U.S. government will give ownership of building to city

The city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is a step closer to acquiring ownership of a building that’s been under federal control.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said she’s received a commitment from the U.S. General Services Administration to leave the McIntyre Federal Building and to work with the city to transfer ownership.

Fall river, Mass.

Second man found guilty in fatal drive-by shooting

A second Taunton man has been convicted of murder in the 2009 drive-by shooting of a passenger in car speeding along Route 24 in Freetown.

Thomas Jeffreys was found guilty Friday in the death of 29-year-old Troy Pina, also of Taunton. Jeffreys, 35, was also convicted of assault and firearms charges and was sentenced to the mandatory life without parole.

A co-defendant, Jose Fernandes, was convicted of murder last year and is serving a life sentence in the case. A third man awaits trial.

Prosecutors say the three men, driving in separate cars, targeted Pina and another man they had been feuding with for months. On May 17, 2009, prosecutors said, they fired at a car Francisco Monteiro was driving, fatally wounding Pina.


Boar’s Head cheese truck catches fire on interstate

Vermont State Police say mechanical failure caused a tractor-trailer hauling cheese to catch fire on Interstate 89 north in Richmond.

The driver was able to pull over and unhitch the burning trailer from the tractor Friday morning. He was taken to the hospital for a medical condition.

The Boar’s Head truck was hauling about 34,000 pounds of cheese when it caught fire, causing the interstate to be closed for about an hour.


Bill would prohibit soliciting of oil customers before May 1

House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on changing when fuel dealers can solicit customers to buy fuel in advance.

The bill is in response to disruptions in home heating oil deliveries this winter by one of the state’s largest fuel companies. The bill prohibits dealers from advertising or soliciting earlier than May 1 for consumers to enter into contracts for the upcoming fuel season. Currently, the contracts can’t be offered before Jan. 1.

Consumers could sign contracts before May 1 at their request.

This winter, hundreds of customers complained about delivery problems with Fred Fuller Oil Co.


Man, 52, denies threatening to commit school shooting

A 52-year-old New Hampshire man who prosecutors say threated to commit a school shooting unless his father gave him money has pleaded not guilty to several criminal charges.

The Essex district attorney’s office said Lawrence Beam Jr. of New Durham, New Hampshire, was held without bail after his arraignment Friday in Lawrence District Court. He is charged with threatening to commit a crime, intimidation of a witness, threatening to use a firearm, extortion, and two counts of criminal harassment and two counts of annoying telephone calls.