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In this courtroom sketch, Shakhruzat Suleimanova, right, an aunt of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is depicted alongside an interpreter as she testifies during the penalty phase in the Tsarnaev's trial Monday, May 4, 2015, in federal court in Boston. Tsarnaev was convicted in the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three and injured 260 people in April 2013. (Jane Flavell Collins via AP)

Marathon bomber cries during aunt’s testimony

Monday, May 4, 2015

BOSTON — For the first time in court, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev dropped his blank, impassive demeanor and cried as his sobbing aunt briefly took the stand Monday in his federal death penalty trial. Tsarnaev, 21, wiped tears from his eyes quickly and fidgeted in his chair as his mother’s sister sobbed uncontrollably. He had maintained an uninterested expression …

Supreme Court rejects inmate’s sex change

Monday, May 4, 2015

BOSTON — A nearly two-decade legal fight by a convicted murderer in Massachusetts to get taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery ended in failure Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected her final appeal. The justices did not comment in letting stand a lower-court ruling denying the surgery to Michelle Kosilek. “This is a terrible and inhumane result for Michelle,” said Jennifer Levi, director of the …

NE states eye crackdown on speeding

Monday, May 4, 2015

WINDSOR, Conn. — State police across New England on Monday launched the region’s first coordinated crackdown on speeding and failing to wear seat belts. Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the “New England Drive to Save Lives” campaign with troopers and highway safety officials from all six states at a commuter lot off …

Innocence Project allowed to argue on NH convict’s behalf

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A nonprofit group that works to exonerate wrongly convicted prisoners will be allowed to weigh in on the case of a man convicted of killing a New Hampshire woman more than four decades ago. The Concord Monitor reports that a judge recently accepted arguments …

Baker halts expansion of Boston convention center

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker put the brakes on a $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on Wednesday, with administration officials citing financial concerns about the project and overly optimistic predictions about what the …

Study: Millennials say US justice system unfair

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BOSTON — A Harvard University survey released Wednesday found that nearly one in two millennials believe America’s criminal justice system is unfair and few believe protests triggered by the killings of black men at the hands of police will make a significant difference. The findings, from a survey …

Baker administration to address issues resulting from changes in processing applications for food stamp benefits

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Legislature did not act this week on a proposed amendment to help food stamp recipients affected by a recent bureaucratic change. However, anti-hunger and anti-poverty advocates say the Baker administration has indicated it is willing to look at the problem caused by the recent changes in the …

Sister-in-law scrutinized in Boston bombing trial

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BOSTON — Testimony in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev zeroed in Tuesday on his late brother’s wife, revealing searches done on her computer on the rewards of dying as a martyr’s spouse and raising questions …

Board OKs takeover of Holyoke schools

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

FITCHBURG — The state education board moved Tuesday to place the Holyoke public schools into receivership, citing disturbing trends in student achievement and dropout rates. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 8-3 at a meeting held in Fitchburg to accept a recommendation from state Education Commissioner …

Eastern states brace for possibility of bird flu

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. — With bird flu still a significant problem in the Midwest, the East Coast is now bracing for migratory treks of waterfowl that could put numerous states with poultry farms and backyard chicken operations at risk …

Massachusetts home sales remain essentially flat in March

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Sales of single-family homes in Massachusetts remained essentially flat last month when compared to the year-ago March, despite a winter of record-setting snowfall that had the potential to disrupt the process, two organizations that track the market announced Tuesday. Sales of single-family homes were up …

Lawyer pleads for bomber’s life

Monday, April 27, 2015

BOSTON — Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers pleaded with a jury Monday to spare his life, portraying him as “a good kid” who was led down the path to terrorism by his increasingly fanatical older brother. David …

Springfield offers incentives for historic home rehab

Monday, April 27, 2015

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A historic house in Springfield that was damaged by a tornado is being sold by the city as part of a revitalization effort. Officials tell the Republican of Springfield developers can apply for a forgivable, interest-free loan of up to $25,000 toward exterior improvements. Numerous …