Jim Levulis

Associate News Director

Born and raised in Eden, NY, Jim has been WAMC’s Associate News Director since October 2016. Before that he worked as WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief  for three years. He previously worked as a reporter, producer and anchor at WAER, an NPR affiliate in Syracuse. He has experience in Top 40 radio and has spent time with NPR-affiliate WBFO and CBS-affiliate WIVB-TV, both in Buffalo. A loyal and constantly humbled New York Yankees and Buffalo sports fan, Jim holds a BA in Broadcast Journalism and History from Syracuse University.

Ways to Connect

John Dolan

In western Massachusetts, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has named a new artistic director.

Come September 2014, the Festival will be under new artistic guidance. Mandy Greenfield will take over for Jenny Gersten, who has served in the role since 2010. Before Gersten takes on a new position as executive director of Friends of the High Line in New York City in January, she will program the upcoming season, the Festival’s 60th.

How We Roll

Communities in western Massachusetts are trying to figure out how to balance the opportunities and challenges they see with the emergence of food trucks in the region.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

The western Massachusetts town of Lee has named a new police chief for the third time in two years following the firing of Joseph Buffis in August.

“Relieved. Somewhat apprehensive. It’s a new job, but overall excited. Can’t wait to get started.”

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a national gun industry group's lawsuit challenging a wide-ranging firearms law passed by Connecticut in response to the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven ruled Monday that the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation Inc. doesn't have legal standing to challenge how state officials approved the law.

cappex.com

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The University of New Haven in Connecticut says a suspect is in custody following a report of a man near campus with what appeared to be a rifle.

The university said Tuesday on Twitter that people should continue to shelter in place.

No further information was immediately available. Messages left with the public affairs office for the university in West Haven and West Haven police were not immediately returned.

smithfieldpd.com

The town of Stockbridge has found a replacement for its longtime police chief.

Robert Eaton Jr., of Smithfield, Rhode Island will be moving west to the small Berkshire town of Stockbridge. Captain Eaton is a 23-year veteran of the Smithfield Police Department and is a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy. Stockbridge Selectwoman Deb McMenamy chaired the town’s search committee, which held its first meeting in August.

newtown-ct.gov

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — The town of Newtown, Conn., says it will release the 911 recordings from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Wednesday.

A Connecticut Superior Court judge ruled last week that the tapes from last December should be released to The Associated Press after a lengthy fight over the records that have been withheld by investigators.

Newtown officials said in the statement Monday that the tapes will be available Wednesday at an office in Danbury.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Investigators are looking into the cause of a New York City train derailment that killed four people and injured at least 60.

CT.gov

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A deadline is fast approaching for a Connecticut task force charged with finding ways to balance victim privacy with the public's right to know.

The group must report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by Jan. 1. However, the legislation creating the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public's Right to Know says the panel terminates on Jan. 1 or when it submits its report, whichever is later.

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BOSTON (AP) — Holiday travelers passing through Boston's Logan International Airport can now get an impromptu health report while waiting for their flights.

Four new health stations that include detailed walking paths through the airport and a machine that measures blood pressure, body mass index and weight, were installed Wednesday in three terminals.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Residential and commercial property owners in Pittsfield, Massachusetts will see their taxes increase come next year.

Stephanie Zollshan/Berkshire Eagle Staff

A western Massachusetts newspaper is under new leadership.

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BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts State Police have fired an analyst who worked at a state drug lab after questions arose about her academic credentials.

State officials say Kate Corbett said she has a chemistry degree from Merrimack College, though investigators determined that her degree is in sociology. Although she took some chemistry coursework, she did not earn a degree in chemistry.

Corbett worked in the same lab as Annie Dookhan, who was sentenced to prison after admitting to faking test results. Corbett has not been accused of tampering with evidence.

MIT/Getty Images

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has established an award named after slain campus police officer Sean Collier.

The award announced Monday by MIT Executive Vice President Israel Ruiz will be given annually "to an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the MIT community."

Authorities allege the Boston Marathon bombing suspects killed Collier on April 18 to get his gun as they fled police.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A lawyer for a Connecticut woman killed by police after a car chase outside the U.S. Capitol is requesting a Justice Department investigation.

Attorney Eric Sanders says in a letter that he believes the officers who shot Miriam Carey last month mishandled the encounter and should be criminally prosecuted.

Police have said Carey tried to ram her car into a White House barrier on Oct. 3 and then led police on a car chase that ended with her being killed near the Capitol.

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Police say they have images from a surveillance camera of the suspect who made a phone call saying an armed man was heading to shoot up Yale University.

Authorities also say they have identified several people of interest in their investigation following Monday night's six-hour campus lockdown. New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman said Monday he was leaning toward the incident being a hoax.

SWAT teams searching the Ivy League campus didn't find a gunman after a room-by-room search. No one was injured.

CT.gov

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut judge has ordered the release of the 911 recordings from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, but the tapes will not be immediately unsealed.

The state's Freedom of Information Commission ruled in September that the recordings should be provided to The Associated Press, but State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III asked for a stay while he appeals that order.

New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott denied his request Tuesday, but the tapes remain sealed until Dec. 4 to give the prosecutor a chance to appeal.

Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum

Plans are in the works for a scenic rail line in northwestern Massachusetts.

myparkingsign.com

The city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts is taking a look at how it can improve parking downtown.

The city is undertaking what it is calling a “sustainable parking management study” to make parking an asset, not a barrier, for the downtown. The city’s Community Development Coordinator Doug Clark says the study will look at the parking supply and demand as well as how the city manages its parking.

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Massachusetts health officials have released a list of the 100 applicants that are seeking licenses to open marijuana dispensaries for medical use.

The applications were posted Friday on the web site of the Department of Public Health, along with the cities and towns where the applicants hope to locate the facilities.

Stewart Burns

Fifty years after the assassination of President Kennedy, Americans across the country are recalling where they were and what they were doing the moment they heard the news. This is the story of a western Massachusetts man and his unique experience that day.

Stewart Burns, of North Adams, was in band practice at Mount Greylock Regional High School when he heard the superintendent’s voice over the PA system notifying students and faculty that the president had been shot.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Science, technology, engineering and math are the focus of a career fair in Pittsfield today.

Roughly 400 high school students had the chance to speak to representatives from more than 30 companies, colleges and governmental agencies highlighting careers in the STEM fields. Judith Monachina works in career services at Berkshire Community College, which hosted the fair.

dialbforblog.com

NEW YORK (AP) — An auction house has withdrawn from sale the original artwork for a 1964 Superman comic book featuring President John F. Kennedy.

Heritage Auctions had hoped to sell the artwork Friday in California for an estimated $50,000. But its creator sued the Dallas-based firm Tuesday, seeking to disclose the seller's name.

President Obama has appointed a cultural figure with deep ties to the Berkshires to his committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Albany native and Berkshires resident Kim Taylor says it’s been a whirlwind since she received the call from Pennsylvania Avenue. Taylor is a Trustee of the Boston Symphony who’s been with the organization for more than 30 years. She has worked with President Obama on both his campaigns, along with her husband, James, who you may have heard of.

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The Boston Symphony Orchestra has released the 2014 Tanglewood performance lineup.

The season starts on June 28th and includes more than 100 performances of live radio shows, orchestras, as well as popular artists like James Taylor, Yo-Yo Ma and first-timer Jason Alexander. Mark Volpe is the BSO’s managing director.

President Obama has appointed a cultural figure with deep ties to the Berkshires to his committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Albany native and Berkshires resident Kim Taylor is the newest member of the committee even though she will miss her first assignment; the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday. She and her husband, singer James Taylor, will be attending an event in Boston marking the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s death. Still, she says she is thrilled about the news.

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Regional environmental groups have released a report highlighting a potential for growth in wind energy.

Riverbrook Residence

Long-lasting friendships can be hard to foster, let alone sustain, in a modern world defined by constant movement and change. But, a pair of lifelong companions in Stockbridge couldn’t imagine life without each other.

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NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — General Electric Co. has donated $15 million to Newtown, Conn., to build and operate a community center.

Town officials said Monday that following the shooting deaths last December of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it was clear the town lacked a central meeting space.

More than 150 employees of GE, which is headquartered in nearby Fairfield, live in Newtown.

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