Massachusetts at 8:35 p.m.
The breaking news staffer is Sylvia Lee Wingfield. The New England news editor is Cara Rubinsky. To reach the AP bureau in Boston, call 617-357-8100 or 1-800-882-1407. To reach the photo department, call 617-357-8106. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns also are available from customer support at 877-836-9477.
Adds MASSACHUSETTS BUDGET, ROCKEFELLER MYSTERY, SWITZERLAND-COSMIC RAYS
Updates MASSACHUSETTS SENATE
BOSTON — Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Stephen Lynch tried to shift the focus of the special election campaign to the economic plight of the poor and middle class Wednesday, as the Republican candidates sparred over ads funded by a Tea Party-aligned group on behalf of GOP Senate hopeful Michael Sullivan. Lynch said that despite rising stock prices, many people are struggling to make ends meet. He said the improving economy is masking what he calls an "inequality of opportunity" for people looking for work. By Steve LeBlanc.
MASSACHUSETTS GUN OWNERS
BOSTON — Gun owners called on legislators to simplify the state's strict but "convoluted" gun control laws, saying they had failed to stem violence in Massachusetts. The Gun Owners Action League, which claims more than 15,000 members in the state, staged a Second Amendment rally on the Boston Common as gun control advocates pushed for even tougher laws in Massachusetts in the wake of the deadly shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. By Bob Salsberg.
BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is suing a for-profit school for "grossly misrepresenting the quality and scope of education" and distorting job placement numbers while leaving students with deep debt and poor job prospects. The complaint filed in Plymouth Superior Court alleges that Brockton-based Sullivan & Cogliano Training Centers Inc. made false and misleading statements in advertising, enrollment materials and on its website regarding the rate its students were able to get jobs in their field. By Rodrique Ngowi.
BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick's administration has warned of state budget cuts and significant increases in transportation charges if legislators are unwilling to embrace a larger tax hike than the one being offered by leaders of both branches. In a memo to other top-level state officials, Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor said the lawmakers' plan — if adopted by the full Legislature — could prompt the need for $783 million in cuts to non-transportation programs from the governor's original budget proposal in January, including $362 million in new education initiatives. By Bob Salsberg.
LOS ANGELES — The defense and prosecution rested their cases in the murder trial of a notorious Rockefeller impostor Wednesday after his ex-wife called him a consistent liar and "an unpleasant human being." Defendant Christian Gerhartsreiter chose to not testify in his own defense against charges that he killed a suburban San Marino man who vanished along with his wife in 1985. He never made eye contact with Sandy Boss, the woman who was his wife for 12 years, and she avoided looking at him. A pretrial ruling barred prosecutors from asking Boss about Gerhartsreiter's kidnapping of their daughter in Boston after their divorce, which sent him to prison in 2009. By Linda Deutsch.
GENEVA — It is one of the cosmos' most mysterious unsolved cases: dark matter. It is supposedly what holds the universe together. We can't see it, but scientists are pretty sure it's out there. Led by a dogged, Nobel Prize-winning gumshoe from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has spent 18 years on the case, scientists put a $2 billion detector aboard the International Space Station to try to track down the stuff. And after two years, the first evidence came in Wednesday: tantalizing cosmic footprints that seem to have been left by dark matter. By John Heilprin and Seth Borenstein.
MUSIC-THE ROLLING STONES-TOUR
NEW YORK — Call it satisfaction: The Rolling Stones have announced a nine-city tour, including a stop in Boston. The veteran rockers said their "50 and Counting" tour will kick off in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. The date will be announced later. By Mesfin Fekadu.
AP Photos NYET671-0726051242, NYET661-1215122200.
— JETBLUE-WORCESTER — Massachusetts officials are hoping that the empty parking lots and terminals at Worcester Regional Airport are soon filled by travelers taking advantage of JetBlue service to Florida.
— MASSACHUSETTS TAX COLLECTIONS — Massachusetts reports March collections were up more than 4.8 percent compared with last year.
— TRAPPED SNOWMOBILER — Maine game wardens say a Milton, Mass., man survived being trapped under an overturned snowmobile for 20 hours.
— CONNECTICUT DRUG RAIDS — Federal, state and local authorities arrested about 100 people across southern New England on Wednesday, alleging involvement in heroin and cocaine trafficking from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
— BOSTON MAYOR — Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley has declared his candidacy for mayor of Boston. In a written statement Wednesday, Conley said his entire career has been "dedicated to giving voice to the voiceless and hope to the most poor and vulnerable."
— PEDESTRIAN KILLED — State police say a 67-year-old man struck by a vehicle while trying to cross a Cambridge street has died. The East Boston man was struck as he tried to cross Land Boulevard just after 5 a.m. Wednesday in front of the Royal Sonesta Hotel.
— FRANK PAPERS — Retired U.S. Rep. Barney Frank has donated his personal papers to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, a gift that one school official called a "massive treasure trove." AP Photos NY119-1009090922, NY118-0722101010.
— CELEBRITY SHAKEDOWN — Federal authorities have charged a Lowell man with trying to extort $20,000 from a Boston-based celebrity. Felix Paulino made his initial appearance Tuesday in federal court and was held pending a detention hearing on Friday.
— MASSIVE ONLINE COURSES — Stanford University announced that it is joining an initiative co-founded by Harvard and MIT to develop a computer system that allows colleges to offer free online courses, a collaboration that school officials said would benefit both educators and students around the globe.
— PFIZER-DRUG PARTNERSHIP — Cambridge-based BIND Therapeutics said Wednesday that Pfizer Inc. has agreed to pay at least $160 million per drug as part of a collaboration to develop targeted medicines using nanotechnology which use particles measured in billionths of a meter.
— CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION — A Granby man has been ordered held on $25,000 bail after pleading not guilty to child pornography charges.
— WHEELCHAIR-ROBBERY — Police in Lowell say two teenagers have been charged with robbing a woman in a wheelchair on a city street Two suspects, one 16, another 18, were arrested Tuesday for the robbery last week that Capt. Kelly Richardson called "disturbing to say the least."
— FATAL ROLLOVER — State police say a 20-year-old Springfield man fleeing a traffic stop has died after rolling his SUV on an Interstate 391 ramp in Chicopee. Police say a trooper on routine patrol was passed by a speeding SUV on I-391 south just after midnight Wednesday.
NEW YORK — Clay Buchholz (0-0) gets his first start of the season on Wednesday night as the Boston Red Sox return from an off day to continue a series with the New York Yankees. Hiroki Kuroda (0-0) counters for the home team. Gametime is set for 7:05 p.m.
BOSTON — The Boston Celtics try to get back on track after losing two straight games and seven of their last 10 when they play the lowly Detroit Pistons, who have lost eight of 10. Game time 7:30 p.m. By Jimmy Golen.
— BBA--RED SOX-ORTIZ-DREW — David Ortiz is on a timetable to rejoin the Boston Red Sox in the middle of the third week of April. Shortstop Stephen Drew, sidelined since he was hit on the helmet by a pitch during a spring training game on March 7, played four innings and had four at-bats in extended spring training Wednesday.
— HKN--BRUINS TRADES — The Boston Bruins have acquired defenseman Wade Redden from the St. Louis Blues and center Rob Flick from the Chicago Blackhawks.