Six hospitals joining forces to treat potential Ebola cases

Six Massachusetts hospitals have formed a collaborative system to handle Ebola patients, even though there have been no Ebola cases in the state and public health officials say the risk is “extremely low.”

The Department of Public Health announced Friday that Baystate Medical Center in Springfield as well Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Tufts Medical Center in Boston would accept transfers from other hospitals in Massachusetts based on existing referral relationships and capacity.

Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett says the collaboration “shows that Massachusetts health care providers are well prepared.”

Each of the state’s hospitals and their emergency departments are able to screen, identify, and isolate suspected cases, and will coordinate with the state on risk assessment and transfers as needed.


Son bought 2 human skulls as a joke, elderly father says

A Connecticut man says two human skulls found at a garbage processing center had been purchased “as a joke” by his now-deceased son.

Eighty-nine-year-old Fairfield resident Robert DeVitto told The Associated Press on Friday that he wasn’t aware the skulls were real. It wasn’t clear if his son knew they were real.

The skulls were found at a Stamford waste transfer station near some books and videos on witchcraft and Satan. The state medical examiner determined they were from an older man and woman.

DeVitto said that his son Robert lived a “troubled life” before he died this month at 56.

The skulls were removed along with other items belonging to the man by a junk dealer and brought to the transfer station Thursday. Officials there notified police.


Rights group challenges law banning ballot photo posts

The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union and three voters – including a state representative – are challenging a new law that bans ballot photos being posted to social media or otherwise publicized.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Concord, seeks an order barring the state from enforcing the law that took effect Sept. 1.

The lawsuit claims that the three voters are currently under investigation by the state attorney general’s office after taking digital photos of their completed primary ballots and posting them to social media.

One of the plaintiffs – Andrew Langlois – wrote in the name of his deceased dog as his choice for the Republican U.S. Senate candidate and posted it to Facebook, saying he was dissatisfied with the official candidates.


Park near veterans’ home will take in 24 fallow deer

The Vermont Veterans’ Home has accepted the donation of 24 fallow deer.

The animals were taken from a horse trailer to Bennington to a park near the home.

The Bennington Banner reported that four white-tailed deer that have been inhabiting the deer park for decades were old, and were the center of much criticism from the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, since the laws on the captivity of wild animals has grown much stricter.

The park is now getting two bucks, 18 does and four fawns.


Candidate’s minivan strikes, injures two college students

A candidate for state representative in Massachusetts who had just left a debate accidentally struck two college students, sending both to the hospital.

Police said independent Fred Bahou struck the University of Massachusetts-Lowell students with his minivan after leaving Thursday night’s debate at the school.

Bahou said he was traveling at “a slow rate of speed” when “all of a sudden they just appeared.”

Both were transported to Lowell General Hospital with minor injuries.

Bahou had just finished debating Democrat Rady Mom.

A police spokesman said Friday that the accident remains under investigation.


Probe of prostitution leads to human trafficking charges

Police investigating prostitution in the Hampton Beach area have arrested two men on charges of human trafficking.

Police have accused 34-year-old Edmund Mitchell and 27-year-old Reno Demesmin of bringing multiple young adult women into Hampton, working as prostitutes. The two allegedly controlled their actions through intimidation and drug use.

It was not immediately known if Mitchell or Demesmin had a lawyer.

They said the two also operated in several different motels in Hooksett and Manchester.


Old courthouse named for former state justice

A 130-year-old courthouse in Vermont finally has a name.

The building in St. Albans is now known as the Percival Shangraw Court House, named after a former state Supreme Court justice who presided locally and beyond.

Shangraw, called both “Percy” and “Shang,” lived from 1897 to 1988. In addition to the state Supreme Court, he served as a municipal judge, superior judge, chief superior judge.

The building was named during a ceremony Wednesday.

The Burlington Free Press reported that Kelly Gosselin, an assistant judge, said besides his work, Shangraw was known for his sense of humor and practical jokes, which included calling fellow judges on the phone while pretending to represent the IRS.

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