Sam Hudzik

News Director

Sam has overseen local news coverage on New England Public Radio since 2013.

Before joining NEPR, he held a few positions at WBEZ Chicago – political reporter, newscast editor and newscast producer. Prior to that, he covered local angles on the federal government from Washington, D.C. for public radio stations in Illinois and Indiana.

Sam is proud to have edited his colleagues’ stories, including those recognized by the Third Coast International Audio Festival, the AP Broadcast Association of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Radio Television Digital News Association’s Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, Public Radio News Directors, Inc. (PRNDI) and the Missouri Review’s Miller Audio Award. Sam’s reporting has been recognized by the Illinois AP Broadcasters Association and the Murrow Awards.

He graduated from George Washington University and grew up in Park Forest, Illinois, and is thankful for his time in 2012-13 as a Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan.

Before realizing he ought to be a reporter, Sam worked at a political research firm and as an aide to U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell.

Ways to Connect

Westfield State University, in Westfield, Mass.
File photo / The Republican

Westfield State University is investigating a racist message left on a dorm room door.

University president Ramon Torrecilha said he learned about this Tuesday evening after a student posted a photo on Twitter. It showed a name tag on a door with a handwritten message: a racial epithet for black people, then "live here."

Some immigrants without authorization who've been victims of crimes may be eligible for a U visa. Here, immigration lawyer Susan Roses, left, reviews documents and with Antonia concerning her U-visa filing.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

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

Jafet Robles (right), celebrates with City Councilor Adam Gomez.
File Photo / The Republican

Friends and fellow activists in the Springfield area are remembering Jafet Robles.

The 33-year-old organizer with the group Neighbor to Neighbor was found dead in Chicopee's Szot Park on Monday, and had been shot multiple times.

Springfield City Councilor Adam Gomez said Robles fought for a minimum wage hike, criminal justice reform and neighborhood issues in the city's North End. But Gomez also recalled a trip they took to Washington DC.

In May of 2015, about 5,500 students graduated from UMass Amherst during ceremonies at McGuirk Stadium on campus. This is Elizabeth Thomas of Medfield, Mass.
Don Treeger / The Republican

The new US News & World Report college rankings are out, and it's a mixed bag for Pioneer Valley schools, UMass Amherst dropped a spot in the national university rankings -- from 74 last year to 75. Its ranking has remained relatively steady since a big improvement four years ago.

 

In a photo from April 2017, the Massachusetts Statehouse.
William Zhang / Creative Commons

Massachusetts lawmakers return to Beacon Hill this week following their summer recess.

Governor Charlie Baker is pushing them to restrict who is eligible for the state's Medicaid program -- MassHealth. But the Democratic-controlled legislature has a few other priorities on their list.

As we do most Mondays, we turn to Matt Murphy from the State House News Service, who offered some history on this back-and-forth.

The LEGO Group's U.S. headquarters is in Enfield, Conn.
woodleywonderworks / Creative Commons

The town manager in Enfield, Connecticut, said officials are willing to talk to toy-maker LEGO about possible incentives to keep as many employees there as possible.

Denmark-based LEGO Group announced this week it would cut some 1,400 positions worldwide, but has not said how many cuts would affect its U.S. headquarters in Enfield, which employs 715 people.

The LEGO Group's U.S. headquarters is in Enfield, Conn.
woodleywonderworks / Creative Commons

LEGO plans to cut about 1,400 jobs worldwide. The toy company, whose U.S. headquarters is in Enfield, Connecticut, saw revenue drop 5 percent for the first half of 2017, compared to the same period last year.

Peace activist Frances Crowe poses for a portrait Dec. 2, 2016, in her Northampton home.
File photo / The Daily Hampshire Gazette

The American Friends Service Committee of Western Massachusetts has raised enough money to continue its activism, although under a new name.

A school bus in Worcester.
File photo / MassLive

Worcester's mayor said he's hoping school bus drivers in his city vote on Wednesday to accept a five-year contract.

The bus drivers nearly went on strike this week, which could have delayed the first day of school in Worcester. But Mayor Joseph Petty said he asked union leadership to keep talking.

They did and now have a deal, although union members still must approve it.

"My understand [is] it's a good contract," Petty said. "So hopefully they will ratify it, and we won't have to worry about the buses...not running."

The American Red Cross facility at 150 Brookdale Drive in Springfield, Mass.
File photo / The Republican

Several dozen Red Cross volunteers from Massachusetts are already working in Texas to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, with more on the way.

Kim Goulette of the Red Cross of Central Massachusetts said volunteers go through extensive training and could serve in several roles, depending on their expertise.

"They can do...sheltering, and some would be experienced in feeding," she said. "We would have our mobile feeding units down there."

Four volunteers from central Massachusetts are already in Texas.

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