State moving ahead on rules for medical pot clinics

Rhode Island health officials are finalizing new regulations that will allow three medical marijuana dispensaries to open.

Health Department spokesman Peter Hanney said Tuesday that regulators are working as quickly as possible to complete the rules before the dispensaries are allowed to open, perhaps within the next several months.

Lawmakers approved the dispensaries to give medical marijuana patients a state-regulated source of medication. But Gov. Lincoln Chafee blocked the dispensaries from opening last year because of concerns the facilities could face federal prosecution.

In response, lawmakers imposed restrictions on the amount of marijuana dispensaries may possess.


Shark report unconfirmed; Wallis Sands Beach reopened

A New Hampshire beach has been reopened to swimming after authorities couldn’t confirm a report of two sharks spotted in Rye.

Swimmers were called out of the water at Wallis Sands Beach in Rye on Monday afternoon. The beach was reopened Tuesday.

Park officials were trying to determine what type of sharks were spotted by a man who ran out of the water yelling near Pirates Cove. He told a lifeguard he had seen two sharks, each about 6 feet long. The lifeguard said he also saw something suspicious in the water.

Authorities said they couldn’t confirm the report.

If the man had spotted sharks, they were most likely blue sharks, which are strictly fish eaters, Tony LaCasse, a spokesman for the New England Aquarium in Boston, told the Portsmouth Herald.


State beginning cleanup of massive junkyard tire pile

The state of Vermont is beginning the process of cleaning up hundreds of thousands of old tires at a closed Milton junkyard.

The state estimates there are at least 200,000 tires at the junkyard owned by Gil Rhoades, who was in court Tuesday on a civil contempt charge.

Rhoades has been ordered to remove the tires, but in court he said he couldn’t afford to because he is no longer in business.

The state has budged $75,000 to begin the cleanup, but officials don’t believe it will be enough.

The state is working to clean up old tires piles because of concerns they can contain toxic materials that can leak into the environment.


President of Little League accused in theft of $8,200

A Vermont man is facing charges he embezzled at least $8,200 from the Shaftsbury Little League he led.

Brian Bushee, 41, of Arlington pleaded not guilty Monday in court in Bennington to a felony embezzlement charge.

Court documents say that since Bushee became president of the North Bennington and Shaftsbury Little League in 2010, he had “assumed all responsibilities including financial transactions and management.”

The Rutland Herald reported that witnesses told police there were no records of what happened to money from the concession stand and that other money and equipment was missing as well.

According to State Police Detective Sgt. Tyler Burgess, Bushee admitted taking money from the Little League account for his own use, but intended to pay it back.


Indian tribe faces roadblocks in renegotiating casino debt

The chairman of the Indian tribe that runs Foxwoods Resort Casino in eastern Connecticut says the weak economy and sharply rising competition in the Northeast are making it hard to renegotiate $2.3 billion in debt.

Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council, told WNPR radio Tuesday that casinos expected to open in Massachusetts in the next few years — along with table games that Butler expects to be approved by voters in Rhode Island in November — will sharply cut into revenue for Foxwoods and its competitors.

He said the debt accumulated because the Mashantucket tribe chose to seek growth over the years.

—From news service reports