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At Brookline Ice Co., Eric Fontecchio and assistant Rosendo Manacop sculpted a sailboat for First Night.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Shirley Leung

A standing invitation to keep First Night going

When the nonprofit that organized First Night for nearly four decades abruptly shuttered in June, Tom Menino declared the city would continue the New Year’s Eve tradition. Everyone envisioned a stripped-down celebration: a little music, a few ice sculptures, and we’ll call it a night. That’s not how this mayor rolls. First Night, he made clear to his staff and anyone who would listen, would be bigger than ever. “We are the oldest First Night,” he said. “We couldn’t allow this to be a second-rate event.” If you have never been or haven’t been in a while, this is the year to go. Patti Smith and The Blind Boys of Alabama, 15 ice sculptures instead of 3, and as always, the Mardi Gras-style processional down Boylston Street and harbor fireworks at midnight.

Sam’s parents, Scott Berns and Leslie Gordon, are dedicated to finding the cause and a cure for progeria, a rare genetic disease. Below, the Patriots and owner Robert Kraft welcomed the 17-year-old to a practice field at Gillette Stadium.

Foxborough youth’s aging disease spurs research, documentary

Seventeen-year-old Sam Berns, who suffers from a rare “accelerated aging” disease, has already outlived his doctors’ prognosis by several years.

Mass., Vt. halt payments to firm behind health sites

Saddled with malfunctioning websites, the states are taking steps to recoup taxpayer dollars from the Montreal-based company that is also leading the federal rollout.

A fatal accident occurred at this intersection, where Steve Whitcomb, a Brookline, N.H., firefighter, arrived and learned the crash victim was his daughter, Katie Hamilton.

N.H. firefighter could do nothing to save daughter

“This was the worst fear come true,” Brookline’s fire chief said after the daughter of a veteran firefighter was killed in a traffic accident.

Severe tick disease investigated in Mass., Maine patients

Two cases of a rare and severe tick-borne illness have prompted warnings that the threat from ticks can persist into December.