Mass. lawmakers OK bill targeting school food
Massachusetts lawmakers have sent to Gov. Deval Patrick a bill designed to encourage healthier food options in the state's elementary and high schools.
Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo said on last week that the goal of the bill is to combat the growing problem of childhood obesity.
The bill requires schools to adhere to nutritional guidelines for foods and beverages sold to students outside of the federal meal program.
The guidelines, which also apply to food and drinks sold in school vending machines, will be developed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The bill also requires schools to teach nutrition and exercise, mandates school districts develop wellness programs and encourages schools to use locally grown food.
The giant mural of civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois on the side of a Great Barrington hardware store is getting spruced up this weekend.
The mural was originally completed seven years ago to mark the 100th anniversary of Du Bois’ landmark book, “The Souls of Black Folk.” Time and weather have faded and marred it.
Now, the mural is being redesigned and getting a fresh coat of paint Sunday in an effort coordinated by the Railroad Street Youth Project.
Everyone is invited to take part.
Du Bois is a Great Barrington native and polarizing figure acclaimed by some for his commitment to civil rights and racial equality, but maligned by others for being a Communist.
Building boom on at UMass campuses
A building boom is on at the University of Massachusetts.
At the Worcester campus, excavation has begun on a $400 million science center, one of the largest building projects in New England.
It's one of several projects in the UMass system’s five campuses and collectively, the projects run counter to what’s occurring in the weak economy.
Over the past year, UMass Lowell has bought a downtown hotel, taken over a city arena and begun construction of a $70 million emerging technologies center.
UMass Boston recently bought the Bayside Exposition Center and will begin construction on two buildings at its Dorchester Bay campus.
At its flagship Amherst campus, UMass has completed more than $300 million in construction projects over the past two years and has $375 million more in construction under way.
A new report shows bankruptcy filings in Massachusetts surged by 25 percent during the first half of the year, as more individuals struggled to pay off debt.
The Warren Group, an independent publisher of real estate data, said last week that 11,847 bankruptcy filings under Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 were made statewide during the first six months of 2010. That compares with 9,461 filings in the same period a year ago.
The report said more than three-quarters of the filers sought protection under Chapter 7, the most common form of bankruptcy for individuals.
Warren Group CEO Timothy Warren says even with the economy recovering, many consumers are still having a hard time paying off the debt they’ve built up over the last few years.