New England News

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has gathered many of the state's most powerful environmental leaders to rail against reports of deep cuts across the federal budget, especially to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Oak45
Oak45/Facebook

A Vermont center dedicated to LGBT issues says the owner of a new Winooski gay bar that's expected to open soon should change its name.

To satisfy a commitment to build market-rate housing in downtown Springfield, MGM has now apparently decided to redevelop a long-vacant building located just a block from its resort casino project.

Congressman Peter Welch meets with immigrant and refugee community
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch held a roundtable discussion in Winooski this morning with refugees and immigrants who have settled in the Burlington area.  The Democrat wanted to learn about their challenges during the resettlement process and what contributions they feel they are making to their new home.  The roundtable comes at a time of national debate over immigration policy.

The first casino under construction in western Massachusetts remains on pace to open as scheduled before the end of next year.  But, by then, the MGM Springfield casino may be facing a different competitive landscape.

Ta Nehisi Coates
wikipedia commons

Harvard University is taking new steps to confront its past ties to slavery. 

The Ivy League school is hosting a conference Friday exploring the historical ties between slavery and early universities, including Harvard.

Oak45
Oak45/Facebook

Yesterday we told you about the controversy swirling about the planned new name of a gay bar in Winooski, Vermont.  The failure of the Pride Center of Vermont to condemn the owner’s plan to name it Mister Sister led two board members to resign. One is Bailey Cummings, who is upset that the center is not taking a position. She says the bar owner has not been listening to the community’s concerns.

  Massachusetts gaming industry regulators meeting in Springfield Thursday were told significant progress is being made on constructing the MGM casino, which could face additional competition by the time it opens in 2018. 

Southwestern Vermont Heatlh Care recently celebrated its first "healthy home."
Facebook: Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

Hospitals’ focus on health care, and Southwestern Vermont Health Care is no exception, but the hospital recently opened its first “healthy home”. The home near the medical center in Bennington was purchased by the hospital, redeveloped and sold. 

Downtown Historic District, Rutland, Vermont
Sfoskett/Wikimedia Commons

The four candidates running for Rutland, Vermont mayor met for their final forum Wednesday evening to debate economic development issues facing the city.

Oak45
Oak45/Facebook

A wine bar in Winooski, Vermont has closed to remodel and reopen as a gay bar.  But there has been an outburst of controversy over its planned new name, which some say has historically been a slur against transgender women.

classroom
en.wikipedia.org

   There is a diversity gap in the public schools in Massachusetts. As the student population in the state has grown more diverse over the last several years, the state’s teaching corps has remained predominately white.   Some school districts are trying to close the gap.

A store in Springfield, Massachusetts that was reportedly trying to skirt the ban on retail marijuana sales  was closed by police Wednesday.

North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Mayor Richard Alcombright delivered his State of the City address last night during a meeting of the North Adams City Council. The Democrat has held the corner office in the western Massachusetts city since 2010.

"States of Incarceration" will be displayed at the Wauregan in Holyoke March 1-12 and at Forbes Library in Northampton from March 13-30.
Chris Choi

The first national traveling exhibition on the history of mass incarceration in the United States will have its Massachusetts premiere tonight in Holyoke.

WAMC

   State officials led by Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito visited the town of Conway Monday to see firsthand the damage caused by Saturday’s freak February tornado, and to assure residents the state will help the small town rebuild.

wikipedia commons

Control of Connecticut's Senate may be at stake in Tuesday's special elections. There's currently an even number of Republicans and Democrats, with two open seats.

WAMC

Cleanup and damage assessment continues in the western Massachusetts town of Conway where a tornado touched down over the weekend.

Facebook: U.S. National Weather Service

At a time of the year when snowstorms, freezing rain and sleet are the main concerns for weather forecasters, a tornado touched down Saturday evening in western Massachusetts as a potent squall line moved through the region, pushing out un-usually warm conditions in favor of winter cold. 

Eversource

        The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in western Massachusetts over the weekend. 

         It is the first recorded February tornado in Massachusetts since official record keeping started in 1950.  

          WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Christopher Besse, the spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Break-in cards
Vermont State Police

Vermont State Police have implemented a project to raise awareness about car break-ins at state parks and other outdoor recreation areas.  Troopers at the Williston barracks will check vehicles and place a card on the driver’s side window if there are valuables in plain sight.  Corporal Andrew Leise, who is leading the Williston barracks on the project, says it’s an effort to raise awareness amid an increase in break-ins.

A 14-year-old New Hampshire boy taking a flight to a baseball tournament in Florida was shocked when airport authorities said he was on a U.S. government watch list.

Vermont Senate Chamber
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Lawmakers in the Vermont Senate have unanimously approved a measure that positions the state as a bulwark against some of President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

Donkey Hotey/Flickr

The Vermont Legislature's Joint Fiscal Office says the state is poised to bring in an addition $8 million with retail giant Amazon agreeing to collect and remit sales tax.

Photo of David Zuckerman
Verrmont Legislature

On Tuesday the new Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly issued a memo implementing the president’s immigration executive order.  In the memo, Secretary Kelly notes he is authorized to enter into agreements with states to authorize “qualified officers or employees of the state …. to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens in the United States.”  That is raising red flags in the statehouse in Vermont.  Earlier this month, a bill was introduced that would require any federal move to use local or state law enforcement first be approved by the governor.  Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, a Progressive, says the bill is scheduled for action in the state Senate today.

Gender free sign in San Diego
Checking Fax/Wikimedia

A new bill that would put "gender-free" signs on public, single-occupancy bathrooms in Vermont is quickly gaining support.

Burlington Police car
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Burlington's police chief says an officer has resigned in advance of a disciplinary hearing on a perjury allegation regarding statements he made about an October arrest for narcotics possession last fall.

Robert Frenier
Vermont Legislature

Vermont Republican Robert Frenier's new House seat appears to be safe after a legislative recount effort abruptly ended.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott met with reporters at the Statehouse in Montpelier today to discuss a number of issues facing the legislature and his administration.  One of the primary topics is a piece of legislation under consideration that would require any federal immigration actions in Vermont to be approved by the governor.

This is a picture of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy
http://portal.ct.gov/governor/

Governor Dannel Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman are throwing support to legislation that would require Connecticut to join a group of states wanting to pool their Electoral College votes for the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote.

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