Senator Susan Collins is feeling the heat

Lately in her home state, the Maine senator is inspiring the kind of liberal animus typically directed at people named Trump.

Pope Francis sat in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican during his weekly general audience Wednesday.

As clergy abuse summit begins, survivors say Vatican must act

Bishops and Catholic leaders from around the world, including Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, are meeting in Rome for the three-day summit.

GAS SLIDER LAWRENCE, MA - 9/14/2018:Aftermath scenes of Lawrence gas exposion, a home destroyed at 60 Jefferson Street in Lawrence (David L Ryan/Globe Staff ) SECTION: METRO TOPIC 15lawrencepic

Toll from natural gas disaster in Merrimack Valley passes $1 billion

Columbia Gas’ parent company said its cost could keep growing and that it is seeking to settle the numerous lawsuits filed against it.

Governor Charlie Baker (left) and MEMA director Kurt Schwartz surved damaged caused by tornado in Concord.

State emergency management director to leave after nine years

MEMA is responsible for ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, according to its website.

Latest Metro headlines

Pilot who crashed into Methuen condo was testing plane after chronic problem with fuel leak

The NTSB released its factual findings into the Feb. 28, 2017 crash of Lavendar’s Sonex aircraft that he purchased as a kit in 2015 and built himself by May 2016.

27 of 28 firefighters in Maine town quit over safety issues

Nearly all of a Maine town’s firefighters have quit following a heated meeting with local officials.

Mass. still short on transportation funding, report says

The state’s highways, roads, and bridges — along with the MBTA — are facing a big funding gap over the next decade, according to a report from a business group.

Shelburne man dies in Vermont snowmobile crash

Police say other riders and first responders tried to resuscitate him, but were unsuccessful.

SOS on child care? Boston says it feels parents’ pain

With hundreds of child-care businesses closing and the number of youngsters needing care rising, the city recognizes that affordable, quality care is a holy grail for many parents.

Yvonne Abraham

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

Thomas Farragher

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

Adrian Walker

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

Special reports

They were the top of their class at Boston public schools. Then life happened

Read a multi-part investigation into how and why the lives of promising Boston valedictorians didn’t quite turn out the way they expected.

More Metro headlines

Boston, MA - 02/14/19 - Fire forced evacuation of an elderly housing building in Brighton at 20 Washington Street. (Lane Turner/Globe Staff) Reporter: () Topic: (15brightonfire)

Boston firefighters get easier access to cancer screenings

The Boston Fire Department Relief Fund has launched a new initiative to subsidize 50 percent of the costs of cancer screening and cardiovascular tests that are not covered by insurance.

Fire department relief fund to help pay for cancer screenings for Boston firefighters

Two out of three Boston firefighters will be diagnosed with cancer according to the Boston Fire Department Relief Fund.

Boston Children’s Hospital researcher killed in fall on Mount Washington

The obituary for Jeremy Felix P. Ullmann, a married 37-year-old father, said the accident occurred on the mountain on Feb. 10.

Two children killed in three-car crash in Ludlow

The crash claimed the lives of Jadyn Lamas, 9, and his sister Natalya Lamas, 7, both of Ludlow.

Map: Snow totals in the Northeast

How much snow fell during Wednesday night’s storm?

Mass. Pike lanes reopened after fatal crash in Blandford

One person died and several others were injured after a tandem tractor trailer lost control and crashed into other vehicles on the Mass Pike in Blandford early Thursday morning.

BOSTON, MA - February 20, 2019: - A man pushes a carriage through Boston Common in Boston, MA on February 20, 2019. A blanket of snow just covered Boston on Presidents’ Day — but already another storm is headed for the region. The exact timing of the snow is not certain yet, the National Weather Service said Tuesday, but forecasters predicted snow will begin falling between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday — favoring the latter half of that range — in the western and central parts of Massachusetts, which could make for a messy evening commute. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff) section: Metro reporter:

Freezing rain makes for sloppy morning commute

Snow fall totals remained low thanks to a transition to sleet and rain overnight.

Jose Rodriguez of Lynn shoveled snow in Somerville on Monday.

Snow, sleet, and rain are expected into morning commute

Thursday morning’s commute could be slippery and slow because of winter precipitation and limited visibility.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted Wednesday to authorize its legal counsel to finalize an agreement with Steve Wynn.

Gambling regulators authorize settlement in Wynn lawsuit

A settlement is pending in Steve Wynn’s lawsuit seeking to block the release of Massachusetts’ investigation into allegations of sexual assault against him.

Horoscope

N.H. crash injures two Mass. women

Two women from Massachusetts suffered life-threatening injuries Wednesday after the car they were in flipped near an Interstate 93 on-ramp in New Hampshire, police said.

Caffeine suspected in ‘treat’ that sickens dogs in Rye, N.H.

Since November, 14 dogs have become sick, and one more died, after eating a “treat/food like item” that may have contained caffeine on a beach in Rye, police said.

Man struck on Route 9 in Framingham

The man was taken to a Boston hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries.

Hyde Park fire leaves 10 people homeless

Seven adults and three children were left homeless after a fire on Dana Avenue Wednesday evening, a Boston fire official said.

New England news in brief

Boston

Five people, including children, injured in Ludlow crash

The five people injured suffered serious injuries in the crash that occurred shortly before 3 p.m. in the Western Massachusetts town, officials said.

Lottery

Lottery results from Wednesday drawings

CAMBRIDGE, MA - 8/31/2018: State of MBTA facilities

MBTA, union officials quietly renegotiating pension fund amid budget gaps

The discussions are moving slowly, according to one union negotiator. But what they ultimately produce could reshape the T’s finances and pension system for years.

BOSTON, MA - 2/20/2019:ALL SMILES.....surrounded by Chinese Progressive Association staff members , Chinatown hair salon owner, Yan Chi Chen seated center who has run a hair salon at 106 Tyler St in Boston's Chinatown, settles with his landlord out of court and to his advantage, he won't be displaced. (David L Ryan/Globe Staff ) SECTION: METRO TOPIC 21chinatownphoto

A Chinatown salon owner, facing eviction, will remain in his shop after all

The case demonstrated the challenges that residents and business owners face as landlords look to speculate on a booming real estate market and raise rent, forcing the displacement of longtime business owners and clients.

Driver flees after crash with MBTA bus in Somerville

The motorist cut into the path of the Route 90 bus, made contact and then abandoned their vehicle, the MBTA said.

This day in history

Today is Thursday, Feb. 21, the 52nd day of 2019. There are 313 days left in the year.

Defense lawyers seek release of Lowell police internal affairs report

Two criminal defense lawyers are seeking internal affairs records for Lowell police investigators accused of falsifying reports and affidavits in the arrest of an alleged fentanyl dealer.

Police released these photos last week of two men believed to be connected to a brutal South End beating and two women considered to be persons of interest. .

Weymouth man arrested in South End assault

Michael Kenney of Weymouth turned himself in to police Tuesday, officials said, and was arrested in connection with a brutal beating in the South End earlier this month.

The death of a third Massachusetts child from the flu this season — identified Wednesday as a 4-year-old girl from Lowell — has stirred concern about the dangers of the contagious respiratory illness among young people.

What to know about child flu deaths in Massachusetts

Now that a third Massachusetts child has died from the respiratory illness, an infectious disease specialist discusses the risks for young people.

Clarence Smoyer waved as he rode in a Sherman tank to the Charlestown Navy Yard on Wednesday.

‘Here’s an old friend. This tank saved my life’: WWII veteran rides on Sherman tank again

Clarence Smoyer was a gunner on tanks with the Third Armored Division in the drive into Germany. Now 95, he had the chance to ride on one again in Charlestown on Wednesday.

Police searching for 4 men wanted for armed home invasion in Dartmouth

Dartmouth police were called to a home after a resident said four men had forced themselves into the house brandishing a firearm, police said.

Man stabbed Sunday in East Boston has died

Boston police Wednesday confirmed the death of the man, who was attacked early Sunday.

Tire flies off truck, hits Jeep in Lexington

No injuries were reported after the back wheel of a 2004 Ford pickup truck flew off and struck a 2007 Jeep Compass on Route I-95 southbound near Exit 30, State Police said.

Wing closed at Brewster resort after partial collapse

One wing of a Brewster resort was closed indefinitely Wednesday after a partial collapse of two support columns.

“These bond ratings will allow us to continue building our strong fiscal foundation,” Mayor Martin Walsh said Wednesday.

Boston keeps its AAA bond rating for fifth straight year

Mayor Martin Walsh’s office Wednesday touted its “perfect AAA bond ratings” from Moody’s Investor Service and S&P Global Ratings.

Members of the Ending of Clergy Abuse organization and survivors of clergy sex abuse pose for photographers outside St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican on Monday.

The Vatican meeting on clergy sex abuse, explained

Here’s what you need to know about the clergy sex abuse summit being held at the Vatican.

Data suggest that, at least for men, the ability to do push-ups in large quantities is correlated with good cardiovascular health.

What doing more than 40 push-ups in 1 minute might do for your heart health

If the last time you dropped to the floor and counted off a quick round of push-ups was in your high school gym class, you might want to read this sitting down.

Olan Horne, a longtime advocate for survivors of clergy abuse, said he wants the head of the Roman Catholic Church to acknowledge specific instances of clergy abuse in the Springfield Diocese.

Advocate for clergy abuse victims to go on hunger strike

A clergy abuse survivor from Chester says he will go on a hunger strike Wednesday in hopes of compelling Pope Francis to respond to specific accusations of sexual abuse in Springfield.

Flu victim identified as 4-year-old girl from Lowell

The girl’s father, Sopheak Paak, posted a photo of his daughter online and wrote, “I miss you my baby.”

New Hampshire cold case unit solves its oldest crime

New Hampshire’s Cold Case Unit says it’s solved its oldest crime, the 52-year-old shooting death of an auto repair shop worker, and says the man who did it killed himself years later.

Nathan Carman left district court in Concord, N.H., in December.

Trial date looms in Nathan Carman lawsuit in N.H.

In a three-page order issued on Valentine’s Day, Judge David King of the Sixth Circuit Court-Probate Division in Concord, N.H., set a June 10 trial date.

Porpoise seen swimming off shore in Dorchester

The New England Aquarium identified the animal as a harbor porpoise and said it was the first official sighting in the Boston area this season.

Boston police officers attacked in Dorchester after man found in stolen car

A Dorchester man allegedly punched and gouged Boston police officers in the face when they tried to arrest him Tuesday night.

A pedestrian passed through Boston Common on Wednesday.

Dave Epstein

Two messy storms are coming, but they won’t bring much snow

This system is a fast mover, and it’ll bring precipitation for 12 to 14 hours.

A flower rests near a memorial to a victim of the Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, R.I.

Rhode Island marks 16th anniversary of nightclub fire

The fire, at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, killed 100 people and injured more than 200.

Sasha Banks (right) and WWE tag-team partner Bayley.

NAMES

Mayor Walsh congratulates WWE women’s tag team champs, including Boston-area wrestler

Sasha Banks and her comrade-in-arms, Bayley, became women’s tag team champs after capturing the title as part of the WWE Elimination Chamber 2019 extravaganza.