Massachusetts

WAMC News
9:44 am
Wed August 13, 2014

New Bishop Installed At Springfield Service

Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of Springfield greets well wishers after his installation service Tuesday at St. Michael's Cathedral in downtown Springfield,MA

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 6:06 pm

There is a new spiritual leader for the 220,000 Roman Catholics in western Massachusetts.

   56 year old Mitchell Thomas Rozanski was installed as the 9th bishop of the Springfield diocese during a nearly 2-and-a-half hour service Tuesday. The 900 seat St. Michael’s Cathedral, the mother church of the diocese in downtown Springfield was nearly filled to capacity.

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WAMC News
8:34 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Installation Of New Bishop Set For Springfield Cathedral

Rev. Mitchell T. Rosanski, who will become the 9th Bishop of Springfield

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 4:21 pm

It will be a big day Tuesday for the 220,000 Roman Catholics in western Massachusetts, as a new bishop takes over the Springfield Diocese.   

    In a ceremony filled with ancient symbols and rituals Mitchell Thomas Rozanski will be installed as the new bishop Tuesday at St. Michael’s Cathedral, the mother church of the diocese in downtown Springfield.

    " I am grateful to God for the call to ministry, for the call to priesthood and then this call to be the ninth Bishop of Springfield," Rozanski said Monday.

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Addiction
12:50 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Worcester Takes Steps To Stop Spike In Fatal Drug Overdoses

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 8:21 am

In the wake of at least nine fatal drug overdoses in Worcester in less than a week, the city is taking the problem into its own hands by trying to get those struggling with addiction the help they need.

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WAMC News
11:35 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Attorney General Sues Ex-Westfield State President

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 3:46 pm

The Massachusetts Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against the former president of Westfield State University Evan Dobelle

A complaint filed in state court in Boston Thursday by Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley accuses Dobelle of spending up to $100,000 in school funds on personals purchases, trips, and meals at high end restaurants. 

The suit alleges he violated state laws and university policies by knowingly submitting false claims to Westfield State for personal expenses totaling $59,000.  

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WAMC News
11:17 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Massachusetts Not Needed To Provide Shelter For Immigrant Children

The Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, and Camp Edwards on Cape Cod had been suggested by Gov. Deval Patrick as potential shelters for up to 1,000 immigrant children.

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 12:16 pm

Massachusetts will not be needed to shelter immigrant children who have come unaccompanied across the nation’s southern border.  An announcement by federal officials late Tuesday ended a two-week controversy that embroiled Massachusetts in the national debate over immigration reform.

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Ebola
11:00 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Cambridge Biotech Company Asks Feds For OK On New Ebola Drug

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 11:37 am

A Cambridge-based biotech company is seeking approval from federal regulators to use its experimental medication on patients brought to the United States for treatment after being infected in West Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak.

Sarepta Therapeutics says if given approval, the firm will, within a few months, have enough of the injectible drug — AVI-75370 — for up to 125 patients.

The drug aims to stop the virus from replicating, allowing the body to fight it off.

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Ebola
9:47 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Liberian Natives Are Working To Fight Ebola Outbreak From Boston

People working for a petroleum company take part in an Ebola awareness campaign in Liberia on Monday. (Abbas Dulleh/AP)

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 5:20 pm

In Boston, some natives of Liberia are working to improve sanitation conditions and train health workers on the ground in their homeland, as the country and two of its neighbors battle a deadly Ebola outbreak.

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WAMC News
9:38 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

PVTA Announces Extensive Service Changes

PVTA buses in downtown Springfield, MA

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 4:51 pm

A state-financed expansion of public transportation in western Massachusetts is being launched this month.

    The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority will introduce seven new bus routes, including a much demanded cross-town bus in Springfield, and a new route between Amherst and Holyoke.   There will be more hours, mostly on the weekend, on 14 routes and buses will run more frequently on 15 routes.   PVTA Administrator Mary MacInnes said ridership was up 2 percent last year.

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Massachusetts
1:31 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Race For Mass. Attorney General Splits Democrats

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 8:26 am

Primary day is a little more than a month away, and while the gubernatorial election may be getting most of the attention, there’s actually a more competitive battle further down the ballot that’s bringing out Democratic devotees and dollars: the race for attorney general.

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WAMC News
1:26 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Massachusetts Gives Shoppers Another Sales Tax-free Weekend

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 12:26 pm

Shoppers in Massachusetts can look forward to a sales tax holiday later this month. The Massachusetts legislature in the closing minutes of the legislative session last week set the sales tax-free shopping days for August 16 and 17.

The sales tax holiday was included in a comprehensive economic development bill that contains dozens of programs and incentives designed to create jobs. State  Senator Gale Candaras  of  Wilbraham, who helped write the bill, acknowledges there is scant evidence the sales tax holiday does much to grow the Massachusetts economy.

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Red Sox
6:32 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Lester, Lackey Gone As Sox Deal Big At Deadline

Red Sox ace Jon Lester was dealt to the Oakland A's at the trade deadline. Fellow pitchers John Lackey and Andrew Miller, as well as shortstop Stephen Drew, were also traded away. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 5:48 pm

“I think we’re in better position than we were a week ago.”

Thus spake Boston Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington on Thursday evening.

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WAMC News
3:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

State Report Highly Critical Of Ex-Westfield State President

Evan Dobelle, who retired last year as Westfield State University President after the board of trustees put him on paid leave amid allegations he had recklessly spent university funds

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 4:52 pm

The Massachusetts Inspector General issued a scathing report Thursday on a former state university president’s use of school funds for personal purposes.

   Inspector General Glenn Cunha said former Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle knowingly and willingly violated school policy by spending lavishly for six years on trips and entertainment for himself, his family and friends.  Cunha called Dobelle’s behavior “outrageous”

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Jazz Corridor
12:33 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Crescent City Singer Charmaine Neville Struts Soulful Stuff at Springfield’s New Festival

Charmaine Neville performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
nojazzfest.com

Elated to be alive and once again playing at the top of her game after a debilitating, three-year struggle with a life-threatening brain condition, the whirlwind New Orleans singer/dancer and entertainer Charmaine Neville is looking forward to performing with her famous father, saxophonist Charles Neville, on August 9 at the first Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival in downtown Springfield’s historic Court Square.

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WAMC News
8:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Gov. Patrick Said He Is Hearing Support For Plan To Shelter Immigrant Children

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 6:31 pm

Emotions remain high over Gov. Deval Patrick’s offer to temporarily house unaccompanied immigrant children in Massachusetts.  No final decision has been made about where the children would stay, if federal authorities accept the offer.

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WAMC News
8:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Mohegan Sun Ends Lease In Palmer Where Casino Plans Failed

An artist's rendering of the casino Mohegan Sun proposed to build on a hillside in Palmer. Voters rejected the project on Nov. 5,2013

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 3:35 pm

Six years after Mohegan Sun planted its flag in Palmer with the idea of building a western Massachusetts resort casino, the Connecticut-based company is leaving the rural town and giving up control of a 152-acre site.

Mohegan Sun is terminating a 99-year lease on the former casino site -– a wooded hillside just off the MassPike — and giving up pursuit of a non-casino development there.  Town officials and the landowner, Northeast Reality, were notified Monday.

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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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