New England budget • 05.04.09

cbiondi@gatehousemedia.com

Here are the top New England regional stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at gatehousenewsservice.com. 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, cbiondi@gatehousemedia.com

At ghnewsroom.com:

Localize your annual pets special section with local community pets

News

VIDEO: LOST RING COMES FULL CIRCLE: FOUR DECADES OF LOVE - It was a snowy February day in 1965 when Algonquin Regional High School student Carl Lund decided to cut through the courtyard on his way to class.Coming out the door, he spotted Cynthia "Cindy" Stirk. The two were going steady, and Lund wanted to get Stirk's attention. He did it by throwing a snowball at her. "As he tossed the snowball, so went the ring," Stirk said. "We just figured it was gone."

MetroWest, Jordan, on wire now

With photo and video

TRAVELERS CONCERNED BUT NOT PANICKED ABOUT SWINE FLU - As a lark, Stan Dulevskis packed a white surgical mask in his carry-on bag for a trip to Tampa, Fla., Thursday. Dulevskis was one of several people at Logan Express in Framingham, Mass., who expressed concern about traveling during the swine flu pandemic. Despite that, they were undeterred.

MetroWest, Uek, on wire now

DON’T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN ON SWINE FLU THREAT, DOCTOR SAYS - The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 226 confirmed cases of swine flu and 1 death in 30 states, including seven in Massachusetts. Dr. Todd Ellerin, chief of infectious diseases at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, says the outbreak may be mild now, but if the virus mutates into one as deadly as the 1918 flu, the world would not be prepared.

Ledger, Scheible, on wire now

WHILE THE SWINE FLU LASTS, IT’S CLEAN HANDS FOR WORSHIP - Local clergy are urging congregations to be careful to avoid exposure. But no churches, synagogues or mosques are changing their worship practices.

Ledger, Lambert, on wire now

FOOD CO-OP OFFERS DISCOUNTED FOOD PACKAGES IN EXCHANGE FOR TWO HOURS VOLUNTEERING - The food co-op at 145 Bodwell St., in the Avon Industrial Park, is an alternative to high supermarket prices. The only requirement is that you give back two hours of volunteering to receive the discount food. There are chapters in many local communities.

Enterprise, Judge, on wire now

With photos

VICIOUS COYOTE ATTACK IN MIDDLEBORO BRINGS ATTENTION TO SEASONAL THREAT - It was 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning when Hattie, a seven pound Yorkshire Terrier, pestered her owner, Wilfred J. Forcier, to go outside. Within seconds, something had Hattie in it’s jaws, and was speeding off into the darkness.

Enterprise, Elwell, on wire now

Business

MAKING CENTS: MARKET WILL RECOVER SOMEDAY - Irrational behavior occurs at each end of a market cycle. When markets are flying high, investors think that nothing else is possible. When markets are going lower and losing money, investors feel like the sky has fallen and that there is no rebound in sight. Since October 2007, we have seen both behaviors, and now investors have been scared to the point where it feels like nothing works.

Ledger, on wire now

CHECKOUT LANE: FINDING THE IDEAL PROM DRESS - When a girl finds the perfect prom dress, her parents may find it hard to say no, no matter what the price tag.

Ledger, Onufrak, on wire now

With photos

MASS. MARKET: MORE THAN MONEY, FRAUD VICTIMS LOSE WILLINGNESS TO TRUST - Some found out when they tried to withdraw their money, while others didn't learn that their funds were gone until they read about it in the paper. The warning signs that led up to fraud allegations against Stephen Clifford of Plymouth were typical for financial scams. And, as it is with many white-collar crimes, most of the victims  are still waiting nearly a year later

Ledger, Chesto, on wire now

Opinions

O'MAHONEY CARTOON: ON TALK OF DEVAL PATRICK'S POLITICAL FUTURE

Ledger, on wire now

RICK HOLMES: WHY NEWSPAPERS ARE IN TROUBLE, AND WHAT'S AT STAKE - I don't know how you're reading these words. You might be sitting in the spring sun on the back porch, coffee in hand, surrounded by multiple sections of multiple newspapers. That's how I like to spend my Sunday mornings, but the sections have gotten thinner of late, and with the Boston Globe hanging by a thread, I may soon have fewer newspapers to keep me busy.

MetroWest, on wire now

EDITORIAL: AMERICANS ADJUSTING ATTITUDES ABOUT HOT-BUTTON ISSUES - History doesn't move at a steady pace; sometimes change seems to happen all at once. Nor do public attitudes change ever so slowly, even on issues that stoke great passions. Sometimes attitudes locked in place for decades can turn with astonishing swiftness.

MetroWest, on wire now

MITCHELL D. CHESTER: INVEST IN THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION - Tempting as it may be to see the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds as a well-timed panacea to help us get through the current economic downturn, as a state I want us to think beyond the next several years and use as much of the funding as possible to strategically invest in initiatives that will serve our students for years to come.

MetroWest, on wire now

EDITORIAL: SERVICE MEMBERS FIGHTING FOR A LARGER PURPOSE - Freedom is a basic human right all people are entitled to, but not all receive. Everyone deserves to live a life free from tyranny, oppression and persecution, but too few throughout human history have been guaranteed the right to live their own lives without the threat of interference from those more powerful.

Herald News, on wire now

JEFF ADAIR: IS IT TIME TO PANIC? - Is it time? Maybe I should check out that Web site on how to build a bomb shelter. Plastic wrap little Johnny before he heads to school. Duct Tape works for everything. Maybe it can work as a defense for the swine flu.

CNC, on wire now

JULIA SPITZ: MY BASEMENT IS SO SICK IT'S ILL - In the eyes of the 14-and-younger crowd, this is a very good thing. To the ears of someone who hasn't been 14-and-younger in decades, it's a headache I feared no aspirin would cure. For the neighbors, I'm hoping it's better than skateboards on the street at 10 a.m. For the basement, it's just another phase of life, no better or worse than the rest.

MetroWest, on wire now

Sports

WATCH FOR PRO SPORTS at prosports@gatehousemediane.com

Lifestyles

KITCHEN CALL: BALLPARK SCENTS AND TASTES - The road to the Fenway Park in Boston is paved with aromas, in turn nostalgic, exciting, delicious and horrendous. To get the real fan experience, you first need to take in the musty stench of the Kenmore T stop and the fumes that rise from cars and trucks trolling the Massachusetts Turnpike as the happy crowd makes its way across the bridge pointing to the Citgo sign in the distance.

CNC, on wire now

JUDY EISENBERG: KEEP SQUIRRELS FROM VEGETABLE CONTAINERS; LAWN-CARE TIPS - There are a few possibilities you can try to deter squirrels and reduce damage in your vegetable containers and other areas of your garden. You can plant onions, garlic or allium bulbs in your containers with the other vegetables, as squirrels do not care for their taste or smell.

CNC, on wire now

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE ON VIEW AT NEW COMMONWEALTH MUSEUM - Displayed under protective argon glass, the invaluable historic documents bearing the signatures of John Winthrop, John Hancock and John Adams have provided the legal basis for the founding and governing of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for nearly four centuries.

MetroWest, on wire now

FIND THE BEST BARBECUE FOR THE BEST PRICE - Joe Kenealy mans the grill at home and for the Whitman fire station, serving up everything from hot dogs to smoked meat. This month, he heads to the world barbecue championship in Memphis, Tenn., and may return with new recipes. But his pulled pork and smoked ribs are still a favorite.

Enterprise, Allegrini, on wire now

With photos

WAYNE WESTCOTT: READY FOR YARD WORK? REAP WHAT YOU SOW - Now that the warm weather has arrived, we can enjoy a new season of raking, trimming, hoeing and sowing. Unfortunately, we tend to do too much too soon, or use improper biomechanics as we perform our outdoor tasks. Here are some techniques that should reduce the risk of injury as well as offer a more productive yard and garden work session

Ledger, on wire now