News

Haymarket Cafe in Northampton, which is closing for part of May 1, 2017, to support workers and immigrants.
Jim Kinney / The Republican

The first day of May — May Day — is also known as International Workers Day. In honor of it, roughly 20 businesses and organizations in the Pioneer Valley are closing their doors for the day.

It's part of a nationwide effort, and immigrants are a key part of the focus.

Peter Ives gets his bike packed and ready to go on a eight day bike trip from Northampton to Washington DC, where his group will join the Peoples Climate March on April 29th, 2017.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette

Activists will gather in Washington D.C. and locally on Saturday to protest President Trump's agenda on climate change and the environment.

Tom Crowe from Northampton is part of a group who spent eight days biking to Washington for the People's Climate March. He said peddling there is symbolic.

"The bicycle is one of the most fuel-efficient modes of transportation that humans have ever devised," Crowe said. "It only relies on carbohydrates. It doesn't need fossil fuels directly."

But Crowe said he'll be taking a bus back to western Mass.

Edie Meidav's new book, "Kingdom of the Young."
Sarabande Books

"A probing and deeply ruminative cross-genre odyssey."

That's how Kirkus Review describes the newest book of short stories from UMass Amherst professor Edie Meidav, called "Kingdom of the Young."

I sat down with Meidov this week and asked her how she describes her writing.

Matthew Szlachetka
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

The Vault Sessions made its debut on Thursday with an acoustic set by Matthew Szlachetka, a Nashville-based musician with roots in western Massachusetts. Szlachetka's Americana aesthetic was recently highlighted in Rolling Stone where he was featured as one of the magazine's "ten new country artists to know in 2017."

He plays The Parlor Room in Northampton, Massachusetts on Saturday, April 29.

Billy Alicea, 22, stands in a back office of Roca's headquarters in Springfield. Alicea is currently in a pre-release program in Hampden County Jail in Ludlow, where he was incarcerated for multiple vehicle breaking and entering charges.
Leah Willingham / NEPR

Massachusetts lawmakers are still working on this session's criminal justice reform package. One proposal -- among many -- would allow offenders to stay in the juvenile court system longer -- until they turn 21. But not all juvenile justice advocates support it.

Eastbound state route 57 entering Sandisfield, Mass.
John Phelan / Creative Commons

With work underway on a controversial natural gas pipeline in southern Berkshire County, activists are planning to protest at the site Friday.

A spokesperson for the company Kinder Morgan said crews are setting up erosion protection devices along the pipeline route in Otis State Forest, and tree cutting won't begin until that's complete.

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

Massachusetts Congressman Richie Neal is calling President Trump's proposed tax overhaul plan more of a tax cut than reform. The Springfield Democrat said the White House plan appears to be a return to Reagan-era supply side economics.

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. 

Connie Kay
Tom Copi / Getty Images

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.

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.

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