Tuesday December 18, 2012

Leahy now 3rd in presidential succession

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont is now third in the line of presidential succession.

The Senate late Monday passed a resolution approving Leahy as president pro tempore. He would replace Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, who died Monday.

The seven-term Leahy would be third in line to the presidency, behind the vice president and the speaker of the House.

Leahy also is in line to replace Inouye as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The 72-year-old Leahy currently is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Vt. issues annual ban on manure spreading

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont’s Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets has started its annual ban on winter manure spreading as part of a strategy to protect water quality.

Manure spreading is a common practice in Vermont agriculture, which enriches the soil for production. Vermont’s annual ban, which went into effect Saturday, has been used since 1995 under the Accepted Agricultural Practice rules.

Officials say research has shown that manure applications on frozen ground can increase the runoff potential.

The ban is in effect until April 1. This year, however, the ban was lifted early, due to unusually dry conditions in Vermont, a result of the warm winter.


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New Hampshire water commission says long-range plan is needed

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A commission studying the quality of New Hampshire’s water says long-term planning is needed to ensure the sustainability of the state’s water systems and natural resources.

Gov. John Lynch appointed the 14-member commission in 2011 to identify strategies for making sure New Hampshire’s water quality is as good or better 25 years from now.

The committee reported Monday that the state’s water infrastructure -- last upgraded a quarter-century ago -- is in need of a major overhaul.

The commission also noted that extreme weather events are overwhelming water systems and natural resources with storm water run-off.

Commission Chairman John Gilbert said Monday’s water problems are more complex than those of the past and require investment and innovative solutions.

N.H. high school has brief lockdown for loud noise

WINDHAM, N.H. (AP) -- A New Hampshire high school was briefly locked down after an administrator heard a loud bang, but a police search found nothing suspicious.

Superintendent Henry LaBranche says the assistant principal at Windham High School heard a noise that he thought could have been a gunshot Monday morning. On heightened alert because of the school shooting in Connecticut, the school went into lockdown mode and called police.

The school resumed operations an hour later after authorities searched the building and found nothing out of the ordinary.

Former N.H. paper mill coming down

GROVETON, N.H. (AP) -- A former paper mill in Groveton, N.H., is coming down.

The former Wasau paper mill closed in 2007. Demolition of the mill began last week.

The owner of the 105-acre site is developer Green Steel of Scottsdale, Ariz. It expects to have the property cleared by June. After that, Green Steel will look for new businesses to occupy the site. It is willing to subdivide the property.

Project manager Mike Sterling said the majority of the mill buildings are being torn down quickly. He said they were heavily damaged when past owners gutted them and sold off assets such as machinery and copper wiring.

He said several newer buildings are in good condition and could accommodate new businesses. .

Police: Dog mauls boy, mother in Maine

LIVERMORE FALLS, Maine (AP) -- A 1-year-old boy is hospitalized with severe facial injuries and his mother is also recovering from injuries after authorities in Livermore Falls say they were attacked over the weekend by the family’s dog.

The town’s animal control officer ordered the dog, a pit bull-wolf hybrid mix, quarantined in a room at family’s home on Friday. But on Saturday, police Lt. Thomas Gould said the dog was able to grab the child by the head and maul the boy. When his parents rushed to his aid, the boy’s mother was also attacked by the animal.

The child was rushed to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, where he underwent surgery on Sunday for facial injuries. The boy’s mother was treated for injuries to her arm.

The dog was euthanized.