New England news in brief
School committee OK’s largest budget in history
The Boston School Committee Wednesday night unanimously approved a $1.1 billion budget proposal for the next school year, representing an approximately $16.5 million increase over this year’s spending level. School officials touted the budget as the largest in city history, but it does not come with any high-profile initiatives. Instead, it sustains funding for existing programs, such as extended school days and more rigorous courses at 16 lower-grade schools. Mayor Martin J. Walsh is expected to include the spending plan in his overall city budget proposal that he will present to the City Council next month.
Troubled ferry cleared for return to service
The Steamship Authority said Thursday morning that a ferry boat taken out of service the day before — the Martha’s Vineyard — had been cleared to resume carrying passengers. And an authority spokesman said a status update on the ferry Woods Hole, a second vessel that remains out of service, will be available soon. The Martha’s Vineyard was taken out of service Wednesday morning; the Woods Hole was already out of service. The authority said Wednesday afternoon that a breaker on the Martha’s Vineyard’s electrical panel needed to be replaced. The vessel has encountered several problems since returning this month from a five-month, $18 million overhaul. The authority also said it had chartered a SeaStreak vessel for walk-on passengers through Monday to be able to provide service every hour.
Man says he will invest prize in retirement
A Colrain man this week became the second $15 million grand-prize winner in the Massachusetts State Lottery’s “200X” instant game, the lottery office said Thursday. Gary Herzig chose the cash option of $9.75 million. He said he plans on using his winnings to invest in his retirement, the lottery office said in a statement. F.L. Roberts, a gas station in Greenfield, sold Herzig the $30 ticket and will receive a $50,000 bonus for its sale.
Firefighters rescue boy from burning home
Firefighters have helped save a 15-month-old from a home fully engulfed in flames. Authorities said the fire broke out at a Westerly residence around 7 p.m. Tuesday. Police said a man and two boys, ages 6 and 7, escaped through a window, but the boys’ younger brother was still inside when firefighters arrived. Firefighters rescued the boy from a playpen near where the flames broke out. Police Captain Shawn Lacey said the boy with hospitalized with first and second-degree burns, but he is expected to survive. Investigators believe the fire started from a pan with cooking oil that was left on the stove. (AP)
Teacher gave teen knife for civics skit, police said
A New Hampshire teacher who gave a high school student a knife for a civics lesson skit to discuss searches and seizures and the Fourth Amendment was put on paid administrative leave and has since resigned, according to authorities. The student’s father reported the incident at Gorham Middle and High School, according to WMUR-TV. Gorham Police Chief Pi Cyr said Wednesday the teacher approached the 17-year-old student for the skit and gave him the bi-fold knife. The student put it in a lunchbox. Other students weren’t aware of that when the two went through the skit. Knives are banned at the school. Police said the teacher made a poor decision, but no criminal charges will be filed. Several petitions are being circulated to bring the teacher back to work. (AP)