Mass. Democrat Clark to be sworn into Congress
BOSTON (AP) - Democrat Katherine Clark is preparing to be sworn in as the state's newest member of Congress.
Clark, only the fifth woman ever elected to the U.S. House from Massachusetts, is heading to Washington to take her oath of office at about 1 p.m. Thursday in the Capitol.
Clark easily defeated three opponents in Tuesday's special election. She'll also be resigning from her Melrose state Senate seat, although the timing of the resignation has yet to be determined.
Clark will represent the state's 5th Congressional District. The seat became vacant earlier this year when longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Edward Markey won a special election to fill what had been Secretary of State John Kerry's Senate seat.
The 50-year-old lawyer and former public interest attorney will fill out the remainder of Markey's two-year term and face re-election next fall.
Police: Woman dies in Revere dragging
REVERE, Mass. (AP) - Police say a 52-year-old Revere woman has died after being struck and dragged about a half-mile by an MBTA bus.
A spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney's office says Gayle Johnson was struck around 7 p.m. Tuesday on Broadway and dragged six blocks.
The vehicle that struck her then left the scene.
Investigators determined that she had been struck by a bus and interviewed the 56-year-old male driver. He showed no signs of impairment, but has been subjected to drug and alcohol testing by the MBTA, per agency policy.
The investigation remains active and police are trying to determine how fast the bus was moving. The driver has not been charged.
Mass. police: woman's body found in submerged car
SPENCER, Mass. (AP) - State police continue to investigate the death of a 23-year-old Spencer woman whose body was found in an overturned car in a pond.
Police say Erin Rodriques' 2009 Subaru Outback was found at about 11:15 a.m. Tuesday in the pond near Paxton Road in Spencer.
The investigation to this point suggests that Rodriques' vehicle, for reasons still under investigation, veered off the road, crossed a small grassy area, and rolled down a slope into the water where it came to a rest upside-down.
Rodriques had been missing since Monday according to her family and a co-worker. Her family began searching for her Monday night. Family members spotted tires sticking out of the water not far from the family home.
ESCORT SERVICE-SEX OFFENDER
MA court overturns 'sex offender' label for escort
BOSTON (AP) - The highest court in Massachusetts has overturned the classification of a former manager of an escort service as a low-level sex offender.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Wednesday that the state's Sex Offender Registry Board should have considered research showing women are less likely than men to commit new offenses and should have granted the woman funds for an expert witness.
The woman pleaded guilty in 2006 to federal charges stemming from her previous management of an escort service.
The board classified her as a Level One offender, meaning she presents a low risk of re-offending and has a low degree of dangerousness. But the woman argued that she should not have to register as a sex offender, citing the low recidivism rate among women.
The court sent the case back to the board.
Pa. man sentenced in computer hacking case
BOSTON (AP) - A Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for breaking into computer networks and conspiring to sell access to them.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston said 23-year-old Andrew James Miller of Devon, Pa., also was sentenced Wednesday to 36 months of supervised release, fined $25,000 and ordered to pay nearly $6,500 in restitution. He pleaded guilty in August to one count of conspiracy and two counts of computer intrusion.
Prosecutors said Miller hacked into computers in Massachusetts and elsewhere from 2008 to 2011, getting access that he and his co-conspirators sold. Prosecutors said Miller installed so-called "backdoors" on some of the computers.
Prosecutors said the scheme involved commercial, education and government computer networks. They said Miller tried to sell access to two super computers at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California for $50,000.
MBTA reduces by $1 fare for paratransit service
BOSTON (AP) - The state is reducing fares for the MBTA's door-to-door paratransit service known as The Ride.
The board of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation voted unanimously on Wednesday to reduce the cost from $4 to $3 for most users, starting in early January.
Groups representing seniors and people with disabilities had been fighting for a rollback of fares on The RIDE since they were doubled by the MBTA from $2 to $4 last year, while overall fares on the T were increased by an average 23 percent.
The groups staged protests, including using their wheelchairs to block traffic in front of the Statehouse earlier this year.
The MBTA says it has subsidized nearly the entire cost of The RIDE in past years, leaving it with no choice but to raise fares.
Experts see modest revenue growth in Mass.
BOSTON (AP) - Experts are telling state budget writers to expect modest revenue growth next year, while cautioning that underlying economic conditions remain uncertain.
Michael Widmer, president of the independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, told a Statehouse hearing that his group was forecasting 4.7 percent growth in tax revenues in the fiscal year starting July 1. But he said most of the growth would be eaten up by non-discretionary costs such as Medicaid and pensions.
State Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter projected revenue growth of between 4.3 percent and 5.2 percent over the current year.
Lawmakers and administrative officials will use the forecasts to arrive at a consensus revenue estimate for the next state budget.
Massachusetts treasurer Steven Grossman said while the state's overall fiscal picture is brightening, many families still face economic uncertainty.
US Rep. Tierney pushing bill to rein in bank risks
BOSTON (AP) - Congressman John Tierney is co-sponsoring legislation in the U.S. House that he said will help protect retirees, families and consumers from financial institutions that engage in risky investments.
The Massachusetts Democrat is teaming up with North Carolina Republican Walter Jones to introduce a modern version of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, approved after the stock market crash of 1929. Many of its core provisions were repealed in 1999.
The new bill would separate traditional banks that have savings and checking accounts and are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from riskier financial institutions that offer services such as investment banking, hedge funds and private equity activities.
Tierney said the lack of those regulations helped fuel the nation's most recent financial crisis.
Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Arizona Republican John McCain sponsored a similar bill in the U.S. Senate.
Mass. Gov. Patrick meets with Japan PM Shinzo Abe
BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick is discussing ways to strengthen ties between Massachusetts and Japan with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay) during his trade mission to Asia.
Patrick sat down with Abe in Tokyo on Wednesday. Patrick also met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.
Administration officials said Patrick and Abe talked about the economic and cultural relationship between Massachusetts and Japan.
In 2012, Japan was the third largest export partner to Massachusetts, with the state exporting about $2 billion worth of goods and services. Japan was also the state's 7th largest import partner, with Massachusetts importing $926 million worth of goods and services.
The trade mission also includes stops in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Patrick has said the goal is expanding economic development and job creation in clean tech, life sciences, financial services and transportation.
SCHILLING'S GAMING COMPANY
Auction held for 38 Studios intellectual property
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Bidders have made their final offers on the intellectual property of former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's bankrupt video game company, but the winners have yet to be announced.
Heritage Global Partners auctioned off 38 Studios' assets on Wednesday. The property includes the unfinished game under development in Providence with the help of a $75 million loan guarantee from Rhode Island's economic development agency.
The auction house says the results will be reported once the sales process is completed. 38 Studios receiver Richard Land has said initial bids are being kept confidential.
38 Studios collapsed last year, and the state is responsible for some $90 million related to the deal. The Economic Development Corp. is suing Schilling and others, alleging they knew the company was on course to fail.
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