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New England

Connecticut officials unveil plans to reopen schools in fall

Connecticut officials on Thursday unveiled plans to have students in grades K-12 return to their classrooms this fall, but with safety measures that range from mandatory face masks for students and teachers to the recommended "cohorting" of students with one teacher to reduce the potential ...

7 new cases; Inmate at St. Albans prison tests positive

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont is reexamining its intake policy for new inmates after several have recently tested positive for COVID-19 at state prisons, said Secretary of Human Services Mike Smith. A new inmate at the St. Albans prison has tested positive and has been quarantined, he said ...

Officials urge safety after multiple Vermont water deaths

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Three apparent drownings in two separate incidents on Lake Champlain in two days is highlighting the need for swimming and boating safety during the hot months of summer, a top state official said. The Wednesday comments by Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling ...

Rhode Island police chiefs pledge commitment to reform

Police chiefs from across Rhode Island on Thursday announced a list of 20 promises they say will ensure transparency and maintain human rights in an era when the killing of George Floyd has led to nationwide protests demanding racial justice and police reform. The Rhode Island Police Chiefs' ...

Rhode Island adds jobs, unemployment rate drops to 16.3%

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — After shedding tens of thousands of jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, Rhode Island added jobs and saw a decrease in its unemployment rate last month, the state Department of Labor and Training reported Thursday. The state added more than 13,000 nonfarm jobs in ...

Maine senators want Juneteenth to be a federal holiday

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's U.S. senators are joining a push to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in America and takes place on June 19. Independent Sen. Angus King and Republican Sen. Susan Collins said the holiday, which is observed by 47 ...

Man who hit trooper with car in jail after leaving hospital

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Caribou man who struck a state trooper with his car during a chase left the hospital and entered the jail on Thursday. Robert Belmain, 53, was taken into custody upon discharge from Central Maine Medical Center. He faces numerous charges including elevated aggravated ...

Commissioner: No ‘spying’ by so-called fusion center

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A secretive state police unit gathered information on Maine citizens involved in legal activities but insisted they "we're not spying on people," Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Saushuck told lawmakers. Legislators on the Judiciary, and Criminal Justice and ...

Budgets put limits on social distancing options for schools

As schools consider how and when to reopen their buildings during the pandemic, many are finding themselves overwhelmed by the potential expenses that would come with operating under social distancing guidelines: protective equipment, staff for smaller classes and additional transportation to ...

Court rules against challenge to state’s use of energy funds

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Connecticut electricity ratepayers have no right to challenge the state when it redirects fees they pay for increased energy efficiency to state coffers to help balance the state budget. A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. ...

Navy awards $9.5 billion submarine contract to Electric Boat

GROTON, Conn. (AP) — The Navy has announced a proposed $9.5 billion contract with General Dynamics' Electric Boat to build the first two submarines of a new generation of ballistic missile vessels. The new Columbia-class submarines are being built at Electric Boat's shipyards in Groton, ...

Lamont open to idea of regional quarantine for visitors

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is open to the idea of working with neighboring states to have visitors self-quarantine for two weeks if they are coming from parts of the U.S. with high rates of COVID-19, he said Monday, noting Connecticut cannot take its current low infection and hospitalization ...

COVID-19 Response Fund helps another 23 nonprofits

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A fund established to support Rhode Islanders struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic has distributed another $700,000 to 23 nonprofits around the state to help with food, rent, utilities and other expenses, the fund announced Tuesday. The COVID-19 Response ...

Man gets almost 4 years for traveling to meet underage girl

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A New Jersey man who flew to Rhode Island to have sex with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl he had befriended online has been sentenced to almost four years in federal prison, prosecutors said. Amish Jayant Patel, 47, of Swedesboro, New Jersey, communicated ...

Candy company is sweet on Maine’s popular CDC director

FREEPORT, Maine (AP) — A Maine candy company has a sweet spot for the state's Center for Disease Control director. Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director, served as inspiration for the "Shah Bar" created by Wilbur's of Maine Chocolate Confections. The candy bars feature an image of the ...

Strike won’t affect delivery of machines to swab maker

BATH, Maine (AP) — A strike at Bath Iron Works won't affect the company's delivery of machines needed to ramp up production of specialized swabs used for tests for the coronavirus, officials say. Bath Iron Works completed the delivery Monday of 22 machines that Puritan Medical Products ...

Construction underway on St. Johnsbury apartment plan

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — Construction is underway on a $15 million project to rehabilitate an 1898 building in downtown St. Johnsbury into 40 apartments and 8,100 square feet of retail space, officials said. Housing Vermont and RuralEdge announced recently they had closed on the ...

Bennington College reopens outdoor public spaces; 1 new case

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Bennington College, which closed its campus to the public in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, has reopened its outdoor public spaces, including walking trails, to visitors. Visitors are asked to allow at least 6 feet of space between them and others and to wear a ...

Sword missing from Vermont Revolutionary War statue

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A bronze sword is missing from the statue of a commander who helped win the Battle of Bennington during the Revolutionary War. The administrator at the state-owned Bennington Battle Monument said a passerby told her Saturday the sword was missing from the statue of ...

Justice who led gay marriage, death penalty rulings retires

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — During his nearly 30 years on the Connecticut Supreme Court, Justice Richard Palmer's views about the law and society changed with the times, leading him to write some of the court's most consequential opinions in a generation. He was the author for narrow 4-3 ...