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In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, for a final hearing before his trial begins in January. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty if convicted.  (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)

Tsarnaev’s lawyers seek trial delay

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was shot and killed while being questioned by law enforcement after the bombings. Security was tight at the federal courthouse in Boston for …

Body of woman found in Millers River in Orange

Thursday, December 18, 2014

ORANGE (AP) — Emergency crews in north-central Massachusetts have found the body of a 52-year-old woman who had been missing since Tuesday. Authorities say the body of Cynthia Ayer of Orange was found in the Millers River in Orange Thursday afternoon. It’s not clear how Ayer died. The medical examiner’s office will be performing an autopsy. A spokeswoman for the Northwestern District Attorney’s …

Two released in Framingham meningitis outbreak case

Friday, December 19, 2014

BOSTON — Two men at the center of a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people around the U.S. will be released from custody, pending their criminal trials, a federal judge in Boston ruled Thursday. U.S. Magistrate Jennifer Boal issued an electronic order saying that the U.S. attorney’s office had “not met …

Governor gets high-level call on air

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has fielded calls on hundreds of subjects during his monthly “Ask the Governor” radio show. But this call was one of a kind. “Uh, Governor, this is Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville,” the caller began Thursday. “I’ve got a few complaints about …

Woman jailed for gambling away in-laws’ money

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WORCESTER (AP) — A Holden woman has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for stealing nearly $1 million from her elderly in-laws to feed her gambling habit. Chiao Fang Ku was also ordered Wednesday in federal court to pay full restitution, avoid any kind of gambling, and …

Suspect in fatal Chicopee stabbing faces fall trial

Thursday, December 18, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield man charged with fatally stabbing a Chicopee woman in 2011 will go to trial next fall. The Republican reports that a Hampden Superior Court judge on Wednesday scheduled 23-year-old Dennis Rosa-Roman’s murder trial for Oct. 27. Twenty-year-old Amanda Plasse was found dead in …

Uber vows more focus on safety

Thursday, December 18, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Uber promises to focus on rider safety amid increasing concerns that its drivers are not adequately screened for past criminal convictions. In a blog post Wednesday, Uber’s head of global safety defended the company’s safety …

Store owner arrested in alleged food stamp scheme

Thursday, December 18, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say the owner of a Springfield convenience store and market has been arrested in connection with the unlawful use of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards and food stamps. Ten illegal gaming machines also were found. The Attorney General’s Office says state police arrested 55-year-old Julio …

Feds charge 14 in 2012 meningitis outbreak

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BOSTON — Mold and bacteria were in the air and on workers’ gloved fingertips. Pharmacists used expired ingredients, didn’t properly sterilize them and failed to test drugs for purity before sending them to hospitals and pain clinics. Employees …

Warren backers set up shop in Iowa

Thursday, December 18, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa — Liberal activists eager to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren into a run for president are working the ground in Iowa, the pivotal early-voting state where an organizing effort is already in place — for Hillary …

Governor’s Council OKs three clemency requests

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON — The Governor’s Council on Wednesday approved the first clemency requests in more than a decade in Massachusetts, voting to commute the prison sentence of a woman convicted of drug charges and grant pardons to two men who had sought to expunge from their records crimes that …

Afghan soldier who fled US training sent to Canada

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — One of three Afghan military officers detained after fleeing a U.S. training exercise to avoid returning to Afghanistan has been allowed to make a refugee claim in Canada, his attorney said Wednesday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement turned over Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada to …

Couple sues Whole Foods, ranch over son’s death

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON (ap) — A Massachusetts husband and wife who blame their 8-year-old son’s death on the ground beef they bought at a Whole Foods Market have sued the supermarket chain and the ranch they say produced and processed the meat. Melissa and Andrew Kaye, of Braintree, said in …