ACTON-State Sen. James B. Eldridge (D-Acton) wants an oversight hearing held on how to prevent suicides at the Souza-Baranowski Correction Center in Shirley after the death of Aaron Hernandez. Eldridge wants answers from prison officials about staffing levels and how they prevent suicides. Eldridge says the problem at the prison, which is in his district, has reached a crisis level. Massachusetts has one of the highest levels of prison suicides in the country at a rate of 32 per 10,000 inmates. (Boston Herald)
BOSTON-A proposal to create an independent commission to regulated legalized marijuana, similar to what the state Gaming commission does, is receiving opposition from state auditor Suzanne Bump and marijuana legalization advocates. Bump said the commission will have no oversight and not be answerable to anyone. Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is establishing an oversight board based on the law that was passed. (Boston Herald)
BARNSTABLE-A new five-year low has been reached in the number of homeless people living on Cape Cod and the Islands, according a recent count. Recorded in late January, there were 324 homeless people, including 100 children, living in the area. That was 70 fewer people than the previous count.
FRAMINGHAM-Bristol and Essex counties recorded failing grades for ozone concentrations in the American Lung Association’s 2017 “State of the Air” report, which analyzed air quality data from 2013, 2014 and 2016. Overall, there was a significant upgrade from the 2016 report when seven out of the state’s 13 counties received F’s. The Boston-Worcester-Providence area ranked 37th worst out of 228 metropolitan areas in the United States for the number of days when the ozone concentrations were too high. (MetroWest Daily News)