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Voters in Cheshire, Massachusetts will decide Wednesday whether to approve a budget override needed to fund the town’s portion of the regional school district.

Stephen Gottlieb: Don't Shoot

5 hours ago

Perhaps you read the NY Times story over the weekend about the self-described expert in police killings, William Lewinski, who justifies every police killing on the ground that the policeman had no time to protect himself, no time to do anything but shoot. Victim’s back turned, no time. Hand in pocket, no time. Victim doing what the officer told him to do, no time. All the evidence contradicts the statement of the officer, no time.

wikipedia.org

Authorities in Berkshire County are reconsidering how a father and his 11-year-old daughter died after originally suspecting a murder suicide.  

An autopsy on 47-year-old Anthony Nazareth did not determine an exact cause of death, according to the Berkshire District Attorney’s office. Evidence gathered at the scene and preliminary toxicology reports indicate the possibility that he died of a drug overdose.

The autopsy on Hannah Nazareth showed no signs of trauma. Her cause of death is undetermined pending further testing.

    

Counties across New York are concerned over reports that sales tax collections are plummeting and they are asking Governor Cuomo’s tax department for a more detailed  explanation.

The New York State Association of Counties, dismayed over a report by the state comptroller that sales tax collections have slowed to half of what they were last year, are asking Governor Cuomo’s tax department for more information, says the group’s Steven Aquario.

“Are we seeing a trend here?” Aquario says the counties are asking the tax officials.

Matthew Kang, flickr

New data shows the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts is worse than public health officials feared.

The number of opioid deaths in 2014 totaled 1,256 according to revised numbers released Tuesday by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.   Initial estimates had 1,008 people dying of drug overdoses last year. 

And, the epidemic shows no signs of lettering up.  An estimated 312 people are thought to have died of an overdose in the first three months of this year. 

A task force created by Gov. Charlie Baker released a report in June with 65 recommendations.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday revealed indictments against 20 alleged members and associates of a Troy-based gang (including an ex-Watervliet police officer) on charges they operated a high-volume drug trafficking ring.

WAMC

The second largest public school system in Massachusetts is expanding early childhood education through what officials say is a unique partnership with the private sector.

A new free preschool in Springfield is currently enrolling eligible 4-year-old children for classes that will start next month.  There are approximately 300 openings in the Springfield Cooperative Preschool, which is being run collaboratively by the public schools, Head Start, the Square One organization, and the YMCA of Greater Springfield.  

Meteorologist Garett Argianas' Evening Forecast

8 hours ago

Meteorologist Garett Argianas delivers the evening weather forecast for Tuesday, August 4, 2015.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

A state siting board is a holding a pair of public hearings in western Massachusetts on a proposed natural gas pipeline.

TSA

In the latest efforts aimed at gun reform, top New York state and federal officials are making rules and calling for crackdowns.

The push to regulate toy guns has multiplied since last November

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