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State / Region

Beacon Hill Roll Call, for week of Nov. 21

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

By BOB KATZEN There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week. Beacon Hill Roll Call this week examines the voting records of local senators on Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick’s 88 vetoes during the 2013-2014 session. A two-thirds vote is required to override a gubernatorial veto in the 40-member Senate that includes 36 Democrats and only four Republicans. The governor needed the support of 15 senators to … 0

Recipient of double arm transplant happy to hug

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

BOSTON — A former college professor who underwent a double arm transplant last month at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said Tuesday that the best thing about the operation is that he’s able to hug his loved ones again. Will Lautzenheiser — with both arms still in partial casts and splints — said at a news conference he’s grateful to the anonymous … 0

Massachusetts town renames Christmas vacation

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MARSHFIELD — Christmas vacation is out in one Massachusetts school system, replaced by “holiday break.” The Marshfield School Committee on Monday voted 3-2 to uphold a September decision to change the name of Christmas vacation to holiday break, despite protests from some residents of the coastal town south of Boston and a petition signed by about 4,000 people who wanted to keep the … 0

Lost New Mexico kitten ends up in Maine

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lost N.M. kitten ends up in Maine WESTBROOK, Maine — A New Mexico woman’s missing kitten has been located in Maine, although exactly how the feline made the 2,300-mile trip remains a mystery. The female kitten, named Spice, was turned into the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook earlier … 0

Harvard sued over push for fossil fuels divestment

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BOSTON — Seven Harvard University students have filed a lawsuit asking a judge to force the university’s governing body to divest from fossil fuel companies. The lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges investment in those companies violates the university’s duties as a public charity. The complaint asks the court to … 0

Casinos push back on Massachusetts gambling limits

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BOSTON — In a rarely used strategy to address gambling addiction, Massachusetts regulators may require casinos to reward their customers for voluntarily setting limits on how much time and money they spend at slot machines. But the state’s recently licensed casino companies — Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International … 0

Speaker rules out local aid cuts in budget

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BOSTON — The top Democrat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives took local aid off the table on Thursday in discussions over how to close a state budget shortfall. House Speaker Robert DeLeo ruled out any cut in local aid less than 24 hours after Democratic Gov. Deval … 0

Town ends bid to ban tobacco sales after outcry

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WESTMINSTER — A proposal that would have made the town the first in the nation to ban all tobacco sales has gone up in smoke. Westminster’s board of health voted 2-1 to drop the proposal at its regular … 0

Study looks at Mass. school punishment

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts public schools punish a disproportionately high number of minorities and students with disabilities with out-of-school suspensions, putting them at higher risk of dropping out or getting in trouble with the law, according to a civil rights group. About two-thirds of those suspensions are for minor … 0

Police: Man crawled into sunken car, saved baby

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine logger helped save an infant from drowning when he crawled into a car that was upside-down in water and used a knife to cut the straps off her car seat and pull her … 0

Mass. panel recommends nixing mandatory minimum drug sentencing

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

BOSTON — Tackling an issue that could re-emerge in the Legislature over the next two years, a special commission studying the state’s criminal justice system recommended eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for all drug offenses in Massachusetts. The commission also voted to recommend parole eligibility for all state prison … 0

1 victim of Jerusalem attack had Boston roots

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

BOSTON — One of the three Americans killed in an attack at a synagogue in Israel on Tuesday had strong ties to the Boston area and came from a line of influential rabbis, officials said. Rabbi Mosheh Twersky was one of four victims of the attack in which … 0

Group call on Baker to tackle mental health issues

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

BOSTON — An advocacy group is recommending that Gov.-elect Charlie Baker take several steps to address mental health treatment during his first 100 days in office. The Massachusetts chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness called on Baker on Tuesday to seek parity in the rates of … 0