State & Region Briefs

Wednesday, March 07, 2018
Senator from Quincy to seek top leadership post

BOSTON — Yet another Massachusetts state senator has declared interest in leading the chamber next year.

John Keenan, a four-term Democrat from Quincy, says in a statement he plans to ask fellow senators to support his bid to become the next Senate president.

Several other Democrats have expressed interest in the post, including Sens. Karen Spilka of Ashland; Sal DiDomenico of Everett; Eileen Donoghue of Lowell; and Eric Lesser of Longmeadow.

The jockeying began after former Senate President Stan Rosenberg stepped aside in December amid a probe into whether he violated any Senate rules in connection with sexual assault allegations against his husband.

Democrat Harriette Chandler of Worcester agreed to serve as Senate president for the remainder of the current session but has ruled out keeping the post beyond that.

Springfield police shoot man after low-speed car chase

SPRINGFIELD — Police in Springfield have shot a man they say led them on a low-speed car chase before putting his vehicle in reverse and backing toward officers.

A spokesman for Springfield police say the suspect refused to pull over for a routine traffic stop at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The chase ended when the driver struck a parked vehicle, a porch and fence.

Two officers got out of their cruiser and were approaching the vehicle when it backed up.

Department spokesman Ryan Walsh says “Fearing for their own safety, one officer fired their service pistol, striking the driver in the arm.” The driver was taken to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Zuckerberg, Chan give $30M to Harvard and MIT for literacy

CAMBRIDGE — Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are giving Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology $30 million to help improve the literacy skills of elementary school students across the nation.

The Reach Every Reader program will combine scientific research with methods of tracking and predicting students’ reading abilities to develop a web-based screening tool to identify kindergartners at high risk of reading difficulties.

MIT President Rafael Reif said “struggling to read can be a crushing blow with lifelong consequences” and when millions of children struggle, it’s “a crisis for our society.”

Chan called the five-year effort “a unique combination of cutting-edge education and neuroscience research.”

Zuckerberg created Facebook while a Harvard student but dropped out. Chan graduated from the Ivy League school in 2007.

Man convicted of molesting 2 boys in 1990s sentenced

BOSTON — One of two men sexually abused as a boy decades ago by a man who disappeared after his indictment in 1993 told his abuser at sentencing “you robbed me of my innocence and ripped my sense of security from me.”

John Hartin was sentenced Tuesday in Boston to up to 14 years in prison for molesting the 6- and 9-year-old boys in the early 1990s. The 48-year-old Hartin was convicted last week of child rape.

The other victim said in court that “I can never forgive this man.”

Hartin was indicted in 1993 but fled before trial. He was arrested in Walkertown, N.C., in June 2016, where he had been living under an alias.

Hartin was dating a relative of one victim and the second victim was that boy’s friend.

Name of 85-year-old woman killed in fire released

WORCESTER — Authorities have released the name of the 85-year-old woman killed in a Massachusetts house fire that was spotted by a firefighter heading into work.

Maria Montalvo died in the Monday morning fire in Worcester. The cause has not been determined, but investigators say it appears to be an accident.

Two other people, ages 64 and 65, were injured in the fire. Their names were not released. An off-duty firefighter rushed in to help get them out after seeing the fire on his drive to work.

Man charged in fatal hit-and-run held without bail

NEW BEDFORD — The suspect in a fatal hit-and-run in Massachusetts has been held without bail pending a hearing to determine whether he poses a danger to society.

The Standard-Times reports that 58-year-old Natalie Vieira appeared in court Tuesday and not guilty pleas to charges including leaving the scene of a fatal accident were entered on his behalf.

Natalie is Vieira’s legal name but prosecutors say he is transgender and identifies as male.

Police say Vieira was leaving a Dartmouth liquor store on Saturday night when he struck and killed 33-year-old Stasha Lynn Faria, of Westport.

Vieira told investigators he thought he hit a light pole. His damaged vehicle was found at a body shop.

Vieira is from Riverside, Cal., but recently moved in with relatives in Westport.

The dangerousness hearing is Thursday.

From Associated Press