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State / Region

Ex-drug lab chemist may have tainted thousands of cases

Friday, July 3, 2015

BOSTON — A former chemist at a Massachusetts drug lab convicted of stealing drugs to feed her addictions may have tainted as many as 10,000 criminal prosecutions, not just a few dozen as first thought, according to newly released court documents. Now, defense lawyers are calling for an independent review of the cases, according to The Boston Globe. Sonja Farak was addicted to cocaine, methamphetamine, and amphetamines, but between 2004 … 0

State and region briefs

Friday, July 3, 2015

Bomber’s friend drops appeal BOSTON — A friend of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has dropped an appeal of his conviction for obstructing the investigation into the bombing. In court documents filed by his lawyer Thursday, Azamat Tazhayakov says he “knowingly and voluntarily” elects to withdraw his appeal. Tazhayakov was sentenced to 3½ … 0

Lottery vs. casinos

Thursday, July 2, 2015

BOSTON — Call it a clash of the state’s gambling titans. The middle-aged Massachusetts State Lottery is nervously looking over its shoulder to see if the state’s newborn casino industry will drain away some of the hundreds of millions it generates in profits each year for local cities and towns. While the lottery … 0

State/Region Briefs

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Massachusetts shifting how it measures low-income students BOSTON — As the state determines how to move forward on testing public school students, education officials are changing the metric for identifying low-income students, who generally “face more learning challenges,” … 0

Cosby’s lawyers ask judge to toss out defamation suit

Monday, June 22, 2015

SPRINGFIELD — A federal judge should throw out a defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby filed by three women accusing him of decades-old sex crimes because the remarks were personal opinions protected under the U.S. Constitution, his lawyers said … 0

‘Win an Inn’ essayists say contest was stacked against them

Monday, June 22, 2015

CENTER LOVELL, Maine — Maine State Police are investigating whether an innkeeper violated state law in an essay contest with her 210-year-old country inn as the prize. Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said Monday an investigation was opened into whether the “Win an Inn” contest … 0

Open records test for Baker

Sunday, June 21, 2015

BOSTON — Like past Massachusetts governors, Charlie Baker has spoken about making state government more accountable and transparent to the public. One test of that pledge is to what extent the first-term Republican will argue that the governor’s office is exempt from the state’s public records law. Baker’s … 0

State promises improved funeral home oversight

Sunday, June 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The state’s chief of professional licensure says the state will improve consumer protections and increase the frequency of funeral home inspections. “We have a pretty aggressive goal that we’ve identified of inspecting all licensed establishments within 18 months,” Charles Borstel, DPL’s newly hired executive director told … 0

Gov. Baker OKs waiver for Massachusetts’ 1st pot dispensary

Friday, June 19, 2015

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday issued a one-time, temporary waiver aimed at helping the state’s first marijuana dispensary begin selling pot for medicinal purposes. The waiver applies to Alternative Therapy Group of Salem. Under regulations adopted by Massachusetts, samples of medicinal marijuana must be examined for … 0

New school to rise on site of former Springfield school

Friday, June 19, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A new Roman Catholic school will soon rise on the site of a Springfield school building that closed after it was severely damaged by a tornado four years ago. Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski announced Friday that the region’s new Pope Francis High School will be … 0

Beacon Hill Roll Call, June 15 to 19, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

By BOB KATZEN $2.5 MILLION FOR REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION Senate approved an amendment increasing funding for state reimbursement to communities for regional school district transportation by $2.5 million (from $56.5 million to $59 million). Supporters said these 85 regional school districts are having financial problems and noted that … 0

Lobster prices rise as season off to slow start

Thursday, June 18, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine — American lobster prices are swelling as the summer fishing season gets off to a slow start in New England. The summer staple is selling in the $6 or $8 per pound range to consumers, an … 0

Police: Teen hospitalized after being hit by Amtrak train

Thursday, June 18, 2015

CHICOPEE — Police say a 14-year-old boy was taken to a hospital after being hit by a train carrying 102 passengers in western Massachusetts. The boy was walking on train tracks in Chicopee when police say Amtrak Train 56 struck and injured him Wednesday afternoon. Chicopee police say … 0