New maharajah of Indian state educated in Massachusetts; will palace intrigue shorten his reign?

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, a recent graduate of UMass Amherst - he studied English and economics - was coronated maharajah of Mysore today, giving him domain over some 1,500 acres in southern India.

But all is not well in the onetime kingdom of Mysore, where the young maharajah takes over from his uncle in a family dynasty that dates back to 1399.

As the BBC reports:

[H]e will also be inheriting a legal battle with the Karnataka government, which wants to take over the palace properties.

He is also likely to face a legal challenge from one of the late maharajah's nephews, Kantharaj Urs, who is upset that he was not chosen as successor.

The dispute over the inheritance is because the Wodeyar kings have never had children - legend has it that the dynasty has suffered from a 17th Century curse.

Wodeyar was also the former maharajah's nephew; his aunt formally adopted him after her husband's death so that the young man could become the next maharajah.

All of this could suggest why he never seems to smile, even while being coronated.

He's not the only Asian royal with Massachusetts ties.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand was born in Mount Auburn Hospital (while his father was a student at Harvard Medical School) - there's a small plaza in Harvard Square to commemorate that.

And Crown Princess Masako of Japan went to Belmont High School while her father taught international law at Harvard.

Lawyer charged with trying to bribe attack victim to drop case

An indictment unsealed yesterday charges Timothy Flaherty with offering $2,500 to a man his client allegedly beat in Cambridge last year to stay away from court.

Unfortunately for Flaherty, the man, at whom Flaherty's client allegedly screamed "You little Muslim, you fucking terrorist" as he beat him, promptly went to the feds, who urged him to meet with Flaherty to see what would happen, according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, Flaherty and the man met Dec. 24 in a Medford coffee shop, where Flaherty allegedly handed over $2,500 and told the victim to start telling county prosecutors he was no longer interested in pursuing charges, allegedly because "you know, the guy had a bad day."

On May 6, the indictment continued, the man called Flaherty to say that somebody from the US Attorney's office called to find out why he had changed his mind about bringing charges. "Blow her off," Flaherty allegedly told him. On May 21, he reported to Flaherty that an FBI agent called. Again, when asked for advice, Flaherty allegedly told the man to just not call the agent back.

If convicted, he could face 20 years in federal prison. He pleaded innocent at his arraignment yesterday.

The Herald talks to some local defense attorneys about why they object to the case.

Five days later, a federal grand jury sitting in Boston voted to indict Flaherty, himself a former prosecutor in Norfolk County and the son of former House Speaker Charles Flaherty, who appended "former" to his title in 1996 when he resigned after pleading guilty to tax evasion. The younger Flaherty ran for state senate in 2010.

Innocent, etc.

Remember when Boston 2024 said no public money would be needed for the Olympics?

Yeah, about that:

Initially, a public authority (e.g., City of Boston affiliated Industrial Development Authority) will fund land acquisition and infrastructure costs while the OCOG budget will assume the costs associated with the construction and restoration of the temporary stadium structure, Olympics back-of-house and warm-up areas. A private sector development group will be selected for the proposed development of the project that will provide funds to pay for the debt service on the initial financing utilized for land acquisition and infrastructure costs.

It's full steam ahead for new subway cars from China as judge rejects challenge from losing bidder

A Suffolk Superior Court judge today denied a request from Hyundai-Rotem to block the T from buying new Orange and Red Line cars from a Chinese manufacturer.

Judge Mitchell Kaplan said nothing he saw convinced him the state did anything wrong in awarding a $566-million contract to CNR MA, a joint venture of two Chinese companies, to build 152 new Orange Line cars and 132 new Red Line cars. The cars are due to begin rolling out between 2018 and 2021.

[The state bid request] requires that a contract subject to its terms be awarded to the lowest responsible and eligible bidder, but CNR was the lowest bidder by a wide margin and the court has not seen anything in the record to suggest that as the largest manufacturer of rail cars in the world, CNR could not have met the responsible and eligible standards set out in the statute, if they had applied.

Hyundai-Rotem sought a preliminary injunction against the awarding of the contract in state court after a federal judge tossed a similar request in March.

In a statement, a T spokesman said:

The MBTA is pleased that the court affirmed the judgments of the MBTA and found absolutely no merit to Hyundai's arguments. The MBTA looks forward to advancing the process of procuring these critically important subway cars.

Hyundai-Rotem did win a T bid to build new commuter-rail coaches; those cars arrived in Massachusetts 2 1/2 years late.

North End could get a pizza place

The Boston Licensing Board decides tomorrow whether to grant permission for a new pizza place on Hanover Street that would replace the flower store that replaced an old pizza place.

Warren Mustacchio also learns tomorrow whether the board has any spare beer-and-wine-licenses it could grant him for his proposed Ben Cotto at 361 Hanover St., which would have a closing time of 10 p.m.

The pizza place would replace a flower shop that replaced Circle Pizza, which had served up slices for 50 years.

The mayor's office and the offices of city councilors Sal LaMattina (North End, Charlestown, East Boston), Michelle Wu, Steve Murphy and Michael Flaherty all approved the request.

Cops call on jakes to help seize dirt bikes at Mission Main

Dirt-bike chains prove no match for a firefighter with a bolt cutter. Photo by BPD.

Boston Police report some residents fed up with dealing with dirt bikes let officers know where they could find seven dirt bikes all ready for collection at the Mission Main project yesterday.

All were not street legal, and all were parked within ten feet of a dwelling, and both are seizable offenses, police say.

Only problem: They were bolted to a fence with a thick cable, police report. Solution: A call to a nearby fire company, which "responded and assisted the officers in cutting the heavy chains off leading to the recovery of seven dirt bikes."

Citizen complaint of the day: Wheelie-popping dirt bikes on I-93.