Massachusetts jobless rate drops to 6.4 percent in March

The unemployment rate in Massachusetts dropped to 6.4 percent in March even as the state lost 5,500 jobs during the month.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday the 6.4 percent is a slight drop from the 6.5 percent rate recorded in February.

In the first three months of 2013, Massachusetts added 12,600 jobs. During the past year, Massachusetts added 40,300 jobs, 37,300 of which were in the private sector.

Among those areas that saw job growth in March were the education, health services and leisure and hospitality sectors.

Those areas that lost jobs last month were the manufacturing, transportation, construction and professional, scientific, and business services sectors.


Gov. Patrick still raising funds for Together PAC

Gov. Deval Patrick is continuing to raise money for the political action committee he formed in 2011 to help re-elect President Obama and pay for his activities on behalf of the national Democratic Party.

A report filed with the Federal Election Commission shows Patrick raised about $56,600 for his Together PAC during the past three months.

As of the end of March, the PAC had $394,000 in its account, down from the $512,300 it had at the start of the year.

Patrick also reported spending $175,000 from the PAC, including money for staff salaries, catering and hotels.

SALEM, Mass.

Mother given probation for brawl at son’s wedding

The Revere woman arrested for brawling with other guests and threatening police at her son’s wedding reception has been sentenced to a year of probation.

Darlene DeIorio admitted to sufficient facts for a conviction Wednesday on charges including assault and battery and disorderly conduct in connection with the reception at the Danversport Yacht Club last April that a prosecutor called “an absolute disaster.”

The Salem News reported that the judge agreed to continue the case without a finding for a year. If DeIorio stays out of trouble, completes anger management classes and does not drink, charges will be dismissed.

Police say the 48-year-old DeIorio slapped a bartender, threw chairs, tried to punch others guests and threatened an officer.


Woman charged in abuse of her 18-year-old son

A New Hampshire woman has been charged with subjecting her 18-year-old son to beatings and other physical abuse.

Police charged 52-year-old Christine Gelineau of Concord on Wednesday with second-degree assault, criminal restraint, tampering with witnesses and other charges.

Also arrested was an acquaintance of Gelineau and the teen, 20-year-old Daniel Tyler Cantrell of Sparta, Tenn. Cantrell was charged with five counts of second-degree assault, conspiracy, criminal restraint, and other charges.

Police said the assaults, which took place from March 10 to April 14, included using a lighter to burn the teen’s genitalia and chest area.


Speed limit may increase on stretch of N.H. interstate

Motorists traveling from Concord north to the Vermont border might soon be able to crank up the speed — just a little.

The New Hampshire Senate passed a proposal Thursday increases the speed limit to 70 miles-per-hour on Interstate 93 from mile marker 45 near Canterbury to Vermont


Legal home-brewed wine may soon be on the menu

New Hampshire residents wishing to ferment wine in their homes are one step closer to doing so legally under the same statute that allows the home brewing of beer.

The Senate approved a House-passed bill amending the state’s home brew statute to allow people to produce up to 200 gallons of wine from their residence.

Homes with a single producer will be able to produce 100 gallons and those with two could double that.

The bill now heads to Gov. Maggie Hassan.


Unemployment rate falls to lowest level since 2008

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has fallen again — to its lowest level since November 2008 — although the labor force shrunk.

The state Department of Labor and Training reported Thursday that the jobless rate in March was 9.1 percent, down from 9.4 percent in February.

The size of the labor force was down 2,400, to 558,900. The number of employed residents was also down 500, to 507,800.

But the number of Rhode Island jobs was up 1,500 from February, to 467,000. The professional and business services sector added 1,600 jobs. That and other gains were offset by a loss of 500 jobs in the health care and social assistance sector.

The U.S. jobless rate in March was 7.6 percent.

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate a year ago was 10.6 percent.


Landfill owners get 90-day reprieve from closure order

A Vermont landfill that was ordered to close has won a 90-day reprieve.

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources last month ordered the Moretown landfill to close, citing odor problems and groundwater pollution. The landfill had until Monday to stop accepting trash.

But the Environmental Court has granted the landfill a 90-day extension.

The landfill is currently closed. The owners are appealing the agency’s decision.

Vermont now has only one landfill left used for trash disposal, in the northern Vermont town of Coventry.