New England News

Vermont State Police

The Vermont Public Safety commissioner is ordering a review of training processes in the aftermath of the death of a state trooper who was trying out for the Tactical Services Unit.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Voters in Pittsfield, Massachusetts Tuesday will decide which two mayoral candidates they want to send to November’s general election.

City Clerk Linda Tyer, Donna Walto and Craig Gaetani are challenging two-term incumbent Mayor Dan Bianchi. Bianchi is facing the three challengers after breezing to an uncontested reelection in 2013. With crime and poverty a major issue in the race, Bianchi points to a new innovation center and high school as a path forward.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Voters in North Adams, Massachusetts have three mayoral candidates to choose from in Tuesday’s preliminary election – two of whom have held the city.

Former mayor John Barrett and businessman Eric Rudd are challenging three-term incumbent Mayor Richard Alcombright who ended Barrett’s 26-year run in 2009. Alcombright says his reasons for seeking reelection go back to that initial decision to run.

“Fiscal integrity, transparency and really opening up government for folks in the community,” explained Alcombright.

New regulations governing the sale of electronic cigarettes in Massachusetts take effect this coming week.

Payments a western Massachusetts city owes its future retirees is the topic of a special meeting Monday.

Springfield City Council President Mike Fenton said the city’s municipal pension account is the most underfunded of any in the state.  He said it the reason he voted against this year’s city budget.

"Budget decisions we make today in 2015 will have ramifications on future generations if we don't tackle the elephant in the room, which are unfunded liabilities," said Fenton.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate held steady last month at 3.6 percent.

Tribal leaders say the Mashpee Wampanoag will begin construction of a $500 million resort casino in Taunton next spring.

The Iran Nuclear Agreement continues to be hotly debated in this country.  Laura Reed, a visiting professor at UMass Amherst, who is an expert in arms control and international security, spoke about the deal earlier this week at the World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill talked with Dr. Reed.

Federal officials have rejected a southern Vermont town's request for a reimbursement of millions of dollars spent repairing damages caused by Tropical Storm Irene.

The spiritual leader of Catholics in western Massachusetts believes the U.S. visit by Pope Francis will have significance for non-Catholics.

Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski said the pope’s appearances will energize Catholics in the United States.

" For those who are non-believers, I hope the Holy Father's visit will  be for them a message of hope and unity and showing we have more in common than what divides us," said Rozanski.