GLOUCESTER, Mass.

Head of fisheries office plans to retire this year

The head of the federal fisheries service’s northeast office has announced she’ll retire at year’s end.

Patricia Kurkul has led the Gloucester-based regional office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service since 1999.

She’s presided over a turbulent time in fishery management, including last year’s switch to a new system in which fishermen divide into groups called sectors to share an allotted catch.

LOWELL, Mass.

Police officer charged with rape, soliciting prostitutes

A Lowell police officer has been charged with raping two prostitutes and soliciting prostitution from others while on duty.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s office says Aravanh Lakmany was indicted on Thursday by a Middlesex grand jury. No arraignment date has been set.

The indictment alleges that Lakmany worked the overnight shift for the Lowell Police Department and solicited several prostitutes beginning in 2009. Prosecutors said he asked the women to get into the back seat of his cruiser or personal car and drove them to a secluded area, where they would have sexual contact.

CONCORD, N.H.

Police officers injured when driver spills coffee, hits them

Two Concord police officers have been hurt by a driver who lost control of his car after spilling coffee.

State police say the officers were working at a construction site on Loudon Road on Wednesday night that required one lane to be closed.

Sergeant Cori Casey and Master Patrol Officer Eric Crane were standing in the closed lane when a car driven by William Soler struck them. Both were treated at the hospital and released.

Soler told investigators he panicked after spilling coffee down his front and hit the accelerator.

He was not charged, but the incident remains under investigation.