January 8, 2013

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

PROVIDENCE, R.I.

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Boston firefighters examine the cargo hold of a Japanese airliner that sustained a small electrical fire following a flight from Tokyo to Logan International Airport on Monday.

The Associated Press

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Roger Mundell Jr. is being treated for rabies after a bobcat pounced on him in his Brookfield garage.

The Associated Press

Catholic diocese urges state to reject gay marriage

The leader of Rhode Island's Roman Catholic Diocese has again entered the debate over gay marriage, calling it "immoral and unnecessary."

Bishop Thomas Tobin released a statement Monday urging lawmakers to drop legislation to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.

Tobin says the Catholic church rejects the "homosexual lifestyle" and says gay marriage threatens religious freedom.

Tobin argues Rhode Island should wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in. He adds that if the state must consider gay marriage, it should be placed before voters as a referendum.

Meanwhile, a coalition of more than 100 leaders from other religious groups issued a statement Monday supporting gay marriage.

Lawmakers are expected to consider gay marriage legislation this year. The five other New England states allow same-sex couples to marry.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.

Conservative pastor seeks dismissal of civil litigation

A federal judge is deciding whether to dismiss a lawsuit against a Massachusetts evangelist for what an East African gay advocacy group claims has been his long campaign of persecution against gays in Uganda.

The judge heard arguments Monday from lawyers for Springfield pastor Scott Lively and from Sexual Minorities Uganda, the plaintiff behind last year's civil action.

Lively's lawyer says the case is an attack on the U.S. Constitution and the right of free speech.

The plaintiff's attorney says Lively conspired with others in Uganda to persecute gays.

The arguments come as Uganda's Parliament could consider an anti-gay bill in February.

While the bill would include jail for some offenses, the lawmaker who authored the original bill told The Associated Press in November that it wouldn't punish some homosexual acts with death, as the earlier legislation had proposed.

DOVER, N.H.

Prosecutors get more time to prepare a homicide case

A judge has granted prosecutors more time to build their case against a man charged with killing a University of New Hampshire student.

Seth Mazzaglia of Dover is accused of suffocating or strangling 19-year-old Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott Oct. 9.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports a judge signed off on the state attorney general's office request for an extension of the time by which they must bring an indictment against Mazzaglia.

Prosecutors now have until the end of February to present their case to a grand jury.

In December, Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley wrote in a motion the state was requesting additional time to interview witnesses and finish "certain investigative steps."

Last month, 19-year-old Kathryn McDonough was accused of lying to police about her whereabouts and interaction with Marriott.

BROCKTON, Mass.

Stray bullet causes minor wound to innocent man

A Brockton man says he's lucky to be alive after a bullet fired in the apartment above came through the ceiling and struck him in the head as he watched TV in the unit below.

Seth Bouldry says the bullet that struck him as he visited his fiancee Sunday night "literally bounced off my head."

The 23-year-old Bouldry says at first he didn't know what happened, he just heard a pop. Then he put his hand to his head and felt blood.

He was taken to the hospital where he received four stitches.

There was an argument in the unit above before the gun was fired.

Police are investigating but did not immediately make an arrest.

Police told him the bullet was slowed down coming through the ceiling.

MONTPELIER, Vt.

State receives $378,000 in federal preservation grants

Vermont has been awarded nearly $378,000 in historic preservation grants.

The grants are part of $22.9 million in historic preservation grants awarded nationwide. Vermont has received 1.6 percent of the total award.

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