New England News | WAMC

New England News

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

Berkshire County activists and politicians are expressing dismay at Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of a climate bill passed by the Massachusetts legislature last week.

The Construct logo is an orange house against a series of yellow lines with "Construct" and "Housing families, strengthening communities Est. 1969" below it
Construct Inc. /

The Great Barrington, Massachusetts nonprofit Construct works on the front lines of Berkshire County’s housing crisis to help hundreds of families looking for stable housing, assistance with fuel and utility bills, and other support. Executive Director Jane Ralph spoke with WAMC before Construct’s “Warm Up the Winter Call to Action for Emergency Assistance” fundraiser on February 6th. Ralph discussed how COVID-19 has impacted housing in the region, how racial disparities emerge within housing needs, and how the nonprofit distributes funding.

A graph showing COVID-19 fatality by age
Twitter: @GovPhilScott

Vermont officials say the state has nearly completed coronavirus vaccinations at nursing homes and long-term care facilities and for front-line health workers. The state will start vaccinating residents aged 75 and older starting the week of January 25, according to Governor Phil Scott.

Nobel Foundation

Across Berkshire County, community groups are recognizing the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service on Monday.

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont’s at-large congressman has been meeting virtually with different industry sectors in the state this week to discuss how the latest COVID-19 relief bill will affect businesses.

Former Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A former Progressive mayor of Burlington, Vermont is endorsing Democratic incumbent Miro Weinberger for re-election ahead of Town Meeting Day in March.

The seal of the the city of North Adams, Massachusetts
North Adams

The North Adams, Massachusetts city council got a COVID-19 update from Mayor Tom Bernard this week.

The Southern Berkshire Regional School District logo
Southern Berkshire Regional School District

The Southern Berkshire Regional School District is transitioning into a fully remote learning model after confirming new COVID-19 cases this week.

Three men sit at at a desk in a carpeted, wood-lined meeting room.
Josh Landes / WAMC

North Adams, Massachusetts city councilor Benjamin Lamb says he won’t seek a fifth two-year term this fall. The former city council president says he’s stepping aside to encourage more diverse candidates to seek office. Lamb spoke with WAMC about his decision, and what he’s most proud of after almost a decade in office.

Vermont Statehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Montpelier, Vermont is the smallest capital city in the country but it is not immune to the passions and controversies swirling over the departure of President Donald Trump and the inauguration of President-elect Joseph Biden. The police department is working with federal and state agencies to secure the city and Statehouse in the wake of FBI warnings of potential violent protests at state capitols across the country.

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

The University of Vermont is hoping to give students more room when they return to campus for the spring session.

Officials say two people are dead after a fire in Sheffield, Massachusetts Wednesday morning.

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont’s at-large Congressman spoke on the floor of the U.S. House Wednesday morning as the second impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump began.

aerial view of Gillette Stadium
Art01852 / Wikepedia

Massachusetts is preparing to open its first mass coronavirus vaccination site at Gillette Stadium

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

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council kicked off 2021 with a five-hour meeting Tuesday that addressed COVID-19, police spending and the city’s response to last month’s snowstorm. 

A bald white man wears a police uniform in front of a brick house
Town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Great Barrington, Massachusetts has chosen a new permanent police chief. 53-year-old Paul Storti is a town native. The former sergeant has been Acting Police Chief since December, when Chief William Walsh retired after 40 years. His official start date remains pending as he negotiates a contract with the town. Storti, who’s been with the department since 1995, spoke with WAMC about why community outreach is his top priority, and what he learned from calls to cut public funding for the department at last year’s town meeting.

Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman
Jesse Lederman / Twitter

         The newly-installed president of the City Council in Springfield, Massachusetts has announced a special committee to address COVID-19 issues. 

The seal of the the city of North Adams, Massachusetts
North Adams

Officials in North Adams, Massachusetts say a new wave of COVID-19 cases are connected to city restaurants.

Vermont Statehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermont Governor Phil Scott held his regular COVID-19 briefing today.  Officials said they are tracking concerning trends in the disease and have been briefed about FBI warnings over possible armed protests as the presidential inauguration looms.

Springfield City Hall
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

      The City Council in Springfield, Massachusetts will be on the clock during meetings this year.

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

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council is meeting tonight for the first time in the new year.

A uniformed police officer and a man in a button down shirt and khakis stand outside a blue building with white highlights
Josh Landes / WAMC

The town government in Williamstown, Massachusetts has reiterated its support for an independent investigation of its police department following allegations of racism, sexual assault and the resignation of the police chief.

All of the Vermont State Police troopers who work the night shift at the Rutland barracks are back at work after being exposed to the coronavirus.

Ben & Jerry's logo
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

Vermont ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s is introducing a line of frozen dog treats, its first foray into the lucrative pet food market.

Middlebury College (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Middlebury College is considering revoking the honorary degree awarded to Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s attorney, saying he played a role in the violent uprising against the nation’s capital last week.

A police officer gets vaccinated
Norwell Police / Twitter

    First responders in Massachusetts rolled up their sleeves today to take the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The Williamstown Town seal
Town of Williamstown

The Williamstown, Massachusetts board of health is requiring a town motel to close after a slow response to code violations.

A white, brown-haired woman in a blue blazer stands with a microphone before her in a room lined with purple curtains
Josh Landes / WAMC

With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing and weighing down the local economy, the mayor of Berkshire County’s largest community is laying out her 2021 agenda. Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer says her top priority is a return to in-person education in the city’s schools. Tyer spoke with WAMC about the new policies and programs her administration will be rolling out, and when residents can expect to take advantage of her home improvement loan program “At Home In Pittsfield.”

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Senate has joined the state House in passing a resolution condemning the breach of the U.S. Capitol and demanding that President Donald Trump resign or be removed from office.

Vermont health officials are watching for any impact from Vermonters returning from the rally and mob attack on the U.S. Capital on Wednesday.