New England in brief

Texting faulted for crash, police say


A Cohasset woman was cited for texting while driving after her car struck a tree early Saturday in Dedham, police said. Amanda D. Barron, 28, told police she was reading a “lengthy text’’ message before she swerved off Main Street at about 1 a.m., crossing a driveway and crashing into a tree, Dedham Police Sergeant Steven Dearth said. Upon impact, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler spun clockwise and landed across the road, he said. Barron, who was wearing a seat belt, was treated at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth for minor injuries. Dearth said the car was totaled. He stressed that reading text messages while driving, as well as writing them, is illegal. A first offense garners a $100 fine. The second offense is $250 and subsequent citations are $500.


Police say man pointed BB gun at taxis

A 49-year-old Watertown man was arrested yesterday after witnesses told police he was aiming a BB gun at taxis at a stand in a busy Allston intersection, authorities said. Paul Lugumira was arrested in the area of 190 Harvard Ave., near the intersection with Commonwealth Avenue, and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, according to Boston police. A police spokeswoman could not say whether the large BB handgun that officials said he was carrying was loaded.


Teenager charged in break-in, fire

A Swampscott teenager was arrested early Saturday, accused of breaking into a Nahant residence and setting fire to a second-floor bedroom, Nahant police said. Joshua Carreiro, 18, is facing multiple charges, including breaking and entering during nighttime for a felony, arson of a dwelling, larceny, and destruction of property, police said. The blaze awakened the homeowner, Timothy Lowe, who is the Nahant’s superintendent of public works, and he extinguished the fire while calling authorities for further assistance. The Lowe family declined to comment on the incident. Carreiro is due in court today, police said. The incident is still under investigation and no further information was immediately available.


Obama’s uncle due back in court

President Obama’s uncle will be back in court on drunken-driving charges this week, when his lawyer is expected to ask a judge to toss out the results of a blood-alcohol test and statements he made to police. Onyango Obama, the half-brother of the president’s late father, was arrested in Framingham in August. A police officer said Obama made a rolling stop at a stop sign and nearly caused a crash between his cruiser and Obama’s sport utility vehicle. Police said Obama registered 0.14 on a blood-alcohol test. The state’s legal limit is 0.08. A judge is expected to hear arguments Thursday on the motion. Immigration officials allege that Onyango Obama, originally from Kenya, violated a 1992 order to return to his native Kenya. (AP)


Crimes drop during 20 years of casinos


When the first of two massive casinos opened two decades ago in a remote corner of Connecticut, some feared organized crime, prostitution, drunken driving, and other crime would follow. But the crime rate since Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun opened has fallen in the nearby towns compared with the years before, mirroring a drop in crime nationwide. Crime did not decline in some towns near the casinos as much as it did statewide, but local officials acknowledge that the worst fears never materialized. (AP)


Mental health facilities bill set for vote

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The Vermont Senate is set this week for a final vote on an overhaul of the state’s mental health system, following the closing of the Vermont State Hospital because of flooding from Tropical Storm Irene. The Senate gave preliminary approval Thursday to a plan to replace the 54-bed hospital with smaller facilities around the state, including a new, 16-bed hospital in Berlin. (AP)