New England News

John Krol

In September, voters in Berkshire County will decide whether they want a longtime member of the District Attorney’s office who took over this winter to remain in the seat. Andrea Harrington, a private practice attorney based in Great Barrington, hopes Democrats will pick her instead. Harrington has won the endorsement of Pittsfield City Councilors John Krol and Helen Moon. Harrington is running as a progressive, saying she hears voters demanding change in the office and arguing that the position allows for greater interpretation of the law. She faces attorney Judith Knight and Berkshire District Attorney Paul Caccaviello. Harrington spoke with WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Josh Landes about the run-up to the September 4th primary, including the challenges of running against an incumbent.

WAMC

A $1 million earmark in the state budget is helping create a pipeline to bring more doctors to western Massachusetts.

WAMC

With the first Massachusetts resort casino set to open in Springfield in two months, MGM is holding a final mass hiring event on Sunday.

Josh Landes

A Berkshire County organization that offers legal aid to immigrants is in the midst of a fundraising campaign. It comes at a time when immigration is once again the subject of national debate.

MGMSpringfield

The first resort casino in Massachusetts, scheduled to open later this summer in Springfield, will be able to serve alcohol into the wee hours of the morning.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos
photo provided

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos is the president-elect of the National Association of Secretaries of State.  A key priority he plans to focus on is election security. In March, he testified before the U.S. Select Committee on Intelligence on the topic and this week the Democrat returned to testify before the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

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The 2018 Purple Heart Truck Run is making a stop Saturday in western Massachusetts.

Governor Chris Sununu vetoes death penalty repeal bill
Governor Chris Sununu's Facebook page

Republican Governor Chris Sununu has vetoed a bill that would have abolished New Hampshire's death penalty.

sound waves
Tess Watson/Flickr

South Burlington School District officials are looking for ways to manage noise from fighter jets including soundproofing some buildings.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos
photo provided

On Tuesday, the Vermont House failed to override Governor Phil Scott’s second budget veto. The legislature is now attempting to craft a third budget before the end of the month.  The day before the override vote, Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos sent a memo to legislative leaders and the Republican governor outlining the potential impacts of a government shutdown if a state budget is not in place by July 1st.  Condos, a Democrat, says he sent the memo because there has been no discussion or plan put forth as to what would happen in the event of a shutdown.

https://www.facebook.com/TurbopropEast/

The businessman behind Turboprop East, the largest business at the North Adams airport, has withdrawn a $200,000 contribution to the airport in a letter that also threatened to sue the city.

MGMSpringfield

       The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 4-1 Thursday to allow MGM to serve alcohol on the floor of the Springfield until 4 a.m.—two hours later than closing time for all bars in the state.

View of Lake Champlain from Mt. Philo, VT
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Lake Champlain Basin Program recently released its latest State Of The Lake report on the health of Lake Champlain.  While the report finds phosphorus is still problematic, there is some progress in other areas.

https://www.facebook.com/AimeeMann/

Singer-songwriter Aimee Mann has made music the center of her life since she dropped out of the Berklee College Of Music in 1978 to play in the Boston punk band The Young Snakes. Since then, she has released nine solo albums, many on her own SuperEgo label. Mann has appeared in movies and television shows like “The Big Lebowski,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “American Crime Story,” and “Steven Universe.” This year, her ninth record — “Mental Illness” — won the Grammy for Best Folk Album. Before her concert at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts Friday, Mann spoke with WAMC Berkshire Bureau Chief Josh Landes about the themes on her latest record.

Maple syrup jugs
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is backing off its plan to label pure natural products like maple syrup and honey as containing added sugars.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has asked Republican Governor Phil Scott to stop deleting critical posts and blocking constituents on Facebook. Scott's office said it is simply trying to maintain a civil dialogue on social media.

An update now to a story we first brought you on May 25th: Around 30 people packed North Adams’ city council chambers Tuesday night for the city airport commission’s monthly meeting. The tense meeting ended in shouts when the commission gave the go-ahead to a business run by a convicted rapist. 

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Tuesday, the Vermont House failed to obtain the two-thirds support necessary to override Governor Phil Scott’s budget veto and must now craft a third budget. If it is not completed and approved by July 1st, the state faces a government shutdown.

Daniel Baillargeon, Springfield diocesan superintendent of schools
WAMC

    The Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese will for the first time have a lay person as chief administrator of its school system.

Vermont's congressional delegation says the state is getting $4 million in federal grants to help fight the opioid epidemic.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont House on Tuesday failed to override Governor Phil Scott’s second budget veto.

www.thebluediamondgallery.com

Vermont Governor Phil Scott recently signed a bill that moves the state toward establishing an individual mandate that would require all residents have health insurance.

WAMC

  Federal, state, and local officials launched a new water quality monitoring project today on the Connecticut River in Massachusetts that is aimed at improving environmental conditions in Long Island Sound.  

Daniel Baillargeon, Springfield diocesan superintendent of schools
WAMC

   The Springfield Diocese will have its first lay person oversee the Catholic schools.

Rep. Peter Welch
photo provided

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch traveled to McAllen and Brownsville, Texas on Sunday to see firsthand the detention centers created as a result of the Trump Administration’s enforcement of family separation policies. Upon arriving at a former WalMart housing about 1,500 boys, the at-large Democrat tweeted that it was “shameful.”  Welch says he and other Congressional representatives saw children separated from parents and parents separated from children.

https://www.facebook.com/Family-Center-of-Northern-Berkshire-County-876396852428528/

In a time of economic challenges and a declining population in Berkshire County, early education services offer an increasingly valuable resource to families.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont House is expected to  vote on Tuesday whether they will override Republican Governor Phil Scott's veto of the second budget bill.

Message Board at Springfield Union Station announces inaugural CTrail train
WAMC

High-speed, high-frequency commuter trains are running today between Springfield, Massachusetts and New Haven, Connecticut.  There are high hopes the new service will take cars off congested highways and spur economic growth.

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Massachusetts U.S. Senator Ed Markey is pushing the Federal Communications Commission to return the Berkshires to Massachusetts programming.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

The end of this school year in Pittsfield, Massachusetts marks the end of one of its high school buildings. The new roughly $120 million dollar Taconic High School replaces the original, which was built in 1968. Pittsfield School Superintendent Jake McCandless spoke with WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Josh Landes about why he’s excited about the new building, and what it could mean for future school consolidation in Berkshire County.

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