New England budget 10.27.08

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,


JEAN HODGES: NEWS SERVICE GETS QUICKER TO USE ... Find out how to use our new dropdown menus to get around the site twice as fast.


VIDEO: HOME WEATHERIZATION FOR WINTER CAN BE COSTLY OR FREE - Like a set of rotting teeth, full of cavities in need of filling, Ming Fong's 1890s-era two-story colonial needed some attention.

MetroWest, McDonald, on wire now

With photos

WOMEN STILL FIGHTING STEREOTYPES, DISCRIMINATION - In many offices and other workplaces in Massachusetts and throughout the country, women are still paid less than men, are not in as many leadership roles, make up a small percentage of government, and are simply not seen as equal to men.

Herald News, Allard, on wire now

With file photos and sidebars/by the numbers

HOMEOWNERS SNAP UP HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS EVEN AS ECONOMIC FEARS GROW - Despite the sagging economy, consumers are spending slightly more this year on Halloween than last year, said Kathy Grannis, spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation. Aside from candy and costumes, many homeowners are snapping up all kinds of decor for the outdoors, like faux tombstones, blow-up pumpkins, glow-in-the-dark skeletons and dangling spiders and bats.

Ledger, Gerdeman, on wire now

With photos

SOCIAL NETWORKING WEB SITES BECOME AN OUTLET FOR GRIEF - For friends and family members who are grieving the death of a loved one, social networking Web sites take on a new role. Teenagers create profiles honoring their late friends and post tributes on the message boards, or “walls,” of the sites their friends created. And they continue to post messages years after the deaths.

Ledger, Schwartz, on wire now

With sidebar

RAIL SUICIDES TAKE PSYCHOLOGICAL TOLL ON TRAIN CREWS - Richard Davey, general manager of Mass. Bay Commuter Rail, which runs commuter trains for the MBTA, said engineers and conductors are automatically given three days off with pay so they can get counseling after a suicide by train.

Ledger, Tatz, on wire now

With timeline and numbers

TEEN WHO DIED PLAYING FOOTBALL HAD HEART ABNORMALITY - Autopsy results from the Plymouth County district attorney show that high school football player Joseph Larracey died from a rare and virtually undetectable coronary artery anomaly.

MetroWest, Morton, on wire now

With file photo

TEACHER OF AUTISTIC CHILDREN IN RANDOLPH UNDER FIRE - Parents of six nonverbal autistic children want criminal charges against Ann Gibbons of Middleboro, who teaches at Lyons Elementary School in Randolph. They say she forcefully pushed and shoved the students, causing bruises, cuts, a bleeding lip and limping.

Ledger, Reardon, on wire now

With photos

RESEARCHER SLAMS USE OF STATS IN DOG DEBATE - An Ohio-based researcher is accusing greyhound racing supporters in Massachusetts of misrepresenting her sports-injuries study to counter the argument that dog racing is dangerous to the animals.

Enterprise, Scarpati, on wire now

PHOTO: STEP INTO MY PARLOR - Scituate resident Terri Martini’s Edgewood Road home is decorated for a Halloween party.

Ledger, on wire now

PHOTO: A BURST OF RAYS - The sun peeks through the trees Friday at Little Pond in Plymouth’s Morton Park.

Ledger, on wire now

VIDEO AND PHOTOS: CRANBERRY HARVEST - From mid-September through early November cranberries are harvested throughout the South Shore of Massachusetts. See how it's done in this video of the Beaton cranberry bogs in Duxbury.

Ledger, on wire now

WEAPONS RECOVERED FOLLOWING BILLERICA SCHOOL LOCKDOWN - Weapons stolen from a home in Wilmington were recovered following a threat made against Shawsheen Technical Vocational High School that led to a lockdown Friday afternoon.

Billerica Minuteman, Bowen, on wire now

With photos


SURVEY ASSESSES YOUNG ADULTS' TAKE ON MASSACHUSETTS - The question, for in-state think tank MassINC, was a simple one: What do young people think of Massachusetts?

MetroWest, McDonald, on wire now

CHECKOUT LANE: LEAF BLOWERS DO JOB WITH LESS ELBOW GREASE - Jamie Averill, assistant manager of Rocky’s Ace Hardware in Pembroke, says the size of the area you plan to clean will help to determine whether you should get a gas or electric blower.

Ledger, Onufruk, on wire now

With photo

FIRM USES INFRARED TECHNOLOGY IN HOME ENERGY AUDITS - Hearing the demand to reduce escalating energy costs for homeowners and small businesses, Flemming Lund three years ago added infrared energy audits to his home inspection business, Apex Home Inspections. That service has since become a company, Infrared Diagnostic.

MetroWest, Uek, on wire now

With photo


EDITORIAL: NO TO QUESTION 1 - Question 1 is a monumentally terrifying referendum that not only throws the baby out with the bath water, it burns down the house and moves out-of-state so the child is orphaned and left to grow on its own. 16''

Ledger, 7 p.m.

HOLMES: 2004 MEETS 2008 - "So where were you four years ago today?" I asked Sen. John Kerry on Thursday. He had been pressing the flesh at a small company in Holliston and had stopped by our Framingham office - which is definitely not where he was four years ago.

MetroWest, on wire now

MARC MUNROE DION: WELCOME HOME! HAVE A BEER - Joe Six Pack is back! “Joe Six Pack,” that lovely, dismissive term for working men (and women) has risen to the top of public speech with all the subtlety of a malt liquor belch.

Herald News, on wire now

COSTA: SCARIEST HALLOWEEN SINCE GREAT DEPRESSION - If you want to talk to your financial advisor, press 1; if you want to talk to your advisor’s supervisor, press 2; if you want to talk to a priest, press 3; if you want to enter a class action suit against Alan Greenspan, press 4; for all other calls stay on the line and don’t jump off the ledge.

CNC, on wire now

FRASER: THE MASS. VOC-TECH SUCCESS STORY - There is no shortage of spirited debate over state education policy, with issues like MCAS, charter schools and merit pay for teachers regularly in the headlines. But the Commonwealth's regional vocational-technical high schools don't spark much controversy, because most everyone agrees they are a Massachusetts success story.

MetroWest, guest column

QUESTION 2: HASHING OUT THE PROS AND CONS OF MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION - This proposed law would replace the criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana with a new system of civil penalties, to be enforced by issuing citations, and would exclude information regarding this civil offense from the state’s criminal record information system.

Package put together by Winchester Star


Ledger, on wire now


Ledger, on wire now

JEFF ADAIR: NO PREJUDICE HERE, RIGHT? - It baffles me how some people are frothing at the mouth, going into a tizzy, fearful that they'll wake up Nov. 5, turn on Fox News and find out America elected a black man for president.

MetroWest, on wire now

MATTHEW BELSON: WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD - Even though it was more than 30 years ago, I still have vivid memories of living in New York City during its financial crisis of the ’70s. I still can see images of graffiti-covered subway cars, the high crime and urban blight.

CNC, on wire now




BEAUTIFUL, RARE ICONS FROM RUSSIA ON LOAN TO CLINTON MUSEUM - Like the unknown 16th century Russian monk who painted St. George slaying a fanged dragon, Gordon B. Lankton has now completed his own near-miraculous quest.

MetroWest, Bergeron, on wire now

With photos

JULIE FAY: RELATIONSHIP COMES FULL CIRCLE - Time and circumstances change our connection to family members.

Ledger, on wire now

EXHIBIT EXAMINES HOW JFK'S EXPERIENCES STEERED HIM INTO POLITICS, PRESIDENCY - In the midst of an acrimonious campaign, a divided electorate scrutinized the candidate's background and character for his fitness to lead a troubled nation.

MetroWest, Bergeron, on wire now

With photos

VIDEO: TATTOOS GO FROM MAVERICK TO MAINSTREAM - Not so long ago, tattoos were distinctly counterculture. But these days, they are just as likely to grace a banker as a biker, a doctor as a rocker or even a housewife desperate for some body art.

CNC, Hyman, on wire now

With video and photos

LENNY AT LARGE: 'LEGALLY BLONDE' CHOREOGRAPHER IS A TALENTED DIRECTOR, TOO - Award-winner embraces show as it makes its way to Boston Opera House.

Megliola, MetroWest, on wire now

With photo