Democrat Katherine M. Clark cruised to victory Tuesday, capturing the US House seat long held by Edward J. Markey, in a lightly contested special election....
Voters brought a range of concerns to the polls today—the public schools, crime, housing, but also gut feelings about particular candidates. Here are some of their voices from around Boston....
The City Council passed the ban last month, sparking another debate about secondhand smoke versus smokers' rights....
The Farne Islands are off the coast of northeast England and are home to a huge seabird colony. The islands are owned and protected by......
MassDOT’s Oscar Epstein, a shy but dedicated highway engineer who started working for the state in 1949, accedes to a 90th birthday party at work....
The Massachusetts Health Connector website was taken down for scheduled maintenance Wednesday, with about two weeks remaining for those who need it to secure coverage by January....
True or false? Music makes you smarter.Contrary to popular belief, a study—led by a Harvard graduate student who plays the saxophone, flute, bassoon, oboe, and clarinet—found no cognitive benefits to music lessons. The finding, published...
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley is not quite a household name. But this year continues to be one of remarkable ascent for the unassuming Capuchin friar who just celebrated a decade as archbishop of Boston....
MGM Resorts International was given the seal of approval today by staff investigators for the Massachusetts gambling commission, marking a step forward for the single applicant for the sole Western Massachusetts casino license.The conclusion by...
The annual summer fighting season is now well underway in Afghanistan, with nearly daily suicide bombings, assassinations, and other high-profile attacks by the Taliban and other militant groups. But one thing appears decidedly different this...
With holiday parties and family meals looming, it's easy to see the appeal of Instacart: you can order groceries online and have them delivered to...
A 56-year-old resident died after jumping or falling through a window at a state-run mental health facility in the South End Wednesday night, authorities said.The man was killed after he went out the eighth-floor window of the Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Facility, said David Procopio, a State Police spokesman. The victim landed on the roof of a three-story structure attached to the building, near an outdoor recreational area for patients, he said. State Police called the death a non-homicide Wednesday night, according to Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.Procopio said the incident began when State Police received a call at 8:29 p.m. alerting them to a person about to jump from the mental health center.
A 54-year-old man reported missing since Tuesday night was found dead in the Breakheart Reservation in Saugus today after his car was spotted in the area, officials said.
A three-month drug investigation by detectives aimed at curbing quality-of-life offenses on the street of Winthrop ended Wednesday with the arrest of eight accused drug dealers and two additional people with open warrants, prosecutors said.From September to December, undercover detectives repeatedly made controlled purchases of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and prescription pills from eight dealers, purchases that were documented by police and served as the basis of the arrests, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said in a statement.Charges against the eight defendants included distribution and conspiracy to violate state drug laws, prosecutors said.
Driver, 17, leads police on chase—for 30 miles—before crashing car on Route 25 near Plymouth, police say
An unlicensed 17-year-old youth led police in Southeastern Massachusetts on a high-speed car chase—for nearly 30 miles—before crashing on Route 25 near Plymouth, police said.Wareham police said in a statement that officers responded to Great Neck Road at about 9 p.m. Tuesday to investigate what residents considered a suspicious vehicle in their neighborhood because it had been parked in the driveway of a home. At the request of police, the driver stopped on Depot Street before abruptly speeding away with officers in pursuit, police said. The pursuit shifted from Depot Street and onto Glen Charlie Road and then continued onto Route 25 eastbound toward Bourne, police said.
Dry and cold weather will enter the region today followed by an arctic air mass that will spread over southern New England Thursday and Friday. A coastal storm could bring significant snow and ice for the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.“We will be in the lower 30s today, but Thursday will be the coldest day with temperatures in the upper 20s at best” said Alan Dunham, weather service meteorologist. “With those types of temperatures, winds don’t have to even be that strong to make it feel like it’s in the single digits to teens.”
REVERE—Gayle Johnson may have been struck and killed by the same MBTA bus the lifelong resident of Revere took home last night from her job in the mailroom of a bank in Wellington Circle, Johnson’s sister said today.Johnson, 52, was identified by authorities today as the person hit by an MBTA bus in the 400 block of Broadway about 6:55 p.m. Tuesday. The 56-year-old driver of the MBTA bus has been questioned by police, but not has been charged with the death of Johnson was struck near a Revere fire station before being dragged down the street, officials said.
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HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts State Police say they have arrested three New Hampshire residents after allegedly finding drugs in their car during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 91 in Holyoke.
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News north of Boston
Dressed like a professional hazardous materials team wearing plastic gloves, masks, and coveralls, a group of Andover High School students braved plummeting temperatures on a recent afternoon to methodically analyze piles of garbage. More than 500 pounds of debris, including bits of food and containers that had been tossed in the trash by students during the day’s four lunch periods, was sorted into piles to determine how much of the garbage could be composted or recycled. The students who conducted the waste audit were high school seniors, participants in an environmental sustainability internship course, the first of its kind in Andover. The students enrolled in the class are on a mission to save the planet and, in the process, make Andover High one of the most environmentally friendly high schools in the state.
The town’s first Festival of Trees celebration is scheduled to take place at the Westford Regency Inn from Thursday through Sunday. As part of the celebration, Westford residents are invited to Breakfast with Santa from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Westford Regency Inn, 219 Littleton Road. Families who attend the breakfast will order from the breakfast menu and a portion of the proceeds will support the Westford Family FunFest Charities, including Roudenbush Community Center, Westford Against Substance Abuse, the Westford Historical Society, and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell. A limited number of tables are available at scheduled times. To make a reservation, call the Westford Regency at 978-692-8200, ext. 520, and leave a voice-mail message with the number of persons in your party, your name, and your telephone number. Westford Regency will confirm reservations with a phone call. People participating in the breakfast can visit the Festival of Trees at the Westford Regency and vote for their favorite holiday tree. They may also place a bid on a tree. Santa will also be available for free pictures. For more information, visit www.westford.com/funfest for a complete schedule of Festival of Trees events.
Town Administrator Bill Gustus presented an optimistic financial picture when the Lynnfield Board of Selectmen hosted a budget meeeting for department heads and board chairmen on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Gustus said the town does not anticipate the need for a Proposition 2½ override for fiscal year 2015, and is expecting a 4.5 percent increase in revenue, mostly related to the MarketStreet Lynnfield project that opened in late summer.
Somerville is seeking to hire a workforce development agency to help connect residents with job openings in the city. Last week the city released a request for proposals in an effort to find an agency that, for a two-year contract worth a maximum of $100,000, will provide job training, outreach, and job placements in Somerville, according to Mayor Joseph Curtatone’s office. The city wants to hire a workforce development agency that can create and maintain a database of interested job applicants and job opportunities in Somerville to help residents have first access to new employment openings in the city. The agency would also serve as the primary point of contact for employers seeking to hire local residents, according to Curtatone’s office.
Paul Lucci Jr. and Brian Verney were officially sworn in on Nov. 18 as North Reading police officers during a brief ceremony attended by their families and officers from the town Police Department. Both men graduated from the Lowell Police Academy on Nov. 15 after 23 weeks of training, according to a statement from the Police Department. Lucci and Verney are both North Reading residents and graduates of North Reading High School.
Things to do north of Boston
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan honored several Wilmington middle school students last week for their leadership, judgment, and positive decision-making at the annual Middle School Peer Leadership Conference. Hosted by the Middlesex district attorney’s office, Middlesex Interscholastic Athletic Association, and the nonprofit Middlesex Partnerships for Youth Inc., the conference recognized students from nine school districts who were chosen by their school as role models. About 85 students from middle schools in the Bedford, Dover-Sherborn, Groton-Dunstable, Littleton, Lowell, Reading, Somerville, Weston, and Wilmington school districts were honored. The peer leadership conference focuses on helping youths make positive decisions and strengthen a culture that is substance-free. The conference included a presentation of the Middlesex Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Youth Leading Everywhere Abstaining from Drugs program, more commonly known as YOU LEAD, which supports, connects, and develops resources for youths who have chosen a lifestyle free of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. A similar peer leadership conference will be held next month for high school students, according to a spokeswoman for Ryan’s office.
Taylor C. Snow presents his players of the Week from Saturday’s Super Bowl and final Top 10 football teams from high school programs north of Boston.
Vacation and truck traffic should have an easier time getting to New Hampshire and Maine beginning in late 2016 thanks to the three-year, $292 million Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project, now underway. Despite the army of cranes, barges, and earth movers already at work, leaders in Amesbury, Salisbury, and Newburyport are optimistic about getting through the construction unscathed. “I would say that overall it’s gone pretty well, having a major, major construction project right through the middle of our communities,” said outgoing Amesbury Mayor Thatcher Kezer. The massive project focuses on the obsolete, deteriorated John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge, built in 1951, which carries an average of more than 70,000 cars a day over the Merrimack River on six lanes of Interstate 95. The new Whittier Bridge will consist of two parallel spans, one for northbound traffic and one for southbound, with an increase to four lanes in each direction.
News south of Boston
Since March, Weymouth firefighters have saved, on average, more than one person a week from dying of a drug overdose by administering a medication called Narcan. Now officials hope to prevent the need to use Narcan by getting more help to addicts and their families. Using a startup grant from South Shore Hospital, the town’s Fire Department will create the Weymouth Family Addiction Support Team, a safety net that will direct families to existing organizations that provide counseling, rehab, medical testing, and support. The service will be free and include a website, phone help-line, and direct outreach, according to the grant application. The Fire Department will coordinate the program, working with the town’s Health Department, South Bay Mental Health, Manet Community Health Center, and a proposed local chapter of the family support group Learn to Cope.
It’s one thing to understand that dangerous drugs are available in the suburbs, but a very different thing to see young people in your own community dying from an overdose, say concerned parents in Sharon. In the last two years, Sharon parents have noticed four or five deaths they believe are linked to opiate addiction, according to Tara Goodwin Frier, a Sharon Education Foundation board member. “I know this because my son has gone to multiple funerals,” she said. Aiming to confront the issue head-on, the foundation and Sharon High School are organizing a series of activities this school year, including a keynote presentation Thursday, Dec. 12, by Chris Herren, a basketball player from Fall River who grew up to play for the Celtics, only to lose his basketball career to drug and alcohol addiction.
For 30 years, the East Bridgewater Kiwanis Club has sold Christmas trees and wreaths from what is now the town’s former high school. While that building is being demolished, the group has moved its Christmas tree lot up Route 18 to Paul Wolfe Motors. But with the new location and the late Thanksgiving, Kiwanis are getting nervous about selling the club’s 700 Christmas trees if customers have had a hard time finding them.
Two local art shows provide an opportunity for shoppers to take a break from malls and holiday stress. A holiday show at the South Street Gallery in Hingham is targeted to the season’s gift-giving tradtion. Gallery owner Jack Hobbs said the focus of his show featuring work by 40 local and regional artists is to offer small paintings at prices manageable for holiday presents. At Duxbury’s Art Complex Museum a show titled “Complex Conversations: Caretaking — Past, Present and Future,” pairs two closely related artists whose work probes family values, gender roles, and parenting in a stress-filled world. The artists are Shane Savage-Rumbaugh and Stacy Latt Savage, a married couple living in New Bedford and raising a daughter.
At age 3, hockey stick in hand, Pat Shea and his older brother Brandon, then 5, would head down to the basement of their Marshfield home and play a game with mini-nets. Eventually, both graduated to the ice, but continued to play pickup games in the driveway, joined by their younger brother, Neil, now an eighth-grader. And that is where Pat worked on his big slapshot. “I would get frustrated in the driveway learning how to take a snapshot or slapshot,” he said. Brandon “would come out and help me and show me how to do it.” His work has certainly paid off. After leading Marshfield High to the Division 1 state final last March as a sophomore with a team-leading 36 points, Shea has verbally committed to attend the University of Maine on scholarship.
Peter Cappiello lists his boys’ hockey players and teams to watch from high school programs south of Boston.
About $4,000 of spending by the Braintree town clerk’s office has led to a revised policy on town employees’ travel expenses, but not before creating a dispute that has drawn in the state attorney general’s office.
EASTON — Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School’s BioBus is painted green, has counter tops made from recycled paper, floors made from old tires, and gray water. And that’s just the way they want it.The extensively refitted vehicle, based on the school’s campus in south Easton, is a traveling classroom designed to educate people about alternative energy and sustainability, said environmental technology teacher Tabitha Hobbs.“It’s quality education on numerous levels,” she said. “It educates our students on clean energy and sustainability, but then it also is a way to get out into the community and educate the community.”
Peter Cappiello presents his Players of the Week from Saturday’s Super Bowls and his final Top 10 football teams from high school programs south of Boston.
News west of Boston
Each community along the Boston Marathon route will get an increased number of invitational numbers for the 2014 race to give out to runners who have not qualified, and according to local officials, the prized bibs are more in demand than ever.“There is a buzz about this race. It’s on everyone’s mind,” said Melvin Kleckner, town administrator in Brookline, which was given 35 invitational numbers by the Boston Athletic Association for April’s race, 10 more than last spring.“There is a strong commitment to celebrate the Marathon, to celebrate our freedom, and also to remember what happened last year and those who were lost,” he said.The Boston Athletic Association has strict qualifying-time restrictions for official entries, but it also gives out hundreds of invitational numbers with few restrictions to local communities, the more than 150 charities affiliated with the race, and the event’s main sponsor, the John Hancock insurance company.This year the total will also include approximately 5,000 numbers being given to runners who were not able to finish last year because of the terrorist bombings, as well as a limited number for those who were most impacted by last year’s events.
Devon Maloof is hungry.Each of the last three seasons, as the Franklin High boys’ hockey team made a run to the Division 2 state final, the goaltender was there, watching as the excitement of being so close to winning it all gave way — sometimes slowly, sometimes suddenly — to disappointment.First, his freshman year, it was a 2-1 loss to Tewksbury in the state tournament. Then a 3-2 setback to Wilmington. Last year, he was in net for a 4-0 blowout to Wilmington.That leaves Maloof, fellow goalie Mike Donadio, and the rest of their senior class with one more shot to get over the hump — a hump that just got a whole lot bigger.Franklin has been moved up to Division 1 by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association this season.
The tension began in September, at a routine School Committee meeting, when Bedford residents learned that about 90 homeless families were living at the Bedford Plaza Hotel.As the homeless population around the state had spiked, state housing officials had filled the rooms inside the hotel on Great Road. The town of 14,500 residents had one of the state’s largest population of homeless families in hotels.“Compared to other towns, when you took into account the population, Bedford had basically twice the number as anyone else,” said Democratic state Representative Ken Gordon of Bedford.The families had 108 school-age children — about half were enrolled in Bedford schools and the other half were commuting to schools in other communities where they had previously lived.
Tim Healey lists his top players and teams to watch from high school boys’ programs west of Boston.
When he lines up on the blueline awaiting the national anthem at Quinnipiac University, Danny Federico says he can usually spot about 10 to 15 family members in the seats.He also wears a St. Thomas medal as a reminder of the man who is there in spirit—his late father, attorney Thomas Federico, who died of brain cancer three years ago at age 52.“My dad’s date of birth is on the medal,’’ said the 6-foot-1 junior defenseman from Acton. “I just have that feeling as the anthem is being played he’s also watching me and that that he would be proud.’’A graduate of Acton-Boxborough Regional, Federico also kills penalties and mans the left point on the power play for the Bobcats (13-3-3 overall).
Trained in piano and opera, grandchild of Armenian genocide survivors turns to drama to tell family’s story
Judith Boyajian Strang-Waldau was educated and trained in classical piano, and then later became an opera singer.But when the urge overtook her to tell the defining story of her heritage, she turned to a different form altogether: playwriting.Since childhood, Strang-Waldau had heard pieces of the history of her grandparents and great-grandparents, survivors of the Armenian genocide. And as she matured, she became increasingly consumed with the wish to pass this story on, even though it was a difficult one for her own forebears to tell.A reading of the play that Strang-Waldau eventually wrote, “Women of Ararat,” is scheduled for Saturday as part of “Munroe Saturday Nights,” a monthly arts series held in Lexington.
There is no getting around it, applying to college is stressful.And right about now, when seniors who applied for early decisions are hearing from admissions offices, and others are finishing up applications due Jan. 1, the stress level hits a peak, according to those who work with students.According to guidance counselors, tutors and college coaches, it is important to recognize that the application process is hard, and not brush aside the stress involved in writing essays, keeping up grades, making choices about where to apply, dealing with rejection, and perhaps having to wait until Spring before making a final decision.“We can’t control the waiting, or the disappointment, but we can control how we are affected,” said Alan Houghtaling, founder of Evolve Tutoring in Belmont.
Phil Perry presents his Players of the Week from the Super Bowls and his final Top 10 football teams from high school programs west of Boston.
A surge in kindergarten children is causing Framingham school officials to go scrambling for classroom space. In Milford, educators expect to teach more students than forecast by the city census once immigrant children enroll. Natick is studying whether to build a new middle school to ease overcrowding — a year after the town’s $89 million high school opened.The squeeze might not be as bad as Brookline or Newton, but schools in many of the suburbs farther west of Boston are reaching their limits as new, especially young, students are forecast to crowd into classrooms already busting at the steams.“We have 150 to 200 additional students working their way their way through the pipeline,” said Mark Prince, assistant superintendent in Framingham. “That’s been the case for the last three years. We’re attracting families faster than we can accommodate.”