Tuesday December 4, 2012

Texting for 911 starts 4-month trial in Vt.

MONTPELIER (AP) -- As part of a four-month trial period, Sprint Wireless customers in Vermont can send a text message to 911 for emergency help.

The service is starting Monday. Sprint Wireless customers must have mobile phones that are capable of sending text messages. It’s part of an experimental trial to evaluate the technology.

David Tucker, executive director of the Enhanced 911 Board in Vermont, said this is the second such trial launched during the year. He said the fact that a large number of people who are deaf or hard of hearing already use Sprint means officials will be better equipped to provide access for that population to the Vermont 911 system.

Flags to fly at half-staff in honor of Vermont lawmaker

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff on Tuesday in honor of a state lawmaker who was killed when he was hit by a car.

A memorial service also will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday for Rep. Gregory Clark of Vergennes at the Vergennes Congregational Church.

State Police said the 65-year-old Republican lawmaker was killed Friday morning when he was hit by a car along U.S. Route 7 in Waltham.

Police said Clark was driving south when he stopped his car at the edge of the highway to clear his windshield. Clark pulled partially onto the shoulder of the road, but he was hit by another south-bound vehicle while he was outside his car.

Father of Vermont
boy who drowned emphasizing safety

BURLINGTON (AP) -- The father of a 12-year-old Vermont boy who drowned at a swimming hole last year is starting a campaign to help swimmers take precautions.

Bentley Seifer drowned while swimming at the Bolton potholes in July 2011.

His father, Bruce Seifer, said he’s assembled a legal team, mapped out the sites of recent drownings and started meeting with state officials.

He’s interested in putting out public messages about when certain swimming areas are particularly dangerous.

Seifer says one of the challenges is that many swimming holes in Vermont are on private property, which complicates the implementation of a statewide initiative.

High bail for N.H. couple in child endangerment case

PLAISTOW, N.H. (AP) -- A fugitive couple arrested at a Florida theme park have been arraigned in New Hampshire on charges in the beating and burning of the woman’s 3-year-old son.

Separate video arraignments were held Monday morning for the two in Plaistow District Court.

The boy’s mother, 23-year-old Jessica Linscott, was ordered held on $100,000 bail. Her boyfriend, 27-year-old Roland Dow, was ordered held on $500,000 bail.

Both have been ordered not to have contact with each other or with the child.

Linscott and Dow were arrested last week by federal marshals at Universal Studios in Orlando following two weeks on the run. They were jailed in New Hampshire on Saturday.

Dow is charged with first- and second-degree assault. He and Linscott face multiple charges of child endangerment.

N.H. officials seek moose poacher(s)

LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire Fish and Game officials are asking for the public’s help in identifying who killed a moose out of season in Berlin and left it to rot in what they are calling the most egregious case of poaching that conservation officers have seen in the North County this year.

A cow moose carcass with bullet holes in it was found off Kilkenny Loop Road on Friday night.

Officials say tracks in the snow show that someone had walked up to the moose, fired a final shot into the animal’s head and then walked away. No meat was removed.

Conservation officers believe the moose was shot on Wednesday or Thursday.

Authorities believe that multiple people may have been involved.

Malloy energy plan pits natural gas against oil

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- An energy strategy proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy encouraging conversion to natural gas is drawing strong opposition from the home heating oil industry.

Malloy’s Connecticut Comprehensive Energy Strategy recommends policy changes in energy efficiency, electricity supply, industrial energy needs, transportation and natural gas.

The plan would spur economic development, business growth and reduce energy costs.

Malloy proposes to make natural gas available to as many as 300,000 Connecticut homes and businesses by asking state regulators to allow utilities to collect customer payments that would be extended over longer periods of time to finance furnace conversions to natural gas.

Owners of home-heating oil companies say the state should not favor one fuel over another and give incentives that benefit gas utility companies at the expense of family-run heating oil businesses.

Charges dismissed against lawyer with gun at movie

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- Authorities have dismissed charges against a Connecticut attorney arrested in August for bringing handgun to a movie theater showing the Batman film.

Sung-Ho Hwang was charged with breach of peace and interfering with police after officers said they found a loaded handgun in his waistband. Police say he had a permit to carry the weapon but didn’t comply with their commands.

Hugh Keefe, Hwang’s attorney, said a prosecutor agreed to drop the charges Monday because Hwang complied with the commands once he realized it was police and he has a clean record.

During a screening of the same film in Aurora, Colo., in July, a man opened fire, killing 12 moviegoers and wounding 58. James Holmes has been charged with the Colorado killings.

Mass. Gov. celebrates wind energy farm

FLORIDA, Mass. (AP) -- The state’s largest wind energy farm is nearing completion.

Gov. Deval Patrick and state Energy and state energy officials on Monday visited the 19-turbine Hoosac Wind Power project in the western Massachusetts towns of Florida and Monroe.

Officials say the wind farm on track to be completed by year’s end will produce enough power for more than 10,000 homes a year and offset about 64 million pounds of carbon dioxide released by traditional electrical generation.

The project is also expected to generate about $6.8 million in tax revenue for the towns.

But not all local residents are happy. Opponents who formed a group called Friends of Florida and Monroe say they worry the turbines will bring noise and possible adverse health effects, and lower the property values of nearby residents.