Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 12:51 pm
A debate rages in Springfield, Massachusetts over who should run the police department – a five-member part-time commission, or a single all-powerful police commissioner. A showdown vote between the city council and the mayor looms next month.
An artist's rendering of the casino MGM Resorts hopes to build in Springfield, MA Casino opponents want to put a question on the November ballot to repeal the casino gambling law. A lawsuit on whether the question will appear on the ballot is pending before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 4:41 am
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will hear Tuesday from cities and towns seeking compensation from casino operators.
Hampden, Longmeadow and Northampton have failed to reach agreements with MGM on compensation for potential impacts if the company builds a resort casino in downtown Springfield, so they’ve asked the commission to intervene. Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz said a consultant figures businesses will lose up to $8 million in annual sales, costing up to 180 job s if a casino is built 16 miles away.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 12:53 pm
The lengthy process to bring casino gambling to Massachusetts has entered a final phase. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will spend the next few months carefully evaluating projects before coming to a decision on issuing licenses. Supporters of the MGM casino project in Springfield are already anticipating a groundbreaking.
MGM Resorts International is the only applicant for the lone casino license in western Massachusetts, but Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby says the five-member commission is not obligated to award the license to MGM.
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:17 pm
The lone applicant for the western Massachusetts casino license pitched the project to state gaming industry regulators today. The 90-minute public presentation marked the beginning of an evaluation process that is expected to culminate with the awarding of a casino license in the spring.
MGM Resorts International CEO James Murran told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that even though all competitors have fallen by the wayside, MGM’s Springfield project is the right choice to be awarded a lucrative casino license.
Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:12 pm
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to pay Springfield, Massachusetts $25 million for the destruction of public property by the 2011 tornado. It is a final settlement that city officials worked relentlessly to obtain.
Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 4:16 pm
Officials have scheduled an announcement Monday of a final settlement with FEMA for the tornado that devastated part of Springfield, Massachusetts two-and-a-half years ago
Springfield recently received final approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the claims filed from the June 1,2011 tornado. Mayor Domenic Sarno had vowed to be aggressive in pursuing reimbursements for debris removal and other emergency expenses born by the city
Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 12:22 pm
Gaming industry regulators in Massachusetts are set to embark on a lengthy public review process that is expected to end with the awarding of the state’s first casino licenses by the end of May. Several criteria will be examined to determine the final winners of the high-stakes competition
Three casino companies submitted final license applications—each consisting of thousands of pages—by the New Year’s Eve deadline to satisfy the requirements of the two-phase application process established by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:17 pm
A major development today in efforts to build a resort casino in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Gaming Commssion, following a lengthy background investigation, and a public hearing earlier this month has determined that MGM Resorts is suitable to hold a casino license in Massachusetts. It clears the company to file a final application by the December 31st deadline for an $800 million casino project in Springfield. The city’s chief development officer Kevin Kennedy said the casino could be licensed by May.
Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:18 pm
An anti-casino group wants a Massachusetts gaming commissioner to recuse himself from voting on a casino project in Springfield.
The chairman of Springfield’s anti-casino group, Citizens Against Casino Gaming says state gaming commissioner Bruce Stebbins should not vote on whether MGM can proceed with an $800 million casino project in downtown Springfield. Michael Kogut said Stebbins’ previous position with the city makes it impossible for him to be impartial
Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 4:04 pm
A failed bidder for a casino license in Massachusetts has sued the chairman of the state gaming commission.
Ceasars Entertainment filed a federal court lawsuit Thursday questioning the objectivity and fairness of gaming commission chairman Stephen Crosby. The suit highlights Crosby’s past business ties to someone who could profit handsomely if a casino proposed by Wynn Resorts is built in Everett. Crosby has said the state ethics commission has cleared him of a conflict of interest.
Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 6:12 pm
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has authorized Mohegan Sun to apply for a license to build a casino on land owned by Suffolk Downs in eastern Massachusetts. However, a new voter referendum on the project will have to take place.
Seeking to avoid a scenario that would have left just one applicant for the lone casino license available in eastern Massachusetts, the five-member gaming commission voted unanimously Tuesday to waive a requirement that a casino applicant secure the approval of local voters before filing a final license application.
Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 6:17 pm
MGM Resorts International appears to have cleared a key hurdle in the quest to build a resort casino in Springfield, Massachusetts. The results of a 10-month investigation by Massachusetts gaming industry regulators were released today.
Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:26 pm
With a deadline looming at the end of the month for final applications for resort casino licenses in Massachusetts, the state’s gaming industry regulators have delayed a key decision on the fate of one project. The decision will determine how many competitors will vie for the lone casino license available in the greater Boston area.
Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 12:41 pm
When Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed the law two years ago legalizing casino gambling in Massachusetts there were great expectations for thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue. Now as the end-of-the year deadline approaches for final applications for gaming licenses there is great uncertainty.
Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:51 pm
Officials in Springfield, Massachusetts are looking to create an entirely digital public library
The director of the Springfield City Library is pursuing funding to use a recently closed branch library as a place where people could sit at computer terminals to access the internet and take out hand-held electronic reading devices on-loan loaded with downloaded books--but visitors would not find any paper copies of books.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 3:57 pm
In the two years since a tornado tore through Springfield, Massachusetts a volunteer effort has spearheaded the planting of thousands of new trees. The work is being done as the U.S. Forest Service conducts a study on the environmental impacts from the loss of the urban tree canopy.
More than 4,400 new trees have been planted in Springfield in the last two years in an effort to restore, largely for later generations, the shade trees that lined streets and filled public parks prior to the June 1, 2011 tornado.
Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:27 pm
Voters in Massachusetts overwhelmingly approved legalizing medical marijuana in 2012. But many local communities are putting temporary bans in place as the deadline for final applications for state licensed marijuana treatment centers approaches.
About a third of the state’s 351 cities and towns have put in place moratoriums on medical marijuana treatment centers, according to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. Springfield is the largest city in the state to adopt a moratorium. It was approved by the city council Monday night.
Westfield State University Trustees begin a meeting on Oct.16,2013 to address the status of University President Evan Dobelle. Seated ( l to r) chairman John Flynn, board attorney James Cox, Dobelle, trustee Kevin Queenin
Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 12:21 pm
The leadership controversy at Westfield State University has deepened with the filing of a federal court lawsuit. Embattled President Evan Dobelle charges trustees and the state’s top higher education official have defamed him.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:17 pm
The Massachusetts Higher Education Commissioner addressed the controversy surrounding Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle during a visit to Springfield on Wednesday. Richard Freeland also sounded an alarm about the state’s future ability to produce a properly educated workforce.