youth violence

Jim Levulis / WAMC

More than 100 people turned out for a community conversation addressing youth violence last night in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It’s the second meeting since an August shooting involving two teenagers that put one in the hospital.

WAMC

Efforts continue to save an historic community center in Springfield, Massachusetts from foreclosure.  The Dunbar Community Center has been an oasis for inner-city youth for decades, but now faces an uncertain future.

The board of directors of the Dunbar Community Center is continuing to negotiate with its mortgage-holder to avoid foreclosure and the possible closing of the center in Springfield’s Mason Square neighborhood.   A statement from the board this week said no foreclosure sale had been scheduled.

WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick marked Black History Month with a visit to an elementary school in Springfield today.   The governor highlighted a remarkable part of the city’s past.

Governor Patrick read a book to a group of about 50 third grade students at the William DeBerry Elementary school.

Mass Mentoring Partnership

Over the last two years, the youth mentoring movement has grown in western Massachusetts. The organization Mass Mentoring Partnership has established a mentoring hub in the greater Springfield area. The initiative is getting a financial boost from  First Niagara Bank which will announce a $50,000 grant  at an event this evening in Holyoke.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Mass Mentoring Partnership President Marty Martinez.

A state-funded program to boost youth violence prevention efforts in Massachusetts is at risk of losing all funding after only a handful of years after its initial creation.

WAMC

        Massachusetts is going to have a so-called “ three strikes” crime law.  Governor Deval Patrick says he will sign a controversial crime bill aimed at keeping repeat violent criminals off the streets. People working to prevent violence in one western Massachusetts city say the real solution to improved public safety is community partnerships.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.