Medicaid insurers seek more from state
BOSTON (AP) - Companies that insure Medicaid patients in Massachusetts are pressing for an increase in the payments they receive from the state for serving low-income residents.
The health insurers say $140 million in losses since the start of the year are the result of an expensive new hepatitis C drug and a surge of nearly 190,000 new members assigned to the companies by MassHealth, the state Medicaid program.
Insurers say the state did not budget enough money to cover added costs.
State health officials tell The Boston Globe their data analysis does not corroborate all of the insurers' claims, but they are expected this week to propose higher reimbursement rates to the insurers for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 that will reflect updated data on medical and drug costs.
Group: I-495 incident shows need to fix bridges
CHELMSFORD, Mass. (AP) - An independent group says an incident in which debris peeled off a highway overpass and smashed the windshield of a car traveling below should serve as a warning about the need to fix crumbling roads and bridges in Massachusetts.
Crews made emergency repairs to the Route 3A bridge after Tuesday's incident on Interstate 495 in Chelmsford. No one was seriously hurt.
Transportation for Massachusetts said in a statement that the bridge is among many in the state considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
The group called on voters to defeat a November ballot question that would repeal a law that automatically ties increases in the gasoline tax to inflation. Revenues from the tax help fund road and bridge repairs.
Advocates for repeal say lawmakers should be required to vote on any tax hikes.
Police release name of man killed in Cambridge
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - State police have released the identity of the pedestrian struck and killed by a car as he walked along Memorial Drive in Cambridge.
The victim struck at about 7 a.m. Tuesday was identified Wednesday as 50-year-old Mark Keiser of Boston.
Keiser was taken by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Police say he was struck in the eastbound lanes by a Honda Accord driven by a 24-year-old Brighton man. The driver's name has not been disclosed.
The death remains under investigation.
IPAD DISCRIMINATION CLAIM
ACLU challenges school district's iPad policy
(Information in the following story is from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com )
MENDON, Mass. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a complaint with Massachusetts education officials over what it calls the discriminatory policy regarding iPad use at a state school district.
The ACLU says the Mendon-Upton School District allows only low-income middle school students who qualify for free or reduced price lunches to take school-provided iPads home with them, while the rest of the students can only use the school iPads in school, or must buy their own.
The Telegram & Gazette reports that the ACLU of Massachusetts says the policy violates state law by not providing all students with equal access to educational resources.
The complaint was filed on behalf of a parent with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The district's superintendent could not be reached for comment.
SEX OFFENDER-PROBATION VIOLATION
Massachusetts sex offender sent back to prison
(Information in the following story is from: The Salem (Mass.) News, http://www.salemnews.com )
SALEM, Mass. (AP) - A convicted rapist has been sent back to prison for violating his probation by cutting off a GPS monitoring device and crossing state lines with a 16-year-old boy.
Matthew Delima is a Level 3 sex offender, considered the most likely to re-offend, after being convicted of raping a 7-year-old girl in New Bedford.
A judge in Salem Superior Court on Tuesday sent the 31-year-old Delima back to prison to serve out at least two more years and up to 10 in the New Bedford case because he went to New Hampshire last month with the boy.
The Salem News reports that he's not expected to face state charges because the teenager has reached the age of consent.
Delima said in court his relationship with the teen was entirely consensual.
Massachusetts cutlery maker files for bankruptcy
(Information in the following story is from: The (Greenfield, Mass.) Recorder, http://www.recorder.com )
BUCKLAND, Mass. (AP) - The nation's oldest cutlery manufacturer has filed for bankruptcy after 177 years of making knives and other kitchen tools.
The Recorder of Greenfield reports that Lamson & Goodnow Manufacturing Co. of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month, which protects the company from creditors as it reorganizes.
The business has also put its 18-acre factory complex up for sale.
According to federal bankruptcy court in Springfield, the company filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of two multimillion dollar loans it could not repay. The company owes $1 million on a U.S. Small Business Administration loan and more than $2 million to the small business corporation in New York.
Founded in 1837, the company has been owned by James Ross Anderson since 1998.
Dog owners warned of deadly virus
ALLENSTOWN, N.H. (AP) - Dog owners in New Hampshire are being warned about a deadly virus that has killed more than a dozen dogs in Massachusetts.
Parvovirus can cause intense defecation and vomiting. The disease is transmitted when healthy dogs come into contact with the feces or vomit of an infected dog. There is a vaccine available.
At least 15 dogs have died in Lowell, Massachusetts.
In Allenstown, breeder Jen Cutter tells WMUR-TV she believes some people who came from Massachusetts to look at her dogs brought the virus with them. She said one of her puppies fell ill and died this month.
Experts said if the virus has appeared in a household, the dog's quarters should be thoroughly cleaned with a bleach solution.
Bear spotted wandering through Hadley
(Information in the following story is from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/ )
HADLEY, Mass. (AP) - Hadley police have issued a warning to residents after a bear was spotted roaming through town.
Police said the bear was spotted in the vicinity of Shattuck Road about 5 p.m. Tuesday, an area between routes 47 and 116.
The Republican reports that police said on their Facebook page that the bear was spotted "running through the neighborhoods."
Although it's fairly common for bears to wander through western Massachusetts, particularly in rural or semi-suburban areas, police or state wildlife officials may get involved if the animals linger in heavily populated areas for too long.
Residents who spot the bear are urged to contact police or state wildlife officials.
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