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BC-MA--Massachusetts News Digest 1:30 pm, MA

January 19, 2019

Good afternoon. Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Massachusetts.

Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP Boston bureau at 617-357-8100 or 800-882-1407.

New England News Editor Bill Kole can be reached at 617-357-8100 or bkole@ap.org. New England Photo Editor Bill Sikes is reachable at 617-357-8106 or bsikes@ap.org.

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

A reminder that this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

TOP STORIES:

WINTER WEATHER

People throughout parts of the Midwest woke Saturday to a heavy and steady snowfall that forced the cancellation of hundreds of airline flights and made driving dangerous. New England residents were bracing for up to 18 inches of snow in northern regions and up to a half-inch of ice in southern areas, where utility companies were preparing for possible power outages. SENT: 400 words, photos.

BEACON HILL

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is preparing to submit his latest state budget to the Legislature amid signs of a looming economic slowdown and calls by some on Beacon Hill to raise taxes for education and other initiatives. With a booming economy and record jobs growth, Massachusetts ended its most recent fiscal year with a more than $1 billion surplus. Then December happened. By Bob Salsberg. SENT: 845 words, photo.

MASSACHUSETTS-MEDICARE

Low-income seniors would see a break on how much they pay for health care under a plan Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is including in his state budget proposal. Under the plan, seniors who earn 130 to 165 percent of the federal poverty level _ from just under $16,000 to about $20,000 each year _ would be eligible for Medicare savings programs, which help reduce health care expenses, including out-of-pocket costs. By Steve LeBlanc. SENT: 400 words.

ELECTION 2020-DEMOCRATS-WOMEN

Advocates for gender equality are reckoning with what one called a “wonderful challenge” _ four or more women running for president in 2020. For many activists, that means a Democratic field more reflective of a party that counts women as a crucial voting bloc. But the prospect of multiple women seeking the White House also presents obstacles, with no single female candidate holding a claim to women’s votes to the degree Hillary Clinton did in 2016. By Elana Schor and Juana Summers. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ NEW MEXICO AVALANCHE: Relatives say a 26-year-old man who died in an avalanche at a New Mexico ski resort was a Massachusetts native who was on an annual ski trip with his father. SENT.

_ BOSTON COMMON MAKEOVER: The oldest public park in the United States is getting a $28 million makeover. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh along with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and Friends of the Public Garden say the improvements will ensure that Boston Common can withstand heavy use by city residents and visitors, New England weather and “the test of time.” SENT.

_ POLICE TRAINING-HEARING LOSS: Springfield and its police department are being sued by a woman who says she suffered permanent hearing loss in her right ear after a police captain fired a gun next to her head during a training exercise. SENT.

_ GIRL DIES: A Lawrence man has been arrested in connection with the death of an 11-year-old girl in what police have been investigating as a possible case of drug poisoning. SENT.

_ GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-SYMPHONY: Federal workers in Boston have another option to fill their free time during the government shutdown: taking in the symphony. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is offering complimentary tickets to furloughed workers for performances this month. SENT.

SPORTS:

PATRIOTS-CHIEFS PREVIEW

It seems football fans everywhere are suddenly on the Chiefs’ bandwagon, enthralled by Kansas City’s record-setting young quarterback and exciting playmakers and hopeful the amiable coach can finally win the big one. Then again, maybe they’re just fans of anybody facing New England. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

DEFENSIVE CHIEFS

The Chiefs’ defense has struggled almost all season, ranking near the bottom of the league in almost every statistical category, but is peaking just in time for the AFC title game. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 6 p.m. ET.

CELTICS-HAWKS

The Atlanta Hawks, coming off a surprising high-scoring home win over Oklahoma City, will be an underdog again when they face the Boston Celtics on Saturday night. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7:30 p.m.

RANGERS-BRUINS

The New York Rangers visit the Boston Bruins. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

UMass at VCU, 6:30 p.m. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits.

UNC-Wilmington at Northeastern, Noon. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits.

Loyola (Md.) at Holy Cross, 12:05 p.m. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits.

Colgate at Boston U., 1 p.m. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits.

Mass.-Lowell at Hartford, 2 p.m. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits.

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If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

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