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State/National Briefs

Agency removing more at-risk kids from families

WORCESTER — The Department of Children and Families is removing children at risk of abuse from their families at a higher rate than in the past under new directives by Commissioner Olga I. Roche following the disappearance of a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy in the agency’s care.

The Telegram reports that the agency has filed 42 care and protection petitions in Worcester, Milford, Dudley, Leominster and Fitchburg courts. Juvenile court judges will decide if a child has been or is at risk, whether the guardian is unfit to care for the child and who will have custody.

Jeremiah Oliver has not been seen by relatives since September, but police only recently learned of the disappearance.

Roche’s directive to improve the safety net includes a promise to secure money to hire staff.

NY snowboarder dies after striking tree in Vt.

KILLINGTON, Vt. — Authorities say a snowboarder from western New York hit a tree after swerving to miss a friend who fell on a trail at the Killington Ski Resort in Vermont and later died.

The Burlington Free Press reports that 23-year-old Skylar Ormond, of Canandaigua, N.Y., was snowboarding on Mouse Trap Trail with two friends around 3:15 p.m. Friday. Vermont State Police say one of the friends fell and Ormond swerved to miss him. He went into the woods and tumbled before hitting a tree.

His friends contacted the ski patrol and Ormond was taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center. Police say he died there from internal injuries.

Man appeals conviction in boy’s boat death

BOSTON — Massachusetts’ highest court will hear an appeal next month from a man convicted in the death of a 10-year-old boy in a boating accident.

Gus Adamopoulos, of Ludlow, died in August 2010 after a power boat driven by Steven Morse slammed into a kayak the boy and his father were fishing from.

Morse was convicted of homicide by vessel and misleading police. He was sentenced to serve five years in jail.

Prosecutors say Morse was impaired because he had had five beers and smoked marijuana the day of the accident. Morse’s lawyer says prosecutors never proved Morse was impaired. During his trial, Morse’s lawyer said he was temporarily blinded by the sun when he struck the kayak.

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