December 28, 2012

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

(Continued from page 1)

The Concord Monitor reported that two of the three members on the district Fire Commission say Ober has to move by this June or he's out of a job.

Meanwhile, townspeople, local officials and firefighters have been telling officials about Ober's success as chief and his dedication to the communities.


As safety measure, police make 4,000 vehicle stops

New Hampshire state police say they made nearly 4,000 motor vehicle stops in efforts to curb highway collisions and fatalities during the two weekends before Christmas.

State police said they issued 834 speeding citations and nearly 2,500 warnings during the two weekends, when they bulked up their public presence as part of what's known as C.A.R.E. Life Saver Weekends.

Police also made 58 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and issued 34 citations to drivers with suspended licenses.

Police Sgt. Matthew Shapiro said crackdown efforts will continue into the New Year's holiday weekend.


Explosion and fire kill man who lived alone at house

One person is dead after an explosion that ignited a four-alarm fire and damaged a home in Princeton.

Officials at the state Fire Marshal's Office did not release the name of the victim. But the Telegram & Gazette, quoting neighbors, reported that 61-year-old Rick Conway was living alone in the house that belonged to his mother, who recently moved to a nursing home.

The explosion Thursday blew away the front section of the home. Princeton Acting Fire Chief John Bennett said fire officials believe it was "some sort of gas explosion." The cause of the fire was being investigated.


Crackdown appears unlikely despite absentee ballot scam

The state's top election official says he's reluctant to tighten access to absentee ballots, even after a Massachusetts state lawmaker agreed to plead guilty to casting invalid absentee ballots.

State Secretary William Galvin said he wants to know who might have helped Rep. Stephen Smith. But he said clamping down on absentee ballots could make it harder for some voters, including overseas military personnel.

Prosecutors said that in 2009 and 2010, Smith obtained absentee ballots for voters who were ineligible or unaware. They said in other cases, the 57-year-old Everett Democrat would intercept the ballots and cast them himself.

Smith has agreed to resign and not seek elected office for five years.


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