Latest Lawrence News

Feds open criminal probe into natural gas explosions

Nov. 1, 2018 4:15 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into the natural gas explosions and fires that rocked three communities near Boston in September, a utility company said Thursday. NiSource, the parent company of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, said it is cooperating with the...

Nearly 36 miles of pipeline replaced after gas explosions

Oct. 21, 2018 10:28 AM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — The utility company involved in last month's explosions and fires in Massachusetts says it has replaced nearly 36 miles of main pipeline in the area. Columbia Gas announced Sunday that it's 80 percent through its work replacing 45 miles of main pipeline, and about halfway through its work...

Correction: Gas Explosions story

Oct. 15, 2018 11:10 AM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — In a story Oct. 11 about the federal investigation into natural gas explosions in Massachusetts, The Associated Press erroneously reported on the preliminary findings. The National Transportation Safety Board found that the Columbia Gas company, not the utility workers, failed to account for...

Moratorium issued on company involved in fatal gas explosion

Oct. 12, 2018 4:13 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — The utility company involved in last month's explosions and fires in three Massachusetts communities have been ordered by state regulators to halt all non-emergency natural gas work. The moratorium imposed Friday by the Department of Public Utilities covers all parts of the state serviced by...

Man nicknamed 'Willy Wonka' pleads guilty to multiple crimes

Oct. 12, 2018 11:05 AM EDT

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — The leader of a multistate ATM and vehicle burglary ring known as "Willy Wonka" or the "Chocolate Man" has pleaded guilty to 60 charges. The Salem News reports that 47-year-old William "Willy Wonka" Rodriguez pleaded guilty Thursday to his role in crimes in Massachusetts, New Hampshire,...

Gas cut off over pressure issue not far from explosion area

Oct. 8, 2018 3:36 PM EDT

WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — A utility company shut off gas to about 300 customers in Massachusetts after a worker doing routine maintenance inadvertently overpressurized the system. National Grid says the situation Monday afternoon in Woburn was quickly corrected, no evacuations were ordered, and there were no...

Q&A: Harvard's new president on challenges, ideals

Oct. 5, 2018 4:46 PM EDT

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Harvard University's new president is taking over at a contentious time for the nation's oldest college. It faces a new federal endowment tax that could cost more than $40 million a year. Its admissions office is the subject of a discrimination lawsuit and a separate inquiry by the...

Senators: Utility 'woefully' unprepared for gas explosions

Oct. 5, 2018 4:05 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — The natural gas company at the center of the explosions north of Boston last month was "woefully unprepared" to prevent or respond to the unfolding disaster, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey said Friday after a review of internal company documents. The Massachusetts Democrats said...

15 buildings deemed uninhabitable after US gas explosions

Oct. 4, 2018 4:52 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — Authorities say at least 15 buildings in communities north of Boston that were damaged in gas explosions last month are uninhabitable. The Eagle-Tribune reports the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday 19 other buildings in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover are suitable...

Columbia Gas to cover losses related to gas disaster

Sep. 22, 2018 6:06 PM EDT

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say Columbia Gas has agreed to compensate its customers for all losses related to a series of gas explosions and fires in Massachusetts' Merrimack Valley. Town officials in Andover announced Saturday that the utility company will pay claims related to bodily injury,...