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When people say politics is like making sausage, kielbasa maker Danny Morris just smiles.

On this workday, the longtime employee runs 20 pounds of pork butt through a grinder and into a pig intestine — no preservative, and definitely no politics.

“We sell this for $5.99 a pound,” Morris says as he guides the kielbasa out of the machine. “I just went out and bought hot dogs wholesale that were like $6 a pound, and that’s not natural. But this here, you know what you’re gonna get.”

O'Dea at Wikimedia Commons / https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ADiscount_Medical_Marijuana_-_2.jpg

Police in Springfield, Massachusetts, say they will enforce state law when it comes to legalized marijuana, unless they receive additional guidance from top state officials. At the same time, police spokesman Ryan Walsh said the department will cooperate with any federal investigations.  

Federal immigration enforcement agents raided 7-Eleven stores across the country early Wednesday, in search of employees who are in the U.S. illegally and managers who knowingly employ them.

Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted sweeps of 98 stores in 17 states and Washington, D.C., arresting 21 people on suspicion of being in the country illegally.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts consumers will be paying less for beef, pork, lamb, chicken and turkey in early 2018 than at the start of 2017. Not so for eggs.

Joe Blumenthal, owner of Downtown Sounds in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Karen Brown / NEPR

As the Christmas shopping season winds down, economists will be taking stock of the country’s retail health.

A jar of marijuana buds for sale inside the River Rock dispensary in Denver, Colorado.
Steve Brown / WBUR

Massachusetts regulators are now preparing the state for retail sales of marijuana. Governor Charlie Baker last week signed a bill into law making changes to the voter-approved measure legalizing marijuana for recreational use. 

State officials announced on Monday the operator of a new commuter rail line between New Haven and Springfield, and said the launch of that service will be delayed into mid-2018.

There's a good chance something you've bought online has been in the hands of a "picker" first. These are the workers in warehouses who pick, pack and ship all those things we're ordering.

Springfield's Union Station and the Union Station Parking Garage on March 23, 2017.
David Molnar / The Republican

Springfield city officials announced on Wednesday that they've rented out the last spot in the main concourse of the renovated Union Station.

It will be an Italian restaurant called The Whistle Stop -- named after an establishment that existed in the original train station, which closed in the 1970s.

The city is still looking for more tenants to fill space beyond the main concourse.

Springfield's chief development officer Kevin Kennedy said creating a new retail complex in the station will not take away from existing local businesses.