In this issue, Nov. 8-14

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Here’s what Worcester Sun has for you in the Nov. 8-14 edition (plus, a little something extra … for the effort).

Patrick Sargent joins Worcester Sun | Over the past year, Patrick Sargent served as a reporter for GoLocalWorcester. While there, he gained a well-earned reputation for dogged reporting and for breaking news, particularly related to school issues, including a proliferation of violence and absenteeism at North High; a body found outside Worcester Tech; and a WPS employee facing child pornography charges.

He dove into the blight of overflowing donation bins (prompting City Council attention) and tackled the tribulations of the disabled in trying to access Uber and taxi services. In the face of overwhelming production demands, he has been a watchdog for the city and its residents.

Sargent was born and raised on Grafton Hill in Worcester and attended Holy Name High School. He graduated from Worcester State University with a bachelor’s degree in English. While at Worcester State, Sargent had brief stints with weekly newspapers Worcester Magazine, Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride, as well as covering WSU sports for the school’s student newspaper, The Student Voice. Following graduation, Sargent worked as a bartender and bar manager in Worcester for four years.

In 2012, Sargent’s essay “Debt Cancellation as Reparation: An Analysis of Four Cases,” was published in the academic journal The Armenian Review.

We are proud, gratified and grateful to be able to add him to our growing team of talented and experienced local journalists. Stay tuned in the next week or two for some similarly exciting additions to the family.


Binienda plans to apply for Worcester schools superintendent |  In his debut as a Sun contributor, Patrick Sargent is the first local reporter to ask popular South High Community School Principal Maureen Binienda if she actually wants the job so many in the city are advocating for her to take. She shares her thoughts with the Sun on why she’s interested and why now is the right time for her to assume the reins of Worcester Public Schools.

Back yard

Courtesy of Advocates

The backyard of Advocates’ new program home, for women with traumatic brain injury, in Worcester.

Sun Shine: A step toward independence |  A single-family home off Salisbury Street in Worcester recently became the first in the area to offer residential services to women who have suffered traumatic brain injury. It’s designed to transition clients from an institutional setting to complete independence.

Diane Gould, president and CEO of Advocates, is a native of Worcester who grew up in the Burncoat neighborhood.

Courtesy Advocates / Ball Consulting Group

Diane Gould, president and CEO of Advocates, is a native of Worcester who grew up in the Burncoat neighborhood.

Q&A: Diane Gould, Advocates president & CEO | “What kept me at Advocates, really, has been the vision and values of the organization. The mission of helping people regardless of their challenges to have a good life in the community … and creating communities in which everybody can participate, everybody has a valued role, everybody can make a contribution.” Find out more about the engaging, steadfast and impressive Worcester native, and her plans for the future of one of the state’s largest social service agencies.

Sun Spots with Hitch: Vol. 5 | Mayor Joseph M. Petty emerged from last week’s municipal election with a third term in his back pocket and at least two more years to promote his agenda of economic development. So, despite the divisive politics of a contentious campaign season, Petty’s no worse for wear, right? Hitch has other ideas.

Editorial: Moving at the speed of light |  A new report from the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce shows that the city has a competitive edge when it comes to offering businesses ultra high speed internet access. The amount of excess capacity means there is plenty of opportunity for growth. We tell you what this means and what else the city can do to maintain its leadership position.

The soon-to-be home of The Learning Hub at 253 Pleasant St.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

The soon-to-be home of The Learning Hub at 253 Pleasant St.

Sun Serial: A Mother’s Journey | Part 5 — The point of no return |  “To my own surprise, I found myself reaching out to Wendy, the owner of 253 Pleasant St., by the end of the day, uttering the words, ‘I’ll take it.’ A thousand dollars later and with a signed lease, I am now the new renter of the space. As I write this, I find myself smiling. I am stunned that I have full-heartedly followed this passion to help students and am ever-so enthusiastic about opening the doors in January. But the process only begins here.” Things started getting real, real fast for Giselle Rivera-Flores.

Logo_enlightened_interventionsLocal Business Spotlight: Enlightened Interventions | “I noticed how much people in other areas of the world invest in themselves in alternative ways. And I noticed that their level of [contentment] was much happier than what I was seeing in doing mental health work in the United States.” A trip abroad gave founder Elizabeth Belliveau the idea for Enlightened Interventions. Then, all she had to do was turn it into a thriving, multifaceted wellness operation.

Local Crowdfund: Woman scorned, idea spawned |  “After telling my friends about the things I went through with this relationship, my friend said to me, ‘Who does that? That should be a web series!’” A few friends later and with some reinforcement from supporters, Worcester actor and comedian Phyllis Gordon was off.

Worcester Weekly |  Let’s be honest, you’ll be spending most of this week raking leaves and watching them blow away; or looking for the box in the cellar that has the fancy Thanksgiving gravy boat; or pretending you’re not already behind on your Christmas shopping. But, hey, if you do find a way to wriggle out of all that fun, we’ve got a list of thought-provoking, entertaining Seven Hills action that will keep you on the go. Now, where’s that turkey baster?


New in our Free to Read section:

Sun Shine: Troy Thompson and the ‘No Evil Project’ |  As a student at WPI in the 1990s, Troy Thompson brought the city together by creating socialweb.net, an online events website. He’s doing it again with his latest endeavor, the “No Evil Project.” Read about how this social entrepreneur is helping teach local students about labels; about his latest exhibit, which opens Oct. 7 at North High School; and about how his four-year-old art project is on the verge of becoming a significant business.

Local Business Spotlight: Starcap Games |  Recent WPI graduate Pat Roughan used the educational and social aspects of his time in college to create Starcap Games. With a digital educational game geared for middle schoolers and a tabletop card game (with a naughty word in the title) geared for the college crowd, Roughan’s new company is increasing its chances for success.

Sun Shine: All Saints goes marching all over Worcester |  With a plethora of outreach and community programs, highlighted by its feeding ministry that provides hot meals and fellowship to veterans and others, the Irving Street episcopal church is a bastion for like-minded volunteers bent on giving back. We visited with some of these inspirational folks on their monthly mission to Veterans Inc.

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