cities

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

U.S. Department of Education

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

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.

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."

Farmington Avenue Alliance

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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? 

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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

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.

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.

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.  

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. 

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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