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New England News

COVID-19 Diagram
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The state of Vermont has activated its emergency operations center to help experts prepare for the potential widespread transmission of the coronavirus.

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan announces lawsuit against Clearview AI
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Attorney General’s office filed suit Tuesday in Chittenden Superior Court against a New York-based data collection company claiming it has illegally obtained photographs of Vermonters, violating their privacy rights as well as the state’s consumer protection and new data broker laws.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse announces the St. Patrick's Parade and Road Race have been cancelled due to concern about the coronavirus.
WAMC

One of the largest annual events in western Massachusetts has been cancelled due to concerns about the novel coronavirus.

Mayor Linda Tyer holds a "Tyer For Mayor" sign in front of a brick wall
Josh Landes / WAMC

On Thursday, Pittsfield, Massachusetts held a chaotic public meeting about the controversial new EPA mediated Rest Of River cleanup plan for the Housatonic River. The plan has attracted vocal opposition from some county residents, largely in response to the creation of a new toxic waste dump in Lee. For some Pittsfielders at the meeting, the plan stirred up painful feelings of betrayal from the city’s long history of pollution by General Electric. Mayor Linda Tyer spoke with WAMC that night about why she chose to sign on to the agreement.

nhpr

    Police in the largest city in western Massachusetts will soon start wearing cameras as funds have now been approved to purchase the equipment.

A Vermont woman convicted of manslaughter in the death of her disabled son, who had vodka poured into his feeding tube, has been granted a sentence reduction.

Maple jugs
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont's maple syrup season is officially underway.

A sign with directions for various departments of a hospital stands at a crossroads
Josh Landes / WAMC

On Monday, Berkshire Medical Center announced that it has made more COVID-19 diagnoses at its Pittsfield campus. The county’s first patient with the disease was recognized on March 7th. WAMC spoke with Berkshire Health Systems Director of Media Relations Michael Leary about the expanding outbreak.

Communities are responding to the first reported case of COVID-19 in Berkshire County.

WAMC

Regulations have been drafted in the largest city in western Massachusetts to govern short-term housing rentals like those offered through online booking agents.

Massachusetts State House
wikipedia.org

   The largest business association in western Massachusetts has announced its legislative agenda for 2020.

official photo

The largest business association in western Massachusetts held its largest annual event Friday. The Springfield Regional Chamber’s Outlook 2020 luncheon was attended by about 500 business and community leaders and elected officials. 

People hold colorful signs while sitting in rows of auditorium seats
Josh Landes / WAMC

Last night, a meeting in Pittsfield about the Environmental Protection Agency-mediated Rest Of River agreement for the cleanup of the Housatonic River devolved into chaos.

The city of North Adams, Massachusetts is moving to draft short-term rental regulations.

A man stands a podium in an atrium with a brick column and a vase with flowers in front of a blue ribbon
Josh Landes / WAMC

Defense contractor General Dynamics held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday morning for its expansion into a new building in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Hundreds attend the 2020 Vermont Dairy Producers Association conference
Vermont Dairy Producers Association

Several hundred dairy farmers and producers met in Burlington recently for an annual conference that targets keeping the industry viable throughout the region.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Stephen Murray has worked as a first responder in Berkshire County for the past seven years. Today, he’s a paramedic supervisor at Northern Berkshire EMS, which covers 265 square miles of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont. A bill introduced in 2019 calling for supervised consumption sites is working its way through the the Massachusetts statehouse with a reporting date now set for April 15th. Back in western Massachusetts, Murray is drawing on his experiences both as a professional on the front lines of the opioid epidemic and his own past struggles with addiction to endorse the bill as a valuable new approach to confronting the disease. He sat down with WAMC to explain why he believes that the model already used in places like Portugal and Canada could save lives in Berkshire County.

Tuesday was Town Meeting Day and Vermont voters had a number of local ballot items to decide.  In the state’s largest city, there will be changes on the Burlington City Council after two incumbents lost their reelection bids.

The mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts says Berkshire County’s largest community is developing a coronavirus preparedness plan.

People sit at desks, stand in booths, and wait in line in a fire station with fire engines and red carpets over the concrete floor
Josh Landes / WAMC

Thousands went to the polls in the Berkshires on Super Tuesday as former Vice President Joe Biden unexpectedly won Massachusetts. WAMC spent the day speaking to voters across the county, starting in its largest community – Pittsfield.

Bernie Sanders speaks at Super Tuesday rally in Vermont
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders held a Super Tuesday rally in his home state, but overall the elections were a mixed result for the presidential hopeful. The Champlain Valley Expo, one of the largest indoor venues in the state, was filled with supporters hoping he maintained his frontrunner status after 14 states and American Samoa voted in primaries.

The Pittsfield Community Television logo
Pittsfield Community Television

Pittsfield Community Television is launching a new talk show – and its first episode features the mayor discussing school resource officers in the city’s schools.

WAMC

   A 9-11 monument built with private funds and put in a public park has been turned over to the city of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Molly Gray
Molly Gray for Vermont/Facebook

In mid-January, Vermont Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, a Progressive, began a run for governor. That resulted in several Democrats announcing their campaigns for lieutenant governor. Assistant Attorney General Molly Gray made her announcement in late January, and the Democrat traveled across the state last week to officially kick off her campaign.  Gray tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley her goal is to reinvigorate rural communities and protect Vermont’s land and environment.

A neon yellow cone with "Voting" spraypainted on it sits outside of a school
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County residents are hitting the polls today for Super Tuesday. WAMC spoke to some of them this morning in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

A woman stands behind a podium while a row of people look on
Josh Landes / WAMC

Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito was in Pittsfield on Friday, announcing over $900,000 in grant allocations for youth programming aimed at building healthy relationships.

WAMC

     The MGM Springfield casino did not have a major impact on overall crime during its first full year in operation, according to research reported to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

City of Springfield, Office of the Mayor

     Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is continuing to campaign for a housing bill. He is hoping to get it across the finish line in this legislative session.

Josh Landes / WAMC

On Friday, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey announced that he brokered a deal with Charter Communications that will bring Massachusetts news back to the dial in Berkshire County. The Democrat says Springfield NBC affiliate WWLP will return to Charter subscribers’ channel lineup for the first time in three years. Markey spoke with WAMC about the deal, and his expectations for Super Tuesday.

A white man in a suit smiles in front of a wall with framed photos on it
Josh Landes / WAMC

U.S. Senator Ed Markey said Friday that he has brokered a deal that will return a Western Massachusetts news station back to the dial in the Berkshires.

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