New England in Brief

Friday January 25, 2013

Work to start to fix stuck N.H.-Maine bridge

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) -- Work is expected to start to fix a lift bridge between New Hampshire and Maine that had gotten stuck and caused traffic problems along the seacoast.

The work could take up to two days. Conditions weren’t optimal: It was 9 degrees in Portsmouth on Thursday morning, and the wind chill made it feel like 14 below.

Department spokesman Bill Boynton said authorities were performing a routine test on Sarah Long Bridge on Wednesday when it failed to close all the way, becoming stuck about a foot over the roadbed.

Boyton said crews came up with a plan to fix the bridge. Officials don’t know for sure whether the cold weather contributed to the problem.

The bridge carries the Route 1 Bypass over the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.

Mass. home sales up, median price up

BOSTON (AP) -- The median price of a single-family home in Massachusetts shot up more than 10 percent last month compared to the year-ago month, another indication that the state’s housing market is on the way to recovery.

The Boston-based Warren Group on Thursday reported that median prices rose 12 percent when compared to December 2011, to $300,000. That’s the highest since August and the highest December mark since 2007.

The Waltham-based Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported a 10 percent jump in median prices to $303,500.

The groups use slightly different figures in their calculations.

The Warren Group reported an 18 percent jump in sales last month compared to the previous December, while the Realtors reported a 13 percent jump in December, when sales were up year-over-year for the 18th consecutive month.

Mom to discuss
N.H. murder for hire

DERRY, N.H. (AP) -- A New Hampshire woman whose husband and son both were convicted in the death of a Derry handyman has hired an investigative team in hopes of clearing her son’s name.

Lorraine Brooks is holding a news conference Monday in Manchester to discuss what she calls startling new evidence suggesting her son is innocent.

Jesse Brooks is serving 15 to 30 years in prison after being convicted of helping his millionaire father recruit friends to kill Jack Reid in 2005.

John "Jay" Brooks, who believed Reid had stolen a trailer full of motorcycles from the family, was convicted of plotting the murder and paying killers who bludgeoned Reid to death with a sledgehammer. He’s serving a life sentence for capital murder.

The state Supreme Court upheld Jesse Brooks’s conviction in 2011.


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