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New England News

A white woman smiles
Massachusetts Cultural Council

Anita Walker has stepped down after 13 years as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The state agency doles out state and federal funding to non-profit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and individuals artists throughout the commonwealth. Walker spoke with WAMC about her career, from taking up the role in 2007 to how cultural work has changed over her tenure.

Brian Peete
City of Montpelier

Vermont is getting what's believed to be its first Black police chief at a time of protests in Vermont and nationwide over racial injustice and police brutality.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Legislature adjourned late last Friday night until August. This week, the House Speaker and finance committee chairs discussed how federal COVID-19 recovery funds have been appropriated and what work remains.

A white woman in a blue suit smiles while looking off to the right of the image
Williams College

Williams College President Maud Mandel says the liberal arts college in northwest Massachusetts will reopen its doors this fall. The school sent more than 2,000 undergrads home in March to finish the spring semester remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WAMC spoke with Mandel to find out more about how Williams plans to safely carry out classes and student life under the threat of a second wave.

ESE

Another big event has been canceled because of the pandemic. 

the front door of Springfield Police Headquarters
WAMC

 

       With a national debate raging over policing, some elected officials in the largest city in western Massachusetts say now is not the time to spend money for a police department shooting range.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Legislature has adjourned the first of two 2020 legislative sessions. As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, lawmakers will return to Montpelier in August.

WAMC

       With the coronavirus pandemic raging in other parts of the country, officials in the largest city in western Massachusetts Monday implored people to remain vigilant about keeping social distancing, wearing face coverings and other precautions.

Former Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Four Democrats and five Republicans are running for their party’s nomination for Vermont Lieutenant Governor. A Progressive candidate, Cris Ericson, is also running.

Vermont is expanding it trusted traveler program that allows some people to visit the state without a two week quarantine.

The Burlington, Vermont School Board has voted to recommend that police officers continue to be in public schools for the upcoming academic year, amid some demands to remove them and defund police.

WAMC

With the start of the new fiscal year just days away on July 1st, the Springfield City Council will meet Monday to consider passing a budget.

Vermont House Chamber
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont House deliberated and eventually passed a transitional budget for the first quarter of 2021.  But there was some confusion over a number of amendments that had been added to the bill.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

This spring, Berkshire County’s largest community adopted a Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan. Ricardo Morales, Pittsfield’s Commissioner of Public Utilities, spoke with WAMC about the document, which sets out decades of plans for how the municipality handles refuse.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council has accepted a $170 million budget for fiscal year 2021.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC / cdc.gov)

     The future of healthcare is being shaped by COVID-19.

Burlington City Hall
WAMC

After members and supporters of a racial justice group spent three days filibustering, the Burlington city council has begun its review of the proposed 2021 city budget.

Holyoke Soldiers' Home
WAMC

A day after a scathing report faulted the facility’s management and the state Department of Veterans Services for its handling of a COVID-19 outbreak, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Thursday announced reforms at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.

The candidates for Vermont governor, with the exception of the incumbent, recently participated in a forum that focused on climate and social justice issues.

The Vermont Senate has passed a bill that would implement new police use-of-force guidelines, ban chokeholds by police and require other officers to intervene if they witness colleagues using a prohibited restraint.

WAMC

   

        A retired state judge hired by the Diocese of Springfield to investigate a claim of sexual abuse by the late Bishop Christopher Weldon issued his report today. 

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

Emails obtained by WAMC News have shone a light on how officials all the way from Pittsfield, Massachusetts to the federal level reacted to the Black Lives Matters protests that sprung up in May in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. WAMC spoke with Police Chief Michael Wynn about what he learned from the protests, and why he referred to city councilors as “insane” when they pushed back against a narrative that Antifa agitators were coming to the Berkshires.

A screenshot of a Zoom meeting
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts City Council has shot down a motion to cut health insurance for elected officials making less than $15,000 a year.

WAMC

A project is launching later today to produce a comprehensive map that will show the hundreds of civic groups and organizations involved with environmental stewardship in Springfield, Massachusetts.

City of Springfield, Office of the Mayor

     It will be harder to find relief from the heat this summer in the largest city in western Massachusetts. 

A man stands on a podium below an American flag before a parking lot full of cars with seated people on a grassy strip behind him
Josh Landes / WAMC

The town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts voted to approve its proposed 2021 budget Monday night despite efforts to cut the police department.

WAMC

Still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, officials in the largest city in western Massachusetts are trying to apply strong medicine to what they’ve called an epidemic of illegal fireworks.

Vermont Statehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Vermont Legislature hopes to give final approval this week to a state budget for the first quarter of the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Officials say an incoming inmate at the Vermont women's prison has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

A hub for non-profit community groups in Pittsfield, Massachusetts will reopen next month.

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