New England in Brief

Wednesday June 26, 2013

Vt., N.Y. join green group to hit NRC move

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Vermont and New York are joining a national environmental group in criticizing the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s response to a nuclear plant closing in California.

Last month, the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruled that restarting a troubled reactor at the San Onofre (Oh-NO-fray) plant could not go forward without extensive public hearings. Plant owner Southern California Edison then decided to close the plant down.

Last week, the NRC moved to vacate the safety board ruling. Now Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell has joined his New York counterpart, Eric Schneiderman, and the green group Friends of the Earth in criticizing that move.

The NRC staff says in legal papers that the issue should be considered closed, because San Onofre’s owners have decided to close it.

New Vermont law
bans feeding of bears

MONTPELIER (AP) -- Starting next month, it will be illegal to feed bears in Vermont in an effort to cut down on problems between people and the animals.

State Wildlife Biologist Forrest Hammond has said the state has received reports from across Vermont of bears seeking food at bird feeders, bee hives, chicken coops and other sources.

He says people can help by removing any food sources that may tempt the animals; using electrical fencing to protect bee hives and chickens; and using noise-making devices to scare bears that come near houses.

The law repeals a requirement that the state reimburse a nonfarmer for damage by bears to livestock or bees. Farmers will still get reimbursed if their land is posted against hunting.

Vermont man who
shot self pleads no contest to lying

BENNINGTON (AP) -- A Vermont man who said he was victim of a drive-by shooting on New Year’s Eve, then said the injury was self-inflicted, has pleaded no contest to a charge of lying to police.

Donald Ely-Gardner of Manchester also pleaded guilty to other, unrelated charges in Bennington Superior Court on Monday: misusing an employer’s cellphone, violating a restraining order and court ordered conditions of release.

As part of an agreement, the state dropped charges of embezzlement, petit larceny, violation of abuse prevention order, and scores of release condition violations.

The 28-year-old Ely-Gardner eventually told investigators he shot himself in the chest with a .22-caliber handgun. Police were suspicious early on because Ely-Gardner called a friend instead of dialing 911.

Vt.’s Norwich U fetes 101-year-old alum

NORTHFIELD (AP) -- The nation’s oldest private military college is recognizing the lifetime achievements of a 101-year-old graduate who arrived on the Vermont campus when students at the Northfield school still trained with horses.

Mo Smith graduated from Norwich in 1934.

After graduation Smith served in the First Armored Division, retiring from the Army with the rank of colonel.

He went to work at Norwich in 1955 as an administrator. He stayed on staff until 1973.

Smith now lives in Northfield where he was honored Tuesday at his home by Norwich President Richard Schneider, who presented him with the Partridge Society Lifetime Giving Pin.

N.H. will run out of
I-93 construction money in 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire’s transportation commissioner is painting a bleak picture for lawmakers over the prospects for highway construction.

Transportation Commissioner Christopher Clement told the House Public Works and Highways Committee on Tuesday that he has enough money to keep construction going on the Interstate 93 widening project through the fall of 2015. The project which needs $250 million to complete.

The House proposed phasing in a 12-cent gas and diesel tax increase to pay for the project and to fix deteriorating highways and bridges. The Senate proposed legalizing a casino and using some of its revenues for highways.

Each chamber killed the other’s proposal and no compromise was reached.

N.H. officials recover body of missing kayaker

STRATHAM, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire officials have recovered the body of a kayaker hours after her capsized kayak was found in the Squamscott River.

New Hampshire Fish and Game officials say 59-year-old Ann Colcord of North Hampton was reported missing at about 9 p.m. Monday. Her body was found late Tuesday morning, not far from her kayak.

After her car was discovered near a boat ramp in Stratham Monday night, five boats and a state police helicopter with infra-red sensors and night vision equipment joined the search.

Her capsized kayak was located at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, less than a quarter mile from the boat ramp.


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