State & Region Briefs

Thursday, January 25, 2018
Picking up the tabby! Donor pays cat’s $623 vet bill

LYNN — An anonymous donor has paid a more than $600 veterinarian bill for a cat rescued from a apartment fire.

The 1-year-old cat named Christopher survived the fire earlier this month that left his owner homeless, but required a week at an animal hospital.

The cat is being taken care of by another couple while the owner, Michelle Dupont, gets back on her feet.

That couple set up a crowdsourcing site to pay the $623 bill, but a woman who wanted to remain anonymous took care of it.

The donor says she was “touched” by Christopher’s story and hopes donations to the online fundraiser go toward Dupont’s recovery.

Dupont says she is thankful for the help and “good things are coming out of bad things.”

UMass selling 20-acre plot of land near Boston campus

BOSTON — The University of Massachusetts is selling 20 acres of land near its Boston campus, hoping the sale can help the school’s pressing financial needs.

UMass bought the site of the former Bayside Expo Center out of foreclosure in 2010 for less than $19 million. Real estate industry experts tell The Boston Globe the property could fetch $200 million or more.

UMass president Marty Meehan says the idea is to cash in on the current hot real estate market, raising money to demolish the crumbling parking garage that sits beneath much of the UMass-Boston campus, as well as to pay for other badly needed upgrades.

UMass-Boston faced a $30 million deficit last year.

Meehan says he would prefer an arrangement that includes room for UMass-Boston to expand.

Attorney says client was being used for grandparent scam

BEVERLY — A lawyer for a Texas man charged with scamming a Massachusetts couple out of $60,000 by pretending to be their grandson says his client is a “patsy.”

Attorney Ernest Stone said that 27-year-old Jason Temprachanh, of Fort Worth, Texas, is naive and was “used” by the real scammer.

Authorities say someone claiming to be their grandson called the Beverly couple earlier this month, said he had been arrested, and asked for money for bail and a lawyer.

Police say the couple wired the money then called their grandson, only to discover he was fine.

Authorities traced the money to Temprachanh’s bank account.

Temprachanh remains held in Texas on a fugitive from justice warrant. It’s unclear when he will be brought to Massachusetts to face charges.

Trooper files complaint against State Police

BOSTON — A woman serving with the Massachusetts State Police has filed a complaint with the state Commission Against Discrimination alleging she was unfairly punished for a “prank” while a male colleague received less severe punishment for retaliating.

The woman used an inactive stun gun on the man she was dating at the time, which everyone took to be a joke.

But she says in her complaint that the man brought a hard drive containing pornography to the department’s academy in New Braintree, and stored it next to a computer file that contained clothed pictures of her. She said she was subject to retaliation and untrue rumors.

An official said the commission is “actively investigating.”

A state police spokesman said the complaint is not evidence of “systemic problems.”

4 dozen animals die in Holliston barn fire

HOLLISTON — Authorities say about four dozen animals have died after a barn went up in flames in a Boston suburb.

Officials in Holliston say they received several 911 calls about the barn fire shortly before 6:30 a.m. Sunday. Firefighters say the structure was fully engulfed when they arrived. Fire departments from several towns responded.

Officials said that there were about 60 animals in the barn including cows, goats, pigs, chickens and ducks. Authorities said 13 of them escaped or were rescued, including six chickens, four ducks and three pigs.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston is helping to care for the surviving animals.

No people were injured.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

From Associated Press