Inbox [April 19]: News and notes from Thrillist, Rachel’s Table, Assumption, Worcester Public Schools, MassDiGI and WCAC

Worcester most underrated place in Mass.

In its ranking of the most underrated place in each state, the website Thrillist has chosen Worcester as the most underrated place in Massachusetts.

The site noted: “From the Berkshires to the Cape, Newburyport to Northampton, the Bay State has no shortage of amazing places to visit. But are any of them really considered underrated anymore? Hell, even Lowell’s had its day in the sun (until “The Fighter,” of course, undid several years of effective public relations). But the Woo… no, Worcester is the spot you’re gonna be talking about.

Worcester Weekly: WPI softball, WSU baseball, ‘Music Man’ + more, April 16-22

Road trip! | School vacation week

Sunday, April 16 — Family Farm Fest, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge  No Easter brunch reservations, no problem. Hop on down the Pike to everyone’s favorite school field trip destination. This will be the second day of a weeklong celebration of spring at OSV, featuring living history characters preparing their fields for summer crops — and did we mention baby animals?!

That’s right — newborn lambs, chicks, piglets and calves might just get your kids in the right mood to try some 1830s farm chores (at OSV, definitely not at home!) or listen to “Laura Ingalls Wilder” talk about her “Little House on the Prairie” days. Maybe, maybe not. But odds are pretty solid they’ll be up for the 2 p.m. Great Easter Egg Hunt (for children 10 and under). Additional programs, including live music on the weekends, will be featured through Sunday, April 23.

Inbox [April 16]: News and notes from WPI, Main IDEA, LIFT, YWCA, Clark and St. Peter-Marian

WPI lands $5M grant

The Baker-Polito Administration announced a $5 million matching grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to support the launch of a new landmark healthcare research and product development initiative called PracticePoint at WPI.

The award from MassTech’s Collaborative Research and Development Matching Grant Program will match contributions from WPI and private sector stakeholders, including GE Healthcare Life Sciences, and fund new integrated research and development labs focused on the commercialization of secure healthcare devices and systems.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the grant at a ceremony in Worcester, alongside WPI President Laurie Leshin and Ann R. Klee, Vice President of Boston Development and Operations at GE.

“Imagine new ways to treat inoperable tumors, new systems that allow elders to remain at home safely, or smart devices that speed rehabilitative care — these are just some of the extraordinary technologies we hope will emerge when we bring together creative engineers, scientists and clinicians to work in the novel setting that PracticePoint provides,” Leshin said.

Worcester Sun, April 16-22: Mariano on A Better Life, Sunday conversation with Cliff Rucker, Mount Carmel crystal ball + much more

Worcester Sun is the proud media partner of Jane Week in Worcester — find out what that even means, and peruse a calendar of events. Plus lots of other good stuff, too, in your April 16-22 Worcester Sun.

Inbox [April 9]: City recognized for literacy work, Assumption a national leader in job placement, WPI among best values, Holy Cross promotes educators, Research Bureau announces service award winners

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Worcester honored as pacesetter for early literacy work

Worcester has been honored as a pacesetter community by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for exemplary work using proven and promising strategies, as well as for its work in addressing the health determinants of early school success.

This recognition comes as part of the review of Worcester’s 2017 All-American City Award application, which was submitted in January.

“Pacesetter Honors are among the highest awards presented by the GLR Campaign,” said Ralph Smith, the managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “We are very proud of Worcester and the numerous organizations and individuals behind the community for joining forces and working tirelessly to uplift children and families. They remind us that we are seeing great progress and real results all across the country.”

Worcester Sun, April 9-15: Mariano on Mount Carmel, a visit to the other Worcester, scholastic lacrosse + much more

Augustine Kanjia returns with his incredible tale of survival. Sinacola on schooling vs. education. Hitch on the Midtown Mall. Our thoughts on more support for police officers. Plus all your weekly favorites, in your April 9-15 Worcester Sun.

Worcester Weekly: Pitch perfect! Cooperstown, Clark baseball … and a cappella, April 2-10

Monday, April 3 — Pruning Fruit Trees workshop, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Jaques Avenue Orchard, 9 Jaques Ave.  Trees have feelings too, you know! (Seriously, some experts believe they do.) So you can’t just go hacking away willy-nilly at the spindly, winter-ravaged limbs of the pear tree your grandmother made you plant in the backyard. No, you need expert hands to make sure your Boscs or Bartletts or Harrow Sweets will come back to you in late summer. That’s where the pros from Tower Hill Botanic Garden come in.

For $20 ($10 for Tower Hill members), “learn the best way to prune fruit trees for health and production.” With the unpredictable nature of New England weather and, well, nature, every little bit helps. Registration is required.

For more information

Tuesday, April 4 — Worcester is America! Opening Ceremony, 6 p.m., Saxe Room, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square  “Worcester is America” — well, I guess that would make for a better city slogan than “Come for the potholes, stay for the dual tax rate!”

Bluefin Technology connects with customers, Worcester

A downtown startup is putting its expertise through its paces, right down to the family dog. Indeed, its most recent product is receiving wide acclaim. Art Simas hooks up with the IoT innovators for a closer look.

Editorial: Naturally, WPI researchers pump hope into biomedical advancement

Most of us see a spinach leaf as something to eat (or not).

Imagine the leap it took for someone to see it as the solution to a biomedical research dilemma.

That leap is spurring astonishing research in labs at WPI and two more U.S. college campuses.

The key is in the veins, the complex network visible in any plant leaf held to the light. Those countless interconnected tubes of varying size transport water, nutrients and other materials to and from the plant’s stem.

It’s reminiscent of the human circulatory system. And therein lies an improbable idea that just might work.

Biomedical scientists have been wondering how they could scale up regenerative tissue research to the point that someday, organ tissue with a built-in vascular system could be implanted in humans suffering from disease or traumatic injury. A heart attack victim, for example, in whom some heart tissue has died, could receive a graft of lab-grown, beating, vascularized human heart tissue.

Though that goal is still a long way off, it’s a significant step closer thanks to the engineering genius of nature — and to the insight and hard work of researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Arkansas State University-Jonesboro.

Worcester Sun, March 26-April 1: Mariano scrutinizes PCB chatter, Hitch takes his turn with The Crusader, tag days debate lingers + more

As if you needed more reasons to get in there … Another riveting chapter unfolds as Augustine suffers a heart-wrenching loss as he fills in the blanks back in Motema, Sierra Leone. Sinacola stopped by Clark for a lecture — unsurprisingly common ground was lacking. Plenty more, too, in your March 26-April 1 Worcester Sun.