New England in Brief


Vermont governor to Maine governor: push to reopen U.S. government

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is urging his Republican Maine counterpart to push his Tea Party "friends in Congress" to reopen the federal government.

Shumlin, a Democrat, made the comments Thursday, a day after Maine Gov. Paul LePage declared a civil emergency in his state.

LePage said the civil emergency allows him to suspend state laws and regulations to better manage the shutdown's impact on Maine and expedite unemployment benefits for furloughed workers.

Shumlin says none of the nation's governors will be able to do the jobs they've been elected to do if the federal government shutdown continues much longer.

LePage says the shutdown is a result of a failure of leadership in Washington and is encouraging Congress to find a resolution.

2 Vt. environmental groups form alliance

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Two Vermont environmental groups are forming an alliance.

The Vermont Natural Resources Council and Vermont Conservation Voters, which used to be the League of Conservation Voters, are collaborating to advance environmental policies.

The head of VNRC, which has 5,000 members and an annual budget of nearly $1 million, will lead the two groups. Vermont Conservation Voters will share the VNRC offices.

VNRC Executive Director Brian Shupe said the state has made advances in energy policy and groundwater protection, but lags in addressing climate change, water quality, and fragmentation of the working landscape.

The two groups also hope that by joining forces they will appeal to big institutional donors.

New Hampshire school reminds parents that rules ban ‘tag'

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) -- An elementary school in Nashua has reminded parents and students that playing "tag" violates the school's longtime "no contact" rule for recess games.

Charlotte Avenue Elementary School Principal Patricia Beaulieu posted a letter on the school's website last week informing parents of the school's safety policies. In the letter, she said while "tag" may seem innocent enough, it has been banned in many schools because of injuries.

She said that several concussions, a broken wrist and other injuries prompted her to post the letter, and she emphasized that while she wants children to run, jump and play, it has to be in a safe way.

"I went into fifth-grade lunch and I was talking to all the fifth graders, and I said, ‘Raise your hand if you've ever been pushed aggressively while playing tag.' Most of them raised their hands," she told the paper.

Not all parents are happy.

Bill Chisholm, the father of a fourth grader, said the rules are unnecessary.

"To ban tag is just ridiculous; it's a simple game," Chisholm told the Telegraph. "They say the kids are overly aggressive -- take the overly aggressive kids out of the game."

"No parent wants to minimize the injury of a child; however, there isn't a single childhood activity that any kid could participate in that doesn't have the risk of injury," he said.

Playground policies are determined primarily by school principals and can vary from school to school.


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