FROM THE REGION.
Two men face charges after accidental shooting
FITCHBURG - Two people have been arrested in connection with an incident Sunday where police say a Leominster teenager accidentally shot himself in the stomach.
Police, who have not publicly released the 16-year-old victim's name, said the injuries are not life-threatening. He is recovering at UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus in Worcester.
Fitchburg Deputy Police Chief Philip J. Kearns confirmed Monday that two men have been arrested in connection with the incident, which happened about 4 p.m. Sunday at 152 Meadowbrook Lane.
Police identified the two men arrested as Luis Robles, 25, of 152 Meadowbrook Lane and Efrain Molina, 24, of 1090 South St. Both men were charged with possession of a firearm without a license. They will be charged in Fitchburg District Court.
Deputy Chief Kearns said that after the teen shot himself in the abdomen, Mr. Robles gave a gun to Mr. Molina in an apparent attempt get the gun away from the scene. When police arrived to investigate, a car backing out from the scene caught officers' attention.
Mr. Molina was in the car when officers approached, police said. Deputy Chief Kearns said a .22-caliber Walther semi-automatic pistol was recovered from the vehicle.
Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accidental shooting.
Teen critically hurt; driver charged with DUI
WORCESTER - A Shrewsbury teenager was charged with drunken driving Monday morning after a car crash on Route 20. Two passengers were injured, one critically, police said.
Courtney Collins, 17, of 45 Memorial Drive in Shrewsbury was arrested and charged with drunken driving or .08 percent, driving negligently as to endanger and failure to yield at an intersection.
The crash occurred just after midnight on Route 20 near Greenwood Street. Police saw a Honda Civic facing westbound in the eastbound lane with extensive driver's side damage, police said.
When emergency responders arrived, they found two young women in the roadway, apparently ejected from the vehicle. Police said the women were the back seat passengers in Ms. Collins' car.
A front passenger in Ms. Collins' car was unhurt. Ms. Collins suffered minor injuries.
One woman, 18, was unresponsive and is in critical condition at a local hospital, police said. The second injured passenger, who is 20, was conscious but badly hurt. She is in serious condition at a local hospital with broken bones and internal injuries.
A 19-year-old man, who was unharmed in the crash, told police he was driving a Chevrolet TrailBlazer east on Route 20 when the Honda came out of Greenwood Street. Ms. Collins tried to enter the McDonald's parking lot by crossing Route 20 when the crash occurred, police said. Police said Ms. Collins' car entered into the TrailBlazer's travel lane.
Police are obtaining search warrants in the case. Ms. Collins will be arraigned in Central District Court.
Proposed budget would restore cuts
PAXTON - The Finance Committee has finished its preliminary budget for next fiscal year of $11,090,088 and projects a deficit of $49,334.
Finance Committee Chairman Richard Fenton said that a Proposition 2-1/2 override will be sought for a portion of the Wachusett Regional School District assessment, freeing up money to cover the deficit. The school assessment increased 2.6 per cent this year.
If the override of $131,590 passes, he said, the deficit will be covered, leaving $82,256 to be put aside to protect the town's bond rating.
The annual letter from the committee that accompanies the warrant for the annual town meeting May 6 notes increases from the current fiscal year's "severe cuts" in the budgets of the police (15 percent), fire (14 percent) and emergency service (17.6 per cent).
The letter says: "These levels will restore police coverage to the town and enable these departments to cover deferred expenditures."
Discussing the override for the Wachusett assessment of $5,369,656, the committee "felt town residents should be given the opportunity to provide full funding of the WRSD assessment through an override."
The budget also includes a 2 per cent cost-of-living raise for town employees and adds that the exclusion of road resurfacing from the public works budget "continues our reliance on Chapter 90 (state) funding to keep your roads serviceable."
Mr. Fenton added that the budget "partially restores many significant across-the-board reductions that were imposed on the town departments last year. It also covers a deficit in the snow budget that resulted from a harsh winter."
Officials to explain energy-saving measure
LEICESTER - Selectmen will sponsor an open public forum at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Town Hall to discuss an article that will be a part of the May 7 annual town meeting warrant.
The article is on adopting the Stretch Energy Code, which would require energy benefits to be included in future buildings as well as in rehabilitated old ones and would make the town eligible to become a green community and possible recipient of state and federal energy grants.
The project was presented at last year's annual town meeting but was rejected by voters. Officials said voters rejected it because no explanation of the code was given and few voters knew what it was all about. The forum Thursday is being held to provide an explanation so voters this year will know when they attend the town meeting about its benefits.