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Hampshire County youth tapped to advise governor’s team
04-13-2024 2:30 PM

By XINYI YANG

Three Hampshire County students are among 60 young people statewide who will advise Gov. Maura Healey and her administrative team on issues important to young people as members of the newly minted Youth Advisory Council.The young people, ages 16-21,...

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Report flags equity, income in free college debate
04-13-2024 4:01 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Moderate-income white students could gain the most under a proposal that top Senate Democrats are weighing to make community college free for all Massachusetts residents, according to a report, which urges lawmakers to make adjustments with...


Beacon Hill Roll Call, April 1-5
04-12-2024 4:36 PM

By Bob Katzen

THE HOUSE AND SENATE: Beacon Hill Roll Call records local representatives’ votes on roll calls from the week of April 1-5. There were no roll calls in the Senate last week.$375 MILLION FOR ROADS AND BRIDGES (H 4529): House 155-0. approved and sent to...


Blue envelope program offered for Massachusetts drivers on autism spectrum
04-10-2024 4:08 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Massachusetts State Police have begun implementing a program to improve interactions with people on the autism spectrum, building upon legislation that won Senate approval in January and remains before a House committee.Participating drivers...


Council OKs mega-pardon for marijuana possession
04-04-2024 2:20 PM

By SAM DORAN

BOSTON — The Governor’s Council unanimously approved Gov. Maura Healey’s mass pardon Wednesday that grants official forgiveness to anyone convicted of simple cannabis possession in Massachusetts.The courts must still work to identify people to whom...


Consolidation, caps urged to speed clean energy permitting across state
04-02-2024 4:19 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — In anticipation of a boom in clean energy projects needed to help the state meet its decarbonization targets, a group put together by the governor rolled out recommendations Monday for ways to streamline and accelerate the siting and...


Larry Lucchino, force behind retro ballpark revolution and drought-busting Red Sox, dies at 78
04-02-2024 12:22 PM

By JIMMY GOLEN

BOSTON (AP) — Larry Lucchino, the force behind baseball’s retro ballpark revolution and the transformation of the Boston Red Sox from cursed losers to World Series champions, has died. He was 78.Lucchino had suffered from cancer. The Triple-A...


State rules governing to-go drinks, outdoor dining expire as politicians figure out next steps
04-01-2024 5:04 PM

By Chris Lisinski

BOSTON — This week’s dismal weather forecast might actually have a silver lining for some restaurateurs.After nearly four years with a streamlined system in place to permit outdoor dining and permission to sell takeout alcoholic drinks, both practices...


Officials talk funding for, hear feedback on Northern Tier Passenger Rail
04-01-2024 1:58 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

As the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s study of the Northern Tier Passenger Rail project continues, officials and consultants recently collected more feedback and laid out some of its potential funding streams in the final public meeting...


Keeping ‘vulnerable road users’ safe: A year after passage of 4-foot law, MassBike advocating for other protective measures
03-31-2024 1:02 PM

By XINYI YANG

A year after its advocates played a key role in passage of a law aimed at making roads safer for “vulnerable users” — bicyclists, pedestrians and more — the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition is again pushing for more changes designed to add further...


Mass. AG launches youth sports betting safety coalition
03-30-2024 11:34 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — With college sports tournaments taking place at both ends of Massachusetts this week, Attorney General Andrea Campbell on Thursday announced the launch of a public-private partnership to focus on the risks of sports betting and gambling among...


DCR sees booking surge at state campgrounds
03-28-2024 4:42 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

It seems people from all over are anxious for warmer weather to arrive as bookings at the three state camping locations in Hampshire and Franklin counties are filling up fast, mirroring a trend at state-run campsites throughout Massachusetts.The state...


UMass basketball: Minutemen’s Jaylen Curry, Daniel Hankins-Sanford agree to NIL deals with The Massachusetts Collective
03-26-2024 5:00 PM

By GARRETT COTE

AMHERST — Within the last two days, the UMass men’s basketball team received big news regarding two of its student-athletes.Freshman guard Jaylen Curry and sophomore forward Daniel Hankins-Sanford each signed NIL deals with The Massachusetts...


Homeless women face raft of challenges in Mass.
03-24-2024 2:01 PM

By RUIHAN YANG

After years of being homeless, Amy “adapted” to living on the streets under insecurity.“I thought I wasn’t going to wake up, but I woke up, and I’m fine. The more I feel adapted to staying outside without a person that stays with me, the more I...


Public safety chief flags ‘warning signs’ around police hiring, retention
03-24-2024 11:00 AM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy warned lawmakers last week that big cities and small towns face a “major issue” with recruiting new candidates for law enforcement jobs and said he’s worried about the future of public safety in...


Beacon Hill Roll Call, March 11-15
03-24-2024 10:01 AM

By BOB KATZEN

THE HOUSE AND SENATE: Beacon Hill Roll Call records local senators’ votes on roll calls from the week of March 11-15. There were no roll calls in the House last week.EARLY EDUCATION AND CARE CHANGES (S 2697): Senate 40-0, approved and sent to the...


Healey: Let’s focus on those facing MCAS hurdle
03-20-2024 10:59 AM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey’s team is looking into what more the state can do to help high school students who do not pass the MCAS exam, but she gave voice Tuesday to her opposition to a potential ballot question that would force the state to stop...


State’s rental assistance leaving families in limbo
03-19-2024 12:54 PM

By XINYI YANG

Anna Smith has applied three times to a state program that provides rental assistance for families — before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic — with the intention of “saving her two kids and her life.” What she didn’t anticipate was such a bleak...


New spending bill takes aim at ‘vital’ program shortfalls
03-18-2024 5:14 PM

By Alison Kuznitz

BOSTON — With funding for “vital” human services and early education programs running low, Gov. Maura Healey filed a nearly $535 million supplemental budget Monday afternoon to address the shortfalls and to shore up funding for safety-net...


Top Girl Scout takes the helm: New CEO to focus on building an inclusive, accessible program
03-18-2024 2:35 PM

By ARIA MARTINELLI

HOLYOKE — There’s something about the Girl Scout cookie Lemon-ups that speaks to Theresa Lynn, the new CEO of Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts.In addition to a crispy lemon flavor, the cookies, which debuted in 2020, have stamped...


Senate tries again on early ed bill aimed at helping more Massachusetts families
03-17-2024 1:01 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — More Massachusetts families would become eligible for subsidized child care and “transformational” grants that kept the early education system afloat during the pandemic would be made permanent, under a bill the Senate unanimously passed late...

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