Sunday, March 9, 2014
From news service reports
State trooper shoots, kills New Bedford motorist
State police say a 41-year-old New Bedford man was shot and killed by a veteran state trooper responding to a report of an erratic driver.
Police identified the man as Wilfredo Justiniano Jr.
State police commander Col. Timothy Alben said a concerned woman called Milton police just before 8 a.m. Friday to report an erratic driver who may have been having a medical emergency on Route 28 in Quincy.
Milton police transferred the call to state police, who sent a 25-year veteran. Alben said the trooper and the man were involved in a "violent confrontation" in which the man was shot. Alben didn't say whether the man was armed.
State police and the Norfolk district attorney's office are investigating.
Motorcycle parade shoots for fundraising record
As New Hampshire Motorcycle Week wraps up this weekend, several organizations hope to break a Guinness world record for "most money raised for a charity in 24 hours by a motorcycle parade."
Bikers are invited to ride around the New Hampshire Motor Speedway track Saturday, then continue on a 32-mile ride around the Lakes Region.
The goal is to raise over $76,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of New Hampshire and set the record.
Riders can pre-register online at www.newhampshire.speedwaycharities.org, in person at the Laconia Harley-Davidson dealership in Meredith, or sign up at the speedway Saturday for the 9:30 a.m. ride.
Individuals and businesses can make donations to the event from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday at the speedway.
Three beaches reopened, five others remain closed
Three Rhode Island beaches have been reopened to swimmers after they were temporarily closed because of high bacteria counts.
The state's Department of Health said Narragansett Town Beach, North Kingstown Town Beach and Barrington Town Beach all reopened to swimming Friday.
Five beaches remain closed to swimming. They are Fort Adams State Park Beach in Newport and Conimicut Point Beach, Goddard Memorial State Park Beach, City Park Beach and Oakland Beach in Warwick.
Those beaches will be reopened to swimming after water quality tests find a safe level of bacteria.
The health department routinely monitors water quality at the state's public beaches throughout the summer months.
Casino holds early preview ahead of grand opening
Roulette wheels spun for the first time at Twin River on Friday as the facility held an early opening for invited guests ahead of its grand opening as a casino next week.
The Lincoln slots parlor is expanding to offer Las Vegas-style games including blackjack and craps following a successful voter referendum last fall. Friday's soft opening amounted to a test run before Twin River's casino games formally start next week.
Twin River spent the winter and spring hiring hundreds of workers, renovating space for the new games and passing a litany of state licensing requirements.
Friday's soft opening was a success, said Patti Doyle, a spokeswoman for Twin River. Another soft opening is set for Monday, when members of the public will be allowed to participate. A formal ribbon-cutting is planned for Wednesday.
Voters approved the casino games after company officials and many state lawmakers said they would help Twin River compete with casinos now authorized to be built in Massachusetts.
Lawmakers find agreement but postpone budget talks
New Hampshire House and Senate negotiators tentatively agreed Friday to increase spending on services for the disabled and mentally ill, but have yet to resolve their major differences over a new $10.7 billion state budget.
Negotiators agreed to many spending and policy decisions that were common to the House and Senate versions of the budget for the two years beginning July 1.
They postponed until next week discussions about their differences over how to pay for the budget and whether to expand Medicaid to an estimated 58,000 poor adults under the federal health care overhaul law.
The House put discussion on all those topics on hold until Monday.
The Republican-led Senate rejected a 20-cent increase in the tobacco tax and delaying implementation of tax breaks for businesses. The Democratic-controlled House does not like a $50 million Senate-proposed cut in staff and benefits.
The House also proposes expanding Medicaid; the Senate wants to establish a commission to study the issue.
Cellucci's personal legacy recalled at funeral Mass
Former Gov. Argeo Paul Cellucci was remembered Friday for his kindness and the courage he showed facing the disease that ultimately took his life.
Hundreds of mourners filled a funeral Mass at St. Michael Parish Church in Hudson, where Cellucci grew up and lived his entire life. A contingent of state troopers carried Cellucci's coffin past attendees, including former governors Mitt Romney and William Weld and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Cellucci died June 8 at age 65, about two and a half years after he disclosed he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
The Republican was praised at a Statehouse ceremony Thursday for his decency and willingness to work across the aisle in his heavily Democratic state. But on Friday, the Rev. Ronald Calhoun said the service in the church where Cellucci once served as an altar boy would focus on Cellucci's personal legacy.