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New England News

Burlington's CityPlace remains undeveloped in this September 2019 photo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Developers of a stalled mall project in Vermont's largest city say construction won't begin until late summer or early fall - pushing the opening back to 2022 or 2023.

The Vermont Legislature has voted to increase the state's minimum wage, but all eyes are now on Republican Gov. Phil Scott to see if he will allow the bill to become law.

Hearings are set for next week as Great Barrington, Massachusetts develops its budget for fiscal year 2021.

This is the logo of the Massachusetts State Police
Facebook: Massachusetts State Police

Massachusetts State Police will move to fire 22 troopers implicated in an overtime abuse scandal. 

      The city council in Springfield, Massachusetts could vote Monday to ban the government’s use of face surveillance technology.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

The visitor center and museum at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site will be closing temporarily.

A federal judge has denied a request to move the trial of a Miami businessman accused in a multimillion-dollar ski resort fraud case from northern Vermont.

dairy cow
WAMC

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture says the state lost an average of 48 dairy farms last year, dropping the total number of dairies to about 677.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council has made its final decisions on whether three charter changes will be placed on the Town Meeting Day ballot.  One will not be forwarded to voters.

    The largest city in western Massachusetts is making a change in its recycling program. It could have a ripple effect in other municipalities in the region. 

This month, the Literacy Network of South Berkshire announced that it has a new leader.  The nonprofit also known simply as LitNet provides free educational support for adults. Diane Rosenthal is a veteran of the nonprofit world, with 25 years of experience under her belt. She has previously served as the Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers in Stamford and Greenwich, Connecticut, and also for The New York Public Library Centers for Reading and Writing. Rosenthal spoke with WAMC about what she hopes to bring to the Berkshires – starting with an assessment of what strengths the Lee-based LitNet has.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra has canceled its February tour of East Asia, citing concerns about the new coronavirus. 

The Berkshire County Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force was launched by District Attorney Andrea Harrington in April 2019. It unveiled its first initiative last fall – a community read of Rachel Louise Snyder’s “No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us.” Snyder – a reporter whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post and on This American Life – will be in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the Colonial Theater February 6th to talk about the book. She spoke with WAMC about what compelled her to focus on domestic violence.

Vermont Statehouse in winter (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A Vermont House bill would call for police to use lethal force only when absolutely necessary and to make the investigation process more transparent.

Staffing shortages in the Pittsfield, Massachusetts police department and the role of resource officers in the city’s schools were discussed at this week’s city council meeting.

One of two new electric buses joining Burlington's transit fleet
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont officials met at the Green Mountain Transit central garage in Burlington Tuesday afternoon to unveil the city’s first two electric buses that will be deployed for commuter transit.

The Pittsfield Community Television logo
Pittsfield Community Television

In August, the Federal Communications Commission voted to change 35-year-old rules on how cable companies pay for Public, Educational and Government access television and radio stations nationwide. Shawn Serre is the Executive Director of Pittsfield Community Television and WTBR, public access stations that would be impacted by the move to cut back the amount of funding private corporations must provide them. He sat down with WAMC explain why the changes threaten some public broadcasters, and how new legislation proposed by Democratic Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey could protect them.

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    The largest police department in western Massachusetts is taking steps to equip all its officers with body-worn cameras. 

photo of Burlington Police logo on a podium
Photo - Pat Bradley/WAMC

A deputy police chief in Burlington, Vermont, who was put on administrative leave after she disclosed she created a fake social media account has been told she may return to work.

Democrat Michael Bloomberg speaks to a crowd in Burlington, Vermont
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg was in Burlington, Vermont on Monday.  He told supporters and the curious that he is the only candidate who can defeat incumbent Republican President Donald Trump this November.

A man in a uniform shirt and tie holds his hands up to his side in front of a fire truck and a table with an unzipped red bag full of medical supplies
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts public schools will be outfitted with trauma kits purchased with state grant money by the city’s fire department.

WAMC

The restoration of Union Station in Springfield is seen as a catalyst for the increase in rail ridership in western Massachusetts.  The project was also the spark for a much anticipated study into expanded train service for the region.

Jayme Roy / The Pollinators

Peter Nelson is the director of “The Pollinators,” a documentary that follows his travels around the United States following migratory beekeepers as they pollinate the flowers that produce the nation’s fruits, nuts, and vegetables. The movie was released in late 2019 and is screening at a Berkshire International Film Festival event as a part of its Environmental Film Focus at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts this Sunday at 3 p.m.  Also a beekeeper, Nelson tells WAMC that “The Pollinators” explores the problems that bees, beekeepers, and the country’s agricultural system face – and why he’s still optimistic.

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The Five College Consortium in western Massachusetts has received a $2.5 million grant to enhance Native American and indigenous studies.

Stu Rosner / Boston Symphony Orchestra

This week, Boston Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Mark Volpe announced he will step down at the end of February 2021. He oversees the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, and Tanglewood, as well as the orchestra’s real estate holdings in Boston and the Berkshires. Volpe previously held leadership positions with orchestras in Baltimore, Minneapolis, and Detroit over his 37-year career.  During his tenure, the Lenox, Massachusetts campus of Tanglewood extended its schedule into a full-season program for the first time. He also led the organization as it dealt with the fallout of sexual misconduct allegations against former music director James Levine. Volpe spoke with WAMC about what he’ll carry with him from the experience, and what it’s like to lead an orchestra for 23 years.

WAMC

  Legislation has been proposed to regulate short-term room rentals in the largest city in western Massachusetts.

Officials will begin a phased-in reopening of operating rooms in a satellite campus of Vermont’s largest hospital.  They were closed because of an odor that made some people sick.

Middlebury College (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A Middlebury College student organization has invited a guest speaker back three years after his appearance sparked a rowdy protest during which a professor was injured.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council met on Tuesday this week, its regular session delayed one day due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.  City councilors had a full agenda that included a review of items that will appear on the Town Meeting Day ballot in March.

The door of the Berkshire District Attorney's office.
Josh Landes / WAMC

The North Adams, Massachusetts man authorities said killed his wife more than two years pleaded guilty to murder on Thursday.

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