New England in brief

Obama to attend Patrick fund-raiser

October 13, 2009

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President Obama will visit Boston on Oct. 23 for a Democratic fund-raising lunch for Governor Deval Patrick at the Westin Copley Place hotel. Patrick is up for reelection in 2010. In announcing the president’s visit, Patrick said in a video that his political agenda is “very closely’’ aligned with that of his fellow Chicagoan and Harvard Law School graduate. And, he says, “The Obama administration has looked to the Commonwealth for ways to move this whole nation,’’ including its universal health care plan and emphasis on green-technology jobs. (AP)

Wheelchair returned to Roslindale boy
A customized wheelchair stolen from an 8-year-old disabled Roslindale boy was anonymously returned to him yesterday, police said. The wheelchair was stolen on Sept. 30 from the front of the family’s Roslindale home while the boy was getting ready for school, police said. When the boy’s mother went to retrieve the chair, it was gone. Yesterday, the boy’s family called police to tell them that they found the wheelchair in working order that morning in front of their house, police said.

Fire destroys former nightclub building
A fire Sunday night in Shrewsbury destroyed a vacant century-old building on an island on Lake Quinsigamond. Through the years, the building housed several nightclubs, fire officials said. Shrewsbury Fire Captain Seth Colby said firefighters were called by neighbors shortly after 7:30 p.m., saying the building at 234 S. Quinsigamond Ave. was on fire. The building is accessible only by a 30-foot-long bridge from the mainland, which gave firefighters an extra battle. “All the hoses had to be hand-stretched from the shore across the bridge,’’ Colby said. “It was a labor-intensive fire.’’ Colby said the roughly 4,400-square-foot building was a complete loss. “By the time we had arrived on scene several minutes after the 911 call, the building was actually starting to collapse.’’ The building was constructed in 1910, and Colby believes it had been abandoned for 20 years. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office and Shrewsbury police.

Panel to hear court consolidation plan
A New Hampshire House panel is holding a hearing today in Colebrook on a plan to consolidate four district courts. Governor John Lynch has proposed closing courts in Colebrook and Milford and consolidating the Claremont and Newport courts to save money. The House panel looking into the issue holds a hearing Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Colebrook Elementary School. (AP)

Students protest holiday name change
A decision to strip Columbus Day from the Brown University calendar because of the explorer’s violence against Native Americans has sparked a protest at the Ivy League school. A group of student Republicans planned a protest yesterday to object to the university’s decision to rename the holiday Fall Weekend. Keith Dellagrotta, a Brown senior who leads the school’s College Republicans club, described the decision as political correctness gone too far. He said Columbus should be celebrated for bringing the European political tradition to the New World. (AP)

Rescuers aid Mass. man injured on hike
Rescuers came to the aid of an injured man hiking up a trail to meet his family on Mount Chocorua. The Fish and Game Department said Christopher Duncombe, 64, of West Newton, Mass., was hiking with his wife on Weetamoo Trail Sunday afternoon when he slipped and hurt his right ankle. His wife, Linda, called 911 on her cellphone. Members of the Conway and Tamworth fire departments, SOLO Wilderness Medicine Students, and Fish and Game conservation officers responded and helped him down and to a hospital. (AP)