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Advances - Week of Sept. 27, 2020

The calendar turns to October Thursday, opening up a six-month stretch of the year's coolest weather, which this year carries extra significance due to COVID-19. Massachusetts is trying to sustain the fragile progress it has achieved since the spring.

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After Gov. Charlie Baker rose to the defense of mail-in voting Thursday, and said it was "appalling" for an officeholder to suggest anything other than a peaceful transfer of power, he received a Twitter jab around 7:30 a.m. Friday from President Donald Trump. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Weekly Roundup - Tweeted At

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has long been a prime target of President Trump's tweets, and has been known to, on occasion, dish it right back over social media. Sen. Ed Markey's primary win over Rep. Joe Kennedy III earned him a few acknowledgments -- if not by name -- on the presidential Twitter feed earlier this month. And on Friday, it was finally Gov. Charlie Baker's turn.

Healey Alleges Law Firm Took More than $90,000 in Kickbacks

Attorney General Maura Healey has filed suit against a Massachusetts law firm alleging it accepted of tens of thousands of dollars in illegal kickbacks, but the firm denies the charges against it and says there was no quid pro quo.

State House Takeout Podcast

Attorney General Maura Healey announced criminal charges Friday against two top leaders at Holyoke Soldiers' Home. [Screenshot]

Two Charged in Holyoke Soldiers' Home Deaths

In what Attorney General Maura Healey described as the first case of its kind nationwide, two top leaders at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home will face criminal charges for their alleged role in exacerbating a deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.

Walsh Urges Protesters to be Peaceful, Wear Masks

Heading into a weekend where multiple protests are planned, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh cautioned protesters Friday to spurn violence and observe public health precautions.

Boys and Girls Clubs Face $20 Mil in Lost Revenue

Boys and Girls Clubs in the state expect to lose $20 million in revenue by the end of 2020 due to the pandemic and are grappling with the sustainability of operations, according to the director of the organization representing the clubs.

Western Massachusetts business leaders touted the region's quality of life and lower density as features that could become even more appealing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. [Screenshot]

Pandemic Highlights “Calling Cards” of the West

As Massachusetts works to claw its way back from the economic upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders in the western part of the state see an opportunity to generate new interest in the region's offerings.

"It would be unfortunate if later in the year a district had to go remote because the virus spiked back up in their community and they recognize 'Wow, we could have had our kids back on for a couple months, or maybe even six months,'" Education Commissioner Jeff Riley said Thursday. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Baker Grades School Reopenings: “Fine Start”

The back-to-school season in Massachusetts "is off to a fine start," Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday as his administration continued its multi-day push around the importance of in-person learning in communities where COVID-19 risks are classified as low.

FERC Gives Quick Okay for Compressor Station Startup

Federal regulators gave energy giant Enbridge the green light on Thursday to start service at the Weymouth natural gas compressor station, removing the final hurdle to the facility's operation less than two weeks after an emergency shutdown prompted new controversy.

Uncaptioned image for story:Takeout Takeaways: Rosenberg Returning As Lobbyist

Takeout Takeaways: Rosenberg Returning As Lobbyist

When Stanley Rosenberg left Beacon Hill in the spring of 2018 under less than desirable circumstances, no one could say for sure if or when the Amherst Democrat might resurface after a career spent in public service. But Rosenberg, who once ascended the political platform in Massachusetts to become the first openly gay and Jewish president of the Senate, is back, and in a position he never imagined for himself. He's a lobbyist.

Baker Activates 1,000 National Guard Members

Gov. Charlie Baker activated up to 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard on Thursday in case guardsmen are needed to facilitate demonstrations or keep the peace at large-scale events, his administration said.

Regulators Close In On Marijuana Home Delivery Plan

The Cannabis Control Commission filled in the blanks Thursday of its long-discussed marijuana home delivery rules, agreeing upon a framework that creates two types of delivery licenses and settling on a timeline that would have new cannabis industry rules in place in about a month.

Uncaptioned image for story:Eighth Infection as West Nile Virus Reaches Peak Levels

Eighth Infection as West Nile Virus Reaches Peak Levels

The risk of West Nile virus infection is at it peak and most of the West Nile activity in the state continues to be focused around the Boston area, public health officials said Thursday as they announced an eighth human case of the virus this year.

Gov. Charlie Baker: "It is appalling and outrageous that anyone would suggest, even for a minute, that if they lose an election, they're not going to leave. Period." [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Baker Balks at Trump Comments on Power Transfer

Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that he and other public officials "will do everything we can to make sure that the people's will is followed through" after this fall's election.

Cape Food Pantries Ready to Meet Region’s Needs

With food insecurity skyrocketing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, Cape Cod officials want the public to know that local pantries are fully equipped to help anyone in need.

Region’s Reps Continue Call for New Stimulus Bill

Arguing U.S. Senate Republicans have not yet offered a viable deal for a COVID-19 relief package, three U.S. House Democrats from New England called on their Republican colleagues in the upper chamber Thursday to sit down at the negotiating table and work towards passing federal aid.

Uncaptioned image for story:Casinos Expanding Operations After Limited Reopenings

Casinos Expanding Operations After Limited Reopenings

It's been almost three months since the slots parlor and casinos in Massachusetts reopened and regulators said Thursday that each of the gambling facilities are now starting to expand their offerings.

Citing Taylor Case, Baker Again Presses for Policing Reform Bill

Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday again voiced interest in a quick resolution for the policing reform bill that's been tied up in a conference committee for almost two months, tying the matter to the death of Breonna Taylor.

Senate Session Summary - Thursday, Sept. 24

The Housing Committee has not yet acted on legislation intended to guarantee housing stability during the COVID-19 emergency (S 2831 / H 4878), and the Senate agreed Thursday to give committee members until the end of October to make a recommendation. Housing Co-Chair Rep. Kevin Honan is a lead sponsor of one of the bills.

Pandemic Highlights “Calling Cards” of the West

[Story Developing] The COVID-19 pandemic that has upended public life in Massachusetts could drive new interest in living and working in the state's western region, officials and local business leaders said Thursday.