November 23, 2012

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.

Shopper takes new TV home, leaves child in car at Kmart

Police say a Massachusetts man left his girlfriend's 2-year-old son in a car while he went shopping for Black Friday bargains, then went home with his new 51-inch flat screen television and left the toddler behind.

Police, alerted by store security, found the boy asleep in the vehicle in a Kmart parking lot at about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

They forced their way into the car and took the boy to the hospital as a precaution.

Meanwhile, they tracked the man to his Springfield home.

He told police he lost the boy while shopping, panicked and called someone else for a ride.

The boy's mother was working.

The 34-year-old man was not arrested and not immediately charged, but police say they expect to charge him with reckless endangerment to a child.

DOVER, N.H.

Judge asked to reconsider estuary pollution question

A group of New Hampshire municipalities has asked a judge to reconsider whether the Department of Environmental Services was correct in setting its nitrogen pollution controls in the Great Bay estuary.

The Great Bay Municipal Coalition, which includes Dover, Portsmouth, Rochester, Exeter and Newmarket, filed a lawsuit earlier this year challenging the DES water quality criteria for nitrogen.

They say the standards are too stringent.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports a judge had declined to rule on their request, saying it was a federal issue for the EPA.

The communities say they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure waste-water treatment plants are running efficiently.

The dispute is over whether the EPA and New Hampshire officials are burdening the communities with requirements that have no environmental benefit.

TOWNSHEND, Vt.

Couple's all-night fight leads to brief incarceration

Vermont State Police said a man and a woman who couldn't stop arguing through the night have been arrested.

Police received a complaint about 2:30 a.m. Thursday about a possible family fight at an apartment in Townshend.

They spoke to Samantha Seals and her house guest, Brandon Lee of Brattleboro.

After investigation of the possible family fight, the 23-year-old Seals and 27-year-old Lee were advised to call it a night and quiet down.

But police got another complaint at 4:25 a.m. of loud noise and banging from Seals' home.

The two were subsequently arrested on a violation of noise in the nighttime.

Police said they were taken to the Southern State Correctional Facility and held there until sober.

They are scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 31 for arraignment.

NORWICH, Vt.

Other agencies loan cars after police cruisers burn

The Norwich police department is getting loaner cruisers from other Vermont law enforcement agencies after all three of its cruisers were destroyed in a Thanksgiving Day fire.

A Vermont State Police fire investigator says the cause of the fire that destroyed the three Norwich cruisers early Thursday is unknown, but it is not considered suspicious.

Norwich Police Chief Doug Robinson says the total loss is estimated at $100,000, but the vehicles and their contents were insured.

The cruisers were parked side by side when the fire was reported at about 2:40 a.m. Thursday.

The Valley News reports it could be more than a month before the cruisers can be replaced.

Meanwhile, the Hartford Police Department and Windsor County Sheriff have each loaned Norwich a cruiser.

PROVIDENCE, R.I.

Thefts of manhole covers get officials' dander up

A Providence city councilman wants to crack down on the sale of stolen manhole covers.

The Providence Journal reports that David Salvatore introduced an amendment this week placing new restrictions on sales of the covers.

The measure would prohibit the purchase of any public property, including manhole covers, street signs and light poles, unless the seller has a certificate of release from a governmental entity.

The items and certificates would also have to be held for 10 days after purchase so police can inspect them.

Providence has seen hundreds of manhole cover thefts this year. The covers are worth only $20 as scrap but cost hundreds of dollars to replace.

State Sen. Paul Jabour also plans to submit legislation to increase penalties for the theft of manhole covers.

RAYNHAM, Mass.

Coach fired over hazing incident sues school district

A successful Massachusetts high school wrestling coach fired last year following a hazing incident on his team has filed suit claiming he was wrongfully terminated.

The Enterprise reports that former Bridgewater-Raynham High coach Jeff Francis sued the school district earlier this month, alleging breach of contract and "negligent infliction of emotional distress."

Francis lost his job in January after 33 years and four wrestlers were suspended for eight days after school officials learned that older members of the team struck under-performing teammates with belts and brooms.

Bridgewater police investigated, but didn't find enough evidence to file charges.

School Committee member Pat Riley has said that Francis was fired because he did not report the incident in time. Francis said he reported it as soon as he heard about it.

LITTLETON, N.H.

Man sentenced for assaulting his wife with can of spaghetti

A New Hampshire man has pleaded guilty to throwing a can of spaghetti at his wife and hitting her in the face and arms.

Michael Rothney of Littleton was arrested recently on a simple assault charge.

The Caledonian-Record reports Rothney pleaded guilty Monday.

He was given a $200 fine and a 30-day jail sentence, both of which were suspended on condition of one year of good behavior and participation in substance abuse counseling.

BENNINGTON, Vt.

FEMA rethinking its refusal to pay for post-Irene repairs

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is planning to take another look at a reimbursement request from Bennington, Vt., for money spent on river restoration after Tropical Storm Irene.

The town spent about $4.2 million on protective flooding measures after the storm left debris on the Roaring Branch river.

The town had been denied a reimbursement; FEMA said the work should be funded by another agency.

The offices of Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch reportedly took up the case on behalf of Bennington, Woodford and Rockingham, and met with FEMA officials in Washington.

FEMA now says its assessment about the other agency was wrong. It's seeking more information about Bennington's repair efforts.

 

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