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State Region

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 came after seven days of deliberations in a case that focused attention on the patronage culture in Massachusetts state government. The jury … 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 stay at least 25 feet from the clinic’s entrances for up to eight hours. The … 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 at about 10:15 a.m. that one of the divers had not resurfaced. The state police … 0

Hernandez cousin to admit contempt

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

FALL RIVER — The cousin of Aaron Hernandez who was charged with criminal contempt after refusing to testify before the grand jury that indicted the former New England Patriot intends to change her plea to guilty, her lawyer said Monday. Tanya Singleton, of Bristol, Connecticut, had pleaded not … 0

Man’s body found in Westfield River by two fishermen

Monday, July 14, 2014

WESTFIELD (AP) — A man’s body has been found at the bottom of the Westfield River by two fishermen, police report. Officer Charles Kielbasa told The Westfield News the fishermen saw the man lying face-down in about 5 feet of water near the Whitney Playground on Monday afternoon. … 0

Warren hits road for Democrats

Sunday, July 13, 2014

CAMBRIDGE — Sen. Elizabeth Warren is quickly becoming a top Democratic fundraising and campaigning powerhouse, hitting the road on behalf of candidates in key races the party will need to win to retain control of the U.S. Senate … 0

Bill on tap to strengthen abortion clinic safety

Sunday, July 13, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — A bill intended to address the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down Massachusetts’ abortion clinic buffer zone law is expected to be filed this week. The high court last month tossed out the law that established 35-foot protest-free “buffer zones” around the entrances of abortion … 0

State probation trial final arguments set

Sunday, July 13, 2014

BOSTON — The federal trial of former state probation Commissioner John O’Brien and two deputies could be heading to the jury soon. The prosecution rested its case Friday and the defense opted not to call any witnesses, including O’Brien. O’Brien and two deputies, Elizabeth Tavares and William Burke, … 0

Springfield diocese holds special ‘Purple Mass’ for dementia patients

Saturday, July 12, 2014

SPRINGFIELD — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield is holding its first special Mass to offer spiritual support to people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as their loved ones and caregivers. The so-called Purple Mass is scheduled for Saturday at St. Michal’s Cathedral. The event was … 0

Lowell fire leaves 7 dead

Thursday, July 10, 2014

LOWELL — A fast-moving fire ravaged a three-story apartment building before dawn Thursday, killing four adults and three children, forcing tenants to jump or hand their children to safety, and leading to dramatic rescues from upper floors. Authorities … 0

Director named for UMass’ Springfield center

Thursday, July 10, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield native on Thursday was named to lead the new University of Massachusetts downtown Springfield satellite center. William Davila was named director of operations for the UMass Center at Tower Square. Davila is a 1996 graduate of UMass-Amherst who holds advanced degrees from Boston … 0

Mohegan Sun, Boston strike deal

Thursday, July 10, 2014

BOSTON — Mayor Martin Walsh and Mohegan Sun announced a deal Thursday that would provide the city with at least $300 million in investments over 15 years if the casino company wins a state gambling license. The American Indian tribe-owned company proposes a $1.3 billion resort casino at … 0

Massachusetts Senate approves environmental bill

Thursday, July 10, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously approved a $1.9 billion, four-year environmental bond bill. The legislation is intended to help preserve and improve land, parks and renewable energy resources. During Thursday’s debate, senators added $200 million to the bill. Among the dozens of spending projects is … 0