PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island National Guard unit has been deployed to the Middle East to support Operation Spartan Shield. The Guard announced Monday that 115th Military Police Company had been deployed as part of a scheduled rotation of deployments overseas. According to a news release by the Guard, the company will conduct standard military police missions in southwest Asia. In 2017, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army described the operation as an attempt to discourage regional aggression and stabilize the region. According to a post on the Army website in 2017, spartan shield is a “combined forces contingency operation.”

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - MGM has named a new executive to lead its Massachusetts casino. The Las Vegas-based company announced Tuesday that Chris Kelley will serve as president and chief operating officer of MGM Springfield.  Kelley previously served as president of MGM Northfield Park in Ohio and vice president of MGM Grand Detroit. He replaces Michael Mathis, who shepherded the $960-million, 14-acre downtown Springfield hotel, casino and entertainment complex through its development, construction and opening in August 2018. The announcement comes as MGM Springfield continues to struggle to meet its lofty revenue projections.

BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Charlie Baker said he wants to dramatically reduce the state's reliance on polluting fuels while expanding housing and upgrading the state's public transportation system. Baker outlined his goals for the new year during his State of the Commonwealth address at the Massachusetts Statehouse. The Republican set a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in his speech Tuesday. Baker said he wants to continue improvements to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. He also pressed lawmakers to ease local zoning laws calling them the “wall between the well off and the up and coming" for those seeking housing.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Boston man has pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to cheat senior citizens out of cash by pretending to be a relative who's in jail and needs bail money. Federal prosecutors say 32-year-old Julio Feliciano pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Prosecutors say Feliciano and his accomplices used fake names to contact senior citizens in several states to tell them that cash payments ranging from $7,000 to $9,500 were required to secure the release of their relative. The victims were asked to send the cash to addresses in Rhode Island, where Feliciano would pick them up.

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