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On Sunday, “RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars” Season Three winner Trixie Mattel takes her act to The Egg in Albany, behind her new album “Barbara.” WAMC spoke to Mattel before the show.

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City councilors in Springfield, Massachusetts are again planning to debate a facial recognition technology ban at a special meeting Monday.

Early voting for the Massachusetts presidential primary begins Monday, and city officials Berkshire County’s largest city say they’re ready to start collecting ballots.

Josh Landes / WAMC

For decades, corporate giant General Electric polluted the Housatonic River with chemicals from its Pittsfield, Massachusetts factory. A documentary filmmaker from Berkshire County was just finishing a movie about the ongoing saga of the river, the communities along it, and the activists battling for a voice in its future. When news broke on February 10th that a deal had been hammered out between GE and the towns adjacent to the river in Berkshire County, it sparked protest from locals opposed to the plan, which would create a new landfill in Lee. Now, Aaron Kalischer-Coggins says his documentary – “The River Guards” – will have a new ending.

Greg Butler

On February 9th, Greg Butler won the Best Visual Effects Oscar for his work on the World War I epic “1917,” directed by Sam Mendes. Butler graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and has been working in film since the early 1990’s. He was nominated for an Oscar in 2012 for his work on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.” Butler spoke with WAMC about working on the “Lord Of The Rings” in the early 2000s and what it was like when he learned he’d won for “1917.”

MAHighwaysafety via Twitter

    A new distracted driving law takes effect this weekend in Massachusetts.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Three years ago, Great Barrington, Massachusetts created the W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee in honor of the town native’s 150th birthday. Organizers say the black writer, activist, and scholar is still having an impact on America today. This weekend, the committee is continuing its exploration of his commitment to progressive education, civil rights, economic justice, and racial equality and equity with its third annual Du Bois birthday event. Gwendolyn VanSant is the vice chair of the Du Bois Legacy committee and founder of BRIDGE – Berkshire Resources for Integration of Diverse Groups through Education. She sat down with WAMC in her office in downtown Lee to talk about the two-day event, which begins Saturday with a discussion on Du Bois’s classic 1903 text “The Souls Of Black Folk.”

Keep Burlington Telecom Local supporter holding sign during 2017 debate over sale
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In 2017 and 2018 leaders in Burlington, Vermont debated what company it would sell the then-municipally owned Burlington Telecom to. It was a contentious decision with many residents wanting the city to maintain ownership.  It was eventually sold to Schurz Communications. The City Council this week voted against reinvesting its proceeds of the sale in the utility.

WAMC

         A Black History Month observance Thursday honored the first Black firefighter in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

An ice runway in New Hampshire will remain closed this winter because mild weather has made the ice unsafe.

Vermont House Chamber
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont House is postponing a vote on whether to override Republican Governor Phil Scott's veto of a bill that would increase the minimum wage.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Last week, Pittsfield, Massachusetts named former city engineer Ricardo Morales its new commissioner of Public Services and Utilities. Morales was hired by the city in 2018 after a career in the private sector working in construction and an education in civil engineering. Mayor Linda Tyer says overseeing the multimillion dollar upgrade of the city’s wastewater treatment plant and carrying out the redesign of Tyler Street would be among Morales’ top priorities. Morales sat down with WAMC to talk about his vision for the department, as well as the status of projects like the wastewater treatment plant.

WAMC

     What does the largest city in western Massachusetts do with the millions of dollars it gets every year from its single-largest taxpayer?     It was a question City Councilors in Springfield asked at a joint committee meeting Tuesday.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council had a number of items on its agenda Tuesday evening that kept it working into the early morning hours.  But a resolution that will not be considered for another two weeks brought protesters to the council chambers and led to more than an hour of public comment.

WAMC

Officials in the largest school district in western Massachusetts say newly released data shows years of efforts to get kids to stay in school and eventually get a diploma are paying off. 

VT Attorney General T.J. Donovan
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont’s attorney general says his office will not charge four Rutland police officers for their roles in a fatal October shooting. Democrat TJ Donovan said Tuesday the actions of the officers involved in the death of Christopher Louras were justified. 

It Takes A Village

     A program to help families in the hilltowns of western Massachusetts with the high costs of childcare is now under new management.

MGMSpringfield

         Elected officials want to know how the money from the largest taxpayer in the largest city in western Massachusetts is being spent.  

Crime Scene Tape
Alan Cleaver/Flickr

Gunfire erupted at a Connecticut nightclub early Sunday morning, killing a man and wounding four other people, police said.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Update: The city of Burlington, Vermont lifted the precautionary boil water advisory for the low-service water system in Burlington and limited parts of South Burlington at about 3:30 a.m. Monday. The city says sample results have confirmed that it is safe to drink the water. 

Democratic Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has secured funding to re-establish the Northeastern States Research Cooperative.

UVM Medical Center main entrance
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The University of Vermont Health Network — made up of six affiliate hospitals in Vermont and New York — says it's taking steps to address financial troubles after a more than $10 million loss last quarter.

Representative Matt Trieber
Vermont Legislature

A member of the Vermont House has resigned due to the responsibilities of his job outside of the Legislature.

The Massachusetts Education Department has released 2019 graduation and drop data and officials in Springfield say initiatives to encourage kids to stay in school and get a diploma are paying off.

Great Barrington, Massachusetts is holding a joint meeting between its finance committee and select board next week on next year’s town budget.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts has appointed a new commissioner of Public Services and Utilities.

Forest Park Civic Association

    Elected officials in the largest city in western Massachusetts are trying to build a closer working relationship with organized labor unions.

A man in a fleece sits in front of a microphone
Josh Landes / WAMC

Alex Morse is the mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts. He’s also challenging Congressman Richard Neal in this year’s Democratic primary in the 1st Congressional district. This week, Morse sat down with WAMC while campaigning in Pittsfield. He discussed taking on a senior member of his own party, his fundraising, and how he plans to win a district easily carried by Neal in 2018.

Vermont Senate Chamber
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Senate has overridden Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of a bill that would increase the state's minimum wage and forwarded the final decision to the House.

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council has voted to ban the sale of animals from breeding mills.

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