Kids safe after bus stalls on tracks, train stops 10 feet away

About 40 Connecticut children are safe after their school bus stalled on a railroad crossing in Norwalk.

Police said an approaching Metro-North commuter train stopped about 10 feet from the crossing after the driver had safely evacuated the Silvermine Elementary School students Wednesday afternoon.

WVIT-TV reports that police said the driver had looked both ways and begun to cross the tracks at about 4 p.m. when the bus broke down and the crossing gates began to lower for an approaching train.

Police said two of the children were treated for minor injuries they received getting off the bus.


Lawyer: Accused Harvard student was under pressure

The attorney for a Harvard student accused of making a bomb threat to get out of a final exam says his client was under a great deal of pressure and seems remorseful.

Twenty-year-old Eldo Kim is being released on $100,000 bond Wednesday into the custody of his sister, who lives in Massachusetts, and an uncle from North Carolina. Attorneys aren’t saying where he will stay.

Under the conditions of his release, he cannot enter Harvard’s campus without prior approval of Harvard and the federal court.

Federal public defender Ian Gold says Kim was dealing with finals and the third anniversary of his father’s death.f

Harvard fined for violations in care of research monkeys

The Agriculture Department has fined Harvard Medical School $24,000 for violations in its care of research monkeys.

The fine announced Wednesday concerns 11 alleged violations between February 2011 and July 2012. Three caged monkeys died from accidental dehydration and one became entangled in a chain while playing with a toy.

Harvard Medical School said it “cares deeply about upholding exemplary standards of care” and feels the penalty was appropriate.

Most of the violations occurred at its New England Primate Research Center in Southborough, which is closing by 2015. A smaller Boston facility will remain open. Harvard consulted an independent panel last year for recommendations on improvements at its animal research labs.


Truck pulling propane tank rolls over, delays 1-293 traffic

A tractor trailer unit pulling a propane tanker became stuck on the snowy shoulder of Interstate 293 north on the Manchester-Hooksett line Wednesday, causing traffic delays and requiring extensive rerouting of northbound and southbound traffic for at least several hours.

Police evacuated people living in several nearby homes as a precaution. They were allowed back into their homes around 2 p.m.

The operation to get the propane tanker back on the road north of Exit 7 was expected to last at least three hours. Police said the tanker unit was intact and no leaks were detected.


Kennedy cousin Skakel granted permission to travel

Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel has been granted permission to travel to see his son in New York and other relatives in Oregon.

Skakel was released from prison last month after he was granted a new trial in the 1975 slaying of neighbor Martha Moxley.

He was ordered to remain in Connecticut unless granted permission to travel outside the state. Court records show his request on Dec. 9 to visit his son and an earlier request to visit relatives in Oregon for Thanksgiving were granted.

Skakel had been in prison more than 11 years on a sentence of 20 years to life.

A judge ruled in October that Skakel’s trial attorney failed to adequately represent him. The Connecticut Supreme Court will decide an appeal by prosecutors of that ruling.


Town council scraps paper, now exclusively using tablets

The town council in Richmond has gone paperless.

Members of the council are no longer flipping through pages and pages of paper as they go through agenda items at their meetings. Instead, they use tablets to scroll through docket items and look at attachments.

Tuesday’s meeting was the first at which the entire council used the devices.

Councilman Peter Fangiullo, who serves on the town’s IT advisory committee, says using tablets is simpler and more cost effective. It also saves paper.

Town Clerk Tracy Nelson says her office can use its time more efficiently because it’s no longer necessary to print so many pages, then copy, collate and assemble the packets.

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