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Gov. Baker signs fiscal 2016 budget on July 17, 2015.
Antonio Caban / State House News Service

State lawmakers will be taking a closer look at the line-item vetoes made last week by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker before he signed the state's overdue $40.2 billion budget into law. A lot of the $320 million in vetoes stem from cuts Governor Baker made to MassHealth, in the hopes of getting his full package of healthcare reforms enacted.

Diahann Carroll, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington in Paris Blues
Herman Leonard / Morrison Hotel Gallery

Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington recorded only one album together, and it was a long time in coming.  The Great Summit was made for Roulette Records in 1961, long after these two giants of jazz had come to prominence in the twenties, and several years after George Avakian proposed such a meeting for Columbia Records in 1955.

Tertulia Colby Singleton, Program Director of Holyoke Urban Bike School
Raquel Obregon / NEPR

Colby Singleton, Program Director of Holyoke Urban Bike School at the YMCA in Holyoke, joined host Raquel Obergon on Tertulia. Colby discussed the program's opportunities for youth including classes on basic bike repair skills and safety tips for riding in the streets. The majority of the students start in the Earn ABike program -- a hands on program where students learn basic skills and then take a bike home at the end of the program after fulfilling 20 hours of shop time. 

A PVTA bus.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican

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

What made The Short List this week?

Massachusetts Congressman Richard E. Neal.
File Photo / The Republican

Two Massachusetts Congressmen remain supportive of a bill that would impose criminal penalties on Americans who support a boycott of Israel, despite concerns raised by the American Civil Liberties Union.

US Representatives Joe Kennedy III and Richard E. Neal said in statements Friday that they still support the bill known as the Anti-Israel Boycott Act. Both congressmen cosponsor the bill, along with 238 other House members.

Bella Merlin and Deaon Griffin-Pressley, in  the production of Cymbeline.
Stratton McCrady / Shakespeare & Co.

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

James Carse, at his home in Rowe, Mass.
Carrie Healy / NEPR

The next book in our summer fiction series took Rowe, Massachusetts, author James Carse five years to create, from start "to publish."

In his whodunit novel "PhDeath: The Puzzler Murders," the perp creates puzzles, and a group of academics solves them to learn the identity of the victim.

Lionel Hampton, Chuck Green, Sandman Sims, and Bunny Briggs in No Maps on My Taps
George T. Nierenberg

 

The rail platform at the Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center in Pittsfield, Mass.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

A study on expanding rail service between Springfield-to-Boston was left out of the final Massachusetts state budget. But lawmakers did OK another rail study, looking at seasonal service between Pittsfield and New York City.

Transportation officials in Massachusetts will look at the feasibility of weekend service between late May and October.

State Senator Adam Hinds, who represents the Berkshires, said this could demonstrate an appetite for regular, year-round trains to and from New York City.

Pittsfield High School is designed to accomodate 1,600 students, but only had about 900 during the last school year.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

One school district for all 15,000 of Berkshire County's school children. That's what an advisory panel of educators, local officials and business leaders is recommending. They commissioned a new study that said this approach could solve a lot of the problems schools are facing.

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