New England News | WAMC

New England News

UVM Medical Center main entrance
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Officials say Vermont’s largest hospital experienced a delay in reporting about 50 coronavirus test results to the state Health Department.

Burlington wastewater COVID monitering results released by Burlington Mayor's office
Burlington VT Mayor's Office

Burlington, Vermont officials are expressing concern about the first wastewater coronavirus test results since the Thanksgiving holiday.

December is Impaired Driving Prevention month.  A virtual ceremony this week remembered Vermonters killed this year by impaired drivers." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

A stone building is lit up by lights under an indigo night sky.
Berkshire Museum

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is closing down for two days as it responds to a possible COVID-19 exposure.

" class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

Executive Director Jeff Rodgers says the museum found out around noon Thursday, and is shutting down until the weekend to do a deep clean of the facility on South Street.

A woman in a mask stands at a podium with microphones in front of her with a row of politicians around her.
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office launched a new Domestic Violence High Risk Team Thursday. A warning to listeners – this story contains a disturbing description of domestic violence.

Senator Becca Balint
Vermont Legislature

When the new biennium of the legislature begins on January 6th, the first woman to serve as the Vermont Senate Pro Tem is expected to be confirmed. During a caucus in November, Democrat Becca Balint won the nomination and with Democrats controlling the Senate, her election to the post is secure. Balint, a Brattleboro resident who is openly gay, is one of a cadre of women assuming top positions in the Statehouse in 2021.  She tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley why she wants to be pro-tem of the Vermont Senate.

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

The city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts has rescinded a ban on indoor dining.

The Vermont Department of Public Safety will be testing the state’s Amber Alert and Blue Alert systems on Thursday and Friday.

Old Mill Building on the University  of Vermont campus
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The University of Vermont has announced a plan to phase out some low-enrollment programs as it addresses a budget deficit of $8.6 million.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

On Burlington, Vermont’s Town Meeting Day ballot on March 2, voters will choose their mayor and four city council seats. Burlington Progressives held a virtual caucus Tuesday night to nominate their candidates for the Town Meeting Day races.

A sign with directions for various departments of a hospital stands at a crossroads
Josh Landes / WAMC

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Berkshire County after Halloween-related gatherings stoked community spread. Its largest hospital – Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts – has once again imposed restrictions on its visitation policies. Starting Thursday, visitors will only be allowed into the building on a case-by-case basis, while they are fully barred from the Emergency Department, Birth Center, Pediatrics and other sectors of the facility. WAMC spoke to Berkshire Health Systems Director of Media Relations Michael Leary about the move, and how the hospital is preparing for a possible post-Thanksgiving coronavirus surge.

Four angular white buildings sit along a tree-lined street
Mill Town Capital

This week, private investment group Mill Town Capital announced two new market-rate housing developments on Tyler Street in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The multimillion dollar project, which municipal leaders have praised, will see almost 40 new units built by 2022 in a city with an aging housing stock. WAMC Mill Town Capital CEO and Managing Director Tim Burke about the undertaking, and how it might impact a community which housing advocates say is in dire need of affordable, not market-rate, housing.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

During his regular briefing on the status of the pandemic in Vermont Tuesday, Governor Phil Scott expressed some optimism despite rising cases of the virus.

A rendering of the proposed biomass power plant in an industrial section of East Springfield.
Palmer Renewable Energy

       Environmental activists are keeping up their efforts to block construction of a long-proposed wood-burning power plant in Springfield, Massachusetts.

COVID-19 Diagram
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new poll finds a majority of Massachusetts residents say they are likely to get a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 when one becomes available.

New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department is warning hikers not to rely on cellphone mapping apps in the wilderness after two individuals got lost in the woods.

Buck in snow
Vermont Fish and Wildlife

Vermont’s 16-day rifle deer hunting season has ended but the archery deer hunting season continues, and a second muzzleloader season starts this week.

A private investment group in Pittsfield, Massachusetts says two new housing developments will create 36 new units by 2022.

The Berkshire Healthcare logo
Berkshire Healthcare /

Two Berkshire County nursing and rehabilitation facilities continue to see COVID-19 cases spike among staff and residents.

The Lenox Town Seal (founded 1767) / Wikipedia Commons

The town of Lenox, Massachusetts was pushed into the Massachusetts Department of Health’s COVID-19 “red zone” designation last week with an average daily incidence rate of 38.4 per 100,000. It was the only Berkshire County community given that high-risk designation through mid-November, with around 30 active cases.

Dr. Mark Keroack speaking at podium
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

With COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts soaring along with hospitalizations, a top health official says it would not be a surprise if the state took a step back in reopening.

A sign for Springside Park
Josh Landes / WAMC

A plan to remove unhoused residents living in city parks is set to go into effect in Pittsfield, Massachusetts Tuesday.

Vermont Air Guard F-35 does a fly-over before landing at Burlington
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Air National Guard will conduct two weeks of night flying operations in early December.

scam caution signs
Pixabay/Public Domain

The Vermont Department of Labor is alerting residents about a phishing scam.

School bus
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A school district in Vermont's Orange County is concerned about families not complying with quarantine rules after a cluster of COVID-19.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott recently joined officials from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to announce grants intended to strengthen local economies to four areas of the state.

Berkshire Hills Regional School District logo
Berkshire Hills Regional School District

Unlike other regional districts, the Berkshire Hills Regional School District says it does not plan to revert to entirely remote learning in the weeks after Thanksgiving.

The door of the Berkshire District Attorney's office.
Josh Landes / WAMC

A back and forth over a defendant’s request for a new trial captured in court documents reveal sharp criticisms of the Berkshire County District Attorney by a superior court judge.

The drained bed of Lake Massasoit
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

     A large lake in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts has been drawn down to allow for repairs to a dam that state inspectors have classified as “High Hazard.”

Burlington street sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Burlington City Councilors met this week and while their agenda was not long, the panel spent considerable time discussing a potential charter change to be put before voters.