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State / Region

In this Jan. 7, 2016 photo released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a gray seal mother and pup lie on the beach of Muskeget Island at Nantucket, Mass. NOAA scientists are using a pair of drones as part of an effort to photograph the country's biggest seal breeding colony on the island. The pictures will help them find how many gray seals there are in Northeastern waters, said Kimberly Murray, coordinator of the seal research program at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center. (Kimberly Murray/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via AP)

Scientists turn to drones to count growing seal colonies

Friday, February 5, 2016

On a remote island off of Nantucket, scientists are using a tool most commonly associated with war and surveillance to get a look at fuzzy baby seals. Researchers who want to get a handle on the growth of New England’s gray seal population have been using drones as part of an effort to photograph the animals, which gather in huge … 0

New England sees first serious snowfall of the season

Friday, February 5, 2016

BOSTON — A winter storm packing heavy, wet snow gave New England its first real taste of winter Friday, toppling trees and knocking out power to more than 180,000 customers and threatening to cover some spots a foot deep. A 6-year-old girl was critically injured in Canton, Massachusetts, police said, when she was … 0

Justice Francis Spina of Massachusetts high court to retire

Friday, February 5, 2016

BOSTON — Supreme Judicial Court Justice Francis X. Spina on Friday became the second justice in days to announce his retirement from the state’s highest court. Spina, who has been on the bench since 1999, said he will leave the court in August, three months before he reaches 70, the state’s mandatory retirement age for judges. On Wednesday, Justice Robert Cordy announced his … 0

NRC says Vt. Yankee investing properly in decommissioning fund

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

VERNON, Vt. — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said last week that Entergy Nuclear is following all NRC requirements for the investment of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant’s decommissioning trust fund. NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said the Vermont … 0

State/Region Briefs

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Senate leader promises fresh look at charter schools BOSTON — State Senate Democrats say they’ll take a fresh look at charter schools in Massachusetts with a ballot question looming on the horizon. Senate President Stan Rosenberg said Wednesday … 0

Gov. Baker not giving up on charter school cap expansion

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

BOSTON — With the Senate approaching a decision point on charter school expansion, Gov. Charlie Baker helped advocates ramp up pressure on lawmakers Tuesday to take action that could avert a protracted and expansive ballot fight next summer … 0

Millionaire tax impact debated at Mass. hearing

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

BOSTON — For those in favor, it’s called the “fair share amendment” and for those opposed it’s better known as a $1.9 billion tax hike. Supporters claim it would stem the growth of the divide between the state’s wealthy and the working class while investing in education and … 0

State/Region Briefs

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Report: With hydro, Massachusetts on track to meet pollution goals BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration says Massachusetts is on track to meet ambitious state goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. But officials cautioned in a … 0

State/Region Briefs

Monday, January 18, 2016

Rape trial of former UMass student scheduled to start NORTHAMPTON — A Longmeadow man charged with raping a woman outdoors on the campus of UMass-Amherst in 2013 faces trial. Twenty-year-old Patrick Durocher is being tried starting Tuesday in … 0

State/Region Briefs

Sunday, January 17, 2016

UMass scientist gets grant to study fat in popular foods AMHERST — A University of Massachusetts scientist wants to make it easier to eat a cookie without feeling guilty. Food scientist Eric Decker has received a nearly $500,000 … 0

Judge: police search that found cocaine was illegal

Friday, January 15, 2016

SPRINGFIELD — A Massachusetts judge has ruled that state troopers illegally searched a car on Interstate 91 last April when they found cocaine and charged two Vermont men with trafficking drugs. The Republican reports that Judge Richard Carey in Hampden Superior Court ruled Wednesday that cocaine found in … 0

Researchers confirm site of Salem witch trials’ hangings

Monday, January 18, 2016

SALEM — A team of researchers using historical documents and 21st-century archaeological techniques has confirmed the exact site where 19 innocent people were hanged during the Salem witch trials more than three centuries ago. The site, known as … 0

State/Region Briefs

Friday, January 15, 2016

Vt. Supreme Court allows town to not maintain old road MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont Supreme Court says the town of Underhill doesn’t have to maintain a stretch of a little used road. The court’s Friday decision reverses … 0