Recent Stories

State revenue shortfall could reach $3 billion

COVID-19 is battering state finances

MASSACHUSETTS IS FACING a revenue shortfall of up to $3 billion over the next 15 months, according to a new analysis by the Center for State Policy Analysis. Of that, between $500 million and $750 million of the falloff in revenue will materialize in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Evan Horowitz, executive(...)

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SJC rules against district court judge in indigent defense case

Justices agree attorney pay is key, but leave remedy to Legislature 

THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT ruled that a Springfield judge overstepped his authority in ordering the overburdened local public defenders’ office to take on more cases than the office said it could handle, but the justices deferred to the Legislature when it came to solving the problem of a chronic shortage of lawyers for poor defendants.(...)

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Berkshire County a COVID-19 hotspot

On one measure, highest death rate in state

DEATHS FROM COVID-19 are occurring in Berkshire County at a much higher rate than other counties in Massachusetts and most communities around the country. Berkshire County in the western part of the state has had five deaths from COVID-19, putting it in a tie for sixth in fatalities among the 13 Massachusetts counties. But Berkshire’s(...)

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11 die at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home amid COVID-19 outbreak

Superintendent at state-run facility placed on paid leave

BENNETT WALSH, the superintendent of the state-run Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, was placed on paid administrative leave on Monday, after 11 residents died at the home amid an outbreak of COVID-19. Of those residents who died, five tested positive for COVID-19, five have test results pending, and the virus status of the other person is unknown.(...)

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T ridership keeps falling as staff infections rise

18 employees, including 10 bus drivers, test positive

MBTA GENERAL MANAGER Steve Poftak disclosed on Monday that 18 employees, including 10 bus drivers, have tested positive for COVID-19. The other employees who tested positive include one subway and Green Line operator along with six other non-customer-facing workers – a bus inspector, a subway supervisor, a fare equipment technician, a construction division inspector, a(...)

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Judge asks for list of ICE detainees for potential release

Encourages government to freeze new Bristol detentions

A  FEDERAL JUDGE stopped short of ordering the release of federal immigration detainees being held in the Bristol County House of Correction, but he urged officials not to send new detainees there in light of concerns about transmission of the novel coronavirus in correctional facilities. US District Court Judge William Young, in a hearing conducted(...)

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The surge is coming

Feds come through with 1,000 ventilators

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said on Monday that the long expected surge in COVID-19 cases is expected to arrive in Massachusetts sometime between April 7 and April 17, and he used his daily press briefing to focus on his administration’s efforts to prepare by adding hospital beds, medical manpower, and equipment. The governor said the Trump(...)

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Keeping the faith in the coronavirus era

From online bedtime stories to check-ins with 500 seniors

WHILE HEROIC HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS are on the front lines, putting themselves at risk as they care for patients being ravaged by the novel coronavirus, faith leaders and their congregations are playing an indispensable role providing spiritual healing and comfort, while also helping to care for the physical needs of many. The cruel irony of the(...)

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For those in jail, COVID-19 could be death sentence

Legal groups appeal to the SJC to intervene

LEGAL GROUPS, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, have made an urgent plea to the state’s highest court. “There are about 16,500 human beings in our prisons and jails,” they wrote in a court filing. “None of them have been sentenced to death. Yet, without aggressive and immediate intervention, COVID-19 will likely kill(...)

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