The Associated Press

A prosecutor says about 300 to 500 defendants may be released into Boston streets because of the alleged mishandling of evidence at a Massachusetts drug lab.

Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley says those numbers include some "pretty dangerous people."

Chemist Annie Dookhan is charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly skirting protocols and faking test results at the now-closed state drug lab. At least two dozen defendants whose cases Dookhan handled have been released.

A couple who graduated from the University of Vermont have donated $1 million to support the school's Honors College.

Robert Brennan, class of 1983, and his wife, Carolyn Brennan, class of 1982, pledged the amount over the next five years.

The Burlington Free Press reports the Brennans are repeat donors to the Honors College; half of the $1 million will add to the Brennan Family Scholarship Fund, established in 2006.

Ed Andrieski / AP

Drilling companies beginning to explore the Utica Shale got a piece of good news Friday when the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the rock formation in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states holds enormous reserves of natural gas and oil.

Releasing its first estimate of the Utica, the USGS calculated the shale formation holds about 38 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, recoverable natural gas, 940 million barrels of oil and 9 million barrels of natural gas liquids like ethane and propane.

According to the New Yrok Times, the virus was first discovered in Uganda’s Zika forest in 1947, but wasn’t common in the West until an outbreak was found in Brazil last May.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Federal health authorities have released the names of three New York health care providers that received shipments of a steroid suspected of causing a meningitis outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control says they're among facilities in 23 states that received the steroid from the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.

Bizuayehu Tesfaye / AP

Career criminal Marcus Pixley, whose bail was reduced after allegations that a state police lab chemist mishandled thousands of drug samples, has become a fugitive.

A Suffolk Superior Court judge issued a warrant for his arrest yesterday after he failed to show up for a scheduled court hearing.

Chemist Annie Dookhan is charged with obstruction of justice and accused of faking test results, skipping protocols and mixing drug samples at a now-closed state lab.

Mark Humphrey / AP

Connecticut health officials say a company linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak sent steroids to one medical practice in the state, but no illnesses are reported.

The Department of Public Health on Thursday would not name the practice, citing state disclosure laws. Department spokesman William Gerrish says 39 patients at the practice may have received spinal injections of the steroid and most of them have been informed of the potential problem, but none has symptoms ofmeningitis.

Gerrish says staff members at the practice are trying to contact the remaining patients.

Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is receiving the endorsement of former GOP Massachusetts Gov. William Weld.

Weld, who served as governor from 1991-1997, is scheduled to appear with Brown at Brown's campaign headquarters in South Boston on Friday.

The endorsement of Weld, a fiscal conservative who also embraced socially liberal issues, is critical for Brown as he continues to reach out to conservative and Democratic voters.

Friday's endorsement comes a day after black clergy in Boston gave their blessing to Brown's Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren.

AP

A new Quinnipiac University Poll shows Connecticut's U.S. Senate race remains a dead heat.

Forty-eight percent support Republican Linda McMahon while 47 percent back Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, according to the telephone survey of 1,696 likely voters released Thursday.

Poll Director Douglas Schwartz said both candidates have taken hits from the recent barrage of negative TV ads.

Patrick Denker / Flickr

Police have made an arrest in the mysterious disappearance of burls from trees in Boston parks.

Burls are the giant knots on the trunks of most tree species prized by woodworkers for their intricate grain.

Police went to a Dorchester apartment on Wednesday after a witness reported seeing the man shaving scrap pieces off a burl in a park, then leaving with a chainsaw and entering an apartment building.

The Boston Globe reports that 44-year-old Michael Scanlan is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on a charge of willful and malicious destruction of property.

Connecticut's secretary of the state says that Hispanics account for nearly 9 percent of the people registered to vote in the state.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said Tuesday that her study of registration data and U.S. Census information on Spanish surnames indicates there are more than 176,000 registered voters of Hispanic origin in Connecticut.

The majority of those voters — roughly 90,000 — are registered as Democrats, while about 14,500 are registered as Republicans.

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