State & Region Briefs

Published: 8/20/2019 8:14:24 PM
Justice Department to challenge internet gambling ruling

CONCORD, N.H. — The Justice Department is planning to challenge a federal judge’s ruling that a law prohibiting interstate wagering applies only to sports gambling, renewing the dispute over whether it’s illegal to sell lottery tickets online.

The department filed notice Friday with the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

The June ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, which said a 2018 Justice Department opinion subjects commission employees to prosecution, creates uncertainty about whether it should cease operations and could cost the state more than $90 million annually.

The case revolves around the Wire Act, a 1961 law meant to target the mob that prohibits interstate wagering. The department concluded in 2011 that online gambling within states that doesn’t involve sporting events wouldn’t break the law. But the agency changed its mind.

Woman pleads guilty to distributing fentanyl

CONCORD, N.H. — A woman has pleaded guilty in federal court in New Hampshire to distributing fentanyl as part of a seven-defendant narcotics case.

Court documents say 29-year-old Karina Reyes, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, lived with a drug trafficker and sometimes provided translation services for him during conversations about arrangements for drug transactions in New Hampshire.

She’s scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 22.

Most of the other co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to fentanyl trafficking charges.

East Coast squid fishery to be restricted through end of year

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Federal fishing managers are restricting the fishery for a commercially important species of squid for the rest of the year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says restrictions on the fishery for illex squid, which are also called shortfin squid, begin on Wednesday morning. Vessels won’t be allowed to bring more than 10,000 pounds per trip of the squid from federal waters to docks.

The agency says the fishery is expected to hit 95 percent of its annual quota for 2019 on Wednesday. That’s the reason for the restrictions, which will last until Dec. 31.

Fishermen from Maine to North Carolina harvest millions of pounds of the squid every year for use as food. Rhode Island is a major state in the East Coast squid industry.

Developer proposes horse track in southeastern Mass.

BOSTON — A developer is proposing to build a horse track, hotel and entertainment complex in southeastern Massachusetts.

The Boston Globe reports a Quincy developer is promoting the plan for Wareham, with Tom O’Connell, an executive at Marina Bay and the Granite Links golf club, unveiling the concept Tuesday.

It would need legislative approval.

New England’s last thoroughbred horse track, Boston’s Suffolk Downs, hosted its final live races in June. Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, which operated the track, ran a handful of summertime races since losing out on its bid to build a resort casino there in 2014.

In southeastern Massachusetts, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has so far been unable to build a casino in Taunton and the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe needs to secure local approvals before building a casino on Martha’s Vineyard.

Connecticut looks to purchase more offshore wind power

HARTFORD, Conn. — The state of Connecticut is looking to purchase up to 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind power.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said Monday it had released a request for proposals for offshore wind power as required by a new state law.

The department says it’s the state’s first solicitation dedicated specifically to offshore wind development. It says the timing aligns with a similar offshore wind solicitation by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.

Connecticut already plans to purchase about 300 megawatts of offshore wind power from the Revolution Wind project, which is planned for federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Connecticut Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont says the new request represents “the future of the state’s environmental, energy and economic potential.”

Bids are due by Sept. 30.

Theft of oysters hinders Cape Cod aquaculture program

SANDWICH — Officials in a Massachusetts town say about 4,000 immature oysters were stolen from a local creek, hindering a fledgling Cape Cod aquaculture program.

The Cape Cod Times reports that Sandwich town officials realized the oysters were missing from Mill Creek when they went to check the floating cages near Sandwich Boardwalk earlier this month.

Sandwich Natural Resources Director, David DeConto, says the oysters weren’t mature enough to meet the size requirements for sale, so it’s unclear why they were taken.

It takes two to three years for oysters to mature.

Sandwich had its first oyster harvest for licensed shellfisherman in January after developing the program over several years.

Officials say there may be no harvest this year because of the theft.

From Associated Press

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