Massachusetts

Massachusetts Casinos
7:55 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Gaming Panel Awards Greater Boston Casino License To Wynn

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 6:36 pm

Gambling regulators in Massachusetts have voted to award the state’s most lucrative casino license to Wynn Resorts.  It is the third casino license issued in Massachusetts, where voters in less than two months will decide if Las Vegas-style gambling will remain legal.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 3-1 Tuesday to approve Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn’s plan to build a $1.6 billion resort casino on the site of a former chemical company plant in the city of Everett.

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Massachusetts Casinos
4:34 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

A Win for Wynn Keeps Mohegans Out of Massachusetts

Wynn Resorts Proposed Casino in Everett, MA

Casino mogul Steve Wynn is the big winner in the race to build a gaming industry in Massachusetts. He beat out Connecticut's Mohegan Sun in the competition for the Greater Boston license, likely the most lucrative awarded by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

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Massachusetts
5:35 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Catholic Church Leaders Call For Casino Repeal

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 4:24 pm

The state’s four Roman Catholic Bishops are urging Massachusetts voters to repeal the state’s casino law.

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WAMC News
1:38 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Gambling Regulators Nearing Decision On Greater Boston Casino

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 12:31 pm

Gambling industry regulators in Massachusetts resume deliberations today on awarding the state's most lucrative casino license.

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Springfield
6:27 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Mayor Blocks Appeal Against Biomass Plant

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 1:26 pm

The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts won’t authorize an appeal to block construction of a wood-burning power plant.

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WAMC News
9:29 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Regulators To Begin Deliberations On Greater Boston Casino License

Massachusetts Gaming Commissioners evaluated casino proposals from Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts in five categories and suggested changes to both projects. Final deliberations by the regulators that could lead to the awarding of a greater Boston license will begin Sept. 15

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 7:01 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will meet Monday to consider issuing a license for a casino in greater Boston.

The gambling industry regulators have completed an exhaustive review of the two competing casino proposals and have suggested changes to both projects.  Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts will respond to the commission’s suggestions by the end of this week. Acting chairman James McHugh said there will be a public discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal.

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WAMC News
12:35 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Fight Against Biomass Plant To Continue

Dozens of opponents of the biomass plant proposed by Palmer Renewable Energy in Springfield, MA urged the city council during a special meeting Wednesday night to appeal a court ruling reinstating the project's building permit.

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 9:41 am

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts has green-lighted an appeal to try to block construction of a wood-burning power plant. 

   The council authorized the filing of a notice of appeal of last month’s Massachusetts Land Court ruling that reinstated the building permit for the biomass project.  Dozens of project opponents urged the council to act prior to a September 15th deadline.   City Councilor Tim Allen said a lawyer advised the council the appeal has a 25 percent chance of success.

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WAMC News
11:58 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Springfield Declares Anti-bullying Weekend

The Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Foundation was formed in 2010 to keep alive the memory of Carl who the previous year committed suicide at age 11 after suffering repeated bullying

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 6:26 pm

A number of activities to raise funds and awareness to combat bullying will take place this week in Springfield, Massachusetts, where the suicide five years ago of an 11-year- old student focused national attention on bullying in schools.

The Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Foundation has scheduled a series of events that began Wednesday with a mayoral designation of the second weekend in September as “Anti-Bullying Weekend” in the city of Springfield. 

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Election 2014
9:20 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Coakley Will Face Baker In Massachusetts Governor's Race

Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley celebrates with supporters as she claims victory in the primary election Tuesday in Boston.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 2:23 pm

Massachusetts Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker will face off in November after winning the nominations of their respective parties for governor on Tuesday.

While Coakley won the Democratic primary by a smaller majority than expected, Baker trounced his opponent with more than 74 percent of the votes.

After defeating Steven Grossman and Don Berwick in the primary, Coakley wasted no time pouncing on her new opponent.

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Election 2014
5:48 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Massachusetts Rounds Out Statewide Candidates

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 11:34 pm

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley will face Charlie Baker in November's election for Massachusetts governor. Both candidates faced primary challenges Tuesday. Democratic Governor Deval Patrick is not seeking a third term.

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WAMC News
5:47 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Coakley And Baker Win Primaries For Mass. Gov.

Attorney General Martha Coakley

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 10:34 pm

Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker will face off in November's election for Massachusetts governor. Both candidates beat out challengers in Tuesday's primaries.

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WAMC News
10:27 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Gambling Regulators Weigh Greater Boston Casino Proposals

The design of Mohegan Sun's proposed casino at Suffolk Downs in Revere, MA received a favorable evaluation from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 4:07 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Monday began a final review of the two competing proposals for a resort casino in greater Boston.

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Casinos
2:17 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Decision Time For Casino Panel: Mohegan Sun Or Wynn?

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 10:03 am

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has a lot to consider when it begins hearings Monday on the two competing proposals for the sole Greater Boston casino license.

At first glance, the two look very similar. Both promise about 4,000 jobs, 500 hotel rooms and about $1 billion in casino revenue.

But as you dig into the plans, you start to see distinct selling points for each proposal, and how the developers, Mohegan Sun and Wynn Resorts, are making their case.

Mohegan Sun Seeks To Fit Into Community

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WAMC News
10:21 am
Mon September 8, 2014

City Councilors To Meet On Biomass Permit Appeal

Originally published on Sun September 7, 2014 12:26 pm

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts will hold a special meeting on whether to continue the fight over a wood-burning power plant.

Facing a Sept. 15th deadline to file an appeal to the court ruling that restored the building permit for the controversial plant, city council meeting notices have been posted for both Sept. 10 and 11.   City Councilor Tim Allen opposes the biomass plant, but is uncertain if he’ll vote to appeal last month’s decision by the Massachusetts Land Court.

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Election 2014
1:49 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Republican Charlie Baker Wants To Run A More Efficient Mass. Government

Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker, right, chats with Bradford Herrick, of Bridgewater, during a visit at Eagle’s Deli in Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 8:23 am

Fifth in a series of profiles of the gubernatorial candidates

BOSTON — The 2014 election is Republican Charlie Baker’s second race for the corner office. Four years ago, he ran and lost to incumbent Gov. Deval Patrick by 6 points.

This time he’s running a different campaign and aiming for better results — focusing on his experience as a problem-solver, visiting urban centers, and meeting with more minority voters who traditionally vote Democrat.

A ‘Second Trip To The Plate’

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WAMC News
12:15 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Extensive Makeover Announced For Downtown Apartment Complex

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno speaks during the unveiling of plans for a major renovation to a 280-unit downtown apartment complex. Listening to the mayor are Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy ( at far left), and Erik Dowling of the SilverBrick Group, the developers.

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 6:26 pm

A New York City-based developer unveiled plans today for a major renovation to an apartment complex in downtown Springfield.  The project was hailed by city officials as another big step in downtown’s  revitalization.

Officials with the SilverBrick group outlined plans for what they said would be a $6 million renovation of the 280-unit complex that fronts Main Street.  The extensive makeover will include luxury amenities intended to persuade people to pay market-rate rents to live in the urban center.

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WAMC News
3:00 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Mount Holyoke Opens Admissions To Transgender Students

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 11:04 am

Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley has implemented a formal policy regarding the admission of transgender students. 

During the college's annual Convocation address on Tuesday, President Lynn Pasquerella announced that the all-women's  institution  now welcomes applications from transgender students who identify as female. 

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WAMC News
3:00 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Councilors Weigh Court Challenge To Proposed Biomass Plant

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 1:31 pm

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts is considering whether to appeal a court ruling that reinstated the building permit for a wood-burning power plant.

Springfield City Council President Mike Fenton said he will poll the council members to determine if they want to hold a special meeting to vote on whether to appeal last months’ ruling by the Massachusetts Land Court.  Fenton said councilors met privately with an attorney this week to discuss the pros and cons of a possible appeal.

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Air National Guard
1:13 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Identified as Pilot in Fatal F-15 Crash

Japanese Air Self Defense Force Lt. Col. Miyake Hideaki, 306th Tactical Fighter Squadron commander, and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot, 67th Fighter Squadron commander, shake hands during a press conference on Komatsu Air Base, Japan, in 2013.
Staff Sgt. Amber E. N. Jacobs U.S. Air Force

The Massachusetts Air National Guard has released the name of the pilot who died Wednesday when his F-15 crashed in rural Virginia. 

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Air National Guard
10:00 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Fighter Jet Based in Westfield, Massachusetts Crashes in Virginia; Details Unclear

Colonel James Keefe addresses the media at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts.
Credit Henry Epp / NEPR

An F-15C jet based at the Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts crashed Wednesday morning in Virginia, according to a statement from Barnes. Many details remain unclear about the crash. 

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WAMC News
12:00 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Former Pittsfield Mayor Resigns From Westfield State Board Of Trustees

James Ruberto delivers his victory speech after winning reelection as Pittsfield's mayor in Nov. 2009.

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 9:31 am

The former mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts has resigned from the Westfield State University Board of Trustees. University leadership has been under scrutiny for the past year.

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Missouri
11:11 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Amid Unrest, Boston Leaders Visit Ferguson

(Deborah Becker/WBUR)

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 9:24 am

Religious and community leaders from Boston are among the thousands of people in Ferguson, Missouri, for Michael Brown’s funeral. The unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by a police officer on Aug. 9.

Boston residents who have been monitoring the resulting tension between residents of the St. Louis suburb and police there are divided about whether the same sort of tensions could ever erupt in Boston.

‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’

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WAMC News
11:04 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Federal Universial School Lunch Program Expands In Massachusetts

Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 12:06 pm

A federally-funded universal free lunch program is being introduced this year in the public schools in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Springfield Public Schools will receive $15.4 million to provide lunch daily at no charge to any student who wants it.  Springfield Superintendent of Schools Dan Warwick said the quality of the school lunches will improve with more vegetables and fruits on the menu.

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WAMC News
8:16 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Common Core Tests To Be Given In Majority Of Springfield Schools

Dan Warwick,Superintendent of Public Schools in Springfield, Massachusetts, addresses the 2014 convocation at Van Sickle Middle School.

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:16 pm

A new school year begins Monday in Springfield, Massachusetts where rising standardized test scores and a falling dropout rate are seen as signs of a turnaround in the struggling public school system. A new test, based on the Common Core educational standards, will be introduced in a majority of the city’s schools next year.

The scores of last year’s MCAS tests given to Springfield school students rose across the board at a higher rate than the gain recorded by school districts statewide, and the dropout rate has fallen  more than any other school system in the state.

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Western Massachusetts
12:47 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Berkshire Performance Venues Report Successful Summers

The cast of "A Midsummer NIght's Dream" at Pittsfield's Shakespeare in the Park.

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 12:38 pm

As the days of August tick away, many Berkshires performance venues are closing the curtains on their summer sessions.

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WAMC News
8:28 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Knowledge Corridor Rail Line Purchased By The State

Gov. Deval Patrick steps off a train in Greenfield to announce an agreement in principle to purchase a refurbished north-south rail line from Pan Am Southern

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:11 pm

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced a milestone agreement today in the effort to bring high- speed passenger rail service to western Massachusetts.

Governor Patrick arrived in Greenfield onboard a train from North Adams to announce a tentative agreement to have the state purchase the rail line between East Northfield on the Vermont border and Springfield.  The 49-mile stretch is nearing the completion of a major restoration that will return passenger rail service to communities along the Connecticut River.

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WAMC News
9:44 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Big E Fair Set For Annual September Run

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 10:21 am

The state fair season is approaching and details have been announced for the largest fair in the Northeast. 

The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts will include an exhibit on the 50th anniversary of the New York World’s Fair. Entertainment headliners include ZZ Top, Darius Rucker and Little Big Town. New fun foods and different concessions will be on the fair grounds.   Big E President Gene Cassidy said last year’s record attendance of nearly 1.5 million people made it the fifth largest fair in North America.       

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Election 2014
9:42 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Mass. Governor Hopefuls Launch TV Barrage, Despite Audience Dip

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 8:32 am

If you’ve turned on the TV recently, you might have noticed it’s that season again — campaign season.

Ratings show fewer folks are watching traditional television these days, but super PACs and Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates are still investing thousands of dollars in TV ads.

Perhaps that’s because, if you’re running for the corner office and you’re not on TV, political analysts suggest there’s a risk you won’t be a seen as a serious, viable candidate.

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WAMC News
2:46 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

City Councilor Warns Crime Battle Is Being Lost

Springfield City Councilor Tim Rooke

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 12:26 pm

In a city where public safety consistently ranks as the top issue in public opinion polls, a veteran Springfield city councilor caused a buzz this week when he suggested people had become complacent about violence.

In an op-ed published on MassLive.com, Springfield City Councilor-at-large Tim Rooke called on the “silent majority” to speak up and help dismantle the violent drug gangs that he said are causing families to move out of Springfield and hurting businesses.

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WAMC News
11:55 am
Fri August 15, 2014

400,000 Mass. Residents Must Reapply For Health Coverage

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 9:22 am

Massachusetts is launching a major effort to reach out to almost 400,000 residents who must reapply for health insurance because they were enrolled in temporary plans after the state's health care marketplace website crashed last year.

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