cities

Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Are Connecticut's English Language Learners Falling Behind?

Orlando Rodriguez, LPRAC
Chion Wolf

The population of English Language Learners in Connecticut has increased by nearly 50 percent in the past ten years. Unfortunately, support for these students hasn’t kept up. Despite this steady increase in a learning population, the number of certified, bilingual teachers has been in a steady decline.

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Massachusetts
8:20 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Springfield City Council Sets New Property Tax Rates

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:10 pm

New property tax rates have been set in Springfield, Massachusetts.  For the first time in many years, the rates for both homeowners and business property owners have been reduced, as property values continue to recover from the Great Recession

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Springfield
2:57 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

Officials Announce Full Build Out For Union Station

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 6:20 pm

A new financing plan was announced today to accelerate the redevelopment of Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts

       City officials said a proposed addition of $3.2 million in local funds along with a previously announced $4.2 million grant from the state will allow the transit-focused elements of the project to be completed simultaneously with tenant-ready commercial space and additional parking.

     "It is a big achievement having all the money that is now needed to get this project done," said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

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Springfield
3:24 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Hundreds Hear MGM Officials Outline Casino Construction Plans

Hundreds attended a construction information meeting hosted by MGM Resorts,which plans to start building an $800 resort casino in downtown Springfield next year

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:52 am

More than 400 business owners, contractors, and tradesmen packed a meeting Thursday morning to find out how to bid for work building the MGM Springfield casino. 

MGM officials outlined a construction timetable, explained hiring goals for women, minorities and veterans, and provided contact information. Hunter Clayton, MGM Resorts top construction official said building the casino, hotel, retail stores, restaurants and other amenities is a unique and special project.

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China
6:42 am
Thu December 11, 2014

In Hong Kong, Police Clear Final 'Occupy' Protest Site

Hong Kong police arrest lawmaker and pro-democracy activist Leung Kwok-Hung during a sit-in Thursday as police clear the main protest site in the Admiralty district.
Alex Ogle AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:02 am

After months of acts of civil disobedience that at some points paralyzed Hong Kong, police cleared the final encampment of what's come to be known as the Umbrella Revolution.

Demonstrators had gathered on the streets of Hong Kong for two months. The protest site at Admiralty was, symbolically, the most important because it was closest to the government offices. In the end, it was also the last one standing.

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Police Diversity
6:15 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Why Police Departments Have A Hard Time Recruiting Blacks

Police wearing riot gear walk toward a man with his hands raised Aug. 11 in Ferguson, Mo. Renewed calls for police departments to hire more minorities have followed the shooting there of a black man by a white police officer.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:35 pm

Since the Ferguson, Mo., shooting, there have been renewed calls for police departments to hire more minority officers, but it turns out it's not that simple.

Police in the U.S. are more diverse than they were a generation ago. In the 1980s, 1 in 6 officers belonged to an ethnic or racial minority. Now it's about 1 in 4. The challenge these days is finding enough recruits to keep that trend going.

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Springfield
10:10 am
Wed December 10, 2014

MGM To Discuss Casino Construction Plans With Interested Builders

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:40 am

MGM officials have invited contractors to a meeting this week in Springfield, Massachusetts to discuss the company’s casino construction plans.

At the public meeting Thursday at the MassMutual Convention Center, there will be a presentation about the design and the construction timetable for the $800 million development in downtown Springfield.  Chris Boss, a carpenter from West Springfield said a project of this scope is a once in a lifetime opportunity for people in the construction trades.

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China
6:49 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Officials Set To Dismantle Final 'Occupy' Camp In Hong Kong

Pro-democracy activists tents are seen Tuesday on the road outside Hong Kong's Government Complex.
Chris McGrath Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 12:24 pm

After two-months' worth of pro-democracy demonstrations that at times paralyzed Hong Kong, authorities are warning that they will clear protesters from a campsite blocking a main road near government headquarters on Thursday.

The Admiralty protest site is the last bastion of a protest movement that has come to be known as the Umbrella Revolution.

Reuters reports:

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Election 2015
3:37 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Hartford Mayoral Possibilities Start to Emerge

Hartford City Hall.
Heather Brandon WNPR

Hartford's mayoral election is a year away, and while Mayor Pedro Segarra hasn't yet said whether he'll run, others are considering a run.

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New York City
10:18 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

New York City Council Will Weigh Ban On Horse-Drawn Carriages

A horse-drawn carriage operator waits for riders near Central Park in New York on October 20, 2014. Mayor Bill de Blasio is backing legislation that would ban such carriages in 2016.
JEWEL SAMAD AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 7:15 pm

Following up on a controversial campaign promise, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's bill to ban horse-drawn carriages reached the City Council on Monday, in a move to phase out the carriages that often give tours around Central Park.

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Cities
12:53 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Democratic Mayors Back Obama's Immigration Plan, Citing Economic Benefits

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is hosting mayors from across the country to support President Obama's executive actions on immigration.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:50 pm

Short on the heels of a nonbinding House vote to block President Obama's executive action on immigration, some 20 Democratic U.S. mayors are meeting today in New York City to send a different message:

They want to help implement the president's plan.

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Racial Integration
9:21 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Changing Racial Demographics Complicate Hartford Desegregation

Students at the University High School of Science and Engineering in Hartford speak at an event with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in May.
U.S. Department of Education

State education officials are currently negotiating changes to Connecticut's landmark school desegregation settlement. 

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World AIDS Day
2:13 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Syringe Exchange Program in Connecticut Must Operate With Fewer State Funds

Shawn Lang is the Director of Public Policy for the Connecticut AIDS Coalition
Chion Wolf WNPR - Connecticut Public Radio

Earlier this week, countries marked World AIDS Day. In the U.S., 1.2 million people are estimated to be HIV-positive.

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Fair Compensation
8:16 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

In Hartford Eminent Domain Case, Property Owner Wants More Money

One of several properties being taken from a private landowner by the city of Hartford.
City of Hartford

The real estate investor who owns land the city wants to take for its $350 million baseball stadium development project said the city's $1.9 million offer is "wholly inadequate."

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Development
1:20 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Drive-Through Zoning Issue Generates Controversy Near Vacant Hartford Lot

A vacant lot at Farmington and Girard Avenues in Hartford.
Farmington Avenue Alliance

Will a McDonald's open in Hartford's West End? Not if neighbors and the city of Hartford have their way. 

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Hartford Corruption
4:30 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Insurance Agent Earl O'Garro Indicted, Pleads Not Guilty

Earl O'Garro.
Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes under30ceo.com

Earl O'Garro, the troubled insurance agent who was the target of a federal grand jury that brought an unwelcome spotlight on Hartford City Hall last year, was charged Friday in federal court with one count of wire fraud. He pleaded not guilty.

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Massachusetts
8:33 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Springfield Set To Hire Police, Firefighters Thanks To Casino Cash

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno announces new police and fire department hires. Sarno said the new staff is financially sustainable because of the money MGM must pay the city as it prepares to build a casino.

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 6:15 pm

Counting on casino cash, the city of Springfield, Massachusetts is planning to hire more cops.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno Thursday announced new police and fire department academies starting early next year. When the police cadets graduate next spring it will bring the number of uniform patrol officers in Springfield to more than 400 for the first time in two decades, according police Commissioner John Barbieri.

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Springfield
12:11 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Cathedral High School Supporters Announce Forum

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 5:15 am

Supporters of the only Catholic high school in Springfield, Massachusetts are meeting this evening to urge the new bishop of western Massachusetts to rebuild the tornado-damaged school.

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Cities
3:01 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Group Details Burdens on Connecticut Cities

Connecticut cities in CCM's latest report.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

An advocacy group for Connecticut's cities and towns is calling attention to what it describes as the disproportionate burdens on poor communities. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Can Social Networks Help Us Understand Our Communities?

Creative Commons

What if you had the ability to read the emotions, the thoughts, the concerns of your city in real time, at any time? What if you could then use that information to help your community -- to build stronger policies, and foster better relationships with those around you? 

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Demographic Shifts
3:38 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

College-Educated Young May Be Squeezing Connecticut's Urban Housing

Hartford, Connecticut.
Wonderlane Creative Commons

The number of college-educated people aged 25 to 34 moving to U.S. city centers has surged, up 37 percent since 2000, even while those cities’ populations have shrunk slightly, according to a report from economist Joe Cortright at City Observatory, a think tank based in Portland, Oregon.

The Hartford metro area saw a 25 percent increase of educated young adults living within three miles of its city center between 2000 and 2010, according to the think tank.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 13, 2014

The Young and Restless in Connecticut

Downtown Hartford on the Connecticut River.
Ricky Aponte Creative Commons

More young people are moving to the heart of cities, according to a report from think tank City Observatory. This includes cities that we usually think of as “economically troubled,” like Buffalo, Cleveland, and, yes, even Hartford. Some of these cities have been losing their overall population, but gaining in their numbers of college graduates in their 20s and 30s.

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Architecture
8:42 am
Thu November 13, 2014

For Greener Skyscrapers, Basic Building Materials Are Being Reinvented

The world's tallest timber residential tower, 10 stories, in currently in Melbourne, Australia, though a 14-story Norwegian project may top it in 2015.
Courtesy of Lend Lease

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 11:48 pm

In a head-spinning step, a handful of researchers from Cambridge, England, are experimenting with one of man's oldest building materials — the kind from trees — instead of steel as the primary structure for big buildings. And they're aiming really, really high.

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Bridgeport
12:20 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Ex-Worker at Bridgeport Housing Authority Sues, Claiming Fraud

Subsidized apartment housing in Bridgeport.
Credit City of Bridgeport

An ex-employee has sued the Bridgeport Housing Authority, claiming she was fired to cover up $2 million in fraud and mismanagement she discovered. 

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Springfield
10:20 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Mayor Says Church Leader Broke Promise To Rebuild Tornado Damaged School

Cathedral High School, a fixture in Springfield's East Forest Park neighborhood for a half-century was destroyed in the June 2011 tornado.

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 4:25 pm

There is frustration and anger over a delay in rebuilding the only Catholic high school in Springfield, Massachusetts that was destroyed in the 2011 tornado.

   Parents and alumnae of Cathedral High School said they were blindsided by Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski’s call for more study to help him make a decision on the school’s future.  Mayor Domenic Sarno said Rozanski had reneged on a pledge made by his now retired predecessor to rebuild the high school in the same neighborhood where it had stood since 1959

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Germany
12:42 pm
Sun November 9, 2014

Germany's Merkel: Fall Of Berlin Wall Shows Dreams Come True

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit, 3rd from left, place candles to commemorate the victims of the Wall at the Berlin Wall memorial site at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin, Germany, on Sunday.
Markus Schreiber AP

Originally published on Sun November 9, 2014 4:41 pm

A quarter-century after the Berlin Wall that split East and West Germany came down, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said its destruction shows that dreams can come true and "nothing has to stay as it is."

The Wall was built in 1961, closing off access to West Germany to stop people from the communist East from fleeing. The roughly finished concrete and barbed-wire structure became a potent Cold War symbol of what former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once described as an "Iron Curtain" dividing Europe.

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Cities
11:58 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Judge Approves Detroit's Plan To Exit Bankruptcy

Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr (left) speaks at a news conference in Detroit as Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who appointed Orr, listens. Orr's plan for the city to emerge from bankruptcy was approved by a federal judge today.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 2:59 pm

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

A federal judge today gave the OK to a bankruptcy exit strategy proposed by Detroit nearly 16 months after the city asked for protection from its creditors.

At a 1 p.m. ET hearing, Judge Steven Rhodes found that the plan was fair and feasible. He's expected to issue a written ruling later.

"This city is insolvent and desperately needs to fix its future," Rhodes said.

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Casinos
1:01 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Massachusetts Gambling Regulators Approve MGM, Wynn Casino Licenses

MGM has started to prepare the future casino site in Springfield for a spring 2015 groundbreaking and expects to open the casino in 2017

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 12:28 pm

The introduction of Las Vegas-style gambling to Massachusetts will proceed at a more rapid pace now that a major hurdle has been cleared.  Voters soundly defeated a ballot question to repeal the 2011 casino law.  

   With the cloud of uncertainty caused by the repeal vote lifted, The Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting in Boston Thursday voted unanimously to formally award licenses to build and operate full-scale destination casinos to MGM Resorts for the company’s Springfield project and to Wynn Resorts in greater Boston.  

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 6, 2014

A Voice for Connecticut's Homeless

Marc Brüneke Creative Commons

A report released by the National Coalition for the Homeless last month shows a growing number of U.S. cities are making it illegal to hand out food to the homeless. Since January 2013, 21 cities have passed legislation restricting food distribution. 

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Whaling City Politics
8:45 am
Thu November 6, 2014

In Reversal, New London Mayor Will Seek Second Term

Now that the 2014 elections are over, the race for New London mayor begins.
Credit Office of Mayor Finizio / Facebook

After previously saying he would not seek a second term, Democratic New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has changed his mind.

Finizio made his announcement on his Facebook page Wednesday. After announcing in April he would not run for re-election, "many New Londoners came to me, at my office, at my house, on the street, urging me to reconsider and run for re-election," Finizio wrote.

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