Sunday April 7, 2013

Massachusetts: Rescued sea turtles head south

QUINCY (AP) -- Dozens of sea turtles that stranded off Cape Cod last fall are headed south, where rescuers plan to release them in waters off northeast Florida.

A caravan was scheduled to leave from the New England Aquarium’s Animal Care Center in Quincy on Saturday with 37 turtles. It then planned stops in Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia to pick up a total of nine more rescued turtles.

The aquarium said the caravan was expected to arrive in the Jacksonville, Fla., area on Sunday.

A group of 242 cold-stunned turtles washed up on Massachusetts beaches last November and December. That’s more than three times the amount that typically strand.

The threatened and endangered turtles have since been rehabilitated and this weekend’s move is the last major transport of turtles that stranded last fall.

Massachusetts: Ceremony marks victims’ rights

BOSTON (AP) -- April is victim rights month in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance and the Victim Witness Assistance Board plans a Statehouse ceremony on Monday to honor survivors of violent crime and public officials who have advocated for the rights of victims and programs to assist them.

Gov. Deval Patrick’s wife, Diane Patrick, and Attorney General Martha Coakley are among those scheduled to speak at the event.

Suffolk District Attorney and Boston mayoral candidate Daniel Conley will receive a leadership award while Senate President Therese Murray will be honored as Legislator of the Year.

Massachusetts: Health chief to talk at Harvard

BOSTON (AP) -- U.S. Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is heading to Massachusetts to discuss her unique perspective of the historic transformation of the national health care system at a forum at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Sebelius on Monday will also discuss her experiences in a career that included a stint as Kansas governor and insurance commissioner.

Sebelius is shepherd President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul to its fulfillment. The big push to cover some 30 million uninsured Americans starts next year.

Sebelius will be in Massachusetts three days after a federal judge ordered the Food and Drug Administration to stop requiring girls younger than 17 to see a doctor before buying the morning-after pill. The FDA was preparing to allow over-the-counter sale of the contraception in late 2011 Sebelius, in an unprecedented move, overruled her own scientists.

Vermont: Yankee back after refueling outage

VERNON (AP) -- The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is back in operation after a 26-day outage for refueling and maintenance.

About 1,000 extra workers were added temporarily to the plant’s usual contingent of more than 600 to replace about a third of the fuel assemblies in the reactor. Workers also replaced a large electrical transformer and a recirculation pump, as well as performing other tests and maintenance operations.

The work should set up Vermont Yankee to run for another 18 months before its next refueling outage.

But it’s still embroiled in legal battles with the state of Vermont and some investment analysts recently have labeled the plant a marginal economic performer.

New Hampshire: 3 students burned in UNH dorm

DURHAM (AP) -- The University of New Hampshire says three students were hurt and a residence hall was evacuated because of a burst hot water pipe.

Spokeswoman Erika Mantz says hot water flooded the first floor of Hunter Hall, forcing the building’s evacuation at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

She says three female students suffered what are believed to be third-degree burns on their feet and were transported to a hospital for evaluation.

The residence hall is home to about 115 students. It was being pumped out Saturday afternoon and it was unclear when students would be allowed to return.

New York: Baby food makers eye Hispanic market

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Beech-Nut Nutrition and Goya Foods Inc. are launching a new line of baby foods geared to the tastes of the Hispanic market that will be produced in upstate New York.

The companies say they expect strong demand as the Hispanic population continues to grow in the U.S.

The Beech-Nut/Goya product line includes oatmeal/banana and rice/mango cereals and jarred food with guava, mango, apple mango, and a sweet potato, carrots and squash medley among other flavors and preparations.

They’re expected to be available in stores nationwide by the end of June.

Beech-Nut says the products will be made at its plant in Amsterdam, west of Albany.

Amsterdam-based Beech-Nut is owned by the Swiss company Hero Group. Goya’s headquarters are in Secaucus, N.J.