Metro

New England news in brief

Fitchburg

Burst pipe, asbestos tiles close school for week

Crocker Elementary School will be closed this week after a pipe burst over the holiday break and damaged ceiling tiles that contained asbestos. Fitchburg Superintendent Andre Ravenelle said the closure will allow the district to plan for a temporary relocation of students and staff. A statement from Ravenelle said the district is working with agencies and experts on cleaning, remediation, and testing. Students were supposed to return to class Tuesday. (AP)

Boston

League of Women Voters seeks expanded balloting

The Massachusetts League of Women Voters is urging state officials to expand early voting to all statewide elections, including primaries. The group made the recommendation Tuesday in response to a request for public comment by Secretary of State William Galvin as he tries to schedule next year’s state primary. The primary is normally held seven weeks before the November general election, which in 2018 would be Sept. 18. That day also marks the start of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. State law requires the primary to be moved when it conflicts with a religious holiday. Moving the primary to Sept. 11 doesn’t work because that would fall on Rosh Hashana. The league said the problem could be solved by allowing early voting in the primaries. (AP)

Bridgewater

Bull euthanized after fleeing slaughterhouse

A bull escaped from a slaughterhouse in Bridgewater Tuesday morning and was later euthanized, police said.The 2,000-pound bull broke through two gates at the Den Besten Farm at 8 North St. at about 11:45 a.m., Bridgewater police said in a statement. “Employees reported that the bull would charge at anyone that approached it,” police said. An officer and an employee followed the bull’s footprints in the snow for about a mile before locating it, police said.

Warwick, R.I.

Pipe burst cancels court proceedings for day

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The freezing weather caused a pipe to burst at the Kent County Courthouse, forcing officials to close the building and cancel court proceedings. All sessions in Superior Court, Family Court, and District Court were canceled for the day. Emergency matters were heard in Providence. (AP)

Amity, Maine

Canadian company plans large hemp farm

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A Canadian company has bought 120 acres in Maine and plans to lease an additional 1,000 acres as part of an industrial hemp operation. The Portland Press Herald reported Future Farm Technologies’ operation in Amity will overshadow all of the state’s current licensed hemp farms. While the company has not responded to requests for comment, recent announcements indicate it plans to use the hemp for cannabis oil. (AP)