Black Boston sports journalist enshrined in Cooperstown
DES MOINES, Iowa — Former Boston Globe reporter Larry Whiteside was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday after a long and distinguished career as a sports writer.
Whiteside was posthumously awarded the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which honors meritorious contributions to baseball writing. He passed away in 2007.
Whiteside was born in Chicago and graduated from Drake University in 1959. He began his career in journalism at the Des Moines Register from 1957-59. He joined the Boston Globe in 1973, where he became the only African American regularly covering a major league team for a large daily newspaper.
Whiteside, who spent 31 years at the Globe, became the first African American Hall of Fame voter in 1980.
Mass. home sales down in second quarter
WALTHAM — Spring brought no reawakening for the housing market in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of single-family homes fell 13.7 percent in the second quarter of 2008, while condominium sales fell 23.6 percent from the same April-June period a year ago.
The median selling price for a single-family home was $334,900, an 8.5 percent decline from 2007.
The Warren Group, a Boston-based publisher of real estate data, reported Monday that Massachusetts had the fewest home sales over the first half of 2008 than in any six-month period since 1991.
The realtor group did say sales of single-family homes and condos have been rising on a month-to-month basis for the past four months and the number of listings are down from last year — which could lead to more demand.
Nordstrom invites suppliers to new South Shore Plaza project
Nordstrom has invited minority- and women-owned construction vendors to attend a “project preview” of the new Nordstrom store at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree.
The upscale retailer is seeking subcontractors for the interior and exterior portion of the project, as well as vendors and contractors for construction supplies and materials. Architectural, design and HVAC services are not open for bid, Nordstrom announced.
To be considered, companies must be licensed and bondable, and demonstrate private-sector experience. Nordstrom construction policy prohibits joint ventures or construction managers.
Over the years, Nordstrom officials say, the company has developed partnerships with over 1,000 minority- and women-owned businesses to build stores across the nation.
The meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, Aug. 5, between 9 a.m. and noon at the Sheraton Hotel, 37 Forbes Road, Braintree.
Bay State health insurers to cover in-store clinic visits
Some of the state’s largest health insurers will cover visits to health clinics expected to open in some pharmacies later this year.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan have signed contracts with CVS Caremark Corp., which plans to open as many as 28 MinuteClinics in Massachusetts stores.
A company spokeswoman says CVS is negotiating coverage for clinic services with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s largest insurer.
CVS says insurers provide coverage for treatment at clinics in other states.
Blue Cross Blue Shield is also negotiating with Take Care Health Systems, the medical clinic subsidiary of Walgreen Co.
The in-store clinics are expected to provide vaccinations and treatment for common ailments cheaper than in emergency rooms.
Food stamp use is up in Massachusetts
Advocates for the poor say the rising costs of food and fuel are driving up the use of food stamps in Massachusetts.
Records show that more than 500,000 people statewide received food stamps in April, up 11 percent from last year and up 67 percent since 2003.
Massachusetts residents received about $48 million in food stamp benefits this April, more than double the $22 million they received in April 2003.
Patricia Baker of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, a nonprofit that advocates for the poor, says the soaring cost of heating oil is helping drive food stamp use.
She says the federal program has also been made more accessible by a streamlined online application process and the addition of eight new offices to assist the poor and disabled.
State public health officials are warning lobster lovers to avoid the soft green substance found in the body cavity of lobsters.
The tomalley is considered a delicacy by some seafood aficionados, but the state Department of Public Health says this part of the lobster can build up high levels of toxins and pollutants.
That’s of particular concern this year because of red tide, a toxic algae that closed seafood beds along large swathes of New England’s coast earlier this summer. Eating shellfish with high levels of the toxin can cause potentially fatal paralytic shellfish poisoning.
The tomalley can also accumulate high levels of possibly carcinogenic PCBs.
Health officials say the pinkish lobster meat is perfectly safe to eat.
The Department of Homeland Security has announced $35 million in federal assistance for Massachusetts.
State public safety officials will receive $17.2 million in federal assistance, a 15 percent decrease from last year. Public Safety and Security Secretary Kevin Burke said last Friday that a streamlined state strategy focuses on what first responders and cities and towns need.
Among the specific areas where the state will direct the new funds: enhancing preparedness for a chemical, biological or radioactive explosion and improving coordination between bomb squads and other first responders.
The state also plans to enhance its preparation and response to a pandemic influenza outbreak.
The bulk of the remaining funds will go to the metropolitan Boston area under the Urban Area Security Initiative Program. Mayor Thomas M. Menino says the money will help with disaster planning.