Regional News

The first truly global disaster resulting from climate change may come from rising sea levels.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Committee on Climate Change has projected sea level rise of 1 to 3 feet by the end of the century, and more recent estimates by NASA and other scientists have projected a rise of up to 8 feet.

In Massachusetts, the rising sea will mean more frequent flooding, more severe storms, and dramatic change.

Mass. State Treasurer Deb Goldberg testifying before the legislature's Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy, on March 20, 2017.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

All but two of the 15 people appointed to advise marijuana regulators in Massachusetts reside in cities and towns that favored the legalization of recreational pot.

Big Heroin Trafficking Organization Busted In Springfield

Aug 8, 2017
Hampden DIstrict Attorney Anthony Gulluni announced the drug raids and arrests during a press conference on August 8, 2017.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

Local, state and federal law enforcement officials say they have busted a "high level heroin trafficking organization" in western Massachusetts. 

A play by Massachusetts to inject more renewable power into its electricity mix could reshape the entire region's energy landscape. Dozens of developers are competing to offer Massachusetts the best price for long-term contracts to supply clean energy to hundreds of thousands of homes. 

But many of the projects also face another challenge: convincing residents of Northern New England it's in their interest to host the Bay State's extension cord.

A sign at All Power in Granby promotes the August 2012 Massachusetts sale tax holiday.
File photo / The Republican

Governor Charlie Baker filed tax holiday legislation, even though legislators have already recessed for the summer. So what's the likelihood of a sales tax-free weekend this month?

As we do most Mondays, we turn to State House News Service reporter Matt Murphy for some insight.

Pittsfield High School is designed to accomodate 1,600 students, but only had about 900 during the last school year.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

The Massachusetts state budget for fiscal 2018 includes the largest-ever appropriation for public schools. But some school superintendents say that won't change much for their districts.

The Massachusetts Statehouse.
File photo / State House News Service

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

What made The Short List this week?

Ragnhlld Brosvik / Creative Commons

A rise in tick-borne illnesses in Pittsfield has health officials concerned. iBerkshires.com reports the city has seen a rise in tick-borne illnesses including Lyme disease. So far this year, Pittsfield has had more cases of anaplasmosis and almost as many occurrences of Lyme disease- when compared to all of last year.

Northampton, Mass., author Lisa Papademetriou.
Ellen Augarten

Callie is a seventh-grade grader in New York who spends a week cutting school, visiting museums and uncovering family secrets about the death of her gay uncle.

She's the main character in "Apartment 1986," a new young adult novel by Northampton, Massachusetts, writer Lisa Papademtriou.

To kick off this year's back-to-school book series, we sat down with Papademtriou. She started by reading from the book's first section, when we meet the exuberant narrator.

At WMass Hospitals, Contract Negotiations Continue

Aug 3, 2017
Dave Roback / The Republican

Contract negotiations continue between management and nurses at multiple western Mass hospitals.

At Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, the nurses union voted to authorize a strike last week. They will return to the bargaining table Monday. The nurses have been without a contract for almost a year.

"We are very disappointed that the union has taken a second step now towards a strike," said spokesman for the hospital Michael Leary.  "We do look forward to meeting with them again with the hopes that we can strive toward reaching a final agreement." 

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