Woman dies in Rutland house fire
RUTLAND, Mass. (AP) - Authorities say a woman has died in a three-alarm house fire in Rutland and police are looking for a vehicle because they want to question the driver.
Firefighters responded to the home at about 7 a.m. Friday after getting calls from neighbors reporting smoke coming from the structure.
The woman was found on the first floor.
The Telegram & Gazette reports that police put crime scene tape around the home issued a be-on-the-lookout alert for a Toyota Highlander seen in the area because they want to talk to the driver.
Neither the woman's name nor manner of death was released.
Police: Woman found in Worcester was slain
(Information in the following story is from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com )
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - The death of a 20-year-old woman whose body was found on a footpath behind a Worcester home has been ruled a homicide.
The victim was found at about 8 a.m. Wednesday on Suffolk Street.
Police say a positive identification has not yet been made, but they do not think the death was a random act.
The Telegram & Gazette reports that according to court documents, the woman had been beaten and then the body burned.
Dominic Jackson of Worcester is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in connection with the death. Police say although Jackson did not kill the woman, he helped move the body and helped burn it.
It was not clear if he has a lawyer.
The death was the city's ninth homicide of the year.
MASSACHUSETTS GAMBLING-BALLOT QUESTION
Mass. casino foes clear hurdle in repeal effort
BOSTON (AP) - Secretary of State William Galvin says a count has determined that casino foes collected enough certified signatures to continue pursuing a proposed ballot question that would repeal the state's 2011 gambling law.
Galvin said Friday that official certification will be made by his office next week.
The group Repeal the Casino Deal needed to submit at least 68,911 certified signatures by last Wednesday's deadline to proceed with its goal of putting the question on the November 2014 ballot.
No casino licenses have yet been awarded in Massachusetts, though several could be given out by the state gaming commission before next November.
Supporters of repeal also face a significant legal hurdle. They'll have to convince the state's highest court to overturn an earlier ruling by Attorney General Martha Coakley that the proposed question is unconstitutional.
Mother sentenced for urging daughter to fight
(Information in the following story is from: The (Fall River, Mass.) Herald News, http://www.heraldnews.com )
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) - A Fall River mother has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an online video that showed her encouraging her teenage daughter to beat up a younger girl.
Melissa Silvia was sentenced Thursday to serve six months of a one-year jail sentence, with the remainder suspended for two years.
The profanity-laced video, posted on YouTube, shows the 34-year-old Silvia urging her 16-year-old daughter to continue punching the younger girl, and at one point pushing away a man who tries to break up the fight.
The video has since been taken down.
The younger girl, now 14, tells The Herald News that the December 2012 fight was over a comment about a boy she had posted on Silvia's daughter's Facebook page.
Silvia pleaded guilty to charges including assault and battery.
Mass. Gov. Patrick leading trade mission to Asia
BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick is heading off on another trade mission, this time to Asia with planned stops in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Patrick said the goal is to expand economic development and job creation in the clean tech, life sciences, financial services and transportation sectors.
In Japan, Patrick and the delegation plan to visit Kyoto and Tokyo. The trip begins Friday and concludes Dec. 17.
Patrick said that in order for the state to create lasting economic growth it has to compete for jobs on a global playing field.
Patrick said he'll be accompanied by representatives from state government involved in the innovative sector. He's also planning to meet with the prime minister of Japan.
The governor has led several international trade missions in recent years, including trips to Canada, Great Britain, Israel, Brazil, Chile and Colombia.
Northampton nurse agrees to deal in assault case
(Information in the following story is from: Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, Mass.), http://www.gazettenet.com )
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) - A former nurse at a Northampton hospital charged with assaulting a patient has pleaded to sufficient facts in the case, even though he maintains his innocence.
Steven Coughlin on Thursday submitted to facts sufficient for a guilty finding on a charge of assault and battery.
The 27-year-old Coughlin was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation. If he avoids further legal trouble during that time, the case will be dismissed.
Coughlin was fired by Cooley Dickinson Hospital in August after allegedly shoving a patient's head into a metal sink after the patient became belligerent.
Coughlin said the patient fell.
Coughlin told The Daily Hampshire Gazette that based on the expected testimony of witnesses, which he claims is incorrect, accepting the deal seemed the best way to resolve the matter.
Lowell driving instructor faces harassment charges
(Information in the following story is from: The (Lowell, Mass.) Sun, http://www.lowellsun.com )
LOWELL, Mass. (AP) - A 69-year-old driving instructor from Lowell faces charges for allegedly inappropriately touching young female students.
Jose Perregil was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty Thursday to charges of accosting/annoying a person of the opposite sex, assault and battery and criminal harassment. He was ordered not to teach at the Safety First Driving School he co-owns with his wife and to not have unsupervised contact with children under 16.
Prosecutors say he kissed the teenage students' hands, and rubbed legs and arms. He also allegedly asked them inappropriate questions about their sexuality.
The Lowell Sun reports that Perregil's attorney filed a motion to dismiss the charges based on a lack of probable cause. The defense attorney said that while "unsavory," his client's actions were "not unlawful."
Top Westfield State administrator steps down
WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Changes at the top of the Westfield State University administration are continuing.
A school spokesman says the school's vice president for administration and finance Milton Santiago has submitted his resignation.
The resignation comes just weeks after President Evan Dobelle stepped down after some people questioned what they called extravagant travel and spending habits. Dobelle said his spending was to promote the university.
A university spokeswoman says Santiago's resignation less than a year after he was hired was voluntary and the controversy over Dobelle may have been a factor. Trustees last month had asked Santiago to develop a plan to reduce the number of credit cards issued to administrators from 40 to around five and centralize all travel in a single office.
Bocelli visits MIT for adaptive tech workshop
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - Italian classical singer Andrea Bocelli says he might one day get to use the tools for the visually impaired that researchers around the world are developing with support from the foundation that bears his name.
Scientists and engineers working on high-tech tools to help people with low or no vision make their way through the world gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Friday to share some of their projects.
The daylong workshop was organized by MIT and the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, launched in 2011 to focus on poverty, illiteracy and the disabled.
Participants heard an introduction from Bocelli, who was born with congenital glaucoma and lost his sight completely after a childhood accident.
PURPLE HEART RECOVERED
Purple Heart stolen from Taunton widow found
(Information in the following story is from: Taunton (Mass.) Daily Gazette, http://www.tauntongazette.com )
TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) - Taunton police say they have recovered a Purple Heart stolen from the widow of a World War II veteran.
Three people have been charged in connection with the theft of the medal given to military personnel wounded in action and other items stolen from the 86-year-old woman's home on Monday.
The Taunton Daily Gazette reports that all three have been charged with receiving stolen property worth over $250.
Police say they tracked down the band of thieves at a city apartment on Wednesday. When a knock on the door didn't work, police used a battering ram to gain entrance.
Other objects recovered included two historic John F. Kennedy audio records, an antique Kodak camera, a silver cigarette holder and a gold cigarette case.
Boston approves first parking-free condo building
BOSTON (AP) - Boston regulators have approved construction of the city's first condominium complex with no parking for residents' cars.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority on Thursday approved the 15-story, 175-unit building at Lovejoy Wharf in the West End.
In recent years, Mayor Thomas Menino's administration has begun backing away from city requirements that all new residential buildings come with parking spaces.
The developer says parking and transportation demand could be met by surrounding garages and public transit services, including commuter rail and the Green and Orange subway lines.
Some area residents and business owners are skeptical. Scott Nogueira tells The Boston Globe the dearth of parking in the area makes it inhospitable to short-term parkers and visitors who stay overnight and patronize area businesses.
Quincy creche figures recovered
(Information in the following story is from: The (Quincy, Mass.) Patriot Ledger, http://www.patriotledger.com )
QUINCY, Mass. (AP) - The Holy Family has been recovered.
Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus figures stolen from a crèche in Quincy on Thursday were recovered Friday morning.
Capt. John Dougan said the figures were spotted on a dead-end West Quincy street, where they had been left in plain sight.
A lamb figurine that also went missing has not been recovered.
He tells the Patriot Ledger the figures appear to be undamaged.
There was no word on arrests.
The popular near-life sized Nativity display is located at the city-owned Hancock Cemetery, next to the Old City Hall.
PEARL HARBOR-SURVIVING PLANE
Rare Pearl Harbor warplane returning to US
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A Buffalo-built American fighter that's one of the few remaining still-airworthy planes to survive the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is being donated to a Massachusetts-based organization that flies World War II aircraft at living history events across the nation.
Robert Collings of the Stow, Mass.-based Collings Foundation tells The Associated Press Friday that the purchase of the Curtiss P-40B Warhawk from an aviation museum in England was completed this week. He says the plane will be disassembled and shipped to the U.S. He says eventually the plane will fly over Buffalo and other cities, with plans to participate in the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack in 2016.
Collings says a sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous bought the plane for several million dollars and will donate the aircraft to his organization.
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