Paul Tuthill | Connecticut Public Radio
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Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMCâââ

The Massachusetts  Gaming Commission has formally approved a waiver to allow Mohegan Sun to go forward with a casino project in eastern Massachusetts

An anti-casino group wants a Massachusetts gaming commissioner to recuse himself from voting on a casino project in Springfield.

   The chairman of Springfield’s anti-casino group, Citizens Against Casino Gaming says state  gaming commissioner Bruce Stebbins should not vote on whether MGM can proceed with an $800 million casino project in downtown Springfield.   Michael Kogut said Stebbins’ previous position with the city makes it impossible for him to be impartial

A failed bidder for a casino license in Massachusetts has sued the chairman of the state gaming commission. 

   Ceasars Entertainment filed a federal court lawsuit Thursday questioning the objectivity and fairness of gaming commission chairman Stephen Crosby.   The suit highlights Crosby’s past business ties to someone who could profit handsomely if a casino proposed by Wynn Resorts is built in Everett.  Crosby has said the state ethics commission has cleared him of a conflict of interest.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has authorized Mohegan Sun to apply for a license to build a casino on land owned by Suffolk Downs in eastern Massachusetts.  However, a new voter referendum on the project will have to take place.

Seeking to avoid a scenario that would have left just one applicant for the lone casino license available in eastern Massachusetts, the five-member gaming commission voted unanimously Tuesday to waive a requirement that a casino applicant secure the approval of local voters before filing a final license application.

MGM Resorts International appears to have cleared a key hurdle in the quest to build a resort casino in Springfield, Massachusetts.  The results of a 10-month investigation by Massachusetts gaming industry regulators were released today.

With a deadline looming at the end of the month for final applications for resort casino licenses in Massachusetts, the state’s gaming industry regulators have delayed a key decision on the fate of one project.   The decision will determine how many competitors will vie for the lone casino license available in the greater Boston area.

A recount will take place today of the vote that killed a $1 billion casino project in the western Massachusetts town of Palmer.

When Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed the law two years ago legalizing casino gambling in Massachusetts there were great expectations for thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue. Now as the end-of-the year deadline approaches for final applications for gaming licenses there is great uncertainty.

Officials in Springfield, Massachusetts are looking to create an entirely digital public library

   The director of the Springfield City Library is pursuing funding to use a recently closed branch library as a place where people could sit at computer terminals to access the internet and take out hand-held electronic reading devices on-loan loaded with downloaded books--but visitors would not find any paper copies of books. 

In the two years since a tornado tore through Springfield, Massachusetts a volunteer effort has spearheaded the planting of thousands of new trees.  The work is being done as the U.S. Forest Service conducts a study on the environmental impacts from the loss of the urban tree canopy.

More than 4,400 new trees have been planted in Springfield in the last two years in an effort to restore, largely for later generations, the shade trees that lined streets and filled public parks prior to the June 1, 2011 tornado.

Voters in Massachusetts overwhelmingly approved legalizing medical marijuana in 2012. But many local communities are putting temporary bans in place as the deadline for final applications for state licensed marijuana treatment centers approaches.

About a third of the state’s 351 cities and towns have put in place moratoriums on medical marijuana treatment centers, according to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. Springfield is the largest city in the state to adopt a moratorium. It was approved by the city council Monday night.

The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts on Monday will vote on a proposed moratorium on medical marijuana treatment centers.

The proposed moratorium on locating a medical marijuana dispensary in Springfield could be in effect until the end of next June, according to city solicitor Ed Pikula.

The leadership controversy at Westfield State University has deepened with the filing of a federal court lawsuit.  Embattled President Evan Dobelle charges trustees and the state’s top higher education official have defamed him.

The Massachusetts Higher Education Commissioner addressed the controversy surrounding Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle during a visit to Springfield on Wednesday.  Richard Freeland also sounded an alarm about the state’s future ability to produce a properly educated workforce.

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