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BC-MA--Massachusetts News Digest, 1:30 pm, MA

December 28, 2018

Good afternoon. 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A reminder that this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.

TOP STORIES:

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. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ 911 OUTAGES: Public safety officials in Massachusetts are warning of sporadic 911 outages for cellphone users. SENT.

_ POLICE CUSTODY DEATH: Authorities in Massachusetts are investigating the death of a man who had been taken into police custody. SENT.

_ INMATE ASSAULT: A guard at a maximum-security state prison in Massachusetts has been charged with punching an 86-year-old inmate in the face. SENT.

_ MARIJUANA-TRAFFICKING CHARGES: Police in Massachusetts say they pulled over a 75-year-old man driving a box truck containing 150 pounds of black market marijuana worth as much as $500,000. SENT.

_ PARKING LOT HOMICIDE: Police have arrested a man in connection with the fatal shooting of another man who was found inside a car in a Massachusetts hotel parking lot. SENT.

_ INMATE DEATH: Officials say an inmate at a state prison has died after being found unresponsive in his cell on Christmas Day. SENT.

_ OFFICER ASSAULTED: Massachusetts police have charged a man they say grabbed an officer by the hair and slammed her head into an SUV while she responded to a disturbance. SENT.

SPORTS:

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Drexel at Northeastern, 7 p.m. UPCOMING: 150 words. More on merits

EXTRA:

Analysis and commentary from universities provided by The Conversation and distributed by AP. Find it in AP Newsroom or at the link below.

_ Why walking with your doctor could be better than talking with your doctor. By Brad Biskup, University of Connecticut. https://theconversation.com/why-walking-with-your-doctor-could-be-better-than-talking-with-your-doctor-82565

____

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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