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

 by Tom MarinoJune 23, 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 - Thursday, June 23 - take the City of Worcester Urban Forest Master Plan survey, Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early Jr. announced a  $1.2 million federal grant to support the overdose response program, the Worcester Public Library hosts a free DIY investment research class, AAA expects record travel this Independence Day weekend and Dunkin' introduces the Brown Sugar Cream Cold Brew.

Take The Worcester Urban Forest Master Plan Survey

The City of Worcester has kicked-off the development of the city's first ever Urban Forest Master Plan.

Residents are asked to take the initial survey of the Urban Forest Master Plan, found here.

June 23, 2022

Worcester County DA Announces $1.2 Million Recovery Coach Grant

Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early, Jr. announced a $1.2 million federal Recovery Coach grant from the Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance on Tuesday. The funding will increase recovery and mental health services by adding recovery coaches to the county's overdose response program.

The program, Critical Incident Management System, has been used by local police since March 2020 to collect overdose data and respond to non-fatal overdose victims to offer services. Within 48 hours, a plainclothes police officer, often accompanied by a recovery coach, respond to the home of an overdose victim and offer a path to treatment.

In 2021, the first full year of the CIMS program, 60% of follow-up visits resulted in individuals either accepting services or reporting they were already seeking services.

While some police departments had protocols in place that involved responding with recovery coaches, the grant funding implemented by the District Attorney’s Office has added partnerships with three local community agencies so that all police departments in the county will have access to recovery coaches.

Worcester Public Library Hosts DIY Investment Research for Beginners

On Thursday, June 23, in its first floor computer lab, the  Worcester Public Library  hosts "DIY Investment Research for Beginners: Morningstar Investment Research Center."

The class runs from 2:30 PM to 3: 30 PM and teaches participants how to use the Morningstar Investment Research Center database to learn more about companies, ETFs, and stock and bond mutual funds.

WPL has a subscription to the Morningstar service, which can be accessed remotely for free with a WPL card.

Registration is required. Sign up here.

AAA Predicts Record Travel by Car this Independence Day

Despite record high gas prices across the United States, AAA predicts 47.9 million people will travel 50 miles or more this Independence Day, up 3.7% over 2021. AAA also expects a record high 42 million travelling by automobile, 1.2 million over last yeear.

“The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Northeast. “Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase and it’s not tapering off. People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much needed vacation.”

AAA provided the following guidance for a summer without travel stress.

  • Have a plan A, B and C. Flights, car rentals, accommodations, tours, cruises and other activities are in high demand and availability may be limited, which will impact pricing. Finding last-minute deals is unlikely so it’s recommended to look for discounts and rewards, usually available through a membership like AAA. This is also another time when travel agents are a great resource since they may know of a deal that may not be readily available to the public.
    • Air—AAA finds that the average lowest airfare is 14% more than last year coming in at $201/ticket.
      Hotels—Mid-range hotel rates have increased about 23%, with the average lowest nightly rates coming in at $244/night for AAA Approved Hotels.
    • Car Rentals— Since last year, the average daily rate for car rentals have continued to increase. With more people traveling, these prices remain on the rise due to continued supply chain issues coupled with growing demand. While daily car rental rates have decreased 34% compared to last year, with the average lowest rate coming in at $110/day, rates are $40 more/day on average than in 2019.
  • B-E-T on a breakdown-free trip. AAA expects to respond to over 446,000 calls for roadside assistance over the Independence Day holiday weekend. Make sure to get a full vehicle inspection ahead of any long trip but especially for components like a vehicle’s battery, engine and tires. Even a vehicle in top shape can run into an issue so it’s a good idea to pack a well-stocked emergency kit and have roadside assistance just in case.
  • Beat the rush. Travel on off-peak times or days or pick a hidden gem closer to home. Based on AAA booking data, Friday, July 1 is shaping up to be the busiest day for air travel during the holiday weekend (June 30 – July 4) with Monday, July 4 being the lightest. For those hitting the road, the Thursday and Friday before the holiday are anticipated to be peak traffic days.

Dunkin' Introduces the Brown Sugar Cream Cold Brew

Through July 19, Dunkin' guests can enjoy $3 on medium cold brews at participating Dunkin’ restaurants nationwide, including the new Brown Sugar Cream Cold Brew.

The slow-steeped cold brew features flavor notes of molasses, brown sugar and sweet cinnamon. It's topped with brown sugar cold foam and finished with a dusting of cinnamon sugar.

To find a Dunkin' near you, click here.

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