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Mass. appeals court upholds ruling dismissing DCF lawsuit

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A nonprofit’s effort to improve Massachusetts' struggling child welfare system hit another roadblock this week with an appeals court decision that closed the door on an effort to get the federal court to oversee reform. The court on Dec. 15 upheld a lower court decision dismissing a lawsuit filed against the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Chief Judge Sandra Lynch of the US First Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in the 40-page decision that a district court judge – while pointing out major deficiencies in the child welfare system – was correct in dismissing the suit filed by the New York-based national advocacy organization, Children’s Rights. Continue Reading →

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Prenatal Chat

A pregnant woman

A new generation of prenatal screening tests has exploded onto the market in the past three years. What do you need to know about prenatal screenings? What questions should you ask your doctor? Join our panel of experts to answer your questions about this complicated topic Continue Reading →

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Unexplained infant deaths to be reported to state social workers

A toy crib

Each year, dozens of Massachusetts children die suddenly and unexpectedly. But new guidelines — released in a report filed on the medical examiner’s website earlier this fall — already are prompting concern from some families and groups involved in the prevention of unexpected infant deaths, which include sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, as well as accidental suffocation and entrapment, and other unexplained causes. Continue Reading →

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Homeowners sold out by cities? Investors buy tax liens and foreclose

Dartmouth town administrator Greg Barnes (left) auctions off some properties with tax liens to Bill Cowin, managing member of Tallage, LLC. (Peter Pereira/The Standard-Times)

As cash-strapped towns and cities around the Bay State face a mounting stash of unpaid tax liens, they are increasingly turning to for-profit companies to pursue delinquent owners -- prompting concerns among consumer advocates that vulnerable residents are being hit with astronomical fees and sometimes are losing their homes in the process. Continue Reading →

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