A recently released report in Massachusetts analyzed and made recommendations on how to address the growing skills gap in education and workforce.

The report is titled Closing the Massachusetts Skills Gap: Recommendations and Action Steps, and is published by the Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public organization within the state’s Executive Office of Labor of Workforce Development.

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Authorities say one of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing is dead and a massive manhunt is underway for another.

Residents of the Boston suburb of Watertown have been advised to keep their doors locked and not let anyone in.

The Middlesex district attorney says the two men are suspected of killing an MIT police officer at the college late Thursday, then stealing a car at gunpoint and later releasing its driver unharmed. Hours earlier, police had released photos of the bombing suspects and asked for the public's help finding them.

You won’t find Inspire magazine on your local newsstand, but an article in that publication may have been the blueprint for the bombings in Boston. 

  We are very happy to be kicking off a new regular feature on the Roundtable entitled - Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

We welcome: Pleun Bouricius - Assistant Director of Mass Humanities. Before that she managed the Women, Enterprise, and Society project at Baker Library at Harvard Business School; and taught in the History and Literature, and Women’s Studies Programs at Harvard University and the Harvard Extension School.

Also joining us is Sara Ogger. Sara joined the staff of the New York Council for the Humanities in March 2002 as Grants Officer. She was appointed Executive Director in April 2007 after a successful effort to secure state funding. Before coming to the Council, Sara was an assistant professor of German at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

In an article recently published by the Wall Street Journal, Massachusetts is the state with  the highest per-capita expenditure on healthcare, with the average individual paying more than $9,200 a year on health care costs. Expenses taken into account include emergency care, physician visits, nursing home care, prescription drugs, dental care, and other categories.

Berkshire Regional Transit Authority

The transportation funding plan unveiled by Democratic leaders in the Massachusetts state legislature has been met with a mixed response, with Democratic Governor Deval Patrick threatening to veto the plan if certain objectives aren’t met and House Republicans criticizing the plan for raising taxes without making other reforms to government.

And lawmakers in the Berkshires seem to be equally as divided on supporting the plan introduced by House Speaker Robert Deleo and Senate President Therese Murray, both Democrats, last week.


President Barack Obama was just one of several elected officials who praised the work of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino as he announced this past Thursday that he would not seek re-election after 20 years as the chief executive of Massachusetts’ capitol city.   

Mass. to see drop in medical claims costs

Mar 27, 2013
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Medical claims costs are expected to soar in many states under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Massachusetts is an exception.

A new study by the nation's leading group of financial risk analysts, the Society of Actuaries, has found that medical claims costs — the biggest driver of health insurance premiums — will jump an average 32 percent for Americans' individual policies.

The report concluded the overwhelming majority will see double-digit increases in their individual health insurance markets where people purchase coverage directly from insurers.

popturfdotcom's photostream Flickr

BOSTON (AP) — Film companies have been awarded $44 million in Massachusetts tax credits for projects filmed in 2011, with nearly two-thirds of new spending generated by the productions going to individuals and businesses located out-of-state, including many individuals making more than $1 million.

That's a jump over the $18 million in credits in 2010.

The Department of Revenue report credited the increase on the return of multiple major feature films being made in Massachusetts.

BOSTON (AP) — Immigrant advocates are pressing lawmakers to back legislation they say will help reduce the level of deportations in Massachusetts.

Several dozen activists rallied on the steps of the Statehouse on Wednesday in favor of the bill, which would encourage local law enforcement agencies not to forward information to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on illegal immigrants who don't have serious criminal convictions.

Sen. James Eldridge is the bill's lead sponsor.