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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 …

Police: Pittsfield driver struck man on purpose

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PITTSFIELD (AP) — A Pittsfield woman police say intentionally struck a man in crosswalk with her car has been held without bail. A lawyer for 20-year-old Harmony Edwards-Persip said in court Monday that his client acted in self-defense because the man she struck is a gang member and …

Millionaire pot dealer, 79, challenges stop, search

Monday, November 17, 2014

BOSTON — When police in Junction City, Kansas, stopped a beat-up pickup truck for speeding in June 2013, the driver got a lot more than a traffic ticket: The stop led authorities to Massachusetts and Arizona, where they …

Harvard, UNC sued over admission policies

Monday, November 17, 2014

BOSTON — Lawsuits filed Monday against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill argue that affirmative action policies should be banned at colleges across the nation. The federal suits allege Harvard and UNC rely on race-based affirmative action policies that impact admissions of high-achieving …

MGM pays $85M license fee for Springfield casino

Monday, November 17, 2014

BOSTON — MGM Resorts International has paid Massachusetts a required $85 million gambling licensing fee for its $800 million Springfield resort casino on Monday, state gambling regulators announced. The Las Vegas-based company, through the limited liability company Blue Tarp reDevelopment, submitted the payment for its 15-year license electronically. …

Two women rabbis leading Worcester temples

Sunday, November 16, 2014

WORCESTER — Rabbi Aviva Fellman says it’s one “happy joke” in the local Jewish community. Congregation Beth Israel has been “taken over” by women, she said, with various ladies on the bima, or pulpit, as of late. And …

Retired colonel named outstanding woman vet

Sunday, November 16, 2014

ATTLEBORO — Julie Hall helped pave the way for women in the military, and now she’s been named the state’s outstanding female veteran. Hall, 56, and one of 11 candidates for the Deborah Sampson Award this year, is a retired Air Force colonel with 30 years of active …

States working to repair hobbled health care websites

Sunday, November 16, 2014

BOSTON — The state that served as a template for President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act had so much trouble coordinating with the federal government that it became a model of another sort: ineptitude. The Massachusetts website, designed …

Protesters hope weekend rally helps kill pipeline plan

Sunday, November 16, 2014

FITCHBURG (AP) — Several hundred people packed a high school auditorium Saturday to rally against a proposed pipeline that would carry high-pressure natural gas across northern Massachusetts. Protesters from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York staged the “Stop the Pipeline Statewide Summit” at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School …

Western Massachusetts Electric Co. seeks 29 percent increase in six-month supply rate

Friday, November 14, 2014

The other shoe dropped Friday for electricity customers in the Valley, with the Western Massachusetts Electric Co. seeking a 29 percent increase in its six-month supply rate. WMECo, citing a “dramatic” increase in the cost of electricity it provides for its 200,000 customers, filed Friday with the state …

Late ‘Car Talk’ host won’t be listed on column

Thursday, November 13, 2014

BOSTON — “Car Talk” co-host Tom Magliozzi won’t be dispensing automotive advice from the grave as some newspapers feared. Magliozzi, who hosted the hugely popular public radio show with his brother, died Nov. 3. After his death, New …