New England News

An interfaith organization in the Berkshires will discuss its priorities and countywide campaigns with local elected officials on Sunday.

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Senate Democrats are calling on the White House to protect coastlines from offshore oil drilling.

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    When Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts reopens in June following a $95 million renovation, it will serve as the hub for public transit bus service in the city.

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   Events are taking place to mark the centennial of World War I.  One such commemoration highlighted the heroism of an infantry unit made up largely of soldiers from western Massachusetts.

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The Berkshires theatre community is mourning the death of an actress and advocate for the arts who was killed by a truck this week. Local police are calling for help from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to make sure something like this never happens again. 

Students at poster session during UVM Student Research Conference
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The University of Vermont held its ninth Student Research Conference on Thursday, showcasing the work of students through poster sessions, oral presentations and creative presentations.

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U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, has introduced a bill to restore consumer control over sensitive personal information.

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   The members of a new committee who will select which projects will get funded under the Community Preservation Act in the city of Springfield have been announced.

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Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut, both Democrats, have introduced legislation to strengthen passenger safety on cruise ships. 

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Bennington College will host a conference on the future of higher education in prisons this week. 

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The Berkshire Veterans’ Coalition and the City of Pittsfield gathered Thursday to plan the Memorial Day flag placement at Pittsfield cemeteries. 

Former Taft School will  be renovated as UVM's integrated center for the creative arts
UVM Foundation

The University of Vermont Foundation, which manages private support for the college, announced a donation Thursday that will create an integrated center for the creative arts.

JD Allen / WAMC

The Lenox Chamber of Commerce opened a Visitors Center on Thursday for residents and visitors alike. The goal is to draw attention to outdoor recreation, business and cultural attractions in the Western Massachusetts town.

Pittsfield School Committee
JD Allen / WAMC

The Pittsfield Public School Committee adopted a roughly $60.6 million budget last night under the city’s level funding. The budget cuts 75.6 full-time jobs from the school district. 

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The centennial of World War I was observed Thursday in Springfield, Massachusetts with a ceremony honoring a largely forgotten part of the city’s history.

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Williams College will host competing lectures about healthcare. 

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A Pittsfield company wants to develop a Berkshire Business Confidence Index to better show the trends of the county’s economy. 

Renowned political scientist and activist Dr. Ben Barber, who had ties to the Berkshires, has died. His last book, “Cool Cities: Urban Sovereignty and the Fix for Global Warming,” was published less than a week before his death from pancreatic cancer. 

View of Lake Champlain from Plattsburgh southeast towards Vermont
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A report issued this month assesses the changing salinity of freshwater lakes.  It finds increased sodium chloride in the North American lakes studied, most likely caused by using salt to de-ice roadways.

MASC

As Berkshire County public schools finalize their budgets for next year, the Massachusetts Association of School Committees is explaining why some schools are struggling due to a lack of state aid. The Pittsfield School Committee is scheduled to adopt its budget tonight.

WAMC

    Activists called today for workers to strike and businesses to shut down in western Massachusetts on May 1st, as part of what is expected to be a nationwide protest.

Activists are hoping to build grassroots support for the Massachusetts legislature to approve some form of a carbon tax to combat global warming. 

Nine western Massachusetts municipalities this spring are scheduled to vote on non-binding carbon pricing resolutions.  

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Richard Pree , who is a local leader of the national Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

This is a photo of NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks.
NAACP

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks will deliver the 21st annual W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture tonight at Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Brooks says he wants to encourage millennials to transform their activism into scholarship, like Du Bois did 150 years ago. 

       A delegation of business people from western Massachusetts is at the Statehouse today for a series of meetings with key state legislators and members of the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker.

cigarettes
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The Vermont Senate has voted down a proposal to raise the smoking age in the state to 21.

Picture of a Vermont School Bus
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Vermont's Republican Governor Phil Scott is proposing that Vermont's teachers negotiate their health benefits directly with the state, instead of their local school boards.

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UCP Berkshire

United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County has been awarded an Assistive Technology Regional Center contract through 2027. 

Little Brown Bat with White Nose Syndrome in Greeley Mine, VT
Joel Flewelling/Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking for volunteers to help monitor colonies of little brown bats this summer.

Dr. Robert Larner
Peter Blacksberg / University of Vermont

The man for whom the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine is named has died at age 99 in California.  Officials at the UVM Larner College of Medicine are remembering Dr. Robert Larner as a humble and generous benefactor who wanted students to benefit from his philanthropy.

The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts campus in North Adams.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Four educational leaders in Berkshire County have secured a $46,000 Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Partnership grant from the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

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