North Adams, MA – Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's announcement that he wants to expand charter schools around the state was immediately met with sharp criticism. The news comes as Berkshire County's only charter school prepares to open in the fall amid lingering criticism. School officials are in the midst of knocking on doors to explain more about the charter school to local parents. WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Kelly Wilkinson has more.
Buchanan, NY – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is creating an office in the name of emergency preparedness. A staunch opponent of one of the NRC's charges - Indian Point -- says the change is a mask for an underlying problem. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne filed this report.
Plattsburgh, NY – New York's Clean Indoor Air Act went into effect 6 months ago. The Adirondack Tobacco Free Network Coalition covers Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Warren Washington and Saratoga counties. The group has released the results of a survey that they say counters the perception that bars and restaurants are losing business due to the smoking ban. North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more.
Pittsfield, MA – A grassroots group that challenged politics as usual in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is being recognized by a statewide organization this weekend. The group called WHEN, or Women Helping Empower Neighborhoods, first focused on bringing more women to what had been an all-male city council. Now they're working to bring about wider changes in the city. More from WAMC's Kelly Wilkinson.
Plattsburgh, NY – Governor Pataki's state budget address outlined his environmental initiatives for the coming year. Environmental groups are giving it a lukewarm reception. North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports.
Washington DC – Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy proposed health care for all Americans today. In a speech to health care advocates, he said he'll propose legislation that would mean all citizens would be covered at a cost of $100 billion a year. The proposal is a direct challenge to recent health care proposals from President Bush. More from WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Kelly Wilkinson.
Plattsburgh, NY – In the State of the Union Address, the President criticized judges' decisions forcing state legislatures to re-define marriage laws to include gay and lesbian couples. Reaction in Vermont - with the nation's only "civil union" statute - and New York's North Country is as mixed as the debate was over civil unions. North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has more.
Boiceville,NY – The second hearing on the proposed Belleayre Resort for the Catskills took place last night in Ulster County. The majority of voices were those in opposition to the project. Many booed and hissed as the developer tried to address the standing-room only crowd. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne was at last night's hearing in the Town of Boiceville.
Springfield, MA – A homeless man died in Springfield, Massachusetts last week when temperatures dropped below zero. The death prompted a coalition of city officials and homeless advocates to form, who met for the first time yesterday. The group hopes to improve how the city deals with homelessness . More from WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Kelly Wilkinson.
Albany, NY – New York Governor George Pataki is calling for an expansion of gambling to fund education in the state, and to meet a court-ordered change in the funding formula for public schools. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.