New England news in brief


Five students shot by BB guns at school

Five students at a Lowell elementary school were shot by BB guns Wednesday afternoon, and police are looking for two suspects, authorities said. Two of the children were injured and taken by ambulance from the Greenhalge Elementary School to a local hospital, according to a statement from Lowell police. The extent of their injuries was not released. Officers responded to the school shortly after 1:30 p.m. for a report of students shot by BB guns, the statement said. They were told that three Asian males were circling the school on bicycles, and that two entered the playground with BB guns and shot at the students, who were part of an after-school program, the statement said. No further information was immediately available Wednesday night.



Councilor accused of anti-Islamic posts

Muslim rights and advocacy groups in Massachusetts have accused City Councilor George Rotondo Jr. of anti-Islamic social media posts. Rotondo insisted late Tuesday his online posts ‘‘are not what they are being called’’ and said the allegations were ‘‘totally politically motivated.’’ But Jetpac, a political action committee that supports Muslim candidates for public office, and the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for an investigation of the posts. Jetpac and the Islamic council say Rotondo has posted links to ‘‘propaganda’’ by discredited anti-Muslim groups. ‘‘We’ve seen throughout history that hateful rhetoric inspires violence,’’ Jetpac’s executive director, Mohammed Missouri, said in a statement. (AP)

Concord, N.H.

Prison instructor is Teacher of the Year

The New Hampshire Teacher of the Year Award has gone to an English teacher who instructs inmates in the state prison system. Kimberly Piper-Stoddard was honored Wednesday at a ceremony at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord. She’s a teacher at Granite State High School, which is located within the walls of the men and women’s prisons. Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said Piper-Stoddard teaches students who have gone down the wrong path, but are working to turn their lives around. One student said Piper-Stoddard is excited and enthusiastic about what she teaches, and that’s created ‘‘an overwhelming positive change in me.’’ (AP)