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State House News Service

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Gas prices continue slide across the state

Gas prices in Massachusetts dipped for the fourth straight week, falling to $3.

Mass unemployment numbers hold steady at 7.6 percent

The unemployment rate in Massachusetts held steady in July for a third consecutive month, hanging at 7.

Consumer confidence down in Massachusetts

Consumer confidence in Massachusetts fell sharply for the second straight quarter, according to Mass Insight, which reported August 18 that its index measuring consumer optimism and pessimism had fallen below 60 for the first time in two and a half years.

One Wampanoag tribe could cash in from renewed gaming push

House and Senate leaders on Tuesday embraced an expanded and controversial gaming bill that would license three resort-style casinos in Massachusetts and one slot facility bid competitively.

SE Mass lawmakers want no tribe advantage in casino bid

Worried that their colleagues might approve expanded gambling legislation that favors Native American tribes in their region, southeastern Massachusetts lawmakers are urging Gov.

Public Health Council approves school nutrition plan

The state Public Health Council on Wednesday approved regulations that will require schools to provide children with low-fat milk, fruit juice, and water, ban soda and sugary drinks, require fresh fruits and vegetables to be sold in school cafeterias, promote whole grain breads, and ensure that water is available to students for free throughout the school day.

Fixed interest college loans now available through MEFA

Fixed-interest college loans will immediately become available to families through the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority, the Patrick administration announced Tuesday.

Mass jobless rate falls below 8 percent for first time in two years

Massachusetts employers added 19,500 jobs in April and the state's jobless rate dipped below 8 percent for the first time in two years, the State House News Service reported.

Foreclosures numbers down compared to one year ago

Initiated and completed foreclosures as well as foreclosure auction notices were all down significantly in April compared to a year ago, according to data released Tuesday morning, the State House News Service reported.

Labor chief rips report on municipal health costs

A day after The Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation released a report concluding that municipal governments in Massachusetts provide employees with health insurance plans that are far more costly and generous than those offered in the private sector or through other public employers, the head of the state's biggest labor union cast off the findings as "one-sided interests" of business-funded groups.

Martha’s Vineyard population grew in last decade, Census shows

Dukes County, which includes the six towns on Martha's Vineyard and Gosnold, grew by more than 10 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to...

Labor group pushes for $10 hour state minimum wage

The state's largest organized labor group is throwing its weight behind a proposal to raise the minimum wage in Massachusetts by $2 over the next three years in a move that would give the state the highest base wage rate in the country.

Former Congressman Bill Delahunt will work for Mashpee tribe

Two months removed from office, former Congressman William Delahunt has signed on to represent the 2,000-member Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, which has long been in the mix as a potential casino developer, at the federal and state levels, the State House News Service reported.

Cape Wind opponents want state to take another look at rates

Cape Wind opponents, citing NSTAR's contracts with lower cost wind projects, have filed a motion with state regulators requesting that they reopen the agreement between the offshore wind farm and National Grid, the State House News reported.

Consumer confidence rose, but doubts remain

Consumer confidence rose in early 2011, largely due to more optimistic expectations about future economic conditions, but confidence levels remain more negative than positive, according to a phone survey of 500 adult residents in Massachusetts, the State House News Service reported.

Groups want feds to redo Cape Wind review

Cape Wind officials on Tuesday labeled "frivolous" an appeal filed by the Nantucket Sound wind-farm opponents who say federal regulators should redo their air permit review because basic information about the project has changed since its original application, State House News reported.

House audit panel plans Lyme report

The House Post Audit Committee, the panel charged with overseeing the performance of state government, will not probe the controversy surrounding the state Probation Department, committee chairman Rep.

State drafts new rules for student athletes

Public health officials are aiming to have new rules, training and reporting requirements in place for the start of the 2011-2012 school year to better protect student athletes from traumatic head injuries that can occur during sports and other extracurricular activities.