State & Region Briefs

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Catholic high school to close due to low enrollment

WESTFIELD — A small Roman Catholic high school in western Massachusetts is shutting down because too few students have signed up for its incoming freshman class.

St. Mary’s High School in Westfield will close after the current school year. The announcement was made Monday by the Rev. Frank Lawlor, the pastor of St. Mary’s parish.

Lawlor says the school has only nine students enrolled in next year’s freshman class. He says it needs 40 to stay open.

School Board President Erin Carrier says the Diocese of Springfield declined to provide $300,000 to help keep the school afloat. She described the closure as “a sin.”

Lawlor says Pope Francis High School in Springfield has offered to accommodate students from St. Mary’s.

Town votes to end lease with popular seaside clam shack

ORLEANS — Cape Cod officials have ended the town’s lease with a popular fried clam shack that was threatening to collapse due to extreme beach erosion.

The Orleans Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 Monday to terminate its lease with the owner of Liam’s at Nauset Beach. The restaurant will be razed for an emergency restoration of the dune at the beach hit hard by the March 2 nor’easter.

Liam’s has been a Cape Cod staple since opening in the 1950s. Selectman David Currier, who casted the dissenting vote, says he has been going to the restaurant since he was “in diapers.” The nor’easter had wiped away much of the sand under the building’s foundation.

Liam’s owner John Ohman says it’s been an honor to serve the town.

Judge allows hospital’s flu vaccination policy to stand

BOSTON — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that challenged a Boston hospital’s requirement that all employees must get flu vaccinations.

A nurses’ union had challenged Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s vaccination policy, but a judge on Monday ruled that the Massachusetts Nurses Association did not have standing to bring the suit.

The hospital last fall mandated that all employees must get flu shots unless they are granted medical or religious exemptions. Workers who do not get inoculated are required to wear face masks around patients.

A spokesman said the union may appeal.

Police: Man douses girlfriend, baby with lighter fluid

LAWRENCE — Police say a man doused his girlfriend and their 1-year-old baby with lighter fluid and threatened to light them on fire.

A judge ordered 37-year-old William Connatser, of Lawrence, held without bail Monday. Prosecutors say he has been charged with assault to murder, reckless endangerment of a child and mayhem among other offenses.

Police say Connatser left a pre-release program home to go to a nearby supermarket Saturday. He met his girlfriend there, and police say the two began to argue inside a vehicle.

Authorities say he then poured the liquid on the woman and baby, telling the woman to drive away.

The woman and a bystander were able to get the attention of a nearby officer who arrested Connatser.

From Associated Press