BOSTON

Marathon bombing fund scam suspect arraigned

A New York woman accused of scamming almost half a million dollars from the Boston Marathon bombing victims fund has pleaded not guilty to larceny.

Twenty-six-year-old Audrea Gause of Troy was arraigned Friday in Boston Municipal Court and held on $200,000 bail.

Prosecutors said Gause got a $480,000 check from the One Fund after using faked medical records to claim she was treated at Boston and New York hospitals for traumatic brain injury suffered in the bombings. Authorities got a tip she may not have been in Boston that day and the hospitals said they didn’t treat her.

Prosecutor Gina Masotta said Gause used $377,500 of the money to pay for a new house. Masotta said the funds were being returned.

Gause was arrested July 19 in Troy, N.Y. She returns to court Sept. 4.

Ten groups propose to open new charter schools

Ten groups seeking to open charter schools in Massachusetts have submitted proposals to state education officials.

The proposals are only the first step in a selection process that will end with new charters being awarded early next year.

Among the proposed Commonwealth Charter Schools are ones that would be located in Fall River, Lynn, Fitchburg, Andover and Springfield, along with two offered for the greater Boston area.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said Friday that the proposals will be reviewed and those that show the most potential will be notified next month and invited to submit formal applications.

Charter schools are public schools that operate independently from local school districts. 

MBTA receives record revenues from fares

The MBTA says it pulled in a record amount of fare revenue in the last fiscal year despite a slight drop in overall ridership.

The T raised fares by an average 23 percent on July 1, 2012 to help offset a budget deficit.

In the fiscal year that ended June 30, the transit system said it took in about $565 million in fare revenue, an increase of nearly $100 million from the previous year.

At the same time, ridership dropped 2 percent in the last fiscal year. The MBTA had predicted that the higher fares might cause ridership to fall as much as 5 percent.

MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott said in a statement that the numbers show that the T remains “the preferred alternative for thousands of commuters.”

NEWMARKET, N.H.

Loan and grant package approved for wastewater

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development arm has approved a $12.3 million loan and grant funding package to help Newmarket, N.H., upgrade its wastewater treatment plant.

Agriculture officials said Friday that the upgrade is to reduce the nitrogen discharged into the Lamprey River. Federal environment authorities have identified Newmarket as one of four key communities discharging nitrogen into the Great Bay Estuary. The Environmental Protection Agency will also provide almost $1.8 million toward the project.

MONTPELIER, Vt.

Youth Conservation Corps completes staircase work

The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps is going to be celebrating the completion of one of its most technically challenging projects.

On Friday, officials plan to mark the completion of a 130-step staircase built into a hillside in Montpelier that leads from the downtown to the National Life complex located on the top of a hill. The stairs on the path were built over three summers by 38 young people using specialized rigging equipment.