Municipal Government

Communities seek change on pot opt-out

Communities seek change on pot opt-out

Officials want clearer path to outlaw retail marijuana

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE UNCERTAINTY OVER THE PROCESS cities and towns must follow to opt out of the sprouting legal marijuana market has sparked confusion across the state and needs to be clarified by the Legislature, the attorney general’s office and a municipal lobby said Monday. Cities and towns are urging lawmakers to let them(...)

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Rural schools caught in ‘death spiral’

Rural schools caught in ‘death spiral’

Enrollment changes can have big impact in sparsely populated districts

ON A SUNNY October day, students play at recess outside Hawlemont Elementary School tucked into the wooded hills of Charlemont, which are electric with fall color. As they head back to class, Wayne Kermenski, the principal, calls them over to visit the animals behind the school’s newly constructed post-and-beam barn. They jump at the opportunity.(...)

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Hodgson’s off the wall idea

For the most part, Massachusetts is bereft of the cast of local Trump acolytes who have risen up elsewhere to pronounce the incoming president a leader of enormous vision and deeply-considered ideas. And then there is Tom Hodgson. The longtime Republican Bristol County sheriff has long been something of an outlier in the Bay State(...)

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Trash debate coming to head on Beacon Hill

Trash debate coming to head on Beacon Hill

With time running out, House pitches waste commission

WITH MASSACHUSETTS RUNNING OUT OF OPTIONS to bury and burn its trash, the long-neglected issue of recycling is getting some attention in the final days of the 2015-2016 legislative session. The Senate approved a sweeping measure at the end of June requiring cities and towns to reduce the amount of solid waste they dispose of(...)

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Joyce hit with bigger tax bill

Joyce hit with bigger tax bill

Town reassessment of senator’s home increases value by 54 percent

MILTON ASSESSORS HAVE hiked the value of Sen. Brian Joyce’s home because of a real estate listing that showed an opulent finished basement, a livable attic, and more bathrooms than officials were aware of, adding more than $6,000 to the departing lawmaker’s residential tax bill. The new assessment increased the value of the home from(...)

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Audit: Plainridge Casino falls short in hiring goals

Audit: Plainridge Casino falls short in hiring goals

Report says gaming commission at fault for not monitoring agreement

A NEW AUDIT says the Massachusetts Gaming Commission dropped the ball in its mandate to ensure that Plainridge Park Casino met its agreed-upon local hiring goals and that the state’s only slots parlor failed to garnish winnings of patrons to pay back delinquent child support. “Allowing Plainridge to not accomplish its plan goals could result(...)

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After charter defeat, Baker looks to close achievement gap

After charter defeat, Baker looks to close achievement gap

Governor mulls options to level performance between black and white students

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE REJECTED BY THE voters in his bid for an expansion of charter school access, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday he will explore other means of reducing the gap between the achievement levels of white students and students of color. Speaking to reporters a day after Question 2 went down, with 37.8(...)

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Turning around New Bedford

Turning around New Bedford

Mayor Jon Mitchell’s game plan for his Gateway City

Photographs by Frank Curran JON MITCHELL WALKS a fine line as the mayor of New Bedford. On the one hand, he is the self-professed squeaky wheel, constantly pressing state and federal officials for more money, whether it’s for dredging the harbor, building a rail link to Boston, or replacing the ancient bridge that connects New(...)

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A Springfield revival?

A Springfield revival?

Railcar manufacturing, a casino, and other changes are creating optimism

Photographs by Mark Morelli SPRINGFIELD MAYOR DOMENIC SARNO remembers the day after Thanksgiving in 2012. The sky was clear and the temperature unseasonably warm. The mayor was at the city’s downtown museum complex for an event kicking off the start of the holiday season, and earlier he had attended the annual Parade of the Big(...)

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Ash withdraws name from Cambridge post

Ash withdraws name from Cambridge post

Housing secretary says city manager job 'not the right fit'

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE JAY ASH, SECRETARY, for the state’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and one of three finalists for the open Cambridge city manager’s post, has withdrawn from the competition for the job. Ash publicly interviewed for the post last week but said in a statement on Wednesday that he’s decided(...)

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