5 Things You Need To Know Today in Worcester – October 24, 2019

by | Oct 24, 2019 | News, Headlines

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, Oct. 24 —  we’re talking about drugs, and dumping them properly, there’s an event where your pumpkin carving could get on a beer can, some Worcester schools got a nice chunk of money for Innovative Pathways and Union Station got a fun shout-out. 

Dump Your Drugs in the Best of Ways 

And no, don’t flush them! 

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 26. This day, established many years ago,is a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs. Now, for the first time, the DEA will also accept vaping devices and cartridges at any of its drop off locations during Take Back Day. It is important to note that DEA cannot accept devices containing lithium ion batteries. If batteries cannot be removed prior to drop-off, DEA encourages individuals to consult with stores that recycle lithium ion batteries.

The April 2019 Take Back Day brought in 937,443 pounds (468.72 tons) of unused or expired prescription medication. This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 11,816,393 pounds. Usually, your local police station is a drug take-back site, and it runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. But, that isn’t always the case. For instance, Clark University is a drop-off spot for Worcester people. Go to the DEA’s official Take-Back Day website, on which you can easily plug in your zip code to find your nearest drop-off spot. 


Speaking of Drugs, Let’s Talk About the Pot 

State legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis continues to move forward and everyone’s confused about the green, man. As America’s relationship with the plant continues to evolve, many businesses, public officials and local communities struggle to understand the rules of the road in this emerging industry, including Worcester. 

That’s why the Worcester Chamber of Commerce and Clark’s School of Professional Studies are teaming up to sponsor a distinguished panel of experts to help navigate the business, regulatory and social aspects of today’s cannabis industry. This event, which is free for members but $25 for nonmembers, takes place at Mechanic’s Hall’s Washburn Hall, 321 Main St., Worcester, and starts at 8:30 a.m. Go here to find out more and sign up. 

Who’s Gonna Be Lord of the Gourd? 

New Englanders go bonkers for any kind of fruity, veggie-fall pairing. Add in beer, or some goats, or doughnuts, and we just go wild. Here’s a good combo: beer, pumpkin carving, costume contest and doughnuts. On Thursday, Oct. 24, Wormtown Brewery on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester is mixing up just that. Visit between 6-10 p.m., and get a pumpkin and all the necessary carving tools, and beer. The sultan of squash who carves the best masterpiece gets their creation featured on next year’s beer can. Also at this event are fall games, Table Talk pumpkin ale, apple cider doughnuts and all around good cheer.  Halloween costumes are strongly encouraged. 


Six Worcester High Schools Get Grant Money for Innovative Pathways Program

Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito were joined by officials from American Student Assistance (ASA) at Lawrence High School to announce the availability of $1.8 million in grants to help high schools across the Commonwealth develop programs that prepare students for college and careers. 

The state also awarded grants to 21 Massachusetts high schools approved to develop Innovation Pathways programs aimed at giving students knowledge and internship experiences in growing industries in the Commonwealth. The grants totaled more than $354,000.

Several schools in Worcester got a chunk of this grant, with $28,683 headed to Doherty High School, Burncoat High School, Claremont Academy, North High School, South High Community School and University Park Campus School. This money will be applied to business and finance, healthcare and social assistance. 

American Student Assistance, a national nonprofit based in Massachusetts that helps students find their path and plan for their future, chose to award the grant to the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet to help fund college and career preparation programs, known as Innovation Pathways. This is the first time the organization has awarded a major grant to support college and career pathways in high schools.

“Innovation Pathways are designed to engage students who are trying to discover what the next steps in their future careers are and help them succeed through college-level courses and internships,” said Baker. “We are proud to continue investing in these important programs and appreciate American Student Assistance’s support with this generous award, and are pleased that high schools across the Commonwealth will be able to give students better insight into the choices available to them.” 

Across the Commonwealth, 26 high schools have designated Innovation Pathways, totaling 61 different programs. The 21 schools awarded grants will be eligible for official designation from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Higher Education in spring 2020.


Union Station is Station’s Spotlight 

It was nice to see Amtrak’s shoutout to Worcester this week when it put in its “Station Spotlight” on Twitter a time-lapse of Union Station, stating, “The French-Renaissance-style Worcester Union Station was originally completed in 1911 and considered the most beautiful building in Massachusetts at the time. It has been compared to Union Station in Washington, D.C. for the grandeur of its interior spaces.” 

Take a look: 


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