Midday Magazine

Weekdays, Noon - 1pm; Weekends, Noon- 1pm

WAMC's award-winning daily news magazine brings listeners the latest in local, national and world news. Join Brian Shields each weekday for the latest. The work of the WAMC News team is complemented each day with news and features from the BBC, The Innovation Trail, and Stardate. Midday Magazine also offers a comprehensive regional weather summary and a range of commentators who span the political spectrum. Highlights from the WAMC Listener Comment Line are usually aired on Friday's edition of Midday Magazine.

A new budget has been adopted for the second-largest public school system in Massachusetts that officials say puts “students first.”   The Springfield Public Schools will spend more money next year on technology in the classrooms, early childhood education, and launch a program to put a computer in the hands of every student.

Members of the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board and its partners launch the North Adams Youth Summer Jobs Campaign in North Adams City Hall.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Northern Berkshire public officials and the region’s employment board recently launched a campaign to get young people jobs this summer.

ADI Relocates To Catskill

May 6, 2016
Courtesy of ADI/Catskill

Greene County will be the new home of the non-profit American Dance Institute. There is a groundbreaking event tomorrow with a season opening date of Memorial Day 2018. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Chris Bolan, community relations manager of ADI, about the choice to relocate to Catskill from Rockville, Maryland.

Rogovoy Report For 5/6/16

May 6, 2016

The cultural highlights in our region in coming days include a concert by an all-star jazz lineup at MASS MoCA; a folk-rock legend at the Mahaiwe; an indie-pop artist from Austin at Helsinki Hudson; klezmer in Spencertown, and a whole lot more.

WAMC listeners now take center stage. Here are this week's highlights from the WAMC Listener Comment Line. 

Paul Caiano's Midday Forecast

May 6, 2016
Newschannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano

Newschannel 13 meteorologist Paul Caiano delivers the Midday Weather Summary for Friday,  May 6, 2016.

a black and white photo of Carlos Vega
Special Collections UMass Amherst Libraries

For the fifth year, grants are being awarded to continue the legacy of a revered activist for social justice in western Massachusetts. 

Fourteen organizations will receive so-called mini-grants from the Carlos Vega Fund for Social Justice at a public reception later today at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke. 

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Vega’s son, Massachusetts State Representative Aaron Vega.

Burlington Town Center rendering
Burlington VT Mayor's Office

The Burlington City Council this week gave preliminary approval to a plan to redevelop the Burlington Town Center Mall in the heart of downtown.

Verizon shareholder activists are hoping a proposal to limit executive compensation will get approval today at Verizon’s annual shareholders meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The proposal, which is opposed by Verizon’s Board of Directors, comes from a Westchester retiree. The meeting comes as striking Verizon union workers are calling May 5 a National Day of Action.

Sean Philpott-Jones: Half-And-Half Wits

May 5, 2016

I lost a friend last week. I didn’t lose her in the physical sense. She didn’t pass away or move to the other side of the globe. Rather, after a disturbing online exchange, I made the decision to, in the words of Gwyneth Paltrow, ‘consciously uncouple’ myself from her.

Pete Seeger

The music of Pete Seeger will be transformed into dance this Saturday afternoon at the Pete and Toshi Seeger Auditorium at Beacon High School in Beacon, New York. Livia Vanaver and her husband Bill are the organizers of the event, which is a fundraiser for their life’s work of the past 45 years, the Vanaver Project. 

Paul Caiano's Midday Forecast

May 5, 2016
Newschannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano

Newschannel 13 meteorologist Paul Caiano delivers the Midday Weather Summary for Thursday, May 5, 2016.


    The largest insurance industry trade group in the country is planning to bring an annual convention to Springfield, Massachusetts in 2018.  The mayor said it is a direct spinoff from the decision by MGM Resorts International to build a downtown casino.

Herbert London: Saudi Arabia - U.S. Foe And Friend

May 4, 2016

In the case of China it is not clear if they are foe or friend with an argument to be made on both sides of the issue. In the case of Saudi Arabia there is little doubt it is foe and friend, a matter that has led to extraordinary confusion.

A bill that bars employers from asking about a person’s criminal history on a job application form has become law in Vermont.

Paul Caiano's Midday Forecast

May 4, 2016
Newschannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano

Newschannel 13 meteorologist Paul Caiano delivers the Midday Weather Summary for Wednesday, May 4, 2016.

Congressman Paul Tonko discusses the Zika funding crisis in his Albany office on May 1, 2016.
Lainie Lucas

Zika virus may be more dangerous than we thought. The first Zika-related death in the U.S. was reported last week. While communities beef up mosquito control efforts, an upstate Congressman wants more federal funding to fight Zika.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

In the last few weeks, the issues of vagrancy and aggressive panhandling have been on the lips of many in the Spa City. After a now infamous picture of a man appearing to defecate in front a local building circulated online, a petition was started urging city leaders to act.

Williams College Museum of Art
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Two Berkshire County art museums recently received grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support their work, including examining and utilizing technology in the art world.

Rep. Chris Gibson
..:: WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas ::..

In an unexpected announcement, retiring Congressman Chris Gibson said Monday he will not run for New York governor in 2018. The one definitive plan he mentioned was having accepted a one-term teaching post at Williams College in Massachusetts.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy hosted a forum on criminal justice reform in Burlington on Monday with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.  The former mayor of Newark is a long-time advocate of reform and is co-sponsoring federal bills to modernize the criminal justice system.

An author who detailed the story of a legitimate antique map dealer turned thief will discuss his book at Williams College today. Michael Blanding’s The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps tells the story of E. Forbes Smiley, who in 2006 was found guilty of stealing roughly 100 rare maps worth millions of dollars from libraries in New York, Boston, Chicago and at Harvard and Yale. Blanding, a 1995 Williams College graduate, spoke with WAMC about his book. 

Paul Caiano's Midday Forecast

May 3, 2016
Newschannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano

Newschannel 13 meteorologist Paul Caiano delivers the Midday Weather Summary for Monday, May 2, 2016.

Paul Caiano's Midday Forecast

May 3, 2016
Newschannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano

Newschannel 13 meteorologist Paul Caiano delivers the Midday Weather Summary for Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

A new Siena College poll released this morning — the same day of former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's sentencing — finds corruption the most pressing issue among New York residents.

exterior of a former U.S. Army reserve center that is to become a Springfield Police Dept Annex.

Funds have been authorized to renovate a closed U.S. Army reserve center in western Massachusetts for various law enforcement uses.

The Springfield City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve $11.3 million for the project to renovate the 15,000-square foot building on the city’s east side for public safety uses. The Springfield Police Department plans to use the former military building for a training academy, juvenile assessment center, long-term evidence storage, and as home to the tactical response unit.

The heyday of the silent cinema ended almost nine decades ago. But the very best silent films still are visual feasts. They are pleasures to discover and pleasures to enjoy-- and I am not just referring to the classic comedies of the legendary Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. Films like F.W. Murnau’s SUNRISE, NOSFERATU, and THE LAST LAUGH; King Vidor’s THE CROWD; Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS; E.A. Dupont’s VARIETE; and so many others have long been personal favorites.

  The recent New York primary was marred by reports that 126,000 Democratic voters in Brooklyn had been removed from the election rolls, leading to renewed calls for voting reforms in New York. Two election officials from Colorado will be in Albany on Wednesday for a panel discussion on election modernization at the Rockefeller Institute of Government. 

This is a picture of a electricity meters

Following the suspension of a proposed Northeast natural gas pipeline, environmental activists are shifting their focus to an energy plan being crafted by Massachusetts lawmakers.

In 2009, the City of Troy engaged a consultant to assist with the redevelopment of the former site of City Hall and the adjoining parking structure. It was hoped that the 1.5-acre site on River Street would transform downtown, becoming the city's "crown j
City of Troy

A massive revitalization plan in downtown Troy has hit another roadblock.  Here is the latest chapter in the Monument Square saga.