New England budget • 05.13.09

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:

Video of the week: 'Brockton mom hunts for teen daughter's murderer'

'Draw Your Mom' reader involvement project draws huge response

News

MBTA BANS DRIVERS FROM CARRYING PHONES, IPODS - The MBTA announced today a system-wide ban on drivers carrying cell phones and other electronic devices on the job. On Friday, 24-year-old trolley driver Aiden Quinn, a 2002 Quincy High graduate, crashed into another Green Line car between Government Center and Park Street, sending 49 passengers to local hospitals with minor injuries. Quinn told authorities he had been texting his girlfriend at the time of the accident.

Ledger, Reardon, on wire now

SENATE: ‘DRACONIAN’ CUTS FOR LOCAL AID, EDUCATION - The Senate budget released today recommends record-high cuts to state aid to cities and towns and for the first time this year proposes carving into education funding.

Ledger, Reardon, on wire now

VIDEO: SENIOR PRANKS GONE BAD — AGAIN - As high schools across the region prepare for graduation exercises, principals are also bracing for senior hi-jinks — and hoping teens don’t cross the line from funny to felonious.

Enterprise, Boyle and Papadopoulos, on wire now

With video and photos

COMING SOON: BUZZING, BITING, PESKY SKEETERS - Mosquito experts say the intensity of this season, running until about mid-September, looks to be in line with the past few years. But the wet spring, which facilitates larvae growth, could mean it is going to be a bit worse

Ledger, Manning, on wire now

With photo

NOTE TO THEIVES: DON'T WEAR A BULL'S EYE TARGET TO THE CRIME - When Somerville Police Officer Pasqualino stopped the man in the bull’s eye shirt, later identified as 21-year-old Keith Puopolo, he was sweating the profusely and extremely nervous and claimed not to know anything about the television in the bushes, according to police reports.

Somerville, Smith, on wire now

COSTA RICA BLAMES SINGERS FOR SWINE FLU SPREAD - Costa Rican health officials are questioning how four people who came in contact with a Lexington singing group in April may now have the H1N1 virus, or swine flu.

CNC, Mahoney, on wire now

ANTI-PIKE CLASS ACTION SUIT HAS MANY BACKERS - Frustrated by years of helping to foot the Big Dig's bills with their Turnpike tolls, a group of MetroWest residents has filed a class action suit against the Turnpike Authority to end the practice.

MetroWest, Hilliard, on wire now

RAVEN: THE MYSTERY BIRD MOVES EAST, FINDS A HOME IN QUINCY - Once rare on the South Shore, the species best known from Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “The Raven” is expanding its range. Ornithologists have no idea why. “It’s one of those mysteries,” said Norman Smith, director of the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Trailside Museum in Milton.

Ledger, Lambert, on wire now

With photos

Business

COMPANY OFFERS GREEN, CLEAN AND SECURE WAY TO DISPOSE OF DOCUMENTS - Instead of a mechanical shredder, which leaves small bits of paper that could be reassembled into a complete page, the Nano DeCopier uses a nontoxic chemical which strips printed ink off paper and reduces the paper into recyclable pulp, making any information irretrievable

MetroWest, Hilliard, on wire now

With photo

Opinions

O'MAHONEY CARTOON: ON NEED FOR PENSION REFORM

Ledger, on wire now

FRANK MULLIGAN: SOME OBSERVATIONS FROM DEBUNKER - I got an e-mail the other day promoting a new book by Dr. Andrew Adesman, a New York pediatrician, titled “babyfacts,” that debunks myths that have grown up around child care. Here are a few from the book, along with some mythbusters of my own.

CNC, on wire now

DEIRDRE REILLY: I AM WHAT YOU WOULD CALL COOL on the whole global warming thing. Not to say I don’t try, but let’s face it, you get tired. When I am in a hurry to clean the kitchen, I have been known to guiltily throw plastic water bottles into the trash, where my husband finds them and fishes them out, placing them in the recycling bin outside. But I clean the toilets every week, so I’d say we’re more than even.

Sports

WATCH FOR PRO SPORTS at prosports@gatehousemediane.com

Lifestyles

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GETAWAY / IN NEW ENGLAND PACKAGE FOR MAY 20 PUBLICATION

GETAWAY: DISNEY LEADS THE WAY WEST - Welcome to Adventures by Disney, the tour company formed by The Walt Disney Co. to bring the real world to adults and kids alike, in our case a Quest for the West trek in Wyoming.

IN NEW ENGLAND: A GARDEN FOR THE SENSES SET TO DEBUT IN MAINE - In the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses, opening June 19 at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, your nose, ears, eyes, mouth, fingers and toes will get a workout. You can - and should - talk to a rock, listen to grass and taste edible plants. The new garden is designed to heighten the way everyone appreciates nature.

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THEATER REVIEW: CATCHY TUNES, CAST PROPEL LIVELY ‘URINETOWN’ - The offbeat Tony-award winner “Urinetown: The Musical” is the story of a time when the water supply is so low that people must pay to go to the toilet. Braintree's Curtain Call Theatre  has staged a lively, entertaining production of the show.

Ledger, Fay, on wire now

With photo

ZOMBIE MOVIE BRINGS RAYNHAM NATIVE’S CAREER TO LIFE - As a young boy, Brendan O’Brien would dream a monster was chasing him.

Raynham Call, Weinstein, on wire now

With photo

PICNICS THAT PACK A PUNCH - The recipe for a great picnic is finger lickin’ good food, spectacular scenery, fair weather, good company and a dash of entertainment, according to taste. We asked local business owners to recommend great places to picnic and good grub to grab, whether you’re planning a family outing, girlfriends’ get-together or romantic rendezvous.

On wire now

STYLE GURU ORIBE: A LIFE 'CONSUMED WITH HAIR' - World-famous hairstylist Oribe has become one of the most sought-after hairstylists for fashion, editorial and advertising work over the past 30 years. He visited Lexington’s Blue — A Complete Hair Salon at 10 Muzzey St. Monday morning, modeling salon workers and displaying his attention to detail and creativity.

Lexington Minuteman, Crotty, on wire now

With photos

THEATER REVIEW: THIS ‘GLASS MENAGERIE’ IS WORTH COLLECTING - The astounding cast of " The Glass Menagerie," under the subdued direction of Mike Kiernan at the Blackbox Theatre in Mansfield, is allowed to breathe new life into Tennessee Williams’s tale of the Wingfield family in 1930s St. Louis,

CNC, Kaufman, on wire now

With photos

COLLEGE MATTERS: GETTING A GREAT RECOMMENDATION - Letters of recommendation are an important piece of your college application and can shed light on your potential as a student and as a member of their community that no other parts of your application can.

MetroWest, on wire now

THE BEER NUT: UINTA BEERS FROM UTAH NOW ON BAY STATE SHELVES - The Uinta Brewing Company is not the most well-known brewery in the country. This Utah brewery just celebrated its 16th anniversary and I had never heard of it. Heck, I didn't think there were any breweries in Utah.

MetroWest, Miller, on wire now

With photo

VIDEO: PLYMOUTH, DUTCH MUSEUMS EXCHANGE ART AS PILGRIMS' 400TH ANNIVERSARY APPROACHES - Dutch tulips planted at Pilgrim Hall in honor of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival in Leiden are a sight to behold, but it’s what’s inside the museum that’s inspiring awe as Plymouth looks ahead to its 400th anniversary in 2020.

OCM, Koch, on wire now

With photos