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Business DOW JONES 12,824.39 ­12.94 PAGES B5­9 For breaking news, go to NASDAQ 2,930.45 +0.69 Taking a close look at which search engine works the best At Hub convention, biotech leaders look to the future WGBH­FM to drop jazz programming on weeknights Workers at Pilgrim nuclear plant reject tentative pact Metro B THE BOSTON GL OBE THURSDAY, JUNE 21, 2012 | BOSTONGL OBE.COM/METRO Yvonne Abraham A long, hard road from public aid recipient to public servant There are some things Stephanie Ev­ erett never thought she’d be: a teenage mother, an abuse victim, a welfare re­ cipient, homeless. She became all of these things. Other things Everett never thought she’d become: an attor­ ney, a Senate aide, the new chief of staff at the very agency that helped lift her from the abyss. These things also came to pass. The path from Everett’s then to her now goes through some dark places — places that could have been points of no return, and have been, for many. Domestic violence was a family tradition. Her paternal grandfather killed his first wife, and her father seemed set to follow in his footsteps. Everett remembers watching in horror as her father held her mother down in the kitchen and gave her a beating, the first of many she witnessed. She was not yet 5 at the time. After her father left, her mother — eventually diagnosed with bipolar disor­ der — remained unpredictable, swinging between obsessive neatness and destructive rage. “One day our house got bro­ ken into, and it was completely trashed, and our first instinct was, ‘Why did mom do this?’ ” Everett recalled. Her mother at­ tempted suicide, the family separated, and Everett, along with her brother and sister, went to live with their tough maternal grandmother. Despite the turmoil, Everett tested into Boston Latin. For poor city kids, Latin can be a ladder out of dysfunction. Ever­ ett had one foot on that ladder when it fell away — or she pushed it — skipping so much school she had to repeat sev­ enth grade. She returned to her Mattapan middle school. And even though she was back liv­ ing with her mother and was a less than model student, she graduated high school. After her mother sent her to live with her father in Georgia, “a light bulb went off,” Everett said. “I need to do well in school.” She en­ rolled at Morris Brown College in Atlanta. But after one semester, Everett, back in Mattapan for Christmas break, got pregnant by her high school boyfriend. She was 19, and though she swore this would never happen to her, she was happy. “I had this notion a baby would love me no matter what,” she said. “I didn’t have to fit in.’’ Nobody else was happy. Espe­ cially not her boyfriend, who began beating her. Another of her nevers fell away: She was an abuse victim. “You could see the bruises on my chest and arms, and my friends said, ‘What happened?’ and I said, ‘It was just him let­ ting off steam, it’s fine, it doesn’t hurt anymore.’ ” She moved in with him shortly after her daughter was born on ABRAHAM, Page B13 Embattled college president steps down Lavish expenditures had sparked probe by Coakley By Walter V. Robinson GLOBE CORRESPONDENT DAVID L RYAN/GLOBE STAFF A ‘corpse flower’ reached full bloom at Franklin Park Zoo. Morticia, the zoo’s huge flower, has been said to smell like rotting flesh. ‘CORPSE FLOWER’ Franklin Park Zoo visitors see and smell a once­in­15­years event By Adam Sege K GLOBE CORRESPONDENT itty litter. Sweat. An aquarium. That’s how three visitors described the aroma of Morticia, the Franklin Park Zoo’s most famous flower, after waiting in line half an hour for a whiff. Morticia reached full bloom Tuesday night, an event that lasts less than two days and occurs once every 15 years for Amorphophallus titanum, commonly called a “corpse flower.” Zoo officials opened Morticia’s greenhouse last Thurs­ day for viewing, and since last Friday roughly 11,900 visi­ tors have stopped by, spokeswoman Brooke Wardrop said. That’s 3,000 more than the zoo’s total visitors during the same period last year, she said. During a free viewing Wednesday morning, hundreds lined up in intense heat to see, and smell, the blooming flower for themselves. The corpse flower takes its name from its aroma, which many compare to that of rotting flesh. Many who visited Wednesday had their own descrip­ tions. “To me, it smells more or less like old kitty litter,” said Ben Dicke, 28, of Somerville. “It’s not too pleasant.” Zoo officials say about 30 corpse flowers have bloomed in captivity. In order to survive, the 200­pound flower needs conditions similar to those in its native western In­ donesia, with a temperature of 82 degrees and a humidity FLOWER, Page B4 Near­record heat on first day of summer By Billy Baker GLOBE STAFF New England springs, notoriously fickle and reluctant to cede to the warmer season, like to give up slowly, even after the calendar has declared them done. “Most years, you need to guess when summer comes,” said Cyral Miller of Roxbury, smoldering in near­record heat next to his slushy cart, Fat Slushy’s. “But not today.” The first official day of summer arrived Wednes­ day with a blast, with temperatures soaring to 96 degrees in Boston, two degrees short of a record and a searing contrast to sweater weather just a few days before. And it’s only going to get hotter. The National Weather Service is predicting 99 degrees for Logan Airport Thursday, but inland temperatures could easily poke into triple digits, according to meteorologist Benjamin Sipprell in the Taunton office. “It will be oppressive,” he said, adding that humidity could make it feel like 105, the threshold for an official heat warning. WEATHER, Page B4 JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF Jefferson Rosales, 8, is held by family friend Beti as they cool off at Revere Beach. Dr. Robert J. Gee, whose lavish spending and fiscal stewardship at the Falmouth­based National Graduate School of Quality Management have spawned three separate inquiries, has been removed as the college’s president by the board of trustees, the school informed its staff yesterday. Thomas C. Kneaval, the chairman of the school’s board of trustees, said in an e­mail that Gee would return to teaching and “other activities related to” a hastily scheduled review by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which accredits institutions of higher education. The association’s next review had been scheduled for 2014, but was recently moved up to September because of revelations about the school. Attorney General Martha Coakley launched a separate investigation after the Globe reported on April 26 that the tiny Falmouth school had paid Gee $732,891 in 2009, provided his wife with a $100,000 annual salary, given the couple two new Mercedes Benz automobiles, and paid nearly $200,000 for a two­week annual timeshare for the Gees in the US Virgin Islands. Gee purchased the two automobiles at school expense, for $130,658, not long after the Massa­ chusetts Development Finance Agency authorized GEE, Page B4 Unions won’t oppose rule on teachers Seniority’s role would be cut By Jamie Vaznis GLOBE STAFF The American Federation of Teachers Massachu­ setts scrapped plans to fight legislation that would re­ duce the role of seniority in teacher staffing decisions and instead will remain neutral on the issue, the state’s second­largest teachers union announced Wednesday. The legislation, unveiled earlier this month, is on the fast track to secure approval in the state Legisla­ ture and aims to stave off an emotionally divisive bal­ lot question that called for more sweeping changes. The teachers federation had initially promised an ag­ gressive fight against what it called “extreme legisla­ tion.’’ But in a statement Wednesday, the federation soft­ ened its position while remaining skeptical about the legislation. “The AFT Massachusetts has deep reservations about the compromise bill, but recognizes that it is far less harmful to our Commonwealth’s first­in­the­na­ tion schools than the misguided ballot question,” the statement said. “For that reason alone, we will neither support nor oppose the proposed legislation.” The teachers federation issued the statement as the state’s largest labor organization, the AFL­CIO AFT, Page B13

Embattled college admin

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