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New England in brief

Catholic academy director resigns

August 17, 2009

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BOSTON
Mary Russo, regional director of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy, resigned last week to pursue a doctorate in education at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. Russo, who had been in the post for a year, played an instrumental role last fall in launching the state-of-the-art academy, created in the merger of five parochial schools in Dorchester and Mattapan. Russo said in an interview yesterday that it was a tough decision to leave. “Amazing things happened over the course of just one year,’’ said the former Boston public schools principal. “It’s hard to leave success.’’ Terrence Donilon, an archdiocese spokesman, said a search will begin for a successor. Donilon said he doubted Russo’s departure would lead to any disruption to the start of the new school year because each of the academy’s five campuses has its own principal.

Indecent exposure reported in North End
Police are investigating a report of a man who allegedly exposed himself to a woman early Saturday in the North End. The woman reported that a man approached her just after 3 a.m. at the corner of Unity Street and Unity Court. She said she pushed him away and fled, police said. The man appeared to be Hispanic, 30 to 35 years old, about 160 pounds, and wore a tan T-shirt and jeans, the woman told police. People with information are encouraged to call the Boston Police Sexual Assault Unit at (617) 343-4400, Area A-1 detectives at (617) 343-4248, or the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1(800) 494-TIPS. There have been several sexual assaults in recent years in the North End.

BROCKTON
Man is found fatally shot outside home
Police found a 24-year-old man lying on the sidewalk early Saturday after he was gunned down outside his home, authorities said yesterday. Delacey A. Hinton, wounded in the chest, was taken to Brockton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No arrests have been made in the death, which is under investigation, said Bridget Norton Middleton, a spokeswoman for the Plymouth district attorney’s office.

PEABODY
New trial set for Beverly police officer
A Beverly police officer is facing a new trial in a fatal car crash. Stuart Merry was convicted of negligent vehicular homicide after he crashed his police cruiser into a parked car in January 2007, killing 61-year-old Bonney Burns. But the state Supreme Judicial Court threw out his conviction in April and ordered a new trial after finding that prosecutors failed to turn over evidence that was favorable to Merry. Merry had argued that he should not have to face a second trial because there wasn’t enough evidence to establish that he was negligent. His new trial is set to begin tomorrow. (AP)

SHELBURNE, Vt.
Economy, rain dampen Mozart festival
The Vermont Mozart Festival is in financial trouble. Representatives of the outdoor classical music events told the crowds at this season’s last two summer concerts, in Shelburne and Stowe, that the festival is $400,000 in debt and needs help to return next year. For 36 years the festival has been offering concerts at striking outdoor venues such as Shelburne Farms and Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe. The economy and rain took a toll on ticket sales this summer. The festival typically sells about 13,500 tickets. This year it planned for 11,500 but sold only about 9,500. (AP)

WARWICK, R.I.
Gay-marriage allies protest vow renewal
Two groups that support legalizing same-sex marriage in Rhode Island have protested outside an event held by an organization that opposes such marriages. Heterosexual couples renewed their vows at yesterday’s event in Warwick organized by the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Marriage. The pro-gay marriage groups Queer Action of Rhode Island and Providence Equality Action Committee said their members held a peaceful protest. They held up signs but did not attempt to enter or disrupt the ceremony. Rhode Island is the only New England state that doesn’t allow some sort of same-sex union. (AP)