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New England News

A flyer promoting the Unmasking Covid-19: Vaccine Q&A event on Tuesday, February 23rd.
Unmasking Covid-19: Vaccine Q&A

A virtual panel discussion dedicated to Berkshire County communities of color will address fears, misinformation and questions around the COVID-19 vaccine next week.

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 Advisory and Review Board unanimously approved a new policy that aims to protect the rights of transgender people in interactions with law enforcement.

Community Foundation of Western Mass.

     Since the start of the pandemic, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts has given almost $12 million in grants to more than 180 nonprofits in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.

Old Mill Building on the University  of Vermont campus (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The University of Vermont has reported nearly 80 coronavirus cases among students during the first two weeks of the spring semester.

Vermont City Marathon & Relay logo
Vermont City Marathon & Relay

The annual marathon in Burlington, Vermont has been rescheduled from May to October because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Legislators are proposing and committees are reviewing bills with a focus on the budget and the impact of the pandemic. Numerous groups including the House Progressive Caucus are lobbying legislators in a virtual world to address their priorities.

People in masks enter a building
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

The COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Massachusetts moved into a new phase today. Residents 65 and up and those with two or more comorbidities can now schedule appointments. But the process has been rocky. The state’s vaccine website crashed immediately this morning when appointment signups were supposed to begin. WAMC spoke today with Berkshire County Boards of Health Association and Berkshire Public Health Alliance Director Laura Kittross of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

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

A former Olympian has been indicted on multiple counts of indecent assault and battery allegedly committed at a Berkshire County summer camp in the 1970s. 

A stone building with a colonnade sits below a grey sky amid snowdrifts.
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council has postponed a proposed overhaul of its trash system until at least 2022.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott posted a video to Twitter as he signed a proclamation making Feb. 17 "Recovery Day."
WAMC screen capture

Vermont state representatives joined advocates today to discuss ways to deal with barriers to treatment and recovery and legislation that is planned this session to address the overdose crisis.

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

The Burlington, Vermont City Council postponed consideration of a settlement agreement with developers of a downtown project and also chastised the University of Vermont during Tuesday evening’s meeting.

people rallying with protest signs
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

    Imminent changes to renewable energy regulations in Massachusetts concern opponents of a long-proposed biomass power plant in Springfield.

MA Expanding COVID Vaccine Eligibility

Feb 17, 2021
A police officer gets vaccinated
Norwell Police / Twitter

Massachusetts residents aged 65 and older, and those 16 and older with two approved comorbidities, can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments starting Thursday.

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 Advisory and Review Board held its monthly meeting virtually on Tuesday.

A new warming shelter for the unhoused has opened in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

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

State police say a Washington, Vermont, man has died after a two-vehicle crash on a snow-covered road.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont’s governor and members of his administration gave their latest COVID-19 briefing today. It came as the state dealt with a deluge of calls as it opened appointments for the next eligible group in its age-based vaccination rollout.

COVID-19 Diagram
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

       The number of new COVID-19 cases in Springfield, Massachusetts continues to go down as the state picks up the pace of  vaccinations for the coronavirus.

Vermont Mayors Coalition logo
Vermont Mayors Coalition

The Vermont Mayors Coalition recently announced the issues it wants the state legislature to prioritize this session.

Moderna vaccine
Courtesy of Rockland County government

The next age group in Vermont eligible for coronavirus vaccinations may start registering for vaccine appointments on Tuesday.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

During the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, House managers presented video evidence that included comments from Republican officials. Among them were statements Governor Phil Scott made to the Vermont Legislature in January.  On Friday, the governor responded to the use of his comments.

Burlington street sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The U.K. variant of COVID has been confirmed in Vermont for the first time. On Thursday, officials in the state’s largest city reported they detected evidence of the variant in wastewater.

grab and go meals
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

A milestone is being reached in an effort to combat food insecurity during the pandemic in the largest city in western Massachusetts.

A North Adams fire hydrant
Josh Landes / WAMC

As North Adams, Massachusetts continues to struggle with malfunctioning fire hydrants, the city council heard a presentation on safety infrastructure Tuesday night.

Daguerrotype of Alexander Twilight
Collection of the Orleans County Grammar Schools / Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

A Middlebury artist has been picked to paint a portrait for the Vermont Statehouse of Alexander Twilight.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The appropriations committees of the Vermont Legislature took testimony this week on Governor Phil Scott’s proposed 2022 state budget.

A more easily transmissible variant of the coronavirus first found in the United Kingdom is likely in Vermont after wastewater testing in Burlington detected the presence of two virus mutations associated with the variant.

A brutalist brick building sits past an American flag on a pole and a lawn.
JD Allen / WAMC

The North Adams, Massachusetts city council has rejected a proposal to turn a former school building into 75 units of affordable and market rate housing.

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

On Town Meeting Day March 2nd, Burlington, Vermont voters will select who they want to lead the city for the next three years. The candidates for mayor have participated in a series of debates focused on policing, public safety, housing and downtown development.

A map of Berkshire Healthcare locations in Massachusetts
Berkshire Healthcare /

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a grim toll on the nursing homes of Berkshire County. Facilities managed by Berkshire Healthcare like Hillcrest Commons in Pittsfield and Williamstown Commons in Williamstown have reported scores of resident deaths. But now there is some optimism. Spokesperson Lisa Gaudet says the company has completed two rounds of vaccinations in its nursing homes through a federal program administered by CVS and Walgreens, with a third expected to be finished by early March. She tells WAMC Josh Landes that their numbers exceed national averages, but some staffers remain skeptical of the vaccine.