Cat blamed for fire that displaced four families

A cat is being blamed for a two-alarm fire in an apartment in Laconia.

Fire Chief Kenneth Erickson said the fire started at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday after a cat knocked over a lamp inside a bedroom.

Erickson told WMUR-TV that the apartment house had working smoke detectors and everybody made it out safe, but two cats and a bird weren’t so lucky. He said the building suffered extensive damage but isn’t beyond repair.

Red Cross officials say four families were displaced by the fire, three of which are being helped by the Red Cross.


Report: Vermont tuition soared over short term

A new report says the tuition at Vermont’s public colleges and university has risen by about 27 percent over the last five years.

The report from the New England Board of Higher Education said the cost for students varies, depending on a variety of factors and the study didn’t take financial aid into account.

But in general, tuition has risen by between 3 and 4 percent every year for the past five years.

Report co-author Monnica Chan told Vermont Public Radio that the state ranks near the bottom when it comes to state funding for the state college system and the University of Vermont.


Groups to get $4.8 million to combat homelessness

Dozens of Rhode Island organizations will share nearly $4.8 million in federal funds to help reduce homelessness.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed announced the funding on Monday at an awards luncheon of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless. The federal Continuum of Care grants will go to 43 housing organizations in the state that provide services for homeless veterans, the mentally ill, families and individuals.

The money will go for permanent and transitional housing assistance as well as services such as job training, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care.


University will market discoveries of Lifespan

Brown University has signed a deal with Lifespan to market biomedical discoveries and inventions by researchers in the state’s largest health system.

The university said Monday that its Technology Ventures Office will help manage and provide marketing, licensing, business development and other services for certain new discoveries made by Lifespan scientists.

Brown last year expanded a similar arrangement with Care New England to cover all the hospitals within that health system.

A university spokesman said Lifespan, Care New England and Brown’s own division of biology and medicine together received $200 million in biomedical research grants in fiscal year 2012.


Men shot arrow, bullets at each other, police say

Police say a dispute led to one man shooting an arrow through the window of his neighbor’s truck, prompting the neighbor to respond with a shotgun blast through the first man’s car windows.

No one was hurt in the dispute early Sunday morning in the Barnstable neighborhood of Marstons Mills, but both men are facing charges.

Police the dispute started when Dwayne Peters was at the home of his neighbor, 30-year-old Nathan Hess.

The men, who had been drinking, argued.

Police say Hess shot an arrow through Peters’ truck window and Peters responded with a shotgun blast that blew out the front and rear windows of Hess’ car.

–From news service reports