MILITARY JET CRASH-VIRGINIA
Military pilot in Virginia F-15 crash identified
WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) - The pilot who was killed in the crash of an F-15 jet this week in the remote Virginia mountains has been identified as Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot Jr.
Officials with the Massachusetts Air National Guard say Fontenot was the inspector general for the 104th Fighter Wing and had had more than 2,300 flight hours of experience.
He was flying the plane to New Orleans for a radar system upgrade when he crashed Wednesday in western Virginia. Officials say he reported an in-flight emergency before losing radio contact. The cause remains under investigation.
Col. James Keefe of the Massachusetts air guard said Friday that the death was announced with "profound sadness."
Fontenot was a 1996 Air Force Academy graduate. Officials say he was an F-15 instructor pilot with more than 17 years of experience flying the jets.
Lawyer: Case against Maserati cop car driver silly
(Information in the following story is from: The (Quincy, Mass.) Patriot Ledger, http://www.patriotledger.com )
BRAINTREE, Mass. (AP) - The lawyer for a Massachusetts man facing charges of impersonating a police officer for driving around a Maserati painted to resemble a police cruiser calls the case against his client "silly."
Attorney Russell Matson tells The Patriot Ledger his client "never pretended to be a cop," and even told police in advance he was going to decorate his car to look like the character Barricade from a "Transformers" movie.
Matson did not disclose his client's name. The luxury Italian vehicle's body was painted black and white with a police-style shield on the doors, and police-related decals. The door shield was accompanied by the phrase "Decepticons punish and enslave," from the movie.
The driver was pulled over on Aug. 9. He was not arrested but summoned to court on Sept. 4.
Candidates geared for final push before primaries
BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts residents should anticipate a flood of political ads in the final days before the Sept. 9 Democratic and Republican primaries.
Campaigns are hoping voters will begin paying more attention to the races after Labor Day.
Meanwhile, a telephone poll of more than 600 likely voters released on Friday by The Boston Globe shows Republican Charlie Baker in a statistical tie with Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup in November. The survey was conducted from Aug. 17-19 and has a margin of error of 5.2 points.
Coakley faces state Treasurer Steven Grossman and former federal health care administrator Donald Berwick in the Democratic primary.
Baker's Republican opponent is Mark Fisher, a business owner and tea party member.
2 people dead after Easthampton motorcycle crash
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) - Authorities say two people who were on a motorcycle are dead and another person is facing charges after a collision in Easthampton.
The motorcycle was heading north on Route 5 at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday when a southbound vehicle crossed into to its lane.
The operator and the passenger on the motorcycle were killed.
The driver of the other vehicle, identified by the Northwestern district attorney's office as 45-year-old James Walter Ainsworth, of Springfield, was taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life threatening.
Ainsworth is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on two counts of motor vehicle homicide. It could be determined if he had a lawyer.
The motorcycle riders' names were not made public.
Police: New Bedford teen robbed on way to school
(Information in the following story is from: The (New Bedford, Mass.) Standard-Times, http://www.southcoasttoday.com )
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) - Police are investigating after a 15-year-old girl said she was robbed on her way to school.
Police say the girl was walking from her home to the bus stop at about 6:30 a.m. Thursday when a man got out of a parked van, approached her from behind and grabbed her backpack.
The Standard-Times reports that during the struggle, the girl's bracelet fell off and was taken by the suspect. The girl broke free and ran home. She suffered scratches to her upper body but didn't seek medical attention.
The suspect is described as white, thin, about 6-foot-2, in his late teens or early 20s, with short, blond hair and hair on his chin. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt and black pants.
The silver or gray Ford van had maroon lettering.
Body found in car in Waltham identified
WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) - The Middlesex district attorney's office says three juveniles have been charged with robbing a Waltham man who was later found dead in a car.
Authorities say 34-year-old Thierry Tullus was found dead in a car on Aug. 20.
An autopsy has been performed and the medical examiner is awaiting results of toxicology tests before announcing a cause of death.
The district attorney said in a statement Thursday that three juveniles have been charged with armed robbery "in connection with an encounter they allegedly had with Mr. Tullus at some point preceding his death."
All three juveniles have been arraigned.
Family and friends of Tullus have said he was badly beaten.
2 plead guilty in slaying of Boston teen
BOSTON (AP) - Two members of a Boston gang have pleaded guilty for their roles in the shooting death of a 14-year-old honors student in 2010.
Timothy Hearns and Ramon Silvelo-Miles both pleaded guilty Thursday in Suffolk Superior Court to manslaughter and other charges, rather than face trial on first-degree murder charges.
Prosecutors say the now 24-year-old men were on a mission to rival gang territory when they killed eighth-grader Jaewon Martin on a basketball court in the city's Jamaica Plain neighborhood in May 2010. The victim was not a gang member. Another teen was injured.
Authorities say Hearns was the gunman and Silvelo-Miles was his accomplice.
Hears got up to 32 years in prison, while Silvelo-Miles got up to 10 years.
MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE FIRE
Beverly man charged with arson held on high bail
(Information in the following story is from: The Salem (Mass.) News, http://www.salemnews.com )
SALEM, Mass. (AP) - A man charged with starting a fire that destroyed Beverly two homes under construction and damaged a third so severely that it had to be torn down has been held on $250,000 cash bail.
Prosecutors had originally sought to hold 19-year-old Zachary Pavia without bail until trial as a danger, but this week opted to seek high cash bail instead.
Bail was set at a hearing Thursday.
The blaze July 13 damaged seven other and destroyed a vehicle.
Prosecutors say Pavia and two younger teens got into an unoccupied home and smoked hashish oil, then Pavia returned with a blow torch and set the fire.
The Salem News reports that Pavia's lawyer sought lower bail, citing both Pavia's family finances and what he suggested were weaknesses in the state's case.
FIRE COMMISSIONER ATTACKED
Retired firefighter pleads not guilty to attack
PALMER, Mass. (AP) - A retired Springfield fire captain charged with attacking the city's fire commissioner has been released on personal recognizance, angering the mayor.
Retired Capt. Michael Richard pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday in Palmer District Court to charges of assault and battery and disorderly conduct.
Prosecutors say Richard launched an unprovoked attack on Commissioner Joseph Conant outside the commissioner's East Longmeadow home Tuesday night. Richard was reportedly angry at previously being passed over for promotion.
Conant was treated at a hospital but has since been released.
Mayor Domenic Sarno says the judge's decision to release Richard without bail was "extremely disappointing."
Richard's lawyer says both men threw punches and his client suffered injuries in what he described as a "fistfight between two gentlemen."
Constitution to set sail for last time for 3 years
BOSTON (AP) - The U.S.S. Constitution is setting its sails for the last time before the warship heads to dry dock for a three-year repair project.
The Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat, is scheduled to leave its berth at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston at 10 a.m. Friday, set and strike three topsails, and then fire a 21-gun salute off Castle Island in South Boston.
The Constitution will get underway for the final time before the repair job on Oct. 17, but will not set its sails at that time, because they will have already been removed.
Constitution crew members have spent the past week training 150 U.S. Navy chief petty officers on sailing techniques utilized aboard Old Ironsides since the 1790s.
Lt. Gov. hopefuls vie for office currently vacant
BOSTON (AP) - The office of lieutenant governor has a limited budget, few prescribed responsibilities and has been vacant for the past 15 months without much notice or effect.
The candidates vying for the job say they can carve out important roles in state government and be invaluable partners to the next governor.
The Democrats running in the Sept. 9 primary are Cambridge City Councilor Leland Cheung; Stephen Kerrigan, a one-time aide to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy; and Michael Lake, head of the Better Cities organization.
Former state Rep. Karyn Polito is the sole Republican candidate.
Candidates for lieutenant governor run on their own in the primary but team with the party's gubernatorial nominee in the general election.
The state's most recent lieutenant governor, Tim Murray, resigned in June 2013 to head the Worcester chamber of commerce.
TEMP AGENCY SCAM
Lowell family members plead guilty in tax scam
(Information in the following story is from: The (Lowell, Mass.) Sun, http://www.lowellsun.com )
LOWELL, Mass. (AP) - Four members of a Lowell family have pleaded guilty to charges they schemed to hide $25 million in wages from the IRS.
Federal prosecutors say they ran a temporary employment agency from 2004 to 2009, during which time they reported to the IRS that their employees made about $2.2 million in wages.
In reality, they had made about $30 million.
The Sun reports that they also defrauded the company's workers-compensation insurer of $880,000 in insurance premiums by hiding its true number of employees.
Prosecutors say the defendants, who operated the International Temp Agency and JP Company, covered up unreported wages by withdrawing cash from about 20 bank accounts and paying workers under the table.
Those charged were 67-year-old Margaret Mathes; 47-year-old Boseba Prum; 63-year-old Sam Pich; and 52-year-old Thaworn Promket.
6 New England governors urge painkiller reversal
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The six New England governors are urging the U.S. Health and Human Services secretary to reverse the Food and Drug Administration's approval of a powerful new painkiller, Zohydro.
In a letter dated Thursday, the governors of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island tell Secretary Sylvia Burwell that the region is in the midst of an addiction crisis.
The drug Zohydro is an extended-release capsule that contains up to five times the amount of narcotic hydrocodone previously available in pills.
The letter says the drug's maker is preparing to seek approval for an abuse-deterrent formulation.
The governors say the likelihood of abuse of the current drug and the anticipated availability of an alternative are grounds to rescind the approval.
They say the states don't need another high-risk drug.
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