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Dick Lane, a tennis instructor from New Hampshire, flaunts an added stylish touch to his sports wheelchair on July 13, 2015 in Westport, Mass. . Lane plays tennis with John Pelletier, a former attorney, and advocate for the handicapped and a member of the Westport Commission on Disabilities. (Kevin P. O'Connor/The Herald News via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT: THE HERALD NEWS OF FALL RIVER

Since ADA enacted, still work to be done

Sunday, August 2, 2015

WESTPORT (AP) — In the 11 years since the accident that placed John Pelletier in a wheelchair, this country has come a long way to accommodating those with difficulty getting around, he said. “In those years, there has been a dramatic increase in access to restaurants and public facilities,” Pelletier said. “I ski, I handcycle, I play tennis. None of that was available 25 years ago.” But one trip was enough to put that progress into perspective, Pelletier said. “My daughter lives in London,” he said. “We’ve been to visit a couple of times. “They are so much more advanced than we are in terms …

Hitchhiking robot’s trip across the U.S. ends in Philly

Sunday, August 2, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — A hitchhiking robot that captured the hearts of fans worldwide met its demise in the U.S. The Canadian researchers who created hitchBOT as a social experiment told The Associated Press that someone in Philadelphia damaged the robot beyond repair early Saturday, ending its first American tour after about two weeks. “Sadly, …

State Police policy change keeps drivers’ names secret

Sunday, August 2, 2015

MILTON — Kelly Young was driving down Route 28 when a sedan traveling in the other direction rear ended another car and veered into Young’s lane, hitting his car head on, police say. Young, 56, a father of two and son of a former state lawmaker, died from his injuries. Two months later, the identity of the driver who hit Young’s car remains …

State study: School snack ban working

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BOSTON — Rules aimed at banning sugary sodas, sweet snacks, potato chips and other standard school vending machine fare appear to be working in Massachusetts, according to a study released Wednesday. The study of 74 middle and high schools in three dozen districts showed big increases in the …

Man charged after son, 7, is hospitalized weighing 38 pounds

Thursday, July 23, 2015

EAST BROOKFIELD, Mass. — The father of a 7-year-old boy who is suffering from starvation and dehydration was held without bail Wednesday after the child was brought to the hospital unconscious. A hearing is scheduled Friday for Randall …

Man dies in Westfield house fire blamed on smoking

Thursday, July 23, 2015

WESTFIELD (AP) — Fire officials say a 64-year-old man has died after a house fire in Westfield. State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan and Westfield Fire Chief Mary Regan said Wednesday that the fire early Wednesday appears to have been caused by improper disposal of smoking materials. The officials …

Eligibility review knocks thousands off Mass. Medicaid

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BOSTON — Tens of thousands of people have been removed from the state’s Medicaid program during the first phase of an eligibility review, according to figures from Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration obtained by The Associated Press. The eligibility checks, required annually under federal law but not performed in …

Campaign donations pour in for top state lawmakers

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BOSTON — Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo collected more than $415,000 in campaign donations during the first half of the year — more than during any previous six-month period for the powerful Democrat. The total is close to the $465,000 DeLeo raised during all of 2014, an election …

Boston Olympics organizers step up outreach

Monday, July 20, 2015

SOMERVILLE — Organizers of Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics are in a sprint to the finish, scrambling to improve lackluster poll numbers ahead of a September deadline to formally throw the city’s name into the mix …

State Probation Department promotion exams shredded

Monday, July 20, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Efforts to overhaul the state Probation Department’s hiring and promotion system after years of political favoritism have suffered another setback after trial court officials admitted they accidentally shredded promotional exams before they could be graded. The shredding incident comes after 55 percent of probation employees …

Website offers civilized solutions to wildlife woes

Monday, July 20, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Looking for a civilized solution to a wildlife problem? Residents of 13 eastern states and the District of Columbia have a new online resource. The site — wildlifehelp.org — was created by the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Northeast Wildlife …

Ex-Vt. transit chief to push Montreal train link

Monday, July 20, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A former Vermont transportation secretary is coming out of retirement to help plan resumption of passenger train service between the northeastern United States and Montreal. Brian Searles, who retired as transportation secretary in December, is returning to state service part-time to deal with the …

Massachusetts expects to see net savings from Medicaid expansion

Sunday, July 19, 2015

BOSTON — Many states that opted to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act have seen enrollments surge well beyond projections, raising concerns that the added costs will strain their budgets when federal aid is scaled back starting in two years, an Associated Press analysis shows. But …