5 Things You Need To Know Today in Worcester – November 8, 2019

by | Nov 8, 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 — Friday, Nov. 8 —  there’s a meeting to explain the whole Kelley Square reconfiguration and progress, ArtsWorcester is giving grants for materials, the Worcester Chamber Music Society plans big seasonal show, it’s lice season (yucko!)  and St. V.’s makes the grade. 

Update on the Kelly Square Improvement Project 

We may have loved the challenge, the notoriety, of having the craziest intersection in all the land, but we’re saying goodbye to it. Many are aware of the massive changes to the Canal District, with Polar Peak on the way and multiple business complexes opening, and that includes the reconfiguration of Kelley Square. 

On Nov. 20 at 6 p.m., MassDOT and its contractors for the project are holding an initial construction phasing public information meeting at Crompton College in the White Room at 138 Green St., Worcester. 

The meeting introduces attendees to the project’s overall construction phasing, key project milestones that will have an impact on traffic patterns, what to expect with regard to project activities within the next several months, and tools that will be used to keep the public informed about all these shifts. 

Through Nov. 20, the project team continues to update the Kelley Square Project website.

Already taking place is the installation of catch basins, manholes and drainage pipes, tree protection and removal and removal of signs to allow for road widening at the south side of Madison Street. 


The Worcester Chamber Music Society Presents a Seasonal Offering 

Join the Worcester Chamber Music Society with guest musician Andrus Madsen on harpsichord, for its holiday program on Dec. 5 at 7:30 PM at the Worcester Historical Museum The spirit of the season is paramount as the WCMS performs selections from Bach’s A Musical Offering, considered to be one of his greatest works, and all four movements of Vivaldi’s beloved and enduring Four Seasons

Concertgoers are also welcome to tour the exhibits and galleries starting at 6:30 PM, and again at intermission. 

The performance features a half-hour, pre-concert talk by special guest Andrus Madsen. Tickets are $36 for adults, $10 for students, and youth 17 and under are free. 

No Nits, Less Knits? Lice Love to Hitch a Ride on Scarves, Hats and Gloves 

 While head lice can spread at any time of year, hats, scarves and fleecy garments can all help these pesky critters spread even faster in the winter. Dr. Vincent Meoli, regional medical director of American Family Care (AFC), the largest provider of urgent care and accessible primary care in the Commonwealth, offers tips for prevention and treatment of lice.

 “We typically see an increase in lice at this time of year, especially in school-age children who are in close contact on a daily basis,” said Meoli. “Lice spread easily and can also hitchhike on hats, scarves and other winter garments. These items are often hung on hooks side-by-side, making it even easier for lice to find new hosts.” 

In the past, many school districts had “no-nits” policies in which children could not return to school until they were free of lice and nits (lice eggs), the American Academy of Pediatrics has advocated to overturn this policy, saying that lice are not a health hazard and should not cause a child to miss school. This may lead to an increase in the number of cases of head lice, making information about treatment more important than ever. The Worcester Public Schools Handbook says that only children with live head lice should not come to school.

Lice can be difficult to spot, so it’s often the nits that people see—tiny grey oval specks that stick to the hair shaft. They are easier to see behind the ears and at the base of the neck, about a quarter of an inch from the scalp. Itchiness is the primary symptom, but not everyone experiences it.

The AFC staff in Worcester offers convenient, walk-in care seven days a week for patients of all ages, including on-site x-rays, care for minor bone breaks and stitches for cuts and lacerations. Online check-in and current wait times are available at AFCUrgentCareWorcester.com.


Saint Vincent Hospital Gets an “A” From Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades (and It’s the Only Worcester Hospital That Did)

Saint Vincent Hospital earned the gold sticker on the forehead, getting the coveted “A” rating in The Leapfrog Group’s fall 2019 Safety Score, which measures a hospital’s commitment to delivering safe, high-quality patient care. The Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Score is a rating system designed to give consumers information they can use to make healthcare decisions for themselves or a loved one. The Leapfrog Group assigns A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals based on their ability to prevent errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

“Saint Vincent Hospital is proud to be the only Leapfrog ‘A’ in Worcester,” said Carolyn Jackson, Saint Vincent Hospital’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “This Rating recognizes our continuous commitment to placing safety at the forefront of our patients’ care.”

See St. V’s scores and others here.


ArtsWorcester Puts Out Call for Proposals for Materials Grants

Materials can be mighty costly to the artist. ArtsWorcester recently announced a call for proposals for material needs grants. Funded by an anonymous donor, these grants support the expenses of supplies and materials for the creation of new art in Worcester County. With this gift, ArtsWorcester is able to distribute grants to local artists between $500 and $1,500. Awards are given in early 2020, and the resulting work is exhibited in ArtsWorcester’s galleries in the 2021-22 exhibition season. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 6, 2020.

Proposals are evaluated via committee, focusing on novelty, innovation, potential impact (on the viewer, on the artist’s career, and other artists in the area), and feasibility. Previous MNG awardees include Susan Swinand (2016), Victor Pacheco (2014), and Stephanie Chubbuck (2014). To learn more about the recent cycle of Material Needs Grants recipients to display their work, visit the ArtsWorcester website. 

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