Songs in the key of healing: Worcester Center for Expressive Therapies offers hope

Older patients who had suffered a stroke had lost the ability to speak, but would still be able to sing. Patients who have been unable to walk have found their stride with the assistance of the center’s music therapy. These stories aren’t as improbable as they seem. “Music activates both sides of the brain,” said Kayla Daly, owner/director. “Music can re-create new neural connections in the brain.”

Inbox [Sept. 13]: News and notes from The Grid, WPI, Bancroft School, Women in Action, Davis Art Gallery and City to Saddle

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MG2 Group secures $38M for Grid properties

The MG2 Group, owners of the Grid District, have secured a $38 million floating-rate loan for Bancroft on the Grid and Portland on the Grid, two adjacent multifamily properties with commercial space along Worcester Common.

The loan will facilitate the assets’ transition to luxury apartments amid Worcester’s revitalization and provide necessary capital to build out two high-end restaurant spaces at ground level.

“John McGrail and MG2 have been pioneers in Worcester dating back more than a decade, and Ladder Capital took the time to understand just how much is going on in the local market,” Tom Sullivan, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield’s Boston debt practice, said. “This loan will allow MG2 to fulfill the vision it has had for these assets and turn them into two of Worcester’s premier housing and entertainment destinations.”

Doherty’s Tajon Vassar a fast-rising star for the Highlanders

In many ways, Tajon Vassar is a microcosm of the entire Doherty football team.

An overlooked kid who puts in the work, plays both sides of the ball, and is trying to live up to the accomplishments of his older brother, Vassar embodies the traits of many on this year’s hopeful Highlanders.

Now a junior, Vassar still has some things to prove, but after a breakout sophomore campaign much will be expected of the electric running back and defensive back.

“We’re lucky with Tajon, because he’s one of our best players, if not our best player, and he’s also the hardest worker,” Doherty coach Sean Mulcahy said. “You don’t always have that. He works hard, and he’s gotten physically bigger and stronger this offseason, which will obviously help.”

Sound of (Mass) Fury signifies nothing but football for those who just won’t quit

The overwhelming majority of athletes stop playing their favorite sports at the youth, high school or college level. Without a ticket, the bright lights of Gillette Stadium or Fenway Park are out of reach.

There are options, though, for the weekend warriors who just can’t bring themselves to hang up the cleats or tag their dusty old shoulder pads for the next yard sale. And who don’t mind slightly dimmer lighting.

The semi-professional Eastern Football League has provided a competitive oasis for scholastic and collegiate gridiron greats since 1961 — many area fans may remember the long-dominant Marlborough Shamrocks — and for the past several years the Worcester-based Mass Fury have been winning trophies and keeping dreams alive.

QCC’s Pedraja among college leaders defending DACA

Public community college officials in Massachusetts are taking a stand in support of a five-year-old immigration program put in place by President Barack Obama put on the chopping block Tuesday by President Donald Trump.

Obama signed an executive order in June 2012 and the Department of Homeland Security subsequently began accepting applications for “deferred action” from immigrants who met certain criteria, such as being brought to the country before they turned 16. Under the program, known as DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], qualifying immigrants — often described as “dreamers” — are protected from deportation for at least two years, and become eligible to apply for a work permit.

In a joint statement with the Boston Public Schools issued on Sunday, the 15 public community college presidents in Massachusetts said they are committed to educating all who pass through their doors.

Sun Spots with Hitch [Vol. 195]: Charlie Baker deals drug peddlers a losing hand

When it comes to the lingering opioid crisis that has devastated families from coast to coast, Massachusetts remains at the vanguard of the battle to bring the scourge to an end.

Much of that fight has come straight from the top, marshaled by Gov. Charlie Baker, who has pushed new state laws, encouraged regional collaboration and been recognized for his efforts most notably by being chosen to serve on President Trump’s federal opioid task force.

Now he’s proposing manslaughter charges for dealers whose sales lead to a user’s death. With a topic like this, Hitch couldn’t “just say no.”