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FILE - In this July 15, 2014 file photo, former Massachusetts state probation commissioner John O'Brien walks out of federal court in Boston after closing arguments in his trial for rigging the department's hiring process to favor politically-connected applicants over more qualified ones. After seven days of deliberations, a jury convicted O'Brien and one of his deputies, Elizabeth Tavares, Thursday, July 24, 2014, on charges of racketeering and mail fraud.  Another former deputy, William Burke, was acquitted. (AP Photo/File)

Probation officials found guilty in rigged hiring case; local man Burke convicted of racketeering conspiracy, acquitted of mail fraud

Thursday, July 24, 2014

BOSTON — Former state probation commissioner John O’Brien was convicted Thursday of rigging the department’s hiring process to favor politically connected applicants over those who were more qualified. The guilty verdict on charges of racketeering and mail fraud came after seven days of deliberations in a case that focused attention on the patronage culture in Massachusetts state government. The jury also convicted one of O’Brien’s former deputies, Elizabeth Tavares, of racketeering and mail fraud. Another former official, William Burke, was convicted of a racketeering conspiracy charge but acquitted of mail fraud. O’Brien’s wife, Laurie, fainted as the verdict was read and was taken to a … 0

House approves abortion clinic bill

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BOSTON — The Massachusetts House approved a bill on Wednesday designed to tighten security around abortion clinics. The bill would let police disperse one or more individuals who are substantially impeding access to a clinic. After a dispersal order is issued in writing, those individuals would have to stay at least 25 feet from the clinic’s entrances for up to eight hours. The … 0

Westfield man dies while scuba diving

Thursday, July 24, 2014

MARBLEHEAD (AP) — Authorities say a 58-year-old Westfield man has died while scuba diving off the coast of Marblehead. The Essex district attorney’s office says Gregory Cole was scallop diving off a moored boat with two other people on Tuesday. The operator of the boat notified the harbormaster at about 10:15 a.m. that one of the divers had not resurfaced. The state police … 0

JetBlue pilot arrested in Boston drug bust

Monday, July 21, 2014

BOSTON — A JetBlue pilot from Florida is among six people arrested by Boston police over the weekend in an investigation of drug dealing incidents near the Boston Common. Police said John Manwaring, 42, of Maitland, Florida, and … 0

Resurgence of gray seals spurs calls for hunt

Sunday, July 20, 2014

ROCKLAND, Maine — Decades after gray seals were all but wiped out in New England waters, the population has rebounded so much that some frustrated residents are calling for a controlled hunt. The once-thriving New England gray seal … 0

National parks in state generated $470 million

Sunday, July 20, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — A new report shows that visitors to national parks in Massachusetts spent nearly $470 million in 2013. The report from the National Park Service shows that nearly 9.7 million people visited national parks in the state last year, supporting nearly 6,000 jobs. Most visitor spending … 0

Warren energizes progressives in Michigan

Friday, July 18, 2014

DETROIT — At a summertime getaway for liberals, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has captured the hearts of Democratic activists beginning to think about an heir to President Barack Obama. But their minds tell them that Hillary Rodham Clinton … 0

Patrick: Westover or Edwards possible for temporary shelter

Friday, July 18, 2014

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday proposed two possible locations in Massachusetts to temporarily shelter unaccompanied children crossing the nation’s southern border, one in Hampden County. Camp Edwards military base on Cape Cod and Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee will be reviewed by officials from the … 1

Unlicensed mortician had 12 bodies in storage

Friday, July 18, 2014

BOSTON — An unlicensed funeral director accused of stealing more than $12,000 from an elderly couple could face more charges after authorities found 12 bodies and the cremated remains of more than 40 others in two self-storage units … 0

Mass. Senate OKs sweeping gun bill

Thursday, July 17, 2014

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate approved a sweeping overhaul of the state’s gun laws Thursday, but not before stripping out a key provision that would have given local police chiefs more discretion over issuing firearms identification cards needed to buy rifles or shotguns. The Senate bill had initially … 0

Greenfield presses probe of fireworks company

Thursday, July 17, 2014

GREENFIELD — Mayor William Martin says the city will not accept an agreement with the New Hampshire company that has been providing Greenfield’s Fourth of July fireworks display for the past 20 years until an investigation is completed … 1

Police say Kennedy intruder was seeking Katy Perry

Thursday, July 17, 2014

HYANNIS PORT — A man accused of breaking into a home in the Kennedy compound on Cape Cod and telling authorities he was looking for singer Katy Perry has been sent to a mental health facility for evaluation. … 0

Anti-casino campaign launched in Springfield

Thursday, July 17, 2014

BOSTON — Anti-casino activists on Wednesday set their sights on Springfield, which would be home to Massachusetts’ first licensed casino, as they attempt to win voter support for a November ballot question to repeal the state’s casino law. Organizers for “Repeal the Casino Deal” chose the city to … 0