Massachusetts

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Massachusetts ballot Question 3, which would have repealed the state’s casino law, was soundly defeated by voters Tuesday.

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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:

Read more
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.

Read more
Jazz Corridor
9:07 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Memoir Celebrates Northampton’s Legendary Iron Horse Music Hall

An early 1980s view of the Iron Horse.
Jordi Herold

It’s hard to imagine what the regional music scene would have been like over the past four decades without the invaluable, energizing force generated by The Iron Horse Music Hall, the small but mighty powerhouse of an entertainment center in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Read more
WAMC News
1:47 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stepping Down

Mass. Transportation Sec. Richard Davey announcing a grant for a bridge replacement project in Westhampton in Aug 2012. Davey is stepping down at the end of October.

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 10:38 am

Massachusetts' Transportation Secretary Richard Davey, who oversees the state's highways and public transit as well as other agencies, is stepping down after three years on the job.

Read more
Massachusetts
8:59 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Two Members Of Obama Cabinet Visit Springfield Community College

U.S. Sec. of Education Arne Duncan ( in blue shirt) and U.S. Sec. of Labor Thomas Perez participated in a panel discussion about federally funded job training programs developed by Massachusetts community colleges.

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 3:51 pm

Two top officials with the Obama administration visited western Massachusetts today to see the impact of federal dollars on workforce development.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan were briefed about the job training programs developed by Massachusetts community colleges since the schools were awarded $20 million by the Labor Department in 2011 to forge partnerships with employers.

Read more
WAMC News
3:45 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Construction Begins On Western Massachusetts Firefighting Training Center

Structures used for training firefighters at the Springfield campus of the Massachusetts Dept. of Fire Services.

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:29 pm

A new training facility for firefighters is under construction in western Massachusetts.  The new center will bring the resources of the state’s Department of Fire Services to area fire departments that depend on volunteer or on-call firefighters.

     The new state - of- the -art center under construction in Springfield will be the western Massachusetts base for all of the resources of the state Department of Fire Services. It includes training, code enforcement, and arson investigations, according to state Fire Marshall Stephen Coan.

Read more
Election 2014
2:42 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Against All Odds, Self-Funded Independents Hope for Massachusetts "Miracle"

Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates Evan Falchuk, Scott Lively, and Jeff McCormick at a debate in Springfield.
Dave Roback The Republican

Massachusetts voters will see five names on the ballot for governor in November. That includes three independents. For them, it’s been difficult to make a mark on the race. Two of those candidates have spent over a million dollars of their own money.

Read more
Massachusetts
9:06 am
Wed October 8, 2014

City Council Approves $1M Settlement In Springfield Teen's Death

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 2:46 pm

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts has voted to pay $1 million to the family of a teenager who died after an encounter with police.

   The settlement was negotiated by lawyers for the city and the family of Delano Walker Jr.  Last month a federal court jury found a city police officer had violated the civil rights of Walker and awarded his family $1.3 million.  The settlement means the city will drop an appeal.  City councilor Bud Williams said it is time for healing

Read more
Springfield
5:40 am
Wed October 8, 2014

City Removes Tornado Damaged Trees

A tree damaged during the June 2011 tornado is removed from the yard of a home in Springfield,MA. The city launched a "Right of Entry" program to remove trees from private property after FEMA rejected numerous appeals to pay for it.

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 3:56 pm

More than 3 years after a tornado tore through the East Forest Park neighborhood of Springfield, Massachusetts the city is removing damaged trees from private property.

Michelle David watched Tuesday morning as a crew hired by the city cut down the tall oak tree that teetered dangerously close to her house.

"It is a relief. It has been a long time. The street was a mess, but it looks beautiful now. We are grateful to the mayor and everyone in the city who helped get this done."

Read more
Air National Guard
12:24 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Pilot Fontenot to Be Laid to Rest

Japanese Air Self Defense Force Lt. Col. Miyake Hideaki, at left, and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot, 67th Fighter Squadron commander, shake hands during a press conference in Japan in 2011.
Staff Sgt. Amber E. N. Jacobs U.S. Air Force

Funeral services are scheduled Friday in Colorado for a Massachusetts Air National Guard pilot who was killed in a plane crash five weeks ago.

Read more
Corruption Charges
3:01 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Three Owners of Land Planned for Massachusetts Casino Indicted for Fraud

A rendering of the planned Wynn Everett esplanade and winter garden.
Wynn Resorts Holdings, LLC

Three men who own land in Everett, Massachusetts that is planned for a Wynn Resorts casino have been indicted on state and federal charges of fraud and corruption, according to reports. 

Read more
Massachusetts
10:06 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Poll Finds Majority Oppose Casino Repeal

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:16 pm

A new poll finds a majority of likely voters in Massachusetts say they’ll vote against repealing the state’s casino gambling law.

The latest survey by the Western New England University Polling Institute found 52  percent of likely voters said they will vote no on Question 3, the casino law repeal initiative on next month’s Massachusetts election ballot.

Polling institute director Tim Vercellotti said the survey of 416 likely voters found 41 percent said they would vote to ban casinos with just 6 percent undecided and 1 percent declining to answer.

Read more
Financial Regulation
5:16 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Sen. Warren: We Need Regulators Who 'Work For The American People'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, speaks to a group of supporters at a rally in support of Kentucky Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes in June.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:39 am

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, says newly released recordings of conversations between Federal Reserve officials show that the same kind of cozy relationships that led to the 2008 financial crisis still dominate Wall Street.

In an interview with Morning Edition, Warren says the recordings provide definite proof of that relationship.

Read more
Massachusetts
10:39 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Candidates For Mass. Governor Debate In Springfield

Candidates for governor debated at the City Stage theater in Springfield. It was their only scheduled broadcast debate in western Massachusetts.

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 10:49 pm

The five candidates for governor of Massachusetts participated in their first broadcast debate Monday night, the only one scheduled in western Massachusetts.

   Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley differed on energy policy, the need for universal pre-school, and indexing the gasoline tax to inflation.  Baker said rather than raise the gas tax the state should rein in transportation costs. 

    "We've got to figure out how to do this stuff better and cheaper and in some cases faster."

Read more
Springfield
8:16 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Opening Enrollment At UMass Springfield Exceeds Officials' Expectations

Gov.Deval Patrick leads a grand opening ceremony for the UMass Center at Springfield.

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 6:16 pm

University of Massachusetts officials say they are pleased with the initial enrollment at the system’s first satellite campus. They say it bodes well for the future of the new UMass Center at Springfield.  Governor Deval Patrick led officials today at a grand opening ceremony.                

   Governor Patrick, who was a key supporter of establishing the first UMass satellite campus in downtown Springfield, described it as a sign of hope at a time when the gap between rich and poor in Massachusetts is widening.

Read more
Springfield
8:03 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Pro-casino Group Campaigns To Defeat Massachusetts Ballot Question

Mayor Domenic Sarno of Springfield speaks at the formal kickoff of the campaign to defeat a ballot question that if approved would stop casino development in Massachusetts

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:16 pm

A statewide campaign to fight repeal of the Massachusetts casino law had a formal kickoff in Springfield today.

The casino industry-funded Coalition to Protect Mass Jobs held its first official campaign event Tuesday in the downtown offices of MGM Springfield. About 100 local community leaders, business owners, and labor representatives gathered to hear brief speeches and see the first television ad of the campaign, which stars the city of Springfield.

Read more
Massachusetts
2:49 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

3 Afghan Army Officers, Who Had Gone Missing, Detained At Canadian Border

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 2:53 pm

Update at 2:49 p.m. ET. Officers Found At Canadian Border:

After going missing over the weekend, three Afghan officers, who were being trained in the United States, were detained at the Canadian border, a Pentagon official tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

The news was first reported by WCVB-TV's Karen Anderson. She reported that the men told customs agents at the Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge that they were refugees.

The men, Anderson reports, will be sent back to the United States.

Read more
Massachusetts
12:11 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Report Urges National Limits On Power Plant Emissions

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:36 pm

On the eve of the United Nations Climate Summit next week in New York, a Massachusetts environmental group called for aggressive limits on power plant emissions.

Read more
Springfield
6:43 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Climate Action Planners Confront Biomass Project

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:16 pm

Activists who have been working for months on a climate change plan for Springfield, Massachusetts say they must factor in an unwanted development — the possible construction of a wood-burning power plant in the city.

Neighborhood representatives, community organizers, and people from health-focused organizations have been brainstorming ways to improve the environment and reduce greenhouse gases with a goal to present a plan to the Springfield City Council by the end of the year.

Read more

Pages