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FlyORH: Hey Allegiant Airlines, Come Back to Worcester!

Thursday, May 01, 2014


This past week Allegiant had their 45th straight profitable quarter and hit a new record stock price. USA Today has a great story this week titled “Quirky Allegiant Air hits jackpot on small town America”. Are they quirky enough to return to a city that they left already? Absolutely can you say Hagertown, where they returned to In May 2012 after leaving in July of 2010.

Why should they come back? Allegiant had widespread support when they were in Worcester with loads were in the 85-90% range . They were a real airline and people who flew them were very happy, unlike their experiences with Direct Air. If Allegiant returned to Worcester, they would hit the ground running.

More importantly the infrastructure has changed since Allegiant left Worcester:

  • New ownership (Massport) has taken over since they left.
  • New FBO (Rectrix) has come in since they left.
  • New Airport Diector (Andy Davis) has been put in charge since they left.
  • Many runway improvements have been made.
  • CAT III is on the way

The biggest change, however, is that we have JetBlue, who is beginning to establish ORH as a solid alternative to Boston and Providence. It will be a lot easier for Allegiant to fill planes alongside JetBlue’s marketing efforts, versus being the only airline at ORH. They will not compete direct against JetBlue with service to Sanford, but how about to service to Myrtle Beach or the Gulf Coast (St Pete or Punta Gorda).

If you are still not convinced look no further then Portsmouth Airport in Pease, New Hampshire, another city Allegiant left but has returned to in October of 2013 after leaving in 2007 with service to Punta Gorda and Sanford. I believe, however, they may suspend Punta Gorda for the summer. All reports are that all planes out of Portsmouth are full.

Lastly Allegiant’s target market is the East Coast to Florida, can you say Woosta? Quirky Allegiant Airlines should return to small-town America in Central Massachusetts and hit another stock price high. A lot has changed at ORH, check us out!

Bill Randell is the President of Advantage Benefits, an insurance brokerage house specializing in employee benefits with an emphasis on health insurance, based in Worcester since 1992. He can be contacted at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter (@FlyORH).


Related Slideshow: 10 Big Worcester Busts in March

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St. Patty's Parade

Man Threatened with Gun at St. Patrick's Parade

March 9

On Sunday, March 9, 2014 members of the Operations Division, Detective Bureau, Vice Squad, Street Violence Prevention Team and the Gang Unit were assigned to the area around Park Avenue during the St. Patrick's Parade.
Worcester Police received information that 20-year-old Theodore Sullivan threatened another individual with a handgun during the parade. Officers saw Mr. Sullivan walking in a group heading North on Park Avenue.  The group approached the area of Park Avenue and Winfield Street.
Mr. Sullivan discarded the handgun as police approached him.  Officers observed the handgun in the grassy area directly in front of Mr. Sullivan.
Mr. Theodore Sullivan, 20, 82 Laurel Wood Road, Sterling, was charged with Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Carrying a Firearm without a License and Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony.
A juvenile male and a male identified as 18-year-old Joseph Terven of Worcester were both with Mr. Sullivan.  The two teens were uncooperative and caused a disturbance. As a result of their actions pedestrian traffic had to be stopped.  The pair became increasing combative with officers.
Mr. Joseph Terven, 18, of 80 Mulberry Street, Apartment 1, Worcester was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace.
The juvenile of Worcester was also charged with Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace.
Sullivan also has a case pending for unlawful carrying of a firearm in 2013.
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Hit and Run

Juvenile Driver Identified and Arrested for Hit and Run Pedestrian Accident
March 2
Worcester Police responded to the area of 165 Belmont Street for a report of a pedestrian accident on February 28. Upon the officers' arrival they observed a 23-year-old female victim suffering from head, leg and arm injuries. 
The victim was transported to U-Mass Medical Center (university campus) for treatment and is currently listed in serious condition. 
The preliminary investigation indicated that the pedestrian was attempting to cross Belmont Street when she was struck in the west bound travel lane. The vehicle that struck the pedestrian failed to stop and fled the scene prior to police arrival. The suspect vehicle was described as a gray/silver sedan with damage to the passenger front fender. 
The Worcester Police Accident Reconstruction Team was called to the scene to investigate.
On Sunday, March 2, 2014, investigating officers interviewed the operator of the suspect vehicle at Worcester Police headquarters. The operator of the vehicle is a 17-year-old juvenile male. As a result of information obtained during the interview, the juvenile was issued citations for Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury, Negligent Operation of a MV to Endanger, Failure to Slow for a Pedestrian in a Roadway and a Junior Operator License Violation with regard to a Passenger Restriction.
The operator will be summonsed into the Worcester County District Juvenile Courthouse at a date yet to be determined.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for the suspect vehicle. The vehicle was located on South Ludlow Street and towed to police headquarters for a full mechanical inspection.
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Street-Level Drug Dealing

3 Street-Level Heroin Dealers Arrested
March 27
Members of the Worcester Police Vice Squad were conducting an investigation on street level drug dealing.  As a result of the investigation, officers attempted to conduct a vehicle stop on Spurr Street.  The operator of the vehicle was identified as 27-year-old Victor Diaz of Worcester.  Mr. Diaz was in possession of 21 knotted bags of heroin. 
Officers obtained a search warrant for this apartment located at 6 Mott Street.  Inside the apartment were two individuals identified as 23-year-old Neftali Cruz and 19 year-old Jan Carlos River-Maldonado.  A search of the apartment revealed 71 knotted bags of heroin weighing approximately 30 grams. Officers also seized $999 cash and paperwork.
Victor Diaz, 27, of 6 Mott Street, Apartment 1, Worcester was charged with Trafficking in Heroin, 14-27 Grams, Possession of Class A Substance with Intent to Manufacture, Distribution of Class A Substance and Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substance Laws.
Neftali Cruz, 23, of 157 Chandler Street, Apartment 2, Worcester, was charged with Trafficking in Heroin, 14-27 Grams, Possession of Class A Substance with Intent to Distribute and Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substance Laws.
Jan Carlos Rivera-Maldonado, 19, of 6 Mott Street Apartment 3, Worcester was charged with Trafficking in Heroin, 14-27 Grams, Possession of Class A Substance with Intent to Distribute and Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substance Laws.
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BB Gun Assault

Four Teenagers Arrested for Shooting at Vehicles
March 16
Worcester Police were dispatched to the area of 139 Lincoln Street for a report of Malicious Mischief.  Officers received a call that a group of teenagers were shooting at vehicles with a BB gun.  The caller stated that his passenger side window was shattered from a BB while traveling North on Lincoln Street. When officers arrived on scene they also came across a man who was struck by the BB gun in his shoulder.  The BB put a hole through the man's leather jacket. The victim refused medical treatment.
During the investigation, officers were able to locate four teenagers who were responsible for shooting the BB gun.  Officers also located the two BB guns the teens were using to shoot.
All four juveniles were arrested and charged with the following: Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Malicious Destruction Over $250, Minor in Possession of a BB Gun, Discharging a BB Gun Across a Public Way and Disturbing the Peace. 
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Prostitution Activities

5 Arrested in Main South for Prostitution
March 20
Members of the Vice Squad were conducting surveillance in the Main South area. The undercover officers were in the area due to numerous citizen complaints of prostitution activities during the early morning hours. Police received specific complaints for the areas surrounding Claremont Academy and Jacob Hiatt Magnet School.
Undercover Vice Officers targeted Main Street by Claremont Street to the area of Jacob Hiatt magnet School.
As a result of this operation the following were arrested just prior to area school openings: 
  • Daniella Dahlstedt, 39-years-old of 162 Chandler Street, Worcester. Charged with Common Street Walker.
  • Amanda Sexton, 24-years-old of 1 West Street, Worcester. Charged with Common Street Walker.
  • Kelly Mendes, 46-year-old of 17 Hollywood Street, Worcester. Charged with Common Street Walker.
  • Danielle Hamalainen, 30-years-old of 25 Queen Street, Worcester. Charged with Sexual Conduct for a Fee and on an outstanding arrest warrant for Assault and Battery.
  • Josephine Mangual, 52-years-old of 2 Oread Street, Worcester. Charged with Common Night Walker. 
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A Kilo of Cocaine

Vehicle Search Leads to Trafficking Arrest

March 6

Members of the Vice Squad and the Street Violence Prevention Team conducted a two month long investigation into the sale and distribution of illegal controlled substances in the City.  As a result of the investigation, officers conducted a stop of a vehicle on Dorchester Street yesterday at approximately 11:30 AM.   In the vehicle was the target of the search, 34-year-old Benjamin Diaz of Worcester.  A search of Mr. Diaz produced more than 100 grams of cocaine packaged for distribution.
Mr. Benjamin Diaz, 34, of 99 Main Street, Worcester was charged with Trafficking in Class B Substance 100-199 Grams and two counts of Drug Violation within 1000 Feet of a School.
The arrest lead police to obtain a search warrant for a room at the Comfort Inn in Auburn.  The operation became a joint investigation with the Auburn Police Department.  During the search police recovered the following:  one kilo of cocaine, drug packaging material, scales and $3,500 cash.
The street value of the total cocaine seized is between $25,000 and $30,000. Additional charges against Mr. Diaz were filed by the Auburn Police Department for Trafficking In Class B Substance.
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Loaded Assault Rifle

Large Capacity, Loaded Assault Rifle Seized in Home Search
March 21
Worcester Police executed a search warrant for an apartment located at 7 Freeland Terrace. The search warrant was the result of a gun investigation that involved the Worcester Police Vice Squad and the Worcester Police Gang Unit. 
The target of the search warrant was for 20-year-old Alisa Perodeau and 22-year-old Richard Afutu. At approximately 5:15 AM, members of the Worcester Police S.W.A.T. Team made entry into the third floor apartment. Ms. Perodeau and Mr. Afutu were located and secured. 
A search of the apartment produced a Smith and Wesson M&P .22 caliber assault rifle. This assault rifle was loaded with a large capacity feeding device that held 16 rounds of ammunition. The serial number to this weapon was obliterated and it was stored unsecured. 
Both suspects were placed under arrest and charged with Improperly Storing a Firearm, Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm and Feeding Device, Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition without an FID Card and Carrying a Firearm without a License. 
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Shot While Driving

2 Victims Shot in Head with BB Gun While Driving
March 5
Worcester Police were dispatched to the area of 17 Chandler Street for a report of gun shots.  Officers were informed that a 44-year-old female was shot in the head with a BB gun while driving in her vehicle.  The victim was stopped in traffic with her window rolled down when the incident occurred.  Upon arrival, officers found a 53-year-old male victim who was shot by a BB gun in the head and shoulder.  He was shot while walking in front of an alley on Chandler Street.  Police were informed that another female was shot in the leg but left the scene prior to their arrival.
The paramedics were called to evaluate the victims.  Both victims were taken to a local hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Witnesses provided officers with details of the incident and directed them to where the shots were fired from.  Additional officers arrived on scene to collect evidence.  Police entered 21 Chandler Street and located a black pellet gun inside an apartment along with several pellets.   They also located the two suspects identified as 19-year-old Christian Cruz and 20-year-old Kennie Mota-Cruz.
Kennie Mota-Cruz, 20, of 21 Chandler Street, Worcester was charged with three counts of Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon and Discharge of a BB Gun or Air Rifle on a Public Way.
Christian Cruz, 19, of 6 Mott Street Apartment 1, Worcester was charged with three counts of Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon and Discharge of a BB Gun or Air Rifle on a Public Way.
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Gas Station Shooting

Man Arrested for Shooting Inside Gas Station
March 16
Worcester Police responded to 185 Madison Street, the Gulf Gas Station, for a report of a fight inside. The first officer to arrive observed several people outside the business. People were standing out in the parking lot and appeared to be scared. Officers were told by the crowd that a male was just shot inside the store and that the person who did it was still there. 
Police secured the perimeter and were able to look inside the business. The officers observed a male victim on the floor. The store clerks were still inside. Police also observed a female grabbing onto the suspect preventing him from leaving the store. The store had several display cases knocked over and food scattered on the floor. The female noticed the police and yelled out that the suspect had just shot her friend. 
Police rushed into the store and apprehended the male. The male was identified as Andrew Callender, 23-years-old of 8 Merton Road. Once Mr. Callender was secured in handcuffs the officers tended to the 40-year-old shooting victim. The victim received a single gunshot wound to his leg. The injury is considered non-life threatening. 
The victim was transported to a nearby hospital and released after treatment. 
According to the preliminary investigation, the victim was in the store when he encountered Mr. Callender. The two males began to fight causing damage inside the business. During the fight Mr. Callender shot the victim in the leg. There were several witnesses during the incident but no other injuries were reported. 
The firearm was recovered and was determined that it had been reported stolen in April 2004 out of North Carolina. 
Mr. Callender was charged with Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Armed Assault to Murder, Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Willful and Malicious Destruction of Property, Carrying a Firearm without a License and Carrying a Loaded Firearm without a License. 
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644 Grams of Heroin

Yearlong Investigation Leads To Multiple Drug Arrests, Cash and Drugs Seized

March 8-10

Police seized a total of $75,717 in cash and approximately 644 grams of heroin which has a street value of approximately $120,000, a stolen handgun and two vehicles. 
On Saturday, March 8, 2014 members of the Worcester Police Vice Squad obtained a search warrant for 17 Shale Street. The search warrant was the result of a year-long joint investigation involving the Worcester Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police and the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office of Joseph Early. This investigation involved wiretaps, surveillance and controlled buys. The target of the search was 28-year-old Gabriel Texidor-Ramos of 100 Chester Street, Fitchburg, MA. At approximately 2:00 PM the Vice Officers executed the warrant for the second floor apartment.
Police forced their way into the apartment; the front door swung open and struck a glass table. There was a large amount of cash on the table which scattered in the air as officers rushed the apartment. Police immediately identified the target present in the apartment. Both the target and a second male, later identified as Ramon Martinez-Perez, 20-years-old of 16 East 208th Street, Bronx, NY, attempted to flee by running out the rear door. As the two were running the officers observed Mr. Ramos attempt to hand Mr. Perez a large plastic bag which fell to the floor. At this time Mr. Ramos attempted to punch one of the officers. A struggle ensued but he was eventually placed in handcuffs.
The plastic bag that fell to the ground contained 309 grams of heroin. The money that was tossed from the glass table amounted to $7,597.
Mr. Perez managed to make it to the rear porch but was apprehended and placed under arrest.

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