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Mass. renews federal gun program, but with limits

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Mass. renews federal gun program, but with limits

Massachusetts is planning to bring back a federal program that supplied local police departments with surplus military weapons.

But this time, state officials say they will strengthen restrictions on high-power arms that are not needed to fight crime.

Gov. Deval Patrick suspended the program in June after a review by the Boston Globe found that police in some towns received weapons without the knowledge of civilian officials. In addition, some police departments purchased weapons such as grenade launchers and fully automatic M-16 rifles.

New rules will not allow police departments to acquire weapons that are not typically used in local law enforcement. Police also will be required to first get permission from local civilians.

Mass. Gov. files bill to help troubled Lawrence

Gov. Deval Patrick has filed a bill that would help the city of Lawrence balance its books and avoid what officials have said could be bankrupcty by early next year.

The bill filed last week would allow Lawrence to borrow up to $35 million to balance its 2010 and 2011 budgets.

But the bill also would require a state-appointed fiscal overseer to monitor the city’s finances and recommend whether the state should appoint a finance control board with extensive powers over the budget. A state loan and a control board helped lead Springfield out of a recent fiscal crisis.

The bill comes after Patrick met with Lawrence mayor-elect William Lantigua last month over the city’s dire finances.

The city of 71,000 faces a financial deficit of about $17 million.

CT limits on-campus credit card marketing tactics

For credit card marketers, reaching students on many Connecticut campuses will soon be much harder than simply offering them free food and gifts.

Starting Friday, financial institutions face tighter rules when they try to sign up Connecticut’s public college and university students. The restrictions include a ban on soliciting students during class registration and sporting events.

Similar restrictions take effect nationwide on Feb. 22 to target what the Federal Reserve calls unfair and deceptive marketing tactics.

The lenders say most students use credit cards appropriately. They say their on-campus efforts are meant as a convenience for students who want the cards to buy books, establish credit and avoid the dangers of carrying wads of cash.

Janitors on Delta, United planes end Boston strike

Janitors who clean Delta and United airlines planes at Boston’s Logan International Airport have ended their 24-hour strike.

The more than 100 Aramark Corp. employees clean toilets and remove trash from planes parked overnight. They say many have received wages of between $8 and $9 an hour with few or no benefits.

They say the strike was to combat Aramark’s bad faith in negotiations for their first union contract. They say they got their message across with the strike, which ended last Thursday night.

Philadelphia-based Aramark hadn’t responded to telephone and e-mail messages seeking comment.