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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Massachusetts

Jeff Coombs, Abington Man Killed On 9/11, Honored With Final Memorial Road Race

CBS News
The Jeff Coombs Memorial Foundation hosted its 20th and final Memorial Road Race, Walk and Family Day in his honor on Sunday in Abington.

2 Hanover Street Banks Robbed Within 10-Minute Timeframe

CBS Boston
Two banks in Boston were robbed within about a 10-minute timeframe Friday morning.

Salem Officials to Vote Friday on COVID Test Requirement for Halloween Events

NBC Boston
Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll called the proposed COVID testing requirement an "entirely reasonable precaution," pointing to the highly contagious delta variant and the large number of visitors the city receives.
1 2 3 14

New England

Maine husband and wife die from COVID within days of each other

Fox 23 Maine
An Old Town couple who both died from COVID-19 over the weekend had just celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary, and were both enjoying retirement after many decades working in public education.

SouthCoast Residents Among 17 Arrested in Rhode Island Drug Bust

1420 WBSM
SouthCoast residents from Taunton, Fall River, and New Bedford — including one man out on bail — were among 17 people arrested in a large-scale drugs bust by the FBI, DEA, and local law enforcement across Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts Thursday.

3rd Lawsuit Alleges Abuse at NH Youth Center

NBC Boston
More than 350 men and women have come forward with allegations involving 150 staffers from 1963 to 2018 at what was then called the Youth Development Center.
1 2 3 11

National

2 charged with murder in death of woman who underwent illegal butt-lift procedure at Encino home

ABC 7 Los Angeles
In a plastic-surgery tragedy, a young woman died after undergoing what authorities say were multiple procedures performed by a mother-daughter duo in Encino.

Thousands of Haitian migrants converge on Texas border town

AP News
Thousands of Haitian migrants have assembled under and around a bridge in a small Texas border town, presenting the Biden administration with a new and chaotic challenge Friday as it tries to manage large numbers of asylum-seekers who have been reaching U.S. soil.

End of US ban poised to lead to ‘tsunami’ of evictions

al-Jazeera
After the United States Supreme Court ended the federal moratorium on evictions, global investment firm Goldman Sachs estimates that about 750,000 households could be evicted across the country before the end of the year.
1 2 3 16

International

US launches mass expulsion of Haitian migrants from Texas

AP News
The U.S. flew Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland Sunday and tried blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico in a massive show of force that signaled the beginning of what could be one of America’s swiftest, large-scale expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades.

U.S. drone strike in Kabul mistakenly killed civilians, not terrorists, Pentagon says

NBC News
10 civilians, including seven children, were killed in the strike.

Women dominate top table in Albania’s new government

Euronews
Rama, 57, boasted in his speech that "this new government will enter history as the cabinet with the highest number of women" — 12 in the 17-member cabinet, propelling Albania to the top of global rankings in terms of the percentage of women holding cabinet positions.
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