News Briefs

MVES to Hold Free Virtual Workshop Series

Mystic Valley Elder Services will present a free virtual workshop series—A Matter of Balance—on Wednesdays, beginning April 7 to May 26, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

 A Matter of Balance is a free, award-winning program designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. You’ll learn how to see falls as something you can control; set goals for increasing your physical activities; make modifications to your home to reduce fall risks; and practice exercises that will increase your strength and balance.  This workshop is designed for anyone—whether you are concerned about falls, have a history of falling, or are interested in improving balance, flexibility, and strength.

Learn how to connect virtually thru this Zoom platform and take the class from the comfort of your own home! Registration is free, but required. To register please call Donna

Covelle at 781-388-4867 or e-mail her at [email protected]

MCU Opens College Scholarship Opportunities

 Metro Credit Union (MCU), Massachusetts’ largest state-chartered credit union, today announced that it will provide scholarship opportunities for the 2021-2022 academic year. To be eligible, the applicant and/or their parent or guardian must be a member of Metro Credit Union.

“Metro is committed to providing opportunities to further the education of our members and their families,” said Robert Cashman, CEO and president. “We look forward to seeing what’s in store for high school students in the communities we serve, and we are happy to help guide them toward rich futures filled with possibilities.”

Metro Credit Union Scholarship Program

Thirteen scholarships, for $1,000 each, will be awarded to graduating high school seniors who have been accepted to an accredited undergraduate program. 

The application deadline is April 15, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. To be considered for the scholarship awards, all applicants must apply online. Scholarship recipients are selected based on academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, statement of goals and aspirations.

Cooperative Credit Union Association’s Massachusetts College Scholarship Program

Metro Credit Union is a sponsoring credit union in the Cooperative Credit Union Association’s Massachusetts College Scholarship Program. The Association will award six (6) $1,500 scholarships to high school seniors who will be enrolled in an undergraduate college degree program during the 2021-2022 academic year.

The application deadline is Friday, April 9, 2021. Applications will be evaluated based on essay, grades and extracurricular/community activities.

Full details for both opportunities can be found at metrocu.org/scholarships.

For more information about Metro Credit Union, please visit metrocu.org, or connect with us on LinkedIn.

BHCC Launches Varsity Esports Program

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) has announced the launch of a varsity esports program for enrolled students. Esports are video game tournaments in which student teams compete with other colleges and universities through virtual game rooms. With Athletics on hold due to the health concerns of COVID-19, BHCC’s Athletic Department is sponsoring only esports this spring.

“Just like the more traditional varsity sports, esports involves commitment, practice, time, teamwork, strategy development, standards, rules, games, wins, and losses,” said Director of Athletics Dr. Loreto Jackson.

With the expertise of caring, engaging coaches, BHCC athletes gather virtually to participate in practices or games. “We’ve been at the forefront of esports in our National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) region and we are looking for more students to join us in helping us continue to grow the program,” said Head Coach Andrew Rezendes.

According to an article from Community College Daily, community colleges around the country are turning to varsity esports as a way to recruit and engage students. It is a good fit because it does not require large fields nor athletic facilities. Practices and competitions can take place at times that fit students’ schedules.

BHCC played in the NJCAA Region XXI during the fall semester and placed second in the Region after a six-week season, including playoffs. In February of 2020, BHCC competed in the New England College’s League of Legends International hosted by Uptime esports in Hanover.

To view a recording of all BHCC esports games and the upcoming schedule go to: www.twitch.tv/bhccbulldogs/.

State Awards Nearly $40 Million in Grants to 1,026 Additional Businesses

The Baker-Polito Administration announced approximately $39.7 million in awards for 1,026 additional businesses in the ninth round of COVID relief grants administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC). As in prior rounds, each grant recipient meets sector and demographic priorities set for the two grant programs administered by MGCC.

With the addition of this round of grants, the Administration has awarded over $602 million in direct financial support to 13,346 businesses across the Commonwealth.

“Our administration is pleased to award this latest round of direct financial support to 1,026 additional businesses hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “As the largest program of its kind in the nation, we are proud that Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation grants have now reached 13,346 businesses across the Commonwealth.”

As announced last month, MGCC has also begun engaging directly with applicants that met sector and demographic priorities, but were missing documents necessary to be considered for an award.

Among the sectors that received the highest total number of grants this round are: restaurants, bars, caterers, or food trucks (280); personal services businesses (207); and independent retailers (153).

Additionally, grants for this round were awarded to 295 minority-owned, and 406 women-owned, businesses; 295 recipients are located in Gateway Cities, and 329 businesses awarded grants have not received any prior aid.

With public health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction, including a decline in average daily COVID cases and hospitalizations, and as vaccination rates continue to increase, the Administration is taking steps to gradually reopen the Commonwealth’s economy. On Monday, March 1, the Commonwealth advanced to Step 2 of Phase III of the Administration’s reopening plan. In addition, the Administration also recently announced its plan to transition to Step 1 of Phase IV on Monday, March 22, provided that public health metrics continue to improve.

Schedule a Vaccine Appointment

COVID-19 Vaccination Update: Adults 75 and over can receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting on February 1 using the statewide website. Find more details on the vaccination eligibility, vaccination locations and information for booking appointments at mass.gov/covidvaccine

Raft Program Rental Assistance

If anyone needs help paying rent, they may be eligible for financial assistance through the Massachusetts Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. RAFT has expanded its eligibility requirements to help people with COVID-19 related job losses or financial hardship. Some things to consider:

•Your immigration status does not matter.

•You may be eligible for RAFT if you have not been, or will not be, able to pay rent, mortgage payments, or utilities due to COVID-19.

•You must be in contact with your landlord or property manager (RAFT funds are paid to them).

•If you are not on the lease, you can provide your landlord’s contact information to confirm that you are a tenant.

•If you need help to cover your security deposit (for first or last month’s rent), you can specify the unit you plan to move into, even if you have not yet signed the lease.

•You are not eligible if you are in an Emergency Assistance Shelter.

Households can receive up to $4,000 for a 12-month period. To check eligibility and for help with applications, call the CONNECT Hotline at 617-712-3487.

Chelsea Street Bridge App

For those seeking real time information about the Chelsea St. Bridge closures, Massport is operating a Twitter account which alerts drivers whenever the bridge is opening for shipping and closed to traffic. The Twitter account is @LoganToChelsea. This real time information supplements the new vehicular warnings systems now currently active on Broadway and Williams St.

MassPort Noise Complaint Line

Residents who are being disturbed by airplane noise are encouraged to call the MassPort Noise Hotline 24 hours a day. The phone number is (617) 561-3333.

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