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Ex-chief of Big Dig wins Senate backing

The Senate approved President Bush's nominee to head the Federal Highway Administration after four Democratic senators dropped their opposition to him. J. Richard Capka, the former head of Boston's $14.6 billion Big Dig construction project, was approved by voice vote Friday, just before the Senate left for its Memorial Day recess. Capka, a retired brigadier general with the Army Corps of Engineers, became acting administrator of the Federal Highway Administration last August. (AP)


Oil spill in Mystic River spurs cleanup
Clean up crews worked last night to contain an oil spill in the Mystic River, the fourth oil spill off Chelsea in six months. US Coast Guard officials said it's unclear how much oil leaked out of a small hole in an ExxonMobil pipeline at the company's Everett docking facility, where tankers off-load fuel. Crews placed booms around the spill yesterday to contain the thick liquid, and then begin vacuuming it from the surface. ExxonMobil officials said they are working to clean it up and minimize any possible impacts. The accident is under investigation.


OK sought for Buzzards Bay wind farm
A Quincy developer yesterday applied for state approval to build a $750 million offshore wind farm with 90 to 120 turbines in Buzzards Bay. The turbines would provide an energy source equal to 2 percent of the current statewide electrical energy consumption, according to the application filed with the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, which will begin a review process. Patriot Renewables LLC, a renewable energy subsidiary of Jay Cashman Inc., must win numerous regulatory approvals for the mega-project. A proposal by Cape Wind Associates for 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound faces considerable opposition, including from US Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Governor Mitt Romney. (AP)

8th worker at firm contracts measles
An eighth employee at a financial services company in the John Hancock Tower has been diagnosed with measles, health authorities said yesterday. The woman, in her mid-40s, is recovering, as are the other seven workers infected with the highly contagious viral illness. It is uncertain whether the woman had been vaccinated as a child, said Dr. Anita Barry , top disease tracker at the Boston Public Health Commission . The company, Investors Bank & Trust , is continuing to offer vaccinations to its workers. Barry said she strongly recommends measles immunizations for employees who cannot recall whether they have been vaccinated.

Chinese and Vietnamese ballots are urged
State and city election officials urged lawmakers yesterday to quickly back a bill that would permit Boston to print ballots for state and federal elections in Chinese and Vietnamese. Secretary of State William F. Galvin and Boston Election Department chairwoman Geraldine Cuddyer asked members of the Legislature's Election Laws Committee to recommend the legislation to the full House. The bill stems from a September settlement between the city of Boston and the US Department of Justice requiring the state and city to provide ballots in those languages for non-English speaking voters. (State House News Service)


7 arrested in Vermont Yankee protest
Six women and one man -- all from Massachusetts -- were arrested yesterday in the lobby of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant's corporate offices as they tried to give plant staff an ``indictment" for putting ``greed and lust for profit above the common good." The six, Harvey Schaktman, 62, of Buckland, Marcia Gagliardi, 58, of Athol, Joanne Comerford, 42, of Florence, Francis Crowe, 87, of Northampton; a woman whose legal name is Dorthee, 77, of Wendall; Harriet Nestel, 67, of Athol; and Claire Chang, 49, of Sunderland were given summonses to appear on trespassing charges at Vermont District Court on July 11. (AP)


Man jailed in Station fire gets OK to work
A judge yesterday authorized a former rock band tour manager to work as a bookkeeper for a nonprofit agency while serving time in prison for his role in a nightclub fire that killed 100 people. Daniel Biechele, sentenced this month to serve four years at the state prison in Cranston, was offered a position in the finance department of The Arc of Northern Rhode Island, his lawyers said. (AP)

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