Interest Rates Expected To Go Up, With More Hikes To Come

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to increase interest rates again Wednesday, which means higher rates on credit cards, home equity lines and other kinds of borrowing. But economists are wondering whether super-low unemployment will get policymakers nervous enough about potential inflation that the central bank will raise rates even higher in coming months than previously estimated. Wednesday's interest rate hike would be the Fed's second this year and put the federal funds rate in a...

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House To Vote Next Week On Competing Immigration Bills

House Speaker Paul Ryan's office announced late Tuesday a vote on two immigration bills next week to address the legal status of people brought to the U.S. as children. Specific details of the two bills will be released Wednesday morning. They are aimed at appeasing the ideological wings of the House GOP. One is expected to be a more conservative measure preferred by the House Freedom Caucus, and the other a more moderate one supported by more centrist Republicans. It is unclear if either...

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North Adams, MA – The Massachusetts Cultural Council has announced six winners of its 2003 Commonwealth Awards, the state's highest honors in the arts, humanities and sciences. Chosen by a committee of arts and business leaders, the recipients were drawn from a pool of 150 statewide nominations received in December 2002. One of this year's winners is a familiar name in the Northern Berkshires. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

North Adams, MA – U.S. Representative John Olver visited North Adams on Friday for a meeting of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. The discussion, normally focused on social services and local needs, turned quickly to talk of impending war. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana has more.

Warwick, NY – A group of Hudson Valley citizens is asking New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to look into what they say may be an antitrust violation in the food industry. It's part of their effort to keep former supermarkets from becoming CVS drugstores. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips reports.

Albany, NY – New York State's Environmental Protection Fund is supposed to be dedicated to environmental projects. For 2001-2002, the state didn't fund it at all. Now, the state is looking to borrow from it to help close the state deficit. That's upsetting environmental groups. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Albany, NY – The USA-Patriot Act, signed into law six weeks after the attacks of 9/11/01 gives law enforcement greater powers of investigation and search. The Albany Common Council may consider a resolution asking police to respect civil rights when pursuing cases under the Patriot Act. WAMC's Brian Shields has more.

Plattsburgh, NY – For over two hours Thursday evening, Plattsburgh city councillors and citizens of the area debated whether the Common Council should pass a resolution calling for further diplomacy before the nation declares war against Iraq. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Poughkeepsie, NY – Gas prices are rising. In New York state, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded is up more than fifty cents from a year ago. In the Hudson Valley, prices vary widely from station to station, leading to suspicions of price gouging. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips reports.

Boston, MA – The United States Senate voted overwhelmingly today to ban a highly disputed procedure that its critics call partial-birth abortion. With a number of Democrats also backing the measure, the 64-to-33 vote was a big victory for Republicans, who narrowly control the Senate. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

Plattsburgh, NY – NY is losing its small farms. New government figures show that the state lost a thousand small farms last year, even as the number of larger operations increased. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Stockbridge, MA – Ending nearly 3 years of administrative and court proceedings, the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services is dropping its lawsuit and has granted a six-month provisional license to the DeSisto School in Stockbridge to operate as an educational institution for troubled youth. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

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