Gambling votes set in
W. Springfield, Plainville
Voters in two more Massachusetts communities are set to decide whether they want to host gambling facilities.
A referendum is scheduled for Tuesday in West Springfield on Hard Rock’s proposal to develop a casino at the site of the Eastern States Exposition. If voters approve, Hard Rock will likely be competing with MGM Resorts in Springfield and Mohegan Sun in Palmer for the sole western Massachusetts resort casino license.
Also on Tuesday, voters in Plainville will decide whether to go forward with a proposed slots parlor at the Plainridge harness race track. The state gaming commission ruled last week that Penn National Gaming could assume a host community agreement with Plainville after the current owners were disqualified by the commission for financial improprieties.
Three other companies are bidding for the sole Massachusetts slot parlor.
2 charged after drugs seized on sailboat
BOSTON -- Federal prosecutors in Boston say two men face drug charges after the Coast Guard allegedly found them transporting about $20 million in cocaine on a sailboat in international waters about 400 nautical miles east of the U.S.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said 27-year-old Hicham Ramzi Nahra of Canada, and 49-year-old Benjamin Celma-Sedo of Spain, were charged in a criminal complaint Friday with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Prosecutors say the men had about 621 kilograms on the boat Callisto, bound for Montreal. It’s not immediately known if the men have attorneys.
The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable found the 49-foot boat, carrying the name Elegrance and flying a Candian flag, on Monday. Canadian authorities discovered wasn’t a Canadian vessel. Prosecutors say it was identified as Callisto, whose last port of call was Venezuela.
Pharmacy to pay $1.6M over violations
WORCESTER -- Prosecutors say a Worcester pharmacy will pay $1.6 million to settle allegations that it broke state laws by automatically refilling prescription medications that were not requested by MassHealth patients.
Attorney General Martha Coakley says AllCare Pharmacy has agreed to return $1.6 million to Massachusetts state coffers and be subject to additional reporting requirements to ensure that it complies with state laws in the future.
The attorney general’s office said Friday that the settlement is the first case in the state to crackdown on a pharmacy that automatically refills prescriptions for MassHealth members.
Authorities alleges automatic refill programs cause MassHealth patients to obtain medications far in excess of what was used or needed, leading to wasted government resources.
Six-clawed lobster donated to aquarium
BOOTHBAY HARBOR -- An unusual six-clawed lobster has been donated to the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay Harbor.
Named Lola, the lobster was caught by a fishing crew off the coast of Hyannis, Mass.
Aquarium Manager Aimee Hayden-Roderiques says on one side where a singular claw would be Lola has five lobster claws arranged in a starfish pattern and on the other side a normal claw. She tells WMTW-TV that the claw deformity is a genetic mutation that lobsters can have throughout their life or from regrowth from a damaged or lost claw.
Lola is expected to go on display in the next several days.
-- The Associated Press