Friday December 7, 2012

Historic Vermont diner set to reopen

BELLOWS FALLS (AP) -- An 80-year-old Vermont diner that’s on the National Register of Historic Places is reopening soon.

The Miss Bellows Falls Diner closed in June.

The restaurant was bought by Brian and Alisha McAllister in August. The McAllisters, who also operate Father’s Restaurant in Westminster, have done some renovations and hope to have the diner open by mid-December.

The 30-foot diner still has its barrel roof and porcelain sheathing, resembling an old railroad car. It was added to the national list in 1983.

Police say impostors posing as Vermont investigators

WATERBURY (AP) -- Police say they have received reports of suspicious people posing as representatives of the Vermont Department of Children and Families.

State Police spokeswoman Stephanie Dasaro said a woman and two men showed up at a Sunderland residence Monday and told a grandmother that a child’s parents were under investigation by "child protective services." They physically picked up the child to examine him and indicated they might return.

The department received an October report of a woman at a St. Johnsbury home who said she was a DCF worker investigating a child abuse report. She examined the child.

Police in Lyndonville received a Dec. 1 report about three women who went to a home claiming to be from "Human Services" or "Home Health."

The department is not investigating the targeted families.

N.H. prosecutors’ office collects $24M

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors in New Hampshire collected more than $24 million in fiscal year 2012 from fines, penalties, forfeitures and restitution.

U.S. Attorney John Kacavas says nearly a third of the money came from a penalty paid by a Florida-based finance corporation -- Imperial Holdings -- to resolve fraud allegations.

Kacavas said the $24 million represents five times the annual budget of his office.

Nationwide, federal prosecutors collected more than $13 billion in civil and criminal penalties -- twice the amount collected in fiscal 2011.

Bragdon names chairs to N.H. Senate committees

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Republicans will chair the 11 standing New Hampshire Senate committees for the next two years.

Senate President Peter Bragdon, a Republican, on Wednesday named Sen. Chuck Morse to continue as chairman of the Finance Committee.

Sen. David Boutin will chair capital budget as well as public and municipal affairs. Sen. Sharon Carson will chair executive departments and administration as well as judiciary.

Sen. Andy Sanborn will chair commerce; Sen. Russell Prescott, energy and natural resources as well as rules, enrolled bills and internal affairs; Sen. Nancy Stiles, health, education and human services; Sen. Jim Rausch, transportation; and Sen. Bob Odell, ways and means.

House Speaker Terie Norelli, a Democrat, named only one committee chair so far: Rep. Mary Jane Wallner as chair of the Finance Committee.

Toys, gifts donated to 3-year-old burned boy

PLAISTOW, N.H. (AP) -- People have been dropping off toys and gifts at a New Hampshire police department for a 3-year-old boy at the center of a child endangerment case.

James Nicholson of Plaistow was recently released from the hospital. He is recovering from brain injuries, bruises and burns to his wrist and fingers. Police said a fund for financial donations is being set up for him.

The boy is living with his grandmother in Kingston. His mother, Jessica Linscott, and her boyfriend, Roland Dow, remain jailed on multiple charges of child endangerment. Dow also has been charged with first- and second-degree assault.

Mayor cool to regional Mass. casino meeting

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) -- Springfield’s mayor is throwing cold water on a request by Holyoke’s mayor for a regional meeting to discuss casino development.

Both mayors are weighing casino proposals in their cities.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse sent letters earlier this week inviting officials in Springfield, Chicopee and several other communities to a meeting to discuss how a casino in the region might impact traffic, the environment and local businesses.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno did not rule out participation in such a meeting, but suggested it would be premature because developers have not yet submitted formal plans. He also said the state’s casino law already requires developers to negotiate "mitigation" agreements with surrounding communities.

Malloy approves temporary $550 million credit line

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has authorized $550 million in temporary lines of credit at the request of the state treasurer in case the state needs cash to pay its bills.

Treasurer Denise Nappier says state government is facing reduced cash levels and obtaining credit lines is a precautionary measure. Malloy’s authorization doesn’t mean money from the credit lines will be used.

The Democratic governor’s approval comes as state Comptroller Kevin Lembo is projecting a $415 million deficit in this year’s $20 billion state budget. The shortfall estimate is $50 million higher than the one by the Malloy administration.

Republican lawmakers say they’re against borrowing money to pay operating expenses. They say they’ve been questioning the adequacy of the state’s cash reserves for months.