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In this Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 photo, George Perrot bows his head as one of his  Attorney's Christopher J. Walsh comforts him after the trial judge orders him to be  released on his own recognizance after his bail hearing inside the Bristol County Superior Court in New Bedford, Mass. (Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Man freed, gets new trial after 30 years in prison

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NEW BEDFORD — A man who spent three decades in prison for a rape conviction based in part on one strand of hair was freed Wednesday after a judge said he is “reasonably sure” the man is innocent and believes prosecutors cannot win a conviction at a retrial. George Perrot was convicted of raping 78-year-old Mary Prekop in her Springfield …

Body found in Colrain; foul play not suspected

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

COLRAIN — Police said foul play is not suspected in the death of a person whose body was found Wednesday night by the bank of a river on Jacksonville Road. On a residential, wooded area behind a single-family house, firefighters and crime scene investigators walked into the brush down a steep slope to the edges of the North River to retrieve a body …

Refugees’ mental health needs concern experts

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

BOSTON — For the thousands of Syrian refugees expected to arrive in the U.S. in coming months, the first order of business will be securing the basics — health care, jobs, education and a safe home. But what organizations helping resettle them might not be prepared for, and what refugees themselves might be …

‘Love Story’ actors return to Harvard 45 years later

Monday, February 1, 2016

CAMBRIDGE — Actors Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal rolled onto the Harvard campus Monday in an antique convertible similar to the one used in “Love Story” and reminisced about the film that made them household names nearly half …

Congresswoman’s home target of ‘swatting’ call

Monday, February 1, 2016

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts congresswoman said she and her family were the victims of a so-called “swatting” attack — the very kind of bogus emergency call she has filed legislation to combat. U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, a Democrat from Melrose, said she was home Sunday night with …

Gadfly on power projects faces criminal probe in Vt.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Annette Smith has been fighting the power for more than 15 years, tenaciously opposing energy projects she believes harm the environment or quality of life in Vermont. Now she is the target of a criminal …

Officials cash in with bigger donations

Sunday, January 31, 2016

BOSTON — A 2014 change in the state’s campaign finance law has delivered a cash windfall for top elected officials in Massachusetts, allowing them to rake in big money donations and quickly rebuild their election coffers. An Associated Press review of campaign finance records found the change — …

Authorities raid residential school in probe of alleged abuse

Sunday, January 31, 2016

GREAT BARRINGTON — A Massachusetts residential school to treat boys and young men with behavior problems has been raided following allegations of physical and emotional abuse of students by school staff. The Berkshire Eagle (http://bit.ly/20AHufR) reports that dozens of local, state and federal authorities searched the Eagleton School …

Massachusetts political leaders undergo revolution in how they view drug users

Saturday, January 30, 2016

BOSTON — Jail time is out. Treatment is in. Spurred by a seemingly intractable opioid crisis that has claimed thousands of Massachusetts lives in recent years, political leaders have undergone a revolution in the way they view drug users. Even Gov. Charlie Baker — whose old Statehouse boss, …

Pittsfield Police charge man with armed robberies of six businesses

Friday, January 29, 2016

PITTSFIELD (AP) — Pittsfield Police have arrested a man they allege is responsible for a string of armed robberies of area businesses in the past month. The Berkshire Eagle reports that George Bliss was held without bail after pleading not guilty Wednesday to six counts of armed and …

Deputy Peter Ostroskey promoted to succeed retiring Fire Marshal Stephen Coan

Thursday, January 28, 2016

STOW (AP) — The state’s deputy fire marshal is getting a promotion. The state Fire Service Commission on Wednesday selected Deputy Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey to take over for Fire Marshal Stephen Coan, who is retiring after 20 years on the job. Commission chairman Everett Fire Chief David …

Massachusetts Senate OKs bill that would ensure equal pay for men and women doing comparable work

Thursday, January 28, 2016

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate unanimously approved a bill Thursday that would ensure men and women earn equal pay for comparable work. The legislation would prohibit employers from discriminating based on gender when it comes to wages and other compensation. The bill defines comparable work as jobs requiring …

Massachusetts Senate advances overhaul of state’s public records laws

Thursday, January 28, 2016

BOSTON — Government watchdog groups praised a bill outlined by Massachusetts Senate leaders Thursday that seeks to modernize public records rules that critics have labeled among the most outdated and cumbersome in the nation. The measure, advanced by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, would establish new timetables …