New England News

Marijuana
flickr

The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is hosting workshops to teach grandparents how to stop their grandchildren from abusing drugs. 

wikipedia.org

 

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, has announced legislation to restore online privacy. Blumenthal wants to halt a Republican-led rollback of privacy rules.

Gender free sign in San Diego
Checking Fax/Wikimedia

Vermont is moving ahead with a measure to remove gendered signs from single-occupancy public bathrooms, but time is running out to pass the bill during this year's lawmaking session.

WAMC

A second deadline passed this week with no offers to purchase and restore one of the most unique buildings in western Massachusetts.  Historic preservationists are left anxious over its fate.

Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire


  The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development has started to evaluate the Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire’s plan to build low-to-moderate income housing in downtown Great Barrington. 

Hampden District Attorney's Office

    Authorities have arrested twenty people alleged to be part of a major drug trafficking operation in western Massachusetts.

This is a picture of the campus of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Jim Levulis / WAMC

State Senator Adam Hinds met with Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts undergraduate students and faculty last week to hear their concerns about the Trump administration’s proposed funding cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and for the Humanities.

The trail marker near the summit of Bald Mountain
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The warmer temperatures and the calendar indicate spring has arrived, which for many in the region means hiking season is right around the bend. But, as I recently found out, the last vestiges of winter on are the mountaintops.

nhpr

  The top cop in Springfield, Massachusetts said he supports body cameras for the city’s police officers but obstacles remain to using the technology. The costs might be prohibitive and there are complex legal issues.

Calita Kabir/Flickr

Seniors in Pittsfield can now apply for a tax abatement for the next fiscal year.

Facebook: Berkshire Theatre Group

The Berkshire Theatre Group has received a $3,500 grant from the Charles H. Hall Foundation for its year-round educational program.

smokestacks
wikipedia.org

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, a member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to protect families from polluted air from upwind states.

This is a picture of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy
CT.gov

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy will not seek a third term. Malloy announced his plans not to run in the 2018 election at a news conference Thursday afternoon at the state Capitol. Malloy's announcement comes as a growing list of potential Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates has been forming. Much of Malloy's tenure as governor has been marked by budget struggles. The Democrat barely held on to the office in 2014.

Here are Malloy's full remarks:

The top cop in Springfield, Massachusetts said he supports body cameras for the city’s police officers but obstacles remain to using the technology.

JD Allen / WAMC

Community members weighed in on a budget that would mean $3 million in cuts, including 74 positions, at a Pittsfield Public Schools Committee hearing last night.

A couple decided to kill their disabled adoptive son and cover up the crime with a house fire after watching the Oscar-winning movie "Manchester by the Sea," in which a couple's children perish in a house fire that's deemed accidental, according to a prosecutor handling the case.

The Berkshire Athenaeum has installed new STEAM learning kits to encourage children to explore educational programs.

The Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough, Massachusetts.
Facebook: Berkshire Mall


  The Berkshire Mall will lose yet another store, Eastern Mountain Sports. It’s the second announced closure in the Lanesborough, Massachusetts shopping outlet this week.

This is a picture of the campus of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Berkshire County Education Task Force recently heard community concerns during a meeting at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. 

This is the flag of Connecticut
wikipedia commons

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy was among the Congressional Democrats to meet with the state’s Health Council in an uncertain time for healthcare.

Congressman Peter Welch at St. Albans food shelf
Pat Bradley/WAMC

During Congress’ two-week Easter recess, Vermont’s lone House representative plans to travel across the state to hear what residents believe the impact of President Trump’s proposed budget will be.  On Tuesday, Democrat Peter Welch stopped at a food shelf in St. Albans to discuss how the potential  cuts could impact the service and other safety net programs.

wikipedia commons

A contentious proposal to build a Walmart Supercenter in Pittsfield was abruptly tabled at last night’s city council meeting.

An official in Amherst estimates the Massachusetts college town will have to hire two additional police officers and four emergency medical responders to prepare for the opening of retail marijuana stores. 

JD Allen / WAMC

Correction: This story originally reported that the attorney general was to testify in Springfield Wednesday. In fact, her office will offer testimony at the DPU hearing, not the attorney general herself.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey testified in Pittsfield Monday at a Department of Public Utilities hearing. Healey is challenging a request made by Eversource to raise its electricity rates next year. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen has more on how it will affect Western and Central Massachusetts customers.

Senator Bernie Sanders (right) meets staff at the Champlain Islands Health Center
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Congress has begun its two-week Easter break and Vermont’s representatives are in the state discussing the issues.  On Tuesday Independent Senator Bernie Sanders toured the newest federally-funded health center in the state. Sanders discussed potential impacts the proposed Trump budget and renewed Republican efforts to repeal to the Affordable Care Act could have on community health centers.

Living Wage Week is being observed in western Massachusetts.

Congressman Peter Welch at St. Albans food shelf
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Congressman Peter Welch met with dairy farmers in St. Albans, Vermont, to discuss what he calls a "battle plan" for the upcoming farm bill which expires in 2018.

University of Vermont
Sally McCay/UVM Photo

A $6 million gift will help the University of Vermont create a new institute designed to accelerate the school's longstanding commitment to the environment.

Dartmouth College campus
Photo by Kane5187/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The New Hampshire Supreme Court says members of a former Dartmouth College fraternity are not allowed to live in their house after the college banned the frat from campus.

Patricia Moulton
Vermont Technical College

At the end of March, the Vermont State Colleges System Board of Trustees appointed Patricia Moulton President of Vermont Technical College.  She had been the college’s interim president since September and immediately began her tenure as president when the trustees made the announcement.  Moulton is the first woman to lead the college in its 150-year history.  Moulton previously served in state government, most recently as Secretary of  the Agency of Commerce and Community Development .  She says she felt this was the perfect next step in her career.

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