Renovation, expansion OK’d for Logan’s Terminal C

The Massport board of directors has approved a major makeover of Logan International Airport’s Terminal C.

The board voted 5-0 Thursday in favor of a $55 million plan to update the terminal’s lighting, ventilation and ceiling tiles. The project also includes an addition at the rear of the terminal for a unified checkpoint, plus new restaurants and concessions.

Once work is completed in 2011, passengers will no longer have to pass separate checkpoints to enter wings used by United Airlines and JetBlue. The new area will have a single checkpoint, and once they pass through, passengers will be able to move between the wings without a rescreening.

The work will start this spring.

Woman gets two life terms for killing lover’s children

A Boston woman convicted of setting a fire that killed her lover’s two daughters has been given two life sentences.

Nicole Chuminski, convicted of two counts of second-degree murder, was sentenced Thursday to consecutive life sentences. Under state law, those convicted of second-degree murder are eligible for parole after 15 years. The sentence means that if she is paroled on one conviction, she must immediately begin serving the second.

Prosecutors say Chuminksi set a fire at the South Boston home of Anna Reisopoulos in April 2008, after the two argued at a wedding they attended. The bodies of 14-year-old Acia and 3-year-old Sophia were found locked in an embrace on the third floor.

Chuminski’s lawyers said she did not start the fire.


Sewage spill forces closure of bay, river to shellfishing

Mount Hope Bay has been closed for shellfishing because of a sewage spill.

Rhode Island environmental authorities say 2.5 million gallons of raw sewage entered Battleship Cove in Fall River after a sewage pump station in that city failed on Wednesday.

The Department of Environmental Management says it learned of the spill on Thursday.

Mount Hope Bay and the Kickemuit River were closed to shellfishing at noon on Thursday. The DEM says they’ll reopen at sunrise on Feb. 26.


Electric company to build 1.8-megawatt solar facility

Western Massachusetts Electric Co. has announced plans to build what will be New England’s largest solar power facility in Pittsfield.

Company officials say the 1.8-megawatt facility will cost up to $12 million and have the capacity to provide enough energy to heat up to 1,800 homes.

Construction on the eight-acre site is expected to start in the spring after the local permitting process.

Mayor James Ruberto said the facility will not only provide an additional stream of tax revenue for the city but also shows the city’s commitment to renewable energy.

The company says the solar facility is expected to contribute more than $200,000 in annual property tax revenue to Pittsfield.


New York man to serve 10 years for dealing drugs

A 29-year-old New York man described as a major drug dealer in northwestern Vermont is going to prison for 10 years.

Aaron Pendergrass of the Bronx was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Burlington.

Court papers say the man known on the street as ”Monday,” distributed crack cocaine and heroin to a network of Vermont dealers in Addison, Franklin and Chittenden counties via a team of 12 couriers, including a 14-year-old boy nicknamed ”Baby.”

The Burlington Free Press says Pendergrass agreed in July to plead guilty to a drug-conspiracy count, but then tried unsuccessfully to withdraw from the deal.


Search continues for woman accused of kidnapping baby

A multistate search continues for a woman accused of kidnapping her half sister’s Massachusetts baby who was later found safe in Connecticut by police.

Police said they are searching for 38-year-old Kimberly Johnson after authorities said she kidnapped 13-month-old, Jaylin Boudria, from a Shell gas station in Swansea, Mass., on Thursday.

Swansea police said the abduction occurred just after the mother went into the convenience store.

The baby was found unharmed around four hours later in a Middletown, Conn., industrial park, and checked into the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where she was listed in good condition.

— From news service reports