As the Celtics prepare to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA playoffs Saturday, MetroDesk wanted to call your attention to a Cleveland Plain Dealer column that throws down the gauntlet, with humorous comparisons between the two big cities. Here's a taste:
"Cleveland versus Boston? Well. Um. Hey, How about that LeBron.
"OK, Boston, throw your stones, if it makes you feel better. We concede. We can't argue that overall, Cleveland is the superior city to Boston, which is one of the world's premier cities.
"Cleveland can't match the history of Boston, where this nation was partially forged. Boston has clam chowder. We have walleye. Our universities don't match Boston's. Nor does our waterfront, football and baseball teams.
"But Boston, we do have it over you in areas besides basketball. Like traffic.''
Yeah. We're packing to move already.
Rock on, Cleveland. While you're at it, have a look at our Eight Things You Should Know About Cleveland
We couldn't think of nine.
A 30-year-old Boston man jailed in North Korea has spoken by telephone with his family for the first time since he crossed the border on Jan. 25 and was immediately arrested, the Globe's James F. Smith reports on his blog, Worldly Boston.
Aijalon Mahli Gomes was allowed to call his mother last night, which was Friday morning in Korea, a Gomes family spokeswoman said.
State Senator Robert A. O'Leary plans to tour the 10th Congressional District Saturday as he kicks off his campaign for the seat that will open up due to the retirement of US Representative William Delahunt.
O'Leary plans to make stops in Quincy, Scituate, Plymouth, and Barnstable. O'Leary lives in Barnstable and has represented the Cape and Islands in the state Senate since winning the seat in the 2000 election.
O'Leary is competing with Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating for the Democratic nomination. Representative Jeff Perry of Sandwich and former state treasurer Joe Malone are vying for the GOP nod.
A drawbridge on Morrissey Boulevard that was stuck this afternooon in an upright position, snarling traffic as the Friday commute began, has been fixed, according to the state Department of Transportation.
The John J. Beades Bridge was stuck upright for about an hour, said spokesman Adam Hurtubise.
When bridge became stuck, a Department of Conservation spokeswoman urged motorists to avoid Morrissey Boulevard between Freeport Street and UMass Boston.
But the Department of Transportation said later that the bridge's problem had been resolved and traffic had resumed flowing in both directions.
NEW BEDFORD – A substitute teacher with a broken heart staged his own poisoning at a New Bedford high school on Wednesday, police said today.
"I think he was in some pain,'' Police Chief Ronald E. Teachman told reporters this afternoon.
He said 27-year-old Chad Wunschel will be charged with one count of filing a false report of a crime.FULL ENTRY
A man convicted of assaulting and trying to rape a woman in a Massachusetts General Hospital bathroom last year is a repeat offender and will spend up to 30 years in state prison, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.
David Flavell, 40, was convicted Thursday in the Oct. 22 attack on a 27-year-old woman. At a second trial today, prosecutors proved that Flavell had been previously convicted in 1998 of assault with intent to rape. That incident occurred in Methuen.
Superior Court Judge Charles Spurlock ordered Flavell to serve a 25- to 30-year sentence with 10 years of probation. During his probation, Flavell must wear a GPS monitoring device.FULL ENTRY
The coyotes were surrounding her. Stalking her. Four of them. And the woman who had been out for a routine walk with her dogs was in fear.
When she called 911, she told Groveland Police dispatcher Cynthia Batista she was "scared to death" by what was happening that day last June.
Batista remained calm and reassuring, even comforting, as she collected information from the woman and pinpointed her location based on her cellphone signal. Batista directed officers in their cruisers to the woman's location near the area known as the Center Street Pits.
At one point, the woman says she plans to run. "You don't want to run, honey," Batista says calmly. "Don't run."
Eventually, the woman found her way out of the wooded area, meeting a cruiser. And the coyotes melted back into the woods.
Batista was one of 12 dispatchers who received 911 Honors Awards this week in a ceremony at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.FULL ENTRY
MBTA officials say delays will persist on the Red Line through the weekend due to signal problems caused by the smoky three-alarm fire Thursday night that caused minor injuries to at least 20 people.
Repairs to the signal system, which currently doesn't work between South Station and Park Street, will be undertaken over the weekend and may even require a shutdown of service. But the authority hopes to have things back to normal by the Monday morning rush hour, MBTA General Manager Richard Davey said.FULL ENTRY
A 52-year-old contract worker at the Nashua Street Jail is facing charges after investigators discovered she was carrying several plastic bags containing drugs and cigarettes, Suffolk County prosecutors said.
Dorothy Smith of Malden was searched by Suffolk County sheriff's investigators Wednesday at the jail, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk County district attorney's office. Smith was employed by a food-service vendor that provides services for the jail.
"The search turned up four Ziploc bags containing ten cigarettes each, another plastic bag containing three rocks of what was believed to be cocaine, as well as $50 in cash," Wark said. "Investigators believe she intended to introduce those items to an inmate or inmates at the jail."FULL ENTRY
WOBURN – Clutching a jacket like a security blanket and pressing his forehead against a table, special needs student John Odgren was sentenced today to mandatory life imprisonment without parole for killing fellow student James F. Alenson inside Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School on Jan. 19, 2007.
Middlesex Superior Court Judge S. Jane Haggerty imposed the mandatory sentence after Alenson's family – his parents and two younger siblings – chose to express themselves in written statements, rather than reading victim impact statements in open court. The court clerk and the Middlesex district attorney's office said the statements would not be made public, at least partly at the request of the family.
SUDBURY -- Investigators are probing why a rented house in this western suburb did not have electricity and why a diesel generator was running in its closed garage, leading to a fatal dose of carbon monoxide for one of the four people sleeping inside early this morning.
Firefighters responded to a 911 call at 23 Old County Road around 3:30 a.m.
Aida Rosane, the 911 caller, told WBZ-TV that she woke up and could barely breathe, then managed to work up the strength to call for help.
Rosane was treated and released from MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham.
Sudbury Fire Chief Ken MacLean, said that three others were in the home. Two men were airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital in critical condition with life-threatening illness. A third man was taken to MetroWest Medical Center, where he later died.FULL ENTRY
Bill Brett for The Boston Globe
"Like many individuals who read its content, we find the message to be deplorable and offensive,'' the group says today on its website. "We are open to thoughtful discourse on even the most controversial of views, and yet we categorically reject the archaic notion that African-Americans are genetically inferior to white people. We recognize, however, that this issue is much larger than any single email or any particular student.''FULL ENTRY
|Globe deputy city editor Mike Bello highlights the top stories in this morning's Globe. He has covered news in Boston since 1973.E-mail him your tips here.|
Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
Amani Perkins, 11, left, and Rekem Rose, 14, posed Thursday with the dream house they constructed for Peaceville, the imaginary town created by children who were close to homicide victims. The project was part of a program in which children used art to cope with their feelings, the Globe reported today. Both Perkins and Rose lost brothers to violence.
"It's calm. It helps me focus," Perkins said of the program. "What I'm trying to do is fulfill as much as I can because my brother couldn't."
-- Bob St. Germain, who got a nearly $18,000 bill from Verizon
We go to great lengths to educate our customers on their products and services so that they avoid any unintended bills.
-- Philip Santoro, a spokesman for Verizon Communications Inc., and Michael Murphy, spokesman for Verizon Wireless
One person was killed and seven people were seriously injured in a single-car crash early this morning on Interstate 95 in Norwood in which speed and alcohol apparently played a role, the State Police said.
A 22-year-old Lynn man was driving a 2001 Acura MDX in the far left lane when it hit the guardrail. The driver lost control and the SUV veered across all three lanes of the road, ending up 100 feet into the woods on the right side of the road.
Eight men from the North Shore area were in the car. One was pronounced dead at the scene and seven were taken to Norwood Hospital with serious injuries, State Police said in a statement.
State Police said the crash was under investigation, but "it appears both alcohol and speed were contributing factors."
At least 20 people suffered minor injuries Thursday night when a smokey fire that started shortly before 10 p.m. in a tunnel just north of the Downtown Crossing MBTA station shut down service on three different subway lines and sent smoke billowing out of T stations and riders scrambling for safety.
Service was suspended in both directions on the Green Line between Arlington and North Station, on the Red Line between the Broadway and Central Square stations, and on the Orange line between Back Bay and North Station. Stations were shut down because authorities were concerned smoke would drift to other downtown stations.
Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the MBTA, said EMS officials had told him that 20 people — 18 from Downtown Crossing and two from Park Street — were transported to hospitals with minor smoke inhalation. Four T workers were among the injured, Pesaturo said.FULL ENTRY
A 9-year-old Belmont boy was injured today when he was struck by a falling tree limb dislodged by high winds, which also caused widespread power outages, authorities said.
The boy was rushed to a Boston hospital with serious injuries after he was hit and pinned by the limb, according to Police Captain J. Peter Hoerr.
National Grid spokesman Chris Mostyn said about 15,000 people were without power in New England, including 7,397 in Massachusetts, with most of those concentrated in the Eastern part of the state.FULL ENTRY
The dean of Harvard Law School is condemning an e-mail sent by a law student suggesting that black people could be genetically inferior to white people.
"Here at Harvard Law School, we are committed to preventing degradation of any individual or group, including race-based insensitivity or hostility. The particular comment in question unfortunately resonates with old and hurtful misconceptions," Martha Minow said in a letter to the Harvard Law community.
In the lengthy e-mail, first reported by the egal blog abovethelaw.com, Stephanie Grace, a third-year student and an editor on the Harvard Law Review, wrote, "I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent."FULL ENTRY
For the past 25 years in Suffolk County, scores of crime victims and their families have relied on Michael Coffey.
"It would take days to name every person he's helped in the course of his career," Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement. "From the victims of street robberies to the families of murdered children, Michael has given 100 percent of himself to each and every person who's needed him."
In a ceremony at the State House today, Coffey was recognized as the longest-serving victim-witness advocate in Conley's office. He was honored by the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance.FULL ENTRY
WOBURN -- John Odgren, the suburban special needs student who fatally stabbed a classmate three years ago, was found guilty of murder in the first degree by a Middlesex Superior Court jury today.
The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for about 12 hours before delivering its verdict – rejecting the defense by Odgren’s lawyers that the teenager was legally insane when he stabbed 15-year-old James F. Alenson in the bathroom at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School on Jan. 19, 2007.
Odgren now faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Superior Court Judge S. Jane Haggerty has scheduled sentencing for Friday morning.
When the jury delivered its verdict, Alenson's family, including his mother, Carman, could be seen and heard crying in apparent relief. They left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.
Across the courtroom, Odgren's parents appeared visibly upset, and after speaking briefly with defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro, they also left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.
Outside the courthouse, Shapiro spoke briefly to the Globe. "We are devastated by the verdict,'' he said.
He said Odgren has an "organic brain disorder'' and should be in the care of a doctor, not prison guards. "He needs help,'' Shapiro said.
Shapiro also criticized the trial judge, Haggerty, for her refusal to tell the jury that Odgren would not be immediately released into the community if they had chosen to find him not guilty by reason of insanity.
"Jurors tend to misunderstand the consequences of that verdict,'' he said, adding that he believes Odgren would have spent decades in a secure state psychiatric hospital if found legally insane.FULL ENTRY
The state Legislature has unanimously approved a state law cracking down on bullying, following two cases of Massachusetts youths committing suicide after allegedly being bullied.
The legislation would require school employees to report all instances of bullying and require principals to investigate them.
"Bullying is not new. Bullying has been with us from time immemorial. But what has changed is that it appears to be more pervasive, more destructive," said Senator Robert A. O'Leary, Senate chairman of the Education Committee, as he introduced the bill in his chamber.
"We're going to send out a message that this kind of behavior is not acceptable and the community needs to deal with it," O'Leary said. The proposal passed on a 38-0 vote in the Senate.FULL ENTRY
The remains of a Fall River soldier killed in Afghanistan in a suicide bomb attack have been returned to Massachusetts.
Barrett died April 19 in Kabul. Eight other Massachusetts National Guardsmen were wounded in the attack, the National Guard said.
Calling hours are from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the BMC Durfee High School in Fall River. A funeral Mass is slated for Saturday at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption that city. Interment will be in the National Cemetery in Bourne.
Don't leave those classy, colorful prom dresses in the back of the closet or the bottom of a trunks. Some young girls in Dorchester really need them to dazzle their dates and classmates.
As part of an effort called Prom Dress Drive, advocates in the neighborhood are collecting dresses, shoes, handbags, and jewelry for 16- to18-year-old girls in Boston's Grove Hall neighborhood.
“For many families, it is a financial hardship to purchase a prom dress for their daughter, especially given the high costs of dresses today,” Boston City Councilor at Large Ayanna Pressley said in a statement. “Prom night is an important high school milestone, one that no young woman should be deprived of."FULL ENTRY
New Bedford Police are investigating whether a substitute teacher had his coffee spiked with a chemical while he was volunteering at the vocational high school on Wednesday.
"There is the possibility that it might have been tampered with,'' said Michael Shea, superintendent of the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School.FULL ENTRY
Two teenage girls are facing juvenile charges after an attack on a classmate at Gloucester High School earlier this week, police said.
A mother reported to the school resource officer on Monday that her 15-year-old daughter was allegedly “jumped” by another 16-year-old student on school grounds, said Gloucester Police Chief Michael Lane.FULL ENTRY
A day after the federal government approved the Cape Wind project, state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill stepped up his criticism of the venture, skewering it as a feel-good project that could drive up energy costs.
State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill
“We all think of the Netherlands and we think of all these windmills,” the independent gubernatorial candidate told a downtown meeting of business executives today. “It’s really quaint. And it seems so much nicer than a big, bad energy plant or nuclear power. At the end of the day, it’s an industrial opportunity.”
In his most extensive comments about the controversial project, Cahill likened Cape Wind to another of his favorite targets, the state’s universal health care law, which he says is bankrupting Massachusetts.
“I don’t think it’s the real solution,” he said. “It will make us feel good about ourselves, just like covering every citizen in Massachusetts with health care made us feel good. On paper, and mentally, it’s the right thing to do.”FULL ENTRY
A 40-year-old man has been convicted of assault with intent to rape for an October 2009 attack on a woman in a Massachusetts General Hospital bathroom.
David Flavell was convicted in the Oct. 22, 2009, attack on the 27-year-old woman. He was also convicted of two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and one count of assault and battery.
Flavell will face enhanced penalties if it's determined that the assault with intent to rape is his second offense.
A brief bench trial will be held later today that will determine whether he is the same David Flavell who was convicted of that offense in 1998 in Essex County, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.
|Globe deputy city editor Mike Bello has covered news in Boston since 1973. E-mail him your tips here.|
Jim Davis/Globe Staff
When it comes to running the Boston Marathon, where do the most runners come from in Massachusetts? It turns out that Hopkinton, the town where the race starts, takes a commanding lead.
This year there were 43.2 runners per 10,000 residents in the town. A super-thin, super-fit community? The inspiration of the starting line? Or maybe a quirk in the data related to how people register for the race?
A few other towns had more than 20 runners per 10,000. Among them: Wellesley, Brookline, Boxborough, and Southborough. Boston had 16.5 runners. The state median was 3.5. The data for this year’s race are from the Boston Athletic Association.
Click here to see an interactive chart containing data from your own community.
Questions, comments, or suggestions? E-mail Matt Carroll at: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/GlobeMattC.
BOSTON -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced from the podium at the State House Wednesday that he would approve the nation's first offshore wind farm while, from left, US Deputy Secretary of Interior David J. Hayes and Governor Deval Patrick looked on.
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Ted Gartland, a dayside photo editor at the Globe, has been taking pictures in Greater Boston since 1971. Each weekday, he highlights an outtake that did not appear in the morning paper. To view the work of more Globe photographers, click here. To watch Gartland's weekly segment on NECN, click here.
The MBTA is providing the Boston Fire Department with 20 specialized chairs that can be used to transport people in emergencies.
The wheeled chairs, with extra handles on the front legs, are intended for use on the transit system and elsewhere. MBTA General Manager Richard Davey and Boston Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser are to discuss the chairs at a news conference this morning.
About 30 Boston high school students were rewarded today for innovative ideas they spent an entire school year refining.
As finalists of the first ArtScience Innovation Prize, the students will divvy up a $100,000 cash prize and use the money to explore their projects further. The awards were presented by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Dr. Carol R. Johnson, superintendent of Boston Public Schools.
Two Quincy families are mourning the loss of their cats and hoping a $1,000 reward will help officials convict those responsible for apparently dousing the animals with gasoline. The animals could not be saved.
“That’s what I want – justice for Gemini,'' said Heather DeLong, whose family found their 2-year-old male cat on their back porch reeking of the fuel shortly after midnight last Thursday. “It was just covered in head to toe in gasoline, and it was just meowing and meowing and meowing.''
About 12 hours later, another North Quincy family made a similar discovery. Jill Reamer said her daughter found the nearly 6-year-old male cat, Cocoa, in the family’s front yard on Lunt street. The DeLongs live one block away from the Reamers on Vane street in the North Quincy neighborhood.
WOBURN – A jury of seven women and five men today ended their first full day of deliberations in the first-degree murder trial of John Odgren, who Middlesex prosecutors allege carried out plans to commit a "perfect murder,'' but whose attorney says he is a mentally ill teen in need of hospitalization.
Around 4 p.m. today, Middlesex Superior Court Judge S. Jane Haggerty told jurors to leave the courthouse for the day and to return on Thursday to resume their closed door conversations. The panel deliberated for about seven hours today.
Odgren, through his attorney, Jonathan Shapiro, has admitted to the jury that he stabbed James F. Alenson to death inside Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School on Jan. 19, 2007. Shapiro contends Odgren was mentally ill that day and should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett, in his closing, said Odgren was in full command of his mind when he ruthlessly attacked Alenson, a 15-year-old freshman who did not know Odgren.
Haggerty has told jurors the verdicts they must choose from -- guilty of first-degree murder, guilty of second degree murder, not guilty by reason of insanity, or not guilty. Jurors could also deadlock after extensive deliberations.
Steve Grossman, the Newton businessman who once served as national chairman of the Democratic Party, formally announced his candidacy for state treasurer today, emphasizing his business experience and saying he would offer common-sense solutions.
"I have been a CEO who has devoted a lifetime of leadership to creating jobs, meeting payrolls, managing money, solving problems, and dealing with crises. I am convinced that during this time of extraordinary financial uncertainty, I can provide the leadership and creative ideas to help get Massachusetts workers back on the job," he said in a statement.FULL ENTRY
Sweeping antibullying legislation is poised for passage after lawmakers today struck agreement on a measure that would require school employees to report all bullying incidents and require principals to investigate them.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives and Senate, where it is expected to win overwhelming approval as soon as tomorrow. The conference report can be found here.
Governor Deval Patrick has voiced strong support for the bill, which gained momentum after the highly publicized deaths of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince and 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, who took their own lives after being bullied.
Representative Martha Walz, the bill's primary author, said the mandatory reporting requirements will help deter bullying and prevent it from reaching dangerous proportions.
"When this passes, it will the strongest antibullying legislation in the country," said Walz, a Boston Democrat.
It requires principals to notify parents of both the aggressor and the victim, legislators said.
Massachusetts is one of only seven states without a specific law targeting school bullying, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.FULL ENTRY
In a groundbreaking decision that some say will usher in a new era of clean energy, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today he had approved the nation's first offshore wind farm, the controversial Cape Wind project off of Cape Cod.
"America needs offshore wind power and with this project, Massachusetts will lead the nation," Patrick said.
The decision had been delayed for almost a year because of two Wampanoag Native American tribes' complaints that the 130 turbines, which would stand more than 400 feet above the ocean surface, would disturb spiritual sun greetings and possibly ancestral artifacts and burial grounds on the seabed. The ocean floor was once exposed land before the sea level rose thousands of years ago.
Salazar said he had ordered modifications to "minimize and mitigate" the impact of the project that would "help protect the historical, cultural, and environmental resources of Nantucket Sound." He said his approval would require the project developer, Cape Wind Associates, to conduct additional marine archaeological surveys and take other steps to reduce the project's visual impact.
"I am convinced there is a path we can take forward that both honors our responsibility to protect historical and cultural resources and at the same time meets the need to repower our economy with clean energy produced from wind power," he said.
He said the United States was leading "a clean energy revolution that is reshaping our future. ... Cape Wind is the opening of a new chapter in that future and we are all a part of that history."FULL ENTRY
Suffolk University said today that it had elected attorney Andrew C. Meyer Jr. as chairman of the college's Board of Trustees.
Meyer, who received his law degree from the Beacon Hill school, became a member of the board in 2001 and serves as chairman of its succession committee. He will be sworn in May 22.
A coalition of pedestrians is demanding safer conditions at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Albany Street in the South End, a well-known trouble spot that has long been the source of traffic complaints from students and residents.
Members of the Coalition of Fed Up Pedestrians released a survey earlier this week of hundreds who frequently use the intersection. Of the 325 people who responded to the poll conducted last month, 149 said they did not feel safe there, 145 reported having near misses with vehicles -- and 11 reported being hit by a car.
The Boston City Council unanimously passed a resolution today urging the School Committee to adopt more stringent residency requirements for students to attend the city's three exam schools.
The resolution calls for a requirement that students live in the city for at least a year before they can take the entrance exam for Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, and the John D. O'Bryant School of Math and Science, which serve students in grades 7-12.FULL ENTRY
A friend of the family of Phoebe Prince who has publicly criticized South Hadley school officials said today he has been threatened in recent weeks.
But Darby O'Brien said he cannot directly link all three threats to the Prince controversy, and he also said that he has not formally reported any of the information to police.
-- Jennifer Nassour, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican party
Leading up to an election, I’m never surprised there’s talk about it being a big Republican year. ... [Voters] see the past few years, Democrats have been delivering on the change they’ve been asking for.
-- John Walsh, chairman of the state Democratic party
Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce shared a moment in the first half of last night's game at the TD Garden. The Celts beat the Miami Heat 96-86 and advance to next round of NBA playoffs.
Globe Staff Photo/Jim Davis
Ted Gartland, a dayside photo editor at the Globe, has been taking pictures in Greater Boston since 1971. Each weekday, he highlights an outtake that did not appear in the morning paper. To view the work of more Globe photographers, click here. To watch Gartland's weekly segment on NECN, click here.
Massachusetts education officials are considering a new student-achievement benchmark that they hope will be more attainable than a nearly decade-old federal requirement that has fallen out of favor under the Obama administration.
A task force of the state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education today recommended setting a goal that 85 percent of students would score proficient or advanced on the MCAS test by 2020. That would represent a departure from a goal established under former President George W. Bush that called for 100 percent of students to be proficient by 2014.
The new benchmark and longer time line, state education officials say, reflect the enormous task the state confronts in raising achievement for all students, as well as specific categories of students, based on such factors as race/ethnicity, income levels, and learning disabilities.FULL ENTRY
For Daniel Ryan of Mashpee, a short trip in October to visit his wife in Cape Cod Hospital would be the last journey of his life. For reasons that remain unclear, Ryan was subdued by hospital staff, placed in a headlock, and fell into a coma.
Ryan never regained consciousness and died at the hospital three weeks later. He was 35.
Now, after six months, an inquest will be conducted to determine whether Ryan's death resulted from a crime. The state medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide.FULL ENTRY
If you live up in the hills, you could see a few snowflakes tonight.
Snow showers are expected to fall on the budding and blossoming trees in some areas through Wednesday morning, according to Bill Simpson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton.
"It's elevation-dependent," Simpson said. "Certainly, there's no way it's going to stick, but at the higher elevations, there's a pretty good chance it will snow."FULL ENTRY
WOBURN – Jurors in the first-degree murder trial of John Odgren deliberated for about an hour before ending an emotion-filled day during which a Middlesex prosecutor demanded justice for victim James F. Alenson and the attorney for Odgren appealed for compassion for his troubled client.
Middlesex Superior Court Judge S. Jane Haggerty let the jurors close out their day around 5 p.m. having ordered them to start their closed-door conversations at 4 p.m. They did not reach a verdict and will resume Wednesday.
From the bench, Haggerty had outlined the possible verdicts -- not guilty, not guilty by reason of insanity, guilty of first-degree murder or guilty of second-degree murder. The jury could also deadlock if they do not reach a unanimous verdict.
About three hours earlier today, a prosecutor said Alenson drew on a reservoir of courage in his final moments and helped foil Odgren's plan to commit a "perfect murder'' inside a Sudbury high school in 2007.FULL ENTRY
Treasurer Tim Cahill says the negative ads that are being run against him by the Republican Governors Association include "distortions" and "falsehoods."
Speaking on the Charley Manning show on WRKO-AM, the independent gubernatorial candidate said the claim in the ads that ran today that he lost billions in the state pension fund while passing out bonuses was untrue.
"The truth is we've made billions and the bonuses were negotiated based on the returns, the positive returns of the pension fund," he said. He said no bonuses were given out when the fund lost money in 2008.FULL ENTRY
The Green-Rainbow Party plans to field three statewide candidates in this fall's election, including candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.
Meeting in Northampton last weekend, the party's state committee also endorsed the candidacy of Nat Fortune for the office of state auditor. The incumbent, Democrat A. Joseph DeNucci, is not seeking reelection.
The South Hadley schools have drafted a new antibullying policy that requires all staff members to report "any bullying they see or learn about" and pledges to "promptly and reasonably" investigate any allegation of harassment.
The draft policy, which school administrators released Monday night, defines bullying as acts that cause "physical or emotional harm," place students in "reasonable fear of harm" or create a "unwelcoming or hostile environment at school for another person."
A task force, formed after 15-year-old Phoebe Prince hanged herself in January, crafted the policy and discussed it at its meeting Monday. The 31-member group plans to complete the policy in the coming weeks.
LAWRENCE – A North Andover couple today pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a weekend party at their home where they allegedly allowed underage teens to drink alcohol.
Ronald and Susan Smits, both 49, appeared before Lawrence District Court Judge Thomas Brennan who ordered the couple released on personal recognizance and also barred them from hosting parties for teens where alcohol is served.
State transportation officials say a project to address problems with concrete ties on the Old Colony commuter rail line will cost an estimated $91.5 million.
The transit authority expects to replace all 147,000 concrete ties with wood ties along 61 miles of track. Fifty-nine road crossings will also be replaced, MBTA General Manager Richard A. Davey said in a letter to South Shore elected officials.
The project, which will affect the entire system, including both the Middleborough and Plymouth/Kingston branches, will last until the end of 2011, the letter dated Friday said.FULL ENTRY
Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson, New England Revolution star Taylor Twellman, and boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward are headed to the State House today to warn about the dangers of concussions for young athletes.
The athletes will be speaking in support of a bill pending in the Legislature sponsored by Senator Stephen Baddour, a Democrat from Methuen, which would require students and adults involved in school sports to get training in recognizing the symptoms of concussions.
The bill would also require student-athletes who get knocked out or suffer a concussion to get permission from a doctor before returning to play.
"You can't just shake it off. You need to make sure that these kids have time to heal," said Eleni Varitimos, a staffer in Baddour's office.FULL ENTRY
Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles D. Baker, fresh off a huge victory at the state GOP convention and bracing for a tough general election campaign, is shaking up his campaign staff.
Alcivar, a former aide to New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, runs a political consulting business in Washington, D.C. O’Brien, a former executive director of the Massachusetts Republican Party, has been advising the Baker campaign and completing his master’s degree in business administration at Babson College.
“Our campaign has had a lot of success in a short period of time and we are grateful to Lenny Alcivar for helping to put us in such a strong position. Lenny and the campaign mutually agreed that matching our opponents’ Massachusetts political experience at the top level would be beneficial to the campaign. Tim O’Brien’s organizational talents were showcased with our 89 percent Convention victory, and we want to build on that strength,” Rick Gorka, a Baker campaign spokesman, said in a statement.
A poll last week showed Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, an independent, pulling into second place behind Democratic Governor Deval Patrick and ahead of Baker, but Baker aides downplayed any notion that the change in leadership signaled trouble in the campaign.
“We’re starting a general election campaign,” said one campaign official. “It’s not a power struggle. Charlie wants to put in place a team to go to the next level.”
Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
A dental clinic in Waltham for the severely mentally disabled that was slated for closure has won a reprieve, advocates said today.
The Fernald League for the Retarded Inc. says they've been notified by the state that the clinic at the Fernald Developmental Center, which serves up to 2,100 patients a year, will stay open up to June 30, 2011.
Fernald League President Marilyn Meagher said in a statement that she was glad the administration "was not simply shutting down the Fernald clinic in two months and walking away from its clients."
A spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.
Thomas J. Tinlin, commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department, makes follow-up calls to some people who had contacted Mayor Menino's constituent hot line to see if they were satisfied with the city's response to their concerns.
Pat Greenhouse / Globe Staff
Ted Gartland, a dayside photo editor at the Globe, has been taking pictures in Greater Boston since 1971. Each weekday, he highlights an outtake that did not appear in the morning paper. To view the work of more Globe photographers, click here. To watch Gartland's weekly segment on NECN, click here.
Paul Levy, the chief executive of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has acknowledged unspecified ''lapses of judgment in a personal relationship,'' prompting the hospital's board tonight to issue a statement declaring that it was "disappointed in these circumstances" but also expressing "unanimous continued confidence" in Levy's leadership.
In a written statement provided to the Globe, board chairman Stephen B. Kay said that "recently, a letter was sent anonymously to some of our board members and it involved allegations about our CEO. Even though the letter was anonymous, the board felt it needed to conduct further inquiry and has done so...It is the policy of this hospital to take all allegations seriously.''
Kay's statement did not describe the nature of the allegations, and he did not return phone calls from the Globe.
Kay said the board did not receive a complaint, and found no violation of law or hospital policy. But, he said, Levy "did acknowledge lapses of judgment in a personal relationship, and the board is taking appropriate action.''FULL ENTRY
The Republican Governors Association, hoping to clear a path for Charles D. Baker, will launch a hard-hitting TV and radio ad campaign tomorrow targeting state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, an independent who is trying to outflank Baker on the right in this year's governor's race, a spokesman for the group said today.
The ad campaign, the first major ad buy of the gubernatorial contest, comes as Baker and Cahill battle each other to become the prime alternative to Governor Deval Patrick, who polls suggest is vulnerable.
“We’re going to be making the argument that Tim Cahill is just like Deval Patrick, but worse, with regard to his record on fiscal issues and being reckless with taxpayer money,” said Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the association.FULL ENTRY
A 2-year-old boy drowned today in a man-made pond outside his home in Wakefield.
Wakefield police responded at about 11:30 a.m. to a home on Lake Street where they found the toddler in cardiac arrest. Emergency workers tried to revive him as they rushed the young boy to Melrose Wakefield Hospital.
He was then airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he died around 2 p.m., police said.FULL ENTRY
The MBTA said today it wants the Boston College students involved in a weekend crash with a Green Line trolley to pay for the cost of repairs.
Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan also said that the eight students – including three members of BC's hockey team and a women's lacrosse player at the college –- will be cited for being minors in possession of alcohol after police found beer and vodka inside the vehicle.
"These students should be held accountable for their reckless and dangerous behavior,'' MacMillan said at the Kenmore Square station this afternoon. Transit police summarized the investigation in a four page report.
The driver of the Jeep was identified by the MBTA as Jane Stanton, 19. The passengers were identified as Reilly Corbett, 18, Tina Dilandry, 18, Parker Milner, 19, Elizabeth Motley, 19, Philip Samuelsson, 18 and Patrick Wey, 19.
Late today, police identified the eighth person as Jessie Coffield, 19. She is listed on the BC website as a member of the women's lacrosse team.FULL ENTRY
WOBURN – John Odgren told a doctor he was haunted by images of James F. Alenson staring at him in the seconds after Odgren plunged a knife into the chest of the 15-year-old freshman.
The revelation of Odgren's nightmares drew gasps in Middlesex Superior Court today where Odgren is on trial for first degree murder for killing Alenson inside the bathroom of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School on Jan. 19, 2007.
Prosecutors contend Odgren planned the killing, but Odgren's defense lawyers contend he was paranoid, delusional, and was mentally ill at the time.
The detail about Odgren's nightmares came as Dr. Alison Fife, a Harvard University psychiatrist, was called by prosecutors to cast doubt on the conclusions by three mental health professionals that Odgren was insane when he killed Alenson.
NORTH ANDOVER – For the second time this month, North Andover parents are being charged with illegally allowing underage drinking in their homes and on their property, police said today.
The latest arrest was made Friday night when Ronald H. and Susan S. Smits were charged with keeping a disorderly house after some 40 underage teenagers were found consuming beer and liquor in their Blue Ridge Road home, police said.
"There were over 40 underage youths that had been drinking at a party at this address,'' North Andover Detective Daniel Cronin said by telephone today. "And the owners of the home were present and aware of the party.''FULL ENTRY
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade checks out his hand to see if it's on fire while in the process of torching the Boston Celtics for 46 points Sunday and preventing a sweep in the NBA playoffs now underway.
Globe Staff Photo/Jim Davis
By Globe Staff
A fire broke out at the underground Boston Common Garage on Charles Street, forcing an evacuation, according to TheBostonChannel.com.
The fire started inside a 2002 Ford Escape Sunday at about 2:30 p.m. on the lower level of the structure. Garage sprinklers and firefighters extinguished the blaze, fire officials said, but the evacuation lasted for more than two hours.
Service to the Green Line returned at 8 p.m. tonight after a power problem shut down the line east of Arlington Station, according to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.
Part of an occasional series of on-line essays capturing city scenes.
Boston panhandlers are getting creative in these rough economic times.
Usually, the downtrodden beg for spare change for a meal. Often, they might carry hand-made signs highlighting their plight -- laid-off worker, disabled veteran, a mother with mouths to feed.
But near Faneuil Hall Marketplace on a recent afternoon, one man took begging a step further.
"I need beer,'' read the sign held up by the man, who only would give his name as Jo Jo.FULL ENTRY
A man running down Kneeland Street in Boston's downtown area at 12:55 a.m. Saturday said he was just out for a jog. But police say he was really running from the scene of his crime.
Vladimir Cadet, 32, of Brockton was arrested for allegedly attempting to snatch a woman's purse a few moments earlier.
“I just like to run here and there,” Cadet allegedly told police when they stopped him.FULL ENTRY
A carelessly discarded cigarette started a fire that displaced 13 people and caused substantial damage to a triple-decker home in Dorchester Saturday night, a Boston Fire Department spokesman said.FULL ENTRY
Cape Cod Times Photo
A fishing boat captain from Cape Cod died while trying to rescue one of his crewmen who fell overboard off the coast of Nantucket early this morning, the Coast Guard said.
Captain John Zuzick, 53, of Harwich put on a survival suit and dove into the chilly water shortly before 5 a.m. after the crewman working on deck fell.FULL ENTRY
Two men were killed this afternoon in separate accidents on Massachusetts roadways, a State Police spokesman said.
The first accident occurred when a car traveling east on Interstate 195 in Wareham struck a guard rail and flipped at about 3:40 p.m., said Sergeant Matthew Murray, a State Police spokesman. The driver was the only person in the vehicle and was pronounced dead on the scene by EMTs.
The second fatality happened at about 3:50 p.m., Murray said, when a man on a motorcycle traveling south on Route 146 in Sutton hit the median and was thrown from his bike into the northbound lanes. The motorcyclist was taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, where he was pronounced dead. Witnesses told police that the motorcyclist was not speeding, Murray said.
Neither victim's name was released pending notification of their relatives. Both accidents are under investigation.
MBTA Transit Police have determined that someone fired a pellet gun Friday night at Red Line trains passing through Dorchester, an MBTA spokesman said.
Service was interrupted for about a half-hour while police responded. Investigators believe the shots came from Von Hillern Street in Dorchester, an area near where the trains enter a tunnel.
Although the windows were cracked, none of the pellets penetrated the cars, Pesaturo said. No one was injured, he said. Authorities asked anyone with information about the incident to call Transit Police detectives at 617-222-1050.
A 23-year-old man was fatally shot in Brockton this afternoon, the office of Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said.
At approximately 2:44 p.m., police were notified that a person had been shot at 26 Nye Ave. The victim, Wilson Pires, was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead, the statement said.
State Police are investigating reports of a gold motor vehicle in the area prior to the shooting, Cruz said.
The case is under investigation by State Police and Brockton Police. Anyone with information is urged to contact investigators at (508) 941-0234.
Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff
Chanting defiant slogans in English and Spanish, activists today protested a new Arizona law targeting illegal immigrants, denouncing the measure as draconian and discriminatory.
"As Americans, we must stand up against this law," Maria Elena Letona, associate director of the state's chapter of the National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities, told a midday gathering on the Boston Common. "It's a travesty, and it's a moral outrage."
Road closures and other transportation advisories for the week of April 25:
State Police will direct traffic while crews install traffic count devices in various locations on I-93 and the Leverett ramps Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Double right-lane closure in the I-93 tunnel Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.
WOBURN -- A third specialist testified today that John Odgren was legally insane when he fatally stabbed a fellow student at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School three years ago.
Montgomery Brower, a forensic psychologist specializing in the examination of patients involved in criminal matters, said in Middlesex Superior Court that Odgren, now 19, suffered from a lifetime of struggles with mental disorders and the bullying that came with them, to the point he was in a state of paranoia the day of the murder.
Like two other specialists before him, Brower said that Odgren’s paranoia forced him into his own fantasy world, and that he started to act out the stories he read about in thriller novels.
Odgren faces life in prison for first-degree murder in the Jan. 19, 2007 killing of 15-year-old James Alenson, a freshman whom he had never met. His defense claims that Odgren was insane at the time.
The memorial plaque the family of radio legend Jess Cain feared had been stolen from the Public Garden was found in its proper place today by a Boston Parks Department official.
Hines said a parks official found the Cain plaque underneath a blanket of mulch and that it was still firmly attached to a concrete anchor.
"I think they just looked at the wrong tree,'' said Hines. "Maybe they couldn’t see the plaque because it was covered with mulch.''
Cain's widow, Jean, and her son, Michael, told the Globe earlier today that a relative reported the plaque missing on Thursday and that Jean Cain later checked the area out and also concluded it was gone.FULL ENTRY
A blown-out tire on a passenger van apparently caused an early morning crash that injured 10 people on the Massachusetts Turnpike, State Police said.
Marie Eveillard, 53, of Brockton was medflighted to UMass Medical Center in Worcester and Gabrielle St.-Aude, 37, of Brockton was transported to the same hospital by ambulance after they were ejected from the vehicle.FULL ENTRY
State Representative Marie P. St. Fleur will leave the Legislature in June for a job at Boston City Hall, Mayor Thomas M. Menino's office said today.
St. Fleur, a Dorchester Democrat, will serve as chief of advocacy and strategic investment, the office said in a statement, and will also guide the city's Haiti relief efforts and lead a new re-entry program for youth and adults leaving the criminal justice system.
As advocacy chief, St. Fleur will seek local, state, and federal funding for job creation programs, among other initiatives, the office said.
“Rep. St. Fleur will be an effective advocate from the White House to Beacon Hill to the streets of Boston and she will help make sure we maximize tools for our neighborhoods, and that those resources and reforms translate into results for our neighbors,” Menino said in a statement.
An "extremely dangerous'' man who escaped Thursday from Chelsea Police remains at large today, authorities said.
Joel McDonald, 20, ran away from a police officer who was putting him in a cruiser to take him to Chelsea District Court. McDonald, who is facing charges he beat a man with a firearm this year, was handcuffed when he bolted from police, Chief Brian Kyes said today.
Kyes said investigators do not believe McDonald had an accomplice when he sprinted away, but now suspect that he must be getting some help because he has eluded an intensive search for him for the past 24 hours.FULL ENTRY
It worked for Scott Brown, so why can't it work for Dan Winslow? That seems to be Winslow's logic anyway, as he mounts a run for state representative in the 9th Norfolk district.
Winslow, a former top aide to Mitt Romney who did legal work for Brown's Senate campaign, has a new YouTube video that spoofs the Brown narrative we all know now by heart -- the regular dude from Wrentham with a truck.
In Winslow's case, though, it's not a big GMC pick-up. It's a bike.
"I'm Dan Winslow, I'm running for state representative, and this is my bike," Winslow says, hopping on his old black Trek. "It takes me door-to-door to meet the people of Wrentham, Plainville, Norfolk, Walpole, Millis, and Medfield."
The minute-long web ad ends with the beep-beep of a horn off-camera, as Winslow raises an arm and says, "Hey, Scott!"
One quibble, though, Dan: Where's the helmet?
Researchers flying over the Atlantic coast earlier this week spotted a record number of endangered North Atlantic right whales feeding in Block Island Sound, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said today.
Ninety-eight of the whales were spotted Tuesday by an aerial survey team. It was the largest group ever documented in those waters, the agency said.FULL ENTRY
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Workers didn't seem too impressed as they spread mulch Thursday near the 28-foot, 25-ton Babson World Globe at Babson College in Wellesley. But the globe, originally dedicated in 1955 and refurbished in the early 1990s, was a source of wonder for at least one little boy.
Poet Robert Farnsworth, who grew up in Wellesley, says, "I loitered about the Babson Globe often with my father when I was a child."
Now a professor at Bates College in Maine, Farnsworth remembered the impression it made on him in a poem in his book "Rumored Islands" (Harbor Mountain Press, Brownsville, Vt.).
Here's an excerpt from "The Maintenance of Awe":
When I was a boy and there was an hour
To kill, my father would take me to see
The world: a three-story pastel sphere,
Revolving gravely in its quiet courtyard.
Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown said this morning he was ruling out a presidential run in 2012 and that he supported former Bay State governor Mitt Romney in the race.
Brown's upset victory over Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley in a Jan. 19 special election stirred turmoil in Washington, catapulted Brown into the national spotlight, and spawned speculation about his political future.
Brown told Gangel his foremost professional priority for the next two years would be to "make sure that we can continue to deliver top rate constituent services and solve problems for the citizens of Massachusetts."FULL ENTRY
A veterinary dentist was called in today to treat a harbor seal with a toothache at the New England Aquarium.
Unseasonably warm temperatures are generating showers and isolated thunderstorms across eastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island, according to the National Weather Service.
Flashes of lightning and showers of dime-sized hail have been reported in Plymouth, Bristol, and Norfolk counties, as well as parts of Rhode Island, said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist at the weather service office in Taunton.FULL ENTRY
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
It was that kind of day. Elijah Younger, 6, of Beverly used a coat as a blanket today and let his toes wiggle free at Earth Day festivities on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston.
A Lynn man was arraigned today at Boston Municipal Court on charges that he punched an MBTA Green Line inspector while spewing racial slurs in an ugly confrontation at Copley Station earlier this month.
Daniel Jourdet, 52, was charged with assault and battery, violation of civil rights, disorderly conduct, and trespassing, in the April 1 attack, the Suffolk district attorney's office said. He was held on $10,000 cash bail.
Because Jourdet had open cases in East Boston District Court and convictions in at least three other states, Assistant District Attorney Kate Clayman recommended that bail be set at $50,000 cash. Judge Mark Hart Summerville set bail for the lower amount, but ordered that the victim’s personal information be protected and ordered Jourdet to stay away from him.FULL ENTRY
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
NATICK – Seeking parole for the fourth time, convicted rapist Benjamin LaGuer today fiercely maintained his innocence and said he could not express remorse for a crime he didn’t commit.
“I will never trade my father’s name for any reason, not even my freedom,” he said, fighting back tears.FULL ENTRY
Chelsea Police are searching for a 20-year-old man who escaped from their custody this morning as he was being brought to the Chelsea District Court.
Joel McDonald, who police described as "highly dangerous," was being placed in a vehicle at the police station at about 8:45 a.m. when he was able to break free and ran swiftly away, despite being handcuffed, said Chief Brian Kyes.
The officer who was placing him in the vehicle pursued him, but McDonald, who is 5-foot-8 and weighs 140 pounds, outpaced him, Kyes said.
"This kid is fleet of feet," the chief said. "They told me he took off like a gazelle."FULL ENTRY
What happened to the great tax revolt of 2010?
State lawmakers, wary of Tea Party and anti-tax sentiment brewing across the country, reserved the largest room at the State House and braced for a contentious and packed hours-long hearing today on proposed ballot questions to cut sales and alcohol taxes.
One lawmaker, riding on an elevator down to the hearing, darkly joked that he hoped there would metal detectors, presumably to keep angry taxpayers from storming the room with weapons.
But the hearing was a dud.FULL ENTRY
WOBURN -- A second child-behavior specialist testified today that John Odgren was delusional when he killed another student at Lincoln Sudbury High School and therefore should be found not guilty by reason of insanity under state law.
Ross Greene, a child psychologist, said Odgren was living in "a world of his own making" when he fatally stabbed James Alenson, a 15-year-old freshman whom Odgren had not met, in a boys bathroom on Jan. 19, 2007.
Odgren, who was diagnosed with Asperger's disorder, was socially awkward and had faced bullying at school, Greene said. That made him so anxious that he was living in a state of paranoia, he testified.FULL ENTRY
A group of 16 college students and other activists are facing trespassing charges after camping out overnight on Boston Common to demonstrate for clean energy.
Police spoke to the members of the Leadership Campaign environmental group shortly after midnight. When they did not leave after being asked to, police took their identifying information and they plan to summon them to Boston Municipal Court to face the charges, police and activists said.FULL ENTRY
-- Isaac Borenstein, the retired judge representing Benjamin LaGuer
He’s a tremendous imposter. I cringe at the thought of him coming out.
-- Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella of Leominster, a former city police officer who was one of the first at the crime scene and who said he has no doubts about LaGuer’s guilt
A long-time North End activist who championed public safety and rallied for neighborhood youths died while on vacation in Cancun, his sister and friends confirmed Tuesday.
The death was reported on a neighborhood blog, NorthEndWaterfront.com, and those who know DeCristoforo are reeling from the news.
“If you were a neighborhood guy, you knew Bobby D.,’’ said Stephen Passacantilli, who heads the North End Waterfront Neighborhood Council.
Debra DeCristoforo said her brother went to the same hotel in Cancun every year for about two decades. “He went the same week in the same hotel,’’ she said. “Sometimes he goes with people, but this time he went alone.’’FULL ENTRY
The city of Boston intends to use federal grants to boost energy efficiency for nearly 4,000 homes and small businesses and is proposing to build a wind turbine on Moon Island in Boston Harbor that could power as many as 800 homes, city officials said today.
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is slated to announce that the city’s Office of Environmental and Energy Services has awarded $2.8 million in federal stimulus money for programs that will retrofit nearly 3,100 homes and 800 small businesses with energy-efficient technologies.
He also plans to unveil a proposal to develop a 1.65-megawatt wind turbine on the island, a property owned by Boston that’s within the municipal boundaries of Quincy. The 400-foot-high turbine would be at least 1 mile from the nearest home in Quincy, and it would power homes in both Boston and Quincy, city officials said.
Supporters will once again rally Thursday afternoon to spare Walsh Community Center from the city's budget chopping block.
The city announced earlier this month that because of budget woes it will pull funding from the South Boston center and seven others across the city, turning the facilities over to private groups that will run programs there.FULL ENTRY
In a rare step, authorities today rebutted widespread rumors that bullying had precipitated the death of a Gloucester middle school student, who was fatally struck by a commuter rail train on Monday.
"At this stage of the intensive, ongoing investigation, the evidence does not reflect that bullying or any other unlawful behavior by anyone else was the cause of this young boy's death," said Steve O'Connell, a spokesman for the Essex County district attorney's office, which is investigating the boy's death.FULL ENTRY
George Rizer for The Boston Globe
A grandmother and two small children were rescued this afternoon after their canoe overturned in the Taunton River in Middleborough, roughly half a mile from the Summer Street bridge, officials said.
Rescuers responded to a call of a capsized canoe at about 2 p.m., Fire Chief Lance Benjamino said. When they arrived, they were met by a woman who had just gotten out of the river. She said her mother and two small children needed to be rescued.
She told officials the children were both under 6 years old, Benjamino said. One of the children was hers, the woman said; it wasn't clear who the second child was, the chief said.
"I think she swam upstream, up the river, and made her way to the shoreline," Benjamino said.
The children and the grandmother were wearing flotation devices but were unable to make their way to the shore. Firefighters launched an airboat and found them in a swampy part of the river.FULL ENTRY
WOBURN -- A child psychiatrist testified today that John Odgren was insane when he fatally stabbed a fellow student at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School three years ago.
Richard Barnum, a psychiatrist for more than 30 years who specializes in pediatric treatment, said he met with Odgren in the spring of 2008 and several times thereafter, and found that the teenager met the legal criteria for insanity – he suffered from a mental illness or defect that caused him to be unable to understand the law and the consequences of his actions.
“At the time, John was not criminally responsible,” Barnum told jurors in Middlesex Superior Court, during Odgren’s trial on a first-degree murder charge.FULL ENTRY
Two men were arrested for allegedly attempting to charge the public for parking spaces in an MBTA employee parking lot near North Station before the Boston Celtics game on Tuesday night, the MBTA Transit Police said.
Daniel Campbell, 47, a homeless man, and Thomas Fitzpatrick, 43, of Dorchester were arrested on charges of larceny by false pretenses and trespassing, Lenehan said. They were arraigned today in Boston Municipal Court and held on $1,000 bail, the Suffolk district attorney's office said.FULL ENTRY
Two days after a volcano in Iceland erupted, a Sturbridge man and his son who were vacationing in that country shot video from the volcano's upwind side of the billowing ash cloud.
"I can't begin to tell you how incredible it was to be there," John Kittel said. "It was just magnetizing. We couldn't leave it and kept being drawn toward it. We didn't want to get too close because it was scary, but at the same time, it was just so awesome."FULL ENTRY
MBTA Transit Police are investigating today after a car rear-ended a RIDE van Tuesday night on Commonwealth Avenue in the Kenmore Square area, injuring the van's driver and a woman in a wheelchair who was on the van's lift.
The accident happened shortly before midnight. The driver, who was helping the woman to get out of the van, was knocked to the ground, and the woman fell out of her wheelchair onto the hood of the Taurus. They were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, said Joe Pesaturo, an MBTA spokesman.
One of the three passengers in the Ford Taurus that hit the van was also taken to the hospital with head and neck pain.
One of the students who tried to revive Alexander Doucette, the 18-year-old senior at Nashoba Regional High School who died Monday after collapsing at track practice, is remembering Doucette as a devoted, popular teammate.
Other students, too, spoke highly of Doucette. "He was friends with just about everyone," said Joe Quirk, captain of the track team. "He was always around to help with homework, or to just joke around with."
Doucette, whom friends called "Douce," planned to attend Stonehill College in the fall.
On Tuesday, students attended grief counseling sessions at the high school, blinking back tears as they crossed into the bright midday sun. Most were too anguished to talk about their classmate, shocked by the death of a young athlete abounding with energy.FULL ENTRY
A Medford man has been sentenced to four to five years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing approximately $3 million from the construction management company where he worked and sending fraudulent bills to cover up his thefts to his company's clients, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Port Authority.
George Papadopolous committed larceny and procurement fraud when he was a vice president and branch manager of URS Corp., a company that provides planning and management for large construction projects, the attorney general's office said.FULL ENTRY
For years, Massachusetts lawmakers have been jealously eyeing all the gamblers leaving the state for casinos in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Now, it’s New Hampshire jealously eyeing all the rumblings of casinos coming to Massachusetts.
Fix it Now New Hampshire, a group that is trying to bring racetrack casinos to New Hampshire’s Rockingham Park, is seizing on the recent passage of gambling legislation in the Massachusetts House to try to persuade Granite State lawmakers to legalize slot machines at six locations, including two on the Massachusetts border.
A flier that the group is circulating in the New Hampshire State House today features a big photo of a grinning Governor Deval Patrick with the caption, “Why is this man smiling?”
"The Massachusetts House has overwhelmingly approved the expansion of gaming,” the flier says. “They are poised to take millions of dollars in revenue from New Hampshire residents.”FULL ENTRY
|Globe deputy city editor Mike Bello highlights the top stories in this morning's Globe. He has covered news in Boston since 1973.E-mail him your tips here.|
A man in his 40s was killed this morning when he was struck by a commuter train passing through Winchester Station, the MBTA said.FULL ENTRY
BOSTON -- Dwight Hunter of Boston watches firefighters respond to a two-alarm fire on Tuesday across from his apartment on Mission Hill. The Calumet Street fire, which was reported shortly before 7 p.m. , displaced 12 people, but no one was injured.
Essdras Suarez/Globe Staff
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is convening a bicycling safety summit this afternoon, in a bid to promote more harmony between cyclists and drivers after a rash of bicycle accidents in recent weeks, including one that killed a young man.
Menino says people have to realize that there's a need for shared, common respect among everyone who uses the city's roads.FULL ENTRY
Steve McLaughlin for The Boston Globe
The man who collapsed while running the Boston Marathon and had to be brought back to life was sitting up in his Boston hospital room preparing to return to Louisiana – and talking on his cellphone.
"I'm doing good. I'm doing good,'' Carleton Smith, 64, said from the intensive care unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he was rushed on Monday. "I had a bad day yesterday. But they are taking care of me. I'm sitting up in my chair right now, talking to my wife. So it looks, right now, that everything is going to be okay.''FULL ENTRY
An 18-year-old man was arrested just minutes after he allegedly robbed a Brighton convenience store at gunpoint Monday night -- his effort at escape slowed down by the $300 in coins the clerk had handed over during the crime, police said.
Derek Price of Roxbury was apprehended around 9:15 p.m. after he allegedly held up the Quality Market on North Beacon Street, police said. He was held on $25,000 bail today after being arraigned in Brighton Municipal Court on charges including armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, and unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm.FULL ENTRY
European flights from previously closed airports in Germany, France, and Switzerland are starting to move in and out of Logan International Airport.
A British Airways flight took off for London's Heathrow Airport this morning but was scheduled to touch down in Shannon, Ireland. British Airways is putting up passengers in hotels there until UK airspace opens, or they can take a ferry across the water to reach London.
The rest of today's British Airways and Virgin Atlantic flights to and from London have been canceled.
Lufthansa flights from Frankfurt and Munich are scheduled to arrive at Logan later today, and an Air France flight from Paris is delayed but due in around 5 p.m.
Flights are still scheduled to depart for Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, and Zurich. Flights in and out of Amsterdam and Dublin have been canceled.
European airspace is gradually opening up after five days of mass flight cancellations because of the eruption of a volcano in Iceland, the Globe reports this morning.
A boy struck and killed by a commuter rail train last night in Gloucester is believed to be a 13-year-old who attended O'Maley Middle School, officials said today.
The boy was struck by a northbound train in the area of Babson Reservoir around 6:30 p.m. Monday, said Steve O'Connell, spokesman for the Essex County District Attorney's office. He said the incident is still under investigation by Gloucester Police and State Police assigned to the district attorney's office.FULL ENTRY
Governor Deval Patrick today reiterated his support for a transgender rights bill that has become a surprise issue in the governor's race, seeking to use his rivals' opposition to the legislation to raise money for his re-election campaign.
At issue is a bill that would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of "gender identity or expression."
Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles D. Baker on Saturday issued a flier to delegates at his party’s convention saying he would veto the bill, even though it is cosponsored by his running mate, Senate Minority Leader Richard R. Tisei.
On Monday, state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, who is running for governor as an independent, issued a strongly worded statement saying that he, too, would veto the legislation.
Today, Patrick's campaign sent out a fund-raising letter asking for $50 donations "to show our opponents that we believe in a Commonwealth free from discrimination."
Federal authorities say Massachusetts should enact laws that require firefighters to wear seat belts and be tested on air brakes before they are allowed to drive fire trucks, according to a recently released investigation report on a fatal fire truck crash in Boston last year.
Lt. Kevin M. Kelley (Boston Fire Department)
The investigation conducted by the Firefighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health concludes that a fire lieutenant who was killed and two firefighters riding in a ladder truck when it lost brake pressure and crashed into an apartment building on Jan. 9, 2009, were not wearing their selt belts. The driver also was not adequately trained on how air brakes work, the report says.
Boston Fire Department regulations did not require firefighters to wear selt belts at the time of the crash, and Massachusetts law exempts "operators and passengers of fire vehicles from having to wear a seat belt."FULL ENTRY
The FBI's hunt for former South Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger has shifted to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
"It's just part of our outreach to locate where Bulger might be,'' said Marcinkiewicz, adding that the FBI has no specific information that the gangster is hiding in Victoria. "Whitey could probably be anywhere. We're just trying to reach all logical places.''
Bulger, a long-time FBI informant, fled more than 15 years ago and is wanted for 19 murders in the 1970s and 1980s, in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and in Florida.FULL ENTRY
One of the teenagers charged in the bullying case of Phoebe Prince, a South Hadley 15-year-old who committed suicide in January, pleaded not guilty this morning at Holyoke District Court this morning to a drunken driving charge.
The blue sedan Renaud drove was broken down on the side of Route 5 in Holyoke with its hazard lights on at around 3 a.m. Sunday when officers in the area noticed it and stopped to talk to Renaud, said Holyoke Police Sergeant Isaiah Cruz.
“When [the officers] were speaking with him, they realized he was also drunk,” Cruz said. “He was given a sobriety test on scene, which he failed.”
According to Cruz, Renaud said he was heading northbound from Southampton when he thought he hit something like a curb. Renaud was brought back to the police station, where he failed additional sobriety tests. He was charged with operating under the influence and was released on $40 bail.FULL ENTRY
WOBURN, Mass. -- The father of the 19-year-old accused of fatally stabbing a classmate at Lincoln-Sudbury High School testified today that his troubled son threatened to shoot a student who had bullied him in third grade with "a golden gun" and jabbed a pencil into another student's chest in fourth grade.
Paul Odgren testified in Middlesex Superior Court that his son, John, who faces a first-degree murder charge, showed signs of mental problems even as a baby and eventually was diagnosed with major depression, Asperger's Syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.FULL ENTRY
When his father died, John Quincy Adams wrote a detailed description of how he wanted the second president of the United States laid to rest in Quincy.
Those instructions were penned in 1826 – and will be displayed to the public later today at Quincy City Hall after they were discovered hidden inside a bound volume of old city records, according to the office of Mayor Thomas P. Koch.FULL ENTRY
An autopsy is planned after the death of a Nashoba Regional High School senior who collapsed at track practice on Monday morning, school officials said.
Alexander Doucette, 18, of Lancaster collapsed during a 100-yard dash at the Bolton school, according to a school district statement. Teammates who were EMTs treated him until an ambulance arrived and took him at around 10 a.m. to Clinton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.FULL ENTRY
BOSTON -- So that's how they do it. Teyba Erkesso of Ethiopia, the women's winner of the Boston Marathon, appeared to possess anti-gravity powers as she flew down the course Monday.
Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
I am required by law to support this award and to submit its finding to the City Council, who will decide whether or not to accept and fund the decision. I am not, however, bound to stay silent on the facts. This contract provides a 19 percent raise, which is 5 percent more expensive than the wages provided to other public safety agencies during successful negotiations.
-- Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino
The mayor chose to take us to arbitration. We are both bound by the arbitrator’s award. We look forward to getting this behind us and focusing on being the best fire department we can be.
-- Edward Kelly, president of Local 718 of the International Association of Firefighters
Boston firefighters must accept random drug and alcohol testing and some limits on sick leave, and in return will receive a 19 percent raise over four years, a labor arbitrator has decided, officials with knowledge of the decision said today.
The raise is a significant pay bump that would dwarf the raises of other city unions over the same period.
The decision is something of a victory for the firefighters union, which had been asking for pay and benefits equivalent to a 21 percent raise, and puts the city of Boston, which had initially offered a 14 percent salary increase, in a precarious negotiating position with other unions, such as those representing teachers and police. Both got 14 percent raises in their contracts and now could demand another 5 percent. Many city labor contracts are up for renewal.
The arbitrator's decision ends a bitter contract dispute that had stalled for nearly three years over the drug and alcohol testing, which the city wanted but firefighters had resisted without getting a significant pay increase in return. The firefighters union endured significant criticism for its resistance after autopsy reports showed that two firefighters who died in a restaurant fire in August 2007 may have been impaired.
The drama of the Boston Marathon was interrupted for some spectators near the Kenmore Square area this afternoon when one of the runners suddenly collapsed to the street, in full cardiac arrest.
Some runners stopped in their tracks and turned to help the man while onlookers also rushed to the aid of the runner, who was described as a man in his 60s, according to Jennifer Mehigan, spokeswoman for Boston Emergency Medical Services.
"His heart was not beating,'' said Mehigan.FULL ENTRY
Photo by Joe BelleIsle (Reader Submission)
Gardner residents had a good reason to break out their cameras over the weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday, two moose roamed through the area around Teaberry Lane, spending several hours in driveways and in front of porches, said resident Joe BelleIsle.
"They came out from behind my house," BelleIsle said. "I was pretty amazed. In the wintertime, when the snow starts to get deep, we'll see the deer come out. They'll munch on some shrubbery and stuff like that. But we've never seen moose."FULL ENTRY
As the air travel crisis caused by the ash cloud over Europe dragged into its fifth day, tempers among travelers stranded today at Logan Airport were growing short.
Desperate for any information, weary, frustrated travelers formed long queues behind unmanned ticket counters, and stared earnestly at departure screens in hope of good news.
Like scores of other tourists and business travelers milling about the international terminal, Paola Fomia was shuttling between hope and dejection. She exulted when she saw her flight listed on the schedule. Then it vanished, and an airline representative said it might be days before she got home to Milan.
But others were buoyed by news that a number of Lufthansa flights were cleared to return to Germany. Evita Kallitsi, a 21-year-old from Greece traveling home through Munich, said she was eager to be homeward-bound after a fun-packed but exhausting 10 days visiting friends in Boston. Ten days and counting.
"I'm extending my holiday," she said.FULL ENTRY
Gov. Deval Patrick holds a narrow lead in the governor's race while independent Tim Cahill currently runs ahead of Charlie Baker, according to a new poll from Western New England College.
Patrick, a Democrat, was backed by 34 percent of the voters while Cahill, the state's treasurer and former Democrat, came in second with 29 percent support. Baker, who collected the Massachusetts Republican party's nomination this past weekend, was third, with 27 percent.
The survey of 481 registered voters was conducted between April 11 and April 15 – before the state GOP convention in Worcester this past weekend that ended with Baker gaining sole control of the party's nomination. Christy Mihos, the businessman who was fighting for the title, failed to get on the primary ballot.
“These numbers reflect a tight race, with Patrick’s opponents splitting the portion of the electorate that is unhappy with the governor,” Tim Vercellotti, director of the Polling Institute and an associate professor of political science at the college, said in a statement.FULL ENTRY
An injured fisherman was plucked from the deck of a fishing vessel by the US Coast Guard using a Jayhawk rescue helicopter Sunday evening, the Coast Guard said.
The fisherman on board the fishing vessel Neves suffered a back injury and needed to be rushed to a hospital for treatment, the Coast Guard said in a statement. A video of the rescue is on the Coast Guard's website.
LEXINGTON -- Throngs of people early this morning fixed their gaze on actors reenacting the famous battle between British soldiers and the Lexington Minutemen that started the Revolutionary War. Two men, meanwhile, huddled in an attic across the street prepared to fire the first shot.
While debate continues about who fired the first shot that started the war, there’s no doubt about who fires the mysterious shot at the battle’s annual re-enactment, including this morning's spectacle.
For the past five years, the first shot has been fired by the tandem of Carlo Bertazonni of Burlington and Bill Gundling of Westborough.
“We fire two muskets in case one doesn’t go off,” said Gundling.
“Because muskets aren’t very reliable weapons,” said Bertazzoni.FULL ENTRY
A two-alarm blaze tore through a golf course clubhouse in Hopedale last night, completely destroying the building, fire officials said.
Firefighters responded to the Hopedale Country Club just after 10 p.m. Sunday and found heavy fire coming from the roof and sides of the building, Deputy Fire Chief Tom Daige said.FULL ENTRY
Patriot's Day merriment in Boston kicked off this morning in the cold shadow of City Hall Plaza, where the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company joined the North End Marching Band and ROTC programs from a half dozen local high schools.
With flags and ceremonial rifles, they paraded down Tremont Street with His Majesty's 47th Regiment of Foot and the Boston Police Special Operations Unit. At King's Chapel, they laid a wreath on the grave of William Dawes and did the same in the Granary Burial Ground at the final resting place of Paul Revere.
"Patriot's Day has a special meaning in Boston," Mayor Thomas M. Menino told the crowd at the start. "Our country and everything we stand for started right here on these streets."FULL ENTRY
|Globe deputy city editor Mike Bello has covered news in Boston since 1973. E-mail him your tips here.|
Elite Boston marathoners will have close-to-ideal weather as they journey from Hopkinton into Boston, according to the National Weather Service.
“The humidity is comfortable,” said Charlie Foley, a meteorologist at the NWS in Taunton. “The only fly in the ointment might be that it’ll be a little too breezy perhaps, but the good thing about that is the direction is more favorable.”
Sunny skies, temperatures in the upper 40s and dry air characterize the weather expected for Hopkinton this morning, Foley said. Temperatures should increase to the lower 50s as runners lose elevation and pass through Wellesley and toward the coastal plain. Temperatures are predicted to eventually reach highs in the upper 50s this afternoon.FULL ENTRY
Kalene O'Brien longed to take in the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower on the April school vacation week. Instead, the Salem High School junior will hit the lacrosse practice field, after a school trip to France was canceled yesterday as a volcanic ash cloud shut European airspace for a third straight day.
"For most of the kids, it was going to be their first time to Europe,'' said O'Brien, 17. "But we all definitely understand. We heard volcanic ash could shut down the planes. We'd all rather be alive.''
From disappointed high-schoolers to stranded marathoners, the volcano eruption in Iceland continued to disrupt travel on both sides of the Atlantic yesterday. Hundreds of European runners are not expected at the starting line for the 114th Boston Marathon tomorrow, because of limited travel options, an organizer said.
Several airlines flew test flights without passengers today, and the European Union said 50 percent of flights may resume by tomorrow if forecasts confirm the ash is clearing out. But for many, the return to normal of Europe's airspace appears to be too little, too late.
A group of 19 Melrose High School students, who were traveling to Ireland for the week, were stranded at Philadelphia International Airport on Friday night, after an airport in Ireland closed, a school official said.
"They were on the runway and the pilot got word the airport in Ireland had shut down,'' said Robert Savarino, an assistant principal at Melrose High School.
After spending the night in an airport terminal, the students flew back to Boston yesterday morning. The study trip, which was to focus on Irish history and literature, probably won't be rescheduled, he said.
"Under the circumstances, its best that we canceled,'' Savarino said. "Who knows what the weather conditions are going to be over there.''
As volcanic ash clouded airspace from London to Zurich, about 80 percent of international flights to Europe from Logan International Airport were canceled yesterday.
Seven carriers, including
The Lufthansa cancellation prompted Salem High School to postpone a nine-day trip to France. Eight students, plus two chaperones, were due to fly to Germany last night for a connecting flight to Paris, teacher Dolores Donofrio said.
"We had thought that maybe by Saturday night things would have calmed down,'' she said. "But that doesn't look to be happening.''
But with the volcano still spewing, Donofrio decided it would be better to postpone the trip until June, or even next April vacation, she said.
"I would not want to be stuck someplace with eight students,'' Donofrio said. "With all the flights being canceled, we might be able to get there, and not get back.''
One parent thinks the school made the right call.
"With all that smoke and debris, I think they did the right thing,'' said Margita Tremblay, whose daughter, Shannon MacArthur is president of the school's French Club. "She had her bags packed. She was very disappointed they couldn't go, but they can go later.''
Salem High booked the trip through EF Educational Tours of Cambridge. A company spokesman yesterday declined to say how many school trips had been canceled or rescheduled due to the volcanic chaos. But the company is providing schools with options, including rescheduling the trips through the end of April next year, he said.
"Our top priority is to get these groups to travel,'' said Eric Beato , the company's director of communications. "Obviously, flights in and out of Europe now are difficult for everyone.''
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Kathy McCabe can be reached at email@example.com.
WORCESTER -- Massachusetts Republicans gave an overwhelming endorsement to gubernatorial candidate Charles D. Baker at their state convention today, giving him a massive margin that forces GOP rival Christy Mihos out of the race and frees him from what could have been a bitterly divisive primary battle.
In an impressive display of broad support among party leaders and activists, Baker won 89 percent of the delegate votes, while Mihos got only 11 percent, falling far short of the 15 percent threshold needed to qualify for the September primary ballot. GOP leaders said Baker's margin was the biggest in recent convention history.
Baker, who has been the party establishment's favored candidate to retake the governor's office, claimed victory late in the afternoon surrounded by his parents, wife, and children, as red, white, and blue confetti and balloons rained on the crowd inside the DCU Center.
"We have a job to do and that job starts today," Baker told cheering delegates. "It’s time to take our state back from the Beacon Hill insiders, the status quo-ers and non-reformers, and give the people of Massachusetts the government they deserve – affordable, accountable, and responsive.”
The sun is coming out -- drumroll, please -- Monday.
In the meantime, Bostonians are in for a cloudy and damp Sunday with some “wet flakes” falling tonight and early Sunday morning, said meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Taunton.
No accumulation is expected, said Charlie Foley, meteorologist. “Most people won’t even see it,” he said.
Today’s high will reach about 42 degrees with a low of 37 degrees. Sunday’s high is expected to top out at 47 degrees with a low near 39 degrees.
Just in time for Patriots Day and the Boston Marathon, the sun will peek out Monday, said Foley, but there will be a chance of showers during the day, before 3 p.m.
“I think Monday we will see some glimmer of sunshine,” said Foley.
WORCESTER -- Former Massachusetts Turnpike board member Mary Z. Connaughton won the endorsement today of the state Republican convention for auditor.
But winning that honor didn't mean that the various speakers proclaiming her name from the stage at the DCU Center knew how to pronounce her name.
They continually referred to her proudly as Mary "Con-NAW-ton," with the accent on the second syllable. A call to her cellphone moments ago reconfirmed that the candidate actually pronounces her name "CON-nuh-ton."
Oh, and, by the way, the "Z" stands for Zarrilli, her maiden name.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Stacey Yasutovich, a 20-year-old student and church youth director from Franklin hooted “Whoo hoo!” and stood to cheer when US Senator Scott Brown took the stage this morning at the convention. She was thrilled to be attending her first convention at a moment when the Republican party’s fortunes in Massachusetts seem more promising than they have in her lifetime.
“Oh my gosh, I’m so pumped because I’ve always been a minority being a Christian,” she said of the Republican revival in Massachusetts. “The minority is finally going up and fighting and going through the barriers. I’m just, like, out of my mind!”FULL ENTRY
Christy Mihos, who is fighting to get a slot on the Republican gubernatorial primary ballot, sat in a room behind the main convention stage this morning, going over the final details of his speech with six advisers and his wife, Andrea.
The group was trying to pump him up, none more than his wife, who told him not to worry if he took more than his 12 minutes of allotted time to deliver his final bid for delegate votes at today’s convention.
“This is your time, this is what you wanted,” Andrea Mihos told him, looking into his eyes. “It’s never going to happen again.”FULL ENTRY
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Convenience store magnate Christy Mihos says he's going to continue to fight to get the endorsement of the GOP convention, despite Charles D. Baker's desire to get him out of the primary.
"I'm used to fighting for the principle," he told reporters on the convention floor.
While Republican US Senator Scott Brown was delivering the keynote speech and reiterating his endorsement of Baker, Mihos said he was unfazed. "I'm the outsider. There's no doubt about that. I always will be."
He said party insiders don't represent independent-minded voters who want to see a primary battle.
"Do they want a primary?" he said of what he called the insiders. "I don't think so. They just want another suit."
Mihos called Baker, a former health care executive, a "health care salesman" and said, "I match up well with him on the issues."
The Globe reported today that Baker, confident of the support of the party establishment and rank and file, would take aim at Mihos today, hoping to avoid a divisive primary in September.
WORCESTER -- Republican Senator Scott Brown criticized what he called a "reckless spending spree" in Washington as he revved up the crowd today at the state Republican convention in Worcester.
"Many families in Massachusetts and across America, while they're hurting and struggling to make ends meet, to cut costs and tighten their belts, Washington is doing the complete opposite - they are continuing their reckless spending spree, raising our taxes, driving up our national debt to an astronomical almost $13 trillion. And what is their answer? ... Print more money and raise your taxes," he said.
Brown received a raucous welcome from the thousands of delegates gathered at the DCU Center, hoping for a resurgence in the party after Brown's upset special election victory in January.
"Senator Brown's campaign was just spring training. Today is Opening Day," said Jennifer Nassour, chairwoman of the party. She announced the party had more than 175 candidates in the coming election. Two years ago, only four Republicans aimed for the 10 seats in Congress held by Democrats, and only 48 ran for the 200-member Legislature.
Brown's upset victory over Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley reshaped the national political landscape.
"Remember when Barack Obama talked about bringing 'change' to Washington? I'm guessing that a Republican senator from Massachusetts wasn’t the change he was talking about," Brown said.
WORCESTER -- With 2,000 red, white and blue balloons waiting on the ceiling to be dropped when their candidate is endorsed, Republicans listened to the National Anthem today as their state convention opened.
The party is hoping for a resurgence after the special election this January of Scott Brown to the US Senate. Brown, until his upset election a relatively little-known state senator, was scheduled to be the keynote speaker of the convention.
Former health care executive Charles Baker and convenience store magnate Christy Mihos are both seeking 15 percent of the delegates, which will get them on the ballot for the primary election.
Baker, confident he has the strong support of the party establishment and rank and file, plans to take direct aim at Mihos, hoping to avoid a divisive primary in September, the Globe reports today.
Conservative talk radio host Howie Carr of WRKO 680 AM has been suspended for a week, effective Friday, for publicly and repeatedly using his program to bad-mouth the station, a company executive said.
Julie Kahn, vice president and marketing manager for Entercom Boston, which owns the station, said Carr’s behavior toward his employer has become increasingly caustic and intolerable.
‘‘His behavior and his anger at the company is unacceptable because he denigrates the company, the medium, the station, the signal, and he’s a highly, highly, highly paid employee,’’ she said.FULL ENTRY
(Associated Press photo)
It's challenging enough to run the Boston Marathon. But some runners are facing extra hurdles today before even reaching the starting line.
At least two dozen runners, including at least one elite contestant, have been delayed by flight disruptions caused by the recent eruption of the volcano in Iceland, marathon officials said.
Some of those won't make it at all.
Martin Cunningham, 47, of Bromley, England, learned today that British Airways had canceled his Saturday flight and that he wouldn't be coming to Boston after all. "Game over," he tweeted, according to the Associated Press.
"I really set my heart on doing Boston after completing a marathon in Berlin last September," he said.FULL ENTRY
Human remains found in Holden earlier this month belonged to a Norwood woman who has been missing since 2006, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.'s office.
The woman has been identified as Tyra Wilkerson of Norwood, Early said in a statement. She was approximately 32 years old when she was reported missing in 2006.FULL ENTRY
A worker clearing brush in Easton this morning stumbled upon possible human remains, according to a spokesman for Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter's office.
The remains were found on a portion of the Ames estate on Pond street after the worker's dog focused on a spot in the underbrush, drawing the attention of his master, said Gregg Miliote.
The worker pushed away from soil, spotted the bones and called authorities. Miliote said the bones are being examined by the state medical examiner and a forensic anthropologist to determine if they are human.
"They will perform tests on the bones to determine if they are human, how long they've been there, and who they might belong to,'' Miliote said. "We have to wait and see what they say.''
He said Easton police do not have an active missing persons case.
Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, is at Boston City Hall this afternoon, nearing the end of a two-day visit that has taken her to a Cambridge fire house, a naturalization ceremony at Faneuil Hall, and to Logan Airport.
Napolitano attended a swearing-in ceremony at Faneuil Hall for about 410 naturalized citizens from dozens of countries. She then went across the street to City Hall, where she is expected to meet with Mayor Menino.
Earlier today, she was in Cambridge meeting with college and university presidents to discuss new courses and majors aimed at preparing graduates to enter the field of cybersecurity.
She also stopped by the Cambridge Fire Department headquarters to thank local firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics for their service.
This afternoon, Napolitano huddled with Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis at the Area A-1 station in Government Center.
On Thursday, Napolitano was in East Boston where she said 60 more explosives detection units will be installed at Logan.
FALL RIVER -- A 4-year-old girl was killed early this morning when a fire swept through a home in Fall River. Three firefighters were also injured, including one who narrowly escaped after being trapped in the blaze, fire officials said.
The fire was reported in a three-family home on Tecumseh Street at 3:49 a.m., said Fire Captain Maurice Reney. Heavy smoke and flames were showing from the house when firefighters arrived.
Kayara Graham Golden, 4, was taken to St. Anne’s Hospital with burns and smoke inhalation and was pronounced dead upon arrival, said Deputy Fire Chief William Silvia. The child’s mother, Denisha Golden, 23, was transported to Rhode Island Hospital. A hospital spokeswoman said this afternoon that she was in serious condition.
Cecilia Teixeira, 58, who lives across the street, said she first saw the fire at about 3:15 a.m. A woman outside the house was screaming that her baby was still inside, Teixeira recalled.FULL ENTRY
Senator Scott Brown has agreed to meet with a representative of a group pushing for legal residency for unauthorized immigrant students, his spokeswoman said today.
The meeting, to take place in the next four to six weeks, comes after 300 people signed an on-line petition and a day after nine members of the Student Immigrant Movement said they held a sit-in at his Boston office to urge the Republican senator to meet with them.
Despite Brown's past criticism of illegal immigration, students and other advocates for immigrants have been eager to reach out to him since the death last year of his predecessor, Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Brown's election cost them a valuable ally in the Senate, but they said they hope Brown will keep an open mind on the issue.FULL ENTRY
WOBURN -- The 15-year-old who was fatally stabbed in the boys’ bathroom of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School three years ago suffered slash wounds to his chin, throat, and arms, a former medical examiner testified today in the first-degree murder trial of John Odgren.
James F. Alenson, a freshman at the school, “had a number of sharp force injuries to his body, and a smaller number of blunt force injuries,” Dr. Richard Evans, a former state medical examiner, said in Middlesex Superior Court.
But it was three particularly deep wounds -- puncturing his liver, lung, and heart -- that likely killed Alenson, Evans said.
He was the final witness called by Middlesex County prosecutors in the trial. This afternoon, defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro is expected to start calling witnesses as he tries to convince the jury Odgren is not guilty by reason of insanity.FULL ENTRY
After a rash of reports of bicycle accidents, including one that resulted in a fatality, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has announced a bicycling safety summit next week, calling for more harmony between bikers and drivers.
"This is about the need for a shared, common respect among everyone who uses Boston's roads," Menino said in a statement. "We have to come together and recognize that everyone is responsible for keeping our roadways safe and that we all have the right to safe passage through our beautiful city."
High-ranking city officials and area bicyclists are expected to discuss ways of improving safety on the city's roadways at the summit Wednesday. Secretary of Transportation Jeffrey B. Mullan and MBTA General Manager Richard A. Davey Jr. plan to attend.FULL ENTRY
The search continues today in rural central Kentucky for a former Massachusetts man who escaped from a prison van Thursday.
Derek A. Capozzi was convicted in 2005 in federal court of helping to cover up the grisly gangland murder of a young woman in 1996 in Medford.
Officer Pat Melton, a spokesman for the Versailles, Ky., said 15 to 20 officers from a half-dozen law enforcement agencies are searching the area where Capozzi is believed to have fled.
"We've been actively pursuing several possible sightings," he said. "We are still actively hunting him."FULL ENTRY
Barry Chin/Globe Staff
Boston Bruins David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, and Zdeno Chara were down and out as the Bruins were rebuffed in the first playoff game with the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night.
|Globe deputy city editor Mike Bello has covered news in Boston since 1973. E-mail him your tips here.|
An 18-year-old murder mystery has been solved with the arrest of a Lakeville man for the brutal killing of a former co-worker inside an East Bridgewater funeral home, Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said.
Christopher Colucci, 37, of Lakeville was charged Thursday with first-degree murder for the death of Kent W. Taber Jr., who was found slain in the East Spring Street funeral home where he worked on Dec. 7, 1992.
In a statement, Cruz said witnesses have told police that Colucci and Taber once worked together and that Colucci "was upset because the victim had made a sexual advance" toward him. At the time of his death, Taber was 33 years old.FULL ENTRY
Bill Greene/Globe Staff
One lucky guy didn't have to run 26.2 miles. He pedaled across the newly installed Boston Marathon finish line on Thursday. The big race is on Monday.
-- Mansfield resident Bob Goscinak on the elimination of high school sports
This is not fake. If you look at the numbers, we just can't make up that huge of a gap.
-- School Committee chairwoman Jean Miller
Victoria Reggie Kennedy, widow of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, will speak at the University of Massachusetts Boston's commencement on June 4, university officials announced today.
Kennedy, a lawyer and expert on banking law, will be given an honorary doctor of laws degree, school officials said.
"The university is so honored to have Victoria Reggie Kennedy as our principal commencement speaker,'' Chancellor J. Keith Motley said in a statement. "She has done so much work in ensuring her husband¹s legacy of public service and education lives on.''
Victoria Kennedy is cofounder and trust of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute
for the United States Senate, which is expected to break ground this fall on the UMass Boston campus. She also is president and cofounder of Common Sense about Kids and Guns, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about children and gun safety.
Senate leaders today appeared to be putting the brakes on House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo’s determined push for gambling legislation, sending clear signals that they would take their time and take a fresh look at the issue.
A day after DeLeo's bill cleared the House, the leaders said they would they would hold "roundtable discussions" on gambling later this month, then craft their own bill and hold a public hearing, and had no schedule for a debate or vote.
Stanley Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat who is the Senate's point person on gambling, said senators want to draw up their own legislation, rather than take up DeLeo's plan to license two casinos in the state and up to 750 slots at each racetrack.
"We're going to build the bill from the ground up, with the members all participating," Rosenberg said.
He also said the Senate, unlike the House, would hold a public hearing on the bill.FULL ENTRY
A former Beverly man who was convicted of playing a role in the grisly gangland murder of a young woman in 1996 has escaped from federal custody by kicking out the door of a van during a prisoner transport in central Kentucky.
A multidepartment manhunt is under way in Kentucky for the fugitive, said Versailles, Ky., police spokesman Pat Melton.
Melton said Capozzi was being taken to Lexington, Ky., on Thursday to be flown to another facility out of state. He kicked open the door of the corrections van as it was turning onto the Kentucky 33 exit off the Bluegrass Parkway.FULL ENTRY
US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today that $35.5 million in federal stimulus funds will be used to buy 1,200 explosives detection units that will be placed at airports nationwide.
Napolitano announced the plans at a news conference at Logan International Airport. Security at the airport is an especially fraught issue because two of the planes involved in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks departed from Boston.
"These state-of-the-art technologies will strengthen security and streamline screening operations while making air travel more convenient for passengers," Napolitano said in a statement.
Napolitano said that Logan would receive 60 of the explosives detection units by the early summer. Fifty of the devices are already deployed at the airport.
"The threat of explosives remains a great concern to all of us," she said.FULL ENTRY
If there's a slim silver lining in the dark cloud of Governor Deval Patrick's anemic fundraising, it's this: His campaign is holding onto a bigger percentage of the money coming in than either of his two chief rivals.
After the first three months of the year, Patrick continued to lag badly in a critical respect -- cash on hand -- with less than $900,000, trailing Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, an independent, whose campaign had about $3.3 million in the bank, and Republican Charles D. Baker, who had more than $2 million.
But a review of fundraising reports shows that Cahill's fundraising has fallen off recently, and both of Patrick's major opponents have a higher "burn rate," meaning they are spending a larger percentage of their incoming cash.FULL ENTRY
A small sandy-colored egg on a Cape Cod beach has broken a big record.
The egg, laid by a piping plover, was spotted this week on a private beach in Hyannis Port on Tuesday, making it the earliest on record for plovers, wildlife officials say. The previous earliest plover egg statewide was seen on April 17, though the year is unclear.FULL ENTRY
Tufts University President Lawrence S. Bacow has endorsed federal legislation that would allow unauthorized immigrant students to apply for legal residency in the United States.
In a letter to US Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown (a Tufts graduate) this week, Bacow said he backed the so-called Dream Act because thousands of worthy students are facing limited prospects after high school, since they are ineligible to work and apply for government financial aid.
“The results are psychologically and emotionally devastating for over 65,000 students every year,” he wrote, citing national estimates.
Bacow joins presidents at Harvard, Brown, Stanford and other universities in endorsing the act. Somerville Movement of Dreamers, a student group that includes Tufts and other schools, had lobbied him to endorse the measure, which is pending in the US Senate.
Rockland High School was locked down for about an hour this morning after a BB hit a student walking outside the building, the school superintendent said.FULL ENTRY
State Police are investigating two highway accidents that killed a motorcyclist and a pedestrian.
State Police were called at around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday to a fatal motorcycle crash on Interstate 93 North, just north of Interstate 495 in Andover. They found Joseph McInnis, 22, of Woburn, who had lost control of his 2006 Honda CBR 600. McInnis was transported to Lawrence General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.FULL ENTRY
-- Taylor Light, 19, an Emerson College sophomore who attended Wednesday's Tea Party Express rally in Boston
This movement stands for smaller government, reduced taxation, and support for our Constitution, which I feel has been trampled on by the Democrats and George W. Bush.
-- Jeff McQueen, former Detroit auto worker, who was selling flags at the rally
QUINCY -- After three days and 19 witnesses, testimony has concluded in the judicial inquest into the fatal 1986 shooting of Seth Bishop by his sister, Amy.
Former Norfolk County assistant district attorney John Kivlan was the only witness to testify today in the closed-door hearings before Quincy District Court Judge Mark S. Coven.
US Representative William Delahunt, the district attorney at the time of the shooting, did not testify in court. The logistics of his testimony are still being worked out. One option is for Delahunt to be interviewed by State Police detectives who would then relay his testimony to the judge.
On his way into the courtroom this morning, Kivlan, now an aide in Delahunt's congressional office, said there were several unanswered questions about the investigation of the 1986 slaying. Those include why State Police were not promptly notified of the death, why troopers did not process the scene, and why Braintree police released Amy Bishop without charges, he said.FULL ENTRY
Independent gubernatorial candidate Timothy Cahill says he found some common ground with the people attending Wednesday's Tea Party Express on the Boston Common.
Cahill also says he got the sense from the crowd that people feel like their elected officials aren't listening and don't care what the people think.
"They feel like government is being run by insiders and big corporate special interests. People want elected leaders to listen to their input and solve problems. I think that's a lesson that as elected officials, we all would do well to remember. We do work for them, after all," he said in the chat.FULL ENTRY
|Globe deputy city editor Mike Bello highlights the top stories in this morning's Globe. He has covered news in Boston since 1973.E-mail him your tips here.|
WOBURN -- John Odgren, the teenager accused of fatally stabbing a classmate in a Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School bathroom in 2007, said right after the attack that he had "just snapped," a witness testified today at Odgren's murder trial.
In the minutes after the attack, Odgren knelt by James F. Alenson and began patting his back. He acknowledged he had attacked Alenson, but insisted he didn't mean to do it, said Tracie Lopez, a special education teacher at the Sudbury school.
Lopez said she asked Odgren what he was doing, and he responded, "I killed him. I don't know why. I just snapped. He's dying."FULL ENTRY
A national advocacy group says it's filing a lawsuit in federal court in Boston seeking reform of the state's foster care system because it is hurting, rather than helping, vulnerable children.
The group Children's Rights says in its civil rights class action suit that the foster care system is "causing physical and psychological harm to the abused and neglected children it is mandated to protect."
The lawsuit filed in US District Court says state officials have failed "to take the necessary action to discharge their obligations to ensure the safety and well-being of the children taken into their custody."FULL ENTRY
Which school districts have the highest average teacher salaries? A Globe review found eight districts have averages greater than $75,000: Old Colony, Nantucket, Brookline, Dover, South Middlesex, Boston, Lincoln-Sudbury, and Sherborn.
Two small systems – Florida and Savoy – average under $40,000. The data, for 2007-08, are from the state Department of Education.
Average teacher salaries vary widely, and have some nuances that make them fluctuate. The mix of teachers – whether they are veterans or younger – makes a difference. Teachers in the system longer will be earning more, while those with less years will earn less. So a system that had a lot of retirements a year ago might have a lower average because of an influx of new teachers. The state median was $61,800.
Click here to see the data. The chart is interactive, which means users can click on the word "view data" in the lower right corner of the map, and go to Man-eyes.com to create their own charts and maps.
State Treasurer and independent candidate for governor Timothy P. Cahill is answering readers' questions from noon to 1 p.m. today. The chat will be moderated by a Boston.com producer.
Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Tearing your hair out in a last-minute frenzy to fill out those tax forms today? You may not have to.
Residents of Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester counties, which were declared federal disaster areas after the torrential rains last month, have been given an extension until May 11 for both their state and federal taxes.
Taxpayers in the disaster areas are encouraged to file by today. But they do not have to take any special action to be eligible for the extended deadlines, both the IRS and the state government say.
Click here to learn more.
A woman's body was found floating in Boston Harbor early this morning and the Boston Police homicide unit is investigating the death.
Boston Police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said the body of a female was found floating in the vicinity of 500 Atlantic Ave. at 4:50 a.m. She said the victim appeared to be an Asian woman in her 20s.FULL ENTRY
SOUTH HADLEY -- Nine days after being reelected, the South Hadley School Committee chairman -- entrenched in criticism over an alleged bullying-related high school student suicide -- announced Wednesday night that he is stepping down from the post.
Edward J. Boisselle, who has served on the board for the past 10 years, including the last year as chairman, was quick to distance the move from being related to the ongoing controversy raised when prosecutors recently said some high school staff knew 15-year-old Phoebe Prince was being harassed by classmates, but did not take action to stop the bullying.
Instead, Boisselle, said at Wednesday night's school board meeting that his action was because, “I’ve always felt that the chairmanship should rotate every year.” Boisselle will remain on the School Committee.FULL ENTRY
The House today approved by a veto-proof margin legislation to establish two casinos in Massachusetts and up to 750 slot machines at each of the state’s four racetracks, embracing the largest expansion of gambling since the creation of the Lottery in 1971.
The lopsided vote, 120 to 37, was due in large part to a relentless campaign for slots and casinos by House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, the son of a track worker whose district includes two racetracks. DeLeo succeeded in persuading many members who voted against casinos in 2008 to switch their votes.
Indeed, two years ago, House lawmakers overwhelmingly followed the lead of the previous speaker, Salvatore F. DiMasi, a staunch gambling opponent, when they voted, 108 to 46, to kill Governor Deval Patrick’s bill to license three casinos.
Lawmakers who changed their votes said the slumping economy had persuaded them that casinos and slots represent a historic opportunity to create thousands of jobs and capture much of the estimated $1.1 billion that Massachusetts gamblers spend annual at casinos in Rhode Island and Connecticut.FULL ENTRY
The MBTA today fired three superintendents and moved to fire five union-represented managers for allegedly manipulating mileage records to avoid performing regular maintenance inspections on more than 200 buses in the T fleet.
T officials allege that the activity occurred at three of the nine bus maintenance garages – Arborway, Charlestown and Southampton.FULL ENTRY
The Massachusetts Water Resource Authority is putting together a list of flood-related costs they hope to recoup from state and federal emergency management agencies, after shelling out an estimated $3.3 million to address the recent widespread flooding, officials said today.
Much of the money was spent on diesel fuel to power the combustion turbine generators that ensure the pumps keep going at Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant when power outages are feared.
The roughly 400,000 gallons of fuel used over 26 days cost about $1.7 million. Overtime pay was estimated at $837,000, while equipment failures also took a financial toll on the state agency.FULL ENTRY
QUINCY – Judith Bishop appeared today for the second time before the judicial inquest investigating how her daughter, Amy, shot her son, Seth, to death with her husband's shotgun in 1986.
Judith Bishop was in the family's home when the shooting occurred on Dec. 6, 1986, and her statements afterward helped convince Braintree police and then-Norfolk District Attorney William R. Delahunt that the fatal gunfire was an accident, not a criminal act.
The investigation into Seth Bishop's death was given renewed scrutiny this year after Amy Bishop, 45, was charged with killing three colleagues and injuring three others in a shooting rampage at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in February.
Judith Bishop first appeared before the inquest, being held behind closed doors at Quincy District Court, early Tuesday morning when District Court Judge Mark S. Coven began the inquiry.
She returned to the courthouse this afternoon and spent an undisclosed length of time answering questions, according to two people who have been briefed on the inquest but are not authorized to speak.
Bishop stepped out of a side door of the building, accompanied by her attorney and an unidentified man. She did not speak with reporters who have camped outside the courthouse.FULL ENTRY
Massachusetts House leaders today unveiled a budget for the new fiscal year that would likely leave fewer teachers in classrooms across the state and allow for fewer services for mentally ill residents, but would avoid raising taxes or dipping into the state’s dwindling rainy day fund.
The $27.8 billion proposal for the year beginning July 1 is an attempt to reconcile the state's needs with tough fiscal realities in an election year that has many Legislators fearful for their jobs.
The cuts to local aid and school spending in the proposal would be as much as 4 percent, though some cities and towns, depending on a state formula, would take a smaller hit.
In the latest twist in the scandal that led to the resignation last year of House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, the State Ethics Commission charged today that the former sales agent for the software company Cognos Corp. violated the state's conflict of interest law by trying to bribe two top state IT officials.FULL ENTRY
WOBURN – Just days before he stabbed James F. Alenson to death, John Odgren approached a classmate with whom he had been feuding and announced he no longer wanted to kill him, the former classmate testified today.
Brendan Piper was a junior at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in 2007. He said Odgren started showing up at card games held at the school, and that they never liked each other.
"I feared him,'' Piper testified in Middlesex Superior Court today where Odgren is on trial for first-degree murder for stabbing Alenson to death inside the high school on Jan. 19, 2007. Odgren, a special needs student with the IQ of a genius and Asperger's syndrome, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.FULL ENTRY
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin criticized the Obama administration and the Democratic-led Congress today at a Tea Party rally on Boston Common, saying the government had been on a "spending spree" and warning of future tax increases.
"Americans now spend 100 days out of the year working for government before we even start working for ourselves," she said. "It is time to remind [elected officials] that government should be working for us, we should not have to work for the government. That's why there are more and more patriots every day standing up and speaking out."
"We believe in expanding freedom and opportunity for all, not the intrusive reach of government into our lives and businesses," she said.
Palin's 21-minute speech was the highlight of the rally at the public park in the center of the city. The event also included stirring patriotic music, tributes to the military, and digs by other speakers at prominent Democrats, including President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, and US Representative Barney Frank.
Several thousand people appeared to be in attendance. The Boston police do not make crowd estimates. Organizers said earlier this week they expected at least 3,000 people from across New England.
"Massachusetts is a blue-collar, working-stiff state, and we're reclaiming it for America," Mark Williams, chairman of the Tea Party Express, which organized the rally, told the crowd.
"We the people are making it happen, and in November, we are going to vote the bums out," said Amy Kremer, another Tea Party Express official, who urged the crowd to get involved by electing conservatives to public office.FULL ENTRY
Voices from today's Tea Party rally on Boston Common, compiled by David Abel and Sarah Schweitzer of the Globe staff.:
In addition to the Tea Party faithful, dozens of counterprotesters were on hand this morning. When Sarah Palin took the stage, she was greeted by a smattering of boos.
Eunice Ko, 21, a Boston University junior, was handing out pamphlets to Tea Party members, in hopes of changing their political views.
"I think a lot of people here don't know what they are talking about. They are just angry at the government and want to take it out on someone,'' she said. "I realize that not everyone in the Tea Party is a racist. But it provides a platform for people who are bigots.''
Carla Morey, 54, of Milton, said she felt one emotion as she listened to Palin's talk.
"I felt happy,'' said the retiree, who wore a sticker on her jacket touting gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker and his running mate, Richard Tisei. "I live in a very blue state. I want to turn it red, or at least, purple.''
After Palin's speech, Morey called her "a true American. She has the ability to instill pride, passion, and conservative principles.''
An unenrolled voter, Morey said she has donated to the Tea Party organization. "I felt that finally there was somewhere that I could have a voice,'' she said.
Les Anderson, 63, a real estate agent form Amebsury, attended his first Tea Party event and called Palin's speech inspiring.
"I liked the values that she talks about,'' he said.
He registered one disappointment with Palin's message, however, saying he wished she had addressed the issue of abortion.
"I am a citizen of America and an ambassador to Christ,'' he said. "I believe abortion is appalling.''
|Globe deputy city editor Mike Bello highlights the top stories in this morning's Globe. He has covered news in Boston since 1973. E-mail him your tips here.|
QUINCY -- The judicial inquest into the 1986 shooting death of Seth Bishop is over for today after 10 witnesses, including Amy Bishop's parents, gave testimony behind closed doors.
Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Robert Nelson, who is questioning the witnesses as they appear before Quincy District Court Judge Mark S. Coven, said the closed-door proceeding will resume Wednesday. He said he expects the last witnesses will testify on Thursday.
Among the 10 witnesses who appeared today were Judith and Samuel Bishop. The couple entered -- and left -- the courthouse without being seen by reporters.
According to former Braintree police officers who are familiar with the couple, the Bishops were called to testify at 8:30 a.m. They spent about an hour behind the closed doors of the inquest, now being held in a second-floor courtroom, said the former officers, who were waiting to testify themselves.
Judith Bishop was in the family's Braintree home on Dec. 6, 1986, when Amy fatally shot Seth with their father's shotgun.
The death was ruled an accident at the time, but it is receiving renewed scrutiny since Amy Bishop was accused of shooting six colleagues at the University of Alabama in February, killing three of them.
By early afternoon today, several former Braintree police officers were called before Coven, the last of whom insisted that the investigation into Seth Bishop's death was bungled and that Amy Bishop should have faced criminal charges.FULL ENTRY
A Chelmsford priest was one of eight men arrested in Nashua during a weekend prostitution sting.
William Ventura, 31, the parochial vicar at St. John’s Parish in Chelmsford, faces a misdemeanor prostitution charge after Nashua police say he responded to a fake posting on Craigslist and was planning to pay a woman for sex.FULL ENTRY
Unum/Paul Revere Memorial Association
A survey crew returned with high-tech equipment this afternoon to the Cape Cod National Seashore, where the wreck has resurfaced of the British warship that was guarding Boston Harbor the night that Paul Revere made his famous journey to Lexington.
Federal park officials have hired Harry R. Feldman Inc. to record the remains of the HMS Somerset III with three-dimensional imaging technology. Although crews performed several laser scans last week, wind affected the measurements made in one of them, said Michael Feldman, president of the company.
"One of the scans that we had done had skewed data," Feldman said. "We wanted to rectify what could have gone wrong."
A federal judge today rejected a plea agreement between prosecutors and a former Massachusetts court clerk who allegedly used his position to get sexual favors from women facing prostitution charges.
Under the agreement, former Chelsea District Court clerk-magistrate James M. Burke would have spent 12 months and one day in prison, paid a $5,000 fine, and undergone two years of supervised monitoring.
But US District Judge George O'Toole said today at a hearing, "I'm not going to accept the agreement."FULL ENTRY
Milton High School was locked down for several hours this afternoon, following the discovery of some rounds of live ammunition inside the building.
Town administrator Kevin Mearn said in a telephone interview that since the ammunition was discovered, students returned to classrooms and Milton police uses dogs to search the school for other ballistic evidence.
Mearn said earlier today that a total of 22 bullets had been found, but in a later interview he said he had misspoken. He said police recovered two bullets and that they were of the .22-caliber variety.FULL ENTRY
Four women have been arrested for allegedly invading a Somerset home Monday and assaulting several residents. A 3-month-old baby, a 12-year-old, and a 14-year-old were taken to the hospital after the attacks.
The home invasion occurred on Whetstone Hill Road at about 7 p.m. The women were angry about $600 allegedly stolen from one of their mothers by a 44-year-old woman who lived in the home, said Somerset Police Chief Joseph Ferreira.FULL ENTRY
A 26-year-old Leominster man was arraigned today on a charge of murder in the death of his mother.
Police were called to a residence on Biscuit Hill Road at about 10 p.m. Monday and found Thomas B. Scesny outside with his hands over his head. Inside, they found Lisa M. Scesny, 45, on the floor of the kitchen suffering from multiple stab wounds.FULL ENTRY
House lawmakers this morning shot down a Sutton lawmaker’s proposal to force a public hearing on Speaker Robert A. DeLeo’s bill to establish two casinos in Massachusetts and 750 slot machines at the state’s four racetracks.
The 102-30 vote against a public hearing opened what is expected to be several days of voting and intense debate on amendments to the 172-page bill. The Globe reported last week that House lawmakers have filed 216 proposed amendments to the DeLeo proposal.
House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo
Addressing her colleagues on the House floor, as well as a House gallery packed with people, Representative Jennifer Callahan, a Sutton Democrat, said it was outrageous that DeLeo had sent the bill directly to the House floor for debate without a hearing first.
“The public has been forced, forced, to sit in the bleachers with an obstructed view of the legislative raceway while special interests get the inside track,” Callahan declared. “We need to put the brakes, at least temporarily, on ramming this bill through the legislative process.”
Her proposal won some bipartisan support. House minority leader Bradley H. Jones Jr., Republican of North Reading, backed Callahan’s motion, saying the public should allowed to voice their opinions on such a “huge issue.”
WOBURN – John Odgren talked so often about how he could commit "the perfect murder'' that the instructor in a forensic science class had to order him to stop describing how he would stab a person to death, a classmate testified today.
John Odgren in 2007 (File Photo)
Skyler Aikens Kinney took the stand at Odgren's first-degree murder trial in Middlesex Superior Court today and described how he had befriended Odgren when both were students at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Sudbury during the 2006-2007 academic year.
Odgren, who is now 19, is accused of fatally stabbing 15-year-old James F. Alenson with a knife inside a school bathroom. His defense attorney, Jonathan Shapiro, has conceded Odgren killed the freshman, but contends Odgren was mentally ill on Jan. 19, 2007.
On the stand today, Kinney said that both he and Odgren were students in a forensic science class. At some point during the early winter of 2006, dialogue inside the classroom turned to how a person could kill someone and not be caught by law enforcement.
While other students discussed the issue in theoretical ways, Odgren described how he personally planned to commit "the perfect murder,'' said Kinney.FULL ENTRY
An autistic teenager from East Boston returned home last night, ending a search for him that began Sunday evening when he did not return home, Boston police said today.
Jeffrey Cooper's parents notified police today about their son's return.
"He's in good health,'' said police spokesman Officer Joe Zanoli. No other details were available about where Cooper has spent his time during the last days.
In the past, police have found him riding the MBTA Red line in Braintree and Quincy.
-- Representative Brian S. Dempsey, who helped write the gambling expansion bill
Many of the numbers they use are based on assumptions for which there is no strict science. But the major flaw of the report is that the Legislature asked for a benefits analysis only, not a cost-benefits analysis.
-- Kathleen Conley Norbut, president of United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts
CAPE COD BAY -- A North Atlantic right whale was feeding Monday on plankton off the coast of Provincetown. A team from the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies was researching the whales during their migration north.
AP File Photo
Just a few months after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, his widow, Jacqueline Kennedy, sat down for a series of interviews about him.
Now, 50 years later, the public will find out what she said about her husband, his work, and life in the White House during an administration that was cut cruelly short. The interviews, strictly sealed after they were conducted, will be the basis of a new book slated for publication in September 2011, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced today.
The seven interviews were conducted in the spring of 1964 by historian and Kennedy aide Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. They were part of an oral history project that captured the memories of those close to the president, who was assassinated in Dallas in November 1963, the foundation said.FULL ENTRY
Investigators are appealing to the public for their help in identifying a woman's skull found in the woods in Holden, and they're offering an unusual clue, saying that an examination of the skull indicates that the woman once underwent brain surgery.FULL ENTRY
George Rizer for The Boston Globe
Boston firefighters are responding to an ammonia leak reported early this morning at the Conte Forum sports arena at Boston College.
The leak was detected at about 5 a.m. by a monitoring system attached to a mechanical room where an ammonia tank was located. There were no evacuations, and no injuries were reported, the
Boston Fire Department said.
“It’s a contained situation,” said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald.FULL ENTRY
A stubborn brush fire has been burning for more than a day and has charred more than 100 acres around a steep mountaintop in the Western Massachusetts town of Russell.
No one has been injured in the blaze on Mount Tekoa and the flames have not threatened any homes.
State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said the fire was about 40 percent contained as of Monday night. He said firefighters on the mountain faced dangerous conditions including steep ledges.FULL ENTRY
Relatives of a Dedham man found dead in a Providence river on March 16 -- two days after he disappeared -- will hold a fund-raiser Friday to raise money to be used to prove that Gregory Hart's body was only in the water for a few hours before its discovery.
The family says they remain convinced that Hart was beaten and killed --- and then disposed of in the icy storm-swollen waters -- shortly before he was found partially submerged close to shore.
The family's contentions are contrary to conclusion by Rhode Island police and a medical examiner that a drunken fall caused the 23-year-old's death by drowning, as well as the significant physical injuries his body sustained. Hart had been drinking at the Red Room bar in Providence before his death.
More on the family's struggle can be found on the boston.com's Dedham blog.
More than a week earlier than usual, Norfolk County got a head start on controlling the irritating buzzing and biting of springtime mosquitoes.
Record-setting rainfall and warm weather in March has created a suitable habitat for “a healthy spring population of mosquitoes,” said John Smith, director of the Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project.
Bob Oliva, one of New York City's most successful high school basketball coaches over the past three decades, was arraigned this afternoon in Suffolk Superior Court on charges he raped a 14-year-old boy twice while visiting Boston in 1976 to attend a Red Sox-Yankees double-header.
Oliva, 65, pleaded not guilty to two counts of child rape, which carry life sentences, and a count of disseminating pornography to a minor, a five-year offense.
Michael Doolin, Oliva's Boston-based attorney said after the arraignment, "He looks forward to being found not guilty of these charges."FULL ENTRY
A 19-year-old man was rescued today after he walked out on a Revere Beach jetty and became stranded by the quickly rising tide, State Police said.
The man, whom authorities declined to identify, dialed 911 just before 8:30 a.m., according to troopers. A rescue boat was dispatched by the State Police marine Unit.
The man was located about a quarter mile from shore. Troopers navigated through the rocky shoal and plucked the man from the water. He was not injured.
WOBURN -- Beset by paranoid fears that his life was in danger, John Odgren armed himself with a carving knife for protection against a threat that did not exist when he went to high school on Jan. 19, 2007, his attorney said today.
"He began to think that something cataclysmic was going to happen to him,'' Shapiro said of Odgren, who was then 16 years old. "He lost touch with the real world. He did not understand what he was doing, and he could not control himself.''
Odgren, who was diagnosed with a mild form of autism known as Asperger's syndome and attention deficit disorder, was then living in "fantasy world'' of violent video games and Stephen King fantasy novels, Shapiro said.But Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett countered by describing the brutality of the attack on Alenson, whose family left the courtroom before the prosecutor began talking. FULL ENTRY
By Globe Staff
ON CAPE COD BAY – A top state official and researchers today are closely observing a pod of about 40 right whales as the endangered mammals feed along the Massachusetts coastline during their annual northward migration.
As an endangered species, commercial whale watching vessels must stay 500 feet away from the cetaceans. But researchers -- on board the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies' vessel -- and Ian Bowles, secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, are getting a much closer look.
"Part of our charge is to protect endangered species in the commonwealth,'' Bowles said. He is also tweeting on his experiences. ''And this is one of the most endangered species in the world.''FULL ENTRY
Boston Police investigate the scene of a shooting on Sumner Street in Dorchester Sunday night. Police said no one suffered life threatening injuries as a result of the shooting, which remains under investigation.
Globe Staff Photo/Matthew Lee
Authorities searching for an arsonist who started eight fires outside homes in Everett this weekend are widening the investigation today to a number of people, not just one suspect, a city spokesman said.
"There are a number of people of interest is the way of saying it,'' Matthew Laidlaw, spokesman for Everett Mayor Carlo F. DeMaria Jr., said in a telephone interview. "They don't have one particular suspect.''
Laidlaw said police have stepped up patrols. He noted there was no repeat of the arson fires in the city since the first wave of fires, which were reported between 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 a.m. Sunday.
He said no one has been arrested, including the man who was questioned by police after he was seen walking through the neighborhood.FULL ENTRY
Arlington's voters chose two new members for the School Commitee: Kirsi C. Allison-Ampe, a physician and researcher, and Judson L. Pierce, an attorney. They will fill the seats vacated by Denise Burns and Ronald Spangler, who opted against seeking reelection.
Allison-Ampe received 3,257 votes and Pierce received 2,988 votes in today's town election, defeating Teresa R. Bottoni (1,422 votes) and Kurt W. Fusaris (1,692).FULL ENTRY
LOWELL -- Governor Deval Patrick’s re-election campaign launched today with a strong bump -- and a crash of plates -- thanks to one diner waitress.
“I was probably staring at him, checking him out,” said Kazanjian, laughing, in an interview later. The Lowell native who now lives in Dracut said she had been waiting tables since she was 15 and this was her first dropped tray.
Slowly making her way through the scrum of campaign staffers, eager customers, and journalists clogging the dining room, Kazanjian lifted the tray of eggs, toast, bacon, and hash browns high above her head.
Harry R. Feldman Inc.
The wreck of the British warship that Paul Revere slipped by on his legendary journey to Lexington in 1775 has resurfaced in the shifting sands of Cape Cod, and federal park officials are seizing the moment by having the wreck "digitally preserved," using three-dimensional imaging technology.FULL ENTRY
Yarmouth Police are offering a reward for information on a convenience store robbery in that town earlier this week.FULL ENTRY
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
LOWELL -- Governor Deval Patrick, who is crisscrossing the state this weekend to kick off his reelection campaign, began his trek today with a stop at a local diner where he talked to a group of supporters and shook hands with the regulars enjoying their eggs and bacon.
In the first of 20 stops he and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray are planning, Patrick stressed the importance of seizing the moment in the November election.
“This is a really important campaign, and I say that not personally, I say it because we’re at a really critical point here in the Commonwealth about whether we’re going to choose to go forward or go back,” the Democrat said to the crowd of a couple of dozen people at the Owl Diner. “It’s as simple as that.”
Democrats for months had all but given up hope of holding onto the governor's office, but they are now convinced that the first-term governor's campaign has come to life, in part because of his reengagement in the political process that he shunned during much of his term, the Globe reported this week.
Charles D. Baker and Christy Mihos are vying for the Republican nomination. Timothy P. Cahill, the state treasurer and a former Democrat, is running as an independent. Grace Ross is also seeking the Democratic nomination.FULL ENTRY
Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
Polish immigrants and Polish-Americans around Boston reacted with grief and shock today over the deaths of their president and dozens of political and military leaders.
In restaurants and delis along Dorchester Avenue in South Boston, the nexus of the city's small but tight-knit Polish community, people struggled to express their grief.
"We lost too many important people," said Julia Plebaniak, who works behind the meat counter at the Baltic European Deli. "I can't find the words."
Four firefighters were taken to a local hospital after their fire engine crashed on Edgell Road in Framingham early this morning.
The firefighters were treated for minor injuries at MetroWest Medical Center after the truck rolled over, wiped out a pole, and landed in a residential yard, a Framingham dispatcher said.
Authorities are investigating what caused Engine 7 to crash. "It's still under investigation but as far as we know, it wasn’t a driver's error," Firefighter Alberto Martins said.
The truck was headed back to the station after a call for a false alarm about 7:30 a.m. when it rolled over. No other vehicles were involved in the incident.
Road closures and other transportation advisories for the week of April 11:
All off at Exit 16 and back on ramp from Frontage Road North above Mass. Ave. interchange on Sunday from 11:59 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Double right lane closure in I-93 tunnel Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
When a third-grader from South Boston was heading home after school in late March and came across a lost 5-year-old, he comforted her and stayed with her until help arrived.
This morning, Boston Police officers from District C-6 recognized 9-year-old Richard “Rashad” Scott with a certificate of appreciation for his efforts. He was honored at an assembly at Joseph P. Tynan Elementary School in South Boston.
On March 29, Scott got off the bus and was walking home when he saw the girl crying as she tried to cross the street, said Tynan Principal Carlene Shavis. The little girl was lost and upset, Shavis said.
Scott approached Paige Brennan, a pre-kindergartener at his school whom he was friendly with. Scott learned she was lost and stayed with her as the rain poured down during one of March's several heavy storms.
“He realized they were both getting soaked, and he needed to do something,” Shavis said.FULL ENTRY
A Hyde Park man was shot to death in the parking lot of a Dorchester church because he was involved in a small-claims case in the Dorchester courthouse, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley's office.
Charles Cantave was shot March 29 after he left the Dorchester Municipal Court where the case was being heard, a case that Conley's office said involved a car engine that Cantave either sold or promised he would fix.
Cantave was 36 years old and his death was part of a wave of killings in late March that led Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis to redeploy officers to Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan.
Today, Mario H. Burns, 37, pleaded not guilty in the same courthouse to being an accessory after the fact to murder. Burns's wife, who was not identified by prosecutors by name, was the person fighting with Cantave in small claims court, prosecutors allege.FULL ENTRY
The FBI and State Police said this afternoon that they are searching for human remains in the western Massachusetts community of Agawam.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Massachusetts State Police have conducted a
dig in Agawam, Mass., as part of an ongoing investigation,'' a law enforcement statement said. "The circumstances surrounding the investigation will not be disclosed and no further comment will be made at this time.”
WOBURN — John Odgren broke down and appeared to cry this afternoon as he was being led out of the courtroom shortly after 16 jurors were seated in his first-degree murder trial.
Odgren, 19, is accused of stabbing James F. Alenson to death inside Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Sudbury on Jan. 19, 2007. Alenson was 15 years old and a slightly built freshman when he encountered Odgren inside a school bathroom.
|James F. Alenson (Family Photo)|
Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.'s office has alleged in court papers that Odgren was a teen obsessed with death who plotted, and then carried out, a murder.
But defense attorneys Jonathan Shapiro and Patricia Garin contend in court papers that Odgren was mentally ill on the day of Alenson's death and should not be sent to prison for the rest of his life.
Odgren had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum, and hyperactive disorder.
Middlesex Superior Court Judge S. Jane Haggerty swore in the jury and then told them that lawyers will make opening statements Monday. After the session ended, Odgren, who has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail, sobbed as he walked out of the courtroom.
More than a dozen years after a man killed himself shortly after being freed from Waltham police custody, the Massachusetts Appeals Court has ruled the city is not responsible for his death even though officers released him without first notifying his relatives as they had requested.
The court’s decision today overturns a 2006 verdict issued by the Superior Court against the city that had awarded $100,000 to the father of James McCarthy, a Waltham man who took his own life in March 1997, one hour after he was freed by police from protective custody.FULL ENTRY
The first floor of the Boston Police District 4 station in the South End was partially evacuated today after a letter arrived in the mail containing a suspicious powder. By this afternoon, four more stations had received similar letters and police had identified the substance as tea.
The first envelope was discovered at about 10 a.m. at the Harrison Avenue police station. The Boston Fire Department hazardous materials unit responded and eventually determined the material in the letter was not a public health threat.FULL ENTRY
Governor Deval Patrick said this morning that South Hadley school officials should be "held accountable" for their handling of the bullying that preceded Phoebe Prince's suicide, describing reports that Prince had personally turned to administrators for help as "outrageous."
"I'm telling you, this is outrageous, what you and I and others are reading and hearing about this," Patrick said in a radio interview on WTKK-FM. "The more we hear, the worse it sounds."
WOBURN – Mark Kerrigan, the brother of former Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan, pleaded not guilty today to a manslaughter charge stemming from a fight in January that ended with his father's death.
Appearing in Middlesex Superior Court, Kerrigan, 45, also pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault and battery on an elderly person resulting in serious bodily injury in the Jan. 24 struggle with his 70-year-old father, Daniel.FULL ENTRY
Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff
The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees this morning approved a plan to close four neighborhood branches as part of an effort to eliminate a $3.3 million budget shortfall.
The plan would shutter the Faneuil branch in Brighton's Oak Square, along with Lower Mills in Dorchester, Orient Heights in East Boston, and Washington Village in South Boston's Old Colony Housing Development. The trustees also approved a plan to slash up to 69 jobs at the main library in Copley Square and in administrative offices.
Before the votes, dozens of people spoke at a public meeting of the board, many expressing anger and resignation as they described the value of libraries and urged trustees to keep all branches open. Nick Collins spoke specifically about the Washington Village branch and warned that the trustees were "turning their backs" on children in the city with the greatest need. John McGrath told the board that, "if you close one library, you are going to have to open a prison."FULL ENTRY
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Newly accepted students arriving Thursday for a sneak preview of the MIT campus probably expected the usual round of pep talks and tours. Little did they know they would see a rec room that defied gravity.
The upside-down den – complete with a pool cue laid down mid-game, a cat curled up in one of two leather armchairs, and a whiskey bottle on a coffee table – was found hanging under a high archway.FULL ENTRY
-- Binta Bah, East Boston High School senior
I’m always concerned about individual students who have not met the graduation requirement. Nonetheless, the science requirement is appropriate and reasonable, and our schools have demonstrated the ability to deliver increasingly stronger results for students.
-- Mitchell Chester, state commissioner of elementary and secondary education
A 26-year-old woman today thanked the firefighters who revived her and carried her down 10 flights of stairs after she fell unconscious in her burning Back Bay apartment building on Wednesday afternoon.
Kelly Graling, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Boston, said she didn’t recall anything beyond the moment when she tried to push open the door to the roof of her building and passed out from smoke inhalation.
“I remember trying to get out at the roof deck, and not being able to, and thinking, ‘That’s it, that’s it,'” she said today at a news conference just moments after she was released from Massachusetts General Hospital.
“I was just lucky, so lucky.”
Mark Kerrigan, the brother of former Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan, has been indicted on a manslaughter charge in the attack that led to his father's death, the Middlesex district attorney said today.
“We allege that the defendant’s violent reckless actions and complete disregard for his father’s safety and well-being endangered Daniel Kerrigan’s life and resulted in the substantial harm that led to his untimely death,” Leone said.
Leone said that Mark Kerrigan went into a "drunken rage" after not being allowed to use the family telephone late that night and his rage led to his "committing the malicious acts that led to the death of his elderly father."FULL ENTRY
A bicyclist was taken to the hospital this afternoon after a crash with a car at Beacon and Charles Street at the edge of Boston Common.
The crash happened at about 12:30 p.m., said Officer James Kenneally, a Boston Police spokesman. The bicyclist was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. No information was immediately available on the severity of the victim's injuries.
Meanwhile, the MBTA today identified the victim in a fatal bicycle crash involving a bus Wednesday as Michael Hunt, 22, of Mission Hill.FULL ENTRY
When a teenage girl and her horse tumbled off a footbridge and into a muddy stream in Hanover, the girl was uninjured, but rescuers faced a tough task in wrestling the 1,000-pound horse from the muck and brush that trapped it, the fire department said.FULL ENTRY
A former Fall River dentist who allegedly used pieces of paper clips during root canal procedures instead of the standard stainless steel posts pleaded not guilty today to a variety of charges, the attorney general's office said.
Michael Clair, 51, formerly of Fall River and now of Maryland, was arraigned in Bristol Superior Court on charges that include assault and battery, larceny over $250, making false Medicaid claims, and illegally prescribing medicines.FULL ENTRY
Both birds and humans were treading the sands on an unusually hot Wednesday at Revere Beach. This picture by Globe staff photographer David L. Ryan provides proof.
-- Boston Public Library President Amy L. Ryan
It's really sad. The librarian here is a real draw, and she doesn't have a lot of experience, so she is worried she might be laid off. It's not just the building. It's the people, the employees.
-- Rosemary O'Brien, a patron of the Lower Mills branch, one of those slated for possible closure
Barry Chin/Globe Staff
The 15-year-old niece of US Representative Stephen F. Lynch, who sparked a police search when she disappeared after leaving her Boston high school on Wednesday, has been found, Boston police said.
Crystal Shaughnessy was found this morning in East Boston, said Officer Eddy Chrispin, a Boston Police spokesman. He said no further details were available.
Police searched last night for the girl between Carson Beach and Castle Island in South Boston. Boston police said she had last been seen leaving Boston Latin Academy at about 1:45 p.m.
A bicyclist was killed after he tried to pass a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus and lost control of his bike, MBTA officials said Wednesday.FULL ENTRY
The search for a missing 76-year old Alzheimer's patient from Holbrook ended Wednesday when his body was found a few miles from his home.
The body of Jack Burke, who had a history of wandering away, was found in the woods, said David Traub, a spokesman for the Norfolk district attorney’s office.
Burke was found early Wednesday afternoon after several days of intense searching. His family had pleaded with the public for any information leading to Burke’s whereabouts. Reported sightings had placed him in Braintree, but officials could not confirm those sightings.
Traub said that authorities do not suspect foul play.
The women, City Councilor Kimberly Allard and Laura Hunt, separately ‘‘have used their position of trust to take advantage of’’ 85-year-old former Bristol Probate Court Judge Edward F. Casey, wrote William J. Bowles in the affidavit. FULL ENTRY
An 8-year-old Lawrence boy who wandered away from his special needs class and who was found later at a phone store had been missing for more than half an hour before school officials noticed, police said today.
The boy, who attends Edward F. Parthum Elementary School in Lawrence, left his classroom around 1:57 p.m. Tuesday and walked toward Interstate 495, Police Chief John Romero said. School officials realized the boy was missing around 2:30 p.m., when they were supposed to bring him to a bus.FULL ENTRY
John Sullivan (Reader submission)
Four residents and at least one firefighter were taken to area hospitals after a spectacular nine-alarm blaze this afternoon at a 10-story condominium building in Boston's Back Bay section that caused an estimated $3.5 million in damage.
One woman was guided by firefighters to the building's roof until the fire below was controlled, said Fire Chief Ronald Keating. No information was immediately available on the condition of those injured.
The fire at the Beacon Towers building at Beacon Street and Massachusetts Avenue drew hundreds of spectators. Witnesses reported seeing tongues of flame and heavy smoke pouring from the building as the blaze began.FULL ENTRY
LAKEVILLE -- Dozens of people visited a FEMA disaster relief center here today, seeking help from a variety of damages sustained by their homes during last month's flooding.
Elwood Hutchens, 64, of East Freetown, came to the center to see if the government could help with repair costs to a well on his property contaminated by flooding.
Hutchens and his wife use water from the well for several tasks including cooking and showering. He said that he is showering at his office in Fall River and cooking with bottled water, among other measures.
"I'm just looking for answers on how this gets resolved," he said.FULL ENTRY
From sweet shops to neighborhood taverns and cafes near today's fire, workers and residents described how a mundane sunny day quickly turned chaotic. Here are some of their reactions:
Amid the fire frenzy, the goodies kept on coming at Sweet, a bakery on Massachusetts Avenue that features such delights as creamy Madagascar vanilla bean cake
with buttercream frosting. Customers stood outside to watch firefighters battle the blaze, said Nick Peruzzi, the general manager.
"I think that they were all quite interested to see how everything played out," Peruzzi said. "There were a lot of people waiting outside, just kind of hoping that it would clear up."
Looking for spring? You won't find it today. In a sneak preview of summer, temperatures shattered a record.
Temperatures in Greater Boston hit 89 degrees just before 2 p.m., topping the previous mark of 86 in 1991, said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton.
Some local suburbs, such as Winchester, reported temperatures in the 90s. Providence hit 91.
As long as southwest winds persist, temperatures could continue inching up.FULL ENTRY
Governor Deval Patrick continues to hold a slight lead over his challengers in the expected three-way race for governor, a new poll has found.
The Rasmussen Reports poll of 500 likely voters conducted Monday found that Patrick would win 35 percent of the vote in a three-way race with Republican Charlie Baker and independent Tim Cahill, who would receive 27 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
Patrick would garner 38 pecent of the vote, Cahill 33 percent, and Christy Mihos 15 percent, if Christy Mihos wins the Republican nomination.FULL ENTRY
Boston Public Library President Amy E. Ryan today endorsed a plan to close four neighborhood libraries -- the Faneuil, Lower Mills, Orient Heights, and Washington Village branches -- as part of a an effort to close a looming budget gap.
The plan, under which hours would remain the same at all the remaining libraries, was one of three options Ryan outlined at a meeting this morning of the library trustees.
The proposals would eliminate up to 94 library jobs. The trustees are expected to pick one option at a meeting on Friday.
The second option would shut down the four branches, as well as the Egleston Square, Jamaica Plain, and Uphams Corner branches. The remaining 19 branches would expand hours.
The third option would keep all 27 locations open but dramatically slash hours at the branches, leaving them open two or three days a week. The nine largest libraries would keep the same hours.FULL ENTRY
The Registry of Motor Vehicles said today it will let some people go to the head of the line – if they make an appointment in advance online.
The agency is adding new functions to its website that will let new drivers and new Massachusetts residents set up a meeting time to process needed paperwork.
The key is using mass.gov/rmv, and an interactive guide that steers applicants through the process, including specifying what documents are required to prove identity and residency.FULL ENTRY
(Mark Wilson/Globe Staff/2008)
He has rowed for 93 days through stormy seas and blistering heat. And he's been rationing food for a couple of weeks now, eating just two meals a day, so he doesn't run out before he makes it ashore.
But retired deputy US marshal Leo Rosette called from the Atlantic today to say he remains strong and determined, with just about 350 more nautical miles to go until he reaches Antigua and sets a record as the oldest American to row across an ocean alone.
"It's been harder rowing these last 500 miles than this whole trip,'' Rosette, 59, of Marshfield, said in a brief interview via satellite telephone. "You just want to get there, so you row more and you row harder.''FULL ENTRY
NORTHAMPTON – It was supposed to be the nation’s first public glance at the Western Massachusetts teens who authorities say made Phoebe Prince’s life so unbearable that she could no longer live with herself.
Instead, it was the latest media circus in what may be a long line of awkwardly choreographed big tent shows before this story clears the front pages of newspapers and the nightly broadcasts.
With their lawyers standing in their stead at the Hampshire Superior Court today, not guilty pleas were entered on behalf of three of the teenagers accused in a litany of charges authorities say led to the suicide of the 15-year-old Irish immigrant.FULL ENTRY
The attorney for Pittsfield Mayor James M. Ruberto said today that former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette was merely getting rid of extra tickets to the 2004 World Series when he sold them to Ruberto at face value.
Speaking at a State Ethics Commission hearing underway in downtown Boston, attorney Leonard Cohen said two of Duquette's relatives told him in early October that they could not attend Game Two of the series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park.
Anxious not to lose money or see the tickets go unused, Duquette sold them to the mayor for $196 each, Cohen said. Cohen also said that neither Ruberto nor Duquette had a role in the city's decision to ultimately agree to let Duquette's minor league baseball team play in the city-owned Wahconah Park.FULL ENTRY
|State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill|
On March 5, Cahill's campaign announced that Dennehy and three other veterans of John McCain's Republican presidential campaigns were coming aboard as part of a bipartisan consulting crew that includes Democratic media consultants Tad Devine and Julian Mulvey.
"I have not had any contact with the campaign since the announcement," Dennehy, who grew up in Massachusetts, told the Globe. "They obviously wanted a big 'McCainiacs support Tim Cahill' story, and they got it. But, in the end, it seems obvious they didn't want to pay for any more talent. I haven't had any returned calls or e-mails for some time. A few weeks ago, they basically said 'We'll be back in touch.'"FULL ENTRY
Two Molotov cocktails were tossed at an Ipswich church this morning, but they did not explode, and they caused no damage, authorities said.
State Fire Marshal Steve Coan called the incident at the First Church on Meetinghouse Green in Ipswich an act of "malicious vandalism." He said investigators do not think it was a hate crime.FULL ENTRY
Four young males are facing charges after a fight near the Roxbury Crossing MBTA station in which one of them was stabbed, the MBTA Transit Police said.
Police were called at 2:54 p.m. Monday to the Domino’s Pizza on the corner of Tremont Street and Columbus Avenue, said MBTA Police Deputy Chief Joseph O’Connor. The altercation was broken up within seconds, O’Connor said.FULL ENTRY
In the second Boston-area brush fire in two days, a blaze among tall reeds along the Mystic River in Medford sent plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky today.
With temperatures Wednesday expected to climb toward record highs, it may not be the last such fire either, a National Weather Service meteorologist said this afternoon.
Medford Deputy Fire Chief Martin Conniff said the blaze was discovered in Macdonald Park along the Mystic River. He said the firefighters took about an hour to put it out. He estimated the fire consumed a patch of about several hundred square feet.
"The ground is pretty wet,'' he said. "But the reeds themselves are dried out by winter. …The reeds are high, 12 to 15 feet, and they burn like paper.''FULL ENTRY
Spurred by the discovery of a human skull over the weekend, police are combing the woods in Holden today in search of more remains, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.'s office.
The exact location was not disclosed so State and Holden Police can preserve any potential crime scene. The jogger made the gruesome discovery on Saturday. The state medical examiner's office is now trying to identify the person.FULL ENTRY
An arrest warrant has been issued for a man accused of setting the fire that destroyed a topless coffee shop in a small town in Maine in June, officials said today.
Raymond Bellavance, 49, of Augusta, is facing a charge of arson for the blaze at the Grand View Coffee Shop in Vassalboro, Maine. Authorities did not specify what his motive allegedly was.FULL ENTRY
It's spring, and that means college-commencement season is just around the corner.
The Globe is compiling its annual list of undergraduate commencements at area schools. Colleges: Please send us your plans, including the date, place, speaker, the number and type of degrees that will be conferred, as well as any honorary degrees that will be awarded.
Private colleges, e-mail announcements to Stefanie Geisler at Sgeisler@Globe.com. Announcements for the state's public colleges and universities go to Shana Wickett at Swickett@Globe.com.
Disaster recovery centers are opening Wednesday in five eastern Massachusetts counties so residents can get help rebuilding lives disrupted by the historic rainstorms of last month.
The centers will be staffed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Massachusetts officials and are designed to be one-stop shops for individuals and business owners seeking to tap into federal assistance.FULL ENTRY
WOBURN -- Jury selection begins today in the first-degree murder trial of John Odgren, who was a gangly 16-year-old when he allegedly stabbed to death James F. Alenson inside a high school bathroom in 2007.
Alenson was just 15 years old, a slightly-built freshman, who did not know Odgren until their chance meeting in the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School on Jan. 19, 2007.
Jonathan Shapiro and Patricia Garin, Odgren's attorneys, are building their defense around the fact that their client was special education student who had been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism, and attention deficit disorder.
The defense is expected to tell jurors in Middlesex Superior Court that Odgren's mental status left him unable to conform to the societal rules of behavior, especially when considering committing violent acts.
But prosecutors in Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.'s office are planning to rely on Odgren's own words, and his alleged fascination with video games and horror fiction, as they paint a picture of a ruthless teen who was in full control of himself at the time.
A brush fire that broke out in the Fens this evening was put out after a “good two-and-a-half hours of chasing it,” according to Stephen MacDonald, Boston Fire Department spokesman.
About 50 firefighters battled the blaze, he said, which started along The Fenway side of the Muddy River and eventually jumped over to the Park Drive side. The only damage was the burning of vegetation, but police had to shut down nearby roads for a short period of time, MacDonald said.
“I guess one thing we’re fortunate for is that there was no Red Sox game tonight,” he said.
MacDonald added that any number of things may have ignited the fire, such as a carelessly discarded cigarette.
The 19-year-old who was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with police in Dorchester Saturday night put his own gun to his head and fired, the Suffolk district attorney said today, a determination that police officials hope will settle anxiety among the area’s Cape Verdean community over the use of deadly force.
District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today that a preliminary investigation shows that Manuel “Junior” DaVeiga had exchanged gunfire with officers and a state trooper assigned to the Youth Violence Strike Force, and that at one point he “reloaded his weapon, put the gun to his head, and shot himself.”
Conley said that police recovered DaVeiga’s .45-caliber firearm from him where he fell. The Cape Verdean teenager also suffered gunshot wounds to his hand, hip, and chest.FULL ENTRY
Starting today, some homeowners preparing to sell their houses have one more item to add to their to-do lists: equipping the residences with photoelectric smoke detectors.
Authorities say the detectors, which use light to detect smoke, are the most effective alarms to detect smoldering fires – the kind of blazes that cause the most fatalities. Under a new state regulation, the detectors will be required for homes that were built before 1975 and are in the process of being sold or transferred, according to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.
It applies to homes that have up to five units and rely on battery-operated smoke detectors, said State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan.FULL ENTRY
Fourteen people are homeless today after a two-alarm fire damaged a Chinatown building housing a convenience store and four floors of apartments.
Three firefighters were taken to Boston hospitals for treatment of smoke inhalation, cuts and debris in the eyes as a result of the fire that caused an estimated $1 million damage, said Steve MacDonald, a Boston Fire Department spokesman.
A Brighton man was ordered held without bail today after pleading not guilty to charges that he fatally stabbed another Brighton man during a fight Saturday night in Allston.
Julio Mariscal, 40, is alleged to have murdered Jose Mendoza Villalta during a fight that broke out near the intersection of Mansfield and Lincoln streets in Allston just before midnight.
No additional information about Mendoza Villalta, 40, was immediately available today.
Red Sox David Ortiz breaks his bat on the ball as he grounds out in the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park during Sunday night's season opener at Fenway Park. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff)
New details emerged today about an alleged plot to kill a Pembroke dance instructor, who was shot while sitting in her car in front of her parents' home last month.
Marybeth Banks was hit multiple times on March 23 around 10 p.m., allegedly by Dorian J. Membreno, a 25-year-old Bridgeport, Conn., man who told authorities he was promised $10,000 for the murder.
"Ms. Banks stated as she brought her motor vehicle to a stop in the driveway of the residence, she observed movement outside of her motor vehicle coming from her left,'' according to an arrest affidavit. "While still inside of her vehicle and with the door closed and car window up, Ms. Banks was shot.''FULL ENTRY
A key legislative committee today approved House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo’s bill to license two resort-style casinos in Massachusetts and 750 slot machines at the state’s four struggling racetracks.
The vote of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies was 12 in favor, two opposed, and five abstentions.
The two opposed were state Representative Denis E. Guyer, a Dalton Democrat, and state Senator Susan C. Tucker, a longtime and prominent opponent of expanded gambling.
The five who abstained included the committee’s Senate chairwoman, state Senator Karen E. Spilka, an Ashland Democrat, and state Senator Anthony Petrucelli, a Democrat whose East Boston district includes Suffolk Downs.
The comittee's House chairman, Brian S. Dempsey, a Haverhill Democrat and top DeLeo lieutenant, has spent the last several months helping to draft the bill. The measure now heads to the House Ways and Means Committee, on its way to the House floor for debate next week.
The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer-Prize winning series on clergy sexual abuse has been named one of the top 10 works of journalism in the United States over the past decade by New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
A team of university and outside judges ranked the Globe series No. 10 on the list. The stories, which described the transferring of abusive priests from parish to parish by church leaders, led to a crisis in the Catholic Church which in turn prompted the resignation of Cardinal Bernard F. Law as archbishop of Boston. The series was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer for Public Service.
“We are deeply honored to have the Globe's work included on a list of the decade's most exceptional journalism,” said Martin Baron, the Globe’s editor. “The powerful impact of the Globe's investigative effort is dramatically evident even today: The Catholic Church is still struggling with profound questions about the adequacy of its response to sexual abuse within its ranks. The wall of silence and secrecy about this issue collapsed because of the difficult and penetrating work of Globe journalists eight years ago.”
Topping the list is The New York Times’ coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
A rundown of the rest of the list:
2. Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s 2003 book “Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx”
3. Lawrence Wright’s 2006 book “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11”
4. A 2008 radio program on “This American Life” called “The Giant Pool of Money,” by Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson.
5. Reporting from in Iraq and Afghanistan by New York Times’ reporters C.J. Chivers and Dexter Filkins, and photographer Tyler Hicks.
6. Jane Mayer's 2008 book, "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals.
7. Barbara Ehrenreich's 2001 book, "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America''
8. The Times-Picayune’s 2005 coverage of Hurricane Katrina.
9. The Washington Post’s series on abuses and substandard treatment that soldiers received at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
“This list demonstrates the many forms in which great journalism can present itself – from breaking-news stories and investigations to long explanatory works, from newspaper articles to broadcasts to books,” said Mitchell Stephens, a professor at the Carter Journalism Institute, in a statement.
The winners were selected from 80 nominees by a panel of judges that included NYU professors as well as Gene Roberts, former executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer; Madeleine Blais, a journalism professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz; and Morley Safer of “60 Minutes.”
The nominees were selected from nonfiction work on current events that appeared from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2009.
Baker spoke to readers statewide via an online chat midday via Boston.com.
When asked about Palin and the Tea Party movement, Baker answered: "I think civic engagement is a good thing. I've been involved in local and state government - as a community volunteer and as a former state official - for my entire adult life. The Tea Party seems to me to be another example civic engagement - which is ALWAYS a good thing. And most folks I know who are Tea Party members are terrified about deficit spending, taxing and jobs. Me too.
''And Sarah Palin is simply one person. To me, what makes the Tea Party work is the involvement of thousands of people on the local level across this country.''
Three teenagers who were scheduled to appear Tuesday in Hampshire Superior Court to answer to criminal bullying charges related to the suicide of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince have invoked state law allowing them to miss their arraignments, a court official said.
Sean Mulveyhill and Kayla Narey, both 17 and from South Hadley, and 18-year-old Austin Renaud of Springfield have hired lawyers and invoked state law allowing them to formally waive their appearance, the court official said.FULL ENTRY
Just in time for Beacon Hill’s annual budget debate, a nonprofit group is launching an online tool to help people track budget items without flipping through thousands of pages.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center’s newly revamped Budget Browser tool allows policy wonks, reporters, activists, or the merely curious to search state budget information from fiscal year 2001 through the current fiscal year.
The typically unwieldy budgets can be searched by line item or by categories such as health care, education, and public safety. You can adjust for inflation, compare the governor's budget to those proposed by the Legislature, and track programs through the years, even if their line items have changed.
At a time when the state is expected to face another series of grim budget choices, the Budget and Policy Center says the tool is intended to help people get involved in the debate by giving them access to the spending data they care about.
When Fire Captain Neal Mullane arrived on Lewis Wharf this morning, he knew something was wrong.
"There was a wheelchair and nobody in it,'' Mullane, commander of Ladder 1, said. About 50 feet away, he saw a man in the water, clinging to the seawall. "He was blue. He was shivering. He was cold.''
As firefighters from Ladder 1 and Engine 8 scrambled to pull ladders and rescue equipment off the trucks around 6:30 a.m. today, Mullane and firefighter Michael Higgins found themselves closest to the heavy-set disabled man.
Standing on the north side of Lewis Wharf, Mullane shed his heavy fire gear and stripped down to work shorts and a T-shirt. Without prompting, Higgins dumped his bunker gear, leaving him in work pants and a T-shirt.
"I didn't order Mike in,'' Mullane said. "Sometimes you go in the window, and sometimes you go in the door. In this case, you go into the harbor.''
Republican candidate for governor Charles Baker is answering questions from readers Monday at noon. Bookmark this link, or sign up for a reminder below.
Easter services were interrupted at Grace Chapel this morning after a transformer wire sparked a small fire in a telephone pole outside the church and knocked out power.
Jeanette Yep, a pastor at the Lexington church, said people in the sanctuary were notified of the fire at about 11:25 a.m. -- five minutes before the start of the service -- after the power flickered and the emergency light came on. The fire department contacted the church and the senior pastor, Bryan Wilkerson, who was about to give his sermon instructed everyone to evacuate the building.
"Everyone just went out and enjoyed weather, greeted each other and gathered their families," she said. "Folks around here are chatty. Fortunately, no one was hurt and there was no panic."FULL ENTRY
Boston Police are continuing their investigation today of a police-involved shooting in Dorchester last night that left an unidentified 19-year-old man dead.
"Based on preliminary investigation, it appears he fired on us, and officers returned fire," said Eddy Chrispin, a Boston Police spokesman.FULL ENTRY
Suzie Hanlan/Taken under scientific permit from NMFS
In a sure sign of spring, endangered North Atlantic right whales have begun their annual migration north to their summer home off Cape Cod, New England Aquarium scientists say.
Eighteen mother-and-calf pairs are among the whales starting the long trip north from warm waters off the coast of Florida and Georgia, said Aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse. The whales take about a month to make the trip, LaCasse said.
"We have not gotten any reports of calf sightings yet" in local waters, he said. "They're just on the cusp of arriving."FULL ENTRY
A man was shot in Dorchester during an exchange of gunfire with police at about 9 p.m., police said.
Police and witnesses at the scene, 11 Navillus Terrace, would not say what started the altercation.
Boston Police spokeman Eddy Chrispin said the man went "down," but did not elaborate on his condition or provide further identification. He was taken from the scene. According to Crispin, no police were injured in the exchange.
As a crowd gathered at the scene, several streets were closed in the area.
George Rizer for The Boston Globe
Three women were rescued from the Taunton River in Bridgewater today after strong currents flipped their kayaks around 5:20 p.m. Bridgewater Fire Chief George Rogers said.
Firefighters quickly rescued two of the women, who were about 20 feet from shore, tossing them life jackets with ropes attached, Rogers said. The third woman, 39, was about 75 feet from shore and held onto a group of trees. She was wearing a life jacket, Rogers said.
After a failed rescue attempt by one Bridgewater firefighter, a firefighter with fins and a mask swam to the woman, giving her a second life jacket, and remained in the river with the woman. Two rescue kayakers from the Middleborough Fire Department then brought the woman to shore, followed by the firefighter, Lieutenant Thomas Luckman, Rogers said.
The woman was taken to Brockton Hospital as a precaution, Rogers said.
The Coast Guard issued a safety advisory this week for all boaters because cresting rivers after this week's torrential rain are creating "stronger-than-usual currents and unforeseen eddies and rips."
A Norwood couple is facing charges that they burglarized two North Shore homes while their two young children waited in the car for them, police said.
James J. Schultz, 38, and his wife Elizabeth, 30, were arrested late Friday after a Hamilton woman came home to find the Schultzes' car backed up into her driveway on Madonna Drive with a woman and two children inside. The resident approached the car, and the woman drove off. Suddenly, a man came out of the resident’s house carrying a plastic bag full of stolen goods from the home. A neighbor, who saw what was going on, came out and chased the man, who ran down the block where the car was waiting for him.
The resident was able to obtain the license plate number from the car, which was registered to the Schultzes out of Norwood.
A short time later, a resident of nearby Hamilton Avenue called police to report that he had come home to find his house was broken into and burglarized.FULL ENTRY
Essdras Suarez/Globe Staff
Hundreds of people gathered today on Cambridge Common to engage in an epic pillow fight that persisted for more than an hour.
Boston-based group Banditos Misteriosos planned the event, instructing participants via a post made to their website at 12 a.m. this morning to go to the park, which is near Harvard Square, at 3 p.m.
Participants, some in costumes, waged war on each other with pillows of all shapes and sizes. Some police gathered at the scene, but there did not appear to be any major disturbances. Event organizers said they hoped to have help from participants in cleaning up the Cambridge park, a portion of which was littered with down and other pillow debris.
By 4 p.m., a smaller group was still locked in intense melee on the Common, but others had left or begun helping clean up the area. Organizers said the event, which constitutes Boston's involvement in "World Pillow Fight Day," was a great success.
GRANBY -- A 37-year-old paramedic who was found dead in her home Monday night was strangled, prosecutors said.
Police found the body of Annamarie Rintala in her Barton Street home at about 7:15 p.m., Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel said today. An autopsy finished Friday found that Rintala had been strangled, she said.
Scheibel said the slaying, which rocked this western Massachusetts town of about 6,000 people, was not random, but she declined to disclose many details of the case.
Rintala shared the home with her spouse, Cara Lee Rintala, and their 3-year-old daughter. A next-door neighbor said Cara Lee Rintala, a firefighter for the Ludlow Fire Department, came to her door Monday night and asked her to call for help.
"She just came over and gave us the baby and the dog and said, 'Call 911,'" Barbara DuPuis said.FULL ENTRY
A bank was robbed this morning in Boston's Dorchester section, police said.
The Sovereign Bank branch at 780 Gallivan Blvd. was robbed at about 11:40 a.m., Boston Police said.FULL ENTRY
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
It went without saying that if anyone deserved to be bitter, to want revenge, to feel sorry for himself, it was Darryl Williams.
But the sniper’s bullet that left the 15-year-old wide receiver from Jamaica Plain High School a quadriplegic after it struck his neck 31 years ago during halftime at a football game at Charlestown High School transformed the gawky boy into a man with a very different mantra, one he repeated to friends, family, and strangers for the rest of his life: peace.
Williams, who became an icon for the busing crisis that roiled Boston during the effort to desegregate local schools in the 1970s, died Sunday at his home in a suburb south of Boston. He was remembered today at a packed Roxbury funeral service.FULL ENTRY
John Blanding/Globe Staff
Even as the sun shines and the temperature climbs, the National Weather Service has extended flood warnings through the weekend for residents living along New England rivers that spilled over their banks earlier this week.
"The rivers are on their way down," said Kim Buttrick, a meterologist at the weather service office in Taunton. But she also said, "It's going to take some time."FULL ENTRY
Road closures and other transportation advisories for the week beginning April 4:
Double right-lane closure in I-93 tunnel Monday from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Double left-lane closure in I-93 tunnel Sunday from 11:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. and from Tuesday to Thursday from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.FULL ENTRY
It turns out hermit crabs might not be so antisocial, after all. According to a study conducted by biologists at the New England Aquarium and Tufts University, hermit crabs appear to congregate -- lining up like humans waiting for an iPad -- when looking for new shells, rather than go it alone.
Using field studies, lab experiments, and computer models, the biologists discovered that hermit crabs join together in what is known as a "synchronous vacancy chain" when they are looking for a new home.
Hermit crabs use empty snail shells as shelter and protection. As the crabs grow, they must find bigger, more suitable shells.
According to the study, when an empty shell is found, hermit crabs line up in order of descending size. After the largest crab moves into the new shell, the one directly behind it takes its old shell. This shell-swapping continues down the line, until each crab has a different -- and hopefully better -- place to call home.FULL ENTRY
A 20-year-old New Bedford man was killed early today when he was struck by a vehicle on Interstate 195 eastbound in Rehoboth while standing near his disabled car, State Police said.
Andres Pereyra's car had broken down in the middle travel lane when he was struck at about 2:40 a.m. by a 2004 Nissan 360Z driven by Milton Reis, 21, of Fall River. Reis was not injured in the crash. Pereyra was taken to Rhode Island Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The State Police and the Bristol district attorney’s office are investigating. No charges have been filed, police said.
In 1997, a Catholic tribunal in Tucson formally determined that a local priest had solicited sex while hearing confession, saying that evidence in the case against the Rev. Michael Teta showed that his ‘‘insidious ‘rape’ ’’ of his victims was ‘‘so heinous that the only solution is that he take up some other occupation.’’
In a sentencing document that runs more than 100 pages, the tribunal recounted the evidence against Teta, saying at one point that ‘‘there is almost a satanic quality in his mode of acting toward young men and boys.’’
Despite the urgency of the findings, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a top Vatican official, took more than six years to review the case before Pope John Paul II affirmed a decision to strip Teta of his status as a priest, or laicize him.FULL ENTRY
Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe
A Mattapan man was sentenced today to 6 to 8 years in prison for providing a fellow gang member with the gun used to kill 13-year-old Steven Odom almost three years ago. The sentence followed an emotional hearing in which the boy's parents urged their son's killer to repent and turn his life around.
David Johnson, 19, pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to charges of being an accessory before the fact of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, being an accessory after the fact of murder, and two illegal firearms charges. He faces five years of probation after he completes his prison sentence.
The slaying of Steven Odom, who was walking home from a basketball court, had shocked the city and sparked calls for an end to street violence.FULL ENTRY
Federal prosecutors have agreed to drop some of the allegations contained in a sweeping corruption indictment against former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi and three associates.
Prosecutors advised US District Court Chief Mark L. Wolf in a written filing Thursday that they were removing sections of the indictment that alleged DiMasi had a hidden stake in Genesis Management LLC, a property management company that won a $1.4 million state contract several months after it was formed in January 2006 by DiMasi's friend and codefendant Richard Vitale, and two other partners.
"It's a significant victory from our perspective,'' said Boston attorney Thomas R. Kiley, who represents DiMasi. "Our argument has always been that they just threw these [allegations] in there to prejudice us."FULL ENTRY
The Boston Water and Sewer Commission said today it has been underbilling its 88,000 residential and commercial customers for three months.
In a statement, the commission said bills should have been increased by 3.95 percent as of Jan. 1. But because of a data entry error, the new rate was never included in bills sent to customers.
The commission said in a statement that an average family of four now owes the commission $7.53 as a result of the mistake.FULL ENTRY
Two Plymouth teenagers pleaded not guilty today to charges they fired BB guns at motorists driving on Route 3 in Plymouth and Kingston last month.
John F. Duarte 2d, 17, and Shawn C. Ackerman, 19, are each facing 32 charges, including 11 counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and nine counts of malicious destruction of personal property over $250, Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said.
Both live on Off Cherry Street in Plymouth and were arraigned in Plymouth District Court before Judge Robert A. Welsh III, who set bail at $1,000 cash.FULL ENTRY
Boston Police have identified the man shot to death Tuesday night in Dorchester as 43-year-old Bernard Brown, a resident of that area.
Brown was shot on Leyland Street at approximately 10:20 p.m. Tuesday and later died at Boston Medical Center, police said today in a statement.
Police urged anyone with information on the shooting to call 617-343-4470. Witnesses can also call an anonymous hotline at 1-800-494-TIPS.
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff
House Speaker Robert DeLeo has launched the most aggressive push for expanded gambling in Massachusetts in at least two years.
The son of a Suffolk Downs racetrack worker, DeLeo stirred controversy Thursday when he said he will not hold public hearings on his proposal, and instead will push for passage by the full House later this month.
DeLeo said the lawmakers held hearings on gambling issues earlier in the current legislative session. "Everything has been studied thoroughly, and we're ready to go," he said.
The proposed legislation is 172 pages long and can be found here.FULL ENTRY
A man armed with a handgun robbed a bank on Boylston Street in Newton this morning, police said.
No one was injured in the robbery of the Century Bank branch around 11 a.m. today. But police said the man ordered one bank employee to the ground at gunpoint and robbed several tellers of money in their cash drawers before fleeing on foot.
The suspect was described as a man between the ages of 30 and 40, about six feet tall with a stocky build, who was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, gray pants, black baseball cap, black gloves, and a mask over the lower half of his face.
Anyone with information is urged to call Newton Police at 617 796-2100 or their “Tips-Line” at 617 796-2121.
Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston today defended Pope Benedict XVI's handling of abuse cases prior to his papacy, writing in a post on his blog that "confusion and misinformation" in the media has obscured the pope's effectiveness in dealing with the issue of sex abuse of children by clergy.
Benedict has been under fire for his handling of two abuse cases prior to his papacy, when he was a bishop and then a cardinal known by his given name, Joseph Ratzinger. In Germany, where Benedict had been the archbishop of Munich, he has been criticized for his oversight of an abusive priest, and in Rome, where Benedict previously oversaw the process for defrocking abusive priests, he has been criticized for his agency's decision not to defrock a priest from Wisconsin who had allegedly abused some 200 deaf boys decades earlier.
The controversy has swelled over the course of Holy Week, the most sacred week in the church calendar.
"What is very clear to me -- and I think to all who are fair-minded -- is that Cardinal Ratzinger and later Pope Benedict has been dedicated to eradicating sexual abuse in the Church and trying to rectify the mistakes of the past," O'Malley blogged.FULL ENTRY
Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital this afternoon have completed hip replacement surgery for Nerlin Cajuste, the Haitian woman severely injured in her native country's devastating earthquake earlier this year, a relative said this afternoon.
Cajuste's operation lasted about 2 hours and she currently is the recovery room where she is "doing fine,'' a relative said.
The Globe today reported on Dr. Robert McLaughlin, a Boston-area doctor who went to Haiti as a part of a medical team organized by Partners in Health, where he encountered the 25-year-old Cajuste and decided to do whatever he could to help her.
Police are widening their search for an elderly man with Alzheimer's disease who went missing Thursday night in Holbrook, guessing that he may be making his way toward his childhood haunts in Dorchester.
Shanley says police are looking for Burke in the Braintree, Quincy, and Holbrook areas. But State Police are also looking for Burke in the area around the church.FULL ENTRY
Amid concern about a rash of cyber-bulling in Boston schools, police have sent a memo to the city's headmasters and principals providing tips on how students can avoid invasion of privacy on the Internet.
The memo said students should be reminded to restrict access to their on-line profiles and not become "friends" of the pages posting the offending photos lest they become victims themselves.
Joining such pages makes it easy for posters to steal photos from the victims' own profiles and publish them without permission, the memo explains. In cases where the students who are being disparaged are easily recognized, school officials should be proactive and call the children's parents directly, the memo advised.
This week, students and city and school officials say they have found at least 15 Facebook pages that use obscene or hateful language to target female students, as well as a handful of male students, school administrators, and teachers at schools in Boston and surrounding communities. Many of the pages concerned students at Charlestown High School.
Police said they are working hard to get Facebook and other social-networking sites to take down offensive pages, but acknowledged that with the speed of the Internet, "policing the millions of pages on any of these sites ... is nearly impossible."
If the end of another workweek doesn’t lift your spirits enough, sunny skies have returned to brighten the day even more.
Today’s high temperatures in the Greater Boston area should hover around the upper 50s, with sea breezes keeping the coast cool and highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s in the interior, said Jeremiah Pyle, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton. Temperatures will dip to the 40s tonight.
Also today, the state Department of Transportation posted its morning update on flood-impacted roadways. This list does not track all closings ordered by cities and towns, the department noted.FULL ENTRY
Small college. Big-name speaker.
Republican US Senator Scott Brown, who caught the national spotlight with his upset victory in the special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Edward M. Kennedy, will speak at the commencement of Nichols College in the central Massachusetts community of Dudley, the college announced today."Nichols seniors are delighted to have Senator Brown as their honored guest" on May 8, Debra M. Townsley, the college president, said in a statement.
The private college, which has about 1,300 undergraduates, was founded in 1815. It offers a career-focused business education.
Other well-known Massachusetts commencement speakers this year include MSNBC-TV host Rachel Maddow, who recently engaged in a public tiff with Brown over rumors she might run for his seat. She will speak at Smith College in Northampton.FULL ENTRY
The recent torrential rains threatened to overwhelm manmade dams. It's not clear how nature's dambuilders fared. Globe photographer David L. Ryan caught this picture of two beavers huddling together Thursday on a log in the water off Pelham Island Road in Wayland.
Two men are slated to be arraigned today on charges that they were involved in the pellet-gun shootings of several cars along Route 3 last month.
A 19-year-old man and an 18-year-old man, both from Plymouth, are being charged. They were arrested Thursday and face arraignment in Plymouth District Court, State Police said Thursday in a statement.FULL ENTRY
A highly contagious gastrointestinal illness presumed to be caused by a norovirus has sickened 75 students at Emerson College since the middle of last month, but public health and college officials now believe the outbreak is waning.
On March 14, two students reported to campus health services complaining of stomach cramps and nausea, Andrew Tiedemann, Emerson's vice president for communications, said today. At its peak, 10 to 13 students a day were seeking help for their nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some were sent to Tufts Medical Center's emergency department because they were dehydrated, but none of them needed to be kept at the hospital overnight.FULL ENTRY
With wit as sharp as the scalpels she dreaded, Susan Tifft kept a blog about engaging fully in life after being diagnosed with cancer. So informed and incisive were the entries that a doctor suggested, only half in jest, that she could write "Oncology for Dummies."
"In the first fraught days after my diagnosis, something miraculous happened. I got X-ray vision," Ms. Tifft wrote on Sept. 5, 2007, less than a month after learning she had cancer. "I know that sounds weird, but that is precisely how it felt."
"I would walk down the street or look out the window of our apartment onto Cambridge Common and the love and kindness I saw in everyday life practically made me weep. It might be something as simple as someone helping an elderly person into a wheelchair, or a father hoisting his daughter on his shoulders, or two friends hugging each other. It was as if I were a Martian seeing humans for the first time and being enormously moved by how compassionate and caring we are toward each other, for no obvious reward. It's truly spectacular, and somehow, in my former busy-ness, I never really noticed."
If the blog is any evidence, little escaped her notice in the last 2 1/2 years of her life. Ms. Tifft, who with her husband, Alex S. Jones, co-wrote acclaimed books on the families that controlled The New York Times and the Louisville Courier-Journal, died in her Cambridge home today. She was 59. FULL ENTRY
President Obama made a brief surprise visit today to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency bunker in Framingham, where state officials have been coordinating the response to the recent recordbreaking torrential rains.
Obama's motorcade arrived shortly before 6 p.m. Joined by Governor Deval Partrick, he visited for 15 minutes, thanking workers in the bunker for their efforts.
"The one thing I would say is whether you are a governor or a president ... when these kinds of natural disasters hit, what really matters is the people on the ground," he said, according to a pool report. "I just want to say thanks on behalf of the country as well. ... Good job."
He told one official later that "It seems like, at least, we are going to get some sunshine outside. The dams are holding. It is a testimony to all your excellent work."
Massachusetts was inundated by three major rainstorms in March, which made the month the rainiest March on record. President Obama before the recent storm had already declared much of the state a federal disaster area.FULL ENTRY
Globe staff photo by Suzanne Kreiter
It did not take long for Michayla Baker to replace her busted cello.
The 9-year-old from Danville, N.H., whose mother is fighting leukemia, has received a brand new one, courtesy of a Facebook group that pooled donations to purchase her a replacement, her father, Ken, said today.
Michayla had been playing her cello in the oncology unit of the Dana Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center for patients and hospital staff, who found the girl's impromptu performances to be a pleasant distraction from the trials of a cancer ward. A Globe reporter was interviewing the family one day last month when the instrument fell and broke.FULL ENTRY
Students at Boston public schools have reported several cyberbullying complaints, including Facebook pages with derogatory captions and crude remarks directed at females who attend Charlestown High.
Matthew Wilder, a school district spokesman, said that officials learned of the reports "in the last few days" following calls to a new city hot line.
Wilder said officials are trying to find out who launched the Facebook pages, which show photographs of girls along with the crude remarks. Some girls have apparently launched pages targeting boys in retaliation, he said. All but two of the pages had been taken down as of midday.
City officials are moving with a sense of urgency to fight such websites in the wake of the suicide of Phoebe Prince, the 15-year-old South Hadley freshman whose death following months of torment from classmates sparked criminal charges and national outcry about how South Hadley school administrators handled the situation.FULL ENTRY
Brian Snyder/Globe Staff
CRANSTON, R.I. -- State officials have announced the reopening of Interstate 95 in both directions this afternoon, and will now begin working to pump water from the connector road at T.F. Green Airport, in a scramble to recover from a storm that wreaked havoc across much of the state.
"It has been the worst, worst flood in our state's history, and more people have been affected than ever before," Governor Donald Carcieri said today at a news conference at the Rhode Island National Guard headquarters.
The governor encouraged residents to file claims with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. saying it would buttress the state's case for disaster assistance.
Meanwhile, state officials spent the day trying to assess the damage from a storm that has submerged parts of communities across the state.FULL ENTRY
A Roxbury K-8 school was placed under "safe mode" for about half an hour this afternoon after a student was allegedly threatened, police said.FULL ENTRY
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff
The ground in eastern Massachusetts is still soaked, but for the first time in days, sunshine is expected to arrive and help dry out the region after March's historic rainfalls.
"Things have toned down a little and are moving in the right direction,'' said Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
Gloucester and State Police are investigating after a woman's body was found floating in the water off Gloucester this morning.
Gloucester Police were alerted by a woman working at the Beauport Museum at 11:05 a.m. that she had seen a body floating off Eastern Point. Shortly afterwards, the Coast Guard retrieved the body, the Essex district attorney's office said in a statement.FULL ENTRY
Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff
How does your library stack up?
People around Boston are worrying about whether their beloved nearby branch libraries will be closed as part of the city's budget belt-tightening.
Officials haven't said yet which branches will be closed, but data released by the city Wednesday may provide some clues.
The wide range of data for each location includes the number of people who walk into the branch, wireless Internet sessions, and attendance at public programs. (Click here to see the data.)
The 15 individual measures, which draw on statistics from 2009, outline in stark detail which branches are less used, clustered close to other locations, and have inadequate facilities, the Globe reports today. The data revealed, for example, that almost twice as many people walked in the front door of the West End branch than the North End branch, which is roughly a dozen blocks away.FULL ENTRY
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
For years, the amphibious vehicles of Boston Duck Tours have ferried excited and bemused tourists around Boston, chugging down the streets and then plunging into the Charles River Basin for a better view of the city. Now, one of the iconic vehicles is playing a more serious role: helping the state with flood relief efforts after the recent torrential rains.
The vehicle had been used for the same purpose during the mammoth rainstorm that dumped rain on the state in mid-March, Brown said.
The vehicle in question, Old Gloria, is a 2-year-old replica of the original World War II DUKW boats. The company still owns some from that era, but is updating its fleet, Brown said. Brown said the state is paying for the vehicle, but is getting a "huge discount."FULL ENTRY
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff
House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, surrounded by casino lobbyists, labor leaders, and racetrack supporters, said today that his bill to license two resort-style casinos and slot machines at the state’s four racetracks would help lift the state from its economic malaise and close its yawning budget gap.
“We’re now going though the worst recession since the Great Depression and many of us have talked about how we can meet our obligations to provide working families with the ability to work, and that’s what this bill does,” DeLeo said, as he unveiled a proposal that he said would create 15,000 jobs.
DeLeo spoke before a large crowd of union construction workers, several of whom spoke about their own difficulty in finding work.
“I look into the eyes of these people who are worried about their health care, worried about how they’re going to feed their families, worried about if they’re going to lose their homes,” DeLeo said. “It’s time to act and the time to act is now.”FULL ENTRY
A Worcester Catholic school embarked on a $3 million expansion project, but officials there have now learned the man who was supposed to arrange financing was a fraud, Attorney General Martha Coakley's office said today.
Coakley announced this morning that Michael Hlady has been indicted on larceny charges for allegedly defrauding the Venerini Academy out of $370,000.
The North Scituate, R.I., man told school officials he was connected with an anonymous donor who would help finance a facility expansion. He collected the cash as payment for his fund-raising efforts, Coakley said in a statement.
No such person existed, Coakley said. "As a result, the school undertook a $3 million expansion project for which they do not have the funds to pay,'' the statement said.
A Brockton man awaiting trial for a double killing in Brockton was found today in his cell at the Plymouth County jail with his throat slashed, Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald Jr.'s office said.
Keith Luke, who has identified himself as a white supremacist and scratched a swastika into his forehead, was discovered in his cell at around 6 a.m. Authorities said he had a "self-inflicted slash wound to the neck.''
Luke was in stable condition, the sheriff's department said this afternoon. He was first rushed to Jordan Hospital in Plymouth before being transferred to an undisclosed Boston hospital.
A man was shot to death on Claybourne Street in Dorchester late Wednesday night, Boston police said.
The man was gunned down at 11:06 p.m. in front of 58 Claybourne St. He was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center.
Police said another man was wounded in the attack and is listed in critical condition. The ages and identities of the victims have not been released.
The homicide is the 15th this year, compared with 12 at the same time last year. It was the fourth murder in the city since Saturday.
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more