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New England News

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Five more Pittsfield, Massachusetts city councilors have endorsed Alex Morse in his bid to unseat Congressman Richard Neal in the Democratic primary.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger
Burlington VT Mayor's Office

Last week, Vermont granted localities, especially college towns, stronger powers to set COVID-19 restrictions.  Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger plans to call a special session of the city council Thursday to pass stricter measures to prevent an outbreak in the city.

The Zogics logo - the word in grey with the "i" dotted with a blue circle on a white backdrop
Zogics

A Lenox, Massachusetts company that supplies facilities with disinfecting products has landed a $5.5 million deal with the U.S. Navy. WAMC spoke with Zogics CEO Paul LeBlanc about securing the contract, the company’s history of suppling the U.S. military, and how the industry is helping the country respond to COVID-19.

WAMC

Holyoke, Massachusetts mayor and Democratic congressional candidate Alex Morse has announced a new round of Berkshire County endorsements. WAMC reports Morse is pledging to establish a dedicated Rural Desk if elected.

Burlington's CityPlace remains undeveloped in this September 2019 photo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

At the end of July Mayor Miro Weinberger sent a default letter to the developers of a stalled redevelopment project in the center of downtown Burlington. A new partnership has now formed to take over the project.

WAMC

The Democratic candidates for the 1st Massachusetts House district seat are taking part in a broadcast debate tonight in a primary that has been rocked by controversy this month. 

The debate will be heard on WAMC at 7.

MDPH

   Just a few weeks after sounding an alarm about rising COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, government officials and health experts in Springfield say the virus trends are positive in the state’s third-largest city. 

A map of the United States, where every state except for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire are color coded red for restricted
Mass.gov

After Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker instituted pandemic-related limitations on interstate travel, Berkshire County communities say they’re struggling to comply with the orders.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (left) and Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman will run against each other in the 2020 gubernatorial race
File photos Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott told reporters Friday that now that the primary is over he is planning a more active general election campaign as he seeks a third term in November.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott  (file photo)
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Governor Phil Scott is extending Vermont’s state of emergency for another month in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Republican is also giving localities, especially in college towns, powers to set COVID-19 restrictions.

plastic shopping bags in a shopping cart
wikipedia

     It took environmental activists years to get a plastic bag ban on the books in the largest city in western Massachusetts.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

After a nearly month-long break, the Burlington City Council met earlier this week.  Before an executive session there was a short public update on a stalled downtown development project. Also on the Council’s agenda were two items supported by local racial justice advocates.

The long-time president of Vermont's Sugarbush ski resort is retiring.

COVID-19 Diagram
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Vermont Health Department says a June outbreak of COVID-19 in Winooski and Burlington is over. Vermont’s Health Commissioner says help from immigrant and New American advocacy organizations was key to containing the virus.

Community Foundation of Western Mass.

More financial help is being made available to nonprofits impacted financially by the pandemic.

http://taconic.pittsfield.net/

The school committee in Pittsfield, Massachusetts has voted to retire Taconic High School’s use of the name “Braves” for its sports teams and mascot.

This week, Sergeant Scott McGowan filed a complaint in U.S. district court against the town of Williamstown, Massachusetts. In the lawsuit, he alleges that Williamstown Police Chief Kyle Johnson maintained a racist atmosphere, sexually assaulted members of the police department staff, and more. Johnson told WAMC he could not comment on advice of counsel, but added there are “two sides to every story.” Town manager Jason Hoch, who is also named in the lawsuit, said the town doesn’t comment on pending litigation. WAMC spoke with McGowan’s Boston-based attorney, David A. Russcol, about the complaint.

City of Springfield, Office of the Mayor

       A retired Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will advise Springfield’s mayor on police reforms. 

Battle of Bennington,  engraving after a painting by Alonzo Chappel
New York Public Library/Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Bennington Battle Day, August 16th, is a state holiday in Vermont, commemorating a key 1777 battle of the Revolutionary War. The battle has been observed every year since 1778. This year, in the wake of COVID-19, most traditional events were canceled. A group of local citizens stepped in to create the Bennington Battle Day 2020 Celebration Committee to create a commemoration that follows public safety mandates.  Phil Holland is author of “A Guide to The Battle of Bennington and the Bennington Monument.” As co-chair of this year’s commemoration, Holland says events will pay homage to veterans and essential workers and feature a reverse parade.  But first, he explains to WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley why a battle fought in New York became a holiday in Vermont.

A white man in a red tie and suit jacket stands by an American flag
The Doyle Family

Civic leaders and family of former Pittsfield, Massachusetts Mayor Gerry Doyle are sharing remembrances after his death on Sunday.

Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival

        Like so many events this summer, a free annual music festival in Springfield, Massachusetts is going virtual. 

Scott Milne (left) and Molly Gray are the major party candidates for Vermont Lieutenant Governor
Milne for Vermont - HopsonRoad/Stephen Flanders Molly Gray for Vermont/Facebook

The general election for Vermont Lieutenant Governor this fall will feature two candidates who have never held public office. The Democrat is running her first campaign while the GOP candidate is making a comeback bid after nearly winning the 2014 race for governor.

A man in a suit jacket and sunglasses walks in a parade with a young person holding a campaign sign
Nicholas J Mantello / Peter Oleskiewicz Facebook

The North Adams, Massachusetts city council voted Tuesday night to fill the seat of a disgraced former councilor with a history of racist public comments with a different city resident carrying similar baggage.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (left) and Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman will run against each other in the 2020 gubernatorial race
File photos Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Republican and Democratic candidates for Vermont governor are now set after Tuesday’s primary —  and the governor and lieutenant governor will go head-to-head in November.

A series of small boxes with virtual meeting participants on a grid
Josh Landes / WAMC

In a dramatic meeting that lasted over six hours, the Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council Tuesday explored and ultimately rejected a petition asking if one of its members had left the city.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A measure to bring ranked choice voting to Burlington will not be on November’s ballot.

four story white industrial building
Springfieldpreseration.org

     The city of Springfield, Massachusetts is considering giving historic protection to a long-vacant industrial building that the current owner wants to tear down. 

Vote Buttons
WikiMedia Commons

Vermonters are going to the polls today to vote in statewide primary contests.  This year the number of people physically at polling places may be lower because a record number of mail-in and absentee ballots were requested.

  

    New rules take effect today in Massachusetts as efforts continue to stop an uptick in coronavirus cases.  

Vote Buttons
WikiMedia Commons

In-person voting for Vermont’s statewide primary is Tuesday. The state’s top election official says there have been a record-breaking number of requests for mail in and absentee ballots.

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