Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.



MGM Bets On Big Performers Like Stevie Wonder To Entice Visitors

On Main Street in Springfield, Massachusetts, MGM's resort casino is just south of the MassMutual Center where Steve Wonder performs September 1. Photo by Jill Kaufman for NEPR

For the first time ever, the influential and iconic Stevie Wonder will play Springfield, Massachusetts. The September 1 concert is the beginning of a new kind of entertainment in the city, according to MGM Springfield. The casino opens August 24, and is bringing Stevie Wonder to town.

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Want Free Coffee? Personal Data Is The Way To Pay

Shiru Cafe. Photo by Chaiel Schaffel for RIPR

Shiru Cafe looks like a regular coffee shop. Inside, machines whir, baristas dispense caffeine and customers hammer away on laptops. All of the customers are students, and there’s a reason for that. At Shiru Cafe, no college ID means no caffeine.

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How The Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck Is Taking A Classic New England Dish Around The Country

Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac are no strangers to the Maine lobster bake. They grew up in Maine, and, although they have since moved away, their childhood memories of simple, homemade lobster rolls inspired them to start a business: Cousins Maine Lobster. It all started as a food truck, that served, you guessed it, Maine lobster. Since they opened their first truck out in L.A., they have expanded to over a dozen cities, including Portland, Maine, and a truck that will open in Southern Connecticut in the early fall, as well as opening restaurants around the world, and writing a new book, Cousins Maine Lobster: How One Food Truck Became a Multi-Million-Dollar Business.

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