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New England News

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Governor Phil Scott has announced a series of steps to curb a significant rise in COVID cases in Vermont.

A scene from the Bright Nights at Forest Park light display
Spirit of Springfield

     Details have been announced for how the largest holiday lighting display in New England will go on this year with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. 

Two workers were killed in an explosion Friday while repairing a steam pipe in a maintenance building at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Connecticut, officials said.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council reviewed a number of items during their regular session and committee meetings this week.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The city of Pittsfield is suspending table service at city restaurants starting Friday amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. The city school district is also transitioning to all-remote learning through December 4. 

Aaron Vega Facebook

   Outgoing Massachusetts Democratic State Representative Aaron Vega is going to be the city of Holyoke’s chief economic development officer.

The Black Lives Matter flag flies in front of Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Burlington City Council discussed the legal implications of creating Overdose Prevention Sites in the city during a work session of their regular meeting this week.

Burlington street sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Coronavirus cases are increasing in Vermont. Tuesday evening, Burlington’s mayor held a virtual town hall with medical experts to discuss concerns and what people should know about new guidance to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Veterans honored at Springfield City Hall
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

   Massachusetts honored its military veterans today with virtual events and much smaller than usual Veterans Day observances.

DAV logo
DAV

    On this Veterans Day, we hear from a spokeswoman for The Disabled American Veterans (DAV), an organization founded a century ago to help disabled members of the armed forces and their families.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont officials announced today that they are temporarily suspending the state’s safe travel policy that allows some people to enter the state without quarantining from areas determined to have low numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott said Monday he appreciates President-elect Joe Biden’s immediate attention to look for ways to control the coronavirus pandemic.  Scott’s comments came after Biden unveiled a coronavirus advisory board made up by scientists and public health officials.

The state of Vermont has seen a spike in coronavirus cases and while officials say the numbers aren’t large, they are concerning.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts is alerting residents to a major spike in COVID-19 cases related to house parties and dining inside restaurants. 

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

A man from Lanesborough, Massachusetts has been convicted on multiple counts related to child pornography.

a student learns remotely
SPS

     Education officials in Massachusetts today said school districts should make in-person learning a priority even in places where risk levels are high for community spread of COVID-19.

Two hands embrace under a rose over a red backdrop with "Berkshires Democratic Socialists Of America" in a ring around them.
Berkshires Democratic Socialists of America

The Ecosocialist Working Group of the Massachusetts Democratic Socialists of America has put forward a Green Stimulus Plan that it says prioritizes equity, working people and the environment. It comes as the state slowly rebuilds from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. WAMC spoke to John Prusinski of the Berkshire Chapter of the DSA. He says the plan corresponds with legislation working its way through the Massachusetts legislature.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker stands at a podium in front of a marble building with a row of people standing on either side of him
Josh Landes / WAMC

As new COVID-19 related public health orders from Governor Charlie Baker go into effect today across Massachusetts, Berkshire County communities are getting ready to implement them.

It’s estimated that about 56,000 people in Massachusetts have lost their health insurance since last spring when unemployment soared as a result of the pandemic-induced business shutdowns.

Older Winooski building
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Voters in Winooski, which has one of the highest concentrations of new Americans and immigrants in Vermont, have decided to allow noncitizens the right to vote in local elections.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

There will be a number of changes in the leadership of the Vermont Legislature if election results stand.

A black man holding a mic with a face mask and an NAACP sign stands in a sun-dappled grassy park surrounded by people
Josh Landes / WAMC

Dennis Powell was re-elected to a fourth two-year term as president of the Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP in Wednesday’s virtual election. 

Molly Gray
Molly Gray for Vermont/Facebook

On Tuesday night, Vermont voters elected Molly Gray as the state’s next Lieutenant Governor.  The current assistant attorney general had never run for office but garnered a number of high-profile endorsements including from Senator Patrick Leahy, Congressman Peter Welch, former Governor and Ambassador Madeline Kunin and former Governor Peter Shumlin.  She defeated Republican businessman Scott Milne, who had twice run for office, and the outcome between the two was the closest among the state’s top races. On Wednesday morning Molly Gray told WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley following the election results was a rollercoaster but a very special night.

A remote court arraignment
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

        Two former administrators of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home were arraigned Thursday on criminal neglect charges for their roles in the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the state-owned long-term care facility. 

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission logo
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

With COVID-19 rates rising in Massachusetts, a new round of public health mandates from Governor Charlie Baker take effect Friday. WAMC spoke with Berkshire County Boards of Health Association and Berkshire Public Health Alliance Director Laura Kittross of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission about the state of the pandemic in the region right now.

A map of the Massachusetts house districts.
Massachusetts / https://malegislature.gov/

There were few surprises in Berkshire County on Election Day, with the region’s all-Democratic legislative delegation running unchallenged.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermonters continued a long tradition of electing a governor and lieutenant governor from opposite parties on Election Day. Bidding for a third term, Republican Governor Phil Scott soundly defeated his challenger, while a newcomer to politics will hold the second-highest state office.

A voting ward
Jim Levulis / WAMC

On Election Day, Massachusetts voters embraced a ballot measure that would standardize vehicle data access while rejecting one that would instate a ranked choice voting system in 2022.

NAACP logo
Facebook: NAACP-Berkshire County Branch

After a candidate for president of the Berkshire County chapter of the NAACP levelled accusations of sexism at the incumbent, some women in the branch are pushing back. 

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu

New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu has been elected to a third two-year term defeating Democrat Dan Feltes.

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