Massachusetts: Nun robbed at Boston church 

BOSTON (AP) -- Police are looking for a man who robbed an 85-year-old nun as she was paying for a meal at the historic Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston.

The nun was standing at the window of the rectory office to pay for the meal when suspect grabbed the money she had placed on the counter and walked out the door.

Police say the nun was in Mass and refused to speak to investigators until the service concluded Friday.

Officers who canvassed the area could not find the suspect they described as Hispanic, in his late 30s, with a slim build, a receding hairline and wearing a black leather jacket.

Massachusetts: Archdiocese execs near top paid

 

BOSTON (AP) -- A study performed at the request of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston indicates nearly a third of its top executives rank among the highest paid in their field.

The Boston Herald reports the study has prompted church officials to withhold some merit-based raises.

The study looked at how Boston's pay compares to nine similar archdioceses. It found that five of the 16 lay executives making more than $150,000 are paid above the 75th percentile.

Among the highest pay was $360,000 in 2011 for the secretary of education and $340,000 for the general counsel.

Church officials said the goal is to eventually have most top-earners paid around the 50th percentile.

Peter Borre of the Council of Parishes, which opposes church closings, said the salaries are "appalling," especially considering low attendance and the archdiocese's ongoing downsizing.

Vermont: 6-day postal delivery rally planned

 

SOUTH BURLINGTON (AP) -- Vermonters concerned about the Postal Service's plans to end Saturday mail delivery are holding a rally today in South Burlington.

The rally is being organized by the Vermont chapter of the National Association of Letter Carriers, which supports six-day mail service. U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch are expected to attend.

The chapter says many Americans, especially small-business owners, senior citizens and rural residents would suffer if Saturday service is cut. The letter carriers say they have other ideas for raising revenue so that the Saturday service can continue.

Connecticut: Hispanic leaders call for reform

 

HARTFORD (AP) -- The state Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission is calling on Congress and the Connecticut Legislature to pass immigration-related bills.

The commission has scheduled a news conference with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Monday morning at the state Capitol in Hartford.

Commission members say they'll deliver a letter to Blumenthal to share with Congress, urging federal lawmakers to pass a comprehensive immigration bill. The commission supports creating a path to citizenship, strengthening border security, cracking down on employers that hire illegal workers and improving the legal immigration system.

The panel also will urge state lawmakers to approve a bill allowing illegal immigrants to get state driver's licenses. Supporters of the bill say it will make roads safer by requiring immigrants to take driver tests and allowing them to get car insurance.

Maine: Deaths on pace to exceed births

 

PORTLAND (AP) -- The number of deaths in Maine is on pace to exceed the number of births for the second straight year, and that does not bode well for the state's economy.

U.S. Census data released Thursday shows that from July 2011 to July 2012, deaths in Maine outnumbered births, 12,857 to 12,754. The Portland Press Herald says newer census figures will show the trend continuing.

Eleven of Maine's 16 counties had these so-called natural decreases from July 2011 to July 2012, with the largest percentages in Washington and Piscataquis counties. Maine and West Virginia are the only states where deaths exceeded births from July 2011 to July 2012.

State Economist Amanda Rector said the natural decreases are an economic challenge for the state because expanding businesses need to fill their workforces.

New Hampshire: Bill proposes state colors

 

CONCORD (AP) -- Orange, red and yellow would be New Hampshire's official colors under a bill coming to the House for a vote.

The House is scheduled to vote this week on the proposal to make the three colors the state's official colors. A fourth grade class at Freedom Elementary School lobbied for the bill to highlight New Hampshire's colorful fall foliage.

Two years ago, the House killed a bill to make purple the state's official color.

The House voted last month to pass a bill promoted by a group of Derry fourth-graders to make the white potato the official vegetable. The Senate next considers that bill.