Mass. gambling chief steps aside on Everett ruling
BOSTON (AP) - The head of the Massachusetts gambling commission is withdrawing from a crucial review of the land deal for a proposed casino in Everett because he is a longtime friend and former business partner of one of site's owners.
Stephen Crosby says he has known Paul Lohnes, co-owner of the 29-acre site, since they were in the National Guard in the 1970s and that they were business partners from 1983 to 1990.
If Wynn Resorts wins the right to develop the former Monsanto chemical site into a $1.3 billion casino, the land sale would potentially be worth millions of dollars to Lohnes.
Crosby tells The Boston Globe he's confident he could remain impartial, but recused himself to preserve public trust in the casino selection process.
Mass AG: Stop new federal fishing catch limits
BOSTON (AP) - Attorney General Martha Coakley is urging a court to stop new federal fishing regulations which she called an "existential threat" to New England's 400-year-old fishing industry.
Coakley said her office's motion for summary judgment, filed in the United States District Court in Boston, reinforced the arguments made in the state's lawsuit filed against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on May 30.
Coakley has also sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski asking the Maryland Democrat to include $150 million in fisheries disaster funding in the final Fiscal Year 2014 federal budget.
The complaint alleges NOAA ignored the economic impact of the regulations and using flawed science to drastically reduce the annual catch limits for cod and other species.
The suit aims to block the new rules.
HOUSE FIRE-BOY HURT
9-year-old boy critically hurt in Pittsfield fire
(Information in the following story is from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.com )
PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Authorities say a 9-year-old Pittsfield boy is fighting for his life in a Boston hospital after getting critically injured in a fire at his home.
Police and firefighters responded to the Merriam Street home at about 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Deputy Fire Chief Michael Polidoro says the boy was pulled out of a second floor window and taken to Berkshire Medical Center in critical condition. The Berkshire Eagle reports that once he was stabilized he was flown to Boston later Wednesday night.
A 23-year-old man also was transported to Berkshire Medical Center for treatment of smoke inhalation. No names were released.
State fire marshals were on the scene to help determine the cause of the fire that appears to have started in the kitchen.
Lunenburg racist graffiti case takes a turn
LUNENBURG, Mass. (AP) - An investigation into racist graffiti spray-painted on a Lunenburg home is now focused on a resident of that home.
The graffiti including the N-word was found Nov. 15 on the home of a 13-year-old Lunenburg High School player whose father is black and mother is white.
The investigation at first focused on the boy's teammates, and in response, the school district canceled the team's remaining games including the Thanksgiving Day game. On Monday police said they do not believe any of the boy's teammates were involved.
Police executing a search warrant at the home found evidence including two cans of spray paint.
They now say the boy's mother, Andrea Brazier, is a "strong suspect" in the case.
She says she spray painted over the graffiti. No one has been charged.
Death of woman in Worcester considered suspicious
(Information in the following story is from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com )
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - Worcester police are investigating what they call the suspicious death of a woman whose body was found on a footpath behind a city home.
The woman was found Wednesday morning.
Neither her name nor the manner of her death has been made public.
The woman was found behind a Suffolk Street home that has some windows boarded up and is covered in graffiti.
The death has been ruled suspicious but is not considered a homicide at this point.
Neighbors tell The Telegram & Gazette that the footpath is a popular short cut with drug users.
Police are asking members of the public with knowledge of the woman's death to come forward.
RI man, ex-teacher, sentenced on child porn charge
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island man who was a longtime teacher at a Massachusetts high school has been sentenced to 18 months in a halfway house on federal child pornography charges.
Stephen Hickey of Warwick, R.I., was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Providence.
The 60-year-old Hickey was for 30 years a social studies teacher at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School in Franklin, Mass., until his arrest in February. He pleaded guilty in August.
Prosecutors say Hickey was arrested as part of an international investigation and was a customer of an Internet child pornography distributor. Child pornography images were found on his home computer.
The Sun Chronicle reports that Hickey expressed remorse in court. His lawyers say he had an impeccable record as a teacher and never assaulted a child.
Haverhill woman acquitted of child rape charges
(Information in the following story is from: Eagle Tribune (North Andover, Mass.), http://www.eagletribune.com )
SALEM, Mass. (AP) - A Haverhill woman has been acquitted of raping a 12-year-old boy and giving him a sexually transmitted disease.
Heather Paltinavich was found not guilty Wednesday after about four hours of deliberations by an Essex County Superior Court jury.
Prosecutors alleged the 21-year-old Paltinavich had sex with the boy twice in the summer of 2012 when she was 19 and was staying with the boy's family.
The Eagle-Tribune reports that the boy's mother became suspicious when the boy was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease.
Paltinavich took the stand in her own defense to say she had never had an STD. Her lawyer said that prosecutors never produced any medical records or evidence that either the boy or the defendant ever had an STD.
UMass-Amherst to invest $2M in dorm security
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) - UMass-Amherst has announced plans to spend more than $2 million to enhance dormitory security, a little over a year after a woman was allegedly gang-raped in her room.
University officials on Wednesday said the upgrades to be phased in over three years include a new electronic sign-in system for visitors at all 51 dorms.
The software will be installed as a pilot program at one dormitory during the winter break, and will be in use when students return in January.
A security consultant hired by the university made 87 recommendations in a 214-page report.
A freshman student alleged she was raped by four non-students she knew in October 2012, one of whom bypassed dorm security entirely and three of whom were signed in by a resident who didn't know them.
JACQUELINE KENNEDY-BIRTH RECORDS
Jackie Kennedy's NY birth records going to Boston
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) - A hospital on Long Island, N.Y., says it's donating Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' birth records to the Kennedy library in Boston.
The papers record the birth of "Baby Girl Bouvier" (boo-vee-AY') on July 28, 1929.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the records document a 14-day stay at Southampton Hospital. The papers say she weighed 8 pounds, was "born healthy, slept well, nursed well" and received a "final diagnosis" of "normal infancy."
The hospital's president and CEO, Robert Chaloner, says the decision to donate the records to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum was a "little bit bittersweet."
But, he says, "This is a national document that belongs in our national records."
The material was discovered in 2009. The library sought and received consent from Kennedy's daughter, Caroline Kennedy, and the library approved the donation Nov. 15.
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