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This Hour: Latest Massachusetts news, sports, business and entertainment

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Coakley 1st to submit signatures for governor

BOSTON (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley has turned in more than 13,000 certified nomination signatures to earn a spot on the September primary ballot.

The attorney general and members of her campaign staff submitted boxes of signatures to the Secretary of State on Wednesday, making her the first candidate hoping to succeed Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick to do so.

Candidates must submit at least 10,000 signatures by June 3 to qualify for the ballot.

Coakley suffered a stinging defeat to Republican Scott Brown in a 2010 special election for the U.S. Senate. While recent polls have suggested she's the front-runner among five Democrats seeking their party's gubernatorial nomination, she says she's taking nothing for granted.

The Democrats also need support from at least 15 percent of delegates to next month's state party convention to qualify.


2 ex-college football players charged with assault

BOSTON (AP) - Two former college football players have been charged with beating a Boston homeless man unconscious.

Craig Parsons is a Boston College senior from Newton, and Anthony Varrichione is from Medway and graduated from Marist College in New York after playing quarterback there.

They were charged Wednesday with kicking and punching a 50-year-old man in the early morning of Jan. 26 in Boston's Allston neighborhood.

Their attorneys say the men are good kids, are from good families and were wrongfully identified.

A spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney says the victim was hospitalized for three days. He says the charges stem from a grand jury investigation in which multiple witnesses identified Parsons and Varrichione.

The suspects went to high school together in Massachusetts. Parsons was suspended and barred from campus before graduation.


Leicester woman charged in Worcester hit-and-run

(Information in the following story is from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), )

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - A Leicester woman charged in connection with a hit-and-run in Worcester that took the life of an 83-year-old man has been released on $2,500 bail.

Elizabeth Marc-Aurele pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges including leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury and death and motor vehicle homicide.

Police tell The Telegram & Gazette the 24-year-old woman came to police headquarters on Tuesday with her lawyer.

Investigators had been searching for the driver that hit Albert Sescilla in the early morning hours of April 12 as he walked across the street near his home.

Marc-Aurele's lawyer says his client went to Worcester to pick up a friend and thought something hit her vehicle, and had no idea she had struck someone. He says she was afraid to stop.


Zogenix objects to new Massachusetts restrictions

BOSTON (AP) - The San Diego company that makes a powerful new prescription painkiller called Zohydro says it's disappointed with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's decision to impose new restrictions on the drug after a federal judge ruled that his attempt to ban the drug outright was unconstitutional.

Zogenix, in statement issued Wednesday, said the governor continues to unfairly single out the drug even as the company maintains it is no riskier than other opioids currently on the market.

The company also said Patrick still has not accepted its offer to "discuss the facts" and work together to address the needs of patients while "combating abuse and addiction."

The governor on Tuesday announced new requirements for doctors prescribing Zohydro, such as completion of a risk assessment and "pain management treatment agreement" with the patient.


Beverly man gets 5 years on child porn charges

(Information in the following story is from: The Salem (Mass.) News, )

BOSTON (AP) - A 67-year-old Beverly man who lived across the street from a middle school has been sentenced to five years in prison on child pornography charges.

Stanton Hager was also sentenced in federal court to five years of probation.

He pleaded guilty in January to selling child pornography online. Prosecutors say he also kept diaries in which he referred to sexual contact with children during visits to southeast Asia.

He was arrested last May 2013 after a package of child pornography intended for a customer ended up in the mail room of an Atlanta bank.

The Salem News reports that even though Hager lived in an apartment across the street from a middle school at this time of his arrest, investigators have not received complaints of sexual misconduct in Beverly.


Embattled Boston U coach Greenberg resigns

BOSTON (AP) - Boston University women's basketball coach Kelly Greenberg has resigned after some former players alleged she was verbally and emotionally abusive.

The university announced Wednesday that Greenberg has resigned after 10 years at the helm.

The university assembled a panel to investigate the allegations of abuse that four former scholarship players say prompted them to quit the team last season.

University senior vice president Todd Klipp says while the panel found many of the allegations against Greenberg couldn't be substantiated, "a compelling case was made ... that the manner in which coach Greenberg interacted with many of her players was incompatible with the expectations and standards for university employees."

Supporters called her a tough but fair coach. Greenberg went 186-127 at BU, including 13-20 last season.


Ex-president of Cape Cod college sued by state

BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts attorney general's office has sued the former president of a small Cape Cod college in an effort to get him to repay the millions he collected from his allegedly excessive salary and perks, including luxury cars and homes.

The suit filed Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court alleges Robert Gee, while president of the National Graduate School of Quality Management in Falmouth, earned $700,000 per year, granted himself generous bonuses, purchased luxury cars for himself and his wife, a timeshare in the Caribbean, and a $4 million official residence for himself on the Cape, all without the knowledge or approval of the school's board of directors.

Gee's attorney tells The Boston Globe that all of his client's conduct was "sanctioned by the board."

The school has about 200 students.


Horse track warns 2014 racing season could be last

BOSTON (AP) - Suffolk Downs is warning that the 2014 season could be the last one at New England's only thoroughbred track unless Mohegan Sun is awarded the eastern Massachusetts resort casino license.

Suffolk Downs has promised to continue racing for at least the next 15 years if the Massachusetts Gaming Commission awards the license to Connecticut-based Mohegan Sun, which has proposed a $1.3 billion casino on land owned by the track in Revere.

Wynn Resorts has a competing proposal in Everett.

Suffolk Downs announced Wednesday that racing will begin May 3, the same day as the running of the Kentucky Derby.

Chip Tuttle, chief operating officer of the 79-year-old track, said in a statement that the start of the racing season brings excitement tempered with "concern for our workforce and the future here."


Lowell girl burned when hair gets stuck in toaster

(Information in the following story is from: The (Lowell, Mass.) Sun, )

LLOWELL, Mass. (AP) - An 11-year-old Lowell girl was taken to a hospital after her hair got caught in a toaster and she suffered serious burns to her forehead.

Police tell The Sun that emergency crews responded to a home at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday after getting a 911 call.

Firefighters and EMT's treated the girl at the scene before she was taken to Lowell General Hospital.

Authorities say two to three inches of burned skin was visible on the girl's forehead, and some appeared to be peeling.

Police say the girl suffered second- or third-degree burns.

Family members told police the girl was looking down into a toaster that was in use when her hair got stuck.


Massachusetts homes sales down in March

BOSTON (AP) - Two organizations that follow the state's real estate market say a shortage of homes on the market is driving down sales while driving up prices.

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that the number of sales of single-family dropped almost 12 percent last month when compared to the same month a year ago, while the median price jumped more than 8 percent to more than $314,000.

The Warren Group, a publisher of business data, reported an 8 percent decrease in sales volume and a nearly 9 percent boost in the median price to $315,000, the 18th consecutive month of higher year-over-year prices.

The organizations use slightly different figures in their calculations.

Realtors President Peter Ruffini says rising home values provides an incentive for owners to put their homes on the market.


European retailer Primark to open first US stores

Primark - a popular European clothing and accessories retailer - is coming to the US.

The retailer's parent company Associated British Foods plc said Wednesday that Primark plans to open an unspecified number of stores in the Northeast.

Primark is building on the growing popularity other "fast-fashion" retailers like H&M and Topshop. These European brands have found US consumers eager for their fashion-forward styles at affordable prices.

The company plans to open its first Primark shop in Boston in 2015 in the space previously occupied by Filene's Department Store. It says negotiations are under way to open other stores in the Northeastern US through the middle of 2016.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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