Court approves 2nd lawyer to help Bulger's appeal
BOSTON (AP) - A federal judge has approved a second taxpayer-funded lawyer to help with convicted Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger's (BUHL'-jurz) appeal.
The 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals approved a request Wednesday from Bulger's lawyer, Henry Brennan, to hire James Budreau.
The Boston Globe reports that in granting permission to hire Budreau, Judge Juan R. Torruella cited the apparent difficulty of the appeal.
Bulger's assets have been seized by the federal government, and a number of people whose relatives were killed by him have won multimillion-dollar judgments against him.
The 84-year-old Bulger was sentenced in November to two consecutive life sentences plus five years. A jury in August found him guilty in 11 of the 19 killings with which he was charged, along with dozens of other crimes.
Man struck, killed by vehicle on Route 1 in Saugus
SAUGUS, Mass. (AP) - State police say a man walking along U.S. Route 1 in Saugus has been struck and killed by a vehicle.
The victim was struck on the northbound side of the highway at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
He was taken to a Lynn hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The vehicle stopped at the scene.
No names were released and the death remains under investigation.
DA defends decision not to prosecute in fatality
TENANTS HARBOR, Maine (AP) - A prosecutor in Maine is defending his decision not to bring charges against the driver of a car that went out of a control and killed a 9-year-old Massachusetts boy last summer.
Knox County District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau explained his reasoning at a public meeting Thursday.
Authorities say a car driven by 61-year-old Nancy Torgerson of New York City accelerated suddenly in the Port Clyde village of St. George on Aug. 11, striking several vehicles as well as four people. Dylan Gold of Cohasset, Mass., died.
His mother, brother, and a 68-year-old local man were hurt.
Rushlau told about 50 people there's not enough evidence to prove negligence. Alcohol was not involved and Torgerson wasn't tested for drugs.
Torgerson said her accelerator jammed, but no mechanical problems were found.
Springfield man convicted of killing girlfriend
(Information in the following story is from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/ )
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A Springfield man has been convicted of fatally stabbing his girlfriend hours after she celebrated her 25th birthday.
The Republican reports that Jose Santiago was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Thursday after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder for killing Jessica Rojas in March 2012.
The defense did not dispute that the 32-year-old Santiago killed Rojas, but asked for a not guilty verdict because he was extremely intoxicated at the time and did not have the ability to form the intent necessary under the law for a person to be convicted of murder.
Rojas, a mother of four, was studying criminal justice in college and had just started a job she loved at the city Law Department when she was slain.
Sen. Markey to discuss drug abuse crisis in Mass.
HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is planning to join Congressman Richard Neal and Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse to discuss heroin and prescription drug abuse in western Massachusetts.
Markey is planning to speak on what he's calling the drug abuse crisis at a noon press conference Friday at the Holyoke Health Center.
Markey is calling for expanding the use of drug treatments to prevent opiate overdose deaths and for mobilizing federal funding to expand detox treatment.
On Thursday, Markey introduced legislation in the Senate designed to protect individuals who administer lifesaving opioid overdose prevention drugs from lawsuits.
Markey said the willingness of medical and non-medical personnel to administer the overdose drugs naloxone - more commonly known by the brand name Narcan - can be deterred by the fear of potential civil liability.
Peabody cleaning contractor ordered to pay $1M
BOSTON (AP) - A federal court has ordered a Peabody cleaning contractor to pay $1 million in back pay and damages to its workers for violating federal wage laws.
The U.S. Department of Labor says Ward's Cleaning Service Inc. went to great lengths to avoid paying its workers overtime, including directing employees to use multiple timecards with different names, altering timecards, paying employees with checks made out to false names, and paying employees in cash.
Ward's, which provides night cleaning crews, housekeepers and dishwashers to about 85 hotels and restaurants in the Boston area, was also ordered to pay a nearly $164,000 penalty.
The money will go to 149 employees, ranging from $40 to $43,000 apiece.
Ward's said it has since replaced scheduling staff and changed the way it pays workers.
Texas financial firm worker gets prison for fraud
DALLAS (AP) - An employee of a Dallas-based financial firm has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for trying to embezzle nearly $1.3 million.
A federal judge in Dallas on Thursday sentenced Steven Chen Yu of Allen to 51 months behind bars. Yu, who last July pleaded guilty to wire fraud, must also pay $365,000 in restitution.
Prosecutors say Yu was working for Hudson Advisors LLC when he diverted funds by submitting duplicate invoices for work already paid for on behalf of a Hudson executive, such as landscaping and boat repairs. The case goes back to 2009.
Investigators say Yu also diverted funds and made an advance "estimated tax payments" for future state income taxes in Massachusetts - then sought a refund.
Yu must report to prison next month.
OPTICAL PLANT CLOSING
NE Pa. optical plant to close, lay off 145 workers
SIMPSON, Pa. (AP) - An optical firm has announced plans to close a northeastern Pennsylvania plant this fall, laying off all 145 workers.
Essilor of America spokeswoman Kristan Willingham told The (Scranton) Times-Tribune that Gentex Optics Inc. will close the Fell Township plant in October.
Gentex Optics is a subsidiary of Essilor International, a French company that is the world's largest producer of eyeglass lenses.
Willingham said such decisions are not made lightly, but "the facility is no longer competitive." Operations are to continue through September.
She said workers at the factory, which makes lenses for eyewear, were notified Wednesday and Thursday, and officials are working to help them find other jobs.
Carbondale Mayor Justin Taylor said he was told that Essilor will transfer the work to a plant in Massachusetts.
2 Bruins fans injured by falling pole after game
BOSTON (AP) - Authorities say two young women suffered minor injuries when a metal pole holding up protective netting behind one of the goals at the TD Garden fell and struck them after a Boston Bruins game.
The netting fell at about 9:40 p.m. Thursday after the Bruins 3-0 win over the Washington Capitals.
A private ambulance service took the women to the hospital as a precaution, but their injuries are not considered life threatening.
No names were released but police say both women were in their 20s.
What caused the netting to fall is unclear.
The netting is intended to protect fans from pucks that fly over the glass.
HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE-LOCAL FOOD
Hampshire College center will support local food
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) - Hampshire College is building a new center that will help teach students the importance of eating locally grown food.
The western Massachusetts college serves food grown mostly at local farms or on its 15-acre campus farm that has cows, pigs and even hens.
The Center for New England Food and Agriculture will offer apprenticeships, internships and a collaborative research program that will focus on sustainability and exploring better ways to produce and consume locally grown food.
As part of its 100% Local Food Challenge the school aims to get all its food from sources within a 150-mile radius, except for coffee and citrus that aren't grown nearby.
The new center was funded by a $240,000 grant from the Lydia B. Stokes Foundation.
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