Some employers are raising the minimum wage to $15 ? four years early

Melanie Warner left works on her hair cutting techniques with educator/stylist Alex Paulsen at Salon Herdis in Northampton, Mass. The owner of Salon Herdis is pre-emptively raising the wages of entry-level employees.

Steven G. Smith

Massachusetts begins its march to a $15-an-hour minimum in 2023 with a hike to $12 Jan. 1, but a number of businesses aren?t waiting.

Sheriff Kevin Coppinger was told last month to provide methadone to a prospective inmate.

Essex, Suffolk sheriffs ask to join addiction treatment program for inmates

Although the sheriffs said they had long wanted to do this, recent legal actions may have added pressure to act now.

// After second child dies in immigration custody, US orders widespread medical checks

US Customs and Border Protection is seeking help from other agencies to perform medical checks on every child in its custody.

// Two people dead after house fire in Avon

One man was pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital and the body of the second man was found inside the house, Avon fire officials said.

// A vulgar sign at UMass Amherst leads to questions of free speech and profanity

A student was asked to remove a sign from her dorm window that used derogatory language to tell Nazis they aren?t welcome, prompting debate on campus.

// Post-holiday, Americans likely to increasingly feel effects of shutdown

Wednesday brings the first full business day after several government departments and agencies closed up over the weekend.

// Did a doctor in Queens help President Trump avoid service in Vietnam?

In the fall of 1968, Donald Trump received a timely diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels that led to his medical exemption from the military during Vietnam.

// Indonesia asks people to avoid the coast, fearing new tsunami

Indonesian authorities requested people be cautious in a fresh warning issued on the anniversary of the catastrophic 2004 Asian earthquake and tsunami.

(FILES) In this file illustration taken on October 02, 2018, a man exhales smoke from an electronic cigarette in Washington, DC. - US tobacco giant Altria, maker of major brands such as Marlboro and Chesterfield, announced Thursday, December 20, 2018 that it will buy a 35 percent stake in popular e-cigarette maker Juul for $12.8 billion. The deal comes as US regulators increase scrutiny of usage among young consumers of the fast-growing vaping products that tobacco companies hope will compensate for declines in conventional cigarette sales. (Photo by EVA HAMBACH / AFP)EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Somerville becomes first city in Mass. to restrict e-cigarette sales

The local Board of Health voted last week to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes in stores that are open to youth, a move that will effectively pull the products from convenience store shelves.

// More than 3,000 patients in N.J. possibly exposed to HIV, hepatitis

The New Jersey Department of Health says more than 3,000 patients at a surgery center may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

// Tufts doctor killed by falling ice remembered for love of adventure

Dr. Judith Pinsker was hiking with her husband and sons, and other people, in the White Mountains when she was struck by falling ice.

After becoming bored in retirement, Ron Cohen took a job at the Y, where he and his wife, Susan, a teacher, are members.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

With retirement, many are making it up as they go

The old notion of an orderly passage from the office to the golf links ? a concept that mostly applied to buttoned-down professionals in the post-World War II era ? has been supplanted by today?s more improvisational model of retirement.

Boston MA 12/25/18 Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving making a baseline pass with pressure from Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons during first quarter NBA action at TD Garden. (photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: reporter:

Gary Washburn | On basketball

Kyrie Irving?s family got to see his star shine on Christmas Day

The guard set the tone. He played with vigor on both sides of the ball. He brought playoff intensity to a regular-season game.

Senate President Karen E. Spilka said improving transportation and mental health care are among her priorities.

Advocating for a ?bold? Legislature, Spilka readies term as Senate president

Senate President Karen E. Spilka seems eager to take a more sweeping view of the possible, but offered few specifics on why she is hopeful that the Legislature could move more quickly than it has to date.



Trump?s dangerous blunder in Syria endangers US ally

Even those who support a troop withdrawal from Syria would agree that it should be done carefully: you can?t have an exit strategy without a strategy.

// Mattis sends holiday message to military members, and says ?storm clouds loom?

Outgoing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis?s holiday message commends service members, and mentions ?storm clouds.?

Maine Governor-elect Janet Mills greeted supporters recently. Mills has vowed to expand Medicaid coverage for poor Mainers.

Yoon S. Byun for the Boston Globe

After eight years of LePage, Maine will soon see changes

Janet Mills, who sparred with Paul LePage as attorney general and will become the state?s first female governor, has promised in a more civil tone.

Boston, MA - 12/25/2018- ] Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley speaks to Jose Luiz Sotob during a Christmas Day luncheon and prayer service for the poor and homeless at St. Francis House. (Michael Swensen for The Boston Globe) Topic: (Metro)

?Being homeless in downtown Boston, St. Francis provides for you?

For 34 years, St. Francis House has served free lunch on Christmas to guests at the shelter. This year, they prepared 280 pounds of ham, 168 pounds of mashed potatoes, 60 gallons of apple cider, and so much more.


// Steve Carell still loves lamp

The ?Welcome to Marwen? star shared the origin of his famous ?Anchorman? line.

Ben Volin | On Football

// The No. 1 seeds in the NFL playoffs sure look vulnerable

Is anyone feeling confident about the Chiefs and Saints with the way each team is currently playing?


// The most-read Globe editorials of 2018

The Boston Globe?s Editorial Board dealt with a range of topics during 2018, from Brett Kavanaugh, to President Trump?s attacks against the press, to the Catholic Church?s sex abuse scandal.

Opinion | Kenneth Rogoff

// Has peak cryptocurrency already come and gone?

The right way to think about cryptocurrency coins is as lottery tickets that pay off in a dystopian future.

Kevin Cullen

// Three years ago, this veteran hit rock bottom ? and then got back up

Casady Roy knows he?ll always be an addict, always in recovery, and he can deal with that because he knows the alternative.

Chef of the year JuanMa Calderón?s spicy potato terrine ? causa de avocado and tomato ? at Celeste.

Lane Turner/Globe Staff/file

The 2018 Boston-area restaurant awards

From a restaurant pushing the Seaport?s boundaries to a Peruvian party in Somerville to an adult snack bar near Fenway Park, these are the places that stood out this year.

The Big Picture

John Moore/Getty Images

The Big Picture

The year 2018 in pictures: Part I

Photographs from January to June on a range of topics from around the world.

Special reports

Shannon Goyette (left) and Cynthia Pierce became friends when their children were in kindergarten. Both mothers lost a son to suicide.

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

After suicides in Acton and Boxborough, a communion of sorrow

The unthinkable has been an all-too-common companion in two small neighboring towns, where six young people took their lives in the short span of 30 months. The questions keep coming: What is happening? Why? When will it stop?


// Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc.

The story of a profoundly troubled young man and the ugly underside of America?s most popular sport.


// Court Sense

Follow the Celtics? quest for a title and other NBA news both on and off the court. Sign up here.

Real Estate

Proposed New Hampshire bill would clarify rules for tiny homes

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) ? A New Hampshire legislator wants to make regulations more clear for those interested in the so-called tiny home movement. Republican state Rep. Dave Testerman tells New Hampshire Public Radio he wants to sponsor legislation to clarify municipal regulation of the structures.


// We wish we?d written that: our favorite stories of 2018

It?s been a busy 2018 at STAT, but we still have found the time to see what other journalists are writing ? and get jealous we didn?t do it ourselves.

Love Letters: The Podcast

// Love Letters: Until next year, my sweetheart

In a special bonus episode, Meredith Goldstein explores what happens to summer romance when the summer ends, and ?Wet Hot American Summer? creator David Wain shares a girl-crazy memory from his own camp days.

Listen:   Apple Podcasts   |   Stitcher   |   RadioPublic