News

The Franklin County House of Correction in Greenfield, Mass.
Henry Epp / NEPR

Earlier this week, a federal judge blocked President Donald Trump's executive order to withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities. These cities, including some in our region, have explicitly said they won't comply with requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold detainees.

At the same time, some local prisons are holding inmates on behalf of ICE, including the Franklin County House of Correction in Greenfield, Massachusetts. 

Lately I've grown accustomed to hearing Joe Lovano and other bandleaders introduce drummers as players of "drums and cymbals." Connie Kay, a cymbals master who was born 90 years ago today, qualified for that delineation decades ago. He succeeded Kenny Clarke in the Modern Jazz Quartet in 1955, and from thereon the group remained intact for 30 years. Here's the MJQ in London in 1982 playing a standard they'd first recorded on Connie's debut album with the group, Concorde.

DNA double helix.
Mehmet Pinarci / CREATIVE COMMONS

Scientists want to know why some people exposed to trauma develop PTSD and some don't. A new Harvard University study suggests genetics play a role.

The former Southbridge High School, now home to administrative offices for the school district.
Henry Epp / NEPR

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

On April 23, actor, Nathalie Vicencio, director, Patricia Sandoval and singer, Diana Alvarez, joined Raquel Obregon on Tertulia to discuss Latinas con Pluma -- a stage reading of poetry, prose and drama by Latina writers along with music written by Latino composers.

They will perform at Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke on April 28, at 7 pm.

In November 2016, Damien Johnson was one of several people who painted a solvent on rocks atop Mount Tom to get rid of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic messages.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States increased by more than a third in 2016 over the year before, according to an annual audit from the Anti--Defamation League. The jump was especially steep in Massachusetts, with a 150 percent increase.

Compared to other states, Massachusetts had the fifth highest number of anti-Semitic incidents last year, with a total of 125 episodes -- topped by only California, New Jersey, New York and Florida.

Tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi hears in Joe Henderson a powerful mix of the astrological elements Earth and Air. “He can be playing some far out stuff [Air] and all of a sudden he comes back [to Earth] and grounds it and plays some groove that knocks you off your feet. He’s amazingly smart and fleet.”

The Massachusetts State House in Boston
Henry Epp / NEPR

It's budget week for the Massachusetts House. Representatives will consider about 1,200 amendments that were tacked on to the spending proposal for next year. The first measures up for debate will be tax and revenue proposals.

Reporter Matt Murphy of the State House News Service explained to us how this annual process works.

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

A Massachusetts legislative committee charged with recommending changes to the state's marijuana law holds its final public hearing in Boston Monday. And one of the state's U.S. senators is urging lawmakers to respect the will of the people.

Senator Elizabeth Warren said she was in favor of the ballot question legalizing recreational marijuana. She said she understands there are a few things that do need to be addressed by the legislature.

A timber rattlesnake in Berkshire County, Masachusetts.
Patrick Randall / Creative Commons

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

What made The Short List this week?

Pages