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This Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, photo shows a gate on leading into property owned by entertainer Bill Cosby in Shelburne, Mass., tells uninvited guests not to enter. Town residents said the 78-year-old star, his wife and at least one of their daughters have been spending much of their summer -- as they typically do -- in the secluded country estate they’ve owned in the southern edge of town since the 1970s. (AP Photo/Philip Marcelo)

Residents of New England town reluctantly reckon with Cosby

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

SHELBURNE FALLS — Deep in the rolling farmland of western Massachusetts, Bill Cosby’s compound has for decades provided quiet refuge for the comedian and his family. Most in this normally reserved New England community are content to leave the typically low-key Cosbys alone as they spend holidays and significant parts of their summers at their country estate more than 100 …

Less-lethal weapons spur interest among police

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

FITCHBURG — Police in more than 20 North American cities are testing the latest in less-lethal alternatives to bullets — “blunt impact projectiles” that cause suspects excruciating pain but stop short of killing them. Or at least that’s the goal. Police have long had what they considered “nonlethal” weapons at their disposal, including …

Vt. snake collector gives pair of pythons to Mass. sanctuary

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

NORTH CLARENDON, Vt. — Two giant southeast Asian pythons that were rescued by a longtime snake collector and were turned over to state game wardens are headed to a sanctuary. The larger of the two reticulated pythons picked up Tuesday by experts from the Massachusetts-based Rainforest Reptile Shows with help from three Vermont …

Advocates push measure mandating humane treatment of farm animals

Thursday, August 20, 2015

BOSTON — Animal advocates launched a campaign Wednesday to put before Massachusetts voters a proposal that would prohibit raising certain farm animals in small cages and crates and would effectively ban the sale of eggs, pork and veal from animals kept in such tight spaces, wherever they are …

Police: Woman made threat to get off work early

Thursday, August 20, 2015

WILLIAMSTOWN (AP) — A Vermont woman and her friend have been charged with making a fake bomb threat to the western Massachusetts supermarket where she was employed so she could get out of work early. Police say 21-year-old Emily Sziribik, who worked at the Wild Oats Market in …

Markey backs Iran deal

Thursday, August 20, 2015

BOSTON — U.S. Sen. Edward Markey said Wednesday he’s backing the nuclear deal with Iran, calling it the best tool to secure an Iran free of the weapons. Markey, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committees, said he’s fought the spread of nuclear weapons throughout his career …

Ocean warming blamed for lobster population’s northward shift

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine — The lobster population has crashed to the lowest levels on record in southern New England while climbing to heights never before seen in the cold waters off Maine and other northern reaches — a geographic …

Report: Boston Olympics organizers lowballed costs

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

BOSTON — Boston’s failed bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics underestimated costs for hosting the games, potentially leaving Massachusetts taxpayers on the hook for significant cost overruns, according to a state-funded report released Tuesday. Boston 2024, the local …

Foster home searched; second child gravely ill

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Investigators returned Tuesday to a home west of Boston where two toddlers in foster care were found unresponsive over the weekend and one died. Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early told reporters outside the Auburn duplex investigators were expected to be at the residence throughout the …

Fish and Wildlife Service seeks 160,000 acres in 4 states

Monday, August 17, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would like to acquire more than 160,000 acres of land in states along the Connecticut River as part of its mission to protect land and wildlife in a refuge …

Utilities must refund switching fees

Monday, August 17, 2015

BOSTON — In response to a bipartisan budget amendment sponsored by Sen. Ben Downing, D-Pittsfield and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities recently sent letters to Eversource and National Grid ordering …

Healey urges tough action on trafficking in narcotics

Monday, August 17, 2015

BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has proposed legislation that would make trafficking a powerful narcotic often added to heroin a crime in an effort to fight the state’s opioid abuse epidemic. Law enforcement officials say fentanyl — an opioid more powerful than heroin — is often …

Governor says case of foster child’s death highest priority

Monday, August 17, 2015

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said the case of a 2-year-old girl who died in foster care, days after welfare workers visited and found the girl in good health, has his highest priority and the state is launching its own internal investigation. Officials said The Department of …