Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre left Thursday's AL Division Series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays in the third inning after hurting his back on a slide. After Prince Fielder's inning-ending groundout, Beltre tried jogging to his position at third base but came out of the game, in obvious pain. Beltre appeared to be wiping away tears as he was helped off the field and into the dugout.
Sepp Blatter is out of a job at FIFA. Michel Platini might never even get there. Two of the most powerful men in soccer were handed 90-day suspensions by the FIFA ethics committee on Thursday, essentially ending Blatter's 17-year reign as president and likely stunting Platini's chances of replacing him.
Lionel Messi will stand trial in Spain on three counts of tax fraud and could be sentenced to nearly two years in prison if found guilty. A Spanish judge on Thursday rejected a request to clear the Barcelona player of wrongdoing and decided to charge him and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, with tax fraud. Prosecutors had said Messi - a four-time world player of the year - was not fully aware of his father's unlawful activities and should not have been charged, but the state attorney's office contended that the Argentina forward knew enough to also be named in the case.
Nobel Prize in literature: What to look out for
STOCKHOLM (AP) — After three days of science awards the Nobel spotlight turns to the art of writing Thursday when the Swedish Academy will announce the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature.
NEW YORK (AP) — Paul Thomas Anderson premiered his first documentary, "Junun," on Thursday at the New York Film Festival, unveiling a sonically rich portrait of Indian musicians recording an album with Radiohead's Johnny Greenwood.
SABIC to Leave Pittsfield; Putting 300 Out of Work
The company announced that it will close its Plastics Avenue headquarters.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — SABIC is moving its headquarters to Houston, leaving hundreds of local workers out of a job.
Mayor Daniel Bianchi said he was informed about the decision Thursday afternoon after being contacted by senior executive staff members.
"I think this was a decision that had nothing to do with the city. It had everything to do with their corporate mission," Bianchi said.
Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp.'s Innovative Plastics is moving some 300 jobs from the former General Electric site in Pittsfield to Houston but it isn't determined what will happen with the Polymer Processing Development Center in the city.
"Exiting the Pittsfield site was a logical yet very difficult business decision, knowing the important role our business and people have played in this community over the years," SABIC Vice President and Acting CEO Yousef Al-Benyan said in press release.
The company plans to relocate many of those workers to the Houston location. The transition is expected to be completed by mid-year 2016.
"As SABIC continues to expand in the Americas, we need many of the talented Pittsfield employees to be part of our strong regional team. We are committed to a smooth transition for our people and look forward to welcoming many of them to our Greater Houston area office," Al-Benyan said.
Bianchi said the city had a great relationship with local company officials but the decision to move to Houston was made by the international company's board of directors.
"The city of Pittsfield had a 1.9 percent drop in unemployment over the last year. The numbers were looking good. But, these are the kind of jobs that are significant," Bianchi said. "A lot of the people who work in that facility were Pittsfield people born and raised ... We certainly hope those who have the appropriate skill and background will seek employment [elsewhere in Pittsfield]."
State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier said the company's decision is "disturbing news for Pittsfield."
"This is why we want to invest in our own homegrown companies," Farley-Bouvier said.
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce issued a statement giving their "sincerest thoughts to those families impacted by this business decision." The Chamber promised to help connect those workers with new jobs in the county.
"It will be our priority to keep as many of these employees and young families within the Berkshires. In the short-term, it is critical that the region come together when faced with news like this, and focus on the need to create the best possible outcome for those impacted," the Chamber wrote on its Facebook page.
"For the long-term, this is a further demonstration of the need for us to better diversify our Berkshire economy. We must be strategic about how we build this place into an environment where small and medium sized businesses have access to the resources that they need, and can organically grow jobs and have success."
State Sen. Benjamin Downing echoed the sentiments in a Facebook post of his own.
"I share the shock, frustration and disappointment of all upon hearings the news about SABIC's decision to leave Pittsfield. My office will work with any and all impacted to lessen the pain from this blow and help our city recover," Downing wrote.
SABIC was also part of the Berkshire Innovation Center and it is unclear whether or not that relationship will be sustained. Bianchi said that consideration "pales" in comparison to the impact of closing the headquarters.
The mayor said the decision does not shake the city's push to build its advanced manufacturing and life science industry.
"The real focus for the future was the small and medium sized manufacturing companies and they will still be here," Bianchi said.
The company announced last week that it would be closing its plant in Thorndale, Pa., as well. The moves are part of a corporate restructuring.
"The changes will enhance our global footprint to serve our customers locally while providing solutions globally," Al-Benyan said. "This reorganization will focus resources more intensively on the needs of each line."
Cheshire Fire Department Treasurer Accused of Larceny
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The former treasurer of the Hoosac Hose Company is facing charges of taking more than $32,000 from the department over a three- to four-year period.
Everett "Gus" Martin, 80, is facing larceny charges after $32,588 was discovered missing.
According to documents in Northern Berkshire District Court, Fire Chief Thomas Francesconi, also president of the volunteer fire company, contacted the Berkshire Detective unit on April 3 to report that Martin had allegedly admitted to him that he had stolen the money.
Francesconi reported that it was discovered during a company meeting that Martin had made five withdrawals of more than $5,000 in 2014 from the company's account at Adams Community Bank.
When confronted about the withdrawals, Martin allegedly stated that they were placed into an account in a Springfield bank. He was unable to provide the name of the bank or paperwork regarding the deposit.
On March 5, Martin advised Francesconi that the questioned money was in a land management account in Springfield. He was still unable to provide paperwork
On March 19, Martin admitted to Francesconi that the Springfield account did not exist and that he had taken more than $32,000 for personal use, according to the police report. He added that he planned to sell to parcels of land he owed to repay the company.
Francesconi provided investigators on April 13 with a check of $34,000 given to him from a Martin family member. The check was dated April 9, 2015. Attached was a note that read "Return $34,000 investment – $32,587.95 Gain"
The check was not cashed because the crime was still under investigation.
On June 26, a search warrant was executed and state police investigators gathered all Martin's accounts and accounts related to the Fire Department and company.
Investigators said they found, after comparing bank statements to Martin's treasurer report of 2014, that he had created a nonexistent account containing $32,588 to represent what he had taken. This contained a $5,350 withdrawal that had sparked the investigation along with $9,500 in other cash withdrawals. They found withdrawals dating back to 2011, according court documents.
There was no clear evidence found that the money was deposited into personal accounts according to investigators, but they stated those could have been spread out and in the form of different denominations.
On Sept. 1, Martin was questioned by the members of the Berkshire Detective unit and he told them that he took the money to pay bills but did plan to return the money after selling his land.
He added that he kept track of how much he took form the company on a computer located in the station and that he only took cash from company and department fundraisers such as Cruz Night, contradicting statements made about the Springfield bank.
If convicted of larceny, Martin could face up to two years in jail on the one count of larceny.
His appointed attorney, Richard Taskin, submitted to Northern Berkshire District Court a plea of not guilty on Oct. 7. The pretrial hearing is scheduled for Nov. 20.
Pittsfield Housing Authority: Worcester's Program Not A Fit Here
City officials say Worcester's program would not fit in Pittsfield.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Worcester Housing Authority recently launched a policy forcing tenants of public housing to get a job, go to school, or get out.
The policy, which received approval from Gov. Charlie Baker, requires at least one adult to work 1,200 hours per year, go to school full time or a mix of both accounting for 1,200 hours. Those with disabilities or over the age of 55 are exempt.
A more encompassing version of the program was killed by the federal government because it included a seven-year time limit on housing so now it will only impact 393 families living in state-subsidized housing.
In Pittsfield, Housing Authority Executive Director Charles Smith says a scaled back policy like the A Better Life program could be put in place but he would rather focus on individual cases. He said the program does have some merit by providing an incentive but it wouldn't work in Pittsfield.
"[Worcester's housing director] asked and was told in 2012 that you can't put in a thing that they have to do this or lose housing," Smith said when asked about the program at Monday's Public Safety Advisory Commission meeting.
In Worcester, there are some 10,000 people on the waiting list and authorities could give housing preference to families in the program, Smith said.
"We have some controls to make them do the right thing already in place," Smith said, adding that able-bodied people have to show the state that they are working, volunteering, or going to school and as long as they satisfy the state, the local housing authority has to accept them.
Further, he said there are a number of reasons why some families don't work, which include mothers who can't find a job that will pay enough to cover day-care costs or transportation. Overall the program is "not the best idea" for Pittsfield, Smith said.
"Let's look at them as individual cases," he said.
Smith said there may be some "generational" families in public housing but the city does its best to discourage that and give people a hand up. Adding to the issue is that Smith believes social agencies often cut off support too quickly when progress is made.
Mayor Daniel Bianchi agrees, saying the city needs to be mindful of the constitutional rights of individuals. The better angle for Pittsfield to provide resources, he said.
"The best crime preventative is a good job. A good job is tied to training and education. Training and education is tied to literacy. I think we've got a community that is marching all in one step," Bianchi said.
The city has taken steps to help families in housing by opening community centers, which brings resources directly to the residents. Since opening the one at Dower Square, the mayor said the arrest rate, call volume, and vandalism has gone down.
"I think we should do everything we can to get people the training they need," Bianchi said.
Meanwhile, educational programs for the youngest pupils have seen boosts in attendance.
"These efforts don't have an immediate change. It doesn't happen just like that. But, I think you are seeing greater participation," Bianchi said.
He said early education programs like the Berkshire United Way's Pittsfield Promise will help set a strong foundation for the city's youth, which in the future will translate to better educational attainment.
Meanwhile, the city has about 870 children between the ages of 3 and 5 who are not attending preschool. Bianchi said many families choose not to send their students to programs and don't need to. However, he says the city could work with pediatricians and the 22 licensed preschools and 60 day-care providers to ensure families that need resources have access to them.
"We are a small enough community that we can really make a difference with a community effort," Bianchi said.