New England News

Fred Conyers is looking to become a Pittsfield firefigher.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer is recommending the city’s fire department hire a man who spent time in prison, against the wishes of some Pittsfield firefighters.

An 11-year-old legal fight over education funding in Connecticut comes to a head Wednesday, when a Superior Court judge is scheduled to rule from the bench on whether the state has done enough to support its poorer school systems.

Monarch Butterfly

Massachusetts highways may soon become havens for monarch butterflies and other declining insect populations.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Unlike last year's bumper crop for apples in New England, this year's batch is a bit smaller for many farmers as they struggle with abnormally dry and drought conditions.

Emergency demolition of St. Francis' steeple in May 2016.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The demolition continues for a North Adams church that has stood for more than 150 years. The future of the parcel of land remains up in the air.

The Connecticut Department of Insurance has released its rulings on rate requests filed by a dozen health insurers and some still include double-digit increases for consumers.

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

A New York firm that works with distressed malls is buying the Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough. Best Buy and Macy’s have left the location in the past year.

Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski

Thousands are expected to gather in Rome Sunday for the canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa, after which she will be known as Saint Mother Teresa. Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, will celebrate the event by attending a mass at the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish in the Berkshire County village of Housatonic Saturday.

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

Area media are reporting that the Berkshire Mall will soon have a new owner.

Democratic candidates (from left to right) Rinaldo Del Gallo, Adam Hinds and Andrea Harrington debate at Berkshire Community College in August.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

With a week to go until the primary election, the race for an open state Senate seat in western Massachusetts is heating up with infighting among the Democratic candidates.

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy

The two top officials at Massachusetts’ Department of Conservation and Recreation were placed on unpaid leave for a week for the inappropriate use of public resources at a private party.


The town of Great Barrington is urging residents to sign up for its new emergency notification system.

An aerial view of the UMass Amherst campus

A 19 year old man pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges stemming from a February incident in a UMass Amherst dormitory that led to a lockdown of the flagship campus.

William McKeown of Framingham pleaded guilty to larceny and assault and battery and was sentenced to a year in jail followed by two years probation, according the Northwestern District Attorney’s office. 

McKeown and an accomplice, who pleaded guilty last May, tried to pass off shredded vegetables as marijuana in a drug deal, and a fight broke out when the ruse was discovered.

      In advance of the changeover in late October to all-electronic tolling on the Massachusetts Turnpike, officials are distributing free transponders that motorists will need to avoid paying higher rates to travel on the highway.


     The partnership between the University of Massachusetts flagship campus and the town of Amherst celebrated a milestone today.

Facebook: Great Barrington Police Department

Update at 6:45 p.m. August 30: Great Barrington Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin tells WAMC the town is taking the matter seriously and is investigating the issues expressed in the report. A recent article by the online publication The Berkshire Edge details alleged drinking and driving incidents by Great Barrington police officers.

A CTfastrack bus

Connecticut is boasting about the success of a bus system between Hartford and New Britain.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, right, with Berkshire Mountain Distillers CEO Chris Weld in Sheffield.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Craft is finding its way into many beverage industries nowadays…and also into some bottles. And a Berkshire business is looking to drink up the benefits.

Lead has been found in water tests at a public school in Amherst, Massachusetts.


    Labor Day is a week away, but school is back in session in many places including the second-largest public school district in Massachusetts.


An arm of the European Union is expected to weigh in on a request from Sweden to deem American lobsters an invasive species in much of Europe.

Teachers in the second largest public school district in Massachusetts will be back in the classroom today working without a current contract. 

When students head back to school Monday in the second largest school district in Massachusetts, basic supplies will include school-issued laptop computers.


It's state fair time, and the largest agricultural fair in the Northeast, The Big E, is marking its centennial this year.

The 100th edition opens September 16th at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts.   

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Eugene Cassidy, the CEO of the Big E.

       Drivers using Massachusetts-issued E-ZPass transponders will get a small discount when all-electronic tolling begins later this year on the state turnpike.

wind turbines
WAMC/Pat Bradley

A new center is being formed in Vermont to study the sound impact industrial wind turbines have on the surrounding area.  But an advocacy group claims such studies would be biased, pointing to the sponsoring group’s anti-wind stance.

A bicycle sharing station

      Federal funding has been approved and if all goes according to plan a bike sharing program will debut next summer in four municipalities in western Massachusetts. 

     The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission is coordinating the project. 

     WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with chief planner Christopher Curtis.

Senator Bernie Sanders at Our Revolution launch
WAMC/Pat Bradley

When he withdrew from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders promised supporters that his movement was only beginning. Last night, Sanders launched “Our Revolution,” the organization and plan to continue his political revolution.  

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, right, with Berkshire Mountain Distillers CEO Chris Weld in Sheffield.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker this week marked a milestone in the construction of a Springfield factory designed to build rail cars for Boston’s transit system. But, the Republican says his administration is also reviewing rail expansion options in western Massachusetts.


        Work is ahead of schedule on a major highway project that has caused traffic tie-ups from time to time in western Massachusetts.