Taxi drivers suing city over online ride services

A group of Boston taxi drivers is suing the city, saying officials have violated their rights by allowing online ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft to operate without following the same rules taxis do.

The Boston Globe reported that the lawsuit filed in federal court Friday accuses the city of destroying the value of the medallions taxis must buy to operate, and asks unspecified monetary damages.

A city spokeswoman said officials hadn’t received the complaint Friday and officials will review it. A city advisory commission has been examining the regulations.

The lawsuit also challenges proposed state rules to have the Department of Public Utilities regulate ride-hailing services as “transportation network companies.” The legislature hasn’t approved the proposal. The lawsuit asks a judge to stop the state from enacting it.


Man sentenced to prison in fatal shooting of girl, 12

A 19-year-old Providence man has been sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison in the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old girl.

Luis “Didi” Gonzalez was sentenced Friday. He pleaded guilty last year to assault and conspiracy charges.

Aynis Vargas was shot at a 2013 graduation party. Three women also were shot but survived.

Prosecutors say five gang members targeted the party because it was in a rival gang’s neighborhood, and they were seeking revenge for an earlier shooting.

The Providence Journal reported that Aynis’ father said in court Friday his daughter would have been 14 years old Tuesday.

Gonzalez apologized for “that dreadful night.”

The shooter, Branden Castro, pleaded guilty and is serving life in prison.

Gonzalez’s brother, Luis “Fat Boy” Gonzalez, was sentenced last month to 30 years on assault and weapons charges.


New Democratic effort aims to get Warren to run in 2016

A group hoping to get Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren into the Democrat mix for president is launching its New Hampshire effort.

Democracy for America and have joined up to create “Run Warren Run,” hoping the first-term senator will enter the 2016 nominating contest.

Warren, who is popular with the progressive wing of the party, has repeatedly said she is not running for president.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is the biggest potential name in the party and most other Democrats seem to be waiting to see if she’ll run again before entering the race.

MoveOn plans to spend $1 million on its Warren effort, and Democracy for America has pledged $250,000.


House transportation panel will probe high price of gas

The high price of gas in northwestern Vermont will be the topic of a public hearing at the State House this week.

House Speaker Shap Smith says while fuel prices have dropped nationally and across Vermont, the cost has not kept pace in Northwestern Vermont communities.

The House Transportation and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing Thursday evening to investigate the cost of gas in that part of the state, which Smith said can be 30 or 40 cents higher than other areas of Vermont.

– From news service reports