WORCESTER COUNTY

Coverage of Worcester County, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, at left, and Republican challenger Tracy Lovvorn.
Robin Lubbock / WBUR // Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern of Worcester, a Democrat, is facing a challenge on Election Day from Republican Tracy Lovvorn.

Over the past couple of decades, booming cities have forced people to move to smaller cities nearby. Think San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., or New York and Hoboken, N.J. That kind of boom is happening now in Boston. An hour away, New England's second-largest city, Worcester, is booming.

"Properties are hot commercially, properties are hot residentially ... everyone just wants a piece of Worcester right now. It's crazy," said Kate McEvoy, a vice president for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and fifth-generation Worcesterite.

A conceptual rendering of a proposed ballpark in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Beyer Blinder Belle / City of Worcester

Architectural firms competing for a contract to design a minor league baseball stadium in Worcester will pitch their proposals to city officials this week.

New England Treatment Access in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Sarah Crosby / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Communities in central and western Massachusetts could soon host the first two retail marijuana shops on the East Coast. Police chiefs there are getting ready for the rush.

Lab test results amid a mold outbreak at Quaboag Regional Middle High School in Warren, Massachusetts. The outbreak delayed the start of school.
Quaboag Regional School District

Students at Quaboag Regional Middle High School in Warren, Massachusetts, are back in class after a mold outbreak delayed the start of the new school year by almost two weeks.

The Worcester City Council on Wednesday approved a $100.8 million stadium financing package to bring the Red Sox’s top farm team to central Massachusetts in a record-setting deal for a minor-league franchise.

A plan to move the club from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to Worcester in 2021 still needs authorizations from the AAA International League — where the team competes — Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball. But an ownership group led by former Red Sox president Larry Lucchino has now cleared the highest hurdle in a three-year effort to find a new home.

Mike Earielo in Worcester, Massachusetts, says of himself, "Gang member, drug dealer, sold drugs, used drugs. My life was really spiraling out of control from a very early age."
Saskia de Melker / NEPR

In Massachusetts, two-thirds of offenders who are incarcerated have been in prison or jail before. One program in Worcester has been serving ex-prisoners who are coming back home, in an effort to bring the rate down.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early holds a press conference Wednesday to discuss the first-degree murder charges against Mathew Locke.
Shannon Dooling / WBUR

A 32-year-old Ware, Massachusetts, man already charged with lying to investigators is now the prime suspect charged in the gruesome slayings of a woman and her three young children inside the family's West Brookfield home.

A polling place in western Massachusetts.
Karen Brown / NEPR

Primary election day is over in Massachusetts. Here are the results focusing on the western part of the state, from The Associated Press.

A Democratic absentee ballot from Leverett, Massachusetts, for the state primary election on September 4, 2018.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Three Democratic write-in candidates are running for the seat that until recently was held by former Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg.

Pro-gun control activists marched 50 miles from Worcester to hold a rally across the street from gunmaker Smith & Wesson's headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

Just before a mass shooting at a video game tournament in Florida, a couple hundred gun control advocates held a rally across the street from gunmaker Smith & Wesson's headquarters in Springfield.

The MGM Springfield casino on opening day, Friday, August 24, 2018.
Heather Brandon / NEPR

Friday marked the opening of the MGM Springfield casino. A parade helped to mark the occasion, complete with a marching band and famous Clydesdales taking part. 

Worcester’s proposed new stadium for the Red Sox’s top farm team would be the most expensive minor league ballpark ever built, and most of the bill would be charged to taxpayers’ collective credit card. The city plans to take on as much as $100.8 million in bond debt.

Mascot "Paws" greets visitors to McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Waz8 / Creative Commons

The Worcester City Council on Tuesday hailed a plan to build a new baseball stadium for the Red Sox’s top farm team, suggesting the proposal could cruise to approval even as it calls for taxpayers to take on as much as $100.8 million in debt.

Students rally against gun violence near Smith and Wesson in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 14, 2018.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

A four-day march against gun violence is taking place this week from Worcester to Springfield, Massachusetts, ending Sunday at the headquarters of gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson.

The PawSox are still in Rhode Island even though the team has announced plans to move to a new stadium in Worcester in 2021. The team played home games this weekend at McCoy, and fans were emotional about the prospect of losing the team.

“Devastated, just devastated,” said Seekonk resident Kelly Adams. She spent her childhood in Pawtucket, with trips to McCoy Stadium a regular family ritual.

The ballpark rendering shows an aerial view of Worcester's Canal District. The ballpark itself has not been designed yet.
Courtesy / PawSox

Get ready for the Worcester Red Sox — or WooSox, for short.

The Pawtucket Red Sox announced Friday the team has signed a letter of intent to build a new ballpark in Worcester's Canal District.

The city of Worcester and the Boston Red Sox’s top minor league affiliate have struck a tentative deal that would move the team to central Massachusetts to play in a new ballpark, according to a person with knowledge of the agreement.

Team and city officials plan to unveil details of the deal at a Friday afternoon event at Worcester City Hall, the person said. Worcester Magazine first reported the impending announcement.

People protest the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" approach to immigration in Springfield, Massachusetts, on June 30, 2018.
MARK M. MURRAY / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Two western Massachusetts Democrats running for a seat in the U.S. House agree major change is needed at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. But they're declining to go so far as to say it should abolished.

The portrait of Russell Sturgis at the Worcester Art Museum has a new sign next to it with information about his connections to slavery.
Robin Lubbock / WBUR

At the Worcester Art Museum's early American portrait gallery, I was recently struck by a painting of a man named Russell Sturgis.

Josh Zakim said he and incumbent William Galvin have "very different views" on the role of the Massachusetts secretary of state's office.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim, making his first run at higher office, earned the upset endorsement of the Democratic Party convention Saturday, dealing a significant blow to Secretary of State William Galvin and showing that his campaign could be a legitimate threat to the state's longest-serving constitutional officer.

Jay Gonzalez said he offered "an ambitious, progressive agenda" at the Massachusetts Democratic convention Saturday.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

Pledging to win back the corner office in November on behalf of the "little guys" who fight for their beliefs, Massachusetts Democrat Jay Gonzalez on Saturday accepted his party's endorsement for governor, giving the former state budget chief a lift coming out of the Democratic convention in a primary in which neither candidate has been able to separate themselves as a frontrunner.

Dave Murphy, candidate for Massachusetts Senate.
Submitted photo / State House News Service

A fourth Democrat -- and third write-in candidate -- has announced plans to run for the seat left vacant by Massachusetts state Senator Stan Rosenberg.

Mass. State Senate Race Gets Write-In Candidates

May 7, 2018
Ryan O'Donnell, left, and Chelsea Kline, right, and Steven Connor (unpictured) are all campaigning to replace Massachusetts state Senator Stan Rosenberg.
Campaign photos / State House News Service

Updated at 9:18 a.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Northampton City Council President Ryan O'Donnell and the area's veterans' services director, Steven Connor, on Monday launched write-in bids for the Massachusetts state Senate seat formerly held by Stan Rosenberg.

The Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston.
William Zhang / Creative Commons

With Massachusetts state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg's resignation taking effect last Friday, four of his colleagues from western Massachusetts announced plans to "collectively advocate" for the needs and policy priorities of the 24 communities in his district. 

Worcester Regional Airport, in 2014.
Terageorge / Creative Commons / commons.wikimedia.org

The Worcester Regional Airport will see JetBlue begin daily service on Thursday to New York's JFK Airport. And this fall, American Airlines will add a daily flight from Worcester to Philadelphia. 

The Bermudez family home in West Brookfield, Massachusetts.
Shannon Dooling / WBUR

Police have charged a Massachusetts man with misleading investigators as they searched for answers in the killings of a mother and her three young children. 

Henry Epp / NEPR

The Southbridge, Massachusetts, schools are facing a loss of 30 jobs, including some teacher positions. This comes about a month after the state appointed a new receiver to try and improve district performance.

The central Massachusetts town of West Brookfield is looking for answers three weeks after the murder of a local family.

Thirty-eight-year-old Sara Bermudez and her three children, 8-year-old Madison, 6-year-old James and 2-year-old Michael, were found dead inside their home. Their deaths were ruled homicides, and little additional information has been released to the public.

A Massachusetts State Police vehicle at the scene in West Brookfield. The bodies were found in the house directly behind it.
Dave Canton / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Four bodies found in a home in central Massachusetts are a woman and three children, according to authorities.

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