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New England in brief

Logan Airport testing bird radar system

July 10, 2009
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BOSTON
Logan International Airport is testing a bird radar system already in use by the US Air Force and NASA. Logan has long had an aggressive program to prevent bird strikes, since the airport juts into Boston Harbor and sits along coastal migratory routes. But after a plane splash-landed in New York’s Hudson River after striking a flock of geese, Logan’s operators looked to see if there was more they could do. The radar being tested - the Merlin Avian Radar System - allows tracking birds as small as a starling and as far away as 4 miles. Logan plans to try out a competing model in coming weeks before making any final decisions. (AP)

Teen charged with first-degree murder
The Dorchester teen accused of killing a 49-year-old man in May will be held without bail, said Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. Damante Burrell, 16, was charged with first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm yesterday in Suffolk Superior Court. Suffolk prosecutors said Burrell shot Fred Bing of Dorchester multiple times from a car on Wilcock Street on the night of May 13. According to Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum, Burrell was placed at the scene by a GPS monitoring device he was wearing at the time in connection with a separate juvenile case. Under Massachusetts law, all juveniles accused of murder are tried as adults.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Obama honors science, math educators
President Obama honored two Massachusetts teachers and a Bay State organization yesterday among more than 100 nationwide receiving awards for excellence. The Maria Mitchell Association in Nantucket is among those receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, which goes to individuals or organizations who mentor minority students studying science or engineering. Erin Flynn of Roslindale and Deborah Seaver of Milford are among those getting the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, which is given to the best pre-college-level science and math teachers from across the country. The awards will be presented this fall at a White House ceremony.

NEEDHAM
Transit police ID woman killed by train
Transit police identified the woman who was struck and killed Monday by a Needham commuter train as Linda M. (Mitchell) Bonavia, 59, of Needham. Bonavia was walking near the Greendale Avenue Bridge when she was hit at about 12:30 p.m., MBTA spokeswoman Lydia Rivera said. The accident occurred as the train traveled from West Roxbury Station, about a quarter-mile from Hersey Station. Authorities have not yet determined why Bonavia was walking near the tracks.

WESTBOROUGH
Accountant indicted in $750,000 fraud
A Westborough accountant was arrested Wednesday on charges that she funded a lavish lifestyle by stealing more than $750,000 from FSL Associates, an environmental engineering company in Brighton, the Suffolk district attorney’s office said. Cynthia Goldberg, 46, who also used the names Cynthia Kussy and Cynthia McDonnell, was arrested after a grand jury issued a 20-count indictment that alleges 10 counts of larceny over $250, five counts of making false entries in corporate books, and five counts of misusing a credit card for more than $250. Goldberg pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court. Goldberg, who earned $40 an hour as an accountant, allegedly used corporate credit cards, wrote corporate checks to herself, and used the company’s information to obtain her own line of credit. She allegedly went on shopping sprees to businesses including Petco, Victoria’s Secret, the Ritz Carlton hotel, and local tanning salons.

PITTSFIELD
Man gets 18 to 20 years for manslaughter
A Pittsfield man whose murder conviction was overturned on appeal has been sentenced to 18 to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter. A Berkshire Superior Court judge sentenced 22-year-old Tyson Benoit yesterday, a day after he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge before testimony at his second trial started. (AP)