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State briefs: Woman who took sanctuary in Springfield church gets one-year reprieve


Monday, June 11, 2018
Woman who took sanctuary in church gets one-year reprieve

SPRINGFIELD — A woman who took sanctuary in a Massachusetts church to avoid deportation to her native Peru has been granted a one-year stay of removal by federal immigration officials.

The Pioneer Valley Project and members of the South Congregational Church in Springfield have announced Monday that Gisella Collazo will be allowed to return to her Springfield home while she pursues lawful residency.

Collazo, who is married to an American citizen and has two U.S.-born children, took sanctuary in the church in March after being ordered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to leave the country immediately.

She has said her efforts to remain in the U.S. have been stymied by “attorney errors.”

ICE says she entered the U.S. illegally in 2001 with a fraudulent passport.

Boston Globe drops lawsuit against ex-employee over texts

BOSTON — The Boston Globe is dropping a lawsuit against a former employee who has accused the newspaper’s top editor of sending her inappropriate text messages.

The Boston Globe says in court documents that an order demanding that Hilary Sargent reveal more information about the alleged text exchange between her and Brian McGrory is “no longer necessary.” The Globe says Sargent has provided information it sought.

Sargent last month tweeted a screenshot of a text exchange she said occurred between her and McGrory in which she says McGrory asked her what she wears when she writes.

McGrory says he has never harassed Sargent or others. Sargent and McGrory have confirmed they dated years ago.

Sargent says she never refused to cooperate with the Globe’s investigation and is pleased it dropped its lawsuit.

Insurer must defend Bill Cosby defamation suits, court says

BOSTON — A federal appeals court says an insurance company must pick up Bill Cosby’s tab to fight defamation lawsuits brought by women who accused him of sexual misconduct.

But the ruling by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston doesn’t mean the insurance company, AIG, must pay any damages.

Cosby faces civil lawsuits alleging he defamed women when he accused them of lying about their allegations.

Cosby, who owns a home in Shelburne, was convicted in April on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. The 80-year-old comedian is due to be sentenced in September and faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.

Cosby has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

An AIG spokeswoman declined to comment Monday.

Police: Coyote bites teen, leaving him hospitalized

SWAMPSCOTT — A teen has been bitten by a coyote in Massachusetts, and police are warning the public to be on alert.

Police say the 17-year-old male was bitten in the woods of Swampscott Saturday night.

WCVB-TV reports the teen has been hospitalized with cuts and scratches, and the coyote has yet to be found.

Police are urging residents to practice extreme caution in any wooded area in the town.

2 young boys earn praise for Walden Pond paddleboard rescue

CONCORD — Two young boys are earning acclaim for rescuing an adult swimmer who started struggling in the middle of Walden Pond.

But 9-year-old Herman Tsakhaev of Sudbury and 11-year-old Bodie Thompson of Lincoln say they were just doing the right thing.

The boys were paddleboarding Sunday on the Massachusetts pond made famous by writer Henry David Thoreau when they noticed the struggling man. They paddled over, hauled him onto one of their boards, and made their way to shore where rescue personnel were waiting.

Concord Fire Capt. Bill Noke says the swimmer had a leg cramp and might have drowned had the boys not rescued him. The department tweeted “a huge shout out” to the boys.

Bodie said that if it happened again, he would do what he could.

Herman says anyone would have done what they did.

Chinese biotech firm to open new facility in Worcester

WORCESTER — A Chinese biomanufacturing firm says it will build its first U.S. facility in Worcester.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports Hong-Kong based WuXi Biologics announced Sunday that it will invest $60 million into the facility, which will be constructed at the Worcester Biomanufacturing Park.

The new facility will be 70,000 to 100,000-square feet, and it will bring about 150 jobs to the city.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker says he is “pleased” to welcome WuXi Biologics’ expansion, and City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. says they are thrilled that the company will be the first tenant at the biomanufacturing park.

WuXi Biologics’ Chief Executive Officer Dr. Chris Chen says the new site will “undoubtedly” meet the company’s need for “biologics development and manufacturing in the near future.”