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NEW ENGLAND IN BRIEF

Archdiocese set to lay off 7 employees

BOSTON

The Archdiocese of Boston, facing a budgetary crisis, said yesterday that it will lay off seven administrative employees and eliminate four positions that are vacant. That will lower the number of archdiocesan employees to 281 from 367 in 2002. In a memo to employees yesterday, the archdiocese said employees will get an average 1.75 percent salary increase in the fiscal year that begins July 1, in a further effort to control costs. The budget crisis has largely been caused by a reduction in contributions from parishioners following the clergy abuse crisis.

Reilly to confirm run for governor
Attorney General Thomas Reilly plans to confirm publicly for the first time today his plans to run for governor in 2006, according to a source. Reilly plans to make the announcement when he speaks to student government members at Lowell High School, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Reilly had repeatedly suggested that he intends to challenge Governor Mitt Romney, but had stopped short of formally announcing his candidacy. Reilly will join Deval Patrick, President Clinton's chief civil rights enforcer, as official Democratic contenders. Secretary of State William Galvin also is expected to join the race for the nomination. (AP)

Restaurant told to correct violations
Before reopening the Jade Chopsticks restaurant on Morton Street in Mattapan, the owner must meet six requirements, including correcting all sanitary violations and hiring a food safety consultant for at least three months, the city's Inspectional Services Department determined at a hearing yesterday. Jade Chopsticks was closed May 5, after a customer reported finding an unknown substance in the ''house special." The substance, tested in a state lab, could be some sort of shellfish, Inspectional Services officials said. After the customer's report, a health inspector found code violations including rodent droppings and evidence of improper sanitation of pots and pans.

DSS takes 3 children as mom hospitalized
Three children from Dorchester were taken into custody by the Department of Social Services yesterday after their mother threatened to harm herself, police said. No one was injured. Police did not identify the woman, who was taken to Boston Medical Center and kept overnight for psychiatric evaluation. The children are ages 1, 11, and 13, police said. The incident began shortly before 4:30 p.m. when one of the mother's friends called police, fearing she would harm herself. Police later found the mother in her car with a kitchen knife and her 1-year-old on Park Street in Dorchester.

Fire expected to delay Amtrak service
Amtrak train service between New England and Washington, D.C., could experience delays today because of a bridge fire yesterday between Newark and New York. Amtrak spokeswoman Marcie Golgoski did not have specifics, but said there would be ''limited service." The fire was reported at about 8 p.m. on a drawbridge and involved the wooden timbers and track ties in the trestle. No injuries were reported, but area service was disrupted. Passengers are urged to call 1-800-USA-RAIL for information.

DEDHAM

Teachers vote to continue bargaining
Dedham teachers voted yesterday to continue bargaining on a contract after considering a strike, union officials said. Edward Morneau, president of the 285-member Dedham Education Association, said the gap has narrowed on the most contentious issue -- the amount of health-care coverage that would be paid for by teachers. Teachers now pay 10 percent; the town wants to increase that incrementally to 20 percent. ''We avoided a strike in deference to the children," said Morneau.

MASSACHUSETTS

Mounted patrols returning to Blue Hills
Just in time for the hiking season, mounted patrols are trotting back into the Blue Hills. From May 30 to sometime this fall, State Police will be patrolling the sprawling 7,000-acre reservation on horseback. From the late 1800s until recently, State Police and park rangers on mounted patrols assisted hikers in the Blue Hills Reservation, which spans parts of Milton, Randolph, Quincy, and Dedham. State Police discontinued the patrols three years ago, and in December, the state eliminated the four-member mounted park ranger unit, saying that the $300,000-a-year cost far exceeded its mostly ceremonial benefits. Critics, however, have argued that the mounted patrols provide invaluable public safety benefits and area legislators pushed to have the service restored.

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