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FILE - This  Dec. 17, 2013 file photo shows anti-abortion protester Eleanor McCullen, of Boston, left, standing at the painted edge of a buffer zone as she protests outside a Planned Parenthood location in Boston. In a unanimous ruling Thursday, June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court struck down a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics in Massachusetts, saying that extending a buffer zone 35 feet from clinic entrances violates the First Amendment rights of protesters. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Patrick signs new abortion clinic bill

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON — Police now have increased authority to break up crowds gathering around Massachusetts abortion clinic entrances under a bill the governor signed on Wednesday. Gov. Deval Patrick’s signing comes a little more than one month after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 2007 Massachusetts law that established a protest-free 35-foot “buffer zone” around clinic entrances. Patrick praised lawmakers … 0

Lawmakers OK PAC disclosure bill

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts lawmakers have accepted a bill designed to tighten reporting requirements for independent political expenditures, including those made by political action committees known as super PACs. Under the bill, corporations, labor unions and political committees would be required to file a campaign finance report within seven days of making an independent expenditure — or within 24 hours if the expenditure is … 0

Compromise gun bill up for final vote

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts police chiefs would have the right to go to court to try to deny firearms identification cards needed to buy rifles or shotguns to individuals they feel are unsuitable under a compromise bill released by lawmakers. The bill, which is expected to come up for a final vote Thursday, is a compromise between House and Senate versions of a sweeping … 0

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 … 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 … 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 … 0

Man charged in long-unsolved 1995 slaying of mother, daughter

Thursday, July 24, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York mother and daughter whose bodies were found in different states and remained unidentified for 19 years were killed by a close relative who is now in custody and will face murder charges, authorities said Wednesday. Seventy-year-old Robert Honsch, of Dalton, Ohio, faces … 0

Agawam volleyball coach facing rape charges

Thursday, July 24, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A former junior varsity volleyball coach at a Massachusetts high school has pleaded not guilty to having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. Michael Rash was arraigned Wednesday in Hampden Superior Court on four counts of rape and abuse of a child aggravated by … 0

Senate approves PAC disclosure bill

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill designed to tighten reporting requirements for independent political expenditures, including those made by political action committees known as super PACs. Under the bill, corporations, labor unions and political committees would be required to file a campaign finance report … 0

Deal reached to preserve Lenox land

Thursday, July 24, 2014

LENOX (AP) — A deal has been reached to preserve more than 140 acres of pristine farmland and open space in the Berkshires. Under a $700,000 agreement announced Tuesday between the Berkshire Natural Resources Council and the Sprague family, owners of Undermountain Farm and Stables, 83 acres of … 0

Immigrant debate hits home in Lynn

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

LYNN — The national debate over an unprecedented wave of Central American young people entering the country illegally is more of a practical challenge in places like Lynn, a former industrial city outside Boston that’s thousands of miles … 0

State tops in new Kids Count report

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BOSTON — Children in Massachusetts are better off than in any other state in the nation, according to a report released Tuesday. Massachusetts was ranked No. 1 in the overall well-being of children as measured in four categories, according to the 25th annual Kids Count report by the … 0

Arrest linked to gun used after Boston attacks

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BOSTON — A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is believed to have provided the handgun used to kill a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer during the manhunt, people with knowledge of the investigation said Tuesday. Stephen Silva made an initial appearance in federal court … 0