Rapper says he was one in Romney confrontation
A rapper says former Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney first touched him — and not the other way around — during a confrontation aboard a taxiing Air Canada flight.
Sky Blu says in a video on TMZ.com he was trying to go to sleep when he leaned his seat back on a Vancouver-to-Los Angeles flight last week. He says Romney loudly told him to straighten it and grabbed his shoulder.
Gordy says he swung at Romney to defend himself. He says Romney’s wife, Ann, screamed and the plane returned to the gate before two police officers escorted Gordy off.
Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom has no comment. Aides said this week that Romney told them he thought the other person was a band member.
Messages were left Friday with Air Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Coakley raised $4.3M in final campaign stretch
It’s becoming clear just how badly Democratic Martha Coakley was swamped by a tide of campaign cash flooding into Republican Scott Brown’s coffers in the final days of the special U.S. Senate election.
Coakley raised $4.3 million between Jan. 1 and Feb. 8, according to her final federal campaign finance report. Brown won the Jan. 19 election.
He raised $14.2 million during the same period.
Coakley had been considered the front-runner in the race for the seat left vacant by the death of Edward Kennedy.
But as polls started to show the race narrowing, millions poured into Brown’s campaign from donors across the country, motivated in part by Brown’s promise to be the “41st” vote to derail President Obama’s health care overhaul.
Healthiest counties in eastern Mass.
A new study finds the healthiest counties in Massachusetts are clustered in the eastern part of the state.
The report found that Nantucket, Dukes, Middlesex and Norfolk are among the healthiest, while Berkshire and Hampden are among the least healthy.
Suffolk County, which includes Boston, came in second to last.
The study by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation looked at every county in the country and ranked them in order of health based on a series of factors.
Those factors include the rate of people dying before age 75, the rate of low-birthweight infants, adult smoking rates, teenage pregnancy and obesity, and the number of uninsured adults.
Boston area colleges lag in minority faculty
Many prominent Boston area universities trail the nation as a whole when it comes to hiring minority faculty.
The American Council on Education says blacks and Hispanics make up 8.8 percent of tenured and tenure-track faculty at universities nationwide.
The Boston Globe reports that blacks and Hispanics make up 3.4 percent of the tenure-line faculty at Boston University; 3 percent at Brandeis University; and 5.4 percent at Harvard University.
Not all area colleges are trailing the national average. UMass-Boston and Wheelock College are above the average.
Experts say a diverse faculty helps universities recruit top minority students and provides them with mentors and role models. Their different perspectives and experiences can also make colleges more competitive academically.
Springfield hospital to pay $2.8M in Medicare case
The U.S. Justice Department has announced that the Mercy Medical Center in Springfield has agreed to pay $2.8 million to settle Medicare services violations.
The department said Friday that the settlement came after Mercy disclosed it could not provide proof that it had provided the required Medicare services between 2005 to 2006.
Under Medicare, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals must provide a minimum amount of rehabilitative therapy to their patients.
The Justice Department’s total recoveries in False Claims Act cases since January 2009 have topped $3 billion.