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Gov.-elect Charlie Baker names Marylou Sudders to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services

Friday, November 21, 2014

BOSTON — Marylou Sudders, a former state mental health commissioner and chief executive of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, was named Friday by Gov.-elect Charlie Baker to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services in his administration. Sudders, currently an associate professor at Boston College’s School of Social Work, will oversee one of the largest and most sensitive segments of state government. “She will …

Vermont Yankee to begin layoffs in January

Friday, November 21, 2014

VERNON, Vt. — The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has officially notified the state of Vermont that it will be laying off 165 employees starting in January. That there would be layoffs has been common knowledge since Entergy’s announcement in August 2013 that it would ceas operations at the end of this year, but plant officials made the formal notification to the state Wednesday …

Speaker rules out cuts in local aid

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 Patrick included it as part of a plan to close a projected $329 million budget …

Former Brown dean, Nobel Prize winner, dies

Thursday, November 20, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — David Greer, a doctor who co-founded a group that won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for working to prevent nuclear war and who helped transform the medical school at Brown University, has died. He was …

Town ends bid to ban tobacco sales

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 …

Patrick cuts $200M in spending

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration ordered nearly $200 million in immediate spending cuts Wednesday while asking lawmakers to approve reductions in local aid and other accounts to help close a state budget shortfall. The gap, currently estimated at $330 million, has been triggered by a number of …

Officers honored for bravery after bombing

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BOSTON — Sean Collier, a police officer who authorities say was shot and killed in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, received a posthumous award for bravery during a ceremony Wednesday at which seven other officers who …

Study: Minorities punished more in schools

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 …

Comments accepted through Tuesday on decommissioning, dismantling of Vermont Yankee nuclear plant

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Two studies on the future of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant site are under review by the Vermont Public Service Department, which is accepting public comment through Tuesday. The Vermont Yankee Site Assessment Study, issued last month by plant owner Entergy, describes its plans for …

Statewide quarantine on ash lumber, hardwood firewood seeks to contain emerald ash borer

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One little bug is causing big problems for trees and loggers in Massachusetts. A statewide quarantine on ash lumber and all hardwood firewood took effect Monday, in an effort by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to …

Casino cash set to flow into local communities

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

BOSTON — Millions of dollars in gambling money will begin flowing into local government coffers in earnest now that the state’s casino law survived an Election Day repeal effort. To be sure, casino payments have been flowing to the state long before the Nov. 4 election, when voters …

Group asks Baker to act on mental health policies

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Gov.-elect Charlie Baker should move quickly after taking office to address issues surrounding mental health treatment, including disparities between insurance payment rates for behavioral health and other medical services, an advocacy group said Tuesday. The Massachusetts chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness unveiled …

College football player charged with assault

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

SPRINGFIELD (ap) — A Western New England University football player has been held without bail after pleading not guilty to fracturing his girlfriend’s skull. John Perry, a junior linebacker from Marblehead, Massachusetts, was held after his arraignment Monday in Springfield District Court on a charge of aggravated assault …