The failure of a train engine at South Station that made thousands of commuters late getting home last night resulted from “bad luck’’ and does not indicate chronic problems at the company hired by the MBTA to provide commuter rail service, a company spokesman said today.
Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad spokesman Scott Farmelant said a computer circuit board on Engine 1138 failed, triggering an automatic safety shutdown of the engine just as it reached a key junction at South Station around 4:40 p.m.
The engine broke down at a "choke point'' in the rail yard that made it impossible for other trains to depart the station, he said.FULL ENTRY
A worker who tossed a lit cigarette from a second-floor deck sparked a three-alarm fire that destroyed a Commercial Wharf office building perched on wooden pilings in Boston Harbor, the Fire Department said this afternoon. Damage was estimated at $3 million.
Five firefighters were injured fighting the blaze that required the use of the department’s fire boat and about a dozen rescue divers, who got into the harbor so they could direct fire hoses onto the burning wooden pilings underneath the building, said department spokesman Steve MacDonald.
“The employee was working late into the night and would go out onto the second floor balcony for a cigarette break,’’ MacDonald said, summarizing what the unidentified worker told fire investigators.
MacDonald said investigators reached the conclusion that cigarette disposal was to blame after studying the burn pattern of the property and eliminating all other possibilities, such as malfunctioning utility systems.
“The cause was careless disposal of the cigarette,’’ MacDonald said.FULL ENTRY
An Emerson College film student fell to his death today from a South End apartment building while working on a school project this morning, the president of the college said in an email.
Justin Amorratanasuchad, a junior film production major from Seattle, Wa., died from injuries he sustained after falling off a Columbus Avenue rooftop, the college president, Jackie Liebergott, wrote in an email.
“We wish to express our deepest sympathies to all who knew and loved Justin,” Liebergott’s email said. “A service to remember and celebrate Justin's life will be organized at an appropriate time, about which more details will be forthcoming.”FULL ENTRY
Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
Peter Meade was introduced this morning at City Hall as the new director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
Meade is a long-time Democratic operative and a former executive for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
“I wanted someone who knows and loves our city, someone who could hit the ground running,’’ Menino said at a City Hall press conference today. “Peter has a keen knowledge of Boston. He’s a Dorchester guy who knows Boston inside and out.’’FULL ENTRY
Boston police are investigating a robbery in downtown Boston this morning.
Police responded to a report at 9:13 a.m. of a robbery at Century Bank at 136 State St.
The suspect was described as a heavy-set white male wearing a gray sweatshirt. No further information was immediately available.
The state's highest court has affirmed an arrest warrant issued for a Saudi prince who allegedly violated his probation when he left the country after serving a sentence for motor vehicle homicide in a crash that killed a Cambridge man in 2002.
Prince Bader al-Saud was driving a BMW sport utility vehicle after leaving a Theater District nightspot when he struck and killed Orlando Ramos, 37, as he was crossing a downtown street.
Saud registered .12 on a breath alcohol test, above the legal limit of .08. In 2005, he pleaded guilty to motor vehicle homicide while drunk, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to a year in the Dukes County House of Correction on Martha's Vineyard, followed by two years of probation. After serving less than a year, Saud was paroled and, under an agreement with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officals, he left the country, according to briefs filed in the case.
In 2008, Saud's attorneys sought to have his probation dismissed. But Suffolk Superior Court Judge Margaret R. Hinkle denied that request and issued a warrant for his arrest for failing to appear in court to answer the probation violation charges.FULL ENTRY
Three Boston firefighters involved in today’s dramatic rescue of a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority worker said they drew on their specialized training and also had the help of the injured man who was determined to escape his concrete trap.
“He was in a lot of pain and clearly he was anxious,’’ said Gary Dardia, who was one of two firefighters lowered some 30 feet into a concrete shaft underneath the elevated tracks at the Red Line’s Charles Street/MGH station this morning.
"He wanted out of that hole,’’ Dardia added. “He was cooperative. He helped us the best he could under the condition he was in.’’
Dardia, firefighter Ballin Wright and Fire Captain Richard Connelly were lead players in the rescue of Edward Rowe, an MBTA electrician who was cutting power to the third rail so repair workers could safely get on the Longfellow Bridge around 4:20 a.m.FULL ENTRY
Several dozen demonstrators gathered yesterday at Copley Plaza to express gratitude for the international military effort in Libya that they said has already saved an untold number of civilian lives in the conflict between rebels and the forces of Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy.
Demonstrators at a smaller rally in Boston argued against the US involvement in Libya.
Many of the roughly 50 demonstrators on Copley -- many of Libyan descent -- waved the flag of pre-Khadafy Libya, a striped banner of red, black, and green emblazoned with a crescent and star, and marched around the square calling for Khadafy's immediate ouster.
"The only way for Libyans to be free is for Khadafy to be removed," said Emadeddin Muntasser, an organizer of the informal Boston group "Stand With Libya," which formed after the uprising. "[Khadafy] has thrived on the killing of civilians and the theft of their resources. The actions of the US and others involved have literally saved thousands," Muntasser said.FULL ENTRY
Two men were arraigned today on firearms charges as police continued to investigate an early morning shooting in the downtown area that killed a local rapper and wounded a second person.
Andrew Flonory, 26, of Brockton, and Joshua Hollis, 22, of Cambridge appeared in Boston Municipal Court. Each was charged with carrying a firearm without a license. Flonory was charged as a repeat offender and ordered held on $25,000 bail. Hollis was held on $10,000 bail.
Police say the men were arrested during a police sweep of a parking garage after the shootings. Neither Flonory nor Hollis has been charged in the shootings. Tests were being conducted on their clothes and skin for gunshot residue.FULL ENTRY
A Boston nightclub has agreed to pay a fine, issue a public apology and have its staff attend anti-discrimination training for closing the club when a significant number of black attendees showed up, under an agreement reached with Attorney General Martha Coakley and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
The agreement was based on a complaint made by a group of black Harvard University graduates who had organized an event at Cure Lounge as an after-party to the Harvard and Yale football game last November.
Approximately 400 tickets were purchased before the sold-out event. But about an hour after the 10 p.m. starting time, Cure Lounge abruptly ended the event and told all guests that they needed to leave. The vast majority of event guests who stood in line and who entered the club were black, according to the complaint.
Under the agreement, which states Cure Lounge violated state laws prohibiting public places from restricting entry or limiting use based on race, gender, or national origin, the nightclub must pay a $30,000 fine to the state.
Paige Hospitality, which runs the nightclub, is also required to post an apology on its website.
Last fall, speaking on behalf of the nightclub, George K. Regan Jr. told the Globe "there were a lot of people in line known to police and police and security circles as bad people, OK? They probably couldn't spell the word `Harvard."FULL ENTRY
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more