New England in Brief

Thursday December 6, 2012

Release request made for woman in Vermont baby death

HYDE PARK (AP) -- The lawyer for a grandmother found mentally incompetent to stand trial on charges of giving a fatal drug overdose to her infant grandson is asking that she be released from jail.

Marc Eagle asked that 55-year-old Pamela Raymond be allowed to serve home detention in Morrisville.

Raymond, a former nurse, has been in custody since October 2011, a year after the death of her 3-month-old grandson, Warren Bailey. The child was given a lethal dose of an antidepressant to keep him quiet so he would not bother Raymond’s husband in September 2010.

A judge last month found her incompetent to stand trial.

Eagle said being at home will help Raymond get needed mental health help.

Prosecutor Joel Page said he wants to look at the proposal.

Hassan tells N.H. agencies to lower budget requests

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Gov.-elect Maggie Hassan has told New Hampshire agencies to submit new, lower spending requests for the two-year budget taking effect in July.

Hassan asked agencies on Wednesday to come up with budgets that spend 97 percent of their adjusted 2013 appropriation for 2014. She asked them to submit requests for 2015 that equal their 2013 appropriation.

Hassan said the 97 percent budget targets will serve as a baseline to allow her to better identify priorities. She said the agency budget requests may be adjusted higher or lower depending on revenues, federal actions and state priorities.

Agencies have requested $3.3 billion in spending from state tax sources -- a 26 percent increase over the current budget -- and $11.9 billion from all funding sources or a 19 percent increase.

N.H. officials expect more visitors and spending

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire tourism officials are predicting an increase in visitors and an increase in spending this winter.

Using figures compiled by the Institute for New Hampshire Studies, officials say they are expecting 6.7 million visitors between now and the end of February -- a 5 percent hike over last year.

They anticipate those visitors will pour $860 million in the state’s economy -- 9 percent more than last year.

Last winter’s snow drought and unseasonably warm temperatures forced hit winter sports industries hard and prompted cancellation of many winter sporting events.

The institute bases its forecasts on gas prices, spending patterns, weather predictions and the previous year’s activity.

Tourism officials anticipate increases in day and overnight visits to ski areas and more family vacations during holiday weeks.

MassDOT board OKs modernization contract for RMV

BOSTON (AP) -- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation board has approved a contract for a new system to modernize the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

MassDOT said Wednesday the 63-month contract of up to $76.8 million was awarded to Deloitte Consulting LLC to design, develop and install the new operating system. It’s expected to save more than $19 million a year.

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard Davey said the new technology will "revolutionize the way our customers interact with us."

MassDOT said the current 27-year-old operating system is pushed to the limit as it handles about seven million transactions a day.

The new system will allow evaluations of staff and branch performance, provide reliable revenue collection and distribution, improve information sharing with law enforcement, and expand services by the RMV’s private partners in vehicle sales and insurance.

Sen.-elect Warren says campaign in debt

BOSTON (AP) -- U.S. Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren says despite raising $42 million her campaign finished in the red and she’s asking supporters for a "little more money" to pay off the debt.

Warren, a Democrat who defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown last month, sent a letter to supporters on Wednesday asking for donations to help pay the campaign’s final bills.

She cited higher-than-expected costs for feeding more than 20,000 volunteer workers around the state on Election Day and for renting vans to drive prospective voters to polling places. The letter did not give the size of the debt.

The Warren-Brown race was the most expensive political race in Massachusetts history, and apparently the costliest U.S. Senate race in the country this year.


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