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

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Boston mayor objects to casino licensing process

BOSTON (AP) - Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh's administration is calling on the state's top gambling regulator to recuse himself from the casino licensing process in eastern Massachusetts.

In a letter Thursday, the administration accused Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby of making "prejudicial" statements critical of the city's request to be declared a host community for proposed casinos in nearby Everett and Revere.

Walsh's administration also objects to a May 1 hearing in which the commission is likely to rule on the request. It says the hearing violates the city's due process rights.

If granted host community status, Boston residents would have an opportunity to vote on casino proposals by Mohegan Sun in Revere and Wynn in Everett.

A commission spokeswoman said it remains focused on implementing the casino law in a "transparent and fair" manner.


Prosecutor: Body fits description of missing boy

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - Authorities say a child's body has been found off a Massachusetts highway and it matches the height and weight of a 5-year-old boy who has been missing for seven months.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said Friday the body found in Sterling has not been positively identified as Jeremiah Oliver, of Fitchburg. He says that won't happen until after an autopsy by the state medical examiner. He says the death appears to be a homicide.

Jeremiah was last seen by relatives in September but wasn't reported missing until December. The family was being monitored by state social workers at the time.

Jeremiah's mother has been held on bail since pleading not guilty in March to charges including kidnapping, assault and battery and reckless endangerment. Her boyfriend pleaded not guilty to similar charges.


Survivors keep busy as Boston Marathon approaches

BOSTON (AP) - Survivors of last year's twin bombings at the Boston Marathon say they have mixed feelings as the race day approaches.

Celeste Corcoran and Heather Abbott say the days leading up to the race have been filled with public appearances, media interviews and gatherings with friends and family.

But, speaking at an event Friday evening a few blocks from the marathon finish line, they said the busy schedule is a welcome "distraction" from thinking about how much has changed in a year.

On race day, Corcoran, of Lowell, says she'll use her new running 'blades' as she joins her sister, who's running the full marathon, as she crosses the finish line.

Abbott, of Newport, R.I., says she'll be using her new running blade to cross the finish line with a woman who helped her after last year's race.


Patrick signs law creating 'Boston Strong' plate

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts drivers will soon have an opportunity to purchase a "Boston Strong" license plate.

Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday signed into law a bill creating the specialty plate. Proceeds from sales of the $50 plate will help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

The phrase "Boston Strong" became popular after the April 15, 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260.

Along with those words, the plate will include a design showing support for those most affected by the bombing.

Proceeds from the sales will go to the One Fund, which is providing financial assistance to injured survivors of the bombing and the families of those killed.

If the One Fund is later dissolved, proceeds would then go to another nonprofit organization that helps the victims.


Ortiz want to visit Marathon finish line Monday

BOSTON (AP) - David Ortiz wants to visit the Boston Marathon finish line Monday after the Red Sox are done with their Patriots' Day game against Baltimore.

Just over a year ago, two bombs went off near the finish line, less than a mile from Fenway Park, about an hour after the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured.

"After the game, we used to stick around and go down Boylston (Street)," Ortiz said Friday. "I'm going to pick out a spot where I can see things, or whatever, because I love to go down there."

Boston plays the Orioles on Monday in its traditional 11 a.m. Patriots' Day start.


Remembering an officer slain after bombs went off

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - Family members and friends of the police officer authorities say was killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects are honoring him a year later.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Sean Collier worked and died, held a remembrance ceremony Friday and unveiled plans for a permanent memorial.

He was recalled as a young officer quick with a helping hand.

Collier's sister says he adored the Boston Celtics, taught young people to box and helped out at a homeless shelter.

He was shot and killed in his cruiser days after the bombing. Investigators say the bombing suspects shot him while trying to take his gun. He was 26.

Team Collier Strong is a group of 25 friends and family members who will run the marathon to raise money for a scholarship fund named for Collier.


Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors

BOSTON (AP) - The 2014 Boston Marathon could bring an unprecedented wave of visitors and an influx of tourism dollars to the area.

The memory of last year's bombings has elevated interest in one of the world's greatest races, and the field of runners has greatly expanded.

One clear sign is hotel bookings. An official says they are the strongest since the race's centennial in 1996.

The booking agency for the Boston Athletic Association is working with hotels south and west of the city to help meet demand.

Tourism officials expect this year's marathon will generate more than $175 million in economic activity over about five days. That's up from previous year projections of $130 million to $140 million.


Bryant U. cracks down on selfies at graduation

BOSTON (AP) - Rhode Island's Bryant University is asking students to resist the urge to take selfies with its president while receiving their diplomas.

University President Ronald Machtley (MAYK'-lee) says students ask him to take selfies on the Smithfield campus all the time.

But he says having more than 800 students snap photos with him as they get their degrees will slow down the already hours-long ceremony. He says he'd be happy to take some photos afterward.

Students will be able to take photos until the start of the May 17 graduation and post them to a new website hosted by the university.

Senior and Worcester (WUS'-tur), Massachusetts, native Ali Luthman says some students might be upset about the no selfies rule but "no one is crying about it."


Lynn teen faces murder charge after friend shot

LYNN, Mass. (AP) - Prosecutors have charged a Lynn teenager with murder, not because he allegedly killed someone, but because he was the purported accomplice of another teen fatally shot by the victim of an attempted robbery.

Seventeen-year-old Jahleel Sanders Williams was held without bail after pleading not guilty Thursday in Lynn District Court. Because of the charge, he was arraigned as an adult.

Prosecutors say Williams and 18-year-old Amoy Blake tried to rob a 20-year-old man Wednesday.

Blake held a gun to the victim's head. The victim shot and killed Blake.

The gun was legally owned and the victim wasn't charged because prosecutors determined he acted in self-defense.

Prosecutors say because Williams participated in the armed robbery, he is criminally liable for the death that occurred during the commission of that felony.

Williams' lawyer had no comment.


Man arrested for DUI with 7-year-old in vehicle

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Massachusetts man police say was driving over 90 miles an hour with an unrestrained 7-year-old in his vehicle has been charged with driving under the influence and reckless driving.

State police said Friday troopers responded to a three-vehicle crash on Interstate-195 westbound on Thursday. They say 42-year-old Luis Manuel Medeiros of Fall River was seen driving erratically and lost control and hit a tractor-trailer in Seekonk. He kept driving and later hit another vehicle in East Providence, causing it to crash into a third vehicle.

Authorities said Medeiros appeared intoxicated and was arrested after failing field sobriety tests. The boy was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The Massachusetts Department of Social Services took custody of him.

A phone number for Medeiros couldn't be found.


Teacher in chair-throwing incident not punished

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

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts teacher who was told she could lose her job for failing to report that a student threw a chair at her won't be punished.

New Bedford Superintendent Pia Durkin said after a hearing Thursday that the "incident should have been reported in a more timely manner" but "was handled reasonably under the circumstances."

An 18-year-old student threw a chair at high school teacher Joanne Maura last month after she confiscated his cellphone. The chair didn't strike her.

The administration told her she could be fired because she failed to report it. Maura says she reported it almost immediately.

The Standard-Times reports that Maura had no comment after the hearing, but a teacher's union representative said she was relieved.

The student was expelled and faces criminal charges.


Springfield police say heroin dealer arrested.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A Springfield man police say was selling 1,000 bags of heroin per week in his neighborhood has been arrested.

Police say tipsters told investigators that Christopher Burgos would leave his home in the Liberty Heights neighborhood on foot at all hours of the day and night and make heroin deliveries to customers waiting on side streets.

Police staked out the home and followed the 29-year-old Burgos on Thursday morning. They allegedly witnessed him selling heroin.

He was arrested on charges of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of Suboxone with intent to distribute, and resisting arrest.

Police say he was in possession of 100 bags of heroin and more than $4,000 in cash.

He's scheduled to be arraigned Friday. It was not known if he has a lawyer.


Gov. Patrick signs transportation funding bill

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a $12.8 billion transportation bond bill that could help trigger construction on several high-profile transportation projects.

The bill lets the state borrow money for a range of ideas, many of which have been on the drawing board for years, including a $2.3 billion expansion of commuter rail service to the South Coast.

The bill also authorizes $325 million for improvements to Boston's South Station, and calls for the rail hub to be renamed The Governor Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center in honor of the former governor.

The bill also includes up to $1.3 billion to extend the MBTA's Green Line to Medford, and $2.5 billion to purchase new Red Line and Orange Line trains.

The bill would also increase penalties for MBTA fare evaders.


Rare sighting of bowhead whale in Cape Cod Bay

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. (AP) - Researchers have identified a bowhead whale in Cape Cod Bay - the second time in recorded history the animal has been seen so far south in the Atlantic Ocean.

Workers for the Provincetown, Mass.-based Center for Coastal Studies reported Friday the bowhead was identified during an aerial survey on April 11 as it fed alongside right whales.

Bowheads typically inhabit the Arctic Ocean and northern reaches of the Atlantic and Pacific. The center said the whale was about 1,000 miles outside of its normal range. Even sightings in the colder waters off Maine or New Hampshire are unusual.

The center said the animal was not in danger.

The first time a bowhead was spotted so far south in the Atlantic was in 2012 off Orleans, Mass.

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

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