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Week in Review: Homemade Explosives, Fires, New Town Counsel And More

A recap of this week's headlines from July 8-14.

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:

UPDATE (10 a.m., July 15, 2012): Mudge Jr.'s parents say their son has not lived at the 189 Prospect St. adrress in Easton for "years," according to e-mails to Foxborough Patch over the weekend. Foxborough Police say Mudge Jr.'s home address is listed as 189 Prospect St. and that is why it was used for booking. Foxborough Police detective Tom Kirrane said Mudge Jr. had been living in Taunton and staying the Taunton/Brockton area at the time of Friday's arrest.

An Easton man was arrested on two warrants in Foxborough Friday and charged additionally with eight counts possession of a destructive or incendiary device and possession of a Class B drug, after Foxborough Police found eight homemade explosives in his hotel room at on Washington Street, according to Foxborough Police Detective Tom Kirrane.

One of those explosives in particular, a M1000, according to Kirrane, would have killed everyone in the room and taken out a quarter of the hotel if it went off.

"[The Massachusetts State Police] said the large device, the M1000, would have killed all of us in the room had it gone off and taken probably a quarter of the hotel out," Kirrane said. "We were walking around and if that had gone off they said it would have killed everybody in the room and taken this quarter of the building right out."

Stephen A. Mudge Jr., 41, of 189 Prospect St. in Easton was arrested on two warrants – default and straight – for breaking and entering in Raynham and Easton after Foxborough Police set up surveillance at Americas Best Value Inn as part of a two-week investigation.

Kirrane said Foxborough Police will investigate why Mudge had possession of the eight explosives and what "criminal act was he going to do with them."

***

Foxborough Fire Chief Roger Hatfield said an investigation into Wednesday’s mobile home fire at Norfolk Park on Washington Street showed no clear cause of what happened but it appeared to be accidental.

“Due to the amount of damage and debris, we were not able to determine exactly what the cause of the fire was, but it definitely wasn’t suspicious,” Hatfield said.

With the investigation over, Hatfield said his thoughts go out to the Albuit family, who owned the doublewide mobile home at Unit 25 of 131 Washington St.

The damage of the mobile home located at Unit 25 of 131 Washington St. was assessed at over $100,000, according to Hatfield.

***

The is speculating the cause of to be a discarded cigarette butt in the rear exterior of the building, according to Foxborough Fire Chief Roger Hatfield.

“We are speculating that it was a discarded cigarette into the bark mulch and the bark mulch caught fire, which in turn caught the side of the building on fire,” Hatfield said. “We didn’t find any evidence or any cigarette butts through the debris and stuff but that’s what we are leaning towards. There’s no clear evidence of the cigarette butt itself.”

and store manager Walter Grammer said many of the customers that were in the store at the time of the fire and had to be evacuated, returned Sunday morning to shop.

***

Michael Viscardi, 40, of 1 Spruce St. Foxborough, pleaded guilty Thursday at Wrentham District Court to threatening to commit a crime for an incident involving Foxborough selectman Mark Sullivan in April, according to Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey.

On April 15, Viscardi had confronted Foxborough selectman Mark Sullivan in an angry manner and stated, “If you don’t change your (expletive) vote … you’re a dead man,” according to the press release. 

He was arrested and charged by following an investigation.

“The charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in the county house of correction,” Morrissey said. “We requested that he serve two months incarcerated, then have a four month suspended sentence hanging over his head for three years with a list of conditions designed to change his behavior in the community.”

The court did not order the incarceration, however, but instead sentenced Viscardi to six months in the house of correction, suspended for one year.

The court did order the probation conditions requested by the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office. Those conditions include mental health evaluation and any recommended treatment, remain drug and alcohol free, sign waivers allowing probation to monitor his treatment, submit to random chemical screens, and stay away and have no contact with the victim of the threat.

***

A YouTube video of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Ricki Noel Lander, an aspiring actress and "pal" of Kraft, went viral Wednesday morning.

The video was said to be an audition tape for an upcoming Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson film, and was first published on the blogging website Boston Barstool Sports’ Tuesday night before going viral by Wednesday morning.

Kraft addressed the video in a statement Wednesday.

“I tried to help Ricki [Noel Lander] prepare an audition tape for an upcoming Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson comedy by reading Wilson’s lines,” Kraft said in the statement. “I never intended that it would be made public and I regret that it has. I think we can all agree that Owen Wilson has nothing to worry about. I am going to stick to my day job.”

The video showed Kraft reading lines that included profanity and a fake punch to another man in the room – all part of the script.

***

State Senator James Timilty (D-Walpole), who represents Foxborough, made his frustrations and outrage known to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in a strongly worded letter Thursday after it ordered Wrentham's Housing Authority to ban public display of the American Flag in the common areas of Garden Lane apartments after a single tenant's complaints.

Timilty, in a letter to DHCD Thursday, called the decision "a disgrace to everything the American Flag represents" and "absolutely unacceptable."

***

A familiar face is returning to Foxborough as town counsel after the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday to enter contract negotiations with attorney Richard “Dick” Gelerman and his law firm, Gelerman and Cabral, LLC.

This is hardly a new business venture for either side. Gelerman served Foxborough for nearly 30 years as town counsel before leaving in 2008. Four years later, it was Gelerman’s experience and familiarity with the town that made him and his firm the top choice to replace attorney Paul DeRenis of Deutsch Williams, who has been serving as Town Counsel since Gelerman’s departure.

Gelerman is expected to transition into the town's position on Aug. 1.

***

The Foxborough Board of Selectmen and School Committee voted 8-0 in favor – with one abstention – of appointing Christina “Tina” Belanger to interim member of the school committee to replace

Belanger emerged as the top choice from a field of five candidates at Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting because of her experience on the town’s Advisory Council and familiarity with the school department. Belanger will serve the committee as an interim member and will sit on the board from now until the next town election in May – a term of roughly 10 months.

***

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has stared down plenty of NFL defenses en route to five Super Bowl appearances and three championships over the course of his illustrious 12-year career.

But could he stand up to the pressures of a staring contest against CVS customers?

Brady teamed up with to surprise a handful of customers in Woonsocket, R.I. last month to participate in a staring contest to help promote "Unreal," a new brand of healthy candy, according to NESN.com.

What's even better about this contest? It was published on YouTube by CVS and is yet another entertaining performance in front of the camera turned in by TB12.

See what happens to one of Foxborough's most famous employees in the video above!

***

Thousands of people in the area were able to enjoy fireworks last week to celebrate the Fourth of July with local shows at Patriot Place, Walpole and Sharon.

However, some took in illegal fireworks shot off by neighbors.

While State Senator James Timilty (D-Walpole), who represents Foxborough, has expressed his opposition to legalizing fireworks, Foxborough's State Rep. Jay Barrows is open to the idea, partly because the majority of his constituency that he has talked to is in favor of legalizing fireworks.

But Foxborough Police Chief Edward O'Leary strongly opposes the suggestion.

"I’m not at all for the legalization of [fireworks]," O'Leary said. "I think our state is very astute in not legalizing fireworks. I think the tragedies that happened in several locations that have caused serious injuries are a prime example of why they don’t work. Unfortunately, many celebrations on the Fourth of July involve a different accelerant called alcohol and that’s certainly an accelerant for poor decision-making and when you have an explosive, bad things happen."

What do you think? Should fireworks be legalized in Massachusetts?

***

Federal authorities arrested three more people in connection to the , including his ex-wife.

Barbara Waldman, of Watertown, was one of three people arrested Wednesday. Watertown Police confirmed that Bailey's ex-wife was arrested.

According to documents filed at the Federal Court in Boston, Waldman faces three counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Also arrested were Matthew Fox of Foxborough and Mary Nicole Coman of Revere.

Fox faces one count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, the documents show.

***

, with assistance from Tufts Health Plan, announced Monday that beginning with Saturday's New England Revolution game, the venue will become a fully smoke-free facility.

All areas inside the stadium gates will be designated as non-smoking, a policy that will remain in place for all ticketed events moving forward, including NFL games, MLS and international soccer matches, UMass football games, concerts, functions and events.

***

Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary said in a recent interview with Foxborough Patch that the three main issues his is focused on addressing in town are prescription medication and alcohol abuse and traffic safety.

What do you think the main public safety issues in Foxborough are?

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