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New England News
7:11 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Springfield Officials Seek Consultant to Negotiate with Casino Developers

Officials in Springfield Massachusetts have announced plans to hire a professional consultant to help negotiate with would-be casino developers.   WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

The mayor’s office announced Thursday that it will seek bids from firms experienced in representing municipalities with gaming industry projects.  Bids will be accepted for a month.

It’s another sign Springfield officials are anxious to see a resort casino built in the city to bring jobs and revenue. The Springfield City Council recently named a casino siting advisory committee. 

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New England News
7:46 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Hundreds Attend Hurricane Preparedness Conference in MA

Public safety officials from across Massachusetts attend a hurricane preparedness conference
WAMC

With the start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season less than a month away, hundreds of people attended a hurricane preparedness conference Wednesday in central Massachusetts.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

The director of the National Hurricane Center, Bill Read urged hundreds of public safety officials not to be in denial when they see a forecast that has a hurricane tracking to New England.

Read said since 1990 hurricane tracking errors, 48 hours from landfall, have been cut in half. But forecasting a storm’s intensity remains tricky…

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New England News
8:08 am
Wed May 9, 2012

TD Bank Expected to Cut 200 Western MA Jobs

About 200 people are expected to lose their jobs when TD Bank closes a customer call center in Springfield at the end of the year.

The workers learned at a meeting Tuesday night that the 24/7 customer support center will close in December as part of a decision to consolidate call centers to locations in Maine, New Jersey and South Carolina.

The branch at the location will remain open.

Bank spokesman Jimmy Hernandez tells WWLP-TV it was a difficult decision and did not reflect job performance.

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New England News
7:31 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Survey: Many Western MA Tornado Survivors Still in Need

A survey of tornado survivors finds many with unmet needs as the one year anniversary of the natural disaster in western Massachusetts approaches.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

Eight days of canvassing by disaster response volunteers in tornado impacted neighborhoods of Springfield found dozens of people who still need help ranging from major roof repairs to replacing household appliances and furnishings.

Steven Abdow, a board member of Springfield Community Together, the FEMA organized long term recovery group, said the unmet needs are estimated to cost $1 million…

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New England News
7:08 am
Wed May 2, 2012

MA Releases Additional Tornado Relief Funds

The Patrick administration has released an additional $520,000 in tornado relief funds for Western Massachusetts.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

Most of the money is for home repairs in the nine communities hit hardest by the June 1st natural disaster, according to the announcement from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

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New England News
7:04 am
Wed May 2, 2012

MA Casino Panel Weighs Pre-Qualification Plan

The panel overseeing the Massachusetts’ new gambling law is weighing a plan to pre-qualify potential casino developers in the state. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…

Under the proposal discussed by the Gaming Commission on Tuesday, a would-be developer would have to demonstrate that it has sufficient financial backing and a track record in the gaming industry before it can begin negotiations with a host community.

A spokeswoman for the five-member commission said the panel would study the idea further before deciding whether to adopt it.

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New England News
8:48 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Massachusetts OKs Small Hike in Health Insurance Rates

State insurance regulators have approved a 1.2 percent quarterly increase in small group health insurance rates in Massachusetts.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

The state Division of Insurance also said Monday that two of the state's largest insurers — Tufts and Fallon — actually plan to lower rates for the three-month period beginning July 1.

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New England News
6:26 am
Mon April 30, 2012

EPA to Hold Hearing on Cleanup of Attleboro Plant

Environmental officials have scheduled a hearing to discuss the next steps for the cleanup of a former chromium plating site in Attleboro.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection are evaluating the site for inclusion on the National Priorities List for cleanup.

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New England News
10:38 am
Fri April 27, 2012

U.S. Senator Brown Releases Tax Returns; Warren’s Returns Expected Later Today

Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and likely Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren are releasing several years of tax returns.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

Brown made his federal and state returns for the tax years 2006-2011 available for inspection by reporters on Friday. Warren was expected to release four years of returns later Friday.

In the most recent tax year, Brown and his wife, Gail Huff, reported total income of $510,856 and paid federal taxes of about $125,000 after a refund. They also contributed more than $16,000 to charity.

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New England News
8:43 am
Fri April 27, 2012

U.S. Senator Brown, Warren to Release Tax Returns

Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown and likely Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren are planning to release several years of tax returns.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

The two campaigns said they'll make the returns public today. 

The decision to release the returns followed more than a week of negotiations during which both campaigns haggled over when to unveil the returns and how many years to release.

Both campaigns are also hoping to use the information in the returns to take political jabs at each other.

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