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

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Massachusetts House to debate abortion clinic bill

BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts House is planning to debate a bill designed to tighten security around abortion clinics.

The bill would let police disperse groups substantially impeding access to abortion clinics. After a dispersal order is issued in writing, those individuals would have to stay at least 25 feet from the clinic's entrances for up to eight hours.

The 25-foot boundary would have to be clearly marked and the new regulations must be posted.

The House is scheduled to debate the bill Wednesday. The Senate approved by the legislation last week.

The bill is a response to the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down a 2007 Massachusetts law that established protest-free 35-foot "buffer zones" around the entrances of abortion clinics.

Abortion opponents have said they would head back to court if the bill is approved.


Arrest linked to gun used after Boston bombings

BOSTON (AP) - A man believed to have provided the gun used by Boston Marathon bombing suspects to kill a university police officer has been arrested on drug and weapon charges.

Stephen Silva made an initial appearance in federal court Tuesday on charges related to heroin trafficking and possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number. He was ordered held until his Aug. 6 bail hearing.

Two people with knowledge of the investigation say the gun is the one that was used to kill Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier during the manhunt for bombing suspects Dzhokhar (joh-HAHR') and Tamerlan Tsarnaev (tsahr-NEYE'-ehv).

Silva is a friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School with him in 2011.

Silva's attorney says he's reviewing evidence in the case.


Teacher slaying suspect in court on assault charge

BOSTON (AP) - A Massachusetts teenager charged with killing his teacher is scheduled to appear in court on unrelated charges that he assaulted a worker at a youth detention facility.

Fifteen-year-old Philip Chism of Danvers is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Suffolk County Juvenile Court.

Chism has been charged with murder in connection with the October death of Danvers High School math teacher Colleen Ritzer.

He was indicted last month for allegedly assaulting a 29-year-old clinician at the Metro Youth Services facility in Boston, where he was being held while awaiting trial in Ritzer's death. Charges include attempted murder by strangulation, assault with intent to murder, kidnapping and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Prosecutors say Chism followed the woman into a bathroom and physically assaulted her.


Massachusetts congressional hopefuls rake in cash

BOSTON (AP) - Candidates in Massachusetts' most closely watched congressional contest are raking in hundreds of thousands in campaign donations as the race heads toward the September primary.

During the past three months, Republican candidate and former state Sen. Richard Tisei (tih-SAY') raised the most - nearly $424,000 - ending June with $820,000 in his campaign account.

Incumbent Democrat Congressman John Tierney collected more than $415,000, bringing his cash total as of June 30 to more than $1.2 million.

Democratic challenger and former U.S. Marine Seth Moulton raised about $414,000 in the past three months, ending June with $791,000 in his account.

Another Democrat, Marisa DeFranco, raised about $11,000 during that past quarter, ending June with $30,000 in her account.

Republicans see the 6th Congressional District as their best hope of picking up a seat in Massachusetts.


Task force collects $15.6M in unpaid wages, taxes

BOSTON (AP) - A multi-agency task force charged with recovering money lost in the underground economy has collected more than $15.6 million.

Massachusetts Labor Secretary Rachel Kaprielian said the money included unpaid wages, back taxes, unemployment insurance premiums, fines and penalties. It was collected through thousands of compliance checks and investigations in 2013.

One investigation the task force participated in focused on two farm labor camps in Western Massachusetts where workers and their families were exposed to unsafe living and toiled long hours with little pay.

In April 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor ordered the company to pay workers $305,500 in back wages and permanently banned it from exploiting future workers.

The task force was created by a 2008 law and has collected nearly $56 million from unlawful businesses by enforcing labor, licensing and tax laws.


Ex-Waltham officer sentenced on child porn charge

BOSTON (AP) - A former Waltham police officer has been sentenced to five years in federal prison on child pornography charges.

Paul Manganelli Jr. was also sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boston to five years of probation and ordered to register as a sex offender.

The 47-year-old Manganelli pleaded guilty in May.

Prosecutors say Manganelli traded child porn via email from December 2011 through March 2013 and had more than 850 images and 40 videos containing child pornography.

Manganelli said he was attempting to identify online sexual predators, but police say he was never assigned or authorized to conduct such investigations and never reported any criminal conduct.

The veteran officer apologized and thanked the FBI agent who arrested him and saved him from "a very dark place."


Death of TV personality ruled natural

(Information in the following story is from: The (New Bedford, Mass.) Standard-Times, )

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (AP) - The Massachusetts medical examiner's office has ruled that former Rhode Island television personality Sheila Martines Pina, who once co-hosted a show with current "Today" host Matt Lauer, died from chronic alcohol abuse.

The medical examiner tells The Standard-Times of New Bedford that the 58-year-old Martines Pina died of natural causes.

Martines Pina was found unresponsive by family in her Dartmouth home in February.

Martines Pina co-hosted "PM Magazine" on WJAR-TV in Providence, Rhode Island, from 1979 until 1988, sharing the anchor desk for part of that time with Lauer.

Martines Pina, who was married to former Bristol District Attorney Ronald Pina, was also the former director of the Bristol County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

She fought a public battle against alcoholism for years and served jail time for drunken driving.


Westfield man dies while scuba diving

MARBLEHEAD, Mass. (AP) - Authorities say a 58-year-old Westfield man has died while scuba diving off the coast of Marblehead.

The Essex district attorney's office says the victim was scallop diving off a moored boat with two other people. The operator of the boat notified the harbormaster at about 10:15 a.m. Tuesday that one of the divers had not resurfaced.

The state police dive team recovered the body in 50 to 60 feet of water at about 2:30 p.m.

The man's name was not immediately made public.

An autopsy is scheduled but the death does not appear suspicious.


Woman steals Revere firefighter's wallet

REVERE, Mass. (AP) - Police are looking for a woman they say walked into a Revere fire station while the firefighters were out battling a blaze, stole a firefighter's wallet, then used his credit card at area stores.

Surveillance video taken July 7 from Revere's Central Fire Station shows the woman walking into the building flanked by two young children.

The entire crew was out, responding to a two-alarm restaurant fire.

The woman took the wallet, which had been left on a window sill in the station to dry after getting wet at a previous fire.

Police say the woman used the firefighter's credit card to run up hundreds of dollars in charges at several stores, including Target and Payless Shoes.

The wallet was recovered with the credit cards inside, but without the cash.


Veterans housing project in Lewiston progresses

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) - A transitional housing program for homeless veterans in Lewiston is scheduled to open this fall, despite some setbacks including a rash of vandalism.

Vincent Perrone, president of Veterans Inc., the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company renovating the former St. Joseph's School, says the facility should be ready for occupants Nov. 1.

The men-only facility will have 20 efficiency apartments with their own bathrooms and kitchens.

Perrone tells the Sun Journal the project was delayed by several instances of vandalism. He says someone was breaking in and breaking windows and damaging the renovations.

Veterans Inc. operates seven other veterans' housing developments in Massachusetts and Vermont.

St. Joseph's School was closed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland in 2006.

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

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