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Cheruiyot – not that one! – wins Boston Marathon

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Cheruiyot – not that one! – wins Boston Marathon

Let him be known from Hopkinton to the Back Bay as “Robert the Younger” – the second Kenyan named Robert K. Cheruiyot to win the Boston Marathon and the first person ever to run the legendary course in under 2 hours, 6 minutes.

Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot won the 114th Boston race Monday, finishing in 2:05:52 to shatter by 82 seconds the course record set by four-time winner Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, who’s not related.

Ethiopia’s Teyba Erkesso took the women’s title in 2:26:11, sprinting to the tape to win by three seconds in the third-closest women’s finish in event history. Russia’s Tatyana Pushkareva smiled and waved at the TV cameras as she closed what had been a 90-second gap, but she could not quite catch Erkesso on Boylston Street.

Cheruiyot, 21, surpassed the course record of 2:07:14 set in 2006 by his 31-year-old countryman. A farmer back home, he earned a bonus of $25,000 on top of the $150,000 – and a golden olive wreath from the city of Marathon, Greece – that goes the men’s and women’s champions.

“I am going to buy some cows,” Cheruiyot said.

Poll: Tight three-way race for Mass. governor

The latest poll in the race for governor shows a tight contest, with Democrat Deval Patrick holding a slim lead over independent Tim Cahill and Republican Charles Baker.

The telephone survey by the Western New England College Polling Institute found 34 percent of voters backing Patrick, 29 percent supporting Cahill and 27 percent backing Baker.

The poll was conducted April 11 through April 15, just before Baker won the backing of Republican Party convention delegates.

The poll had a few warning signs for Patrick.

Only 34 percent said they approved of the job he is doing as governor, down from 41 percent in March 2009. By a two-to-one margin, voters said the state is on the wrong track,

The poll of 481 registered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Patrick visited site of Springfield church fire

Gov. Deval Patrick says financing has been arranged to help rebuild a church that was set on fire the day after Barack Obama was elected president.

Patrick on Sunday visited the site of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ, which was set on fire Nov. 5, 2008. He said TD Bank will provide principal financing with loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Patrick says financing is in the range of $2 million to $3 million.

Trey Robinson, son of the church’s Bishop Bryant Robinson Jr., says the church aims to complete work next year.

Three men have pleaded not guilty to federal charges they burned the church. Federal prosecutors say they were angered about Obama becoming the first black president.

Tufts president asks aid for undocumented students

Tufts University President Lawrence Bacow endorsed this week a federal proposal that would allow undocumented college students a pathway to permanent residency and U.S. citizenship.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Massachusetts Sens. John Kerry and Scott Brown, a 1981 Tufts graduate, a Bacow pressed both to support a bill known as the Dream Act, a proposal being considered in Congress.

It would open an avenue to conditional permanent residency for students who are illegally in the country but want to go to college.

“As an institution of higher education that seeks to prepare students for a life of active citizenship … Tufts University supports the DREAM Act’s goal of diversity and increased access to higher education,” Bacow wrote last Wednesday.

“Let us alleviate the burden imposed under the current law by making higher education accessible to immigrants who take great pride in calling this country their home.”

Under the bill, undocumented students would have a six-year grace period to pursue a college degree or join the military. The students still would not be eligible for federal financial aid but would be able eligible for student loans and work study, according to the proposal.

Tufts freshman Suzanne Emily Lis, 18, of West Hartford, Conn., who with a coalition of students asked Bacow to write the letter, said students were surprised how quickly Bacow threw his support behind the message.

Last year, Harvard President Drew Faust wrote a similar letter to Kerry and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Kerry has said he supports the Dream Act. Brown has said he was against some proposals such as in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants at state institutions.

“(Brown) is a Tufts alum so maybe that will get us some pull,” Lis said.