Week in Review: Tragedy in Cancun, BYOB Policy Tabled, and More

A look back at the news from the week of January 6-12.

Two From Mansfield Dead After Drowning in Cancun

Two Mansfield women have died after drowning while on vacation in Cancun, Mexico according to WBZ.

The two women, identified as Donna Batta and Gail Binmore, traveled to Cancun for a vacation last Friday along with two other friends.

While one left on Tuesday, the remaining three went for a late night swim at the Grand Park Royal hotel. 

With the water reaching their knees, the current was too strong for the three women and North Attleboro resident Lisa Marie Tondreault was the only person to escape the rough waters and strong undertow.


Police Searching for Thieves Who Stole Money from Area Hockey Rinks

Police are on the lookout for two male suspects who have reportedly stole money and car keys from the locker rooms of three area hockey rinks including the two rinks Mansfield High School hockey players call home.

The two men allegedly entered the Iorio Arena on Route 1 in Walpole on Sunday, Dec. 30 and stole between $200 and $300 in cash from locker rooms while hockey players were on the ice, according to Walpole police. The men were last seen wearing hooded sweatshirts and winter jackets, according to Walpole Patch.

Channel 5 WCVB reported a similar incident recently occurred at the Foxboro Sports Center but Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary had no further information beyond Channel 5’s report.

“I can’t find anything in our log about any thefts at the Sports Center,” O’Leary said. “I did hear it on the TV news but I cannot find any record [of the incident]. I took a look at the last three weeks for any thefts there.”

That’s not to say an incident did not occur at the Foxborough ice rink, it just wasn’t reported to police.


BYOB Policy Prospects Looks Bleak After Latest Selectmen Meeting

A week after taking up the issue of allowing "bring you own bottle" (BYOB) restaurants in Mansfield, it now appears likely that the selectmen are unlikely to take action on a proposal that would allow residents to drink their own alcohol in establishments without a restaurant or liquor license in the near future.

While the board's chairman was willing to go ahead and keep looking at the idea, other selectmen were not as willing to keep looking at the idea.


Between the unauthorized use of $5,000 and accusations of unfair treatment, the Mansfield Conservation Commission found themselves playing defense during a contentious meeting with selectmen lasting over 60 minutes.

One of the main issues at was the use of $5,000 from a revolver accout to hire a legal consultant for a case involving four lots on Gilbert Street. The selectmen did not authorize the money for the consultant and the bill that followed caught the board off guard.

"It’s really not fair to approach us with a bill that we knew nothing about and expect us to pay,” Selectmen Doug Annino said.

The conservation commission defended their actions saying that they were unaware of the policy to ask for authorization and they have done the same in the past with no issue.


State Mandates $1.04 Million in Teaching Positions: Towns Responsible for Funding

The Mansfield School Committee discussed the budget on Tuesday, and the $1,048,265 in mandated teaching positions the state has passed down.

Superintendent of Schools Brenda Hodges said that these mandates are unfunded, and will have to be picked up by the district.

“The state mandates dictate staffing needs,” she said. “The state has given us a number of new mandates, and those mandates associated with the way state is saying [it is] going to evaluate [the district].”

These mandates won't have to be implemented immediately, but Hodges said each has its deadline.


Mansfield's King Aviation a Family Affair

Kelley Dineen never intended to work in the flight industry, you could say she just kind of fell into it.

Dineen, president of King Aviation, said she originally went to Johnson and Wales University in Providence for hotel and restaurant management, but in the recession of 1991, there wasn’t much work in those fields. She said her father, already an accomplished pilot and was running the flight school, asked her to join the business.

“When I graduated, no one was hiring,” she said. “I took the summer and waitressed down the Cape, but come September, I had to have a job and he said go help your brother.”

The flight school has a small number of its own airplanes for instruction. Dineen said that she and her brother, David, run the flight school.







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