See the List here:

Governor Charlie Baker released the Fiscal Year 2022 Capital Plan on Monday, June 14. The plan calls for $2.655 billion in investments across a range of areas, including housing, transportation, climate resiliency, health and human services, and education.

Within the plan the governor highlighted $87 million in spending across five major renovation projects within the state higher education system, the start of implementing the Economic Development Bond Bill, the Transportation Bond Bill and the state’s share of cost for redevelopment of Soldiers Home in Holyoke.

$25 Million Bond Investment for QCC Innovation Center

One investment in higher education is $150,000 and a total state bond investment of $25 million at Quinsigamond Community College [QCC] in Worcester to create an innovation center for advanced manufacturing and robotics.

The College will renovate and expand its existing athletic center to create the new facility, called the I3Q Center. The building will house intercollegiate sports teams and a full health and wellness center.

The completed center will also provide training in several high growth technology areas:

UMass Medical School Building Renovations

The Governor’s Capital Plan also includes $6.1 million in bond investments and $485,000 for partial renovation of the Medical School Building.

The renovation intends to create collaborative spaces for integrated teaching and learning for medical students.

Education projects in the plan include investments in the College of Education and Health Sciences Burnell Hall at Bridgewater State University, science labs renovation at Mass Maritime Academy and a Life Sciences Pathways Center at North Shore Community College.

Funding Across Nine Major Areas

Governor Baker's office released a summary of programs funded within the plan that highlights  spending in nine major areas across Massachusetts.

Transportation

Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance [DCAMM]

Economic Development

Housing

Energy and Environmental Affairs

Public Safety

Technology

Local Cities and Towns

Education

 

Image Courtesy of Quinsigamond Community College

 

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation [MassDOT] announced temporary overnight closures of on-ramps and off-ramps along I-290 westbound overnight on Thursday, June 17 into the morning on Friday, June 18. Closures are to facilitate paving operations along the ramps.

Exit 21 On-Ramp 10 PM to 1 AM

The on-ramp at Exit 21 from Plantation St. will close on Thursday, June 17 at 10 PM and reopen at 1 AM on Friday, June 18. Detour signs will direct drivers to use the on ramp at Exit 22 to enter I-290 westbound.

Exit 20 Off-Ramp 10 PM to 1 AM

The off-ramp at Exit 20 from I-290 westbound to Lincoln St. will be closed from Friday, June 17, at 10 PM until Friday, June 18 at 1 AM. Signage will direct driver to exit I-290 westbound at Exit 16.

Exit 20 On-Ramp Midnight to 4 AM

The on-ramp at Exit 20 from Lincoln St/Burncoat St. to I-290 westbound will close just before midnight on Thursday, June 17 and reopen on Friday, June 18 at 4 AM. Drivers will see signage directing traffic to use I-290 eastbound to reverse direction.

Exit 19 Connector from I-290 to I-190 Midnight to 4 AM

The interchange ramp at Exit 19 from I-290 westbound to I-190 northbound will close just before midnight on Thursday, June 17 and reopen at 4 AM on Friday, June 18. Signage will direct drivers to take exit 18 to reverse direction onto I-290 eastbound and connect to I-190 northbound.

 

Tuesday, June 15, marks the 100th day since nurses of the Massachusetts Nursing Association [MNA] began a strike at St. Vincent Hopital, owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC)

Tenet presented an officer to nurses on April 1 that was rejected. Nurses launched the strike on March 8.

The two sides did not meet until intervention by a federal mediator brought them together on April 26. The two sides last met on May 5 after two offers from Tenet and a counter-offer from the MNA which the hospital called unreasonable.

Tenet ended negotiations the same week. Neither side has reported any meetings since early May. Tenet announced on May 12 that it would begin hiring permanent replacement nurses.

The primary source of the dispute is nursing staffing levels. MNA says that staffing levels at the hospital are too low and compromises patient safety. St. Vincent says its staffing levels are comparable with other hospitals in the state and that fixed staffing levels are arbitrary.

Labor disputes between Tenet and the MNA nurses at St. Vincent Hospital led to a work stoppage in 2001. Nurses credit Senator Edward Kennedy’s intervention in that strike ending after 49 days.

Nurses at Brockton Hospital launched a strike later that year that ended in late January 2002 after 103 days.

St. Vincent nurses have maintained a picket line since the strike launched on March 8. It is now the longest ongoing picket line in the United States.

According to the MNA, on Sunday the nurses strike will become the second longest work stoppage in the history of Massachusetts.

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, June 15 - the FCBL returns to NESN in July with Bravehearts staff member and local native Donny Porcaro Jr. calling play-by-play, the Worcester Public Library hosts a free virtual program on child development, the Worcester Historical Museum is hosting a program about the earliest days of baseball in Worcester, the Worcester Center for Crafts announces a new exhibition and gas prices are up two cents in Massachusetts this week.

Worcester Bravehearts Return to NESN in July

The Futures Collegiate Baseball League returns to NESN again this summer with one game each Saturday from July 10 through July 31. Each broadcast starts at noon.

The first game of the series, on Saturday, July 10, will broadcast from Fitton Field in Worcester at the College of the Holy Cross. The game features the Worcester Bravehearts hosting the Pittsfield Sun.

For the second year in a row, Worcester native Donny Porcaro Jr. will be the play-by-play announcer on NESN. Porcaro, who turns 23 on July 30, is in his fifth year as a Bravehearts production staff member.

Porcaro called the Bravehearts game on NESN last year. This year, he'll call all four FCBL games on the network.

Worcester Public Library Hosts Virtual Program with Expert in Playful Learning

The Worcester Public Library [WPL] will holds a program with Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D., an expert in playful learning and child development.

The free program, “Why We Need Playful Learning More than Ever: Life After Covid,” is Thursday, June 24 at 4:30 PM on Zoom.

Attendees will hear from Dr. Golinkoff on the importance of playful learning for a growing child’s academic, social, and physical well-being.

For more information on the Playful Learning program at the Worcester Public Library contact Linnea Sheldon, Community Relations and Communications Manager, at 508-799-1654 or [email protected]

Early Worcester Baseball program by the Worcester Historical Museum

The Worcester Historical Museum presents a virtual event on Wednesday, June 16, at 7 PM called “Early Worcester Baseball.”

Three baseball historians, Bill Ballou, Brian Goslow, and Dr. Janette Greenwood will share stories and little-known facts about the early days of baseball in Worcester from the Civil War to the Worcesters.

Learn about local teams, long games, fields of play, and the city’s brief adventure in the National League.

Registration is required.

Worcester Center for Crafts New Exhibition

The Krikorian Gallery at the Worcester Center for Crafts opens its “From Our Studios” exhibition on Thursday, June 24, from 5 PM to 7 PM.

The exhibition showcases the talents and creative work of the Worcester Center for Crafts students in our ceramics, metals, glass, and photography programs.

Pieces will be on view and available for sale.

The exhibition runs through July 17.

Summer hours for the Krikorian Gallery are:

The Worcester Center for Crafts is at 25 Sagamore Rd. in Worcester.

Gas Prices Up Two Cent This Week in MA

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

Massachusetts’s average gas price is up two cents from last week, averaging $2.95 per gallon. That price is the five cents higher than a month ago ($2.90), and 91 cents higher than June 14, 2020 ($2.01).

Massachusetts’s average gas price is 13 cents lower than the national average.

AAA Northeast’s June 14 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be three cents higher than last week, averaging $3.08 a gallon. Today’s national average price is five cents higher than a month ago ($3.03), and 98 cents cheaper than this day last year ($2.10).

Comparison to neighboring states, according to AAA Northeast:

Region Current Price One Week Ago One Month Ago One Year Ago
Massachusetts $2.95 $2.93 $2.90 $2.04
Rhode Island $2.96 $2.96 $2.92 $2.04
Connecticut $3.09 $3.08 $3.05 $2.07

The Commonwealth Economic Assistance Coordinating Council [EACC] approved eight projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program [EDIP] and four Vacant Storefront Projects. EACC says the projects are expected to create 212 jobs and retain 1,105 across Massachusetts.

Three of the four Vacant Storefront Projects are in Worcester County. Two are in Webster and another is in Westborough.

Another project in Marlborough received approval as a local incentive project.

Mike’s Crunchies Munchies in Webster

Mike’s Crunchies Munchies operates as a food truck and is opening its first permanent location. It serves appetizers, wings, subs, tenders, and seafood and will add Italian hand-tossed pizza.

The Town of Webster agreed to provide a $10,000 grant and Massachusetts will provide $10,000 in refundable tax credits.

Wine Studio 51 in Webster

Wine Studio 51 is an upscale wine bar with self-serve machines.  It will also serve brick oven pizza and specialty chocolates and cheese.

The Town of Webster is providing a $10,000 grant and the business will receive $10,000 in refundable tax credits from the state.

The Coop, Inc. in Westborough

The Coop has operated in Millbury for the past five years. The restaurant serves wings and barbeque along with a variety of sandwiches and appetizers.

The owner of The Coop has also owned and operated Pizza Chef in Millbury for the past 10 years.

The Coop will open a second location in a vacant storefront in Westborough.

They are receiving $10,000 in grants from the Town of Westborough and $10,000 in refundable tax credits from the state.

BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. in Marlborough

BJ’s Wholesale Club’s headquarters are currently in Westborough. It intends to lease and renovate approximately 187,825 square feet in two buildings; 168,581 square feet are located at 350 Campus Drive and 19,244 square feet are located at 100 Campus Drive in Marlborough.

The owner of the property will construct a new 120,000 square foot parking structure for BJ’s exclusive use.

The company will retain 800 current employees and make an investment of $36 million. The city of Marlborough plans to approve a 20-year TIF valued at approximately $592,419.

WORCESTER - Single-game tickets for Worcester Red Sox games for the rest of the team’s season go on sale on Tuesday, June 15, at 10 AM.

The release on Tuesday includes single-game tickets for Fourth of July Weekend against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRaiders, the Triple-A affiliate of New York Yankees. Fireworks follow games on Friday, July 2, Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4.

Tickets are available at WooSox.com, by calling (508) 500-8888, or at the Polar Park Ticket Office at 100 Madison St. in Worcester.

Tickets for group outings, half-season plans, and mini-plans are still on sale. The team capped season tickets at 2,200 per game. There is currently a waiting list of over 400.

WORCESTER - Police dispatched to Millbury St. just before midnight on Saturday, June 12, in response to a report of a gunshot victim.

When officers arrived on the scene they located a 16-year-old boy suffering from a gunshot wound.

Police provided medical aid until EMS transported the juvenile to the hospital. The boy’s injuries are not expected to be life-threatening.

According to the Worcester Police Department, the initial investigation conducted by detectives show the shooting took place around Crompton Park.

Police ask anyone with information about this shooting to contact Worcester Police Detective Bureau through one of the following methods:

A Superior Court Judge sentenced a Leominster man to 10 to 12 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter on Monday, June 14.

Gregory McNally, 37, of Leominster, pleaded guilty to charges in the death of Emilia Ortiz of Framingham in July 2018. Ortiz was 35-years-old.

According to Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early Jr., McNally admitted that he was driving on Johnny Appleseed Lane in Leominster on July 22, 2018, and crashed into two trees and a fire hydrant. Ortiz died in the crash.

Assistant District Attorney Julieanne Karcasinas said that Ortiz wanted the end the relationship between the two, which led to an argument while both were in the vehicle. McNally accelerated the vehicle to 86 miles per hour and struck the trees and hydrant.

McNally was also driving with Ortiz in the vehicle on June 13, 2018, when the vehicle struck a wall.

McNally’s arrest took place after an investigation spanning 10 months that included Massachusetts State Police Detectives, Leominster Police and the Central Massachusetts law Enforcement Council’s crash reconstruction unit.

WORCESTER - Police dispatched to Banner Bar and Grill on Green St. in response to a report of a commercial alarm triggered on Monday, June 14, around 3:30 AM.

Officers arrived on the scene and found a break-in occurred and items stolen from inside.

Officers identified Alex Jusino, 34, of Worcester, from surveillance footage. One officer saw Jusino earlier in the shift and says the clothing worn by the suspect was the same.

When Police located Jusino on Temple St. around 5 AM, police say he ran toward Grafton St. Jusino’s arrest took place near the Kenmore Diner a short time later.

Jusino faces charges of:

Some items stolen from Banner were recovered.

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