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Bridj revs up

Bridj revs up

Private bus company looks to supplement, not replace, MBTA service

AS THE MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board mulls axing late-night buses and trains to save money, the chances of some sort of wee-hours bus service surviving may rest with a start-up called Bridj. Matthew George, Bridj’s 25-year-old founder and CEO, sees his two-year-old bus company not as a competitor to the MBTA, but as a(...)

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Bump sees physical education inequality

Bump sees physical education inequality

State auditor says there's a link between obesity and lack of PE resources

STATE AUDITOR SUZANNE BUMP says a 2014 audit her office conducted of the state’s child obesity programs turned up income correlations that are strikingly similar to what CommonWealth uncovered in its report in the fall issue on high school sports (“Rich-poor divide in high school sports”). CommonWealth found that sports participation in high schools across(...)

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Falls are a concern at assisted living facilities

Falls are a concern at assisted living facilities

State collects information but lacks analysis for root causes

NEW STATE DATA suggest falls are a major problem at assisted living facilities across Massachusetts, with roughly two of every five residents ending up down on the floor over the course of a year. Falls among elders are a serious public health problem. Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for(...)

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An exit sweetener

An exit sweetener

Ousted DCR commissioner cashes in on way out the door

CAROL SANCHEZ, the former commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, pocketed $8,200 for doing nothing after she was apparently pushed out the door in early November. Sanchez served seven months as commissioner before abruptly announcing her departure, prompting speculation of bad blood between Sanchez and her boss, Matthew Beaton, the secretary of energy(...)

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Don’t tax my yogurt

Don’t tax my yogurt

New Roche Bros. store taxes items by where they're bought, not what they are

FOR MANY, the new Roche Bros. supermarket in the old Filene’s building at Boston’s Downtown Crossing is manna from heaven. There is a large full-service grocery store in the old Filene’s Basement, and at street level, Roche Bros. has opened a ready-to-eat section for breakfast, lunch, and dinner featuring a salad bar, a hot food(...)

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Students, schools play cat and mouse with online cheating

Students, schools play cat and mouse with online cheating

Colleges look for innovative ways to stem distance learning cheating

AS COLLEGES OFFER more and more courses online, school officials are scrambling to come up with innovative ways to prevent cheating by students taking tests and other assessments remotely. It’s often a game of cat and mouse. One undergraduate student at Northeastern University says he took an online marketing course from a professor who tried(...)

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State down to one elder ombudsman

State down to one elder ombudsman

Single employee serves more than 14,000 assisted living residents

THE MASSACHUSETTS ELDER AFFAIRS office, which had been using two ombudsmen to respond to complaints from the 14,000 people in the state’s 237 assisted living facilities, is now down to one. One ombudsman took a buyout offered by the Baker administration this summer and Elder Affairs is not currently planning to fill the vacancy because of(...)

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Health care sticker shock

Health care sticker shock

What you see is not what you pay

I HAD A minor stroke in April. Then I saw the bill and nearly had a heart attack. For a trip to the emergency room, admission to the hospital for about a 36-hour stay, multiple imaging studies of my brain and nervous system, and a couple follow-up visits with my primary care physician and a(...)

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Luck’s run out

Luck’s run out

Lottery game fills states’ coffers but reaps few winners

WHEN THE SIX New England state lotteries started the Lucky for Life game, with the grand prize of $1,000 a day for the rest of your life, good fortune didn’t exactly fill  government coffers. In the first four months, five people picked the right combination to win the jackpot, which is a minimum of $7.2 million(...)

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Kennedy fights federal data breach law

Kennedy fights federal data breach law

Says proposal not as strong as many states' regulations

AFTER HACKERS STOLE data from Target, Home Depot, and other companies in recent years, President Obama called on Congress to enact legislation setting a national standard governing what companies must do if their networks are breached. Both Republicans and Democrats in the capital want to do something to improve cybersecurity, but getting to a final product(...)

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