New England in brief

NU gets US grant for inspection project

January 8, 2009
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Northeastern University will receive more than $1.6 million in federal funding to develop technology to monitor and maintain the nation's roads and bridges. US Senators John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy announced the funding yesterday as part of a new program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Northeastern aims to eliminate the need for hazardous and congestion-prone highway work zones to conduct roadway inspections. Instead, under the leadership of Dr. Ming Wang, the school plans to develop an automated "drive-by" inspection system.

Shooting leaves man dead, woman hurt
A man was shot to death last night on Stanwood Street in Dorchester, Boston's first homicide of the year, police said. A woman was injured in the shooting, which occurred about 9:30, according to police. The identities of the two victims were not known last night. The man was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, and the woman, who was hit in the right arm, was also taken to a hospital, police said.

Car kills woman crossing intersection
An 85-year-old Medford woman died Tuesday when she was hit by a car as she crossed the intersection of Oxford and Wendell streets near Harvard Divinity School, police said. Helen Chin was struck in a crosswalk at about 6:30 p.m. The driver of the vehicle was a 31-year-old woman, said Frank Pasquarello, Cambridge police spokesman. No charges have been filed, and the investigation is continuing, he said.

Stolen diamond worth $100k is returned
A 7 1/2-carat diamond worth an estimated $100,000 that was stolen from a Gloucester home has been returned to its owner by a jeweler who faced legal action unless he gave it back. The diamond was returned Tuesday to Gloucester District Court, where police had it appraised. In exchange, prosecutors dropped charges of receiving stolen property against David Guiness, who had refused to return the gem because he would lose money, he said. Authorities told The Gloucester Daily Times that Guiness had paid $35,000 for the diamond. Police say he bought it from Laura Vielma, 22, who allegedly stole it while working as a nurse at the owner's home. Four counts of larceny against Vielma were continued without a finding for two years. (AP)

Neighbor harassed gay man, state says
A Norwood woman has been barred from threatening, coercing, or intimidating her gay neighbor - or anyone else - based on their sexual orientation, the state attorney general's office said yesterday. Deborah May allegedly engaged in repeated and severe intimidation and harassment toward a man who lives in the same apartment building. Such conduct is devastating "not only because of the immediate physical and emotional harm . . . but because feelings of fear, anxiety, and profound loss of personal security often last far longer than the incident," Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement. The complaint was filed Dec. 31. May allegedly spread false rumors, made false criminal reports, and screamed antigay epithets.

No one hurt as warehouse roof collapses
A Kingston business's roof collapsed yesterday while people were inside, but no one was injured, a Fire Department dispatcher said. The roof at L. Knife & Son Inc., a liquor wholesaler, collapsed at 11:27 a.m., Nancy Bonarrigo said. The warehouse is about 250 by 500 feet. Firefighters believe snow caused the collapse, Bonarrigo said.

Lobstermen are getting more for catch
Lobster prices are rising after months in the tank. The price increase is a result of supply and demand, said Matt McAleney, a dealer in Portland. Lobstermen who were getting $2.25 to $2.80 a pound two weeks ago are getting $4 to $5.40, according to the Maine Lobstermen's Association. (AP)

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