New England News

New England News
4:09 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Massachusetts Loses Jobs In June As Unemployment Rate Holds Steady

The unemployment rate in Massachusetts held steady in June, but the state’s economy lost jobs for the first time in seven months . WAMC”s Paul Tuthill reports.

   Massachusetts lost an estimated 26 hundred jobs in June. The unemployment rate remained at 6%, according to the latest report from the state’s office of Labor and Workforce Development.  Robert Nakosteen, a professor of economics at UMass Amherst, says in the face of a stalling national recovery and global economic worries, businesses in Massachusetts are skittish when it comes to hiring people

New England News
7:43 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Three-Strikes Provision Approved by Mass House

The bill, approved on a 139-14 vote, would eliminate the opportunity for parole for felons convicted three separate times for violent crimes, ranging from murder, to child rape, to certain types of assault. 

The so-called "three-strikes provision" was championed by the family of a woman who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered in 1999 by a man who had 27 prior convictions. 

New England News
6:00 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Union Station Project Receives More Funding

Sturmovik at en.wikipedia

Additional federal funding has been formally approved for a project to renovate the historic Union Station in Springfield Massachusetts.  WAMC”s Paul Tuthill reports.

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New England News
10:00 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Vermont Discontinues Inmate Contract with Massachusetts Jail

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A year after Vermont inmates at a Massachusetts jail rioted over conditions there, Vermont has discontinued the contract under which it sent inmates there.

Vermont Corrections Commissioner Andy Pallito says the Franklin County Jail and House of Detention in Greenfield reduced the number of Vermont inmates it would take from about 100 to below 50. He says at that point, it didn't make sense to continue the contract, which was allowed to expire June 30.

Vermont inmates rioted at the jail last July, amid complaints about conditions at the facility.

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New England News
6:30 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Food Pantries Struggle To Meet Summer Demand

The shelves are mostly bare at the Open Pantry Emergency Food Pantry in Springfield MA
WAMC

Food pantries are in dire straits this summer. Programs that feed the poor are seeing rising demand, less government help and higher prices for food.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

      An emergency food pantry in Springfield Massachusetts had to close temporarily for one day last week after its shelves went bare.

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New England News
5:57 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Emails: Feds in dark days before Conn. busway OK'd

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Emails between top state officials show that a week before Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced last year that the state will build a costly and contentious bus-only corridor between Hartford and New Britain, federal transportation officials still did not know if he would support or kill it.

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WAMC News
5:50 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Cause of House Explosion Sought

Vermont fire officials are trying to determine what caused an explosion that heavily damaged a Townshend, Vermont home, with parts of the house found over 200 feet away.

No one was home during the blast, reported about 3 a.m. Wednesday. Fire officials arrived to find the house off its foundation. They said the owner, identified as Carlton Smith, had been experiencing the smell of propane over the past several weeks.

Officials suspect a problem with a gas line. They do not consider the explosion suspicious.

WAMC News
5:45 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Reforms Reduce Potential Penalties

Fairpoint Communications says regulatory reforms in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont reduce the potential penalties the company could incur by more than $31 million a year.

Fairpoint officials said Wednesday the benefits come from legislation in Maine and New Hampshire and the Vermont Public Service Board's approval of its four-year regulatory plan.

The changes in the three states reduce the penalties the company could face for falling short of service standards.

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New England News
5:37 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Investments in MA Health Care Industry Lagging

According to a recent report, capital investments in health care have fallen in Massachusetts, while investments in New York have made modest gains. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

In a report released by venture capital database CB Insights, the numbers show that investments in the Massachusetts health care industry are down to a five quarter low in deals. CEO of CB Insights Anand Sanwal explains that investing firms target a large variety of sectors in the health care industry.

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WAMC News
5:30 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Work on Vermont Bennington Bypass Delayed

The opening of the northern section of the Bennington Bypass has been delayed a month after the lead contractor assisted with recovery efforts from Tropical Storm Irene.

The Bennington Banner reports contractor J.A. McDonald recently sought an extension because of its efforts to help clear rivers and repair roads following the storm last August.
The northern section of Route 279 is the second of the three-part road system that would allow traffic to bypass downtown Bennington. The first part opened in 2004.
A date for its opening hasn't been announced.

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