In the State
Woman gets six years
for Xmas break-ins
A judge has sentenced a former Springfield flower shop owner to six years in jail for several armed home break-ins during the 2011 Christmas season.
The Springfield Republican reports 49-year-old Nancy Gehrung's lawyer and one of her alleged victims urged Judge Mary-Lou Rup to be compassionate because of Gehrung's psychological problems. Rup allowed her to serve her sentence in a county facility instead of state prison.
Gehrung pleaded guilty to charges including armed assault, armed robbery, armed entering in the nighttime to commit a felony and larceny over $250. She apologized in court.
Prosecutors said Gehrung broke into homes in Holyoke, Northampton and Williamsburg, and one family found her next to their Christmas tree with a pistol.
She faces Connecticut charges alleging she stole a gun from a police officer's car and robbed an Enfield package store.
$13M in tax breaks
for firms to stay, grow
Massachusetts is handing out $13 million in tax breaks and incentives to nine firms that have promised to grow or retain thousands of jobs in the state.
The Economic Assistance Coordinating Council on Tuesday awarded $3.75 in investment tax credits to the MassMutual Life Insurance Co. The Springfield-based firm plans to move 250 jobs from Connecticut to Massachusetts after purchasing the retirement plan portfolio of Hartford Insurance Co.
The council approved $3 million in investment tax credits to MathWorks, which hopes to expand its Natick headquarters and create 600 jobs.
Other companies on the list include DRS Power Technology of Fitchburg; New England Wire Products of Leominster; Jacqueline's Wholesale Bakery of Salem; Perkin Elmer Health Sciences of Hopkinton; Crane & Co. of Dalton; Squire Charger Realty of Revere; and a Plymouth developer building a medical office complex.
loan sharking nets jail
A 64-year-old North Andover man prosecutors say was a key associate in a loan sharking and illegal gambling operation has been sentenced to two years and a day in prison.
Attorney General Martha Coakley said Tuesday that Joseph Giallanella was sentenced in Middlesex Superior Court after pleading guilty to charges of criminal usury, conspiracy to attempt extortion and attempt to procure perjury. The sentence will be served at the same time as one of two to four years he received this month on Essex County charges related to illegal gambling and loan sharking.
Giallanella was one of about 30 people indicted in eastern Massachusetts in 2010 after a multi-agency investigation. Alleged mob captain Mark Rossetti has received concurrent 12-year sentences in Suffolk and Essex counties on charges including loan sharking and drug trafficking.
-- The Associated Press