New England budget 03.30.09

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,


Video: Weekly GateHouse paper makes big changes


VIDEO: INVENTOR HAS DEVICE TO HARNESS POWER FROM RIVERS WITHOUT DAMS - Armed with an open-ended 55-gallon drum and a used boat propeller from eBay, Northborough inventor Richard Burton plans to bring hydroelectric power to the masses, no dam required.

MetroWest, Morton, on wire now

With video and photo

DREAM FULFILLED, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT COUPLE RETURNS TO BRAZIL - For six years, Fernando Rodrigues lived the life of an illegal immigrant in Framingham: toiling more than 90 hours a week slicing meat at a Brazilian restaurant, staying out of trouble to avoid attention from the police, and getting paid under the table to save as much as possible, all to secure a life in his native Brazil.

MetroWest, Mineo, on wire now

With photo

AMPUTEES SHARE THEIR STORIES OF ADAPTATION AND SURVIVAL - Thanks to a $70,000 state-of-the-art prosthetic and a $16,000 paint job, Karl Chapin's right hand, upon a cursory glance, looks like any other. But it is actuallyone of the world's first bionic hands: the i-LIMB.

MetroWest, McDonald, on wire now

With photos

RECORD NUMBERS OF RIGHT WHALES THIS SPRING IN CAPE COD BAY - A record 39 northern right whales were born this winter off the coast of Georgia and northern Florida. The whales migrate to Cape Cod Bay in spring.

Cape Codder, Eldred, on wire now

With photo

POLICE: UNDERAGE SEX VIDEO ON CELL PHONE CIRCULATED BY STUDENTS - Police are investigating reports that a sexually explicit cell phone video of two juvenile Holbrook students circulated among classmates last week. The video reportedly passed from student to student by cell phone message.

Enterprise, Alspach, on wire now

VIDEOS: KNEE REPLACEMENT TECHNOLOGY HAS PATIENTS ON THEIR FEET FASTER - Traditional knee replacements forced surgeons to make all their decisions in the operating room, but a relatively new technology allows an orthopedist to know exactly where and how he’ll cut — weeks before going into surgery.

Enterprise, Scarpati, on wire now

With photos

VIDEO: MILTON GRIEVES MURDER OF TWO SISTERS BY BROTHER - Milton schools will have counseling  available for students, teachers and their families, after a 23-year-old man stabbed two of his younger sisters to death. Another sister survived and called police, who shot and killed the brother.

Ledger, Scheible, on wire now

With video and photos

SHOPPING FOR FOOD BECOMES EXERCISE IN FRUGALITY - A number of cost-conscious shoppers are planning grocery trips well in advance to maximize savings, cutting back on impulse purchases or switching to lower-cost brands.

Ledger, Adams, on wire now

With photos

LAX YOUNG-BIKER LAW IS SLAMMED IN WAKE OF TEEN'S DEATH – The recent motorcycle death of a Brockton 16-year-old has motorcycle officials and area legislators calling for mandatory training for junior motorcycle operators.

Enterprise, Papadopoulos, on wire now

With photos

MASSACHUSETTS FAMILY PRESSES 9/11 CASE AGAINST AIRLINE - An Ashland man whose 72-year-old mother was killed in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, is fighting for public access to nearly a million pages of confidential documents on 9/11 airline security.

MetroWest, Riley, on wire now


GOOD TO LOCALIZE: COUNTRY CLUBS WHACKED BY ECONOMY - For people biting the bullet on the household budget, where does a golf club membership fall on the priority list? Pretty low, according to some country clubs.

MetroWest, Haneisen, on wire now

With photo

CHECKOUT LANE: TRACKING DOWN THE CORRECT RUNNING SHOE - It’s tough to find a cheaper way to exercise than going for a run. An investment in a good pair of running shoes in lieu of a gym membership can help you stretch your budget. Getting your feet and your gait analyzed is the best way to find the shoes that are right for you.

Ledger, Onufrak, on wire now

With photos

MAKING CENTS: GRASPING THE BASIC KINDS OF FINANCIAL RISK - Risk, the possibility of loss, has everyone's head spinning today. Let's review some of the basic forms of risk and those you may encounter as time goes on.

Ledger, on wire now

MASS MARKET: POWER COMPANIES COULD COMPETE AT RESIDENTIAL LEVEL, TOO - As is often the case with legislation, big businesses enjoyed the biggest benefit from the state's 1997 electricity restructuring law. Suppliers are stepping over themselves to offer power to large commercial and industrial users. But Dominion remains the only major company to join the market for residential power in the state.

Ledger, Chesto, on wire now


MARC MUNROE DION: THEY MAY EVEN GENERATE EXTRA WIND - What I know about windmills and power plants is what most people know about windmills and power plants: Windmills spoil the view or kill thousands of birds or explode in a huge ball of fire or emit a prolonged screeching noise or collapse and kill dozens of people.

Herald News, on wire now

PETER COSTA: APRIL IS CRUELEST MONTH FOR COLLEGE ADMISSIONS - This is the week when most colleges send out their acceptance letters and applicants’ hearts either sink or soar. This is a time when you really can be too rich or too thin. "Thick you win" is the mantra because the thick envelopes contain financial information and other critical documents for the accepted applicant.

CNC, on wire now

WENDY MURPHY: PROTECTING KIDS FROM SCOURGE OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY - When children die – and parents are potential suspects – we often talk about abuse and neglect. But when sedatives are found in a child’s body or at a crime scene, we need to talk about something else, too. Child pornography.

Ledger, on wire now

RICK HOLMES: THE POLITICS OF OUTRAGE - Americans are not taking to the streets. Our outrage mostly consists of media figures and Washington politicians hyperventilating about bailouts and bonuses. Our targets tend to be bureaucrats, not billionaires. As many people are mad at the United Auto Workers union as at the high-flying auto industry CEOs.

MetroWest, on wire now

EDITORIAL: LEGISLATION TO PROTECT TOLLPAYERS - There is much to like in the transportation reform bill approved last week by the state Senate: An end to the irredeemably flawed Turnpike Authority; a rollback of excessive employee and retiree benefits at the MBTA and other agencies; a merger that should provide increased accountability and efficiency.

MetroWest, on wire now




VIDEO: BUGS, TRIPE AND TONGUE: ONE PERSON'S 'FEAR FACTOR' IS ANOTHER PERSON'S DELICACY - The American palette has become wild and complicated, maybe due to the limitless variety of foods available, the exotic appetite of a continually changing immigrant population, or the television shows that tout interesting ingredients.

Herald News, Allard, on wire now

With photos and video

WITH: NEW DRINK CONCOCTIONS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART - When thinking about a night out for cocktails, you’re probably inundated with images of fruity mixed drinks in giant pineapples, neon pink cosmos and Midori sours, not bacon, eggs, syringes and cough drops.

Herald News, Braley, on wire now

With photo

LORETTA LAROCHE: FLABBY ARMS ARE MY LATEST FIXATION - My greatest fear is exposing my upper arms. It's apparent that some alien has removed my arms and replaced them with a version that resembles crepe paper.

Ledger, on wire now

DEREK TRUCKS IS A REAL, LIVE GUITAR HERO - Slide guitar savant Trucks balances fatherhood, three bands and marriage to blues songstress Susan Tedeschi.

Ledger, Berndtson, on wire now

With photos

JULIE FAY: ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN - After changing diapers for the better part of six years, it’s been wonderful to have them out of my life. Timmy joined his older siblings in wearing big-kid undies about a year and a half ago, and he’s never looked back.

Ledger, on wire now

COYOTES IN OUR MIDST HERE IN MASSACHUSETTS - The howling of coyotes at night can send a chill up one's spine, yet it can also be hauntingly beautiful. It is amazing that these wild creatures live among us in every mainland town on in Massachusetts but are very rarely seen.

MetroWest, on wire now

THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS EXPLORE THE EARTH IN DANFORTH EXHIBITS - Like travelers returning from separate destinations, three very different photographers are showing engaging images not just about sights they saw but about the ways we interpret unfamiliar worlds. In separate exhibits at the Danforth Museum of Art, Abelardo Morell, Mary Oestereicher Hamill and Robert Alter employ distinctive techniques to lure viewers into the act of looking in fresh ways.

MetroWest, Bergeron, on wire now

With photos