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Jess Tilley pushes aside magazines on a waiting room table and lines up three used “cookers” — small aluminum caps in which someone mixed and heated up their drugs. She mixes water with drug residue at the bottom of each cap. The demonstration is ready.

A person wearing a Confederate flag jacket, outside Easthampton High School on May 3, 2017.
Submitted Photo / NEPR

Can a school prevent students from wearing the Confederate flag? The school committee in Easthampton, Massachusetts, did just that this week, raising questions about the rights of students and responsibilities of educators.

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.

The "Witness Tree" in the Harvard Forest, located in Petersham, Mass.
Carrie Healy / NEPR

Author Lynda Mapes spent a year in the Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts, chronicling a single tree. This red oak stands in one of the oldest and most intensively studied research landscapes in North America. 

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.

Honey bees.
Courtney Collison / Creative Commons

Longmeadow, Massachusetts, voters will determine the fate of beekeeping on day two of the annual Town Meeting. One citizens' petition would basically ban beekeeping, by limiting it to agriculturally zoned land west of I-91.

Mark Lantzakis is one of about a half-dozen beekeepers in Longmeadow. He said the proposed restrictions aren't typical for this part of the state. 

"There is not, as far as I know, anything going on in other towns that would bar beekeeping," he said.

New England states are considering the idea of sticking with daylight saving time year 'round. Proposals to make the switch are being taken up by several legislatures, including Maine's.

Western New England University in Springfield awarded 581 bachelor degrees during its commencement ceremony in 2015.
File Photo / MassLive

Western New England University is looking into statements allegedly posted by a member of the women's lacrosse team calling on President Trump to "build that wall."

Friday was Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, a Mexican holiday celebrating the country's victory in a battle against the French in 1862. In the U.S., it's become a celebration of Mexican American culture.

Blandford Ski Area in Blandford, Mass.
Dave Roback / The Republican

The future appears uncertain for the Blandford Ski Area in western Hampden County. And the non-profit club that owns it is blaming Mother Nature for some of its woes.

In a statement, officials for Blandford Ski Area sAid they are exploring all options to stay open, but also concede that selling the property could be an option.

A doctor's hands hold a stethoscope.
Alex Proimos / Creative Commons

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has said that the Republican health care bill, passed last week by the U.S. House, would mean a massive loss of funds to the state. That bill now heads to the U.S. Senate.  Reporter Matt Murphy from the State House News Service joined us to discuss what steps Baker will likely take in reaction.  

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