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Massachusetts city cleans up after tornado

REVERE, Mass. (AP) - The cleanup is continuing in Revere after an EF-2 tornado packing winds of up to 120 mph hit the city just north of Boston.

The tornado Monday morning damaged dozens of homes and businesses but caused no deaths or serious injuries.

City and state officials plan to continue damage assessments on Tuesday. City Hall was among the buildings damaged and is not expected to reopen for a couple of days.

State police were on hand overnight to protect against any looting in the city of 52,000 residents. A shelter was opened for displaced residents.

Tornadoes are relatively unusual in Massachusetts, but extremely rare in the Boston area. The National Weather Service said it was the first reported tornado in Suffolk County, which includes Boston and Revere, since it record-keeping began in 1950.


Strong storms leave downed trees, power lines

(Information in the following story is from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, )

DALTON, Mass. (AP) - No tornadoes were reported in western Massachusetts, but a series of severe thunderstorms that tore through the region in recent days has put many communities into clean-up mode.

Among the hardest hit towns is Dalton, where a ferocious storm on Sunday brought down power lines and some 20 trees in one neighborhood. Six homes were damaged.

Resident John Czarnacki tells the Berkshire Eagle that the winds and rain were so intense he and his wife didn't even hear four large cherry trees topple into his backyard.

Town officials were working to clear trees from roadways so utility crews could get through and make repairs to power lines.

Another round of storms moved through the Berkshires on Monday, including one that dropped nearly two inches of rain at Pittsfield's airport.


Whale watching boat snagged by rope docks safely

BOSTON (AP) - Passengers on a whale watch boat are back on dry land after spending a long night stuck at sea outside Boston.

The boat got snagged by a lobster trap rope about 15 miles off Massachusetts on Monday. Divers managed to free it early Tuesday, and the vessel docked shortly before 8 a.m.

There were no injuries to any of the 157 passengers or six crewmembers.

Sheila Green, a spokeswoman for Boston Harbor Cruisers, says passengers were smiling and waving as the boat approached the dock.

Green says passengers will receive a refund on their $50 ticket, a $100 gift card for a future Boston Harbor Cruise and $500 cash for their troubles.

She said the passengers were given food and drink and blankets to stay warm.


Gov. Patrick: I'm hearing support for shelter plan

BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick says comments to his office are running as high as three-to-one in favor of his offer to shelter unaccompanied children crossing the nation's southern border.

Patrick told reporters Monday local officials have nothing to worry about because the children will be housed at secure facilities run and paid for by the federal government.

Patrick said some of those who gathered in front of the Statehouse on Saturday to protest his plan seemed more concerned about federal immigration policy rather than the issue of where to temporarily house unaccompanied minors.

Patrick said he's received no new information from the federal government about whether they will seek to house any children in Massachusetts.

Patrick has offered Camp Edwards military base on Cape Cod and Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee as possible locations.


Patrick to sign $1B convention center upgrade bill

BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Deval Patrick is set to sign a bill authorizing a $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Supporters of the expansion say it will increase the center's operating space by more than 50 percent and will help Boston compete for some of the largest and most lucrative conventions in the world.

Patrick plans to sign the bill Tuesday afternoon at the Statehouse.

The legislation would authorize the state to borrow to finance the approximately 1.3 million-square-foot expansion of the convention center in the city's South Boston neighborhood.

The bonds would be repaid through proceeds from the state's existing 5.7 percent tax on hotel rooms, with no new taxes envisioned. If the state falls short, the bill would allow the hotel room tax to be raised in the Boston area.


Feds discuss changing tribal recognition process

MASHPEE, Mass. (AP) - The federal Department of the Interior is holding a hearing in Massachusetts on its plan to make it easier for American Indian tribes to gain federal recognition.

The Tuesday morning hearing, at the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe's community center on Cape Cod, is the last in series of meetings on the proposal, and the only one on the East Coast.

The department wants to lower the threshold for tribes to demonstrate community and political authority, among other things. Rather than from "historical times," tribes would only need to show evidence dating back to 1934.

The Mashpee Wampanoags won federal recognition in 2007, after a more than 30-year process. The department announced Friday it would delay finalizing the rules, which were proposed last summer, by at least 60 days.


Wegmans plans 10 new supermarkets in 5 states

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Wegmans Food Markets says it plans to add 10 new stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions over the next year or two.

The Rochester-based supermarket chain says it's planning to open four stores in Virginia, two each in Massachusetts and New Jersey, and one each in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The first of the new stores will open this fall in Burlington, Massachusetts. Two others are scheduled to open in 2015 in Alexandria Virginia, and Westwood, Massachusetts, while opening dates for the others have yet to be determined.

Wegmans currently has 84 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.

The company is continuing to upgrade or replace stores in older markets, including New York state, where Wegmans has 46 stores.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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