WFCR Public NewsRoom Archive

Historians and Family Mull Revelations in Rosenberg Spy Case (2008-09-24)
For days, western massachusetts residents Michael and Robert Meeropol have been wading through newly released secret-grand-jury testimony, and they've been thinking about their parents' last words to them -- "always remember we were innocent and could not wrong our conscience." Their parents were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted and executed in 1953 for passing atomic secrets to the soviet union...

CT Municipalities on budget alert (2008-09-24)
Facing a state budget deficit now double earlier estimates, Connecticut town and city officials are worried they'll take the hit. This comes as two of Connecticut's biggest cities have announced dozens of layoffs.

MA secreatry of education looks to potential budget cuts (2008-09-24)
Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville says he is spending most of his time looking at what he might have to cut from the current operating budget if state revenues go into a free fall because of the economic crisis.

Son reacts to new revelations about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (2008-09-23)
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's sons, who live in western Massachusetts, are responding to a series of revelations about their parents -- who were convicted by the US government of passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. They were executed in 1953. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Rosenberg grand jury testimony released, sheds new light for family and historians (2008-09-23)
Michael Meerepol reacts to new information realeased by the US government, about his parents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg,who were convicted of passing secrets about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union, and were executed in 1953.

Republican Nathan Bech's run for MA 1st Congressional District (2008-09-22)
Nathan Bech, a West Springfield native is half the age of incumbent Congressman John Olver. He's a veteran of the Iraq war. He says he's running to shake things up in Washington.

MA Union Leader Says Racism Still a Factor in November's Election (2008-09-18)
Some people won't vote for Barack Obama in the presidential elections because he's black. And Robert Haynes has heard plenty of talk like this, in coffee shops, from coworkers, and word of mouth.

Bush Releases Funds for Fuel Assistance, But More May Be Needed (2008-09-18)
The Bush Administration is releasing 121 million dollars in emergency relief funds to help low-income people keep their homes warm this winter. But as WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, it may not be enough.

VT Yankee Finds More Problems in Cooling Tower (2008-09-18)
Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is still operating at reduced power, after inspections turned up more problems in one of the plant's cooling towers. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Wall Street's Woes Come Home to Western Mass (2008-09-17)
It's been quite a few days for Wall Street, and the tumult will likely be felt by many in the region...

MA primary results - Nov. 4 next stop for Kerry and Olver (2008-09-16)
With only one statewide election Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin predicted a low voter turnout in the state primary. But while some contests garnered predictable results not all the outcomes favored incumbants.

The race for Springfield's 11th Hampden District (2008-09-16)
With no Republicans in the running, the 2008 Massachusetts Democratic Primary will decide who represents Springfield's 11th Hampden District.

David Foster Wallace made an impression at Amherst (2008-09-16)
Most readers know the late David Foster Wallace for his essays and his 1000 page novel "Infinite Jest". But in the late 1980s, he was a student and teacher at Amherst College, where he wrote his first book.

Land Trusts Merge Ecological and Economic Goals (2008-09-15)
For a long time, a lot of land trusts managed their properties as preserves, allowing nature study and passive recreation, but not much else. Now, many have begun re-evaluating this approach. They've started merging ecological goals with economic ones, as naturalist Laurie Sanders explains on this week's Field Notes.

Former General Electric CEO Talks Wall Street in Amherst (2008-09-15)
Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch was in Amherst, Massachusetts Monday... He shared some thoughts on the recent upheaval in the financial sector. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Democrats vie for Second Hampden District seat (2008-09-15)
In tomorrow's primary, Democrats Kateri Walsh and Brian Ashe are running for Massachusetts' Second Hampden District seat, where current Republican State Reprentative Mary Rogeness is not seeking a tenth term.The district includes Longmeadow, Monson, Hampden, and two precincts each in East Longmeadow and Springfield. WFCR's Susan Kaplan reports.

The race for Massachusetts 1st Congressional District -- Robert Feuer (2008-09-14)
Not too long ago, Stockbridge, MA, attorney Robert Feuer was involved in an effort that asked voters at town meetings to impeach U.S. President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Twenty town meetings in western Massachusetts voted to do so. Congressman John Olver refused to consider the idea and Feuer says that led to his decision to challenge the long-time democrat.

The race for Massachusetts 1st Congressional District -- John Olver (2008-09-14)
John Olver was first elected to Congress in 1991. He represents 107 Massachusetts communities and is seeking another term. He's being challenged in the MA primary by Robert Feuer of Stockbridge.

The value of a life lost on 9/11 (2008-09-14)
Just days after the attacks of September 11th, 2001, Congress passed a law creating a $7-billion compensation fund for the families of those killed or injured in the attacks. A few weeks later, UMASS Amherst alum Kenneth Feinberg, a DC lawyer who specializes in mediation, was named director of the fund. Feinberg spoke to WFCR's Bob Paquette about the formidable job he took on 7 years ago.

CT asks Feds to alter flight paths (2008-09-14)
The state of Connecticut has asked a federal court to halt a plan to change the flight paths of planes landing at NY airports.

The week ahead in MA politics -- 9/15/08 (2008-09-14)
The big political story in Massachusetts this week is Tuesday's primary. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports from Beacon Hill on the week ahead.

Hoop Hall reconsiders athletes and coaches from black colleges during U.S. era of segregation (2008-09-12)
Basketball Hall of Fame executives are looking back in time, with prompting from athletic associations around the country.

Calling all songwriters along the river! (2008-09-12)
The 11,000 square miles of the Connecticut river have inspired many. Now, a songwriting contest is in the works to give it an official anthem.

Mordecai Gerstein's Towers (2008-09-11)
On the 7th anniversary of 9-11, a look back at 1974, when French artist Phillipe Petit walked between the World Trade Center Twin Towers on a tight-rope. Westhampton resident Mordecai Gerstein captured this moment in his Caldecott award winning children's book "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers".

Biden makes an appearance in western MA (2008-09-11)
Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden made a swing through Massachusetts Wednesday, with fundraisers in Boston and Holyoke. WFCR's Tina Antolini has this brief.

Democratic VP candidate Sweeps through western MA (2008-09-11)
Trying to shore up campaign funds, Deleware Senator (D) Joseph Biden was the center of attention at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, MA, last night. Those who showed up to get a glimpse of the VP candidate barely did, but others, who were inspired to get out their wallets, got word from Biden to also get out the vote.

EPA criticizes General Electric's Housatonic cleanup plan (2008-09-10)
The Environmental Protection Agency is criticizing a plan by General Electric to clean up a stretch of the Housatonic river south of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Mass. Port Authority dedicates 9/11 memorial at Logan Airport (2008-09-10)
The two American Airlines planes that hit the World Trade Center towers seven years ago this week took off from Boston's Logan Airport on the morning of September 11th. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Port Authority officially dedicated a memorial to the victims aboard those flights. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Question 1 supporters report fewer funds than opponents (2008-09-10)
Supporters of a ballot question that would eliminate the state income tax reported having just under $25,000 in the bank heading into the final push before election day. That's compared with the more than $1.3 million that the Coalition for Our Communities, which opposes the question, had on hand.

Democratic VP candidate comes to western Mass (2008-09-10)
Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joseph Biden is coming to western Massachusetts on Wednesday for a fundraising event - a rare appearance by a member of a national ticket in an uncontested state. WFCR's Tina Antolini has this preview.

Save the Whale Savers (2008-09-10)
The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies is an organization that, among other tasks, helps free whales trapped by industrial fishing equipment. A budget shortfall may put an end to their work and leave Atlantic whales at risk. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

D.A.s fight MA Ballot Question on Marijuana (2008-09-09)
Massachusetts' Attorney General Martha Coakley and all of the state's eleven district attorneys are contributing money to fight a ballot question that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Business Groups Could Sue Over Change to Health Reform Law (2008-09-08)
A proposed change to rules in Massachusetts' health reform law could lead to a lawsuit, if it goes through. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Novi Svet -- a new local Russian language newspaper (2008-09-08)
Russians living in western Massachusetts will now be able to get news about the strife in their homeland, in Russian. A new newspaper called Novi Svet, or New Light has just started publication.

Going Trayless (2008-09-08)
More and more colleges are creating trayless cafeterias. There's reportedly less food waste among students, and energy cost savings. A good idea for these times, but can it work in action?

It's Down! It's Up! It's Down! The Crude Oil Market (2008-09-08)
The drop in the price of crude oil has had an impact for drivers -- and for those who heat their homes with oil. Since July, the average price of heating oil in Massachusetts is down more than $.60 a gallon, to $4.04 and -- with oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico unscathed by Hurricane Gustav -- that downward trend could continue, for awhile. But future heating oil prices will be hard to gauge.

Basketball Hall of Fame Inducts Class of 2008 (2008-09-05)
The Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts has enshrined its seven newest members, including several NBA superstars. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Jane Swift on MCain-Palin Ticket (2008-09-04)
Former acting Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift is championing the McCain-Palin ticket. Swift spoke with WFCR's Susan Kaplan from Minneapolis at the Republican National Convention.

Forum Focuses on "Crisis" of Home Heating Costs (2008-09-02)
Despite the summery weather, some Massachusetts lawmakers this week are talking about the cold weather ahead. State Representative Dan Bosley of North Adams says there is a crisis brewing in the region, with high energy prices this winter expected to put a strain on many household budgets. Bosley is hosting a public forum Wednesday, focusing on assistance and energy conservation.

Bosley to Hold Forum On "Crisis" of Home Heating Costs (2008-09-02)
Regardless of the the summery weather, some Massachusetts lawmakers this week are talking about below freezing temperatures, and high home heating costs. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Home Prices, Dramatic Drop (2008-08-28)
Home prices in MA dropped dramatically in July, according to several new reports from The Warren group, a boston-based publisher of real estate data, and the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. Both found a double-digit decline in the median price of single family homes between this July and a year ago.

Western Mass Students Attend DNC in Denver (2008-08-25)
A number of Democratic Delegates from Western Massachusetts are heading to Denver this week for the party's national convention. So are many students, including a group from Westfield State College. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Veteran Publishes Book Exploring Iraq War (2008-08-25)
Tyler Boudreau is angry about the war in Iraq. But he's not your typical anti-war activist. For more than a decade, the Leeds, Massachusetts-resident served as a U.S. Marine. This fall, he'll publish a book exploring his experience at war, and his disillusionment. It began as a blog called "Deeper Than War." WFCR's Tina Antolini has this profile.

Massachusetts Dems Head to Denver (2008-08-25)
Most of Massachusetts' Democratic political establishment will be in Denver this week for their national convention. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

New Federal Courthouse in Springfield Opens (2008-08-25)
The new federal courthouse in Springfield, Massachusetts opens Monday, after four years of construction. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Granby Festival Celebrates Tomatoes (2008-08-22)
With this week's string of sunny days, there should be a good harvest on display at Saturday's Tomato Festival in Granby, Massachusetts. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Hampden and Hampshire Counties Lack Mosquito Control Boards (2008-08-22)
Earlier this week , the first West Nile Virus-infected mosquito was discovered in Northampton, Massachusetts in as long as anyone remembers. Health officials have also found infected mosquitos in the Chicopee and Springfield areas. But neither Hampden nor Hampshire counties, which cover these cities and towns, have a mosquito control board. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Ware Anticipates Budget Shortfall (2008-08-21)
In a sign of increasing economic instability, the town of Ware, Massachusetts is already trying to address a projected 2 million dollar budget shortfall for the fiscal year that starts next July. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

World Premier Theatre Reviews (2008-08-21)
Theater critic Chris Rohman reviews 2 new plays debuting in western Massachusetts: Tilted House at the Chester Theater Company & The Goatwoman of Corvis County at Shakespeare & Company.

Theater Brings Economic Power to Ashfield (2008-08-20)
The tiny hilltown of Ashfield in Massachusetts' rural Franklin County used to be home to 30 dairy farms-- now there are just 3. But there's a different economic engine traversing some of those fields where cattle once grazed... A theater.

Shelter Looks to Create Permanent Housing for Homeless Veterans (2008-08-20)
A Massachusetts-based shelter for homeless veterans is looking to create permanent housing for its clients. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

The Forecast for Area Arthouse Cinemas (2008-08-19)
Last year, the Pleasant Street Theater, an independent cinema in Northampton, Massachusetts was saved by a fundraising campaign. It's now the second theater run by the Amherst Cinema Arts Center . WFCR's Karen Brown reports on how they're both doing, and what the venture says about independent theaters today.

Worthington Mother Collects Items for Soldiers in Iraq (2008-08-18)
In a spare room in the basement of Louise Finn's home in Worthington, Massachusetts, there are piles of boxes, collections of snack foods, toothpaste, shampoo and other personal care items... She's not hoarding them. They're for soldiers fighting in Iraq.

With Wet Summer, MA's Tomato Crop Suffers (2008-08-18)
Massachusetts' 24th annual tomato contest will be held in Boston today by the Department of Agricultural Resources... But for many farmers in the state, this year's tomato crop has been damaged by day upon day of wet weather and severe thunderstorms. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

South Hadley and Granby Advised to Boil Water (2008-08-14)
Officials in South Hadley, Massachusetts say a water boiling advisory for parts of their town and Granby could remain in place through Saturday. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Affordable Housing Developers Think "Green" (2008-08-14)
Affordable housing developers from across the country gathered in Holyoke, Massachusetts this week. As WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, they were learning how to incorporate "green" building practices into homes for low-income families.

The Transgender Community in Western New England: Part Three (2008-08-14)
In the final part of our series on the region's transgender community, WFCR's Tina Antolini reports on the debate over transgender anti-discrimination laws, and why advocates think they stalled in the MA legislature.

The Transgender Community in Western New England: Part Two (2008-08-13)
From his earliest memory, one Pioneer Valley resident knew he wasn't in the right body. This is part two in WFCR's series on the transgender community in Western New England.

The Transgender Community in Western Massachusetts: Part One (2008-08-12)
When you look at someone, a stranger at the library, on the street, what's the first thing you notice? Often, it's their gender. For some people, though, gender isn't so easily divided into one category or the other. This week WFCR's Tina Antolini reports on the transgender community in Western New England.

Exotic beetle may be a threat to Massachusetts woodlands (2008-08-11)
An invasive beetle that attacks hardwood trees has been found in Massachusetts. Nancy Cohen reports on what this could mean for other parts of the region.

Pharm and biotech disclosure now law in MA (2008-08-11)
On Sunday governor Deval Patrick signed legislation that will require pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms to inform the state when they give a medical professional something worth more than 50 dollars.

Western Massachusetts churches close (2008-08-11)
More than a dozen churches in western Massachusetts will close or merge by January 1, 2009. That's the word Monday August 11, 2008 from the roman catholic diocese of Springfield. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

MA publis schools may connect more with mental health professional (2008-08-11)
Schools in Massachusetts will have better access to psychiatrists under a child mental health bill that's expected to go to the governor's desk Monday August 11, 2008. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Gill Montague awaits final school budget (2008-08-11)
The Gill Montague school district in Franklin County, Massachusetts is still waiting on the budget approval for this fiscal year.

More Storms on the Horizon for Western New England (2008-08-08)
With many communities in Western New England still cleaning up from several days of severe weather, more are in the forecast. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Governor holds Town Meeting in Great Barrington, MA (2008-08-06)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was in Great Barrington last night to host a town meeting style gathering. Berkshire Eagle reporter Derek Gentile tells WFCR's Susan Kaplan what the people had to say.

Taxi Company Closes, Citing High Fuel Costs (2008-08-06)
The high price of oil has caused another casualty in Western Massachusetts. One of only three cab companies operating in Springfield has closed after 20 years in business. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Tough times for CT businesses (2008-08-05)
More Connecticut businesses closed down in the second quarter this year, than any period in the last eight years. At the same time, the state is experiencing a huge fall off in new business starts.

Lawmakers restore state funding to MA cultural institutions (2008-08-05)
Several western Massachusetts cultural institutions are expressing relief that their state funding was restored. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Study Shows HIV Infections Higher Than First Reported (2008-08-05)
A national study released this week is bringing renewed attention to the problem of HIV and AIDS in Western New England and across the country. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Governor Signs Rural Internet Legislation (2008-08-05)
Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick was in the rural town of Goshen Monday to sign a law designed to give high speed internet access to small communities across the state.

Heating oil bills to rise for many Mass residents in 2009 (2008-08-04)
The heating oil bill for the average Massachusetts household could rise to more than $3-thousand this coming winter, according to a new report from the University of Massachusetts. And, as WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, that's going to eat into the budgets of a broad section of the state's population.

MA Lawmakers relatively at ease this week (2008-08-04)
After many long hours hashing out budget overrides on Beacon Hill last week, Massachusetts lawmakers have a quieter week ahead. But the governor will need to keep a pen handy.

New director for Springfield Housing Authority (2008-08-04)
The Springfield Housing Authority officially gets new leadership today. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Access to Internet for all Massachusetts towns and cities (2008-08-04)
At a ceremony held on Monday August 4, 2008 in the rural town of Goshen, Massachusetts, governor Deval Patrick signed a law that aims to give all towns in the state access to high speed internet access.

Old Pick-Up Truck Vs. Amherst "Hyper Miler" (2008-08-04)
When Bob Pollack's trusty Toyota died, he had to rethink how to drive, and get the most mileage possible from his truck.

Local independant cinemas now show advertisements (2008-08-04)
The nonprofit organization that runs the Amherst and Pleasant Street cinemas in western Massachusetts has just started to run on-screen advertisements before films.

Anthrax researcher committs suicide (2008-08-04)
Federal prosecutors had planned to indict a leading anthrax researcher for his alleged role in the 2001 anthrax attacks. But this week Bruce Ivins, a scientist from Fort Detrich committed suicide.

Roofing, Siding and Energy Bills (2008-07-31)
While summer is still in full swing, a UMass-Amherst Professor says homeowners should use this time to make their homes more energy efficient. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Pesticides and golf courses (2008-07-30)
A UMass-Amherst researcher says pesticides commonly used on golf courses do not pose a health risk to golfers. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Federal lawmakers push for vet voter rights (2008-07-30)
Connecticut congressman Chris Murphy is sponsoring federal legislation to lift the ban on voter registration drives at veterans' centers. From WNPR in Hartford, Diane Orson reports.

Out-of-Staters: We now pronounce you... (2008-07-30)
The Massachusetts house on Tuesday July 29, 2008 voted to overturn a 1913 law that bans non-resident same-sex marriage in the state if their union would be illegal in their home states.

Chinese language charter school recieves federal money (2008-07-30)
A local charter school that teaches Chinese language fluency has just won $1.5 million in federal funding. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Retiring Judge to Head Springfield Housing Authority (2008-07-29)
Judge William Abrashkin is retiring from his long tenure on western Massachusetts housing court, but he's definitely not looking towards a life of golf and daytime T.V. Abrashkin is starting a new career on August 1st, taking over one of Springfield's largest, and most embattled, agencies, the Springfield Housing Authority. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Hubbardston Library; A Diminishing Light (2008-07-28)
Hubbardston is a small town in Massachusetts' Worcester county. Like other municipalities, Hubbardston is running short of cash. It's a bedroom community, with a few small businesses but no big industry. Like many towns, Hubbardston relies on the property tax assessed on homes to pay its bills. That's a fixed number unless residents vote otherwise.

Summer Theater Review (2008-07-28)
Critic Chris Rohman takes a look at the regions summer theater productions. Rohman talks with WFCR Bob Paquette.

The MA Legislative Countdown (2008-07-28)
This is the final week of the year for formal sessions for the Massachusetts legislature.

New Study Shows Need for Regional Slaughterhouses (2008-07-28)
A study funded by the USDA has concluded that at least one slaughterhouse in western Massachusetts is needed to help area farmers keep up with a rising demand for local meat and stay in business. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Millions in Federal Grants Go to Western Massachusetts Towns and Cities (2008-07-28)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and members of the state's Congressional delegation have announced federal grants for cities and towns across the commonwealth. More than half of that money is going to communities in western and central Massachusetts.

UMASS Geologist Studies Carbon Cycle (2008-07-28)
A geologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst has published a study showing how quickly sedimentary rocks can release carbon into the atmosphere. From WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut: Nancy Cohen reports that this could be factored into the amount of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

Property Tax Delinquencies on the Rise in Parts of Western Massachusetts (2008-07-24)
In another sign of increasing economic instability, some Massachusetts cities and towns say property tax delinquencies are rising. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Understanding the American Nerd (2008-07-22)
Benjamin Nugent is a writer for Time and for the New York Times among other publications. He spoke with WFCR's Bob Paquette about his new book, "American Nerd: The Story of My People."

Whatley and Sunderland Clean Up After Severe Storm (2008-07-21)
The Franklin County towns of Whatley and Sunderland, Massachusetts are cleaning up from Saturday's severe storm that forced the communities to declare states of emergency. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Massachusetts Bike Shops Benefit from High Gas Prices (2008-07-20)
Some Massachusetts businesses are seeing an increase in customers because of high gas prices, as more commuters leave their car at home, in favor of a bike. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

And Now, the Overrides (2008-07-18)
When Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed the budget Sunday, he also slashed more than $122,000,000. in spending. Some say that's not nearly enough. But others, including many state legislators, are up in arms over his decisions and are now trying to override many the vetoes.

Massachusetts Governor Patrick Holds Cabinet Meeting in Western Mass (2008-07-17)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and most of his cabinet were in Amherst today. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Governor Patrick Live on Morning Edition (2008-07-17)
This summer Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is holding 11 town hall meetings and four public cabinet meetings throughout the state. The meetings are open to all and offer residents an opportunity to engage with the administration on policy issues around education, health care, the environment, the new budget, and other things. Governor Patrick joined WFCR's Bob Paquette live this morning.

Holyoke Mayor Won't Run for Reelection (2008-07-16)
Holyoke, MA Mayor Michael Sullivan has decided not to seek re-election.

The Take on Massachusetts -- acccording to Young Adults (2008-07-16)
Young adults in Massachusetts are optimistic about their future, but lack confidence in state government. Some of them question the quality of life here -- all of this according to a new survey of young people between the ages of 25 and 39 conducted by MASS INC, a Boston-based nonpartisan think tank.

Wind Fuels Local Catholic School (2008-07-15)
A Catholic school in Worcester, Massachusetts is addressing high energy costs by turning to the wind for its power needs. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports:

MA Senate Considers Popular Vote Candidates (2008-07-15)
This week, the Massachusetts Senate will consider a measure that would give the state's electoral votes to the national popular vote winner. WFCR's Jill Kaufman has more:

School Districts May Merge to Cut Costs (2008-07-15)
The potential merger of 2 school districts in Berkshire county, Massachusetts will be the focus of a meeting this week. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Springfield - State Audit (2008-07-10)
Massachusetts Auditor Joe DeNucci is recommending more changes to Springfield's cash management policies, in the wake of last year's failed investment of municipal funds with Merrill Lynch. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports:

Bill Would Help Boards of Health Regionalize (2008-07-10)
A bill in a Massachusetts House committee would make it easier for local boards of health to regionalize-- a move supporters say would improve their effectiveness. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

$4 plus per Gallon and Still Driving (2008-07-10)
The price of fuel is getting higher and higher, but are people changing their driving habits? With gas at more than $ 4 a gallon, WFCR intern Carman Dewees met up with drivers filling up their tanks to find out.

Appetites and Politics at the 17th Annual Ko Festival (2008-07-09)
We're often talking about food -- whether we've just eaten too much of a good thing, or haven't yet found the perfect recipe for a summer dinner. The topic of food can quickly become issue-oriented. Prices are rising. Millions are going hungry. The pleasure and politics of food are on stage this summer at the annual "Ko Festival of Performance" ( which offers some innovative and original theater events at Amherst College.

MA Residents Spend 1.3 Billion Annually On Mandated Health Benefits (2008-07-09)
Twelve cents of every dollar a Massachusetts resident spends on health insurance premiums goes to state-mandated health benefits like maternity care, mammograms and diabetes services, according to a state report released this week. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

The Old Sloop (2008-07-09)
Western Massachusetts based writer Daniel Robb spent two years rebuilding a beloved sailboat. His quest to save the 20th century family vessel gave him a new appreciation for the craft of building wooden boats.appreciation for the craft of building wooden boats.

UMASS Amherst Researchers Look Beyond Corn for Plant-Based Fuel (2008-07-09)
The increased use of ethanol in gasoline has reshaped the corn market. But record high corn prices and a potential corn shortage after last month's floods in the midwest may have created a new opportunity to look at other crops for fuel. UMASS Amherst researchers are already growing some possibilities.

Western Mass Library System Strained By High Oil Prices (2008-07-08)
The Western Massachusetts Public Library system is feeling the effects of record high gas prices . WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

UMASS Center Develops Mediation Tool for Army Soldiers (2008-07-07)
American soldiers seeking treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center or at any other Army medical facility will soon have an online tool to anonymously discuss difficulties they're having regarding the quality of their care. The system is being developed at UMASS Amherst through the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution.

Five College Credit Union Collaborates in Azerbaijan (2008-07-07)
A local banking cooperative is making an impact internationally, by helping to re-establish credit unions in Azerbaijan -- the oil-rich former Soviet Republic located on the western end of the Caspian Sea.

Geritopias (2008-07-03)
Hundreds of thousands of senior citizens are leaving their longtime homes to live in gated retirement communities where they almost never see anyone younger than 55. Western Massachusetts writer Andrew Blechman has a new book about these so-called 'geritopias' which he maintains are threatening the social covenant that America has relied on for generations.

Carbon Capture (2008-07-03)
Lawmakers and environmental activists are pushing a bill that would require Massachusetts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. One idea being considered to meet such goals is called "carbon capture". WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Warhol Photos (2008-07-02)
Three area colleges receive donations of Andy Warhol photographs.

MA Governor Creates Loan Fund For Vacant Properties (2008-07-02)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Tuesday announced details of a plan aimed at reducing the impact of home foreclosures on cities in the bay state. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Ingram's Entry Plan Will Help Create a Long Term View for Springfield Public Schools (2008-07-01)
Springfield, Massachusetts' new Superintendent of Schools has announced an entry plan to guide him in his first months of overseeing the district.

Holyoke, MA Considers Restricting Panhandling (2008-06-30)
Holyoke, Massachusetts is considering measures to restrict how, where and when people can beg for money on city streets. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Crime in Springfield, MA Drops 15% from 2007 (2008-06-30)
Springfield, Massachusetts officials announced a 15% drop in the city's overall crime rate since last year, while also acknowledging an increase in certain violent offenses. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Tanglewood Offers Free Passes with Gas Purchase (2008-06-30)
Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is reacting to high gasoline prices. The concert venue in Lenox is offering a free lawn pass to visitors who spend $50 on gas at Gulf stations on the Massachusetts Turnpike. Mark Volpe is Tanglewood's managing director.

Preschool Activity Gains Study at UMass (2008-06-30)
A UMASS-Amherst researcher is studying the physical activity of preschoolers in western Massachusetts, in an effort to help reduce childhood obesity. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

MA DCR Launches Park Passports (2008-06-30)
There's a new effort to get families out to Massachusetts' parks this summer. At the suggestion of 2 park rangers, the department of conservation and recreation has created a Park Passport. The little blue books have a space on each page for children to get a special stamp when they visit any of the state's 76 parks.

Patrick Details Education Readiness Project (2008-06-30)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has released more details of his education readiness project, with low-cost home computers, intensive summer classes and longer school days among the last batch of initiatives unveiled Wednesday. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

"Hoarding Syndrome" Studied at Smith College (2008-06-30)
A Smith College professor is starting a support group for local people suffering from "hoarding syndrome." WFCR's Tina Antolini explains.

Social Workers Discuss Veterans Affairs (2008-06-30)
Social workers from across the country gathered in Northampton, Massachusetts Thursday to discuss the mental health needs of veterans returning from the wars in the Middle East. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Sankofa Dance Project Traces Roots of American Dance (2008-06-27)
Sankofa is an African word that means "reclaiming our past to move forward." This week at UMass Amherst some 50 men and women from the age of 15-to 56 applied "Sankofa" to studying the roots of American dance .

Northampton Man Helps NPR Cover Quake in China (2008-06-26)
Last month, listeners were glued to their radios, hearing stories from the site of a massive earthquake in China's Sichuan province. A crew of NPR staff was in the province's capital, Chengdu, preparing for a week of broadcasts, when the earthquake hit... With them was a long-time WFCR-listener, and Chengdu-native, Xiaoyu Xie.

Child Abuse Up in Poor Economy (2008-06-26)
Child welfare appears to be the latest casualty of a struggling economy. The Massachusetts Department of Social Services is reporting an alarming surge in reports of child abuse across the state.

Price Stickers on Food Items Could Be Gone With MA Bill (2008-06-25)
A bill making its way through the Massachusetts Legislature would change the way grocery stores show shoppers the price of food items. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Gangs on the Rise (2) - Street Outreach (2008-06-25)
As summer sets in, Springfield is facing a severe problem with youth violence -- kids as young as 13 or 14 are getting pressured into joining gangs, dealing drugs, and carrying guns. WFCR's Karen Brown reported yesterday on the police department's military-style effort to take back the streets from gangs and drug dealers. Today, she profiles a much different approach -- a community organization that dispatches street outreach workers to intervene before young people go down the wrong path.

High Food Costs Hit School Cafeterias (2008-06-24)
High food prices have hit some schools hard, which means more cost-cutting measures once schools get back in session in the fall. WFCR's Tina Antolini visited one local school cafeteria, just before the school year ended last week...

Gangs on the Rise (1) - Police Response (2008-06-24)
As drugs like heroin and crack get cheaper and purer, Springfield has become a geographic center for the Western Massachusetts drug trade -- and local gangs are thriving from it. these gangs recruit kids as young as 13 or 14 to deal drugs and carry guys -- with often tragic results. In a two-part series, WFCR's Karen Brown reports on efforts to stem the summer season of youth violence. today, she talks with the police sergeant in charge of Springfield's newly revived 'street crimes unit'.

Concerns about Oil and Food Prices for Winter 2009 (2008-06-23)
Though summer has just begun, some already have their eye on next winter, with oil and food prices at record highs. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Concerns Rising about Oil and Food Prices for Winter 2009 (2008-06-23)
Though summer has just begun, some already have their eye on next winter, with oil and food prices at record highs. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

How Birds Hear (2008-06-18)
Although many of us appreciate listening to songbirds, it turns out that what we hear is very different than what they hear. Birds hear with much greater acuity than humans. This week on Field Notes naturalist Laurie Sanders takes a closer look at this aspect of a songbird's life-- how it hears and how it makes sounds.

MA Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester (2008-06-17)
As 2007-2008 school year wraps up, Massachsuetts new Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester speaks to WFCR's Tina Antolini about improving public eduation in the state.

Caffeine Intoxication on the Rise (2008-06-16)
Emergency Room doctors are seeing more incidents of caffeine poisoning among adolescents, according to a new study co authored by a UMASS toxicologist.

UMass Trustess Rescind Mugabe's Honorary Degree (2008-06-13)
Trustees of the University of Massachusetts Thursday voted unanimously to rescind an honorary degree awarded to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

Proposed Longer School Year Raises Concerns (2008-06-13)
Among the measures being considered by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's Readiness Project, a statewide initiative focusing on education reform, is a longer school year. But as WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, this week's heat wave is raising some questions from school administrators about the proposal.

Dairy Farm Bill Passes Senate, Without Tax Credit (2008-06-13)
The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill aimed at helping the state's dairy farmers. But as WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, a key provision remains up in the air, pending the passage of the state budget.

Final Life Sciences Bond Bill Moves to MA Senate (2008-06-13)
The Massachusetts house Thursday approved and sent to the Senate a final version of Governor Patrick's life sciences bond bill. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Teen Pregnancy Part 3 -- Meeting Teen Moms (2008-06-13)
Holyoke and Springfield rank first and second in Massachusetts for teenage births. This week on WFCR you heard some possible reasons why, and learned about a teen-centered effort to reduce those rates. Today, WFCR's Karen Brown introduces you to three young women living out the statistics, and working to change their destinies.

Teen Pregnancy Part 3 -- Meeting Teen Moms (2008-06-13)
Holyoke and Springfield rank first and second in Massachusetts for teenage births. This week on WFCR you heard some possible reasons why, and learned about a teen-centered effort to reduce those rates. Today, WFCR's Karen Brown introduces you to 3 young women living out the statistics, and working to change their destinies.

MA Education Commissioner Considers Charter School Funding (2008-06-13)
Massachusetts' new education commissioner Mitchell Chester says he's weighing concerns he's heard from some town and city officials around the state about the funding formula for charter schools. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Springfield, MA Planners Cancel Puerto Rican Festival (2008-06-13)
Organizers of Springfield, Massachusetts' long running Puerto Rican festival have cancelled plans to host the event this summer. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

MA Voters to Decide Fate of Income Tax, Again (2008-06-13)
Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray is warning of devastating consequences if voters approve a proposal on the November ballot that would do away with the state income tax. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Teen Pregnancy Part 2 -- High Schoolers Do Their Part (2008-06-12)
Earlier in our series on teen pregnancy, we heard theories on why Holyoke and Springfield now top the state's rankings for teenage births. Now, we profile an effort by a Springfield obstetrician and a group of teenagers to stem the trend of teen pregnancy in western Massachusetts. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Teen Pregnancy on the Rise - Part 1 (2008-06-11)
More teenagers in Holyoke and Springfield get pregnant than in any other town or city in Massachusetts. The teen birth rates in those urban areas had been going down over the past few years, but as of February, they're back at number one and two in the state. Latina women make up a disproportionate number of teen mothers. In the first of a three-part series, WFCR's Karen Brown talks to some frontline providers about why so many young people in our region are having babies.

Transgender Rally for Equal Rights (2008-06-10)
A growing number of people don't identify with the gender that's on their birth certificate. They describe themselves as transgender, and they're looking for equal rights. Hundreds of people rallied to support the transgender community this past weekend in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Holyoke Will Pursue Back Taxes on Mill Destroyed by Fire (2008-06-10)
Holyoke fire department officials say the blaze that destroyed the former Parsons Paper Company building last night looks like arson. Even as the nature of the fire remains under investigation, Mayor Michael Sullivan says the city will continue to pursue recovering nearly two million dollars in back taxes it's owed on the historic mill. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Northampton Looks to Find Long-Term Solution to School Budget Woes (2008-06-10)
To make ends meet, school districts across Western New England are laying off teachers, cutting programs, and even closing schools. Today, we take a look at the Northampton, Massachusetts school district which avoided a school closing... at least for now. As WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, the city and the school community are trying to find ways to repair the district's budget in the years to come-- and parents are taking a leading role...

A Regional Approach to Dairy Farming (2008-06-10)
Representatives from 10 northeastern State Departments of Agriculture met in Norwich, CT to discuss farm issues important to the region.

MA Fishing Industry Gets Federal Relief (2008-06-10)
Massachusetts' fishing industry will receive more than $13 million in Federal disaster relief.

New Study on Children and Psychiatric Drugs (2008-06-10)
A Massachusetts advocacy organization for child mental health has released a study to counter what it calls misperceptions about children and psychiatric drugs.

Amherst Resident Aids Afghanistan (2008-06-06)
The Greek philosopher Aristotle is credited with saying "where your talents and the needs of the world cross lies your calling." Finding the right thing to do in life is not that simple for most of us... For Amherst resident Gary Moorehead, figuring it out has taken him halfway around the world ... WFCR's Tina Antolini explains.

Indie Booksellers Low on the List (2008-06-06)
A new survey is confirming the changing buying habits of book readers in the U.S.

Economic Downturn Hits Schools Nationwide (2008-06-06)
The tumbling national economy is hitting school budgets hard in Western New England. What about schools in the rest of the country? As part of WFCR's series on schools and their financial woes, Bob Paquette spoke with Mike Griffith, a school finance analyst at the Education Commission of the States. E-C-S is a clearing house for education policy based in Denver. Griffith says the impact of this economic downturn on schools has not made itself completely obvious yet.

Is Regionalization a Solution for Rural School Districts? (2008-06-04)
Many districts in Massachusetts are facing a confluence of financial problems. State legislators, among others, are looking for solutions.. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Budget Wrestling in the Gill-Montague School District (2008-06-03)
Cuts and closings. For several years that's been the buzz among parents, school committee members, and educators in the rural Gill-Montague Regional School District. But this year the talk turned to action. A school is shutting its doors at the end of the month, and not re-opening in the fall. WFCR News continues its series on schools and budgets by looking at some of the challenges this and other rural school districts are facing.

New England, New Talent (2008-05-30)
The Fitchburg Art Museum has been showcasing up-and-coming visual artists from the region.

Dr. Susan Windham Bannister Voted CEO of MA Life Sciences Center (2008-05-29)
The Massachusetts life sciences center has a new president and C-E-O. The center's board voted unanimously Wednesday to hire Dr. Susan Windham Bannister, who currently works for Abt-Bio Pharma Solutions. She replaces the board's former executive director Aaron d' Elia who stepped down last June. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Transportation and Climate Change Symposium This Week at UMass (2008-05-29)
Scientists, regional planners and engineers will gather at UMass Amherst this week for a major symposium on transportation and climate change. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

MA Prepares for Digital TV Switch (2008-05-29)
A briefing was held for Massachusetts lawmakers Tuesday on the congressionally mandated plan for television stations to stop broadcasting analog signals early next year. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports there is concern at the state house and elsewhere that not everyone understands that some t-v sets now in use will go dark.

Remarkable Graduates: Heidi Elmer (2008-05-29)
Heidi Elmer of Westfield, MA was raised by a single mother. That part of her story is not uncommon, but this part is: Her mother was born with mental retardation. And the challenges that presented Elmer throughout her life makes her graduation this weekend from Holyoke Community College that much more meaningful. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Some War Veterans Will See Fees Waived at UMass (2008-05-29)
A U-Mass trustee committee has unanimously voted to approve a fee waiver for Massachusetts residents who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan since September 11th, 2001. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

Smith College Donates $100,000 to Northampton Schools (2008-05-29)
Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts has announced a donation of $100,000 to the city's struggling school department. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

MA Director of Special Education Talks Funding (2008-05-29)
As part of our series on school budget issues, we hear from the Massachusetts Director of Special Education, Marcia Mittnacht. She says Special Ed is described in some districts as a budget buster, an innacurate description.

Patrick Signs Oceans Act of 2008 (2008-05-29)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed a landmark bill that aims to better protect and manage the state's ocean resources. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports the Oceans Act of 2008 is the first legislation of its kind in the nation.

Schools Scramble to Keep Teaching with Leaner Budgets (2008-05-28)
Every school district is different, but many in New England are struggling with the same problem: not enough money. WFCR will spend the next several weeks looking at districts in the region, and at the issues they're facing. We start in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

50 Years from Today: Sandra Postel's Take (2008-05-27)
Sandra Postel, the director of the Global Water Policy Project and director of the Center for the Environment at Mt. Holyoke College, is featured in Mike Wallace's new book " "50 Years from Today", a collection of and features essays from world leaders, physicists, inventors, economists and others, sharing their vision of the next half century.

Clergy Work to Address Veterans' Spiritual Needs (2008-05-26)
The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is something that soldiers and theologians have grappled with for centuries. On this Memorial Day, WFCR's Tina Antonli reports how local men and women in the military and area clergy are struggling to reconcile a loving god, with a god who allows conflict.

Obama Addresses Wesleyan Grads (2008-05-26)
Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama addressed the 2008 graduates of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Cconnecticut this weekend. WFCR's Tina Antolini was there.

UMass Student Designs "Portable Hug" (2008-05-26)
A UMass engineering student is developing a therapeutic device designed to help people with developmental and mental illness. WFCR's Ron Otero has more.

Remarkable Graduates: Jon Zagami (2008-05-23)
4000 students will graduate from UMASS Amherst Saturday. Among them is a veteran of the Iraq war, and one of the most visible faces for veterans on the campus. As part of WFCR's series on remarkable graduates, Chris Cuffe has a profile of Jon Zagami.

Remarkable Graduates: Allison Bellew (2008-05-23)
Thousands of students graduate from the region's colleges this spring; many of them have accomplished more than you might expect. Today WFCR begins a series on some of these remarkable graduates with the story of Allison Bellew, who just graduated from Smith College Sunday. A certain discipline got her this far: she spent most of her childhood between foster homes, and hasn't seen her parents in years.

MA Legislature Closes in on Life Sciences Bill (2008-05-16)
The Massachusetts House and Senate appear close to a deal on a one billion dollar life sciences bill. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Holyoke Principal Retires After 35 Years of Service (2008-05-14)
A renowned school principal in Holyoke, Massachusetts is retiring after 35 years of service to the city. Christine Zajac, who was a teacher and vice-principal before becoming the head of the Sullivan Elementary school, will step down next month.

MA Lawmakers Hear Testimony Regarding Pharmaceuticals & Water Supply (2008-05-14)
Lawmakers on Beacon Hill heard testimony Tuesday on steps Massachusetts is taking to protect its drinking water supply from pharmaceuticals. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Audits Show Faulty Bookeeping in Greenfield Schools (2008-05-14)
The first of a series of audits looking into the Greenfield, Massachusetts school system shows faulty record keeping at the department. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

Patrick Proposes Borrowing $3 Billion for Deficient Bridges (2008-05-14)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Tuesday unveiled a bill to borrow nearly $3 billion to speed repairs for 250 to 300 bridges that are designated as structurally deficient.

Medical Professionals Exchange Loan Repayments for Work in Health Centers (2008-05-14)
In exchange for school-loan repayments, dozens of new Massachusetts physicians and nurse practitioners have committed to working in community health centers. WFCR's Jill Kaufman reports.

MA House Speaker DiMasi Outraged by Allegations (2008-05-13)
Massachusetts House Speaker Sal Dimasi says he's outraged by allegations he violated state ethics laws and has no plans to step down. From WBUR -Boston, Martha Bebinger reports:

UMass Pres. Proposes Revoking Mugabe's Honorary Degree (2008-05-13)
University of Massachusetts President Jack Wilson says he will recommend to trustees that the school revoke an honorary degree awarded to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, something the university has never done before.

Domestic Violence Shelter Reopens in Westfield (2008-05-13)
A Westfield, Massachusetts shelter for victims of domestic violence will reopen this week, for the first time since 2006. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Springfield Encourages New Bicycle Commuters (2008-05-13)
Bicyclists from around the region could be out in force this week for the 9th annual Pioneer Valley bike commute week. Springfield is stepping up its efforts to get residents to consider biking instead of driving to work. Catherine Miller, regional coordinator for bike commute week says the city has huge potential for bicycling.

Worcester City Councilor Proposes City Lotto to Help Fund Schools (2008-05-13)
A Worcester, Massachusetts city councilor is suggesting that the city launch its own lottery game to raise money for cash-strapped public schools. District 1 councilor Joffrey Smith wants a scratch ticket game that would be sold only in Worcester.

Springfield, MA Police Recruiting New Officers (2008-05-13)
Springfield, Massachusetts will be holding another civil service exam next month in an effort to recruit more police officers.

The Children's Chorus of Springfield (2008-05-08)
The Children's Chorus of Springfield is made up of 35 singers, ages 11 to 13 from more than 20 city Schools. Vera Baker and Wayne Abercrombie established the chorus to make singing and musical training available to any child in the city.

Lessons from JFK's 1960 Win (2008-05-06)
Springfield college historian Thomas Carty is hearing echoes of the past. He's written extensively about John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign to become president of of the United States. He told WFCR's Tina Antolini, Kennedy's reality was similar but not exactly the same as the scenario for today's democratic candidates.

Ingram is Springfield's Pick (2008-05-06)
The Springfield, MA, School Committee and Finance Control Board have named the city's new superintendent of schools.

New Zoning in Shutesbury a First for Massachusetts (2008-05-05)
The town of Shutesbury, Massachusetts has adopted a new zoning law that may be a first for the state. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Springfield Housing Authority Eyes Assets (2008-05-02)
Members of the Springfield Housing Authority are looking forward to restitution from the corruption probe plaguing the city, but they're not yet counting the money. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Greenfield Considers School Closures (2008-04-30)
Greenfield is the latest among several Western Massachusetts communities considering the closure of a school, to close a budget gap. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Pandemic Certain, according to Influenza Expert (2008-04-29)
A flu pandemic is 100% certain, according to a nationally known disaster preparedness expert. He told memebers of the Massachusetts legisilative Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security that it will occur in their life time.

Governor comes to UMASS Founders Day (2008-04-29)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was in Amherst to celebrate the founding of the University of Massachusetts.

VT Yankee Disputes Allegations Over Trust Fund Use (2008-04-29)
Officials at Vermont Yankee are disputing reports that the plant wants to raid a trust fund set aside to pay for its eventual dismantling, and to use it instead to pay for storing spent nuclear fuel.

Springfield Activist Expected to Challenge Rep. Swan for His Seat (2008-04-29)
A 31-year old anti-gang worker in Springfield, massachusetts has taken out election papers to challenge State Representative Ben Swan for his seat in the legislature.

MEFA Stops Making Federal Student Loans (2008-04-29)
The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority or MEFA, a nonprofit state organization, says it will stop making federal student loans.

Gas Prices Could Be Good News for Berkshires (2008-04-28)
Record high gas prices may be causing budget problems for Massachusetts residents and businesses alike. But tourism officials say they could be good news for some... WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Southampton's Water Voted "Best Tasting" (2008-04-23)
If you happen to be passing through the small Western Massachusetts town of Southampton, you may want to stop for a drink -- a drink of water, that is. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Old First Church Artifacts To Be Auctioned (2008-04-23)
One of the artifacts from Springfield, Massachusetts' Old First Church that is set to go to auction on Friday may not be as valuable as first thought. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

UMass Scientist Makes Green Gasoline (2008-04-22)
The race to create alternative sources of fuel has a new entry: so called "green gasoline". UMass Amherst chemical engineering professor George Huber has produced a biofuel in his lab that he says is very similar in composition to gas currently used in cars... But it can be made from wood and farm waste -- tree trunks, roots, corn stalks, even straw.

Bakers Take Wheat-Growing Into Their Own Hands (2008-04-22)
You might have heard the children's parable of the "Little Red Hen:" she finds a grain of wheat, and labors all on her own in planting, harvesting, milling, and baking it. In a time of record high wheat prices, some bakers are taking a cue from that children's tale... WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

UMASS Students Down by the River (2008-04-22)
Undergraduates from UMASS Amherst are working with Nuestras Raices a local community group and farm in Holyoke, to try and solve environmental problems that can threaten the habitats of some endangered species. Environmental Studies Professor Guy Lanza leads the way.

UMass Scientist Makes Green Gasoline (2008-04-21)
A UMass Amherst scientist says he's found one way to get cheaper gasoline: make it from wood or other plants, instead of oil. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

West Side Story, Brand New (2008-04-21)
The 1957 Broadway hit West Side Story is an icon of musical theater. When it first opened, its gritty theme of urban gang violence set a new tone for the musical stage. Now, a PACE production at the Academy of Music in Northampton seeks to bring this 50-year-old masterpiece, and its explosive themes, up to date.

New MA Commission To Study Veterans' Mental Health (2008-04-18)
Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill today creating a new commission to study the effects of war on returning service members from Massachusetts. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Springfield Swears in New Police Commissioner (2008-04-18)
Springfield, Massachusetts has sworn in its new police commissioner - William Fitchet - a 33-year-veteran of the city's police force who's been acting commissioner for the last four months. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Holyoke Schools Face Budget Crisis (2008-04-17)
The school department in Holyoke, Massachusetts is still facing millions of dollars in cuts, even with three schools scheduled to close in the fall. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

The Gefilte Fish Chronicles (2008-04-17)
Several years ago the Barer family began filming their preparations for the Passover seder. The home movie turned into a documentary called "The Gefilte Fish chronicles."

MA Library Caucus (2008-04-16)
As the Massachusetts House Ways and Means committee prepares to release its budget plan Wednesdsay, a group of legislators has formed a caucus focusing on the needs of libraries.

Burke to Leave at End of Contract (2008-04-16)
Springfield, Massachusetts School Superintendent Joe Burke says, after 7 years on the job, he will no longer fight for a contract extension.

UMASS' Travis Ford Leaves for Oklahoma State (2008-04-16)
UMASS Amherst basketball coach Travis Ford is leaving the Amherst campus for the head coaching job at Oklahoma State. UMass associate athletic director for media relations Jason Yellin confirmed that Ford is departing the school after taking the Minutemen to the NIT championship game this year.

MA House Ways and Means Budget Coming (2008-04-16)
The Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled Wednesday to release its version of a budget for the coming fiscal year. State Treasurer Tim Cahill met with House members Tuesday, who will soon begin their annual budget debate.

Taxes and the 2008 Candidates, Don't Ask! (2008-04-16)
Ten tax questions the 2008 presidential and congressional candidates don't want you to ask, according to Mt. Holyoke's John Fox.

Bus Service Not Enough in Franklin County (2008-04-16)
A survey of residents in nine Franklin County, MA, towns shows dissatisfaction with the region's bus service.

MA Lawmakers Include More Money in Budget to End Homelessness (2008-04-15)
The Massachusetts House Wednesday presents its state budget, which includes $10 million dollars to fund a new approach to end homelessness. It's called Housing First. Supporters of Housing First in western Massachusetts are hoping to see some of that money if it gets into the final budget. WFCR's Karen Brown explains.

Pittsfield City Councilors Oppose G-E proposal (2008-04-14)
City councilors in Pittsfield, Massachusetts want General Electric to alter its proposal for cleaning up another part of the the Housatonic River... and they're calling upon the E-P-A to step in. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

UMASS Amherst Chancellor Finalists Announced (2008-04-13)
The search committee for a new chancellor at UMASS Amherst has announced its finalists for the position. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Society of Ethnomusicologists Meets in Amherst (2008-04-11)
Amherst College will be host to a conference of researchers this weekend to discuss music of every variety. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more...

Housing Advocates Applaud Governor's Announcement of Loan Fund (2008-04-09)
Fair housing advocates in Western Massachusetts are applauding Governor Deval Patrick's announcement Wednesday of a revolving loan fund to rehabilitate foreclosed homes. WFCRs Karen Brown reports.

MA Governor Patrick's New Economic Initiatives -- Speech and Transcript (2008-04-09)
Governor Patrick outlined a series of economic initiatives today designed to give Massachusetts a buffer from the looming national recession. Listen to his speech, or read the transcript here:

Municipal Partnerships (2008-04-09)

Governor Patrick Delivers Major Economic Address (2008-04-09)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick delivered a major address on the state of the state's economy Wednesday. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Local Officials Reassured by Governor's Economic Address (2008-04-09)
Western Massachusetts officials say they were reassured by Governor Patrick's speech Wednesday, laying out an economic plan to get through a possible recession. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Jobs in MA, But the Right Kind of Jobs? (2008-04-09)
Massachusetts' unemployment rate has stayed below the national rate since last June -- it's at 4.5 percent, slightly better than a year ago. But even if the number of jobs in the state remains steady, are they the right kind? UMASS labor studies professor Tom Juravich says, categorically, "no".

No More Money for Early Childhood Ed? (2008-04-08)
Massachusetts House Speaker Sal Dimasi says the state cannot afford to expand early childhood education programs as called for by Governor Patrick. WFCR's Kevin Mcnicholas reports.

Haunted Baseball (2008-04-08)
The Red Sox play their first game at Fenway park Tuesday against Detroit, after a 3-country, 19 day journey that resulted in a disappointing 3-4 start to the new season. And just in time for the season, a new book reveals some of baseball's darkest secrets. No, we're not referring to steroids. We're talking about ghosts.

New State Money Goes Toward Homeownership (2008-04-08)
The state of Massachusetts is setting aside $150,000 to help workers at four major employers in the western part of the state. The funds are to help them buy homes in Springfield. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

New Twists in Montague's Effort to Redevelop Strathmore Paper Mill (2008-04-08)
There are new developments in the town of Montague's bid to turn the Strathmore paper mill into an economic engine for Turner's Falls. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Agencies Push to Increase Applications for Food Stamps (2008-04-07)
With just more than half of Massachusetts residents eligible for food stamps receiving them, local agencies are making a push to sign people up. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Red Wine and Green Tea May Help Diabetics (2008-04-07)
Red wine might be just what the doctor ordered... According to a new study from researchers at UMass Amherst. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

40th Anniversary of MLK's Assassination (2008-04-04)
The 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King is a notable day around the world, and for many in western Massachsuetts.

More Requested for Foster Care (2008-04-04)
Foster parents from around western Massachusetts are ugning lawmakers to boost foster care pay. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Young at Heart: The Movie (2008-04-04)
Northampton's Young at Heart chorus is made up of men and women ranging in age from their 70s into their 90s. They may be elders, but you wouldn't know it by the music they sing. A feature film about Young at Heart, shot entirely in Northampton, opens at theaters nationwide next week.

Montague Center School to Close (2008-04-02)
The Gill-Montague School Committee has voted to reject plans offered by parents to save the Montague Center School. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Northampton Residents Urge Delay in School Closing Decision (2008-04-02)
As Northampton, Massachusetts officials struggle to deal with an 800-thousand dollar budget shortfall, more than 500 residents have signed a letter protesting a proposal to close a city elementary school in order to save money. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

St. John's Congregational Loses Minister (2008-04-01)
St. John's Congregational Church --the oldest African-American church in Western Massachusetts -- is losing its popular minister. The Reverend Dr. Howard-John Wesley is leaving this month to head up a church in Virginia.

Quidditch Comes to Life (2008-03-31)
Teams from Middlebury College and Amherst College compete in Quidditch -- the fan favorite wizarding sport from the popular Harry Potter books and movies.

Massachusetts Gives Environmental Approval to Russell BioMass (2008-03-31)
The state of Massachusetts has given final environmental approval for a proposed 50-megawatt wood-fueled power plant in Russell. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Governor Patrick To Make Address on Economy (2008-03-31)
Governor Deval Patrick says Massachusetts is better positioned than most states to ride out the troubles in the national economy, which is threatening to slip into a recession. Patrick spoke with reporters after a leadership meeting with Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Lessons from Brundibar (2008-03-28)
In 1938, Czech composer Hans Krasa wrote a children's opera called "Brundibar". Rehearsals first took place at a Jewish orphanage in Prague -- but then the war intervened. Krasa and most of the children were transported by the Germans to Theresienstadt. The Nazis presented Theresienstadt to the outside world as a model Jewish settlement. In reality, it was a concentration camp. While there, Krasa was permitted to perform the opera 55 times over two years.

Environmental Officials Monitor CT River After Truck Crash (2008-03-28)
Both South and Northbound lanes of Interstate 91 in Chicopee are now open again, but Massachusetts environmental officials are monitoring the Connecticut River in the wake of tanker truck crash today. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Tanker Truck Fire Shuts Down I-91 (2008-03-28)
Interstate 91 was shut down for several hours today near Chicopee, Massachusetts today, after an accident caused a tanker truck to burst into flames. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Constantine's Sword (2008-03-27)
Christian and Jewish leaders at UMASS Amherst are bringing a controversial film to campus that delves into the roots of anti-semitism and the role of violence in religion. "Constantine's Sword", the latest film from director Oren Jacoby, explores the dark side of Christianity, following acclaimed writer and former priest James Carroll on a journey of remembrance and reckoning.

Massachusetts Borrows $400 Million to Cover Operational Costs (2008-03-26)
The state of Massachusetts is in a cash-crunch. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

UMass Professor Discusses U.S. Election in Indonesia (2008-03-26)
America's 2008 presidential campaign is a topic of discussion around Indonesia. So much so that UMass Amherst political science professor Michael Hannahan was invited there to discuss the election.

MA Borrows Unprecedented Amount of Money in FY 2008 (2008-03-26)
The state of Massachusetts needs to borrow $400 million in short-term loans in order to make more than $1-billion dollars in local aid payments next week. State treasurer Tim Cahill told WFCR's Tina Antolini that the state fully expects to be able to repay the loan when tax revenues begin coming in, in April. Cahill says while the state has borrowed money every one of the five years he's been treasurer, this year's borrowing is unprecedented.

Springfield City Councilors Propose Ethics Bylaw (2008-03-25)
Two Springfield, Massachusetts city councilors have proposed a bylaw aimed at making government decision-making more transparent. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

One Book Holyoke (2008-03-24)
Nearly half the residents in Holyoke, Massachusetts are of Puerto Rican descent. The city is also home to Irish, African Americans, and French Canadians. An annual program called "One Book Holyoke" seeks to bring the city's diverse population together -- through literature.

Decade Old Class Action Lawsuit Finds for Developmentally Disabled (2008-03-21)
Advocates for the mentally retarded are heralding a new legal settlement with the state of Massachusetts. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Same Day MA Voter Registration Could Lead to Higher Turnout (2008-03-21)
A study commissioned by the non-partisan voting rights group Mass Vote says same-day registration could lead to a sharp jump in turnout on election day.

MA Casino Bill Dead (2008-03-20)
The Massachusetts House voted 108-46 to kill Governor Deval Patrick's casino gambling bill,by sending it to a study committee. Kevin Mcnicholas has this report from Boston.

The Life of Virgina Lee Burton (2008-03-19)
There's a new documentary about children's author Virginia Lee Burton, produced by Bernadston, MA filmmaker Rawn Fulton. Burton wrote only seven books -- including The Little House, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, and Katy and the Big Snow -- but some say she set the bar for children's literature.

Award Winning Art Inspired by Politics (2008-03-19)
Artist Leni Fried is is inspired by political events and social wrongs. WFCR's Karen Brown recently visited Fried in her print-making studio in Cummington, Massachusetts.

Northampton Parents Appeal to Smith College For Funding Help (2008-03-14)
Northampton, Massachusetts residents are banding together to deal with a school district budget shortfall that's threatening to close one of the city's elementary schools. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Carbon Free Lent (2008-03-14)
It's traditional in the 40 days before Easter known as Lent for Christians to give up candy or meat, maybe abstain from alcohol. This year, some of the faithful have put a new spin on the practice.

UMASS Researchers say It's Possible to Hack into Implanted Medical Devices (2008-03-13)
Wireless devices like cell phones and blackberries are everywhere these days. There are even wireless medical devices implanted in people. These devices can monitor vital signs or even shock an erratically beating heart back into a regular rhythm. Doctors like these wireless devices because they can make it easier to monitor patients and keep records. But a new study from UMASS Amherst warns that the devices may be vulnerable to hackers, and that could raise privacy and safety concerns.

Level of Pharmaceutical Drugs in Drinking Water Under Review (2008-03-13)
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst are about to undertake a major study to determine the level of pharmaceutical drugs in New England's drinking water supply. The year-long study will test unfiltered water entering over a dozen wastewater treatment plants in the region.

Students, Faculty Rally for UMASS Student (2008-03-13)
About 200 students and faculty at UMASS Amherst gathered in front of the student union Wednesday for a rally organized by the Committee for Justice for Jason Vassell.

Aggravated Assault or Self Defense? (2008-03-12)
Friends and supporters of former UMASS Amherst student Jason Vassell are staging a rally Wednesday. Vassell is facing charges of aggravated assault and attempted murder following an incident on campus February 3rd. His supporters say the charges are unfair, that he was defending himself, and they believe that Vassell himself is the victim of a hate crime.

Pacemaker Hackers? (2008-03-12)
A new report from UMASS researchers finds that a patient's private medical information can be extracted from their medical devices.

Chamber of Commerce Looks at Casino Numbers (2008-03-06)
A new study by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce examines the economic assumptions outlined by Governor Deval Patrick in his proposal to legalize casinos in Massachusetts. WFCR's Kevin Mcnicholas has more.

MA Dairy Farmers Laud State Report (2008-03-06)
Massachusetts dairy farmers are lauding a report just released by a state panel charged with helping the ailing industry. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Casino Wars on Beacon Hill (2008-03-05)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and House Speaker Sal DiMasi have spent much of this week criticizing each other's position on casino gambling. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Writer Explores Christian Past, Evangelical Movement (2008-03-05)
Political observers are closely watching evangelical voters this election season. Northampton writer John Marks was one of those outside observers, until he started to write a book about evangelicals, and began delving into his own Christian past. WFCR's Karen Brown reports .

Northampton Schools Face Big Cuts (2008-03-04)
Northampton's School Department is considering broad cuts, as it faces a $1.4 million budget shortfall in the next fiscal year. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

A Push for More School-Based Health Center Funding (2008-03-04)
Advocates for school-based health centers rallied Monday the Statehouse in Boston. WFCR's Karen Brown has the details.

Gov's Casino Proposal All Its Cracked Up To Be? (2008-03-04)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick says he senses legislative support building for his casino gambling plan, even if there is some dispute about the number of construction jobs it will create. His comments Monday came after the House Speaker questioned the credibility of Patrick's plan, following a Boston Globe article over the weekend challenging the number of construction jobs the proposal would create.

Health Care Reform, the Next Phase? (2008-03-04)
Massachusetts' Senate President says she plans to shake up health care spending patterns in Massachusetts with legislation filed this week.

Ending Homelessness in the Region (2008-02-29)
An estimated 5000 people from around the Pioneer Valley are homeless at some point during the year. Most of them end up at shelters in Springfield or Holyoke. But regional leaders say it's time to share the burden.

State Bill and Verizon Bring Broadband to Rural Western Mass (2008-02-29)
A Massachusetts legislative committee is about to take action on a bond bill filed by Governor Patrick that will provide broadband internet to Western Massachusetts communities currently without high-speed access. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Broadband Forum Planned (2008-02-28)
Officials from the Federal Communications Commission, along with Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and Congressman John Olver were scheduled to be in Northampton this weekend to talk about bringing broadband internet to unserved parts of Western Massachusetts. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

DiMasi Declines Golf Invite with Casino Mogul (2008-02-25)
Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi says he declined a invitation to play golf with casino mogul Donald Trump in Florida, as lawmakers are preparing to debate legalizing casinos in Massachusetts. But DiMasi did meet briefly with Trump at the developer's Palm Beach estate. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Edith Wharton's Berkshire Estate Threatened with Foreclosure (2008-02-25)
The Lenox, Massachusetts estate of 20th century author Edith Wharton is in danger of being put into foreclosure. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Child Mental Health Screenings (2008-02-25)
As of January 1st, all pediatricians in Massachusetts are required to screen their young medicaid patients for mental health problems. It's a court-mandated move that supporters hope will identify more troubled children and get them earlier treatment. But some also worry the screenings could put more stress on a log-jammed system. WFCRs Karen Brown reports.

Legislation would Mandate Minimum Sentences for Child Rapists in MA (2008-02-25)
Convicted child rapists in Massachusetts would see longer sentences, if a bill moving through the legislature is passed. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

UMass Music Professor Dies (2008-02-22)
A UMass Professor Emeritus of music and founder of a summer music festival in the Pioneer Valley has died. WFCR's Tina Antolini brings us this remembrance of Leopold Teraspulsky.

Pre-Civil War African American Family Made A Home in New England (2008-02-19)
You're about to hear the story of a pre-Civil War African American family. Lucy Terry grew up in Deerfield, Massachusetts in the 1720s. She was a slave and is considered the first known African-American poet. Abijah Prince was a slave and a veteran of the French and Indian Wars. When he gained his freedom, he went to Deerfield and married Lucy. They started a family and became land owners in Massachusetts and Vermont.

Greenfield Town Councilors Consider State Help In School Budget Woes (2008-02-19)
With the Greenfield, Massachusetts school department trying to make up a surprise mid-school year budget deficit , several town councilors want Greenfield to consider help from the state. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

MA Launches New Auto Insurance Website for Consumers (2008-02-18)
Massachusetts' Division of Insurance has launched a new website aimed at helping consumers find the best deal on auto insurance under the state's newly deregulated system... WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008-02-18)
The Spiderwick Chronicles have come to life. The film version of the popular children's books is now in theaters. Spiderwick authors Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi live in Amherst, Massachusetts and spoke with WFCR's Charlene Scott.

Scrambled Eggs, Extraordinaire (2008-02-15)
Food writer John Thorne has been a longtime culinary companion to many. In these days of the Food Network and best selling chef memoirs, he may not be as well known as Rachel Ray or Nigella Lawson, but the Northampton, Massachusetts author of 5 books, and winner of a James Beard book award has for decades provided stories of ordinary meals made extraordinary by careful observation.

Love and Language (2008-02-15)
A few years ago, Amherst College professor Ilan Stavans was writing a magazine article on love. He was pouring over dictionaries in several languages to see if love was defined differently from language to language. He expected to find only slight variations. But that wasn't the case, as he tells WFCR's Bob Paquette.

Casino opponents gear up (2008-02-14)
An anti-casino group in Massachusetts has hired a strategist whose track record includes defeating casino expansion plans in Maine. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Love and Language (2008-02-14)
A few years ago, Amherst College professor Ilan Stavans was writing a magazine article on love. He was pouring over dictionaries in several languages to see if love was defined differently from language to language. To his suprise, it was.

Storm Floods Western MA Roads (2008-02-13)
Twenty-four hours of snow and heavy rain in Western New England made for flooded streets and high rivers ... As WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, flood warnings have been issued for much of the region.

MA House Speaker Annouces Spending Plan (2008-02-12)
Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi is proposing to raise the state's cigarette tax in order to balance the new state budget. In announcing his spending plan Tuesday, DiMasi says he now supports Governor Patrick's proposal to close corporate tax loopholes, an idea that he's rejected in the past. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Violence at UMass Part of National Trend (2008-02-12)
Violent crime on university campuses is increasingly common across the country. The recent slate of assaults, civil rights violations, and resulting student arrests at UMass Amherst is part of that trend, according to Joetta Carr.

Greenfield School Officials Meet to Discuss Staff Cuts (2008-02-12)
School officials in Greenfield, Massachusetts will be meeting later this week to discuss a proposed plan that would decrease mid-year staff cuts.

Tax Penalties For Uninsured MA Residents To Go Up in 2008 (2008-02-11)
As Massachusetts residents file their taxes this year, those without health insurance are facing penalties for the first time.. But as WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, the state's health insurance mandate isn't complicating this year's taxes as much as it might next year.

Number of Homeless in Springfield Counted, Questioned (2008-02-07)
The city of Springfield, Massachsuetts has announced a 39% decline in the number of people living on the street. The city considers that a substantial shift, but not everyone agrees the numbers have changed all that much. WFCR's Jill Kaufman reports.

Romney Ends his Campaign for President (2008-02-07)
In the wake of disappointing Super Tuesday returns, Mitt Romney has decided to suspend his presidential campaign.

Romney's Campaign Staff Devastated by Decision to end Campaign (2008-02-07)
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is suspending his presidential campaign, effectively ceding the republican nomination to John Mccain. WFCR's Kevin Mcnicholas spent most of the day Thursday outside Romney's campaign headquarters in Boston for reaction to the decision.

WRTA Shake-up (2008-02-07)
Facing a budget deficit of more than a million dollars, the Worcester Regional Transit Authority plans to cut some bus routes and end service on holidays. But Worcester's City Manager says those cuts won't solve the problem. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Is There a Doctor in the County? (2008-02-04)
Two Franklin County legislators are pushing a measure they hope will increase the number of doctors in Massachusetts' rural areas. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

CT & MA Voters Weigh In on Super Tuesday (2008-02-04)
Tomorrow, Super Tuesday, more than 20 states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, hold their Presidential primary. The Republican party still has 3 major candidates, the Democratic party has 2. WFCR's Karen Brown spoke with some voters in western Massachusetts about who they're gong to vote for and why.

Merrill Lynch Still Under Scrutiny (2008-02-01)
Massachusetts' Secretary of State has filed charges against Merrill Lynch for selling unsuitable sub-prime mortgage-related securities to the city of Springfield. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Hampshire Alum 's Making of "Chicago 10" (2008-02-01)
Hampshire College alum, filmmaker Brett Morgen has produced a new documentary about the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. Morgen, who also directed The Kid Stays in the Picture, says the events in his documentary which took place 40 years ago have never been more relevant. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

A.P.E. Says Goodbye to Old Space (2008-02-01)
After 30 years, "Available Potential Enterprises", more commonly known as A.P.E., is leaving its space on the top floor of the Thorne's Marketplace in Northampton, Massachusetts and is moving almost next door. A.P.E. founder Gordon Thorne told WFCR's Tina Antolini he's excited about the potential for the new street level space, but the top floor of Thorne's was special.

UMass prepares for the Super Bowl (2008-02-01)
With another regional sports team playing for a league championship, officials at UMass-Amherst are again preparing for rowdy behavior. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Delegate Count (2008-01-31)
When Massachusetts voters choose among Presidential candidates in next Tuesday's Primary, they're actually deciding on delegates to the Democratic and Republican Party Conventions. As WFCR's Bob Paquette reports, the process is not as simple as one person, one vote.

Large Water Valve Leaves Orange, MA (2008-01-30)
A very large water valve is on its way from Massachusetts to Texas. WFCR's Bob Paquette has details

Governor Urges Education Overhaul (2008-01-30)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told a legislative committee hearing Tuesday that the state's education bureaucracy needs to be overhauled.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Ends Policy on Endorsements (2008-01-30)
The Northampton, Massachusetts-based Daily Hampshire Gazette has ended it's long-standing policy of not endorsing political candidates. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Keeping State Contracts Local (2008-01-29)
Two Berkshire County lawmakers want the state to favor Massachusetts businesses when it comes to awarding state contracts. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports:

Sprinfield Youth Track Team Competes in Winter (2008-01-29)
For the first time in years, Springfield youth are running track in the winter.

New Center for Complexity and Conflict Analysis at the University of Hartford (2008-01-29)
The University of Hartford has received a two million dollar gift to establish a enter to study the Theory of Complexity and Conflict Analysis. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

UMass Geologist Studies Natural Gas Formed By Bacteria (2008-01-29)
Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have discovered a link between bacteria and some rocks in Michigan that may make natural gas a renewable energy resource. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Hillary Clinton Campaigns in Springfield (2008-01-28)
Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was in Springfield, Massachusetts today, campaigning in advance of next week's Super Tuesday primary election. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Homes Sales Drop in MA During 2007 (2008-01-28)
Sales of single-family homes in Massachusetts dropped more than 8 percent in 2007, according to a new report from The Warren Group, a Boston-based provider of real estate data. As WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, the continuing downward spiral of home sales may be scaring off prospective home buyers.

UMass Economists Examine Food Production (2008-01-28)
Economists at UMass Amherst are taking a a close look at the chain of food production in America. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Clinton Campaigns in Springfield (2008-01-28)
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was in Springfield, Massachusetts today in advance of next week's Super Tuesday primary election. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Behold the Banjar (2008-01-25)
Composer and Musician Michael Nix has invented the banjar. It's a cross between a 5-string banjo and a classical guitar. The Greenfield, Massachusetts resident says he created the instrument when he was searching for a sound that he couldn't find on a traditional banjo.

Immigrants Wait, as Feds Face a Backlog in Citizenship Applications (2008-01-25)
Immigrants in Massachusetts and across the country are waiting longer to become U.S. citizens, as federal officials deal with a backlog of applications for citizenship. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Immigrants Wait, as Feds Face a Backlog in Citizenship Applications (2008-01-25)
As November's presidential election approaches, immigrants in Massachusetts who were trying to become citizens in time to vote may not get the opportunity... WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

MA Needs $20 Billion to Fix Infrastructure (2008-01-24)
The head of the Massachusetts taxpayers foundation had some bad news for a legislative committee hearing Tuesday in Boston. Michael Widmer says the state cannot refinance its way out of a transportation funding gap that has only gotten worse since September, when a special panel said close to $20 billion would be needed to fix the Baystate's infrastructure. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Study Examines Fuel Efficiency Engine Developed in Western Mass (2008-01-24)
The Scuderi Group of West Springfield has been developing a "Split-Cycle engine" since 2002. A new independent study, performed on a computer model of the engine, found that it's more powerful and fuel efficient that a conventional gas-powered engine. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

$20 Billion Needed to Fix Baystate's Infrastructure (2008-01-24)
The head of the Massachusetts taxpayers foundation had some bad news for a legislative committee hearing Tuesday in Boston. Michael Widmer says the state cannot refinance its way out of a transportation funding gap that has only gotten worse since September, when a special panel said close to $20 billion would be needed to fix the Baystate's infrastructure. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Food Price Increases Felt In Western Massachusetts (2008-01-24)
The U.S. Department of Labor released its 2007 Consumer Price Index numbers earlier this month. In addition to a huge jump in energy costs, food prices rose by almost 5 percent, the largest increase in 17 years.

Amherst College Collaborates with Town of Amherst on Economic Development (2008-01-23)
Amherst is known as a college town-- but those colleges own a large amount of property and they don't pay taxes. Now, the town is working with Amherst College and the campus' resources to bring more income into town. WFCR's Tina Antolini explains.

Massachusetts hospitals are releasing information on the rate that their patients suffer from bed sores. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports:

Massachusetts Officials Work on "Climate Roadmap" (2008-01-22)
The Patrick Administration is at work on a plan aimed at helping Massachusetts meet it's mandated goal of greenhouse gas reductions. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

The Great Principal Search (2008-01-22)
The "help wanted" sign is up in four schools in Amherst, Massachusetts. WFCR's Bob Paquette has more.

Springfield Control Board Won't Sue Merrill Lynch (2008-01-18)
The Springfield Finance Control Board has decided not to file a lawsuit - at least not yet -- in the case of 13 million dollars in potentially lost investment money. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

MA Bill Would Limit Use of Shock Therapy (2008-01-18)
A key sponsor of a bill that would restrict the use of shock therapy treatments in Massachusetts, says his measure contains strong safeguards to ensure that such procedures are used only as a last resort. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

Kennedy Says $27 Million in Fuel Assistance is Insufficient (2008-01-18)
A day after President Bush released $450 million from the low income home energy assistance program, Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy was in Boston Thursday heading a Senate committee hearing on economic security. Kennedy says Massachusetts, which stands to receive $27 million in heating aid, should have gotten more. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Springfield May Privatize Parking Authority (2008-01-18)
The Springfield Finance Control Board is considering privatizing the city's parking authority. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Springfield Residents Want to Keep Renaissance School Intact (2008-01-18)
Students and parents from the Renaissance School in Springfield, Massachusetts urged the city's Finance Control Board Thursday to help keep their campus intact.

Springfield Control Board Won't Sue Merrill Lynch (2008-01-18)
The Springfield Finance Control Board has decided not to file a lawsuit - at least not yet -- in the case of 13 million dollars in potentially lost investment money. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Springfield Control Board Won't Sue Merrill Lynch (2008-01-18)
The Springfield Finance Control Board has decided not to file a lawsuit - at least not yet -- in the case of 13 million dollars in potentially lost investment money. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Springfield Control Board Won't Sue Merrill Lynch (2008-01-17)
The Springfield Finance Control Board has decided not to file a lawsuit - at least not yet -- in the case of 13 million dollars in potentially lost investment money. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Northampton Journalist Suggests Bell Stole Idea for Telephone (2008-01-17)
"Mister Watson, come here." Most of us associate those words with the invention of the telephone. They were said by Alexander Graham Bell, in Boston, in 1876, but Northampton journalist Seth Shulman suggests Bell may have stolen the idea for the telephone.

Springfield Control Board Won't Sue Merrill Lynch (2008-01-17)
The Springfield Finance Control Board has decided not to file a lawsuit - at least not yet -- in the case of 13 million dollars in potentially lost investment money. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Massachusetts Voters Weigh in on Poll (2008-01-16)
A new presidential primary poll in Massachusetts shows republican John McCain the favorite over former Governor Mitt Romney. WFCR's Bob Paquette has the details.

Northampton's Water Treatment Plant Up and Running (2008-01-16)
Northampton, Massachusetts residents may notice cleaner, tastier water now that the city's new water treatment plant is online. WFCR's Karen Brown has details.

MA Gov's Satellite Office Opens in Springfield (2008-01-16)
Governor Deval Patrick has named Elizabeth Cardona as Director of his recently re-opened western Massachusetts office. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

Annie Cheatham Resigns from CISA (2008-01-15)
Annie Cheatham has been at the helm of the local food movement in western New England for decades. At the end of the month, she will step down as executive director of the organization she helped to start, "Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture" or CISA.

1972 Unsolved Murder Sees New Evidence (2008-01-15)
The parents of a 13-year-old altar boy from Springfield, Massachusetts whose murder in 1972 remains unsolved say they hope the release of thousands of pages of investigative documents could finally bring their son's killer to justice.

Mass Voter Registration Deadline (2008-01-15)
Massachusetts residents have just a couple of days to register to vote in the February Fifth Presidential Primary. WFCR's Bob Paquette has details:

CT 32nd District Elects New Senator Today (2008-01-15)
Connecticut's Secretary of the State is reminding residents in the 32nd senatorial district to vote Tuesday. The winner will fill the seat once held by former State Senator Lou Deluca. From WNPR in Hartford, Lucy Nalpathanchil reports.

Future of Renewable Energy Discussed in Northampton (2008-01-15)
Faced with rising energy costs, Western Massachusetts legislative and business leaders gathered in Northampton today, to discuss the future of renewable energy. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Proposed Wind Farm Nonthreatening to Wildlife (2008-01-15)
The developer of a proposed wind farm off Nantucket Sound is claiming victory after the release of a report by the U-S minerals management service that says the farm would not pose a threat to navigation or wildlife. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Amhesrt Survival Center Offers Free Medical Advice (2008-01-15)
Visitors to the Survival Center in Amherst will be able to get free medical advice, starting this week. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Vermont Senate President wants independent review of Vermont Yankee (2008-01-15)
The President of the Vermont Senate is calling for an independent safety inspection of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports:

Le Vent du Nord (2008-01-11)
WFCR's CT Political reporter Av Harris ends his ten year career in public radio on a muscial note, with a look at the French Canadian band, Le Vent du Nord. Harris will be working in Communications in the office of CT State Treasurer Denise Nappier.

40 Deploy from Westover, Bound for the Middle East (2008-01-11)
Forty Air Force Reservists deployed from Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts today, bound for the Middle East. WFCR's Tina Antolini was there, as they said goodbye to their families.

40 Deploy from Westover, Bound for the Middle East (2008-01-11)
Forty Air Force Reservists deployed from Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts today, bound for the Middle East. WFCR's Tina Antolini was there, as they said goodbye to their families.

Remembering Doris Abramson (2008-01-11)
Amherst native Doris Abramson, a UMASS Amherst professor emeritus of Theater and a pioneering scholar of black theater, died last week at the age of 82. During more than 31 years on the faculty, Abramson taught theater history and oral interpretation of literature as a member of the English, Speech and Theater departments. WFCR's Bob Paquette, long ago a student of Abramson, has this remembrance.

Remembering Doris Abramson (2008-01-11)
Amherst native Doris Abramson, a UMASS Amherst professor emeritus of Theater and a pioneering scholar of black theater, died last week at the age of 82. During more than 31 years on the faculty, Abramson taught theater history and oral interpretation of literature as a member of the English, Speech and Theater departments. WFCR's Bob Paquette, long ago a student of Abramson, has this remembrance.

A look at the Violence in Kenya (2008-01-11)
The violence that has followed Kenya's presidential election on December 27th has affected not only hundreds of thousands of people in that east African nation, but many Kenyans who now call western New England home. Those keeping a close watch on developments in Kenya include WFCR's Kari Njiiri, who grew up in Kenya and still has family in that country.

Springfield City Councilor supports Control Board (2008-01-08)
As Springfield's new mayor calls for a return to local governmental control, the city's newest council member says -- not so fast. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Southampton Considers New Method to Pass Property Tax Override (2008-01-08)
The town of Southampton, Massachusetts is considering a new campaign to pass a proposition two and half property tax override.... One that other Massachusetts towns have used successfully. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Springfield's 54th Mayor (2008-01-08)
Domenic Sarno was sworn in Monday as the 54th mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts. WFCR's Tina Antolini was there.

Sarno Inaugurated as Mayor of Springfield (2008-01-07)
Domenic Sarno was sworn in this week as the 54th mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts. WFCR's Tina Antolini was there.

Repeal MA State Income Tax? (2008-01-07)
Six years ago, a question on the Massachusetts ballot sought repeal of the state's income tax. Forty-five percent of those voting said "yes", surprising many who opposed the idea. Now, those behind that repeal effort are trying again. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Has Springfield Really Lost $13 Million in Subprime Investments? (2008-01-04)
Investigations continue into investments Merrill Lynch made for the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. In 2007, Merrill Lynch put $14 million of the city's money into the subprime mortgage market and the value of the investment has since dropped to just over a million.

To Stay Competitive, MA May Need to Reduce Energy Costs (2008-01-04)
Some key business leaders say that unless Massachusetts takes concrete action to reduce energy costs, manufacturing companies based in central and western Massachusetts will continue to leave the state for cheaper markets. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

New Casino Licenses May Cover Budget Shortfall (2008-01-04)
Massachusetts faces a deficit of $1.3 billion dollars in the coming fiscal year. Governor Deval Patrick's budget proposal may seek to cover half that amount with money from selling casino licenses. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Bay State Gas Examines New Pipeline (2008-01-04)
Bay State Gas wants to explore the possibility of running a new natural gas pipeline between Granby and Easthampton, Massachusetts. The company is set to go before the South Hadley Conservation Commission Monday about the matter. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Bissonnette Defends Participation in Pro-Casino Endorsement (2008-01-04)
Chicopee, Massachusetts Mayor Michael Bissonnette is defending his participation in a pro-casino pamphlet, paid for by Suffolk Downs, the race track outside of Boston. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Hard to Heat (2008-01-03)
With the coldest weather we've seen yet this winter just arriving, and oil hitting the $100 dollar a barrel mark for the first time ever, many in the region are wondering how they can afford to stay warm this winter. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Goodbye Charlie Ryan (2008-01-03)
This is Charlie Ryan's last week as Mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts. Dominic Sarno, who defeated Ryan in November, will be inaugurated on Monday. The 80-year-old Ryan told WFCR's Karen Brown, he ends a government career that spanned 48 years with few regrets.

A Look Back at 2007 (2008-01-02)
2007 was a year of change in the region. Change is coming in the Springfield mayor's office. Change has been a hot topic in Northampton's downtown. And there's been change in the UMASS Amherst Chancellor's office, too. WFCR's Bob Paquette, Karen Brown and Tina Antolini look back at the year, in news.

Environmental Officials Hold Hearing on Proposed Westfield Power Plant (2008-01-02)
State environmental officials will be in Westfield, Massachusetts Thursday for a public hearing on a proposed gas-fired power plant in the city. As WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, the project has already gained the support of several local officials.

New Fines for Uninsured Massachusetts Residents (2008-01-02)
If you're a Massachusetts resident, the cost of not having health insurance is going up. As the new year begins, most residents who remain uninsured will begin facing monthly fines. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Massachusetts Homelessness Report Almost Ready (2008-01-02)
A Massachusetts commission seeking ways to end homelessness is expected to release a report later this month to Governor Patrick. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports:

Springfield Mayor Elect Says City Will Monitor Investments (2007-12-31)
Merrill Lynch issued a statement late last week saying that investments the firm made for the city of Springfield, Massachusetts were reviewed and approved by city officials. The city lost more than 11 million dollars of its 14 million dollar fund. Springfield's mayor elect says he won't let this happen again. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Remembering Tommy Makem (2007-12-31)
Singer Tommy Makem died this year. He was praised as the hero of Irish folk music in America. He died of lung cancer in August, at the age of 74. WFCR's Av Harris had the chance to sit down with Makem a few years ago, when Makem was celebrating 50 years of singing, and has this remembrance.

MA Pediatricians Screen Youth for Mental Health Issues (2007-12-31)
Starting Monday, December 31st, pediatricians in Massachusetts will have to screen all their young Medicaid patients for mental health issues. It's the first step in a court-ordered remedy for the state's alleged failure to address the needs of troubled children. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

At Home with War: Know Your Military Lingo (2007-12-29)
Do you know what an IED is? Rebecca Joffe Halpern doesn't think enough people do. 27-year-old Halpern grew up in Williamstown, Massachusetts. So did her her boyfriend Brent Filson, who was wounded about a year ago by an IED in the Iraq war. As part of WFCR's ongoing series, "At Home with War" Halpern explains how those three letters of the alphabet changed their lives.

Springfield Acquires Old First Church (2007-12-28)
Springfield, Massachusetts officials have announced that the city will acquire Old First Church, one of the oldest buildings in Springfield. WFCR's Tina Antolini Reports.

Massachusetts Pakistani-Americans Mourn Bhutto (2007-12-28)
Area Pakistani-Americans are reacting with shock and grief to the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. WFCR's Kari Njiiri has more.

Northampton Gets Solar-Powered Trash Compactors (2007-12-28)
Northampton, Massachusetts is getting some state help to deal with trash -- in an energy-efficient way. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Connecticut Pakistani-Americans React to Bhutto's Death (2007-12-28)
Pakistani Americans in Connecticut are reacting with shock and anger to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Massachusetts May Lose a Congressional Seat (2007-12-28)
A new analysis of population data indicates that Massachusetts may have one less representative on Capitol Hill after the 2010 federal census. The study by "Poli-Data" says that while the state's population is projected to rise by 2 percent, that will not keep pace with average growth rate around the nation of more than ten percent. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Details of Palmer Casino Plan Released (2007-12-28)
The developers of a proposed casino in Palmer, Massachusetts have released details of their plan should the state approve an expansion of gambling. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Health Deadline Nears (2007-12-27)
Monday, Dec. 31 is the last day to sign up for health insurance under Massachusetts new health reform law, in order to avoid a penalty.WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Pakistanis in Region React to Bhutto Assassination (2007-12-27)
The Pakistani American population in Connecticut has grown substantially in the last decade. Members of that community are reacting with shock and anger to the assassination of Pakistan's opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. WFCR's Av Harris spoke with Zaheer Sharaf , vice president of the Pakistani American Association of Connecticut.

Health Reform - Who's on Board? (2007-12-27)
The December 31st deadline is almost here to sign up for a health plan through Massachusetts health reform law. The law requires every Massachusetts resident to have health insurance - or face a financial penalty at their next tax filing. The state has announced that 300,000 people who didn't have insurance before the law do now. But as WFCR's Karen Brown reports, not all of the newly insured consider their change in status an improvement.

A Deerfield Seuss Afficinado on 50 Years of the Grinch (2007-12-24)
This year marks the 50th anniversary of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", the Dr. Seuss holiday classic. To mark the occasion, Random House has come out with a new edition featuring a 25-page retrospective about the Grinch, from a Seuss expert who lives in western Massachusetts. WFCR's Tina Antolini has the story.

Ryan Attends His Last Control Board Meeting (2007-12-21)
The Springfield, Massachusetts finance control board Thursday took up such issues as the city's tax rate and funding for a new homeless resource center. It was the last meeting attended by outgoing Mayor Charlie Ryan, who was praised and thanked for his service to the city. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Northampton Adopts Comprehensive Growth Plan (2007-12-21)
Northampton, Massachusetts' planning board has adopted the city's first comprehensive plan in more than 30 years, aimed at maintaining and improving what its members call the social equity, economic vitality and environmental security of Northampton.

Half of "First Night" Proceeds to Benefit Pleasant Street Theater (2007-12-21)
Northampton Center for the Arts will donate half the proceeds from this year's "First Night" celebration to keep the Pleasant Street Theater open.

Holyoke, MA Treasurer Cited by the State for Mismanagement (2007-12-21)
The city of Holyoke this week received a scathing review of its financial management practices from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. But, as WFCR's Karen Brown reports, the steps to remedy the problems are not at all straightforward.

Sullivan Hopes to Fix Holyoke's Finacial Problems (2007-12-21)
The Mayor of Holyoke says he's hoping to work closely with the city council and the city treasurer to fix financial problems revealed in a highly critical report from the Massachusetts department of revenue. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Vigil Held in Honor of Homeless (2007-12-21)
As part of a national day to remember homeless people who died this year, a candlelight vigil was held in Springfield, Massachusetts. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

5 Banks Contribute to Mortgage Relief Fund (2007-12-21)
Five banks announced at the Federal Reserve in Boston Thursday that they have committed a total of $125 million to a mortgage relief fund. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports the fund is designed to help some borrowers in New England avoid foreclosure on their homes.

Western Mass Film on Deaf Culture Wins Award (2007-12-20)
A Western Massachusetts team of filmmakers has won a prestigious award for a documentary on deaf culture.

Sending More than One off to War (2007-12-19)
Families across the U.S. are seeing their children leave home for Iraq or Afghanistan to fight in the war. As part of our ongoing series "At Home with War" WFCR's Tina Antolini introduces us to a family in Hadley, Massachusetts who had to say goodbye to more than one child.

Pleasant Street Theater Could Have New Operators (2007-12-19)
The new owner of the building housing the Pleasant Street Theater in Northampton says there's only one group he's courting to take over the independent cinema. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

"It's A Wonderful Life" Becomes a Radio Play (2007-12-19)
A fixture of the holiday entertainment season is the annual television rerun of It's a wonderful Life. The classic 1946 film has now found its way onto the stage at The Majestic Theater in West Springfield, Massachusetts. As Chris Rohmann reports, the movie been reworked as an old-time radio drama.

MA Commission Debates Corporate Taxes (2007-12-18)
As a special commission on corporate taxes prepares to make its final recommendations, Massachusetts' largest employers group claims state and local taxes on Baystate businesses increased 45-percent between fiscal 2002 and 2007. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

Funding Affordable Housing up for Congressional Debate (2007-12-18)
Some affordable housing units in western Massachusetts may be at risk, as Congress debates a spending plan for the next fiscal year. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Rise in Wheat Prices Felt in Region's Bakeries (2007-12-18)
The price for wheat on the American market rose above ten dollars a bushel this week, setting a new record. As WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, that increase is being felt in bakeries around the region.

Thousands Sign Up For Health Insurance as Deadline Nears (2007-12-18)
As the end of the year deadline approaches for adult residents of Massachusetts to carry required health insurance, the head of the agency which administer's the state's health insurance law says the rush is on to make sure everyone is signed up. WFCR's Kari Njiri reports.

Lieberman Backs McCain for President (2007-12-18)
Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman has crossed party lines again, this time to back Republican John McCain for President. Lieberman made his endorsement Monday in New Hampshire. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Rising Sun Real Estate Deal Falls Through in Berkshires (2007-12-17)
A real estate transaction that was expected to turn a recently closed Berkshire county paper mill into luxury condominiums has reportedly fallen through. WFCR's Kari Njiri reports.

Montague Center School will be Consolidated (2007-12-17)
A group of parents and community members have been given several months to come up with a plan to keep the Montague Center School open.

UMass Trustees Elect New Chairman (2007-12-17)
The UMass Board of Trustees has elected a new Chairman. Robert Manning, a businessman from Swampscott, will replace outgoing Chairman Stephen Tocco.

"Arts Need Preservation" in Northampton (2007-12-17)
A longtime arts supporter in Northampton, Massachusetts is exploring ways to preserve city spaces for cultural events. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Western MA Covered in Snow Fall (2007-12-14)
The storm responsible for causing hundreds of thousands of midwesterners to lose power over the last few days is now battering the northeast with snow.

MADD Starts Red Ribbon Car Campaign (2007-12-14)
If you see a car with a red ribbon tied to it, it may be a message from the group 'Mothers Against Drunk Driving.' WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Shelburne Falls Fire Seems Suspicious (2007-12-14)
The Sunday night fire that destroyed a 100 year old building in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts has been deemed suspicious. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Life Science Industry Leaders Push for Tax Incentives (2007-12-14)
A survey released this week says 75% of life science industry leaders in Massachusetts would consider relocating if state funding doesn't keep pace with incentives offered by other states and countries.

Toxic Toys (2007-12-13)
According to consumer advocates around the country, alarming levels of toxic chemicals are present in common toys that may be bought as gifts this holiday season. Most of these toys are manufactured in China. Phil Sherwood of Connecticut Citizen Action Group spoke with WFCR's Av Harris and says a recent national study found even toys such as Hannah Montana contain high levels of toxins.

Shelburne Falls Residents Rally Around Fire Victims (2007-12-13)
The burnt out shell of a building in the center of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts is in the process of being demolished. As WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, town residents are quickly rallying around those who lost their homes and businesses in Sunday night's fire.

Wooly Adelgid Strikes Local Hemlocks (2007-12-10)
Scientists trying to save local hemlock trees from a deadly pest say they're hopeful about new treatments, but warn that it will be a while before they even know whether those solutions are effective. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

CT Pushes for Serious Ethics Reform (2007-12-10)
Recent improprieties involving two state senators are shining a brighter light on the need for Connecticut lawmakers to enact serious ethics reform. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

DoE Takes Over Berkshire Regional School District (2007-12-10)
The State Department of Education has taken over the southern Berkshire regional school district, a move state officials say is a first in Massachusetts history. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

College Students Maybe Drinking Less (2007-12-10)
UMass Amherst officials and local community leaders Friday celebrated what they say is a sucessful campaign against dangerous drinking. A recent survey found a 25% reduction in heavy drinking on the Amherst campus. Martha Nelson Patrick is the University's director of community relations. She's also part of a group that's been distributing information around the campus about the risks of drinking too much alcohol.

Small Farmers Concerned about Animal Registration (2007-12-10)
A group representing small farmers in Massachusetts is calling on the state's new agriculture commissioner to opt out of or delay implementing a federal program to identify and register animal livestock.

Springfield Police Supervisors Union Agrees to Settlement (2007-12-07)
Following 3 years of often bitter negotiations, the last municipal union in Springfield, Massachusetts has agreed to a contract settlement with the city, just weeks before a change in the Mayoral administration. WFCR's Karen Brown explains.

Social Services in CT Need Additional Aid (2007-12-07)
Social service agencies in Connecticut are asking for Governor Jodi Rell and lawmakers to pass an emergency relief fund for the current fiscal year. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Art is Changing Turners Falls Economy (2007-12-07)
A new study shows that developing the arts in Turner's Falls, Massachusetts is changing the former mill town's economy. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Baystate GOP Lawmakers Approve Romney's Faith (2007-12-07)
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney spoke about the role of religion and the Mormon faith in his life during an address in Texas Thursday. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports reaction from some GOP lawmakers in the Baystate has been positive.

Repealing the Income Tax May Appear on 2008 Ballot (2007-12-06)
The Massachusetts grass roots group, The Committee for Small Government, filed more than 77-thousand signatures with the Massachusetts Secretary of State's office, in an effort to get a measure on the 2008 ballot doing away with the state income tax. Carla Howell chairs the committee. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas caught up with her at the State House in Boston.

MA Senators Approve Emergency Fuel Assistance Funding (2007-12-06)
Massachusetts Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy have announced a bill that would provide an additional $1 billion in emergency fuel assistance for low-income families. As WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, some western Massachusetts residents could already use the help.

CT Lawmakers Hope to Adopt Tougher Penalties (2007-12-06)
Connecticut lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a resolution today that allows them to go into special session in January to adopt tougher penalties for violent crimes. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

300,000 People Now Have Health Insurance (2007-12-06)
Massachusetts officials announced Wednesday that almost 300,000 people have signed up for health insurance since the state's new health insurance reform law went into effect. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Santa Gets Taken Out (2007-12-06)
'Tis the season for performances of holiday classics. Reindeer and sugarplum fairies are onstage in the Nutcracker. Choral groups offer Handel's Messiah, and Christmas-pops fill the concert halls. But as WFCR's Charlene Scott reports, the staging of "Santacide" in Northampton, Massachusetts offers a different take on the season.

Property Tax Assesment Disputed in Deerfield (2007-12-05)
Farmers in Deerfield, Massachusetts will get a chance to address local officials at the town's annual tax classification hearing Wednesday.

Green Condos to be Built in Greenfield (2007-12-05)
Construction is set to begin soon on a condominium project in Greenfield, Massachusetts that would combine affordable housing and energy-efficiency. WFCR's Kari Njiri reports.

Rell Vows to Stop Recent Racist Reactions (2007-12-05)
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell is vowing to use the full power of state law enforcement to stop the recent rash of racist incidents involving nooses. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Random Drawing Decided Presidential Candidate Order (2007-12-05)
The order in which the names of the Presidential candidates will appear on the Massachusetts primary ballot was decided Tuesday morning at the State House. Secretary of State William Galvin drew the names from a drum which he had spun around as more than 100 school children watched. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Deerfield Struggles to Find Appropriate Land Tax Value (2007-12-05)
The town of Deerfield, Massachusetts is struggling with a complicated battle between farmers, local tax assessors, and the state department of revenue. WFCR'S Tina Antolini explains.

Development Progresses in Springfield, MA (2007-12-04)
Congressman Richard Neal met with local leaders in Springfield, Massachusetts Monday to update them on various economic development projects in the city. Among them the new $70 million federal courthouse, which Neal says is about 85% completed.

Health Insurers Will Release Financial Information (2007-12-04)
A group representing health insurers in Massachusetts says they will begin releasing information about their revenues and expenditures so everyone will know what is driving health care costs. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Roundtable Held on Equal Coverage for Mental Illness (2007-12-04)
Connecticut Congressman Chris Murphy was joined by his colleague from Rhode Island, Patrick Kennedy, Monday as they led a roundtable discussion on getting equal coverage for mental illness. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Health Insurers Will Release Financial Information (2007-12-04)
A group representing health insurers in Massachusetts says they will begin releasing information about their revenues and expenditures so everyone will know what is driving health care costs. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

"Anything Can Inspire a Poem," Says Patricia Smith (2007-12-04)
Four-time national poetry slam champion Patricia Smith says anything can inspire a poem. From news headlines to the moan of a blues singer, all you need to do, she says, is step inside the story. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Speaking at Amherst College, John Bolton Remains Critical of U.N. (2007-12-04)
It was a year ago when John Bolton, the former U.S. Ambassor to the United Nations, announced he would resign after his nomination languished for months in congress.

Pioneer Valley Regional Named in Top US Schools (2007-12-04)
A school in rural north western Massachusetts has been named one of the best public high schools in the nation. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Researchers Use Facial Recognition Technology for Tracking Animals (2007-12-03)
A project currently under development by a UMass Amherst professor may help researchers track thousands of animals at a time, without the need for invasive tagging procedures.

New Grant May Help Lower Drop-out Rate (2007-12-03)
The cities of Holyoke and Springfield have 2 of the highest school drop-out rates in Massachusetts. Educators are hoping a new $350,000 grant will help more kids get through high school, and beyond. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Springfield's Mayor-Elect is Ready for Challenge (2007-12-03)
Springfield, Massachusetts Mayor-elect Dominic Sarno will take office in early January. The son of Italian immigrants, Sarno says he's ready to do his heritage, and his city proud. WFCR's Karen Brown has this profile.

Berkshire Biodiesel Will Break Ground in Pittsfield (2007-11-30)
Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray was in Pittsfield Thursday to tour the proposed site of the largest biodiesel producing facility in the northeast. Berkshire Biodiesel is expected to break ground in the spring in an industrial park located on the Pittsfield-Dalton line.

Former CT Governor Laid to Rest in Easthampton (2007-11-30)
Former Connecticut Governor William O'Neill was laid to rest Thursday following a funeral ceremony in his hometown of Easthampton. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Springfield Begins Search for New Police Commissioner (2007-11-30)
A divided vote by the Springfield, Massachusetts finance control board has launched a search for a new police commissioner, over the objections of numerous local leaders. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Patrick Signs $2.9 Billion Transportation Bill (2007-11-30)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Thursday filed a $2.9 billion transportation bond bill, saying that after 16 years of neglect it was time to reinvest in a system that improves the quality of life and encourages economic growth. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

New Northampton Water Facility Will Open in December (2007-11-30)
Northampton, Massachusetts officials say a long delayed $28 million water treatment facility will begin operating soon. The plant has been in the works since 2001 when organic matter found to cause cancer in lab animals was detected in one of the city's water sources, the Mountain Street reservoir.

Men Institutionalized in the 40's Ask for an Apology (2007-11-29)
Several men who were sent to the Fernald State School for the Mentally Retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts back in the 1940's and 50's are calling for an apology from the state. The men told a legislative committee Wednesday that they also want the designation moron removed from their records, which are still maintained by the state. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

"Spanking" Bill Unlikely to Pass in House (2007-11-29)
A bill that would prohibit parents in Massachusetts from using corporal punishment to discipline their children was heard by a legislative committee Wednesday. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports that the so-called spanking bill has almost no chance of passing.

Salmon Viral Outbreak is a Temporary Setback (2007-11-29)
Local biologists say a recent viral outbreak among salmon will not derail the long term program to restore the salmon population in the Connecticut river. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Joint Chief Says Military Underestimated Troop Numbers in Iraq (2007-11-29)
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen told students at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut Wednesday the military underestimated the amount of troops it would need to accomplish its mission in Iraq. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Patrick Signs Commonwealth Corp Bill (2007-11-28)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed a bill creating a volunteer service corps that aims to give people a chance to improve their communities. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports that members of the Commonwealth Corps will promise at least a year of full- or part-time service to a group serving their community or people in need.

The War at Home: PTSD Strikes Marriage (2007-11-28)
Earlier this year, we introduced you to Peter and Anna Mohan, a young western Massachusetts couple. Peter has suffered from post tramatic stress disorder, or P-T-S-D, ever since returning from his military tour in Iraq.

UMass will House Hydrogen Fuel Cell Research Center (2007-11-28)
UMass Amherst will be home to one of only three new research centers nationwide dedicated to making hydrogen fuel cells a more efficient source of renewable energy. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Leonard Nimoy Starts Second Self Project (2007-11-28)
Leonard Nimoy is not only an actor. The former Mr. Spock is also a photographer. He was in Northampton, Massachusetts recently to start a new project, which includes getting people to reveal secrets about themselves in front of his camera. Francesca Rheannon reports.

Hearings Begin on CT Corrections Reforms (2007-11-27)
Two days of state hearings on how to reform parole and the corrections system in Connecticut began Monday in Hartford. Governor Jodi Rell suspended parole for violent offenders following a triple homicide in Cheshire over the summer.

Legislators Hear Testimony on Life Sciences Bill (2007-11-27)
Massachusetts legislators heard testimony on Governor Deval Patrick's life sciences bill Monday at a hearing in western Massachusetts. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Springfield & UMass May Partner in Pharmacology (2007-11-27)
As Governor Patrick pushes for stronger ties between the University of Massachusetts and Springfield, a state lawmaker has filed legislation to have U-Mass consider opening a school of pharmacy in that city. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

MTA Gains New Commissioner (2007-11-27)
The Massachusetts turnpike authority has a new executive Director. Former state revenue commissioner Alan Lebovidge took over control of the agency Monday. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Former CT Governor Bill O'Neill Dies at 77 (2007-11-27)
Words of praise from across the political spectrum are flowing into Connecticut in remembrance of former Governor Bill O'Neill, who died over the weekend at the age of 77. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Springfield's Sarno Announces Transition Team Tuesday (2007-11-26)
Springfield, Massachusetts Mayor-elect Dominic Sarno will announce his transition team Tuesday. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Study Shows Income Relative to Women's Housework Load (2007-11-26)
A new UMass Amherst study has found that women who earn the most money also do the least housework. Its author says the study sheds new light on spousal relationships and womens' economic power. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

The Thanksgiving Store (2007-11-23)
Anyone who's making Thanksgiving dinner knows there are numerous places in the region to shop for high quality local food. For some, the big meal may taste a bit better, because they spent their money at the "Thanksgiving store" in Hadley, Massachusetts. The proceeds go back into the local economy, and also toward feeding the hungry. WFCR's Jill Kaufman reports.

MCAS Critic Wins Lawsuit to Continue Debate (2007-11-21)
A critic of standardized testing is hoping the Massachusetts department of education will encourage more debate over education policy in the aftermath of a court settlement. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

CT Grand Jury Investigates Perez Administration (2007-11-21)
A state grand jury in Connecticut has been convened to investigate the administration of Hartford's Mayor Eddie Perez. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Debate Continues Regarding Validity of MCAS (2007-11-21)
In the aftermath of a legal settlement between the Massachusetts Department of Education and a critic of standardized testing, both sides say they encourage healthy debate of educational issues. WFCR's Karen Brown has more

MA & CT Foreclosures Rise in August (2007-11-21)
The number of foreclosures continues to climb in Massachusetts. The latest data available from August shows a sharp rise in petitions.

Commission to End Homlessness will Present Plan by Years End (2007-11-20)
By December 30th, "The Massachusetts Commission to End Homelessness" is expected to recommend a state wide plan to the Patrick administration, including a 5 year budget proposal.

CT Primary will Include 17 Candidates (2007-11-20)
There will be 9 Republicans and 8 Democrats on the primary ballot when Connecticut voters go to the polls to pick their candidate for president next February. WFCR's Kari Njiri reports.

Incident at Smith Raises Tolerance Concerns (2007-11-20)
Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts is reeling over a weekend incident and its aftermath that has brought up issues of race and tolerance at the liberal women's college. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Former Israeli Air Foce Pilot Urges for an End to Palestinian Occupation (2007-11-20)
A former Israeli Black Hawk/Air Force pilot who joined forces with former Palestinian fighters to fight for peace, says U-S policy towards Israel is doing more harm than good for his country.

Local Caucus Formed to Evaluate Regional Transportation (2007-11-19)
Massachusetts Senator Stan Rosenberg of Amherst and Representative Dan Bosley of North Adams have formed a caucus to focus on regional transportation issues.

Amherst Native Releases New Memoir (2007-11-19)
Amherst-native Leslie Garis comes from an impressive literary pedigree. Her grandparents wrote hundreds of classic children's books, from the Uncle Wiggily series to the Bobbsey Twins. Her father was a mildly successful magazine and tv writer. But as she writes in her new memoir, "House of Happy Endings," real life with her family was much more heartbreaking than the lives her family members wrote about. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

UMass Amherst in 2-Day Student Strike (2007-11-16)
At least 600 UMass Amherst students shut down an administrative building on campus Thursday during the first day of a 2-day student strike. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

UMass Students Shut Down Admin Building (2007-11-16)
At least 600 UMass Amherst students shut down an administrative building on campus Thursday during a strike. They're demanding lower student fees, more funding for diversity initiatives, and an end to police dorm patrols.

MA House Dems Vote to Change Primary Date (2007-11-16)
Democrats in the Massachusetts Senate have voted to change the state's Presidential primary from March 4th to February 5th. But not before criticism from Republicans claiming it benefited the majority party. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

MA Bill Offers Families Support in Lieu of DSS (2007-11-15)
A woman who adopted 3 children from the Massachusetts Department of Social Services told a legislative committee hearing that the state's system for helping parents with troubled children is beyond repair and lawmakers need to start over again. She spoke in support of a bill that would establish state grants for communities to develop a network of resources that would assist families in crisis. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

CT Will Randomly Audit Scan Machine Performance (2007-11-15)
Voting advocates have selected a sampling of communities in Connecticut to undergo audits of new optical scan machines used in this years general elections. WFCR's Av Harris reports

Council Considers Increasing Resident Involvement (2007-11-15)
At its meeting tonight, Northampton, Massachusetts' city council will consider a resolution intended to increase residents' involvement in the city's planning process. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

MA Latino Chamber of Commerce Questions Casino Regions (2007-11-15)
The Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce is among those questioning the design of Governor Patrick's proposed casino legislation, which includes licensing a casino in western Massachusetts, but the legislation places Worcester county in the region, along with Hampden, Hamsphire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties.

35 Foot Buffer Zone Becomes Law (2007-11-14)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed into law a bill that creates a 35 foot buffer zone around the entrances to abortion facilities in the state. Protesters will not be allowed to demonstrate inside of that zone. Kevin McNicholas has more in this report from Boston

New Pleasant Street Theater Owner Hopes to Stay Open (2007-11-14)
A Northampton businessman is expected to become the next owner of the building that houses the Pleasant Street Theater. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Lou Deluca Resigns from CT State Senate (2007-11-14)
Another public official in Connecticut is resigning following a corruption investigation. Republican State Senator Lou Deluca of Woodbury. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Some MA Rural School Districts May Share Administrative Offices (2007-11-12)
School committees in Greenfield and those in the Mohawk regional school district are considering a proposal made by Mohawk Superintendent Michael Buonicont, intended to help the rural districts with financial difficulties. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

CT Outlines Veterans Initiatives (2007-11-12)
Connecticut lawmakers are outlining their agenda of initiatives to help military veterans for the 2008 legislative session. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

MA Mediation Group Teaches Vets to Help Vets (2007-11-12)
Western Massachusetts veterans can now receive help in dealing with family conflicts, divorces, and other issues from fellow veterans.

MA Lawmakers Honor Veterans in Boston (2007-11-12)
Massachusetts lawmakers honored veterans from across the state at a ceremony in Boston yesterday. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Will MA Join Super Tuesday Primary? (2007-11-09)
More than 20 states will hold their Presidential primary on February 5th on what has become known as super Tuesday. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports that Massachusetts voters may also be going to the polls on that day.

A Massachusetts Family: Their Story of WWII (2007-11-09)
Reading the World War II correspondence between Bob McClung and his family is like looking through a window in time. From the attack on Pearl Harbor to the war's conclusion in 1945, the letters tell a story of an American family, separated and reunited, and ultimately changed. WFCR's Bob Paquette has more.

MA Renewable Energy Bill to go to the House (2007-11-09)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, House Speaker Sal Dimasi and Senate President Therese Murray announced today that they have reached agreement on a bill that would require the use of more renewable energy in the Commonwealth. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports the bill is a redrafted version of one filed by speaker Dimasi almost a year ago.

CT Launches Refinancing Program for Low-Income Homeowners (2007-11-09)
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell is launching a $50-million mortgage refinancing program for low-income homeowners WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Patrick's New Ag Commissioner Worries Some Farmers (2007-11-09)
Some Massachusetts farmers are worried about the Governor's appointment of a lawmaker from Marblehead as the new agricultural commissioner. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Springfield Votes for Ward Representation (2007-11-09)
Advocates for ward representation in Springfield,Massachusetts are enjoying their victory, and planning their next step. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Pundits Speculate on the Shift in Springfield Leadership (2007-11-09)
With the 2007 municipal elections over, pundits and voters in Springfield, Massachusetts are still trying to make sense of the mayor's race in which City Councilor Domenic Sarno defeated incumbent Charlie Ryan.

UMass Research Centers Around Ferro-Manganese Nodules (2007-11-08)
A UMass Amherst geologist has found some of the largest and fastest growing mineral deposits in North America, in a New Hampshire lake.

UMass Amherst to House Warhol Polaroids (2007-11-08)
Some photographs taken by Andy Warhol are about to find a new home at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

CT Will Review Optical Scan Machine Performance (2007-11-08)
Now that the 2007 municipal elections in Connecticut are over, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz says her office will thoroughly review the performance of the new optical scan voting machines. Secretary Bysiewicz says her office got few complaints from voters. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

UMass Research May Help State Reach Biofuel Goal (2007-11-08)
Earlier this week, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced that by 2010, the state would require all home heating oil and diesel fuel to contain some biofuel, or plant-based fuel, such as ethanol. A recent discovery made by a UMass Amherst microbiologist could help the state meet that mandate. WFCR's Tina Antolini explains.

Sarno Inherits Precarious Financial Situation in Springfield (2007-11-08)
Springfield, Massachusetts city councilor Dominic Sarno defeated incumbent Charlie Ryan in a tight race for Mayor on Tuesday. The change in leadership comes as Springfield tries to emerge from it's precarious financial situation. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

MA House Rejects Restoration of Capital Punishment (2007-11-08)
The Massachusetts House Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would have restored capital punishment. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports that the bill's sponsor admitted that the measure was doomed even before the vote was taken.

Another 4 Years For Hartford Mayor Perez (2007-11-07)
Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez will serve another 4-year term after easily defeating 5 challengers. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

27,000 MA Veterans Eligible for "Welcome Home" Bonus (2007-11-07)
On Tuesday Massachusetts treasurer Timothy Cahill presented "bonus" checks to 4 members of the U-S military. A 2 year old law provides compensation to state residents who have served on active duty since September 11th, 2001. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Sarno Shakes Up Springfield as New Mayor (2007-11-07)
Springfield, Massachusetts is getting a new mayor. In a shake-up of power, Dominic Sarno won yesterday's election over incumbent Charlie Ryan. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Health Insurance Not Connecting with Western MA (2007-11-07)
Several western Massachusetts lawmakers say their constituents have been left out of the state's campaign to inform residents about signing up for Massachusetts' new health insurance programs. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Dominic Sarno Wins in Springfield, MA (2007-11-07)
In a shake-up of power, the city of Springfield, Massachusetts has elected a new mayor. City Councilor Dominic Sarno, the son of a barber and a seamstress, won the election over incumbent Charlie Ryan, who had been seeking his third consecutive term. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Another Term for Higgins in Northampton, MA (2007-11-07)
Voters in Northampton, Massachusetts re-elected Mary Claire Higgins to a fifth 2 year term in office Tuesday, capturing almost 60 percent of the vote. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

Springfield Chooses Between 2 for Mayor (2007-11-06)
On Tuesday Springfield, Massachusetts elects a mayor. The 2 candidates are incumbent Charlie Ryan and longtime city councilor Dominic Sarno. WFCR's Karen Brown has a preview.

CT Votes on All Optical Scan Machines (2007-11-06)
Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysciewicz says Tuesday's election marks a new era in voting, with all polling places for the first time being equipped with optical scan ballot machines. But as WFCR's Av Harris reports, not all are happy with the new machines.

Biofuels to be Included in Home Heating Oil by 2010 (2007-11-06)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick filed legislation Monday designed to jump start the bio fuels industry by requiring that all home heating oil and diesel fuel sold in the state contain a certain percentage of bio fuels beginning in the year 2010. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Commonwealth Unable to Handle Health Connector Calls (2007-11-06)
Massachusetts officials are working to clear a telephone bottleneck as thousands of residents scramble to obtain health insurance before a December 31st deadline.

Western Mass Receives State Funds for Conservation (2007-11-05)
The Mineral Hills Conservation Area in Northampton and Amherst Cushman Brook Corridor are among several projects in western Massachusetts to receive thousands of dollars in state grant money to bolster their conservation efforts.

13th Annual Northampton Independent Film Festival Opens (2007-11-05)
The thirteenth annual Northampton Independent Film Festival opened November 2nd. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Yankee Magazine Praises Pittsfield, MA (2007-11-05)
Yankee Magazine has featured Pittsfield, Massachsuetts as the most surprising city in New England. In an article published this month, the magazine gives 10 reasons for the city's re-emergence as a tourist destination including a strong arts scene and emerging retail business community. Pittsfield Mayor James Ruberto says he's delighted with the news.

Candidates in CT Wrap Up Campaings (2007-11-05)
Candidates for municipal offices in Connecticut are doing last-minute campaigning Monday, as voters go to the polls tomorrow. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

UMass Builds New Recreation Center (2007-11-05)
A new 120,000 square foot recreation center is being built at UMass. The $50 million project will provide 7 times the space currently available in the aging Boyden gymnasium.

Northampton Mayoral Candidates Close Campaigns (2007-11-05)
3 candidates are vying for mayor of Northampton, Massachusetts in Tuesday's election. WFCR's Tina Antolini has this profile of the race.

MA House Approves Buffer Zone around Abortion Clinics (2007-11-02)
Late Thursday the Massachusetts House approved a bill that would set up a 35 foot buffer zone around the entrances to abortion clinics in the state. Protesters and individuals who wanted to speak with women entering the facility would be excluded from that zone. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

MA Bottle Law May Be Redeemed (2007-11-02)
A renewed push is on to update Massachusetts' bottle redemption law with hearings this week on Beacon Hill. The original bottle bill, which provides a 5 cent redemption on cans and bottles of soda and beer was passed twenty-five years ago, but efforts to expand the law have languished for the past 15 years.

Deadline for Disciplining Deluca Set for Next Week (2007-11-02)
The Connecticut Senate panel looking at the conduct of Woodbury Republican Lou Deluca has set a deadline of next week to vote on whether he should be disciplined. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Joint Hearing Held on MA Education Bond Bill (2007-11-02)
At the State House in Boston Thursday members of 2 legislative committees held a joint hearing on Governor Deval Patrick's higher education bond bill. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Landlords May Need License to Rent in Springfield (2007-11-02)
Springfield, Massachusetts is considering a proposal that would require landlords to get a city license in order to rent property. City councilor Timothy Rooke, a sponsor of the proposal says something needs to be done to handle irresponsible landlords in the city.

Hartford Public High School Celebrates Reaccreditation (2007-11-01)
Education officials in Hartford, CT are celebrating the re-accreditation of Hartford Public High School, which had been on probation for the last 10 years. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Springfield Urban League May Become a Library (2007-11-01)
Springfield, Massachusetts is considering taking property owned by the Urban League and turning it into a branch library. The city solicitor is examining whether that's legal. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Vietnam War Opponent Tom Hayden Discusses Activism Today (2007-11-01)
Tom Hayden, one of the leading student activists of the1960's was a founding member of students for a democratic society and spoke recently at UMass.

Gordon Mansfield Passed Over as Federal Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2007-11-01)
A Vietnam veteran from Pittsfield has been passed over to run the federal department of veterans affairs, over the objections of at least one western Massachusetts lawmaker. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Study Sounds Alarm for High Drop-Out Rated Schools (2007-10-31)
A national study is raising the alarm on public schools with abnormally high drop-out rates, including 9 in western Massachusetts. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Red Sox Nation Celebrates in Boston (2007-10-31)
Red Sox nation turned out in force for a victory parade in boston Tuesday to honor their heroes who won this years World series. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas was among the hundreds of thousands who gathered along the parade route.

CT Lawmakers & Governor Finally Agree on Bond Package (2007-10-31)
Connecticut lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a bonding package that governor Jodi Rell says she will sign into law. As WFCR's Av Harris reports, the compromise ends months of dispute.

Springfield Diocese Agree to Settlement over Abuse Charges (2007-10-30)
Another group of men and women who accused Springfield priests of sexual abuse between the late 1950's and early 1990's is hoping to see a financial settlement from the Springfield diocese. The diocese's insurance companies have reportedly agreed to settlement talks. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

CT Flags at Half Staff for Former Governor Thomas Meskill (2007-10-30)
Flags have been ordered to fly at half staff in Connecticut in honor of Thomas Meskill, the state's former Governor, who died at a Florida hospital early Monday. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Soxs Victory Parade Today in Boston (2007-10-30)
Start heading to Boston within a few hours if you hope to catch today's victory parade for the World Series champion red sox team. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more details on the event.

Life Science Initiative Would Provide UMass $100 Million (2007-10-30)
A top Patrick administration official says the the Governor's life science initiative would provide as much as $100 million to the UMass system, in research grants and other projects.

Forum on PV Economic Development Today at UMass (2007-10-30)
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is joining forces with the towns of Hadley and Amherst to offer a forum on economic development in the region. Tuesday, a panel of experts will discuss ways the towns can collaborate with UMass to encourage responsible development.

Federal Farm Bill Provokes Local Praise and Criticisms (2007-10-29)
Western Massachusetts advocates of local agriculture are celebrating some portions of the federal farm bill that's currently in the Senate and criticizing others. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Sox Sweep Rockies in World Series (2007-10-29)
Fans of Red Sox Nation are celebrating this morning, after a 4-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies in the World Series. WFCR's Av Harris has this report.

Soxs Sweep the Series (2007-10-29)
Members of Red Sox Nation are celebrating this morning, after a 4-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies in the World Series. WFCR's Av Harris usually covers Connecticut politics from Hartford. He's a die hard Red Sox fan and he says it's hard be one in Connecticut, so last night he caught up with some fans in Amherst, Massachsuetts. He sends us this audio post card from Rafters Sports Bar.

Joe Carter to Head MA National Guard (2007-10-29)
The first African American to head the Massachusetts national guard was sworn in Friday morning at the State House, by Governor Deval Patrick. Kevin McNicholas has more in this report from Boston.

9 Western MA Communities Receive State Funds for Preservation (2007-10-29)
9 western Massachusetts communities will be getting money from the state to preserve park land or develop recreational areas. The department of energy and environmental affairs is giving out $8 million in what it calls urban self help grants.

Ladybugs are Back in the Region (2007-10-26)
After a drop-off in number over the past few years, ladybugs are making a forceful comeback in the region, much to the annoyance of many homeowners.

Patrick Remains Confident About Casino Revenues (2007-10-26)
Governor Deval Patrick says a report that casts doubt on his casino revenue projections doesn't taken into account money that would come from hotels, showrooms and golf courses.

Suspicious Package Calls in Bomb Squad at UMass Amherst (2007-10-26)
This morning, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst got the jitters after a suspicious device was found in an academic building, causing officials to delay the start of classes. Although a bomb squad determined it was a false alarm, students and others say they're glad the university is taking threats seriously, especially in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings last spring. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

The Opera Version of the Bridge of San Luis Rey (2007-10-26)
In his 1927 novel "The Bridge of San Luis Reye," Thornton Wilder poses questions about why bad things happen to good people. A few years ago, the pulitzer prize winning book became a Hollywood film starring Robert Diniro. Now the story has been set to music. As WFCR's Charlene Scott reports, The Bridge of San Luis Reye opera is being staged in Amherst tonight.

Vincent Brann Dies; First Broadcaster on WFCR (2007-10-26)
Vincent Brann was the first voice ever heard on WFCR. Also, a UMASS and Smith theater professor, Brann died Friday morning. Jill Kaufman reports.

Nurses Advocate Limiting Patient Load (2007-10-25)
Nurses from across Massachusetts gathered at the statehouse today to advocate for a bill that would limit the number of patients a nurse could care for. They say hospitals from Springfield to Boston are understaffed and patient safety is at risk. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

CT Looks to Fund Universal Primary Health Care (2007-10-25)
A legislative task force looking at funding universal access to primary health care in Connecticut held its first meeting Wednesday. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Shortage of Primary Care Physicians is at Crisis Stage (2007-10-25)
Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray said Wednesday that the shortage of primary care physicians is reaching the crisis stage. She says the state needs to step in to change the compensation structure which now favors specialists. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

3 MA Rural Towns Test Wireless Connections (2007-10-25)
3 small western Massachusetts towns are testing out high-speed wireless internet connections, to see how they function in the most rural parts of the state. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

UMASS Closes Campus; Suspicious Package is Not an Explosive Device (2007-10-25)
The UMASS Amherst campus was closed for several hours this morning after the discovery of a suspicious package in an academic building. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Foreclosure Rescue Scams Affect MA Homeowners (2007-10-24)
The housing foreclosure crisis is reaching historical proportions. In Massachusetts alone, foreclosures are up 75 percent, many of them the result of high-interest, subprime loans given to people who couldn't afford them. WFCR's Karen Brown has this report.

Patrick & Obama Unite in Campaign (2007-10-24)
Illinois Senator Barack Obama brought his presidential campaign to Boston last night for a joint appearance with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick who announced last week that he had decided to support Obama. Kevin McNicholas has more in this report from Boston.

Gambling Experts Debate Casinos in Boston (2007-10-24)
Gambling experts held a briefing for Massachusetts lawmakers in boston Tuesday on the potential benefits and problems with legalizing casinos. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

PCAs Vote to join SEIU (2007-10-23)
Thousands of Massachusetts personal care attendants, or PCAs, including more than 7500 in the western part of the state, are voting to unionize. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

UMass Hires Firm for Chancellor Search (2007-10-23)
The committee charged with finding a new chancellor for UMass Amherst met for the second time Monday. Committee Chair Jennifer Braceras, also a UMass trustee, announced the hiring of an executive search firm to help find a replacement for John Lombardi, who's now at Louisiana State University.

State Loses Billions due to Lack of Oversees Promotion (2007-10-23)
A report issued by the Massachusetts Senate's post audit and oversight committee Monday said former Governor Mitt Romney's administration didn't do much to promote bay state companies overseas resulting in the state suffering a $3 billion economic loss. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Northampton Arborist Passes Away (2007-10-23)
The man credited with saving Northampton, Massachusetts' elm trees has died.

WMass Military Families Get Help from 2 New Support Centers (2007-10-23)
Western Massachusetts military families will get help from 2 new support groups being offered by UMass Amherst's psychological services center.

Men who Cook for Change (2007-10-22)
Does a Governor's chicken dish beat out a state Senator's pasta sauce? A crowd of notable Massachusetts men provided recipes for a culinary event Sunday in Holyoke intended to combat stereotypes about masculinity in the kitchen.

MA Lawmakers Hope to Ban 10 Toxic Chemicals (2007-10-22)
Massachusetts lawmakers are seeking to eliminate the use of 10 toxic chemicals in the production of children's toys and many other household products. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Kerry in Northfield, MA talks about SCHIP (2007-10-22)
For the fifth weekend in a row, Congressional Democrats used their radio address to focus on the state children's health insurance program or s-chip.

War Memorial Travels through CT (2007-10-22)
The images of military men and women from Connecticut killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be traveling in a memorial throughout the state. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

CT Governor Rell Authorizes New Parole Officer Hires (2007-10-22)
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell has authorized the hiring of 13 new parole officers and three new counselors for the state department of Corrections.

Quinnipiac Poll Puts Clinton & Giuliani in Lead (2007-10-18)
A New poll by Quinnipiac University has good news for Presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani in the states of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Casinos Cause Controversy within Patrick Administration (2007-10-18)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is doing some damage control after his casino plan was criticized by state Treasurer Tim Cahill. Patrick paid an unannounced visit to Cahill's office Wednesday after reading Cahill's comments in the Boston Herald that he thought the Governor was being secretive about his newly released casino bill.

Joe Biden Campaigns in Boston (2007-10-17)
Delaware Senator Joe Biden brought his presidential campaign to the steps of the Massachusetts Statehouse Tuesday, where he recieved the endorsements of several state officials. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Belchertown Soldier Dies in Iraq (2007-10-17)
A Belchertown, Massachusetts soldier is the latest casualty from the region in the Iraq war.

Correctional Officers Union Claim CT Prisons Overcrowded (2007-10-17)
Unions representing thousands of correctional officers in Connecticut claim the state prison system is dangerously overcrowded as a result of a summertime crackdown on parole. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

John Robison & His Life with Undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome (2007-10-17)
For most of his life,John Elder Robison of Amherst didn't fit in, and he didn't know why. WFCR's Karen Brown has this report.

MA Congressional Committee Debates Mortgage Crisis (2007-10-16)
In Boston Monday, a Congressional committee heard testimony on the mortgage foreclosure crisis and what should be done going forward. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Rusty Belle Rocks Amherst (2007-10-16)
If you're wandering down Amity Street in Amherst, MA you might hear some banging & hooting coming from one of the old Victorian houses. That would be the band Rusty Belle. They've recently been named one of the best folk-rock bands in the region. WFCR's Tina Antolini has this profile.

UMass Climatologist Receives Federal Grant (2007-10-16)
As if sharing the Nobel Peace prize with Al Gore wasn't enough for one month, UMass Amherst climatologist Raymond Bradley has received a new federal grant. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Deluca Testifies before CT Senate Panel (2007-10-16)
Connecticut state Senator Lou Deluca testified Monday under oath in front of a panel considering disciplining him for actions that led him to plead guilty to a misdemeanour threatening count. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Hadley Receives State Funds for Water Conservation (2007-10-15)
With Massachusetts now under a drought advisory, Hadley is among 21 towns across the Commonwealth to receive state money for improving water conservation. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Pleasant Street Theater to Close (2007-10-15)
The owner of Northampton, Massachusetts' only theater for first-run movies has it announced he's sold the building, and the theater will close within the next 2 months.

CT Vets from Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Meet (2007-10-12)
Connecticut state officials convened a summit at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain Friday for veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Patrick Files Legislation to Approve 3 Resort Casinos (2007-10-12)
Governor Deval Patrick has filed legislation that would allow three resort casinos in Massachusetts. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Baystate Health Closes Nursing Care & Hospice Programs (2007-10-12)
Baystate Health will be closing its home nursing care and hospice program in Franklin county. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports. Baystate Franklin Medical Center is also announcing the elimination of seven staff positions at the Greenfield hospital, as a result of their own budget difficulties.

United Way Reacts to Springfield's Child Poverty Level (2007-10-12)
The United Way of the Pioneer valley is reacting to federal statistics that show almost half of Springfield's children live below the poverty level. It's first step is assembling a group of local stakeholders to meet Friday. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

No More Films at Pleasant Street Theater (2007-10-12)
Northampton, Massachusetts' only theater for first-run movies will close within the next two months. The sale of the Pleasant Street Theater building comes just months after the nearby Academy of Music stopped showing first-run movies. This is a blow, says Penny Burke, Executive Director of the Northampton Center for the Arts. Burke says for a city that prides itself on its arts offerings, Northampton needs to think hard about the health of its arts economy.

David Pollitt is Released (2007-10-12)
Convicted serial rapist David Pollitt is scheduled to be released this morning after serving 24 years in prison. As WFCR's Av Harris reports, Pollitt will be allowed to live in a residential neighborhood in Southbury.

Poet Karen Chase Discusses "Land of Stone" (2007-10-11)
Poet Karen Chase lives in the Berkshires, and was the hospital poet at a large psychiatric hospital outside of New York City in the 1980's. There, she worked with hundreds of patients on their poems. "Land of Stone" is the story of what happened with one patient named Ben. When she first met him he had just about stopped talking.

Springfield Inducts Police Community Review Board (2007-10-11)
Springfield, Massachusetts has inducted in its first ever community complaint review board for the police department. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Hartford Independent Mayoral Candidate Endorsed by Democrat (2007-10-11)
Independent candidate for Mayor of Hartford I-Charles Matthews has picked up the endorsement of a former rival in the democratic primary. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

UMass Amherst Alumni Association to Bolster Efforts (2007-10-11)
Officials at the University of Massachusetts Amherst say they are accelerating efforts to bolster the school's alumni association. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

Longmeadow Teachers Protest Payment Delay (2007-10-11)
Teachers at Longmeadow, Massachusetts schools are protesting a payment delay. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Springfield Inducts Police Community Review Board (2007-10-11)
Springfield, Massachusetts has inducted in its first ever community complaint review board for the police department. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Bookmill Changes Ownership (2007-10-10)
The Montague Bookmill has been sold and will remain open under new management. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

State and Federal Agencies Assist Farms (2007-10-10)
As more Massachusetts farms are seeking better ways to improve productivity and manage their land, several state and federal farm agencies are contributing close to half a million dollars to give farmers faster assistance. Diane Beadeker Pedtit of the United States Department of Agriculture says the new funds will allow aid agencies to help farmers develop individual conservation plans.

News Survey Places Clinton in Lead (2007-10-10)
A new poll shows Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has built a sizeable lead over her Democratic rivals among Massachusetts residents who are likely to vote in the state's March 4th primary. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

More Education Needed to Support CT Film Industry (2007-10-10)
Connecticut House Speaker Jim Amann is calling for a comprehensive educational program to support the growing film industry in the state. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Bond Bill Would Fund Improvements for Higher Education (2007-10-10)
Later today Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will file a $2 billion bond bill that would fund improvements to the state's public higher education system over the next 10 years. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more in this report from the Statehouse.

CT Sues Guy Carpenter & Company (2007-10-09)
Connecticut's Attorney General is suing the world's second-largest reinsurance broker, claiming it violated antitrust and unfair trade practices laws. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Mohawk Trail Schools Face Take-over (2007-10-09)
The Mohawk Trail regional school district faces take-over from the Massachusetts department of education if its towns don't soon reach a budget agreement . WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

The Patrick Administration Proposes 120 Mile Bike Path (2007-10-09)
The Patrick Administration wants to make Massachusetts a friendlier place for bicyclists. The department of conservation and recreation has an $82 million plan to build a network of bike paths across the state, including one that would allow riders to pedal 120 miles from Westfield to Lowell.

Springfield Plans to Give Homeless Own Housing (2007-10-09)
Springfield, Massachusetts leaders say the city's plan to give homeless people their own apartments is going forward, despite recently announced state support for a new shelter and resource center. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Rell Vetoes State Bonding Package (2007-10-09)
Connecticut Senate President Don Williams says Democratic leaders will try as quickly as possible to come up with a new state bonding package. This after Republican Governor Jodi Rell over the weekend vetoed the $3.2 billion bill.

UMASS Amherst Students on Potential for Riots (2007-10-05)
As the Red Sox head into their second game of the major league playoffs Friday, UMASS Amherst officials continue to prepare for potential student riots on campus, and students wonder if their preparations are effective.

CT Joins Lawsuit Against Federal Government (2007-10-05)
Connecticut is joining a lawsuit by New York and New Jersey against the federal government over rules changes that will affect access to the state childrens' health insurance program. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Rell and Democrats No Closer on Bonding Package (2007-10-05)
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell is expected to officially veto the state bonding package approved last month by the legislature. As WFCR's Av Harris reports, Rell and democratic leaders appear no closer to agreement.

James Kitchen's Sculptures (2007-10-05)
It's the Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton this weekend. As WFCR's Tina Antolini reports, among the local artists showing work for the first time is sculptor James Kitchen.

2 Western Mass High Schools Raise Violence Awareness (2007-10-05)
Students at 2 western Massachusetts high schools this week are participating in a program to raise awareness about the level of men's violence against women. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

UMASS Interim Chancellor Reflects on New Job (2007-10-05)
Thomas Cole, the interim chancellor of the UMASS Amherst campus, has been on the job for a month now. As Cole told WFCR's Bob Paquette he's been "swamped" getting settled in his job.

MA Statehouse Partners with Springfield (2007-10-05)
Springfield, Massachusetts leaders are crediting a financial turnaround in the city as being the catalyst for new investment from the state. This week, Governor Deval Patrick announced the state would contribute millions of dollars to an economic partnership with Springfield. WFCR's Karen Brown has more

Springfield Receives $2 Million for High Speed Network (2007-10-05)
Springfield is getting $2 million towards a high-speed internet network, which city leaders say will be used primarily for crime-fighting.

Mass Pike Authority Approves Toll Hike (2007-10-05)
The board overseeing the Massachusetts turnpike gave preliminary approval Thursday to a toll increase on the section of the highway that runs from route128 into downtown Boston and for the tunnels under Boston harbor. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

CT Mayors Discuss Stalled Bonding Package (2007-10-03)
More than a dozen Mayors from across Connecticut came to the Capitol in Hartford Tuesday, trying to break an impasse over the stalled state bonding package. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

N.O.W. Founder and Daughter Talk About the Choices They Made (2007-10-03)
Alice Rossi harkens from the old guard of feminists, a la Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. she was a founder of N.O.W.- the National Organization of Women - and helped lead some of the early abortion-rights rallies of the 1960s.But Rossi's three children have often pointed out that their mother wasn't as successful in her home life.

New Multi-Million Dollar Blueprint for Springfield (2007-10-03)
A new economic development plan is in progress for Springfield, Massachusetts. Francesca Rheannon has more on the Patrick administration's multimillion-dollar investment in "The Springfield Partnership."

House Approves New Scalping Legislation (2007-10-03)
The Massachusetts House has given initial approval to a bill tightening the state's ticket scalping laws. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports the measure now moves to the senate.

Springfield Residents to Vote on Ward Representation (2007-10-03)
The Massachusetts legislature has passed a measure allowing Springfield residents to vote on ward representation in November's election. WFCR's Tina Antolini explains.

Observations on the "Latinoization" of the U.S, from a Bike (2007-10-02)
University of Minnesota professor Louis Mendoza is traveling across the US by bike, talking to people about immigration and the changes going on in their communities. He recenlty rode through Amherst, Massachusetts.

Dimasi Threatens Delaying Casino Decision to 2009 (2007-10-02)
Massachusetts House Speaker Sal Dimasi left the door open Monday to the Legislature shunning Governor Deval Patrick's casino proposal until 2009, a delay that could transform the issue's role in the 2008 Legislative elections. The Governor has not yet filed legislation that would allow casinos in the state, but said Monday he may do so this week or early next week:

Kerry Calls for "A Bold New Age in Progressive Politics" (2007-10-02)
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is accusing the Bush administration of waging a war on the middle class. The Senator told an audience in Boston's Faneuil Hall Monday that the country needs a plan to help the middle class survive the 21 century. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Springfield Receives Assistance Grant for Magnet Schools (2007-10-02)
Springfield will be the only city in Massachusetts to receive a $9.5 million federal grant to assist its "magnet" schools program. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

CT at Impasse on Bonding Issue (2007-10-01)
Connecticut's legislative leaders are to meet with Republican Governor Jodi Rell this morning to see if the 2 sides can hammer out a compromise on a state bonding package. As WFCR's Av Harris reports, municipal leaders across the state say they are losing millions of dollars a day due to the impasse.

UMASS Assesses Creative Economy Impact (2007-10-01)
As more New England towns and cities look at the arts as a source of economic development, a new UMASS Amherst project will research how the university may enhance the Pioneer Valley's creative economy. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Hundreds Protest Treatment of "Jena 6" (2007-10-01)
Hundreds of students and residents in Amherst, Massachusetts joined in a national rally Monday to show their support for six black students in Jena, Louisiana accused of beating a white student, last year.

Vermont Yankee says Cooling Tower Collapse has Nothing to do with Future Licensing (2007-10-01)
The company that owns the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant says the collapse of a portion of a cooling tower should not be part of the discussion on whether to extend the plant's operating license for 20 years.

Forum Looks at Massachusetts Foreclosures (2007-09-28)
With housing foreclosures in Massachusetts higher than ever, housing counselors, advocates, and lawyers gathered today in Springfield to discuss how to help people on the verge of losing their homes. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Montague Paper Mill on 10 Most Endangered List (2007-09-28)
The Strathmore paper mill in the Turner's Falls section of Montague has been put on the list of Massachusetts'10 most endangered historic resources. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Holy Smokes BBQ Goes Mobile (2007-09-28)
The owners of Holy Smokes BBQ, a popular restaurant in Hatfield that burned down last summer, have decided not to rebuild. WFCR's Tina Antolini has the details.

Investigating Springfield's Economic Development , Part Two (2007-09-28)
When consultants came to Springfield last year to help the city revive its economic fortunes, they had one primary piece of advice -- focus on the downtown. Karen Brown reports.

Call In Show with MA Govenor Deval Patrick on WFCR (2007-09-28)
Governor Deval Patrick heard from listeners in western Massachusets and across the state yesterday, about casinos, auto insurance, and health care. To listen to the hour long program go to

MA House Votes to Divest Funds in Sudan (2007-09-28)
The Massachusetts House has overwhelmingly passed a Senate-approved bill requiring the state pension fund to divest assets tied to entities doing business in Sudan. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports the move is in response to what its sponsors claim is that government's alleged genocidal campaign in Darfur.

Investigating Springfield's Economic Development, Part One (2007-09-27)
Downtown Springfield, Massachusetts isn't the bustling city center it once was. Peter Ampalakas, who was born in the city and runs a hot dog cart downtown, says he remembers a time when the neighborhood was packed with people, all the time. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Episcopalian Reverend Supports Church Congress' Decisions (2007-09-27)
The Episcopal Bishops of the United States wrapped up 6 days of meetings in New Orleans Tuesday, pledging to "exercise restraint" by not approving more gay Bishops. WFCR's Bob Paquette has more.

CT Latino Laborers Sue City of Danbury (2007-09-27)
A group of 10 Latino day laborers is suing the Connecticut city of Danbury and the federal government over their arrest last year during a crackdown on illegal immigration. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Smith Alumni Dies in Iraq (2007-09-27)
A Smith College graduate who died last week while working in Iraq as an army surgeon, is being remembered as a bright and compassionate student and friend. WFCR's Kari Njiiri has more.

Dimasi Proposes DSS Restructuring (2007-09-27)
A Massachusetts legislative committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill filed by House Speaker Sal Dimasi that would create a Cabinet level Secretary of Child Welfare. The new secretary would oversee the Department of Social Services, which would be renamed the Department of Children and Families. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Mass MoCA to Dismantle Unfinished Exhibit (2007-09-26)
The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams has announced it will spend the next several weeks taking apart an unfinished art exhibit, just days after Mass MoCA won the right in federal court to show the work. WFCR's Jill Kaufman has more.

Swiss Artist's Work Won't be Shown to Public at Mass MoCA (2007-09-26)
Though Mass MoCA took Christoph Buchel to court and was determined to go ahead with the exhibit as of a few days ago, the museum has changed its mind. WFCR's Jill Kaufman has more.

CT Lawmakers Called to Vote on School Bonds (2007-09-26)
Connecticut lawmakers have been called into special session on Wednesday by Governor Jodi Rell to vote on more than $700-million in bonding for school construction projects. as WFCR's Av Harris reports, lawmakers may show up, but it's unclear whether they will vote.

Potential Bill to Stiffen Drag Racing Penalties (2007-09-26)
A bill that would stiffen penalties for drag racing in Massachusetts received a public hearing at the state house Tuesday. Kevin McNicholas has more in this report.

Springfield Receives Shannon Grant (2007-09-26)
Springfield, Massachusetts will get the state's second highest amount of money from the Shannon grant. WFCR's Karen Brown reports the grant is a state initiative to combat youth violence by funding partnerships between local police departments and community groups.

Buchel Appeals Ruling in Favor of Mass MOCA (2007-09-25)
A Swiss artist whose unfinished work is under tarps at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, is appealing a court ruling made last week in the museums' favor. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Bill Proposes to Regulate Handling of Psychiatric Patients in E.R.s (2007-09-25)
There was a statehouse hearing Monday on a bill that would create new regulations for psychiatric patients in Massachusetts' hospital emergency rooms. Its sponsors say the legislation stems from numerous complaints of mistreatment and abuse. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

CT Lawmakers Attempting to Alleviate Crisis in Parole System (2007-09-25)
Connecticut lawmakers say they want Governor Jodi Rell to attend an emergency hearing next week on immediate steps to take to alleviate what they are calling a crisis in the state's parole system. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Pittsfield Has Preliminary Mayoral Election (2007-09-25)
Pittsfield is holding a preliminary election Tuesday to whittle down its Mayoral field from 3 candidates to 2. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Judge Rules in Favor of Mass. MOCA (2007-09-24)
A federal court in Springfield, Massachusetts has ruled that Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art can exhibit the unfinished work of an artist over his objections.

MA Govenor in Orange (2007-09-23)
Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick received a warm welcome from members of the North Quabbin Community Coalition at its meeting in Orange Friday.

Mass MOCA Sues Artist over Unfinished Installment (2007-09-21)
Lawyers for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams and Swiss artist Christoph Buchel will be in federal court in Springfield today. Mass MOCA is suing Buchel to show his unfinished art exhibit. The exhibit, "training ground for democracy," is now under tarps. WFCR's Bob Paquette spoke with Mass-MOCA Director Joseph Thompson and art critic Charles Giuliano.

MA AG Concludes Public Hearings on Mortgage Industry (2007-09-21)
Massachusetts Attorney-General Martha Coakley heard testimony Thursday on proposed regulations to the mortgage industry, concluding a week of public hearings around the state, including one in Springfield. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more from Boston.

Reel Mowers on the Rise (2007-09-21)
There's still a few weeks left of mowing the lawn and in some neighborhoods, yard work seems to be quieter than usual. WFCR's Tina Antolini explains.

CT Dems Back Eddie Perez Wholeheartedly (2007-09-21)
Statewide Democratic officeholders in Connecticut are backing Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez's re-election bid and are calling on other Democratic candidates to drop out of the race. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Popular Vote Campaign Hopes to Change Electoral College (2007-09-20)
There have been 4 times in U-S history when the winner of the popular vote did not win the Presidency because the vote that counts is conducted by the Electoral College. The national Popular Vote Campaign wants to make sure that never happens again. It has filed legislation in state capitols across the country that would require the electors in each of those states to vote for the person who wins the most votes in all 50 states. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

World Water Supply Under Stress (2007-09-20)
Margaret Catley-Carlson is a former Assistant Secretary-General of the U-N and the Chair of the Global Water Partnership, a resource management organization formed in part by the World Bank, and the U-N. Catley-Carlson will be at Smith College tonight. She told WFCR's Kari Njiiri the increasing demand for water has 1/3 of the world's population already living under what she calls water stress.

CT House Deliberates $4 Billion Bond Package (2007-09-20)
The Connecticut House is set to convene in a special session Thursday to take up a nearly $4 billion bonding package. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Attorney General Hears Proposals for Mortgage Lending Regulations (2007-09-20)
After months of rising home foreclosures in Massachusetts, the state Attorney General's office has been holding hearings this week on proposed regulations for the mortgage lending industry. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more from Springfield.

CT Gambling Economics Can Guide MA (2007-09-19)
As Massachusetts looks more closely at legalizing casino gambling in the state, Connecticut may be able to teach lawmakers a thing or two. Don Peppard, an economics professor at Connecticut college in New London, studied the impact Foxwoods resort casino made when it first opened in southeastern Connecticut. He told WFCR's Tina Antolini,the initial impact was two-fold: a substantial change in the nature of the small towns where the casino was located and an increase in jobs.

Bosley Says Casinos Will Undercut MA Economic Base (2007-09-19)
Governor Deval Patrick announced Monday, he wants to bring 3 full-scale casinos to Massachusetts. Gambling opponents are already mobilizing against the plan. North Adams state Representative Daniel Bosley is Co-Chair of the Committee on Economic Development. He told WFCR's Bob Paquette casinos would undercut other efforts to build up the state's economic base.

Northampton Committee to Redesign Pulaski Park (2007-09-18)
A committee of Northampton, Massachusetts officials, city residents and business owners will oversee the redesign of Pulaski Park in the city's downtown. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

What Massachusetts Can Learn from Connecticut (2007-09-18)
Two of the largest casinos in the country are being operated by Indian tribes in eastern Connecticut. With governor Deval Patrick now supporting legalized casino gambling in Massachusetts, Tina Antolini reports the state may have something to learn from its New England neighbor.

Governor Patrick Approves Casino Development (2007-09-18)
Governor Deval Patrick says his plan to develop three full-scale casinos in Massachusetts will also deal with mitigating any anticipated social costs associated with gambling. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Springfield Holds Electoral Primary (2007-09-18)
Springfield Massachusetts holds its electoral primary Tuesday, September 18, against the wishes of many city officials. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Iraqi Soldier Ari Brown-Weeks Laid to Rest (2007-09-18)
Western Massachusetts soldier Ari Brown-Weeks was laid to rest last weekend in Maryland. He died this week in a truck accident while on active duty in Iraq. His friends and family are remembering him as bright, energetic, and affectionate. WFCR's Karen Brown has more

Lieberman Predicts Easy Confirmation for Attorney General (2007-09-18)
Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman is predicting an easy confirmation for President Bush's nominee to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

The Town of Palmer Buzzes with Possibility and Concern (2007-09-18)
The town of Palmer, Massachusetts has long been poised to host a casino. this week Governor Deval Patrick has come out in support of licensing casino gambling in the state. The town is abuzz with anticipation. WFCR's Karen Brown was at the Day and Night diner on Main Street in Palmer, and spoke with owner carl williams and his customers.

Governor Patrick Approves Casino Development (2007-09-18)
Governor Deval Patrick says his plan to develop three full-scale casinos in Massachusetts will also deal with mitigating any anticipated social costs associated with gambling. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Casinos Closer to Reality in Massachuestts, Palmer Residents Mull the Possiblities (2007-09-18)
The people of Palmer -- a small, former manufacturing town in western Massachusetts -- are abuzz with anticipation now that Governor Deval Patrick has come out in support of three casinos in the state. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Springield PD Record Profile Data Voluntarily (2007-09-13)
Last week, the Boston Globe reported that almost half the police departments in Massachusetts are not keeping data on the race and gender of drivers who are pulled over. Springfield Police Commissioner Edward Flynn is paying close attention to this information. Karen Brown reports.

MA Committee on Public Safety Hears Testimony on Reverse 9-1-1 System (2007-09-13)
The Massachusetts legislature's Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would begin the process of setting up a "reverse 9-1-1" system. It would allow state agencies to notify area residents about public safety threats. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Springfield PD Track Driver's Race and Gender (2007-09-13)
Springfield's Police Commissioner says the city is keeping track of the race and gender of drivers stopped for routine traffic stops, and he's found no alarming trends. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Finch Narrowly Claims Victory in Bridgeport Primary (2007-09-12)
In Bridgeport, state Senator Bill Finch is claiming victory this morning in a disputed election result for the Democratic nomination for Mayor. But as WFCR's Av Harris reports, Finch's opponent Chris Caruso is refusing to concede defeat.

Perez and Finch Claim Primary Victories in CT (2007-09-12)
Democratic voters in two major Connecticut cities chose their nominees for mayor last night. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Firefighter Memorial Unveiled in Boston (2007-09-12)
Massachusetts now has an official state memorial for all of its fallen firefighters. Despite the rain several thousand people were on hand last night outside the state house as a statue showing three firefighters conducting a search and rescue operation was unveiled. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more in this report:

Insurance Commissioner Briefs Legislature (2007-09-11)
Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Nonnie Burnes appeared before members of the legislature's insurance committee Monday to brief them on her decision to allow automobile insurers to compete for business by setting their own rates. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

9/11 Remembrances Across the Region (2007-09-11)
Ceremonies were held across western New England today in remembrance of the attacks of September 11th, 2001. WFCR's Tina Antolini attended one in Springfield.

Russell, MA Receives Preliminary Approval for Biomass Plant (2007-09-11)
On Monday, Massachusetts state environmental officials released a certificate giving preliminary approval to a biomass plant proposed for the town of Russell. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Kevin Rozario Discusses "The Culture of Calamity" (2007-09-11)
Many are remembering the catastrophic events of this day, six years ago. 9-11 shaped our culture, as calamities historically have been doing, according to Kevin Rozario.

Final Efforts in Bridgeport Democratic Primary (2007-09-10)
Tomorrow, Democratic voters in Bridgeport, Connecticut go to the polls to choose their candidate for Mayor. WFCR's Av Harris reports on the two top candidates in the race, state Senator Bill Finch and state Representative Chris Caruso.

MA Representatives Demand Independent Inspection of Vermont Yankee (2007-09-10)
In a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Governor of Vermont, a group of Massachusetts Representatives are demanding an independent inspection of the Vernon, Vermont, nuclear reactor. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

MA Gov Encourages Taking the Long View with Amherst College's New Community Initaitive (2007-09-09)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was at Amherst college this weekend to help launch a new $13 million college-community initiative. Francesca Rheannon reports.

U.N. Ambassador Urges Patience in Iraq War (2007-09-07)
The United States Ambassador to the United Nations told an audience in Hartford last night America should not rush to pull its troops out of Iraq. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Zalmay Khalilzad Addresses World Affairs Council of Connecticut (2007-09-07)
The U-S Ambassador to the United Nations is urging patience to those Americans who are growing tired of the ongoing military presence in Iraq. Zalmay Khalilzad, who previously served as the Bush administration's envoy to Afghanistan and Iraq, was in Hartford last night to address the World Affairs Council of Connecticut . WFCR's Av Harris reports.

MA Receives Grant to Promote Science and Engineering (2007-09-06)
Massachusetts has been awarded a $13.2 million grant by the National Math and Science Initiative to foster the next generation of scientists and engineers. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports the money will come from Exxon-Mobil and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

CT Attorney General's Office Sues Predatory Lenders (2007-09-06)
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's office is suing a group of brokers and real estate agents for a predatory lending scheme that victimized dozens of low-income home buyers. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Alan Weisman on "The World Without Us" (2007-09-05)
What would happen to the earth if humans just disappeared? Journalist Alan Weisman, who lives in Cummington, Massachusetts, set out to answer that question.

Patrick Delays Decision on Legalizing Casino Gambling (2007-09-05)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick says it will be a few more weeks before he makes up his mind about whether the state should legalize casino gambling. The Governor has been studying the issue for much of the summer and had promised a decision by Labor Day. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Civic Leaders Watch Bridgeport Democratic Primary (2007-09-05)
In less than a week, Democratic primary voters in Bridgeport go to the polls to choose the next Mayor of Connecticut's largest city. As WFCR's Av Harris reports, several of Bridgeport's civic leaders are watching the election closely.

Advocates for Adopted Hope for New Legislation (2007-09-04)
Advocates for adopted children and adults are hoping Governor Patrick soon signs legislation that would allow them access to their original birth certificates, which has been illegal for decades. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Carole O'Malley Gaunt's Hungry Hill (2007-09-04)
Life in Springfield, Massachusetts was different a half century ago. Big department stores could be found downtown, the city had Forbes, Wallace, and Steiger's. Home life was different too, according to Carole O'Malley Gaunt. She writes about that time, and her family, in her new memoir "Hungry Hill".

Audio Postcard from Three-County Fair (2007-09-04)
Monday ended this year's Three-County Fair in Northampton, Massachusetts. Organizers estimate that more than 20,000 visitors showed up to the 4-day event. Most of the mainstays were back, from midway games and rides to a poultry exhibition and, new this year, a juried llama show. Here is an audio postcard from the 2007 Three-County Fair.

Bostford Confirmed to SJC (2007-08-31)
Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Margot Botsford will become the state's next Supreme Judicial Court Justice. She was confirmed this morning by the Governor's council on a vote of 5 to 3. WFCR's kevin McNicholas has more.

UMASS Elevator Fails (2007-08-31)
An elevator in the Dubois library at UMASS Amherst flew out of control today, upwards, for several floors. WFCR's Jill Kaufman has more.

Dodd in NH, Endorsed by Firefigher's Union (2007-08-31)
Connecticut Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Chris Dodd campaigned in New Hampshire today, fresh off his endorsement by the nation's largest firefighter union. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Jewish and Armenian Community Come Together (2007-08-31)
Jews and Armenias gathered together yesterday in Boston, days after New England's Regional Director for the Anti Defamation League was rehired. He was fired earlier this month for breaking ranks with the national organization's stance on the killings of Armenians in the early 1900s.

Richard Chacon to Head Office of Immigrants and Refugees (2007-08-31)
Massachusetts Governor's Deval Patrick's former policy director will become the next head of the state's Office of Immigrants and Refugees. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Hearing Held to Determine Permanency of Ban on Home Foreclosure Rescue Transactions (2007-08-31)
Earlier this summer, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley issued emergency regulations banning so-called "home foreclosure rescue transactions." Her office held a public hearing Thursday on whether that ban should be made permanent. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

CT Democratic Establisment Supports Bill Finch (2007-08-31)
This year's race for Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut is a close and bitter fight between two veteran Democratic state lawmakers. While the state's House leadership is backing representative Chris Caruso, much of the Democratic establishment is supporting Senator Bill Finch. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Hadley Recreation Center Helps Developmentally Disabled (2007-08-31)
Earlier this summer, the publishers of Family Circle and Parenting magazine gave out awards for people who made a difference in children's lives. Jerry Seinfeld's wife got an award, closer to home, so did Carrie McGee. McGee runs a unique recreation center in Hadley, Massachusetts. Anyone can go, but it's really for developmentally disabled children to take dance, art, and play soccer. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Monson Prepares for Potential Casino Development (2007-08-30)
The Select Board for the small western Massachusetts town of Monson is taking steps to prepare for a possible casino in the neighboring town of Palmer... WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Northampton Approves Cancer Study (2007-08-30)
The City of Northampton has approved additional money to continue a study into cancer rates around the Northampton municipal landfill on Glendale Road. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

CT Democratic House Leaders Back Caurso (2007-08-30)
Democratic leaders of the Connecticut's House gathered in Bridgeport Wednesday to back one of their own - Representative Chris Caruso - for Mayor. WFCR 's Av Harris reports.

Governor's Council Hears Supreme Court Nominee (2007-08-30)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's choice to fill a vacant seat on the Supreme Judicial Court had her first hearing Wednesday. Superior Court Judge Margot Botsford went before the Governor's Council, which will vote on her nomination. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Man Arrested for Dodd Break-In (2007-08-28)
Police in Hartford, Connecticut, have arrested a man for the weekend break-in at the office of senator and presidential candidate Christopher Dodd. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Gambling Opponents Lobby State House (2007-08-28)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has promised to make a decision by Labor day about whether he will support or oppose efforts to expand gaming in the state. On Monday, gambling opponents were at the state house lobbying Patrick administration officials. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

American Idol Training Camp in Northfield, MA (2007-08-27)
This summer, the California based producers of American Idol opened a performing arts camp for teenagers in Northfield, Massachusetts, on the former campus of the Mount Hermon school. Charlene Scott met up with one mother, some might call her a stage mother, who made sure her talented daughter got the chance of a life time.

Horseback Riding for All (2007-08-24)
Roberta Wilmore wants everyone to imagine an equestrian world where African American and Latino children are regularly seen riding -- at the local barn, at national and international shows. She says that's not the case right now. But she's trying to change that, starting with a summer camp on her 60 acre farm in Ashfield, Massachusetts. Susannah Lee reports.

Ian Bowles at UMASS, Amherst (2007-08-23)
Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles was at U-MASS Amherst Wednesday to discuss the Patrick administration's vision for clean energy. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

CT Senate Investigates Lou Deluca (2007-08-23)
The Connecticut Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to launch an investigation that could result in the expulsion of former republican leader Lou Deluca. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

CT Towns and Cities Wait for Money (2007-08-21)
Municipal governments across Connecticut are still unsure whether they will receive millions of dollars in bonding money for various public works projects. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Yankee Rowe Officially Decomissioned (2007-08-21)
The Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Rowe, Massachusetts has been officially decommissioned nearly 16 years after it stopped operating. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

Competitive Tomatoes! (2007-08-21)
The 23rd Annual Massachusetts Tomato Festival was held on Boston City Hall Plaza Monday. Farmers from around the state were on hand for the annual contest to pick the best tomato. Western massachusetts farms were among the winners, with Red Fire Farm in Granby placing third in the Cherry Tomato category. WFCR's Kevin Mcnicholas reports.

Health Club for the Mentally Ill (2007-08-21)
It's common medical knowledge that regular exercise improves mental acuity -- not to mention chronic health problems. But it's rare to see people with a mental illness or disability at a health club -- they often feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the serious workout atmosphere. That's why a health club in Hadley Massachusetts has just opened specifically for the mentally ill and impaired. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

The Legacy of UMASS Chancellor John Lombardi (2007-08-16)
After five years at the helm, John Lombardi is leaving UMASS Amherst to head the Louisiana State University system. His departure comes after a controversial leadership shake-up in the university system. Aside from the circumstances of Lombardi's exit, many people say the charismatic leader leaves a strong mark on the Amherst campus. Others say they look forward to a change. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Organic Farming Conference in Amherst Addresses Climate Change (2007-08-15)
Climate change and how it will affect farming in New England was a prime concern at this weekend's annual Northeast Organic Farming Association conference in Amherst. WFCR's Francesca Rheannon reports.

MA Insurance Commissioner Answers Questions (2007-08-15)
Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Nonnie Burnes went before a special Senate Committee Monday to answer questions about her decision to let automobile insurance companies compete for business by setting their own rates. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

MA Insurance Commissioner Testifies on Beacon Hill (2007-08-15)
Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Nonnie Burns was on Beacon Hill Monday testifying before a Senate panel on her plans to let auto insurers conditionally set their own rates. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Pioneer Valley Scout Troops Target Latin Youths (2007-08-15)
Faced with a declining enrollment, the Boy Scouts of America is looking to recruit more Latino youth nationwide into their ranks. That campaign is also targeting Latino communities in Western Massachusetts long overlooked by the boy scouts.

Dispute Over Incan Artifacts at Yale University (2007-08-15)
Peruvian officials say a team of diplomats will visit Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut next month. They will try to resolve the dispute over a collection of artifacts from the Incan site of Machu Picchu from member station WNPR, Diane Orson reports.

Gas Prices Drop Across New England (2007-08-15)
Gasoline prices are continuing to fall across New England. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports that Baystate drivers are now paying almost thirty cents less than they were on the memorial day weekend.

MA Residents Face Health Insurance Issues (2007-08-15)
About one in ten Massachusetts residents applying for free or subsidized health insurance is facing logistical problems, according to an Amherst health advocacy organization. WFCR's Karin Rosemblatt reports.

Turners Falls Bottle Plant Looking to Expand (2007-08-15)
Hillside Plastics, a bottle manufacturer in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, is looking at expanding its facility. The factory, which employs 100 workers, could see a near doubling of its current size.

Springfield Ends Free Trash Pick Up (2007-08-15)
Springfield, Massachusetts residents who have not paid the city's new trash collection fee will be getting yellow stickers on their trash bins this week.

Activists Push for Chicopee Jail Alternative (2007-08-15)
As the opening date approaches for the new woman's jail in Chicopee, Massachusetts, activists are gearing up to push for local jail alternatives. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Research Shows Many Eligible for Food Stamps, Not Receiving Them (2007-08-15)
A Northampton, Massachusetts research group has found that half the people who are eligible for food stamps are not getting them. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Activists Question Invasion Response (2007-08-14)
Community activists in Hartford, Connecticut, are questioning the media and government's response to the violent home invasion of a prominent doctor and his family in Cheshire last month. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

The Physicists Performed at Williamstown Theater (2007-08-14)
Friedrich Durrenmatt's little known black comedy "The Physicists" takes satirical aim at multiple targets -- psychiatric dramas and police thrillers, nuclear politics, and the nature of insanity. The play, written in 1961, is now at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the Berkshires. Chris Rohmann was there opening night.

Antony and Cleopatra on Stage in the Berkshires (2007-08-13)
"Antony and Cleopatra" is one of the most rarely performed of Shakespeare's great tragedies.This month, Shakespeare and Company, in Lenox, Massachusetts, is presenting "Antony and Cleopatra." In thirty seasons the company has done the tragedy only once before. This time, its star is the troupe's founder, Tina Packer. Chris Rohmann has a review.

Majority Rules (2007-08-10)
Democracy means different things in different countries. Students from around the world talk about democracy and voting in Michael Burns new documentary "Majority Rules." WFCR's Bob Paquette has more.

Greenfield Hospital Faces Budget Shortfall (2007-08-10)
Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield is facing a multimillion dollar budget shortfall next fiscal year. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Some Question Massachusetts' Tax Free Holiday (2007-08-10)
Excitement over this weekend's sales tax holiday in Massachusetts may be waning, according to some legislators. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Leonard Baskin's Images of Women (2007-08-10)
The work of one of Northampton's most famous artists -- Leonard Baskin -- is at Smith College.

Candidates For Hartford Mayor May Be Taken Off Primary Ballot (2007-08-10)
There's a chance that two of Hartford mayor Eddie Perez's main democratic challengers will be thrown off the September 11th primary ballot. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Audit Finds Some MA Schools Still Lack Pesticide Plans (2007-08-09)
A new audit says Massachusetts schools are increasingly compliant with a state law requiring the disclosure of pesticide use-- but there are still significant numbers breaking the law. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Amherst State Senator To Look At Casino Gambling (2007-08-09)
Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray says she has made Amherst Senator Stan Rosenberg her "point person" on the issue of whether to allow casino gambling. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

New Police Recruits Trained Outside of Classroom (2007-08-09)
The Springfield police department is using what it calls "innovative methods" to train its first class of recruits in 9 years. The 16 men and 3 women attending the police academy spend only 2 days each week in the class room. The rest of their time is spent on the streets, in court or in the police "family services" office. WFCR's Karin Rosemblatt has more.

Springfield, MA, Residents Promote City via Website (2007-08-08)
A group of Springfield, Mass., residents have created their own web-site to promote the city of homes. The site,, offers information about the city's various neighborhoods, homes for sale and rent, as well as arts and entertainment in the area. WFCR's Kari Njiiri reports.

Epoxy Manufacturer Indicted Over Big Dig Tunnel Collapse (2007-08-08)
A grand jury in Boston has indicted Powers Fasteners of Brewster, New York of involuntary manslaughter in last year's fatal Big Dig tunnel accident. Milena Del Valle was killed when a concrete ceiling panel fell as she was driving through the I-90 connector tunnel. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

CT Marks Anniversary of Breast-Feeding Anti-Discrimination Law (2007-08-08)
Women's and children's health advocates in Hartford are marking 10 years since the passage of a Connecticut law outlawing discrimination against breast-feeding mothers. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Lawmakers Seek Death Penalty in Cheshire, CT, Homicides (2007-08-08)
The two suspects charged in the Cheshire, Connecticut triple homicide were arraigned Tuesday on new capitol felony murder charges that could bring the death penalty. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Western Mass. Legislators to Study Governor's Bond Bill (2007-08-06)
Western Massachusetts legislators say they will carefully study the $12 billion bond bill announced by Governor Deval Patrick today. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Amherst Native Works For Media Freedom In China (2007-08-06)
Until recently, Jocelyn Ford was the Bureau Chief of Marketplace's Beijing Bureau. Most of her stories focused on the dramatic social and economic changes in China, and the vast gap between rural and urban areas. Ford grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts.

MA Capital Investment Plan (2007-08-06)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Monday unveiled a capital investment plan he says will help restore the Commonwealth's assets. WFCR's Kevin Mcnicholas reports.

A Mapmaker's Intentions (2007-08-03)
In the middle of Deerfield, Massachusetts lies a stretch of road lined with 300 year old wood-framed houses and barns. You can easily imagine times past. An exhibit of maps on display at Historic Deerfield tells more about what life was like in New England back then. It also raises questions about about the mapmakers intentions. WFCR's Karin Rosemblatt has more.

Nestle Looks at Aquifer in Montague for Bottled Water (2007-08-03)
In the Montague plains section of Montague, Massachusetts, there is a major aquifer -- an underground water supply created many thousands of years ago, when glaciers carved out what is now the Pioneer Valley.This week, the state gave Nestle corporation the go-ahead to research the area. Nestle is interested in the water there.

Wendy's To Pay Western Mass Workers (2007-08-03)
Last month, 13 Wendy's fast food restaurants in Western Massachusetts closed abruptly, leaving at least 350 workers without jobs, and without pay for time already worked.

MA Gov Says State's Bridges Are Safe (2007-08-02)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick today addressed concerns about the state's bridges, following this week's bridge collapse in Minnesota. WFCR's Kevin Mcnicholas has more.

MA Bridges Examined, After Minnesota Bridge Collapse (2007-08-02)
In the wake of Wednesday's bridge collapse in Minnesota, Massachusetts officials are looking at this region's aging bridges, some of which are in serious disrepair. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

MA Officials Bring Broadband Internet to the Berkshires (2007-08-02)
State officials today unveiled a 25 million dollar plan to bring high-speed internet to thirty-two Western Massachusetts communities that don't now have access to the service. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Non-Teaching Northampton School Workers Get Training (2007-08-01)
Janitors and cafeteria workers in Northampton, Massachusetts public schools will be getting some extra training, thanks to a new state grant awarded to the Labor-Management Workplace Education Program at the University of Massachusetts.

"Simpsons Movie" May Still Help Springfield (2007-08-01)
Even though Springfield, Massachusetts lost out on its bid to host the world premiere of The Simpsons Movie to its namesake in Vermont, the city still stands to cash in on the popular animated series. WFCR's Kari Njiiri explains.

UMASS Amherst Could Play a Role in Possible Gaming Expansion (2007-08-01)
Following approval by residents of Middleborough, Massachusetts this weekend to host a Indian-run casino, UMASS Amherst officials say the school is well positioned to play a role in the possible expansion of gaming in the state.

Small Towns Band Together for Federal Funds (2007-08-01)
Fifteen small towns in West-Central Massachusetts will band together to apply for federal funds for workforce training and economic development.

Coakley Continues Big Dig Criminal Investigation (2007-08-01)
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says it's unlikely that anyone will be going to jail as a result of the concrete ceiling collapse inside a big dig tunnel last summer that cost a Jamaica Plain woman her life.

CT Mastery Tests Show Math Gains, Reading Losses (2007-08-01)
The latest results from Connecticut's public school mastery tests show gains in math and writing, but declining performance in reading. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

CT Democratic Leaders Pledge to Enact Clean Contracting (2007-08-01)
Connecticut's democratic legislative leaders are pledging to bring lawmakers in for a special session to enact clean contracting standards. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Big Dig Concrete Supplier to Pay Fine (2007-08-01)
The US Attorney for Massachusetts, Michael Sullivan, announced today that a firm which supplied substandard concrete for a section of the big dig tunnel has agreed to pay a hefty fine. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

MA Lawmakers Look Into Liability for Health Care (2007-08-01)
Massachusetts lawmakers will soon be looking into the commonwealth's liability for paying health care and other benefits for retirees from the state and its cities and towns. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports:

CT Lawmakers Ban Lever Ballot Machine (2007-08-01)
State elections officials have banned a staple of voting in Connecticut - the lever ballot machine. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

CPA Property Taxes May Be Hurting Poorer Towns (2007-08-01)
Researchers at Harvard University's Rappaport Institute have found that a Massachusetts law -the Community Preservation Act-is benefiting rich towns at the expense of poorer ones, including several in Western Massachusetts. the CPA allows towns to enact a property tax surcharge -with voter approval- and use that money on affordable housing, open space, or historic preservation. The state then pays for half of those projects using a trust fund it raises from real estate fees across the state.

New Englanders Watch Federal Farm Bill (2007-08-01)
Last week, the U-S House of Representative passed a 286 billion dollar federal Farm Bill. Some growers in Western New England are watching carefully to see what happens next to the legislation.

Nestle to Explore Tapping for Bottled Water in Montague (2007-08-01)
A Massachusetts board has given Nestle the green light to explore an area in Montague that the company is considering tapping for bottled water. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

College Transfers Examined by Mass Board of Higher Education (2007-08-01)
Massachusetts' Board of Higher Education is working on ways to help students transfer from state community colleges to four year institutions. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Junk Food Ban Bill Approved (2007-08-01)
A bill that would ban junk food from Massachusetts public schools was approved by the legislature's Health Care committee Tuesday. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

New USDA Funded Study on Needs of Area Cattle Farmers (2007-07-30)
A new study will look at the meat processing needs of western New England cattle and sheep farmers. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Rewriting the future of Dairy Farming in Massachusetts (2007-07-27)
The future of Massachusetts' dairy industry was discussed today at the first meeting of the state's new Dairy Revitalization Task Force. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Belchertwon, MA, Family Blames Son's Suicide on V.A. Negligence; Sues (2007-07-27)
The family of a Jeff Lucey, a western Massachusetts Iraq war veteran who committed suicide three years ago, is suing Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson for negligence. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

After Suicide Death of Son, Belchertown, MA Family Sues V.A. for Negligence (2007-07-27)
The family of a Jeff Lucey, a western Massachusetts Iraq war veteran who committed suicide three years ago, is suing Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson for negligence. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Belchertwon, MA, Family Blames Son's Suicide on V.A. Negligene; Sues (2007-07-27)
The family of a Jeff Lucey, a western Massachusetts Iraq war veteran who committed suicide three years ago, is suing Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson for negligence. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Anonymous Donation Funds ESL Program (2007-07-25)
The Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts is able to continue its English as a Second Language program this summer, thanks to an anonymous donation of more than $4,000.

Dairy Farmers Facing Hard Times (2007-07-25)
Some Massachusetts dairy farmers are being forced to sell their cows and equipment, and shut down. Yesterday we heard from dairy farmers who are choosing to go organic in order to stay in business. But not everyone can or is willing to do that, as eporter Francesca Rheannon found out.

Pioneer Valley Mental Health Workers Authorize Strike (2007-07-25)
A group of mental health workers in Western Massachusetts have authorized a strike. They're frustrated with stalled contract negotiations with ServiceNet, Inc. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

First Lady in Connecticut to Promote Literacy (2007-07-25)
First Lady Laura Bush was in Connecticut Tuesday to promote federal literacy programs. As WFCR's Av Harris reports, some state lawmakers say more than high profile visits are needed to improve basic reading and writing skills.

Rabid Animals Found in Worcester County (2007-07-25)
Massachusetts public health officials are reporting what they say is a significant increase in the number of animals testing positive for rabies in Worcester County.

The Search for New UMASS Chancellor Begins (2007-07-25)
The search for an interim leader to replace outgoing UMASS, Amherst Chancellor John Lombardi continues.

Greenfield USDA Office May Close; Some Farmers Concerned about Loss of Services (2007-07-24)
The USDA office in Greenfield, Massachusetts, may be consolidating with the office in Hadley as soon as May 2008, according to federal officials.

The Hartford Pays $100-million in Suit (2007-07-24)
Connecticut based insurer The Hartford has agreed to pay more than $100 million to three states to settle claims of manipulating the commercial insurance market. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

MCAS Bill Languishes (2007-07-24)
The sponsor of a bill that would allow Massachusetts students to graduate from high school even if they don't pass the MCAS test, says the measure is now sitting in a legislative committee and will likely remain there until Governor Deval Patrick takes a position on it. WFCR's Kevin Mcnicholas reports.

Northampton Children's Theater Performs with Small Cast But Gives A Big Show (2007-07-24)
Children's theater shows are based on familiar tales, acted out with jokes, songs, lively shenanigans and audience participation. As Chris Rohmann reports, Paintbox Theater in Northampton, Massachusetts, does all that, and more. To find out more about Paintbox Theater:

Crop Damage from Recent Storms (2007-07-24)
Severe weather conditions in the Pioneer Valley in recent weeks are causing problems for some Western Massachusetts farmers. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Massachusetts Gov Gives Movie Makers More Tax Breaks (2007-07-20)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed legislation today that will expand the number and scope of tax breaks available to movie makers who choose to film in the state. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Local Bookstores Prepare For Harry Potter (2007-07-20)
Local independent bookshops are preparing for tonight's Harry Potter release with late-night parties .. and a hope that the enthusiasm will transfer to other children's books. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

MA Gov Files Legislation For Life Sciences Initiative (2007-07-20)
Governor Deval Patrick went before a joint session of the Massachusetts House and Senate on Thursday to talk about his ten year, one billion dollar plan to make the state a global leader in life sciences research. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Amherst College Changes Financial Aid (2007-07-20)
Amherst College is taking a major step to help students graduate debt-free -- it's replacing all student loans in its financial aid packages with scholarships. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

CT NAACP Asks For Feds To Investigate State Police (2007-07-20)
Civil rights advocates in Connecticut are asking for a federal investigation of racial discrimination within the State Police. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Mayor Signs Springfield Sex Offender Ordinance (2007-07-18)
Civil liberty defenders say they will wait to see how Springfield's new sex offender law is enforced before deciding whether or not to pose any legal challenges. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

MA Governor Vetoes Funding For AmeriCorps (2007-07-18)
Among the line item vetoes Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick made in signing the state budget last week was 900-thousand dollars for Americorps. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Sales Tax Holiday Likely in Massachusetts (2007-07-18)
It looks like there will be another sales tax holiday in Massachusetts.

State Police To Investigate Racist Emails (2007-07-18)
Connecticut's Public Safety Commissioner has ordered the State Police to do an internal investigation into the distribution of racist emails to more than a half a dozen troopers. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

If Mayor Signs, Springfield Ordinance Would Limit Where Sexual Offenders Could Live (2007-07-17)
Supporters of a Springfield, Massachusetts ordinance that would limit where sex offenders could live are waiting to learn whether the mayor will sign it into law. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

Going Organic Won't Work for Everyone (2007-07-17)
Next week in Amherst, a state appointed "dairy task force" will meet to address some of the dire financial issues Massachusetts dairy farmers are facing. The costs of farming are rising. Some farmers are being forced to sell their cows and equipment, and shut down. Yesterday we heard from dairy farmers who are choosing to go organic in order to stay in business. But not everyone can or is willing to do that, as reporter Francesca Rheannon found out.

Moliere's Don Juan (2007-07-17)
The exploits of Don Juan have been represented countless times in books, music and on stage. The french satirist Moliere wrote his comic treatment of the fictional legend in 1665. A new translation of his work is on stage this weekend and next at the Deerfield Academy's Reid theater. Chris rohmann has this preview.

Springfield Teachers Get a Lesson in Puerto Rican Culture (2007-07-17)
A group of Springfield, Massachusetts public school teachers are learning about Puerto Rico's liberation from Spain in 1898 and how to dance to Bomba music. They're also sprucing up their Spanish. It's all as part of a seven day intensive course they're taking this week in Puerto Rican culture . WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

CT Republicans Consider Action Against Fellow Senator (2007-07-17)
Connecticut's new Senate Republican leader says further disciplinary action is being considered against another Republican senator who pleaded guilty to a crime. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Massachusetts' Governer Weighs In On Auto Insurance Plan (2007-07-17)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick says a new plan to increase competition in the state's auto insurance market strikes a balance between free market and government control.

Some Struggling MA Dairy Farms Go Organic (2007-07-17)
Massachusetts lawmakers recently approved more than $3.5 million in aid for the state's dairy farmers, but the problems aren't going away. The price of conventional milk is unpredictable, and the costs of producing it continue to climb. About 25 dairies close each year in Massachusetts, In our our ongoing series looking at the business of New England dairy farms, Francesca Rheannon reports that some farmers are jumping into the more lucrative business of producing organic milk.

Area Restaurants and Former Patrons Rally around Holy Smokes (2007-07-16)
Several benefits this week will support the owners and employees of Holy Smokes BBQ, the popular Hatfield, Massachusetts restaurant that was destroyed by a fire last month. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

The History of My Shoes (2007-07-16)
Kenny Fries was born with bones missing from his legs. One leg is three inches longer than the other. He has only three toes on his feet. Today, with his right foot jutting out at a 90-degree angle, he walks with a cane. And walk he does -- and hike too. Fries -- a writer and poet -- lives in western Massachusetts. His new book is called "The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin's Theory".

MA Lawmakers Want Action Against Big Dig Contractor (2007-07-12)
Several Massachusetts lawmakers are calling for action against the lead contractor for the Big Dig. WFCR's Kevin Mcnicholas has more.

Springfield Lending Racially Biased, Says Report (2007-07-12)
Springfield, Massachusetts has ranked among the worst cities in the country for racial disparities in home lending. That's according to a new report from the National Community Reinvestment Corporation. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Report Details Impact of Climate Change on Massachusetts (2007-07-12)
A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists charges that, unless there is a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions, Massachusetts and the entire Northeast will experience direct harm from global warming. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

UMass Headed For Transition (2007-07-12)
UMass Amherst is headed for a transition. Today, Louisiana State University's Board of Supervisors is expected to make its final decision about hiring UMass Amherst Chancellor John Lombardi as their new system president. Lombardi's imminent departure from Massachusetts comes after several months of debate over a proposal from UMass President Jack Wilson to restructure governance of the university system.

Trans Fat Ban Examined MA Legislature (2007-07-11)
On Beacon Hill, the Legislature's Public Health Committee heard testimony today on a measure that would ban the use of trans-fats in Massachusetts restaurants. WFCR's Kevin Mcnicholas reports.

"Housing First" For Homeless in Springfield (2007-07-11)
The problem of homelessness has been dogging policymakers for years. In the past, many federal programs required homeless people to get sober, get a job, or get into mental health treatment before they could get housing. But in a new approach called "Housing First", the homeless are given apartments up front, and then offered help.... WFCR's Karen Brown profiles a "Housing First" pilot program in Springfield, Massachusetts that just marked its first anniversary.

UMass Class Stops Students From Smoking (2007-07-11)
The Microbiology Department at UMass-Amherst offers a class on the Biology of Cancer and AIDS that has apparently had a significant impact on the smoking habits of students.

Western MA Vietnam Vet Named to State Council (2007-07-10)
A Western Massachusetts Vietnam veteran is one of several veterans' advocates from the region named to the state's newly formed Advisory Council on Veterans Services. WFCR's Karin Rosemblatt reports.

Anti-Gun Billboard Unveiled in Boston (2007-07-10)
Anti-gun advocates are making their point with a new billboard on the Massachusetts turnpike in Boston.

Pittsfield Goes For Hybrids (2007-07-10)
A city in the Berkshires is trying to become a model for environmentally responsible policy -- starting with exhaust fumes from its vehicles. WFCR's David Scribner has more from Pittsfield.

Greenfield Passes on State Group Health Insurance (2007-07-10)
Greenfield is among several Western Massachusetts municipalities who won't be jumping on the new option of joining the state's group health insurance. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

MA Farmers Concerns Heard at Legislative Hearing (2007-07-10)
Massachusetts farmers spoke out about two bills that could affect their livelihood Monday at a legislative hearing held at UMass Amherst. WFCR's Francesca Rheannon reports.

Teen Drop-In Centers Part of MA Legislation (2007-07-10)
Massachusetts teens will have more ways to access counseling and mentoring if a teen drop-in center bill is signed into law.

Chinese-American Voters Rally in Boston (2007-07-09)
A controversy over Chinese-language ballot translation in Massachusetts continued today with activists rallying at the Statehouse. Secretary of State William Galvin has expressed concern that translating English names phonetically into Chinese characters could result in different meanings and confusion among voters. WFCR's Kevin Mcnicholas has more.

Soldier from Chicopee Buried (2007-07-05)
A giant American flag hung between two fire trucks parked at the Castle of Knights in Chicopee, Massachusetts today, marking the entrance to Army Staff Sergeant Daniel Newsome's wake and memorial service. The Chicopee native was killed last week in Baghdad by an improvised explosive device. WFCR's Tina Antolini has more.

Northampton Singer Songwriter Competes in New Song Contest (2007-07-05)
This weekend, Northampton resident Dennis Caraher will perform on the public radio show "Mountain Stage". The singer songwriter made it to the finals in a competition featuring musicians from the northeast. WFCR's Bob Paquette has more.

Springfield Shelter Takes on City to Stay Open (2007-07-05)
A battle of the homeless shelters is heating up in Springfield, Massachusetts with a court hearing planned for Friday July 6 to determine whether the Warming Place Shelter can remain open at the former site of the York Street Jail. WFCR's Karen Brown has more.

Grilling Up a Feast on the Fourth! (2007-07-02)

There's nothing like the smell of something grilling on the Fourth of July. WFCR's Tina Antolini met up with food writer Tinky Weisblatt to do a little cooking. Also in the kitchen: Tinky's mother Jan and their dog, Truffle. They made a a dish of Javanese Satay. But first they had to put out the fire.

Concerns About Free Tuition at MA Community Colleges (2007-07-02)
The team crafting the implementation plan for Governor Deval Patrick's "cradle to career" education initiative will consider his proposal of free tuition for community college students in Massachusetts. WFCR's Karin Rosemblatt explains.

CT AG Demands Retailers to Stop Selling Some Chinese Tires (2007-07-02)
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is demanding that nearly 80 retailers in the state stop selling defective tires made in China, and give customers free replacements. WFCR's av harris reports.

Chicopee Loses Another Resident to Iraq War (2007-06-30)
The city of Chicopee, Massachusetts is mourning the loss of another soldier in Iraq. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Chicopee, MA Loses Another Resident to Iraq War (2007-06-30)
The city of Chicopee, Massachusetts is mourning the loss of another soldier in Iraq. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

CT Schools More Accountable in FY 2008 (2007-06-29)
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell says in addition to record funding for public schools, the state budget she recently signed into law also contains new accountability standards she hopes will improve the quality of education. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

MA Immigrant Advocates Criticize U.S. Senate Vote on Reform Bill (2007-06-29)
Immigrant advocates in Massachusetts today called the U.S. Senate's vote to halt a federal immigration reform bill a victory for the "politics of hate." WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

New Finance Board Meets in Springfield Thursday (2007-06-27)
Springfield's Finance Control Board meets for the first time Thursday, since Governor Deval Patrick appointed three new members. WFCR's Karen brown reports.

No In-State College Tuition in CT for Children of Illegal Immigrants (2007-06-27)
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell has vetoed a bill that would have granted in-state college tuition to the children of illegal immigrants.WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Gill-Montague School District Budget Woes lead to "Underperforming" Lable (2007-06-27)
Officials from the Gill-Montague regional school district are worried parents will misunderstand the Massachusetts board of education's declaration this week that the district is "under-performing." WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

MA Governor's Anti-Crime Council in Springfield (2007-06-27)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was in Springfield Wednesday to convene the second formal meeting of his statewide anti-crime council. WFCR's Kari Njiiri has more.

MADD Gives Mass. an Average Grade (2007-06-27)
The organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD has given the state of Massachusetts a grade of "C" after evaluating what the state is doing to prevent underage drinking. Kevin McNicholas has more from the State House in Boston.

Rising Corn Prices -- What's a Farmer to Do? (2007-06-26)
With the U.S. Senate's passing of a bill that would require a seven-fold increase in ethanol production by the year 2022, local farmers are expecting to pay even more for corn feed. WFCR's Karin Rosemblatt has more.

Springfield's NEW Finance Control Board (2007-06-26)
Thursday, the newest incarnation of Springfield's Finance Control Board meets for the first time. Three new members, appointed by Governor Patrick, will help decide how Springfield should spend its money -- three years after the board was first created to eliminate the city's $40 million debt. While the Control Board has always included Springfield's mayor and city council president, this is the first time a Springfield resident is among the Governor's appointees. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

CT Gun Owners Penalized for Lost Firearms (2007-06-25)
A new law taking effect this fall in Connecticut penalizes the owners of lost or stolen firearms who fail to report their guns missing. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Dodd and Obama On the Presidential Campaign Trail in New Enlgand (2007-06-25)
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, a US Senator from Illinois, spoke in Hartford, Connecticut this weekend. During his address Saturday afternoon, Obama asked Americans to re-think faith and its role in politics. At the same time, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd campaigned for president in New Hampshire and called for a major expansion of national service programs for young people.

Kerry on Energy Act of 2007 (2007-06-25)
Thursday night the U. S. Senate approved the National Energy and Environmental Security Act of 2007. Friday, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry spoke about the legislation with reporters in Boston WFCR's Kevin mcnicholas was there.

Federal Investment in MA Wind Turbine Testing (2007-06-25)
US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman was in Boston Monday to announce that his department will provide $4million to develop two wind technology testing sites -- one in Massachusetts and Texas. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas reports.

Danny Pearl's Berkshire Colleagues Remember (2007-06-22)
Thursdsay night at the Triplex in Great Barrington, Massachusetts viewers gathered for a preview of A Mighty Heart." The film is about Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. He got his start in journalism at the North Adams Transcript. Pearl was kidnapped in Pakistan in 2002, and then murdered. WFCR's David Scribner has more.

Lynn Redgrave's Nightingale (2007-06-21)
For the past decade the actress Lynn Redgrave has been taking time out from her award winning appearances to write a trilogy of plays based on her family history. The London born perfomer is now at the Hartford Stage appearing in her one woman show -- "Nightingale" It focuses on memories of Redgrave's maternal grandmother. WFCR's Charlene Scott reports.

UMASS Board Votes (2007-06-21)
The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees approved the appointments of two new chancellors today, despite some opposition. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Teacher of the Year from Southampton, MA (2007-06-21)
A second grade educator from Southampton was honored at the Statehouse Thursday Massachusetts' Teacher of the Year. Michael Flynn has taught at the William E. Norris Elementary School for nine years.

Embattled CT State Senator Lou Deluca (2007-06-21)
Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysciewicz is calling on embattled republican state senator Lou Deluca to leave office. WFCR's Av Harris reports:

Film Score Depicting Massachusetts Not Quite Right (2007-06-21)
A promotional film created by the Massachusetts Film Office to lure movie studios to the state has created some controversy. WFCR Intern Bonnie Watt has more.

UMASS Approves Chancellors, Mum about Lombardi (2007-06-21)
The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees approved the appointments of two new chancellors today, despite some opposition WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Jewish Refusnkis, Red Army Veterans in CT (2007-06-20)
Perhaps no other country suffered as much as the Soviet Union during World War II. An estimated 20 million soldiers and civilians died while the USSR battled Nazi Termany and the Axis powers. In the late 1970s and 80s, successive waves of emigration brought some Red Army veterans to the U.S. WFCR's Av Harris found one such Red Army veterans group near Hartford.

Same Sex Marriage Remains Legal in MA (2007-06-14)
Same sex marriage will remain legal in Massachusetts for the foreseeable future. The state legislature has killed a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. WFCR's Kevin Mcnicholas reports.

Major Health Care Reform in CT, and a New Senate Leader (2007-06-14)
At Connecticut's capitol today, democratic legislative leaders celebrated the passage of a major healthcare reform law, while senate republicans chose a new leader. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Making Peace (2007-06-14)
In Brattleboro, Vermont, men and women from countries torn apart by war have just spent the last two weeks talking about peace. They traveled a long way to get to the School for International Training. And they brought with them a desire to learn more about "conflict resolution." WFCR's Tina Antolini met up with one woman at the conference who comes from a nation that makes headlines on a daily basis.

CT Lawmakers Continue to Negotiate Budget (2007-06-13)
Budget negotiations continued Wednesday between Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell and Democratic Legislative leaders, but so far an agreement does not seem close. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Design Plans for New Northampton Hotel Debated (2007-06-13)
The Northampton, Massachusetts Planning Board will review design plans Thursday night for a new downtown hotel. WFCR's Tina Antolini reports.

Massachusetts Lawmakers Prepare for Con Con (2007-06-13)
Massachusetts Lawmakers at the are preparing Thursday's onstitutional Convention and what could be an historic vote on same sex marriage.

Lounging for Literacy (2007-06-13)
Recently, residents of Westhampton, Massachusetts, got together for a good read, and they believe for a good reason. Hundreds of people took to their lawn chairs in the center of town and "lounged for literacy". The event was part of an ongoing campaign to raise money for a new town library.

Gateway Cities In Focus (2007-06-13)
Researchers and policy makers in Massachusetts have been focussing recently on what are called Gateway Cities: eleven cities outside Boston -- including Springfield, Holyoke, and Pittsfield -- that used to be vibrant manufacturing hubs. A new report makes the case that unless the state pays more attention to these gateway cities, the entire commonwealth is at risk of economic decline. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

The Compassion of Former Army Medic Leslie Lightfoot (2007-06-12)
Former Army medic Leslie Lightfoot is helping war veterans in a way that many others say is near impossible. WFCR's Bob Paquette has more.

Teens Make Rounds of Compliance Checks to Cigarette Vendors (2007-06-12)
A West Springfield social service agency hopes to lower the sales of tobacco to underage youth with the help of a $70 thousand grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings (2007-06-11)
Book burnings during World War II are the subject of "Fighting the Fires of Hate" created by the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. It's now on view at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. WFCR's Bob Paquette has more.

Kerry on Immigration Reform Bill (2007-06-11)
President Bush will visit Capitol Hill Tuesday to try and persuade members of the Senate that they should again attempt to pass an immigration reform bill. After more than a week of emotional debate the bill under consideration was yanked from the senate floor last Thursday after republicans refused to say how many more amendments they would offer. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry said Monday he thought senate majority leader Harry Reid did the right thing. WFCR's Kevin McNicholas has more.

Tighter Regulations Regarding Trush Hauling Contracts (2007-06-11)
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is calling on state lawmakers to enact tighter regulations governing the trash hauling industry that are designed to limit the influence of organized crime. WFCR's Av Harris reports.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs -- Not for the Landfill (2007-06-11)
As compact fluorescent light bulbs become more popular, waste management officials caution they need to be disposed of properly. WFCR's Bob Paquette reports.

Domestic Violence Plea by CT Senate Republican Leader Seen as Flawed (2007-06-08)
Domestic violence prevention advocates say the guilty plea by CT Senate Republican Leader Lou Deluca highlights flaws in the system designed to protect victims of abuse.

MA Gives $350,000 to Union Station Development (2007-06-08)
Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray was in Springfield today to announce a $350,000 grant for the city's Union Station redevelopment project. The project seeks to revive the long-dormant train station into a transportation and retail hub. Brian Connors of Springfield's Planning and Economic Development Department says the state money will be used for an analysis and revision of the $115-million project.

Goalies, Half Time, Home Runs, Poetry (2007-06-08)
Athletes, competion, and the art of the game can inspire us on many levels. For Carson Cistulli, sports inspire poetry.

The Comeback of Gateway Cities (2007-06-08)
As struggling, former industrial cities like Springfield and Holyoke go, so goes the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That's the message from a group of economists, and municipal leaders making the rounds to discuss a new report on so-called Gateway Cities.

Tropical Forest Wood Ban Bill on Beacon Hill (2007-06-07)
A Massachusetts legislative committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would prohibit the state from buying products containing wood from a tropical forest.

CT lawmakers End Regular 2007 Session with Unfinished Business (2007-06-07)
Connecticut lawmakers have ended the regular 2007 legislative session. It was a long session, and bills were passed to legalize possession of medical marijuana, grant in-state college tuition to the children of illegal immigrants, and require all hospitals in the state provide emergency contraception to rape victims. But despite all that, there is still significant unfinished business.

Former UMASS Board of Trustee Won't Recommit (2007-06-07)
A former University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees member from Amherst won't say whether or not he'll rejoin the board.

Springfield Ordinance Could Further Restrict Registered Sex Offenders (2007-06-07)
A proposed ordinance restricting where registered sex offenders can live in Springfield, Massachusetts is closer to becoming law.

Revisiting the Purpose of MCAS (2007-06-07)
The Massachusetts legislature's Education Committee heard testimony Tuesday from a number of people who oppose the requirement that high school students pass the MCAS test in order to graduate.

North Adams Police Union Opposes Overtime Elimination (2007-06-07)
The decision by the mayor of North Adams, Massachusetts, to eliminate all overtime in the police department -- reducing the number of officers on patrol -- has been met with union opposition.

FEMA/MEMA Still Addressing April Storm (2007-06-04)
Federal and state emergency management officials are still helping towns in Massachusetts apply for disaster aid from an early spring N'oreaster. Monday hearings were held across Massachusetts related to damages from the April storm which dumped more than a foot of snow and rain in some places. The hill towns and communities of south berkshire county were especially hard hit.

Thumbs up to Free Education in MA, Though How Will it Work? (2007-06-04)
The leaders of western Massachusetts' community colleges are enthusiastic about Governor Deval Patrick's proposed education plan.

East Meets West on the Bridge of Flowers (2007-06-04)
A small village in China is becoming a bit closer to Shelburne Falls, Masachusetts.

CT Senate Republican Leader Pleads Guilty (2007-06-04)
Connecticut Senate Republican Leader Lou Deluca pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor count of conspiracy to threaten, and admitted he met with an alleged organized crime connected trash hauler.

Western MA Lawmakers Step in Over Proposed UMASS Changes (2007-06-01)
Ten western Massachusetts lawmakers are asking Governor Deval Patrick to officially declare proposed changes announced last month at UMASS as inappropriate.

CT Lawmaker Arrested (2007-06-01)
Connecticut Senate Republican Leader Lou DeLuca was arrested today and charged with conspiring with an alleged mafia connected Danbury trash hauler to threaten another man.

Patrick Unveils 8 Year Plan for Public Education (2007-06-01)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick unveiled an eight-year plan to overhaul public education during a commencement address at UMASS Boston today.

Four of the Five College Presidents Express Concern Over UMASS Changes (2007-05-31)
The presidents of four western Massachusetts colleges are voicing concerns about the proposed restructuring of the University of Massachusetts.

UMASS President Will Recommend Board Not Proceed with Proposed Changes, For Now (2007-05-31)
UMASS president Jack Wilson seems to be backing off a controversial proposal to change the structure of leadership at the university -- which would have eliminated the chancellor's position on the Amherst campus.

Reeves on Bush Sanctions in Sudan: Not Effective (2007-05-31)
A Smith College expert on the crisis in Sudan says the economic sanctions announced this week by the Bush Administration are less than they appear.

MA Lawmakers Hear Bill on Same Day Voter Registration (2007-05-31)
A committee of the Massachusetts legislature held a hearing Wednesday on a bill that would allow residents to register to vote on election day.

The Face of Hunger (2007-05-31)
June 5th is National Hunger Awareness Day. Food banks and organizations nationwide want to put a face on who goes hungry. Andrew Morehouse is the executive director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. He told WFCR's Bob Paquette you'd be surprised to know who goes hungry.

Metro West Wants a Break on the Pike (2007-05-31)
Massachusetts lawmakers from suburbs west of Boston are looking for some toll-relief on the Mass Turnpike. They appeared before the legislature's Transportation Committee Thursday saying their constituents are facing another increase in the cost of driving to Boston.

Trumpets Galore (2007-05-30)
More than a thousand people from as far away as Australia, Thailand, Russia and the UK are expected in Amherst this week for the International Trumpet Guild Conference.

After Amherst, UMASS' Wilson Meets with Boston Faculty (2007-05-30)
UMASS President Jack Wilson met with UMASS Boston faculty yesterday, and denied having formal plans to centralize the state's university system or make Amherst the flagship campus.

Trash Fee in Springfield Goes into Effect Soon (2007-05-29)
The city of Springfield, Massachusetts will be contacting thousands of residents this week about a new -- and controversial -- trash pick up fee that goes into effect this summer.

New Development in Springfield, MA (2007-05-29)
Ground was broken Tuesday in Springfield for a new waterfront complex slated to go up on the site of the former Basketball Hall of Fame.

The CT Budget Battle (2007-05-29)
The battle over the Connecticut budget is heating up in Hartford, as Democratic legislative leaders are set to pass a revenue package that Republican Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell has all but promised she will veto.

MA Park Rangers Heavy on Beacon Hill, Not So at State Parks (2007-05-29)
Land conservationists and supporters of Massachusetts' state parks are expressing concern about how and where park rangers are staffed.

MA Budget Moving Forward (2007-05-28)
A Massachusetts legislative conference committee will work out a compromise state budget, now that the House and Senate have finished work on their spending proposals.

Mt. Holyoke Graduates Get Lessons in Life from Teach for America Founder (2007-05-27)
The founder and president of Teach for America addressed graduates at Mount Holyoke College's commencement Sunday.

Andrew Card Boo'd for Two Minutes at UMASS Ceremony (2007-05-26)
Former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card got a noisy reception at UMASS Amherst's graduate commencement ceremony, where he received an honorary degree.

UMASS Faculty Votes "No Confidence" (2007-05-25)
Members of the UMASS Amherst faculty voted 214 to 1 Thursdsay in favor of a no confidence resolution aimed at the school's Board of Trustees.

Protest and Prep Surround Andrew Card's Honorary Degree (2007-05-25)
The UMASS graduate student ceremony where former Bush administration official Andrew Card will receive an honorary degree takes place this afternoon. Both graduating students outraged over Card's presence, and the university administration, are preparing for possible scenarios at the event.

MA Lawmakers Push Mental Health Policy for Returning Soldiers (2007-05-25)
A bill making its way through the Massachusetts legislature would create a commission to assess the mental health of returning soldiers from war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mummy X-Ray (2007-05-24)
This week, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts has been preparing one of its' original artifacts -- a mummy called Pahat-- for a three dimensional x-ray.

Fred Thompson in CT Mulls Run for President (2007-05-24)
Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson headlined the annual Prescott Bush Connecticut Republican fundraiser last night in Stamford.

Bears Come Downtown (2007-05-24)
Police in western Massachusetts say there's not much they can do about the black bears taking up residence in downtown Northampton and other urban areas.

MASS MoCA Teases Viewers While Awaiting Word from a Judge (2007-05-24)
Inside the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, there's a wrecked police car, a rusted oil tanker and a carnival ride rigged with bomb casings. And it will be up to a judge to decide whether you get to see them.

Bush at Coast Guard Academy (2007-05-23)
President Bush says new intelligence made public shows that victory in Iraq is vital to American homeland security. The president made his comments in Connecticut Wednesday at graduation ceremonies for the Coast Guard Academy.

Lebanese Representative in Connecticut (2007-05-23)
Member of the Lebanese Parliament meets with officials in Connecticut

Health Officials caution on mosquitos (2007-05-23)
While the season is early, health officials say it's not too early to protect from mosquitos.

Lebanese Representative in Connecticut (2007-05-23)
Member of the Lebanese Parliament meets with officials in Connecticut

ARHS's Gospel Choir will Sing (2007-05-23)
The Amherst Regional High School's Gospel Choir will be singing at this year's commencement, after some questioned the presence of religious music at the ceremony.

Lebanese Representative in Connecticut (2007-05-23)
Member of the Lebanese Parliament meets with officials in Connecticut

Academy of Music will Again Show Films (2007-05-23)
This summer, film enthusiasts in the region will once again be able to watch movies at the Academy of Music in Northampton, Massachusetts. Main Street Motion Media is renting the facility's screen and will be showing first run independent films starting in June.

Westfield Mayor Appointed New Position at the State Level (2007-05-23)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced eleven new appointments Wednesday as part of a sweeping overhaul of state government.

Hartford Street Named after Jazz Saxaphonist Jackie McLean (2007-05-23)
The life of legendary jazz saxophonist and educator Jackie McLean was recently celebrated in Hartford, CT.

Time Running out in CT to Agree on a New Budget (2007-05-20)
Increased revenue projections are sharpening differences between Connecticut's republican Governor Jodi Rell and democratic legislative leaders, as time is running low for both sides to agree on a new state budget.

How Universities Can Restructure (2007-05-20)
When UMASS President Jack Wilson announced last week he was restructuring the university leadership, many on campus and off were shocked and confused. But UMASS is not the only campus to try this model of management.

UMASS President Says It's Just a Trial (2007-05-20)
In an interview with WFCR Friday, UMASS President Jack Wilson says he wasn't surprised by Thursday's fiery meeting with the Amherst faculty senate. Earlier this week, Wilson announced a restructuring plan that would eliminate the position of chancellor at UMASS Amherst after next year, with Wilson taking over those duties, as well as keeping his own as president.

Jazz Bassist Avery Sharpe Premiers Work with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (2007-05-19)
The Springfield Symphony Orchestra just premiered a new work by jazz bassist and Springfield native Avery Sharpe. It's called Rhythm in Red, White, and Blues. This is the second time the symphony has commissioned Sharpe. In 1999, the SSO premiered his composition America's Promise, a work for orchestra, jazz quintet, and gospel choir.

FDR Museum Considers Chicopee as Next Home (2007-05-18)
The Franklin D. Roosevelt American Heritage Center and Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts is looking for a new home and has set its sights on Chicopee.

More Money Coming to CT, MA, and NY from Tobacco Settlment (2007-05-17)
Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts are among the top five states that will be receiving additional money from the national tobacco settlement starting in the next fiscal year.

Lawsuit filed in Springfield Federal Court on Behalf of Brain Injured (2007-05-17)
Approximately 8,000 Massachusetts residents suffering from brain injuries live in nursing homes or other institutions, and according to a lawsuit filed Thursday, that's at least a thousand too many.

Western Mass UMASS Trustee Resigns (2007-05-17)
The only western Massachusetts member of the UMASS Board of Trustees has resigned in protest of a massive university restructuring announced this week.

CT Legislature Approves Payment to Man Wrongly Imprisoned (2007-05-17)
Lawmakers in Connecticut's House and Senate have unanimously approved a $5-million payment to a man wrongly imprisoned by the state for 18 years.

Wilson Meets up with an Angry Group in Amherst (2007-05-17)
UMASS President Jack Wilson faced a crowd of angry faculty members and state lawmakers on the Amherst campus Thursday.

Northampton Cooperative Breaks Ground (2007-05-17)
After more than eight years of planning, ground was broken Thursday for a cooperative market in Northampton, Massachusetts

3rd Anniversay of Same Sex Marriage in Massachusetts (2007-05-17)
Activists and some lawmakers commemorated the 3rd anniversary of legal same sex marriages in Massachusetts Thursday.

More Protest of Honorary Degree for Andrew Card (2007-05-16)
The decision by University of Massachusetts trustees to award former White House Chief of staff Andrew Card an honorary degree at commencement next week in Amherst is continuing to draw opposition.

UMASS Eliminates Amherst Chancellor Position (2007-05-16)
Many in the UMASS Amherst community are reacting with surprise to the news of changes in the university's administration. UMASS President Jack Wilson announced Tuesday night that the post of chancellor currently held by John Lombardi will be eliminated in a year's time, with Wilson, himself, stepping in to fill the position's duties.

School Cafeteria Menu Goes Haute Cuisine (2007-05-16)
With childhood obesity on the rise in the United States, school cafeteria food is being closely scrutinized. Not a lot of change is evident yet. But in one public school in western Massachusetts, the cafeteria staff is fighting fat with cuisine not usually cooked for, or eaten by, the under-18 crowd.

UMASS Amherst Faculty Suprised by System Changes (2007-05-16)
A University of Massachusetts trustee has resigned in protest of proposed changes that would give UMASS school president Jack Wilson a greater role in running the Amherst campus -- at the same time overseeing the entire university.

CT Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Same Sex Marriage (2007-05-15)
The Connecticut Supreme Court heard oral arguments today on whether same sex couples should be allowed to marry in that state.

Springfield Supterintendent Gets One Year Contract (2007-05-11)
The Springfield, Massachusetts' superintendent of schools was given a little less job security today.

Mothers and Daughters (2007-05-10)
Mothers and daughters don't always get along. Especially in the teenage years. Ten years ago, a group of mothers and daughters in western Massachusetts started to meet on a regular basis as a way to help both generations get through some of the toughest times.

MA Gov. Wants to Avoid a Poltical Circus (2007-05-10)
Governor Deval Patrick is warning that Massachusetts will be crippled by a ``political circus'' if a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage makes it to the state ballot.

Students and Faculty Protest Andrew Card at UMASS (2007-05-10)
More than 100 UMASS Amherst students, faculty and staff rallied Thursday in protest of an honorary degree to be awarded to former White House chief of staff, Andrew Card.

Gov. Patrick Says More Money Needed for Public Saftey (2007-05-10)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick says he wants the state to spend $15 million to put more police on the streets and quell youth violence.

3% Increase in Spending Falls on Amherst Alone (2007-05-09)
The three smaller towns in the Amherst Regional School District have approved spending plans that would force Amherst to pay for a 3 percent increase in the district's school budget for the next fiscal year.

Rell Still Popular in CT (2007-05-09)
A new Quinnipiac University poll finds that Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell is still popular, even though a vast majority of voters disapprove of her plan to raise income taxes to boost funding for public education.

The Dalai Lama Comes to Smith (2007-05-09)
The Dalai Lama, the political and religious leader of the Tibetan people, visited Northampton, Massachusetts Wednesday. He spoke at Smith College. We have two reports. Tina Antolini tells us who was present among the crowd. First WFCR's Karen Brown reports on the Dalai Lama's relevance in western Massachusetts.

Weapons to Middle East (2007-05-08)
A federal judge in Hartford has sentenced a Brooklyn New York man to 30 days in prison for illegally shipping weapons systems manufactured in Connecticut, to the Middle East.

Western MA Speaks out about Transportation Costs (2007-05-07)
Members of Massachusetts Transportation Finance Commission heard concerns from residents in the western part of the state Monday, at a public hearing in Holyoke.

Gas High in CT; Rell Wants to Know Why (2007-05-07)
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell is asking for help from the state's congressional delegation. She wants answers from the federal government as to why gasoline prices are so high in the state.

Children in MA Not Getting Mental Health Services (2007-05-07)
At a hearing Monday on two Massachusetts bills relating to children's mental health, advocates said too many kids aren't receiving the services and treatment they need.

Greenfield's Video To Go Closes; A Sign of the Times, or Not? (2007-05-07)
A popular independent video store in downtown Greenfield, Massachusetts closed its doors last week - citing too much competition from internet rentals and large chains. Movie buffs and economic observers are wondering if this is a sign of the region's future.

UMass Music Professor Walter Chesnut Dies (2007-05-07)
The long time music teacher and principal trumpeter for the Springfield Symphony Orchestra died last week. His colleagues and friends pay tribute.

Tocco faces Critics at UMASS (2007-05-04)
The chair of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees had a tense meeting with the faculty senate on the Amherst campus Thursdsay.

Anita Shreve Body Surfs (2007-05-02)
Longmeadow, Massachusetts author Anita Shreve's latest novel "Body Surfing" has connections to her previous works.

Wal-Mart Officials Not Daunted by New Setback (2007-05-02)
Wal-Mart is still planning to hold its open house tonight at the American Legion in Hadley, Massachusetts.

Prop 2 1/2 rejected in Amherst. Now What? (2007-05-02)
Members of the Amherst, Massachusetts school committee are regrouping after Tuesday's rejection of a $2.5 million dollar Proposition 2 1/2 override.

May Day Spurs New Protest of March Raid in New Bedford (2007-05-01)
Immigration advocates gathered around Massachusetts as part of a nationwide May Day rally. Protesters, in the wake of an immigration raid in March at a New Bedford factory, marched to Boston Common yesterday afternoon.

New Health Insurance Plans On Sale in MA (2007-05-01)
As new health insurance plans for uninsured Massachusetts residents go on sale today, officials are recommending that consumers pay attention to all the costs involved.

Vintage Baseball comes to Westfield, MA (2007-05-01)
In the 1960s, Jim Bouton was a pitcher for the New York Yankees. His 1969 tell-all book, "Ball Four", was an infamous account of the on and off field antics of Major League players. Jim Bouton now lives in the Berkshires, and he's fallen in love with a much earlier version of the sport. He's commissioner of the Vintage Baseball Federation.

Knocking on Doors for Health Care (2007-05-01)
All Massachusetts residents are supposed to have some sort of health insurance by July 1st, under the state's new health reform law. But some community health workers aren't waiting for people to enroll of their own accord.

Brew pubs in Connecticut (2007-05-01)
Connecticut lawmakers are expected to give final passage this week to a bill that would allow brew-pubs in the state to bottle and sell their own beers.

Five College Fiber Optic Network Complete (2007-04-30)
Officials from area colleges announced Monday the completion of a new 53-mile fiber optic network that will provide high-speed internet access to educational institutions and municipalities in the Pioneer Valley.

Northampton Mayor Back on the Job (2007-04-30)
Northampton, Massachusetts Mayor Clare Higgins is officially back on the job as of Monday, following cranial surgery.

Pianist Leon Fleisher Comes to Springfield (2007-04-27)
The acclaimed pianist Leon Fleisher is performing in Springfield this weekend. Fleisher gave his first public recital at age 8. He made his debut in New York in 1944 at age 16. For the first part of his life he performed on stages around the world. Then in his mid 30s he lost the use of his right hand. He went on to distinguish himself as a conductor and a teacher. Miraculously in the past 10 years or so, Fleisher began treatments that have allowed him to play with both hands again.

MA House OK's Budget (2007-04-27)
Massachusetts House lawmakers this afternoon (4/27/07) put the finishing touches on their $26.9 billion state budget.

Green River Elementary to Close (2007-04-27)
One of Greenfield, Massachusetts' elementary schools will close its doors at the end of the school year. The school committee voted last night to close the Green River Elementary School as a way to cut its nearly $17-million budget.

Property RE-assesment in Goshen, MA (2007-04-27)
The state could take over assessing property values in the town of Goshen, Massachusetts if Goshen doesn't resolve problems over its most recent assessments.

Amherst Writer Sabina Murray wins a Guggenheim (2007-04-27)
Sabina Murray -- a UMASS Amherst professor -- has just been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. The award coincides with the release of her fourth novel, Forgery.

UMASS Police Testify on Beacon Hill -- For More Training (2007-04-25)
UMASS Amherst officials were at the Statehouse Wednesday to testify in favor of a bill that would guarantee UMASS police officers the same training available to municipal police officers.

Lost and Found (2007-04-25)
In her new novel "Lost and Found", Northampton writer Jacqueline Sheehan's main character, Rocky Pellegrino, loses her husband, and creates a new self.

Sign Up for Health Care (2007-04-25)
On a day the state of Massachusetts has called "Enrollment Day" clinics are encouraging their patients to sign up for the new health care options under the state's health care reform law.

PHENOM Rallies on Beacon Hill (2007-04-25)
Massachusetts faculty, students and staff from the state college and university system rallied today at the Statehouse.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli on the Rise of Islam in Europe (2007-04-24)
A well known voice from Europe is in town. NPR European correspondent Sylvia Poggioli spoke this afternoon at UMASS Amherst. The topic was the rise of Islam in Europe.

CT Sues Contractors Over I-84 Repairs (2007-04-24)
Connecticut state officials have filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against two contractors for botched road repairs on a stretch of I-84 near Waterbury.

National Grid Utility Workers, Demands (2007-04-23)
A group of utility workers in New England say they will strike next month if National Grid doesn't agree to their contract demands.

MA Development Goes Greener (2007-04-23)
Developers in Massachusetts say they're "cautiously optimistic" about a new mandate from Governor Deval Patrick to quantify greenhouse gas emissions for new buildings.

VT Senators Pass Reslution to Impeach Bush (2007-04-20)
The Vermont state senate passed a resolution urging the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Remembering the Armenian Genocide (2007-04-20)
Between 1915 and 1923 one and a half million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in the 1st large scale genocide of the 20th century. Today at the State House in Boston, an annual commemoration of what has become known as the Armenian Genocide took place.

Smoking in Northampton's Private Clubs a Go (2007-04-20)
The board of health in Northampton, Massachusetts has rejected a smoking ban in private clubs. In a 2 to 1 vote last week board members upheld the current state smoking law.

Hartford Remembers (2007-04-20)
It was a somber day of remembrance at the State Capitol in Hartford today, for victims of violence this week and during World War II.

FEMA in Connecticut to Assess Floods (2007-04-19)
Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrived in Connecticut today to assess damage from recent flooding in the state.

Environment and Health (2007-04-18)
Sunday is earth day. It's safe to say that biologist Sandra Steingraber doesn't wait for this one day a year to pay attention to the planet. Steingraber studies environmental links to cancer and reproductive health. Some have described her as the new Rachel Carson.

Kafka, Reinvented (2007-04-18)
Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis has fascinated and perplexed readers ever since its publication in 1915. The story of a man who wakes up one morning to discover that he has been changed into a monstrous insect has been reinterpreted for the stage.

Ten Dollars in My Pocket: the American Education of a Holocaust Survivor (2007-04-13)
Elizabeth Trahan was one of only a few thousand Jews to avoid being captured by the Nazis in wartime Vienna. In 1947, as a teenager she boarded a ship bound for the United States. Her letters and journal entries are collected in a new book called "Ten Dollars in My Pocket: the American Education of a Holocaust Survivor."

Springfield Mayor Charlie Ryan to Run for Reelection (2007-04-13)
Springfield Mayor Charles Ryan has announced he'll seek another term in office. The 79-year old Ryan has served as mayor for three terms in the 1960s. He became mayor again in 2003, and won re-election in 2005.

Same City, Different Schools, Varying Achievement (2007-04-13)
Massachusetts education officials have released a two-year study that looks at why students at public schools in the same city are performing at different levels.

Same Sex Marriage in CT moves forward (2007-04-12)
A committee of the Connecticut legislature has approved a bill that would legalize same sex marriage.

Emergency Drills Across Western Massachusetts (2007-04-12)
In towns and cities across Western Massachusetts Thursday dozens of emergency management directors, boards of public health, and hospitals tested their response systems as if there were a major health emergency. One of the most visible the drill was at UMASS Amherst.

Different Budget Proposals Addressed by Patrick (2007-04-12)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Thursday addressed some differences between his budget and the one released earlier this week by the House Ways and Means committee.

The Medical Consequences of War (2007-04-12)
In war, health consequences go beyond the battlefield. That's the topic of a discussion this weekend in Springfield.

Mock Refugee Camp in Chicopee, MA (2007-04-11)
Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts is a long way from Sudan but students at the school are making a connection with a nation long embroiled in a civil war. They've set up a mock refugee camp like the ones serving people fleeing Darfur.

The Effects of War on the Homefront (2007-04-11)
A young Western Massachusetts couple is coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

CT Democrats, Spending Priorities (2007-04-11)
Democrats who control Connecticut's legislature are expected to release their spending priorities within days. Preliminary numbers put their plan several hundred million dollars above what republican Governor Jodi Rell has proposed.

Kids Afraid to Report Crime (2007-04-11)
A new study finds that a majority of Massachusetts teens won't report crimes to police because they're afraid of being beaten up or killed by gang members.

MA House rejects Patrick's Initiatives in Their Version of the State Budget (2007-04-11)
Leaders of the Massachusetts House Ways and Means committee today (4/10) released their version of the state budget -- rejecting key initiatives floated by Governor Deval Patrick.

Patrick's Muncipal Aid Package (2007-04-10)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick pitched his municipal aid package to legislators on Beacon Hill Tuesday.

A Caring Woman of the Year (2007-04-10)
Anne Teschner has been director of the Care Center in Holyoke for almost ten years - and this year, was named Career Woman of the Year by the Quota International Service Club of Holyoke, part of a worldwide women's organization that focuses on the disadvantaged.

Mourners Gather for Chicopee native (2007-04-10)
A memorial service was held this week for Army Sgt. Christopher Wilson, a former Chicopee, Massachusetts resident, who was killed recently in Afghanistan. Among the attendees were Governor Deval Patrick, and an unusual group of mourners.

CT's Top Federal Prosecutor Goes to Washington (2007-04-10)
Connecticut's top federal prosecutor is taking on a new job as chief of staff to embattled U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Deval Patrick Comes West (2007-04-06)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick came west and said, 'he's paying attention.'

Music from The Wolf Tones Chronicles "The Troubles" (2007-04-06)
In March, hardline Protestant leader Ian Paisley met with Gerry Adams, the leader of the Irish republican army's political wing, for the first time. They agreed to a power sharing arrangement between the Protestant majority and Catholic minority. WFCR's Av Harris reports on one Irish folk trio that has been chronicling the troubles in music for decades.

Annual Salmon Release Begins (2007-04-05)
Six-million young salmon will be released into the Connecticut River over the next two months, as biologists work to replenish the waterway's stock.

UMASS Students are Engineers Withouth Borders (2007-04-05)
In the village of Namawanga, in the African nation of Kenya, a water improvement project is underway, with help from a group of UMASS students.

New UMASS Report looks at Solar Energy Cost and Viability (2007-04-05)
Manufacturers need to invest in solar technology if it's ever going to become inexpensive and widespread. That's one finding in a new UMASS Amherst report, led by scientist Erin Baker.

Monsanto Alleges False Claims Made About Hormone Free Milk (2007-04-04)
Western Massachusetts dairy farms are among those targeted by a call from the Monsanto Corporation this week. Monsanto wants federal regulators to investigate what it alleges are false claims about hormone-free milk.

CT Senator Dodd Stumps in NH (2007-04-04)
Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, campaigning for president in New Hampshire today, hailed the release of 15 captured British sailors as an example of how diplomacy can work with countries like Iran.

Education Aid Comes Up Short for Some Massachusetts Towns (2007-04-04)
State aid to Massachusetts cities and towns would eclipse the $5 billion mark for the first time under a resolution adopted by the House and Senate Wednesday. But several Massachusetts cities and towns could be getting less education aid than promised.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley at UMass (2007-04-04)
A new film depicts the Irish Republican Army's fight for independence from Britain and its subsequent tragic aftermath.

Affordablity of New MA Health Care Law Remains in Question (2007-04-03)
Can Massachusetts residents afford health insurance, as stipulated by the new state law?

Nader Speaks Out (2007-04-03)
The consumer advocate and former presidential candidate says Americans have less and less power in Washington, D.C.

Amherst's University Drive -- New Economic Development? (2007-04-02)
A commercial strip nearby UMASS' dorms could fuel Amherst's economy.

Ralph Nader in the Region (2007-04-02)
A new biographical documentary and a new autobiography have foisted the former presidential candidate Ralph Nader back into the media spotlight.

MA Lawmakers Hear Testimony on State Divestiture from Companies Doing Business in Sudan (2007-03-30)
Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are considering a proposal to divest state pension funds from multinational companies working in Sudan, where the Bush Administration says genocide is being committed. W

Every Picture Tells a Story (2007-03-30)
The early 20th century photos of Lewis Hine have taken on new life, thanks to a local researcher.

Springfield Police Commissioner Says Crime is Down (2007-03-30)
New numbers show a decline in some areas, but not across the board.

Public Comment Period Closes on Housatonic Clean Up Proposal from General Electric (2007-03-30)
The EPA will now evaluate comments made about G.E.'s proposal to continue clean up of the contaminated Housatonic River.

Hybrid Drivers Get a Break in Williamstown, MA (2007-03-28)
Auto excise taxes are due by March 30 in many Massachusetts towns. According to town administrators in Williamstown, drivers of hybrid cars there will be the only ones in the state eligible to get some money back after filing taxes.

Response Mixed After Amherst, MA Episcopal Priest Stops Conducting Weddings (2007-03-28)
Reverend Robert Hirschfeld of Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst, Massachusetts caused an uproar earlier this month when he announced that his congregation would no longer perform weddings.

The Top Palestinian Diplomat in Washington Talks about Prospects for Peace in the Middle East (2007-03-28)
The top Palestinian diplomat in Washington says the formation of a national unity government between forces loyal to the PLO and Hamas should provide a new opening for peace talks with Israel and the United States.

Springfield Doctor Wins National Award for Fighting Health Care Disparities (2007-03-28)
A Hispanic doctor is teaching other medical personnel about racial prejudice in the health care system.

Local Prop Tax Proposal Tied to State Education Funding (2007-03-28)
Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell is proposing to pass a state law that would cap annual increases in the local property tax

MA Legislative Committe Says Do More for Children (2007-03-28)
A special Massachusetts legislative committee is calling on the state to do more to protect children.

Sunderland Men Plead Guilty to Killing Protected Birds (2007-03-28)
Bird enthusiasts are hoping the Springfield, Massachusetts trial of two men accused of killing endangered birds will serve as a warning to others.

The State Approves Four Pilot Schools (2007-03-27)
Massachusetts' Board of Education has approved plans by four struggling schools to raise test scores.

Voting Rights Lawsuit Postponed; Now What? (2007-03-26)
Judge Michael Ponsor halted the trial last week. Plaintiffs are holding off firm comments for now.

Allies in Recovery (2007-03-26)
A Western Massachusetts rehab program is featured in an HBO series on alcoholism and drug addiction.

Israeli Deputy Consul General Speaks about Potential for Peace in the Middle East (2007-03-26)
Israeli Prime Minister and Palestinian Authority President have agreed to meet. What are the prospects now for peace?

CT State Police Probing Use of State Car in Cases of Alleged Sexual Abuse (2007-03-26)
A now retired CT state police chaplain accused of sexual molestation allegedly used a state car while abusing young boys.

Massachusetts Competes for Federal Wind Turbine Blades Testing Facility (2007-03-23)
Massachusetts is vying with the state of Texas to host a facility which would test enormous wind turbine blades

In Search of "Housing First" Landlords in Springfield, MA (2007-03-23)
The city of Springfield, Massachusetts has launched the first phase of its housing first program - aimed at getting chronically homeless residents into permanent housing.

Northeast Biodiesel Takes Another Step Forward (2007-03-22)
A grant from the state will move the biodiesel project forward. Company officals say it's taken a few years to find financing, as it aims to keep business as local as possible.

VT Attorney General Signs Letter to NRC (2007-03-22)
William Sorrell signed the letter in agreement with 7 other states. It addresses terrorism risks nationwide

Wrongly Imprisioned CT Man Seeks Compensation. (2007-03-22)
A former inmate in the Connecticut prison system last year was found to be innocent, after 18 years behind bars. Now free, he's seeking compensation from the state.

My Mexican Shiva Comes to the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival (2007-03-22)
Set in the Jewish quarter of Mexico City against a rich tapestry of Spanish, Yiddish and Hebrew, the film "My Mexican Shiva" is a dramatic comedy about how the death of a man results in the celebration of his life.

MA Senate elects its First Woman President (2007-03-22)
Therese Murray steps in as Robert Travaligni steps into the private sector.

Travaligni Moves on from the MA Senate (2007-03-21)
Therse Murray is expected to become the next Senate President. She was elected to the MA Senate in 1992

Residential Treatment Center for Iraq War Veterans Proposed (2007-03-21)
In response to too many returning soldiers and not enough services in the region, a group that specializes in the care of veterans who have been diagnosed with terminal illness, is hoping to build 'recovery residences' in Western New England.

Springfield, MA Tries to Recruit Black and Hispanic Lifeguards (2007-03-21)
If you visit local pools in city neighborhoods largely populated by Blacks and Hispanics, you'll notice that many of the lifeguards don't look much like the people in the pool.

The History of Deaf Culture in America (2007-03-20)
A new documentary produced in Western Massachsuetts explores almost 200 years of American history -- the experience of the deaf community in the United States from 1814 to the present.

CT's 2007 Environmental Priorities (2007-03-20)
CT Governor Jodi Rell has asked lawmakers to put $70-million into the state's clean water fund, which is a $50-million increase over last year's budget.

In Amherst, MA, One Override Option, Not Two (2007-03-20)
Amherst's select-board voted to keep a $2.5 million override measure and drop a second option that was a $1 million less. The override is intended to help cover a projected budget deficit of $3.3 million, with the balance to be achieved through cuts in town, school and library services.

Tainted Pet Food Reaches Western New England (2007-03-20)
60 million cans and pouches of wet pet food have been recalled.

Iraq War Anniversary Prompts CT Lawmaker to Speak Out about Exit Strategy (2007-03-19)
It's been four years since the start of the ground invasion to oust Sadaam Hussein in Iraq. One CT democratic lawmaker says security responsibilities to be handed over to Iraqi forces.

The Parade Goes On! (2007-03-19)
Nothing could stop reveler's at the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Holyoke, MA.

Subprime Loans Cause Loss (2007-03-19)
Word of major problems in the subprime-mortgage industry emerged last week just as Western New England moves toward spring, the No. 1 home-selling season.

A New Take on "Godspell" Comes to the Pioneer Valley (2007-03-19)
The Gospel according to a 15 year old female singer.

A Roller Derby Revival in Western New England (2007-03-17)
New derby leagues are cropping up in the region; skaters in search of bumps, bruises, and sport.

Global Warming March Starts in the Snow (2007-03-16)
Interfaith clergy and community members Friday began an 8-day trek across Massachusetts to bring attention to climate change issues.

Senator John Kerry says Don't "Front End Load" (2007-03-16)
Changing primary dates is bad for democracy, according to the Massachusetts senator.

Blood Pressure and Beauty Salons (2007-03-15)
A local doctor is using barber shops and hair salons to raise awareness about health issues.

Amherst Library Considers Cut to ESL Program (2007-03-15)
Facing a budget gap, the Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts may have tough choices to make about programs.

PVTA made millions in accounting errors (2007-03-15)
The errors were among dozens of problems found by an outside accountant.

MA Connector Board sees delays (2007-03-14)
New requirments are said to be too disruptive to residents.

CT Governor seeks more information from Washington (2007-03-14)
After the recent controversy about V.A. care for returning American soldiers, CT Governor Jodi Rell wants early notification about troop injuries.

Cambodian leader in Western Massachusetts dies (2007-03-14)
Maha Gosananda, a former Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, has died.

CT legislator advocates for emergency contraception (2007-03-14)
Bill to make emergency contraception available debated in CT legislature.

Springfield uses new blueprint for change (2007-03-14)
City officials announce long awaited plans for redevelopment. But some say real change also needs to take place among business owners, residents, and elected officials.

Massachusetts dairy farmers say they're in crisis (2007-03-14)
The Massachusetts Department of Agricutlure hears from dairy farmers about the low price of milk.

Church ceases wedding ceremonies (2007-03-13)
Episcopal Church in western Massachusetts stops performing wedding ceremonies

Contracting firm agrees to pay (2007-03-13)
Connecticut contracting firm and one state agency agree to pay fines

Authors barred from the US to have works read (2007-03-13)
About a dozen Western Massachusetts authors will be reading works by authors barred from the U.S.

V.A. Hospitals comply to federal request (2007-03-13)
Local V.A. gets conditions report in to Washington, D.C.

Mayor says MA Governor's pension list is flawed (2007-03-13)
Forgey says more conversations need to take place before considering the option

Episcopal Church to stop heterosexual weddings (2007-03-13)
Episcopal church in Amherst, Massachusetts declares no more wedding ceremonies

MA Governor still in charge (2007-03-13)
Deval Patrick scales back but assures public of his role.

Northampton, Massachusetts coop to break ground (2007-03-13)
Northampton, Massachusetts cooperative grocery gets financing.

Richard Clarke's new novel (2007-03-12)
Former White House aide Richard Clarke pens his second novel, Breakpoint.

Sacred Harp convention in Northampton (2007-03-09)
Hundreds gather in Northampton this weekend for the annual Western Massachusetts Sacred Harp Convention

Connecticut democrats review budget (2007-03-08)
Connecticut's senate democrats express concerns over Governor Rell's budget

GE and EPA hold meeting on PCBs (2007-03-08)
General Electric and the Environmental Protection agency review PCB problem

Alice Parker's Anatomy of a Melody (2007-03-08)
Hawley-based composer conductor Alice Parker speaks of the loss of melody

Unique performance of "The Tempest" at UMass (2007-03-07)
Shakespeare's classic drama "The Tempest" uses state of the art technology

Health care deadline in question (2007-03-06)
Massachusetts unsure about meeting the deadline for required low-cost plans.

Connecticut explores children's health care (2007-03-06)
Connecticut residents support the exploration of child health care expansion

Governor Patrick proposes streamlining environmental permits (2007-03-02)
Governor Patrick proposes streamlining the state's environmental permitting process

Homeless advocates make case in Springfield (2007-03-02)
Homeless advocates use hearing to make case in Springfield

UMass Amherst study addresses Catholic downsizing (2007-03-02)
UMass Amherst study addresses Catholic downsizing of parishes

Foster Care Series Part 2 (2007-02-28)
Exploring the role of child advocates in foster care

Natalie MacMaster at UMass Amherst (2007-02-28)
Cape Breton Fiddler Natalie MacMaster concert at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center

Foster Care Series Part 1 (2007-02-28)
The fate of eleven thousand children in foster care is examined

Beekman's Translation Leads to Breakthroughs (2007-02-28)
Northampton's E. M. Beekman translation leads to new medical compounds at Mayo Clinic

City and Museum Association Reach Agreement (2007-02-28)
City of Springfield and Museum Association reach agreement on libraries and museum control.

Greenfield "old timer" reminisces about his life in the Valley. (2007-02-20)
Joe Parzych was born in 1929, the year the stock market crashed and the collapsing economy sent ripple effects all the way to rural western Massachusetts. Parzych's memoir is titled Jep's Place: Hope, Faith, and Other Disasters.

Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal votes on the Iraq war resolution. (2007-02-16)
Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal spoke on Thursday in favor of a resolution denouncing President Bush's plan to increase the number of American troops in Iraq.

Tinky's Almond Bark Chocolate (2007-02-15)
Tinky Weisblatt of Hawley, Massachusetts shares her recipe for Almond Bark Chocolate.

Tales of Desire, Deceit, and Devotion. (2007-02-14)
A Valentine's Day talk with a journalistic love professional. Daniel Jones of Northampton writes the Modern Love column in the New York Times.

MADD Is Madder Than Ever (2007-02-13)
Diana David probably never thought she'd become an active member of MADD -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving. But that was before march 21st, 2001. She was on her way to a bowling alley, her car motoring behind a pick-up truck when she noticed a van driven by a woman veering toward her from the opposite direction.

Theater Project Celebrates 10 Years at the Majestic Theater (2007-02-12)
With the Theater Project in its tenth season at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, WFCR's critic Chris Rohmann lauds the company for its success.

One-woman play focuses on Louisiana hurricanes. (2007-02-09)
Years before Katrina transformed the bayou, playwright and actress Anne Galjour had already created her award-winning one-woman play, Hurricane.

2007 may end up being the year of public education in Connecticut. (2007-02-08)
In Connecticut, 2007 may end up being the year of public education. Governor Jodi Rell laid out her two-year, $34 billion spending plan yesterday, which includes tax increases to fund a record increase in aid to public schools.

Panel discussion on Iraq on tap at Hampshire College. (2007-02-07)
President Bush's plan for an escalation of American troops in Iraq will be the subject of a panel discussion at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts on Wednesday night.

Springfield's ECOS gives city kids a taste of wilderness. (2007-02-05)
The city of Springfield, MA has developed an environmental education program, ECOS, short for Environmental Center for Our Schools.

Mayor announces plan to end homelessness in Springfield. (2007-02-01)
Every year, an estimated 2000 people in the city, including children, will experience at least one spell of homelessness. Earlier this month, the mayor announced a plan to end homelessness in Springfield.

Tinky's Corn and Tomato Soup (2007-02-01)
Tinky Weisblatt of Hawley, Massachusetts, shares her recipe for a warming soup of corn and tomatos.

Smith begins construction on controversial building. (2007-01-31)
After several years of planning and meetings, Smith College is starting construction on Ford Hall, its controversial new science and engineering building.

Amherst faces budget shortfall. (2007-01-30)
Amherst is facing a projected deficit of $3.3 million. The town manager, Larry Shaffer, unveiled a municipal budget earlier this month that seeks to meet that challenge.

Boston Globe to close three remaining foreign bureaus. (2007-01-26)
The Boston Globe announced this week that it would close its three remaining foreign bureaus -- in Jerusalem, Berlin and Bogota.

Legislative hearings on tap for Massachusetts DSS (2007-01-26)
This week, a new legislative committee begins hearings on the foster care system in Massachusetts. The new State Commissioner of DSS -- Harry Spence -- told WFCR that things have changed at DSS.

Regional homelessness symposium meets in Holyoke. (2007-01-23)
Cities have traditionally approached the problem of homelessness on their own. On Monday in Holyoke, three western Massachusetts mayors organized a regional symposium to confront it together. WFCR's Karen Brown reports.

First Arab-American appointed to state-level homeland security position. (2007-01-22)
Today's the first day of work for Juliette Kayyem, Massachusetts' new Homeland Security Advisor appointed by governor Deval Patrick this month. A counterterrorism specialist and former lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Kayyem is now the only Arab-American to hold a state-level homeland security position.

Paul Robeson in Northampton (2007-01-15)
Actor Floyd Patterson II portrays Paul Robeson in a one-man show tonight (January 15, 2007) at the Northampton Center for the Arts. WFCR's Karen Brown talks to Patterson about the life of the actor, singer, athlete and activist.

Rep. Richard Neal Says Congress Could Stop Iraq Escalation (2007-01-12)
Massachusetts congressman Richard Neal of Springfield says that Congress could step in to stop President Bush from moving forward with the troop "escalation."

Health Care Institutions Laying Plans Against Flu Pandemic (2007-01-12)
There still lingers the future possibility of a flu pandemic. In the absence of any legislative action on the issue, western Massachusetts health institutions have begun to plan for the worst.

Possible Constitutional Protection for Same-Sex Marriage (2007-01-11)
Efforts continue to stop a proposed constitutional amendment in Massachusetts that would ban gay marriage , the week after a constitutional convention moved the measure one step closer to the 2008 state ballot.

Financial Problems Bedevil Academy of Music (2007-01-10)
Northampton mayor Clare Higgins says she's been inundated with calls from residents concerned about the Academy's future since the revelation of severe financial problems.

Democrats Vow to Shine More Light on Pork-Barrel Spending (2007-01-08)
The Democratically-controlled House voted overwhelmingly to make the pet spending projects known as earmarks more transparent. Congressman John Olver spoke about the earmarks measure before the vote.

The Real Cost of Prisons Project (2007-01-08)
The Real Cost of Prisons Project distributes information on the social and economic costs of mass incarceration. In the last two years, the project has used comic books to get its message out.

John Katzenbach Speaks with WFCR about his Latest Novel (2007-01-04)
In John Katzenbach's latest novel, The Wrong Man, a stalker named Michael O'Connell creates a living nightmare for a young woman named Ashley Freeman. They have had a one-night stand. She doesn't know how dangerous a man he is.

Asian-American Delegate Sworn into Connecticut House (2007-01-03)
History is about to be made in Connecticut today. For the first time, an Asian-American will be sworn into the General Assembly. Thirty-three year-old Democrat William Tong is the son of Chinese immigrants. WFCR's Av Harris reports that Tong's presence in the House is giving Asian Americans in Connecticut some hope.

Reel Bad Arabs Screened in Northampton (2007-01-02)
The documentary Reel Bad Arabs examines the stereotyping of Arabs in popular films. WFCR's Tina Antolini talked to Sut Jhally of the Media Education Foundation, director of the film.

Daniel Bosley Becomes Governor's Economic Advisor (2007-01-02)
This week State Representative Daniel Bosley leaves his legislative seat, after 20 years representing the First Berkshire District, to become Governor Deval Patrick's Economic Advisor. WFCR's Karen Brown spoke with Bosley.