March 20, 2013

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

(Continued from page 1)

The Bennington Banner reported that police responded to a crash Feb. 25. The car had a shattered windshield, tire damage and the shape of what appeared to be a yellow highway sign on the hood. Taylor said her estranged husband had vandalized her car after the two argued.

She eventually said she crashed the car into a sign.


Student group: NECAP test too difficult, even for adults

A Providence student group says the results of a mock test last weekend show problems with a standardized test that Rhode Island high school students will have to pass to graduate starting next year.

The Providence Student Union said 60 percent of 50 adults failed the math portion of the New England Common Assessment Program test.

The group called the test unfair and asked prominent adults in the community to take a sample version to see how hard it is.

The latest test scores show that many members of the class of 2014 are at risk of not graduating next year. Forty percent of 11th-graders scored in the lowest-performing category in math on the NECAP test.


Stomach illness sickens Brown University students

Brown University has reported an outbreak of stomach illness to Rhode Island's health department.

The university said Wednesday that 67 students have reported a gastrointestinal illness that generally comes on quickly and subsides in a day or two. A spokeswoman said 18 students went to the emergency room, and one was admitted.

She said another 49 have called University Health Services or were seen there since Sunday.

In an email to students, the health services director said the illness is consistent with a virus, possibly norovirus. Dr. Edward Wheeler said antibiotics aren't effective and most students are recovering with hydration treatment.

He said tests are being conducted to find a cause.


Plastic toy grenade leads to evacuation of residents

Police say a plastic toy grenade uncovered by workers digging at a garage foundation in Manchester, N.H., set off concern and some evacuations.

Police responded to the home about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and saw what appeared to be a grenade partially uncovered in a few feet of dirt.

As a precaution, nearby residents were evacuated and the state police explosives unit was called to investigate the device.

A bomb technician did an X-ray of the item and determined it was safe. Police determined it was a plastic toy grenade.


State suspends teacher over hunting incident

A teacher who allowed a student to leave class to go deer hunting in 2011 has been disciplined by the Vermont Education Agency.

Steven Wunsch, a building trades instructor at Northwest Technical Center in St. Albans, was sanctioned with an 11-day licensing suspension that started Feb. 23 and coincided with the winter break.

That's after a six-week unpaid suspension by the school system in 2012.

Students at the technical center had left to study at a building job site. While there, they spotted a deer. Wunsch gave a 17-year-old student permission to go home, get his gun and shoot it. The teacher and students then posed for a photo next to the deer.


Grandmother also facing charges for starving boy

The mother of a New Hampshire woman convicted of assault for starving a boy is now facing charges in the case.

Prosecutors said Peggy Starr also deprived the boy of food, when he lived in her daughter's home from 2006 to 2010.

Starr's daughter, 34-year-old Christina Thomas of New Durham, was convicted last month of first-degree assault for failing to provide proper nutrition to the developmentally disabled boy, now 9.

Prosecutors said the then-6-year-old boy weighed 23 pounds when the state intervened.

WMUR-TV reported that Starr is scheduled to be arraigned next week on first-degree assault charge.


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