While sitting here at my desk wishing Billy a full and healthy recovery...
Just a few headlines from Boston.com:
1. NESN yesterday announced the hiring of Naoko Funayama, formerly of WMUR-TV in Manchester, N.H., to replace Rob Simpson as Bruins ice-level reporter.
Funayama will join play-by-play man Jack Edwards and analyst Andy Brickley. Kathryn Tappen will continue to host pregame, intermission, and postgame coverage with a rotating group of analysts.
Funayama, who spent four years at WMUR, has been a NESN freelance contributor on Red Sox coverage.
Simpson's contract was not renewed after two seasons.
2. ASHLAND, N.H.—A 7-year-old girl was killed after flash flooding from heavy rains swept her family's car 100 yards downstream at a campground.
The girl's father escaped when flooding hit the Ames Brook Campground and screamed for help, and her mother and another child were rescued after clinging to a tree in the raging water.
"She clung to a tree with her son, a small child, in her arms," Tilton Fire Lt. Chris Harris told the New Hampshire Union Leader.
The girl's body was found when the water receded.
In Laconia, heavy rain and flooding washed out part of the boardwalk at Weirs Beach and nearly 200 feet of railroad track was undermined and heavily damaged. Firefighters had to rescue a family trapped in a car on Weirs Boulevard. Roads in many other Lakes Region communities were closed because of flooding. A shelter has been opened in Ashland.
Meanwhile, a flood warning remained in effect Friday morning in Strafford County and a flash flood watch is posted in most of the rest of the state.
3. An in-depth, state-commissioned study released yesterday said Governor Deval Patrick's proposal to license three resort casinos would improve the state's economy and provide thousands of jobs, but not to the degree the governor asserted in the heat of the divisive debate earlier this year.
Salvatore F. DiMasi said he remains skeptical of expanding legalized gambling in the state , but promised to review the study.
The $189,000 study, by New Jersey-based Spectrum Gaming, concludes that several of the governor's estimates were inflated, but also estimates that his plan would allow the state to recapture up to $700 million of the $1.1 billion that Massachusetts residents spend at casinos in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The study comes too late for the original proposal, which is dead, but will add fodder to a debate that is likely to resume in January at the start of a new legislative session. Patrick has not said whether he will file new casino legislation, but many observers expect the casino debate to return in some form as the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe pursues a casino using its rights under federal law.
4. The Parkway National Little League team, made up of 12- and 13-year olds from West Roxbury and Roslindale, was eliminated from the playoffs last night and foiled in their bid to reach the Little League World Series.
The Massachusetts state champions lost to New Hampshire 5-2 in Bristol, Conn., spoiling the chance to become the New England champs.
Had it won that title, the team would have played in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
Parkway scored the first two runs of the game when Patrick Naughton hit a two-run homer in the top of the first inning.
New Hampshire scored four runs in the bottom of the inning, and then scored again in the second inning.
Parkway's manager, John Picarello, said the players were happy they made it so far but were obviously disappointed at being eliminated.
"They're a little upset," said Picarello of West Roxbury.
"They thought it was a game we could have won since we started out winning."
Parkway National, known for their mismatched uniforms as much as their pitching prowess in the regular season, suffered their only regular season loss last week to New Hampshire.
Though they've come close, no Parkway team has ever made it to the Little League World Series.