New England News

         Criminal justice reforms are expected to be debated in the Massachusetts legislature during the two-year session that began this month.  Already, one bill has been filed at the request of a mayor who says rules about bail need to change to keep violent criminals off the streets.

This is a picture of Adam Hinds
Jim Levulis / WAMC

State Senator Adam Hinds began his two-year term representing western Massachusetts earlier this month. He has taken over for fellow Democrat Ben Downing, who retired after a decade in office. 

 Police chiefs meet with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to discuss work on reducing the use of force in American policing.
Chief Brandon del Pozo

Burlington, Vermont Police Chief Brandon del Pozo was in Wisconsin on Monday. He and five other police chiefs from across the U.S. met with House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss new training guidelines issued by the Police Executive Research Forum that are aimed at reducing the use of force.   Chief del Pozo explains that the Burlington department became involved after a fatal encounter in the city last year.

wikipedia commons

       Massachusetts Health Quality Partners today reported the results of its latest statewide patient experience survey.

A former top federal prosecutor for Vermont who is the state's new commissioner of the Department of Public Safety says he expects the state's opiate epidemic will be a top priority of his office.

Lake Champlain (file photo)
WAMC Photo by Pat Bradley

Vermont Governor Phil Scott says the state remains committed to seeing Lake Champlain cleaned up, even though the total estimated price tag over the next 20 years could exceed $1 billion.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has issued three executive orders to restructure parts of state government.  The new Republican governor says the new agencies are designed to improve administrative functions, expand the economy and make the state more affordable.

WAMC

For the first time in five years, Massachusetts is offering financial help to build new public libraries.  Demand for the money is expected to be high.

Hampden County Sheriff Dept

   A western Massachusetts jail was put on lockdown and searched from top to bottom Tuesday at the direction of the new Hampden County Sheriff. 

Congressman John Lewis
https://johnlewis.house.gov/

The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams announced today that Congressman John Lewis will be the keynote speaker for the school’s commencement in May. 

smokestacks
Dori/Wikimedia Commons

A new report argues the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has positively impacted the health of residents across the Northeast.

Lake Champlain (file photo)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont's state treasurer says property owners could be on the hook for $25 million a year for a water cleanup initiative.

Vermont snowplow plowing country road in winter in Woodstock
Mark Goebel/Flickr

Vermont has a new way to help drivers in winter that tell them where snow plows have been.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A Vermont legislative committee will hold a public hearing on the governor's budget adjustment proposal.

A rendering shows the view at night of the 9/11 memorial planned in Riverfront Park in Springfield, Ma.
Spirit of Springfield

After years of delay and false starts, plans have been unveiled in Springfield, Massachusetts for a permanent 9/11 memorial that will include a piece of steel from the destroyed World Trade Center.

WAMC

       A developer is being sought to purchase and restore one of the most unique buildings in western Massachusetts.  Historic preservationists are offering a financial incentive from a pot of casino money.

Boston's archbishop has been appointed to a top Vatican office that handles cases of clergy sex abuse.

ZaldyImg/Flickr

A Vermont HIV/AIDS advocacy group has implemented another needle-exchange program to help citizens.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

One week after taking office, Vermont Governor Phil Scott held a press conference this morning to discuss the sale of his interest in a business that contracts with the state.

WAMC

    A weekend of events commemorating the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. 90 years ago is under way in Springfield, Massachusetts.

AFSC

        The American Friends Service Committee of western Massachusetts will hold its 33rd Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration Monday in Northampton.

Downtown North Adams, Massachusetts
wikipedia.org

North Adams, Massachusetts is the focus this week of an organization committed to small businesses in small communities. Members of the Deluxe Small Business Revolution on Main Street are touring North Adams. They are gathering input to see if businesses in the western Massachusetts city deserve a half-million dollar award. 

WAMC

      Developers are being sought to buy and restore one of the most unusual buildings in western Massachusetts.

Supporters of a proposal to require background checks on all gun purchases in Vermont say they hope 2017 will be the year that the Legislature passes the legislation.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott says he has sold his share of a construction company and that he financed the $2.5 million deal.

Little Brown Bat with White Nose Syndrome in Greeley Mine, VT
VT Fish and Wildlife

The little brown bat, a species that has been decimated by a deadly fungus, could be showing the first tentative steps to recovery.

Pixabay/Public Domain

A new report shows a significant increase in the number of Vermont children in protective state custody, such as foster care, in large part due to the opiate epidemic.

Holyoke Community College

       A community college in western Massachusetts welcomed a new president this week. 

       Christina Royal is just the fourth president in the 70-year history of Holyoke Community College. She is the first woman to hold the office.  

       Royal spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

Professor Stephanie Seguino presents racial bias report
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Researchers at the University of Vermont have released the results of the first ever statewide study on racial profiling by Vermont police.

Holyoke Community College

     A community college in western Massachusetts welcomed a new president this week.

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