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In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, for a final hearing before his trial begins in January. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty if convicted.  (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)

Tsarnaev’s lawyers seek trial delay

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was shot and killed while being questioned by law enforcement after the bombings. Security was tight at the federal courthouse in Boston for …

Body of woman found in Millers River in Orange

Thursday, December 18, 2014

ORANGE (AP) — Emergency crews in north-central Massachusetts have found the body of a 52-year-old woman who had been missing since Tuesday. Authorities say the body of Cynthia Ayer of Orange was found in the Millers River in Orange Thursday afternoon. It’s not clear how Ayer died. The medical examiner’s office will be performing an autopsy. A spokeswoman for the Northwestern District Attorney’s …

Two released in Framingham meningitis outbreak case

Friday, December 19, 2014

BOSTON — Two men at the center of a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people around the U.S. will be released from custody, pending their criminal trials, a federal judge in Boston ruled Thursday. U.S. Magistrate Jennifer Boal issued an electronic order saying that the U.S. attorney’s office had “not met …

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 …

Wet, lumbering nor’easter poses risk of power cuts, coastal flooding

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing drizzle could greet commuters for their morning drives Tuesday and mark the beginning of a strong, slow-moving storm that will affect the Northeast for the next few days. …

Widow puts diamond ring in Salvation Army kettle

Monday, December 8, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — The Salvation Army found an unusual surprise inside one of its red donation kettles: a diamond engagement ring given by a widow in honor of her late husband. The charity said Monday the anonymous benefactor placed the diamond ring — valued at $1,850 — and …

‘Social impact bonds’ sought to aid homeless

Monday, December 8, 2014

FRAMINGHAM — A plan that calls for using charitable donations and private-sector investment to ease chronic homelessness in Massachusetts was unveiled Monday by Gov. Deval Patrick. The “Pay for Success” initiative aims to create 500 units of housing for up to 800 homeless people over the next six …

United Independent Party gains official status

Monday, December 8, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — The United Independent Party has gained official status alongside Democrats and Republicans in Massachusetts. Returns certified by the Secretary of State’s office confirm that the party’s candidate for governor in November, Evan Falchuk, won more than the 3 percent threshold for the United Independents to …

Baker faces broad range of challenges

Sunday, December 7, 2014

BOSTON — With a month to go before he’s sworn in as Massachusetts’ 72nd governor, Republican Charlie Baker is facing an array of challenges — from narrowing a stubborn racial achievement gap in the schools to assuming oversight …

Texas biologists warm chilled sea turtles

Sunday, December 7, 2014

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Marine biologists have flown dozens of endangered sea turtles from Cape Cod to Galveston for treatment of hypothermia. The 50 Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, a critically endangered species, were shocked by recent cold temperatures …

Private forest owners aging, parcels shrinking

Sunday, December 7, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. — The age of forest landowners across the country is increasing and the size of parcels they own is shrinking — and that has state, federal and private experts fearing for the long-term health of millions …

Protesters rally for 2nd night in Boston

Friday, December 5, 2014

CAMBRIDGE — Demonstrators rallied for a second-straight night in the Boston area Friday to protest grand jury decisions to not indict white police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men. Police say a crowd that grew to …