Regional News

In Gilbertville, Mass., Democratic supporter Neil Noble (right) and Bob Bousquet have a few words regarding their opposing political views about the recent election.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

The first weeks of the Trump administration have been marked by controversy, including a court battle over the president’s first executive order on immigration, unsubstantiated accusations against a former president and numerous Trump tweetstorms.

But supporters of the president say he’s delivering exactly what he promised. That’s what we heard again and again in several towns in central Massachusetts that voted for Trump, including Ware, which was once a booming mill town known as “the town that can’t be licked.”

Construction of the MGM casino in Springfield, Mass., as of Oct. 2016.
Don Treeger / The Republican

A recent Government Accountability Office report recommends the military begin screening for potential gambling issues. This is all the more important in Massachusetts, which opened its first slots parlor in 2015 and has two resort casinos under construction.

Sean Murphy has covered this story for the Boston Globe. He said military officials don’t think gambling’s a problem among service members.

The Massachusetts Statehouse.
File photo / State House News Service

Key budget leaders in the Massachusetts House have said no new “broad-based” taxes are needed for the next state budget, even though tax revenues for the current fiscal year keep coming up short.

Like most Mondays, we checked in with Matt Murphy, a reporter for the State House News Service in Boston. He explained when lawmakers say they’re not raising “broad-based” taxes, that doesn’t mean no new taxes at all.

Jesse Algarin is co-owner and chef of the Hometown Cafe in Winchendon. The lifelong Republican voted for President Trump -- and so did the town.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Although we think of Massachusetts as a solidly “blue” state, more than a million of the state’s residents voted for President Trump in November.

Trump’s support came mostly from Plymouth County south of Boston, and from central Massachusetts. There, in the central part of the state, you can drive from the New Hampshire border south to the Connecticut line, and pass through a line of towns that all voted for Trump.

The former toll booth at Exit 8 of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Palmer.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

What made The Short List this week?

Play-Doh will be made in East Longmeadow, Mass.

What made The Short List this week?

via Flickr from Flickr user Robert Couse-Baker

The arrival of the Trump Administration in Washington brought with it a huge volume of phone calls and emails. Congressional offices have said they've never seen so much correspondence from constituents -- many who're opposed to President Trump's cabinet nominees and early policy announcements.

But new research finds this might not be the best way to influence your representatives -- at least in state legislatures.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra Conductor Kevin Rhodes
Tema Silk / NEPR

Leontyne Price, the revered American opera singer, turned 90 last week. Springfield Symphony Orchestra Conductor Kevin Rhodes has been itching to find a way to celebrate her brilliant career. He’s doing it, at last, Saturday evening.

In her prime, Leontyne Price’s voice was as big as she was a star. Performers who shared the stage with her described it as an avalanche of sound, a cloud filled with silver.

State Rep. Geoff Diehl speaking outside the State House in Boston.
Garrett Quinn / MassLive

There’s no one in Massachusetts more in President Donald Trump’s corner than state Representative Geoff Diehl.

The Republican from Whitman was the only state elected official to endorse Trump. Now that the new administration is about a month old, Diehl shrugged off criticism of the president’s early moves.

A screenshot from the West Mass branding video.
Video by Steve Porter / PORTERHOUSE MEDIA

What made The Short List this week?

  • Ardent President Trump supporter Massachusetts State Representative Geoff Diehl is considering running against Senator Elizabeth Warren in 2018.
  • Should the long standing moniker Pioneer Valley be changed to West Mass?
  • Educators and police in Northampton, Massachusetts, are trying to come up with new ways to engage students after a program called “High Five Friday” was stopped due to concerns about some children’s reactions to law enforcement.