A heads-up for youth sports

Buried inside the Globe’s Sunday sports section was a story about a Pop Warner football game last month where five children between the ages of 10 and 12 suffered concussions. All of the injured children played for the Tantasqua Pee Wees, who lost the game to a team from Southbridge by a score of 52-0. The injured children played the entire game and were not diagnosed with concussions until later. The two team coaches and their assistants were suspended last week by the Central Massachusetts Pop Warner league and all three officials at the game were permanently banned. Pop Warner regulations require “mercy rules” to be implemented when one team leads another by 28 points.

Patrick Inderwish, president of the league, said the injuries were the result of bad officiating and poor decision-making by both coaches. “There’s an obligation to walk across the field and say, ‘This thing is out of hand,’ and nobody did that,” Inderwish told the Globe.

Pop Warner has more than 285,000 children ages 5 to 15 playing in its leagues. With fears growing that youngsters may be more susceptible to concussions and that the effect may be cumulative, Pop Warner two years ago implemented new rules designed to reduce the number of head-on collisions. This year the league limited the amount of contact players can have during practices.

The rule changes were spurred by research on 6- to 8-year-old football players indicating that most collisions on the field are on a par with an “aggressive pillow fight,” but 5 percent have the force of a “car accident.”

                                                                                –BRUCE MOHL


Bristol Sheriff Thomas Hodgson — who has had a running battle with Gov. Deval Patrick over liberal politics, immigration, and his department budget — brought his grievances to Keller@Large for the Sunday morning sit-down.

Brandeis students, as part of class projects, predicted steep budget cuts at the Hinton State Laboratory Institute, where Annie Dookhan worked, could lead to problems, the Herald reports.


Only two applications have come in for the job of running the Fall River Housing Authority but state Rep. David Sullivan says he’s looking into the post.

Haverhill  Mayor James Fiorentini says he opposes waiving building fees for an apartment renovation being done by the town’s YMCA. Fee estimates range from $60,000 to as much as $100,000, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

Pittsfield gets serious about collecting $3 million in delinquent property taxes.

Saugus parks are in rough shape, the Item reports.

Newburyport’s mayor calls a closed-door meeting to discuss the city’s schools superintendent.


George McGovern, a vote for whom is the reason why a generation of Massachusetts residents proudly disavowed responsibility for the various misdeeds of Richard Nixon, has died at age 90. The National Review remembers McGovern as the last honest liberal. The New York Times examines the fall of the species McGovern represented — the prairie liberal. The Sun Chronicle talks to US Rep. Jim McGovern about the former presidential candidate, whom the Congressman calls “my inspiration, my mentor, my dearest friend.”


Talk of a possible agreement between the US and Iran to hold negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program may complicate tonight’s final presidential debate, which is focused on foreign policy.

The Lowell Sun endorses Mitt Romney for president, drawing parallels to Ronald Reagan’s run against Jimmy Carter in 1980. “Romney may not be Ronald Reagan now. Yet given the chance to lead this nation back to greatness, Romney might prove even better than Reagan.” A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows the presidential race is deadlocked. The poll also shows huge racial and gender gaps, with Obama leading big with women and Hispanics, but receiving support from only 36 percent of likely white voters. Nate Silver, author of the FiveThirtyEight blog, is still predicting Obama has a 65.7 percent chance of victory, but that’s down from 86.1 percent just before the first presidential debate. Romney considers jumping into Pennsylvania late. The New York Times magazine says, win or lose in November, Paul Ryan can’t lose.

Ballotpedia picks the 15 nonpresidential races across the country that could influence the nation’s direction, and the US Senate race in Massachusetts between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren tops the list.

Republican challenger Richard Tisei’s charge that Democratic incumbent John Tierney has not sponsored a single bill that has become law in his 16 years in the US House of Representatives is technically true — but fundamentally misconstrues how Congress works, several experts tell the Globe.

During a debate in Danvers, Republican Dan Bennett says state Rep. Ted Speliotis shouldn’t take credit for a 26 percent increase in state aid, but Speliotis says his work helped the town “hit the jackpot,” the Salem News reports.

Tom Tierney of Framingham is running Mission Impossible: A campaign to dislodge Ed Markey from his perch as New England’s longest serving congressman.

In Missouri, Rep.Todd Akin compares US Sen. Claire McCaskill to a dog.

The Christian Science Monitor rounds-up presidential endorsements from newspapers nationwide.

A wind-energy tax credit emerges as an issue in the presidential race in Iowa, the Globe reports.


A New Bedford seafood processor has coupled with Roche Brothers supermarkets on a new program to inform consumers about their fish source, with the store displaying where it was caught, a picture of the boat, and the gear used to catch the fish.

Greg Smith, the former Goldman Sachs executive, gives his analysis of how Wall Street is rigged — in Time.

Locke-Ober, the venerable Boston dining room of powerbrokers and assorted poohbahs, is, apparently, no more (at least for now).

A new report shows that the Brockton region has been hit especially hard by the recession, with the young and least educated bearing the brunt of it.

Banker & Tradesman columnist Scott Van Voorhis says that, all denials to the contrary aside, the Red Sox have to be for sale, because for the right price, everything is for sale.


The Springfield Republican chides Mitt Romney for trying to take “too much credit” for the state’s education progress that actually began with the passage of the 1993 Education Reform Act under William Weld.


Swapping diet soft drinks for regular soft drinks may help you lose weight, new studies indicate, according to an NPR story on WBUR.

WBUR’s CommonHealth blog explores how doctors are struggling with the ethics of the ballot question allowing physicians to help terminally ill patients die.


The Lowell Sun examines the fight over an artificial turf field in Wilmington.


In the wake of a fatal crash that killed an innocent bystander in Brockton, the Enterprise takes a look at high-speed police chases and their often-tragic consequences.


Federal prosecutors say former US Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan never gave Whitey Bulger a license to kill. O’Sullivan’s name is the first to have surfaced in the sparring over whether an as-yet unnamed federal official granted Bulger, a former FBI informant, immunity.


Ken Auletta, in The New Yorker, examines why India’s newspapers are thriving.