February 16, 2013

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

CONCORD, N.H.

Man arrested in apparent driver's license scam

New Hampshire State Police investigators are trying to determine the true identity of a man they say tried to get a driver's license after presenting another person's identification.

Police say a subject who identified himself as 26-year-old Oscar Rodriguez, of Lawrence, Mass., was arrested Friday in Concord on multiple counts of tampering with public records and unsworn falsification.

Police were called after Rodriguez allegedly tried to obtain a New Hampshire driver's license using another person's identity at the Department of Motor Vehicle's office in Concord.

Rodriguez is being held on $20,000 cash bail pending his arraignment next week.

Police were assisted in the investigation by members of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Man accused of stealing from Little League funds

Police say the former president of a Little League group in New Hampshire has been arrested on suspicion of stealing over $4,000 from the league's accounts.

Police say Robert Lachapelle of Concord is accused of transferring funds out of the Concord Northeast Baseball and Softball League's account in 2010 and writing a check.

Officials began investigating the league's finances when Lachapelle left in 2011. They contacted police in April 2012.

The 54-year-old Lachapelle was released on $15,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on March 18. It was not immediately known if he had a lawyer.

Lachapelle was league president from 2007 to 2011.

WATERBURY, Vt.

Town to get $950,000 for new affordable housing

The federal government is going to contribute $950,000 as part of a plan to build 27 units of affordable housing in a Vermont state office building in Waterbury made unusable by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.

Gov. Peter Shumlin and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy on Friday announced the grant for the $6 million project on the building that fronts on Main Street.

The plan for the building known as Ladd Hall is the first concrete step in the rehabilitation of the Waterbury complex that was largely abandoned after it was damaged by the 2011 flood.

A portion of the building was constructed in the 1890s. An addition was added in the 1950s. Prior to Irene the building was used as state offices.

It's hoped construction can begin by year's end.

JAY, Vt.

Wind-power project wants to boost its output to grid

Vermont's Green Mountain Power wants permission to install equipment that will boost the amount of electricity that its turbines in the Lowell Mountain wind project can put out in the New England grid.

The Caledonian-Record reports Lowell wind operators noticed Tuesday that three of the 21 turbines were not producing electricity. They said capacity has been curtailed by ISO-New England, which runs the New England grid.

That was a concern of the chair of the governor's Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission, which was on a tour of the wind project Tuesday.

Green Mountain Power is asking the Vermont Public Service Board to approve its plan. A hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Jay town hall

SANDWICH, Mass.

Police officer pleads not guilty in vehicle-ramming

A Sandwich police officer has pleaded not guilty to charges including assault with intent to murder after allegedly ramming a relative's vehicle.

Forty-six-year-old Michael Hoadley declined to comment when he arrived for his arraignment Friday in Barnstable District Court. He also is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, domestic assault and battery, operating to endanger and leaving the scene of an accident.

District Attorney Michael O'Keefe said Hoadley was released under electronic monitoring and a restraining order not to contact the relative.

Sandwich police said Hoadley was arrested just before midnight Thursday. He allegedly drove his car into the rear of his family member's vehicle several times on Route 6 Thursday night, forcing the other vehicle into the median. The driver, whose name wasn't disclosed, wasn't injured. Hoadley has been placed on paid leave.

BOSTON

Democratic primary rivals both call for six debates

Congressman Edward Markey is proposing a debate schedule for the Democratic U.S. Senate primary which he said would include two general debates and four issue-specific debates.

Markey said Friday the two general debates should be held in Springfield and Boston while the four issue debates should be held at other locations.

Markey's Democratic rival -- fellow U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch -- has also called for six debates in the primary.

Lynch has said the debates should take place in Lowell, Boston, Springfield, Worcester, Pittsfield, and Fall River or New Bedford.

Markey said the issue debates should focus on topics like education, jobs and the economy, public safety and national security, and equal opportunity.

The Democratic and Republican primaries are scheduled for April 30. The election is June 25. 

Ex-housing official to plead guilty on salary reporting

The former director of the Chelsea Housing Authority plans to plead guilty to four federal counts of falsely reporting his salary.

Michael McLaughlin was charged last month with knowingly concealing his salary in annual housing authority budgets from 2008 to 2011 and submitting them to state and federal housing regulators.

Authorities allege that in Fiscal Year 2011, McLaughlin reported his annual salary as $160,415, when his actual salary was at least $283,471 and his total compensation was at least $324,896. He is also accused of falsely reporting his income in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

A plea agreement filed in court Friday says McLaughlin will plead guilty to all four charges. A hearing is scheduled Tuesday in U.S. District Court. McLaughlin resigned in 2011. 

Grocery worker claims self-defense in stabbing

A grocery store worker in Boston's Back Bay has pleaded not guilty to assault in the stabbing of a customer, which his lawyer says was self-defense.

Forty-nine-year-old Michael Guess was held on $250,000 cash bail after his arraignment Friday. Prosecutors said the 30-year-old Cambridge man who was stabbed in the abdomen has life-threatening injuries.

Prosecutors said the man called police at 10 p.m. Thursday, saying he'd been stabbed by a Trader Joe's store employee after a confrontation.

Police said Guess told investigators he exchanged words with the man when he tried to enter the store at closing, then again when the man left after buying something.

Guess's defense attorney said the man was drunk, verbally abusive and made a threatening move toward his client.

California-based Trader Joe's says the incident is "unfortunate" and it is cooperating with the authorities.

PROVIDENCE. R.I.

Advocate for homeless, 50, dies after battling cancer

John J. Joyce III, a homeless advocate and outreach worker who helped write the "Homeless Bill of Rights" enacted in Rhode Island last year, has died. He was 50.

Jim Ryczek, executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, told The Associated Press that Joyce died at home in Providence on Thursday after a battle with cancer.

The Providence native was co-director of the Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project, a grassroots organization, and was formerly homeless himself. In 2009, he was among those who organized a high-profile tent city in Providence known as Camp Runamuck to draw attention to the problem of homelessness.

Last year, he successfully helped push the passage of a homeless bill of rights that prevents governments, health care workers, employers and others from treating homeless people unfairly because of their housing status.

On the day the General Assembly approved it in June, Joyce said he wished the legislation weren't necessary.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.

Swim classes suspended after boy, 12, found dead

Authorities in Springfield say a 12-year-old boy has died during a middle school swimming class, and city and school officials are promising a full investigation.

Police and school officials say the boy was found dead at about 2:30 p.m. during a regular physical education class at Kiley Middle School, about half an hour before school ended.

Police said the boy, whose name isn't being released, was pronounced dead at Baystate Medical Center.

School Superintendent Daniel Warwick told reporters at a news conference at the school that he doesn't immediately know how many children were in the class, which was being supervised by a physical education instructor. He said swimming classes are suspended until an investigation is complete.

Warwick said "our deep-felt condolences go out to the family."

Mayor Dominic Sarno said the tragedy has affected the entire city.

 

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