EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

November 4, 2012

In Brief

Hate incident reports up in Mass.

BOSTON — The Anti-Defamation League says anti-Semitic incidents have increased in Massachusetts and Connecticut, but decreased in other New England areas and nationwide.

The organization’s annual audit shows hate incidents aimed at Jewish people in Massachusetts increased from 64 in 2010 to 72 in 2011.

In Connecticut, incidents increased from 38 to 43.

ADL Regional Director Derrek Shulman says the Internet “has breathed new life” into destructive stereotypes about Jews.

Nationally, many reported incidents involved bullying at schools.

But ADL found hate incidents dropped in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, also posting a 9.5 percent national decline.

The organization uses crime statistics, and information from victims, law-enforcement officials and community leaders for the audit.

It identifies acts of harassment and intimidation, including threats, slurs and hate propaganda distribution.

Final service to be held at New Bedford parish

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — The first Portuguese Catholic parish in North America will hold its final Mass this weekend, though some parishioners are vowing to fight the closure.

The last Mass at St. John the Baptist Church in New Bedford is set for this morning.

The parish was established for local Portuguese immigrants in 1871. But that base either moved away or stopped attending as debt mounted and the church building aged. It now needs $1.5 million in repairs.

Diocese of Fall River Bishop George Coleman said a three-year effort to boost attendance and raise money failed, and he issued a decree Oct. 20 that officially closed the parish.

Several parishioners, though, say the parish remains vibrant and are fighting to keep it open. They’ve filed a formal appeal with Coleman and say they’ll petition the Vatican if necessary.

Ohio company settles with MBTA

BOSTON — The Massachusetts attorney general’s office says a transportation company that allegedly backed out of a contract to run “The Ride” service for disabled customers will pay a $7.3 million settlement.

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