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

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.


Enrollment is dropping at Adams-Cheshire Schools in Massachusetts. 

A "For Rent" sign
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According to a report by Airbnb, Berkshire County homeowners earned nearly $2 million by renting their homes out during the Tanglewood season. 

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection says North Adams failed to properly maintain the level of pH required in its water supply for three years. 


Democratic hopefuls will face off in a primary election tomorrow to fill the open 1st Berkshire District House seat. 


Massachusetts lawmakers are considering stricter gun regulations after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. 

The Massachusetts Senate has approved legislation to provide all state and municipal workers with the same protections provided under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act. 

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A bill being discussed on Beacon Hill would ensure continued no-cost contraceptives in Massachusetts – regardless of federal changes to the health care law. 

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Pittsfield Democrat Adam Hinds has been selected to represent the Massachusetts Senate at the Broadband & Cable Policy Summit, hosted by the National Conference of State Legislators in Colorado. 

Bee-Friendly Williamstown

Last year, seven species of bees were place on the endangered species list, and Williamstown, Massachusetts wants to help save the rest of the bee population. 

JD Allen / WAMC


With nurses still picketing outside Berkshire Medical Center after a 24-hour strike ended Wednesday morning, leadership says it’s business as usual inside the Pittsfield, Massachusetts hospital. 


Schools in Berkshire County often must consider cutting arts programs to balance their budgets.  The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts wants to help keep culture in schools. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with Executive Director Beryl Jolly about educational opportunities for area students.

farm produce
US Department of Agriculture

Health officials in southern Berkshire County are concerned young families do not have access to healthy foods. But that could be changing.

JD Allen / WAMC

Hundreds of nurses planned to go to back to work at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at 7 this morning after a 24-hour strike. But hospital management locked them out.


William Stanley Business Park
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Lawmakers in Pittsfield, Massachusetts hope that the city council’s allocation of $1 million to help close the funding gap for the nascent Berkshire Innovation Center will spark momentum for the decade-old project. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen sat down with Mayor Linda Tyer to discuss a plan for the non-profit to take responsibility for its own lease, construction and ownership of the center.

JD Allen / WAMC

More than 200 nurses walked out of Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts this morning and onto the picket line. It follows a year of failed contract negotiations.

Eddie Sporn

A working group convened in Lenox, Massachusetts last week to brainstorm ideas to establish seasonal weekend passenger rail service from the Berkshires to New York City. 

Berkshire Medical Center nurses intend to start a 24-hour unfair labor practice strike at 7 a.m. Tuesday.  It follows a year of failed contract negotiations, and replacement nurses are being trained.

Kaushik Narasimhan/Flickr

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker met with President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis in Washington Wednesday to discuss the state and federal response to the epidemic. Residents in the western part of the state are dealing with the same strife. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with Gary Pratt who is leading a rally Saturday in Pittsfield in hopes of curtailing addiction.

A five-turbine wind project is moving forward in Savoy, Massachusetts, but residents have rejected a bylaw to allow for taller wind turbines. 


Cheshire, Massachusetts is considering eliminating health insurance coverage for part-time town employees and elected officials. 

A hearing has been under way since 11 this morning between the Massachusetts Nurses Association and Berkshire Medical Center in U.S. District Court in Springfield as the hospital tries to halt a planned strike next week with a federal injunction. The two groups have been at an impasse over a new contract for a year. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with Berkshire Health Systems Vice President and General Counsel John Rogers about the union’s plans to hold a 24-hour unfair labor practice strike beginning October 3rd. 

A special vote in Clarksburg, Massachusetts to renovate the town’s school fell short by one vote. 

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Two trustees have stepped down from the Berkshire Museum board amid a controversial plan to sell art to fund an expansion and endowment at the Pittsfield, Massachusetts museum. 

JD Allen / WAMC

A new working group has convened to address the growing homeless population in northern Berkshire County. A much-needed shelter is reopening after a fire last year.

Berkshire Health Systems

In a last ditch attempt to halt the strike planned next week, Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts has filed a legal request in an effort to block unionized nurses from walking out of the hospital. 

JD Allen / WAMC

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito touted the access small towns in Massachusetts have to state funding for vital infrastructure projects during a ribbon cutting this week in Lee. 

This is a map highlighting Great Barrington, Massachusetts
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The town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts will switch over to wind power in a move meant to cut costs. 

Picture of marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission will hold a series of listening sessions across the state before concluding in Pittsfield.