News

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.

The Senate Chamber at the Massachusetts Statehouse.
S M / Creative Commons

At the Massachusetts statehouse this week, senators will be busy deliberating the Ways and Means Committee's $40.3 billion budget proposal.

Last week, lawmakers filed more than 1,000 amendments to that bill.

Recognizing that lawmakers will want to get out of Boston well before the Memorial Day weekend, we asked State House News Service reporter Matt Murphy just how they plan to plow through the huge pile of amendments.

My Superman

May 19, 2017

 

In this first episode, Carlos McBride, Media Lab Director introduces the Media Lab program and student Tai-lor tells the brutal story of the loss of her father. 

Photo of Emily Dickinson's original plant conservatory, which has now been recreated at the same location.
Emily Dickinson Museum

The Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts, this weekend is opening a reconstructed plant conservatory at the house where the poet often wrote about nature.

ARCHIVE: Never Mind The White Dress, Turns Out Emily Dickinson Had A Green Thumb

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

Our panel of journalists looks at the big stories in the news.

What made The Short List this week?

Scene from a 2011 performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.
anjanettew / Creative Commons

This weekend on Long Island, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus will perform its final show, ending a 146 year run.  

The circus is also at the center of Dave Fromm's book, "The Duration."  It's based in the Berkshires in a fictional town called "Gable" -- modeled on Lenox, Massachusetts -- where the author grew up.  Fromm told us he remembers visiting a traveling circus as a kid.

    

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.

Words in Transit Podcast Helping Others
Beth Reynolds / NEPR

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.

William Ryder, former owner and director of the now-closed Ryder Funeral Home in South Hadley, right, is handcuffed and led out of a courtroom at Hampshire Superior Court Nov. 18, 2017, after pleading guilty.
File Photo / Daily Hampshire Gazette

A Massachusetts court has accepted a nearly half-million dollar judgment against a former funeral home director in South Hadley.

William Ryder and the now-closed Ryder Funeral Home have agreed to pay $471,446 in restitution.

State Attorney General Maura Healey's office will manage that money, to compensate people who claim Ryder "misappropriated" money they prepaid for funeral arrangements.

It was nearly three years ago that a state inspector visited Ryder Funeral Home and found improperly stored bodies in various stages of decay.

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