BOSTON

Dr. Thomas Michel unzips a black roller bag and pulls out a bright red accordion. It’s Rosie, his “protest accordion.”

Michel, who heads up a cardiovascualar lab through Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, is at Logan Airport with a few colleagues from the lab. Michel leads them in a sampling of patriotic folk songs.

This is a welcome party that was supposed to happen in February, when an Iranian doctor was scheduled to arrive at Logan to begin his Harvard Med School post-doc position.

Boston’s immigrant communities are responding with anger and fear to the recent arrests of some 50 people across the state by federal agents this week. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — or ICE — targeted Massachusetts as part of a nation-wide crack-down on people in the country illegally who had also committed crimes. But immigrant advocates in Boston say the raids are sweeping up the innocent and leaving neighborhoods terrified.

Boston Public School officials say they are expecting many young Puerto Ricans to arrive in the district in the wake of Hurricane Maria. On Thursday, the district and its partners got together to anticipate the needs of those students and their families, and brainstorm how they could meet them.

Normally, Sonia Gomez-Banrey runs an early-education program for Boston Public Schools. But today, she’s thinking about the destruction in Puerto Rico.

Authorities on Thursday charged a man from El Salvador who’s lived in Everett for allegedly organizing East Coast activities for a notorious Salvadoran gang.

Edwin Manica Flores, 35, was indicted on RICO conspiracy charges for allegedly coordinating racketeering activities for the East Coast branch of the gang MS-13, the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts announced.

Seventy-eight-year-old Alonso Mercado and his wife emerged from the gates at Logan Airport on Wednesday evening to see their children and grandchildren. They came from Puerto Rico to take refuge with family in the United States.

Being in the Boston, Mercado says, is like paradise.

“Like in heaven,” he says.

Mercado says his home is ruined, and he plans to stay on the mainland until Puerto Rico returns to normal.

“We didn’t have no light and no water,” Mercado says. “No electricity in the house, not in the house, in the whole Puerto Rico.”

President Donald Trump's new travel restrictions are prompting reactions from both sides of the debate in the U.S. over immigration.

In a photo from April 2017, the Massachusetts Statehouse.
William Zhang / Creative Commons

A former Boston city councilor is offering a suggestion he says could help his city -- and Springfield.

Mike Ross wrote a column in Boston magazine saying Massachusetts should auction off its historic statehouse, so it could become condos. 

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a news conference on Aug. 15, 2017, about a planned free speech rally Saturday. Gov. Charlie Baker looks on.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

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.

"All we know is what we're seeing on social media," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said at a Monday press conference during which he and Gov. Charlie Baker denounced the message of hate groups.

Standard & Poor's is one of the big three credit rating agencies.
Funky Tee / Creative Commons

The credit rating for Massachusetts is now on par with most New England states. That's after a major credit rating agency downgraded the state's bonds.

Berkshire Bank offices in downtown Pittsfield.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Berkshire Bank says its planned move to Boston will have little impact on workers at its current headquarters in Pittsfield.

The move to Boston is largely driven by Berkshire's planned acquisition of Commerce Bank, which has 19 branches in central and eastern Massachusetts.

Sean Gray, chief operating officer of Berkshire Bank, said there will be no job losses in Pittsfield and the city will remain an operational center for the bank.

He said moving its headquarters to Boston will get executives closer to regulators, lawmakers and the financial hub of the region.

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