WORCESTER – Although they came out on top with a win in the first game of their inaugural season, the Massachusetts Pirates were levied hefty fines for multiple offenses following Week 1 of the National Arena League [NAL] season.

According to the NAL, the Pirates were fined a total of $25,000 for five offenses — including Illegal Player Compensation ($14,700), Failure to Provide Live YouTube Feed ($10,000), Failure to Provide VidSwap Upload in timely Manner ($200.00), and two uniform violations of $50 each.

Attempts to reach the NAL for clarification on these fines weren’t immediately returned.

According to the Pirates website, their week 1 home victory over the Maine Mammoths drew a crowd of more than 6,000 fans at the DCU Center.

 

WORCESTER – The Summit Private Lounge, a marijuana social club on Water St. in Worcester, got a shout out on Monday in Rolling Stone Magazine’s The Rolling Stone Guide to Legal Pot: Massachusetts.

The private club, which opened in February at 116 Water St., is owned and operated by Kyle Moon of Northbridge. ThisWeekinWorcester.com was the first news outlet in Worcester to report the opening of the lounge. 

The Rolling Stone feature focuses on the how and where to enjoy marijuana legally across the state of Massachusetts. The article, written by , notes the Summit Lounge’s schedule of cannabis friendly activities.

From the article:

“The central part of the state offers up its own cannabis activities. The Summit Private Lounge, which offers weekly cannabis-friendly events for adults 21-plus in Worcester. They have painting classes, card games and yoga workshops, all accompanied with a cannabis twist. After all, a joint or two might just make that canvas painting into a true masterpiece…”

The hours of operation at The Summit Lounge are 5 PM to 11 Monday-Thursday,  12 PM to 12 AM Friday, 10 AM to 1 AM Saturday and closed on Sundays. Cost of membership is $15 per month and the Lounge has more than 120 members to date.

WORCESTER – The newest restaurant in Worcester’s Canal District will open its doors next week.

View from Entrance of Buck’s/Photo: Patrick Sargent

Buck’s Whiskey & Burger Bar, located at 62 Green St, will host its Grand Opening on Monday at 4 PM following several months of renovation, menu building and future customer engagement that included a “Build-a-Burger” contest in February.

Nick Panarelli, the manager and owner of the new establishment, told ThisWeekinWorcester.com in an interview at Buck’s on Tuesday, April 24, that the length of time it took to completely overhaul the restaurant space has been “completely worth it” and that the 100s of patrons he anticipates to serve throughout Monday will be thoroughly impressed.  

“It’s been a lot of work, and it took a little longer than we had expected, but when you look around at what we’ve been able to do with the space, we’re really proud of it and happy with it,” Panarelli said, who had originally hoped for a February open.

Panarelli, 30, of Shrewsbury, had to do a full of renovation of the former G Bar — including adding a kitchen area, putting in new bathrooms, and adding barnboard wood along the walls. The bar at Buck’s remains the original bar that stood when the location was occupied by long-time establishment Tara Pub — but Panarelli added a granite countertop to add to Buck’s modern look.

View of Bar at Buck’s/Photo: Patrick Sargent

The menu at Buck’s is chock full with nearly 30 items  with appetizers, soups and salads, burgers and entrees ranging anywhere from $6 to $16 — highlighted by a selection of seven burgers, including the Build-a-Burger winner “Spicy Cougar” – a burger topped with aged cheddar cheese, black pepper crushed bacon, arugula, guacamole spread, and the soon-to-be famous Buck’s hot sauce.

In addition to the burgers, appetizers include fried pickles, wings, nachos, potato skins, and the “Cowboy Platter” — a combination of wings, skins, onion rings and jalapeno poppers. Entrees include steak tips, an open steak sandwich and fish and chips.

Above the Kitchen window at Buck’s/Photo: Patrick Sargent

According to Panarelli, at the Grand Opening there will be giveaways including tshirts, beer glasses and more.  

“I’m expecting a great turnout. Everyone’s just been waiting so long. The whole first week I expect people to be showing up here and willing to wait to give us a try,” Panarelli said.

Sign Hanging Outside of Buck’s/Photo: Patrick Sargent

The Buck’s staff is made up of 15 people consisting of both front and back of house employees — including Executive chef John Gremo, of Worcester, who recently told ThisWeekinWorcester.com that the Buck’s menu will be fresh, simple and will focus on its “loads of great burgers.”

“We’re relying on freshness and the utilization of local products and local farms. Simplicity is very big, but we want to bring great service and a great menu to our customers,” Gremo said. “We’re going back to basics and Buck’s is going to bring a lot of great flavors.”

Buck’s will open at 4 PM on Monday for its Grand Opening. The restaurant will be open until midnight seven days a week (Mon-Thurs 4 PM to 12 AM, Fri-Sun 11 AM to 12 AM).

A Worcester company specializing in buying and collecting on unpaid real estate tax debts is being required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to pay $125,000 plus restitution to 100 homeowners in Central Massachusetts for the unlawful collection of fees in connection with the company’s purchase of property tax liens.

According to Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, Stage One Investors, LLC, located at 1 Kelley Sq. in Worcester, and the AG’s Office agreed to a settlement on Tuesday that resolves allegations that Stage One required homeowners to pay excessive and unlawful fees in order to pay off the tax liens purchased by the company.

“No one should be permitted to take unfair advantage of homeowners struggling to pay their real estate taxes,” said Healey. “This settlement ensures that Stage One stops charging illegal and excessive fees and reforms its practices to be a better partner for our cities and towns.”

In addition to Stage One’s payment of $125,000, the company will change its business practices to provide clear and fair information to homeowners seeking to pay off their tax liens and avoid tax foreclosure.

The registered agent listed on company’s state filings is Edward Murphy, owner of 7 Hills Property Management.

The AG’s Office alleges that Stage One violated the law by charging excessive and unlawful legal fees to homeowners seeking to pay their tax lien debt.

The AG’s Office investigated Stage One after receiving complaints from homeowners and legal services attorneys that the company was placing unlawful restrictions on homeowners’ right to redeem their property. Today’s settlement addresses these practices and recovers full restitution for homeowners.

The matter was handled by AG Healey’s Consumer Protection Division Assistant Attorney General Lisa Dyen, Division Chief Max Weinstein, and Paralegal Gabrielle Crossnoe, with assistance from Senior Financial Investigator Shannon Roark and Investigator Marlee Greer of AG Healey’s Civil Investigation Division.

WORCESTER – The operator of a truck involved in a police chase early Tuesday morning that resulted in extensive damage to parked cars in the Shrewsbury St. area has been identified.

According to the Worcester Police Department, 31-year-old Christopher Mason of Worcester was driving a pickup truck and struck three parked cars on Chilmark St., a building on Albany St., a semi-trailer on Muskeego St. and three more vehicles on Wilson St while attempting to flee from police just before 3 AM on Tuesday.

SEE VIDEOS BELOW: Police Chase and Arrest of Christopher Mason

One of the vehicles Mason struck on Chilmark St was occupied by a 21-year-old female from Worcester who sustained back and neck injuries and was transported to the hospital.

Mason ignored police when officers attempted to stop him on Shrewsbury St. Mason drove to Casco St., continued on to Albany St., Muskeego St, and back on Shrewsbury St, before ultimately being stopped and arrested on Wilson St.

Officers found six small bags of cocaine in the vehicle after Mason was arrested.

Mason, of 16 Steward Street, Apartment 2, Worcester was charged with Assault to Murder, Disturbing the Peace, Operator Failing to Wear a Seatbelt, Leaving the Scene of Personal Injury, Leaving the Scene of Property Damage, Operating Negligently so as to Endanger, Failure to Stop for Police, Possession of Class B Substance, and Stop Sign Violation.

 

WORCESTER – For more than 10 minutes on Tuesday morning, the Worcester Police Department and Massachusetts State Police chased the operator of a pickup truck throughout the neighborhood of Shrewsbury St. in Worcester.

Below are the videos of the chase and the subsequent arrest:

 

WORCESTER – A driver of a pickup truck was finally stopped on Wilson St early Tuesday morning by officers from the Worcester Police Department and Massachusetts State Police after driving erratically in the Shrewsbury St area, crashing multiple times into parked cars, residences, and businesses.

Photo: Patrick Sargent

The truck was first seen by this reporter heading down Seward St. towards Shrewsbury St. The truck was driving on the sidewalk alongside residences before coming to a complete stop at the bottom of Seward St.

The vehicle then took a right turn and then stopped in front of the British Beer Company. It was followed by a single WPD cruiser before other officers arrived on the scene. After stopping briefly, the officer of the vehicle then drove towards Albany St to avoid the other WPD cruisers.

Photo: Tricia Cariglia-Bugbee

The chase continued throughout the neighborhood for nearly 10 minutes before the vehicle was finally stopped after crashing into several vehicles on Wilson St and the operator was arrested.

The operator resisted arrest on multiple occasions and throughout the time the operator was fleeing from the police, it was dragging its bumper under the truck and slamming on the horn.

Photo: Tricia Cariglia-Bugbee

ThisWeekinWorcester.com will update this story as more information becomes available.

Below are videos taken from the scene of the chase and the arrest.

 

Cover photo and videos taken by Patrick Sargent.

WORCESTER – The College of the Holy Cross will host a ribbon cutting on Saturday, April 28, for the school’s new Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex — a $95 million facility.

The new facility includes:

  • A 64,000-square foot indoor practice facility with 100 yards of turf for use by all sports
  • Auxiliary gymnasium for basketball and volleyball team practice
  • 3,000 square feet of new space for sports medicine
  • 9,500 square feet of new space for strength and conditioning training and equipment
  • Additional locker rooms for varsity teams
  • Offices and meeting rooms for all programs
  • Exterior plaza for events

The event kicks off at 11:30 AM with tours and outdoor festivities. The ribbon cutting will follow a speaking program at 1 PM inside the Hart Center Arena.

WORCESTER – A dispute resolution firm made up of three attorneys and four retired judges has formed in Worcester to help local residents save money on attorney fees and reduce the high cost and lengthy time of litigation through the courts. 

Y.Litigate, which has served nearly 50 clients in their first year, was formed by attorneys Francis J. Russell and Russell P. Schwartz in early 2017.

“[Russell and Schwartz] thought that there was a need for some guidance to avoid high-cost litigation and to have mediation and conciliation. It’s the kind of service you can find in other counties in the state, but it’s just making its way into Worcester County. The inroads are kind of slow here,” said the firm’s director, Michael Herman, a former judicial case manager in Worcester District Court.

“In their practice they noticed litigation was a long, drawn-out situation and very costly. They believe their is a need for mediation and conciliation right here in Worcester,” Herman added.

Y. Litigate takes on cases relating to family law – divorce, child support, alimony, custody – and wills. Both Russell and Schwartz still run their own private practices specializing in family law.

Former probate court judges Lucille A. DiLeo, Joseph Lian, Jr., Susan D. Ricci, and Gregory V. Roach, and attorney Laurie S. Raphaelson make up the panel of mediators for Y. Litigate.

“These judges and attorneys are what makes us unique. They’ve heard everything on both sides — the state side and domestic side of law. They’re well versed in all things family law,” Herman said.

According to Y.Litigate, the cost of litigation can start anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 to have a lawyer on retainer before the process even begins.

“The average attorney in Worcester County charges $400 per hour. There are some that do it for less, but that’s the typical average,” Herman said. “Working in the courts, I know it takes quite a bit of time to get the case into finalization. If you come to us for mediation or conciliation, it shortens the process and its a much less costly process.”

For more information on conciliation and mediation services from Y.Litigate, check out their FAQ here. To contact the firm, call 508-752-0018.

WORCESTER – A 39-year-old Worcester man was arrested on Tuesday evening for holding his ex-girlfriend hostage at knife-point inside the kitchen of an apartment on Queen St.

According to the Worcester Police Department [WPD], just before 8 PM, multiple police units were dispatched to the apartment and additionally were told that the male may have slashed the victim’s hand.

WPD hostage negotiators dealt with the suspect who ultimately released the victim to the police. The victim had bruises on her arms and face and cuts on her arms, including a stab wound on her hand. She was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The suspect eventually surrendered and was taken into custody.

Officers learned that the incident between the man and his ex-girlfriend started earlier on Tuesday while they were driving in a car. The suspect assaulted the victim repeatedly in the car and wouldn’t allow her to exit. The suspect drove the car into a telephone pole. The couple got out, when into the apartment where the suspect continued to threaten the victim. Two other people in the apartment tried to get the suspect to stop. The suspect took a knife out and began swinging it at the victim. The other people fled the apartment.

The suspect was charged with Assault and Battery, Assault to Murder, three counts of Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon and kidnapping.