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State House reopening in sight, Massachusetts Democratic leaders say

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Karen Spilka feeling ‘fine’ after ‘mild stroke’

The reopening of the State House is in sight and could happen as soon as next month, Senate President Karen Spilka announced,

“Hopefully next month it can reopen,” Spilka told reporters on Monday afternoon following a weekly meeting between Democrat and Republican State House leaders.

The Ashland Democrat was scant on details, saying the reopening might include a proof-of-vaccination mandate. Details of how the reopening would proceed are still being discussed, she said.

Gov. Charlie Baker will deliver his final State of the Commonwealth address on Tuesday where he said he hopes “to have a chance to reflect on many of the very good things that have been done” during his two terms in office.

With one House seat already vacant and three other representatives prepared to exit, Speaker Ronald Mariano on Monday would not commit to holding special elections to fill empty positions before elections this fall for newly redrawn districts.

Mariano on Monday said it “remains to be seen” if the House will call a special election to let voters choose a successor to former Majority Leader Claire Cronin of Easton, who departed last week, or for Reps. Maria Robinson of Framingham, Sheila Harrington of Groton and Lori Ehrlich of Marblehead, all of whom have been tapped for new jobs and could soon submit their resignations.

FACT BOX: How to watch the State of the Commonwealth with Gov. Charlie Baker

Time: 7 p.m.

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 25

Location: Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston, Boston

Watch online: The State of the Commonwealth address will be livestreamed on Mass.gov. Follow along on Twitter and join the conversation with the #MASOTC hashtag.

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Kayla McBride is back for the Lynx, and not a moment too soon

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Kayla McBride is back for the Lynx, and not a moment too soon

Already 0-4, the only team in the WNBA still winless this season, and facing a pair of tough road opponents this week in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the Lynx will receive important reinforcements Tuesday against the Sparks in the form of Kayla McBride.

The standout shooting guard, who just won a Turkish League title over the weekend, has been activated and will join the team in Los Angeles, the Lynx announced Monday.

McBride averaged 13.7 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 38 percent on three-pointers last season. The sharpshooter gives Minnesota a needed additional scoring punch.

Joining the team just in time for a game is nothing new for McBride, who arrived just in time for Minnesota’s season opener a year ago. She immediately scored 17 points to go with six rebounds in her first game.

Until now, McBride has been supporting the Lynx this season from afar. Last week, amid the team’s early struggles, McBride tweeted: “Everyone speaking on my dawgs there in minny,” she said. “just make sure that you speaking come august too… we ain’t going without a fight.”

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Thompson Lake closed after 50,000 gallons of wastewater sewage flows into the West St. Paul lake

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Thompson Lake closed after 50,000 gallons of wastewater sewage flows into the West St. Paul lake

A wastewater sewage discharge into Thompson Lake has temporarily closed the West St. Paul lake and prompted city and county officials to urge people not to have contact with the water.

According to the city, a valve leak released about 70,000 gallons of sewage into the lake over several hours.

People and pets should not have direct contact with the lake water, including fishing, until levels can be tested “and we know it’s safe again,” the city said in a Monday afternoon statement.

Public Works Director Ross Beckwith said the sewage leak was discovered around 7 a.m. Monday after someone from St. Croix Lutheran Academy, which is just west of the lake, noticed water running out of a 15-foot-deep concrete manhole.

The leak began after an air-release valve gasket of an underground pipe broke, Beckwith said. By 8:30 a.m., a new valve had been installed.

Considering that 1.2 million gallons of sewage runs through the underground pipe each day, the leak “could have been catastrophic,” Beckwith said.

The city is working with the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of the Pollution Control to determine whether any mitigation needs to be done.

“We’re waiting for the PCA to tell us next steps,” Beckwith said.

The county has posted signs alerting visitors to not come in contact with the water until further notice.

The seven-acre lake is located just west of U.S. Highway 52 and south of Butler Avenue within Thompson County Park.

For updates as available, go to dakotacounty.us/parks or call 952-891-7000.

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Nestor Cortes deletes his Twitter account after old tweets surface: ‘It’s not who I am’

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Nestor Cortes deletes his Twitter account after old tweets surface: ‘It’s not who I am’

BALTIMORE — After taking over as the American League ERA leader on Sunday, Nestor Cortes took down his Twitter account. While the 27-year-old was on the mound in Chicago, fans had combed through his social media accounts and found Tweets and Instagram posts from 2012-2015 where he used a racial slur. Some of his tweets appeared to be quoting from rap lyrics.

Cortes took responsibility Monday.

“I hate myself for having done that, it’s not who I am or want to be,” Cortes said. “I found out about it [the social media posts going viral], I sought out help on how to handle it and I am taking a break so that going forward I can use [social media] in the right way. I want to have a good message, especially for kids.”

While Cortes was mowing down the White Sox Sunday, fans of a Yankees rival found the tweets and social media posts and put them together. At the time of the posts, Cortes would have between 17 and 20 years old.

“I didn’t know how it happened, but it doesn’t matter,” Cortes said. “I shouldn’t have done it. I don’t want it out there now. I want to use my [social media platform] to give a positive message to fans and especially to kids out there.”

Cortes has been the Yankees’ best pitcher this season, posting a 1.35 ERA through his first seven starts this season.

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