Holyoke Public Schools

In the months since Hurricane Maria, 1,400 students from Puerto Rico have registered for school in Massachusetts.

Marlene Hernandez shuffled through winter coats with her cousin Kaliel Diaz at a hurricane relief center in Hartford. Diaz arrived from Puerto Rico with three other family members just days before.

Gov. Charlie Baker, right, swears in Colonel Kerry Gilpin, left, with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.
Courtesy Office of Gov. Charlie Baker

We start our look back at the week's news with two criminal justice bills passed separately by both chambers of the Massachusetts legislature. 

At MedStar Washington Hospital Center, doctors and nurses are moving as many patients as they can from intravenous medications to the same drugs in pill form.

PawSox players in the dugout in 2014.
Eric Kilby flickr.com/photos/ekilby / Creative Commons

Worcester is making a serious pitch to be the new home of the top minor league team for the Boston Red Sox. But the Paw Sox of Pawtucket may have other plans. 

Seven weeks ago, Hurricane Maria roared through the center of Puerto Rico. Winds battered the palm leaves and rain poured over the houses in the town of Barrancas.

The storm brought terror to German Santini, who was inside his home. Santini emerged the next day to see a town that looked like it had been hit by airstrikes.

“You get the urge to cry,” he said. “You don’t feel like doing anything, seeing everything destroyed. Puerto Rico is going to take a long time to recover from this.”

We drove to Caguas, a city south of San Juan, four weeks after Hurricane Maria hit. Our guide was Luis Cotto -- a former Hartford city councilman now living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We traveled to Puerto Rico to tell stories; he traveled to deliver thousands of dollars in inflatable solar lights and water filters to people who need them, including members of his family.

Last week, a tiny company in Montana called Whitefish Energy Holdings announced that it had been given a $300 million contract with Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to help restore electricity on the island, which was severely damaged last month by Hurricane Maria.

Nelson Robles, 56, is the maintenance man at Primera Iglesia Bautista Emanuel church in downtown Bridgeport. He’s also a percussionist during mass. Every morning, he walks to the corner of his church – just off the altar to the right – and prays. He said that while he’s down on his knees looking for guidance, he feels God.

Blanca Ortiz-Torres was sitting in a Puerto Rican oasis. She was at a working bakery in the tiny mountain town of Maricao that had both a generator and a cistern and, as a result, could serve cold drinks, hot coffee, fresh pastries, and pizza.