EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 17, 2013

Around the Region

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Bill sets orange, red, yellow as NH colors

CONCORD, N.H. — Orange, red and yellow would be New Hampshire’s official colors under a bill coming to the House for a vote.

The House is scheduled to vote this week on the proposal to make the three colors the state’s official colors. A fourth grade class at Freedom Elementary School lobbied for the bill to highlight New Hampshire’s colorful fall foliage.

Two years ago, the House killed a bill to make purple the state’s official color.

The House voted last month to pass a bill promoted by a group of Derry fourth graders to make the white potato the official vegetable. The Senate next considers that bill.

NH House considers use of deadly force

CONCORD, N.H. — Deadly force would no longer be a viable first option for someone defending themselves or others in a public place if they could safely retreat from the threat, if New Hampshire changes its stand-your-ground law.

The House is voting next week whether to repeal parts of a law that Republicans pushed through two years ago — over a governor’s veto and law enforcement’s objections. The law allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves any place they have a right to be without having a duty to retreat.

A majority of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee is recommending returning to the old law based on the Castle Doctrine, which says a person does not have to retreat from intruders at home before using deadly force.

Liquor Commission creates e-cookbook

CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire Liquor Commission has put together its first e-cookbook, featuring recipes from New Hampshire’s restaurants, and wine and spirit pairings.

The cookbook features recipes and pairings. Consumers, for example, can follow step-by-step instructions to recreate Martingale Wharf’s St. Germain Compressed Melon with goat cheese and toasted hazelnuts paired with a St. Germain Cocktail.

The e-cookbook can be downloaded at www.LiquorandWineOutlets.com/mix .

House voting on tobacco tax hike

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire’s House is considering raising the tobacco tax 20 cents — a dime less than Gov. Maggie Hassan counted on in her budget.

The House is scheduled to vote next week whether to raise the tax to $1.88 per pack of cigarettes. Each dime raises $10 million a year. Even with the increase, New Hampshire would have a lower tax than neighboring states.

The proposed increase also would apply to other tobacco products.

Opponents argue it nevertheless puts New Hampshire at a competitive disadvantage in attracting cross border business.

— Associated Press

Nun robbed at church in Boston

BOSTON — Police are looking for a man who robbed an 85-year-old nun as she was paying for a meal at the historic Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston.

The nun was standing at the window of the rectory office to pay for the meal when suspect grabbed the money she had placed on the counter and walked out the door.

Police say the nun was in Mass and refused to speak to investigators until the service concluded Friday.

Officers who canvassed the area could not find the suspect they described as Hispanic, in his late 30s, with a slim build, a receding hairline and wearing a black leather jacket.

The imposing basilica, also known as the Mission Church, is one of the largest churches in the Boston Archdiocese.

— Associated Press

Woman tied up in NH home invasion

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Police in Concord, N.H., are investigating a home invasion in which a woman was tied up and the intruders got away with some money.

WMUR-TV says Concord police are looking for two men who forced their way into the victim’s apartment Friday afternoon. Police don’t know if the woman was targeted or if the crime was random.

The victim was home alone at the Edge Wood Heights complex on Branch Turnpike when two men wearing ski masks came through a glass patio door, assaulted the victim, tied her up and searched the apartment.

Police say there have been several home invasions in the area in recent weeks. The victim in the latest one is bruised and shaken up.

Study: Boston Archdiocese execs among top paid

BOSTON (AP) — A study performed at the request of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston indicates nearly a third of its top executives rank among the highest paid in their field.

The Boston Herald reports the study has prompted church officials to withhold some merit-based raises.

The study looked at how Boston’s pay compares to nine similar archdioceses. It found that five of the 16 lay executives making more than $150,000 are paid above the 75th percentile.

Among the highest pay was $360,000 in 2011 for the secretary of education and $340,000 for the general counsel.

Church officials said the goal is to eventually have most top-earners paid around the 50th percentile.

Peter Borre of the Council of Parishes, which opposes church closings, said the salaries are “appalling,” especially considering low attendance and the archdiocese’s ongoing downsizing.

Connecticut man dies in NH snowmobile wreck

ERROL, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire fish and game officials say a Connecticut man has died in a snowmobile accident in the woods in Errol.

Rescuers were called at 2 a.m. Saturday to the scene, on 13 Mile Woods trail about two miles north of Millsfield Pond Road.

The victim is identified as 56-year-old Louis Voegeli Jr. of Woodbury Conn. Voegeli was last in line in a group of four snowmobilers traveling south. He failed to negotiate a left turn and hit a tree.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, but officials say alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

Marijuana trade group hosting Boston symposium

BOSTON (AP) — A national marijuana trade association is planning a symposium in downtown Boston as the state gears up to begin allowing the sale of marijuana for medical purposes.

The National Cannabis Industry Association is billing the Saturday event as a chance to give investors and entrepreneurs a chance to meet and talk with professionals and experts in the field of medicinal marijuana.

Massachusetts voters passed a ballot question in November allowing for the use of medicinal marijuana for patients with certain medical conditions, including cancer, Parkinson’s disease and AIDS.

The new law allows for as many as 35 dispensaries to open around the state where patients can receive up to a 60-day supply of marijuana.

The National Cannabis Industry Association says it works to advance the interests of cannabis-related businesses.