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Today’s Stories

Reminder to readers: SHNS Coronavirus Tracker available for free

A reminder to our readers as the coronavirus crisis unfolds: The paywalled State House News Service, which produces MASSterList, is making its full Coronavirus Tracker available to the community for free on a daily basis each morning via ML. SHNS Coronavirus Tracker.

The coronavirus numbers: 13 new deaths, 9,191 total deaths, 594 new cases

CBS Boston has the latest coronavirus numbers for Massachusetts.

Trump’s tax returns: Did you pay only $750 in income taxes or go 10 years without paying any taxes?

The NYT’s piece on President Trump’s tax returns – showing he paid only $750 a year in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017 and no taxes in 10 other recent years — is going to dominate the political headlines today. But here’s the question: Will it stick? Will it make a difference? Maybe. But maybe not. From the Washington Post pre-NYT revelations: “‘All in’ for Trump: These White men, the strongest Trump supporters, say they can’t be swayed.”

Not surprisingly, Massachusetts congressional members are blasting the news of the president’s past tax payments, or lack thereof, as MassLive’s Benjamin Kail reports.


Healey charges two in Holyoke Soldiers’ Home tragedy

Is there another shoe to drop? From the AP’s Alanna Durkin Richer at GBH: “Two former leaders of a Massachusetts home for aging veterans where nearly 80 people sickened by the coronavirus died have been criminally charged for their handling of the outbreak, the state’s attorney general said Friday. Former Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Superintendent Bennett Walsh and former Medical Director David Clinton were indicted by a grand jury, Attorney General Maura Healey told reporters.”

Meanwhile, CommonWealth’s Shira Schoenberg explores whether underfunding was part of the problem in Holyoke.


Baker’s handling of nursing-home crisis: ‘Halting, chaotic, and in the end, disastrous’

Speaking of long-term care facilities: In a story headlined “A Home to Die In,” the Globe’s Spotlight Team is pulling no punches this morning, reporting/saying/asserting that the Baker administration’s early handling of the coronavirus crisis at nursing homes was initially ‘halting, chaotic, and in the end, disastrous’ and marked by its “striking lack of foresight and urgency as the virus” spread and ultimately killed one in seven in facilities.

As part of the Globe package: “Governor Baker and his staff continue to withhold key pandemic data.” Bottom line: The entire package is brutal and blunt. And, frankly, the timing of the piece so soon after AG Maura Healey’s action in Holyoke (see post immediately above) makes you wonder what could happen next.

Boston Globe

College coronavirus updates: UMass and Merrimack College hit with outbreaks

On another pandemic front, from the Herald’s Rick Sobey: “Merrimack College reports 47 more coronavirus cases from dorm cluster/Hundreds of students are in isolation or quarantine.”  Meanwhile, the Globe’s Abigail Feldman reports that UMass-Amherst has become “the latest New England institution to report a coronavirus outbreak,” with 13 students recently testing positive for the virus. 

Milton’s turn: Parents dropped off their high-school kids at large party?

Speaking of students (of the high-school variety), Milton is now in the running as home to the potentially most clueless pandemic parents, beating out Sudbury and Attleboro parents, if this WCVB report is true about an apparent large high-school student bash near a local golf course. A high school principal says it’s “disappointing” to “hear that parents and guardians were dropping their children off to go up to this place to party or to, you know, convene in large gatherings.”


Still surging: Nantucket records 19 new Covid cases over weekend

They’re more than a little nervous on Nantucket. Health officials report a burst of 19 new coronavirus cases over the weekend on Nantucket and they’re closely watching to see if it portends the start of yet another wave of cases, the Cape Cod Times reports. 

Cape Cod Times

Shocking: Trump calls Baker a RINO

Gov. Charlie Baker, a moderate Republican, tries to not get under President Trump’s skin too often. But he did, for some reason, on Friday, with the president tweeting about the “RINO Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts” and his support for mail-in-voting. Of course, it may have had something to do with Baker’s criticism of Trump’s controversial transfer-of-power comments. Who knows? CommonWealth’s Sarah Betancourt has the details.


Advice to presidential debate moderators: Let ‘em know about the ‘cocoon of horror’

Jon Keller takes time out from his Keller at Large duties at WBZ and MassterList to pen an opinion piece at the Globe in which he gives some advice to moderators of the three planned presidential debates, the first of which will be held tomorrow night. Among other things, moderators need to tell candidates to follow the rules or face the “cocoon of horror,” he writes.

Boston Globe

Hundreds march peacefully in Boston over Breonna Taylor decision

Looks like Gov. Charlie Baker’s activation of National Guard troops wasn’t necessary. WBUR’s Simón Ríos reports that more than 1,000 people turned out to peacefully protest the killing of Breonna Taylor and a controversial grand jury decision in Kentucky not to charge police officers. In western Massachusetts, via MassLive: “Advocates rally virtually for police reform in Springfield and across Massachusetts.” From the Telegram: “Say her name: Protesters rally in Worcester for Breonna Taylor.”

Meanwhile, Beacon Hill legislators are under pressure to act. From the AP at NBC Boston: “Black Leaders: Lawmakers Must OK Police Accountability Bill.” 

Deval Patrick: ‘I’m so tired of white people being comfortable’

In an opinion piece at WBUR, former Gov. Deval Patrick says he normally tries “my best to make people comfortable before plowing into hard subjects.” But no longer. Not after Breonna Taylor … and Ahmaud Arbery … and Trayvon Martin. Patrick’s bottom line: “Policing in America has to change for peace in America to exist.”


Meanwhile, it wasn’t so peaceful at a pro-Trump rally on Saturday

From Lauren Young at Wicked Local: “An arrest was made, a car crashed into a pole and heated scuffles were ignited during a pro-Trump rally held in both Framingham and Natick on Saturday afternoon.”

Wicked Local

Fed prosecutor in Massachusetts openly criticizes Barr’s ‘unprecedented politicization’ of office

Rare indeed. From the Globe’s Laura Crimaldi: “In a rare public rebuke of Attorney General William P. Barr by a current Department of Justice employee, a federal prosecutor in Boston wrote that the nation’s chief law enforcement officer ‘has brought shame’ to the agency” via “unprecedented politicization of the office of the attorney general.”

Suffolk DA Rollins releases list of 136 cops with pending charges or complaints against them

A Friday night news dump? WBUR’s Walter Wuthmann and Ally Jarmanning report that Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins on Friday evening released a list of Boston police officers and state troopers either charged with legal wrongdoing or have had misconduct complaints filed against them –and therefore they may have legal credibility problems in court cases.


‘Getting old’: Another Globe staffer is off to the Times

Media critic Dan Kennedy reports that Nestor Ramos, only recently promoted to the editors’ masthead at the Globe, is the paper’s latest staffer to jump ship to the New York Times – and a frustrated Globe editor Brian McGrory says “the pattern of the Times grabbing our journalists is getting old.” Btw: As Dan notes, the NYT’s newsroom recruiter is herself a former Globe editor.

Media Nation

Tale of two Turnpike projects: Record payment, ‘shambolic’ process

The Globe’s Jon Chesto reports that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has secured a record-setting $55 million deal allowing Meredith Management to build a 90,000-square-foot deck over the Turnpike near Fenway Park.

Meanwhile, the Globe’s Tim Logan reports that neighbors, including the Eliot Hotel on Commonwealth Avenue, are suing to stop construction of another project over the Pike along Massachusetts Avenue, blasting “the shambolic character of the city review process” and asserting the city failed to conduct required environmental studies.

Healey: Law firm ran referral-for-kickbacks pharmacy scheme that included limousine rentals and yacht outing

The BBJ’s Greg Ryan reports that Attorney General Maura Healey’s office has slapped Taunton’s Keches Law Group with a lawsuit alleging the firm referred clients to a pharmacy in return for $90,000 worth in kickbacks that included more than a few goodies. The firm denies the allegations. 

BBJ (pay wall)

On the hook: Worcester budget could take hit as DCU Center deficit climbs

The DCU Center will rack up a nearly $1 million operating deficit this year and the city’s budget could be on the hook to make up the shortfall, Nick Kotsopolous at the Telegram reports. The company that operates the arena for the city has cut payroll but has essentially seen no revenue since the onset of the pandemic in March and might remain idle well into 2021. 


Delayed-reaction phoenix: Taunton City Hall poised to reopen 10 years after arson

About time. Taunton officials are preparing to reopen City Hall next month after a $27 million renovation and 10 full years after it was shut in the wake of an arson blaze, Susannah Sudborough at the Taunton Gazette reports. 

Taunton Gazette

Virtual 2020 Best Places to Work

The BBJ hopes you can join us as we celebrate the Best Place To Work!

Boston Business Journal

Faith and the National Elections: A discussion of how faith informs our voting

Join us for a discussion with faith leaders and the media to discuss: How faith shapes the issues that matter most to us; Balancing issues, political party and personal attributes when deciding how to vote; Accurate and reliable reporting in the age of social media; and The impact of a candidate’s own faith.

A Faith That Does Justice

Virtual Author Talk with David Michaelis

Virtual author talk with David Michaelis, author of the new biography Eleanor

American Ancestors/NEHGS together with the State Library of Massachusetts and Porter Square Books

100th Anniversary Virtual Awards Gala

We will stand together, virtually, to celebrate our 2020 Health Care Stars who, while deserving the utmost praise and recognition pre-COVID-19, have maintained their commitment to improving and protecting the lives of MA residents since the outbreak began. We are planning a showcase of celebration and resilience and ask for your sponsorship support of our 2020 honorees and of MHC’s work.

Massachusetts Health Council

Today’s Headlines


The federal government rejected funding for a major Blue Hill Avenue bus project. Now what? – Boston Globe

Cambridge mask rules are toughened citywide as of Oct. 2 – Cambridge Day


Salem State students face sanctions after large off-campus party – Salem News

Eastham voters pass plastics reduction bylaw, water bottle ban – Cape Cod Times

Rockland’s holiday stroll canceled – Patriot Ledger


No handshakes, limited audience: Covid shapes final Trump-Biden debate talks – Politico

Trump’s taxes show chronic losses and years of tax avoidance – New York Times

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