News Minute: Here is the latest Massachusetts news from The Asso - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

News Minute: Here is the latest Massachusetts news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. EDT

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BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts Senate has paid nearly $230,000 to a law firm it hired to investigate whether former Democratic Senate President Stan Rosenberg broke Senate rules following sexual misconduct allegations against his estranged husband Bryon Hefner. The Boston Globe reported Monday the Senate made the payment to the law firm of Hogan Lovells this month. The payments come as Hefner is due to make his first court appearance.

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts State Police payroll director accused of stealing $23,000 of funds has pleaded not guilty to a larceny charge in Framingham District Court. Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan says 49-year-old Denise Ezekiel was released on personal recognizance following an arraignment Monday. Ezekiel is charged with larceny over $250 for alleged misappropriation of $23,900 in state police payroll funds through her position as the agency's Payroll Director. Ezekiel is pleading not guilty.

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (AP) - A former member of both the city council and the school committee in a Massachusetts city has been charged with child rape and possession of child pornography. Bert Reed was held without bail Monday pending a hearing May 4 to determine whether he is a danger to society. He was arrested Friday. Reed served as a Newburyport councilor from 2000 until 2004 and sat on the school committee from 1998 until 2002.

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) - Cranston police are continuing an investigation into a Friday carjacking in Boston. WPRI-TV reports police noticed an SUV matching the description provided by the Boston Police Department parked in Cranston Monday morning in violation of a city parking ordinance. Nine people are being questioned. Police say they ran the vehicle's license plate and saw it had been stolen. They believe it was involved in another pursuit in Pawtucket on Monday at 2 a.m.

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