Massachusetts

Casino Industry
9:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

State Funds Casino Job Training In Western Mass.

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."

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Watchdogs
10:05 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Massachusetts Casino Opponents Consider Next Steps

Steve Abdow, a western Massachusetts organizer with Repeal the Casino Deal.

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."

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Massachusetts
12:27 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Construction Begins On New Health Education Center

Holyoke Community College trustees pose in front of the building that will be renovated to become the Center for Health Education

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.

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Local Food
6:32 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

For More Local Turkeys To Hit Holiday Tables, You Need An Abattoir

The turkeys at Kate Stillman's farm don't have to be loaded on a trailer and driven hundreds of miles this year. They now meet their ends on the same farm where they lived their lives.
Chris Arnold NPR

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."

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Massachusetts
8:33 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Springfield Set To Hire Police, Firefighters Thanks To Casino Cash

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.

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Springfield
12:11 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Cathedral High School Supporters Announce Forum

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 5:15 am

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.

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Metcalf on Music
8:57 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Christmas Music: There's a Lot More Than "Messiah"

Hartford Chorale performs Handel's "Messiah."
Hartford Chorale

Merry Christmas!

Oh, sorry – too soon?

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Performance Evaluations
2:13 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Massachusetts Drops Teacher Licensing Proposal

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.

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Museums
2:33 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Gov. Patrick Celebrates $25 Million Investment In MASS MoCA

MASS MoCA's director Joseph Thompson describes the North Adams' art museum's expansion.

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 6:11 pm

In what will most likely be his last official visit to the Berkshires, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick took time Monday to celebrate state investments in the region.

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Food Waste
1:01 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Massachusetts DEP Commissioner To View Red Lion Inn's Composting Process

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.

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Fishing Industry
4:17 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Regulators Ban Cod Fishing In Gulf Of Maine As Stocks Dwindle

Fishermen Ed Stewart (left) and Tannis Goodsen mend groundfishing nets on Merrill Wharf, in Portland, Maine, last November.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

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.

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Health Insurance
2:55 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Massachusetts Set To Launch Online Health Exchange

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.

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Springfield
10:20 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Mayor Says Church Leader Broke Promise To Rebuild Tornado Damaged School

Cathedral High School, a fixture in Springfield's East Forest Park neighborhood for a half-century was destroyed in the June 2011 tornado.

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

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Casinos
1:01 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Massachusetts Gambling Regulators Approve MGM, Wynn Casino Licenses

MGM has started to prepare the future casino site in Springfield for a spring 2015 groundbreaking and expects to open the casino in 2017

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.  

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Ballot Question Defeat
1:05 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Casino Opponents in Massachusetts Consider Their Options

MGM's plans for downtown Springfield include a tower
Credit MGM Springfield

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.

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Massachusetts Results
12:10 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Baker Elected Massachusetts Governor In Tight Race

Voters elected Republican Charlie Baker to be the next governor of Massachusetts.

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 12:13 pm

Republican Charlie Baker will be the next governor of Massachusetts. He beat Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley. It was a close race down to the end.

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Massachusetts Results
8:04 am
Wed November 5, 2014

How Massachusetts Statewide Races And Ballot Questions Went On Election Day

Charlie Baker

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.

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Massachusetts Casinos
7:44 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Massachusetts Voters Clear Path for Springfield Resort Casino

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno , speaks to supporters gathered at the Basketball Hall of Fame on November 4, 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.

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Garbage
8:13 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Massachusetts Food Waste Ban Gains Broad Acceptance

Massachusetts composting companies like City Soil, which turn food waste into compost that can be used on gardens and farms, say they expect to get quite a bit of new business from the food waste ban.
Courtesy of City Soil

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 4:03 pm

Americans alone, on average, throw out about 20 pounds of food a month, most of it hauled away with the trash.

In October, Massachusetts began telling any institution — like businesses, colleges and hospitals — that produces large amounts of food waste: Not in our landfill. Massachusetts law now says that if you throw out more than a ton of food waste a month, it can't go to a landfill.

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Election Day 2014
6:25 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Sounding Off On Massachusetts’ Casino Ballot Question

A voter arrives at Springfield's Forest Park Library on Tuesday, September 9, 2014.
Greg Saulmon Springfield Republican

With the latest polls showing more voters favor supporting Massachusetts’ casino law than repealing it, New England Public Radio asked people in downtown Springfield how they will vote. 

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Boston
11:13 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Thousands Say Goodbye To Menino At Faneuil

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and Angela Menino, widow of former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, stand at the casket as Menino lies in state at Faneuil Hall. (Suzanne Kreiter (AP Photo/The Boston Globe)

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 12:35 pm

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.

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Massachusetts
2:45 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Poll Shows Casino Opponents Face Long Odds Election Day

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 10:10 pm

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.

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Springfield Casino
1:27 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Springfield’s South End Looks Ahead as Massachusetts Votes on Casinos

Springfield's former South End Community Center, and the possible future site of an MGM casino.
Henry Epp NEPR

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

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Election 2014
3:05 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Gov. Patrick Points To Economic Growth In Western Mass.

Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA) at the Western Mass. Business Expo in Springfield

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 12:59 pm

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick highlighted his administration’s success over the last eight years in job growth and economic development during an address to a business group in Springfield today.  The speech at a breakfast sponsored by the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield comes as voters are less than a week away from picking his successor.

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Future of Gaming
12:41 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Campaigning Heats Up on Massachusetts Casino Ballot Question

A rendering of the proposed MGM casino in Springfield, Massachusetts.
mgmspringfield.com

Massachusetts voters will get to decide a question on the ballot next week that’s of great interest to Connecticut. Opponents of the state’s law allowing casino gambling have placed a question that asks voters if they want to repeal the measure. 

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Election 2014
9:27 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Where Baker, Coakley Stand On Health Care

Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker, before a televised debate Tuesday in Boston (Barry Chin/Boston Globe/Pool/AP)

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 8:08 am

It’s nearly half the state budget, almost 20 percent of the state’s economy and a perennial top concern for voters. The issue is health care, and so far, neither Democrat Martha Coakley nor Republican Charlie Baker has taken the lead on this topic with voters in the gubernatorial race.

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Housatonic River
8:34 am
Mon October 27, 2014

A Debate Over How Much of GE’s Legacy Should Remain at Housatonic’s Bottom

On the Housatonic River, there are signs warning people not to eat fish, frogs, turtles, and ducks because of PCB contamination.
Nancy Eve Cohen NEPR

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given people until this Monday to comment on a $613 million plan to finish a toxic waste cleanup of the Housatonic River.

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Massachusetts
4:11 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Gov. Patrick Announces State Contract To Build Subway Cars In Springfield

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 6:11 pm

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.

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Boston Marathon Bombing
3:36 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Judge Says 1,000 Potential Jurors May Be Screened For Boston Bombing Trial

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Handout Getty Images

A judge in Boston says that some 1,000 pre-trial jurors may be asked to complete a questionnaire for the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in January.

The Boston Herald reports U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole Jr. made the announcement at a status conference on Monday.

The Herald adds:

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Election 2014
12:35 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

New Voters Register Ahead Of Deadline In Massachusetts

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 4:28 pm

Election officials in Massachusetts report a surge in new voter registrations ahead of Wednesday’s deadline.

   The number of voters registered in the city of Springfield has increased by 15,000 since 2009, according to Election Commissioner Gladys Oyola who credits voter registration drives by various special interest groups.  But, she cautions that the increase in the number of registered voters is not necessarily a sign of higher interest in the November election.

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