Massachusetts

Housing Migrant Kids
10:33 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Migrant Children May Be Sheltered in Massachusetts

M. Hoffmann/UNHCR The Migration Policy Institute

According to the independent think tank The Migration Policy Institute, 85 percent of the Central American migrant children who have arrived in the U.S. over the past few months are reunited with relatives here. Most go to places with established communities of Central American families, including cities in Connecticut like New Haven and Hartford. Others go to Massachusetts.

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WAMC News
9:19 am
Mon July 21, 2014

MGM Set To Buy Two Springfield Properties For Casino Project

An artist's rendering of MGM's proposed casino in downtown Springfield,MA

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:46 pm

MGM is preparing to purchase two city-owned buildings in Springfield for the Las Vegas-based company’s casino project.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said MGM intends to close on the sale of the properties by the end of this month despite the statewide casino referendum in November that could kill the Springfield project.

" They have honored everything they have had to honor up to this point."

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WAMC News
1:24 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Western Mass. Base Could Be Used To House Immigrant Children

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:41 pm

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s announcement Friday that Westover Air Force Reserve Base in Chicopee might be used to shelter immigrant children caught base commanders by surprise.

   Base spokesman, Master Sgt  Andrew Biscoe, said Westover is an active airfield with operational and security concerns that would need be addressed  before it could house up to a thousand children.  Also, lodging at the base is used on the weekends by thousands of reservists.

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WAMC News
11:05 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Gov. Patrick Weighing Request To Shelter Immigrant Children

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:21 pm

Gov. Deval Patrick says no decision has been made on a request from the Obama administration for Massachusetts to shelter some of the unaccompanied children who have been streaming across the nation’s southern border

Patrick seemed sympathetic to the request when he called the situation on the southern border a “humanitarian crisis” adding Massachusetts should do what it can to help.  Republican State Rep. Nick Boldyga of Southwick said the governor should reject the federal request to temporarily house the immigrant children.

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Massachusetts
6:47 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Anti-casino Activists Launch Referendum Campaign

Former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger is joined by leaders of the campaign to repeal the Massachusetts casino law at the campaign kickoff in Springfield.

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:11 pm

Anti-casino activists launched a statewide referendum campaign today in Springfield where they outlined plans for convincing voters to keep Las Vegas-style gambling from coming to Massachusetts.

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The 38th Voyage
6:48 am
Mon July 14, 2014

The Morgan Sails With Whales Off Cape Cod

The Charles W. Morgan encounters a humpback whale at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
Mystic Seaport

The world's oldest wooden whaling vessel, the Charles W. Morgan, spent the weekend with whales for the first time in 100 years. 

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Ocean Life
2:12 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Rare Sighting of Beluga Whale in Massachusetts

A Beluga whale sighted in the Taunton River.
A. Lyskin IFAW

In Connecticut, we're used to seeing Beluga whales at Mystic Aquarium, but residents in Fall River, Massachusetts are getting an unusual sight in an unusual place. A Beluga whale was spotted in the Taunton River over the past several days. 

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Massachusetts
8:31 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Trouble In Paradise: Opiate Use Spikes On Martha's Vineyard

A cache of Percocet and other opiates seized by Oak Bluffs police in an arrest earlier this year.
Courtesy of Oak Bluffs Police

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 12:48 pm

Underneath the charm of Martha's Vineyard's picturesque beaches, peaceful woods and luxury homes is a problem: Since August, there have been six overdose deaths on the island.

"That's a phenomenal rate for a community of 16,000 people — and that's not to mention the overdoses that haven't been fatal," says Charles Silberstein, an addiction specialist and psychiatrist at Martha's Vineyard Hospital. "We've had overdoses for years, but I don't think we've ever seen this kind of number or frequency."

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WAMC News
6:35 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Casino Repeal Question Will Be On Massachusetts Ballot

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 6:07 pm

Massachusetts’ highest court ruled today that a question asking voters to repeal the state’s casino law can go on the November ballot.  It sets up what promises to be a hard-fought campaign to decide the fate of the fledgling gambling industry in Massachusetts.

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WAMC News
10:27 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Springfield Mayor Renews Call For Moratorium On Refugee Resettlements

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:22 pm

The Mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts has renewed a call for an end to new refugee resettlements in Springfield.  Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal said the mayor has raised concerns that need to be addressed.

     Mayor Domenic Sarno first called for a moratorium on refugee resettlements in Springfield 10 months ago, but then backed off amid criticism from social service providers and advocates for immigrants. Sarno said his office recently learned that up to 70 refugees will be settled in Springfield in the coming year.

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WAMC News
10:55 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Poll Finds Massachusetts Voters Still Support Casinos

An artist's rendering of the Springfield casino proposed by MGM Resorts. It was awarded the state's first casino license on June 13,2014, two-and-a-half years after Las Vegas-style gambling was legalized in Massachusetts.

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:47 pm

A new poll finds Massachusetts residents still support casino gambling, but have lost confidence in the casino industry regulators.

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WAMC News
7:40 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Springfield Budget For New Fiscal Year Approved Without Cuts

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno's recommended budget was approved by a unanimous vote of the Springfield City Council

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 12:34 pm

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts has a budget in place for the fiscal year that begins July 1st.  The city’s elected officials are in agreement that following years of recession-forced spending cuts, the budget for fiscal year 2015 moves the city forward.

The $581.9 million budget recommended by Mayor Domenic Sarno was adopted by the Springfield City Council Monday night by an 11-0 vote with two councilors absent.  The vote wrapped up the least contentious budget season in the state’s third- largest city in recent years.

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Hartford Or Bust?
10:09 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Springfield Says There Were No Talks With Rock Cats

Springfield City Hall in Massachusetts.
Credit Jeremy Goldstein / Creative Commons

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and his people have said that their negotiations to move the minor league New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford had to be confidential, because speaking about them publicly could have risked the whole thing and pushed the team out of state.

Several news reports -- some citing anonymous city officials and sources, others citing speculation and rumors -- suggested that Springfield, Massachusetts was a serious contender.  

Not so, says Springfield. 

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Massachusetts Casinos
12:51 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Massachusetts Gaming Commission Tentatively Awards Casino License to MGM

A rendering of the planned downtown casino, MGM Springfield.
Credit MGM Resorts International

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted on Friday to award a western Massachusetts casino license to MGM Springfield, as soon as a repeal issue is resolved. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno called the casino one of three essential ingredients to revive the city's "urban core."

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Western Massachusetts
2:26 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Gambling Regulators in Massachusetts Begin Review of Proposed Springfield Casino

A rendering of the a public plaza at the proposed MGM casino in Springfield, showing a partially preserved historic building.
MGM Resorts International

State gambling regulators considering awarding the state's first casino license to MGM Resorts International have given its proposed $800 million casino in Springfield high marks for its finances and its building and site design.

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Massachusetts
10:06 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Philadelphia Inquirer Co-Owner Dead in Boston-Area Plane Crash

Lewis Katz.
Credit temple.edu

Lewis Katz, co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, is among the seven people killed in a plane crash Saturday night in Bedford, Massachusetts, according to the paper's editor. Bill Marimow confirmed Katz's death to Philly.com on Sunday, saying he learned the news from close associates.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

The Present and Future of Gun Control In America

Sen. Chris Murphy
Chion Wolf WNPR

The latest mass shooting in California has left many questioning America’s gun control policies, and left a grieving father pleading for action from lawmakers -- not sympathy.

This hour, we look at the present and future of gun control in America. We also consider how to celebrate the 200th birthday of Samuel Colt, the man who revolutionized and popularized the gun.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Live From the 2014 Berkshire International Film Festival

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Why go to a film festival? Because you might see the guy who plays Jaime Lannister on "Game of Thrones" in a Norwegian film also starting Juliette Binoche about a photojournalist on a dangerous assignment in Kenya. Or you might see a documentary about the American roots music dynasty, the Carters and the Cashes. Or maybe you'll bump into an acting legend like Karen Allen or Mary Kay Place on the street or in a seat next to yours.

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Law
12:31 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Already Tough On Gun Control, Massachusetts Aims To Get Tougher

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo addresses a crowd during a Democratic Party convention last year. DeLeo unveiled a comprehensive gun bill Tuesday.
Aram Boghosian Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 8:10 pm

The rampage that left six dead in California last week has once again revived the debate over gun control around the nation. In Massachusetts — a state that is already one of the toughest on guns — lawmakers are considering sweeping new legislation that includes some of the nation's tightest restrictions on sales of shotguns and rifles, and more focus on the mentally ill.

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Mental Health 101
10:19 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Empathy Lessons: Training Police to Understand People With Mental Illness

Somerville Police Officer Eli Kim, left, tries to book Officer Samir Messaoudi — playing the role of a man with schizophrenia — while Cambridge Police Officer Fred Cabral does the sound effects of voices in Messaoudi’s head.
Cambridge Police Department

Earlier this month, Somerville Police Officers Alan Monaco and Timothy Sullivan responded to a call about a fight between two young men. They found one of them, Mike, in an agitated state.

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WAMC News
4:59 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Massachusetts Gun Laws May Get Tougher

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 3:57 pm

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo is planning to unveil a sweeping gun safety bill on Tuesday which he wants to vote on before the legislative session ends on July 31st.

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WAMC News
4:59 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Springfield Commemorates Memorial Day

Gumercindo Gomez, a Vietnam veteran, placed a wreath at the Vietnam War memorial in Court Square in Springfield, MA

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 6:17 pm

Memorial Day observances are under way in western Massachusetts,where the holiday weekend will feature parades and solemn ceremonies.

The city of Springfield commemorated Memorial Day Friday afternoon with an annual ceremony under an overcast sky.  After short speeches on the steps of city hall, a group of elected officials and military veterans placed wreaths at the five war memorials across the street in Court Square. The procession was led by JROTC color guards from each of the city’s four high schools.

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Technology
11:44 am
Wed May 21, 2014

When Doctors Play This Game, You Get Better Medical Care

Hey docs! Play this online game and learn how to do a better job of getting our blood pressure under control!
Lisa F. Young iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 3:29 pm

Doctors are required to keep current on best medical practices, but those efforts all too often don't do a thing to improve patient care. But what if the class is a game — one that lets you compete against other doctors and show off your smarts?

Plus you get funny emails. Oh, and your patients get better, too.

That's the gist of an online game tested at eight Boston-area hospitals to see if it could improve treatment of high blood pressure by getting practitioners to follow recommended treatment guidelines.

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Elevated Highways
10:12 am
Wed May 21, 2014

New Plan for I-91 Viaduct In Springfield Said to Address Residents' Concerns

An elevated portion of I-91 through Springfield, Massachusetts.
Rusty Clark Creative Commons

Massachusetts transportation officials said a new construction plan for replacing the Interstate 91 viaduct in Springfield will cause fewer traffic headaches than a previous version. 

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WAMC News
10:37 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Job Training Planned In Springfield Neighborhoods Hit By 2011 Tornado

The South End Community Center was destroyed by the tornado on June 1, 2011. People in the neighborhood will get job training funded by a federal disaster recovery grant

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 7:47 pm

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts is soliciting bids from organizations to do workforce training in poor neighborhoods hit by the tornado three years ago.

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WAMC News
12:31 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Massachusetts Gaming Commission To Hold Final Public Hearing On MGM Springfield Casino

MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis addressed the Massachusetts Gaming Commission during a public hearing in Springfield April 1, 2014

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 12:31 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to hold a final public hearing in Springfield today on the casino proposed by MGM.   It is a last chance for commissioners to gauge public sentiment before completing a lengthy evaluation of the sole resort casino applicant in western Massachusetts.

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WAMC News
8:07 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Gaming Regulators To Hold Public Hearing On MGM Springfield Casino

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 7:39 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is meeting in Springfield Wednesday to listen to public comments for the last time on MGM’s casino project.

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Cultural Studies Club
5:00 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Re-Enactment Of Satanic Mass Planned At Harvard Causes Uproar

Harvard University's main campus in Cambridge, Mass.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 5:09 pm

Harvard University Extension School's Cultural Studies Club has ignited a maelstrom of criticism over its plans to reenact a black mass on Monday.

The university and the Catholic Church have condemned it, but the club says the Satanic mass is simply for educational purposes.

The AP reports:

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WAMC News
1:26 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Springfield Parking Authority Gets New Director And Direction

Springfield Parking Authority Executive Director Mary McNally speaks in city hall after Mayor Domenic Sarno ( at right) announced her appointment. Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy stands next to the mayor.

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 6:21 pm

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.

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WAMC News
9:23 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Massachusetts' Highest Court To Hear Casino Referendum Case

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 10:41 am

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will hear oral arguments Monday on whether a question to repeal casino gambling should appear on the November election ballot.

The decision by Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office to ban the question from the ballot is being challenged in the state’s highest court by anti-casino activists led by John Ribiero, chairman of the group Repeal the Casino Deal.

" There is no reason for us to be kept off the ballot."

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