Brian Shields

Senior News Anchor

WAMC Senior Correspondent Brian Shields has been with WAMC for 23 years as senior news anchor, host and reporter.

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Southwestern Vermont Heatlh Care recently celebrated its first "healthy home."
Facebook: Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

Hospitals’ focus on health care, and Southwestern Vermont Health Care is no exception, but the hospital recently opened its first “healthy home”. The home near the medical center in Bennington was purchased by the hospital, redeveloped and sold. 

NY GOP Chair Ed Cox
NY GOP

President Trump is scheduled to deliver his first speech to a joint session of Congress at 9 p.m. today. New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox tells WAMC he expects Trump to speak directly to working men and women. 

Facebook: U.S. National Weather Service

At a time of the year when snowstorms, freezing rain and sleet are the main concerns for weather forecasters, a tornado touched down Saturday evening in western Massachusetts as a potent squall line moved through the region, pushing out un-usually warm conditions in favor of winter cold. 

Tanglewood has announced a $30 million expansion to its campus in the Berkshires. Mark Volpe, managing director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, says work will begin this summer on a new four-building complex.

Heroin
Matthew Kang, flickr

One thing is certain about the opioid epidemic; it can be found just about anywhere. From the big cities, to the small towns, and in the suburbs. This evening at the North Adams Public Library, a film will be shown telling the story of the toll opioids have taken on North Adams, the smallest city in Massachusetts. 

Dr. James Stellar
UAlbany

The University at Albany is undergoing a major academic expansion, and it's happening with an interim president in charge. Dr. James Stellar has been leading the university since the end of last September after the departure of Dr. Robert Jones, who left for a new position with the University of Illinois. Dr. Stellar spoke with WAMC News about UAlbany's most immediate plans.

James Burton
Boston Symphony Orhestra

There is a new conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. James Burton will also assume the new position of Choral Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Greg Haymes from Nippertown.com is back with a look back at his favorite local albums of 2016 and one fresh selection from the new year.

Dr. Carolyn Stefanco
St. Rose

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent proposal to provide free college tuition to state or city universities or community colleges has drawn a good deal of attention from those inside and outside the state's academic circles. Under the plan, free tuition would be available to New Yorkers whose families make under $125,000 a year. But what could it mean for private, independent colleges? Carolyn Stefanco is president of the College of St. Rose in Albany.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has wrapped up his regional State of the State tour, during which he outlined his agenda for the 2017. For more on what the governor had to say about education, WAMC News spoke with Tim Kremer, the Executive Director of the New York State School Boards Association.

James Barba
Albany Med

A visit to the emergency room, either as a patient or a concerned relative of the injured or ill, is never a welcome experience even when the best of care is provided. It's especially difficult for children. That may become just a bit easier by the end of next year when Albany Medical Center will open a four-story, $50 million pediatric emergency department. James Barba is the president and CEO of Albany Med.

Mayor Linda Tyer
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Government budgets are rarely read page to page by most voters, but Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer wants this year's spending plan to be an informative guide for city residents and taxpayers. The Democrat, beginning the second year of a four-year term, delivered her State of the City address Monday afternoon at the Colonial Theatre.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
United States Library of Congress

Among other accomplishments, President Franklin D. Roosevelt is known for his first inaugural speech when he said the only thing to fear was "fear itself", his "Day of Infamy" speech to Congress the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and his many "fireside chats" to Americans over the radio. Seventy-six years ago this week, FDR delivered his "Four Freedoms" speech declaring freedoms of speech and worship and freedoms from want and fear. This Saturday in Pittsfield, Mass., those words will be remembered with a march and a rally.

Money in a pants pocket
Flickr/Mike Schmid

New Yorkers can now deposit their tax refund check directly into a college savings account under legislation that was recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The refunds can go into a 529 - accounts which can grow over time and are not taxable, as long as the proceeds are used for college expenses.

Pamela Tatge
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

Six months from today, a major part of what makes the Berkshires special every summer will return for a new season. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket will mark its 85th season, running from June 21 to August 27.

The logo of the Massachusetts Medical Society
Facebook: Massachusetts Medical Society

Voters in Massachusetts approved a ballot question on Election Day to legalize recreational marijuana and doctors in the state are concerned. At a recent meeting, the Massachusetts Medical Society passed resolutions on a number of issues including recreational marijuana, drug prices, aid-in dying and concussions. 

Seventy-five years ago tomorrow, Americans gathered around their radios as President Franklin Roosevelt spoke to Congress 24 hours after the nation was stunned by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. That "Day of Infamy" speech, FDR's first inaugural address and a number of other talks by the president are being restored and digitized by the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park. The library's director, Paul Sparrow, says the project is a partnership with AT&T and the National Archives and Records Administration.

Facebook: Price Chopper Supermarkets

One of the region’s best known companies may be sold. The Reuters News Agency is reporting that talks are underway that could lead to the sale of Price Chopper supermarkets to Albertsons, a national chain. 

Mayor Mark Boughton
By Tayobrien - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48874659

The mayor of Danbury, Connecticut may try once again to become governor of Connecticut. Republican Mark Boughton ran for governor two years ago, but suspended his campaign amid fundraising problems before supporting GOP candidate Tom Foley, who lost to Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy. Boughton says he has filed the papers to set up an exploratory committee for the 2018 election.

Dr. Elise Andaya
Dr. Elise Andaya

What's next for Cuba and its people after the death of Fidel Castro? It's a question that's being considered in world capitals to the cafes of Havana and Miami. For more, we spoke with Dr. Elise Andaya in the Department of Anthropology at the University at Albany. Andaya has spent a good deal of time doing research in Cuba. She says the Castro era actually ended a decade ago, when Fidel handed power off to his brother.

The warm summer evenings at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra may seem far away after this weekend's snow and cold, but the schedule for next summer is out. For more, we spoke with Mark Volpe, managing director of the BSO, who says the season will begin and end with musical director Andris Nelsons holding the baton.

Prof. Hendler
RPI

The numbers from the election are still coming in, but one analysis indicates that despite what many of the pundits believe, the Trump victory was not driven as much by the white working class, but more by the fact that Democrats stayed home. Jim Hendler is the Director of the Institute of Data Exploration and Applications at RPI. He says while the numbers are still preliminary, it is clear that the Clinton campaign failed to get enough Democrats to the polls.

Lisa Frisch
Lisa Frisch

Attorneys who volunteer their time to help those who cannot afford a lawyer are being honored today. The Legal Project is holding its pro bono awards luncheon in Latham. Lisa Frisch is the executive director of The Legal Project, a non-profit that began 21 years ago to provide free and low-cost legal advise for those in need of help in family court, in cases of domestic violence and those facing foreclosure.

The symbol for the Veterans in Economic Transition Conference
Facebook: VetCon

A two day-conference is under way today at the Desmond Hotel in the Albany County town of Colonie to provide advice and inspiration to military vets looking to start a business, or for those already in business for themselves. The Veterans in Economic Transition Conference, which brings together the private and public sectors and not-for-profits is sponsored by the law firm Tully Rinckey. WAMC spoke with Mario Cometti, a partner in the firm.

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Nippertown's Greg Haymes stops by with an autumn harvest of songs, some from the Local 518, some not. 

Vote sign
wikipedia commons

Tomorrow is the deadline to register to vote in New York in time for Election Day; Massachusetts' deadline is next Wednesday. People in more than 30 state can go to a federal website to be directed to the state vote registration systems. It's called vote.gov, and it's been up and running for about a year. Meghan Daly is with the U.S. General Services Administration and oversees vote.gov.

Dolores Cimini
UAlbany

A town hall is being held this afternoon at the University at Albany on underage drinking. "Our Community, Our Health, Our Future: A Conversation Addressing Underage Drinking" will include a panel including Rep. Paul Tonko, academic leaders, law enforcement officials, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, mental health professionals and government officials. One of the organizers of the event is Dr. Dolores Cimini, assistant director for prevention and program evaluation at the Counseling and Psychological Services at UAlbany.

Shimon Mercer-Wood
Shimon Mercer-Wood

Israeli founding father Shimon Peres has died at 93. For more on his legacy, WAMC News spoke today with Shimon Mercer-Wood, a spokesman for the Consulate-General of Israel in New York City, who spoke about the situation in 1995 when Peres became prime minister after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

Stephen Clingman
Stephen Clingman

James Foley attended UMass-Amherst as a graduate student between 1999 and 2003 and later went on to volunteer for Teach for America and other causes before he became a freelance journalist, a passion and a calling that would cost him his life. Today and tomorrow, UMass is remembering Foley's life and legacy with The Task Of Witnessing: A Symposium In Honor Of James W. Foley. Dr. Stephen Clingman, a distinguished professor of English and director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute at UMass, tells us more about Foley.

Victor Asal
UAlbany

With the suspect in the New York City explosion now in custody, the questions are many. For some possible answers, WAMC News spoke today to Dr. Victor Asal of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy in Albany, where he is director of the Center for Policy Research and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science. Was this attack the work of a so-called lone wolf, or was it directed from afar?

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