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Palestinians are members of our big, messy human family. They are as decent, and at times as indecent, as any other group of people on earth. They are men and women, adults and children. They have hopes, dreams and fears. They want to live their lives in a place where they have opportunity, autonomy and community.

Massachusetts lawmakers renewed their commitment to passing an omnibus gun bill this session, with a focus on ghost guns, reducing violence through a public health lens by investing in community programs, and making Massachusetts a leader in the collection and analysis of gun data and research. 

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A Massachusetts woman convicted of beating her 11-month-old niece to death more than five years ago while she was caring for the girl has been sentenced to up to 7 years in prison. Thursday's sentencing of 32-year-old Shu Feng Hsu, of Quincy, came several days after she was convicted of manslaughter in the death of the baby, who was taken to the hospital in February 2018 with blunt force head and brain injuries consistent with a 40 mph vehicle crash. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of up to 18 years behind bars for Hsu given the age of defenselessness of the victim and the defendant’s position of authority.

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The owner of two Boston pizza shops already facing a forced labor charge for allegedly coercing an employee not legally in the U.S. to work long hours has been indicted on additional charges. Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that Stavros Papantoniadis has been indicted on four counts of forced labor and three counts of attempted forced labor in connection with seven workers. Prosecutors allege he hired people who were not in the U.S. legally, forced or attempted to force them to work long hours, underpaid them, and kept them in line by verbally and physically abusing them. A message was left with his attorney.

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Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan McDonagh and his teammates took the ice on Tuesday night in Boston while thinking about the tragedy back home. On Monday, a fatal grade school shooting in Nashville left six dead, including three children. McDonagh said the team was thinking about the victims as the Predators beat the NHL-leading Bruins 2-1. McDonagh didn't fly on the team charter Monday. He stayed with his three young daughters in Tennessee and instead traveled to Boston on Tuesday. The Predators and Bruins wore helmet stickers to show support for The Covenant School, where three 9-year-old students and three adult staffers were killed. The Bruins also held a moment of silence before the national anthem.

North Adams Public Schools, along with Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, announce the official designation of the Early College program at Drury-MCLA. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Higher Education approved the full designation on March 15.

For about three weeks per medium-sized painting, artist Janet Rickus looks at squash, lemons, or a carefully selected group of ceramic crockery. Painters (myself included) often bristle at the discussion about the time invested in a painting because it’s the one of the least accurate measures of a painter’s skill or a painting’s value.

You planted a meadow of native grasses and wildflowers to nourish bees, butterflies and other pollinators. You are savoring the resulting explosion of flowers, when out of the blue you receive a notice of violation from your town government or homeowners association. It seems that you have violated the community’s “weed ordinance.” What now? 

Mikel Jollett, author of "Hollywood Park" and frontman of The Airborne Toxic Event, will speak on the topics of trauma and creativity as part of a new speaker series focused on mental health and trauma at Williams College. The talk, 7:30 p.m. April 4 is free and open to the public.


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