New England in brief

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Death of pony investigated

Vermont authorities are investigating the death of a pony killed by a muzzleloader bullet in Highgate.

Officials believe the pony was shot in a pasture sometime between Tuesday evening and Saturday morning.

Cpl. George Rodriguez said police are treating the death as suspicious, but have not ruled out the possibility that it was an accident. He said a hunter could have mistaken the brown horse for a deer.

Vermont game wardens are assisting state police with the investigation.

Vermont marks opening of flood-fixed Waterbury state offices

Vermont officials are marking the reopening of the rebuilt state office complex in Waterbury, most of which was made unusable by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

A handful of state workers returned to the complex earlier this year, but Gov. Peter Shumlin and others marked the completion of the state office building. Agency of Human Services workers are due to start working in the complex next week. Eventually more than 1,000 state employees will be working in the complex.

The $125 million Waterbury construction project was the biggest state construction project in history.

Shumlin says the rebuilt complex is also a symbol of the resiliency of Vermonters following Irene, the biggest natural disaster to hit Vermont in almost a century.

Senate panel to vote on McAllister suspension resolution

A Vermont Senate committee plans to meet this week to vote on a resolution to suspend a member facing sex charges for the duration of his criminal case.

Sen. Norm McAllister was arrested in May and charged with sex crimes against three women, among them a former legislative intern.

The Legislature has been out of session for nearly all the time since then. McAllister has proclaimed his innocence and has rebuffed calls for him to resign.

Senate leaders say Wednesday's meeting of the Rules Committee is likely to produce a resolution calling for McAllister's suspension, with a vote in the full Senate to come in the session's opening days.

McAllister says he's not been invited to Wednesday's meeting, and won't attend unless he's asked to do so.

First test results for school pilot program released

The New Hampshire Department of Education has released the first results of a pilot program aimed at reducing standardized testing while providing more meaningful feedback for students, parents and teachers.

Under the two-year pilot program, students in four districts are taking statewide tests in three grades instead of seven. In between, districts administer locally developed performance assessments, which ask students to apply what they have learned.

Results released Monday show 48 percent of students in the four participating districts meeting or exceeding achievement levels in Language Arts and 43 percent reaching that level in math.

The pilot program is called Performance Assessment for Competency Education. The participating districts are Rochester, Epping, Sanborn Regional and Soughegan, which have a combined enrollment of 8,000 students.

Chemist claims new coffee offers heart benefit of red wine

A University of New Hampshire chemist says he's developed a coffee that provides the same benefits to the heart as red wine.

Glen Miller infused Arabica coffee beans with resveratrol, the natural antioxidant found in the skins of grapes used to make red wine. Miller says the infusion happens during the roasting of beans for his CoffVee product to achieve its heart-healthy effect.

Miller first developed the process of combining coffee beans with resveratrol in his kitchen. He says each cup of CoffVee provides the same amount of antioxidants as a glass of red wine.

Miller says he considered adding resveratrol to tea and bottled water before settling on coffee.

He's selling the coffee through his Vera Roasting Company.

– The Associated Press


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