JD Allen

Berkshire Bureau Chief

Born and raised in Huntington, NY, JD has been WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief since March 2017. Before he joined WAMC, he reported for WSHU, an NPR affiliate that covers Connecticut and Long Island. JD has experience writing about healthcare and small businesses working with Long Island Business News weekly newspaper. He also hosted, produced and engineered award-winning programs at community radio station, WUSB Stony Brook. An avid fencer in his free time, JD holds a BA in Journalism and Sociology from Stony Brook University. He is now pursuing a MS in Communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

JD Allen / WAMC

The economic development agency 1Berkshire has concluded a nearly three-year report on how to address the rapidly declining population in Berkshire County. 

JD Allen / WAMC

The opioid crisis has required involvement from educators, parents, law enforcement and young people, with addiction touching people from all walks of life. And now, many religious congregations find themselves responding in Berkshire County.  Clergy are being trained on how to use Naloxone.

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A new vote to consider approving renovations at an elementary school in Clarksburg, Massachusetts has been set for November. 

A new vote to consider approving renovations at an elementary school in Clarksburg, Massachusetts has been set for November. 

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Great Barrington, Massachusetts is once again eyeing the former Housatonic School for redevelopment – this time for housing.

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Massachusetts’ Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture held a hearing Tuesday on the dangers of underground storage tanks. 

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The state Senate has concluded a yearlong study to find short and long term policy goals to address rising healthcare costs and consumer protections in Massachusetts. Healthcare makes up 40 percent of the state’s budget. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with State Senator Adam Hinds, a Pittsfield Democrat, about what he calls a common-sense healthcare reform bill for rural Massachusetts.

This is a picture of Pittsfield Mayor-Elect Linda Tyer.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Massachusetts state Senate is discussing whether to restore funding for the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, which was cut by 30 percent in this year’s budget. What’s left is a $4.75 million gap in youth services statewide. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen sat down with Mayor Linda Tyer, who says it’s vital for young people in communities like Pittsfield who need all the help they can get.  

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The Baker administration has nominated two Associate Justices to serve in western Massachusetts. 

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The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has been awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for its Berkshire Market Collective project. 

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After a rash of mills closed in North Adams, a group of Williams College students started the Berkshire Food Project in 1986 to connect the unemployed with meals. In September, its leader of 25 years, Valerie Schwarz, retired. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with food security activist Kim McMann – the nonprofit’s new executive director.

JD Allen / WAMC

The Berkshire Education Task Force is sticking by a controversial recommendation it made in July to create one countrywide school district. 

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Massachusetts lawmakers are debating whether to increase the amount utility companies pay of their annual electricity sales from renewable sources to the state. 

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With a controversial art auction set for next month, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield has cut off talks with the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  

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The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director has been named Musical America’s 2018 Artist of the Year. 

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The family of Norman Rockwell reportedly asked the state attorney general’s office last week to stop the sale of two of the artist’s works from the Berkshire Museum’s collection. The Pittsfield, Massachusetts museum plans to sell off 40 objects to fund renovations and an endowment.

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A new co-working office space has opened in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts. WAMC followed Mayor Linda Tyer on a recent tour.

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The zoning board of appeals in Pittsfield, Massachusetts has given a commercial solar array the green light. 

This is a picture of the Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort in Lenox, Massachusetts.
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Lenox, Massachusetts has given the Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort’s $80 million renovation and expansion project the go-ahead. 

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North Adams – Massachusetts’ smallest city – has the highest rate of violent crime in state. That’s according to a recent report by the FBI analyzing cases of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen sat down with Mayor Richard Alcombright to discuss city law enforcement.

JD Allen / WAMC

Four school districts in Berkshire County will split a $740,000 federal grant to fund professional development in arts education. 

JD Allen / WAMC

Four school districts in Berkshire County will split a $740,000 federal grant to fund professional development in arts education. 

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Officials in Clarksburg, Massachusetts have accepted a citizens’ petition to redo a special vote on school renovations.  

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New England has a rich textile history, and now there appears to be a resurgence of handwoven linens crafted in western Massachusetts studios. WAMC’s JD Allen spoke with weavers Marilyn Webster, of Conway, and Paula Veleta, of Florence, about a new studio trail tour kicking off this weekend.

JD Allen / WAMC


After a high-profile one-day strike and a resulting lockout, unionized nurses and Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts are no closer to resolving their contract standoff. 

Berkshire County NAACP
JD Allen / WAMC

Massachusetts lawmakers rallied at the State House in Boston Thursday in support of a criminal justice reform bill. 

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The Baker administration announced its first round of grants for critical infrastructure projects in rural Massachusetts communities Tuesday. 

Facebook: Berkshire Museum

Opponents of the Berkshire Museum’s plan to sell off 40 objects to fund renovations and an endowment fund are planning to make a final push to stop the sale, which includes two Norman Rockwell works. The Sotheby’s auction, set to begin in November, is expected to fetch $68 million. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen sat down with Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer to discuss her support of the city’s museum.

JD Allen / WAMC

John Barrett has taken another step in his political comeback. The former North Adams mayor claimed victory in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for state representative.

JD Allen / WAMC

It looks like John Barrett has taken another step in his political comeback bid.

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