Stores closed for selling drug, after 34 overdoses

City officials in Manchester say three stores have been shut down for selling a synthetic drug called spice that is suspected of causing a spate of overdoses.

The mayor convened an emergency meeting of police and city officials on Wednesday to address the ongoing problem.

Officials say 34 people overdosed between Monday and Tuesday. None of the overdoses was fatal.

Officials say many overdose victims said spice sold under the brand name Smacked and in bubble gum flavor was the main product causing the overdoses.


Man rescued in heavy surf as he swam off closed beach

A New York man has been rescued from surf with waves as high as 12 feet off Charlestown.

Authorities said a woman called Wednesday to say her husband got caught in a rip current while swimming at Blue Shutters Town Beach.

Police said 55-year-old Michael Novak of South Salem, New York, was about 400 feet from shore clinging to a boogie board. Rescuers launched a boat from the Breachway, and Sgt. Phillip Gingerella, a life guard, swam to him.

A big wave crashed over them and separated them as they headed to shore, but rescuers grabbed Novak. Gingerella also was helped back to land.

Novak, who was vacationing in Charlestown, declined to be taken to a hospital.

The beach had been closed for bad weather.


Man who murdered mother beaten to death in prison

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. says a 72-year-old inmate serving a life sentence for murder has been beaten to death in prison.

Early said William Sires was found badly beaten in a cell on Tuesday in the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. He was declared dead in an ambulance headed to Leominster Hospital.

Sires was convicted of murdering his mother in Pittsfield in 1973.


Large wave disables ferry, briefly stranding passengers

The Coast Guard says a ferry from Provincetown to Boston has been disabled after being hit by a large wave.

WCVB reported that the Bay State Cruise Co. boat with 42 passengers was briefly stranded north of Scituate on Wednesday. No injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard said an engine regained power and was slowly headed back to Boston.

Another boat was dispatched to tow the disabled ferry back to Boston.


Auction of moose permits raises $23,500 in two bids

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire has raised $23,500 in its annual auction of moose hunting permits.

The group received seven bids from five states for the two permits, with the winning bidders paying $12,000 and $11,500.

Proceeds from the auction help support fish and wildlife initiatives and education programs run by the state Fish and Game Department. This year, the foundation voluntarily reduced the number of permits being auctioned due to a concern that the moose population is under stress from ticks.

Last year, 19 bids were placed for five permits, with a high bid of $10,000.

The New Hampshire moose hunt takes place Oct. 18-26.


Police find body of baby in trash can outside home

Police in Connecticut say they’re investigating the death of a baby found in a trash can.

East Hartford officers found the baby’s body in a trash bin outside a home Tuesday night. Police said they went to the house after a doctor called them to report that an 18-year-old woman who was evaluated at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center showed signs of having given birth.

Police haven’t released other details.

The baby’s body was taken to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Farmington for an autopsy.


Driver cited after truck damages covered bridge

Vermont State Police say a tractor-trailer exceeded the maximum height of a covered bridge and caused damage to the structure while trying to pass through it.

Police said the accident happened in Lyndonville about 7 a.m. Wednesday. The driver did not stop.

Police found and cited Mario Baulanger, 48, of St. Norbert, Quebec, on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident.

– From news service reports