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BC-MA--Massachusetts News Digest, 6 pm, MA

December 27, 2018

Good evening. Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Massachusetts.

Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP Boston bureau at 617-357-8100 or 800-882-1407.

New England News Editor Bill Kole can be reached at 617-357-8100 or bkole@ap.org. New England Photo Editor Bill Sikes is reachable at 617-357-8106 or bsikes@ap.org.

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

A reminder that this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

UPCOMING TOMORROW

WAR ROBOTS

The Army is looking for a few good robots. Not to fight _ not yet, at least _ but to help the men and women who do. At stake is a contract worth almost half a billion dollars for 3,000 backpack-sized devices that can defuse bombs and scout enemy positions. Competition for the work has spilled over into Congress and federal court. By Technology Writer Matt O’Brien. About 1,200 words with photos.

TOP STORIES

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING

Attorneys for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told a federal appeals court Thursday that his convictions or death sentence should be tossed because the judge refused to move the case out of the city where the bombs exploded, making it impossible for him to get a fair trial. By Alanna Durkin Richer. SENT: 750 words, photos.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-KEVIN SPACEY

A Massachusetts man who says he was groped by Kevin Spacey at a Nantucket restaurant in 2016 caught part of his encounter with the actor on video. SENT: 350 words, photo.

ODD NEW ENGLAND

Things got a little wild in New England in 2018 _ wild as in actual animals weaseling their way into the headlines. A Vermont family’s pet peacock ran off with a flock of turkeys. A black bear trashed a car in Connecticut after locking itself inside. Beavers flavored bourbon at a distillery in New Hampshire. And so many crows descended on one corner of Massachusetts, it took a cannon to shoo them away. There was no shortage of antics from the naked apes at the top of the food chain, either. By William J. Kole. SENT: 830 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ LEGISLATIVE PAY HIKE: Minimum wage workers aren’t the only ones who’ll see a bump in their pay in the new year. Beginning next week, the base pay for state lawmakers will increase by nearly 6 percent, bringing their annual pay from $62,547 to $66,256. SENT.

_ OPIOIDS KICKBACK SCHEME: The former CEO of a company that produces a highly addictive fentanyl spray has agreed to plead guilty to participating in a scheme to pay kickbacks to doctors to boost prescriptions of the drug. SENT.

_ MAYFLOWER ANNIVERSARY PARK: A Massachusetts historical society that preserves the legacy of the Pilgrims is planning to build a small park to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s 1620 arrival. SENT.

_ TURNPIKE FATALITY: State police say a 61-year-old Shrewsbury man was killed in a crash involving a tractor-trailer on the Massachusetts Turnpike. SENT.

_ THREE SHOT: Police say one person was killed and two others were injured in early morning shootings in Boston that may be related. SENT.

_ TIDY INTRUDER: Police say a man broke into a woman’s apartment in Massachusetts and started cleaning. SENT.

SPORTS:

CELTICS-ROCKETS

James Harden and the surging Houston Rockets look for their eighth win in nine games when they host the Boston Celtics, who have won two in a row. By Jeremy Rakes. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m. ET

DEVILS-BRUINS

The New Jersey Devils visit the Boston Bruins. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.

JETS-PATRIOTS PREVIEW

The New England Patriots are approaching the final week of the regular season with a postseason-like focus. A first-round bye through the AFC playoffs is on the line Sunday, so they insist they’re not taking their game against the lowly New York Jets lightly. By Pro Football Writer Dennis Waszak Jr. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 5 p.m. For weekend use.

With: Jets-Patriots Preview Capsule

ACC PREVIEW

Duke has earned must-see status with its touted freshmen and No. 1 national ranking. Yet fourth-ranked Virginia is the ACC’s only unbeaten team with league play set to begin next week. By Aaron Beard. SENT: 790 words, photos.

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If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

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