State will seek to tap fund to fix future Big Dig leaks

State transportation officials say the Big Dig tunnels will continue to have leaks and it may be largely up to the state to pay for fixing them in the future.

Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey said Friday that the tunnels were not designed to be completely leak proof and not all leaks can be pinned on design flaws. But he said the state will seek to tap a Big Dig trust fund whenever it believes engineering or design problems were responsible.

The Boston Herald reported Friday that the state is on pace to spend $2.5 million plugging leaks this year. The federal government has said the trust fund cannot be tapped for routine maintenance on the tunnels.

The trust fund was created in 2008 from a settlement with Big Dig contractors over allegations of shoddy construction.


Town restores huge milk jug that serves as its landmark

The iconic giant milk bottle in downtown Whately has been given a face-lift. The Whately Historical Society recently restored the large concrete milk jug that’s nearly 20 feet tall with $650 in donations.

Society member Adelia Bardwell said the bottle was scraped down, cleaned and repainted with a new emblem and cream line. The bottle reads “Quonquont Farm Certified Milk.” It was originally built for a local dairy farm in the 1920s.

She told The Recorder of Greenfield that it’s important for the bottle to be in tip-top shape because it’s the “symbol of Whately.”

The society began discussing refurbishing the landmark one year ago as black mildew stained the white surface. Ice cream is still served out of the bottle’s Dutch door at the town’s fall festival.


Nuclear plant cuts output due to warm cooling water

The Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth has been forced to reduce its power output after this week’s heat wave made Cape Cod Bay water too warm to use for cooling the reactor.

A spokeswoman for the plant’s owner, Entergy, confirmed to the Patriot Ledger that the power plant reduced its output by 15 percent earlier this week.

State Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard Sullivan said Friday that officials were monitoring the situation at Pilgrim closely, but at the moment it did not appear to be a major concern.


Law bans requiring tenants to declaw cats, mute dogs

It’s now illegal in Rhode Island for a landlord to require a tenant to declaw their cat as a condition of occupancy.

The legislation signed into law this week by Gov. Lincoln Chafee also makes it a crime for a landlord to require a tenant to remove the vocal cords of dogs.

The legislation from Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio and Democratic House Rep. Patricia Serpa would still allow landlords to decline to rent to pet owners.


Murderer wants AG’s office kept from handling appeal

Lawyers for New Hampshire’s only death row convict want the entire Attorney General’s office disqualified from handling his appeal after the office hired a key member of Michael Addison’s defense team.

Defense attorneys argued in a New Hampshire Supreme Court filing this week that former public defender Lisa Wolford, who worked full time on Addison’s case in 2009, took at least one confidential document with her when she joined the Attorney General’s office last summer as an appellate lawyer. The attorneys said she uploaded the document to her computer at the office.

“In poker terms, she not only knows the defense team’s hand but how the defense intends to play it,” wrote Attorney Andrew Schulman.

Addison was convicted of fatally shooting Manchester police Officer Michael Briggs in October 2006.



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