COVID rates dropping and Saturday vaccination and test clinic aims to keep it that way. Recent COVID-19 infection rates have been dropping across the state and city officials and medical professionals are pleased, but wary, because of the new numbers. That caution prompted a new push to get people either vaccinated for the first time or to get their booster shots. Food Zone Supermarket on Belmont Avenue hosted Caring Health Center and WTCC Radio’s COVID clinic Saturday to offer free COVID testing, vaccinations and boosters, and gift certificates as incentives.

We are on the downside of the pandemic, we can see the numbers going down,” said Clinical Director for Caring Health Center COVID Response, Shamika Jones. But you can never be too sure. COVID is still here so we need to make sure the community is safe.”

Even after two years of pleading by health officials, there are some who have not received even their first vaccination, Jones said.

We have had some who have not been vaccinated at all or have had one shot and figure they didn’t need the second dose,” she said. We have been able to get them some information, answer their questions and get them in for their vaccinations. As I said, things look good, but COVID is not gone.”

Mayor Dominic Sarno visited the site Saturday afternoon to Encourage Springfield residents to get boosted and vaccinated. People want to get beyond the constant vigilance the pandemic has forced everyone, he said, but now is not the time to slack off, he said.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton Harris and I want to thank everyone for their continued patience and cooperation as we continue to work together with all of our community partners in making this life-saving vaccine readily available,” he said. Although our COVID-19 cases continue to trend in the right direction we must remain vigilant to defeat the pandemic.”

A worker in Massachusetts was left seriously injured Friday afternoon after being pinned underneath a cherry picker truck, authorities said.

Police and firefighters in Braintree responded to an equipment accident, where a worker was pinned under the bucket of a cherry picker truck, the Braintree Police Department wrote in a Facebook post. The vehicle can lift individuals to high, typically inaccessible heights in a large bucket with a mechanical arm.

First responders stabilized the truck and worked for around 20 minutes to free the worker using shovels and, at times, their hands, according to the post. The worker was taken to Boston Medical Center with significant lower body injuries.

The cause of the malfunction has yet to be determined and is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the post noted.

Police in Worcester are investigating a fatal shooting that took place on Southbridge Street Saturday morning outside the Hurricane Betty’s strip club.

Around 1:20 a.m. Saturday morning, an officer working a detail at Hurricane Betty’s, located at 350 Southbridge St., reported shots had been fired in the vicinity of the club, the Worcester Police Department announced.

Additional officers arrived on the scene and located two gunshot victims, a 27-year-old male and a 32-year-old male, police said.

The victims have not yet been identified by police.

Medical aid was given to the victims before they were transported by ambulance to the hospital, officials said.

The 27-year-old male was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. The 32-year old male’s injuries are considered life-threatening and he is being treated at the hospital, police said.

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Two individuals accused in a slaying in Florida in 2020 were arrested this weekend in Massachusetts after a police chase, authorities said.

The pair are accused of being on the run for two years for being involved in a killing at the Broward Central Bus Terminal in the city on Oct. 17, 2020, according to a statement from Broward Crime Stoppers, a nonprofit organization that seeks to solve crimes.

The two individuals are 23-year-old Kimani Brown and a 17-year-old girl, who MassLive has declined to publicly identify, as she is a minor. There was an award of up to $3,000 for information leading to their arrest, the statement said.

What authorities said precipitated Brown and the girl’s arrest was a police chase through Southeastern Massachusetts in a box truck in the pre-dawn hours Saturday morning.

Massachusetts State Police trooper tried to stop the truck for an alleged lane violation on Route 24 in Avon around 1:37 a.m. Saturday. The truck is accused of speeding away from the trooper and leading police on a pursuit that was eventually stopped for safety reasons when the truck exited the highway in Easton. The truck was found abandoned a short time later by Easton police, according to a statement from the State Police Association of Massachusetts.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Saturday called for Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s removal, saying, For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

Biden also used a speech in Poland’s capital to make a vociferous defense of liberal democracy and the NATO military alliance, while also saying Europe must steel itself for a long fight against Russian aggression.

In what was billed by the White House as a major address, Biden spoke in front of the Royal Castle, one of Warsaw’s notable landmarks that was badly damaged during War II.

He borrowed the words of Polish-born Pope John Paul II and cited anti-communist Polish dissident and former president, Lech Walesa, as he warned that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine threatens to bring decades of war.”

In this battle we need to be clear-eyed. This battle will not be won in days, or months, either,” Biden said.

The crowd of about 1,000 included some of the Ukrainian refugees who have fled for Poland and elsewhere in the midst of the brutal invasion.

We must commit now, to be this fight for the long haul,” Biden said.

Earlier Saturday, Biden marveled at the spirit and resolve of Ukrainian refugees in the aftermath of Russia’s deadly invasion as he embraced mothers and children and promised enduring support from Western powers.

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