massachusetts

New England News
8:21 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Springfield Group to Release Tornado Rebuild Plan

Springfield officials say they've finished designing a plan to rebuild the city after tornado touchdowns that wreaked havoc last June.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

They'll release details of the rebuilding plan in a 3 p.m. meeting today at Springfield City Hall.

Plan manager Kevin Sweeney says the initiative was based in part on input from 3,000 residents.

It combines rebuilding with economic development ideas.

Sweeney says they'd "like to see Springfield not just where it was on the day of the tornado, but in a better place."

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New England News
7:57 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Former MA State Treasurer Makes Court Appearance

Former Massachusetts State Treasurer Timothy Cahill, who is facing corruption charges, was in court briefly Wednesday.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

A pre-trial conference in Cahill’s case was postponed for a month at the request of Jeffrey Denner, Cahill’s new lawyer, who told the judge he needed time to get up to speed.  There was no change in the September date for Cahill’s trial.  

Cahill told reporters in Boston after the brief hearing that he is confident his legal team will prove he did nothing wrong. 

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New England News
10:25 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Report: Ozone pollution still a problem in MA

More than a third of Massachusetts residents live in a county with failing air quality, according to a new study. WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill has more…

A report by the American Lung Association found that of the 12 Massachusetts' counties with air quality monitors, five have improved their grades for ozone pollution while six received an F.

Those counties that improved the ozone grade include Berkshire, Barnstable, Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk,

Those counties receiving an "F'' for ozone pollution include Hampden, Hampshire, Worcester, Essex, Dukes and Bristol.

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New England News
8:15 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Hearing Set in Case Against Ex-MA Treasurer

A hearing is scheduled in the case against ex-state Treasurer Timothy Cahill and two of his former aides.  WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...

Cahill is accused of airing taxpayer-funded ads for the state lottery as a means of promoting his own unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2010. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Scott Campbell, Cahill's former top aide, and Alfred Grazioso, the lottery's former chief of staff, have also pleaded not guilty.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court. It wasn't known if Cahill would attend.

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New England News
7:44 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Reports Indicate MA Real Estate Market Is Rebounding

Two new reports suggest the long downturn in the real estate market in Massachusetts may be over.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

Home sales rose by more than 19 percent in March compared to a year ago, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Warren Group, a Boston company that tracks real estate data.  With a total of 3,205 homes sold across the state, it was the best March since 2007.  The spring before the recession hit, home values sunk and unemployment rose. 

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New England News
8:32 am
Tue April 24, 2012

MA House Begins Debate on $32B State Budget

The Massachusetts House has begun debate on a proposed $32 billion state budget by rejecting a cut in the state sales tax.   WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

A proposal to reduce the Massachusetts sales tax to 5 percent in three phases was sent off to a study committee by an overwhelming and mostly partly line vote of 119-37. 

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New England News
6:30 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Regional Planning Agency Observes 50th Anniversary

A cake for the 50th annivserary celebration of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
WAMC

A relatively obscure agency created to help manage growth in part of western Massachusetts is marking 50 years of  accomplishments. WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

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New England News
4:55 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Questions About Tax Code As Amazon Makes Massachusetts Move

Amazon.com is opening a research facility in Cambridge and is acquiring a robotics facility in North Reading, and some are now wondering if the company is subject to the Massachusetts sales tax.

A 1992 Supreme Court decision said that states cannot make out-of-state businesses collect sales tax. In other words, a retailer must have a physical presence in the state to pay sales taxes. Spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Bob Bliss…

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New England News
8:04 am
Mon April 23, 2012

MA House to Begin Debate on $32B Budget Plan

Massachusetts House lawmakers are scheduled to begin debate on a nearly $32.3 billion state budget plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Lawmakers will begin working their way through 870 proposed amendments to the spending plan on Monday.

The budget unveiled earlier this month by the House Ways and Means Committee relies on $522 million in one-time revenues, including a $400 million withdrawal from the state's so-called Rainy Day fund.

It calls for spending $14 million less than the budget proposed in January by Governor Deval Patrick.

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New England News
8:38 am
Thu April 19, 2012

New Report Points to Stronger Job Growth in MA

A new economic report is painting a much brighter picture of job growth in Massachusetts.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

MassBenchmarks released an analysis on Wednesday showing that the state appeared to have added 38,900 jobs during the first nine months of 2011. That compares with a revised estimate issued last month by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics that showed Massachusetts only gained 2,300 jobs during the same period - a figure that had been questioned by Governor Deval Patrick and other state officials.

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