Regional News

News from the region from New England Public Radio, NPR, and other NPR stations.

Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D) of Amherst.
File photo / State Legislature's Website

Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg said one possible change to the state's marijuana law could involve who oversees the regulation of pot sales.

Voters last year passed a legalization ballot question, which gave control of the Cannabis Control Board to the state treasurer.

Rosenberg told Boston Herald Radio, that ultimately, any changes are up to a legislative committee reviewing the law.

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont questions Neil Gorsuch during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing on March 21, 2017.
Screen Shot / C-SPAN

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding confirmation hearings this week for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

On Tuesday, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy pressed the Trump nominee on the president's attempts to ban residents of certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

"A Republican congressman recently said [that] the best thing the president can do for his Muslim ban is to make sure he has Gorsuch on the Supreme Court before appeals get to that point," Leahy said.

Jamie Cushman / Daily Hampshire Gazette

As college basketball's so-called "big dance" takes a few days off, Amherst College is celebrating a national championship. The women's hoops team won the Division III title over the weekend.  Amherst knocked off conference and in-state rival Tufts 52-29 to win the championship, capping a perfect 33-0 season.  Head Coach GP Gromacki said a lot went through his mind when the final buzzer sounded in that game. "It was an unbelievable run," Gromacki said.

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

On this episode of NEPR News Now:

  • In Central Mass. Towns, Trump Supporters Say He’s Delivering On His Promises
  • 'Taking The Risk To Be Myself'
  • Springfield Armory Looks To Recreate Its Historic Landscape
  • A Book Club For Foodies In Stockbridge, Mass.

NEPR News Now is a collection of recent features, interviews and commentaries.

The campus of UMass Amherst.
File photo / The Daily Hampshire Gazette

Hate groups are on the rise in the U.S. and they increasingly see college campuses as prime recruiting ground.

UMass Amherst and Holyoke Community College are just two of dozens of college campuses to have been targeted by white nationalist propaganda in recent months. But finding the right way to respond to these groups can present a challenge to college administrators.

The Massachusetts Statehouse.
File photo / State House News Service

Last November, Massachusetts voters legalized recreational marijuana. There's a long way to go before pot shops open in the state, but lawmakers move one step closer Monday as the legislature's new marijuana committee holds its first public hearing at the State House.

For more, we spoke to Matt Murphy, a reporter with the State House News Service. He said the list of state officials who will testify includes Treasurer Deb Goldberg, Attorney General Maura Healey and Gaming Commission Chair Steve Crosby.

The spread at a gathering of the cookbook club at the Stockbridge, Mass., public library.
Carrie Healy / NEPR

Reading groups, or book clubs, are a long-standing tradition at many local libraries. But there’s a new variety: cookbook clubs.

They're part book clubs, and part pot luck gatherings. Members pick one cookbook a month, claim recipes, and make the dishes. That’s all we needed to know, before deciding to visit a meeting of the Library Cookbook Club in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Springfield Sting owner Zach Baru of Longmeadow.
Dave Roback / The Republican

The Springfield Sting, the local entry in the minor league American Basketball Association, is in the midst of a playoff run.

The Sting won their first-ever playoff game last weekend and will play again Saturday against the New Jersey Express, whom the Sting have defeated three times this season.

A win there would give them the league’s Northeast Division title, and just two more wins would send them to Baltimore and the ABA’s Final Eight.

Jamie Cushman / Daily Hampshire Gazette

A pair of Western Massachusetts colleges are playing in basketball Final Fours on Friday Night. The Amherst College women and Williams men are both trying to bring home national championships.

Amherst College enters the Division III national semifinal with a perfect 31-0 record. So far in NCAA play, they have defeated their opponents by an average of 25 points per game. On Friday night, they’ll face Christopher Newport University.

Paul Keleher / Creative Commons

Students at Holy Cross will gather next week to better understand the history behind the name of the college’s mascot and school newspaper.

Some on campus have pointed out that “The Crusader” is also the name of a newspaper affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan. And it’s not like the Crusades are all that popular either.

Kevin Madigan from the Harvard Divinity School said the meaning of the word “Crusader” has evolved since Holy Cross adopted it in 1925.

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