Jill Kaufman

Senior Reporter/Producer

Jill has been reporting, producing features and commentaries, and hosting shows at NEPR since 2005. Before that she spent almost 10 years at WBUR in Boston, five of them producing PRI’s “The Connection”  with Christopher Lydon. In the months leading up to the 2000 primary in New Hampshire, Jill hosted NHPR’s daily talk show, and subsequently hosted NPR’s All Things Considered during the South Carolina Primary weekend. Right before coming to NEPR, Jill was an editor at PRI's The World, working with station based reporters on the international stories in their own domestic backyards. Getting people to tell her their stories, she says, never gets old.

Government and nonprofit leaders in Holyoke, Mass., gathered recently to prepare for the expected arrival of people from Puerto Rico.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

Holyoke was once a robust industrial city, like others along major U.S. rivers in the 19th and 20th centuries. Paper manufacturing was king here, and like other industrial cities Holyoke attracted waves of Irish, French Canadian, German, Polish and Italians immigrants to work in the mills.

A sign outside Enlace de Familia in Holyoke, Mass. on Thursday, September 28, 2017.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

An unknown number of Puerto Rican families may be heading toward the mainland U.S. in the coming weeks in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. They'll be in need of jobs, housing and health care, and western Massachusetts is getting ready.

Homes lay in ruin as seen from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations, Black Hawk during a flyover of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria September 23, 2017.
Kris Grogan / U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Students, families and many school staff in Holyoke, Massachusetts, are still desperate for news from relatives in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit last week.

National Hurricane Center

Carmen Ocasio has a lot of family on Puerto Rico. She said Wednesday that she is not watching television or going on social media. She can't handle it. 

Items seized in Springfield, Mass., during drug busts on August 7, 2017.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

Last month, President Donald Trump announced his intent to declare a state of emergency in response to the nation's opioid crisis.

Scenes from an eclipse-watching party at Smith College.
Karen Brown / NEPR

Parents with the kids, workers on a lunch break, astronomy buffs getting their fix. Across the region on Monday afternoon, people stared at the sky to see a sun partially obscured by the moon.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a news conference on Aug. 15, 2017, about a planned free speech rally Saturday. Gov. Charlie Baker looks on.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

The city of Boston is preparing for what is being called a free speech rally Saturday afternoon on the historic Common. Thousands of counter-protesters are also expected to show up, including some from western Massachusets.

Holyoke resident Rick Purcell and friend will be among a group that will meet in Northampton at 5:30 a.m. to carpool and then caravan to the Boston.

Purcell said he is going to the counter-demonstration because he wants to stand up to white supremacy. He said speaking out is in his legacy.

New England Wildflower Society's Bill Brumback, opening the freezer that acts as the "seed vault," in Framingham, Mass.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

In New England, 22 percent of the region's native plants are considered rare. Some of them are on the federal list of endangered species. Biologists worldwide and locally have been saving crop seeds, and seeds from other plants important to the ecosystem. 

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?

Appeals Court Chief Justice Scott Kafker.
Mark M. Murray / The Republican

Scott Kafker, the current chief justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court is Republican Governor Charlie Baker's nominee to the state's highest court.

This is Baker's fifth appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court.

But Governor's Council member Mary Hurley said she is disappointed in the selection, especially for the citizens of western Massachusetts she represents. She'd been lobbying the governor for months.

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