GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

A stretch of the Housatonic River that under an EPA proposal would be dredged to remove PCBs.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Two environmental advocacy groups said they are disappointed by an Environmental Protection Agency appeals board decision about the latest phase of cleaning up the Housatonic River.

Jeff Riley.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Jeff Riley, the superintendent and receiver of Lawrence Public Schools, is on track become the next Massachusetts education commissioner after an 8-3 vote by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Monday. 

In the days after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, residents of some of the hardest hit rural areas found themselves stranded — cut off from more populated areas by mudslides, crumbled roads and bridges, and toppled trees and power lines. In those early days, the only food and water many of these communities received arrived by helicopter, sent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A scaled model of Wynn's planned casino in Everett, Massachusetts.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has called the allegations of sexual misconduct against casino magnate Steve Wynn "appalling and disgraceful." 

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe is leaving the bureau after more than 20 years on the job, according to an individual familiar with the matter.

McCabe stepped down Monday from his post as the bureau's No. 2 official, and as expected he will take accumulated leave and remain on the payroll until March when he is eligible to retire with full benefits. The departure plan had been in the works for a while.

Former Massachusetts Senate President Stanley Rosenberg confirmed to reporters Thursday that he had separated from his husband Bryon Hefner, who is undergoing treatment after allegations of sexual assault.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

The Massachusetts Senate has accepted the resignation letter of Senator Linda Forry, who accepted a job in the private sector. Just weeks before, Forry had been angling to lead the chamber, as Amherst Democrat Stan Rosenberg stepped aside amid a sexual harassment investigation into his spouse. 

Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III, seen as a rising political star with a famous last name, will deliver the Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union on Tuesday.

Top Democratic leaders in Congress made the announcement Thursday evening, calling Kennedy a "relentless fighter for working Americans." Kennedy is the grandson of the late Robert Kennedy, the former U.S. attorney general and New York senator who was assassinated in 1968. He is also the great nephew of both the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy and the late president John F. Kennedy.

President Trump's reported order last summer to fire Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is all about obstruction of justice — whether it happened, and whether it could be proved.

Updated at 10:31 a.m. ET

So President Trump sought to fire Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller last year — but the White House's top lawyer wouldn't go along. Does that mean Mueller is safe?

Maybe. Maybe not.

The news about Trump's desire to get rid of Mueller only weeks after the president dismissed FBI Director James Comey — but his unwillingness to press the matter — could mean Trump and his advisers feel it's too dangerous to attempt the same play twice.

A doctor's examination room.
Jennifer Morrow / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/donotlick

The Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission will reconsider its recent decision to restructure its health insurance system -- a move that would impact about 450,000 state and municipal employees and retirees.

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