Massachusetts

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is "unrepentant and unchanged."

That's what a prosecutor told jurors on Tuesday as they weighed whether the 21-year-old convicted in the bombings that killed three people and left 264 others wounded should get the death penalty.

NPR's Tovia Smith reports that the prosecution presented jurors with four large portraits of the victims and one photo of Tsarnaev giving the middle finger to a security camera in his jail cell.

Nearly a million people will line the streets to watch the Boston Marathon on Monday, and someone else will be watching them. Bill Ridge with the Boston Police says video surveillance is a big part of the security plan.

"We've got a lot of cameras out there," he says. "We're going to be watching the portions in Boston — particularly the routes along Boylston Street, the finish line."

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has awarded a contract for a major highway project in western Massachusetts.

JF White-Schiavone of Framingham submitted the lowest bid this week to rebuild the two-mile long elevated portion of Interstate 91 through downtown Springfield. 

The project is expected to cost $183 million and take three years.  There will be detours and ramp closings during the work, which is expected to start this summer.

Aaron Hernandez, whose rise to elite status in the NFL was ended by charges that he shot and killed a man, has been found guilty of first-degree murder. In 2013, Hernandez was accused of killing the boyfriend of his fiancee's sister.

The verdict comes on the seventh day of a jury's deliberations on counts that ranged from murder to gun and ammunition charges. As the findings were read in a Fall River, Mass., courtroom, Hernandez sat between his lawyers and occasionally shook his head.

A moment of silence, a call for kindness and the pealing of the city's church bells will be the hallmarks of Boston's events noting the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on Wednesday.

The moment of silence will be observed at 2:49 p.m. ET, the time when the first of two devastating bombs went off in the crowds gathered to watch the marathon in 2013.

In the days after the Boston Marathon bombings, the One Fund charity set up for victims and their families collected more than $20 million, eventually distributing almost four times that amount.

Now those victims, including some who received more than $1 million, have formed their own charities to benefit others.

Joseph / Creative Commons

After more than two hours of debate on Tuesday, the Holyoke, Massachusetts City Council voted against a plan to create a Polish historic district in town. 

It’s a debate that’s been going on for four years -- involving passionate community members, the local Catholic Diocese, and city government. The proposal would have created a historic district that includes 21 residential and commercial properties centered around a 114-year-old church. 

A jury in Boston has found 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all counts related to the 2013 bombings of the Boston Marathon. The twin bombings, carried out with his older brother, Tamerlan, killed three people and left 264 others wounded.

The fate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in the hands of the jury that is deciding whether to convict the 21-year-old who has admitted to being the Boston Marathon bomber.

MGM Resorts International

A study, paid for by Connecticut’s two tribal casinos, estimates out-of-state competition could soon divert $703 million a year from Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. 

The two are seeking to bolster their case for legislation that would allow three new gaming sites within the state, as a way to fight back against new facilities in Massachusetts. 

Updated at 5:16 p.m. ET

Prosecutors and lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made their closing arguments Monday, the final step before the jury decides whether to convict the accused Boston Marathon bomber.

"There was nothing about this day that was a twist of fate," Assistant U.S. Attorney Aloke Chakravarty told the jurors. "This was a cold, calculated terrorist act. This was intentional. It was bloodthirsty. It was to make a point. It was to tell America that 'We will not be terrorized by you anymore. We will terrorize you.'"

Banco Carregosa / Creative Commons

Two men from Massachusetts and Connecticut have been charged in an insider trading scheme that prosecutors say netted more than $1 million. 

Boston 2024

A public meeting in Springfield on Thursday heard ideas on the role that western Massachusetts might play as Boston continues its bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. 

Some state lawmakers have said there should be sports venues located outside the Boston area. Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, is working on the proposal to officials with Boston 2024. 

After 16 days of testimony, the trial of admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will resume on Monday with closing arguments. The defense rested its case Tuesday, just a day after it called its first witness.

The defense rested its case on Tuesday for admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after just a few hours of testimony. The defense called four people to testify compared to the 92 called by prosecutors.

Tsarnaev's lawyers have admitted he did what he's accused of doing. Their single aim is to try to cast Tsarnaev as less in charge than his brother Tamerlan — who died while they were running from authorities — and therefore less deserving of the death penalty if it gets to that.

After presenting emotional testimony about the the physical damage one of the bombs inflicted on 8-year-old Martin Richard, the prosecution rested in its case against admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

NPR's Tovia Smith is inside the court room and she's been Tweeting about the trial. She reports:

After that testimony, Tsarnaev's defense attorneys did not have any questions, so the prosecution rested its case.

The AP reports:

Bill Dickinson / Flickr

The new route for passenger rail through the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts is exceeding expectations, according to numbers from Amtrak.

The service shifted west in late December, which eliminated a stop in Amherst, and added new ones in Northampton and Greenfield. 

MGM Springfield

MGM broke ground on an $800 million casino in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts on Tuesday.

Company officials -- including Mike Mathis, MGM Springfield president; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; and state Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby -- were all in attendance.

A brutally cold season that featured buried cars and bizarre warnings, culminated Sunday night as this winter officially became Boston's snowiest ever.

As Dan Guzman of member station WBUR tells our Newscast unit, snow that fell Sunday night pushed the city past the seasonal record set 19 years ago:

A blighted tornado-damaged building on Main Street in Springfield, Massachusetts will soon come under the wrecker’s ball. 

Springfield city officials will formally announce Monday the demolition of a former auto parts store, that was the scene of a recent natural gas leak that forced a temporary closure of several streets and precautionary evacuations.  The city seized the building for non-payment of taxes, but could not find an interested buyer for redevelopment.  Mayor Domenic Sarno is pursuing a blight reduction strategy.

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office is investigating missing cash from the evidence room of the Springfield Police Department.

    Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri said a preliminary investigation began last month when the department was unable to locate U.S. currency that had been seized in now closed criminal cases. He did not say how much cash is unaccounted for. 

The investigation so far has not turned up any other missing evidence or property such as narcotics or guns. 

Jurors in the Boston Marathon bombing trial Thursday heard from the man who the Tsarnaev brothers allegedly carjacked a few days after the bombing.

But before the focus shifted to the carjacking, the doctor who performed an autopsy on MIT police officer Sean Collier testified about the nature and extent of Collier’s injuries.

Below find key moments from Thursday’s testimony, and listen to a full report from WBUR’s Jack Lepiarz above.

The group that is actively opposing a bid to bring the Olympics to Boston won’t identify its donors.

The group No Boston Olympics is not legally required to make public financial disclosures. Co-chair Chris Dempsey contends to do so would discourage people from donating.

" We have true grassroots support with people all around the state writing us a $25 check, writing us a $100 check," he said.

Multiple sites are being considered for the location of a new regional Catholic high school in western Massachusetts.  The new school will result from the merger of 130-year-old Cathedral High School and Holyoke Catholic High School.

      Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski said in the two weeks since he announced the proposed merger he has met separately with the student bodies of both schools and started to assemble a group of advisors to work out the merger details. 

  " We are moving along quickly on that," said Rozanski.

More survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing are expected to tell their stories Monday morning in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Those testifying already have included a father whose 8-year-old son died in the attack.

Tsarnaev's defense team insists he was pressured by his older brother, Tamerlan, into wreaking violence that killed three people and injured more than 260. He was 19 at the time of the 2013 attacks.

A neighborhood market that would be in the shadow of the MGM Springfield casino is closing after 73 years.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno who has been coming to Albano’s Market since he was a boy brought the Key to The City and a proclamation Wednesday to honor its owners as pillars of the South End Italian-American community.  Filomena Bruschi and her sister Theresa D’Angelantonio took over the small business from their parents in 1942 and are now retiring after accepting an offer to sell to a developer.

The trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev begins in earnest Wednesday, with opening statements in a capital trial that's expected to last several months. It took nearly two months to seat a jury.

The 18 jurors (including six alternates) will hear and see what prosecutors say is irrefutable evidence of Tsarnaev's role in the notorious twin bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260, as well as in the events that followed, in which a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was also killed.

The near-record amount of snow that has fallen on Boston this winter is testing one of the city's great traditions: On orders from Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Public Works Department began removing parking space savers from city streets on Monday.

In the past, the informal rule has been that whoever takes the time to dig out a parking space gets to keep it for 48 hours. But this year, the city has gotten about 100 inches of snow and those 48 hours have turned into weeks.

As Boston slowly returns to normal following more than 100 inches of snowfall this winter — most of it in the last month — trash collectors are struggling to keep up with the waste.

Snowstorm after snowstorm have piled on the complaints from city residents. In the average month, the city gets in the area of 900 complaints about trash pickup. This month the city has received 4,600.

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts is expected to give final approval Monday to an ordinance restricting public officials from obtaining casino jobs.

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