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State & Region Briefs


Tuesday, January 02, 2018
Gas prices unchanged after holiday weekend

BOSTON — There is no change in the average price of gasoline in Massachusetts as the new year begins.

AAA Northeast said Tuesday its weekly survey found the price of self-serve regular remaining at an average $2.43 per gallon, the same as a week ago but 16 cents higher than a year ago at this time.

Massachusetts is currently 6 cents below the national average of $2.49 per gallon.

AAA said a high volume of holiday travel in the northeast helped to keep gas prices stable.

Man charged with killing mother ordered held without bail

WORCESTER — A man charged with fatally beating and stabbing his mother has been ordered held without bail and sent for a psychological evaluation.

Prosecutors say 26-year-old John Madulka hit 56-year-old Ellen Madulka 10 times with a metal object late Saturday night then stabbed her multiple times.

He was found at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts and taken to police headquarters for questioning. He was initially charged with aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and domestic assault and battery.

A murder charge was added Tuesday.

A clinician said during Madulka’s arraignment that he had been diagnosed with a mental illness and had not taken his medication for months. A judge sent him to Bridgewater State Hospital for evaluation.

Madulka’s lawyer says his client is “tremendously sick” and “tremendously confused.”

Police seek man they say used counterfeit money at Walmart

WESTFIELD — Police are seeking help in identifying a man they say used counterfeit money at a Westfield Walmart store.

Westfield police on Monday said the suspect used between $500 and $1,000 worth of fake $50 bills at the store last month to purchase items that could easily be resold.

Police released several surveillance images on Facebook of a suspect with a short beard, gray winter hat, brown coat and black hooded sweatshirt . Police also released an image of his car.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to contact police.

Police say Vermont man dies of injuries from house fire

BROOKLINE, Vt. — Vermont State Police say a second victim has died as a result of injuries suffered during a house fire last month in the town of Brookline.

Police say that 70-year-old Bruce Cutts died Friday of injuries from the Dec. 17 fire at his home.

The fire also killed 32-year-old Elizabeth Cutts.

After the fire, Bruce Cutts and 63-year-old Sally Cutts were taken to a Boston-area hospital for treatment.

Officials say the cause of the fire remains undetermined, but it is not considered suspicious.

School closed after burst pipe damages tiles with asbestos

FITCHBURG — A Fitchburg elementary school will be closed this week after a pipe burst over the holiday break and damaged ceiling tiles that contained asbestos.

Fitchburg Superintendent Andre Ravenelle says the closure of Crocker Elementary School will allow the district to plan for a temporary relocation of students and staff.

A statement from Ravenelle says the district is working with the appropriate agencies and experts on cleaning, remediation and testing.

Students were supposed to return to class Tuesday.

From Associated Press