Vermont police use Internet in sex sting

SOUTH BURLINGTON (AP) -- Police in Vermont barely had time to hit the "send" button before suspects seeking prostitutes began responding to their Internet bait.

South Burlington police say they arrested seven men Wednesday who showed up at a pre-arranged meeting spot posted by an undercover agent.

Police say the men -- one from New Hampshire and six from Vermont -- showed up at a local inn whose owners agreed to participate in the sting.

The men were charged with prohibited acts and are scheduled to appear in superior court in Burlington July 3.

Police said responses started pouring in just minutes after the ad was posted on an unidentified media site that featured similar ads.

Police say they received 40 responses within six hours.

SNHU, N.H. Institute of Art discuss possible merger

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Southern New Hampshire University and the New Hampshire Institute of Art are considering a merger.

A memo from SNHU President Paul LeBlanc to the university's faculty and staff says a merger would "instantly expand" SNHU's offerings in the arts and give it a greater presence in downtown Manchester.

For the arts institute, joining SNHU could promote its programs better online and it could benefit from the larger university's marketing and recruitment capabilities. Additionally, NHIA students could access SNHU class offerings and facilities.

The memo, dated Thursday, says the two institutions have signed a memorandum of understanding to work toward an eventual merger and hope to have a final decision by Sept. 1.

Federal grant aid homeless programs in New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Federal officials have awarded nearly $535,000 in grants to bolster New Hampshire homeless assistances programs.

Officials say the money will help nine programs around New Hampshire.

New Hampshire's grant is part of $140 million in grants awarded nationwide by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency.

Earlier this year New Hampshire received more than $5.7 million in HUD grants. Those funds were distributed to 54 local homeless housing and services programs.

A survey of homelessness HUD conducted on a single night in January in 2013 showed there were 610,000 homeless people nationwide. But HUD also reports the chronic homeless population has dropped by nearly 16 percent and number of veterans experiencing homelessness is down 24 percent.

Hassan signs law named after Joshua Savyon

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed a new law named after 9-year-old Joshua Savyon who was killed by his father in a case of domestic violence.

Hassan signed Joshua's Law in a private ceremony Thursday attended by the boy's mother, Becky Ranes. The domestic violence bill was introduced following the Joshua's death. He was shot to death by his father last year as the two spent time together at a Manchester YWCA. His father also killed himself.

The bill doesn't change the substance of the crimes but will help distinguish an assault that occurred in a bar fight, for example, from one that involves an attack on a spouse. Making domestic violence a crime will allow the state to collect better data that can be used for prevention, education and intervention.

Jury convicts man in beating girlfriend's son, 3

BRENTWOOD, N.H. (AP) -- A Plaistow man has been convicted of several charges he faced in connection with the severe beating and burning of his girlfriend's 3-year-old son.

Twenty-eight-year-old Roland Dow was accused of assaulting the toddler, failing to get him medical help, coaching him to lie to a social worker and secretly recording the social worker's visit. A Rockingham County Superior Court jury convicted him Thursday after less than two hours of deliberations.

He was convicted on 11 of 12 charges and acquitted on a charge that he burned the boy.

He faces decades in prison.

Dow and the boy's mother, Jessica Linscott, were arrested at a Florida amusement park in November 2012, two weeks after leaving the toddler at a hospital with a brain injury and burns on his arm and hand. 

Linscott is serving 2 1/2 to 7 years in prison for child endangerment and witness tampering.