Features

Fixing failing schools

Fixing failing schools

Can the state's new tools for struggling schools get troubled districts on track?

(Illustration by James Steinberg) DEVIN SHEEHAN, THE vice chairman of the Holyoke School Committee, welcomed Rob Curtin to the board’s monthly meeting in early March, but no one there was particularly glad to see him. Curtin, the director of district accountability for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, was there to present the(...)

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Charting postpartum depression

Charting postpartum depression

Advocates want to identify at-risk mothers before tragedy strikes, but universal screening is not an easy sell

WHENEVER SHE PICKED UP a knife, Jamie Zahlaway Belsito thought about stabbing herself. The thought intruded so often that the mother-to-be thought it was a sign that having a baby was a mistake. The dark-haired, vivacious former Philips executive used to jet back and forth between Boston and the technology company’s headquarters in the Netherlands. Belsito(...)

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What really happened at Probation’s electronic monitoring operation?

What really happened at Probation’s electronic monitoring operation?

Last summer's trial raised questions but provided few answers

IT STARTED WITH Michael Bizanowicz, a dangerous sex offender who broke into a Woburn home in 2004 and raped and killed Joanne Presti and then murdered her 12-year-old daughter, Alyssa. The crime was so shocking that state lawmakers a year later passed a law requiring sex offenders on probation or parole to be outfitted with(...)

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Seriously, is this the best we can do?

Seriously, is this the best we can do?

In 2013, we paid $163m burying or burning materials that could have sold for $217m

FOR YEARS, HOMEOWNERS in Lynn faced no restrictions on their trash output. Technically, their weekly allotment was six barrels of trash, yet if additional barrels were put out at the curb they were always picked up. Mattresses, couches, and other large items were collected at no cost. But in December new regulations took effect limiting(...)

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Big Brother is watching

Big Brother is watching

Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Can we tap technology to tackle crime without giving up all our privacy?

ON THE DAY of the Boston Marathon two years ago, before the bombs and the blood, Ed Davis was taking in the race from the viewing stand at the Copley Square finish line. Being a cop as well as a spectator, however, he couldn’t help but ponder things cops think about these days, especially if(...)

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Aging in place

Aging in place

As assisted living residents grow older, the facilities where they reside struggle to keep up.

LAURA SHUFELT VIVIDLY remembers the February 2013 call from the assisted living facility in Centerville where her mother was living. A nurse at the facility told Shufelt her mother, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, was being transported to Cape Cod Hospital because of unexplained bruises on her buttocks and wrist, pain in her shoulder,(...)

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Brotherly luck

Brotherly luck

Sibling issues at the Massachusetts State Lottery

A correction has been added to this story. ONE OF THE KEYS to the success of the Massachusetts Lottery is its agents. There are more than 7,600 of them scattered across the state, doling out instant games tickets, Keno, pull tabs, and big money drawing tickets from behind counters in gas stations, convenience stores, supermarkets,(...)

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Life savers

Life savers

This drug is conquering hepatitis C but, at $1,000 a pill and $84,000 per treatment, can we afford it? Health plans are already restricting access to the drug and the state prison system is not prescribing it at all

The diagnosis was a shock to Waxman, in part because she didn’t know much about the disease. Its name conjured up images of needles, drug use, and unprotected sex, but that didn’t make sense to her. “I had never lived what you would call a high-risk lifestyle,” she says.cheryl waxman was healthy all her life.(...)

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Laying it down, testing it later

State transportation officials take an unusual U-turn on use of a controversial asphalt additive

Workers lay down asphalt on Union Street in Hingham, one of many road projects using asphalt containing recycled engine oil. transportation and engineering officials from across New England gathered at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in June for what was being called an emergency “pavement summit.” The officials had learned a major asphalt provider had(...)

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Battling for the urban vote

Suburbs are losing their clout as the road to the governor’s office now runs through the state’s cities

robert lewis jr. stood on a stage in Dorchester, gripping a podium and firing up the crowd in front of him, hollering, “Isn’t it so great to be with a winner?” There wasn’t anything unusual about the setting Lewis found himself in. He runs a foundation that uses baseball to mentor city kids. Before that,(...)

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