Riptide warnings issued as storm skirts New England

The National Weather Service is warning swimmers about possible riptide currents in Massachusetts and Rhode Island as Tropical Storm Bertha passes within a few hundred miles of southern New England.

The Weather Service says the threat of rip currents will continue into Wednesday evening for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, the south coast of Rhode Island and Block Island.

Forecasters say Bertha will be moving east of New England through the day and is expected to bring swells of 5 to 8 feet.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is advising swimmers to check surf conditions, heed the advice of lifeguards and not swim alone.

Riptides are powerful channels of water flowing away from shore that can be dangerous to swimmers.


Vermont towns blame state for property tax complaints

Officials in at least two Vermont towns are telling residents to take their complaints about increases in their property tax bills to the state.

Derby Town Clerk Faye Morin said town clerks across the state have had enough phone calls from concerned citizens asking questions about increases, especially in the statewide education property tax.

“You don’t know how many people call,” she said.

She said the idea of putting a letter in the town report came up at a recent seminar for town clerks and other officials.

“The increase you are seeing this year is not your local spending,” says the letter that will be going out in Derby. “The increase is a reflection of state education funding. Please contact your local state representatives about the way the state taxes for towns’ education.”

Derby tax bills are due to go out this month.

The letter also provides the names of Derby’s two state representatives and senators.

In Norton, a letter included with the tax bills told people to take their questions to the state Department of Taxes, the Caledonian Record reported.

New Haven, Conn.

Armed robber fatally shot in oddly coincidental incident

New Haven police say a clerk shot and killed a man who was trying to rob his store.

The shooting occurred shortly after the clerk’s brother reported an armed robbery in a different store.

Police went to the Ave. Mini Mart around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday after the owner reported a man with a rifle tried to rob him. While they were there, police got a call from the owner’s brother at their other store. He reported a man had tried to rob him and that he had shot him.

Officers went to Nino’s Market and found the suspect shot in the chest. The suspect was pronounced dead at Yale-New Haven Hospital. His name hasn’t been released.

Police said they recovered the weapon used in the robbery. No charges had been filed in the shooting.

Milford, Conn.

Proposed panhandling ban viewed as a way of helping

The city of Milford is considering joining a number of other Connecticut municipalities that have passed ordinances outlawing panhandling.

The New Haven Register reports a task force is considering the ban.

City attorney Jonathan Berchem says Milford wants to have a forceful law that police feel comfortable enforcing. He said the goal isn’t to arrest people, but to identify individuals who need help.

He said municipalities with panhandling ordinances include Bridgeport, Norwalk, Hartford, Danbury, New Milford and East Hartford, among others. Most impose fines of up to $99.

Task force representatives said at a Board of Aldermen meeting this week they have identified a group of panhandlers who the city is trying to reach out to them to provide services.


Man accused of voyeurism after posting Facebook photo

Vermont State Police have accused a man of voyeurism after a woman said he posted aphoto on Facebook showing her sleeping.

The woman said she found the photo on the page of Steve Carbonaro, 42, of Bennington,

He was cited Tuesday and is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 15. It wasn’t immediately known if he had a lawyer.


Provider of portable toilets fined for messy movement

A Vermont portable toilet company has pleaded guilty to reckless conduct and agreed to pay a fine for transporting toilets containing human waste in New Hampshire.

In July 2013, a New Hampshire state trooper saw liquid leaking from a pickup truck loaded with three portable toilets on Interstate 93 in Littleton. The trooper found the toilets had not been emptied before they were moved.

The company, Calkins Portable Toilet of Danville, Vermont, called a septage hauling truck to pump out the waste.

On Tuesday, Calkins entered into negotiated pleas of guilty to three counts of recklessly engaging in conduct that may place another in danger of serious bodily injury. It was fined $6,000, with $1,500 suspended upon five years of good behavior.

— From news service reports