State / Region

State and Local News Briefs

Friday, July 31, 2015

Police: Lesbian couple attacked at Six Flags in Mass. AGAWAM — Police say two western Massachusetts women attacked a lesbian couple from Rhode Island whom they saw kissing at Six Flags New England. The Republican of Springfield reports that 29-year-old Damarielys Mukhtar and 27-year-old Nikia Butt were charged with assault and a civil rights violation with injury in connection with Wednesday’s incident at the amusement park in Agawam. Mukhtar also was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon. One of the victims told police that Mukhtar yelled homophobic slurs before initiating the fight. Police say Mukhtar and Butt assaulted the two victims and stopped hitting … 0

A matter of records: Baker orders state agencies to improve transparency, access

Friday, July 31, 2015

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker ordered his administration to take steps Thursday to make public records easier and less expensive to obtain, noting that Massachusetts had received failing grades in the past for government transparency. The new policy mirrors many — but not all — of the provisions in a public records bill … 0

Mass. senate approves online sales tax bill

Thursday, July 30, 2015

BOSTON — The Senate on Thursday passed legislation aimed at facilitating the collection of sales taxes on online commerce despite warnings from the Senate’s top Republicans that the bill might lock Massachusetts in to whatever Congress decides to about sales tax rates and collections. The Senate approved the bill (S 1974) 32-6 after arguments from proponents that Massachusetts should join other states in … 0

Baker bid to build solar industry will minimize ratepayer impacts

Thursday, July 30, 2015

BOSTON — As solar energy advocates rallied on the steps of the State House Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker said at a different event that his administration will file legislation concerning the solar power net metering cap “probably sometime next week.” Details of the governor’s planned legislation were not … 0

State and Region Briefs, July 31

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ex-Dartmouth selectman gets almost 6 years in prison BOSTON — A former Dartmouth selectman has been sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison for embezzling almost $700,000 from his taxpayer-subsidized bus company to bankroll his farm. John … 0

State and Region Briefs, July 30

Thursday, July 30, 2015

House votes for Aug. 15/16 sales tax holiday BOSTON — The House voted 136-20 Wednesday to set a sales tax holiday for the weekend of Aug. 15-16. The vote came after fiery speeches from opponents who called the … 0

Baker on veto votes

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

BOSTON — As lawmakers began pouring money back into the state budget over his objections, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday he will review the Legislature’s veto override actions and determine what steps he must take to balance the … 0

Mass. lawmakers vote to restore budget items vetoed by Gov. Baker

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

BOSTON — Lawmakers moved Wednesday to restore nearly $100 million in spending vetoed from the state budget by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, including funds for full-day kindergarten programs and for the University of Massachusetts system. Baker used his line-item veto power to shave $162 million from the more … 0

Bill of rights promoted in Mass. to ensure dignity of homeless

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

BOSTON — After a 30-year career as a software developer, Cleve Rae found himself “in a major crisis” last year. The 58-year-old with mental health needs became homeless and “it just scared me to death,” he said Tuesday. Rae made it to the shelter on Long Island in … 0

Vote on public records reform bill postponed for review

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — House lawmakers have pushed a vote to reform the state’s public records law to later this year as they review various objections to the bill’s language, which continues to be revised. The bill has been under … 0

State and Region Briefs, July 29

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Officer on leave after video shows him threatening driver MEDFORD — A veteran Medford police detective has been placed on administrative after he was caught on video threatening to “put a hole” in the head of a motorist. … 0

Boston out: US Olympic Committee to look elsewhere

Monday, July 27, 2015

Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics is over. The city and the U.S. Olympic Committee severed ties after a board teleconference Monday, ending an effort that was troubled nearly from the moment it started. The decision throws … 0

Western Mass. reactions to Boston Olympic bid drop

Monday, July 27, 2015

HATFIELD — Judy Strong, who competed as a field hockey player in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, said she was torn Monday to learn that Boston would not be the host in 2024. Strong, now 55 and an umpire, was 24 when her team won the bronze, … 0