October 5, 2013

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

BENNINGTON, Vt.

Two firefighters may face fine over torching camper

The state plans to fine two members of the Bennington Rural Fire Department for their part in lighting a camper on fire.

Both men were at an annual mud-bogging event in May. In the finale, a camper was set on fire while a vehicle drove through it. It was seen on YouTube, where members of the department could be seen putting out the fire.

The firefighters, Ryan Nystrom, 28, and Roger Hughes, 35, told the Bennington Banner they were the ones who set the fire, believing any permits necessary were in place.

They were among 15 firefighters who were temporarily suspended from the department because they didn’t have the proper permits.

Nystrom said the department was at the event as a safety precaution and it seemed safer to have a trained firefighter in full gear set the camper on fire than have one of the event organizers doing it, he said.

BOSTON

MBTA says salary raises would jeopardize agency

MBTA management and the union representing some workers have filed dueling lawsuits in a dispute over an arbitrator’s award that would increase T workers’ salaries by an average of more than 10 percent.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officials said the raises outlined in the arbitrator’s decision would cost $62 million to $88 million, a sum that would put the transit agency in financial jeopardy.

An official with the Boston Carmen’s Union said in a message to its 6,000 members, which include MBTA bus and subway operators and maintenance crew, that the T is trying to shortchange them in fighting the award.

A T spokesman said that the arbitrator did not consider the MBTA’s financial ability.

Investigators receive award for crackdown on child porn

Boston investigators who rescued 167 child pornography victims and arrested more than 50 predators have received a prestigious public service award.

The Homeland Security Investigations agents have been working for three years on a case that began in Massachusetts and led to arrests in nine countries.

The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals were presented Thursday in Washington by the Partnership for Public Service.

The awards went to three agents, an intelligence research specialist and a supervisor.

EAST BRIDGEWATER, Mass.

Man, 27, accused of stealing change jar from police lobby

Police say a 27-year-old Brockton man is facing charges after he was caught on surveillance video stealing a change jar from the lobby of the police station.

Officer Mark Harvey said the man was brought to the station to fill out a no-trespassing order, but hadn’t been arrested.

Surveillance video shows the man slipping the jar into the pocket of his hooded sweatshirt before heading for the exit.

Police said the jar held $15 to $20 in donations for the anti-drug DARE program.

PROVIDENCE, R.I.

Motorists without E-ZPass failing to pay 10-cent toll

Motorists without an E-ZPass transponder have submitted less than $50 in voluntary toll payments for crossing the Sakonnet River Bridge.

While motorists with transponders pay the 10-cent toll automatically when using the bridge, others are asked to remit their payments voluntarily.

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