Tuesday February 19, 2013

2 Vermont National Guard members do well in contest

COLCHESTER (AP) -- Two members of the Vermont National Guard are being recognized with awards as part of the 2012 Air Force Media Contest.

Staff Sgt. Sarah Mattison and Tech. Sgt. Daniel DiPietro of the 158th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office have together won eight awards in the contest’s Air National Guard round.

Mattison was recognized as Air Force Military Photographer of the year. She also placed first in the categories of photojournalism, graphics layout and design, and portrait/personality photograph. She placed second in the category of Graphics Illustration.

DiPietro won the Sports Photograph category and took third place in the categories for outstanding new broadcaster and air force military broadcast journalist of the year.

N.H. House to vote whether to repeal school tax credit

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire’s House is voting whether to repeal a fledgling program that gives businesses a tax credit for donating to scholarship organizations that send students to private or public schools.

A majority of the House Ways and Means Committee is recommending repealing the law that would allow $3.4 million in tax credits to be issued the first year. So far, businesses have only donated about $127,000 to the program.

The business donations would go to organizations created to provide scholarships of up to $2,500 to eligible students. The scholarship amount would be adjusted for inflation.

Students attending private schools, public schools outside the student’s home district and students schooled at home would qualify for scholarships. Income limits are set on who qualifies to receive a scholarship.

The House votes Wednesday.

N.H. House panel holds hearing on medical marijuana

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire lawmakers will consider legislation to legalize marijuana use by people with debilitating or terminal health conditions.

The House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee is holding a hearing Thursday on a bill to allow up to five alternative treatment centers to dispense marijuana to patients as well as allow them to grow small amounts for personal use, or to designate a caregiver to grow it for them.

The bill’s prime sponsor, Rep. Donna Schlachman of Exeter, says both options are needed to reach the most people in need of help.

The Legislature has passed bills to allow alternative care centers or individuals to grow marijuana, but not both. Former Gov. John Lynch vetoed the bills, but Gov. Maggie Hassan supports legalization with tight controls.

20-year-old Mass.
man hurt in N.H. snowmobile crash

PITTSBURG, N.H. (AP) -- Authorities say a 20-year-old Massachusetts man has been injured in a snowmobile crash while riding with his family in New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says Kyle Mondeau, of East Taunton, was hurt Monday afternoon in Pittsburg. Officers say he lost control of his snowmobile on a curve, hit several small trees and was thrown from the vehicle.

Mondeau was treated at the scene and taken to Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook, N.H., for more treatment.

Authorities say he suffered back and lower leg injuries.

They say excessive speed appears to be a factor in the crash.

Mass. House, Senate lawmakers plan budget hearings

BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts residents who want to weigh in on the proposed state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 will have plenty of opportunities.

The Massachusetts House and Senate Ways and Means committees have scheduled joint public hearings across the state over the next several weeks.

The next public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at the student center at Worcester State University. The focus will be on proposed spending for the judiciary and public safety, including district attorneys’ offices.

Subsequent hearings are scheduled for Arlington, Everett, Fitchburg, Greenfield and Hanover.

A final hearing is set for March 8 at the Statehouse.

The House and Senate need to deliver a final budget bill to Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk before the end of the current fiscal year on June 30.

Emails: Officials worried about Conn. nuke plant

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Emails among federal regulators show that officials running Connecticut’s nuclear plant want to use water that’s even warmer than the temperature that forced it to shut a unit in August.

The emails have been obtained by The Associated Press through an open records request. They show regulators were cool to at least two other suggestions by Millstone Power Station in Waterford to operate with warmer water.

One of the plant’s two operating units was stopped for nearly two weeks because the water in the Long Island Sound was warmer than the 75-degree safety limit. The other unit remained open.

Regulators allowed Millstone to use an average of temperature readings that reduced the measurement -- but not enough to avoid the shutdown.