Warship, Guard battalion mark D-Day, Midway battle

The nation’s oldest commissioned warship and the Massachusetts National Guard have marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Midway.

The USS Constitution, which dates to 1797, left its berth in Boston’s Charlestown Navy Yard on Friday and sailed to Castle Island to fire a 21-gun cannon salute to Fort Independence.

The National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment, fired ceremonial cannons in return.

The Constitution also fired a 17-gun salute near the U.S. Coast Guard Base before returning to Charlestown.

Given reprieve, killer wants death penalty kept off table

A man who was sentenced to death, then given a reprieve in two Massachusetts killings plans to ask a judge to bar federal prosecutors from seeking the death penalty a second time.

Gary Lee Sampson’s lawyers filed a list of motions they intend to file or are thinking about filing before Sampson has a second sentencing trial in February.

Sampson pleaded guilty in the 2001 carjackings and killings of two Massachusetts men and was later sentenced to death. That sentenced was overturned in 2011 after a judge found a juror had lied about her background.


Bill lets Army Corps manage water level for arts festival

Congress has passed a bill that allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to operate the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier during the city’s popular WaterFire event.

The bill also gives the agency the authority to accept funds from the city and other entities to do so. U.S. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed said Friday that the president will soon sign the bill.

The Army Corps of Engineers said last year that it could only operate the barrier during emergencies because of federal budget cuts. It also did not have the clear authority to operate the barrier to support recreational activities.

WaterFire, Providence’s public art display, requires consistent water levels to accommodate the bonfires. Closing the barrier maintains the water level when the tide is too low or too high.

Man admits role in using stolen data for tax refunds

A Providence man has pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme that collected the personal information of more than 1,200 people and used many of the identities to file fraudulent tax returns totaling more than $1.8 million.

The U.S. attorney’s office said Friday 22-year-old Julian Balbi pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated identity theft and one count each of conspiracy and theft of government property.

Rhode Island State Police arrested Balbi and a co-defendant, Richard Lara, 22, of Providence, after a routine traffic stop in January 2012. Prosecutors say there were 87 U.S. Treasury checks made out to third parties inside the vehicle.

Lara is awaiting trial on aggravated identity theft, conspiracy and theft of government property charges. Balbi is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 18.


Two paddle boarders help rescue deer from ocean

Two men using paddle boards helped with the rescue of two deer who wandered into the ocean off of Hampton Beach.

Hampton police said the deer had been overwhelmed by the stress of the cold water and collapsed about 10 a.m. Friday.

The two onlookers, Eric Tidman and Mathew Roy of Massachusetts, corralled and temporarily restrained the deer until two Fish and Game Department conservation officers were able to take them out of the ocean.


Cryptowall virus infects police computer system

A virus has infected the police department computer system in Durham.

Town Manager Todd Selig said an officer opened what appeared to be a legitimate file attachment to an email Thursday night. By Friday morning, widespread issues were reported.

Luke Vincent, Durham’s manager of information technology, said a virus called Cryptowall managed to bypass the town’s spam filters and anti-virus software.


Second reward of $5,000 offered in loon shootings

A second reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in two recent New Hampshire loon shootings.

The reward is being offered through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. An initial reward of $5,000 was offered by The Humane Society.

The loons were found with bullet wounds last month 50 miles apart in Dover and Moultonborough. Both died.

The loon is protected by both state and federal law, and is a threatened species in the state. It’s a misdemeanor to injure or shoot a loon.

Anyone with information on the shootings is asked to contact Special Agent Robert Rothe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Concord at 223-2541

—From news service reports