City repairs water main after campus is flooded

Worcester shut off water gates that feed the city’s lines Monday night to repair a large water main break that led Worcester State University to cancel Tuesday’s classes because of flooding on campus.

Robert Moylan, city public works director, told the Telegram & Gazette newspaper that the move is necessary to gain control of a 40-inch main leading to a 30-inch main that broke about 12:30 p.m. near Chandler and May streets, flooding part of Worcester State University.

Moylan said water gates near the city’s water treatment plant were shut down Monday evening to allow crews access to the broken main. He said he hopes service can be restored Tuesday morning.

Deputy Fire Chief Geoffrey Gardell said tanker trucks from surrounding towns, some of which carry as much as 1,500 gallons of water, will be placed around the city in case they are needed for firefighting.

He said most of the city’s fire engines also carry 500 gallons of water.


Ox from college’s farm won’t be used for food

An ox that lived on a Vermont college’s farm and was put down amid an outcry over the school’s decision to process it into meat will not be used for food.

Green Mountain College says euthanizing the animal made the meat inedible. It also says because the ox was receiving medication for an injury, the meat was not fit for human consumption.

The 11-year-old ox, named Lou, and another ox were retired this summer from the college’s farm. The school had planned to turn them into beef to be served in the dining hall in keeping with its emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

But animal rights activists had wanted the oxen spared and found a sanctuary for them. The college says the other ox will stay at the farm.


North Station customers display tickets on phones

MBTA commuter rail customers who take the train out of North Station can now simply flash their smartphones to show conductors their tickets.

The T on Monday launched a program that will allow riders to purchase and display tickets on their phones, a program that’s expected to expand to rail customers on South Station lines and ferries after Thanksgiving.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is the first major U.S. commuter rail to offer passengers an alternative to paper.

T officials told The Boston Globe widespread use would save the transit agency from handling much of the $20 million in cash now changing hands in annual on-board transactions, which slows conductors; cut down on the punch-ticket debris littering cars; and help customers avoid waiting in lines to buy paper tickets.


Woman dies after vehicle goes into Concord River

A woman has died after her car plunged into the Concord River in Lowell, trapping her inside the upside down vehicle for about 90 minutes.

Police said the woman’s car crashed through the railing of the Lawrence Street Bridge and into the river just after 6 a.m. Monday.

Witnesses described the car hitting the jersey barriers on one side of the bridge before careening across the roadway and through the guardrail on the opposite side.

The Lowell Fire Department dive team was hampered by the cold, swift-moving water and poor visibility.

Police have identified the victim as 56-year-old Colleen Luther of Lowell. She was taken to Lowell General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead just after 8 a.m.

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.