After ruling, Massachusetts bans 'upskirt' photos
BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill prohibiting "upskirt" photos of women.
Patrick's office said the governor signed the measure Friday, two days after the state's highest court ruled that a man who took cellphone photos up the skirts of female subway passengers in Boston wasn't violating state law as it's written.
The House and Senate responded by quickly passing legislation to make it illegal to take photographs of the "sexual or other intimate parts" of women or children in public.
The law, which takes effect immediately, would punish "upskirting" with a maximum penalty of two-and-a-half years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
The maximum penalties would increase to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine if the victim is a child.
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. It is intended to protect fans from pucks that fly over the glass.
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.
Mass. eyes states with functioning health websites
BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts health care officials struggling to repair the state's hobbled website are looking at the possibility of leasing or buying technology from states with functioning insurance sites.
Massachusetts Health Connector officials said Friday that looking for solutions from other states is just one of four options being weighed.
Others include forging ahead with the current website contractor CGI Group, looking for a new vendor, or scrapping the website and starting over.
Despite the website troubles, officials say they are making progress whittling down the backlog of people looking to sign up for health insurance.
Officials warn that March could be a busy month.
The deadline to sign up or risk fees for those seeking non-subsidized insurance plans is March 31. Those seeking subsidized plans in Massachusetts have until June 30.
CHILD CARE-SEX ABUSE
Mass. child sex abuse suspect taken to hospital
BOSTON (AP) - A Wakefield man charged with sexually abusing 13 children at his wife's day care center, who once offered to undergo castration in exchange for a lenient sentence, has been taken from jail to a hospital.
The Middlesex sheriff says John Burbine was found by guards making morning rounds at 8 a.m. Friday in his cell "in need of emergency medical attention."
Burbine's lawyer tells The Boston Globe it appears as if Burbine tried to hang himself.
Prosecutors allege that between August 2010 and August 2012, Burbine molested children ranging from 8 days to 3½ years old at his wife's unlicensed day care.
He has pleaded not guilty and is being held on $1 million bail.
Prosecutors rejected the castration offer.
Burbine was already a convicted sex offender when charged.
CAR STRIKES POLE
Woman dies in North Adams crash
(Information in the following story is from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.com )
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (AP) - Police say a North Adams woman has died after her van crashed into a utility pole in the city.
Police Director Michael Cozzaglio says 56-year-old Deborah Pierce was ejected from the vehicle van after she struck the pole near the Hillside Cemetery on West Main Street shortly after 6:30 a.m. Friday.
Cozzaglio tells The Berkshire Eagle she died on impact.
He says speed appears to be a factor.
SA section of the street was closed during the investigation and to fix the pole.
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.
Police say 55-year-old David Gartland of Cambridge was struck on the northbound side of the highway at about 8:40 p.m. Thursday.
He was taken to a Lynn hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Preliminary investigation suggests Gartland was struck as he was walking in the center lane.
The SUV that struck Gartland stopped at the scene and no charges have been filed.
The death, including why the victim was walking in the highway, remain under investigation.
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.
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.
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.
Kindergartners wander away from Fall River school
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) - Fall River school officials are investigating after two kindergarten students wandered away from a city elementary school in the middle of the day without proper winter attire.
The girls were found wandering the neighborhood less than an hour after they were noticed missing Wednesday from the Mary Fonseca Elementary School. They were unharmed.
The sister of one of the girls noticed they were missing.
School Principal Teri White said in a note to parents that the children "decided to leave school" following lunch and even told classmates, but nobody thought to notify an adult.
Keri Lafleur, the mother of one girl, told WCVB-TV she was "furious" when she found out her daughter was missing.
Superintendent Meg Mayo-Brown and Mayor Will Flanagan say they are investigating.
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