New England in brief

Patrick nominates 3 for Appeals Court

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November 15, 2007

Governor Deval Patrick has nominated a state court judge, an appellate lawyer, and a Boston litigator to fill three vacancies on the state Appeals Court. The nominees are: Francis Fecteau, a Worcester Superior Court judge; Peter Rubin, a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center; and Gabrielle Wolohojian, a senior partner at a Boston law firm. Rubin was one of the lawyers who represented Vice President Al Gore in the two Florida election cases heard by the US Supreme Court in the 2000 presidential campaign. Wolohojian has worked on complex civil cases for 16 years. Fecteau has been a Superior Court judge since 1996. (AP)

Extra $15m approved for heating aid
The Massachusetts House and Senate have passed a bill to provide an extra $15 million for home heating assistance this winter. The money is intended to supplement the state's share from the Federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Officials believe that 100,000 elderly and low-income residents could benefit. Governor Deval Patrick filed the measure only two weeks ago, but House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi and Senate President Therese Murray said they would ensure swift approval. (AP)

Harvard announces South Asia initiative
Harvard University announced a multiyear project yesterday to increase research and learning related to South Asia. Eight senior scholars from Harvard will guide the initiative, school officials said. The university plans to increase research related to the region and promote partnerships with universities and other organizations in South Asia. Harvard also plans to increase the financial support and scholarships for students from South Asia accepted to the school, officials said.

Missing 13-year-old youth is found safe
A 13-year-old boy who wandered away from his Somerville school Tuesday afternoon was found sitting on a bench yesterday on a path along Storrow Drive, police said. Jack C. Kornfield-Shay was found shortly before noon by Somerville detectives who had been checking tips on his whereabouts. Kornfield-Shay, who has a slight learning disability, was last seen about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday leaving the Kennedy School. Police Captain Paul Upton said the teenager, who spent the night in an MIT building, was "just exercising some 13-year-old independence."

Adams scholarships awarded to 17,000
Nearly 17,000 seniors in Massachusetts high schools now have free tuition to state colleges or universities. The recipients of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship have all scored in the advanced category on at least one of the MCAS exams, which are given in math and English. They must score at least proficient on the second exam. They also must score within the top quarter of all students in their district. The 16,976 winners get free annual tuition, which ranges from $734 at community colleges to $1,618 at the University of Massachusetts. But they must pay all other expenses. Brockton High School had the highest increase of recipients between 2006 and 2007. The school had 198 recipients in last year's class and 249 this year. (AP)

Voters approve $29.4m for a new school
Concord residents approved a $29.4 million debt exclusion in a special election yesterday for a new elementary school. On the heels of a recent Town Meeting vote to support the new school, residents decided to move forward with the project by a vote of 2,160 to 1,200. If the town does not receive state assistance for the project, the median tax bill will go up by $370 to pay for the construction of a new Willard School. Construction is expected to be completed by fall 2009.

Brothers sue archdiocese, alleging abuse
Three brothers have sued the Hartford Archdiocese, alleging that they were molested by a priest 30 years ago. Richard, Paul, and Niles Mallory say in separate lawsuits filed in New Haven Superior Court that the Rev. Ivan Ferguson abused them when they accompanied their mother to St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church in Simsbury in 1977 and 1978. Their mother worked for the church. Ferguson died in 2002 at age 68. Thomas McNamara, lawyer for the Mallory brothers, said the abuse ranged from improper touching to sodomy. (AP)

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