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FILE - In this July 3, 2006 file photo, Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, left, and Aerosmith's lead singer Steven Tyler sing together during a sound-check and rehearsal for the Fourth of July show at the Hatch Shell in Boston. In 20 seasons, Lockhart has raised his baton 1,700 times and has also shared the stage with other diverse guest including Robert DeNiro and Big Bird.    (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki, File)

Q&A: Boston Pops maestro Keith Lockhart on music, tech

Monday, May 25, 2015

BOSTON — Keith Lockhart was just 35 and a musical wunderkind when he took over as conductor of the Boston Pops in 1995. Now in his 20th season, Lockhart has raised his baton 1,700 times to lead the group nicknamed “America’s Orchestra.” Along the way, he’s shared the stage with more than 250 guest artists as diverse as Aerosmith, Robert DeNiro and Big Bird. The Associated Press caught up with Lockhart in his office at Symphony Hall, dominated by a well-worn Hamburg Steinway piano that once belonged to Russian composer Serge Koussevitzky. Animated and fast-talking, the now 55-year-old maestro — free of his trademark tuxedo …

Filmmaker Waters to receive honorary degree from RISD

Monday, May 25, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — When the Rhode Island School of Design offered iconic filmmaker John Waters an honorary degree, he was surprised. After all, he got thrown out of every school he ever went to. Known for quirky films that push the boundaries of good taste, including 1972’s outrageous cult classic “Pink Flamingos,” …

House Speaker Robert DeLeo asks Supreme Judicial Court to sort out tax dispute with Senate

Saturday, May 23, 2015

BOSTON — Amid legislative work on a budget, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo is asking the state’s highest court to weigh in on a Senate-approved measure to freeze the state income tax rate at 5.15 percent while gradually increasing the earned income tax credit for low-income working families. DeLeo made the request Friday on behalf of the House, saying that “legal ambiguities” surround …

Foxwoods opens new shopping center

Thursday, May 21, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. — Foxwoods Resort Casino and a retail outlet opened a $129 million shopping center Thursday to throw some elbows in a crowded market, draw more visitors, make a play for younger gamblers and promote an enterprise …

Boston expands gaming panel suit

Thursday, May 21, 2015

BOSTON — An amended lawsuit filed by the city of Boston is asking a judge to bar the current Massachusetts gaming regulators from any future action on the $1.7 billion casino proposed for neighboring Everett. Mayor Marty Walsh announced Thursday the city amended its complaint that challenges the …

Savoy road destroyed by Irene to be rebuilt

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

SAVOY (ap) — A Berkshire County road destroyed when the remnants of Hurricane Irene roared through Massachusetts nearly four years ago is finally getting repaired. The Berkshire Eagle reports that the town of Savoy is getting about $7 million in state and federal funding to rebuild Black Brook …

Trial begins in killing of Wilbraham woman

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — A prosecutor said a 30-year-old Boston man went on a deliberate spree of violence against women on a July day almost two years ago that included kidnapping and killing a 24-year-old woman whose body was found in a city park. Assistant District Attorney John Pappas …

Senate votes to hike earned income credit

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate waded into the debate over tax policy on Tuesday by voting to freeze the state income tax rate at 5.15 percent while gradually increasing the earned income tax credit for low-income working families. The measure, backed by Democratic leaders, was approved 29-11 during …

Bomber sentencing set for June

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BOSTON — Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be formally sentenced to death next month after at least 20 victims describe the impact the terror attack had on their lives. Judge George O’Toole Jr. said during a status …

Judge OKs $200M settlement in 2012 meningitis outbreak

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Victims of a 2012 meningitis outbreak caused by a now-closed Massachusetts compounding pharmacy will have access to a $200 million compensation fund, following approval Tuesday by a federal bankruptcy judge. The new fund will be available to compensate creditors and victims who became ill or …

Mass man freed after 21 years in prison on murder charge

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SALEM — A man who had spent 21 years behind bars for a murder he says he did not commit was released from prison Monday after a Massachusetts judge threw out his sentence, ruling that the prosecution’s case was flawed. Superior Court Judge David Lowy officially vacated a …

SJC issues decision in drug lab scandal

Monday, May 18, 2015

BOSTON — Thousands of defendants convicted of drug crimes after a chemist in a state lab tampered with evidence can’t be charged with more serious crimes or given harsher sentences if granted a new trial, Massachusetts’ highest court …

Tsarnaev likely to stay on death row for years

Sunday, May 17, 2015

BOSTON — At 21, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is about to become the youngest, most notorious inmate on federal death row. After convicting the Russian immigrant last month in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, a jury on Friday voted to sentence him to death for his role in the worst …