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

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Deal reached to sell supermarket chain to ex-CEO

TEWKSBURY, Mass. (AP) - A New England supermarket chain that has been in turmoil for weeks over a workers' revolt and customer boycott has announced that the former CEO is buying the company from rival relatives.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, Market Basket said CEO Arthur T. Demoulas would be returning to the company. He was ousted in June by a board of directors controlled by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas. Hundreds of warehouse workers and drivers refused to deliver food to the chain's stores, leading to empty shelves and millions in lost revenue.

Arthur T. Demoulas reportedly made a $1.5 billion offer to buy out the part of the company his cousin controls. The purchase is expected to be completed within several months.

Market Basket has 71 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.


Democratic candidates say they oppose pipeline

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - All three Democratic candidates for governor say they oppose a plan to expand a natural gas pipeline through northwestern Massachusetts.

Steve Grossman, Donald Berwick and Martha Coakley said they couldn't support Kinder Morgan's proposed $3.75 billion natural gas pipeline, which would run about 250-miles from upstate New York to the town of Dracut along the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border.

During a debate on WWLP-TV Wednesday, the three said they would push to expand the state's reliance on renewable energy, including solar, wind and hydroelectric power.

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey also oppose the project.

Kinder Morgan spokesman Richard Wheatley has said the projected pipeline's route, size and capacity are still not finalized.

During the hour-long debate, the candidates were also quizzed on public safety, casinos and marijuana legalization.

The primary is Sept. 9


Coakley: I'll spend $500M to aid state's economy

BOSTON (AP) - Democratic candidate for governor Martha Coakley is pledging to make $500 million in funding available over the next decade to help speed up economic growth across the state.

Coakley said Wednesday that $400 million would be available for major infrastructure projects. Another $100 million would be used for grants to businesses and nonprofit groups to help identify economic development strategies.

Coakley said the grants would be designed to promote collaborations between high schools, colleges, workforce development agencies and businesses.

She said the grants would have specific goals such as the number of jobs created, workers trained, or revenue generated.

Coakley said she modeled her proposal after Gov. Deval Patrick's 10-year, $1 billion life sciences initiative.

She said she'd pay for the plan in part by "streamlining existing revenue streams and allocating new revenue where necessary."


Ad war heating up in Massachusetts governor's race

BOSTON (AP) - The sharp elbows are coming out in the Massachusetts governor's race.

On Wednesday, a super PAC supporting Republican candidate Charlie Baker unveiled a television ad targeting Democrat Martha Coakley.

The 30-second spot faults Coakley for underestimating the state's gas tax during a television appearance while supporting last year's decision to hike the tax by 3 cents to 24 cents a gallon, the first increase since 1991.

Coakley also opposes a ballot question which would repeal a law automatically linking future hikes in the tax to inflation.

The Commonwealth Future Political Action Committee is funded largely by the Republican Governors Association.

Coakley quickly posted a 30-second online video accusing Baker of being "at the center of one of the biggest boondoggles in history" referring to his time in state government during the Big Dig project.


Tribe responds to state suit against casino plan

BOSTON (AP) - An American Indian tribe has responded to a legal challenge filed by the state as it seeks to build a casino on a remote part of Martha's Vineyard.

The Aquinnah Wampanoags (ah-KWIN'-uh wahm-puh-NOH'-ags), in a series of legal briefs filed late Wednesday, argue that they never could have waived their sovereign immunity, including the right to establish a casino, as the state claims in its lawsuit.

The tribe says it was not a federally-recognized tribe in 1983, when its members reached a land accord with the state, the town of Aquinnah and a local taxpayer group for more than 400 acres on Martha's Vineyard.

The Aquinnah Wampanoag, who trace their lineage to the original inhabitants of the island some 10,000 years ago, did not earn federal recognition until 1987.


Boston suspect's sister charged in NY bomb threat

NEW YORK (AP) - Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehvz) sister has been accused of threatening to bomb a New York City woman and has been arrested.

Police say Ailina Tsarnaeva (tsahr-neye-EH'-vuh) made the threat via telephone Monday and turned herself in Wednesday. She's charged with aggravated harassment.

Police say the North Bergen, New Jersey, resident is due in court Sept. 30.

Tsarnaeva has been required to check in with Massachusetts probation officers since last October after prosecutors say she didn't cooperate with a counterfeiting investigation. Her lawyer in that case hasn't returned a message seeking comment. A working home phone number for her can't be found.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is charged in the April 2013 marathon explosions, which killed three people. He has pleaded not guilty. His brother died after a gunbattle with police.


Priest pleads not guilty to embezzlement charges

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

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest has pleaded not guilty to stealing more than $230,000 from the parish where he served as pastor.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports that the Rev. Stephen Gemme was arraigned Wednesday on five counts of larceny by a common scheme over $250. The thefts from St. Bernadette in Northborough allegedly were to support a gambling habit.

Gemme was released on personal recognizance and returns to court Oct. 7. He was indicted last week.

The Worcester Diocese announced last October that Gemme had stolen from two accounts since 2008. Bishop Robert McManus said then that Gemme acknowledged a gambling problem and resigned. He was granted a medical leave of absence.

The bishop said parishioners should remember all the good Gemme has done. Gemme had been appointed to the parish in 2003.


Suffolk University names new interim president

BOSTON (AP) - Suffolk University has named veteran educator Norman Smith as its new interim president, replacing James McCarthy.

The board of trustees announced the change Wednesday, saying McCarthy is leaving to pursue consulting and business opportunities.

Smith is president emeritus of Wagner College and a former president of Dowling College in New York.

Board Chairman Andrew Myers said in the announcement, "we believe that Dr. Smith is the right choice at the right time" and is "uniquely suited" to continue a plan "to build on Suffolk's long and rich history of academic excellence."

Myers told The Boston Globe that McCarthy's departure is amicable. The Globe reported McCarthy, who had a year left on his contract, will receive a modest severance package.

The private university has been working to stabilize its finances and attract more students.


High surf advisory for Massachusetts, Rhode Island

BOSTON (AP) - Hurricane Cristobal is moving far off the New England coast but its impact is expected on south-facing ocean beaches in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The National Weather Service has issued an advisory for high surf of 6 to 12 feet and rip currents on the southern coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the nearby islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

The advisory extends from Wednesday night through at least 8 p.m. Thursday.

The weather service is warning people in those areas to stay well away from any possible splash-over from the large waves, since people can easily be swept away by the rough water. Shoreline rocks are another hazard for anyone falling into the rough surf.

The storm is expected to pass northwest of Bermuda and continue moving northeastward in the Atlantic.

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

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