A city worker repairs a pothole in the North End — within 90 minutes, it had caved in.

Holes in the system: Boston boasts pothole fixes that don’t get made

Boston has a habit of implying potholes have been fixed when they haven’t, according to an examination by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting of the city system called Citizens Connect – an award-winning mobile app and website meant to increase transparency and accountability in government. A sampling of 78 cases found nearly half reported closed did not meet the city guidelines for fixing potholes.

A city worker repairs a pothole in the North End — within 90 minutes, it had caved in.

Holes in the system: Boston boasts pothole fixes that don’t get made (+documentation)

Boston has a habit of implying potholes have been fixed when they haven’t, according to an examination by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting of a city system called Citizens Connect — an award-winning mobile app and website meant to increase transparency and accountability in government. A sampling of 78 cases found nearly half reported closed did not meet the city guidelines for fixing potholes.

A frequent fisherman on Boston-area ponds, Alex P. (who declined to give his full name) caught an 8-inch bass in Boston’s Jamaica Pond recently and planned to eat it. He said he hadn't heard of the state’s blanket advisory that mercury in freshwater fish in Massachusetts, generally, is not safe for women of childbearing age and children under 12 to eat.

Mercury emissions down but mercury in Mass. fish remains high

Mercury emissions from major Massachusetts sources have declined by 90 percent over the past two decades, but mercury levels in the state’s freshwater fish hold stubbornly high, with many species too contaminated for pregnant women and children to eat. Meanwhile, languid summer days and the lure of Massachusetts’ 3,000 freshwater bodies – from the Berkshire's Lake Pontoosuc to Boston's Jamaica Pond – send many anglers casting for a good fish dinner.

Brooke Williams

NECIR reporter wins prestigious journalism award

Congratulations to NECIR senior investigative reporter and senior trainer Brooke Williams, who won a 2015 Gerald Loeb Award alongside Eric Lipton, Ben Protess and Nicholas Confessore for their New York Times investigation “Lobbying in America.” Their report and database revealed the way foreign governments contribute to influential think tanks here in the United States. The Gerald Loeb award is one of journalism’s highest honors, and Brooke and her co-reporters took home the prize for Best Beat Reporting.

Grafton and Upton Railroad workers set about righting the derailed train and its cargo.

Small Derailment Fuels Bigger Fears around Grafton Propane Facility

A train run by the Grafton and Upton Railroad derailed in the town of Grafton, Mass. on Tuesday night while crossing through the town’s center. The derailment came just minutes before a town meeting in which the railroad’s owner, Jon Delli Priscoli, was scheduled to address a public audience over concerns related to the expansion in recent years of the railroad’s activity.

No one was injured, the train remained fully upright and Doug Pizzi, a spokesman for the railroad, says the incident was a minor one and caused no damage to the track. (It did damage at least some public roadway). But the incident loomed much larger than its component facts for many of Grafton’s residents.

plumisland

How federally subsidized flood insurance can artificially increase the value of risky homes

With storms getting bigger and sea levels rising, why do people keep rebuilding along the coast? University of Massachusetts Dartmouth professor Chad McGuire and his colleagues analyzed more than 57,000 Massachusetts properties insured by the federally backed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to answer that very question. What they found will surprise you.

Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Maura Healey

Healey backs new law protecting homeowners from tax lien sales

A representative from Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Maura Healey's office testified Tuesday in favor of a bill meant to protect elderly and disabled residents who are struggling to pay past due municipal taxes. The legislation – “An Act Relative to the Improvement in the Process for Collecting Delinquent Property Taxes” – was discussed Tuesday morning in the state Joint Committee on Revenue.