New England News

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U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut says he plans to introduce a resolution that calls for declassifying all remaining documents related to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Vermont's capital city has been selected to host a major regional arts conference.

Emerald Ash Borer
courtesy NYS DEC

The City Council in Montpelier, Vermont, says it has an emergency action plan to identify and combat the invasive emerald ash borer recently detected in the capital city.

Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration has awarded $57 million to 19 projects in Massachusetts to create or preserve more than 1,300 apartments for low-income tenants. 

MassBenchmarks

    The Massachusetts economy expanded at a torrid pace in the second quarter of this year, according to a report released Friday. 

Jim Levulis / WAMC

With the 2019 Massachusetts budget signed into law by Republican Governor Charlie Baker Thursday, Democratic State Senator Adams Hinds is touting education funding for the western part of the state. 

From left: Representatives Lloyd Doggett, Peter Welch and Elijah Cummings
Representative Lloyd Doggett/Facebook

A trio of U.S. House representatives, including Vermont Democrat Peter Welch, introduced legislation this week aimed at lowering prescription drug prices.

Social Security Administration/Public Domain

The Vermont Legislature passed a bill this session that eliminates the state taxation of Social Security benefits.  In Montpelier today, Governor Phil Scott was joined by agency representatives and the AARP to explain how the move will benefit Vermonters.

Josh Landes / WAMC

An environmental group gathered Berkshire community leaders in Pittsfield, Massachusetts this week to detail their respective efforts at promoting renewable energy.

Mass.gov

        The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has a new director.

Phil Scott (left) and Keith Stern
Candidates' Facebook campaign pages

Republican Governor Phil Scott and challenger Keith Stern faced off last night during a forum in advance of Vermont’s August 14th primary.

Hilary Scott / Tanglewood

Last Wednesday, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced the appointment of Sue Elliott as the inaugural Judith and Stewart Colton Director of the Tanglewood Learning Institute. It’s a new undertaking the BSO says will expand its educational capabilities by harnessing the internet to conduct both in person and distance learning. The Institute’s programming will commence in summer 2019, and will be housed in a new four-building complex that will comprise Tanglewood’s first year-round facilities. The new buildings will also expand the operations of the Tanglewood Music Center. Elliott spoke with WAMC about her experience in music education.

WAMC

   One of the major pieces of legislation still pending final approval in the waning days of the legislative session on Beacon Hill is an economic development bill.

Milk with Dignity March May Day 2107 to Ben & Jerry's in Burlington
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Ben & Jerry's and the group Migrant Justice say an agreement that the ice cream company signed last year to improve pay and working conditions of laborers on farms that provide the company milk has been a success.

Unions representing Consolidated Communications workers in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have authorized a strike if negotiators fail to reach an agreement on a new contract.

There's no deal yet between unionized nurses and Vermont's largest medical center, but the two sides did make some progress this week during the first negotiation session since a two-day strike earlier this month.

Josh Landes / WAMC

The North Adams Airport Commission released the terms of its new leases at its meeting Tuesday.

         Gov. Charlie Baker Wednesday announced funding for 19 projects across Massachusetts to create or preserve over 1,300 apartments for low-income tenants.

Berkshire Playwrights Lab / https://www.berkshireplaywrightslab.org

This summer, the South County-based Berkshire Playwrights Lab is hosting a series of staged readings of new works at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Tonight is the third installment of the series. The theater group presents playwright Bob Clyman’s new play “The Real Story.” WAMC spoke to BPL co-founder Matt Penn about the history of the group and one of the plays it premiered moving from the Berkshires to New York City.

As the city of Springfield, Massachusetts prepares to move forward with a needle exchange program to address the opioid crisis, concerns are again being voiced about a lack of treatment options. What officials say has been a longstanding shortage of substance abuse treatment beds in the region is frustrating to law enforcement and others on the front line of the drug epidemic.

Jail cell
Flickr

Vermont officials plan to evaluate the state's prison health care system in order to save money.

U.S. and Canadian flags
Flanker/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The Mexican border has been getting all of the attention when it comes to immigration, but while officials say the numbers of people crossing are relatively small,  there's increasing concern over the growing number of foreigners entering the country illegally across the northern border with Canada.

Massachusetts Attorney General's office via Twitter

  The top law enforcement officer in Massachusetts has launched an investigation into one of the country’s largest makers of e-cigarettes.

Vermont Democratic Party Executive Director Josh Massey
Josh Massey

Vermont Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature and are strongly positioned to retain power in the November elections.  A new poll commissioned by Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS shows Republican Governor Phil Scott’s favorability has dropped to 45 percent, boosting the hopes of the four candidates in August’s Democratic primary.  Last week, Josh Massey took over as the executive director of the Vermont Democratic Party.  He had worked for the Vermont Democratic Party before moving to Vancouver in 2015. But he returned following the Democratic losses in the 2016 election.  Massey explains why he wants to lead the state party.

Facebook: Pittsfield Police Department

An 18-year veteran of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Police Department is on administrative leave after a shooting at his home.

WAMC

   The $42 billion budget passed by the Massachusetts Legislature and sitting on Governor Charlie Baker’s desk contains many earmarks for projects and programs in western Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker says he's planning to sign a bill that would repeal a series of antiquated state laws, including a ban on abortion with origins dating to 1845.

Make Vermont Great Again logo
Vermont Republican Party

As President Donald Trump and the national Republican Party move to the right, tensions are rising in the Vermont GOP whether it should follow suit or seek moderation as the way forward in an otherwise liberal state.

Picture of marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan has clarified that the sale of marijuana, even when it is given as a "gift with purchase," is still illegal, despite the legalization of marijuana possession.

Josh Landes / WAMC

It wasn’t all well-wishers at Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Great Barrington, Massachusetts town hall Sunday. WAMC reports on the rival candidates who came to challenge the Democrat.

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