New England Briefs

Saturday January 26, 2013

Repairs to stuck bridge
could affect fuel deliveries

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) -- Transportation officials say tanker deliveries of products such as heating oil could be affected if a lift bridge that got stuck between New Hampshire and Maine isn’t fixed soon. Crews are resuming work on the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge on Friday. The bridge over the Piscataqua River connects Portsmouth, N.H., to Kittery, Maine.

The center span of the bridge stopped working Wednesday when workers were performing a routine test. The span was stuck about a foot above its normal level, preventing cars from crossing the bridge and making it impossible for ships to pass under it. Capt. Peter Johnson of Portsmouth Pilots said ships are due soon with heating oil, biodiesel fuel and gypsum coal. Another ship was coming to load propane out of the port.

N.H. school board backs security upgrades

SALEM, N.H. (AP) -- The school board in Salem, N.H., is supporting a plan to install $105,000 worth of buzzers, monitors, cameras, intercoms and other security upgrades at its schools in response to the mass shooting at a Connecticut school last month.

Superintendent Michael Delahanty says he’s hoping the upgrades will be installed starting next month. The board’s decision comes after nearly 100 residents turned out a public forum on school security earlier this month. The forum was organized following the shootings Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Rep. Lynch still undecided
about Senate run

BOSTON (AP) -- Congressman Stephen Lynch says he hasn’t made a final decision whether to run for John Kerry’s U.S. Senate seat if Kerry is confirmed as secretary of state.

Lynch said Friday he’s conducting a poll and wouldn’t rule out the possibility of making an announcement next week. Earlier Friday a person with knowledge of the Boston Democrat’s plans told The Associated Press that Lynch plans to announce his candidacy next week.

Congressman Edward Markey, a fellow Democrat, has already announced he will seek the seat. Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is considering running on the Republican side.

Patrick touts savings
from muni health law

BOSTON (AP) -- Gov. Deval Patrick says a municipal health insurance law has saved cities and towns and school districts in the state more than $200 million since it was enacted in 2011.

The measure gives municipalities more flexibility to change co-payments, deductibles and other aspects of employee health insurance outside of the collective bargaining process.

A new report says 81 communities have used the law to make changes in employee health plans, or chosen to join the state’s Group Insurance Commission.

More than 120 other municipalities and school districts have used the law as leverage to negotiate cost-saving measures with municipal unions.


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