- Associated Press - Saturday, July 11, 2020

A challenge to New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s spending authority during the coronavirus pandemic is moving ahead, with both sides filing arguments with the court.

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate sued the Republican governor in April, arguing that such spending requires approval by the Legislature’s fiscal committee.

A Superior Court judge later said they lacked standing to sue and dismissed the case, but after the plaintiffs asked him to reconsider, he ruled last month that the case can proceed.

Both the governor and the lawmakers filed documents Friday explaining their arguments.

The Democrats said spending money the Legislature has yet to appropriate violates three provisions of the state Constitution, and that several state laws reaffirm the constitutional mandate that the power of appropriation rests exclusively with the legislative branch.

The governor asserts that those laws don’t apply, and that a different statute gives him the authority to spend the money.



The Boston Children’s Museum is reopening its doors later this month, having been closed since mid-March because of the coronavirus.

The museum will hold a members-only weekend from July 17-19 then open to the general public on July 22, management announced Saturday.

The museum will be open Wednesdays through Sundays with two time slots. Capacity will be limited and tickets must be purchased in advance.

The museum will also reduce touchpoints and enhance its cleaning and sanitization protocols.


There were 167 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Massachusetts and 14 more deaths, the state Department of Public Health reported Saturday.

The state has now had more than 105,000 confirmed cases and nearly 8,100 fatalities among those confirmed cases, the department reported.

There are currently 572 people hospitalized with the disease, and of those, 87 are in intensive care.



Several Maine towns are welcoming visitors to their beaches with the help of friendly “beach ambassadors.”

In York, Wells and Ogunquit - three of southern Maine’s busiest beach towns - municipal leaders are using grants from the state to hire ambassadors to welcome visitors, remind them to practice physical distancing and wear masks, and answer questions about local regulations meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“It makes sense to bring these people on to address these issues in a friendly way. They welcome people to the beach, say we’re glad to have them here, but there are rules to follow,” Jeff Patten, director of beach operations in York, told The Portland Press Herald.

The money for the ambassadors comes from the state’s Keep Maine Healthy Plan, which recently awarded nearly $9 million in grants to 100 communities.


Maine health officials on Saturday reported 21 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and one more death.

There have now been 3,520 confirmed and likely cases in the state, and 112 fatalities, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Sixteen people are currently hospitalized with the disease, and seven of those patients are in intensive care.



The head of a Rhode Island state agency confirms that she is in quarantine after meeting earlier this week with a consultant who later tested positive for COVID-19.

Kathryn Power, director of the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, told The Providence Journal that she wore a face covering and stayed 6 feet (2 meters) from the other person during the meeting Tuesday.

She said at least three other agency staffers are quarantined, with orders to get tested.

The meeting took place at the Eleanor Slater Hospital campus, a psychiatric hospital in Cranston. She said no patients were exposed.



The Vermont office of the United States attorney is warning people to beware of COVID-19 scams related to this year’s delayed tax filing deadline.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s deadline to file taxes was delayed from April 15 to July 15.

Vermont U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan says criminals use the tax filing deadline as an opportunity to steal personal and financial information.

“Taxpayers should remain vigilant and know that the IRS will not initiate contact with them via phone, email or social media to request personal or financial information,” Nolan said in a news release.

In the last few months, the IRS Criminal Investigation division has seen an increase in a variety of scams designed to take advantage of pandemic response programs.


Vermont health officials reported six new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, for a statewide total of more than 1,280 since the pandemic began.

Five of the new cases are in Chittenden County, the state Department of Health reported. Two patients are currently hospitalized.

No new fatalities were reported and the state has not had a COVID-19 fatality since mid-June, with the death toll holding at 56.



Connecticut is in a “very fortunate place” with the coronavirus, the state’s epidemiologist says, as deaths have all but vanished and the state’s transmission rate is among the lowest in the country.

Dr. Matt Cartter tells the Hartford Courant he’s grateful for the progress even as the testing situation in the state remains less than ideal.

Connecticut was seeing more than 100 coronavirus deaths a day in mid- to late-April, but the state on two days this week reported zero COVID-19 fatalities.

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