New England Briefs

Saturday March 16, 2013

GOP’s Sullivan: Don’t allow knives on planes

BOSTON (AP) -- Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Michael Sullivan is joining critics of the federal Transportation Security Administration’s plan to allow passengers to carry small folding knives onto planes. Sullivan said he agrees with airlines, flight attendants, and air marshals who have voiced strong objections to the policy.

Sullivan, a former U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, said it makes no sense that the TSA would continue to ban box-cutters while considering small knives to be non-threatening. Sullivan said those knives continue to pose a serious security threat to passenger safety

The policy is scheduled to goes into effect April 25.

On Tuesday, Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Markey labeled the policy "wrong-headed" and announced legislation he said would force the agency to abandon the rules change.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley also opposes the new policy.

N.H. State Police to be highly visible on road this St. Patrick’s Day weekend

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire state troopers say they will be proactive in patrolling and enforcing motor vehicle laws this St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Troopers plan to be highly visible on the roadways. State police are reminding people to choose a designated driver or have a plan for alternative transportation before consuming any alcohol.

Another arrest made in Claremont robbery case

CLAREMONT, N.H. (AP) -- A fourth suspect in the armed home invasion and robbery of an elderly man in Claremont, N.H., has been arrested.

Police said 31-year-old Benjamin Ecklund of Claremont is the alleged leader of a group that robbed an 84-year-old man the night of March 6. They left with $77 and two winning lottery tickets worth $25. Ecklund was arrested Thursday. He’s scheduled to be arraigned in Claremont District Court on Friday. Ecklund was arrested through a joint effort of the U.S. Marshal’s office, the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Department, Greenfield police and the Belknap County Sheriff’s Office. Police said he led the way into the man’s home, forced him on the ground and held a gun to him.

Boston makes list of top energy-efficient cities

BOSTON (AP) -- For the second year in a row, Boston has been recognized by environmental officials for its commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions and save money through energy efficiency.

During 2012, Boston ranked 10th among a list of top 25 U.S. metropolitan areas, with 188 buildings certified as "Energy Star" buildings. The city also ranked 10th in 2011.

The EPA said Boston is cutting greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 25,000 homes and saving more than $67.5 million annually in utility bills.

Energy Star certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than average buildings.

Other cities that made the list are Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas and Phoenix.

Whaleback Mtn., drowning in debt, may close

ENFIELD, N.H. (AP) -- Whaleback Mountain ski area in Enfield, N.H., is likely to close under the weight of more than $1 million in outstanding debt. Co-owner and two-time Olympic skier Evan Dybvig says he plans to sell assets to pay outstanding taxes. Whaleback Mountain LLC owes $73,000 to the town of Enfield dating back to May 2011, according to town records.

Dybvig said his lender is prepared to foreclose on the property.

"We have tried numerous avenues to recapitalize the business to put ourselves on surer footing without success. Our only option at this point is to close," a letter posted by Dybvig and co-owners Frank Sparrow and Dylan Goodspeed says on Whalebacks’ website.

The letter said that "plans are emerging to raise money through a nonprofit to purchase the mountain and continue operating."

Many schools and towns use Whaleback for ski and snowboard programs. Whaleback will close on Sunday but will be open on March 23 for a motor sports and ski and snowboard event.


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