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Week in Review: Man Rescued from Fall into Neponset River, Waxy’s Liquor License Suspended, Patriots Season Ends & More

A recap of this week's headlines from Jan. 20-25.

Miss anything in Foxborough this week? Here's your chance to sit back and catch up on some Patch. Below is a recap of this week’s biggest headlines on Foxborough Patch:

UPDATED: Foxborough Fire Saves Man Who Fell into River After Leaving Patriots Game

Foxborough Fire & Rescue personnel performed a water rescue Sunday night at Neponset River near North Street after a man leaving Gillette Stadium fell into the water while walking along the nearby railroad tracks.

“Gentleman was walking over the tracks after the [Patriots AFC Championship Game], obviously a patron of [Gillette Stadium], and fell off of the bridge, approximately 15 feet into the river below,” said Foxborough Fire Captain Ed Noonan.

The man, said to be in his 50s, suffered head lacerations and unknown head and back injuries, according to Noonan. The man was transported to Norwood Hospital after Foxborough Fire was notified Medflight was not available due to high winds.

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Waxy O'Connor's Liquor License Suspended 16 Days for 4th Violation

Despite four liquor license violations in less than two years, Foxborough’s Board of Selectmen agreed Tuesday to a settlement that would allow Waxy O’Connor’s to continue its business in town – but not without penalty.

As part of the settlement agreement, Waxy’s liquor license has been suspended 16 days, beginning Wednesday, Jan. 23 and lasting through Thursday, Feb. 7. The suspension includes no alcohol service on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 3).

In addition to the suspension, the Main Street pub will also gift the town $2,000 in legal fees and $8,000 in police/public safety training.

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Waxy’s Owner Apologizes to Community for Liquor Violations

Waxy O’Connor’s co-owner Mark Rohleder admitted he was dumbfounded when he initially learned of the legal troubles surrounding his Foxborough pub during last May’s liquor license violation hearing and apologized Tuesday for the establishment's fourth violation in two years.

“The first thing I said to our attorney [after last May’s hearing] was, ‘I’m sorry, I had no idea what I was walking into regarding all the police incidents and issues with the bar,” Rohleder told selectmen during Tuesday’s liquor license violation hearing.

Rohleder apologized to the town of Foxborough Tuesday for past management losing sight of the community involvement, which has resulted in four liquor license violations in two years.

“We apologize to the community for the past and for what has happened at the moment and to the selectmen for being in front of you again,” Rohleder said. “I hope that you will see by some of our actions that we want to get back into the community. That’s where the life of every pub is. It’s not supposed to be a nightclub or whatever.”

Rohleder stressed the Waxy’s management team hopes to overcome its recent legal issues and continue its business in Foxborough.

“We are hanging in to go forward,” Rohleder said. “We are eager to get going. We don’t intend on going anywhere. We are talking about another chef coming in.”

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Police Chief: Crowd Behavior During Patriots Playoff Games Was ‘Exceptional’

The following is a summary of police activity and incidents reported from the Jan. 13 and Jan. 20 New England Patriots NFL playoff games at Gillette Stadium, as reported in Foxborough's police logs.

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The following town news and notes were compiled from the Jan. 22 Foxborough Board of Selectmen meeting.

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Foxborough Police Awarded Grant for 5 Portable Breathalyzers

Foxborough police recently obtained five additional portable breathalyzers for the department through an insurance grant applied for by Deputy Chief John Chandler.

The five breath test machines will be used primarily to improve police accuracy in determining whether patrons attending Gillette Stadium events are incapacitated before being taken into protective custody.

“Rather than just having a few machines available where people are actually processed and booked, we have preliminary testing stations at the wagons where people are brought to and we encourage them, if they [claim they] are not impaired, to take the portable breath test, which would give us a more scientific method of determining whether they are incapacitated,” Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary said.

The portable breathalyzers also raise Foxborough’s level of protection against class action lawsuits and civil rights claims similar to the one challenging the town’s protective custody during Gillette Stadium events.

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Foxboro Federal Savings Donates $50K to Boyden Library's Capital Campaign

Foxboro Federal Savings president Dennis Parente and staff presented Boyden Library director Jerry Cirillo with a $50,000 check for the Boyden Library Capital Campaign.

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Foxborough Officials Not Sold on Installing Electronic Signs on Town Common

With the signs on Foxborough’s Town Common in need of repair, Bob Russell of the Foxboro Lions Club suggested at a recent Board of Selectmen meeting to upgrade the downtown signage to electronic.

“I was working with [DPW Director Roger Hill] on [the plan to repair the Town Common signs] and Roger came up with the idea to go to the electronic signs because the current signs are starting to buckle and they’re starting to get old,” Russell said.

The 18-year-old signs on the Common are “tired,” according to Russell with the metal fading and beginning to chip. Russell says replacing these signs to its 1995 form will not be easy and, perhaps more importantly, won’t come cheap.

Russell researched the benefit of upgrading the town’s signs on the Common to electric and shared the following selectmen at the Jan. 8 board meeting:

  • Signs can be operated from a remote location, i.e. Town Hall.
  • More messages can be displayed.
  • Brightness of signs can be adjusted.
  • LEDs are inexpensive and easier to replace than the current letters the town uses to post messages on the Common.
  • While Russell and Hill have not come up with a funding plan for the potential project, they have put together a cost structure of electronic signs.
  • “The total cost of the signs will range from $20,000 to $23,000,” Russell said. “There’s a couple of different variations in it.”

Russell said the Foxboro Lions Club will be able to support between $5,000 and $6,000 for changing the metal on the signs. The town will likely fund the remaining $16,000 to $18,000.

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Foxborough Resident Spends Winter Break Volunteering at My Brother’s Keeper in Easton

Foxborough resident Gretta Schaaf recently participated in the 2013 Urban Plunge program, a unique learning initiative offered through My Brother’s Keeper in Easton.

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Foxborough BOS Chair has Message for Flag Thief: ‘Wake Up Before it is Too Late’

Foxborough Board of Selectmen chair James DeVellis said while there isn’t much to add about the “ignorance and stupidity” behind the actions of the Foxborough Town Common flag thief, he did have the following message for the individual.

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Foxborough public safety officials are working with Gillette Stadium management on several initiatives to improve crowd safety and the overall impact Country Fest has on the community.

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New England Patriots Fall Short of Super Bowl in Disappointing Loss to Ravens

The New England Patriots' season ended one game short of a Super Bowl appearance Sunday following a 28-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium.

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Bill Belichick Confirms He’ll Coach Patriots in 2013

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told media Monday he expects to return to the team in 2013.

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Friday's Foxborough Basketball Games Canceled After OA Student Dies

Friday's Foxborough High School basketball games against Oliver Ames have been canceled as the Easton community mourns the death of an OA student that passed away suddenly.

Devin Ness, a senior at Oliver Ames High School, tragically died Friday morning of an aneurysm. Ness, who was a captain for the Oliver Ames wrestling team, became suddenly sick Thursday night, according to OA athletic director Bill Matthews. He was taken to the hospital where he passed away.

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