9:25 | Gov. Healey gives remarks at the Massachusetts AFL-CIO Convention. (Closed to media). Encore Casino, 1 Broadway, Everett
10:00 | Cannabis Control Commission is expected to meet for its typical October business meeting. Commissioner Ava Callender Concepcion is acting as chair while Chairwoman Shannon O'Brien fights Treasurer Deborah Goldberg's removal of her from the CCC.
12:15 | Press conference as Boston Mayor Wu announces a program to make Bluebikes "more affordable and accessible." Wu then joins fellow mayors from across the country, who are in town for the Mayors' Institute on City Design, on a bike ride to the Museum of Science. City Hall Plaza.
1:00 | Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem, Rep. Dave Rogers, and Rep. Orlando Ramos host a briefing on their legislation aimed at limiting police use of facial recognition technology. Room 428
The $1.73 billion Powerball jackpot winning ticket wasn’t purchased in Massachusetts (in California instead), but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The jackpot and its estimated cash value of $756.6 million grew throughout the day Wednesday as players in Lottery-loving Massachusetts and almost every other state in America lined up at convenience stores — or now maybe used cellphone apps — for the chance to win big.
Sale volume in Massachusetts climbed steadily through the day, a Mass. Lottery spokesperson said, registering more than 4,000 Powerball tickets sold per minute in the 3 o’clock hour and more than 5,000 per minute in the 4 o’clock hour — more than the median single-family home sale price in Massachusetts in August, $600,000, in Powerball sales statewide in an hour.
That all adds to the $158.75 million that Massachusetts Lottery players had spent on Powerball this calendar year through Oct. 9, according to data tracked by SuperCasinoSites. For fiscal year 2023, which ran from July 2022 through June 2023, the Mass. Lottery said its $169.7 million in Powerball sales represented an increase of 31 percent from the previous year.
And even as the Massachusetts Legislature again rejected an attempt this summer to allow the Massachusetts Lottery to sell its products online, Bay State gamblers are still ordering Powerball tickets on their phones — and at record rates, according to a lottery app that launched here in late July.
Jackpocket has no affiliation with the Mass. Lottery, but it takes online orders for lottery tickets and fulfills them at a Circle K in Methuen. The company said Wednesday that it has “seen a 70% increase in weekly ticket orders in Massachusetts as the Powerball jackpot continues to grow and the highest app adoption rate for a new state launch in the app’s history.” Since July, 123,700 Jackpocket users in Massachusetts have won more than $746,000 in total prizes, the company said.
You’ve got to figure at least someone in Massachusetts played the numbers 6-7-16-23-26 and Powerball number 4 — that was the combination that won Mavis Wanczyk what was at the time the largest jackpot won by a single ticket in North American lottery history as she left work at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield back in August 2017. That now ranks sixth on the list of Powerball jackpots.
Hate groups put lodging operators housing immigrants on the defensive
Hotels and motels welcoming migrants are facing some especially opposition to their taxpayer-funded hospitality – demonstrations from right-wing political groups. WBUR reported that families staying in a Framingham hotel were relocated after demonstrators showed up carrying signs with slogans such as “Invaders go home.” The head of one social services organization told the radio station he fears groups opposing immigration will band together and embrace tactics more dangerous than just demonstrating. — WBUR
Tufts University student group’s Hamas statement draws criticism
A group called Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine has received sharp rebukes from outside organizations and their own university for issuing a statement praising the “creativity” of tactics employed by Hamas fighters who thwarted Israeli security to slaughter civilians. The New England Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League called the social media post “obscene.” — Boston Globe
Green Line Extension trains back up to speed
A portion of the MBTA’s Green Line Extension where shifting tracks had forced trains to proceed at a crawl has been restored to normal following overnight work projects and as of Tuesday trains were back to full speed, MBTA officials said. The MBTA’s general manager told State House News Service he would let the public know why the new tracks shifted after an investigation into the situation has been completed — State House News Service
In Massachusetts, voters flocking to ‘unenrolled’ status
A growing percentage of the state’s 4.7 million registered voters list their affiliation as “unenrolled,” with the figure recently hitting 61 percent, the BOston GLobe reports. The paper cited research indicating no other state has as high a percentage of voters who don’t belong to a major party. The New England state with the next-highest percentage of unenrolled voters is Rhode Island, at 46 percent. — Boston Globe
Wu wants state to let Boston tax high-end home sales to fund lower-cost options
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is increasing her efforts to win state approval for implementing an extra tax on the sale of properties valued at $2 million or more. The tax would only be on the portion of any sale exceeding $2 million and would have generated $100 million in 2021, Wu told a legislative committee. “We’re doing everything we can at the city level,” Wu said. “But the one powerful tool that remains out of reach without legislative and gubernatorial approval is a transfer fee.” — State House News Service
Probate and Family Court will again make divorcing parents take state-sanctioned course
The state Probate and Family Court has resumed requiring that divorcing parents of minor children take a course that proponents say will help them care for their children. “There are instances where the best interests of the minor child(ren) of parties appearing before the Probate and Family Court would be well served by the child(ren)’s parents attending a course to strengthen parenting skills, to effectuate positive co-parent communication, to find ways to reduce co-parent conflict, and to understand the negative impact parental conflict can have on children,” the new standing order states. A previous standing order went out of effect in 2021. — Mass Lawyers Weekly
Turtleboy blogger claims retaliation after bus stop arrest
Aidan Kearney, the blogger known as Turtleboy, claimed his arrest Wednesday morning — at his child’s bus stop — on witness intimidation and harassment charges is actually retaliation for his campaign to expose corruption in the state’s murder case against Karen Read. After being arraigned and released, Kearney said what prosecutors called harassment was actually reporting. — MassLive
Runway upgrade sparks questions about future of Cape Cod airport
As Cape Cod Gateway Airport prepares for a $22 million runway upgrade project, some in Barnstable are questioning whether the facility, which has seen a steady decline in traffic in recent years, should be closed or even moved to Joint Base Cape Cod, Walker Armstrong of the Times reports. — Cape Cod Times
Greenfield health director resigns, citing abuse from public
Greenfield Health Director Jennifer Hoffman has resigned after three years on the job, citing harassment and abuse from members of the public and a recent City Council meeting where her commitment to the job was questioned. — Greenfield Recorder
New Bedford neighborhood latest target of hate group recruitment effort
Residents of a New Bedford neighborhood woke up to find recruitment flyers from the NSC-131 white supremacist group and local police say it’s the first time they’ve seen evidence of the group, increasingly active across the state, in the Whaling City. — New Bedford Light