March 7, 2013

New England Dispatches

From news service reports


Lawmakers support using Pease air base for refueling

The four members of New Hampshire's Congressional delegation say the Pease Air National Guard Base in Portsmouth is the "optimal" location for a new line of air refueling tankers.

Pease, home to the 157th Air Refueling Wing, is one of five finalists for the new KC-46A tanker.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte and Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster have sent a letter to Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke, the new director of the Air National Guard, expressing their support for the tankers in Portsmouth.

They say in their letter they believe Pease's strategic location, low operating costs, high aircraft utilization rates, and mature active-duty association, make it the ideal, cost-effective Air National Guard solution for the KC-46A.

The Air Force is surveying Pease and the other candidates.


Man, 20, turns violent over bedroom switch at home

Police say they arrested a 20-year-old Fitchburg man who flew into a rage when his mother asked him to switch bedrooms with his sister, kicking a door off its hinges and pushing the younger woman several times.

Kyle Singleton was charged Monday with assault and battery and malicious destruction of property.

He was released on $100 bail after pleading not guilty.

Police say Singleton kicked the bedroom door so hard it was knocked off its hinges and damaged the wall. Singleton also allegedly pushed his 18-year-old sister multiple times as she brought her belongings into the bedroom. Another brother called police and restrained Singleton until they arrived.

The Sentinel and Enterprise reports that when placed in a police cruiser, Singleton screamed, kicked and banged his head against the door.


ACLU cites drug-lab scandal in request to Supreme Court

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts is asking the state's highest court to get involved in a state drug-lab scandal that threatens to derail thousands of criminal cases.

The ACLU is asking the Supreme Judicial Court to find that all defendants whose cases were handled by former state chemist Annie Dookhan have a presumptive right to have their sentences put on hold while motions for new trials are pending.

Dookhan is accused of faking test results and tampering with evidence.

The court is scheduled to hear two cases next month in which Essex County prosecutors are asking the court to clarify whether special magistrates appointed to handle Dookhan cases have the right to put a defendant's sentence on hold and release him from jail before his motion for a new trial is decided.


Governor looks to forgive $6 million owed by towns

Gov. Peter Shumlin wants to forgive about $6 million that several Vermont cities and towns owe the state in connection with special tax districts designed to promote economic development.

Speaking at a news conference in Winooski on Wednesday, Shumlin said his administration will introduce legislation shortly that would clarify the rules governing so-called tax increment financing districts.

The municipalities dispute last year's finding by former auditor Tom Salmon that they misapplied the law and owe the state the money.

Shumlin said he wants to clarify the loss so that there are no such disputes in the future. He called the districts an important tool for revitalizing Vermont's downtowns.


Dog quarantined after biting alleged attacker

Woonsocket police say a pit bull is confined to its home under a 10-day quarantine after biting a man who allegedly attacked its owner and another person with a golf club this week.

Police say 38-year Matthew Jones of Boston was bitten several times by the dog Monday after he struck two people in the head with the club during a fight outside a Grove Street apartment.

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