New England budget • 03.24.09

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,


Phil Sweeney's Finer Points: Writing and editing tips III


Q&A: PHOTOGRAPHER DOCUMENTS MET STATE’S LAST DAYS - In fall 2006, a Cambridge social worker and hobbyist photographer was riding his bike through Lexington and came across the site of the old Metropolitan State Hospital, a state mental institution stretched out over Waltham, Belmont and Lexington. His photos tell the story of its deconstruction.

Lexington, Kelly, on wire now

With photos

ZOMBIE MARCH TO PARADE UNDEAD ON EASTER SUNDAY - Every year hoards of the undead in Somerville and Cambridge and hiss and moan their way through public streets in a fun march. The problem is that Zombie Outbreak 2009 has been scheduled to coincide with the day Christians celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension to heaven.

Somerville Journal, Guha, on wire now

With photos

VIDEO: HIGH-POWERED AIR GUNS AREN’T CHILD’S PLAY - Pellet guns fashioned to look like Glocks, Uzis, and a wide assortment of handguns and rifles — some packing power rivaling a firearm — are for sale throughout the region with little or no oversight. Some are safely used by sportsmen but, authorities said, a growing number of pellet guns are in the hands of criminals and children.

Enterprise, Boyle, on wire now

With video and photos


MOTHER OF SEVEN FINDS TIME TO TRAIN, RAISE FUNDS FOR HER 7TH BOSTON - Over nine years, Mae Connolly has skipped only the 2002 and 2003 marathons, when she was pregnant and gave birth to her seventh child, Jake, and in 2006, when she said she felt lazy.

Ledger, Feinberg, on wire now

With photo

GOOD TO LOCALIZE: VIDEO: GIFT SHOP OWNERS GET BY IN THE SLOW ECONOMY - Gift shop owners on the South Shore are pinching pennies as much as they can because of the slow economy. But, they say, they have one concession: people won’t stop buying gifts.

Ledger, Schwartz, on wire now

With photos


MASSACHUSETTS BUSINESS IN BRIEF - Pan Am Railways found guilty for not reporting diesel spill in Ayer; Internet firm sets up shop in Fort Point; O’Connor & Drew will relocate from Quincy to Braintree; Quincy company looks to build wind farms in Maine.

Ledger, on wire now

FALLON AMBULANCE NABS BIG CONTRACT WITH PARENT ORGANIZATION OF MASS. GENERAL - Fallon brought Cataldo Ambulance on as a subcontractor and won the bid for the Partners job in January, beating out American Medical Response, the Colorado-based behemoth of ambulance services. Fallon also sought assistance from Boston Medflight and Partners’ own Spaulding Rehabilitation ambulance service to line up the contract.

Ledger, Chesto, on wire now


PETER CHIANCA: AT 40, THE EYES (DON’T) HAVE IT - They say when you turn 40 everything starts to go. I figured this was a myth until I turned 40 and woke up to find I had made a Kafkaesque transformation into Ernest Borgnine.

CNC, on wire now

With art

FRANK MULLIGAN: TO THE BEST OF MY RECOLLECTION - My dad once told me, “You’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached.” I can’t remember what prompted the remark. He actually may have used it to characterize his eldest child more than once. But I can’t recall.

CNC, on wire now

JULIA SPITZ: A WEALTH OF MONEY CONFLICTS - Call Dr. Phil. Our twisted relationship with money needs an intervention. Oh, we've always been conflicted about wealth. We love to hate those who have more than we do. But we think our lives would be a lot better if we were Donald Trump.

MetroWest, on wire now


Ledger, on wire now

DONNA O’NEIL: PROPOSAL TO LEGALIZE POT: WHO DIDN’T SEE THIS COMING? - The Massachusetts’ legislators rolled out another interesting proposal last week –legalizing marijuana. And surprise of all surprises, the proposal would set up yet another state agency to regulate the deal. We have only to speak of a few state agencies gone awry to see how that works.

CNC, on wire now

EDITORIAL: ANIMALS SHOULDN'T BE TREATED AS ORDINARY EVIDENCE - A Great Dane owned by a Plymouth woman who is reported to have kept dead cats in her freezer should not have been returned to her while police decide whether to press animal abuse charges. Animals are more than evidence. They are living beings. And if laws don’t currently account for that, they should be changed.

Ledger, on wire now


CAPE COD JIU-JITSU CHAMP HAS EYES ON ULTIMATE PRIZE - It’s one thing for paint to dry; quite another when painting jobs themselves dry up. That’s what happened to Brazilian-born house painter Juliano Coutinho. But while the recession sapped the life from the house painting business that provided income for the 6 foot, 3 inch 260-pounder, he’s seen opportunity can come knocking in unexpected ways during tough economic times. And for those who like Coutinho are ready to seize the day — in Latin it’s carpe diem; in Portuguese it’s aproveitar o dia — there is hope.

The Register, Sherlock, on wire now

With photos



DOCUMENTARY TELLS AMAZING STORY OF COSMETICS QUEENS - Brookline documentarian Ann Carol Grossman has spent most of her career producing, writing and directing films for instructional settings — with subjects ranging from the arts and education to health care and the environment.CNC, Symkus, on wire now

With photo

DARIN ST. GEORGE: YOU'RE KIDDING ME, RIGHT? - Getting in shape isn't easy; anyone who tells you otherwise is try to sell you something.

MetroWest, on wire now

DR. MURRAY FEINGOLD: TURN OFF THE TV AND READ TO YOUR CHILD - Today's parents have become very interested in finding innovative ways to help stimulate their babies and young children to become smarter and more cultured.

MetroWest, on wire now