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Baker signs bill to crack down on fentanyl trafficking

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

BOSTON — A law signed Tuesday by Gov. Charlie Baker makes trafficking of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic drug sometimes mixed with heroin, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The Legislature approved the bill as one response to an opioid abuse epidemic that claimed an estimated 1,250 deaths in Massachusetts last year, almost triple the number from five years ago. The measure is intended to close a …

Brandeis students occupy administration building for diversity demands

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

WALTHAM (AP) — Hundreds of Brandeis University students have occupied the school’s administration building and say they won’t leave until officials address their demands regarding diversity. A group of students called #ConcernedStudents2015 began occupying the Bernstein-Marcus Administrative Center on Friday after they say interim president Lisa Lynch failed to address 13 concerns about racial equality outlined in a letter sent to her on …

Baker: State will continue to support refugees

Monday, November 23, 2015

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday that Massachusetts will continue to support refugee resettlement, even as the debate over the U.S. role in sheltering some refugees fleeing Syria continues to roil political debate in the country. Offering shelter to refugees is part of Massachusetts’ history, Baker told reporters Monday. “I don’t intend …

Two Mass. reps back GOP bill

Thursday, November 19, 2015

BOSTON — Massachusetts’ all-Democratic U.S. House delegation has split on the issue of whether to establish fresh hurdles for Syrian and Iraqi refugees trying to enter the United States. Two congressmen — Reps. William Keating and Stephen Lynch — joined 45 other Democrats and all but two Republicans …

FBI: Ex-reservist, child rape suspect, stole 16 guns

Thursday, November 19, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — A former Army reservist out on bail on a child rape charge broke into a Massachusetts armory last weekend and stole 16 guns, the FBI said Thursday, and he got caught because he was wearing a GPS monitoring bracelet. James Walker Morales, 34, of Cambridge, …

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says economic security central to his vision

Thursday, November 19, 2015

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Thursday that economic security is essential to Americans achieving true freedom, a central tenet in his political philosophy of “democratic socialism.” The Vermont senator said the idea has roots in …

Wal-Mart grant aids effort to preserve 1,650-acre Northfield Forest

Thursday, November 19, 2015

NORTHFIELD — An effort to protect the 1,650-acre Northfield Forest is $250,000 closer to its goal thanks to a grant from Wal-Mart. The national nonprofit land conservation organization Trust for Public Land received the money through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to ensure the land’s protection. The …

Trump: ‘I’m going to do great with the Muslims’

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WORCESTER — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday questioned the feasibility of giving preference to Christian Syrian refugees trying to enter the country, as some of his rivals have suggested in the wake of the Paris attacks. …

Springfield casino’s cost estimate grows to $950M

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

SPRINGFIELD — The price tag for MGM’s planned resort casino in the city continues to climb. The downtown casino, hotel and entertainment complex had been budgeted at $800 million. Now MGM Resorts International President Bill Hornbuckle says the projected cost of the development has ballooned to more than …

Baker adjusts child welfare protocols

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is making changes to the state’s child welfare department following a series of high-profile cases, including the death of a toddler who became known as Baby Doe after her remains turned up on a Boston Harbor beach over the summer. The girl …

State education board approves new hybrid test

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

BOSTON — Massachusetts students will soon be facing a new standardized test after the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to combine elements of the existing MCAS test with another test aligned with Common Core state …

Teen refuses to continue with murder trial

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

SALEM (AP) — The murder trial of a teenager charged with killing his math teacher ended early Tuesday when he told his lawyer he was “about to explode” and refused to go back into the courtroom. Denise Regan, …

Mental illness cited in boy’s killing of teacher

Monday, November 16, 2015

SALEM — A teenager killed his math teacher and did “unspeakable things” to her body, but he was driven by severe mental illness, his defense attorney told jurors at his murder trial Monday. Philip Chism, 16, is charged …