Donation-collection boot stolen from fire station

A firefighter’s boot placed outside a Boston fire station to collect money for charity has been stolen, and people are outraged.

The boot, attached to a metal lock box, has been outside the North End fire station for years, and in that time has collected thousands of dollars from passers-by to fight muscular dystrophy.

But in the past few days, someone grabbed the boot and the box, getting away with a couple of hundred dollars.

The empty boot and box were found nearby in the fountain near the Paul Revere statue. The boot had been cut open and the cash was gone. Lt. David McCann told WBZ-TV it was “a very low thing to do.” McCann says the boot will be back, but watched a little more closely.


Homeless man turns in money-filled backpack

Boston police say a homeless man who found a backpack containing tens of thousands of dollars in cash and traveler’s checks turned it over to authorities.

The man, whose name was not made public, found the backpack at the South Bay Mall in the city’s Dorchester neighborhood at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. He flagged down patrolling officers and handed it over.

The backpack contained $2,400 in U.S. currency, almost $40,000 in traveler’s checks, Chinese passports and other personal papers.

Meanwhile, the man who lost the backpack informed workers at the Best Buy store at the mall. The man was taken to the police station, where he was confirmed as the rightful owner.


Prosecutors will not file charges against priest

An attorney for a Lynn priest says prosecutors won’t file charges against the clergyman, who was accused a year ago of sexually abusing a child.

The Essex district attorney’s office and the Lynn Police Department recently closed their investigation of the Rev. James Gaudreau, the priest’s attorney, Frank L. McNamara Jr. told the Boston Globe.

Essex district attorney spokeswoman Carrie Kimball-Monahan confirmed that no charges have been filed against Gaudreau, but she wouldn’t comment further, including on whether the investigation was complete.

She cited the office’s policy to decline to comment on investigations.

A spokesman for the Boston Archdiocese said its investigation is continuing and Gaudreau will remain on leave and barred from public ministry until it’s complete.


Fewer loons hatched and fewer survived this year

A committee that seeks to protect New Hampshire’s loons says fewer birds hatched this year and of those, fewer survived.

Dr. Harry Vogel, senior biologist and executive director of the Loon Preservation Committee, tells WMUR-TV that 153 of the threatened birds hatched statewide this summer, down from 170 last year.

He says 115 survived, down from 134 in 2012. Vogel says the adult population remained stable at 283 loon pairs. That number has been right around 280 for several years.

Committee staff observe the birds throughout the summer before the birds fly out to the ocean or go south for the winter.


State senator donates $300,000 to museum

A New Hampshire state senator has made a $300,000 donation to the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth to construct an expanded visitor’s center.

Martha Fuller Clark, a Portsmouth Democrat, said she hopes the project, which includes a new cafe along with 50 percent more space in the lecture hall, will bring more people to the 10-acre outdoor history museum.

Fuller Clark’s mother, Marion Fuller, was one of the founders of Strawbery Banke, which is a National Historic Landmark.


Resident gets long-sought permit for wind turbine

A Newport resident who has been battling for years to install a wind turbine on his property that is connected to the power grid has received a building permit.

The Newport Daily News reports that Building Official William A. Hanley II said he issued the necessary building permits to John McNulty.

The City Council enacted a wind turbine ordinance in December 2012. Local homeowners with at least 10,000-square-foot lots outside the city’s historic districts now may install a wind turbine generating up to 10 kilowatts, one turbine per lot.

McNulty has been involved in litigation with the city for at least five years, with each party filing complaints against the other.


Pest-control crew kills off bedbugs in apartments

The community of St. Johnsbury, Vt., is dealing with a growing bedbug problem.

The bugs were found in three apartment houses in town recently.

Town Health Officer Troy Ruggles tells the Caledonian Record there’s been a growing bedbug problem in other parts of the state, too.

A pest-control crew used blower fans to pipe 150-degree heated air into the apartments to kill off the bedbugs in the three apartments.?


Helicopter pilot questioned on passengers firing guns

Police in Rhode Island have questioned a helicopter pilot after several passengers fired semi-automatic guns from the air, using a junked car as target practice.

The Westerly Sun reports Charlestown Police received a report Sunday afternoon of men firing semi-automatic pistols and rifles from a low-flying helicopter. The men were shooting at a junk car on a gravel bank in a semi-rural area.

The helicopter had landed by the time an officer arrived. The pilot told the officer that he knew of people in Texas who had “done the same thing.”

The officer reminded the pilot that he was in Rhode Island and not Texas.

Police Chief Jeffrey Allen says while he has concerns about the men’s actions, they were on private property and didn’t violate any state laws.


Police seek suspect they say robbed churchgoers

Holyoke police are looking for a man they say interrupted a church service and robbed several members of the congregation at gunpoint.

Lt. James Albert says the masked suspect entered the Pentecostal church at about 2 p.m. Sunday, announced the robbery, and took personal items, including cellphones, from several of the roughly 20 worshippers.

One of the congregants called police after the robber ran off.

The suspect was described as a thin, Latino man wearing a black T-shirt, pants and hat.


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