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Fire disables drawbridge over the Charles

The drawbridge over the Charles River near the Museum of Science was stuck open for more than an hour yesterday after a fire ignited in the control room, police said. The malfunction temporarily closed the northbound lanes on the bridge and snarled traffic on local roads near Leverett Circle. The bridge links Boston and Cambridge and marks the southern terminus of the Monsignor O'Brien Highway. Just after 11 a.m., Boston firefighters responded to the control room, which is housed in the same building as the Boston barracks of the State Police, said Sergeant Robert Bousquet. The bridge was manually lowered by 12:30 p.m. and reopened to vehicle traffic. The bridge will not be able to open for boats on the river until the control room is fixed, Bousquet said.

Man accused of sending threat to woman
A 20-year-old Needham man must stay away from Boston University and wear a GPS locating device after pleading not guilty yesterday to charges he sent a threatening instant message to a former girlfriend that invoked the Virginia Tech shootings . Andrew Rosenblum wrote, "It's going to be VT all over again" and vowed to "bring a gun to school and kill you," according to the Suffolk district attorney's office. Rosenblum was released on $50,000 cash bail after his arraignment in Roxbury Municipal Court. His lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., said Rosenblum was upset by the death of his grandmother and the end of the relationship. He said Rosenblum, who was ordered to stay away from the woman, does not own any weapons. Rosenblum had registered for two classes at Boston University's Metropolitan College, which does not grant degrees, said a BU spokesman. The woman was not a BU student, officials said.

Paper OK'd on illegal immigrants' tuition
The Board of Higher Education unanimously approved a document that looks favorably on legislation to let illegal immigrant students pay in-state tuition rates at state colleges. The two-page document does not take a position on the issue and is designed to inform the public and lawmakers who expect to revisit the issue in coming months. The document states that such a change for illegal immigrants would probably result in extra revenue for the schools and the Commonwealth." It cites a Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation report from January 2006 that says between 400 and 600 students might enter Massachusetts schools as a result of such a bill, and that it would probably result in $2.5 million of extra revenue. Aaron Spencer, the board's acting chairman, said the document is nonpartisan. (AP)

Governor names panel on guns, violence
Governor Deval Patrick is appointing a commission to tackle gun and gang-related violence across the state. The commission will focus on challenges facing crime victims, social service providers, and law enforcement. Patrick said he also wants the panel to consider ways to intercept gun and drug trafficking and new ideas for early intervention and prevention. Patrick will head the commission. Others on the 29-member panel include Attorney General Martha Coakley, Public Safety Secretary Kevin Burke, State Police Colonel Mark Delaney, and Department of Social Services Commissioner Lewis "Harry" Spence. The commission's first monthly meeting is scheduled for May 10. (AP)

Teen center to extend its summer hours
Catholic Charities of Boston announced yesterday that, in response to recent violence in the area, it will extend summer hours at its Teen Center at St. Peter's School in Dorchester. The center, which offers educational and recreational programs for about 200 students 13 to 19 years old in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood, will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily during July and August, the agency said. "It is important to provide a positive, constructive alternative to the streets, out of harm's way," Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley said.


Police probe alcohol use in fatal crash
Alcohol may have played a role in a car accident that killed 18-year-old Paul Leone of Arlington Tuesday morning, police said yesterday. Police performed a search warrant to obtain medical records of the driver of the car -- Matthew Clarke, 18, of Arlington -- and to search his car. Clarke was in fair condition yesterday at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Leone, a popular Arlington High senior who played on the school's lacrosse and basketball teams, was killed Tuesday morning after the car he was riding in struck a house on Westminster Avenue.