REGIONAL NEWS

A jar next to the register in the Haymarket Cafe in Northampton, Massachusetts collects money for a "common account" for diners who can't afford to pay for their meals.
Katherine Davis-Young / NEPR

If you could pay a little extra for your meal to help feed a hungry person, would you? That’s what one restaurant in western Massachusetts is hoping diners will consider when they come in to eat.

But making changes to the restaurant business model is complicated. 

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, Ma.
Don Treeger / The Republican

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

What made The Short List this week?

Employees at Tree House Brewing in Monson, Mass., fill beer growlers.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Craft beer enthusiasts in Massachusetts looking to take home growlers from their favorite breweries now won't have to rely just on glass jugs provided by the beer maker.

In an attempt to clarify regulations, the state's Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission said that customers can get their own beer growlers filled, so long as there's nothing printed on the outside.

MASS MoCA's exhibition space is doubling.
Jeremy Goodwin / NEPR

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams was already one of the largest contemporary art museums in the country — before a huge expansion opening this weekend.

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont wastewater plants along the Connecticut River are waiting to hear from the Environmental Protection Agency. Even without specifics, managers at the larger plants know they will be required to adjust the amount of nitrogen in their treated wastewater, considerably lowering the levels, potentially at a high cost.

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.

By the end of the year, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new limits on the amount of nitrogen that wastewater treatment plants in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire can release into the Connecticut River.

Berkshire Bank offices in downtown Pittsfield.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

News this week that Berkshire Bank plans to move its headquarters from Pittsfield to Boston caught some local officials by surprise. But they're hoping the bank's move could still end up being a positive for Berkshire County and its largest city.

The Connecticut Statehouse in Hartford.
Jim Bowen / Creative Commons

A bill that would expand protections for pregnant women in the workplace awaits action by the Connecticut Senate. It cleared the House of Representatives on Tuesday on a 120-30 vote.

Democratic Rep. Liz Linehan said the measure would require businesses to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers, which could include more frequent breaks and the ability to work while sitting. The bill does include an exemption for businesses that would experience "undue hardship" when accommodating a worker.

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.

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