Finding the right gift is harder than ever

Despite expanding notions of what counts as a “gift”--a jerky subscription--Americans waste $9.5 billion on unwanted presents.

Boston, MA - 9/20/2017 - State Attorney General Maura Healey (cq) addresses the crowd. The Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR) holds its 27th Annual Recovery Day Celebration at Faneuil Hall (cq) and Quincy Market Place (cq) (Artists in Recovery exhibit). Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Topic: 21recovery Reporter: XXX

Maura Healey sues Betsy DeVos, again

This marks Attorney General Maura Healey’s third lawsuit against the education department under the Trump administration and Secretary Betsy DeVos.

KEVIN CULLEN

Educated, black, and dead

Duncan Ketter worked for his money, six days a week, at a rental car company. He believed in the power of education, enrolling in college, hoping to become an engineer.

State Senator Stanley Rosenberg (left) and his husband, Bryon Hefner.

Rosenberg’s husband draws FBI scrutiny

The FBI has begun looking into allegations that Bryon Hefner, husband of state Senator Stan Rosenberg, allegedly assaulted several men and boasted of his influence on Beacon Hill.

Latest Metro headlines

3-alarm fire damages Somerville house

The fire tore through a triple-decker at 15 Connecticut Ave., causing an estimated $750,000 in damage, Fire Chief Patrick Sullivan said.

One person unaccounted for in Oxford fire

Investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal responded to the multi-alarm fire at 16 Sacarrappa Road at about 9 p.m. Thursday.

North Shore high schools clash over the transfer of two basketball players

A Superior Court judge cleared the way for one student to play this year for St. Mary’s High School in Lynn, after transferring from Peabody Veterans Memorial High School.

Former homeless woman seeks Globe Santa’s help for little daughter’s Christmas

Many of those who write to Globe Santa know what it’s like to grow up going without anything but food, heat, and shelter. And for some, the challenges only get tougher as they age into adulthood.

Lottery

Lottery results from Thursday drawings

Yvonne Abraham

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/09/17/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/abrahamy.png

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

Kevin Cullen

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/09/17/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/cullen.png

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

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/09/24/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/farragher.png

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

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2015/09/17/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/walker.jpg

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

Investigations

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2017/03/03/BostonGlobe.com/Foreign/Images/AFP_MB3WQ.jpg Documenting Hate: Submit an incident you know about

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

More Metro headlines

Civil rights groups hit school start plan

The contentious debate over changing school start times in Boston grew louder Thursday with civil rights groups voicing formal opposition, while school officials revealed a nearly $7 million deficit in transportation spending, adding further ammunition to parents who believe the new bell schedules are merely a cost-cutting measure.

New England news in brief

Woonsocket, R.I.

blotter

 WORKER WOUNDED A Boston city employee was shot and wounded in Mattapan early Thursday while driving to work, leaving a Department of Public Works vehicle with bullet holes in it. The employee was shot in the leg and suffered injuries that were not life threatening, according to Officer Rachel McGuire, a department spokeswoman. He was taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, she said. The employee, who is in his 50s, is a supervisor in the department’s highway division. He has worked for the city for more than 22 years, according to city officials. A motive for the shooting was not immediately known. The shooting took place around 5 a.m. near 23 Maryknoll St., and the victim drove about a mile to the intersection of Morton and Fuller streets, where Boston Emergency Medical Services crews arrived, officials said.

Star Wars fans, some dressed in costumes, waited to be let in for

Star Wars fans line Tremont Street hours before premiere of ‘The Last Jedi’

May the Force keep them warm.

Fenway Health Center directors ‘eager for change’

In an open letter to patients, staff, and donors posted on Fenway’s website Wednesday, the directors said, “We cannot change the circumstances that have brought us to this point. However, there is tremendous learning as a result of being where we are.”

The explosion last month damaged Bellingham High School principal Lucas A. Giguere’s vehicle.

Federal authorities raid R.I. home in Blackstone bomb probe

The search earlier this week was in connection with a homemade bomb that detonated last month underneath a car that belonged to a Mass. high school principal.

How can the black community gain clout in Massachusetts?

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

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire (above) say major effects of climate change could be felt sooner than we think in New England — by mid-century.

UNH researchers say effects of climate change are coming sooner than we think

If carbon dioxide emissions continue at the same rate, by the middle of the 21st century, we could see fewer snowy winter days and hotter summers.

Diane Tepfer held a sign with an image of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai as the

Mass. AG says she’ll join suit against FCC action rolling back Net neutrality rules

Maura Healey said the FCC decision means “Americans will pay more for the Internet and will have fewer options.”

Harvard researchers show how brain distinguishes friends from strangers

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have become the first group to demonstrate how the brain processes social memories, allowing us to recognize our friends.

Cambridge police putting GPS inside packages — and chasing down the crooks who steal them

You’d better watch out; you’d better not steal.

Two cars in Tyngsborough damaged by ‘apparent errant hunting shots’

Police believe two vehicles that were reported damaged in Tyngborough this week were struck by hunters’ errant bullets.

A look at the approximate number of children killed by gunfire since Newtown

The number of children under the age of 17 killed or wounded by gunfire in the United States is astounding.

Eva Mitchell carried a photo of Lena Bruce as she arrived for the sentencing of James Witkowski at Suffolk Superior Court Thursday. Eva Mitchell was Lena Bruce's sorority sister at Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

It’s been 25 years since he killed a Tufts graduate. Today, he was sentenced to life

For 25 years, James Witkowski had escaped punishment for raping and murdering Lena Bruce inside her South End apartment.

This day in history

Today is Friday, Dec. 15, the 349th day of 2017. There are 16 days left in the year.

Connor Francis Tronerud

After teen’s suicide, Sutton family launches fund-raiser for bullying prevention

A Sutton family said their teenage son took his own life earlier this month after struggling with bullying from his peers.

Bernard Sigh has been a flashpoint of controversy during Deval Patrick’s political career.

Brother-in-law of Deval Patrick ordered held without bail in assault case

A Quincy District Court judge concluded Bernard Sigh was a potential threat to public safety following his arrest on two charges, including assault with intent to rape.

Boston man, 54, will admit to armed bank robbery; he stole $1,760 at gunpoint

A Boston man will plead guilty Tuesday to a federal charge of robbing a West Bridgewater bank at gunpoint last year while he was free on bail for an earlier alleged heist, records show.

The AR-15 rifle and Remington handgun recovered by Raynham police Wednesday.

‘Locked and loaded’ AR-15 recovered from Raynham man in stolen vehicle

Police found the man intoxicated while in a stolen vehicle with a loaded rifle, handgun, and two knives, they say.

Polar Seltzer is rolling out vending machines for a good cause

The machines, serving up flavors like Unicorn Kisses, Dragon Whispers, Yeti Mischief, and Mermaid Songs, may be as elusive as the drinks themselves.

Authorities appeal for public’s help on anniversary of Andover double killing

John and Geraldine Magee were found shot to death in their home on Orchard Crossing in 2011.

Omarosa Manigault Newman and President Trump in better days.

The Omarosa mystery: Accounts of departure differ

Did she try to get into the White House residence to ask her friend Donald Trump to keep her on? It’s not clear.

Chatham woman, 91, dies after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning in home

A 91-year-old Chatham woman died last weekend in Cape Cod Hospital, days after suffering carbon monoxide exposure in her home.

Watch this 16-year-old’s reaction when he finds out he was accepted to Harvard

A video of Ayrton Little, a student in Louisiana, has been viewed millions of times.

Richard McKeon, who retired as colonel, collected $161,688.26 for unused sick and vacation time.

State Police officials who retired amid scandal collected big payouts

The former State Police colonel and his top deputy walked away with hefty payouts for unused sick and vacation time.

David Daoud Wright was taken into custody at his home in Everett in June.

Everett man a ‘soldier of ISIS’ who deserves life in prison, prosecutors say

The Everett man convicted of terrorism-related charges should spend the rest of his life behind bars because he “disavowed his own country” and transformed himself into a “soldier of ISIS” determined to kill as many Americans as he could, federal prosecutors wrote.

Uxbridge police officers Kyle Tripp (left) and William Ethier visited the baby they helped save last Thursday after it stopped breathing.

Uxbridge police officers save baby who stopped breathing

An Uxbridge police officer was able to resuscitate a baby that had stopped breathing last Thursday, while its family was taking the girl to a hospital.

Boston city worker shot on way to work in DPW vehicle

The Mattapan shooting left a Department of Public Works vehicle with bullet holes in it.

Framingham resident shot during armed home invasion

The resident suffered non-life threatening injuries early Thursday after being struck in the arm with birdshot during a home invasion, police said.

A stream ran under traffic crossing a small bridge in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown.

Five years after massacre, Newtown is ‘still so raw’

Not all the signs of the bloodshed that erupted five years ago at Sandy Hook Elementary are visible, but they exist nonetheless.

A book, Paradise Lost, illuminated with nanobionic light-emitting watercress plants developed at MIT.

MIT researchers create plants that glow

Imagine a highway lined with trees that glow as opposed to street lamps, or using the plant on your nightstand as a reading light.

Lawrence kidnapping crew member gets 11 years in prison for scheme

Luis Reynoso of Lawrence was hit with a 131-month term during a hearing in US District Court in Boston.

Spotlight

BOSTON. RACISM. IMAGE. REALITY.

Starting Sunday, the Globe’s Spotlight Team confronts one of Boston’s most vexing issues — racism — in a seven-part series. We invite you to sign up to be the first to see the investigation.

Arctic conditions will persist throughout Massachusetts Thursday.

Snowfall south of Boston, but bitter cold in the city

Arctic conditions will persist throughout the state Thursday, while Cape Cod, the Islands and the southeast corner of the state will receive a new coating of snow.

Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles heard a racial slur hurled at him from the stands at Fenway this year, triggering national coverage of racism in Boston.

Part five: sports

The bigot in the stands, and other stories

When a Red Sox fan at Fenway hurled a racial slur at the Baltimore Orioles’ centerfielder Adam Jones, the question of whether Boston is a racist city wasn’t just raised — it had already been answered.

Why aren’t there more black fans at Boston sports events?

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

Salem children’s fund-raiser, once in jeopardy, raises thousands at new location

“The night went really, really well,” Brendan Walsh, a board member of the nonprofit Salem Children’s Charity. “I just can’t praise the Hawthorne Hotel enough, and the city of Salem for rallying around us, too.”

This day in history

Today is Thursday, Dec. 14, the 348th day of 2017. There are 17 days left in the year.

In Newton, Fessenden administrator cleared of sexual misconduct allegation

Kenneth Howe, the school’s residential life director and a former math teacher, has been cleared to work, Fessenden’s headmaster wrote in a letter to parents and alumni.

Irish Lawmakers Back Repeal of Abortion Ban

DUBLIN — An Irish parliamentary committee recommended on Wednesday that a constitutional ban on abortion be repealed, paving the way for the liberalization of one of the world’s strictest abortion laws.

Audience members expressed opposition during a Boston School Committee meeting on Wednesday.

Parents protest new school start times

About 200 parents, students, and elected officials Wednesday night pleaded with the Boston School Committee to halt plans to change start times for dozens of elementary and K-8 schools.