New England News

A new ethics law has been signed by Vermont Governor Phil Scott.  The bill implements reforms and establishes an ethics commission.  Advocates say they’re pleased to see such reforms implemented, but say overall it’s a weak measure.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is heading across the commonwealth to its summer home at Tanglewood. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with Managing Director Mark Volpe about the summer season and why playing in the Berkshires is a special time of year for performers.

This is a picture of internet cables
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Peru, Massachusetts has given Charter Communications preliminary approval to supply broadband internet to the town. 

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The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington has received a $65,000 state cultural grant for upgrades.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has signed into law a bill establishing a state ethics commission.

Rail tracks
Tipiac-Alain Caraco/Wikimedia Commons

The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded that the cause of a 2015 Amtrak train derailment in Vermont was debris on the tracks from a rock slide.

Burlington, VT Police car
Pat Bradley/WAMC

This week, the Burlington City Council passed a Fair and Impartial Policing Policy that meets a state mandate, but avoids federal designation as a sanctuary city.

WAMC

     A major infrastructure project is planned in advance of next year’s scheduled opening of the MGM Springfield casino. 

Bennington College has been awarded a $300,000 grant to continue its studies of PFOA, the chemical that has affected water supplies in Southern Vermont and upstate New York.

Pittsfield City Hall
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With Pittsfield City Councilors counting every penny, the biggest city in the Berkshires has approved a $156 million operating budget. 

      A divided legislative committee today voted on a bill that would make extensive changes to the voter-approved marijuana law in Massachusetts.

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Cheshire, Massachusetts residents shot down the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District’s $19.2 million budget at the annual town meeting Monday.

     State legislators in Massachusetts plan to vote this week on legislation that would make extensive changes to the voter-approved marijuana law.

New York, California, Vermont and eight other states are suing the Trump administration over its failure to finalize energy-use limits for portable air conditioners and other products.

Pixabay/Public Domain

Following dry and drought conditions last summer, Northeast farmers are facing the opposite challenge this growing season: a rainy, cool spring that has delayed the planting of corn and other crops and the first cutting of hay for livestock feed.

Burlington City Hall
WAMC Photo

The Burlington City Council passed a budget Monday evening.  In presenting his formal request for passage, the mayor said the plan includes strategic investments in public safety, infrastructure and sustainability — without resulting in a tax increase.

      Unionized nurses at a western Massachusetts hospital have scheduled a one-day strike.

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      Massachusetts legislators are expected to vote Wednesday to put the so-called millionaire’s tax on the 2018 election ballot.  A new report from a well-respected fiscal watchdog group warns the proposal to raise taxes on the rich to bring in more revenue could backfire.

Emma Mulvaney-Stanak
Vermont Progressive Party/Facebook

The woman who has led the Vermont Progressive Party for the past four years announced Friday that she had stepped down.

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Cheshire, Massachusetts residents shot down the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District’s $19.2 million budget at last night’s annual town meeting. 

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          An organization that has advocated for peace and social justice in western Massachusetts for almost 50 years is closing in a few months.

Rutland, VT
Doug Kerr-Dougtone/Flickr

A third Syrian refugee family has arrived in Rutland.

Picture of Heroin
Adobe Stock

The Connecticut Bar Association hosted a panel discussion Monday about the opioid addiction crisis.

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Residents of Cheshire, Massachusetts will vote tonight on a $5.9 million budget for next year. The hot button issue is the proposed closure of Cheshire Elementary School.

One of three street pianos in Springfield, MA
WAMC

   The newest public art venture in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts was formally unveiled today.

     Springfield is now one of about 40 cities around the world with “street pianos.”

     Upright pianos that have been colorfully decorated by professional artists have been put at three locations downtown. The pianos have signs inviting people – regardless of skill level – to sit down and play.

     Morgan Drewniany, Executive Director of the Springfield Central Cultural District, said the pianos will add vibrancy to downtown and create a feeling of community.

Congressman Richard Neal will hold a town hall in the Berkshires after the county’s busy summer tourist season. 

Downtown North Adams, Massachusetts
wikipedia.org

North Adams, Massachusetts would cut nine full-time teaching positions in the public schools under a $17.3 million budget for the next fiscal year. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with Mayor Richard Alcombright about the city’s overall budget and why he believes the city needs are necessary.

      A Massachusetts State Senator believes now is a critical time to take a hard look at what needs to be done to have expanded rail service between western Massachusetts and Boston. 

                For the second year in a row, Democratic Senator Eric Lesser of Longmeadow has put an item in the proposed state budget that directs the Department of Transportation to do a feasibility study.

                WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Lesser.

Connecticut officials are forecasting poor air quality that will be unhealthy for sensitive groups including infants, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart ailments.

A panel discussion about growing up in the Digital Age in North Adams, Massachusetts is scheduled for Monday. 

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