Massachusetts

For immigrants in the country illegally, the fear of running into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents has made some public places appear threatening. In the current environment, that can include a visit to the emergency room.

Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET

A small number of right-wing "Free Speech Rally" demonstrators disbanded early from Boston Common after they were confronted by thousands of counterprotesters shouting anti-Nazi and anti-KKK slogans.

Deborah Becker, a reporter with member station WBUR in Boston, said that "a few dozen" rally attendees were escorted from Parkman Bandstand by police and placed into police vehicles "for their own safety."

The Boston Free Speech Coalition will hold a rally in Boston Common over the wekend. Counter-protesters say the rally is giving a platform to people who promote racist and white nationalist ideas.
Elise Amendola / AP

In light of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, a self-described "free speech rally" in Boston this weekend is drawing national attention.

Following the fatal violence at a white supremacist gathering in Virginia, public safety officials in Boston are preparing for weekend demonstrations on Boston Common. But they admit they’re unsure just what to expect, partly because city officials have been unable to contact organizers of a controversial rally planned for Saturday.

Low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by the consequences of climate change -- think New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. These areas suffer from poor air quality, increasing temperatures, and extreme weather.

Update at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday: Iranian cancer researcher Dr. Sayed Mohsen Dehnavi and his family were put on a flight back to Iran Tuesday night, per U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Original story:

An Iranian researcher coming to work at Boston Children’s Hospital as a visiting scholar has been denied entry to the United States.

A man arrested by federal immigration officials after a workers’ compensation meeting is out of federal custody after more than a month in jail.

Thirty-seven-year-old Jose Flores was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents immediately following a meeting arranged by his employer. Flores’ lawyers question whether his arrest was retaliation by the employer, looking to get out of the workers’ comp claim. Advocates fear his arrest could prevent other workers in the country illegally from reporting workplace accidents.

The tiny southern Vermont town of Stamford rejected its Act 46 merger plan Wednesday, and the town will now look into an interstate school district with nearby Clarksburg, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont wastewater plants along the Connecticut River are waiting to hear from the Environmental Protection Agency. Even without specifics, managers at the larger plants know they will be required to adjust the amount of nitrogen in their treated wastewater, considerably lowering the levels, potentially at a high cost.

The tiny town of Stamford is looking into forming a new school district with nearby Clarksburg, Massachusetts, to meet the provisions of Act 46.

Refugee resettlement agencies receive funding based on the number of people they anticipate resettling, so the uncertainty around President Trump’s travel ban has serious fiscal consequences.

Jeff Thielman is the CEO of the International Institute of New England, a resettlement agency working in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. His agency expects eight refugees to arrive by March 28.

Jesse Costa / WBUR

A family of Syrian refugees landed Friday at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire, completing a journey that almost never happened.

Snow and rain have been falling in New England, which means the region's drought isn't getting any worse. But it isn't getting much better either.

Chalabala / iStock

Starting Thursday, it will be legal in Massachusetts to possess small amounts of marijuana, or to grow it for recreational purposes. In neighboring states like Vermont and New York, where pot possession remains illegal, law enforcement officials are preparing for what legalization in Massachusetts could mean for bordering areas.