State & Region Briefs

Thursday, January 18, 2018
Man sentenced for armed robbery involving robotic vacuum

SALEM — A man has been sentenced to up to 2 ½ years in prison for three robberies, including one in which he swung a robotic vacuum at a security guard.

David Nardella, 43, pleaded guilty Wednesday to armed robbery and multiple counts of larceny in Salem Superior Court. A judge sentenced Nardella to two to 2 ½ years in prison.

Prosecutors say Nardella stole two North Face jackets from a TJ Maxx in Salem and two Samsung robotic vacuums from a Salem Target in the span of a week. Prosecutors say Nardella returned to the same Target, took two more robotic vacuums and swung one at a security guard by its security cord when he was apprehended.

North Atlantic right whales spotted in Cape Cod Bay

PROVINCETOWN — Researchers say a group of North Atlantic right whales have returned to Cape Cod Bay.

The Center for Coastal Studies tells the Cape Cod Times researches spotted 14 right whales near Cape Cod during its first survey this year. The center’s right whale ecology program director, Charles Mayo, says the sightings signal a “terrific start to the season.” Mayo says normally only a few whales would be seen this early in the year.

Cape Cod Bay is an important feeding habitat.

North Atlantic right whales are among the rarest marine mammals in the world. Researchers say there are fewer than 450 whales left.

Vessel-strikes and entanglement in fishing gear are two frequently cited causes of the whales’ deaths.

Mom tells cops her son is dead, leads them on 2-state chase

NASHUA, N.H. — Police in New Hampshire say when they went to an apartment to arrest a man on a drug charge, his mother told them he was fatally shot inside and then led them on a two-state chase. A body hasn’t been found.

Carmelita Vergez, 54, pleaded not guilty Thursday to several misdemeanor counts.

Police in Nashua say Vergez told them Wednesday about her son’s death, but drove off as they attempted to learn more. They said Vergez led them into Tyngsborough, where she caused a minor collision before driving back to Nashua, about 20 miles.

Police arrested her after her van struck another vehicle and she ran off.

State senators approve tougher fines for hunting violations

BOSTON — The State Senate has approved a bill aimed at cracking down on illegal hunting.

The legislation would increase fines and other penalties for violating the state’s hunting and fishing laws.

The proposal approved Thursday details restitution that hunters would pay the state for the value of each illegally taken animal. For example, $300 in restitution would be charged for the illegal taking of a bear, and $200 for a bobcat or otter.

The bill also directs the state to do a better job of marking the boundaries of wildlife sanctuaries so hunters won’t mistakenly enter them.

The legislation allows for compacts with other states that prevent hunters whose licenses have been suspended in those states from hunting in Massachusetts.

The bill heads to the House.

From Associated Press