GateHouse News Service New England Budget • January 15, 2008

Here are the top New England regional stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at Please submit stories below no later than 6 p.m. local time, unless you have breaking news that is changing significantly. Questions?

Contact: Chris Biondi, (508) 626-4343,


CELL PHONE LEGISLATION - Legislature again looks at banning hand-held cell phones while driving. Reax from motorists, lawmakers. Hearing is Wednesday.

MetroWest, Parietti, 15 inches, 6 p.m.

NOT COMING: With: COMPANIES - Where do the big cell phone manufacturers stand on states that try to limit hand-held cell phone use while driving?

MetroWest, Reuell, 8 inches, 6 p.m.

NOT COMING: With GRAPHIC - showing different options for hands-free phone usage.

BATTERED WOMEN SHELTERS - State report says battered women's shelters turn away lots

of women because of lack of beds and funds. Trend is true in Framingham. Checking throughout region.

MetroWest, Reuell, 15 inches, 6 p.m.

ROMNEY MICHIGAN - Will ex-Gov. Mitt Romney break through in Michigan, or will a loss be another in the proverbial coffin? Recast results so it has a Romney focus, incorporating quotes from Romney backers and unbiased experts.

Ledger, Sears/Riglian, 10 inches, 11 p.m.

GANG WARS: THREAT OF NEW GANG IN BROCKTON SURFACES DURING DEADLY SPREE OF VIOLENCE - Brockton targets street crime, gangs to curb violence; out-of-town thugs coming to Brockton to cause trouble.

Enterprise, Boyle, 35 inches, on wire now

WITH: BROCKTON RESIDENTS PUT THEIR LIVES IN PERIL TO REACH OUT TO YOUTHS - John Williams knows that going out on city streets to quell the violence could be dangerous. But he and other city residents say Brocktonians can't afford to sit back and hide in their houses when kids are dying on Brockton streets.

Enterprise, Papadopoulos, 25 inches, on wire now

Package has photos

PATRICK ANNOUNCES $368M IN EDUCATION PROPOSALS - Governor Deval Patrick announced today in Somerville that his budget would increase education aid funds by $368 million for Fiscal Year 2009.

Somerville Journal, Bagley, 8 inches, on wire now

DRIVE-BY PERVERTS HIT CAMBRIDGE - Two women reported being accosted by exhibitionist perverts driving on Cambridge streets in the last two weeks.

CNC, Smith, 8 inches, on wire now

PLAN FOR CASINO HELPS DRIVE REAL ESTATE DEALS - The possibility of a casino in town may be driving large-scale commercial real estate deals, and at least one local agent says it’s just the beginning.

Enterprise, Elwell, 15 inches, on wire now

WALLETS OPEN FOR UNDERDOGS: SOME ON SOUTH SHORE BETTING ON LONGSHOT CANDIDATES - They aren’t Hollywood celebrities. They aren’t party bigwigs. Some of them don’t even belong to a political party. They are suburbanites who have put their money where their political convictions are by donating to a candidate for president.

Ledger, Benner, 18 inches, on wire now

With list of South Shore donations

MASS. HOSPITALS REPORTING LESS FREE CARE; PROFIT MARGINS IMPROVING - The state’s health reform efforts appear to have already reduced the amount of free care provided by hospitals, and employers appear to be continuing to offer insurance to employees despite earlier fears, according to new data.

Ledger, Jette, 18 inches, on wire now

SCHOOL SHOCK THERAPY THE ISSUE AT STATE HOUSE HEARING - The use of electric skin shocks to punish misbehaving students at Canton’s Judge Rotenberg Educational Center is the subject of what is expected to be an emotional and crowded legislative hearing at the State House on Wednesday.

Ledger, Benner, 14 inches, on wire now

BOBBY BROWN FACES BROCKTON COCAINE CHARGES - Grammy-winning singer Bobby Brown could wind up facing drug charges next month. Brown, the former husband of singer Whitney Houston, is scheduled to appear Feb. 19 in Brockton District Court for a closed-door clerk's hearing on whether he should be charged with possession of cocaine.

Enterprise, Boyle, 8 inches, on wire now


WESTWOOD STATION LAWSUIT - Six residents file lawsuit against town, Westwood Station, looking to nix permit.

Daily News Transcript, Anderson, 13 inches, 6 p.m.


PETER CHIANCA: I MAY ALREADY BE A WINNER? - After filling out the online PCH form, I get the impression that somewhere, Dick Clark and Ed McMahon are shooting suction darts at my picture and laughing their wrinkly old heads off.

CNC, on wire now

EDITORIAL: IN STATE TUITION FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS - By reopening the discussion on extending in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants, Gov. Deval Patrick is inviting a return of the demagoguery that sidetracked the debate before.

MetroWest, 6 p.m.

NOT COMING: EDITORIAL: HOLLYWOOD EAST – Developers of massive Plymouth film studio in for ed board.

Ledger, 6 p.m.


A PRO SPORTS BUDGET will be e-mailed this afternoon


FUTURE FOODIES: KIDS COOK UP SOME FUN AT THIS PARTY - Surely it’s not your typical pizza and hot dog birthday party fare. Samantha’s menu was put together by Katie Norton, the owner of Chefs at Play, a company that teaches children how to cook at parties in customers’ homes.

Ledger, Thomas, 20 inches, on wire now

With photos to come

PARENTS OPTING FOR CLOTH DIAPERS OVER DISPOSABLES - Cloth diapering is making a comeback.  A far cry from the cloth diapers of past generations, there is a growing trend fueled by the environmental movement and the Internet to cloth diaper children.

Norwich, Kefalas, 18 inches, on wire now

With photo