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Colleges, universities prepare to keep students safe as monkeypox cases spread

With monkeypox cases on the rise, many colleges and universities are working on protocols for students before they start classes this fall semester.

Western Mass News spoke with Kaelly Ryan, director of health services at American International College, who told us they’re noticing that monkeypox is being spread through both skin-to-skin and face-to-face contact, so Ryan advises students wear protective clothing to avoid coming in contact with lesions on the skin. Ryan provided additional information available by clicking on the link above.

Athletic Director Jessica Chapin discusses Mass. Gaming Commission's next steps on sports betting

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission held a meeting to start discussing regulations for sports betting in the state Thursday. This came following Governor Charlie Baker signing the bill into law. Western Mass News spoke with one local college athletic director to find out how sports betting will impact college athletes here in Massachusetts. 


Sports betting is officially legal in the Bay State. The new law allows bets on professional and college sports, but not on Massachusetts college teams unless they are in playoff tournaments like March Madness. “It’s great for the state of Massachusetts obviously from a revenue standpoint, but it really doesn’t change things here from an NCAA perspective. Our student athletes are not permitted to bet or gamble on any sports,” said Jessica Chapin, director of athletics for American International College. AD Chapin's full interview is available online at Western Mass News.

Affordable rental housing becoming nearly impossible for average worker: Here’s why

Rental housing has become increasingly unaffordable, making it difficult for average workers to maintain their standard of living. A new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalitions says there are zero states left where a minimum wage worker can afford a two-bedroom apartment. According to their research, the average U.S. worker must earn just over $25 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment and just over $20 an hour for a one-room.


The minimum wage in Massachusetts is currently $14.25 per hour, with plans to increase to $15 over the next few years. However, research shows that to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Massachusetts, you need to be making just over $37 per hour, assuming you are an individual who has a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year. Professor of Economics John Rogers was asked for his expert opinion, which can be found at WWLP-22News

What causes a recession and are we in one? Professor of Economics John Rogers weighs in

Recession is on the minds of many as the country continues to deal with inflation. 22News spoke with Professor of Economics John Rogers, PhD, to learn what causes a recession. As people deal with the fallout of the pandemic, including inflation, a potential recession is also causing concerns, but experts say don’t panic just yet.


“It’s not a recession that we would be familiar with such as what we had back in 2008 when a lot of people just lost their jobs. The job market is really strong that people are working and making money,” said John Rogers, Professor of Economics at AIC. “And it’s necessary that it slows down its the only way you curb inflation. At this point, the idea of a real recession is where people lose their jobs, housing prices crash, and businesses go out of business. We aren’t seeing that,” said Rogers. The full story is available on WWLP-22News.

AIC Director of Financial Aid discusses federal student loan moratorium set to end this fall

Federal student loan payments have been on pause since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that could soon change as the moratorium is expected to be lifted this fall. Richard O'Connor, director of financial aid at AIC, believes President Joe Biden will not come to a final decision before the midterm elections on top of rising inflation rates. The forbearance for federal student loans ends on August 31. President Biden has until then on what his next steps are before you may have to potentially repay back your student loans. O'Connor's additional thoughts are available on Western Mass News.