Monday January 14, 2013

Massachusetts:

Insurance flap delays
school tornado repairs

SPRINGFIELD -- An insurance settlement dispute is delaying the rebuilding of a Roman Catholic school in Springfield that was damaged by a tornado in June 2011.

The Republican of Springfield reports the Diocese of Springfield and its insurance company, Catholic Mutual Group, are $55 million apart in negotiations over the settlement amount involving Cathedral High School.

Consultants for the diocese estimate that it will cost about $70 million to build a new school, but the insurance company says the building can be repaired for $15 million.

The two sides are in an arbitration process that’s not expected to end until April, five months later than expected. The diocese is asking parents to remain committed to the school during the arbitration.

Students are now attending school at a temporary location in Wilbraham.

New Hampshire:

Record Jan. warmth
atop Mt. Washington

MOUNT WASHINGTON -- The January thaw in New England has even reached New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, which recorded the all-time warmest temperature ever for the month.

Margaret Curtis from the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, says the temperature at the Mount Washington observatory hit 48 degrees at 6 a.m. Sunday, making New England’s tallest mountain warmer than Phoenix and San Diego for a brief spell.

The previous record warmth for the month atop Mount Washington was 47 set on Jan.


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20, 1995.

Curtis says temperatures will begin cooling across the region to more seasonable temperatures starting today, with the possibility of a shot of extreme cold Friday into Saturday.

New York:

School bus strike
is looming in NYC

NEW YORK -- A continuing dispute over job protections for New York City school bus drivers means the threat of strike that would disrupt transportation for about 152,000 students is still looming.

Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union hasn’t said officially if there is going to be a strike.

But Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott has announced measures the city would take in the event of a strike.

He says more transit officers and crossing guards would be in place to help children get to school using mass transportation. The city also says reimbursements and Metrocards will be offered to parents who would need transportation alternatives.

The city wants to cut transportation costs and has put bus contracts up for bid. The union is criticizing the lack of employee protections in those bids.

Maine:

Museum displaying
controversial mural

AUGUSTA -- A mural depicting labor history that Gov. Paul LePage ordered removed from the Maine Department of Labor lobby is going back on display in an atrium that serves as the entryway to the Maine State Museum, Maine State Library and Maine State Archives, the administration announced Sunday.

The Department of Labor announced that the mural, which has been hidden away for nearly 22 months, will go on display effective today.

Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette said the mural’s display fulfills the governor’s promise to put it back on public view at an appropriate venue.

The Republican governor created an uproar in 2011 when he ordered the removal of the mural because he believed it presented a one-sided view of history that bowed to organized labor.

-- The Associated Press