Tuesday May 7, 2013

Aid-in-dying bill goes back to Vt. Senate

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Debate over legislation that would allow physicians to provide lethal medication to terminally ill patients who request it is expected to come to a head this week at the Vermont Statehouse.

The House has passed a version of the bill with a series of safeguards similar to a law that’s been in place in Oregon for 15 years. The Senate has passed a shorter version that would simply relieve health workers and family members of civil or criminal liability when a patient ends her or his own life.

The Senate is evenly divided over the legislation, and passage of a version closer to the Oregon-style bill the House passed could depend on just one vote changing in the Senate.

The House is not expected to agree with the Senate version.

Vermont police say arrest could solve many burglaries

BENNINGTON (AP) -- Police in the Vermont town of Bennington say the arrest of a woman caught in a local man’s home could help solve a string of burglaries in the community.

Bennington Police Lt. Lloyd Dean says an unnamed homeowner called 911 early Friday after seeing a woman in his home.

The suspect, later identified as 42-year-old Nikki Lixx, fled. The homeowner chased her, eventually catching her with the help of other neighbors.

Dean wrote that Lixx admitted burglarizing the man’s home as well as committing two other burglaries.

Lixx gave police permission to search her home where they found numerous items they believed to have been stolen, including laptop computers, cash, jewelry, and small electronic devices.

3 hurt in explosion in fire Morrisville home and gallery

MORRISVILLE (AP) -- Police say three Vermont firefighters were injured when a tank of welding gas exploded during a fire that destroyed a home and art gallery in Morrisville.

The fire was reported late Friday evening and when firefighters arrived the Foundry Street building was engulfed in flames.

The Morrisville Fire Department called for assistance from departments in Hyde Park, North Hyde Park and Elmore.

The firefighters injured by the explosion of the acetylene tank were treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital.

The building was considered a total loss.

Investigators concluded that the fire originated on the back side of the residence where tools and other items were stored. The exact cause of the fire is undetermined.

Casino owner upgrading N.H. proposal

SALEM, N.H. (AP) -- A casino owner hoping to open New Hampshire’s first video slots operation is upping the ante on his bet in hopes of a winning hand with reluctant House members.

Bill Wortman, a principal in Las Vegas-based Millennium Gaming, is holding a Town Hall meeting at Rockingham Park race track Wednesday night to explain the changes to residents who already have voted to support a casino. The Senate passed a bill to authorize one casino with up to 5,000 video slots and 150 table games, but the House has never supported casinos.

Wortman said the new plan includes a hotel with a spa and entertainment venue with seating for up to 1,500. The changes bump the cost from $450 million to about $600 million.

Hassan visits bombing victims with N.H. ties

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Gov. Maggie Hassan is telling victims of the Boston Marathon bombing that New Hampshire stands with them.

Hassan traveled to Boston on Sunday to visit several of the injured who have New Hampshire ties, including Jeff Bauman of Chelmsford, Mass., whose father and stepmother live in Concord. Bauman, who had both of his legs amputated above the knees, is now recovering at a rehabilitation hospital, where Hassan told him that New Hampshire residents are rooting for him.

Hassan also visited Martha Galvis of Nashua, who also was injured in the explosions.

Fire destroys N.H. barn featured in ‘80s TV show

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire fire officials say a more than 200-year-old barn in Peterborough that was featured in a 1980s television show was destroyed by fire.

The barn that was destroyed Sunday had been in the same family since 1791.

Barn owner Andrew Morrison says a neighbor reported the fire about 7 a.m.

Morrison says the barn contained chickens, hay and generations of memories for his family.

He calls the loss "very sad."

About 80 firefighters from four area departments fought the fire while another department covered the rest of the town.

During the 1980s an episode of the television show "St. Elsewhere" was filmed on the property.

Group seeks more substance abuse treatment funding

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire residents who want the Legislature to spend more money on substance abuse prevention and treatment are taking a new approach: video postcards.

The advocacy group New Futures is holding a news conference Monday to urge state senators to increase funding for prevention and treatment services. The group has been working with an organization called Media Power Youth to create video postcards in which residents explain why they support the funding.

Individuals who created the videos will share their experiences at the news conference, which also will feature representatives from Child Health Services and the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment.

New Hampshire spends about $1.5 million a year on substance abuse treatment.

Penguins prepare for 1st swim at Mystic Aquarium

MYSTIC, Conn. (AP) -- A pair of African penguin chicks is preparing for their first swim at Mystic Aquarium.

The two penguins hatched in February and thousands of people have watched the chicks during their early days through a live webcam at the aquarium.

Their first swim is set for Thursday. Once they develop their swimming skills they will be introduced to the adult penguins at the aquarium.

The African penguin is an endangered species. The aquarium participates in a species survival plan through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.