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New England News

A Vermont creemee stand
Richard Schatzberger / Creative Commons/Flickr

In a lighter moment during his regular Friday press conference, Governor Phil Scott received a briefing from his Agriculture Secretary on the ingredients in a creemee – an ice cream cone ubiquitous in Vermont.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott says he hopes the state Senate will address his concerns after the House voted to override his veto of a climate bill.

the front door of Springfield Police Headquarters
WAMC

     Springfield, Massachusetts officials are touting progress on police reforms following a federal investigation that found unconstitutional use-of-force by narcotics officers.

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.

Commuters in the greater Springfield, Massachusetts area may see a mobile billboard promoting suicide prevention.

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.

People wearing masks on Church Street in Burlington, VT
Joshua Brown / University of Vermont

University of Vermont researchers have published a study that assesses varying risk factors for COVID-19 including the effectiveness of wearing masks.

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.

Burlington High School, Burlington, Vermont
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington, Vermont High School will be closed for in-person classes for the remainder of this semester.  But it’s not due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Halloween pumpkin
wiki commons

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the Vermont town of St. Johnsbury to cancel its annual Halloween parade.

a hand puts an envelope with a ballot into a collection box
wikipedia

A federal court judge has rejected a challenge to Vermont’s plan to mail ballots to all of the state’s active voters so they can cast ballots by mail or in person for the November election.

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.

The U.S. Forest Service logo
Facebook: U.S. Forest Service - Green Mountain & Finger Lakes National Forests

The U.S. Forest Service is beginning construction of a new headquarters in Mendon, Vermont. In addition to serving as a visitor center, the $6 million, 11,550-square-foot building will house the people responsible for overseeing the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont and the Finger Lakes National Forest in New York

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

While a debate over a complaint filed against the Burlington City Council’s use of executive session dominated Monday evening’s meeting, a number of other items were on the agenda.  As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, the meeting included an update on the stalled downtown redevelopment project.

Dr. Anthony Fauci
NIAID

Vermont Governor Phil Scott welcomed a special guest for part of his regular COVID briefing on Tuesday.  White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci joined by video link to praise the state’s low positivity rate and answer questions.

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

Burlington City Councilors spent a substantial portion of their meeting Monday evening discussing how they should respond to a complaint claiming the city council violated Vermont’s Open Meeting Law.

lostnewengland.com

   The redevelopment of a former school into apartments, an effort to control invasive plants, and a feasibility study on building a bike and skate park are among 15 projects being recommended for funding by a citizens committee in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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.

Emerald Ash Borer
courtesy NYS DEC

Activities are happening around Vermont this week to raise awareness about an invasive forest pest that has destroyed millions of the country’s ash trees.

wikipedia

     Halloween is still several weeks away, but the largest city in western Massachusetts has made a decision about how it can safely be celebrated during the pandemic.

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.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

At his regular COVID briefing today, Vermont Governor Phil Scott began by remembering the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

WAMC

While some communities canceled 9-11 ceremonies or held them virtually today, the city of Springfield, Massachusetts went ahead with its remembrance.

photo of Burlington Police logo on a podium
Photo - Pat Bradley/WAMC

Protesters in Burlington have been calling for the firing of police officers involved in use of force incidents and larger police reforms. The Burlington City Council’s Public Safety Committee and the Police Commission held a joint meeting Thursday evening to discuss some potential initiatives.

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.

CRC

The Connecticut River Conservancy, this year, expects to complete nine river restoration projects in all four Connecticut River states.

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.

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