Here are the top New England regional stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at gatehousenewsservice.com.

Here are the top New England regional stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at gatehousenewsservice.com. Please submit stories below no later than 6 p.m. local time, unless you have breaking news that is changing significantly. Questions?

Contact: Chris Biondi, (508) 626-4343, cbiondi@gatehousemedia.com

At ghnewsroom.com:

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News

VIDEO: BU OPENS FORENSICS PROGRAM ON SPRAWLING SUBURBAN SITE - Boston University owns the land, with a modest three-bedroom home and miles of forest and former cranberry bogs. Two graduate programs in forensic science and anthropology and a continuing education program for law enforcement use the site for field training, about 22 miles from the university's campus.
MetroWest, Riley, on wire now
With video and photos

TEENS DRINKING AND DRIVING LESS - BUT THEY'RE STILL DRINKING - Statistics show that while educators, parents and public service campaigns have effectively reduced drunken driving among high school students, the number of teens who drink has been slower to come down.
Ledger, Keane, on wire now

SECRET SERVICE SEIZES CAPE TEEN'S COMPUTER IN COUNTERFEITING PROBE - Police obtained a search warrant for the safe. Inside, detectives discovered electronic equipment, a copied $10 bill and what they called “templates” for $50 and $20 bills.
Bourne Courier, Gately, on wire now

BILL IS BACK TO KEEP ELDERLY DRIVERS OFF THE ROAD - Sen. Brian Joyce, D-Milton, has reintroduced legislation this session that would require all drivers older than 85 to pass a vision and road test every five years to renew a license.
Ledger, Reardon, on wire now

VIDEO: BARNEY FRANK PREDICTS ECONOMIC UPTICK BY FALL - U.S. Rep. Barney Frank told a town hall-style gathering in Scituate on Thursday night that the economic stimulus package the president signed this week and the mortgage help on the way to homeowners will improve the economy by this fall.
Ledger, Markman, on wire now
With video and photo

HOUSE EXPLOSION 'WAS LIKE THE APOCALYPSE' - Melissa Jackson thought a car had hit her house. Her daughter, Erin, 12, feared a tree had come down on their home. In reality, it was the shock of a house explosion several hundred yards away to the north that rattled the Jacksons’ Brisbon Street house Thursday night at dinner time.
Herald News, Sullivan, on wire now
With photos

HOUSE OF BLUES BRINGS A NEW BEAT TO LANSDOWNE STREET - Music fans who frequented the old Avalon (Citi, Metro, Boston Tea Party etc.) on Lansdowne Street will barely recognize the venue in its reincarnation as the House of Blues. Opening night was Thursday, but there’s still a lustrous slate of performers helping christen it this weekend, including the Gipsy Kings tonight, the Blues Brothers, with Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, on Saturday, and blues immortals B.B. King and Buddy Guy on Sunday.
Ledger, Miller, on wire now
With photos and sidebar
WITH: AYKROYD STILL HAS ONE FOOT IN THE BLUES

WATER RATES TO RISE THOUGH CONSUMER USE HAS FALLEN - Despite a continuing drop in water use among Massachusetts Water Resources Authority communities, the agency expects to raise its charges by 5 percent or more.
MetroWest, D'Amour, on wire now

Business

NEW ENGLAND BOAT SHOW SEES SPIKE IN ATTENDANCE, SALES - Long seen by water-faring New Englanders as a herald of spring, exhibitors and organizers of the New England Boat Show feared the annual event could feel more like winter this year, given such strong economic headwinds the industry is facing.
Ledger, Bauer, on wire now
With photos

NEW FORECLOSURE PETITIONS DROP IN PLYMOUTH, BRISTOL COUNTIES - The number of new foreclosure petitions — the first step in the foreclosure of a home — fell in Plymouth and Bristol counties in January from a year ago, according to a Boston real estate data firm. Foreclosure petitions dropped 40 percent in Bristol County and 27 percent in Plymouth County, the Warren Group reported Thursday.
Enterprise, Alspach, on wire now

PATRICK, MCGOVERN TOUR GROWING MEDICAL COMPANY IN WESTBOROUGH - A medical technology company that employs 500 people here should get a significant boost - translating into more jobs - from President Obama's economic stimulus package, Gov. Deval Patrick said Thursday.
MetroWest, Fennucio, on wire now
With photos

MASSACHUSETTS BUSINESS IN BRIEF - Foreclosure deeds are up again in Mass., but initial petitions are down; HarborOne launches big marketing campaign; Boston officials approve condo project for West Broadway.
Ledger, on wire now

Opinions

EDITORIAL: A NONPARTISAN COMMISSION SHOULD BE CHARGED with investigating Bush administration actions on detainee treatment and domestic surveillance.
MetroWest, on wire now

PHILIP MADDOCKS: REPUBLICANS NOW COMPLAINING THEY WERE SHUT OUT of decision process during election.
CNC, on wire now

EDITORIAL: GOV. PATRICK FINALLY UNVEILS HIS TRANSPORTATION FINANCE PLAN.
MetroWest, 7 p.m.

RICK HOLMES COLUMN: BIPARTISANSHIP MAY BE OBAMA'S GOAL, BUT ELECTIONS COUNT, and Democrats in Congress have their own priorities.
MetroWest, 7 p.m.

GUEST COLUMN BY MARY CONNAUGHTON: ON INAUGURATION DAY, WHEN HER KINDERGARTEN son said he wanted to grow up to be president, she couldn't bring herself to tell him the bad news: since he was born in Korea and adopted as an infant, his White House dream is beyond his reach.
MetroWest, 7 p.m.

EDITORIAL: ON THE MORTGAGE PORTION OF THE STIMULUS
Ledger, 6 p.m.

EDITORIAL: PATRICK CHOICE FOR STIMULUS CZAR IS A SYMBOL OF PENSION ABUSE  - Gov. Deval Patrick has named Jeffrey Simon to be the “director of infrastructure investment” — which means he will oversee the billions of dollars in federal stimulus money Washington will be sending our way. Simon may well be the “best man for the job,” but his pension play comes with symbolism Patrick would have been wise to avoid.
Enterprise, on wire now

Sports

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Lifestyles

AWARD-WINNING FILMS HIGHLIGHT FAMILIES' POWER TO OVERCOME TRAGEDY - When he first began shooting, Jeremiah Zagar, 27, intended to use his film camera as a means of getting to know his father Isaiah, famous in Philadelphia for creating breathtakingly unique mosaics on many of the city’s buildings.
CNC, D'Agostino, on wire now
With photo

AROUND THE WORLD IN 7 DAYS: SALEM FILM FEST WILL TRANSPORT AUDIENCES TO EXOTIC LOCALES - Whether telling the story of a Ugandan boy soldier’s return to his homeland or a one-hit-wonder band’s struggle to win back their moment of fame, the sleek documentaries in Salem Film Fest 2009 all have one thing in common.
CNC, D'Agostino, on wire now
With photo

EFFORTS UNDER WAY TO REVIVE SYLVAN GARDENS IN CHATHAM - Winter on the Cape – an unbecoming shade of taupe – makes dreary look good, so every year people used to look forward to a free flower show at Sylvan Gardens.
CNC, Leggett, on wire now
With photos and audio