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NEW ENGLAND IN BRIEF

Police seize 2 dogs in sheep deaths

An animal control officer took custody of two dogs in Middleborough on Friday after the canines killed two sheep and mauled seven others that were raised for their wool, authorities said. The dogs -- a terrier owned by Thomas Stevens and a boxer/pit bull mix owned by Matthew Brow, both of whom live on Miller Street in Middleborough -- also are suspected in killing two other sheep about two weeks ago, said Bill Wyatt, the Middleborough Animal Control officer, who found the dogs covered in blood and took them into custody. A hearing will be held later this month by the town Board of Selectmen to determine whether to destroy the male dogs, Wyatt said. The sheep belonged to Muriel C. Duphily, who also lives on Miller Street.

BOSTON

Man stable after fall from balcony

A Connecticut man who fell four stories from the balcony of a Brighton apartment on Saturday night remained hospitalized yesterday but is expected to make a full recovery, authorities said. Matthew Pruett, 22, of Newington, Conn., was initially listed in critical condition at Brigham and Women's Hospital, but authorities said his condition has stabilized. Pruett had been having dinner with friends at about 8 p.m. in an apartment on Sutherland Road when he fell from the balcony and landed on a patch of grass. The apartment's tenant, who asked not to be identified, said yesterday that there had been no excessive use of alcohol prior to the incident and that Pruett's fall was an accident.

2 teenagers charged with robbery

Police arrested a 14-year-old Cambridge juvenile and a 17-year-old Boston man yesterday morning after they allegedly robbed a man at gunpoint on Marlborough Street in Back Bay. According to police, the victim was walking home at about 3:15 a.m. when he was robbed of his wallet, which contained credit cards and identification but no money. The victim gave descriptions of the robbers to police officials, who stopped two suspects at the corner of Berkeley and Newbury streets. The victim identified the suspects and his wallet was returned. The juvenile was charged with armed robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm and will be arraigned in Boston Juvenile Court. The 17-year-old, Skip Gonsalves, was charged with armed robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm. He will be arraigned today in Boston Municipal Court.

Man rams cruiser; 2 officers hurt

An unidentified man slammed his Honda Accord into a police cruiser yesterday in Jamaica Plain, injuring two officers, police said. The man, who was at large last night, jumped out of his car after the crash about 2 p.m. and fled on foot through several backyards along Cataumet Street, police said. The officers suffered minor injuries and were treated and released from Brigham and Women's Hospital.

ANDOVER, N.H.

Man faces animal cruelty charges

A local man faces multiple charges of animal cruelty after police found three dogs shot to death outside a home and other dogs, including puppies, living in squalor inside. Dog owner Lester Labraney, 69, faces 14 charges of animal cruelty and one charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Police say they confiscated two rifles from the home. The Concord-Merrimack County SPCA is taking care of the surviving dogs. Relatives of Labraney said he had health problems that made it difficult for him to care for the animals. Rescuers said the dogs had been fed and watered but were living in a filthy, rat-infested trailer and had very little contact with humans. Officials said the trailer will probably be condemned for health code violations. (AP)

CONCORD, N.H.

Bird death brings warning on mosquitoes

State health officials are encouraging residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes after finding this year's first case of Eastern equine encephalitis in a dead raven. Like West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis is transmitted through an infected mosquito's bite. It has not yet been found in a New Hampshire human. Officials are concerned because the bird was caged in an exhibit in Concord, according to state epidemiologist Jose Montero. ''The fact that we found this positive bird here, in an urban area, basically tells us there is ongoing local transmission," he said. Human cases of EEE are relatively rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Last year, two Massachusetts residents died after becoming infected. New Hampshire's first known EEE casualty in 22 years occurred when a horse died from the virus last September. (AP)

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