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State eyes hand-held phone ban for drivers

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

BOSTON — Families of those killed in distracted driving accidents are asking state lawmakers to back legislation that would require drivers to use hand-free phones in Massachusetts. Foxborough resident Jerry Cibley’s 18-year-old son Jordan was killed in 2007 as he was talking on his phone while driving. “It appears I was on the phone with him. It appears that he dropped his phone and went to pick it, took off …

Supporters, critics of transgender bills clash at hearing

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

BOSTON — Critics of Massachusetts proposals to extend non-discrimination protections to transgender people in restaurants, schools or any place that accommodates the public said the state should instead focus on the privacy rights of children and women. At a Statehouse hearing Tuesday, Andover Republican state Rep. James Lyons said the bills could allow a 14- or 15-year-old boy to decide he is female …

Harvard’s prestigious debate team loses to NY inmates

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Months after winning a national title, Harvard’s debate team has fallen to a group of New York inmates. The showdown took place at the Eastern New York Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison where convicts can take courses taught by faculty from nearby Bard College, and where inmates have formed a popular debate club. Last month, they invited the Ivy League …

Students sue to lift charter school cap

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

BOSTON — The state’s cap on the number of public charter schools is the target of a new lawsuit, which argues that the limit violates the right to an adequate education included in the state constitution. Lawyers representing five Boston students filed a class action complaint Tuesday in …

Ex-Hadley cop, wife held on $10,000 bail after robbery, high-speed chase

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

CHICOPEE (AP) — A former Massachusetts police officer and his wife have pleaded not guilty to robbing a Chicopee pharmacy then leading police on a 60-mile chase along the Massachusetts Turnpike at speeds of 80 miles per hour. Adam Bartlett, 37, and Rebecca Bartlett, 40, were each held …

New state regulations clamp down on sale of e-cigarettes

Monday, September 14, 2015

BOSTON — Anyone under 18 years old will be barred from buying electronic cigarettes in Massachusetts and the liquid and gels used in the devices will have to be sold in child-resistant packaging under new regulations approved by the attorney general’s office. The regulations also ban the promotional …

Charity named for Boston bombing victim urges service

Monday, September 14, 2015

BOSTON — One of the most enduring images in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing was a photo of young victim Martin Richard holding a sign that said, “No more hurting people. Peace.” It’s a message that the foundation named for Martin, along with toy maker …

Maine Med gets grant to grow kidney tissue

Monday, September 14, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine Medical Center’s Research Institute is using a $6.8 million federal grant to learn how to grow kidney tissue using adult stem cells. The Scarborough-based Research Institute has the lead in the effort that represents the first step to creating a lab-grown kidney using the …

Worcester bridge nears completion under budget, ahead of schedule

Sunday, September 13, 2015

WORCESTER (AP) — About three-and-a-half years of hard work, 4.5 million pounds of steel and 5,500 cubic yards of concrete later, one of the most spectacular bridges in the Commonwealth has emerged. The new Kenneth F. Burns Memorial …

Too many records, not enough room at Mass. archives

Sunday, September 13, 2015

BOSTON — The executive director of the Massachusetts Archives opens a metal cabinet and carefully removes what is considered the first foreign treaty finalized in the newly born United States. The Treaty of Watertown, signed with the Micmac …

Groups push for Atlantic’s 1st national monument

Sunday, September 13, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Undersea ravines deeper than the Grand Canyon, submerged mountains rising thousands of feet from the ocean floor and forests of kelp and coral would become the first marine national monument in the Atlantic if conservationists …

Baker urges action on solar, energy bills

Friday, September 11, 2015

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker is pressing state lawmakers to take action on two of his energy priorities before the end of the year. Baker said one of the proposals would encourage Massachusetts utilities to enter into long-term contracts with renewable energy producers provided that the interests of …

Baker says he supports US role in sheltering refugees

Thursday, September 10, 2015

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker said he’s willing to talk with federal officials about the possibility that Massachusetts could shelter some Syrian refugees to help ease Europe’s humanitarian crisis. Baker told reporters Thursday that as far as he knows, federal officials haven’t yet begun reaching out to states, …