Josh Landes | WAMC

Josh Landes

Berkshire Bureau Chief

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods. 

Ways to Connect

A woman in a blue suit stands in front of a set of stone stairs
Josh Landes / WAMC

After being pulled over for a traffic violation that revealed she was driving with a suspended license, the Berkshire County District Attorney says she didn’t receive preferential treatment from police. 

A man and a boy hold signs in a meeting room
Josh Landes / WAMC

Today, the public comment period on a controversial cleanup plan brokered by the EPA for the Housatonic River in Berkshire County comes to an end. The response to the proposal from locals has been nothing short of toxic.

A crowd of young people mill in front of an entrance with "TACONIC" spelled out in metal over it
Pittsfield Public Schools / http://www.pittsfield.net/

On Thursday, a junior varsity baseball coach at Taconic High School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts was arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on multiple charges related to sexual misconduct with students at the school. WAMC spoke with Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington about the case, and why she thinks more allegations against Scott Nimons could emerge. Neither the school nor the superintendent immediately responded to request for comment.

The frame of a stadium is filled with smoke and flames as fire crews on foot and on a crane spray it with water
Pownal Fire Department

An abandoned racetrack in Pownal, Vermont caught fire Wednesday night, leading to a multi-agency response well into today.

Two people examine a stream from the top of a paved outcropping in the woods
Josh Landes / WAMC

Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen A. Theoharides was in Western Massachusetts this week as part of a statewide tour for Climate Week. Governor Charlie Baker’s administration is rolling out three new initiatives, including $11 million in new spending on climate change preparedness programs and over $800,000 on culvert projects.

A wide river is flanked by banks covered in grass and trees
Josh Landes / WAMC

At an Environmental Protection Agency public hearing Tuesday night, Berkshire County residents and activists made their displeasure with the proposed Housatonic River cleanup plan clear.

A wide river is flanked by banks covered in grass and trees
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding a second public hearing on a controversial Berkshire County river cleanup plan tonight.

A small round brick building with a little orange flag on its roof sits in a body of water under swollen grey clouds
Josh Landes / WAMC

On Wednesday, water use restrictions in Pittsfield, Massachusetts are moving from voluntary to mandatory as the city’s water supply continues to drop amid a statewide drought. Outdoor water activities like watering lawns and gardens, washing cars or filling swimming pools must happen before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. and only on alternating days. Pittsfield’s Department of Public Services and Utilities will be enforcing the new restrictions, with fines issued for all offenses after the first. WAMC spoke with Department Commissioner Ricardo Morales.

An image of young people in masks under the text "RESPONDING TOGETHER Outcomes and Impacts of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County"
www.berkshireunitedway.org

An emergency COVID-19 relief fund focused on Berkshire County is pausing its efforts after raising millions for the region’s most vulnerable.

On Saturday, the streets of Lenox, Massachusetts will be alive with music as five different jazz ensembles perform at locations around the Berkshire town. WAMC spoke with Berkshires Jazz President Ed Bride about the event, as well as the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the county’s music scene.

A black and white photograph of a bald black man in a suit and bowtie with a mustache
Cornelius Marion Battey / Wikipedia Commons

The Berkshire Hills Regional School District has voted to rename a Great Barrington, Massachusetts middle school after local legend W.E.B. Du Bois.

A stone building with a colonnade lit by lights sits in front of a brick churck and a street lamp
Josh Landes / WAMC

Residents of a Pittsfield, Massachusetts neighborhood brought their frustration with a construction project to this week’s city council meeting.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The Berkshire District Attorney’s office has confirmed the identity of an Pittsfielder who took his own life in a homeless encampment Tuesday evening. 

A screenshot of a Zoom meeting
PCTV

Amid a pandemic, a rising population of unhoused city residents, the economic downturn, and a volatile national election, a hyper-local issue took much of the Pittsfield City Council’s attention Tuesday night.

The Berkshire Eagle logo
The Berkshire Eagle

Berkshire County’s sole daily newspaper – The Berkshire Eagle – will reduce its print schedule from seven days to five days a week beginning early next month. The paper announced the change in its own pages, citing changing trends in the news industry for producers and consumers. WAMC spoke with Executive Editor Kevin Moran about the move, and the paper’s corresponding plans to increase digital operations.

A map of Massachusetts separated into sections, all colored yellow
Massachusetts / www.mass.gov

In August, the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs declared that the state was experiencing significant drought conditions. This morning, city leaders in Pittsfield announced new water conservation measures for the community. WAMC spoke with Commissioner Ricardo Morales of the city’s Department of Public Services and Utilities about the new voluntary restrictions — just the first level of a multi-tiered plan if the drought continues to intensify.

The words "Berkshire Pride" sit over a rainbow flag
Berkshire Pride

After being postponed this summer, Berkshire County’s largest LGBTQ+ celebration has been canceled. 

A map of Berkshire County with four regions highlighted
www.paulwmark.com

All five members of Berkshire County’s legislative delegation went unchallenged in the Massachusetts Democratic primary on Tuesday.

A pale red headed man speaks into two mics
Josh Landes / WAMC

After the Massachusetts primary, Berkshire County politicians are taking stock of their endorsements.

A man stands at a podium facing bright lights, cameras, and a crowd
Josh Landes / WAMC

Holyoke, Massachusetts Mayor Alex Morse was back in the Paper City last night to concede after his bid to unseat Congressman Richard Neal in the 1st House district fell short. WAMC was there.

Three people holding signs - two for Alex Morse and one for Ed Markey - stand at a street corner
Josh Landes / WAMC

Voters across Massachusetts are going to the polls for primary day today.

Wikipedia Commons

All five members of Berkshire County’s legislative delegation are running unchallenged in the September 1st Massachusetts primary.

A tent with signs in front of a large brick complex
Josh Landes / WAMC

COVID-19 cases have been reported at two of Northern Berkshire County’s major cultural institutions: MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts and Williams College in Williamstown.

Four ballots - one pink, one blue, one green, and one purple - are attached to a wall.
Josh Landes / WAMC

As Massachusetts prepares for in-person voting in Tuesday’s primary, town and city clerks around Berkshire County have already seen unprecedented turnout through mail-in and early balloting.

A black man with a face mask on, a hat, and an NAACP sign kneels in a sun-dappled grassy park surrounded by other masked people
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP is holding a Black Lives Matter protest in Pittsfield, Massachusetts this weekend following the police shooting of African-American man Jacob Blake in Wisconsin earlier this month. 

A photo of a smiling white man with grey hair and blue eyes in a white shirt, suit jacket and red tie is next to a photo of another younger smiling white man in a white shirt with reddish hair and a blue tie
Facebook

Voters have been voting early and mailing in ballots ahead of the Massachusetts primary Tuesday. WAMC has this recap of the contentious Democratic race in the 1st House district.

A white, brown-haired woman in a blue blazer stands with a microphone before her in a room lined with purple curtains
Josh Landes / WAMC

From confronting the mounting challenge of housing city residents to broken water mains, it’s been an unusually busy August in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. WAMC got an update today from Mayor Linda Tyer.

Elizabeth Freeman Center Executive Director Janis Broderick
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Elizabeth Freeman Center is Berkshire County’s 24/7 resource for people experiencing domestic abuse and sexual assault. From September 8th to the 18th, its annual fundraiser is going virtual in light of the ongoing pandemic. The Walk A Mile event saw over 900 participants raise more than $90,000 last year. This year, Executive Director Janis Broderick tells WAMC the center faces a sharp increase in the number and intensity of assault and abuse cases around the county.

Massachusetts Teachers Association logo
Massachusetts Teachers Association

The president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association is sharply criticizing the state’s planning for reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. As public school districts around the commonwealth plan for the fall semester, Merrie Najimy says state guidance has been lacking – and that Governor Charlie Baker’s plan to carry out testing only in districts with signs of the pandemic “recklessly creates false confidence.” While the state has pushed back the start of the fall semester to as late as September 16, Najimy tells WAMC that there are still crucial public health benchmarks Massachusetts has failed to address.

A screenshot of a Zoom meeting
Josh Landes / WAMC

North Adams, Massachusetts has put forward a draft of new municipal bylaws that would regulate short-term rentals.

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