State funding has been secured to launch a major renovation to a landmark courthouse in western Massachusetts.

State legislators are scheduled to formally announce next week the award of $500,000 to cover the first phase of an estimated $ 4 million restoration of the Hamsphire  County Courthouse in downtown Northampton.

The courthouse, built in 1886 is in desperate need of major repairs according to Todd Ford, executive director of the Hampshire Council of Governments.

"The building has not had a serious renovation in quite some time," he said.

WAMC Photo by Pat Bradley

There is concern about transporting volatile crude oil by rail across New York. Members of the Clinton County Oil Train Task Force gathered near a rail crossing in downtown Plattsburgh on Earth Day to highlight resolutions passed by local municipalities calling for policies to improve the safety of the trains carrying oil through the region.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Some 12,000 people in western Massachusetts might need to find new health insurance by May. That’s when Boston Medical Center’s HealthNet is ending its coverage for Berkshire Health Systems and its affiliated services.

  Less than a month after it was enacted, Governor Cuomo’s new teacher evaluation plan seems to be in jeopardy, with the Regents Chancellor calling for a year’s delay and a key Senator saying the legislature needs to revisit the issue.

When Cuomo convinced the legislature to approve a new teacher evaluation system that relies more on standardized tests, his administration said that the State Board of Regents would have very limited power to make any changes including compliance with a November deadline to come up with new performance reviews.

New England governors say they are committed to a collaborative solution in hopes of lowering energy costs. Five of the region’s six governors meet in Hartford Thursday for an energy summit.


The mayor of Springfield and the city’s police commissioner will meet with students Friday at American International College to address recent gun violence near the campus

Bullets have twice recently struck buildings on the AIC campus. No one was injured. Police say the gunfire was from gang members feuding on nearby streets. 

AIC President Vincent Maniaci sent letters to parents and students stressing the campus is safe.

Meteorologist Garett Argianas' Evening Forecast

Apr 23, 2015

Meteorologist Garett Argianas delivers the evening weather forecast for Thursday, April 23, 2015.

(Airs 4/23/15) WAMC's Alan Chartock interviews E.J. MacMahon, President of the Empire Center for Public Policy.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

As in many other states, craft beer is on the rise in New York. But new snags have accompanied the brewing boom. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer recently stopped by a brewery in Dutchess County to push for malt barley crop insurance. Farmers and brewers alike say it would help craft brewers increase their locally-sourced ingredients.

Massachusetts Governor's Office

About 30 members of the Massachusetts Mayors Association met with Governor Charlie Baker in Boston Wednesday.