State & Region Briefs

  • Former Sen. Scott Brown talks with media at Trump Tower in New York in November 2016. ap file photo

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Trump to nominate Scott Brown as ambassador to New Zealand

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has announced plans to nominate former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown to be the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand.

Brown supported Trump during the presidential campaign and had been considered for other administration jobs, including secretary of Veterans Affairs. Brown is a veteran.

The Senate must confirm the nomination. The White House announced Trump’s plans on Thursday.

Brown represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate from 2010 to 2013 after winning a special election to fill the seat held by the late Ted Kennedy, a Democrat.

Brown lost the seat to Elizabeth Warren. In 2014, he was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire but lost to incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Brown is currently a contributor to Fox News Channel.

Harvard honors a famous grad — JFK — with special symposium

CAMBRIDGE — Harvard University is honoring one of its most famous graduates — John F. Kennedy — with a symposium marking the 100th anniversary of the slain president’s birth.

Harvard hosts the John F. Kennedy Centennial Symposium on Thursday. Former U.S. ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, who is Kennedy’s only surviving child, is among the featured speakers.

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III of Massachusetts, the grandson of former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, is also among the speakers. So is Maria Shriver, a journalist and daughter of the former president’s sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

The daylong series will focus on the late president’s priorities and how they remain relevant today. Kennedy was born May 29, 1917, in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963.

Ex-nursing home worker gets up to 8 years of rape of patient

SPRINGFIELD — A certified nursing assistant convicted of raping a patient with dementia at the Massachusetts nursing facility where he worked has been sentenced to up to eight years in prison.

Parkpoom Seesangrit was sentenced this week following his conviction last week at a jury-waived trial.

Prosecutors said that the 27-year-old Seesangrit digitally raped the 69-year-old woman while changing her at the East Longmeadow Skilled Nursing Center in May 2014. They say he chose to change her even though the facility had a policy of not permitting men to render such care to female patients.

Seesangrit testified in his own defense that he did not touch the woman inappropriately.

Police detonate 19th-century cannonball found among antiques

HULL — An antiques collector in Massachusetts says he didn’t realize he had an explosive 19th-century cannonball sitting in his home until a bomb squad detonated the device.

Bruce Wescott, of Hull, took the cannonball to a gun store Wednesday trying to sell it. He found the explosive, which he believed to be from the Civil War, in a box of antiques he bought a year earlier but never looked through. He said the owner of the gun store told him the cannonball was potentially dangerous and asked him to leave.

Wescott took the cannonball home and called police, who told him not to touch it.

Neighbors were evacuated as a state police bomb squad removed the device, took it to a landfill and blew it up.

From Associated Press