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State / Region

Heroin deaths on the rise in Massachusetts

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BOSTON — State health officials say they are at a loss to explain a significant surge in the number of suspected heroin and opioid overdose deaths in Massachusetts. State police say there have been 58 suspected OD deaths this month, the same number reported for all of November. Sixteen were in one weekend. The deaths are being reported in urban, rural, and suburban areas across the state. State police tell … 0

Ex-officer charged with DUI 3 times in 11 hours

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A former police officer who appeared in court Monday on a drunken-driving charge was arrested three more times over the next 11 hours. The Connecticut Post reported that (http://bit.ly/1z3iOSo ) 39-year-old John Biehn, of Southington, was charged twice Monday with drunken driving and accused of shoplifting at a Wal-Mart in Wallingford early Tuesday. Police say Biehn, a former Bridgeport officer, … 0

UMass president announces leave

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BOSTON — The president of the five-campus University of Massachusetts system will leave to become chancellor of the University System of Maryland, the institutions announced Wednesday. Robert Caret will start his new position on July 1. He is succeeding William Kirwan, who is stepping down after serving since 2002 as chancellor of Maryland’s … 0

State and regional briefs

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mass. gets $1.75M for asthma programs BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has received more than $1.75 million to fund new asthma-related programs in high-risk communities with documented health disparities. Attorney General Martha Coakley said the funding is aimed at helping thousands of children and older … 0

Colleges hope to engage students on wealth gap

Sunday, November 23, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. — Many students at Keene State College and Mount Wachusett Community College already know something about the widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else. Now, the schools are working together to get them to do something about it. Keene State, a four-year liberal arts … 0

Firefighters rescue boys who fall through thin ice

Friday, November 21, 2014

DERRY, N.H. — A firefighter crawled across thin ice to rescue two 12-year-old boys who’d fallen into the frigid water while playing hockey at Hood Park. A 911 call from a man who heard the boys screaming caused firefighters en route to another call to be diverted to … 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