massachusetts

New England News
7:25 am
Mon May 7, 2012

MA Criminal Background Checks Limited to Decade

Massachusetts is launching a new online system for employers to check criminal backgrounds of prospective workers, but their searches are only being allowed to go back 10 years.

Supporters of the new Criminal Offender Record Information system — known as CORI — say it will help former convicts who have paid their debt to society and stayed out of trouble for a decade get jobs and reintegrate into society.

Opponents say companies have a right to known the complete criminal history of hirees.

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New England News
7:43 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Springfield, MA Officials Pursue Resort Casino Development

A casino advisory committee is being created in Springfield Massachusetts as city officials pursue a resort casino development.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

Springfield City Council President James Ferrera said the committee will advise the council on casino sitting issues.  The council could conceivably have to issue a special permit, change zoning, or take property by eminent domain to accommodate a casino development.

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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
3:50 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

New Hampshire and Massachusetts At Odds Over 1953 Contract

The Merrimack River Valley Flood Control Compact is at the center of an argument between the two New England states.  The 1953 agreement was approved by Congress after Massachusetts requested help from New Hampshire in managing the Merrimack River flood plain.

18 New Hampshire Towns gave up a portion of their communities to build a flood control system, and in exchange, the State of New Hampshire agreed to reimburse the towns for the lost property tax values. According to the agreement, 70 percent of that funding going to the towns would come from payments made by Massachusetts.

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North Country News
8:23 am
Mon April 30, 2012

NH Trooper Traveling with Governor Rescues Man in Crash

New Hampshire State Police say a trooper who was traveling with the governor in Massachusetts rescued a man from a fiery crash.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

Investigators say Trooper Scott Frye was traveling with Governor John Lynch and his wife in an official capacity when they witnessed a road rage incident that led to the crash. It happened Sunday night on Interstate 93 in Andover.

They say a vehicle involved in the crash rolled down an embankment and trapped the driver inside.

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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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