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, August 4 – Black Lives Matter mural artists will be featured in an upcoming exhibition, WPD Chief releases a statement on the increase in violence in the city, gas prices are down across the state, Massachusetts has the best-ranked healthcare system in the country and you can now get a free COVID-19 test in Framingham.
Black Lives Matter Mural Artists Featured in ArtsWorcester Exhibition
Beyond the Paint is an exhibition, presented by ArtsWorcester, that features works by 17 local artists who were among Worcester’s Black Lives Matter mural project’s participants, many of whom maintain their own active art practices.
Beyond the Paint will be on view from August 14 through September 13, 2020 in the North Corridor at 44 Portland Street. Visitors should enter through ArtsWorcester’s door.
The exhibition was curated by Em Quiles, President of Pa’Lante Latinx Moving Forward, a community-lead organization in the Worcester area, dedicated to Latinx Empowerment by increasing civic and political engagement. Quiles served as co-organizer of the Black Lives Matter mural at the intersection of Major Taylor Blvd. and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
The artists featured in Beyond the Paint include Amora Andino, Mr. Boom, Jennessa Burks, Joshua Croke, Slim Dawg, Narvicto DeJesus, Brian Denahy, Fogger, Alexandria Marie, Olivia Melendez, Emma Mesa-Melendez, Arli Ortiz, Edmy Ortiz, Jailene Ramos, Edgardo Rodriguez, Laura Steinman, and Amber Tortorelli.
ArtsWorcester gallery hours run Thursday through Sunday from 12 PM to 5 PM. This exhibition will be on view beginning August 14 through September 13, 2020.
Chief Sargent Releases Statement on Increase in Crime in Worcester
In response to the increase of reported shootings and shooting deaths, Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent released a statement on Monday to address the violence.
According to Chief Sargent, there have been been 17 non-fatal shooting incidents involving 18 victims so far in 2020 — marking a 31% increase in incidents and a 29% increase in victims compared to the three-year average of 13 incidents and 14 victims at this point in the calendar year.
In the statement, Chief Sargent says, “While these statistics are alarming, I want to assure the Worcester community that the police department is committed to providing the resources needed to address recent shootings. We are actively working with our partners to proactively address the violence that is occurring.”
Gas Prices Drop One Cent Across MA
The average gas prices is down once cent in Massachusetts — averaging at $2.13 per gallon. This week’s average price is five cents lower than the national average.
“There’s no doubt that this is the cheapest summer at the pump for drivers in more than a decade. The last two months have posted a national average of $2.14,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Legislative Affairs. “While we expect to see typical fluctuation, August gas prices are not expected to spike, especially amid increases in COVID-19 cases.”
AAA Northeast’s August 3 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be the same as last week, averaging $2.18 a gallon. The national average price is one cent higher than a month ago ($2.17), and 53 cents cheaper than this day last year ($2.71).
Massachusetts has the Best Healthcare System in the US
A recent study by WalletHub.com looked at all 50 states to rank which state is the best for healthcare in the United States.
Massachusetts ranked #1 overall with the best healthcare system in the country. Here are the state’s full rankings:
Healthcare in Massachusetts (1=Best; 25=Avg.):
- 1st – Avg. Monthly Insurance Premium
- 23rd – Hospital Beds per Capita
- 2nd – Physicians per Capita
- 9th – Dentists per Capita
- 1st – % of Insured Adults
- 1st – % of Insured Children
- 3rd – % of Adults with No Dental Visit in Past Year
- 29th – % of Medical Residents Retained
You can find the full study on WalletHub.com.
Framingham added to ‘Stop The Spread’ Free COVID-19 Testing Program
Framingham has become the 17th community in Massachusetts that now has free COVID-19 testing available.
Worcester was added as a site on July 27.
The Stop the Spread campaign is a state program that enables free testing to be implemented in communities showing a troubling trend of new infections beyond the average spread rate.
To find more information about the campaign and getting free testing, visit the Mass.gov site.
Photo courtesy: New England Sky Pix