Store agrees to upgrade security after data breach

Vermont’s attorney general says a natural foods store in Williston has agreed to spend $15,000 to upgrade its computer security system after it was accused of failing to promptly notify customers of a data security breach that compromised some customers’ credit cards last year.

Attorney General Williams Sorrell said he has reached a settlement with Natural Provisions; the store also will pay $15,000 to the state.

Vermont law requires companies to tell the attorney general within 14 days and customers within 45 days of the discovery of such a breach.

The settlement also resolves allegations that the store did not quickly fix its computer security system.

Sorrell said the breach resulted in the theft of some customers’ credit card numbers and tens of thousands of dollars of fraud. 

Bald eagles raise 26 young this season, state reports

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says bald eagles successfully raised 26 young in the state this season. That number is up from 24 last year.

Vermont was the last state in the continental United States to report breeding populations of bald eagles after the species was brought back from the brink of extinction.

Eagles were pushed out of Vermont in the 1940s after the pesticide DDT wiped out the population.

Between 2004 and 2006, biologists brought dozens of birds to the state and raised them in hopes they would return to the state as adults and reproduce.


Doctor’s license suspended over pot, errant house call

Rhode Island has suspended the medical license of a Westerly doctor after police say they found marijuana in his car following a house call gone awry.

Police arrested Main last month after he entered a stranger’s home at 4 a.m. Main said he was attempting to check on a friend who wasn’t feeling well but walked into the wrong home. Police say they found 6 grams of marijuana in Main’s vehicle. Main was charged with breaking and entering following the incident.

While possession of small amounts of marijuana is not a crime in Rhode Island, the state’s health director determined Main had violated rules of professional conduct. The suspension was announced Wednesday.

Main can contest the disciplinary action at an administrative hearing.


West Nile virus confirmed for fourth time this year

Another batch of mosquitoes in Rhode Island has tested positive for West Nile virus.

The state Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Health said Wednesday that a sample from a trap set near Barrington High School on Sept. 3 was confirmed positive for the disease.

This is the fourth time West Nile virus has been found in mosquitoes in the state this year, though officials say it is probably more widespread. The mosquitoes that tested positive are a species that bites birds and mammals.

State officials have also found eastern equine encephalitis, but no human cases of either EEE or West Nile have been reported in Rhode Island yet this season.

The findings are not unexpected at this time of the year.


City seeks to create post of tree warden

The city of Portsmouth, N.H., is looking to create the position of tree warden to deal with changes in the local tree ordinance.

The tree warden would be the one to approach if someone wanted a permit to remove trees in a public right of way or public place. The warden would work with the city’s Trees and Public Greenery Committee.

The change would bring the city into compliance with a state statute authorizing municipalities to have a tree warden.

The Portsmouth Herald reported proposed changes to the tree ordinance would give the city explicit responsibility in establishing as many trees as can be maintained on public land and public rights of way. It also encourages the planting of noninvasive trees representing diverse species and age classes.


Logan officials apologize for smoky fire drill on 9/11

Officials at Boston’s Logan Airport are apologizing for holding a fire drill, complete with smoke and flames, on the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The two hijacked jets that were flown into the World Trade Center towers that day had taken off from Logan.

Gov. Deval Patrick, who did not know in advance about the drill, calls the timing of it “dumb.” But he added that he retained confidence in the leadership of the Massachusetts Port Authority, the public agency that runs the airport.

The runway fire drill, announced on the airport’s Facebook page, drew harsh condemnation online.

The port authority has apologized in a statement and says it “understands that it may have offended many of those touched by the events of Sept. 11.” 

Governor supports repeal of computer-services tax

Gov. Deval Patrick says he’s open to repealing an unpopular new tax on computer and software services, but won’t say how he might replace any lost revenue from the tax.

The 6.25 percent tax, part of a massive transportation financing law, has been criticized by technology firms that contend it will hurt one of the state’s premier industries and cost jobs.

Patrick met with business leaders last week to discuss the tax. He told The Boston Globe on Tuesday that the tax had become a “serious blot” on Massachusetts’ reputation as a technological leader.

State officials estimate the tax will generate $161 million in the current fiscal year. Patrick would not comment on specific ideas for replacing the revenue but suggested that he would not favor any new broad-based tax. 

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