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

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AARON HERNANDEZ

Judge denies Hernandez's request for dismissal

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) - A judge has rejected a motion by lawyers for Aaron Hernandez to dismiss charges stemming from the 2013 slaying of a Boston man whose body was found near the former New England Patriot player's home.

Hernandez's lawyers argued that prosecutors hadn't shown probable cause to sustain the murder charge against Hernandez in the death of Odin Lloyd and hadn't presented any evidence or motive for the slaying.

The Bristol Superior Court judge said in her ruling Thursday that probable cause, and a defendant's guilt, can be established by circumstantial evidence, and prosecutors don't need to prove a motive to secure a murder conviction.

Hernandez is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to killing Lloyd, who was dating Hernandez's fiancee's sister. His trial is scheduled to start Jan. 9.

SUPERMARKET FEUD

Embattled grocery chain weighs proposal to buy it

WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (AP) - Board members of the beleaguered Market Basket grocery store chain say they will "seriously consider" a proposal from its fired chief executive to buy the company as the chain faces a workers' revolt that has paralyzed the stores.

The board issued a statement Friday after meeting to discuss the company's future as thousands of employees protested the firing of a popular chief executive, Arthur T. Demoulas.

For more than a week, warehouse workers have refused to make deliveries to the chain's 71 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Many customers have boycotted the stores in support of the workers.

Arthur T. Demoulas was fired last month by a board controlled by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.

The board said it will evaluate Arthur T's offer, as well as prior offers and future offers.

MASSACHUSETTS PROBATION

GOP sees political fallout from probation verdict

BOSTON (AP) - Republicans hoping to loosen the Democratic party's tight grip on state government say the verdict in the probation department trial points to the dangers of one-party dominance in Massachusetts.

A federal jury on Thursday convicted former probation commissioner John O'Brien and two deputies on charges related to what prosecutors said was a scheme to rig the agency's hiring process to favor politically-connected candidates.

Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker said the verdict was a victory for taxpayers "who deserve better than one-party rule."

Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, who is not seeking re-election, told reporters on Friday that probation hiring procedures were changed several years ago in response to the initial allegations of abuse in the department.

Patrick said it was "enormously important" that people hired for government jobs are qualified for those positions.

LIFEGUARD-PENSION

Officer wants lifeguard time counted for pension

(Information in the following story is from: The Salem (Mass.) News, http://www.salemnews.com )

BOXFORD, Mass. (AP) - A veteran Boxford police officer wants his time working as a lifeguard for a state agency decades ago counted toward his pension.

In a letter to a state appeals board, John Iannazzo said working as a lifeguard for the state in the 1970s and '80s qualifies as a "temporary" job that should be credited toward his retirement.

Adding Iannazzo's lifeguard service, which totals nearly two years, would increase his retirement benefit by 4.6 percent, according to the Essex Regional Retirement System.

The state and regional retirement systems have turned down Iannazzo's request, but he has appealed to the state's Contributory Retirement Appeal Board.

A state lawmaker supporting Iannazzo tells The Salem News there is precedent for the request.

HOSPITAL CONSOLIDATION-OPPOSITION

Experts ask judge to block hospital takeover

BOSTON (AP) - A petition signed by 21 antitrust experts and health economists asks a Massachusetts judge to block efforts by the state's biggest health care system to absorb three more hospitals.

The Partners HealthCare System's planned takeovers of South Shore Hospital and two Hallmark Health System hospitals have been approved by Attorney General Martha Coakley under certain conditions.

The Boston Globe reports that the petition signed by antitrust specialists, many from major U.S. universities, says the deal is unlikely to contain rising medical costs as intended. They say they consider the Partners case a high-profile test of regulators' ability to promote competition in a market dominated by a powerful hospital and physicians' network.

None has a financial stake in the deal.

A Suffolk Superior Court judge is currently weighing whether to approve the agreement.

SUPERINTENDENT-UNCREDITED SPEECH

Superintendent docked over plagiarism allegation

NEWTON, Mass. (AP) - The superintendent of Newton's public schools has been docked a week's pay for failing to credit Gov. Deval Patrick in graduation speeches at the city's two public high schools.

The questionable passages became public Wednesday, when the Newton South High School student newspaper called attention to passages from David Fleishman's June 9 remarks at the school's commencement ceremony similar to the governor's speech to Boston University graduates in May.

Fleishman delivered a similar speech to Newton North High graduates June 10.

Fleishman tells The Boston Globe he heard excerpts of Patrick's graduation speech on the radio, but did not review a written transcript when he wrote his speech, but admitted making a "mistake."

His punishment came a week after Mansfield's superintendent resigned over commencement speech plagiarism allegations.

EGG ASSAULT

2 teens sentenced for egging undercover officer

(Information in the following story is from: The (Lynn, Mass.) Daily Item, http://itemlive.com )

LYNN, Mass. (AP) - Two Swampscott teenagers charged with throwing eggs at an undercover Lynn police officer posing as a prostitute have admitted to sufficient facts for a guilty finding on an assault and battery charge.

Jacob Finlay and Spencer Webber, both 19, were sentenced Thursday to a year of probation. The Daily Item v ) reports the charges will be dismissed if they successfully complete probation.

A third teen involved is scheduled in court on Aug. 26.

Prosecutors say in June 2013 the teens were in a car that made several passes, yelling and throwing things at the officer. On the fourth pass, the officer was hit in the leg with an egg. The car was pulled over on a fifth pass.

Finlay's lawyer says his client is remorseful. Webber's lawyer refused comment.

THUMB BITTEN

Pittsfield man convicted of biting roomie's thumb

(Information in the following story is from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.com )

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A Pittsfield man has been convicted of nearly completely biting off his roommate's thumb during a fight over bathroom use.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that 57-year-old Michael Mensah was convicted Thursday of assault and battery causing serious bodily injury. He faces sentencing Friday. He was acquitted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Police say when they responded to their apartment on Feb. 11, Stephen Quam came to the door with the top of his thumb hanging by a tendon.

The 61-year-old Quam testified that it could not be re-attached and doctors removed it. He showed his disfigured thumb to the jury.

The fight started when both men wanted to use the bathroom at the same time.

Mensah's attorney said Quam was the aggressor and his client acted in self-defense.

KENNAMETAL-MASSACHUSETTS

Greenfield plant plans $5M upgrade

GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A high-tech metalworking tool manufacturer in Greenfield has announced a nearly $5 million upgrade that is expected to bring 70 new jobs to the region.

Kennametal Inc. plans to invest $3.4 million immediately on upgrades to the plant, equipment and machinery, as well as another $1.25 million over the next four years.

Greenfield Mayor William Martin tells The Recorder the 70 jobs the company plans to add will provide an average income of $75,000 per year.

The Town Council approved a property tax break for the company in May in hopes of enticing it to choose Greenfield for its upgrade plans.

Latrobe, Pennsylvania-based Kennametal bought the Greenfield Tap and Die plant in 1997. Greenfield Tap and Die was founded in 1912.

KENNEL CLUB THEFT

Ex-Cape Cod dog club official jailed for stealing

(Information in the following story is from: Cape Cod (Mass.) Times, http://www.capecodonline.com )

BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) - The former treasurer of the Cape Cod Kennel Club has been sentenced to six months in jail for stealing more than $62,000 from the organization.

Cynthia Savoia pleaded guilty Thursday in Barnstable Superior Court to falsifying entries into books and larceny of more than $250.

She was sentenced to serve six months of a two-year sentence, with the balance suspended during 10 years of probation for the larceny charge, with a concurrent six-month sentence on the falsifying books charge. She was also ordered to pay full restitution.

The Cape Cod Times reports that Savoia's attorney said his 43-year-old client experienced financial difficulties after her mother died and was "embarrassed and ashamed."

The club, which holds dog shows and provides training, is primarily supported through donations.

USOC-2024

City leaders talk 2024 with US Olympic Committee

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - City leaders from Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington have met with top executives at the U.S. Olympic Committee to hear about the nuts and bolts of bidding for the 2024 Olympics.

Among those attending Friday were Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Giants owner Larry Baer was among those representing San Francisco, and bid chairman Russ Ramsey was there for Washington.

These were low-key meetings, in keeping with the USOC's overall strategy as it decides whether to bid for 2024 and, if so, which city would have the best chance of winning.

The USOC will decide whether to bid by early next year. The Olympics will be awarded in 2017.

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

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