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home : news : regional November 25, 2015

Region In Brief

Burgess To Retire From Vt. Supreme Court

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Justice Brian L. Burgess is retiring from the Vermont Supreme Court.

Burgess announced Tuesday that he will step down on Aug. 1.

Burgess, a former trial court judge and assistant attorney general, was appointed associate justice to the Vermont Supreme Court in 2005.

Chief Justice Paul Reiber says Justice Burgess is a friend and respected colleague who will be missed, not only for his intellect and common sense, but also for his thoughtful, deliberative approach to decision-making and his wry sense of humor.

N.H. African Burial Ground Gets $20,000 Grant

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) -- A group trying to bring attention to an African burial ground in Portsmouth, N.H., has been approved to receive a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help create a memorial park.

Archaeologists and historians believe the remains of at least 200 people could be buried beneath Chestnut and State streets. The graves were discovered by construction workers in 2003. It's believed African slaves or free Africans were buried in the area from 1705 until the 1790s.

A formal committee of residents and city representatives was created to explore ideas to commemorate the site.

The plan is to create a memorial on Chestnut Street.

"The African Burying Ground Memorial Park is a community effort to stand and remember those whom history had forgotten for a time," said Vernis Jackson, chair of the African Burying Ground Committee.

The committee is raising funds for the memorial, "We Stand In Honor of Those Forgotten."

Jackson said the grant "helps us move closer to building the memorial and to raising awareness and support for its creation beyond our community and its commitment."

Meteorite Crashes Through Roof

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- A Yale scientist says a rock that crashed through the roof of a home in Wolcott was a meteorite.

Police say resident Larry Bech called them Saturday morning to report that his home had been damaged by a falling rock the night before.

Authorities suspected the object was a piece of runway from a nearby airport.

But Stefan Nicolescu, the collections manager for the Mineralogy Division at the Yale Peabody Museum, examined the rock and tells WVIT-TV ( ) it is a meteorite.

Nicolescu says the meteorite likely comes from the Lyrids meteor shower, which happens every year at this time when Earth crosses the orbit of comet Thatcher.

Stephen King Donates To Gun Control Coalition

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Maine author Stephen King and his wife have made what's being called a "substantial donation" to a statewide group advocating for stricter gun control laws.

The Coalition for a Safer Maine says King is a gun owner and a defender of the Second Amendment who also supports expanded background checks on gun sales and a ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines.

The coalition says the contribution from King and his wife, fellow author Tabitha King, will be used to fund the group's advocacy efforts. The Maine Legislature this week is considering several gun control bills.

After the Newtown, Conn., school shootings in December, King wrote a best-selling e-book called "Guns" discussing his thoughts on gun control and gun rights.

Mom Who Gave Pot, Booze To Teens Going To Jail

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A Maine mom is headed back to jail after the state rejected an appeal of her conviction for giving alcohol and drugs to her daughter's teenage friends.

Tanya Donnelly of Brownville was sentenced last June to a year in jail and she served about a month before being release pending her appeal. WABI-TV reports ( she was returning to jail Tuesday to finish her term.

Six girls attended a birthday party at the home of Donnelly's father, but she talked them into walking to her house two streets away, where she gave three of them marijuana. Testimony during her trial indicated she also provided alcohol to the girls and a prescription sleeping pill to one of them.

F. Lee Bailey Loses Bid To Practice Law In Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Celebrity lawyer F. Lee Bailey meets all the requirements to practice law in Maine if he can resolve his tax debt with the federal government.

Supreme Court Justice Donald Alexander rejected Bailey's request to practice law because the federal government says he owes nearly $2 million in back taxes. But Alexander, in his April 18 decision, left the door open for Bailey to revisit the issue if he can resolve the tax dispute.

The 79-year-old Bailey passed the Maine bar in November.

Bailey, whose high-profile clients have included O.J. Simpson and Patty Hearst, was previously licensed in Massachusetts and Florida but was disbarred in those states for mishandling $6 million worth of stock for a client. He has lived in Yarmouth, Maine, since 2010.

Fund For Marathon Bombing Victims Reaches $20M

BOSTON (AP) -- A fund created to benefit the victims of last week's Boston Marathon bombings has generated $20 million, said state officials, who vowed to distribute the money by the Fourth of July.

More than 50,000 donors from across the world have given to the fund, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said Tuesday in a press conference at which the details were announced. He said several corporations have each donated $1 million, while Internet donors have given a combined $5 million.

Gov. Deval Patrick and Menino appointed Feinberg to establish the guidelines to distribute the funds to "qualified recipients." Feinberg said he would hold two town hall meetings in the first week of May to hear from the public. He also said he would meet privately with victims, many of whom lost limbs when the bombs exploded near the marathon's finish line on April 15.

Feinberg said the fund likely would not cover property damage.

Money will be given to victims regardless of where they live and whether they have insurance, said Feinberg, who will have sole authority over the fund. Recipients will not be required to waive their rights to bring litigation, he said.

Bank of America, which is holding the money, is set to begin distributing checks on June 30. Feinberg said, "One hundred percent will be distributed before the Fourth of July."

Victims can begin to register for the fund online, at, or by phone, at 855-617-FUND, beginning Wednesday afternoon.

Man Gets 8 Years In Toddler Death

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A 20-year-old Hartford man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for negligent homicide in the hit-and-run death of a 3-year-old boy.

WFSB-TV reports ( ) Christian Bordelies apologized Tuesday in Superior Court to the family of Joseph Ortiz-Resto, before being sentenced by Judge Joan Alexander.

The toddler was struck during a picnic in Pope Park in May, 2011, while running across an access road to a relative.

Bordelies, who police say was driving without a license, fled before later turning himself in.

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