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New England News

The owner of a Rutland, Vermont fitness center who was ordered by a judge to close says he's moved the equipment outside into the parking lot and has reopened as an outdoor facility.

Burlington's "Everyone Loves a Parade" mural
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council has voted on a resolution to accelerate the removal of a controversial mural commemorating the history of the city.

wikimedia commons/de:Benutzer:Alex Anlicker

A proposed 16.9 percent rate increase for about 240,000 water users in western Massachusetts is being reconsidered following sharp criticism from elected  officials.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont officials gave updates on the COVID-19 outbreak on Monday. The governor says progress is being made as the state reopens, but cautions that everyone must remain on guard to prevent a spike in infections.

The Massachusetts State House
Jim Levulis / WAMC

How badly has the shutdown of the economy in Massachusetts hurt the state’s finances?

Vermont is continuing its gradual reopening from coronavirus pandemic closures. As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, retail stores reopened with restrictions for in-person customers on Monday.

An empty street stretches out under a blue sky
Josh Landes / WAMC News

As Massachusetts rolls out its phased reopening plan, Berkshire County leaders are weighing a need for revenue with a need for safety.

COVID-19 Diagram
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Vermont Health Department reported 940 cases of the coronavirus statewide on Monday, unchanged from Sunday. The Health Commissioner cautions that despite the positive trend, the virus spreads easily and the state must continue to take precautions.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has released a roadmap for the phased reopening of the Massachusetts economy starting today. Officials in the state’s third-largest city are getting ready to put regulations in place to implement the reopening plan. 

A sign for the Upper West Lot sits in front of an empty field
Josh Landes / WAMC News

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s decision to cancel the summer season at Tanglewood means a grim forecast for Berkshire County’s economy.

Former members of a bankrupt private ski resort in Vermont have officially bought its assets in Wilmington and West Dover and anticipate opening for the 2020-2021 winter season.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Governor Phil Scott has extended the State of Emergency for Vermont, but at the same time eased some of the stay-home requirements established to combat COVID-19.

Sean MacEntee/Flickr

With the pandemic bringing school and workplaces into the home for many people, gaps in high-speed internet are presenting new challenges.

A sign for the Upper West Lot sits in front of an empty field
Josh Landes / WAMC News

The Boston Symphony Orchestra has canceled the summer season at its Lenox, Massachusetts concert venue Tanglewood.

A sign that says "Crane" stands outside of a brick building
Josh Landes / WAMC

North Adams, Massachusetts Mayor Tom Bernard’s efforts to fine a company operating against his orders have been cut short by the city’s board of public health.

A white building stands against a blue sky with puffy white clouds
Josh Landes / WAMC

The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the landscape for the mental and emotional health professionals of Berkshire County.

UVM Medical Center main entrance
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Elective surgeries are ramping back up at Vermont's largest hospital.

Burlington sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council had transportation issues on the agenda this week as it reviewed upcoming construction projects planned for the summer — and how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect them.

a farm field and a tractor

Several farms in western Massachusetts have been thrown a financial lifeline as they look to build back their business during the pandemic.

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

Berkshire Health Systems announced today that it is cutting back the hours on its COVID-19 hotline. The company operates the county’s primary hospital, Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, and other health care facilities throughout the area. Director of Media Relations Michael Leary tells WAMC that the move comes as BHS sees a flattening of the coronavirus curve in Western Massachusetts.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott began his latest COVID-19 briefing Wednesday by telling Vermonters that he will not tolerate any hate, bigotry or bias in the state as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

A woman in a blue suit stands at a microphone-covered podium in a booklined room
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington says an increased amount of fentanyl-laced heroin has hit area streets. The Democrat spoke with WAMC Thursday about the connection between the batch and rising overdoses in the region, as well as increasing domestic violence rates and the coming arraignment of a Great Barrington police officer for drunk driving in April.

Governor Phil Scott began his Wednesday COVID-19 briefing telling Vermonters that he will not tolerate any hate, bigotry or bias in the state as a result of the pandemic.

An SUV is parked on the street in front of a brick building with "Pittsfield Police" on its doors
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts police department is investigating after one of its officers shot a city man who threatened police. / County Ambulance

According to first responders in Berkshire County’s largest community, calls for overdoses and alcohol related emergencies are skyrocketing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Burlington’s mayor hosted a tele-town hall Tuesday evening to discuss the public health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and how Vermont’s largest city should respond to the crisis.

A shot from a Zoom video conferencing meeting with lots of little heads in little boxes on a grid against a black background
Pittsfield Community Television

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council met Tuesday night to appropriate funding for emergency housing and sign off on tax increment financing plans for two prospective downtown businesses.


A relief fund set up by a nonprofit organization is helping hundreds of undocumented immigrants in western Massachusetts who are not eligible for federal stimulus checks or unemployment benefits.

A sign that says "Crane" stands outside of a brick building
Josh Landes / WAMC

Starting Monday, North Adams, Massachusetts is fining the Crane Stationery Plant a thousand dollars a day for operating against city orders.


       In an order issued in late April, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reiterated that farmers’ markets are considered an essential business, and just like grocery stores, should be permitted to open with precautions.