Crux

Pope gives thinly veiled critique of Vatican officials

Andreas Solaro/AP

Speaking to the Vatican’s upper echelon, Francis urged them to reject gossip, division, and building personal empires.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/22/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/aaron150-7646.jpg Hernandez in court for final hearing before murder trial

The trial of Aaron Hernandez in Odin Lloyd’s shooting death could last up to 2½ months, prosecutors said.

Nicole Bollerman’s teaching and generosity gave her third grade class at UP Academy Dorchester many reasons to smile.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Adrian Walker

With Dorchester teacher’s prize, the pupils win

UP Academy teacher Nicole Bollerman won books for her students and $150,000 for her school.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/22/BostonGlobe.com/National/Images/mourners150-1226.jpg After slayings of NYC officers, police across US on high alert

The slayings come at a tense time as police nationwide are being criticized following the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

Officer shoots at suspect who allegedly pointed gun at him

An officer fired several shots at a masked man who pulled a gun on him in Dorchester, but no one was hit, authorities said.

Through offseason shuffling, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz will remain in the regular spots in the lineup.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

PETER ABRAHAM | BEAT WRITER’S NOTEBOOK

Red Sox’ roster shaping up to be competitive

For now, the roster as it stands today looks fairly close to what it could be come Opening Day.

Christina Rohrbacher bought potatoes from Chelmsford growers Phil Jones and Ashley Sacramo of Jones Farm at Mill No. 5.

Mill No. 5 becoming a hip haven in Lowell

Remaking downtown has been a mixed bag, but now a new complex with movies, markets, and musicians is drawing crowds.

DAN SHAUGHNESSY

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/21/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/shaughnessy-6898.jpg Do you feel better or worse about Patriots’ chances?

The Patriots did what was necessary to defeat the Jets, but Rex Ryan demonstrated how to attack New England.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/09/15/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/7Harvard_Stadium-5861827.jpg Transit a key in Boston’s 2024 Olympics bid

Local backers have begun exploring ways to use existing, temporary, and reusable venues close to mass transit stops.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/22/BostonGlobe.com/Lifestyle/Images/Was8880192.jpg ‘SNL,’ Chris Rock, and others joke about the Sony hacking

One would think comedy writers might be a wee bit skittish about the subject, but they are in the business of satire.

TOM KEANE

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/18/BostonGlobe.com/EditorialOpinion/Images/tkeane-1156.png Jeb Bush should have Democrats worried

Voters in the middle will look for someone with whom they can feel comfortable.

How would you like some brick dust in your cocoa?

The practical truths underlying the 19th-century Christmas dinner should make us modern revelers count our blessings.

12/11/14 Boston, MA: Philip Paul is pictured as he referees a basketball game between Holyoke CC and Roxbury CC at the Reggie Lewis Center. (Globe Staff Photo) section:sports topic:Paul in Roxbury NOTE: PHOTOGRAPHER REQUESTS NO CREDIT

School sports group doesn’t check criminal records of referees

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association lags behind athletic groups in other states in screening officials.

Opinion

JOHN E. SUNUNU

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/21/BostonGlobe.com/EditorialOpinion/Images/jsununu-1122.jpg Ted Cruz has gained attention but little else

To be effective, the Texas Republican needs to get other senators to work with him. They’d rather stick needles in their eyes.

The Big Picture

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

2014 Year in Pictures: Part III

Photos from the last four months of 2014 depicting news events and daily life around the world.