September 7, 2013

New England Dispatches

From news service reports

CONCORD, N.H.

State getting $2.4 million to assist victims of crime

New Hampshire's Department of Justice is getting nearly $2.4 million in federal grants to help crime victims.

The funding is part of the U.S. Department of Justice's Victims of Crime Act assistance programs, which provide funds to victims and state and community-based advocacy groups.

Most will go toward child advocacy groups, domestic assault prevention agencies and other community-based organizations for staffing and support. The rest will go directly to victims, covering lost wages, relocation assistance and other costs.

BOSTON

List of unclaimed property totals more than $2.4 billion

The Massachusetts treasurer's office says more than 51,000 names have been added to the state's list of unclaimed property owners in the past six months.

The latest additions exceed $75 million and bring to more than $2.4 billion the total amount of unclaimed property being held by the state.

Treasurer Steven Grossman said the latest list includes about $40 million owed to beneficiaries of insurance policies that were uncovered in an audit of life insurance companies that was initiated by his office.

Unclaimed property can also include forgotten savings and checking accounts, stocks, dividends and contents of safe deposit boxes.

Accounts are generally considered abandoned and turned over to the state treasury if there has been no activity in three years.

 

City's agreement deals casino mogul a big win

The city of Boston has dropped its request to be considered as a potential host community for a resort casino proposed by Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn in neighboring Everett.

The state gambling commission announced at its meeting on Friday that Boston had agreed instead to accept the status as a surrounding community, which under the state's casino law will allow the city to negotiate compensation from Wynn but will not give Boston a direct say or vote in whether the project goes forward.

The agreement is a significant victory for Wynn. Had Boston been designated as a host community, Wynn would have been forced to negotiate a host community agreement with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino -- an unlikely prospect given Menino's strong support for a competing casino plan at Suffolk Downs

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass.

Embattled statue of virgin on traffic island is smashed

A Massachusetts pizza shop-owner says he's heartbroken that someone smashed a statue of the Virgin Mary he had placed on a traffic island.

Antonio Liquori, owner of Liquori's Pizzeria, placed the statue on the West Springfield island last year as part of a city beautification project.

But people complained, and the city in May ordered him to take it down because it violated the constitutional separation of church and state. He did, but Mayor Gregory Neffinger allowed Liquori to put it back, pending a legal opinion.

Liquori told The Springfield Republican someone smashed the statue last month while he was in Italy.

WESTERLY, R.I.

A mile from quarry, school will be tested for stone dust

A Westerly elementary school located near a quarry that has been the subject of complaints by neighbors will be tested for stone dust.

The Westerly Sun reported that Superintendent Roy Seitsinger Jr. told the school committee Wednesday that environmental tests will be set up at the Bradford school property within a week to 10 days.

The school is just over a mile from Copar Quarries.

Residents near the quarry have complained that crystalline stone dust from the quarry is coating their properties. The state Department of Environmental Management has cited the quarry for allowing dust to blow off its site.

 

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