5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester - January 28

 by Tom MarinoJanuary 28, 2022

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, January 28 - travel Amtrak anywhere in the northeast for as low as $19, $2 million MassDevelopment grant advances properties in Worcester and Fitchburg, the Hanover Theatre hosts the Choir of Man, heavy metal vocalist Geoff Tate returns to Rascals and AAA warns on the danger of winter weather to drivers.

Travel Amtrak Anywhere in the Northeast for as Low as $19

Amtrak offers $49 for Acela Business class tickets and $19 Coach tickets on Northeast Regional trains and other trains traveling along the Northeast Corridor for travel between any two cities from Boston and Washington, D.C.

This sale is valid between Wednesday, January 26 and Saturday, January 29, for travel between Tuesday, February 1 and Thursday, May 26, 2022 via Amtrak.com/Northeast-Getaway-Sale. Fares will auto price, no discount code needed.

$2 Million Grant Advances Properties in Worcester and Fitchburg

MassDevelopment has awarded $1,025,000 in grants to advance two properties in central Massachusetts that will have significant economic impacts on neighborhood revitalization goals. Through its Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Equity Investment program,

MassDevelopment will award:

  • $950,000 to the Main South Community Development Corporation (CDC) for the construction of a new building at 807-815 Main St. in Worcester, currently consisting of lots that have been vacant 30 or more years, that will feature seven affordable “lease to own” commercial storefront units ranging from 1,175 to 1,720 square feet in size. This innovative project aims to promote stability and wealth-building opportunities for diverse local businesses in the neighborhood.
  • $75,000 to 409 Main Street LLC, an affiliate of Elite Construction & Design, for the rehabilitation of 409 Main St. in Fitchburg, a highly visible building that has been vacant for 13 years. This grant will leverage private financing to add a commercial storefront on the ground floor and four apartments on the upper floors.

MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative works with cross-sector partnerships in targeted commercial districts in Gateway Cities in order to engage community members, implement local economic development initiatives, and spur further public and private investment. During the program’s first five years, MassDevelopment has invested $18 million in TDI districts through tools such as technical assistance, real estate investments, grant programs, and fellows who work in the districts. That investment has directly influenced over $78.7 million in public and private investments in the districts, and assisted an additional $84 million.

The Choir of Man at Hanover Theatre

The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory hosts the Choir of Man on Sunday, February 6, at 6:30 PM. Tickets are between $35 and $65 depending on seat location.

The Choice of Man offers over 90-minutes of non-stop powerhouse vocals, hair-raising harmonies and foot-stomping choreography.

The nine handsome blokes from across the pond hit all the right notes performing radio hits, classic rock, pub tunes, folk, Broadway and more. It all takes place in that holy house that turns strangers into familiar faces: a real working pub, where the beer and rhythms flow freely!

Legendary Vocalist Geoff Tate Returns to Rascals This Week

Legendary heavy metal vocalist Geoff Tate brings his “30th Anniversary of Empire and Rage for Order Tour” back to Rascals, at 70 James Street, on Friday, January 28th. The Queensrÿche vocalist brings his band to perform the two classic 1990s Queensrÿche albums Empire and Rage for Order in their entirety. Fans will have a unique experience to hear these albums live in a welcoming local venue.

The doors open at 7PM and the music begins at 8:15PM. The opening acts are Ivory Lake and local rock group Bad Marriage. Tickets can be purchased online on rascalsworcester.com.

Winter Weather a Major Factor in Crashes

AAA reminds drivers of the dangers of winter weather on the roads. Dangerous winter storms, bad weather and sloppy road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths in an average winter, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Close to half of all crashes involving bad weather take place in the winter. AAA encourages drivers to be vigilant when hitting the road this winter and to always stay prepared by carrying an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle.

AAA recommends the following tips while driving in snowy and icy conditions:

  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.
  • Drive slowly. Always adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember:  it takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Increase your following distance. Allow five to six seconds of following distance between your vehicle and any vehicle in front of you. This space allows you time to stop safely if the other driver brakes suddenly.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal. Don’t pump the brakes.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.

AAA recommends always keeping the following items in your “emergency kit” for winter driving:

  • Mobile phone and car charger
  • First-aid kit
  • Blankets
  • Drinking water/snacks for everyone in the car including pets
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Rags, paper towels or pre-moistened wipes
  • Basic toolkit including duct tape and warning devices such as flares or reflectors
  • Ice scraper/snow brush
  • Jumper cables/jump pack
  • Traction aid such as sand, salt or non-clumping cat litter
  • Tarp, raincoat and gloves
  • Shovel
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