Lawmakers are looking at treatment of mentally ill in courts, prison

A bill winding through the state Legislature could provide solutions to a long-standing problem.

South Boston’s James F. Condon School will start classes next school year at 7:15 a.m. instead of 8:30 a.m.

Parents question educational benefits of early school starts

Dozens of Boston families plan to turn out for Wednesday’s School Committee meeting to protest the changes.

“Are you really going to penalize Puerto Rico . . . at our worst possible time?” Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo  Rosselló said in an interview with the Globe.

Puerto Rico’s governor denounces US tax bill as devastating to island’s recovery

Bills in the House and Senate treat Puerto Rico as a foreign jurisdiction. As a result, its exports to the mainland would face major new taxes, Ricardo Rosselló said.

Harvard Yard

Despite penalties, sororities will continue to recruit Harvard women

The sororities said they are being unfairly punished for the transgressions of their male-only counterparts.

Latest Metro headlines

Mysterious interstellar object to be scanned for radio transmissions, signs of alien life

“I’m not a particular fan of science fiction novels, but I think we just need to check,” said the chairman of Harvard’s astronomy department.

Should you worry about net neutrality ending? This one chart tells you why you should.

One statistic highlights how many of us — the consumers — will be left essentially powerless to do much, if the fears of repealing net neutrality rules come true.

Arctic cold, powerful winds pushing wind chill into single digits

Wind gusts could reach 50 miles an hour across the state.

N.H. woman who kept dozens of Great Danes at her home found guilty of animal cruelty charges

A New Hampshire woman was found guilty of animal cruelty charges this week for keeping dozens of Great Danes in inhumane conditions at her home.

Arlington police warn residents of house breaks

A recent spate of house breaks and burglaries in Arlington, including five on Dec. 8, are under investigation, police said.

Yvonne Abraham


Abraham is a Metro columnist. Her work appears on Thursdays and Sundays.

Kevin Cullen


Cullen is a columnist for the Metro section who previously wrote for the Foreign desk and Spotlight team. His column appears Tuesdays and Sundays.

Thomas Farragher


Farragher is a Globe columnist and associate editor. He spent eight years as editor of the Spotlight Team. His columns appear Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Adrian Walker


Walker has been a columnist for the Metro section since 1998. His column appears Mondays and Fridays.


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If you have been a victim or witnessed a hate incident, share your information here so we can investigate.

More Metro headlines

Swastikas found in Andover classroom hours before Hanukkah

The drawings marked the third time in recent months that a swastika was found at Andover High.

State Police arrest Lynn man on firearm, driving charges

Noe Iraheta-Carrillo, 24, was charged with possession of a firearm, operation of a motor vehicle on a suspended license, driving with an open container of alcohol, failing to stop, and failing to wear a seatbelt, State Police said.

Deval Patrick’s brother-in-law faces assault charges

Bernard Sigh of Milton is being held without bail after he was arraigned on the charges, including assault with intent to rape.

Prosecutors allege that David Scher, after his release from jail earlier this year, lied about his credentials and claimed “to be employed as ‘in-house patent counsel’ for an Abington business,” the statement said.

Newton man jailed for forgery faces more legal trouble

David Scher was charged Tuesday with falsely claiming to hold a law degree and taken into custody.

New England news in brief


How can universities recruit more black students to Boston?

Tell us what you think about the newest installment of the Spotlight series “Boston. Racism. Image. Reality.”

The Minuteman Marching Band from UMass Amherst will travel to Pasadena on Dec. 28 in order to perform in the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.

UMass band to march in historic Rose Parade

The Minutemen Marching Band has spent more than a year preparing for its first performance in the venerable parade.

A Suffolk Superior Court jury found James Witkowski, 45, guilty of first-degree murder in the slaying of Lena Bruce.

Police commissioner says 1992 Lena Bruce murder ‘hits close to home’

William Evans said he was pleased James Witkowski was convicted in Bruce’s killing, but also felt “mixed emotions.”

Graduate students, who work as assistants at the college and have pushed to form a union so they could negotiate better pay and health benefits, called the board’s decision a victory.

National labor board rules against Harvard

Harvard University’s attempt to block graduate students’ new vote on unionizing was rejected, upholding a decision made by regional authorities.

Maddie Brooks of Taunton, working at Premier Distribution Services in Lakeville, packed a box to be distributed to Globe Santa recipients.

globe santa

It takes courage to ask Globe Santa for help

Asking for help can be a difficult task, especially when you’d rather be the one giving than receiving.

Get Smart

Trump drinks 12 Diet Cokes a day. What does that do to your body?

“I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke,” the president tweeted in 2012.

Human remains found in burning car in Worcester cemetery

Officials in Worcester found human remains in a burning car that was parked in a cemetery Tuesday morning.

Lawrence police officers treated for potential fentanyl exposure

Three Lawrence police officers were hospitalized Monday night, but they were treated and released before the end of their shift.

Toys R Us’s layaway program makes gifts more affordable by allowing customers to pay for their purchases in intervals as opposed to all at once at the register.

‘Layaway angel’ pays for Christmas gift orders at Leominster toy store

A “layaway angel” paid off thousands of dollars of gift orders at a Toys R Us in Leominster Saturday, making the holiday season a little more joyful for about 35 local families.

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, who has been the House’s top official since 2009, indicated the shakeup doesn’t mean he’s going anywhere.


Speaker DeLeo shakes up staff, promotes new chief

Seth Gitell will succeed current chief of staff James Eisenberg.

Massachusetts state troopers did relief work to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria, which struck in September.

Trip to help in Puerto Rico was emotional for Mass. state troopers

Three troopers with relatives on the island, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria, described their relief work.

The state’s analog radio system is currently used by more than 2,000 State Police troopers and 245 public safety or transportation agencies.

State to replace aging public safety radio system with digital grid

Officials say an updated radio grid will allow for various public safety agencies to better respond to criminal, terrorist, or natural disaster incidents in Massachusetts.

While Christmas tree theft might be a rarity in Hadley, it’s not unheard of. An untold number of evergreens vanish without a trace every winter.

Authorities hunt Grinch who stole Christmas trees from Hadley farm

As of Tuesday, Hadley police were following up on potential leads in the hopes of cracking the case and finding the mastermind behind the holiday heist.

Man who posed as Miley Cyrus’s brother to get explicit photos of boy gets 70 months in prison

Brandon Gray’s sentence was 14 months less than what federal prosecutors sought.

This day in history

Today is Wednesday, Dec. 13, the 347th day of 2017. There are 18 days left in the year.

Thorus O'Brien appeared for his arraignment at East Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday.

Man killed during drug deal rip-off, prosecutors say

Duncan Ketter was present by happenstance Saturday when a female acquaintance allegedly bought marijuana and the incident turned violent.

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Who is Kirsten Gillibrand and why is she in the news?

She is on the long list of Democratic rising stars who are viewed as possible candidates for president.

Biomass plan will undercut climate change efforts, critics say

Administration officials have said that biomass is part of an effort to diversify the state’s energy consumption.

 Areas well inland and across northern New England will see accumulating snow Tuesday.

Dave Epstein

A slushy mess is in store for southern New England

On Tuesday night, we’ll start to experience the coldest air of the season so far.

Mashpee police investigating disappearance of retired correctional officer

Mashpee police are investigating the disappearance of a 64-year-old retired correctional officer and his son is currently behing held on a gun charge, police said.

Amos Hostetter.

Philanthropist funded trip for oversight officials

Amos Hostetter paid for two officials to join a group traveling to Europe at the same time their agency was reviewing a waterfront hotel project he was fighting to stop.

Woman arrested, man hospitalized following Arlington stabbing

A woman is under arrest and a man is undergoing medical care at an area hospital following a stabbing inside a unit at an apartment complex in Arlington early Tuesday.

A storm system that developed in the Ohio Valley “will bring a wintry mix of snow and ice to the interior with mainly rain in the coastal plain,’’ forecasters said.

Snow in the northwest, and rain mainly in the plain of Boston

A “wintry mix” of snow, sleet and rain will bring up to four inches to areas near North Adams while Greater Boston and coastal communities will get rain.

Methuen police charge 9-year-old with bringing pellet gun to school

Teachers found the weapon in the fourth-grader’s school bag on Friday.


Lost on campus, as colleges look abroad

With top schools searching for diversity, international student enrollment has soared. The percentage of black students has barely budged.

Lynn police searching for suspect in daytime attack

Almost two months after a woman was attacked in broad daylight while walking in Lynn, police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect.

New Hampshire men charged with heroin possession in Chelmsford

Police say a passing car nearly hit an officer during the arrest.

Teen arrested in fatal East Boston shooting

Police charged Brockton native Thorus O’Brien, 18, with murder on Monday.

Boston’s six female city councilors gathered together for the first time Monday at an open forum. From left, Ayanna Pressley, Andrea Campbell, Michelle Wu, moderator Yvonne Abraham, Annissa Essaibi George, Lydia Edwards, and Kim Janey.

Boston’s six women councilors discuss their historic election in special conversation

Prior to 2013, only 10 women had been elected to Boston’s City Council since its inception in 1910.


Lottery results from Monday drawings

The BU biolab: a timeline

The 192,000-square-foot high-security biolab has sat mostly empty since its completion in 2008.

What should Boston hospitals do to be more welcoming and diverse? Tell us your ideas.

Tell us what you think about the newest installment of the Spotlight series “Boston. Racism. Image. Reality.”

Customers shopped at the SoWa winter festival in Boston earlier this month. SoWa has partnered with Globe Santa to raise funds to provide Christmas gifts for needy children.

globe santa

Young girl’s letter to Globe Santa captures the magic of Christmas

Perhaps the most moving and inspiring missives come from children themselves.

Transportation board members question long delay for train station in Allston

State officials defended the decision to delay the station at a future Allston development site until 2040.

Indiana and 12 other states are suing Massachusetts to stop implementation of its cage-free egg voter initiative.

Thirteen states sue over Mass. egg law

Indiana and 12 other states are suing Massachusetts over its cage-free egg law, asking the US Supreme Court to scramble implementation of the voter-passed initiative.

Miami Gardens, FL - 12/11/2017 - {1st quarter) New England Patriots middle linebacker Trevor Reilly (51) wraps up Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake (32) during the first quarter. The New England Patriots visit the Miami Dolphins in a Monday night football game at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section: Sports, Reporter: James M. McBride, Topic: 12Patriots-Dolphins, LOID:8.4.335853716.

It’s another bad night in Miami for the Patriots

New England (10-3) lost for the first time in two months, Tom Brady’s career record at Hard Rock Stadium fell to 7-9, and the T-shirts and hats will have to wait.