New England in brief

Airport construction to resume next week

June 26, 2009
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Logan International Airport officials announced yesterday that airfield construction projects will resume Monday, after they took steps to ensure that there will be no more close calls like last week’s. Eighteen licensed and trained drivers will escort construction vehicles while they are on the airfield. The Massachusetts Port Authority suspended airfield construction and reviewed airfield movement policies and procedures after a June 18 incident, in which a construction vehicle crossed a Logan runway as a US Airways Airbus A320 took off. The driver told investigators he had not been briefed that the runway was open, investigators said.

Menino expected to pick Golden for BRA
Former Allston-Brighton state representative Brian P. Golden is Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s choice to be executive director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, a post previously held by Harry Collings, a key figure in Menino’s administration and political operation, who retired last year. The deal is not yet finalized, according to Menino’s office. Golden, 44, is a lawyer who served as commissioner of the state Department of Telecommunications and Energy in the Romney administration and as regional director of the US Department of Health and Human Services in the Bush administration. A lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, Golden has returned to active duty several times, serving in Iraq, Bosnia, and the Pentagon.

Pedestrian struck after police cars collide
A pedestrian suffered serious injuries late Wednesday after being hit by a police cruiser in Falmouth, police said. Two police cruisers collided on Sandwich Road while responding to an emergency call at 11 p.m. One of the cruisers struck the pedestrian, who was near the edge of the road, according to the Falmouth Police Department. Police did not release the name or age of the pedestrian, who is being treated at a Boston hospital. Police said the person’s injuries were not life-threatening. State Police are investigating the crash.

Police say robber hired taxi for bank job
A 38-year-old man took a taxi to a Salem Bank yesterday, then asked the driver to wait for him while he used the cash machine, Salem police said. The driver did not know that his passenger’s real intention was to withdraw money with a gun rather than a plastic card, police said. Detective William Jennings said Jose R. Rodriguez of Salem was captured about an hour after robbing the Eastern Bank on Congress Street at gunpoint. Rodriguez walked away from the bank at about 9:23 a.m. with an undisclosed amount of cash, Jennings said, getting back into the taxi and going to an address on Porter Street Court. A witness was able to take down the license plate of the cab, and police tracked down the driver.

Woman dies in rollover crash on I-495
A woman died last night in a motor vehicle accident on Interstate 495 north, State Police said. The driver’s 2000 Dodge Caravan rolled over into the median at about 10:25 p.m. near Exit 33 for North Chelmsford, Trooper Thomas Murphy said. The cause of the crash is under investigation. The unidentified driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene, Murphy said. No one else was injured. The travel lane was closed following the incident.

Rhode Island debates shortening its name
The country’s smallest state has the longest official name: “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.’’ A push to drop “Providence Plantations’’ from that name advanced further than ever yesterday when House lawmakers voted 70-3 to let residents decide whether their home should simply be called the “State of Rhode Island.’’ It’s an encouraging sign for those who believe the formal name conjures up images of slavery, while opponents argue it’s an unnecessary rewriting of history that ignores Rhode Island’s tradition of religious liberty and tolerance. The bill permitting a statewide referendum on the issue next year now heads to the state Senate. (AP)