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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker talks with veterans holding American flags outside the wake of Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan at T.P. Sampson Chapel of The Acres, Sunday, July 26, 2015, in Springfield, Mass. Sullivan was killed by a gunman in Chattanooga, Tenn. (David Molnar/The Republican via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Hometown holds wake for Marine killed in Tenn.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

SPRINGFIELD — People in his hometown paid their respects on Sunday to a Massachusetts Marine killed by a gunman who attacked a military facility in Tennessee two weeks ago. Thousands attended a public wake for Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan at T.P. Sampson Chapel of The Acres on a street lined with flags, the Republican newspaper reported. Tiffany Harbridge waved a Marine Corps flag, as she did when an honor guard brought Sullivan’s body home to Springfield on Friday. “He has done so much for me and I never even knew him. This is the very least I could do for him and his family,” Harbridge …

Bulger’s bid for new trial heads to appeals court

Monday, July 27, 2015

BOSTON — During his 2013 racketeering trial, former Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger called the proceeding a “sham” after he was barred from presenting the centerpiece of his defense: his claim that a federal prosecutor gave him immunity to commit crimes. Two years later, Bulger is hoping a federal appeals court will …

Woman awarded $300,000 after state trooper pulls her out of car

Monday, July 27, 2015

BOSTON — A Massachusetts state trooper used excessive force against a woman even though he had probable cause to arrest her for traffic violations, a jury has ruled. Beth Shea, of Milton, was awarded $300,000 in damages on Tuesday, The Boston Globe reported (http://bit.ly/1KrAoCA) Sunday. Shea, 52, claimed she was terrified of Trooper R. Bradford Porter when he accused her in 2007 of …

State study: School snack ban working

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BOSTON — Rules aimed at banning sugary sodas, sweet snacks, potato chips and other standard school vending machine fare appear to be working in Massachusetts, according to a study released Wednesday. The study of 74 middle and high schools in three dozen districts showed big increases in the …

Man charged after son, 7, is hospitalized weighing 38 pounds

Thursday, July 23, 2015

EAST BROOKFIELD, Mass. — The father of a 7-year-old boy who is suffering from starvation and dehydration was held without bail Wednesday after the child was brought to the hospital unconscious. A hearing is scheduled Friday for Randall …

Man dies in Westfield house fire blamed on smoking

Thursday, July 23, 2015

WESTFIELD (AP) — Fire officials say a 64-year-old man has died after a house fire in Westfield. State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan and Westfield Fire Chief Mary Regan said Wednesday that the fire early Wednesday appears to have been caused by improper disposal of smoking materials. The officials …

Eligibility review knocks thousands off Mass. Medicaid

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BOSTON — Tens of thousands of people have been removed from the state’s Medicaid program during the first phase of an eligibility review, according to figures from Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration obtained by The Associated Press. The eligibility checks, required annually under federal law but not performed in …

Campaign donations pour in for top state lawmakers

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BOSTON — Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo collected more than $415,000 in campaign donations during the first half of the year — more than during any previous six-month period for the powerful Democrat. The total is close to the $465,000 DeLeo raised during all of 2014, an election …

Boston Olympics organizers step up outreach

Monday, July 20, 2015

SOMERVILLE — Organizers of Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics are in a sprint to the finish, scrambling to improve lackluster poll numbers ahead of a September deadline to formally throw the city’s name into the mix …

State Probation Department promotion exams shredded

Monday, July 20, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Efforts to overhaul the state Probation Department’s hiring and promotion system after years of political favoritism have suffered another setback after trial court officials admitted they accidentally shredded promotional exams before they could be graded. The shredding incident comes after 55 percent of probation employees …

Website offers civilized solutions to wildlife woes

Monday, July 20, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Looking for a civilized solution to a wildlife problem? Residents of 13 eastern states and the District of Columbia have a new online resource. The site — wildlifehelp.org — was created by the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Northeast Wildlife …

Ex-Vt. transit chief to push Montreal train link

Monday, July 20, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A former Vermont transportation secretary is coming out of retirement to help plan resumption of passenger train service between the northeastern United States and Montreal. Brian Searles, who retired as transportation secretary in December, is returning to state service part-time to deal with the …

Massachusetts expects to see net savings from Medicaid expansion

Sunday, July 19, 2015

BOSTON — Many states that opted to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act have seen enrollments surge well beyond projections, raising concerns that the added costs will strain their budgets when federal aid is scaled back starting in two years, an Associated Press analysis shows. But …