Top news stories Massachusetts 2022


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – As we approach the end of 2022, 22News takes a look at the top stories our viewers were most interested in throughout the year. Below are the top 20 stories.

20. Massachusetts lottery winners

Many Massachusetts residents won large prizes from the Massachusetts State Lottery throughout 2012. These are just a few examples of the stories.

Joshua Buffum, 38, of Springfield was been arrested in May after an investigation revealed he was allegedly building AR-15s inside his Hancock Street home.

When police executed a search warrant on Buffum’s home, they found a makeshift workstation equipped with a 3-D printer and several tools and machinery used to build and manufacture firearms. A handgun, an AR-15 rifle, an 8MM handgun and a.380 handgun were also found. Three additional AR-15’s in the process of being built were located as well.

Over the last two-years, the COVID-19 epidemic has severely affected our daily lives. The most severe effect was mask-wearing in public places. In 2020, 2021 and 2022, mask wearing was mandatory. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced in June 2022 the removal of masks from indoors. This was regardless of any vaccinations.

Since then, masks are not required in the state.

After two years of remote schooling and mask requirements, most children were able to return to school in the late August or early September of this year. This was the first school year where they didn’t need to wear masks to school.

The state stopped providing schools with COVID testing services or self-tests this year.

Vinicius SantanaBoca Raton resident, 34, was arrested June 1st at Miami International Airport. He had fraudulently filed COVID-relief loans.

Santana is the proprietor of Complete Home Care, LLC, (CHC), which is a Massachusetts-based painting company. He is accused of filing four fraudulent loan applications in order to obtain $2.5million in Paycheck Protection Program loan funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Santana was allegedly able to use the money to buy cars, and to invest in cryptocurrency. 

About 300 auto body workers and their owners marched up to the State House in May in support of an increase in reimbursement for labor rates for collision repairs.

Massachusetts currently ranks last among the United States for labor reimbursement at $40 per hour. In 34 years, the rates have not been changed.

Springfield’s own Rick’s Auto Body has been in business for 50 years and 30 of their employees traveled to Boston to join the rally.

“They work so hard for what they’re getting paid, and to make a living wage. They want to be compensated and we want to compensate them, that’s what we want to do. We feel so strongly about that,” said Owner Mari Tarpinian.

John Bertolasio, a Chicopee resident, went fishing off the coast of Connecticut in August. He didn’t know that he would be the new record holder for the largest Cobia fish caught!

Bertolasio was out fishing at Long Sand Shoal, August 13, when he suddenly got a hit to his line. Bertolasio was fishing on Long Sand Shoal on August 13 when he noticed a fish in his line. The fish even snapped his fishing rod in half as the fish approached the boat. It looked like a shark, which he initially thought. However, it turned out that it was actually a Cobia. He decided to keep it.

The Cobia officially weighed 43 pounds and was 56″ in length.

(Connecticut State Police).

Detectives recovered approximately 66.8 grams cocaine, approximately $1.950, approximately 2 lbs of marijuana, 38 Percocet Pills, drug paraphernalia. They also confiscated a drug leadger, a digital scale containing the cocaine residue and other items that could have been used in the operation of a drug factory. Felix Rios March

Massachusetts gave money back to residents in November after it was discover that the state’s total tax revenue exceeded the annual cap tied to wage and salary growth in the Commonwealth. This was due in part to a 1986 law that only had an effect once in 1987.

In FY22, total state tax revenue collected was $41,812,654,358, which exceeded the allowable revenue threshold for FY22 as defined by Chapter 62F of $38,871,154,627 by a total of $2,941,499,731.

Some residents received their refund in November early, while others received it at month’s end.

A total of 330,000 Massachusetts residents were eligible to get a $500 payment from their state in June. This was the second payment of $500 made by the COVID-19 Essential Employer Premium Pay program.

The payment is not open to residents who have received the March first payment. Your tax returns for 2021 were used to determine your eligibility.

On August 5, a water devil was caught on camera crossing Five Mile Pond in Springfield. 22News Storm Team Meteorologist Adam Strzempko says this is actually called a “water devil.” Clear air on a sunny day creates a vortex that forms over the water.

Meghan Marohn, a New York teacher, went on a hike in Lee near the end of March but never returned. Marohn’s vehicle was found in Longcope Park. Police launched a lengthy search for Marohn.

Meghan Marohn (Peter Naple).

Her family did not stop searching for her after the story became national news. It wasn’t until September 1 when a hiker discovered remains in a heavily wooded area near Fox Drive in Lee. These remains were identified as Marohn in December.

Police made seven arrests after they found heroin, cocaine, and other illegal narcotics at two Ware houses in February.

Shawn Crevier, Ware Police chief, said that officers were conducting an investigation into two Ware addresses for the distribution of heroin and cocaine. Officers from Ware, Warren, Monson, Palmer, and Monson executed simultaneous search warrants at two addresses on Pearl Street, Church Street, one Saturday morning.

A woman approached a student who stopped along Route 9 to get gas. She said that she didn’t have enough cash, nor a card to purchase gas and that the station wouldn’t accept checks. The woman offered to write a check for the student if she swiped her credit card, so that she could get gas.

Later that night money was taken out of the student’s account. Police say a card skimmer was used to obtain the student’s credit/debit card information to steal money from the account.

Beginning in November this year, it was prohibited for items such as clothing, footwear, bedding, towels, curtains, fabric, and similar products from being thrown in the trash at landfills and incinerators to help put them into the hands of those in need and recycle their fibers into other products.

According to Mass.gov, every year Massachusetts residents and businesses throw away about 230,000 tons of usable textiles, 95 percent of this material can be reused as clothing, converted to wiping cloths, or recycled into new fiber-based products.

A total of nine people were arrested in August during an undercover “Anti-John” operation by the Springfield Police Department.

The South End neighborhood was the focus of the police operation. Residents complained about the solicitation and execution of prostitution. Undercover officers quickly arrested the nine men, one juvenile, in a span of four hours.

These operations were conducted by the Springfield Police Department.

There’s a new procedure with how your car receives an inspection sticker from the RMV and many viewers were interested in how this will work.

Vehicles that pass the annual required inspections will get a new sticker with the month of your previous sticker’s expiration month. If you receive a late sticker following the expiration month of your previous inspection sticker’s one-year mark, it will not display the month that you received the inspection but the month the sticker expired.

As part of the COVID-19 Essential employee premium pay program, low-income workers received a $500 payment in March based on 2020 tax returns.

A payment was automatically mailed to Massachusetts residents to more than 500,000 eligible residents. This was the first round of payments. A second chance to get a check was available in June. This payment was based upon residents’ 2021 tax returns. One of these checks was available to you.

(Massachusetts RMV)

After Governor Baker’s initial veto in June, lawmakers were able pass the bill. The law would legally give undocumented immigrants a chance to get a driver’s license. This law was opposed by enough people that it was put on the November ballot.

Opponents fear that this bill could encourage voter fraud and discourage undocumented immigrants from applying for citizenship. The bill’s supporters believe that this will improve road safety by ensuring all drivers are insured and educated.

Question 4 was close, but those who voted for the law won 53.7%.

The law will continue to go into effect next July, allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license.

22News received information from a viewer in April about FBI agents outside a Belchertown residence. Soon after, it was revealed that this was Lynn Clark, Chicopee Superintendent. Clark was allegedly lying to federal investigators.

According to a federal court complaint, the City of Chicopee was preparing to hire a new Chief of Police in December 2021. On December 3, 2021, police received a report that a candidate was threatening to be killed.

In November 2021, after submitting their application for Chief of Police, the candidate received numerous text messages from unknown numbers with “threats to expose information that would cause the victim reputational harm.” Messages were also allegedly sent to the individual’s spouse. The victim, who was not identified, withdrew their application and caused the city’s delay in the selection process.

According to federal court documents, Clark allegedly sent 99 text messages “that were threatening in nature using an app to disguise her phone number.” Clark allegedly used an app to purchase and use fake phone numbers.

Lynn Clark is Superintendent of Chicopee Public Schools

Clark pleaded not guilty to the charges of making false statements. She also denies that she lied about FBI investigators. This case remains open.

On April 15, Captain Patrick Major was named the next Chief of Police by the City of Chicopee.

We are grateful!

The 22News team wishes you a happy new year! You can email your [email protected] with any information, tips, or photos of bears in your area.

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