New England News

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A former University of Vermont basketball player is retiring from his professional basketball career.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Vermont Secretary of Administration has sent a memo to state government department heads asking for extremely cautious and level funded budget proposals for the 2017 fiscal year.

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The federal government has declared Connecticut the first state in the country to end chronic homelessness among veterans.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

A Pittsfield Police officer has filed a suit in federal court alleging retaliation against him after he raised concerns about hiring practices and other department policies.

WAMC

A big crowd including state and local officials turned out Thursday to mark the historic return of passenger train service to a western Massachusetts city.

Holyoke is now a twice daily stop for the Amtrak Vermonter on the recently built Knowledge Corridor high speed rail line.  Passenger trains had not stopped in Holyoke since 1966.

Massachusetts Lt. Gov Karyn Polito took part in ceremony   to open the new $ 4.3 million downtown train station.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

An exhibit at the Berkshire Museum is showcasing the work of a photojournalist whose collections of images from nearly 100 countries have been displayed in museums around the world, including at the Louvre in Paris. An opening reception is set for Friday at 5:30.

WAMC

MGM is setting out to fill some of the 2,000 construction jobs that were promised to build the company’s $800 million Springfield casino.

MGM officials are scheduling two days of interviews, Thursday and Friday, with minority-owned and women-owned union construction companies interested in bidding for jobs on the project. 

The Las Vegas-based entertainment company  interviewed veteran-owned businesses in July at its Springfield construction office. 

wikipedia.org

The first four of the female enlisted sailors selected for the Navy's "silent service" have begun training at submarine school in Groton, Connecticut.

WAMC

In its first summer in operation, a western Massachusetts city’s bookmobile has been a big success. Library advocates hope the service offered in Chicopee will inspire other communities to put libraries on wheels.

The Chicopee Public Library Bookmobile, which began a biweekly schedule in late June of two 90- minute stops per day that will end the Friday before Labor Day, is on course to exceed 2,000 customers who checked out close to 1,300 items.

Mayor Richard Kos, who championed the creation of a bookmobile, said it was a “home run.”

American Red Cross

A national disaster preparedness program is coming to western Massachusetts to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The Pillowcase Project, inspired by the sight of  Katrina evacuees carrying their belongings in pillowcases, is offered in elementary schools and after-school programs.  Mary Nathan of the western Massachusetts Chapter of the Red Cross said 3rd - 5th graders lean about hazards, how to prepare for emergencies, and coping skills.

Program participants are given pillowcases they can decorate and personalize and use to hold to emergency supplies. 

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