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

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Wynn's $1.6B resort wins Boston casino license

BOSTON (AP) - Wynn Resorts has bested Mohegan Sun for the lucrative Boston-area casino license.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted Tuesday afternoon to award the license to the Las Vegas casino giant for its proposed $1.6 billion resort casino on a former chemical plant in Everett. Connecticut-based Mohegan Sun had proposed $1.1 billion casino at the Suffolk Downs horse racing track in Revere.

The decision came after Wynn earlier Tuesday conceded to a number of significant changes the commission made on the plan, including re-designing its 27-story hotel tower and paying more toward plans to address traffic through Sullivan Square in Boston.

Commissioners, in their support of the Wynn project, noted that Wynn promised to offer higher salaries to casino workers and proposed spending more in hard construction costs than Mohegan Sun.


Ex-chief in Uzi death case in more legal trouble

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (AP) - A former Massachusetts police chief who was acquitted of charges connected to the death in 2008 of an 8-year-old boy at a gun show he sponsored is facing more legal trouble.

Former Pelham Chief Edward Fleury is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and carrying a firearm while intoxicated after allegedly pointing a loaded gun at a friend outside a Belchertown VFW post last month.

Fleury was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty last week. He could not be reached and his lawyer refused comment.

The 57-year-old Fleury was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges connected to the death of 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj (buh-SEEL') of Ashford, Connecticut, who accidentally shot himself with an Uzi at a gun show in Westfield sponsored by Fleury's firearms training company.


Pilot hurt in Berkley plane crash

BERKLEY, Mass. (AP) - Authorities say a pilot was injured when a small plane crashed in Berkley.

The Taunton Daily Gazette reports that the plane crashed at Myricks Airport at about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.

The plane was upright and nose first in some woods to the side of the grass airfield.

Police told the paper the pilot was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.


Coakley, Baker exchange jabs on early ed costs

BOSTON (AP) - Democratic candidate for governor Martha Coakley says her proposal to offer pre-kindergarten programs to all Massachusetts children would cost the state an estimated $150 million over four years.

But Republicans are calling it an "empty promise" and are pointing to a study they say pegs the actual cost of universal pre-kindergarten at $1.5 billion.

Coakley highlighted her plan Tuesday during a visit to an early childhood center in Lawrence. She said children with access to early education are more likely to succeed in school and later in life.

The Democrat had previously not put a price tag on the plan, which would provide vouchers to the 17,000 children currently on a waiting list for state-subsidized pre-kindergarten programs. Coakley's campaign says Baker is "intentionally misleading" voters about the cost of the proposal.


Natural gas company seeks federal OK for pipeline

BOSTON (AP) - Kinder Morgan has begun the process of seeking federal approvals for a natural gas pipeline project through northern Massachusetts that has already garnered significant local opposition.

The Houston-based energy company on Monday filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking to use its so-called "pre-filing procedures."

A company spokesman says that process will help identify environmental issues before a formal application is filed. He said the company will submit detailed draft environmental reports that the public, including affected landowners, will be able to comment on during the process.

Environmental activists said Tuesday a statewide coalition intends to line up scientific and legal experts in preparation for fighting the proposal through the federal permitting process. Some local politicians have also already come out against the 250-mile, Richmond-to-Dracut pipeline proposal.


Police: McDonald's robbery an inside job

(Information in the following story is from: The Daily News of Newburyport (Mass.), )

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (AP) - Police in Newburyport say it wasn't the Hamburglar who stole money from a safe at a city McDonald's restaurant, but it was an inside job.

Richard Centrella, a manager at the fast food restaurant, is charged with breaking and entering and larceny for allegedly stealing $2,500 from the safe over the weekend.

He pleaded not guilty his arraignment Monday and was held without bail because he is also a suspect in a robbery in Florida.

The morning crew on Saturday noticed the money was missing. Police said there was no evidence of a forced entry and Centrella's car had been spotted by police behind the restaurant two hours before the robbery.

The Newburyport Daily News reports that the restaurant's owner told police Centrella's deposits had been coming up short.


Fitchburg man charged with stabbing neighbor's dog

(Information in the following story is from: Sentinel & Enterprise (Fitchburg, Mass.), )

FITCHBURG, Mass. (AP) - Police say a Fitchburg man used a steak knife to stab a neighbor's pit bull 10 times, injuring the dog so severely it had to be euthanized.

Robert Duckworth III was held on $7,500 bail at his arraignment Monday.

Police tell The Sentinel & Enterprise that two pit bulls were fighting in the hallway of an apartment building over the weekend, when Duckworth, the owner of one of the dogs, broke up the fight by stabbing the other dog with a steak knife he was carrying. He also allegedly punched a neighbor who claimed she was trying to break up the dogs.

Duckworth and the neighbor both said the other dog was the aggressor.


Massachusetts paratrooper being laid to rest

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Residents of Northborough are being asked to line the streets to honor a paratrooper from town killed in Afghanistan.

The funeral Mass for Spc. Brian Arsenault is being held Tuesday at St. Rose of Lima Church. He will be buried at Howard Street Cemetery with full military honors.

Residents are asked to show their support by lining the funeral procession route from the church to the cemetery with flags.

The 28-year-old Arsenault died earlier this month from injuries he suffered during a firefight between his unit and enemy forces.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

He was a 2004 graduate of Algonquin Regional High School.


Ex-congressman resigns from medical pot company

(Information in the following story is from: The (Quincy, Mass.) Patriot Ledger, )

BOSTON (AP) - A former Massachusetts congressman says he has stepped down as president of a medical marijuana company that sued the state after its application to open three dispensaries was rejected.

Ex-U.S. Rep. William Delahunt told a meeting of The Patriot Ledger's editorial board Monday that he resigned from Medical Marijuana of Massachusetts, the nonprofit initially approved, but later rejected, by the state in its efforts to open dispensaries in Plymouth, Taunton and Mashpee.

The company's lawsuit alleges the state's reversal was capricious and arbitrary because it was based on publicity considerations rather than the merits of the company's applications.

A company official says the suit will go on.

Delahunt said the primary reason he is leaving is to spend more time helping another company trying to establish more addiction treatment services.


Twin sisters face medical fraud charges

BOSTON (AP) - Twin sisters who once lived in Massachusetts have been charged with stealing more than $580,000 from federal, state and local agencies by allegedly providing unlicensed psychological services.

The Massachusetts attorney general's office says neither Nita Guzman nor her sister, Nina Tischer, is licensed to practice psychology in the state.

Prosecutors say the 49-year-old sisters, through their companies, billed Medicare, Medicaid, UMass Medical School and the Lawrence Public Schools for mental health services they were not authorized to provide.

Prosecutors say they often used stolen identities to conceal their fraud.

The sisters used to live in Burlington, Massachusetts, but now live in Minnesota.

They are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

It was not clear if they had lawyers and phone listings for the sisters and their businesses were not in service.


Guard charged with bringing drugs into prison

WOBURN, Mass. (AP) - A prison guard, an inmate and the inmate's mother face charges in connection with a scheme to bring drugs into the Souza-Baranowski maximum security prison in Shirley.

The Middlesex district attorney's office says 30-year-old guard Brandon Beach was held Monday on $50,000 bail after pleading not guilty to charges including heroin and cocaine trafficking.

Sixty-nine-year-old Sandra Lomastro of Fall River was released on personal recognizance on a charge of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Inmate Robert Page is also facing a conspiracy to violate drug laws charge.

Officers watching Lomastro saw her enter her home with a black bag in March. They say Beach showed up at the home and left with a black bag. When he was pulled over, police found drugs in the bag. Beach is on unpaid leave.


Big cities take aim at prescription painkillers

WASHINGTON (AP) - Some of the nation's largest cities are ratcheting up their criticism of prescription painkillers, blaming the industry for a wave of addiction and overdoses that have ravaged their communities and busted local budgets.

The heightened rhetoric comes as Chicago tries to recover millions in health care costs from opioid drugmakers, alleging that companies deliberately misled the public about risks. It's a strategy that could be attractive to other cash-strapped cities.

On Tuesday, health commissioners from Chicago, New York and Boston came to Washington to lobby Congress and the White House on efforts to combat painkiller abuse.

Chicago's lawsuit, filed in July, alleges that five pharmaceutical companies deceptively marketed their drugs. The drugmakers have asked that the suit be dismissed because it fails to cite specific instances of fraud.

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

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