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If the fatal shooting in Missouri last weekend of 18-year-old Michael Brown was simply about a police officer’s use of deadly force, it would be like most of the estimated 400 or so cases in the country every year, with little notice outside of the community and very little public outcry.

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Federal prosecutors never went directly after House Speaker Robert DeLeo in the recently concluded Probation Department trial that snared three key department officials. But by labeling him an unindicted co-conspirator, they did just enough to mar his reputation going forward.

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Penn National just broke ground on its Plainville slots parlor, the Plainridge Park Casino, a few months ago. It won’t open until next spring. But the racetrack casino will begin hiring in September -- just in time to use newly-minted casino employees to beat back a casino repeal referendum in November.

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A Northeast Democratic governor determined to boost state revenue and job growth goes all-in on a push for four new gambling facilities. Nearby states are eating his state’s lunch when it comes to gambling revenue, and it’s time to do something about it.

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Needham in 2005 raised the smoking age to 21, establishing a public policy on teen smoking that appears to be gaining momentum in Massachusetts and across the nation.

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