December 28, 2012

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

(Continued from page 1)

The 17-year-old had been held since his arrest on Dec. 21.

He told police he was joking. The Sun Chronicle reported that his lawyer argued in court that the junior had no access to guns, no history of discipline problems and no criminal record.

Prosecutors argued that all threats need to be taken seriously given the shootings in Newtown, Conn.


Residents invited to donate Christmas trees to goat farm

Residents of the Amherst area have a new option this year to get rid of their Christmas trees -- give them to goats.

Hope Crolius owns a business that offers her seven goats to eat cleared brush.

Now she's inviting residents to drop off their Christmas trees at her farm to feed the animals.

Crolius told The Daily Hampshire Gazette the goats enjoy pine, balsam fir, hemlock, spruce and other evergreens, which contain vitamin C and other nutrients. The needles on the trees can act as dewormers.

She said it's also a way to keep the trees out of a landfill.

Of course, residents can still bring their discarded Christmas trees to the transfer station at no charge.


Woman gets 35 years to life for killing former boyfriend

A Londonderry woman has been sentenced to 35 years to life in prison for killing her former boyfriend.

Thirty-nine-year-old Nicole LeBlanc pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Friday as part of a plea deal.

The Eagle Tribune reported that LeBlanc was originally charged with first-degree murder for shooting 43-year-old Richard Mannion Jr. of Sandown at his home on Jan. 14.

LeBlanc had been charged with assaulting Mannion on Aug. 18. She pleaded not guilty to the charge in November. She had been ordered to stay away from Mannion for 90 days.


ACLU questions ordinance that restricts panhandlers

The Rutland Town Select Board is moving to restrict panhandlers, but the Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is raising questions about the move.

An ordinance that takes effect in February if no one petitions against it places several restrictions on people asking for money.

The Rutland Herald said the ordinance prohibits soliciting anyone waiting in line, in a parking lot or within 15 feet of a building entrance, public toilet, ATM, bus stop, handicapped parking space, pay phone, public information booth, financial institution or check cashing business.

Town officials said they modeled it on an ordinance on the books in Burlington.

But ACLU lawyer Dan Barrett said the ordinance may not be a good idea. He said it might not withstand a court challenge.


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