News Minute: Here is the latest Massachusetts news from The Associated Press - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

News Minute: Here is the latest Massachusetts news from The Associated Press

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BOSTON (AP) - Governor Deval Patrick has nominated Supreme Judicial Court Justice Ralph Gants to serve as the chief justice of the state's highest court. If confirmed by the governor's council, Gants would succeed Roderick Ireland, who announced last month that he plans to retire in July. Patrick says Gants understands the need for the law to be fair and make sense in people's lives.

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts gained more than 8,000 jobs, with state labor officials saying the state's jobless rate also dropped, to 6.3 percent. State officials say Massachusetts has now seen a net gain of more than 50,000 jobs since March of last year.

BOSTON (AP) - An associate of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has appeared in federal court in Orlando, Florida, on charges in a gun trafficking investigation related to Hernandez's Massachusetts murder case. Oscar Hernandez Jr. was indicted yesterday in Boston. He is not related to Aaron Hernandez, who is charged in the June shooting death of Odin Lloyd.

BOSTON (AP) - A federally-funded watchdog group is looking into inmate treatment at Bridgewater State Hospital's psychiatric prison. The Boston Globe reports lawyers from the Disability Law Center arrived at the prison this week. The investigation comes in the wake of reports guards and clinicians are illegally putting mentally ill inmates and patients into physical restraints and isolation cells.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A judge says the testimony of two jailhouse informants can be used in the trial of a North Adams man accused in the slayings of three Pittsfield men. The Berkshire Eagle reports David Chalue (shuh-LOO') is slated to face trial later this month in the 2011 killings.

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