Is that a great white shark’s fin? Or something else? Here’s how to tell the difference

The dorsal fins of some less-threatening sea creatures are often mistaken for sharks, so check on this dorsal fin guide before your next beach trip.

Despite fears of EEE-carrying mosquitoes, aerial spraying poses greater danger, environmentalists say

The state deployed helicopters and airplanes to douse more than 2 million acres over 26 days last year, when six of the 12 people who contracted EEE died.

BPS moves forward with a new exam school test, despite calls to suspend it because of pandemic

Two days after the Opportunity and Achievement Gap task force unanimously to recommend suspending the exam school test this year in order to diversify Boston's most prestigious public high schools, the Boston Public Schools announced it had selected a new test vendor.

Universities slam Trump administration rules barring international students

Colleges and universities are in furious upheaval following strict, unexpected rules announced this week by the Trump administration that would bar hundreds of thousands of international students from studying in the US this fall.

Latest Metro headlines

Do you wear a mask when seeing your friends and family?

As people begin to see more friends and family in this next phase of pandemic life, they may face a new sort of social pressure — specifically, to wear or not to wear a mask during smaller, private gatherings.

Ghislaine Maxwell and New Hampshire were an odd pair

Bradford, N.H., was a curious landing spot for longtime Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, who was a resident of three countries, an internationally infamous socialite, and an alleged child trafficker.

State commissioner for the deaf allegedly wore KKK-like robes, was part of now-suspended college fraternity

The university suspended the fraternity last month after members were identified wearing blue robes with pointed hoods that resembled Klan grab.

At the high-ranked Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, a troubling pattern on issues of race

Amid a national outcry on racial injustice, an urgent chorus of voices is calling for change at Mystic Valley, a K-12 school in Malden recently ranked one of the best high schools in the state.

Mass. reports 140 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 15 new deaths

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts among confirmed cases climbed by 15 to 7,998, state officials announced on Tuesday, as they reported 140 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 104,799 as metrics the state is using to monitor the reopening remained relatively steady.

Yvonne Abraham


Abraham is a Metro columnist. Her work appears on Thursdays and Sundays.

Thomas Farragher


Farragher is a Globe columnist and associate editor. He spent eight years as editor of the Spotlight Team.

Adrian Walker


Walker has been a columnist for the Metro section since 1998. His column runs Mondays and Wednesdays.

Special reports

The house at 212 Forest St.

He bought the fencing coach’s house. Then his son got into Harvard

The Needham house was assessed at $549,300, but sold for nearly a million dollars. The buyer, who never lived a day there, would sell it 17 months later at a substantial loss in what may become the next chapter in the national debate over fairness in college admissions.

More Metro headlines

Replacement of Cape Cod bridges moves forward with federal-state deal

The state will assume ownership of the bridges and control of the massive, $1 billion-plus construction project.

Mother of 15-year-old boy mourns son’s loss, one of seven killed in Boston since June 30

Toni Rico has only memories now of her oldest child, 15-year-old Xhavier Rico, who was fatally wounded when a gunman opened fire as the teenager was standing on a Roxbury street with two adult men, waiting for his Lyft to take him to his Dorchester home.

After 9/11, officials ordered a lengthy investigation. State lawmakers want the same for the pandemic response

The group would review the “totality of the state’s response.”

Mayor Walsh, Police Commissioner Gross condemn recent violence in Boston

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston police Commissioner William G. Gross on Tuesday condemned the city’s recent wave of violence that left seven people dead in the past week, including a 15-year-old boy who was fatally shot July 2 in Roxbury.

MIT announces only seniors will return to campus this fall

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will invite seniors only to return to campus in the fall, the university announced Tuesday.


State seeks help: What to do with 619,000 unsellable marijuana vapes?

The devices have been gathering dust since last year's ban on their sale.

Only 40 percent of Harvard undergrads will return to campus this fall

Harvard’s approach is among the more restrictive in the Boston area. Most universities have laid out plans to bring most students back this upcoming school year with masks, frequent testing, smaller classrooms, and a mix of online and in-person classes.

This day in history

Today is Tuesday, July 7, the 189th day of 2020. There are 177 days left in the year.

Woman fatally shot in Dorchester Sunday was a bystander watching fireworks

Felicity Coleman was one of seven people killed in Boston last week in a barrage of violence around the holiday weekend. The man accused of killing her had gotten into an argument with someone else and shot into a crowd of people, hitting Coleman, prosecutors said.

In Springfield, an Instagram post costs a detective her job

Florissa Fuentes, a 30-year-old detective in her first year with the department, was fired on June 19 after a controversial social media post made in apparent support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

College will be far different this fall, but the price will be largely the same

A significant portion of university instruction will take place online this fall, a setup that officials say will cost them more, not less. As a result, most have not offered to lower the cost, despite acknowledging that the experience will be vastly different.

Three questions surround Trump’s N.H. rally this Saturday

This is no typical presidential visit.

Massachusetts reports 15 deaths, 157 new confirmed coronavirus cases

Key indicators ticked downward as much of Massachusetts entered Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan.

When it comes to BPD overtime cuts, councilors want detailed plan

City councilors are pushing to make sure reductions to overtime become a reality and are calling for Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s team to provide a detailed plan of how the cuts will be achieved.

State Senate unveils sweeping police reform bill, plans to pass it this week

Following reform legislation proposed by Governor Charlie Baker, the Massachusetts state Senate on Monday unveiled its own package designed to increase police accountability and fight systemic racism.

Yet another ice cream shop is begging rude customers to chill

The owner of Herrell's Ice Cream and Sweet Bakery in Northampton said there have been a multitude of incidents this summer, making it one of the hardest in recent memory.

Ghislaine Maxwell, charged in connection with Jeffrey Epstein scandal, expected to make court appearance Friday in New York

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite charged with sex crimes in connection with the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, will likely make her first court appearance in New York on Friday.

Councilor Lydia Edwards advocates charter change to give Boston City Council more budgetary power

“If we really want to reflect what the voters need and want, we have to change the system,” said Councilor Lydia Edwards.

Passenger injured in ATV crash in New Hampshire

Samantha Cafaro, 29, of East Providence, R.I., was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., after the 4:15 p.m. accident in Jericho Mountain State Park.

‘Us existing, being here, is just power.’ Black Boston photographers talk about covering recent protests

Some say they are looking to build a portfolio. Others say it’s their calling, or are chasing an iconic shot. Underpinning the various motivations is a sense of duty to chronicle this current moment, to tell their stories.



Trump to hold outdoor rally in N.H. next weekend

President Trump will hold an outdoor campaign rally next Saturday night in New Hampshire, his campaign announced Sunday, marking the third time he will campaign in the state in a year, and the second time he will travel to New England in a little over a month.

500-foot ‘Black Lives Matter’ street mural painted in Nubian Square

The two-day project, which began Saturday morning, stretches from the corner of Palmer Street in Nubian Square to the front door of Black Market, the business organizing the painting.

Boycott continues against Cambridge Whole Foods that sent employees home for Black Lives Matter masks

On Sunday, more than 40 people held signs in front of the River Street store, where they have gathered nearly every day since June 25. The group erupted into cheers every several minutes — marking each time they convinced a shopper to buy groceries elsewhere.

Phase 3 of the coronavirus recovery starts Monday, but some businesses will wait

Many businesses will delay opening so they can better prepare for new health regulations — which can include capacity limits, the installation of physical barriers, plus requirements for workers and customers to wear masks.

Man arrested in fatal shooting of woman in Dorchester

A man was arrested in the fatal shooting of a woman in Dorchester early Sunday morning, Boston Police said.

In New England, college reopening takes a variety of forms

Across New England, colleges and universities are scrambling to figure out how the fall semester will work amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic: Students at home or students on campus? Professors teaching in classrooms or teaching from home, via Zoom? How will dormitories work? And cafeterias? And sports?

With summer camps in financial free fall, advocates say state has left them in a bad spot

According to an industry organization, at least a third of camps and as many as two-thirds may never reopen. Overall, camps in the state stand to lose about $450 million this summer,

Adrian Walker

Faneuil Hall merchants open for business, but still need help to stay afloat

Businesses reopened last week to a nearly empty Faneuil Hall Marketplace and a pile of past-due rent bills. To save the local character of one of Boston's landmarks, renters will need help.

This day in history

Today is Monday, July 6, the 188th day of 2020. There are 178 days left in the year.

One killed, four injured in shooting at Saturday night cookout in Lynn

A 35-year-old Lynn man was killed and four other people were injured in a shooting at a cookout in Lynn Saturday night, the Essex district attorney’s office said.

Amid moment of reckoning, some police chiefs leave the job to someone else

Several area police chiefs, facing tough new calls for reform brought on by the national Black Lives Matter movement, have announced plans to retire. The sudden departures could signal the difficulty some police chiefs believe they face, or even their willingness to confront issues around race and violence.

‘A one-two punch:' bookkeeper accused of stealing from restaurants, bakers, and other small businesses already hurting from COVID shutdown

Clients knew Patricia Lindau as the nice woman who handled their payroll and made sure they paid their state and federal taxes on time — until she disappeared. Now, more than 20 New England business owners, most already reeling from the economic crisis, are learning they owe huge amounts to the Internal Revenue Service, and the state.

Protesters call on board chairman to ‘wake up’ Sunday morning

About 50 people gathered outside the building where the chair of Brookline’s select board lives Sunday morning, chanting “Black lives matter” and making noise to “wake up” Chair Bernard Greene and encourage moving funds from the town’s police department to other areas.

“If I die now, have I lived the life I wanted to?”

If an entire region can have an existential crisis, we’re having one. Spouses are being left, retirements pushed up, friends dropped. People are moving to rural spots and strengthening their faith, and those fortunate enough to have a choice are saying “no” to commuting.

More than 1,000 gather in Boston for celebration of Black women in march and rally

In stark contrast to largely subdued Independence Day in Boston, more than 1,000 people gathered Saturday afternoon to celebrate the lives of Black women, and demand an end to police violence, with a planned march from Nubian Square in Roxbury to a rally at Boston Common.

For devoted Fourth fans, an off-key Independence Day

For devoted fans of the annual celebration, it is one more loss to the coronavirus.

Boston police identify 15-year-old killed in Boston during violent week

A week of violence in Boston continued into the weekend, with two people dying Friday night, one in a fatal stabbing, and another person seriously injured in a shooting Saturday morning in separate incidents, police said.

Police confiscate cache of fireworks, incendiary devices in South Boston

Amid worries that the Fourth of July holiday will increase the frequency of illegal fireworks displays, Boston police announced Saturday they confiscated a “large quantity” of fireworks and incendiary devices from a vehicle in South Boston.