Thursday Morning: Bulger Wants Two Cases Merged Into One

In what is surely merely a preview of the complex court maneuvering to come, James “Whitey” Bulger is expected to face two court hearings today in front of two separate judges debating two distinct legal aspects of the fledgling case against him.

A lawyer for Bulger yesterday argued to consolidate the racketeering and murder cases against his client. Peter Krupp accused the government of “forum shopping” and moved to dismiss the less serious racketeering charges. Bulger will appear in front of U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf this afternoon to discuss possibly consolidating the cases. Later, Bulger will appear in front of a magistrate judge to discuss if the public will pay for Bulger’s defense.

A woman’s dead body apparently lay at the bottom of a state-run pool in Fall River for two days without lifeguards or swimmers noticing. The Department of Conversation and Recreation closed all deep-water swimming pools while it grapples to understand the death of 36-year-old Marie Joseph.

The federal government will have to reimburse Massachusetts fishermen for legal fees incurred fighting officials from the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration if Sen. John Kerry has his way. The Commerce Department ruled that NOAA regulators levied excessive penalties in many cases.

Disgraced former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi can continue to collect his pension thanks to a ruling by a Massachusetts Superior Court judge. DiMasi, who is scheduled to be sentenced on corruption charges in September, will have to continue to fight for the pension after he’s put in jail.

A Boston-bound plane was forced to make an emergency landing at an airfield in Nebraska last night after a possible engine fuel leak was discovered. Passengers on the San Francisco to Boston flight boarded a different United plane after a three hour delay and arrived safely in Boston.

First Lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to visit Boston today as part of a fundraising trip for President Obama’s reelection campaign.

Transportation Security Administration union representatives in Boston claim that radiation from full-body scanners are responsible for a “cancer cluster” among airport security workers. The union representatives claim that the TSA failed to monitor radiation exposure among its employees.

What we’re following: We’ll continue to report on declining foreclosure numbers, a bill that would legalize fireworks sales and the strike-averting deal between bus drivers and the city of Boston.

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