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BOSTON (AP) — Film companies have been awarded $44 million in Massachusetts tax credits for projects filmed in 2011, with nearly two-thirds of new spending generated by the productions going to individuals and businesses located out-of-state, including many individuals making more than $1 million.

That's a jump over the $18 million in credits in 2010.

The Department of Revenue report credited the increase on the return of multiple major feature films being made in Massachusetts.

BOSTON (AP) — Immigrant advocates are pressing lawmakers to back legislation they say will help reduce the level of deportations in Massachusetts.

Several dozen activists rallied on the steps of the Statehouse on Wednesday in favor of the bill, which would encourage local law enforcement agencies not to forward information to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on illegal immigrants who don't have serious criminal convictions.

Sen. James Eldridge is the bill's lead sponsor.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region/Creative Commons

A series of workshops are being held across Western Massachusetts to educate the public, as well as municipal leaders and planners, on the importance of improving stream crossings for fish and wildlife, and for promoting public safety.

BOSTON (AP) — A state review has found no "serious wrongdoing" by former early education commissioner Sherri Killins, who participated in an internship outside of her state job.

But Education Secretary Matt Malone says some administrative procedures apparently were not followed.

Killins stepped down from her post earlier this week amid questions about whether her participation in the school superintendent training program, which required her to spend 300 hours in the town of Ware, was distracting from her ability to perform her nearly $200,000-a-year state job.

Group to rally in support of Mass. tax hike

Mar 12, 2013

Supporters of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's plan for a broad-based tax increase to pay for improvements in transportation and education plan to make their voices heard at the Statehouse.

A coalition called the Campaign for Our Communities has organized a rally and lobbying day today even as many top lawmakers appear to be shying away from Patrick's proposal to raise nearly $2 billion in new revenue.

Eric Haynes / Governor's Office

The Governor of Massachusetts recently signed an executive order to enhance opportunities for small businesses owned by disabled veterans. 

A federal investigation is reportedly underway involving a long-standing toy fund in the Berkshire town of Lee.

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts voters heading to the polls on primary day in this year's special U.S. Senate election will find something that was missing from last year's Senate race — a choice of candidates.

Three Republicans and two Democrats say they've collected more than the 10,000 certified signatures needed to land a spot on the April 30 ballot.

Former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan said Wednesday his volunteer signature effort was successful and he'll join state Rep. Daniel Winslow and Cohasset businessman Gabriel Gomez on the Republican ballot.

Residents of several Western Massachusetts communities will be able to participate in two separate initiatives designed to encourage energy efficiency.

Open discussions will be held in Lenox and North Adams this week for the public to offer ideas and gain more understanding of the area’s energy goals and of where the future of clean energy is headed.

That’s the goal of a collaborative effort between two organizations, the non-profit Western Massachusetts-based Center for Eco Technology, and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi and his administration have developed a set of guidelines related to the permitting of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Currently, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is working to meet a May 1st deadline to finalize medical marijuana regulations in the state. Mayor Bianchi said he’d like to see the City of Pittsfield begin working on their own framework in the meantime.