Massachusetts Senate to consider hundreds of amendments to $34B state budget
BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts Senate is likely to spend several days considering a $34 billion state budget proposal.
More than 700 amendments have been filed to the spending plan outlined by the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Debate is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
The budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 calls for an increase of $1.4 billion, or about 4.4%, over the current year. That includes new spending on housing, education, mental health and veteran services.
The Senate plan and a budget passed by the House last month both include $500 million in new revenue, including hikes in gasoline and cigarette taxes.
University of Massachusetts officials say the Senate version does not include enough funding to allow the school to freeze tuition and fees as it had hopes to do.
BOSTON MARATHON-POLICE COMMISSIONER
Boston police, city to review bombings response
LOWELL, Mass. (AP) - Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says his department and Mayor Thomas Menino's office will conduct two separate investigations into the Boston Marathon bombings response.
Davis says the aim of the reviews is to learn from the experience. He couldn't immediately say when the investigations will start, only that he expects them to take "a few months."
Davis addressed reporters Saturday after delivering the commencement address at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The event occurred a little more than a month after the bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 260.
The 57-year-old Davis received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Nearly 3,200 students received degrees.
Davis is a Lowell native who ran its police department for 12 years until being named commissioner in Boston in 2006.
Mass. lawmaker: Recoup benefits from terrorists
BOSTON (AP) - A Republican lawmaker is pushing for a law allowing Massachusetts to recoup public benefits given to anyone later convicted of using of a weapon of mass destruction.
Gloucester state Sen. Bruce Tarr is offering the proposal as an amendment to the Senate version of the state budget.
It would allow the attorney general to recover "any and all money" from anyone convicted of the terrorist act "who has previously collected public assistance, financial assistance or received any other direct financial benefit from the state."
The money would go to benefit any victims of the attack.
State official have confirmed that Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his wife and toddler daughter received welfare benefits. Tsarnaev was killed in a police chase. His 19-year-old brother, Dzhohkar, was arrested.
The brothers also received welfare benefits as children through their parents.
BOSTON MARATHON-RI VICTIM
Welcome hope party for RI marathon bombing victim
NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island woman who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings is preparing to attend a welcome home party at Rosecliff, a fabulous mansion in Newport featured in a film version of "The Great Gatsby."
Heather Abbott of Newport had gone to Boston on April 15 to watch the Red Sox play on Patriots' Day and was waiting in line to get into a crowded restaurant when the bombs went off. Doctors amputated her left leg below the knee.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee will join Abbott's family, relatives and friends at the official welcome home party scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Others expected to attend include congressional and state lawmakers as well as local officials and well-wishers.
Organizer Olga Enger says Abbott considers the party as a way to transition from injury to healing.
UConn to host training session on NE school safety
STORRS, Conn. (AP) - The University of Connecticut is hosting a training session for New England educators this week on how to prepare and respond to a crisis.
The program developed by the National Association of School Psychologists will be held at the Storrs campus from Monday through Wednesday for teachers, administrators and graduate students from around New England.
Schools across the country have been re-evaluating security in the wake of the December school shooting in Newtown in which 26 people were killed.
The event has been organized by faculty in the university's psychology program with the Connecticut Association of School Psychologists.
One workshop will offer training on how school buildings can be made safer and how to design a crisis response plan. Another will focus on what to do once the crisis has occurred.
Bernanke forecasts gains from computer technology
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says pessimists who are forecasting that the economy will not reap sizable benefits from the computer revolution are likely to be proven wrong.
Bernanke told a college graduating class Saturday that the long-range practical consequences of innovations such as faster computers and the Internet are hard to predict. But he said inventors have only scratched the surface of the commercial applications that can be obtained in such fields as medicine and clean energy.
Bernanke's remarks came in a commencement address at Bard College at Simon's Rock, a small liberal arts college in Great Barrington, Mass. Bernanke's son Joel graduated from the school in 2006.
The Fed chairman did not make any comments about interest rates in his speech.
Feinberg to speak at Curry College commencement
MILTON, Mass. (AP) - The man overseeing a fund set up to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombings will deliver the commencement address at Curry College.
Kenneth Feinberg is the administrator of The One Fund Boston. He will be the main speaker at Curry's commencement Sunday at the D. Forbes Will Athletic Complex on the school's Milton campus.
The One Fund Boston is a city- and state-sponsored charitable effort to raise money for victims of the April 15 bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.
Feinberg previously headed the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. He also administered similar funds following the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Virginia Tech Massacre, the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting and the Penn State sexual abuse scandal.
Priest suspended after allegedly copying sermons
SANDWICH, Mass. (AP) - A Cape Cod Episcopal priest has been suspended for allegedly plagiarizing more than a dozen sermons verbatim from a book.
The Cape Cod Times reports (http://bit.ly/14ywm5S) that the Rev John McGinn of St. John's Episcopal Church in Sandwich is accused of copying as many as 15 sermons from the book "Dynamic Preaching."
Members of the church learned about the alleged breach in a May 9 letter from Bishop M. Thomas Shaw of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.
Shaw wrote that plagiarism allegations arose against McGinn a year ago and that McGinn continued to copy sermons after vowing not to.
The 65-year-old McGinn didn't comment on the allegations, but told the Times he was going to retire. He said he loved his time at the parish and thought he did a good job.
Police: Roommate dispute leads to attack in NH
HOLLIS, N.H. (AP) - Police say two men and a woman from Massachusetts are charged with attacking a man with a hammer and knife following a roommate dispute in Hollis, N.H.
Police say three people connected to 1 of the roommates returned to the home, identifying themselves as police officers early Friday before attacking the victim in his RV.
The three are due to be arraigned Monday.
Police charged 53-year-old Ralph Doucette and 43-year-old Paul Carbonneau of Lowell, Mass., with burglary, assault and impersonating an officer. Charged with first-degree assault and burglary was 57-year-old Cynthia Nagele, of Lowell. All three remained jailed Saturday. It was unclear if they'd retained lawyers.
Police say the victim, who wasn't identified, dialed 911 during the attack. His injuries were described as serious.
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