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.

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State funds will be allocated to replace a dilapidated bridge in Cheshire, Massachusetts. 

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The Massachusetts Legislature is expecting a conference committee to issue recommendations on two different versions of a criminal justice reform bill this month. The bill seeks to end witness intimidation, reduce the threshold for felony larceny, limit solitary confinement and expunge the records of young people, among other issues.  WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with State Senator Adam Hinds, a Pittsfield Democrat, about the legislation following a recent tour of Berkshire County’s house of corrections.

JD Allen / WAMC

New members of the Pittsfield and North Adams City Councils were sworn-in this week.

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Connecticut's Department of Labor is warning there may be delays in processing new unemployment claims. 

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The groundbreaking for an artificial turf field at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is set for May, but a funding gap could change those plans. 

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An airport commissioner in North Adams, Massachusetts was fired Thursday amid an ongoing police investigation.

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Residents in Clarksburg, Massachusetts have approved new zoning bylaws for marijuana and large-scale solar projects. 

Massachusetts Broadband Institute

Broadband providers have until Sunday to respond to the Massachusetts Broadband Institute about proposals to connect the remaining Last Mile towns in the western end of the state with high-speed internet. 

JD Allen / WAMC

With the new year comes a new era in Berkshire County politics. North Adams will swear-in just its third mayor in the past 34 years. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen sat down with Mayor-elect Tom Bernard at City Hall Thursday to discuss the first order of business in Massachusetts’ smallest city.

JD Allen / WAMC

The Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee in Western Massachusetts has started the search for its third superintendent in five years. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with District Superintendent Robert Putnam, who is retiring at the end of the school year. 

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Town lawmakers in Stockbridge, Massachusetts are being criticized for statements made during an unscheduled discussion about a proposed development at the DeSisto Estate. The 37 Interlaken development proposal would transform the historic school into more than 300 acres of residential housing, self-sufficient farmland and a luxury resort. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with the developer’s attorney Jonathan Silverstein about a controversial proposed bylaw change.

JD Allen / WAMC

Sandisfield, Massachusetts is still recovering from a fire earlier this month that destroyed the town’s highway garage and equipment inside. Aid from around the state is helping the town get through the snowy winter.

JD Allen / WAMC

The Berkshire Museum’s executive director is returning to work amid a controversial plan to sell off art to fund renovations and an endowment. 

Christopher Duggan Photography/ Jacob's Pillow

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’s 2018 season opens June 20th. Earlier this year, the summer destination in Becket, Massachusetts announced its plan to become a year-round center for dance. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with Director Pamela Tatge about the upcoming season.

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A municipal cable advisory committee in southern Berkshire County is asking the Massachusetts Attorney General to intervene in an ongoing dispute with Charter Spectrum. 

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The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has cleared North Adams after it was mandated to test lead and copper in its water supply. 

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The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance is defending mailers it sent to Berkshire County residents earlier this month targeting Democratic lawmakers for supporting what it calls sanctuary policies. 

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A working group reconvened again this week before the end of the year to discuss options for establishing seasonal weekend passenger rail service from the Berkshires to New York City. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with working group’s founder State Senator Adam Hinds, a Pittsfield Democrat, about its recommendation for reestablishing the long-dormant route.

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Williamstown and Williams College will fund a regional ambulance merger. 

JD Allen / WAMC

A shuttered Pittsfield, Massachusetts church is being sold to a firm that plans to create market-rate housing while trying to preserve its historic architecture. 

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The state attorney general has formally challenged the state Department of Public Utilities’ decision to cut Eversource’s electricity rate hike in Western Massachusetts by just 30 percent. The AG’s office is calling for further reductions.

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Berkshire County draws imaginative minds and artists from across the U.S. to explore and create in the region’s many gallery spaces and studios. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen recently spoke with Jessica Drenk, a Florida-based artist who was putting the final touches on her sculptures at CYNTHIA-REEVES in North Adams.

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Massachusetts residents who want coverage starting January 1st must enroll in health insurance through the Obamacare marketplace by Saturday. Poor and immigrant populations are having the most trouble signing up.

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A Springfield attorney has announced her campaign for the westernmost Congressional seat in Massachusetts. It will be difficult to unseat longtime Representative Richard Neal.

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Eversource wants to delay its electricity rate hike in Massachusetts until February. 

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Residents in Clarksburg, Massachusetts will vote this month on new zoning bylaws for marijuana and large-scale solar projects. 

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Jim Levulis / WAMC

A Berkshire-based biotechnology entrepreneur accused of taking investor funds for personal use has been indicted by a federal grand jury. 

JD Allen / WAMC

After 15 years of complaints, Pittsfield officials will be sending out a tax bill to property owners with a fresh look this month. 

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One of the Berkshire Eagle’s local owners died at his New York City home Saturday night. 

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A new era is approaching in North Adams, Massachusetts politics. In June, Mayor Richard Alcombright said he was not seeking a fifth term –sparking the first mayoral race without an incumbent in more than three decades in Massachusetts’ smallest city.  WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with Alcombright about his last days in office before Mayor-Elect Tom Bernard is sworn-in come January.

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