News from around the region


Misuse of disabled placards to cost more

A new state law calls for tougher penalties against people who fraudulently use handicapped parking placards. Republican Governor Charlie Baker marked the signing of the bill at a State House ceremony on Monday, saying disabled parking spots should be reserved only for the state’s most vulnerable citizens. The new law imposes fines of up to $1,000 for using a handicapped license plate or placard that was issued to a person who has since died. It also increases the period of driver’s license suspension for anyone who wrongfully displays a handicapped plate or placard. It also grants the Registry of Motor Vehicles greater authority to review applications for handicapped parking access. (AP)


Suspended UVM student sues school

A male student who was suspended from the University of Vermont this fall after being accused of groping a female student at an off-campus party has sued the school, saying he didn’t grope the student and the school’s faulty disciplinary system is biased against men. The lawsuit, which refers to the students as Jane and John Doe, said the case is a perfect example of a failed system of campus sexual assault enforcement highlighted by US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. ‘‘In the face of Jane Doe’s criticism that UVM was not doing enough for female students, the University’s administrators chose to make an example of John Doe, even though there was no evidence to support it, or corroborate, Jane Doe’s false allegations against him,’’ the student’s lawyers said in the lawsuit filed this month. The University of Vermont said Monday it’s confident it has acted appropriately. ‘‘The University is committed to eliminating, preventing, and addressing the effects of sexual harassment and misconduct, and to providing a fair and impartial process for investigation and adjudication of reported incidents as outlined in the University’s Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy,’’ it said in a statement. (AP)


Judge rejects doctor’s bid to regain license

A New Hampshire judge has dismissed an 84-year-old doctor’s attempt to regain her license, which sh surrendered in an advance of a disciplinary hearing before the state board of medicine. The state challenged Dr. Anna Konopka’s record keeping, prescribing practices, and medical decision-making. Part of their concern is her remedial computer skills, which prevent her from accessing and using the state’s mandatory electronic drug monitoring program. Konopka surrendered her license, but later requested an injunction allowing her to continue her practice. New Hampshire Public Radio reported Monday a judge ruled she failed to demonstrate that that remedy was appropriate. (AP)


Protesters call attention to shooting of teenager


Protesters on Monday called for criminal charges against a police officer who killed an unarmed 15-year-old boy and for the release of surveillance and other video that shows the May shooting. Demonstrators sought to bring attention to the fatal shooting of Jayson Negron by Bridgeport rookie officer James Boulay after a traffic stop. A 21-year-old passenger, Julian Fyffe, also was wounded. Activists chanted ‘‘no justice, no peace’’ outside the state Supreme Court in Hartford before blocking a street between the court and the state Capitol. Seven people were arrested. Twenty minutes of silence marked what demonstrators said was the time it took for police to call for emergency medical help for Negron and Fyffe. Waterbury State’s Attorney Maureen Platt, told The Associated Press that she expects to get the state police report next Monday, and then will begin her review. (AP)