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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.