New England News

James Kitchen with his pipe wrench sculpture
WAMC

For the second year in a row, the city of Springfield, Massachusetts is offering grants to create public art displays in its downtown cultural district.

Vermont Democratic U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy wants to reduce the size of the zone in which border agents can question people about their immigration status.

WAMC

A former public housing apartment complex is being demolished in Springfield, Massachusetts as part of a neighborhood improvement initiative.

A bicycle ferry that carries cyclists across part of Lake Champlain reopened Friday after repairs were made to an old railroad causeway on the water that is a popular bicycle path.

Samples from five mosquito pools collected in Springfield, VT have tested positive for West Nile virus at the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory.

Officials in Vermont are urging people to be aware of the dangers of high heat and humidity as temperatures rise.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Following two previous attempts, Vermont lawmakers passed a third budget on Monday and sent it to Governor Phil Scott, who had vetoed the first two plans saying they violated his pledge not to raise taxes or fees. Faced with a July 1st deadline, the governor announced Monday night that he would allow the latest version of the 2019 budget to become law without his signature.  The Republican discussed his decision Thursday during his first press conference since the move.

Picture of a judge's gavel
WikiMedia Commons

Three people are facing murder charges in connection with the death of a Pittsfield, Massachusetts woman in October 2017. 

      Five police officers in Springfield, Massachusetts have been promoted to the rank of sergeant even though some have checkered pasts. 

Josh Landes

The union representing Berkshire Medical Center nurses says its members overwhelmingly voted to accept a new contract with the Pittsfield hospital Thursday.

https://www.themastheads.org/

A unique project in the Berkshires combines architecture, literature, and social activism. WAMC reports on the second year of the Mastheads project.

Congressman Peter Welch
Congressman Peter Welch's office

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch was first elected to the U.S. House in 2006 and is now the House Democratic Caucus Chief Deputy Whip.  He is among the many people stunned by the defeat of Representative Joe Crowley by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s 14th District Democratic primary this week. Welch says while those who know Crowley are stung by the loss, the winner has excited voters.

Picture of a judge's gavel
WikiMedia Commons

Hartford has settled a lawsuit filed by a former police officer who alleged she was sexually harassed by fellow officers and demoted for speaking out.

https://www.facebook.com/NaacpReActivationGroupBerkshireCounty?ref=br_tf

The NAACP is suing Connecticut over how it counts inmates when crafting legislative districts, arguing it weakens urban districts.

South Burlington Rebels logo
South Burlington School District

The Vermont Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a case over a school board's decision to replace the school's long-held "Rebels" mascot.

Governor Phil Scott discusses Vermont budget
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott says he's satisfied with many provisions in the new state budget, yet remains disappointed Democrats in the Legislature did not sign onto his plan to hold property tax rates at last year's level.

Josh Landes

North Adams, Massachusetts Mayor Tom Bernard is moving to close the city’s public shooting range against the objections of some city council members and residents.

pedal-assist bikes for ValleyBike share program
WAMC

    After years of planning and searching for funding, a regional bicycle-sharing program launched this week in western Massachusetts.

Facebook: Tricia Farley-Bouvier

Pittsfield Democratic State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier says she stands by the Berkshire Museum following the resignation of Executive Director Van Shields Thursday. Shields joined the museum in 2011.

WBUR

The first casino opened in Massachusetts three years ago and newly reported research has found few downsides.

Protestors at the The Berkshire Museum in 2017.
JD Allen / WAMC

The Berkshire Museum announced Thursday that its executive director is stepping down. Van Shields was one of the architects of the museum’s controversial art sale plan to fund a renovation and endowment.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker
WAMC

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is planning to sign a bill that would increase the minimum wage, require paid leave for workers and mandate an annual August sales tax holiday.

The Vermont Economic Development Authority has approved $10.9 million in loans for business and agricultural projects across the state.

A Utah businessman is abandoning plans for a massive development in four rural Vermont towns based on the papers of Mormon founder Joseph Smith.

Emerald Ash Borer
courtesy NYS DEC

The invasive and destructive emerald ash borer has spread to Vermont's capital city and officials say people should prepare for most of Montpelier's ash trees dying.

Josh Landes

U.S. Senator Ed Markey’s new Massachusetts State Director paid a visit to the Berkshires Tuesday at the request of local politicians.

Cari Ann Shim Sham / http://www.translucentborders.com

Tonight, a globetrotting project that explores dance and music at borders debuts in the Berkshires.

Facebook: Massachusetts State Police

Three recently suspended or retired Massachusetts State Police troopers have been arrested and accused of stealing government funds for putting in for overtime shifts they didn't work.

      Two dozen projects are being considered for funding under the new Community Preservation Act program in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

It appears Vermont will avoid a government shutdown. With the July 1st fiscal year deadline approaching, Governor Phil Scott has decided to allow the third version of the budget that legislators have sent him to become law, but he’s not signing the fiscal plan.

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