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 — Wednesday, Jan. 8 — WGBH finally opens up a Worcester news bureau, the Beechwood got a fancy award, the Quinsig baseball team leads a clinic for young players, Quinsig’s also got a special class registration day coming up and NEADS is exposing service dog fraud.
WGBH To Open News Bureau in Worcester
WGBH News is coming to the heart of the Commonwealth in the spring, said the station. The Worcester location, which is 27 Federal St., includes a broadcast studio and technology to stream digital video and creates radio and digital stories for 89.7 FM and the news website.
WGBH News said it is looking to hire one full-time reporter to station at the bureau.
“Worcester has a significant impact on the economy and culture of the Commonwealth, and we are thrilled to increase our on-the-ground presence there,” Jon Abbott, president and CEO of WGBH, said in the statement.
The expansion to central Massachusetts follows WGBH News’ acquisition of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) from Boston University last summer. WGBH News currently maintains a bureau in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester and at the Massachusetts State House. WGBH News also works in partnership with WCAI on Cape Cod and jointly created New England Public Media (NEPM) in Springfield with WGBY last year.
“WGBH News has consistently been reporting on key stories from Worcester,” WGBH News Director Kate Zachry said in the statement. “With an established bureau, we will be able to broaden our reach and engagement with the community. Our audience across Massachusetts will benefit from more in-depth stories and breaking news updates from the city and Worcester County as a whole.”
If you wondered why 27 Federal St. sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the former location of the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.
The Beechwood Nabs a Best of Business Award
Central Massachusetts’ only AAA Four-Diamond rated Beechwood Hote just announced that it is the recipient of two corporate Best of Business Awards presented by the Worcester Business Journal. The renowned boutique hotel will be honored at a celebration later this month.
“Every member of our award-winning team at the Beechwood implements the hotel’s brand promise to provide an extraordinary guest experience,” said Sayed Saleh, asset manager of the Beechwood Hotel. “We are deeply grateful to our corporate clients and the Central Massachusetts business community for continuing to vote for the Beechwood as the Best Hotel for Business.��
Worcester Business Journal readers and residents of Central Massachusetts nominate their favorite businesses and determine the finalists and winners in over six categories and nearly 50 subcategories.
The Beechwood Hotel, owned by Dr. and Mrs. Birbara, has received numerous awards for excellence, positioning the hotel as the area’s choice venue for business and leisure travel. The Beechwood Hotel is a ten-year recipient of the coveted Four Diamond Award presented by
AAA and consistently ranks in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hotels in Massachusetts and Best Hotels in the United States.
Hit the Diamond with the Wyverns
The Quinsigamond CC Baseball Program is inviting any young baseball player to come train with the team this winter as it prepares for the 2020 season. Head Coach John McLaughlin, Pitching & Catching Coach Paul Goodwin along with the 2020 QCC baseball team run the program. Each clinic starts with a dynamic stretch and cardio warmup. From there, the players break up into groups and work on fielding, pitching and hitting.
“Our goal is to help prepare each young player for the upcoming season at an affordable rate,” said the release.
The clinic takes place at the QCC gym at 670 Boylston St., Worcester, and is open to players ages 6 to 18. Clinics take place from 10:30 AM to 12:45 PM on Feb. 23 and March 8. It’s $30 each or $50 for both, $25 if you’ve got more than one family member. It’s strongly encouraged that you bring a bat, glove, helmet and water bottle.
Contact Coach McLaughlin at [email protected] if you would like to sign up, and you’ve got to do this in advance.
QCC Eliminates Barriers to Enroll this Spring
On Saturday Jan. 11, from 9 AM to 2 PM new and returning students can take advantage of Quinsigamond Community College’s “Super Saturday” registration event. The time and day is set aside so students can apply for admission, financial aid and register for classes just in time for the spring semester, which begins on Jan. 22. The Saturday registration event is at the college’s Welcome Center, located on QCC’s main campus, 670 West Boylston St., Worcester.
“We recognize the importance of being flexible for our student body who are often juggling multiple responsibilities,” said QCC’s president Dr. Luis Pedraja. “This event is designed to give students every possible opportunity to register for classes or apply for admittance.”
NEADS Works to Prevent Service Dog Fraud in MA
The Princeton-based Service Dog organization NEADS Inc. is working with state Representative Kimberly Ferguson (R-Holden) to pass a bill that would make misrepresenting a service animal illegal.
House Bill 3657, presented by Ferguson and supported by more than 80 Massachusetts state representatives, would provide a civil fine for a person who states or implies that their pet dog is a service dog in order to obtain the rights and privileges reserved for those disabled individuals working as part of a legitimate service dog team. If passed, violation of the law will be punishable by 30 hours of community service and/or a fine up to $500.
Members of the public can sign a petition to show their support of this.
“We truly appreciate everyone’s advocacy and support, and by signing this petition people are adding their voice to the call for action,” said Ferguson in a statement.
NEADS said the “service dog” fraud crisis has its roots in two developments: (1) The internet makes it easy to purchase service dog capes and fake ID cards and (2) People are confused about the terms service dog, emotional support dog and therapy dog. An increasing number of people falsely believe that a pet dog becomes a service dog by virtue of the owner’s disability. In fact, legitimate Service Dogs are rigorously trained in task work and are purpose bred for temperament, soundness, trainability and demeanor. It takes 18 months to two years to train and socialize a dog that will work as part of a Service Dog team.
Ferguson added, “I think now more than ever we are seeing the need for legislation in Massachusetts pertaining to the misrepresentation of a service animal. This updated bill clearly represents a joint effort among the legislature, law enforcement, business owners and service animal teams in order to address ongoing concerns.”
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