New England News

Connecticut residents will soon be automatically registered to vote when they apply for a driver's license.

Mouth of a sea lamprey
Drow_male/Wikimedia

Vermont officials are trying to adapt to a tougher drinking water standard for a chemical used to fight the sea lamprey, a parasitic eel that has hurt fish populations in Lake Champlain.

The Massachusetts State House
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Democratic candidates running for an open western Massachusetts state senate seat are meeting for a forum Sunday.

The Plainridge casino building and parking lot
NECN

Massachusetts gambling regulators say they are encouraged by early numbers from a unique gambling addiction prevention effort that is being tested at the state’s first casino.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission said 3,216 people have signed up for the “Play My Way” program at Plainridge Park Casino since its launch in June. 

Mark Vander Linden, the director of Research and Responsible Gaming for the commission said the program allows gamblers through the casino’s reward card program to set voluntary limits on how much to wager.

Damian Gadal/Flickr

A number of organizations in northern Vermont will share $1.2 million in grant money from the Northern Border Regional Commission.

Police body cameras
wikipedia.org

Few Connecticut police departments are showing interest in a new state program that encourages them to begin using body cameras.

Election 2016 graphic
DonkeyHotey/Flickr

Vermont's secretary of state says there's a "dawning of a new landscape" in Vermont's politics as outside groups spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to influence voters leading up to Tuesday's primary.

    Advocates who worked to legalize medical marijuana in Massachusetts are frustrated over its limited availability, as the fate of the first proposed dispensary in Springfield remains in limbo.

On Tuesday, Vermont will hold its earliest ever state primary.  It’s an unusual year in that all seats in the House and Senate are up for election, although not all face primaries.  The top five elected offices in the state will also be chosen in the general election in November. In the race to replace retiring Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin, five candidates have lined up in the Democratic primary. 

The Louison House in Adams, Massachusetts
Facebook: Family Life Support Center, Inc. Louison House

A housing shelter in Adams is working to reprogram itself after a June fire displaced residents and uprooted its staff.

WAMC

  Hampshire College has begun constructing the largest campus solar power array in New England. It is an ambitious project that is part of the small liberal arts college’s plan to someday have a carbon-neutral campus.

The Gun Owners' Action League poster
Facebook: Gun Owners' Action League

Gun rights activists plan to gather in Pittsfield Friday to protest Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s crackdown on so-called copycat assault weapons.

Vermont Gas logo
Vermont Gas

A lawyer for citizens trying to block a Vermont natural gas pipeline from going through a public park grilled witnesses for the company as protests occurred outside the hearing room Thursday.

Norm McAllister
Vermont Legislature

The second trial for a suspended Vermont state senator charged with sexual assault has been delayed.

WAMC

   Hampshire College has begun constructing the largest campus solar power array in New England.

A week after federal agents raided the pro shops, the mayor of Springfield has ordered an outside audit of the city’s two municipal golf courses.

Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Facebook: Austen Riggs Center

The Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge was recently ranked as the ninth best psychiatric hospital in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Massachusetts General Hospital, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Harvard Medical School affiliate McLean Hospital are among the top 10.

Randy Brock (left) with Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott is in the midst of a contentious primary campaign against first-time candidate Bruce Lisman in the Republican primary for governor.  Today, Scott received an endorsement from the Republican seeking his current position.

Berkshire Opera Festival 2016 Poster
Berkshire Opera Festival

The Berkshires are a cultural hotspot for theater, music, art and dance, offering plenty to entertain residents and visitors, especially in the summer. But is something missing? WAMC caught up with a group that thinks there is.

WAMC

A new effort is underway in one western Massachusetts city to get young children to pick up a book, or two, before they head back to school in a few weeks.

wikipedia.org

Massachusetts marks a milestone of sorts today in the availability of medical marijuana. The first dispensary in the city of Boston is scheduled to open.

Nick Cave's "Until" is set to open October 15 at MASS MoCA.
Facebook: Nike Cave - Visual Artist

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art announced Wednesday what pieces of art will fill its galleries and who will take over its stages this fall.

wikipedia.org

         Elected officials in Springfield, Massachusetts are still reviewing a proposal to set up the first medical marijuana dispensary in the city.

The Asian Tiger Mosquito can carry the Zika Virus. It's been detected in Connecticut.
wikipedia commons

A day after receiving nearly $580,000 to prepare and respond to the Zika virus, Connecticut announced Tuesday an additional $400,000 is coming to the state to track birth defects from the virus.

Dakin Humane Society

An experienced leader in the animal welfare field has been hired as the new executive director at the Dakin Humane Society in the Pioneer Valley.  

Carmine  DiCenso started his new job at the organization Monday. He sat down Tuesday for an interview with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin marks the lifting of Pownal's "Do Not Drink" order August 1, 2016.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin says the state is looking to identify a new water source in Pownal after lifting a Do Not Drink order put in place because of chemical contamination.

Gov. Peter Shumlin in Pownal Monday.
Jim Levulis

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin was in Pownal on Monday to mark the lifting of the “Do Not Drink” order for the town’s water, which had been contaminated by the industrial chemical PFOA.

Diocese of Springfield

Construction is to begin next month on a new regional Catholic high school in western Massachusetts.

MGMSpringfield

   Massachusetts casino industry regulators have approved payments to offset some harm that has been caused as a result of construction work that is under way on the $950 million MGM casino in downtown Springfield. 

The Asian Tiger Mosquito can carry the Zika Virus. It's been detected in Connecticut.
wikipedia commons

Connecticut is receiving nearly $580,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track and protect citizens from the Zika virus. As of July 27, the state tested 491 people for the virus, which is carried by mosquitoes and has been linked to birth defects.

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