5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester - May 24

 by Tom MarinoMay 24, 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, May 24 - FBI reports sharp increase in active shooter incidents, Worcester will launch a new customer support hotline, MassDOT is hosting the Transportation Innovation Conference today in Worcester, Thrive Support & Advocacy is hosting a Prom for All Ages at Polar Park on Friday and gas prices continue to increase.

FBI Reports Over 50% Increase in Active Shooter Incidents in 2021.

The FBI released its 2021 Active Shooter Incidents report in the United States on Monday, May 23.

In 2021, the FBI designated 61 shootings as active shooter incidents. In these incidents, 103 people were killed and 140 wounded, excluding the shooters. For the period 2017–2021, active shooter incident data reveals an upward trend. The number of active shooter incidents identified in 2021 represents a 52.5% increase from 2020 and a 96.8% increase from 2017.

Casualty counts are higher for 2021 (243) when compared with 2020 (164), indicating a 48% increase.

The full report is available here.

Worcester to Launch New Customer Service Hotline

Worcester is launching a new customer service center, team and hotline to serve city resident. The hotline will be reachable by dialing 3-1-1.

The new team will replace the DPW customer service team and streamline operations. The team will work from the Worcester Regional Communications Center .

Dial 3-1-1 services will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

MassDOT 2022 Transportation Innovation Conference at the DCU Center

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced  the Transportation Innovation Conference will be held today and tomorrow -  Tuesday, May 24, and Wednesday, May 25 - at the DCU Center in Worcester. This year, the conference this year will focus on MassDOT’s infrastructure investment.

The conference will highlight the latest innovative transportation systems, management ideas, and initiatives in the Commonwealth.  The event is open to all transportation practitioners including federal, state, local agencies, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, transit agencies, academia, and private industry.

For more information or to register for the Massachusetts Transportation Innovation Conference, visit here.

A Prom for All-Ages at Polar Park

Thrive Support & Advocacy, a nonprofit empowering youth and adults with developmental disabilities, is hosting A Prom For All Ages at Polar Park in Worcester on May 27. The celebration, presented by Murphy Insurance, will bring together 200 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) for an evening of food, music and dancing.

Many adults with IDD never had the chance to experience the magic and wonder of this rite-of-passage event. This specially designed prom will accommodate people of all ages, from 18 to well over 80, and provide them a chance to celebrate with friends after more than two years of pandemic restrictions.

“We are excited to organize this event, with the help of our generous sponsors, to give members of the IDD community a chance to experience or re-live prom,” said Sean M. Rose, President & CEO of Thrive Support & Advocacy. “This inclusive and welcoming event is a fun way to help those with IDD experience a special life milestone, reaffirm their important place in the community and have fun.”

The event will be held on the Hanover Deck at Polar Park, home of the Worcester Red Sox, and is supported by a number of local organizations and individuals. Proceeds from the event will support Thrive’s social and recreational programs for youths and adults with IDD in Central Massachusetts and MetroWest. In addition to Murphy Insurance, sponsors of the event include Blue Water Landscaping & Snow Removal, Definitive Healthcare, Mark Fidrych Foundation, Nordson Corporation Foundation, Phoenix Communication Inc., Sokoloff Foundation and Wegmans Food Markets.

Find more information about the event here.

Average Gas Price Up 13 Cents in Massachusetts

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

Massachusetts’s average gas price increased 13 cents from last week, averaging $4.73 per gallon. That price is 61 cents higher than a month ago ($4.12) and $1.82 higher than May 16, 2021 ($2.91). Massachusetts’s average gas price is 14 cents higher than the national average.

The national average for a gallon of gas has not fallen for nearly a month. Gasoline has either remained flat or risen every day since April 24 and has set a new record daily since May 10. That was the day gas eclipsed the previous record high of $4.33, set earlier this year on March 11. The national average for a gallon of gasoline is now $4.59 and all 50 states are above $4 per gallon.

“Gsoline is $1.19 more than it was the week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Government Affairs. “That sent shock waves through the oil market that have kept oil costs elevated. Domestically, meanwhile, seasonal gas demand is rising as more drivers hit the road, despite the pain they face paying at the pump.”

AAA Northeast’s May 23 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be 11 cents higher than last week ($4.48), averaging $4.59 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 47 cents higher than a month ago ($4.12) and $1.24 cents higher than this day last year ($3.03).

Comparison to neighboring states, according to AAA Northeast:

Region Current
One Week
One Month
One Year
Massachusetts $4.73 $4.60 $4.12 $2.91
Rhode Island $4.72 $4.57 $4.09 $2.94
Connecticut $4.68 $4.53 $3.99 $3.06


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