Massachusetts

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Hundreds of bright orange and yellow tags will be going up on trees across the state starting Monday to heighten awareness of invasive insects that devastate forests.

The biggest concerns are the Asian Longhorned Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer. That’s because those species have been found in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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It’s election year in Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the one issue that never goes away in our small state – casino gambling.

There’s an old gallows humor joke about banks and creditors. If you owe the bank $30,000, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $300 million, you own the bank.

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Governor Lincoln Chafee signed several bills designed to attract more gamblers to Twin River Casino.  The Lincoln casino is one of two in Rhode Island, and the only one with table games.

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Rhode Island’s gaming industry may get a major boost. Massachusetts residents will decide if they want to get rid of all casino gambling in the Commonwealth.  Massachusetts casinos would pose direct competition to the Ocean State’s gaming revenue.

Two casinos have already been approved in Massachusetts: a resort-style in Springfield and a slot parlor in Plainville. The slot parlor would be fewer than twenty miles from Rhode Island’s Twin River casino in Lincoln.  But the new ruling could allow Commonwealth voters to stop that project dead in its tracks.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark talk Joe Paolino about plans he and his partners have to revamp Newport Grand. The idea is to turn the struggling slot parlor into an entertainment complex that offers table games, but that all hinges on residents approving the move at the polls.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Gas prices have dropped by a penny in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The latest survey from AAA Southern New England puts the average gallon of regular unleaded at $3.59. That’s a tiny bit above the national average but lower than what drivers were paying at the pump a year ago. 

Bay State drivers are paying an average $3.51 a gallon. That’s also down a penny from last week.

AAA urges drivers in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts to shop around, since the range in gas prices spans from 21-cents in Rhode Island to 32-cents in Massachusetts.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Twin River Chairman John Taylor. They discuss where Massachusetts is looking to put a slot parlor and casinos and what that means for Twin River’s bottom line.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

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Drivers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts will find gas prices a bit higher this week – up by two cents in Rhode Island. Gas prices in both states are higher than the national average.

Even though prices at the pump took a bigger jump in Massachusetts, on average Rhode Island drivers are still paying more. The latest survey out of AAA Southern New England finds Ocean State drivers paying $3.48 for the average gallon of regular unleaded, while Massachusetts drivers are paying $3.44.

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Rhode Island’s gaming industry is keeping a sharp eye on what’s happening in Massachusetts as the state’s gambling commission works out where to license up to three resort-style casinos and a slot parlor.

Rhode Island pulls in enough money from Twin River and Newport Grand to make gaming the third largest source of revenue for the state. Casinos in Massachusetts threatens that revenue.

So how close is Massachusetts to having casino gambling? Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison spoke with The Boston Globe’s Mark Arsenault to find out.

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Gas prices are up a penny from last week in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Drivers have seen gas prices climb by 9 cents over the last month in both the Ocean State and the Bay State, that’s according to the latest survey from AAA Southern New England.

In Rhode Island, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.52. It’s cheaper in Mass, at $3.44 a gallon. AAA urges drivers in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts to shop around, since the range in gas prices is about a quarter.

The all-important holiday shopping season is upon us.  November and December sales are make or break months for retailers, representing as much as 20 percent of total annual sales.

The National Retail Federation is forecasting a nearly four percent increase in holiday sales this year. But local retail officials are taking a more cautious approach. Paul DeRoche heads the Rhode Island Retail Federation.

The ancient cliché is that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why it’s time for Rhode Island lawmakers to make a serious study of our state’s tax structure.

With Rhode Island’s economic recovery still trailing our New England neighbors, there is no better time for the General Assembly to launch a measured study of the way we levy the taxes that pay for roads, schools and social services.

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Dunkin Donuts is replacing its Styrofoam cups in some New England communities with paper cups. But don’t expect those paper cups in the Ocean State any time soon.

Get a drink at Dunkin Donuts, hot or cold, and there’s a chance that a Styrofoam cup is involved. For the uninitiated, a cold drink served in a plastic cup is often placed inside a Styrofoam cup to prevent sweating. So what’s a ubiquitous chain like Dunkin going to do if a community bans Styrofoam?

A Providence waste handler has agreed to remove hazardous chemicals from 60 schools in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The cleanup is part of a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Former Red Sox star Curt Schilling says stress from 38 Studios’ business problems was part of why he suffered a heart attack in 2011.  Schilling revealed the health problem in an interview with the Boston Sunday Globe.

Schilling tells the Globe he experienced chest pains while watching his wife run in the New York Marathon in November 2011. That was seven months before 38 Studios went bankrupt, leaving Rhode Island taxpayers on the hook for close to 100 million dollars. Schilling says he was treated after returning to Boston.

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