New England news in brief


Ex-track coach pleads guilty to child porn

A former Harvard University track coach who also coached at a suburban Boston high school has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. Walter Johnson, 71, of Framingham, pleaded guilty Tuesday, the US attorney’s office in Boston said. He faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for Sept. 10. Authorities said in January 2017, investigators began looking into child pornography being traded by a Craigslist user. The investigation led to Johnson, a track coach at Wellesley High School at the time. During a search of Johnson’s home, images and videos of child pornography were found on his computer and on a thumb drive hidden in his bedroom, authorities said. Johnson was coach of the Harvard men’s and women’s track teams from 1982 until 2006. (AP)


Teachers union ratifies three-year contract

The Boston Teachers Union Wednesday ratified a three-year contract that includes 2 percent pay raises, nurses in each school, and 23 more mental health providers for students. The pact is retroactive to the start of the current school year. “Tonight’s overwhelming approval demonstrates deep support from members . . . for the new resources we have won for students,” said union president Jessica Tang. The School Committee is expected to vote on the pact next week.


Sorority celebrates new high school debutantes

The Boston Pearl Foundation and the Psi Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority introduced 10 debutantes to society and awarded $45,000 in scholarships this month at an annual cotillion. The 10 young women from Greater Boston, who range in age from high school sophomores to seniors, were selected because they have “exemplified an impressive degree of academic excellence, high ethical standards, and have generously given their time and talents in service of their community,” Psi Omega said in a statement. The cotillion at Lombardo’s function facility marked the culmination of the debutantes’ participation in eight months of civic engagement, cultural awareness, etiquette, financial literacy, and social graces activities before they head to college, the organization said. The young women aspire to be doctors, lawyers, journalists, and other professionals, the statement said. Boston-based Psi Omega is the largest chapter in New England of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the nation’s oldest sorority for African-American women. Psi Omega started the Boston Pearl Foundation in 2005 to bolster community enrichment and help in schooling.