January 18, 2013

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt.

Gun show organizers say background checks required

Organizers of a gun show in South Burlington say people who sell firearms from their private collections will be required to do background checks on potential buyers.

The Green Mountain Gun Show will be held this weekend.

Licensed gun dealers are required to do background checks on gun buyers. But gun show organizer Bill Borchers tells the Burlington Free Press that people selling guns from their private collections are not legally required to conduct such checks.

Borchers says he will require all private vendors to do background checks on all buyers following concerns about mass shootings in recent years.

BOSTON

International travel helps Logan airport set record

Boston's Logan International Airport has set another passenger record.

Massachusetts Port Authority officials said more than 29.3 million travelers passed through the airport in 2012.

That's an increase of more than 416,000 passengers over 2011, which was the previous record high year for the airport.

Officials say virtually all of the passenger growth occurred in international travel, which was up 9.8 percent, or an additional 388,000 passengers. Domestic travel was up just a fraction of a percent.

Massport officials say the overall increase in passengers occurred even as the overall number of flights in and out of Logan dropped by more than 14,000, or nearly 4 percent.

There were nearly 356,000 flights in and out of the airport in 2012.

WESTERLY, R.I.

Hospital to close birthing center as numbers decline

The financially struggling Westerly Hospital will stop delivering babies as of June 1.

The Westerly Sun reports that hospital administrators told labor and delivery employees the news this week.

Dr. Christopher Lehrach, the hospital's chief transformation officer-interim operations, called the decision "very, very difficult." He said it follows years of review and uncertainty at the hospital's Women's Health Center. The number of births there has declined significantly.

The June date was set because of the imminent departure of a midwife and the fact that one of the hospital's two remaining obstetrics physicians is also leaving.

Westerly Hospital is in receivership, and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital is seeking to buy it. An L+M spokesman said the hospital supports the decision because of "low patient volume and the staffing shortage.

CLAREMONT, N.H.

Former school principal arrested for shoplifting

Police say a former Vermont school principal has been arrested on a shoplifting charge at a New Hampshire Wal-Mart.

Susan Whittemore of Perkinsville, Vt., was arrested last week in Claremont. She's scheduled to appear in court on March 25.

The Eagle-Times reports 56-year-old Whittemore had taught fourth grade before serving as principal at Union Street Elementary School and Elm Hill Primary School in Springfield. She retired in October 2011.

MONTPELIER, Vt.

Deer-hunt harvest in 2012 rose 14 percent, officials say

The state Fish and Wildlife Department says Vermont deer hunters successfully harvested nearly 14,000 deer in 2012, a 14 percent increase over the previous year.

The totals reflect archery, youth, rifle and muzzleloader harvests.

Officials say last winter's relatively mild weather and shallow snow depths likely contributed to this fall's elevated deer harvest.

The low availability of traditional food sources such as apple orchards and beech and oak stands this past summer and fall also resulted in deer changing their movement patterns.

The department says one of the biggest increases was in archery, which rose 25 percent, to 3,384 deer.

 

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