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

 by TWIW StaffJuly 22, 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, July 23 - new improvements by the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District, Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early Jr.'s office support summer programs with drug forfeiture funds, Gardner Police Department announces a summer event at the pool, Cornerstone Bank donates to Worcester State University stem programs and Massachusetts ranks as the sixth safest state during COVID-19.

Downtown Dog and Cigarette Waste Receptacles Part of City Beautification Plan

The Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District [BID] recently began installing dog waste stations and cigarette disposal receptacles throughout the as part of the next phase of its placemaking and beautification action plan for the District.

This new BID initiative seeks to clean the District’s streets and sidewalks while bringing attention to important quality of life issues for those living, working, and visiting Downtown Worcester.

Based on data provided by the BID’s Ambassador team, 7 dog waste containers and 24 cigarette disposal receptacles are currently being installed in designated areas throughout the District. BID expects the installation process to be completed by the end of July.

Increased housing downtown as brought more pets to the area. Cigarette butts are the most frequently littered item throughout the country. By providing convenient disposal receptacle for both, BID expects the district to improve and litter to be diverted from landfills.

The cigarette butts receptacles use a unique recycling process that utilizes the bi-product of discarded cigarette butts and combines it with other products to make new plastic materials such as ashtrays, shipping pallets, or plastic lumber.

The BID expects to continue its placemaking and beautification efforts, working closely with its summer marketing intern from Fitchburg State University, Mary Leufstedt, who has designed the decals for the cigarette disposal units.

District Attorney Early Supports Summer Youth Programs with Drug Forfeiture Funds

Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early, Jr. has donated more than $70,000 as part of his Drug Forfeiture Community Reinvestment program benefitting more than 20 programs across Worcester County.

The reinvestment program uses money seized from drug crimes to provide funds for community initiatives in Worcester County as a crime prevention and intervention tool.

Money is donated to various local programming based on a grant application process.

So far this year, funds have provided scholarships for students to attend summer camps, like at the JCC and the Boys and Girls Club in Worcester. Other funding has supported summer sports leagues, including:

McLain’s Training Method, which offers co-ed youth basketball leagues in Worcester for hundreds of students; the Varsity Colonel Club, which hosts a field hockey camp; and the Gaels Football camp.

The Cops N Kids program in Southbridge, which offers summer programming for 150 kids, and the Worcester Public Library’s summer reading program also received funding through the program.

Pool Party with the Gardner Police

The Gardner Police Department hosts a Pool Party at Greenwood Memorial Pool at 69 Park Street on Tuesday, August 3.

The event will include music, swag, water safety information and a demonstration by the Massachusetts State Police Dive Team.

  • Public pool admission is required. Children 17 and under: $3
  • Adults: $4
  • Seniors: $2
  • Walk Ins: $1

Cornerstone Bank Donates to Worcester State STEM Program

Worcester State University [WSU] received an $18,000 donation from Cornerstone Bank, which was announced on Thursday, July 22.

Cornerstone’s donation to the WSU Bridge to Excellence: Summer STEM Retention Program helps the program support incoming science, technology, engineering and math majors, strengthening the school’s retention in these important fields and helping more students to complete their degree.

The program included three main elements to help students succeed. The program:

Allows students to take their first-year seminar course over the summer to lighten their first semester course load.

Offers students extra support with math courses through exclusive tutoring services.

Enables student participation in a service project to give back to the community that supported them.

Over the multi-year project, Worcester State has supported 60 students and views the program as a great success.

Cornerstone Bank is an independent, mutual savings bank serving residents, businesses and communities throughout Central Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Ranks the Sixth Safest State During COVID-19

A new study ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia (Washington D.C) to find the the safest states during COVID-19.

The study ranks Massachusetts the sixth safest state in the U.S.

Of the five metrics considered, here is how Massachusetts compared:

  • Lowest Positive Testing Rate: 2nd
  • Highest Vaccination Rate: 3rd
  • Lowest Hospitalization Rate: 4th
  • Lowest Death Rate: 17th
  • Lowest Transmission Rate: 48th

Note: Transmission rate estimates the average number of people an infected person will transmit COVID-19 to.

Other states in and around New England also ranked high in the list of the safest states during COVID-19:

  • 1st: Vermont
  • 2nd: Connecticut
  • 3rd: Rhode Island
  • 4th: New Hampshire
  • 6th: Massachusetts
  • 7th: New York
  • 13th: New Jersey
  • 18th: Pennsylvania
  • 37th: Maine

See the most and least safest states during COVID-19 in the United Stats, below.

To see the full results and learn more about the methodology of the study, visit WalletHub.com.

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