New England News

This is a picture of internet cables
wikipedia commons

Three “Last Mile” towns in Western Massachusetts are one step closer to reliable broadband internet. 

Burlington High School
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Community forums are being held in Burlington over the next two weeks to discuss the future of the high school campus.

Goddard College Clockhouse
Wikipedia

A Vermont college has broken ground on a large woodchip boiler plant that is expected to cut the school's energy costs in half and transition it away from oil-burning furnaces.

Former Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell
WAMC/Pat Bradley

A retired Vermont Attorney general testified in a public records case Monday.  But the attorney for a group seeking access to public records that could be contained in the private email account of former Attorney General William Sorrell says Sorrell refused to answer 95 percent of the questions posed to him.

WAMC

With ongoing efforts by the Trump administration to undermine the Affordable Care Act, the Massachusetts Health Connector has launched a campaign to promote the upcoming three-month open enrollment period.

WAMC

The $95 million restoration of Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts has won an award for historic preservation.

Vermont Health Connect logo
Vermont Health Connect

Vermonters who want to sign up for a health insurance plan for next year through the state's online exchange or existing subscribers who want to change to a different plan can do so starting next month.

This is a map of Massachusetts highlighting the town of Lenox.
wikipedia commons

A settlement has been reached in Berkshire Superior Court that will allow for the development of a residential recovery center for women with eating disorders in Lenox, Massachusetts. 

A public hearing is scheduled Tuesday at the Massachusetts State House on a bill to authorize a feasibility study of building a high-speed rail line between Springfield and Boston.

Vermont Supreme Court building, Montpelier
Geared Bull/Wikipedia

The Vermont Supreme Court says the state's public records law can extend to the private email accounts of state employees if those messages otherwise meet the state's definition of a public record.

     Plans to redevelop the historic Paramount Theater in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts have received a financial boost. 

Facebook: Berkshire Museum

A law firm has filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield on behalf of the three sons of Norman Rockwell. 

JD Allen / WAMC

Berkshire County is still waiting on anticipated state aid to advance the nascent Berkshire Innovation Center. 

   Western Massachusetts is seeing an almost daily influx of families fleeing hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

JD Allen / WAMC

The economic development agency 1Berkshire has concluded a nearly three-year report on how to address the rapidly declining population in Berkshire County. 

JD Allen / WAMC

The opioid crisis has required involvement from educators, parents, law enforcement and young people, with addiction touching people from all walks of life. And now, many religious congregations find themselves responding in Berkshire County.  Clergy are being trained on how to use Naloxone.

WAMC

     A church in Amherst has become the first in western Massachusetts to shelter someone facing imminent deportation.

Pixabay/Public Domain

The 2010 Supreme Court decision commonly referred to as Citizens United  protected corporate rights to campaign spending.  Now, there is a national effort to pass a constitutional amendment that would overturn that decision and address the influence of money in politics.  Organizers in Massachusetts are beginning to gather signatures to place the amendment on the ballot, and Vermonter Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s fame is helping.

classroom
en.wikipedia.org

A new vote to consider approving renovations at an elementary school in Clarksburg, Massachusetts has been set for November. 

A new vote to consider approving renovations at an elementary school in Clarksburg, Massachusetts has been set for November. 

Senator Angus King (left) and Senator Bernie Sanders
U.S. Senate

Maine Senator Angus King says he's not interested in a potential request that he join the Democratic Party. The offer has also been extended to Vermont’s Independent Senator.

This is a map highlighting Great Barrington, Massachusetts
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Great Barrington, Massachusetts is once again eyeing the former Housatonic School for redevelopment – this time for housing.

Lake Champlain
WAMC Photo by Pat Bradley

Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources Secretary wants to fund water quality improvements from the state's capital bill, money usually used to pay for large construction projects.

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Massachusetts’ Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture held a hearing Tuesday on the dangers of underground storage tanks. 

WAMC

A church in Amherst has become the first in western Massachusetts to shelter someone facing imminent deportation.

Infrastructure work near downtown Burlington 10-6-17
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Burlington, Vermont is wrapping up the first construction season under the city’s Sustainable Infrastructure Plan. In November 2016 voters approved $25.5 million in general obligation bonds to fund the five-year infrastructure project. The plan includes the repair or replacement of streets and sidewalks, aging fire trucks, the bike path, water systems and other infrastructure resources. Mayor Miro Weinberger says substantial work has been done and the city is on target to meet its goals.

en.wikipedia.org

The state Senate has concluded a yearlong study to find short and long term policy goals to address rising healthcare costs and consumer protections in Massachusetts. Healthcare makes up 40 percent of the state’s budget. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen spoke with State Senator Adam Hinds, a Pittsfield Democrat, about what he calls a common-sense healthcare reform bill for rural Massachusetts.

This is a picture of Pittsfield Mayor-Elect Linda Tyer.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Massachusetts state Senate is discussing whether to restore funding for the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, which was cut by 30 percent in this year’s budget. What’s left is a $4.75 million gap in youth services statewide. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief JD Allen sat down with Mayor Linda Tyer, who says it’s vital for young people in communities like Pittsfield who need all the help they can get.  

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The Baker administration has nominated two Associate Justices to serve in western Massachusetts. 

farm produce
US Department of Agriculture

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has been awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for its Berkshire Market Collective project. 

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