July 27, 2013

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

SALEM, Mass.

Widow of man who drowned during triathlon files lawsuit

The widow of a Massachusetts man who drowned during a triathlon in Vermont last year has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the event's organizers.

Lawyers for Richard Angelo's widow, Cheryl, say Colorado-based USA Triathlon should never have allowed the event to take place in an unusually choppy Lake Champlain, failed to properly train staff in emergency responses, didn't have enough staff on hand, and did not have adequate lifesaving equipment.

The suit filed Wednesday in Salem Superior Court seeks damages for wrongful death, pain and suffering, emotional distress on the part of his widow, and punitive damages.

The 53-year-old Beverly man died last Aug. 18.

A spokesman for USA Triathlon told The Salem News the organization had not yet seen the suit and could not comment on it.

BOSTON

Maine native takes command of historic USS Constitution

The USS Constitution's new commander is another native New Englander.

Cmdr. Sean Kearns was handed command of the historic warship docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston in an onboard change-of-command ceremony Friday morning.

Kearns, from Hampden, Maine, takes over from Cmdr. Matt Bonner, a Meredith, N.H., native who is moving on to a job at the Pentagon.

As commander, Kearns' duties are to protect, promote and preserve the ship and oversee a crew of about 75 active-duty sailors.

The Constitution is the world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat, and sails in Boston Harbor several times per year.

NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass.

Couple dig lottery ticket out of trash, win $1 million

A Massachusetts couple has won $1 million on a scratch-off lottery ticket they dug out of the trash after inadvertently throwing it away.

The state lottery commission says Joseph and Joanne Zagami of North Attleborough bought the $5 ticket from a vending machine.

They stuck the ticket in a bag and forgot about it. The next day, Joseph Zagami asked his wife if she had scratched the ticket. She hadn't. They dug through the trash and found it.

The couple claimed their prize Wednesday, opting for the one-time lump sum payment of $455,000 after taxes. They plan to pay off their mortgage and other bills and take a vacation.

LACONIA, N.H.

Bacteria shuts three of five city beaches to swimming

Three of the five bathing beaches in Laconia, N.H., have "No Swimming" signs because of high levels of fecal coliform bacteria.

The signs were posted Thursday at Bartlett Beach, Opechee Cove and Weirs Beach. The state Department of Environmental Services says that indicates the potential presence of wastewater pollution.

The Citizen reported for years, Laconia's Parks and Recreation Department has struggled to find what is causing the high bacteria counts.

MONTPELIER, VT.

Released sex offender moves to California, governor says

A sex offender deemed at high risk to commit new crimes was released from a Vermont prison on Friday, and Gov. Peter Shumlin said the man was heading to California.

Corrections officials had said last week that Timothy Szad, 53, was to live with family in Springfield after his release, but public outcry led the family to withdraw the offer.

The case highlights a dilemma in releasing sex offenders still deemed dangerous after serving their sentences: Corrections officials and police frequently want to notify the public, but that notification itself can create big problems in getting the person reintegrated into society.

Shumlin and the Corrections Department issued statements Friday saying Szad was going to California.

"I appreciate that the Department of Corrections and others were able to ... find him an appropriate placement in California," Shumlin added.

 

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