If a fishing vessel offshore has an engine fire during today’s sub-freezing weather, heaven forbid, the Coast Guard will get the first call. If a pilot boat gets disoriented in the blowing snow of the next major storm, the Coast Guard will be pulled into the soup to help find it and its crew…

What do a man in New Jersey, the Microsoft company, a call center in India and a senior citizen in Newbury have in common? They were all pieces in an international scam that fell apart recently.

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What do a man in New Jersey, the Microsoft company, a call center in India and a senior citizen in Newbury have in common? They were all pieces in an international scam that fell apart recently.

Solving algebra equations or extracting the theme of a reading passage are hardly the most joyous ways for a kid to spend February vacation or spring break. But the intensive academic camps, which have been taking place for more than a decade in Boston schools and have been tried in at least…

Closing the federal government and furloughing 400,000 workers, while forcing more than that number to work without pay, sounds like one of those Beltway problems. The Commerce Department closes, along with agencies like the National Marine Fisheries Service. So too the Environmental Protect…

If this New England Patriots season seemed more drama-filled than unusual, that’s because it was. New England, of course, was sent home stunned from the Super Bowl in February by a Philadelphia Eagles team that did to the Patriots what the Pats usually do to everyone else. The Eagles were sm…

The Christmas turkey was served a few days late in the Merrimack Valley this season. Exorbitant gas bills, some of which exceeded $800, started showing up stuffed into mailboxes the week after the holiday.

It seems like just the other day Elizabeth Warren was asking Massachusetts voters to re-elect her to the U.S. Senate. In fact, it was just the other day.

As Charlie Baker prepares to take the oath of office as Massachusetts’ governor for a second time, he’ll carry in his coat pocket a familiar script. Nurturing the state’s diverse economy, creating incentives for housing that’s affordable to working people, looking for new ways to stanch the …

Massachusetts has a robust economy, near-universal insurance coverage and many of the best treatment providers in the world. Why, then, does it remain so difficult for Bay State residents to get the mental health care they need?

Whether it’s the trend to more online shopping or the growing number of people who simply don’t carry or spend cash, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle drive continued, for the second year in a row, to receive fewer donations.

The most tragic victims of the opioid crisis are the unwitting. An overdose trend that has claimed thousands of lives, including more than 1,500 in Massachusetts during the first nine months of this year, sadly counts children among its victims. In many cases they’ve stumbled into contact wi…

State Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives gave her farewell speech on the Senate floor last week, but she left her legislative colleagues with an important request: push through a law barring handheld cellphones for drivers. 

The holiday season is a time of tradition, of the rituals we pull out like boxes from the attic once a year. It’s outdoor lights and time-worn ornaments, family gatherings and recipes that have been passed through generations like antique furniture. It’s favorite carols and late-night church…

Salem was ready for pretty much anything when the North Shore’s first recreational marijuana shop opened last weekend. But in the end, it was pretty much a normal Saturday.

Even with a veritable statuary hall of undesirables on Beacon Hill — three House speakers have faced federal charges in recent memory, not to mention a Senate president chased from office by a sexual harassment scandal involving his husband — the real stake through the heart of the Legislatu…

After several years of growth, the Massachusetts economy appears headed into an uncertain future in 2019, due in large part to a deal struck last summer between lawmakers, business owners and labor unions.

It’s been some decades since we’ve all gotten wise to the fact that our rivers and oceans aren’t troughs meant to collect garbage and waste. The danger to ecosystems posed by raw pollution is well established and understood, to say nothing of the threat to human health. So we tell ourselves.

A meeting of gas company executives at the Statehouse on Tuesday had all the trappings of the hearings that have been a byproduct of the Sept. 13 gas fires and explosions in the Merrimack Valley. Utility executives talked earnestly about safety. Lawmakers sitting across from them spoke in rh…

In many ways, this is the golden era of cable access television. Over the past decade or so, local stations -- especially in Massachusetts and especially on the North Shore -- have vastly improved the variety and quality of their programming.

When lawmakers leave office, they often give farewell speeches in the Statehouse, touching on their accomplishments, thanking colleagues and offering advice. 

State Sen. Joan Lovely set the proper tone at the Legislature’s yearly revenue hearing earlier this week. Whether her counterparts on Beacon Hill were paying attention remains an open question.

George Herbert Walker Bush left Andover in the spring of 1942 determined to become the leader he knew he was meant to be. The country was at war. Despite the urging of adults around him to go on to Yale, the teenage son of an investment banker knew he was meant for service. College could wait.

If Beacon Hill lawmakers needed a prod to finish the year by passing a major piece of consumer protection legislation, they got it from the friendly folks at Marriott International.

If it is agreed that opioid addiction is a disease -- and there is widespread consensus that it is -- then it must be treated as such, even if the patient is behind bars. And that means using the most effective methods of treatment.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was in his second term in the White House, a pound of bacon cost 27 cents, and a couple of 8 ounce boxes of Corn Flakes set you back half of that. In 1940, the year Nancy Pelosi was born, public sentiment in the United States remained very much against getting involved …

One year ago this month, Gov. Charlie Baker re-constituted the Hate Crimes Task Force, which was disbanded in 2003 when Gov. Mitt Romney vetoed $100,000 in state funds for the panel. As it got back up to speed, the task force of representatives from law enforcement, universities, religious a…

The efficiencies gained by not having a licensed professional engineer study or “seal” every plan to replace a gas line are easy to understand. Think of the many miles of antique gas lines that need updating, and it’s clear why Massachusetts, like many other states, holds out this kind of wo…

For decades, Marian Court College was a working-class cornerstone in Swampscott. It was the type of place politicians and other public officials loved to crow about -- a commuter school aimed at low- and middle-income students, where 95 percent of the attendees were the first in their family…

In late September 1863, a war that had already taken an unthinkable number of American lives claimed nearly 4,000 more. Fighting around Chickamauga Creek in the foothills outside Chattanooga, Tennessee killed that many soldiers in just three days. Another 24,000 were wounded, and more than 6…

As Gov. Charlie Baker gears up to start his second term in January he’s also looking at a hike of about $100,000 in salary and compensation.

No numbers are more arresting than the digits on a fast food restaurant’s menu. A Big Mac’s 540 calories will make you rethink ordering a side of large fries, at 510 calories, from McDonald’s. Over at Dunkin’ Donuts, a large Vanilla Bean Coolatta packs almost an entire meal’s worth of energy…

We were encouraged to hear Gov. Charlie Baker plans to focus again on the state’s housing shortage, now that the election is behind him and he can see a clear path for four more years.

Much has been made in the days after last week’s election of the bipartisan nature of Massachusetts politics. Voters, for example, were just as enthusiastic about Republican Gov. Charlie Baker as they were about Democratic U.S. Sen Elizabeth Warren, returning both to office by wide margins.

Lester W. Chase was a shoemaker, the son of a painter, when he signed up for the National Guard. It was 1916. He was barely 20 years old when his 1st New Hampshire Infantry was sent off to the Mexican border to hunt for the elusive Pancho Villa with Gen. John Pershing.

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