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New England News

UVM Medical Center main entrance
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A month after a cyberattack crippled the University of Vermont Health Network’s computer systems, officials announced Monday that an important restoration of the system was completed over the weekend.

a stack of magnets
U.S. PIRG

For the 35th time, a consumer watchdog group has released an annual report on toy safety.

Vermont State Police patch on the Williston barracks sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont State Police troopers have begun wearing body cameras.

UVM Health Network staff work to restore IT systems
Ryan Mercer / University of Vermont Health Network

Over a month after a cyberattack crippled computer systems at the University of Vermont Medical Center and its affiliated hospitals, officials announced an important restoration of the system on Monday.

COVID-19 cases on a graph
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

      After climbing exponentially for weeks, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Springfield, Massachusetts has leveled off, but health officials fear a post-Thanksgiving surge.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

A sign for Springside Park
Josh Landes / WAMC

The city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts has set a December 1st deadline to remove unhoused residents living in public parks.

Max Tracy
Max for Mayor / Facebook

Vermont voters will choose local races in communities across the state on Town Meeting Day, March 3rd.  In Burlington, several candidates have already announced their plans to run for mayor. Two people are seeking the Progressive Party nomination.  Ward 3 City Councilor Brian Pine officially announced his campaign earlier this month, while City Council President Max Tracy is also seeking the Progressive nod. Tracy tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley the city of Burlington needs to move in a different direction.

The Lenox Town Seal (founded 1767)
wikipedia.org / Wikipedia Commons

The Lenox, Massachusetts public schools are suspending in-person teaching until January 19th, 2021.

The Berkshire Healthcare logo
Berkshire Healthcare / https://www.berkshirehealthcare.org/

Berkshire Healthcare says that all of its facilities in Berkshire County have at least one staffer with COVID-19.

The seal of the the city of North Adams, Massachusetts
North Adams

The Vice President of the North Adams, Massachusetts City Council says Mayor Tom Bernard should take further action to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the community of around 13,000. Jason LaForest – who is a nurse – tells WAMC that table service at restaurants should be suspended and all of the city’s schools should move to remote learning.

velkr0/Flickr

Several environmental and consumer groups have launched a campaign to encourage Whole Foods to change its practices on plastic packaging.

A man stands behind a podium with a Hampshire College logo in a wooden structure
Josh Landes / WAMC

2019 saw Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts plot a course through financial troubles and leadership transitions. This week, a $60 million fundraising effort to keep the college open and independent got a big boost when Paula H. and James S. Crown – a Hampshire graduate himself – committed $5 million. WAMC spoke with Ed Wingenbach, president of the experimental private liberal arts institution, about the college’s largest single donation.

a padlocked storefront
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

Officials in Springfield, Massachusetts have produced a plan they hope will spark development around the MGM casino.

A man sits in a chair wearing a suit and bow tie in an office with wooden walls
Josh Landes / WAMC

With COVID cases surging across Massachusetts, Pittsfield – the largest city in Berkshire County – suspended in-person education through December 4th and restaurant table service last week. WAMC spoke with Mayor Tom Bernard of North Adams, the county’s second largest community, about the measures he’s taking to control the spread as one city high school has closed following four positive cases in the past week.

Burlington High School
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Burlington, Vermont high school students are a step closer to going to classes in an empty downtown department store.

Congressman Peter Welch
Office of Congressman Peter Welch

The Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance recently held its annual membership meeting. The virtual session featured comments from the state’s at-large Congressman who talked about federal pandemic support and the recently passed Great American Outdoors Act.

Food Bank van and AMR ambulance
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

Food insecurity in western Massachusetts is climbing along with the surge in coronavirus cases.

Fire fighters and a fire truck are in front of a burning wooden building
Monterey Fire Department

Tuesday morning, the 216-seat Doris Duke Theatre on the campus of Jacob’s Pillow dance center in Becket, Massachusetts burned to the ground. The cause of the six-alarm fire has yet to be determined and the state fire marshal is investigating. Executive and Artistic Director Pamela Tatge tells WAMC that Jacob’s Pillow plans to rebuild in the wake of yet another challenge after COVID-19 forced the dance center to cancel its summer festival for the first time in its 88-year history.

Voters will decide local races in Vermont on Town Meeting Day, March 3rd.  In Burlington, several candidates have already announced they will run for mayor. One city councilor kicked off his campaign Monday.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Governor Phil Scott continues to urge Vermonters to follow the guidelines he set last week to control the spread of COVID-19. The spread of the virus is increasing in the state and the Northeast.

Springfield Police Department Headquarters on Pearl Street
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

Pressing for police reforms, the City Council in Springfield, Massachusetts has rejected a proposed contract for police supervisors.

A park has a "Park of Honor" banner flanked by American flags on one side and a row of flags including a Blue Lives Matter one on the other.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Pittsfield, Massachusetts is contending with a spike in coronavirus spread in the weeks following private social gatherings at homes and in restaurants in late October. With its public school buildings shuttered until December 4th and a suspension of in-person dining at city eateries in place, public health officials have voiced concerned about what impact Thanksgiving could have on efforts to halt the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Mayor Linda Tyer spoke with WAMC on Tuesday about the ongoing fight against COVID, as well as a controversial downtown Blue Lives Matter display.

The Massachusetts State House
Jim Levulis / WAMC

   Both the Massachusetts House and Senate have now passed separate bills that would ban certain flame retardants from a variety of consumer products.

Fire fighters and a fire truck are in front of a burning wooden building
Monterey Fire Department

A fire destroyed a theater at the Berkshire County dance center Jacob’s Pillow early this morning.

The only pharmacy school in Vermont will end its operations in the state next year.

The Southwestern Vermont Medical Center is offering to buy much of the property of the bankrupt Southern Vermont College in Bennington for $3.2 million.

A number of candidates are lining up in Burlington’s Town Meeting Day race for mayor.  A  city councilor formally announced Monday that he will seek the Progressive nomination.

Building Toward Racial Justice and Equity in Health: A Call to Action
Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey / mass.gov

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey released a report today identifying and exploring responses to racial injustice in health care.

Baystate Medical Center sign
Baystate Health

    COVID-19 cases are exploding exponentially in western Massachusetts.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Last week, Pittsfield, Massachusetts issued new public health orders including the closure of public school buildings through December 4th and a suspension of table service at city restaurants following a spike in COVID-19 cases. Since late October, around 200 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the city of about 42,000. Dr. Alan Kulberg, chairman of the Pittsfield Board Of Health, spoke with WAMC about how the city is responding to the surge, fueled by Halloween parties and restaurant gatherings last month. Kulberg says now he’s concerned about Thanksgiving.

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