Regional News

The Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston, Massachusetts.
File Photo / The Republican / Masslive

Lawmakers Hear From Western Mass. Health Care Leaders On Pandemic Response

The Massachusetts Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management held the first of a series of statewide listening sessions on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Activists assemble for a rally at City Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts, on June 9, 2021, to call for Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood's removal.
Karen Brown / NEPM

In A 'No-Win Situation,' Springfield Police Commissioner Clapprood 'Has To Start Listening'

This week, a group of seniors gathered in downtown Springfield t0 renew their call for Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood to be removed from her job.

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Health Disparity

Rural Communities Fall Further Behind In COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

Rural communities outside America's cities are falling further behind in the race to vaccinate against COVID-19 as President Joe Biden's Fourth of July goal to reach 70% of American adults looms over the horizon. Alaska is the sole state where average rural rates of fully vaccinated people have grown faster than urban rates since April 19, when every state opened shots to anybody 16 and older, according to NPR's latest analysis of county-level vaccination data from the Centers for Disease...

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Connecting Point

Hope on Wheels Provides Housing Pods to Homeless

Pride parade participants march through downtown Northampton, Massachusetts, on May 4, 2019.
Steve Smith / The Republican /

A new survey published by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health shows that LGBTQ+ residents continued to face significant barriers to health care, jobs and housing stability during the pandemic.

Rick Sullivan, president of the Western Mass Economic Development Council.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican /

The head of an economic development agency in western Massachusetts says the so-called "Fair Share Amendment" could hurt the region.

Shrinking Republican Party In Massachusetts Struggles For Direction

Jun 10, 2021
Jim Lyons (center), who now chairs the Massachusetts Republican Party, confers with fellow delegates including Rep. Marc Lombardo (left) at the party's 2018 convention.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

The Massachusetts Republican Party on Wednesday night united behind resolutions supporting Israel and opposing universal mail-in voting in Massachusetts. But the gathering did not seem to calm the tensions that have been boiling between conservatives and party members more loyal to Gov. Charlie Baker.

Connecticut lawmakers are likely to end their regular legislative session tonight with unfinished business. That would require them to return for a special session. This year it’s not the budget that has lawmakers running down the clock.

A female mosquito.
Alvesgaspar / Creative Commons

Some communities in Massachusetts are trying to opt out of the state's mosquito spraying program. That's after a change in state law provided for a process to do so. 

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A Lobster Diver In Cape Cod Says A Humpback Whale Scooped Him Up And Spat Him Out

A commercial lobster diver says he escaped relatively unscathed after nearly being swallowed by a humpback whale, in a biblical-sounding encounter that whale experts describe as rare but plausible. Michael Packard, 56, said in local interviews and on social media that he was diving off the coast of Provincetown, Mass., on Friday morning when the whale suddenly scooped him up. "I was in his closed mouth for about 30 to 40 seconds before he rose to the surface and spit me out," Packard later...

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Congress Urged To Act As States Start Allowing Outside Cash For Student Athletes

College sports are about to change dramatically and Congress needs to act quickly in order to ensure fairness. That was the message Wednesday on Capitol Hill, at a lengthy senate hearing about new state laws that'll allow college athletes to make money off the use of their name, image and likeness. The money would not be from the athlete's school. On July 1, at least five state laws go into effect, allowing college athletes to, among other things, get paid for endorsements, personal...

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With A Friend In Biden, Amtrak Has Big Dreams. But Freight Lines Have Other Ideas

Like a lot of us, Amtrak had a rough 2020. Ridership fell nearly half from the prior year. But with the worst of the pandemic seemingly in the past, Amtrak doesn't just want to get back to where it was before the recession – chugging along, slowly adding new riders for a few decades. It wants Americans to fall back in love with trains. Amtrak's planning on adding 39 new routes across the country and boosting service on lines that already exist. It's setting a goal of 20 million more customers...

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