New England News

http://broadband.masstech.org/building-networks/last-mile/program-unserved-towns / Massachusetts Broadband Institute

With broadband internet increasingly becoming vital to economic and social wellbeing, areas of western Massachusetts remain without robust access. In the meantime, the state agency tasked with making the connections has undergone leadership changes and the regional cooperative committed to the cause has released a new plan.

Palmer Renewable Energy

Opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in Springfield, Massachusetts have won support for a last-ditch bid to block the project.

Melissa Wiese/Flickr

A federal judge in Vermont has approved a $50 million settlement to be paid by a national dairy marketing cooperative to thousands of Northeast dairy farmers.

WAMC

A partnership has been created between top law enforcement, large hospitals, and social service providers in western Massachusetts to fight opioid addiction.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno
WAMC

Almost a month before the start of the new fiscal year, the city of Springfield, Massachusetts has a new budget in place. The city will be hiring more police and firefighters amid questions about whether the city can meet its pension obligations to future retirees.

wikipedia commons

A Haitian national whom federal authorities tried to deport repeatedly before he fatally stabbed a Connecticut woman last year has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for her murder.

Springfield Water and Sewer Commission Ex. Dir. Joshua Schimmel
WAMC

Although many pipes are more than a century old, the utility infrastructure in Springfield, Massachusetts is in good shape and is continually being upgraded, according to officials who spoke at a public forum. The roundtable was scheduled after a water main break last month caused a large sinkhole on Main Street and raised concerns about what is happening underground.

Volunteer collects river water samples for testing
Connecticut River Watershed Council

Just as the summer recreation season is beginning, the Connecticut River Watershed Council has launched an online site for people to check if the river contains high amounts of bacteria that could potentially cause illness.

Facebook: Josh Bressette Commit To Save A Life

Like much of the country, western Massachusetts is dealing with a substantial increase in opioid and substance abuse. While traditional medical providers are looking at ways to address the issue, a nonprofit in North Adams is doing what it can to help people recover from addiction.

crews work to repair a hole in a street
WAMC

A conference is scheduled Monday in Springfield, Massachusetts on the state of the city’s underground infrastructure.

Flickr

One person has been injured in an explosion at a manufacturing plant.

Two police officers have been injured in a wild police chase.

Green Mountain Power

Environmental questions have led to a delay in state approval for a state-of-the-art manure processor and power generator proposed for St. Albans by Green Mountain Power.

Police in Vermont say a dispute between separate homeless encampments preceded the fatal beating of a transgender man.

Just as the summer recreation season is beginning, the Connecticut River Watershed Council has launched an online site for people to check if the river contains high amounts of bacteria that could potentially cause illness.

Stearns Square Park
WAMC

Springfield officials have announced plans to redevelop a downtown park to make it the center of a proposed dining district. The plan was announced during a visit this week by Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.

door to the Chicopee Police Substation
WAMC

A western Massachusetts city is trying to make its downtown safer through the use of technology and what the police chief calls “grassroots community policing.”

pollution
wikipedia commons

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has signed a bill that gives the state more power to hold accountable companies that pollute the environment.

WAMC

During a visit by Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito Thursday, Springfield officials announced initiatives to create a downtown dining district.

WAMC

A western Massachusetts city is stepping up efforts to combat crime in the downtown business district.

A Chicopee Police Department substation opened Thursday in a back office of the Chamber of Commerce Building.

Police Chief William Jebb said it strengthens the community policing effort in the city center.

" Just driving around in a cruiser, waiting for something to happen, responding to calls that really does not get the public involved at all," explained Jebb.

Rutland, VT
Doug Kerr-Dougtone/Flickr

In April, Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras announced plans, coordinated with the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, to bring up to 100 Syrians to the city in October.  But the proposal is dividing the community.

The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center that opened in Holyoke four years ago is expanding.

WAMC

Private reflections and the tolling of church bells today marked the fifth anniversary of an unprecedented natural disaster in western Massachusetts.  A tornado, with sustained winds of 160 miles-an-hour claimed three lives, injured scores of people, left children emotionally scarred, and damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings and tens of thousands of trees.

 

If the ship legendary explorer Capt. James Cook used to sail around the world is found, Rhode Island will own it outright.

Donkey Hotey/Flickr

Errors in some software, including TurboTax, could result in Vermont charging interest and penalties if taxpayers don't file amended returns by June 30.

           Wednesday, June 1st, marks the fifth anniversary of the most powerful storm to strike Massachusetts in a half-century.

 Armando Feliciano said it does not seem as if five years have passed since he hustled his family into the basement of their Springfield home and shielded them as a tornado sent trees crashing through the roof and walls.

"To this day, every time I open that door in my house, I say ' I remember this tornado' and I remember walking into my house that day," Feliciano said in an interview on the eve of the 5th anniversary of the tornado.

Springfield is considering adopting a Massachusetts law that allows for a property tax surcharge to create a local fund for historic preservation projects, protecting open space, and supporting affordable housing.

Rinaldo Del Gallo
Courtesy Photo

After flirting with a run for more than a month, Pittsfield lawyer Rinaldo Del Gallo is officially launching a campaign for state senate. He is running to represent the 52 communities in the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden district. Del Gallo has been vocal on a number of environmental issues in the area, including leading the charge for a Styrofoam ban in Pittsfield. The Democrat tells that the income inequality issues being raised by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are shaping his platform.

Preservation Massachusetts Inc

This Wednesday, June 1st,  marks the fifth anniversary of a devastating tornado striking western Massachusetts.

    As he has done in years past, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has called for a city-wide moment of reflection on the tornado anniversary.

" We want to commemorate it, not celebrate it.  I've asked the houses of worship to ring the bells at 4:38 p.m.," said Sarno.

The tornado, the most powerful storm to strike Massachusetts in 50 years, left a 6 mile scar through the city and tore up trees and buildings in a half-dozen towns.  Three people died. 

A new rule is in effect to prevent invasive insects from entering Vermont's forests on untreated firewood.

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