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New England News

A sign for the Upper West Lot sits in front of an empty field
Josh Landes / WAMC News

The Boston Symphony Orchestra says there will be new safety protocols when Tanglewood reopens for a limited summer season.

Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris with a chart
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

   As virus activity continues to decline in Massachusetts and more COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, Springfield lags behind.

A smiling white man in a white button down shirt looks into the camera in front of a wood framed house.
Albert Cummings / https://www.facebook.com/Albert-Cummings-Candidate-for-Williamstown-Select-Board-101385048718240/

As Williamstown, Massachusetts voters head to the polls Tuesday, select board candidate Albert Cummings says the town’s character is being maligned in local debate. The election comes amid tense conversations about systemic discrimination following last year’s Black Lives Matter protests and a series of scandals including alleged racist behavior within the Williamstown Police Department. Cummings, a contractor and musician, says he’s a rationally-minded local running to defend Williamstown against what he describes as a destructive debate. Cummings spoke with WAMC in the last part of our four-story series on the select board candidates.

Vermont Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray
Molly Gray for Vermont/Facebook

Vermont Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray is hosting a series of conversations on key issues affecting the state. Her most recent “Seat at the Table” looked at how Tax Increment Financing can help downtown development efforts.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

At their COVID-19 briefing Friday, Vermont officials emphasized vaccinations as the key to meeting the state’s reopening goals.

Terrence Cheng
Screenshot by Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The Connecticut State Colleges and University system has picked Terrence Cheng as its next president. The state Board of Regents for Higher Education on Friday unanimously approved Cheng for the post at an annual salary of $360,000.

Springfield's Union Station
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

A report released this week by two regional planning agencies makes a business case for proposed passenger rail improvements in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Burlington High School, Burlington, Vermont
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington, Vermont school board decided this week to stop a multi-million dollar renovation project and not reopen the high school facility.  Last year potentially cancer causing PCB’s were discovered in the buildings and grounds and the superintendent and school officials recommended the board now change course and build a new high school.

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

Berkshire County’s municipal election season is kicking into full swing this month.

A headshot of an Asian American woman with black hair in front of a grey backdrop
City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Pittsfield, Massachusetts City Councilor Helen Moon says she won’t seek a third two-year term in this fall’s municipal election.

Senator Patrick Leahy (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy recently joined the Vermont Chamber of Commerce for a virtual discussion on the economic future of the state.

A Black woman with glasses addresses a camera
Massachusetts Legislature / https://malegislature.gov/Events/Hearings/Detail/3704

The Senate Committee on Reimagining Massachusetts Post-Pandemic Resiliency held its latest virtual hearing this week.

Burlington High School
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Last year, potentially cancer-causing PCBs were found in the Burlington, Vermont high school’s buildings and grounds. The school board has now decided to abandon clean up and renovations.

A white man in a blue shirt and red tie wears a cowboy hat in a Zoom chat window
WilliNet / https://vimeo.com/536880231

Almost a year after a federal lawsuit against the town police department set off a chain of scandals and resignations, Williamstown, Massachusetts municipal elections are coming up Tuesday. WAMC has the third of our select board candidate profiles.

a hoopless basketball backboard
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

   After public pressure, hoops will be going back up in public parks in the birthplace of basketball.

Page from I-89 2050 Study
Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission

The Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission in Vermont is crafting a plan to rework parts of Interstate 89 in the Burlington, South Burlington and Williston area.  A recent public meeting on the Envision89 concept led to a number of questions about the project’s potential environmental ramifications.

Two people, one with a mic, stand in front of a white building to address people standing in a gravel parking lot
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County’s smallest community held its annual town meeting Tuesday night.

a tow truck
Wikepedia

    A study by a consumer watchdog concludes that Massachusetts motorists are vulnerable to predatory tow truck drivers.

Burlington City Hall
WAMC

The Burlington, Vermont City Council’s Board of Finance held a special session Monday evening to review two items. The panel reviewed the proposed 2022 budget, which includes some federal COVID relief funds, and discussed the status of a citywide property reappraisal.

Vermont Statehouse (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

During Vermont’s regular Tuesday COVID-19 briefing, administration officials discussed the success of vaccine distribution and walk-in clinics that are being conducted across the state.

a commercial kitchen
WAMC

               More financial help is available now for a sector of businesses that were among the hardest hit by the pandemic shutdowns – food service establishments. 

sign welcoming people to Longmeadow
Wikepedia

For the last six months, a committee in Longmeadow, Massachusetts has been researching issues of race in the predominately white Springfield suburb.

Orange strips of paper are held up outside of parked cars in a lot.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Town meeting and election season is underway in Berkshire County.

A parking lot full of cars faces a small tent with people sitting at a table.
Josh Landes / WAMC

West Stockbridge, Massachusetts held its annual town meeting Monday night.

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

    As Massachusetts approaches a goal set by Gov. Charlie Baker to have 4.1 million residents vaccinated against COVID-19 by June, the vaccination strategy is shifting to reach the wary and hard to get. 

A white man with a beard and glasses in a blue flannel sits at a table
WilliNet / https://vimeo.com/532000421

Almost a year after a federal lawsuit against the town police department set off a chain of scandals and resignations, Williamstown, Massachusetts municipal elections are coming up May 11th. WAMC has the second part of our series of candidate profiles.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Like Massachusetts on Friday, Governor Phil Scott says Vermont’s outdoor mask-wearing requirement will end Saturday.

Vermont Senate Chamber
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Senate passed a $7.1 billion budget for fiscal year 2022 Friday afternoon.

A bar with chairs lit with purple lights.
Yuki Cohen

The city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts has suspended the liquor and entertainment licenses of a downtown bar and eatery owned by a city councilor.

A white woman with brown hair sits in a car
Aprilyn Carsno

This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Carsno was a Certified Nursing Assistant, not a nurse as originally reported.

A new candidate has entered the race for mayor of North Adams, Massachusetts. With Tom Bernard declining not to seek a third term this fall, there are now three official names in contention – as well as an expected run from city council Vice President Jason LaForest. Alongside MCLA student Josh Vallieres and perennial candidate Rachel Branch is Aprilyn Carsno. WAMC spoke with the 49-year-old former certified nursing assistant about why she’s entering the politics for the first time. One reason: the city’s broken fire hydrants.

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