New England in brief

Ex-firefighter pleads not guilty to charges

November 5, 2008
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A former Boston firefighter who lost his job after participating in a bodybuilding contest despite claiming he was permanently disabled has pleaded not guilty to charges that he violated a restraining order. Albert Arroyo was arraigned yesterday on two counts of violating the order taken out by a former girlfriend on Oct. 28. A West Roxbury District Court judge ordered him held on $750 bail. Arroyo was arrested Sunday after the woman accused him of repeatedly calling her, driving by her home, and hiding behind a hall door in her apartment building. His lawyer, Davis Bruce, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Arroyo applied for a disability pension, saying he slipped on a staircase March 21. Weeks later, though, he participated in a bodybuilding contest. (AP)

State to study merits of merging 2 towns
Maybe they could call the town Hamham. Or perhaps Wenilton. The adjacent Massachusetts towns of Hamilton and Wenham already share a school system, a recreation department, and a library. They have in the past discussed shared police and fire departments. Now the state Division of Local Services, part of the Department of Revenue, has offered to study the merits of sharing more services, up to and including a merger. Since the study will not cost the towns anything, both have agreed, although officials appear skeptical. They don't think residents will want to surrender their town identity. Harriet Davis, a member of the Wenham Board of Selectmen, calls it an "academic exercise" and doesn't envision it happening. Selectman David Carey of Hamilton said that if people had wanted a merger it would already have happened. (AP)

Police officer alleges sexual harassment
A 31-year Sandwich police officer has filed a sex discrimination and harassment complaint against the department, contending that she has had to endure a "hostile, misogynistic, and discriminatory" work environment. Lieutenant Lynne Gourley outlines four instances that she thinks show a pattern of mistreatment by Chief Michael Miller and male officers working for the department in her complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. They include disparaging remarks about other women in her presence. Gourley, 50, is one of two women on the 32-member force. The town's attorney said in a response that the complaint is baseless and should be dismissed. No hearing date has been scheduled.

Firefighter dies while responding to call
A volunteer Bristol firefighter died while responding to a car fire.

The fire chief said the 63-year-old called for an ambulance for himself while getting ready to respond to the call Monday morning. Wayne Brown was found near his door with his gear on. The cause of death is under investigation. Brown was a longtime volunteer at the Hydraulion fire station and worked as a tax assessor in Central Falls. (AP)

Delays expected for I-93 bridge repair
Repairs to an Interstate 93 bridge in Concord, N.H., will mean delays for motorists. State transportation officials said repairs to the southbound side will mean closing a lane through tomorrow. The lane will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (AP)

Chichester girl, 14, dies in crash
A 14-year-old Chichester girl was killed when the car she was riding in crashed. State Police say Denise Gray, 51, of Chichester was headed south on Route 3 about 6:30 p.m. Monday when she swerved around a car that was stopped in front of her waiting to turn. Police said Gray lost control of her car, skidded sideways across the double yellow line, and hit an oncoming pickup truck nearly head on. Marissa Gray, 14, who was riding in the car's front passenger seat, was killed. Law enforcement officials said both drivers suffered moderate to serious injuries. (AP)

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