Coalition urges state to tax purchases

A statewide coalition of small businesses, elected officials and labor unions has called on the state to force online giant Inc. to collect sales tax on purchases.

The Massachusetts Main Street Fairness Coalition penned a letter Thursday to Amy Pitter, the state’s revenue commissioner, demanding action in correcting what they say is a “disparity in state sales tax collection.”

In the letter, the group urges the commissioner to force the company to collect the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax by July 1, saying local businesses are struggling to compete with tax-free online merchants.

Currently, Amazon, which is in the process of opening an office in Cambridge, does not collect the Massachusetts sales tax for purchases made by state residents.

Because Amazon has an office in Massachusetts, the coalition said, the online giant should be subject to the same tax requirements that other physical businesses are throughout the state.


Mayor: More hospital systems to make voluntary payments

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says two more local hospital systems have agreed to make voluntary payments to the cash-strapped city.

Taveras announced the agreements Friday. He has asked the city’s largest tax-exempt organizations to increase their voluntary contributions to help the city avoid bankruptcy.

Care New England, which operates Butler Hospital and Women & Infants Hospital, will contribute $250,000 each year for four years.

CharterCARE Health Partners has agreed to pay $100,000 to the city annually for three years. The group operates Roger Williams Medical center and St. Joseph Health Services.

Lifespan, another hospital group, has also agreed to make voluntary payments to the city. Brown University and Johnson & Wales University have agreed to increase their voluntary payments.


After getting out to unhook trailer, woman hit by truck

Police say a woman driving a dump truck was run over by the vehicle after she left it running to unhook a trailer.

The Caledonian-Record reported that Kelly Conant, 44, was in good condition Friday at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. The accident happened Thursday morning on Interstate 91 in Orleans.

Police said Conant left the truck running and got out to unhook the trailer.

The truck started to roll downhill. She tried to board the truck as it was moving, then fell off the running board. Police said she was run over by the truck’s rear tires, resulting in serious injuries to her right leg.


Stubborn snapping turtle removed from airport lot

It wasn’t your typical police call.

Two officers in Portsmouth were summoned to a parking lot at the Pease International Tradeport for an uncooperative turtle that wouldn’t move from beneath a row of cars. It was blocking a driver from pulling out of a parking space Thursday.

The Portsmouth Herald reported that the snapping turtle eventually moved — only to position itself beneath a motorcycle.

The officers at first attempted to coax the turtle out by attempting to have it bite onto a stick. They also considered picking it up, but didn’t have any safety gloves.

Eventually, the motorcyclist had to move his bike, allowing the officers to trap the turtle in a box using the stick. It was placed in the nearby woods.


Police: Flag dispute resulted in stabbings, hospitalizations

Police in Claremont believe that a scuffle between two men over a Memorial Day flag sent both to the hospital with stab wounds.

Police said one man accused the other of knocking down a small flag that had been put up on Pleasant Street for the holiday.

The Eagle-Times reported that police said the accusation escalated into a fight. Police responded to the scene Monday night.

Justin Hughes, 20, and Dakota Burns, 17, were hospitalized. They have since been released.

No arrests have been made.


Exeter Hospital lab allowed to reopen

New Hampshire’s public health department has allowed Exeter Hospital to reopen its cardiac catheterization lab for emergency care while it continues to investigate an outbreak of liver-destroying hepatitis C.

The lab, which is expected to return to normal operations early next week, was closed May 25 after four patients who had been treated there were all diagnosed with the virus.

The hospital has asked 651 other people who have been treated at the lab since August to get tested. By Friday afternoon, about 400 of them had been screened or made appointments.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says health departments aren’t required to report such outbreaks to the CDC, but it was notified of 13 outbreaks nationwide between 2008 and 2011.


— From news service reports