massachusetts

New England News
7:49 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Gay Rights Activists Praise Federal Appeals Court Ruling

Gay rights activists in western Massachusetts are hailing the ruling by a federal appeals court in Boston that found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

Brenda Lopez of Springfield says the federal statute that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman is rooted in bigotry.

“If in fact you’re going to defend a marriage, you need to defend all marriages.”

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New England News
7:52 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Western MA Receives More Funds for Tornado-Damaged Communities

More emergency funding is being sent to western Massachusetts communities hit by the tornadoes a year ago this week.   WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation says $3.9 million dollars in federal funding is available for eight communities. 

Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray , who announced the money Wednesday in Springfield, said it is to reimburse the cost of repairs that were made to streets and sidewalks…

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New England News
7:14 am
Thu May 31, 2012

MA House Overrides Governor's Background Check Veto

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has voted to keep a bill that would require all employees of the state's Gaming Commission to be subject to full criminal background checks and drug screenings.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

State representatives voted unanimously Wednesday to override Governor Deval Patrick's veto on the measure.

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New England News
7:57 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Conservation Restriction Placed on Forested, Western MA Mountain

Officials have placed a conservation restriction on a forest covered mountain in western Massachusetts marking the largest private land conservation deal in the state in nearly a century. WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

The conservation restriction on 3,500 acres of Brushy Mountain in the towns of Leverett and Shutesbury allows forestry operations to continue, but conserves wildlife habitat and will provide recreational access to the public on what was previously private land.

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New England News
7:28 am
Mon May 28, 2012

Cardinal to Honor Military Chaplains for Holiday

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley will celebrate Memorial Day by offering thanksgiving for the Boston priests who serve as military chaplains.

Right now, 12 priests from the Boston Archdiocese are serving as military chaplains, and 300 of Boston's priests have worked in the military since World War II.

The archdiocese's Catholic Appeal team has produced a video tribute to the chaplains to spread awareness about their work.

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New England News
7:52 am
Wed May 23, 2012

MA Towns Push against Citizens United

Nearly 60 Massachusetts cities and towns are urging Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

A total of 56 cities and towns from across the state have passed resolutions on the issue, with more expected to vote on similar resolutions in the coming weeks.

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New England News
7:32 am
Wed May 23, 2012

MA Officials Fighting Zebra Mussel Invasion

State environmental officials are kicking off a plan to fight the spread of the invasive zebra mussel in Massachusetts.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

Later today, Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Edward Lambert and Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin will outline plans at a press conference at Pontoosuc Lake in Pittsfield,

Zebra mussels can multiply quickly, disrupting local ecosystems by covering other freshwater mussels and cutting off resources for other species.

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New England News
7:21 am
Mon May 21, 2012

MA Group to Host Symposium on Problem Gambling

The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling will host a symposium on problem gambling to discuss whether western Massachusetts is prepared to deal with expanded gambling.

The council is preparing communities to address problems associated with gambling as the state awaits the arrival of casinos after legislation was passed to expand gambling in the state. The prevention, intervention and treatment of problem gambling will be discussed.

New England News
8:14 am
Fri May 18, 2012

MA Adds Jobs for Fifth Straight Month

The Massachusetts economy added jobs for a fifth straight month and the unemployment rate in April fell to its lowest level in 3 ½ years.  WAMC’s Paul Tuthill reports…

The April unemployment rate in Massachusetts fell to 6.3 percent as the state added 2,500 jobs according to a report from the state office of Labor and Workforce Development. 

Led by the high tech sector, the state’s economy has been recovering from the Great Recession faster than the nation’s as a whole. The U.S. unemployment rate for April was 8.1 percent.

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New England News
7:20 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Senate Panel Hikes Local Aid in MA Budget

The Massachusetts budget proposed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee is winning praise from municipal officials. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…

Senate leaders say the spending plan for the fiscal year beginning on July 1 would boost local aid by $275 million over current year levels and provide full funding for unrestricted local aid. An earlier budget proposal by Governor Deval Patrick had made $65 million of unrestricted aid contingent on state revenues reaching certain benchmarks in the current year.

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