New England in Brief

Wednesday January 23, 2013

UNH law school to name center after Warren Rudman

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The University of New Hampshire School of Law is planning to establish a center in remembrance of former Sen. Warren Rudman, who died in November.

The school says the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy will provide scholarship and training for "a new generation of leaders who cherish public service."

The hallmark will be the Rudman Fellows program, which will select two entering law students each year and develop their interest and skills in public policy. They will be granted tuition exemptions, summer scholarships, and one-year post-graduate fellowships in place such as the Concord Coalition and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office.

In exchange, the students will be required to work for at least three years in government or public interest positions.

Keene schools to
have police visits

KEENE, N.H. (AP) -- The police department and school district in Keene, N.H., are starting a program to have police officers visit the schools on a random, but daily, basis as part of their regular patrols.

In a news release, the district and police department say they view Keene’s schools as safe, but say the additional presence will provide an increased level of security and safety following recent tragedies. They did not specifically mention the mass shooting in a Connecticut elementary school last month.

Last year, a 14-year-old student shot himself in an elementary school cafeteria in Walpole, also in Cheshire County. Police locked down the school for several hours, but no one else was injured.

Week 2 set to open in N.H. MTBE trial

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Lawyers for the state of New Hampshire and ExxonMobil return to court to start Week 2 of a marathon pollution trial over the gasoline additive MTBE.

The state is seeking more than $700 million to monitor drinking wells and clean up the most contaminated sites.

The trial began Jan. 14 with ExxonMobil and Citgo as the two remaining defendants in a 2003 lawsuit the state brought against 26 oil companies and subsidiaries. After two days of trial Citgo filed a motion to be severed from the case -- signaling settlement talks are underway.

Lawyers for ExxonMobil maintain MTBE did what it was supposed to do -- replace toxic lead in gasoline and reduce auto emissions as required by the Clean Air Act.

Maine rally seeks campaign money oversight for states

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- A rally outside the Maine State House will call for more government control over campaign spending.

Tuesday’s rally, to be led by Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, marks the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The ruling in 2010 declared that corporations enjoy the same First Amendment rights to free speech as individual citizens do, and can therefore spend as much as they want to try to influence elections.

Rally participants in Maine want a U.S. Constitutional Amendment allowing state and federal governments to regulate the raising and spending of campaign funds.

A similar rally was held last week in Delaware.

In Maine, advocates planned to present more than 11,000 postcards from state voters calling on lawmakers to support the constitutional amendment on campaign finance.

Bodies of 2 children found after Putnam, Conn. house fire

PUTNAM, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut State Police say the bodies of two children have been found in a Putnam house destroyed by fire.

The fire raced through the multifamily home early Tuesday morning. Four adults, including the mother of the two children, were injured.

The roof of the Putnam home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at about 1 a.m., and it later collapsed into the third floor, where the children were. The fire wasn’t under control until about 6:30 a.m.

Putnam Fire Marshall Norm Perron says officials were unable to stabilize the top floor until about noon to provide access to search for the bodies and clues into the start of the fire.

Maryland company eyes slots parlor at Mass. mall

DANVERS, Mass. (AP) -- A Baltimore company that was a last-minute applicant for one of Massachusetts’ gambling licenses is considering a 100,000-square-foot slots parlor at a suburban Boston mall.

Officials in the town of Danvers about 15 miles north of Boston say PPE Casino Resorts contacted the town earlier this month about the possibility of building a 24-hour slots parlor at the Liberty Tree Mall.

Danvers Selectman Dan Bennett said the proposal calls for an approximately 50,000-square-foot addition to be added to the current facility. The proposed slots parlor would have up to 1,250 slot machines.

PPE Casino Resorts was one of 11 gambling companies that submitted a $400,000 application fee to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission earlier this month.

State law allows for three full casinos and one slots parlor.


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