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Bill would shield military from predatory insurers

Bill would shield military from predatory insurers

A bill on Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk would require the state to toughen regulations on predatory insurers who target members of the military in Massachusetts.

The bill would require the state Commissioner of Insurance to come up with new rules and regulations to protect service members from “dishonest and predatory” insurance sales practices by declaring certain acts or practices to be false, misleading, deceptive or unfair.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Ron Mariano, D-Quincy, has said the bill is intended to help shield members of the military who are already under enormous pressure.

Springfield police warn about fake cop flashing badge

SPRINGFIELD — Police here say a man claiming to be an officer or a housing authority official is flashing a badge at elderly residents in the city to gain entry to their homes so he can rob them.

Police reported two similar robberies last Wednesday and a third possibly related robbery last Tuesday.

After flashing the badge and gaining entry to the homes, the man asked for ID’s or a glass of water. When residents left the room, the man allegedly stole their wallets or purses.

Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic man from 20 to 23 years old, about 140 pounds, wearing a blue hooded jacket, baggy jeans and a Red Sox hat.

A dozen Mass. electors formally pick Obama

Men in tuxedos and women in black evening dresses assembled in the State House on Monday to affirm the Commonwealth’s election results by awarding the 12 Electoral College votes from Massachusetts to the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joseph Biden.

The two-hour ceremony was long on symbolism and short on drama, even though it fulfilled a duty spelled out in the Constitution: ratifying the popular vote for the nation’s highest elective offices. Obama and Biden beat Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin with 61 percent of the vote in Massachusetts on Election Day.

With their victory, they won a slate of electors loyal — but not bound — to the Democrats.

The state’s first black governor, Deval Patrick, and several other speakers noted the historical significance of the college’s work: confirming the nation’s 44th president would also be its first black president.

“There were many times during this campaign when he talked about ‘hope’ without apology, without hesitation,” Patrick said of his friend. “Some of his critics said, ‘Don’t listen; hope is not a strategy.’ Actually, it is. It’s a different strategy than the strategy of fear by which we have been led for a long time. I ask you to remember that hope is the strategy that has been behind every major step forward we have taken as a Commonwealth and as a nation from the beginning.”

Secretary of State William F. Galvin, who presided over the gathering in the House chamber, noted that 3 million people voted in the state despite a sagging economy, wars on two fronts and rising unemployment.

The results were sent by registered mail to the president of the U.S. Senate, Vice President Dick Cheney, the archivist of the United States and a federal judge in Massachusetts.

New England Pop Warner teams face sanctions after fight

Sanctions have been imposed following an altercation between two New England teams at the Pop Warner national championship.

Officials said the fight last week involved members of the Dorchester Eagles Midget Team of Boston and the Edgewood Eagles of Cranston, R.I. It was not clear what started the brawl, but both teams were evicted from their hotels in Orlando, Fla.

A review board for Pop Warner Little Scholars has imposed a three-year ban on postseason play for the Dorchester team, and suspended its head coach, Tony Hurston, for one year.

The president of the Dorchester Eagles Pop Warner Association, Leslie Goodwin, told The Boston Globe the punishment was harsh and indicated that an appeal was likely.

The review board on Monday placed the Rhode Island team’s coaching staff on one-year’s probation. Any violation of the Pop Warner code of conduct would mean immediate suspension of the program.

(Associated Press)