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Passengers stand on deck of the whale watch boat Cetacea as it docks Tuesday morning, July 29, 2014 at Long Wharf in Boston. The boat snagged a lobster trap rope during a whale watching excursion about 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts late Monday, and had to spend a night at sea before divers freed it Tuesday morning. Two Coast Guard cutters remained with the vessel during the night. No injuries were reported to any of the 157 passengers or six crew members. (AP Photo/Boston Herald, Mark Garfinkel)

Lost at sea for a night

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BOSTON — A group of whale watchers expecting only an afternoon tour were forced instead to spend a long night at sea after their boat was snagged by a mooring cable off Massachusetts, officials and passengers said Tuesday. Boston Harbor Cruises, which operates the whale watch, confirmed that the 83-foot Cetacea strayed into a restricted area, and the company said … 0

Tribes support changing feds’ recognition process

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

MASHPEE — American Indians attending a Tuesday hearing at the Mashpee Wampanoag community center on Cape Cod said they support the federal government’s plan to make it easier for tribes to gain federal recognition. But the tribal representatives, from New Jersey, Virginia, Missouri, New England and elsewhere, urged the U.S. Department of the Interior to go further. They called for setting a time … 0

Abortion clinic bill sent to Gov. Patrick’s desk

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BOSTON — A bill designed to tighten security around abortion clinics in Massachusetts is awaiting Gov. Deval Patrick’s signature. The Massachusetts House and Senate on Tuesday gave final passage to the legislation that would let police disperse one or more individuals who are substantially impeding access to a clinic. Those individuals would have to stay at least 25 feet from the clinic’s entrances … 0

New buffer zone law heads to House

Thursday, July 17, 2014

BOSTON — With Senate approval of a bill designed to tighten security around abortion clinics now done, the measure moves on to the House, where Rep. Denise Andrews, D-Orange, also testified Wednesday before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. The proposal, given a Senate hearing Wednesday before being … 0

Spouses eligible for MassHealth home care pay under senate bill

Thursday, July 17, 2014

BOSTON — Spouses could become personal care attendants for their husband or wife and receive compensation through MassHealth for the care they provide under a bill that passed the Senate Tuesday. In Massachusetts, most family members, except for spouses or dependent children, are eligible for reimbursement through MassHealth, … 0

Mass. asked to shelter kids who have come across border alone

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick said Wednesday he’s weighing a request from President Barack Obama’s administration about whether Massachusetts can shelter some of the unaccompanied children crossing the nation’s southern border illegally. Patrick said the request came during the past week. The governor said if Massachusetts agrees to … 0

Hearing on bill addressing abortion clinic buffer zone

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

BOSTON — With 17 days left until the end of the formal legislative calendar, lawmakers unveiled a response to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the state’s 35-foot buffer zone around reproductive health clinics. A top Senate lawmaker on Monday filed a bill prohibiting a group … 0

Gun owners group seeks changes as senate plans gun bill debate

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

BOSTON — The Senate on Thursday will take up its version of legislation aimed at reducing gun violence as the local chapter of the National Rifle Association hardened its position on the bill just days after calling the House version a “victory” for the second amendment. The House … 0

Senate passes bill to protect social media info

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

BOSTON — Bosses and school administrators would not be allowed to ask for someone’s social media passwords as a condition of employment or enrollment, under legislation passed unanimously in the Senate Tuesday. “It is not necessary to see someone’s pictures or Instagram before deciding to offer them a … 0

Mass. Senate to debate sweeping gun bill

Monday, July 14, 2014

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Senate released its own version of a sweeping overhaul of the state’s gun laws on Monday, including many elements of a bill approved by the House last week. Like the House bill, the Senate proposal would create a web-based portal within the state Executive … 0

Dairy suit nets $50M settlement

Monday, July 14, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. — The cooperative Dairy Farmers of America has agreed to pay a total of $50 million to thousands of Northeast dairy farmers to settle antitrust allegations from a 2009 class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit charged the cooperative, … 0

Mass. gets $47M share of settlement

Monday, July 14, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts will receive an almost $46 million share of a $7 billion federal-state settlement over Citigroup’s mortgage-backed security activities, the state attorney general’s office said Monday. In the deal announced Monday, Citigroup will make a $4 billion civil monetary payment to the Justice Department, and another … 0

Officials: Transgender girl moved to male facility

Sunday, July 13, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. — A transgender girl has been moved to Connecticut’s juvenile home for boys after she was accused of assault, the latest transfer of a troubled teenager who was sent to a psychiatric facility after supporters protested her confinement in a women’s prison without criminal charges. The … 0