COLUMN: From the region
Man gets jail term for drunken driving
WESTBORO - A Marlboro man found guilty on his fourth drunken driving offense was sentenced to two years in jail yesterday in Westboro District Court.
James M. Curley, 51, of 16 South St., Apt. 1, Marlboro, was driving on Solomon Pond Road in Northboro on Aug. 26 when he was stopped by police. After an officer spoke to Mr. Curley and started walking back to his cruiser, Mr. Curley fled in his vehicle down the road until he lost control of the car and crashed into a ditch. He was taken to a local hospital.
Mr. Curley was driving more than 75 mph in a 40-mph zone, according to a police report.
He is to serve a two-year sentence for drunken driving, concurrent with any sentence he is currently serving, with credit for 67 days already served. After that sentence, he must serve another 60 days on the charge of driving with a license suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Mr. Curley also was found guilty of negligent driving and failure to stop for police; he was found responsible for marked lanes violation and speeding. A charge of driving with license not in possession was dismissed.
Town meeting vote would offset state cuts
SPENCER - Residents at a special town meeting tomorrow will have the chance to add as much as $200,000 to the town's operating budget to offset cuts in state aid.
Town Administrator Paul J. Guida said he has not received firm figures from the state. However, he recommended earmarking $200,000 to offset anticipated cuts. Selectmen said the move seems prudent and any unspent money would be returned to the town coffers on June 30.
Also on the warrant for the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at Memorial Town Hall, are requests for language changes to several town bylaws, including one that would require standard driveways to be larger. Some selectmen said they are concerned about the burden the change would place on families building homes and they promised to ask questions about the proposal.
Selectmen said they will recommend passing over an article seeking affirmation of last year's vote on funding for the Fire Department's new ladder truck. The truck will be delivered early next year and the money has already been allocated.
Voters will also be asked for $18,000 for a July Fourth celebration and increases in the veterans' agent's budget, the town accountant's budget, and the town clerk's budget. The clerk will need an additional $14,030 to pay for a special state primary election in December.
Second arson suspect's trial gets under way
WORCESTER - Opening statements were scheduled today in the trial of the second of two Clinton men charged with setting a series of fires in 2007.
John Rousseau, 30, of 266 Wilson St., Clinton, is charged with four counts of arson and other crimes stemming from fires in July and August 2007 at the historic Mary Elizabeth Sawyer homestead at 108 Maple St. in Sterling, a barn at 106 Bond Road in Holden, a former paper plant in Erving and a railroad bungalow in the Western Massachusetts town of Florida.
A 14-member jury, including two alternate jurors, was chosen yesterday in Worcester Superior Court to hear the case.
Testimony was to begin following opening statements this morning by Assistant Attorney General Eileen M. O'Brien and Mr. Rousseau's lawyer, Christopher P. LoConto.
Judge John S...