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January 6, 2013

New England In Brief

Researchers sound alarm on culverts

BOSTON — An exhaustive review of culverts, bridges and dams in Massachusetts has found that many cause major problems for fish and other aquatic wildlife.

The “critical linkages” survey took years to complete and the data is now being made public. The state Department of Transportation, University of Massachusetts and The Nature Conservancy collaborated on the project.

Researchers who analyzed thousands of road-stream crossings found that outdated or poorly-designed culverts and other structures can impede the normal movement of animals.

The structures can also pose dangers for humans by increasing the risk of flooding, or by forcing large animals on to roadways where they might collide with motorists.

But the researchers said improvements to just 10 percent of the crossings would have a significant positive impact on wildlife.

10th Episcopal bishop of NH takes over

CONCORD— New Hampshire will soon have a new Episcopal bishop with the investiture of A. Robert Hirschfeld to succeed Gene Robinson.

Hirschfeld was invested Saturday at 11 a.m. in an elaborate ceremony at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Concord.

Hirschfeld was Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst, Mass., when he was elected in May to be New Hampshire’s 10th Episcopal bishop.

Robinson’s election in 2003 as the first openly-gay Episcopal bishop created a tempest in the Anglican Church worldwide.

After handing his pastoral staff over to Hirschfeld, Robinson will become a part-time senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C.

The 51-year-old Hirschfeld will lead a congregation founded in 1802.

The investiture ceremony is open to the public but closed to the media.

Mass. law requires chemotherapy pill coverage

BOSTON (AP) — Insurance companies that provide coverage for chemotherapy treatments will be required to provide the same level of coverage for chemotherapy pills under a bill signed by Gov. Deval Patrick.

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