The Short List

Massachusetts state Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Sen. Will Brownsberger delivered their committee's compromise policing reform bill to Senate Clerk Michael Hurley on Nov. 30, 2020.
Sam Doran / SHNS

Massachusetts Policing Legislation 'Is Going To Go Forward,' Despite Some Opposition

Looking back at news of the week, the Massachusetts House and Senate passed a long-awaited policing reform bill. The compromise legislation would, for the first time, create an independent, civilian-led commission to standardize the certification, training and decertification of police officers.

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Regional News

An inmate is tested for COVID-19 at the Hampden County Correctional Center in Ludlow, Massachusetts.
Mark Murray / Hampden County Sheriff's Office

COVID-19 Testing Not Planned For All Western Massachusetts Jail Inmates

Earlier this week, the sheriff of Hampden County announced that 10% of inmates in the department's Ludlow, Massachusetts, jail had tested positive for COVID-19. But the sheriffs of the other three counties in western Massachusetts said they see no need to test all their inmates.

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arts and culture

"Sandra" (2019, Acrylic on canvas) by Longmeadow High School senior Wynne Dromey is one of almost two dozen portraits in a new Springfield Museums show called "This is Us."
Wynne Dromey / D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

New Portraiture Exhibits At The Springfield Museums Show Us Who We Are

The Springfield Museums has curated a regional portrait exhibit to coincide with the arrival of a prestigious Smithsonian show of American portraiture.

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Connecting Point Digital Exclusive

BCAC Elf Warm Clothing Program Benefits Berkshire County Kids

Downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Board of Health has rescinded an earlier order to close indoor dining in the city.

Black and Hispanic communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. A new study from Yale finds Hispanic and Black children are hospitalized for COVID-19 at even higher rates than adults.

Gamblers wear face masks at the MGM Springfield slot machines in July 2020.
Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican / masslive.com

MGM Springfield on Thursday gave some specifics on its workforce — which has been pared down during the pandemic.

The federal government could grant emergency use authorization to COVID-19 vaccines as soon as next week, potentially getting doses in the hands of Connecticut hospitals by mid-December.

While official statewide distribution plans are still being finalized, health providers do know enough about the upcoming vaccines in order to take some immediate steps in preparation, with little time to spare. 

Christopher Stetson, an infant and toddler teacher in Northampton, Mass., retired earlier than planned, after the school where he taught for 20 years shut down in mid-March.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPM

During the pandemic, a lot of people have lost work. In Massachusetts, more than 1.6 million residents have applied for unemployment since mid-March.

Some were laid off, others furloughed. Some had hours cut. And there are others who made a tough choice: to leave their jobs.

Michael Millner's job for 14 years was to help relieve pain and reduce stress.

“Then that all stopped very abruptly in mid-March, when one of my regular clients let me know that she...likely had COVID, and I have been shut down ever since,” he said.

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Economy

'Warning Signs Flashing': Job Growth Slows Sharply As Pandemic Takes Toll On Economy

Updated at 9:24 a.m. ET U.S. employers sharply scaled back their hiring last month as the coronavirus pandemic put new pressure on restaurants, retailers and other businesses. The Labor Department said Friday that employers added just 245,000 jobs in November, down from a revised 610,000 in October. Loading... The job growth figure was well below expectations. Economists at Wells Fargo had expected the United States to add just 425,000 jobs in November, while other forecasts pointed to just...

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A new podcast for readers, writers, and anyone who ever loved their English class.

Colectivo De Medios Latinos

An all-Spanish resource on COVID-19 and more.

by Latino journalists in western Massachusetts.

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Northeast Pollsters Weigh In On What Went Wrong With The Polls

It will take months — maybe even years — to figure out why the polls were so wrong leading up to Election Day. But the autopsy is already well underway. “The polls were a stinking pile of hot garbage, tweeted Sean Trende, the senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics (RCP), expressing a view with which few pollsters would take issue. It is distressing, said Steve Koczela, president of The MassINC Polling Group, who has done dozens of political polls over the years, including many for...

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