Inspirational boy dies at 17 of illness that speeds aging

Sam Berns, a Massachusetts boy whose battle with a rare and fatal genetic condition that accelerates the aging process inspired the New England Patriots players and was the subject of an HBO documentary “Life According to Sam,” has died. He was 17.

Berns of Foxborough died Friday due to complications from Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, commonly known as progeria. The Progeria Research Foundation announced his death.

Berns was diagnosed with progeria when he was 22 months old. His parents later founded the nonprofit foundation after encountering a lack of information and research on the condition whose victims live an average of 13 years.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft mourned Berns’ death, saying he had invited him to be the team’s honorary captain for Saturday night’s playoff game and was looking forward to spending time with him and his family.



Massachusetts teen killed in two-car crash on Route 16

A teenage girl from Massachusetts is dead following a two-car crash on New Hampshire Route 16 near the Milton-Wakefield town line.

WMUR-TV reported the crash of two sport utility vehicles occurred at about 10 a.m. Saturday.

The roads appeared to be ice covered, but there was no indication if police believe the bad weather contributed to the crash.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was riding in the passenger seat of one the vehicles.


There’s no word on potential injuries to other people in the two vehicles.

The investigation into the cause of the crash is continuing.


Man charged after bullet hits neighbor in the head

A 20-year-old New Hampshire man says he feels watched over after being hit in the head by a stray bullet, but came away unhurt.

Josh DeMeritt of Rochester was hit Tuesday while he was playing video games at a friend’s house. He was hit by the bullet that was allegedly fired by a neighbor who was trying to clear a handgun in his home across the street.


Foster’s Daily Democrat said the bullet lost momentum after it traveled through several walls and windows before hitting DeMeritt.

The 25-year-old neighbor who fired the gun was charged with reckless conduct and falsifying physical evidence for allegedly hiding the firearm in a snowbank after the shooting.


Coffee firm wants to change its name to include Keurig

Vermont’s Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. is planning to ask its shareholders to change the company’s name to Keurig Green Mountain Inc.

CEO Brian Kelley said he expects shareholders to approve the name change at the company’s annual meeting in March.


Kelley said much of the company’s business is driven by the Keurig single-cup system. He told the Burlington Free Press that consumers won’t notice any difference as a result of the name change.

The Waterbury company has grown to annual sales in excess of $4 billion largely on the success of its K-Cup brewing system, invented by Keurig, which brews coffee in single servings.


City officials will announce FEMA relief after tornadoes

Springfield officials are set to announce a final settlement

with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse the city for damages caused by tornadoes in 2011.

Officials on Monday will announce funding for several capital projects and the overall amount that the city will receive.

In June 2011, four tornadoes touched down, destroying or damaging 1,400 houses and nearly 80 businesses in western and central Massachusetts. Three people died as a result of the storm.

– From news service reports

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