State & Region Briefs

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Baker urges lawmakers to relax zoning laws for housing

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker says the limited supply of affordable housing in Massachusetts is creating an overheated real estate market and pricing out many people who hope to buy or rent a home.

The Republican governor urged a legislative committee on Tuesday to approve a bill that he said would make it easier for cities and towns to adopt zoning regulations that encourage housing production.

The measure would allow town governing bodies to change zoning policies with a simple majority vote, removing the current state requirement of a two-thirds vote.

Baker called the high cost of and shortage of housing “the most serious long-term hurdle to continued economic growth” in Massachusetts.

Declining species of shark added to endangered species list

PORTLAND, Maine — The federal government says the oceanic whitetip shark will be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act to help the species recover.

Scientists say the sharks have declined by 80 to 90 percent in the Pacific Ocean since the 1990s. They’ve fallen 50 percent to 85 percent in the Atlantic Ocean since the 1950s.

Conservationists blame commercial fishing and demand for their fins.

A statement in the Federal Register about the listing of the shark says a threatened species is “not presently in danger of extinction, but is likely to become so in the foreseeable future.”

Attorney for the late Aaron Hernandez writing a book

NEW YORK — The defense attorney for the late Aaron Hernandez is writing a book about the former NFL star and promises “shocking revelations.”

Jose Baez’s “Unnecessary Roughness: The Life and Death of Aaron Hernandez” is coming out Aug. 21, Hachette Books told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Hernandez, a former standout tight end for the New England Patriots, was found hanging in his cell last April 19, hours before his ex-teammates were due to visit the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory.

Dead body found in Worcester home; resident charged

WORCESTER — A man has been charged with disinterment after a body was found at his home. Worcester police say they responded to a city home on Monday night and discovered a man’s body. They charged a resident of the home, 32-year-old Xavier Broughton, with disinterment of a human body and misleading a police investigation.

The body has not been positively identified and an autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause of death.

Police did, however, confirm that the address where the body was found was the location of a party earlier this month where 27-year-old Justin Ramos was last seen alive.

From Associated Press