State & Region Briefs

Friday, January 05, 2018
Man says warrant for not paying dog license fee unfair

WESTMINSTER — A man admits he was late renewing his dog license, but says issuing a warrant for his arrest over the matter was “extreme.”

Brian Vincent said that it was his own fault. He found two notices about renewing the license for his 9-year-old Boxer, Troop, in his mailbox, but initially missed them because he rarely checks his home mail and relies mostly on a post office box.

He was arraigned in court Tuesday and told to pay the $25 fee and a $50 fine.

Vincent says the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

The police chief defended the arrest warrant, saying Vincent ignored several warnings and it’s important to register dogs because of the danger of rabies.

Ocean managers approve changes to NE waters

Federal ocean regulators say they have approved most of a proposal to change the rules about how they manage New England ocean habitat.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has spent more than a decade working on the changes, which mean significant changes for the way the agency regulates valuable species such as scallops. A spokeswoman says the agency approved the changes on Wednesday.

The changes apply to the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank and southern New England waters.

Some environmentalists say they are glad the government ultimately balked at part of the proposal that would have opened part of Georges Bank that has been closed to commercial fishing for more than 20 years.

The habitat changes still need to be finalized and are expected to go into effect this year.

Transgender inmate’s suit versus sheriff dropped

SPRINGFIELD — A transgender woman who sued a Massachusetts sheriff alleging mistreatment and harassment while in jail has dropped her $100,000 lawsuit in exchange for a slightly earlier release.

Jennifer Picknelly argued in a federal lawsuit against Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi that she was mocked with anti-gay and anti-transgender slurs, extorted and raped while an inmate at the Hampden County jail in Ludlow in 2016. The jail houses male inmates.

Cocchi responded that the sheriff’s department made every effort to accommodate Picknelly and ensure her safety.

A sheriff’s department lawyer tells The Republican newspaper that Picknelly dropped her lawsuit in exchange for 15 extra days of “good time” that inmates can accrue for positive behavior.

Picknelly received no money as a result of the lawsuit.

State tax revenue 21% higher than expected in Dec.

BOSTON — Massachusetts collected more than $3 billion in tax revenue in December, more than 21 percent higher than estimated.

State Department of Revenue Commissioner Christopher Harding said in a statement that the preliminary numbers announced Thursday were $527 million more than monthly benchmarks and almost 21% more than was collected in December 2016.

For the fiscal year-to-date through December, revenue collections totaled almost $13 billion, which is $728 million or 6 percent more than the year-to-date benchmark and $966 million more than the same period the last fiscal year.

The high numbers were driven by surges in income tax estimated payments and income tax collections.

From Associated Press