News

St. Thomas Church in Huntington, Massachusetts.
Kevin Gutting / Daily Hampshire Gazette

St. Thomas Church in Huntington, Massachusetts, will go up for auction on Thursday. It's one of over 30 churches in the Springfield Diocese to close its doors in the last decade, but the first to be put up for auction.

Diocese spokesman Mark Dupont said the town's decision to make the church an historic district in 2012 could have made it harder to sell.

PVTA Scales Back Bus Cuts

19 hours ago
A PVTA bus.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican

Plans to cut Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus routes have been significantly scaled back. The changes follow criticism from bus riders and area colleges. 

The former toll booth at Exit 8 of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Palmer.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will study the possibility of putting a new exit on the Massachusetts Turnpike in the western part of the state.

Funding for the review is contained in the budget signed by Governor Charlie Baker Monday.

Settling In -- Not For -- Downtown Springfield

Jul 17, 2017
Steve Shultis, in downtown Springfield.
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

After living both in the Mountain West and Europe, commentator Steve Shultis, came back home to settle in his native Springfield. Out West, Shultis says, he observed a sprawling, suburbanizing, car-dependent way of life. He far preferred what he experienced in Europe -- walk-able, bike-able cities. So he and his then-wife put down stakes in the Springfield's downtown. He's had no regrets.

Sue Baxter owns land abutting where a New York-to-Connecticute pipeline is being constructed. She sits atop a lifeguard chair made for her by friends, as she keeps an eye on the project.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Construction continues on a New York-to-Connecticut natural gas pipeline, running through Otis State Forest in Sandisfield, Massachusetts. Despite work being well underway, there are some who believe the project -- which has been the source of a legal and regulatory battle -- can still be halted. And a few still protest daily, on private land only yards from the construction site.

There's a big new feature on Bonnie Raitt in the San Diego Union-Tribune in which she goes in-depth and mentions numerous influences, including such obscure figures as Barbara Dane and Judy Roderick. I've been a fan of Judy's since my high school days and keep going back to her great Vanguard album, Woman Blue.

 Immigration advocates, students and educators at a higher education hearing in Boston in 2015.
Antonio Caban / State House News Service

The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority could be announcing bus route cuts later this week. That's after the Transit Authority's state appropriation came in more than $1.5 million less than expected.

Protests are planned in response, and the Five Colleges -- which have pumped millions of dollars into the PVTA -- have warned the transit authority that they might seek bus services from another provider. All this is going on while the state budget is sitting on Governor Charlie Baker's desk.

The Massachusetts Statehouse.
File photo / State House News Service

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

What made The Short List this week?

Shelley MacInnes, holding pictures of her son, Alex Ciccolo, who faces domestic terrorism charges.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

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

Author Zane Kotker lives in Northampton, Mass.
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

In Northampton, Massachusetts, writer Zane Kotker's latest book, three widows in their early 70s deal with loneliness, fear of death, a condo association and internet dating.

"Goodnight, Ladies" is a 111-page novella, and the latest pick in our summer fiction series. 

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