Burlington, Vt.

Diocese to release accused priests’ names

The Catholic Diocese of Burlington will create a committee to look into allegations of abuse of minors involved with the church and release a list of priests accused of sexually abusing children, Bishop Christopher Coyne said Wednesday. The church’s announcement comes as authorities investigate allegations of physical, mental, and sexual abuse and murder at the now-shuttered St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington and amid mounting pressure on the church to respond to sexual abuse claims. A Pennsylvania Grand Jury report in August identified over 300 priests alleged to have engaged in sexual abuse over the last 70 years. The Vermont Diocese has settled about 50 abuse cases, paying more than $31 million to victims. Coyne, a former spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston, said the new committee will be made up of men and women not ordained by the church, who will examine files related to any allegation of minor abuse. The panel will create a list of priests who have been accused, which will be made public. (AP)

Concord, N.H.

More money sought for hiker rescues

New Hampshire officials say more funds are needed to cover costs for rescuing hikers. New Hampshire Department of Fish & Game Director Glenn Normandeau told New Hampshire Public Radio that current funding is not enough to cover the 200 or so rescues performed annually. Rescues are funded by registration fees for vehicles. Normandeau said rescue costs cut into the department’s Fish & Game Fund. A state study commission has recommended the US Forest Service reimburse New Hampshire for rescues inside of White Mountain National Forest. Normandeau said that he has asked the agency for assistance in the past, and that Congressional action is needed. He added that consistent funding from the meals and rentals tax would help the state department. (AP)


Portland, Maine

Shrimp population still depleted, board says

A regulatory board said New England’s shrimp population remains depleted years after the fishery for the species was shut down. Fishermen in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts used to harvest Northern shrimp in the winter, but regulators shut the fishery down in 2013 amid concerns about low population and warming waters. An arm of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission said that it has reviewed a new assessment of the shrimp population, which concluded that there are far fewer of the crustaceans off of New England than there used to be. (AP)