EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 7, 2012

In Brief

In Brief
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Fire kills Lynn woman and son

LYNN, Mass. — Authorities say a fire has killed an elderly woman who was recovering at home from hip replacement surgery and her son who had fled the blaze but rushed back into the home to save his mother in Lynn.

Firefighters found the two victims close to one another on the second floor of their McKinley Terrace home yesterday.

Neighbor Arthur Brown tells the Daily Item of Lynn that he noticed the fire about 5:30 a.m. and knocked on the door to alert residents. Four people made it out safely, but one man ran back inside to try to rescue his mother.

Authorities did not name the victims. But the Daily Item identifies them as Norma Morse, who is believed to be in her 70s, and her 38-year-old son Laurence Morse.

Program to expand free legal services

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission has started a new program to help expand legal services to people who can’t afford lawyers.

The pro bono fellows program will have senior lawyers working with nonprofit and legal service organizations to help underserved populations. Seven experienced lawyers who have retired or are heading into retirement have been chosen by the commission to participate in the statewide pilot project.

The program seeks to deal with severe funding cutbacks, which have forced legal services programs and nonprofit organizations to reduce staff and restrict services. The nonprofit groups will provide training and support, while law firms will provide resources such as administrative support and office space.

Each lawyer is expected to devote between 10 to 20 hours per week to individual pro bono projects.

NH DOT head says gas tax increase would help

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire’s transportation commissioner says an increase in the state gas tax would provide much needed money for road paving, bridge repairs and on the ongoing widening of Interstate 93.

Chris Clement stopped short of calling for an increase in the tax. He told a Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce forum on Friday that the cost of asphalt and other materials has skyrocketed since the last increase, in 1991. The current tax is 18 cents a gallon.

The Concord Monitor reported Clement said his department needs an additional $12 million annually to maintain state-owned roads in their current condition, and $15 million annually to keep the number of red-listed state bridges level at 148.

He said each extra cent of gas tax produces $8.3 million in revenue a year.

Prison worker charged with embezzlement

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. — The business manager at the Vermont state prison in South Burlington has been charged with embezzlement.

Tina Howard of Canaan, N.H., oversaw the processing of all bail receipts and handling all bail money at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.

Police said an investigation alleges the 41-year-old Howard diverted bail money and had failed to deposit $750 into the prison’s bank account.

Police said Howard was confronted by staff and gave the money back.

She is scheduled to be in court on Nov. 13.

—Associated Press