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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.

The Nation

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

By Tracy Jan

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.

In some areas, utility crews go round the clock

In DeWitt Township, Mich., people were scrambling to get the power on. As many as 500,000 in the state lost service.

By Corey Williams

About a half-million utility customers — from Michigan to Maine and into Canada — lost power in an ice storm last weekend.

NY charter schools steel for changes under new mayor

By Karen Matthews

Operators of New York City’s publicly financed, privately run charter schools are bracing for changes, including possibly paying rent.

The World

Egypt calls Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group

By Kareem Fahim

Egypt outlawed the country’s most successful political movement and vowed to treat anyone who belongs to it — or even takes part in its activities — as a terrorist.

US embassy in Kabul hit in Taliban rocket attack

By Matthew Rosenberg

The pair of rockets sent hundreds of American diplomats and aid workers at the embassy scrambling into fortified bunkers to start their Christmas Day.

Three Turkish ministers step down amid graft inquiry

By Suzan Fraser

The three Cabinet ministers resigned days after their sons were taken into custody in a sweeping corruption and bribery scandal that has targeted the prime minister’s allies.

Editorial & Opinion

JOAN VENNOCHI

Don’t mix bikes and politics

By Joan Vennochi

It isn’t just conservatives who can be annoyed by urban bicyclists. Liberal motorists, too, may find themselves seething at people on two wheels.

EDWARD L. GLAESER

Dudley Square, innovation hub?

By Edward L. Glaeser

An “entrepreneurship district” in Dudley Square would help to address inequality in Boston.

editorial

T must consider bidders’ ethics, but so far no smoking guns

Complaints have been brought against the two rivals vying to operate commuter rail, but none are serious enough to disqualify either competitor.

Metro

Foxborough youth’s aging disease spurs research, documentary

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.

By James Sullivan

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

Severe tick disease investigated in Mass., Maine patients

By Kay Lazar

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

N.H. firefighter could do nothing to save daughter

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.

By Sarah Schweitzer

“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.

Business

Shirley Leung

A standing invitation to keep First Night going

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

By Shirley Leung

The New Year’s Eve tradition will continue this year thanks to Mayor Menino — but now everyone has to show up.

Ice skating rinks being used to heat up sales

Ashley Allen was among the skaters who took a spin on the ice at Boston Harbor Hotel’s new outdoor rink earlier this month.

By Taryn Luna

Many of today’s rinks are constructed in retail environments, where companies hope to play off ice-skating nostalgia to help drive business.

Feds call businesses’ energy deals fraudulent

By Erin Ailworth

Regulators say a Maine firm helped a client steal millions of dollars from New England electricity customers by gaming an energy conservation program.

Obituaries

Lawrence O. Kitchen, 90; former Lockheed president

Lawrence O. Kitchen was named president of Lockheed Corp. in 1975.

By Reed Abelson

Mr. Kitchen, who served in the Marine Corps, helped rebuild the aerospace company in the aftermath of a bribery scandal involving payoffs to Japanese officials.

Ricky Lawson, 59; drummer collaborated with musical greats

Ricky Lawson worked with Whitney Houston, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, and other music icons.

Among the musicians Mr. Lawson, a studio drummer, worked with were Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, and Whitney Houston.

Robert Wilson, 87; hedge fund founder turned to philanthropy

By Charles W. Stevens and Chris Dolmetsch

Mr. Wilson, whose Wall Street career spanned five decades, was founder of the Wilson & Associates hedge fund.

More Stories

Sports

on football

Bill Belichick’s key to success: Never be satisfied

Bill Belichick tries to learn from the past but not dwell on it.

By Ben Volin

Belichick’s approach is why his Patriot teams have reached the conference championship game seven times in 13 seasons.

Gary Washburn

NBA and NCAA should rethink one-and-done eligibility rule

Duke’s Jabari Parker may thrive in the NBA, but not everybody can make the jump after one college season.

By Gary Washburn

The rule, instituted before the 2006 draft, has worked out miserably except in the cases of a handful of gifted players.

patriots notebook

Defense shows much improvement against long passes

Rookies Logan Ryan (above) and Duron Harmon (below) have acquitted themselves well in the secondary.

By Michael Whitmer

Last year, the Patriots gave up 74 pass plays of 20 yards or more; this year, the number is at 50 entering the regular season finale.

G: Style

After 25 years, City Year has grown

From the left, City Year members Robin Tucker, Zak Kephart, Alex Hallenbeck, and Danielle West prepared to greet students outside the Condon School in South Boston.

By Joseph P. Kahn

Twenty-five years after its Boston launch, the service organization continues to redefine itself.

Book REview

‘The Isle of Youth’ by Laura van den Berg

Andover author Laura aan den Berg has released a new story collection.

By Laura Collins-Hughes

The Andover author’s bleak new collection of stories is about rudderless young women adrift in their own lives.

‘Property Brothers’ talk home improvement trends

Jonathan Scott (far left) is a contractor. His twin brother, Drew, is a realtor.

By Christopher Muther

Drew and Jonathan Scott, the matched set of Canadian brothers who seem to dominate the programming on HGTV, on what to expect in homes in 2014.

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