Here are the top New England regional stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at gatehousenewsservice.com.
Here are the top New England regional stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at gatehousenewsservice.com. Please submit stories below no later than 6 p.m. local time, unless you have breaking news that is changing significantly. Questions?
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STUDENTS GETTING MORE (AND HEALTHIER) MEALS AT SCHOOL - The sinking economy has shrunk families' income, causing more people to seek assistance from free and reduced-price school lunch programs. The trend has also yielded a benefit: improved nutrition. A recent national study, "Saved by the Lunch Bell: As Economy Sinks, School Nutrition Program Participation Rises," found large increases in student participation in school lunch programs.
Milford, Laczkoski, on wire now
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST FOR MASS. HOSPITALS - Hospitals, once secure in their community niches and service areas, are fighting for their survival. As they battle competition from the big teaching hospitals in Boston and independent outpatient centers in the suburbs, they face daunting challenges.
Ledger, Scheible, on wire now
TOP 10 MASSACHUSETTS BUSINESS STORIES OF 2008 - The recession that has plagued the country for the past 12 months overshadows nearly every major business story over that time.
Ledger, Chesto, on wire now
MASS. MARKET: LAND OF THE WEIRD AND HOME OF THE STRANGE - Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder around here, 2008 came along. We saw one company’s request for a liquor license hold up activity in the State House for months, a local bank reduce its name to just one letter and a hotel calculate its room rates using the Dow Jones industrial average. Here’s a look back at some of the quirky events that kept the Massachusetts business scene from being anything but business as usual.
Ledger, Chesto, on wire now
CAPE COD LEGISLATORS WANT TO EXPAND ROOM OCCUPANCY TAX TO CONDO, HOUSE RENTALS - With revenues falling, budget gaps widening, Proposition 2 1/2 overrides failing and local aid being cut, municipalities across the commonwealth need money. It’s also no secret that the state government is also looking for cash. That’s why proponents of expanding the room occupancy tax are optimistic the state Legislature will pass a bill allowing the taxation of short-term condominium and house rentals.
CNC, Desroches, on wire now
EMPLOYERS NOT RUSHING TO FILL HIGH-LEVEL JOBS - James Kennedy has been on the job hunt during a time when Massachusetts' unemployment has climbed to 5.5 percent - high for the state but still lower than the national average of 6.5 percent. Potential employers are excited about his skill set but cannot afford to fill open positions.
MetroWest, Elliot, on wire now
JOB SECURITY FOR METAL-DETECTOR BUSINESS - Whether it's an appearance of the Dalai Lama, a concert featuring a soon-to-be-jailed rapper or an inaugural ball for the next president of the United States, if security is needed and crowds are expected, Mike White's your man.
MetroWest, McDonald, on wire now
VIDEO: HARD WORK HAS BAKERY BUSINESS RISING - Mbaye, originally from Senegal, came to the United States in the early 1990s and moved to Winchester in 2001. He began to delve into baking while working at Whole Foods Market. He was the bread trainer for the store chain’s entire northeast region for a number of years, until he decided to strike out on his own.
Winchester Star, Tsetsi, on wire now
With video and photo
CHECKOUT LANE: WINTER BOOTS MAKE STRIDES - Ken Griffin, manager of Hanover Boot, says boot technology has caught up with sneaker technology as far as comfort and endurance.
Ledger, Onufrak, on wire now
With photos and sidebar
PAULA FLEMING: STEPS TO TAKE IF A RETAILER GOES BANKRUPT - The Better Business Bureau offers general advice for consumers on what to do if a retailer closes up shop without fulfilling its promises.
MetroWest, Better Business Bureau column, on wire now
WELLESLEY NATIVE RUNS MEDIA PRODUCTION FIRM WITH CONSERVATION FOCUS - The Green Living Project is a media production, marketing and entertainment company which has made showcasing global sustainability initiatives its raison d’etre.
MetroWest, Tremblay, on wire now
MARC MUNROE DION: THERE’S BUSINESS, AND THEN THERE’S ‘BUSINESS’ - In the midst of the calls for bailing out every industry that is experiencing the very natural results of an economic experiment planned and carried out, not so much by right-wing dullards as by dishonorable thieves of every political variety, I got to thinking about what we think of as “business” and what we used to think of as “business.”
Herald News, on wire now
EDITORIAL: YES, THE JETS LET US DOWN, BUT PATRIOTS FANS shouldn't complain about the entertaining season that ended, too soon, on Sunday.
MetroWest, Holmes, 7 p.m.
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SOUP’S ON AT MARTHA STONE'S IN PLYMOUTH - Martha Stone loves to cook. And for more than a decade she’s enjoyed being up to her apron strings in the business that allows her to share that love with others. But no matter how fine the dining, her restaurant has always taken a back seat – or should that be a back burner – to her family.
OCM, burgess, on wire now
LORETTA LAROCHE: RESOLVE TO ENJOY THE NEW YEAR - It’s very hard for me to come to grips with the fact that we’re on the cusp of a new year. Why is that time flies as you’re getting older and seems to stand still when you’re younger?
Ledger, on wire now
AUTHOR PENS CHILDREN’S BOOK ABOUT HOW KIDS DEAL WITH NEW SIBLINGS - When Michael Sussman was bored in grade school, he would daydream about time passing in reverse. This is the basis of the East Cambridge resident’s first children’s book, “Otto Grows Down,” which addresses the fantasy of time going backwards, and the jealousy that young children often feel toward a new sibling.
CNC, Sullivan, on wire now
NEWTON RESIDENT BRIDGES SOCIAL DIVIDE THROUGH MUSIC - As he listens from the audience of Boston’s Jordan Hall on Jan. 19, Hubie Jones will experience a project that’s been six years in the making. An adventure that began in 2002 when the Newton resident first heard the Chicago Children’s Choir at the City Year National Convention, the creation of the Boston Children’s Chorus has been a dream fulfilled.
CNC, Long, on wire now