5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester - July 26

 by Tom MarinoJuly 26, 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 - Tuesday, July 26 - Wholly Cannoli on Grafton Street is hiring, Uxbridge Farm receives national recognition, YWCA opens nominations for the 2022 Katharine F. Erskine Awards, a study finds Massachusetts has the best school system in America and the average gas price drops 11 cents.

Looking for a Job? Wholly Cannoli on Grafton Street is Hiring

Wholly Cannoli at 490 Grafton St. is searching for its next cake decorator.

The home of famous Dynamite Sticks, Landmines and Cherry Bombs needs a full-time cake decorator for special occasion cakes, dessert cakes, wedding cakes, cupcakes, pastries, and more.

Interested candidates should send five to 10 photos of cake decorating work, must have several years of professional cake decorating experience in the retail/commercial food industry. Holidays and weekends are a must.

Uxbridge Farm Recognized for Sustainable Practices

Chockalog Farm in Uxbridge is being recognized for the range of regenerative conservation practices it uses raising beef cattle, pigs, chickens, vegetables, and flowers.

The national nonprofit Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT), works to ensure that all food-producing animals are raised in a humane and healthy manner. It is participating in the “Week of Climate Action” spearheaded by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. It recognized six farms nationwide this week, including Chockalog.

Chockalog owner and operator Wenona Racicot and her family use a range of conservation practices for decades, including highly intensive rotational “mob” grazing with daily moves of their cattle, multi-species grazing, composting and mulching, no-till management which reduces disturbance of the soil, cover cropping and interplanting, “beyond” organic management which avoids all synthetic inputs, and silvopasture which incorporates wooded areas and tree crops into their grazing system.

FACT also recognized farms in Illinois, North Dakota, Arizona, Louisiana and Ohio.

YWCA Central Mass Opens Nominations for the 2022 Katharine F. Erskine Awards

The YWCA Central Massachusetts is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Katharine F. Erskine Awards. The awards recognize women who have demonstrated leadership and reached exemplary levels of achievement in their professions and communities. Nominees should show a commitment to the YWCA mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

The deadline for nominations is August 10, 2022. Award recipients will be honored at the annual Tribute to Women Luncheon on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at Mechanics Hall.

Recipients of the Erskine Award meet the following criteria:

  • distinctive achievement and service in their current field;
  • service to the community with a demonstrated commitment to social and racial equality;
  • demonstrated commitment to serving as a role model for women and girls; and
  • must live and/or work in Central Massachusetts.

The Award is named for Katharine Forbes Erskine, who twice served the YWCA as president, first in 1930 and again in 1960. Throughout her life, she actively championed the rights of women and girls. The YWCA Central Massachusetts has honored 127 women with the Katharine F. Erskine Award since 1994.

Massachusetts has the Best School System in America in 2022

A new study by Wallethub.com ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 32 key measures of quality and safety. The study named the Massachusetts school system the best in the country.

The metrics that led to Massachusetts' top ranking are:

  • 1st – Math Test Scores
  • 1st – Reading Test Scores
  • 1st – Median ACT Score
  • 1st – % of Threatened/Injured High School Students
  • 8th – Pupil-Teacher Ratio
  • 13th – Bullying Incidence Rate
  • 15th – Dropout Rate
  • 19th – Median SAT Score

Those metrics were set in two categories: quality and safety. Massachusetts ranked first in both. Using a 100 point scale, the study ranked Mass a 72.79. eight points higher than the next state on the ranking, Connecticut. New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland finished off the top five.

Average Gas Price Drops 11 Cents in Massachusetts

AAA Northeast reports changes in gas prices across the region on a weekly basis.

Massachusetts’s average gas price is down 11 cents from last week, averaging $4.52 per gallon. That price is 42 cents lower than a month ago ($4.94) and $1.50 higher than on July 25, 2021 ($3.02). Massachusetts’s average gas price is 17 cents higher than the national average.

Nationally, lackluster demand for gas and lower oil prices have led to pump prices falling again, down 17 cents since last week to $4.35. The steady decline is due to low domestic demand for gasoline and oil prices that remain in the mid-$90s per barrel. The price of gas has now fallen every day since hitting a record $5.01 on June 14.

“Consumers appear to be taking the pressure off their wallets as they enjoy fuel prices down 11% since their peak in mid-June,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Government Affairs. “And there’s reason to be cautiously optimistic that pump prices will continue to fall in the near-term, particularly if the global price for oil does not spike. But the overall situation remains very volatile.”

AAA Northeast’s July 25 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 17 cents lower than last week ($4.52), averaging $4.35 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 55 cents lowerthan a month ago ($4.90) and $1.20 higher than this day last year ($3.15).

Comparison to neighboring states, according to AAA Northeast:

Region Current
One Week
One Month
One Year
Massachusetts $4.52 $4.63 $4.94 $3.02
Rhode Island $4.48 $4.60 $4.91 $3.03
Connecticut $4.38 $4.45 $4.88 $3.15


Lead image: Exterior sign at Wholly Cannoli/Patrick Sargent for ThisWeekinWorcester.com

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