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New England News

More than 50 employees at the People’s United Bank processing center in Brattleboro will be laid off.

Vermont’s first Black female police chief has been appointed in Brattleboro and will start her job this week.

Vermont State Police patch on the Williston barracks sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The state Medical Examiner is working to determine the cause of death of two Glover, Vermont residents whose bodies were found in Crystal Lake in Barton.

Charles D'Amour, President and CEO of the Big Y supermarket chain announces a $1.5 million donation to the Food Bank's capital campaign. Food Bank of Western Mass. Ex Director Andrew Morehouse is on the right.
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

    Fundraising is underway to build a new hub for emergency food assistance in western Massachusetts.

The main sign outside of Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County’s largest healthcare provider says COVID-19 activity is trending upwards in the community.

The North Adams Public Library

The North Adams, Massachusetts Public Library will no longer charge fines on overdue materials. Library Director Sarah Sanfilippo says the move is an effort to join a national movement to eliminate barriers to what is a public resource. Galvanized by the COVID-19 pandemic, dropping fines across the board expands a 2018 decision to halt charges for children and young adults with overdue materials. WAMC spoke with Sanfilippo about the decision, and why she isn’t concerned about the institution taking a financial hit from the move.

U.S. flag
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A Vermont town board is considering whether to revive the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance now that it is holding in-person meetings again.

A Vermont police chief has apologized to a Black man who was issued an assault citation following a neighborhood fight, and rescinded the citation.

The Marlboro Music Festival is working on a deal to purchase the campus of the now-closed Marlboro College in Vermont, ending a year of uncertainty over the future of the campus.

A white woman holds a yellow sign protesting a landfill in a white walled room.
Josh Landes / WAMC

The town of Lee, Massachusetts has officially responded to residents angry over a municipal worker removing lawn signs from private property. 

A crowd of people stand in a park surrounded by a rotary with a blue-green truck in the foreground
Josh Landes / WAMC

Community groups will rally for voting rights in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts Saturday. 

A Black woman stands in front of a red wall
Boston Symphony Orchestra

On Saturday, composer Jessie Montgomery makes her Tanglewood debut with the performance of her piece “Starburst.” Born and raised on the Lower East Side in the 1980s, Montgomery – also a violinist and educator – has seen her work performed across the United States and abroad. Recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, she was selected by the New York Philharmonic to participate in its 2020 celebration of the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment – which prohibited denying the right to vote based on sex – called Project 19. WAMC spoke with Montgomery about “Starburst,” and about her efforts to increase the visibility of people of color in the classical music community.

A Massachusetts municipal sign
Office of the Mass. State Auditor

    A recent report said there are deficiencies in a state program in Massachusetts that makes payments in lieu of taxes for state-owned lands.

Burlington Church Street Marketplace at night (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington Business Association is forming a safety escort program for downtown workers leaving their jobs at night, following increased violent incidents in the city.

A man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he crashed a car into a house while driving drunk, injuring a Vermont couple who were sitting in their living room.

A fire truck extends a ladder to the second story of an old yellow house, with a firefighter in the basket
Great Barrington Fire Department

A Great Barrington, Massachusetts man is facing arson, insurance fraud and other charges after a fire at his business earlier this month.

A stone building with a colonnade.
Josh Landes / WAMC

The city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts will receive over $32 million in federal relief funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. The $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill was signed in March to hasten the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying recession. With half of the money in hand and the rest hitting city coffers next May, Mayor Linda Tyer has described it as a once in a lifetime windfall for the community. WAMC asked the mayor how she plans to spend the money, and why the voices of city residents will inform the final disbursements.

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan says the state will receive about $60 million from a proposed national settlement with companies that made and distributed opioid painkillers.

Shoreline accumulation of cyanobacteria
Vermont Department of Health

About a dozen beaches around Vermont, including several in Burlington, were closed Wednesday because of potentially toxic algae blooms.

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant
Courtesy NRC and Entergy Corp.

A committee of the advisory panel monitoring the decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant held a meeting this week to get an update on federal nuclear waste policy and the potential ramifications for the Vermont plant.

An SUV is parked on the street in front of a brick building with "Pittsfield Police" on its doors
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts Police Advisory and Review Board held its monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris.
City of Springfield

     Like much of the nation, Springfield, Massachusetts is seeing a rise in new coronavirus infections prompting the city’s top public health officer to urge extra precautions.

Vermont Statehouse (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott held his weekly briefing on Tuesday.  Administration officials provided an update on COVID-19 infections and followed up on a White House infrastructure meeting.

An elderly white man in a blue ball cap stands at a lectern in a meeting room facing a table with people sitting behind it
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Lee, Massachusetts select board meeting Tuesday night was dominated by residents angry over a town employee removing lawn signs from private property.

The COVID-19 vaccine moves from cold storage at the Department of Health to coolers and is transported to the TU Center for mass vaccination clinics.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Colleges across the country are determining their fall semester COVID-19 policies for students, faculty and staff. The University of Vermont Board of Trustees endorsed a policy that will require students be vaccinated by the time they arrive on campus for the fall semester.

A treatment area in the emergency room at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, MA

   The American Rescue Plan Act expanded health insurance affordability.

      Massachusetts legislators today held what is expected to be the first of many public hearings on how to spend almost $5 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act.

BasicGov, flickr

Advocates for tenants fear a spike in evictions will occur in Massachusetts once a federal moratorium ends on July 31st.  

Amtrak train (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Celebrations were held at Amtrak stations across Vermont on Monday to mark the return of passenger rail service to the state.

an art exhibit
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

An exhibit of works by an artist and activist once described as “China’s most dangerous man” has opened in western Massachusetts.