Tuesday February 12, 2013

Bennington holds
arts-economic development summit

BENNINGTON (AP) -- The community of Bennington, Vt., is taking a closer look at using the arts as an engine for economic development.

The town wants to set up a strategic arts and culture plan. The first steps were discussed Sunday at a summit that attracted artists, entertainers, community leaders and business owners.

Goals included identifying creative future initiatives, including an arts directory, and incorporating those ideas into a cultural component to Bennington’s evolving economic development plan.

Vermont Senate to vote on assisted death

MONTPELIER (AP) -- The Vermont Senate is gearing up for a vote on legislation that supporters call "end-of-life choices" and critics call "physician-assisted suicide."

The Senate is set to vote Tuesday whether to follow a recommendation of the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject the measure.

The Judiciary Committee on Friday came out against the legislation a week after the Health and Welfare Committee voted unanimously to support it.

If the measure clears the Senate, it still would need action in the Vermont House. Both the House leadership and Gov. Peter Shumlin have expressed support for the bill.

Price of gas inching up in New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The price of gas in New Hampshire has gone up nearly 6 cents a gallon over the past week.

The average retail price for a gallon of gas averaged $3.65 on Sunday.

The national average also has increased 5.7 cents per gallon in the past week, to $3.55.

The website Gasbuddy.com says prices in New Hampshire were 12.9 cents a gallon higher than the same day a year ago, and 24.3 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

The national average is 7.2 cents per gallon higher than a year ago, and 24.3 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

Foxwoods jumps into fray for Mass. casino

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Foxwoods Resort Casino has jumped into the race to open a casino in eastern Massachusetts.

CEO Scott Butera told The Associated Press on Monday that it has joined with developer David Nunes to compete for a casino in Milford. He says building a casino just 70 miles from Foxwoods in southeast Connecticut will help increase both markets.

He’s joining with real estate developer David Nunes who has already reached an agreement with the town of Milford to build an $850 million resort casino.

Nunes says no one knows the New England gambling market better than Foxwoods.

The Nunes venture, Crossroads Massachusetts, will compete for the eastern Massachusetts resort casino license with Suffolk Downs in Boston and Steve Wynn, who has proposed a casino for Everett.

Maine braces for another budworm infestation

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Three decades ago, an insidious pest called the spruce budworm wreaked devastation on Maine’s forests, defoliating the state’s abundant fir and spruce trees until they were dry sticks.

The infestation prompted an air war, first with chemicals and later with biological insecticides, and at last the budworms disappeared.

But experts say the bugs may soon descend upon Maine again.

State entomologist Dave Struble says there’s a budworm outbreak in parts of Canada’s New Brunswick and Quebec provinces, and there have been some signs of budworms in Maine. But officials don’t know whether to expect a sizeable outbreak in the state.

For now, they’re keeping landowners informed in case another suppression effort should be considered.