Eastbound state route 57 entering Sandisfield, Mass.
John Phelan / Creative Commons

FERC Will Not Delay Pipeline At Senators' Urging

Federal regulators have brushed off a request by both Massachusetts U.S. senators to delay construction of a natural gas pipeline running through Otis State Forest in southern Berkshire County.

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Berkshire Bank offices in downtown Pittsfield.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Berkshire Bank says its planned move to Boston will have little impact on workers at its current headquarters in Pittsfield.

The move to Boston is largely driven by Berkshire's planned acquisition of Commerce Bank, which has 19 branches in central and eastern Massachusetts.

Sean Gray, chief operating officer of Berkshire Bank, said there will be no job losses in Pittsfield and the city will remain an operational center for the bank.

He said moving its headquarters to Boston will get executives closer to regulators, lawmakers and the financial hub of the region.

Former Mass. state Rep. Ellen Story gives campaign advice to Susan Voss, a candidate for the Northampton school committee, as volunteer Didi Firman looks on.
Karen Brown / NEPR

The election of President Donald Trump is inspiring many people to explore a run for public office – especially those who oppose his policies. A new pop-up school in Western Massachusetts – one that teaches skills for social change – is trying to attract potential candidates.

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National & World News

Conflicts across the Middle East and North Africa are putting over 24 million children at risk, according to alarming new research by the UN Children's Fund.

"Beyond the bombs, bullets and explosions, countless children are dying in silence from diseases that could easily be prevented and treated," says Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

His staff put together some staggering statistics.

Whales are the largest animals on the planet, but they haven't always been giants. Fossil records show that ancient whales were much smaller than the currently living behemoths.

So when did whales get so big, and how?

A new study suggests it might be due to changes in climate that affected the food that some whales eat: krill and small fish. Instead of being spread throughout the ocean, lots of krill started being packed into a small area. Bigger whales were simply more efficient at eating the dense pockets of krill, and they beat out their smaller cousins.

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News Now Podcast

Author Lynda V. Mapes smells a piece of red oak bark covered in lichens, from the 'Witness Tree' in The Harvard Forest, Petersham, Mass.
Carrie Healy / NEPR

NEPR News Now Podcast: Confederate Speech V. Safety, Heroin Tests, Time Zone Changes, A Tree Witness

NEPR News Now is a collection of recent features, interviews and commentaries.

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Commentary

Hannah Tran-Trinh is a 2017 graduate of UMass Amherst.
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

Commentator Hannah Tran-Trinh graduated last week from UMass Amherst. She says she learned a lot there, but the best lessons were hard-won.

I grew up in Boston. My friends were quite the colorful bunch, but I never thought twice about the fact that we were a diverse group of kids. I just loved feeling comfortable. Being a part of something I felt I belonged to.

But then I showed up in western Mass. and it was the whitest place I'd ever seen.

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Classical Music

John Nowacki and Mark Singleton
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

Mark Singleton on VOCE's "Music of the Spheres"

The choral ensemble VOCE , founded in 2006 and based in Hartford, CT, champions new music, especially of composers in the early stages of their careers. Their conductor and founder Mark Singleton is a renowned conductor, composer and guest speaker, and he has worked with choirs and orchestras of all ages and styles. His energetic and magnetic leadership has made him one of the most sought‐after conductors in New England. Mark visited NEPR’s studios to talk with John Nowacki about VOCE’s...

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Jazz à la Mode

Tom McClung, Amherst Piano Legend, 1957-2017

To local readers who knew Tom McClung, the news of his death on Sunday at age 60 at his home in Normandy is being greeted with a combination of shock and incredulity. The pianist was a fixture on bandstands throughout the Connecticut River Valley for over twenty years before he moved to Paris in 1997, primarily to assume a permanent role with the Archie Shepp Quartet. Tom's absence left a big hole on the local scene, but he helped us maintain a hope that he was gone only temporarily by...

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The Short List

Marijuana activists celebrated outside the Mass. State House on Dec. 15, 2016, the first day pot became legal in the Bay State. Here, Ellen Brown holds a handful of pot.
Gintautas Dumcius / MassLive

The Short List: Montague Mascot, Trump's Mass. Shadow, Looking At More Legalization

Our panel of journalists looks at the big stories in the news. What made The Short List this week?

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More Regional News

Fans ID Location Of Radiohead's 'OK Computer' Cover And It’s – Wait For It – Hartford, Conn.

Theiconic cover art of Radiohead’s album OK Computer shows a heavily distorted picture of an anonymous highway interchange. The band has never said where the picture came from. Nowsome internet sleuths think they’ve found it – in Hartford, Connecticut.

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Valley Voices Podcast

Valley Voices - #12 DIY

We’re back with more stories from your friends and neighbors on the Valley Voices Podcast. Our final slam this season was themed "DIY," held at New City Brewery in Easthampton. While we usually showcase our winner and runner up from every evening, the audience vote gave us a tie for the very first time. Libby Woodfin does some navigation for her grandmother, and Susan Cocalis tells of the demise of "Isadora." Keep an eye out this coming fall for more live events. For stories from this latest...

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Celebrate the Arts with NEPR on May 24th!

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Stories of immigrants and refugees in Western New England.

Words in Transit Podcast Helping Others
Beth Reynolds / NEPR

Words in Transit - Helping Others

The final episode of this series of "Words in Transit" features stories of immigrants from Bhutan and Slovenia and their work today to help other new arrivals to this country.

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Intimate concerts recorded live in the NEPR Vault.

In The Footsteps of the Great German Composers With Sunday Baroque Host Suzanne Bona Berlin * Leipzig * Dresden October 2 - 13, 2017

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Free, public tours take place monthly at 5 p.m. on Thursdays. See where NEPR news, music and programs are produced!

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A rotating panel of journalists from Western New England discuss the big stories of the week.

TRUE STORIES

Told live without notes by your friends and neighbors. It's Valley Voices Story Slam and Podcast!