September 17, 2013

New England Dispatches

From news service reports


Donation-collection boot stolen from fire station

A firefighter's boot placed outside a Boston fire station to collect money for charity has been stolen, and people are outraged.

The boot, attached to a metal lock box, has been outside the North End fire station for years, and in that time has collected thousands of dollars from passers-by to fight muscular dystrophy.

But in the past few days, someone grabbed the boot and the box, getting away with a couple of hundred dollars.

The empty boot and box were found nearby in the fountain near the Paul Revere statue. The boot had been cut open and the cash was gone. Lt. David McCann told WBZ-TV it was "a very low thing to do." McCann says the boot will be back, but watched a little more closely.


Homeless man turns in money-filled backpack

Boston police say a homeless man who found a backpack containing tens of thousands of dollars in cash and traveler's checks turned it over to authorities.

The man, whose name was not made public, found the backpack at the South Bay Mall in the city's Dorchester neighborhood at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. He flagged down patrolling officers and handed it over.

The backpack contained $2,400 in U.S. currency, almost $40,000 in traveler's checks, Chinese passports and other personal papers.

Meanwhile, the man who lost the backpack informed workers at the Best Buy store at the mall. The man was taken to the police station, where he was confirmed as the rightful owner.


Prosecutors will not file charges against priest

An attorney for a Lynn priest says prosecutors won't file charges against the clergyman, who was accused a year ago of sexually abusing a child.

The Essex district attorney's office and the Lynn Police Department recently closed their investigation of the Rev. James Gaudreau, the priest's attorney, Frank L. McNamara Jr. told the Boston Globe.

Essex district attorney spokeswoman Carrie Kimball-Monahan confirmed that no charges have been filed against Gaudreau, but she wouldn't comment further, including on whether the investigation was complete.

She cited the office's policy to decline to comment on investigations.

A spokesman for the Boston Archdiocese said its investigation is continuing and Gaudreau will remain on leave and barred from public ministry until it's complete.


Fewer loons hatched and fewer survived this year

A committee that seeks to protect New Hampshire's loons says fewer birds hatched this year and of those, fewer survived.

Dr. Harry Vogel, senior biologist and executive director of the Loon Preservation Committee, tells WMUR-TV that 153 of the threatened birds hatched statewide this summer, down from 170 last year.

He says 115 survived, down from 134 in 2012. Vogel says the adult population remained stable at 283 loon pairs. That number has been right around 280 for several years.

Committee staff observe the birds throughout the summer before the birds fly out to the ocean or go south for the winter.


State senator donates $300,000 to museum

A New Hampshire state senator has made a $300,000 donation to the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth to construct an expanded visitor's center.

Martha Fuller Clark, a Portsmouth Democrat, said she hopes the project, which includes a new cafe along with 50 percent more space in the lecture hall, will bring more people to the 10-acre outdoor history museum.

Fuller Clark's mother, Marion Fuller, was one of the founders of Strawbery Banke, which is a National Historic Landmark.


Resident gets long-sought permit for wind turbine

A Newport resident who has been battling for years to install a wind turbine on his property that is connected to the power grid has received a building permit.

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