Massachusetts state troopers return from New Jersey with Sandy stories

More than two dozen troopers accepted commendations yesterday for helping out New Jersey victims of Hurricane Sandy.

After being recognized for lending a hand to victims of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, Lt. Michael Habel recalled the nine days he spent on the coast of the Garden State earlier this month; memories that were covered in sand.

“There were two older women who shared a house, and basically were asking us to try to find something, anything, in the sand,” Habel said. “It was sad. They wanted any memento that would help them remember their house.”

Habel was one of 25 state troopers to receive commendations Monday at State Police Headquarters in Framingham.

“When I reached out to ask if the state police would be willing to field a group of 25 people, I already knew the answer,” Undersecretary for Homeland Security and Director of MEMA, Kurt Schwartz said Monday. “The answer was a resounding yes.”

“We were basically trying to keep the peace,” Habel said. “The whole area had been evacuated, so we wanted a high visibility to ensure there was no looting.”

Trooper Andrew Fox said he witnessed first hand how desperate people were to salvage what little they could find from their ravaged homes.

“One man came to see his house, his whole cellar was filled with sand, and he had a little plastic shovel that he was using to try to dig out a safe that had all his valuables in it. It was a sad picture.”

Sgt. George Hamilton, who was stationed in Ortley Beach, said he couldn’t be more proud of his fellow officers.

“Without being asked, without being told to, they just jumped right in to help people,” said Hamilton. “They crawled through windows, into people’s houses – what was left of them – and put themselves in dangerous situations to make things a little more manageable for people.”


Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.


SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.


MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…


U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…


Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.


Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.


Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm


Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.


3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…


3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…