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Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus, center, speaks with people in the audience after addressing the crowd at the National Association of Black Journalists convention, Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

GOP chairman says party competing for black votes

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told a national convention of black journalists on Thursday that the GOP has been working to better compete for black and minority votes as it eyes the 2016 presidential race. Priebus also said he’s confident the party will take back the U.S. Senate from Democrat control and add more seats to its … 0

Lawmakers wrap up last day of 2-year session

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts lawmakers are rushing to complete work on several proposed new laws with Thursday marking the end of formal meetings in the two-year legislative session that began in January 2013. One of the most closely watched bills would overhaul the state’s gun laws. The bill would give police chiefs the right to go to court to try to deny firearms identification … 0

Senate panel says many state boards should be eliminated

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts has dozens of state boards, commissions and task forces that no longer meet, don’t file reports or simply have become irrelevant, a Senate committee concluded. The Post Audit and Oversight Committee said it reviewed nearly 400 state entities and offered a series of recommendations to fix the problems. Many of the boards and commissions that had been created over the … 0

Appeal to be filed Aug. 14 for Whitey Bulger

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for former crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger say they’ll file their appeal of his 2013 convictions with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Aug. 14. Eighty-four-year-old Bulger is serving life in prison. He was convicted in a broad racketeering case, including 11 … 0

New justice joins Massachusetts high court

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has administered the oath of office to the newest member of the state’s highest court. Geraldine Hines is the first black woman to serve on the seven-member Supreme Judicial Court. She was sworn-in as an associate justice during a ceremony Thursday. Patrick … 0

Newspaper publishers fault domestic violence bill

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — The head of a newspaper association is faulting a portion of a bill intended to overhaul the state’s domestic violence laws. Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association Executive Director Robert Ambrogi criticized the bill for seeking to prohibit information about domestic violence arrests from being included in … 0

Patrick signs new abortion clinic bill

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON — Police now have increased authority to break up crowds gathering around Massachusetts abortion clinic entrances under a bill the governor signed on Wednesday. Gov. Deval Patrick’s signing comes a little more than one month after the … 0

Lawmakers OK PAC disclosure bill

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts lawmakers have accepted a bill designed to tighten reporting requirements for independent political expenditures, including those made by political action committees known as super PACs. Under the bill, corporations, labor unions and political committees would be required to file a campaign finance report within seven … 0

Compromise gun bill up for final vote

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts police chiefs would have the right to go to court to try to deny firearms identification cards needed to buy rifles or shotguns to individuals they feel are unsuitable under a compromise bill released by lawmakers. The bill, which is expected to come up for … 0

Lawyer: Teen accused of killing teacher not adult

Thursday, July 31, 2014

SALEM (AP) — A Massachusetts teenager charged with killing his high school math teacher has challenged the constitutionality of a state law that requires him to be tried as an adult. The teen, Philip Chism, is charged with raping and killing Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer, 24, … 0

Conn. man dies in W. Springfield motorcycle crash

Thursday, July 31, 2014

WEST SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Connecticut man has died in a motorcycle crash in western Massachusetts. Police said 47-year-old Michael Strom of Farmington apparently lost control of his motorcycle Tuesday night and struck a guardrail after clipping the back of the car on the Memorial Bridge rotary in … 0

Pittsfield man pleads guilty in child porn case

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON (ap) — A Pittsfield man has pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges. The U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement that 34-year-old Jason Gendron faces a sentence of between 40 and 50 years in prison as a result of a plea agreement on Tuesday. Prosecutors said … 0

Homeless man accused of burning food truck

Thursday, July 31, 2014

WESTFIELD (AP) — A homeless man who told police he was hungry faces charges after allegedly breaking into a food truck in Westfield before setting it on fire. The Republican newspaper of Springfield reports that a judge set bail at $500 for 22-year-old Michael England. Police said England … 0