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State Region

State briefs

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New UMass president gets perks in contract LOWELL (AP) — Incoming University of Massachusetts president Marty Meehan will be paid $525,000 in the first year of a five-year contract that could be bumped to more than $750,000 with perks. The former congressman and UMass-Lowell chancellor starts on July 1 with a salary of $525,000. That grows to $602,500 by 2020 and includes a possible 11 percent annual performance bonus. Meehan …

At Ludlow jail, addicts must wear shirt and tie

Monday, May 25, 2015

LUDLOW — A western Massachusetts prison believes dressing for success can help inmates break the stranglehold of addiction. Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe Jr. requires inmates at his jail’s minimum-security substance abuse treatment facility wear a shirt and tie from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. Ashe recently announced that the policy, which has been in place since 2007, will remain …

Sanders may appeal to ‘Warren Democrats’

Monday, May 25, 2015

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — For Democrats who had hoped to lure Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren into a presidential campaign, independent Sen. Bernie Sanders might be the next best thing. Sanders, who is opening his official presidential campaign Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont, aims to ignite a grassroots fire among left-leaning Democrats wary of Hillary Rodham …

Bill Cosby accuser Therese Serignese of Florida says she wants her ‘good name’ restored

Thursday, May 7, 2015

WORCESTER — A Florida woman suing Bill Cosby for defamation said she wants her reputation restored after she was branded a liar by his representatives when she came forward with decades-old sexual assault allegations. Therese Serignese, of Boca …

Famed nun may testify for Marathon bomber

Thursday, May 7, 2015

BOSTON — As lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev make their final push to persuade a jury to spare Tsarnaev’s life, they may call to the stand a Roman Catholic nun and death penalty opponent made famous in the 1995 movie “Dead Man Walking.” Tsarnaev’s lawyers told …

Kennedy seeks stronger transgender protections

Thursday, May 7, 2015

BOSTON — U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy is pressing state lawmakers to approve legislation strengthening legal protections for transgender people. Kennedy, a Democrat, said Massachusetts lags behind 17 other states and Washington, D.C., which have updated public accommodations laws …

Tufts response frustrates hunger strikers

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

MEDFORD — Tufts University students on a hunger strike over janitor layoffs completed their third full day without food Wednesday, expressing growing frustration at the university’s lack of response to their demands. The Tufts Labor Coalition, a student …

Ex-in-law testifies from Kazakhstan

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

BOSTON — A former brother-in-law of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev testified Wednesday from Kazakhstan about the role of a conservative Muslim convert who steered Tsarnaev’s older brother toward a stricter version of Islam. Elmirza Khozhugov, the former …

Woman charged with delivering crack from truck

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — With her four adult children watching, a Massachusetts woman has pleaded not guilty to running a crack cocaine delivery service from her pickup truck. Sixty-year-old Donna McLeod entered the plea Tuesday on the trafficking cocaine charge at her arraignment in Springfield District Court. She was …

Incoming UMass president vows to increase online learning

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

BOSTON — On the eve of a Wednesday visit to the flagship campus in Amherst, incoming University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan vowed to expand online learning at the five-campus system. Meehan, the current chancellor of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, said more than half of recent Lowell graduates …

Nanny freed as evidence reviewed in baby’s death

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

WOBURN — An Irish nanny charged with killing a 1-year-old Massachusetts girl in her care more than two years ago was released on bail Tuesday while authorities review medical evidence. A Middlesex Superior Court agreed to set bail …

Bomber’s lawyer tells of family dysfunction

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

BOSTON — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers called a Russian historian and a psychiatrist to the stand Tuesday in a bid to save the Boston Marathon bomber from the death penalty by portraying him as the product of a dysfunctional …

Voters want circus to go on in Dalton

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

DALTON (AP) — The show will go on in Dalton. Town meeting voters in the Berkshire County town on Monday rejected a bylaw that would have ended the decades-long tradition of annual visits by the Kelly Miller Circus, or similar shows featuring exotic animals. The Berkshire Eagle reports …