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Demolition of I-91 Viaduct Deck Underway

SPRINGFIELD — MassDOT’s contractor, the joint venture of White-Schiavone, began demolishing the I-91 viaduct’s reinforced concrete bridge deck on Feb. 10. The work will take place in the inner northbound lane of the viaduct along the median, which is currently closed. The contractor will work a day shift (7 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and a night shift (4 p.m. to midnight) on Mondays through Fridays. Demolition of the inner northbound lane deck is expected to continue through April 2017. Demolition of other portions of the viaduct deck will continue through summer 2017. White-Schiavone will use several noise mitigation techniques during demolition. It has proactively installed noise curtains along the work zone in noise-sensitive areas. Additional curtains may be installed as required once initial noise readings are taken after demolition activities have started. In addition, all heavy trucks and equipment have been retrofitted with self-adjusting backup alarms, which limit the sound to a set volume above the ambient (background) noise. The JV has also taken initial readings of ambient noise in the work zone to establish a baseline for comparison. All equipment has been tested to ensure it is operating within the manufacturer’s specification. Those traveling through the area should follow the reduced speed limits and use caution. MassDOT encourages drivers to avoid the area and seek alternate routes to minimize delays. For more information about the project, visit www.mass.gov/massdot/i91viaductrehab. To report issues or concerns, or with questions about construction, e-mail [email protected] or call (617) 454-1839.

Ouimet-Rooke Nominated as District Court Judge

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker has nominated Michele Ouimet-Rooke, an attorney with more than 17 years of experience in Western Mass. courts, to serve as a judge in Springfield District Court. “Michele Ouimet-Rooke offers the court a great combination of experience in both civil and criminal legal matters drawn from her career in public service and private practice in Western Massachusetts,” Baker said. “I am pleased to recommend an individual with such broad experience to the Governor’s Council for their consideration.” Added Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, “the first two District Court openings our administration has sought to fill are in Hampden County, and we are pleased to make this second nomination to the Springfield District Court. If confirmed, we know that Ms. Ouimet-Rooke will serve her hometown with distinction.” Ouimet-Rooke, a native and resident of Springfield, joined the practice of Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy in 2002 as an associate representing plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of litigations, including employment and discrimination law, premise and product liability, insurance defense, landlord/tenant issues, criminal defense, and business litigation, becoming a partner in 2012. She began her career in the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office as a victim/witness advocate for eight years before becoming an assistant district attorney and chief prosecutor. She obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Springfield College and her juris doctor from Western New England College School of Law in 1999. The Governor’s Council held a hearing on the nomination on Feb. 17, and a confirmation vote is scheduled for Feb. 24. There are 62 district courts throughout the Commonwealth hearing a range of criminal, civil, housing, juvenile, mental-health, and other cases, including all felonies punishable by a sentence up to five years, misdemeanors, and violations of city and town ordinances and by-laws. Springfield is located in Region 6, which includes courts in Chicopee, Eastern Hampshire, Greenfield, Holyoke, Northern Berkshire, Northampton, Orange, Palmer, Southern Berkshire, and Westfield.

Governor Signs Bill to Reduce Minors’ Risk for Skin Cancer

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation last week to reduce the risk of skin cancer among minors by increasing the minimum age for the use of tanning facilities to 18 years old. During consideration of the bill, medical associations including Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Melanoma Foundation of New England, the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation, and the families of skin-cancer victims Glenna Kohl and Jay Farley testified in support of its passage. “With the number of minors diagnosed with skin cancer on the rise across Massachusetts and the nation, this legislation takes a critical step towards increasing awareness and protecting our most vulnerable,” Baker said. Added state Rep. Marjorie Decker, “this legislation is about protecting young people from carcinogenic UV rays that we know cause cancer. I am proud to have worked on legislation that will help save lives and want to thank Gov. Baker for signing this into law.”

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