In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, ThisWeekinWorcester.com explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.
These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the city and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.
In today’s edition – Tuesday, October 27 – the State Fire Marshal reminds residents to check their alarms when changing your clocks, the Polar Park diamond turns from brown to green today, Saint Vincent Hospital expands its sleep lab in the wake of another potential long-term side effect of COVID-19, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling appoints a district elections officer for Election Day, and weekly gas prices from AAA Northeast.
Change Your Clocks, Check Your Alarms
The State Fire Marshal is asking residents to associate an important ritual with the changing of the clocks this weekend.
“Most fatal fires occur at night when you are sleeping. Working smoke alarms give us the extra time to get out of a burning house. This weekend, as you change your clocks, check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey.
The State Fire Code requires replacing expired battery-operated smoke alarms in older one- and two-family homes with photoelectric ones that have 10-year, sealed, non-replaceable, non-rechargeable batteries and a hush feature.
Two hundred forty-eight fire departments across the state have grant-funded Senior SAFE Programs. Seniors who need help testing, maintaining or replacing smoke alarms should contact their local fire department or senior center for assistance. Ostroskey said, “Almost half of the people who died in fires last year were over 65. We want our seniors to be safe from fire in their own homes.”
The Polar Park Diamond Turns Green
The diamond at Polar Park is scheduled to turn green on, Tuesday, October 27, when the first sod is laid on the infield of the future home of the Worcester Red Sox.
Two trucks transporting the natural Kentucky Blue Grass, grown at Tuckahoe Turf Farms in Hammonton, New Jersey, are expected to pass through Kelley Square by 6:00 AM.
By 7 AM, the unrolling of 80 strips, each 42 inches wide, is scheduled to begin. Professionals from Sports Turf Specialties of Wrentham, MA, hope to complete the infield on the first day.
The delivery of the sod takes place 16 years to the day that the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004.
Saint Vincent Hospital Expands Sleep Study Lab
Saint Vincent Hospital Hospital is expanding its sleep lab with new home sleep testing technology from Itamar Medical. This new technology is an addition to Saint Vincent Hospital’s already existing home sleep services and will allow more patients to have their sleep studies in the comfort of their own homes.
The WatchPATTM series of diagnostic Home Sleep Testing enables patients to easily perform a sleep study in the comfort of their own home. The technology provides sleep physicians and cardiologists the additional capacity to identify, evaluate, and treat sleep disorders found inherent in a significant population of atrial fibrillation and heart failure patients.
One of the reasons the Hospital is expanding its sleep lab is reports by physicians and researchers reporting potential deep damage to people’s sleep paterns caused by COVID-19.
“Coronasomnia,” as some experts now call it, could prove to have profound public-health ramifications- creating a massive new population of chronic insomniacs grappling with declines in productivity, shorter fuses and other health problems.
U.S. Attorney Appoints District Elections Officer for Massachusetts
United States Attorney Andrew Lelling announced today that Assistant United States Attorney Eugenia Carris will lead the efforts of his Office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming Nov. 3, 2020, general election.
Carris is responsible for overseeing the District of Massachusetts’ handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights concerns in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.
Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, impersonating voters, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes, and marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input. It also contains special protections for the rights of voters, and provides that they can vote free from acts that intimidate or harass them.
Gas Prices this Week
AAA Northeast, the popular not-for-profit auto club, reports changes in gas prices across the region on a weekly basis.
The average gas price in Massachusetts stayed flat from last week, remaining at an average of $2.10 per gallon. That price is the two cents lower than a month ago ($2.12), and 46 cents cheaper than September 28, 2019 ($2.56).
Massachusetts’s average gas price is six cents lower than the national average.
AAA Northeast’s October 26 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to also remain stable this week, averaging $2.16 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 4 cents lower than a month ago ($2.18), and 44 cents cheaper than this day last year ($2.60).
Comparison to neighboring states, according to AAA Northeast:
Lead image courtesy: Worcester Red Sox/Twitter