DEATH

The Sheffield, Massachusetts, town line.
Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/auvet

The district attorney in Berkshire County said a house fire Wednesday morning in Sheffield, Massachusetts, was the scene of a murder-suicide that left a family of five dead.

It was the summer of 2015, and Betty Crane was looking forward to her 70th wedding anniversary in December.

But at a press conference at the Massachusetts attorney general’s office Wednesday, Crane’s daughter, Candi Hitchcock, said her mother didn’t make it past August. A caretaker at the Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Westborough didn’t turn on the alarm on Crane’s bed.

Opioid overdose deaths are down in Massachusetts. The latest quarterly data from the Baker administration show 4 percent fewer fatalities in 2018 as compared to 2017. That’s 82 fewer men and women who could not be revived after an overdose, according to preliminary estimates.

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Nearly 9,000 children and teens have died from opioid poisonings since the epidemic began in the late 1990s, according to Yale epidemiologist Dr. Julie Gaither. An earlier Yale study found that about 30 kids a year died in hospitals, but this time her team analyzed data on deaths in all settings.

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