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New England News

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Governor Phil Scott continues to urge Vermonters to follow the guidelines he set last week to control the spread of COVID-19. The spread of the virus is increasing in the state and the Northeast.

Springfield Police Department Headquarters on Pearl Street
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

Pressing for police reforms, the City Council in Springfield, Massachusetts has rejected a proposed contract for police supervisors.

A park has a "Park of Honor" banner flanked by American flags on one side and a row of flags including a Blue Lives Matter one on the other.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Pittsfield, Massachusetts is contending with a spike in coronavirus spread in the weeks following private social gatherings at homes and in restaurants in late October. With its public school buildings shuttered until December 4th and a suspension of in-person dining at city eateries in place, public health officials have voiced concerned about what impact Thanksgiving could have on efforts to halt the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Mayor Linda Tyer spoke with WAMC on Tuesday about the ongoing fight against COVID, as well as a controversial downtown Blue Lives Matter display.

The Massachusetts State House
Jim Levulis / WAMC

   Both the Massachusetts House and Senate have now passed separate bills that would ban certain flame retardants from a variety of consumer products.

Fire fighters and a fire truck are in front of a burning wooden building
Monterey Fire Department

A fire destroyed a theater at the Berkshire County dance center Jacob’s Pillow early this morning.

The only pharmacy school in Vermont will end its operations in the state next year.

The Southwestern Vermont Medical Center is offering to buy much of the property of the bankrupt Southern Vermont College in Bennington for $3.2 million.

A number of candidates are lining up in Burlington’s Town Meeting Day race for mayor.  A  city councilor formally announced Monday that he will seek the Progressive nomination.

Building Toward Racial Justice and Equity in Health: A Call to Action
Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey /

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey released a report today identifying and exploring responses to racial injustice in health care.

Baystate Medical Center sign
Baystate Health

    COVID-19 cases are exploding exponentially in western Massachusetts.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Last week, Pittsfield, Massachusetts issued new public health orders including the closure of public school buildings through December 4th and a suspension of table service at city restaurants following a spike in COVID-19 cases. Since late October, around 200 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the city of about 42,000. Dr. Alan Kulberg, chairman of the Pittsfield Board Of Health, spoke with WAMC about how the city is responding to the surge, fueled by Halloween parties and restaurant gatherings last month. Kulberg says now he’s concerned about Thanksgiving.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Governor Phil Scott has announced a series of steps to curb a significant rise in COVID cases in Vermont.

A scene from the Bright Nights at Forest Park light display
Spirit of Springfield

     Details have been announced for how the largest holiday lighting display in New England will go on this year with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. 

Two workers were killed in an explosion Friday while repairing a steam pipe in a maintenance building at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Connecticut, officials said.

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

The Burlington City Council reviewed a number of items during their regular session and committee meetings this week.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The city of Pittsfield is suspending table service at city restaurants starting Friday amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. The city school district is also transitioning to all-remote learning through December 4. 

Aaron Vega Facebook

   Outgoing Massachusetts Democratic State Representative Aaron Vega is going to be the city of Holyoke’s chief economic development officer.

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

The Burlington City Council discussed the legal implications of creating Overdose Prevention Sites in the city during a work session of their regular meeting this week.

Burlington street sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Coronavirus cases are increasing in Vermont. Tuesday evening, Burlington’s mayor held a virtual town hall with medical experts to discuss concerns and what people should know about new guidance to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Veterans honored at Springfield City Hall
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

   Massachusetts honored its military veterans today with virtual events and much smaller than usual Veterans Day observances.

DAV logo

    On this Veterans Day, we hear from a spokeswoman for The Disabled American Veterans (DAV), an organization founded a century ago to help disabled members of the armed forces and their families.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont officials announced today that they are temporarily suspending the state’s safe travel policy that allows some people to enter the state without quarantining from areas determined to have low numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott said Monday he appreciates President-elect Joe Biden’s immediate attention to look for ways to control the coronavirus pandemic.  Scott’s comments came after Biden unveiled a coronavirus advisory board made up by scientists and public health officials.

The state of Vermont has seen a spike in coronavirus cases and while officials say the numbers aren’t large, they are concerning.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts is alerting residents to a major spike in COVID-19 cases related to house parties and dining inside restaurants. 

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

A man from Lanesborough, Massachusetts has been convicted on multiple counts related to child pornography.

a student learns remotely

     Education officials in Massachusetts today said school districts should make in-person learning a priority even in places where risk levels are high for community spread of COVID-19.

Two hands embrace under a rose over a red backdrop with "Berkshires Democratic Socialists Of America" in a ring around them.
Berkshires Democratic Socialists of America

The Ecosocialist Working Group of the Massachusetts Democratic Socialists of America has put forward a Green Stimulus Plan that it says prioritizes equity, working people and the environment. It comes as the state slowly rebuilds from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. WAMC spoke to John Prusinski of the Berkshire Chapter of the DSA. He says the plan corresponds with legislation working its way through the Massachusetts legislature.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker stands at a podium in front of a marble building with a row of people standing on either side of him
Josh Landes / WAMC

As new COVID-19 related public health orders from Governor Charlie Baker go into effect today across Massachusetts, Berkshire County communities are getting ready to implement them.

It’s estimated that about 56,000 people in Massachusetts have lost their health insurance since last spring when unemployment soared as a result of the pandemic-induced business shutdowns.