Banned in 1906, short story by Twain back in circulation

A Massachusetts library has put the Mark Twain work “Eve’s Diary” back on the shelf more than a century after it was banned.

The Charlton Public Library’s trustees this week unanimously voted to return the book to circulation, reversing the board’s 1906 decision to ban the 1905 short story.

Trustee Richard Whitehead said the move was made to coincide with the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week.

The book was written from the perspective of the biblical Eve. It was banned because trustee Frank Wakefield objected to nude illustrations of Eve. Whitehead told The Telegram and Gazette he considers the illustrations works of art.

The 1906 decision drew attention from The New York Times, which reported that Twain was not particularly concerned.


Water main rupture leaves medium-security prison dry

The largest medium-security prison in Massachusetts is without water one day after a water main break.

Officials at MCI Norfolk shut off water to the facility after a water main break around 7:45 p.m. Thursday. Contractors were working to identify and repair the problem Friday.

A state spokeswoman said the facility’s 1,597 inmates have been given drinking water and hand sanitizer, and portable toilets are being used. An alternate menu is also being served. Three inmates with medical needs have been transferred to other facilities.


Astronaut’s letter to parents sells for more than $100,000

A letter future astronaut Alan Shepard wrote to his parents in New Hampshire about trying out for the “Man in Space” program has been sold for more than $100,000.

RR Auction of Amherst said the rare handwritten letter sold Thursday night for $106,228 — about $25,000 more than auction officials had expected.

In the 1959 letter, Shepard, who was born in Derry, N.H., tells his parents that he would volunteer if asked to pilot America’s first mission into space — a job he later won. A rocket-powered suborbital flight on May 5, 1961, made Shepard the first American man in space.

Shepard died in 1998.


Despite claim, records show lawmaker didn’t fight in Iraq

Military service records for a Rhode Island lawmaker who has blamed a string of legal troubles on combat stress he suffered in the 1991 Gulf War indicate he never served in the Middle East.

State Rep. Daniel Gordon’s Marine Corps records, obtained by The Associated Press, list him as an aircraft technician who served from 1987 to 1991 in the U.S. and Japan.

Gordon has said his leg was injured by shrapnel outside Baghdad. Gordon’s records also list no Purple Heart award for an injury.

The Portsmouth Republican is fighting calls for his resignation following his arrest on charges stemming from a 2008 police chase in Massachusetts. The arrest exposed past legal problems, including a four-month sentence in 1999 for assault, an attempted murder charge dismissed in 2004 and a long list of traffic offenses in Massachusetts.

Gordon has said his problems sprang from alcohol abuse relating to post-traumatic stress from his service.

On Friday, Gordon insisted that his service record is incomplete. He said he couldn’t provide evidence of his time in Iraq because many of his photos and keepsakes from his service were destroyed in a house fire when he was living in Fall River, Mass., in 2005.


Body found in wooded area attributed to Hurricane Irene

A 24-year-old Vermont man is Hurricane Irene’s 47th victim.

The chief medical examiner’s office confirmed Friday that the body found in a wooded area in Rutland a day earlier belongs to 24-year-old Michael G. Garofano.

He disappeared Aug. 28 with his father, 55-year-old Michael J. Garofano, after the two went to check on the Rutland water plant during the storm.

The father was the Rutland water plant operator. He and his son were concerned about the storm’s impact on a brook that feeds into the reservoir.

Relatives believe a riverbank collapsed underneath them.

The elder Garofano’s body was found the next day. A funeral Mass was held for the pair 12 days after they went missing.

The U.S. death toll from Irene stands at 47 people in 13 states.

— From news service reports