January 31, 2013

New England Dispatches

From new service reports


Police say 'problem' cows caused damage at cemetery

The vandals that damaged a Massachusetts cemetery this week have pleaded "moo."

Police say a small herd of cows knocked over 40 American flags and veterans' bronze grave markers, then snacked on a few flower arrangements at the Center Cemetery in Southampton on Monday.

Motorists called to report that the cows were loose. Police contacted the owner, Henry Wykowski, who caught and removed the cows from the cemetery.

Chief David Silvernail said the cows are an "ongoing problem," and his department has responded to complaints about the roaming bovines three or four times since last spring.

Cemetery Commission member Robert Floyd told The Daily Hampshire Gazette he plans on asking the farmer to pay for the damage once he comes up with an estimate.


House gives lawmaker time to amend social media bill

New Hampshire's House is considering what happens to Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts after the user's death.

The House voted 222-128 Wednesday to give state Rep. Peter Sullivan, the sponsor of a bill that would have given control to the executor of the deceased person's estate, time to instead write an amendment that establishes a study of the issue.

Sullivan faced tough odds winning passage of his original proposal. A majority of the House Judiciary Committee recommended that the House kill the bill as unenforceable and premature.

Opponents argued contracts between the user and the social media site outline what happens when the user dies.

Sullivan had argued New Hampshire should join five other states that have laws on what happens to social media accounts after death.?


Port of Davisville handles its most auto imports ever

Rhode Island state leaders are celebrating a record year for auto imports at the Port of Davisville at Quonset Point.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced Wednesday that in 2012 the port handled more than 172,000 automobiles imported by ship. Another 43,000 vehicles came in by rail or truck.

The number of vehicles shipped to Davisville is 14 percent higher than in 2011, when the Port of Davisville was ranked the seventh largest auto-importer in North America.

Chafee said the record numbers are "another success story" at Quonset, which has seen imports steadily increase in recent years.

Quonset Business Park is home to more than 175 companies employing 9,100 people.


Suspect in fatal stabbing described as easy to anger

Some residents of the small Vermont hometown of a man charged with stabbing to death a 70-year-old woman at a New Hampshire hotel say the suspect was known for having a short fuse.

Prosecutors said 37-year-old Rodney Hill of West Danville repeatedly stabbed the woman Monday night in the lobby of the Hampton Inn in Littleton, N.H., where both were staying. Officials said they were strangers and called it a random attack.

Catherine Houghton of Novato, Calif., died at a local hospital shortly after the attack.

A man who owns a country store and cafe that Hill frequented said Hill was in the store making a ruckus the day before the attack.

Jeff Downs, owner of Joe's Pond Country Store, said it didn't take much to set Hill off.


Vermont Teddy Bear Co. prices new bear at $30,000

The Vermont Teddy Bear Co. is touting what it claims as the world's most expensive teddy bear, just in time for Valentine's Day.

The Shelburne-based company has put a $30,000 price on the 4-foot-tall bear it is calling The Big Hunka Love Diamond Bear.

That's because the bulk of the price is the 5.9 carat, one-of-a-kind "fire rose" diamond ring made by Perrywinkle's Fine Jewelry in Burlington.

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