Regional News

Massachusetts Democrats gather in Lowell for their 2016 convention.
Shannon Young / MassLive

The Massachusetts State Democratic Convention convenes elected delegates on Saturday morning in Worcester. As they do every four years, attendees will revise and agree on a party platform that next year's gubernatorial candidate will be expected to run on.

Politico's Massachusetts reporter Lauren Desenski joined us for a convention preview.

Hairy woodpecker
purza7 / Creative Commons

For birds, this time of year, it's all about the music.

But some birds have a different take on song. Rather than singers, they're percussionists.

Every spring, like clockwork, I wake up to an insistent, rhythmic sound. It's a woodpecker tapping a tree with its beak. It sounds to me like a big bird. But every time I gaze up, I can't find it.

Ornithologist Don Kroodsma, a retired UMass biology professor, says it's probably a Downy woodpecker, the smallest around here.  

At New Museum, Dr. Seuss Himself Would Feel 'At Ease'

Jun 2, 2017
The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss opened June 3, 2017.
Springfield Museums / via MassLive

He's not a real doctor. His friends and family called him Ted. Since his death in 1991, Theodor Seuss Geisel has become the best-selling author of children's books in the world.

Now the city of Springfield, Massachusetts, pays homage to its favorite native son with the first-of-its-kind Seuss Museum.

North Adams Mayor Dick Alcombright.
City of North Adams

The mayor of North Adams, Massachusetts, said he is not running for re-election in November.

Dick Alcombright, who has led Berkshire County's second-largest community for eight years, said Thursday it's time for new leadership and new energy for the city.

Alcombright said a bruising re-election campaign in 2015, which saw him recover from a primary night defeat to win the general election, was not a factor in his decision.

Eversource crews get ready for a winter storm in March, 2017.
Don Treeger / The Republican

The electric company Eversource said it's looking to lessen the burden of a proposed rate increase on its western Massachusetts residents. The utility had called for about a 10 percent hike next year.

Elected officials, business leaders and the public have been crying foul over the proposed increase, saying not only was it exorbitant -- but also unfair when compared to the smaller increase customers in eastern Massachusetts would pay.

The reason from Eversource? Fewer customers in the west to shoulder the region's operating deficit.

Springfield's Union Station and the Union Station Parking Garage on March 23, 2017.
David Molnar / The Republican

Springfield city officials announced on Wednesday that they've rented out the last spot in the main concourse of the renovated Union Station.

It will be an Italian restaurant called The Whistle Stop -- named after an establishment that existed in the original train station, which closed in the 1970s.

The city is still looking for more tenants to fill space beyond the main concourse.

Springfield's chief development officer Kevin Kennedy said creating a new retail complex in the station will not take away from existing local businesses.

Jesse Carrillo, left, talks to his lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr. of Boston, after the guilty verdicts were announced on May 30, 2017.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette

A former UMass graduate student will be sentenced Wednesday in the heroin overdose death of another student.

Jesse Carrillo was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and distribution after Eric Sinacori died from heroin supplied by Carrillo.

Under President Trump, officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are casting a broader net when it comes to who they’re prioritizing for arrest. According to ICE data, the focus in New England appears to be on immigrants with no criminal record.

ICE arrests of non-criminal immigrants living in New England without authorization have more than tripled so far this year.

NOAA Predicts Above-Normal Hurricane Season Likely

May 30, 2017
This home at 581 West Leyden Road in Leyden, Mass., was swept away by flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene.
Jeff Brown / MassLive

Thursday marks the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. As many as four major hurricanes are predicted in the next six months.

Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, predict there is a 45 percent chance of an above-normal hurricane season, with the potential for 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes -- with winds of 111 miles per hour or higher.

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. 

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