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Newsworthy Wrap-Up: Thursday, December 22, 2011

MASSACHUSETTS – Santa Ban story goes to a whole new level, millions in cocaine seized in Peabody, and more in tonight’s NoBo Newsworthy Wrap-Up for Thursday, December 22, 2011.

1. This week’s Santa Ban controversy surrounding Saugus Superintendent Langolis went to a whole other level today, after Boston.com reported the administrator had received death threats despite his near immediate reversal of a policy that would have barred Santa from visiting the Town’s elementary schools.

2. The Salem News is reporting the Peabody Police in conjunction with the Massachusetts State Police and the Drug Enforcement Agency seized more than a million dollars worth of cocaine, arresting a Canadian national, a Mexican national, and a Tucson, Arizona resident. Police arrested seized a total of  11 kilos of cocaine, following an investigation and surveillance of a drug deal in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn on Route One.

3. Eligible, financially strapped Bay Staters will receive some assistance with rising home heating costs this winter, after the state’s congressional delegation released a statement about an additional $21 million in federal assistance. Massachusetts is now expected to receive $99 million from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the 2012 fiscal year, however, the federal funding of the program is being scaled back. Last year, Massachusetts received $175 million. More than 200,000 are expected to benefit from the program. “These additional funds will allow states to continue helping households who are struggling in this tough economy this holiday season,” said Malden Democrat Congressman Ed Markey in the statement.

4. Unemployment in Massachusetts is down once again, with the November seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 6.4%, down from 6.8% in October. Since the start of the year, the statewide rate is down 1.7% points from the 8.1% rate recorded for November 2010. The December 2011 unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on January 19, 2012; local unemployment statistics will be released on January 24, 2012. Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi. See the revised February, 2011 Media Advisory annual schedule for complete listing of release dates.

5. Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray are thanking Massachusetts veterans for their service this holiday season. Check out their video below.

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