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

December 28, 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A reminder that this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

BEACON HILL

The state’s minimum wage is going up, the income tax rate is coming down and it will be illegal everywhere in Massachusetts to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products to those under 21. Those are among the new and updated laws taking effect when the new year arrives Tuesday. AP’s weekly look at an issue preoccupying state officials in Massachusetts. By Bob Salsberg. UPCOMING: 730 words by noon.

2018 ELECTION-VETERANS-WOMEN

Military veterans generally voted for GOP candidates in the November elections, affirming President Donald Trump’s frequent claim that veterans stand among his strongest backers. But more women are joining the military and they are bucking the pattern seen among men, according to data from AP’s VoteCast survey. By Hope Yen and Jennifer McDermott. UPCOMING: 1,300 words by 2 p.m.

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:

_ SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-KEVIN SPACEY: Lawyers for Kevin Spacey are asking a judge to allow the actor to skip his arraignment on sexual assault charges in a Massachusetts courthouse next month. SENT.

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

_ SHORT TERM RENTALS: Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has signed into law a bill aimed at taxing and regulating short-term rentals such as those offered by Airbnb. SENT.

_ POLICE CUSTODY DEATH: Authorities in Massachusetts are investigating the death of a man who died after police used electronic stun guns to subdue him. SENT.

_ SPORTS BETTING-RHODE ISLAND: Gamblers placed nearly $683,000 in wagers on professional sports during the first week of legalized sports betting in Rhode Island. 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.

_ TURNPIKE FATALITY: Authorities have released the name of the 61-year-old man killed in a crash involving a tractor-trailer on the Massachusetts Turnpike. 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

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