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  • Local and state briefs for Friday, Nov. 15, 2013

    Todisco chosen as chairman of Stonington BOE

    STONINGTON — Board of Education members elected Democrat Frank Todisco chairman of the board at their meeting Thursday night.

    Todisco’s appointment came after former chairman Gail MacDonald withdrew her name for consideration.

    Todisco, of Pawcatuck, was elected to the board in 2011.

    MacDonald, also a democrat, was recently elected to her third consecutive term on the board and was the top vote-getter of Board of Education candidates. She served four years as chairman.

    Todisco earned a bachelor’s degree in political science/public administration from Rhode Island College.

    Board members also on Thursday swore in newly-elected members Alisa Morrison, Faith Leitner and Alexa Garvey. The board also elected Deborah Downie as secretary.

    Seaport’s Adventure Series features pair’s voyage

    MYSTIC — Mark Roye and Nancy Krill will chronicle their voyages aboard their 44-foot ketch Tamara as part of Mystic Seaport’s Adventure Series on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at the River Room at Latitude 41° Restaurant & Tavern, Mystic Seaport, 75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic.

    The pair sailed from Hudson Strait to Alaska, by way of Newfoundland, the Azores, Cape Verde, Brazil, Argentina, the Falklands, Cape Horn, Antarctica, Chile, and the Galapagos.

    The couple was awarded the 2011 Cruising Club of America’s Charles H. Vilas Prize and the 2012 Royal Cruising Club Trophy.

    Cost is $15 for members, $20 for non-members and free for students. Call 860-572-5331 or visit mysticseaport.org to purchase tickets.

    Renoir, custom car auctioned for fraud victims

    PROVIDENCE (AP) — Federal officials say they’ve auctioned off a Renoir painting and a custom-built sports car they seized from a convicted con man to help repay victims of his $6 million fraud.

    The U.S. attorney’s office in Providence says on Thursday it raised $740,000 from the two auctions of the items seized from Rocco DeSimone.

    The Renoir work on canvas is titled “Paysage a Cagnes” and sold for $551,000. The 2006 Ford GT sports car sold for $189,000.

    The sum will go toward partial restitution of DeSimone’s victims.

    DeSimone was convicted in 2011 of seven counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering. Prosecutors said he scammed investors into giving him money for inventions, then wasted their money on things like falconry and jamming with the band Aerosmith.

    R.I. working to reduce premature births

    PROVIDENCE (AP) — Rhode Island is making strides in reducing the number of babies born prematurely.

    The state Health Department says the state wants to lower the pre-term birth rate to 10.4 percent or lower next year — down from 11.3 in 2009. In 2012 the rate was 10.9 percent.

    In 2010 a national association of state health directors challenged states to reduce premature birth rates by 8 percent by 2014. For Rhode Island, that means preventing 156 premature births.

    State health director Michael Fine credits the reduction to educational campaigns that discourage cesarean births, better prenatal care and collaborations with the March of Dimes.

    He says premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death and can result in problems later in life, including cerebral palsy and learning disabilities.

     


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