Berkshire Bank offices in downtown Pittsfield.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Local Surprise — And Cautious Optimism — After Berkshire Bank Announces Move From Pittsfield

News this week that Berkshire Bank plans to move its headquarters from Pittsfield to Boston caught some local officials by surprise. But they're hoping the bank's move could still end up being a positive for Berkshire County and its largest city.

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Mass. AG Investigates Incidents At Easthampton High

19 hours ago
A person wearing a Confederate flag jacket, outside Easthampton High School on May 3, 2017.
Submitted Photo / NEPR

The school superintendent in Easthampton said disciplinary action has been taken against a student who allegedly bullied others through social media.

This comes as Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey investigates incidents at Easthampton High School.

Earlier this month, the School Committee voted to ban students from wearing the Confederate flag.

Later, a student posted on Instagram the words "Make Easthampton Great Again" with photo-shopped images of students and the principal holding guns in front of a Confederate flag.

The Connecticut Statehouse in Hartford.
Jim Bowen / Creative Commons

A bill that would expand protections for pregnant women in the workplace awaits action by the Connecticut Senate. It cleared the House of Representatives on Tuesday on a 120-30 vote.

Democratic Rep. Liz Linehan said the measure would require businesses to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers, which could include more frequent breaks and the ability to work while sitting. The bill does include an exemption for businesses that would experience "undue hardship" when accommodating a worker.

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National & World News

WATCH: Impromptu Song Shows Manchester's Resilience

37 minutes ago

A Manchester crowd's impromptu rendition of "Don't Look Back in Anger," by hometown band Oasis, emerged as an uplifting emblem of resilience after Monday's deadly bombing there.

Within 24 hours of their deployment in Brasilia, Brazilian troops left the streets of the capital on Thursday — gone from their positions guarding government buildings almost as quickly as they'd manned them.

The decision, in both cases, came down from President Michel Temer.

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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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Connect with NEPR

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

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