It’s hard for rural schools in Massachusetts to get kids to and from class every day — especially now, in muddy season, when the snow has melted and the rain begins.

“This is mud and ruts and a mess,” says bus driver Joanne Deady as she points to the narrow, unpaved road on her route from Colrain Central School in northwestern Massachusetts.

It’s just after the school day and she’s about halfway through her route. Standing between her and the next drop-off is a big patch of what she calls “greasy mud” — the kind her bus can easily get stuck in if it’s deep enough.

Part 1 of a four-part series about affordable housing in Boston. Here are Parts 2 and 3.

Alex Ponte-Capellan grew up in Lower Roxbury, near Jamaica Plain’s Egleston Square, in the ’90s and early 2000s.

“I would hang out here in the summer times,” he says on a walk toward Washington Street. “Especially as a Latino youth, most of my friends were in JP.”

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.

A CDC web tool provides a flu "forecasting" model.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For the first time ever, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is publishing weekly flu forecasts on its website. The data model is led by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Should Massachusetts brace for a small-college crunch?

Hampshire College announced Tuesday that, in response to what its president called “bruising” financial and demographic trends, it will seek a “strategic partnership” to carry it into the future. College officials are still weighing whether or not to admit a freshman class for next year.