Pursuit suspect sentenced for probation violations

A man accused of crashing into three police cars during a March pursuit has been sentenced to three years in jail.

Salem police say that when 30-year-old Luis Figueroa led police on the chase that injured two police officers, he violated terms of parole and probation on two previous convictions.

Figueroa, of Salem, was sentenced last month to a year in prison for violating the terms of parole for a drug conviction. On Wednesday, he got another two years for violating probation connected to multiple charges. His lawyer, Hank Brennan, asked a judge for a six-month sentence.

Figueroa is in Rockingham County Jail on $1.5 million bail in connection with the police chase. One officer suffered a concussion while another had a strained neck after the crashes.


Corpse on beach believed to have been killed elsewhere

Authorities on Cape Cod are investigating a mutilated body found at a beach in Sandwich.

Cape and Island District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said Thursday that a passer-by found the body at about 8 p.m. Wednesday at Town Neck Beach.

The district attorney said the body appeared to have been brought to the site from somewhere else and investigators are trying to determine where the person may have been killed.

Authorities are asking anyone who may have been in the area of the beach from Monday to Wednesday to report any suspicious vehicles or activity they may have noticed.

Sandwich police and state police assigned to the district attorney’s office are investigating.


Shellfishing ban in effect from Gloucester to Newbury

The state Division of Marine Fisheries has shut down all shellfish harvesting areas from Newbury to Gloucester because of elevated levels of the marine biotoxin commonly known as red tide.

The closure, which includes the harvesting of all species of shellfish, is likely to last for a minimum of three weeks.

Jeff Kennedy, a regional shellfish supervisor, told The Gloucester Daily Times that the shellfishing areas will be monitored regularly.

The neurotoxins in red tide can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, with symptoms including tingling and numbness of the lips, tongue and extremities; drowsiness; giddiness; unsteadiness, vomiting and diarrhea. In extreme cases, respiratory arrest and possibly death can result.

Local restaurants say they will bring in clams, mussels and other shellfish from outside the affected area.


Elderly man fatally pinned by new riding lawnmower

Police say an 86-year-old Hardwick man died when a lawnmower apparently rolled over and pinned him.

Chief James Ayotte says Joseph Bartoszek went out to mow his lawn with his new riding mower on Wednesday morning.

Ayotte says it appears as if it somehow got stuck, and when Bartoszek tried to pull it free using another mower, he became trapped.

He may have been stuck for several hours before his wife came out to check on him just after noon.

He was declared dead at the scene.

The death remains under investigation.


Restaurant patron recovering from toxin

Authorities say a customer at a local restaurant became sick when an employee mistakenly sprinkled a chemical cleaner on his food instead of grated cheese.

Easthampton health agent Jackie Duda says the teenager fell ill immediately after eating the food Sunday at Riff’s Joint and was driven to an emergency room. She says the teen is recovering and no one else is believed to have eaten the cleaner.

Duda says the powdered chemical had been removed from its original container and placed in another that was not properly labeled. She tells The Daily Hampshire Gazette that the restaurant has rectified the issues that led to the poisoning.

Co-owner Jeffrey Cahill called it an isolated incident caused by “gross human error” that won’t happen again.


Tribe renews request for land eyed for development

The Narragansett Indian tribe is renewing its request for land on Aquidneck Island that has been targeted for development by Newport, Portsmouth and Middletown.

Jane Howington, Newport’s city manager, tells the Providence Journal that the request, made through the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, came as a surprise.

The tribe is seeking land including the Naval Hospital site.

The bureau had previously sought to acquire about 260 acres of Navy land on the island for the tribe in 2009 through a process that gives federal agencies first crack at acquiring surplus property. That effort failed in 2010.

The Aquidneck Island Reuse Planning Authority, a group representing the three island communities, had also been working on a plan to submit to the Navy in attempt to acquire the property.

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