New England News

   The odds are long, but Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is holding out hope that a housing bill could make it through the state legislature before the end of the year. 

Josh Landes / WAMC

The Great Barrington, Massachusetts selectboard held a special meeting Wednesday night over two requests to remove a member of the town’s housing authority.

WAMC

Crime rates across the country may be down, but that does not mean police officers are in less demand.   What are known as “calls for service” continue to increase, as police departments struggle to recruit and retain police officers to answer the public’s calls for help.

Burlington City Hall Park
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Burlington, Vermont City Councilors approved a resolution this week calling for a change in the city’s charter that would eliminate a business tax.

This is a picture of a Berkshire Regional Transit Authority bus
wikipedia commons

A strike by workers at the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority has led to limited schedules – and frustrated riders.

WAMC

    Money has been raised for a permanent 9/11 monument in Springfield, Massachusetts.

    After eight months, Springfield’s September 11th Monument Fundraising Committee completed its work.

    "We are over the finish line and we've exceeded our goal of $300,000," announced Frank Colaccino, the Springfield businessman who chaired the committee.

     He said he was always confident the $300,000 goal would be reached.

Burlington's Church Street Marketplace in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

There were several charter changes for Burlington, Vermont City Councilors to review at this week’s meeting. One of the more controversial items under consideration is whether the city should expand the current Downtown Improvement District.

The Pittsfield Human Rights Commission will hold a presentation tonight on one of the county’s most notorious cases.

A Texas man who says he was sexually abused as a boy by a Vermont priest is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

Vermotn maple syrup jugs
WAMC/Pat Bradley

A new federal farm bill ensures that maple syrup and honey producers won't have to label their pure products as containing added sugars as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had once proposed.

Moran Plant from south
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Despite the threat of demolition, a new plan to redevelop an old power plant on Burlington’s waterfront may be on the table. A concept plan was presented to the City Council of Vermont’s largest city Monday night.

WAMC

    Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker was in Springfield today for the dedication of a new building on a community college campus.

This is a picture of the inside of the Pittsfield Police station
Jim Levulis / WAMC

In a county with almost no direct, formal police oversight, Pittsfield, Massachusetts is attempting to revive its Police Review and Advisory Board for the third time.

    A consumer organization Tuesday published a report on shopping for refurbished electronics.

The Vermont Supreme Court has overturned a nearly $1.5 million judgment in a lawsuit involving a man who claims an e-commerce company cheated him out of a portion of phantom stock he owned in the business.

Loon
Pixabay/Public Domain

A group that looks out for loons in New Hampshire is asking the public to watch out for those in danger of becoming trapped as lakes freeze over.

pedal-assist bikes for ValleyBike share program
WAMC

    The inaugural season for ValleyBike Share, the first bicycle sharing program in western Massachusetts, has come to a close.

Josh Landes / WAMC

As it prepares for new leadership next year, the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office also has a new second-in-command.

Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Washington Post has been tallying the number of individuals shot and killed by police since 2015. The data for 2018 show 899 people shot and killed as of October 1st.  The national newspaper is not the only organization tracking law enforcement actions and breaking down racial, gender and causal data. Officials in Vermont are also studying racial disparities in law enforcement activities. In this first part of our weeklong series on police accountability, WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley looks at how Vermont is trying to assess, analyze and fix racial inequalities in policing.

     When Democrats take control of the U.S. House in January they’ll be looking to increase the financial security for millions of Americans.

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

Advocates of a legal marijuana market in Vermont are urging state officials to keep the potential market true to Vermont's values and avoid overregulation.

wikipedia.org

The Berkshire Gas Company has reached an agreement with the Massachusetts Attorney General on rate increases.

Memorial Auditorium, Burlington VT
Burlington Parks and Recreation

Residents in Burlington, Vermont, have met to weigh in on the future of Memorial Auditorium.

Burlington's "Everyone Loves a Parade" mural
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Police in Burlington, Vermont, have arrested two people in the vandalism of a downtown mural that critics say doesn't properly represent the city's diversity.

This is a picture of a Berkshire Regional Transit Authority bus
wikipedia commons

Striking workers remain at odds with the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority.

WAMC’s November conversation with Berkshire County Sheriff Thomas Bowler about the role of medically assisted treatments in the Berkshire County House Of Corrections prompted a number of responses. One came from Doctor Jennifer Michaels. She’s on staff at Berkshire Medical Center and serves as the the medical director of the Brien Center. The Pittsfield-based institution is the county’s largest mental health services provider. County residents struggling with opioid addictions receive treatment there, taking advantage of the center’s long-term programming that teaches coping skills and sets health goals. Michaels tells WAMC that the sheriff’s stance against medically assisted treatments flies in the face of fact.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (left) and Vermont National Guard Adjutant General Steven Cray (right)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont’s governor and the leader of the Vermont National Guard met with reporters today to discuss a series of articles that questioned the culture and operations at the Vermont military base.

Josh Landes / WAMC

The mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts saw her proposed water and sewer rates for the coming year pass a key hurdle this week.

MassWildlife

  

           The number of bald eagles nesting in Massachusetts has been soaring in the last several years.

Former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick speaking at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, citing the "cruelty of our elections process" and the effect it would have on his loved ones, has announced that he will not run for president.

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