Governor Deval Patrick's homeland security undersecretary has been tapped to serve as a top official at the US Department of Homeland Security. The department announced Thursday that Juliette Kayyem, the first Arab-American appointed to serve as a homeland security adviser at the state level, will be an assistant secretary for intergovernmental programs under Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Patrick appointed Kayyem in January 2007 and charged her with developing a statewide policy on homeland security. (State House News Service)
Three arrested in South End vehicle theft
Two men stole a woman's car Thursday evening in the South End while she was strapping her two young children into a stroller next to the vehicle, police spokesman Officer Joe Zanoli said. The 2009 Toyota
Matrix was still running when the men approached the car and sped off down Tremont Street, according to police. The children had been taken out of the car by the woman, who was not identified. She called police after spotting her car traveling through Rutland Square. She approached the car, demanding that it be returned, police said. The driver swung open the door and hit her, injuring her arm, and then fled, Zanoli said. Police stopped the car at Massachusetts Avenue and Pompell Street, and arrested the driver, Raul Garcia, 40; and passengers Stephen Mcaskill Jr., 35, and Megan Dooley, 40, all of Boston. Garcia and Mcaskill were charged with larceny of a motor vehicle. Dooley was charged with receiving the stolen vehicle. Garcia was also charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.
Man convicted in 2007 stabbing death
A 25-year-old East Boston man was convicted yesterday of killing John Austin in a fight in 2007 on a South End street. Juan Figueroa was convicted in Suffolk Superior Court of second-degree murder in the March 11, 2007, stabbing death of Austin, 24, the Suffolk district attorney's office said. Figueroa and his girlfriend, the mother of Austin's child, were picking up the boy after a scheduled visit when Figueroa told Austin that he should "be a better father," prosecutors said. That comment started an argument that turned into a fight. Austin was stabbed four times to the head and face and a fifth time to the heart, which killed him, prosecutors said. Figueroa will be sentenced at 11 a.m. Tuesday. He faces a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole in 15 years.
Archdiocese fund-raising goal stays same
The Archdiocese of Boston announced yesterday that it will seek to raise $15 million through its annual fund drive, which is being launched in parishes this weekend. That is the same amount that the archdiocese sought in 2008, making 2009 the first year since Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley arrived in Boston in 2003 that the archdiocese has not sought to raise more money than the previous year.
Suffolk unveils small hike in tuition costs
Suffolk University announced yesterday it will raise tuition for the next academic year by 4.8 percent, the lowest increase in more than three decades. It said it would funnel 90 percent of the new revenue toward financial aid, boosting support for students by 19 percent. The increase raises tuition for full-time undergraduates to $27,100, excluding room and board.
Firefighter charged in passenger's death
An Acton firefighter has been charged with motor vehicle homicide in connection with a crash last week that killed the passenger in his car, a fellow Acton firefighter, prosecutors said. James Rautenberg, 24, of Westford, allegedly had a blood alcohol content of .20, more than twice the legal limit for driving. Authorities said he lost control of his 2005 Jeep Cherokee on Feb. 26, near a bend on Worcester Road in Westminster. The passenger, Leo Hayes, 36, of Maynard, was pronounced dead at the scene. Rautenberg was arraigned yesterday in Gardner District Court and was also charged with speeding, a marked lanes violation, and no inspection sticker. He faces up to 15 years in state prison. The men had been returning from a fund-raising benefit at Wachusett Mountain.
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