December 24, 2012

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

(Continued from page 1)

Rojas-Moraza was ordered held on $45,000 bail on Monday after pleading not guilty to a trafficking charge in East Boston District Court.

The DA's office says customs officials became suspicious while X-raying the wheelchair during entry screening.

Agents found the drugs after drilling into one of the tires.

Doctors later determined that Rojas-Moraza had no apparent medical reason for the wheelchair.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I.

URI tries to contain uproar over professor's comment

The president of the University of Rhode Island has issued a statement supporting the right of a professor to express his views after he called for the National Rifle Association CEO's "head on a stick."

President David Dooley's comments issued Sunday came after a statement last week in which Dooley distanced the university from a posting on Twitter by history professor Erik Loomis. Loomis wrote the post on Dec. 14, the day 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman using a semi-automatic weapon inside a Newtown, Conn., school.

"I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre's head on a stick," Loomis wrote. LaPierre is the chief executive of the NRA.

Loomis has since written in a blog post that his comment was meant to be a metaphor for holding LaPierre responsible for his actions and was not meant as a threat. He has said he received death threats himself as a result of the comments.

On Dec. 18, Dooley released a written statement saying the school does not condone threats of violence and said Loomis's remarks do not reflect those of the university. Dooley's statement drew criticism from URI's faculty union and from professors around the country, who called on him to support freedom of speech.

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