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NEWS DIGEST

By ASSOCIATED PRESS - | Nov 29, 2019

Judge bars state from enforcing PFAS rules

CONCORD (AP) – A judge has ruled that New Hampshire must stop enforcing tough, new drinking water standards for a toxic chemical by the end of the year.

New Hampshire Public Radio reports that Superior Court judge Robert McNamara Tuesday granted a temporary injunction requested by 3M and several others who opposed the standards that went into effect in October for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively called PFAS.

The parties sued the state’s Department of Environmental Resources Commissioner Robert Scott in September, alleging the agency didn’t follow the appropriate process in approving the standard. The state denied wrongdoing.

The New Hampshire standard limits one chemical to a maximum of 12 parts per trillion and another to 15 parts per trillion, far lower than the 70 parts per trillion the Environmental Protection Agency has advised for the chemicals.

Driver accused of traveling 120 mph on I-95

GREENLAND (AP) – New Hampshire state police say a driver has been accused of traveling at 120 miles an hour on Interstate 95. A trooper stopped the car Thursday afternoon in Greenland in the southbound lane.

The trooper arrested 36-year-old Suniel Ross, of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.

Ross was released on personal recognizance bail and was scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 16. It wasn’t immediately known if he had a lawyer and a phone number couldn’t be found for him.

Strawbery Banke preps to open outdoor skating rink

PORTSMOUTH (AP) – The outdoor skating rink at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is preparing to open.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond was scheduled to open Friday for its sixth season. But due to a forecast of rain and higher temperatures, it was delayed until Sunday.

The schedule offers three free public skating times each week. The rink is open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., weather permitting, except for Christmas Day and shortened hours on Christmas Eve.

N. H. communities get development funding

CONCORD (AP) – Members of New Hampshire’s Democratic congressional delegation say two counties will get over $300,000 in federal grants for rural community development.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and Rep. Annie Kuster say the Northern Forest Center will receive $188,547 to expand broadband access and digital literacy in Lancaster, in Coos County. Lancaster will also receive $17,500 to purchase a new police vehicle to allow it to respond to emergencies in the White Mountains area.

Northumberland will receive $50,000 for the Groveton ambulance department to purchase improved defibrillator technology that will help treat patients who suffer heart attacks or overdoses.

In Cheshire County, the Southwestern Community Services in Keene will receive $60,000 to help low-income residents make safety and energy efficiency improvements to their homes.

Fire reported in classroom building at Harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) – Firefighters responded to a small but stubborn and smoky fire in a Harvard University building.

The fire in Emerson Hall was reported early Friday afternoon. The building, which opened in 1906, houses the Ivy League school’s philosophy department. The Cambridge Fire Department described it as a 3 ½-story brick and wood classroom building.

Acting Chief Gerard Mahoney says the building was unoccupied other than construction workers, who reported smelling smoke. There were no injuries.

Fire officials say the fire was difficult to tackle because it was in a pipe chase, a chimney-like space designed to hide pipes.

A Harvard spokesman says because of the Thanksgiving break, there were no classes or other activities in the building Friday. The school is working to determine whether it will open for classes Monday.

Man pleads guilty to fentanyl trafficking charge

CONCORD (AP) – A Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty in federal court in New Hampshire to a fentanyl trafficking charge.

Court documents say 28-year-old Yerfinson Gomez, of Lawrence, was identified in January as a member of a group distributing the drug. In March, Gomez met an undercover officer in Methuen, Massachusetts, and sold him 60 grams of fentanyl. A similar transaction happened about a week later.

Prosecutors said a week after that, Gomez provided a runner with at least 120 grams of fentanyl, some of which was sold to an undercover officer in Manchester, New Hampshire. The runner delivered the cash from the sale to Gomez in Methuen, and Gomez gave the runner some fentanyl as payment. Gomez was arrested shortly afterward.

Gomez is scheduled to be sentenced on March 27.

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