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FILE - This undated file photo released Friday, April 19, 2013, by the FBI shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev’s life is on the line as his lawyers return to federal court to make their case that he should be spared the death penalty. Tsarnaev’s defense team is set to begin presenting witnesses on Monday, April 27, 2015, in the penalty phase of his trial, the stage that will determine whether he is executed or spends the rest of his life behind bars. Tsarnaev, 21, already has been convicted of 30 federal charges in the twin bombings that killed three spectators and injured more than 260 others near the marathon’s finish line on April 15, 2013. Seventeen of those charges carry the possibility of the death penalty. (AP Photo/FBI, File)

Lawyer pleads for bomber’s life

Monday, April 27, 2015

BOSTON — Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers pleaded with a jury Monday to spare his life, portraying him as “a good kid” who was led down the path to terrorism by his increasingly fanatical older brother. David Bruck delivered the defense’s opening statement in the penalty phase of Tsarnaev’s trial, saying there is no punishment Tsarnaev can get that would be equal to the suffering of the bombing victims. “There is no evening the scales,” Bruck said. “There is no point in trying to hurt him as he hurt because it can’t be done.” Tsarnaev, 21, was convicted earlier this month in the twin …

Springfield offers incentives for historic home rehab

Monday, April 27, 2015

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A historic house in Springfield that was damaged by a tornado is being sold by the city as part of a revitalization effort. Officials tell the Republican of Springfield developers can apply for a forgivable, interest-free loan of up to $25,000 toward exterior improvements. Numerous homes have been built or are in the process of being built after a tornado …

T workers jam Statehouse for transit hearing

Monday, April 27, 2015

BOSTON — Unionized MBTA employees packed a Statehouse hearing room on Monday as state transportation officials and members of a review panel appointed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker outlined recommendations for shaking up the troubled Boston-area transit system. The workers oppose changes in work rules or an easing of anti-privatization laws proposed by Baker, and while they were not invited to speak at …

Warren applauds progressive pledge

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

WASHINGTON — Keeping her imprint on the 2016 Democratic primary, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is heralding a commitment from thousands of party officials to push Hillary Rodham Clinton to adopt her populist economic policies. “Anyone who runs for president should talk about big economic ideas that will help …

Report cites MBTA’s ‘structural failure’

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker called Wednesday for a financial control board to oversee the Boston-area transit system following release of a scathing report that said the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority was in severe financial distress, with ineffective management and no viable maintenance plan for vehicles and equipment. …

Some Democrats want Pelosi to go

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

WASHINGTON — Two Democratic stalwarts from Massachusetts say Rep. Nancy Pelosi should change her leadership style— or even step down — after big electoral losses last year and in 2010. Reps. Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch made the …

Salem rehab hospital to close

Thursday, April 9, 2015

SALEM — A Salem rehabilitation hospital that can trace its roots in the city to the 18th century is closing its doors in September. Spaulding Hospital officials tell The Salem News that upcoming changes in federal regulations designed to cut Medicare costs will lead to dramatic reductions in …

How five grassland birds are faring in Massachusetts

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

During the past 100 years, there has been a decline in the quantity and quality of grasslands for wildlife. In general, declines of grassland birds in New England are caused by habitat loss and fragmentation, agricultural intensification, mowing …

Jurors end first day of deliberations in bombing case

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

BOSTON — Jurors in the trial of admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deliberated for a little more than seven hours Tuesday before ending their first day of deliberations without reaching a verdict. Judge George O’Toole Jr. dismissed …

Lawyers make final pitches to bombing jury

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

BOSTON — As he planted a backpack containing a bomb near a group of children, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made a coldblooded decision aimed at punishing America for its wars in Muslim countries, a federal prosecutor told …

$1M bail set in case of human remains

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

MEDFORD (AP) — A man facing charges in connection with the discovery of human body parts inside a discarded duffel bag was ordered held on $1 million at his arraignment Monday. Carlos Colina, 32, pleaded not guilty in …

Fatal shooting investigated in Holyoke

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

HOLYOKE (AP) — Police in Holyoke are investigating the Easter Sunday shooting death of a 30-year-old city man. Officers responded to reports of shots fired on Chestnut Street at about 6 p.m. Sunday. But the victim had already been taken to the hospital in a private vehicle where …

New state law requires headlight use with windshield wipers

Monday, April 6, 2015

BOSTON — If you turn on your windshield wipers, turn on your headlights as well. That’s one of the requirements of a little-known state law taking effect in Massachusetts on Tuesday. Under the law aimed at making travel safer during inclement weather in daylight hours, motorists must activate …