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Shelter money fading, but ‘not at the end of the line’
04-19-2024 10:53 AM

By CHRIS LISINSKI and SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — State dollars for the emergency family shelter system are dwindling, and restaurateurs who for years enjoyed expanded outdoor dining and the ability to sell drinks to go remain “in limbo” amid a sustained period of legislative...

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Spilka pledges ‘comprehensive climate bill’ in Senate
04-23-2024 11:49 AM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Signaling the potential for more change in the transportation and energy sectors, Senate President Karen Spilka revealed Monday that the Senate plans to tackle a major climate bill within the next three months.The Ashland Democrat said at a...


Prices up, sales down in early spring housing market
04-18-2024 9:51 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

The signs of spring are all around: the days are getting warmer, baseball is back and Massachusetts home prices are setting records as demand continues to outpace the inventory of houses for sale.The real estate analysts at The Warren Group reported...


My Turn: The pecking order revolution: Massachusetts’ fight for animal rights
04-16-2024 7:01 AM

By ROB MOIR and MIKE SALGUERO

 Massachusetts residents care about the living conditions of egg-laying hens, veal calves, and pigs. In November 2016, voters passed Ballot Question 3, the Massachusetts Minimum Size Requirements for Farm Animal Containment. With a sweeping majority...


Orange resident selected for governor’s Youth Advisory Council
04-15-2024 2:04 PM

By XINYI YANG

Orange resident Christiana Dunn is among 60 young people statewide who will advise Gov. Maura Healey and her administrative team on issues important to her demographic as a member of the new Youth Advisory Council.The council members, ages 16 to 21,...


New fed rules may force Mass. action on PFAS
04-12-2024 11:11 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

State regulators say nearly 200 water systems across Massachusetts — including towns, schools and hospitals — will likely need to take some action to comply with new federal limits on “forever chemicals” in drinking water.The U.S. Environmental...


Beacon Hill Roll Call: April 1 to April 5, 2024
04-12-2024 11:04 AM

By BOB KATZEN

Beacon Hill Roll Call records local representatives’ votes on roll calls from the week of April 1 to April 5. There were no roll calls in the Senate last week.$375 million for roads and bridges (H 4529)The House, 155-0, approved and sent to the Senate...


Blue envelope program offered for Massachusetts drivers on autism spectrum
04-10-2024 11:59 AM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Massachusetts State Police have begun implementing a program to improve interactions with people on the autism spectrum, building upon legislation that won Senate approval in January and remains before a House committee.Participating drivers...


Larry Lucchino, force behind retro ballpark revolution and drought-busting Red Sox, dies at 78
04-02-2024 12:51 PM

By JIMMY GOLEN

BOSTON — Larry Lucchino, the force behind baseball’s retro ballpark revolution and the transformation of the Boston Red Sox from cursed losers to World Series champions, has died. He was 78.Lucchino had suffered from cancer. The Triple-A Worcester Red...


State rules governing to-go drinks, outdoor dining expire as politicians figure out next steps
04-02-2024 12:14 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — This week’s dismal weather forecast might actually have a silver lining for some restaurateurs.After nearly four years with a streamlined system in place to permit outdoor dining and permission to sell takeout alcoholic drinks, both practices...


Keeping ‘vulnerable road users’ safe: A year after passage of 4-foot law, MassBike advocating for other protective measures
04-01-2024 10:38 AM

By XINYI YANG

A year after its advocates played a key role in passage of a law aimed at making roads safer for “vulnerable users” — bicyclists, pedestrians and more — the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition is again pushing for more changes designed to add further...


Officials talk funding for, hear feedback on Northern Tier Passenger Rail
03-29-2024 4:13 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

As the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) study of the Northern Tier Passenger Rail project continues, officials and consultants Thursday night collected more feedback and laid out some of its potential funding streams in the final...


Gun law negotiators close House-Senate talks
03-28-2024 5:26 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Lawmakers tasked with negotiating details of a major firearms bill left their work open to the public last week — a move that broke from opaque traditions on Beacon Hill. A week later, those negotiators moved to close their meetings to the...


Local restaurant owners react to proposed ballot question to increase service wage, create tip pool
03-28-2024 4:50 PM

By TANISHA BHAT

Franklin County restaurant owners have mixed feelings about a proposed ballot question that would increase service wages for tipped workers and allow businesses to create a tip pool for all employees, supporting the concept but worried about the...


DCR sees booking surge at state campgrounds
03-27-2024 5:23 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

It seems people from all over are anxious for spring to arrive as bookings at the three state camping locations in Franklin and Hampshire counties are filling up fast.The state Department of Conservation and Recreation reports that at least 756 total...


UMass basketball: Minutemen’s Jaylen Curry, Daniel Hankins-Sanford agree to NIL deals with The Massachusetts Collective
03-26-2024 5:02 PM

By GARRETT COTE

AMHERST — Within the last two days, the UMass men’s basketball team received big news regarding two of its student-athletes.Freshman guard Jaylen Curry and sophomore forward Daniel Hankins-Sanford each signed NIL deals with The Massachusetts...


Police hiring, retention a ‘major issue’ in Massachusetts
03-25-2024 5:24 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy recently warned lawmakers that big cities and small towns face a “major issue” with recruiting new candidates for law enforcement jobs, and local police chiefs say Franklin County is no...


Homeless women face raft of challenges in Mass.
03-25-2024 9:27 AM

By RUIHAN YANG

After years of being homeless, Amy “adapted” to living on the streets under insecurity.“I thought I wasn’t going to wake up, but I woke up, and I’m fine. The more I feel adapted to staying outside without a person that stays with me, the more I...


Healey: Let’s focus on those facing MCAS hurdle
03-19-2024 5:36 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey’s team is looking into what more the state can do to help high school students who do not pass the MCAS exam, but she gave voice Tuesday to her opposition to a potential ballot question that would force the state to stop...


Home sales flat, price up ahead of spring market
03-19-2024 4:03 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — What difference can a year make? When it comes to home sales in Massachusetts, the answer is about $50,000.There were 2,042 single-family homes sold in Massachusetts in February, the exact same number of sales as in February 2023. But...


New spending bill looks to resolve ‘vital’ program shortfalls
03-19-2024 2:59 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — With funding for “vital” human services and early education programs running low, Gov. Maura Healey filed a nearly $535 million supplemental budget Monday afternoon to address the shortfalls and to shore up funding for safety-net...

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