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STATE BRIEFS



Friday, August 15, 2014
Prosecutor: inmate killing followed fight

CLINTON (AP) — Prosecutors say a 72-year-old state prison inmate was fatally beaten almost beyond recognition after an argument among inmates at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Facility. Twenty-seven-year-old Allan Erazo pleaded not guilty to murder Friday in the killing of William Sires. Sires was serving life for killing his mother in 1973.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports prosecutor Timothy Westerman said Sires, who used a cane, tried to walk away, but Erazo snatched him into a cell where a second inmate waited. Westerman said the second inmate was with Sires for about half an hour before guards found them. Sires died en route to a hospital. The district attorney’s office said more charges may be filed in the case.

Logan officials question e-cigarettes in flight

BOSTON (AP) — Logan International Airport officials say federal authorities should consider further restrictions for electronic cigarettes on planes, after one of the devices apparently caused a small fire that forced passengers to briefly evacuate from a plane last weekend.

Ed Freni, director of aviation at the Massachusetts Port Authority which operates the airport, said the device was packed in a checked-in luggage and somehow burned a small hole in the bag. He says the incident could have been more serious had a worker not smelled smoke and located the smoldering bag before the plane took off.

The state Fire Marshal’s office, which is investigating the incident, recommends e-cigarette users disconnect the battery on their devices before storing them. The U.S. Department of Transportation says Federal Aviation Administration officials are assisting with the investigation.



Charity barred from Massachusetts fundraising

BOSTON (AP) — A judge has issued a temporary restraining order barring a Connecticut-based veterans’ charity from collecting donations in Massachusetts after the state attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit alleging it used deceptive fundraising practices.

The attorney general says Plainfield, Connecticut-based Focus On Veterans Inc. solicited donations in Massachusetts without the proper permits and falsely stated that the money raised would help Bay State veterans.

The complaint filed last week alleges that Focus On Veterans failed to register and submit annual financial filings as required by Massachusetts law.

Authorities say the charity raised funds outside businesses in Boston, Plainville, Shrewsbury and Uxbridge.

A message left for the director of the charity Friday was not immediately returned. Focus On Veterans says it provides housing, transportation to medical appointments, and scholarships to veterans.