March 20, 2018
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Probe continues into death of man on Vt. river

The Associated Press

WATERBURY, Vt. — Vermont State Police and Green Mountain Power continue to investigate the death of a fisherman downstream from a hydroelectric dam that was releasing water.

Police say alarms sound and lights flash near the dam, but apparently could not be heard or seen downstream where two men were fishing at Little River State Park.

Police say 59-year-old Daniel Forsey of Essex Junction died Friday after losing his footing while trying to cross the river. Police are waiting for results of the autopsy.

GMP spokeswoman Dotty Schnure tells the Burlington Free Press that the electric utility uses the dam for about four hours each day to help during peak demand.

Ex-Harvard student in plea talks in fatal shooting

WOBURN, Mass. — A former Harvard student accused of hiding the gun used in a fatal shooting inside a university dormitory is in plea talks with prosecutors, but the two sides are far apart on a sentencing recommendation.

Brittany Smith is one of four people charged in connection with the shooting of 21-year-old Justin Cosby of Cambridge in 2009.

Smith’s former boyfriend, Jabrai (juh-BRY’) Jordan Copney, of New York City, was convicted of murder and is serving a life sentence.

Prosecutors said Cosby, a local drug dealer, was shot during an attempted robbery by Copney and two other New York City men.

During a court hearing Monday, Assistant District Attorney Dan Bennett said prosecutors are trying to resolve the case, but he and Smith’s attorney are “extremely disparate” on their sentencing recommendations.

The hearing was continued until Sept. 6.

No evidence of West Nile Virus in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island state officials say recent mosquito tests have found no evidence that West Nile Virus is present in the Ocean State.

The state’s Department of Environmental Management says Monday that 140 mosquito samples from 36 traps set around the state last week are all negative for West Nile virus and for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

West Nile has been detected in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

State officials regularly monitor mosquitoes for evidence of West Nile Virus. Residents are urged to get rid of standing water and avoid bites by using mosquito repellent and installing screens on windows and doors.

Mass. AIDS prevention programs facing deep cuts

BOSTON — Public health officials say cuts in federal funding will force Massachusetts to reduce or eliminate many HIV and AIDS prevention services, programs that helped drive down the state’s infection rates by more than 50 percent.

The state Public Health Department began notifying community health agencies Friday about the $4.3 million reduction — roughly one-quarter of the state’s annual AIDS prevention budget.

Kevin Cranston, director of the state Bureau of Infectious Diseases, tells The Boston Globe that services facing cuts include distribution of free condoms and programs th at give intravenous drug users clean needles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also changing the way it funds AIDS prevention programs by taking money from states like Massachusetts with lower rates of HIV infection to focus resources in states with higher rates.

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