New England News

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Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is asking federal officials to forgive loans for 4,400 students who attended a for-profit college that admitted to misleading students.

   Emergency funds are being offered to help western Massachusetts farmers whose crops of fruits were damaged in last February’s extreme cold snap.

   Many peach growers in the region lost their entire crop and other fruits, such as plums, were damaged, according to Phil Korman, executive director of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, the organization that administers the disaster-recovery fund.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
Paul Tuthill / WAMC

Republican Governor Charlie Baker has signed a bill bringing Massachusetts into compliance with new federal requirements for driver's licenses and other identification cards.

WAMC

     Springfield, Massachusetts was the site today for a good-natured election-themed promotion for the national release of a new children’s book.

Bernie Sanders
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took the stage of the Democratic National Convention Monday, closing an historic long-shot campaign for the White House. Vermont’s delegates had an emotional evening as their home-state champion urged unity behind Hillary Clinton.

Pixabay

An analysis by The Associated Press finds that while women in the U.S. remain significantly underrepresented at all levels of elected office Vermont stands out for its state Legislature, Maine for longevity and New Hampshire for women in all levels of government.

Barre suspicious package
Vermont State Police

Officials in Barre, Vermont have determined that a suspicious package was not dangerous.

South Burlington City Hall
Superbug2399/Wikipedia

South Burlington's emergency staff say they need a communications equipment upgrade, but City Council members and taxpayers are unsettled by the $1.9 million price tag.

WAMC

    A federally-funded study estimates it would cost $1.2 billion to add more frequent high-speed passenger rail service linking Boston, Springfield, Montreal and New Haven.  Advocates say the benefits to the region justify the large expense.

Asian Tiger Mosquito
wikipedia commons

With cases of Zika reported in nearly every U.S. state, Connecticut officials are rolling out a detection program for the virus that’s been linked to birth defects.

Massachusetts State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier
Facebook: Tricia Farley-Bouvier

The Democratic National Convention is under way today and a number of area politicians are in Philadelphia for the four-day event. It’s gotten off to a shaky start as Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has announced her resignation after leaked emails detailed an apparent bias against presidential hopeful and Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

     Voters in three Massachusetts cities this November will decide whether to authorize a property tax surcharge to finance a local fund that could pay for historic preservation projects, protecting open space, and building affordable housing.

Dairy cow
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The National Agricultural Statistics Service monthly report on milk production shows that while production is up in Vermont, prices to farmers are down.

MGMSpringfield

   The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has approved the request of a western Massachusetts town for more money to help cope with anticipated traffic from the MGM Springfield casino.

State officials say the man responsible for promoting economic development projects in Vermont through the federal EB-5 program has resigned from his position.

Rutland, VT
Doug Kerr-Dougtone/Flickr

Rutland's Board of Aldermen has voted to launch an investigation into whether Mayor Christopher Louras broke any laws when he proposed that the Vermont city become a refugee resettlement site.

The Massachusetts Legislature is holding a rare formal session Saturday.

BasicGov, flickr

   The Massachusetts legislature is considering a bill that would allow cities to require banks to pay for the upkeep on foreclosed properties.  It is an effort to revive local laws that were struck down in court.

   In the midst of the foreclosure crisis in 2011, the Springfield City Council approved two anti-foreclosure ordinances.  One required banks to post a $10,000 bond with each foreclosure. The city could use this money to maintain foreclosed properties if the banks failed to do so.

The Springfield Sting logo in front of City Hall
WAMC

    The American Basketball Association (ABA) is bringing a team to the birthplace of the game.

SABIC's Bob Basila Senior Director for Procurement for the Americas Region presents Berkshire United Way CEO Kristine Hazzard with a plaque commemorating the company's $1 million endowment gift at SABIC's Plastics Avenue facility in Pittsfield, Mass.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

SABIC, a major employer in the Berkshires, announced a $1 million endowment for the Berkshire United Way today ahead of the company’s exit from Pittsfield.

A delegation from western Massachusetts is scheduled to depart later today for Poland to attend the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day.  

Artist Stacey Healey paints a utility box on North Street in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

There is an effort under way in Pittsfield to beautify what some may consider necessary nuisances — large utility boxes. The inaugural Pittsfield Paintbox Project aims to spruce up the nine hulking gray boxes with colorful images and discourage vandalism downtown.

A complaint to the Democratic National Convention says two male Vermont delegates were replaced by women in the name of "gender balance" and without adequate due process.

Moran Plant from south
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Burlington’s mayor and the developer of an old electric generating facility on the city’s waterfront have agreed to cancel a development agreement.  But the New Moran Inc. is being given a final chance to present a feasible project even as the mayor begins to assess other potential developers or destruction of the building.

WAMC

Dozens of members of Congress have requested a federal probe into the business practices of the Chinese rail car company that is building a factory in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announces a crackdown on illegal sales of assault weapons Wednesday.
Twitter: @MassAGO

In the wake of recent shootings across the nation, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Wednesday announced a crackdown on what she says are illegal sales of assault weapons.

A tee shirt with Catholic youth Day Logo
Diocese of Springfield

A group of almost 50 young people from western Massachusetts leaves Friday to attend the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day in Poland.

St. Mary the Morning Star Church on Tyler St. in Pittsfield, Mass. has been closed since 2008.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Pittsfield Zoning Board of Appeals has denied a variance for a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant at the site of a shuttered church.

Environment Massachusetts State Director Ben Hellerstein joins Pittsfield’s Open Space and Natural Resource Manager Jim McGrath Wednesday at Pittsfield City Hall.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

A statewide environmental group has recognized a number of western Massachusetts cities as clean energy leaders. Environment Massachusetts is recognizing about 15 communities for leading the way toward 100 percent renewable energy.

Scott Milne
milneforvermont.org

The Pomfret businessman who almost beat the incumbent Vermont governor two years ago is heading into an even bigger race this season, hoping to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy.

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