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State & Region Briefs

  • FILE - In this March 20, 2018, file photo, Bill Murray attends a special screening of "Isle of Dogs" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photographer Peter Simon, brother of Carly Simon, said actor Bill Murray slammed him against a door and poured a glass of water over him while he was making photos of a band Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, at a restaurant in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) Evan Agostini


Friday, August 10, 2018
Officials: Cab driver shoots, kills passenger during robbery

NEW BEDFORD — Authorities say a cab driver fatally shot a passenger who tried to rob him.

The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office says after the cab driver picked up two men in New Bedford early Friday, the men put the driver in a choke hold and used a knife to try to rob him.

Prosecutors say the driver managed to escape the cab and fired several shots, hitting 24-year-old Christopher Dunton. Dunton was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Prosecutors say the other man fled the scene. They say that man, 23-year-old Kyle Dawson, was arrested in New Bedford after noon on Friday.

The district attorney’s office says the driver had a valid license to carry. He has not been identified. Prosecutors say the shooting remains under investigation.

Town seeks to dismiss lawsuit from family of slain teacher

DANVERS — A judge is considering whether to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the family of a high school teacher who was raped and killed by one of her students five years ago.

The family of Colleen Ritzer was in court in Lawrence on Thursday as lawyers for the town and Danvers High School asked the judge to throw out the family’s lawsuit. The Salem News reports the judge urged all parties to consider court supervised conciliation, but says he will need time to consider case law before making a decision.

Ritzer was killed inside Danvers High in 2013. The then 14-year-old student, Philip Chism, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole in 40 years.

The lawsuit seeks answers for questions surrounding Ritzer’s death.

Photographer says Bill Murray harassed him at restaurant

OAK BLUFFS — A photographer says actor Bill Murray slammed him against a door and poured a glass of water over him while he was taking photos of a band at a Massachusetts restaurant.

Peter Simon said he was on an assignment for The Martha’s Vineyard Times at Lola’s in Oak Bluffs on Wednesday when Murray accosted him, swore at him and threatened him.

Simon, who is singer Carly Simon’s brother, said the band invited him and he was not there to take pictures of Murray. A police report says Murray told police Simon was taking pictures of him.

The report says Murray was “visibly upset” and said Simon was harassing him.

No one was charged.

Murray’s entertainment lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

High number of Cape Cod mosquitoes with West Nile virus

YARMOUTH — Public health officials say an unusually high number of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus on Cape Cod.

The Cape Cod Times reports that state Department of Health said Thursday 14 mosquito samples from Falmouth, Barnstable, Dennis, Bourne and Yarmouth tested positive for the virus after being trapped Tuesday and July 31.

Gabrielle Sakolsky, assistant superintendent with the Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project, says they had nine samples test positive for the virus for the whole season last year.

Health officials say the virus has been detected in 169 mosquito samples from across the state.

No human or animal cases of West Nile virus have been detected in the state this year.

State officials recommend people use mosquito repellent and wear protective clothing.

Nursing student killed in head-on crash with police cruiser

SOMERSET — A woman killed in a head-on crash with a police cruiser was a nursing student at UMass-Dartmouth.

Authorities say the Somerset officer was responding to a report of an attempted break-in of a truck parked at a pub around 12:30 a.m. Friday when the crash occurred on Route 138.

The woman, 20-year-old Hailey Allard, of Somerset, was taken to Charlton Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The police officer was taken to Rhode Island Hospital with unspecified injuries and is expected to be OK.

Somerset police say they are “saddened by this horrible tragedy.” UMass-Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson said Allard’s friends described her as “bright, perpetually positive” and a hard working student.

From Associated Press