Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:48 am
With only a few weeks now remaining now in Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration, WBUR’s Bob Oakes sat down with the outgoing Massachusetts governor for the last time in his executive office on Beacon Hill.
The conversation began with a look back to Patrick’s first inaugural address in 2007. In that speech, Patrick spoke of lifting up the poor and stabilizing the middle class.
Listen above to Gov. Patrick’s full conversation on WBUR’s Morning Edition.
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
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:25 pm
A Massachusetts doctor cured of Ebola said he is returning in January to Liberia, where he contracted the virus, to continue working at a medial mission
Dr.Richard Sacra said he plans to spend four weeks at the same clinic near Monrovia, where he served for 20 years. Sacra contracted Ebola in August and underwent treatment at an Omaha, Nebraska hospital. He returned home in late September and spoke about his ordeal.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:29 pm
Tuesday in San Francisco, a group of Boston civic leaders, including Mayor Marty Walsh, will go before the U.S. Olympic Committee in a bid to bring the Olympic Games to Boston in 2024.
There are other cities looking to win the committee’s backing, including San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.
This is just the start of a long process. Once the U.S. committee picks a city next month, the competition moves to the International Olympic Committee, which will announce the host for the 2024 games two years from now.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:14 am
Picture the Olympic flame at night, reflecting off Boston Harbor. Picture rowers slicing up the Charles River, the sun warming the russet roofs of Harvard behind them.
That imagery may be part of the presentation Tuesday, as representatives from Boston try to persuade the United States Olympic Committee, or USOC, to choose Boston over three other U.S. cities for consideration for the 2024 Summer Games.
Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:36 pm
The Patrick administration today announced more funding to help strengthen the advanced manufacturing industry in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts will distribute $1.5 million to be shared by five regional workforce development agencies across the state to help recruit and train 280 unemployed or underemployed people for careers in precision manufacturing. A vocational high school in western Massachusetts will get $400,000 to equip its machine shop with state of the art equipment.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:20 pm
Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET
Sen. Elizabeth Warren failed to stop a change in bank regulations last weekend, but she raised her profile yet again.
The Massachusetts Democrat tells NPR that her fight over a provision in a spending bill was a "warning shot." She intends to continue her fight against what she describes as the power of Wall Street, even though that fight brought her to oppose leaders of her own party.
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.
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.
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.
Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 4:20 pm
The Patrick administration has awarded funding to help train people for jobs in the new Massachusetts casino industry.
Holyoke Community College is getting a $1.75 million grant to build a Center for Hospitality and Culinary Excellence that will be used in part to prepare people for casino-related jobs. HCC President William Messner has led the effort to partner with the casino industry on workforce development.
" We see this as simply an extension of our tradition, of our mission to provide first class training for businesses and organizations."
Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 2:06 pm
After failing last month to repeal the state’s casino law, activists in Massachusetts may become watchdogs over the industry.
Steve Abdow, one of the leaders of the Repeal the Casino Deal campaign, said the effort to stop casinos from coming to Massachusetts ended with the crushing defeat on Election Day, but he and fellow activists are discussing other ways to stay involved.
"We have concerns about the impacts casinos will have on our communities. That is what we all have in common and why we did our work."
Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 12:27 pm
Under a reorganization that started two years ago, the community colleges in Massachusetts are becoming regional workforce development centers. Holyoke Community College is building a new facility to help meet the demand for skilled workers in the health care industry.
Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 11:22 am
It's a busy time of year for turkey farmers around the country. And these days, with the growth of the local food movement, small family farms are struggling to keep up with all the orders for birds. So, we went to find out what one New England farmer is doing to get her gobblers from the field to the table. Enter the "abattoir."
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.
Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 12:19 pm
Massachusetts education officials have dropped a proposal to include classroom performance evaluations as a criteria for renewing the licenses for teachers, administrators and other educators. The move came just days after newly released data gave most educators in the state high marks.
Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 4:14 pm
With America Recycles Day Saturday, Massachusetts environmental officials are celebrating the Commonwealth’s new commercial food waste ban – the first statewide ban in the nation. The state’s Commissioner of Environmental Protection will visit the Red Lion Inn to see how the renowned hotel is shipping its food waste to a nearby farm.
Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 2:13 pm
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is shutting down cod fishing, from Provincetown, Mass., up to the Canadian border, in an effort to reverse plummeting numbers of the iconic fish in the Gulf of Maine.
Starting Thursday, no fishermen — commercial or recreational — may trawl or use certain large nets that might catch cod for the next six months. Local cod fishermen, who now face an uncertain future, say the government hasn't done enough to maintain cod populations, and they challenge NOAA's cod counts.
Massachusetts Health Connector Ex. Dir. Jean Yang ( second from right) is joined by officials at Caring Health Center in Springfield to promote the upcoming open enrollment for the state's new online health insurance exchange
Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 6:21 pm
Open enrollment at the Massachusetts health insurance exchange begins this week. State officials say there is a new – and functioning – website that people can use if they need to purchase insurance.
The Massachusetts Health Connector will launch the new online health insurance marketplace on Nov. 15th. Thousands of people across the state who have Health Connector coverage now, or were placed in temporary plans over the last year, will have to use the new website to submit an application if they want to remain insured.
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
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.
By a 20 percent margin, voters in Massachusetts refused to repeal the state’s casino law. The defeat of the ballot question comes as a relief to those bankrolling projects that were approved in three different Massachusetts communities.
Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 3:19 am
It appears Republican Charlie Baker will be the next governor of Massachusetts, beating Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley. Baker gave what was short of a victory speech in the early morning hours Wednesday.