Friday, March 7, 2014
From news service reports
Officials oppose extending tax on power generation
The attorneys general of Massachusetts and Rhode Island say a proposal by Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to continue a tax on generating electricity will add to the burden of New England ratepayers. They've asked that it be scrapped.
Martha Coakley in Massachusetts and Rhode Island's Peter Kilmartin told Connecticut officials in a letter on Thursday that a 2011 study found that generators reaped a windfall as a result of higher prices caused by the tax. They say New England ratepayers were likely to pay about $58 million more to purchase electricity.
Coakley and Kilmartin say the region's relatively high electricity costs are a drag on the economy.
Malloy has proposed extending the tax another two years, raising about $70 million. A spokesman says energy rates are down 12 percent in Connecticut since the tax was established.
Lawmakers seek to hold nuke plant owner to pledge
Vermont lawmakers are looking to firm up a promise made by the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant that it would take extra steps to clean up the plant's Vernon site after it shuts down.
Entergy Corp. promised when it bought Vermont Yankee in 2002 that it would take steps beyond the minimum required by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to restore the Vermont Yankee site to a green field after electricity is no longer being made there.
The move comes against the backdrop of what the state says are a series of broken promises by Entergy relating to Vermont Yankee.
Doctor settles gender bias lawsuit against hospital
A Harvard Medical School doctor has settled a gender discrimination lawsuit against Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for $7 million.
Dr. Carol Warfield, who became chief of anesthesia at Beth Israel in 2000, said former surgery chief Dr. Josef Fischer discriminated against her because she is a woman, openly ignoring her in meetings and lobbying for her removal. When she complained to former chief executive Paul Levy, she alleged both men retaliated and forced her out.
As part of the settlement announced Wednesday, the Harvard-affiliated hospital will name its pain clinic after Warfield.
Warfield tells The Boston Globe she's "delighted."
The hospital and the defendants did not admit any wrongdoing, but the hospital agreed to "reaffirm and clarify its policies and procedures" for employees reporting discrimination and retaliation.
Acting principal of school suspected of credit fraud
The acting principal of a Boston high school has been placed on administrative leave after school officials found he's under investigation for his alleged role in a multi-state credit fraud ring.
A spokesman for Boston public schools tells The Boston Globe that Queon Jackson was placed on leave from his position at Madison Park Vocational Technical High School on Wednesday.
School officials placed the 39-year-old Jackson on leave as soon as they learned he has been under investigation by the U.S. Secret Service in allegedly fraudulently obtaining credit and then not paying the bills.
Jackson could not be reached for comment.
Fourteen arrested on charges involving variety of drugs
Police have arrested 14 people in New Hampshire's Lakes Region on a variety of drug charges.
Those arrested range in age from their teens to the 60s. They are accused of illegally possessing and/or distributing drugs such as painkillers, marijuana, heroin and crack-cocaine.
Two of the arrests came within 1,000 feet of Laconia High School, which meant more serious charges.
All of those arrested were booked at Laconia Police headquarters and released on personal-recognizance bond. They are scheduled to appear for arraignment in April in Laconia district court.
Another raise proposed in state's minimum wage
Some Rhode Island lawmakers propose raising the state's minimum wage, just a month after the last increase.
Legislation reviewed by a panel of lawmakers this week would increase the hourly wage from $7.75 to $8.25, beginning Jan. 1 of next year.
Under the proposal the wage would be automatically adjusted for inflation each year beginning in 2015.
Lawmakers voted last year to increase the wage by 35 cents. It was the first increase since 2007.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
Man sentenced to life for molesting 6-year-old
A Pawtucket man who had two child molestation convictions overturned by the state Supreme Court has been sentenced to life in prison for molesting a 6-year-old boy.
Sixty-year-old James Oliveira was sentenced Wednesday in Superior Court in Providence.
Oliveira was first convicted of molesting the boy in 2006 and sentenced to 40 years in prison. But the state Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 2008 and ordered a new trial, saying a jailhouse interview Oliveira gave to a child protective investigator shouldn't have been allowed as evidence at his trial.
He was retried last year and a jury found him guilty again in October.
Oliveira also was convicted of molesting another child in 1985, but the state Supreme Court overturned that conviction in 1990.
YMCA employees fired after baby is left alone
Two employees have been fired and the state has launched an investigation after a baby was left unattended for several minutes at a Salem YMCA babysitting room.
A Lynn woman told police she went to the Y to work out and dropped her 10-month-old son in the child care room at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The woman said she returned at about 2 p.m. and found the room dark and unattended. She found her son sleeping in a crib, unharmed.
YMCA officials tell The Salem News the child care room closes at 2 p.m. and the workers left five minutes early thinking all the children had been picked up. The baby was unattended for two to five minutes.
State child welfare officials say they have been informed and are investigating.
N.H. company settles suits from music festival accident
A New Hampshire company has settled two lawsuits stemming from a fatal accident at a music festival in West Virginia.
U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley approved National Event Services' settlements with Yen Ton and Elizabeth Rose Doran last week. Court documents don't list the settlement amounts.
Ton and Doran were injured during the 2011 All Good Music Festival when a pickup truck crashed into a tent where they were sleeping. Their friend, Nicole Miller, was killed. All three were from Mount Pleasant, S.C.
National Event Services was a subcontractor for the festival.
The Dominion Post reports that two other defendants, M&M Parking Inc., of Pennsylvania, and Event Staffing Inc., of Virginia, were dismissed from the cases.
Ton and Doran reached settlements with several other defendants last year.