Regional News

Varieties of marijuana.
File photo / The Republican

The Massachusetts House had planned to vote last week on a bill making substantial changes to the voter-passed recreational marijuana law. But after quick objections to the bill -- and an issue with how it was written -- Speaker Bob Deleo delayed that vote.

Mike Kelly, head of archives and special collections at Amherst College, reads from the Melville Dewey archive.
Carrie Healy / NEPR

Summer begins next week, and so we'll be kicking off our Summer Fiction series. That's when New England Public Radio reporters interview local authors -- some of which have written so many books they can't remember how many.

Varieties of marijuana.
File photo / The Republican

The Massachusetts House has delayed a vote scheduled for Thursday on changes to the state’s marijuana law. There were problems with the bill's language and plenty of criticism of some of the proposed changes to what voters okayed last year.

The ballot question law has not been fully implemented, but possession of small amounts of pot has been legal for adults since mid-December. Police across Western Massachusetts tell us that -- so far -- little has changed.

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.

Tax Amendment Now Up To Mass. Voters

Jun 14, 2017
A constitutional convention debates the so-called "millionaire's tax" on May 18, 2016.
Shira Schoenberg / The Republican

A proposal to add an extra 4 percent tax to incomes over $1 million will now be up to Massachusetts voters in 2018. It passed a joint session of the legislature for the second time, as is required for a state constitutional amendment.

Representative Peter Durant of Spencer was among the lawmakers voting against the proposal. He said the work of tax reform should be left to lawmakers.

Record-Breaking Year For Mass. Maple Syrup Producers

Jun 13, 2017
Jerrey Roberts / Daily Hampshire Gazette

For the third year in a row, maple syrup production in Massachusetts was at an all-time high.

A federal survey found the state's sugarmakers produced 7,000 more gallons this year than last year.

Massachusetts Maple Producers Association Coordinator Winton Pitcoff said the weather helped. Warm temperatures in January and February started the season off. Colder temperatures in March allowed production to continue into April.

A "missing persons" ad in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, aimed at U.S. Representative Richie Neal.
Daily Hampshire Gazette / via MassLive

Some residents of the Western Massachusetts hilltowns are so frustrated that their congressman doesn't come visit, they've taken out a "missing persons" ad in a local newspaper.

A progressive activist group called Indivisible Williamsburg raised money online to take out the tongue-in-cheek ad in the Daily Hampshire Gazette -- a photo of U.S. Representative Richie Neal above the words, "Has anyone seen this man?"

State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg speaks with constituents during a meet-and-greet at Northampton Coffee on Thursday, September 10, 2015.
Laura Newberry / The Republican

In Massachusetts, there's continued uncertainty around money. A small legislative committee continues to whittle down the not-yet-passed budget that takes effect in three weeks.

Meanwhile, legislators are preparing for a constitutional convention on Wednesday. Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg said he sees one matter before lawmakers -- the so-called millionaires tax -- as a solution to the revenue issues.

Then a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown visited Springfield on January 25, 2012.
Robert Rizzuto / The Republican

New Zealand's representative in New England said he's looking forward to working with the new U.S. Ambassador to his country -- former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.

A warning sign posted by opponents to a proposed toxic waste disposal site in the woods, near the Housatonic River  in Great Barrington, Mass.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

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

What made The Short List this week?

Pages