The state Senate has voted to increase the minimum wage from $8 per hour to $11 by 2016 and tie subsequent increases to inflation. The bill would hike the wage for the state's lowest-paid workers in increments over the next three years, with the new wage kicking in next July.@

Voters in Milford have rejected a proposal to build a $1 billion casino, further cutting into the field of potential candidates for the state's first regional resort casino licenses. Crossroads Massachusetts had proposed a casino off Interstate 495 that would have been managed by Foxwoods.

A 26 year old Holyoke man arrested--now facing a slew of drug charges. Daniel DeJesus of South Canal Street arrested on more than two dozen charges...allegedly caught with more than 40 bags of heroin. Holyoke Police Chief James Neiswanger says he was arrested after an investigation by the Western Mass Gang Task Force.@

Springfield Firefighters put down a small porch fire. White and Standish Streets ---that's in Forest Park. We don't know what started it but it is still under investiation. The arson squad is involved.@

In South Hadley the Town Meeting says yes to a medical marijuana facility. The plan would be to require around the clock video surveillance and the planning and select boards would have to ultimately approve any facility that might be housed there.@

In Holyoke the talk is still about needle exchange. The city council awaiting what a judge thinks about whether the mayor or the council can order a facility, now the council says it wants more time to debate the issue. A public hearing will be scheduled on the proposal. The hearing will come nearly 13 months after the Board of Health voted 3-0 to allow such a program as a way to combat the spread of aids.@

Holyoke Police nab one of the state's top sex offenders. Police say 30 year old Roberto Jimenez was found hiding in a Whitney Street closet by officials yesterday. He was wanted for a sexual assualt on a child under the age of 14. He was also wanted for his failure to register as a sex offender.@

Easthampton Police say a Springfield woman was driving drunk when she crashed her car with three young children in the car. 29 year old Meghan Pastomerlo according to a police report was driving while impaired. Three kids in the car ranging in age from a new born to about 3 and a half years old.