HARTFORD, Conn.

Edward Kennedy Jr. won’t run for Mass. senate seat

Edward Kennedy Jr., a son of the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, announced Monday he has decided not to run for the Massachusetts Senate seat that will become vacant if U.S. Sen. John Kerry is confirmed as Secretary of State.

The 51-year-old health care lawyer, who lives in Connecticut and owns a home in Massachusetts, issued a statement saying he’s “extremely grateful for all of the offers of support” he has received from people over the past several days urging him to run, but he plans to remain in Branford.

“Although I have a strong desire to serve in public office, I consider Connecticut to be my home, and I hope to have the honor to serve at another point in my future,” he said.

Kennedy is an advocate for people for disabilities and co-founder of the New York-based Marwood Group, a health care-focused financial services company.

CONCORD, N.H.

Woman hindered probe into UNH death, police say

A Portsmouth woman has been charged with interfering with the investigation into the disappearance and death of a University of New Hampshire student.

The attorney general’s office says 19-year-old Kathryn McDonough was arrested Monday and charged with one count of hindering apprehension or prosecution and one count of conspiracy to commit the same crime.

The charges refer to the death of 19-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott of Westborough, Mass., who disappeared in October. Thirty-year-old Seth Mazzaglia of Dover is charged with second-degree murder and is accused of strangling or suffocating Marriott, though her body has not been found.

McDonough will be in Derry District Court on Wednesday.

BOSTON

Tunnel panels removed after Friday accident

Workers have removed more than 100 metal wall panels from the Callahan Tunnel after one fell onto the road last week.

Frank DePaola, the state Transportation Department’s highway administrator, said 117 panels were removed overnight over concerns that their fasteners had become corroded.

The tunnel reopened at about 5 a.m. Monday after workers conducted “pull tests” on 2,800 panels.

No one was hurt and no cars were damaged when a 4-foot-by-9-foot panel weighing about 100 pounds fell at about 6 p.m. Friday.

Officials say it fell because the metal fasteners had corroded.

The panels in the adjacent Sumner Tunnel will be checked next weekend.

The Callahan was built in the early 1950s, but the wall panels were installed about 20 years ago. It is scheduled for an overhaul in 2014.

 

Officer honored for frigid Boston Harbor rescue

A police officer has been honored for heroism after jumping into the frigid waters of Boston Harbor to rescue a woman.

Officer Edward Norton received a commendation on Monday from Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and a proclamation from the mayor.

Norton plunged into the 40-degree waters of the Fort Point Channel on Friday to rescue the woman, who was screaming and clinging to a floating dock. Police say the woman either fell or jumped.

Norton, weighed down by his bulletproof vest, took 42 seconds to reach the unidentified woman and held her head above water until firefighters arrived to help.

The 11-year veteran, who was treated for hypothermia and lost his wedding ring during the rescue, said he never had time to think.

Davis called it a “remarkable show of heroism.”

 

Police find cocaine in man’s wheelchair at Logan Airport

Authorities say a man from Puerto Rico faces charges after cocaine was found in the suspect’s wheelchair at the Boston airport.

The Suffolk District Attorney’s office says 33-year-old Emmanuelli Rojas-Moraza was arrested Friday at Logan International Airport after state police and Department of Homeland Security officials discovered around 3.7 kilograms of the drug in the tires of the wheelchair.

Rojas-Moraza was ordered held on $45,000 bail on Monday after pleading not guilty to a trafficking charge in East Boston District Court.

The DA’s office says customs officials became suspicious while X-raying the wheelchair during entry screening.

Agents found the drugs after drilling into one of the tires.

Doctors later determined that Rojas-Moraza had no apparent medical reason for the wheelchair.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I.

URI tries to contain uproar over professor’s comment

The president of the University of Rhode Island has issued a statement supporting the right of a professor to express his views after he called for the National Rifle Association CEO’s “head on a stick.”

President David Dooley’s comments issued Sunday came after a statement last week in which Dooley distanced the university from a posting on Twitter by history professor Erik Loomis. Loomis wrote the post on Dec. 14, the day 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman using a semi-automatic weapon inside a Newtown, Conn., school.

“I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick,” Loomis wrote. LaPierre is the chief executive of the NRA.

Loomis has since written in a blog post that his comment was meant to be a metaphor for holding LaPierre responsible for his actions and was not meant as a threat. He has said he received death threats himself as a result of the comments.

On Dec. 18, Dooley released a written statement saying the school does not condone threats of violence and said Loomis’s remarks do not reflect those of the university. Dooley’s statement drew criticism from URI’s faculty union and from professors around the country, who called on him to support freedom of speech.