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

December 29, 2018

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

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A reminder that this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.

TODAY’S TOP STORIES:

BEACON HILL

BOSTON _ The state’s minimum wage is going up, the income tax rate is coming down and it will be illegal everywhere in Massachusetts to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products to those under 21. Those are among the new and updated laws taking effect when the new year arrives Tuesday. AP’s weekly look at an issue preoccupying state officials in Massachusetts. By Bob Salsberg. SENT: 750 words.

2018 ELECTION-VETERANS-WOMEN

WASHINGTON _ Military veterans generally voted for GOP candidates in the November elections, affirming President Donald Trump’s frequent claim that veterans stand among his strongest backers. But more women are joining the military and they are bucking the pattern seen among men, according to data from AP’s VoteCast survey. By Hope Yen and Jennifer McDermott. SENT: 1,344 words, photos.

WITH: 2018 ELECTION-VETERANS-WOMEN-GLANCE: By EMILY SWANSON and HANNAH FINGERHUT. SENT: 641 words.

GAY CONVERSION THERAPY

NEW YORK _ Activists urging more states to ban gay conversion therapy for minors are expecting major gains in 2019, thanks in part to the buzz generated by two well-reviewed films. Fourteen states have already enacted laws prohibiting licensed therapists from trying to change a minor’s sexual orientation. Leaders of a national campaign to ban the practice are hopeful that at least four more states, including Massachusetts, will join the ranks in the upcoming legislative sessions. By DAVID CRARY. SENT: 923 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ FIRST NIGHT-BOSTON: Boston is gearing up for another night of fun to welcome in the New Year.

_ NATIONAL GRID-LOCKOUT: National Grid and labor union officials say they have been in “productive” negotiations for days but have not reached an agreement to end a monthslong lockout in Massachusetts.

_ REVERE SHOOTING AND STABBING: A man has been shot and another man stabbed in an altercation north of Boston.

_ POLICE CUSTODY DEATH: The woman stabbed repeatedly by a Massachusetts man who died after police subdued him using electronic stun guns is expected to survive.

_ LIFE EXPECTANCY-MASSACHUSETTS: The average life expectancy of Massachusetts residents rose to 80 years and 8 months in 2016 — that’s an increase in longevity that runs counter to national trends showing a decline in how long Americans are expected to live.

_ NEW ENGLAND POTHOLES: Spring is several months away but pothole season is already here in New England.

_ JAIL RENOVATIONS: The Hampshire County jail is getting a more than $4 million makeover to update rundown inmate housing.

_ TRAFFIC CAMERAS: Another Rhode Island city is adopting traffic cameras to crack down on speeding.

_ BUISNESS PARK GRANT: U.S. Sen. Jack Reed says $3 million in federal funding has been awarded to make freight rail improvements at a major Rhode Island business park.

SPORTS:

CELTICS-GRIZZLIES

MEMPHIS, Tenn. _ The Grizzlies wrap up a two-game home stand Saturday night hosting the Boston Celtics. By Clay Bailey. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m. ET.

BRUINS-SABRES

BUFFALO, N.Y. _ The Buffalo Sabres have a 3-point edge on third-place Boston in the Atlantic Division standings in preparing to host the Bruins on Saturday night. By Mark Ludwiczak. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m. ET.

BKC--HARVARD-MERCER

Harvard plays Mercer at State Farm Arena. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merit.

MASSACHUSETTS-LOWELL-SACRED HEART

Massachusetts-Lowell plays Sacred Heart at William H. Pitt Center. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merit.

BKC--BROWN-SAN DIEGO STATE

SAN DIEGO _ Brown plays San Diego State for just the second time ever as the Aztecs look to build on their big win against BYU last week. By Bernie Wilson. UPCOMING: 600 words. Game starts 5 p.m.

BKC--BRYANT UNIVERSITY-IOWA

Bryant University plays Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. UPCOMING: 600 words, more on merit.

____

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