High school students ask officials to take test sample

A group of high school students in Providence has asked prominent adults in the community including Gov. Lincoln Chafee to try a standardized test they say is unfairly used as a graduation requirement.

Rhode Island Public Radio reports that members of the Providence Student Union have urged lawmakers, local leaders and others to take a sample version of the test themselves to see how hard it is. Some lawmakers have agreed to participate.

Roughly 4,000 students statewide may not graduate because of the new testing requirement..


FEMA agrees to buy out 90 flood-damaged properties

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to buy out 90 properties across Vermont that were damaged by 2011 flooding, most from Tropical Storm Irene.

Eight structures were deemed ineligible for the federal hazard mitigation program and 24 applications are still pending.

Of those, FEMA has committed $12.8 million. The pending acquisitions total $6.1 million.

Earlier this week, state officials agreed to help buy out five of the properties that were rejected by FEMA.


Mark Rossetti, reputed crime boss, sentenced to 12 years

A reputed Massachusetts crime boss has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to loan sharking and extortion.

Mark Rossetti of Boston was sentenced Friday in Suffolk Superior Court.

He pleaded guilty to loaning money at high rates to a gambler and making threats to collect gambling debts.

The sentence will be served concurrently with a 12-year Essex County drug trafficking sentence from Itinerary and a seven-to-nine-year breaking and entering sentence from Boston last year.


Heavy debt likely to force Whaleback ski area closing

Whaleback Mountain ski area in Enfield, N.H., is likely to close under the weight of more than $1 million in outstanding debt.

Co-owner and two-time Olympic skier Evan Dybvig says he plans to sell assets to pay outstanding taxes. The Valley News reports that Whaleback Mountain LLC owes $73,000 to the town of Enfield dating back to May 2011, according to town records.

Dybvig said his lender is prepared to foreclose on the property.

“We have tried numerous avenues to recapitalize the business to put ourselves on surer footing without success.

Our only option at this point is to close,” a letter posted by Dybvig and co-owners Frank Sparrow and Dylan Goodspeed says on Whalebacks’ website.