his heart and his lungs were overwhelmed, his immune system unable to stop the virus, said Richard Davey, chief of NIAID’s clinical research section and Gorman’s lead physician. Gorman also developed brain inflammation.

Physicians Richard Davey, left, and Anthony Fauci led a team of more than 50 caregivers who treated Gorman in an isolation unit at NIH. —(Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

With Ebola spreading across West Africa, an experimental drug called ZMapp had been rushed into clinical testing. Seventy-two people, most of them in Africa, would be enrolled in two groups: those given the drug; and those kept on the standard care of fluids, medication and support. The doctors asked Gorman whether he wanted to be part of the trial. He agreed.

But a computer randomized him to the control group. There would be no ZMapp for him.

(In the current Ebola outbreak in Congo, more than 800 people have received one of four experimental therapies, including ZMapp, with two others showing the most promise in reducing deaths. And this month, the Food and Drug Administration granted the first U.S. approval for an Ebola vaccine.)

Gorman’s mother sat vigil outside his room. She wasn’t allowed in, but she could see him on a video screen and talk to him through a cellphone propped next to his ear. “She would pray and read the Bible to me,” he said, though he has no recollection of it. “And just, like, talk to me and sing to me.” His father flew back and forth from Dallas. His girlfriend was there for days.

Soon Gorman began breathing so rapidly that doctors had to sedate him and put him on a ventilator. “I know what intubation means. It means things are bad. Things are really, really bad,” Gorman recalled. He asked Davey if he would ever wake up.

“I believe you will,” Davey told him.

Gorman doesn’t remember any of the 10 days he was sedated. At one point he started thrashing, the doctors said, disconnecting his breathing tube, pulling out an intravenous line and splashing blood on two moon-suited nurses who were trying to hold him down. Helpers had to first don protective suits, which under the best of circumstances takes about five minutes. No one was infected, but the incident led to a separate protocol for emergency responses, Fauci said.

As doctors prepared to put Gorman on dialysis, his kidney function began to stabilize. They held off. Slowly, his other organs improved. “Sooner or later, if you can maintain someone the way we maintained Preston, chances are the immune system will clear the virus,” Fauci said.

Gorman in the isolation unit, attended by medical personnel in full-body protective suits. — (Ilana Panich-Linsman/for The Washington Post)

Eventually, the breathing tube was removed. The next day, two nurses, still in moon suits, helped Gorman out of bed. He was able to stand for 20 seconds, he said, supported under each arm. He went back to bed, exhausted.

On April 7, 25 days after he arrived at NIH, Gorman was moved out of isolation. “And for the first time in a month, I get to have human contact. And the first person in the room is my mom. . . . And she gave me a great big hug. . . . And then the second person is my girlfriend. She gives me great big hug.”

Two days later, Gorman was released from the hospital and flown to his parents’ home outside Dallas. He had lost 30 pounds. He couldn’t walk properly. He looked terrible. Gorman chose to leave without fanfare, through a rear exit.

Returning home

Gorman describes the next two or three years as a “fugue state,” a time of overwhelming sadness, loneliness, alienation and, above all, bewilderment.

He went home to live with his family outside Dallas, and while he slowly recovered physically, he could not connect with his family, his girlfriend or his friends. He felt utterly alone, battling emotions he didn’t understand. Often, he found himself weeping uncontrollably.

“I was happy to be alive. But I was now instantly confused. It was like my sense of security, stability, everything had just been stripped like overnight,” he said. “Is anyone going to get this?”

His parents said that during the year Gorman lived with them, they tried to help without pressuring him.

“When he was here we didn’t talk a lot about his experience,” said his father, Gene Gorman. “We just allowed him his space. When he wanted to talk, he talked. . . . We knew this was a huge healing process, both physically and emotionally.”

Gorman, in contrast, felt enormous pressure to move on with his life, get married, start working, raise a family.

One friend told him: “Hey, dude. Ebola was last year. You need to get over it,” he said. Others implied that he was not praying enough or sufficiently trusting God.

Overwhelmed with guilt, he broke up with his girlfriend. When he tried to reconcile, she rebuffed him. Eventually, he moved out of his parents’ home and cut himself off from his family.

“What I felt was deep, significant, shame,” he said. “Like a catastrophic level of shame.”

Too focused on their son’s narrow escape from death, “we didn’t know what to do. Everybody in this thing – Preston, me, [his mother] Esther, his brothers – we were in uncharted waters. We didn’t realize the depth and the seriousness that Preston was facing post-Ebola,” Gene Gorman said.

Given Preston Gorman’s history of depression, NIH had recommended that he follow up with a psychiatrist, who prescribed medication. But Gorman didn’t find it much help.

Of the 11 Ebola victims treated in the United States, two – a permanent U.S. resident volunteering in Sierra Leone and a Liberian visitor – arrived with the virus and died. The Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, infected two Dallas nurses, who were quickly treated and survived.

Six, including Gorman, were medical volunteers who contracted the disease in West Africa, and one was an American freelance journalist there. All were treated in specialized hospital units and lived.

Some of the survivors have faced challenges like Gorman’s.

“For the first 18 months, I struggled a lot. It was hard,” said Ashoka Mukpo, the freelance journalist who became infected in Liberia in 2014. He said he fought anxiety and depression, “just generally feeling shellshocked. What the hell just happened to me, and where do I go from here?”

Gorman said the only people who seemed to understand were co-workers who had been in Sierra Leone with him.

“Our phone calls would frequently be two or three hours,” added Larry Geller, a retired pediatric nurse from San Francisco who also worked with Gorman in Port Loko. “He was kind of in a feedback loop where his frustration and inability to move on was feeding his frustration and inability to move on. He was really in a dark place.”

Gorman believes that Partners in Health failed its “moral and ethical duty” to aid his recovery. He said the organization did not offer any help until he and former colleagues contacted officials there to express concern about his condition.

The organization disputes that, saying it stayed in contact with him over the years, occasionally offering to help him find therapy. The nonprofit’s human resources director also worked to help him secure workers’ compensation insurance for his health-care bills after Gorman was initially turned down, officials there said.

In late 2016 Gorman went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, though he wasn’t drinking heavily, on the hunch that it was a place where he could air his problems. Someone there referred him to a therapist who specialized in trauma. Gorman began seeing him in late 2016 and still does.

In January 2017, he quit his job and checked himself into a mental-health treatment center in Tucson, Arizona, for several weeks. It was there, he said, that he began to understand the difference in the ways trauma affected him and his family.

“The family bonds while it happens, and they all feel close and tight,” he said. “The individual comes back and goes, ‘Well, why am I not a part of this?’ And they feel worse and more alone.”

Gorman said he has forgiven his family but is not ready to reconcile. “I would hope that one day we could speak,” he said. “I just don’t know when that’s gonna be.”

Last year, Gorman was befriended by Peter Hubbard, 68, who runs groups where men explore the emotions and expectations that affect their lives. Hubbard has spent many hours talking with Gorman. Other than therapists, he has made the biggest difference in Gorman’s recovery.

Gorman also has started attending a faith-based program that helps people change. He found a job he likes at the University of Texas urgent care clinic, with a supportive boss and time off in the summer. Bit by bit, he is reassembling his life.

Early in 2017, Gorman went back to NIH and handed out copies of “The Body Keeps the Score,” a highly regarded book on recovering from trauma.

“I said, ‘You need to know for your patients, when they come in here, if they have something as serious as I did, this is what can happen. And you’ve got to prepare your patients, and you’ve got to prepare your families for this.’”

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Why Every Business Leader Needs To Know About Narrative Economics

Portrait Of Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller

The field of economics is highly quantitative. Storytelling, on the other hand, is creative and literary. One would think these disciplines have nothing in common. This had been true until Nobel-Prize-winning economist Robert J. Shiller released his new book Narrative Economics. In it, Shiller argues that economic narratives—contagious stories that can alter people’s economic planning— are so influential they are worthy of serious academic study.

Whether you are into economics or not, Shiller’s thesis has serious implications for every business leader.

Like it or not, narratives are powerful.

One of the first things Shiller sets straight is that the question isn’t whether narratives should, rationally, affect the stock market, but whether or not they actually do

Leaders may question whether or not stories should be persuasive. Shouldn’t we just stick to the facts? Shouldn’t we trust that our brilliant audience will “get it”?

Like Shiller, we can conclude that the question isn’t what our audience should do, but what they actually do. And we know that what people do is remember stories. Information is up to twenty times more memorable if it is presented as a story.

Data misses a lot.

Shiller argues that data alone is insufficient for interpreting economic shifts. “Trying to understand major economic events by looking only at data,” says Shiller, “… runs the risk of missing the underlying motivations for change.”

After World War I, the economist John Maynard Keynes considered how Germans would interpret the Treaty of Versailles. He was concerned about the literal price the winning nations were forcing Germany to pay, and he was also concerned about how they would “likely interpret the story of the Versailles treaty given their economic conditions.” He warned that Germany’s reaction could lead to worse horrors than before. In Shiller’s view, Keynes was trying to understand the narratives people would construct and then make predictions based on this.

A common belief amongst researchers and those who rely on data is: if you can’t measure it, then “it” doesn’t exist.

As this example illustrates, though Keynes didn’t or couldn’t measure the resentment, indignation, and economic hardship that post-World War I Germany experienced, it doesn’t mean that these factors didn’t exist or weren’t important.

Contagious narratives share common elements.

Shiller is interested not just in any economic narrative, but in contagious economic narratives. Effective leaders should also focus on the narratives that go viral within our organization or industry, or among our customers. 

As an example of a contagious narrative, consider Bitcoin (as Shiller does). This cryptocurrency is only valuable if people value it. If no one wants to use it, its value plummets, so it has to have a narrative that makes people want to use it. In this case, it is a powerful narrative because it:

  • Exemplifies a value system. Because Bitcoin functions outside of government control, fans see it as capturing positive anarchist values. It points toward a world that could exist without government.
  • Has an intriguing founder. Mystery surrounds Bitcoin’s founder, Satoshi Nakamoto. In fact, says Shiller, he “has never been seen by anyone who will testify to having seen him.”
  • Gives people a sense of mastering technology. Bitcoin users may feel that by being on the cutting edge, they are going to be among the winners in this merger of finance and tech.
  • Makes them global citizens. Because Bitcoin is not associated with any particular country, it gives people an opportunity to transcend nationalism and become global citizens.

Of course, it’s one thing to dissect a popular narrative after it has gone viral. But how does one craft ideas with the hope of making them go viral? Four considerations Shiller gives:

  1. Package ideas narratives. “People often fail to notice ideas,” Shiller writes, “if those ideas are not part of a script or are not packaged well enough.”
  2. Give people a story they can re-tell. “People like to hear stories that they can retell to others who will like the same story,” notes Shiller. However, these are not the most trustworthy stories. A study in Science found that “false stories had six times the retweeting rate on Twitter as true stories,” says Shiller. (And that fact has been verified—feel free to pass it along!) Ethical storytellers must tell contagious true stories!
  3. Include a visual image. This doesn’t require a sketchpad. Just to tell a story with vivid images. Shiller notes how the Laffer curve became a powerful idea partly because its narrative included a tidbit about the curve first being drawn on a napkin at a fancy restaurant. People could picture that happening, and the ideas “stuck” more easily.
  4. Value what your audience values. Though Shiller doesn’t explicitly say this, his points about Bitcoin carry a message for all business storytellers. Things have value because other people assign value to them. That means that as a leader, the value you assign to stories or ideas is not enough. Don’t fall into thinking, “that’ll never catch on.” Assess the narratives honestly and see whether others are taking them seriously. 

Narratives shape the world in ways that academic fields and industries are just beginning to catch up with. As leaders, it is high time to proactively assert our stories and give them every chance of going viral. This is, after all, the essence of leadership storytelling: the intentional assertion of a point of view through a story.

How and when should you proactively tell such stories? Read my article Leaders Need To Embrace Key Storytelling Moments to find out.

“>

Portrait Of Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller

BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 19: Nobel laureate and economist Robert Shiller poses for a portrait at the … [+] Boston Globe in Boston on Nov. 19, 2015. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) – Getty Royalty Free

Boston Globe via Getty Images

The field of economics is highly quantitative. Storytelling, on the other hand, is creative and literary. One would think these disciplines have nothing in common. This had been true until Nobel-Prize-winning economist Robert J. Shiller released his new book Narrative Economics. In it, Shiller argues that economic narratives—contagious stories that can alter people’s economic planning— are so influential they are worthy of serious academic study.

Whether you are into economics or not, Shiller’s thesis has serious implications for every business leader.

Like it or not, narratives are powerful.

One of the first things Shiller sets straight is that the question isn’t whether narratives should, rationally, affect the stock market, but whether or not they actually do

Leaders may question whether or not stories should be persuasive. Shouldn’t we just stick to the facts? Shouldn’t we trust that our brilliant audience will “get it”?

Like Shiller, we can conclude that the question isn’t what our audience should do, but what they actually do. And we know that what people do is remember stories. Information is up to twenty times more memorable if it is presented as a story.

Data misses a lot.

Shiller argues that data alone is insufficient for interpreting economic shifts. “Trying to understand major economic events by looking only at data,” says Shiller, “… runs the risk of missing the underlying motivations for change.”

After World War I, the economist John Maynard Keynes considered how Germans would interpret the Treaty of Versailles. He was concerned about the literal price the winning nations were forcing Germany to pay, and he was also concerned about how they would “likely interpret the story of the Versailles treaty given their economic conditions.” He warned that Germany’s reaction could lead to worse horrors than before. In Shiller’s view, Keynes was trying to understand the narratives people would construct and then make predictions based on this.

A common belief amongst researchers and those who rely on data is: if you can’t measure it, then “it” doesn’t exist.

As this example illustrates, though Keynes didn’t or couldn’t measure the resentment, indignation, and economic hardship that post-World War I Germany experienced, it doesn’t mean that these factors didn’t exist or weren’t important.

Contagious narratives share common elements.

Shiller is interested not just in any economic narrative, but in contagious economic narratives. Effective leaders should also focus on the narratives that go viral within our organization or industry, or among our customers. 

As an example of a contagious narrative, consider Bitcoin (as Shiller does). This cryptocurrency is only valuable if people value it. If no one wants to use it, its value plummets, so it has to have a narrative that makes people want to use it. In this case, it is a powerful narrative because it:

  • Exemplifies a value system. Because Bitcoin functions outside of government control, fans see it as capturing positive anarchist values. It points toward a world that could exist without government.
  • Has an intriguing founder. Mystery surrounds Bitcoin’s founder, Satoshi Nakamoto. In fact, says Shiller, he “has never been seen by anyone who will testify to having seen him.”
  • Gives people a sense of mastering technology. Bitcoin users may feel that by being on the cutting edge, they are going to be among the winners in this merger of finance and tech.
  • Makes them global citizens. Because Bitcoin is not associated with any particular country, it gives people an opportunity to transcend nationalism and become global citizens.

Of course, it’s one thing to dissect a popular narrative after it has gone viral. But how does one craft ideas with the hope of making them go viral? Four considerations Shiller gives:

  1. Package ideas narratives. “People often fail to notice ideas,” Shiller writes, “if those ideas are not part of a script or are not packaged well enough.”
  2. Give people a story they can re-tell. “People like to hear stories that they can retell to others who will like the same story,” notes Shiller. However, these are not the most trustworthy stories. A study in Science found that “false stories had six times the retweeting rate on Twitter as true stories,” says Shiller. (And that fact has been verified—feel free to pass it along!) Ethical storytellers must tell contagious true stories!
  3. Include a visual image. This doesn’t require a sketchpad. Just to tell a story with vivid images. Shiller notes how the Laffer curve became a powerful idea partly because its narrative included a tidbit about the curve first being drawn on a napkin at a fancy restaurant. People could picture that happening, and the ideas “stuck” more easily.
  4. Value what your audience values. Though Shiller doesn’t explicitly say this, his points about Bitcoin carry a message for all business storytellers. Things have value because other people assign value to them. That means that as a leader, the value you assign to stories or ideas is not enough. Don’t fall into thinking, “that’ll never catch on.” Assess the narratives honestly and see whether others are taking them seriously. 

Narratives shape the world in ways that academic fields and industries are just beginning to catch up with. As leaders, it is high time to proactively assert our stories and give them every chance of going viral. This is, after all, the essence of leadership storytelling: the intentional assertion of a point of view through a story.

How and when should you proactively tell such stories? Read my article Leaders Need To Embrace Key Storytelling Moments to find out.

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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to Showcase ’80s Post-Graffiti Work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Futura & More

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In April 2020, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston will shed light on the ’80s post-graffiti period in New York City when street art transitioned from city walls and trains to the canvases of the art world. The exhibition, entitled “Writing the Future: Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation,” will highlight the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose role in this transformational movement defied racial divisions. Other exhibited artists include Futura, RAMMELLZEE, Fab Five Freddy and more.

“Writing in the Future” is the first exhibition to “contextualize Basquiat’s work in relation to his peers associated with hip-hop culture,” illuminating the generation’s use of visual and verbal language to drive a new direction in art, design, and music. It is also the first time that Basquiat’s extensive portraiture of his Black and Latinx friends alongside fellow artists have been given prominence in scholarship.

Included in the exhibition is his highly-revered Hollywood Africans, which celebrates Toxic and the legendary graffiti writer RAMMELLZEE. Painted in 1983, the painting is part of a series that featured images and texts related to stereotypes of African Americans in the entertainment industry. Other highlights include a boombox covered with Futura’s signature splattered visuals and a bright pink leather jacket decorated with Keith Haring’s boldly-outlined characters.

“Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation” will run from April 5 to August 2, 2020. For information on current exhibitions, head over to the MFA Boston’s website.

In other art-related news, Lucio Fontana’s ‘Spatial Environments’ will take over Los Angeles’ Hauser & Wirth gallery in February of next year.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


465 Huntington Ave


Boston, MA 02115

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‘Christmas Day tragedy’: Mom, 2 kids die in likely murder-suicide at Boston parking garage – USA TODAY

Joel Shannon, USA TODAY
Published 5:04 p.m. ET Dec. 26, 2019 | Updated 8:53 p.m. ET Dec. 26, 2019

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Authorities in Boston have identified a mother and two children who died in a suspected murder-suicide after their bodies were found outside a parking garage on Christmas Day.

Erin Pascal, 40, and her two children — Allison, 4, and Andrew, 16 months — were identified in a Thursday news release from Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins.

“Our investigation is showing the two children fell first, and then the parent after,” Rollins told WBUR radio on Thursday. The deaths occurred between 1:25 p.m. and 1:35 p.m. on Christmas and are believed to be a double murder-suicide. 

The Renaissance parking garage, which is owned by Northeastern University, has been the site of two other suicides this year, Rollins’ release said.

One of those deaths drew national attention in May when Boston College student, Alexander Urtula died by suicide. In total, five people have died at the garage in the last seven months, according to the release.

News footage showed police on Wednesday looking at an SUV parked on top of the garage, with several doors open. Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said there were two child car seats in the vehicle.

Investigation: Suicide rate up 33% in less than 20 years, yet funding lags behind other top killers

Investigation: It’s the most wonderful time of the year — but what if it’s not for you?

“This Christmas Day tragedy demonstrates the urgency of addressing mental health, suicide and homicide,” Rollins said in the release. “We have to do more to address these significant public health issues that impact all of us in Suffolk County,” 

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online.

Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/12/26/boston-parking-garage-deaths-mom-2-kids-die-suspected-murder-suicide/2751087001/

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MLB’s Rich Hill & Wife Arrested At Gillette Stadium Before Patriots Game

MLB’s Rich Hill
Responds to His & Wife’s Pats Arrest
Says Fanny Pack is to Blame

12/23/2019 3:21 PM PT

Exclusive Details

Getty

3:18 PM PT — Rich Hill just responded to the news about his arrest … and he says while he still respects law enforcement, he just couldn’t stand by and watch his wife get cuffed for trying to bring a fanny pack into the stadium.

Rich goes on to say, “This was all overblown and we are glad to have it behind us.” His attorney, Francis T. O’Brien of O’Brien Law Boston, backs his client up by saying things never should’ve escalated to the point they did, but also gives props to the D.A. for essentially backing off. He calls it a “fair and proper resolution,” saying the matter is closed.

Former Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill and his wife got busted by cops this weekend at a Patriots game … TMZ Sports has confirmed.

Law enforcement sources tell us Hill and his spouse, Caitlin McClellan, were arrested Saturday outside of Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA before kickoff … because they were trying to enter the facility with an oversized bag and then refusing to leave the grounds.

We’re told Foxboro PD instructed Hill and McClellan they couldn’t come in with the bag they were trying to bring along. Cops are saying the missus tried sneaking in through other gates after repeatedly being told “no.”

After allegedly refusing to leave the grounds, cops arrested her for disorderly conduct and trespassing — and as they were putting her into a car … Hill himself allegedly got involved and attempted to intervene. He got arrested too … they were both taken to a station for booking.

The Boston Globe was first to report the story, and says Hill and his wife were arraigned Monday, but those charges were downgraded to civil infractions by the Norfolk D.A.’s Office.

Hill’s charge of resisting arrest was also dismissed by the D.A., reportedly in the “interest of justice.” The couple was reportedly fined $1,000 between both of them, and that’s it.

It should be noted … Hill used to pitch for the Red Sox before going to the Dodgers. He’s a free agent right now.

We’ve reached to Hill’s camp and the folks at Gillette  … so far, no word back.

Originally Published — 12:31 PM PT

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Call to probe Boston police tests of ‘dog’ robots

Spot robot opening door

Image copyright
Techcrunch

Image caption

The video was shared by Boston Dynamics at a conference run by Techcrunch

Massachusetts State Police has been asked to explain how it is using robot dogs, by a civil liberties group.

The police force has spent the past three months testing “Spot” robot dogs alongside some of its officers.

The robots, made by Boston Dynamics, are believed to have helped with several live incidents as well as training scenarios.

The American Civil Liberties Union wants details about how and where the robots were being used.

No guns

A video captioned with the words “MA State Police” and showing the robots opening doors and entering buildings was shared online by Boston Dynamics earlier this year.

“All too often, the deployment of these technologies happens faster than our social, political, or legal systems react,” said the ACLU in a statement given to Techcrunch.

In its letter, the campaign group said it wanted more “transparency” about the use of the robots, the ways in which they would be used and which officers would be deployed with them.

The ACLU said there was a need for regulations governing the use of the robots to ensure they did not trample on established civil rights and liberties or lead to racial injustice.

The rights group also wants to know if the robots will ever carry weapons.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Robots have become a staple of police work

In response, Massachusetts State Police officials said the robots were being used as a “mobile remote observation device” to look at suspicious devices or locations that might be hazardous for human officers.

It told WBUR, Boston’s national public radio station, the robots had worked with the organisation’s bomb squad.

Separately, it said the robots had helped with two “incidents” but no details were given.

“Robot technology is a valuable tool for law enforcement because of its ability to provide situational awareness of potentially dangerous environments,” said David Procopio, a spokesman for the state police force.

Boston Dynamics told WBUR it had leased the robots to the police to retain control over how they were used.

A spokesman for the company said there were explicit clauses in the lease agreement that required they were not used to “physically harm or intimidate people”.

The spokesman said Boston Dynamics was open to dialogue with rights groups about how its robots should be used.

He added existing laws governing technology used by first-responders covered most of the uses to which its robots were being put.

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