New England News

This is a picture of Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Berkshire District Attorney says there will be no criminal charges against a Pittsfield police officer who fired at a driver who fled a traffic stop and then drove at the officer. 

With the opening of the MGM Springfield casino 18 months away, plans are in the works to put more police downtown.

Matthew Kang, flickr

One thing is certain about the opioid epidemic; it can be found just about anywhere. From the big cities, to the small towns, and in the suburbs. This evening at the North Adams Public Library, a film will be shown telling the story of the toll opioids have taken on North Adams, the smallest city in Massachusetts. 

MGMSpringfield

Construction of the first casino in western Massachusetts, the MGM Springfield, has reached the halfway point.

The seal of the the city of North Adams, Massachusetts
wikipedia.org

The parents of two special needs children left unattended on a school bus in North Adams, Massachusetts last year have sued the city's schools and Mayor Richard Alcombright.

Governor Phil Scott (left) and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard at a press conference in Quebec City 2/15/17
Governor Phil Scott/Facebook

Vermont Governor Phil Scott is in  Quebec City for his first official meetings with his counterpart in Quebec, the state's largest trading partner.

Vermont National Guard logo
U.S. Air Force

About 300 Vermont Air National Guard members will soon return from a three-month deployment in the Middle East.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

   Back-to-back big storms have prompted public safety officials in Massachusetts to issue a warning about snow on the roofs of buildings.

northampton.gov

       Downtown Northampton saw an increase in key economic indicators in 2016, according to a report compiled by city officials.

Vermont's treasurer says the state will soon launch a tax-free savings program for residents with disabilities.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Bills aimed at preventing what Vermont lawmakers and Republican Governor Phil Scott have called unconstitutional overreach on immigration issues by the Trump administration are moving quickly through the state Legislature.

WAMC

  No developer has stepped forward yet with an offer to purchase and restore one of the most unique buildings in western Massachusetts. But late today, the deadline to put in a bid was extended.

  A western Massachusetts city has undertaken several initiatives to revitalize its downtown, from improving public safety to attracting new housing.

Picture of solar panels
wikipedia commons

Environmental activists launched a campaign Monday to win passage of a bill in Massachusetts that would commit the state to 100 percent renewable energy over the next few decades.

Downtown Historic District, Rutland, Vermont
Sfoskett/Wikimedia Commons

The new secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is hosting forums around the state in February and March to hear about Vermonters' experiences interacting with the agency.

Advocates plan to launch a campaign Monday for 100 percent renewable energy in Massachusetts.

Hampshire College

  Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash, who sparked national controversy and local protest last year over his decision to suspend flying the American flag, will retire in 2018.

wikipedia

Hoping to keep momentum going from the Women’s March on Washington last month, a rally is scheduled tomorrow in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Another event Saturday in western Massachusetts will raise money for an abortion rights fund.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott and state legislative leaders have introduced legislation that would clarify the duties of law enforcement in carrying out federal immigration tasks — and require that the governor first approve any local or state enforcement of federal immigration laws.

        Springfield, Massachusetts has been selected to participate in a federal conservation program for migratory birds. 

Since President Trump was inaugurated and Republicans obtained control of Congress, there has been heightened concern over future environmental policies.  In response, advocacy groups are intensifying their grassroots organizing. Wednesday night, a coalition of Vermont groups held a webinar with Senator Bernie Sanders to discuss how to move forward on environmental issues without the support of the federal government.

Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott discussed a number of issues while meeting with reporters at his ceremonial office in the Statehouse Wednesday.

Nurses at Berkshire Medical Center rally at the Pittsfield, MA hospital in December 2014.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Update at 1:15 Thursday: The Massachusetts Nurses Association has canceled Thursday's rally due to the winter storm in Pittsfield.

Despite the winter storm, nurses at Berkshire Medical Center are planning a rally in Pittsfield today over what they say are unsafe staffing levels at the hospital. WAMC spoke with Amber VanBramer, a registered nurse at BMC who is a member of the bargaining committee for the Massachusetts Nurses Association at the hospital. The union represents all of the roughly 800 registered nurses at Berkshire Medical Center.

Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott was joined by his Human Services Secretary and several health care providers today to unveil a pilot Medicaid program intended to change the current fee-for-service system.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy
CT.gov

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy's new budget plan calls for $1.5 billion in state employee givebacks over two years and shifts about $400 million in teacher pension costs to cities and towns from the state. The Democrat announced his two-year, $40.6 billion spending plan today before a joint session of the General Assembly in Hartford. 

     Springfield, Massachusetts has been selected to participate in a federal conservation program for migratory birds. 

A western Massachusetts city is offering loans and grants to businesses to create jobs downtown.

Governor's press office

      While other states have seen enrollments in health insurance plans through online marketplaces drop, Massachusetts reported a record number of people obtaining coverage.

        A new study finds financial and health problems are the most common negative impacts of gambling.

An Iranian religion professor at Vermont's Middlebury College who has been doing research in his native country since last summer has returned home to Vermont after President Donald Trump's executive order created uncertainty about his travel plans.

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