New England News


Faculty and staff members at UMass Amherst protested Wednesday over promised pay raises.

About a dozen people picketed outside the Mullins Center where UMass trustees met. The union representing professors previously filed an unfair labor practices complaint demanding UMass honor cost of living pay increases negotiated in a contract that took effect ten months ago.

Music professor Eric Berlin, speaking at the meeting said every other unionized state employee has received a raise.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Massachusetts secretary of health and human services joined members of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition for the nonprofit’s annual meeting in Williamstown this afternoon. The secretary gave a rundown of the decisions she’s made since taking office in January.


The cost of attending the University of Massachusetts will go up next year by hundreds of dollars. University officials approved contingency tuition and fee hikes today with the final increases to be determined once the Massachusetts state budget is finalized.

The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees, meeting Wednesday on the flagship Amherst campus, voted to hike mandatory student charges by an average of 7 percent. The exact charges vary by campus.  The fee hike for undergraduates at UMass Amherst totals $913.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

The community group intent on saving a shuttered church in Pittsfield continues to develop possible ideas for reusing the steeple.

Lake Champlain International

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin used two locations overlooking Lake Champlain to sign the state’s new water quality bill today.

The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Wednesday is expected to give final approval to a hike in tuition and fees.

    The increase in mandatory charges for undergraduate students in the UMass system would be the first in three years.  The amount of the increase depends on the campus, and also how much money the legislature appropriates for the university in the next state budget. 

    At the flagship Amherst campus tuition and fees could go up by $913. 


A veteran police captain and published author has been nominated by the mayor of Northampton to be the city’s next police chief.  Jody Kasper would be the department’s first female chief.

Mayor David Narkewicz Tuesday announced his choice of Kasper, a 19-year veteran of the department and current Captain of Operations, to be the next chief.  The appointment is subject to confirmation by the City Council, but she appears to be an overwhelming favorite to lead the 65-person force.

  "This  is a department and a city that I love very much," said Kasper.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

A state audit suggests the Massachusetts Medicaid program squandered more than $500 million through unnecessary payments or missed savings opportunities in its managed care program.


The third-largest city in Massachusetts will have a balanced budget in place when the new fiscal year arrives July 1st.  The Springfield City Council Monday night adopted intact the budget proposed by Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

The community group intent on saving a shuttered Pittsfield church once slated for demolition is hosting a panel discussion Tuesday featuring the head of a national group that focuses on repurposing former places of worship.