The Coast Guard this evening suspended its search for a boater whose abandoned motorboat as found in the harbor at Porstmouth, N.H., on Friday.
In a press release, the Coast Guard said is suspended the search at sunset today, after searching for about 29 hours.
According to Petty Officer Luke Clayton of the District 1 Coast Guard, crews are standing by, but will resume the search only if a new tip is discovered.
"We pretty much exhausted all assets that we had," Clayton said in an interview. "If somebody calls with a tip...that could always lead to something."
The roughly 20-foot vessel was found at 2 p.m. Friday. Boat keys, wetsuits, and a license were found aboard the vessel, which is registered to Robert Schultze, 63, of Shapleigh, Maine, according to a Coast Guard statement.
The subsequent search employed numerous air and marine resources, the Coast Guard said, and was hampered by heavy fog and near-zero visibility due to Tropical Storm Earl.
Boston police have charged two teenagers and a 20-year-old with the murder of a 58-year-old pizza delivery man who was stabbed to death while making a delivery in Hyde Park Wednesday night.
Michel Andre St. Jean, 20, of Hyde Park; Alexander Emmanuel Gallett, 18, of Hyde Park; and Yamiley Mathurin, 17, of Mattapan each face charges of murder, armed robbery, and armed breaking and entering of a dwelling, police and prosecutors said at a news conference today.
The slaying of Richel Nova of Hyde Park was "chilling in its callousness and violence," Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement. Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said the suspects were "vicious thugs" who had shown Nova no mercy.
Nova was lured to a vacant house at 742 Hyde Park Ave. late Wednesday, where the suspects allegedly robbed and fatally stabbed him, Boston police have said.
Authorities have said the suspects had placed an order with Domino's and gave the address of the house. After Nova was stabbed, the three allegedly drove off in his Subaru Legacy, which was recovered Thursday at church parking lot on River Street.FULL ENTRY
Raynham police are seeking the public's help in finding an 83-year-old man with Alzheimer's disease who was reported missing Friday afternoon.
Robert E. Laubinger, 83, drove away from his Titicut Road home about 9:30 a.m. Friday after an argument with his wife Deborah, she told police. Laubinger was reported missing about 1:50 p.m. and was driving a green 2004 Ford Expedition with a Massachusetts license plate 999-GA9.
Deborah Laubinger told police Robert almost exclusively drives in the Raynham area and in Whitman and gets lost if he travels alone outside these areas, police said in a statement.
Deborah told police that Robert could also be near Cape Cod Canal, Scituate Harbor, or a bar in Abington that Robert previously owned, police said.
Police described Laubinger as 6-feet-2, 250 pounds, with blue eyes and glasses, and bald with white hair on the side. He does not have a cellphone.
Anyone with information on Laubinger's whereabouts should call Raynham police at 508-824-2727.
Dina Rudick/Globe Staff
CHATHAM -- The red no-swimming flags flapped in the wind today at Lighthouse Beach because of the threat of rip currents. But dozens of people were spread out on the sand, lazing on blankets, or walking along the water's edge, enjoying the sunny, post-Earl weather.
John Cain of Stoneham, walking with his wife and 12-year-old son, said the family had just arrived this morning.
"We were supposed to come yesterday and we got scared off by the weather report, obviously. But it looks beautiful now," he said.FULL ENTRY
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
OAK BLUFFS -- Looking weary and a little disappointed, linemen filed into Linda Jean’s Restaurant on Circuit Avenue this morning as the sun rose on Martha's Vinyeard.
The storm had left the region without causing any damage to the power lines in town. That meant the dozens of workers contracted by NStar who had come to the Vineyard hoping for days, maybe weeks, of work, would leave early, with little to show for the trip.
“Earl was a dud,” grumbled Mike Riben, a lineman from Enfield, Conn. as he puffed on a cigarette outside the diner.FULL ENTRY
Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
NANTUCKET -- Residents of the Cape and islands awoke to patches of blue sky this morning, few downed limbs, little flooding, and head-scratching questions about what had happened to big, bad Earl."That was just normal 'winter' weather," said Norm Frazee, as he patrolled the properties of a resort company for downed limbs and other storm-related debris. "We get winds like that almost every day in the winter."
Once a mighty hurricane, Earl weakened into a tropical storm and merely grazed the Cape and islands overnight, causing no major damage or power outages, officials said this morning.
"Simply, there's not any serious damage to assess," said Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. "Really, we're very very fortunate with the ultimate impact of the storm."
Judge said only about 600 people around the state were without power at about 7 a.m., with about a third of them on the Cape and islands.
The Cape, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard, the areas most affected by the storm, saw sustained winds of 29 to 35 miles per hour, with gusts ranging from 46 to 57 miles per hour, said National Weather Service meteorologist Neal Strauss. The highest gust was clocked at 58 miles per hour at Hyannis. About 5.07 inches of rain was measured in Yarmouth.
On Nantucket this morning, sunrise walkers ambled through the downtown, cars cruised unimpeded on the island roads, and homes that had seemed in jeopardy in the fragile Madaket section, where the surf remained heavy this morning, appeared to have survived the storm with little damage.
A North Adams woman was killed, and several other people were injured, in a three-vehicle accident in Orange, according to State Police.
Anne Hill, 59, was driving eastbound on Route 2 at about 3:15 p.m. Friday when her Toyota Matrix veered into oncoming traffic, State Police said in a statement.
The Matrix struck two other vehicles, a Hyundai Elantra operated by Catherine Runge, 25, of Quincy, and a Ford F150 pickup, operated by John F. Maguire III, 45, of Stow. Hill was pronounced dead after transport to Athol Memorial Hospital, and both Runge and Maguire stuffered minor injuries, said police.FULL ENTRY
Earl petered out. I'm disappointed with Earl, like so many men in my life.
-- Shelley McThomas, a vacationer from Kansas City on Martha's Vineyard
That was just normal 'winter' weather. We get winds like that almost every day in the winter.
-- Norm Frazee of Nantucket
HYANNIS -- The first storm-related emergency call rang through the local fire-rescue station's dispatch center at 12:57 a.m. today, long after the rain began pelting down in earnest. The beefed-up 19-man firefighting crew had been on duty for hours.
"Just hang out and wait. It's part of the job," said firefighter Paul Medeiros. "Wait for the worst. Hope for the best."
Even as Hurricane Earl steadily lost strength, becoming a tropical storm midway through the night, the men stationed at the Hyannis Fire-Rescue station remained ready to assist anyone calling for help.
As the rain pounded down outside, dispatchers manned the call center, relaying emergencies to firefighters through a sound system wired throughout the station. At first, there was little action: a handful of routine medical calls trickled in, and later, a false fire alarm at a nearby bar where patrons were displeased by last call.
Reporter Eric Moskowitz found a festive atmosphere at the peak of the storm at Chatham Light.
A Wayland Public Schools employee has been arrested for allegedly stealing from a department petty cash account, police said.
Wayland police said Friday in a statement that Diane Mancuso, 45, of Waltham, was charged with forgery, uttering, and larceny over $250.
School officials told police they suspected Mancuso of writing fraudulent checks to herself from the account, the statement said. Mancuso will appear later this month in Framingham District Court to face the charges, police said.
Mancuso is listed on the School Department website as a secretary in the office of Student Services.
A diminished tropical storm Earl whirled off the Massachusetts coast early this morning, raking Cape Cod and the Islands with pelting rain, strong gusts, and pounding surf, but packing less force than feared.
The storm, which had been an unusually strong hurricane, weakened as it moved north and late last night was downgraded to a tropical storm after its sustained gusts slowed to 70 miles per hour.
But the massive cyclone, which passed 90 miles southeast of Nantucket, retained enough power to churn up dangerous swells that threatened to destroy a number of homes on the western part of the island. As midnight neared, Earl's squalls lashed the exposed island, 30 miles off Cape Cod, and sent debris flying. Fifteen-foot waves pounded the shore, and a half-dozen streets were closed because of flooding, but overall, island officials said late last night, Nantucket fared much better than expected.
On Martha's Vineyard, where officials had urged businesses to close and motorists to stay off the roads, the winds seemed to grow stronger by the minute as the eye of the storm passed by, whipping the rain so hard the drops fell like needles. In Oak Bluffs, the storm surge had flooded a street overlooking the harbor.
On Cape Cod, as the storm made its closest pass by shore, a deafening wind and pelting rain roared across Chatham's Lighthouse Beach, rocking a white flagpole back and forth and snapping a red no-swimming flag straight. Large raindrops filtered through the lighthouse beam across the sky, and whitecaps rolled atop the sea.
In Hyannis, the scene was far more serene. The streets were empty as a steady rain fell, and a fireboat held steady in the flat harbor.
"Normally on a Friday night, labor day weekend, there would be crowds out,'' said emergency medical services supervisor Mike Medeiros. "it's eerily quiet.''
Off-Cape, the storm was decidedly less dramatic. In South Boston, Carson Beach was largely deserted late last night, except for three young women who decided to go swimming under a light but steady rain.
"You get a hurricane like every 20 years," said Amy McCarthy 23, of Dorchester. "so why not check it out?"FULL ENTRY
A gentle breeze pushed light ripples across the dark waters of Dorchester Bay just before midnight as the storm named Earl came to Boston with a whimper.
Carson Beach in South Boston sat largely deserted, except for three young women who went for a swim under a light but steady rain.
"You get a hurricane like every 20 years," said Amy McCarthy 23, of Dorchester. "so why not check it out?"
Her friend, Rebekah Lehtonen, 23, of Connecticut, was unimpressed.
"I wish it was a little bit more windy," Lehtonen said.
EDGARTOWN - The note came discreetly underneath the door of the hotel room where Giovanna and Joe Hayes had been staying for nearly a week.
The message, however, was nowhere near as subtle.
By 3 p.m. today, the note said, they would have to leave their comfortable room at the Harbor View Inn, a sprawling, historic hotel with sweeping views of the ocean and the Edgartown Lighthouse.
Their new accommodations: two cots in the gymnasium of the Edgartown School.
“We came here for vacation and we’re totally seething,” said Giovanna Hayes, a 36-year-old clinical scientist from Bayonne, New Jersey.
Her husband, Joe Hayes, a 36-year-old technical recruiter, added wryly: “The accommodations in the school aren’t as luxurious.”FULL ENTRY
An 18-year-old drowned at a golf course in Lakeville this morning, the Fire Department said.
Lakeville firefighter John Pytel said the drowning occurred at about 10:20 a.m. at the Back Nine Club.
He said the teenager, who he did not identify, was pulled from the water along with what appeared to be a large, industrial golf course mower. The victim was a groundskeeper at the club, Pytel said.
Boston police arrested two people in Dorchester on Thursday night for allegedly growing a five-foot marijuana plant in their back yard.
Police said in a statement that officers responded to 37 Ellington St. shortly before 10 p.m. for a drug call and were told that the plant belonged to residents on the first floor of the building.
First-floor resident Joanna Read, 26, allegedly told officers that "she does smoke weed" and later said that the plant was hers, according to the statement.
Another resident, Nadir Khan, 26, later told officers that the plant belonged to him, police said. Khan and Read were both charged with cultivation of a Class D substance.
(Dina Rudick/Globe Staff)
CHATHAM -- With Hurricane Earl downgraded to Category 1 and with its course veering further out to sea, public safety officials in Chatham are asking people not to take it for granted.
"There may be people who want to tempt fate so to speak and feel it's safe to go out on the water," said Stuart Smith, Chatham's harbormaster. "It's not. The waters will be rough."
Smith, along with Police Chief Mark Pawlina and Fire and Rescue Chief Michael Ambriscoe, encouraged people riding out the storm in Chatham to finish their preparations and get off the roads by nightfall -- to avoid accidents that could deplete police and emergency response resources when the worst weather arrives.FULL ENTRY
HARWICH -- As locals and tourists finished last-minute shopping and storm preparations, a rumor circulated in this southern-facing resort Cape town that a "little old lady" had scored the last two bottles of water at the local Super Stop & Shop, only to have a dastardly fellow shopper swipe them from her cart.
Dee Jones, manager of Thayer's Flowers in Harwich, said she heard the anecdote multiple times today in her store. It dovetailed with her experience last night, when she tried unsuccessfully to buy batteries at three different stores.
But by mid-afternoon today, the Harwich Super Stop & Shop had plenty of stock, with cases of bottled water filling shelves and spilling onto the floor, and with a "HURRICANE NEEDS: Our Everyday Prices" display set up near the entrance, bearing candles, matches, and other storm supplies.
In the parking lot, Dan Fitzgerald and his daughter, Sarah, of Harwichport were cramming the trunk of their Nissan Altima with bags of groceries -- just in case.
"Just some water, that's about it," said Sarah, 29, downplaying the purchase and the looming storm alike.
"She's young. She doesn't know," said Dan, 50, ticking off the list of necessities for Earl. "We've got Entenmann's doughnuts, chocolate chip cookies, milk."
"The basics," his daughter added. "Water and batteries."
As Hurricane Earl descended upon New England, ferry service and flights have been canceled ahead of the stormy weather.
The last boat left Woods Hole for Martha’s Vineyard at 5 p.m., said Wayne Lamson, general manager for the Steamship Authority.
"After that it’s going to be a trip by trip basis,” Lamson said.
Regular ferry service is expected to resume on Saturday after the storm passes.
Cape Air canceled all service from Boston to Cape Cod and to areas north of Boston on Friday. A number of flights on Saturday to and from the Cape also have been canceled.
The storm dancing up the Atlantic Seaboard may have lost some bluster today, but Earl Dunham is steamed.
The 83-year-old Orleans resident shares his name with Hurricane Earl, an unwelcome association for a man who survived the hurricane of 1938, the most devastating hurricane to ever blow through New England.
“I’m very unhappy about it,” said Dunham, a retired engineer who is named after his father. “If we have a disaster over it, what happens then? My name will be remembered for the rest of my life for it.”
While some, like Dunham, who share the moniker with the swirling storm said they weren’t too pleased with the connection, others viewed the namesake as positive.FULL ENTRY
"Although Hurricane Earl has weakened some, it is still a potentially dangerous storm and residents should continue to take Earl seriously and get ready," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "Make sure that you have a plan to ensure the safety and security of yourself and your family. If you are in your home, stay there. Stay out of the water, and don't drive through water if flooding occurs. We have search and rescue teams ready to go, as well as food, water and medical supplies. But the most important thing you can do is to stay informed, be careful and listen to your local officials."FULL ENTRY
Aram Boghosian / For The Globe
OAK BLUFFS -- The emergency shelter at the elementary school here came together through the effort of volunteers: They prepared enough turkey sandwiches for 200 people, baked brownies, made crab salad, and brought vegetables.
About half a dozen of the volunteers even struggled to put together plastic crates for pets. The doors opened at noon, and about 30 minutes later, the shelter in the gymnasium at Oak Bluffs Elementary School had its first two guests.
“We thought this place would be packed,” said Joan Celusak, a retired clothing designer who fled her home on Beach Avenue with her husband, Robert Celusak.FULL ENTRY
When Hurricane Earl leaves, the rest of the holiday weekend is going to be balmy, forecasters said.
Earl is expected to bring tropical storm winds and heavy rain to much of Southeastern Massachusetts tonight. But by Saturday, forecasters are predicting mostly sunny skies, low humidity and highs in the low to mid 80s for Eastern Massachusetts.
"As Earl leaves, he's taking it all with him," said Kim Buttrick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton. "It will also be drier as the dew point drops off."FULL ENTRY
FALMOUTH -- The intermittent showers early this afternoon did not discourage wave watchers at Falmouth Heights Beach.
Adriana Bauza and her three daughters, who have a house here but live in Newton, were on the beach enjoying the water.
"We're actually a little excited," said one of the daughters, 10-year-old Cecilia Powderly.FULL ENTRY
Five call firefighters were arrested Thursday night on charges that they set fire to two vacant buildings in Brimfield and another in Holland under cover of darkness and then responded to the blazes, getting paid for their work, according to authorities.
No one was hurt in the three fires in June and July, but the alleged actions of the five young men drew denunciations from their chiefs, State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Hampden District Attorney William M. Bennett said today.
``The conduct of these defendants is outrageous,'' Bennett said in a statement today. ``Their callous disregard for the safety of the community and the safety of the dedicated firefighters who had to respond to the scene of the fires is shocking. It is a very sad day when people pledged to serve the public become a serious danger to the public.''
Charged with three counts of arson were Brian Findley, 18, of Ashford, Conn., a firefighter in the Brimfield and Holland departments; Dylan Lajeunesse, 18, of Holland, a firefighter in Holland; Patrick K. Elliot, 19, of Charlton, a firefighter in Brimfield; Donnie Moores, 20, of Brimfield, a firefighter in Brimfield and Holland; and Jordan Frank, 18, of West Brookfield, a firefighter in Brimfield.
Elliot is not related to Worcester firefighter John Elliot, who also lives in Charlton and has a 19-year-old son named Patrick.FULL ENTRY
A Lowell man is in custody after he allegedly attacked a pregnant woman inside her Lowell apartment Thursday night, leaving her barely conscious and covered in bruises, Lowell Police said today.
Police responded to the assault at 9:45 p.m. Thursday and found the 28-year-old woman in the bathroom of her apartment, police said. She was rushed to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Lowell Police Captain Randall Humphrey said both the mother and unborn child were recovering.FULL ENTRY
What a difference a day makes. The live webcams at morebeach.com showed a perfect beach day at Coast Guard Beach Thursday afternoon, but by this afternoon they were all fogged up as the fringes of Hurricane Earl moved toward the state.
Yoon S. Buyn / Globe Staff
A new poll on the Massachusetts race for governor shows incumbent Governor Deval Patrick maintaining his lead over his two main rivals, Republican Charles D. Baker and independent Timothy P. Cahill.
The poll, by Rasmussen Reports, found Patrick with the support of 39 percent of likely voters, while Baker had the backing of 34 percent. Cahill remained a distant third, with 18 percent support. Eight percent were undecided.
The numbers are largely unchanged from a Rasmussen poll on the race a month ago, when a survey showed Patrick in the lead with 38 percent, Baker at 32 percent, and Cahill at 17 percent.
But the polling firm this time included data on so-called leaners -- those leaning toward, but not necessarily committed to, a candidate. With leaners included, the race tightens, with Patrick at 44 percent, Baker at 42 percent, and Cahill back at 8 percent.
The polling says the race remains highly competitive.
Authorities are searching for the person responsible for fatally stabbing a man in Methuen Thursday night.
According to a spokesman for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, the still unidentified man was found by Methuen police bleeding from stab wounds around 7 p.m. Thursday.
The man was stabbed on Center Street, according to Blodgett spokesman Steve O'Connell. He was rushed to Lawrence General Hospital where he later died of his injuries, according to O'Connell.
Anyone with information is asked to call Methuen Police 978-983-8698.
Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz filed this video report from the Cape Cod town of Orleans.
OAK BLUFFS -- In Martha’s Vineyard today, despite reports that Hurricane Earl is weakening, public safety officials were taking the storm very seriously.
Oak Bluffs Police Lieutenant Timothy Williamson discouraged people from taking to the island's roads for the next 24 hours.
An emergency shelter was scheduled to open at noon at the Oak Bluffs Elementary School. At the same time, police planned to leave their station on Ocean Avenue and meet with firefighters and emergency medical officials at the fire station on Wing Road to form a central command area. From there, they plan to respond to storm emergencies.FULL ENTRY
(Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff)
NANTUCKET -- Although Hurricane Earl seems to be losing its punch, public safety officials this morning warned islanders and visitors here not to become complacent.
"We still take this storm very seriously," Police Chief William Pittman said at a news conference outside the high school. "It's still a dangerous storm, and it will still have some dangerous impacts here on Nantucket."
OAK BLUFFS -- Along Ocean Avenue in Oak Bluffs late Thursday afternoon, people relaxed on their porches, sipping glasses of wine and gin and tonic as they looked at the calm sea.
Dogs romped on front yards and couples walked aimlessly licking ice cream.
But throughout Martha's Vineyard, there were signs of worry about the approaching storm.
Nancy Shai, owner of Vineyard Jewelry on Oak Bluffs Avenue, helped her boyfriend take down the hanging signs outside her shop and her daughter's store next door.
"The police came by and said everybody should take their signs down," she said. "They can be projectiles."
Shai, who has been in Oak Bluffs for 13 years, looked inside her store at the delicate beaded necklaces and metal earrings.
"I might come in early and take everything out of the window and put it in a safe," she said. "I feel like everybody's panicking. There hasn't been anything like this since Hurricane Bob."
Other businesses tried to capitalize on the coming storm.
Retail shops displayed rain jackets for sale on the sidewalk.
The Lampost, a tavern on Circuit Avenue, invited passerbys to come in for cocktails like "Dark 'n' Stormy" and "Hurricanes."
"You will be blown away," the sign promised.
Business owners would have limited time to cater to customers.FULL ENTRY
With Hurricane Earl swirling up the East Coast and expected to lash the Massachusetts coast Friday night with high winds, heavy surf, and torrents of rain, Governor Deval Patrick today declared a state of emergency and asked people in low-lying, flood-prone areas to seek shelter elsewhere.
"This is a serious storm, but it's possible to prepare for it, we have prepared for it, and we're asking the public to prepare for it as well," he said.
"It's obviously concerning that it's Labor Day weekend. ... But public safety is first," he said. "We are doing everything possible to keep people safe."
Forecasters predicted today that Earl will steam past Massachusetts Friday night, just off of Nantucket, whipping up winds and waves on the Cape and Islands and on the southeastern coast of the state up to the Boston area. The storm arrives at the beginning of the Labor Day weekend when many people are typically drawn to the state's coast for an end-of-summer dose of sun and sand.
The National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning for the coast from Westport at the Rhode Island border around Cape Cod to Hull, which is across Boston Harbor from Boston. The warning also covered the popular vacation isles of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions -- with winds 74 miles per hour or more -- are expected.
The storm, which was originally predicted to pass farther off the coast, has "ticked a little bit further west and that will have more consequences," said National Weather Service meteorologist Charlie Foley.
Forecasters said late this morning that the center of the storm was expected to pass about 15 miles southeast of Nantucket sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning.
Forecasters also issued tropical storm watches, which alert people to winds from 39 to 73 miles per hour, for the coast north of Hull to Eastport, Maine.FULL ENTRY
The young, charismatic and at times controversial leader of the Boston firefighters’ union is stepping down from his local position at the end of the month and will seek to become president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, the state fire union.
Edward A. Kelly, 36, who over five years was a labor bulldog fighting unapologetically for the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 718, will leave Florian Hall and return to duty aboard Tower Ladder 17 on Columbus Avenue, he said in an interview.
‘‘I enjoyed being the president of the local and representing the firefighters of Boston,’’ Kelly, of Dorchester, said. ‘‘It was an honor and a privilege even in the tough times. But I’m a third-generation Boston firefighter, and all I every really wanted to do was just be a firefighter, and I had to give that up to be president.’’FULL ENTRY
Telecommunications companies said they've prepared their New England facilities for the coming storm. Cellphone companies such as T-Mobile USA Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. say that most of their cell sites have emergency backup power, in the form of batteries or electrical generators.
The companies have also moved additional generators to staging areas, where they can be quickly deployed as needed. Cell companies have brought in mobile cell sites that can be set up quickly to replace damaged cell towers.
Verizon Communications said it has checked and refueled emergency generators at all of its 200 central switching offices in Massachusetts and refueled all repair vehicles.
Comcast Corp. said it has sent extra repair crews to Cape Cod and the islands, which are expected to bear the brunt of the storm. Comcast has also stockpiled emergency generators that can restore TV, Internet, and phone service in case the main electrical grid goes down.
Comcast spokeswoman Doreen Vigue said the company's phones have battery backup designed to last for eight hours. After that, Comcast customers will lose phone service unless power is restored, or unless they have emergency generators.
The electric utility National Grid has about 100 local repair crews on standby, as well as an additional 100 outside contractors.
Another 106 will be assigned to clear away downed trees that threaten electrical service. Spokesman David Graves said additional resources are being held in reserve in western Massachusetts.
The US Department of Education announced this morning that a consortium of states led by Massachusetts and Florida will receive a $170 million federal grant to come up with standardized tests to replace a patchwork of tests used by individual states, such as the MCAS in Massachusetts.
The new testing system is expected to be ready by the 2014-15 school year, and will measure how much students are learning under a new set of national academic standards in English and math that Massachusetts has adopted in July. Like the MCAS, the new testing system would assess students in grades 3-8 and one high-school grade level in those subjects.
The goal of a shared testing system among states is to come up with a more consistent way to judge student and school performance from one state to another. Currently, the rigor of state standardized tests varies considerably among the states.FULL ENTRY
CHATHAM - Emergency officials in this Cape Cod town are suggesting that residents leave today if they plan to evacuate because of Hurricane Earl, the dangerous storm expected to slam the Massachusetts coast tomorrow night.
Forecasters warn that Earl could bring strong winds that would likely knock out power across large swaths of Cape Cod. Chatham, located on the southeastern tip, is particularly vulnerable.
"If we get the winds they're talking about, it's going to be knocked out," Fire Chief Michael Ambriscoe said. "That will be the bulk of our problem."
Governor Deval Patrick, his running mate, and the state Democratic Party raised more than twice as much money last month as their Republican counterparts, further evidence of a significant momentum shift in the battle for campaign cash.
Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray, and the state Democratic Party hauled in $988,127 last month, easily outpacing the $418,581 raised by Baker; his running mate, Senate Minority Leader Richard R. Tisei; and the state Republican Party.
For months, Baker and the Republicans had been bringing in more cash than Patrick and the Democrats. But the governor, after a sluggish start to his re-election campaign, has begun aggressively soliciting money in hopes of winning a second term.
August saw the governor hold a $500-a-head fundraiser at hotelier Dick Friedman's home on Martha's Vineyard, which was attended by White House adviser Valerie Jarrett and coincided with President Obama's trip to the island. Last month, Patrick also organized a major fund-raiser with singer John Legend at the home of Fireman Capital Partners CEO Dan Fireman, and a fund-raiser in New York at the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery, where former Republican governor and Baker mentor William F. Weld is a partner.
State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, who was a prodigious fund-raiser before he left Democratic party last year to run for governor as an independent, has seen his numbers plummet in recent months. He and his running mate, former state representative Paul Loscocco, raised just $30,619 last month. Cahill, however, this week decided to accept up to $750,000 in public campaign funds in exchange for limiting his spending to $1.5 million.
A Dorchester woman was sentenced to six months in the Suffolk County House of Correction today for lying to Boston police as they investigated the killing of her 8-year-old son, who was shot to death by her nephew inside her apartment.
Lakeisha Gadson was convicted of lying to police, but acquitted of the major charge against her -- involuntary manslaughter -- during a Suffolk Superior Court trial last month. Today, Superior Court Judge Thomas Connors sentenced Gadson for the sole count of misleading police, which carries a maximum 10-year sentence.
Defense attorney Peter Krupp urged Connors to put Gadson on probation. "Miss Gadson has already lost her son,'' he said in court. "It's not something she will ever get back. It's a punishment greater than any punishment the court could impose.''
From the bench, Connors said that Gadson has 19 convictions stemming from 11 incidents during the past 10 years. He also noted that while Gadson initially mislead police, she changed her mind and told the truth within 24 hours of her son's death.
He then sentenced her to serve six months in the House of Correction, ordered the rest of a 2.5-year sentence to be suspended, and placed her on probation for four years. Court officers surrounded Gadson -- who remained composed during the hearing today -- after Connors' decision, handcuffed her, and escorted her out of the courtroom to begin her sentence immediately.FULL ENTRY
Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff
NANTUCKET -- Nantucket was abuzz today with frantic preparations for Hurricane Earl, as visitors streamed off the island by boat and plane and year-round residents made a run on batteries, plywood, and duct tape at hardware stores.
Public safety officials huddled in the afternoon to prepare for what could be the island’s worst storm since Hurricane Bob in 1991.
“I’m very concerned,” said Andy Caspe, hardware manager at Marine Home Center. “I’m concerned about high winds. I’m concerned about housing.”FULL ENTRY
State officials are taking precautions for Hurricane Earl as it rolls toward New England, announcing plans to close many beaches and state parks and warning the public to be cautious.
Wendy Fox, spokeswoman for the Department of Conservation and Recreation, said no state-run beaches have been closed yet but definitely will be Friday.
Those beaches are: the Boston Harbor Island beaches; Salisbury Beach; Scusset Beach in Sandwich; Horseneck and Gooseberry Neck in Westport; Fort Phoenix Beach in Fairhaven; South Cape Beach in Mashpee, Demarest Lloyd Beach in Dartmouth, and Halibut State Park in Rockport.
Revere Beach, Nantasket Beach, Winthrop Beach, and Lynn Beach will also be closed.
All DCR Boston-area swimming and wading pools and spray decks will be closed Friday, Fox said.
DCR is closing the following campgrounds: Boston Harbor Islands National Park in Boston, Horseneck Beach State Reservation in Westport, Myles Standish State Forest in South Carver, Nickerson State Park in Brewster, and Salisbury Beach State Reservation in Salisbury. All campers will be asked to leave by 5 tonight, according to a statement from DCR.FULL ENTRY
Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles D. Baker has been trying to loosen up his country club image. So who better to help him than a country club goof-off like Spaulding from the movie "Caddyshack"?
Baker, the buttoned-down, Harvard-educated former state finance director, has formed a political partnership with John Barmon Jr., the actor who played the vomiting, heavy-drinking grandson of a country club president in the classic 1980s comedy.FULL ENTRY
Boston police said two men were shot in Roxbury early this morning, and that one of them has died from his wounds.
The shooting took place shortly after midnight in the 400 block of Blue Hill Avenue near the intersection with Geneva Avenue, police said.
Both victims were 18 years old. One teen was rushed to Boston Medical Center with non-life threatening wounds. The second was pronounced dead at the scene.FULL ENTRY
While many New Englanders are preparing to hunker down in preparation for Hurricane Earl on Friday, surfers are gearing up for the waves, which will likely be much higher than usual.
Some surf shops are expecting a boost in business from those seeking the thrill of riding big waves.
Julia Huggins, 26, an employee at Island Surf and Sports in Middletown, R.I., said she wasn't swamped yet, but expected to get more business as the day goes on.
An avid surfer, Huggins can’t wait to hit the waves herself, though it depends on how intense the storm is.FULL ENTRY
A Hyde Park woman said she fears she unknowingly played a key role in the death of a Domino's Pizza delivery man whose body was found today inside a vacant Hyde Park building.
Marie Clena-Tunis, of Hyde Park Avenue, said today she lent her cellphone to a woman around 11 p.m. last night. Clena-Tunis said she did not hear who the woman spoke with, but fears the woman called the pizza shop that dispatched the murder victim to her neighborhood.
“She didn’t tell me what it was about, she said she wanted to use it because her phone was dead,” said Clena-Tunis, who described the woman as heavyset who spoke a hint of Creole.
Clena-Tunis said she had just arrived home from church and looked out her window when she saw the woman outside, asking for help to use her phone. Clena-Tunis sent her son out to hand the woman the phone, at about 11 p.m. She did not hear the conversation.
Just after midnight this morning, police discovered the body of the delivery man in the building next to Clena-Tunis' home. She said she did not know that a crime had taken place until she saw a large number of Boston police cruisers in her neighborhood.FULL ENTRY
WBZ-TV has rescheduled the first live televised debate of the governor’s race after fielding concerns from some Jews who were upset that the event coincided with the start of Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar.
The hour-long debate, originally scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 8, has now been moved a day earlier, to 7 p.m. on Sept. 7, so that it does not conflict with the Jewish New Year, Ro Dooley Webster, a station spokeswoman, said in a statement.
The local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League was among those who had said that the timing of the debate would pose a conflict for Jews.
"We have heard from a number of members of the Jewish community and understand their concern," Webster said.
The debate is to feature Governor Deval Patrick, Republican Charles D. Baker, state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, an independent, and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein. Stein, who is Jewish, had said she was not happy with the original date of the debate, but was still planning to attend.
Jon Keller, WBZ’s political analyst, will moderate the forum, which will also be streamed on the web at wbztv.com, broadcast on WBZ-AM 1030, and rebroadcast on TV38 (WSBK-TV) at 10 p.m. on Sept. 11.
A man’s body was discovered early this morning near the Charles River Esplanade, according to officials.
State Police responded to a call at about 4:45 a.m. from a person who found the body of an older white male, said Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk District Attorney's office.
The cause of death was not immediately known. There did not appear to be any signs of trauma or foul play, Wark said.
WOBURN – A Winchester man murdered four members of his family and then spent hours in the house with the victims’ bodies as he composed a letter confessing to the crime, a prosecutor said today.
Thomas Mortimer IV was ordered held without bail after pleading not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder for killing his wife Laura Stone Mortimer, their two children, and his mother-in-law inside the family home on Windsong Lane June 14.FULL ENTRY
As it crawled up the East Coast, the powerful hurricane swirled over Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, tearing down power lines with winds of 138 miles per hour and flooding roads with torrential rain and surging surf. Within days, Cape Cod and the Islands were expected to bear the brunt of the storm, and officials warned of dangerous surf and high winds. With the hurricane’s track still uncertain, Massachusetts braced itself for possible landfall.
It wasn’t Hurricane Earl. It was Hurricane Bob almost 20 years ago, the last hurricane to sweep over the Bay State. The deadly storm in August 1991 eventually dumped up to seven inches of rain, caused $1 billion in damage, and killed 18 people.
Hurricane Earl is certainly not be the first blustering cyclone to threaten New England. Many over the years have sideswiped the region, and a number have managed a direct hit, fed by the warm Gulf Stream traveling up the coast from tropical waters.
“We’re actually supposed to average one hurricane every three to five years,” said Rebecca Gould, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Taunton. “It’s been quite some time.”FULL ENTRY
NANTUCKET -- Eight-year-old Ellie Martin of Arlington stepped into the summer's final weekend as she leaped from a lifeguard chair at Madaket Beach just before sunset Wednesday, in advance of Hurricane Earl which is expected to lash the island on Friday.
Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff
Brian Ahearn and his fiancée had their wedding plans set for Saturday. A poignant ceremony at Foster’s Pavilion at Rowes Wharf to be followed by a scenic reception aboard a yacht touring Boston Harbor, family members and friends from across the country toasting their marriage.
But then came word of Earl, a Category 4 hurricane churning its way up the Atlantic, and a hurricane watch issued Wednesday for Cape Cod and the Islands, and those plans are now just as unsteady as the seas.
‘‘Boston hasn’t had a hurricane in some time, so we don’t know what to expect,’’ said Ahearn, 31, of Connecticut, who has downloaded several weather applications on his smartphone to keep up with forecasts. ‘‘We have all these contingency plans, but we don’t know what we’re expecting.’’FULL ENTRY
LOWELL — Authorities are investigating the death of a 2-year-old boy in Lowell, who his mother said had suffered a seizure.
The office of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. said that police responded to a residence on Bridge Street early this afternoon for an unresponsive child. The child, who was not identified, was taken to Lowell General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Leone’s office said. The statement did not describe the manner of death, which remains under investigation.
Deanne Fontes, 17, told reporters outside the home that she was the mother of the deceased child, who she identified as Dean McCulloch. She said that the toddler had had a seizure, and that her boyfriend gave the boy mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.FULL ENTRY
(Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff/2006)
The fall that altered the last five years of Angie Scardino's life occurred in the seemingly safest of places, a corridor leading to her doctor's examining room.
"I did not have a dizzy spell," she told a geriatrician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston a few days after she tumbled to the floor in August 2005 and broke her hip. "I did not feel light-headed. I just caught my toe and went over. I feel like such a klutz."
Self-consciousness about being a bother is the least of the ills facing elderly patients who suffer a hip fracture. Nearly one in three die within a year, according to University of Maryland School of Medicine research the Globe commissioned.
Defying the odds after her injury, and setting aside her preference for privacy, Mrs. Scardino allowed a Globe reporter and photographer to chronicle in an award-winning series her months of treatment and recovery, and her struggle to regain independence.
Mrs. Scardino, who most recently lived with her daughter in Franklin, but always thought of the house she and her late husband bought in Scotia, N.Y., as her home, died in Beth Israel Friday of congestive heart failure. She was 86.
Allowing herself to become the public face of an injury that claims the lives of so many older patients was, in many ways, uncharacteristic of Mrs. Scardino, who was so private she usually avoided trading stories with friends about the ailments of age.
"I don't want this to make her sound like a saint, but when she heard it could help the next person going through this, there wasn't a question," her daughter, Joanne Hogan of Franklin, said of Mrs. Scardino's decision to participate in the Globe series, which was written by Alice Dembner.
"She didn't do this for herself," her daughter said. "She was happy to answer any and all questions because she wanted to help other people. She didn't do it to be in the Globe."FULL ENTRY
John Blanding/Globe Staff
GLOUCESTER -- A day after a fisherman drowned and rip currents led to more than a dozen rescues, attendance is down and security up at the two popular beaches in Gloucester, despite the hot and humid weather.
Authorities have restricted or placed much of Good Harbor and Wingaersheek beaches off limits to bathers and let swimmers venture only waist-deep in other sections.
Police, firefighters, and EMTs are a constant, visible presence, as are lifeguards who are keeping a close eye on swimmers. The mayor said the beach advisory would last "until it begins raining." No rescues have been reported so far today.FULL ENTRY
Everything was going to be just perfect at one couple's Nantucket nuptials. They didn't plan on a wedding crasher named Earl.
Nicole Whelden, an event coordinator with Unique Nantucket Events, was organizing a romantic seaside ceremony for her clients for late Saturday afternoon, an antique-themed ceremony at a private home on a cliff overlooking the ocean.
With Earl steaming up the East Coast, Whelden has scrambled to put together a backup plan.FULL ENTRY
A 16-year-old Boston boy is facing charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and attempted murder after a stabbing Tuesday on an MBTA bus traveling in front of Boston police headquarters.
The boy, arrested today at his home in the Dorchester neighborhood, will be arraigned Thursday in Juvenile Court, an MBTA spokesman said.
The incident happened at about 6:20 p.m. on a Route 23 bus that had just left Ruggles station and was traveling on Tremont Street in front of the headquarters building, said MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan.
The victim was taken to Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he is in stable condition today, MacMillan said.FULL ENTRY
State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill said today he accepts blame for his campaign committee failing to pay an estimated $15,000 in state income taxes over the past decade, as required by law.
"I can't put this on anyone else," Cahill said on WRKO. "This is our mistake."
Cahill said someone on his campaign – whom he did not name – incorrectly believed that the campaign did not have to pay state taxes on interest that the account had earned from investments made in certificates of deposit.
“It was never willful,” Cahill said. “It was just an oversight.”
Cahill said he mailed the state a check for the back taxes Tuesday.
"The good news is that when it was pointed out to us, we paid it, and it was not a huge mistake,” he said on WHYN radio in Springfield. “I'm not perfect. Nobody is."FULL ENTRY
The parents have departed, the mini-fridges have been stocked. For the thousands of freshman at area colleges, it's time to settle in. But for many new arrivals, these first weeks can seem overwhelming and bewildering.
To help, several current and former Globe correspondents and interns, all of whom attend or recently graduated from local colleges, imparted some nuggets of wisdom to the newcomers.
No rush on the textbooks
Wait a week or so to buy your textbooks, and avoid your campus store if you can. You might drop a class once you attend a few.
The average cost of textbooks and supplies last school year was $1,122, according to The College Board. Given that books aren't cheap, you don't want to be stuck in a situation where you don't need one and can't return it.
Sure, you might have to ask a classmate for one or two homework problems or rely on the book's website for the first pop quiz. But at least you won’t be out more than $100 if you decide the class isn't for you.
Once you're ready to buy books, don't hesitate to shop around. Your campus bookstore will generally be more expensive than Amazon or another on-line vendor.
Here's another secret: You don't need the most recent (and therefore more expensive) version of every book unless it is for a science class. In that case, you don’t want the book that still thinks Pluto is a planet. That one might mess with your pop quiz grade.
-- Sydney Lupkin, recent Boston University graduateFULL ENTRY
Have you scheduled a vacation on the Cape and the islands? Are you getting worried about whether Hurricane Earl may affect your plans? Have you changed your plans because of the weather forecasts?
Please tell us your story. E-mail reporter Milton Valencia at email@example.com or call him at 617-929-3100.
A 62-year-old Lexington man was killed in a car crash in Yarmouth early this morning, police said.
Richard W. Zeoli was driving east along Route 28 at 12:18 a.m. when his 2001 BMW M5 struck a utility pole and a tree, then flipped over. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The car broke into flames but it was quickly extinguished by officers who were called to the scene, said Lieutenant Steven G. Xiarhos, a Yarmouth police spokesman.
Two people died Tuesday after a two-vehicle crash on Route 195 in Westport.
State Police said a minivan operated by Khith Kheav, 75, of Fall River, was heading east on Route 195 at about 4:25 p.m. when it veered across the grass median into the westbound lanes, striking a car operated by Constance Bancroft, 61, of Somerset.
Kheav was pronounced dead at the scene. Bancroft was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 9 p.m.
State Police are investigating.
Boston University roommates Katey Parker (left) of Saunderstown, R.I., and Katie McNeil of Napa, Calif., get help from Jeff Parker, Katey's dad, while moving from Boston to Brookline yesterday, in the midst of the area's third heat wave of the summer. Temperatures in the 90s are forecast for today as well.
Essdras Suarez/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.
One fisherman is dead and another was recovering Tuesday after both were swept out to sea within hours of each other off the coast of Gloucester, according to police and the US Coast Guard.
Gloucester police received calls at about 3:20 p.m. that a fisherman had been swept off the rocks near the Eastern Point in Gloucester, said police Sergeant David Quinn.
The Coast Guard found the man, who police identified as Nicholas Roussos, 67, of Belmont, in the water unresponsive and performed life-saving techniques on him before he was transferred to EMS, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Luke Clayton. Police confirmed that Roussos was later declared dead.FULL ENTRY
Forecasters were still predicting Tuesday night that Hurricane Earl will come dangerously close to the Cape and Islands.
If the storm does not deviate from its current track, it is expected to be within 50 to 100 miles southeast of Nantucket by Friday night, according to Mike Ekster, National Weather Service meteorologist.
Before Earl arrives, Massachusetts remains in the midst of what looks to be a five-day heat wave, with temperatures predicted to be in the mid 90s on Wednesday and Thursday, said Kevin Cadima, another meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Taunton.
State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill acknowledged tonight that his campaign committee has failed to pay an estimated $15,000 in state income taxes over the past decade, as required by law.
Cahill's campaign made the admission in an unusual written statement following a Globe inquiry earlier in the day about why there was no record of his committee writing checks to the state to cover taxes on interest the account has earned from investments it has made in CDs.
Cahill, who was evidently caught off-guard by the lapse, vowed to pay the taxes immediately. But the delinquency is a source of embarrassment for the two-term treasurer, who has sought to promote an image as a prudent watchdog of public dollars and guardian of the public treasury.FULL ENTRY
One of the nation’s leading Mormon elected officials has cited the battle over a Mormon temple in Belmont in arguing that Muslims should be allowed to build a mosque near Ground Zero.
Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said mosque proponents ‘‘have every right’’ to carry out their plans in New York, just as Mormons had a right to build their temple, despite neighborhood opposition.
‘‘I have a tendency, when it comes to religious liberty issues, to always uphold the rights of legitimate churches and legitimate religious groups to be able to meet and to build their mosques or their chapels or their cathedrals on property they own, and I will fight for their right to do that,’’ Hatch said, speaking to a FOX News reporter in Utah.FULL ENTRY
A top executive of the developer behind the failed $800 million Columbus Center project in Boston was charged today in federal court with orchestrating a scheme to funnel $12,000 in illegal campaign contributions to Massachusetts candidates running for Congress.
Martin Raffol, 54, executive vice president of the residential arm of WinnCompanies, also allegedly funneled more than $30,000 in illegal campaign contributions to candidates running for state and local offices to advance the business interests of the company, although he was not charged with a crime with those donations, according to US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.
In a statement, Ortiz alleged that Winn executives sought campaign contributions from others "primarily to advance the business interests of the company, including to obtain support for public financing of a large-scale, mixed-used development project within the city of Boston.''
The allegations were contained in a charging document called an information. Prosecutors typically use that document when a plea agreement has been reached.
Raffol's attorney, Douglas S. Brooks, said in an e-mail, "As an employee, Marty was directed to raise large amounts of money for politicians. The pressure was intense and in his attempts to satisfy these directives, some of the contributions violated federal campaign laws and regulations. Marty never personally benefited from these efforts."
The charge is an outgrowth of the federal corruption case against former state Senator Dianne Wilkerson who has pleaded guilty to attempted extortion charges stemming from $23,500 in bribes that she took, according to prosecutors. She awaits sentencing.
WinnCompanies, a nationally known developer of affordable housing whose headquarters is in Faneuil Hall, issued a statement today saying it placed Raffol on administrative leave when it learned about a federal investigation late last year and fired him today.
The company did not address the government's assertion that Raffol was acting at the direction of his bosses. WinnCompanies said that ``immediately after learning of the allegations, the company took steps to ensure that our internal controls were strengthened and such behavior will not occur in the future.''
Former WinnCompanies chief executive Arthur Winn previously acknowledged to the Globe that he gave Wilkerson $10,000 in 2004 when he was trying to advance the Columbus Center development. He said the contribution was not meant to influence Wilkerson's public support of the project but was a gift to help a ``close friend'' with outstanding tax debts.
Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgFULL ENTRY
Bill Greene / Globe Staff
CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine – A 33-year-old computer programmer who was arrested on immigration charges in May during the investigation into the failed Times Square bombing said today that he condemns terrorism and had no involvement in the plot.
Mohammad Shafiq ur Rahman, a Pakistani native who was freed on bail last week and is back home in South Portland with his American wife while he fights deportation, said he believes he was swept up in the investigation because the FBI was looking into whether a computer software company he used to work for funneled money to the Pakistani Taliban.
"I'm a dedicated husband and father and I'm a dedicated Muslim,'' said Rahman, during a lengthy interview with the Globe, his wife, Sara, by his side. "In my faith, whatever the Pakistani Taliban is doing is a crime against Muslims. It's not justified by religion. They are killing people in mosques. I want people to know this is not the faith or Muslim religion."
Rahman was among three Pakistani men, including two cousins from Watertown, Mass., who were arrested May 13 during raids throughout New York and New England as part of the investigation into the attempted car bombing on May 1. None of the three were charged with a crime, but all were held on civil immigration violations.FULL ENTRY
Hours after a shooting shocked a Dorchester neighborhood, Boston police arrested the man they allege is responsible for undermining the peace on a street where residents have fought hard for the past five years to get rid of violent crime.
Kamal Oliver, 27, was ordered held on $200,000 cash bail in Dorchester Municipal Court today after pleading not guilty to armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley's office.
The victim, identified by neighbors as Edward Toney, was taken to Boston Medical Center for treatment of multiple gunshot wounds and was in stable condition today.FULL ENTRY
(John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)
A coalition of students, parents, and advocates rallied on the steps of the Boston School Department headquarters today to call for extended school days, more rigorous teacher evaluations, and a stronger voice for students and parents in school decisions as the city negotiates a new contract with teachers.
The rally, organized by "Boston United for Students," was scheduled to coincide with the final day of the teachers' current contract. Provisions of that contract will remain in place while the city and the union hammer out a new agreement over the next few months.
Much of what the coalition advocated for centered on improving the quality of instruction. Students from several elementary, middle, and high schools waved signs with such messages as "Stop bumping the good teachers, reward talent not seniority," and they also chanted "What do we want? Better teachers. When do we want them? Now."
The morning rally drew more than 70 people, as the temperature in downtown Boston swelled well above 90 degrees.
"As parents, we are very frustrated that ineffective teachers are still in the classroom and too many good teachers are laid off," Angela Tang, who has had children in the system for 16 years, said from the podium. "We hope our new contract won't protect ineffective teachers."FULL ENTRY
A starving 12-year-old chihuahua was found in a Lawrence dumpster and brought to an animal adoption center in Methuen earlier this month, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said today.
"The dumpster that he was found in was too high for him to have climbed into, leading us to believe that a person put him in there as if he was garbage," Mike Keiley, director of the MSPCA's Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption Center, said in a statement.
The dog, dubbed Gandhi by MSPCA staff, was found malnourished, dehydrated, and covered in fleas. He is being treated and has gained about a pound of “much needed weight,” said Keiley.
Abandonment is considered animal cruelty, a crime that is subject to a fine of up to $2,500 and/or up to five years in prison, according to the statement.
Jim Davis / Globe Staff
EVERETT -- A man was shot on Tufts Avenue this afternoon, shocking an elderly couple who heard the gunshots as Everett police pursued a bank robbery suspect into their backyard. At least one officer fired a service weapon today, city officials said.
Joseph Salemi said he was at a North End restaurant where he works as a chef when his parents telephoned him and told him that their backyard of their home at 14 Tufts Ave. had suddenly become a crime scene.
"Out of all the houses in Everett, it has to happen here,'' Salemi said while standing outside the family home this afternoon. He added that "as long as my family is OK'' he was going to stay calm.
Salemi said his parents were upset by the events that unfolded near their house, but were in otherwise good shape. "They just heard two gunshots and stayed put,'' he said.FULL ENTRY
Boston public health officials say mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus have been found in both the north Dorchester and Hyde Park sections of Boston.
Infected mosquitoes had been found earlier this year in north Dorchester and West Roxbury.
The number of positive mosquito tests suggests that WNV is "likely to be present throughout the city," the Boston Public Health Commission said in a statement.FULL ENTRY
A divided Supreme Judicial Court ruled 4-2 this morning that the state has the power to overrule community opposition and grant the controversial Cape Wind project a suite of local permits it needs to start construction.
The long-awaited decision comes as the project developers enter the homestretch to build 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound within the year. If the court had sided with opponents of the project, it could have held up the project indefinitely or killed it outright because many permits have to come from communities or agencies that oppose the project.
"We affirm the decision of the siting board and conclude that the challenged regulation is valid,'' Justice Margot Botsford wrote for the four-justice majority.FULL ENTRY
Boston police have identified three men who became victims of homicide in the city's Dorchester, Roxbury, and Fenway/Kenmore neighborhoods this past weekend.
The spasm of deadly violence brought the total number of homicides for the year to 42. Last year at the same time, the number was 38, police said.
No arrests have been made in any of the recent killings, police said.FULL ENTRY
Wendy Maeda / Globe Staff
Boston firefighters evacuated the 24-story Whittier Place condominium building in the West End this morning as a safety precaution and plan to cut power to the structure as they investigate an electrical fire, officials said.
Firefighters put out a smoldering electrical fire discovered inside an electrical panel on the 12th floor. They were checking the entire building to make sure there is no other fire source inside the building, fire officials said.
The two-alarm fire was discovered around 7:30 a.m., and fire officials first ordered the 12th floor and all the floors above evacuated. The order had been expanded by 9:30 a.m.
Resident Elaine Thomas, 75, lives on the 21st floor and evacuated the building with the first wave. She said she walked down 21 flights of stairs while carrying her 15-year-old cat, Citron.
She said she had returned home from her daily five-mile walk on the Esplanade and was able to take the elevator back to her unit. Inside, however, no lights were working and her gas stove would not function. Then, she said, the building's emergency warning system began broadcasting a message to residents.FULL ENTRY
More than 700 incoming freshmen at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology engaged in the annual "Water War' where residents from the East Campus battle residents from the West Campus in front of the Student Union in the Kresge Oval in Cambridge on Monday.
Globe Staff Photo/Matthew Lee
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.
Hurricane Earl was upgraded to a category 4 Monday night, but forecasters are still unsure what kind of impact the storm will have on New England.
According to the National Weather Service, Earl's maximum sustained winds surged to 135 m.p.h. on Monday as it was about 100 miles north-north east of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Kevin Cadima, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Taunton, said the storm is moving north-northwest at 14 m.p.h. and is expected to be somewhere west of the Bahamas by early Tuesday.
A hurricane is considered to be a category 4 when it has maximum sustained winds between 131 and 155 m.p.h.
If Earl stays on its current course, by Friday it is expected to be at about 150 miles southeast of Nantucket, Cadima said, but he cautioned that the projected track of the hurricane can vary widely and said much could change between now and then.FULL ENTRY
The search ended tonight for a 25-year-old Massachusetts man who fell into the water off Narragansett, R.I., on Sunday.
Several Coast Guard crews, including a cutter, a 45-foot boat, and a Falcon jet, covered over 1,200 square miles searching for the man, the Coast Guard said, but no signs of him had been found by 6 tonight.
The Coast Guard received a report about 2 p.m. on Sunday that four people had fallen into the water, said Petty Officer Connie Terrell, a Coast Guard spokeswoman. Three were rescued, two of whom were taken to a hospital. The missing man was not identified.
CNN political reporter John King will moderate a Massachusetts gubernatorial debate on Sept. 21.
The debate is one of two forums being sponsored by a media consortium that includes the Boston Globe. It will be held at the Brighton studios of WGBH.
King is a Dorchester native and Boston Latin School graduate. He also attended the University of Rhode Island. He has worked for CNN for about 13 years.
The four candidates for governor and the media outlets have agreed to two debates this fall, which will be broadcast live statewide.
The media consortium includes the Globe, WCVB-TV, WHDH-TV, New England Cable News, WGBH-TV and radio, and WBUR.
A Cambridge man was ordered held without bail today after he pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge stemming from the weekend beating death of a Weymouth man inside the hallway of a Medford apartment.
Christopher Toppi, 28, appeared in Somerville District Court where Judge Neil Walker ordered him held without bail, according to Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.'s office.
Toppi is accused of beating 28-year-old Brian Fahy to death after the two men encountered each other inside a Salem Street three-family apartment building in Medford around 3:30 a.m. Fahy was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We allege that the defendant beat the victim to death,” Leone said in a statement. “This is another tragic example of a defendant resorting to violence, causing lasting and tragic circumstances for the victim and his loved ones.”
Toppi's attorney, Bruce Ferg, declined comment about his client and the charges against him. Toppi is due back in court Sept. 20.
For many penguins, it's a difficult march these days. Food is scarce, habitats are dwindling, and oceans are growing more polluted.
“Penguins are really sentinels, like the canary in the coal mine, telling us that our oceans are in trouble,” said Heather Urquhart, manager for the penguin exhibit at the aquarium who helped plan the International Penguin Conference. “That means other species in the oceans are in trouble.”
During the weeklong conference, which kicked off today, more than 180 scientists, government officials, and conservationists from six continents are gathering to share research and policy on penguins. This is the first time the conference, put on every few years since 1988, has been held outside of the Southern Hemisphere, where most penguin species live.
Biologists say penguins are vulnerable to habitat loss, oil spills, climate change, and overfishing, with 12 of the 18 penguin species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List for Threatened Species.
Those interested in the plight of these aquatic birds can attend a free public presentation about penguins at the New England Aquarium’s IMAX Theater on Wednesday night.
Two men are being charged with sex offenses after being arrested by MBTA Transit Police for allegedly molesting women on the T.
Daniel Rhoades, 24, a homeless man from Quincy, faces two counts of open and gross lewdness for allegedly exposing himself to women who were riding the Red Line on Aug. 16 and Aug. 17.
Rhoades was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court this morning and bail was set for $5,000, according to Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley’s office. He is set to return to court on Sept. 15.FULL ENTRY
A son of one of Gary Lee Sampson's three murder victims denounced a court hearing today where lawyers for the convicted killer are asking for a new trial, saying Sampson should already have been executed as a jury recommended nearly seven years ago
`"I think it's a big waste of time," said Scott McCloskey, 47, of Plymouth, whose 69-year-old father, Philip McCloskey, of Taunton, was stabbed to death in 2001 after giving Sampson a ride in his car in Weymouth. "We should all be going down to watch his execution."
The families of Philip McCloskey and Jonathan Rizzo, a 19-year-old George Washington University sophomore from Kingston who was fatally stabbed by Sampson three days later after giving him a ride in Plymouth, are attending the hearing today before US Chief District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf.FULL ENTRY
Two brothers are facing charges they broke into the home of a Yarmouth police officer - twice.
According to a statement issued by Yarmouth Police, the unidentified officer's home in Yarmouth was broken into in mid-July and again in early August.
Stolen during the break-ins were a television, a computer, a safe holding a privately owned pistol -- and two sets of police uniforms.
Yarmouth Police spokesman Steve Xiarhos said in an e-mail that the brothers allegedly knew the home belonged to a police officer, but that the officer had no law enforcement contact with them.
The men were identified as Ronald D. Kimbal, 23, and his 20-year-old brother, Michael. They both live on Deerfield Road in Dennis, police said. Michael has pleaded not guilty to various burglary charges, but it was not immediately clear if Ronald Kimball has been arraigned yet, Xiarhos said
Almost all of the city beaches in Quincy were open this morning after being closed over the weekend due to high bacteria counts, according to city officials.
All 13 city beaches except for the Rhoda Street beach had acceptable bacteria levels and were reopened, said Chris Walker, a spokesman for Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch.
But there was some bad news for people trying to beat today's 90-degree heat: Quincy's popular Wollaston Beach, which is run by the state, remains closed, said Catherine Williams, a spokeswoman for the Department of Conservation and Recreation.FULL ENTRY
(Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)
Esther Earl only had 16 years, but she didn't waste any of them.
Esther, who died Wednesdsay, had a rare and boundless ability to connect with others on-line, Bryan Marquard writes in her obituary. The Quincy teenager's quirky sense of humor is in full display in a series of YouTube videos that earned her a devoted following.
"When her parents took her to the hospital Tuesday, word went out on the Internet and a chorus of YouTube voices responded, first hoping she would dodge death, then mourning the abrupt absence of a friend,'' Marquard writes.
“I’ve never met Esther, but I feel like I know her,’’ one young woman said on YouTube.
Another top aide to Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced his departure today from City Hall. J. Larry Mayes, the city's chief of human services, has accepted a position as vice president of programs at Catholic Charities.
Working for the city since 2004, Mayes has been a particularly visible member of the mayor's cabinet, overseeing a range of departments whose services have a direct impact on people's lives, particularly the homeless, veterans, women, the elderly, and young people.
Mayes's background as a field organizer for the Ella J. Baker house in Dorchester and other community-based organizations gave him deep ties to Boston's neighborhoods, particularly communities of color. When the city saw a spike in crime or gang violence, Menino often turned to Mayes to coordinate policy with law enforcement.
“Larry has done wonderful work for the people and the City of Boston, from helping develop CORI reform so that ex-offenders who have paid their debt to society can transition back into the community, to his most recent efforts targeting youth gang violence in our communities,” Menino said in a statement. “I am grateful for his hard work and wish Larry all the best in his new endeavor.”FULL ENTRY
Boston police are investigating four separate homicides that occurred Friday and Saturday in the city's Dorchester, Roxbury, and Fenway/Kenmore neighborhoods.
The spasm of deadly violence brought the total number of homicides for the year to 42. Last year at the same time, the number was 38, said police spokeswoman Jill Flynn.FULL ENTRY
The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld the power of the state's chief administrative judge to rescind a Probation Department job offer to an applicant who already had six relatives working in the court system.
The court said that the job applicant, Stephen P. Anzalone Jr., had no right to a job in probation, an agency now under investigation over allegations of widespread political favoritism.
Probation Commissioner John J. "Jack" O'Brien wanted to hire Anzalone, the son of O'Brien's college football teammate, as a probation officer in August 2007. But the offer was subject to the approval of Chief Justice for Administration Robert Mulligan. O'Brien and Mulligan have sparred for years over O'Brien's hiring choices and, when Mulligan learned of Anzalone's extensive family ties among court employees, he vetoed O'Brien's job offer.
Anzalone's attorney, Kevin G. Powers, argued that Mulligan waited too long -- six months -- before overruling O'Brien. But the SJC said today the time delay was less important than ensuring the integrity of hiring for the 2,000-plus jobs in the Probation Department. Anzalone's father and his sister already work in probation, while four other relatives also work for the courts.
A doctor inspected the eye of Maine's Marcus Davis during his Ultimate Fighting Championship bout against Nate Diaz at a sold-out TD Bankgarden Saturday night. The doctor ruled that Davis could not continue.
Matthew Lee/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.
Governor: Globe report on House leader's attempt to block Probation Department probe 'very troubling'
Governor Deval Patrick described as "very troubling" today's Globe report that state Representative Thomas M. Petrolati, the House's third-ranking leader, is seeking to block his testimony before a special counsel investigating the State Probation Department.
"The probation department has become a rogue agency with a complete lack of transparency, and oversight," Patrick said in a statement to the Globe.
Independent counsel Paul F. Ware had ordered Petrolati to appear before him last week to respond to allegations about his efforts to secure probation jobs for his family, friends, and supporters, the Globe reported today. Ware also wanted to see documents about Petrolati's relationship with Probation Commissioner John J. "Jack" O'Brien, who was suspended from his job in May after the Globe revealed a pattern of political favoritism in hiring.
But Petrolati has objected in legal documents filed with the Supreme Judicial Court Friday, saying Ware is not authorized to investigate legislators.FULL ENTRY
French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA today went public with an offer to buy
Genzyme Corp.for $18.5 billion in cash, a move intended to intensify pressure on
the Cambridge company after what Sanofi executives said was a rebuff from
Sanofi's non-binding bid to take over Genzyme, Massachusetts' largest
biotechnology company, amounts to an offer of $69 a share, far less than
the $80 some Genzyme investors had hoped the company would fetch. But the
bid represents a 38 percent premium over Genzyme's share price of $49.86 on
July 1, before the prices of Genzyme and other biotechs were driven up by
the news that Sanofi was planning to make a major acquisition.
"We're a little surprised we haven't had an opportunity to engage" with
Genzyme executives, Sanofi chief executive Christopher A. Viehbacher said
in an interview this afternoon. "We believe we've made a compelling offer.
So it's a logical next step to communicate directly to company
shareholders. We think it's in the best interest of the company to sit down
with us and understand where our differences are."
A 22-year-old man was fatally shot on Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester Saturday night, a Boston Police spokesman said.
At about 9:45 p.m., police responded to a call reporting a man shot in the area of 970 Blue Hill Ave., Officer James Kenneally said.
Officers found the victim suffering from life-threatening injuries, Kenneally said.
The man was transported to Boston Medical Center, where he later succumbed to his injuries, according to Kenneally.
No arrests have been made, and the case remains under investigation.
Steven Kurelko, 35, of Methuen, faces charges Monday that include operating a vehicle under the influence after he was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Route 213 in Methuen Saturday night, according to State Police.
The crash, which occurred just before 9 p.m. at the on-ramp from Route 113, involved a 2010 Ford Escape, driven by Kurelko, and a 2000 Honda Civic, driven by a 52-year-old North Chelmsford woman who was transported by medical helicopter to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Her passenger, a 60-year-old woman from North Chelmsford, was taken to Tufts New England Medical Center with serious injuries.
Police did not release the women’s identities.FULL ENTRY
Nearly seven years after a federal jury recommended Gary Lee Sampson be sentenced to death for carjacking and killing two motorists during a weeklong 2001 murder spree, lawyers for the Abington man plan to argue in court Monday that he should receive a new trial.
The legal team for Sampson, who would be the first person executed for a crime in Massacusetts since 1947, contend in a 155-page motion that his constitutional rights were violated because his trial lawyers were ineffective.
His new lawyers say the defense attorneys failed to give the jury a full picture of Sampson's history of mental illness and traumatic brain injuries dating to childhood and that the evidence would likely have discouraged jurors from recommending the death penalty in December 2003. Sampson had pleaded guilty to the murders, leaving the jury only to decide whether he should be executed.
The town of Middleborough canceled or rescheduled all outside activities from dusk until dawn following the detection of Eastern equine encephalitis virus in a local man, a release from the town said.
“I have requested that Mosquito Control continue with aggressive ground spraying especially in the downtown area, the sports fields and the schools,” the statement said.FULL ENTRY
Despite hot, sunny weather, most Quincy beaches are closed for swimming a fourth straight day, due to high bacteria counts most likely linked to heavy rain last week, Mayor Thomas P. Koch said.
"We have a lot of storm drains that flow into the bay," Koch said, in a telephone interview this morning. "The heavy rains last week, I'm sure washed everything and anything into the storm system."
Only Germantown Fire Station and Parkhurst beaches are open for public swimming, according to the city.FULL ENTRY
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more