DERRY, N.H.

Police shut stores suspected of selling counterfeit goods

Police in New Hampshire say they’ve shut down six retail storefronts in Derry suspected of selling counterfeit handbags, shoes, sunglasses and other items.

Investigators shut down the stores in the Hillside Plaza on Friday night after being told the businesses were selling fake merchandise carrying well-known brand names. Police said they’ve seized tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

Lt. Jon Breen told WMUR-TV that the shops had not been open very long and would open only on Fridays and weekends. He said four people from New York state were arrested in connection with the case.

RUTLAND, Vt.

Theft report results in men’s arrests on drug charges

Two men from New York are behind bars in Vermont following their arrest on drug-trafficking charges.

Police said Arkim Willis, 30, and Frank Jenkins, 18, both of Brooklyn, were charged Friday at a Rutland hotel.

Police were summoned to the hotel after a woman called 911 to report that one of the men had reached into her car at a nearby convenience store and stolen money.

When police entered the hotel room while responding to theft report, they found 287 packaged bags of heroin and a larger bag of heroin weighing 24 grams, with a combined street value of more than $31,000.

Officials said they also found crack cocaine and marijuana.

Willis and Jenks are scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

PROVIDENCE, R.I.

Rhode Island joining lawsuit to force EPA soot regulation

Rhode Island will join 11 other states in suing the Environmental Protection Agency to force the federal government to regulate soot.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said the EPA is dragging its feet in setting rules to protect the public from the harmful effects of soot.

Kilmartin said the EPA missed a deadline last month to issue federal standards on soot exposure. Kilmartin says soot can cause harmful diseases such as chronic respiratory disease, impaired lung function, heart disease and asthma.

Kilmartin said the EPA’s own studies show that soot exposure could result in more than 10,000 deaths each year.

State receives low rating for anti-drunken driving efforts

The group Mothers Against Drunk Driving has given Rhode Island one star on a five-star scale measuring progress in the effort to crack down on drunken driving.

MADD’S “Report to the Nation” said Rhode Island is one of several states with inadequate anti-drunken driving legislation. It said that Rhode Island should legalize sobriety checkpoints and encourage enforcement of “no-refusal” sobriety test penalties.

The group also said the state doesn’t have “swift and sure” consequences for drunken driving or require ignition locks for convicted drunken drivers.

On average, the nation received a three-star rating from MADD. Massachusetts and Connecticut also got a three-star rating. Maine received a four-star rating.

State police and law enforcement are partnering with MADD in a campaign to target drunken drivers during the holiday season.

HARTLAND, Vt.

New Hampshire man dies in single-car I-91 accident

Vermont police say a New Hampshire man has been killed in a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 91.

Police said Calvin Gaouette, 56, of Winchester crashed his pickup truck around 11:40 p.m. Friday while driving north in Hartland.

He was taken to Mount Ascutney Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police did not give a cause for the accident, but said the weather conditions were good.

MANCHESTER, N.H.

Man faces multiple charges in ‘thug for hire’ scheme

A 52-year-old Manchester man is facing multiple charges for allegedly attempting to hire an undercover detective to commit acts of violence on his ex-wife, his ex-wife’s husband and a former business partner.

Police said Christopher Compas was arrested Friday night.

Officials told WMUR-TV that Compas asked a detective who was posing as a “thug for hire” to beat his ex-wife to the point she’d suffer scars on her face or lose some teeth.

He is further charged with asking the detective to run his ex-wife’s husband off the road on his drive to work, and to beat his former business partner and destroy his equipment or burglarize his shop.

Compas is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

SALEM, Mass.

State blocks move to save Catholic church building

The state has blocked an effort by preservationists to save a 61-year-old Salem church building.

Historic Salem Inc. wanted to stop the demolition of St. Joseph Church, but the Department of Housing and Community Development determined the plan wasn’t feasible.

The Salem News reported that the state said the plan by the private preservation group was too costly and wouldn’t achieve the intended goal of preserving the building. It said the plan might even remove architectural elements that made the church eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

The closed Roman Catholic church is slated for demolition to make way for affordable housing.

The parish was shuttered in 2004 during a round of church closings in the Boston Archdiocese.

FAIRFIELD, Conn.

Politics professor named state Professor of the Year

A government and politics professor at Sacred Heart University who recently published his 10th book has been named 2011 Connecticut Professor of the Year.

Gary Rose received the honor from The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

He was among 27 people picked to represent their states among nearly 300 nominees nationwide.

Rose joined Sacred Heart’s faculty in 1982 after receiving his doctorate from Miami University of Ohio.

Rose said he’s inspired by the belief that students can make a profound difference in American politics and public service.

— From news service reports