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Boston and Beyond

May 4, 2014

Proposed ballot questions face yet another deadline

BOSTON (AP) — Supporters of a slew of proposed ballot questions in Massachusetts are facing another key deadline. If Massachusetts lawmakers fail to approve any of the questions by Wednesday, backers of the initiatives will have to start collecting another batch of signatures to secure a spot on the November ballot.

They’ll have until June 18 to submit the more than 11,000 needed signatures to local city and town clerks.

Among the proposed initiatives are questions that would raise the minimum wage from $8 to $10.50 per hour over two years and create a statewide earned sick time policy.

Other questions would expand the bottle deposit law, limit the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time, and repeal a new law linking future hikes in the gas tax to the rate of inflation.

Historic N.H. bridge gets checkup

DOVER, N.H. — New Hampshire transportation officials are scheduling a detailed inspection of an historic bridge between Dover and Newington with an eye toward rehabilitating it.

The General Sullivan Bridge over Little Bay and the Piscataqua River opened in 1935 and was closed to motor vehicle traffic in 1984, when the second span of the Little Bay Bridge opened.

The bridge will remain open to bicycle and pedestrian traffic during the 12-day inspection period from May 5-May 16, but access may be restricted on segments on the bridge where the inspection is underway, said Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton.

The bridge is also a popular fishing spot. The span is a deck truss bridge named for Revolutionary War Gen. John Sullivan — a former governor of New Hampshire. The inspection will include a complete structural investigation.

Historians want to preserve the bridge, saying it’s the only example remaining of a deck truss bridge that also features a through truss to accommodate boat traffic. It’s a smaller version of the Lake Champlain Bridge between Vermont and New York, which has been demolished and replaced.

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