Four sites eyed south of Boston for marijuana sales

Groups across Mass. are bidding for the final approvals they need to enter the state’s medical marijuana industry.

1 NY police officer dead, 1 critically hurt in shooting

A man shot two New York City police officers in a patrol car and then ran into a subway station and apparently committed suicide.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/20/BostonGlobe.com/National/Images/fish150-1219.jpg Ghostly fish discovered at record-breaking depths

Recorded during a recent exploration of the Mariana Trench, a strange-looking new species has set a record for fish depth.

Decision on pension payout will last a lifetime

More corporations are enticing employees and former employees to trade their pensions for one-time, lump-sum payouts.

Kate Lynde plays with her children Aria, 3, and Coen, 8 months, in the dining room of their Tewksbury home.

Mark Lorenz for the Boston Globe

Does anyone use their dining room anymore?

Granny would be intrigued to learn that today’s dining rooms often serve as playrooms, nurseries, or home offices.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/20/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/south150-7762.jpg Mass. Health Connector reaches out about deadline

Tuesday is the last day to apply and pay for health care coverage that begins Jan 1.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/20/BostonGlobe.com/National/Images/obama150-1212.jpg Obama’s Cuba decision reflects political shift in Florida

For decades, anything less than a hard line stance against Fidel Castro was a sure way to lose a race for office.

Wesley Bedrosian for The Boston Globe

Harsh realities depicted in Dickens classic still haunt us

Despite areas of progress, some things have not changed since the publication of “A Christmas Carol.”

The Jets’ Rex Ryan goes into Sunday’s game 4-8 as a head coach against the Patriots.

DAN SHAUGHNESSY

New York’s pro teams in a losing state of mind

After all these years of Boston arguing with New York over which city has the best teams, most of that thrill is gone.

President Kennedy’s letter to 8-year-old Michelle Rochon says he shares her concerns, not just for the fate of Santa but all people.

JFK letter reassuring girl about Santa is re-released

More than 50 years ago, an 8-year-old girl wrote to President Kennedy about Santa Claus, and he replied.

Big Picture: Stunning photos from 2014

In the third installment of the series, the Globe staff highlights the photos that left an impact in the last four months of the year.

Alysia Montano, Ghoncheh Ghavami, and Whitney Zelee.

SHIRA SPRINGER I FAIR PLAY

Nine women’s sports stories that deserved more attention

For every 2014 headline-maker, there are many less-heralded women in sports.

Coin-operated animatronic band at the Tinkertown Museum in Sandia Park.

Gems on the Turquoise Trail in New Mexico

Traversing the Turquoise Trail reveals a lot about this central region of New Mexico and the people who call it home.

Scott Kirsner | Innovation Economy

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/19/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/skirsner-3888--90x90.png Hacked K-cups part of backlash over Keurig ‘2.0’ brewers

One of the most bizarre local business stories of 2014 involves hacking and coffeemakers.

Opinion

opinion | P.J. O’Rourke

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/20/BostonGlobe.com/EditorialOpinion/Images/18a74111023c4a1eb5358e51d258f61a-7c722a58ee89480c97cf7436a6bbdabe-0-1210.jpg The budget bill that keeps on giving

The $1.1 trillion budget bill captures the whole and entire holiday spirit, from naughty to nice.

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.