cities

Harriet Jones / WNPR

General Electric confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that it will move its headquarters to Boston from Fairfield.

Vincent Scarano / Connecticut College

Picture a curbside lined with garbage. You may imagine old mattresses or discarded TVs, but there's one bit of trash your mind may block out: cigarette butts. An anthropology professor at Connecticut College has become obsessed with these often-overlooked artifacts of modern life, examining what they can tell us about our culture -- and the basics of archeology. 

MGM has announced major demolition work will begin next week as it prepares the site in downtown Springfield where a $950 million resort casino is planned.

Almost a year after the former Zanetti school building served as the backdrop for the MGM Springfield groundbreaking, it will be demolished beginning Tuesday, according to a press release from MGM. 

The much anticipated major construction work follows state environmental and city zoning approvals. 

MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis said the casino remains on track to open in the fall of 2018.

It's the end of an era in Charleston, S.C. One of the longest-serving mayors in the country, Joe Riley, is retiring after 40 years in office. His tenure has seen the transformation of downtown Charleston from a decaying urban center to a top cultural destination.

On a tour of downtown, you can literally see Riley's imprint on the Charleston landscape, down to the most subtle of details – from the paint color at City Hall to the color of the driveway bricks.

"That's Riley Red," he says with a laugh. "It's not because of my hard head, that's just the color."

An Islamic center and mosque in Worcester is taking a proactive approach to confronting Islamophobia.

The Worcester Islamic Center is holding an event Saturday that it’s calling “Meet a Muslim Day.” It’s designed to get members of the public who may not know much about Islam — beyond the headlines — to learn about the faith practiced by about one-fifth of the world’s population.

Homelessness is hard enough, but being a young adult and homeless brings its own set of challenges. No longer eligible for family shelters, 18- to 24-year-olds can be targets of theft and assault by older homeless adults, experts say. In Boston, a new homeless shelter just opened — for young adults only.

The night before the shelter opens, there is a celebratory dinner in the basement of the First Parish church in Harvard Square. The space has been through a $1.3 million renovation, with funds coming from foundations, grants and donations.

Lori Mack / WNPR

Immigration activists held a rally on Wednesday in New Haven against plans by federal officials to round up Central Americans who have recently crossed the border illegally. 

crecschools.org

A long-time education leader said that the best way to desegregate schools in the Hartford region is to invest in urban centers.

A hotel in downtown Dubai erupted in flames on Thursday evening, just two hours before the city was due to celebrate New Year's Eve with a massive fireworks display.

At midnight local time, the celebration proceeded as planned — resulting in a jarring double display of light and smoke, as firefighters continued to battle the blaze at one skyscraper while fireworks were sent off from the nearby Burj Khalifa.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford city Treasurer Adam Cloud said he will give back a $20,000 raise that neither the mayor nor the city council remembers approving.

City of New Haven

New Haven’s downtown streets are soon changing direction. Some streets that have been one-way for decades are now going to be two-way streets.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Faced with concerns that the minor league baseball stadium the city wants built may not be on time or on budget, the stadium’s developers said that the city “breached” its agreement by failing to give the developer complete control over the project. But the city said the developer's claims are "bogus."

MGM Springfield / Courtesy The Springfield Republican photo desk

The Springfield City Council voted Monday to approve a zoning ordinance outlining the footprint of MGM’s casino. The vote is another procedural step in bringing the project to fruition. 

Lindsay Zier-Vogel / The Love Lettering Project

When was the last time you sent a letter? Not an email, but a real, tangible piece of mail? If your answer is "not recently," you’re not alone.

Except for the occasional birthday or holiday card, most of us haven’t sent -- or received -- good, old-fashioned snail mail in a very long time. 

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has apologized for the death of Laquan McDonald, the black 17-year-old shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer in 2014.

"That happened on my watch," Emanuel said in an emotional address to a special meeting of the Chicago City Council on Wednesday, NPR's David Schaper reports.

"I'm sorry," the mayor said, promising "complete and total reform of the system."

MARK M.MURRAY / THE REPUBLICAN

MGM continues to defend design changes for its Springfield casino, this time before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which held a public meeting in the city Thursday.

Arasmus Photo / Creative Commons

Sanctuary cities have become a focus in the national debate on immigration reform. But what are they? Where are they? And how do they affect communities around the country? 

At least 16 people were killed and several others injured at a Cairo nightclub, after Molotov cocktails set fire to the club and restaurant early Friday morning. Police say the attack followed a dispute between club employees and some young men.

NPR's Leila Fadel reports:

"A statement from Egypt's Ministry of the Interior says following the argument, the young men threw Molotov cocktails into the club out of anger.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears to be reversing course and says he now "welcomes" a Justice Department investigation in "systemic issues embedded" in the city's police department.

The mayor's office Thursday morning released a statement seeking to "clarify" Emanuel's comments Wednesday, in which he suggested a federal civil rights pattern-and-practice investigation "in my view, would be misguided."

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Former Bridgeport mayor and convicted felon Joe Ganim is once again mayor of Bridgeport. 

If you want to see how refugees are changing Buffalo, N.Y., the West Side Bazaar is a good place to start. It's an incubator for immigrant-owned businesses. And it's the only place in town where you can eat Ethiopian sponge bread, Burmese noodles and Peruvian chicken at the same table. It's also a market with clothing and gifts.

"We are like family here — families from different countries," says Nadeen Yousef, who moved to Buffalo from Iraq last year. Yousef now has a booth at the bazaar, where she sells handmade macrame wall hangings and art.

The latest plans by MGM Resorts International for building a casino in Springfield will be carefully scrutinized in the next few weeks by local officials and Massachusetts gaming industry regulators.  The public will also have opportunities to comment.

The city of Springfield’s Office of Planning and Economic Development has announced it has received a complete site plan application for the MGM casino project triggering a 30-day internal review and setting the stage for a public hearing by the city council within 45 days.

Amid growing criticism, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has dismissed police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

After announcing that he was appointing a task force to look at police accountability, Emanuel said that "public trust" in the city's police force has been "shaken" and "eroded" and so he had asked McCarthy to resign.

Seeking to calm growing criticism about his administration's handling of police misconduct cases, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has appointed a new "police accountability task force."

In a press release, the mayor's office said the task force "will review the system of accountability, training and oversight that is currently in place for Chicago's police officers."

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Joe Ganim is to be sworn in as mayor of Bridgeport this week. On the eve of the transition, the outgoing mayor made a re-appointment that drew a strong reaction from the Ganim camp.

Urban foraging might call to mind images of hipsters picking food out of the trash.

But one group in Massachusetts eats only the finest, freshest produce. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees in Cambridge and Somerville and turns it into jam.

Sam Christy, a local high school teacher, started the league four years ago.

Fintrvlr / Creative Commons

A new plan is being discussed to reduce the number of -- but not eliminate -- horse carriages on New York City.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut’s persistent transportation woes are getting attention in two recent reports. The studies highlight how aging infrastructure is causing problems for highway travel in the state.

Final plans have been filed for the MGM Springfield casino project.

The filing of the final complete site plan for the project, announced by city officials Monday, triggers a 30-day review and the requirement the City Council hold a public hearing within 45-days.

At a public presentation on the casino project in Springfield last week, the city’s deputy director of  planning, Phil Dromey said his department is anxious to complete the regulatory reviews.

" It is time really to get to the nuts and bolts of this," he said.

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