The spotlight is on Western Mass in the state Probation Department scandal. Friday, the acting head of probation at Hampshire Superior Court was found guilty of federal witness tampering. Christopher Hoffman of Hatfield intimidated a courthouse employee being questioned by the FBI about alleged patronage hiring at the state agency. Three top probation officials have yet to go on trial, including former deputy commissioner William Burke, also of Hatfield.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in more than eight years last week.
It was apparently a good year for the State Lottery.
The practice of "shark finning" is now illegal in Massachusetts.
A former JV volleyball coach at a Western Mass high school has pleaded not guilty to having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.