Alden Bourne

reporter

Before joining New England Public Radio, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered  topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education, and politics. Working with correspondent Morley Safer, he reported from locations across the United States as well as from India, Costa Rica, Italy, and Iraq.  

Alden attended Boston College and received a B.S. in Economics. He later took a year away from CBS to participate in the Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan.

Alden was part of the 60 Minutes team that won a duPont-Columbia University Award for “60 Minutes: Punishing Saddam,” a report on the impact of U.N. sanctions on the children of Iraq. He was also honored for excellence in coverage of race and ethnicity by the Columbia University School of Journalism  for “Vice Versa,” a story on a white-only scholarship program at an historically black college in Alabama. Alden has been on staff at NEPR since May 2016.  

Ways to Connect

Standard & Poor's is one of the big three credit rating agencies.
Funky Tee / Creative Commons

The credit rating for Massachusetts is now on par with most New England states. That's after a major credit rating agency downgraded the state's bonds.

The Airbnb posting for a bedroom rented out by Northampton, Mass., resident Rachael Naismith.
Screen shot / Airbnb

The budget recently approved by the Massachusetts Senate would add a new tax to short-term room rentals such as Airbnb. The company is in favor of the tax, but not everyone is as enthusiastic.

The Senate proposal would apply the 5.7 percent state hotel tax to Airbnb-type rentals. Cities and towns would be able to tack on another six percent.

Rachael Naismith of Northampton has been renting a room in her home through Airbnb for more than four years, and doesn't sound thrilled with the plan.

Kevin Burnham in Hampden Superior Court in December 2016, as his case was continued.
Dave Roback / The Republican

The death of Kevin Burnham, a retired Springfield police officer accused of stealing money from evidence, could impact the pension he leaves behind.

Burnham was supposed to appear in court Monday to plead guilty to stealing almost $400,000 from the narcotics evidence room. But he didn't show up.

A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was found at home, dead of an apparent suicide.

Jesse Carrillo, left, talks to his lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr. of Boston, after the guilty verdicts were announced on May 30, 2017.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette

A former UMass graduate student will be sentenced Wednesday in the heroin overdose death of another student.

Jesse Carrillo was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and distribution after Eric Sinacori died from heroin supplied by Carrillo.

Seven members of the Worcester police force trained to join the new mounted unit.
Scott J. Croteau / Masslive

For the first time in more than sixty years, police officers on horseback will soon patrol the streets of Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Worcester police decided to bring four horses into the force because they offer unique advantages. They can help reach places inaccessible by car or bike, including wooded areas in the city's sixty parks. They can also make community policing easier, providing a conversation starter with residents.

What's more, Police Chief Steven Sargent said, horses — or "mounts" — are an effective force multiplier.

City Hall in Hartford, Conn.
Heather Brandon / WNPR

The city of Hartford has launched a new program help residents without standard forms of identification.

Hartford City ID is modeled on similar efforts in New Haven and New York City.

The goal is to allow all residents to be able to do everything from getting a city permit to a library card -- and the Hartford Police will accept the ID as proof of identification.

Mayor Luke Bronin said the initiative will help those in a wide variety of circumstances.

Governor Baker gets an update on the Springfield Empowerment Zone at Forest Park Middle School.
Alden Bourne / NEPR

Governor Charlie Baker was in Springfield to hear the latest on the Springfield "Empowerment Zone, which consists of six middle schools and a high school.

In an "Empowerment Zone," principals and teachers have broad autonomy over everything from the curriculum to the budget. The results after the first year were mixed, with some test results up and some down.

People playing the slot machines at the Plainridge Park Casino
Don Treeger / The Republican

Net revenue at the first casino to open in Massachusetts was essentially flat in the first quarter of 2017 compared to last year.

The total at the Plainridge slots parlor from January to March was roughly $38 million. The information was presented Wednesday at a meeting of the state gaming commission.

500 mg calcium supplements, with vitamin D.
RAGESOSS / CREATIVE

A study out of UMass Amherst shows a possible connection between the early onset of menopause and the some common nutrients.

The study looked at more than 116,000 women, who were tracked starting in 1989. It found that those who consumed the most vitamin D and calcium in the foods they ate were at a 17 percent lower risk of early menopause compared to those who ate the least.

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.

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