A Connecticut jury soon will have the difficult task of coming up with a dollar amount conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay for promoting the idea that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax. That's after watching emotional testimony this week which included the parents of slain children breaking down on the witness stand. A judge last year found Jones and his company liable by default for defaming and inflicting emotional distress on the plaintiffs. They are eight families who lost loved ones in the 2012 massacre and an FBI agent who was among the first responders.

    WESTERLY — The Westerly branch of the Ocean Community YMCA is offering free American Red Cross Certified Lifeguard training. The course fee is usually $400. To receive the free training, a commitment must be made to work two to three shifts per week at the YMCA, with weekend and evening avai…

    WESTERLY — One by one, a half-dozen Bradford residents and members of the newly formed Greater Bradford Community Development Association approached the podium at the Westerly Town Council meeting on Monday evening to ask officials to consider alternative uses for the former Bradford Element…

    WESTERLY — When the former Bradford Elementary School was closed and a request issued to find a contractor to demolish the structure, it caught residents in the village by surprise. The facility had been used by the town’s Recreation Department for several years, resident Bill Aiello said th…

    A soldier from Massachusetts who went missing during the Korean war and was later reported to have died in a prisoner of war camp has been accounted for. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says Army Cpl. Joseph J. Puopolo, of East Boston, was just 19 when he was reported missing in December 1950. It was later reported he had died in a prisoner of war camp. Military officials say remains disinterred in 2019 were identified as Puopolo through dental and anthropological analysis, mitochondrial DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence. Puopolo's grandnephew says his family, including the soldier's sister who is now 99 years old, has not forgotten him.

    Maine has opted out of a $440 million multistate settlement with electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs in objection to certain conditions. Maine would have received roughly $11 million under the agreement announced Sept. 6 that settled a two-year investigation by 33 states into Juul’s marketing of its high-nicotine vaping products. But Maine was not willing to agree to Juul’s condition that would have barred school districts from suing the company. Attorney General Aaron Frey said in a statement Friday that the state is unwilling to waive the rights of other entities trying to hold Juul accountable for what he called deception. A message was left with Juul.

      WESTERLY — South County Tourism Council is looking for volunteers for the Atlantis RIsing event being held at Misquamicut State Beach from Oct. 7 to 10. The event will feature artists and sand sculptors creating the mythical city of Atlantis from the sand on Misquamicut Beach. There will be …

        WESTERLY — The Friends of the Westerly Animal Shelter will hold an all-day fundraiser, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” at the Windjammer Surf Bar, 321 Atlantic Ave., on Saturday, Sept. 24, from noon to midnight. The event will feature live music from Phil D'Orio's Beale St. East Band, Pete We…

        Federal prosecutors have agreed to dismiss charges against a Massachusetts judge accused of helping a man who was living in the U.S. illegally evade an immigration enforcement agent. Prosecutors moved to drop the case against Newton District Judge Shelley Joseph after she agreed to refer herself to a state agency that investigates allegations of misconduct by members of the bench. Joseph and a court officer were charged in 2019 with obstruction of justice on allegations that they schemed to let the man sneak out a back door of the courthouse after a hearing on charges that included drug possession.

        A federal judge says Rhode Island’s truck tolling system that took effect in 2018 to fund repairs to the state’s crumbling bridges is unconstitutional and must be ended within 48 hours. The judge in a 91-page decision Wednesday says the tolls are discriminatory and unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. The trucking industry, which had challenged the tolls in court, welcomes the decision. The administration of Gov. Dan McKee says the state is still reviewing the decision and considering its next steps.

        The state of Maine and a fishing group are appealing a federal judge’s decision that new rules intended to protect endangered whales must stand. The judge earlier this month denied a request from fishermen to stop federal regulators from placing the new restrictions on lobster fishing. The rules are intended to protect North Atlantic right whales, which number less than 340. Maine Gov. Janet Mills and the Maine Lobstermen’s Association said this week they’re appealing that decision. Lobstermen have long contended the new rules are based on flawed data and are too punitive to the fishing industry.

        The commission appointed to come up with a new state seal and motto for Massachusetts to replace the current ones that critics decry as racially insensitive to the state’s Indigenous communities has some ideas, but has made no firm decisions. The Special Commission on the Official Seal and Motto of the Commonwealth at its meeting Tuesday also disclosed plans to solicit feedback with a survey and several virtual and in-person public forums. The current seal that appears on state flags, which dates to the late 19th century, features a depiction of a Native American man beneath a colonist’s arm brandishing a sword.

        The year 2022 is shaping up to be a watershed for women seeking political power in Massachusetts. While liberal state has lagged others when it comes to electing women to top offices. But this year Democratic women have won five of six statewide primary contests. They include Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey, who is favored to flip the Republican-held governor’s office in November. If she does, she’ll be the first woman and first openly gay candidate elected governor in Massachusetts. Andrea Campbell is hoping to succeed Healey as attorney general, and she would be the first Black woman to hold that post in the state.

        Federal authorities in Rhode Island say the seizure of more than 660,000 counterfeit Adderall pills containing methamphetamine has led to charges against one man. The U.S. attorney's office says 27-year-old Dylan Rodas has agreed to plead guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The pills were seized earlier this year and had a street value of about $4.6 million. Officials believe it is the largest seizure of methamphetamine-laced fake Adderall pills in the U.S. The drugs were seized during two court-authorized searches in Cumberland in March. Under a plea agreement, authorities are seeking a 10-year prison sentence for Rodas.

        The world’s first public database of fossil fuel production, reserves and emissions launched Monday. Called The Global Registry of Fossil Fuels, it was developed by the groups Carbon Tracker and the Global Energy Monitor, and contains data on over 50,000 oil, gas and coal fields in 89 countries, covering 75% of global production. It shows that the United States and Russia have enough fossil fuel reserves in the ground to exhaust the world’s remaining carbon budget to stay under 1.5 degrees Celsius warming. And it shows that if burned, the world’s reserves would generate 3.5 trillion tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all that's been produced since the Industrial Revolution.

        A New Hampshire lawmaker proposes extending the March deadline to close the state’s troubled youth detention center amid concerns that the current timeline would endanger public safety. Deputy Health Commissioner Lori Weaver says she can't predict what the population at the Sununu Youth Services Center will look like in six months, but if it closed today, there definitely would be an impact. Debate over the center's future began years ago, but has come to a boil amid horrific sexual abuse allegations. Rep. Jess Edwards said he plans to file legislation to extend the closure deadline by three months.

        EDGARTOWN, Mass. — The chief executive of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services was wrapping up work when she looked outside to see 48 strangers at her office with luggage, backpacks and red folders that included brochures for her organization.

        WESTERLY — The new $50 annual transfer station permit fee that was included in local residents’ tax bills for the first time this year is clearly defined as a user fee and is “perfectly appropriate,” according to the town solicitor, but some landowners are concerned the ordinance is causing …

        The sex lives of constipated scorpions, cute ducklings with an innate sense of physics, and a life-size rubber moose may not appear to have much in common, but they all inspired the winners of this year’s Ig Nobels. Those are the parodic award for comical scientific achievement. The 32nd annual Ig Nobel prize ceremony was produced by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine and held Thursday. The winners also included scientists who found that when people on a blind date are attracted to each other their heart rates synchronize, and researchers who studied the baffling language of legal documents.

        The U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding a major push to try to store more carbon in New England’s forests. The agency said Wednesday that the New England Climate-Smart Forest Partnership Project will include large commercial producers as well as small woodlot owners with a goal of storing more carbon in forests. The project could receive as much as $30 million. The USDA said the project will seek to “build markets for climate-smart forest products to store carbon in wood products and substitute wood products for fossil fuel-based materials.” The New England Forestry Foundation is serving as the lead partner on the project.

        College photos of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and memorabilia from his girlfriend at the time has sold for $165,000 at auction. Boston-based RR Auction said Thursday it was a collection of never-before-seen photos and memorabilia from Musk’s college girlfriend, Jennifer Gwynne. Musk changed his Twitter profile to one of the photos Wednesday. Gwynne told The Boston Globe she read about an auction of test papers that Musk graded and realized she had far more personal items she could sell, including candid photos, a birthday card from him and a necklace he gave her.