Montpelier, VT – The New England Zero Mercury Campaign on Tuesday revealed that a number of toys and novelty items being sold in stores contain small batteries containing mercury. While their presentation pointed out that the so-called "button-batteries" are illegal in several states in the region, the group is using the situation to launch a larger campaign to rid New England of mercury contamination. WAMC's North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more.
Poughkeepsie, NY – Teachers are back in their classrooms at Catholic High Schools in New York City and the Hudson Valley today after staging a sickout yesterday in protest of a contract offer from the Archdiocese of New York. An increase in salary and health-care contributions are the main reasons for the delay in negotiations. More from WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.
Boston, MA – A new report is highly critical of Massachusetts' level of preparedness in the event of a bioterrorism attack. Officials from the state Department of Public Health disagree. But public health advocates say the most important point is not where the state ranks, but how budget cuts have affected the department's ability to keep people healthy. More from WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Kelly Wilkinson.
Springfield, MA – Federal agents are investigating government corruption in Springfield, Massachusetts. Meanwhile, the city's budget shortfall is forcing Springfield schools to lay off hundreds of teachers. WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Eesha Williams took a look at how Springfield's financial problems got to be so bad.
Monticello, NY – County-level workers along with local legislators say they were surprised to learn that toll-free calls to a New York State government helpline are routed outside the country. They say the problem is twofold - that some who call for help cannot always understand those on the other end of the line, and that the jobs should stay in the state. Area legislators are looking into the matter. More from WAMC's Allison Dunne.
Pittsfield, MA – As with elsewhere across the country, Berkshire County is in the process of developing a plan that details what natural disaster risks exist in the area. As WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Kelly Wilkinson reports, Western Massachusetts is a priority area for the state.
Albany, NY – A coalition of environmental groups is calling on Governor Pataki to enhance funding to the state's Environmental Protection Fund. The groups say funding has stagnated over the years and the Governor needs to place a renewed priority on the fund in his Executive Budget. WAMC's North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more.
Hartford, CT – With Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman's name circulating as a possible nominee to head the U-S Deparment of Homeland Security, such a scenario would allow Governor Jodi Rell to choose a fellow Republican to replace him. WAMC's Connecticut Correspondent Av Harris reports.