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State & Region Briefs


Thursday, December 14, 2017
Cannabis panel OKs pot sales at variety of businesses

BOSTON — State marijuana regulators have given preliminary approval to a plan that would allow pot “bars” as well as the sale and consumption of pot at businesses including restaurants, yoga studios, movie theaters, and massage parlors.

The state Cannabis Control Commission in meetings this week approved the creation of a “mixed-use” license.

Businesses approved for such “mixed-use” licenses could only offer single-serve portions of marijuana, which customers would not be allowed to take off the premises.

Cannabis Commissioner Shaleen Title tells The Boston Globe the creation of pot bars and licenses for other businesses should help reduce marijuana consumption in public spaces, which is illegal.

The agency plans to file detailed draft regulations by Dec. 29 and enact final rules by March 15. Cannabis sales are scheduled to begin July 1.

Teen’s Harvard acceptance video seen by millions

CAMBRIDGE — A video of a 16-year-old boy and his classmates erupting in joy when they learn he was accepted to Harvard University is drawing millions of views online.

Ayrton Little posted the clip on Twitter Tuesday with a comment saying, “All the hard work was worth it.” It has since been viewed more than 5 million times.

The video shows the Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, resident wearing a Harvard sweater and surrounded by classmates at TM Landry College Preparatory while he checks his admission status online.

In a flash, Little and his friends begin jumping around the room and cheering when they see the news.

Little told The Boston Globe he always dreamed of attending the Ivy League school in Cambridge and that he has received a wave of support from viewers of the video.

Woman dies after carbon monoxide poisoning

CHATHAM — An elderly woman who was poisoned in her home by carbon monoxide has died.

The Cape Cod Times reports that 91-year-old Nancy Olson was a regular at the Chatham Council on Aging. Officials said Wednesday council staff alerted police after she didn’t show up Dec. 4.

Firefighters found the woman in her living room unconscious.

Police say she was hospitalized and pronounced dead on Saturday.

Deputy Fire Chief David DePasquale says tests showed elevated carbon monoxide levels in her home, likely caused by a car left running in the basement garage.

He says there were no carbon monoxide detectors in Olson’s home.

He says detectors usually sound the alarm when levels reach between 35 and 50 parts per million. Tests at Olson’s home showed levels at 270 ppm.

Death of Gardner man ruled homicide

GARDNER — The death of a man found dead in his Gardner apartment last weekend has been ruled a homicide.

The Worcester district attorney said Wednesday that 56-year-old Randy Vaillancourt was found Saturday during a police well-being check. The medical examiner determined the cause of death to be blunt-force trauma.

Police are currently investigating and there have been no arrests announced.

According to his obituary, he loved watching wrestling, western movies and listening to country music.

His is survived by a daughter, four grandchildren and five siblings.

Suicide of teen under investigation

WORCESTER — A prosecutor in Massachusetts is investigating the suicide of a 15-year-old boy whose parents wrote in his obituary that he killed himself “after struggling with bullying from peers.”

Connor Tronerud died Dec. 4. He lived in Sutton, Massachusetts and was a sophomore at Marianapolis Preparatory School, an independent Catholic school in Thompson, Connecticut.

A spokesman for Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. says the office is investigating.

Connor’s family has set up a page to raise money for bullying prevention. On it they say Connor was a private person but “struggled with peers invading that privacy in order to provoke a response.”

Marianapolis’ head of school said in a statement the school is “continuously vigilant to aggressive incidents of any kind, including cyberbullying,” and moves swiftly when issues are reported.

2 arrested, large amount of heroin taken in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — Police in Massachusetts say they have seized about 23,000 bags of heroin and arrested two people after executing a search warrant at a Springfield home.

The raid Wednesday afternoon also netted about $13,000 in cash, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Police arrested 23-year-old Brian Santiago and 46-year-old Javier Torres at the scene and charged them with heroin trafficking and marijuana possession.

Santiago also faces a charge of illegal possession of ammunition.

They are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday. It could not be determined if they have lawyers.

Springfield Police narcotics Capt. Brian Keenan called it a “large scale heroin distribution operation responsible for bringing thousands of bags of heroin into the Springfield area.”