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.

The $4.5 million project funded by MassDOT allows CSX Railroad to transport double-stack containers between Selkirk, NY and Worcester.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

As summer tourism season approaches, Western Massachusetts’ population will balloon with visitors from New York City. And that has some people in the Berkshires thinking about a better way to make the trip. 

Energy company Kinder Morgan plans to start cutting down trees in Western Massachusetts this week prepare for the controversial Connecticut Expansion Project. U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey are calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to revoke its authorization for the pipeline.

The Berkshire Athenaeum will hold an audio book fair next week in an effort to get people who are blind reading.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, is calling called for the preservation of the federal Brownfield program.


Audio Pending...

Berkshire United Way has announced a countywide, volunteer-driven early childhood initiative. The hope is to improve literacy rates across the county.

Bracelets being made for the March for Science
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat from Connecticut’s 5th House District, says scientists getting involved in protests this weekend is a big deal. 

It’s Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President James Birge’s inauguration day. Birge took office last March, but says he wanted the big day to come during a week full of campus activity.

Downtown North Adams, Massachusetts

The Baker administration has given North Adams a Green Communities designation, granting the city nearly $200,000 for clean energy projects. 

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Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty is renewing calls by Democrats to support the Meals on Wheels program, a service that would be cut under Trump administration's budget proposal.

Photo by Scott Bauer (USDA ARS)

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, is calling on Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to update the country on efforts to establish a Tick-Born Disease Working Group. Blumenthal says it’s required by the 21st Century Cures Act.

Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, MA
JD Allen / WAMC

Sarah Lee Guthrie is leading bus full of fellow folk artists from Great Barrington to Washington, D.C. to bring music to the People’s Climate March on April 29th. She hopes to inspire the marchers like her grandfather, Woody Guthrie, and father, Arlo Guthrie, did during other social movements.

JD Allen / WAMC

A study group created by the Pittsfield City Council in an effort to privatize the city’s municipal airport has found the facility actually generates a significant amount of money.

A second foreclosure auction has been scheduled for the complex housing the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Pittsfield. Its first buyers backed out of the deal last month. 

Downtown North Adams, Massachusetts

A community group has hosted an online-fundraising campaign to fix up and beautify historic Eagle Street in downtown North Adams. 

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts students are competing tonight in a Shark Tank-style entrepreneurship challenge. 

This is a picture of the inside of the Pittsfield Police station
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Pittsfield Police Department is going over budget trying to fill its ranks with qualified recruits. The city wants to get the books in order before the budget season is over. 

More than 1.3 million Massachusetts residents remain at risk from health effects caused by unhealthy air. That’s according to the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2017 report. 



Senate Democrats from Connecticut say President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans should stop sabotaging the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Elizabeth Esty
Official Portrait

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat from Connecticut’s 5th House District, has met with park and city planners, and environmental groups, to discuss environmental challenges facing the Farmington River Valley.

Facebook: Williams College

Williams College will host a film screening and roundtable on the refugee crisis later this month. The discussion will highlight the work of the International Rescue Committee. 

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam recognizes veterans on the 70th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941, attacks on Hickam Field

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, is calling for major federal investments to modernize Veterans Affair facilities. Last month, Senate Democrats proposed a $10 billion plan to modernize VA facilities over the next 10 years.

Wildflowers at Bartholomew’s Cobble

The second annual Wildflower Festival in Sheffield, Massachusetts is now open to visitors at Bartholomew’s Cobble.

City of Pittsfield

There is a $140,000 price tag to fix the historical Capitol theater marquee outside the Ralph Froio Senior Center in Pittsfield. But the city can’t decide if it should be budgeted for repair next year.

Pittsfield City Hall
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The Pittsfield City Council’s Finance Committee has approved tax increment financing to a Massachusetts company that says it can grow jobs and contribute to a stronger tax base during hard economic times.


The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is hosting workshops to teach grandparents how to stop their grandchildren from abusing drugs. 



U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, has announced legislation to restore online privacy. Blumenthal wants to halt a Republican-led rollback of privacy rules.

Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire

  The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development has started to evaluate the Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire’s plan to build low-to-moderate income housing in downtown Great Barrington. 

This is a picture of the campus of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Jim Levulis / WAMC

State Senator Adam Hinds met with Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts undergraduate students and faculty last week to hear their concerns about the Trump administration’s proposed funding cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and for the Humanities.

Calita Kabir/Flickr

Seniors in Pittsfield can now apply for a tax abatement for the next fiscal year.

Facebook: Berkshire Theatre Group

The Berkshire Theatre Group has received a $3,500 grant from the Charles H. Hall Foundation for its year-round educational program.