New England in Brief

Thursday November 8, 2012

Some neighbors of new Vt. wind project lament noise

LOWELL (AP) -- Thirty-three northern Vermont residents who live near a newly constructed wind-power project on Lowell Mountain are complaining to the state about what they're calling the "horrendous noise" produced by the turbines that are already in operation.

Don Nelson said he and his wife, Shirley, could have gotten more signatures on the letter they sent to the Public Service Department.

"We could have gotten a hundred signatures," said Don Nelson who lives on the eastern side of Lowell Mountain and has been a vocal critic of Green Mountain Power's plan for the 21-turbine installation now nearing completion. "I never heard anything like it. It sounded like a big jet engine landing at an airport and it didn't stop until Sunday night."

GMP says 15 of the 21 turbines are in operation and generating electricity. The rest are scheduled to be working by the end of the year. GMP's permit requires that noise from the turbines not exceed 45 decibels outside homes.

Once construction on the project is complete, the utility will be required to conduct routine, periodic noise monitoring at several nearby residences, but that has not started yet.

GMP spokeswoman Dotty Schnure said the utility had received one complaint related to the weekend noise.

"If people have a complaint they should contact us," she said. "If there's an issue, we will address it."

The 33 signatures on the letter are from 17 households near the project, all on its eastern side in Lowell and Albany.

Vt. ambulance crews in N.J. for storm

BURLINGTON (AP) -- Seven Vermont ambulances and teams of emergency personnel are helping out in New Jersey as another storm approaches parts of the state already devastated by Superstorm Sandy.

The crews left Vermont late Tuesday night and arrived at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., early Wednesday morning.

They will join other ambulance crews from other states that have answered the request for help.

The Vermont teams are expected to work through Saturday.

They are from Fletcher Allen Coordinated Transport in Burlington, Amcare Ambulance Service in St. Albans, the Williston Fire Department, Lyndon Rescue, Vergennes Area Rescue Squad, Inc., Barre City Ambulance and Glover Ambulance.

Detective: Man
was confessing in O'Hagan killing

RUTLAND (AP) -- A Vermont State Police detective says a Sheffield man "was confessing to part of the murder" of a Sheffield woman in 2010 when he stopped cooperating with authorities.

The detective testified Wednesday that 22-year-old Michael Norrie, who was being investigated in a firearms case, talked to investigators several times after 78-year-old Mary "Pat" O'Hagan's body was found in the woods 10 miles from her Sheffield home.

Det. Jason Letourneau, one of the investigators in O'Hagan's killing, says Norrie made incriminating remarks. Authorities say evidence prompted them to question Norrie about O'Hagan's death.

Norrie is in custody awaiting trial on charges of being a convicted drug user in possession of a stolen gun and having and then selling or trading the gun.

N.H. National Guard team headed to NY

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A New Hampshire National Guard team is heading to New York to help communities getting hit by the incoming Nor'easter.

Gov. John Lynch on Wednesday activated a 12-man command and control team from the Manchester-based 197th Fires Brigade. They will work with the New York National Guard's joint operations center in Latham, N.Y., to assist with health and welfare checks, evacuations, traffic control and other duties.

Lynch says the additional manpower will prevent New York from having to divert critical resources away from ongoing Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Mass. pharmacy board director fired

BOSTON (AP) -- The Massachusetts pharmacy board's director has been fired for ignoring a complaint that a company linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak was shipping drugs in bulk, in violation of its state license.

The Colorado pharmacy board complained about the New England Compounding Center in July, before the third of three batches of tainted steroids linked to the outbreak was shipped.

State officials said director James D. Coffey forwarded the complaint to the board's attorney, Susan Manning, who also failed to act. Coffey has been fired and Manning placed on administrative leave.

A state health and human services spokesman said neither Manning nor Coffey notified the state Department of Public Health about the complaint.

The outbreak has spread to 19 states and killed 31 people.

Mass. OKs medical marijuana, but questions remain

BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts voters have overwhelmingly approved a move to legalize medical marijuana, but questions remain over how distribution will be regulated and whether the state can stop abuses.

The law approved through Question 3 on Tuesday's election ballot eliminates penalties for the use of marijuana by people with cancer, Parkinson's Disease, AIDS and other conditions determined by a doctor. It will allow nonprofit treatment centers to grow and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers.

Opponents say they are concerned that the state Department of Public Health, which is supposed to regulate the treatment centers, will not be able to prevent abuses.

The department has been criticized in recent months for a lack of oversight at a drug-testing lab that was shut down after a chemist allegedly acknowledged mishandling evidence and faking test results.


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