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Harassment not protected speech — SJC

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

BOSTON — Harassing neighbors is not a form of constitutionally protected free speech, the highest court in Massachusetts ruled Tuesday in upholding the jail sentences of a former Andover couple who pestered their neighbors through fake Craigslist ads and a false child abuse report. William Johnson was sentenced to serve 18 months in jail in December 2011 after he was convicted of criminal harassment and falsely reporting child abuse against …

Chicopee man sought for alleged online threat

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

CHICOPEE (AP) — Police in Massachusetts say they will seek charges against a Chicopee man who posted the phrase “put wings on pigs” on Facebook. The phrase allegedly posted by 27-year-old Charles DiRosa is similar to an online posting made by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who authorities say killed himself after fatally shooting two New York City police officers. A Chicopee police spokesman says the …

Baker names education chief

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

BOSTON — Republican Gov.-elect Charlie Baker on Tuesday named charter school advocate and former chairman of the state Board of Education James Peyser to serve as his secretary of education and also appointed commissioners of public health and agriculture as he continued to build his new administration. Baker, a Republican, will be sworn-in to office on Jan. 7. Peyser is no stranger to …

MGM offers update on Springfield casino project

Thursday, December 11, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — MGM Resorts International hosted what it called a construction information session as it prepares to move forward with an $800 million casino in downtown Springfield. Company officials promised an update on design and a projected construction timeline for the casino at Thursday’s event. They have …

State police trooper accused of pepper-spraying protester in Boston placed on restricted duty

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — State police say a trooper accused of pepper-spraying a protester last week has been placed on restricted duty during their internal investigation. Police said Wednesday the man who posted an online video appearing to show the trooper using pepper spray hasn’t yet responded to their …

Alleged Cosby victim sues him for defamation

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

BOSTON — A woman who has accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her in the 1970s filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against the comedian, alleging he “publicly branded” her a liar through statements made by his lawyer and …

Harvard professor apologizes to Chinese restaurant for rant

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

BOSTON — A Harvard Business School instructor who blasted a Boston-area Chinese restaurant for overcharging him by $4 on a takeout order apologized Wednesday for a lengthy and widely publicized email exchange with restaurant management. Associate professor Benjamin Edelman had threatened legal action and demanded the Sichuan Garden …

Prosecution opposes Hernandez fiancee’s bid to toss evidence

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

FALL RIVER — Massachusetts prosecutors are opposing a bid by the fiancee of ex-New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez to suppress evidence in the perjury case against her, according to newly released court records. Documents filed Monday in Bristol …

Protesting law students plead for exam delays

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

BOSTON — Minority students at three prestigious law schools say they want to delay final exams because they’ve been busy protesting grand jury decisions in the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers in New York City and Ferguson, Missouri, and haven’t had …

Police: Jogger shot by deer hunter on Cape Cod

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

BARNSTABLE (AP) — Police on Cape Cod say a deer hunter has been arrested after mistakenly shooting a jogger in the woods. The 39-year-old jogger was seen staggering out of the woods near Barnstable Municipal Airport shortly before 5 p.m. on Monday. He was taken to Cape Cod …

Heroin probed in deaths of Haverhill couple

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

HAVERHILL (AP) — Investigators are awaiting further tests as they try to determine if heroin caused the deaths of a mother and father in Haverhill. Authorities said the bodies of the 39-year-old man and 36-year-old woman were found in the family’s home Saturday by the couple’s two children, …

FBI offers $20,000 in RI armed kidnapping case

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the person who kidnapped a man from his driveway in Barrington, Rhode Island, and let him go a few hours later in Western Massachusetts. The kidnapping happened on June 30 …

MIT pulls online lectures over harassment claim

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

CAMBRIDGE (AP) — The Massachusetts Institute of Technology says it has removed a retired physics professor’s lectures from an online learning platform after a school investigation found he had sexually harassed a woman. MIT said in a statement that it began investigating after receiving a complaint in October …