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.

Massachusetts Voters Clear Path for Springfield Resort Casino

Nov 5, 2014
Mark M. Murray / The Springfield Republican

Massachusetts ballot Question 3, which would have repealed the state’s casino law, was soundly defeated by voters Tuesday.

Thousands Say Goodbye To Menino At Faneuil

Nov 4, 2014

Thousands turned out Sunday, braving wind, rain and the first snowfall of the season to pay their final respects to former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino as he lay in repose at Faneuil Hall.

They came as early as 8 a.m., lining up both inside and out of Faneuil Hall to pay their final respects to the longest serving mayor in Boston’s history.

A poll released Friday by Western New England University shows strong voter support for keeping the Massachusetts casino law.

The survey found 59 percent of  likely voters plan to vote against repeal of the law that legalized Las Vegas-style gambling and authorized the licensing of casinos in Massachusetts. Just 35 percent say they’ll vote yes on Question 3 on Tuesday’s election ballot.  Polling institute director Tim Vercellotti said the gap has grown since September, when a casino industry backed campaign launched a blitz of  TV ads.

Henry Epp / NEPR

In a few days, Massachusetts voters will decide whether to keep the state’s casino law in place, or repeal it.

Paul Bass / New Haven Independent

Governor Malloy announced on Thursday a $21.5 million investment in phase two of New Haven’s Downtown Crossing plan.

A little-seen force has fanned out across New York City intent on stopping the spread of Ebola virus – disease detectives go looking for contacts who might be infected.

"They're just really good at finding people," says Denis Nash. He worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York City Health Department, tracing the spread of HIV and West Nile virus. He says these trained applied epidemiologists are experts at finding almost anybody, with only a vague description.

If you don't have a place to live, getting enough to eat clearly may be a struggle. And since homelessness in the U.S. isn't going away and is even rising in some cities, more charitable groups and individuals have been stepping up the past few years to share food with these vulnerable folks in their communities.

But just as more people reach out to help, cities are biting back at those hands feeding the homeless.

Activists in Hong Kong, angered by what they perceive as little progress in talks on democratic reforms with the government, marched to the home of the territory's chief executive to demand his ouster.

The administration of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is recommending a Chinese company be awarded a contract to build new subway cars for the MBTA.  The railcars will be assembled at a new factory that is to be built in Springfield.

Gov. Patrick made the announcement Tuesday standing in front of an empty 40- acre lot on Springfield’s east side,  where the CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Co. has said it will build a $50 million factory creating over 250 new construction and manufacturing jobs.

"Most of the young people that go to college go away, and then they don't come back," says Lee Bianchi, a retired engineer who lived in Clinton, Iowa (pop. 26,647), from 1961 to 2008.

Unprecedented numbers of immigrant children crossed the southern U.S. border illegally this past summer. Now, the department of Health and Human Services says 43,000 of them have been placed in the homes of family members and sponsors to await court dates.

Cities are often the first stop for immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally. But many have been moving into the suburbs in recent decades. And that's creating new tensions with the people who live there.

Chion Wolf

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama went to Poland to celebrate the 25th anniversary of democratic elections in Poland. The speech signaled a continued strong relationship between the countries - something forged by the decades of immigration from Poland to the US - a connection that created large Polish-American communities in places like New Britain, CT. 

Three of Rhode Island's top former federal prosecutors staged a news conference Tuesday to discuss Providence mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci's criminal record and their concerns about his latest attempt to win back control of City Hall.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A majority of the Hartford city council approved a deal to bring a baseball stadium and related development to downtown Hartford.

City of Hartford

Who's ready for a quiz?

As the Hartford City Council geared up to vote on the plan to build a baseball stadium and other development, the city's redevelopment agency was meeting across the hall. A few weeks back, this same agency -- under pressure from Mayor Pedro Segarra -- voted to give the city land it needs to build its $350 million project.

There are six members on the board and one vacancy. Only five votes were made. Of them, three voted in favor. So here's the question: What's a majority of the Hartford Redevelopment Agency? Depending on the answer, the agency may have to vote again.

Two top officials with the Obama administration visited western Massachusetts today to see the impact of federal dollars on workforce development.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan were briefed about the job training programs developed by Massachusetts community colleges since the schools were awarded $20 million by the Labor Department in 2011 to forge partnerships with employers.