New England News

Patrick Garrett / WAMC

It’s an age-old question in politics: what impact do endorsements have on voters? As a contentious Berkshire District Attorney Democratic primary race heads into its final hours, WAMC has this survey of each candidate’s endorsements.

Facebook: Pittsfield Police Department

The Pittsfield Police Department have made an arrest in a  hit and run incident in the city last week. WAMC’s Josh Landes has more.

Longtime activist Bob Massie is running in the Democratic Primary for governor Tuesday against former Deval Patrick cabinet member Jay Gonzalez. WAMC asked Massie about his candidacy and his take on the recently passed criminal justice overhaul in Massachusetts.

Pittsfield Public Schools

Labor Day is Monday, and already, many students in our region are back to school. Wednesday was the first day of school in Pittsfield, the largest city in Berkshire County. Pittsfield Public Schools Superintendent Jake McCandless spoke with WAMC, touching on the long-awaited new Taconic High School building, school safety, new contracts with the teachers’ union, and more.

Carl Van Vechten / Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Van Vechten Collection

The work of choreographer Paul Taylor, who died this week at 88, had a wide impact on the world of modern dance — and the Berkshires were no exception.

Vermont GOP logo
Vermont GOP/Facebook

In November, voters will elect Vermont’s statewide officers: governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, auditor and secretary of state.  They will also elect the only member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the state and the U.S. Senate seat held by Independent Bernie Sanders.  In a quirk of state election law, one candidate won the GOP primaries for six offices on Aug. 14th. Wednesday, he officially withdrew from five contests and the Vermont Republican Party chose candidates for the remaining races.

Josh Landes / WAMC

The first ballot question in Massachusetts this November will ask voters whether to adopt new staffing standards for hospitals around the commonwealth. WAMC spoke to both sides of the hotly contested issue.

Ellen Kennedy is the president of Berkshire Community College. With its main campus headquartered west of downtown Pittsfield, the college serves around 1,300 students —  96 percent from Berkshire County. BCC is also the home of the Western Massachusetts branch of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, a country-wide educational entity funded by philanthropist Bernard Osher that offers adults above 50 noncredit college courses. Kennedy spoke with WAMC in advance of the new school year.

A second suspect has been arrested a week after a teen was shot in the woods of Washington, Massachusetts.


For over a year, officials in Vermont’s most populous county and the state have been considering the possibility of creating safe injection sites as a means to curb the growing opioid crisis.  This week, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote that such plans are not solutions and the Department of Justice is ready to act against communities that create such facilities.  The move is not deterring efforts in Burlington.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat

Connecticut Democratic U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal has introduced legislation to provide disability compensation for the 1,600 U.S. airmen who were sent to Spain in 1966 to decontaminate the countryside after two U.S. Air Force jets carrying hydrogen bombs collided. The bombs fell to the ground. Blumenthal says the airmen were sent in without protective gear and were exposed to plutonium which led to cancer and other radiogenic conditions. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont says several towns across the state should repeal anti-panhandling ordinances.

Vermont officials have hired nine new drug recognition experts to help determine if a driver is impaired on something other than alcohol.

A gun rights advocate holds a sign as Governor Phil Scott signs new gun restrictions into law on April 11, 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Gun rights advocates have filed a second legal challenge over Vermont's new gun restrictions.

Josh Landes / WAMC

A Pittsfield bowling alley that dates back more than a century is closing this week.

Patrick Garrett / WAMC

The Berkshire County district attorney candidates in next week’s Democratic primary vocalized their stances on sentencing regarding illegal gun cases in Tuesday’s debate. 

Officials are recommending a cap on the number of adult-use marijuana stores that would be permitted in the largest city in western Massachusetts.

Patrick Garrett / WAMC

In their last public meeting of a long and bruising campaign, the three candidates in next week’s Democratic primary for Berkshire District Attorney met in Stockbridge, Massachusetts for a live debate on WAMC Tuesday.

Gun Owners Of Vermont Website

Gun rights advocates have filed a second legal challenge over Vermont's new gun restrictions.

U.S. and Canadian flags
Flanker/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The Trump administration announced on Monday it has reached a preliminary deal with Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. The original pact also includes Canada but there is no deal yet with the northern neighbor.  Cross-border trade interests in northern New York are encouraging negotiators in Washington and Canada to quickly reach an agreement.

The new MGM Head Start Center is in Springfield's South End neighborhood less than a block from the $960 million resort casino complex.

Classes start after Labor Day at a new Head Start school built by MGM near the casino it operates in downtown Springfield.

Massachusetts lawmakers have decided once again not to enact a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags by retail stores.

WAMC/Northeast Public Radio and Berkshire Theatre Group hosted a live debate among the Democratic candidates for Berkshire County District Attorney on August 28 at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, Mass.


    The extreme heat is disrupting back-to-school schedules in western Massachusetts.


     With schools back in session, a program that provided free meals to children during the summer in parks, playgrounds, campgrounds, and churches has come to an end.  In one western Massachusetts community, kids had healthy lunches delivered right to where they live from a fully-equipped kitchen on wheels.

Springfield Police

      The man charged with killing three women whose bodies were found in his Springfield, Massachusetts home has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.

It has been a slow rollout to the legal marijuana business in Massachusetts.  It will likely be many months before people can legally purchase pot in the largest city in western Massachusetts.


    It is the first day of the new academic year in the second-largest public school district in Massachusetts.  25,000 students returned to classes today in Springfield.

WikiMedia Commons

Connecticut U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal is planning to unveil a proposal to address the rising price of EpiPens.


New Hampshire's Democratic Congressional delegation wants a federal agency to expand its study of contaminated water to a community near a factory believed to have released toxic chemicals into the air and groundwater.