New England in brief

1 to 2 inches of snow expected tomorrow

December 6, 2008
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Talk about fickle. An inch or 2 of snow is expected to fall tomorrow. A couple of days later, the forecast calls for rain. "An active week is ahead Sunday through at least Wednesday, with snow showers and a burst of very cold air Sunday and Sunday night and a southerly gale and brief warm-up Wednesday," said Walter Drag, a National Weather Service meteorologist. Tomorrow's snowfall is likely to be heaviest between 6 a.m. and noon and visibility at that time might drop briefly to 1 mile, the service said. Some areas may also see strong winds that night and by Monday morning the wind chill could make it feel like 5 below zero.

Boston Latin, Belmont make top 100 list
Boston Latin School has been ranked one of the top 100 public high schools in the country, placing at No. 27, by U.S. News & World Report in its December issue. This is the second year that the magazine has put out the rankings, and last year Boston Latin ranked No. 19. The rankings are based on student performance in English and math, participation in advanced placement courses, and other college readiness factors during the 2006-07 academic year, according to a statement from the Boston public schools. Belmont High School was the only other Massachusetts high school to break the top 100, ranking No. 100.

New czar picked for higher education post
The state Board of Higher Education unanimously tapped former Northeastern University president Richard Freeland yesterday to become the next commissioner of the Department of Higher Education. Freeland "has superior qualifications and a demonstrated record of sustained, outstanding experience in both public and private higher education in the Commonwealth," outgoing chairman Frederick Clark Jr. said in a statement. Freeland was president of Northeastern from 1996-2006. Before that he served as dean at the University of Massachusetts at Boston from 1982-1992. He is a professor at Northeastern and Clark University.

Woman hospitalized after standoff
A contingent of police officers from several towns, including a regional SWAT team, descended yesterday on the Braintree home of a woman who had barricaded herself inside. Officers were conducting a well-being check at the John Paul Circle home of the woman, who has been suffering from personal and medical issues, police said. The Globe is not identifying the woman at the request of police. Soon after arriving, police were able to gain access to the home and transfer the woman to an undisclosed hospital.

Artillery shells found at construction site
An explosive device was found at a Walmart construction site in Worcester yesterday, police said. Authorities reported three or four large military artillery shells were found on Tobias Boland Way (Route 146), Detective Sergeant Thomas Radula said. Police responded to a call at about 3 p.m. by the construction workers excavating the site, Radula said. The site was evacuated and the State Police Bomb Squad was investigating. State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan said the devices were rendered safe.

Wind farm decision delayed for two weeks
A decision on the Nantucket Sound wind farm probably will not happen for at least two more weeks in order to give federal officials time to incorporate a new Coast Guard study into their final environmental review, a Coast Guard official said yesterday. Coast Guard Captain Raymond Perry said his agency has concluded that the proposed 130-turbine Cape Wind project would present few problems to marine radar and navigation, and that any problems that did occur probably could be solved. Originally, a decision had been expected as early as yesterday, but Perry said the federal Minerals Management Service, which will issue the final review, is giving his agency until Dec. 15 to submit comments. That likely means the decision could come out around Dec. 19.

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