Here is the latest Massachusetts business news from The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The federal government says it plans to sell leases for wind farms off the coasts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia, marking the first time it has sold competitive leases for wind energy on the outer continental shelf. The Department of Interior and its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Friday said the leases for two areas totaling more than 430 square miles would be sold next year.

BOSTON (AP) — One of the three companies that had been pursuing a casino license in Springfield is dropping out of the race. Ameristar Casinos announced Friday that it was ending its bid to develop a resort casino on a 40-acre industrial site in the western Massachusetts city. The Las Vegas-based company said while it believed it had the "superior" proposal, it did not consider the likelihood of it winning the sole western Massachusetts license strong enough to continue the effort.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno says the property tax rate he is proposing would lower tax bills for about 86 percent of single-family homeowners in the next fiscal year. Sarno says preliminary data shows that under his plan, the average tax bill for a single-family homeowner would fall by $146 to $2,507, the lowest rate since 2009. City Council is expected to consider the proposal today.

WHITMAN, Mass. (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency says it's reached a settlement with two related business to cover cleanup costs at a former Whitman shoe factory. The EPA announced Friday that the Brown Shoe Company and Brown Group Retail have agreed to reimburse the agency $450,000 of its past costs.

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A businessman who paid thousands of dollars in kickbacks to win transportation contracts for Medicaid patients in central Massachusetts has been ordered to pay $700,000 in fines and restitution. Alexander Shrayber avoided jail at his sentencing Thursday in Worcester. Prosecutors say Shrayber paid Montachusett Regional Transit Authority employees in Fitchburg monthly cash bribes to land contracts for his five companies transporting Medicaid patients to medical appointments.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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