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New England News

The Holyoke Soldier's Home
Mass.Dept of Veterans Services

     The Massachusetts legislature is being asked to act with uncharacteristic speed to authorize constructing a new Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. 

A brick building with white columns sits under a blue sky
Josh Landes / WAMC

After the newest scandal to rock the Williamstown, Massachusetts police department, the town’s select board is holding two virtual listening sessions Wednesday. 

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch met virtually with city councils Monday evening to discuss how they will be affected by the recently passed American Rescue Plan.

a poster promoting a covid vaccination town hall
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

     In an effort to boost coronavirus vaccination rates in Springfield, Massachusetts, Mayor Domenic Sarno appointed a committee of medical experts and community leaders.

Frozen bay on Lake Champlain (file photo)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is warning anglers that ice on lakes around the state is deteriorating rapidly due to recent warm weather.

Vermont Dept. of Corrections Commissioner Jim Baker
WAMC screen capture

The outbreak of COVID-19 at the Vermont prison in Newport is continuing with 21 new cases.

A brick building with white columns sits under a blue sky
Josh Landes / WAMC

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts is calling for an independent investigation into the Williamstown Police Department after it admitted officers illegally searched the names and records of local police reform advocates. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno with face covering
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

    The mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts Monday marked the one-year anniversary of weekly public status reports on the COVID-19 pandemic.

MassDevelopment logo
MassDevelopment

Two Massachusetts agencies – the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and MassDevelopment – have awarded $2.5 million in grants for taxi and livery companies in 47 communities, including some in Berkshire County. The effort is intended to bolster local transit to help state residents with everything from making it to their COVID-19 vaccine appointments to providing rides to food shelters or childcare centers. WAMC spoke with MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera.

Buildings, sidewalks and trees lie alongside a road through rolling green hills.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Residents of Williamstown, Massachusetts who criticized the police are reacting to the revelation that the town’s police department responded by illegally accessing their records.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced a loosening of gathering restrictions during his COVID-19 briefing Friday.

A cannabis plant.
By Skalle-Per Hedenhös - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82766847

The town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts will soon decide how to spend the millions of dollars in retail marijuana revenues it has banked since 2019. Before the annual town meeting in June that will determine the fiscal year 2022 budget, residents will be able to share their thoughts in a virtual public hearing on the matter March 30th. WAMC spoke to selectboard member Ed Abrahams to learn more about how much Great Barrington has made from legal weed sales — and how town leaders think it should be spent.

A brick building with white columns sits under a blue sky
Josh Landes / WAMC

WAMC has learned that the Williamstown, Massachusetts police department illegally used the Criminal Justice Information Services database to search the names and motor vehicle records of its critics in the community.

Raymond A Jordan Senior Center exterior
WAMC

     The Baker administration has approved a plan for neighborhood coronavirus vaccination sites in the largest city in western Massachusetts.

Vermont Dept. of Corrections Commissioner Jim Baker
WAMC screen capture

The Vermont Department of Corrections says 10 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported at the state prison in Newport.

This is a rendering of wayfaring signs North Adams unveiled in October 2015.
Facebook: North Adams Chamber of Commerce

A North Adams, Massachusetts city councilor is pushing the city to establish a Grants and Communications Coordinator in the fiscal year 2022 budget.

health care workers stand outside a hospital
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

    The one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic is being marked in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Signs are taped to the inside of a glass facade telling customers that they must wear masks and remain six feet apart inside the restaurant
Josh Landes / WAMC

The city of Pittsfield’s state COVID-19 transmission categorization is improving as infection numbers continue to drop.

Burlington City Hall in early evening (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

With Vermont Town Meeting Day in the rearview mirror, the Burlington City Council met this week with a light agenda including an initial review of a rental housing standard and a report on property reassessments.

A stone building with a colonnade sits below a grey sky amid snowdrifts.
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council is creating a new grants administrator role for the city’s police department.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Chamber is hosting a virtual policy series this month bringing together business and legislative leaders to discuss policy issues. This week the leaders of the Vermont House and Senate addressed the group.

Amy Baxter speaks in front of microphones
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

   Legislation is being proposed in Massachusetts to regulate dog boarding kennels and pet day care businesses.

A North Adams fire hydrant
Josh Landes / WAMC

The city council in North Adams, Massachusetts has approved a $300,000 borrowing request from Mayor Tom Bernard to fix about 55 fire hydrants. 

Vermont Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray
Molly Gray for Vermont/Facebook

The United Nations theme for International Women’s Day this week is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World.”  A discussion on the economic well-being of Vermont women looked at data and policy changes experts say are needed to bridge disparities between genders.

a sign for Riverfront Park
WAMC

     Thanks to successful fund raising and a government loan, a nonprofit that provides reactional access to the Connecticut River in Springfield, Massachusetts has announced plans to reopen.

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Congressman Peter Welch met virtually Monday with two different Vermont groups to discuss the latest COVID relief package that is expected to receive final approval in the House this week and then move to President Biden’s desk.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s regular Tuesday coronavirus briefing included discussions over vaccination protocols as the state accelerates its schedule.

An open lot sits beneath a pair of industrial buildings past a road under a blue sky with puffy white clouds.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Pittsfield, Massachusetts is receiving almost $900,000 in funding from the state’s MassDevelopment Site Readiness Grant Program to redevelop a vacant industrial site.

Gumersindo Gomez on Zoom
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

   A father will replace his son on the City Council in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Connecticut River Conservancy tomorrow is hosting the first of three scheduled public discussions about the re-licensing of five hydropower facilities.

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