State & Region News

Published: 4/24/2019 10:23:51 PM
Stop & Shop strike cost company about $100 million

BOSTON — The owners of New England’s largest supermarket chain are projecting around $100 million in losses from the labor strike that ended Easter Sunday.

Ahold Delhaize, the Dutch company that owns Stop & Shop, said the 11-day strike is expected to lead to losses between $90 million and $110 million.

The company says generally lower sales, lost revenue from “seasonal and perishable inventory” and supply chain costs were the main drivers.

Stop & Shop officials and the United Food and Commercial Workers union reached a tentative, three-year agreement Sunday. Some 31,000 workers at 240 stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut returned to work Monday.

Union members are voting on the proposal Wednesday and Thursday.

Man pleads guilty to shipping lizards from Philippines to US

BOSTON — A New Hampshire man who smuggled rare lizards from the Philippines to the U.S. by hiding them in socks and placing them inside electronic equipment has pleaded guilty.

Federal prosecutors say 26-year-old Derrick Semedo pleaded guilty in Boston on Tuesday to trafficking in protected wildlife in violation of U.S. and Philippines law and international wildlife treaties.

Authorities say from March to December 2016, the Nashua, New Hampshire, man imported 20 live water monitor lizards by placing them in socks, sealing the socks with tape, then concealing them in the back panels of audio speakers or other electronic equipment. The equipment was shipped via commercial carriers to Semedo.

Some lizards were then sold to customers in other states.

He faces up to five years in prison at sentencing scheduled for Aug. 13.

Man hospitalized after opening bottle containing rat poison

FALL RIVER — A man who opened an antique bottle of rat poison he thought contained whiskey was taken to the hospital after complaining of burning on his hands and throat.

Fall River Fire Capt. Neil Furtado tells The Herald News firefighters responded to a self-storage facility in the city at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The man said he had bought several bottles at auction and was told they were at least 60 years old and probably contained whiskey. The man is expected to be OK. His name wasn’t released.

Furtado says the only bottle he opened contained strychnine powder, used as rat poison.

A hazardous materials team responded and tested the other bottles, some of which contained acid.

Nothing was spilled but the storage facility was shut down for several hours.

1st Circuit declines to prevent inmate access to opioid meds

BOSTON — A federal appeals court has denied an emergency request to stop a jail from being forced to provide an inmate with medication she says is needed to keep her opioid addiction in remission.

The Aroostook County Jail appealed to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a judge in Maine granted a preliminary injunction requiring the jail to provide physician-prescribed medication to Brenda Smith. The appeals court denied the jail’s motion on Monday.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine says the denial means the jail will be required to provide medication, sold under the trade name Suboxone, when Smith reports for her sentence May 1.

Attorney Peter Marchesi, who represents the jail, says it’s unclear whether the court will schedule arguments before the date Smith reports to jail.

Husband, wife dead after shooting in Northborough home

NORTHBOROUGH — Authorities say two people who died in an apparent murder-suicide inside a Massachusetts home were husband and wife.

Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. says in a statement that Northborough police responding to a 911 call at about 10 p.m. Tuesday found the victims.

Police say the couple was involved in an argument when Thomas Blasko shot Debra Blasko, then turned the gun on himself.

Thomas Blasko was pronounced dead at the scene. Debra Blasko was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester. Both were 57.

Authorities did not say who called 911.

The investigation is continuing, but authorities say there is no threat to the public.

From Associated Press

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