Top News & Analysis Massachusetts

  • BOSTON-- What promises to be a lengthy vetting process for would-be Massachusetts casino developers has officially begun.

  • The hard-rocking country music star made a whirlwind run around the eastern U.S. on Thursday, announcing shows at Boston's Fenway Park, Chicago's Wrigley Field and on the University of Georgia campus in the space of 12 hours. Aldean will make the first appearance by a country music performer at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

  • NEW YORK-- Earlier this month, NBA rookie Royce White disclosed that he is afraid to fly and said he expects to travel by bus to play in at least some of the basketball games for his team, the Houston Rockets.

  • WASHINGTON-- Mitt Romney's transition team is quietly talking with government officials and Capitol Hill to develop a plan, if he's elected, to prevent massive cuts to the defense budget and extend tax cuts first passed under President George W. Bush. The economic policy planning is a major element of what's dubbed " The Readiness Project" inside the campaign.

  • NEW YORK-- Three small, silver spoons elegantly engraved with the words "Waldorf Astoria" have come full circle: Stolen eight decades ago by an employee of the famed hotel, they passed through two Brooklyn homes and another three in New Jersey.

  • The Watertown, Mass., company said Thursday after markets closed that its net income for the three months that ended Sept. 30 climbed to $6.2 million, or 17 cents per share, from $5.3 million, or 15 cents per share, in last year's quarter.

  • CHICAGO-- In a modest milestone for President Barack Obama's high-speed rail vision, test runs will start zooming along a small section of the Amtrak line between Chicago and St. Louis at 110 mph Friday. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Illinois Gov.

  • LEXINGTON, Mass.-- Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Thursday that its net income rose 66 percent in the third quarter on greater sales of its antibiotic Cubicin and other products, and lower tax costs. The company said its net income grew to $40.3 million, or 55 cents per share, in the three months through Sept. 30, from $24.2 million, or 33 cents per share, a year ago.

  • BOSTON-- The Appleseed Fund is unusual, and not just because of its strict socially-responsible investing mandate. One reason Morningstar analysts give the fund a bronze-medal rating is its nearly 7 percent average annualized return over five years, a period that includes the 2008 stock market meltdown.

  • ALBANY, N.Y.-- Aspen Dental Management and the private equity firm that controls it illegally operate dental clinics across the country and engage in aggressive, misleading profit-driven practices that cause patients economic harm, claims a federal lawsuit filed Thursday in New York.

  • BOSTON-- Investment manager Eaton Vance Corp. said Thursday that its board of directors approved a 5.3 percent increase to its quarterly dividend. The company will pay 20 cents per share to shareholders on Nov. 14 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 31. Eaton Vance shares rose 5 cents to $29.19 in afternoon trading.

  • NEW YORK-- Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets rose $5.84 billion to $2.568 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, according to the Investment Company Institute. Assets of the nation's retail money market mutual funds fell $940 million to $886.05 billion, the Washington- based mutual fund trade group said Thursday.

  • WESTFORD, Mass.-- Shares of NetScout Systems Inc., which sells products that gauge computer network performance, rose as much as 7 percent Thursday after the company reported a 41 percent jump in fiscal second-quarter earnings. NetScout made $9.9 million, or 23 cents per share, compared with $7.1 million, of 17 cents per share a year ago.

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- Talk show host Montel Williams on Thursday accused opponents of an Arkansas ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana of resorting to "racist" imagery with a television ad featuring an African-American actor portraying a drug dealer.

  • ALBANY, N.Y.-- The digital divide is wider than ever between diners who talk, tweet and snap pictures mid-meal and those who wish they'd just shut up, shut down and be present. "There's no place to get away from the chatter," said Julie Liberty of Miami, who started the Facebook page "Ban Cell Phones From Restaurants" earlier this year. "

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc. climbed Thursday after the company said a Food and Drug Administration panel recommended that its cholesterol disorder drug lomitapide be approved. THE SPARK: The Cambridge, Mass., company said Wednesday that an FDA advisory panel voted to support approval of lomitapide.

  • Scott Brown is apologizing for suggesting Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren used paid actors in political ads defending her legal work in an asbestos lawsuit. The Taunton Daily Gazette reported that Brown was asked how Warren got family members of asbestos victims to appear in her ads.

  • BOSTON-- Massachusetts gained an estimated 5,100 jobs in September even as the state's unemployment rate crept up two-tenths of a point to 6.5 percent, officials said Thursday. Massachusetts remains below the U.S. unemployment rate, which stood at 7.8 percent in September.

  • WASHINGTON-- Medical device maker Boston Scientific said Thursday it swung to a third-quarter loss, as legal fees and restructuring expenses weighed down already-sluggish sales of the company's implants.

  • BOSTON-- Massachusetts Auditor Suzanne Bump is urging the state to tighten up oversight of its MassHealth program.