New England in Brief

Thursday November 15, 2012

US Marshals arrest man in Vermont for 2001 Fla. killing

HARDWICK (AP) -- A Florida sheriff says a suspect in a 2001 killing in that state has been arrested in Vermont.

Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Cameron says Philip Barr was arrested at about 10 a.m. Wednesday in Hardwick, Vt.

Cameron says Barr attempted to flee when U.S. Marshals approached the house on Pine Drive, but he was captured without incident.

Barr is facing a first degree murder charge in Charlotte County for the killing of 19-year-old Tara Sidarovich of Punta Gorda. She disappeared on Oct. 1, 2001 Her body was found the next July.

Barr is one of two people charged with murder in the case. On Oct. 26, 39-year-old David Ray McMannis was arrested in Cumberland, Md., also on a first-degree murder charge.

A third suspect is facing perjury charges.

2 Vt. teenagers arrested on deer poaching charges

SPRINGFIELD (AP) -- The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says a teenager is facing deer poaching charges that he and a juvenile shot a 4-point buck at night.

Game Warden Stephen Majeski says he received a report Sunday night from a landowner on Missing Link Road in Springfield that he’d seen a vehicle back into his driveway, illuminating a field on the other side of the road and then heard a gunshot.

Majeski found the dead buck and waited nearby in the woods.

About 20 minutes later he arrested 18-year-old Bruce Wells and the juvenile, both of Rockingham. A deer rifle was seized during the investigation.

If convicted, Wells will be subject to fines and restitution of up to $3,000. He could also lose his hunting license for up to three years.

Verizon, Comcast teaming up in N.H.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Verizon Wireless and Comcast are teaming up to sell each other’s services in southern New Hampshire.

Qualified customers of both Comcast and Verizon could be eligible for various offers and incentives, including free upgrades, cash and equipment.

The package can be bought at Verizon Wireless stores in Concord, Epping, Londonderry, Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth, Salem, and West Lebanon. Customers also can order it from Comcast over the phone.

Verizon Wireless and Comcast have previously introduced offers in other cities in a number of states.

Customers could qualify for offers such as Visa prepaid cards valued up to $300, a Comcast HD DVR at no additional cost for six months, and/or a complimentary 12-month upgrade to Blast!, the Xfinity Internet service that provides download speeds of up to 50 Mbps.

"Together with Verizon Wireless, we’re delivering more value for more consumers by providing an entertainment and communications solution that aligns with their increasingly mobile lifestyles," said Steve Hackley, senior vice president of Comcast’s Greater Boston region.

N.H.committee recommends liquor commission changes

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A New Hampshire legislative committee recommends replacing the three-person state Liquor Commission with one person in charge and a deputy commissioner.

The special House committee also recommends that the Legislature bring the commission back under legislative budget control, two years after it gave the commission autonomy over its finances.

Its report, released Tuesday, notes that allegations against the commission "encompassed topics of financial and management wrongdoing."

Those allegations included that the commissioners violated state law by hiring a lobbyist to oppose a bill that would allow grocery stores to sell liquor.

Liquor Commissioner Joe Mollica denied the allegation. The attorney general’s office said it found no evidence of illegal lobbying.

The committee called the investigation "woefully inadequate," saying it will file legislation to strengthen language about lobbyists.

Conn. facing $365 million budget deficit

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget director is confirming the state’s budget deficit has grown to about $365 million, requiring the governor to submit a deficit-cutting plan to the General Assembly.

In testimony submitted Wednesday to the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee, Benjamin Barnes said the new figure includes drops in expected state revenues and increased spending for Medicaid services.

Barnes was scheduled to address the committee on Wednesday to update lawmakers on the state’s budget situation, including shortfalls facing various agencies.

In his testimony, Barnes said the Office of Policy and Management has already begun work on a deficit-cutting plan. He said specifics of the plan will be announced as soon as possible.

Republican legislative leaders have accused the Democratic administration of trying to downplay the extent of the state’s deficit.

Report: Conn. housing prices remain high

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A new report shows a shortage of affordable housing options in Connecticut, which is leading to higher rental costs and continued high sale prices for lower income families.

Median sales prices of homes have been pushed below their 2007 peak. But an annual housing report, released Tuesday by the Partnership for Strong Communities, found that many residents continue to struggle to find an affordable place to live.

Connecticut still has the eighth highest median sales price in the U.S. and the 6th highest rental prices.

According to the report, calls from residents to the United Way’s 2-1-1 Infoline seeking information about homeless shelters, affordable rentals and help with rental and mortgage payments remain at record levels.

Meanwhile, households paying more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing have risen.


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