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Massachusetts pension fund fires money manager

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Massachusetts pension fund fires money manager

The Massachusetts state pension fund has fired a money manager over soured investments.

Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo and Co. was fired by the $36 billion state pension fund on Wednesday.

Michael Travaglini, executive director of the state fund, told The Boston Globe that the fund invested in Grantham, Mayo’s emerging debt fund in 2004 and stands to get $228 million back, once the fund’s liquidity problems have been resolved.

Travaglini says the investment was worth $345 million at its peak in October 2007.

The losses were triggered by a cash fund that invested in asset-backed securities.

Grantham, Mayo refused comment.

The state fund pays for the retirement benefits of many public employees.

Patrick announces $163 million for state schools

HOLYOKE — Gov. Deval Patrick has announced $163 million in federal stimulus money will go to high-poverty schools in Massachusetts.

The governor said last Thursday that the Title 1 federal grants, designed to help schools with high concentrations of low-income students, will go toward 258 school districts, regional technical and vocational schools, and charter schools.

The grants supplement the amount of Title 1 money Massachusetts already receives annually, which was about $233 million last year.

Officials say the first half of the money is scheduled to be distributed in July with the second half coming in the fall.

Through this funding, Holyoke’s first half allocation is over $3 million. Other cities and towns receiving large amounts of money in July include Boston with almost $21 million, Springfield with $8.6 million, and Worcester with almost $4 million.

Survey shows recession pain felt by Mass. residents

A new survey details the recession’s toll on workers and businesses in Massachusetts.

The Associated Industries of Massachusetts says 46 percent of the 145 companies who answered the survey had conducted a layoff in recent months or were planning to do so.

Eighty-six percent had altered staffing plans, 55 percent had frozen salaries for 2009 and 42 percent had reduced work hours for remaining employees.

All but 15 percent of the companies that responded said business had weakened since the recession began.

Most companies that reported layoffs said the cuts affected 25 or fewer workers. Executives said decisions on which employees to let go were based most often on job title, followed by performance and length of service.

Mobster accidentally shot by FBI to get $150K

SPRINGFIELD — The U.S. government will pay admitted mob hitman Frankie Roche $150,000 to settle a lawsuit filed after he was accidentally shot during his FBI arrest.

Roche settled the lawsuit in February, but the Republican newspaper of Springfield reported that details only became public in court papers filed last week in a federal court in Tampa, Fla.

Roche’s lawyer, Mark Sylvester, of Miami, declined to comment. Sylvester has said Roche had a number of surgeries.

Court records said the Massachusetts-based Roche pleaded guilty last year to a federal murder charge. He admits he was paid $10,000 to fatally shoot Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno in 2003. Bruno was the regional boss of the Genovese crime family.

Roche is cooperating with prosecutors and will be in the witness protection program.

(Associated Press)