New England News

Pittsfield, MA – Massachusetts is home to the second largest number of biotechnology firms in the nation. And according to the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, biotech could directly and indirectly create nearly 100,000 new in-state jobs and raise more than $1 billion in income tax revenues by 2010.
And as our Berkshire Bureau Chief, Carrie Saldo reports, with a Pittsfield, Massachusetts native opting to re-locate his biotechnology business, the city is getting in on that action;

SOUTH HADLEY, MA – Amherst College and Mount Holyoke are among eight colleges making a big investment in attracting and assisting low-income transfer students from community colleges.

WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff reports.

Burlington, VT – The University of Vermont has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health that will fund a state-wide biomedical research network. The sixteen-and-a-half million dollar grant is the largest in the university's history. WAMC's North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more.

Burlington, VT – For the first time in a mayoral election in the United States, voters in Burlington, Vermont will use what's called instant runoff voting when they go to the polls Tuesday. WAMC's North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more.

AMHERST, ma – Many communities in the Northeast region have been coping with budget red ink. Usually it's up to town officials to come up with solutions. But one college town in Massachusetts wants residents to figure out how to solve its current budget woes.

WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff explains.

Vernon, VT – After two years of review, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant's request to increase its power output by 20 percent. WAMC's North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more.............

SPringfield, MA – Senator Edward Kennedy and U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings were at a Springfield high school today to announce a major grant to improve high school literacy in Massachusetts and the nation.

WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff has the story.

Adams, MA – Its been two years since Adams, Massachusetts submitted the sole proposal to the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to develop a portion of the Greylock Glen, which is at the foot of the state's highest peak - Mount Greylock. Now, the state has requested a formal presentation. Our Berkshire Bureau, Chief Carrie Saldo, spoke with Town Administrator William Ketcham, about what this means for Adams;

Great Barrington, MA – Last fall Berkshire Gas, Western Massachusetts sole provider of Natural Gas sought a nearly 30 percent rate increase from the Department of Telecommunications and energy. But, as our Berkshire Bureau Chief, Carrie Saldo reports, a milder than expected winter has translated into good news for rate payers;

Springfield, MA – More financial problems in the city of Springfield, MA. Mayor Charles Ryan has said the city may run out of money this month if the state does not help out.

WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff reports.

Great Barrington, MA – States across the nation have been grappling with the challenges presented by the medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Vermont officials found it so convoluted they shelved the program temporarily and while Massachusetts hasn't needed to go that far, those on the front lines - pharmacists and elder care workers - told WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief, Carrie Saldo they will be navigating the intricacies of the program for sometime.

Pittsfield, MA – Controversy has sprung up again regarding a Pittsfield, Massachusetts elementary school within close proximity of a PCB dump site known as Hill 78.

Pittsfield, MA – The Pittsfield City Council has rejected a proposed bylaw change that would have allowed timeshare developments within particular residential areas in the city. And as our Berkshire Bureau Chief, Carrie Saldo, reports at least one city official is concerned about the implications of its defeat.

Dalton. MA – What could be a 140 home development that would incorporate a variety of energy-saving and so called "green technologies" is proposed for Dalton, Massachusetts. Our Berkshire Bureau Chief , Carrie Saldo, has the details of the proposed development just east of Pittsfield, which the developers say would be the first of its kind in the Northeast;

BOSTON, MA – The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously approved a stripped-down health care bill that seeks to insure about half of the state's uninsured residents. Senators rushed the bill through late yesterday to avoid losing federal Medicaid funds. The bill now moves to the house where its outcome is still uncertain.

WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff reports.

Washington, D.C. – The fate of Vermont's campaign finance law is now in the hands of the U-S Supreme Court. The high court heard arguments this morning on a challenge to a 1997 Vermont law which sets strict limits on both campaign contributions and spending. WAMC's North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more.

BOSTON, MA – National Grid, the British power distributor that serves much of upstate New York and western New England, continued its rapid expansion in the U.S. yesterday by agreeing to acquire Keyspan Energy, a major natural gas and power supplier in the northeast. The deal, if approved, will create the country's third largest power company, serving 8 million customers.

As WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff reports, the deal is getting a generally positive reaction.

Burlington, VT – A group opposed to fluoride in public drinking water is asking a court to change the wording of a question on the Town Meeting Day ballot in Burlington. WAMC's North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more.

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Baystate Medical Center in Springfield is among a number of regional hospitals selected as peer mentors in a nonprofit's campaign to reduce medical errors and hospital infections. The organization hopes to save as many as 100,000 lives through its efforts.

WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff reports.

Montpelier, VT – Health care reform will lead the agenda in the Vermont legislature this week. The Senate will consider what's called the Common Sense Initiative. At the same time, the House will review it's health care affordability act to extend health care coverage to more Vermonters. WAMC's North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has a preview of what's expected.

North Adams, MA – A conference designed to impart area business leaders with international trade know-how is set to be held at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts... MCLA ... in North Adams.

Great Barrington, MA – Japanese animation, known as Anime, is a multi-billion dollar industry and Saturday, Simon's Rock College of the Bard was home to Berkshire County's first Anime convention - Llamacon 2006.

SPRINGFIELD, MA – A new survey shows hunger is still a significant problem in the Northeast region, including a large portion of western Massachusetts.

WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff reports.

AMHERST, MA – A Massachusetts state senator brought good news to his annual meeting with the University of Massachusetts faculty senate this week. Senator Stan Rosenberg, the Amherst Democrat who co-chaired the Senate Task Force on Higher Education, says the legislature may be close to passing a significant higher education funding bill.

WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff has the story.

Montpelier, VT – The federal prescription plan that failed for many senior citizens when it was launched in January will be turned back on in Vermont next month. But some lawmakers and advocates for the elderly are worried that the federal government still has not worked out all of the problems with Medicare Part-D. WAMC's North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more.

HOLYOKE, MA – The number of teenagers who gave birth in 2004 was significantly lower in the Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke than in previous years. But the teen-pregancy rate remains relatively high, with Holyoke still the second highest, and Springfield the third. Only Lawrence, Mass. has more teen births.

WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff reports.

AGAWAM, MA – A top Massachusetts lawmaker is criticizing Governor Romney's proposed budget and is urging local municipalities not to use it as a benchmark when creating their own budgets.

WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff has the story.

South Hadley, MA – Avoiding a further battle with disgruntled faculty, Harvard's president Lawrence Summers announced yesterday that he will be leaving the university at the end of this academic year. His departure ends a tumultuous tenure lasting only 5 years-the shortest at the school since 1862.

WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff spoke to academics in the five-college region about the implications of Summers' resignation.

Burlington, VT – The Burlington, Vermont City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to support the Vermont Air National Guard's continued mission at the Burlington International Airport. The councillor's resolution was formulated in direct opposition to, and urges Burlington voters to reject, Question 6 on the Town Meeting Day ballot. WAMC's North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more.

NORTHAMPTON, MA – Joel Dorius was a professor at Smith College until 1960 when he, along with two other professors, was forced out following an arrest for possession of gay pornography. He was later exonerated and the case is considered an early civil rights victory for homosexuals. Dorius died last week, and WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Dan Bobkoff looks back at the incident and the man.

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