New England briefs

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Police arrest 2 in break-in at Vermont race track

Police say they arrested two people, one of them a 16-year-old boy, in connection with a break-in that happened over the weekend at a Vermont race track.

State police were notified that someone had broken into a building at the Green Mountain Racetrack on U.S. Route 7 in Pownal around 1:45 a.m. Saturday.

A trooper and two Bennington police officers responded. They found that a window shattered with a brick to gain entry to the building.

Trooper Alex Saxby reported that the officers discovered two suspects hiding behind a bar. Police say one man was 20-year old Joshua Eriksen. They did not identify the teen.

Eriksen faces a burglary charge. It wasn't immediately known if he had a lawyer and a phone number couldn't be found for him.

Summit on Vermont's climate economy Feb. 22

The Vermont Council on Rural Development is holding a second summit on what it's calling the Vermont climate economy.

The event takes place Feb. 22 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph.

Participants will review a platform of actions with the goal of reducing carbon emissions while stimulating economic development opportunities.

Groups will then consider strategies for implementing the actions.

The VCRD hopes the event will bring together innovative business, non-profit, and community leaders, elected officials, public policy advocates, students, and interested residents.

Registration for the event opens after Jan. 1. More information can be found on the VCRD's website at www.vtrural.org or by calling 802-223-6091.

State police search for driver of car that hit house

Vermont State Police are searching for the driver of a car that crashed into a house.

It happened Saturday night in Andover.

State police say debris recovered from the scene and eyewitness statements indicate the vehicle involved was a medium-sized dark blue sedan.

Troopers say the driver of the car cut across two driveways and more than 100 feet of lawn before crashing into the front corner of the home, causing some minor damage.

State police continue to investigate.

Police seek public's help in search for missing Dover woman

Authorities are seeking the public's help in gathering information regarding a New Hampshire woman who went missing the day before Christmas Eve.

Dover police say Jennifer Santos was last seen on Wednesday night. Santos' mother notified police of her daughter's disappearance on Christmas morning after the 28-year-old never returned home and missed scheduled plans with friends and family.

Police say Santos was driving a gold 2001 Mercedes E-Class sedan with temporary New Hampshire tags.

Santos is described as being 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing roughly 140 pounds with brown hair and eyes.

New Hampshire begins issuing medical marijuana cards

New Hampshire patients who qualify for medical marijuana can now receive the identification cards needed to legally purchase and possess cannabis, though dispensaries won't begin operating until spring.

The decision to begin issuing cards on Monday comes after a woman with terminal cancer sued the state for access to an identification card so she could buy marijuana in Maine. She won the case, prompting the attorney general to advise the state to give out cards before the dispensaries open.

The cards will allow qualifying patients to legally possess up to two ounces of marijuana, meaning they could buy it in other states without fear of facing charges.

The Legislature approved medical marijuana in 2013.

Federal grant allows expansion of suicide prevention efforts

The University of New Hampshire is boosting efforts to prevent suicide and reduce the stigma around mental illness.

The university is using a $100,000, three-year grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand an online training system. The program lets faculty, staff and students hold simulated conversations with computer-generated avatars to learn how to better identify and refer at-risk students.

Currently, the UNH Counseling Center offers four programs through the Kognito system, including those that address specific groups such as veterans and the LGBTQ community.

"People can be understandably apprehensive about talking about and asking questions of someone about their mental health, and Kognito is a great introduction into how to start the conversation and how to access resources on campus," said Sean Moundas, staff psychologist.

Officials say the grant also will allow for more programing on suicide prevention and mental health for students from under-represented or marginalized groups.

The university also is participating in the national "Know the 5 Signs" campaign, which describes the five signs someone may need help: Their personality changes; they seem uncharacteristically angry, anxious, agitated or moody; they withdraw or isolate themselves; they stop taking care of themselves or engage in risky behavior; or they seem overcome with hopelessness.

Police: Sun in driver's eyes may have caused carriage crash

A driver may have been blinded by the sun when he crashed a car into a horse-drawn carriage, injuring seven people on Christmas Day, police said Saturday.

Richard Libby, 68, of Clinton, hit the rear end of the carriage carrying a driver and 14 passengers on Friday, smashing into it hard enough to break the driver's seat and send her sprawling, police said.

One woman, 56-year-old Kathy Marciarille of Rome, Maine, was thrown from the carriage and run over by the car. She was hospitalized Saturday in critical condition at Maine Medical Center. Six other people were treated and released from hospitals.

Police said it appears Libby, who was not injured, did not see the carriage until it was too late because of the angle and intensity of the sun; both vehicles were headed west around 2:30 p.m. when the crash occurred.

Libby and carriage driver Cathleen Simmons, 42, were taken to a hospital to have their blood tested, which is routine, police said. It does not appear speed or alcohol was involved.

Libby's car, a 2016 Chrysler sedan, will be inspected to see if there were any mechanical problems, police said.

The carriage was giving rides to guests and volunteers at a Christmas dinner hosted at the Waterville Elks Lodge. Simmons told the Waterville Morning Sentinel she did not hear or see anything before the crash, her first.

"I'm always worried about it," she told the newspaper. "People fly by us like we weren't there."

No charges have been filed and the investigation is continuing.

– The Associated Press


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