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Worcester hoping to stem surge in knife crimes

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Worcester hoping to stem surge in knife crimes

WORCESTER — Knives are increasingly becoming the weapon of choice in Worcester.

The use of knives in crimes is up nearly 10 percent during the first eight months of the year compared with the same period in 2007.

During the same period the use of guns fell nearly 17 percent.

The statistics don’t include three fatal stabbings in the past three weeks. A fourth killing this year was also the result of a stabbing. Of the five murders in Worcester this year, only one was the result of shooting.

Police say they are hoping to use a law dating back a century that bars the possession of a knife while fighting or causing chaos.

In 2001, Boston passed an ordinance fining violators $300 for carrying certain kinds of knives during crimes.

High Court rejects Lexington cases

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear two cases filed by Lexington couples who objected to same-sex families being discussed in their children’s elementary school classrooms.

The families claimed gay-themed books on a public school’s reading list violated their First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. The books were not required reading.

A federal appeals court had previously dismissed a lawsuit by David Parker, saying the inclusion of books that included gay people or relationships did not violate the parents’ First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.

Jeffrey Denner, an attorney for the couples, told The Boston Globe that the couples are still weighing their options. The Parkers say they are home schooling their children.

Patrick to stump for Obama in N.H., Pa.

Gov. Deval Patrick’s trips to New Hampshire and Pennsylvania to stump for Barack Obama over the holiday weekend are earning him some grief at home.

Republican state Sen. Richard Tisei said Patrick was needed more in Massachusetts, which is dealing with a fiscal crisis after revenues came in more than $220 million under projections for the first quarter.

Massachusetts GOP spokesman Barney Keller said Patrick was putting partisan politics above the state.

After leading a busload of Obama supporters to New Hampshire to knock on doors in Portsmouth last Saturday, Patrick campaigned for Obama in the swing state of Pennsylvania later in the weekend.

Mass. leaders come to State House for budget news

City and town leaders are breathing a sigh of relief after hearing that while there may be sizable budget cutting at the state level next week, they will most likely be spared in the first round of fiscal pain.

The leaders met last Friday with Gov. Deval Patrick and Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, who will announce hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts — including layoffs — to cope with lagging tax collections.

But the 27 mayors who came to the State House, and another 10 who listened via conference call, say they received assurances that local aid payments that support a sizable portion of their municipal services will be left alone in the near term.

Murray and the mayors say they are working on ways to share services and allow cities and towns to more cheaply provide health insurance and other costly employee benefits.

Babson receives $10.8M gift to start new institute

WELLESLEY — Babson College plans to establish an institute for social entrepreneurship after receiving a $10.8 million gift, its second largest individual donation ever.

The school announced last Friday that the gift from the Lewis Charitable Foundation will fund the Lewis Institute at Babson College. The institute will be charged with training leaders to use the skills and attitudes of an entrepreneur to tackle tough global issues, such as poverty and energy.

The institute will provide seed money for social ventures and host a “green collar venture competition” that supports environmentally sensitive projects.

Donor Alan Lewis, a travel company executive, said he’s proud to team with Babson to teach entrepreneurs to incorporate social responsibility into their future businesses.

(Associated Press)