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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

In the nation: Mass. Attorney General sues Milton, nursing student killed in Georgia, airman self-immolates in support of Palestine

Leo Woods

AG sues Milton for refusal to abide by zoning laws

Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell announced a lawsuit against Milton Feb. 27 after the town voted against accepting a zoning plan that would comply with the MBTA Communities Act.

If the proposal passed, the plan would enable the building of 2,400 new housing units in the community just south of Boston and bring the town into compliance with the MBTA Communities Act, which requires towns either on or adjacent to the MBTA to change zoning laws to allow for increased affordable housing, according to The Boston Globe.

Campbell’s lawsuit asks a judge to affirm the act is mandatory, and require that Milton submit a plan that adheres to the law. If the town refuses or cannot meet the deadline, Campbell asked that the judge either fine the town, appoint a person to draft a plan that meets the requirements or allow multifamily housing by right.

“We have a job to do, which is to enforce the law in Massachusetts,” Campbell said. “We expect our constituents to follow our laws. It’s no different for a municipality when it comes to our housing crisis.”

Advocates against Milton’s zoning plan feel Campbell’s lawsuit to be harsh, citing Massachusetts’s tradition of home-rule when it comes to zoning.

“It is a great disappointment for the citizens of Milton that the attorney general has led with all sticks and no carrots,” Denny Swenson, a Milton resident and leader of the campaign against the zoning plan, said to the Globe. “It is a shame that it may take defending this lawsuit for the citizens of Milton to finally get heard. The town has available strong defenses to this litigation.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey threatened to withhold grant funding from communities who refuse compliance, including Milton.

“I hope we can work with Milton and see a new plan,” Healey said on GBH’s “Boston Public Radio.” “But the message should be clear to every community out there that we meant what we said in terms of compliance and enforcement.”


Georgia nursing student killed

A 22-year-old nursing student at Augusta University was killed while out on her morning run on the University of Georgia’s campus Feb. 22.

According to the Associated Press, Laken Riley was dragged by a stranger and killed in a wooded area. Jose Ibarra, 26, was charged with the murder of Riley Feb. 23.

The killing has become a hot-button political topic because Ibarra is an immigrant from Venezuela, according to the New York Times.

Former President Donald Trump blamed President Joe Biden’s border control policies for the murder.

Riley went to the University of Georgia for her undergraduate degree, graduating in 2023, and was enrolled in nursing school at Augusta, according to the Times.


Airman self-immolates in support of Palestine

Content Warning: this article contains descriptions of self-immolation.

In an act of protest against the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, 25-year-old Aaron Bushnell set himself on fire outside of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. Feb. 25.

The Massachusetts native was an active member of the U.S. Air Force, stationed at a San Antonio Air Force base. At the time of the act, Bushnell was looking to leave the military.

He set up a livestream on his cell phone and began recording before dousing himself with fluid.

“I will not be complicit in genocide … I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest,” said Bushnell in the videos of the scene.

He then lit himself on fire while continuously yelling “Free Palestine.”

The flame was extinguished by officials at the scene, but Bushnell succumbed to his injuries about seven hours later at a local hospital.

Prior to the act, Bushnell reached out to several news outlets via email. The Atlanta Community Press Collective shared a copy of the email to BBC. The email shared that he was going to portray an “extreme act of protest” and that it would be “highly disturbing.”

A friend of Bushnell’s, Levi Pierpont, shared with The Washington Post that Bushnell’s faith in the U.S. began to decline following George Floyd’s death in 2020. He became more open about looking to leave the military in 2024. The former senior airman moved to Ohio earlier this year to participate in a course for military members looking to transition out according to The Washington Post.

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About the Contributors
Julia Capraro
Julia Capraro, Digital Editor | she/her
Julia is a junior broadcast journalism and psychology major from Canton, Massachusetts. In addition to writing for the Journal, she is President of Suffolk Visual Arts Club. She loves cooking, crochet and reading in her free time.
Sarah Roberts
Sarah Roberts, News Editor | she/her
Sarah is a senior from Taunton, Massachusetts, majoring in print and web journalism. She’s on the cross country and indoor/outdoor track and field teams. When she’s not running along the Charles or doing laps on the track in East Boston, you will probably find her in a coffee shop. Sarah is a coffee connoisseur and enjoys trying new coffee places frequently. In her free time if she isn’t reading, she’s watching some true crime shows or rewatching Gilmore Girls for the hundredth time. After college, she hopes to work in investigative journalism.
William Woodring
William Woodring, Senior Editor-at-Large | he/him
Will is a senior majoring in public relations. He is originally from Medway, Massachusetts. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, writing, reading, and running. He is interested in political journalism and hopes to go into politics after graduating. Follow Will on X @woodringwill
Leo Woods
Leo Woods, News Editor | he/him

Leo is a senior political science major concentrating in public policy and law with a minor in journalism from Clinton, Connecticut. He has a passion for political reporting and previously served as Photo Editor for The Journal. He has photographed political events, protests, performing arts groups and documented Boston Pride for the People in 2023 for the History Project. After graduation, he plans on attending law school and working in politics.

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