EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 13, 2014

Massachusetts briefs


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Ashcroft to visit UMass Amherst

AMHERST (AP) — Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is scheduled to speak at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a year after another visiting Republican figure prompted protests at the liberal campus.

Ashcroft is expected to deliver an address on campus on Wednesday.

Ashcroft served as governor of Missouri and in the U.S. Senate before President George W. Bush nominated him as attorney general. He served in that capacity from 2001 until 2005, overseeing enforcement of the USA Patriot Act, criticized by some as an erosion of civil liberties.

He is the chairman of The Ashcroft Group LLC, a Virginia-based consulting firm.

Last April’s visit to campus by Republican strategist Karl Rove attracted protesters.

Ashcroft’s visit is sponsored by the UMass Republican Club.

Entangled minke whale rescued near Boston

BOSTON — Members of a marine entanglement emergency team have released a minke whale that had become entangled in fishing gear about ten miles outside Boston Harbor.

A spokeswoman said experts from the Provincetown-based Center for Coastal Studies released the animal on Friday afternoon. Whale researchers located the entangled whale while in the area earlier in the week.

The juvenile whale had a buoy line wrapped tightly around its lower jaw. Experts from the Marine Animal Entanglement Response team returned to the location on Friday and saw the whale swimming in large circles, indicating that it was anchored in place by the fishing gear.

The spokeswoman said the whale swam off after members of the emergency response team cut the line.

Search continues for mother of dead newborn

NEW BEDFORD — Investigators searching for the mother of a newborn whose body was discovered in New Bedford are releasing additional information about the baby, saying she was a white girl weighing about six pounds.

A resident discovered the baby’s body Friday evening. The Bristol County District Attorney’s office said on Saturday that the investigation remains active and ongoing.

State police detectives and prosecutors are continuing to canvas the area around County Street, where the infant was found.

The state medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy this weekend.

Authorities say they are trying to find the child’s mother because she may need medical attention.

Gregg Miliote, spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney’s office, says anyone who knows the identity of the child or the mother or her location should contact New Bedford police.