massachusetts

New England News
6:00 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Conservationists Celebrate Completion of Berkshire Stream Restoration

The restoration site of the former dam on Thunder Brook
Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

Officials with the US fish and Wildlife service, the Massachusetts Dept of Fish and Game, stakeholders, conservationists, and others today came together in Cheshire to celebrate the completion of the Thunder Brook restoration project. Thunder Brook runs down Mount Greylock and feeds into the Hoosic River.

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New England News
6:00 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

State Officials Celebrate New HHS Center in North Adams

State officials from Massachusetts gathered to celebrate the opening of a consolidated Health and Human Services center in North Adams. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

An open house was held in downtown North Adams to mark the completion of the state’s fifth consolidated HHS Center – which combines several agencies under the umbrella of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services under one roof.

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New England News
12:00 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Massachusetts Women Lag Behind on Equal Pay

Massachusetts lags behind most of the rest of the country when it comes to equal pay for women.

The American Association of University Women reports that women earned 77 percent of what men took home in median full-time pay. The study was based on U.S. Census Bureau data.

The Boston Globe reports that the Bay State ranks 37th among states and the District of Columbia, behind every other New England state.

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New England News
12:00 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Massachusetts Releases New Info on Former Director of Highway Safety

State officials are releasing new information about the 2007 hiring of Sheila Burgess, the former director of highway safety whose personal driving record included multiple accidents and traffic violations.

Secretary of Public Safety Mary Beth Heffernan said Friday that Burgess' driving record had been collected as part the screening process during the hiring process, but that information was never turned over to the hiring manager.

In a statement, Heffernan said if the hiring manager had been aware of the driving record, Burgess would not have gotten the job.

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New England News
6:00 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Report Says Mass. Consumers Pay Millions for Lost Natural Gas

A recently released report shows that due to an aging infrastructure in Massachusetts, tens of millions of dollars worth of natural gas escapes into the atmosphere before consumers can use it to heat their homes. More from WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard…

Last month the Conservation Law Foundation released a report that said leaky pipes in Massachusetts contribute to a loss of $38.8 million dollars worth of natural gas each year. The losses they say are a public safety hazard, contribute to global warming, and force the customers to pick up the bill.

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New England News
12:15 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Commonwealth Releases New Forest Management Plans

Officials in Massachusetts have presented forest management plans for six new designated areas in the Commonwealth, and representatives from the wood products industry are pleased with the results. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

Last night the Department of Conservation and Recreation completed a tour of public meetings where forest management projects for new designated woodlands were introduced and presented for feedback.

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New England News
5:44 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Ameristar Exit From Casino Race Leaves People In Springfield Disappointed

Amerstar planned to build a casino on this former industrial site in East Springfield. Now the fate of the property is unknown
Credit WAMC

The announcement by casino operator Ameristar that it is dropping out of the competition for a gambling license in Massachusetts has been greeted by disappointment in Springfield.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

The announcement late Friday by Ameristar came just five weeks after the company’s CEO Gordy Kanofsky, speaking to 200 invited guests inside a large white tent on a former industrial site, boasted about the plans to build a nearly $1 billion dollar resort casino on the property.

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New England News
12:00 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Record Turnout of Mass. Voters on Election Day

Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

Secretary of State William Galvin says a record number of Massachusetts voters cast ballots on Election Day.

Galvin says 3,184,196 people voted on Nov. 6, or 73.3 percent of the state's 4.3 million voters. That was about 81,000 more than participated in the elections of November 2008.

The final vote tallies are scheduled to be submitted to the Governor's Council on Wednesday for certification.

Vote certification means that the right to repair and medical marijuana ballot questions approved take effect Jan. 1.

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New England News
4:31 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Opinions Mixed on Materials Bans in Mass.

As more communities in the Commonwealth are placing bans on things like plastic bags and Styrofoam containers, some are calling for more action, while others say it’s creating more headaches. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

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New England News
5:42 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Berkshire Legislators Urge Restraint on Spending Surplus

State lawmakers in Berkshire County are asking Massachusetts to hold onto its recently announced fiscal surplus, to use only in case of emergency. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

State financial officials announced last week that the Commonwealth is facing a $116 million surplus in last year’s FY 2012 budget. When desposited into the state’s so-called “Rainy Day Fund”, it brings that amount to over 1.6 billion dollars. That makes Massachusetts a state with one of the largest cash reserves in the country, only behind Texas and Alaska.

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