cities

An attorney and veteran of several municipal boards and commissions has been tapped to head the parking authority in Springfield, Massachusetts. The appointment comes as the city is on the verge of a parking space crunch. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno announced Friday the selection of Mary McNally as the new executive director of the Springfield Parking Authority.  He called her “eminently qualified” and said the appointment is part of a new direction at the authority.

Billy Hathorn / Creative Commons

New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has asked the state for help because the city is running out of cash, and won't be able to make its $1.7 million payroll this week. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra presented a budget that increases taxes, cancels a class of police officers, and raises new money by selling off some of its parking assets. 

Heather Brandon / WNPR

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is asking the public for input on daily routes, parking locations, and commute timing in anticipation of the reconstruction of an elevated highway through Springfield.

Nervous about the prospect of a casino repeal referendum, MGM is asking Massachusetts gaming industry regulators to delay awarding a casino license for the company’s Springfield project.

MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis asked the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday to continue its evaluation of MGM’s $800 million casino project, but stop just short of  issuing a license.

"What we find ourselves in because of the repeal effort is the award of a license that does not allow for the commencement of construction."

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation as part of the planning for a major highway project in western Massachusetts is surveying commuters.

   MassDOT wants to hear from people who travel on Interstate 91 to find out daily routes, arrival and departure times and parking locations.  It is part of the planning for the 3-year $260 million reconstruction of the elevated portion of the highway through downtown Springfield.  Springfield Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Cuiffreda says the online survey is a good first step toward minimizing traffic problems.

Thousands of Massachusetts residents are being surveyed as part of multi-year, multi-million dollar research project on the social and economic impacts of introducing casino gambling to the state.

The members of the UMass Amherst led research team say initial results will be reported to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in September. These findings will be the baseline that will be used to measure changes in problem gambling, domestic violence, housing prices and a host of other socio-economic factors as casinos open over the next one to three years.

joeganim.com

The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a decision denying a law license for former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim, who was convicted of corruption. 

tsaiproject / Creative Commons

If you watch "House of Cards," you might have noticed a main storyline about a bridge from Long Island to Connecticut. Sounds crazy, right? Well, here's the thing: it was a real idea!

From bridges, to highways, to malls, Where We Live takes a look at some outlandish project ideas that -- for some reason or another -- just never worked. Why isn’t there a bridge connecting Connecticut and Long Island? And why wasn't the New Haven Galleria mall ever built?

Arbitrators have been chosen to decide how much two Massachusetts communities will be paid by MGM to mitigate the impacts of the proposed casino in downtown Springfield.

Supporters and opponents of MGM’s $800 million casino project in Springfield had a final chance last night to sound-off in front of Massachusetts gaming industry regulators.  The state gaming commission held a final public hearing in Springfield as it prepares to award the lone casino license in western Massachusetts where MGM Springfield is the only applicant.

The University of Massachusetts opened its first satellite campus today.  The university is inviting people to sign up for classes that  start later this year in downtown Springfield.

University and city officials took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday -- with about 200 people looking on -- to mark the formal opening of the UMass Center at Springfield. 

Patients at Connecticut hospitals in 2012 contracted infections during treatment at rates “significantly” higher than the national rate. According to a report released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Connecticut patients contracted infections during or after colon surgery at a rate 27 percent higher than the national average. 

Heather Brandon / WNPR

Figuring out ways to bring more people to the city of Hartford has been a long-time work in progress. One plan to do that is called iQuilt, and one of its goals is to make the city more walkable. One aspect of it is facing opposition.

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With a 15-5 vote, Bridgeport's City Council approved a massive solar energy project this week that could bring thousands of solar panels to a former city landfill. Since dumps are no longer allowed in Connecticut, that's left a lot of city leaders wondering what to do with that old space. 

A 26-year veteran of the police department in Springfield, Massachusetts has been picked to be the next police commissioner.  It is a high-profile post in a city where public safety has consistently ranked as the number one issue.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Municipal leaders from across the state came to the capitol Wednesday to speak to legislators about their budget concerns. 

This post was updated at 7:22 p.m. ET.

Rescue workers in New York pulled an eighth body out the smoldering rubble of two Harlem buildings that collapsed because of a gas explosion that also injured more than 70 people.

Unfortunately, according to NBC New York, not everyone has been accounted for: Crews are still looking for three people who remain missing.

Stephen Nessen / WNYC

Metro-North restored all train service into and out of Grand Central Terminal on Wednesday after service had been suspended for several hours. Two apartment buildings collapsed after an explosion at Park Avenue and 116th Street adjacent to the Metro-North commuter tracks. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new law proposes making drug enforcement zones around schools smaller. It's a measure aimed at giving teeth to a law that's been on the books since 1987.

Currently, if you're convicted of possessing or selling drugs within 1500 feet of a school, you're subject to mandatory jail terms. But in urban areas, especially, that 1500-foot area encompasses vast areas of residential space.

Update at 8:15 a.m .ET, March 13:

We've begun a new post, which at this moment is headlined "Death Toll From NYC Explosion Stands At Seven, May Go Higher."

Update at 4:25 a.m. ET, March 13:

A "quick-moving, monstrous blaze" on Tuesday destroyed a nine-story apartment building that was under construction in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood.

Across the country, communities stranded in food and retail deserts are asking how they can enjoy the bounty afforded to other urban centers. One Washington, D.C., community thinks it might have an answer.

Just a 10-minute drive south of the U.S. Capitol, across the Anacostia River, sits Congress Heights. The Southeast D.C. neighborhood is less than 2 miles long and home to more than 8,000 people, many in single-family houses. But if you're looking for a sit-down meal, options are scarce.

Creative Commons

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that a majority of Connecticut residents want to see a raise in the minimum wage. The poll comes as the City of New London voted to raise the minimum wage for its own workers to $10.10 an hour, the governor's statewide target for 2017.

The Q Poll shows that 71 percent of Connecticut residents support raising the minimum wage, while 25 percent oppose the change. 

When I was growing up in Memphis in the 1960s, the Feds — and state and local officials — unveiled plans to build a short stretch of Interstate 40 to connect East Memphis with downtown.

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.

National Coast Guard Museum Association

The City of New London's ambition to host the nation's first Coast Guard Museum took a big step forward Wednesday as officials from the city, the State of Connecticut and the Coast Guard signed a memorandum of agreement.

Inside one in a series of abandoned homes along a blighted block of Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, filmmaker Tom McPhee walks through the remnants of a life — broken furniture, scattered knickknacks and a flooded basement.

"This is fresh water that's coming into the basement here," McPhee points out. "All of that plumbing has been ripped away 'cause someone found a value in it, so they don't care that it's running. This is all over the city."

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will announce a decision Tuesday on the petitions from three municipalities seeking mitigation payments if an MGM casino is built in downtown Springfield.

Feng Yu/Hemera / Thinkstock

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is helping cities and towns that are facing a road salt shortage after a series of storms have hit the state. So far, 22 municipalities have informed the state that they need help getting more road salt.

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