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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

Hearing on 1st-in-nation tobacco ban ended early

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WESTMINSTER — A public meeting on a central Massachusetts town’s proposed first-in-the-nation ban on tobacco and nicotine sales has ended early because officials say the crowd was getting too unruly to continue. The three-member Westminster Board of Health, … 0

Northampton ice cream shop color codes menu

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton’s iconic Herrell’s ice cream shop is making it easier for customers with allergies to select a flavor without worrying about having an allergic reaction. The store founded in 1977 has started marking its wall-mounted menu board with colored dots to indicate which flavors contain allergens. … 0

UNH Sex-assault program to expand to Massachusetts, Maine high schools

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. — The University of New Hampshire is expanding its nationally recognized sexual violence prevention program to a younger audience: high school students in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Instead of focusing just on potential victims and perpetrators, the “Bringing in the Bystander” program teaches participants how … 0

Newtown High School target of social media threat

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NEWTOWN, Conn. — A threat on social media has prompted authorities to bar visitors from a Newtown, Connecticut, high school near where an elementary school shooting massacre occurred two years ago. Schools Superintendent Joseph Erardi has sent an email to parents notifying them of Tuesday’s lock-in at Newtown … 0

Gay vets to march in Boston Veterans Day parade

Monday, November 10, 2014

BOSTON — A group representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender military veterans says it will be the first to march in Boston’s annual Veterans Day parade. OutVets says the non-partisan and non-political group expects between 10 to 30 people to march Tuesday. Spokesman Ryan McGill said the Suffolk … 0

Faculty backing fossil fuel divestment movement in Boston

Monday, November 10, 2014

BOSTON — The largely student-led movement at many Boston area colleges urging their schools to divest from fossil fuel companies is getting an important boost from faculty. Faculty members at Harvard University, Boston University, Boston College, Tufts University, and Brandeis University have written open letters, formed groups, or … 0

Feds add fishing restrictions for Atlantic cod

Monday, November 10, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine — With the Atlantic cod population at an all-time low, federal regulators Monday announced the closure of commercial and recreational cod fishing in parts of the Gulf of Maine. The temporary restrictions also include a 200-pound limit on how much a fishing vessel can catch during … 0

Northampton mulls turning off parking lot lights

Monday, November 10, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A battle is brewing in Northampton over a proposal that would require businesses to turn off the lights in their parking lots at night. Supporters of the measure being discussed at city council meetings say it would save energy and cut down on light pollution, making … 0

Gov. Patrick issues commutation and 4 pardons

Monday, November 10, 2014

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick made his first pardons on Monday as he prepares to leave office in January, and he commuted a prison sentence for a nonviolent drug offender — the first commutation by a governor in 17 years. Patrick approved the commutation request of Deanne Hamilton, … 0

Beacon Hill Roll Call, Nov. 3 to 7

Monday, November 10, 2014

By BOB KATZEN There were no roll call votes in the House or Senate last week. This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call reports the percentage of times local representatives voted with their party’s leadership in 2013 and 2014. The votes of the chamber’s 29 Republicans were compared with … 0