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

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News

REPORT: FLAGGER SAVINGS FIGURE TOO HIGH - State Rep. Joseph Driscoll of Braintree is touting a new state audit, saying it helps support his stance that civilian flaggers jeopardize public safety and shouldn’t be used at utility work sites.
Ledger, Markman, on wire now

TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY ALOISI SAYS HE IS EAGER FOR REFORM, CONSOLIDATION - Transportation Secretary James Aloisi says years of neglect, bad judgment and a lack of accountability led to a state transportation funding crisis.
MetroWest, Jordan, on wire now
With photos

MAN AND TWO CHILDREN KILLED IN QUINCY HOUSE FIRE - An infant, a young child and a man were killed early this morning in a fire at a multi-family home at 100 Robertson St., Quincy. Fire officials are saying the blaze started in the basement and spread to the first floor. A woman who was also in the basement apartment at 100 Robertson St. was removed and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Ledger, Sears, on wire now
With video and photos

CAHILL SAYS ETHICS PROBE LEAKS ARE NO ‘COINCIDENCE’ - A state ethics inquiry into contracts awarded by State Treasurer Timothy Cahill hasn’t slowed his plans to run for governor.
Ledger, Reardon, on wire now
With file photo

FORMER SOMERVILLE MAN WINS ON JEOPARDY! - Former Somerville resident Dan Pawson won $250,000 in the 2009 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions that aired on March 24.
Somerville Journal, on wire now

TOPSFIELD MAN SUSPECTED OF KILLING HIS MOTHER - A Topsfield man remained in custody Wednesday as the Essex County District Attorney’s office investigates whether he should be charged for murdering his elderly mother, according to an Ipswich District Court document.
CNC, Rogers and Lewis, on wire now

Business

MASSACHUSETTS BUSINESS IN BRIEF - Brockton bank abandons plans to go public; Talbots gets a new manager for its store network; Weymouth man jailed for stealing from Roxbury nonprofit; Brockton Hospital doc signs new contract with Blue Cross; Waltham tech company cuts 325 jobs.
Ledger, on wire now

PRICE DROPS FUEL HOME SALES - Sales of single-family homes dropped nearly 15 percent statewide in February, but rose 17 percent in Plymouth County.
Ledger, Adams, on wire now

REGULATORS EXTEND THEIR REVIEW OF TWO PILGRIM POWER PLANT APPEALS - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission had initially planned to complete those reviews by Monday. But the commissioners have extended the reviews for an indefinite time.
Ledger, Chesto, on wire now

Opinions

JOE BURNS: PITCHING FOR THE RICH - Rush Limbaugh is at it again. The Fresh Prince of Hot Air has come to the defense of the indefensible: AIG’s multi-million dollar giveaway of taxpayer’s money to 412 high-level foul-ups as a reward for the damage they’ve done.
CNC, on wire now

EDITORIAL/ILLUSTRATION: PATRICK MUST START PLAYING IT STRAIGHT - Gtrick’s recent actions have so damaged his standing that even legitimate reform efforts look like sleights of hand timed to distract us from a serial insensitivity to the principles of those who elected him. We deserve better.
Ledger, on wire now
WITH: EDITORIAL: THE DEVOLUTION OF DEVAL PATRICK - Deval Patrick was elected on a theme of “Together we can.” Unfortunately, that has often come to mean “together we can squander opportunities to improve life for the average working family.” The items listed here chart the most egregious examples of where actions betray words.
Ledger, on wire now

Sports

WATCH FOR PRO SPORTS at prosports@gatehousemediane.com

Lifestyles

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GETAWAY / IN NEW ENGLAND FOR APRIL 1 PUBLICATION

GETAWAY: A TASTE OF ITALY'S LOMBARDY REGION - The day had been long, and the weather in Italy's Lombardy mountains chilly. After many adventures and many miles, my companions and I were weary.

IN NEW ENGLAND: SNOWMOBILING AT MAINE'S MOOSEHEAD LAKE - Sadie, my 10-year-old daughter, had no qualms when our snowmobiling guide Steve Sullivan told her to climb behind him for a ride. But she needed some encouragement when she was offered the controls. Fortunately, we were in good hands. This first-time snowmobile experience for Sadie, me and my husband was at The Birches Resort (800-825-9453; www.birches.com) on the banks of Moosehead Lake in Rockwood, Maine.

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WINE WISDOM: WONDERFUL WINES OF THE BOSTON WINE EXPO - For the devoted and faithful, an annual pilgrimage must be made. For Muslims it's Mecca. For Christians it's the Holy Land at Easter. For others, myself included, it's trekking into town every winter for the Boston Wine Expo. This year, I attended the Expo's Grand Cru Lounge.
MetroWest, on wire now

DR. JEFF HERSH: OVARIAN CANCER STILL DIFFICULT TO DIAGNOSE - Q: My aunt died of ovarian cancer over 10 years ago. Have there been any new techniques developed to screen for this awful disease? Should I be screened?
MetroWest, on wire now

SENIOR SAVVY: UNCLE'S SAFETY SHOULD BE PARAMOUNT - Q: I received a call from Protective Services saying that I am not caring for my uncle properly. Protective Services is involved to see if there is any neglect or abuse. I am very scared about the investigation and worry that my uncle will be removed from his home.
MetroWest, on wire now

THE BEER NUT: BREWERY OMMEGANG'S HEART IS IN BELGIUM - Brewery Ommegang may be physically in Cooperstown, N.Y., but their brewing heart is in Belgium.
MetroWest, on wire now

THEATER REVIEW: 'GODSPELL' CAST IS A VIBRANT BUNCH - After tackling it in 1986, directors Zoe Bradford and Jordie Saucerman and the Company Theatre staff have decided to once again present this musical tale of love and acceptance. And, rather than relying on clichéd ’60s and ’70s hippie themes and costumes, the Company production combines more modern bohemian characterizations and clothes and a host of international inspirations.
Ledger, Dorman, on wire now
With photo

BAD 'DATES,' GREAT LAUGHS AT MERRIMACK REPERTORY THEATRE IN LOWELL - The scene is a woman’s bedroom, decked out in a way many women fill find familiar -- slightly cluttered but inviting, with scarves hanging from a ceiling fan, clothes draped here and there, and shoe boxes.
CNC, Smith, on wire now
With photo