May 21, 2013

New England Dispatches

From news service reports


Arlo Guthrie's journey retraced for fundraiser

About 130 people have retraced Arlo Guthrie's journey immortalized in the song "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" to raise money and awareness for Huntington's disease.

The six-mile "Guthrie Historic Garbage Trail Walk," now in its 13th year, runs from the former Alice's Restaurant in Stockbridge to the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington.

Guthrie's father, Woody Guthrie, died of complications from the neuromuscular disorder in 1967.

The walk Sunday roughly followed the route covered by Arlo Guthrie and a friend in 1965 after a Thanksgiving Day dinner at Alice's Restaurant. Guthrie and his friend were arrested for littering after they dumped trash down an embankment because the town dump was closed.

The Berkshire Eagle reported that the amount raised has yet to be determined, but last year's walk raised about $10,000.


N.H. authorities confirm rabid raccoons in town

New Hampshire authorities say they've confirmed two cases of rabies in raccoons in the town of Hanover.

Hanover police said they responded to complaints of "strange-acting" raccoons in town last week. In both instances, the raccoons had come in contact with domestic animals.

Police said the raccoons were destroyed and tested for rabies at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services laboratory in Concord. It was determined that both raccoons had rabies.

Police are asking residents, if they see any other "strange acting" wild or domestic animals in Hanover, to call police for assistance. They also asked that domestic pets be restrained and properly vaccinated.

People can get rabies through exposure to salvia or nervous system tissue from an infected animal. The disease is almost always fatal if people don't get proper post-exposure treatment.

Rabies testing is provided free of charge when an animal of concern has had direct exposure to a person or domestic animal in New Hampshire.


Vermont Yankee owner gets court date in June

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing on June 4 on a challenge by the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

Entergy Corp. sued the state last month, saying regulators have delayed approval of a backup emergency diesel generator.

Yankee has been ordered by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to install a backup power source by September.

Vermont Public Radio reported Yankee said it needs to start construction by June 11 to get the equipment on line by September.

The state Public Service Board hasn't granted a permit. In April, it said it is considering whether it can grant approval when Entergy "is not in compliance" with existing state orders covering Yankee's continued operation.


Physician-assisted suicide now allowed in Vermont

Vermont is now the fourth state in the country that allows physician-assisted suicide.

The law, which allows physicians to prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill patients, took effect Monday when it was signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin.

But it could be some time before the first person is able to take advantage of the law.

Dick Walters of the group End of Life Choices said he doesn't think many people will take advantage of the law to end their lives, but it will improve end-of-life options for Vermonters.

For the first three years, the new Vermont law will include a requirement that patients state three times -- once in writing -- that they wish to die.


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