New England in brief

More disapprove of Patrick, poll indicates

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April 12, 2008

More Bay State residents disapprove of Governor Deval Patrick's job performance than approve, according to a new poll. Forty-nine percent said they disapproved, while 41 percent approved, the SurveyUSA/WBZ-TV poll suggested. The rating was Patrick's lowest, down 15 points among voters ages 35 to 54 and more than that among women and Democrats, according to WBZ. Just 17 percent of respondents said Patrick was doing enough to boost the state economy. Last month's results put job performance ratings within the margin of error. The new survey carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent. (State House News Service)

Hearing on limiting hospital expansions
A public hearing on a proposal that could make it harder for hospitals to expand has been scheduled for 10 a.m. May 20, officials said yesterday. The hearing will be on the second floor of the state Department of Public Health's headquarters at 250 Washington St. in Downtown Crossing. State health regulators unveiled the proposal Wednesday, saying they were concerned about Boston teaching hospitals opening satellite campuses in the suburbs, potentially duplicating services and imperiling community hospitals. Under the proposed rules, hospitals seeking to expand would have to prove that they weren't replicating what exists.

Group confined amid Haiti riots to leave
Students on a missionary trip to Haiti will probably be allowed to fly home as scheduled today. "We have been informed . . . that the riots have been subsiding," Susan Helm, principal of Nazarene Christian Academy, said yesterday by phone. Helm said Charles DeTellis, a representative of the New Missions program in Haiti, informed school officials that the group would be allowed to leave on time.

Woman stabbed on way home from work
A Chelsea woman was stabbed twice on her way home from work last night. Chelsea police did not release the victim's name, but a man who said he was the victim's stepson identified her as Altagracia D. Perez and added that she was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. According to a neighbor - Samuel Caban, 34, who called 911 after Perez arrived on his doorstep - she was attacked by a man who exited his parked car when she walked by and stabbed her in the back and stomach. Police, who responded to the 911 call at about 7:30 p.m., did not release details on the attack.

Coach pleads not guilty to pornography
A Waltham youth sports coach pleaded not guilty yesterday to child pornography charges, authorities said. James Aucoin, 46, of Waltham, pleaded not guilty in Waltham District Court to charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said in a statement. Aucoin was arrested April 4 after investigators found child pornography on his home computer, the statement said. The investigation began when a Keene, N.H., police investigator, James McLaughlin, pretended in March to be a 14-year-old male in online conversations with Aucoin. McLaughlin told Waltham police he had received child pornography from Aucoin, the statement said. Aucoin was ordered to end his association with North Waltham Baseball, Waltham Pop Warner, the Boy Scouts, and any other youth organizations.

Mass. men charged in theft of a pool
Two Massachusetts men are accused of stealing a swimming pool from a backyard in a Connecticut community. Timothy Morin, 37, and David Hawley, 35, both of Westfield, were charged yesterday with trespassing, larceny, conspiracy, and possession of burglary tools. Granby police said they found parts from the disassembled above-ground pool in the rear seat of the men's car about a mile away from the yard where the pool had stood. Police say the men told them they took the pool for scrap metal and felt they were doing the owners a favor by getting rid of it. (AP)

Man denied parole in hockey rink death
A father who beat another man to death at their sons' hockey practice in Reading has been denied parole a second time. Truck driver Thomas Junta was sentenced to 6 to 10 years in prison after he was convicted in 2002 of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Costin. The parole board ruled that Junta had not fully accepted responsibility. (AP)

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