Parking restrictions announced on state parkways
With the region operating under social distancingmeasures, several new parking and traffic restrictions will be put in place in Greater Boston to increase park access for pedestrians, state officials said Friday. Starting Saturday at dawn, parts of three roads will be closed to traffic to allow for recreational use: William J. Day Boulevard between Farragut Road and Shore Drive in South Boston; Francis Parkman Drive between Perkins Street and the Arborway in Jamaica Plain; andGreenough Boulevard between Arsenal and North Beacon streets in Watertown. Also, state and city officials announced reduced public parking along the perimeter of the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain to only marked handicap parking spaces. All non-handicap street parking along the Arborway and Bussey Street will be temporarily eliminated. Visitors are urged to avoid peak hours while visiting the Arboretum, which are from 4 to 7 p.m on weekdays and 2 to 7 p.m. on weekends. After the weekend, the Department of Conservation and Recreation will reevaluate whether the measures were effective, officials said. The DCR will also indefinitely reduce parking capacity at state parks beginning Saturday.
State Police to lead virtual workouts for kids
While spring sports may be canceled and playgrounds are closed, troopers from the Massachusetts State Police will host virtual workout sessions to help keep kids active while stuck at home. The new program, "Workout With a Trooper,” will live-stream on the State Police Facebook page every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11:30 a.m., State Police and the State Police Association of Massachusettsannounced in a statement Friday. The workouts will be eight to 20 minutes long and will start streaming on Monday, State Police said. Troopers will continue to post the sessions through June 26 The workout sessions are designed so that any child can participate in them, State Police said. Every session will also be posted on the State Police’s Facebook page after it streams, so children who couldn’t tune in at 11:30 a.m. can still watch it. “In these challenging times, I hope those who choose to participate enjoy the workouts as much as we do,” State Police Colonel Chris Mason said. "Who knows, maybe they will even inspire a future Massachusetts state trooper.”
Shoppers ordered to wear face coverings
Starting on Sunday, the Salem Board of Health will require cloth face coverings for all shoppers and employees at supermarkets, drugstores, and other essential businesses operating during the coronavirus emergency, officials said. Anyone entering a grocery store, hardware store, pharmacy, restaurant serving take-out, or other business deemed essential by the state must wear a mask, bandanna, scarf, or other fabric covering over their nose and mouth, according to the emergency order approved Thursday. Masks are also required for store employees who interact with the public or work within 6 feet of a coworker. The emergency order instructs employees to follow the city’s previously issued guidance on wearing rubber gloves while working, washing hands frequently, and sanitizing work areas routinely. Cloth face coverings and social distancing measures are required for anyone entering a communal area of a residential or commercial building that contains more than one unit. The order states that it will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Sunday and “remain in effect until notice is given, pursuant to the Board of Health’s judgment, that the Public Health Emergency no longer exists."
Man arrested in two bank robberies
A Worcester man was arrested after he allegedly robbed two banks in an hour in Shrewsbury and Framingham onFriday morning, police said. At 9:10 a.m., officers responded to a report of a bank robbery at the Santander Bank at 47 Maple Ave., Shrewsbury police said in a statement. The suspect, whom police later identified as Christopher Brand, 30, had fled the scene by the time officers arrived. A search of the area by State Police, Shrewsbury police, and a Shrewsbury K-9 unit was unsuccessful. An investigation found that Brand had entered the bank and passed a note to a teller, demanding money, police said. He did not show a weapon, and no one was injured. Brand then fled the bank with an undetermined amount of money, police said. Just under an hour after the Shrewsbury robbery, a Citizens Bank in Framingham was robbed, police said. Brand was arrested by Framingham officers, who then contacted Shrewsbury police after noticing he matched the description given in the previous robbery. Brand has not been charged yet, police said. Shrewsbury police are investigating, the statement said.