5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester - April 23

 by TWIW StaffApril 23, 2021

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 – Friday, April 23 - UMass Medical School selects firm for design and construction of its next facility, Massachusetts launches digital tool for climate resilience planning, your picture can be on a fan cutout in Polar Park, Clark University is recognized by Princeton Review and FBI warns on the increase of impersonation scams across New England.

UMass Selects Shawmut Design and Construction for New Research Facility

Shawmut Design and Construction will lead the building of the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s New Education and Research Building. Architecture firms ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge and ZGF will also partner on the project.

The nine story, 350,000 square foot biomedical research and education facility will support laboratory research growth and acceleration into new therapeutics for some of the most challenging diseases.

The Medical School expects the building to open in 2023.

The new addition to the campus will connect the Lazare Research Building and the Albert Sherman Center on the second level through a new system of sky bridges while also completing the west face of the Campus Green.

The complex will house the Horae Gene Therapy Center; Departments of Neurological Surgery, Neurology, and Neurobiology; the Program in Molecular Medicine; and a new Program in Human Genetics & Evolutionary Biology among others.


Massachusetts Launches Digital Tool to Support Climate Resilience Planning

Governor Charlie Baker’s office announced the launch of the Resilient MA Action Team [RMAT] Climate Resilience Design Standards Tool on Wednesday, April 21.

The Climate Resilience Design Standards Tool will use up-to-date climate projections to provide users a preliminary climate change risk level and recommendations to increase the resiliency of project design.

The tool is an interactive, web-based platform that uses a series of site-specific questions and location information to generate a preliminary climate exposure and risk rating and recommended design standards for projects. The tool also provides guidelines and forms to help municipalities integrate site suitability, regional coordination, and flexible adaptation considerations into climate resilient planning and design.


Become a Fan Cutout at Polar Park

The Worcester Red Sox announced a promotion on Wednesday, April 21, to enable the faces of fans, or their loved ones, to appear on fan cutouts at Polar Park on opening day with a new promotion.

Like other sports venues during the pandemic, fan cutouts will take the space of open seats required by capacity restrictions.

The cutouts will remain until they gradually disappear and capacity restrictions relax, enabling more fan seating.

The promotion is available on a first come, first serve basis. Purchase is available online and cost between $50 and $100 based on placement within the park.

Orders must be placed by April 30 and are contingent on availability.

The WooSox open at Polar Park on May 11.


Clark University Recognized by Princeton Review

The Princeton Review included Clark on its annual list of Best Value Colleges, giving the school an ROI score of 88 out of 99.

The Princeton Review placed Clark in seven ranked categories, including as number 3 on the Top 20 Schools for Making an Impact.

The annual guidebook is a resource for college-bound students — and their families — who are looking for affordable, academically outstanding colleges that prepare students for a successful career launch.

The Princeton Review chose its Best Value Colleges for 2021 based on data the company collected through surveys of administrators at over 650 colleges from 2019 to 2020. It also considered information from surveys of students attending the schools and PayScale.com surveys of alumni about their starting and mid-career salaries and job satisfaction figures.


FBI Warns Impersonation Scams on the Rise

The Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] Boston Division warns of an increase in scammers targeting residents across New England.

The increase in scams are government impersonation schemes where callers claim to be a representative of a government agency.

The FBI advises that federal agencies do not call or email individuals threatening arrest or demanding money.

Scammers often spoof caller ID information. Even if the phone call appears to be from the correct phone number from a government agency, they are fraudulent.

The calls typically use intimidation tactics. The caller tells the recipient that charges are pending or filed against them and threatens the confiscation of personal property, bank account freezes or arrest without immediate payment. These fraudulent callers also often say that thousands of dollars in court fees and legal costs will incur.

To avoid these threats, the caller demands payment by wire transfer, prepaid cards or gift cards.

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center [IC3], 12,827 people reported being victims of government impersonation scams in 2020, with losses totaling $109,938,030.

Across Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, the FBI Boston Division saw 405 complaints filed with financial losses totaling $3,789,407.

Some things the FBI will never do:

  • The FBI will never:
  • Call or e-mail private citizens to demand payment or threaten arrest. You will also not be asked to wire a “settlement” to avoid arrest.
  • Ask you to use large sums of your own money to help catch a criminal.
  • Ask you for wire transfers or gift cards.
  • Call you about “frozen” Social Security numbers or to coordinate inheritances.
  • Scams attempts by email are also increasing. These e-mails may give the appearance of legitimacy by using pictures of the FBI Director and/or the FBI seal and letterhead.

Members of the public seeking to confirm contact with an actual FBI employee by calling the FBI Boston Division at 857-386-2000 and ask to be connected directly.


Rendering courtesy: Shawmut Design and Construction

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