The Back Story

House money

House money

Millions in winnings from Lottery games go unclaimed every year and revert back to the state

DOES THE NUMBER combination 23, 31, 42, 50, 57 mean anything to you? That was the million-dollar winner in the Powerball game from Sept 26, 2015, purchased at the American Legion post in East Springfield. Unfortunately for whoever had it, the deadline to cash it was Monday and it went unclaimed, meaning Massachusetts’ share of the(...)

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Plan B for a pipeline

Plan B for a pipeline

Some say Baker's new approach faces legal hurdles

ONE OF THE BIG MYSTERIES on Beacon Hill is how Gov. Charlie Baker is going to accomplish one of his top remaining energy priorities – building a new natural gas pipeline into the region. His original plan was dealt a mortal blow a couple weeks ago when the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that existing state(...)

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‘Encampment’ moved off Boston Common

‘Encampment’ moved off Boston Common

Police helped clear out area near Park Street Station

THE BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT last week evicted from the Boston Common a fairly large group of people who had been sleeping and hanging out for many weeks on the grass near the T’s Park Street Station, an area many consider the front door of the city. Police and city officials were reluctant to talk about(...)

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AG’s gun communications lacking

AG’s gun communications lacking

Healey gave conflicting accounts of who, when, and how dealers and others were notified

Two weeks after Attorney General Maura Healey announced her crackdown on assault weapons sales, there is still confusion over how and when she issued her directive, whether she did or should have consulted with legislative leaders, and how much notice dealers actually received for when the order took effect. In addition, many dealers are still(...)

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MBTA parking probe referred to Healey

MBTA parking probe referred to Healey

Revenue ‘discrepancies’ now seem to be far more serious

The MBTA’s months-long probe into the loss of revenue at T parking lots has been referred to Attorney General Maura Healey, a spokesman for the authority said. It’s unclear whether Healey is preparing to file criminal charges, but the referral suggests that what began as a relatively minor inquiry handled by the private company that(...)

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No layoff clause angers T board

No layoff clause angers T board

Officials hush-hush about controversy

The folks at the MBTA are all about transparency these days, but on some issues they are as secretive as ever. One of those issues is the contract negotiations with the union representing about 400 of the T’s management level employees. Neither union nor T officials would discuss what happened, but sources say the original(...)

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Airbnb follows Uber playbook

Airbnb follows Uber playbook

Lawmakers seem inclined to regulate apps with a light touch

FIRST UBER, NOW AIRBNB. The so-called sharing economy that went from zero to billions of dollars in the blink of an eye caught the State House off-guard, but it now appears the Legislature is inclined to regulate these new services with a much lighter touch than the legacy industries with which they compete. After months(...)

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The oddball ballot question

The oddball ballot question

Quest for 2d slots parlor stays under radar

One of the four questions certified for the November ballot is a political oddity. Most ballot question proponents are hungry for publicity, eager to get their point of view before voters. Three of the approved ballot questions — for legalizing marijuana, increasing the number of charter schools, and protecting farm animals — are mounting major(...)

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Clean power will cost more

Clean power will cost more

Report says state is in bind on emissions

The push to add clean power resources to the region’s energy mix is going to drive up electricity prices, at least in the short term. Clean energy advocates have hinted that the state could meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets and stabilize or even cut electricity costs, but a new study that synthesizes all the previous studies makes(...)

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Utilities seek cut of hydro, wind contracts

Utilities seek cut of hydro, wind contracts

Sweeteners for Eversource, Grid worth millions

Tucked inside the House energy bill is what industry folks call an adder, a special add-on fee paid by electric ratepayers to their utilities to compensate them for carrying out the Commonwealth’s energy policy. Eversource Energy and National Grid play key roles under the legislation.  The two utilities are assigned the task of negotiating long-term(...)

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