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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 …

Research ship reaches end of line after 1.3 million miles

Thursday, December 4, 2014

WOODS HOLE (AP) — A ship that sailed more than 1.3 million miles in the name of science is back at port for the last time. The research vessel Knorr is being decommissioned after more than 40 years …

Clinton, in Boston, supports probes of police-involved deaths in Mo., NY

Thursday, December 4, 2014

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday the nation’s criminal justice system is “out of balance” and she supports federal reviews of police-involved deaths of black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City. Clinton said the two …

Baker to meet with Obama

Thursday, December 4, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov.-elect Charlie Baker is gearing up for a daylong trip to the White House on Friday where he’s scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama. Baker told The Associated Press on Thursday that at first …

Several thousand in Boston protest NY verdict

Thursday, December 4, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Several thousand people rallied peacefully in Boston on Thursday night to protest a grand jury’s decision to not charge a white police officer in the videotaped chokehold death of an unarmed black man in New York City. Protesters blocked some streets while marching to Boston …

Hull raises minimum age for buying tobacco products to 21

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

HULL (AP) — The board of health in Hull is standing by its decision to raise the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21. The board on Tuesday decided to keep the new rules after listening to the concerns of Nick Patel, …

Worcester marks 15 years since fatal fire

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WORCESTER (AP) — The city marked a somber anniversary Wednesday as it remembered the six firefighters who died battling a warehouse blaze 15 years ago. A ceremony was held at the Franklin Street fire station, which was built on the site where the Worcester cold storage warehouse once …

State income tax rate to fall from 5.2 to 5.15%

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts taxpayers will start paying a lower state income tax rate beginning in January. Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter confirmed Wednesday that all the requirements needed to automatically lower the personal income tax rate from 5.2 percent to 5.15 percent beginning Jan. 1 have been met. As …

Carjack killer challenges death penalty

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

BOSTON — Lawyers for a man who confessed to carjacking and killing two men in Massachusetts and killing a third man in New Hampshire argued Wednesday that the federal government should not force the death penalty on Massachusetts, a state that has rejected capital punishment. Gary Lee Sampson …

Girl, 7, hit by car in Springfield, dies

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Springfield police say a 7-year-old girl has died two days after being struck by a car while crossing a street with her mother and cousin. Police spokesman Sgt. John Delaney said the girl died Wednesday at Baystate Medical Center. Her name has not been released. …

Conn. woman on trial in murder-for-hire case

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. — A felon with a long rap sheet testified Tuesday that a woman paid him $5,000 to kill her ex-husband in 2012 during a child custody court case that police said had millions of dollars at …