News

Pittsfield, MA – A new county-wide program, Walk with me in the Berkshires, has enlisted over twelve-hundred residents in an effort to improve their physical fitness levels over the next eight weeks. Participants are motivated by having their daily steps measured by pedometer and their weekly step total published in The Berkshire Eagle. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana recently visited one of the many groups involved in the program.

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY – The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by architect Frank Gehry, opens next week on the campus of Bard College. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips recently spoke with Bard president Leon Botstein about the new building.

Albany, NY – NY Senator Charles Schumer has introduced legislation to change the formula that is used to allocate federal money to Veterans Administration hospitals and programs across the country. Schumer says the current system shortchanges the northeast in favor of states in the south and west. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.

Elizabethtown, NY – The New York State Commission of Corrections has ordered the Essex County jail to close within 30 days. A report found numerous fire code and maintenance violations. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

North Adams, MA – The Massachusetts State College Association, the Massachusetts Teachers' Union and the President of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Faculty Association are lining up in their opposition to Governor Mitt Romney's plan to re-organize higher education in the Commonwealth. They say the plan amounts to union busting at many of the state's smaller institutions. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana has more.

Burlington, VT – Vermont's largest hospital is providing documents to the state following an agency's request to justify why a 356-million dollar renovation and expansion project should continue. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Middletown,NY – Hudson Valley activists are calling attention to what they call the "biased coverage" of local elections and the war by the Times Herald-Record newspaper in Middletown. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips reports.

Boston, MA – A report released today by the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group-MassPirg--says exhaust from automobiles will add twenty-seven percent more carbon dioxide to the environment by the year 2020. The group is recommending specific legislation to help curb what it sees as a serious threat to public health and a major contributor to global warming. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana files this report.

Albany, NY – Republicans in the NYS Assembly say there should be a new legislative committee established to concentrate on issues of terrorism and homeland security. WAMC's Brian Shields has more.

Albany, NY – A scientist who worked on the Soviet Union's biological weapons program for almost 20 years says he has no doubts that Saddam Hussein's Iraq had biological and chemical weapons. Doctor Matthew Alibek, who spoke to students and faculty at the Albany Medical College, says finding the weapons is not the most important concern now.

Boiceville,NY – A Rochester-area school board has decided not to ask voters to decide on a district budget until New York state approves its own. The move has sparked a debate in the Hudson Valley about whether districts there should take the same stand. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips has more.

Plattsburgh, NY – A leading atmospheric research institute has released a new report on nitrogen pollution in the Northeast. Scientists say nitrogen deposition is a key environmental, human health and waterways problem, but this is the first in-depth study to assess causes, effects, and evaluate possible solutions. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Westfield, MA – For the first time in Massachusetts history a woman has been appointed as deputy chief of a professional fire department. Mary Regan has risen through the ranks since joining the department in 1987 and has recently been promoted to her new position in Westfield. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana files this report.

Burlington, VT – Three public high schools in Chittenden County, Vermont have agreed to try a school choice program. Students who live in communities served by the Burlington, South Burlington or Champlain Valley Union High Schools can apply to attend any of the three. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Boston, MA – The Massachusetts House of Representatives will debate two bills aimed at expanding legalized gambling. Speaker Thomas Finneran wants to settle this question tomorrow, before the House begins debate on the full 2004 budget later this month. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana files this report.

Albany, NY – The debate is underway into what role the U.S. should take in post-war Iraq. The war has left changes in the role of the U.N. and in the balance of power in the Middle East. WAMC's Brian Shields takes a closer look.

Poughkeepsie, NY – The Poughkeepsie-based Skipper Initiative is asking the New York State Legislature to declare next week "Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness week." Though that's likely to happen, another initiative to prevent SBS may take a while to win approval. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips has more.

Plattsburgh, NY – Some environmental groups in the region are upset over proposed rules changes to the federal Clean Water Act. They are urging people to take action before the public comment period ends next Wednesday. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Rosendale, NY – Tomorrow, activists from around the country will head to Washington for another demonstration against the war on Iraq. In the Hudson Valley, peace groups are trying some new ways to call attention to their cause. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips reports.

Buchanan, NY – New York state has been ordered to crack down on the Indian Point nuclear power plant's use of Hudson River water. Environmentalists are hoping the move will help restore the river's dwindling shad and sturgeon populations. WAMC's Lisa Phillips has more.

Plattsburgh, NY – The Adirondack Council testified this week before the US Senate Environment and Public Works committee about the president's Clear Skies Initiative. While the Adirondack Council says the Initiative would stop acid rain by the end of the decade, other environmental groups say the cuts aren't enough to reduce harmful emissions. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Boston, MA – Lawyers for the Boston Globe and Associated Press are in court today seeking to gain access to documents allegedly detailing over a billion dollars of cost overruns on Boston's Big Dig project. Rafael Lewis is a reporter for the Globe was in court this morning and took time to speak with Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana to tell him how the case came about and where he thought it might be headed.

Albany, NY – The often emotional and sometimes bitter debate over abortion took on an even more controversial tone this week on a college campus in Albany. Abortion opponents used graphic images to try to link abortion in America with the genocides of Nazi Germany and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.

Albany, NY – Republican Nancy Johnson returns to the Congressional Corner today to give us an idea of what it's like to be a Representative that doesn't always vote with her party. Alan opens by asking Nancy how it feels to be a Moderate Republican in the House these days?

Albany, NY – Nancy Johnson, representing Connecticut's 5th district , joins Alan in the Congressional Corner to take a look at the details of what lead up to this war. Alan asks Nancy for her thoughts on the war in Iraq and what she hears from her constituents.

Plattsburgh, NY – Nancy Kress has written 21 books which include science fiction, young adult novels and thrillers. She's won a Hugo and 3 Nebula awards for her science fiction writing. She has also written two books on writing and is a monthly fiction columnist for Writer's Digest Magazine. Nancy Kress is an alumna of SUNY Plattsburgh and will be on campus Thursday for the college's President Speakers' Series. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Albany, NY – Last year Richard Neal of Massachusetts won an award for his work in Congress to bring peace to Northern Ireland. He joins Alan in the Congressional Corner today to discuss Bush's recent trip to Belfast. Alan asks Richard what his thoughts are about Bush's involment in the peace process in Ireland and makes some comparisons to the peace process in Isreal.

Albany, NY – Republican John Sweeney has been named Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. This is a Homeland Security subcommittee and John and Alan discuss heading up such a committee at a time like this.

Albany, NY – With U.S. Troops in Baghdad, and the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein still unknown, a new poll shows a majority of New Yorkers approve of the way President Bush is handling the war in Iraq. But the poll also shows that New Yorkers are concerned about security at home. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.

Greenport, NY – The Business Council of New York State has endorsed the controversial St. Lawrence Cement plant in Greenport. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips has more.

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