New England News

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker speaking in Great Barrington in December 2015.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is endorsing Chris Christie for the Republican presidential nomination. Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito will be in New Hampshire Saturday speaking in support of New Jersey’s governor.

Picture of marijuana plant
US Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee recently voted to approve a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state. The idea is so controversial that even members of the same party are divided over the issue.

WAMC

Commuter trains could begin running on new high speed rail tracks in western Massachusetts with stops in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield as soon as the spring of 2017.  That was the prediction this week from the state’s top transportation official. 

Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollock said MassDOT will develop a memorandum of understanding with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission for a demonstration project on the Knowledge Corridor rail line.

"  We would see it as a pilot service," Pollack said.

Maple trees tapped with plastic tubing.
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A winter thaw has triggered sap to flow in maple trees, launching an early start to the maple syrup season for some producers in parts of New England.

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant
NRC/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it has no objections to the decommissioning plans developed by the owners of the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

Artists rendering of proposed Wynn casino in Everett Mass.
Wynn Resorts

        The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has approved an agreement between Wynn Resorts and the City of Boston that clears the way for construction of a $1.7 billion casino in eastern Massachusetts.

The deal ends a long legal and public relations battle the city of Boston and Mayor Marty Walsh waged to try to block the Wynn casino because of traffic and other concerns. It calls for Wynn to pay the city $ 68 million in mitigation funds, employ a certain percentage of Boston residents in the casino, and work together to solve traffic problems.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Farms in northwestern Vermont may have to abide by certain practices to reduce phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain under a decision released by the state's agriculture secretary.

This is a picture of Eagleton School attorney Eric MacLeish
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Representatives for an all-male special needs school in Berkshire County spoke Wednesday after five staff members were charged in connection with physical abuse allegations. Law enforcement continues to investigate.

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

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy delivered his State of the State address to Connecticut's Legislature in Hartford Wednesday. The full text of the speech is below.

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Lt. Governor Wyman, Senator Fasano, Representative Klarides, my fellow state officials, ladies and gentlemen of the General Assembly, members of the clergy, and all the citizens of our great state: thank you for the honor of inviting me once again into the people's House.

WAMC

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will explore options for bringing additional passenger rail service to western Massachusetts.

MassDOT CEO Stephanie Pollack said the state agency will work with regional planners and local elected officials who are trying to institute a pilot commuter rail shuttle among Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield.

"I don't want to downplay that there are significant issues to be resolved, but the idea makes sense," Pollack told reporters Wednesday.

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